Policy and Legislation Committee
Agenda

 

 

 

2 March 2022

 

 

 

 

 


ALL INFORMATION AVAILABLE IN VARIOUS FORMATS ON REQUEST

city@busselton.wa.gov.au

 

 


CITY OF BUSSELTON

MEETING NOTICE AND AGENDA – 2 March 2022

 

 

 

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, 2 March 2022, commencing at 10.00am.

 

The attendance of Committee Members is respectfully requested.

 

 

DISCLAIMER

Statements or decisions made at Council meetings or briefings 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 Council meeting or briefing.

 

 

 

Mike Archer

 

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

 

24 February 2022


CITY OF BUSSELTON

Agenda FOR THE Policy and Legislation Committee MEETING TO BE HELD ON 2 March 2022

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ITEM NO.                                        SUBJECT                                                                                                                              PAGE NO.

1....... Declaration of Opening, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY and Announcement of Visitors. 4

2....... Attendance. 4

3....... Public Question Time. 4

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

5....... Confirmation and receipt of Minutes. 4

5.1          Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 25 January 2022. 4

6....... Reports. 5

6.1          LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROPERTY AMENDMENT LOCAL LAW 2022. 5

6.2          HOLIDAY HOME REGULATORY FRAMEWORK REVIEW... 57

6.3          COUNCIL POLICY: TREE MANAGEMENT AND RETENTION ON CITY LAND.. 114

6.4          REVIEW OF COUNCIL POLICY: MEETINGS, INFORMATION SESSIONS AND DECISION MAKING PROCESSES. 120

6.5          REVIEW OF CUSTOMER SERVICE CHARTER. 129

7....... General Discussion Items. 142

8....... Next Meeting Date. 142

9....... Closure. 142

 


Policy and Legislation Committee                                  4                                                                       2 March 2022

 

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 25 January 2022

Recommendation

That the Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 25 January 2022 be confirmed as a true and correct record.

 


Policy and Legislation Committee                                  6                                                                       2 March 2022

6.               Reports

6.1             LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROPERTY AMENDMENT LOCAL LAW 2022

STRATEGIC THEME

LEADERSHIP - A Council that connects with the community and is accountable in its decision making.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

4.2 Deliver governance systems that facilitate open, ethical and transparent decision making.

SUBJECT INDEX

Local Laws

BUSINESS UNIT

Corporate Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Legal Officer - Briony McGinty

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Director Finance and Corporate Services - Tony Nottle

NATURE OF DECISION

Legislative: adoption of “legislative documents” such as local laws, local planning schemes and local planning policies

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Absolute Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment a   Consolidated Current Local Law 2010

Attachment b    Amendment Local Law with mark-ups 2022

Attachment c    Amendment Local Law 2022  

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council:

 

1.         Resolves to make the City of Busselton Local Government Property Amendment Local Law 2022 in accordance with section 3.12(4) of the Local Government Act 1995.

 

2.         Authorises the Chief Executive Officer to carry out the processes required to make the City of Busselton Local Government Property Local Law 2022 in accordance with section 3.12(5) and section 3.12(6) of the Local Government Act 1995.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Shire of Busselton Local Government Property Local Law 2010 (Property Local Law) was first published in the government gazette in 2010, with little change since. Throughout the first half of 2021 a statutory review of the Property Local Law was conducted pursuant to section 3.16 of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act).

 

On 9 June 2021, Council resolved that, among other things, amendments were required to the Property Local Law and that a local law amendment should be initiated. In accordance with that resolution, an amendment to the Property Local Law was prepared (Amendment Local Law) for consideration by the Council.

 

Proposed amendments were presented to Council and, on 13 October 2021, Council resolved to give local public notice of the Amendment Local Law pursuant to section 3.12(3) of the Act. The Amendment Local Law is now referred back to Council for Council to consider any submissions made, and to determine whether to make the Amendment Local Law, in accordance with section 3.12(4) of the Act.

 

It is recommended that the Council makes the Amendment Local Law at Attachment C.

 

BACKGROUND

The Property Local Law was introduced in 2010 and further amended in 2011. The consolidated Shire of Busselton Local Government Property Local Law is at Attachment A. At that time, the Property Local Law replaced the outdated Reserves and Foreshores Local Law which covered a limited subject matter. The impetus for the Property Local Law was to better regulate use of public spaces, with particular emphasis on vegetation protection. The Property Local Law largely adopted the WALGA model and is consistent with similar local laws of many other local governments across the State.

 

Section 3.16 of the Act requires that local laws are reviewed every 8 years to consider whether or not the local law under review should be repealed or amended. As part of this review process, submissions may be made to the local government in relation to the local law under review. During the public consultation phase for the statutory review of the Property Local Law in 2021, the City did not receive any submissions. However, given the local law covers a significant subject matter of broad and regular application, an extensive internal review was conducted by officers which identified various matters requiring attention.

 

Those matters which were recommended for detailed review in the June 2021 report to Council were as follows:

 

Launching and/or Landing of Drones (Schedule 2, clause 2.2)

The City has no control over airspace, which, under the current legislation, is reserved for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Therefore, the City cannot regulate drone usage in the air. However, there is the capacity, if the City chooses, to regulate launching and/or landing of drones from local government property.

 

Under the current Property Local Law, the City has the ability to regulate launching and/or landing motorised model aeroplanes from local government property. It is open to interpretation as to whether a drone could be classified as a motorised model aeroplane, which could cause some ambiguity around this capacity. Therefore, it is recommended to strengthen and clarify those provisions of the Property Local Law to enable regulation.

 

The Amendment Local Law does not seek to change the current position with regard to how the City regulates drone usage. However, it seeks to clarify that, if the City chooses to do so, it could restrict the use of drones on local government property pursuant to a determination process by the Council. This change will allow Council to designate particular areas where the launching and landing of drones may, for example, be prohibited, permitted, or permitted subject to various conditions.

 

Exercise Classes on Reserves (clause 3.13 (1)(d))

The review noted that permits for “boot camps etc.” under the Property Local Law are currently only required on beaches or at City owned pools or recreation centres. There are other City facilities/venues currently being used for these activities – for example City managed ovals. It is therefore recommended that the City consider introducing provisions to clarify the City’s powers to regulate these types of activities, in order to respond to conflicts of use, where appropriate. 

 

Swimming Pool – increase to minimum age requirements (clause 5.1)

Currently, the Property Local Law restricts entry to children under 10 years old unless accompanied by a responsible person over the age of 12. It is recommended that the City considers amending the age requirements so that children under the age of 12 will not be permitted entry unless accompanied by a person over the age of 16. The 12 year old minimum age limit is above the Minimum Entry Age requirements under the Code of Practice for swimming pools (issued under the Health Act 1911), being that a child under 10 must be accompanied by a person 16 years or older. However, it is in line with industry benchmarking and more recent understandings of best practice.

 

Penalties (Schedule 1)

Penalties for breaches of the Property Local Law are currently set at (mostly) $200.  The Act allows for maximum infringements of up to $500. Given the current penalties were set over 10 years ago, it recommended that appropriate increases are made. If the City was to raise penalties in line with Perth CPI from when the local law was first introduced (and penalties last amended), this would represent an approximate $50 increase in penalties. A review of other local government’s practices suggests this represents a modest increase.

On 13 October 2021 the Council resolved as follows:

That the Council:

1.         Commences the law-making process for the City of Busselton Local Government Property Amendment Local Law 2021, with clauses 5.1(1)(a)(i)-(ii) amended to refer to being under the age of 12 years and a responsible person over the age of 16 years; the purpose and effect of the local law being as follows:

 

Purpose: To regulate the care, control and management of local government property (except thoroughfares) by amending sections of the Shire of Busselton Local Government Property Local Law 2010.

Effect: To control the use of local government property by updating minimum age requirements for entry to swimming pools, updating penalties, and clarifying other powers.

2.         Authorises the CEO to carry out the law-making procedure under section 3.12(3) of the Local Government Act 1995, by:

(a)      Giving local public notice of the Amendment Local Law; and

(b)      Giving a copy of the Amendment Local Law and public notice to the Minister for Local Government.

 

3.         Notes that the CEO, after the close of the public consultation period, will submit a report to the Council on any submissions received on the proposed local law to enable the Council to consider the submissions made and to determine whether to make the local law in accordance with section 3.12(4) of the Act.

OFFICER COMMENT

The Property Local Law has operated effectively since its gazettal. The Property Local Law is based on the WALGA model but was modified to accommodate the particular circumstances of the locality. However, during the statutory review conducted during 2021, various opportunities for improvement have been identified. The matters identified during the review are as discussed in the background section of this report and have been incorporated into the Amendment Local Law.

 

Statutory Environment

Local Government Act 1995

Section 3.16 of the Act requires that within a period of 8 years from the day when a local law commenced or a report of a review of the local law was accepted, a local government is to carry out a review of the local law to determine whether or not it considers that it should be repealed or amended.

 

The City developed and maintains a local law review program to ensure compliance with the requirements of Section 3.16.

 

Section 3.5 of the Act provides Council with the head of power for making local laws, which stipulates:

A local government may make Local Laws under this Act prescribing all matters that are required or permitted to be prescribed by a local law, or are necessary or convenient to be so prescribed, for it to perform any of its functions under this Act.

The procedure for making local laws is set out in sections 3.12 to 3.17 of the Act and regulation 3 of the Local Government (Functions and General) Regulations 1996 (WA). The person presiding at a Council meeting is to give notice of the purpose and effect of a proposed local law by ensuring that:

·        the purpose and effect of the proposed local law is included in the agenda for that meeting; and

·        the minutes of that Council meeting include the purpose and effect of the proposed local law.

The purpose and effect of the Amendment Local Law is as follows:

Purpose: To regulate the care, control and management of local government property (except thoroughfares) by amending sections of the Shire of Busselton Local Government Property Local Law 2010.

Effect: To control the use of local government property by updating minimum age requirements for entry to swimming pools, updating penalties, and clarifying other powers.

Local public notice is to be given by advertising the Amendment Local Law in accordance with the requirements of sections 3.12(3) of the Act. The submission period must run for a minimum period of six weeks after which Council, having considered any submissions received, may resolve to make the local law as proposed or make a local law that is not significantly different from what was proposed.

 

Parliamentary Scrutiny

Section 42 of the Interpretation Act 1984 allows the WA State Parliament to disallow a local law, which is a mechanism to guard against the making of subsidiary legislation that is not authorised or contemplated by the empowering enactment, has an adverse effect on existing rights or ousts or modifies the rules of fairness. Parliament has appointed the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (JSC) which is a committee of State politicians from both houses of the Western Australian Parliament, to undertake an overseeing role on its behalf, which includes the power to scrutinise and recommend the disallowance of local laws to the Parliament. After gazettal, a copy of the Amendment Local Law will be sent to the JSC who will examine the local law and determine whether or not it complies with abovementioned criteria.

 

The officer recommendation supports the general function of a local government under the Local Government Act 1995 to provide for the good government of persons in its district.

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

The following policies are used to assist in the application of the Property Local Law:

·        Commercial Use of City Land and Facilities;

·        Community Hire of City Property; and

·        Private Work on City Land, including private coastal protection work on City Land.

 

Financial Implications

Costs associated with the advertising and gazettal of the Amendment Local Law will come from the legal budget. These costs are unlikely to exceed $2,000 and there are sufficient funds in the legal budget for this purpose.

 

In terms of the increase in modified penalties, the City is unlikely to see any significant increase in revenue, given the City’s approach to its regulatory functions. Proposed increases are minor and based on a review of the City’s existing amounts and a comparison of other local governments.

 

Making and implementing the Amendment Local Law should not have any other financial implications for the City.

 

Stakeholder Consultation

The Amendment Local Law was advertised publicly in local newspapers, on the City’s website, on social media and on public notice boards for a minimum of 6 weeks in accordance with the requirements under section 3.12(3)(a) of the Act. No public submissions have been received.

 

In accordance with section 3.12(3)(b) of the Act a copy of the Proposed Local Law was forwarded for consideration and comment to the Minister for Local Government.  The DLGSC responded on behalf of its Minister and suggested minor changes to the Proposed Local Law. These changes were minor edits and do not affect the operation or application of the local law. They are contained in the marked-up version of the Amendment Local Law at Attachment B. 

 

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.         Resolve not to make the local law. However, for the reasons stated above, it is recommended to make the local law.

2.         Resolve to make additional changes to the Property Local Law. However, if those changes are significant, the local law-making process would need to recommence from the start due to statutory requirements that any changes are not significantly different from what was originally proposed.

CONCLUSION

The City has undertaken an extensive review of the Property Local Law. The Amendment Local Law has been prepared and advertised publicly in accordance with the Act. No significant changes have been recommended to the Amendment Local Law. It is recommended that Council resolve to make the Amendment Local Law.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

Should Council resolve to make the Amendment Local Law it will need to be gazetted and will come into operation 14 days after publication. The timeframe for completion of the gazettal process is approximately thirty days from the date of the Council resolution.


Policy and Legislation Committee

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2 March 2022

6.1

Attachment a

Consolidated Current Local Law 2010

 



































Policy and Legislation Committee

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2 March 2022

6.1

Attachment b

Amendment Local Law with mark-ups 2022

 








Policy and Legislation Committee

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6.1

Attachment c

Amendment Local Law 2022

 







Policy and Legislation Committee                                  65                                                                     2 March 2022

6.2             HOLIDAY HOME REGULATORY FRAMEWORK REVIEW

STRATEGIC THEME

OPPORTUNITY - A vibrant City with diverse opportunities and a prosperous economy

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

3.2 Facilitate an innovative and diversified economy that supports local enterprise, business, investment and employment growth.

SUBJECT INDEX

Local Planning Scheme 21 Amendments

BUSINESS UNIT

Strategic Planning

REPORTING OFFICER

Strategic Planner - Joanna Wilkinson

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Director, Planning and Development Services - Paul Needham

NATURE OF DECISION

Legislative: adoption of “legislative documents” such as local laws, local planning schemes and local planning policies

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment a   Consultation Outcomes Report

Attachment b    Conditions of Registration (working draft)

Attachment c    Code of Conduct (working draft)  

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council supports further progressing the review of the City’s regulatory framework for holiday homes, as follows:

1.         Note the Consultation Outcomes Report to Inform Changes to the Holiday Home Regulatory Framework (January 2022) provided at Attachment A.

2.         Implement changes to the regulatory framework for holiday homes in three stages:

(a)       Stage one:

Changes to conditions of registration and introduction of a code of conduct as generally described in this report.

(b)       Stage two:

(i)        Initiate amendments to the Holiday Homes Local Law 2012, to be presented via a separate report during the first half of 2022.

(ii)      Concurrently, develop a Council Policy to guide application of the local law.

(c)       Stage three:

Draft and initiate advertising of formal changes relating to holiday home provisions in Local Planning Scheme No. 21 and Local Planning Policy No. 4.1: Holiday Homes, to be presented via a separate report, once uncertainties related to the state level regulatory framework have been resolved.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In 2012, three interrelated key instruments were introduced by Council to regulate holiday homes – these included a local law, provisions in the local planning scheme, and a local planning policy. The local planning policy has since been reviewed and amended, however the local law has remained unchanged, and the Scheme provisions were carried over in 2014, without substantive change, into Local Planning Scheme No. 21.

 

Following a resolution of Council in June 2021 to review five key aspects of the framework, extensive stakeholder and community consultation was carried out. Each of these changes was advertised as an ‘opportunity for change’, and each received majority support from consultation respondents.

 

The purpose of this report is to provide information about the outcomes of consultation, and propose that formal changes be introduced in three separate stages. As a first stage, changes relating to the management of holiday homes have been drafted, and should these changes be supported it is proposed that the community and industry stakeholders will be notified through a number of different means.

BACKGROUND

In 2002, upon direction from the Minister for Planning, the Shire of Busselton set out to establish a policy position for holiday homes in the District. A regulatory framework was formally established late in 2012, and this continues to be one of the most comprehensive in the State. The framework includes three key components: provisions in Local Planning Scheme No. 21 (the Scheme) and Local Planning Policy No. 4.1: Holiday Homes (LPP 4.1), both pertaining to planning land use; and the Holiday Homes Local Law 2012 (the Local Law), pertaining to registration and management.

 

Over time issues relating to holiday homes have arisen that may not be sufficiently addressed through this framework. At its meeting of 9 June 2021 Council resolved (C2106/119) to conduct a review by drafting a number of potential changes, and to consult with the community about these changes. In summary the proposed changes were:

1.      Exclude some residential areas from holiday home use, by introducing areas of exclusion.

2.      Revise standards for the size and design of properties, relative to maximum permissible occupancy numbers.

3.      Revise and introduce new requirements and expectations for managers.

4.      Introduce requirements and expectations for occupants and their guests.

5.      Introduce requirements for the management of dogs.

6.      Develop a Council Policy to guide application of the Local Law.

 

Consultation was carried out for a period of seven weeks between 13 August and 4 October 2021, comprising a number of community information sessions, static displays, an extensive online document library, and an online survey. 553 survey responses and a further 18 written submissions were received and each proposed change gained support from the majority of respondents. A report outlining the full consultation process and an analysis of the outcomes is provided at Attachment A.

 

The remainder of this report sets out whether and/or how the various advertised changes can be formally pursued in response to the outcomes of consultation.

OFFICER COMMENT

Introduction of staged changes

Consultation carried out during 2021 affirmed that there is stakeholder and community support for a review of the Holiday Home Regulatory Framework. It is proposed that the majority of advertised changes be formally drafted and implemented in three separate stages.

 

The primary reasons for phased introduction are:

·    Prioritisation of workload, and the length of time is will take for some of the changes to take effect.

·    Uncertainty around the State’s planning framework because of the draft Position Statement: Planning for Tourism.

 

Stage 1: some of the holiday home management changes are proposed to be introduced first. This includes changes to the conditions of registration and introduction of a new code of conduct, which can be implemented within the City’s existing regulatory framework. A working draft of the conditions of registration is provided at Attachment B, and the code of conduct at Attachment C. Should these changes be supported it is intended that stakeholders will be notified, with the changes coming into effect through the 2022/23 annual registration renewal process.

 

Stage 2: amendments to the Local Law are required to follow a statutory process, and it is proposed that the amended Local Law be presented to Council through a subsequent report during the first half of 2022. Concurrently, a Council policy would be developed to guide application of the Local Law.

 

Stage 3: most of the land use/development changes are subject to statutory requirements under the Regulations. Additionally, the State Government’s recently released draft Position Statement: Planning for Tourism may impact the current development controls provided through the Scheme and LPP 4.1, and the preferred future direction identified through this review. The State’s draft policy was referred to Council on 9 February 2022 (C2202/022) and Council resolved to provide a formal submission advocating against a number of elements of the draft policy. Officers recommend that the City undertakes these changes as a third stage, either later in 2022 or upon finalisation of the State’s policy position.

 

Holiday home management changes – Stages 1 and 2

Many holiday home neighbours and community members who responded to the 2021 consultation raised concerns around the impact of holiday homes on the enjoyment of their own homes and neighbourhoods. Their negative experiences relate to noise, disturbance and antisocial behaviour; parking of vehicles outside of lot boundaries; unattended barking dogs; and management of waste disposal. There was a sentiment that management issues should be addressed as a matter of priority.

 

Following the closure of consultation, officers met with several local managing agencies who are collectively responsible for the management of approximately one third of all registered holiday homes in the district. These managers were supportive of the advertised changes, observing that the changes would complement the management policies and practices they already have in place.

 

The three advertised opportunities for change that relate to the management of holiday homes were:

“3.       Change the requirements and expectations for managers, by:

             a)  Reducing the amount of time in which a manager must respond to any contact relating to a holiday home, from 24 hours to 12 hours.

             b)  Requiring managers to live within a 30 minute travel time from the holiday home.

             c)   Requiring that the contact details of the manager be displayed on a sign that can be seen from the street, so that the manager can be contacted directly if there is a reason to lodge a complaint.

             d)  Requiring that the manager must resolve complaints and ensure that occupants follow the correct rules (e.g. not too many occupants, cars parked within the property boundary, not cause a nuisance to neighbours etc.).

4.         Introduce a code of conduct for the management of the behaviour of occupants and their guests. This would include the display of the code of conduct in the holiday home, and acknowledgement by the occupants that they are aware of the code of conduct.

5.         Require that dogs must not be left unattended at holiday homes.”

 

Each change received majority support from consultation survey respondents (61%, 86% and 67% respectively), with full details provided in the attached Consultation Outcomes Report to Inform Changes to the Holiday Home Regulatory Framework.

 

In regard to change number three, this included four separate components. As part of the consultation, survey respondents were asked to identify which of the components they did not support. This was a non-compulsory question, resulting in an overall 25.3% response rate (140 of the 553 survey participants). The remaining two advertised changes were supported by the majority of respondents from all stakeholder groups.

 

Recommendations for the implementation of changes are discussed below, and where supported by officers are identified as either a Stage 1 or Stage 2 change.

 

Change 3a:          Reducing the amount of time in which a manager must respond to any contact relating to a holiday home, from 24 hours to 12 hours

 

The requirement for managers to respond to contact relating to a holiday home is provided through clause 3.4 of the Local Law which states:

 

“3.4 Contacting the manager

                …

(2)          The manager must respond within a reasonable time but in any event within 24 hours to any contact relating to the holiday home; …”

 

This requirement is further explained through a condition of registration stating:

 

“The manager must inform the City of Busselton in writing within 24 hours of becoming aware of any breach of these conditions of registration or breach of the local law or relevant law by an attendant and of any action taken in relation thereto: provided that if the manager becomes aware of such breach on a weekend or public holiday, the City must be informed of such breach on the first following business day.”

 

A revised response time of 12 hours was proposed because a dilemma arises around a response time that may be considered reasonable. ‘Reasonable’ may be almost immediate for a management agency with multiple staff, but this might not be the case if a sole person is appointed as manager.

 

The question of reasonableness also applies to the potential to criminalise behaviour (the time to respond to a complaint) which may be disproportionate to the purpose sought to be achieved. For example, it may not be reasonable to criminalise a slow response to a complaint about an excessive number of vehicles parked at a property. It may be considered reasonable to expect a quick response regarding an excessive number of noisy and disruptive holiday home occupants and guests during the night. However this sort of matter may also be more appropriately dealt with by the police rather than a manager.

 

In instances where this measure was not supported by respondents, generally it was because they preferred to see a shorter response time such as one or two hours. Given the question of ‘reasonableness’, and the overwhelming support for a 12 hours response time, officers recommend that this proposed time be retained.

 

A change to sub-clause 2.3 (i) (ii) would require an amendment to the Local Law, and it is recommended that the amendment be undertaken as part of Stage 2.

 


Change 3b:          Requiring managers to live within a 30 minute travel time from the holiday home

 

Currently there is no requirement pertaining to where a holiday home manager resides, meaning owners might personally manage a property regardless of place of residence (noting that 53.5% of owners/current applicants who responded to the 2021 consultation reside outside of the District), or elect to have the property managed by a local management agency, friend, etc. 48.5% of the 200 owners/current applicants who responded to the survey did not support this measure, with reasons including:

·    many problems can be resolved via telephone;

·    police should be contacted in the case of serious disruption;

·    this measure would force the management of all holiday homes to be carried out by local entities (lack of availability; increased cost).

 

The Shires of Augusta-Margaret River and Exmouth require all development applications for a holiday home to provide a management plan that includes the contact details of a manager/caretaker who resides within a specified (short) travel time of the premises. As neither of these local governments has a local law for holiday homes, this requirement stems from the planning process. Noosa Shire Council has introduced a similar provision through a local law (drafted under Queensland state legislation) that came into effect on 1 February 2022.

 

Officers have further reviewed this potential change, initially advising that introduction could be via the Local Law, however it is unlikely to be supported by the parliamentary Joint Standing Committee. A set travel time is more likely to be achievable by a managing agency, than it is by a sole person appointed as manager.

 

Despite support received during consultation for this measure, other changes such as the requirement for display of a manager’s contact details on signage and a code of conduct may alleviate some management issues that were sought to be addressed through this measure. Officers recommend that this change is not pursued. However should Council be of a mind to investigate this option then further advice would be sought.

 

Change 3c:          Requiring that the contact details of the manager be displayed on a sign that can be seen from the street

 

A standard condition of registration is that any signage advertising a holiday home must not exceed 0.2m², and be situated on private property and within the subject site. The maximum signage size is consistent with Schedule 9 (A) 2 of the Scheme, and does not require development approval.

 

The Local Law provides that the manager must be contactable through clause 2.6:

 

                “2.6 Conditions which may be imposed

The Council may approve an application for registration subject to conditions relating to—

                …

(k)          ensuring that each of the manager, and the acting manager while undertaking the functions of the manager—

(i)            is contactable by telephone, at any time of the day or night, using his or her contact details provided to the City; …”

 

The proposed change received majority support from all consultation respondents. Opposition primarily came from owners/current applicants, with some of the reasons being:

·    Safety and security of a premises by providing an obvious advertisement that it would be frequently vacant;

·    Likelihood of an unnecessary volume of phone calls and/or vexatious complaints;

·    Adequacy of providing contact details to immediate neighbours only;

·    Adverse visual impact in the streetscape.

 

At the follow-up meeting with managing agencies, support was provided because they already have contact details on signage outside of managed properties, but receive a large volume of calls that do not relate to the properties they manage. Managing agencies also commented that they have not experienced security and theft issues resulting from signage outside of properties.

 

The feedback from managing agencies suggests that there are many instances where no contact details are provided to nearby neighbours, leaving them helpless if enquiries or complaints are not addressed. Applying this requirement to all properties would mean that calls are directed to the appropriate manager, and a greater likelihood of enquiries, complaints and issues being resolved. The owner/current applicant concerns around safety and security are understood, however there is also benefit in that a sign outside a property is an alternative form of advertising that could provide advantage in the short-stay market.

 

It is recommended that this measure is introduced in Stage 1 through a new condition of registration, stating that the premises must display a sign, visible from the street, notifying of a current telephone number upon which the manager can be contacted.

 

Owners would be provided with a transition time in which to install the sign, with initial proof of such signage to be provided by 30 September 2022, and subsequently each year through the annual registration renewal process.

 

Change 3d:          Requiring that the manager must resolve complaints and ensure that occupants follow the correct rules

 

The Local Law provides a mechanism to require managers to terminate tenancies where attendants breach the conditions of registration. Clause 3.2 states:

 

                “3.2 Breach of a condition by an attendant

(1)  In this clause, breach means breach by an attendant of—

(a)  a condition of registration;

(b)  this local law; or

(c)   a relevant law.

(2)  Within 24 hours of—

(a)  the CEO or an authorised person giving written notice to the manager of the breach;

(b)  the manager becoming aware of the breach; or

(c)   the manager becoming aware of circumstances that would reasonably enable the manager to determine that the breach had occurred.


the manager must ensure that—

(d)  the occupant’s tenancy is terminated; and

(e)  the occupant vacates the holiday home.”

 

It is recommended that this measure is expanded in Stage 1 through a new condition of registration, so that the manager requirement to respond to and resolve any breach is explicitly conveyed.

 

Change 4:            Introduce a code of conduct for the management of the behaviour of occupants and their guests

 

The Local Law allows for conditions of registration that can cover matters such as the maximum number of occupants and their guests; the minimum number of on-site car parking bays for the exclusive use of occupants and guests; and the maximum of vehicles that may be parked on the premises at any time. The conditions include provisions for each of these matters as well as the disposal of waste. Registration can be cancelled if there is evidence of excessive noise, antisocial behaviour or other nuisances, and an occupant’s tenancy can be cancelled if there are breaches to the Local Law or conditions of registration. It is required that these conditions must be displayed at the premises, however it may be the case that occupants and their guests are not fully aware of their obligations.

 

A separate document relating to the obligations of occupants and their guests, in the form of a code of conduct, would clarify these requirements and expectations. A standardised document, drafted by the City and provided to all registered holiday homes, would introduce a consistent approach. It should be noted that the code of conduct itself would not be enforceable by the City against individual attendants, however the City could require proof that the code of conduct is provided to and acknowledged by occupants.

 

It is recommended that this measure is introduced in Stage 1 through:

a)    A new condition of registration requiring managers to notify occupants of the code of conduct; and proof to be provided to the City, upon request, demonstrating that occupants have been notified.

b)    A standardised code of conduct, to be provided to all holiday home owners and managers through the annual renewal process.

 

Change 5:            Require that dogs must not be left unattended at holiday homes

 

Registration can be cancelled if there is evidence of excessive noise or other nuisances, and the conditions of registration specify that nuisance can include barking dogs.

 

Holiday homes are often regarded as a ‘home away from home’ and provide a flexible opportunity for occupants to travel with pets. Dogs in particular can become distressed when left unattended, causing disturbance to neighbours, and the Dog Act 1976 does not provide a workable means to address the matter.

 

It is recommended that this measure is introduced in Stage 1 through a new condition of registration, and a specific section in the code of conduct, stating that dogs are not to be left unattended, and must not cause a nuisance.

 


Statutory Environment

Local Government Act 1995 (LG Act)

Section 3.5 of the LG Act provides Council with the head of power for making local laws, which stipulates:

“A local government may make local laws under this Act prescribing all matters that are required or permitted to be prescribed by a local law, or are necessary or convenient to be so prescribed, for it to perform any of its functions under this Act.”

               

The procedure for making local laws is set out in section 3.12 of the LG Act and regulation 3 of the Local Government (Functions and General) Regulations 1996.

 

Planning and Development Act 2005 (PD Act) and associated Regulations

The PD Act outlines the relevant considerations when preparing and amending local planning schemes.

 

The Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 identify three different types of Scheme amendments (regulation 34), and set out the procedure for amending a local planning policy (Schedule 2, Part 2, clause 5).

 

Holiday Homes Local Law 2012 (Local Law)

The purpose of the Local Law is to require the registration of all holiday homes, the nomination of a manager and acting manager, and to ensure the adherence to conditions relating to the orderly and proper use of the holiday home.

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

The City’s Community Engagement Policy provides guiding principles for engagement to enable stakeholders to stay informed on matters that affect them and have the opportunity to make informed comment.

 

There are no plans or policies related to the Local Law.

 

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications associated with the officer recommendation, with the costs of reviewing and amending the Holiday Homes Local Law provided for in the City’s budget.

 

Stakeholder Consultation

Initial consultation in relation to the review was undertaken for a period of seven weeks in 2021.

 

No further consultation is proposed to implement Stage 1 recommendations. Relevant stakeholders and the community would be notified through the following actions:

·        Targeted emails or surface mail letters to:

all persons who responded to the 2021 consultation;

holiday home owners and current applicants; and

holiday home managers, management agencies, booking platforms, industry bodies and relevant community associations (incorporated).

·        Notices in the Bay to Bay newsletter, and the City’s social media pages.

·        A notice on the City’s website, including an update to the Holiday Home Regulatory Framework Review YourSay portal.

 

Further consultation would, however, be required as part of progressing stages 2& 3.

 

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.         Resolve to seek further information before making a decision.

2.         Resolve to support the recommendations subject to identified modification(s).

3.         Resolve not to support the recommendation.

CONCLUSION

In 2021 the City commenced a review of the Holiday Homes Regulatory Framework, and publically advertised five key opportunities for change. Each key change was supported, and it is recommended that the review is further advanced by formally drafting and implementing the changes in three separate stages.

 

The first of those stages relates to the management of holiday homes, and would involve notifying stakeholders and the community of revised conditions of registration and a new draft code of conduct for occupants and their guests.

 

The second stage relates to amendments to the Local Law, to be presented to Council in a separate report.

 

The third stage relates to the local planning framework, and it is recommended that this should be placed on hold until the end of 2022, or State Government’s ongoing review of related matters is further advanced.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

In relation to the conditions of registration and code of conduct, relevant stakeholders the community would be notified within six weeks of a Council resolution.

 

In relation to the Local Law, a separate report addressing the issues identified in this review will be presented to Council within four months.


Policy and Legislation Committee

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2 March 2022

6.2

Attachment a

Consultation Outcomes Report

 












































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2 March 2022

6.2

Attachment b

Conditions of Registration (working draft)

 

This registration of the premises as a Holiday Home is subject to the following conditions:

 

1.    This registration is valid from the date on which this certificate of registration is issued and expires on 30 June 2022 unless cancelled through clause 2.14 of the local law.

2.    The maximum number of occupants who may be on the premises at any time is …. (in accordance with DA number).

3.    The maximum number of attendants (which term includes guests) who may be on the premises after 10 pm is …. (in accordance with DA number).

4.    An adequate supply of potable water is to be available to all attendants of the holiday home at all times.

5.    The manager must ensure that each receptacle for rubbish and recycling is placed for collection on designated collection days.

6.    Prior to commencement of any occupation of the Holiday Home, the manager must provide all occupants with the following:

a.    the approved Code of Conduct applicable to the premises; and

b.    the Conditions of registration,

and the manager must provide the City with proof of such notification upon request.

7.    All attendant’s vehicles must be parked within the designated parking bays.  No more than …. vehicles may be on the premises at any time. Attendant’s vehicles must not obstruct any street, thoroughfare, adjacent premises or any other person.

8.    The owner and manager must ensure that the premises displays a sign that:

a.    is visible from the street;

b.    displays a current telephone number upon which the manager can be reached;

c.     is located solely within the subject site; and

d.    is no larger than 0.2m2,

and the manager must provide the City with proof of such signage upon request.

9.    Any activity at the premises must comply with assigned noise levels within the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997

10.  Any attendant must not cause a nuisance to any other person or disrupt the normal amenity of the area.  Nuisance includes, but is not limited to, noise, amplified music, smoke, odours, light and barking dogs.

 

11.  Dogs must not be left unattended at the premises at any time.

 

12.  The owner and manager must inform the City in writing within 24 hours of any change or proposed change to details provided in relation to the Holiday Home or that would affect any condition imposed under the Local Law.

 


13.          The manager must inform the City in writing within 24 hours of becoming aware of any breach of:

a.    these conditions of registration;

b.    the local law;

c.     the code of conduct; or

d.    any other relevant law,

and the manager must also advise of action taken to address such a breach. If the manager becomes aware of such breach on a weekend or public holiday, the City must be informed of such breach on the first following business day.

14.  A copy of the:

a.    approved Code of Conduct:

b.    any emergency management procedures (including an approved bushfire emergency evacuation plan): and

c.     Conditions of Registration

are to be affixed to the inside of the front door of the premises at all times.

15.  Any advertisement for the holiday home must specify the maximum number of occupants and guests permitted on the premises at any given time – which number must be consistent with the Conditions of Registration and development approval.

Note:

Any reference to “local law” in this certificate of registration means the City of Busselton Holiday Homes Local Law 2012. Words and expressions used in this certificate of registration shall have the same meaning as corresponding words and expressions in the local law.

 

The owner, manager and each attendant must comply with these conditions.


Policy and Legislation Committee

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2 March 2022

6.2

Attachment c

Code of Conduct (working draft)

 

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE OCCUPANTS OF HOLIDAY HOMES [TEMPLATE]

 

1.    Occupants to act lawfully

An occupant must not engage in conduct at the holiday home that contravenes—

(a)       criminal law; and

(b)       the conditions of registration.

2.    Number of occupants

The maximum number of occupants permitted at this holiday home is ___.

3.    Vehicles

3.1.    The number of vehicles (including all motorised vehicles and trailers) parked at the holiday home must not exceed ___.

3.2.    Each vehicle used by an occupant or occupant’s guest of the holiday home must be parked within the designated parking bays.

4.    Obligations to neighbours

4.1.    Each occupant who enters, uses or occupies the holiday home, including any outdoor areas such as an outdoor entertainment area, deck, balcony, swimming pool or spa, must not act in a manner that could reasonably be expected to cause alarm, distress or nuisance to neighbours adjoining or in the vicinity of the holiday home, including but not limited to—

(a)       violence or threats;

(b)       loud aggressive behaviour including yelling, screaming, arguing;

(c)       excessively loud noise nuisance; and

(d)       overlooking or light spill.

4.2.    At all times, all noise coming from the holiday home must be kept to speaking tones when heard from the property boundary, and must be kept to a minimum after 10pm.

5.    Pets

Pets occupying the premises—

(a)       must not be left unattended; and

(b)       must be managed and not cause a nuisance (including a noise nuisance associated with barking or howling) to neighbours adjoining or in the vicinity of the holiday home.

6.    General obligations

6.1.    All rubbish produced by occupants must be stored in a closed rubbish container, and placed on the verge on rubbish collection day.

6.2.    An occupant of the holiday home must not sleep or camp on the site in a tent, caravan, campervan or similar.

7.    Responsibility for conduct of guests

An occupant is responsible for the actions of all guests they invite onto the premises during the occupancy period, and must ensure guests comply with sections 1 - 6 of this code.


8.    Responsibility to manager

An occupant must notify the manager of any dispute or complaint about an occupant’s behaviour as soon as possible after the dispute or complaint arises.


Policy and Legislation Committee                                  115                                                                  2 March 2022

6.3             COUNCIL POLICY: TREE MANAGEMENT AND RETENTION ON CITY LAND

 

STRATEGIC THEME

LEADERSHIP - A Council that connects with the community and is accountable in its decision making.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

4.2 Deliver governance systems that facilitate open, ethical and transparent decision making.

SUBJECT INDEX

Council Policies

BUSINESS UNIT

Governance Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Governance Coordinator - Emma Heys

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Director, Engineering and Works Services - Oliver Darby

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: Tree Management and Retention on City Land  

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council adopt the Council policy: Tree Management and Retention on City Land (the Policy) (Attachment A).

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report presents a proposed Council policy: Tree Management and Retention on City Land (the Policy) (Attachment A) for Council adoption.

BACKGROUND

The City recognises the importance of trees in creating functional and attractive streets and reserves in the urban environment and manages and retains a large number of trees on City land.

 

Recently the City has received increasing numbers of requests to remove or prune trees from City managed verges and reserves, as well as an increasing number of reports of tree related property damage. Anecdotal evidence from other Western Australian local governments show a similar pattern. This can be attributed to the property development boom of the previous 40 years, which did not use root barrier technology (developed and installed over the last 5-10 years) and tree species selection has changed. The damage related requests are primarily due to infrastructure damage caused by verge tree roots in particular around crossovers, fences and property close to boundaries.

 

The Policy provides a definition between perceived and substantiated risk, to guide officers future decisions in the management and retention of trees on City Land. The Policy provides firm guidelines to City officers and the community to improve the consistency of service delivery.

 

The Policy sets strategic guidance and direction for the control and management of trees on City Land, specifically for use when dealing with and assessing requests for tree removal and pruning.


OFFICER COMMENT

The City has historically managed trees on City land using a risk based approach applying the Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) principles.  These principles see trees managed relevant to the risk they present to property and of course life, with only trees that present a risk being pruned or, in higher risk situations, removed.  Moreover the objective has been to manage street trees to improve the live ability of the district in a number of ways including reducing stormwater run-off, increasing air quality, storing carbon, providing shade, improving habitat / biodiversity and reducing the urban heat-island effects.

 

Officers believe this approach to be appropriate ongoing however have noted an increasing expectation of the community for treeremoval and pruning where application of the risk based principles do not warrant it.  For instance pruning for views and perceived (unsubstantiated) property risks. 

 

Therefore in order to achieve the objectives noted above, and to provide clarity for the community in relation to the City’s approach to tree management, the Policy details the circumstances under which a request to remove a tree will be considered. The Policy also provides guidance on how trees on City Land will be protected from activity that threatens their health and longevity and protection from infrastructure conflict.

 

Statutory Environment

The officer recommendation supports the general function of a local government under the Local Government Act 1995 to provide for the good government of persons in its district.

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

The officer recommendation aligns with the City of Busselton Property Local Law 2010; City of Busselton Local Planning Policies and Council Policy: Private Works on City Land, including private coastal protection works on City Land.

 

Financial Implications

There are currently no financial implications associated with the officer recommendation, although the Policy is expected to assist in managing increasing demands on operational budgets. Increasing number of tree management requests coupled with the age of trees within established subdivisions is putting pressure on current operational budgets and service delivery timeframes.

 

Stakeholder Consultation

No external stakeholder consultation was required or undertaken in relation to this matter.  Officers did however review relevant policies of a number of other Local Governments including City of Bunbury, City of Joondalup, City of Mandurah and City of Belmont..  All have very similar policies in place.

 

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 choose not to adopt the Policy or the Council could seek to modify the Policy.  Officers believe that clearer strategic direction with regards to the management of trees on City land would be of benefit and so recommend Council do adopt a policy

CONCLUSION

This report presents a proposed Council policy: Tree Management and Retention on City Land to provide greater strategic direction and clarity for the community in relation to tree management.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

The Policy will be implemented immediately following Council adoption.


Policy and Legislation Committee

118

2 March 2022

6.3

Attachment a

Proposed Council Policy: Tree Management and Retention on City Land

 




Policy and Legislation Committee                                  121                                                                  2 March 2022

6.4             REVIEW OF COUNCIL POLICY: MEETINGS, INFORMATION SESSIONS AND DECISION MAKING PROCESSES

 

STRATEGIC THEME

LEADERSHIP - A Council that connects with the community and is accountable in its decision making.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

4.2 Deliver governance systems that facilitate open, ethical and transparent decision making.

SUBJECT INDEX

Council Policies

BUSINESS UNIT

Governance Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Governance Coordinator - Emma Heys

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Manager Governance and Corporate Services - Sarah Pierson

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   Amended Policy: Meetings, Information Sessions and Decision-Making Processes

Attachment b    Current Policy: Meetings, Information Sessions and Decision-Making Processes  

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council adopt the amended Council policy: Meetings, Information Sessions and Decision Making Processes (the Policy) (Attachment A) to replace the current policy (Attachment B)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report presents an amended Council policy: Meetings, Information Sessions and Decision Making Processes (the Policy) (Attachment A); amended to incorporate principles for the management of Community Access Sessions (CAS). Officers recommend it replace the current policy (Attachment B).

BACKGROUND

A policy in relation to meetings, information sessions and decision making processes policy was first implemented in March 2011 as a review and consolidation of two policy statements. The policy applied to all convened information sessions and formally-constituted meetings involving Councillors of the then Shire of Busselton, held in the course of carrying out the business of the local government.  

 

The policy was reviewed in May 2017, with minor amendments of an aesthetic nature and which did not alter the fundamental principles of the policy.

 

Further to questions and discussions around the recording of Community Access Sessions (CAS) a report was presented to the Policy and Legislation Committee at the meeting of 8 December 2021 with a proposed amended Council policy: Recording and Livestreaming of Council Meetings and Community Access Sessions.  This proposed amended policy incorporated provisions around the audio recording of Community Access Sessions. In putting forward the amendments officers did however note the informal nature of CAS and that the recording of sessions may not fit with that intent.

 

The Committee resolved not to adopt the proposed amended policy and instead to further consider the processes around the management of CAS and requested that the CEO bring the matter back for discussion at a future Policy and Legislation Committee meeting; which occurred at its meeting of 25 January 2022.  This report presents principles for adoption based on that discussion.

OFFICER COMMENT

Community Access Sessions (CAS) are an informal forum, the purpose being to provide a means for the community to present ideas or discuss matters informally with Councillors. There are no decisions made at CAS and there is currently no requirement for CAS to be minuted in any way or recorded.

 

While CAS are not formal meetings of Council, it is important that they are conducted in a way that is consistent with the principles and objectives of the Local Government Act 1995 in relation to the conduct of business. The Policy has been amended to include key principles / protocols to be applied at CAS.  These include fair and equal opportunity for members of the public to be heard; applying a 5 minute limit to each speaker; and the City’s Behaviour Protocols.

 

Given the informal nature and intent of CAS, the Policy proposes that, as opposed to audio recording CAS, a written record of matters raised will be taken by governance staff, including who presented to Council and on what topics.

 

The rest of the Policy has had minor amendments made to improve readability.

 

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 officer recommendation supports the general function of a local government under the Local Government Act 1995 to provide for the good government of persons in its district.

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

There are no relevant plans or policies to consider in relation to this matter.

 

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.         Not adopt the amended Policy; or

2.         Adopt the Policy with further amendments.

CONCLUSION

A revised Policy ‘Meetings, Information Sessions and Decision-Making Processes’ is presented for Council’s endorsement.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

If endorsed, the Policy will be placed on the City’s website within one week of Council adoption and the practice continued at the start of the 2022 Community Access Sessions.

  


Policy and Legislation Committee

124

2 March 2022

6.4

Attachment a

Amended Policy: Meetings, Information Sessions and Decision-Making Processes

 




Policy and Legislation Committee

126

2 March 2022

6.4

Attachment b

Current Policy: Meetings, Information Sessions and Decision-Making Processes

 




Policy and Legislation Committee                                  128                                                                  2 March 2022

6.5             REVIEW OF CUSTOMER SERVICE CHARTER

 

STRATEGIC THEME

LEADERSHIP - A Council that connects with the community and is accountable in its decision making.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

4.2 Deliver governance systems that facilitate open, ethical and transparent decision making.

SUBJECT INDEX

Council Policies

BUSINESS UNIT

Customer Service

REPORTING OFFICER

Customer Service Coordinator - Brioney McLean

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   Proposed: Customer Experience Charter

Attachment b    Current: Customer Service Charter  

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council rescind the current Customer Service Charter (Attachment B) and endorse the Customer Experience Charter as an administrative document (Attachment A).

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report presents a revised Customer Experience Charter (the Charter) (Attachment A). The existing Customer Service Charter (Attachment B) has been revised as part of the City’s review of its Corporate Documents and this report recommends that it be rescinded and that the new Charter be endorsed by Council as an administrative document.

BACKGROUND

Council adopted the Customer Service Policy 018 in 2010 to outline general standards of behaviour expected of all persons appointed by the City of Busselton.

 

In June 2017 Council resolved to rescind the Policy and adopt the Customer Service Charter which included quantitative targets for consistent and prompt service delivery.

 

In August 2017 the CEO commissioned a high level independent review of the City’s governance systems – the Governance Systems Review (GSR).   The GSR recommended that the City’s policy and procedure framework should be reviewed such that Council Policies are focused on higher level objectives and strategies and do not deal with operational matters, employee matters, or other matters which are the responsibility of the CEO.  This same principle is considered applicable to the review of the current Customer Service Charter.

OFFICER COMMENT

The content of the Charter reflects general standards of customer service expected of all persons appointed or contracted by the City.  The proposed Charter is significantly different to the existing Customer Service Charter. Research conducted of peer Councils, both metropolitan and regional, indicates that the brochure style format is more accessible for the community.

 

 

The revised content of the Charter includes reference to the current City of Busselton Corporate Values and how these values will be demonstrated in the services provided by the City. Customer service standards are becoming less quantitative with greater emphasis on the quality of our service. Customer experience encompasses the quality of customer service the City provides, the accessibility of our information, the responsiveness of our actions and the commitment for continuous improvement through feedback.

 

The Charter informs our customers as to how they can assist the City to achieve our service commitments, subsequently supporting positive relationships between the City and the Community.

 

Officers feel that the content of a customer service charter would be more appropriately contained in an administrative document, as it governs matters which are the responsibility of the CEO (that is, management of staff). Being an administrative document also allows for amendments as required to be made by the Chief Executive Officer. Officers recognise the importance of a customer service charter as well as the need for it to be highly visible with the public and Councillors.

 

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.

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

There are no relevant plans or policies to consider in relation to this matter.

 

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, although officers did undertake a review of other local government customer service charters

 

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.    choose not to rescind the current charter; or

2.    make amendments to the proposed Customer Experience Charter.


CONCLUSION

The Customer Service Charter has been reviewed by officers and was found to be of continuing importance and relevance as a statement of commitment to Customer Service.

Following this review it is recommended that the current Customer Service Charter be rescinded and the proposed Customer Experience Charter be endorsed as an administrative document, with the CEO able to review and amend the document as required.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

The Customer Experience Charter will be published to the City’s website within one week of Council’s adoption.


Policy and Legislation Committee

131

2 March 2022

6.5

Attachment a

Proposed: Customer Experience Charter

 



Policy and Legislation Committee

137

2 March 2022

6.5

Attachment b

Current: Customer Service Charter

 








 


Policy and Legislation Committee                                  141                                                                  2 March 2022

7.               General Discussion Items

 

8.               Next Meeting Date

 

9.               Closure