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

CITY OF BUSSELTON

MINUTES FOR THE Council MEETING HELD ON 9 June 2021

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ITEM NO.                                        SUBJECT                                                                                                                              PAGE NO.

1....... Declaration of Opening / aCKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY / ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF Visitors / DISCLAIMER / NOTICE OF RECORDING OF PROCEEDINGS. 3

2....... Attendance. 3

3....... Prayer. 4

4....... Application for Leave of Absence. 4

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

6....... Announcements Without Discussion.. 4

7....... Question Time For Public. 4

8....... Confirmation and Receipt Of Minutes. 7

Previous Council Meetings. 7

8.1          Minutes of the Council Meeting held 26 May 2021. 7

Committee Meetings. 7

8.2          Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 26 May 2021. 7

9....... RECEIVING OF Petitions, Presentations AND DEPUTATIONS. 7

10..... QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF WHICH DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN GIVEN (WITHOUT DISCUSSION). 7

11..... Items brought forward.. 8

ADOPTION BY EXCEPTION RESOLUTION.. 8

12.3        Policy and Legislation Committee - 26/5/2021 - PROPOSED COUNCIL POLICY: MANAGEMENT OF ALLEGED BREACHES OF BEHAVIOUR. 9

14.1        LOCAL GOVERNMENT WASTE PLAN - PREPARED AT REQUEST OF DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION.. 24

14.2        ACKNOWLEDGE WASTE OPTIONS PAPER AND STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE REGIONAL ALTERNATE WASTE PROJECT. 95

17.1        COUNCILLORS' INFORMATION BULLETIN.. 166

ITEMS TO BE DEALT WITH  BY SEPARATE RESOLUTION (WITHOUT DEBATE). 176

12.2        Policy and Legislation Committee - 26/5/2021 - REVIEW OF VARIOUS LOCAL LAWS. 176

16.1        ADOPTION OF STRATEGIC COMMUNITY PLAN 2021 - 2031. 251

ITEMS FOR DEBATE. 292

12.1        Policy and Legislation Committee - 26/5/2021 - HOLIDAY HOME REGULATORY FRAMEWORK REVIEW... 292

18..... Motions of which Previous Notice has been Given.. 342

19..... urgent business. 342

20..... Confidential Reports. 342

21..... Closure. 342

 


Council                                                                                      4                                                                           9 June 2021

MINUTES

 

MINUTES OF A Meeting of the Busselton City Council HELD IN THE Council Chambers, Administration Building, Southern Drive, Busselton, ON 9 June 2021 AT 5.30pm.

 

1.               Declaration of Opening / aCKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY / ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF Visitors / DISCLAIMER / NOTICE OF RECORDING OF PROCEEDINGS

The Presiding Member opened the meeting at 5.30pm.

The Presiding Member noted this meeting is held on the lands of the Wadandi people and acknowledged them as Traditional Owners, paying respect to their Elders, past and present, and Aboriginal Elders of other communities who may be present.

 

2.               Attendance

Presiding Member:

Members:

 

Cr Grant Henley     Mayor

Cr Kelly Hick             Deputy Mayor

Cr Ross Paine

Cr Kate Cox

Cr Paul Carter

Cr Phill Cronin

Cr Jo Barrett-Lennard

Cr Lyndon Miles

 

Officers:

 

Mr Mike Archer, Chief Executive Officer

Mr Oliver Darby, Director, Engineering and Works Services

Mr Paul Needham, Director, Planning and Development Services

Mrs Naomi Searle, Director, Community and Commercial Services

Mr Tony Nottle, Director, Finance and Corporate Services

Mrs Emma Heys, Governance Coordinator

Ms Melissa Egan, Governance Officer

 

Apologies:

 

Nil

 

Approved Leave of Absence:

 

Cr Sue Riccelli

 

Media:

 

“Busselton-Dunsborough Times”

“Busselton-Dunsborough Mail”

 

Public:

 

2

3.               Prayer

The prayer was delivered by Pastor Lee Sykes of the Cornerstone Church.

 

4.               Application for Leave of Absence 

Nil

 

5.               Disclosure Of Interests

The Mayor noted that a declaration of impartiality interest had been received from Cr Kelly Hick in relation to Agenda Item No. 12.1 ‘Policy and Legislation Committee - 26/5/2021 - Holiday Home Regulatory Framework Review’.

 

The Mayor noted that a declaration of financial interest had been received from Cr Jo Barrett-Lennard in relation to Agenda Item No. 12.1 ‘Policy and Legislation Committee - 26/5/2021 - Holiday Home Regulatory Framework Review’.

 

The Mayor advised that, in accordance with regulation 22(2)(a) of the Local Government (Model Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021, these declarations would be read out immediately before Agenda Item 12.1 was discussed.

 

6.               Announcements Without Discussion

Announcements by the Presiding Member

 

Nil

 

7.               Question Time For Public

Response to Previous Questions Taken on Notice

 

Nil

 

Question Time for Public

 

7.1             Mr Keith Sims

 

Question

Do any City officers own, have located next to them, or very close to them, short-term holiday homes?

 

Response

(Mayor)

Our officers develop a report based on years of lived experience in regard to the complaints process for people with registered and unregistered holiday homes; those responses that we have provided and also the calls that our rangers and other out-of-hours service have received over that period of time.


 

Question

The proposed alternative recommendation for Item 12.1 says “The manager to have two hours between 8am and 8pm to respond and after  8pm, they must respond by 10am the following day”. Most nuisance noise complaints would be after 10pm, so waiting until 10am the next day is not a solution. What is the point in having a manager live no more than 30 minutes away when they have 2 hours to respond or, for a late night problem after 8pm, they have 14 hours to respond at 10am the next day? Why can’t it be half an hour to respond?

 

Response

(Mayor)

This is a local law and the local government is empowered to make local laws, but they must pass a test of reasonableness that is set by the Joint Standing Committee of Parliament. We cannot make laws that criminalise activity that should not be illegal. For someone to be slow to respond in that regard is not in the spirit of that local law and would potentially be disallowed, potentially through the Joint Standing Committee. We can make a reasonable response time. We can also make a code of conduct which we are looking at developing through this process. It is very important to note we are putting out a draft for advertising and consultation with the community to determine what moves we make and to what extent. One of the parts of the recommendation is that it be returned to Council for final determination.

 

Question

You have considered zoning areas but there is no mention of limiting the number of holiday homes in any one street or area. Why was that not considered?

 

Response

(Mayor)

The committee recommendation is to look at excluding areas. To put a maximum number on holiday homes in one street, when applying the test of reasonableness, there is no reason to exclude one house and allow another.

 

Question

With regard to rubbish, can an extra bin be supplied [to holiday homes] and the City charge for its collection?

 

Response

(Mayor)

There was some discussion around the code of conduct and the adequate provision for waste. It would be incredibly difficult to apply that across the whole range of holiday homes, some of which are only rented out one or two times a week, for which one bin is eminently suitable.

 

Response

(Mr Paul Needham, Director Planning and Development Services)

When the local law was first developed, there was consideration about whether it needed provisions for waste. The decision was made at that point, and some advice was received, that, in most cases, it was not necessary and it would be disproportionate. There may be some holiday homes that, at some times, struggle for bin capacity but having a requirement that every holiday home has to have a second bin service, it is not a reasonable or proportionate response. 

 


 

Question

Guests will park on the verge or street if the driveway is full. What is the maximum number of cars allowed per home and who will police it?

 

Response

(Mayor)

This was considered through the committee deliberation. We are looking at the number of carparks provided for the number of guests permitted, that they are required to have a minimum number of parking bays. Also, through the code of conduct, that visting cars be appropriately accommodated. You are allowed to park on the verge with the owner’s permission and a right to park on the street except where it is marked “no standing”.

 

Question

Traditional accommodation, for example bed and breakfasts, do not have noise behaviour problems because they are hosted. What consideration has been given to hosted and unhosted properties in different areas?

 

Response

(Mayor)

The holiday homes local law and the considerations for planning deal with unhosted accommodation. That is what we are talking about in holiday homes - it is not hosted accommodation. Hosted accommodation, a traditional small bed and breakfast, is allowed in a residential area. 

 

Question

(on behalf of Ms Anne Ryan)

Would Council consider an amendment to item 12.1, such that a reference group is formed consisting of but not limited to two Councillors; two staff members from the planning department; two community members – for instance, neighbour of a holiday home;  one hotel accommodation provider; two accommodation holiday home provider providers – one large and one small; to meet stakeholders, consider and review submissions and report back to Council on completion of consultation with workable policy recommendations which are acceptable to stakeholders; and undertake consultation with community and industry stakeholders regarding opportunities for change?

 

Question

(Mayor)

To action that proposal would require a Councillor to move an amendment to the committee recommendation or an addition to the alternative recommendation put by Councillor Cronin. Point 2 of the recommendation is that Council undertakes consultation with the community and industry stakeholders. I think we can apply some common sense as to who makes up that group.


 

8.               Confirmation and Receipt Of Minutes

Previous Council Meetings

8.1             Minutes of the Council Meeting held 26 May 2021

Council Decision

C2106/110              Moved Councillor P Cronin, seconded Councillor K Hick

That the Minutes of the Council Meeting held 26 May 2021 be confirmed as a true and correct record.

CARRIED 8/0

 

Committee Meetings

8.2             Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 26 May 2021

Council Decision

C2106/111              Moved Councillor K Cox, seconded Councillor J Barrett-Lennard

That the Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 26 May 2021 be noted.

CARRIED 8/0

 

9.               RECEIVING OF Petitions, Presentations AND DEPUTATIONS

Petitions

 

Nil

Presentations

 

Nil

Deputations

 

Nil

 

10.             QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF WHICH DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN GIVEN (WITHOUT DISCUSSION)

Nil


 

11.             Items brought forward

ADOPTION BY EXCEPTION RESOLUTION

At this juncture, the Mayor advised the meeting that, with the exception of the items identified to be withdrawn for discussion, the remaining reports, including the Committee and Officer Recommendations, will be adopted en bloc, i.e. all together.

 

Council Decision

C2106/112              Moved Councillor J Barrett-Lennard, seconded Councillor P Carter

 

That the Committee and Officer Recommendations in relation to the following agenda items be carried en bloc:

               

12.3        Policy and Legislation Committee - 26/5/2021 - PROPOSED COUNCIL POLICY: MANAGEMENT OF ALLEGED BREACHES OF BEHAVIOUR

 

14.1        LOCAL GOVERNMENT WASTE PLAN - PREPARED AT REQUEST OF DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION

 

14.2        ACKNOWLEDGE WASTE OPTIONS PAPER AND STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE REGIONAL ALTERNATE WASTE PROJECT

 

17.1        COUNCILLORS' INFORMATION BULLETIN

CARRIED 8/0

En Bloc

 


Council                                                                                      11                                                                        9 June 2021

12.3           Policy and Legislation Committee - 26/5/2021 - PROPOSED COUNCIL POLICY: MANAGEMENT OF ALLEGED BREACHES OF BEHAVIOUR

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

Governance Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Governance Coordinator - Emma Heys

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 Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour

Attachment b    Amended Complaints Form

Attachment c    Proposed Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour with Committee Amendments  

 

This item was considered by the Policy and Legislation Committee at its meeting on 26/5/2021, the recommendations from which have been included in this report.

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council:

1.         Adopt the proposed Council Policy: Management of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour (Attachment A) (the Policy); and

2.         Approve the amended form in which complaints of alleged breaches of the Code may be received (Attachment B) (the Form).

 

Council Decision and Committee Recommendation

C2106/113              Moved Councillor J Barrett-Lennard, seconded Councillor P Carter

That the Council:

1.         Adopt the proposed Council Policy: Management of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour (the Policy) inclusive of Committee amendments as per Attachment C (as circulated to the Committee); and

2.         Approve the amended form in which complaints of alleged breaches of the Code may be received (Attachment B) (the Form).

CARRIED 8/0

En Bloc

 

Reasons:       Amendments to the proposed Policy, including additional defined terms and expanded compliance detail, was requested by the Committee for improved clarity around process. Minor administrative edits were also made for improved readability.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report presents a proposed Council policy: Management of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour (Attachment A) (the Policy) for Council endorsement. This report also seeks Council approval of the amended form in which complaints of alleged breaches may be received (Attachment B) (the Form).

BACKGROUND

The Local Government (Model Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021 (Regulations) were gazetted and came into effect on Wednesday 3 February 2021. Local governments are required to adopt a Code of Conduct for Council Members, Committee Members and Candidates (the Code) within three months of gazettal (being 3 May 2021), as per Section 5.104 of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act).  Council adopted the Code at its Council meeting of 28 April 2021. 

Under Section 5.103 of the Act, the Regulations prescribe a Model Code which includes general principles and behaviours for Council Members, Committee Members and Candidates. Alleged breaches of Part 3 of the Code ‘Behaviours’ are subject to a complaints process, to be determined and managed by the local government. Officers have developed a Council Policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour (the Policy) to deal with alleged breaches of behaviours.

Officers presented a proposed council policy: ‘Investigation of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour’ to the Policy and Legislation Committee at its meeting of 28 April 2021. Committee members requested the item be deferred to allow officers undertake further review of the policy and return it for consideration to the meeting of the 26 May 2021.

Under the Regulations, local governments are required to approve a complaint form in which complaints may be received, which Council did on 24 February 2021 (C2102/032). Officers have amended the Form to align with the recently released WALGA template and are seeking Council’s approval of the amended form.

OFFICER COMMENT

In accordance with Part 3 of the Code, a person may make a complaint alleging a breach of the behaviour(s) set out in the Code. The procedure for dealing with a complaint may be determined by the local government, to the extent that it is not provided for in the Code. The Policy has been developed to establish a clear process for the management of complaints of alleged breaches of behaviour. The Policy proposes to appoint an experienced third party/parties to investigate complaints in order to address potential conflicts of interest arising from the CEO or employees of the City being involved in investigating complaints. The Policy provides a set of guidelines for the investigation process and outlines how the findings are presented to Council.

Officers believe a stand-alone policy that deals with the overall management of complaints is preferable and cleaner than including the process within the Code itself.

An amended form for receipt of complaints of alleged breaches has been modelled on the template form recently provided by WALGA (Attachment B). The amended form allows a complainant to detail the specific sections of the Code that are alleged to have been breached and to outline if, in accordance with paragraph 5.10 of the Policy, they would be willing to engage in mediation prior to formal investigation of the complaint.


 

Statutory Environment

Sections 5.103 and 5.104 of the Local Government Act 1995 provides for regulations that prescribe a Model Code of Conduct and the requirement for local governments to adopt the model code.

Schedule 1, Division 3, clause 11(3) of the Regulations requires Council to authorise one or more persons to receive complaints and withdrawals of complaints, while clause 11(2)(a) requires the approval of a form for the receiving of complaints.

Relevant Plans and Policies

The officer recommendation aligns to the City of Busselton Code of Conduct for Council Members, Committee Members and Candidates.

Financial Implications

There will be financial implications associated with the engagement of an investigator as outlined in the Policy. Funding this resource will require an allocation in the 2021/2022 budget. It is proposed that a figure of $5,000 is allocated to start with and adjusted as required.

Stakeholder Consultation

The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) have recently developed and released a Code of Conduct Behaviour Complaints Management Policy. The Policy largely aligns with WALGA’s policy, noting the City has proposed the appointment of an investigator in lieu of establishing a Complaints Committee in accordance with section 5.8 of the Act.

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 to:

1.         amend the Policy; or

2.         not adopt a complaints policy and allow the City’s appointed complaints officer to manage complaints – noting the potential for conflicts of interest to arise.

CONCLUSION

Officers have developed a Council Policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour to deal with complaints of alleged breaches of behaviours.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

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

 


Council

15

9 June 2021

12.3

Attachment a

Proposed Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour

 





Council

19

9 June 2021

12.3

Attachment b

Amended Complaints Form

 





Council

20

9 June 2021

12.3

Attachment c

Proposed Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour with Committee Amendments

 




 

 


Council                                                                                      28                                                                        9 June 2021

14.1           LOCAL GOVERNMENT WASTE PLAN - PREPARED AT REQUEST OF DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION

STRATEGIC GOAL

3. ENVIRONMENT Valued, conserved and enjoyed

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE

3.1 Development is managed sustainably and our environment valued.

SUBJECT INDEX

Waste Plan

BUSINESS UNIT

Waste and Fleet Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Waste & Recycling Education Officer - Hayley Bullimore

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   Draft Local Government Waste Plan

Attachment b    Letter to Chief Executive Officer from DWER

Attachment c    Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030  

 

Council Decision and Officer Recommendation

C2106/114              Moved Councillor J Barrett-Lennard, seconded Councillor P Carter

 

That the Council:

1.         Notes that pursuant to the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007, the City of Busselton is required to develop and adopt a waste plan outlining how, in order to protect human health and the environment, waste services provided by the local government will be managed to achieve consistency with the waste strategy.

 

2.         For purposes of recommendation 1:

(a)       Endorses the purpose, intent, principles and strategies outlined in this report and the attached draft Local Government Waste Plan (Waste Plan) (Attachment A);

(b)      Subject to recommendation 2(c), authorises the Chief Executive Officer to finalise and submit the Waste Plan to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and from time to time, make such changes that are necessary or appropriate for approval of the final Waste Plan by DWER or for implementation and administration of the Waste Plan; and

(c)       Council to consider any material changes in relation to the purpose, intent, principles and/or strategies of the final Waste Plan.

CARRIED 8/0

En Bloc

 


 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The purpose of this report is for Council to consider and endorse the draft Local Government Waste Plan (Waste Plan) (Attachment A) that has been prepared by the City of Busselton at the request of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) for all local governments of the Perth, Peel and major regional centres, to respond to the objectives and targets set out in Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 (State Waste Strategy) (Attachment C). This report also seeks Council approval to authorise the Chief Executive Officer to implement and administer the Waste Plan in accordance with the recommendations of the City’s forthcoming Waste Strategic Direction.

 

The final Waste Plan will be forwarded to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) for their review and endorsement.

 

Three attachments support this report:

1.         Draft Local Government Waste Plan (Attachment A)

2.         Letter to the CEO, City of Busselton from DWER (Attachment B)

3.         Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 (Attachment C)

 

BACKGROUND

In February 2019, the West Australian Government released the State Waste Strategy, which aims to guide the State in its transition towards a more sustainable, low-waste circular economy in which human health and the environment are protected from the impacts of waste.

 

In November 2019, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) requested local governments in Perth, Peel and major regional centres prepare and submit a Waste Plan in response to the objectives and targets set out in State Waste Strategy by 1 April 2020 (Attachment B). This date was extended until 31 March 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

DWER set a timeline of first and second draft submission dates, offering local governments the option to submit the draft Waste Plan for feedback on two separate occasions, to allow for clearer alignment with State Waste Strategy objectives and targets.

 

On 30 September 2020, the City of Busselton submitted a first draft Waste Plan to DWER for review and feedback, meeting the first draft round of requirements. The City of Busselton then revised the plans and re-submitted a final draft Waste Plan for review and feedback to DWER on 31 March 2021. 

 

The City of Busselton forwarded a request to DWER (and was granted) an extension date for the submission of the final draft Waste Plan until 23 June 2021 to provide additional time for Council’s consideration and endorsement.

OFFICER COMMENT

The Waste Plan has been prepared by the City of Busselton in response to notice given by DWER to align local government waste services with the objectives and targets in the State Waste Strategy. The State Waste Strategy’s material recovery target for municipal solid waste (MSW) in the major regional centres is 55% by 2025 and 60% by 2030. The City’s current material recovery is 26%. The Waste Strategy identifies organics, including FOGO, as a focus material.

 

The proposed Waste Plan informs the State of the City's intention to investigate and analyse the various options for future waste in line with the City of Busselton’s current strategic waste direction. The City is committed to providing a waste service that is cost effective, diverts as much waste from landfill as practicable, considers new waste technologies and meets the needs and expectations of our community.

The Waste Plan outlines the City’s current waste management services and planned actions for the next five years.

The Waste Plan is formatted in two parts.

·        Part 1 – Services and Performance

A baseline of current waste management data and services.

 

·        Part 2 – Implementation Plan

Planned actions related to existing and new waste services.

 

Part 1-7.0 (Table 20) provides analysis of the data and information presented in Part 1 and translates to planned short, medium and long term actions (Part 2).

 

The City has established:

·        Short term actions (within the next 1-2 years)

·        Medium term actions (within the next 3-5 years)

·        Long term actions (more than five years).

 

Part 2 (Table 21- Implementation plan) of the Waste Plan further outlines the specific actions (with milestones and targets) in five (5) areas:

·        Waste services

·        Waste infrastructure

·        Policies and procurement

·        Behaviour change initiatives

·        Data collection

 

Whilst the City is committed to meeting the legislative requirements of the State Waste Strategy, flexibility with scope within the Waste Plan allows the City, via the CEO, to make changes relating to the implementation and administration of the Waste Plan in accordance with the recommendations of the upcoming City Waste Strategic Direction.

Statutory Environment

The officer recommendation aligns to the following relevant legislation:

 

1.       The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 (WARR Act)

The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 (WARR Act) states the following as relevant to the Waste Plan:

(1)       Section 40(4) of the WARR Act, gives the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Department of Water and Environmental (DWER) powers to require local governments to include within its plan for the future a waste plan outlining how waste services provided by the local government will be managed to achieve consistency with the State Waste Strategy in the protection of human health and the environment.

(2)       Section 44(1) of the WARR Act gives the CEO of the department powers to require a local government to submit a report to the CEO on the implementation of its waste plan, and may require that any or all of the information in section 44(2) of the WARR Act be included in the report information.

 

The officer recommendation supports the above state government legislation.


 

Relevant Plans and Policies

The officer recommendation aligns to the following City of Busselton adopted plans/policies:

·        Strategic Community Plan 2017 (Review 2019)

·        Corporate Business Plan 2020 -2024

·        Waste Local law 2016

·        Local Planning Strategy 2019

·        Local Planning Scheme No 21

·        Sustainability Operational Practice Policy

·        Energy Strategy (2019)

 

The officer recommendation also aligns to the following WA State Government adopted plans/policies:

·        WA Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030

Financial Implications

For each existing and new action in Part 2, (Table 21) of the Waste Plan, there is indication of the incorporation of an amount into the annual budget (and Corporate Business Plan). A number of the short-term actions in the draft are funded within existing annual budgets. The longer term actions will require consideration and prioritisation in the Long Term Financial Plan, for future budgets to ensure the City continues working towards State Waste Strategy objectives and targets.

 

In applicable areas, grants offered by the State, Federal and even industry may be sought. For example, grants offered by WALGA, WA Waste Authority, Keep Australia Beautiful Council may be pursued for Waste Education and Litter Prevention initiatives. Typically, grants are more likely to be successful if it aligns with better practice guidelines within the State or Federal Waste Strategy.

Stakeholder Consultation

Aside from the consultation with and feedback received from DWER, 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 endorse the Waste Plan.

2.         Endorse the Waste Plan with revisions.

 

If the Council does not endorse the Waste Plan, the City would not meet the state legislative requirements as outlined in the Section 40(4) of the WARR Act. The officer recommendation would be to not consider this option.

 

If the Council endorses the Waste Plan with revisions, City officers will acknowledge and review the revisions as appropriate. Non-authorisation away from the CEO will not allow for flexible decision making in relation to the Waste Plan actions.

CONCLUSION

As per this report, the proposed Waste Plan informs the State Government that the City will investigate and analyse the various options to determine the most viable for Busselton. It meets the DWER requirements, although does not commit the City of Busselton to a specific direction until the longer term Waste Strategy is ratified. The City is seeking Council endorsement of the proposed Waste Plan, with authorisation of the implementation to the CEO, in accordance with the recommendations of the upcoming City Waste Strategic Direction. The CEO will report to Council to consider any material changes in relation to the purpose, intent, principles and/or strategies of the final Waste Plan.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

A draft Waste Plan endorsed by Council is due for submission to DWER by 23 June 2021. Following this, DWER has advised that:

a)         The final draft Waste Plan will be considered for endorsement by the CEO of DWER within 60 days of receipt.

b)        Local governments will be required to report on the implementation of their Waste Plan annually. The annual report will be due to DWER by 1 October each year, commencing October 2022.

c)         To ensure consistency with the Waste Strategy, major reviews of waste plans will occur following the review and release of each Waste Strategy. Waste Strategy reviews are initiated five years after release, however the time taken to complete reviews varies. Major waste plan reviews will therefore occur approximately every five years.


Council

42

9 June 2021

14.1

Attachment a

Draft Local Government Waste Plan

 



















Council

50

9 June 2021

14.1

Attachment b

Letter to Chief Executive Officer from DWER

 





Council

94

9 June 2021

14.1

Attachment c

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030

 












































 


Council                                                                                      104                                                                      9 June 2021

14.2           ACKNOWLEDGE WASTE OPTIONS PAPER AND STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE REGIONAL ALTERNATE WASTE PROJECT

STRATEGIC GOAL

3. ENVIRONMENT Valued, conserved and enjoyed

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE

3.4 Climate change risks and impacts are understood, acknowledged and responded to through appropriate planning and community education.

SUBJECT INDEX

Regional Waste Management

BUSINESS UNIT

Strategic Planning

REPORTING OFFICER

Strategic Planner - Nick Edwards

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Director, Engineering and Works Services - Oliver Darby

NATURE OF DECISION

Noting: The item is simply for information purposes and noting

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment a   Regional Options Paper and Strategic Recommendations  

 

Council Decision and Officer Recommendation

C2106/115              Moved Councillor J Barrett-Lennard, seconded Councillor P Carter

 

That the Council acknowledges the Regional Options Paper and Strategic Recommendations document (Attachment A), delivered as part of the South West Regional Waste Group (the Group) to guide ongoing work in finding regional solutions that divert waste from landfills.

CARRIED 8/0

En Bloc

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The South West Regional Waste Group (the Group) requests that Council acknowledges the ‘Regional Options Paper and Strategic Recommendations’ (Regional Options Paper) (Attachment A), which was delivered in February 2021. The recommendations in the paper identifies the major diversion technologies available in the South West, discusses how Councils could achieve economies of scale in processing, and guides ongoing work that will help determine suitable waste disposal outcomes for the region.

 

The recommendations of the Regional Options Paper set the ongoing direction for the project. Part of this direction involves specific milestones. By the end of Financial Year 2021/22, Councils can expect to see:

·        An operational audit of municipal waste facilities throughout the region;

·        Scenario modelling using costs and emissions of alternative disposal processes;

·        A regular meeting of senior waste operations staff from Group participants;

·        A scoped ‘Expression of Interest’ process for landfill diversion technologies; and

·        Data protocols allowing information comparisons across the region.

Maintaining project momentum towards determining a suitable regional waste disposal response will allow Councils to coordinate local decisions with regional outcomes. Participation in the Group will result in a more united procurement approach, up-to-date information and greater negotiating power in sub-regional negotiations to attain economies of scale. Financial benefits from participation should be achieved as operational matters are shared and discussed between members.

 


 

The overarching goals of the ongoing project are to:

·        Identify how South West Councils can transition from owning and operating landfills in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible way.

·        Identify and act on opportunities to leverage regional and sub-regional economies of scale.

Should Council acknowledge the Regional Options Paper and its recommendations, milestones can be established and timeframes determined when refining suitable regional diversion strategies from landfill.

 

BACKGROUND

Since 2010, the Group, which comprises the 12 land-based Councils in the South West (Table 1), has sought opportunities to leverage regional economies of scale to improve collective waste management. Work completed to this date has resulted in formation of the Bunbury Harvey Regional Council, commencement and operation of a composting enterprise, viability testing of regional landfill, and establishing strong regional representation within the waste industry.

 

South West Waste Group Membership

·  Shire of Augusta - Margaret River

·  Shire of Boyup Brook

·  Bridgetown - Greenbushes

·  Shire of Donnybrook - Balingup

·  City of Bunbury

·  City of Busselton

·  Shire of Capel

·  Shire of Collie

·  Shire of Dardanup

·  Shire of Harvey

 

·  Shire of Nannup

Table 1: The Shire of Manjimup are within the region but are not financial contributors to this regional waste management project.

The most recent ‘Regional Options Paper and Strategic Recommendations’ was handed to the Group and directs how large-scale waste diversion from landfill can be achieved in a way that is consistent with previous findings and within each Council’s risk tolerance.

 

The investment in the Federal and State waste industries has provided the region with a unique opportunity to build local, long-term diversion schemes with potentially positive returns on investment. Strengthening this opportunity are the growing costs of aging landfills, population growth and a transitional policy context have made cooperative waste management solutions more attractive than previously. A coordinated waste approach across Local Government Area (LGA) boundaries can leverage the economies of scale needed for significant landfill diversion and ease triple bottom line costs. A separate waste management entity could provide further benefits such as equitable distribution of risk and returns-on-investment. An external entity such as a Regional Subsidiary has the potential to equitably manage waste on behalf of member Councils, removing the liabilities associated with these operations.

OFFICER COMMENT

The Regional Options Paper proposes nine recommendations that clarify how greater economies of scale are achievable by driving waste management in the South West towards a cooperative model that reduces the impact of anticipated higher waste management costs in the future. The recommendations are another step towards identifying the life cycle of waste and what risks and benefits impact Councils by shifting the view from waste being a service cost to being a resource. The paper recommends clarifying the costs of new treatment facilities and environmental impacts derived from greater regional coordination, different contract frameworks and cross-boundary operations to attain sub-regional benefits.


 

In full, these recommendations are:

 

1.         That the Group prepares a comprehensive Integrated Waste Management Plan coordinating regional waste assets and operations as a single entity. This is to:

a.         Identify locations for complex waste treatment facilities;

b.        Draft community engagement strategies;

c.         Define responsibilities between Councils including waste ownership boundaries;

d.        Apportion risk according to the level of engagement.

2.         Prepare a Business Plan for the representative entity that clearly defines long term visions, targets, development timelines and proposed expense and revenue projections.

3.         Commence planning an ‘Expressions of Interest’ process which focusses on regional Municipal solid waste treatment. The specifications are to enable a variety of service providers to make submissions proposing technologies that may be proven internationally but are yet to be established in Australia. Siting requirements and other supportive needs, for example, access to complementary assets/partners should be included.

4.         Establish an Integrated Waste Management Working Group comprising senior technical and operational staff from within the members of the South West Regional Waste Group to formalise and review waste management initiatives for the region.

5.         The Group considers formalising a representative entity e.g. a Regional Subsidiary, to equitably represent members in pursuing the recommendations in the Report.

6.         That the Group accepts the recommendations in the Report as presented.

7.         Provide regional representation to support or conduct contract negotiations on behalf of, or in conjunction with, multiple similarly sized Councils to attain sub-regional economies of scale.

8.         Seek funding and institutional support from State and Federal agencies for implementing the recommendations of the Report.

9.         That a standardised data collection program commences across the region. The metrics for Local Government Areas to report against are to be consistent and relevant to inform strategic decision-making and allow reliable triple bottom line comparisons. The data is to be relevant to assessing preferable waste operations between Councils. For example, contamination statistics, waste service costs, capital investments, tonnages, community consultation expenditure and bin audits among others.

 

Pressures to change

Landfill remains the dominant waste disposal method in the South West. Although economic, the practice of burying Municipal solid waste is now being challenged by State policy, a growing domestic resource recovery market and more cost-effective processing technologies becoming available. Additionally, suitable land for landfill expansion is becoming scarcer, licensing conditions are increasing, and construction costs and legacy environmental responsibilities are becoming major financial risks to local government.

 

The waste market is currently experiencing significant change resulting from Federal policy and State driven investment in diversion operations. Some local pressures have been triggered from decisions made overseas but there are also south western influences like the diminishing suitability of land available for landfill expansion, considerable costs faced by Councils because of historic waste practices and existing landfills approaching the end of their operational lives.

 

Social pressure is also increasing as the impact of landfills on the local environment receives greater attention than previously, resulting from a higher public profile and increased government grant allocations to diversion enterprises.

 

There will continue to be a need for landfills as the transition from disposable products and packaging continues. Strategically, landfills provide a disposal option that can compete in the disposal market place and act as a contingency should preferable diversion technologies fail elsewhere due to natural disaster, insolvency, industrial accidents or other eventuality. Waste from disposal technologies, for example ash from thermal waste to energy, will require ‘best-practice’ landfills.

 

Local impacts of State Targets

Consistent with the rest of the State, the south west waste industry is guided by the Western Australian Waste Strategy 2030 (the Waste Strategy) and Annual Action Plan. These documents set clear targets for the State to collectively achieve by 2025 and 2030. Translated into local action, these objectives guide investment into attaining diversion and prevention of waste. The south west already has significant diversion strategies in place. Common diversion streams aside from FOGO include scrap metals, e-waste, chemicals, kerbside recycling and reusable construction and demolition (C&D) waste. FOGO is expected to divert approximately 55% of the total waste fraction collected or deposited at Council facilities.

 

The State strategies respond to federal pressures such as specific waste streams actions correlating with national waste export bans determined by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on specific materials. The rolling COAG waste export bans are planned to commence on these dates:

·        1 January 2021 for glass

·        1 July 2021 for mixed plastics

·        1 December 2021 for tyres

·        1 July 2022 Single resin plastics (e.g. drink bottles) that are not cleaned and baled

·        1 July 2024 for mixed paper and cardboard.

As these bans are implemented, finding alternate disposal methods becomes more important so the circular economy policy targets remain attainable. This will have direct impacts on local operations and treatment solutions.

 

The South West’s considerable geographical size, isolation from reuse markets and a heavy reliance on resource industries makes reducing waste processing and diversion costs more challenging but opportunities exist to considerably improve our regional performance. Despite the region’s separation from large waste end-markets which can impact investment in waste and recycling, local markets for construction and demolition (C&D) waste and organics should be managed close to the source of generation for economic and environmental reasons.

 

Within metro centres, the higher cost of landfilling and waste disposal compared with regional areas, makes investing in diversion technologies a simpler decision. Alternative treatments that outperform disposal costs in regional areas is more difficult but the policy and environmental objectives set by the State make this an imperative. Finding economies of scale is critical to minimise existing disposal costs and meet policy targets. This also has implications for the life cycle of different assets.

 

Depending on how and when you measure the costs of waste management, different options can be supported. If a local Council includes long term management of waste facilities and potential environmental liabilities in their operations assessment, this will drive up the cost of airspace up as fess will be for service and accurately reflect real costs associated with landfill operations.

 

Responding Effectively as a Region

The complexity of large-scale waste disposal requires a balanced approach that considers all potential options is preferable to choosing one single disposal method. This minimises risk through diversification, is more likely to meet national waste targets and responds to State policy. A mix of disposal options also minimises environmental harm and associated liabilities by isolating potentially harmful methods.

 

Increasing the diversity on how waste is redirected from landfill builds flexibility as the industry develops, allowing the market to resolve disposal issues for local governments. Incentivising greater private company participation at multiple levels of the waste hierarchy starting with reduce, reuse, recycling/compost and energy recovery from waste lets the market address waste rather than Councils having to come up with options.

 

Waste disposal at a regional scale should be considered as an integrated system rather than as one single waste stream to be resolved. This fragmentation is driven by the nature of the waste products, its different sources and the variety of disposal options open to Councils. This multi-faceted approach is consistent with previous studies completed for the Group, such as the ‘Regional Waste Management Strategy 2015’ (RWMS) which clustered waste management technologies to achieve higher diversion rates and capitalise on vertical integration.

 

There are established frameworks to coordinate regional responses, for example preparing an ‘Integrated Waste Management Plan’ (IWMP). This framework identifies the components within a waste management system that are required to attain regional economies of scale. Coordinating waste management regionally simplifies the management of waste to protect human health and the natural environment. The process requires evaluating local conditions and needs before choosing, mixing and applying the most suitable solid waste management treatments, using the Waste Hierarchy to determine regional expenditure priorities.

 

Alternative treatment solutions are assessed within the system so facilities can be placed for maximum regional benefit. Some of these services may include reuse shops, recycling stations, repair centres, thermal waste-to-energy (WTE), anaerobic digestion plants (AD) as well as other treatments as appropriate. Adjusting the community’s role to be more participatory in waste management must be central when developing the plan as households are critical in determining the success and efficiency of a service.

 

Each local government or sub-region (two or more shires) can assist in coordinating services within a regional waste processing context. Locally managed initiatives include:

•          Transfer Stations,

•          Green waste mulching,

•          Local waste groups driving community action, and

•          C&D waste processing.

 

These services would continue being managed by each LGA however, a regional contract for the procurement of the services should be considered by the South West Group to reduce costs.

 

Effective support for regional assets comes from nurturing community participation. Regionally coordinated programs provide consistency, leading to trust and participation. These initiatives may include education, monitoring, enforcement and efficiency of facilities among others. Better understanding and involvement by the public results in lower contamination rates through greater ownership, so coordinating different services to maximise their impact is important.


 

Regionally managed initiatives may include:

•          Implementing an integrated waste education program,

•          Supporting local waste groups,

•          Providing local messaging,

•          Bin audits, and

•          Influencing commercial practices.

 

Large scale treatment facilities can divert significant waste volumes from landfill. Providing regional infrastructure may include Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), Waste-to-Energy facilities and logistics. By working at a regional scale, outputs from these facilities may be managed elsewhere. At a strategic level, landfills should be maintained but reducing the volumes going to these facilities means they will not be necessary in each shire. In addition to the greater economies of scale, best practice landfills can provide long-term waste disposal security.

 

Technology Development

The Market Sounding completed in 2021 identified proven technological solutions such as gasification, pyrolysis, biological waste-to-energy plants, composting and direct company-to-company resource trading that were worth pursuing in the South West. The volumes produced regionally were commercially viable with the right separation and contamination activities but each technology had different conditions to succeed. Determining the most suitable solution requires in-depth economic modelling and an open market was the best way to attract appropriate skills.

 

The market sounding process also established business relationships between the Group, State Government, technology providers and emerging companies. During interviews, discussions and written correspondence, more companies than those which responded stated their willingness to participate in a procurement process which could result in operational contracts such as an Expression-of-Interest (EOI) or Tender process.

 

Privately managed waste disposal operators are generally aware of the changes affecting long term landfilling and the significant capital investments needed to change existing practices. The long contracts that are needed to attain suitable cost to benefit ratios from these investments are required then to attract investment but can alternatively challenge local innovation and suppress growth of a viable reuse market. For example, a single disposal technology chosen for the next 25 years may be superseded before the returns on investment can be realised.

 

Establishing a Separate Management Entity

The complexity of administering a regional waste plan, aligning operations to targets, negotiating contracts, community messaging and other tasks associated with developing the waste system requires dedicated personnel. A theme acknowledged in previous reports included separating these waste operations from other Council operations. A separate entity provides considerable advantage to the local waste sector by creating a limited, manageable risk framework.

 

The cost of continuing current waste disposal practices i.e. ‘business as usual’, is expected to rise as State policy diverts more waste away from landfill without significant operational cost decreases as well as sites becoming more expensive to develop with new licence conditions. Added to these direct costs are the indirect costs of transitioning to transfer stations, potential introduction of a waste levy, increased transport costs and ongoing environmental monitoring/remediation costs associated with unlined cells.

 

The rising costs of waste management, changes in market innovation, loss of proactive pricing, inability to capture lost value from waste streams and changing social attitudes suggest that business as usual is not the most effective means to continue operating.

 

Plan for 2021/22

Should Council acknowledge the ‘Regional Options Paper and Strategic Recommendations’, the work plan for the forthcoming year will be determined by the recommendations. Councils can expect to see:

·        Preparation of an Integrated Waste Management Plan including an audit of municipal waste facilities throughout the region,

·        Scenario modelling of alternative disposal methods and their costs using a long term development outlook,

·        Assembly of a technical group comprising waste managers from within Councils providing operational advice on proposed initiatives,

·        Scoping an ‘Expression of Interest’ requesting market driven solutions in diverting municipal solid waste disposal from landfill allowing scope to consider recycling and FOGO processing,

·        A standardised data protocol allowing comparisons between Council datasets to underpin informed regional decisions across the region.

               

Maintaining momentum in this project continues the foundation work in determining a suitable regional response to waste disposal pressures with local benefits. Should the 'Regional Options Paper and Strategic Recommendations' be acknowledged and the project continue, then a measured but defined series of outcomes will then allow Councils to make local decisions consistent with regional outcomes.

 

Participation in this Group allows access to relevant information and negotiating power in sub-regional negotiations to attain economies of scale. Members should start seeing financial benefits of participation as operational contracts are shared for the benefit of members. Regional representation will link Councils more effectively and seek cooperation between members wherever possible.

Statutory Environment

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 (WARR Act)

This legislation aligns municipal operations across the State so they contribute to sustainability, protect human health, the environment and move towards a waste free society. The WARR Act emphasises:

•          Resource use efficiency, including resource recovery and waste avoidance;

•          Reducing environmental harm, including pollution through waste;

•          A hierarchical approach to resource management by avoiding waste creation, increasing resource recovery and reducing disposal impacts.

 

This legislation requires local governments to prepare Waste Plans to align local waste management goals with State targets. The WARR Act gives the CEO of the department powers to require a local government to submit a report on the implementation of its waste plan. If this is not satisfactory to the State and the differences cannot be negotiated, the WARR Act grants the CEO power to prepare a local waste plan on behalf of the local council.

 


 

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Levy Act 2007 (WARR Levy Act)

This legislation allows for the imposition of a levy per tonne of waste disposed to landfill. Based on previous comments by the then Minister for Environment in February 2019, this levy is at least being considered for an extension to the Peel and South West regions.

Relevant Plans and Policies

The National Waste Policy 2018

Published by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities in 2018, the ‘National Waste Policy – Less Waste More Resources’ frames national waste management using a circular economy model. The Policy champions five principles:

1.         Avoiding waste

2.         Improving resource recovery

3.         Building demand for waste derived products

4.         Improved material flows

5.         More informed innovation, investment and consumer decisions

 

There are also national targets which directly inform State priorities and influence local priorities, specifically:

1.         Banning waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres exports

2.         Reducing total waste generated in Australia by 10% per person by 2030

3.         Achieving 80% resource recovery from all waste streams using the waste hierarchy by 2030

4.         Increasing recycled content use by governments and industry

5.         Phasing out problematic and unnecessary plastics by 2025

6.         Halving organic waste volumes sent to landfill by 2030

7.         Making data publicly available that supports consumer, investment and policy decisions

 

Western Australian Waste Strategy 2030 and Annual Action Plan

The Waste Strategy 2030 is the tool helping to implement the Waste Authority objective of transitioning to a “sustainable, low-waste circular economy in which human health and the environment are protected from the impacts of waste.” Two crucial components of the strategy are the waste hierarchy and circular economy.

 

The Waste Strategy 2030 sets targets which depart from landfill diversion benchmarks to focus on three objectives – avoid, recover and protect. These objectives are intended to deliver a 10 per cent reduction target in waste generation per capita by 2025 and 20 per cent reduction by 2030. The targets to increase material recovery from the existing State rate of 57 per cent to reach 70 per cent by 2025 and 75 per cent by 2030.

 

The accompanying Action Plan is renewed annually and clarifies specific actions, timelines, lead responsibilities and collaborations to achieve the stated objectives.


 

Financial Implications

The existing costs of this project are shared amongst 11 of the 12 local government areas in the South West:

Regional Alternative Waste Project Financial Contributors

·  Shire of Augusta - Margaret River

·  Shire of Boyup Brook

·  Bridgetown - Greenbushes

·  Shire of Donnybrook - Balingup

·  City of Bunbury

·  City of Busselton

·  Shire of Capel

·  Shire of Collie

·  Shire of Dardanup

·  Shire of Harvey

·  Shire of Nannup

 

The Shire of Manjimup maintains a watching brief of the current regional alternatives project, although they are not financial contributors at this stage.

 

The cost and interaction of various waste operations need to be modelled so a variety of scenarios can be assessed. On a regional scale, this will require specialist knowledge that the region does not have. For that reason, expertise from conducting similar studies elsewhere should be sought and applied for consistency and confidence that the South West region is taking the best approach. These costs are unknown as the size of the work is currently imprecise until scoping work is completed. This will take place as part of the Integrated Waste Management Plan (IWMP) work.

 

As the complexity of the project continues, detailed economic and governance data will be required to determine a preferred waste development option throughout the region. This means specialist knowledge with expertise in financial modelling and market development will be needed for specific analysis but much of the required data will be attained through the development of a regional integrated waste plan. These costs will be determined on an ‘as-needs’ basis and a proposal will be agreed by the Group participants.

 

Baseline costs for this project are approximately $145,000 per annum divided amongst the members according to the rates percentage contributed by each Council. As of financial year 2020, these percentages are:

LGA

Rates 2019/20

%

Augusta - Margaret River

             22,236,881

         12

Boyup Brook

                2,761,412

           2

Bridgetown - Greenbushes

                4,664,443

           3

Bunbury

             39,729,386

         22

Busselton

             51,997,844

         28

Capel

             13,537,724

           7

Collie

                6,227,532

           3

Dardanup

             13,716,704

           7

Donnybrook - Balingup

                5,072,527

           3

Harvey

             21,877,333

         12

Nannup

                1,772,136

           1

TOTAL RATES COLLECTED

           183,593,922

100

Table 2: Shows the percentage and values used to designate cost contributions to the project.

Stakeholder Consultation

Since 2019, the Group has been actively engaged with the community, private enterprise and government agencies discussing progress and opportunities to divest Councils from landfill operations. In addition, the region participates at a Policy level with several waste initiatives such as reuse of materials in the Bunbury Outer Ring Road and the Container Deposit Scheme. The Group maintains strong relationships with relevant State departments and other stakeholders that maintain a presence in the market.

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 acknowledge the recommendations but continue with the project; or,

2.         Not continue the project.

CONCLUSION

The Group recognises that continued individual waste management reduces negotiating power for sub-regional contracts and increases costs. Coordinating operational assets using a separate entity is likely to achieve greater diversion and more effective education programs at an overall lower cost.

 

Given the trend of waste management growth in Western Australia over the previous 15 years, strategic partnerships with private industry and growing the local economy will spread risk and reduce overall costs for Councils in the region. Councils cooperating with investments will benefit from services being provided that are beyond the scope of an individual Council. More complex treatment processes underpinned by a comprehensive community engagement strategy and coordinated procurement policy can further reduce waste volumes through building a regional waste economy.

 

Proposed treatments need to be underpinned by strong, consistent community messaging that plays a significant role in managing community participation and reduction in contamination.

 

A comprehensive waste management plan views regional operations holistically, providing greater flexibility and diversity in waste management. With the existing State and Federal support for waste processing growth, it is now time to seek alternate methods for disposal. An Expressions of Interest process focussing on processing Municipal solid waste can be an effective tool that opens the region to a wider pool of service providers. Crafted skilfully, the specifications can capture economic long term solutions that in some areas have developed local economies focussed on reusing materials previously considered as not having value.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

Should the Council acknowledge the 'Regional Options Paper and Strategic Recommendations', a new annual scope of works and milestones will be developed within July 2021.

 


Council

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9 June 2021

14.2

Attachment a

Regional Options Paper and Strategic Recommendations

 





























































 

 


Council                                                                                      166                                                                      9 June 2021

17.1           COUNCILLORS' INFORMATION BULLETIN

STRATEGIC GOAL

6. LEADERSHIP Visionary, collaborative, accountable

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE

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

SUBJECT INDEX

Councillors' Information Bulletin

BUSINESS UNIT

Executive Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Reporting Officers - Various

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Chief Executive Officer - Mike Archer

NATURE OF DECISION

Noting: The item is simply for information purposes and noting

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment a   Current SAT Reviews

Attachment b    Letter: Leeuwin Naturaliste Sub Regional Strategy Implementation  

 

Council Decision and Officer Recommendation

C2106/116              Moved Councillor J Barrett-Lennard, seconded Councillor P Carter

 

That the items from the Councillors’ Information Bulletin be noted:

17.1.1       State Administrative Tribunal Reviews 

17.1.2       Correspondence from Hon Stephen Dawson MLC Minister for Mental Health; Aboriginal Affairs; Industrial Relations – 6 May 2021

17.1.3       Leeuwin-Naturaliste Sub-regional Strategy Implementation

17.1.4       Correspondence from Hon John Quigley MLA Attorney General; Minister for Electoral Affairs – 18 May 2021

 

17.1.5       Correspondence from Hon David Templeman MLA Minister for Tourism; Culture & the Arts; Heritage – 27 May 2021

CARRIED 8/0

En Bloc

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report provides an overview of a range of information that is considered appropriate to be formally presented to the Council for its receipt and noting. The information is provided in order to ensure that each Councillor, and the Council, is being kept fully informed, while also acknowledging that these are matters that will also be of interest to the community.

 

Any matter that is raised in this report as a result of incoming correspondence is to be dealt with as normal business correspondence, but is presented in this bulletin for the information of the Council and the community.

 

INFORMATION BULLETIN

17.1.1       State Administrative Tribunal Reviews 

 

A summary of the Current State Administrative Tribunal Reviews is provided at Attachment A.


 

17.1.2       Correspondence from Hon Stephen Dawson MLC Minister for Mental Health; Aboriginal Affairs; Industrial Relations – 6 May 2021

 

“Dear Grant and Mike,

 

Thank you for your correspondence received in my office on 27 April 2021, congratulating me on the recent State Election result and my appointment as Minister for Mental Health; Aboriginal Affairs; and Industrial Relations. I appreciate that you have taken the time to write to me regarding the McGowan Government’s work over the past four years. I am very proud of our achievements during the last term of Government, including advances in both the environment and disability portfolios.

 

Serving as a Minster in the McGowan Government has been an honor and a privilege and an opportunity I do not take for granted. I intend to continue the hard work in my new portfolio areas, and look forward to future progress and reform.

 

I look forward to continuing the productive working relationship with the City of Busselton and will be certain to make contact if visiting in the near future.”

17.1.3       Leeuwin-Naturaliste Sub-regional Strategy Implementation

 

Correspondence received from the Western Australian Planning Commission in relation to the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Sub-Regional Strategy implementation is provided at Attachment B.

 

17.1.4    Correspondence from Hon John Quigley MLA Attorney General; Minister for Electoral Affairs – 18 May 2021

 

“Dear Grant,

 

Thank you for your letter dated 1 April 2021 regarding my re-appointment as Attorney General and appointment as Minister for Electoral Affairs. I feel honoured and privileged, as I am humbled to be able to continue to serve the people of our great State not only as Attorney general but also as the Minister of Electoral Affairs.

 

I trust that the re-elected McGowan Government and you and your organisation will continue to work constructively in the next term.”

 

17.1.5    Correspondence from Hon David Templeman MLA Minister for Tourism; Culture & the Arts; Heritage – 27 May 2021

 

“Dear Grant,

 

Congratulations on being named the winner of the 2021 GWN7 Top Tourism Town Award at the recent Western Australian Regional Tourism Conference in Geraldton. The award is well-deserved and acknowledges the outstanding efforts of community leaders, tourism bodies and local tourism businesses to make the city and inviting and enjoyable destination for visitors.

 

I understand the final result was based on a score from a panel of industry judges and votes from the general public, with more than 7,700 people voting for their preferred Top Tourism Town. I trust the award prize of airtime on GWN7 will assist in the further promotion of Busselton to increase visitation and support for local businesses.

 

Please pass on my congratulations and best wishes to all those who played a part in Busselton’s success.”


Council

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9 June 2021

17.1

Attachment a

Current SAT Reviews

 



Council

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9 June 2021

17.1

Attachment b

Letter: Leeuwin Naturaliste Sub Regional Strategy Implementation

 






 

 


Council                                                                                      176                                                                      9 June 2021

ITEMS TO BE DEALT WITH  BY SEPARATE RESOLUTION (WITHOUT DEBATE)

12.2           Policy and Legislation Committee - 26/5/2021 - REVIEW OF VARIOUS LOCAL LAWS

STRATEGIC GOAL

6. LEADERSHIP Visionary, collaborative, accountable

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE

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

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   Local Government Property Local Law 2010

Attachment b    Busselton Regional Airport Local Law 2012

Attachment c    Holiday Laws Local Law 2012

Attachment d   Keeping and Control of Cats Local Law 2014

 

This item was considered by the Policy and Legislation Committee at its meeting on 26/5/2021, the recommendations from which have been included in this report.

 

Council Decision and Committee Recommendation and Officer Recommendation

C2106/117              Moved Councillor K Cox, seconded Councillor R Paine

 

That the Council:

1.         Resolves that the following local laws should continue in operation without repeal or amendment:

a.         Keeping and Control of Cats; and

b.         Busselton Regional Airport.

 

2.         Directs the CEO to write to the Minister of Local Government and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries to request a review of the Cat Act 2011, so as to enable local governments to legislate for additional matters; and

 

3.         Resolves that amendments are required to the following local laws and that a separate local law amendment should be initiated for each in accordance with section 3.12 of the Local Government Act 1995:

a.         Local Government Property; and

b.         Holiday Homes.

CARRIED 8/0

BY ABSOLUTE MAJORITY

 


 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Local Government Act 1995 (LG Act) requires that local laws are reviewed every eight years. The following local laws are either currently or shortly due for review:

·        Local Government Property Local Law 2010 (as amended) (Attachment A);

·        Busselton Regional Airport Local Law 2012 (as amended) (Airport Local Law) (Attachment B);

·        Holiday Homes Local Law 2012 (as amended) (Attachment C); and

·        Keeping and Control of Cats Local Law 2014 (Cat Local Law) (Attachment D);

(collectively the Local Laws).

 

The purpose of this report is for Council to consider whether each of the Local Laws should be amended, repealed or continue in operation.

 

Officers recommend that amendments are made to the Local Government Property Local Law and Holiday Homes Local Law. There are no amendments that are recommended for the Cat Local Law and the Airport Local Law. However, further action in relation to the Cat Local Law is recommended to enable the City to legislate in the future for matters relating to wandering cats.

 

Where amendments have been identified as necessary, a further report will be presented to Council which recommends the proposed amendments specific to each local law. There will be further opportunity for community consultation and additional consideration at that point.

 

BACKGROUND

Section 3.16 of the LG Act requires that local laws are reviewed every eight years. The Local Laws were last reviewed as follows:

·        Local Government Property Local Law – 22 March 2011

·        Airport Local Law – 16 November 2012

·        Holiday Homes Local Law – 16 November 2012

·        Cat Local Law – 10 February 2014

 

The subject matter and background of each local law is dealt with under Officer Comment below.

 

The Local Law review was commenced on 5 February 2021 which involved public advertising in accordance with section 3.16(2) of the LG Act (as outlined under Stakeholder Consultation).  Submissions were invited and are summarised under Officer Comment.

OFFICER COMMENT

Cat Local Law

The City was one of the first local governments in Western Australia to introduce a local law in relation to cats. The City identified that the control of cats was a significant issue for the district and in 2000 implemented a local law regulating cats. The local law had clauses which effectively prohibited wandering and stray cats and allowed City rangers to implement those prohibitions through infringement and impoundment powers (“wandering cat” clauses). Those clauses mirrored similar provisions contained in the Dog Act 1976 under which dogs can only be in public places if on a leash.

 

In 2014, following the commencement of the operative provisions of the Cat Act 2011 (Cat Act), the City adopted a new local law which removed matters dealt with under the Cat Act (such as registration and microchipping) and retained those matters not covered. It was policy neutral.  The wandering cat clauses were retained.

 

Following the introduction of the Cat Local Law, the local law was scrutinised by the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (JSC) and was not subject to any disallowance motion by Parliament. However, when another local government adopted a local law dealing with cats, using the City of Busselton’s as a template, the JSC took issue with the clauses regarding wandering cats. As the period in which a motion of disallowance could be lodged against the Cat Local Law had passed, the only option of the JSC was to write to the Minister for Local Government to request the Governor to repeal those clauses relating to wandering cats.

 

The view of the JSC (and ultimately the Minister) was that, as the Cat Act did not include wandering cats within the list of matters for which a local law could be made, those clauses were not within power. The City wrote lengthy submissions to the then Minister for Local Government (and Minister for the Environment) regarding the appropriateness of the wandering cat clauses, having particular regard to the locality and the vulnerable status of the western ringtail possum. The City’s position was that the LG Act (and the Cat Act) provided a sufficient head of power in which to enact the wandering cat clauses. Ultimately, the Governor chose to repeal those provisions of the Cat Local Law.

 

Since 2015, this has left the City with limited power to regulate wandering cats, and no ability to amend the local law in order to do so. All of the submissions regarding the Cat Local Law raised concerns with wandering cats, with particular emphasis on protection of native wildlife. All submissions wanted restrictions relating to wandering cats. Some submissions raised unique solutions such as requiring all cat owners to build cat enclosures, or encouraging the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to conduct feral cat control campaigns. However, none of these options (including the previous option of prohibiting wandering cats) are capable of introduction into a local law.

 

It has been six years since the unilateral repeal of the wandering cat provisions. Indications are that the community want these provisions to be re-introduced. Given there is no head of power under current legislation to introduce these measures, it is recommended that the City once again communicate its concerns to the relevant Minister. This could either take the form of advocating that wandering cat clauses are within power or, alternatively, advocating for legislative change at a State level which would either create consistent State-wide prohibitions on wandering cats, or at least allow districts to legislative themselves in such a fashion.

 

Local Government Property Local Law

The Local Government Property Local Law was introduced in 2010 and further amended in 2011. The local law replaced the outdated Reserves and Foreshores Local Law which covered a limited subject matter. The impetus for the new local law was to better regulate use of public spaces and largely adopted the WALGA model local law. The local law is consistent with many other local governments across the State.

 

During the public consultation phase, the City did not receive any submissions from the public in relation to the Local Government Property Local Law. However, given the local law covers a significant subject matter of broad and regular application, an extensive internal review has been conducted which has identified various matters which require attention.

 

Those which are recommended for detailed review and amendment are as follows:

 

Flying 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. There is presently some ambiguity around this capacity, therefore, it is recommended to strengthen and clarify those provisions to enable regulation.

 

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

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

 

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

Currently, the 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 consider 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 18. This is above the Minimum Entry Age requirements under the Code of Practice for swimming pools (being that a child under 10 must be accompanied by a person 16 years or older) but is in line with industry benchmarking and more recent understandings of best practice.

 

Penalties (Schedule 1)

Penalties for breaches of this local law are currently at $200 (with the LG Act allowing for maximum infringements of up to $500). As part of any review, the City would consider updating penalties, given the current penalties were set 10 years ago.

 

Airport Local Law

The Airport Local Law was introduced in 2012 in particular response to amenity issues associated with unregulated flight training. The local law has been in operation since 2012 with little public comment. During the public consultation phase, only one submission from the public was received. This submission related to taxis and other forms of passenger transport vehicles. Under the local law, a person is exempt from obtaining a permit to operate a taxi at the airport. The submission advocated for also exempting other forms of passenger transport vehicles from the requirement to obtain a permit. 

 

The current requirement to obtain a permit is to ensure that only accredited public operators operate from the Airport. It is understood that this is similar to arrangements at other airports. Therefore, officers do not recommend any changes to this provision, and for this local law to continue in effect without change.  

 

Holiday Homes Local Law

The City has a two-tiered approach to the regulation of holiday homes. Development approval is required under Local Planning Scheme 21 (LPS 21) (which is not time limited) and registration is required under the Holiday Homes Local Law (which is subject to annual renewal). The City implemented the local law in 2012 as part of a broader response to concerns around a lack of regulation.

 

It is worth setting out, in broad terms, what kinds of matters can or should be regulated under a planning scheme, and what kinds of matters can or should be regulated under a local law. A planning scheme regulates ‘development’, as defined in the planning legislation. Development consists of both ‘works’ (i.e. physical construction or similar) and ‘use’ (i.e. the use to which land is being put). In regulating use, planning schemes can determine whether a particular use is appropriate in a given location, and can set expectations or requirements in terms of how a holiday home (or any form of development) is managed (e.g. numbers of occupants, operating hours).

 


 

A planning scheme, however, is not always able to effectively regulate management practices – such as the expectation that a holiday home will have a manager, where that manager needs to be located, and the timeframes in which that manager needs to respond to complaints. Those kinds of matters are more appropriately addressed via a local law. In the case of some kinds of development, there is often specific legislation which regulates ‘management’ of the development, a key example being the liquor licensing legislation for licensed premises. The general principle, though, is that a local law should not seek to regulate matters that would be better regulated through a planning scheme. That includes assessing whether a holiday home is appropriate on a particular site or area.

 

The more significant aspects of the current local law are as follows:

1.         The local law requires all holiday homes (as defined in LPS 21) to be registered.

2.         Registration can only occur where development approval has been granted.

3.         A manager and acting manager must be nominated.

4.         Conditions of registration can cover matters such as:

a.         Maximum number of occupants and attendants (which term includes guests);

b.        Provision of parking;

c.         Ensuring a responsive manager.

5.         If a manager ceases to be the manager, then the registration is taken to be cancelled.

6.         If an attendant breaches a condition of registration, then the manager must terminate the occupant’s tenancy.

7.         The manager must be contactable at all times and in any event within 24 hours.

 

As development approvals are generally in perpetuity, the local law provides the ability to cancel a registration under the local law in the case of persistent breaches. Similarly, there is also the ability to refuse to renew a registration where considered necessary. However, it is worth noting that the maximum infringement penalty that can be imposed under any local law is $500. Infringements under the current local law are set between $150 and $400. The maximum penalty that can be imposed by a court following a successful prosecution under any local law is $5,000. This makes enforcement options under the Planning and Development Act 2005 more attractive (where maximum penalties are set at $200,000 for an individual and $1,000,000 for a company) compared to enforcement options under the local law.

 

The majority of submissions voiced opposition to holiday homes with particular emphasis on noise, parking, dogs and rubbish. Another area of concern was holiday homes being approved in unsuitable areas of the district. Residents were concerned with a loss of community character and changes to their daily lives such as the fear of allowing their children to play on the street due to increased traffic with no concern for local conditions. Issues with a lack of affordable housing and diminishing rental stock also formed a significant percentage of submissions.

 

There were a handful of submissions which were supportive of the rights of landowners to choose how they used their property, supportive of free-market principles regarding housing stock, and did not want to see any additional forms of regulation placed on property owners who wanted to rent their properties on a short-term commercial basis. They also viewed the lack of long-term rentals as a short-term problem.

 

A significant number of submissions raised issues with regard to holiday homes that cannot be considered solely within a review of the local law in isolation. The City has also commenced a broader policy review with regard to holiday homes. The submissions received through the local law review process have been collated and provided to strategic planning officers conducting the broader policy review. They will be considered as part of a review of the strategic and statutory planning environment.

 

In summary, these submissions related to:

1.         Lack of affordable housing.

2.         Diminishing long-term rental stock.

3.         Need for reform at the State level.

4.         Recommendations to introduce a State-wide registration scheme.

5.         Application of the 10% differential rate to short-term rentals.

6.         Waste management at holiday homes. 

7.         Permissibility of holiday homes linked to particular zones, with particular opposition to new housing estates areas.

8.         Requirement to broadly advertise development applications for holiday homes.

9.         Equal application of fire safety regulation.

 

A number of submissions raised issues which are already addressed in the local law. These were:

1.         The local law should require online booking platform short term rentals to be registered.

Comment: If the holiday home is being let for profit then registration is already required under the local law.

 

2.         The local law should provide for a cap on numbers staying at the holiday home.

Comment: The local law already provides for a cap on numbers (as does the development approval process). The cap can specify numbers of occupants staying at the property overnight as well as capping attendants (which terms includes visitors of occupants). However, to reduce numbers in a holiday homes registration below that provided for in the development approval process would be problematic.

 

It is also worth noting that, while these issues are already addressed by the local law, they may not be applied adequately through the conditions of registration imposed by the City. As part of the strategic planning review, officers will consider revising standard conditions of registration through internal administrative review processes rather than through an amendment to the local law.

 

Issues which were raised and can be considered as part of a more detailed amendment to the local law to be presented to Council are as follows:

1.         Currently the local law provides that managers must respond to complaints within a reasonable time or at least within 24 hours. Given the nature of short term rentals, and the potential for immediate adverse impacts on adjacent neighbours, a shorter period in which a manager must respond was proposed.

Comment: Any time period in which a manager is required to respond should be reasonable. Otherwise the JSC will not permit such an amendment. It is recommended that the City considers an amendment to the local law to provide for a shorter period in which a manager should respond to complaints. It is also suggested that the City considers the introduction of clauses requiring managers to reside within a certain distance to the holiday home.

 

2.         The contact details of the manager should be visible or made available to neighbours.

Comment: This is arguably already possible under the conditions of registration. However, the local law could be amended to strengthen and clarify those provisions. Consider amendment to the local law to include provision of manager’s details clearly as a condition that can be imposed.


 

3.         Ability to prohibit dogs from being left unattended at holiday homes.

Comment: This is arguably already possible under the conditions of registration. However, the local law could be amended to strengthen and clarify those provisions. Consider amendment to the local law to include the ability to prohibit, as part of a condition of registration, the leaving of unattended dogs. 

 

Officers recommend that a detailed review of this local law is undertaken and reported to Council in due course.

Statutory Environment

Local Government Act 1995

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 Local Laws are all made under the head of power contained in section 3.5 of the LG Act, with the exception of the Cat Local Law, which is also made pursuant to the Cat 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.

 

Section 3.16 of the LG Act requires that every eight years a local law is to be reviewed to determine whether or not it considers that it should be repealed or amended.

 

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 JSC, which is a committee of State politicians from both Houses of the Western Australian Parliament, to undertake an overseeing role on its behalf. This includes the power to scrutinise and recommend the disallowance of local laws to the Parliament. After gazettal, local laws are sent to the JSC who examines the local law and determines whether or not it complies with abovementioned criteria.

Relevant Plans and Policies

The Commercial use of City Land and Facilities Policy links to and guides decision-making under the Local Government Property Local Law. There are no other plans or policies related to the Local Laws.

Financial Implications

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

Stakeholder Consultation

The local law review was advertised publicly in accordance with section 3.16(2) of the LG Act. This involved consultation on social media, on the City’s website, in the local paper, and on all public notice boards in the administration building and libraries. Submissions were received as outlined above in officer comment.

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 to repeal or amend the Local Laws in any number of ways.

CONCLUSION

The Local Laws have been advertised broadly. Internal reviews have been conducted regarding the operation of the Local Laws. No issues which are capable of being remedied via a local law amendment have been identified with regard to the Airport Local Law and the Cat Local law. However, with regard to the Cat Local Law, it is recommended that the City write to the Minister for Local Government and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries requesting it reconsider the legislative framework with regard to wandering cats.

In relation to the Local Government Property Local Law and the Holiday Homes Local Law, various issues have been identified. Therefore, it is recommended that amended local laws be presented to Council to address the issues which have been identified through the general review process.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

In relation to the Cat Local Law, no action is required to the local law itself. The City will write to the Minister for Local Government and the relevant department within one month to seek amendments to legislation to allow the City to regulate wandering cats.

 

In relation to the Airport Local Law, no action is required.

 

In relation to the Holiday Homes Local Law, at the conclusion of the broader strategic planning review, an amended local law will be presented to Council with options for amendments, which will allow for any additional items not already identified to be included in any amendment.

 

In relation to the Property Local Law, an amendment local law will be presented to Council which addresses the issues identified in the review process within four months.


Council

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9 June 2021

12.2

Attachment a

Local Government Property Local Law 2010

 



































Council

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9 June 2021

12.2

Attachment b

Busselton Regional Airport Local Law 2012

 


 







Council

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9 June 2021

12.2

Attachment c

Holiday Laws Local Law 2012

 


















Council

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9 June 2021

12.2

Attachment d

Keeping and Control of Cats Local Law 2014

 










Council                                                                                      258                                                                      9 June 2021

16.1           ADOPTION OF STRATEGIC COMMUNITY PLAN 2021 - 2031

STRATEGIC GOAL

6. LEADERSHIP Visionary, collaborative, accountable

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE

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

SUBJECT INDEX

Strategic Planning

BUSINESS UNIT

Corporate Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Manager Governance and Corporate Services - Sarah Pierson

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

Absolute Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment a   Strategic Community Plan 2021- 2031  

 

Council Decision and Officer Recommendation

C2106/118              Moved Councillor K Hick, seconded Councillor J Barrett-Lennard

 

That the Council adopt the City of Busselton Strategic Community Plan 2021 – 2031 as per Attachment A, in accordance with section 5.56 of the Local Government Act 1995 and regulation 19C of the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996.

CARRIED 8/0

BY ABSOLUTE MAJORITY

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report seeks Council adoption of the Strategic Community Plan 2021 – 2031 (the Plan) as per Attachment A.  The Plan is the outcome of the major (four year) review of City’s Strategic Community Plan 2017 (Review 2019) and reflects Council’s strategic direction for the ensuing years. The Plan has been informed by community feedback and has both helped to inform, and been informed by, the recently adopted Long Term Financial Plan 2021 - 2031. 

 

Adoption of the Plan is recommended, noting the Plan must be adopted by an absolute majority of Council.

 

BACKGROUND

Section 5.56 of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act) requires that a local government plan for the future.  Further, the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996 (the Regulations) set out the requirements by which all local governments must do this, including that local governments must develop:

·        a strategic community plan for their district, covering a period of at least 10 financial years;

·        a corporate business plan covering a period of 4 financial years; and

·        supporting resourcing strategies, being the long term financial plan, asset management plans and workforce plan.

 

A strategic community plan documents the community’s vision and aspirations, and must be developed through consultation with the community.  It must be reviewed every four years.

 


 

Review of the current Strategic Community Plan 2017 (Review 2019) was launched on 1 June 2020 with the Catalyse Pty Ltd Community Satisfaction (Scorecard) Survey.  This survey asked the community about:

·        their level of community satisfaction with City services and facilities,

·        what their ideal City of Busselton looks like in the future; and

·        what their priorities are as we look towards 2035. 

 

4,000 community members were randomly selected to complete the survey, with 584 responding to that invitation. A further 247 residents, 121 out-of-area ratepayers and visitors, and 66 Council affiliated respondents also completed the scorecard, bringing the total number of responses to 1,018. 

 

The results of the Catalyse survey were further explored and supported through a second round of community engagement, taking place between 1 October 2020 and 7 November 2020, badged “Your City in 2035 - What matters to you?” 

 

During this stage of engagement, community members were able to complete a survey on the City’s Your Say Busselton website, telling us how they would describe their perfect City of Busselton, what they enjoy about living here, what they’d like to see more of, and what one thing they would prioritise to make the City of Busselton an even better place to live. Flyers seeking information about community priorities, and hard copy surveys were additionally promoted and available at the City’s libraries and a range of community events. 

 

Three random invite community workshops were also held, a dedicated youth survey was distributed to students at St Mary MacKillop College and at the City’s youth facility, and Councillor connect appointments were available for members of the community to attend. City officers also engaged with patrons of Cliff’s Kitchen, St Mary’s Anglican Church and St George’s Anglican Church Community Care, and met with representatives of the Undalup Association to explain the review process and request input. 

 

Across all of these engagement processes, the City registered 1,658 engagements, being the number of attendees at workshops and appointments, in addition to the number of separate submissions received.

 

The outcomes from the consultation process were presented to Council at a Long Term Financial Planning workshop on the 24 November 2020.

 

The engagement outcomes overall reflect the vision and aspirations of our current Strategic Community Plan – that is, a place Where Environment, Lifestyle and Opportunity Meet.

 

Overall the matters most frequently raised throughout the engagement included:

 

·        Diversification of industry and promotion of employment opportunities, while recognising and supporting the importance of tourism. 

·        Activation of town centres - during the day through the activation and opening of businesses, and at night with increased vibrancy and local events.

·        A desire for well managed development that preserves green corridors, country feel, and public open space.

·        Improved community consultation, and a demonstration of listening, with increased attention to resident and ratepayer needs across the whole district.

·        Conservation of the City’s natural environment, with management and protection of our coastlines a particular priority.  Restoration and maintenance of the Vasse River was also seen as very important.

·        Provision of sporting and recreation infrastructure, including more basketball courts, improved football ovals, an upgrade to Bovell Park and increased aquatic facilities.

·        Ongoing rural road maintenance, improved road design to relieve traffic congestion and completion of the dual carriageway highway between Capel and Busselton.

·        A desire for more policing, less crime and drug prevention programs that help people to feel safe. 

·        Improved recycling options.

·        More things for youth to do and more indoor activities.

 

Based on the key themes of the consultation, a draft strategic community plan (Draft Plan) was developed with Council through a series of workshops. 

 

The Draft Plan was shaped around four key themes aligned to the overall vision - Environment, Lifestyle, and Opportunity, and underpinned by collaborative and accountable Leadership.  Within each key theme, the community’s aspiration is set out, based on the collective feedback.  A synopsis of that feedback is provided in the “we heard you want” section within each Key Theme, in addition to the “how we put the plan together” section of the document. 

 

In response to each community aspiration, Council identified its high level strategic priorities.  These are informed not only by community feedback but also by the strategic direction of relevant State agencies, the current strategic direction of Council, and our capacity to resource the delivery of core services and priorities. 

 

Below is a brief synopsis of each Key Theme as presented in the Draft Plan:

 

Key Theme 1 - Environment

Community Aspiration - An environment that is valued, conserved and enjoyed by current and future generations.

 

This theme focuses on the City’s natural environmental attributes. The strategic priorities reflect the need to consider environmental values as part of development, and to work collectively with the community and other key partners in conserving our environment.  Included is an ongoing focus on the health of our waterways and primarily the Vasse River, along with an increasing priority on managing the impacts of climate change on the City’s coastlines.  Effective waste management and the promotion of environmentally responsible practices are also important.

 

Key Theme 2 - Lifestyle

Community Aspiration - A place that is relaxed, safe and friendly, with services and facilities that support a sense of lifestyle and wellbeing.

 

This theme focuses on the services and infrastructure that help to enhance people’s daily lives and contribute to the enjoyment of their lifestyle.  In accordance with the Sport and Recreation Strategy 2020-2030 and the LTFP there is a focus on the provision of sport and recreation facilities to support healthy and active lifestyles.  There is also a commitment to a performing arts facility, improved road, path and cycle ways, youth development, and continued support and advocacy in relation to the building of a safe, healthy and capable community.

 


 

Key Theme 3 - Opportunity

Community Aspiration - A vibrant City with diverse opportunities and a prosperous economy.

 

The opportunity theme is largely focused on economic growth, diversification, and activation, and the opportunities that brings in terms of employment and business investment.  It also addresses the opportunity to activate our town centres so they offer consumer choice, and add vibrancy.  The continued progression of aviation opportunities and planning for future road and rail infrastructure is also included.

 

Key Theme 4 - Leadership

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

 

The final key theme, Leadership, underpins delivery of all of the other themes.  It addresses Council accountability and engagement with the community, good financial management and good organisational governance.  The community were clear around their desire for improved Council engagement and transparency and this is a key strategic priority.

 

The Draft Plan was presented to Council at their meeting of 14 April 2021 with the Council resolving (C2104/062):

“That the Council adopt the draft City of Busselton Strategic Community Plan 2021-2031 (attached) for the purposes of public advertising and further community consultation over a period of 21 days, to inform the completion of the plan.”

OFFICER COMMENT

The Draft Plan was advertised in accordance with the above resolution between 16 April 2021 and 7 May 2021.  Three information sessions were also run for those interested in understanding more about the Draft Plan and how it was developed. 

 

Engagements through this process totaled 36, with 21 submissions received and fifteen people attending an information session.  68% of the submissions were from Dunsborough, Yallingup and surrounds.

 

While not significant in number, the submissions aligned closely to the key matters raised in the previous engagements.  Overall the submissions provided support for the draft plan, its vision and the overall aspiration and objectives of each Key Theme. The submissions included commentary on the following range of matters (in order of matters most frequently raised): 

·        Natural environment – a large number of the submissions indicated support for increased emphasis and focus on environmental conservation.  While all were pleased to see environment as Key Theme 1 and generally supported the strategic priorities, comments indicated a desire to see more funding for environmental management and for the environment to be prioritised over development.  Specific comments were made in relation to the need for more focus on the Ramsar Wetlands conservation, the Wonnerup estuary, wildlife protection, and a target of net zero omissions.

·        Lifestyle – aligned to the comments around environment, a number of people also reflected support for managing growth and development to maintain a peaceful seaside / country lifestyle.

·        Affordable housing / Short term holiday home control – this was raised as an issue in 6 submissions.


 

·        Listening - some positive comments were received in relation to the engagement process and providing the opportunity for people to comment. Conversely the need for meaningful engagement and for Council to listen to feedback was also raised.

·        Ratepayer spending - ensuring responsible and equitable spending of ratepayers’ funds in areas where residents would most benefit was noted.

·        Arts and culture – two submissions sought more focus on arts and culture, including recognition of aboriginal culture. One submission called for Council not to build the performing arts centre.  Another hoped it would be affordable for community groups to utilise.

·        Plan detail – while the strategic nature of the plan was acknowledged, there were 2 comments regarding its lack of detail and measures.

·        Aquatics – 2 submissions noted that there remains no plan for a 50m pool or a pool in Dunsborough.

·        Youth – 1 submission raised more playgrounds and another the need for more things for youth to do in Dunsborough.

·        Waste – 2 submissions raised the need for a third bin system.

·        Paths & Cycle ways – 2 submissions sought prioritisation of safe paths and / or cycle ways to promote cycling.

·        Coastal management – 1 submission wanted to see coastal management for public areas.

·        Vision – 1 submission suggested that the word meets in the vision statement be replaced by thrive.

 

After considering the submissions, additional feedback from Councillors and officers, the following amendments have been made to the Key Themes of the Plan.

 

Key Theme 1

·        The ‘We heard you want’ summary has been adjusted to better reflect community feedback around the conservation and preservation of both native flora and fauna and reserve areas.

·        Strategic Priority 1.1 has been amended to reflect the way in which environmental considerations are included in the land use planning framework. Environmental considerations are a central consideration in land use planning

·        Strategic Priority 1.2 has been amended to clearly capture reserves, with manage and enhance replacing ‘conserve and improve’ in direct response to a suggestion from the community.

·        Strategic Priority 1.3 has been amended to recognise the importance of other waterways in the Geographe catchment, albeit the Vasse River remains the key focus.

·        Strategic Priority 1.4 has been amended to be more action orientated, referencing informed long term planning and action, in direct response to a suggestion from the community.

·        Strategic Priority 1.6 has had the word new removed noting a new evolution of our priorities section (explained further below)

 


 

Key Theme 2

·        The Community Aspiration statement has been amended for clarity, by replacing ‘a sense of lifestyle’ with healthy lifestyle – healthy referring to physical, mental and emotional health.

·        The ‘We heard you want’ section similarly has been amended to clarify what we heard from people about the sort of place they’d like to live in.  References to an ‘authentic City’ and ‘a sense of character’ have been replaced with ‘A City that retains a relaxed seaside / country lifestyle’.

·        In Strategic Priority 2.2 the word support has been replaced with facilitate, in line with the terminology outlined in the ‘Understanding our plan’ section of the Plan (explained further below).

·        Strategic Priority 2.5 has been simplified.

·        Strategic Priority 2.8 has been amended to more clearly reflect the Council’s intent to provide neighbourhoods that have green space (as opposed to the word attractive) and that provide for diverse and affordable housing choices.  This is in response to comments around affordable housing not being captured.

·        Strategic Priority 2.10 has been split into two – 2.10 covering local road networks and 2.11 public transport. 

 

Key Theme 3

·        Strategic Priority 3.1 has been simplified by removing the reference to a ‘sense of place’, with the focus being on vibrant destinations and consumer choice.

·        Strategic Priority 3.2 has been simplified.

 

Key Theme 4

·        The ‘We heard you want’ section has been amended to remove reference to well-maintained facilities, which is relevant to Key Theme 2, and to better reflect the community feedback around equitable spending and a focus on resident needs.

 

Council also re-considered the vision statement and determined that reference to environment, lifestyle and opportunity meeting (as opposed to the suggested thriving), and while they also liked thriving, felt that the word meets best represented the juncture of each key theme coming together to provide an overall great place to live.  

 

In addition to the Key Theme changes, the ‘How we put the plan together’ section was expanded to include the advertising, an ‘Evolution of our priorities’ section has been added to support the ‘What has changed section, the ‘Understanding the plan’ section has been amended to include terminology for how the City will deliver on its strategic priorities, and a commitment to the development of improved measures to track plan progress has been included in the ‘Measuring and tracking progress’ section.  General layout and administrative edits were also made.

 

In considering the plan and the submissions received, it is important to note that a Strategic Community Plan is designed to be a high level guiding document.  The City’s more detailed response is contained within the City’s four year Corporate Business Plan and supporting documents such as the Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP).  Both of these are reviewed annually to ensure they are current and are therefore more detailed. 

 


 

For instance, Key Theme 2 contains a high level strategic priority in relation to the provision of sport and recreational facilities and services.  Supporting this, the City’s Corporate Business Plan will outline more detailed actions such as the construction of a pavilion, multi-use outdoor courts and additional car parking facilities the Dunsborough Lakes Sporting Precinct, and the development of a project plan to increase the carrying capacity of the indoor pool area at the GLC.  These are as per the Sport and Recreation Strategy 2020 – 2030, and as provided for in the City’s LTFP 2021 – 2031. 

Statutory Environment

Section 5.56 of the Act requires local governments to plan for the future, ensuring that plans made are in accordance with any regulations made about planning for the future of the district.  Regulation 19C of the Regulations requires the creation of a strategic community plan in accordance with the following:

1.         A local government is to ensure that a strategic community plan is made for its district in accordance with this regulation in respect of each financial year after the financial year ending 30 June 2013.

2.         A strategic community plan for a district is to cover the period specified in the plan, which is to be at least 10 financial years.

3.         A strategic community plan for a district is to set out the vision, aspirations and objectives of the community in the district.

4.         A local government is to review the current strategic community plan for its district at least once every 4 years.

5.         In making or reviewing a strategic community plan, a local government is to have regard to —

(a)       the capacity of its current resources and the anticipated capacity of its future resources; and

(b)       strategic performance indicators and the ways of measuring its strategic performance by the application of those indicators; and

(c)       demographic trends.

6.         Subject to subregulation (9), a local government may modify its strategic community plan, including extending the period the plan is made in respect of.

7.         A council is to consider a strategic community plan, or modifications of such a plan, submitted to it and is to determine* whether or not to adopt the plan or the modifications.

8.         If a strategic community plan is, or modifications of a strategic community plan are, adopted by the council, the plan or modified plan applies to the district for the period specified in the plan.

9.         A local government is to ensure that the electors and ratepayers of its district are consulted during the development of a strategic community plan and when preparing modifications of a strategic community plan.

10.       A strategic community plan for a district is to contain a description of the involvement of the electors and ratepayers of the district in the development of the plan or the preparation of modifications of the plan.

*Absolute majority required.

 

The Regulations also require that a corporate business plan is made for the district covering at least 4 years and setting out, consistent with any relevant priorities set out in the strategic community plan for the district, a local government’s medium term priorities.


 

Relevant Plans and Policies

The DLGSC’s Advisory Standard for IPR dated September 2016, requires a strategic community plan to meet a minimum Achieving Standard.  The Achieving Standard is satisfied when:

(i)        an adopted strategic community plan meets all regulatory requirements;

(ii)       a local government has a community engagement policy;

(iii)      community engagement involves at least 500 or 10% of community members, whichever is the fewer and is conducted by a least two documented mechanisms; and

(iv)      a strategic review occurs every two years, alternating between a minor and major strategic review.

 

Following adoption of a final strategic community plan, the key themes and priorities will inform development of the City’s Corporate Business Plan 2021-2025. The Corporate Business Plan 2021-2025 will detail the actions designed to achieve the strategic priorities, and will set out a more detailed overview of the City’s service delivery.

 

Both the strategic community plan and the corporate business plan inform and are informed by the City’s LTFP, as the City’s primary resourcing guide.

Financial Implications

The Plan has been developed cognisant of, and has also helped to inform, the City’s LTFP.  The LTFP makes provision for new and improved sport and recreation infrastructure, for a performing arts centre, for funding towards the Vasse River and waterway improvements, and for the future management of the City’s coastlines.  As noted earlier, funding within the LTFP has in some areas been increased and reallocated in response to feedback gathered through the engagement process. 

 

Overall, the City is well positioned to fund core services and strategic priorities, with several sources of revenue available, including rates, borrowings, reserves, contributions and grants. 

Stakeholder Consultation

Community engagement to inform the review of the Plan began in June 2020 with the Catalyse Pty Ltd Community Satisfaction (Scorecard) Survey. The opportunity for broader community input was provided in stage 2 of the engagement program, which ran through October 2020 and into November 2020. 

 

The Draft Plan was advertised for comment from 16 April 2021 to 7 May 2021.

 

The total engagements achieved is outlined in the table below:

 

Tool / Forum

Engagements

Catalyse Survey

1,018

Your Say Survey

325

Youth School Flyer

191

Community Flyer

23

Ideas Forum

19

Councillor Connect Appointments

17

Workshops / Information Sessions

97

Public Submissions post advertising

21

TOTAL

1,711

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.         Decide not to adopt the Strategic Community Plan 2021 - 2031. It should be noted that Council is required to review its strategic community plan every 4 years. 

2.         Decide to adopt the Strategic Community Plan 2021 – 2031 with amendments

CONCLUSION

There were many valuable ideas recorded through the community consultation and a number of clear themes were identified.

 

The attached Strategic Community Plan 2021 – 2031 captures the community aspirations and the Council’s strategic direction into four Key Themes aligned to the overall vision for the District which has been maintained – ‘where environment, lifestyle and opportunity meet’.  The Plan also outlines a number of high level Council strategies, things that Council will do to support achievement of the community aspirations. This further detail is not designed to be exhaustive in nature; it is designed to outline the Council’s high level strategic priorities.

 

It is important to recognise that the Plan is not new in its direction; rather it builds on and enhances our current Strategic Community Plan 2017. Progress over the next four years will be measured through biennial surveys of the community and through tracking achievements within the City’s supporting Corporate Business Plan, currently under review.  

 

As outlined in the Plan, there is a limit to what can be achieved solely by the City of Busselton within its legislative, financial and workforce resources. Where aspirations cannot be achieved by local government alone, the Plan notes Council’s commitment to work with its key partners to advocate and respond in a way that can make a positive difference.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

Within a month of adoption, the Plan will be published for distribution in both hard copy format and as an E-book on the City’s website.

 


Council

260

9 June 2021

16.1

Attachment a

Strategic Community Plan 2021- 2031

 

































Council                                                                                      308                                                                      9 June 2021

ITEMS FOR DEBATE

12.1           Policy and Legislation Committee - 26/5/2021 - HOLIDAY HOME REGULATORY FRAMEWORK REVIEW

STRATEGIC GOAL

4. ECONOMY Diverse, resilient, prosperous

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE

4.1 An innovative and diversified economy that provides a variety of business and employment opportunities as well as consumer choice.

SUBJECT INDEX

Local Planning Scheme 21 Amendments

BUSINESS UNIT

Strategic Planning

REPORTING OFFICER

Planning Officer - 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   Local Planning Policy 4.1

Attachment b    Local Law

Attachment c    Government Response to 2019 Parliamentary Inquiry

Attachment d   Holiday Home Clusters

Attachment e    Option 1 - Exclusion Area

Attachment f    Option 2 - Exclusion Area

 

This item was considered by the Policy and Legislation Committee at its meeting on 26/5/2021, the recommendations from which have been included in this report.

 

DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST

Date

9 June 2021

Meeting

Ordinary Council

Name/Position

Cr Kelly Hick, Deputy Mayor

Item No./Subject

Item No. 12.1 ‘Holiday Home Regulatory Framework Review’.

Type of Interest

Impartiality Interest

Nature of Interest

I am the owner and manager of a tourism accommodation business Dunsborough Ridge Retreat which is located at Ocean View Drive, Quindalup

 

DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST

Date

9 June 2021

Meeting

Ordinary Council

Name/Position

Cr Jo Barrett-Lennard, Councillor

Item No./Subject

Item No. 12.1 ‘Holiday Home Regulatory Framework Review’.

Type of Interest

Financial Interest

Nature of Interest

I own a property in Troon Loop, Dunsborough, adjacent to two properties which are listed on Air B&B and will be subject to the proposed changes to the local law. I may also be relocating with the potential for my property to be leased as a holiday home.

 

5.52pm:                At this time, Cr Barrett-Lennard left the meeting.

 

Cr Cronin foreshadowed an Alternative Recommendation prior to the meeting. In accordance with the City's Standing Orders 2018, the Committee Recommendation was moved first. There was opposition and debate ensued.


 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

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

1.         Indicates that, subject to further consultation, it intends to implement the following opportunities for change:

(a)       Revise standards for the size and design of properties, relative to maximum permissible occupancy numbers, by:

(i)        Initially in local planning policy, and subsequently in the Scheme, introduce a maximum occupant restriction for Multiple Dwellings, to be no more than four occupants.

(ii)       Initially in local planning policy, and subsequently in the Scheme, introduce further occupant restrictions based on lot size, as follows:

The maximum number of occupants under the ‘Holiday Home (Single House)’ or ‘Holiday Home (Grouped Dwelling)’ use classes in the Residential zone is:

i.          10 occupants for lots greater than 350m²; or

ii.         7 occupants for lots 260m² - 350m²; or

iii.        4 occupants for lots less than 260m².

(b)       Revise and introduce new requirements and expectations for managers, by:

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

(ii)       Introducing a new clause requiring managers to reside within a 30 minute travel time from the holiday home.

(iii)      Strengthening and clarifying the conditions of registration, so that the contact details of the manager are shown on a sign that can be visible from the street.

(iv)      Strengthening and clarifying the conditions of registration, so that the manager is required to resolve complaints and ensure compliance at the premises.

(c)       Introducing requirements and expectations for occupants and their guests, by revising the standard conditions of registration, so that a code of conduct is required that sets out expectations for the management of occupants and the guests of occupants, and requiring managers to communicate the code to the hirer, obtain their acknowledgement, and ensuring the code is clearly displayed within the holiday home.

(d)       Introducing requirements for the management of dogs, by introducing conditions of registration that do not allow dogs to be left unattended at holiday homes.

(e)       Developing a Council Policy to set out how the City intends to implement the Local Law, and to provide guidance to officers and stakeholders.

2.         Undertakes consultation with the community and industry stakeholders regarding the opportunities for change, and any other opportunities that may be identified through consultation.

3.         Develops a Directions Paper to assist with consultation.

4.         After consultation, will consider a further report setting out:

(a)       the outcomes of the consultation process; and

(b)       more detailed recommendations about what opportunities should be pursued, and how these opportunities should be implemented.

 

Council Decision and Committee Recommendation

C2106/119              Moved Councillor K Hick, seconded Councillor R Paine

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

1.         Indicates that, subject to further consultation, it intends to implement the following opportunities for change:

(a)       Revise standards for the size and design of properties, relative to maximum permissible occupancy numbers, by:

(i)        Initially in local planning policy, and subsequently in the Scheme, introduce a maximum occupant restriction for Multiple Dwellings, to be no more than four occupants.

(ii)      Initially in local planning policy, and subsequently in the Scheme, introduce further occupant restrictions based on lot size, as follows:

The maximum number of occupants under the ‘Holiday Home (Single House)’ or ‘Holiday Home (Grouped Dwelling)’ use classes in the Residential zone is:

i.          10 occupants for lots greater than 350m²; or

ii.         7 occupants for lots 260m² - 350m²; or

iii.       4 occupants for lots less than 260m².

(b)       Revise and introduce new requirements and expectations for managers, by:

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

(ii)      Introducing a new clause requiring managers to reside within a 30 minute travel time from the holiday home.

(iii)     Strengthening and clarifying the conditions of registration, so that the contact details of the manager are shown on a sign that can be visible from the street.

(iv)     Strengthening and clarifying the conditions of registration, so that the manager is required to resolve complaints and ensure compliance at the premises.

(c)       Introducing requirements and expectations for occupants and their guests, by revising the standard conditions of registration, so that a code of conduct is required that sets out expectations for the management of occupants and the guests of occupants, and requiring managers to communicate the code to the hirer, obtain their acknowledgement, and ensuring the code is clearly displayed within the holiday home.

(d)       Introducing requirements for the management of dogs, by introducing conditions of registration that do not allow dogs to be left unattended at holiday homes.

(e)       Developing a Council Policy to set out how the City intends to implement the Local Law, and to provide guidance to officers and stakeholders.

(f)   Exclude some residential areas from holiday home use, by introducing areas of     exclusion as shown in Option 1 – Exclusion Area (Attachment E).

2.         Undertakes consultation with the community and industry stakeholders regarding the opportunities for change, and any other opportunities that may be identified through consultation.

3.         Develops a Directions Paper to assist with consultation.

 

 

4.         After consultation, will consider a further report setting out:

(a)       the outcomes of the consultation process; and

(b)       more detailed recommendations about what opportunities should be pursued, and how these opportunities should be implemented.

CARRIED 5/2

For the motion: Cr Henley, Cr Hick, Cr Paine, Cr Cox, Cr Miles

Against the motion: Cr Cronin, Cr Carter

 

Reasons:              The Committee supports the opportunity to consult with the community on the matter of excluding holiday homes in some residential areas, and will use the outcomes of this consultation to form an opinion on whether or not the idea should be progressed as a formal change.

 

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 substantiative change, into Local Planning Scheme No. 21.

 

Over time, issues relating to holiday homes have arisen that may not be sufficiently addressed through the current regulatory framework. The purpose of this report is to initiate a review of the three key instruments, with an aim to work toward a framework that provides more effective regulation.

 

It is recommended that the Council supports consultation on a range of opportunities for change. It is envisaged that, following the consultation process, the Council would consider whether (and what) formal changes should be made – which would entail development of more detailed proposals and further consultation.

 

BACKGROUND

Holiday homes have been part of the landscape and lifestyle and lifestyle in Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, Eagle Bay, and many other places in Western Australia for many decades. However the scale and character of holiday homes has changed over time, principally due to a significantly increased population in the Perth metropolitan area (the City’s main tourism market), greater mobility and affordability in interstate and international travel (other than over the last 18 months or so), and the emergence of online booking platforms such as Airbnb. This review also coincides in with the statutory review of the City’s Holiday Homes Local Law.

 

Current Regulatory Approach

In effect, the three key regulatory instruments operate in the following manner:

1.         Local Planning Scheme No. 21 (the Scheme) - any proposed holiday home must be granted development approval prior to use. The number of occupants is capped depending on whether the proposal is for a grouped/multiple dwelling or a single house, and holiday homes are prohibited in some zones (further details are provided under the heading ‘Statutory Environment’).

2.         Local Planning Policy 4.1 Holiday Homes (LPP 4.1) - provides guidance for the assessment of a development application, with due regard given to location, utility servicing, car parking, dwelling design, and bushfire management (Attachment A).

3.         Holiday Homes Local Law 2012 (Local Law) - once development approval is granted, ongoing operation of the land use must include preliminary registration and a regular renewal of the registration, the nomination of manager and acting manager, and adherence to conditions relating to the orderly and proper use of the holiday home (Attachment B).

                             

These instruments took several years to develop and become operational and, with the exception of LPP 4.1, have not been changed since they were introduced.

 

Development of the Regulatory Framework

The City’s current regulatory framework emerged from work that began as early as 2002. This was via Amendment No. 46 (Amd 46) to Town Planning Scheme No. 20 (TPS 20). The proposal was delayed, though, for a variety of reasons, including a broader State Government review into the issue. By 2009, the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) had developed Planning Bulletin 99: Holiday Homes Guidelines (PB 99), and the Minister for Planning directed the Council to modify and readvertise Amd 46 in a manner consistent with PB 99.

 

After 2002, there was a noticeable shift in the nature of holiday homes, from a cultural and lifestyle option to an increasingly commercial enterprise. By 2010 it was estimated that there were approximately 500 properties in the district being used as holiday homes, making them an important part of the local tourism industry and economy. Holiday homes at that time were, in most respects, unregulated, and in some instances they were having significant impacts on the character and amenity of residential areas.

 

It was recognised by Council that a Scheme amendment alone would not be sufficient to provide effective regulation. In 2010 some draft general principles, for inclusion in a local law and local planning policy, were endorsed by Council for public consultation (C1001/053). It was in that environment, in late 2012, that the Local Law was made, Amd 46 to TPS 20 (in modified form, as directed by the Minister for Planning) was approved, and the holiday homes local planning policy provisions were introduced into the broader Local Planning Policy 7 – Commercial and Industrial Development Policy (now LPP 4.1). By mid-2013, there were around 500 registered holiday homes in the district.

 

At different points in the journey from 2002 to 2012, the Council had taken positions that holiday homes should remain unregulated; should be prohibited entirely; to finally adopting a position that they should be regulated, but not prohibited.

 

Since the introduction of the current framework, the Local Law has remained unchanged, and the Scheme provisions were carried over in 2014, without substantiative change, from Scheme No. 20 to Scheme No. 21. LPP 4.1 has been revised three times, in the following manner:

·        2015 - the word “preferred” was removed from the two areas in which holiday homes could be considered for approval, although both areas were retained. Dunsborough Lakes was incorporated into the area in which holiday homes could be considered in the Residential zone.

·        2018 - the two areas in which holiday homes could be considered for approval were removed, effectively removing all restrictions in the Residential zone; more comprehensive bushfire provisions were introduced; and revised formatting, ‘deemed-to-comply’ and ‘performance criteria’ were introduced.

·        2020 - the majority of bushfire provisions were removed and reference to the newly created Bushfire Local Planning Policy was introduced.

 

Related to the regulatory framework, a further Council decision (implemented at the start of the 2018/19 financial year) was the introduction of a five per cent increase in the ‘rate in the dollar’ for rating purposes (triggered by registration), with a transition to a ten percent higher ‘rate in the dollar’ in the 2019/20 financial year (which meant that holiday homes were rated at the same rate level as most other tourism accommodation).

 

Current Experience in the City of Busselton

In March 2021, there were 983 registered holiday homes in the District, and it is estimated that approximately 50 properties were being let for the purpose of short-term accommodation, without planning and/or registration approval. As resources permit, these properties are subject of compliance activity.

 

In April, registration renewal letters were sent out for the 2021/22 financial year, and by mid-May there were:

·        596 registered holiday homes until June 2022;

·        375 registrations pending renewal (until June 2022);

·        63 registration applications received, pending development approval or clearance of the conditions of approval.

 

After renewal letters were sent out in April, 23 registrations were cancelled because of:

·        Difficulties in finding cleaning staff;

·        Concerns about illegal activity;

·        Returning the property to the long-term rental market.

 

Further cancellations have occurred due to changes in property ownership, although new owners may apply for registration without also needing to reapply for development approval.

 

Issues and Concerns

Following their emergence during the late 2000s, and the rapid rise in popularity of online booking platforms such as AirBnB, Stayz and Booking.com, there were concerns that an increasing number of holiday homes were being advertised without having first obtained development or registration approval. In early 2019, a trial (three month) full time officer position was created to identify unapproved holiday homes, and to pursue compliance action. This was found to be an effective means of addressing this issue, and the position was retained on a permanent part-time basis.

 

Unauthorised holiday homes are detected through a quarterly reported provided by BnBGuard, which cross references properties that have been granted approval, against properties that are being advertised by 13 online booking platforms. BnBGuard is able to detect properties that are being advertised but are not approved, and provide in most cases the exact address (online advertisements will show an approximate location only).

 

With a single officer dedicated to monitoring approval of holiday homes, a better understanding has emerged of current issues and/or concerns raised by the community. The following is a summary of complaints received in 2020, and for January – April 2021:

 

Complaints received

No. properties

Properties with multiple complaints

2020

53

47

6

2021 (Jan – April)

24

22

2

 


 

Typically, the nature of these complaints include:

·        Listings of properties that don’t have development and/or registration approval.

·        Location of holiday homes in residential areas, with concerns around residential amenity (noise, behaviour, nuisance), safety and security, waste management, car parking.

·        The number of people that are present at a property at any one time, whether they be the occupants or guests of occupants, i.e. ‘party houses’.

·        The number of vehicles parked at a property at any one time, being greater than the number of car parking bays available (including boats, campervans etc.).

·        Dogs that have been left unattended in an unfamiliar environment, and become distressed (barking and whining). In some instances this includes multiple dogs.

·        Lack of ability for a complainant to directly contact the manager, meaning that the reason for complaint may have passed by the time contact is made.

 

These issues were consistent with those raised by other local governments during the 2019 State Parliamentary inquiry into short term accommodation, which is discussed in further detail below. It is also considered that there is an under-reporting of complaints to the City.

 

Approaches Adopted in Other Local Government Jurisdictions

Approximately 20 local governments in Western Australia have been considered, and it is evident that the adopted approaches vary greatly. The least regulatory is where there are no formal provisions in place, for example in Subiaco and Mandurah.

 

Many local governments have minimal provisions in their local planning scheme, including:

·        a land use definition; and/or

·        permissibility set out in the zoning table.

 

Across the various local governments, holiday homes are generally a discretionary (or discretionary subject to advertising) use in the Residential, Rural Residential, Centre, and Rural zones. Throughout all the local governments reviewed, the only zone in which holiday homes are a ‘P’ (permitted) use is the Tourism zone; they are always prohibited in Industrial zones.

 

Further guidance on the assessment of development applications is often set out in a local planning policy. The policies reviewed provide guidance on some or all of the following matters:

·        Preferred areas in which a holiday home can be located.

·        Requirements around manager/responsible person contact details, including the display of these details on a sign which is visible from the street.

·        Requirement for a manager to respond to complaints within a set time period, and to reside within a reasonable distance of the subject property.

·        Use of ancillary accommodation.

·        Car parking.

·        Utility servicing (water, effluent).

·        Waste management.

·        Lot size and dwelling design, including maximum number of people per bedroom, and outdoor living and screening.

·        Bushfire provisions.

·        Strata company requirements.

·        Management plan, including details such as:

o   how bookings are made (marketing and advertising);

o   manager details (contact phone number);

o   duties of manager;

o   complaints procedure;

o   code of conduct for guests;

o   control of noise and other disturbances;

o   control of anti-social behaviour;

o   security of occupants, guests of occupants, and neighbours;

o   car parking for occupants and guests of occupants, including maximum number of vehicles.

 

In some instances, local governments have opted to include some of the provisions listed above as development standards in the local planning scheme (e.g. Augusta-Margaret River, Exmouth).

 

Fremantle and Wanneroo have developed local laws but do not have a local planning policy. These two local laws do not contain any significant provisions that are different from the Busselton Local Law.

 

The Shire of Noosa in Queensland is currently advertising a draft local law which would require occupants to comply with several ‘conditions of behaviour’, collectively called a code of conduct. This would make the manager responsible for ensuring compliance with the code of conduct, and responding to complaints within 30 minutes of receiving the complaint.

 

It is apparent from the review that, while the means of regulating holiday homes may vary, the matters to be addressed by the local government and landowner are fairly consistent.

 

State Government Policy Position

In 2019, the State Parliamentary Legislative Assembly Economics and Industry Standing Committee conducted an inquiry titled Levelling the Playing Field: Managing the impact of the rapid increase of Short-Term Rentals in Western Australia (the 2019 Inquiry).

 

This was prompted by “a groundswell of public agitation from the South West of the State, voicing concerns about the emergence of online accommodation platforms.” The 2019 Inquiry resulted in a record number of submissions from around the State.

 

The Committee made 10 recommendations. The State Government provided a response to the recommendations on 12 February 2020, and relevant to this review, committed to address the registration of holiday homes (Recommendation 7) at a macro level, by undertaking the following action:

The establishment of an inter-agency working group, to develop legislative or regulatory mechanisms to require the display for a valid registration number for short-term rentals [holiday homes] advertised on online booking platforms.

 

The full list of recommendations and the extended State Government response can be found at Attachment C.

 

At the time of writing this report, none of the recommendations from the 2019 Inquiry have been actioned to the extent that there has been any change to the existing state-level regulatory framework. Should they be actioned, it is considered there will be no significant impact on the City’s regulation of holiday homes, except that compliance should be a simpler process.

 

This review is mindful of the 2019 Inquiry, and does not seek to pre-empt the outcomes of the Government response. Instead, it aims to explore options that will complement State-level regulatory controls.

OFFICER COMMENT

Through research and informal discussion with a range of stakeholders, as well as a discussion with the Policy and Legislation Committee, a range of ‘opportunities for change’ have been identified that the Council may wish to consider:

1.         Exclude some residential areas from holiday home use.

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

3.         Change requirements and expectations for holiday home managers.

4.         Change requirements and expectations for occupants and the guests of occupants.

5.         Introduce controls on dogs being brought to holiday homes.

6.         Temporary development approvals.

7.         Develop a Council Policy to set out how the City intends to implement the Local Law.

 

Each of these is outlined and discussed below.

 

1.    Exclude some residential areas from holiday home use.

Following the introduction of the current regulatory framework, there was an interim period when landowners who had been using their property as a holiday home were able, regardless of location, to apply for development approval. That interim period ended in mid-2013, and between then and 2018 holiday homes were generally not permitted on Residential-zoned land south of Bussell Highway, or west of Cape Naturaliste Road.

 

The residential area restrictions were removed in 2018, and since then there have been a small number of approvals in the previously restricted area. An exception to this is Dunsborough Lakes, which became a ‘permitted’ area in 2015, and a higher number of approvals have been granted. Attachment D provides a visual demonstration of holiday homes across the District that have been granted development approval, and that are currently registered.

 

An opportunity exists to exclude some residential areas from holiday home use. There are several reasons why this might be introduced:

a)         PB 99 outlines that holiday homes are appropriate in areas associated with high tourism amenity. In the City of Busselton, this includes areas in close proximity to key tourist attractions such as beaches, town centres, or rural areas.

a)         PB 99 also discusses the potential conflict between holiday homes and the amenity of long-term residential dwellings. Conflict can occur as a result of issues such as noise, behaviour, nuisance, safety and security, waste management, car parking.


 

b)        The ‘local sense of community’ can be eroded by the occurrence of too many holiday homes, and as a result of:

·        lack of neighbourhood support network during times of emergency or crisis, and passive surveillance for increased security and safety;

·        visitor disregard for the safety and security of children (or elderly) living in the street, and dangers associated with outdoor play, walking/cycling in areas without footpaths etc;

·        excessive noise/partying and visitor lack of understanding about the lifestyle of nearby residents, particularly those who are shift workers (or even just having to work the following day);

·        a sense that one’s own home is not a place of sanctuary/relaxation because of the impact from nearby holiday homes.

c)         Housing availability and affordability can be affected by holiday homes. The 2019 Inquiry reported that there is some evidence of this occurring in the South West, however it found that “the impact of short-term letting on WA’s long-term rental market seems minimal.” That may have changed in the last 12 months, but may not be an issue that will persist in the long-term.

 

The opportunities for change include:

 

Opportunity 1.1:

Introduce areas of exclusion. Potential areas of exclusion are shown at Attachments E and F.

 

Opportunity 1.1 could be implemented by: 

·        Modifying the Scheme Zoning Table, which could clearly define a holiday home as an ‘X’ (prohibited) use in relevant zones, meaning that no discretion in a prohibited area could be exercised; and

·        Introducing an ‘Additional Use’ right for those areas where holiday homes are otherwise an ‘X’ use (effectively ‘excluding’ some areas and ‘including’ others); or

·        Reintroduce area designations through the LPP, meaning that a discretion to approve holiday homes in non-preferred areas could still exist.

 

If new exclusion areas were introduced through the Scheme, the (already) approved holiday homes in non-permitted areas would become ‘non-conforming’ uses. Provided that a registration remained current, then the non-conforming use right would also remain current.

 

Officers do not recommend support for Opportunity 1.1, for the following reasons:

a)         This may result in a greater concentration of holiday homes within some areas;

b)        The relationship between total number of approvals and management of individual sites is not clearly defined, i.e. a greater number of holiday homes does not necessarily result in a greater number of poorly managed properties;

c)         The difficulty in defining permitted/not permitted areas with a simple, understandable boundary;

d)        A perception around lack of fairness in that some areas may be excluded from holiday homes and not others;

e)        Conversely, a perception around lack of fairness in that ‘economic opportunity’ may be permitted in some areas and not others;

f)         A lack of certainty for investors who have purchased a property with the intent to apply for holiday home use.

 

Nonetheless, Council may decide to support this opportunity for change.

 

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

This mechanism is currently applied through the Scheme and LPP, with restrictions applied through land use definitions (limiting occupancy numbers based on dwelling type), and dwelling design (limiting occupancy numbers through the total number of bedrooms, and area of personal use within a bedroom).

 

An opportunity exists to strengthen these standards by revising land use definitions, and by introducing a new standard relating to the lot size.

 

Reasons for doing this might include:

a)         Grouped and multiple dwellings are primarily located in urban areas, on smaller lots and with fewer car parking spaces. Currently there is not a large stock of multiple dwellings in the City (permitted only in Centre zones), however this is becoming a more frequent type of development proposal. By capping the occupancy numbers through land use definitions, this is one additional means of restricting the number of occupants and guests of occupants who visit these sites.

b)        Currently, the LPP requires a 350m² exclusive use area for a holiday home that is a single house. 350m² equates to R25 density or less, and therefore this provision doesn’t take into account areas that are coded R30 (minimum area 260m²) or greater. It is proposed that this point is clarified and strengthened through introduction into the Scheme, and by introducing maximum occupancy numbers depending on lot size. Furthermore, given nature of complaints that arise in the Residential zone (noise, parking, security etc), the maximum number of occupants could be capped at 10 in the Residential zone – currently, a maximum of 12 occupants may be approved. The provision is based on lot size rather than residential coding because a lot coded at a higher density may not have been subdivided into the minimum allowable lot size.

 

The opportunities for change include:

 

Opportunity 2.1:

Initially in the local planning policy, and subsequently in the Scheme, introduce a maximum occupant restriction for Multiple Dwellings, to be no more than four occupants.

 

Opportunity 2.2:

Initially in the local planning policy, and subsequently in the Scheme, introduce further occupant restrictions based on lot size, as follows:

 

The maximum number of occupants under the ‘Holiday Home (Single House)’ or ‘Holiday Home (Grouped Dwelling) use classes in the Residential zone is:

(a)       10 occupants for lots greater than 350m²; or

(b)      7 occupants for lots 260m² - 350m²; or

(c)       4 occupants for lots less than 260m².

 

Officers recommend support for Opportunities 2.1 and 2.2.


 

3.    Change requirements and expectations for holiday home managers.

The Local Law requires that a manager and acting manager must be nominated, and if an occupant or guest of the occupant breaches a condition of registration, then the manager must terminate the occupant’s tenancy. The manager must be contactable at all times, and in any event within 24 hours.

 

In the instances where managers have provided their contact details to neighbours, then any complaints can be directed to the manager. Where no contact details are available, complaints about holiday homes are directed to the City, and in turn the City informs the manager.

 

Many other local governments require a manager to be contactable within 12 hours, and to reside within close proximity to the holiday home (this varies between a 10 minute and 30 minute drive). Some also require that a manager’s details are to be displayed to the public on a sign that is visible from the street.

 

Opportunities exist to improve the requirements and expectations of managers, and particularly response times, through the Local Law, which in some cases may require an amendment to the Local Law.

 

The opportunities for change include:

 

Opportunity 3.1:

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

 

Opportunity 3.2:

Introduce a new clause requiring managers to reside within a 30 minute travel time from the holiday home.

 

Opportunity 3.3:

Strengthen and clarify the conditions of registration, so that the contact details of the manager are shown on a sign that can be visible from the street.

 

Opportunity 3.4:

Strengthen and clarify the conditions of registration, so that the manager is required to resolve complaints and ensure compliance at the premises.

 

Officers recommend support for Opportunities 3.1 – 3.4.


 

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

The Local Law includes conditions of registration that can cover matters such as the maximum number of occupants and their guests; and the provision of parking.

 

An opportunity exists to strengthen and clarify the requirements and expectations for the management of occupants and their guests, in the form of a management plan. Management plans are a control measure used by a number of other local governments, and they are used by the City when issuing conditions of development approval for other types of land uses. A management plan could include matters that relate to:

·        Manager contact details, duties, obligations, and complaints procedure;

·        Maximum number of occupants and guests;

·        Code of conduct for guests;

·        Control of noise, light spill and other disturbances;

·        Control of anti-social behaviour;

·        Security of occupants, guests of occupants, and neighbours;

·        Car parking for occupants and guests of occupants, including maximum number of vehicles;

·        Management of waste.

 

An alternate or complementary opportunity exists to strengthen and clarify the requirements and expectations for the management of occupants and their guests, in the form of a code of conduct. The Noosa Shire Council is currently advertising a draft local law which would require occupants to comply with several ‘conditions of behaviour’, collectively called a code of conduct.

 

The code of conduct would outline minimum behavioural standards for guests to maintain the residential amenity of surrounding permanent residents. If implemented, it would be the manager’s responsibility to make occupants aware of the code of conduct, and to have a copy available within the premises. The manager would be responsible for enforcement. A code of conduct could include matters that relate to:

·        The parking of vehicles within the premises boundary, in designated bays, and not causing a nuisance or inconvenience to adjoining properties.

·        The use of the premises, including all outdoor areas, in a way that does not detrimentally affect neighbouring properties through noise, nuisance, unacceptable behaviour, overlooking or light spill.

·        Sleeping or camping on the premises in a tent, caravan, campervan or similar.

·        Management of pets so they don’t cause a nuisance (including a noise nuisance).

·        Disposal of waste.

 

It is considered by officers that the Local Law is the preferred means of introducing this type of change, as it would then become part of the registration/renewal process, subject to regular opportunity for review, rather than being reviewed once only at development approval stage.

 

Options for the implementation of this change include:

 

Opportunity 4.1:

Revise the standard conditions of registration, so that a management plan is required that sets out expectations for the management of the property.

Opportunity 4.2:

Revise the standard conditions of registration, so that a code of conduct is required that sets out expectations for the management of occupants and the guests of occupants.

 

Officers recommend support for Opportunity 4.2, but not Opportunity 4.1, for the following reasons:

 

a)         A code of conduct provides a set of acceptable standards that would be applicable regardless of location; a management plan would require some elements to be included that would be specific to individual sites.

b)        The checking of management plans, during the process of annual registration renewal, would result in a significant impact on officer workloads, and could result in inconsistent approaches that could create uncertainty for all parties.

c)         Some of the matters that would be included in a management plan, could also be resolved in other ways. For example, the expectations and requirements of managers as outlined in Opportunities 3.1 – 3.4 above; or, by revising the standard conditions of registration to limit the maximum number of vehicles that can be parked at a property.

d)        Other matters that would be included in a management plan, could also be dealt with, equally as effectively, through a code of conduct.

e)        A clear expectation would be set that requires managers to display, receive acknowledgement from occupants, and enforce a code of conduct.

f)         Overall, it is considered that a more consistent approach would be achieved through the use of a code of conduct rather than a management plan.

 

5.    Introduce controls on dogs being brought to holiday homes.

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 this matter.

 

While it may be investigated as an opportunity for change, officers do not support the banning of all dogs from holiday homes.

 

The Local Law currently contains measures that could prohibit dogs from being left unattended, however it could be amended to:

 

Opportunity 5.1:

Strengthen and clarify the conditions of registration that do not allow dogs to be left unattended at holiday homes.

 

Opportunity 5.2:

Prohibit dogs from holiday homes.

 

Officers recommend support for Opportunity 5.1 but not Opportunity 5.2.


 

6.    Temporary development approvals.

Usually, a development approval ‘runs with the life of the land’ – it is granted in perpetuity. A temporary development approval may be applied as a condition of approval, where it limits the period for which the approval is granted. This can be applied to a broad range of land uses where there is some uncertainty around future planning objectives – or if there is seen to be a need for future change.

 

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River have adopted this approach. When renewals are considered, the granting of an approval is based solely on the number and nature of complaints that have been received for a property (rather than a full assessment that considers changes in the planning framework). This limited approach is based on particular development standards in the scheme, has allowed the Shire to develop a stream-lined process, and planning officers have advised that this is mostly carried out by administration officers. Generally renewals are not refused, even where the planning framework has changed in the interim period.

 

The opportunities for change include:

 

Opportunity 6.1:

Introduce a development requirement into the Scheme.

 

Opportunity 6.2:

Introduce a ‘performance criteria’ provision into the LPP.

 

Opportunities 6.1 and 6.2 could be applied:

a)         To all new applications, enabling Council to be responsive, over time, to changes in the planning framework; or

b)        To those applications that propose more than a set number of occupants  (for example, 9 or more occupants); or

c)         Selectively, where submissions have been received that express concerns on amenity grounds.

 

Officers do not recommend support for Opportunity 6.1 or 6.2, for the following reasons:

a)         A re-assessment may be complex if the state planning framework has changed, resulting in additional time for assessments and workloads for staff.

b)        The sheer number of new holiday home applications each year (which is considerably higher than Augusta-Margaret River) would result in a substantial cumulative workload over a number of years.

c)         The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River rarely refuse renewals, raising a question about the effectiveness of using temporary development approvals as a tool to “manage the management” of a property (rather than via a Local Law).

d)        There is a degree of uncertainty for investors, particularly if there are changes in the state planning framework (resulting in full reassessment when renewal is required).

 

Nonetheless, Council may decide to support one or both of these opportunities for change.


 

7.    Council Policy to set out how the City intends to implement the Local Law

The final opportunity for change proposed by officers is the introduction of a Council Policy, to provide guidance to staff and stakeholders in setting out how the City intends to implement the Local Law.

 

The introduction of a Council Policy could provide for more transparency and consistency in decision-making, and ensure that the direction taken by the City is in line with community vision, aspirations and expectations.

 

Opportunity 7.1:

Develop a Council Policy to set out how the City intends to implement the Local Law, and to provide guidance to Councillors, officers and stakeholders.

 

Officers recommend support for Opportunity 7.1.

 

Process to Complete the Review

Due to the integrated nature of the regulatory framework, officers consider that these opportunities for change may not be as effective if introduced in isolation, and it is recommended that a combination of measures are necessary. It is also recommended that the opportunities supported by Council should be tested through stakeholder and community consultation. Details of advertising and consultation are outlined in the ‘Stakeholder Consultation’ section below.

 

It is proposed that Council consider the outcomes of consultation, prior to the initiation of any formal changes, which would in turn be advertised under the requirements of the Local Government Act 1995, or the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015.

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 local laws are all made under the head of power contained in section 3.5 of the LG Act.

 

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.

 

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).

 


 

Local Planning Scheme No. 21 (the Scheme)

Table 1 - Zoning Table indicates, subject to the provisions of the Scheme, the uses permitted in the Scheme area in the various zones. The permissibility of uses is determined by cross-reference between the list of uses classes on the left hand size of the Zoning Table and the list of zones at the top of the Zoning Table.  The symbols used in the cross reference of the Zoning Table have the following meanings:

‘D’          means the use is not permitted unless the local government has exercised its discretion by granting development approval;

‘A’          means the use is not permitted unless the local government has exercised its discretion after advertising in accordance with the Regulations;

‘X’           means the use is not permitted by the Scheme.

 

Table 1 – Zoning Table currently applies to holiday homes in the following manner:

 

Zone / Use Class

Residential

Regional Centre

Centre

Local Centre

Service Commercial

Tourism

Light Industry

General Industry

Rural

Viticulture / Tourism

Rural Residential

Rural Landscape

Conservation

Bushland Protection

Holiday Home (Multiple/Grouped Dwelling)

A

A

A

A

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Holiday Home (Single House)

D*

D*

D*

D*

X

X

X

X

D*

D*

D*

D*

D*

D*

* provides reference to Clause 4.18.5 of the Scheme, which includes the following provisions:

 

Notwithstanding the requirements of Table 1, a ‘Holiday Home (Single House)’ which proposes to accommodate 9 or more people will be considered under the ‘A’ symbol and will require public advertising pursuant to Clause 64 of the Deemed Provisions.

 

In regard to the non-permissibility of holiday homes in the Tourism zone, the reason for this is because the holiday home land use can be applied to a residential dwelling, however a residential dwelling is not a permitted use in the Tourism zone.

 

Schedule 1 provides the following land use terms:

“Holiday Home (Multiple/Grouped Dwelling)” means a grouped dwelling or multiple dwelling, which may also be used for short stay accommodation for hire or reward for no more than six people (but does not include a bed and breakfast, chalet, guesthouse, rural tourist accommodation or tourist accommodation.)

“Holiday Home (Single House)” means a single house (excluding ancillary accommodation) which may also be used for short stay accommodation for hire or reward for no more than 12 people (but does not include a bed and breakfast, chalet, guesthouse, rural tourist accommodation or tourist accommodation.)


 

Relevant Plans and Policies

Leeuwin Naturaliste Sub-regional Strategy (LNSRS)

The LNSRS is an overarching strategic land use planning document outlining the WAPC’s approach to future planning and development in the City of Busselton and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River over the next 20 years.

 

Several key planning issues are identified as being evident in the sub-region, and under the sub-heading ‘Settlement’, the following key planning issue is stated:

The influence of ‘holiday homes’ on local community cohesion and development.

 

Local Planning Policy 4.1 Holiday Homes (LPP 4.1)

LPP 4.1 provides guidance for the assessment of a development application, with due regard given to location, utility servicing, car parking, dwelling design, and bushfire management.

Financial Implications

There are no significant financial implications associated with the Officer Recommendation.

Stakeholder Consultation

It is envisaged that the main stakeholder groups with an interest in this matter will be holiday home owners, managers and management agencies, guests, neighbours, and the community in general.

 

If the Council resolves to initiate a review of the holiday home regulatory framework, then the Directions Paper would be prepared and made available for public viewing. To facilitate consultation, the following actions will be undertaken:

·        Targeted emails to holiday home owners, managers, and management agencies.

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

·        On public notice boards in the administration building and libraries.

·        A notice on the City’s website, including a portal to be created using the City’s YourSay platform for the online lodgement of submissions.

·        In-person information sessions for the general community in Busselton and Dunsborough, and separately with industry stakeholder groups.

·        Online information sessions for stakeholders who are not able to attend other sessions in person.

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 opportunities for change subject to identified modification(s).

3.         Resolve to decline the review of the key instruments which form the City’s interrelated regulatory framework for holiday homes.

CONCLUSION

As a result of this background research, a number of opportunities for change have been drafted, and it is proposed that the Directions Paper and particularly the opportunities for change be advertised to stakeholders and the community, in order to inform Council direction for the future management of holiday homes.

 

This will, in turn, form the basis of amendments to each of the key instruments that make up the holiday homes regulatory framework.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

The implementation of the officer recommendation will occur over the following time period, following the date of the Council resolution:

a)         Mid-July – finalisation of Directions Paper;

b)        Mid-August to late September – stakeholder consultation;

c)         End of 2021 – report back to Council.


Council

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9 June 2021

12.1

Attachment a

Local Planning Policy 4.1

 






Council

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12.1

Attachment b

Local Law

 


 


 









Council

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9 June 2021

12.1

Attachment c

Government Response to 2019 Parliamentary Inquiry

 














Council

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9 June 2021

12.1

Attachment d

Holiday Home Clusters

 


Council

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12.1

Attachment e

Option 1 - Exclusion Area

 


Council

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12.1

Attachment f

Option 2 - Exclusion Area

 


Council                                                                                      342                                                                      9 June 2021

6.15pm:                At this time, Cr Barrett-Lennard re-entered the meeting.

 

 

18.             Motions of which Previous Notice has been Given

Nil

 

19.             urgent business

Nil

 

20.             Confidential Reports  

Nil

 

21.             Closure

The Presiding Member closed the meeting at 6.16pm.

 

 

 

 

THESE MINUTES CONSISTING OF PAGES 1 TO 342 WERE CONFIRMED AS A TRUE AND CORRECT RECORD ON Wednesday, 23 June 2021.

 

DATE:_________________  PRESIDING MEMBER:__________________________________