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

CITY OF BUSSELTON

MINUTES OF THE Council MEETING HELD ON 10 November 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. 10

Previous Council Meetings. 10

8.1          Minutes of the Special Council Meeting held 18 October 2021. 10

8.2          Minutes of the Council Meeting held 27 October 2021. 10

Committee Meetings. 10

8.3          Minutes of the Airport Advisory Committee Meeting held 20 October 2021. 10

8.4          Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 27 October 2021. 10

9....... RECEIVING OF Petitions, Presentations AND DEPUTATIONS. 11

10..... QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF WHICH DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN GIVEN (WITHOUT DISCUSSION). 11

11..... Items brought forward.. 12

ADOPTION BY EXCEPTION RESOLUTION.. 12

12.1        Airport Advisory Committee - 20/10/2021 - BUSSELTON MARGARET RIVER AIRPORT OPERATIONS UPDATE. 13

12.2        Airport Advisory Committee - 20/10/2021 - BUSSELTON MARGARET RIVER AIRPORT - REVIEW PROCESS FOR THE NOISE MANAGEMENT PLAN.. 19

12.3        Airport Advisory Committee - 20/10/2021 - BUSSELTON MARGARET RIVER AIRPORT - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT UPDATE. 88

13.1        WALGA ENERGY SUSTAINABILITY AND RENEWABLES PROJECT. 97

17.1        COUNCILLORS' INFORMATION BULLETIN.. 107

ITEMS TO BE DEALT WITH BY SEPARATE RESOLUTION.. 114

12.4        Policy and Legislation Committee - 27/10/2021 - ESTABLISHMENT OF BEHAVIOUR COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE. 114

16.1        APPOINTMENT OF ELECTED MEMBERS TO EXTERNAL BOARDS. 137

17.2        STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT WITH THE DUNSBOROUGH COMMUNITY - PROPOSED SUPPORT FOR FORMATION OF 'DUNSBOROUGH REFERENCE GROUP' 140

18..... Motions of which Previous Notice has been Given.. 151

19..... urgent business. 151

20..... Confidential Reports. 151

21..... Closure. 152

 


Council                                                                                      4                                                            10 November 2021

MINUTES

 

MINUTES OF A Meeting of the Busselton City Council HELD IN THE Council Chambers, Administration Building, Southern Drive, Busselton, ON 10 November 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 Paul Carter          Deputy Mayor

Cr Sue Riccelli

Cr Ross Paine

Cr Kate Cox

Cr Anne Ryan

Cr Jodie Richards

Cr Mikayla Love

 

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

Ms Sarah Pierson, A/Director, Finance and Corporate Services

Mrs Emma Heys, Governance Coordinator

 

Apologies:

 

Nil

 

Approved Leave of Absence:

 

Cr Phill Cronin was an approved leave of absence as approved by Council at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 27 October 2021 (C2110/065).

 

Media:

 

“Busselton-Dunsborough Times”

 

Public:

 

4

 

3.               Prayer

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

 

The Mayor delivered the Ode of Remberance in recognition of Remembrance Day, 11 November.

 

4.               Application for Leave of Absence 

Nil

 

5.               Disclosure Of Interests

Nil

 

6.               Announcements Without Discussion

Announcements by the Presiding Member

 

The Mayor acknowledged the work of City staff, the Aero Club and all in involved in the Open Day held at Busselton Airport on Sunday.

 

The Mayor acknowledged the 150th anniversary of the Busselton Brass to be celebrated on Saturday 13 November.

 

7.               Question Time For Public

Response to Previous Questions Taken on Notice

 

The following questions were taken on notice by the Council at the 27 October 2021 Ordinary Council meeting:

 

7.1             Mr Gordon Bleechmore

 

Question

There is blu-tack holding up notices in the main foyer of the Community Resource Centre (CRC). Who would be responsible for that? And is that the best practice for managing the outcome of the walls of the CRC?

 

Response

(provided by Mr Tony Nottle, Director, Finance and Corporate Services)

There are a range of staff that manage the tenants within the CRC including property staff from a leasing perspective and facilities/maintenance staff. These staff fall within the Finance and Corporate Services and the Engineering Works and Services Directorates. Both tenants and City staff have used blu-tack to display important information and displays, where there are no alternate options. Tenants are responsible for any damage to the caused by them, if there is actually any damage.

 

Upon recent inspection (Thursday 28 October 2021), City officers have not noticed any damage and are constantly looking for ways on improving service delivery. If we are able to find a suitable alternative means to display information such as this, we will.

7.2             Mr Gordon Bleechmore

 

Question

We saw in the paper last week that Jamie Bishop was fined in the Court for an offence he breached on his extraction licence. Could you explain what he had done wrong in terms of his breach that instigated the Court case and subsequent fine?

 

Response

(provided by Mr Tony Nottle, Director Finance and Corporate Services)

In March 2019, the City began receiving complaints about excavation works being carried out outside of the approved area. Subsequent investigations and inspections by City compliance officers indicated that extractive works were being carried out outside of the approved areas.

As a result of the unauthorised works the City proceeded to serve a formal direction on Mr Bishop on 10 October 2019 under section 214(2) of the Planning and Development Act 2005. The formal direction required Mr Bishop to cease unauthorised extractive industry works. The works continued after 10 October 2019 up until at least 18 November 2019, despite the formal direction being given to the accused to stop those works.

Mr Bishop was charged that between 10 October 2019 and 18 November 2019 (both dates inclusive) at the Kaloorup property he failed to comply with a direction given to him under section 214(2) of the Planning and Development Act 2005 within the time specified in the direction, contrary to section 214(7) of the Planning and Development Act 2005.

On 13 October 2021, in the Busselton Magistrates Court Mr Bishop pleaded guilty to the charge.

 

7.3             Mr Gordon Bleechmore

 

Question

Why will the City not purchase limestone from Mr John Forrest? Where does the City source its limestone from?

 

Response

(provided by Mr Oliver Darby, Director Engineering and Works Services)

Under the Local Government (Functions and General) Regulations 1996, a local government may establish a panel of pre-qualified suppliers to supply particular goods or services where a continuing need for the particular goods or services is.

The City has a continuing need for quarry products (including sand, limestone, gravel, sealing aggregate and rock armour) and therefore in 2018 established a panel of pre-qualified suppliers. The invitation to suppliers to join this panel was advertised locally and Statewide in April 2018 and the panel was established in September 2018. The term of the panel expires in September 2022.

The following suppliers applied to join the panel and were subsequently accepted as pre-qualified suppliers on the panel:

·                Carbone Bros Pty Ltd

·                Busselton Civil Pty Ltd

·                MGM Bulk Pty Ltd

·                Leeuwin Civil Pty Ltd

·                The Wild Fig Company Pty Ltd

·                Holcim (Australia) Pty Ltd

·                B&J Catalano Pty Ltd

According to the City’s records Beachborough obtained approval for limestone extraction in June 2018. For reasons unknown to the City, Mr Forrest and Beachborough Pty Ltd did not apply to become a pre-qualified supplier.

Since the establishment of this panel, the City has procured limestone as follows:

PERIOD

SUPPLIER

APPROXIMATE VALUE

2018/19 FY

Carbone

$50,000

2019/20 FY

Carbone

$26,000

 

Beachborough

$47,000

2020/21 FY

Beachborough

$14,000

 

BCP Contractors

$11,000

2021/22 FY

No purchases yet

NIL

 

The City would normally not purchase quarry products from suppliers that are not pre-qualified panel suppliers, unless, for logistical reasons, buying from another supplier would be more advantageous.

The City will in all likelihood establish a new panel of pre-qualified for the supply of quarry products when the term of the current panel expires in 2022. In accordance with the Regulations, the City will publicly invite applications from suppliers to join the panel. Mr Forrest/Beachborough may wish to apply at that stage to become a pre-qualified supplier.

 

7.4             Mrs Jill Walsh

 

Question

Given that there are a number of agencies involved, is it possible to have another public forum that is just dedicated to the Lower Vasse River? We would like to be informed about what the Lower Vasse River Advisory Group (LVRMAG) has achieved and what is being considered in the future.

 

Response

(provided by Mr Paul Needham, Director Planning and Development Services)

The City has provided community updates on waterways issues in the past, although they have generally not been focused solely on the Lower Vasse River. The City is, however, happy to provide a community update focused on the Lower Vasse River. This matter was briefly discussed with the City’s Lower Vasse River Management Advisory Group (LVRMAG) meeting on 2 November 2021, and it was identified that it may be appropriate to do so in the early part of 2022. The City, with the assistance and input of the LVRMAG, is working to improve communications with the community on matters related to the River, and a community update session of the kind suggested would be consistent with that.

 

 


 

Question Time for Public

 

7.5             Mr Keith Sims

 

Question

Have my suggestions [previously emailed] regarding Community Access Sessions being minuted been discussed with Council and, if so, what is the outcome?

 

Response

(Mayor)

The suggestions have not been discussed with Council. I note however that there are other forums for participation between community and Council. Community Access Sessions are not live streamed or minuted.

 

Question

Can they be minuted so there is a record of it?

 

Response

(Mr Mike Archer, Chief Executive Officer)

A solution may be to record it, but not live stream and then we can make the recording available on the website.

 

Response

(Mayor)

That option to record could be offered to the presenter. I think we can look at your suggestions and look at potential ways to record Community Access Sessions where it is appropriate.

 

Question

Regarding the BPACC funding, did the advice from the Minister for Arts regarding potentially obtaining a grant have any influence on the previous resolution to go ahead with the BPACC project in its full form?

 

Response

(Mayor)

The Council were encouraged by the Minister for Culture and Arts, the Honourable David Templeman, to apply for funding, however there was no funding available through his department and he recommended that we apply through regional development, which we did. We had our business case peer reviewed by the South West Development Commission as required and then requested advice from the Minister for Regional Development on whether there could be any funding. I cannot speak on what influenced the decision-making process of Councillors, but we always look to receive external funding for every project we undertake.

 

Question

Do councils have the opportunity to make a submission in response to the proposed Local Government Act 1995 reforms?

 

Response

(Mayor)

Councils have three months to provide a submission and also through our membership of the South West Country Zone of the Local Government Association.

 

Question

Is Council prepared to advise [the community] as to what they see are the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed reforms and release your submission publicly to the community?

 

Response

(Mayor)

Noting the proposed reforms were only released today, the Council has not yet formulated a position. However, I am sure we would be willing to release our submission publicly at the appropriate time.

 

Question

Are the tenders [for the Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre] finalised yet?

 

Response

(Mayor)

The tenders are being finalised and a report will be brought to Council on the next agenda, which will be released on Friday afternoon.

 

 

7.6             Mr Tony Sharp

 

Question

Could the City extend the advertising period for the development application for the proposed Dugulup Centre on Dunn Bay Road, Dunsborough, for an additional 30 days?

 

Response

(Mayor)

There is a statutory advertising period with a minimum of 14 days to a maximum of 28 days that we are required to advertise for.

 

Response

(Mr Paul Needham, Director Planning and Development Services)

We cannot extend the period without the consent of the applicant and we understand the applicant is not supportive of an extension. However, the reporting timeline and the shutdown period over Christmas and New Year may allow for a small amount of grace for that date. We will also ask the applicant and JDAP for an extension.

 

Question

Is the proposed 41 apartment development on Dunn Bay Road and the pending 5 or 6 storey apartment building on Seymour Boulevard both approved and is there anything the Council or City can do to prevent them becoming Air BnB hotels or short stay holiday accommodation?

 

Response

(Mr Needham)

The development applications are currently being reviewed and my understanding is that they have not sought approval for short stay purposes. A separate process would be required for a change of use to go to short stay and an application would be assessed against the planning framework at the time.

 

 

 

Question

In terms of change of use, once the development is up and running, would that be up to each individual owner [to apply] or would that still be part of the strata and can JDAP require certain restrictions with a strata title?

 

Response

(Mr Needham)

It is possible that JDAP may impose restrictions on a strata title, with a planning purpose for doing so. The City’s holiday home policy has a position of needing to evidence support from a body corporate for short stay within a complex.

 

8.               Confirmation and Receipt Of Minutes

Previous Council Meetings

8.1             Minutes of the Special Council Meeting held 18 October 2021

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/077              Moved Councillor A Ryan, seconded Councillor K Cox

 

That the Minutes of the Special Council Meeting held on 18 October 2021 be confirmed as a true and correct record.

CARRIED 8/0

 

8.2             Minutes of the Council Meeting held 27 October 2021

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/078              Moved Councillor A Ryan, seconded Councillor P Carter

 

That the Minutes of the Council Meeting held 27 October 2021 be confirmed as a true and correct record.

CARRIED 8/0

 


 

Committee Meetings

8.3             Minutes of the Airport Advisory Committee Meeting held 20 October 2021

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/079              Moved Councillor P Carter, seconded Councillor A Ryan

 

That the Minutes of the Airport Advisory Committee Meeting held 20 October 2021 be noted.

CARRIED 8/0

 

8.4             Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 27 October 2021

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/080              Moved Councillor K Cox, seconded Councillor R Paine

 

That the Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 27 October 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

C2111/081              Moved Councillor P Carter, seconded Councillor A Ryan

 

That the Committee Recommendations for items 12.1, 12.2 and 12.3 and the Officer Recommendations for items 13.1 and 17.1 be carried en bloc:

               

12.1        Airport Advisory Committee - 20/10/2021 - BUSSELTON MARGARET RIVER AIRPORT OPERATIONS UPDATE

12.2        Airport Advisory Committee - 20/10/2021 - BUSSELTON MARGARET RIVER AIRPORT - REVIEW PROCESS FOR THE NOISE MANAGEMENT PLAN

12.3        Airport Advisory Committee - 20/10/2021 - BUSSELTON MARGARET RIVER AIRPORT - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

13.1        WALGA ENERGY SUSTAINABILITY AND RENEWABLES PROJECT

17.1        COUNCILLORS' INFORMATION BULLETIN

CARRIED 8/0

En Bloc

 


Council                                                                                      17                                                          10 November 2021

12.1           Airport Advisory Committee - 20/10/2021 - BUSSELTON MARGARET RIVER AIRPORT OPERATIONS UPDATE

STRATEGIC THEME

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

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

3.4 Develop aviation opportunities at the Busselton Margaret River Airport.

SUBJECT INDEX

Airport Operations

BUSINESS UNIT

Commercial Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Airport Operations Coordinator - David Russell

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Director, Community and Commercial Services - Naomi Searle

NATURE OF DECISION

Noting: The item is simply for information purposes and noting

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Nil

 

This item was considered by the Airport Advisory Committee at its meeting on 20/10/2021, the recommendations from which have been included in this report.

 

The committee recommendation was moved and carried.

 

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/082              Moved Councillor P Carter, seconded Councillor A Ryan

That the Council receives and notes the Airport Operations Report and requests that the Chief Executive Officer investigates the potential for recreational helicopter flights to operate from the Busselton Jetty.

CARRIED 8/0

En Bloc

Reasons:      Committee recommended that the Chief Executive Officer investigate the potential for recreational  helicopter flights to operate from the Busselton Jetty.

 

OFFICER RECOMENDATION

That the Council receives and notes the Airport Operations Report.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report provides an overview of the operations and activities of the Busselton Margaret River Airport (BMRA) for the reporting period 1 July 2021 - 30 September 2021. This includes an update on passenger numbers, aircraft landings, and actions relating to COVID-19 and general airport operations.

 

BACKGROUND

The July – September quarter 2021 focused on operational aspects such as apron management, passengers flow through the terminal and car parking as a result of increased FIFO services, preparation for the bi-annual emergency exercise held on 16 October 2021 and the upcoming RAAF / BMRA open day.

 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Federal and State Government restrictions, the launch of Jetstar’s Melbourne to Busselton RPT services have been deferred with a revised commencement date of mid-February 2022, dependent on COVID-19 travel and interstate border restrictions being lifted.

 

Aircraft Movements

The total number of FIFO services using BMRA is currently 20 flights (40 movements) per week, up 5 flights (10 movements) from the last quarter. Currently, there are four airlines operating from the BMRA utilising the F70, F100, A320 and Dash 8 aircraft.

 

The total number of aircraft landings declined in July (125) compared to July 2020 (161) and increased in August (203) compared to August 2020 (171).  September figures are estimated to be 250 landings compared to 203 for the same period last year.

 

Passenger Numbers

The July – September 2021 quarter has seen an increase of passenger numbers of 11,936 compared to the same period last year of 9,001. This can be attributed to an increase in the overall number of fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) passengers.

 


 

Carpark

There are currently 1,025 car park patrons using the FIFO swipe card system, with an average of 361 vehicles utilising the public car park per day in September 2021, with the highest number of vehicles parked on one day at 378 vehicles recorded on 22 September out of an available 422 bays. With RPT services commencing in early 2022, these car parking numbers show the need to expand public car parking at the BMRA. Officers have commissioned a car park design and costings to be considered by Council. 

 

Operations

The focus for the reporting period has been on:

·        The continued operational readiness for Jetstar’s Melbourne to Busselton RPT service for commencement in the new year.

·        Preparation for the RAAF/BMRA open day to be held on 7 November 2021.

·        Bi-annual emergency field exercise held on 16 October 2021.

·        EOI for hangar leases in the general aviation precinct.

·        Noise Management Plan review.

·        Preparation of capital works for the central apron expansion and relocation of the RFDS/St John patient transfer station.

·        Car park operations due to increased passengers.

 

BMRA – Helicopter operations

In September 2021, City officers were approached by Ballina Corporation P/L trading as KAS Helicopters with a proposal to operate helicopter scenic flights from the Airport.

 

KAS Helicopters, founded in 2007, has grown from one helicopter used primarily for helifishing, to today’s multi-base, multi-aircraft operation with their head office and hangar facilities in Derby and a secondary base established in Broome in 2012. They currently operate a fleet of modern, well-maintained piston and turbine aircraft and are approved contractors for organisations including DFES, Telstra, Mt Gibson Iron, RFDS, Kimberley Land Council and many others. They are now seeking approval to expand their operations to Busselton and the South West to cater for the growing tourism market and for domestic helicopter charters.

 

The KAS Helicopters proposal is to operate a Robinson R44 aircraft that can carry up to 3 passengers and pilot at any one time, with the option to operate a Bell Long Ranger carrying 6 passengers and pilot should demand required.

 

Their proposal is requesting approval for the following:

•          Operations for Monday – Sunday, 8am- 6pm.

•          Access to the grassed General Aviation parking area, located in front of the central apron hangers.

•          Operations to commence from 1 December 2021.

 

The proposal includes each flight estimated to be at no less than 20 minutes, and takes into account fly neighbourly obligations, noise abatement procedures, BMRA Conditions of Use and the Noise Management Plan (NMP). The proponents are confident that they can operate in accordance with the conditions set out within these documents.

 

In principle, officers support the concept of increasing tourism opportunities and activities at the BMRA which not only benefits the Airport with revenue raised from landing fees but also has the potential to increase tourism offerings in the region.

 

Currently, BMRA sees a number helicopter operations from emergency services, businesses and private operators that are not based at BMRA, managed successfully through the NMP, Airport Local Law 2012 and Property Local Law 2010. In November 2018, officers completed an EOI for Helicopter operations at the BMRA with the following recommendation being endorsed by the Airport Advisory Committee (AIR1811/050):

That the Airport Advisory Committee:

1.         Notes the outcome of the ‘Busselton Margaret River Airport - Tourist Helicopter Operations Commercial Opportunity’ Expression of Interest process.

2.         Notes the ongoing management of the Busselton Margaret River Airport in accordance with the Noise Management Plan, Airport Local Law 2012 and Property Local Law 2010.

 

Acknowledging the previous resolution, City officers are recommending that the CEO determine the terms and conditions and issue a permit approving the KAS Helicopter operations based from BMRA in accordance with the NMP, Airport Local Law 2012 and Property Local Law 2010, where permit conditions could include:

·        Maximum number of flights per day.

·        Start and finish times of flights.

·        Minimum duration of flights.

·        No scenic flights allowed on certain public holidays.

·        Flight paths to be used agreed with the City of Busselton.

·        Monthly reports to be provided to the City of Busselton on all scenic flights conducted including times of operation and duration of flights.

·        Request minimum flight heights over residential areas.

               

City officers will work with KAS Helicopters to progress this application for a permit to operate from BMRA.

 

Domestic Airports Security Costs Support Program (DASCS)

City officers reported at the last Airport Advisory Committee meeting that the City of Busselton was invited to apply and was accepted for the DASCS grant funding program earlier in the year.

 

The DASCS Program will reimburse grantees for eligible costs associated with passenger and baggage security screening operations required under the Regulations, with a maximum grant amount for the BMRA totalling $100,000.

 

The City of Busselton is now ineligible for this funding as the first RPT service has been delayed until after the extended cut-off date of 31 December 2021.

 


 

Alternate International Airport

As reported at the last Airport Advisory Committee meeting, Aviation Projects has been engaged to further assess the opportunity of BMRA being designated an alternate international airport with selected international airlines.  While feedback from airlines to date has been positive, the current environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is proving difficult to proceed with detailed discussions on the opportunity. Staffing numbers across all airlines have reduced and personnel are often changing roles meaning previous dialogue undertaken is continuously being undertaken with newly appointed personnel.  In addition to this, it is uncertain when international borders will reopen.  Based on this it is recommended that discussions are placed on hold for 6-12 months until the industry has more certainty on its future and more meaningful discussions can be held.

Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) services

Officers have been liaising with an aviation consulting firm engaged by the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder to assess the opportunity for RPT services between Kalgoorlie and Busselton. The City is supporting the assessment through the provision of information and dissemination of passenger surveys.

OFFICER COMMENT

FIFO passenger numbers through the BMRA have continued to increase significantly in comparison to the same period last year, and officers expect passenger numbers to continue to increase as FIFO employment recruiting from the South West continues. The 40 aircraft movements (20 flights) per week equate to 28 movements for RioTinto (Virgin Australia), 4 for FMG (Qantas Group), 4 for BHP (Alliance Airlines) and 4 for Northern Star Resources (Maroomba Airlines).

 

The additional resource sector companies commencing services from BMRA, together with Busselton –Melbourne RPT services once commenced, will see passenger numbers continue to increase this financial year to potentially 60,000-70,000 passengers.

 

Officers continue to liaise regularly with Jetstar executives and operations teams for the commencement of the Busselton-Melbourne flights now expected in February 2022. BMRA is operationally ready to commence RPT services with the exception of the security screening contractor’s team who need to be redeployed and complete final training.

 

Officers are continuing to liaise with the RAAF regarding the RAAF centenary which occurred on 31 March 2021. Officers are planning to host a BMRA Open Day on 7 November 2021 for the community to come and view the upgraded Airport facilities, and have taken the opportunity to invite the RAAF to celebrate their centenary at the same time. Officers will also invite the Busselton Aero Club to participate in the open day by hosting a general aviation ‘fly in’ and ground display of recreation and general aviation aircraft.

 

Statutory Environment

The BMRA operates in accordance with the following:

·        Aviation Transport Security Act 2004

·        Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005

·        CASA Manual of Standards 139 (Aerodromes)

·        City of Busselton Transport Security Plan

·        Ministerial Statement 1088

·        City policies and procedures

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

The BMRA operates under the Busselton Margaret River Airport Noise Management Plan 2019.

 

Financial Implications

Airport revenue up to the end of September 2021 was $461,351 compared to the amended year to date budget of $552,808. The reason for revenue being less than expected is due to outstanding Virgin Australia Regional Airline’s (VARA) passenger fees estimated at $90,000 for August and September, with landing fees and car park revenue higher than expected due to additional FIFO flights.

Expenses (excluding screening services, depreciation and airline attraction) to September 2021 is $160,771 compared to the amended budget of $210,642. Lower expenses are attributed to delays in consultancy expenses.

Stakeholder Consultation

Consultation has been occurring on a regular basis with Department of Transport, Government agencies, airport stakeholders, Department of Home Affairs, Aviation Marine Security (AMS), Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Air Services Australia, Virgin Australia Regional Airline, Qantas Group, the Busselton Aero Club, Albany, Esperance, Geraldton Airports and Australian Airports Association, concerning many topics and issues relating to the Airport.

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.

 

Options

As an alternative to the proposed recommendation, Council may choose not to receive and note the Airport Operations Report.

CONCLUSION

Officers will continue to provide a high level of customer service and ensure the airport is compliant, safe and security is maintained throughout.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

Not applicable.

 


Council                                                                                      21                                                          10 November 2021

12.2           Airport Advisory Committee - 20/10/2021 - BUSSELTON MARGARET RIVER AIRPORT - REVIEW PROCESS FOR THE NOISE MANAGEMENT PLAN

STRATEGIC THEME

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

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

3.4 Develop aviation opportunities at the Busselton Margaret River Airport.

SUBJECT INDEX

Airport Operations

BUSINESS UNIT

Commercial Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Manager Economic and Business Development Services - Jennifer May

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Director, Community and Commercial Services - Naomi Searle

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   BMRA Noise Management Plan 2019

Attachment b    Ministerial Statement 1088

 

This item was considered by the Airport Advisory Committee at its meeting on 20/10/2021, the recommendations from which have been included in this report.

 

The committee recommendation was moved and carried.

 

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/083              Moved Councillor P Carter, seconded Councillor A Ryan

That the Council notes:

1.         The process to review the Busselton Margaret River Airport Noise Management Plan as required by Ministerial Statement 1088 as outlined in this report incorporating assessment of the following:

(a)       Noise monitoring results;

(b)       Noise amelioration assessments and/or implementation;

(c)       Number of complaints received and actions taken to resolve complaints;

(d)       Published flight paths to minimize impacts; and

(e)       The findings of the review to determine the effectiveness of the Busselton Margaret River Airport Noise Management Plan, and whether amendments to the Plan are required.

2.         Where amendments to the Noise Management Plan are required, a draft Noise Management Plan will be brought back to Council prior to undertaking public consultation and seeking public comment.

CARRIED 8/0

En Bloc

 


 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council notes:

1.         The process to review the Busselton Margaret River Airport Noise Management Plan as required by Ministerial Statement 1088 as outlined in this report incorporating assessment of the following:

(a)       Noise monitoring results;

(b)       Noise amelioration assessments and/or implementation;

(c)       Number of complaints received and actions taken to resolve complaints;

(d)       Published flight paths to minimize impacts; and

(e)       The findings of the review to determine the effectiveness of the Busselton Margaret River Airport Noise Management Plan, and whether amendments to the Plan are required.

2.         Where amendments to the Noise Management Plan are required, a draft Noise Management Plan will be brought back to Council prior to undertaking public consultation and seeking public comment.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report provides an overview of the review process for the Busselton Margaret River Airport Noise Management Plan, of which the results are to be submitted to the CEO of the Office for the Environmental Protection Authority by 7 April 2022.

 

BACKGROUND

The concept of a Noise Management Plan (NMP) for the Busselton Margaret River Airport (BMRA) was first initiated in 2009 when environmental consulting firm Strategen was engaged to prepare a draft NMP. This was in response to the first fly in-fly out (FIFO) services commencing at the then Busselton Regional Airport and the need to address the restrictive hours of operations and conditions specified in Ministerial Statement 399 as approved by the Minister for the Environment (October 1995). The key elements of Statement 399 that the then Shire of Busselton was looking to revise and seek approval from the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority (OEPA) and Minister for the Environment were:

 

4.1       The proponent shall ensure that noise emissions from the aerodrome, including emissions from aircraft using the aerodrome, are effectively managed.

 

4.2       To achieve the objectives of condition 4.1, at all times during the operation of the aerodrome, the proponent shall ensure that noise emissions from the aerodrome activities, including emissions from aircraft using the aerodrome, do not cause noise levels at any residential premises in occupation to exceed an average of 55 dB(A)Ldn or a maximum of 65 dB LA slow, unless a specific variation to the maximum noise level is agreed to by the Minister for the Environment on advice of the Department of Environment and Conservation and following consultation with relevant agencies.

 

4.3       Where a variation has been granted by the Minister for the Environment, as referred to in condition 4.2, the variation may only apply for operation between 0700 hours and 2200 hours, and the proponent shall ensure that the maximum noise level does not exceed 80 dB La slow and that the number of flights is limited.

 


A variation, described in condition 4.3, had been granted by the Minister for the Environment to allow two (2) flights per day between the hours of 0700 and 2200 with aircraft noise to be limited to 80 dB(A) to enable the first Skywest Airlines Fokker100 FIFO operations to commence.

 

The draft NMP was further developed by the Airport Advisory Group (AAG) and in July 2010 was presented to the Council for consideration. Furthermore, at this time the AAG was transitioned to an official committee of the Council, the Airport Advisory Committee (AAC), with four nominated Councillors. In October 2010, the newly formed AAC requested City staff to review and update the draft NMP (developed by the AAG) and present a final draft to the Council for endorsement prior to being submitted to the OEPA for consideration. A final draft version of the NMP was presented to the Council for endorsement on 15 December 2010, followed by submission to the OEPA on 1 February 2011.

 

A lengthy consultation period occurred with the OEPA, including a public consultation period, prior to a final NMP being submitted to the OEPA Board for consideration and referral to the Minister of the Environment; Water for approval. The City of Busselton’s Noise Management Plan (June 2012) was approved as part of Ministerial Statement 901 on 22 June 2012.

 

In accordance with Condition 4 of Statement 901, the City of Busselton had the opportunity to review and submit proposed amendments or updates to the NMP. Following Council endorsement at its meeting on 28 August 2013, City Officers submitted a proposed amended NMP to the OEPA for assessment in September 2013. The OEPA assessment resulted in the proposed amendments being resubmitted by the City of Busselton in March 2014 and following further discussions with the OEPA, the City of Busselton submitted a final revised version of the NMP in December 2014, which came into effect in July 2015.

 

In June 2015, the State Government committed to funding the upgrade of the BRA which required environmental approvals from the Minister of the Environment; Heritage. The environmental approvals required the City to undertake a full review of the NMP (2015) resulting in in the draft NMP (2016) that was then advertised for public comment in March 2016. Following Council consideration of the public submissions received and endorsement of the draft NMP (2016), the City applied to OEPA to amend the proposal description as described in Ministerial Statement 901 and submit the revised draft NMP (2016) that would allow for proposed interstate and international jet air services resulting from the State Government funded Airport Development Project. Following extensive consultation with the OEPA, the City was notified in November 2016 that the level of environmental assessment for the BMRA Development Project (the Airport Expansion Proposal) was to be a Public Environmental Review (PER).

 

The determination for a PER referral process for the operational components of the Development Project provided a further opportunity for the City to review the draft NMP (2016) and incorporate comments and feedback received from the community and airport stakeholders resulting in the draft NMP (2017). The 2017 version included changes to the Standard Hours of Operations, Flight Training Guidelines and Noise Amelioration Criteria which was then advertised for public comment, in addition to extensive noise modelling, flight path analysis and community consultation. Following Council endorsement of the draft NMP (2017) the City submitted a draft Environmental Review Document (ERD) including the draft NMP (2017) and public submissions to the OEPA for review and comment as part of the PER process. Following considerable engagement with the OEPA, the amended NMP was approved on 27 December 2018 (version 1 May 2018) in accordance with Ministerial Statement 1088 by the Minister for Environment; Disability Services.  Subsequent to this a number of minor, non-material amendments were made to the NMP in early 2019, resulting in the current version of the NMP (version 2 January 2019).

 


 

The current version of the NMP (Attachment 1) has been in place for just under three years and has enabled the City to manage the BMRA operations effectively. In accordance with Statement 1088, the Airport team are required to monitor and report to the OEPA any operational non-compliances, which may include aircraft movements outside of the approved operating hours, any unauthorised flight training, and aircraft noise breaches.  As part of this process, the City is required to submit annual compliance reports outlining the effectiveness of the NMP to the OEPA. 

 

In August 2021, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation undertook a desktop compliance audit of the Airport Expansion Proposal to verify the City of Busselton’s compliance with the implementation conditions of Ministerial Statement 1088. The Compliance Audit Report detailed the compliance status of each implementation condition and determined that the City of Busselton demonstrated an acceptable level of compliance with the implementation conditions of Statement 1088. Two implementation conditions relating to the review of the NMP were not reported on as they are not required to be completed until April 2022, one being the review of the NMP.

 

Statement 1088 not only includes the conditions for managing noise emissions from the BMRA but also the requirements for the review of the NMP. Condition 6 Review of NMP, included in Statement 1088 outlines the following:

 

6-1      Within three months of each three year period, from the date of issue of this Statement, the proponent shall submit a report to the CEO which reviews the effectiveness of the Busselton Margaret River Airport Noise Management Plan 2018 (version 1, May 2018) or any subsequent approved versions, in achieving the objective of condition 5-1.

 

6-2      The report required by condition 6-1 shall include, but not be limited to:

1)        Noise monitoring results;

2)        Noise amelioration assessments and/or implementation;

3)        Number of complaints received and actions taken to resolve complaints;

4)        Published flight paths to minimize impacts; and

5)        The findings of the review to determine the effectiveness of the Busselton Margaret River Airport Noise Management Plan 2018 (version1, May 2018) or any subsequent approved revisions, and whether amendments to the Plan are required.

 

Further, ‘Chapter 9.2 Review Process’ of the NMP details the process which is to be undertaken every three years in conjunction with the AAC (or its equivalent replacement at any future time).  The NMP states that the review will be undertaken in consultation with key stakeholders, including the community, industry, government agencies, and airport users.

 

The results of the review and any proposed changes to the NMP are then be advertised for public comment in the local newspapers following Council's consideration of the recommended changes.  It is noted that proposed amendments to the NMP may require approval under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 or other relevant Acts depending on the extent of the proposed changes.

 

This report outlines the proposed process to undertake the review.

 


 

OFFICER COMMENT

It is proposed the review process of the NMP will take into consideration:

 

·        How the development opportunities for the airport have been pursued;

·        Whether the flight paths and noise abatement zones need updating;

·        Whether the standard hours of operation need to be adjusted;

·        How well noise emissions associated with the airport have been managed, which will include consideration of noise monitoring data, complaints statistics and compliance information; and

·        The review will also include a review of the Fly Neighbourly Agreement and the Flight Training Guidelines.

 

Under Statement 1088, the requirement to report to the CEO of the OEPA on the review of the NMP is to be submitted prior to 7 April 2022. Taking into consideration the criteria outlined in Statement 1088 and the NMP, officers propose the following activities be conducted as part of the review and form the basis for a report to be submitted to the OEPA:

 

1)    Noise monitoring

The City’s Environmental Health department recently completed noise monitoring in August- September 2021 at two locations in the vicinity of the BMRA; one directly to the north and one south of the runway. The noise loggers were positioned to capture aircraft arrivals and departures for both Fokker100 (F100) and A320 aircraft. At the time of the monitoring there were 16 scheduled closed charter flights per week using jet aircraft, of which only two flights per week were using A320 aircraft.  Currently 20 closed charter services are in operation.  As the F100 aircraft has been the most commonly used aircraft for closed charter operations over the past 10 years the City has a good sample of F100 aircraft noise data, however the A320 aircraft has been a relatively recent addition to operations and hence there is limited noise data. The recent noise monitoring only captured three A320 flights in total, hence further noise monitoring will need to be completed for the review Officers are working with the City’s Environmental Health Department and an external consultant to conduct additional noise monitoring ensuring that a good representative sample of A320 aircraft noise data is captured. This will be easier to achieve from late October there will be four A320 scheduled flights operating per week.

 

2)    Noise amelioration assessments and/or implementation

Review any noise assessments and / or amelioration works that the City has undertaken in the past three years. 

 


 

3)    Non-compliances and Complaints

In accordance with the NMP and Statement 1088 the City is required to report any non-compliances within seven days of identifying the non-compliance and the resulting action taken by the City. The City also reports all non-compliances and complaints in an annual compliance report. To date, the City has reported the following:

Year

# Non-compliances reported

Summary resulting actions

OEPA further action

# complaints

17/18

4

All operators contacted and informed of non-compliance

No

8

18/19

3

All operators contacted and informed of non-compliance

No

8

19/20

2

All operators contacted and informed of non-compliance

No

 

 

3

20/21

4

All operators contacted and informed of non-compliance

No

7

 

4)    Flight Paths and noise abatement zones

New flight paths were designed and implemented for the commencement of RPT services and use of the larger A320 aircraft. As RPT flights are yet to commence, the use of the new flight paths is not mandatory and is at the discretion of pilots. A review with closed charter airlines (VARA) who have been voluntarily utilising the flight paths will be undertaken with a view to determining whether the flight paths need refining. A review of the BMRA noise contours could also be undertaken at this time.

 

It is also proposed that a review of the residential areas surrounding the BMRA will be undertaken to inform whether the noise abatement zones need updating, particularly as there has been growth and release of residential land for development such as Via Vasse and Provence since the implementation of Statement 1088.

 

5)    Hours of Operations

The standard hours of operations (below) will be reviewed in conjunction with points 1-3 above to determine whether there is justification to extend the hours of operations for either all aircraft categories or specific categories.

 


6)    The Noise Management Plan document

The NMP document is a lengthy and wordy document that was prepared at a time when history and context for the plan was necessary. The NMP has now been in place since 2012 and officers are of the view that a condensed version, incorporating the key criteria for managing noise emissions at the BMRA could be implemented. The key criteria that would continue to be included could be:

·        Hours of operation

·        Flight training

·        Fly neighbourly agreement

·        Noise complaints process

·        Noise amelioration criteria and process

·        NMP review

 

7)    Consultation

The NMP has been updated a number of times since its initial implementation. Each iteration of the NMP has involved significant public and community engagement and input. The NMP review process also requires consultation with the Airport Advisory Committee, the Council and the community should be included in any review.

 

Further discussion is detailed in the stakeholder consultation section of this report, however officers propose that the results from the review, the revised draft NMP and public consultation activities are presented to the AAC for review and input, prior to being considered for public consultation by Council. A public consultation process could include, but not be limited to, inviting submissions through the City’s YourSay Website, advertising in the local media, meeting(s) of the Airport Stakeholder Reference Group, community access sessions for specific residential areas, as well as general community access sessions.

 

Statutory Environment

The BMRA Noise Management Plan (version 2 January 2019) was approved by the then Minister for the Environment; Disability Services after review and consideration by the Environmental Protection Authority. Compliance reporting and review of the NMP is defined under Ministerial Statement 1088; Busselton Margaret River Airport Expansion (Attachment 2).

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

The officer recommendation aligns to the following adopted plan or policy:

·        Ministerial Statement 1088

·        Busselton Margaret River Airport Noise Management Plan (version2 January 2019)

·        Busselton Margaret River Airport Compliance Assessment Plan (Version 2) (CAP) (23 September 2019)

 


 

Financial Implications

The financial implications associated with completing a review of the NMP include engaging an external consultant to complete the analysis of noise monitoring data. A quote to complete this work has indicated an approximate cost of $12,000 to $15,000, which can be funded from the Airport Operations consultancy budget. Other expenses include staff time, advertising in the local media and preparation of materials and printing for public consultation, all of which can be funded from the Airport Operations budget. It is not known whether the BMRA noise contours will need to be updated and as such there is no budget allocation in the 2021/22 adopted budget for this. However, should this be required a budget amendment report will need to be considered by Council.

 

Stakeholder Consultation

The following public consultation activities are proposed as part of the NMP review process.

 

Who

Forum

Description

BMRA airline users

Individual meetings

·    Discuss use of flight paths

·    Hours of operations

·    Flight training

·    Noise abatement zones

·    Fly neighbourly agreement

·    Draft revised NMP

BMRA general aviation users

Individual meetings

·    Hours of operations

·    Flight training

·    Noise abatement zones

·    Fly neighbourly agreement

·    Draft revised NMP

Community comment – Draft revised NMP

Local Media; YourSay; City and BMRA website

 

·    Results of review

·    Draft revised NMP

·    Flight paths

·    Noise contours

Residents in vicinity of the Airport and/or near flight paths including:

·    Reinscourt

·    Yalyalup

·    Kalgup

·    Yoogarillup

 

By invitations for community access meeting

·    Results from review

·    Draft revised NMP

·    Flight paths

·    Noise contours

 

 

Community information sessions (All information sessions open to all community members)

Community information session

·    Results from review

·    Draft revised NMP

·    Flight paths

·    Noise contours

·    Information on how to comment/make a submission

Community (circulation approx. 14,000 residents)

Bay to Bay newsletter

·    General Information

·    Link to website/ Your Say

 

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 request alternate activities be undertaken as part of the NMP review process.

CONCLUSION

The current version of the NMP has been in place for just under three years and has enabled the City to manage the BMRA operations effectively. In accordance with Statement 1088, the City is required to monitor and report to the OEPA any operational non-compliances which may include aircraft movements outside of the approved operating hours, any unauthorised flight training and aircraft noise breaches and submit annual compliance reports outlining the effectiveness of the NMP.  The City has completed its mandatory compliance reporting over the past three years and in accordance with Statement 1088 is required to undertake a full review of the NMP and report its effectiveness to the CEO of the OEPA. Both Statement 1088 and NMP outline the criteria for consideration in completing this review. This report outlines the criteria for consideration and process to be completed, including stakeholder and community consultation and recommends Council notes the review process prior to submitting a report to the OEPA.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

Officers have commenced reviewing the NMP (2019) and will commence consultation with airlines and aviation users of the BMRA throughout November and December. Additionally officers have commenced planning for further noise monitoring to be conducted which is expected to also take place during November and December. A report will be presented to the AAC in December 2021 outlining the review process, monitoring results, and a revised draft NMP for consideration. Once endorsed by Council the draft NMP will be used to undertake public consultation and seek public comment.  The City is required to report to the CEO of OEPA on the findings of the review of the NMP by 7 April 2022.

 


Council

68

10 November 2021

12.2

Attachment a

BMRA Noise Management Plan 2019

 





















































Council

86

10 November 2021

12.2

Attachment b

Ministerial Statement 1088

 









Council                                                                                      95                                                          10 November 2021

12.3           Airport Advisory Committee - 20/10/2021 - BUSSELTON MARGARET RIVER AIRPORT - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

STRATEGIC THEME

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

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

3.4 Develop aviation opportunities at the Busselton Margaret River Airport.

SUBJECT INDEX

Airport Operations

BUSINESS UNIT

Commercial Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Manager Economic and Business Development Services - Jennifer May

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Director, Community and Commercial Services - Naomi Searle

NATURE OF DECISION

Noting: The item is simply for information purposes and noting

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Nil

 

This item was considered by the Airport Advisory Committee at its meeting on 20/10/2021, the recommendations from which have been included in this report.

 

The committee recommendation was moved and carried.

 

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/084              Moved Councillor P Carter, seconded Councillor A Ryan

 

That the Council notes the business development update report and endorses:

1.         The marketing and advertising of the Industrial and Commercial Request For Proposal to a maximum of $12,000, to be funded from the 2021/22 Airport Operations budget.

2.         The submission of an application to the Regional Economic Development Grant Scheme Round Four for $135,000 to be matched by the City for the construction of a general aviation hangar for the purposes of entering into a commercial lease with an aviation maintenance and servicing operator. 

CARRIED 8/0

En Bloc

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council notes the business development update report and endorses:

1.         The marketing and advertising of the Industrial and Commercial Request For Proposal to a maximum of $12,000, to be funded from the 2021/22 Airport Operations budget.

2.         The submission of an application to the Regional Economic Development Grant Scheme Round Four for $135,000 to be matched by the City for the construction of a general aviation hangar for the purposes of entering into a commercial lease with an aviation maintenance and servicing operator. 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report provides an update on the business development activities for the Busselton Margaret River Airport (BMRA) and outlines the proposed activities over the coming months to capitalise on the potential aviation and economic opportunities and benefits the BMRA can provide to the region.

 


 

BACKGROUND

The City of Busselton’s Economic Development Strategy identifies the development of aviation related industries as an emerging industry base and as an opportunity to diversify the region’s economy. The City’s aim is to encourage and attract investment in the Busselton Margaret River Region through the aviation industry as it will provide employment benefits, attract additional investment and trade for local suppliers, and influence decisions of other businesses to relocate or set up in the region.

 

One of the key aims of the BMRA business unit is to develop the BMRA as a hub for air services by encouraging new competitors to operate from the BMRA, including airlines, freight services, charters and fly in fly out operations, and by stimulating new air routes to new destinations.

 

In December 2020, officers presented a report to Council outlining the key business development activities for the BMRA which included the below activities, with the priority focus on BMRA interstate route development (Sydney services) and progression of the industrial and commercial precinct to attract investment:

Product/Service

Description

Actions

Timeline

Revised Timeline

BMRA Route Development

·       Interstate RPT domestic services (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane)

·       Intrastate FIFO closed charter operations 

·       Intrastate RPT domestic services (Port Hedland, Karratha, Broome, Newman)

·       International RPT services (Singapore)

·         Develop business case for Sydney and Singapore services with State Government (TWA)

·         Continue to promote the BMRA as a FIFO regional base to mining /resource sector (Rio Tinto, BHP, FMG, CME)

·         Negotiations with airlines

·         Federal Govt approvals (Home Affairs, Border Force) 

2021

2021/2022

Alternate landing Site

·             Alternate airport for international airlines to Perth Airport in the event of inclement weather and/or closure

·             Business analysis to provide the service including airline pricing structure, aircraft infrastructure and aviation firefighting and rescue services  

·            Quantify the requirements and costings for the City to provide a full alternate landing site facility

·            Prepare an appropriate  pricing structure for charging international airlines for using BMRA

Dec 2020 – January 2021

Re-engage April 2022

General Aviation

 

34 lots Code B

·       Various sizes, with capacity to combine land lots

·       Fully serviced lots for lease with Code B apron access

·       GA focus

·      Option 1  -  advertise and market lease opportunities

·      Option 2  -  prepare business case for Council to lease developed hangar lots (City construct hangars)

·      Option 3 -  enter into a partnership with developer/investor to build and lease hangar lots 

2021 (Q2)

EOI – Completed August 2021

RFQ to Construct 2x GA Hangars – Nov 2021

Lease execution  ~ May 2022

General Aviation

1 x Code C lot

·       Fully serviced

·       Size: 3840m2 each

·       Suit aircraft maintenance / servicing / freight / smaller RPT operations

·      Advertise commercial lease opportunity, including domestic freight, private charter operations or RPT operations (GA aircraft < 30,000kgs)

2021 (Q2)

2022 (Q2)

Commercial & Industrial precinct

4 land lots

 

·       Fully serviced land lots for lease

·       Size: 4864m2 each

·       Direct runway access

·       Dedicated airfreight focus for lease by commercial aviation and support businesses

·      Option 1 -  City advertise and market commercial lease opportunities intrastate and nationally

·      Option 2 – City enter into commercial arrangement on long term lease basis with private developer/investor

·      Option 3 -  Approach Airport North Developer and negotiate commercial arrangement for external management of precinct

·      Option 4 -  Offer land lots for sale, either individually or as a precinct

2021 (Q1 – Q2)

 

Advertise/market RFP: Phase 1 & 2a, November 2021 – January 2022

Commercial & Industrial precinct

 

·       Remaining 15ha undeveloped land – RFP Commercial & Industrial Opportunities

 

 

Advertising

·        Electronic screens in the terminal / arrivals hall

·        Static posters located in the terminal

·        Fences and benches within carparks

·        Billboard (Neville Hyder Drive)

·           Electronic screen is available  - advertising to be completed

·           Static poster boards to be installed early 2021 – advertising to be completed

·           Following commencement RPT services, landside advertising opportunities (car parks, benches etc.) to be completed

2020/21 (Q1)

Ongoing

Landside commercial opportunities

·        Airport Café/kiosk

·        Retail / tourism products

·        Car valeting and storage

·        Fuel station

·        Hotel / short stay accommodation 

·      BMRA café /kiosk license in negotiations now

·      Retail  / tourism product once RPT operations commence (small scale), dependent on new terminal

·      Car valeting and storage once RPT operations have commenced

·      Long term opportunities - Fuel stations and hotel sites

 

2021

 

2022

 

+ 2025

Licence in place

2022 (Q1)

 

2022 (Q2-Q3)

 

+ 2025

 

As detailed in this report, the aviation industry has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, making the above activities difficult to achieve in the originally specified timeframe. As such, timeframes have been revised as outlined in the above table.

This report outlines the progress on the above activities and proposed next steps.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

Officers have been working with airlines and mining companies over the past twelve months to facilitate the changes in operations due to COVID-19 requirements and to increase fly in fly closed charter services. As a result there are 40 closed charter aircraft movements (20 flights) per week operating from the BMRA, made up of 28 operated by Virgin Australia for Rio Tinto, four by Qantas Group for FMG, four by Alliance Airlines for BHP and four by Maroomba Airlines for Northern Star Resources.

Direct Jetstar RPT services between Melbourne and Busselton have been further delayed to mid-February 2022 due to the continued COVID-19 imposed border restrictions. Despite the delay, the BMRA had a total of 3,267 aircraft landings in 2020/21, an increase of 690 landings for the same period in 2019/20 and record number of passengers with 40,469 passengers in 2020/21 compared to 26,496 passengers for 2019/2020.

 


 

BMRA Interstate Domestic Route Development

In early 2021, the City engaged an aviation consultant to complete airline route analysis and prepare business cases for Sydney and Brisbane services to present to airlines. The analysis showed that both Sydney and Brisbane routes were commercially sustainable with Sydney services indicating positive yields from 2021. Officers in conjunction with Tourism WA approached airlines and discussed informally a new Sydney – Busselton route. Given the impacts on the aviation industry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it was agreed by all parties to delay negotiations until domestic travel has been restored and the Busselton-Melbourne services have commenced. Officers will continue to liaise with airlines and stakeholders on potential new domestic routes over the next twelve months.

 

Alternate Landing Site (ALS)

On 1 March 2019, the City received confirmation that BMRA was designated as an alternate international airport by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. Prior to COVID-19 and restrictions to international travel, the City had received enquiries from numerous international airlines interested in nominating BMRA as an international alternate airport. In discussions with international airlines, officers identified a potential commercial opportunity to share in the financial savings made by international airlines if they were to nominate BMRA as an alternate to Perth Airport. In the event of Perth Airport being unavailable to airlines, aircraft could divert, park and refuel at BMRA and continue onto their destination once available.

 

Aviation Projects has been engaged to further assess the opportunity of BMRA being designated an alternate international airport with selected international airlines.  While feedback from airlines to date has been positive, the current environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is proving difficult to proceed with detailed discussions on the opportunity. Staffing numbers across all airlines have reduced and personnel are often changing roles meaning previous dialogue undertaken is continuously being undertaken with newly appointed personnel.  In addition to this, it is uncertain when international borders will reopen.  Based on this it is recommended that discussions are placed on hold for 6-12 months until the industry has more certainty on its future and more meaningful discussions can be held.

Industrial and Commercial Precinct       

In the past two years, the City has been approached by a number of private investment / fund managers in regards to joint venture (JV) or partnership opportunities for the BMRA. To date, discussions have been high level and relate to the type of investment partnerships that the City can legally enter into. However, this has highlighted potential opportunities to progress the development of the industrial and commercial precinct with a key goal to create investment and economic activity for the BMRA, and more broadly the region. 

 

The BMRA Master Plan (2016-2036) identifies approximately 20 hectares of available land for aviation related industrial and commercial development. However, industrial/commercial land development is a specialised area that the City does not have deep knowledge or experience in. To ensure the City is able to maximise the commercial opportunities for the BMRA, officers engaged a consultant experienced in urban planning, design, property and retail economics to prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) document to market and advertise BMRA industrial and commercial opportunities. The RFP document has now been completed and officers have prepared a communications plan to detail the marketing and advertising activities to market the commercial opportunities.


 

The table below provides a summary of the activities proposed:

 

 

Action

Medium

Timeline

Costs

Phase 1

City to use existing contacts to advertise/market the RFP 

SWDC; RDA;

Industry & Aviation stakeholders;

VendorPanel; Print media

4 weeks

Minimum $ for print media advertising; Staff time

Phase 2a

City to advertise through industry specific media  – no agents

e.g. Urban Developer

The Industrialist

4 weeks

Website from $2,000/month -  $4,000/month

EDM from $3,000/month - $4,500/month

Editorial from $1,500 - $4,000

 

Phase 2b

Advertise through agents

Commercial, Property, real estate websites 

4 weeks

TBC – dependent on membership / agent costs

Phase3

COB engage an agent to complete, either:

-      Market sourcing exercise

-      Market advertising

Colliers; CBRE; Savills; KnightFrank

Based on scope

$20K-$30K market sourcing exercise

$50K+ Public Advertising campaign

Phase 4

Conduct market demand analysis report with recommendations

Consultant

Based on scope

$50K+

 

In the absence of completing a market demand analysis to determine the current market supply and demand for aviation related commercial land, officers propose that phase 1 and 2a be undertaken to gage the level of market interest. The costs associated with phases 1 and 2a are not expected to exceed $12,000. This approach minimises the costs while exploring any potential development and lease opportunities. Depending on the level of interest received from the RFP, further phases could be considered. 

 

General Aviation (GA) Precinct – Code B

On 12 May 2021 Council endorsed (C2105/092), subject to an expression of interest (EoI), the construction of up to three general aviation hangars at the BMRA and the allocation of $210,000 for the construction of the hangars, to be funded from the Airport Infrastructure Renewal Reserve.

 

Officers advertised the EoI for constructed hangar leases in the new GA precinct in August 2021 for three weeks. Only one submission was received and officers have met with the proponent to confirm their level of interest in entering into a lease. Officers have since liaised with a local shed builder and been advised that the costs of the hangars are likely to have increased by approximately 30% since seeking quotes in April this year, and that also delivery times for materials can be up to six months. As a result, officers will issue a Request for Quotation (RFQ) for the supply and construction of two general aviation hangars this calendar year. Officers are proposing the construction of two hangars, with one to be leased following a submission from the EOI and the second available as a short term hire arrangement or for any new lease enquiries.

 

The EoI advertising has however generated a number of enquiries for the leasing of larger hangars and/or ground leases which officers are progressing. One concern that has been raised with potential lessees building their own hangars is the lease term of up to 20 years, with lessees requesting terms of up to 30 and 40 years. Despite the City owning the airport land in freehold, the City is not able to enter into leases for longer than 20 years without approval from the WA Planning Commission. As such, officers have met with the Department of Planning to investigate the processes and approvals to achieve this. 

 

The City has also been liaising with a helicopter operator wanting to establish a helicopter maintenance and servicing business and once established, helicopter tourism flights. The operator, who would like to proceed this financial year, would consider building their own hangar however requires the lease term to be a minimum of 30 years to ensure a return on investment. Securing such an operator would be considered a great opportunity for the BMRA as this would attract aviation activity, provide job opportunities and economic benefits for the City of Busselton. To facilitate this, officers are proposing that the City submit an application to Regional Economic Development (REDs) Grants scheme round four for up to $135,000 with the City of Busselton contributing a matching contribution of $135,000 to build a hangar of approximately 500sqm. Once built, the hangar would be leased out at a commercial rate. If the City was to be successful with a REDs grant application to build the hangar, officers propose the remaining unspent budgeted funds for the construction GA hangars, estimated to be approximately $50,000, be allocated towards the City’s matching contribution of $135,000 with the remaining $85,000 being funded from the Airport Infrastructure Reserve.  This however will be subject to a separate Council report should the City be successful in obtaining REDs funding and if the City is not successful then the Council will need to consider, along with the benefits and cost implications, if the City should fund the total cost of constructing a hangar.

 

General Aviation Precinct – Code C

As part of the Airport Development Project, two 50mx50m serviced hangar lease areas with Code 4C apron access were developed. Since this time, the City has utilised one of the hangar lots for the construction of the new Arrivals Hall. The remaining lease area has potential to host commercial operators for RPT aircraft freight operations, private charter or smaller RPT operations (aircraft less than 30,000kgs MTOW), and aircraft servicing or maintenance services. However in the current environment it is difficult to secure investment, especially with no RPT services operating. Officers therefore propose to hold off on formally advertising this commercial opportunity nationally until RPT services are operating and, in the meantime, will undertake more passive, low cost marketing activities.

 

Landside Commercial Opportunities

Terminal Advertising

The terminal expansion works completed in March 2020 in preparation for the Jetstar Melbourne -Busselton flights included the installation of an electronic advertising screen and static light boxes in the new Arrivals Hall. Currently the Arrivals Hall is utilised for arriving FIFO passengers.  An EoI was advertised for advertising opportunities with five businesses taking up advertising space on the electronic screen and one business operator advertising on each of the static light boxes. Advertising is booked on a three monthly basis with bookings secured for the next quarter.  Interest and take up is expected to increase once RPT services have commenced.

 

Terminal Concessions and Retail

A licence was issued for the BMRA café/kiosk located in the Terminal building in late 2020 and has been operating for the FIFO closed charter flights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Once RPT services commence, the operator will increase their opening hours to cater for the Jetstar flights as well as FIFO.

 


 

Transport Providers

Officers have been liaising with transport providers such as car hire companies, coach, shuttle and mini-bus operators and private chauffeur and limousine operators since March 2020 and will re-engage in early 2022 for the commencement of RPT services.  

 

Statutory Environment

The BMRA operates in accordance with the following:

·        Aviation Transport Security Act 2004

·        Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005

·        CASA Manual of Standards 139

·        Council’s Transport Security Plan

·        City policies and procedures

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

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

 

Financial Implications

The adopted 2021/22 Airport Operations Budget has an allocation of $50,000 for consultancy based activities. To date, there has been no consultancy expenditure. While there are activities that will draw on the consultancy budget throughout the year, there will be sufficient funds to cover the costs associated with phases 1 and 2a to market and advertise the commercial and industrial RFP opportunities to a maximum value of $12,000.

 

The adopted 2021/22 budget has an allocation of $210,000 towards the construction of GA hangars.  The proposal to construct two hangars as a result of a successful EoI process will be funded from this budget allocation. 

 

The proposal to build a hangar for an aviation maintenance and servicing operator is dependent on the City applying and being successful in a REDs grant. If successful the City would be required to match the grant funding contribution of $135,000 which could be part funded from unspent funds allocated towards the construction of GA hangars and funding from the Airport Infrastructure Reserve. If the City is successful in a REDs grant this would require Council consideration through a budget amendment report.

 

There are no other direct financial implications associated with the officer recommendations in this report.   

 

Stakeholder Consultation

Officers have consulted with the relevant stakeholders in regards to this report, including Airlines, Tourism WA, Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, Australia South West, aircraft operators and owners and commercial / investment developers.

 

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 support business development activities for the BMRA and choose to do nothing.

2.         Propose alternative priorities for BMRA Business Development activities for any or all recommendations.

 

CONCLUSION

Significant commercial opportunities now exist at the BMRA as a result of the completion of the airside and landside developments. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial investment opportunities have slowed and have been difficult for officers to progress and secure. As the COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift within Australia and the aviation industry begins its recovery as airlines recommence operations, there will be potential for officers to market and attract various commercial and investment opportunities at the BMRA.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

If supported, officers will commence marketing and advertising of the commercial and industrial RFP immediately to maximise the commercial opportunities as the aviation industry begins to reopen and both domestic and international operations commence. The request for quotations for the general aviation hangars will be issued before the end of October and if supported, a REDs application will be submitted by 21 October 2021.


Council                                                                                      105                                                       10 November 2021

13.1           WALGA ENERGY SUSTAINABILITY AND RENEWABLES PROJECT

STRATEGIC THEME

ENVIRONMENT - An environment that is valued, conserved and able to be enjoyed by current and future generations.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

1.6 Promote and facilitate environmentally responsible practices.

SUBJECT INDEX

Energy Management

BUSINESS UNIT

Environmental Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Senior Sustainability/Environment Officer - Mathilde Breton

Contracts and Tendering Officer - Lucinda McLeod

Manager Legal and Property Services - Ben Whitehill

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Director, Planning and Development Services - Paul Needham

NATURE OF DECISION

Contractual: To enter into a contract e.g. a lease or the award of a tender etc.

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment a   Published Under Separate Cover  Confidential Energy Framework Offer Document - City of Busselton  

 

The officer recommendation was moved and carried.

 

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/085              Moved Councillor P Carter, seconded Councillor A Ryan

That the Council:

1.         Endorses the City’s participation in the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) Energy Sustainability and Renewables Energy project;

2.         Accept WALGA’s offer and authorise the CEO to enter into an Electricity Supply Agreement with Electricity Generation and Retail Corporation trading as Synergy for the period commencing 1 April 2022 and ending 31 March 2025 on the basis of accepting an unbundled price structure and 100% NaturalPower.

CARRIED 8/0

En Bloc

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council:

1.         Endorses the City’s participation in the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) Energy Sustainability and Renewables Energy project;

2.         Accept WALGA’s offer and authorise the CEO to enter into an Electricity Supply Agreement with Electricity Generation and Retail Corporation trading as Synergy for the period commencing 1 April 2022 and ending 31 March 2025 on the basis of accepting an unbundled price structure and 100% NaturalPower.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The City has the opportunity to purchase electricity for its contestable sites as part of an aggregated electricity procurement process undertaken by the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) on behalf of WA local governments.

 


 

This report recommends that the City joins the WALGA Energy Sustainability and Renewables project and selects the unbundled rate with 100% renewable energy provided by Electricity Generation and Retail Corporation trading as Synergy. The recommendation is likely to assist the City in reducing its energy costs and meeting its renewable energy and emission reduction targets.

 

BACKGROUND

Electricity supplied to metered sites with an annual load greater than 50,000 kWh can be taken to the market as “contestable supply” under the Electricity (Licencing) Regulations 1991. Currently, the City has 16 contestable sites with a combined annual electricity cost of $489,782 in 2020/21. The City currently purchases its contestable electricity under a WALGA preferred supplier arrangement, with the current two year contract with Perth Energy set to expire in April 2022. 

 

The City of Busselton Energy Strategy, endorsed by Council (C1912/254), has committed to reducing the City’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and to generate 100% of the City’s electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030. It should be noted that electricity consumption is only one contributor to the City’s greenhouse gas emissions, with other significant contributions arising from landfill gas emissions, use of the City’s plant and fleet, and gas consumption.

 

Recognising the challenges faced by most local governments of increasing energy costs and community desires to reducing their carbon footprint, WALGA developed the Energy Sustainability and Renewables project.

 

Through this project, WALGA intends to procure and implement a State-wide energy procurement structure for the local government sector, which aims to assist in achieving renewable energy policy targets and reduce the cost of renewable electricity, standard electricity, gas, and carbon offsets.

 

WALGA’s Energy Sustainability and Renewables project has the following objectives:

1.         Enhance access to and development of renewable energy for WA Local Governments thereby driving positive climate change outcomes;

2.         Diversify supply options and application of new technology; and

3.         Leverage the best price outcomes for Local Government supply.

 

In general terms the phasing of this project is as follows:

Phase 1:   Contestable energy supply and renewable energy options

Phase 2:   Load shifting, minimising cost (i.e. energy management systems, contestability assessments, understanding emissions, non-contestable supply investigation (including streetlights), preparation for carbon offset integration and preparation for a PPA

Phase 3:   Long Term PPA

Phase 4:   Carbon management, integrated technologies

Phase 5:   Sustainable Fleet Transition and Sustainable Infrastructure Technologies

Phase 6:   Offsetting

Phase 7:   Large-scale Local Government Sustainability projects

 

The first phase of the project focuses on the aggregation of contestable energy and supply of renewable energy options. This is the focus of this report.

 

The City submitted an expression of interest to participate in the project in December 2020 and provided its contestable electricity loads to WALGA in January 2021 to feed into an indicative pricing process. A total of 51 Local Governments expressed interest in participating in the project.

 


In August 2021, WALGA undertook a formal Request for Tender (RFT) for the procurement of contestable energy with renewable options. Through that process, Synergy has been selected as the preferred supplier subject to contracting, satisfaction of minor variations and the minimum thresholds of local government participation reached. Terms of the offer are included as Attachment A (confidential) and discussed under Officer Comment, below.

 

The offer has a strict validity period for acceptance (18 November 2021) and is contingent on a collective minimum scaled volume of 60 gigawatt hours across a three-year term for electricity. WALGA estimates that, if fully adopted, the project will deliver collective savings of $5 million a year and the single largest reduction in carbon footprint for the local government sector.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

The City will spend approximately $500,000 and generate 1,653 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum for the supply of electricity to its contestable sites in 2020/21. Additional electricity is consumed by non-contestable sites (approximately $330,000 in 2020/21) provided by Synergy and $893,000 on street-lighting owned by Western Power, which are deemed non-contestable and include combined supply and maintenance costs (i.e. only a portion of the street-lighting cost is attributable to energy consumption). The WALGA Energy Sustainability and Renewables project provides the opportunity to reduce energy costs while assisting the City in reducing its carbon emissions.

 

Identified benefits of an aggregated electricity purchase arrangement include:

1.         Cost savings on the City’s current supply rates;

2.         A reduction in price for renewable energy;

3.         Contractual protection from future price increases;

4.         The ability to remove take or pay risks as the consumption obligation is absorbed by the aggregate load (this is a provision in our existing contract to apply penalties if a minimum electricity consumption is not met. This can be an issue when large energy efficiency or rooftop solar projects are implemented); and

5.         Cost savings (staff salary and consultant costs) compared to running our own contestable electricity procurement process.

 

In a nutshell, the City has the following choices to make:

1.         Whether to participate or not in the WALGA Energy Sustainability and Renewables project;

2.         What type of rate to subscribe to (bundled or unbundled); and

3.         Whether to purchase NaturalPower.

Further information on each of these considerations is provided below.

 

1. Participation in the WALGA Energy Sustainability and Renewables Project

The City can decide to participate or not participate in the WALGA Energy Sustainability and Renewables project.

 

The pricing provided by Synergy as part of the WALGA project provides a reduction in energy costs for the City based on existing rates and 2020/21 energy use. However, there is no guarantee that better pricing could not be obtained if the City was to run a procurement process for contestable electricity supply at the end of its existing electricity contract in April 2022.

 

To mitigate the risks, WALGA provided benchmarking rates from Synergy or Alinta outside of this project and the City obtained pricing from Perth Energy.

 

A summary of the WALGA pricing and benchmark pricing is provided in the table below.

Product

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Current pricing (Perth Energy)

$489,782

 

 

WALGA Synergy Bundled

$490,308

$490,308

$490,308

WALGA Synergy Unbundled (Low Point)

$457,777

$463,439

$461,663

WALGA Synergy Unbundled (High Point)

$568,773

$574,435

$572,659

WALGA 100% NaturalPower (Additional Cost)

$71,920

$62,330

$53,460

Synergy (Benchmark Pricing)

$495,297

 

 

Alinta (Benchmark Pricing)

$502,282

 

 

Perth Energy (Benchmark Pricing)

$521,767

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note, all estimates are to the nearest dollar and based on 2020/21 electricity use at the City’s contestable sites with total annual consumption of 2,397,321 kWh, may be subject to State mandated changes. Current and benchmark pricing is not available for years 2 and 3.

 

It is also important to note that failure to join Phase 1 of the WALGA project may exclude the City from participating and benefiting from subsequent phases. For example, a future stage may allow the City to convert existing non-contestable sites to contestable and hence benefit from more competitive pricing.

 

Notwithstanding the above, the City may wish to continue purchasing contestable electricity through WALGA Electricity Supply Preferred Supplier Arrangement, which remains valid until June 2022. There will be additional operational costs in managing a Request for Quotation process. The City may also be required to undertake a tender process for purchasing electricity post 2024, as it is unlikely WALGA will continue maintaining the current Electricity Preferred Supplier Panel.

 

It is noted that projecting electricity costs beyond a relatively short period can be difficult, for example new facilities can be built, usage patterns may vary or contestable sites can be added. Weather can also be a significant factor. Having said this, officers consider it unlikely that the City will achieve substantially cheaper rates outside of the WALGA offer.

 

The offer has a strict validity period for acceptance and is contingent on a collective minimum scaled volume across the sector of 60 Gigawatt hours across a three-year term for electricity. The renewable component is also contingent on a minimum volume being achieved in each contract year. Due to market pricing processes and vesting arrangements, no extensions can be sought, and if WALGA is not able to accept this offer due to a lack of collective participation levels then it will lapse. The renewable component is also contingent on a minimum volume being achieved on each contract year.

 


 

Officers are recommending participation in the WALGA Energy Sustainability and Renewables project because it offers:

 

1.         cheaper prices for renewable energy;

2.         contractual protection from future price increases; and

3.         savings (staff salary and consultant costs) compared to running our own contestable electricity procurement process.

 

2. Electricity Rates (bundled or unbundled)

If the City decides to participate in the WALGA Energy Sustainability and Renewables project, the following two electricity rate structures are available:

Option 1: Bundled rates (specific to City of Busselton)

The City’s current electricity contract provides for bundled rates. It is the simplest and safest option, by providing greatest certainty with regards to electricity costs. A fixed rate is provided inclusive of energy costs and other non-commodity prices. The rate is only amended for other minor government mandated cost increases. The table below estimates additional costs compared to existing rates that may be achieved on the bundled rate provided as part of the WALGA project for the duration of the three-year contract (based on 2020/21 electricity use).

 

The difference is negligible with estimated costs at approximately an additional $500 per annum compared to current contract prices.  More detailed analysis, included Synergy rates are included in the Offer Document listed as confidential attachment.  

 

Option 2: Unbundled rates

Unbundled pricing separates the price into energy, network, capacity, and other charges. Using unbundled pricing, energy suppliers can pass through regulated cost components over which they have no control. In this manner, they can offer customers a more competitive rate based on the cost components that they have control over, which are energy costs. Non-commodity costs typically represent 60%-70% of invoice charges.

 

Unbundled rates usually allow consumers that actively manage their energy use to reduce an additional component of their energy bills and realise cost saving. The primary principle is by managing electricity use at key facilities during the peak trading intervals to benefit from lower energy costs.

 

The Peak Trading Intervals are determined by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) which identifies the 12 trading intervals (half hourly periods) for the preceding capacity year based on the four days that had the highest demand for electricity in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) between 1 December and 31 March. Peak Trading Intervals are usually on a week day and in the late afternoon when rooftop solar production starts to decline. Synergy provides advanced notice to its unbundled customers as to when Peak Trading Intervals are likely to be enacted, giving them the opportunity to modify their operations and reduce energy use.

 

WALGA has provided a benchmarking range for non-commodity costs to allow Local Governments to estimate total electricity costs. The range spans between 13.692c/kWh at the lower end to 18.322c/kWh at the highest end. The more the City actively manage its electricity use at its key facilities such as the Geographe Leisure Centre and the City’s Administration Building, the more it will reduce its electricity costs. Even small changes can lead to significant savings.


 

On average, it is estimated a 10% reduction in electricity consumption during Peak Trading Intervals will result in a 3% reduction on total energy costs. Some of the measures that could be implemented may include temporarily increasing the temperature of the HVAC at the GLC or Administration Building or powering down some of the non-essential mechanical services like pumps (note that the GLC represents approximately 50% of total energy use at the City’s contestable sites, and would be expected to represent over 50% during most Peak Trading Intervals). WALGA has indicated that it will provide support to its members to identify where and how Local Governments can reduce their median peak load. Having milder summer weather than Perth will also assist the City in reducing its capacity charges.

 

The first stage of the WALGA project is a three-year contract for the supply of energy, combined with the option to purchase renewable energy. One of the objectives of this first stage is to get all Local Governments more familiar with operating on an unbundled rate and the associated additional requirements to manage its electricity use with a view to developing a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement which is likely to deliver greater cost savings and more tangible renewable energy outcomes for participants. By selecting the unbundled rate, the City would build its capacity for the future energy market.

 

WALGA recommends selecting an unbundled rate to achieve greater financial savings and building whole-of-sector capacity for a future 10-year PPA.

 

The table below estimates financial savings that may be achieved on the unbundled rate provided as part of the WALGA project for the duration of the three-year contract (based on 2020/21 electricity use). Estimates have been provided using a low and high benchmarking for non-commodity costs. The advice provided by WALGA is that the City is likely to be at the lower end of the range.

 

 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Unbundled rate savings (low point projections)

$32,005

$26,343

$28,119

Unbundled rate savings (high point projections)

-$78,991

-$84,653

-$82,877

 

Officers are recommending that Council adopt the unbundled rate for the following reasons:

1.         it offers the greatest potential savings if energy use is managed; and

2.         future stages of the WALGA Energy Sustainability and Renewables project (the 10-year Power Purchase Agreement) will require an unbundled price so the City will need to become familiar with this method of electricity pricing.

 

3. Renewable energy

As part of this project, the City also has the option to purchase ‘NaturalPower’ from Synergy, which is a form of green power that specifically sources Large Generation Certificates (LGCs) from WA renewable energy sources connected to the South West Interconnected System – namely the Albany, Collgar and Emu Downs wind farms. The City has the option to purchase renewable energy in increments of 25% up to 100% in year 1, 2 or 3.

 

Based on 2020/21 energy use, purchasing 100% renewable energy is projected to result in the following additional costs:

 

 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Renewable energy cost

$79,920

$62,330

$53,460

 


 

By purchasing 100% renewable energy for its contestable sites, the City (and other participants to this project) will contribute to sending a message to the market to speed up the transition to renewable energy by increasing the demand for locally produced LGCs. While the City’s energy targets have a 2030 year, it will take a number of years for the market to invest in renewable infrastructure. The total costs of ‘NaturalPower’ represents an increase of approximately 12-16% in year 1 falling to 9-12% in year 3. 

 

The purchase of ‘NaturalPower’ at an additional cost of approximately $62,571 (averaged over 3 years), will result in the carbon emissions attributable to the City’s energy use decreasing by 1653 tonnes at an average cost of $38 per tonne. This is higher than $20/tonne of carbon offset but it is preferable to support the production of renewable energy locally rather than fund the planting of trees to capture the emissions produced by burning fossil fuels. It will also mean the City would source approximately 46% of its electricity requirements from renewable energy (with an additional 35% coming from streetlighting and 19% from non-contestable sites).

 

With the potential solar farm project at Lot 27 Rendezvous Road having recently being put on hold, this provides a cost effective and achievable mechanism to work towards the City’s 100% renewable energy target. The key reason that project has been put on hold is because of the current grid network arrangements, and the success of the City’s rollout of rooftop solar, which has reduced the City’s consumption of energy from the grid at the times when the solar farm would be generating energy. A number of opportunities to add further rooftop solar capacity have with high rates of financial return have, however, been identified, and it is envisaged those opportunities will be pursued in the next few years.

 

The renewable energy market is experiencing a steady increase in competition due to an increasing number of companies and organisations setting net-zero emissions. This is likely to result in an increase in prices in the near future as demand for LGCs outstrip supply. By selecting ‘NaturalPower’ now, the City can secure reduced prices as per Synergy’s offer.

 

Officers are recommending that Council adopt the 100% NaturalPower option for contestable sites which is consistent with the objectives of the Council endorsed Energy Strategy (2019) and Climate Change Policy (2020).

 

Statutory Environment

The West Australian Wholesale Energy Market (WEM) is established under the Electricity Industry Act 2004. Electricity supplied to metered sites with an annual load greater than 50,000 kWh can be taken to the market as “contestable supply” under the Electricity (Licencing) Regulations 1991.

 

Large Scale Certificates (LGCs) for the production of accredited renewable energy are generated and traded as per the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.

 

The Local Government (Functions and General) Regulations 1996 (LG Regulations) requires a local government to publicly invite tenders where the consideration for the supply of the relevant goods or services is likely to exceed $250,000, unless an exemption under LG Regulation 11(2) applies. In terms of LG Regulation 11(2)(b) tenders do not have to be publicly invited if the supply of the goods or services are to be obtained through the WALGA Preferred Supplier Program.

The consideration for the supply of electricity to the City’s contestable sites over the proposed three year term of the contract will exceed $250,000. However as the procurement has been undertaken in accordance with the WALGA Preferred Supplier Program an exemption under LG Regulation 11(2)(b) applies.


 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted an authorisation (ACCC Determination AA1000562 granted 26 August 2021) to WALGA to enable local governments who are current and future members of a proposed joint renewable energy purchasing group to pool their demand and collectively tender for and negotiate an electricity supply arrangement.

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

The officer recommendation aligns to the following adopted plans and policies:

City of Busselton Energy Strategy (2019)

The City’s Energy Strategy, endorsed by Council in December 2019, outlines the City’s approach and commitments to reducing energy use and increasing the uptake of renewable energies.

 

The Energy Strategy contains the targets of generating 100% of the City of Busselton electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030 and reducing corporate carbon emissions per capita to 50% on 2017/18 levels by 2030.

 

Selecting to purchase 100% NaturalPower for contestable sites as part of this project would assist the City in achieving its Energy Strategy targets. Contestable electricity represents 46% of the City’s total electricity supply.

 

Climate Change Policy (2020)

Electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions are a key component of the City’s total greenhouse gas emissions. By electing to purchase 100% NaturalPower for its contestable sites, the City will be contributing to the driving of additional investment in the local production of renewable energy.

 

Financial Implications

The City spent $489,782 last financial year for purchasing electricity at its 16 contestable sites. By entering into the WALGA energy offer (unbundled rates), it is estimated the City will achieve a saving of up to $32,005 in the first year of the contract if at the lower end of non-commodity costs or spend up to an additional $78,991 if at the higher end of non-commodity costs. Customers that are located remotely and use electricity intermittently are more likely to pay higher non-commodity costs. WALGA advised that the City is likely to be at the lower end of the non-commodity price range.

 

The City is required to pay a premium to access renewable energy for its contestable sites. Based on 2020/21 electricity use, it is estimated the City will have to pay an additional $71,920 in year 1, dropping to $62,330 in year 2 and $53,460 in year 3. Savings that may be achieved by going unbundled could offset some of the additional cost of NaturalPower.

 

It is important to note that potential savings and additional costs outlined in this report have been estimated using energy used by the City at its 16 contestable sites during 2020/21. Should the City increase its energy use through additional visitation at its facilities, extensions and/or construction of additional facilities, the cost predictions will vary accordingly. Total costs will also vary based on energy charges as set by the market and if going unbundled, how much the City is able to manage its energy use. The weather can also have significant impact on energy consumption and therefore cost.

 

The increased cost of electricity can be accommodated within the existing 2021/22 budget (noting that there are inherent uncertainties associated with energy costs, and that only approximately two months of 21/22 energy consumption would be under the proposed arrangements) and future costs and/or savings will be taken into consideration during drafting of the budget for the financial years 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25.

 

Stakeholder Consultation

The Sustainability and Energy Working Group provided in principle support for the City to participate in the project at its meeting on 28 June 2021. They did not get the opportunity to review the outcomes of the RFQ process prior to this report being drafted due to the short timeline for implementation. 

 

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. The following risks have been identified:

Participating in the WALGA Energy Sustainability and Renewable Project

Risk Category

Risk Consequence

Likelihood of Consequence

Risk Level

Financial

Minor

Unlikely

Low

 

There is low financial risk as per the City’s Risk Management Framework that purchasing contestable electricity through the WALGA project will result in higher costs than if the City had continued to purchase electricity through the existing WALGA Preferred Supplier Arrangement or through a separate tender process. An aggregated procurement process is likely to attract lower energy prices, especially for a trading commodity like electricity. To further mitigate the risks, three benchmarking offers have been sought, two by WALGA and one independently by the City from our current contestable electricity supplier. All three offers provide higher electricity prices than the WALGA project (except the high point projections of the unbundled rate).

 

Selecting the unbundled price structure.

Risk Category

Risk Consequence

Likelihood of Consequence

Risk Level

Financial

Minor

Unlikely

Low

Reputation

Minor

Unlikely

Low

 

There is a low financial risk that the City may pay more for electricity than it is currently paying if energy use at large facilities such as the Geographe Leisure Centre are not managed during the Peak Trading Intervals. Procedures will be developed and put in place for facilities managers to implement.

 

There is also a minor reputational risk if some of the operational changes associated with reducing energy use during the Peak Trading Intervals negatively impact some facility users. Where possible, only equipment with minor impacts will be switched off or turned down. Reasons for the disruptions will be communicated to the broad community

 


 

Options

As an alternative to the proposed recommendation, the Council could:

1.         The City may decline to participate in the WALGA Energy Sustainability and Renewables Project and continue purchasing contestable electricity through WALGA Preferred Supplier Arrangement. The City may also be required to undertake a tender process for purchasing electricity post 2024 as it is unlikely WALGA will continue maintaining the current Electricity Preferred Supplier Panel. Electricity rates may be higher and the City may miss out on further opportunities provided by future stages of the WALGA project.

2.         The City may decide to purchase electricity under the WALGA project but as bundled rates. The City may still benefit from lower energy prices but not as low as through the unbundled rate structure.

3.         The City may decide to purchase a lower percentage of renewable energy, or not at all. Alternative ways of reaching the Energy Strategy targets will need to be investigated and some of these may be more costly. This may also be seen by the community as not in line with the City’s commitments outlined in the Energy Strategy (2019).

CONCLUSION

In summary, by participating in the WALGA Energy Sustainability and Renewables project, the City chooses to take a more proactive role in energy procurement, which will result in greater efficiencies and financial sustainability. The energy market is changing rapidly and it is important for the City to adapt and take on new opportunities. The officer recommendation of an unbundled rate structure and 100% renewable energy for the City’s contestable sites will assist the City in building capacity and showing leadership in energy management.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

The City is required to notify WALGA of its decision whether to participate in the project by 18 November 2021. There is a very short timeframe for LGAs to opt in or out of the project due to the short validity of energy prices. Subject to the minimum volumes of electricity Supply and Renewables Adoption having been met, the City will be required to sign and accept the Energy Supply Agreement with Synergy by 30 November 2021. Contracts under the new Energy Portfolio will commence on 1 April 2022.  


Council                                                                                      108                                                       10 November 2021

17.1           COUNCILLORS' INFORMATION BULLETIN

STRATEGIC THEME

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

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

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

SUBJECT INDEX

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 State Administrative Tribunal Reviews

Attachment b    Letter from Alannah MacTiernan MLC - Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre

Attachment c    Thank You Letter - Building Busselton Town Team  

 

The officer recommendation was moved and carried.

 

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/086              Moved Councillor P Carter, seconded Councillor A Ryan

 

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

 

17.1.1        State Administrative Tribunal Reviews

 

17.1.2        Correspondence from Department of Premier and Cabinet – South West Native Title Settlement

 

17.1.3        Letter from Alannah MacTiernan MLC – Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre

 

17.1.4        Thank You Letter – Building Busselton Town Team

CARRIED 8/0

En Bloc

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

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

17.1.1       State Administrative Tribunal Reviews 

17.1.2       Correspondence from Department of Premier and Cabinet – South West Native Title Settlement

17.1.3        Letter from Alannah MacTiernan MLC – Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre

17.1.4       Thank You Letter - Building Busselton Town Team

 


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

17.1.2       State Administrative Tribunal Reviews 

A summary of the current State Administrative Tribunal Reviews at Attachment A.

17.1.2       Correspondence from Department of Premier and Cabinet – South West Native Title Settlement

The following correspondence was received from the Department of Premier and Cabinet:

 

Forming the Noongar Corporations

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) has been busy holding successful ‘pre-incorporation’ meetings with the Noongar people, to establish their Noongar Regional Corporations and the supporting Central Services Corporation (the Noongar Corporations).

 

The meetings, held on Noongar country, ran from Saturday the 24th of July to Saturday the 18th of September with the Noongar people voting to support all resolutions, including:

·        establishing their Regional Corporations;

·        electing their ‘Initial Directors’; and

·        endorsing SWALSC to potentially become the Central Services Corporation.

 

These meetings are the first in a number of steps for the establishment of the Noongar Corporations. The next steps include registration with Office of the Registrar for Indigenous Corporations, and the Australian Taxation Office as well as Member Director postal vote elections and endorsement by the Government of Western Australia and the Noongar Boodja Trustee. 

 

The Noongar Corporations are expected to be operating by mid-2022.

 

Interested Noongar people are encouraged to contact the SWALSC  to get involved with the Noongar corporations and other opportunities linked to the Noongar governance structure.  SWALSC have also recently launched a new membership app for staying up to date about the Settlement.

 

For more information about the Noongar Corporation establishment process, please read the Regional Corporation Transition Program or fill in the Expression of interest to join your Noongar regional corporation (SWALSC site).

 


What are the Noongar corporations?

The Noongar corporations are the most integral part of the Noongar governance structure, they are the only beneficiaries of the Noongar Boodja Trustee, and will be a direct Noongar voice to the WA Government on Aboriginal heritage, land management, economic participation and community development matters. Only once the Noongar corporations are formed can the fulsome benefits and opportunities from the Settlement be realised. The Noongar Regional Corporations will:

·        manage and use the land and waters within the region which they have a traditional connection;

·        develop a strategic plan based on regional priorities;

·        maintain, protect, promote and support their culture, customs, language and traditions

·        engage with government and stakeholders to further Noongar community interests and priorities; and

·        meet the various obligations created through the Settlement.

 

The WA Government looks forward to partnering with the Noongar people, through their corporations, for a stronger future for all West Australians.”

17.1.3       Letter from Allannah MacTiernan MLC – Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre

A letter from Alannah MacTiernan MLC regarding the Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre is at Attachment B.

17.1.4       Thank You Letter - Building Busselton Town Team

A letter from Lisa Skrypichayko, Building Busselton Town Team, thanking the City for its involvement in the Celebrate Mitchell Park event, is at Attachment C.

 

 


Council

110

10 November 2021

17.1

Attachment a

Current State Administrative Tribunal Reviews

 



Council

111

10 November 2021

17.1

Attachment b

Letter from Alannah MacTiernan MLC - Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre

 


Council

112

10 November 2021

17.1

Attachment c

Thank You Letter - Building Busselton Town Team

 

 


Council                                                                                      118                                                       10 November 2021

ITEMS TO BE DEALT WITH BY SEPARATE RESOLUTION

12.4           Policy and Legislation Committee - 27/10/2021 - ESTABLISHMENT OF BEHAVIOUR COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE

STRATEGIC THEME

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

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

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

SUBJECT INDEX

Code of Conduct

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

Absolute Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment a   Proposed Delegation DA 11 - 03 Behaviour Complaints Committee

Attachment b    Proposed Terms of Reference - Behaviour Complaints Committee

Attachment c    Amended Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour

Attachment d   Current Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour

Attachment e    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 27/10/2021, the recommendations from which have been included in this report.

 

Cr Henley foreshadowed an alternative recommendation. In accordance with clause 10.18(7) of the City’s Standing Orders Local Law 2018, the committee recommendation was moved first.

 

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

That the Council:

1.         Establish a committee of Council to determine complaints called the Behaviour Complaints Committee.

2.         Delegates power and authority to the Behaviour Complaints Committee to make findings and dismiss complaints in relation to clause 12(1), (4) and (7) and clause 13 of the Local Government (Model Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021, as per Attachment A.

3.         Adopt the Terms of Reference for the Behaviour Complaints Committee as per Attachment B.

4.         Appoints membership to the Behaviour Complaints Committee:

i.          5 Members

ii.         4 Deputy Members

 

 

5.         Adopts the Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour inclusive of the Committee amendments (Attachment E), being the inclusion of an additional clause to provide the CEO the discretion to refer the Complaints Officer report, in extraordinary circumstances, to a Council Meeting for Council to make a finding in relation to a complaint of alleged breach of behaviour; and amendments to clauses of the Policy that refer to a meeting of the Committee to now include 'and Council'.

LAPSED

FOR WANT OF A MOVER

The motion lapsed and the foreshadowed alternative motion was moved and carried.

 

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/087              Moved Councillor G Henley, seconded Councillor R Paine

 

That the Council:

1.         Establish a committee of Council to determine complaints called the Behaviour Complaints Committee.

2.         Delegates power and authority to the Behaviour Complaints Committee to make findings and dismiss complaints in relation to clause 12(1), (4) and (7) and clause 13 of the Local Government (Model Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021, as per Attachment A.

3.         Adopt the Terms of Reference for the Behaviour Complaints Committee as per Attachment B, inclusive of changes to paragraph 3. ‘Membership’, being that Council shall appoint all Elected Members to the Committee.

4.         Appoints all Elected Members to membership of the Behaviour Complaints Committee.

 

5.         Adopts the Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour inclusive of the Committee amendments (Attachment E), being the inclusion of an additional clause to provide the CEO the discretion to refer the Complaints Officer report, in extraordinary circumstances, to a Council Meeting for Council to make a finding in relation to a complaint of alleged breach of behaviour; and amendments to clauses of the Policy that refer to a meeting of the Committee to now include 'and Council'.

CARRIED 8/0

BY ABSOLUTE MAJORITY

Reasons:     The alternative motion was in response to practical examples from other local governments where including all Councillors in the Committee removed any perception of bias in its decision making.

 


 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council:

1.         Establish a committee of Council to determine Complaints called the Behaviour Complaints Committee.

2.         Delegates power and authority to the Behaviour Complaints Committee to make findings and dismiss complaints in relation to Clause 12(1), (4) and (7) and Clause 13 of the Local Government (Model Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021, as per Attachment A.

3.         Adopt the Terms of Reference for the Behaviour Complaints Committee as per Attachment B.

4.         Appoints membership to the Behaviour Complaints Committee:

i.          5 Members

ii.         4 Deputy Members

5.         Adopts the amended Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour (Attachment C) (the Policy) to replace the current policy (Attachment D).

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report seeks Council endorsement of the establishment of a Behaviour Complaints Committee (the Committee), under section 5.8 of the Local Government Act 1995, with the Committee to be delegated the power and authority to make findings or dismiss complaints in relation to alleged breaches of Part 3 of the City of Busselton Code of Conduct for Council Members, Committee Members and Candidates.  Presented for Council adoption is the Committee Terms of Reference; under which the Council is asked to appoint membership to the Committee.

 

Council is also requested to adopt the amended Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour, to reflect the proposed changes to the complaints management process.

 

BACKGROUND

The Local Government (Model Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021 (the Regulations) came into effect on 3 February 2021. The Regulations replaced the Local Government (Rules of Conduct) Regulations 2007 (repealed) and prescribed a Model Code of Conduct for local government council members, committee members and candidates (Model Code).

 

At its 28 April 2021 meeting, Council, in accordance with s.5.104 of the Act, adopted the City’s Code of Conduct for Council Members, Committee Members and Candidates (the Code), and the form for making Complaints. Council also appointed the CEO as the Complaints Officer. The CEO has delegated this power to the Director Finance and Corporate Services.

 

At its meeting of 9 June 2021 Council adopted Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour. Whilst the policy was informed by several other local government council policies, the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) template Complaints Management Process was released post formulation of our policy. The City’s complaints management process as adopted differs from the WALGA process in that, at the time, the City chose to have complaints managed by a third party investigation and findings by Council.

 


 

OFFICER COMMENT

Officers have had some time since commencement of the new requirements to reflect and further discuss with other local governments the best way to manage complaints when they arise, particularly in relation to interests that may arise. On reflection, officers believe it is prudent to revisit the City’s position in regards to complaints management.

 

The complaints management process in the current policy requires a complaint to be dealt with by the whole of Council. Putting aside the common law principles of apprehended bias, there is no provision in the Act that excuses a Councillor from the deliberative voting process in a Council meeting, outside of a financial or proximity interest.  There would be no financial implication arising from a finding in relation to a complaint and therefore a Councillor who is the subject of a complaint would arguably be required to remain in the Council meeting during the determination of the complaint, after having declared an impartiality interest Similarly so would a maker of the complaint. This may cause a perception of bias and may negate the principles of natural justice.

 

In order to manage this issue, WALGA’s template policy and their approach is predicated on a committee being delegated the power from Council to deal with each complaint.

 

Officers are proposing that the City adopt this approach also and that the Council establish a committee of Council, the Behaviour Complaints Committee, to make findings and/or dismiss complaints received under Part 3 of the Code. 

 

Officers have developed Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Committee which outline the proposed membership and delegated powers and conditions. The ToR are presented to Council for endorsement (Attachment B). Notably, the membership of the Committee, as outlined in the ToR, require the appointment of 5 Members and 4 Deputy Members, thereby allowing members who are the subject or maker of a complaint, to recuse themselves and for the meeting to continue with the attendance of a Deputy Member/s.

 

The proposed delegated powers to the Committee as detailed in the ToR and proposed Delegation DA 11 – 03 (Attachment A) (the Delegation) are:

               

a.         the authority to make a finding as to whether an alleged breach the subject of a complaint has or has not occurred, based upon evidence from which it may be concluded that it is more likely that the breach occurred than it did not occur and determine reasons for any finding.

 

b.         where a finding is made that a breach has occurred, the power to:

i.          vary the proposed action plan; or

ii.         consider the adoption of the action plan.

 

c.         dismiss a complaint and determine the reasons for the dismissal.

 

The proposed delegate powers to the Committee will be subject to the following conditions:

 

a.         the Committee will make decisions in accordance with Council Policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour and these Terms of Reference.

 

b.         that part of a Committee meeting which deals with a Complaint will be held behind closed doors in accordance with s.5.23(2)(b) of the Act.

 

c.         the Committee is prohibited from exercising its delegated power where a Committee Member in attendance at a Committee meeting is either the complainant or respondent to the complaint under consideration by the Committee.

 

Statutory Environment

Section 5.103 of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act) [Model code of conduct for council members, committee members and candidates] provides that regulations must prescribe a Model Code of conduct for council members, committee members and candidates and must include:

(a)       general principles to guide behaviour; and

(b)       requirements relating to behaviour; and

(c)       provisions specified to be rules of conduct;

and may include provisions about how to deal with alleged breaches of the behaviour requirements.

 

Section 5.104 of the Act provides that a local government must prepare and adopt by absolute majority a code of conduct to be observed by council members, committee members and candidates, and which incorporates the Model Code.

 

The Local Government (Model Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021 prescribe the Model Code of Conduct for Council Members, Committee Members and Candidates.

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

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

 

Financial Implications

There are no specific financial implications associated with the appointment of members to Committees/groups, as the costs associated with attendance at these Committees/groups have been allocated in the current budget.

 

Stakeholder Consultation

Officers consulted with the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) and the documents and processes developed by the City of Rockingham have all formed part of the research undertaken by officers in preparing this report and the associated documents.

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. The following risks have been identified. No risks of a medium or greater level have been identified.

Options

As an alternative to the proposed recommendation, the Council could choose not to establish a Behaviour Complaints Committee under section 5.8 of the Act. However, officers do not recommend this course of action, as leaving the complaints management process in its current form may result in the perception of bias with Council as a whole responsible for determining complaints of alleged breaches of behaviour.

CONCLUSION

Council are asked to endorse the establishment of a committee of Council, Behaviour Complaints Committee, in accordance with section 5.8 of the Act, to make findings and/or dismiss complaints of alleged breaches of Part 3 of the Code; adopt the Terms of Reference and Delegation of Authority as per attachments A and B; appoint membership to the Committee; and adopt the amended Council policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

The Behaviours Complaints Committee, membership of the committee and amended policy will be in effect immediately upon adoption of Council.


Council

120

10 November 2021

12.4

Attachment a

Proposed Delegation DA 11 - 03 Behaviour Complaints Committee

 



Council

122

10 November 2021

12.4

Attachment b

Proposed Terms of Reference - Behaviour Complaints Committee

 



Council

126

10 November 2021

12.4

Attachment c

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

 






Council

130

10 November 2021

12.4

Attachment d

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

 





Council

135

10 November 2021

12.4

Attachment e

Council Policy: Management of Complaints of Alleged Breaches of Behaviour with Committee amendments

 





 

 


Council                                                                                      137                                                       10 November 2021

16.1           APPOINTMENT OF ELECTED MEMBERS TO EXTERNAL BOARDS

STRATEGIC THEME

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

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

4.1 Provide opportunities for the community to engage with Council and contribute to decision making.

SUBJECT INDEX

Committees

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   Invitation from BJI Management Board  

 

The officer recommendation was moved and carried.

 

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/088              Moved Councillor P Carter, seconded Councillor A Ryan

 

That the Council appoints a member as a delegate to the following external organisations:

1.         Busselton Senior Citizens Centre Board of Management:

Member: Cr Jodie Richards

2.         Busselton Jetty Inc Board of Management:

Member: Cr Grant Henley

CARRIED 8/0

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council appoints a member as a delegate to the following external organisations:

1.         Busselton Senior Citizens Centre Board of Management:

Member: Cr Jodie Richards

2.         Busselton Jetty Inc Board of Management:

Member: Cr Grant Henley

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report is presented to enable Council to appoint elected members’ as delegates to external groups where City representation is required, namely the Busselton Senior Citizens Centre Board of Management and the Busselton Jetty Inc. Board of Management.

 

BACKGROUND

At the Special Council Meeting of Council, 18 October 2021, Councillors were appointed to the City’s formal Council Committees, various working groups, and as delegates to external groups where City representation is required. Appointments to the Busselton Senior Citizens Centre Board of Management or Busselton Jetty Inc. Board of Management were not made at this time as the City was awaiting confirmation as to the appointments and for the Busselton Jetty Inc. Annual General meeting to be held.


OFFICER COMMENT

The Council has over the years formed many working groups to assist with progressing various initiatives and is additionally represented on a number of local community committees and working groups. 

 

In accordance with the Busselton Senior Citizen Centre’s constitution, a Councillor is appointed to represent the City on their Board of Management. Discussions have previously been held with the Senior Citizen’s Centre around the necessity and the potential conflicts of having a Councillor sit as a voting member of the Board.  They have however indicated their desire to see the arrangement continue, as per their Constitution.  Any potential conflicts of interest will need to be managed by the appointed member.     

 

Following the Busselton Jetty Inc. Annual General Meeting, the Busselton Jetty Inc. Board of Management has invited a Councillor to an ex-officio (non-voting rights) position on the Board (Attachment A).

 

Statutory Environment

These appointments support the general function of a local government under the Local Government Act 1995, to provide for the good government of persons in its district. 

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

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

 

Financial Implications

There are no specific financial implications associated with the appointment of members to Committees/groups as the costs associated with attendance at these Committees/groups have been recognised in the current budget.

 

Stakeholder Consultation

Other than the communications with the Senior Citizen’s Centre and the Busselton Jetty Inc. outlined in the Officer Comment, 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 determine not to appoint any members to the external boards, and have further discussions with the associations.

 

CONCLUSION

Council are asked to appoint members as delegates to the boards of two external organisations, namely the Busselton Senior Citizen Centre and the Busselton Jetty Inc.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

The organisations will be informed of Council’s decision within a week of the Council meeting.

 


Council

138

10 November 2021

16.1

Attachment a

Invitation from BJI Management Board

 

 


Council                                                                                      147                                                       10 November 2021

17.2           STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT WITH THE DUNSBOROUGH COMMUNITY - PROPOSED SUPPORT FOR FORMATION OF 'DUNSBOROUGH REFERENCE GROUP'

STRATEGIC THEME

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

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

4.1 Provide opportunities for the community to engage with Council and contribute to decision making.

SUBJECT INDEX

Stakeholder Relationship Management

BUSINESS UNIT

Planning and Development Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Director, Planning and Development Services - Paul Needham

Manager Governance and Corporate Services - Sarah Pierson

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Chief Executive Officer - Mike Archer

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 'Dunsborough Reference Group' terms of reference, as prepared by Dunsborough 2030 members  

 

The officer recommendation was moved and carried.

 

COUNCIL DECISION

C2111/089              Moved Councillor J Richards, seconded Councillor S Riccelli

 

That the Council, in line with its adopted Community Engagement Framework, supports engagement with a ‘Dunsborough Reference Group’ on strategic planning and other issues or proposals of strategic importance to the long term future of the Dunsborough community, generally as described below:

1.         Key aims from a City perspective are as follows:

a)         Provision of greater opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to considered decision making with respect to the future development of Dunsborough;

b)        Assisting in identifying current and future community needs, and identifying and assessing options to meet those needs; and

c)         Assisting in building partnerships and two-way communication between the City and the community, and within the community.

2.         Formation of a ‘Dunsborough Reference Group’ led by members of the community, and consistent with the following:

a)         The Group endeavors to establish and maintain a diverse membership base, broadly representative of the Dunsborough community as a whole, including:

·      Representatives of the Dunsborough & Districts Progress Association;

·      Representatives of the Dunsborough-Yallingup Chamber of Commerce & Industry;

·      Representatives of Dunsborough 2030;

·      Persons involved in community and sporting clubs and associations; and

·      Other residents and ratepayers from Dunsborough and nearby areas;

 

b)        The Group forms an ‘executive’ or similar, and adopts terms of reference broadly consistent with this resolution;

c)         The Group’s executive is able to provide feedback or other input to the City and other stakeholders on behalf of the Group;

d)        When input is sought from the Group by the City or other stakeholders, the individual members of the Group involved identify and declare potential or perceived financial conflicts of interest that may arise, and not involve themselves in the providing of input through the Group in those cases (although they would remain able to provide input through other means, in the same ways as any other citizen);

e)        In the narrow range of circumstances where input is sought from the Group by the City or other stakeholders on a confidential basis, that confidence is respected; and

f)         The Group and its members understand and respect the fact that City officers and Councillors may be limited in what they can say with respect to a particular matter due to confidentiality requirements and the need to avoid ‘apprehended bias’.

3.         Subject to the formation and maintenance of a Group consistent with point 2 above, the City commits to engage with the Group on the following terms:

a)         The City shall seek the input of the Group, through the Group’s executive, prior to making decisions or forming positions on strategic planning and other issues or proposals of strategic importance to the long term future of the Dunsborough community;

b)        The City shall consider the input provided by the Group, but is not obligated to accept or agree with the views expressed by the Group;

c)         Matters about which input shall be sought include:

·      Strategic planning matters, including planning strategies or amendments to such strategies (which includes both City of Busselton and WAPC planning strategies), town planning schemes and amendments, and structure plans (including precinct structure plans);

·      Major development proposals that may have strategic implications (with the preference being that input is sought at the pre-application phase, but noting that will only occur with the agreement of the proponent, which the City will actively seek to obtain, and noting that timeframes may mean that input may not be able to sought through a meeting with the Group’s executive);

·      City plans or projects relating to new or modified community, recreation or other infrastructure or services; and

·      State-led infrastructure projects;

d)        Input may be sought either through meetings with the Group’s executive, or through written communications, and the City will seek to meet with the Group’s executive approximately 4 times per year, or as reasonably required;

e)        When the City meets with the Group’s executive to seek input, the City shall be represented by the following delegates of the City:

·      Cr Kate Cox and Cr Paul Carter;

·      Cr Sue Riccelli and Cr Jodie Richards as deputies; and

·      City staff as determined by the CEO;

f)         If, during the course of a meeting between the City and the Group’s executive, attendees are asked to vote or similar, City delegates shall not participate; and

g)         The key role of both Councillors and City staff in such meetings shall be to listen to the input provided, respond to and ask questions, and provide information.

4.         These arrangements will be reviewed and potentially adjusted, in consultation with the Group, in approximately 12 months.

5.         These arrangements do not preclude other means of engagement with the Dunsborough community.

CARRIED 8/0

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council, in line with its adopted Community Engagement Framework, supports engagement with a ‘Dunsborough Reference Group’ on strategic planning and other issues or proposals of strategic importance to the long term future of the Dunsborough community, generally as described below:

1.         Key aims from a City perspective are as follows:

a)         Provision of greater opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to considered decision making with respect to the future development of Dunsborough;

b)        Assisting in identifying current and future community needs, and identifying and assessing options to meet those needs; and

c)         Assisting in building partnerships and two-way communication between the City and the community, and within the community.

2.         Formation of a ‘Dunsborough Reference Group’ led by members of the community, and consistent with the following:

a)         The Group endeavours to establish and maintain a diverse membership base, broadly representative of the Dunsborough community as a whole, including –

·        Representatives of the Dunsborough & Districts Progress Association;

·        Representatives of the Dunsborough-Yallingup Chamber of Commerce & Industry;

·        Representatives of Dunsborough 2030;

·        Persons involved in community and sporting clubs and associations; and

·        Other residents and ratepayers from Dunsborough and nearby areas;

b)        The Group forms an ‘executive’ or similar, and adopts terms of reference broadly consistent with this resolution;

c)         The Group’s executive is able to provide feedback or other input to the City and other stakeholders on behalf of the Group;

d)        When input is sought from the Group by the City or other stakeholders, the individual members of the Group involved identify and declare potential or perceived financial conflicts of interest that may arise, and not involve themselves in the providing of input through the Group in those cases (although they would remain able to provide input through other means, in the same ways as any other citizen);

 

e)        In the narrow range of circumstances where input is sought from the Group by the City or other stakeholders on a confidential basis, that confidence is respected; and

f)         The Group and its members understand and respect the fact that City officers and Councillors may be limited in what they can say with respect to a particular matter due to confidentiality requirements and the need to avoid ‘apprehended bias’.

3.         Subject to the formation and maintenance of a Group consistent with point 2 above, the City commits to engage with the Group on the following terms:

a)         The City shall seek the input of the Group, through the Group’s executive, prior to making decisions or forming positions on strategic planning and other issues or proposals of strategic importance to the long term future of the Dunsborough community;

b)        The City shall consider the input provided by the Group, but is not obligated to accept or agree with the views expressed by the Group;

c)         Matters about which input shall be sought include:

·        Strategic planning matters, including planning strategies or amendments to such strategies (which includes both City of Busselton and WAPC planning strategies), town planning schemes and amendments, and structure plans (including precinct structure plans);

·        Major development proposals that may have strategic implications (with the preference being that input is sought at the pre-application phase, but noting that will only occur with the agreement of the proponent, which the City will actively seek to obtain, and noting that timeframes may mean that input may not be able to sought through a meeting with the Group’s executive);

·        City plans or projects relating to new or modified community, recreation or other infrastructure or services; and

·        State-led infrastructure projects;

d)        Input may be sought either through meetings with the Group’s executive, or through written communications, and the City will seek to meet with the Group’s executive approximately 4 times per year, or as reasonably required;

e)        When the City meets with the Group’s executive to seek input, the City shall be represented by the following delegates of the City:

·        Cr Kate Cox and Cr Paul Carter;

·      Cr Sue Riccelli and Cr Jodie Richards as deputies; and

·      City staff as determined by the CEO;

f)         If, during the course of a meeting between the City and the Group’s executive, attendees are asked to vote or similar, City delegates shall not participate; and

g)         The key role of both Councillors and City staff in such meetings shall be to listen to the input provided, respond to and ask questions, and provide information.

4.         These arrangements will be reviewed and potentially adjusted, in consultation with the Group, in approximately 12 months.

5.         These arrangements do not preclude other means of engagement with the Dunsborough community.

 


 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Council is asked to consider the establishment of a relationship between the City and a proposed Dunsborough Reference Group (the Group) for the purposes of improved community engagement. Officers are recommending the Council support the idea and that 2 councillors (plus deputies) are endorsed as City delegates, when the City meets with the Group.

 

BACKGROUND

Over the next few years, a range of important decisions about the future of Dunsborough may need to be made by the City and other stakeholders, including the State Government. There have also been recent community concerns about the nature and scale of change occurring in the area, or which may occur in the future, with a number of people in the community feeling that their views and values are not being fully considered.

 

Those facts have contributed to the formation of the ‘Dunsborough 2030’ group, and have also led to the City having informal discussions with members of that group around the potential formation of a ‘Dunsborough Reference Group’. The (commonly agreed) aim of establishing such a reference group is to increase the level of community engagement in strategic decisions that may affect the long-term future of the community.

 

City officers have previously informally sought the input of Councillors with respect to the formation of such a group, and considered that input in preparing this report. The Council is now asked to give consideration to a proposal for the establishment of a relationship between the City and a proposed Dunsborough Reference Group.

 

The kinds of decisions that may need to be made includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

·        Planning and development controls applying to the Dunsborough Town Centre, in particular the planned preparation of a ‘Dunsborough Town Centre Precinct Structure Plan’;

·        Implementation of the WAPC’s Leeuwin-Naturaliste Sub-regional Planning Strategy, in particular work to identify a ‘Planning Investigation Area’, which may provide for future urban expansion;

·        Potentially, the development of an overall ‘Dunsborough Townsite Strategy’, or similar, which may seek to provide planning direction for the settlement of Dunsborough as a whole;

·        The preparation of a new town planning scheme for the City, as required of the City by the WAPC;

·        Planning for future community and recreational facilities, including at the Dunsborough Playing Fields/Naturaliste Community Centre site, the planned Dunsborough Lakes Sporting Precinct site and the Dunsborough Country Club site; and

·        Planning for coastal nodes within the Dunsborough townsite, including at Old Dunsborough and in Quindalup.

 


 

OFFICER COMMENT

Given the kinds of decisions that may need to be made over the next few years, the level of community interest in those decisions, and the City’s commitment to engage with the community, the formation of a ‘Dunsborough Reference Group’ or similar to support considered decision-making is seen as appropriate. There are a number of different models for the establishment of such a group – and there is not necessarily one ‘right’ or ‘correct’ model. It is up to the Council, the City more broadly, and the broader community, to identify a preferred model, and then work to ensure that model is effective.

 

Initially, the City had envisaged that a ‘Dunsborough Reference Group’ may be formed by the City itself. Such a group might have been similar to some other reference or advisory groups that the City has formed, usually with the formal support of Council through a Council resolution, such as the Lower Vasse River Management Advisory Group (noting that and other similar groups are not formal ‘committees’ of the Council), but are led by the City.

 

Members of the Dunsborough 2030 group, however, have proposed a different model, whereby a group is formed by members of the community, with the aim of having input into decision-making by the City, and potentially the State Government and/or other stakeholders. Individual members of the community are obviously free to form such a group without any formal recognition of that by the City. The City may also choose to engage with such groups as part of its decision-making processes, again without any formal recognition or structure. Doing so would be consistent with the City’s Council-adopted Community Engagement Framework 2021, as well as long-standing practice the City has taken with groups formed to represent the interests of particular areas or interests, such as the Dunsborough & Districts Progress Association, Yallingup Residents’ Association, Toby Inlet Catchment Group or Dunsborough Bay Yacht Club, amongst many others.

 

What members of the Dunsborough 2030 group have proposed, however, goes beyond what occurs with some other groups currently. A draft terms of reference, prepared by members of that group, is provided as Attachment A. This report recommends that the Council indicates support for an approach thought to be broadly consistent with what has been proposed. The reasons for that recommendation are chiefly that:

·        The proposal looks to be broadly workable and able to contribute to better decision-making and greater community engagement;

·        Relative to the alternative model, it may assist in ensuring a greater sense of community ownership of the group;

·        Relative to the alternative model, it may assist in avoiding perceptions that the City may seek to ‘control’ the group;

·        In common with a City formed reference group or similar, it avoids the formality and constraints of a formal committee of the Council; and

·        Relative to the alternative model, and relative to existing approaches, it potentially reduces the commitment of City resources necessary to obtain considered and broad input from the community.

 

A model of this kind would certainly be unique for the City of Busselton, and City officers have no direct experience of this kind of model. But especially given the enthusiasm of some in the community for pursuing a model of this kind, officers feel it is worth doing so. If the Council agrees that the model proposed is appropriate, a question then arises as to how the relationship between the City and the Group is to be defined or determined?

 


 

With the alternative model, of a group formed by the City itself, the Council would ordinarily be asked to consider and adopt a terms of reference. If the Group is not being formed by the City itself, however, that is not necessary, and the group itself would need to establish its terms of reference (or equivalent); noting that work is already very well advanced. Further, whilst the Group has, to a reasonable degree, already begun to form, that process is not complete. It is also understood that the Group may not necessarily become an incorporated entity, so the exact point at which the group has ‘formed’ may not be clear.

 

Given the above, there appear to be two fundamental options for determining the relationship between the City and the Group. One may involve an agreement (such as a Memorandum-of-Understanding) between the City and the Group. The other would involve the City setting out its aims, commitments and expectations for the relationship, as outlined in the Officer Recommendation. Whilst in this case it is proposed that the Council make that decision, there is actually no statutory reason why it is necessary to do so to establish such a relationship, in the case of either option.

 

It is, however, the second option that is recommended. The principal reasons for that are:

·        It is considered that the City’s aims are broadly consistent with the proposal that has been developed by members of the community;

·        It should enable the relationship to begin somewhat sooner;

·        It is relatively informal and adaptable; and

·        Entering into an ‘agreement’ with what may be an unincorporated entity would be somewhat unusual.

 

Reflecting and building upon that option, the officer recommendation consists of five parts:

1.         Potential aims that the City is seeking to achieve through the relationship;

2.         Confirming key expectations in terms of the membership and operations of the Group;

3.         Setting out the commitments that the City is making to the Group in terms of how it will engage with the Group;

4.         Providing for a review of the approach in approximately 12 months (which is seen as appropriate, especially given the relative novelty of the approach proposed); and

5.         Confirming that the relationship with the Group does not preclude other means of engaging with the Dunsborough community.

 

Some commentary on key aspects of parts 1-3 of the officer recommendation is set out below.

 

Aims of the relationship (part 1 of the recommendation)

The draft terms of reference, prepared by members of the Dunsborough 2030 group, and provided as Attachment A, does set out some objectives for the Dunsborough Reference Group. Those objectives describe what the Group may seek to examine, rather than what it may seek to achieve in terms of outcomes. The things identified as objectives are also essentially reflected in part 3 (c) of the officer recommendation, which seeks to set out the matters regarding which the City would seek input from the Group.

 


 

With the model proposed, it is up to the Group itself to determine the details of its terms of reference, but it is considered that the Council may wish to explicitly set out what it is trying to achieve, from its perspective, and the following is recommended:

·        Provision of greater opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to considered decision making with respect to the future development of Dunsborough;

·        Assisting in identifying current and future community needs, and identifying and assessing options to meet those needs; and

·        Assisting in building partnerships and two-way communication between the City and the community, and within the community.

 

Expectations of the Group (part 2 of the officer recommendation)

In drafting part 2 of the officer recommendation, officers have sought to generally reflect the draft terms of reference. Rationale for aspects of part 2 is set out briefly below –

·        Part 2 recognises that, for the identified aims to be met, it is important that the Group is broadly representative of the community, which is intended to include from an age, interest and background perspective;

·        Part 2 (d) and (e) recognises that it would be appropriate for financial interests to be declared and confidences respected, to ensure that parties other than the City especially, will be comfortable providing information to the Group; and

·        Part 2 (f) asks that the Group recognise that City representatives will be bound by certain governance constraints, recognition and understanding of which is important.

 

Commitments of the City (part 3 of the officer recommendation)

As well as confirming what it may expect of the Group, it is important that the City set out what commitment it is making to the Group and the relationship. Some aspects of the proposed commitments and associated rationale are set out briefly below –

·        Parts 3 (a) and (b) set out that the City shall seek input prior to making decisions, and will consider, but is not bound by, the input of the Group – which is a reflection of the fact that the City, including the Council, cannot delegate its decision-making responsibilities to the Group;

·        Part 3 (c) sets out the matters regarding which input will be sought, which includes both ‘town planning’ matters, but also other kinds of strategic decisions, which are also important for the future of the community; and

·        Part 3 (f) and (g) seek to clarify the role of City delegates at meetings with the Group.

 

Statutory Environment

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

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

The officer recommendation aligns to the adopted City of Busselton Community Engagement Framework 2021.

 

Financial Implications

There are no significant financial implications associated with the officer recommendation, other than with respect to the time of Councillors and City officers, some of which is likely to be required outside normal business hours.  This can be accommodated within current City budget parameters.

Stakeholder Consultation

The recommendation of the report itself relates to approaches to future stakeholder consultation. In preparing this report, City officers have communicated with members of the Dunsborough 2030 group on several occasions. The Mayor and (now) Deputy Mayor, as well as the CEO and Director of Planning and Development services also attended a meeting organised by that group in October 2021, where this matter was discussed.

 

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.

 

It should be noted that a reputational risk exists in the event that Council chooses not to support engaging in manner outlined with an established Dunsborough Reference Group.  This risk is assessed as medium, noting there is significant community interest in the future development of Dunsborough and there appears to be broad support for the establishment of a Reference Group such as this.

 

Options

As an alternative to the officer recommendation the Council could:

1.         Not support engaging with formation of a Dunsborough Reference Group in the way outlined in this report;

2.         Not express a view on the matter; or

3.         Support an alternative model.

CONCLUSION

As already noted, given the kinds of decisions that may need to be made over the next few years, the level of community interest in those decisions, and the City’s commitment to improve its engagement with the community, the formation of a ‘Dunsborough Reference Group’ or similar to support considered decision-making is seen as appropriate. Whilst the model proposed is somewhat novel, officers feel it is worth doing, especially given the enthusiasm of some in the community for pursuing a model of this kind. It is considered that the formation of such a group, and the building of an engaged and productive relationship between the City and the group, could make a significant contribution to better decision-making and greater engagement, to the long-term benefit of the Dunsborough community.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

It is anticipated that the Group could be formed prior to the end of the 2021 calendar year.


Council

149

10 November 2021

1.1

Attachment a

Draft 'Dunsborough Reference Group' terms of reference, as prepared by Dunsborough 2030 members

 



Council                                                                                      151                                                       10 November 2021

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 6.02pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THESE MINUTES CONSISTING OF PAGES 1 TO 152 WERE CONFIRMED AS A TRUE AND CORRECT RECORD ON Wednesday, 24 November 2021.

 

DATE:_________________  PRESIDING MEMBER:         _____________________________