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Highlights of the 23 March 2020 Extraordinary Council Meeting

Source: Central Coast Council
Posted: 25 Mar 2020
Due to the current COVID-19 health crisis, Central Coast Council tonight held a shortened Extraordinary Meeting to consider several significant matters which required time-sensitive decisions to ensure ongoing operations in the 2020-21 financial year.

Other matters which would have been considered at a full-length ordinary meeting of Council have been postponed until a later date.

Call for Federal and State support for economic stimulus package

Council will call on the Federal and State Governments to direct economic stimulus packages to local government in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Lisa Matthews said that the NSW Government stimulus packages must include substantial funding and resources for councils to help drive local economic recovery.

"We need to ensure there is local employment and support of local businesses across NSW, as well as ongoing investment in public infrastructure and community services for the public good," she said.

"We need all Governments to work hand in hand with Councils to help the community move beyond this pandemic and prosper in the future."

 

Pandemic triggers deferral of key strategies to allow full public consultation

Council is seeking to defer public exhibition of two key policies, due to the difficulty allowing the community to have its say during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council will write to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment seeking a 12-month extension for public exhibition of the Draft Local Strategic Planning Statement.

Council has also voted to defer public comment on a draft Economic Development Strategy.

Mayor Lisa Matthews said it was crucial that the community have its say on both the Local Strategic Planning Statement and the Economic Development Strategy.

"We are in the middle of a significant pandemic, and both of these documents will shape the future of our region," she said.

"We also don't yet know what the outcomes will be for the local economy and we will continue to monitor the needs of our business community and adapt to the challenges which emerge."

 

2020-21 Operational Plan to go on public exhibition

The draft Operational Plan 2020-21 is the third and final year of implementation for the three -year Delivery Program and lists every project and initiative Council has planned to deliver.  Council's spending is focused on providing services in areas important to the community and on improving asset management.

During the 2020-21 financial year, it is proposed that Council will receive operational revenue of $551.6 million and spend $584.1 million on essential services. This results in an operating deficit before capital grants and contributions of $32.5 million.

This differs to the forecasted operating deficit of $16.0 million for the 2020-21 from the 2019-20 Operational Plan Long Term Financial Plan due to changes in Council's operating environment, focus on continuing to improve service delivery and customer service whilst delivering projects in line with the Community Strategic Plan.

Projects will be delivered across the local government area and some of the highlights of the capital works program for 2020-21 financial year include:

  • $79.1million in roads, transport and drainage projects
  • $60.2million in water and sewerage projects
  • $15.4million for the redevelopment of Adcock Park
  • $3.9million for the Colongra sporting facility development
  • $1.4million for Lake Munmorah Recreation facility development
  • $1.4million for Toukley Town Centre: Toukley Village Green upgrade
  • $1.3million for improvements to Central Coast Stadium
  • $1.3million for regional playspace development - Sun Valley Park, Green Point

Mayor Lisa Matthews said the Operational Plan will ensure Council continues to deliver to the community in line with its feedback as outlined in Council's 10-year Community Strategic Plan.

"We are committed to continuing to put in place the infrastructure and projects that the community expects," she said.

It is important to note that Draft Operational Plan was developed prior to the realisation of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) impacts. Council recognises that if the economy moves into recession there will be impacts on the Central Coast economy, which will likely impact the revenue base and also place cost pressures on operations. In progressing the draft Operational Plan, Council specifically noted the importance of making available hardship provisions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020-21 Operational Plan will be on public exhibition from Tuesday 31 March to Monday 27 April 2020 and public submissions can be made during this time.  These submissions and the final 2020-21 Operational Plan will be presented to Council for adoption at the ordinary meeting on 9 June 2020.

Members of the community will be able to view it and provide feedback online.

 

Waste Resource Management Strategy to go on public display

An integrated Waste Resource Management Strategy that covers the entire Central Coast region is a step closer after it was resolved to put a draft version of the strategy out for public consultation.

Waste management is rapidly becoming a concern for environmentally aware Central Coast residents with this draft strategy set to drive the direction of this important issue for the next decade.

Underpinning the strategy are four key objectives:

  • Drive waste avoidance
  • Deliver a step change in resource recovery and build a circular economy
  • Strengthen triple bottom line outcomes
  • Enhance street and open space appeal.

Residents are encouraged to have their say online during the consultation period or by making a written submission.

Following consultation, a further report will be delivered to Council later this year.

 

Community grants to assist small projects

A further $27,697 has been allocated to seven local projects that met the criteria for support through Council's ongoing Community Support Grants.

Council's grant programs are provided to help the community deliver quality programs, projects or events that build connections, celebrate our local community, align with the One-Central Coast Community Strategic Plan and build capacity across the entire Central Coast community.

The Community Support Grants provide up to $5,000 per project per financial year in combined funding and in-kind Council services.

Community Support Grants - January 2020 recipients:

  • Central Coast Mountain Bike Club, $5,000 - construction of wheelchair accessible amenities at Ourimbah MTB Park
  • Volunteering Central Coast, $2,287 - National Volunteering Week Expo, Awards and Volunteering Support Services and volunteer training workshops
  • Multiple Sclerosis Limited, $4,400 - exercise classes for people with multiple sclerosis and people with a disability.
  • Central Coast Sea Dragons, $5,000 - two dragon boat trolleys
  • Yarramalong School Community Centre, $1,800 - landscaping bay
  • Toukley & Districts Art Society, $4,800 - art workshops
  • Tuggerah Lakes Art Society, $4,410 - art workshops.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Council recognised that some organisations may now be unable to complete their projects. The CEO will review each proposal and funds will only be distributed to the agencies which can deliver their projects in the current circumstances.

 
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