Dungog Shire Council Meeting Highlights: 17 November 2021

DUNGOG SHIRE COUNCIL MEETING - Wednesday 17 November 2021, 6pm 

Dungog Shire Council meets on the third Wednesday of every month from February – December.

Meetings are livestreamed via council’s Facebook page and meeting agendas and minutes can be found on council’s website.

This month’s meeting marks the final meeting for this term of council.

In Dungog Shire, this term commenced in September 2017 and will conclude on 4 December 2021, when local government elections are held across NSW. The first meeting of the new council will be held on Wednesday 22 December 2021.

We thank the current councillors for their service to the Dungog Shire community and wish them every success in all future endeavours.

Please find following a selection of highlights from this month’s meeting: 


11.1 ENERGY AUDIT OF COUNCIL ASSETS 

Dungog Shire Council has commissioned an Energy Audit to investigate the installation of renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on council buildings. Assets include: 

  • Council Administration Building 
  • Works Depot 
  • Dungog Swimming Pool 
  • Clarence Town Swimming Pool 

The audit is an important first step in addressing council’s pledge under the Cities Power Partnership to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings through installation of renewable energy infrastructure, as well as contributing to council’s actions to reduce its energy consumption and minimise carbon emissions. 

Conducted by Ecosave, it’s anticipated that the recommendations of the audit, including Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) for each asset, will enable council to consider an energy efficiency action plan for the future. 


11.2 REVIEW OF THE DUNGOG LOCAL WASTE STRATEGY 

Following completion of a Waste Audit earlier this year, Dungog Shire Council has extended its agreement with MRA Consulting to complete a review of the Dungog Waste Strategy, in partnership with council staff. 

Based on recommendations from the Waste Audit, this will involve: 

  • A review of the NSW EPA Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 and the draft Action Plan released by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment (DPIE). 
  • An update of council’s waste management goals and targets for diversion of waste from landfill to align with national and state strategies. 
  • Development of comprehensive indicators to assess existing infrastructure (Dungog Waste Management Facility) and the cost of waste services. 
  • Formulation of a range of actions to address council’s service needs, infrastructure needs and the achievement of strategy objectives. 
  • A Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) implementation cost benefit analysis; and 
  • Specific considerations and objectives to combat illegal dumping. 

It is anticipated the draft Waste Review will be available for council consideration in February 2022. 
 

11.3 FOOD REGULATION PARTNERSHIP REPORT 2021-22 

The Food Regulation Partnership (FRP) was established in 2008 to ensure a consistent approach to food surveillance across NSW and sets out the responsibilities of state and local government in a partnership agreement. 

The partnership provides a framework for ensuring that food sold in the retail and food service sector in NSW is safe to eat. 

In Dungog Shire, there is a fluctuating number of between 35 and 40 fixed food premises, along with up to 6 mobile food vendors that are regulated by council. Of the 29 inspections conducted in Dungog Shire during the last financial year, 27 were found to be satisfactory, with a 93.1% compliance rate. 

Council’s Environmental Health Officer is a member of the group of regional professionals who meet regularly to discuss issues such as the management of food surveillance programs to ensure food health and safety standards are continuously met. 


11.4 REVIEW OF ANIMAL POUND SERVICES 

Dungog Shire Council has resolved to enter into an agreement with Maitland City Council for the provision of animal pound services. This agreement would operate on a retention fee basis and be reviewed as required. 

This decision comes following Maitland City Council’s recent construction of an impressive and modern Animal Management Facility at Tenambit, of which Dungog Shire has been invited to consider as its pound on a contract basis. The facility is operated by animal welfare organisation, Central Coast Animal Care. 

Dungog Shire Council has relatively low numbers of impounded animals and this agreement would replace the existing arrangements with Belmont Kennels in Williamtown; however, the day-holding facility at Dungog Works Depot would remain. 

Benefits include shorter travel distance than to the existing facility and additional services such as microchipping days, rehoming options and community education. 
 

11.5 END OF TERM STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT REPORT 

The End of Term State of the Environment (SOE) Report for Dungog Shire Council has been presented to council’s End of Term Meeting. 

The SOE measures and reports on the progress of environmental goals in council’s Community Strategic Plan and represents a comprehensive commentary of the state of the environment in Dungog Shire that will provide an extremely useful reference document for many years to come. 

A full copy of the SOE will be placed on council’s website.
 

12.2 WORKS PROGRESS REPORT 

During October 2021, Dungog Shire Council undertook significant road and infrastructure construction and maintenance works across the shire. These include: 

Road & Bridge Construction 

  • Safety barrier upgrade works undertaken at Stroud Hill Road. These works are one out of three sites funded by $1.79M from the NSW Government’s Road Safety program to help create safer roads in the shire. 
     
  • Paterson River Road, Salisbury Road and Flat Tops Road – Drainage, pavement and sealing works undertaken. These works are funded by council’s Special Rate Variation (SRV). 
     
  • Archinals & Mary Carlton’s bridge replacements – Construction is underway on the first two of 23 bridge replacements scheduled across the shire under the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Bridges program. 
     
  • Clarence Town Road, Segment 1 – Rehabilitation is happening on the $1.83M priority segment of Clarence Town Road. The $25M Clarence Town Road – Raymond Terrace to Dungog project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $20M, and the NSW Government committing $5M. The project will deliver upgrades to 22 sections of the road, improving road safety and access, and is being delivered by Dungog Shire Council and Port Stephens Council. 

Building & Other Construction Works 

  • Clarence Town Sporting Facility – Drainage and carpark construction works on this $2M sporting and recreational asset are nearing completion. Funded by the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF), the facility provides new change rooms, amenities, kiosks, referee facilities and first aid rooms for use by local sporting teams and community user groups. 
     
  • Coronation Park – This $108,000 playground upgrade including the installation of new play equipment, fencing, paths and shade sails, is continuing. These works are largely funded by the Australian Government’s Local Road and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program. 

Sealed and unsealed road maintenance including patching, grading, gravel sheeting and drainage works were also undertaken on roads across the shire. These works are in addition to the regular maintenance, repair, slashing and mowing carried out across all council facilities. 

We ask all residents and road users to please take extra care when traveling in works and construction zones by adhering to the changed traffic conditions. 
 

14.2 COUNCIL CHRISTMAS / NEW YEAR PERIOD ARRANGEMENTS 2021/22 

The following information has been provided regarding Dungog Shire Council’s Christmas and New Year operating arrangements: 

Christmas Function - Friday 17 December 2021 

A staff Christmas function will take place from 1pm to 3pm on Friday 17 December 2021. 

The Administration Centre, Waste Facility, Depot, Library and VIC facilities will be closed from 12pm on 17 December to allow staff to attend. COVID-19 Public Health Orders and social distancing requirements will be in force at the event. 

Council Admin Facilities 

Council’s Administration Centre and phone coverage will close at 12.30pm on Friday 24 December 2021. Council’s Administration Centre, Service NSW, Library and Planning Services will all reopen on Monday 3 January 2022. 

Visitor Information Centre 

Dungog’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC) will close at 12.30pm on Friday 24 December 2021 and will reopen again on Monday 27 December 2021. It will also be closed on New Year’s Day, Saturday 1 January 2022. 

Waste Management Facility 

Council’s Waste Management Facility will be closed on Christmas Day (Saturday 25 December 2021) and New Year’s Day (Saturday 1 January 2022). Waste collection will not be affected. 

Depot Operations 

The Depot will be closed to the public from 4.30pm on Thursday 23 December 2021 and resume standard operations on Monday 3 January 2022. There will be a reduced number of outdoor staff working throughout the Christmas/New Year period providing toilet cleaning, street cleaning, parks and gardens, and tar patching services. 


14.4 ANNUAL REPORT 2020-21 

Dungog Shire Council has endorsed its Annual Report 2020-21 which includes the End of Term Report (EOTR), State of the Environment (SOE) Report and Audited Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2021. 

The Annual Report responds to the actions listed in council’s Operational Plan to outline council’s progress against these actions. In each year a local government election is held, council must also include its EOTR in its Annual Report.

The EOTR outlines council’s achievements in implementing the Community Strategic Plan over the previous four years and responds to the strategic goals of the organisation. 

Where required, the layout and formatting of the documents will be updated to enable presentation to the community. Once finalised, the full report will be placed on council’s website.