SUPPLEMENTARY

BUSINESS PAPER

 

Ordinary Meeting

 

Wednesday,  12 November, 2008

at 6:30 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hornsby Shire Council

Table of Contents

Page 1

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

SUPPLEMENTARY ITEMS          

Item 34   ST14/08 Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2007/08      

 


        


 

Executive Manager's Report No. ST14/08

Strategy Division

Date of Meeting: 12/11/2008

 

34      ANNUAL REPORT AND SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2007/08     

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

This report introduces Council's Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2007/08. 

 

The Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2007/08 summarises information on council's operations and performance including its social, environmental, financial and corporate performance.  As well as complying with legislation, this report uses some aspects of the Global Reporting Initiative to define content and performance indicators.

 

All Divisions of council have performed strongly and almost all initiatives in the Management Plan have been completed or are underway. 

 

Council finished the year in a surplus position despite the declining revenues from investments and the lower building activity’s impact on related fees and charges.

 

The Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2007/08 will be lodged with the Minister for Local Government on or before 30 November 2008.

 

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE

 

The purpose of this report is to present the Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2007/08 for receipt and notice prior to it being lodged with the Minister for Local Government.

 

DISCUSSION

 

An annual report is issued yearly and contains detailed operational and financial information. The Local Government Act 1993 provides in Section 428 for an Annual Report to be lodged with the Minister for Local Government by 30th November each year. 

 

The Act nominates inclusions in the Report, including achievements with respect to the management plan for that year, a copy of the audited financial reports, comment on the state of the environment, the condition of public infrastructure, a summary of legal proceedings and statements regarding councillor fees and senior staff contracts. Council prepared a Report to the Community which was distributed to residents in July 2008. It provided summary information on achievements and financial performance in 2007/08 in a reader-friendly format.  This Report provides more detail and meets Council's legislative obligation under the Act.

 

This year's Annual Report and Sustainability Report has expanded on that of previous years to include information on our sustainable practices.  As well as the traditional information in an annual report we have continued our sustainability reporting by including some Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) content and indicators, hence the title Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2007/08.  The GRI content and indicators are aligned to those expressed in the Management Plan, providing a direct link to performance. 

 

Incorporating sustainability reporting with annual reporting has enabled a more streamline approach to reporting because it incorporates state of the environment and social plan reporting and addresses the Department of Local Government's proposed reporting requirements as per its draft Integrated Planning and Reporting paper.

 

Key Issues for 2007/08

Councillors identified five key issues to be addressed during 2007/08:

·   Closing the assets renewal gap

·   Adjusting service provision to community priorities and developing more cost effective service delivery

·   Increasing the income stream

·   Preparing longer range budgets

·   Containing the growth of operating costs within recurrent income

 

What was achieved in 2007/08?

Closing the asset renewal gap

Maintaining our infrastructure in sound condition so it services the needs of the community in a functional, safe, reliable and cost effective manner is expensive.  In order to renew and maintain our local infrastructure in satisfactory condition for current and future users Council increased its borrowings by an additional $1 million to fund asset expenditure.  The additional funds were expended on the following projects:

 

Community Centres – maintenance and upgrade

$150,000

Brooklyn / Dangar Island council properties – sewer connections

$50,000

Aquatic Centres – maintenance

$155,000

Foxglove Oval – settlement reconstruction

$460,000

Crosslands Reserve – water supply

$80,000

Hornsby Library – recarpeting

$100,000

 

Council also set aside $360,000 from general revenue for future drainage works in the Hornsby CBD.  In 2007/08 council programmed and delivered almost $5 million of works on local roads, footpaths and kerb and gutter as well as allocating almost $1.5 million to maintenance of parks.  Projects totalling $1.7 million went towards improving the amenities at ovals, including accessible toilets, and council was awarded grant funding to expand its water conservation and re-use schemes at its ovals and parks.

 

Adjusting service provision to community priorities and developing more cost effective service delivery

Development contributions funding of $3.7 million was used to improve various parks and reserves in the shire to ensure those areas meet the demands of the increasing population.  Hornsby Council provides a range of multi-use facilities, and in 2007/08 work commenced on improvements to the Cherrybrook Community Centre to in order to improve its usage and meet the changing needs of the community.  Another highlight for the year was the development and adoption of a cultural plan for the shire.  The cultural plan will guide future development of spaces for the arts and other cultural activities.

 

Increasing the income stream

Property rates are, and will remain, the primary source of Council’s revenue, but this major source of income is constrained by rate pegging and therefore the organisation must look to other ways of increasing its income.  In 2007/08 council was awarded almost $2 million in competitive grant funds from the other levels of government.  These funds were used for various environmental projects and community services.  Council also instigated a grants assistance program to assist community groups in the shire to source and apply for grants and funding opportunities.  Uptake of this service has been modest with only thirteen groups using the service.

 

Preparing longer range budgets

2007/08 was a period of leadership change for council’s financial management team and as a consequence the focus for the team moved to implementing system enhancements for budgeting and reporting to enable better ‘drill down’ capability and improve internal audit processes.  The project to review and refine council’s Strategic Financial Plan has been deferred to 2008/09.

 

Containing the growth of operating costs

The financial challenges faced by Council in 2007/08 will most likely remain into the 2008/09 financial year. These financial challenges include cost shifting, particularly by the State Government, volatility in financial markets resulting in returns below historical averages, increased fuel costs, construction and maintenance materials cost increases well above CPI, lower building activity related fees and charges and an increasing provision for employee leave entitlements.

 

One challenge for local government is the need to absorb the increasing costs of governance such as the processes associated with document access and the rising charges imposed on local government by other authorities, while at the same providing the levels of services and facilities expected by the community.  For example in 2007/08 council received 1,023 documents access applications and 41 applications under Freedom of Information legislation, almost double the amount received in the previous year.  The fees for document access generally do not reflect the staff time and effort required to meet the request.  Council also absorbed the fees charged to council for street lighting which increased by $112,000. 

 

Council’s expenditure and revenue was monitored regularly to ensure cost pressures remained under control and council’s Net Operating and Capital Result after internal and external funding for the 12 months to 30 June 2008 was a surplus of $128K compared to a budgeted surplus of $22K. 

 

 

BUDGET

 

This report comments on previous financial year performance and does not have budget implications.

 

 

POLICY

 

This report comments on previous financial year performance and does not have policy implications.

 

 

CONSULTATION

 

All divisions of council have contributed to the report contents.  The Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2007/08 preparation has been a collaboration between Strategy Division, Environment Division and General Manager's Division.

 

TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE SUMMARY

 

Working with our community

The Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2007/08 includes information on performance in relation to services and access for all residents of the shire.

 

Conserving our natural environment

The Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2007/08 includes information on the state of the environment and bushfire hazard reduction activities. 

 

Contributing to community development through sustainable facilities and services

The Global Reporting Initiative Sector Supplement for Public Agencies has been integral to the preparation of this Report, demonstrating and describing council's commitment to a sustainable environment.

 

Maintaining sound corporate and financial management

Councils are accountable to their residents and ratepayers.  The Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2007/08 provides a mechanism for accountability in that it provides information to measure many aspects of both financial and non-financial performance.

 

RESPONSIBLE OFFICER

 

Julie Williams, Manager Corporate Strategy, and Michelle Edmunds, Manager Community Relations, are responsible for this report and they can be contacted on 9847 6790 and 9847 6702 respectively.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT:

 

1.      Council receive and note the Annual Report and Sustainability Report;  and

 

2.      The Report be forwarded to the Minister for Local Government before 30 November 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julie Williams

Manager, Corporate Strategy

Strategy Division

 

 

 

 

Robert Ball

General Manager

General Manager Division

 

 

 

Attachments:

1.View

Draft Annual Report and Sustainability Report

 

 

2.View

General Purpose Financial Report

 

 

3.View

Special Purpose Financial Reports

 

 

4.View

Special Schedules

 

 

5.View

Income Statement - Business Activities

 

 

 

 

File Reference:           F2004/07317

Document Number:   D01006615

 


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. ST14/08 Page 5

 

COVER

 

Hornsby Shire Council

 

Annual Report

and

Sustainability Report

 

2007/08

 

Note: env images: h:/general/SOE2007-08KEEP/SOE Photos 2007-08

 

 

 



Contact information INSIDE FRONT COVER:

 

COUNCIL

 

General Enquiries          9847 6666

 

 

AQUATIC CENTRES

 

Cherrybrook                     9980 7822

 

Epping                            9876 5945

 

Galston                           9651 2393

 

Hornsby                          9847 6813

 

 

BRICKPIT INDOOR SPORTS STADIUM

 

Thornleigh                       9481 9844

 

 

EARLY CHILDHOOD HEALTH CENTRES

 

Berowra                          9456 2877

 

Brooklyn                         9985 7717

 

Carlingford Court              9871 8691

 

Epping                            9876 1438

 

Galston                         9653 3928 / 9653 2256

 

Hornsby                          9482 4026

 

Pennant Hills                 9843 7952 / 9483 7953

 

 

LEISURE AND LEARNING CENTRES (50+)

 

Asquith, Brooklyn, Epping, Hornsby (Willow Park) and Pennant Hills.

 

Information / bookings       9847 6531 / 9847 6050

 

LIBRARIES

 

Berowra                          9456 3913

 

Epping                            9868 1711

 

Galston                           9653 1338

 

Hornsby                          9847 6813

 

Pennant Hills                   9481 9630

 

 


 

NURSERY AND PRESCHOOL CENTRES

 

Asquith                           9477 3727

 

Cherrybrook                     9481 0566

 

Hornsby                          9477 2338

 

Somerville Park Early    

Childhood Education Centre       9869 7343             

Westleigh                        9875 1166

 

 

VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE

 

Hornsby Park                  9987 1809

(inside CWA building)

 

WASTE SERVICES                  

 

Thornleigh                       9847 4856

 

 

YOUTH AND FAMILY CENTRE

 

Hornsby                          9847 6585

 

PUBLIC OFFICER

 

For the service of notices to Council, assistance in the provision of information regarding the affairs of Council and access to Council documents, and assistance in the resolution of outstanding service level issues, please call the Manager, Administration Services on 9847 6608 or email hsc@hornsby.nsw.gov.au Access to certain documents may be limited in accordance with relevant legislation.

 

COMPLIMENTS / COMPLAINTS on service delivery

 

Council is committed to continual improvement in customer service.  An effective complaints handling system is an essential part of the provision of quality customer service because it provides an organised way of recording and responding to customer complaints as well as identifying opportunities for improvement.  Council’s customer service policy and complaints handling policy are available in the policies section of the Corporate Documents page on Council’s website www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au

To lodge a compliment or complaint about an aspect of Council’s services, please call 9847 6790 or email jawilliams@hornsby.nsw.gov.au

 


 

 

 

 

Table of contents

 

1. Introduction. 1

1.1 What this report is and what it covers: 1

1.2 What is a sustainability report?. 1

1.3 Hornsby Shire Council 2

1.4 Hornsby shire. 5

1.5 Wards and Councillors. 6

1.6 Executive overview from the Mayor 7

2. Key Issues for 2007/08. 8

2.1 What was achieved in 2007/08?. 8

2.2 Awards 2007/08. 11

3. The state of our environment 12

3.1 Environmental sustainability. 13

3.2 Human settlement 14

3.3 Heritage. 14

3.4 Waste. 16

3.5 Water 17

3.6 Atmosphere. 17

3.7 Bushland and biodiversity. 18

3.8 Soil landscape. 18

3.9 Noise. 19

3.10 Bushfire hazard. 19

3.11 Companion animals. 20

4. Our community. 21

4.1 Children. 21

4.2 Caring for youth. 21

4.3 Access and Equity. 22

4.4 Multiculturalism.. 22

4.4 Multiculturalism.. 23

4.5 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. 23

4.6 Over 55 services. 24

4.7 Working with our community - key results for 2007/08. 25

5. Our economy. 26

5.1 Economic development 26

5.2 Development contributions. 27

5.3 The Housing Strategy. 27

5.4 Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby Subregional Employment Study. 27

6. Governance. 28

6.1 Hornsby as a workplace. 28

6.2 Occupational Health and Safety. 28

6.3 Equal Employment and Opportunity. 28

6.4 Fraud and corruption prevention. 29

6.5 Catchments Remediation Rate and Hornsby Quarry Loan Rate. 29

6.6 Hornsby Shire Council’s approach to Triple Bottom Line. 30

6.7 Statutory write-offs. 30

6.8 Status of 2007/08 actions in Management Plan. 31

7. Statutory returns. 42

8. Local Government Act 1993. 43

9. Global Reporting Initiative. 50

Appendix 1     General and special purpose financial statements. 2

Appendix 2         Litigation summary. 7

Class 1. Land and Environment Court 14

Appendix 3         Freedom of Information Report 16

 

 


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. ST14/08 Page 8

 

1. Introduction


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. ST14/08 Page 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1.1 What this report is and what it covers:

 

For synergy, continuity and consistency, Hornsby Shire Council has again combined its Annual Report and Sustainability Report to provide a succinct synopsis encompassing the period July 2007 to June 2008. This united document reviews the year’s accomplishments, presents objectives consistent with Council’s Management Plan (available at www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au) and realises the statutory reporting requirements of the Department of Local Government.

 

Hornsby Shire Council’s 2007/08 Annual Report was produced to comply with the Acts and General Regulation for the Department of Local Government and elected representatives. It accomplishes this by providing a brief overview of what Council has achieved during the past year in respect to the following:

·     Local Government Act 1993,

·     Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979,

·     Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998, and the

·     Freedom of Information Act 1989.

 

The Local Government Act 1993 requirements of Section 428 (1) where Council is to “…prepare a report as to its achievements with respect to the objectives and performance targets set out in its management plan for that year…” are addressed in sections 1 to 7 of this report. All other Acts and Regulations are identified individually throughout.

 

A copy of this report can be found at www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.2 What is a sustainability report?

 

‘Sustainability reporting is the public communication of an organisation’s internal and external economic, social and environmental performance’ (Centre for Public Agency Sustainability Reporting 2007, Case Studies of Sustainability Reporting by Public Agencies: Three Public Agencies from Australia and New Zealand).

 

At Hornsby Council we define sustainability as - "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." (Adapted from the Brundtland Report, Our Common Future 1987).


This means all the impacts of decisions must be considered including the social, environment and economic impacts.

 

We have chosen to report our internal organisational sustainability progress using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework because this will give us the ability to track our performance against others.  The GRI framework recommends that public agencies provide both qualitative and quantitative data on:

·     Context or state of the environment: economic, environmental, or social conditions within our area of jurisdiction.

·     Public policies and implementation measures: external policies and actions related to sustainable development.

·     Organisational performance: internal policies and role as a consumer and employer.

 

For more information on the global reporting initiative see www.globalreporting.org


1.3 Hornsby Shire Council

 

Council operations

 

All the operations of Council, including business activities, are grouped under six principal activities called divisions:

 

   · General Manager’s Division

   · Strategy Division

   · Corporate and Community Division

   · Environment Division

   · Works Division

   · Planning Division

 

Much of the work done by Council involves activity from more than one division. For example, planning and managing the urban environment involves the Works Division, the Planning Division, the Strategy Division and the Environment Division.

 

Roles and responsibilities of Council

 

Hornsby Shire Council provides various services to the residents, ratepayers and visitors to the shire, including:

 

·     Planning and managing the urban environment

·     Managing the bushland

·     Creating local habitats

·     Creating biodiversity corridors

·     Providing environmental and waste education

·     Collecting residential and commercial waste

·     Providing a recycling service

·     Responding to pollution incidents

·     Prosecuting polluters

·     Sweeping the streets

·     Planting trees and eliminating noxious weeds

·     Monitoring water quality

·     Preserving heritage sites

·     Inspecting food premises

·     Assisting State Emergency Services

·     Providing grants to community organisations

·     Celebrating Australia Day

·     Holding community events such as the Garden Competition, Seniors’ Week and Children’s Week

·     Providing Community Safety programmes

·     Controlling the keeping of companion animals

·     Assisting local organisations and committees

·     Building and maintaining local roads and footpaths

·     Providing street signs

·     Renewing residential and commercial areas

·     Providing and maintaining parks and sportsgrounds

·     Building skateparks

·     Providing playgrounds

·     Providing and operating aquatic centres

·     Providing and operating an indoor sports facility

·     Providing bicycle routes

·     Providing local libraries

·     Lending books, CDs and other information

·     Providing community centres

·     Listening to community views

·     Advocating for, and on behalf of, the community

·     Holding citizenship ceremonies

·     Providing civics education for schools

·     Managing community assets

·     Planning for the future of the shire

·     Providing childcare

·     Building and maintaining recreation facilities

·     Maintaining stormwater pipes and pits

·     Delivering road safety education to schools

·     Enabling equitable access to local parking

·     Responding to significant local emergencies

·     Providing services for seniors, young people and those with a disability

·     Acting to impound abandoned vehicles

 


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. ST14/08 Page 10

 

Council structure

 

Hornsby Shire Council is constituted under the Local Government Act 1993.  The organisational structure under which Council operates is set out below:

LIZ: PLEASE REPLACE THIS WITH A CLEARER GRAPHIC IF YOU HAVE ONE

 

 

 


 

 

The shire is divided into three wards, with three Councillors representing each ward and a popularly elected Mayor.

 

The role of the governing body is to direct and control the affairs of Council in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 and other applicable legislation. The elected Councillors represent the interests of the residents and ratepayers, provide leadership and guidance to the community, facilitate communication between the community and Council, and to formulate policies.

 

The Mayor carries out the civic and ceremonial functions of the mayoral office. The Mayor also presides at meetings of Council, exercises, in cases of necessity, the policy-making functions of the governing body of Council between its meetings and carries out any other functions that Council determines.

 

The General Manager is the Chief Executive Officer of Council and is responsible for the operation of Council’s organisation and for implementing decisions of Council and its policies. The General Manager is also responsible for the day-to-day management of Council, exercising any functions delegated by Council, the appointment of staff, the direction and dismissal of staff and the implementation of Council’s equal employment opportunity management plan.

 

Council connects with and consults with its local community and stakeholders on a wide range of topics and issues through committees, public meetings, email, events at the library, workshops and reference panels.


 

Business activities

Section 428(2)(r), Clause 217(1)(d) (ii – vi), 

Clause 217(1)(d)(vi) 

 

Hornsby Shire Council considers some of its operations and services as business activities and has adopted the principle of competitive neutrality in respect to those activities, even though they are operated within the existing divisional structure. The statement of financial position by business activity is reported in Appendix 1 of this report

 

Category 1

·     Aquatic centres and sports stadium

·     Nursery and preschools

 

Category 2

·     Property services

·     Development assessment services

·     Commercial waste

 

 

Competitive neutrality

Clause 217(1)(d)(v)and (vii - ix)

 

Hornsby Shire Council records and monitors requests and complaints from the public. Council did not receive any complaints regarding competitive neutrality during 2007/08. 


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. ST14/08 Page 10

 

Linking Council operations to sustainability

 

The organisational structure of Council recognises its primary functions; however Council’s principal instruction to its organisation, its Management Plan, is aligned to strategic themes in order to translate strategic direction into operational reality.  Councillors, at the beginning of this term of office, determined the six strategic themes which are the dominant focus for the organisation.  The six strategic themes are:

·     Conserving our natural environment

·     Contributing to community development through sustainable facilities and services

·     Fulfilling our community’s vision in planning for the future of the shire

·     Working with our community

·     Supporting our diverse economy

·     Maintaining sound corporate and financial management

 

The six strategic themes are also an integral component of decision-making.  Every report to Council requiring a decision includes supporting statements regarding the environmental, social and economic impacts of the issue and its proposed decision.  The statements are aligned to the six strategic themes. 

 

Council has purposefully chosen to use its strategic themes to embed sustainable decision-making in the organisation because its strategic themes encompass sustainability and align decision-making to the community and the organisation’s desired future.  In this way decisions, including operational decisions, contain a strategic focus and are relevant to our community. 

 

Sustainability is applied through two integrated ‘streams’: - decision-making and reporting.  Decision-making is aligned to triple bottom line using Council’s strategic themes, as is our annual summary and quarterly reporting to the community via the Community Report and Quarterly Reviews. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Annual Report, conversely, provides a more detailed account of Council’s operations for the previous year.  It uses the traditional approach to sustainability reporting of alignment to environmental, economic and social achievements, with performance success being displayed using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators.  More information on the GRI can be found in the section titled Global Report Initiative in this Report. 

 

 

Improving our service delivery

 

Council expended considerable effort during 2007/08 to improve its website and enable customers to access online services. 

 

The purpose of enabling online services is to make it easier for residents to deal with Council and improve access to Council’s services.  Feedback from users of the online services has been very positive. 

 

For example, the tracking of development applications online has proven very successful and has lessened the number of telephone calls customers make to Council each day.  Customers are able to submit and track service requests online, enabling faster logging and servicing of areas or issues in the shire needing attention. Service requests can be tracked and escalated online, according to the severity of the issue. 

 

A telephone book, identifying direct telephone numbers of Council services, was also printed and distributed by Council to all households and businesses in the shire. The directory enables customers to use direct numbers to contact the area of Council they require.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1.4 Hornsby shire

 

Hornsby Shire Council is the most northerly Council in Sydney.  It was established in 1906 and today serves the needs of over 157,000 residents spread over an area of 510 square kilometres.

  

The area has a diverse population living in urban areas such as Epping, Pennant Hills and Hornsby, river communities and rural areas.

 

The traditional custodians of the area are the Dharug and Guringai peoples and many of the place names in the shire are derived from aboriginal words.

 

Hornsby Shire is known as The Bushland Shire. Of its 510 square kilometres, more than 65% is bushland. Hornsby could also be known as the cyberspace shire with over 75% of people in the shire having internet access at their homes, compared to the Sydney average of 62%.

 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 Census figures show the population of Hornsby is ageing. In 2006 nearly 25% of Hornsby residents were 55 years or older, and the median age has risen from 36 years in 2001 to 38 years in 2006. 

 

The median family income, as well as rent and housing repayments, are higher in Hornsby Shire than many other areas of Sydney, with 73.5% of residents either owning or purchasing their homes. A larger proportion of people living in Hornsby Shire hold formal qualifications, and a smaller proportion have no qualifications, than in other areas of Sydney.

Hornsby Shire has a range of sporting, recreational and cultural facilities for its residents and visitors, including five libraries, located at Hornsby, Pennant Hills, Epping, Galston and Berowra.  The libraries attract over 1.2 million visits per year and approximately 73,000 people are members of the Hornsby Library network.

 

Over 40,000 people work in the shire and of those workers 50% also live in the shire.  The Hornsby town centre, including Westfield, employs 6,000 workers.  The most common industries for employment in Hornsby for persons over 15 years of age are retail, health and social assistance, education and manufacturing.

 Hornsby Mall attracts over 16.3 million visitors each year. Hence, the Hornsby town centre is recognised as the major retail and commercial centre in the shire.  The Northern Rail Line, the North Shore Rail Line and the Pacific Highway have a major impact on economic activity in the shire because access to transport is essential for many industries. 

 

 

Overview

 

Shire area

510 sq km

Population

(2006 Census – estimated population)

157,387

Number of rateable properties (commercial and residential)

56,000

Suburbs/localities

41

Libraries

5

Parks

186

Playing fields

55

Playgrounds

135

Households

Over 51,000

Households with internet connection

Over 30,000

Sealed roads

610 km

Unsealed roads

44 km

Paved footpaths

405 km

Council childcare facilities

5

Public wharves

5

Floating pontoons

6

Boat launching ramps

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




1.5 Wards and Councillors

 

As at 30 June 2008, Hornsby Shire Council’s Mayor was Cr Nick Berman.        

 

Text Box: A WARD MAP

A Ward

 

Councillors at 30 June 2008:

 

Cr Janelle McIntosh, Cr Wendy McMurdo and Cr Garry Whitaker

 

Suburbs within A ward:

 

Arcadia, Asquith*, Berrilee, Berowra, Brooklyn, Canoelands, Castle Hill*, Cowan, Dangar Island, Dural*, Fiddletown, Forest Glen, Galston, Glenorie, Glenhaven*, Hornsby*, Hornsby Heights, Laughtondale, Maroota, Mt. Colah, Mt. Ku-ring-gai, Singletons Mill, Wahroonga*, Waitara*

 

 

Text Box: B WARD MAP

 

B Ward

 

Councillors at 30 June 2008:

 

Cr Mark Lyons, Cr Nan Horne and Cr Steve Evans

 

Suburbs within B ward:

 

Asquith*, Castle Hill*, Cherrybrook*, Dural*, Glenhaven*, Hornsby*, Normanhurst*, Pennant Hills*, Thornleigh*, Wahroonga*, Waitara*, Westleigh

 

 

 

 

Text Box: C WARD MAPC Ward

 

Councillors at 30 June 2008:

 

Cr Felicity Findlay, Cr Andrew Isaac and Cr Robert Browne

 

Suburbs within C ward:

 

Beecroft, Carlingford, Cheltenham, Cherrybrook*, Eastwood, Epping, Normanhurst*, North Epping, Pennant Hills*, Thornleigh*, West Pennant Hills

 

 

* Parts of these suburbs are in two wards

 



1.6 Executive overview from the Mayor

 

Text Box: Mayor’s pic

 

Hornsby Shire Council is pleased to present its Annual Report and Sustainability Report for 2007/2008. This document gives you a brief overview of what Council has achieved during the past year and provides the Department of Local Government with its annual statutory reporting requirements.

 

Maintaining Council’s financial assets has been a major focus for Council over the past year. Well maintained infrastructure is critical to the successful functioning of the shire which is why Council has allocated over $23 million for capital works.

 

Upgrading and improving Council’s assets accounts for a significant proportion of its capital works programme and includes more than $2.5 million for local road improvements across the shire. Council also identified $5 million for capital works to improve parks and sportsfields across the shire, including the remediation of Foxglove Oval in Mount Colah and improvements to Fagan Park in Galston.

 

The environment remained a primary concern for Hornsby Shire Council over the past year. 2007/08 saw the continued implementation of many activities to remediate our catchments and improve water quality, including the installation of anti-pollution devices at 15 locations throughout the shire.

 

Our bushland areas benefitted from over $500,000 of funding for bush regeneration and hazard reduction. At the same time Council allocated $1.9 million for a bushfire control centre in Berowra.

 

Council is committed to monitoring the shire’s economic, social and environmental performance over time. To this end, Council has adopted the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) approach for sustainability reporting. This is our second Management Plan to incorporate GRI Principles and Indicators. We intend to implement GRI at our own pace, taking into account our capacity, the needs of management and the benefits to stakeholders.

 

Consulting with our community is a top priority. Last year Council reintroduced community forums at various locations throughout the shire. The forums were very popular and provided useful feedback on a range of issues.

 

The future of the Hornsby Quarry site is a key issue that will require ongoing consultation and community input during the coming year. This site has environmental and heritage values that need to be addressed as well as rehabilitation of the site.

 

Over the year ahead, Council looks forward to working with residents to continue to ensure Hornsby Shire is a great place to live, grow, visit and work.


signature

 
 

 



2. Key Issues for 2007/08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hornsby Shire Council, like other local governments, has responded to rising community expectations by providing a growing range of essential services and infrastructure that underpin the community.  This expansion in role and service quality, together with rising input costs generally exceeding the income Council receives, puts increasing financial pressures on the organisation. 

 

Councillors recognised that for the organisation to be financially-sustainable and secure in its long term future they must take a leadership role in addressing funding constraints. 

 

Councillors identified five key issues to be addressed during 2007/08:

1.     Closing the assets renewal gap.

2.     Adjusting service provision to community priorities and developing more cost-effective service delivery.

3.     Increasing the income stream.

4.     Preparing longer-range budgets.

5.     Containing the growth of operating costs within recurrent income.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2.1 What was achieved in 2007/08?

 

1.       Closing the asset renewal gap

 

Maintaining our infrastructure in sound condition so it services the needs of the community in a functional, safe, reliable and cost-effective manner is expensive.  In order to renew and maintain our local infrastructure in satisfactory condition for current and future users, Council increased its borrowings by an additional $1 million to fund asset expenditure. 

 

The additional funds were expended on the following projects:

 

Community Centres:

maintenance and upgrade

$150,000

Brooklyn / Dangar Island Council properties: sewer connections

$50,000

Aquatic Centres: maintenance

$155,000

Foxglove Oval:

settlement reconstruction

$460,000

Crosslands Reserve:

water supply

$80,000

Hornsby Library: recarpeting

$100,000

 

Council also held $360,000 from general revenue for future drainage works in the Hornsby CBD. 

 

In 2007/08 Council programmed and delivered almost $5 million of works on local roads, footpaths, kerbs and gutters as well as allocating almost $1.5 million to the maintenance of parks. 

 

Projects totalling $1.7 million went towards improving the amenities at ovals, including accessible toilets. Council was awarded grant funding to expand water conservation and re-use schemes at its ovals and parks.

 


2.       Adjusting service provision to community priorities and developing more cost-effective service delivery

 

Development contribution funding of $3.7 million was used to improve various parks and reserves in the shire to ensure those areas meet the demands of the increasing population. 

 

Hornsby Shire Council provides a range of multi-use facilities, and in 2007/08 work commenced on improvements to the Cherrybrook Community Centre in order to improve its usage and meet the changing needs of the community. 

 

Another highlight for the year was the development and adoption of a Cultural Plan for the shire.  The Cultural Plan will guide future development of spaces for the arts and other cultural activities.

 

 

3.       Increasing the income stream

 

Property rates are, and will remain, the primary source of Council’s revenue, but this major source of income is constrained by rate pegging and therefore the organisation must look to other ways of increasing its income. 

 

In 2007/08 Council was awarded almost $2 million in competitive grant funds from the other levels of government. These funds were used for various environmental projects and community services.  Council also instigated a grants assistance programme to assist community groups in the shire to source and apply for grants and funding opportunities. Uptake of this service has been modest with only thirteen groups using the service.

 

 

4.       Preparing longer range budgets

 

2007/08 was a period of leadership change for Council’s financial management team and as a consequence the focus for the team moved to implementing system enhancements for budgeting and reporting to enable better ‘drill down’ (i.e. view data at a greater level of detail) capability and improve internal audit processes.  The project to review and refine Council’s Strategic Financial Plan has been deferred to 2008/09.

 

 


5.       Containing the growth of operating costs

 

The financial challenges faced by Council in 2007/08 include cost shifting, particularly by the State Government; volatility in financial markets resulting in returns below historical averages; increased fuel costs; construction and maintenance materials cost increases well above CPI; lower building activity related fees and charges; and an increasing provision for employee leave entitlements.

 

One challenge for local government is the need to absorb the increasing costs of governance such as the processes associated with document access and the rising charges imposed on local government by other authorities, while simultaneously providing the levels of services and facilities expected by the community. For example, in 2007/08 Council received 1,023 documents access applications and 41 applications under Freedom of Information legislation, almost double the amount received in the previous year.  The fees for document access generally do not reflect the staff time and effort required to meet the request. Council also absorbed the fees charged to Council for street lighting which increased by $112,000. 

 

Council’s expenditure and revenue was monitored regularly to ensure cost pressures remained under control and Council’s Net Operating and Capital Result after internal and external funding for the 12 months to 30 June 2008 was a surplus of $128,000 compared to a budgeted surplus of $22,000.

 


Achievements 2007/08

 


Hornsby Shire Council staff work diligently and determinedly, with efforts often acknowledged by formal, industry recognised awards schemes.

 

Some of the achievements and awards received this year include:

·     Consolidated new Section 94 plan and planning agreements policy adopted.

·     Implemented new format for Annual Report to include sustainability reporting.

·     Established web-based customer contact and community panels.

·     Consulted with the community regarding    the Hornsby Quarry.

·     Actioned the Heritage Review, Stage 4.

·     Reviewed the Open Space Lands Acquisition.

·     Conducted festivities for Heritage Week.

·     Reviewed the River Settlement Controls.

·     Awarded State Government grant for water harvesting at Greenway Park.

·     Awarded Federal Government grant for water harvesting at Foxglove Oval.

·     Awarded a Greenspace grant towards the development of Crosslands Reserve.

·     Awarded Tide to Table grant for One Tree Reach Wetland.

·     Received notice of sponsorship from the Hills M2 for improvements to two reserves in the Devlins Creek corridor.

·     Held inaugural ‘Christmas Lights’ competition.

·     Completed the Hornsby Central Library refurbishment.

·     Implemented Masterview and Masterplan to streamline the Development Application management system process.

·     Collected 22 tonnes of electronic waste via an e-waste collection project.

·     Reduced the cost of disposal via implementation of a new recycling disposal contract.

·     Commenced the first light globe recycling collection service by a Council in NSW.

 

·     Achieved the highest waste diversion results for the domestic waste service, 54.49% diversion in January 2008.

·     Recognised success of the battery recycling trial by extending the scheme via the waste office and potentially four schools in 2008/9.

·     Extended funding of the Aboriginal Community Facilitator Project from the NSW Department of Community Services.

·     Achieved placement within the top 10 Councils in the State to have submitted their General Purpose and Special Purpose Financial reports to the Department of Local Government.

·     Increased library loans per capita from 7 to 8.2.

·     Awarded Hawkesbury - Nepean Catchment Management Grant for Estuary Management.

·     Earned accreditation for heavy vehicles under the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme, December 2007.

·     Extended funding received from the NSW Department of Community Services for the Aboriginal Community Facilitator Project.

·     Received positive community response to the consultation process for the future uses of Asquith Community Centre.

·     Awarded grant from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for a settlement project for Hornsby / Ku-ring-gai Region.

·     Awarded a grant from the Department of Ageing Disability and Home Care for Aboriginal HACC funding.

 



2.2 Awards 2007/08

 


Encouragement Award - OHS Excellence

TO:             Epping Aquatic Centre

FROM:        Statecover Mutual.

 

Overall winner - Energy and Water Management Award

TO:             Hornsby Shire Council

FROM:             LGSAplus and Country Energy.

 

Overall winner - Innovation Award

TO:             Hornsby Shire Council

FROM:                 Keep Australia Beautiful NSW

 

Finalist

TO:             Hornsby Shire Council

FROM:             NSW Awards for Excellence in Surveying and Spatial Information.

 

Runner up - Environment category

TO:             Hornsby Community Nursery

FROM:             National Yates Nursery and Garden Industry Awards for Excellence.

 

Participation - Public Agency for Sustainability Reporting

TO:             Hornsby Shire Council

FROM:             Australia / New Zealand Reporting Alliance.

 

Lifeguard of the Year

TO:             Senior Lifeguard, Hornsby Pool

FROM:                 Aquatic and Recreation Institute.

 

Partner Award

TO:             Hornsby Shire Council

FROM:             Alliance of Hills Schools Industry Partnership, the NSW Board of Vocational Training and Hills Chamber of Commerce.


3. The state of our environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Summary

The 2007/08 State of the Environment (SoE) Report demonstrates that Council is making good progress in corporate and community action, waste, energy and water use. The SoE Report is a legislated requirement, which assesses the shire’s natural and built environments and is a strategic tool that assists in the planning of future actions to keep the shire healthy. It assists in identifying environmental pressures across the Council area and enables Council to develop responses that can have a positive effect across various environmental and social issues.

 

During 2007/08 Council accomplished further steps towards achieving its performance indicator targets. Through implementation of actions set out in the Sustainable Energy Strategy, Council further reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 29% and assisted the community to reduce its emissions by 4%. Council has maintained its commitment to water consumption reduction and water quality improvement by successfully completing milestones 1 to 5 of the Sydney Water Every Drop Counts Business Programme for effective water management. The milestones serve as a progressive benchmark as to how well local governments achieve their objectives and goals for water conservation and water quality management in the corporate and community sectors.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council’s Catchment Remediation Rate (CRR) projects have again contributed to water quality in the shire with half of the monitored waterways being classified as “healthy”. The CRR projects prevent a significant amount of pollution from entering the waterways and complement other programmes focussing on land that is being regenerated by contractors and Council-assisted bushcare volunteers.

 

This year Hornsby Shire Council has again participated with the seven Councils from Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC) to produce its Regional State of the Environment (SoE) Report. The Regional SoE Report provides a greater understanding of broader issues and assists in ensuring greater partnerships to solve regional issues as well as greater leverage to lobby on these issues.



Environmental Performance Indicators

 

GRI Indicator

Environmental Performance Indicators

2007/08 Result

Trend

EN10

% of water consumption reduction achieved through Council’s initiatives for its own operations – Target 20% by 2011
% of water consumption reduction achieved through Council’s initiatives for the community – Target 18% by 2011

These figures will be reported in 2011

 

 

EN11

% area of bushland (ha) in the active care of the community and Council compared to the total bushland under Council’s management – Target 12.2%

10.8%

EN13

Area of bushland (ha) on private land lost to development – Target, no net loss of bushland

2.083 ha

EN13

Habitats protected or restored – number of bushcare volunteers

820

EN18

% of greenhouse gas reduction achieved through Council’s initiatives for its own operations – Target 30% by 2010

% of greenhouse gas reduction achieved through Council’s initiatives for the community – Target 5% by 2010

29%

 

4%

 

 

EN22

% of domestic material by weight collected by Council going to landfill – Target 42% or less

46.53%

EN22

Tonnes of recycling diverted from landfill – target 18,492 tonnes or more

Tonnes of green waste diverted from landfill – 14,340 tonnes or more

20,540T

17,632T

EN25

% of monitored healthy waterways within the shire – Target 50%

50%

EN26

Impact of environmental initiatives (number of programmes implemented in progression to sustainable corporate governance) – Target 30 programmes

32

Note: green offset as 0.6ha of Blue Gum High Forest has been revegetated.

Key: Towards sustainability                 Away from sustainability                  No trend

 

 


3.1 Environmental sustainability

 

Council has implemented many programmes to ensure it has effectively managed its own dealings in terms of environmental performance. Initiatives actioned to facilitate sustainable corporate governance include: Green Procurement, Carbon Neutral Feasibility Study, Climate Change Adaptation Programme, Triple Bottom Line decision making, Fleet Management Study, Business Energy Savings Programme, Sustainable Total Water Cycle Management, waste minimisation and Stage 2 of the Energy Performance Contract.

 

The aim of the Hornsby Business Energy Savings Programme is to help Council meet its community reduction target of five percent by 2010.  This programme intends to work with 200 businesses over an 18 month period to achieve a total greenhouse gas reduction of 3,000 tCO2e annually. 

 

Through an extensive Expression of Interest process, Council challenged the private sector to deliver a new approach to existing business engagement models, one that had more focus on business needs and actual implementation, rather than behavioural change and auditing.  Council also wanted to improve interdivisional working relationships and identified the pressing need to focus on collaboration between the Environment and Economic Development Units to fight climate change and minimise the impacts our local businesses are having on the environment.

 

In the first two months alone, 79 businesses joined the programme.  The programme is on track to deliver a forecasted $1.4m contribution of investment into the local economy and 3,000 tonnes CO2e in the first year alone. Other outcomes of the programme include:

·   Improved energy efficiencies within the business sector.

·   Increased broad community participation in decision-making, actions and practices for a sustainable future.

·   Strengthened partnerships and learning between Council and the wider business community towards sustainability.

·   Opportunities for local infrastructure investment and opportunities.


The ‘earthwise at home – low carb living’ is an education programme with rebates to assist residents reduce their individual carbon and water footprints. Major activities of this programme include a series of workshops to assist with the installation of three low-emission technologies: photovoltaics, solar hot water and insulation. Nineteen workshops were held across the shire where topics correlated to the rebates funded by the Low Emission Technology Abatement (LETA) programme and administered by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA).

 

The Footprints and Rebates workshop introduced the concept of ecological foot-printing and ways in which people can reduce their negative impacts on the planet. The three technical workshops (Savings from Hot Water, Savings from Heating and Cooling and Demystifying Solar Power) provided participant access to specialists, the opportunity to learn more about low emission technologies and to ask questions of guest speakers.

 

Arguably the greatest achievement was the provision of financial assistance to 112 households to install:

·   insulation ($500 x 50 households),

·   solar hot water ($750 x 52 households), or

·   solar power ($4,000 x 10 households).

 

Participants received a detailed home assessment by a service provider as part of their rebate conditions which provided them with an action plan to make savings on their water and energy bills and involved a refit of lights and showerheads to energy saving ones.

 

 



3.2 Human settlement

 

The challenges presented by sustainable planning include balancing conflicting land use issues. For example, in the provision of housing, Council must consider the shire's environmental and community needs. Consideration must be given to issues such as appropriate urban form and design, conserving environmentally sensitive areas, accommodating population growth and catering for community desires. Additionally, recent years have shown a relatively weak local demand for commercial and industrial development and a high demand for residential housing. This has meant increased pressure to redevelop or rezone commercial and industrial land entirely for residential purposes, thereby sterilising future local employment opportunities.

 

 

3.3 Heritage

 

This year, Hornsby Shire Council won the Keep Australia Beautiful Sustainable Cities Award 2008 for Heritage Management by a Metropolitan Council. Council has a strong commitment to heritage conservation and is proud of its most recent achievements involving the identification, documentation, promotion and conservation of heritage assets within the shire.

 

Hornsby Shire Council has a strong commitment to the conservation of natural, built and Aboriginal heritage. In order to conserve and protect the heritage of the shire, Council has conducted heritage studies, listed heritage items and heritage conservation areas for ongoing protection, and offers heritage conservation assistance to property owners. Council’s comprehensive heritage initiatives and programmes aim to provide a holistic approach to heritage conservation and education.

 

Heritage review (stage 4) - In 2007, Council undertook its fourth review of heritage items to ensure the accuracy and relevancy of its heritage list. The review involved an independent heritage assessment of numerous properties and identified additional potential heritage listings. The review will guide the management of heritage listed trees and ensure their protection for the benefit of the community and future generations.

 


Bar Island conservation work - During 2007, Council undertook the Bar Island Aboriginal and European Heritage Conservation Project. Bar Island contains the remains of a State-significant cemetery, church, school and Aboriginal midden. The project involved the repair of broken headstones and memorial, as well as path construction and re-routing of the track to protect the midden and a European rock inscription. The project also involved an archival recording of the site, Aboriginal site survey and removal of weeds. The works included assistance from the Department of Planning under the Heritage Incentives Programme.

 

Adaptive re-use of “The Browsery” - The Council-owned heritage listed property, known as “The Browsery”, is located on Jersey Street at Hornsby. The Federation Queen Anne building was the first permanent home of Hornsby Shire Council (1907) and is the sole surviving cottage representative of the houses built near the Hornsby railway station at the turn of the century. The building’s restoration was launched during the Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) State History Conference, held in Hornsby during October 2006. The building has since been renovated internally and provided by Council to a local community group dedicated to youth services, Fusion Australia, on a nominal lease. The project ensures the adaptive reuse of the building and promotes awareness of heritage conservation amongst young members of the community.

 

Spatial information mapping - To conserve and protect the heritage of the shire, Council undertook to accurately identify the location of over 800 items of heritage significance across the 510 square kilometres of its operations. The task incorporated the use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) to identify the location of items in the field. The project also employed extensive use of aerial photography, from 1930 to 2005, and historical subdivision and development plans. Heritage items were subsequently mapped on Council’s Geographic Information System (GIS). The project has developed an accurate and consistent record of heritage items. The project helps inform development decisions and assists the provision of efficient information to our customers. In 2007, Council was a finalist in the NSW Awards for Excellence in Surveying and Spatial Information in relation to the work.

 


Local heritage assistance fund increased - This year, Council increased the value of its local heritage assistance fund to $60,000. Council’s assistance fund is amongst the highest valued of NSW Councils. In 2007, the funds were allocated towards 15 separate projects and provided the kick-start assistance for works to the total value of over $240,000. The projects encourage the maintenance of heritage items and enhance the shire’s built environment.

 

 



3.4 Waste

 

Over the past year, Hornsby Shire's population has increased by 0.57% and total waste to landfill has reduced from 47.7% to 46.53% Although total waste to landfill has decreased slightly, comingled and greenwaste diverted from landfill has increased at a higher rate. Consequently, waste to landfill per capita has increased slightly however recycling of comingled and particularly greenwaste has increased per capita. This has been achieved through a variety of strategies including:

·    Holding frequent free workshops on recycling, non-toxic solutions for a chemical free home, no-dig gardening composting and worm farming.

·    Giving talks to community groups on request, such as Joeys, Gardening Clubs and TAFE.

·    Presenting displays regularly at shopping centres and community events.

·    Hosting recycling tours to Kimbriki and Chullora to show residents how their green waste and co-mingled recycling is recycled and reused.

·    Conducting battery recycling trials in schools (to continue by promoting a drop off centre at the Thornleigh depot).

·    Managing e-waste recycling where 25 tonnes of computer equipment has been collected and diverted from landfill.

·    Managing ‘Chemical Cleanouts’ for Council and the Department of Environment and Climate Change, which have processed 64 tonnes of toxic and hazardous materials.

·    Presenting a ‘Unit Block Expo’ at Waitara.

·    Facilitating 18 free chipping days.

·    Participating in drumMUSTER, a programme for rural business to get rid of empty chemical drums. Hornsby is the only metropolitan Council to offer this service. More than 750 drums were diverted from landfill.

·    Creating a permanent drop-off facility at Thornleigh Waste Depot, following a successful recycling trial, for incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

·    Purchasing and fitting out an Education Van to be used for displays, events and school visits.

 

During 2007/08 Council adopted the Onsite Sewage Management Strategy and Greywater Policy. The strategy outlines the requirement for routine inspections on onsite sewage management systems and lobbying of State government for the provision of sewers in unsewered areas. Work commenced in Brooklyn during 2007 and Dangar Island in early 2008. Progress to date has resulted in 82% of properties being connected at Brooklyn and 45% at Dangar Island. Environmental Officers have been involved with coordinating the sewer connections for the Brooklyn and Dangar Island Sewerage Scheme constructed by Sydney Water. This has involved inspections of septic systems and site visits to most of the 600 or so properties involved. Council is continuing to encourage the safe reuse of onsite wastewater in unsewered areas of the shire and minimising the impact on the potable water supply.

 

 



3.5 Water

 

Council has maintained its commitment to water consumption reduction and water quality improvement by successfully completing milestones 1 to 5 of the Sydney Water Every Drop Counts Business Programme for effective water management. The milestones serve as a progressive benchmark as to how well local governments achieve their objectives and goals for water conservation and water quality management in the corporate and community sectors.

 

Hornsby Shire Council was one of the first Council’s in NSW to achieve a five star rating accreditation for its water saving initiatives. Council has maintained last year’s significant water consumption reductions of 21% in its own operations and 20% through initiatives for the community. Council is pleased to be working in partnership with the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, Sydney Water and Department of Environment and Climate Change in developing water savings initiatives and sustainability programmes.

 

The success of the water saving initiatives can be credited to Council programmes such as: Sustainable Total Water Cycle Management Strategy, Sustainable Water Development Control Plan, the Catchment Remediation Rate Programme, Stormwater Catchment Management Plans and environmental education.   

 

An ongoing commitment to improve stormwater quality and to instigate water savings and water reuse for all Council assets has led to initiatives such as: stormwater harvesting at Council’s Nursery and parks, reverse osmosis to treat Council’s swimming pools’ backwash water, gross pollutant and nutrient trapping, sediment and erosion control, and reduced herbicide, pesticide and fertiliser use. 

 

 

3.6 Atmosphere

 

As of June 2008, Council had further reduced its own greenhouse gas emissions by 29% and assisted the community to reduce its emissions by 4% from 1995/96 emission levels. The ‘earthwise at home – low carb living’ programme assisted 112 households to install low emission technologies, reducing emissions by 407 tonnes per year (plus 155 tonnes from light bulb and shower head refits). Further reductions are highly likely due to behavioural changes (over 330 residents attended energy saving workshops).

 

Council commenced a project to review climate change adaptation. The project will help Council decision makers understand and apply information provided on climate change scenarios to assess risks related to: resource management, land use planning, infrastructure and transport planning, local economic development, environmental management, community issues and emergency services.

 

Hornsby Shire Council, in partnership with Manly Council, was successful in securing an Accelerated Action Grant from the Department of the Environment and Water Resources. A component of the funding was to engage a consultant to undertake a feasibility study in achieving carbon neutrality for existing and future greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The success of Council’s Business Energy Savings Programme will result in reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the business community and has identified new projects that will assist businesses. All improvements help the community progress towards sustainability and Council’s fulfilment of its strategic intent of ‘creating a living environment’.

 

Council has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions through the:

·     Purchase of 10% GreenPower for large sites and all streetlights.

·     Purchase of 6% GreenPower for all other sites.

·     Use of GreenPower for Council-run community events.

·     Cogeneration system at Hornsby Library.

·     Increased collection, mulching and recycling of green waste.

·     Increase in the proportion of more fuel-efficient 4 cylinder vehicles to 6 cylinder          vehicles in Council’s fleet.

·     Energy efficient office equipment.

·     Continuation of Stage 1 and Stage 2 Energy Performance Contract to reduce energy and water consumption.

·     Investigation of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies for new and existing buildings/facilities.

·     Implementation of projects identified in the Energy Savings Action Plan.

·     Formation of Sustainable Procurement Committee and Policy.


3.7 Bushland and biodiversity

 

Hornsby Shire is known as the Bushland Shire. Over 69% of the shire is covered bushland in the form of pockets of reserves and the Berowra Valley Regional Park. Hornsby Shire Council is committed to protecting and improving its local natural environment through its Biodiversity Strategy, on-ground bush regeneration work and a large volunteer ‘Bushcare’ programme of 820 volunteers. Council also provides free native plants to residents twice a year and is working to encourage local nurseries to provide local native stock to residents for their gardens.    

 

Council has managed the nursery site for over 10 years, transforming it into a community nursery providing local native stock for a range of community projects and is now accredited through the Nursery and Garden Industry Accreditation Scheme. Hornsby Community Nursery is the first and only government-owned nursery in NSW to receive this accreditation.

 

The nursery aims to showcase best practice operations across the wider community. This is achieved through many initiatives including a full water recycling system capturing onsite runoff rainfall, solar power, minimal waste production, recycling of materials and a low chemical reliance.


To emphasise this commitment to environmental sustainability, the nursery received the prestigious Environment Category Award for NSW in the Yates Nursery and Garden Industry Awards (2008).


Awareness of the nursery facility across the broader Hornsby Shire community has increased markedly in the past financial year. This is highlighted by the increase in the numbers of plants given out at the Community Nursery and Environmental Information Open Days during this timeframe. Numbers this year were up 80% on the previous year to a total of 3,522 plants distributed to residents.


Other popular community events have also increased considerably; National Tree Day this year saw 49% more plants go into the ground over the previous year.

 

 


3.8 Soil landscape

 

The shire’s soil landscape is an important aspect of land management and development.  Acid sulphate soil, land contamination and erosion continue to be serious problems.  To ensure that minimal damage occurs to the environment, Council continues to manage the soil landscape through the development application and onsite sewage management approval processes. 

 

In the shire, construction and land clearing represent the most common causes of soil erosion. Continued enforcement of development consent conditions pertaining to sediment and erosion control, ensuring best practice is adhered to on construction and development sites throughout the shire, is undertaken on a regular basis.

 

However, illegal land clearing continues to be a major challenge. Illegal removal of vegetation has negative impacts on soil and water quality and impacts on local biodiversity. Council continues to investigate illegal land clearing matters.

 

 

 

 



3.9 Noise

 

In today's society, noise levels are increasing and continuing to impinge on our work, recreation and personal lives. Tolerance to noise is subjective, depending on circumstances and individual sensitivity. Council aims to address noise issues and complaints on their merit, and attempts to resolve situations through ensuring that all reasonable and feasible measures to control the noise are considered.

 

Council has identified air-conditioning (AC) units as a noise issue which commonly causes a nuisance in residential areas.  As they are often approved in concept as part of the BASIX assessment for new dwellings, their exact location is often not identified on plans. The units are then located in positions where they cause a nuisance to the adjoining residents. 

 

To try to reduce the incidence of ACs causing a nuisance, Council has developed a new condition of development consent requiring the AC units of new dwelling houses to be located a minimum of three metres from the property boundary or alternatively the applicant is required to submit a report from an acoustic engineer confirming that the unit does not create noise greater than five dBA above background levels at night.  It is envisaged that this condition will reduce the number of complaints about new AC units.

 

Noise complaints have increased significantly from 276 in 2006/07 to 537. Council received 211 general noise complaints, 326 complaints about barking dogs and 20 complaints about aircraft noise.


3.10 Bushfire hazard

s428(2)(i1)

 

A number of strategies have been implemented throughout 2007/08 to minimise damage from bushfires. These include:

·     641 permits to burn issued to residents within the shire to facilitate preparing homes for bushfire events by reducing the amount of fallen vegetation on private property.

·     17 specific sites treated manually to manage fuel loads along the bushland/urban interface (1ha).

·     6km of fire trails maintained for fire fighting access through slashing works.

·     300m of fire trail upgraded and sealed.

·     24 bushfire hazard complaints referred to the NSW Rural Fire Service for assessment.

·     34 hazard reduction certificates issued under the Bushfire Environmental Assessment Code by the NSW Rural Fire Service for residents to undertake prescription burning or clearing activities to facilitate vegetation and fuel management.

·     14 prescription burns undertaken within the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Bushfire Management Committee area as part of the 2007/08 Fuel Management Programme.

·     165 hectares of land area covered by prescription burns under the aforementioned fuel management programme and manual hazard reduction works.

 

Pressure to undertake broad area prescription burns continues to increase given continuing challenges posed by climatic and local weather conditions. Manual works are continuing as a result of environmental constraints restricting the prescription burn programme.  Investigations into alternative strategies to hazard mitigation activities such as prescription burning are being undertaken e.g. targeted community education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. ST14/08 Page 27

 

3.11 Companion animals

Clause 217(1)(f)

 

Activities relating to enforcing and ensuring compliance with the Companion Animals Act and Regulation include:

 

ACTION

STATUS

Pound data report lodged to Department of Local Government

Data report lodged with department in July 2008.

Data relating to dog attacks lodged with department

Data lodged with department during 2007/2008 – Total number lodged: 31

Amount of funding spent on companion animal management and activities

Total amount spent: $434,673.86

Companion animal community education programmes carried out

Council information sheets provided on microchipping and registration, responsibilities of dog owners, controlling nuisance barking, noise nuisance from barking dogs, cat information and wildlife protection areas.

 

Updated school education session – ‘Dog Safety’ provided as part of programme on local government for Years 3 and 4. The session is an introduction to identifying dog behaviour, how to behave around dogs, what not to do around dogs and how to safely meet and greet a dog that is under effective control with a handler. Students are provided with opportunities to practice ‘meeting’ a dog and scanning for microchips.

 

Promotion visits to pet shops and veterinary surgeries with the provision of information/education packs to be given to new owners.

 

Chips (Chip the dog) education resources and the Scoop Up the Poop programme: letterbox leaflets, stickers, reward and warning cards. Council branded pooch pouches are provided free of charge.

Strategies in place to promote and assist in the desexing of dogs and cats

·    Information sheets

·    Council’s website

·    Encouraging desexing prior to registration – allowing extra time to have animals desexed to enable owner to receive benefit of reduced registration fee

·    National Desexing Network

Strategies in place to comply with the requirement under Section 64 to seek alternatives to euthanasia for unclaimed animals

Strategies undertaken by Council Pound Tender – Thornleigh Veterinary Hospital:

·      Thorough investigation using all available data bases to find owner

·      Contacting animal rescue organisations

·      Sending animals to welfare organisations

Off leash areas provided

 

Hornsby Shire has five full-time off leash areas for exercising and training of dogs. The areas are fully fenced and have waste bins, dog waste bags and water. These areas are:

·      Asquith Park, Rotherwood St, Asquith

·      Crossroads Reserve, Cnr Turner and Berowra Waters Rds, Berowra Heights

·      Greenway Park, Shepherds Dr, Cherrybrook

·      Rofe Park, Galston Rd, Hornsby Heights

·      Ruddock Park, Eucalyptus Dr Westleigh.

Two other sites are available. At both of these sites dogs must be kept on a leash during organised sport and games.

·      Epping Oval, Norfolk Rd, Epping (Penalties apply for dogs running onto turf wicket square)

·      Woods St Reserve, Woods St, North Epping

Use of Companion Animals Fund money

Salary and Wages                                    

Other Employee Expenses

Materials and Equipment

Legal Expenses             

Pound Contract Expenses

Internal Corporate Costs

 

TOTAL EXPENDITURE:                    

$215,810.56

$1,571.10

$9,019.47

$750.00

$155,338.94

$52,183.79

--------------------

$434,673.86



4. Our community


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. ST14/08 Page 29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


4.1 Children

 

Council provides care for children under the age of six years and not yet attending school at five Commonwealth Accredited long day care centres. Council’s five childcare centres offer a total of 208 childcare places. The centres are licensed by the NSW Department of Community Services and funded predominantly by parent fees, and in part by the NSW Department of Community Services. Users of Council centres are eligible for the Childcare Benefit. In 2007/08 the occupancy for Council’s childcare centres was 96%. The Long Day Care Centres are licensed for 40 children per day aged 0-5 years and are open Monday to Friday (except Public Holidays) for 51 weeks of the year. The Early Childhood Education Centre (Somerville Park) at Eastwood provides 46 long day care places and 6 sessional care places per day. The entre also provides an early intervention programme for children with additional needs, consulting rooms for early childhood professionals and a coffee shop.

 

Council childcare staff hold a range of recognised qualifications and expertise in the area of early childhood education. All staff have current Senior First Aid certificates and regularly update their skills and knowledge by attending specialised in-service training. Qualifications include: Early Childhood Teachers, Mothercraft Nurses, Associate Diplomas, Diplomas in Social Science-Children’s Services, Registered Nurses, Childcare Workers, Commercial Cookery Certificates and Safe Food Handling and Preparation Certificates.

 

Council has received development consent to build a new 72 place multipurpose child and community facility in Greenway Park, Cherrybrook. The service will support the specific needs of children and families in the Cherrybrook area. Construction of the facility will commence in August 2008.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council also provides a number of facilities across the shire that are leased by not-for-profit community groups operating childcare services and playgroups. Council subsidises rental for these groups to assist in keeping childcare and playgroups affordable for parents.

 

 

4.2 Caring for youth

 

There were 23,270 Hornsby Shire residents aged between 15 and 24 years at the 2006 Census, which represents 14.8% of the total population. Council’s Youth Services Team is delivering services and programmes in relation to the Youth Service Strategic Plan 2005 – 2010 which examines and plans for the needs of young people and their families.

 

Council operates a Youth and Family Centre at 17 Muriel Street, Hornsby. The Centre is hired out by a variety of groups that assist young people or who are young people themselves. These groups include the Hornsby Community Drug Action Team (CDAT), an ESL Study Support Group and GALA(H),a same sex attracted young people’s social and educative support group.

 

Council was successful in its application for a Federal Government National Community Crime Prevention Grant and has received funding of $160,000 for an 18 month project. The project called ‘Including and Involving Young People in Public Malls in the Hornsby Central Business District’ aims to modify anti-social behaviour, decrease the incidence of criminal behaviour, and increase the community’s usage of Hornsby Mall. The project, which began in October 2007, will involve the installation of appropriate infrastructure and the development of support networks to assist with crime prevention initiatives such as youth art projects, a mall protocol, and providing training for security personnel.

 

Council’s Youth Outreach Programme incorporates many facets of direct work with young people and partnership building with local service providers. The Youth Services Team work in local high schools, running a variety of workshops and host a variety of small and large events throughout the shire including National Youth Week.  Council also co-convene the Hornsby/Ku-ring-gai Youth Network, of which over 60 organisations are members.   Designs for a Mobile Resources Unit (a youth centre on wheels) have also been developed and upon completion this vehicle will increase the capacity of the Outreach Programme and make it easier to meet the needs of young people who live in the more remote parts of the shire.

 

A Parent Internet Forum was held in October at the Hornsby RSL Club.  Over 150 people attended the forum, with a keynote address from Senator Helen Coonan and the Australian Security Director of MySpace. A number of other industry experts spoke about the impact of rapidly changing information technology on the health and wellbeing of young people.

 

During the 2007/2008 financial year, Council provided services to over 4,000 young people living, recreating and/or studying in the Hornsby Shire.

 



4.3 Access and Equity

Section 428(2)(r), Clause 217(1)(d)(i)

 

Hornsby Council employs two part time Community Development Officers, in the Access and Equity area, who work to enhance participation in the community by Aboriginal people, people with a disability and people from culturally and linguistically-diverse (CALD) backgrounds. The work plans for the Community Development Officers, Access and Equity, can be found in Council’s Social Plan 2005-2010.

 

The Hornsby Access Committee aims to provide a barrier-free environment in the Hornsby Shire for all people, especially those with a disability or mobility limitations, and their carers, friends and families. The committee’s objectives are to:

·     Promote access to services and facilities for all people.

·     Promote access awareness to Council and its staff.

·     Provide a forum though which residents of Hornsby Shire may raise problems, issues and concerns with respect to access.

·     Promote public awareness of access issues.

·     Identify actions that Council can take to improve access.

·     Monitor Council’s policies, decisions and actions in relation to access principles.

 

The Access Committee presents an annual Access Award to individuals, groups, or businesses that have made outstanding achievements in making services in the community more accessible.

 


4.4 Multiculturalism

Section 428(2)(j)

 

Hornsby Shire Council’s diverse community reinforces the need for Council to ensure that accessible and appropriate support services are provided for residents from culturally and linguistically-diverse backgrounds.

 

In 1986 the number of residents in Hornsby born in non-English speaking countries was 11,368. At the time of the 2001 Census this figure had increased to 34,358 people. Persons born in non-English speaking countries accounted for 80.5% of population growth in the shire during the 15 years 1986 through to 2001.

 

In the 2006 Census, 36.5% of people resident Hornsby Shire stated that they were born overseas. Approximately 22.5% of residents were born overseas in a non-English speaking country. The 2006 Census indicated that nearly 24% of residents in the shire speak a language other than English at home with 8.9% speaking Chinese and 2.1% in Korean.

 

People from culturally and linguistically-diverse backgrounds were included in the development of Hornsby Shire Council’s Social Plan 2005 -2010 in accordance with the Local Government (General) Amendment (Community and Social Plans) Regulation 1998. This plan is reviewed and updated annually.

 

Council’s 2007/2008 Community Donations Programme contributed $6,000 to local groups and organisations catering for the needs of the diverse population within the shire.

 

A Harmony Day celebration was held in March at the Pennant Hills Community Centre.  Organised by Council, in partnership with MigrantLink and the NSW Police Force, the event was attended by more than 250 people who enjoyed a diverse array of multicultural entertainment, similar to Council’s annual OneWorld event for the community.

 


 

 

 

 


4.5 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

 

In consultation with the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Hornsby Shire Council has developed a comprehensive kit titled ‘Aboriginal Sites and Culture in the Hornsby Shire’. Further, Hornsby Shire Council was the first Local Authority in the State to amend its Local Environmental Plan to legislate for protection of Aboriginal Sites and Relics within its boundaries. Traditional land owners are also acknowledged at the commencement of Council’s meetings and at all citizenship ceremonies. Council also takes recommendations on Aboriginal cultural and heritage through the Hornsby Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee.

 

Council has established an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee to guide Council in matters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture, and to give indigenous people input into decisions affecting their heritage and culture. Descendants of the Dharug or Guringai People (the traditional owners of the land comprising Hornsby Shire), Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people who live, work or have an interest in Hornsby Shire, and other people who have an interest and a demonstrated commitment to the principles of Aboriginal Reconciliation are invited to join this Committee. As a matter of policy, Council refers all matters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture to this committee for advice and/or recommendation.

 

As part of the anti-bias curriculum, each of Council’s five childcare centres include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander awareness programmes for staff and the children. Following a joint project by eleven Councils in the Northern Sydney Region and the Department of Community Services, the second iteration of the Northern Sydney Aboriginal Social Plan was launched in November 2007. After extensive consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the Northern Sydney Region, service providers and government agencies, the Social Plan has been reviewed.

 


In April 2005 Hornsby Shire Council was funded by the NSW Department of Community Services to auspice the Aboriginal Child, Youth and Family Strategy as part of the Families NSW Strategy. The Community Facilitator has now been funded until 30 June 2009 to operate across 11 Local Government areas in the Northern Sydney Region. The objectives of the Community Facilitator’s role are to:

·     Provide Indigenous families, children and youth with opportunities to explore their cultural identity through cultural events.

·     Link Indigenous families in the Northern Sydney Region.

·     Improve access to mainstream services for Aboriginal families.

·     Inform Indigenous families of available services and events through community facilitation and consultation.

·     Reshaping and development of a responsive service network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people aged 0-18 years and their families.

 

On 13 February 2008, the branch hosted a public telecast of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generations.  More than 75 people were in attendance, including Indigenous Elders, members of the Hornsby Aboriginal Community Network and representatives from the Hornsby Area Residents for Reconciliation group.

 

Council also works in partnership with the Hornsby Area Residents for Reconciliation (HARR) to further the spirit of reconciliation in the shire. Together, HARR and Council conducted successful Reconciliation Week events in Hornsby Mall in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Council made a grant available to Hornsby Area Residents for Reconciliation (HARR) through the 2007/2008 Community Donations Programme and has also contributed financially to a National Schools Competition as part of the NAIDOC Week Celebrations conducted by Koori Kids.

 

In April, the Hornsby Aboriginal Community Network received notification from the Office of the Registrar of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations that they had been approved as an Incorporated Aboriginal Organisation under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.  The network has begun to research accommodation options available to them within the Hornsby Central Business District.

4.6 Over 55 services

 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 Census showed that there are 37,012 people aged over 55 years in the Hornsby Local Government Area, 25% of the total population which represents an increase of 2% from the 2001 Census. Council employs a Coordinator of Over 55 Services, a part time Resource Officer, a part time Leisure and Learning Centre Officer and a casual Seniors Week officer to work with this large population. The Over 55 Services Team address a range of issues associated with the increasing ageing population including promoting healthy positive ageing and upgrading facilities used by older people who live, work and study in the shire.

 

The Strategic Plan for Older People (55+) 2005 – 2010 which was developed in 2004 is now being implemented. A range of well attended seminars were run in 2007-2008 covering a variety of topics of significance to this group. Five Council-owned Leisure and Learning Centres (50+) are available for hire by groups who promote healthy lifestyle programmes to more active older people. The centres have been well utilised with favourite programmes being reported as Tai Chi and craft.

 

In partnership with seven local Councils in the northern Sydney area, Council has printed a third edition of an information book entitled ‘Seniors and Aged Care Guide 2008’ which covers the North Shore and Northern District areas. Over 40,000 copies have been widely distributed to people throughout the area and the resource is also available on Council’s website.

 

The Hornsby Shire Seniors Advisory Committee continues to do outstanding work and in April launched their official website. Council’s Over 55 Services Team works very closely with this Committee to promote positive ageing in the community and to plan for the needs of the shire’s ageing population. The Committee includes membership from organisations such as Probus, University of Third Age, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Community College, the Indian Seniors Groups and Legacy – all of whom bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, energy and commitment to working on issues for older people. This committee has developed their own action plan that mirrors Council’s Strategic Plan for Older People and, with Council support, publishes a quarterly newsletter called ‘Mature Matters’ in addition to running workshops for older people in the Hornsby Shire.

The Over 55 Services Team, in partnership with the Hornsby Community Drug Action Team and the Hornsby Shire Seniors Advisory Committee, received funding from the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation (AERF) to produce an interactive DVD highlighting the dangers of people over 55 consuming alcohol in association with prescription and over the counter medication. This DVD entitled ‘Message in a Bottle was launched in April and will be used as a professional development tool for medical practitioners and health professionals in the public health sector.

 

Council auspices the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Home Modification and Maintenance Services and employs a Team Leader, Builder and Administration Assistant. The purpose of the service is to enable the elderly or those with a disability to remain comfortably in their own homes by modifying their surroundings according to their specific needs. Over the last 12 months the service completed 800 works for clients in the Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai areas. The service also successfully completed the Department of Ageing Disability and Home Care Integrative Monitoring Framework in 2007.

 

Hornsby Council’s Over 55 Services Team coordinated Seniors Week 2008. This involved the support and coordination of a shire-wide Seniors Week Festival that was held over a month to spread out the large range of Council and community events. Approximately 45 events were run by 33 organisations across the shire. Over 2,000 people attended the events, which included the annual Mayor’s Gala Concert and the launch of the DVD ‘Message in a Bottle’. 

 

 

 

4.7 Working with our community - key results for 2007/08

 

·  Council donated $65,000 to support community groups and shire-based organisations and provided subsidised property rental of more than $500,000 to locally-based, non-profit organisations.

·  Council subsidised $26,844 in foregone rental within the Community Centres and Halls Network with an additional $8,000 provided as a subsidy through the Casual Hirers Policy.

·  A Parent Internet Forum was held at Hornsby RSL Club where over 150 people attended. Keynote speakers included Helen Coonan and the Australian Security Director of MySpace, who spoke about the impact of rapidly changing information technology on the health and wellbeing of young people today.

·  A grant of $160,000 from the Federal Attorney General’s Department’s National Crime Prevention Programme is being utilised via the ‘Including and Involving Young People in Public Malls’ project.

·  Former Community Services Branch Manager Coralie Nichols was voted 2007 National Diversity Champion at the Diversity @ Work Awards.

·  On 13 February 2008, Council hosted a public telecast of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generation.  More than 75 people were in attendance, including Indigenous Elders, members of the Hornsby Aboriginal Community Network and representatives from the Hornsby Area Residents for Reconciliation group.

·  Hornsby Woodworking Men’s Shed received a NSW Seniors Week 2008 Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to Hornsby Shire in the Community Service and Volunteering category.

·  A Harmony Day celebration was held in March at Pennant Hills Community Centre. Organised by Council, with MigrantLink and the NSW Police Force, more than 250 people attended and enjoyed a diverse array of multicultural entertainment.

·  In April, the Hornsby Aboriginal Community Network received notification from the Office of the Registrar of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations that they had been approved as an Incorporated Aboriginal Organisation under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

·  A grant of $23,000 from the Alcohol Education and Research Foundation and the NSW Department of Health was utilised by the Hornsby Seniors Advisory Committee and the Hornsby Community Drug Action Team to produce an educational DVD entitled ‘Message in a Bottle’ which was officially launched in April during the Seniors Week Festival.



5. Our economy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hornsby Shire Council, as an organisation, has a large economic impact on the shire as an employer, procurer and a user of goods and services.  Council is a major employer in the area providing more than 900 jobs in a mix of permanent, part time and casual roles.  Staff are located at various centres around the shire including in Hornsby town centre, Thornleigh depot site, the libraries and childcare centres, as well as swimming pools and community centres.  Local jobs, including Council jobs, have a direct economic impact by keeping pay packets in the area, thereby stimulating expenditure and profitability for other businesses in the shire.

 

Council directly and indirectly provides and supports festivals and events in the shire, and these play a role in local tourism attracting income to the area.  Visitor spending on food and entertainment while in the shire has flow-on effects on employment and the supply of goods.

 

Land use planning has an economic impact both in terms of how the land can be used and how our suburbs are shaped.  While the impacts are often long-term, this affects housing affordability, jobs and the viability of our town centres.

 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics data below shows that government administration in Hornsby Shire, of which Hornsby Shire Council is a major component, had a total output of over $189 million in 2006.  Other government administrations included in this figure are State Government roles such as police, teachers, health and justice.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.1 Economic development

 

In 2007 Council established an Employment and Economic Development Taskforce to provide strategic direction, guidance and coordination for all activities relating to economic development. One of the first tasks of the group was to prioritise the key strategic actions in the Economic Development Strategy and implement those actions. 

 

Quarterly business forums have been held with various businesses and industry groups. One such event launched the Hornsby Business Energy Savings programme, Stage 2 of the Sustainable Business Strategy. Council has a target of 200 businesses participating in the programme by 2009.

 

Council has acquired community profiles, community atlases, and population projections/forecasts which are accessible via Council’s website. This useful data set provides comparative information between census periods and across suburbs within the shire.

 

Work has continued in partnership with the Department of Environment and Climate Change in implementing the Sustainability Advantage Programme. Modules delivered to date include: Vision, Commitment and Planning; as well as Resource Efficiency. Key outcomes have included increased awareness of energy consumption, business planning, and green marketing as a competitive advantage.

 

Council was instrumental in establishing effective strategic alliances across LGA boundaries within the region. This has fostered renewed interest in regional tourism and is now being driven by industry operators. Hornsby Council continues to maintain a strategic working relationship with other Councils and Tourism NSW.

5.2 Development contributions

 

Council raises revenue by way of development contributions which are charged on new developments to assist in the provision of the additional services and facilities required by the new population. 

 

Council estimated collection of development contributions in 2007/08 was $1.5 million based on the prevailing downward trend in the development industry and previous income receipts.  The actual income from development contributions in 2007/08 was $1,761,613 which was $261,613 in excess of expectations. 

 

Development contribution funds must be used to provide new services and facilities or improve existing services. In 2007/08 over $5.816 million of development contributions were expended on capital works.  Some of the projects funded by development contributions included:

·   Improvements to the Hornsby CBD streetscapes.

·   Upgrading of various ovals and reserves.

·   Construction of the rural sports facility at Galston.

·   Improvements to Fagan Park.

·   Books for Library Services.

·   Augmentation of the Cherrybrook Community Centre.

 

 



5.3 The Housing Strategy

 

Council is currently preparing a Housing Strategy which aims to identify areas suitable for the provision of additional housing to meet its housing obligations into the future.

 

To facilitate the State Government’s Metropolitan Strategy for the North Subregion (Hornsby Shire and Ku-ring-gai Councils), Council is responsible for providing 11,000 new dwellings over 25 years. In selecting suitable areas for consideration, Council has adopted a process of investigation including consideration of all lands within Hornsby Shire based on agreed criteria, including proximity to commercial centres and transport nodes, economic feasibility, existing dwelling mix, and the absence of environmental constraints. Council has engaged consultants in the areas of urban design, economic feasibility, traffic modelling, and environmental analysis to assist with the preparation of the Housing Strategy, which is expected to be placed on public exhibition in early 2009.

 

 

5.4 Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby Subregional Employment Study

 

In 2007/08 Council commissioned a study of local land strategies to identify opportunities to meet the State Government employment targets for the region and describe the potential for economic growth to complement population growth.  The study assessed both the ‘supply side’ of the region’s employment lands and the ‘demand side’ needed to meet the State Government target of 13,500 new jobs in the Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby local government areas by 2031, with Hornsby town centre expected to accommodate 3,000 of those new jobs.

 

The primary recommendations of the study are:

·     Reinforce Hornsby Town Centre's role as the major town centre.

·     Strengthen the role of Epping as a Town Centre.

·     Strengthen the local service role of Villages, Small Villages and Neighbourhood Centres

·     Protect and promote existing strategic industrial and employment centres.

 

The study is expected to be placed on public exhibition for comment by the end of 2008.


6. Governance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


6.1 Hornsby as a workplace

 

Hornsby Shire Council is a major employer in the area providing more than 900 jobs in a mix of permanent, part time and casual roles.  The workforce gender balance is 53% male and 47% female, and the average age is 44 years. 

 

Women are under-represented at management level, with 75% of management role being filled by males and 25% by females.  Council prides itself on providing a flexible and productive workplace, and an employee opinion survey undertaken in November 2007 confirmed that Council employees value the fair and attractive work conditions offered by the organisation. 

 

The survey also indicated that employees want better communication within and across the organisation.  Council is developing an HR Strategic Plan which takes account of the results of the employee survey and prepares the organisation for its future workforce needs.

 

A new human resources management system was implemented early in 2006 and over the past two years its data shows staff turnover to be 14%.  This is approximately 2% above the industry benchmark (median Public Sector rate reported in Inform HR survey 2008), which is not considered an unreasonable level.  Staff turnover is an important indicator of cultural health in an organisational and we will continue to measure and report this data each year.

 

In 2007/08 the Learning and Development team conducted 146 internal training events with 1,691 participants attending.  Council also offers external training and in 2007/08 301 staff undertook training from an external provider. 

 

 

 

 

 

6.2 Occupational Health and Safety

 

Council's Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) team continue to strive towards continual improvement of Council's OH&S Management System with ongoing development and implementation of various OH&S determinations, procedures and programmes. In addition, improved reporting tools were implemented within this period enabling better review and monitoring of OH&S performance. Claims for workers compensation reduced by 46% in comparison to the 2006/2007 year. All claims were processed within 48 hours of lodgement and 98% of all ‘return to work’ plans were completed and implemented within 24 hours of an employee returning to work following an occupational injury/illness.

 

 

6.3 Equal Employment and Opportunity

Section 428(2)(n)

 

The Equal Employment and Opportunity (EEO) committee was reactivated in 2007/08. Its primary task was to review the constitution and content of the EEO Committee and the EEO Management Plan and implement actions identified in the Management Plan.  In 2007/08 Council’s recruitment and selection processes were reviewed to ensure EEO compliance.  Another key focus was on highlighting the value of diversity in the workplace and ensuring all staff are aware of the requirement to comply with the anti-discrimination legislation. 

 

In 2007/08 Council joined the Australian Employers Network on disability because Council is committed to the inclusion of people with disability in employment.

 

Work experience was supported by the placement of four work experience students from TAFE and local high schools in Council’s libraries.  Another six work experience students have been accommodated in the administration area, the environment division, corporate strategy and Council’s works area.  Council was recognised for its support for the vocational education of local high school students by the Hills Schools Industry Partnership programme.    

6.4 Fraud and corruption prevention

 

Council has a Fraud and Corruption Prevention Strategy and an internal audit function to undertake risk analysis and instigate processes to prevent fraud and corruption.  The work of the internal audit service is reported to Council bi-annually, and the report for 2007/08 titled ‘Review of Internal Audit Plan 2007/08’ (as at 30/06/08) - GM10/08 can be viewed online as a business report for the Council meeting of 13/08/2008. 

 

 

6.5 Catchments Remediation Rate and Hornsby Quarry Loan Rate

 

Catchments Remediation Rate 

 

The Catchments Remediation Rate (CRR) is levied at five percent of Council’s ordinary rate income on properties throughout the shire. All modified catchments impact on water quality and benefit from the environmental and water quality improvements, in terms of improved quality of life for ratepayers. In 2007/08, income received from the CRR special rate was $2.47 million.

 

The Catchments Remediation Programme for 2006/07 identified locations across the shire where water quality improvement structures and devices were to be constructed and installed. In 2007/08, 16 catchment remediation capital works projects were completed at a total cost of $957,000. These works involved the construction and/or installation of 11 sediment basins, four end-of-pipe gross pollutant traps, eight stream remediation projects, one bioremediation basin and six stormwater gardens. 

 

The programme also supports a number of pollution prevention initiatives such as environmental education, industrial auditing, street sweeping, emergency spill response, and pollution regulation. In addition to the pollution treatment and prevention initiatives, the CRR funds ongoing works associated with the maintenance and monitoring of these assets and the receiving waterways. In 2007/08 the total cost to Council to maintain its water quality assets and adjacent landscaped areas was $354,000 with 1600 tonnes of sediment, litter and organic matter being removed from the shire’s drainage system and waterways.

 

  


Hornsby Quarry Loan Rate

 

In 2002, Council was required under the Hornsby Local Environmental Plan prepared in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, to acquire the Hornsby Quarry site.  The amount of compensation was determined to be approximately $25 million, in accordance with notice given under the Land Acquisition (Just Term Compensation) Act 1991.  Consequently there was a need to borrow the funds to pay for this acquisition plus initial interest paid, and this borrowing took place in early 2004.

 

In order to fund the repayments, this rate was approved by the Minister for Local Government on 10 June 2005 for a ten year term and is based on an increase to Council’s 2004/05 notional general rate income, increased by the annual rate pegging increases as announced by the Minister for Local Government commencing 1 July 2005 and continuing until the 2014/15 financial year.

 

On 14 June 2006 Council resolved to restructure the loan to align the loan term to that of the rate.  On 19 June 2006, Council repaid the $26 million existing loan by drawing down $19.7 million on the (new) restructured loan and applying $6.3 million including the part proceeds from the sale of the old George Street Hornsby depot site.  Repayments on the new loan include principal and interest. 

 

The balance owing was $16.839 million at 30 June 2008 and is expected to be approximately $15.169 million at 30 June 2009.

 

 



6.6 Hornsby Shire Council’s approach to Triple Bottom Line

 

Underpinning Hornsby Shire Council’s strategic planning is a framework that integrates service planning and decision-making based on the principles of the triple bottom line (TBL) and aligned to Council’s strategic themes of:

·      Conserving our natural environment

·      Contributing to community development through sustainable facilities and services

·      Fulfilling our community’s vision in planning for the future of the shire

·      Working with our community

·      Supporting our diverse economy

·      Maintaining sound corporate and financial management

 

Each theme addresses aspects of TBL and has performance indicators to demonstrate progress towards achieving Council’s overall aim of ‘creating a living environment’. Council adopted its TBL Sustainability Policy in July 2007.

 

In this way TBL is applied through two integrated ‘streams’: the decision making process and the reporting process. Council has a TBL decision making tool (the TBL Checklist) that incorporates TBL considerations into the Business Paper system. This approach was comprehensively evaluated by the University of Western Sydney (UWS) during 2005.

 

The development of reporting mechanisms is the other side of TBL. The evaluation undertaken by UWS identifies that Council has developed a leading reporting culture with significant expertise and investment in sustainability indicators. However, the gap for the Council lies in the development and use of TBL measures that assess the impacts of the organisation itself rather than external conditions and is consolidated in one corporate reporting process.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


6.7 Statutory write-offs

Clause 132

 

During 2007/08 the following rates and charges were written off under the Local Government (Rates and Charges) Regulation 1993:

Pensioner Rates

$1,556,822

(55% recovered from the State Government)

Pensioner Rates (Quarry Rate)

$62,294

Non-pensioner rates (postponed)

$6,376

Interest (postponed)

$2,411

 


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. ST14/08 Page 40

 

6.8 Status of 2007/08 actions in Management Plan

Section 428(2)(b)

 

The annual Management Plan details the activities of Council for that year. This table summarises the status of 2007/08 activities and initiatives as at 30 June 2008.

 

Action

Status

Strategic themes

Working with our community

Provide opportunities at Council meetings for the community to participate in decision making. 

In 2007/08 365 people spoke at Council meetings, which equates to more than 18 hours of speaking time.

Undertake community consultations to elicit the views of the ‘silent majority’. 

Consultations continue via community panels (1,170 registered members) and an online, independently moderated, website.

Review the contents of Council’s website. 

Project not undertaken, has been deferred to 2008/09.

Develop a calendar of major events and list on website. 

A ‘What’s On’ calendar developed and updated biannually.  Available on web and hard copy.

Develop a cultural plan for the shire. 

Draft cultural plan on public exhibition in June 2008.

Identify opportunities to provide cultural facilities and resources across the existing Community Centres network and report to Council. 

Options reported to Council in September 2007.  Project responsibility now with the Community, Cultural and Recreation Facilities Taskforce.

In partnership with Community Drug Action Team undertake the ‘Message in a Bottle’ project with Alcohol Education Research funding. 

Filming and post production completed.  Resource launched in April and now widely distributed.

Enhance the Social Plan 2005-2010 to include services/support for children aged six to 12 years and their families. 

Draft completed.  Awaiting NSW Government information about the proposed initiatives in their Northern Sydney Plan.

Enhance the Social Plan 2005-2010 to include a chapter pertaining to Community Centres and Halls Strategic Planning. 

Project underway and progressing according to schedule.

With the assistance of an internal working party commence community consultations to consider the provision and funding of a community hall in Brooklyn

Community consultations completed and way forward resolved as per CC78/07.

Continue to ‘road-show’ significant issues in the rural areas. 

Community Fun Day held in Galston in May 2008.

Expand Council’s calendar of events and develop a five-year forward plan of events.

 

Community surveyed to elicit types of events desired.  Survey information being reviewed to inform forward plan.

Using Section 94 funds, purchase a vehicle to road show youth programmes in urban, rural and remote locations.

Vehicle purchase deferred to 2008/09.

Use the grant from the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, under the National Community Crime Prevention Programme, to implement the ‘Including and Involving Young People in Public Malls’ project. 

Project implemented as per funding guidelines.

Commence a comparative study of information technology services in libraries. 

Project delayed due to workload in the libraries systems area.


Management Plan - status of actions

 

Action

Status

Strategic themes

Working with our community

Complete the review of the Home Library Service. 

Underway.  Users of the service surveyed to ascertain usage needs and patterns.  This data will be part of the review.

Review and update the Library Strategic Plan. 

Deferred until 2008/09.

Investigate establishing a ‘Friends of the Library’ group. 

Book groups are being extended to include Berowra and Galston Libraries.

Assist community groups to locate and apply for grants to fund their aspirations. 

Uptake of this service has been modest despite shire-wide advertising.  In 2007/08 47 community groups contacted, 7 funding applications submitted with 2 being awarded and the remainder not known or unsuccessful.

Conduct four open forums for community members to raise issues with Councillors. 

Five open forums held in 2007/08.  Forum outcomes reported at the Council meeting following each forum.

Participate in public policy development and lobbying (regarding the number of people addressing Council at its meetings).     

 

365 people addressed Council at its meetings during the year and 418 people visited the online consultation hosted by Bang the Table.

 

Ascertain respondent satisfaction with the level of engagement in matters of discussion (target 85% +) or more.

Open Forum in A Ward and Hornsby Quarry Geotechnical Report information session at the RSL: opportunity for involvement = 90% satisfaction and appropriate meeting conduct = 83% satisfaction.

Convene community panels and research topics. 

Two panels convened in the June quarter – one about use of Community Centres and Halls, and the other pertaining to the Over 55s service.

Describe community research results. 

 

 

 Over 55s: 225 people participated in the survey, with Hornsby being the most popular venue for facilities. The majority of respondents were aged 65 years or less and they favoured a modest activity fee without annual membership. Transport and easy access to facilities was considered important by many respondents.

Community Centres and Halls: Most respondents think of community centres as places of fun and celebration, linking them to social harmony and participation in community life.  Affordability of hire and location were important considerations.  Participants overwhelmingly support a two tiered pricing structure with higher fees for corporate customers. 

Monitor the number of new subscribers to Council’s email information service. 

1,400 people subscribe to Council’s email information service.

Observe the number of community members participating in Council sustainability activities or related education - target more than 1,500.

 

Activities include earthwise workshops, Solar house day, Schools network, Schools presentation, SAC and Hornsby Schools Speech Competition. Sustainability Month - Eco festival (~3500), Business Summit Dinner (50), Hornsby 2020 Forum (150), earthwise at home (270).


Management Plan - status of actions

 

Action

Status

Strategic themes

Conserving our natural environment

Implement initiatives determined by the Bushland Management Advisory Committee.

The committee determined not to implement initiatives this year.  Ongoing advice provided to the committee.

Promote the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan.

 

Top priorities implemented, including noxious weed inspections on private property.

Provide incentives/resources for biodiversity conservation on private property (Target — 40 participants per year).

 

Rural lands incentives programme continued (45 participants) and an urban lands programme about to commence.

Develop earthwise cottage as a functional workshop space for Council workshops/meetings  (Indicator — number of events run from earthwise cottage p.a.).

 

11 bushcare workshops and 21 community events held at the cottage in 2007/08.

Continue the Gardens for Wildlife Workshop series. 

75 workshop participants this year.

Manage Service Level Agreement with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service for the prevention, mitigation and suppression of rural fires. 

Service Level Agreement managed as per its terms and conditions.

Develop the Lower Hawkesbury Estuary Management Plan. 

Reported to Council for public exhibition.

Develop water conservation and reuse schemes in consultation with Council’s Parks service. 

Current projects are at Greenway Park and Foxglove Oval.

Progress Hornsby Creek Restoration Strategy. 

Business plan completed.  Project granted a six month postponement by the EPA.

Continue update of the GIS database for Environment Division. 

Updating has continued as requested by the Division.

Implement the Catchments Remediation capital works programme for 2007/08. 

The programme has been implemented as per the capital works programme in the Management Plan.

Continue to implement Council’s 24-hour environmental emergency response service.

All incidents responded to in a timely manner. Continued to coordinate the Environmental Health and Protection Incident Response Plan.

Maintain the water quality monitoring programme, including recreational water quality. 

Monitoring maintained over the critical summer months only.

Continue operation of early warning algal bloom monitoring station. 

Continuous monitoring for algal bloom.

Implement the recommendations from the Sustainable Fleet Management Study.

Fleet sustainability strategy completed.  Recommendations reviewed by management and to be implemented in 2008/09.

Continue to implement Council’s Sustainable Business Programme and the Sustainable Business Strategy.

 

11 businesses signed up to the sustainability Advantage Programme. Diagnostics and Action Planning sessions completed.

Business Energy Savings Programme delivery and training developed in January 2008. 10 businesses have joined the programme and 79 businesses completed the registration questionnaire. 

Continue supporting actions recommended by Council’s Sustainability Action Committee (SAC). 

The Committee continues to meet regularly.  SAC also participated in the OneWorld Festival during November 2007 and supported the Hornsby 2020 talk in April 2008.


Management Plan - status of actions

 

Action

Status

 

Strategic themes

Conserving our natural environment

Continue to develop, deliver and evaluate the suite of programmes delivered through Hornsby earthwise.

Finalised earthwise at home programme - 112 rebates allocated in total (50 – insulation, 52 – solar hot water, 10 – PV).  All workshops have been conducted with good attendance and very positive feedback from residents.

 

Continue the Waste Education Strategy and Programme. 

More than 3,000 people attended waste education workshops throughout the year.

 

Implement the Energy Performance Contract Stage 2 for water and energy conservation measures to meet greenhouse abatement targets by 2010.  Measure and verify savings. 

Stage 2 implemented. Monitoring and verification being undertaken by ECS Pty Ltd.

 

Adopt and deliver green procurement practices within Council.

 

Council is an active participant in ‘Sustainable Choice’ an LGSA initiative.  Sustainable procurement actions include recycled paper for printing letterhead and business cards, and a recycle programme for mobile phones and toner cartridges.

 

Implement short and medium term priorities within Sustainable Energy Strategy.

 

Short and medium term priorities being implemented in accordance with Council’s Sustainable Energy Strategy. Actions include the Sustainable Fleet Management Study, Carbon Neutral Feasibility Study and EPC Stage 2.

 

Contribute to the cost of a replacement vehicle for the local SES. 

Vehicle purchased - (Council contributed $25,000).

 

Investigate options for street sweeping waste and implement. 

Trials of composting the material undertaken.  Results demonstrate suitability as a landscaping material, however all material is still being sent to landfill due to lack of an available facility to process.

 

Implement a trial project to collect waste from river settlement properties that currently do not receive a waste collection service.

 

A study of the properties and issues by Council and an independent consultant concluded the provision of this service to be inappropriate at this time.

 

Provide at least one e-waste collection weekend. 

E-waste collection held February 08, with 22 tonnes of material collected.

 

Develop a waste education programme with a focus on climate change.

Not commenced. Changed emphasis to correct recycling methods and contamination problems. Waste audit results highlight need to focus on steel cans and aerosols.

 

Seek funding to implement public place and public event recycling programmes. 

No appropriate funding sourced.

 

Use Sydney Coastal Councils grant to undertake study into climate change and its impact on Council facilities. 

Work continues in partnership with CSIRO and Sydney Coastal Councils.

 

Implement on site sewerage management programme in Brooklyn and Dangar Island.

 

Onsite Sewage Management Strategy and Greywater Policy adopted by Council.  Connections commenced to the Brooklyn and Dangar Island Sewerage Scheme, and over 250 properties connected to date.  Inspections being undertaken of decommissioned systems.

 

Construction of new headquarters for Rural Fire Service at Berowra Toll Gates. 

Development application approved.  Construction to commence in 08/09.

 


Management Plan - status of actions

 

Action

Status

Strategic themes

Conserving our natural environment

Develop Council’s Sustainability Strategy, in consultation with key community stakeholders, to provide a forward-looking framework for Council’s decision-making and activities. 

Consultation undertaken with Council’s Sustainable Action Committee. Second round of community consultation to occur during late 2008.

Implement the Hornsby earthwise at home community greenhouse abatement programme.

All workshops have been conducted with good attendance and very positive feedback from residents.  All solar power and insulation rebates have been allocated, 10 solar hot water rebates are still to be allocated. 

Performance indicators

Reduce percentage of water consumption, through Council’s initiatives, for own operations - target 20%  reduction by 2011 (compared to Council’s average annual consumption in the years from 1999 to 2002). 

 

Council has significantly reduced the amount of water used for its own operations by increased efficiencies over recent years.  Increasing Council services may however see total consumption escalate in the future. This indicator will be reported in 2011.

Reduce percentage of water consumption, through Council initiatives, with the community - target 18% by 2011.

As the shire’s population increases there is a corresponding increase in water consumption, however individuals and households are becoming much better at conserving water and therefore this target, set in 2004, may still be achievable. This indicator will be reported in 2011.

Manage the percentage of area of bushland (ha) in the active care of Council and the community compared to the total bushland in the shire under Council’s management - target 12.2% or more. 

10.8% of bushland is in the active care of Council.

Protect / restore habitats – number of bushcare volunteers.

The numbers of bushcare volunteers is increasing with over 820 now participating in the bushcare programme.

Reduce percentage of greenhouse gas, compared to 1995/96 levels, through Council’s initiatives for its own operations - target 30% by 2010. 

29% reduction on 1995/96 emission levels.

Reduce percentage of greenhouse gas, through Council’s initiatives, for the community - target 5% reduction on 1995/96 levels by 2010. 

4% reduction on 1995/96 emission levels.

Manage percentage of domestic waste material by weight collected by Council going to landfill - target 42% or less. 

43.1% to landfill.

Manage tonnes of recycling diverted from landfill - target 18,492 tonnes or more. 

22,540 tonnes of recycling diverted.

Manage tonnes of green waste diverted from landfill - target 14,340 or more. 

17,632 tonnes of green waste diverted.

Manage the percentage of monitored healthy waterways in the shire - target 50%.

Council monitors representative creeks across the shire. This target aims for half of the shire’s waterways to be classified as healthy. 50% of monitored waterways rated as healthy.

Manage the number of programmes implemented in progression to sustainable corporate governance - target 30 programmes.

 

Programmes: Sustainable Business Energy Savings, Sustainability Advantage, earthwise at home, onsite sewage management inspection, EPC and CCP Adaptation.

Studies: Green Procurement and Fleet Management and Carbon Neutral Feasibility.

Inspect properties for declared noxious weeds.

810 properties inspected for noxious weeds, and 90% complied with Noxious Weeds Act.  The remaining 10% actively followed up for compliance.


Management Plan - status of actions

 

Action

Status

 

Strategic themes

Contributing to community development through sustainable facilities and services

Determine priorities and undertake asset improvements at community centres. 

Asset maintenance programme for 2007/08 completed at all community centres.

 

Prepare a new Section 94 Plan including review and amalgamation of previous plans. 

New Section 94 Plan and policy on Planning Agreements adopted by Council October 2007.

 

Adopt the Strategic Financial Plan, including the place of borrowings as a mechanism for funding the asset management plan. 

An additional $1 million borrowed to fund asset maintenance in 2007/08.

 

Continue the young people outreach programme. 

45 organisations participate in the Youth Network and 14 groups use the youth facility.

 

Continue the enhancements to the Over 55s services.

‘Mature Matters’ newsletter produced 5 times this year, workshop on positive ageing held, Seniors Advisory Committee supported and Seniors Festival held.

 

Continue the works to upgrade the Cherrybrook Community Centre to a multi-purpose facility to be used by a wide range of people and include a childcare facility. 

Tender for building work offered and accepted.  Works to commence July 2008.

 

Implement works within Crosslands Reserve Masterplan. 

Works under Council’s control completed.

 

Continue implementing the Hornsby Mall Strategic Plan. 

One key action finalised during the June quarter. Other key actions to be implemented on an ongoing basis during 2008/09.

 

Review the Hornsby Mall Code and Outdoor Seating Code and align with the Hornsby Mall Strategic Management Plan. 

Undertaken in line with the relevant 12 Operational Plans associated with the Hornsby Mall Strategic Management Plan.

 

Benchmark the operation of Hornsby Mall against other Local Government-operated malls 

Ongoing.

 

Investigate establishing protocols for private property owners who wish to establish and maintain fuel breaks and report to Council. 

Financial impacts being investigated at Councils with similar programmes.

 

Implement a bushfire hazard risk management programme after adoption of Council’s prescribed burn proposal by the Hornsby Kuring-Gai Bushfire Management Committee. 

Ongoing. Fire Unit Strategy being implemented.

 

Oversee the progress of the Berowra Aquatic Centre. 

Further options being explored.  Report to Council WK51/08 August 2008.

 

Continue the refurbishment of the Hornsby Aquatic Centre including asset improvements. 

Asset maintenance and improvement programme for 2007/08 completed.

 

Implement asset improvements at Galston and Epping Aquatic Centres. 

Asset maintenance and improvement programme for 2007/08 completed.

 

Identify efficiency gains in park maintenance. 

Substantial efficiency gains have been made in the Parks Service Unit over recent years. Little further progress was possible in 2007/08 without sacrificing service delivery.

 

Progress proactive street tree management subject to available funds. 

No funds available to progress this initiative, currently being absorbed in part by existing resources.

 

Finalise construction of Stages 1 and 2 of the Rural Sports Facility, Galston. 

Civil works completed and building works progressed substantially.

 


Management Plan - status of actions

 

Action

Status

 

Strategic themes

Contributing to community development through sustainable facilities and services

Progress the design of a sportsground on a school oval in accordance with the Sports Facility Strategy. 

Schools agreement finalised and awaiting signature. Sketch design completed and traffic study, lighting design and acoustic studies commenced.

 

Finalise the development of an Unstructured Recreation Strategy. 

Draft document completed.

 

Design a shire-wide park at Galston Recreation Reserve including a skate facility. 

Skate park commenced. Masterplan design commenced.

 

Progress implementation of Fagan Park Plan of Management including regional playground. 

Ready for opening in August 2008.

 

Improve the entry to Hornsby Library and install new carpet. 

Completed.

 

Performance indicators

 

The number of people supported through the Home Modification and Maintenance Service - target 700 or more.  (Home modification aids the elderly or those with a disability to remain comfortably accommodated in their own homes). 

810 people used this service in 2007/08.

 

The number of young people contacted by Youth Services - target 3,000 or more.  (Youth Services provide intervention and support services to a diverse range of young people on a variety of issues). 

4,000 young people contacted and/ or supported.

 

Donations to community, civil society and other groups in terms of cash and in-kind donations

-  Community donations programme - $64,269

-   Foregone rental and rental subsidies - $541,198

-   Sports ground subsidies - $1,883,068

Plus

-  Pensioner statutory rebate (45% of $1,556,821) - $700,569

-   Additional Quarry rebate for pensioners - $62,295 

As per report CC76/07 $2,488,535

Plus

Pensioner rebate of $762,864

 

Total $3,251,399

 

 

The number of community group grant applications assisted - information indicator, no target. 

47 groups have registered with the service. 6 funding applications submitted and awaiting outcome. 11 applicants currently being assisted.

 

 

 

 

Action

Status

 

Strategic themes

Fulfilling our community’s vision in planning for the future of the shire

Continue to support the conservation of local heritage through the Heritage Assistance Fund. 

Council’s support of local heritage acknowledged by being awarded the Keep Australia Beautiful Sustainable Cities Award 2008 for Heritage Conservation.

Implement programmes for Heritage Week. 

2007/08 programme implemented including the popular Hawkesbury River Boat Trip.

Monitor sediment and erosion control by undertaking compliance inspections of new construction sites. 

Ongoing.

Complete the Open Space Land Acquisition Review. 

Completed.


Management Plan - status of actions

 

Action

Status

 

Strategic themes

Fulfilling our community’s vision in planning for the future of the shire

Complete the River Settlements Controls Review. 

Completed.

Complete the Development Control Plans Review for Recreation Controls. 

Underway.

Progress the formulation of Council’s Housing Strategy. 

Draft Housing Strategy endorsed by Steering Committee.  For consideration by new Council.

Work with Councillors to minimise litigation associated with planning decisions. 

2007/08 legal expenses class 1 appeals = $713,877.

2006/07 legal expenses class 1 appeals = $756,006.

Continue to progress options for the Hornsby Quarry site, having regard to the findings of the geotechnical study. 

Community consultations continue via focus groups, public meetings and online consultations.

Complete the Hornsby Quarry and Environs Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan. 

Draft LEP and DCP deferred for further community consultation and the expressions of interest process for use of the site.

Undertake water management and site monitoring at the Hornsby Quarry site. 

Ongoing.

Undertake the local road improvements programme as per the three year rolling programme. 

Improvements completed according to adopted programme.

Undertake the footpath reconstruction and improvement programme as per the three year rolling programme, including the upgrade/construction of 50 footpath access ramps. 

Improvements completed according to adopted programme.

Implement the strategy for sealing unsealed roads (Year 2 of 9). 

Works programme completed according to revised schedule.

Undertake a review of parking at Brooklyn and Oxford Street, Epping.

Brooklyn – currently monitoring existing arrangements

Epping – scheme prepared but deferred because of railway works.

Develop mid week morning and Saturday peak traffic models for Hornsby CBD. 

On hold pending Housing Strategy modelling.

Review options for metered parking at appropriate locations in the shire. 

A policy being prepared for the Hornsby town centre which may be portable to other centres.

Undertake a review of equitable access to transport modes. 

Not yet commenced.  Will be progressed with recommendations of the Integrated Land Use Transport Strategy.

Prepare Development Control Plan amendments to implement the findings of the Childcare Centres Review. 

Draft DCP amendments prepared for presentation to Council in September 2008.

Connect sewer for Council properties at Brooklyn and Dangar Island

Council properties connected as per schedule.

Undertake a strategic review of Council’s properties in the Hornsby Town Centre. 

Deferred for consideration until after September 2008.

Prepare Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan amendments to implement Heritage Review Stage 3 and undertake Heritage Review Stage 4. 

Review stage 3 completed.  Review stage 4 consultant’s report exhibited.

Performance indicators

The net area of bushland on private land and agricultural land lost to development - target no net loss of bushland. 

0.3 hectares of land lost to development.

The percentage of planning projects completed on time and within budget - target 90%. 

90% of projects completed on time and within budget.

The number of service requests relating to health, building and planning matters that are investigated - target 1,200 pa. 

1,433 complaints were received and investigated.  

The number of aboriginal sites identified for conservation - information indicator, no target.  (As at 2006, 235 sites had been identified).

Bar Island Aboriginal and European heritage conservation project stage 1 completed.  Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council undertook the Aboriginal site survey and the path was upgraded to minimise erosion of the Aboriginal midden.  235 aboriginal sites identified.

The number of heritage items and conservation areas protected in the shire - information indicator, no target.  (In 2006, 814 heritage items and 5 conservation areas protected).

814 heritage items and 5 heritage conservation areas: Beecroft/Cheltenham, Barker College area, Hornsby West Side, The Crescent Pennant Hills, and Wahroonga.

 


Management Plan - status of actions

 

Action

Status

 

Strategic themes

Supporting our diverse economy

Investigate alternate sustainable funding sources for local economic and business development. 

Potential funding sources reviewed but unable to fit criteria.

Complete the Tourism Review Local Environmental Plan (LEP). 

In preparation as part of Council’s comprehensive LEP and annual LEP amendments 2008.

Complete the Tourism Review Development Control Plan (DCP). 

See above comment.

Commence the preparation of Council’s comprehensive Local Environmental Plan as part of the Metropolitan Strategy. 

In preparation.

Establish regular business forums in the shire. 

Two meeting of ‘Captains Table’ held.

Provide access to an online comprehensive regional profile of the shire. 

Community profile and atlas updated on web site.  Economic modelling software purchased.

Support the Hornsby and District Chamber of Commerce in developing a business directory of the shire. 

Additional business directory software purchased to complement that used by the Chamber of Commerce.

Implement the actions in the Economic Development Strategy Action Plan. 

Employment and Economic Development Taskforce established and a 12 – 18 month work programme and funding approved.

Complete Town Centre Masterplans for the Berowra Commercial Centre, Pennant Hills Commercial Centre and Carlingford Commercial Centre. 

Deferred by Council report April 2006.

Complete the Outdoor Advertising Review. 

60% completed as at June 2008.

Complete the Galston Village Masterplan Development Control Plan amendments. 

Not yet completed.  Council to convene a meeting of the Working Party to discuss the Masterplan.

Review the future of the Hornsby Library site and develop a concept plan. 

Consideration of this site and other sites deferred until after September 2008.

Develop a development strategy for Council’s four strategic property holdings in the Hornsby CBD. 

Consideration of these sites deferred until after September 2008.

Investigate the interest in improving some Council lands to support economic development. 

Major investment houses contacted; little interest at this stage in market cycle.

Initiate an interdivisional taskforce to develop a Strategic Development Plan for the West Precinct. 

Interdivisional taskforce working on planning for the precinct.

Investigate capital works funding for building extensions to the CWA building to facilitate expansion of visitor information services. 

No budget capacity at this stage.  Traffic management issues would need resolving before proceeding.

Performance indicators

Unemployment rates compared to same time previous year - source: Small Area Labour Market Smooth Series, Dept of Employment and Workplace Relations - target less than same time previous year. 

June 2007 Hornsby unemployment rate = 3%.

June 2008 Hornsby unemployment rate = 2.6%.

The median processing times for category one and category two development applications - target category one 60 days, category two 40 days. 

Category One = 43 days.

Category Two = 53 days.

The amount of section 94 Development Contributions collected in the quarter compared to the amount estimated to be collected - target $1.5 million p.a. 

$1,761,613 ( $261,613 better than estimated).

The number of businesses participating annually in Council’s Sustainable Business Programme - information indicator, no target. 

11 businesses in the Sustainability Advantage Programme and 10 businesses in the Energy Savings Business Programme.

The percentage of the population who live and work in the shire - target 27% or more.

 

The 2006 ABS Journey to Work statistics demonstrate that 50.5% (20,902) workers live and work in the shire.

 

 


Management Plan - status of actions

 

Action

Status

 

Strategic themes

Maintaining sound corporate and financial management

Encourage objective community debate by providing balanced information in an open and consistent manner. 

Ongoing.

Maintain the viability of the Development Assessment business unit.

The Planning Division achieved a surplus of $15K during the financial year due to restrained labour costs and reduced legal expenses.  Revenue is declining with increased interest rates which have frustrated development activity.

Prepare annual report to Council on the Mt Kuring-gai Materials Handling Facility. 

Annual report (WK13/08) presented to Council in March 2008.

Review the Federal WorkChoice legislation’s implications for Council’s workforce. 

Ongoing.  Awaiting details of new Labor Government’s industrial relations legislation change and impact on Local Government.

Develop a Human Resources Strategic Plan that takes a longer term view of Council’s future workforce needs. 

Organisational wide staff focus groups run in February/March 08. Draft Strategy developed in May 2008.

Review the corporate induction programme. 

Corporate induction is continually reviewed to meet the needs of new staff and statutory and regulatory requirements.

Continue implementing a management and supervisors’ development programme. 

Stage 1 completed.  Proposal with Executive Managers to extend and improve course content.

Investigate the use of e-learning as one of Council’s training tools. 

E-learning licence has been renewed and e-workshops will commence in late 2008.

Implement the five-year Strategic Financial Plan. 

Components of the Strategic Financial Plan included in the 2008/09 Management Plan.

Implement the Councils Online (COL) asset management module. 

Module not yet implemented.

Undertake a review of the local government ward boundaries within the shire. 

Review completed, proposed boundaries adopted by Council November 2007.

Coordinate and assist in the 2008 Local Government elections. 

Council is liaising with the NSW Electoral Commission.

Review the currency of the counter disaster plan for Records. 

Counter disaster plan reviewed.  To be signed off by Council’s Risk Manager.

Finalise development and implementation of Council’s new electronic business paper system as part of the Councils Online project. 

Training on new electronic business paper system underway.  System to commence in October 2008.

Expand knowledge and use of Green Procurement within Council. 

Cross divisional team working on expanding green procurement.  A recycled product expo held to showcase outdoor furniture etc.

Introduce electronic tendering and evaluation software. 

Electronic tendering documents are to be available on Council’s web site. Proposal submitted and approved in principle by Executive Management.

Continue to implement the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for organisational sustainability reporting. 

GRI used as basis for Council’s first Annual Sustainability Report.  Also continued use of GRI in Council’s Management Plan.

Review the processes associated with requests from the public for access to Council information. 

Processes reviewed in March 08. Additional staff (part time) employed to assist this service.

Review Council’s internet and intranet sites. 

Project not undertaken, has been deferred until 2008/09.

Review and renegotiate expired lease/licence agreements of properties occupied by community groups in line with the adopted Code for Lease/Licence of Council Land and Buildings to Community Groups. 

Specimen application form prepared. Specimen draft leases currently being formulated.  Application forms sent to community groups where the lease/licence has expired. 


Management Plan - status of actions

 

Action

Status

 

Performance indicators

Maintaining sound corporate and financial management

Return on invested funds - target >benchmark compared to relevant financial indices

Note: the interest on Section 94 funds is required to be allocated to those funds.  

The 2007/08 overall return was 4.96% ($1,804,000) compared to benchmark of 6.6%.  46% of this relates to Section 94 funds held by Council.

Percentage of Department of Local Government statutory reporting requirements completed and submitted on time - target 100%. 

All statutory reporting completed and lodged on time.

Percentage of telephone calls answered and not abandoned - target 95%. 

Council received an average of almost 700 calls per day in the June quarter and 93% were answered and not abandoned.

Description of policy and management systems for handling complaints - information indicator, no target. 

Council’s complaints handling policy was reviewed and adopted by Council in November 2007. 

Extent of training and risk analysis to prevent corruption - information indicator, no target. 

Monthly induction training for new and existing staff includes awareness of fraud and corruption.

The stages achieved in the rollout of Council’s Green Procurement Policy - information indicator, no target

 

In 2007/08 Council’s Sustainable Procurement Committee oversaw the introduction of:

·      Recycled paper for letterhead, business cards, printing and photocopying.

·      A recycle programme for old unusable mobile phones.

·      Recycled toner cartridges.

·      Recycled plastic outdoor furniture .

Draft Green Procurement Policy developed.  The draft policy will be incorporated into Council’s overall sustainability strategy which is currently being developed.

Percentage of contracts arranged by Finance Branch that were paid in accordance with agreed terms - target 100%. 

90% of all contracts paid as per agreed terms.

 



7. Statutory returns


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. ST14/08 Page 55

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Customer Service Requests, Complaints and Access to Information

 

Hornsby Shire Council has a wide range of documents that relate to the various aspects of service provision, strategic planning and the operation of the organisation.  Many of these documents are available free of charge from Council’s website, www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au, and from Council’s libraries.  A list of these documents and access methods is listed on page 15 of Hornsby Shire Council’s Statement of Affairs 2008 which can be viewed and downloaded from the Corporate Documents section of Council’s website. Copies are also available from the Administration counter on the second floor of Council’s Administration Building or by telephoning 9847 6666.

 

Council’s framework for handling customer requests and complaints is documented in its Customer Service Policy and its Complaints Handling Policy, both of which are available via the corporate documents section of Council’s website or by telephoning 9847 6790. 

 

In 2007/08 Council’s Customer Request Management System logged 8,994 service requests, 96% of which (8,624) were handled and completed within time and 4% (370) were outstanding at 30 June 2008.  The top five most common reasons for service requests relate to street trees, management of nature strips, unauthorised building works, non-compliance with domestic development applications and non-compliant pool fencing.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom of Information

Section 68, Clause 10

 

Hornsby Shire Council received 41 requests for information using the Freedom of Information legislation and 1,023 information requests using Section 12 of the Local Government Act 1993, which is considerably more than previous years. The increase is a result of a general growth in demand for information and a change in Council’s procedures for dealing with applications to access information. Council has incurred considerable legal costs with respect to the processing and review of some Freedom of Information applications.

 

Council’s full Freedom of Information Report is detailed in Appendix 3.

 

 

Privacy and Personal Information

Section 33

 

Hornsby Shire Council implemented a Privacy Management Plan in 2001.  The plan is used by staff to comply with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002. Council also publishes a privacy notation in newspapers when advertising public information and on Council’s website. Five applications were received in 2007/08 requesting an internal review of the treatment of personal information held by Council. In each case, the review found that Council had complied with the requirements if the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.

 

 

Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

 

Council had no planning agreements in force between July 2007 and June 2008. 


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. ST14/08 Page 56

 

8. Local Government Act 1993

 

Audited Financial Reports

Section 428(2)(a)

 

Hornsby Shire Council’s audited financial reports for 2007/08 are presented in Appendix 1 of this report.

 

 

Performance against Management Plan

Section 428(2)(b)

 

Hornsby Shire Council’s performance against its Management Plan is presented in section 4, Governance, of this report.

 

 

Environment Report

Section 428(2)(c)

 

Hornsby Shire Council’s State of the Environment Report 2005/06 is available as a separate document and can be viewed at Council’s website. A detailed report of Council’s regional environmental management activities is also on the website. 

 

For a summary of Council’s environmental management activities for 2007/08 see section 3, The state of our environment, of this report.

 

 

Partnerships, cooperatives and joint Ventures

Section 428 (2)(q)

 

Hornsby Shire Council is a member of the Northern Sydney Region Organisation of Councils (NSROC), which includes a purchasing group with supply agreements for commonly used business items.

 

 


 

 

Activities providing for the needs of children

Section 428(2)(r), Clause 217(1)(c)

 

Details of Hornsby Shire Council’s activities to develop and promote services and programmes that provide for the needs of children are documented in the Our community section of this report.

 

 

Public Works Report

Section 428(2)(d)

 

There are over 613 km of sealed roads and 42 km of unsealed roads in the shire and more than 413 km of paved footpaths. Council has six sealed public car parks, a pedestrian overbridge, four minor road bridges and 51 major culverts. Council also maintains five public wharves, seven floating pontoons, three boat launching ramps and two loading docks. Hornsby has an extensive drainage system comprising over 18,300 pits and 390 km of pipelines.

 

There are around 174 parks in Hornsby plus 12 garden parks, 55 separate playing fields and over 135 playgrounds. Council also has over 400 buildings, including 183 community based buildings. The estimated replacement value is over $161 million.

 

The table on the next page summarises the condition of Council’s transport, drainage and building assets and funding requirements currently identified to maintain them in a satisfactory condition.

 

The public works report continues after the table where assets are reviewed more comprehensively.  


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