Highlights of 9th September Wyong Council Meeting #Wyong #CentralCoast #Wyong #CentralCoast
Highlights of 9th September Wyong Council Meeting
Mayor Returned By Narrowest Of Margins For Fourth Term
Councillor Doug Eaton OAM has been re-elected as Mayor for the fourth year in a row with Councillor Lynne Webster as his deputy.
Mayor Eaton will serve Wyong Shire for the fourth year in a row after by narrowest of margins at this weeks Council meeting.
Mayor Eaton was re-elected by his fellow Councillors with a 5-4 majority over Cr Lisa Matthews, while Cr Webster was also re-elected with a 5-4 majority over Cr Doug Vincent.
Mayor Doug Eaton said he is delighted with the result and is pleased that he and Deputy Mayor Webster can continue the work they have started and is confident Council is in a strong position to meet the challenges facing local government in the year ahead.
“This is a real vote of confidence in how I have been leading the Council and I thank Councillors for their support and belief in me,” Mayor Eaton said.
“Since I was first elected as Mayor in 2012 this Council has been committed to a plan with clear objectives.
“To repair the budget, get back to basics and create more local jobs and we have certainly delivered in spades.
“After driving a $40.6 million turnaround in our operating budget since 2010 we are in the strongest position we have ever been in to deliver the infrastructure and services that will create jobs and opportunities for our community.”
“This is the legacy of our outgoing General Manager, Mike Whittaker. He is leaving our finances in great shape and I really take my hat off to him.
Michael Whittaker leaves Council on September 11 to take up the reins as head of Sunshine Coast Council.
Mayor Eaton said Council was really delivering on a back to basics approach and had doubled spending on roads in his time as Mayor.
“There is no other Council in NSW spending more than us on roads – we are a Council that really delivers what our community want.
“Our capital works program is the best in our Shire’s history and this year major projects including The Art House, Frank Ballance Park and the best skate place in the state will be delivered.
“Investment confidence has never been higher with our planning team dealing with record numbers of DAs and rezonings worth billions of dollars.
“This is a direct result of the plans and policies we have put in place to revitalise our Shire, attract investment and create jobs.
“We don’t just talk jobs. We deliver them.”
It is a particularly challenging time to be the Mayor of a major regional Council with IPART currently assessing all Council proposals in relation to Fit for the Future and is due to provide the NSW Government by 16 October 2015 on the future of local government.
“The talk of amalgamation is creating uncertainty in the community and it is our job to assure residents that no matter what happens we will continue to deliver the services they need and what.
“That is our major challenge this year and I believe we are up for it.”
This is the last time the Mayor of Wyong Shire Council will be elected by Councillors at a meeting as residents will be able to directly elect their Mayor in a separate vote at the next local government elections due in September 2016.
Council Posts Record Surplus For the 2014-15 Financial Year
This is a massive turn-around from the $30 million deficit recorded in 2009-10 and is testament to Council’s continued path of sound fiscal management and commitment to achieving financial sustainability.
Council posted this record surplus while still investing significantly in essential services with $86.3 spent on capital works. This financial year the investment will be even greater with $105 million of works in the pipeline.
Mayor Eaton said:
“We are really leaving other Councils in our wake – they would love to have these budget figures to play with.
“We have driven a $40.6 million turnaround in our operating budget since 2010. We are in the strongest position we have ever been in to deliver the infrastructure and services that will create jobs and opportunities for our community.
“And we are delivering. We are spending record amounts on roads, parks, playgrounds and our lakes as we know this is what our community want.
“This is the real legacy of our General Manager, Michael Whittaker. This turnaround in our finances happened under his watch and his astute leadership – he has truly delivered for Council and the community.”
Rezoning Will Allow the Tuggerah Regional Sporting Complex To Go Ahead
Land at Lake Road, Tuggerah, known as Pioneer Dairy will be rezoned for public recreation to allow for the development of a regional sporting complex.
Council acquired 18.28 hectares of the site from the State Government and has designed the facility to be built in two stages.
Stage 1 will provide nine international standard sporting and practice fields, coach and car parking and an amenities block. Council has put in a grant to the Federal Government to part fund stage 1 with Council funding more than half the cost. This stage can go ahead under the current zoning.
The rezoning is required for Stage 2 and will see Council’s dream to have a large scale indoor facility and 3000 seat grandstand on the main field become a reality. Council will be seeking grant funding from both the State and FederalGovernments to support this stage of development.
Mayor Eaton said:
“This is another significant step in making our dream to have a major sporting facility in the Shire a reality.”
“The economic benefits that will flow to our community from hosting large events are huge – in dollars, in creating local employment opportunities and boosting tourism.
“It will put us on the map and make Wyong Shire a destination of choice for significant sporting and recreational events.
“We have already invested significantly in this project. It is shovel ready, all we need now is extra funding from the state and federal governments to make it happen and I am confident of their support.”
More Housing Options On The Way For Warnervale
Council has given the green light for 40 houses, a detention basin and public reserve to be developed at Jack Grant Avenue in Warnervale.
The 455.7 hectare site will be home to a variety of housing options for the community with lots to range from 510m2 to 1407m2in size.
The proposal will facilitate the creation of a walkable neighbourhood, will provide a suitable streetscape, public reserve and sporting facilities and will complement the low density residential subdivisions in the surrounding area.
The site is currently vacant and though some trees will need to be removed, large areas of native vegetation will be protected and 41 street trees planted.
Mayor Eaton said:
“We need more sensible developments like this that provide a mix of housing options to meet the needs of our growing population.
“It is literally a stone’s throw from the proposed Link Road so will have great transport links and I believe the lots will be snapped up.
“Council is investing in or lobbying for more infrastructure and services in this part of the Shire as we know this is where the growth will be.”
Public Company Formed To Run The Art House
Following extensive planning by Council and the required Ministerial approval, an independent not-for-profit company has been formed to run the show at Council’s state of the art performance and conference centre.
Recruitment for company staff, including a Manager, marketing team, front of house staff and techies can now get underway. Staff have been liaising with potential hirers and are confident of delivering a full program of shows for the first year.
The operating Company’s Board will be appointed to oversee the facility made up of the Mayor of Wyong Shire or their delegate; the Managing Director of North Construction and Council’s Manager of Community Partnerships and Planning as well as three external positions. The Board will oversee the facility from 1 January 2016.
Council has invested $12.7 million to build The Art House in the centre of Wyong with construction on track for completion in early 2016.
Mayor Eaton said:
“This is another important milestone for this amazing facility which will literally transform arts in the Shire.
“It is because of our strong financial position that we have had the capacity to deliver a facility like this for our community which other Councils can only dream about.
“It is going to be a proud, red letter day when this facility opens for the first time. I can’t wait.
Buildings At The Grove Named In Honour Of Former Councillors
Four former Councillors who each served the community for more than ten years have had buildings at Wyong Grove named in their honour.
Robyn Stewart and Paul Levick will be attending the official naming ceremony along with representatives of the families of Cliff Russell and Fred Keep to be held on Wednesday 30 September.
Mayor Eaton said:
“It is fitting and proper to honour past Councillors for their services to the community and naming community buildings is one way we can do that.
“Councillors do sacrifice a lot in the service of their communities and now these Councillors’ names will become synonymous with the most important community and cultural hub we have.”
Bunnings Is Looking For A New Home At Lake Haven
The expanded Bunnings will cover a 2.93 hectare site and house the main warehouse, timber trade sales area, mezzanine office and administration area, bagged goods canopy, outdoor nursery, goods receiving canopy and café. It will be open seven days a week and employ approximately 160 full time and part time staff.
The final decision lies with the Hunter Central Coast Regional Planning Panel as the value of the proposal exceeds $20 million.
Record Spend On Roads Rolling Out Across The Shire
No suburb will be left untouched in Council’s ambitious plans to reseal 45kms of road pavement, complete 14km of road upgrades and create 3.2km of new footpaths this financial year.
Drainage works at Hume Boulevard in Killarney Vale have already been completed. Road shoulders have been widened and stabilised at Kanangra Drive in Crangan Bay, ready for the vehicle safety fencing and final surface later this year and Rotherdam Street in Bateau Bay has new road pavement. Drainage works at Goorama Avenue in San Remo are done and a substantial road pavement upgrade is underway.
These works, completed in August, have been made possible from Council’s record spend of $66 million on roads this year. In comparison Gosford Council is spending just $6 million on roads this year.
Mayor Eaton said:
“No other Council is spending more than us on roads and you can really see the difference around the Shire.
“We are really showing other Councils what can be achieved when you listen to the community and actually deliver what they want.
“Better roads means happy and connected residents and that’s what we all want.”
RMS Commits To Funding The Link Road to Warnervale
The Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) has committed $500K this financial year to start planning The Link Road and $25 million in the years 2015-2019 for further planning and commencement of construction.
The Link Road is crucial to connecting the Wyong Town Centre with the Warnervale Town Centre and M1, providing an alternative route to the Pacific Highway and significantly reducing travel times for motorists.
It is also key to opening up the growth in the Shire’s burgeoning north and is critical for the success of further development of the Wyong Employment Zone, Wyong Education and Business Precinct and the Warnervale Town Centre creating thousands of jobs and opportunities for the community.
The total cost to build the remaining section (Stage 2) of the road over $50 million. Council has also been proactive in seeking Federal Government funding and has applied for a $10 million grant under the National Stronger Regions Fund. A decision is expected in December 2015.
This grant requires at least an equivalent contribution from Council. If successful with the grant it will facilitate construction of a section of the road adjacent to the Warnervale Education and Business Precinct (Stage 2A) and open up the potential for the Precinct’s development.
Mayor Eaton said:
“This is great news for our Shire. This shows us that the RMS does know how important this road is to support our growing population.
“This is something we have been pushing for a long time as it will link Wyong to Warnervale via one main road and Warnervale is where the growth in housing will be and where thousands of local jobs can be created.
“Federal Government funding will be the icing on the cake and I am confident we can get that grant.”
Council To Fund Kerbside Collection Education Campaign
Council, through its contractor Remondis, provides all households in the Shire with six free kerbside collections a year. Households simply place bulky household or green waste on the kerb and it is picked up for free – no trip to the tip is needed.
However the catch is the collections must be booked through the contractor before they are picked up. It has become apparent to Council that a large number of residents are unaware of the need to book resulting in bulky household waste remaining uncollected around the Shire. This was particularly evident after the recent April storms when a huge amount of green waste remained on kerbsides for several weeks.
The campaign will involve a mail out to all households, a comprehensive engagement, communications and education campaign to change behaviours and partnerships with the Department of Housing and local real estate agents.
It has been observed that a disproportionate number of kerbside collection compliance issues relate to rental or holiday properties. With 28% of the Shire’s 60,000 households being rented the partnership with real estate agents will prove particularly crucial to ensuring the message to book a kerbside collection gets through.
Mayor Eaton said:
“There aren’t many Councils around that let you decide when you can get bulky household picked up and for free no less.
“It is a great service and we need to ensure our residents know how to use it effectively, so we can improve the amenity of our shire which ultimately benefits us all.”
Council Joins World’s Biggest Garage Sale
This innovative event allows Wyong Shire households, local organisations, schools, community groups and charities join thousands of Australians across the country in holding simultaneous garage sales as part of the rapidly growing interest in sustainability.
It has grown from a single event 3 years ago in a Sydney suburb to a national campaign with more than 160 councils involved. In 2014 over 350,000 participated in the Trail, with 2.9 million pre-loved items up for sale from over 8,000 garage sales.
Registration is free and already open and so far 51 sales have been registered in Wyong Shire. Sellers get a registration pack and promotional items to promote their sale. Shoppers can search by postcode, suburb, item or category to find garage sales that interest them. To find out more and register go to www.garagesaletrail.com.au
Mayor Eaton said:
“Council is proud to be supporting the Garage Sale Trail this year. It offers our community a chance to think about how we engage in responsible reuse, rather than putting items out for the hard waste collection that end up in landfill.
“I encourage people to think about those in your community who might benefit from your unwanted items, and likewise, what treasures might be waiting to be found.
“Now is the time to register a garage sale and join one of the largest community and sustainability events in Australia.”