Council briefs - 24 June 2015

25 June 2015

Investments close in on $3m for year

Queanbeyan City Council's investments have earned close to $3m during the 2014-15 financial year. During May, Council's investments earned $250,751 which takes the year to date total to $2,812,852. The budget for investment returns was adjusted as part of the third quarter review, with the year-to-date figure now $315 below the revised budget for 2014-15. As a result of the revision, more than $780,000 was applied to the 2014-15 budget. As at 31 May, Council's principal interest amount was $82,041,689 with all but $6.1m of those funds held in internally or externally-restricted funds.

Council to seek Rusten House funding

Council agreed to make an application under the National Stronger Regions Funds - Round 2 for funding to enable the completion of the restoration of Rusten House to enable it to be used for a wide range of regional activities. Council will take over ownership of Rusten House at the end of June 2015 and there is much work required to bring it back to a condition where it can be used. Council’s preferred tenant has advised that they will not be pursuing the re-development of the facility for their use and in order to provide a venue whereby economic and community activities can be fostered, it is important that additional funding for the refurbishment of the facility is pursued. Council had previously resolved to apply for funding under the same program for the concept design of a Regional Sporting Complex.

Rate relief for local organisations

Council has agreed to provide almost $10,00 in rate relief to local sporting and community organisations. In line with Council's Rate and Charges Relief Policy, Council agreed to provide rate relief of 50% to the Kano Jujitsu Institute Limited, the Ukranian Australian Social Club Inc Qbn and the Queanbeyan and District Basketball Association Inc.

Markets deferred, review to be undertaken

Council will defer the delivery of the Summer Sunset Markets in 2015-16 pending a review of the markets and Council's involvement. The review will be incorporated into Council's Economic Development Strategy and will look at redesigning and repositioning the Markets to the soon to be upgraded Riverfront/Queen Elizabeth Park area. The Summer Sunset Markets commenced in 2009 and during the initial years strong support was shown by the community and stallholders. In 2014-15 support for the markets was extremely low with an average of 20 stallholders at each of the five markets. Council also agreed, that given the impending review, to not renew its Memorandum of Understanding with the Queanbeyan Children's Special Needs Group which is due to expire on 30 June 2015.

Agreement extension for Scouts

Council has agreed to extend the licence agreement for the Scout Association of NSW. The NSW Scout Association occupies a building in Firethorn Pl, Jerrabomberra and the agreement was extended for five years.

CCTV to make Crawford St taxi rank safer

CCTV cameras will soon operate in the Queanbeyan CBD after Council approved a number of documents and procedures for the use of the cameras. Council received funding from the Federal Government's Safer Suburbs Taxi Scheme to install the cameras near the Crawford St taxi rank. In total, eight cameras have been installed near the taxi rank and will monitor activity in the area. The cameras will provide a live feed to the Queanbeyan Police Station and footage will be recorded and stored by Council. Access to recorded material will be facilitated by Council and will only take place if required by Police, is necessary for legal proceedings or any other lawful requirement. The CCTV cameras will be made operational as soon as possible.

Consultant to help achieve sustainability rating for Sewage Treatment Plant

Council has awarded a tender for a consultant to provide sustainability support services to assist in submitting and achieving an excellent rating for the upgraded Queanbeyan Sewage Treatment Plant. The current Sewage Treatment Plant is nearing the end of its effective life and requires a significant upgrade. Council has been planning for this upgrade over the past two years and in order to meet Council policies and State Government legislation, Council is required to undertake a sustainability review.

Council to seek funding for chemical drop-off centre

Council will apply for up to $250,000 funding from the NSW Environmental Protection Authority for a community household problem waste drop-off centre. Council staff have identified the Queanbeyan Waste Minimisation Centre on Lorn Rd as the preferred location. However, space at the WAMI is limited and a large shed would need to be constructed on the WAMI site or existing sheds would need to be modified to meet the minimum funding standards. Council currently participates in the annual Household Chemical Drop-off program which is partly subsidised by the NSW EPA.

Follow Council meetings live via social media

Queanbeyan residents will be able to keep up to date with Council decisions via social media as Council 'live tweets' meetings from 22 July 2015. The decision came on the back of a query about live streaming Council meetings via Council's website. It was agreed that live streaming was not of benefit at the moment, however an interim approach of 'live tweeting' using the #QCClive hashtag would be undertaken. Residents will be able to view the tweets by following Council's Twitter account @QueanbeyanCity or following Council on Facebook at www.facebook.com/qbncity.

Awnings Policy withdrawn, to be redeveloped

Council has withdrawn its Awnings Policy to allow it to be redeveloped. The Awnings Policy was adopted in March 2013, however no one area of Council was responsible for implementing its requirements or undertaking the review of its provisions. The Policy will be withdrawn and reviewed by staff to ensure it clearly identifies Council’s legislative responsibilities in respect of the management of shop awnings within the Queanbeyan Local Government Area and who will be responsible for the implementation and review of its provisions.

Council to approach NRL regarding Seiffert Oval

Council will liaise with a representative of the National Rugby League to ascertain what improvements would be required at Seiffert Oval to allow the venue to host a NRL premiership match or City v Country representative match. Following discussions with the NRL, a report will be provided to Council. In February 2015, Seiffert Oval hosted a trial match between the Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights and planning is underway to secure another trial in 2016.

Draft Policy for open space naming

Council will prepare a draft Parks, Reserves and Sportfields Naming Policy to assist in allocating names to new open space areas to be developed in Googong and South Jerrabomberra. The policy will include a criteria for the names that would be suitable for relevant open spaces. Many of Queanbeyan's parks, reserves and sportsfields are named after well-known Queanbeyan identities, including Wright Park and Lambert Park (former Mayors JJ Wright and Arthur Lambert), their locality or after geographical features.

Changes to bus stops and disability parking spaces in the CBD

Council has endorsed the recommendations of the Local Traffic Committe in relation to bus stops in the CBD. The recommendation included:

  • closing of the existing interchange on Morissett St and converting it to parking
  • closing of the bus stops on Crawford St and converting it to parking
  • removing parking (three spots) on Lowe St opposite no 28 & 30 to add a new bus stop
  • remove parking on Morisset St adjacent to Kmart and Riverside Plaza to allow for new bus stops and two new Taxi spots.

The agreed changes will results in a net increase in CBD parking spots.

Council also agreed that a disability carparking space in close proximity to Blooms The Chemist be incorporated into the modifications and that the location of the two existing disability carparking spaces in the Crawford St precinct be reviewed including the option of one of the spaces being relocated

Council provides more than $43,000 worth of donations

Council has agreed to provide more than $43,000 worth of donations to Queanbeyan not for profit groups and organisations under its General Donations Program. Donations were split into two categories, one for cash donations and the other for subsidised hire for Council-owned facilities. The following donations were provided:

Applicant  Amount $
Category A - Funding  
ACT Eden Monaro Cancer Support Group  3,000.00 
Australian Breastfeeding Association - Queanbeyan Region Group  1,000.00 
Australian Macedonian Pensioners Group Stllija Inc  750.00 
Campbell Page (Festival of Ability Committee)  3000.00 
High Street Care Queanbeyan  2,970.00 
Karabar Preschool  1,597.00 
Lions Club of Queanbeyan Inc  1,310.00 
Meals on Wheels  1,433.50 
Queanbeyan and District Dog Training Club  749.00 
Queanbeyan Sustainability Group Inc  1,217.00 
Queanbeyan Uniting Church  1,000.00 
Rotary Club of Canberra  1,100.00 
Rotary Club of Queanbeyan  2,000.00 
Wildcare Queanbeyan Inc  900.00 
Lifecycle Regional Ride  1,000.00 
Category A and B - funding and hire subsidy   
Life Resource Centre (Friends of Jimmy Choir)  1,440.00A
2,047.00B 
Jerrabomberra Combined Probus Club Inc  100.00A
1,447.20B 
Queanbeyan Toastmasters  123.00A
520.95B 
Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Committee Inc  356.00B 
View Clubs Queanbeyan, Bungendore and Lake George  774.40A
1,037.50B 
Category B - hire subsidy   
Australian Red Cross  302.00 
ACT Maori Performing Arts Inc  1,000.00 
Charity Bookfair  1,390.00 
Jerrabomberra Playgroup  720.06 
Knitters Guild (NSW) Queanbeyan Chapter 304.20 
Queanbeyan Bush Poets  302.00 
Queanbeyan Landcare  402.88 
Queanbeyan Quilters Inc   2,248.39
Queanbeyan Writers 354.90 
University of the Third  Age 1,449.60 
Valmar Support Services Queanbeyan 1,018.00
Total  43,411.78