June 2012 Minutes Date: 28 June 2012 Time: 7:00 pm Where: Hurstville City Council Name Cr Julie Bourke Cr Naji Najjar Cr Anne Wagstaff
Position GRCCC Chairperson - Campbelltown City Council GRCCC Vice Chairperson â€“ Bankstown City Council Hurstville City Council
Cr Gary Lucas Cr Philip Sansom Alison Hanlon Ian Curtis Tony Wales David Kuhn Claire Evans Danny Wiecek Joel Daniels Jenna Hore Lew Solberg Peter Tralaggan
Liverpool City Council Hurstville City Council GRCCC Program Manager GRCCC Executive Group, Hurstville City Council GRCCC Riverkeeper GRCCC Community Engagement Officer GRCCC River Health Project Officer Office of Environment and Heritage Liverpool City Council Acting Place Manager (Botany Bay) Sydney Metropolitan CMA Gandangara LALC GREA
Erin Sellers Rebecca Piper Glen Moody Alexandra Vandine Brian Shaw Col Freeman Mathew Egan Andrew Spooner Cliff Emerson Signe Westerberg Dawn Emerson Sharyn Cullis
Fairfield City Council Bankstown City Council Kogarah City Council Rockdale City Council Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance LGRSI Program Manager Campbelltown City Council Campbelltown City Council Friends of Hurstville Library UGRSI Community Representative Former GRCCC President GREA
Apologies: Councillor Kevin Schreiber Councillor Michael Banasik Cr Peter Harle Cr Steve McMahon Carl Tippler John Dahlenburg Nicole Thomas John Carse Beth Noel Simon Rowe Alexandra Stengle Bruce Cooke Mick Hand Tim Johnson Pat and Barry Durham Victor Lampe Tegan Yasserie
Sutherland Shire Council Wollondilly Shire Council GRCCC Treasurer â€“ Liverpool City Council Mayor of Hurstville GRCCC SMCMA Fairfield City Council GM SMCMA Sutherland Shire Council Ocean Watch Wollondilly Shire Council Community Member LGRSI NPWS Fairfield City Council Macarthur NPA General Manager, Hurstville City Council Sutherland Shire Council
1. Welcome to Country. Councillor Bourke welcomed everyone to the meeting and acknowledged that we were meeting on the traditional land of the Bedjigal people of the Eora Nation and acknowledged traditional owners past and present. 2. Introductions and Apologies. Julie asked those present to introduce themselves and apologies were heard and accepted. (Cr Najjar / Cr Sansom). 3. Disclosures of Interest: None. 4. Confirmation of minutes from the last meeting 26 April 2012 at Kogarah City Council. (Cr Bourke / Cr Sansom). 5. Matters arising from the minutes: None Cr Bourke noted the detailed information provided by BHP for the minutes after the meeting and thanked them for their follow up correspondence. Cr Bourke said that she looks forward to the next meeting we have with them as discussed at the April meeting and proposed that we write to BHP to thank them for the follow up and suggest a meeting to discuss water quality in Brennans Creek.
(Cr Bourke / Cr Wagstaff) 6. End of Financial Year Program Presentations: Alison Hanlon, GRCCC Program Manager. Value adding through strategic program integration:
Partnering with GRCCC Programs and Councils Effective cluster function – alignment of programs with council priorities through RK Workplan, River Health refinement of sites, Communications Cluster – collaboration on Communication Strategy. River Health Program supports GRCZMP Communications Program supports GRCZMP consultation Riverkeeper Program supports estuarine monitoring (River Health and BBWQIP) Communications Program supports community engagement activities of River Health and Riverkeeper Programs – sampling days, CUAD, community clean up and planting days and support of council activities (Coms Strategy). River Health Program informs Riverkeeper Program on location of rubbish hotspots Agency partnerships – CS NSW, OEH, SMCMA, Sydney Water, NPWS, DET.
More effective Monitoring and Reporting Field monitoring of chemical water quality, macros and vegetation River Health Report Cards and Technical Reports (Sept / Oct) Consistency of reporting with the development and launch of new Riverkeeper Report Card Delivery of Riverkeeper statistics and bi-monthly program reporting via website. GRCCC’s ongoing role in evaluation of GRCZMP Annual Reporting on M&I Plan (August 2012) GRCCC Annual Report & Executive Summary document. Planning for the Future Financially prepared: Established reserves (for the longer term – no financial shocks) Program funding options and strategic use of reserves. Transparent and accountable: Independent auditing of GRCCC accounts Introduction of councillor online voting system Improved use of website for reporting Operationally equipped: Riverkeeper Centre Lease Confirmed new 4 year hosting agreement Rationalisation of Riverkeeper fleet Improved partnership with CS NSW Stakeholder focussed: Councils and Councillors Partner Agencies
Program update on Georges River Coastal Zone Management Plan. Alison updated the group on the near completion of the GRCZMP. On 18 May 2012 BMT WBN provided the final draft of the Georges River Coastal Zone Management Plan which incorporated feedback and changes received from partner councils and agencies. The plan was issued to the Estuary Management Committee (EMC) for review prior to the CZMP being formally presented to the committee by Dr Philip Haines of BMT WBN on Wednesday 30 May. The EMC discussed the need to develop a stand-alone Executive Summary document and agreed that the cost of this would be shared amongst the participating councils. A draft of this document will be developed by BMT in consultation with the EMC. The group then discussed the timing for the public exhibition of the document and how this was likely to be impacted by the local government elections. It was agreed that councils would individually aim to have the plan approved for public exhibition at the earliest possible opportunity and that all partner councils would exhibit collectively, over the same 28 day period, once all councils had given approval for public exhibition to take place. It is hoped that the plan will be placed on public exhibition in late October. Public comments will be collated by the GRCCC who will issue them to the EMC for review and then to BMT WBM for incorporation into the plan. A revised draft of the plan (with public comments incorporated) will then be issued to partner Councils for approval. It is proposed that the GRCCC will then put the plan up to the minister for certification with supporting letters from all councils and partner agencies who have actions in the plan assigned to them. Alison also demonstrated a draft version of the e-book that will be produced for the GRCZMP Executive Summary document. Cr Sansom acknowledged the enormous amount of work being done by the GRCCC and Ali and her team. The work not only includes work out in the field but strategic planning and coordination. Recommendation Cr Sansom moved that the 7 GRCCC councils involved in the development of the Georges River Coastal Zone Management Plan endorse the release of the plan for public exhibition and then adopt the plan once the public exhibition phase is over. (Cr Sansom / Cr Najjar)
Tony Wales – GRCCC Riverkeeper 2011 2012 Rubbish 110 tonne Bush Regen – 2.5 ha and 1100 m3 weeds Volunteer hours – 30200 hours + Approved worksites – last year 69, this year 111 Community engagement – 52 hours
Year to Year Rubbish Collection LGA
As At 10 June 2012
18000 16000 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0
TOTAL GEORGES RIVER CATCHMENT RUBBISH COLLECTION HISTORICAL COMPARISON
PERFORMANCE AGAINST 2011-2012 RIVERKEEPER WORKPLAN RUBBISH WORKSITES WORKPLAN
BUSH REGENERATION WORKSITES ACHIEVED
Launch of New Annual Riverkeeper Report Card
Released the first ever Riverkeeper Report Card in August 2011 Riverkeeper Program activities and performance are now measurable and accountable
Riverkeeper Program wins many awards
Riverkeeper & Communications Program organizes CUAD event with Fairfield & Liverpool Councils and Liverpool SES and Communi Community
Special Riverkeeper Project in partnership with SMCMA Kurnell 2020 Program and Sutherland Shire Council.
Following Tony’s presentation Cr Lucas asked Tony what the percentage breakdown would be between floating rubbish and dumped rubbish. Tony said by far the largest amount of rubbish we collect has been washed up on the foreshores of the river. This is the most effective way to collect the rubbish rather than scooping it up out of the water. Dawn Emerson asked if the plants shown at Kurnell were ‘samphire’? Tony advised that they were. Cr Bourke and Cr Sansom gave special thanks to Tony for his presentation and the enthusiasm he brings to the program. Cr Sansom said that Tony has done a great job and makes incredibly effective use of the Corrective Services workforce.
Claire Evans – GRCCC River Health Project Officer Winner NSW Urban Landcare Award Nominated for National Landcare Award Keep Australia Beautiful Awards Georges River review – sites and methods 34 Freshwater / 13 Estuary Estuary indicators Cooks River Alliance joins River Health 8 councils 11 sites (9 freshwater / 2 estuary) 1 new River Health officer Long term and Short Term data Data sharing with Council water quality monitoring BBWQIP buoys: 3 Georges River, 2 Cooks River GRCZMP: 6 sites, fortnightly / Summer, monthly / Winter Freshwater: 7 sites monthly, urban / mining/ reference
River Health in Schools
2011-12 participation 13 Schools = ~400 hours Ongoing partnership with GREEC Bankstown City Council + Picnic Pt HS program work leads to $37,000 for riparian restoration
2011-2012 2012 River Health Report Card and Council technical reports will be released in October 2012. Georges & Cooks catchments together in one report card Snapshot & long-term term monitoring GRCCC Coms program will provide Media release & communications for program and councils 2012 - 2013
Securing funding beyond June 2013 Exploring opportunities to tailor River Health to further value add for councils Continue research specific to the Georges River catchment and its management Continue support of partner programs Georges River CZMP BBWQIP
Cr Bourke thanked Claire and Carl for the excellent work of the River Health program over the past twelve months and for all the additional work taking place within the program in the area of research.
Brian Shaw asked whether the River Health program could be expanded to cover other councils in the Botany Bay Catchment. Cr Bourke said the short answer was no as these councils are outside the Georges River Catchment and therefore our area of jurisdiction. Some Cooks River Councils were involved as the project was extended into the Cooks River Catchment under as part of the second grant project. We are therefore also constrained b the specifications of the second grant. This could be something to Brian could refer to the new Cooks River Alliance as it more closely aligns to their catchment.
David Kuhn â€“ GRCCC Communication Communications s and Engagement Officer. GRCCC Communications Program supports all GRCCC Programs
Estuary Management Program Riverkeeper Program River Health Program WSUD and Stormwater Programs And any future programs (biodiversity, lands, floodplain)
Communications Program – what’s ahead in 2012 2013? Engagement Target
Pollution Reporting Card
Community, business, agency
Production, release & promotion RK Report Card
Community, council, agency
Promotion & release of RH Report Card
Aboriginal, CALD, business, youth, community
Georges River Festival
Quarterly Newsletter: the Georges River Current
Promotion, recruitment RH sampling; Promotion, release of 2013 RH Report Card
Feb 2013 June 2013
Community, business, agency
Production, release & promotion RK Report Card
Councils: Integrate policies, coordinate messages
Corporate Sponsorship Policy and Branding Acknowledgement Policy
Corporate engagement – sponsorship / events.
Looking ahead 2012 2013 The Communications Program is funded on a full time basis through 2012 â€“ 2013. GRCCC will evaluate the program in April 2013 with a view to funding on an ongoing basis.
Cr Bourke thanked David for the excellent achievements of the Communications and Engagement Program over the last twelve months and stressed how integral the Communications Program is to the rest of the GRCCCâ€™s operations. Julie said she looked forward to hearing off the outputs of the program over the next 12 months as a result of having David work for the GRCCC on a fulltime basis during that period.
7. GRCCC Reports (GRCCC Cluster, USI Reports and Executive Report) and discussion on related issues. 7.1
Questions from the floor on reports. - No questions.
Cr Bourke acknowledge that tonight marked the end of the LGRSI project and thanked Col Freeman (LGRSI Program Manager) for all the hard work he had undertaken since the commencement of that project in 2009. Col Free Freeman man gave an overview of highlights of the project and thanked GRCCC staff members for their support and good humour during the project and thanked all member councils for their contributions to the LGRSI.
Cr Bourke also acknowledged that the UGRSI was al also so coming to its conclusion and invited Mathew Egan (UGRSI Program Manager) come to the next meeting to give a wrap up presentation on the achievements of the project. Matt agreed and will present at the meeting on 23 August.
8. Draft 2012 - 2013 Budget and Treasurers Report – Alison Hanlon – GRCCC Program Manager (on behalf of Cr Harle – GRCCC Treasurer). Bi-Monthly Treasurers Report This report is the month end report for May 2012. We will now be providing month end reports to the committee so that we are only reporting on actual expenditure instead of the previous format of mid month reporting which was unable to accurately represent monthly accruals and ledger transfers etc. Year to date operational income to 31 May 2012 was $328,285. Year to date expenditure to 31 May 2012 was $300,892 Leaving a year to date surplus of $31,393 We received some good news from the SMCMA that they will grant us $20,000 in recognition of the additional work the Riverkeeper Program has conducted at our special project site at Horning Street, Kurnell. These funds will arrive in the new year. Presentation of draft GRCCC Budget for the 2012 – 2013 financial year •
Tonight we are focusing on the operational budget for the GRCCC.
Current membership and program fee contributions have been indexed by 3.5% which will provide an anticipated income of $307,851. We have also assumed a conservative interest income of $15,000 which will give a total income of $322,851.
A new budget item within the main project is the allocation of $3000 to cover the cost of external auditors to audit the GRCCC accounts. This was requested by the host council during hosting renewal discussions.
All other items within the Main Project remain the same.
Within the Riverkeeper Program we have increased the amount allocated to materials from $9000 to $12,000 which more accurately reflects costs incurred this year due to increased productivity of teams and number of bags and pickup sticks and tools being used.
We have reduced the Riverkeeper fuel budget from $13,000 to $8,000 as this year was the first year we budgeted for fuel and we overestimated the annual fuel costs when we purchased the vehicle.
We have established a new program budget for the Communications program. This follows the recommendation of the Fee Review Cluster to the Committee and endorsement by the GRCCC at the last meeting to transfer money from the reserve to top up funding required to support the Communications program for the 12/13 financial
year. The program will cost $85,600 to run which includes salary and on costs and a $10,000 operational allocation for festival costs, printing and other program outputs. With a total income for the 2012 – 2013 financial year of $322,851 and total expenditure across 3 operational programs of $365,150 we will incur a deficit of $42,299. The deficit will be met by the agreed $30,000 reserve transfer and anticipated budget savings from the 12/13 financial year. I recommend that the draft GRCCC budget for the 2012 – 2013 year be endorsed by the committee. Cr Bourke moved that the budget be endorsed for the 2012 – 2013 financial year. The draft budget was endorsed: Cr Wagstaff / Cr Sansom The treasurers report was accepted: Cr Wagstaff / Cr Sansom Cr Bourke thanked Alison and Ian Curtis of HCC for the sound financial management of the GRCCC.
9. Other agenda items 9.1
Update on program fee review cluster meetings to develop strategy for funding current GRCCC grant funded programs (River Health and Communications Program) beyond the current grant periods.
Cr Bourke advised the committee that members of the Executive Group had met with the General Manager and Chair of the SMCMA, Mark Bethwaite MBE regarding the provision of ongoing funding towards the River Health Program. At the meeting we were advised that the SMCMA is not in a position to commit to funding the program until they know their own financial position and that any funding could only come about as the result of a joint grant project. We received a strong message from the SMCMA that they will be pursuing corporate sponsorship for their programs and they suggested we do the same either in partnership with them or independently. The timing of both of these options will not fit with our timeframe of needing to secure support from agencies by September / October this year. We will discuss sponsorship at our next meeting in August.
Discussion on combining the GRCCC’s planned Georges River Festival with the Bankstown Arts Centre Cross Currents Festival.
Following the suggestion from Rebecca Piper of Bankstown Council that we should touch base with the Cross Currents Festival organisers to ensure we don’t clash with the timing of our festivals. The GRCCC has a unique opportunity to further develop its concept for a festival promoting the environmental, sustainability and recreational values
of the Georges River by a suggestion by the Bankstown Arts Centres’ Cross Currents Program that we partner with it. The Cross Currents Art & Environment Festival was hosted in 2010 by Bankstown City Council’s Cultural Program with funding from the NSW Government’s Water4Life education initiative. It was a successful event which brought together art, music and storytelling to waterway education and environmental initiatives. The Festival has integrated strong community-building messages – its motto is “Celebrating our connections to the Georges River” – which foster shared environmental and creative values across the catchment. A River Festival combining themes of environmental sustainability, art and water aligns with the aims and objectives of the GRCCC’s Management and Implementation Plan and the recently endorsed GRCCC Communications Strategy by: Identifying and engaging the Georges River catchment community, and providing an innovative event on the river for the community to experience, share and learn Coordinating key environmental messages with insights into our attitudes and behaviours surrounding water, both cross-culturally and geographically across the catchment Providing an engagement opportunity for GRCCC member councils to promote their environmental and educational programs, while also providing a mechanism for agencies, local organisations and the arts community to promote their environmental initiatives. This is in association with the Management & Implementation Plan. The Garrison Point festival location (within the Bankstown LGA) provides a centrally located point within the catchment for the festival to take place. This increases the likelihood of attendance from stakeholders and community members from other LGAs. The Cross Currents Festival partnership will connect the GRCCC’s member councils with CALD groups and indigenous groups within the catchment and also bring a cultural and artistic element to the festival. This helps the GRCCC meet a Communications and Engagement target within the GRCCC’s Management and Implementation Plan which is still to be addressed. Recommendation: That the GRCCC proceed with the partnership with Bankstown Art Centre to share resources and run a combined GRCCC / Cross Currents Festival for the Georges River under the banner of the Cross Currents: Celebrating our Connections to the Georges River. Endorsed: (Cr Najjar / Cr Wagstaff).
10. General Business
Jenna Hore â€“ SMCMA. Jenna provided an update on revision of the Catchment Action Plan being prepared by the SMCMA. Jenna advised that the timeframe had been shortened and the plan now needed to be complete by the end of the year. This will have an impact on the period of time available for consultation on the plan. Notification will be sent out early so that groups have advanced notice of 4 week consultation periods to allow them to be prepared to respond and review the plan. Staff resources previously available to the GRCCC through the BBWQIP, WSUD in Sydney Program and others such as the Biodiversity Program have been redirected into the CAP revision so these programs will be quiet until the CAP revision is over and we ask for your understanding during the next 6 months as SMCMA resources are stretched. Thanks to all councils and GRCCC staff who provided input into the CAP consultation process and NRC Audit of the SMCMA. Brian Shaw advised that he was speaking to a contact at the EPA who said he would be happy to come and address a future meeting on initiatives to minimize sewerage overflows and inputs. Brian would find out the details of the contact and pass them on to the GRCCC. Cr Sansom advised there had a been a change of structure within the EPA. Dawn Emerson noted that she attended the Opening of the Dharawal National Park and that it was a good day. Cr Bourke thanked the group for attending the meeting and thanked Hurstville Council for hosting the meeting and dinner.
23 August, 2012 . Venue to be confirmed.