Published on 22 May 2023
See below for highlights of tonight’s Ordinary Council meeting.
The full agenda and reports are available at meeting agendas and minutes.
The stream of tonight’s meeting will be available online at lakemac.com.au within 48 hours.
Mayoral Minute – The Voice to Parliament
Council agreed to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, support the proposed Voice to Parliament and to provide opportunities to raise awareness and inform the community about the upcoming referendum on the Voice to Parliament.
Mayoral Minute – Emergency Services Levy costs
Council agreed to write to the NSW Government, and all local State Members, expressing concerns to the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) cost increase on councils for 2023-24 by scrapping the ESL subsidy for councils.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the decision would have financial repercussions on Council and could impact service delivery to the community.
“The increase in the ESL, combined with slashing the subsidy, will result in just shy of a $2 million impact on Council’s 2023-2024 budget,” she said.
“Council supports a well-funded emergency services sector, but it must be backed by an equitable, transparent and sustainable model.”
Operational Plan 2023-2024
Council adopted its Operational Plan 2023-2024, incorporating budget, fees and charges and revised Delivery Program 2022-2026, following public exhibition of the draft documents with two minor amendments.
Cr Fraser said the final plan incorporated feedback from more than 102 submissions received from the community during public exhibition.
“The Operational Plan is Council’s annual contract with the community, outlining objectives, strategies and actions that encourage and support economic development and environmental and social sustainability within our community,” she said.
“This is the first Budget in five years that is forecasting an operating result surplus, which is an exceptional outcome given the challenging economic circumstances currently impacting our sector.
“Capital works is a major focus of the plan, with almost $120 million allocated across 180 projects to deliver the infrastructure our community deserves, including new and improved footpaths, roads, parks, playgrounds and sporting facilities.
“These items all emerged as key priorities throughout the feedback process and I thank the Lake Macquarie community for its passion and advocacy as we work to improve our city at all levels.”
Making the rate for 2023-2024
Council adopted rates and charges for the next financial year in line with its Operational Plan 2023-2024.
Exhibition of the Planning Proposal and draft Area Plan for the West Wallsend and Holmesville Heritage Conservation Area
Council approved requesting a gateway determination from the Department of Planning and Environment for a planning proposal relating to the heritage significance of West Wallsend and Holmesville.
Subject to the outcome of the gateway determination, Council will place the planning proposal and draft West Wallsend and Holmesville Heritage Conservation Area Plan on public exhibition for at least 28 days.
Environmental Research Grant Program 2022-2023
Council approved funding four applications totalling $26,209 as part of the Environmental Research Grants program 2022-2023 and acknowledged Origin Energy ($5000), Delta Electricity ($5000) and Hunter Water Corporation ($10,000) for their funding contributions to support the Environmental Research Grant program 2022-2023.
Cr Fraser said the health of Lake Macquarie waterways and aquatic life was a theme among the four successful applications.
“Council is delighted to support research that contributes to our city’s environmental sustainability,” she said.
“The impact of stormwater on our bioretention basins and seagrass and the health of local fish habitats are among the exciting projects being backed in this round of funding.
“The results of these projects will assist Council to understand impacts and better manage processes to preserve and enhance our natural environment.”
Traffic Facilities and Road Safety Committee
- Plans associated with the construction of a residential development on Blantyre Road, Boolaroo
- The installation of no parking (service vehicles excepted) restrictions and no stopping line restrictions in Paroo Avenue, Eleebana
- The installation of no parking restrictions in Main Road, Cardiff and removal of 15-minute (7am-2pm) parking restrictions fronting house number 199
- The traffic control devices associated with the construction of a high pedestrian activity area at Lake Street and South Street, Windale.