Building regs reform

Ramshacle2

The State Government has announced that it plans to lift building construction standards. The Government has declared that builders will owe a ‘duty of care’ to homeowners. It is hoped that this would make it better for home owners to sue builders. This is a retroactive approach (trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted). Most people feel that proactive approach with a return to staged construction checks would be more appropriate,

 

The Government is talking about ensuring ‘transparency’ is achieved.This seems to mean that they are hoping that it will be clear who is actually responsible if something goes amiss – the architect, the draft-person, the builder, the subcontractor, the home owner?

Industry pundits are sceptical and have commented that the Government has to do far more to clean up the industry.

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Declaring that we are in a state of climate emergency

ClimateEmergency

After a protracted debate Willoughby Council adopted a resolution that ‘hidden’ deep within a six part resolution were the words “declaring that we are in a state of climate emergency”.

 

 

To get to this point it took:

  • an initial motion that was lost
  • a Council Officer’s draft motion that subsequently move as the amendment to the initial motion
  • an amendment (the officer’ draft) that was lost
  • a further amendment that was lost, and
  • finally a foreshadowed motion that was carried.

There original motion comprised 10 sections and was supported by seven pages of supporting background information.

The adopted resolution was in six parts. half of which were re-affirmations of related activities that Council has in progress.

The main differences  between the various versions seemed to centre on whether Council would declare a state of climate emergency.

It is difficult to find a definition of what constitutes a climate emergency, According to the BBC there is no single definition of what constitutes a climate emergency.

A recurring theme in all the motions was the focus on calling on governments to respond to the climate emergency. Perhaps a more holistic call including to the community and big business as well as government, working together might provide a more productive outcome. This has been the successful model previously used in response to other ’emergencies’ such as other natural disasters and during wartime.

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To become a member of CWWPA, direct deposit $20* with your name in the reference field to BSB: 032090 Acct: 548083 & complete our Membership Application. Renewing members $10. *Non-refundable and subject to meeting membership criteria.

 

 

Private buses

FunBusThe State Government is proposing to privatise the public bus services on the North Shore. In other parts of Sydney where services have been privatised there has been variable outcomes -some positive, so not so.

Time will tell if we will benefit from this change.

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To become a member of CWWPA, direct deposit $20* with your name in the reference field to BSB: 032090 Acct: 548083 & complete our Membership Application. Renewing members $10. *Non-refundable and subject to meeting membership criteria.

 

 

New library app

LibraryApp2You can now access Willoughby City Library from your mobile device with the new library app.

The app allows you to search the catalogue and manage your account to renew loans and reserve items. You can also scan the ISBN of any book and check to see if the library has it in its collection.

Use your phone to borrow items at the self check-outs while you’re in the library — you can even link your family’s library cards to your account.

The app is called Willoughby City Library.

The app is free and puts the library in the palm of your hand.

Full details of how to use app.

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To become a member of CWWPA, direct deposit $20* with your name in the reference field to BSB: 032090 Acct: 548083 & complete our Membership Application. Renewing members $10. *Non-refundable and subject to meeting membership criteria.

 

 

Information session

CIS

Join Willoughby City Council’s Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney and CEO Debra Just, along with the executive team,  as they take a deep dive into what makes Willoughby City unique, what Council delivers for the community and its achievements in the 2018-2019 financial year.

  • Discover Willoughby City’s distinct demographic, environmental and economic attributes.
  • Hear how Council has performed against its financial and operational targets.
  • Learn more about major upgrades including the $9.5 million Gore Hill oval and $1.4 million spent on streetscape projects.
  • Find out how improvements to local libraries and recreational facilities benefit the community.
  • Discover how robots are speeding up internal processing, saving time and money.
  • Take a whirlwind trip through a busy year of festivals, events, workshops and performances.
  • Unpack key projects, initiatives, reviews and policies Council has worked on over the last 12 months and hear about future priorities.
  • Meet your elected members and learn how they advocate on your behalf.

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To become a member of CWWPA, direct deposit $20* with your name in the reference field to BSB: 032090 Acct: 548083 & complete our Membership Application. Renewing members $10. *Non-refundable and subject to meeting membership criteria.

 

 

Highway blackspot

Worstaccidents

The Pacific Highway at Chatswood has been named as the 4th worst location for accidents in Sydney. This has deteriorated since 2016 when it was named the 5th worst location.

Yet after numerous approaches to the RMS they refuse to do anything about it.

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To become a member of CWWPA, direct deposit $20* with your name in the reference field to BSB: 032090 Acct: 548083 & complete our Membership Application. Renewing members $10. *Non-refundable and subject to meeting membership criteria.

 

 

NSW Councils

YourCouncilWebsite

The NSW Government has launched a new website to showcase the great work of the State’s 128 local councils.

Your Council website – www.yourcouncil.nsw.gov.au – allows ratepayers to access comprehensive statistics on the operations of their local council and the profile of their local community including:
Council expenditure in a range of areas including roads, bridges, footpaths, libraries, recreation and culture, community services, and the environment

 

Community facilities including the number of swimming pools, public halls, and libraries as well as the length of roads and amount of open space

Key operational information including council staffing levels and average rates and charges

 

Demographic information about the local population and councillors as well as economic statistics including the unemployment rate, average income, and number of businesses.
The data for each council is also benchmarked against the average for like councils so ratepayers can compare how their council is travelling.

The new website also celebrates the sheer size and scale of our councils as a whole with a Statewide snapshot of the NSW local government sector.

The one-stop-shop for local government is a valuable resource for residents, ratepayers and the general community, as well as councillors, council staff, local government peak bodies, researchers, academics and State Government agencies.

The website draws on data already collected by the Office of Local Government (OLG) from NSW councils and other agencies and presents it in an easy to understand and user friendly way. It will be updated annually as new data becomes available.

OLG will continue to work with local councils to further develop the website’s functionality. It will also help guide development of a new Performance Measurement Framework with consistent benchmarks for all NSW councils.

 

Your Council website fast facts on NSW councils (2017-18)

  • There are 128 councils in NSW represented by 1,293 councillors
  • Collectively they employ 44,936 staff
  • NSW councils spend $11.379 billion providing infrastructure, facilities and services for local communities
  • They maintain 165,213km of roads
  • Councils control assets with a total value of $150.7 billion
  • There are 460 public pools and 1,835 community halls in NSW.

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To become a member of CWWPA, direct deposit $20* with your name in the reference field to BSB: 032090 Acct: 548083 & complete our Membership Application. Renewing members $10. *Non-refundable and subject to meeting membership criteria.

 

 

Community participation in planning

CommunityParticipationBelow is the Association’s response to Council’s Community Participation Plan:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the  Draft Willoughby Community Participation Plan for land use planning processes under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

It is good to see that Council has used the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) framework in developing this plan.
However, we do have concern that the  AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard 2016 by AccountAbility used is not best suited for use within a local government environment. AA1000 is a commercially developed ‘Standard’ lacking peer review. The majority of organisations that use the ‘Standard’ are commercial organisations not government bodies.
We note that “relevant progress associations, societies or other community organisations whose comments, in the authorised officer’s opinion, would assist the assessment of an application” will be notified. This approach fails to meet the Transparency commitment of ”  Our Future Willoughby 2028″. We acknowledge that not every applications requires notification as above. The more appropriate wording would be “progress associations, societies or other community organisations for some Category B & all C applications will be notified”.
With regard to Part E, for clarity and certainty, the category B & C and C tables should be annotated to reflect the fact that Progress Associations etc will be notified.
 
One of the major issues facing community activists is the difficulty tracking the submission of opportunistic Planning Proposals. An opportunistic planning proposal generally is inconsistent with the Local Environment Plan that was accepted by the community. We believe that Council should treat a planning proposal as a category C application.
Integration of applications: Community participation with the planning process would work better if the community can find the development application, between Willoughby Local planning panel, Sydney North Planning Panel, State planning Panel and the council DA website, it is hard to find information. It would be good if there was a system that could point to all current applications. We believe that this could be achieved with minimal change to Council’s current system.
Exhibition timelines should be more than 14 days or 21 days.  Australia Post current delivery standard is now 4 days in Sydney Metro area. the exhibition period should start 5-6 days after the notification letter has been send and the exhibition period run for 14 days!

Report urgent issue

urgentWillougby Council has provided updated information about how to report a neighbourhood problem. The key change is that they now differentiate between URGENT problems and non-urgent.

Urgent issues (an issue requiring immediate action to resolve) should be reported to Council by phone on 9777 1000. Even if the problem occurs after hours ring 9777 1000. The call will automatically be diverted to someone that can initiate the appropriate action.

For non-urgent issues, these can either reported by calling 9777 1000 during Council hours or by email yo email@willoughby.nsw.gov.au

They have advised that URGENT issues include:

  • Roaming dogs.
  • Dog attack.
  • Illegal tree felling.
  • Pollution (water, sewer)
  • Illegal parking.
  • Obstructed footpath
  • Obstructed road

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To become a member of CWWPA, direct deposit $20* with your name in the reference field to BSB: 032090 Acct: 548083 & complete our Membership Application. Renewing members $10. *Non-refundable and subject to meeting membership criteria.