GM salaries

CEO (GM) salaries review:

An independent body would set the salaries of hundreds of general managers at local councils across NSW, in response to concerns some are too richly paid, under reforms being considered by the Berejiklian government. Ratepayers forked out between $205,000 and $633,852 for general managers at country and metropolitan local councils in the 2019-20 financial year, according to a consultation paper prepared for the NSW government. Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock said the review was aimed at tackling concerns incomes were too high, and had big disparities across the state, and that there was a widening gap over other worker salaries. The report says maintaining the status quo in NSW will allow councils to remain competitive with other sectors and to attract the “best possible” applicants. But it would not allay concerns there was a lack of consistency in salaries across the state, or address criticism managers were overpaid as many councils in NSW faced financial pressures.

Homelessness

In a recent ‘census’ Five people (four male and one female) were observed sleeping rough in three

locations. Four of the Five people were known to and in ongoing contact with local housing

providers. Two of the camp sites had been in situ for more than 12 months.

Of the five people counted:

One person had permanent housing in North Sydney.

One person had been offered temporary accommodation but had declined.

One person has the resources to secure their own housing but chooses to sleep rough.

One person is a foreign national and is ineligible for housing assistance.

One person’s housing status was unknown.

New DCP

The new Willoughby DCP went to Council on 15th June seeking approval to be submitted to DPIE prior to public exhibition alongside the new WLEP. It is important that people familiarise themselves with the content as it refines clauses of the LEP.

Post COVID service from Council

Response from Councilregarding post-COVID service levels

[One thing that members have trouble understanding is that how with staff and resource reductions post COVID that Council can return to pre-COVID service levels?

Council’s services continued to be delivered at or close to normal service standards during COVID-19, except services forced to close due to health orders made by the NSW Government. Council’s 2021-22 Operational Plan and Budget provides for Council services to operate at pre-COVID-19 levels. The tables below show financial and human resources available to support Council services and projects.

A comprehensive community perception survey conducted in November 2020 showed very high levels of satisfaction with Council services during the 12 months prior to the survey.

In the spirit of transparency, members would like summary evidence of the service categories where staff and resources cuts have been made and an indication of pre-COVID service levels in a form that can be monitored going forward.

Neither cuts to staffing nor resources have occurred, and none are planned. Please refer to the tables below, which contain comparative financial information and staffing numbers to support this response.

Can Council assure the community that they will not use COVID induced financial responses as an opportunity to cut services and service levels?

Council has not used the need to exercise fiscal responsibility in response to COVID-19 to justify recommending reduced service levels and this is reflected in the 2021/22 draft budget and operational plan which is currently on public exhibition.

Can Council provide pre and post COVID (say 2 years either side)  budgets, categeorised by service levels. If not, why not?

The tables below summarise two years of actual and two years of planned expenditure. The first table shows expenditure by Community Strategic Plan (CSP) outcome, the second table shows expenditure by expenditure type, while the third table shows budgeted full time equivalent (FTE) staff.

As you can see, there is no planned reduction of the total resources applied to achieve our outcomes. However, you may notice in the second table a change in budgeted expenditure for employee costs from 2020/21 to 2021/22. This is because Council’s budget for next financial year incorporates a more refined forecast of vacant staff positions, compared to previous years. The third table shows that although employee expenses will reduce next financial year to better reflect vacant positions, there is no intent to reduce the number of full time equivalent staff included in Council’s budget.

Unkempt roundabout gardens

Basically, if a council officer happens to notice something, action MIGHT be taken.

What audits are carried out on the contractors engaged by Council for garden maintenance and street speed traffic calmer gardens? Please include the frequency and manner that the audits occur so that an understanding of what is occurring can be obtained if audits do occur.


Auditing for the maintenance of gardens in our Local Area Traffic Management (LATM’s) devices is by visual inspection. The contract is supervised by Council’s Recreation Assets Officer and whilst driving around the LGA undertaking park inspections and triaging customer service requests, he sees the majority of LATM’s. Targeted visits are made to LATM’s in less regularly travelled back streets.


Each inspection checks the condition of plants, weed growth and litter. Where necessary, work is referred to the contractors for attention in line with maintenance standards or if a site appeared to have been missed in the contractor’s program of work.


Unfortunately, landscape works are sometimes vandalised, in particular through the theft of new plantings for what appears to be private use. Some incidents are reported as Customer Service Requests. Mostly, they are noticed and rectified by Council staff as part of their normal duties.


Anyone wishing to report concerns about the condition of gardens in our LATM’s can contact Council on 9777-1000 or by email at email@willoughby.nsw.gov.au

Street sweepers need replacing

For decades Council’s street sweepers in the Council have operated on a fortnightly rotation. This regularity has changed done now to intermittent and irregular street operations being between 4 to 5 weeks visits. Why is this? What is the policy or operational issues behind this change?

The street sweeping schedule is generally fortnightly, which has been the case for many years. That program is subject to all machinery being operational, but can at times be affected by breakdowns, in which case we prioritise certain high activity locations. Given the ageing nature of one of our two road sweepers, we have tendered for and purchased a new road sweeping machine and expect delivery before the end of May 2021. In line with asset renewal plans and funding availability, our second road sweeping machine will be replaced next financial year.

100% renewable energy to reduce emissions

Motion going to Council. g: – That Council brings back a report detailing how Willoughby City Council can escalate its targets to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and zero emission by 2040.

Council Officer’s responded  that given the extensive work involved in preparing a Council Report, it is recommended that Council be provided with a briefing prior to any report. They also provided the following information: Emissions associated with electricity comprise over half of Councils total emissions. The procurement of a large proportion of renewable energy is a cornerstone of our emissions reduction strategy. Our Green City Plan 2028 provides a strategic framework to achieve climate change outcomes for the community and includes the following targets:

• By 2020 we will emit at least 20 per cent less GHG emissions from our operations compared with 2008/09

• By 2028 we will emit at least 50 per cent less GHG emissions from our operations compared with 2008/09

Our operations will achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner if viable

• 20 per cent renewable energy target by 2020 for Council operations.

• 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2028 for Council operations.