Council Meeting Outcomes – December 2016
Dubbo Regional Council held its ordinary Council meeting on Monday 28 November, 2016 in Wellington. The meeting, chaired by Administrator Michael Kneipp, made resolutions in respect of the following matters:
Administrator Minute: Compensation Consideration arising from the Boil Water incident in Dubbo
It has been determined that no claims for compensation as a result of the Boil Water Incident that occurred between 7 and 15 November in North and Central Dubbo be accepted.
After considering the report from Councils Director Technical Services in regard to the protocols followed by Council during the alert, Administrator Michael Kneipp said he did not consider it reasonable or prudent for Council to provide compensation for customers as there are no signs of negligence on behalf of Council.
“Proper due diligence was demonstrated by Council in that reservoir inspections were carried out, which resulted in additional maintenance of bird-proofing being undertaken,” Mr Kneipp said.
“Council has a Drinking Water Quality Management Plan (DWQMP) that outlines the policies and procedures that Council has in place to supply safe drinking water to the community.
“There are no statutory obligations on a water utility or a Council to compensate customers or other affected parties for events such as a boil water notice."
“Such events are a normal part of an adopted Drinking Water Quality Management Plan.
“Council complied with all the normal protocols pertaining to the discovery of E.coli organisms in the drinking water supply and did so at all times in the lead-up and during the incident in full consultation with relevant NSW Health and NSW DPI Water personnel.
“Furthermore, Council’s Water Fund has incurred expenses in excess of $60,000, which includes over $22,000 worth of bottled water supplied to schools and other critical customers.
“I consider this “emergency” compensation measure adopted by Council within minutes of the boil Water notice being issued on Monday 7 November not only both timely and appropriate, but sufficient to cover Council’s reasonable obligations to customers.
“There has only ever been one other previous boil water incident in Dubbo, in 2007, and Council did not pay any compensation on that occasion.
“Therefore a precedent was set by the Council of the day and I see no reason for deviating from that precedent now and in the process creating a new one."
Presentation of the Financial Statements for period 1 July 2015- 12 May 2016
A report presented to Council prepared by independent auditors Luka Group showed that the former Dubbo City Council posted a net operating surplus before capital grants and contributions of $15.34M for the period 1 July 2015 to 12 May 2016 year.
In addition to the grants and contributions for capital purposes a further $13.9M in grants and contributions was received for operating purposes; $41.8M collected in rates and annual charges and $32.9M in user charges.
“The former Wellington Council posted a net operating surplus before capital grants and contributions of $2.6M for the period 1 July 2015 - 12 May 2016,” he said.
“$8.4M was collected in rates and annual charges and a further $5.3M in user charges.
“Dubbo Regional Council’s combined net assets will stand at $2.5 billion and by continuing to develop the financial systems and processes for the new entity, Council is in a sound financial position to continue providing quality services, maintain the regions assets and help grow and develop all areas within our LGA.”
Dubbo Regional Sports Council
A new framework for the Dubbo Regional Sports Council was adopted to commence 1 January 2017, with the Annual General Meeting scheduled for the first Tuesday in February, 2017 for the purpose of electing a new management committee and adopting a new constitution.
“The Dubbo Sports Council has been an informal committee of the former Dubbo City Council and the new Dubbo Regional Council for over three decades and is made up of representatives from sport and recreation groups,” Mr Kneipp said.
“The former Wellington Council had a formal Committee of Council where representatives from sporting bodies attended.
“It has been recognised that there is a need to streamline a Sports Council framework for the new Local government Area."
Development of Wellington Pool Master Plan
It was determined that $60,000 be identified for the development of a master plan for the Wellington Pool Complex and that funding for such Plan be sourced from two income streams assigned to asset maintenance in Wellington.
“A structural inspection of the Wellington Swimming Pool facility was carried out in July 2016 and identified that the pool complex contained a number of major structural defects and was within two years of the end of its useful and safe life expectancy,” Mr Kneipp said.
“The repairs conducted recently to ensure the community were not disadvantaged are only a temporary solution and the complex requires replacement within the next two years or face closure.
“This provides Council with a unique opportunity to work closely with the Wellington community to develop a master plan for a new swimming complex that will cater for the community for at least the next 50 years.
“When a Master Plan has been developed, it will be presented to Council with a proposed funding strategy and timeline for the replacement of the Wellington Pool Complex."
Dubbo Regional Council
(02) 6801 4000
Last Edited: 20 Dec 2016