Biodiversity Advisory Committee Meeting
An Biodiversity Advisory Committee Meeting of Byron Shire Council will be held as follows:
Conference Room, Station Street, Mullumbimby
Monday, 30 April 2018
Director Sustainable Environment and Economy I2018/786
What is a “Conflict of Interests” - A conflict of interests can be of two types:
Pecuniary - an interest that a person has in a matter because of a reasonable likelihood or expectation of appreciable financial gain or loss to the person or another person with whom the person is associated.
Non-pecuniary – a private or personal interest that a Council official has that does not amount to a pecuniary interest as defined in the Local Government Act (eg. A friendship, membership of an association, society or trade union or involvement or interest in an activity and may include an interest of a financial nature).
Remoteness – a person does not have a pecuniary interest in a matter if the interest is so remote or insignificant that it could not reasonably be regarded as likely to influence any decision the person might make in relation to a matter or if the interest is of a kind specified in Section 448 of the Local Government Act.
Who has a Pecuniary Interest? - a person has a pecuniary interest in a matter if the pecuniary interest is the interest of the person, or another person with whom the person is associated (see below).
Relatives, Partners - a person is taken to have a pecuniary interest in a matter if:
§ The person’s spouse or de facto partner or a relative of the person has a pecuniary interest in the matter, or
§ The person, or a nominee, partners or employer of the person, is a member of a company or other body that has a pecuniary interest in the matter.
N.B. “Relative”, in relation to a person means any of the following:
(a) the parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, lineal descends or adopted child of the person or of the person’s spouse;
(b) the spouse or de facto partners of the person or of a person referred to in paragraph (a)
No Interest in the Matter - however, a person is not taken to have a pecuniary interest in a matter:
§ If the person is unaware of the relevant pecuniary interest of the spouse, de facto partner, relative or company or other body, or
§ Just because the person is a member of, or is employed by, the Council.
§ Just because the person is a member of, or a delegate of the Council to, a company or other body that has a pecuniary interest in the matter provided that the person has no beneficial interest in any shares of the company or body.
Disclosure and participation in meetings
§ A Councillor or a member of a Council Committee who has a pecuniary interest in any matter with which the Council is concerned and who is present at a meeting of the Council or Committee at which the matter is being considered must disclose the nature of the interest to the meeting as soon as practicable.
§ The Councillor or member must not be present at, or in sight of, the meeting of the Council or Committee:
(a) at any time during which the matter is being considered or discussed by the Council or Committee, or
(b) at any time during which the Council or Committee is voting on any question in relation to the matter.
No Knowledge - a person does not breach this Clause if the person did not know and could not reasonably be expected to have known that the matter under consideration at the meeting was a matter in which he or she had a pecuniary interest.
Participation in Meetings Despite Pecuniary Interest (S 452 Act)
A Councillor is not prevented from taking part in the consideration or discussion of, or from voting on, any of the matters/questions detailed in Section 452 of the Local Government Act.
Non-pecuniary Interests - Must be disclosed in meetings.
There are a broad range of options available for managing conflicts & the option chosen will depend on an assessment of the circumstances of the matter, the nature of the interest and the significance of the issue being dealt with. Non-pecuniary conflicts of interests must be dealt with in at least one of the following ways:
§ It may be appropriate that no action be taken where the potential for conflict is minimal. However, Councillors should consider providing an explanation of why they consider a conflict does not exist.
§ Limit involvement if practical (eg. Participate in discussion but not in decision making or vice-versa). Care needs to be taken when exercising this option.
§ Remove the source of the conflict (eg. Relinquishing or divesting the personal interest that creates the conflict)
§ Have no involvement by absenting yourself from and not taking part in any debate or voting on the issue as if the provisions in S451 of the Local Government Act apply (particularly if you have a significant non-pecuniary interest)
Clause 375A of the Local Government Act 1993 – Recording of voting on planning matters
(1) In this section, planning decision means a decision made in the exercise of a function of a council under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979:
(a) including a decision relating to a development application, an environmental planning instrument, a development control plan or a development contribution plan under that Act, but
(b) not including the making of an order under Division 2A of Part 6 of that Act.
(2) The general manager is required to keep a register containing, for each planning decision made at a meeting of the council or a council committee, the names of the councillors who supported the decision and the names of any councillors who opposed (or are taken to have opposed) the decision.
(3) For the purpose of maintaining the register, a division is required to be called whenever a motion for a planning decision is put at a meeting of the council or a council committee.
(4) Each decision recorded in the register is to be described in the register or identified in a manner that enables the description to be obtained from another publicly available document, and is to include the information required by the regulations.
(5) This section extends to a meeting that is closed to the public.
Biodiversity Advisory Committee Meeting
3.1 Biodiversity Advisory Committee Meeting held on 12 March 2018
4. Staff Reports
Sustainable Environment and Economy
4.1 Directions Document and Draft Integrated Pest Management Policy............................. 4
Staff Reports - Sustainable Environment and Economy 4.1
Report No. 4.1 Directions Document and Draft Integrated Pest Management Policy
Directorate: Sustainable Environment and Economy
Report Author: Clare Manning, Biodiversity Officer
File No: I2018/499
Planning Policy and Natural Environment
To inform the preparation of an Integrated Pest Management Strategy (IPM Strategy), Council has prepared a Directions Document (Attachment 1) and draft Integrated Pest Management Policy (Policy) (Attachment 2), as per Resolution 13-621.
The Directions Document reports on the current success and impediments to implementing Resolution 13-621, which addresses pesticide use in Byron Shire. In the nearly five years since the passing of the Resolution, pesticide use by Council staff has ceased in all children’s playgrounds, formal bus stops, in town and village centres (excluding road traffic devices) and 15 of 23 sports fields. However, achieving reduced pesticide use has not come without cost, and whilst in many situations that cost is acceptable, in others it is not. For example, cessation or reduced use of pesticides has resulted in some areas having potentially compromised public or operator safety, biosecurity management or infrastructure protection; and in some cases there are issues around responsible financial management. These impediments have been considered in the Directions Document which identifies opportunities to place the intent of the original Resolution in a more practical and secure long-term pesticides use policy framework.
The Directions Document and draft Policy will underpin and provide guidance on the development of the IPM Strategy. It is intended that the IPM Strategy will establish local priorities for pest species and areas to be managed and identify required pest management strategies and actions, with implementation timeframes and responsibilities assigned. The action plan component will include mechanisms and timeframes for monitoring and reporting on its implementation and success in managing the impacts of pest species within Byron Shire while also aspiring to cease or minimise pesticide use.
The timeframe to develop the IPM Strategy was reported to the 12 March 2018 Biodiversity Advisory Committee. The Committee supported Option 1 which provides for delivery of the IPM Strategy by early 2019 to enable robust and well considered community engagement on the draft Policy, which ultimately underpins the Strategy. The minutes and recommendations of the 12 March Biodiversity Advisory Committee are being reported to the 19 April 2018 Council meeting.
Council considered, at the 19 April meeting, a report on the draft Policy and Directions Document which recommended that the draft Policy, accompanied by the Directions Document, be placed on public exhibition for a period of six weeks commencing in April 2018. The exhibition will be supported by government agency and community workshops.
To assist the Committee’s understanding of the draft Integrated Pest Management Policy a tour of key sites in Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads will be conducted as part of this meeting.
That the Biodiversity Advisory Committee note the Directions Document and draft Integrated Pest Management Policy.
Council resolved (Resolution 13-621) to develop a shire-wide Integrated Pest Management Policy and Strategy for Council owned and managed lands.
In response to the Resolution, a consultant was engaged to prepare a preliminary draft Integrated Pest Management Strategy. The preliminary draft Strategy was considered at the 4 August 2016 Council Meeting and Council resolved (Resolution 16-362 in part) to peer review the draft Integrated Weed Management Strategy against Council resolution 13-621 to ensure its compliance. Council at the 20 April 2017 meeting (Resolution 17-141 in part) noted that staff are undertaking an internal peer review of the preliminary draft Strategy. The internal review found that the preliminary draft Strategy only partially aligned with the intent of Resolution 13-621.
Also at the 20 April 2017 meeting Council resolved to note (Resolution 17-141 in part) that staff are developing a Directions Document to provide a continued direction for reducing the use of pesticide on Council land in the long term.
In the nearly five years since the passing of Resolution 13-621, pesticide use by Council staff has ceased at:
· All 34 children’s playgrounds;
· All 41 formal bus shelters;
· All 207 public garden beds and kerbs in town and village centres (excluding roundabouts);
· 70% (or 15 of 23 sports fields that are permanently open to the public;
· Roadsides where there is no safety or known biosecurity issue; and,
· Majority of public buildings (with respect to managing rodents).
Cessation of pesticide use has been achieved through adoption of Integrated Pest Management principles, which has allowed improvements and innovation in various locations. Approaches to pesticide-free weed control in the Shire now include manual weed removal, timely treatments, steam cleaning (of kerbs), steam weeding, garden bed edging and mowing.
The Directions Document (Attachment 1) reports these current successes further as well as impediments to implementing Resolution 13-621, through a series of case studies, along with other pesticide reduction initiatives from around the world. It identifies circumstances in which pesticides, while the least preferred option, might at times be essential to ensure that Council meets its statutory obligations around road safety and pest management as prescribed in legislation. For example, on 1 July 2017, the Biosecurity Act 2015 and Biosecurity Regulations 2017 commenced providing specific legal requirements for state-level priority weeds and high-risk activities. The Directions Document also identifies opportunities to place the intent of the original Resolution in a more practical and secure long-term integrated pest management framework. This framework underpins the draft Integrated Pest Management Policy (Attachment 2).
The draft Policy was reported to Council at the 19 April 2018 meeting for Council’s consideration for public exhibition.
To assist the Committees understanding of the draft Integrated Pest Management Policy a tour of Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads will be conducted as part of this meeting. The tour will include:
· Children’s playground, Byron Bay
· Traffic control devices including roundabouts and garden beds, Byron Bay
· Bush regeneration site, Brunswick Heads
· Pesticide free site, Brunswick Heads
Council staff will be on site to openly discuss the current success and impediments to implementing Resolution 13-621, which addresses pesticide use in Byron Shire.
Council’s 2017-18 budget provides funds of $33,300 for the Directions Document, draft Policy and community engagement program.
Additional funds estimated of $50,000 in 2018-19 budget will be required for the completion of the IPM Strategy.
Statutory and Policy Compliance Implications
Council’s 2017-18 Operational Plan lists the preparation of an Integrated Pest Management Policy and Strategy as key activities (EN 1.1.3).
All planning documents:
· Byron Shire’s Community Engagement Policy
· Byron Shire’s Community Strategic Plan 2022
· NSW Biosecurity Act
· Local Land Services Act