Report No. 1.

PLANNING - Identifying cost saving/ revenue within Environment Planning & Natural Resources Division

Executive Manager:   Environment and Planning

File No:                        PLN 101010 #1090790


Principal Activity[m1] :


Development and Certification

Summary[m2] :


This report outlines costs in the Environment & Landcare program and recommends fees increases in the Certification Unit and the commencement of action to charge for air space lease.






1.       That Committee recommend to Council:


(i)         That it amend the 2011/12 fees and charges prior to adoption to increase all certification fees to $155 per hour.


(ii)        Council consider charging for airspace leases over roadways / footpaths and direct that a policy be prepared.




Council at its Ordinary Meeting held on 28 April 2011 resolved via Resolution 11-347 as follows:


11-347 Resolved:


Committee Recommendation FAC 4.1.1

“That Council direct management to provide a report/account in table format identifying cost savings and revenue generated relating to:

a) Current vacant positions of Economic Development Officer and Parent Support Co-ordinator

b) Traffic management efficiencies based on demand management ie paid parking machines/charges/coupons

c) Feasibility of outsourcing those activities undertaken by Sandhills

d) Outsourcing of Tyagarah Airfield conditional on positive financial and other benefits to Council

e) Rationalise 2 management contracts relating to Council run caravan parks into one generic management contract

f) Identify/separate the actual cost of Environment and Landcare programmes and what can be outsourced

g) Library services model e.g. one Central Library for the Shire

h) Productivity of Council outdoor staff, versus cost benefit analysis of contractors e.g. lawnmowing

i) Open space and recreation – BRSCC - $200,000 ongoing operational costs run as a cultural venue to become income generating

j) LPMA Crown Lands activities explore cost shifting issues work towards cost neutral approach

k) Community Centre/Markets options to include tender

l) Events to be held on Council owned land to encourage income generation ie Ewingsdale

m) Review the Fees charged for service for programmes that would be in surplus save for Support Services cost”.


This report has been prepared in relation to Part f of Resolution 11-347. The other Parts of the Resolution have been addressed in separate reports to this meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee.


The issues relating to Landcare are addressed in a separate report to this meeting prepared by the General Manager.  This report therefore only examines issues that relate to income generation.


There are 2 important areas where income generation can be achieved. 


Air space leases


Council has received previous reports with regard to air space leases without satisfactorily resolving the issues.  There are at least 3 premises that are known to have conditions of consent requirements for air space leasing.


These premises have an unfair advantage compared to their competitors who have footpath dining and paid $688.00 per annum, per sq metre.  One prominent premises in Jonson Street pays $16,000 per annum to Council for footpath dining based on this rate where as the 3 competitors in this area of Jonson Street who have restaurants on balconies pay no lease charges at all.


Premises 1          Balcony area       40m2

Premises 2          Balcony area       80m2

Premises 3          Balcony area       20m2


At a conservative lease fee (subject to valuation) of $300.00 per annum per square metre an income of $42,000 per annum would be achieved just from these known premises.


If Council adopt an airspace policy it would have to be uniformly applied across the Shire and its likely that other premises would be identified as requiring airspace leases.


There are at least two other premises that will be constructing balconies for restaurant use, and an audit of other types of commercial uses over footpaths would be required.


Certification Unit


Council is required to provide a Principal Certifying Authority service under Section 109E of the EPAA Act and under 74A of the Building Professionals Act. This does not prevent Council from contracting out this service however the level of service that is required to be provided would be to Level 1 certification (fire engineering) to which there are a limited number of Private Building Professionals within the industry who attract a premium due to availably.


Prior to the requirement of registration of Council Accredited Certifier in September 2010 a review of the availability of Level 1 Accredited Certifiers was undertaken to assess the viability of outsourcing this service however at the time the cost associated with using external Level 1 Accredited Certifiers was greater than using Council staff.   Council is in a position to independently review the comparison of providing this a service internally or by private certifiers


Subdivisional Certificates are issued by Council as required by Section 109D(d) of the Environment Planning and Assessment Act with the exception of Strata Title Developments which can be issued by Private Certifiers.  From time to time Council has employed consulting civil engineers to assist in the delivery of this service but the rate per hour has found to be much more expensive that Council Engineers.


As indicated Council provides an economical certification service however should Council wish to make additional income from the services it provides, Council could increase fees and charges (which are not regulated). Increased hourly service fees have already proposed in the 2011/12 draft budget.


The 2010/11 fees and charges current a provide for a fee of $130.00 per hour for certification services such hourly service fees for certification services could be increased to $155.00 per hour in the 2011/12 budget to achieve this 20% increase. 


In a competitive market there may also be a minor decrease in the potential income as Council's customers shop around for the best price. Even with an increase of 20% on certification fees, Council should be competitive in the market.


The additional income per annum likely with a 20% increase will $73,500 provided that the market share is retained.  


Financial Implications[m4] 


Council is in a position to charge for air space leasing over public lands and can achieve additional income in the Certification Unit.


Statutory and Policy Compliance Implications[m5] 


Referred to in the body of the report


 [m1]ONLY  [m1] Insert relevant principal activity heading from the Management Plan.

 [m2]Provide a brief outline of contents of report. What is this report about? Eg. 1 – 3 paragraphs

 [m3]Insert recommended resolution.

What result do you want from the report? (That Council adopt the xxx Policy for exhibition; That Council note the report)

 [m4]Detail all potential finance issues including expenses, funding sources, capital, recurrent & any staff resources.

Q. What are the costs of options to Council, and where would the funds come from?

 [m5]Detail compliance with statutory requirements & all relevance to Council policies. Q. What legislation is relevant and how?