April Meeting Wrap
Published on 01 May 2020
Please note a video of the meeting is available here. We apologise that some introductory formalities of the meeting were missed.
Call for financial support
Mayor Darriea Turley AM called on the State and Federal Government to implement a suite of measures to provide financial assistance to Council during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include increasing Financial Assistance Grants (FAG) payments to 1% of gross domestic product (GDP), immediate financial assistance to support employees, stimulus funding for Council projects, and increased access to education and training. The motion was carried.
NOTICES OF MOTION
Councillor Tom Kennedy put forward four notices of motion.
Councillors say no to gathering
Cr Kennedy called for Council to once again provide the option for Councillors to gather for monthly meetings at the Council Chambers. Council is currently conducting meetings via video link due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The motion was lost.
Support for new library and archive
Cr Kennedy called for all work and expenditure on the city's new Cultural Precinct and Library & Archive to be halted. The motion was lost. It is estimated the construction phase of the new facility will generate 83 jobs and $28.7m for the construction industry as the city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Waste request covered
Cr Kennedy called for the waste facility to be reopened and returned to full operating hours. The motion was lost as the waste facility has already reopened, and Council still lacks the resources to return the facility to its pre-Coronavirus operating hours.
State to guide election timeline
Cr Kennedy called for Council to lobby the NSW Government to reverse the decision to postpone Local Government Elections by 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The motion was lost.
MOTIONS OF URGENCY
Unity needed in difficult times: Deputy Mayor
Deputy Mayor Christine Adams tabled a motion of urgency voicing her support for Council and its staff, and expressing disappointment that some Councillors appeared to be undermining Council via social media during a difficult time in the city. The motion was carried. More details here.
Meeting guidelines updated
Council amended its Code Of Meeting Practice to temporarily include new measures implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Code was also amended to require Councillors who call an Extraordinary Meeting to provide the motion to be debated and information to support it.
COVID-19 impacts Council budget
Councillors received an update on the organisation's finances, and were informed that the 2020/21 budget would be delivered one month later than usual due to the impact of COVID-19. Council is expecting an additional operational loss of $2 million for the 2019/20 financial year, but is due to meet with the State Government on Friday to discuss possible financial assistance options.
Opening hours extended
Nejaim Steel Supplies were granted permission to operate between 7am and 7pm every day to permit staff to carry out mine maintenance activities. However the business will only be able to open to the public between 7am and 5:30pm on weekdays.
Rex’s debt deferred
Regional Express requested that Council waive $48,400 in outstanding fees. Council instead offered to defer payment on a no-interest basis for a period of 12 months, or until the airline is in a position to repay the amount. (whichever comes first)
Soccer Association take control of ovals
Council voted to enter into an interim licence agreement with the Broken Hill Soccer Association for the use of E.P. O'Neill Park. The annual rent was set at the Crown Lands minimum amount of $504 per year.