Minutes of the Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee



Meeting Date:    Thursday, 10 November 2016

Location:            Seven Mile Beach Room, City Administrative Centre, Bridge Road, Nowra

Time:                   5.30pm



The following members were present:


Clr Joanna Gash - Chairperson

Clr Mitchell Pakes

Mr Ben Stewart - Director Assets & Works

Mr Mark Williams

Mr Paul Gooey

Ms Jennifer Lawther

Mr John Ashton

Mr Andrew Fielding

Mr Vic Walker

Mr Bill Bean


Others present

Lynda Ho – Shoalhaven City Council

Megan Birmingham - Shoalhaven City Council




Apologies / Leave of Absence


An apology was received from Clr Kitchener, Colin Lonergan and Chris Baseler.


Clr Joanna Gash thanked Clr Lynne Kearney for her service as former Chair and welcomed Clr Mitchell Pakes to the Committee.


Confirmation of the Minutes

RESOLVED (Ben Stewart / Mark Williams)

That the minutes of the meeting of the Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee held on 11 August 2016, be confirmed.












RF16.1       Rural Fire Service Update

HPERM Ref: D16/346671

Ben Stewart highlighted that the:

·         Integrated Emergency Management Centre Masterplan underpinned development at the site and had been redrafted to resolve allocations of property between the RFS and Surf Life Saving over a preferred building site.  The Masterplan would be presented to the 22 November 2016 Council meeting for adoption.

·         Balance of the sum needed to cover the electricity supply upgrade may be provided by Council and would total $300,000.  The electricity design revealed that the current electricity supply had reached capacity and the new power substation would cover future electricity needs at the site. The funding arrangements for the substation would be presented to the 15 November 2016 Strategy & Assets meeting.

·         The brigade would move into the new West Nowra Rural Fire Station the following day.  An interim occupation certificate had been issued pending formal access to the IEMC via the “dog track road”.  The station would temporarily use the builders power supply until the Pad Mount sub station was installed. 

·         The Fire Control Centre Operations/Administration Extensions works were completed on 17 July 2016 and would be officially opened on 19 November 2016.  Ben Stewart stressed that Council had funded the items not supported by the RFS or the RFFF.


Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Committee receive the report for information.


RESOLVED (Mark Williams / Paul Gooey)

That the Committee receive the report for information.




RF16.2       Proposed Dates for Meetings in 2017

HPERM Ref: D16/346436

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Committee adopt the proposed meeting dates for 2017.


RESOLVED (Vic Walker / Andrew Fielding)

That the following meeting dates be adopted for 2017.

5:30pm – Thursday 9 February 2017;

5:30pm – Thursday 11 May 2017 (to be convened if required);

5:30pm – Thursday 10 August 2017, and

5:30pm – Thursday 9 November 2017 (to be convened if required)








Items marked with an * were resolved ‘en block’.


RF16.3       Infrastructure Preface

HPERM Ref: D16/345889

Mark Williams spoke to the list of infrastructure projects, highlighting the funds allocated, as compared to the expected costs and funding shortfalls.  He emphasised that projects 2-4, 6-9 and 11 were now fully funded.

RESOLVED* (Bill Bean / Paul Gooey)

That the Committee receive the report for information.




RF16.4       IEMC 92 Albatross Road, South Nowra Master Plan

HPERM Ref: D16/345962

RESOLVED* (Bill Bean / Paul Gooey)

That a report be provided to the Committee that status of the sub division of “Dog Track Rd” and pursue this to completion as a matter of priority.

That Council Officers commence negotiations and formulate agreement with the RFS without delay as to the contribution percentage/values for reimbursement to the RFS for costs expended for infrastructure (power/water/sewer etc) to be imposed for any and all future occupants of the IEMC precinct.




RF16.5       West Nowra Rural Fire Station

HPERM Ref: D16/346017

Mark Williams confirmed that although there had been some delays during the build the end result was very pleasing.  The Pad Mount substation was needed for the facility to be fully functional – there was currently no three phase power or air conditioning.

RESOLVED* (Bill Bean / Paul Gooey)

That Council expedite the installation and connection of the Pad Mount transformer and connection of permanent power to the WNFS so as all electrical installations can be utilised.




RF16.6       Milton / Catering Station Extensions

HPERM Ref: D16/346070

Mark Williams noted that the improved processes at the Milton / Catering station were bedding-down and food stuffs prepared had been well received by staff at a recent fire event.  Catering’s main function was to provide the mid-shift meal for brigades in active fire grounds or to cater for smaller fire incidents (ie 24-48 hr).  The catering function would be supplemented by an external supplier, as necessary. 

$165,000 had been redirected from this project to the Pad Mount substation.  Ultimately, facilities for the Milton brigade would be renewed.

RESOLVED* (Bill Bean / Paul Gooey)

That the Council & RFS meet on site to plan the proposed alternate station access using Woodstock Rd, and work with the RFS to rectifying maintenance and drainage issues which remain post hydrant relocation.

That Council’s utility Shoalhaven Water have the problematic hydrant disconnected and removed as the new hydrant has been provided.




RF16.7       Broughton Vale / Berry Rural Fire Station

HPERM Ref: D16/346088

Mark Williams reported that good progress continued to be made towards securing the land for the RFS / Ambulance Station and all parties had agreed the land was workable.  The RFS had had to adjust the proposed building footprint and manage services that ran through the site, currently this is a road reserve.  Council and the RFS would continue to develop formal agreements with NSW Health Infrastructure (HINFRA).  HINFRA hoped to complete their station by July 2017 while the RFS will be in future seeking approximately $1 Million in funding to construct the station (funding that would not adversely impact Council’s budget based on the new allocation system for the RFFF).

RESOLVED* (Bill Bean / Paul Gooey)

That Council Officers and the District Manager continue to work with HINFRA, RMS and Dept Lands to formalise the land use agreements and secure the identified land parcel

That RFS work with Council on the formal designing, plan preparation, cost estimation and DA submission for the new station within the available land parcel.




RF16.8       IEMC "Pad Mount" Transformer

HPERM Ref: D16/346128

RESOLVED* (Bill Bean / Paul Gooey)

That a report be provided to the Committee to formalise agreement for reimbursement ratios to RFS for future occupation within the IEMC precinct.

That Council:

1.    Advise the RFS of their funding contribution to the project.

2.    Expedite the planning and subsequent construction of this project.




RF16.9       Bendalong / Cunjurong Pt / Manyana Amalgamation

HPERM Ref: D16/346146

Mark Williams noted that the Bendalong and Cunjurong Point brigades had agreed to merge, becoming the Manyana Rural Fire brigade based primarily at Cunjurong Point, with a temporary garage accommodation also (replacing the asbestos-ridden Bendalong fire station).  While there were a couple of brigade members who were not satisfied, both brigades had signed a deed of agreement in respect to the amalgamation.  The Cunjurong Point station facilities will be upgraded as funding becomes available (requiring submission of a funding bid), by the addition of a meeting/multifunction room and having the “lean-to” enclosed.

The funding for the demolition costs, new temporary garage and meeting room would not impact Council’s budget.

The Committee agreed it was a step forward to bring the matter to conclusion.

RESOLVED* (Bill Bean / Paul Gooey)

That the District Manager continue to work with the Steering Committee and Brigades towards this resolution.




RF16.10     Other Infrastructure Projects

HPERM Ref: D16/346155

1. Fire Control Centre Operations/Administration extensions

Mark Williams noted that the Fire Control Centre had worked extremely well during the recent (Callala) Black Swamp fire.  A few small issues had been identified and it may be that a screen needs to be installed behind the telephone and radio operators providing a holistic view of emergency situations but some noise buffer.  Other improvements may be deferred as brigade stations were the priority at this stage.   There was a road sealing issue at the IEMC that was being followed up by the RFS.

3.         Kangaroo Valley Station Additions

4.         Shoalhaven Heads Extensions

5.         Kioloa Station Extensions

6.         Tabourie Station Extensions

As these projects were fully funded, the RFS and Council would appoint a project engineer, submit a DA and calling for tenderers, as appropriate.

8.         Training/Logistics/SMSS Facility (TLSF)

No external funding had been granted and the project was on hold until the State determined it as a priority for funding.

9.         Wandandian Station Extensions

10.       Basin View Station Extensions

11.       Conjola Station Extensions

12.       Beaumont Station Extensions

13.       Huskisson Station Extensions

The above projects were in the planning stage and were largely unfunded.

RESOLVED* (Bill Bean / Paul Gooey)

That the Committee receive the report for information.





General Business


RF16.11     Work Health & Safety (WH&S)

HPERM Ref: D16/345858

No matters raised.


RF16.12     Code of Conduct

HPERM Ref: D16/345865

No matters raised.




Next meeting – Will be held on Thursday 9 February 2017 in the (Seven Mile Meeting Room tbc (formerly Reception Room) of Council’s Administrative Building.



There being no further business, the meeting concluded, the time being 6.30pm.



Clr Joanna Gash