Minutes of the Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee

 

 

Meeting Date:     Thursday, 15 February 2018

Location:            Council Chambers, City Administrative Centre, Bridge Road, Nowra

Time:                   6.00pm

 

 

The following members were present:

 

Clr Mitchell Pakes - Chairperson

Clr Mark Kitchener

Mr Mark Williams – District Manager, Shoalhaven Rural Fire Service

Mr Chris Palmer – Staff Representative (replacing Paul Gooey)

Ms Jennifer Lawther – Group Officer Primary Representative

Mr Andrew Fielding – Group 1 Area Primary Representative

Mr Vic Walker – Group 2 Area Primary Representative

Mr Martin Gaffey – Group 3 Area Primary Representative

Mr Geoff Phillips – Group 4 Area Alternate Representative

Mr John Ashton – Group 5 Area Primary Representative

Mr Bill Bean – Group 6 Operations Support Representative

Mr Paul Keech – Director Assets and Works

 

Others Present

 

Lynda Ho – Shoalhaven City Council

 

  

 

Apologies / Leave of Absence

 

Apologies were received from Clr Joanna Gash, Clr Patricia White, Messrs Paul Gooey & Michael Strachan.

 

The Committee welcomed the newly appointed Director, Assets & Works, Mr Paul Keech, to his first meeting.

 

The District Manager noted that Chris Palmer would replace Paul Gooey on the Committee on an ongoing basis.  The District Manager undertook to provide Lynda Ho with Mr Palmer’s title and contact information as soon as possible.

 

 

Confirmation of the Minutes

RESOLVED (Mark Williams / Andrew Fielding)

That the Minutes of the Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee held on Thursday 30 November 2017 be confirmed.

CARRIED

 

 

 

Declarations of Interest

 

Nil

 

 

Reports

 

RF18.1       RFS Infrastructure Preface

HPERM Ref: D18/35250

The District Manager highlighted that projects 9-15 of the RFS Infrastructure Preface were currently unfunded (considered in detail under item 18.2 below).  Completed projects had been removed from the RFS Infrastructure Preface project listing.

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Committee receives the report for information.

 

RESOLVED (Mark Williams / Vic Walker)

That the Committee receives the report for information.

CARRIED

 

 

RF18.2       Other RFS Infrastructure Projects

HPERM Ref: D18/35321

Status of Infrastructure Projects

The following projects will remain in the Shoalhaven Strategic Capital Expenditure Program, but were unfunded: Conjola Station extensions; Wandandian Station extensions; Basin View Station extensions; Huskisson Station extensions; Beaumont Station extensions and the Training/Logistics/SMSS Facility (TLSF).

Milton / Catering Station Extensions

The expenditure of the $35,000 was almost complete with funds recently being expended on painting and drainage works.  Once the painting was finished the reimbursement claim would be submitted to RFS Region.

Manyana Satellite Garage & Main Station Alterations

Planning will be undertaken once funding is secured through the RFFF, and in accordance with district priorities.

 

In brief discussion it was noted that:

 

Delays in expending current RFS infrastructure funding could jeopardise new infrastructure funding being awarded; initial costings for fire station alterations appeared to differ markedly (by up to 300%) from actual project cost if delivered by Council; the RFS sought funding in two tranches (i) seed funding to get projects through the design, quantity assessment/estimation and DA stage and (ii) project construction based on a QS estimates;; Council buildings met stringent standards and accorded with the code; and project management carried out by Council officers was charged at an industry standard rate of 10-12%.  It was claimed that the processes of Local Government appeared to inflate the costs and there was scope for a review of how and why the price of station alterations/building works inflates as it does.

 

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Committee receives the report for information.

 

RESOLVED (Mark Williams / Martin Gaffey)

That the Committee receives the report for information.

CARRIED

 

 

RF18.3       Kangaroo Valley Station Additions

HPERM Ref: D18/35438

The District Manager was pleased to see that the Kangaroo Valley Station additions had gone to tender and he emphasised the importance of timely completion of this project.  A request by the District Manager to roll over $400,000 in funding had been met, to some degree, with scrutiny as the Executive Director Infrastructure Services at NSW Rural Fire Service had observed he could find no tender documentation on Council’s tender or NSW State Government’s tender sites. 

The District Manager sought an assurance that projects would proceed in a timely fashion.  There were legitimate reasons why timely completion of projects could not be guaranteed, eg if tender submissions were not forthcoming or too expensive or if the successful contractor had a backlog of work.  The District Manager noted that further delays to project completion would not be acceptable without a legitimate reason.  

He noted that the budget figures quoted in the report RF18.3 were incorrect and asked members to refer to those listed in RF18.1 for the Kangaroo Valley ablutions/extension.

The Committee agreed to roll the Director Assets and Works recommendation into that provided by the District Manager.

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That Council, as a matter of urgency undertakes a full review of their management of these projects with a view to having any changes required implemented so that no further delays are experienced and the project is completed with haste.

 

RESOLVED (Vic Walker / Jennifer Lawther)

That Council, as a matter of urgency undertakes a full review of their management of these projects with a view to having any changes required implemented so that no further delays are experienced and the project is completed with haste.

CARRIED

 

Recommendation from Director Assets & Works (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Committee note that;

1.      Tenders for the construction of the Kangaroo Valley RFS Station Extension have been called and the closing date for submissions is 6 March 2018.

2.      The NSWRFS will be involved in the Contractor Selection process and invited to Project Manage the works (via the NSW Department of Public Works) so the project can be completed as per the NSWRFS requirements

 

RESOLVED (Vic Walker / Jennifer Lawther)

That the Committee note that:

1.      Tenders for the construction of the Kangaroo Valley RFS Station Extension have been called and the closing date for submissions is 6 March 2018.

2.      The NSWRFS will be involved in the Contractor Selection process and invited to Project Manage the works (via the NSW Department of Public Works) so the project can be completed as per the NSWRFS requirements.

CARRIED

 

 

RF18.4       Shoalhaven Heads Extensions

HPERM Ref: D18/35452

The Committee accepted the recommendation from the District Manager and from the Director, Assets and Works and it was:

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That Council, as a matter of urgency undertakes a full review of its management of these projects with a view to having any changes required implemented so that no further delays are experienced and the project is completed with haste.

 

RESOLVED (Martin Gaffey / Andrew Fielding)

That Council, as a matter of urgency undertakes a full review of its management of these projects with a view to having any changes required implemented so that no further delays are experienced and the project is completed with haste.

CARRIED

 

Recommendation from Director Assets & Works (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the committee note that:

1.      Tenders for the construction of the Shoalhaven Heads RFS Station Extension have been called and the closing date for submissions is 6 March 2018.

2.      The NSWRFS will be involved in the Contractor Selection process and invited to Project Manage the works (via the NSW Department of Public Works) so the project can be completed as per the NSWRFS requirements.

 

RESOLVED (Martin Gaffey / Andrew Fielding)

That the Committee note that

1.      Tenders for the construction of the Shoalhaven Heads RFS Station Extension have been called and the closing date for submissions is 6 March 2018.

2.      The NSWRFS will be involved in the Contractor Selection process and invited to Project Manage the works (via the NSW Department of Public Works) so the project can be completed as per the NSWRFS requirements.

CARRIED

 

 

RF18.5       Kioloa Station Extensions

HPERM Ref: D18/35469

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That Council, as a matter of urgency undertakes a full review of its management of these projects with a view to having any changes required implemented so that no further delays are experienced and the project is completed with haste

 

RESOLVED (Vic Walker / Chris Palmer)

That Council, as a matter of urgency undertakes a full review of its management of these projects with a view to having any changes required implemented so that no further delays are experienced and the project is completed with haste.

CARRIED

 

Recommendation from Director Assets & Works (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the committee note that:

1.      Tenders for the construction of the Kioloa RFS Station Extension have been called and the closing date for submissions is 6 March 2018.

2.      The NSWRFS will be involved in the Contractor Selection process and invited to Project Manage the works (via the NSW Department of Public Works) so the project can be completed as per the NSWRFS requirements.

 

RESOLVED (Vic Walker / Chris Palmer)

That the committee note that:

1.      Tenders for the construction of the Kioloa RFS Station Extension have been called and the closing date for submissions is 6 March 2018.

2.      The NSWRFS will be involved in the Contractor Selection process and invited to Project Manage the works (via the NSW Department of Public Works) so the project can be completed as per the NSWRFS requirements.

CARRIED

 

 

RF18.6       IEMC "Pad Mount" Transformer

HPERM Ref: D18/35563

The project had been delayed waiting on a suitable date for the cut over of the electricity.  It now appeared that the cut over would occur in the first week of March.

 

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That Council expedite the supply of required documents and information so that a reimbursement claim can be compiled and processed.

 

RESOLVED (Geoff Phillips / Andrew Fielding)

That Council expedite the supply of required documents and information so that a reimbursement claim can be compiled and processed.

CARRIED

 

Recommendation from Director Assets & Works (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Committee note that invoices for this project will be forwarded once Council’s Finance Section have completed the Council Budget December Quarterly Review responsibilities.

 

RESOLVED (Geoff Phillips / Andrew Fielding)

That the Committee note that invoices for this project will be forwarded once Council’s Finance Section have completed the Council Budget December Quarterly Review responsibilities.

CARRIED

 

 

RF18.7       Tabourie Station Extensions

HPERM Ref: D18/35590

The DA of the Tabourie Station Extensions was on track but there had been no progress in terms of obtaining the “consent” of the land owner, ie Crown Lands, for the works.

The purpose of the land under the Native Title Act is public recreation rather than fire station, which meant that the land is not being appropriately or legally used and is the subject of an Indigenous Land claim.

The District Manager noted it was not the RFS’ fault the station had been built at an inappropriate location and that Council had 2 previous opportunities/requirements when the station was originally constructed and later added to at which time the land use title should/must have been considered.  The District Manager undertook to appraise the brigade of the issues.

The RFS did not approve the Director’s recommendation (number 3 below) to the effect that the RFS reimburse Council for the cost to make a non-claimant Native Title Application to pay compensation to the Native Title landholders, if any.  The District Manager stated this would not be approved due to Council’s issues of not resolving the native title issue prior to commencement of construction of the building or of the additions.

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That

1.    Council continues to work with Department of Lands to resolve land use agreement.

2.    The DA for the project be submitted to Council for determination.

 

RESOLVED (Mark Williams / Andrew Fielding)

That  

1.    Council continues to work with Department of Lands to resolve land use agreement.

2.    The DA for the project be submitted to Council for determination.

CARRIED

 

Recommendation from Director Assets & Works (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the committee note:

1.      That the Development Application for the Tabourie RFS Station Extensions has been stalled due the inability to obtain “Owners Consent” from Crown Lands. The existing RFS station is inconsistent with the reserve purpose (public recreation) and thus under the Native Title Act the existing use is invalid and has not extinguished native title. The Extinguishment of Native Title is not a certainty and this process could take 6 to 12 months to work through.

2.      The cost to make a Non-Claimant Native Title Application and pay compensation to the Native Title Landholders if any, is to be met by Council initially and there is currently no budget for this work.

3.      This cost would not be incurred if the station remains as is, therefore Council would seek assurances that these costs would be include in the project cost and thus reimbursed by the RFS, before any further work is undertaken in relation to extinguishing Native Title. An estimate of the cost of this process is being prepared for a future committee meeting.

 

RESOLVED (Mark Williams / Andrew Fielding)

That the committee note:

1.      That the Development Application for the Tabourie RFS Station Extensions has been stalled due the inability to obtain “Owners Consent” from Crown Lands. The existing RFS station is inconsistent with the reserve purpose (public recreation) and thus under the Native Title Act the existing use is invalid and has not extinguished native title. The Extinguishment of Native Title is not a certainty and this process could take 6 to 12 months to work through.

2.      The cost to make a Non-Claimant Native Title Application and pay compensation to the Native Title Landholders if any, is to be met by Council initially and there is currently no budget for this work.

CARRIED

 

 

RF18.8       Broughton Vale / Berry Rural Fire Station

HPERM Ref: D18/35613

The District Manager noted that the previous meeting had asked Council to consider other sites or funding options to help ease the RFS’ burden of approximately $400,000 for civil works required for the Broughton Vale / Berry Rural Fire Station.  The handing back of an asset to Council did not necessarily result in realised capital gain for Council.  In the context of the Director’s third recommendation, the Committee supported the District Manager’s calls for the requested funding support to be put to Council for consideration at the earliest possible opportunity. 

The Director, Assets & Works noted that staff had undertaken a thorough review of the current design for the Broughton Vale / Berry Rural Fire Station.  Staff had considered if the site works could be minimised or the station shifted onto the road reserve or reconfigured, or if various facilities used in common could be shared with the Ambulance station.  The robustness of the costing by WT Partnership and MIEngineers was reviewed and appeared to be sound.  Consideration of the proposed fire station was well advanced and had cost in the vicinity of $30,000 to date.  Any contribution by Council towards the civil works required Council approval.  It was suggested that it may be worthwhile to have a discussion with Ambulance Services, as they had commenced their civil works at the site.

In brief discussion it was suggested that design complexities should be avoided to minimise construction costs (ie roof alignment and exterior wall alignment).

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That Council

1.    reviews the level of proposed civil works proposed with a view to exploring alternate options or exemptions to current requirements.

2.    reports to the District Manager and Committee the outcome of previous request for them to consider undertaking the civil works at their cost or contributing towards same.

3.    provides the RFS a fully detailed costing of ALL required civil works for the proposed site, including power, water, sewerage, drainage etc.

4.    continues to progress this project to DA approval/tender advertising stage, to allow RFS to seek funding allocation.

 

RESOLVED (Mark Williams / Andrew Fielding)

That Council

1.      reviews the level of proposed civil works proposed with a view to exploring alternate options or exemptions to current requirements.

2.      reports to the District Manager and Committee the outcome of previous request for them to consider undertaking the civil works at their cost or contributing towards same.

3.      provides the RFS a fully detailed costing of ALL required civil works for the proposed site, including power, water, sewerage, drainage etc.

4.      continues to progress this project to DA approval/tender advertising stage, to allow RFS to seek funding allocation.

CARRIED

 

Recommendation from Director Assets & Works (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the committee;

1.    endorse the set of drawings Plan Reference 5420 as the preferred concept design for the new Broughton Vale / Berry Rural Fire Services Station noting the estimated construction costs, based on the concept design, is $1,350,000 (exc GST) (with possible amendments to roof lines to reduce costs).

2.    Note that Council has progressed the Road Closure to create the Lot upon which this station will be built and an application to register the Deposited Plan has been made to the Land Titles Office. The Gazettal process will follow the Registration process.

3.    note that Council does not subsidise the State Budget by making additional contributions to the provision of NSWRFS facilities, and a deviation from this practice would require a resolution of the Council.

4.    supports the NSWRFS Shoalhaven District Manager applying to the NSWRFS for funding for the new Broughton Vale / Berry Rural Fire Services Station project in the 2018/19 RFFF estimates to bring the project to fully costed, construction ready status.

5.    when funding is available the NSWRFS engages the NSW Department of Public Works as the Principle Contractor/Consultant for new Broughton Vale / Berry Rural Fire Services Station project, with Council assisting to have the project considered under the Infrastructure SEPP, if required.

 

RESOLVED (Mark Williams / Andrew Fielding)

That the committee;

1.    endorse the set of drawings Plan Reference 5420 as the preferred concept design for the new Broughton Vale / Berry Rural Fire Services Station noting the estimated construction costs, based on the concept design, is $1,350,000 (exc GST).

2.    Note that Council has progressed the Road Closure to create the Lot upon which this station will be built and an application to register the Deposited Plan has been made to the Land Titles Office. The Gazettal process will follow the Registration process.

3.    note that Council does not subsidise the State Budget by making additional contributions to the provision of NSWRFS facilities, and a deviation from this practice would require a resolution of the Council.

4.    supports the NSWRFS Shoalhaven District Manager applying to the NSWRFS for funding for the new Broughton Vale / Berry Rural Fire Services Station project in the 2018/19 RFFF estimates to bring the project to fully costed, construction ready status.

5.    when funding is available the NSWRFS engages the NSW Department of Public Works as the Principle Contractor/Consultant for new Broughton Vale / Berry Rural Fire Services Station project, with Council assisting to have the project considered under the Infrastructure SEPP, if required.

CARRIED

 

 

RF18.9       Currarong Station Additions

HPERM Ref: D18/35631

The District Manager would pursue seed funding to progress this project.  Funding from this project had been reallocated to projects of a higher priority.

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That Council

1.   Commits to project management through to fully costed DA approval within 12 months.

2.   If unable to commit to this, that Council approve the NSWRFS appointing the NSW Department of Public Works as the principle contractors for this project.

3.   The Committee endorses the District Manager to apply for seed funding for this project in the 2018/19 RFFF estimates to bring the project to fully costed DA status.

 

RESOLVED (Martin Gaffey / Geoff Phillips)

That Council

1.   Commits to project management through to fully costed DA approval within 12 months.

2.   If unable to commit to this, that Council approve the NSWRFS appointing the NSW Department of Public Works as the principle contractors for this project.

3.   The Committee endorses the District Manager to apply for seed funding for this project in the 2018/19 RFFF estimates to bring the project to fully costed DA status.

CARRIED

 

Recommendation from Director Assets & Works (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That:

1.      The Committee supports the NSWRFS Shoalhaven District Manager applying to the NSWRFS for seed funding for the Currarong Station Additions project in the 2018/19 RFFF estimates to bring the project to fully costed, construction ready status

2.      when funding is available, the NSWRFS engages the NSW Department of Public Works as the Principle Contractor/Consultant for Currarong Station Additions project, with Council assisting to have the project considered under the Infrastructure SEPP, if required.

 

RESOLVED (Martin Gaffey / Geoff Phillips)

That:

1.      the Committee supports the NSWRFS Shoalhaven District Manager applying to the NSWRFS for seed funding for the Currarong Station Additions project in the 2018/19 RFFF estimates to bring the project to fully costed, construction ready status

2.      when funding is available, the NSWRFS engages the NSW Department of Public Works as the Principle Contractor/Consultant for Currarong Station Additions project, with Council assisting to have the project considered under the Infrastructure SEPP, if required

CARRIED

 

   

 

General Business

 

RF18.10     Work Health & Safety (WH&S)

HPERM Ref: D18/31404

No Matters

 

 

RF18.11     Code of Conduct

HPERM Ref: D18/31406

This issue of a brigade treasurer being charged with misappropriation and illegal use of funds was a timely reminder for brigades to ensure their financial affairs are in order.  The specific case was ongoing.  RFS members in attendance were asked to take the issue of financial “tidiness” and “transparency” back to their respective brigades.

 

    

RF18.12     Additional Item - Manildra Train

The District Manager noted with concern the difficulty of moving RFS and other emergency services vehicles in emergency situations along Bolong Road when Manildra did not publish a train timetable of any kind.  The District Manager asked if Council could pursue with Manildra the regular publication of a train timetable .  As Bolong Road is a Council “owned” road, the Director, Assets & Works undertook to make enquiries and to email a response to the Committee.

 

 

RF18.13     Additional Item - Impact of Huskisson Triathlon and Other Events on the Access of Emergency Services Vehicles

Martin Gaffey noted with concern the difficulty of moving RFS and other emergency services vehicles in emergency situations during events, such as the Huskisson Triathlon.  RFS Members requested that Council consult with the RFS, if not other Emergency Services, on events of this kind.  It was difficult to justify the RFS and other services moving assets around to ameliorate the inconveniences of profit making events, such as the triathlon.  The Director, Assets & Works undertook to make enquiries and to email a response to the Committee.

It was commented that the Myola end of Callala Beach had poor access and could have the same issues as Hyams Beach in terms of access during an emergency.

 

 

RF18.14     Additional Item - Horizon Account – Expenditure Proposal

Chris Palmer noted that the Horizon Account had been accumulating funds for some time.  He outlined a proposal to spend $150,000 from the Horizon Account on a fire cell and a triple 20’ hot cell trainer.  The proposal had the support of RFS’ senior management team.

 

RESOLVED (Chris Palmer / Jennifer Lawther)

That the Committee supports the expenditure of up to $150,000 from the Horizon Account to purchase and upgrade the training facilities including compartment fire cell and a triple 20’ hot cell trainer.

CARRIED

 

 

 

There being no further business, the meeting concluded, the time being 7.22pm.

 

 

Clr Mitchell Pakes

CHAIRPERSON