Minutes of the Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee



Meeting Date:     Thursday, 6 December 2018

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

Time:                   5.30pm



The following members were present:


Clr Mitchell Pakes - Chairperson

Clr Mark Kitchener

Mr Mark Williams

Mr Chris Palmer

Ms Jennifer Lawther

Mr Andrew Fielding

Mr Bill Bean

Mr Paul Keech - Director Assets and Works


Others present:

Tom Dimec – Shoalhaven City Council

Lynda Ho – Shoalhaven City Council



Apologies / Leave of Absence

Apologies were received from Messrs Martin Gaffey, Paul Gleeson, Geoff Phillips, Vic Walker, and Ms Megan Birmingham.  The Director, Assets & Work, would be late as he was attending a Councillor Briefing.



Confirmation of the Minutes

RESOLVED (Jennifer Lawther / Mark Williams)

That the Minutes of the Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee held on Thursday 4 October 2018 be confirmed.





Declarations of Interest


Nil or





RF18.30     Rural Fire Service - Future Works

HPERM Ref: D18/407677

The Chair reminded attendees that the Shoalhaven District Liaison Committee meetings would precede Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee meetings, going foreward.  The Strategic Planning Committee would focus on strategic and future projects.

In response to a query, the District Superintendant confirmed that : (i) the amalgamated brigades from Bendalong and Cunjurong Point were now known as Manyana brigade and, in the long term, the Conjurong Point station facilities would be upgraded as funding became available, and (ii) the old Bendalong station would be refurbished with a category 1 shed and a toilet facility only. 

The Committee agreed to amend the capital works proirities as listed to include Tomerong Station, at the top of the 8 items for the district.  The Committee undertook to continue to review the list of capital works priorities to ensure they reflected the community’s needs and amended the recommendation accordingly.


Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee note the update on the status of unfunded capital works projects.


RESOLVED (Andrew Fielding / Chris Palmer)

That the Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee note the update on the status of unfunded capital works projects and supports the current priority list as amended.






General Business


RF18.31     Code of Conduct

HPERM Ref: D18/405358

There were no matters raised.



RF18.32     Work Health and Safety

HPERM Ref: D18/407236

The Committee agreed to write to John Shadlow to congratulate him on his election as Shoalhaven Health & Safe Work Representative.



RF18.33     Manildra Train

HPERM Ref: D18/418804

The Chair referred the Committee to the update on the traffic flow interruptions on Bolong Road resulting from movement of the Manildra train. 

The Committee: queried the assertion by Manildra that delays were typically of 8 minutes duration; considered the traffic interruptions to impact most on ambulance response times; received Manildra’s assurance that trains could readily be de-coupled to allow the passage of emergency vehicles once the siren was heard by Manildra staff.

Manildra had submitted a Development Application to carry out works including a new spur line on the northern side of Bolong Road and a packing plant.  These works were expected to lessen interruptions to motorists by movements of the Manildra train. 

The Director Assets & Works had also invited Manildra’s site manager, Ming Leung, to speak to the Local Emergency Management Committee on the matter where the discussion could be broadened to other emergency services and recorded.  It was

RESOLVED (Mark Williams / Bill Bean)

That the Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee note the update on the Manildra train movements on Bolong Road.




RF18.34     Emergency Services Vehicles access and Egress During Tourism Peaks and Events

HPERM Ref: D18/418807

The Director advised, the matter of emergency services vehicle access and egress during tourism peaks and events was raised at the Local Emergency Management Committee and an undertaking made that Council would review its policy.  Events on private land were already covered robustly through the development application process.  Events on public land were covered by Tourism, and will be covered more robustly going forward.  In the future, emergency services agencies will have the ability to build the necessary conditions into events.  The District Supervisor noted his preference for emergency services conditions to be brought back to Council for referral to the event organiser. 

Hyams Beach:  A Public Meeting would be held on Saturday 8 December 2018 to consider the management of the tourism impact to Hyams Beach in the coming months.  On days anticipating high visitor numbers, a traffic controller would control the number of vehicles entering Hyams Beach and not allow in more cars than there are available parking spots.

RESOLVED (Chris Palmer / Andrew Fielding)

That the Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee note the update on Emergency Services Vehicles Access and Egress During Tourism Peaks and Events.




RF18.35     Additional Item - Proposed Meeting Dates - 2019

Action:  The Committee Support Officer undertook to liaise with Committee members to find a more suitable date for a February 2019 meeting. 

The Committee supported the other proposed meeting dates and it was,

RESOLVED (Chris Palmer / Jennifer Lawther)

That the Committee adopt the proposed meeting dates for 2019, as follows:

5:30pm – Thursday 9 May 2019;

5:30pm – Thursday 8 August 2019, and

5:30pm – Thursday 14 November 2019.




RF18.36     Additional Item - Comerong Island Ferry

In brief discussion, the District Superintendent confirmed: (i) the RFS has an obligation to an area where there are residents, hence the RFS has an obligation to residents on Comerong Island; and (ii) there needed to be an analysis done of the benefits of retaining a fire truck on Comerong Island versus the cost of buying a large enough ferry to carry a 13 tonne fire truck in the event of a fire.



RF18.37     Additional Item - Appointment - Paul Liddiard

The District Superintendent advised that Mr Paul Liddiard had been appointed on 3 month’s secondment to fill Paul Gooey’s position.





There being no further business, the meeting concluded, the time being 6.50pm.



Clr Mitchell Pakes