Item 11.4 - Attachment 2

Community Advisory Committee Forum Notes 18 March 2010





Phillip Russo welcomed everyone and paid respects to the Burramatugal people of the Darug nation and acknowledged elders both past and present.


Chris Bertinshaw introduced the Community Advisory Committee and stated the committee’s aims and objectives and raised some general housekeeping items.


Phillip Russo introduced the Service Manager Libraries, Debbie Best. 


Debbie Best, Service Manager, Library Services: Summary of Presentation

· Parramatta has a central library (Parramatta) and  5 branch libraries

· The library is going through a time of change and growth due to new media information access etc

· There are a range of different activities and programs run by the library

· Out reach to schools and daycares

· There are 4 story times at Parramatta and all are well attended

· HSC support program

· Library lovers day

· There are author talks on the first Tuesday of the month

· There is a well stocked HSC resource section and the library is starting to compile other school resources

· All libraries now have WiFi

· The libraries have 81 volunteers that assist in a variety of projects

· Computer helps

· Homework help

· Justice of the Peace

· Migrant assistance

· Cultural fairs

· Health talks - especially in Chinese- can get over 100 people attending

· Bi lingual story time

· Don’t just carry books

· DVDs

· Talking books

· Community language sections



How many terminals in libraries have internet access?

All libraries have internet access. Parramatta has 38 computers that can be booked for 1hr a day free of charge. Other branches have less. Bookings have to be made in person and there is nearly 100% usage. Lots of students have laptops and use the WiFi connections and just need power points. 


There are children’s librarians is there a Youth Librarian or a Youth specific area?

Not at the moment although this is been looked at. All libraries have a Young adult section and Parramatta has a young adult specific space.

How are your activities promoted?

Events are promoted through the library website, signs and flyers around the libraries, mail-out lists through schools, relevant community groups and newspaper advertisements.


Homework Help

The main focus of homework help is at a primary level. There are volunteer tutors and also online tutors that can be accessed free of charge through the library website.


Indigenous history

Each branch has a separate section on indigenous history.


Chris Bertinshaw talked more about the Community Advisory Committee and emphasized that the committee was a go between the community and Council by was of organising  forums throughout the year where community members could voice their priorities, concerns and views

He introduced Paul Kennedy, Project officer, Land Uses and Transport Planning


Paul Kennedy, Project Officer, Land Use and Transport: Summary of Presentation

· Parramatta has a rich Aboriginal history with the Burramatugal people

· Has an extensive convict past

· Was a Victorian age service centre

· Parramatta has over a 1000 heritage listed places and buildings- the second highest concentration after the City of Sydney

· Heritage listed building can have changes made to them but these shouldn’t damage the heritage item.

· Council promotes conservation through a local heritage fund

· There is a free development advisory service that can be access through contacting Council’s Heritage Advisor. He can give options and help with process and enquires.

· There are planning provisions that can be made – i.e. a restaurant may be allowed in a residential zone



How do properties get listed and can they be unlisted?

Properties were listed as a result of a study undertaken in 1993. There was a list produced that included items of scientific, social, aesthetic or historical significance.

To unlist an item the applicant would have to show that the property did not have any of the above criteria. A property is not likely to be delisted unless it is a residential property that is no longer a liveable property.  


Can a property be delisted if it is unsafe?

It would still have to go through the same process as described above, however Council must be reasonable.


Phillip Russo introduced Marcelo Occhiuzzi, Manager Land Use and Transport Planning.


Marcelo Occhiuzzi, Manager Land Use and Transport: Summary of Presentation

· State authority and local government authority in planning issues.

· Planning concerns future plans

· Development is the implementation of the plans.

· NSW has the most complex planning controls in Australia

· Local Environment Plan (LEP)

· Zones areas for residential, higher density, industrial etc

· Gives some certainty of what to expect in any given neighbourhood.

· The state government controls what is in the LEP with certain minimum targets that must be achieved

· Development Control Plan (DCP)

· More details at a local level

· Controls such as height, privacy, what things look like

· Only at a Council level and the public can make submissions

· These are currently on exhibition and are on Council’s website and in libraries

· Exempt developments  - small issues that do not need approval

· Complying developments – approval gained from a private certifier if a certain criteria is met

· Local Developments – bulk of applications

· JRPP- If an application is $20K-$100K then it is assessed by a Joint Regional Planning Panel

· Department of Planning has the authority if a development is over $100K

· Parramatta Council provides the following:

o A font counter advisor, a phone service and a pre-lodgement service.

o An  online tracking of development applications



The LEP and DCP are complex documents, are there people available to help explain?

The Council makes an effort to assist: Information is available on the Council website and a great deal of interest has been shown from the community., There have also been road shows around the LGA to help explain and answer questions regarding the LEP. There is someone on-duty to talk to, either by phone or in person through front counter enquires.


State Government control

The draft plan goes to the state government (the Department of Planning) for its approval before it can be placed on public exhibition. The Department made significant changes regarding draft conservation areas in Epping and lower density housing in Granville. The process is strictly regulated through the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. The Department of Planning generally gives reasons for amendments made to draft LEP’s but is not obliged to.


What changes have there been from the last LEP?

There were some minor or major changes. The existing LEP was gazetted in 2001 and there have been changes in growth, especially in relation to the concentration around public transport.


What impact do Mom and Dad submissions have?

Most submissions are from mom and dads. Sometimes streets or groups get together and submit petitions to Council. There do influence Councillors, and Council alerts them about making submissions but Council can’t comment on the impact they have on State Government decisions.


How long does the LEP process take and is it taken into consideration when assessing development applications?

The process of changing an LEP can be very long and as such it does have some status as a draft document. How much weight it is given when assessing development applications depends on what process/stage the draft is in. If it is a new draft then it might not have a lot of weight, if it has been on public exhibition and is just waiting for State Government approval, then it might have a lot more weight.


Can zones be changed?

The same process is undertaken to rezone a single area. It would be quicker as it is only one area, but it is the same process of public exhibition etc as the LEP.


Developers with conflicts of interest

Anyone that submits a development application has to lodge a return on any political donations they may have made and their relation to a development.


Other Discussion

How did people hear about tonight’s Community Forum,?

Through flyer, wife, paper


Was the information helpful?

Yes it was worthwhile and informative mainly because it was topical (re LEP)


Chris Bertinshaw asked that if the public had any other issues or concerns that the committee should look at in the future that they contact Council or their local Councillor.


Phillip Russo thanked staff for their assistance and the community and committee and hoped that this would continue to strengthen ties between the community and Council.


The Forum closed at 8:50 pm.