NOTICE OF Council MEETING
AGENDA - B
An Ordinary Meeting of City of Parramatta Council will be held in the Cloister Function Rooms, St Patrick's Cathedral, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta on Monday, 9 November 2020 at 6.30pm.
Note: Members of the public will not be able to attend the meeting in person but will be able to view the live stream video on Council’s website.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
TABLE OF CONTENTS
8 Minutes of the Lord Mayor
8.1 National Asbestos Awareness Week 2020.................................................. 3
9 Public Forum
9.1 PUBLIC FORUM 1 Rescission Motion: Item 18.1 Council Meeting 26 October 2020 - Tree Canopy in Parramatta CBD 6
9.2 PUBLIC FORUM 2 Item 17.2 Response to Submissions and Amended Proposal Report for the Powerhouse Museum Parramatta...... 8
After the conclusion of the Council Meeting, and if time permits, Councillors will be provided an opportunity to ask questions of staff
ITEM NUMBER 8.1
SUBJECT National Asbestos Awareness Week 2020
REFERENCE F2019/03630 - D07736252
REPORT OF Lord Mayor, Councillor Bob Dwyer
The purpose of this Lord Mayor Minute is to note the prevalence and risks posed by asbestos in Australia, and calling for Council to participate in National Asbestos Awareness Week 2020, taking place from 23 – 29 November 2020.
(a) That Council notes that large amounts of asbestos are still present in Australian homes, workplaces and the built environment. Homes built or renovated before 1990 have a good chance of containing asbestos, as do public and commercial buildings.
(b) That Council notes that exposure to asbestos fibres can cause deadly cancers. There is no known safe minimum level of exposure to asbestos fibres.
(c) That Council notes that one way to be exposed to asbestos today is through Do-It-Yourself (DIY) renovation or home maintenance activities. Furthermore, research shows that during COVID-19 home improvements, maintenance and small jobs have increased exponentially.
(d) That Council notes the likelihood of asbestos being improperly disposed of in household bins when residents are unaware of asbestos.
(e) That Council participates in Asbestos Awareness Week 2020, 23-29 November 2020, and engage in awareness-raising activities throughout the Council area during this time through:
a. Website, media releases, social media campaign, Lord Mayor’s column, internal and external publications.
(f) That Council note a review of Council’s asbestos management and contaminated lands policies is currently underway, to ensure they provide the most up to date information, as provided by State and Federal governments and local government associations.
(g) Further, that Council write to the NSW Premier regarding the 2017 NSW Ombudsman’s report into the state of asbestos management in NSW, requesting the Premier advise Council and the community how the NSW Government intends to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations.
1. I am calling on Councillors to support National Asbestos Awareness Week 2020 – ‘Asbestos lurks in more places than you’d think’.
2. Large amounts of legacy asbestos are still present in many Australian homes, workplaces and the environment. Australia was the highest user of asbestos per capita in the world, prior to it being fully banned in 2003.
3. Consistent research shows that Australians are unaware of how prevalent asbestos is, where it might be found, and how to protect themselves from exposure. Worryingly, many Australians doing DIY or home maintenance believe they are doing it safely, but may not be wearing the correct Personal Protective Equipment or taking correct safety precautions.
4. The Australian Government Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency's (ASEA) research shows that even amongst targeted trades (for example, construction workers, electricians and plumbers), awareness of where asbestos can be and what to do to stay safe is low.
5. During 2020, when all of Australia has been focused on COVID-19, research shows that more Australians than ever are undertaking DIY work, renovations and minor maintenance around the home.
6. Research undertaken by ASEA shows that asbestos is not thought of as a risk when planning or undertaking DIY or maintenance work, despite 1 in 5 DIYers having had contact with it in the past. This suggests that most people are either handling it without knowing, or handling it in an unsafe manner. Additionally, a third of DIYers admit to disposing of asbestos inappropriately and the majority do not feel confident managing the risks.
7. Councils are highly engaged with the community at various points in the home improvement journey. Council is in the unique position to provide awareness materials to the public, advising them to be aware of where asbestos might be located, and to call a professional to check.
8. I am recommending that City of Parramatta Council participate in National Asbestos Awareness Week 2020 and also examine what Council can do locally to further raise awareness.
9. This Lord Mayor Minute also calls for Council to write to the NSW Premier regarding the NSW Government’s response to the 2017 NSW Ombudsman report into the state of asbestos management in NSW.
10. This report clearly identified the threat posed by legacy asbestos waste, and made strong recommendations that the NSW Government should bear the financial responsibility for addressing this issue. In a response tabled in NSW Parliament in October 2017, the NSW Government indicated that it agreed in principle with the Ombudsman’s recommendations, and would work to develop an appropriate strategy.
11. Three years on from this in principle agreement, the NSW Government has not advised of how they intend to implement or fund the Ombudsman’s recommendations.
12. The City of Parramatta is heavily burdened by James Hardie legacy sites, with some 30 identifies sites within our local government area.
13. To date, Council has spent nearly $7 million of rate-payer funds treating public lands affected by James Hardie legacy waste, and expects to spend at least $6 million more in the coming years.
14. I call on the NSW Government to make a firm commitment to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations, and to roll out policies and appropriate funding to fulfil commitments to addressing the unacceptable issues surrounding legacy asbestos as a matter of priority.
FINANCIAL IMPLICATION FOR COUNCIL
15. There are no new financial implications for Council as a result of this Lord Mayor Minute.
Lord Mayor, Councillor Bob Dwyer
There are no attachments for this report.
ITEM NUMBER 9.1
SUBJECT PUBLIC FORUM 1 Rescission Motion: Item 18.1 Council Meeting 26 October 2020 - Tree Canopy in Parramatta CBD
REFERENCE F2019/04433 - D07736488
Speaking against Rescission of Motion
Dear Lord Mayor and Councillors
I am speaking on behalf of Epping Civic Trust. We object to this Rescission Motion.
When the original Motion was passed at the October 26 Council meeting, our members and our wider community were delighted. We applauded the Council for acting proactively to monitor, manage and improve the tree canopy.
There is no doubt that something has to be done. The tree canopy in the Parramatta LGA is being lost to development at an alarming rate, and doing nothing, the effect of rescinding this Motion, surely cannot be an option. Council may also find this work is imperative once the NSW Government’s Draft Greener Places Design Guide is implemented, as this document stipulates the tree canopy percentages to be achieved.
I acknowledge some Councillors have expressed concerns in relation to the costs for undertaking the Tree Canopy Motion. However, in this era when the climate is warming and acting to limit warming is a key global political issue, why would any Council want to act against a Motion that will contribute to cooling of its LGA? Surely the risks posed to residents, including death from high temperatures, outweigh the costs.
I note Councillor Jefferies expressed concerns that the Motion is “a back door” to make it harder for residents to remove trees. I would like to advocate for it to be seen as a positive step for increasing tree plantings rather than blocking tree removal. It is about improving the environment for current and future generations. It also represents a unique opportunity for Councillors to review Council’s tree management systems and processes.
This may even result in finding ways in which to better utilise technology and thereby decrease running costs. In any event, the Executive Director, City Assets and Operations response indicates that much of the work required has already been started, or is well underway.
Please consider the many benefits of having trees in the communities you represent including how they contribute greatly towards the amenity, property prices, wildlife habitat and beauty of the LGA.
We strongly urge Councillors to allow the original Motion of October 26 to stand so the reports proposed can be undertaken. This represents good governance.
No staff response provided.
There are no attachments for this report.
ITEM NUMBER 9.2
SUBJECT PUBLIC FORUM 2 Item 17.2 Response to Submissions and Amended Proposal Report for the Powerhouse Museum Parramatta
REFERENCE NCA/2/2020 - D07736899
Members of North Parramatta Residents Action Group, heritage experts from all over NSW strongly oppose the recent proposal to 'relocate' Parramatta’s historic Willow Grove to an unidentified location within the historic Cumberland Hospital site.
The reason Annie Gallagher an entrepreneurial Parramatta business owner built Willow Grove in Phillip Street is that it was the premier address for the commercial and professional class of Parramatta and around the corner from her haberdashery business in Church Street.
In this week’s National Trust publication Conservation Director (and architect) David Burdon said “ We believe that a great deal of Willow Grove’s significance relates directly to its location beside the Parramatta River. In the 2017 Civic Link Framework Plan, Willow Grove and its landscape setting was a fitting termination point to a 490m long, 20m wide proposed new 'green, pedestrianised public space and cultural spine that connects public life from the heart of Parramatta CBD to the River'.
Willow Grove is a cement rendered brick building, which will suffer catastrophic damage should it be removed. Any relocated building will effectively be a full-scale replica of brand new construction in order to meet current building regulations. A few sad, salvaged elements will be all that will remain.”
The significance of Willow Grove will be irrevocably diminished by:
1. Loss of setting and dislocation of historic context
2. Loss of original fabric - most of the bricks will not survive, the plaster is gone, the horsehair ceilings. Tiles at risk of cracking. There would be so much replacement it would no longer be considered a relocation or a minor reconstruction but a replica, what is left lacks integrity and original fabric.
This is not a good conservation outcome.
With very little original fabric and no setting what is left?
Without the proponent , iNSW supplying any assessment of the method of relocation, future location and the impact of the heritage significance of Willow Grove, how can Parramatta Council conditionally support the relocation of this heritage building - which is only described by a mere sentence on the Mitigation Measure table in the response to submissions report dated 8th October 2020.
Parramatta can have our heritage remain in its original setting as the community are passionately fighting for and have a new museum in our cities future. We do not have to choose between the two.
Spokesperson North Parramatta Residents Action Group
No staff response provided.