Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Council meeting 16 December 2008

Outdoor Dining

I put forward a motion to improve the outdoor dining element of the Newcastle Development Control Plan. The Motion was carried unanimously, with the Lord Mayor adding that Council seek public voice representations from the Vision Impaired and Disabled Community during the time that it is on public exhibition.

That Newcastle City Council:

i. Reiterates its support for the objectives of the Outdoor Dining Element of the Newcastle Development Control Plan (DCP), namely to facilitate the creation of a cosmopolitan cafe atmosphere while ensuring equitable access and safety for the public.

ii. Amends the Outdoor Dining Element of the Newcastle DCP to include:

a. An addition to Clause 4.9.1 Approval Requirements to say:

Council will approve outdoor dining areas that comply with the guidelines outlined in this element.

However, Council will assess applications for alternative arrangements where the applicant can demonstrate that, on the merits of the individual case, the alternative arrangement will better achieve the objectives of the Outdoor Dining Element.

In assessing these applications, Council will take into account:
• The provision of a continuous path of travel for pedestrians within the footpath to ensure equitable access and dignity;
• The proximity of other outdoor dining areas;
• The frequency of use of the footpath;
• The features of the footpath including the width and construction;
• Traffic considerations including pedestrian and customer safety issues; and
• The ability of the premises to comply with the DCP requirements;

b. An addition to Clause 4.9.3 (b) (iii) and Clause 4.9.3 (b) (iv) to clarify where the 0.6 metres comes from and allow planter boxes as a suitable barrier:

iii) Where vehicles are permitted to park against the kerb, be at least 0.6 metres from the kerb edge to provide a safety buffer from vehicles and to enable passengers to alight from and access parked vehicles.

iv) Provide a suitable barrier (temporary, framed fabric style or comparable, planter box style or comparable commencing 30 mm maximum off the ground, having at least 30% luminance contrast with the pavement in front of the barrier of low height) aligned at each end of the outdoor dining area with the Outdoor Dining boundaries specified in 4.9.3 a) ii), and for the full length of the outdoor dining area parallel to the kerb, and if vehicle parking is permitted at the kerb, then at least 0.6 metres from the kerb edge.

c. Amend Clause 4.9.3 (b) (vi) to allow flexibility as per the road design guides:

At a street intersection corner be designed to reflect how the appropriate principles in AustRoads Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice – Part 5 and the RTA’s Road Design Guide have been applied to the intersection typology and traffic calming infrastructure in order to maximise public safety.

d. Remove inappropriate reference in Clause 4.9.3 (b) (viii)

Not be located adjacent to the road kerb where there are bus stops, taxi stands, disabled parking and the like (refer to 4.3 below ).

e. Amend Clause 4.9.3 (d) Consumption of alcohol to reflect new State Government legislation:

Alcohol may be supplied or consumed in an outdoor dining area subject to any requirements of the Liquor Act 2007.

iii. Places the proposed amendments to the Outdoor Dining Element of the Newcastle DCP on exhibition for at least 28 days.

iv. Makes the AustRoads Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice – Part 5 and the RTA’s Road Design Guide, referred to in the DCP, available at Council’s Corporate Counter and Public Library.


This notice of motion was submitted on 27 June 2008 and came before Council on 8 July 2008. At that meeting the Council decided by majority that: “The matter lie on the table pending the outcomes of the workshop to be held 28 August 2008.” That workshop has been held. Council should now make a decision to improve the Outdoor Dining Element of the Newcastle Development Control Plan 2005.

The Outdoor Dining Guidelines of the Newcastle Development Control Plan 2005 were adopted by Council on 6 June 2006 and were implemented on 1 July 2006.

While the guidelines have been generally appropriate for the majority of cases, there are some individual cases that highlight the need for amendments to the DCP.

Council was briefed by a number of cafe owners on 10 April 2008 in Public Voice.

The changes proposed above are to provide for a more flexible DCP where the alternative arrangements will better achieve the objectives of the Outdoor Dining Element. The changes also provide greater transparency on the issues where deviations from the DCP would be allowed.

A Container Deposit Scheme in NSW

Newcastle Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting a Container Deposit Scheme for NSW. Here is my motion below.

Noting that Council is obliged to represent the interests of the residents and ratepayers and to provide leadership and guidance to the community (Local Government Act 1993, Section 232)

That Newcastle City Council:

1. acknowledges the significant environmental, economic and social benefits to ratepayers of adopting a Container Deposit Scheme in NSW.

2. writes to the Premier urging him to implement such a scheme in NSW.


NSW has a recycling rate of around 40% for beverage containers.

South Australian has maintained a Container Deposit Scheme for the last 33 years. Enacted in 1975 under the Beverage Container Act 1975 and later incorporated into the Environment Protection Act 1993 (SA), CDL has been instrumental in the South Australia Government achieving a recycling rate of 70% to 80% in relation to beverage containers and providing a new income stream for community organisations and the States' most disadvantaged groups.

Container Deposit Legislation has the potential to:
• Reduce the volume of litter in our parks, beaches and roadsides by 12-15%;
• Significantly reduce the number of turtles, lizards, seals and birds killed by litter across Australia;
• Achieve a 6% diversion of all Solid Waste away from landfill;
• Reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by over 1.3 million tonnes of CO2e per year (equivalent to 197,000 homes switching to 100% renewable energy);
• Save enough water to permanently supply over 24,000 Australian homes;
• Deliver the same level of Australian air quality improvements as taking 140,000 cars off the road;
• Provide 250,000+ Australian homes with access to recycling services for the first time;
• Save rate payers over $59.8 million per annum; and
• Increase Australia's recycling by over 630,000 tonnes p.a.

An independent study of container deposits by Dr. Stuart White in 2001 states that:

"Local Government would realise financial benefits from the introduction of CDS through reduced costs of kerbside collection and through the value of unredeemed deposits in the material collected at kerbside"

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