Friday, 27 February 2009

Our town, our rail line

I have today submitted the following Notice of Motion to Newcastle Council...




That Newcastle City Council requests a briefing from the Hunter Development Corporation outlining the following:

a) the corporation's timeline for developing its submission for federal government funding under the Major Cities program

b) the process it will use for receiving and considering community input in preparing its submission

c) the criteria it will apply to projects included in the submission, particularly in relation to Newcastle 's public transport system (including the future of the Newcastle rail line).


In August 2008 the NSW Government announced the formation of a Newcastle CBD Taskforce to oversee the preparation of a strategy to stimulate private sector investment and economic growth in the Newcastle CBD.

The Taskforce conducted a public workshop in October 2008 and a public meeting in December 2008.

The Hunter Development Corporation has been given the task of investigating various projects and options with a view to preparing a report for the NSW Government that would be capable of forming the basis of a submission to the Commonwealth Government.

To date, the Hunter Development Corporation has not outlined how it will receive and consider community input into its report to the State Government or the criteria it will use to apply to the various projects and options.

My previous actions to support our rail line and our transport system can be found here:

Monday, 23 February 2009


How far behind is NSW?

Back in August last year, the ACT Parliament passed legislation to protect public participation. This is Australia's first "anti-SLAPP" legislation.

The purpose of this Act is to protect public participation, and discourage certain civil proceedings that a reasonable person would consider interfere with engagement in public participation.

The ACT law was voted for by all parties.

Where is the NSW Legislation?

This type of intimidatory legal action certainly could happen in Newcastle.

What is the Hon. Jodi Leyanne MCKAY, MP doing about it?

Send her an email and ask her: What is the NSW Government's timetable to introduce anti-SLAPP legislation like the ACT?

Take part in consultation with Council

A new initiative gives residents and ratepayers ready access to have their voice heard.

Newcastle Council has started an email/internet-based initiative to consult with the community.

This is not meant to replace the good ol' fashion face-to-face consultation, but for everyone reading this blog it's an approach that could work for you!

As Council says...
Become part of the group of residents from all ages and walks of life who take part in consultations with Council. Join Newcastle Voice and share your views.

Simply go to and join up.

Don't be SLAPPed after criticising Council Administration

Many in the community have criticisms of the Newcastle Council administration.

It is the role of your elected Councillor, as a member of the governing body
  • to direct and control the affairs of the council in accordance with this Act
  • to participate in the optimum allocation of the council’s resources for the benefit of the area
  • to play a key role in the creation and review of the council’s policies and objectives and criteria relating to the exercise of the council’s regulatory functions
  • to review the performance of the council and its delivery of services, and the management plans and revenue policies of the council.

and as your representative
  • to represent the interests of the residents and ratepayers
  • to provide leadership and guidance to the community
  • to facilitate communication between the community and the council.
(Section 232 of the Local Government Act 1993)

So when residents and ratepayers have criticisms, it is our responsibility to follow them up. Whether they are about the optimum allocation of resources, the interests of residents or ratepayers or facilitating communication between the administration and the community.

Even if they are as unpalatable as nepotism. And we've all heard those comments around town!

Council's policies must be followed no matter who is related to whom.

So, at no time should the humble elected councillor, acting in accordance with their mandate under the NSW Local Government Act 1993, shirk from their responsibility to stand up for the interests of the residents and ratepayers.

Even in the face of a SLAPP suit.

Who would have thought this could happen in Newcastle?

SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) is a lawsuit that is intended to intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. The most famous Australian example is the GUNNS 20 case. More information can be found on wiki)

Newcastle Council's structure

It is time for change in the structure of Newcastle Council administration.

At the beginning of each Council term, the new Council must determine an appropriate organisation structure, those positions within the organisation structure that are senior staff positions and the resources to be allocated towards the employment of staff. (Section 332 of the Local Government Act 1993) It can redetermine the structure at other times as well.

At the beginning of the last term of Council, I unsuccessfully tried to get a flatter, more customer-focussed organisation. Instead we got a further concentration of the Council silos from 5 down to 4.

We now have the opportunity to get a flatter, more customer-focussed organisation.

I urge my fellow councillors to support a flatter, more customer-focussed organisation.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Council meeting 17 February 2009

This is the Council meeting where I was caught in the natural disaster in Bellingen.

The Council meeting dealt with the late report from the GM on the waste services dispute, a report on legal expenses, the December 2008 quarterly review, a notice of motion on the museum and my notice of motion on cycling.

In addition to the words in my notice of motion, Council added the following:

B 1 Resolutions A ­ D of `NOM 3/2/09 ­ Alteration of dual purpose parking/cycle lanes to dedicated clearway/cycle lanes at designated times' be incorporated in Motion 1 of "NOM 17/2/09 ­ A Newcastle Cycling Strategy'.

2 Resolution E of 3/2/09 of `NOM 3/2/09 ­ Alteration of dual purpose parking/cycle lanes to dedicated clearway/cycle lanes at designated time' be superseded by Motion 2 of "NOM 17/2/09 ­ A Newcastle Cycling Strategy".

C The report identify possible business opportunities.

The Motion was carried unanimously.

Waste settlement

Here is a copy of the Late Report - Settlement of Waste Services Dispute that was presented to Council on 17 February 2009.

The following was Council's resolution:

Council hold in abeyance the motion of 18 November for a period of 3 months to allow for the following actions to occur with a report back to Council to consider the most appropriate way forward.

These actions are:
· A report to be prepared on what conditions are used in comparative Councils who have a waste collection service.
· A report be prepared on what conditions prevail in the private sector for waste services.
· Outcomes of an agreed process to consult with the community to determine required service levels for the community.
· A report be prepared on the outcomes of service reviews and the agreed replacement Local Area Workplace Agreement (LAWA).

The Lord Mayor declared the resolution was carried unanimously.
(I was trapped in Bellingen.)

A comprehensive Newcastle Cycling Strategy and Action Plan

Here is the motion that I have submitted to Council for consideration on 17 February 2009.

That Newcastle City Council:

1 Develop, as a key strategic priority, a comprehensive Newcastle Cycling Strategy and Action Plan, with a five year Action Plan, aimed at improving cycle use, infrastructure, services, awareness and cycling safety in the Newcastle Local Government Area.

The Newcastle Cycling Strategy and Action Plan should include (but not necessarily be limited to) consideration of:

• Ambitious but achievable targets for increasing bicycle use in Newcastle, for both commuter and recreational cycling,

• A review of the 1996 Newcastle Lake Macquarie Bike Plan,

• A costed program of prioritised cycling projects and a staged implementation program (and associated funding strategy) for improving our public cycling infrastructure and facilities (e.g., the cycleway network, road crossings, bicycle storage and parking),

• A review of factors affecting bicycle safety, including

a. the provision of “green paint” at key intersections in accordance with the Australian Standards,

b. the adequacy of current painted road bike lanes (known colloquially as “car door death lanes”,

c. the placement of bollards and road grills,

d. the provision of signage and signals and relevant recommendations for improving safety,

• A program for incorporating in relevant council planning instruments requirements for appropriate facilities for cyclists in new developments in the Newcastle Local Government Area,

• Opportunities to give greater priority to cycling in the city's traffic management, including the provision of cycle-only road lanes in the CBD at identified times,

• Opportunities to work cooperatively with other councils, government departments and community organisations to achieve the strategy’s objectives,

• Opportunities to integrate cycling with other sustainable transport modes,

• A program for council to advocate on behalf of the Newcastle community for relevant changes in state and federal government support for cycling, including a submission from council to the current review of the NSW Bike Plan,

• A review of how decisions affecting cycling are handled within Council’s organisational structure, and relevant recommendations to improve these, and to increase the seniority of cycling within our organisational structure,

• A staff development program to improve the awareness and skills of relevant council staff in relation to cycling,

• Other ideas suggested by the community, Councillors and council officers to improve cycling in the city during the development of the strategy.

2 That, to help develop and implement this strategy, council establish a Newcastle Cycling Committee (including relevant senior council officers, local area health service representatives and community representatives), and that council initiate a comprehensive community consultation process for initiating and developing the strategy.

3 That the General Manager provide a report to council outlining an appropriate time frame for developing this strategy, and the associated implications for council’s current and forthcoming budgets.

There is concern in the community that Newcastle Council has not given cycling the appropriate priority.

Newcastle needs an overall strategy to outline the infrastructure needed to ensure a safer and more comfortable cycling environment and the social initiatives that will encourage more people to cycle.

Residents have lots of great ideas on how to improve our cycleways and make then safer.

The Federal Government has indicated that they would provide funding for cycleways.

But the great ideas from the community needs to part of a bigger strategic plan on how they are all connected. The community does not want ad hoc, isolated cycleways.

And the Federal Government is unlikely to fund isolated cycleways, they will need to be seen as part of a bigger picture.

The City of Sydney has already adopted targets, such as increasing the number of bicycle trips made in the City of Sydney, as a percentage of total trips, from less than 2% in 2006 to 5% by 2011, and to 10% by 2016.

The topography of Newcastle is more conducive for cycling – surely we can do better than Sydney.

With a Newcastle Cycling Strategy and Action Plan developed and agreed to by the community, and with joint funding from local, state and federal governments, Newcastle could have a great cycling network, an enhanced healthy lifestyle for our residents and be a national destination for cycling tourists.

See my earlier post about what is possible.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Happy birthday Winston

I had the pleasure in launching Katheryn Gilshenen’s new book ”Winston’s Birthday – It’s a beautiful day!” at the Newcastle Region Library Lovett Gallery.

It was great to see the Awabakal dance group, Milibah perform several pieces. Milibah is a dance group from the Hunter School of Performing Arts.

Katheryn and her friend Sue Ann read the book. The book sees the return of great characters like Toby, the lighthouse at Nobby's, and Merv from Merewether. (Everyone knows a Merv from Merewether!)

It was my pleasure to officially launch this lovely book which will give much enjoyment to many.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Developer donations still an issue at Newcastle Council

Council met on 27 January 2009 to consider a formal request to review its decision about a development application to build 52 dwellings on 10 dwelling lots at Wallsend by a company associated with Mr Hilton Grugeon.

The review related to the resolution of the Development Approvals Committee meeting held on 14 October 2008 which recommended that the application be approved on the basis of amended plans being submitted by the applicant, deleting dwellings 2 to 5 and their replacement with open space and carparking as well as an additional condition regarding noise attenuation. This still allowed 48 dwellings on 10 dwelling lots, way in excess of that allowed under Council's Development Control Plan.

On 14 October 2008, a motion was moved that:
The application be rejected on the following basis:

1. The site is considered Standard Residential Precinct under the Newcastle Urban Strategy (NUS)
• This density and height is not keeping with surrounding area

2. The District Centre Residential Density premise on the basis of the SAFE principal is flawed.
• It more than 600m to Stockland Jesmond
• S4.2.2 of the report states that it does not comply with the DCP urban housing element 5.2, Section 79C (1) (a) (iii)
• Due to dwellings 1-6 and 8 encroaching beyond the building envelope.
• Number of on-site car parking spaces does not comply with DCP 2005, and this combined with limited on street parking availability will create traffic amenity and safety problems.
• The proposed development requires 64 spaces, according to DCP guidelines - the site layout has provision for 55.

This motion was lost 3 votes to 8 votes (Councillor Buman was out of the room having admitted receiving donations from Mr Hilton Grugeon and Councillor Boyd was away).

For the motion Councillors M Jackson, N Nelmes and M Osborne.
Against the motion The Lord Mayor, Councillors S Claydon, S Connell, B Cook, T Crackanthorp, M King, B Luke, S Sharpe.

On 27 January 2009
, the Lord Mayor (who had received donations from Mr Hilton Grugeon) moved, using a Lord Mayoral minute, that
The Development Applications Committee defer consideration of DA 06/0675 to the Council meeting scheduled for 3 February 2009 to allow a report of the Conduct Review Committee relation to DA 06/0675 to be received and considered by Council before consideration of DA 06/0675.

The motion was seconded by Councillor Luke, who had also received donations from Mr Hilton Grugeon.

On 3 February 2009, a report came to council from a sole reveiwer from the Code of Conduct Committee relating to allegations against 5 Newcastle City Councillors.

The report considered allegations in relation to

Councillor Tate’s failure to disclose and manage a conflict of interests regarding DA 06/0675; and
Further allegations in relation to the failure by Councillors Luke; Buman; Connell; and King, to disclose and/or manage conflict of interests regarding DA 06/0675.

Extracts from the report and its conclusions can be found here: Code of Conduct complaint

When Council considered the review of the development application decision, it made the following resolution:

The application to demolish the existing dwellings on the site and to erect a two-storey urban housing development comprising 52 dwellings be approved as recommended by the original report to the Development Applications Committee meeting held 14 October 2008 and consent granted, subject to compliance with the conditions set out in the Draft Schedule of Conditions as provided by that report.

The motion was put to the meeting and the Lord Mayor called for a division which resulted as follows:
For the motion The Lord Mayor, Councillors G Boyd, A Buman, B Cook, M King, B Luke and S Sharpe.
Against the motion Councillors S Claydon, T Crakanthorp, N Nelmes, M Osborne and M Jackson.


Direct from Council's media release...

Solution for waste dispute

At talks today convened by Newcastle City Council’s General Manager Ms Lindy Hyam, with the United Services Union (USU) Organiser, Mr Peter Collins, Ms Hyam and Mr Collins jointly agreed on a solution to move the waste dispute forward.

The settlement’s major points are:

1. To place in abeyance the motion of 18th November for a period of three months;
2. To conduct a transparent review of conditions and services relating to waste services;
3. A change management agreement that will allow Council’s Sustainability Review to be conducted unimpeded;
4. A deferral of the dispute revolving around who is the employer; the General Manager or Councillors, for a period of three months;
5. Agreement by the USU to cooperatively work through the Sustainability Review process.

The settlement is underpinned by a commitment by Ms Hyam to approach Councillors to obtain a moratorium on the past motion to market test Waste Services by competitive tender. A motion is expected to be presented by Ms Hyam to Council at the first available Council meeting.

USU Organiser, Mr Peter Collins said that this path will allow a full, transparent and proper review. He has welcomed the chance for the waste services employees to demonstrate to Newcastle that they are amongst the most efficient providers of Waste Services in NSW.

Ms Hyam said she “is pleased with the outcome of today’s meeting with the union, and is committed to ensuring the community is provided with the most effective and efficient delivery of services, without the spectre of any further industrial action”.

Contact LINDY HYAM on 4974 2208 or PETER DEVINE on 4974 2321

The corrupting influence of developer donations

I have previously raised the issue of donations from developers and their perceived corrupting influence.

See some my earlier posts

Code of Conduct complaint against Lord Mayor Councillor Tate

Extracts from the report from a sole reveiwer from the Code of Conduct Committee, received by Council on 3 February 2009.

A written complaint was received by the Public Officer, Newcastle City Council (McMahon), on 14 October 2008 regarding an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct. Advice was provided to the complainant regarding the appropriate process to progress the concerns including details of how to formally lodge a complaint.

On 16 December 2008, the complainant provided sufficient information in the form of a complaint to the General Manager (Hyam) for assessment in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Conduct.

The complainant alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct by the Lord Mayor Councillor John Tate. The complainant stated that the Lord Mayor had received political donations from a person with an interest (political or campaign donor or related entity) in development application DA06/0675, 71-79 Abbott Street, 67 Douglas Street and 108114 Newcastle Road, Wallsend.

The allegations were that the Lord Mayor did not adequately disclose the conflict of interests created by these political donations and that he did not manage the conflict of interests appropriately as he continued to take part in the determination of the development application.

In summary, the complainant alleged that:

• Clr Tate has a conflict of interests due to the receipt of political donations from Hilton Grugeon and or related entities which would prohibit him from taking part in consideration of DA 06/0675.

• Clr Tate has received money from Hilton Grugeon in the form of political donations to his state election campaign.

• Hilton Grugeon either in his own right or through his interest in the applicant had a matter before Council on 14 October 2008 in DA 06/0675.

• Clr Tate has received money from Hunter Land Pty Ltd in the form of political donations to his state election campaign.

• Hilton Grugeon has an interest in Hunter Land Pty Ltd.

• Clr Tate has received political donations for his state election campaign from other entities which Hilton Grugeon may have an interest.

• Clr Tate may have received political donations from Hilton Grugeon or entities in which he has an interest in his Local Government election campaign however this cannot be determined until his return is lodged in April (Note: Lodgement is required by 25 February 2009 not April as indicated by complainant).

• Clr Tate has a conflict of interest as a reasonable and informed person would perceive that he could be influenced by these donations when determining his position on Development Application 06/0675.

• Clr Tate failed to disclose this interest to the meeting either in writing as required or if not required to be in writing then he failed to adequately disclose the matter in the Council meeting for proper minuting.

• Clr Tate did not disclose the nature of the interest adequately.

• Clr Tate did not manage the conflict of interest appropriately as he did not remove himself from the Council Chamber and abstain from voting on DA 06/0675.
• Clr Tate did not provide an adequate explanation as to why he considered the conflict did not require action other than continuing to stay in the chamber and vote on DA 06/0675.

Some of the findings from the report were that (my emphasis in bold):

1. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Tate, in relation to Development Application 06/0675, acted in accordance with the provisions of section 7.21 to 7.25 inclusive of the Newcastle City Council Code of Conduct in that he met his disclosure requirements pertaining to political donations to his local government election campaign.

2. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Tate identified and disclosed a conflict of interests to the Extraordinary Development Meeting on 14 October 2008 in relation to Development Application 06/0675.

3. Information provided by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Tate at that meeting and subsequently to the conduct reviewer, indicates that the nature of the conflict of interests is that of a perceived non-pecuniary, less than significant nature.

4. Management of a non-pecuniary, less than significant conflict of interests is required in accordance with provision 7.18 of the Newcastle City Council Code of Conduct. That provision states that “… you must provide an explanation of why you consider that the conflict does not require further action in the circumstances”.

5. Provision 7.16(b) of the Newcastle City Council Code of Conduct details that for a non-pecuniary conflict of interests to be significant it involves “…other relationships that are particularly close such as friendships and business relationships. Closeness is defined by the nature of the friendship or business relationship, the frequency of contact and the duration of the friendship or relationship”. The guidelines developed by the Department of Local Government relating to the code of conduct also emphasise that the ‘strength’ of the relationship should be considered.

6. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Tate stated that he had known Mr Grugeon for about 26 years and that he did not consider the relationship to be a particularly close one of either a business or friendship nature. He further stated that the contact with Mr Grugeon is limited to seeing him at charity or fundraiser events and that the frequency of contact is limited to these events.

7. A reasonable and informed person may perceive that the Lord Mayor, Councillor Tate has a conflict of interests such that he could be influenced when determining Development Application 06/0675 given that he received political donations during the State government election from Hilton Grugeon and his related companies to the value of $15,600. [Note figures quoted are from the Election Funding Authority website and are based solely on the names provided by the complainant.]

8. The Code of Conduct at 7.13 requires disclosure of any non-pecuniary conflict of interests fully and in writing even if the conflict is not significant and this must be done as soon as practicable. If the disclosure is made at a council or committee meeting, the provisions of 7.14 require that both the disclosure and the nature of the interest must be recorded in the minutes. Section 7.14 constitutes disclosure ‘in writing’ for the purposes of section 7.13.

9. The disclosure made by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Tate, does not contain sufficient information to provide adequate explanation of the perceived conflict of interest nor does it detail appropriate management strategies for the perceived conflict of interest.

10. As soon as this inadequacy was discussed in detail with the Lord Mayor, Councillor Tate, he undertook and provided a detailed letter to the General Manager, dated 22 January 2009, in relation to Development Application 06/0675.

11. The General Manager has advised that this letter from the Lord Mayor has been retained on the appropriate council file.

The Code of Conduct reviewer's conclusions were:
The sole reviewer is obligated to report to Council on the outcome of the investigation into the alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct. The following details those outcomes:
1. That Council receive and note the contents of this report.
2. That Council takes no action against the Lord Mayor Councillor Tate and Councillors Luke, Buman, Connell and King, the subjects of these complaints.
3. That when the Newcastle City Council Code of Conduct is reviewed in early 2009 that the General Manager ensures particular consideration is given to enhancing the provisions of the Code of Conduct pertaining to conflict of interests and political donations.

Political Donations Report

Here's the full report...

Sham process on Newcastle rail options should be scrapped

Newcastle Greens
4 February 2009

The Hunter Development Corporation's decision on consultants to investigate Newcastle rail line options will reinforce community fears that the process is a sham Greens elected representatives said today.

Greens MP and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said that the consultancy plans are not independent, as two of the key players have already called for cutting the Newcastle rail line.

HDC has engaged Parsons Brinckerhoff to examine the options for the future of the rail line, and an urban design reference group to advise them on city renewal work.

The General Manager of Parsons Brinckerhoff, Glenn Thornton, as the Chief Executive Officer of the Hunter Business Chamber, and Professor Steffen Lehmann, who will head up the urban design reference group, have both been strong public advocates for cutting the rail line.

"The consultancy process just treats the people of the Hunter with contempt. The NSW government can't expect the local community to take this seriously," Ms Rhiannon said.

Newcastle Greens councillor Michael Osborne said "After the Minister for the Hunter, Jodi McKay, handed over the future of the rail line to the Hunter Development Corporation in December last year, I and others in the local community called on the NSW government to ensure the independence and integrity of the assessment process.

"Our concerns are based on the composition of the HDC board, which is stacked with anti-rail advocates including Newcastle Lord Mayor John Tate. The track record of the HDC's predecessors - the Honeysuckle Development Corporation and the Hunter Economic Development Corporation - who were both strong opponents of the Newcastle rail line has reinforced our view that this process is not fair.

"These latest revelations show that our concerns were well founded," Cr Osborne said.

Ms Rhiannon said, "The process will not create an independent and rigorous evaluation of options for the rail line at all. It is a taxpayer-funded campaign with a pre-determined outcome, designed to give developers what they have wanted throughout their twenty year campaign to grab prime inner-city public land in the heart of Newcastle.

"If the Minister for the Hunter is even half serious about the credibility of the assessment process, she should immediately intervene to stop this farce, before it blows up in her face.

"Ms McKay suffered the largest swing recorded against any state Labor candidate when she was elected to the seat of Newcastle in 2007. This was a clear message to the NSW government not to take the Newcastle community for granted. Today's news shows they are still not listening to this message," Mr Rhiannon said.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Council Meeting 3 February 2009

The 3rd February 2009 Council meeting was a mixed bag of issues.

Apart from the Code of Conduct complaints against the Lord Mayor and other Councillors about political donations referred to here and here, the meeting dealt with road closures, the meeting cycle, expenses and investments, an urgent report tabled at the meeting about the waste services and two notices of motion about cycling.


On the night, the General Manager distributed a late report to Councillors entitled Industrial Action - Waste Collection Service and she requested that the report be considered on the basis of urgency and importance. Councillor Claydon also had an Urgency Motion with regards the dispute.

MOTION: (The Lord Mayor/Councillor M Osborne)

The late report regarding the matter of the Industrial Action - Waste Collection Service and Councillor Claydon's Urgency Motion be heard as a matter of urgency in accordance with the Code of Meeting Practice, Clause 10 which states,

10.7 Council may consider items not listed for consideration on the business paper subject to the following:
· the item is of sufficient urgency and importance to merit consideration;
· it was not possible to provide information on the item in accordance with the notice of meetings and preparation of business papers background image

The procedural motion was put to the meeting and a show of hands was requested.

For the procedural motion 7
Against the procedural motion 5

The Lord Mayor declared the procedural motion carried on the result of seven votes to five votes.

Following discussion of the report, the conservative Councillors Luke and Sharpe moved that the report be received. Councillor Claydon was then asked to move her Urgency Motion.


Council receive the report and move that this Council rescinds part B of the motion passed in Item 24 - CITYS - Supply and Delivery of Three Side Loading Waste Compactor Trucks - Tender for Contract NO. 2009/011T - of the Ordinary Council Meeting held on Tuesday 18 November 2008 and requests the Council Administration to work in close consultation with Newcastle City Council's workforce and their union representatives to ensure continuous improvement of services and agreed benchmarking standards.

With the view to combining the motions, the Lord Mayor was uncertain of the legality of Councillor Claydon's motion as it appeared contrary to the motion moved by Councillors Luke and Sharpe.

Councillors Luke and Sharpe then withdrew the motion before the Chair and Councillor Claydon was requested to move her Urgency Motion.


Council receive the report and move that this Council rescinds part B of the motion passed in Item 24 - CITYS - Supply and Delivery of Three Side Loading WasteCompactor Trucks - Tender for Contract NO. 2009/011T - of the Ordinary Council Meeting held on Tuesday 18 November 2008 and requests the Council Administration to work in close consultation with Newcastle City Council's workforce and their union representatives to ensure continuous improvement of services and agreed benchmarking standards.

Following further discussion Councillor Luke gave notice of a foreshadowed motion that being his original motion that the report of the Industrial Relations Manager be received.

Following lengthy discussion the motion was put to the meeting and the Lord Mayor called for a division which resulted as follows:

For the motion Councillors S Claydon, T Crakanthorp, M Jackson, N Nelmes and M Osborne.
Against the motion The Lord Mayor, Councillors G Boyd, A Buman, B Cook, M King, B Luke and S Sharpe.

The Lord Mayor declared the motion defeated on the division of five votes to seven votes.


Following brief discussion the two notices of motion were combined and added to and put to the meeting and declared carried unanimously.


A. Council complete a feasibility analysis on converting a portion of existing council owned and operated Parking station(s) to a bicycle storage and showering facility. The items to be explored are
1) Scale, scope, and associated costs of construction
2) On going costs for running such a facility
3) Potential usage and what charge for this service the market will bear
4) Whether leasing such a facility out for operation by a third party is viable.

B. Council includes as part of the specifications for future parking stations facilities of this type for bike commuters.

C. Council to receive a report regarding amending the current dual purpose parking/cycle lanes to exclusive cycle lanes during designated peak periods.

The initial lanes suggested are
a) King St inbound between Stewart Ave and Darby St from 7.00am to 9.00am weekdays
b) King St outbound between Darby St and Stewart Ave from 4pm till 6pm weekdays.

The scope of the report should not be limited to the above lanes if additional viable options are identified in the review process, and should be extended past the nominated intersections if viable.

D. Council to receive a brief providing and update on all outstanding cycle ways projects, including the Fernleigh Track, the Wallsend to Glendale and the Stockton to Fern Bay cycle ways, detailing all outstanding actions of Council and strategies that Council should adopt to expedite the completion of these projects.

E. Council to form a working group consisting of relevant stakeholder groups (eg. NCM, Transition Towns Newcastle, Bicycle NSW) to review the Cycling Plan of 1996, upgrade same, and make recommendations for implementation by Council. The working party should complete the upgraded plan by 30th June 2009