Monthly Report - April 2022
Long Term Financial Planning
As most people would have seen by now we have recently had an issue of confidential Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) budget papers being given to the press. The leak in itself is very concerning and our Interim CEO Mr Cliff Frewing is investigating, but the biggest issue is of course the LTFP. Councillors have not seen or started work on the 2022/23 Draft Budget as yet.
The Mayor has posted that she will be bringing a motion to the next OCM (Tues 26 April) and to directly quote Mayor Filomena Piffaretti - “I’ve prepared a motion for the next meeting of Council instructing the CEO to present an independent analysis and full report on our long-term financial position, as well as a comprehensive suite of options to return our City to a sustainable long-term financial position.
The motion I’ve prepared will also direct the administration to address the situation we are facing without unduly burdening our ratepayers, residents or businesses. Families are facing significant cost of living pressures and it would be unfair to expect our community to pay higher rates as anything other than an absolute last resort.
Instead, we will look at savings, efficiencies and reductions in non-essential services while continuing to deliver the core services our community rely upon.”
My 2021/22 Budget Speech given last year - "I have two main issues with this budget. That is not to negate the good that is contained in this budget, nor the hard work that has gone into developing it.
Firstly, I cannot support a budget that endorses borrowing money against assets that are not revenue generating. That in itself goes against any good finance that I have ever been exposed to. You just don’t borrow for something that doesn’t generate a revenue!
Secondly, my biggest peeve year in and year out with our annual budgets.
The annual budget is supposed to be a by-product of strategic and corporate planning - including the Long Term Financial Plan. It is not meant to be an ad-hoc alternative planning mechanism.
Setting rates year by year is not consistent with having, and implementing, a costed Corporate Business Plan and a robust Long Term Financial Plan.
If the City of Bayswater's Corporate Business Plan doesn't include a real four year rates profile, that is consistent with its Long Term Financial Plan, then our Corporate Business Plan is inadequate and we as Councillors are not responsibly exercising one of our primary governance roles - strategic decision-making! Similarly, if we adopt a rates profile, then reconsider that from scratch with every budget, then it's not worth the paper it's written on!
We’ve got a recently adopted Strategic Community Plan with no accompanying Long Term Financial Plan, and a Corporate Business Plan without a robust four year budget forecast and rates profile. Neither document clearly shows what will be delivered. There are multiple strategies referred to, but if you add them all up, you couldn't possibly afford and/or manage everything that is in those strategies. That effectively means that we are making our prioritisation and resource allocation decisions year by year in the annual budget, exactly what Integrated Planning and Reporting was designed to stop.
And yes, I know someone will mention COVID and our flexibility in response. The rates profile should be fairly accurate for four years ahead at any time, giving ratepayers reasonable certainty - barring unforeseen circumstances such as we had with the pandemic, which should trigger a revised Corporate Business Plan and four year budget / Long Term Financial Plan."
City of Bayswater Security Services
I have been contacted quite a bit lately about security issues and anecdotal stories of increased crime in the area. It is important to remember to report all criminal activity to the Police. With our Security service you can report issues such as disorderly conduct, loitering, anti-social behaviour, graffiti, maintenance hazards, breaches of local laws.
Did you know that the City of Bayswater’s security service is on call 24/7! If you’re concerned about anti-social behaviour, suspicious activity, graffiti or vandalism - please phone 1300 360 333 anytime day or night.
The City’s Security team can also provide patrols of your property while you’re away. The Holiday Watch Patrol is easy to request using an online form on our website, at least 10 days before your departure. Learn more at https://www.bayswater.wa.gov.au/community/rangers-and-security/safety-and-security
Nutrient Use and Management of Turfed Areas
The City of Bayswater has scored 100% in overall best management practice for its nutrient use and management of turfed areas and reserves around the Swan River. Each year, the City participates in the South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare's Nutrient Survey along with other Local Government Authorities. The data the City submits as part of the survey encompasses the work its doing across all of the City's turfed areas and foreshore reserves.
The survey assesses nutrient monitoring, fertiliser applications, nutrient management and education, water quality monitoring and development control. The results are compiled into a report which includes further recommendations on how to implement nutrient Best Management Practices.
The scorecard reflects the great work the City's Environment and Sustainability, Environmental Health, Statutory Building and Parks and Gardens teams have done in managing the foreshore areas which contribute to the greater river system in Perth. View the report and score cards at https://bit.ly/3sd3FgT
Caledonian Avenue Level Crossing Closure
The Caledonian Avenue level crossing in Maylands will close permanently at 7pm on April 15, 2022.
Read more at Minister Saffiotti’s media statement here: https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2022/03/Caledonian-Avenue-level-crossing-to-close-on-April-15.aspx?fbclid=IwAR36zp0FpwAXTq3SURfstW4oFOr2fc3S4D8ny2HkzuLLNmG1hpMmmgdspK0
On a personal note, I am extremely disappointed that the proposed upgrades for the surrounding affected networks will not commence until after the closure, and have timelines of up to 3 years.
Wheelchair accessible swing at Bardon Park Playground
Council supported my motion at the March OCM to consider the installation of a wheelchair accessible swing at Bardon Park – being paid from by cash-in-lieu public open space funds (this is a reserve that developers contribute towards and can only be used for projects that improve our public open space areas). I anticipate this will come back to Council in the later half of this year.
No-fly drone zones
In partnership with CASA, the City has installed no-fly drone signage throughout its parks and reserves close to the airport, to help increase safety for airlines. There are now 50 signs across 24 locations within the City’s 'no fly zone' to educate drone pilots on the areas where flying is prohibited.
To see where drones can and cannot be flown in real time from any location, visit ok2fly.com.au or download the ok2fly app.
Significant Tree Register Policy and Associated Guidelines - for private land
At our February OCM Council adopted for public advertising the Significant Tree Register Policy and Associated Guidelines. Submissions are to be received by 28 April 2022.
You can have your say by filling out the submission form at the link (policy and guideline documents can be found at link as well) : https://engage.bayswater.wa.gov.au/significant-tree-register-and-associated-guidelines
Gold Waterwise Council
The City of Bayswater has been re-endorsed as a Gold Waterwise Council for 2022. The recognition comes from the Water Corporation and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation for the City's continued efforts and achievements in sustainable water management and building a waterwise community.
Some water-saving projects the City has worked on include:
· Transforming drainage basins into living streams and wetlands such as Feredy Reserve and Peters Place
· Transforming heat-stressed areas into cool, green spaces at Arbor Park
· Incorporating water-sensitive urban design into projects like raingardens and verge gardens
· Holding planting days and workshops with the community and local schools focusing on water quality, biodiversity and cultural connections.
Trialling the use of drones for mosquito control
The City of Bayswater is trialling new drone technology to help combat mosquito breeding within the upper Swan River reserves managed by the City.
The City has engaged a contractor to use commercial agricultural drones to conduct aerial site surveys and trial mosquito larvicide treatments in high breeding sites in the Berringa and Baigup wetlands.
We will be the first local government in WA to trial the use of drones for mosquito control. The city will use the peak
mosquito period to capture data on the effectiveness and viability to use drones on an ongoing basis.
Just a reminder about our Engage Bayswater. Engage Bayswater (https://engage.bayswater.wa.gov.au/) is the City's community engagement hub. It includes projects that the City is seeking community feedback on, and information on the City's projects.
Maylands Waterland - https://engage.bayswater.wa.gov.au/maylands-waterland-redevelopment
Maylands Lakes - https://engage.bayswater.wa.gov.au/maylands-lakes
Maylands Brickworks (not live yet) - https://engage.bayswater.wa.gov.au/maylands-brickworks