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Presentation to Councillors: Dr Karin Geiselhart


Address by Dr Karin Geiselhart 11 September 2018 – Mayoral Minute – Notification Oversight re Community Consultation on Rural Lands Planning Proposal (RLPP)

11 September 2018


Dear Councillors and Council

Good Morning Councillors

I am Dr Karin Geiselhart. I have been a visitor, part time resident and investor in the ES since the 1980s. I have been involved with climate change issues for several decades, back in the days when it was still being denied. I am a proud member of the Moruya SES and SAGE.

My presentation today is both personal and as a community supporter on behalf of the Nature Coast Alliance.

I have several questions for Council regarding the RLPP and its underlying Rural Lands Strategy adopted by Council in 2016: -

Possible Conflict of Interest

1.Councillor and Committee Perceived or Possible Conflict of Interest

What land or property interest does any present or past Councillor hold since or after the first meeting of the Rural Land Strategy Steering Committee (RLS Cttee) on 23 August 2012 that is subject to change in any way through RLPP e.g.

  • amendments to the 1987 or 2012 ELEP’s, including rezoning,

  • change to Minimum Lot Sizes,

  • access to grazing as exempt of wetlands or other high conservation value areas zoned as E2 in the 2012 LEP or protected by SEPP 14 Coastal Wetlands, SEPP 46 Littoral Rainforests or the new SEPP Coastal Protection that superseded SEPPS 14 and 46 in March 2018.

Please provide address, title details, size and when acquired.

2.RLS Steering Committee Member Perceived or Possible Conflict of Interest

What land or property interest does any Member of the Committee hold since or after the first meeting of this Committee on 23 August 2012 that is subject to change in any way through the RLPP e.g.

  • amendments to the 1987 or 2012 ELEP’s, including rezoning,

  • change to Minimum Lot Sizes,

  • access to grazing as exempt development of wetlands or other high conservation value areas zoned as E2 in the 2012 LEP or protected by SEPP 14 Coastal Wetlands, SEPP 46 Littoral Rainforests or the new SEPP Coastal Protection that superseded SEPPS 14 and 46 in March 2018.

Please provide address, title details and size and when acquired.

Member of the Committee includes any past or present Councillor of ESC who represented the Council, chaired the Cttee or represented community interests as a Member of the Committee

Member of the Committee Includes any past or present Councillor who participated in the affairs of the Cttee as an observer, visitor or specialist advisor.

Land or property interest and the person and immediate family and close associates of a Councillor or Steering Committee Member are as defined in the Local Government Act regarding conflict of interests and probity.

3. Independent advice on probity etc

Acknowledging the advice of the then Director of Planning Lindsay Usher to the first meeting of the RLS Cttee, has Council since that time sought or received independent professional legal, ethical or other advice regarding possible and/or perceived conflicts of interest or probity issues in the RLS or RLPP processes for any of its Councillors and/or Steering Committee members as defined above.

4. If so, what is the name of the advisor/s, contact details, date advice sought, date advice given.

5. Will Council provide the relevant correspondence between the Council and the advisor/s

6. Rural Land Strategy Steering Committee (RLS Cttee) Formation

Who drafted the terms of reference for the RLS Cttee.

7. Who determined the desired qualifications, especially relevant experience, community engagement and land knowledge, for selection of community members to participate in the RLS Cttee.

8. Will Council provide a copy of the call for expressions of interest and the schedule of media publications of the call (print and on line, including Council website)

9. Did this determination of terms of reference and qualifications of selected RLS Cttee members involve consultation with past or present ESC Councillors and/or rural landholders of large areas of rural land and/or professional land developers, property investors or real estate agents?

10. If so, who were the various parties consulted

11. How many unsolicited applications were received being responses solely to the formal advertising for expression of interest.

12. How many applications were solicited by ESC officers or Councillors.

13 Who solicited the applications

11. Who applied after receiving solicitations

12. Who decided the membership of the RLS Cttee from the applications received

13. If a panel was used to decide or recommend the applications, who was on the panel, who chaired it and who appointed the panel

14. Will Council provide a copy of the decision makers/panel report and recommendations.

15. NSW Expert Agency representations

Why has Council still not provided the NSW expert agency submissions formally requested by the Alliance on behalf of the community on 23 July 2018.

16. Noting that

  • all the NSW expert Agency submissions have now been analysed by Council staff and included in the Report to Council of 28 August for the Planning Proposal

  • four of the seven agencies involved were identified by community members and provided their submissions well before Council met on 28 August in accordance with informal GIPA submission protocols when approached by the Nature Coast Alliance.

will Council now provide copies to the Alliance of all NSW expert agency submissions.

17. If not, will it provide full contact details for the officers/office who made the submissions on behalf of their Agencies.

18. Expert Referral

Did Council seek appropriate expert scientific and technical advice from its own officers or independent experts regarding advice from the expert State agencies that its planning area did not accept or agree with?

  1. If so, from whom was the advice sought, when was it sought and when was it received

  1. Will Council make all such advice publicly available

These questions go to the heart of transparency, public accountability and good governance.

#Opinion #Council

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