Tag Archives: Budget

Council’s bike budget hits $1.2 million

Marrickville Council’s bike budget will be more than $1 million this financial year (2015-6), following a strong boost in Council’s internal budget and several successful grant applications. Campaigning by the Greens and bike groups last year led to a doubling of Marrickville Council’s  internal bike budget. The further increases this year meets the broader campaign target set by the Greens, and indicates the growing recognition within Council that building bike paths are “core business” for Council.

Questions on Notice by the Greens (linked and extracted below) reveal the details of the proposed spending, which was debated and passed with the support of the Greens Councillors, Labor Councillors and the Mayor as part of the 2015-6 Marrickville Council Budget at Council’s June meeting. Liberal Councillor Tyler and Independent Councillor Macri voted against the budget in its entirety.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, who is the Chair of the Marrickville Transport Committee and a regular cyclist, said: “The bike spending of $1.2 million in a single year is a very significant increase. It comes off the back of years of campaigning by local residents, bike groups and the Greens.

“Local residents put a high value on building new, safe bike paths, as the inner west has one of the largest and fastest growing group of cyclists. Importantly, the Marrickville Local Government Area also now has the largest percentage of women cyclists of any Local Council area in NSW, at 26%[i],” Clr Ellsmore said.

Clr Ellsmore said, “Over the last few years Council has made significant new investment in its roads and footpaths. The Greens have been arguing for a long time that bike paths, just like footpaths, are key infrastructure and deserve proper investment.

“The Greens ran a campaign in the lead-up to last year’s budget vote calling for a significant increase for bike path. At the time, research released by the Greens showed that only 9% of the priority bike paths in Council’s Marrickville Bike Strategy 2007-2016 had been completed.

“As a result of the flood of submissions we received from commuters, families and recreational cyclists calling for greater investment in bike paths, Council voted to increase the amount of money it was committing from own coffers to last year’s bike budget by $200,000. Council also agreed to better integrate bike path planning with Council’s general road and footpath upgrade programs.

“The proposed 2015-6 bike path budget doubles the bike budget again, and makes good on Council’s promise to make building better bike paths part of our core business. Building better bike paths is an important part of making our local areas safer, healthier and more liveable,” said Clr Ellsmore.

The proposed new spending includes planning for several regional bike routes paths, as well as completion of a number of existing bike projects, as detailed in the Answers to the Questions on Notice tabled at the 19 May 2015 Council meeting (attached). A further late $200,000 grant was received, on top of the spending outlined in the 19 May 2015 Questions on Notice.

The draft Marrickville Council Budget 2015-6 also includes other significant increases to other Council infrastructure including roads, footpaths, stormwater drains and parks. Details of the 2015-6 Council budget can be found at Item 4 of the 19 June 2015 Marrickville Council meeting papers at

http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/elected-council/business-papers/

More information: Details of the Greens 2014 bike funding campaign can be found at

https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/budget-win-for-cyclists/

End Notes

[i] See details in the Super Tuesday Bike Commuter Count 2015, available to download from https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/media/vanilla_content/files/Bike%20Futures/Counts/SuperTuesday/2015/ST2015%20Report_NSW_Summary.pdf . Marrickville Council participated in the count for the first time in 2015, following a Greens Notice of Motion. The count includes a sample of a number of sites. Sites will be expanded in future years.

Details of spending

A full copy of the answers to the Questions on Notice can be downloaded here – 150519 Mville Council QoN Bike Path Funding.

Extracts:

2015-05 Answer 205-6 Proposed Budget

*Note – These figures combine internal and external grant funding. 2013/4 included some significant grants from the State Govt.

For 2015/6 a further grant was received after May 2015. The 2015/6 figure includes $500,000 allocation by Council directly – the largest ever provided – with the additional income from government grants following a significant increase in the number of grant applications made by Council for bike projects.

2015-05 Answer to Q15 Bike Plan total cost

2015-05 Answer to Q14 Bike Plan

      

The State Govt grants for 2015/6 are a mix of planning and implementation – noting an additional grant was received post May 2015.

   2015-05 Answer to Q16 Bike Plan Grants

Historical signs installed

Max & historical sign Petersham Town Hall

Cr Max Phillips with a historical sign at the “new” Petersham Town Hall.

One of the best parts of being a local Councillor is seeing your ideas take concrete form in our community.  In late 2012, I moved a motion for Council to install pictorial signs around the municipality to make people aware of the area’s history and evolution.  I think history is important and wanted to bring it out of the dusty archives and into the streets.

Last week Council official launched the signs with a brief tour around Petersham with the Marrickville Historical Society.

max & historical sign

Cr Max Phillips with a sign in Maundrell Park.

The Inner West has a fascinating history,  and many buildings or relics still remain.  Understanding local history can give a greater sense of place for both residents and visitors.

19 signs have now been installed around the municipality, and I hope the number continue to expand.  Eventually I’d like to see a Marrickville historical trail that people can walk, cycle or drive between the signs and enjoy our rich history.

Sometimes things take a while to happen on local council, but when they do happen it is great.

You can read a media release from when these signs were originally funded here.


Budget increase a WIN for cyclists

26 June 2016: Following a heated debate in the Marrickville Council chamber on Tuesday night, the Greens were successful in their bid to significantly increase the budget to build bike paths. The additional funding will bring forward completion of a priority regional bike route through Camperdown, Newtown and Enmore.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “On Tuesday night Marrickville Council voted to include an additional $200,000 in the annual budget for new bike paths. That’s nearly double the $310,000 included in the draft budget.

“In the lead up to the vote, the Greens had released research showing that only 9% of the priority bike paths in Council’s Marrickville Bike Strategy 2007-2016[i] have been completed to date.[ii] Years of underfunding had led to a short fall of more than $7 million to build the priority bike paths identified by Council – half of which was to be funded by Council and half by the State Government.[iii] At that rate we would not have met our local bike targets until 2039,” Clr Ellsmore said.

While the Greens were not successful in their bid to increase the bike budget even further, to $1 million, in addition to the $200,000 budget boost they secured other commitments from the Labor-Liberal dominated Council, including:

  • A commitment that Council would prioritise bike infrastructure projects when seeking grant funding from other tiers of government; and
  • A commitment that opportunities for new bike paths would be included in the existing $1.35 million per annum ‘Connecting Marrickville’ project, a new program focused on upgrading footpaths and roads.[iv]

Greens Councillor Max Phillips said, “While Marrickville Council is not a wealthy Council, it is damning that only 1% of our infrastructure budget was to be allocated to bike paths. The modest funding increase won by the Greens (to 2% of infrastructure spending) is important, but it is clear that several of the Marrickville Councillors did not support the change.

“Repeated comments were made during last night’s debate by Labor and Liberal Councillors that Council could not “afford” to find any additional funding for bike paths. This is very troubling given that the Labor and Liberal Councillors were able to find an unbudgeted $1.2 million last year on top of $1 million for the one controversial Arlington Reserve artificial turf project alone last year.

“The real issue is one of priorities. The Greens think building better bike paths should be a priority for local Councils,” Clr Phillips said.

The Greens candidate for the State seat of Newtown, Jenny Leong, said “the new State seat of Newtown has some of the highest numbers of commuter cyclists in the state.[v] The city has many excellent cycleways through Surry Hills and Redfern. However, the further we get from the CBD, the more inadequate cycling infrastructure becomes.

“This week our local Greens had an important win. While at 2%[vi] of the Council’s infrastructure budget Marrickville Council’s bike spending is still modest, the increase shows the positive effects of years of sustained campaigning by local residents and the Greens for better cycling infrastructure.

“At the same time, there is only so much that Councils can do in the face of increasing cuts from State and Federal Governments. In the most recent NSW budget the Coalition allocated $60 billion to infrastructure that prioritises motorways and roads, but has failed to commit to funding bikepaths that will lower rates of injury for cyclists and reduce pollution in Sydney.

“The Greens think building better bike paths should be a priority for all levels of Government. We will continue to campaign to ensure that we aren’t condemning our growing community of inner-west cyclists to decades of infrastructure backlogs,” Ms Leong said.

Media contact:          Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

Find out more – visit our local Greens bike campaign page.

END NOTES

[i] Marrickville Bicycle Strategy available to download from the Marrickville Council website at http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/council-plans/bicycle-strategy/ .

[ii] For details of the level of underspend in Marrickville Council’s bike budget see the Answers to Questions on Notice provided put by the Greens to the 18 March 2014 Marrickville Council meeting, at https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/bike-path-questions-2014/

[iii] As above, Answers to Questions on Notice by the Greens. In relation to the cost for Marrickville Council to meet its bike targets, Council staff advised: “The remaining bike route program is estimated at approximately $7,042,000 in 2014 dollars, subject to detailed investigation and design.”

[iv] The commitments outlined in a late Mayoral Minute (Item 21) put to the Council by Mayor Jo Haylen, included that Council would prioritise bike infrastructure projects when seeking grant funding from other tiers of government; and opportunities for new bike paths would be included in the existing $1.35 million per annum ‘Connecting Marrickville’ project, a new program focused on upgrading footpaths and roads.

[v] Based on Census data, reported at page 26 of the ‘Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network – Demand Assessment and Economic Appraisal’ (September 9th 2010), as available to download from http://www.thinkingtransport.org.au/library/2010/09/inner-sydney-regional-bicycle-network-demand-assessment-and-economic-appraisal

[vi] Prior to the increase voted last night, Marrickville Council’s DRAFT annual bike budget was $310,000 pa, out of a total annual Capital Budget of $28,772,363 – or 1%. The increase to $510,000 brings the figure closer to 2%. Figures are outlined in the Marrickville Council Paper for the 24 June 2014 Council meeting – Item 11, Attachment 2, ‘Operating and Capital Budget 2014-5’.

Council twenty years behind on bike paths: only 9% completed

Media 24 June 2014: Tonight Marrickville Council will vote on its 2014/15 budget. The Greens are concerned that without significant increases in funding to build new bike paths the growing community of inner-west cyclists will be condemned to decades of infrastructure backlogs.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “Only $310,000 has been included in the draft 2014-5 Marrickville Council budget for new bike paths. This is only enough money to complete one bike route every year, for the next three years.[i]

“The Greens are calling on Labor and the Liberals to support an increase in our bike path budget to $1 million. The increased funding will help address the years of under-funding, which has led to a short fall of more than $7 million which is now needed for Marrickville Council to build its priority bike paths.[ii]

“Only 9% of the priority bike paths in Council’s Marrickville Bike Strategy 2007-2016[iii] have been completed to date.[iv] At this rate we will not reach our bike paths goal until 2039, more than 20 years later than planned.

“Building bike paths should be core business for local Councils, particularly Marrickville Council. After the City of Sydney, the Marrickville Council area has the largest number of residents who travel to work by bike of any Council area.[v]

“City of Sydney currently spends over 10% of its capital budget on bike paths – Marrickville Council spends only 1%.[vi]  Last year Canada Bay invested more than $1 million,[vii] and in this coming year even Leichhardt Council, which is a smaller Council than Marrickville, has budgeted more for new bike paths.[viii]

“Labor and Liberal Councillors on Marrickville Council need to show local residents whether or not they are genuinely committing to supporting cycling, and to keeping our growing number of cyclists safe.

“Increasing our Marrickville bike budget to $1 million will not only ensure we finally complete long standing black spots like Mary St/ King St/ Wilson St interchange, but means we won’t have to wait years to begin building our sections of the Greenway.[ix] 

Media contact:          Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

Take action! Email the Marrickville Councillors. More on the bike path action page here: https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/bike-budget-2014/

NOTES ON THE FACTS AND FIGURES

 

 

[i] See the Marrickville Council Paper for the 24 June 2014 Council meeting – Item 11, Attachment 10, ‘Marrickville Council Resourcing Strategy – Asset Management Plan TRANSPORTATION’, page 78 – Bicycle Facilities Budget, as available to download at https://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/elected-council/business-papers/ . The budget indicates that Regional bike route 5 (RRO5) will be completed in 2014-5, with funding allocated to complete one further regional route (RR07) in 2015-6 and another (RR12) by 2017-8.

[ii] For details of the level of underspend in Marrickville Council’s bike budget see the Answers to Questions on Notice provided put by the Greens to the 18 March 2014 Marrickville Council meeting. In relation to the cost for Marrickville Council to meet its bike targets, Council staff advised: “The remaining Bike route program is estimated at approximately $7,042,000 in 2014 dollars, subject to detailed investigation and design. …. It is emphasized that these estimates are preliminary and are likely to vary when detailed investigation and designs are undertaken.” A full copy of the Questions and Answers can be found at https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/bike-path-questions-2014/

[iii] Marrickville Bicycle Strategy available to download from the Marrickville Council website at http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/council-plans/bicycle-strategy/ .

[iv] As above, see Answers to Questions on Notice provided to the 18 March 2014 Marrickville Council meeting. At Answer to Question 8 c Council staff advised: “Council has completed approximately 95km of the bike plan, or 9% of the proposed routes”.

[v] Based on Census data, reported at page 26 of the ‘Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network – Demand Assessment and Economic Appraisal’ (September 9th 2010), as available to download from http://www.thinkingtransport.org.au/library/2010/09/inner-sydney-regional-bicycle-network-demand-assessment-and-economic-appraisal

[vi] Marrickville Council’s total annual bike budget is $310,000 pa, out of a total annual Capital Budget of $28,772,363, as outlined in the Marrickville Council Paper for the 24 June 2014 Council meeting – Item 11, Attachment 2, ‘Operating and Capital Budget 2014-5’ (link as above). The City of Sydney has allocated $28.5 million for bike paths next year (see http://www.urbanalyst.com/in-the-news/new-south-wales/2473-city-of-sydneys-draft-2014-15-budget-to-deliver-194bn-infrastructure-program.html ). The City of Sydney Council’s 2014-5 Capital Works expenditure is $245.2M with contingency of $5.0M, as detailed in Council papers at: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/205038/140616_CFPTC_ITEM02.pdf

[vii] See Canada Bay ‘2013-17 Delivery Plan & 2013-14 Operating Plan’ – Snapshot of Council’s 2013-14 which includes $1 million for the Iron Cove Creek Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge project, in addition to the general infrastructure upgrade program, as available to download from http://www.canadabay.nsw.gov.au/operating-plan-and-budget.html

[viii] Based on the draft Leichhardt Council’s draft 2014/5 Budget, to be adopted at the Council’s 24 June 2014 meeting.

[ix][ix] The Greenway is one of the ten Regional Routes – Regional Route 1 – for which Council has not budgeted any spending over the next 3 years. For a copy of the 10 priority Regional Routes see Answers to Questions on Notice (below) and the Marrickville Bicycle Strategy.

Let’s Invest in Bike Paths – Budget 2014

Outside the City of Sydney, more people in Marrickville ride to work than anywhere else in NSW, but our bike infrastructure is sadly falling behind.

Since 2007 Marrickville Council have built just 9% of the bike paths identified in its comprehensive bike plan. The Greens are campaigning to increase Council’s annual investment in bike paths to $1 million.

That is less than 4% of the total capital budget, but it would show a real commitment to cyclists and get us back on track to meet our goals.

Better bike paths are a crucial part of our plan for a sustainable and liveable city. Effective bike infrastructure means cyclists and pedestrians are safer. It reduces travel times, reduces pollution and makes our streets more enjoyable for everyone.

We can make this happen. Investment by the City of Sydney has seen bike use increase dramatically, moving more people than roads at a fraction of the cost. We can do the same. We have a plan, we just need the political will.

That’s where you come in. We don’t have the numbers by ourselves on Council. We will only make this happen if all of us let the Labor and Liberal Councillors know its time to invest in bike paths.

Email your local Councillors to let them know you want a properly funded bike plan, not just empty words. You can find a list of the Councillors for your area here:

https://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/elected-council/councillors/

You can also send an email which will be received by all Marrickville Councillors by using the email address councillors@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

You can register to speak to item 11 at the Council meeting, on Tuesday 24th June 2014 at 6.30pm, at which the Council’s 2014-5 budget will be debated and adopted. Council meetings are held at the Petersham Administration Building, 2-14 Fisher Street, near Petersham Station. You can register by filling in this form:

https://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/elected-council/meetings/apply-to-speak/

Strangely, this item is called the ‘Draft Integrated Planning and Reporting Plans’, rather than the ‘Budget’ in the Council Papers. There is more information here.

And the background document can be downloaded here (the bike path item is on p.78).

And you can see all the budget information in the answers to questions we put on notice earlier in the year. The questions by the Greens reveal that we are meeting only 9% of our bike targets, and that only one bike route will be completed each year, unless we increase our budget.

Together we can make this happen!

For more information about the Greens’ campaigns for better bike paths visit our Bike-Friendly Streets webpage.

COUNCIL FINDS $1 MILLION FOR ARTIFICIAL TURF AND PUTS NEW CHILDCARE CENTRE ON HOLD

Questions on Notice by Greens Councillors have revealed that Council is $1.5 million short of the budget it needs to build a new child care centre in the next financial year, despite the waiting list for childcare growing to nearly 2000.

At the same time, at least $1 million has been allocated to fund artificial turf at Arlington Oval. The Arlington spending is opposed by half of the Marrickville Councillors, but was passed in the draft budget with the support of the ALP and the casting vote of Conservative Mayor Victor Macri.

Greens Councillor Melissa Brooks, whose ward covers Marrickville and Dulwich Hill, said: “The inner-west is in the midst of a massive child-care boom, with a nearly 20% increase in children aged under 2 years in the last 5 years.

“To help address the shortage Marrickville Council committed many years ago to open a new childcare centre for South or West Marrickville. However, the project has been delayed and full funding has not been found, said Clr Brooks.

“A recent major study by Council – the Facilities Need Study – estimated it would cost $2.5 million to build a new early child care centre. With only $1.15 million allocated in the draft 2013-4 the centre won’t be built this coming year.

“Since Council made the commitment to build a new child care centre, the child care crisis has gotten worse.

“Answers to Questions on Notice put by the Greens show that, at the end of April 2013, there were 1,962 children on the early childhood waitlist. More than half of these came from the suburbs of Marrickville and Dulwich Hill.

“Leichhardt Council has found $4 million to build two new childcare centres – and City of Sydney $55 million.

“How is it that the Marrickville ALP and Conservative Mayor Macri can find at least $1 million to install artificial turf for Arlington, but not to fulfil its promise to the parents of Marrickville and Dulwich Hill to build a new child care centre?” said Clr Brooks.

Media contact: Greens Clr Melissa Brooks 0409 235 802

To email your comment on the Draft Marrickville Council Budget email coplan@marrickville.nsw.gov.au . To email the Marrickville Councillors direct email councillors@marrickville.nsw.gov.au. Comments close on 27 May 2013 and the budget is likely to be presented for final adoption at the 18 June 2013 Council meeting (papers available online one week beforehand).

ANSWERS to the Questions on Notice put by the Greens, as tabled at the 21 May 2013 Council Meeting 

MARRICKVILLE COUNCIL CODE OF MEETING PRACTICE – JUNE 2010 Questions may be put to Councillors and Council Employees

Item No: Subject: File Ref:
C0513 Item 25 QUESTION ON NOTICE: CHILDCARE WAITING LISTS 4675/33074.13
From Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore

Answers
1.    What is the current length of time, and number of people/families, on the Council waiting list for child-care?

Early Childhood Wait List
As at the end of April, 2013 there were 1,962 children on the early childhood waitlist. There are 20 new applications received in May that have not yet been entered onto the spreadsheet.

Of the 1,962 children on the wait list:

  • 81.1% or 1,591 are residents of the Marrickville LGA.
  • Of those children; o    1.9% live in Camperdown o    20.3% live in Dulwich Hill o    5.0% live in Enmore o    2.3% live in Lewisham o    34.8% live in Marrickville o    7.9% live in Newtown o    9.9% live in Petersham o    3.6% live in St Peters o    8.4% live in Stanmore o    1.1% live in Sydenham o    4.9% live in Tempe
  • 44.6% are children under the age of 2 years; 21.5% are aged 2 to under 3 years; and 34% are aged 3-5 years.

The length of time a family may wait for the offer of a child care place at an early childhood centre depends on a variety of factors:
•    Council operates a centralised waiting list for all early childhood centres (6 long day care centres and 1 preschool) offering a total of 306 EFT places per week. Offers of places are coordinated through the CFS Operations Administrator based at the CFS office in Petersham Town Hall. Individual centres do not keep a centre-based waiting list or make the offer of child care places. They notify all vacancies to the Operations Administrator as they arise;
•    the demand for child care in Marrickville currently exceeds supply, especially for places for children under 2 years of age. This demand has increased in recent years as a result of the increase in births in Marrickville and the inner west. According to the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the suburb of Marrickville was ranked 18th highest in NSW for the number of births in 2011. A preliminary comparison between the 2006 and 2011census for Marrickville LGA demonstrates a 17% increasein children aged 0-4 yrs since 2006. Council is licensed for a total of 44 places for children under 2 years;

• children on Council’s wait list are offered a place in accordance with the date the wait list application was lodged; places available according to the age of the child, including number of cot places; attendance patterns of vacancies; preferred centres as nominated by parents; the Commonwealth Government Priority of Access (POA) guidelines (for long day care centres); State Government priority groups (for the preschool); and whether siblings of children on the waiting list are already attending a centre (see policy attached);
• in allocating places at a long day care centre, Family Day Care and OSHC, Council must comply with the Commonwealth Priority of Access (POA) guidelines for families to be eligible to access child care benefit fee reductions. These priorities are set by the Commonwealth Government and not by Council. These Guidelines are explained in the attached policy document and detailed below:

Priority of Access Guidelines for Allocating Places in Early Childhood, Family Day Care and OSHC
The Australian Government specifies guidelines for allocating child care places in early learning (long day care) centres, Family Day Care and OSHC centres where there are waiting lists. These guidelines apply to all approved child care services where parents are eligible to receive Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Child Care Rebate (CCR) payments. These guidelines do not apply to the allocation of child care places at Council’s Preschool, where priority is given to children in their year before commencing school (4 year olds). Council’s approved child care services have to abide by these guidelines and inform families about them when they enrol children into care.

Priority for allocating places in child care services:
Priority 1: a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect
Priority 2: a child of a single parent who satisfies, or of parents who both satisfy, the
work/training/study test under Section 14 of the ‘A New Tax System (Family
Assistance) Act 1999’
Priority 3: any other child

Within these main categories, priority should also be given to the following children:
•    children in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families •    children in families which include a disabled person •    children in families which include an individual whose adjusted taxable income
does not exceed the lower income threshold of $39,785 for 2011-2012, or who or whose partner are on income support •    children in families from a non-English speaking background •    children in socially isolated families •    children of single parents

In allocating places at the preschool, vacancies are filled according to date of receipt of the waiting list application; children who will be attending school the following year; siblings; Children and Family Services’ social justice groups, in particular Aboriginal andTorres Strait Islander children; CALD and refugee children; children with additional needs. These priorities are set by the State Government.

Council is frequently referred children who are at risk; have disabilities or challenging behaviours; or are receiving family support through an early intervention program such as Brighter Futures. Offers of places to these children must take into consideration the number of children with high support needs already attending a centre; suitability of the physical environments of centres; and capacity of centres to maintain required staff to child ratios and quality interactions with children without incurring additional costs for additional staff support.

Audit Undertaken of Early Childhood Waiting List Policy and Procedure
The Early Childhood Waiting List policy and procedure was recently audited through the SSROC appointed auditor. The auditor assessed all of the current procedures and systems used to manage the waiting list and allocate child care places, including assessment of a number of randomly selected families. The Manager, Governance and Risk recently completed a six month check of the allocation of places to families selected randomly from the wait list.

Outside School Hours Care Wait List
As at 7 May, 2013 there were 179 children on the wait list for before and / or after school care places. Of those children: 43.5% are on the wait list for Wilkins OSHC; 40% are on the wait list for Stanmore OSHC; and 13.4% are on the wait list for Ferncourt OSHC.

At the commencement of the 2013 school year, many children on the wait list could not be offered a place at Wilkins or Stanmore OSHC centres. Other private / community providers are providing some care for these children. However, many of these families have asked to remain on Council’s wait list as their preference is to obtain a place at Council’s OSHC centre/s. The majority of places are offered towards the end of the school year for commencement in the following calendar year.

Family Day Care Wait List
There are currently 320 children on the waitlist. January 2014 is the period when most vacancies occur and places may be offered as children move on to centres or school. Currently there are 38 children on the wait list who require care now and the waiting time for those families would be 6 – 12 months. Waiting times are affected by the number of educators available to provide care. Under the National Regulations, from 1 January, 2014 the maximum number of children that an educator may have in care reduces from 5 to 4 children. This will impact on waiting periods which will increase as a result of the reduction in available places.

2.    What plans are currently underway to expand the number of Council run child-care places in the coming financial year and beyond?

Council initiated the ‘New Children’s Centre Marrickville South’ Major Project in response to the identified need for increased child care services within the Marrickville South area documented through research conducted in 2001 and in the 2006 report ‘Childcare Needs in Marrickville’.

Council planned to construct a multipurpose children’s facility at Marrickville West Public School as part of its suite of Major Projects. The Regional Director of the Sydney Region of the NSW Department of Education and Training (now Education and Communities) signed a letter in 2009 providing in principle agreement for a 20 year lease on accommodation required at Marrickville West Public School to establish an early learning and care centre.

Recently the Principal of the Marrickville West Public School has verbally advised the Mayor / some Councillors that her school numbers have increased and she no longer will have the accommodation available for such a centre to be located at the school.

There are currently no plans to expand the number of Council operated early childhood centres or places in the 2013/14 financial year. The number of places that may be offered is constrained by the size of indoor and outdoor spaces in current centres and the regulatory requirements set out in the National Law and Regulations in relation to building requirements and staffing ratios.

The Community Facilities Needs Research – Strategic Directions for Marrickville report completed in June 2012 and considered by Council at its meeting on 16 April 2013 (C0413, Item 7) recommended that an additional child care centre of 47 places be funded under the S94 Contributions Plan (p. 20 of the report). This centre was to be in addition to any that Council own or are in the process of establishing at the time of this report, including the Marrickville West Child Care Centre currently identified as a Major Project. Options identified in the proposed for the location of this centre included:

  • co-location with community centre on Seaview St site at Dulwich Hill
  • vacant properties
  • new facilities on Council owned parkland

3.    Does Council have plans to construct a new Council run child-care centre? If yes, what are the details of these plans, estimated timeframe and budget allocation?

See response to question 2 above. In relation to budget allocations and phasing, the Finance Manager advises that an amount of $1,199,586 was included in the 2012/13 capital budget for the Marrickville West child care centre. An amount of $1,150,000 was re-phased into the 2013/14 capital budget, leaving an amount of $49,586 in the current budget.

4. How many new or expanded child-care centres has the Council approved in the last 12 months? What are their locations, and are these profit or not–for-profit operated?

The Manager, Development Assessment has advised that:
Approvals in the last 12 months – all private applications but difficult to be absolutely certain who will ultimately run them if/when they do open.

DA 201200020, 18-20 Holbeach Avenue, Tempe, 90 children **
DA201200280, 1/1 Hordern Place, Camperdown, 80 children ***
DA201200171, 396 Marrickville Road, Marrickville, 44 children ***
DA201200184, 1 Denison Street, Camperdown, 70 children ***
DA200800384, 159 Livingstone Road, Marrickville, increase from 42 to 46 chn

*** Not operating yet

5.    Does Council have any particular programs or policies to encourage the growth of not-for- profit childcare centres in Marrickville (not including Council run child-care)?
No.

A full copy of the Answers to the Questions on Notice, including the Policy for Waiting List Management, is available in the Marrickville Council Business Papers for 21 May 2013, as available to download from http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au under ‘Your Council’, ‘Council Meetings and Business Papers’ and ‘Business Paper Archives’.

WESTCONNEX $23 Million Black Hole in Council’s Budget

The WestConnex Motorway is expected to create a black hole in Marrickville Council’s budget of at least $23 million over the next ten years, the Greens have revealed today.“Council owns two industrial sites at Tempe which it leases to commercial tenants. In it’s 10 year financial plan Council has acknowledged that these properties are at risk of being acquired by the State Government as they are situated in a current road reserve” noted Greens Councillor David Leary.

“These properties currently contribute roughly $2.3 million in rental income to council’s budget each year and these properties are at risk of acquisition if WestConnex goes ahead” Greens Councillor David Leary revealed today.

“If you add that up over the Councils next ten year financial planning cycle this could represent in excess of $23 million lost income for council” commented Councillor Leary.

“Would Mayor Macri and the Labor-Liberal alliance increase rates or cuts services to make up this funding shortfall? These are questions they need to answer if they are not going to join the community in opposing WestConnex” explained Councillor Leary

“Marrickville Council will debate a motion initiated by its Cooks River Advisory Committee this Tuesday which calls on it to oppose WestConnex. The revelation of this black hole in council’s finances adds to the growing list of reasons why WestConnex should be opposed outright by Council” said Councillor Leary.

Media contact: Clr David Leary 0409 421 323

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