Summary: Council meeting 23 November 2022

Published on 24 November 2022

What happens at a Council meeting?

Elected representatives of the community, Councillors, come together to represent the views of the community and make strategic decisions on behalf of the community.

They are responsible for ensuring the Council operates in accordance with legislation, is financially responsible and delivering to the needs of the community within the means of the budget.

They meet regularly to make determinations on matters that impact on you and your community.

Following each meeting we provide a snapshot of the decisions that are made and the information that is tabled.

For a full outline of the meeting and the discussion points, please refer to the agenda and business papers, or listen to a recording of the meeting – that can be found here.

Items of interest - 23 November 2022 Council meeting

For full details of all reports please see the agenda for the meeting which can be found here.

Decisions of interest 


Development application to establish Taree Universities Campus at former Council office approved

A development application to change the use of the former Council office in Pulteney Street Taree from ‘public administration’ to ‘community facility’ was approved.

This approval will allow the Taree Universities Campus to convert the building for their use.

Internal alterations and additions will be undertaken to make the building fit for purpose. The building will allow the Taree Universities Campus to offer a space for students to utilise to study in a local, centralised area.

Financial statements and auditors reports for 2021-22

The financial statements and auditors reports for the 2021-22 financial year were presented to the elected Council as required under the Local Government Act.

The statements were lodged with the Office of Local Government by 31 October as required and the NSW Audit Office congratulated Council in a special presentation as part of the meeting for achieving all six of the Office of Local Government’s benchmarks.  

Annual report for 2021-22

Councillors endorsed the annual report for 2021-22. This report, which is required as part of the Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework, as legislated in the Local Government Act 1993.

The annual report is one of the key points of accountability between a Council and the community. It provides an overview of the activities and achievements of Council in providing services and projects to the community during the last financial year.

Alcohol free zones

Alcohol Free Zones and Alcohol Prohibited Areas have been re-established in eight areas across the region for the next four years.

These are implemented in accordance with the Local Government Act and used to help police and Council rangers enforce inappropriate behaviour across the region.

These have been re-established in consultation with the Police, Liquor Accords, community, Councillors and staff to ensure that they are established in appropriate areas with the aim of increasing public safety.

The existing times for the alcohol prohibited areas in Forster and Tuncurry have been extended to 24 hours for Australia Day 2023 at the request of Police.

Manning River Estuary Coastal Management Program

The Manning River Estuary Coastal Management Program has been certified and gazetted and will now move into implementation.

This CMP includes 32 actions to manage the estuary over a 10-year term as required by the Coastal Management Act. The top priority actions are:

  • Engaging our community to promote understanding and commitment to stewardship of the estuary
  • Implementing key priority acid sulfate soil management actions from the draft Manning River Floodplain Prioritisation Study 2021
  • Supporting landholders and land managers to implement regenerative practices that contribute to improved estuarine health
  • Protecting and rehabilitating coastal wetlands
  • Improving the condition and extent of riparian and estuarine shoreline vegetation.

Funding proposals for grant applications seeking $2.3 million of funding to start implementation are being assessed.


Southern Estuaries Coastal Management Program


The preparation of a coastal management program for the Southern Estuaries is continuing following the noting of a scoping study provided to the elected Councillors.

The scoping study determines the purpose of the program and the key outcomes it is intended to deliver.

The program aims to protect and improve the ecological health of the southern estuaries – the Wallis, Myall and Smiths Lakes, Karuah River, Black Head Lagoon and North Arm Cove, Khappinghat and Kore Kore Creeks.

A community engagement strategy for stages two to five of the project was also endorsed.


Bight Cemetery repair program update


A report was presented on the restoration works underway at The Bight Cemetery Wingham. Since October 2021 Council has been working with the lawful interment right holders and registered parties/impacted families to undertake repairs on damaged monuments.

Council has also been working with the Board of Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW since this time to allow multiple interment right holders at the cemetery.

Currently 47 of the 68 damaged monuments have been repaired, stonemasons have been engaged to repair a further 10, and 11 are awaiting scope of works and quotes from stonemasons.  Council staff will continue to work with families to finalise the repairs.