Theme 2: Sustainable, Liveable Environments

Council continues to deliver projects that help bring our towns and villages to life, activate and improve our waterways and protect and showcase our unique natural environment. Community satisfaction of sealed roads has stabilised, and the backlog of maintenance works continues to fall.

A focus on improving Development Applications approval times has resulted in the creation of a special unit within Development to handle the large number of minor DA submissions.

Roads and transport infrastructure continue to maintain a high level of importance for Council. A large number of projects have been completed or substantial progress madeduring the past year.

Measures

Description

2016/17

2017/18

Comment

Community perception of sealed road condition (rating out of 5 – community survey)

2.4

2.4

Stable, despite spending more on road maintenance

Total length of pathways (council records)

232.03

241.82

4% increase on path length

Infrastructure backlog as a percentage of total infrastructure assets (audited results)

5.06

4.30

Backlog of maintenance works continues to fall

Community satisfaction with strategic planning within Shoalhaven (rating out of 5 - community survey)

2.8

2.8

No significant change

Percentage of community who had knowledge of a strategic planning document (community survey)

16

8

Limited number of engagements over the past 12 months

Percentage of Development Applications determined within 40 days (council records - %)

76

71

Slight reduction on last year’s result

Community satisfaction with environmental protection and enforcement (rating out of 5 – community survey)

3.1

3.2

No significant change

Sustainable management of Shoalhaven’s natural environment (rating out of 5 – community survey)

3.5

3.4

No significant change

Achievements

The following list provides highlights of the works and services undertaken over the past twelve months to 30 June 2018.

  • The Economic Development Office continues to be an active member of SEATS (South East Australian Transport Strategy) and uses this and other forums to lobby for improved connections in and out of the Shoalhaven, such as the construction of the South Nowra Freight Corridor (Flinders Rd) and the successful Blackspot funding through Roads to Recovery
  • Council committed to road and transport infrastructure improvements:
    • Completion of 36 km of road sealing
    • Bridge repairs to Crookhaven River Bridge (Archgate Bridge), Jane Street Overpass, Koloona Drive and Bundewallah Road Bridges
    • Culvert upgrade on Bolong Road
    • Ulladulla Harbour Car park
    • Flinders and Albatross Road Roundabouts
    • Coolangatta Rd and Gerroa Rd repairs
    • Upgrade Bolong Road and Meroo Street Intersection
    • Worrowing Heights and Moona Moona Creek Bridge works
    • Road surface repair at Albatross Road
    • Greenwell Point Road Pyree

Spend on renewing community assets including roads is increasing. Council’s commitment to improving these assets is paying off with our assets now in much better shape.

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  • Improvements to access and pathways throughout the City including:
    • Raised pedestrian crossings at Cambewarra, Nowra, Callala Bay, Tomerong and Ulladulla
  • Better boating improvements with three new boating facilities in Huskisson and Woollamia opened
  • Revitalisation of the Jacobs Drive, Sussex Inlet Streetscape including new trees, new benches and new bins installed along Jacobs Drive. The revitalising of the main street will see many long-term benefits for both business owners and the community who visit this vibrant community precinct.
  • Roll out of yellow line-markings to designate no stopping zones, to provide improved safety and painted yellow lines are more durable, easier to maintain and have less impact on the visual appearance of an area than road signs.

There has been a large jump in the number of kerb ramps built across the Shoalhaven in the past two years as well as a significant increase in the number of pedestrian safety facilities.

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Council’s planning and development functions have continued to provide service to the community during times of record growth in Shoalhaven, key achievements include:

  • Additional staff have been appointed to Team 21 to reduce the overall assessment times for minor DA’s.  Staff have been trained in the systems and development assessment requirements (i.e. LEP and DCP)
  • Progress is starting to be made with 452 applications received for the period and 79.2% of these were determined within 40 days.  The median is 10 days and the average is 37 days. 
  • Briefed the building & development industry with a view to establishing a collaborative framework to enhance sustainable Development
  • Commenced review of the Growth Management Strategy for Shoalhaven
  • Continuing work on the Halloran Trust Planning Proposal that covers a substantial area at Culburra Beach/Kinghorn Point/Callala Beach
  • Exhibition of the Nowra Riverfront Entertainment and Leisure precinct planning controls 
  • Promotion and education of responsible short-term rental management
  • Engagement on the Nowra CBD fringe medium density study
  • Community engagement, finalisation and submission of the Coastal Zone Management Plan
  • Ongoing updates and changes to documentation and processes resulting from the recent changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act
  • Continuation of the Reclaimed Effluent Management 1B project to enable the supply of reclaimed water from the Bomaderry Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Nowra Wastewater Treatment Plant and REMS irrigation areas

Council continues to undertake activities and projects that aim to protect and showcase Shoalhaven’s natural environment. Some of these included:

  • Currarong Erosion Remediation Project designed, including: sand nourishment; geotextile groyne; and beach access at Warrain Beach protecting the road and private properties on Warrain Crescent
  • Design prepared for rock protection at Beecroft Parade to protect aboriginal middens and private properties
  • Cost Benefit Analysis developed for the replacement/ upgrade of shoreline protection assets at South Mollymook Beach
  • Records made of all Shoreline Protection assets in Council’s Asset database system (Conquest) and GIS system
  • Refocussing of priorities has delivered measurable improvements by reduction of the incidence, density and abundance of weedy species in key areas 
  • The concept of the General Biosecurity Duty (s. 22 - Biosecurity Act 2015) applying to all plants provides mechanisms for managing the most harmful species for the benefit of the community in the areas of agricultural production, human health and the environment
  • Environmental Assessment Officer engaged in the Youth Frontiers mentoring Program with Vincentia High School
  • Threatened species day school art competition incorporating environmental education related to the ecology of threatened species. Increase in Schools participating this year with 11 schools out of 29 entering the competition.
  • Managed 245 beach access ways; completed more than $250,000 coastal restoration works; and completed more than 2000 water quality tests on our lakes and estuaries and continued with real time monitoring of the Shoalhaven River and Broughton Creek
  • Completed the grant funded Acid Sulphate Soil (ASS) remediation demonstration site at Berrys Bay on the lower Shoalhaven River estuary
  • Bushcare Groups contributed 2,430 volunteer hours to the restoration of natural areas. Total financial contribution of $72,900. Council provided 832 hours of on-site bush regeneration assistance to 32 Bushcare Groups
  • Upgrade carried out on 3km of Callala Wetland Walkway and installation of walking track signage
  • Works undertaken to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage items at Kinghorn Point
  • Council’s Compliance team have reviewed their processes and procedures and updated templates to streamline their business operations. The team received 498 requests in the period, investigations have commenced
  • A total of 224 swimming pools have been inspected; 68 new fire safety audits have been completed and 623 annual fire safety statements have been processed. A total of 78 penalties have been issued totalling $280,430 in revenue
  • Shoulder vegetation repairs along Bolong Road
  • NBN works are being reviewed by staff when heritage items are involved
  • Launch of a feasibility study to support the development of a Solar Garden in the Shoalhaven
  • Court Action on vegetation vandalism was successful with a contractor receiving a $75,600 fine for lopping 29 trees
  • Shoalhaven River Levee Flood damage restoration Project commenced
  • Ongoing waste campaign including our own “Waste Warrior”, this education campaign aims to encourage residents to understand ways in which to reduce their waste output and tips for reuse and recycling. Sustainability and worm farming workshops where also held.

The new facilities at South Nowra and on-going waste reduction campaigns will help to increase the amount of waste being diverted from landfill.

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  • Callala Creek Wetland Walk. The project was funded primarily through NSW Local Land Services under the ‘Realising the Potential of Wetlands’ grant funding program, with support through Shoalhaven City Council’s Bushcare program. The wetland walk at Callala Creek has cost a little over $40,000 but would have cost well over $100,000 if the volunteers had not provided their labour.
  • Local beaches monitored by the Beachwatch program have been assessed with the highest rating achievable as at 8 January 2018. The Beachwatch program was established in 1989 and provides reliable information on beach water quality to enable people to make informed decisions about where and when to swim.

Over the past eight years there has been a positive trend in the percentage of targets being met.

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