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GM’s performance 'above satisfactory'

Friday, 28th February, 2020

City Council’s GM James Roncon. City Council’s GM James Roncon.

General Manager James Roncon’s performance in the last 12 months has been deemed ‘above satisfactory’ by City Council.

Mr Roncon’s performance was reviewed during the confidential matters at the Council meeting on Wednesday.

Councillors voted to give him a salary increase of 1.5 per cent, which was backdated to April 4, 2019.

Mr Roncon said after the meeting that he thanked Council for their ongoing support and trust.

“I’ve been here now for nearly four years and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time and will continue to enjoy my time.

“Part of the process is I get reviewed annually, sometimes twice.

“The fact that they think I’m doing a good job, I’m grateful and humbled by.”


Public Works to manage projects

At Wednesday night’s Council meeting, it was revealed that a Public Works Advisory has been engaged at a cost of $517,200 to manage a range of projects over 18 months, including airport fencing, airport lighting replacement, Sturt Park children’s play equipment replacement, and an air-conditioning upgrade program across six council buildings.

General Manager James Roncon said they awarded a tender for some extra expertise.

“It was a tender that has gone out, we were looking at bringing in some project management expertise,” he said.

“We’ve got a huge public works program on at the moment; we’re really conscious of wanting to be able to deliver on that.

“It’s really important that if we’re going to do that in a timely fashion, we get a bit of extra resources that allow us to do that.

“One of those projects is a $5m roof replacement that is underway at the moment; as a result of the hail damage during the November 2016 storm.

“So there is a huge works project on the go.”


Watering suggestion may
harm trees

Councillor Tom Kennedy requested council implement a tree watering program in which holes would be dug at the base of trees and poly pipe inserted to allow water to better reach trees’ roots.

The report noted that the pipe could actually make tree roots more susceptible to pests and disease. Council voted against inserting pipes at tree bases, but committed to saving the city’s trees.  

Council is currently undertaking tree watering runs every other day, targeting young and weak trees, and undertaking maintenance of watering bays around the base of trees to better trap water.


Menindee Lakes support

Councillor Kennedy requested that Council write to Local Member Roy Butler to voice support for the retention of the Imperial Lakes. The motion was passed.


Cultural precinct update

Council was provided with an update on the Cultural Precinct and Library & Archive project, with the most significant milestone  being the lodgement of the project’s Development Application (DA).

The DA is currently being independently assessed and is on exhibition until March 4, 2020.

Following this period it will be lodged with the Western Regional Planning Panel for determination.

Council has committed $6m to the project and Council is working with the BHP Billiton Foundation (BHPBF) to have the remaining funds formally committed to the project. This project also includes a wayfinding component and Council has been successful in securing $1m from the Far West Joint Organisation Tourism Fund for city-wide wayfinding, which includes the Cultural Precinct.


Companion Animal Management Plan amended

Council’s Companion Animal Management Plan (CAMP) was adopted after being on public display for 28 days. The CAMP aims to ensure the needs of animals and their owners are met harmoniously, and encourage responsible pet ownership. The CAMP was amended to include actions to seek government funding for free cat desexing after submissions and a petition were lodged outlining locals’ concerns around cat numbers in the city.


Asset plans deferred

Council deferred adoption of the new Asset Management Policy, Asset Management Strategy, and Benchmarks For Building Assets Rationalisation for one month.

The documents will allow better management of Council assets such as buildings, roads, parks, ovals, and footpaths.

The plans will also allow Council to take a pragmatic approach to assets, allowing maintenance of a smaller pool of items to a higher standard, rather than continuing to struggle physically and financially with a large asset base.


Better risk management

Council adopted a new Enterprise Risk Management Policy. The draft policy aims to provide a consistent, structured and holistic approach to risk management across all areas of Council’s operations.


Council to review DCP

Council will look to review its Development Control Plan (DCP) in the coming months. A DCP provides detailed planning and design guidelines to support the planning controls in the Local Environmental Plan.


Parking changes

The minutes of the Local Traffic Committee were tabled, with additional accessibility provisions and parking to be added at the Demo Club and BH Regional Aquatic Centre.

A speed bump will be installed in Iodide Lane, and 15 parking spaces in Crystal Street will be changed to four-hour zones.

There will also be a two-month trial allowing taxis to parallel park at the front of the Theatre Royal Hotel between 9pm and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.


Airport fencing tender awarded

Sunset Group Australia were awarded a $525,313 tender to replace the airport perimeter fence.


Waste fee set for major

Councillors agreed to accept restricted solid waste from a proposed major development at $60 per tonne.

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