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                    [post_content] => 

 

Cumberland Council will press ahead with a controversial plan to outsource kerbside waste and recycling before September’s local government elections.

The Western Sydney suburbs council, born out of a forced merger between Holroyd and Auburn Councils and part of Parramatta in May 2016, has put the council’s waste and recycling services out to tender with a deadline of May 26.

Up for grabs are services include kerbside garbage; recyclables; organics and garden waste; council clean ups and picking up dumped rubbish and this covers around  70,000 housesholds.

This translates annually into dealing with around 60,000 tonnes of garbage; 14,000 tonnes of recycling and 5,500 tonnes of organic and green waste, as well as two to four council clean ups a year and collecting dumped rubbish within 24 hours of it being reported.

Government News understands that new contractors could take over from as early as August. They will manage the transition to a new service and begin a four-year contract from January 2019 with the option to extend this by three years.

Council Administrator Viv May commissioned reviews into council services, including garbage collection and council swimming pools, after taking over last year.

The waste review, written by council officers, showed a marked preference towards outsourcing services to the private sector and argued that the council could cut its costs by 20 per cent through bigger contracts and reduced operating costs.

Most of the council’s waste and recycling services are currently delivered by council garbos, apart from waste services in Woodville Ward, which used to come under Parramatta Council, and the recyclables collection in the former Holroyd Council area.

Mr May has copped flak from former Holroyd Mayor Greg Cummings, as well as resistance from the United Services Union (USU), which represents local government workers in NSW.

Mr Cummings said Mr May was ‘overstepping his responsibilities’ and driving changes through before the council went into caretaker mode in early August.

“This is done at break-neck speed to make sure it’s done before an elected council can review it,” Mr Cummings said.

“By all means collect the information and get a report but it should be there ready for the democratically elected council to review.”

Mr Cummings said Mr May was known to be an enthusiastic advocate of outsourcing and had a track record in that area.

Mr May spent 27 years as Mosman Council’s General Manager where he outsourced the council’s  outdoor work and reduced council employed outdoor workers from more than 100 to six.

Mr Cummings also criticised the council for omitting diversion to landfill in the tender. He said that the former Holroyd Council had managed to divert 62 per cent of green waste from landfill using UR-3R alternative waste treatment plant in Eastern Creek.

But Cumberland Council’s Group Manager, Roads and Waste Peter Fitzgerald defended the decision to go out to competitive tender.

He said the council’s review estimated it would yield more than $16 million in savings and ensure a more consistent service. It would also finally give Woodville ward residents a green waste bin so they would no longer have to trek to the council’s depot.

“Given that the existing contract for waste services in the Woodville ward expires in November this year council could not wait any longer to make a decision about the provision of waste services,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“Council must provide a consistent service to all residents irrespective of which part of the council area they live in.”

He said around 34 council staff would be affected by decision.

“All affected council staff have been assured that if they want a job with council they will still have a job with council, regardless of the decision to call tenders for these services,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

Mr May told Government News in October last year that Administrators had the same powers as mayors and councillors and would make decisions accordingly. 

The USU is not convinced and has come out against the outsourcing plans, arguing that service levels will drop and rates will rise. It led a public rally against Cumberland Council outsourcing in February.

The USU website says of the tender: “We all know that private waste collection companies don’t care about ratepayers or the local community, they only care about one thin: delivering profit margins to their shareholders.

“The contractors won’t have time to do missed services or go the extra mile by taking your bin in if you can’t. Yes, that’s what the hard working council garbos do for the community.”

But disentangling the legacy of three different councils’ waste and recycling services will not be easy.

The council will have to pay out staff redundancies and long service leave along with paying penalties on any contracts which are terminated early, some of which do not expire until 2020.

The United Services Union has been contacted for comment.

More to follow.
                    [post_title] => Merged NSW council outsources rubbish and recycling before councillors elected
                    [post_excerpt] => Union and ex-mayor enter fray.
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SafeWork NSW is waiving the five-day asbestos removal work notification period to allow immediate clean-up of asbestos debris from storm-damaged properties in north east NSW.Property owners in the Ballina, Byron Shire, Kyogle, Lismore and Tweed local government areas will have their assessments fast-tracked to ensure asbestos-containing material can be removed as quickly as possible. SafeWork NSW executive director, Peter Dunphy, urged residents to seek information on the potential risks of being exposed to asbestos and how to manage it safely when cleaning up after a storm or flood. “Flood-affected homes may contain asbestos materials which need to be safely managed and removed so that the health of the community is protected,” Dunphy said. “As the State Emergency Service assesses the damage and residents begin to clean-up or repair properties, we want them to be aware of the dangers.
  Read more here. This story first appeared in INCLEAN Magazine.  [post_title] => SafeWork NSW fast tracks asbestos assessments on flood damage [post_excerpt] => Managing the clean up. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => safework-nsw-fast-tracks-asbestos-assessments-flood-damage [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-02 15:14:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-02 05:14:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26935 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26910 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-04-18 11:03:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-18 01:03:25 [post_content] =>   Local Government Excellence Awards Local Government Professionals NSW revealed the winners of its Oscars for local councils earlier this month. Full list below.  President LG Professionals, NSW Barry Smith said the awards recognised and showcased the pinnacle of excellence in the local government sector in NSW and significant achievements by NSW councils over the past year as well as the outstanding professional development achievements of our members. “Local government works hard for the communities in New South Wales, and we were thrilled that the Deputy Premier and Local Government Minister joined us in acknowledging the sector’s professionalism and dedication," Mr Smith said.   

Excellence in Innovative Leadership and Management

Recognising the use of superior management and leadership skills to achieve outstanding benefits for the organisation and/or for the community.   Winner: Tweed Shire Council Highly Commended: Lachlan Shire Council, City of Ryde Council Community Partnerships and Collaboration Recognising genuine and effective partnerships and collaborations that have resulted in better outcomes for council, as well as initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to working with and/or in the community to achieve positive outcomes.   Population over 15,000 Winner: Port Stephens Council Highly Commended: Blacktown City Council, Lake Macquarie City Council   Population under 15,000 Winner: Warrumbungle Shire Council Excellence in Local Economic Contribution Recognising innovation in leadership and management for a project/initiative that has enhanced the economic wellbeing of their local government area and increased the value proposition to ratepayers and residents, in parts or all, of their city, town, district or region.   Winner: Liverpool City Council Highly Commended: Lake Macquarie City Council Excellence in Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Recognising dedication to sustainability as evidenced by the implementation of corporate process improvements, projects or initiatives that demonstrate significant real or potential benefit to the environment.   Population over 100,000 Winner: Campbelltown City Council Highly Commended: Canterbury-Bankstown Council, Central Coast Council   Population under 100,000 Winner: City of Canada Bay Council Highly Commended: Byron Shire Council  

Special Project Initiative

Recognising leadership where an individual, team or council has developed a concept or practice that significantly improves the business in which they work, development of processes or practices that has had a major impact on the organisation or its customers. Population over 15,000 Winner: Lake Macquarie City Council Highly Commended: Central Coast Council, North Sydney Council   Population under 15,000 Winner: Hunter’s Hill Council  

Excellence in Community Development and Services

Recognising leadership in community services as evidenced by way of corporate process improvements, a particular project initiative, innovation in management and leadership practices or demonstrated practicality and resourcefulness. Winner: Canterbury-Bankstown Council Highly Commended: Cumberland Council

Excellence in Asset Management and Infrastructure Initiatives

Recognising excellence in Asset Management as evidenced by the implementation of corporate process improvements, projects or initiatives that demonstrate significant real or potential benefit in asset management. Winner: Campbelltown City Council Highly Commended: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Wentworth Shire council

Excellence in Risk Management

Recognising the community and/or Council benefits (strategic, operational or financial) delivered through the identification, control and mitigation of risks within a council’s unique risk profile. Winner: Wollongong City Council Highly Commended: City of Canada Bay Council

Excellence in Creative Communities

Recognising excellence in bring together communities through art and cultural creative projects. Population over 15,000 Winner: Campbelltown City Council Highly Commended: Bega Valley Shire Council, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council   Population under 15,000 Winner: Narrabri Shire Council  

Excellence in Operational and Management Effectiveness

The Excellence in Operational and Management Effectiveness Award is open to all NSW councils who have participated in the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program. Winner: Willoughby City Council Dux of the Governance Intensive Course The Governance in Local Government Intensive Course has been developed to enhance the governance knowledge and skills of professionals working in the local government sector. Dux: Christine Priest, Wagga Wagga City Council Dux of the Finance Intensive Course Covering all aspects of local government finance this one week intensive residential course will benefit new finance managers, senior accounting and accounting officers or anyone with a financial background wishing to expand their knowledge of local government finance. Dux: Tracy Wilde, Sutherland Shire Council     NSW Environmental Excellence Awards Nominations are open for the NSW Environmental Excellence Awards, which celebrate councils and council staff who have done outstanding environmental work in the state. Local Government NSW President Keith Rhoades said local government was the closest level of government to communities and had the most direct influence on local environments. "But what is often forgotten is that local government is one of the biggest sectors in the NSW economy,” Mr Rhoades said. "Councils are responsible for maintaining and upgrading $142 billion in infrastructure and land assets, including parks, reserves, roads, community facilities and water and sewerage systems. He said the sector employed more than 50,000 people and injected $11 billion into the state's economy every year. "Combine that economic power with a commitment to environmental sustainability and best practice, and you have a sector making a very real contribution to the environment in NSW." There are 15 award categories, including the prestigious Local Sustainability Award for overall council performance and the Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability awarded to an individual. They will be announced on October 11 at the University of Technology Sydney and they cover projects and programs from January 2016 to May 2017. The prize for overall winner of the Local Sustainability Award is an overseas study tour or a professional development program for staff, valued at $10,000.  Individual councils, county councils and regional council groupings are all eligible to enter, and compete against similarly sized councils in one of three levels: populations of less than 30,000; between 30,000 and 70,000; and more than 70,000.  Nomination applications close on 31 May, with further details available on LGNSW's website National Reconciliation Week funding Councils have until the end of this week to apply for federal government funding to support celebrations for National Reconciliation Week, which runs from May 27 to June 3. Celebrations are particularly poignant this year with the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Mabo High Court decision. The funding round closes on Friday 21 April 2017. President of the Australian Local Government Association, David O’Loughlin said councils can use the funding to partner with a local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community organisation to mark these two historic events through activities that honour and respect their significance to all Australians. “It is a great compliment to the sector that the Turnbull Government has chosen local councils as partners in celebrating this national milestone,” Mr O’Loughlin said. “I would hate to see any council miss out so I urge all councils to submit applications for this funding via the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.” Bill Shorten to address local councils Labor leader Bill Shorten will address this year’s National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) on Tuesday 20 June in Canberra. This week, the Opposition came out in support of ALGA’s call to end the freeze on Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) indexation agreeing that local government funding has been under pressure following the 2014-15 freeze. The party called on the Government to rule out any extension of the FAGs indexation freeze beyond 30 June 2017.   The NGA is the peak annual event for local government, attracting in excess of 800 Mayors and Councillors each year. Themed Building Tomorrow’s Communities, this year’s NGA will be held from 18 - 21 June. [post_title] => Around the councils [post_excerpt] => Full list of NSW Local Government Excellence Award winners. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => around-the-councils [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-18 14:07:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-18 04:07:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26910 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26574 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-03-20 11:50:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-20 00:50:31 [post_content] =>   The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fitted GPS trackers onto vehicles suspected of illegally dumping building and demolition waste, including asbestos. NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the trackers were fitted after a covert EPA investigation into illegal dumping last year. The trackers are fitted on a 12-month trial basis - with the owners’ knowledge - and it is illegal for drivers or owners to remove or tamper with them. If the trucks are transporting waste lawfully after this time the EPA has said it will consider removing the GPS devices. Ms Upton said the GPS system enabled the EPA to track the vehicles’ movements, alerting the authority if trucks travelled near known illegal dumping hotspots. “The NSW government is serious about cracking down on illegal dumpers – trial results show the trackers fitted to vehicles has deterred illegal activity and won’t just deter those being watched but others who think they can get away with dumping on our communities and environment,” Ms Upton said. She said the EPA would consider using tracking devices to monitor other vehicles accused of transporting or dumping waste unlawfully once the trial was complete. An EPA spokesperson said that preliminary results showed the trial had acted as a deterrent to illegal dumping, resulting in waste being transported and disposed of at lawful facilities. Local councils count the cost The scourge of illegal dumping is a huge problem for NSW and also for local councils, who are often saddled with the clean-up. Illegal dumping can be a health hazard, contaminating public land and waterways and poisoning wildlife. Dumping can also hinder roadworks and bushfire protection and block emergency access during a fire. An EPA spokesperson said that cleaning up illegally dumped material was a significant cost for local communities, councils and public land managers. She said that data showed that one in 10 LGAs spent $500,000 or more on education, enforcement, clean-up and other illegal-dumping activities each year.  A 2004 EPA survey found that construction and demolition waste made up about 12 per cent of waste illegally dumped in NSW and this is just waste the councils deal with.     The NSW government introduced tougher laws in 2014, including the power to install trackers onto vehicles and the ability to seize vehicles used in dumping offences. The fines for flouting the rules are steep. The EPA can issue on the spot fines of up to $15,000 for corporations and $7500 for individuals. If the case goes to court, a judge can impose a maximum penalty of $1 million and/or seven years prion imprisonment if an offence is committed wilfully. Illegal dumping incidents can be reported by calling the Environment Line on 131 555 or through the RID online reporting portal at ridonline.epa.nsw.gov.au   Want the latest public sector news delivered straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up the Government News newsletter. [post_title] => GPS trackers fitted to vehicles that dump illegally [post_excerpt] => Environment Protection Agency gets tough. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => gps-trackers-fitted-trucks-dump-illegally [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-19 10:45:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-19 00:45:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26574 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26273 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-02-17 11:09:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-17 00:09:19 [post_content] =>       The NSW Container Deposit scheme (CDS) will be delayed by five months to give local councils and industry and environment groups longer to prepare. NSW Environment and Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton said the CDS would be rolled out from December 1, 2017 rather than from July, as originally planned. It also means the cash for cans program will have broader coverage across the state and take in more rural and regional areas. Ms Upton said groups such as Clean Up Australia and the Boomerang Alliance, as well as drinks industry stakeholders had asked for an extension. “This will be the biggest initiative to tackle litter in the state’s history – stakeholder feedback is vital to get the scheme right,” Ms Upton said. Under the scheme, NSW residents can return most empty drink containers between 150 ml and three litres to collection points in return for a 10-cent refund. The aim is to significantly reduce the estimated 160 million drink containers littered every year and ease the burden on local councils.   Local Government NSW President Keith Rhoades called it ‘an eminently sensible decision’. "Councils spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year picking up litter, and would much prefer to be investing this money in other community services,” Mr Rhoades said.  "The scheme has the potential to cut litter in NSW by up to 43 per cent, but the complexity of the collection and refund processes required have become increasingly clear.” He said the five-month extension would make it easier to ensure the supporting infrastructure and resources were in place before the scheme began, as well as rolling it out to other local government areas. Boomerang Alliance Director Jeff Angel said the Alliance fought hard for the container deposit scheme and wanted to ensure it would work efficiently for the community and business to maximise the environmental benefits. “The Alliance understood that getting the container deposit scheme up and running was a very complicated process. It’s better to delay the implementation by a few months, so the scheme is ready from day one,” Mr Angel said. Industry groups were also pleased about the delay. Tanya Barden, Director of Economics and Sustainability Australian Food and Grocery Council, said the drinks industry supported an efficient and effective container deposit scheme in NSW. “We’re pleased that the NSW Government has listened to industry and environmental groups’ views about the complexity of introducing such as scheme. This extension allows the time to put the fundamentals in place so that the scheme can operate smoothly for both consumers and industry,” Ms Barden said. The 2015-2016 National Litter Index found that 49 per cent of litter by volume was made up of beverage containers – and 43 per cent of the total volume was containers that will be caught by the NSW container deposit scheme. Ms Upton said container deposit schemes operate in more than 40 jurisdictions around the world and are a proven and efficient way to recover litter and increase recycling of beverage containers. [post_title] => NSW container deposit scheme delayed until December [post_excerpt] => Move welcomed by councils. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26273 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-19 10:46:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-19 00:46:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26273 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26217 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-02-10 10:36:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-09 23:36:46 [post_content] =>   NSW public buildings could double as chill out areas for the elderly and other people at risk trying to escape this weekend’s predicted heatwave, says the Opposition. As the state contemplates sweating through temperatures of up to 45 degrees in inland areas, Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord has called upon NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to trial designating public buildings such as council chambers, libraries and art galleries as 'respite cooling centres' for the elderly and families. It has been done before. Mildura in Victoria has an emergency community cooling centre where the elderly can seek relief from the heat and the Canadian city of Toronto has opened cooling centers during heatwaves. Some Eastern European cities have heating centres during cold snaps. Mr Secord said public buildings with air-conditioning could stay open longer to provide shelter for people looking to avoid the extreme temperatures. “State governments need to have contingency plans for extraordinary events and extreme hot weather is one such event,” said Mr Secord. “We want to minimise the effect of heat stress on the most vulnerable in our society; this is about protecting them. Unfortunately, these soaring temperatures are set to continue – and they hit the young and the elderly the hardest.” He said it was easier for younger people and families to avoid the heat because they could go to shopping malls, the cinema, parks or beaches but the elderly and less mobile found this more difficult. NSW Health says those most at risk from the high temperatures are the elderly, pregnant women, babies and other children, people with chronic conditions and those whose immune systems are compromised. Meanwhile, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has predicted that demand for electricity in NSW will be the highest ever, peaking between 4.30pm and 6.30pm on Saturday, and expected to reach around 14,700 megawatts. NSW residents are being urged to reduce their energy use, where they can. Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said people should turn up their air con to 26 degrees, adjust fridge temperatures and switch off appliances and lights, where possible. Mr Harwin said that despite the heat the electricity networks were comfortable there would be no break in supply. “We are working with AEMO, TransGrid and generators to ensure that all generation capacity is operating including coal, hydro, gas, wind and solar,” Mr Harwin said. “The government is taking additional steps to reduce peak demand, including in government operations. If required the networks will consider load shedding to manage peak demand.” Load shedding is where AEMO orders power companies to begin switching off customers’ power supply to protect the power system from black outs. “I am being kept up to date on the situation and if further action is to be taken we will make sure that the energy companies are informing their customers, and we will update the community as we know more,” he said. In other news, the Senate Select Committee into the Resilience of Electricity Infrastructure in a Warming World continues with a public hearing in Canberra today (Friday). The Committee will explore how Australia’s electricity networks will cope with increased power demands from severe weather events in the future, including exploring emerging technologies. The committee is due to report to the Senate on or before 24 March 2017.   [post_title] => Council chambers could be used as respite cooling centres during NSW heatwave [post_excerpt] => No blackouts, says government. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => council-chambers-used-respite-cooling-centres-heatwave [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-15 16:10:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-15 05:10:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26217 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26213 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-02-09 16:51:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-09 05:51:28 [post_content] =>   by Ben Hagemann  With a new Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) looming in New South Wales, the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has made a last ditch plea to the state government to reconsider the timeframe of the scheme rollout. Earlier this year AACS CEO Jeff Rogut highlighted a lack of detail about the specifics of the scheme as a reason for delaying the rollout, and now says that despite repeated efforts to speak to politicians about the issue, none have “even had the decency to respond”.   Read more here. This story first appeared in C&I Week.  [post_title] => Delay NSW cash for cans scheme, say convenience stores [post_excerpt] => Contracts too rushed. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-container-deposit-scheme-soon-say-convenience-stores [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-19 10:52:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-19 00:52:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26213 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25995 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-01-16 12:42:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-01-16 01:42:50 [post_content] => Researcher is analyzing Legionella in test tube with blood.   NSW local councils have been asked to comment on proposed changes to the regulation of water cooling towers in an attempt to prevent future outbreaks of Legionnaires Disease. An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in March 2016 was tracked back to an infected water cooling tower in Sydney’s CBD and this spawned the NSW Health discussion paper asking councils for feedback on the new regulations. Building owners – some of whom are councils - are responsible for checking water cooling towers every month, cleaning them every six months and getting them certified every year. As well, local councils must keep a register of water-cooling systems in their area, including details about inspections. Legionnaire bacteria can cause a nasty bacterial lung infection, which can be fatal in about 10 per cent of cases, and can be transmitted when a person breathes in contaminated water vapour, dust or soil. Legoinnaire pneumophilia bacteria can contaminate airconditioning towers, spas and shower heads and they live in warm, stagnant water, making water cooling towers some of the riskiest sites. Towers usually sit on top of large buildings forming part of the water-cooling system. A pool of water is sprayed over pipes to cool the air inside the building and then recirculated, making the warm water susceptible to infiltration by bacteria. The infected water droplets can then drift out into the street. The NSW Health recommendations include:
  • Minimum standards for testing and inspecting water-cooling towers
  • Independently audited risk management plans for operating and testing cooling towers
  • Testing laboratories to notify local councils of cooling tower test results where bacteria levels are elevated
  • Local government can ask for additional testing and results, if needed
Submissions are due by February 9. Local Government NSW is putting in a submission and asking councils for their views. [post_title] => Legionnaires’ outbreak spawns tighter water-cooling tower rules [post_excerpt] => Local councils asked for feedback. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => bit-tighten-rules-water-cooling-towers-battle-legionnaires-disease [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-17 11:40:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-17 00:40:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25995 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25986 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-01-13 12:48:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-01-13 01:48:53 [post_content] =>

CDS label

South Australia has been running a successful CDS since 1977. Pic: Adelaide Hills Recycling Centre.
By Ben Hagemann 
With the upcoming introduction of a new Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in NSW due for in June 2017, a peak body for the convenience industry has voiced concerns over the timeframe of the rollout.Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) CEO Jeff Rogut urged the government to “consider a staged implementation of the CDS”.With the state Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) due to appoint a CDS scheme co-ordinator and collection network operator in April 2017, Mr Rogut said this would leave only a short time for implementation of the scheme.   Read more here. This story first appeared in C&I Week. 
[post_title] => EPA defends new drinks deposit scheme in NSW [post_excerpt] => Retailers call for 'staged implementation'. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => epa-defends-new-drinks-deposit-scheme-nsw [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-13 12:57:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-13 01:57:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25986 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 4 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25931 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-12-21 12:39:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-21 01:39:35 [post_content] =>    rubbish-truck3      Hundreds will protest outside Auburn Civic Centre this afternoon as Cumberland Council Administrator Viv May prepares to announce his decision on whether to outsource council waste services at tonight’s council meeting. United Services Union (USU) Metropolitan Manager Steve Donley, the union which represents council workers, said Mr May was hell bent on bringing in private companies to take over the council’s waste services. “Tonight, as Mr May presides as judge, jury, and executioner, we fear he will take a disastrous step towards locking the council and local ratepayers into an expensive, inflexible, long-term contract while denying the community a voice on service delivery,” Mr Donley said. “It is possible to retain an in-house service that provides a comparable level of service while retaining quality jobs for local residents, with the union already identifying ways to increase productivity by more than 20 per cent at no extra cost to the ratepayers.” But Cumberland Council General Manager Malcolm Ryan said that having three separate approaches to waste services was “not an option”. Cumberland Council was formed in May from Auburn, Holroyd and parts of Parramatta Council. “It is clear that there is a need to co-ordinate and streamline our waste services so there is uniformity across Cumberland that delivers a best practice, cost effective service for residents,” Mr Ryan said. “In examining a new approach Council must consider how we can provide a service to residents that provides the best value for money to ratepayers and delivers high quality outcomes.” Government News reported  in October that the review Mr May will partly base his decision on, the August 2016 Strategic Waste Options Briefing Paper, appears to lean heavily towards recommending outsourcing kerbside waste collection to the private sector. The review argues that the council would achieve a 20 per cent reduction in costs through larger contracts and reduced operating costs. It bases its conclusions on a market test analysis, which compares the cost of waste collection services provided by the former Holroyd and Auburn Councils, which were both in-house, and that of Woodville, a ward which used to be part of Parramatta Council and outsources its rubbish collection. The report says the analysis “identifies a serious lack of competitiveness of the in-house services against a full contract domestic waste service” and compares the cost of bin-lifts in the different council area, putting Woodville at 95 cents per bin, Auburn at $1.13 and Holroyd at $1.39. But the report also outlines some of the potential risks of outsourcing the council’s entire waste and recycling collection, including juggling different contract end dates and a three-year protection for staff after amalgamation, and notes that the council could also get flak by outsourcing. Council estimates suggest that it could cost up to $1.1 million to make 17 full-time waste services staff redundant or pay transfer payments to a contractor, plus paying out long service and annual leave entitlements. [post_title] => Hundreds to descend on Auburn in protest over council outsourcing [post_excerpt] => Rubbish decision imminent. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 25931 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-21 12:48:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-21 01:48:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25931 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25905 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-12-20 16:10:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-20 05:10:05 [post_content] =>   Garbage truck with worker, Five metropolitan Adelaide councils have had their attempts to jointly procure waste management services cruelled by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Adelaide City, Charles Sturt, Marion, Tea Tree Gully and Port Adelaide Enfield Councils, along with Council Solutions, wanted to club together and contract out their waste collection, recyclables, organics collection and processing and waste disposal services, a contract which would have lasted 17 years. The councils wanted to cover all four waste and recycling service streams in a single tender using a Request for Proposal (RFP). But the ACCC stepped in, handing down its decision today (December 20) after receiving a large number of public submissions about the plan, the large majority of which were opposed. One of the main issues raised by the submissions was that the scope and nature of the proposal would present an unprecedented level of complexity for bidders and prevent some businesses from taking part. The Commission authorised the plan in draft in February this year but reversed its decision after it concluded that the public benefit from the scheme would be outweighed by the negatives caused by decreasing competition by only having one tender under RFP. Although the ACCC said the proposal could result in small improvements in community education, the supply of recyclables and organics processing and environmental outcomes, it noted it could be detrimental to the public interest because it could:
  • Deter or prevent some potential suppliers from tendering or from submitting competitive bids
  • Reduce competition for the supply of waste services to participating councils in the longer term
  • Reduce competition for the supply of waste services to non-participating councils
ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said: “Overall, the ACCC is not satisfied that a joint procurement process would produce a public benefit that would outweigh the effects of a lessening of competition. “In this case, given the size and scope of the proposed conduct and the uncertainty about the possible outcomes arising from the request for proposal process, the ACCC is not satisfied that net public benefits are likely,” Ms Court said.   [post_title] => SA councils bins bid blocked by ACCC [post_excerpt] => Hurts competition, says Commission. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sa-councils-bins-bid-blocked-accc [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-20 16:10:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-20 05:10:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25905 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25518 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-11-08 15:18:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-08 04:18:42 [post_content] => light-years-ahead2_opt Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Council's Light Years Ahead program     NSW local government environment stars have been busy over the past year, with projects encompassing a broad range of areas, including sustainable procurement; climate change action; asbestos management; communication, education and empowerment; roadside management and water conservation. The best of the best will be honoured in the annual Local Government Excellence in the Environment Awards later this month. The top two awards are for overall council performance and another celebrating the achievements of an individual council officer or councillor who has been a beacon to sustainability. Please see below for a full list of finalists. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 29 November 2016 at Doltone House, Darling Island Wharf, Sydney.   2016 Finalists Asbestos Management Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils - Western Sydney Asbestos Answers Facebook campaign Climate Change Action Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Holroyd, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith Councils - Light years ahead Blacktown City Council - Cool streets Hunter & Central Coast Regional Environmental Management Strategy- Regional heatwave resilience project Penrith City Council - Cooling the city   Communication, Education and Empowerment   Leichhardt Municipal Council (Inner West Council) - On tour: sustainable food, fashion and fun! MIDWASTE - Frugal forest Rockdale City Council (Bayside Council) - Engaging the community: landing lights wetland restoration Waverley Council - Second Nature 'I'm in' community engagement campaign   frugal-forest_opt MIDWASTE'S Frugal Forest  Community Sharps Management City of Ryde Council – Sharps Disposal Invasive Species Management    Bankstown City Council (City of Canterbury-Bankstown) - Feral rabbit management in urban Bankstown Camden Council - Management of Australian white ibis at Lake Annan, Mount Annan Clarence Valley Council - Use community based social marketing for effective tropical soda apple management Palerang Council (Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional Council) - Weed identification and mapping from high resolution aerial photography   [caption id="attachment_25522" align="alignnone" width="500"]"Young Mountain Cottontail rabbit Sylvilagus nuttallii resting in grass. Boulder, Colorado, 2009." Former Bankstown Council has won praise for its management of feral rabbits.[/caption]   Natural Environment Policies, Planning and Decision Making     Palerang Council (Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional Council) - Remote pilot aircraft aerial imaging trial Sydney Peri Urban Network of Councils - Sydney food futures project   Natural Environment Protection & Enhancement: On-Ground Works Bankstown City Council (City of Canterbury-Bankstown) - Habitat box program Bathurst Regional Council - Restoring regent honeyeater habitat in the Bathurst region Blue Mountains City Council - Leura Falls catchment improvement project Orange City Council - Gosling Creek Reserve precinct floating island and hollows habitat Parkes Shire Council - PAC Park urban wetland construction Wagga Wagga City Council - Marrambidya Wetland Roadside Environmental Management    Ballina Shire Council - Chickiba Roadside Wetlands restoration project Lachlan Shire Council - Roadside corridor assessment and management guidelines Moree Plains Shire Council - Roadside environmental management plan Sustainable Procurement   Marrickville Council (Inner West Council) - Embedding sustainability into 'value for money'   marrickville-council-procurement_opt Former Marrickville Council's sustainable procurement campaign won plaudits   Resource Recovery    Broken Hill City Council - Increasing resource recovery for Broken Hill Campbelltown City Council - Annual free recyclables drop-off day     Waste Avoidance and Reuse    Lismore City Council - Lismore revolve shop and recycled market Parramatta City Council – The R3 program: resource, rescue and reuse Waste Education and Communication    Lachlan Shire Council - Lachlan Shire waste services rationalisation Warringah Council (Northern Beaches Council) - The Sort it Out campaign     Water Conservation Ballina Shire Council - Pressure and leakage management plan [caption id="attachment_25524" align="alignnone" width="460"]High pressure pipe leaking Finalist: Ballina Shire Council's Pressure and Leak Management Plan[/caption]     Local Sustainability Ballina Shire Council – Sustainability: serving the community of today whilst preparing for the challenges of tomorrow Camden Council - Sustainable Camden Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability Winner to be announced at the Awards on Tuesday 29 November     [post_title] => Full list of finalists: NSW local government environment stars [post_excerpt] => Sharing good ideas. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => full-list-finalists-nsw-local-government-environment-stars [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-11 10:15:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-10 23:15:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25518 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25380 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2016-10-25 11:33:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-25 00:33:42 [post_content] => panama High rises and hotel buildings in Punta Pacifica, Panama City, Panama. Photo: Gerardo Pesantez/World Bank   By Anthony Wallace

An urban environment expert at The Australian National University (ANU) is among leading scientists calling for a greater say on a new international plan for cities of the future, ahead of a major United Nations conference currently being held. Professor Xuemei Bai from ANU is one of the scientific leaders of the Urban Knowledge Action Network to be launched at the UN Habitat III conference in Ecuador. Cities already account for about 75 per cent of global energy use and contribute an equivalent share of greenhouse gas emissions.” Delegates from the world over are currently in Quito to adopt a new global framework that will guide sustainable urban development for the next 20 years – the New Urban Agenda (NUA). “Unfortunately science didn’t play a major role in the drafting of the NUA,” said Professor Bai from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society.   Read more here. This story first appeared in Spatial Source magazine. [post_title] => Urban experts call for smarter approach to cities [post_excerpt] => New urban agenda. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => urban-experts-call-smarter-approach-cities [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-28 11:35:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-28 00:35:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25380 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25169 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-10-05 11:12:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-05 00:12:26 [post_content] => Garbage pickup service in a town.   A newly merged Western Sydney council appears likely to outsource all of its waste services and close up to three swimming pools, possibly before any councillors are elected next year. Cumberland Council, formed out of Holroyd and Auburn Councils and part of Parramatta Council, seems to be leaning towards moving all of its waste services into the private sector and shutting down some of its older aquatic facilities as two new aquatic centres come online. Administrator Viv May commissioned two reviews on the council’s waste and recycling collection and on its swimming pools since the council came into being in May and these will be discussed at tonight’s (Wednesday) council meeting. While multiple policy options have been canvassed in the reviews outsourcing and asset consolidation are the options recommended by the reports, apparently written by council staff and consultants. The waste review suggests a decision is imminent, with new contracts expected to start in November next year, just weeks after local government elections in September. Former Holroyd Mayor Greg Cummings, who sits on the council's Local Representative Committee, said the new council appeared to be rushing changes through before councillors or residents had their say. “My take on it is the Administrator was primarily there to make sure that the new council kept operating as efficiently and as effectively as possible and obviously any major changes should be left until the democratically elected council comes into operation after the election," Mr Cummings said, adding that it was all part of the state government’s plan “to have everything their way.” “It’s all about corporatising local government, rather than about services or communities. It’s all about the bottom line." He said outsourcing waste collection would affect council staff, who also lived in the area, and the report was deliberately written to favour the private sector taking over the operations. “What’s the rush? We’re talking about some of the major infrastructure in a council. Why charge ahead when the review could be done so that the new elected council has detailed information and then they can make a decision? “One can only wonder that it has been carried out deliberately so that the Administrator can lock in as many decisions and hamstring the incoming elected council.” A representative from the Save Our Councils Coalition (SOCC), a community group against forced council mergers, agreed that a council led by an administrator should not make major decisions about future services. He pointed to a Department of Premier and Cabinet document, Managing Change: Guidance for Key Staff (May 2016), which makes it clear that the big decisions are supposed to be on hold until councillors are in place. The cabinet document says: “By September 2017 a report should be prepared for consideration by the new council. This report should include recommendations on the approach to establishing consistent services, including service levels for priority operational areas. “Importantly, the governing body should not make decisions which would reduce services or service levels within Phase 1 [defined as being up to the elections next year]. Decisions about future service provision must be made by an elected council.” It also states that that the main focus for new councils should be on service continuity. But the council's Administrator Viv May said that he did have the authority to make such decisions. “When council was proclaimed, administrators were appointed by the State Government to serve the same role as mayors and councillors. Cumberland Council is operating business as usual and will make decisions accordingly.” The Department of Premier and Cabinet was contacted and asked if the council's Administrator was exceeding his powers and contravening the Cabinet's own advice but would only say: "The matter regarding swimming pools and waste collection is best referred to the council involved." Both reviews, particularly the one on waste, also reveal the brain-melting complexity that newly-merged councils face as they attempt to disentangle different levels of service delivery, contracts and staff wages across formerly distinctive local government areas.   Rubbish options: Waste collection and recycling review The review, Strategic Waste Options Briefing Paper, leans heavily towards recommending outsourcing kerbside waste collection to the private sector, arguing that the council would achieve a 20 per cent reduction in costs through larger contracts and reduced operating costs. It bases its conclusions on a market test analysis, which compares the cost of waste collection services provided by the former Holroyd and Auburn Councils, which were both in-house, and that of Woodville, a ward which used to be part of Parramatta Council and outsources its rubbish collection. The report says the analysis “identifies a serious lack of competitiveness of the in-house services against a full contract domestic waste service” and compares the cost of bin-lifts in the different council area, putting Woodville at 95 cents per bin, Auburn at $1.13 and Holroyd at $1.39. However, the SOCC representative questioned the figures and said: "I find it hard to believe that a private firm would do a bin lift for 95 cents." The briefing paper says that keeping the waste contract in-house could incur a cost of about $4.5 million, which would need to be spent on plant - including new waste compactors for Woodville - as well as anticipating wage blow-outs, arguing that it would be expensive to standardise different industrial awards and individual waste agreements across the in-house waste collection services. “Although the option of maintaining an in-house collection service could offer the path of least resistance, the initial high capital cost to replace external contractors and ongoing higher operating costs would further detract from our market competitiveness,” said the report. But it also outlines some of the potential risks of outsourcing the council's entire waste and recycling collection, including juggling different contract end dates and a three-year protection for staff after amalgamation. Council estimates suggest that it could cost up to $1.1 million to make 17 full-time waste services staff redundant or pay transfer payments to a contractor, plus paying out long service and annual leave entitlements. It notes that the council could also get flak by outsourcing. A working group, comprised of council staff and unions, is expected to weigh up the options and report back to the November council meeting.   In deep water: Cumberland’s pools Pools are core business for councils. They are expensive to run, repair and maintain but they can also be the jewel in a council’s crown, especially when integrated with other services such as group fitness, wellness centres and therapy pools. Cumberland Council has five aquatic centres within its boundaries, servicing 225,600 people. These are: the rebuilt Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre (REAC), due to reopen early next year; Guildford, Merrylands and Wentworthville Swim Centres and Granville Swim Centre. Merrylands and Wentworthville pools are closed in winter. Plans are also afoot to build the Holroyd Regional Aquatic Wellness Centre (HRAWC) at Merrylands Swim Centre, though the funding for this is up in the air. Cumberland Council is investigating whether some of its pools should get the chop, informed by its Swimming Pools Post Amalgamation Options Study, which recommends:
  • closing Wentworthville Swim Centre
  • closing the outdoor part of Guildford Swim Centre
  • repairing Granville Swim Centre and keeping it open
  • building HRAWC on the site of Merrylands Swim Centre, alongside the new REAC
  wentworthville-swim-centre_opt Wentworthville Swim Centre's future is on the line. Pic: council report.   The report, which is due to go on public exhibition for a month imminently, says there is a surplus of older style pools and a falling demand for them. “In terms of quantity, if both HRAWC (stages 1 and 2) an REAC are developed, all other pools will be surplus to needs”, although it concedes that there made need to be a “trade-off” between cost savings and keeping pools accessible to users. It concludes: “Retaining the older pools following the development of both REAC and HRAWC would undermine the viability of the new centres, while also resulting in even loser visits to the older pools. “Consequently, it is concluded that some rationalisation of council’s aquatic centre asset portfolio is required." Government News understands the study was written by consultants and did not involve consultation with council pool staff.   ruth-everuss-pool Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre under construction. Pic: council report.   It is not a new discussion. The former Auburn, Holroyd and Parramatta Councils talked about modernising or closing centres for a good few years. Mr Cummings said it was not the review of the council’s aquatic offerings that bothered him but the haste and the lack of consultation. “By all means, have the review and then prior to the election have a consultation with the local community and then when the elected council comes into operation but let them make a decision,” Mr Cummings said. “In this undemocratic system there’s no recourse.” He said Holroyd Council had applied for a federal government grant to build HRAWC and the outcome was still unknown. There was also a possibility a new pool could be built in Parramatta, following the closure of Parramatta Swimming Centre in March next year, which could conflict with any new pool in the Cumberland LGA. The SOCC representative said the community and councillors should decide whether three pools would close.   [post_title] => Life after NSW council mergers: Outsourcing and asset sell-offs? [post_excerpt] => Cumberland Council eyes pools and rubbish. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => life-nsw-council-mergers-outsourcing-asset-sell-offs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-07 10:15:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-06 23:15:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25169 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27042 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-04 10:27:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-04 00:27:37 [post_content] =>   Cumberland Council will press ahead with a controversial plan to outsource kerbside waste and recycling before September’s local government elections. The Western Sydney suburbs council, born out of a forced merger between Holroyd and Auburn Councils and part of Parramatta in May 2016, has put the council’s waste and recycling services out to tender with a deadline of May 26. Up for grabs are services include kerbside garbage; recyclables; organics and garden waste; council clean ups and picking up dumped rubbish and this covers around  70,000 housesholds. This translates annually into dealing with around 60,000 tonnes of garbage; 14,000 tonnes of recycling and 5,500 tonnes of organic and green waste, as well as two to four council clean ups a year and collecting dumped rubbish within 24 hours of it being reported. Government News understands that new contractors could take over from as early as August. They will manage the transition to a new service and begin a four-year contract from January 2019 with the option to extend this by three years. Council Administrator Viv May commissioned reviews into council services, including garbage collection and council swimming pools, after taking over last year. The waste review, written by council officers, showed a marked preference towards outsourcing services to the private sector and argued that the council could cut its costs by 20 per cent through bigger contracts and reduced operating costs. Most of the council’s waste and recycling services are currently delivered by council garbos, apart from waste services in Woodville Ward, which used to come under Parramatta Council, and the recyclables collection in the former Holroyd Council area. Mr May has copped flak from former Holroyd Mayor Greg Cummings, as well as resistance from the United Services Union (USU), which represents local government workers in NSW. Mr Cummings said Mr May was ‘overstepping his responsibilities’ and driving changes through before the council went into caretaker mode in early August. “This is done at break-neck speed to make sure it’s done before an elected council can review it,” Mr Cummings said. “By all means collect the information and get a report but it should be there ready for the democratically elected council to review.” Mr Cummings said Mr May was known to be an enthusiastic advocate of outsourcing and had a track record in that area. Mr May spent 27 years as Mosman Council’s General Manager where he outsourced the council’s  outdoor work and reduced council employed outdoor workers from more than 100 to six. Mr Cummings also criticised the council for omitting diversion to landfill in the tender. He said that the former Holroyd Council had managed to divert 62 per cent of green waste from landfill using UR-3R alternative waste treatment plant in Eastern Creek. But Cumberland Council’s Group Manager, Roads and Waste Peter Fitzgerald defended the decision to go out to competitive tender. He said the council’s review estimated it would yield more than $16 million in savings and ensure a more consistent service. It would also finally give Woodville ward residents a green waste bin so they would no longer have to trek to the council’s depot. “Given that the existing contract for waste services in the Woodville ward expires in November this year council could not wait any longer to make a decision about the provision of waste services,” Mr Fitzgerald said. “Council must provide a consistent service to all residents irrespective of which part of the council area they live in.” He said around 34 council staff would be affected by decision. “All affected council staff have been assured that if they want a job with council they will still have a job with council, regardless of the decision to call tenders for these services,” Mr Fitzgerald said. Mr May told Government News in October last year that Administrators had the same powers as mayors and councillors and would make decisions accordingly.  The USU is not convinced and has come out against the outsourcing plans, arguing that service levels will drop and rates will rise. It led a public rally against Cumberland Council outsourcing in February. The USU website says of the tender: “We all know that private waste collection companies don’t care about ratepayers or the local community, they only care about one thin: delivering profit margins to their shareholders. “The contractors won’t have time to do missed services or go the extra mile by taking your bin in if you can’t. Yes, that’s what the hard working council garbos do for the community.” But disentangling the legacy of three different councils’ waste and recycling services will not be easy. The council will have to pay out staff redundancies and long service leave along with paying penalties on any contracts which are terminated early, some of which do not expire until 2020. The United Services Union has been contacted for comment. More to follow. [post_title] => Merged NSW council outsources rubbish and recycling before councillors elected [post_excerpt] => Union and ex-mayor enter fray. 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Resource & Waste Management