City of hobart
Annual General Meeting
Monday, 21 November 2016
at 7.30 pm
Lord Mayor's Court Room, Town Hall
3. Meeting Procedures
4.1. Lord Mayor’s address in respect to the 2016 Annual Report
B. Lord Mayor’s Address................................................................ 3
Agenda (Open Portion)
Annual General Meeting - 21/11/2016
The Lord Mayor’s
address in respect to the 2015/2016 Annual Report
· Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Hobart City Council.
· The purpose of tonight’s meeting is to consider and formally adopt the 2015/2016 Annual Report for the City of Hobart. This report details the activities and financial performance of the Council during the year of review.
· On behalf of my Aldermanic colleagues, General Manager and Council staff, I wish to thank you for your interest in the activities of our organisation and for attending tonight’s meeting.
· It now gives me great pleasure to highlight key achievements which demonstrate the breadth of Council’s services within the City of Hobart.
· The Council turned over in excess of $120 million in 2015/16. We invested $6.3 million in new assets and $17.8 million in replacement assets. Taking into account the many competing demands of our community and the management of the city, we recorded a fourth consecutive underlying surplus of $3 million.
· This result demonstrates this Council’s commitment to ensure its long-term financial sustainability but striving to be lean and smart.
· In 2015-2016, we delivered a rate increase 0.9 per cent, in line with Hobart’s CPI and below the national CPI figure of 1.3 per cent. This was our lowest rate increase in 12 years.
· Last year the city commenced on a journey of transformation.
· Hobart continues to experience an economic and cultural renaissance. We are in the midst of the most significant public and private investment in this City in a quarter of a century.
· Hobart is without doubt, a city with outstanding natural, cultural and social qualities that make it unique among capital cities. The Council has a clear vision for ‘Transforming Hobart’. It is committed to see it evolve into a strong, vibrant, sustainable and resilient city.
· With all of the investment and development happening, your Council is committed to keeping pace by investing, improving and modernising our public assets and infrastructure- our roads, paths, buildings, toilets and open spaces using a range of smart solutions.
· The single biggest capital works project for 2015–2016 was the reconstruction of Liverpool Street.
· With the Council focussed on improving movement and engagement in and around the city centre, Liverpool Street was identified as an important street to be upgraded to increase priority for pedestrians, to achieve an innovative shared-space environment that emphasised safety, courtesy and fairness whether people were driving, walking or bike riding.
· With this project, we wanted to increase and enhance opportunities for outdoor dining, improve access to Mathers Place and the new ICON development as well as Cat & Fiddle Arcade and Elizabeth Mall. We also recognised that the revitalisation of Liverpool Street was all about supporting retail trading in the heart of the city.
· Now complete, we have a fresh new look and feel to the city centre and this project, without doubt, has played a key role in the resurgence of Hobart’s retail environment.
· We delivered on our vision to transform Franklin Square into Hobart’s civic park and provide a destination for our community to gather, relax and play.
· After an extended period of refurbishment, I am pleased to say that our hope and plan for this wonderful city park has been realised and that the Hobart community returned to enjoy its unique and beautiful features again.
· In another major infrastructure project, Collins Court was successfully reinvented from a once unloved space into an inviting, people-friendly area.
· The space has been developed and furnished to provide a family-suitable environment where community events including music, performance, food stalls and other activities will be held. It has created a space that the community can own and love, a place to meet friends and where everyone feels safe and comfortable.
· The first stage of the shared pedestrian and bike path in Morrison Street was completed. We have created a widened, shared footpath and cycleway on the water-side of Morrison Street between Elizabeth Street and Brooke Street.
· As part of a greater project, that will extend from the current Intercity Cycleway and ultimately connect through to the existing cycleway in Castray Esplanade, it is fantastic that we are beginning to see some coherency with our bicycle and pedestrian network in the City. Eventually, we want to develop a safe and well-connected network to all major destinations in the City where people want to go.
· In a broader sense, our capital works program continued to deliver improvements and enhancements across the whole City to ensure a well presented, clean and safe City for everyone. Ongoing maintenance of our streets, resurfacing roads and footpaths, the ongoing refurbishment of our entire public toilet network, and city cleaning and asset renewal continued at a high-standard.
· In 2015–2016, we completed 20 refurbishments of our public conveniences. As many of you will know, I have a passion for public toilets! Being known as the “Lord Mayor of Loos” is a title I am very proud of.
· Public conveniences make such a positive contribution to public spaces and as a Council, we want to ensure our residents and visitors to the City are provided with facilities that are of a high-standard, are accessible and at suitable locations.
· The Council owns or manages some 56 public toilets. Many of which are in parks, sports facilities and Council-owned car parks within the City so it is important that we have a framework to support the provision, availability, promotion and distribution of public toilets in Hobart that are accessible, environmentally sustainable and of high-quality.
· We consulted, developed, and consulted again on a Public Toilet Strategy for the Hobart. The strategy identifies 91 (Council and privately owned) public toilets that will service Hobart’s community, workers and visitors over the next 10 years through an implementation program, schedule of works and maps plotting the distribution and coverage of current and future facilities.
· In April 2016, for the first time, the Council resolved to approve an unprecedented $300 million capital works program spanning the next 10 years to build and improve roads, parks and playgrounds, suburban retail precincts – Sandy Bay, Lenah Valley, South Hobart, New Town, North Hobart and Battery Point - leisure facilities, community buildings and other public infrastructure, right throughout the Hobart City Council municipal area.
· It was a bold decision and one that I am very proud of this Council for making.
· Hobart is a capital city and a 10-year capital works program is a huge investment in the City’s future. A 10-year program demonstrates that we are not only looking ahead and planning for managing our assets and future facilities and infrastructure but we have a strategy in place to ensure the plan can be funded.
· A total of $97 million of the program is for ‘Transforming Hobart’ projects with the remaining $203 million for the management and renewal of existing assets.
· Asset management is a cornerstone of long-term financial sustainability. We have $1.8 billion in total assets, which reflects the range and complexity of assets that the Council builds and maintains and it is vitally important that we invest in their maintenance rather than allowing them to deteriorate and become a financial drain borne through higher rates.
· This time last year, in consultation with the community, we developed and approved our Capital City Strategic Plan 2015–2025.
· This important planning instrument will help guide us to successfully achieve the remaining 10 years of the community’s 2025 vision for Hobart, the development of our city over the next decade and seeks to address City growth while keeping Hobart a people-focussed city.
· This is the first year that we are reporting our results of this new 10-year Strategic Plan.
· We are continuously enhancing our reputation as a sustainable city through our work on resilience to climate change, supporting energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.
· We have an active energy and greenhouse program across building assets and services that has seen a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by more than 70 per cent from 2000 levels by 2010.
· We are now working towards a target of 35 per cent energy reduction from 2010 to 2020 and a greenhouse target of a further 26 per cent of residual emissions. So far, our efforts have seen us make savings resulting in over $1 million per year.
· During the year, the Council also endorsed an ambitious strategy representing a long-term commitment to waste reduction that will provide environmental, financial and social benefits to the Hobart community. The Waste Management Strategy 2015–2030 looks to deliver programs to help us work toward sending zero waste to landfill by 2030.
· During the 2015-2016 year several key strategic partnerships were formalised.
o Last year, we signed a new MoU to further strengthen the already successful relationship the City has enjoyed with UTAS for many years.
o Our relationship with UTAS signifies the importance of the University to the future of Hobart and the MoU builds on the achievements of our previous partnership that saw collaboration on a number of key initiatives in the areas of professional, economic and infrastructure development.
o We also formalised our long-standing relationship with the Salamanca Market Stallholders Association with a MoU.
o While we have always recognised the Salamanca Market Stallholder Association as the key representative group for Salamanca Market stallholders, the MoU is about recognising the goodwill and mutual respect between the Council and the Association to form this partnership for the betterment of the Market.
o I would like to take this moment to congratulate the Salamanca Market Stallholder Association, all stallholders and Salamanca Market staff on taking out the Gold award in the Major Festivals and Events category at this year’s Tasmania Tourism Awards.
o This is an outstanding achievement and due recognition for what is arguably one of Australia’s most recognised and enduring markets.
· Hobart continues to experience significant tourism growth due, in part, to our vibrant cultural and creative products, events and festivals. Throughout the year, we were proud to support events such as the Festival of Voices, Dark Mofo and AFL football in Hobart.
· Our Tasmanian Travel & Information Centre took out the Visitor Information Services category at the 2015 Tasmania Tourism Awards. This was an outstanding achievement and very deserving recognition for the team at the TTIC for their hard work and dedication and for consistently delivering high-quality and face-to-face information services to our visitors.
· In 2015, the Taste of Tasmania saw the most transformational change any event has undergone in this state. Changes that were made with the very best interests of the event in mind and those that support us to deliver what is a large and complex event.
· Despite some challenges with the IT provider, the 2015–16 Taste of Tasmania yet again demonstrated it is a much-loved festival, synonymous with summer in Hobart. The event attracted 235,000 visitations over seven days, with 40 per cent of visitors coming from interstate or overseas, proving a significant economic contribution to the city.
· More than $5 million was spent on site by patrons, with up to 340,000 individual purchases being made with an average of around 48,000 transactions per day, at 73 vendor sites including some of Tasmania’s very best food and beverage producers and providers showcasing the best Tasmania has to offer.
· With the 2016/17 Taste just some weeks away, we are looking forward and focusing on the positives of what is a great event and what the event is really about – something unique and memorable that showcases some of the best food and beverages Tasmania has to offer to our national and international visitors, while providing opportunities for the whole community to meet with friends and family and celebrate the essence of summer in Hobart.
· This year has seen us continue to develop our international relations, particularly with China. We expect that we will soon be formalising a friendship city relationship with Fuzhou to complement our already strong relationship with our friendship city of Xi’an.
· We have also begun preparations for celebrating 40 years of enduring friendship with Yaizu, Japan.
· Our international relationships are critical in developing economic, cultural and educational links. They provide enormous potential to ‘open doors’ for business in Hobart who are now reaping rewards from Hobart and Tasmania’s relationship with China.
o For example, Yonghui, one of the top 10 chain stores in China, with 600 superstores visited Hobart as part of a delegation from Fuzhou hosted by the Council two weeks ago. They were here to canvass and meet with businesses because they want to stock Tasmanian produce as part of their range.
o The Fujian Jiutai Agricultural Development Co. also participated in that delegation. They specialise in fruit planting, processing and packing and sell more than 300 tonnes of fruit per day. This one example translates into significant potential for local Tasmanian businesses to benefit from these visits, not only directly but indirectly.
· During the year, we continued to deliver our important community and cultural programs.
o Our Youth Arts and Recreation Centre continued to focus on youth development programs to engage young people in community arts, cultural activities, events and programs. Activating public spaces with performances and cultural events and activities for young people such as the highly-successful digital arts festival Light up the Lane was a highlight of the past year.
o Our officers continued their valuable work to implement a range of initiatives and programs that support and encourage positive ageing with many activities taking place at Mathers House for older people to meet, eat, chat and participate in a wide variety of activities and events.
o We delivered a range of initiatives in the public art space during the year. Our traffic signal boxes and Soapbox initiatives continued, as well as four projects - Urban Art Walls, Waterfront Urban Renewal Public Art, Collins Court Public Art and the Mathers Place Courtyard Wall Public Art featuring highly regarded artists are bringing vibrancy and character to the city.
· 2015 also saw Hobart’s streets become a smorgasbord of delicious offerings as 11 mobile food vendors rolled into town as we launched a 12 month trial of a mobile food vendor program.
· In late 2015, one of the City’s most popular recreation facilities, the Hobart Aquatic Centre, was officially renamed The Doone Kennedy Hobart Aquatic Centre in honour of the late former Lord Mayor of Hobart, Lorna Doone Pleasance Kennedy AO.
· The building of the Hobart Aquatic Centre was one of many major projects undertaken during Doone’s time as Lord Mayor so this was a fitting tribute.
· The Council is looking to invest in a significant redevelopment of this centre in the future. The facility is 20 years old and we hope to make significant improvements to make the Centre more accessible, new change room facilities, a new cafe and outdoor areas, as well as improvements to cleaning and general maintenance.
· Finally, this year sees us celebrating 150 years of the Hobart Town Hall and the people and events that have been involved with the Town Hall over the past 150 years.
· We want people to share their stories. We are looking for stories and mementos of the Town Hall for a time capsule we have created.
· This capsule will be buried under the stage in the Town Hall Ballroom with instructions for it to be unearthed in 2066 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Hobart Town Hall.
· If people have a story or memento of the Town Hall they’d like to share with Hobartians 50 years from now, then we want to hear from you.
· In closing, I wish to thank my aldermanic colleagues and recognise the service of former Alderman Suzy Cooper.
· I wish to also commend the General Manager, Nick Heath, Executive Leadership Team and city staff for their collective dedication, professionalism and enthusiasm over the past 12 months.