AT last Wednesday’s Council Meeting the Instrument of Delegation for the Chief Executive Officer was revised to give the CEO greater ability to respond to emergency events where an urgent response is required.
The Instrument of Delegation gives the CEO decision-making powers which are needed for day-to-day operation as it’s not possible for all decisions to be made at a Council level. It outlines the powers, duties and functions available to the CEO as well as limits and conditions on decision-making.
The revisions passed at the Council Meeting do not change the existing powers or limitations but they do allow for an additional function to be performed in the case of an emergency caused by an extraordinary event such as the recent severe weather conditions. If this instance were to occur again and to ensure the safety of the community, the updated Instrument of Delegation allows the CEO to award repair and remediation contracts up to $1M instead of $250,000 which was previously defined. Works must be directly attributable to the emergency event.
The need for the revision became apparent following the June weather event when emergency remediation works were required for the McCartins Road landslip in Turtons Creek. Although landslip works are being coordinated by Regional Roads Victoria and the costs will be reimbursed by the Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement, the repairs first have to be paid for by Council.
Limits to the Instrument of Delegation for the Chief Executive Officer meant that these works could not be approved immediately and instead needed to be approved by Council at an Additional Council Meeting held on Wednesday 14 July.
The revised Instrument of Delegation will help to expedite any future emergency works that are necessary to ensure community safety.
South Gippsland Shire Council Chair Administrator, Julie Eisenbise said, “Adding an extra function to the Instrument of Delegation for the Chief Executive Officer will help to ensure any future, unforeseen emergency works can be commenced as early as possible. Although we would prefer it if such a condition wasn’t necessary, recent events have shown that our region needs to be prepared for any eventuality.”
At the same Council Meeting the Chief Executive Officer was given delegation to approve expenditure up to $17,320,164 excluding GST for the program of reconstruction works related to the June storm event. It is important to note this value is for the total program of remediation works, which will be made up of numerous individual projects.
The South Gippsland region was significantly impacted during the storm with over 160 roads impacted by multiple fallen trees and other roads subject to flooding or landslips.
The cost of the repairs is reimbursable through the Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) however the works first need to be paid for by Council. The delegation gives the CEO authority to approve a program of immediate reconstructive works – up to the estimated figure in total – until 30 June 2022 or until the works are deemed complete.
The works will be coordinated in partnership with Regional Roads Victoria through its Alliance arrangement with local contractors engaged as needed.
South Gippsland Shire Council Chair Administrator, Julie Eisenbise said, “We are pleased that this delegation is now in place as it will help to expedite the repair process following last month’s storm event. We would like to thank the State and Federal Government’s for their support and for providing access to the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.”