October 2015 update
On Friday 23 October 2015, the Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins, advised Hume City Council that the Victorian Government had decided to cancel the separation of Sunbury from Hume, and as a result a new Sunbury City Council will not be created.
After a lengthy process and careful consideration of the Transition Auditors’ advice, the Government has decided that the Sunbury community will receive better services and facilities and more sustainable rates if it remains part of Hume City Council.
This important decision puts an end to more than three years of speculation and uncertainty for our community and allows Hume City Council to now plan for the future with greater clarity.
Council is very pleased with this result as we raised many concerns with the separation– in particular, our objections to the process undertaken, the Order in Council, timeframes imposed, process of asset distribution, obligations and costs imposed on the community, and the significant impact to our staff.
We welcome the acknowledgement of these issues by the Minister through the acceptance of the Transition Auditors’ recommendation that the separation of Sunbury from the Hume municipality is so problematic that it should not proceed.
Council has a strong commitment to providing responsible and transparent governance, services and infrastructure to support the needs of our entire community.
We encourage residents and stakeholders to get involved in planning for the future of Sunbury.
September 2015 update
Hume City Council has welcomed the release of an important report on the proposed separation of Sunbury from Hume City Council, but urged the Victorian Government to avoid further delays and reach a decision on the important community issue as soon as possible.
Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins released the Sunbury Hume Transition Auditors report on 17 September 2015, which outlines a number of recommendations on the Sunbury Project.
The report was compiled by Transition Auditors Frank Vincent and John Watson and follows a series of community consultation sessions and review of the process undertaken by the previous government.
The Transition Auditors have acknowledged key concerns of Council and reiterated them in their report, including the time frames imposed, the process of asset distribution, the obligations and costs imposed on the community and the significant impact to staff.
Key recommendations outlined in the report include:
- That the separation of Sunbury from the municipality of Hume at this time is so problematic that it should not proceed;
- The Minister request the Hume City Council review their community engagement process in order to address the concerns raised through this process relating to the perception of disadvantage in Sunbury and inadequate advocacy on behalf of the Sunbury community;
- As a minimum, if a new municipality is created, it should be viable and sustainable in its own right, that revenue and expenditure should be equitable for the residents of each municipality, the views of the communities affected by the change should be taken into consideration; and
- Each new municipality should have sufficient financial capacity to provide its community with a comprehensive range of municipal services and to undertake necessary infrastructure investment and renewal.
The Transition Auditors also suggested that if the Minister does not accept the recommendation for the separation to proceed, that a new compulsory poll be conducted for all voters in the municipality.
Council would like to acknowledge the additional work undertaken by the Minister and Local Government Victoria to better understand and evaluate the impacts that a new Sunbury City Council would have on the community.
However, it is now important for the Victorian Government to make a decision as a matter of urgency so Council can break the cycle of speculation and uncertainty about this issue.
Throughout this process, Council has remained committed to getting a fair and balanced outcome for both communities and has respected the view of our residents and businesses.
More information on the Sunbury Hume Transition Audit can be found on Victorian Government websites at sunburyhumetransition.vic.gov.au or delwp.vic.gov.au/local-government.
You can also read the Minister for Local Government's Media Release on the issue.
Hume City Council's media release about the Transition Auditors' report is here.
July 2015 update
The Sunbury Hume Transition Auditors have invited Hume City Council residents and ratepayers to attend a public information evening on Friday 24 July 2015 from 7pm – 8.30pm at Sunbury Memorial Hall, 6 Stawell Street, Sunbury.
For further information visit: http://www.sunburyhumetransition.vic.gov.au
June 2015 update
The Sunbury Hume Transition Auditors have begun releasing a series of community information sheets on the separation of Sunbury from Hume City Council to help address questions Hume City Council residents and ratepayers may have, including:
• the Sunbury Poll process
• Sunbury Poll concerns
• impact on rates in Sunbury
• impact on rates in Hume (without Sunbury)
• services in Sunbury; and
• population growth in Sunbury.
For further information visit: http://www.sunburyhumetransition.vic.gov.au
April 2015 update
Transition Auditors were appointed on 2 April 2015, under section 220A(a) of the Local Government Act 1989. Read the media release for further details. They are conducting a review and will report to the Minister by the end of August 2015, in accordance with the Terms of Reference for the Transition Auditors.
March 2015 update
Hume City Council is committed to working closely with the Victorian Government to address ongoing implications of a decision to delay the creation of Sunbury City Council until 2016.
Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins announced on Friday, 27 March 2015 that the establishment of the new Council would be delayed by 12 months to provide the opportunity for more time to undertake the significant transition. Ms Hutchins also announced the appointment of Frank Vincent and John Watson as Transition Auditors to assist in the process and provide recommendations to the Minister in late 2015.
Council has both acknowledged and respected the community’s say and vote for Sunbury to separate to form its own Council – but not to the disadvantage of our community. Council has held serious concerns about the process undertaken by the previous government, including timeframes imposed, the process of asset distribution, the obligations and costs imposed on the community and the significant impact to staff.
Council will continue to advocate for key changes to be made to the previous government’s Order-in-Council, which if allowed to proceed in its current form, will have a significant impact on the community and greatly affect a wide range of Council programs, services and projects.
Council will continue to seek further clarification from the Victorian Government to understand the details of the decision and what it meant for Council staff and the community and will continue to advocate for the project to be treated with high priority.
For more information
Read Hume City Council's media release.
The Minister for Local Government's announcement can be found on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.
Hume City Council has written to the Victorian Labor Government seeking an urgent update on the Sunbury Project, following the Victorian State Election on 29 November, 2014.
While Council respects the community's decision for the creation of a new Sunbury City Council, Council will continue to advocate to the government to ensure a fair and reasonable outcome for both communities, and to protect the interests of staff, their conditions and wages.
The former Napthine Government announced on 30 October that it will establish a new Sunbury City Council to come into effect from 1 July, 2015.
Former Victorian Local Government Minister the Hon Tim Bull issued the changes to the boundaries of Hume and proclaimed a new municipal district of Sunbury in the Victorian Government Gazette.
The official legislative change was adopted by an Order in Council and signed by the Governor in Council, which established the change in Victorian law.
In September 2014, more than 350 Hume residents and stakeholders attended an Interactive Information Session held at Broadmeadows Town Hall on the issue.
The session encouraged attendees to provide feedback on the proposed changes, ask questions, watch presentations and view maps and boundaries.
Links and further information
A report highlighting the outcomes and feedback from the Information Session can be read here: Sunbury_Project_Community_Survey.pdf
Correspondence between Council and the former Minister for Local Government on the matter can be found here:
Minister Tim Bull -_Outcomes_Interactive_Information_Session Response.pdf (327.93 kb) (327.93 kb)
Read Hume City Council's Media Release for more information.
For more details on the project and to view the Local Government Panel Report and new proposed Council boundaries, visit the Local Government Victoria website.
Key changes to take place include:
- The new municipality will be known as the Sunbury City Council and will incorporate the towns of Sunbury, Wildwood, part of Bulla and areas of Diggers Rest and Clarkefield as well as parts of Oaklands Junction.
- That the northern boundary of the new municipality extend along the existing boundary between Hume City Council and Macedon Ranges Shire, the western boundary extend from Jacksons Creek on the northern boundary to the Calder Highway along the existing Hume City Council boundary, the southern boundary extend along Holden Road to Jacksons Creek and along the northern boundary of Melbourne Airport and the eastern boundary extend along Deep Creek until it deviates along Wildwood Road and then back along Deep Creek. Hume City Council will include the suburbs of Attwood, Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, Coolaroo, Craigieburn, Dallas, parts of Fawkner, Gladstone Park, Greenvale, Jacana, Kalkallo, Meadow Heights, Melbourne Airport, Mickleham, most of Oaklands Junction, Roxburgh Park, Somerton, Tullamarine, Westmeadows, Wildwood and Yuroke.
- That this boundary incorporates some of the township of Bulla within the municipality but excludes the land on which Melbourne Airport is located.
- That the portion of the suburb of Diggers Rest which is located in the City of Melton be considered for inclusion in the proposed municipality at a future date, but only after consultation with the local community.
- A panel of three Administrators and interim CEO will be appointed by 1 July, 2015 to head the new Council until local government elections in October 2016;
- The existing Hume City Council to remain in place until elections in October 2016;
- The division and allocation of non-physical and moveable assets and liabilities will be on a ratio of 23.6 per cent of value to the new Sunbury Council and 76.4 per cent to Hume;
- Hume City Council to prepare a Budget for the new Council prior to the start of the 2015/2016 financial year, with declared rates and charges;
- The pending subdivision and sale of the Racecourse Road project to be allocated to the new municipality; and
- The Melbourne Airport to remain within the boundaries of Hume.
While accepting the majority of the recommendations, Hume City Council advocated to the Victorian Government to re-consider the report.
Under the proposed changes, Hume residents would be forced to fund a new breakaway Sunbury Council by handing over more than $24.7 million in rates revenue from Melbourne Airport over the next decade.
Council has serious concerns with the Sunbury out of Hume Local Government Report, as it unfairly supported the establishment of Sunbury Council at the great expense of Hume residents, ratepayers and business owners.
In May 2013, the Victorian Government announced Hume residents would be able to vote on whether Sunbury should separate from Hume City and form a new Council (Sunbury out of Hume).
A Victorian Electoral Commission poll was conducted in October 2013, with results finding that about 60 per cent of those who voted, were in favour of Sunbury breaking away from Hume.
In February 2014, the government established a Panel to advise on the most effective way for Sunbury to separate. The Panel provided a report to the Minister for Local Government on 30 June, 2014.
The Minister for Local Government announced on 9 September, 2014 how Sunbury would be created. The new municipality will incorporate the towns of Sunbury, Bulla, Wildwood and areas of Diggers Rest and Clarkefield.
The new Council will come into effect from 1 July, 2015 and new Councillors will be elected in October 2016.
Council provided nine key recommendations as part of its submission to the Local Government Panel consultations.
Council adopted to provide a formal written submission advocating that the costs of de-amalgamation, including separation are not borne by Hume residents and ratepayers.
Council’s submission includes nine recommendations, including:
That the boundary for Sunbury will be in accordance with the boundary that the Sunbury Vote was taken;
That the Panel ensures the appropriate distribution of assets and liabilities to both a restructured Hume City Council and Sunbury so as not to disadvantage the communities and all stakeholders of the City;
That a restructured Hume City Council retain the Hume City Council name and brand should Sunbury secede from Hume;
That Council, as democratically elected in 2012, remains and sees out the full Council term until 29 October 2016;
That the Panel ensures the appropriate distribution of staffing to both Hume and Sunbury so as not to disadvantage the communities and the staff and all stakeholders of the City;
That the Panel determines a Rating outcome with no material differences to the estimates included in the information to assist residents in making an informed decision when the vote undertaken in October 2013;
That the costs of Separation of Sunbury from Hume City Council be borne by the State Government or the new Sunbury Shire Council;
Hume City Council cost of undertaking the work required to assist and respond to requests of the Panel and the Sunbury Project that culminated in the two KPMG Reports be reimbursed to Hume City Council as part of the Separation costs;
That the Minister for Local Government in conjunction with the Panel to have ongoing discussions and briefings with Council to enable: the Chief Executive Officer the opportunity to brief staff, the unions and stakeholders on this matter and the progress through the Panel; and to work with all groups and stakeholders to ensure proper continuation of services to the community.