RICHMOND RIVER COUNTY COUNCIL
Agency Information Guide
Richmond River County Council was constituted by Proclamation on 25 November 1959 and has been delegated with the responsibility for flood mitigation activities for Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley councils. Council’s Proclamation was amended most recently on 5 September 2008, when natural resource management in relation to flood mitigation activities was formally incorporated as a Council function.
Council is responsible for exercising powers and duties under the Local Government Act 1993 in relation to the prevention or mitigation of menace to the safety of life or property from floods and natural resource management issues arising therefrom on behalf of the constituent councils of Lismore City, Ballina Shire and Richmond Valley. This involves a coordinating role in floodplain management, working with constituent councils, state and commonwealth agencies, university researchers, and floodplain industries to develop long-term effective natural resource management strategies for the Richmond River floodplain and estuary.
Council is responsible for the construction and replacement of flood mitigation infrastructure, including the routine maintenance of various canals and floodgates. This includes:
- 113 drainage canals totalling over 198km in length
- 1127 flood control structures such as floodgates and culverts
- 79 levees totalling 78km in length
- 6 pump stations used to reduce flooding in Lismore (located at Browns, Hollingsworth and Gasworks creeks)
- A concrete fixed weir to restrict the flow of salt water from the Evans River (located in Tuckombil Canal, 1km south of Woodburn on the Pacific Highway)
- South Lismore levee totalling 5.5km in length – designed to protect South Lismore in the event of a 1 in 10 year flood.
Council’s decision-making function affects the public most significantly through its flood mitigation activities.
Membership of the Council is drawn from the councils of Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley.
The current representatives of the member councils are as follows:
|Ballina Shire Council||Lismore City Council||Richmond Valley Council|
|Cr David Wright
|Cr Graham Meineke||Cr Steve Morrissey|
|Cr Ben Smith||Cr Neil Marks
|Cr Sandra Humphrys|
The functions of General Manager are undertaken conjointly under an arrangement with Rous Water. Administrative services are provided by Rous Water on a fee-for-service basis.
A copy of the information posted onto the Richmond River County Council website can also be requested in person from the Rous Water Administration Centre, Level 4, 218-232 Molesworth Street, Lismore NSW 2480 between 8:30am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. Alternatively you can request a copy be posted to you by emailing email@example.com, telephoning (02) 6623 3891 or by mailing your request to Richmond River County Council, PO Box 230, Lismore NSW 2480.
Council and public participation in Council policy formulation
Council meetings are held five times each year, commencing at 5pm in the Rous Water Administration Centre, Level 4, 218-232 Molesworth Street, Lismore. Council meeting dates and business papers can be found under the “Council business papers” heading on the “Documents” page. Business papers are also available from Council’s office and at the relevant Council meeting. Public notice of time and place of Council meetings is advertised in the local paper, the Northern Star, at the beginning of each year. Any variation to Council’s meeting timetable is advertised in the local paper.
Public access is available at the commencement of all Council meetings, whereby members of the public may address Council on matters listed in the business paper relevant for the meeting subject to sections 10A and 10B of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW), which make provision for the closure of meetings in certain circumstances.
Other opportunities for public participation include but are not limited to the following:
- Access is available to inspect documents and correspondence tabled at or submitted to a Council meeting as well as the minutes to all meetings.
- Public exhibition is undertaken and an invitation to make submissions issued on a range of policy documents and proposals.
Council information available to the public
Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), Richmond River County Council and all other NSW government agencies are required to publish a range of open access information.
This information includes a disclosure log, policy documents, agency information guide and a register of government contracts.
Council generates and retains a range of records to facilitate its daily operations, including:
- Legal, corporate governance, financial, commercial and administrative records.
- Operational records.
- Human Resources records.
- Information Technology records.
- General Manager records.
Information can be provided by open access, proactive release, informal request or a formal application. Release of information is subject to whether there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. Council makes available for inspection those documents that it is required and permitted by law to make available for inspection. Inspection of such documents is free of charge however an administration charge may apply if copies of these documents are required.
Richmond River County Council policies can be viewed here.
The Annual Report is our annual report card providing information on our achievements during the reporting period as well as our financial performance. The report complies with the Local Government Act (NSW) 1993 and contains important information about various aspects of our business.
Council’s Intergrated Planning and Reporting suite of documents provide details of the direction in which Council will be proceeding in each financial year.
The documents provide a forward framework for identifying the priority issues for Council, outcomes proposed to address these issues and the strategies to achieve the outcomes. The Finance section includes detailed estimates of income and expenditure together with Council’s fees and charges.
Returns disclosing the interests of councillors and designated persons under section 449 of the Local Government Act 1993 are available for inspection at the Rous Water Administration Centre (Level 4, 218-232 Molesworth Street, Lismore), during ordinary business hours.
A disclosure log is a record containing details of government information already released under the GIPA Act. A disclosure log is part of the open access information that agencies are required to make publicly available. Details are entered into the disclosure log when an access application has been decided, and any review time limits have expired.
Class 1 contracts are those that have, or a likely to have, a value of $150,000 or more.
Class 2 contracts are those where there has not been a public tender process and the terms and conditions of the contract have been negotiated directly with the contractor, or the contract was the subject of a tender (public or not) but the terms have been substantially negotiated with the contractor; the obligations of one or more parties to maintain or operate infrastructure or assets; could continue for ten years or more, and the contract involves a privately financed project or the exchange of significant assets.
Class 3 contracts are Class 2 Contracts that have a value of more than $5 million.
How information is available and how to lodge an application
If you wish to access information that is not publicly available you must complete a GIPA application form and pay a fee of $30 for the application to be assessed. This form is available on this website and at Council’s Administration Centre Reception. Click here to download Council’s GIPA Access application form. This fee includes the first 20 hours of processing time.
Depending on the type of document, information will be supplied to the applicant in either electronic or hardcopy format, or a combination of both.
GIPA applications must be made in writing, accompanied by the $30 application fee and lodged by post to:
The Public Officer
Rous Water (RRCC)
PO Box 230
LISMORE NSW 2480
Applications may also be lodged in person at the Rous Water Administration Centre, Level 4, 218-232 Molesworth Street, Lismore, between 8:30am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
For informal requests for information or to seek amendment of Council’s records concerning your personal affairs, contact the Public Officer by telephone on (02) 6623 3891; facsimile (02) 6621 8314 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Access to Council’s records regarding your personal affairs is free and a GIPA Access Application form is not required.
Further information regarding the GIPA Act is available from:
Information and Privacy Commission (IPC)
free call telephone: 1800 472 679
postal address: GPO Box 7011 Sydney NSW 2001
or visit the office at Level 17, 201 Elizabeth Street, Sydney