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Peter Bernard - 27 October 2015

Peter Bernard made the following comments in the Public Access Session at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 27 October 2015.

Preamble

1. Does the council record (visually or audibly) in full all discussions with respect to non agenda items and agenda items? Did council staff sound record or video all recent public meetings.

2. Are these recording available to the public free of charge upon request

Questions

Public concerns regard Health and Safety. Narooma Bar Beach Boat Ramp, Mummuga Lake and Dalmeny Coastal Beach Areas

Narooma Boat Ramp Modifications

Through you Mr Mayor to General Manager.

Catherine

You will be aware that a number of speakers expressed concern about the new Apex boat ramp at the Narooma public meeting.

The engineering faults are one thing but

There is widespread concern with respect to personal safety.

The design is such that the pontoon is centred in the middle of the ramp. Children and adults are using the pontoon while tonne motor cruisers are being launched and retrieved on either side of them.

It has been asked whether council is going to take responsibility if one of the spectators falls off the pontoon and is killed or maimed.

There are serious questions about the works not complying with Australian standards, but the safety issue is critical.

If council’s environmental staff put the protection of a small area of seagrass before the safety of visitors and residents, we have reached a new low in environmental management.

I might add it takes owners far longer to launch and retrieve from the new facility because of the narrow lanes and revised ramp design. Unless the rectification works are carried out immediately, there will be more warfare between local fishermen and visitors in Narooma than there is in Syria- and we have to call the Russians and the Yanks in to sort it out. However if Gabby gets her motion through the Delassle Motel may be full refugees and there may be increased conflict and nowhere to house the peace keeping troops

2.0 As mentioned at the public meeting at Bateman’s Bay the rate of recession of some areas of the banks of Mummuga Lake and coastal along Dalmeny Beach area in particular appears to accelerating at an increasing rapid rate .This is quite evident opposite to a previous entry into Mummuga from the sea which was apparently closed by some authority. One area of bank is in close proximity to the sewerage treatment work and round- about . It is also an extremely hazardous area with the possibility of bank collapse along a wide stretch of bank as shown in the following photographs. The area is known as the “deep hole swimming hole ‘as shown in the accompany photographs. One lady was recently worried after finding a young Childs goggles on a section of collapsed sand bank but fortunately it was low tide and no body was observed. (Show goggles). Money has been allocated for “rock wall” stabilisation in the recent rate rise as an enticement. Warning signs should be installed immediately and would suggest to Warren to put his rocks on the bank and stabilise the area immediately.

A similar public hazard is accelerating on the Dalmeny beach front directly opposite and in the area of the previous entrance and particularly at high tidal situations .

Peter Bernard.

Council reply

With regards specifically to your queries and concerns about sandbank and dune erosion of the Dalmeny coastal beach area, and the possibilities of a bank collapse, we have referred these directly to National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) office in Narooma for investigation and response.

With regards to your further queries and concerns please see the following:

1. Apex Park boat ramp

The central pontoon provided at Apex Park boat ramp is a commonly used feature of many major boat ramp facilities. It has been appropriately designed by specialist engineering consultants to provide a safe outcome. We reject any suggestion that Council has put sea grass before public safety. The facility has been designed in accord with the relevant Australian standard and is fit for purpose.

As already indicated at the Narooma public meeting, a minor adjustment will be undertaken buffer arrangement on the fixed timber jetty on the western ramp prior to Christmas to increase the available width to 4m. No further works are required on the eastern ramp.

Council has received positive feedback from users of the new pontoon. We note the increased number of options for holding boats prior to retrieval. These include the fixed jetty (retained at the request of boaters), the original pontoon and now two sides of the new pontoon. This provide more options and greater capacity.

2. Embankments

In regard to the erosion of the embankment on Mummaga Lake, we note that Council has allocated funding to address this issue in 2015/16 Operations Plan. This is one of many projects that Council is able to deliver for our community as a result of the approved rate variation.

Council is working to undertake the project planning and secure the necessary approvals from NSW Government agencies. Subject to these being provided, we expect this work to be completed this financial year.

In regard to the beach escarpment on Dalmeny beach, we have passed on your concerns to the National Parks team in Narooma to investigate and respond to you directly as this land is under their control.’

With regard to the recording of non-agenda items and the recent public meetings. Non agenda items are not recorded however, live streaming of council meetings is now available via Council’s website. No recordings were made of the recent public meetings held across the shire but questions and answers were minuted and are available at www.esc.nsw.gov.au/inside-council/project-and-exhibitions/community-engagement/community-meetings.