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Patricia Hellier - 8 November 2016

Patricia Hellier made the following comments in the Public Access Session at the Ordinary Council Meeting 8 November 2016.

Council Meeting Tuesday 8th November 2016

Good morning Mayor Innes, Councillors, General Manager, staff, those who may be present in the gallery, and my Mum watching over me from above.

I am here today to make a recommendation to the Councillors to consider placing an Agenda of each Council meeting in a hard copy form in a folder in each of the shires 3 libraries to assist people who do not have access to the internet or have issues with the Council's web site. Given that the Agenda is published on the Wednesday on the internet these Agenda could be in the Libraries on the following Thursday morning prior to the council meeting the following Tuesday. The Agenda could be placed in the folder and kept for reference for residents viewing, the Council could widely publicise this to the community, many other Councils have already established this practice.

I would also like to recommend to the Councillors to have a list of all committee and those Councillors and committee members who are on each committee available in this folder with the Agenda in the Libraries. I am aware these lists are on the Council's web site but again there is the issue for many not having the access to a compute or cannot navigate the Councils web site.

As I am very interested in the committee for the Batemans Bay MacKay Park Precinct Sunset Committee, last night I looked at the Council's web site for the list of Committees and found that it has not been updated from the previous council.

In June 2016 I sent Council a submission with recommendations in relation to the Bowling Club site. Given I was unable to attend the Council meeting on the 12th July 2016 I had live streamed this meeting, I also attended the open day of the Bowling Club on Saturday 16th July on behalf on our group Eurobodalla Concerned Citizens. From watching the Live Streaming I gained the view that all submissions including the original submission from June would be taken into consideration for a committee. I note from the Live Streaming there was mention of "short term leases" and "long term leases" is the current committee established to access only these "short term leases"? I noted from the Live Streaming the committee was adjusted from 6 to 8, in discussion with a resident last week I was told that the committee has now been increased to 9, my question is, was ALL submissions taken into consideration including the original ones from June 2016. If a vacancy becomes available on this committee I would like to be consideration for the vacancy.

I attended the Camping Show at McKay Park at the weekend and a number of people expressed to me the fact that given the Bowling Club is vacant why didn't the Council hire part of this facility for exhibits, it was said that the site was vacant 12 months ago and some believed it would still be vacant in November 2017. Will the announcement of the "new bridge" and its placement affect the old Bowling Club? Given that there are the 6 weeks school holidays has any thought been given for a vision for the use of this facility- the Auditorium could be used for a child minding facility through the school holidays, one of the bowling greens could have a jumping castle and other children activities, many towns are looking at reintroducing the "Blue Light Discos'' for various ages, we desperately need a Police Citizens Boys Club to help with the youth problem that exists. We need vision and a "can do attitude and things will only happen if people make them happen for this facility "the question is how much longer will this facility be left idle? The community want and need to see something happening with this facility. Thank You.

Council's Reply

  1. A hard copy of Council’s Business Papers be made available at the three libraries Thank you for your suggestion to include hard copies of the Council business papers at the three libraries.  Hard copies have been made available, along with the terms of reference for each of Council’s advisory, sunset and S355 committees. 

    2. Submissions to Mackay Park Precinct Sunset Committee
    The report to the Ordinary meeting of Council on 12 July 2016 resolved that Council would “Consider community submissions and expressions of interest received to date when investigating options for the preparation of a masterplan and future public private partnership for the Mackay Park precinct, and report back to Council.
      
    The original submissions were not to be considered in forming the committee, but would be considered in investigating options for the preparation of a masterplan and future public private partnership for the precinct.

    The submissions taken into consideration in forming the sunset committee were those received in response to the specific expression of interest that Council resolved to call for at its meeting held on 12 July 2016.

    3. Will the current sunset committee only decide on the “short term leases”?

    The Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Batemans Bay Mackay Park Sunset Committee were adopted by Council on 12 July 2016. The TOR specify the role of the Sunset Committee is:
  • To assist Eurobodalla Shire Council with the investigation of opportunities for the development of the precinct.
  • To develop and oversee the community engagement process during the investigation of opportunities for the development of the Batemans Bay Mackay Park precinct.

    The committee has no role in considering short term / interim use of the facility.

    4. Were all submissions taken into consideration including the original submissions from June 2016? If a vacancy becomes available on this committee I would like to be consideration for the vacancy.
    All submissions received in response to the specific expression of interest process that Council resolved to call for at the Council meeting  held on 12 July 2016 were considered in forming the sunset committee. Your request to be considered for a vacancy, should one arise, is noted.

    5.Why didn’t the Council hire part of this facility for exhibits at the recent Caravan and Camping Show?
    Council did not received a request from the organisers of the event to use the facility.  The building has been vacant for nearly four years.  It is not suitable for letting in its current condition. Council will consider this as part of short term / interim use.

    6. Will the announcement of the “new bridge” and its placement affect the old bowling club site?Council does not expect the announcement of the new bridge and its placement to impact on the former bowling club site or broader precinct. Presently the highway is 4 lanes adjacent to the former bowling club and this continues to the north. Should the new bridge include 4 lanes, the bridge exit / entrance will flow directly onto the existing 4 lane highway without the need to impact on the former bowling club site.

    7. Given that there are the 6 weeks school holidays has any thought been given for a vision for the use of this facility – the Auditorium could be used for a child minding facility through the school holidays, one of the bowling greens could have a jumping castle and other children activities, many towns are looking at reintroducing the “Blue Light Discos” for various ages, we desperately need a Police Citizens Boys Club to help with the youth problem that exists?
    Council has had discussions with individuals who are interested in making use of parts of the precinct. We have also held discussions with the local branch of the Police Citizens Youth Club (formerly Police Citizens Boys Club).  The local NSW PCYC branch extends from Batemans Bay to Eden and has won awards for being the most outstanding PCYC branch in NSW. Their website is https://www.pcycnsw.org.au/ which shows what is already on offer in our region. In discussions with the PCYC, they have advised that they run quarterly blue light discos but times have changed in that there is only limited interest from primary school age children and no interest from secondary school age children. Notwithstanding, Council will still hold discussions with the NSW PCYC regarding the site.

    For any of the other uses you are suggesting, Council would welcome for consideration an application from yourself or any other interested party to provide such services.

    8. How much longer will this facility be left idle?
    Council is currently considering options related to both the short term / interim use of the facility and the redevelopment of the broader precinct. This is a process that Council must consider carefully, because there is the potential that making the facility available for short term / interim use could require significant funds to make the facility safe and suitable for use. It is not possible to provide a timeframe in response to this question, other than to say that Council sees there are potential opportunities for short term / interim use and significant opportunities associated with the redevelopment of the precinct.