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Charles Stuart - 28 March 2017

Charles Stuart made comments regarding the future of the Corrigans Reserve Inclusive Playground at the Ordinary Council Meeting 28 March 2017.

I am President of not-for-profit organisation, The Bay Push and I spoke to you last month, asking for a budgetary consideration to assist finish the inclusive playground at Corrigans Reserve and to name the playground; Variety Inclusive Playground.

Those matters are currently being actioned by council. Thank you.

Today I address you on behalf of the most marginalised members of our community. They are the families of children with a disability, the disadvantaged, and the youth unemployed. 75% of HSC leavers do not get a job locally.

These are the members of our community, identified to be supported by council's community strategic plan. Please retain that thought!

In 2013 my organisation prepared a Community Business Plan that sought to address some of these issues in a moderate but positive way.

The plan centred on an inclusive playground and tourist precinct at Corrigans Reserve comprising a number of stages designed to give families, a 'free of charge', leisure area and an attraction that would bring tourists to our shire from our neighbours in Canberra.

The Community Business plan was tabled at a Council forum held in 10 March 2014, and whilst it was not formally approved by councillors, it was warmly accepted.............................................

Now I move to current times. At the playground opening on the 4 March this year, I was handed a copy of a funding proposal by the Director of Infrastructure Services, a copy of which I have emailed councillors together with the Community Business Plan I mentioned before.

At that time, I was advised that this had NOT been referred to the General Manager, the Mayor or Councillors prior to submission.

The grant application includes funding for:

  1. Playground completion,
  2. Rebuilding the seaside carpark at Corrigans,
  3. Construction of an accessible path and viewing platform at Observation Point.

All very commendable, but lastly and devastatingly:

4. A concreted labyrinth of roadways to house the fortnightly Sunday markets adjacent to the playground.

And this is the hub of my address today.

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This plan prevents any further stages of a play and tourist precinct at Corrigans reserve.

When asking about the future of a Splash Park next to the playground, I was informed that council was going to build a large water park at the aquatic centre at Mackay Park comprising a tipping water bucket and slides. This is news to The Mackay Park Sunset Advisory Committee, who have made no firm decisions at this stage.

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I am in support of quality markets, but in reality, it can be sited at a number of more suitable locations. The one that springs to mind is Mackay Park, Batemans Bay, a site that would attract passing traffic on the Princes Highway or at Corrigans Reserve in front of where the annual fair is held. However, this is not my role.

What is the greatest concern to me and others, is that council staff are making decisions without community consultation. We have two sunset advisory committees, one for Corrigans Reserve and one for Mackay Park.

Neither of these committees have been approached with the details of the funding proposal and the plans contained there-in.

In conclusion, I request a meeting of the Corrigans Reserve Sunset Advisory Committee be held in the near future, to properly plan the future for development at Corrigans reserve in strict conformity with the community consultation outcomes.

Charles Stuart
The Bay Push