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Patricia Hellier - 24 April 2018

Patricia Hellier made the below comments at the Ordinary Council Meeting 24 April 2018.

Thank you Mayor and Councillors for your time, the reason for this presentation this morning I believe a presenter in council can be disadvantaged, due to the fact that when we speak at Public Forum very few questions get asked to the speakers by you the councillors, some councillors appear to be more engrossed with flicking through their I pads and at a recent meeting when a group of people spoke on the Estuary one councillor appeared to me more interested in something in his lap.

When that  items appears on the Agenda for debate some of the comments I believe from Councillors are their own personal opinions and a number of times in listening I have thought to myself "why did you not make that comment to the presenter" - we all know that advice is given by one of the directors depending on what subject and some of the advice that is given I believe can be the directors own views or the advice is tainted my example of this is at the meeting on the 27th March a Director made a statement that "Dump Point have a odours and that there is a hygiene problem" - Whilst some Dump Points that do not have a water tap attached may have an odour, can assure you there is more of an issue of odours and hygiene at areas that do not have an appropriate Dump Point and the local toilets get used for canisters to be emptied - this is when you have a real hygiene problem.

I am very familiar with the Dump Point at Corrigans as I am at Corrigans at least once a week - I have never encountered an Odour from this Dump Point - and given the Directors comment about Dump Points, Odour,  Hygiene, safety issue and appearances from Beach  Road I  therefore ask the question "Why was a Dump Point placed at Corrigans next to a playground area, directly next to a footpath, visible from Beach Road, next to two parking areas and an exit road and visible from a children's playground area and I ask the question does council consider that there is a safety issue of the Dump point at Corrigans given the Director statement.

This Director also commented on the "cost" of a Dump Point as I stated in my presentation the CCMA put the Dump Point in at Corrigans and they were prepared to look at an additional "Dump Point" in the area and yet the Director made a point of the cost factor. I have also noted that when 2 groups speak on the same subject sometimes times Directors show a definite preference to one particular group and this was shown clearly by Director at a recent meeting  when a point was raised in relation to grants and the local Historical Society the facts are there is no historical significance to these particular  toilets on the land and the milestone post has no historical significant  to this parcel of land therefore this had  no bearing on that particular subject.

On Tuesday 3rd April I spoke to a person who told me she was the Supervisor/Cleaner of the Batemans Bay area for the Public Toilets I raised with her the cleaning of the toilets and Dump Points and she told me she fully supported having a Dump Point in the area that I raised with her and her reply was  "I am the person who has to deal with this problem with canister being emptied into the public toilets" she also added that she would be more than happy to speak directly to any Councillors over any matter pertaining to the public toilets in the area. At the same time that I spoke to cleaner we spoke to a gentleman who was on his 3rd trip around Australia and he told us that he had stopped at the Bowling Club car park in his caravan the overnight, he had just filled his truck up with fuel at Batehaven $285.00 and  his wife was shopping in Coles and he said she would spend another $200.00 he told us that the word was out about the use of the Bowling Clubs site and he said years ago he would stop at a site off road north of Cullendulla and would  spend a couple days there.

Prior to this term of Councillors I have raised the need to embrace the Grey Nomads. I originally asked for a Dump Point to be placed at the Batemans Bay Bowling Club site.  The same day I spoke to the cleaner of the public toilets, I stopped at the Bowling Club site there was 10 vans there - 6 were travelling together they had stopped at the site overnight and were heading off to the Milton Showground as it had power.

Councillors there are 3 types of mobile travellers, one group go to the caravan parks as they may want the facilities that they offer ie jumping castle for the kids etc., there is a 2nd group that look for the show grounds reasons being might be a cost factor, showgrounds offer larger sites, they may have a dog as most parks don't allow animals, some have larger vans or 5th wheelers and at caravan parks they might have to pay for a double site.  Showgrounds charge up to $25.00 a night, others stay purely "off road" as they are fully self-contained with solar etc. Now caravan park charge from $42.00 to $48.00 per night and in the holiday season from $72.00 to $78.00 per night some travellers cannot afford to stay at Caravan Parks but many prefer to stay at the showground due to the fact that it is known that this is a more social stay with many enjoying a 5 o'clock happy hour.

A few weeks ago I spoke to Tubby Harrison and he has told me he has spoken to some of the Councillors Tubby told me in his travels he could stay in caravan parks but he preferred the social atmosphere of a show ground or off road sites we both agreed that this shire is being bypassed by many travellers due to the lack of facilities for them.

I attended a Community Chamber meeting in January 2017, the Mayor and a staff person were also in attendance I raised the fact that we need some foresight  for this shire in the busy holiday period and the need to attract more tourism and to provide more attractions to keep tourist here  longer.

I have noticed here today there is a report in relation to funding for the Botanic Gardens, what is needed is to increase tourism to enjoy this facility, there would be an opportunity for both ends of the shire to capitalise with some help from this Council and as I stated in January 2017 there could be organised bus trip for visitors to take in the various sites and I just use this as an example – the Batemans Bay the Tourist Information Centre could sell tickets for day trips to start at Bird land, then to the Botanic Gardens for morning tea or lunch, then to Mogo Gold Fields and shopping at Mogo and then onto the Zoo - that is just an example the other end of the shire could start at Tilba Tilba. Currently during the school holidays at the Ballina Bowling Club one of their Bowling Greens is being used as a skating ring - there is a company who sets up an enclosed ice skating ring - they are selling tickets at $16.00 for children and $20.00 for adults - I have been told that nearly all the spots have been booked out I ask WHY could we not have this for the next winter school holidays at the vacant greens in Batemans Bay -over to you Councillors.

Trish Hellier on behalf of Save Albert Ryan Park and Eurobodalla Concerned Citizens.