Patricia Hellier - 8 November 2022

Patricia Hellier presented to Council at the Public Access Session on 8 November 2022.


Good morning Mayor, Councillors General Manager, Staff, Gallery and those comfortable zooming from home my name is Patrica Hellier from Batemans Bay.

Again I wish to address the draft Open Coast Management Plan which is currently on exhibition until tomorrow the 9th November 2022.

I would like to remind the Councillors of the saga that I raised at the last Public Forum Council Meeting on the 25th October 2022 –  this item was moved to be placed on Public Exhibition at a Council Meeting on the 11th October 2022 – it is stated in the Councils Code of Meeting Practice “Copies for the agenda and business papers will be available at Batemans Bay and Narooma Libraries and in the gallery prior to the meeting” as Councillors would remember this did not occur – when I spoke on the 25th October 2022 Acting General Manager Director Arthur acknowledge this and I believe this has now been rectified.

I raised at this meeting there was a figure of $5million dollars mentioned in the CMP to be distributed to a number of vulnerable areas in Batemans Bay, I raised the fact that on the 25th February 2019 I was present when Minister Andrew Constance and Minister Gabrielle Upton earmarked $5 million dollars for defensive works for Surfside, I will add there were 150 people present when this money was pledged. Two weeks ago I asked the question “is the $5million dollars stated in the CMP this money , if so, I will reiterate this money was allocated for Surfside and only Surfside” I am yet to receive a reply from Council to my question.

I am privy to an email that Minister Andrew Constance sent on Thursday April 23rd 2020 to the Surfside group, part of the contents being “I remain fully committed to a revetment wall as a solution to stabilising the area as a result of the bridge development and all other infrastructure in the vicinity of Surfside”. This has not occurred.

At the last Council Meeting I raised the fact that “no affected property owners had been advised of the zoning change that will come in if the Certification of the CMP is approved” especially given that the “Coastal Vulnerability Area Zone Maps” for the area were produced in August this year.  On Friday 28th October I was contacted by a number of people who finally received a letter from Council notifying them of the CMP being on Exhibition.

Realistically this has only given the affected property owner 9 working days to put a submission into Council.  As Councillors are aware approximately 48% of property owner in this shire live out of this area and I believe that there would be a large number of these people may not have received this letter they may have a PO Box or the letter maybe sitting in the holiday home’s mailbox and as at the end of last week I was contacted by a person who just received a letter.

I have spoken to a local Real Estate Agent who visited the display of the CMP at the Aquatic Centre last Thursday 3rd November 2022 that person spoke to the Consultant from Rhelm Baird Innovation Engineeres.  This Real Estate Agenda has concerns that if the CMP is adopted with this “vulnerable status” it will negatively effect property values, many people will not be able to get or afford insurance for their properties and should they decide to sell their properties if a purchaser who has to apply for a mortgage may not get approved for a mortgage due to the “vulnerable status” of the property.

I believe that an extension of time is warranted on the Exhibition period of the CMP  and I ask the Mayor if he will address this issue as an urgent Mayoral Minute at today Council Meeting for an extension of time on this matter or if a Councillors will raise this in Urgent Business and ask for an extension of time for the CMP.

Patricia Hellier