Eric Simes, Eurobodalla Woodcraft Guild Inc - 6 February 2024

Eric Simes, Secretary of the Eurobodalla Woodcraft Guild Inc, presented to Council at the Public Access Session on 6 February 2024.

Access Meeting


Thank you for the opportunity to make this submission.

My name is Eric Simes, and I am Secretary to the Eurobodalla Woodcraft Guild Inc. I also speak to you on behalf of The Moruya Antique Tractor and Machinery Association and the Classic Vehicle and Motor Club of Eurobodalla.

These three groups are those who hope to be known as the Mogo Artisans Centre.

We seek your help in resolving an issue that began with the 2019/2020 fires, during which EWG and MATAMA sheds were burnt to the ground.

Councillors, yesterday, I hand delivered to these offices, a letter and some drawings for your individual consideration, outlining our current situation in relation to our proposal before your Planning Department.

We accepted the original concept given to us by the Recreation planners, a couple of years ago and adapted it to suit the site constraints.

We lodged our plans and have been advised that we will need additional Environmental and Fire studies, which will also necessitate surveying all of the vegetation involved. All of that is acceptable.

Our concerns relate to the constant requests by the Development planners that we reconsider the type of buildings that we build. One time, they suggest that we share facilities, then, that we share one building, and finally with help of an outside consultant they devised yet another concept that was totally unacceptable to all three clubs. As we pointed out in recent letter, the consultant's scheme was totally unworkable. They ignored our documents, did not resolve the supposed problem with the RFS shed and proposed roundabout and did not present a satisfactory solution to pedestrian access to Mogo school. All items required in their brief.

In recent months, we have worked actively and well with Council’s Recreation planner. The Recreation planner has tried hard to achieve a consensus and assist us in our documentation. The consultants have not helped in this regard.

Councillors, our Clubs have been active in the Shire for many years, we do know what we need, and we have further adapted our designs to be more sympathetic to Mogo village architecture. We have engaged professional consultants to document our schemes, we are paying for this development, every cent, we should have the right to determine what want to build, especially given that we are following the Council's concept.

We have determined our designs so that we have the best chance to keep providing a service to our Community. By that, I mean, yours and my community, we are those who live here permanently and make this Shire the wonderful place that it is.

Unless we are granted a DA by May some of the clubs may lose what little grant monies they have secured. We also need a DA in order to apply for future grants.

As a matter of urgency, we need an approval in principle, so that we have the confidence to spend up to $ 10,000 on Environmental, Fire and Survey studies. We are most reluctant to do this without some encouragement.

Our groups are part of the core of this Shire's community. The three clubs, together have over 600 members and through our various activities provide many benefits to the wider population.

We therefore request that as the elected Councillors of the Shire you intervene in the planning process, help us to overcome the in- house blockages, so we can move this valuable development forward.

Thank you for your patience.

Eric Simes
Eurobodalla Woodies

Council's reply

Thank you for your presentation at Public Access on 6 February 2024.

Council is working hard to support the Mogo Artisans to achieve a workable solution at agreed site for the development, at the corner of Tomakin Road and the Princes Highway in Mogo.

As you would be aware, the aim of the master planning process has been to maximise the benefit of the site for your three community-based groups and address requirements identified in the pre-DA meeting, as well as ensuring that the subject site has the flexibility to be used by the broader community into the future.

The subject site has a number of natural and man-made constraints.  For this reason, Council has undertaken the following to date:

  1. October 2022 - Recreation staff outlined an "indicative” building envelope and key considerations for the site at Mogo.
  2. May 2023 - Development Services provided feedback during a pre-DA meeting, making a number of recommendations, including a master planning process.
  3. October 2023 - Ethos Urban were engaged to prepare a master plan.
  4. January 2024 - Ethos Urban presented draft master plan to Mogo Artisans.

While the master plan is currently being refined with regard to the location of buildings, from Council's perspective, the initial concept design:

  1. addresses the RFS shed and proposed future roundabout, considering both current and future access arrangements to the site.
  2. considers and integrates a number of DA related matters, including reducing the extent of excavation required and building in defendable spaces for bushfire planning purposes.

A second iteration of the master plan is now available, and it is expected that this will enable a DA to be lodged and assessed, subject to being supported by previously identified professional reports - i.e. bushfire.

We will be in touch to arrange a meeting in the last week of February to discuss the second iteration of the master plan.