The Tuross Head Progress Association meeting held last Thursday (March 2nd, 2017) saw much discussion of the matters around the town. Following the acceptance of minutes from the previous meeting and adopting the Treasurers report that indicates the THPA has over $30,000 in funds the next item on the agenda was: CORRESPONDENCE – INWARDS & OUTWARDS.
Given the plethora of Inwards and Outwards correspondence, the majority of which was initiated by the acting Secretary, it was resolved to present a combined register of all Inwards & Outwards correspondence for the month of February 2017 as an attachment to the meeting Agenda. The aim of this approach was to present both inwards and outwards correspondence grouped into subject topics for ease of reference. What was revealed was that much of the correspondence written by the THPA to Council on matters around Tuross Head remains unanswered to the point of embarrassment on their part as time and time again John Tilbrook indicated to each correspondence that he had had no answer – at all – he even advised the meeting that he had been blocked from two council staff inbox addresses. After much hilarity at the volume of unanswered correspondence by Eurobodalla Shire Council and the fact that the Acting Secretary, John Tilbrook, had has his emails blocked by Council staff the meeting finally moved on to the agenda though there remained a rumble of hilarity in the room. The agenda covered an update regarding the re-prioritisation of footpath works in Tuross to provide for a disabled resident who wants a pathway along Hector McWilliam Drive rather than an access from Hector McWilliam Drive to Coogee Street to then access Anderson Avenue and the cycleway. It was stated again that the footpath along had been argued against at a previous meeting however the meeting was told that the THPA was now awaiting further advice from Council. Irrespective of the outcome it was reiterated that the Cycle Way funds held by the THPA can not be used for the purpose of a footpath while outstanding cycle way works remain.
The next item was in regards to seeking a grant to commission a Hector McWilliam bust as Public Art and the installation of historical plaques in the first stage of providing both the Shire Public Arts Committee and the Heritage Advisory Committee with a clear definition of what Tuross Head would like to do in increasing the community awareness of the town’s history as part of community building and of providing a sense of place. It was suggested that if Council agree in principle they would then agree to support the THPA request for appropriate grants.
THPA PRIVILEGED ASSOCIATION WITH KYLA PARK HALL
The council advised that the new Kyla Hall Management Committee had to support the request before it would go to Council for consideration. The KPMC agreed to the request at its first meeting so John Tilbrook & Gary Cooper have to meet with the Councils Financial Manager (Anthony O’Reilly) to present their case.
At the meeting it was made very clear that the THPA used to have a hall that had no fee for THPA meetings or events as it was on land owned by the THPA in a hall built by the THPA. The meeting was told that Council had connived to sell the hall land in an effort to obtain the sale profits for general revenue however were discovered – after a manipulated community survey it was “agreed” that the community would earmark $200,000 from the sale of “its” own land to refurbish a hall (Kyla Hall) that Council had allowed to fall into such disrepair that it stood n the edge of being condemned. And now the Council has the audacity to charge the THPA to use the hall as it feels fit for meetings and events outside of pre-booked events.
RMS SAFETY UPGRADE OF T INTERSECTION ON HIGHWAY.
RMS advised THPA that safety upgrade work will commence to install new T and Stop signage and line marking mid-March 2017. It was noted that that a STOP sign had been erected that day
ROAD SIGNAGE LAKE STREET T INTERSECTION.
Council states no need for Give Way or Stop signs at Lake Street. It was a point of hilarity when Council's response was read: "We do not consider the installation of a Stop or Give Way sign at this T-intersection is warranted. It is expected that motorists obey the NSW Road Rule 73 at T-intersections" as this intersection has had a Give Way sign for more than 20 years - will Council now come and remove the old Give Way sign? Council has raised CSR to investigate THPA concerns about obstruction of driver’s vision from vegetation growing on nature strips at #2 and #6 Hector McWilliam Drive
RE-INSTALLATION OF FLOOD LAMP AT ONE TREE POINT. A request as been made to REINSTATE the flood light that was removed from One Tree lookout during renovation works. The light illuminates the point and also the staircase down to the rock ledge below.
Tony Swallow of ESC has advised that the Cutomer Services Request ( CSR ) is being considered.
RABBIT PLAGUE IN TUROSS The meeting was advised that a new strain of rabbit calicivirus disease was being dispatched in the village
LAKE STREET TURN-AROUND CIRCLE.
Council has raised CSR for inspection & road surface repair in response to THPA submission. Work is still to be done
THPA REQUEST TO RESTORE WHITE CENTRE LINE MARKING ON TUROSS BOULEVARDE.
Since contacting Council requesting linemarking to be reinstated Council wrote to THPA advising there was "never line marking and it was un-necessary". The meeting was advised that it was in fact once line marked and that Council had, over a period of time, reduced the linemarking across the Shire including line marking in Tuross Head and along Tuross Boulevarde in particular.
BEACH GOER ACCESS TO PLANTATION BEACH SOUTH.
THPA to submit suggestion to Council (Landcare & Environment – Emma Patyus) that the sandbagging of the three access points onto the beaches is a suitable task for the Green Army in mid-2017).
UPDATE ON COUNCIL’S INTENDED SALE OF COMMUNITY RESERVE (CORNER BEACH ST & TUROSS BOULEVARDE) The meeting was advised that Council had now pegged the land that was to be identified as road reserve leaving a residue that would become Lot 277. The owner of the adjacent parcel advised the meeting that she had still not received any communication or reply to her many letters to Council. Those at the meeting voiced their disgust at the attitude taken by Council and the way they had treated adjacent owners along with their contempt for ignoring the Tuross head community when it clearly stated, via a letter from the THPA that it did not approve at all of the selling of the lot and could see no justification in doing so other than for financial gain. The meeting heard that Council had recently had a valuer on site which clearly indicates that it intends to move ahead with the sale irrespective of what the community or adjacent neighbours think.
All at the meeting were absolutely opposed to the proposed sale of this land.
PROGRESS OF BBSC STORAGE SHED PROJECT & WATER TANK ON KYLA HALL FOR RAINWATER SUPPLY TO TCG. Kathy Arthur has advised all relative groups that the old shed is to be removed and the new one built ASAP. It was discussed that Council seem to presume that they are the ones to build the shed. The meeting did however hear that a tender to supply the shed material had been seen in a local paper. The meeting discussed the fact that there were local trades fully capable of erecting the shed and that they should be allowed to quote to do so. The meeting was in mirth when it heard that the current rainwater tanks on the Kyla Hall had no purpose whatsoever and certainly weren’t being used for the flushing of toilets as they should be. Gary Cooper, President of the THPA and also representative on the Kyla Hall Management Committee advised the room that, as far as he was concerned, there would be new water tanks installed along side the current Kyla Hall tanks to access the residue of Kyla Hall’s rainwater and that this water would be directed to the community gardens.
PROGRESS ON COUNCIL’S PLAN TO RE-CATEGORISE LOT 77 (CANCELLATION OF MOOTED PUBLIC FORUM WITH INDEPENDENT UMPIRE) The meeting heard that there had been an approach by the THPA to have Council rescind the motion to conduct a Public Hearing as there was now no justification to do so. It was said that “Council’s adamancy that the Sailing Club shed be located on Lot 77 resulted in a total backdown when it became a public issue that only one person wanted it there contrary to the wishes of an entire community.” The meeting heard that “Even the addition of an “encroachment” of 10 feet of playing field into Lot 77 being justification for recategorization was considered as “total bullshit”
The Vice president John Tilbrook, was hopeful that the motion to hold a public meeting would be rescinded while a member of the THPA indicted he was looking forward to presenting a warts and all submission for the public record.
STAFFORD DIXON BENCH SEAT
The meeting heard that a concrete pad is yet to be installed by Council. THPA will hasten Council once again. The dedication plaque is currently held by the Secretary THPA waiting to be affixed to the bench seat.
The meeting heard from the Skateboard sub-committee that they were “sick and tired” of waiting for Council to call the Public meeting they promised 14 months ago. To turn the tide the following motion was put to the meeting: The Tuross Head Progress Association Skateboard sub committee moves that the facility be located within Kyla Sporting precinct and be located in the area adjacent to Mylott Way and Hector McWilliam Drive in a position that will ensure maximum visibility from those driving by including the police while being far enough away from homes in Lake Street to present no noise complaint or visual complaint at all. And that Council be advised of the motion and be invited to a Public meeting to be hosted by the THPA on a Saturday in the near future to advise the community on what components might be allowed on the site and what considerations should be made in order to gain funding assistance to build the facility. Should Council not be present then the meeting will go ahead to establish what the community want on the location and how it might be funded.
Though the executive repeated that Council has indicated on several occasions recently a preference for any skateboarding facility to be located at Evans Park this location was deemed by those at the meeting to be a poor choice based on feedback from adjacent neighbours and from the Tuross youth who have indicated that the Kyla Park location suits the majority of children in the village who happen to live in the Coila area as it was accessible via the cycleway, had public toilets nearby and was close to the oval, cricket nets and basketball court that are also used for free recreation.
MAIN BEACH ACCESS FROM ONE-TREE CAR PARK.
There does not seem to be any further progress on completion of new hand rails for the walkway to Main Beach. Left Hand side has been repaired, but Right hand side still lacking & now needs new funding. It was noted that the choice of materials for the left hand rail was poor when compared to like materials in the immediate area. Questions were raised of the $25,000 project that was earmarked for the beach access where $12,000 was spent on steps and the residue was spent on a combination of “dirt dish drainage and cheap recycled hand rail material”. The acting secretary has now been charged with writing to Council requesting an itemised breakdown of this Special Rate Variation project as it is feared that Council may have moved monies across into the kerbing project for the new THPA funded BBQ area.
OCEAN POOL SUGGESTION The idea of pursuing an ocean pool was put forward for discussion with the preferred location at One Tree Cove. Discussion generally determined that Council would not be supportive of the idea however an alternate location within the Tuross River area might be more suitable and more affordable. The location identified was near the Tuross Boat ramp in a "pool" area that has a long history of being deep. Further investigations of this area will be forthcoming with a report back to the next meeting.
MOTION REQUESTING INVITING SITTING MP’S TO ATTEND THPA MEETINGS
Previously a THPA member had moved a motion that MPs be invited to attend meetings.
The Tuesday THPA meeting were unanimous that allcomers are invited and that no invitation is necessary. It was stated by several members that the THPA is apolitical and represents fairly the wishes and concerns of all ratepayers. As such no specific invitation to any MP or Councillor was required. TUROSS GREY ARMY FORMED. It was moved by Chris Jones that: "That a group of "Go To" volunteers be formed under the auspices of THPA.The group to perform minor maintenance and remedial public works around Tuross Head on an as required basis. It's procedures could possibly be modelled on those of the Land Care Group which has done such good self-supervised work around the reserves and lakes of Tuross Head for the past 25 years. The area and scope of its operations to be defined by discussion with, and approval from, Eurobodalla Shire Council, and its project workers to be covered by Council insurances."
THE UPCOMING MEETING WITH THE GM OF COUNCIL. The executive of the THPA will be meeting with the Eurobodalla Council General Manager on March 9thto discuss : Councils planned sale of community Reserve in Beach Street. Council’s modus operandi to date since 2010 to re-zone and sell as a 600 sq meter residential block of land the treasured community Reserve at corner of Beach Street & Tuross Boulevarde opposite the entrance to the Memorial Gardens & Plantation Point and Hector McWilliam Park. Since 2010 the Council has NOT provided any replies to correspondence submitted by the two affected adjoining home owners Skate Park. THPA is in the process of advising the Council where the community think the skate park should be sited. What is the Council proposing the functionality of the park will be and how much would such a park cost so that funding grants can be pursued? Children’s Playground Equipment in Evans Park. Due for programmed infrastructure upgrade, which will see replacement of all equipment. That said, what is the fate of the playground equipment to be removed. Should it be relocated to Kyla Park picnic Reserve on Coila Lake? Bear in mind that this playground equipment was totally funded by the Tuross community (Maree Jackson). Need to boost Council’s Tourism Publicity for Tuross Head. The Tuross community is concerned that the Councils publicity material advertising the Shire to holiday makers does not highlight the attributes of Tuross as sufficiently different to other communities in the Shire. This especially relates to fishing and access to the sea. BBSC storage shed project $69k. Query the value for money for the $52k for skeletal shed & the planned expenditure for the remaining $17k contingency to include a rain water tank installed and connected to Kyla Hall for water supply to TCG. Sculptured bust of Hector McWilliam. Funding options for a bronze sculpture Bust of Hector McWilliam to be erected at Plantation Point within the Memorial Gardens precinct, mounted on a plinth of Moruya granite. Tuross History Signs Project. Further Tuross history signs for display along the cycle/walk or on the One Tree Point Reserve. Subjects planned are: a. History of Cycle/walk project.-2- b. George Bass landing at Tuross on 16 December 1797. c. Un-marked Graves Site – Bridges Reserve (four unmarked graves of drowning victims dating back to 29 March 1867 and earlier. d. Tribute to BRINJA YUIN People – to recognise the original inhabitants and owners of this Land, particularly their habitation of our Tuross Head area and both Tuross and Coila lakes . THPA offer to form within our Association a “GO TO” volunteer group. The Progress Association has been asked to consider the formation of a community volunteer group of both skilled and unskilled labour which would be available to undertake specific minor maintenance projects such as the repainting of the public toilets, cutting grass around street signs, mirror bush eradication follow up. Such tasks could utilize appropriate personnel skills while reducing the need for Council staff to include such activities in their daily program. Suggested names for the group are the SILVER SERVICE or the GREY ARMY to serve the community and Council by making budget savings? T Intersection with Princes Highway. Seeking ESC Roads & Traffic Committee overt support for THPA in ensuring RMS deliver on promised T Intersection road treatment changes before 30 Jun 17, especially bus layby parking. Re-classification of Lot 77 Kyla Park.Champion the cessation of any further Council action for the re-categorisation of Lot 77 being Area of Cultural Significance to General Operation (proven presence of aboriginal artefacts by archaeologist report in 2016). Youth Unemployment Currently job opportunities in Tuross and surrounding community are very limited. This is a result of many factors but is a major concern for the community. Therefore a boost in Tourism could assist with youths being employed in the service industry? The next Monthly meeting is scheduled for 2:00pm Thursday 6 April 2017. The Official Minutes of the Tuross Head Progress Association meeting of March 2nd can be read here