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Disquiet in the Bay about the secrecy around the new Aquatic Centre

Dear Beagle Editor, My friends and I have major concerns having heard last night that there is considerable disquiet in the Batemans Bay Bowling Club Sunset Committee to the point where there is every chance they will just walk away. Word about in our circles has Andrew Constance talking to Mayor Innes and others about the NSW Govt. Regional Growth fund ($1.3 billion), urging them to submit a business plan for the aquatic centre and performing arts centre. Apparently he also offered to recommend someone to check the application and advise any modifications which would enhance its chances. Applications for the grant opened on 17th July. There is also the mention "in the hallways" of a "blank cheque" available to get something started. Last we heard the Sunset Committee was still waiting for Otium Pty Ltd to come back with a revised business plan and that the Sunset Committee was really more interested in the approach and design options available via another company that, by their observation, offered more along the ideas that they originally had in mind. Word on the Batemans Bay streets (well, the ladies I talk to) is that the RTA will not be using the site for their bridge depot during the building of the new Batemans Bay bridge. One can only wonder where that depot might be then. Korners Park or the On The Pier carpark or maybe taking over the Wharf Road toilet block and carpark area. That will be nice for the tourists. We also hear from "a very leaky ship" that the mayor thinks council is sitting on a gold mine and if they wanted to sell the land to a "Sydney developer" they'd get multimillions. When council bought it for $2.7m we all heard that shortly after they were approached by a Sydney consortium and offered $300,000 more than they had just paid. We also heard that the same consortium had made a similar request to buy the disused club site when the Catalina Country club abandoned it. Sitting around talking about the future of the Aquatic Centre has become a matter of distress rather than of hope, especially when they keep saying 25m for a pool. We are confused and we live here and have been supporting an aquatic centre for years. None of us know if Council are going to have a new 25m indoor pool and keep the old 50m pool as well or does Batemans Bay now only warrant having a 25m pool and that's it. I looked up the role of the Batemans Bay Mackay Park Precinct Sunset Committee and read that they have to develop and oversee the community engagement process during the investigation of opportunities for the development of the Batemans Bay Mackay Park precinct. There isn't any community engagement. I know for a fact that they have been told to say nothing at all about anything they discuss. We heard that there was a story the Bay Post were going to publish about the unrest and frustration in the committee but it "was pulled" we were told. My friends said to write to The Beagle and write what I believe to be true or have heard because that might tell the council that we are not happy with how they are treating the community. We are all sick and tired of being treated like children and kept in the dark of what is going on. All we have is rumours and hearsay. be nice to have some facts. Someone vaguely "associated" with the committee emailed us the responsibilities of committee members and it said "Represent the broader interests of the Eurobodalla community". How can they represent us if they aren't allowed to talk to us. The Batemans Bay Mackay Park Precinct Sunset Committee were supposed to meet the other day to discuss the latest plans from Otium, but that meeting has apparently been postponed to the 9th of August. Why can't the public attend these meetings as observers? Thank you for reading my letter Name and address withheld by request

#Opinion #BatemansBay

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