a feeling of déjà vu

Dear Beagle Editor, If all the talk around the Mackay Park Precinct sounds a bit familiar it might be of interest to your readers to read the text below; taken directly from the Hanging Rock report to Council in February 2013. Council must have a template somewhere because all you need to do is fill in the prompts of name and date and it goes from Hanging Rock Reserve to Mackay Park. I find it humerous that in the template you don't have to change the name of the representative councilor. That probably makes it easier. PLEASE ENTER NAME OF RESERVE is identified as a regionally significant site in Council’s Recreation and Open Space Strategy "ENTER YEAR". The existing range of recreation facilities in the Shire’s regional centre provides a strategic opportunity to create an educational, recreational and cultural facilities hub to benefit the Shire. In ENTER YEAR, a Sunset Committee including representation from community groups with a relevant interest in the site was established. Under the guidance and leadership of Councillor Pollock, Council has developed a good working relationship with the committee and they have provided valuable input into the process to date. Significant consultation with the community to define a development direction for the site has also occurred.

An initial preliminary site option, schedule of areas and staging was worked up through initial engagement of consultant during ENTER YEAR. However, this process raised a number of questions and opportunities that required further exploration and validation to be addressed if the project was to be progressed. In ENTER DATE Council endorsed the engagement of strategic leisure consultant, ENTER CONSULTANTS NAME, to undertake independent market research and statistically reliable consultation to inform a feasibility study and the development of concept options for the site. This information when complete will supplement the earlier work to give validity to the direction of Council. ISSUES Methodology The six phase project methodology employed by the consultant, as outlined below, aimed to build on the work completed to date and provide a professional, independent, statistically reliable recommendation on the best way forward for the community and Council. 1. Project Inception 2. Background review - Site review and assessment - Demographic review - Existing facility operational review - Case studies - Industry trends 3. Market research and consultation - Market and customer profiling - Statistically reliable household survey - Competitor review - Stakeholder consultations 4. Development option planning - Priority development options identified - Functional brief - Concept design options - Capital cost estimates - Stakeholder consultations 5. Business and management planning - Management model options - 10 year financial projections - Business feasibility analysis 6. Final Reporting - to be completed following exhibition period Ongoing stakeholder buy in was a key feature of the approach taken with continuous engagement of the existing Sunset Committee throughout the project. To ensure adequate representation of the community and stakeholders additional representation from peak bodies and associations, arts groups and disability action groups was also sought. In additional ENTER CONSULTANTS NAME undertook a statistically and demographically reliable survey to establish market demand, user trends and inform development options. Stages 1 – 5 of the methodology have been completed, resulting in the development of three concept options as outlined below 1. Option 1 – Performing Arts Model Recreation including indoor sports & aquatic centre, performing arts theatre, community centre components and education expansion. 2. Option 2 – Community Arts Hub Model Recreation including indoor sports & aquatic centre, Community arts hub incorporating a black box theatre and flexible arts spaces, community centre components and education expansion. 3. Option 3 – No Arts Model Recreation including indoor sports & aquatic centre, community centre components, education expansion and no arts components. These options and study findings to date were workshopped with Councillors and Sunset Committee members on the ENTER MEETING DATE. Broader community input is now required via exhibition to determine the community’s preferred way forward. Both Council’s Situation Analysis Arts and Cultural Infrastructure Report ENTER YEAR and Council’s adopted Recreation and Open Space Strategy ENTER YEAR recognise the regional significance of the ENTER RESERVE NAME and recommend that further investigation and planning is undertaken to recognise the site's full potential.

The ENTER RESERVE NAME Master Plan Project has significant positive outcomes for the community as a whole and is supported by existing State and Council plans including the Community Strategic Plan. Notwithstanding these benefits, Council and the community face a difficult road ahead. These types of facilities have significant capital and ongoing operational costs, and hard decisions will need to be made in the future if Council and the community wish to proceed with the development of the ENTER NAME precinct.. However in the first instance, the significant consultation, market research and concept development work undertaken to date needs to be canvassed with the broader community to determine a preferred direction to progress to further planning. RECOMMENDED THAT Council endorse the draft ENTER RESERVE NAME Concept Master Plan options as shown in Attachment 1. Council are having a special meeting to endorse the Mackay Park concept Plan. It will be interesting to see if they use the template or write a new one. Name and address supplied