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Some background for readers about the BBay Bowlo site

Dear Beagle Editor, Thank you for the timeline and the editorial about the Batemans Bay Bowling Club purchase. Very informative. Now it will be interesting to see which bits council denies. My own understanding is that both mayors, Brown and Innes know a lot more, especially around what are now widely discussed suggestions that council may have put so many restrictions on developing the site that all other interested parties were squeezed out. It is also widely considered that council paid ‘premium’ price for the bowling club, way beyond the market price and it is also now widely understood that there has been an offer made to Council to buy back the site from council for the amount they paid for it. The Batemans Bay Bowling Club site was ‘purchased’ on 29th April. This was very quickly followed by a meeting with Perfex on May 16th. I was moved in reading the newsletter of the hopes that the Perfex people had in retaining, for the interim, the Batemans Bay Bowling Club buildings. I encourage everyone to revisit this part of the evolution of discussions and submissions that have been made by the community so that it can all be out on the table for transparency. From the Perfex website: " successful gathering at the front of the Bowling Club Auditorium on the morning of Monday 16th May when 32 Arts’ and Cultural representatives, (mostly Presidents) from 13 organisations came together to show a united voice. The subsequent article and photo in the Bay Post outlined our hope that having been nearly 50 years without a dedicated Arts’ space, that Council talk to us about using the existing facility until such time as it is redeveloped. All of these organizations and more, also wish to ensure that the eventual Master Plan reflects and includes our needs and vision. We also all fear that we would be losing community land if it’s sold off. This is land which the community feels it owns. Whilst it is in the hands of the Eurobodalla Shire Council, it is ratepayers land. But if sold, we could never afford to buy back this wonderful gateway entrance position to our Shire. We feel it essential that it stay in ratepayers’ hands if at all possible. COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS’ MEETING AT THE SOLDIERS’ CLUB Taking all these concerns into account, the redevelopment of the Bowling Club is bigger than just Arts and Culture and PerfEx felt that all possible stakeholders needed to come together to have their combined wishes put forward in the Expressions of Interest document; a strong community stand for both the interim and ongoing use of this community site. Aware that the deadline was 10th June, quick action was needed, so a meeting was convened by PerfEx at the Soldiers’ Club on the evening of Tuesday 31st May. 56 people attended from the business and tourism sectors, from arts and culture and the Indoor Aquatic Group; all of the people likely to be affected by the re-development of the built precinct. BBACS, SCPS, U3A, River of Art, Aquatic Centre Inc., South Tribe, Tourism Advisory Committee, Perfex, Hire n Hire, Clydeview Holiday Park, Bay City Cinemas, BB Chamber of Commerce, Bowlers, the Manor, EFTAG, Larks after D’Arc, Lanavision, CWA, Euroboalla Woodcraft Guild Inc., Stanwell Management (Anthony Mayne), Adult Ed, Fine Art Studio, Edgewater Gardens, Pike Family Investments, South Coast Pastel Society, Batemans Bay Writers Festival, Batemans Bay Historical Society, SCMS, South Coast Music Society, Sister of Grace Paleg – some of these organisations had more than one representative at the meeting. (I note from the list above that there was no representatives present from the Batemans Bay Swimming Club or any of the pool users such as schools - never the less the meeting opted to nominate a requirement of a 10 Lane Lap Pool with a 50m Pool as the popular choice) Paul Biddlestone, CEO of the Club was to have facilitated, but had to call in sick on the day, so special thanks go to PerfEx supporter Anthony Mayne, resident and Management Consultant who stepped in at the last minute. The aim of the night was to arrive at agreed dot-point proposals, the simplest format for a one meeting submission. The first dot-point was for the interim use of the current Bowling Club; the second for our Master Plan vision and the third for the Aquatic Centre vision. There was plenty of participation from the floor and by the end of the night, we had confirmation of the dot points, plus additional whiteboard information, together with 9-pages of Minutes, typed stoically and almost word perfectly by PerfEx Member Fran Moorfield. A fantastic effort!The ensuing congratulatory emails showed the participants were appreciative of having been given a forum to voice their opinions. Interestingly, 55 of the 56 attendees were against Senior’s Living accommodation on the site as all felt that it was entirely inappropriate alongside a possibly noisy Performing Arts’ venue. A Press Release and the above photo appeared in the Bay Post on Wednesday 1st June. In the days following the meeting, the white board information collected from the meeting was correlated into the dot point documents and, together with a copy of the actual signatures and contact details collected from the attendees and a transcribed Excel Spreadsheet of same, was submitted to Councils EOI’s on 10th June. Briefly, our interim use of the Bowling Club proposal, suggests that the current auditorium would be used not only for performance, but for events and large conferences, even weddings as the current commercial kitchen could be leased to cater and a coffee shop open for use by everyone. Visual artists are excited about the potential gallery and workshop spaces, even the prospect of giving art classes to our youth. The many art forms will be included, with a special display for our aboriginal heritage. A retail space is planned selling top quality art, handcrafts and quality produce which would all be attached to a Tourist Information Centre, which we are suggesting be relocated, allowing Council to sell the existing Visitor’s Information site. The museum wants display space and storage, U3A wants meeting rooms; film makers want studios and work spaces; Adult Education want hospitality and hands on tourism spaces. Council could consider the possibility of selling the Community Centre site, if sufficient meeting room spaces can be catered for. Some alterations will need to be made, but local builders have expressed an interest already in helping us.We envisage a facility abuzz with people of all ages and abilities using the centre on a regular basis, catering for their cultural and artistic needs. The existing greens are ideal for outdoor entertainment, markets and festivals.The second proposal sets out our vision for the Master Plan; an iconic building for the gateway to the Shire with state of the art inclusions for the performing and visual arts, whilst catering for M.I.C.E; (Marketing, Incentives, Conferences and Events) placed as we are, only 2 hours from Canberra, equidistant between Melbourne and Sydney, in a stunningly beautiful location. We endorse Council’s suggestion of including a Visitors’ Centre as tourism and the Arts go hand in hand. In fact research shows that Arts’ and Culture feature near the top of tourists’ preferred activities. VIEW OF THE COUNCILLORS (May 2016 being Brown, Innes, Leslight, Pollock, Schwartz, Burnside, Brice, Harding, Thomson) - before the election of Sep 2016) It is no secret that a minority of Councillors have not been in favour of us and are a little slow to realize the importance and necessity of the Arts for the Community. However, I have to say that we are feeling more positive of achieving our goal than we ever have in the past. There seems to be a widely held acceptance now that it would be foolish not to at least use the old Bowling Club building in the interim with its ready-made auditorium, even though it’s not up to scratch for all types of performance. Plus there’s enormous scope to provide for the needs of so many in our cultural community. I’m pleased to report that some Councillors are already saying, let’s talk about it. But congratulations must go to Councillor Liz Innes who has been the first to go public on the matter and I quote her from an article in the Bay Post last Friday 17th,2016 “I want to make it clear that, in my view, this is a community site and we want to put it in the hands of the community to set the direction of the site. This is not a Council site, it is held by Council on behalf of the community”. She goes on to say “I fully support getting performing arts in there in the meantime”. She also successfully moved a motion to Council last Tuesday 14th – ‘That Council receive a report on the potential of a sunset committee to investigate opportunities for the development of the Batemans Bay Mackay Park Precinct’. So let’s hope something positive comes out of this for us.We do have Local Government elections coming up in September and I urge you all to vote for those Councillors who openly support and even encourage us. We are reliant on their support for any progress and I cannot stress this enough.

Expression of Interest

Re-development of the Batemans Bay Bowling Club and Aquatic Centre Precinct

Results of a Community Meeting held by PerfEx on 31st May at Batemans Bay Soldiers Club Expression of Interest

9th June 2016

To whom it may concern,

Please find attached two proposals for the above project; one for the use of the existing Bowling Club until such time as it is removed and redeveloped; the second is our combined vision for the redeveloped precinct.

These proposals are submitted following a meeting convened by PerfEx at the Batemans Bay Soldiers’ Club on Tuesday 31st May, to which were invited the business community, tourism operators, representatives of cultural and arts organizations and the Indoor Aquatic Centre Group; all those stakeholders who would potentially be affected by the redevelopment.

Because of severe time constraints of just one meeting, these proposals are submitted in dot point form named Part 1 and Part 2 and a third for the Aquatic Centre redevelopment. Accompanying these proposals is a copy of the original attendance sheet, signed by all attendees and a transcript of same for practicality’s sake. Unable to attend were representatives of Adult Education who asked to be included on the list.

Following the meeting, these dot points were sent to all attendees, plus a transcript of whiteboard notes taken on the night. They were also offered a copy of the accompanying nine pages of Minutes. Attendees were asked for their approval of the above documents before submission. We feel therefore that we have been as transparent as possible.

Redevelopment of the Batemans Bay Bowling Club and Aquatic Centre Precinct




• Multi-purpose performance space for music/concerts/drama etc in the current auditorium which can double as Exhibitions/Events/Marketing/ Large Conference space, etc (using existing change rooms)

• Gallery spaces for local artists, visiting artists and a Museum visual display covering visual arts/aboriginal arts/sculpture/photography/textiles/wood/ glass/metal work etc

• Workshop spaces wet and dry

• Visitor Information Centre incorporating retail shop selling the best of locally produced art, craft, artifacts and local produce

• Catering with café/restaurant

• Meeting /Training rooms for Cultural and Community Groups eg U3A, Media and Film

• Youth amenities

• Administration

• Storage


• Markets

• Festivals

• Long vehicle/caravan/coach parking


• Draw up Memorandum of Understanding with Council

• Management Board made up of Council and Community Representatives

• Council paid overall Management position

• Auditorium leased and paid to Council

• Catering/café leased and paid to Council




• Acoustically designed performance spaces large and small, for music, dance, drama, film, etc with change rooms. Tiered seating would be desirable.

• Large Multi-purpose space for M.I.C.E (Marketing, Incentives, Events and Conferences)

• Gallery spaces for local artists, visiting artists and a Museum visual display covering visual arts/aboriginal Arts /sculpture/photography/textiles/wood/ glass/metal work etc

• Workshop spaces wet and dry

• Visitor Information Centre incorporating retail shop selling the best of locally produced art, craft, artifacts and local produce and oyster interpretive centre

• Catering with café/restaurant

• Meeting /Training rooms for Cultural and Community Groups eg U3A, Media and Film

• Youth amenities

• Disabled amenities

• Administration

• Storage

• NO cinema, aged care facility or fast food outlet on site

• Current Bowling Club position with potential water views for a multi-level iconic Cultural Arts’ facility building seemed an accepted opinion


• Markets

• Festivals

• Long vehicle/caravan/coach parking


• Board made up of Council/Community Representatives



Preferred Site

• Present pool site was considered a more obvious site leaving the current Bowling Club site for an iconic building with potential views over the water


• Pools

- 10 Lane Lap Pool (50m Pool was the popular choice)

- Hydrotherapy pool

- Leisure pool with water slide

• Other

- Leased rooms e.g. Physiotherapist

- Massage

- Gym

- Creche

- Coffee shop

• Possible inclusions

- Basketball courts (divided opinion regarding the use of prime land for sporting Name and address supplied

#Community #Arts #BatemansBay #Opinion

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