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Request to Council to rescind motion to demolish Albert Ryan toilets and sell the land

Today saw Leah Burke, spokesperson for the Save Albert Ryan Park Committee present to Council during Public Access. Rescinding Motion to Decommission Albert Ryan Park Toilets

My name is Leah Burke, and I welcome the chance to speak today as part of the Albert Ryan Park Committee.

Our issue is with the ROSS report 2010 and the Public Toilet Review 2015, where it is recommended that the toilets on Albert Ryan Park be decommissioned.

As we have 6 new councillors from the previous council may I first give a very brief update on the history of the land and our attempts so far.

References for lot 10 and 11 is the land that is now Albert Ryan Park.

In 1942 and 1946 the land was gazetted to the DMR and used as a depot with offices, storerooms, maintanence facilities and for stockpiling materials for shire works and the Batemans Bay bridge.

In 1974 the land was Gazetted by the Governor Roden Cutler as being, not required for the purposes of the Main Roads Act 1924, and to be a Public Reserve under the control care and management of the Eurobodalla Shire Council. Signed and sealed on 15th day of May 1974.

In the early 1980's toilets were erected on this site.

Above: The public reserve and public toilets that Council wants to see gone with the land sold to developers.

In April 2016 a proposal was put forward to rezone and sell the park. After a huge backlash from the community and a search verifying that council did not own Lots 10 and 11 this proposal was voted down.

During this time the recommendation to decommission the toilets came to the community's notice.

Today is the second time our group has presented our case to have the toilets remain. The first being at the non-agenda meeting on 13th December 2016. A letter acknowledged our concerns and it was referred to the Recreation Open Space Strategy (ROSS) review.

The 2017 ROSS draft is now open for comment and there is absolutely nothing in it regarding Albert Ryan Park, the toilets or improvements of any kind, not even a vision for its future.

Since Aug 2016 to today we and many others have been in regular contact with Council via, the Mayor Liz Innes, Director Infrastructure Services Warren Sharpe, and our Councillors. Our concerns always noted and sent to the ROSS report, or someone was looking in to it.

We know of two occasions the subject has been addressed at a council briefing but has gone no further.

An email that I have from a Councillor stating at the briefing on 17th October 2017 councillors were advised Albert Ryan Park is on RMS land, so is not controlled by Council.

As already stated there is a Gazetted proclamation from Main Roads rendering the park not required for Main Roads purposes and declared a public reserve under control care and management of Eurobodalla Shire Council.

Could we please be advised if there has been any amendments to this Proclamation.

Our concerns for this land is heightened when we have the Mayor voicing her preferred choice for the park being a beautiful motel and beautiful shops, and the Director Infrastructure Services choice for the land is everything demolished and a green space left. Which we all know a green space without a toilet would very quickly be classified as underutilised.

I can guarantee that it is the community wishes that these toilets remain. Last year when it was considered for rezoning and sale the community reacted with over 1800 signatures on a petition and letters of complaints tendered.

Today we would like some answers. Not that our concerns will be noted and sent to the ROSS draft, not that it will be looked into, nor more information needed. The community concerns for this park and the toilets have been in Councils arena for more than 18 months.

Can these points pleased be addressed.

1. We as a committee would like the recommendation in the 2010 ROSS that the toilets be decommissioned, rescinded and also the Public Toilet Review of 2015 that states the toilets will be obsolete when the development of the Marina is completed, also rescinded.

2.. We would like to see our concerns addressed at a General Council Meeting where councillors views can be voiced and the community invited to comment.

3.. We would like to know what councils future plans are for Albert Ryan Park.

4.. Can the $30,000 dollars allocated as a priority in the draft ROSS 2017, for upgrading swings on a Rotary Park that doesn’t exist and as such doesn’t have swings, be reallocated for maintenance to Albert Ryan Park.

This can be made difficult or easy, so to keep it simple

Why is a Park that is Gazetted as a public Reserve and under the care and control of Council,

that already has a functional toilet, that the community utilises and wants, still be on Council books for demolition.

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