Good Morning Mayor Innes, Councillor, General Manager, Staff, the Gallery and those comfortable Live Streaming at home.
My name is Patricia Hellier from North Batemans Bay and I would like to speak on Agenda Item No. NOM 17/011 – Albert Ryan Park Batemans Bay.
For the benefit of the 6 new Councillors who were elected in 2016, at Council Meeting on the 12th April 2016 a motion was put forward to Rezone and Reclassification of Albert Ryan Park. A small group of ratepayers concerned over this proposal organised a meeting to discuss the proposal and a petition was organised. A title search of the land was conducted and we found that Lot 10 ARP was not owned by Council, we then telephoned Council Officer, Mr Geoff Morgan and advised him of our findings. It was soon identified that there was also a cloud hanging over Lot 11. After a number of meetings and community consultation on the 28th June 2016 Mr Lindsay Usher recommended that Council not proceed with the proposal of Rezoning and Reclassification of ARP
I was very disappointed when I read this proposed motion of Clr. Brown given the fact that Clr. Brown gave the group associated with the park an undertaking prior to the election last year that at the very first council meeting after the council election he was put forward a rescission motion on the decommissioning of the toilets at Albert Ryan Park. At the time he told the group that this task should have been the responsibility for those current councillors given the fact that they were the ones who moved the motion in May 2015 to demolish the toilets.
I attended a meeting on Wednesday 8th November with 3 other people involved with ARP, Mayor Innes opened the meeting by saying “Leah you have been working with Lindsay on a motion would you like to start off”, whilst there was a plan of Albert Ryan Park provided for those who attended the meeting there was not a copy of this motion. Clr. Brown asked Director Arthur to speak on his proposal, what was said was in bureaucratic terms on Lot 11, I looked at the blank faces of the other 3 residents in attendance and I said to Director Arthur “Kathy this comes down to a clerical error” – Kathy replied “Yes Trish you are correct”. I asked the question would ARP remain in the ROSS report Clr. Brown said “No it will come out of the ROSS Report”, The Mayor then stated “Lindsay it would be better if it stayed in the ROSS Report”. At the end of the meeting Mr. Stephen Dunne said to Clr Brown “So Lindsay you a putting forward a rescission motion at Tuesdays meeting”? Clr. Brown replied “ No Stephen there is no rescission motion”, I added “Stephen there is no rescission motion associated with this motion”, I then said to Clr. Brown “Lindsay there should have been a copy of this motion on this table”, Clr. Brown replied “I sent a copy to Leah”. The facts are Councillors I had also emailed Clr. Brown and asked for a copy of his motion – I was not afforded the same courtesy and it was fortunate that the Agenda for this meeting was placed on the Council web site late Tuesday afternoon (prior to the meeting the next day) and I was able to look at the contents and it was quite obvious there was no rescission motion and there was no commitment by Council to retain the toilet block or the reserve. The notice was just for the purpose of clarifying who own the land, nothing more nothing less. Again the community had been let down. In an email from Mrs Bernadette Brandes on Sunday 12th November she questions “Is Lindsay Brown asking for a rescission motion or what”? Now there are 5 out of the 7 people involved question this.
Firstly what should be noted is that this motion is fundamentally flawed as there is no acknowledgement of Lot 8 which is also owned by the RMS which has recently seen a statue of an Octopus erected and I ask was the RMS consulted prior to it’s placement and was there a requirement for a DA to be lodged for this project?
Point 2 of this proposal – “Resolve to retain and maintain ARP and its assets, pending advice from the RMS”. I now ask you to look at the sheet of paper I have given you - if you look at the bottom of the page this is an email I sent to Mr Stephen Waugh Property and Acquisition Manager Southern Property and Acquisition Branch/Stakeholder and Community Engagement Division from the RMS, which confirms the conversation I had with him on Friday 27th October 2017 Hello Trish Thanks, I have received your email.As discussed, Roads and Maritime should be consulted by Council if there was extensive construction proposed on the land.However for routine maintenance and refurbishment consultation would not be necessary. regards Stephen Waugh Property and Acquisition Manager Southern Property and Acquisition Branch | Stakeholder and Community Engagement Division I ask you to look at the 2nd paragraph of my email on the bottom of the page which states “I confirm that you agreed that the decommissioning and recommissioning of these toilets is a matter for the Eurobodalla Shire Council due to the fact that the land had been placed in the “care and control by Sir Roden Cutler in 1974 and this is not an issue for the RMS” – If you look at the top of the email Mr Waugh reply states – “As discussed, Road and Maritime should be consulted by Council if there was extensive construction proposed on the land. However for routine maintenance and refurbishment consultation would not be necessary”, I will repeat that “for routine maintenance and refurbishment consultation would not be necessary”.
I believe this confirms that the RMS acknowledges that the control of the toilets and the park is in the hands of Council so there for, all that is required by this council is to rescind the Decommissioning that was minuted in May 2015 WHY isn’t this situation being kept simple.
In relation to Point 1 of this motion I ask Councillors to cast their minds back to a Council meeting on the Councils Leased Batemans Bay Tourist Park and the question was asked by a Councillor “What do we own”, the reply from the Council director was words to the affect “Everything that is on wheels that can be removed .” WELL Councillor it is not rocket science to realise that the little toilet block at ARP is not on wheel and neither are the picnic table and chairs.
I would like to address Point 3 of this motion, this is SIMPLE, the facts are it is commonly known that due to a clerical error that occurred on the transfer of the Torrens Title the Council name was placed on the document rather than the Commission of Main Road. On the 16th December 2016 I had a conversation with the RMS Legal Department who informed me of what had occurred and the mistake that had been made, I was told that the process was “all but done and dusted”. Last week I had another conversation with an employee of the RMS who indicated to me that there had been a delay in this process and it should be completed by the end of January 2018. In reading this summary from Council it is not hard to figure out “who has been dragging the chain on this issue.”
Councillors I ask that you do not allow this issue to drag on, the community want to see that this toilet block and this area of land remain. I have a copies here of all the petitions that were signed in 2016 by over 1800 people on the issue of the rezoning of the land, the petition states “This park is a much loved park and used by locals and visitors alike”, Councillors, we all know when nature calls what we all need and we all use that much needed facility. I firmly believe if we have to take this back to the community we will receive overwhelming support. Mayor and Councillors do you really want to see this become yet another issue that will only cause further friction in our community do we really need that, when all we want is to be able to give the park and toilets much needed attention and a much needed face lift as the park is looking very unloved , we have been lobbying for this for over 12 months and we would have liked to have seen a united project prior to the busy holiday season and we are running out of time. Trish Hellier