Coral Anderson presented at both Public Forum and Public Access on Dec 12th, 2017 Public Access: Presentation to Council – Public Access 12/12/17Good morning everybody My name is Coral Anderson from Caseys Beach in Batemans Bay, former NSW State school swimming representative and member of the Parramatta Swimming Club.I am here today as a team member of Fight for Batemans Bay’s 50m Pool. Our team is not just a couple of agitators. Our team is a team of thousands from the community who speak in one voice and that is to save our 50m pool in Batemans Bay, something that was a gift and has been enjoyed for over 50 years. Many members of our team of thousands were unable to attend today’s meeting in person so we are here to speak to you on their behalf. Our team comprises the Batemans Bay Swimming Club, St Bernards Catholic School, Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, CEO Odonata Endeavour College (professional coach and University Lecturer), Mogo Public School, public schools within the Batemans Bay area, Principal St Peters College Broulee, Eurobodalla Public Schools Sporting Association (representing 11 member schools from Milton to Tilba, Life Member Moruya Swimming Club, Elite Energy Triathlon company, CWA Batemans Bay, CEO Swimming NSW, Broulee Surfers SLSC, Moruya SLSC, Aboriginal Elders, Batemans Bay Boars, Broulee Dolphins, as well as numerous community members who have written to local media and council – over 4,000 school children. The number is growing daily. We have prepared a convincing brief of evidence which has been sent to you, our Councillors, as well as to our local member Minister Andrew Constance.Council’s own Draft Aquatic Strategy says of its Key Findings on page 10 that 99% of those surveyed identified swimming as their top recreation activity. The report goes on to say that 51% of those surveyed identified lap swimming as their top activity engaged in by patrons at their most used facility. Batemans Bay residents had higher levels of health and fitness club membership (20%) than Moruya (12%) and Narooma (9%). The most popular desired activity for the future was swimming – making up 35% of the overall responses. The next most popular future activities were golf (16%), tennis outdoors (14%), gym/ weight training (13%) and bike riding (7%)."The sport of swimming in Australia has the highest participation rate of all sports including football, cycling, hockey, tennis and cricket. Australia shines on the world stage in the sport of swimming at the Olympic level as well as the World Swimming Championships. Next year, the Gold Coast is hosting the Commonwealth Games where Australia is expected to once again show its prominence in the pool. We are extremely well represented by those swimmers with a disability many of whom have gone on to become world champions. Swimming affords everyone the opportunity to compete at an international level regardless of their ability ie amputees and the like. When council sought letters of support from various community organisations in August 2017, including the schools, it did not disclose the plan to get rid of our 50m pool and replace it with only a 25m pool. This is deceptive to say the least. Once Batemans Bay Swimming Club and schools including St Peters and St Bernards as well as other sporting organisations and individuals learned of the concept plan with only a 25m pool, they subsequently withdrew their support and wrote to council accordingly. This information is now on the public record. We have prepared a rough sketch plan to show how a 50m pool can easily be accommodated in the redevelopment. Our concern at this stage is that, despite reassurances from the mayor, once the funding has been finalised it will be very difficult to change the concept plans. This advice is set out clearly on NSW Sporting Infrastructure website and confirmed by Mr Ken Egan, Director, Facilities Strategy and Planning at Sport Infrastructure Group, NSW Office of Sport. His words were if any changes were to be made to the concept plans then ‘sooner rather than later is better’. This advice was also confirmed by Minister Constance office.The community has spoken in a loud voice. We want to keep our 50m pool in the Mackay Park Redevelopment Plans. We stand with Perfex and the Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce in its vision for a vibrant arts/cultural facility with a larger capacity auditorium. We also stand with the Batemans Bay Indoor Aquatic Committee and applaud their efforts over a number of years. The current concept plan just doesn’t cut it. We believe we can come up with something better that will bring us together and not pull us apart.Council says we can’t afford it, we say WHY NOT? Public Forum: PRESENTATION TO COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM PSR17/073 – Mackay Park Sunset Committee
My name is Coral Anderson from Caseys Beach in Batemans Bay and I’ve come here today to speak on the matter of a replacement for the vacancy on the Batemans Bay Mackay Park Sunset Committee that has occurred following President Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber’s sudden resignation. It is noted that half of the community representatives on that committee have publicly supported the reasoning behind this resignation.
I draw to your attention a few points regarding the appointment of the sunset committee members:
During August 2016 Council called for expressions of interest from individuals involved in community or business groups to participate in a Sunset Committee for the Batemans Bay Mackay Park precinct. The criteria for the selection of community representatives is involvement in a community or business group that is related to the following potential development outcomes within the precinct:
Conference or convention facilities, tourism accommodation, arts and culture, seniors living, tourism and recreational facilities and aquatic centre.
Note: It appears that individuals from the swimming community, the sporting community and/or schools were not considered eligible for nomination onto this committee and therefore no one from these groups/organisations nominated. It is also noted that at the time the committee was formed, no one in the community realised that it was Council’s intention to couple two very different facilities under the one roof and in the process replace our existing 50m pool with a 25m pool.
The following representatives were appointed:
Jeannie Brewer - PerFex
Jean Baker - Batemans Bay U3A
Lyn Woolridge - South Coast Pastel Society
Carolyn Harding - Batemans Bay Indoor Aquatic Centre
Jason Funnell - businessman/community representative
Brad Rossiter - community representative
Alan Russell - community representative
Mathew Hatcher - community representative
David Maclachlan - Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce
Note that nine representatives were appointed and not eight (as per the Terms of Reference) and that not all of them attended the meetings as is evidenced by the Minutes of Meetings, in fact, one member of the committee has attended the first meeting only.
According to council’s own website, Council has consulted with the community over many years on a range of projects related to aquatic, arts and cultural facilities. Soon after purchasing the bowling club site in 2016 Council asked the community for ideas about it’s future uses ie uses for the bowling club site and not the swimming complex site.
Council claims that it is committed to ongoing engagement with the community throughout the design and development stages once funding is obtained. But it may be too late ‘once funding is obtained’. Despite reassurances from the mayor, once the funding has been finalised it will be very difficult to change the concept plans. This advice is set out clearly on NSW Sporting Infrastructure website and confirmed by Mr Ken Egan, Director, Facilities Strategy and Planning at Sport Infrastructure Group, NSW Office of Sport. His words were if any changes were to be made to the concept plans then ‘sooner rather than later is better’. This advice was also confirmed by Minister Constance office.
It appears that the current Sunset Committee has broken down and is dysfunctional. I therefore suggest that the current motion before you be amended to read:
THAT Council resolve to:
Disband the current Batemans Bay Mackay Park Precinct Sunset Committee and seek a more informed and effective group;
Change the terms of reference in relation to selection criteria to include members of the swimming community, the schools, sporting clubs and relevant stakeholders;
Amend the Batemans Bay Mackay Park Precinct Sunset Committee Terms of Reference to allow public attendance at future meetings thus ensuring compliance with Council’s Community Engagement Framework.