Good morning, my name is Leah Burke and I would like to thank Council for the privilege of speaking at this meeting today.
And today I would like to speak on the motion NOM18/003 proposed by councillor Patrick McGinlay regarding Albert Ryan Park. We thank Patrick for bringing this to the table today.
Most of you will know me from my times here at council meetings speaking on behalf of this Park and the man it is named after. After much research we can now tell Alberts story. A story from the tragedy of his daughter, Adelaide, perishing in a house fire on this land., to his working as a sawmill manager and working the oyster leases on the Clyde River for 4 decades. His untiring community work for the town he loved and his time in this council as both councillor and Shire Vice President.
Today we acknowledge the work that has gone into saving this park and amenities, and the continued work to get it upgraded to a standard that we will all be proud of. Albert Ryan Park has the potential to be an incredible open space. With some foresight and careful planning this could easily be accomplished. With Disable facilities and a makeover of the grounds this is definitely within the realms of possibility.
We welcome and support whole heartedly part one of Councillor Patrick McGinlay's motion. NOM18/003 That is
1.. Consider a state of the art upgrade on the toilets at Albert Ryan Park for people with disabilities.
With an ageing population it is becoming a priority to provide amenities catering for people with disabilities. Albert Ryan Park is an ideal place for such a facility. The land is flat and even and there is ample space for close to amenity parking, making very easy access for those who will benefit most. This part one needs to be heard, funded and made happen.
Part two of the motion we do not agree.
2.. Consider Albert Ryan Park as a location for a dump point facility for the number of caravans and motor homes traveling around Australia.
We are aware that at peak times it is hard for big motor homes and caravans to negotiate the the dump point at Corrigans, but we also know that at peak times it is difficult for anyone to access any facility in the Batemans Bay area. Be it Corrigans or Albert Ryan Park.
Albert Ryan Park has always been spoken of as an open green space for people to relax and enjoy. By now all councillors would be aware of the Park and its dimensions. It may appear there is a lot of land, but this park is long and narrow. If we get these new amenities its footprint would be much larger than the current one. Add to this designated disabled parking on both sides and also parking spaces for the casual visitor, space is suddenly becoming limited. The area that is lot 11 is at the moment a lovely grassed area with two beautiful shade trees. This is ideal to be utilised with seating and paths to encourage everyone to have access to all the park. Not covered in motor homes and caravans. As we well know if its a good place and its free they set up much longer than just using a dump point. It can be a couple of days.
Sometimes up to 12 of these rigs are set up at the old Bowling Club site. Imagine when discovering the Bowling Club site is no longer available then they all head to Albert Ryan Park. We are not against embracing the so called “grey nomads”, we all know the benefits they can bring to a local economy but we dont think Albert Ryan Park should be encouraged as a free camp site.
People may have been observed disposing toilet and shower refuse in the amenities at Albert Ryan Park, but this will happen anywhere there is a public toilet. It doesn't necessary follow that because it might be occurring at Albert Ryan Park that it is an ideal place for a dump point. If there is a need for another dump point then we're sure council could find a place within easy distance and access to accommodate this need.
We would like all councillors today to contemplate part two of this motion and what the ramifications could be to Albert Ryan Park. It isnt just a matter of a dump point. Its the problems big motor homes and caravans will create trying to access this park and the impact they will have on the park itself. If any money is to be spent anywhere in this park a good place to start might be historical signage.
The group I represent today is Supporting Albert Ryan Park and we have affilliated with the Clyde River and Batemans Bay Historical Soc. Inc. as a sub-committee. This has given us the structure to apply for grants to assist with finance for some upgrades, The historical Society is very much behind our thoughts for the park and we should hopefully have some good outcomes.