Dear Beagle Editor, Before we move ahead at a rapid rate of knots with the Mackay Park project that is smelling more and more like a dirty nappy can we just stop for a minute and ask a few questions. How did it come to be that the aquatic and performance centre is to be located where it is. If they are going to remove the 50m pool and remove everything to a green field site than there is nothing to gain by having the pool there. Simply because that is where the pool has always been doesn't wash. The same can be said of the old Bowling Club site that will also be flattened. Has anyone actually asked who decided to put the aquatic centre on the wrong side of a four lane highway well away from schools and residential areas? Looking at all the council records there is no evidence of consultation or even discussion. Somebody just decided. Who and when is unknown. In 2012, Council commissioned a survey of Eurobodalla Shire residents and rate payers in relation to long-term financial planning. The survey of 400 people found that 61% of residents and 52% of non-resident ratepayers indicated that it was very important, to at least somewhat important, that a regional aquatic facility is built in the next ten years. It has been confirmed that those called were NOT asked if they would accept the exisiting 50m pool in Mackay Park being removed. The wording of the question was to establish an inclination towards a regional aquatic centre being built. The Aquatic Centre on the table was at Hanging Rock (plan and details below). The components of the proposed aquatic centre was not described and at no point was it conveyed that such a centre would only have a 25m pool to replace the existing 50m town pool. The survey of 400 people also found that 55% of residents and 51% of non-resident ratepayers indicated that it was very important, to at least somewhat important, that a regional performing arts centre be built in the next ten years. Some Background that ties to this period in time PerFEX NEWSLETTER NO. 19 OCTOBER 2012 In our last newsletter we stated that the original Hanging Rock project using an architecture firm had been cancelled. The Council decided that the new approach would be for a study to be taken first as to the needs of various existing and potential users and recommendations made as to which facilities will be included. The agreed recommendations will then be passed to a new firm of architects to produce a Hanging Rock plan. The consultant chosen to conduct the first exercise is Kym Shilton who is a director of Montemare, a business and leisure consultancy. The study is in two parts -discussions with the users of Hanging Rock and secondly a telephone based household survey (random sample of 400) which will seek the views of the public on what facilities they would like to see there The meeting was chaired by returning Councillor Rob Pollock. He apologised for what he termed had been a “wasted 18 months”and also stated that at the moment, nothing was either in or out of the Hanging Rock complex; in other words, Council has no pre-determined plans.Present at the meeting were representatives on behalf of the tennis, soccer, swimming, yachting and rugby union clubs, the basketball court, the Marine Rescue Patrol centre, the aquatic centre lobby group and the Wollongong University campus. In a meeting lasting 2 hours each was given time to state what their aim for Hanging Rock was. (It was interesting that the Aquatic centre group was proposing a 25m indoor pool but the Swimming club insisted on a 50m pool.) In 2013, Council exhibited options for aquatic, preforming arts and community arts facilities at Hanging Rock. Council received 370 submissions from the community. While the largest number of submissions supported only aquatic and other recreation and sports facilities at Hanging Rock, many submissions acknowledged the importance of arts and cultural facilities to the community and that these facilities should be provided at a location other than Hanging Rock MINUTE NO 13/259 O13/ 145 HANGING ROCK MASTER PLAN AND BUSINESS PLAN E10.448013/259 MOTION Councillor Pollock/Councillor Leslight THAT Council: 1.Receive and note the report titled Hanging Rock Master Plan and Business Plan and associated attachment. 2.Proceed with an amendment to the Hanging Rock Plan of Management to reflect Council’s endorsed concept plan for the site as adjusted for detailed survey and design. 3.As part of the September financial review Council consider funding for a temporary project manager to oversight preparation of tender documents and calling of tenders for the preparation of detailed architectural plans, estimates of cost and business plans for stages 1 & 2 of option 2 –no arts model, which includes the following components: (a) Stage 1 -Outdoor Sport Fields and Tennis Centre –realign sports fields to new configurations, new access and carparking and re-instate remote control car areas. New tennis courts, tennis club rooms, access and carparking. (b)Stage 2 - New Indoor Aquatic Leisure Facilities –leisure pool, new program pool, spa and sauna, 25 metre pool, health and fitness, wellness/retail, multi-purpose/community rooms associated amenities and support facilities, village green and partial carparking. 4.Council consider funding for the completion of detailed architectural plans in the 2014/15 operations plan based on the tenders received to develop this project to a shovel ready state.(The Motion on being put was declared CARRIED.)
The Hanging Rock Roundabout - if you build it they will come: In the ESC Future Transport Plan document that provided recommendations for transport related upgrades and mitigation in the future years of 2020 and 2030 within the study area for the Northern Area of Eurobodalla Shire it was noted that Hanging Rock Reserve had been identified as a regional sporting facility with many new facilities planned and as such there would be an increased demand for movements in/out of Hanging Rock Place. That document recommended the installation of a two lane roundabout at this junction. This sounds more than familiar with Council's recent justification for seeking intersection capacity improvements at Beach Road and the highway highlighting the fact that the Mackay Park precint project will dramatically increa vehicle movements by up to 750 movements per day.
But none of this progressed. What happened? Why was the plan moved from Hanging Rock to Mackay Park in a flood zone? Who made the decision? How was that decision made? When was it made? Why do we now have an aquatic centre coupled with an arts/cultural centre that no one is entirely happy with in the wrong location? Where are the town planners in all of this? Now we find out that the new Batemans Bay Bridge piers will cause more flooding to the Mackay Park precinct. From the RMS Batemans Bay Bridge replacement Hydrology and coastal processes assessment Read section 6.1.1... "If site levels are raised through earthworks to achieve a 1% AEP flood immunity, an impact on surrounding flood levels is likely. Should this be considered for these facilities, an impact assessment would need to be undertaken to demonstrate that any potential impacts are considered acceptable, in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Filling on the Reef Motel Inn site could cause increases in flood levels on adjacent properties and within Mcleods Creek. For the Bowling Club, there could be impacts on flood behaviour extending west across Mcleods Creek or to the south in the Mackay Park area." Andrew Constance might want to get rid of "poles and wire money" to regional NSW before the election but we are the ones that will be left with the New Pooly McPool Face edifice that will become a white elephant built in the wrong place with the wrong design for all the wrong reasons. And as for the Bridgey McBridge Face - we would be better off just welding our old dear shut until all the proper studies are done including the revised Traffic Management study to report on the very real impact to the Batemans Bay CBD. This is a very BIG FAIL and will become another example of Council's failure to undertake due process in public inclusion and consultation irrespective of the outcome of the grant application. Name and address supplied.