Councillors shaken from their stupor with a barrage of questions over the proposed Mackay Park swimm
The Beagle Editor, Your readers might be interested in the questions below that have been forwarded to all of our Councillors today in regards to the Mackay Park concept plans that are currently on exhibition for public comment. This $51m project will require the entire shire to contribute by way of rates and to subsidise it when it becomes operational. To date te Council has been less than forthcoming to provide their own detailed financial models inclusive of depreciation with breakdowns of running costs including projected labour costs and revenues. Dear Councillors/Council
We refer to your latest new concept plans now up for public comment in relation to the Batemans Bay Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre.
We would be grateful for your answers to the following:
The Mini Golf business to be relocated ? The Mini Golf is NOT included in the latest Concept plans as it was on the original Otium concept plans.
Above: Mini Golf was shown on original OTIUM concept plan - moved to the southern end. Note Mini Golf omitted in latest Concept Plans below.
* Why has the Mini Golf been removed from the precinct? * Will ESC need to pay out the Mini Golf operator/s for the unexpired portion of their lease and if so, what would be the approximate payout? * Where will the funds come from? * Is there an alternative, by way of a land swap elsewhere, not too far from passing holiday trade?
* How do you propose to replace its iconic value?
GYM: NBRS Concepts A, B & C above each show space for a future gym. Two of them are shown upstairs.
* Is it proposed that a Gym be provided “free of charge” to ratepayers and visitors? * If so, why does ESC feel that it is necessary to compete unfairly with local private sector gyms, especially when the closest one is just across the Princes Highway from the proposed Aquatic/Arts/Cultural Centre? * If ESC does not propose to compete, by setting gym fees higher than those in existing gyms in the area, where is the justification for proposing a facility which would surely only be used by a small percentage of ratepayers, given the age demographic of the Batemans Bay area? * Who will subsidise such a gym and to what financial extent? * Does ESC realise that the noise of heavy weights in a gym, being dropped, even onto rubber mats, can be deafening to patrons occupying the spaces below and has this been taken into account and, if so, what measures are proposed for noise mitigation? * Why have a gym when there are already four operating in Batemans Bay? The MISSING 50m Pool: Mayor Innes has on several occasions stated and written that the future proposals for the new Centre will include provision for expansion, to include a 50 metre pool, if funding and demand support the proposition. Concepts A, B & C show no such provision and therefore the Mayor presently has no credibility on this matter.
* Please publish additional concept plans immediately, showing for each concept, exactly how future expansion has been allowed for, exactly where a 50 metre pool would be located and exactly how much of the proposed new construction would need to be destroyed (wasted) and removed, to allow it. * Provide an estimate of the cost of such expansion, including the value of premises that would require demolition and replacement after the expansion project. CARPARKING: The Council's Project Co-ordinator has stated that the concept plans on display show no dimensions, so as not to clutter the plans and so as not to get bogged down in detail.
* Please state exactly how many car parking spaces are planned for each of the concepts and what percentage of the total plot area these will represent? * What is the basis/logic for the calculation of this number of car spaces? * Will the planned car spaces also be expected to satisfy the needs of people using the MacKay Park sporting field during simultaneous events, like outdoor concerts? * What plans or traffic studies exist to plan for the management of the traffic lights at the intersection of Beach Rd and the Princes Highway, during times when patrons are attending popular events at MacKay Park, given the greatly increased number of vehicles needing to exit/enter MacKay Park? * Do you think there is adequate weather protection from the car park to the foyer and are safety issues address? Swimming Pool Grandstand: Concepts A, B & C appear to indicate tiered seating on one side of the 25 metre pool only. * How many spectators can be accommodated on the seating as shown and what is the basis of this number? * How does this number, and the limited space elsewhere around the 25 metre pool, mesh with the anticipated numbers of participants and spectators expected to attend future swimming carnivals at the new facility? * How do you propose to cater for swimming carnival seating? * Does the proposed 25m pool meet international indoor short course specification? * What are your reasons for replacing our 50m Olympic pool with a 25m pool? Concept C shows the Cultural/Arts and Aquatic facilities in close proximity to each other as seen in the plan below:
* What measures are proposed to mitigate the noise of a swimming carnival, should it be conducted at the same time as an afternoon concert or drama performance.
* Is it proposed that such activities be programmed so as to be mutually exclusive ? * If so, how will that affect the total utilisation of the new facility? An updated FAQ sheet from ESC proposes that swimmers needing to use a 50 metre pool will need to use the Narooma Pool, once the Batemans Bay 50 metre pool is demolished. Other information (including Otium reports) indicated that the Narooma Pool is sub-standard.
* What level of upgrade or improvement is planned for the Narooma Pool? * What is the budgeted amount for any improvements or upgrades to the Narooma Pool? * In which Financial Year is it proposed to expend such funds and from which source? LEARN TO SWIM POOLS: With the location of learn to swim pools outside of the complex this means they will shut down for 6 months of every year thus reducing the revenue stream.
* How do you plan to offset this loss? * How do you propose to accommodate movement of patrons from inside to outside spaces? * How will outdoor aquatic facilities contribute to revenue streams in winter months * Do you consider the 10 m hydro pool adequate?
* Would it be better sited in new One Hospital? * It appears that no solar system is proposed, is this correct or sustainably responsible? * Why have you not included retail rental shop spaces for rental income to offset running costs? * Why is the only potential retail space so small when additional tourist revenue could be attracted? * Do these concept plans meet the needs of our growing community? * Why do these latest concept plans not include legends? * Where is the Master Plan for Batemans Bay incorporating whole of CBD, new bridge, foreshore, bowling club site, mini golf, aquatic/arts complex and road access infrastructure for future growth? The Theatre Performance Space * Why only 350 seats in the theatre?
* Do you believe this is adequate to service future events?. * Do you feel the foyer area to be adequate to serve 100 patrons let alone 350?
* Are there plans at a future date for the inclusion of a restaurant within the Master Plan?
* Why are spaces allocated to the art gallery so small? * Do you believe the storage room for stage scenery to be adequate?
* Why have you not catered for smaller performance events for less than 350 patrons? * Are you aware of the licensing laws in relation to bar facilities/provision of food?59.Why are there no kitchen facilities in the theatre complex? OTHER QUESTIONS
* Will council make available to the public the brief given to the latest architects NBRS?
* What is the significance of the current survey in relation to funding applications for grant moneys? * Please confirm that the results of the survey will be made publicly available at a council meeting in March? * Will there be further community consultation after the design plan is produced?
* How do you justify using the public’s money to finance the drawing of at least two previous concept plans which appear to have now been discarded?
* Will you support the community in its endeavours to get a complex that the whole community will use? * How do you propose to cater for a swimming club room and adequate storage for pool accessories? * Is there a first aid room planned for the proposed complex.
* If not, why not? * What does UAT stand for referred to in the amenities block contained in the latest concept plans?
* Do you consider there are sufficient water closets adequate to cater for the number of anticipated visitors as defined in Otium’s report? * How do you propose to separate attendees at both facilities at the same time? * Why have you not provided for events such as balls, large scale dinners, seminars and the like?
* Please advise what will happen on the old bowling club site to integrate with whatever plan is chosen for the arts and aquatic spaces to form the gateway development for the shire that we were initially promised as justification of what still seems to be a blatant politically expedient waste of our money?
* Where are the business plans for these concepts?
* When will the business plans be made available for public comment/contribution and councillor consideration?
* What would the buildings look like from the highway?
* What landscaping is proposed?
* What signage will be installed approaching the site along the highway and at the entrance?
* Why are community use spaces less than currently available?
* Where is the Tourist Information Centre - it would attract valuable patronage especially to offset current costs of separate facilities and enhance café, etc., turnover?
* Where is the long distance bus stop and interchange – similarly, it would attract valuable patronage especially to offset current costs of separate facilities and enhance café, etc., turnover?
* Will councillors undertake to advocate for the community, think about the above questions and communicate the community’s concerns to the public servants who appear to be controlling this process?
We look forward to receiving answers to the above questions in due course.
Fight for Batemans Bay’s 50m Pool
Our Towns Our Say Team