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Questions around Council's planned Batemans Bay Bowling Club redevelopment

The Beagle Editor,

The community in Batemans Bay is right to be alarmed about discussions Council is having with developers about the future of the old bowling club site [Beagle Online “the facts eventually dribble out”]. Just as the publicly owned Batemans Bay Community Centre was reclassified from Community to Operational, and the Batemans Bay Bowling Club, which was purchased for the community and celebrated in the Batemans Bay media in June 2016, was classified after purchase to Operational.

Discussions between council and developers raise questions. What say is the community going to have in how the old bowling club land will be developed? Are the plans going to alienate and divide the community or bring the community together? Will the development be sustainable? Are the plans in the public interest? Will private profits be given priority over the public interest?

The lease for the bowling club site expires on 31 July,2021, just before the Council elections on the 4th of September. The caretaker period for Council begins on the 7th August. The community may not be aware that the current Council can extend the lease for this land for up to a further year, giving the new Council the opportunity to make its own decisions on the use of this land.

Country Labor will work to give the community a strong say in how this land will be used. We want to make sure that the bowling club site brings our community together, is sustainable, and is in the long term interest of the Batemans Bay and Eurobodalla community. Our commitment will be to public benefit, rather than private profit. We expect that decisions about the site will be available to the community, and will reflect our core values of honesty, transparency and accountability.

Eurobodalla Australian Labor Party Local Government Committee

Above: The Council paid $2.7 million dollars for the old Bowling Club only to condemn the building soon after. The cost of demolition was absorbed by the RMS who have leased the site for their Bridge construction administration buildings. The valuation above is for $1.55 million Unimproved Value. The date of the valuation is July 2016. Council paid $2.7m in July 2016 without seeking a valuation.

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