Minutes of the General Meeting held on Sunday 29th June, 2014

PRESENT:  Paul Tuckerman, Barbara Mebberson, John Mebberson, Linda Cortie, Chris Quine, Gary Chapman, Shaun Prince, Peter Spencer, Sylvia Wishart, Murray Jones, Susannah Caville, Christine Hill.

APOLOGIES: Lyn Parker, Paul Parker, Suzette De Ville, Kay Smith, Ray Smith, Bill Barnetson, Steve Kennard, Judy Bourke, Ron Hutchings, Lyn Dark, Annette Jones.
 
The General Meeting commenced at 4.04 pm.

The minutes of the previous meeting of the 13th of April as previously distributed to members via email and were accepted as read.  

Secretary’s Report – Murray reported on correspondence as follows:

Illawarra Soup
This is a new community-based fund raiser for small grants.  On Friday 22 August at 6pm, Illawarra Soup will hold a dinner at the Thirroul Community Centre. Cost of admission is $5 per person.  A simple meal of Soup and Bread will be served. Various community projects will be presented and the project that receives the most votes on the night will go home with the funds raised on the night. The successful project will report back on progress at the next Illawarra SOUP night.

Withdrawal of Headlands Development
As previously reported by email, WCC was notified by the owners of the Headlands Hotel site that the application to build ‘serviced’ come residential apartments on the site has been withdrawn.

Report on NIRAG meeting.
The main news from the meeting was on the Willkie’s Walk refurbishment project.  This development was promised by Stockland many years ago and completion was feared to be a non-event. NIRAG inquired with Council and found that the Willkie’s Walk DA – 2013/1321 was still under assessment by WCC.

Stockland development and in particular, the road through to Point Street was discussed. As previously reported, WCC has decreed that the key missing infrastructure component, the Tramway Creek Bridge was now the responsibility of the purchasers of the ARV/Cookson site.  This site is currently on the market. The road though to Point Street will only proceed when the ARV/Cookson site is sold and part of that money is used to pay for the bridge.  This bridge was estimated by WCC to cost $7m.  It was mentioned that road bridges can be estimated to cost $12,000 per square metre though the foundations are the big unknown.


Items on notice

Traffic and parking

The issue of the new train timetable causing a significant influx of commuters to drive and park in Thirroul was discussed.  There appeared to be two separate causes;

Commuters have stopped using the feeder train services.
Express trains no longer pick up at Bulli or Austinmer

In the old timetable, feeder train use to pick up passengers from all stations between Wollongong and Thirroul, then drop off the passengers immediately before the express train and pull into the siding.  About three minutes later, the express train would pick up from Thirroul.

A separate feeder train would do the same for all commuters from Austinmer to Waterfall.

In the new timetable, these two services are combined.  That is, the single feeder train goes all the way from Wollongong through to Waterfall ahead of the express train.  Thus commuters are now dropped at Thirroul at least ten minutes before the express train.  Obviously, this ten minute wait is an unpleasant experience early morning in winter.

The issue was discussed at length and the TVC unanimously agreed that;

Building multi-storey car parks was not a preferred solution.

Current parking regulations in Thirroul need to be enforced as many commuters are parking all day in limited time zones.

The Opal card should not be used as a basis for determining and assessing commuter requirements as the current minimal usage of the Opal card will skew results.

Plans as set out within the Thirroul Village Centre DCP of 2005 to improve Thirroul Stations capability to act as a transport hub station were discussed and endorsed.  The DCP calls for Thirroul Station to be a bus/rail interchange by placing a bus stop at the Railway Station.  Currently, this is not possible because Railway Street is a cul de sac. If Railway Street was extended through to Wrexham Road, buses could loop past the station.  This road extension will require the purchase of two homes.

This will then allow commuters the option of travelling via bus to Thirroul Railway Station. As LHD transgresses through Corrimal, Woonona, Bulli and Austinmer at considerable distance from the railway line, this bus route will be provide a convenient alternative to driving to Thirroul for many commuters and will be a step towards taking more cars of our roads.

The 2005 DCP also calls for the Railway to release unused land between the Station and Gibson Park to WCC for additional car parking.

The meeting called on the Secretary to write to local Councillors and MP’s stating:
That the building of a multi-storey car parks was not a preferred solution.
A north/south ‘feeder train’ service should be returned to service.
Parking limits, and illegal parking, should be consistently enforced.


Website
Feedback on the new TVC website was all positive and Peter was thanked for his work.  Attendees were encouraged to forward any photos of Thirroul that they may have for publication on the website.

Expense claims
The meeting endorsed payment of the following expenses;

$174.00     Outgoing annual costs on the website – Peter Spencer
   $56.00    Champagne and two frames for letter of appreciation – Murray Jones
   $50.00    Annual rent of the TRIPs Meeting Hall - TRIPS

General Business
The website was discussed as a way of raising funds by having businesses pay $100 per annum to advertise on the site.  Funds raised could go to the gardening or graffiti groups.

It was also suggested that the Lions Club may be interested in providing the TVC with some financial support.  It was decided to send a letter of request to the President Brian Cummings or Treasurer Kevin Rowlands and the letter outline some of the TVC activities seeking sponsorship, website garden etc.

Murray reported on the loss of amenity for some beach users caused by the Thirroul Surf Club closing off most of its veranda.  The veranda at the front of the Surf Club had been recently filled in with windows and a roller door.  This area was in use all year round, and especially in the winter months, by local surfers for weather protection, a shady place from which to view the surf conditions and a dry, safe location to leave clothing and pushbikes.

Murray expressed the opinion that, as the Surf Club is effectively owned by the rate payers of Wollongong, the Surf Club should have considered other users of this area before claiming it for their exclusive use.  Murray proposed and the meeting agreed that this issue be taken up directly with Gary Chapman, with the idea of asking the surf club to address this issue by providing some form of additional shelter.

The next meeting was set down for Sunday 24th August at 4.00pm. The meeting then closed at 5.40 pm.

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