TVC GENERAL MEETING 4 PM, SUNDAY 24th SEPTEMBER 2023

Attendees: Ray Smith, John Mebberson, Tony Horneman, Paul Tuckerman, Murray Jones, Stephen Le Bas, Elliot Stein, Annette Jones, Martin Gorrick, Cathy Bloch, Neil Walker, Cherry Hardaker, Victoria Dawson, Stephen Young, Jess Whittaker, Ross Bembrick, Kaye Smith, Ken Clunas, Chris Hill, Steve Dillon, Susannah Cavill, Catherine Boyatzis, Paul Barnes, Vicki Potter, Lynne Parker, Catherine Philps, Kay Grew, Glenn Durrance, Mary Ellen Durrance, Angela Penhallow, John Penhallow, Cr. Richard Martin, Denise Aubourg, Peter Aubourg, Jeremy Park

Apologies: Ross Dearden, Maryanne Stuart, Cr. Janice Kershaw, Ron Hutchings, Cr. Cameron Walters

 

1. Welcome by President, Ray Smith

2. Acceptance/amendments to the minutes of the last meeting

Moved – Neil Walker; Seconded – Chris Hill

3. Secretary's Report

Thanks to Murray for the time spent handing over the Secretary’s duties. The amazing job Murray did was noted. The new TVC email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Since the last meeting 23 emails have been received at this new address, covering a range of issues, including concerns about the state of the turpentine forest in McCauley’s Estate (fire concerns), offshore wind farms and protection of Five Islands Fauna Reserve, McCauley Lodge, Anglicare Seniors Living Development at Bulli, Wilkies Walk and Bush Fire Preparedness - lot of issues of late.

A number of the executive and TVC members attended the drop-in session with Anglicare about the proposed Seniors Living Development in McCauley Estate and the drop-in session by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water to find out more about the proposed off shore wind farm.

The TVC has developed a good relationship with our new member for Heathcote, Maryanne Stuart, MP. Maryanne continues to attend our meetings and keeps in regular contact with the TVC, for which we are grateful. Although she could not attend this meeting, she provided Emergency Preparedness handouts for members.

Just after our last meeting (Monday 24th July) Maryanne and her staff member Ben, plus Councillor Richard Martin joined Murray, Stephen and me on a tour of Bulli and Thirroul to help familiarise her to the area. We stopped off at a number of spots on the way looking at possible secondary routes to and from Thirroul, starting at Sandon Point. From here to Geraghty Street where it was explained that access could be possible once a bridge was built across Tramway Creek. This will become essential once the Aged Care and Retirement Village is built. We also drove to Beattie Street where access to McCauley's Estate is blocked off due to concerns about the condition of the bridge. The Fire Brigade has access to this bridge for emergency access.

We also took Maryanne to the roundabout to nowhere in Amy Street, to point out that the option for a secondary route via Amy Street is no longer possible due to the Land and Environment Court (LEC) decision. We then drove to the Thomas Gibson car park area, where a secondary road may be possible. Other possible secondary access points on the western side of the railway were pointed out to be via Phillip Street and Church Street. Both are affected by subsidence.

This was simply a fact-finding tour where we could point out possibilities to Maryanne and is no doubt the start of a much longer conversation. The TVC wishes to thank Maryanne, Ben and Richard for their time.

Council projects open for Public Feedback:

Council is currently seeking feedback on a planning proposal to rezone certain large R2 zoned lots in proximity to the Illawarra Escarpment in order to minimise the potential environmental impacts of future development. If anyone lives in Stanwell Park or Wombarra it may be a useful to look at this. Exhibition goes till 11th October.

Council also has a Climate Change Mitigation Plan 2023 – 2030 on exhibition. This maps the pathway of how together we can transition to a low carbon community and achieve our Net Zero emissions target. The Plan is open for exhibition and comment until 30th October.

4. Treasurer's Report

Reported $0.02 interest since the July AGM. Total funds $2241.12

We need to think about how to raise some funds as we no longer have money coming in. If anyone has any ideas, please send them to the TVC email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 5. Graffiti Report

WCC revised the Graffiti Management Council Policy on 28 August 2023 expanding the length of time to remove racist, defamatory, offensive graffiti on Council assets and/or prominent sites or sites of significance, from ‘within 1 working day’ to ‘within 2 working days from when it is reported, where possible’. It was noted that at times graffiti may be placed in hard to access areas, hence the ‘where possible’ qualification as Council may need more time to remove it.

Since the TVC Meeting on 16 July graffiti attacks have increased around Thirroul and Thomas Gibson Park – from 15 to 21 recorded on the council register. Wollongong Council Area has recorded over 900 graffiti attacks so far this financial year.

If residents see graffiti, please report it to council (details below). Or remove the graffiti with ‘Graffiti Remover’ spray available from Bunnings. Thanks to TVC members who continue to volunteer to clean or overpaint the graffiti (John Della Pozza and Peter Spencer).

Report graffiti crime to:

a.   Call the Police on 131 444 to report graffiti attacks. Call 000 if you see graffiti crime in progress.

b.   Contact WCC via:

Phone on (02) 4227 7111, to request graffiti removal and record the incident.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Submit graffiti reports via Council’s website:

https://wollongong.nsw.gov.au/my-community/safety/community-safety/graffiti

Anti-Graffiti policy and laws are detailed in Wollongong Council Graffiti Management Policy adopted 28/08/23 and NSW Graffiti Control Act 2008.

State Legislation requires Council to maintain a Graffiti Removal Register. See graffiti register https://wollongong.nsw.gov.au/your-council/access-to-information/information-registers/graffiti-removal-register

6. Garden Report

Since the July report contact has been made with the North Depot team, with discussions held about the state of the Railway Parade carpark space (Grannie’s Garden), and Jackson Park.

Garden news:

1. The garden committee has had two offers of help - from Peter Spencer and Denise Aubourg. Thank you both.

2. At WCC North Depot there is a new, keen Team Leader (Shane Younger). Billy Glancy is still the boss. Chris Hill keeps in touch with them both.

3. Railway Street Carpark: Chris arranged to meet Shane one morning at Grannie’s Garden, and noticed that the huge heap of palm fronds and other plants that had been removed from the beds had already been collected from the ‘dump corner’. Chris explained that the garden beds had deteriorated since the drought and then Covid and rain years, and how is difficult to get them back into a respectable condition on her own.

Shane said he would ask Council to develop a new landscaping strategy using tougher plants. Clearing of plants and laying of fresh timber-chip mulch was completed not long after.

4. Jackson Park: The park is now tidy and mown regularly, and Billy and Shane arranged for the water supply to the tap to be turned on again. Chris has tidied away overgrowth and dead plants from the beds around the seats.

5. Grannies Garden: seedlings from the Gaura and yellow daisies are sprouting. So far, the suggested new ‘landscaping’ has not eventuated, but it is hoped it will soon. Chris has African Daisies ready.

7. DA report

5 current DAs on exhibition. Most are for alterations and additions, including Club Thirroul.

Nothing from the developers of the Plaza.

1. BULLI HOSPITAL

Old Hospital site

Demolition uncovered more asbestos. Reported there is inadequate information provided about remediation of the site. There is no information about the DA for the 2.5 hectare Bulli Hospital site. Only thing is that Landcom says at least 10 per cent of the homes will be set aside for affordable housing and essential service workers, but there is a push for more.

Concern raised about parking at the site as parking is a major issue in Hospital Road. This will be an issue during the construction phase.

Originally the hospital was owned by the community. The site was transferred to Landcom in July 2022. Landcom sits in the member for Wollongong, Paul Scully’s portfolio of Planning and Public Spaces. Maryanne is in communication with Landcom.

New Hospital site

Unfortunately, the new Bulli Hospital was constructed without any underground car park. The old hospital has off street parking for 110 cars, while the new hospital only has space for 46 cars. This is causing severe problems for visitors, staff and residents, especially now that Port Kembla palliative care and rehabilitation has closed. These services have been temporarily moved to Bulli Hospital prior to moving to Wollongong Hospital in early 2024.

To help alleviate the problems experienced by staff working there a shuttle bus has been introduced taking staff from Bulli Showground to the hospital. The problem is that not many are using this service, so alternatives need to be found. Suggestion of timed parking has been put forward. In addition, the removal of the refuge in front of the old site and formalising the bus stop. Only issue is that by doing this more parking spots may be lost. This will cause more problems for residents as people already park across residents’ driveways. Maryanne and Ryan are actively working to come up with a better solution.

There is a need to work with State members for a long-term solution – i.e. a new carpark. But where?

2. SANDON POINT SENIORS LIVING DEVELOPMENT

In mid-September Anglicare held a number of drop-in sessions for neighbours of the proposed Sandon Point Seniors Living Development as well as local community members. The development has changed from the 2019 proposal which had 140 independent living units, an 80-bed aged care facility and 55 residential dwellings.

What is proposed:

  • 229 apartments for seniors living and 41 aged care rooms
  • no longer be any privately owned residential dwellings on the site
  • appears there will be 24 separate apartment buildings, each with its own basement parking, lifts and security system
  • apartments will be 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms. These apartment buildings will range from 2 to 4 storeys in height. It is proposed that the taller buildings will be located to the southern side of the site near Tramway Creek
  • an aged ‘care hub’ with 41 rooms will be located to the south of the site. This will be dedicated to dementia and end-of-life care
  • the development will not be gated and there will be a cycleway through the development from Wilkies Street to Geraghty Street
  • no cars will be allowed on the premises. Rather, residents and staff will either walk or use buggies to move from one building to the other. Cars will drive in and park underground in the individual 24 apartment buildings (around space for 460 cars)
  • sixty car spots will also be provided for staff on site, plus space for visitors. There was discussion about the widening of Wilkies Street to accommodate on street parking and make it safer for pedestrians
  • the turpentine forest is to be cleaned up, as is Cooksons Creek. These are to be maintained by Anglicare. In addition, there will be a wide fire trail around the turpentine forest to allow fire truck access in case of a fire.

One essential, especially for residents of McCauley Estate is the construction of a link road to the south. This needs to happen as a matter of priority as there is only one access point into the estate, via Wrexham Road. A bridge across Tramway Creek needs to be built so Geraghty Street can be linked from Bulli to McCauley Estate. However, from discussions it appears that any link road may not be constructed until the apartments bordering Wilkies Street are built. There is no doubt that residents will continue to lobby for the link road to be constructed earlier rather than later.

3. MCCAULEY LODGE

The TVC has been informed that the development applications for Seniors Living developments for the sites of McCauley Lodge and Tasman Court in Tasman Parade, Thirroul (DA-2023/112 and DA-2023/113) are currently the subject of deemed refusal. We have been informed by Council that an appeal has been lodged with NSW LEC. The proceedings have been fixed for a combined conciliation conference on 27 February 2024. Council stated they will contact all submitters to inform them of the Court process and provide details of the conciliation conference. The TVC will notify residents near the site of the LEC Conciliation Conference and provide advice.

4. WILKIES WALK

The TVC contacted Council about when we might expect the draft planning agreement relating to Wilkies Walk to go on Public Exhibition. Information is that exhibition of the draft Planning Agreement for public comment will be open from 4 October to 5 November 2023.

Council has asked staff to send the TVC details of how the exhibition material can be accessed. This will be relayed to members upon receipt.

8. Business on Notice:

UPDATE ON OFF-SHORE WIND FARMS BASED ON DISCUSSIONS WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER

Ray Smith informed the meeting that given there is a wide range of views about the proposed offshore wind farm, and that it is bigger than just Thirroul that the TVC will not take a position on this matter. Rather, the TVC will try and keep people up to date on developments relating to the wind farm. He suggested that members make their own submissions to the Department via their ‘Have Your Say’ web portal - https://consult.dcceew.gov.au/oei-illawarra. Consultation closes on 16th October 2023. He opened the discussion stating that anyone wishing to speak had a time limit of 3 minutes.

The drop-in session at Bulli Senior Citizens Centre on Monday 18th September was packed. Departmental staff did their best to answer a range of questions, but overall did not appear that well informed. It was suggested people lodge a submission to the Government with their comments and/or concerns. It was stated that as a result of concerns raised by locals in Newcastle that the proximity and size of the offshore area proposed for Newcastle was reduced.

Proposed site:

  • waters come under the Federal Government and as a result certain studies need to be conducted before any construction takes place – a range of environmental impact studies need to be completed
  • the area for the offshore wind farm is proposed to be at least 10 km offshore
  • concerns were raised that proposed area is right in the whale migration path. In addition, Five Islands Fauna Reserve is in the zone
  • it has been reported that there has been an increase in whale deaths in north east USA as a result of the wind farms. However, some organisations, including Greenpeace dispute this. It depends upon which sites you read
  • members were reliably informed that construction is normally halted during the whale migration season
  • economic viability of this development is in question as it is a huge investment. Oceanex Energy, which may be a bidder, is involved in the proposal in Gippsland, which has yet to start
  • lot of unknowns with the offshore wind farms and there is a feeling that the onus should be on the developers and Government to do their research
  • nothing on this scale approved in Australia
  • proposal for Newcastle was reduced in size partly because the effects of wind farms on the swell are unknown. Concerns were raised during their consultation that the wind farms may affect the swell at the popular surfing spot at Norah Head, so this area was hived off. Perhaps this could happen in the Illawarra as there are a number of popular surfing spots – eg. Killalea.

Size of turbines and wind farm:

  • the base of the turbines is huge. Around the size of an oil platform for each tower. Each tower could be up to 280m in height. The number of towers will be determined by the size of the area that is finally agreed upon
  • reported that close to 95% of turbines can be recycled – almost everything except the blades which are made out of composite synthetics
  • suggested that the development that is proposed is akin to the Snowy Hydro Scheme as it is a massive energy transition
  • certainly a need for more energy, especially as the coal fired power stations are being decommissioned and gas is not environmentally friendly. In fact, some developments are not allowing gas to be connected
  • concerns were expressed that the community may not benefit from the energy that is generated as it may go to industry. Even so a lot of power is needed to run industry.

Suggestions:

  • it was suggested that the community needs to push for extensive studies to be completed prior to approval and for reliable information to be presented to the community. The size of the area proposed for Gippsland was reduced by 50% due to community feedback
  • there are a number of No Offshore Wind Farm groups on Facebook that people can look at and join.

UPDATE ON IDENTIFIED PROJECTS LISTED IN THE WCC INFRASTRUCTURE DELIVERY PROGRAM

Drain is being replaced at south Thirroul Beach front. Should be completed by December. This has had flow on effects to the pool, delaying its opening.

EFFECTS OF TfNSW CHANGES IN SOUTH THIRROUL

Reported that getting in and out of High Street is easier. Plus, it is safer to turn right into Wrexham Road. Concerns were expressed about the traffic build up, especially southward in the morning and concern that there might be an accident when 2 buses are stopped at the relocated bus stop. Residents near there are waiting for something to happen.

BULLI TOWN CENTRE TRAFFIC CHANGES BY TfNSW – 2021 Consultation

Proposed changes –

Clearways southbound – 6.30am to 9.30am and 3pm to 6pm weekdays, plus 11am to 1 pm on Saturdays and public holidays.

Clearway northbound – 6.30am to 9.30am weekdays and 3 pm to 6pm on weekdays.

TfNSW has stated the proposed extension of clearway hours would not go through a trial period. Transport would monitor the impacts of the proposed extended clearway hours in improving traffic flow and balancing competing needs.

In addition, there will be:-

  • a dedicated right-hand lane to turn on Park Pd, Bulli
  • upgrades to Memorial Drive roundabout
  • parking behind Stokes Lane café for up to five cars
  • two raised pedestrian crossings on Railway Street and Park Road (local roads)
  • resurfacing of the station car park and additional spaces
  • new shared path on Railway Street to improve cycling and walking safety
  • installation of street trees and landscaping to enhance amenity.

COUNCIL RESPONSE TO TVC LETTER REGARDING KERBSIDE ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING POINTS

Council acknowledged our concern for the proposed EV charging points at Railway Parade, Thirroul. Council stated that the majority of off-street carparks do not have eligible power poles directly adjacent to suitable parking spaces, as is the case for the railway overflow carpark and Station Street parking spaces which were suggested by the TVC. The suggestions by the TVC of additional locations including Raymond Road and Phillip Street may be included in further EV charging projects. A reduction in the number of car spaces allocated for charging at each station (from 2 to 1) was not supported from a cost efficiency perspective.

Council added that during the 12-month pilot period Council will continue to review the utilisation and impacts of the pilot over this time. Any decision on permanency will involve further consultation with the community.

9. Other business

Movement and Place Framework

Neil Walker expressed concerns over the planning and development of Thirroul and Bulli as the minutes of the ‘Wollongong City Centre Movement and Place’ meeting on 18 August stated that the State Government would NOT be utilising the Movement and Place Framework for the planning and development of Thirroul and Bulli. ‘Movement and Place’ supports efficient investment by thinking about the built environment holistically including the social, environmental, and economic context.

In mid-August Neil wrote to Maryanne Stuart asking why the state Govt would not utilise the Movement and Place Framework and what policy or framework would be used to substitute the framework to allow for integrated land use and transport planning in Thirroul ad Bulli.

10. Close at 5.25pm

UPCOMING MEETINGS:

Next TVC meeting is on Sunday 26th November at 4pm at TRIPS Hall, Railway Parade Thirroul.

You can email the TVC at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Next NIRAG quarterly meeting will be on Wednesday, 1st November 2023 at 7pm at the Bulli Community Centre.

  

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