Meeting to tackle key issues

TUESDAY night’s Kiama Municipal Council agenda will address a range of items, from a proposed petrol station to the Jamberoo CBD streetscape and the effects of the latest federal budget on Kiama. 

President of Local Government NSW, Cr Keith Rhoades and Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler.

President of Local Government NSW, Cr Keith Rhoades and Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler.

*Mayor Brian Petschler has raised several topics as the subject of a Mayoral Minute, including the contentious proposal to build another petrol station in the Kiama municipality. 

Residents’ concerns include impact on local residential amenity and the introduction of traffic onto Riverside Drive; the possibility of the service station having a number of impacts including noise, light spill and rubbish; impact of the service station on businesses including the local IGA and corner stores; hours of operation and the possibility of a fast-food outlet also being developed on the site.

The report recommends council seek RailCorp permission to undertake a geotechnical assessment of the land to determine the economic feasibility of constructing underground tanks; and investigate a possible site for a petrol station on the south western (Quarry) side of the Bombo overpass.

*The Mayor has also recommended that council write to Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis and the Federal Minister responsible for Local Government “expressing strong concerns regarding the freezing of Financial Assistance Grants”. 

According to Cr Petschler, presidents of the Australia Local Government Association and Local Government NSW have written to council stating strong concern in relation to the federal government’s decision not to increase financial grants in line with the CPI and population increases.

“The president of Local Government NSW, Cr Keith Rhoades has advised that if no change is made to the Australian Government’s calculations for Financial Assistance Grants, the shortfall for NSW councils in 2014/2015 will be $29.9 million, $62.2 million in 2015/2016, $95.8 million in 2016/2017 and $99.8 million in 2017/2018.”

These grants are used to maintain a wide range of infrastructure including local roads, bridges, recreational facilities, libraries, cultural facilities, neighbourhood centres and a variety of services to children, young people, the elderly and people with a disability.

Council’s manager of Corporate Services has estimated that over the next three years the loss to the council will be in the order of $90,000. 

It is further estimated that over the life of the Long Term Financial Plan, being the next 10 years, there will be an accumulative impact of more than $600,000.

*A timeline for the redevelopment of Blue Haven has also been proposed. 

A draft timeline for the redevelopment of the site was prepared as part of the business case submission prepared jointly with Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. 

*Staff have also recommended that council seeks expressions of interest from interested commercial market operators to manage the Kiama Produce Market on the fourth Saturday of each month.

*Staff have recommended that council publicly exhibits the Draft Jamberoo Streetscape re-development plan for 28 days, and that a subsequent report on submissions received be submitted to council for endorsement of the plan.

Council has allocated $150,000 in each of the 2014/15 and 2015/16 financial years for the re-development of the Jamberoo CBD Streetscape. 

The works will be planned to commence towards the end of the 2014/15 financial year and flow through to 2015/16. 

The plan covers the length of Allowrie Street between Minnamurra Lane and Churchill Street. 

*Council will also determine if the “mascot” image proposed in their report for a new walking track is to be used in the signage scheme and marketing of the track.

At its May meeting, council resolved to name the new walking track through the north Bombo quarry as the “Thunda” track, in keeping with the Aboriginal name for Bombo. 

A signage scheme is to be developed for the walk and a proposal has been submitted by Councillor Warren Steel to use a “mascot” character image to promote the walk. 

Concerns have since been expressed to council regarding the name “Thunda” track. 

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