Wednesday 26 September 2007

Your Council gives away our land

A block of land, the size of a house block, was mysteriously given away recently at Yorkeys Knob.

The new benefactor is the Half Moon Bay Golf Club, that manages nearly 200 aces. The land in question is on the northern side of the Yorkeys Knob Community Centre property in Wattle Street. It neighbours a children's recreation area, including a BMX track, that adjoin the Golf Club land, along Cunningham Street.

In a strong exchange of words at Tuesday evening's Yorkeys Knob Residents' Association, Cr Margaret Cochrane announced how a small parcel of land at the rear of the Community Centre has had a title transfer into the name of the golf club.

Long-time Yorkeys resident and local SES coordinator, Alan Cullington, was angry that this occurred without any community consolation.

"This is community land, how dare this be simply transferred into the ownership of a special interest group," he said. Allan asked the meeting if anyone was aware that this had occurred. There was no knowledge of this.

Cr Cochrane explained that, to her knowledge, the decision was made by the local Yorkeys Knob Activities Group. Such committees exist around the region where there's a local community hall. Their task is to manage the local facilities, and encourage participation in events and activities to utilise such facilities.

"Their job is to look after these assets for the community, not flog them off," said Cullington.

The secretary of the Yorkeys Knob Activities Group, that was appointed in late 2006, Brian Hooley, alerted the Residents' Association to the matter, which occurred prior to the current committee's tenure.
Other members include past president of the Residents' Association, Glenda Rowan; Heidi Widmer, who manages the dining business at the golf club, Wayne LeClos, Alan Cullington, June Corrie and Councillor Margaret Cochrane.

The committee at the time when the decisaion was taken, were Tom Spearman, Chris Coakley, June Corrie, Alan Cullington and Councillor Margaret Cochrane.

Records are not clear to when and how the decision exactly occurred. Why open community consultation was discouraged with the larger Residents' Association, was not able to be explained to the meeting.

It is known that 2 years ago, a large number, up to 20 people from the Golf Club, became members of the Activities Group, so that they could vote in the Group's matters, one of which was the transfer of a land parcel.

The Community Centre has seen some financial return to purchase equipment for the hall. Proceeds from the Golf Club Open Day also was directed to the Activities Group, as part of an 'agreement' when the deal was done.

Wendy Dowsett, the Vice President of the Residents' Association also weighed into the debate. "This wasn't a consultative process at all."

According to Cr Cochrane, the leasing agreement was a three-way approach that occurred between Council; the Golf Club; and the Activities Group. "The Council Transfer of Title has gone through DNR," said Margaret Cochrane.

One of the concerns, beside the loss of community land, according to Alan Cullington, is that this patch of land is being used for golf club vehicular access and is unfenced - an area that neighbours onto the BMX track and a children's play area.

A resident told the meeting that many years ago it was agreed that the community centre land would never go to the gold club.

Local resident and candidate for the upcoming Council election Richie Bates, who has strong background in sporting clubs and recreation facilities, said that there is nothing to stop this from occurring again. "We have seen no open communication before this decision occurred. We need to ask for answers from our Council."

"The bottom line is, should this land be returned to the community? We have nearly 3000 residents here and they weren't consulted in this process," says Cullington.

The meeting resolved to request the Councillor to report back as to how this decision was made, and investigate avenues to return the land to the Community Centre.
Alan Cullington is the current King of the Knob,
crowned at this year's Festival of the Knob. (his wife is the Queen!)


Anonymous said...

What a bunch of crybabies.

Got a case? Go to the CMC. Posting on a barely-read blog will get you nowhere.

Anonymous said...

CMC would be indirectly monitoring this blog. But they are usless anyhowz.

Anonymous said...

Sure, the CMC is "monitoring" this blog - for what, dunny paper? If you're not going to follow the rules, don't complain when nuthin gets done.