Chair’s Statement: Coogee Precinct AGM 17 November 2014

It has been a busy and productive year for the Precinct.

We held 9 meetings to October. All were well attended with an average of 19 people per meeting.

The first meeting was in January and set the tone for the year with three major agenda items that have continued as active issues through the year. These were:

  • The need to bring Randwick into line with other Sydney beachside Councils in relation to bans on the consumption of alcohol, in beachside reserves. Councillors Shurey (Greens) and Neilson (Labor) took up this issue and succeeded in having the present night time ban in Goldstein Reserve extended to the day time. However a rescission motion overturned this but at least ensured the ban was clarified as being from 6.00pm. The rescission motion also called for a consultation process which was undertaken and the results are awaited.
  • The need to bring Randwick into line with other beachside Councils and impose a ban on smoking on all beaches. Councillor Neilson took up this issue and succeeded in having a ban approved. This is a great result and long overdue. 
  • The sewage pitt at the Northern end of Goldstein Reserve. Councillor Shurey took this up and succeeded in a motion

to have Council look in to the matter. Council had a meeting with Sydney Water and the MP for Coogee, Mr Bruce Notley-Smith to which the Precinct was invited. Subsequently Mr Notley-Smith announced that $150,000 had been approved by the state government to look into a long term solution and to report back in mid 2015.  Also Sydney Water has proposed a new method for emptying the pitt this went to the Works Committee meeting of Council on 11 November.

On these issues, the Coogee Precinct wishes to thank Councillors Neilson & Shurey and Mr Notley-Smith.

The March meeting was one to remember with the Mayor (Councillor Nash), General Manager (Mr Ray Brownlee) and five Councillors attending. The Mayor apologised to the Precinct on behalf of Council for the bahaviour of some Councillors toward the Precinct representative who spoke in favour of the alcohol ban at the Council meeting on 25 February. The Mayor described the events at that meeting as a watershed moment that had resulted in Council changing things so that what happened at that meeting never happened again. The Mayor also referred to the Coogee Precinct as the shiny beacon of the Precinct system.

The September meeting featured a visit by Mr Notley- Smith to talk about Light Rail.

The October meeting was attended by the newly endorsed Labor candidate for Coogee – Mr Paul Pearce – who outlined his concerns about Council amalgamations.
Among other items through the year the Precinct:

  • welcomed the reassurances of new owner of the former Beach Palace hotel (now the Coogee Pavilion)
  • endorsed plans for new toilet and amenities in Goldstein Reserve built under the reserve and in from the lower promenade and improvements for the Community Centre (Senior Citizens hall
  • opposed amalgamation of Randwick City Council or any coming together with other neighbouring LGAs. raised the issue of noise from the Coogee Bowling Club – this issue was taken up by Councillor Neilson
  • supported various residents in their opposition to non complying DAs
  • opposed the use of the former Rugby Club in Brook St as a take away Liquor outlet, and
  • along with Randwick Precinct, agreed to look after the area of the Spot Precinct as an interim measure

The Precinct executive attended two Precinct Coordinating meetings through 2014 and a course in Word Press as used for the Coogee Precinct web site.

The Coogee Precinct thanks Mr Ray Brownlee, for his support for the Precinct system in Randwick and in particular for initiating the Precinct Coordinating meetings. We also wish to thank Giovanna Connolly, the Council Precinct Coordinator who does a great job getting responses back regarding our resolutions and who is always approachable and helpful. Thanks too to the web team at Council for posting our Agenda, Minutes and Response letters on the Council website. This was a new development in 2014 and is a great help to us.

We also thank the Councillors who have attended meetings through the year – Councillors Matson, Smith, Roberts, Nash and Garcia but particularly Councillors Shurey and Neilson.

I wish to thank Mark as Treasurer, Rona as Secretary and work on the web site and Carla for doing such wonderful Minutes.

Finally I wish to thank all of you and those who could not be here tonight for your support through the year.
John Giannakopoulos

Coogee Precinct
www.coogeeprecinct.com

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