Minutes of the Berry Forum Meeting
Held on 14 December 2017 7:30pm at the School of Arts, Berry

Present: 127 attendees, including State Member Gareth Ward and Clrs John Wells, Patricia White, Annette Alldrick & Nina Cheyne

Welcome and Introduction (David Carter)
Minutes from meeting held 12 October 2017 – Approved 

Gareth Ward Update
– Work has started on the new Ambulance Station at North St and KV Rd. Although not permanently manned, the 6 new officers will provide a 24-hour service.
– Tenders for the Berry to Bomaderry highway upgrade will be called for soon.
– Concerns raised by residents about noise from the Bypass will be assessed.
– Three tenders are being considered for the Albion Park Rail bypass project.
– Safety concerns re the right-turn off the Highway into Croziers Rd should be addressed to Gareth

Resident concerns with Bypass road noise and visual impact (Margaret Walsh)
Margaret spoke for the residents of Windsor Drive who are concerned about the visual impact, noise, lack of privacy, and lights from the new roundabout shining into backyards.
Meeting attendees voted overwhelmingly in support of the Forum asking RMS to address the issues.

Resident concerns with right turn off Highway into Croziers Road (Toby Greenacre)
Toby highlighted some of the dangers of accessing Croziers Rd from the Highway, which have been made worse by an increase in traffic volume from the Sandtrack since the Bypass opened.
Toby proposed interim safety measures including a designated right hand turn lane similar to the one at Strongs Rd and a prominent 80kph speed limit sign positioned close to Mullers Rd.
Meeting attendees voted overwhelmingly in support of the Forum requesting these safety measures.

Berry Estate Trails Project Communications (Clr John Wells)
Clr Wells described the engagement processes to be followed in respect of each trail as part of the communications protocol he had agreed with concerned landowners, Derek Jorgensen for the Project and Chamber of Commerce representatives. The trail from town to Austral Park Rd is the first identified for public consultation. Others include Agars lane, Berry to Gerringong, and Wire Lane.
The landowners will update the Forum on adherence to the communications protocol.
The Forum Committee is very grateful for Clr Wells assistance (his paper is attached below).

Update on Planning Proposal to Rezone Land South of Hitchcocks Lane (Stuart Coughlan)
The Proposal will result in an additional 120-150 dwellings. Huntingdale will eventually total 280 dwellings, resulting in up to 430 new dwellings to the west of the existing town, which numbers 480 dwellings. The Forum Committee will pursue the inclusion of a vegetated buffer between the Highway and the the development site, as shown in Council’s approved Development Control Plan.
After the Proposal goes through the Gate Way Process, there will be community consultation

Significant Changes Proposed for Huntingdale Park Development (Stuart Coughlan)
A Section 96 amendment has been lodged by SET Consultants on behalf of Pindan, the developer.

Significant changes are proposed for Stages 8 & 9 (based on a bush fire assessment), and residents are extremely concerned about the loss of a public reserve and a reduction in the size of the riparian area along the creek line. Representatives of SET and Pindan unsuccessfully attempted to screen a presentation explaining the background to the S96 changes, and claimed that the main reason for loss of public space was Council not wanting to take responsibility for maintenance.
The Forum will discuss with Council and schedule another presentation.

Update on Major Upgrade proposed for Apex Park Toilets (Laurie Watson)
Council has recommenced building a new amenity at the Apex Park site in 2018/19 and the Committee will be asking for our Councillors help in securing necessary funds.

Co-working space for Berry small businesses (Kate Dezarnaulds)
Due to the extensive time taken up by preceeding agenda items, this presentation was postponed until the next meeting.

General Business
There is no progress to report on the Bangalee Motel DA.
The DA for a 4 Lot Subdivision at 150 North St was approved by Council, with the fourth Lot to be just a single dwelling.

Special General Meeting
The following minor amendment to the Forum Constitution was supported –
“The AGM to be held by end October, rather than within 3 months of the end of the financial year”.

The second proposal will not be added to the Constitution, but the meeting attendees supported its adoption as an operational guideline for the Forum –
“Fourteen days notice to be given of a request for a vote at a Forum meeting, so that the community can be informed of the context of the issue to be voted on”.

Meeting closed at 9:20pm.


Berry Estate Walking Trails Project (Clr. John Wells 14th November 2017)
The concept is to deliver a network of free, publicly accessible walking and cycling trails connecting communities, facilities and businesses around the northern Shoalhaven and southern Kiama LGA’s primarily on the coastal plain, which will create a significant community alternative transport infrastructure asset (not currently available in northern Shoalhaven) using public land and attract tourism visitation and boost tourism spend in and around the region.

It is acknowledged that the walking trails project, when considered in the context of the Berry Strategic Planning Process was originally ‘mandated’ as community-centric assets, i.e provided primarily for community recreation and leisure, health and well being. Focus now broadened ….

COMMUNITY                                     BUSINESS
. Recreation                                         . Visitation
. Leisure                                               . Spend
. Health                                                . Employment
. Well being                                         . Vibrant CBD

  • Walking trails referred to and supported in Berry Strategic Plan – to Sport and Rec Centre and Beach Road – over 25 routes subsequently identified and publicly displayed
  • Approximately 30 potential trails identified for potential development over multiple years as demand and development funding becomes available. Schematic mapping is indicative only. Further investigation work is required for each trail considered for development, including survey
  • No proposed trail route is “shovel ready’ at this time

The first trail identified for public consultation in the short term (near future – 12 to 18 months?) is:

  1. Town to Austral Park Rd, in 2 stages, urban trail Town to Tindalls Lane, Tindalls to Austral Park Rd. The trail will be located inside the current RMS road corridor. Significant work has already been done by  RMS to provide a route along which the trail can be developed including earthworks and vegetation clearing.

Three other trails are also likely to be progressed in the near future. These are

  1. Agars Lane – A NSW Gazetted public road –the proposed trail is within cil the road corridor, already fenced. Already a nominated route in SCC’s bike plan- is currently in use by walker, runners cyclists. Input from SCC Traffic Management Unit required- potential speed limit review.
  2. Berry – Gerringong Rail Trail – a proposal subject to State Rail approval. Inside the rail corridor, so no fencing contributions required.
  3. Wire Lane – on SCC land. Connecting Agars Lane to Beach Rd

Appear to evolve around 2 sets of issues.

  • Impact of particular trail route proposals:
    • Amenity – Noise, Visual, Privacy, Access.
    • Environmental impacts and biodiversity
    • Costs – contribution towards fencing, funding sources/assistance.
  • Community consultation and engagement – where the noun “consultation” is defined as: “a meeting of two or more persons to deliberate on a matter; a conference”. The verb – “engagement” is defined as: “to undertake, pledge oneself, promise, to do something, to draw into, cause to take part in”.

The objective of consultation and engagement must be achieving a consensus agreement between participating and /or affected parties.

Resolution of Issue 1 – Personal Impacts, is dependent upon the effective delivery of consultation & engagement. Consultation is an event, engagement is an act.

Has the Berry Estate Trails Project been subject to community Consultation and Engagement?

Consultation: The answer is “partly” viz,

      • Presentations at Berry and other community CCB
      • Presentations to various community groups and associations
      • Letters and mail outs
      • Meetings and briefings with local community leaders and agencies (Council? Govt Dept/Landholders)

Does the foregoing represent deliberation or conferencing over the issues? Were any commitments or approvals forthcoming? Has any “ready to go” project emerged to date?
NOT TO THIS POINT IN TIME. What the foregoing work by the Trails team represents is vision and concept sharing, and information giving. This is a valuable precursor to any project, but can also give rise to concerns.

The Walking/Cycling trail concept now needs to move from conceptual stage – largely endorsed by the Berry Strategic Plan and consistent with Councils Bike Plan – to a point which enables the development of individual trails that will progressively form a network.

Engagement: The answer to “b” is probably no,
If engagement is taken to be an undertaking or pledging to develop a protocol or set of processes which will draw–in or cause stakeholders to take part in the identification and resolution of community concerns.

“Engagement” is multi-tiered, viz:

Public Notification

  • Local Community newspapers
  • Community Notice Boards
  • Community Group Newsletters
  • Newspapers/Radio
  • Berry Estate walking Trails Project website
  • Council website

Institutional – letter and personal contact

  • CCB – Community Meetings
  • Local Land Services – Land Status and uses
  • OEH- biodiversity issues
  • Council D.A. requirement?
  • Funders – Federal State and Local.
  • Public land owners – comments
  • Chamber impacts/opportunities
  • Local Groups and associations (100 +) – information dissemination
  • Government departments and agencies.

Personal – letter and personal contact.

  • Immediately adjacent/contiguous property holders
  • Local members and representatives
  • Executive office holders of key community groups

Can a meeting of key stakeholders be held? – something akin to Council’s development assessment unit or the Berry District Park Stakeholders Meetings.


CONCLUSION AND QUESTION: Can the Trails Project commit to such a protocol?

John Wells