AGM Held on 11 October
In an overwhelming show of support from the community, all eleven Committee members renominating were re-elected and there was also overwhelming support for new nominees Geoff Armstrong and Lynne de Graaf.

The 2018/19 Committee is David Carter (Chair), Gail Paton (Vice Chair), Stuart Coughlan (Secretary), Laurie Watson (Treasurer), Mary Beare (Minutes Secretary), Geoff Armstrong, David Brawn, Garry Broadbridge, Margot Claringbold, John Cullity, Lynne de Graaf, James Robinson, and John Underwood. The Chairman and Treasurer’s Reports for 2017/18 are available on the Forum website. 

Forum Meeting Held on 11 October
217 people attended the meeting, including Deputy Mayor Patricia White (who supervised the election of the Committee at the AGM). Topics covered included a status update on Boongaree (Berry District Park), an introduction to Stepen Dunshea who joined Council on 30 April as Director Finance, Corporate & Community Services, an explanation of planning legislation changes for Short-term Rental Accommodation (STRA) by Clr White, and a presentation by Omar Khalifa, CEO of iAccelerate, Australia’s largest business start-up accelerator/incubator.

Boongaree (District Park) Status
Liliana Hutchinson from Council provided a status update on the project and some initial cost estimates. Detailed design requirements for the Learn to Ride area have been completed and detailed designs for all other areas are due to be completed by the end of the month. Local volunteers are coordinating construction of a ‘pump track’.

The Forum Committee has asked Stephen Dunshea to convene a meeting with Berry Rotary and the sporting groups to check with them that they understand and support changes made to the conceptual design that they agreed last year (see Boongaree Presentation).

Director Finance, Corporate & Community Services
Stephen Dunshea provided a brief summary of his background and experience and the areas at Council he is now responsible for. He outlined the challenges he faced and his approach to community engagement. He is currently working on a Tourism model for the Shoalhaven that should be ready to present to the Forum in January. 

iAccelerate – Australia’s largest business start-up accelerator/incubator
Omar explained what iAccelerate offers and how its aim is to develop new businesses and employment in the Illawarra. Based at the University of Wollongong, IAccelerate helps students (average age 42) develop ideas and networks in starting up their own businesses. The community is encouraged to become involved and is welcome to take a tour of the facility at the North Wollongong Campus (see iAccelerate presentation).

Short-term Rental Accommodation
Clr. White talked about the new planning legislation to govern issues with short stay property rentals such as Airb&b and Stayz. Once the legislation has been finalised and feedback has been gathered Clr. White will discuss the outcomes and implications at a Forum Meeting. The new legislation includes a code of conduct that property owners have to abide by, a register of properties and a dispute resolution tribunal. Submissions can be made before 16 November (see Dept. of Planning information).

Next Forum Meeting is on 13 December 7.30pm at the School of Arts