The Forum Committee has sent the letter below to Council’s CEO and all councillors –

 

To: The CEO, Shoalhaven City Council

Thank you for your response to our representations in relation to the parking dilemma in Berry. Our objective is to work together with Council to resolve the acute parking problems that occur at peak visitation times in and around Berry and more particularly at Boongaree.

If we are to achieve a productive outcome however, we must first establish a foundation of trust, and that requires a common understanding of how we got to where we are today.

This is not about seeking to attribute blame; it is to ensure that Council understands the community’s perspective and to prevent a lack of trust from potentially undermining measures that require cooperation.

Key areas of concern for the community relate to the following misapprehensions –

  • There has been no collaboration or communication about the Boongaree project with the community via the Forum since Council’s presentation in October 2018, when the community was assured that adequate parking had been provided.
  • The amendment to the staging plan that deferred most parking to late in the project, was drawn up in September 2018 and never explained to the community.
  • Director Jane Lewis’ advice to councillors – “Whilst I understand this is not what the community want to hear we have been very clear all the way through on the stages and elements being delivered in each tranche of works” was misconceived. Being “very clear” means communicating directly and honestly with the community. An obscure version of the Master Plan with an unclear legend buried in Council’s website does not constitute being “very clear” about critical staging information.
  • Council’s Traffic Committee has never endorsed the parking plans for Boongaree or the location of long vehicle parking off North Street. The Traffic Committee’s remit extends only to signage and line-marking. It has no say in parking matters or staging.

We are open to challenge on any of these points if evidence is produced to support an alternative view. We don’t seek a response, just an understanding of the community’s view.

The measures included in your letter and invitation for input are appreciated. We believe that working together in a productive partnership we can determine workable solutions.

Regards,
The Berry Forum Committee
https://berryforum.org.au/

18 May 2022