Present: 54 residents and ratepayers plus 4 residents from Shoalhaven Heads.

Apologies: The Mayor and Councillors John Wells, Lynne Kearney, Patricia White

Welcome (Chairman, Geoff Murray)

Review of Minutes from Public Meeting on 11 June (Secretary, Stuart Coughlan)

  • Constitution – Laurie Watson and Margot Claringbold will prepare a final draft to be emailed to members for review before endorsement at a public meeting of the Forum
  • Coolangatta Mt land transfer to National Parks – Vicki Matthew addressed the meeting, emphasizing that her objection to the transfer of land was based on allowing continuing access for all people rather than restricting access to Indigenous people only. The matter has been discussed at a meeting of the Shoalhaven Heads CCB. Vicki will provide the draft submission for distribution to Forum members. The deadline for submissions to be lodged with the Council is 24th July 2015
  • Triangular parcel of land off George St – Margaret Street addressed the meeting on behalf of the Garden Club Committee and advised that she has spoken with John Wells, Council, RMS and Fulton Hogan and all are amenable to the transfer of land: the parcel of land does not feature on Council Plans for the future; RMS is prepared to provide the parcel to the Berry Community (under stewardship of Council); Garden Club (180 members) are willing to take on a project to create a public park with this land on behalf of the Berry Community. The Forum gave verbal affirmation to the proposal.
  • Council staff process for assessing DAs – The processing of DAs for Rockfield Park and MT Hay has exposed serious concerns about how Council Staff are administering the LEP and DCP. The Committee will invite Council staff to address a future meeting.
  • Berry Strategic Master Plan – This is a high priority for the Committee and a sub-committee will be established to work with other interested parties. Anthony Colfelt (President of the Berry Chamber of Commerce) has been invited to address the Committee at their next meeting
  • Forum website – good progress has been made on its development and an early version is now live at
  • Ambulance station siting – the proposed co-location with the RFS station has been referred to Gareth Ward, who has communicated with the Minister for Health. The Minister has advised that the co-location proposal will be included with the Value Management Study of ambulance station planning.
  • Sell-off of paper roads – Further information will be sought by the Committee for future action
  • Community noticeboard – transfer of responsibility is under discussion with the Berry Alliance.
  • Huskisson CCB Chair, Garry Kelson addressed the Committee meeting on 6 July highlighting the experiences and learnings of the Huskisson CCB.

Issues Raised Since Last meeting (Geoff Murray)

  • Duck pond at Mark Radium Park – the Forum supported a request to Fulton Hogan to construct an island for nesting and protection from foxes
  • Berry cemetery – Gail Paton advised the meeting of Berry Garden Club’s concern about the unkempt state of the oldest section at the rear of the site. Council has advised that they have limited resources for the maintenance and would welcome any assistance. It was agreed that the Forum would include the topic as part of the Berry Strategic Master Plan.

Open Forum – New Issues (Geoff Murray)

  • Dog Walking Paddock – on North Street, near the sports facilities in front of the skate park, is currently only fenced on two sides and therefore unsafe for dogs.
  • School of Arts building upgrades  – A question was asked about the status of $300k promised by the Member for Gilmore. From discussions with Council, the Chairman advised that finance has been released for a commercial kitchen upgrade and repairs to the roof. Internal redecoration was on hold pending further funding. Mary Seelis informed the meeting that a DA is pending for a roadway to the back of the building to allow better access to the kitchen. Bill Seelis informed the meeting that Council had allocated $200k for toilets. The Chairman undertook to follow up and report on these projects.
  • Berry Taxi Service – Anthony Colfelt informed the meeting that taxi plates have been purchased and service has been restored.
  • Plastic Bags – Amanda Lopez has advised that the campaign to make Berry free of plastic bags is currently on hold pending possible legislation.
  • Footpath on Kangaroo Valley Road – Concern was raised about the safety of school children and others walking along Kangaroo Valley Road as far as Bundewallah Road. The need for a footpath was discussed and the problem of large trees was raised. A ‘shareway’ to include cyclists was proposed. The Chairman will ask Berry Alliance if this was included in their ‘Tracks to the future’ project.
  • Public Toilets – the Committee will follow up with Council the proposal to increase the number of public toilets in Berry.
  • North Street Concept Plan – the Committee will check Council committee review dates.

Meeting Frequency

  • A show of hands indicated an approximate two-thirds majority in favour of bi-monthly meetings of the Forum (unless an issue of major concern arises).
  • Next public meeting date to be advised.

Meeting Closed at 8:25pm


* Subject to SCC ratification on 28 July