Greater Romsey All Abilities Playground (GRAAP) Inc – PUBLIC MEETING REPORT
On Tuesday 16th March, GRAAP convened a Public Meeting at the Romsey Community Hub to discuss the issue “A New Community Space – What Does Romsey Need?”
All East Ward Councillors were in attendance.
Members of GRAAP’s Site Selection subcommittee presented an update of their site selection process so far, including a provisional list of sites considered, and the criteria involved in the process. In addition to giving some definition of an All Abilities Park (indicating what a broad concept it is), the audience was engaged in brainstorming ideas for an open community space which would have broad appeal to locals and visitors to the area. GRAAP indicated its ongoing commitment to engaging other groups and residents in defining the components of such a space.
Particular reference was given to the Old Primary School Site, with some considerable discussion about its history and an affirmation of its local significance. The meeting resolved that this site should be retained for public use rather than be sold off by DEECD for private development.
The full GRAAP Committee will meet on Tuesday 23rd March to consider and decide upon a preferred site for the project.
For further enquiries, please contact Raelene Mottram (President, GRAAP Inc.)
Ph: 0409 148708
RRBATA Meeting Report on the Hot Topic of Parking and New Business in Romsey
The issue of parking costs for new businesses was the hot topic for discussion at the very well attended RRBATA meeting held on Monday 15th March. Rick Traficante from MRSC’s Town Planning Unit attended to brief the audience on the current situation and answer questions. Crs. Donovan. Morabito, McLaughlin and Letchford were also in attendance as were representatives from the Lancefield BATA.
Mr. Traficante explained that the Planning Scheme (under State Government jurisdiction) sets out the parking provisions for new businesses or premises where there is a change of use. If a business is unable to provide car parking off street, then they are to make a cash-in-lieu payment to contribute to future parking provision. Currently, a restaurant-type of business must provide 0.6 spaces per customer and a retail business must provide 8 spaces per 100 square metres of premises area. Each car space is valued at $5000 per space. Therefore, theoretically, a small cafe could be facing tens of thousands of dollars as a cash-in-lieu payment to Council in order to be allowed to trade. The money collected from Romsey would be put aside for Romsey use, he said. It would be used to acquire land in the future as car parking needs arose.
Mr. Traficante did explain that potential new traders could apply for a waiver which would be considered after a traffic survey was conducted (at the trader’s expense). He said that full or partial waivers have been implemented elsewhere. He also explained that, although the Planning Scheme provision is implemented state-wide, the way it is exercised varies between municipalities. For example, the City of Bendigo does not impose such payments on restaurants, but would certainly do so on businesses such as large supermarkets.
Mr Traficante indicated that MRSC is currently investigating car parking practices and reviewing associated policies. When asked about what the timeline for this review would be, Cr. Letchford indicated 6 to 12 months.
Cr. Letchford floated the idea to the audience of a shire wide parking levy for all rate-payers to cover parking provisions.
The key issues and concerns expressed very clearly to MRSC by attendees at the meeting included the following:
• Small businesses are being discouraged and frightened off from investing in Romsey by these potential car parking contribution fees.
• Perhaps the land holders/land developers, rather than the tenant business people, should be paying the parking contribution fees.
• Whilst car parking in Romsey may be a problem in the future, business people feel there should be some flexibility with how the provisions are implemented at this time so as to encourage business development in this town.
• Any review of the current policy needs to be completed as soon as possible.
RRBATA is aware that this issue is simmering in other towns and is high on the agenda of other BATAs for discussion with MRSC. We look forward to working with MRSC to actively contribute to a positive outcome from the current review process.
The Romsey Lancefield Rotary Club Inc held a MAY DAY Auction at The Grange (Cleveland Winery) Shannons Road Lancefield on Saturday 1st May 2010.
Photo shows: Peter Russell-Clarke, Maureen Kear (Sunbury Rotary Club), (PP) Greg Powell Romsey Lancefield Rotary Club and Jan.
Guest speaker for the evening was Peter Russell-Clarke (famous local identity, writer, cartoonist, cook, painter and healthy eating advocate) and his wife Jan.
Approximately $12,000 was raised thanks to the 85 participants who ‘dug deep’ to support the Moira Kelly Children First Foundation, Rotary International East Timor (ShelterBox appeal) and Community Projects in the Romsey/Lancefield district.
Rotarian Mike Mewburn and MC/Director of the event Mark Shepherdley were individually singled out on the night for praise by (PP) Greg Powell.
Special thanks to all the hard working Rotarians who brought the event to fruition.
Thanks to all local LRBATA and RRBATA businesses who supported the event through donations of goods and vouchers.
Local Macedon Ranges Councillor Joe Morabito attended the event in support of the work of the Romsey Lancefield Rotary Club in our local community.
Congratulations to the The Relay for Life Committee, supporting businesses and community organisations that helped raise over $90,000 for Cancer research.
The Georgette Watkins perpetual trophy was awarded to the Romsey Lancefield Rotary Club Inc for their continued support of this event since its inception. President Rod Frost receives the Spirit Of Relay trophy from Committee President Ken Wiltshire and Karen Watkins.