Date: 21 February 2012
At present spaces within the Parklands may be booked but this does not ensure sole use of the area. This can lead to confusion and frustration as to who has the right to use a space which users thought they had booked. Solution proposed by the Trust. A new system, where individuals may book a defined area and have exclusive use of it for a set period, will be put to the Trust in March. Cost will be dependent on the level of management required. Users will be held responsible for the cleanliness of the area at the conclusion of the event. The concept is similar to the present system where members of the public can book a sporting field for exclusive use. Approximately 25 areas have been identified for this purpose. It is hoped that the new system will be in place for the beginning of the new financial year.
The CCC provided the following comment/feedback:
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The Trust presented a report on cycling incidents in Centennial Park between 2004 and 2011. During this period, 19 medium level incidents and 11 low level incidents were recorded, almost all on Grand Drive. This is a major safety concern for the community. The highest priority area identified by the Trust is the Children's Learners Cycleway. This area is a highly popular area for young families and picnic groups, serviced by free public barbecues, a playground and the ever-popular Children's Learners Cycleway. There is, throughout the average week, the greatest concentration of young children in this zone. Particular concerns for this stretch of Grand Drive are:
a. Motorists and cyclists building up speed from Randwick Gate as it is downhill
b. Poor visibility reported by pedestrians in seeing cyclists coming around the corner from Randwick Gate
c. Cyclists travelling at speed in packs around Grand Drive, increasing the physical risk to other park users and themselves, exacerbated on this section by the above concerns
d. As car parking is on the inner side of Grand Drive, families need to cross the car and cycle lane to get to Children’s Learners Cycleway. In some instances, car have been seen parking in the cycle lane to unload, causing a safety risk to cyclists, motorists and themselves
The Trust reported that they were looking at a number of different possible individual or combination of solutions for the stretch of Grand Drive adjacent to the Children’s Learners Cycleway including:
a. Creation of a reduced speed zone with 20kph speed limit for cyclists and vehicles
b. Broad transverse stripes painted on the roadway throughout the zone
c. High pedestrian activity signage before and through the zone
d. Possible rear to curb parking to allow car boots to unload onto the footpath and exit without backing into the cycle lane
e. Creation of 2 new pedestrian crossings
f. Possible cycle-friendly speed humps either end of the zone
Consideration is being given to developing a children’s garden along the lines of the Potter Garden in Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens. The preferred site is adjacent to the Education Precinct. Funds will be needed for such a project – donors will be necessary. It is hoped to be completed for the 125th anniversary of Centennial Park in 2013. The Trust will be conducting consultation with various interested parties over the coming months.
The CCC supports the idea and asked the Trust to report back later in the year on the outcome of the consultation process.
An existing structure on the Darley Rd side of Queen’s Park is being considered for a new café. It is envisaged that patrons could enjoy a coffee while supervising their children in the adjacent playground. Management will put this business out to tender to interested parties, including to the Pizza shop, which is on the other side of the road from the site and may be impacted by the café opening.
The CCC supports the concept and asked the Trust to report back later in the year on the outcome of the consultation process.
Matters also discussed by the CCC included:
Date: 13 March 2012
The Trust presented a paper on the planned and budgeted upgrade of the athletics field track (approx $1 million). It is urgent that the track is repaired or it will need to be permanently closed. A high standard upgrade may attract higher standard of competition and benefit all users. Repairs will take five months and will require closing the entire area, including the internal pitch. The Trust has been in consultation with key user groups, such as Athletics NSW, Little Athletics etc. As a result, work is planned for early October 2012 to finish in March 2013. Although this will still cause a very significant disruption to users, the period had been chosen as it has the relatively lowest activity.
The CCC was very supportive of repairing the track, as this has been deteriorating over a number of years. The CCC recognised the significant impact on the community and endorsed the Trust’s ongoing consultation with stakeholder’s to ensure they have sufficient time to make alternative arrangements. The CCC asked the Trust to keep it informed of any changes or additional community issues arising because of the planned closure.
A letter has been received from Clover Moore, stating she had received complaints from a number of constituents who are concerned the CCC is not functioning as it was originally intended and raising concerns about a perceived lack of community consultation on two specific issues:
A meeting has been requested between the CCC Chairman, Giles Edmonds, with Clover Moore to discuss her concerns on the two specific community issues. Points to raise with Ms Moore in response to her concerns are:
CCC members participated in the Clean Up Australia Day clean up in the Parklands, as an opportunity to engage further with the community as well as. Approximately 65 volunteers in total participated. Key insights arising where:
Date: 12 June 2012
Centennial Parklands owns approximately $1 billion worth of assets. 2012-13 sees the end of the current cycle of funding, so Centennial Parklands is about to put the case to the NSW Government, to secure funds for the next four year cycle and beyond.
Existing Asset Base - a comprehensive spread-sheet was presented, detailing which assets need funding to keep operating, recognising Centennial Parklands is an almost entirely self-funded entity looking after all of existing assets. This information will be presented to the NSW Government in late 2012 and the result of the submission will be known by early 2013. Projects over $1 million require separate business case submissions to Government. All of the improvements being considered are taking Light Rail plans into account. The projects below are only indicative and the final program will depend on the response by the State Government.
Improvement Programs – seeking funding for the first 4 year cycle of a 10 year period:
The CCC considered the list to be very comprehensive and generally balancing the needs Parkland users with commercial activities. The CCC asked to be kept updated on the response from NSW Government.
As requested, the Trust updated the CCC on the results of the consultation process on the potential solutions to improve safety on Grand Drive. The Trust has reviewed the accident/incident history around Grand Drive that with 61 reported incidence in a two-year period. The Trust approved improvement works be undertaken to improve the safety of all park users at the February Trust meeting.
As part of the concept proposal developed for the Learner’s Cycleway section of Grand Drive an extended public consultation process took place in March and April. The Trust received 1,267 submissions, largely from cycling users of the park. The original proposal included six infrastructure installations, including; two speed bumps, upgraded signage and line-marking, up to two pedestrian crossings, reverse parking and a reduced speed zone. The consultation submissions highlighted the need for a review of the original proposals and the requirement for more stakeholder engagement to achieve an effective outcome.
Following the completion of the consultation period, an internal PCG was set up to review the original project proposals, assessing these against the alternatives in the submissions received. The outcome of this review was a recommendation for a three-stage approach, designed at improving the safety on Grand Drive by at least 50% on current accident/incident data over the proposed timeframes. This would involve consultant’s input into engineering solutions, a comprehensive education/enforcement and monitoring exercise and extensive stakeholder engagement to achieve the most effective outcome. The implementation of the project has been divided into three measurable stages that determine whether or not the project proceeds to the next stage of implementation. Consultation with the various interested parties is currently underway
The CCC restated its position to the Trust management that the Parklands are for use by the whole community and that ensuring the safety of all users must be paramount at all times. The CCC supported the staged approach and asked to be kept informed of feedback and progress on a regular basis.
1 May 2012
The Trust updated the CCC on extension to the period for feedback on the proposed changes and therefore analysis of that feedback was still ongoing. The CCC Chair had written to both the Minister and the Premier, putting forward the CCC’s position that the Parklands are for all the community and that the safety of all users must be top priority of the Trust.
The letters had been copied to all CCC Members. No response had been received from either the Minister’s or the Premier’s office.
This project, to provide social gathering park visitors the opportunity to book sites for exclusive use, had been discussed with the CCC in February and, based on that feedback, an updated proposal was presented to the Trustees on 23 April 2012. The Trustees approved 10 locations as spaces for hire, with a limit on what supporting commercial services may be included. It is proposed that the sites be available for booking from 1 July 2012.
The CCC commended the Trust on taking on board the CCC’s feedback and expressed support for the initiative.
The Trust updated the CCC that discussions continue with Government agencies, and key stakeholders, with no information being released at this time. A variety of options are being considered and commercial viability studies being undertaken. It was flagged that if the light rail station is located within Moore Park Precinct at ground level, some land will be required to accommodate its footprint.
The CCC is very supportive of the Light Rail initiative and accepts that a light rail station will be required within Moore Park, which will necessarily reduce some land available for public use. The CCC also noted that it would be very concerned about any solution that did not use the current bus way through Moore Park and resulted in any additional alienation of park lands.
Date: 11 September 2012
Two children were hurt by cyclists whilst crossing Grand Drive near the Children’s Cycleway in separate incidents on two recent weekends - both appear to be ok. These accidents reinforce the need for the safety scheme on Grand Drive. To address the specific issue near the Children’s Cycleway, a timed children’s crossing from nine am to four thirty pm in being proposed. This has been discussed with the Cycle Centennial, a broadly representative cyclists group who support the approach. There are currently no plans for the further pedestrian crossings elsewhere. The broader Grand Drive Strategy for both pedestrians and traffic is under ongoing review and consideration. An update on the above safety matters will be provided at CCC November meeting
The CCC supports the proposed approach, consistent with its position that the Parklands are for all the community and that the safety of all users must be top priority of the Trust.
The Trust provided an update on the consultation process, including a brief overview of the history of the project. The idea of a kiosk / café arose from the 2003 Queens Park Master Plan and adopted in 2005. The 1960 building was identified for refurbishment and was identified as an eyesore, currently used for sports storage. The proposal was submitted to government as one of the capex items in the annual capex submission. In the June budget of this year Government funds were made available of $267,000. The Trust will also be making a contribution. CP will provide the building and the operator will fit it out.
A request for Expressions of Interest was issued in June and is now closed, having received 54 submissions. The Trust has culled this to a short list of applicants. Experience has shown that it is essential to bring the operator in as soon as feasible. This is in order for them to make a meaningful contribution to the internal construction of the building.
As part of the community communication, the Trust wrote in June to local MP’s, councillors, general managers, council officials and other possible interested officials, and to surrounding council’s, Randwick and Waverly advising them of the project/timing and that CP was going to proceed.
The Trust had received advice that the commercial feasibility of running a facility like this is predicated on having the flexibility of a liquor licence for the operator, particularly as the operator may well have invested $2-300,000 for fixtures and fittings and needs to make a return. The Trust had decided to apply for an on-premises liquor licence to the Office of Gaming, Liquor and Racing (OLGR), the same type of licence held for Centennial Dining. Part of the regulatory requirements for obtaining a licence is to follow a consultation process with local residents and other interested parties, in which submissions on the application are made to OLGR, who then invites the applicant to respond to any issues raised in these submissions, before making a final decision to grant a licence, and, if so, what the restrictions on hours etc should be. The Trust then wrote a second letter in August to local residents (via letterbox drop), local councils and the NSW Police, informing them of the application and inviting them to make submissions through the OLGR process. As from the 12th September the community will have 30 days to review and respond.
There has been some misunderstanding by various members of the community as to the conditions of the liquor licence.
i) The licence applied for is known as “an on-premises liquor licence” which means alcohol can only be served as ancillary to the business and cannot be consumed off the premises ie. QPP will not be a hotel or off licence.
ii) The hours applied for in the application, 7am-midnight, 10am-10pm Sunday, are standing liquor licence trading hours, not the expected operating hours for the cafe. The actual QPP trading hours will be confirmed in due course taking into account the licensing conditions imposed by OLGR, the hours the selected operator wants to open, the concerns of the residents expressed in submissions to OLGR and directly to the Trust, and the outcomes of the planned Review of Environmental Factors (REF) to be undertaken on this project looking at a wide range of impacts, including traffic and parking (including peak-time analysis and associated issues), noise, waste, proximity to residential housing, proximity to other facilities (e.g playground, amenities, cycle paths)
A member of the Trust will be attending the Randwick Precinct meeting on the Wednesday 12 September 2012 to respond to these concerns
Some responses from the community have already been received. Some positive and some negative. The number of people who have protested on the Facebook site is currently 48. The CCC had been cc’d in one email to the Minister protesting the QPP and had received one protest email directly, to both of which the Chair had replied.
The Chair of the CCC had been phoned by one of the men who organised the Facebook protest who told him they had collected a petition with 500 signatures. All were against the liquor licence and half of them against the concept all together. However, the latter appeared somewhat contradictory to the Facebook site, which set out more to raise concerns about late-night noise and traffic/parking conditions.
RK updated the meeting that she had been due to attend the June meeting of the Randwick Precinct, but had been postponed due to other business. This was unfortunate, as she had intended to mention the QPP at that meeting.
The CCC supports the QPP project and is keen to ensure that the consultation process takes into account concerns raised by stakeholders in as transparent way as possible. It was agreed that the Chairman, GE, and RK would be attending the Randwick Precinct meeting on the 12 September to understand community concerns first hand and the CCC response.
An overview was provided by the Trust, with the following key points:
The CCC supported the project and broad ranging consultation process and asked to be kept updated on progress
Date: 13 November 2012
In mid-2011 corrosion was discovered and subsequent to this, the Parklands applied for and received grant funding to complete the repairs. It is considered a priority to maintain safety standards for users in the centre. A detailed plan to implement these repairs has now been prepared and the relevant contractors shortlisted and engaged to undertake the work, which will now include constructing an additional roof for the currently open smaller arena.
Key issues and a management plan for each were identified in the presentation. In summary, these are:
It should be noted that, the major the user groups who are impacted by the repairs have been briefed on the impending repairs and the potential disruption to them. They have raised no major issues and recognise the need to carry out the repairs to maintain safety standards within the Equestrian complex.
The repair program will commence in December and the estimated completion date is mid-February 2013. The December–January period is usually considered a quiet time for the centre with usage increasing from February. Given this, the Trust indicated that the team are looking at ways to bring forward the completion date where possible.
In terms of communication, a comprehensive range of initiatives are being planned to ensure park users are adequately informed of the works. Communications will include emails, user and precinct meetings, social media, signage onsite and website updates.
The CCC supports the upgrade and the communications program.
The CP Venue co-ordinator presented an update on the Launch on the 8th of November and some activities planned for the upcoming Anniversary plans for the Park commencing in January 2013.
The flagship event “The Light Garden” is a 10 night event running from the 18-27th January from 7-10pm nightly. The official anniversary date is Australia Day, 26th January 2013.
Food and catering services will also be provided onsite for visitors. The complete program of events throughout the year is progressing well and yet to be finalised so ideas from the Committee were invited. The CCC suggested an orienteering type activity and the team took this idea on board for further consideration.
The CCC supports the 125th anniversary celebrations and will promote these as part of its focus of increasing engagement with the community.
The Trust has now shortlisted to a panel of 8 applicants and is currently negotiating with a preferred supplier to complete the refurbishment and establishment of a Café within the existing building. The design for the building is now underway and the new facilities will be able to accommodate circa 30-40 people.
A consultant has also been appointed to collect information on the overall impact of the new facilities including operating environmental factors that need to be considered as part of the construction. There will be a further opportunity for the public to comment on the final proposal once all the reports are available.
The Trust has applied for an on-premises liquor licence to the Office of Gaming, Liquor and Racing (OLGR), the same type of licence held for Centennial Dining. Part of the regulatory requirements for obtaining a licence is to follow a consultation process with local residents and other interested parties. The Trust will be re-engaging with the Community and in particular local precinct Committees to provide an update on the impact assessment and plans as these are finalised.
CCC members provided updates on the precinct Committee meetings attended since the licence application was announced and noted a mix of both negative and positive responses. It appears that the further clarification of the nature and intended usage of the facilities by the Committee members and CE provided some additional comfort to attendees at these meetings and this served to somewhat overcome the initial misunderstandings of some community members as to potential usage impacts on the area.
The CCC was pleased to see that the consultation process had been clarified, with the public having a second opportunity to comment on the final proposal, once all the data was available.
The Trust presented an update on the newly installed crossing facilities. This included social media responses from the Community which were mostly positive. The Trust noted that Rangers have also been posted in the Park at the weekends specifically to educate the Community during the initial post installation phase to ensure proper understanding and to field user questions. The CP CEO noted that there has also been good and ongoing engagement with local cycling groups with positive feedback being received on the Crossing.
The CCC asked to be regularly updated on this issue, being a matter of general community concern.
By way of background, the CEO provided the context for the development of a Master land use plan by early 2013. Currently, there are disparate “sub-plans” for Moore Park, Queens Park, EQ etc. A change in approach is required to provide a consistent single over-arching view of the parklands from a land use planning perspective. The new CP Master Plan will be innovative (eg 3D flyover technology), interactive and digitally focussed to better support the proposition of CP being a Top 10 Global Parkland and to optimise engagement with Community and Corporate Partners over the short, medium and long term. An update on the plan will be presented to the Committee when finalised in the first quarter of 2013.
The CCC asked to be regularly updated on this issue, being a matter of general community interest. The CCC will have a representative on the Steering Committee and this is also another opportunity to engage with the community.