NOTICE OF MOTION – NIELSON PARK MANAGEMENT PLAN / WEEKEND MARKETS

Over recent months I’ve received numerous inquiries from residents who are frustrated and concerned over the ongoing delays in reviewing the Nielson Park Management Plan which was sparked by another application for a weekend market in the vicinity. It has now been nearly a year since Council resolved to conduct the review of the Management Plan and the market applicant (who has been in limbo during this time) and residents on both sides of the market debate are clearly unhappy.

I’ve raised the issue on several occasions and been provided with verbal explanations and more recently a written report however this is a matter which clearly needs to be explained to the public which is why on 5th October I gave notice that at Council’s meeting scheduled for 31st October I intend to move the following motion:-

That,

  1. a report be provided to Council outlining the chronology of actions taken to progress Council’s resolution carried at its Ordinary Meeting held on 22nd November 2011 to “conduct a review of Management Plan for Reserve 654, Nielson Park (including appropriate public consultation) at the earliest opportunity…..”

  2. the report also provide an explanation as to why a copy of the Draft Management Plan was not distributed to all identified stakeholders when it was released for stakeholder review prior to public consultation

  3. the report provide an estimated time-frame for the finalisation of the review process (including State Government review) and the presentation of a final draft plan for Council’s adoption

BACKGROUND

On 1st November 2011 an application to establish weekend markets on foreshore trustee property at Nielson Park was recommended for approval and supported by a report which referred to an earlier approval for similar markets. The applicant for the earlier proposal walked away from the project citing frustration at Council’s lengthy assessment process and arduous conditions of approval.

The latter (1st November 2011) approval triggered a requirement by the (former) Department of Environment & Resource Management (DERM) for a review of the existing Land Management Plan.

Accordingly, on 22nd November 2011 Council resolved:

That Council:

1. conduct a review of ‘Management Plan for Reserve 654, Nielson Park ’ (including appropriate public consultation) at the earliest opportunity noting that the document has not been revisited since it was adopted by the former Burnett Shire Council on 5 August, 1998.

2. agree with the request from Asset Planning Pty Ltd, to hold in abeyance the approval for trial foreshore markets at Bargara until such time as the review of the ‘Management Plan for Reserve 654, Nielson Park ’ is complete and the application reassessed by the Department of Environment & Resource Management (DERM).

Since then some eleven months have elapsed during which concerns have been raised by the applicant and others within the community regarding the process undertaken and the length of time involved in conducting the review. It is noted that no public consultation has taken place to date other than that which was conducted with specific stakeholder groups on 13th July 2012 and the release of a Draft Management Plan to selected stakeholders on 20th September 2012.

The motion Before Council seeks to provide written clarification and a written response to those concerns.

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