The past six weeks have been busy concentrating our energies on preparing the annual budget, completing the extensions to the Country Club, meetings with Canada Bay Council and with Fiona Martin the Federal Member for Reid, as well as managing the roll-out of the NBN, planning and conducting the recent Town Hall meeting and many other operational matters. This month’s report will focus on these priorities.
The August Town Hall Meeting
The Executive Committee is grateful for the many positive responses that we have received from members, in particular the relevance and quality of the information presented and the manner in which the meeting was conducted. There are still further improvements to be made and we have now purchased a new overhead projector that will significantly improve the viewing of slides and images. The quality of sound equipment and lighting has also been improved.
At the meeting we covered a number of subjects that are of importance to achieving the community vision which is: “To preserve the value of the community assets and grow the value of owners’ assets to exceed the average value of the Sydney property market, while maintaining a secure and healthy environment”.
To this end, we were able to confirm that the Country Club Extensions were on time and on budget, we explained the Tree Management Plan and the timing of tree trimming, trimming of roots and replacement of some trees. The Tree Management Plan can be viewed on the community website. There was a presentation on our key revenue and expenditure items with graphs of where revenue is derived and what it is spent on. We also discussed our work with Canada Bay Council to get more benefit from the rates we are paying. We have a strong relationship with the Council and the issues are complex, yet we have made headway and will keep working together to improve the resources Council provides as well as assistance in improving the legislation to enable Council and Police to provide the services we require.
We discussed the costs of maintaining fencing around trees and received a strong call to reduce these costs. We also presented the cost of maintaining the fountains in Market Street and Silkstone Park with a strong acceptance that these were important to the Community image and should stay. Finally, we presented an update on the remediation plan for Kendall Bay and how we have a position at the planning table and monitoring the work to be done.
This was a very good meeting and sets the standard for future Community meetings.
Following the feedback from the Town Hall meeting, we are now formulating a plan for the removal of a number of tree guards and only keeping those that are considered helpful for maintaining the image of the Community. Tree guards have long passed their original use as a means to protect young trees. We continue to look for areas where costs can be reduced without compromising the Community image and high standard of our landscape and assets.
The Country Club Extensions
On present indications the Country Club will re-open to members at the beginning of
October. It may take a little longer to complete some minor works for the Sauna and Steam Rooms and landscaping however we are on track for the Café and Meeting Rooms to be open on time. The planned program is:
- The builder hands back control of the Café and Lounge areas and Gym in early September followed by a thorough cleaning and testing of the new facilities.
- The recruitment of our Food and Beverage Manager/Assistant Manager Sam Fallows and our Functions Manager Rowanne Sarrouf have been completed and we welcome them to our Community. Both have excellent credentials and will take our Club to a new level of excellence. We are now in the final recruitment stage for the Club Chef and for the Senior Reception position. When these positions are filled, we will recruit the casual staff.
- All staff recruitment is expected to be completed by early September and staff are to be inducted into their various roles and staff training completed by mid-September.
- From mid-September until early October we will do some live trial meals to test the menus and sharpen the service standards.
- We anticipate that the Club will hold an official opening during the Labour Day weekend being 5-7 October. Official notifications will be sent to Members when these dates are finalised.
The Rollout of the NBN
Members may have noticed that the NBN is now being rolled out within our Community. After completion of a street, bitumen will be used as a temporary trench cover and this will be removed and brought to original condition when the work is completed. The CA Executive do not have any control over either the timing or the work to connect the NBN to individual strata or houses, some connections have commenced, and we expect notifications will be sent to remaining buildings over the next few months. We have also been informed by the contractor that lifts in buildings will also be wired for emergency phone contact at no cost provided that the lifts are made available when the NBN instillation is commenced. We suggest that buildings ask what this entails when notification of installation is provided, our understanding is that the NBN will install the wiring and battery back-up but not the actual phone.
A warning about scam calls, many of us have been receiving several calls per day claiming to represent the NBN and stating that your existing service will be disconnected if you do not follow their instructions. These are scam calls, the NBN will never phone an individual household so please just hang up if you receive a call of this type.
Update on Meetings with Key Stakeholders
Canada Bay Council hold a meeting every three months with the private communities in Canada Bay. We attend these meetings and they are quite useful to see what problems and solutions other like communities are experiencing. At the August meeting we raised the issue of Council rates and our concerns that although Council are supplying additional Rangers to patrol our Community, in some areas, designated private property, they do not have the powers of enforcement required. As such we need to lobby State Government to assist with the drafting of the Community Land Management Bill currently under review. Council have agreed to assist on behalf of all of the private communities in Canada Bay. Separately Alan Barnes, Laurie Ihnativ and I then met with Council Senior Management and reinforced our concerns regarding Council services. We have achieved additional assistance in the past six months, and we are grateful for this, however we need to be more creative and we will continue to meet regularly to achieve a better result.
Alan Barnes and I also met with our new Federal member for Reid, Fiona Martin MP, in August to acquaint her with the Breakfast Point Community and to ask for her assistance with our Solar Energy Project. Fiona was very interested in both the size and demographics of our Community and will assist us to look at all funding options.
We extended an invitation for her to officiate in the official opening of the Country Club following renovations and we are attempting to co-ordinate her diary with our planned opening.