Cost debate

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Debate. Circular Head Council reluctantly adopted the Open Space Sport and Recreation Plan at its recent monthly meeting.

Hesitant to move the motion due to lack of outlined costings, councillors discussed the plan and noted its associated documents including the Smithton Recreation Ground Master Plan and Stanley Recreation Ground Master Plan.

A draft of the plan was provided for public comment at the end of last year, with public information sessions held throughout December.

Throughout the consultation period, council received eight emailed and three written responses to the master plans.

In moving the motion to adopt the plan, Councillor Norman Berechree noted communication to community members should continue to be a priority while in opposing the motion, Cr Ashley Popowski expressed his disappointment in the lack of public contribution.

“The public hasn’t supported meetings which makes it hard for the consultants to put a plan together,” Cr Popowski said.

“My expectation for this plan was to look for opportunities for the future; a direction for council [to create] new opportunities for families to live in and make Circular Head a more liveable place to grow our economy.

“There have been a lot of positive suggestions which need to be prioritised and costed but there are a lot of unknowns in this plan and it does not resolve longterm issues.”

Cr John Oldaker said he was reluctant to support the motion and the document in its current state.

“I note the hesitancy of our councillors in moving this motion and that shows that there is a fair bit of concern with this document,” Cr Oldaker said.

“There are flaws in this document that need working out . . . fundamental things we need to consider.”

Cr Trevor Spinks agreed that a lack of costing and budget outlines was a concern and that evidence-based predictions should be required when committing plans for the future.

Following debate, councillors elected to adopt the motion with the exception of Cr Popowski.

The open space plan is a collaborative planning project between Circular Head and Waratah-Wynyard councils.

The plan will provide standards for council to adhere to in managing all open space, sport and recreation grounds, facilities and assets, allowing the councils to make consistent decisions to ensure the sustainability of services into the future.

Developed by @leisure, the plan encompasses the period from 2017 to 2027, and will be reviewed annually.

For more information or to view the Open Space Sport and Recreation Plan 2017 to 2027 go to

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