SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council’s administration panel has decided the futures of the municipality’s 14 community asset committees (CACs) following a formal review of their operations and discussion with their members.
The CACs, formerly known as Section 86 committees, are the local volunteer-based organisations in charge of halls, recreation reserves, showgrounds, an art gallery, and a museum, among other public facilities throughout South Gippsland.
At the virtual open council meeting on Wednesday August 18, 2021 the panel voted to revoke the appointment of two of the CACs, to continue with eight committees in their current form, and to consult and engage further with the remaining four CACs.
The CACs of both the Korumburra Botanic Park and the Leongatha Court House will be disbanded with the full agreement of their respective members.
A report in the August 18, 2021 meeting agenda and minutes noted that the Korumburra Botanic Park CAC had “indicated that their appointment should be revoked as it does not have the capacity to continue.”
The report said, “the Shire Parks and Gardens manages the [park] for all intents and Council’s purposes” and that “a Friends of [group] is being formed to work collaboratively with Council in maintain and improving the park.”
The Leongatha Court House CAC “wishes that a licence over the premises be issued to the South Gippsland Brass Band Inc. [the main user of the Court House] in accordance with Council’s Lease Policy.”
The eight CACs that will go on as before are the Foster Showgrounds, John Terrill Memorial Park and Fish Creek Recreation Reserve, the Sandy Point Community Centre and TP Taylor Reserve, the Meeniyan Sports Stadium, the Mirboo North Hall; Walter J Tuck Reserve at Mirboo North, the Korumburra Recreation Reserve, and the Allambee South Community Hall.
The council will “continue the current established appointment” of the CACs behind the Stockyard Gallery in Foster, the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre, the Port Welshpool and District Maritime Museum, and the Dumbalk Hall, and will also “undertake further consultation with those [CACs] to determine best options for community and Council by June 2022.”
On August 28, 2020, the panel acting as the council established the 14 Section 86 committees as CACs to meet the requirements of the reformed Victorian Local Government Act 2020.
At that time the panel called for a review to work out “the most appropriate long-term governance arrangements for each of the CACs … by August 30, 2021, in consultation with each CAC” and “allowed for business as usual by the committees.”
The August 18, 2021 report stated that “during the past twelve-month period, COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have limited consultations with each CAC.”
The panel also noted that the shire’s chief executive officer [Kerryn Ellis] is to “establish new delegations for the [12 continuing CACs] by September 1, 2021.”