26 Aug / 2016

Girls Grammar – Latrobe Park – update 2

After several postponements, DRA finally had a meeting with both CGGS and the relevant ACT Government office – formerly TAMS, now known as “Transport Canberra and Community Services” (TCCS).

The meeting was not to make decisions, but to gain information and ensure that all parties were aware of different interests and what would be required for any proposal to be considered. There has been no change to the CGGS proposal since the 12th May meeting. DRA representatives have made clear that our role is to convey views of residents and keep residents informed, not to agree to anything that does not have clear community support.

The situation was left with Girls Grammar to consider whether they would make a proposal on the basis of a licence (non-proprietory) rather than a lease (proprietory).

The summary below is as agreed by the participants.

DRA, CGGS and TCCS Meeting – Latrobe Park

Date: Monday 8th August 2016, Time: 10 – 11am,

Location: Canberra Girls Grammar School

Present: John Bell, Richard Thwaites, Di Johnstone (DRA), Matt O’Brien (CGGS), Fleur Flanery, Julie Garbode (TCCS), Emma Wright (sec)
Documentation provided

  • Summary of information session dated 12th May 2016
  • Summary of CGGS proposal for La Trobe Park
  • Map of La Trobe Park

Deakin Residents Association
An information session was held in May; formal community consultation is still needed
Since May, the DRA received many comments from concerned members of the community regarding the proposal.

  • Overall loss of public space is the primary issue, whilst some fear the potential for changes to land use.
  • Community seems more interested in improvements to facilities, such as toilets and picnic areas, rather than upgrade to the land.
  • Fences viewed by many as restrictive and exclusive.
  • CGGS girls’ parking in the Latrobe Park carpark and along Bedford Street has restricted public vehicle access to Latrobe Park and resulted in residents’ requests for time-limited parking, however girls continue to park all day and many residents consider the school responsible.
  • Community considers the term ‘lease’ implies a change in proprietorship of the land and that long term leases may also be converted to other uses. The nature of a ‘license’ for use may avoid these assumptions. Provided appropriate clauses are agreed upon and there is sufficient transparency, a license proposal may receive less opposition.

Canberra Girls Grammar School

  • Initial proposal from May remains unchanged.
  • Facilities would be offered to the public outside of school hours.
  • Parking not likely an issue. Matt can discuss vehicle access in future if need be.
  • CGGS is not necessarily chasing up either a lease or a license at this stage; still early on in the proposal.

Transport Canberra and City Services

  • Community’s wishes set the framework for what goes ahead.
  • Fences are popular with dog owners in dog parks.
  • Permits are not appropriate in this case; they are for short-term, periodic, event-type use of public space.
  • License would allow Government to retract with short notice. Government would have to compensate the license-holder in that case
  • Cost of license or lease depends on the conditions agreed upon in the contract, such as what contributions CGGS is making and maintenance of the park
  • TCCS to provide a more comprehensive summary of the differences between permits, licenses and leases.