What is the current situation?

A Notice of Motion at the Ordinary Meeting on 27 February 2018 on the Bay and Basin Community Hub - Draft Master Plan recommended that Shoalhaven City Council:

a.  Adopt the Draft Bay and Basin Community Hub Master Plan

b.  During development of detailed design Council incorporate additional Learn to Swim/Therapy Pool

c.  Continue the licence with the Department of Education for the existing building at Sanctuary Point and staff liaise with local community and user groups to maintain the Sanctuary Point Library and develop it further in the current location or nearby should the Department of Education require the land in the future.

This motion was subject to a Rescission Motion and will be further debated at a future Council meeting. This means the decision is not final at this point in time and there is ongoing discussion regarding the location of a new library in the Bay and Basin area.

If you would like to view the proposed plan please follow the link below:

Bay & Basin Community Hub Master Plan


Why does Council want to build a new library?

The current building at Sanctuary Point is 140m² and is a portable structure on land leased from the Department of Education, and cannot be expanded on this site.  Using Library Standard Guidelines the current library, for the population it serves in the Bay and Basin area, should be 1500m² - so it’s less than a tenth of the size it should be. 

The size of the current library impacts on the level of service that is able to be provided to the local community.  In a larger library there will be more books and resources to borrow, more public access computers to use, more study space for students and more community space for events, classes and author talks to be held.

The current proposal that is before Council recommends that a new library is built as part of the Bay and Basin Community Hub creating a multi-purpose community space for the area, including community rooms and additional parking.  It also recommends that the existing library building at Sanctuary Point is kept in its current location and continues to be used as a library, providing resources and services to the local community.  This would provide one large library and one small library in the Bay and Basin area.

Why invest in a new library?

Libraries are a vital part of Council services, supporting the social, educational and recreational development of the local community.  They offer free public safe spaces which all members of the community are able to use and enjoy.  Libraries today are much more than book lending institutions and they cater for each area’s cultural, social and economic situations, which in turn inspires a feeling of belonging and ownership by local communities.

Libraries have demonstrated socio-economic value in four crucial areas:

·  Providing free public access to computer and technology resources

·  Creating better informed communities

·  Promoting lifelong learning and literacy and

·  Building connections between individuals, groups and government[1]

Libraries around New South Wales are well-used with 34.8 million physical visits to public libraries in New South Wales in 2015/16.  These people visited the library to borrow a book, attend an author talk, take a digital literacy class, fill in a job application, do their homework, get help with a research question, attend a story time or just sit and read the newspaper. In the four years to 2015/16 the number of programs held in public libraries (including early literacy and digital literacy programs) increased 49% to over 80,000 in 2015/16.  Internet use and online services have experienced extremely high growth over a relatively short period and internet and Wi-Fi usage in public libraries increased 71% to 9.3 million sessions.

In 2016-17 over 490,000 people visited Shoalhaven Libraries and borrowed over 485,000 items.  There were 421 events held that over 8,000 people attended and there were over 138,000 internet sessions and 85,813 information requests.



[1] State Library of Victoria, 2005, Libraries Building Better Communities, ‘Executive Summary’, Melbourne, p.5

What is the history of the Bay and Basin Library?

1995  A demountable library for the Bay and Basin community was opened in Sanctuary Point

2000  A new library was scheduled to be built to replace the temporary library, but no funding was available at the time

2011-12   Preliminary discussions took place for the new Bay & Basin Library to be situated in the new Woolworths/Stocklands development, but it was not included in the final design

2012  Representation was received from the combined Bay & Basin Community Consultative Bodies and Shelley Hancock asking for a larger library for the area and supporting its co-location with the Bay & Basin Leisure Centre

2015   An investigation into a new library for the Bay and Basin area was begun and the Bay & Basin Community Hub was researched and a master plan drawn up

2016-17   Consultation with the community was conducted and a report was prepared by staff to seek Council approval to proceed to detailed design.  This was not approved and Council staff were asked to provide two Councillor briefings on the matter 

2017  Council staff were directed to investigate alternate sites for a library, with consideration given to:

·  Expansion of Sanctuary Point Library – not possible on current site as Council does not own land

·  Jervis Bay Maritime Museum – not centrally located

·  The old Vincentia Village Shopping Centre – Council does not own land

·  The new Vincentia Market Place Shopping Centre – Council would not own the building and has no control over costs and lease

·  Alternate sites in Sanctuary Point – Council staff are currently investigating whether there is a large enough plot of land available

2017-18  The location of the new Bay and Basin Library is currently under discussion by the Councillors. 

What community consultation has taken place about this proposal?

Council placed the Bay and Basin Community Hub Draft Master Plan on public exhibition from 6 March to 30 April 2017.  The Get Involved Page (on Council’s website), Social Media, Print Media and hard copy flyers were utilised to inform the community.  In addition, there were two (2) drop in sessions held at the Bay and Basin Leisure Centre on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 April 2017, for the community to view the plans and speak with Council Staff and the consultants.  The drop in sessions at the Bay and Basin Leisure Centre were well attended with positive comments and feedback on the proposal.

The website received 944 visits and there were ten (10) written comments. Stakeholders were contacted, including user groups of the Bay and Basin Leisure Centre, user groups of the existing and future sporting fields, community bodies, regional sporting bodies, community hall user groups, and additionally there was an online survey and stakeholder group workshops and community information forums were held.

The subcommittee meeting on 4 May, 2017 agreed on and supported the Draft Master Plan, and that the progression to detailed design stage should be put to Council to approve and commence.  The subcommittee attendees were Councillor Greg Watson and a representative from the Vincentia CCB. 

What is the cost of this project and is it funded?

The estimated total cost of the project is $28 million.  There is a staging plan that breaks down the expansion into developments that can be done separately.  There is currently $4.75 million in Council’s budget for the new library.  It is expected that the additional funding required would come from grant funding and additional Council funding. 

Where do the majority of the Bay and Basin elderly population live?

% OF POPULATION AGED OVER 65 IN MAIN BAY & BASIN VILLAGES[1]

AREA

POPULATION    

 POPULATION AGED 65 AND OVER    

% OF POPULATION

St Georges Basin – Basin View

4,476

1,252

28%

Callala Bay – Currarong and Surrounds

3,622

1,012

28%

Huskisson – Tomerong and Surrounds

3,347

755

23%

Sanctuary Point

7,234

1,976

27%

Vincentia – Erowal Bay and surrounds

5,733

1,791

31%

TOTAL

24,412

6,786

28%

1.  The table shows that the elderly population of the Bay and Basin area reside all over the region and are not concentrated in one particular area.  Currently those over 65 who reside in Vincentia and Huskisson – over 2,500 people – are over 5km away from the existing library.

2.  Any new library building will be built to code and will be fully accessible.  If customers have mobility problems then Shoalhaven Libraries offer a mobile library service and also a home library delivery service so that they still can access our services.



[1] https://profile.id.com.au/shoalhaven/

Do the majority of the population live closer to the current library or the proposed one?

% OF POPULATION LIVING WITHIN 5KM RADIUS OF CURRENT SANCTUARY POINT LIBRARY AND PROPOSED BAY & BASIN HUB

AREA                                                             

POPULATION WITHIN 5KM RADIUS OF PROPOSED B&B      

POPULATION WITHIN 5KM RADIUS OF SANCTUARY POINT

St Georges Basin – Basin View

1,492

4,476

Callala Bay – Currarong and Surrounds

0

0

Huskisson – Tomerong and Surrounds

3,347

0

Sanctuary Point

3,617

7,234

Vincentia – Erowal Bay and surrounds

5,733

1,911

TOTAL

14,189

13,621

This library is for the Bay & Basin area, and these figures show that both locations cover a very similar number of residents.

Where is the population growth in the Bay and Basin area?

In addition there is forecast growth across the whole region over the next 18 years:

AREA                                                                       

CURRENT POPULATION       

ESTIMATED POPULATION (2036)       

% CHANGE

St Georges Basin – Basin View

4,574

5,592

22.27%

Callala Bay – Currarong and Surrounds

3,745

4,163

11.11%

Huskisson – Tomerong and Surrounds

3,494

3,887

11.25%

Sanctuary Point

7,047

7,709

4.08%

Vincentia – Erowal Bay and surrounds

6,005

6,896

14.84%

A hub is the centre of things, is this proposal in the centre?

The proposed co-located library for the Bay & Basin area is in a very central location for provision of service to the area.

View the central location on a map.


Why is the proposal for the library to be co-located with the Bay and Basin Leisure Centre?

The envisioned project components include:

-Community facilities providing community meeting places
-Library services
-Exhibition space
-Extension of the existing gym
-Skate park (outdoors)
-Two netball courts (outdoors)
-Improved access to the sportsground
-Additional parking to cater for increased usage

At the Extra Ordinary Meeting of Council of Tuesday 13 June, 2017 the Community Infrastructure Strategic Plan was adopted by Shoalhaven City Council.  This plan endorses co-location of facilities which allow for:

·  Cost effective investment in maintenance of assets;

·  Effective and efficient financial management and administration;

·  Cross training of staff;

·  The creation of a multifunctional space allowing for families to undertake a range of activities on one site;

·  Effective strategic and operational planning

·  Provision of Council services e.g. dog licences, ability to pay rates so central Shoalhaven has comparable services to North & South (22,000 people who currently have to travel to access some Council services)

·  Alignment of resources and services with community needs

·  Development of mutually beneficial partnerships

·  Single Management Model

·  Better fit with opportunity visits, destination visits and ongoing visits

·  Lower construction & operational costs overall (add to existing facilities)

·  Existing connections by pathways to Bayswood, Vincentia,
Old Erowal Bay and Sanctuary Point

Please contact Shoalhaven City Council (council@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au) if you have any further questions or if you would like to comment.