PGLOA maintains a watching brief on parks and gardens in the area, and ensures a close liaison with the Busselton City.
Following the completion of the landscaping associated with the fore-shore re-development, PGLOA submitted a report to City entitled Infrastructure Defects at Port Geographe – Maintenance Issues – Duty of Care. This led to the production of a significant report entitled Pride in our Community dated 23 March 2015. This report identified areas of opportunity and neglect outside of the foreshore redevelopment.
In May 2017 we were advised of additional landscaping in response to Pride in our Community for the FY 2017-18. (see link to 170522 – BCC Landscaping Projects FY17-18). These will involve landscaping of the footbridge approaches, a BBQ facility on the western side of the port entrance, restoration of median strips, additional parklands, and most importantly, deep water bores for reticulation. We are pleased to say that some of the items identified in 2015 were taken up by the City.
With the resurgence of residential construction PGLOA has releases an updated version entitled Pride of Place 2018 , which looks at new initiatives along with some forgotten items.
Back in 2015 we noted that a sum of $560,000 resided in the Port Geographe Development Fund (PGDF). Today it is swelled to around $1.455M with the return by the Administrator of bonds placed by the previous developer. PGLOA understands the PGDF will improve maintenance and renew unfinished parks and gardens and general amenities in the Port Geographe precinct.
We continue to remind everyone that our Special Area Rate (SAR) is not applied to parks and gardens, as it is in other SAR areas in the City, but goes to waterways and coastal management around a major community asset which everybody can use. We believe this is untenable in the long-term.
Our long-running campaign over the unfairness of the SAR has resulted in the City reinstating the community contribution of 25% of the SAR collection. That contribution now goes into the PGDF for broader community issues in Port Geographe. While this is welcome it does not offset the need for a fairer collection system towards coastal and waterways maintenance.
The 2018-19 City Budget allocates $886,000 to new landscaping in the precinct. To what extent this budget allocation is an increment above what we would expect from normal entitlements from standard rates, is not clear.
This new report is issued to the City of Busselton and the landowners of Port Geographe.
We expect it will help focus and expedite the priorities perceived by the ratepayers of Port Geographe.
Layman Road through the tuart forrest and Wonnerup is the second major entry to Busselton from the north. It is a designated tourist route. Layman Road as it enters Port Geographe precinct should therefore present an attractive entry statement for visitors. The present entry statement has promise but is depreciated by the avenue of Casuarina trees that are unsightly, damaging and dirty.
PGLOA has initiated a tree replacement program, and is in consultation with landscape professionals from the City of Busselton and Aigle Royal to design a more suitable avenue.