Long term government neglect of school maintenance




What a day for Kyneton!  A public meeting on Sunday August 26th has endorsed the constitution of the Kyneton and District Town Square Co-Op.

The five directors who were elected to the inaugural board were:

Rob Bakes
Peter Henderson
Huntly Barton
Margot McDonald
Viveka Simpson

As a community we now have an incorporated organisation which we can put forward as a viable entity to take control of the Old Primary School precinct. Use the link below to have a look at the minutes of the meeting.

Minutes of the Formation Meeting


The nominees for the board are (in alphabetical order):
Rob Bakes
Huntly Barton
Mark Halloran
Peter Henderson
Maxine McKee
Margot McDonald
Geoff Murray
Viveka Simpson
Nominations for the Co-Op board will be open until Monday August 20th. Nomination forms and all inquires about how to go about standing for the board should be directed to the returning officer Doug McIver  on 0408 417926 or email:   info@kynetononline.org

Our Constitution was sent off the Consumer Affairs on Friday August 3rd  for examination and approval. You can have a look at the final version using this link

Draft rules for Kyneton and District Town Square Co-Op Ltd.

The draft constitution some impressive democratic initiatives with  two board members appointed by sortition. The steering committee will present their draft to the Town Square Reference Group at a Q&A session at the next meeting to be held at Kyneton Community and Learning Centre at 7 p.m. on Wednesday August 1st.

 Welcome pro bono advice for our draft constitution  from taxation lawyer and Macedon Ranges resident Nicole Rowan…thanks Nicole!

Steering Group Minutes: 17/7/2018

Present: Jan, Rob, Peter, Ridge

Apologies: Mary


  • A number of updates and changes made to rules document.
  • Extensive discussion around the rules document and where we are at with it. Rules document basically finished – still need some definitions and a process description for sortition.
  • Draft document to be distributed to TSRG on Friday – give steering group a chance to go through current draft and we are still waiting on some legal advice around the purpose section for charitable status.
  • Timeline for creation of the coop is very short – needs to happen before start of daffodil festival at end of August. Can’t do it immediately after festival as we will be in state election mode and it is likely that we will have to have the coop in place prior to the election.
  • Suggested date for formation meeting is Sunday 26th August at 2pm. We also want to have community information meeting and Q&A session on the coop on Sunday 19th.
  • Tasks:
  • Peter to investigate holding a TSRG meeting earlier than planned meeting on the 8th to confirm formation meeting fro coop and finalise rules.
  • Rob – will follow up on legal advice, sortition definition and process from Nivek Thompson, and structure of formation meeting from Antony.
  • Ridge to finalise and distribute rules draft on Friday. Will also contact May-Anne Thomas on following Monday.
  • Ridge and Peter attending a meeting with Geoff, Mary and Deb on Thursday with youth representatives from the Shire (Thanks to Geoff Barrett for organising this)
  • Meeting closed 9.30pm

Next meeting 7.30pm: Mary’s home.



Steering Committee

Here are the minutes from our last  meeting July 10th

Attendance: Peter, Rob, Ridge

Apologies: Mary, Jan


Sections 5 & 6 of the draft rules worked through and completed. Written contributions from Mary considered and included in discussion.

Still to do: Definitions, sortition process, other additions

Ridge to redraft and reformat. Distribute full draft document to TSRG and steering group. Rob to post draft to website. – Distribution by next Wednesday.

Next Meeting at Peter’s place

Agenda will include:

Finalisation of details of draft document so that it can be referred for verification and validation (includes definitions, charitable status, description of sortition process etc)

Where to from here? – timing for creation of cooperative, process to follow, etc.

Here are the minutes from the  meeting  held on 3/7/2018

Present: Rob, Jan, Mary, Ridge

Apologies: Peter

1. Discussion of and fixes applied to membership dues section.

2. Phone meeting with Antony to go through existing sections of the rules.

Discussion of what we have to do to achieve charitable status – may need to rephrase purpose in order to achieve this outcome. Probably require legal advice around this.

Could focus our current purpose statement into our vision and mission statement.

Charity categories on ACNC website: http://www.acnc.gov.au/ Worth checking recent charities that have been registered can check their DGR status using an ABN lookup.

Would want tax concession status at the very least. DGR status might be more flexible as is possible to partner with a DGR organisation.

It is possible to set up a trust that has DGR status.

Justice Connect can provide us with advice on this – takes time to set up a pro-bono service with this.

Primary activities – Antony likes them.

A number of changes and suggestions included around membership dues

Incubator.coop – can join for $25.00, provides advice and support for startup coops.

Need to see if we can find some local legal advice from someone who has experience in the charitable area.

3. We will work on Sections 5 & 6 next week.

4. Mary will follow up with FRRR. Rob will follow up with Justice Connect and a couple of other leads.

5. Next meeting Robs place at 6.30pm

6. Meeting finished 9.40pm

This post is to reassure you that your Town Square Steering Committee are still sweating away on drafting a constitution for community control of the old Baynton Street school site.

This week we delved into the size of the board, its appointment and its structure.

Here are the minutes from last night’s meeting
Minutes Steering Group 26/6/2018
Attendance, Peter, Mary, Jan, Rob Mark

Discussion surrounding role of the Vision document against the Primary Activities in the Rules statement. Need to consider whether one supersedes the other.

Sections 1 – 3 of rules – distribute to TSRG members and community via website for feedback and discussion

Worked through Section 4 (Board) of the Rules. Will reflect on these over the next week for (hopefully) finalisation to draft stage next week. Need to consider role and appointment of secretary, treasurer and minutes secretary.

The committee is considering recommending the appointment of two directors using a community wide sortition process. Use the link below to learn about the democratic advantages of sortition. The particular situation described in the podcast about an application in a school in Bolivia, has some obvious positive implications for the appointment of the board of the Co-Op.

The Town Square Reference Group meets tonight at Kyneton Community Learning Centre at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

The steering committee, which is putting together a draft constitution for the Co-Op meets on Tuesdays. The minutes from this weeks meeting below. Our session with Nivek Thompson from Deliberately Engaging was particularly useful. Listen to this podcast to glean an idea of how powerful sortition can be for engagement by individuals who would not normally become involved.   http://realdemocracynow.com.au/1-12/

Use the link below for many more interesting podcasts produced by  “Real Democracy”   http://realdemocracynow.com.au/podcast/podcasts/season-1-deliberative-mini-publics/

Steering Group Minutes:19/6/2018


Mary Hogarth, Peter Henderson, Jan McIver, Rob Bakes, Mark Ridgeway

Membership section worked through. Ridge to combine two documents into single document and email to steering group before next meeting.

Finance section completed. Draft to steering group next meeting.

Nivek Thompson from Deliberatively Engaging ran a session over Skype with the Steering Group on sortition.

Initial discussion on Board of Directors section – to be followed up next meeting.

Meeting closed 10.00pm


Steering Committee Meeting 12/6/2018

Attendance: Rob Bakes, Jan McIvor, Peter Henderson, Mary Hogarth, Mark Ridgeway

Mary Hogarth tabled a copy of the relevant Act.

Meeting to work on membership section of the Draft Rules.

Worked through the entire membership section. Steering group members will consider the final draft over the next week and finalise at the meeting next week. Once we are happy with it, the membership section of the rules will be sent out for wider comment.

Rob Bakes tabled some ideas regarding Board composition for future consideration once we reach the Board section of the rules.

Feedback has been provided on Vision and Mission statement from a number of individuals. Mary has included some of the items into a draft 2 of the statement. KTSRG will be discussing the draft vision further on Wednesday night.

Next meeting: Mary Hogarth’s

Meeting closed: 10.00pm



Kyneton Town Square Reference Group will hold an important public meeting in the Old Baynton Street Primary School on Sunday May 6th at 5 p.m. to hand over their petition, of over two thousand signatures, for tabling in parliament. The Liberal Party has now joined the Greens in giving wholehearted support for the “Save Our School” petition. The petition asks that the Old Baynton Street Primary School and the surrounding open space stays in public ownership under community control for community benefit and use. Amanda Miller, liberal candidate for Macedon in the upcoming State Election, has agreed to accept the petition on behalf of the leader of the opposition Matthew Guy, who will formally table the document in the Legislative assembly, on behalf of the people of Kyneton and District.
Rob Bakes, coordinator for Sunday’s public meeting said “This is a fabulous expression of support for our local community and their town square model. The model is described in detail in the KTSRG’s submission to the State Government’s consultation process and,of course, is consistent with the wording and the intent of the petition.The town square model is the only proposal put forward which allows for incorporated community management, while at the same time welcoming the inclusion of Windarring and Lost Trades. We all hope that the labor party will come onboard and make the town square proposal bipartisan policy ”.
Sunday’s public meeting will also appoint or elect a steering committee whose task will be, to write a draft constitution in preparation for the incorporation of a community-based management structure. Any Kyneton or District resident wishing to nominate for the five person committee, should contact the returning officer Alan Moor on 54222351 or mobile 0419542214. You will need to lodge your nomination before Friday May 4th. Alan is chair of the Kyneton Community and Learning Centre Board.
Mr. Bakes said,” We are really keen to attract families to this important event which could set up a bright future for the heart of Kyneton. The gathering is a celebration of grassroots democracy and the resilience of our local community. There will be activities for kids like face painting and magic carpet rides from 4.30 p.m. onwards. You are encouraged to bring a plate so we can socialise after the meeting. Everyone’s attendance at this event is important. Let’s learn from what happened with the old hospital and make absolutely sure there is not a sell-off of the school site…either now or some time in the future.”

New Video!!!!!

Monster Meeting and Kyneton Community Lunch:   https://vimeo.com/266186686



This event is particularly relevant to the creation of our Kyneton and District Town Square and the saving of the old primary school site for community benefit and use.

Shock…horror some might say!

The master plan for our Town Square is now up on the council website. Have a good look at this draft document and draw your own conclusions! We will be discussing all the ramifications at  the next reference group meeting is on Thursday March 22nd at Kyneton  Community and Learning Centre at 7 p.m.

We are keen to make everyone welcome at these meetings. Whether you are attending as an individual or representing a community group…the more the merrier!

This particular meeting is particularly important because of the release of the master plan . Does it line up with our aspirations for a Town Square?


Barry and dog Dougal

Use this link to listen to Barry Murphy and his dog Dougal explain the urgency of saving the Old Kyneton Primary School.
Dougal doesn’t say much but we have it on good  advice that he is very much on side with this important campaign!

  • Congratulations everyone! We have broken through the two thousand signature barrier for the Save our School petition. Hey its time to put the hard word on your family, friends, or neighbours if they haven’t signed yet. You can download and print the form at  http://kynetononline.org


  • We always seem to have a back log of admin work which needs doing, so anyone who can do some typing, call Rob on 54221808.

The Kyneton Town Square Petition count now has 1838 signatures. Let’s push on to 2000!


Here’s a link to the consultants report on the master plan for the Town Square.

http:// http://www.mrsc.vic.gov.au/About-Council/Our-Projects/Initiatives/Former-Kyneton-Primary-School-site-master-plan-project

  Here’s the video of Never Let It Go…. our campaign anthem.



The vison of the Town Square Reference Group  is that “The old Kyneton Primary School, and the surrounding town square be held in public ownership and primarily for public use”.