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Kyneton Town Square Co-Op Press Release re DELWP report on the Old Primary School Site
KDTS Co-op has offered a qualified welcome for the DELWP Report re the Old Baynton Street Primary School . .
Spokesperson for the Co-op, Rob Bakes, said that the report clearly confirms the model the Co-op has been promoting over the past 2 years and shows majority support for community management through the Co-op.
The report identifies the principles that should underpin community control of the site. ‘These principles closely align with the philosophy of the Co-op and are welcome as a strong endorsement of the model we have promoted’, said Mr. Bakes
However, the Kyneton and District Town Square Co-Op find the DELWP report limited in some important respects, a fact acknowledged in the report itself.
‘We think it presents a rather misleading analysis of public opinion regards development and the future of the Old Baynton Street Primary School precinct and the Town Square project.
Firstly the report completely underestimates community support for the Town Square Co-Op model of community control of the site.
The DELWP report of only 166 participants suggests support of around 58% for the Co-Op model. Our online survey, which is still live at kynetononline.org is running at almost ninety-five percent in favour of the Co-Op model. We believe that the huge 37% discrepancy between the two survey results points to the failure of the DELWP report to accurately listen to and report community opinion.
The Co-Op survey also has a statistical advantage of having 320 participants which is double the DELWP sample. Add to this the petition presented to parliament in 2017 which has a total of 2300 signatures in favour of community control and you have very solid support for the Co-Op model.
Other misleading conclusions by the report refer to two community groups which are now both members of the Co-Op and support Co-Op control of the site. Kyneton Connections and Kyneton Community and Learning Centre have now thrown their weight behind the Co-Op model. They join many other groups including Kyneton Rotary, Kyneton Lions, U3A, Highlands FM, and The Horticultural Society to name just a few.,
‘We are very concerned that next steps identified in the report include an expression of interest process based on criteria yet to be defined to be conducted by some unidentified agency’ said board member Huntly Barton..
“Such an exercise only prolongs the decision and carries the risk that it will divide the community by pitting community groups against each other.”
“The consultation and decision-making process has dragged on far too long – we need to get on with the work of making the Town Square a reality for the Kyneton and District community.”
Our overall interpretation of the report suggests that the existing expression of interest by the Co-Op to become the lead tennant at the school is supported by the report’s findings.
Go to our Calendar of Events page for details about the Town Square picnic to be held on Sunday February 17th at 5 p.m.
Want to learn the song so you can sing our anthem at the picnic?
Our newest video…https://vimeo.com/312602428
Go to our Calendar of Events page for details about the Town Square picnic to be held on Sunday February 17th at 5 p.m.
Before we look back on 2018, with Huntly, here is the latest Co-Op news since the election, “press release style”….
Mary-Anne Thomas, fresh from a comprehensive election victory, has flagged the old Kyneton primary school decision as one of her first priorities for the re-elected Labor government.
Hmmm…does this mean a decision about the school is imminent? The latest information the Co-Op has from DELWP suggests that the answer is probably No.It seems the decision may be delayed until the Loddon-Campaspe Partnership meets in February.
The question on everyone’s lips is ‘Will the government decision stay true to the wishes of Kyneton and district residents who are backing their Town Square Co-Op to manage the old primary school site for community benefit?’
It’s an ill wind that blows no good. Because of this protracted, drawn out, and delayed consultation process, its not too late for Co-Op members to contact your newly elected local member Mary-Anne Thomas (5428 2138) and request that the Town Square Co-Op be chosen as the lead tenant for the school precinct.
It must be made clear that the central issue with the school is not the question of money but the question of achieving the best outcome for our community. Community control and responsibility is pivotal to creating a sense of belonging and a real and practical sense of resident ownership of the precinct.
Government funding would be welcome, but is not essential for the Co-Op to make a modest start. This is especially true in the first year, while the site is being surrendered by the Education Minister to become Crown Land and then rezoned for public use under DELWP. The Co-Op has enough money pledged by its members to re-connect services like gas, electricity and water to get the Town Square happening.
“I am sure the community will make a better fist of caring for the buildings and grounds than the deplorable performance by the Department of Education”, said board member Peter Henderson. “Blocked gutters, lack of proper maintenance, and the recent sell off of fixed assets like the bore pump is a real worry for the Co-Op.”
The Co-Op online survey filled in by more than three hundred residents has now indicated a massive ninety-four percent who agree or strongly agree with community control of the Town Square precinct through the Co-Op established in August.
People responding to the survey have suggested an exciting variety of potential uses for the school site that will ensure it becomes the real heart of the Kyneton and district community. Residents want to see the old Primary school used for a diverse range of uses, from community gardens to meeting places for our community groups that are currently without a home.The survey results can be viewed on our web-site at kynetononline.org
Through its project out-line and its innovative democratic constitution, the Co-Op has done a huge amount of work in readiness for the responsibilities of managing the site on behalf of the Crown and for the benefit of the community.
Viveka Simpson Kyneton resident and Co-Op board member.commented…”I along with board member Margot McDonald and our Co-Op secretary Mark Ridgeway, had a very useful meeting with Mary-Anne Thomas before the State Election. We congratulate her on her re-election and look forward to working with her and the Andrews’ Government to make the Town Square a project we can all be proud of – one that will serve our community for decades to come”
Here are some of the community groups who have joined forces with the Co-Op
|Kyneton Community Learning Centre Inc|
|Rotary Club of Kyneton|
|Kyneton Transition Hub|
|Friends of Kyneton Botanic Gardens|
|Kyneton Horticultural Society|
|U3A Kyneton Inc.|
|Kyneton Daffodil & Arts festival Inc.|
|Kyneton Connections Inc.|
Kyneton Lions Club
A Forum for Democratic Renewal
Huntly’s highlights for 2018
- The most popular video (over 5000 views) https://vimeo.com/271788972
- The four months of hard work put in by the steering committee to produce an innovative democratic constitution
- Our most popular and enthusiastic Co-Op member…Zarli
As we all wait with bated breath for the government decision about a lead tenant for the school site, the Co-Op will not be guilty of letting the grass grow under our feet. Our first task early in January is the exciting prospect of appointing two board members by sortition from the Kyneton and District community.
Sortition?…. if you don’t know much about sortition we will be running an explanatory seminar and there will be information on our website: http://kynetononline.org
Pictured below is Nivek Thompson and Peter Henderson at a recent Co-Op seminar.
Nivek is the Director of Deliberately Engaging Pty Ltd. Deliberately Engaging has very generously offered to work with the Co-Op for two years pro bono to develop an innovative platform for the use of sortition to strengthen democratic process.
Co-Op members can contact the Co-Op by email: http://email@example.com
You can contact individual board members on the following numbers.
- Huntly Barton 0408 596847
- Margot McDonald 0412 318355
- Peter Henderson 0457 038488
- Rob Bakes 54221808
We all wish Viveka Simpson and Sam Prendegast best wishes for the birth of their second child due in February. Needless to say Viveka is limiting her board duties until later in 2019..
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:
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.
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
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
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 start–up 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.”
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?
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.
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”.