RCAG Meeting 19/4/2017

Quarterly Meeting 19th April 2017, 7.30 pm, 

Tablelands Community Centre (TCC), Nolans Road, Ruffy


1. Welcome: A warm welcomed was extended to all present . Present: Cr Alistair Thomson, Cathy Artridge, Don Cook, Kerry Hewlett, George Noye, Henry Noye, Pam Sprunt, Verena Weinmann and Erwin Weinmann.  Apologies: Roger Morgan
2. Confirmation of minutes of last meeting: The minutes of the November 2016 meeting had been sent out by email and were also tabled at this meeting. The minutes were then confirmed, moved by Erwin Weinmann, seconded by Kerry Hewlett and signed by the President.
3. Business arising from the Minutes:

○ [6] Future of Community Action Group – see item 6

○ [7] Ruffy History Sign Project – see item 7

○ [8] Boathole Project – see item 8

4. Correspondence: In: March 30 Info re Grants for Men’ Sheds (from Tracey Reid)   April 1  email from Roger Morgan re first aid course (see item 11)   April 3  Info re nominations for Victorian Senior of the Year Award   April 4  Detailed program for grants (from Tracey Reid) Out: A number of emails to RCAG members and Tracey Reid Verena moved that the Correspondence be received, seconded Pam Sprunt, carried.

5. Treasurer’s Report: Copies of the Treasurer’s report for the period November 2016 to April 2017 were handed out (see Appendix 1). Opening balance as of 17 November 2016: $11,895.01. Closing balance as of 19 April 2017: $11,527.15 (RCAG funds $7,082.38, Walking Track funds $4,444.77).  Kerry Hewlett moved that the treasurer’s report be accepted, seconded Pam Sprunt, carried.

6. Future of Community Action Groups:
The President referred to correspondence with Tracey Reid since the November RCAG meeting and the Community Workshop on 17 February 2017, most of which had been forwarded to RCAG members. The workshop outcomes clearly confirmed the benefits of having an Action Group but also pointed to some issues in terms of community contributions.
The President attended a joint Community Action Group Forum on 22 March which informed on the outcomes of the consultations with the Community Action Groups and discussed the next steps in deciding on the future of the Action Groups. The indications from the other Action Groups were similar to those coming from the RCAG workshop, confirming the benefits of Action Groups and identifying some key issues, including insurance and red tape. There was a clear rejection of the mostly projectbased ‘New Community Planning Model‘ proposed in July 2016.
A major part of the discussions focused on two possible ways for Action Groups to operate in the future: as Section 86 Committees or as Incorporated Associations. The first one is more closely linked to Council, while the second one is mostly independent of Council. Both have similar governance requirements, but it was made clear that in the future the Action Groups would need to follow the statutory requirements of S86 Committees more strictly. This would be assisted by clearer guidelines on what is expected from Action Groups. With regard to insurance, with both models insurance cover is restricted to activities defined by an agreement with Council (in the case of S86 Committees this is the ‘Instrument of Delegation’). Special events are not covered by insurance.
In discussion it was questioned how the future relationship of RCAG with Council would work under the Incorporated Association model. It was clarified by Cr Thomson that there would be a clear agreement with Council defining those functions of the Action Group that are directly related to Council responsibilities. There were also questions on how other S86 committees, e.g. TCC Committee, would operate if they became an Incorporated Association. Cr Thomson clarified that the current question addressed by Council related only to the future operation of Action Groups, and that the future operation of other committees operating currently as S86 Committees would be addressed later.
There were more specific questions on what would be involved in setting up and running an Incorporated Association. It was explained that this was not particularly onerous or costly, and Cr Thomson indicated that Council would assist with setting up.
In response to Cr Thomson’s question if the Ruffy Community wanted its Action Group to continue, the RCAG members present confirmed that the Action Group served a very important role as a forum for discussion, exchange of information and general networking. However, its successful continuation will depend on sufficient support from members of the Ruffy community.
The next steps in the process are that Tracey Reid will submit her report on community consultations to the May Council meeting, and Councillors will then decide on the future operation of the Action Groups. Subsequently we will be advised of this decision and should be able to meet later in May to discuss our future.
Implications for spending of 2016/17 RCAG funding  The President summarised the current spending against the agreed budget for 2016/17. Contributions to the Rec Reserve kitchen cabinets ($1000), food warmer for the Ruffy Hall ($200), internal improvements for the RCC ($500) and contribution to the Ruffy Artfest ($400) have been spent. The contribution for the Main Road water supply ($500) and most of the admin expenditure ($1000) are expected to be spent before the end of the financial year. However the remaining funds ($3,700), allocated to the first stage of the Boathole Project and the History Sign Project, will need to be carried over into the next financial year. Part of the delay in spending this money is due to uncertainty about the future of the Action Groups, we therefore expect a positive response from Council to our request for carrying over this funding.

7. Ruffy History Sign Project
Cathy Artridge reported on the present situation. In conjunction with the President she had developed a clearer concept of what the Project involves. Apart from the sign or signs, the Project will also create a permanent repository for information, photos and documents on the history of the Ruffy area. Cathy has held preliminary discussions with the Euroa Museum regarding this. The concept that a central sign would be supplemented by smaller signs at specific historic sites was well received, and is in line with initiatives already under way at the TCC. Don Cook referred to the glass cabinet at the TCC preserving school memorabilia and the Tablelands Community Centre sign to be installed in front of the TCC soon.
Cathy informed about a grant opportunity by the Public Record Office Victoria – Local History Grants Program, which closes in July 2017. This would provide an opportunity to get support for a substantial project to be completed within three years.
Regarding the design and production of signs, Cathy has been in contact with graphic designer Jane Hardwick in Euroa and Burgess Signs in Seymour, who both have considerable experience with history signs in our area. A visit to Burgess Signs to develop a clearer understanding of what’s involved was suggested. The proposal of a staged approach to the project, starting with a small sign at an appropriate site, found general support, and the Boathole or the Rec Reserve would be suitable for this. The President and Cathy to discuss the next steps.

8. Boathole Project
There has been limited progress with this project since it was discussed at the last meeting. Points made at this meeting were that an overall plan was necessary to ensure a proper balance between preserving the environment and allowing the community and visitors to enjoy recreational activities at the Boathole. It was agreed that a staged development would make sense, waiting with any works to close off the area until it became clear that this change to the current unlimited access was necessary.  Provision of a barbeque area is likely to face opposition from neighbouring landholders because of the fire risks involved, but installation of a picnic table and seating would generally be seen as a desirable enhancement of the area. Two options have previously been discussed: a wooden table and benches built by the Euroa Men’s Shed, or a table and benches on a steel base built by George. Justus Hagen in consultation with George Noye to present a preferred option with cost estimate to the next meeting. GBCMA and the Shire to be consulted on this proposal before the picnic table can be installed.

9. Shire News Cr Thomson brought the following items of Council business to the attention of the group: ○ Small Australia Day community function at Ruffy – the response from the group was that Ruffy has a number of community functions throughout the year and there would probably be no great interest for this additional function. Pam Sprunt will investigate with the Rec Reserve Committee if there is an interest in hosting such an event. ○ Good community input on Council Plan and Budget from Conversation Café Sessions – Council Plan and Budget to be available soon on website and hard copies in Library and Council Offices. ○ Updated Road Management Plan – significant changes to classification of unsealed roads for maintenance, particularly ‘zero class’ roads. A major maintenance program is being developed, to be implemented over the next few years, with priorities set on the basis of network importance and number of residents along the road. The program will include major upgrade of sections of  road that have deteriorated so badly that normal grading is not sufficient, and drainage works will be part of this. Road maintenance should generally be twice a year based on 26 zones. Programmed works will now be advertised on the Shire website and residents will be given the opportunity for input to the program. ○ Empowering communities – Cr Thomson believes that it is important for groups like the Euroa Cinema Group and Action Groups, who depend strongly on volunteer inputs, to be empowered to do their work without unnecessary interference from the Shire. ○ Business Awards – Forms for nominations are now available from the Shire.
The President thanked Cr Thomson for this information and for the helpful clarifications regarding the future of the Action Groups.

10. Short reports from community groups: ○ TCC – Don Cook reported on problems with the bore water supply at the TCC which is an important community asset. The source of these problems is being investigated and it is hoped that a solution can be found soon. The playground is being upgraded thanks to generous support from Fred Haig. The Bric-a-Brac shop continues to be run successfully, with storage of items available in one of the two shipping containers. The shop will be closing for the winter break after Mothers Day. The display cabinet for the School history has recently been installed and the sign in front of the TCC is nearly ready. Yoga, Playgroup and occasional health services are continuing. ○ Ruffy Hall and RuffArtZ – Henry Noye reported that things at the Ruffy Hall are going well. The Chizia Night will be on the 19th August. The next RuffArtZ concert ‘Bush Gothic‘ will be on Saturday, 13th of May. ○ Rec Reserve – Pam Sprunt reported that kitchen cabinets had been installed. The kitchen floor needs major work, and a number of other maintenance jobs on the pavilion and the grounds have been identified. Plans for initial work and grant opportunities are currently being considered. ○ Adult Riders Club – Kerry Hewlett reported that the ‘Ruffy Rules’ was held successfully in February. They plan to again support the Euroa Show by an official HRCAV event on Saturday. ○ CFA – George Noye reported that the brigade had a relatively quiet season, with a major fire at Gooram. The brigade welcomed six new members and two others have been signed up. The Good Friday function was again a great success with over 100 people attending and over $2000 raised for the Good Friday Appeal. Projects being developed include completing works around the fire shed and major works to stabilise the creek adjoining the CFA area. Controlled burns are being planned in consultation with relevant authorities to ensure minimal environmental impacts. ○ Webpage – Cathy Artridge explained the reasons for the increased cost of running the website and the delays in getting management of the website transferred from Web Babble to Jacqui Hagen and herself. The situation is still not resolved and Cathy has asked Erwin Weinmann to assist with the resolution of this issue. People are encouraged to submit news and information for the website to Cathy.

11. Other Business Proposed First Aid/CPR Training at Ruffy The President reported on a proposal by Roger Morgan who is currently overseas and could not present his proposal in person. The proposal was prompted by a recent incident at the RuffArtZ concert where CPR assistance could not be provided because there was no trained first aider available. Roger has become aware of a new App that allows trained first aiders to be contacted to provide initial assistance following a call to 000.
Roger suggested that arranging for first aid courses could be an initiative coordinated by RCAG. The Ruffy Hall committee and RuffArtZ have already pledged financial support for first aid training. Roger also submitted a draft ad for the Granite News to seek expressions of interest for First Aid/CPR training.
During discussions George Noye informed us how the defibrillator on the CFA truck can be called into action. After a 000 call a CFA member with first aid training would be mobilised to take the truck to the scene and provide first aid. The advantage of this form of deployment is that the CFA truck is equipped with GPS etc to ensure that they can get to the scene quickly. George also mentioned that another community had placed a defibrillator behind glass at the outside wall of a public building. A first aider could then break the glass to get to the defibrillator in case of an emergency.
The meeting supported Roger’s proposal in principle, and it was suggested that an indication of cost and number/length of sessions would also be helpful. Roger to contact Don Cook directly regarding a final version of an announcement in the Granite News.

Date and Place for next Meeting (tentative): Wednesday, 24th May 2017, Ruffy Hall, 7.30 pm.
Meeting closed 10.10 pm.

Jacqui Hagen