In the dark over Carss Park car park

Mystery road: Carss Park Shopping Village business owners are still in the dark over the council's intentions regarding the Carwar Avenue car park. Picture: Chris Lane
Mystery road: Carss Park Shopping Village business owners are still in the dark over the council's intentions regarding the Carwar Avenue car park. Picture: Chris Lane

Businesses and residents at the Carss Park Shopping Village are still uncertain about the potential disposal of the 24-space car park serving their shops for the past 40 years.

Their concerns were raised when the April meeting of Georges River Council Environment and Planning Committee noted that the council's Commercial Property Strategy recommends divestment of the car park at Carwar Avenue.

The Kogarah Bay Progress Association wrote to the council seeking clarification.

Georges River Council mayor Kevin Greene said this week the council had not made any decision regarding the disposal of the car park.

"In November 2019, Georges River Council adopted its Property Portfolio Strategy which identifies a range of surplus properties for potential disposal and reinvestment of the proceeds on assets that provide better financial returns to the ratepayers," Cr Greene said.

"The car park at Carwar Avenue in Carss Park was identified for possible disposal, subject to the satisfactory relocation or reinstatement of the existing 24 car parking spaces.

"Council has not made any decision regarding the disposal of the car park at this time.

"Any Council decision to dispose of surplus property would be made on the basis that Council reinvests any income derived from the sale into future income-generating assets, which would assist Council in maintaining current service standards for the Community."

But it is still unclear which properties the council is considering selling.

With the July Council Meeting, minutes now published the properties listed for disposal have been revealed.

The surplus properties in Stage 1 as detailed in the council minutes include: Lot 2 in DP538402, Lot 1 in DP233088, Lot 100 in DP832293, Lot 53 in DP13490, Lot 12 in DP600115 and Lot 22 in DP621512.

"For transparency purposes, please could you provide the property address relating to each Lot number outlined above, so the public is informed of the decisions of Council," Kogarah Bay Progress Association secretary Elise Borg said an email to the mayor.

In his letter to the Council on August 11, Kogarah Bay Progress Association president, Jeff Powys outlined concerns about the possible sale of the car park.

"Our Association is concerned regarding the secretive nature Georges River Council has adopted when it comes to the disposal of Council's own assets," Mr Powys said.

"While we appreciate that there is a commercial interest when it comes to valuations and market values of properties that are identified as surplus, we are very concerned that the location/address of the properties earmarked for disposal are also withheld from the public.

"Council is the custodians of the land on behalf of the public and we believe that the ratepayers and residents have a right to be aware of what properties the Council plans to divest."

"If this car park is in fact identified as surplus property and earmarked for sale the community, and in particular the shop owners in the Carss Park Village, have a right to know," Mr Powys said.

"Unfortunately, the Georges River Property Portfolio Strategy - Disposal of Surplus Property to the Ordinary Council meeting held July 27, 2020, did not disclose the properties identified for disposal as this was in a confidential report.

"The associated debate at the Council meeting occurred behind closed doors in confidentiality and the public is still none the wiser whether the car park or any other properties for that matter, is earmarked for disposal.

"This carpark is very important to the financial viability of the local shop owners and is greatly used and convenient to the local community when shopping in this village.

"This carpark was partly financed, over 40 years ago, by the shop owners through a 'Special Levy' on their rates.

"To keep the shop owners and the community in the dark and not advise them of Council's intentions is unjust and undemocratic."

"The businesses in Carwar Avenue and the local community who shop there and use this carpark deserve better."

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