Newly based investigations have been launched by the Wollongong City Council to ascertain the whereabouts of a two-year-old document which bears the evidence of the real age and historical significance of a cottage located in Stuart Park. Currently, it is being used by operators of Skydive Australia formerly known as Skydive the Beach. But as per the content of the missing document, it would approve the site for a heritage listing thereby rendering the building unusable by the skydiving company.
With meetings after meetings, it was strictly ordered by Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery that every employee and alternate staff member be thoroughly reviewed and assessed for their work conduct. This was as a result of questionable practices being indulged in as it relates to the administrative reference of the property. Based on a discovery just over two weeks ago, Bradbery made this decision as details revealed from an Assessment linked to the building‘s heritage significance. This discovery has since proved to introduce new questions about its existence and management.
The detailed document, said to have been drafted and prepared by a certified heritage advisor on the council, Zoran Popovic was dated January 24, 2015. However, questions are being raised as to why the document was only “spotted” on the Councilor’s online system on January 13. This information of the online system discovery was disclosed by Bradbery.
He also noted the valuable information said to have been reported in the document such as the early development of the cottage back in the late 1920s. The historical content of the document also outlined the operations of the cottage by Stuart Park Administrators who catered to the needs of over 3000 refugees and migrants who sought assistance in the 1940s.
Because of its many years in existence and the many historical events associated with the Caretaker’s Cottage in Stuart Park, the report outlined its importance within the Wollongong Area and the need for it to be recommended on a Local Heritage List.
Questions of Discrepancies
Over the years, the cottage has been in operation by those who run the only skydiving business in the area. They have been using this site as the check-in spot for jumpers but in truth and in fact is this going down well for the residents of Wollongong? Not according to what locals have to say in regard to their observation of the City Council who seem to be “bunch of careless people working in these offices”.
Many local residents and those involved with the proceedings over the building have questioned the City Council’s abilities given their lack of organization. This doubt in the Council being related to the lost document that seemed to suddenly appear after years of not being known to exist. Because of the attention the site has been given, the arrangement was to have a new Skydive Australia headquarters built in close proximity to the cottage and in return tear the old building down. This agreement was short lived as that application was later withdrawn.
Though the approval for the new development was granted, measures are being put in place to request land leasing documents or licenses to have the park granted as a landing spot for the skydivers.
Through all of this, the questions still remain as to why there was no certified documentation of this information on the council system previously and why is it suddenly showing up now? With the value that this document provides, residents are left to wonder if it was some form of discrepancy that resulted in it being removed without notice.
More organized operations
If this was the case, whoever removed the document will have a hard time having their way as in order for any contract to get the final approval, the decision will be made solely by a resolution of council and not by the council staff. They have also reiterated their support and commitment to have the park used as a skydive location but with the relevant licensing documentations to be presented by council staff.
A final full report no later than a select date in March about the said document.
The Assessment of Heritage Significance Report will be the center of an important briefing to be held to ascertain further knowledge on the other existing and new developments of the area including the development of Skydive the Beach. Also, staff members were given the task of providing the council with a single point web access to relevant background information on the Skydive Australia Development Proposal.
In summary, the Wollongong City Council has said is that it was just late last week that the document was discovered missing and stringent measures are been implemented to have the contents recovered and investigated to determine how it disappeared. Also, they were in brief dialogue with staffing as to how and why the report was not documented on the council systems. But when the whole issue is assessed, it may seem like someone within the council had something up their sleeves. Let us look at it, “there was an application for the demolishing of the historic site but as soon as this proposal was denied an important document goes missing?” Not jumping to any conclusions here but it seems all too obvious.