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Latest News

Thirroul Plaza Update 31 March 2022 Revised plans for the proposed Thirroul Plaza deveopment have been lodged with Wollongong Council. The main points are: Break between building D and E increased Residential parking decreased from 123 to 77 Relocation of residential visitor spaces closer to the common residential lift Retail parking increased from 198 to 206 Residential lobby from LHD increased in width and brought forward closer to the front boundary Break in building increased to 14m and shop 6 set back to allow for greater...
Walking Tour of Central Austinmer Walking Tour of Central Austinmer Walking Tour of Central Austinmer Nestled between the Illawarra Escarpment and the ocean, join us on a walking tour through central Austinmer to discuss the character of a place and ways to protect it. 2 Apr 2022 10:00 am — 1:00 pm Austinmer abounds with natural beauty and cultural richness. Come on a walking tour to learn about how to identify the character of a place, and how it might be protected in perpetuity. Meet at the Austinmer Railway, learn about the National...
Development Plans for the new Thirroul Plaza Development Plans for the new Thirroul Plaza Thirroul Plaza D.A. update - 9 November 2021 The Land and Environment Court “Conciliation Conference” was held on Monday 1st November virtually, via Teams.  The proceedings started when seven community members were given 5 minutes each to address the court Dr Ellicott spoke on the adverse impacts of the development on the “King Street Medical Precinct” and the disruptive effects of the demolition and construction. Martin Gorrick for the TVC focussed upon impacts on escarpment v...
Thirroul, Bulli Improvements Consultation Summary Report  Thirroul, Bulli Improvements Consultation Summary Report  Thirroul, Bulli Improvements Consultation Summary Report   A consultation was undertaken by Transport for NSW between 11 October and 8 November 2019. The findings from this consultation are contained in the report attached.   Transport for NSW received 2,539 comments on the interactive map and analysis identified 3,627 individual issues across the feedback received. The main areas, in order of significance were traffic and road safety, parking, pedestrians and cyclists, public transport,...
Anglicare Development - Old Cookson Plibrico Site at Bulli Anglicare Development - Old Cookson Plibrico Site at Bulli DECEMBER 14, 2018 SUBMISSION ON MP 06_0094 MOD 5 MODIFICATION TO CONCEPT PLAN (SANDON POINT REDEVELOPMENT) INTRODUCTION I write as the Secretary of the Thirroul Village Committee (TVC). The TVC is a group of local residents who share a keen interest in the future of Thirroul and its surrounds. The Committee was formed in 1991 and established one of the Illawarra’s leading community Festivals: the Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival. The TVC is a non-partisan organisation with a contact...
Amy Monument - Thirroul Beach Amy Monument - Thirroul Beach Letter sent to Wollongong Council & the Illawarra Mercury on 20th March 2017. Concerns about the Amy Monument at Thirroul Beach. Dear Sir/Madam Would you be interested in running a story about the Amy Monument at Thirroul Beach? This marble memorial commemorates the sinking of the little collier Amy in a terrible galeIn February 1898 with all hands lost despite the valiant efforts and bravery of Thirroul people to save them. As you can see in the photographs the Amy Monument is in a precarious...
Thirroul Railway Car Park Concerns Thirroul Railway Car Park Concerns   The Thirroul Transport Committee combines the efforts of Neighborhood Forum 3 and the Thirroul Village Committee to address the problems caused by the release of the 2013 train timetable. The key achievement has been introduction of five additional stops for Austinmer peak hour.  The Thirroul Transport Committee aims for full restoration of services to pre 2013 levels...  
Combating Graffiti Combating Graffiti   Local residents (Graffiti Volunteers) giving up their free time, painting over graffiti tags across Thirroul buildings, local parks and beach public amenties. Goal: To eliminate graffiti tags from the Thirroul local area. It is considered by many residents to be “visual vandalism.” Who: A group of local residents is working with local businesses, the RMS, Endeavour Energy, the Police and Wollongong City Council. How:  Businesses have been approached and given flyers displaying...
Grand Pacific Walk Grand Pacific Walk The “Grand Pacific Walk” (GPW). The Thirroul Village Committee (TVC) discussed this concept at a recent meeting and decided to endorse the concept and the plans as put forward to date, especially as a way to encourage family based tourism.

Recent Actions

The Facade The Facade In 2004 Council approved plans for the new three storey Thirroul Plaza Shopping Centre.  These plans were accepted by most residents as a significant enhancement in amenity and covered the area...
Beach Markets Beach Markets In early September 2013, WCC published a development application (DA) from two businesswoman to establish markets on Thirroul Beach.  The markets were proposed to operate on each Saturday for a...
Thirroul Bathers' Pavilion Refurbishment Thirroul Bathers' Pavilion Refurbishment   Please accept this document as feedback from the Thirroul Village Committee (TVC) on the proposed changes as displayed on WCC website to the Thirroul Beach Kiosk, now renamed the Thirroul Bathers...

In 2004 Council approved plans for the new three storey Thirroul Plaza Shopping Centre.  These plans were accepted by most residents as a significant enhancement in amenity and covered the area from Jackson Park to Anita’s Theatre, excluding the Beaches hotel. The plans called for retention of the façade of the 1930’s building at 307 LHD.  This façade was retained to provide the basis of style of the front of the new plaza.

 

However ten years later, the Thirroul Plaza was no closer to commencement and the façade, now exposed to elements from both sides, had deteriorated considerably. Even if the developers completed the building application immediately, Council advised that no progress would be made on the building for at least two years.


The main points of concern were that the scaffold overhung the footpath and the position of the concrete barriers on the edge of the kerb.  These were barely 20 centimetres from LHD’s busy downhill vehicular traffic. Clipping of one of the barriers or the uprights by a heavy truck could result in the devastating collapse of both scaffold and façade.
In late 2012, in response to community concerns, the TVC organised a petition that requested Wollongong Council to review the development application.  The concerns were listed as;
    •    The scaffold is a dangerous, ugly impediment to pedestrian safety
    •    It is covered in graffiti and offensive to the community
    •    The land behind the facade has deteriorated into a health hazard
    •    the façade is in poor condition
    •    It contravenes Council’s commitment to improve the quality and appeal of Wollongong as a place to live
    •    Preservation of this single wall section as less than 10% of the future Plaza re-development façade has little merit


In March 2013, 370 signatures were collected and in June the petition was tabled by Councillor Jill Merrin to Wollongong City Council.
In August 2013, due to a lack of response by Wollongong City Council, the TVC obtained an independent assessment by a certified inspector who confirmed that the scaffold did not comply with Australian and New Zealand Standards and several aspects of the façade were a risk to public safety.


Wollongong City Council then ensured that the owners adjusted the scaffold to ensure its integrity in the high winds. Signs were placed to warn pedestrians of the narrowing of the footpath, and the hoarding was repaired and painted. Wollongong City Council advised that regular engineer inspections would be carried out to ensure the integrity of the structure. However these measures did not address the problem of the apparent dangerous condition and restricted footpath space, which, according to Council advice, fitted the minimum requirement for safe use. Then there were two incidents of young people breaking into the site in the early hours of the morning and climbing the scaffold and the façade.  From where they hurled bottles and cans onto the road.  The site had become a gathering place for disaffected youth.


In December 2013 Mr Dick Hargrave, a certified inspector of scaffold construction from Melbourne was on holidays visiting relatives.  Mr Hargrave grew up in the area and is a direct descendant of Lawrence Hargrave.  Mr Hargrave completed an assessment independently of the TVC. His report came to the TVC via his contacts with other Thirroul residents.
The report, written just before Christmas 2013, stated that “A miracle occurred 2000 years ago”, “Now you have a second one happening in Thirroul. It is a miracle that the wall is still standing.”  His report identified cracks in the façade upper brickwork and a lean towards the street. The facts of his report were corroborated by Wollongong City Council’s independent structural engineer.


Dick’s involvement greatly helped in the relationship with WCC.  Mr. Andrew Heaven, WCC Manager Development Assessment and Certification (Acting) was eventually most helpful in processing this matter with the property owners.


It was with mixed feelings that, on the 14th of March 2014, the people of Thirroul witnessed the demolition of the last remnant of a row of early 20th Century shops which once graced the western side of Lawrence Hargrave Drive Thirroul. “It is always poignant to see the demolition of any building to which people have a sentimental attachment but when it becomes a hazard to human life all other considerations must take second place”, said Thirroul Village Committee member Mrs. Linda Cortie .“Today is the culmination of twenty-one months of lobbying Wollongong City Council to take action on the deterioration of the façade and other matters concerning the scaffold which partially blocked the footpath”, said Thirroul Village Committee member Mrs. Barbara Mebberson.


The TVC would like to thank;
    •    Mrs Barbara Mebberson for managing this process and
    •    Mr Andrew Heaven at WCC for his on-going communication and attention to the many practical aspects of safely bringing the facade down and
    •    Councillor Jill Merrin for her active support.

  

  

  

  

 

 

Thirroul_Facade.pdf

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