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2016 AGM


Cook Community Hub
41 Templeton St Cook

To be followed (after a short break) by the Spring 2016 Public meeting: a Candidates forum.



  • Chris Watson outlined the Presidents 2015-16 report. Copies available separately. [See below]
  • Moved that the report be accepted. Chris Watson. Seconded Robyn Goghlan

TREASURES REPORT (Doug Finlayson).

Doug table the audited accounts for the year. Copies available separately. [See below]

Moved that the treasures report be accepted. Chris Watson. Seconded Brian Rhynehart.

  1. Vote of thanks to Ben Natali for auditing the accounts “pro bono

Moved Chris Watson. Seconded Jean Gueue.

Election of Office bearers

The Public Officer, Darryl Seto, took the chair with the assent of the meeting. All positions were declared vacant.

  • There was one nomination for President, Dr Chris Watson.
  • Nominated John Connelly. Seconded Rosemary Von Beherens. Duly elected.
  • There was one nomination for vice-President, Mr Brian Rhynehart.
  • Nominated Rosemary Von Beherens Seconded Robyn Coghlan. Duly elected
  • There was one nomination for Treasurer, Dr Doug Finlayson.
  • Nominated Rosemary Von Beherens Seconded Ellen Robinson. Duly elected.
  • There was one nomination for Secretary, Mr John Connelly.
  • Nominated. Ellen Robinson, Seconded Brian Rhynehart. Duly elected.
  • There were five nominations for the Committee: Ms Ellen Proust/Robinson, Mr Darryl Seto, Ms Robyn Coghlan , Mr Douglas Amarfio , Mr Dave Kelly. Duly elected.


CANDIDATES FORUM. 5:30-7:00pm. See separate report.

President's report

Need to revitalise our National Park vision

Our Association was formed five years ago with the aim of establishing Park centered on Ginninderra Gorge and its two falls; encompassing both sides of both Ginninderra and the adjacent Murrumbidgee Gorges.

This whole area is entirely across the ACT border on NSW land; it is in private ownership and, in the past, has only been visited by only a small number of, mainly, older Canberran's. It is therefore extremely difficult for citizens at large, let alone the voters of Yass Valley Council, to become passionate about preserving this area for generations to come. It is sadly a matter of 'out of sight, out of mind'.

A park of such grandeur and recreational value is a must for Canberra's growing population (now approx. 400,000 and forecast to be 600,000 by 2050). Just imagine the school bus trips, too, and tourists visiting this site just a few km's from West Belconnen!

Involvement of politicians urgently required

It is necessary for ACT politicians, together with Yass Valley Councilors, to take the lead in establishing this Park; relevant NSW and Federal Ministers also need to be involved. This is now an urgent agenda item since the Yass Valley Council, itself, in the coming months, will be voting on urban development proposals which come extremely close to Ginninderra Gorge, its Falls, and Creek as well as the Murrumbidgee Gorge.

Of course private landowners and developers share financial gains when land is rezoned from 'rural to urban'. Such a vote must be vetoed for land bordering the Gorge.

We also must have comprehensive ACT Assembly inquiry following the coming October 2016 election. Such an inquiry should be mandatory, but the ACT Government in 2015 ignored our lobbying.

Urban development proposals still coming too close to Gorges and Falls

In the last two years we have spent a disproportionate amount of our energy in consultation and discussion with the cross-border 'West Belconnen urban development' being planned and managed by 'Riverview Projects ACT Pty Ltd' on behalf of the ACT's Land Development Agency.

Issues of biodiversity, its restoration, and threatened species as well as esthetics, site lines, buffer zones, and fire exposure continue to be debated; moreover there is still an active quarry operation which is creating a terrible scarring of the landscape close to the upper falls. Our initial aim was to achieve corridors of at least 300m alongside both Gorges and Ginninderra Creek. If all the above factors are taken into account, the width will have to be much more!

Indigenous issues overlooked

We are belatedly working closely with Aboriginal representatives on the very significant 'heritage' aspects of this whole area; in particular, Ginninderra Gorge and Creek just upstream form the major upper falls which were very important ceremonial grounds. Fortunately we now have the insights of the ANU's National Centre for Indigenous Studies on their rights and interests in urban planning. Over to politicians and planners in all relevant jurisdictions, especially NSW, but also ACT and Federal.

Our committee team

A busy year indeed, involving not only monthly committee meetings, but also deputations, submissions as well as regular meetings with a Ginninderra Falls Working Group, formed in the past year; this group involves the developer Riverview Projects as well as the Ginninderra Catchment Group, the ACT Region Conservation Council and the Environmental Defenders Office ACT.

We have also recently fielded a team to visit potential Yass Valley Councilors prior to their 10th September 2016 election.

My sincere thanks to the Committee.

Print copy

Treasurer’s Report for the Financial Year 2015-2016

The constitution of the Ginninderra Falls Association stipulates that the Association financial year ends on 30 June each year. This report sets out the accounts of the Association for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016.

The income during the financial year was derived mostly from members’ fees and a few donations. The number of financial members during the 2015-16 financial year was 21, a very disappointing level of financial support.

A statement of accounts is attached. The Association bank cheque account exists with the St George Bank (BSB 112-908; Account number 447 299 504) with five signatories (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Public Officer), any one of whom may singly operate the account. A receipt book, cheque book and a computer file of electronic receipts and bank statements document the Association income. A record is kept of all Association supporters, whether or not they are financial members.

In summary these accounts indicate the following –

Net bank and cash assets at 1 July 2015 $894.13
Total income, 2014-15 $946.13
Total expenditure, 2014-15 $1078.74
Net bank assets at 30 June 2016 $761.52

The statement of accounts for the financial year 2015 to 2016 is attached.

Treasurer’s comments:

  • The Association chooses to be a member of the Conservation Council of the ACT along with other like- minded associations; there is a membership fee.
  • The Ginninderra Falls Association is obliged to have public liability insurance if it wishes to apply for grants and conduct meetings and excursions. This is a significant cost for the Association.
  • The Association maintains a web site that incurs commercial administration and running costs.
  • The membership fee for the financial year 2015-2016 was $35 and it is recommended this fee be retained for 2016-17 (no family membership). Those supporters dependent solely on an aged/disability/study/unemployment Government income may seek membership fee relief from the Association Treasurer (entirely in confidence).
  • The small number of financial members during 2014-2015 is a cause for concern. If there is a continuing decline in financial members then the Association may lose its ATO tax free donation status.


The Association wishes to thank the following:

  • Riverview Pty Ltd is thanked for sponsoring a proposed art exhibition at the Belconnen Arts Centre some time in the future.
  • Individuals, including committee members, who have absorbed costs connected with the operations and administration of the Association and the promotion of the Association in the public domain.
  • The Association wishes specially to thank those individuals who have made donations to the Association.
  • Ben Natali, Australian National University, for auditing the Association accounts.


Douglas Finlayson
Hon. Treasurer, Ginninderra Falls Association

15 August 2016

Ginninderra Falls Association, Statement of Accounts, 2015-16

Opening bank balance 1 July 2015 = $894.03
TOTAL assets, 1 July 2015 = $894.13
Income 2015-16
Fees & donations $945.00
Bank interest $1.13
TOTAL $946.13
Expenditure 2015-16
Public liability insurance $549.74
Conservation Council $65.00
Kippax Lib meeting room $105.00
Printing/postage/admin $130.00
Web site management $129.00
Meeting catering costs $50.00
Cook Centre meeting room $50.00
TOTAL $1,078.74
Operating profit (loss)   $761.52
Closing bank balance, 30 June 2016 $761.52
TOTAL assets, 30 June 2016 $761.52


D. M. Finlayson, Treasurer

14 July 2016

Auditor's report

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