The Attorney General of New South Wales, the Hon Greg Smith MP has validated the terms of the Alexandra Square Trust in Mittagong, approving Wingecarribee Shire Council’s management of the original 1885 document.
“The position that I continue to hold is that the land in question is the subject of a trust, and the trustee (Council) is bound to hold it consistently with those terms and to obey the terms of the trust,” Mr Smith said in a media release.
“A failure to comply with the terms of a trust renders a trustee, prima facie, liable for breach of trust.”
The decision by the Attorney General comes after an onsite meeting with numerous parties, including the Member for Goulburn, the Hon Pru Goward on 19 December 2012.
Wingecarribee Shire Mayor, Councillor Juliet Arkwright said the announcement was vindication of Council’s decision that the site be returned to a public recreation reserve.
“Council has always stood by the original wishes of the benefactors who set the criteria of how the land were to be used, even by modern standards, there are still very strict constraints of the public uses of the site,” Councillor Arkwright said.
“The Attorney General’s decision maintains that Council is legally bound by the terms of the Trust and is obliged to ensure that apart from making the land available to recreational use, it also be made available to all members of the community,” she added.
The decision effectively paves the way for the demolition of the disused Mittagong Bowling Club and the progression of the Plan of Management which was adopted by Council in November 2012 which seeks to return the site to a passive public recreational reserve.
“I have no doubt that once returned to its original intentions, Alexandra Square will be one of our Shire’s showcase public recreational reserves which will be able to be enjoyed by all visitors,” Councillor Arkwright said.
The Alexandra Square Trust was donated to the community by the then Fitz Roy Iron Works in 1885 who stipulated that the site be used, “Upon trust for the inhabitants of the Village of Mittagong as a Public Recreation Reserve.”
The adopted Alexandra Square Trust Plan of Management including landscaped Masterplans can be viewed online at: www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/uploads/551/adopted-alexandra-square-pom.pdf.