General Manager clarifies Alexandra Square Trust
Wingecarribee Shire Council General Manager Jason Gordon has today clarified the terms of the Trust covering the Alexandra Square site in Mittagong, currently home to the disused Mittagong Bowling Club premises.
“As defined by the Trust, Council is very limited as to what can and cannot be built on the Alexandra Square site,” Mr Gordon said.
“This advice provided by Council’s own independent legal advisors, including the preeminent senior counsel in the field of Trusts, and the NSW Government’s Attorney General stipulate that the land that the Trust covers must be used as a public recreation reserve,” Mr Gordon said.
“The use of the site is therefore confined to activities that fit this strict legal definition.”
“This immediately constrains the type of purpose the land can be used for,” Mr Gordon said. “And some of the recommendations being publicly suggested would likely not fall within this definition and would therefore breach the terms of the Trust Deed.”
“In addition, broadly speaking, whatever is given the final approval to be operated from the site must continue to be of broad public benefit as a ‘public recreation reserve’, and no private gain is allowed to be made from the operations, even if an entry fee is charged.
“Council is legally bound by the terms of the Trust and are obliged to ensure that apart from making the land available to recreational use, it also be made available to all members of the community,” Mr Gordon added.
“Although the Trust is now over 100 years old, should Council comply with 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.”
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.”