Refuge Cove Marina Newsletter Issue 22

Council rates issue resolution!

I am very pleased to report that on Thursday 28 November both Houses of State Parliament passed an amendment to the Local Government Act that in essence removes the ability of all SA local councils to collect minimum rates on individual marina berths.

After an abortive initial attempt in 2004, Port Adelaide Enfield Council notified marina berth owners in 2011 that they had received legal advice that the long-standing rate rebate on individual berths could no longer be applied and it would be removed and full council rates applied. This would have meant a berth with a value of say $50,000 for example, would be charged the same minimum rate of $720 as would apply to a residential property worth around $300,000! With council’s ability to apply the minimum rate removed, the above berth will instead face an annual council rate bill around $270.

It is extraordinary how much time and effort has been required by so many people to bring about a change that is simply no more than fair and reasonable.

This amendment to the Local Government Act has been achieved as a result of persistent lobbying by the CYCSA, the Boating Industry Association of SA, the RSAYS and Refuge Cove Marina. It has also been strongly supported by the State Member for Port Adelaide, Dr Susan Close, a number of Port Adelaide Enfield Councillors, in particular Crs Peter Jamieson and Bruce Johansen,  a wide range of state politicians headed by Independent Member of the Legislative Council, the Hon. John Darley MLC, who introduced the Amendment Bill to parliament and ensured that it received bipartisan support.

Thank you to all involved in what has been a long, protracted but ultimately successful campaign for rating fairness for berth owners!

Andrew Smiles

Presiding Officer,

Refuge Cove Marina,  (Strata 14007)

Lighting upgrade

The lighting along the main walkway has recently been upgraded to address both the safety issue of several of the tall lighting poles rusting out at their bases and a maintenance issue of parts for the failing bollard lights no longer being available. Eight new attractive low level marina bollard lights have been installed to solve both these issues and provide safe, effective lighting to the walkway for many years to come. If you notice any lights out anywhere on the marina please report it to Siebel & Siebel on 8356 8000 so that it can be fixed as soon as possible.

Emergency pumps

There are now two electric submersible pumps available for emergency use. These are kept in the orange locker next to the notice board. Unfortunately the previous petrol driven pump has not fared well due to saltwater corrosion and has now been removed. The new submersible pumps are all plastic, self priming, can handle dirty bilge water and are resistant to salt water corrosion.

Recently one these pumps was used to keep a boat on B Row afloat for almost two hours while the owner was contacted and arrangements made to have the boat hauled out.

A big thank you Gil Keech, Alan Todd, Martyn Westgarth, Bruce Reid, Wayne Rosenzweig, Mike Bates, and Graeme Brand for their alertness and prompt action and to Blue Sky Marine for the speedy lift out.

Car park lighting

At long last we have some movement on the carpark lighting!

The North Haven Carpark Company has recently arranged for the carpark lights, which were disconnected from the streetlight supply by the Port Adelaide Enfield Council, to be rewired and hopefully operating before the New Year.

Secure parking!

Some very good news for those wanting secure parking for their vehicle while they go sailing for a few days. The Refuge Cove Marina Red key will now operate the western lockup of the Alexa Road compound. Parking will be on a ‘first come first served’ basis and there are no reserved spaces, no trailers and definitely no caravans permitted! While the fenced compound will provide greatly improved security for your vehicle, please note that Refuge Cove Marina (Strata 14007) take no responsibility for any loss or damage that may occur to any vehicle parked anywhere in the car park or lock up compound.

Insurance updates

It’s easy to overlook the important requirement to provide the admin office with an updated copy of your boat insurance each year and in fact a recent check shows that currently 92% of units DO NOT comply!

As a service to help you remember, the quarterly strata fee notices will in future include a reminder if your insurance cover has lapsed during the preceding quarter. Please attend to this important responsibility promptly.

You may consider ’automating’ this notification by naming ‘Strata14007’ as an ‘interested party’ on your insurance policy and the insurance company will advise the strata on your behalf each time you renew your cover. Apart advising the Strata that the policy is current this action has no other effect whatsoever and confers no legal benefit to the Strata. Definitely worth a thought!

It’s up to you!

A unit holder has written to the committee expressing concern at the widening gap in the brickwork of archway in front of the ablutions block. In the interests of public safety the owner of the property has been asked to obtain a structural engineer’s report, however until this is resolved you may decide it’s better to walk around!

Punching above our weight

A vote of thanks!

I bring to the notice of the members of our marina the extraordinary contribution and commitment of our Presiding Officer – Andrew Smiles, to achieving a satisfactory outcome in regard to the proposed increase in Council Rates to all unit holders.

Andrew has made strong representation and recommendations at Port Adelaide and Enfield Council meetings on behalf of not only our marina, but for other marinas within the vicinity.  In addition, Andrew has represented us and other marina managers at many meetings with Local and State Government representatives, the CYCSA, the RSAYS and boating industry organisations. He has also spent a significant amount of time formally and informally writing to all interested and influential stakeholders, and decision makers regarding this situation.

Andrew attended State Parliament, Lower House when the Bill related to the amendments to the Local Govt. Act was debated and passed without objection from either side of the House.  The Hon. J.A. Darley MLC acknowledged in Parliament, “the continued support and tireless lobbying of the local member Dr Susan Close, Mr. Craig Evans from the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia, Mr. Glen Jones from the Boating Industry Association of South Australia, Mr. Wayne Phillips from the Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron, and Mr. Andrew Smiles from the Refuge Cove Marina.”

I am certain that you, the members of our marina, will join with the Management Committee of Strata 14007 in publicly acknowledging the extraordinary effort that Andrew has devoted to this task on your behalf. Thank You Andrew!

Lyall Causby

Management Committee Secretary,

Refuge Cove Marina Strata 14007