Works Committee Meeting














Tuesday 11 March 2008










Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031

Telephone: 02 9399 0999 or

1300 722 542 (for Sydney metropolitan area)

Fax:02 9319 1510













Works Committee

11 March 2008





4th March, 2008


Works Committee Meeting


Notice is hereby given that a Works Committee Meeting of the Council of the City of Randwick will be held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, 90 Avoca Street, Randwick, on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 6:00 p.m.



Committee Members:           The Mayor, B Notley-Smith, Andrews, Belleli (Deputy Chairperson), Hughes (Chairperson), Matson, Seng, Tracey, White.


Quorum:                           Five (5) members.


NOTE:    At the Extraordinary Meeting held on 28 September 2004, the Council resolved that the Works Committee be constituted as a committee with full delegation to determine matters on the agenda.


Apologies/Granting of Leave of Absences

Confirmation of the Minutes

Works Committee Meeting - 12 February 2008

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests


Address of Council by Members of the Public


Urgent Business

Works Reports


W4/08       Request to re-name the reserve known as Barwon Park, Matraville

W5/08       Removal of Ficus 'Hillii' outside 22 Day Avenue, Kensington


Closed Session


Notices of Rescission Motions




Ray Brownlee

General Manager

Works Committee

11 March 2008




Works Report No. W4/08



Subject:                  Request to re-name the reserve known as Barwon Park, Matraville

Folder No:                   F2005/00218

Author:                   John  Calvani, Coordinator Parks and Recreation     




Council at its Ordinary Meeting of 30 October 2007, resolved (Belleli/Nash) that:


a)     Council consults with the Matraville Precinct Committee, the Matraville Chamber of Commerce and the residents surrounding the park, known as Barwon Park, on current or suggested Historical names for this park that relate to the area;


b)     once this consultation process has taken place, a report be brought back to Council detailing all submissions on possible names for this park, including Barwon Park and any other suggested Historical name related to the area;


c)     once a name has been decided upon by Council, an application be sent to the Geographical Names Board to rename this park and publish notice of such renaming in the government gazette;


d)     once the name of this park has been legally resolved, a plaque be placed in the park outlining the historical significance of the name of the park.

The above identified stakeholders were invited to make submission on this proposal with the closing date for submissions being
8 February, 2008. A general invitation for interested persons to make a submission was also advertised in the Mayoral Column.



The following table summarises the 13 submissions that were received by the closing date of 8 February, 2008:


Submission by:

Naming Proposal

Richard Aerlic

Gilmore Park

Noel D’Souza

Bob Carr Park

Kristine Beecroft

James Matra Park

Joseph Giles

James Matra Park

Judith Flitcroft

MacDonald Park

Hanna Orrock

Itchycoo Park

Betty McMillan

Settlers Park

A & T Portelli

Lotus Flower Park

A Vellis & M Rogers

Barwon Park

J Scullion

Pearson Park

David Hooper

Franklin Prestige Park

Peng Family

Sea Breeze Grove or Sea Breeze Park

Aaron Francey

James Matra Reserve






Submission 1:


Submitted by Richard Aerlic – Gilmore Park.

To be named in honour of Dame Mary Jean Gilmore (1865 – 1962), Australian female poet and journalist.   Also features on the Australian $10 note.


No local association identified with Dame Mary Jean Gilmore other than “the portion of Matraville renamed Hillsdale was to be named Gilmore in her honour but was changed to Hillsdale at the last minute as there already was a suburb in NSW called Gilmore”.

Submission 2:

Submitted by Noel D’Souza - Bob Carr Park.

“It must be Bob Carr Park not Barwon Park.” “Bob Carr is the typical Matraville Bloke he came from a working class family went to Matraville High was a successful journalist a great Member for Maroubra and a visionary Premier of New South Wales.”


The GNB offers guidelines for the naming of places and guideline number 7 states:


Names of persons should normally only be given posthumously but the GNB, at its discretion, may approve a feature name which honours a living person. Such a person’s contribution to the local community should have been of outstanding benefit to the community. Ownership of the land is not sufficient reason for the application of the owner’s name to a geographical feature. The GNB will not approve the naming of a feature after a person still holding public office.”


In this instance, the suggested name after the former Premier and Member for Maroubra would appear to satisfy the GNB’s requirements and may be considered as an option.


Submission 3:

Submitted by Kristine Beecroft on behalf of the Matraville Precinct Committee as originator of naming proposal- James Matra Park.

Reasons cited for this proposal include historical, multi-cultural and local input.  The supporting information is further discussed at the end of the proposals section of this report.


Submission 4:

Submitted by Joseph Giles also on behalf of the Matraville Precinct Committee - James Matra Park.

The name is strongly supported by the precinct committee.  “At the same time the grant of $250,000.00 made by the USA to the city for a statue to Matra should be used to erect a statue of hi, on the park”. The supporting information is further discussed at the end of the proposals section of this report.


Submission 5:

Submitted by Judith Flitcroft - MacDonald Park.

This continues the ‘river’ theme used elsewhere in the locality.  Ms Flitcroft advises that the MacDonald River flows into and becomes the Namoi River.




Submission 6:

Submitted by Hanna Orrock - Itchycoo Park.

Suggested that it be named after a ‘Kinks’ song as the park takes on a carnival atmosphere in summer given the areas’ popularity with the Christmas period lights and more recently, Carols in the Park event.  Aslo suggested that ‘i’ words are currently popular.

Submission 7:

Submitted by Betty McMillan - Settlers Park.

Suggested that it be named after the many long time residents of the surrounding area like herself that have lived there for fifty years and the many newcomers that come to settle in the neighbourhood.


Submission 8:

Submitted by A & T Portelli - Lotus Flower Park.

Suggested be named after the use of the area “for growing of flowers by the Smith Family” and also the use of the grounds by Chinese market gardeners.  “We think it would be very appropriate to name the park to the two uses it was put to namely Lotus Flower Park”.


Submission 9:

Submitted by A Vellis & M Rogers - Barwon Park.

Suggested the existing name be kept as “the name Barwon Park has a nice sound and is in keeping with the surrounding streets named after N.S.W. rivers”.

Submission 10:

Submitted by J Scullion - Pearson Park.

A lifelong resident of 76 years, suggested that the park be named after people that helped develop the district. “Wilfred John Pearson and his wife Eva, in 1931 established a market garden on nine acres of leased land and over the next 37 years along with their two sons and their families worked the garden growing flowers, then vegetables during the war years and back to flowers after the war…. Members of the family still live in Matraville around the area of the old garden”.


Submission 11:

Submitted by David Hooper - Franklin Prestige Park.

No substantiating reason given other than horses used to be there.


Submission 12:


Submitted by Peng Family - Sea Breeze Grove or Sea Breeze Park

Suggested that the park be named after the name that Landcom used to promote the subdivision and also for the fact the area receives a pleasant sea breeze as it is close to the sea and Botany Bay.


Submission 13:


Submitted by Aaron Francey - James Matra Reserve.

Suggested that it be named after James Matra as it is the reason for origin of the suburb’s name ‘Matraville’.  Follows the reason submitted by Precinct Committee.


The process of seeking public submissions for the naming of the park colloquially known as ‘Barwon Park’ has returned some very interesting and worthy suggestions making the selection of a single preferred option a difficult task.  Having taken into consideration all the reasons and supporting information, it is considered that John Matra Park would be a suitable choice and one strongly supported by the Matraville Precinct Committee.  The following extracts provide some additional supporting information for this recommended selection.

The GNB offers the following as the basis for the origins of the name of the suburb of ‘Matraville’:


A suburb about 2 km SSE of Pagewood and about 2 km W of Magic Point. Boundaries within the Randwick Council area shown on map GNB3642. Origin:  Named after J.M. Magra (later Matra), a midshipman on board the Endeavour who was rebuked by Cook in his journal on 23 May 1770. The name of the suburb came from a school named Matra, conducted there by J.R. Denison. (Reed, 1969).


The online edition of  Australian Dictionary of Biography has the following entry for James Mario Matra (1746 – 1806):


MATRA, JAMES MARIO (1746?-1806), sailor and diplomat, was born James Magra, probably in the second half of 1746 in New York, son of James Magra and his wife Elizabeth. A member of a prominent Corsican family, Magra senior had migrated to Dublin in the early 1730s and changed his name from Matra. He perhaps studied medicine in Ireland and moved to New York before 1740. By his death in April 1774, Dr Magra had become prosperous, with large property holdings; however, the family lost its wealth in the American Revolution.

According to Evan Nepean, the under secretary at the Home Office, who knew him well, young Magra was educated in England. He entered the Royal Navy as 'Captain's Servant' in May 1761 and served in European waters until the end of the Seven Years War. In July 1764, having returned to New York, he became a midshipman in the Hawke. This and other ships in which he later served undertook peacetime patrols on the eastern coast of North America and around the British Isles.

On 25 July 1768 Magra joined the Endeavour and sailed on James Cook's first great voyage of Pacific exploration. In May 1770, when midway up the coast of New South Wales, suspecting that Magra was implicated in the drunken cropping of his clerk's ears, Cook suspended the midshipman from duty, noting that he was 'one of those gentlemen, frequently found on board Kings Ships, that can very well be spared, or to speak more planer good for nothing'. During this voyage, Magra became acquainted with (Sir) Joseph Banks, and their friendship lasted until his death. The Endeavour returned to England in July 1771. Circumstantial evidence has identified Magra as the anonymous author of A Journal of a Voyage Round the World, which appeared two months later, and which offered some details of Cook's voyage not found in other accounts.

In 1775 Magra petitioned the King to 'take the name and bear the Arms of Mario Matra', so as to obtain a Corsican inheritance. He followed a penurious career in minor diplomatic posts on the fringes of Europe, becoming consul at Tenerife (1772-75), then embassy secretary in Constantinople (1778-80).

Matra became a leading proponent of the idea of establishing a convict colony at Botany Bay. He presented his schemes for settlement to the Portland and Pitt administrations in 1783 and 1784. One of the very few Europeans then alive who had actually visited New South Wales, he testified to the House of Commons committee enquiring into the resumption of transportation in May 1785.

As Nepean's 'Memo of matters to be brought before Cabinet', about December 1784, indicated, when Pitt's ministers considered 'The Erecting a Settlement upon the Coast of New South Wales which is intended as an Asylum for some of the American Loyalists, who are now ready to depart and also as a place for the Transportation of Young Offenders who[se] crimes have not been of the most heinous nature', they were considering Matra's plan. His proposal to colonize New South Wales accorded well with the government's interests in disposing of the convicts, in building strategic resources in the Pacific Ocean and in establishing a trading network linking Asia and the Americas to Europe.

Disappointed in his hopes for a post in his proposed colony, in July 1786 Matra accepted the appointment of consul at Tangier, Morocco, where he was to remain (with some respites at Gibraltar when the plague ravaged North Africa) until his death. His later life exemplified the common lot of American Loyalists who, displaced and poverty-stricken, had to eke out precarious existences. 'I occupy but a small place on this Globe', he wrote plaintively in 1781, '& yet there is not room on it for me'.

In his letters from North Africa, Matra reported informatively on the geography and peoples of the region. He supplied Banks with curiosities; and he assisted travellers sent by the Association for the Exploration of the Interior Parts of Africa. Through the long years of war with revolutionary France, he saw that the British had the food supplies they needed to maintain their garrison at Gibraltar and to keep their Mediterranean squadron at sea.

In October 1793 Matra married Henrietta Maxwell, daughter of the army victualling agent at Gibraltar. They had no children. Matra died on 29 March 1806 at Tangier, survived by his wife.

Select Bibliography

A. Frost, The Precarious Life of James Mario Matra (Melb, 1995), and for bibliography.

Relationship to City Plan

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

Outcome2:       A vibrant and diverse community.
Direction 2A:    Maintain a current understanding of our community needs.
Key Actions:     Regularly consult our community on their needs.

Financial Impact Statement

The financial impact of Council adopting the recommendations is in the order of $8,000 for the fabrication of the required park signs and plaque outlining the historical significance of the name of the park.



It is considered that in view of the history associated with the naming of  Matraville as discussed in the body of this report and supported by many of the parties making submissions on this matter, that Council forward to the NSW Geographical Names Board  a proposal to name the reserve bounded by Barwon and Clarence Streets, Matraville, James Matra Park.




a)     The name
James Matra Park be recommended to the Geographical Names         Board for consideration;


b)     Subject to acceptance by the Geographical Names Board appropriate signage be installed to reflect this change; and


c)     parties be thanked for their valued comments and input.







Works Committee

11 March 2008




Works Report No. W5/08



Subject:                  Removal of Ficus 'Hillii' outside 22 Day Avenue, Kensington

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     




The owners of 20 Day Avenue, 22 Day Avenue and 26 Eastern Avenue, Kensington, have written to Council requesting the removal and replacement of a mature Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing on the nature strip outside 22 Day Avenue, Kensington.




The subject tree is one of a group of eight planted in the nature strip along both sides of this section of Day Avenue that are more than 50 years old. This group of trees are in very good health and they contribute significant visual amenity to the adjacent streetscape.


The tree is approximately 18 metres in height with a canopy spread of around 18 metres. It is growing underneath overhead powerlines and branches have to be regularly pruned to maintain statutory clearances.


This tree has had to be root pruned on at least three occasions to deal with root damage to adjacent infrastructure and major root pruning was carried out less then twelve months ago because of root damage caused to both the adjacent public footpath and the brick fence and driveway of 22 Day Avenue.


The owner of the property has cited a variety of problems associated with the tree, including major plumbing works and sewer upgrades, repeated incidents of root damage to tiles in the property entranceway, replacement of the concrete driveway, modification of driveway gate due to root damage – as well as regular sewer clearances to several adjacent properties by Council’s contract plumber.


The range of problems being caused by the roots of this tree are typical for the species and as the roots increase in length and girth they will only get more serious and more costly to deal with.


Root pruning is only a temporary measure that will affect the tree’s health and vigour in the longer term, as well as allowing the intrusion of pathogens into the root system, and the installation of a tree root barrier is not a feasible option with this particular species of tree.


Relationship to City Plan


The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:


Outcome 10:    A healthy environment.

Direction 10b:   Environmental risks and impacts are strategically    managed.

Key Action:        Implement policies, programs and strategies to manage environmental risks and impacts.



Financial Impact Statement


The cost to remove and stump grind this fig tree and to replace it with a super-advanced 100-litre replacement tree would be in the vicinity of $3,000 and this would come from Council’s annual tree management budget.




The problems associated with this particular street tree are typical of the species and they have been tolerated by the adjacent property owner for well over a decade.


However, they are ongoing and increasing in seriousness and if the tree is not removed at some point in the near future they are likely to cost Council a considerable amount of money throughout the lifetime of the tree.


The problems cannot be isolated and root pruning is only a temporary measure that has both long-term impacts on the health of the tree and liability implications for Council.


The current damage does not justify removal of the tree at this time, but this tree will need to be monitored and if damage increases may need to be removed.




That the Ficus ‘Hillii’  (Hill’s Weeping fig) street tree growing on the nature strip outside 22 Day Avenue, Kensington, be retained but monitored in case more significant damage occurs in the future which may then warrant its removal.





Series of photographs detailing tree root damage and significance of tree in streetscape

4 Pages




Series of photographs detailing tree root damage and significance of tree in streetscape

Attachment 1






Damaged footpath recently patched because of root damage



Recently replaced footpath and driveway slab


Canopy has to be pruned around powerlines



Street light situated immediately adjacent to tree



Tree is significant in streetscape



Streetlight surrounded by branches



Tree is one of eight in particular section of Day Avenue



Recently replaced stormwater lintel and roots in roadway