What is a Plan of Management

    The Local Government Act (1993) requires Councils to prepare Plans of Management (POM) for all land classified as community land. All public land is required to be classified as either 'community land' or 'operational land'. The Local Government Act allows for one or more areas of community land to be covered by a single POM. Some parcels such as Rathmines are covered by a specific POM due to its significance.

    What is a Master Plan

    A Master Plan is a long-term high-level plan intended to provide guidance for Council and the community on how to manage development and change over time.

    Morisset Showground

    Morisset Showground has been a much-loved community facility since 1936. The showground provides for a diverse range of activities including the annual Morisset show, equestrian events, dog shows, monthly markets and short-term camping and caravan stays.

    Council’s role

    Having taken responsibility for managing the Crown Reserve in 2019, Council is now embarking on plans to guide the showground into the future.

    This is an opportunity to further build on the site’s strengths including its history, location close to public transport and M1 and unique role as the only showground in the Lake Macquarie LGA.

    What is the purpose of the issues and Opportunities Paper?

    The purpose of the Issues and Opportunities Paper is to review and
    analyse the existing situation and potential future options for Morisset

    The Issues and Opportunities Paper will inform the overall Morisset
    Showground Plan of Management and Master Plan which are forward
    planning documents that provide for the next phase of the site and its role
    within the Lake Macquarie community.

    What are the emerging visions and principles?

    The outcomes of the consultation activities held in late 2020 and area based discussions highlight a number of principles and an overarching
    vision for the area which are presented, in draft form. It is these
    overarching principles and vision that will also be used to further develop
    future stages of the project.

    Draft vision

    Into the future Morisset Showground will continue to be a place that is available and accessible to a wide spectrum of the community, which recognises and embraces its history, and provides a hub for a variety of community groups and visitors to enjoy events and activities within the space.
    Morisset Showground will be managed in ways that enhance and accentuate its natural environment with improvements being simple, effective and flexible to enable the area to continue to evolve and grow with the broader Morisset area over the long-term.

    Draft principles

    1. An enviable event site
    2. Defined and balanced spaces
    3. Historic showground identity
    4. Something for everyone

    What are the strategic directions?

    The eight themes below are presented in the Issues and Opportunities Paper  in terms of the existing situation, the key opportunities identified to date, and future opportunities / options that may be available for further consideration in the Master Plan and Plan of Management.

    The draft themes are:

    • Showground use 
    • Events
    • Community and sporting facilities
    • Equestrian and related activities
    • Camping and tourism
    • Passive recreation and public use
    • Indigenous and European heritage
    • Environment and sustainability

Information on the Public Hearing

    What are the categories for community land?

    The Local Government Act 1993 requires all land owned by Council which is classified as community land to be categorised.  Community land may be categorised into one of the following categories; natural area, sportsground, park, area of cultural significance, or general community use.  Community land categorised as natural area is to be further categorised as one or more of the following:

    • bushland
    • foreshore
    • watercourse
    • wetland
    • escarpment
    • a category prescribed by the regulations.

    What is the relevance of categories in relation to use and management of community land?

    The Act sets out ‘core objectives’ for each of the categories and sub-categories.  The core objectives outline the approach to management of the land covered by the particular category.

    What are the proposed changes to the land categories for Morisset Showground?

    The draft Morisset Showground Plan of Management proposes to re-categorise an existing area of land previously categorised as “General Community Use” to “Natural Area Bushland.” The Natural Area – Bushland category applies to the area where native vegetation is proposed to be retained.  The area has identified threatened flora and fauna species and with the exception of access/ bushwalk trails and interpretation, this area is identified for retention in their natural state.

     Refer to page 24 of the Draft Plan of Management for a map of the proposed categories.

    What is a Public Hearing?

    Under Section 40A of the Local Government Act 1993 Council must hold a public hearing regarding the proposed re-categorisation of community land.  There is no requirement for a public hearing for the Crown owned land under Clause 70A of the Crown Land Management Regulation 2018.

    The public hearing is an opportunity to provide feedback specifically on the re-categorisation of land.  Feedback on the draft Morisset Showground Plan of Management and Master Plan should be made by a submission (online, email or written). 

    Note: Public hearings regarding categorisation or re-categorisation of community land are not related to reclassification. Reclassification is when community land is re-classified as operational land that can then be managed differently and has the ability to be sold by Council. Community land is protected under the Local Government Act and cannot be sold.