A: Connell Park is managed by a Section 355 committee of Council which is made up of a representative group of users of both Connell and Bellingen Parks (the committee manages both of these sporting and recreational areas).
Current membership includes representatives from the following sporting and other groups; Bellingen Soccer Club, Bellingen Cricket Club, Bellingen Bulldogs, Bellingen Netball, Bellingen Dorrigo Junior Rugby League, Bellingen High School (all users of Connell Park), Bellingen Dorrigo Senior Rugby League and Bellingen Community Markets. In addition, correspondence is sent to Bellingen Archers another regular user of Connell Park and invitations are regularly extended to join the committee. All users pay set fees and charges for park usage and power.
Committee members have raised the need to upgrade and extend the amenities at meetings but there has been no strategic planning in relation to this; issues identified include inadequate storage facilities and changing rooms. Grant opportunities, including those which fund infrastructure, are promoted to the committee and individual clubs by council as they become available.
At the their July meeting, council staff attended with a letter for the committee stating that they were to be the beneficiaries of the lease fee, minus the power costs, for the Reverse Vending Machine.
A requirement of this arrangement is for the committee to develop a new Plan of Management for Connell Park. Suggestions such as those made above can be submitted as part of the Plan of Management development and engagement.
It should be noted that Connell Park is not the only sporting reserve managed by council (or devolved to 355 committees to manage. We also 4 committees managing 6 fields (Urunga Recreation Reserve = 2 fields; Bellingen Connell Park = 2 fields; Dorrigo Recreation Reserve = 1 field; and Burdett Park = 1 field).