Tallong Park History
This short history of the Tallong Park Estate and the
subsequent establishment of the Tallong Park Association was compiled from
early documents held by Lot owners and discussions with early occupants of the
park, as well as the writer’s own experiences as a resident. It seeks not
to be a definitive document but to record for future generations the manner,
and the time line in which the park was established.
After a trip overseas to the United States and
noticing the emergence of gated Estates in that country, Ken Parkinson,
co-owner and developer of Tallong Park, bought the land just north of the
railway line and adjacent to the Tallong Village in the late 1980’s with the
intention of seeking to establish something similar in this region. Ken was a
Fellow of the Australian Institute of Valuers, and a Director in the Company
registered as Taneli Pty Limited through which the land was acquired. The
development progressed under that Company's umbrella.
The land he chose comprised around 892 acres (361
Hectares) and was within walking distance from the Railway Station and just
over one hour’s drive to the cities of Sydney, Canberra and also the NSW South
Coastal regions. It seemed the ideal location for people who wanted a rural
lifestyle, but wished to be within reach of a city.
To safeguard its interests in December 1985 Taneli Pty
Limited obtained approval from the Council to subdivide the property into 3
smaller allotments of about 10 Hectares (25 acres) and 8 larger allotments of
about 40 Hectares (100 acres) each. However the Directors of the Company
considered the development in accordance with that consent would spoil certain
natural features of the land that were of considerable aesthetic quality and thus
not achieve the true potential of the land.
In line with Ken’s developing vision, the then
Mulwaree Shire Council was approached with a proposed concept plan and
negotiations commenced, which, in 1987, resulted in the Council’s approving the
rezoning of the area from Agricultural to Rural Residential. It took a further
2 years of extensive surveys, planning and consultants’ reports on soil, water
runoff, native flora, fauna, and Aboriginal site locations before the
Government gave final approval in March 1989 for it to be rezoned as a Rural
Residential Estate, which is how we know it today.
A Master Plan was then prepared for the 892 acres that
allocated 275 acres to wild life reserves and common areas. Initial plans were
for 175 home sites, each of some 2.5 acres. This was later amended to 169 sites
that varied in size from the original 2.5 acres up to approximately 10 acres.
Included were plans for around 18 km of walking trails around and throughout
the Estate. Streets were designed to ensure that adjoining neighbours had
adequate privacy, and all buildings were to be built to a certain high
standard. Covenants were put in place (including our Section 88B Document,
which was reviewed and finalised on the 28.11.1995) to make sure this happened.
The plans included a Security Gate to give a sense of
protection, and keep out unwanted traffic. It was decided a Caretaker would be
employed to ensure that maintenance was carried out on the Estate. Recreational
facilities such as a Swimming Pool, Tennis courts, Golfing Fairways and Greens
and two lakes would be developed after each of the four stages of development
work achieved completion and the Lots subsequently sold. It was envisaged that
“water of a quality and quantity sufficient for bathing, washing and gardening
requirement… will be reticulated to all Lots while drinking water will be from
individual Lot owners roof catchment areas”. Two holding tanks were proposed,
one (near Lot 101), filled via a pump from Barbers Creek and the second (near
Lot 124), with a pump from a spring fed creek near one of the nearby lakes.
These would both be connected to gravity feed a common distribution line to
service the estate. Electricity would also be made available for each
It should be noted that the then Mulwaree Shire
Council modified some of these items during the approval process of the
subsequent Development Application.
A “Stellar Year”
for our Estate.
On the 29th March of that year, through the
offices of R J Kell & Co Pty Limited of Goulburn, advice was given to
Taneli Pty Limited that the Development Application No: 1403 “Proposed Tallong
Park Development” “Sub-division of Lands” had been placed before the Mulwaree
Shire Council at its special meeting held on the 21st March 1989.
It stated that the “Council noted that the necessary rezoning had been
carried out to permit the proposal and resolved that the Development
Application be approved, subject to the following conditions”. Some 21
conditions were then listed which the developer had to comply with. Some of
these conditions are included in our current Constitution and the Associations
As part of this process of approval the then Council
adopted the “Development Control Plan No 2” which details how the development
was to proceed, and be in accord with Section 72 of the Environmental Planning
and Assessment Act of 1979. This changed some of the proposals of the original
(The Mulwaree Shire Council was amalgamated into the
current Goulburn Mulwaree Council in 2004. The amalgamated Council then, on the
20th September 2005 did by Minute No: 05/501, adopt the Goulburn
Mulwaree Development Control Plan No. 14 “Tallong Park Estate”. That Plan was
derived from the original Development Application No: 1403 and the Development
Control Plan No 2, detailed above.)
The first Constitution governing the Estate was drawn
up by the offices of Hunt and Hunt Solicitors in 50 Bridge Street Sydney in
early 1989 and submitted as annexure “F” attached to the Documents applying for
Incorporation of the Association. The constitution has subsequently undergone
some changes to reflect changing requirements of the Association over the
On the 4th day of August 1989, our
Association officially came into being with the Certificate of Incorporation
being signed under the seal of the Corporate Affairs Commission under the
Association Incorporations Act of 1984.
In autumn of 1989, Lots 1 to 32, in Stage 1, were
presented for sale and even though there were only dirt roads and no electricity
or reticulated water on the Estate, there were plenty of keen buyers in search
of the peace and quiet of the district.
The first constitution of the Association provided for
a management committee made up of four members of the development company (Taneli)
consisting of the office bearers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, and
Treasurer) plus one ordinary member elected by the landowners. The first AGM
was held on the 26th July 1990.
It was held in Sydney in the offices of Hunt and Hunt
Solicitors. There were 12 Lot owners present. Anecdotal evidence from one of
the Lot owners present indicates that at that AGM there was a Committee of 7
appointed, with Peter Warren as President, Ken Parkinson as
Secretary/Treasurer, (both representing Taneli) and 5 Lot owners. This seems
not to be in accord with the Constitution of 1989, which states otherwise.
Also, anecdotally, it has been suggested that the Taneli office bearers were
given overriding voting rights at meetings, to ensure the Estate would develop
without interference, and in accordance with the special conditions set down in
the purchase contracts for prospective buyers. However, the other Committee
member/members were able to make suggestions to facilitate the development.
The Balance Sheet presented at that first AGM shows a
Balance of $50,018, being land valued at $50,000 plus interest from the
Associations Trust Fund of $18.00. The maintenance levy on Lot owners was set
As land was sold, Taneli placed a portion of the sale price
into a Trust Account in the name of the Association and the facilities were to
be progressively provided as each stage was sold. This policy continued through
until December of 2003 by which time all the Lots had been sold. Money in
the Trust Account earned interest, which was transferred into the “Working
Account” and those funds were supplemented by an annual levy to finance the
running of the estate on completion of all of the development. Ken and his wife
Margaret moved into the then Caretaker's cottage on the Estate and Ken did all
the Caretaker’s work, plus he ran his own Taneli business.
By the middle of 1991 several homes were under
construction and the first few residents were moving in. Power was available in
July / August of that year but prior to that at least two families were using
gas for cooking and lamps for lighting and had to keep perishable food in the
only refrigerator on the Estate, which was in the office complex.
Upon the sale of Stage 1, work commenced on the development
of the facilities with three Golf Fairways constructed, two on the Office side
of the roadway and one on the opposite side. Ken Parkinson maintained these.
These were followed by one Tennis Court. Volunteer labour built a Bar-B-Que
down next to the Creek near the current Pump House. A “get together” social
Bar–B-Que was held once a month which allowed residents to get to know fellow
Members and gain a knowledge on what plants were likely to grow and survive the
sometimes harsh winter weather conditions of frost with the occasional dusting
of snow, and the sometimes hot dry and dusty summers with the strong
Native animals resident in the area apparently also
took a liking to the new gardens planted and proved to be quite destructive.
The monthly “get together” with its Bar-B-Que survives to this day and proves
to continue to be popular with both old and new members of the Association.
Back then residents also held fund raising events, such as Christmas in July
functions and progressive dinners with the money raised put aside to supply
such things as seating for the Swimming Pool area when it was built.
Which brings us to the next major infrastructure item
to be started: the Swimming Pool. At a cost not exceeding $45,000
(included in that costing was the provision of power to the pool site at a cost
of some $9,000, leaving just $36,000 for the pool itself) the pool, which was
to be provided at the completion of the sale of Lots in Stage 2, originally was
intended to only be half the size of the current pool. It was not to be either
heated or enclosed. The Committee of the day met with Taneli and suggested that
the pool would be useless if built to Taneli’s design. This was a good point
considering the windblown leaves, pine needles and the resident ducks and wildlife,
which would quickly make it their home. However, the sale of Lots in Stage 2
was very slow, and in one period of two years only one allotment was sold. This
held up the development of the facilities due to lack of funding, and to keep
the project going Taneli decided to open up Lots for sale in Stage 3, that were
on more level ground and somewhat more attractive to prospective purchasers.
However, this meant that under the conditions of providing the infrastructure,
Taneli was not under any obligation to begin construction of the pool complex
until all of the Lots in Stage 2 were sold.
After discussion it was resolved that changes to the
design of the pool would be made. It was further agreed with Taneli and
subsequently passed at a Special Meeting that due to the slow sales of Lots in
Stage 2, money would be borrowed from the Capital Fund (known then as the Trust
Fund) to put towards making the pool what it is today. It was suggested
that this would provide infrastructure that would boost sales considerably.
This money was to be replaced by increasing the levy to pay back the Capital
Fund over a period of time. It is to the credit of the Management Committees
that all that borrowed money has now been repaid, and the pool, which was completed
in 1999, has proven to be a great asset to the Park and a most enjoyable place
for all to use.
Much of the work in constructing the pool and the
enclosure building was done by volunteer labour, which helped to contain costs,
while the monies raised by the members allowed for chairs and tables to be
purchased and placed inside the pool enclosure. Unfortunately, damage sustained
to these items caused them to be removed from inside the building and
surveillance cameras installed to record any vandalism or anti-social behaviour
activity inside the area.
Taneli was then “persuaded” by the members to make a
special contribution of $5,000 for materials, which allowed the outside deck to
be built by volunteers, once again keeping the costs down.
In the original plans for the infrastructure it was
proposed that several practice golf fairways and a second tennis court would be
located at the other end of the Park, close to the area now known as the North
Lake. However, after the incidents at the pool, the residents, the Committee,
and indeed Taneli could see that it would be much more sensible, convenient,
and cost effective if all further development of facilities were located in one
place at the front of the Estate, where security would be better. Taneli then drew
up plans for a further six golf fairways and a second tennis court with the
plans circulated to all Lot owners. A Special Meeting was then held and the new
plans passed in May of 1999. The (now well accepted) tradition of members
volunteering their labour enabled the construction of the watering system for
the Golf Course.
The use of volunteer labour has been so successful
that over the years it has largely produced the magnificent Course as it now
stands, with nine greens, and 18 Tees in place. It is the most significant –
and most valuable – asset on the books of the Estate. Thanks to the hard work
of volunteers, the golf course, the heated swimming pool and the installation
of lighting on the tennis courts have all been completed to add considerable
value to the investment of each Lot holder. A wonderful effort by all involved.
Ken Parkinson stood down from the Caretaker’s duties
and a Caretaker was employed in 1993, moving into the now vacated old Caretaker’s
cottage. Ken Parkinson and his wife then commenced to build their own home in
Stringy Bark Avenue. About that time an Office Assistant was also
employed to deal with the Association business that had previously been taken
care of by Ken. The Caretaker’s hours were later increased to full time employment
with the office then opening three days a week. This was due to the Estate
growing quite rapidly with the subsequent extra maintenance as well as the
considerable administrative work in the office required to keep the Park
Ken Parkinson’s vision was to develop a community
where the residents could enjoy a rural lifestyle with private space, enjoying
the clean air, in a secure natural environment, and all this on an Estate where
residents would be within easy travelling distance from cities and the
coast. A place where all residents could work and live together in
harmony with a lifestyle catered for by all the leisure activities and
facilities that we have today. Most would agree that his dream has been largely
Ken resigned from Taneli in 1998 but continued to be
employed as consultant and project manager. He collapsed while working on the
Estate and sadly later passed away in Goulburn District Hospital on the 22nd
of October 2001. He was buried in the Tallong cemetery (Row 3 Plot 1) and
a plaque erected in the front Reserve area as a memorial to Ken and his
Working with the developer:
It must be said that the spirit of cooperation in
bringing this project to a satisfactory conclusion was helped to a large degree
by the level of voluntary labour provided by members of the Association. This
effort was much appreciated by Taneli and resulted in Taneli investing a
considerable amount of additional funding into the Park, which they had no
actual contractual obligation to do.
To illustrate let me quote from a memo from Taneli
dated 13 March 2002 with respect to their relationship with the residents, the
Committee of the day, and Taneli:
“The success of this relationship can be evidenced
by the results the committee has been able to achieve with the developer over
and above that which the developer was contractually obliged to deliver.
Specific examples of outcomes in excess of the
contractual obligations are:
We brought forward the construction of the pool even
though Stage 2 had not been completely sold.
The total cost of the pool was approximately $55,000
against a contractual commitment of $45,000. We note that since the completion
of the pool in early 1999 the developer has continued to pay the electricity
account for the pool facility. In addition the developer continues to pay the
electricity account for the office building. We note that these accounts for
the quarter ending 8 February 2002 were in excess of $1,000.
of road access to the two Lakes. At no stage was there a contractual commitment
to provide vehicle access to the Lakes.
of lighting to the tennis courts at a cost of $17,500 to improve the overall
functionality of the tennis facility.
of new front fences
contribution to the cost of the timber deck near the pool. This project was a
good example of all parties making a contribution to a project which was never
a contractual commitment. Several residents were actively involved in the
completion of the work and gave of their time freely for the benefit of all
contribution to the cost of a new mower. This contribution was in recognition
in advance of the support the developer was offered by the committee and
several residents to help complete the front area facilities after the death of
the developers project manager.
sealing of the contractor’s road. The developers view was that this road would
not exist at the end of the project. Committee members believed it would be
practical to maintain it.
of an additional water storage tank – cost in excess of $20,000.”
In December 2003, Taneli had completed all of their
contractual agreements and the Tallong Park Estate was handed over to the
members as owners of the common areas and facilities. A new Constitution was
presented to the members removing all reference to Tanelli and its authority,
and placing the election of office bearers and members of the management
committee completely in the hands of the members of the Association. The new
Constitution was approved at the December 2003 AGM.
Since those early days, many other improvements
have been made in the Estate. Some of those improvements include:
The demolishing of the old Caretaker's residence with a
new home built to replace it
The demolishing of the old “shearing shed” which
served as a workshop at the rear of the Office complex and the building of a
new workshop and compound in its place
Internally upgrading the Office building with new
carpet in the office section
with floor covering and air-conditioning installed
in the meeting room area
The replacing of the decking adjacent to the tennis
The two lakes have been stocked with fish
The development of picnic areas with Bar-B-Ques and
picnic tables at the two lakes
Security cameras have been installed at the front
Solar Electricity panels installed to reduce the costs
of power to run the Estate
The developing of good corporate governance to ensure
The writer would like to pay tribute to those who have
volunteered their labour to assist in bringing the accomplishments listed above
to fruition, and to those individuals who have volunteered over the years to
serve on the Committees, spending many hours attending to the administration of
the Estate. Tallong Park is a credit to you all.