Daniel Donebus, today's guest speaker was introduced by Burmo. 
A graduate of A.N.U. in Commerce and Law, Daniel joined Burmo's law practice becoming a partner and stayed until they both retired a few years ago. Burmo told us that Daniel is the son of Carlo Donebus an Italian refugee from war torn Europe, who arrived penniless in Australia and built up a business as a painter and later property developer. Carlo established a company Damasa, so named after the first letters of the children's names. Carlo died a few years ago and the siblings nor run the company.
Damasa has proposed the largest private development in the history of Wagga and it is this development that Daniel has come to speak about at our Club.
Much work and money has gone into developing this project, which is unique for Wagga. It proposes a multi story office, car parking, apartment and unit living with recreation area, light retail, medical and postal facilities.
The site is bounded by Morgan, Docker, Forsyth and Murray Sts and includes the old car club site. It is 800 metres or a ten minute stroll to the Baylis St, 8 minutes walk to the Hospital and 5 minutes to Collins Park
The concept has been named Civitas, a latin name meaning the body of citizens bound by law, but loosely translated means a community. The old veteran car club site will be replaced by a 6 story building, Piercy Place will become a six story office facility, while the community college site will be converted to 13 townhouses and 188 apartments. 
The development will potentially:
  • provide for 1,000 + white collar jobs.
  • Reinvigorate the main st.
  • Attract interest from our older population due to the proximity of services, medical shopping etc.
  • provide 750 additional car spaces.
Allowing time for questions, Daniel provided a number of answers. Responding to a question about leasing or ownership, he said he wasn't sure about a final decision. Essentially Damasa likes to control their portfolio through ownership as they can maintain a high standard which sometimes slips when others don't have same philosophy. About objections to the development he said that it was disappointing that a small group had raised strong opposition fearing that it would become an urban ghetto. Daniel said this was almost certainly not going to happen as the tenants would be doctors, dentists a butchery and a post office as well as seniors.
Members appreciated the talk and showed this by warm applause following President Jame's vote of thanks.