The reality of the consequences of the Manly Oval car park has now stirred up Club officials of the Manly Marlins Rugby Club who have launched an on-line petition to Save Manly Oval. Sign at: www.manlyrugby.com.au
As reported in the Manly Daily, Marlins Vice President Anthony Bergelin confirmed that the lodged development application for the car park showed a reduction in the size of the playing field by 3.5m, which is totally unacceptable.
With the size of the oval already at its minimum, this major change will make the playing area unworkable according to the Merlins.
Quoted in the Manly Daily Anthony Berlin said it was the Club's intention to meet with the Northern Beaches Administrator and the independent consultants reviewing the process to "outline some very concerning aspects of the development process".
In the meantime the Oval looks like a bog with the $millions spent on works to install a detention tank earlier this year seeming to only exasperate the condition of the ground, as the recent photos below clearly show.
An independent report on the Oval Car Park and Whistler Street redevelopment plans, pushed so vehemently by the then Mayor Jean Hay and General Manager Henry Wong against strong community opposition, is expected to come to the next Northern Beaches Council meeting on 9th August, which will be held at Mona Vale.
The Office of Local Government has now confirmed that the former Manly Council meeting on April12, at which the public were locked out and tenders were awarded for the construction of a car park under Manly Oval and the 99 year lease of the Whistler Street Car Park and Library sites - was illegal.
Further, Dick Perssons, the Administrator of the new Northern Beaches Council, has commissioned Ernst & Young and Value Network to facilitate an independent review of the projects, following continued concerns raised by Good for Manly, the Save Manly Oval Alliance and hundreds of concerned citizens.
This independent review was announced just days after submissions closed for the Development Application of the Oval Car Park, which in turn was lodged just two days before Manly Council was officially amalgamated.
Concerns Over Lack of Process
Over the past four years Good For Manly has raised serious concerns about the way in which Manly Council undertook the process of developing the Manly2015 Masterplan which originally proposed a 760 space car park under Manly Oval and the 99 year lease to a developer of the Whistler Street car park site.
On the 12 April, behind closed doors and with no pubic notification, the Liberal majority on the council voted for a 500 space car park (not 760) and the 99 year lease of both the Whistler Street car park AND library sites. The redevelopment proposal was new to the Councillors and was nothing like the submissions made during the Expressions of Interest process, in fact some would argue it was a 'non-confirming tender'. It had had no public exhibition for feedback, was quite different from anything previously exhibited and the proposed development exceeds the current height limit for the site.
Non Compliant Running of Meetings
Add to this two years of complaints to the Office of Local Government (OLG) by Clr Candy Bingham that the General Manager, Henry Wong, was systematically refusing to put legitimate motions on the business paper - and you get an idea of just how dodgy the process has been.
In the business paper for the Northern Beaches Council meeting on 7th July, (see copy below) a number of letters from the OLG addressed to Mr Wong, dating back to June & July 2014 , are attached. These clearly state that the Council's Code of Meeting Practice was not compliant with statutory requirements and needed to be updated. It never was, and the GM continued his practice of rejecting legitimate motions.
In addition the OLG's letter dated 10/6/16 addressed to the interim General Manager of the Northern Beaches Council raises serious issues in relation to the meeting of 12 April which was held in the absence of the public to consider tenders concerning Manly2015 Masterplan.
It is pleasing that the new Administration is taking the matter seriously by commissioning an independent assessment. The final report is expected early August.
In the meantime the DA process for the Oval Car Park will continue with independent consultants Fox Partners assessing the submissions on behalf of Council. Their report will be peer reviewed.
The high level of open and transparent government now operating under the new Council is a joy!
Council’s Hop Skip & Jump Bus service will temporarily extend its Monday to Friday routes during the middle hours of the day, to transport people to Shelly Beach reserve along Bower Street to the car park, and return.
This will also enable easy access to The Boathouse restaurant.
The temporary service will operate during weekdays until the public walkway is restored for public access.
Temporary Bus Timetable – Manly to Shelly Beach and return tripLocation Pick up Times – Monday to Friday only:
(opposite Manly Wharf outside Crinitis Restaurant)
8.36 am; 9.36am; 10.36am; 11.36am; 12.36pm; 1.06pm; 2.06pm; 3.06pm
Shelly Beach Car Park
8.42am; 9.42am; 10.42am; 11.42am; 12.42pm; 1.12pm; 2.12pm; 3.12pm.
In the meantime Sydney Water has inspected their sewer line which effectively runs underneath the old footpath.
Discussion are now in progress between Council, Sydney Water and the Catholic Church as to the scope of works required to bring the walkway back into public use.
It is hoped that public access will be reinstated with the next two months.
Upgrading Sydney Water’s North Head Sewage Treatment Plant - Latest Update
In the independent consultant’s report that was considered by IPART it was stated: “The case for two digesters appears to be based on growth projections to 2036” and the report listed the projection table below as one of three “KEY DOCUMENTS REVIEWED”.
This is an interesting table but it is
Let us look at the details:
This means that IPART based its recommendation on false data.
What is the current state of affairs?
Where does this leave us?
At the present time Sydney Water captures about 30% of the solids that arrive at the plant - the rest is pumped into the ocean. If Sydney Water does not have the equipment to process the sewage then it would appear that one of the following options must occur:
These options are totally unacceptable.
We have some questions for our Premier and local member, Mike Baird.
Mr Baird can you tell us:
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor, Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations & community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.