Our first win! Council voted introducing 3 hours free parking for residents & ratepayers at Extraordinary meeting on Monday night (15/10/12) and now 3 hours free in the evenings as well! This will be a huge boost for local eateries and our wonderful Manly Cinema.
Although the Mayor is taking full credit for the idea we all know that Good For Manly thought of it first as part of our campaign to save the Village and support local retailers. You may recall that in May '12 the Council had on its agenda to firstly kill free parking altogether, and then to introduce a voucher system for shoppers to gain free parking - all of which we strongly campaigned against. By introducing 3 hours free for Manly residents & ratepayers we ensure that our Village thrives all year round and yet we still benefit from visitors paying for parking. Good outcome for everyone.
We are concerned however, that unlike our scheme which proposed using a modified version of the existing Parking Permit Sticker on car windscreens or linking it to the well established e-tag system, the General Manager is proposing a swipe card, one per household, which will be purchased for $20 each.
What do you think?
Spring Cove & Little Collins Beach, Manly
Clr Cathy Grifin was successful in getting Council to agree to develop a Master Plan for the area known as Jump Rock and the unnamed reserve at the end of Stuart St leading to the National Park.
Developers are currently developing the Spring Cove section of the St Patricks Estate. They have committed to work with the National Parks & Wild life Service to improve the path through the National Park to Collins Beach.
As part of this development the unnamed reserve, which was dedicated to the public when the Church decided to apply to develop the Estate to provide access to the national park, a large section will be dug up to allow for various services to be connected to the estate.
The bessa brick fence will be removed and the area will be subject to bush regeneration and some landscaping to preserve the habitats of the water dragons and bandicoots.
This proposal seeks to take the opportunity to improve the public park area and access to the National Park and Collins flat from the Little Manly Point Park whilst other development is occurring in the area.
This area represents a section of the world famous walk from Manly Wharf to North Head and in addition to the thousands of young people who pilgrimage to jump off Jump Rock thousands more walkers and runners pass through the area on their way to or from North Head. It is presently particularly unattractive with unsafe steps, worn mud tracks through the bush and the jail like fence on the cliff edge, damaged and open stormwater drains draining directly into Spring Cove, infestations of weeds, unattractive scrubby plantings and piles litter and human excreta.
However the area is also home to an extraordinary array of wildlife including bandicoots, water dragons, possums, echidnas, and native birds, not to mention the stunning views across Spring Cove to the Sydney Harbour National Park.
The proposal seeks to consult with the Little Manly Precinct and the local residents with the aim of landscaping the area including installing a track off the road below the current fence line from Little Manly Point Park to the unnamed reserve as well as the installation of appropriate safety fencing, seating and a grassed picnic area to take in the view across Spring Cove. Consideration could be given to the location of a public toilet to service the area. (residents are regularly approached by the public with requests to use their toilets)
What would you like to see happen to improve Spring Cove and the adjoining bush area?
Clr Candy Bingham moved a Motion at Council Meeting on 13/11/12 to reinstate permanent access to development information on Manly Council's website as is done by other Councils. This was unanimously passed. The motion was:
1. That the General Manager provide to each councillor a copy of the legal advice/s he has received in relation to this matter from Council’s legal advisors.
2. That given the community’s expectation and right for Council to provide open and transparent access to information, this information be provided to councillors a minimum of 14 days before the next ordinary meeting in December 2012 so that the issue can be addressed at that meeting.
3. That Council call on the Division of Local Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet, to acknowledge the problem facing local councils across New South Wales of reconciling the apparently competing provisions of the Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968 and the NSW Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 regarding the publication and provision of copies of DA plans to the public, and to take a lead role in arriving at a satisfactory solution.
4. That the General Manager also report to the December ‘12 meeting of Council the procedures adopted by other Councils such as Warringah, Mosman. Pittwater & Woollahra in relation to providing full public disclosure of Development Applications on their websites, and present a report on how Manly Council can also resolve this issue.
Here's some background: On 12 March 2012 I lodged a formal complaint to the Office of Information Commissioner about Manly Council not providing access to development applications on their website.
Manly Council received a copy of a letter from the Office of Information Commissioner (Reference IPC12-000132) on 11 April, 2012 stating Council had “misconstrued our guidance” by withholding public information in relation to providing access to development applications on its website.
At the June 2012 Ordinary Meeting Council passed a motion moved by Councillor Cathy Griffin that Council review its process in relation to development applications and consider the permanent publication of reports and decisions on DAs on the Council website.
To date, no report or recommendation has been received in relation to this resolution.
It is acknowledged that the question of whether or not it is a copyright breach to provide copies of development application plans to the community has been an ongoing issue in many councils. Nonetheless it is time for Manly Council to follow the lead of other councils that seem to have overcome the concerns raised.
Despite continual formal complaints since February 2012 the situation still exists where a D.A. cannot be fully viewed on Council's website, nor previous plans viewed should the applicant lodge a Section 96 Application.
Being told that you can "view the application at the Council’s offices, in office hours during the exhibition period" simply is not adequate, transparent, accountable nor acceptable.
This matter appears to have been resolved by other councils including Warringah, Mosman, Pittwater & Woollahra, who have changed their Applicant’s Declaration Terms and provide full access to development applications on their websites so why does Manly continue to restrict access?
Manly Council and the University of Sydney are asking the residents of Manly’s Eastern Hill neighbourhood to help them with an innovative wildlife research project investigating an endangered Long-nosed Bandicoot population surviving on Sydney’s North Head.
Eastern Hill residents are being urged to complete an on-line survey to report their experiences with the Long-nosed Bandicoot
An information sheet (how to identify Long-nosed Bandicoots) and a paper copy of the survey are available from Dr Catherine Price at email@example.com or by calling Manly Council’s Environmental Officer on 02 9976 1500.
There has been a number of recent reports of ticks in the area, particularly at the North Head Sanctuary site, where they live amongst the bush and in the grass. You can pick up an information sheet from the Visitor Centre before entering the site if you have any concerns.
How To Remove A Tick: Remove a tick as soon as possible after locating it. Use fine pointed tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull the tick straight out with steady pressure. If you have difficulties seek medical attention. Do not try to kill the tick with methylated spirits or any other chemicals. This will cause the tick to inject more toxins. If you have a severe infestation by larval stage ticks (often referred to as grass ticks) take a bath for 30 minutes with 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda. (information from the NSW Department of Health)
Note: If you are allergic to ticks, seek urgent medical attention and treatment prior to removal.
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.