The plan to increase no-take ‘Sanctuary’ zones has been ditched, after lobbying by fishing groups. Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair has announced that “fishing lock outs (are) off the table”. The public consultation process, which still has almost two weeks to run, has been marred by misinformation, including a claim that the entire coastline from Newcastle to Wollongong would be off limits for fishing. In fact, only 2.5% of the coastline would have had fishing banned. It’s not clear if the entire Sydney Marine Park proposal has been shelved, or if the less restrictive Special Purpose zones - where recreational fishing is allowed - will still go ahead. Marine activists and environmentalists have reacted to the announcement with dismay.
The state government plans to increase marine parks in Sydney Harbour and up and down the coast. In Manly, both Cabbage Tree Bay and North Sydney Aquatic Reserve would increase significantly in size.
While many people are delighted, fishermen are worried that some fishing spots will become off limits.
Under the proposal Cabbage Tree Bay would increase in size from 18 to 52 hectares. The protected area would be extended around North Head almost as far as Blue Fish Point, and go further out to sea. Blue Fish Point itself would be designated a 7ha Special Purpose Zone, where recreational fishing, and some activities would be allowed. And in a big win for environmentalists, boats would be banned from anchoring in seagrass regions in Cabbage Tree Bay, with courtesy moorings or a designated anchoring area to be considered instead.
The images below show existing reserve on the left; new enlarged reserve on the right. Pink is a Sanctuary no-take zone, blue is Special Purpose - some fishing allowed.
Our other marine park is North Harbour Aquatic Reserve - a section of Sydney Harbour between Dobroyd Head and North Head from Quarantine Beach to Collins Beach. The new proposal would increase this area northwards all the way to the coastline, meaning Manly Cove, Spring Cove, Fairlight and all of North Harbour will be completely included. See images. As well, the new area will have two new sanctuary (no take) zones; one at Fairlight beach and the other in Spring Cove. However, recreational fishing will still be allowed in a small area around Little Manly Point.
The images below show existing reserve on the left; new enlarged reserve on the right. Pink is a Sanctuary no-take zone, blue is Special Purpose - some fishing allowed, yellow is little penguin habitat.
Many people in the Manly community have worked hard for this for years, including Sharnie Connell from the Marine Conservation Society, the Surfrider Foundation, and Manly Environment Centre. Our local MP James Griffin has also pledged his support.
All up the proposed new park would deliver 25 new marine sites in the Hawksbury Shelf Bioregion between Newcastle to Wollongong, including sites at Dee Why headland, Long Reef, Narrabeen Head, Mona Vale, Bungan and Barrenjoey headlands and Lion Island, as well as Chowder Bay, Camp Cove and Nielsen Park. Despite this, 95% of the region remains available for fishing.
More details here for Cabbage Tree Bay and North Harbour Reserve.
The government is conducting a public consultation process, before making its final decision. Have your say by Thursday Sept 27 at https://www.marine.nsw.gov.au/key-initiatives/hawkesbury-shelf-marine-assessment
New ‘Airbnb’ legislation is on its way through State Parliament. It’s an attempt to deal with problems with short-term lets in apartment blocks, and balance the needs of short-stay hosts and their guests, with the rights of other residents in the block.
Owners corporations (body corporates) can now pass by-laws banning short stay letting in investment units, although a 75% vote is required. But it’s a different story for unit owners who rent out their own home - their principal place of residence.
Owners corporations have no power to ban short-stay rentals of a unit owner's own home. There's no restrictions at all if the host is still living there and just renting out a few rooms; but new Environmental Planning Laws will limit the time the entire unit - host not there - can be rented out to 180 days a year.
New ’Two strikes and you’re out’ laws are meant to protect other apartment owners from anti-social behaviour by short term renters. These are yet to be tested.
A short-stay rental usually means anything less than 30 days, with Airbnb and Stayz dominating the market.
Sydney Morning Herald 15/8/18. 'Developer chases $74 million payout in bungled Manly development'. It says:
"The builder contracted to transform a site in Manly's town centre has accused the former Manly Council of misleading conduct for failing to reveal it bungled the contract when the company signed up to the doomed project.
But the new Northern Beaches Council has levelled the blame at the previous council's general manager, Henry Wong, who it claims in court documents was not authorised to enter into the agreement....". More here
The reinstatement of the famous harbour pool and boardwalk came closer this month with a $100,000 NSW Government grant received by the Council to undertake a Masterplan for the area. For years Good For Manly has been advocating for the pool to be reinstated, with plans drawn up by eco architect Maurice Patten. Now, thanks to the support of Local Member James Griffin, this community-lead project is back on the agenda.
The Masterplan will include extensive community consultation and consideration of this environmentally sensitive area. First, here's a reminder of how things used to be.
SEVEN MILES FROM SYDNEY - AND A THOUSAND MILES FROM CARE ...
Picture the excitement as families rushed off the Manly ferry, hurried over the boardwalk and jumped into Sydney’s biggest harbour pool.
Crowds of happy people would be eating ice-cream on the walkway, diving from the pontoons and high boards and spilling off the slippery dips and treadmills; shrieking and splashing.
From the early 1930’s locals and tourists alike flocked to the free public pool, dubbed the ‘best swimming pool in Australia’. Thrill-seekers sought out the high dive platforms and 15m waterslide and a generation of Sydneysiders swam and played in the protected waters behind the shark nets.
There were spacious changerooms and plenty of tearooms for afterwards. At night, from 1932, floodlights above and below the water lit the promenade and turned the water green.
At its peak, over 250,000 visitors came to the baths every year, boosting local businesses which offered fun rides and speed-boat trips, as well as food and drink.
The pool justified Manly’s famous slogan: ‘Seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care’, and the village revelled in its prime holiday destination status.
Originally constructed in 1931 by the Port Jackson Steamship Company, the boardwalk survived the wartime years but, by the mid ‘60s, maintenance needs were rising and there was talk of demolishing the structure.
In May 1974 a severe autumn gale pre-empted the decision and destroyed the boardwalk so thoroughly that then owners, Brambles Industries, had no choice but to remove everything.
YOU CAN VIEW A WONDERFUL SHORT DOCUMENTARY ON THE HISTORY OF THE POOL, produced by local Marian Hambly, HERE
And here's our video of ideas for a new green, family friendly harbour pool precinct. More details here.
Manly‘s iconic harbour pool and boardwalk were destroyed more than 40 years ago when Sydney was hit by one of the worst storms in recorded history.
Manly locals have never forgotten the much-loved swim spot. Finally, we're a step closer to getting it back.
The Northern Beaches Deputy Mayor and Good For Manly President Candy Bingham has spent several years developing a masterplan for the entire West Promenade area.
The plan, put together by architect Maurice Patten, includes a boardwalk stretching from Manly Wharf to the former Sea Life Sanctuary; a huge calm-water swimming area with pontoons as well as a lap-swimming section; an environmental sea-grass area and a little penguin protected zone. On land there would be landscaping and a focus on art and culture, anchored by the existing Manly Art Gallery and Museum; as well as a future use for the aquarium site, vacated by the Sea Life Sanctuary earlier this year.
Now the State Government has come to the party with Manly MP James Griffin announcing a $100,000 heritage grant for the council to take the work further. This will include extensive community consultation, an updated plan and costings for the potential project.
“I’m so excited that this is moving forward,” Cr Bingham said. “There was such a gap when the boardwalk was destroyed, and it’s never really been filled.”
“Manly has always been famous for its ocean beaches, but a lot of people prefer to swim where it’s a bit more sheltered, and they know they are safe from sharks.
“As well the boardwalk would connect up the Federation Point area - where Sea Life Sanctuary was - which gets overlooked. We have the art gallery and cafes and restaurants in a wonderful location there. A boardwalk would make it easy for tourists, and locals, to spread out more and enjoy that part of Manly as well.“
Check out our photo gallery and history article here.
Balgowlah Golf Course will go but homes and bushland will be saved as plans for the Beaches Link Tunnel move forward.
The new focus on the golf course was revealed in State Government design plans for the $8 billion tunnel released last month. It is one of several changes adopted by the government as a result of community concerns.
A change to the alignment of the tunnel means the Balgowlah course can now be used for major construction work and later, as the site of one of the two tunnel ventilation stacks. This move not only saves homes and bushland west of Burnt Bridge Deviation but also moves the stack further away from Seaforth Public School. Permanent infrastructure, including the exhaust stack and a tunnel link road, mean that the site will no longer be viable as a golf course. Instead the government has promised that once the tunnel work is done, it will be reconfigured into playing fields or open space.
Changes have been made at Seaforth as well. The second tunnel access point and exhaust stack has been moved 500m further north along Wakehurst Parkway, as a result of concerns that the infrastructure would be too close to houses and Seaforth oval. The government has promised that Seaforth oval sports fields will not be affected by construction work, and that work trucks will be kept off local roads. As well, Wakehurst Parkway will get wildlife crossing sites, and a new cycle/pedestrian path, complete with an underpass.
Northern Beaches Councillor Sarah Grattan, who has been working closely with community advocacy groups, said while the changes were welcome, more needed to be done.
“(The design) is not perfect by any stretch - but thanks to constructive community advocacy we have a much better proposal to work with,” Cr Grattan said.
She said unresolved issues include the tunnel access site on Wakehurst Parkway, which has not been moved far enough north, and remains too close to homes on Kirkwood St. And the Balgowlah emission stack remains a concern as fumes may be trapped in the ‘Balgowlah basin’. Cr Grattan suggests that airflow should be redirected in the tunnel to push the majority of emissions to the Wakehurst Parkway stack, which is on a ridge, and therefore better positioned for dispersal of fumes. Filtering the Balgowlah stack is another suggestion.
Other concerns include construction traffic and road safety around Balgowlah Boys High School; compensation and transfer options for Balgowlah Golf Club members and the effect of a major construction site in Seaforth.
“The community groups and my colleague Sarah have done an amazing job negotiating with the government so far,” Northern Beaches Deputy Mayor and Good For Manly President Candy Bingham said. “They’ve actually persuaded the government to move the tunnel and save peoples’ homes in Burnt St Seaforth and Serpentine Cres North Balgowlah. And don’t forget the tunnel has been classified as a State Significant Project, which means the government basically has the power to do whatever it likes.”
“Of course some issues remain, but I’m excited that something’s finally being done to help fix our traffic.”
The government has allocated almost $560 million on early work so far, with major construction set to start in 2020 and the tunnel to open in 2026. Promised travel times include 14 minutes between Balgowlah and North Sydney; and 53 minutes from Manly to Parramatta.
The design plan is open for community input until November at www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/sydney-north/western-harbour-tunnel-beaches-link
Discussions are underway between the Manly Surf Life Saving Club and Northern Beaches Council to begin the process to upgrade facilities at Manly's iconic beach.
At the June Council meeting, Deputy Mayor, Candy Bingham, moved that Council prepare a report on:
A full report is expected to be competed by by October 2018.
Some Background on MLSC
Established in 1903 Manly Life Saving Club is one of the oldest surf clubs in Australia. It is situated at the iconic Manly Beach where an estimated 2 million people swim each year.
The Club is run solely by volunteers, and is the largest on the Northern Beaches with 1975 members, including 705 young nippers and cadets, and 670 patrolling volunteer members.
Manly’s volunteer lifesavers performed a total of 16,000 patrol hours and 3,950 water safety hours in the 2017/2018 season. MLSC trains and refreshes credentials of over 800 people each year.
Why A New Building?
The existing building, which was constructed in 1981, is now totally inadequate for the current needs of the Club, and the community. For example, when the Club was built, there were only 30 patrolling female members, there are now 760!
The structure is in an extremely poor condition and provides no disability access.
In addition, the public facilities are antiquated and totally inadequate. For example SurfEducate host 200 schools and run 300 sessions on Manly Beach each year, a total of 15,000 students.
The Bold & Beautiful and other ocean swimming groups can tally over 600 swimmers on the average summer morning. Even in winter these numbers still remain in the hundreds, seven days a week. And of course there are millions of tourists each year visiting the beach.
Some years ago Manly Life Saving Club obtained a Development Approval to substantially remodel the Club, with an estimated budget of $5m required. However, present indications are that a complete rebuilding of the existing structure is required.
Council has committed $550,000 across three community grant streams in 2018/19 and local community groups are encouraged to apply. Workshops will also be held to assist with how to to fill out an application.
There are the categories:
Applicants must be incorporated not-for-profit organisations; however, individuals and unincorporated small groups may apply for a grant but must be auspiced by an eligible organisation.
Each grant program has its own eligibility, objectives and assessment criteria with clear guidelines and application forms are to be completed online. Contact details for each program are contained in the relevant guidelines.
Find out more
Information sessions are being held at Dee Why Civic Centre:
Community and Cultural Development and Events Grants:
Tuesday 3 July, 10am – 12noon
Wednesday 4 July, 6 - 8pm
Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Grants:
Monday 2 July, 10am – 12noon and 6 – 8pm
Two general grant writing seminars will also be held on:
Thursday 5 July, 10am – 12noon at Dee Why Civic Centre
Thursday 5 July, 6 – 8pm at Manly Town Hall
A traffic study and improved pedestrian amenities are planned for Roseberry Street Balgowlah following an initiative by Clr Candy Bingham
It all started when Bunnings and Woolworths decided to open large outlets in Roseberry Street, Balgowlah. A once quite ‘industrial’ street suddenly become one of Manly’s busiest and most clogged roads. Add funky furniture shops, a bigger swim centre with changed parking in Kenneth Road, and the traffic is now chaos.
But alarm bells really started to ring with the news that an Aldi Supermarket will soon operate in the street, together with the opening of the Manly Vale B-Line parking station.
It’s time to sort out the mess! At the last Council meeting, Clr Candy Bingham moved a motion, which was passed unanimously, that Council undertake a comprehensive traffic study of the area. This will include the feasibility and impact of opening up Quirk Road, linking Balgowlah Road to the south and Kenneth Road to the North, an idea submitted by the Greater Manly Resident's Forum.
A concept plan to improve pedestrian amenity and to beautify the area is also proposed.
The traffic study is expected to take 6 months.
Apology to Henry Wong
On 26 November 2016 and 27 April 2017, Candy Bingham published certain articles, and comments by others, about Henry Wong on the Good for Manly website.
On 8 August 2017, at a meeting of the Northern Beaches Council, Candy Bingham made certain statements about Henry Wong.
Candy Bingham unreservedly apologises to Henry Wong for the distress caused to him and his family by those statements, articles and comments and has duly withdrawn the offending materials from the Good For Manly website.
This apology is made as part of a confidential settlement of defamation proceedings brought by Henry Wong against Candy Bingham.
On 18 March 2018 the Greater Sydney Commission announced the finalisation of the Greater Sydney Region Plan - A Metropolis of Three Cities and five district plans, including the North District Plan. North District comprises nine (9) Local Government Areas (LGAs), including the Northern Beaches LGA.
The finalised plans outline the State Government’s strategic planning direction at the regional and district level and are intended to filter down to Council’s planning at the local level.
An earlier version of North District Plan (Revised Draft North District Plan) was reported to Council on 19 December 2017, and Council resolved to forward a submission to the GSC. There is no further opportunity to make submissions or request changes.
Key features of the North District Plan relevant to the Northern Beaches include:
The finalised North District Plan responds to some of the matters raised in Council’s previous submission. Matters that have not been adequately addressed relate to:
The considerable and comprehensive planning work that follows on from the finalisation of the Greater Sydney Region Plan and North District Plan will need to be accounted for in Council’s future programs, resourcing and budgeting.
North District Plan makes reference to a number of planning tasks and deliverables that Council will be responsible for, including:
(Source: Information provided by Northern Beaches Council)
The development of the 'Seaforth Activation Plan' will be commencing in June following a briefing with the Councillors on the planned research and engagement activities that will be used to develop the plan.
This will be managed by a newly appointed Place Co-ordinator for Manly Ward, Deborah Richardson Bull, who will focus on the areas of Manly, Balgowlah and Seaforth village centres.
The role of the Place Coordinator is to work closely with community and local businesses to make our public areas better for the people who use them. The Place Coordinators act as a point of contact to facilitate the effective communication between Council, community and business. There will be a Place Coorinators for each of the five wards of the Northern Beaches.
They are also the key contact point for internal Council teams to coordinate works, projects, events and service delivery in the commercial centres.
The Manly Ward Place Coordinator, Deb Richardson Bull, has been involved in a number of projects already in the Manly ward. These include:
Council rates have been top of the agenda recently with the Northern Beaches Council's Draft Delivery & Operational Plans, Budget and Resourcing Strategy all going on public exhibition this week.
Concerns were raised about the proposed rate rise (with is capped at 2.3%) when many were expecting a rate freeze, or reduction in rates, as was promised as a result of the amalgamation.
In fact, the State Government did enforce a 'rate freeze' but it was on the basis that no ratepayer would have an increase in rates any more than would have been charged by their previous council. Council rates have been capped by the State Government for about 40 years with annual charges calculated based on a local government CPI formula.
Last week Council voted to keep up with inflation. There will be no rate-rise outside of the capped 2.3% suggested by the NSW Government (via IPART) for all Councils across NSW.
This equates to an average of $31 per household per year, which will be offset as a result in reductions to domestic waste charges by as much as $94 for former Manly Residents.
Manly Ratepayer Costs Less Due to Waste Collection Savings
For a standard 80 Litre service the proposed charge for the former Manly ratepayers will be reduced from $630 to $536 which is a 15% decrease or a $94 saving. (The charge for former Pittwater ratepayers would be reduced from $609 to $518 , also a 15% decrease or a $91 saving. The former Warringah ratepayers would be charged $389 which equates to no increase in charges.)
Some Important Facts
It is interesting to note that when the three Councils were amalgamated in May 2016, only Warringah was free of debt. Pittwater had debts of $24,035m and Manly had a whopping $66,350m (including $30m borrowed just days before the amalgamation against the yet to be approved Manly Oval Car Park). This overall debt of $90,385m has now been reduced to $37,821m.
What Have the Saving Been And Where Are They Being Spent?:
The Administrator took the decision to create a "Merger Savings Fund", with savings set aside and allocated to specific projects until 2021.
To date Council has proposed to reinvested amalgamation savings into the following projects:
You can view the Council's Draft Delivery & Operational Plans, Budget and Resourcing Strategy here.
Move. We all need to do it but here on the Northern Beaches, it’s one of our worst problems. Now the Northern Beaches Council is taking the problem on, but they need your support.
The council is developing a strategy that will set the plan for future transport within the whole beaches region.
There’s a lot on the table: roads and traffic; car parking; bus and ferry transport; potential for light rail; walking and cycling and community transport options such as the Hop, Skip and Jump bus.
Interconnecting our transport options and making them work better together is part of the picture too. So is engaging with other transport stakeholders, including neighbouring councils, transport providers and state and federal agencies. And working to generate more jobs in the Northern Beaches to do away with the city commute entirely.
Good For Manly asked our Facebook community their opinion on how to fix our traffic snarls. The options of light rail, dedicated bus transit lanes and separated cycle paths got a lot of support.
So did a suggestion to put up the “house full” sign, despite the fact that our population, housing and job targets are set by the State Government. Sydney’s overarching planning body, the Greater Sydney Commission, estimates the beaches’ population will grow by 18 per cent to just under 300,000 by 2036, so the council is obliged to create another extra 3400 dwellings to meet the target.
And while a rail line is an enticing thought, it is likely the beaches would need to accept sustantial extra development along the line to pay for that sort of infrastructure.
There is still a lot we can do and the council is keen for you to have your say. There are drop-in sessions at:
Manly, Mon 30 April, 6.30 – 8pm - Manly Library, ground floor meeting room.
Dee Why, Sat 5 May, 9am – 12noon - Civic Centre, Dee Why, 725 Pittwater Rd
Forestville, Thu 3 May, 6.30 – 8pm - Forestville Memorial Hall, corner Starkey St and Warringah Rd
And you can contribute your ideas online here.
Life was as good as a Happy Feet movie for five little penguins released at Shelly Beach recently after a stint in rehab.
Footsie, Margaret, Collin, Bondi and Nigel were returned to the ocean last month after being treated at Taronga Zoo wildlife hospital for a range of problems.
The seabirds spent two months recuperating from conditions including a fishing hook injury, a broken foot and dehydration.
Wildlife hospital manager Libby Hall said the penguins had been in intensive care, where they received procedures including radiographs, ultrasounds, surgery and physiotherapy. The birds also used rehab pools to get back to speed with their swimming, before being released into the ocean.
Of the five penguins, only one was rescued from the Northern Beaches. That was Collin, who was found here at Collin's Beach after swallowing a fish hook. The other penguins were rescued from Newcastle, Maroubra, Bondi and Chowder Bay.
Ms Hall said February and March were difficult months for little penguins as it's their moulting season. The birds come out of the water and don't feed, so they can become weak and dehydrated.
She said that now the penguins are back to full health, they are capable of travelling hundreds of kilometres up and down the coast, with Taronga Zoo graduates being found as far away as Victoria.
Little penguins, also known as fairy penguins, are the smallest of the penguin species. Colonies exist around the southern coastline of mainland Australia and Tasmania, mainly on offshore islands. And of course here in Manly, where we are the proud hosts of a colony including about 100 birds - the only remaining colony in mainland NSW.
We’re not there yet, but the Northern Beaches is edging closer to the promised Beaches Link Tunnel and second Harbour Crossing.
The $8 billion tunnel, which will bypass 19 sets of traffic lights at The Spit, Mosman and Neutral Bay, will connect with Warringah Freeway and the planned Western Harbour Tunnel.
Although recent mixed messages from State Government reports suggest the project is not necessarily a “near-term priority”, preparatory work is continuing, including high level consultation with the project team.
Consultation is set to continue with the release of the tunnel reference design in the middle of this year, after which work will start on the Environmental Impact Statement process.
These reports will be made public with extensive community consultation, including several information sessions to be held during the course of this year. Members of the public will be able to make submissions on any aspect of the project.
Manly Ward Councillor Sarah Grattan said Roads and Maritime Services, which is responsible for the project, has already taken account of input from the community, local MP James Griffin and Northern Beaches Council. Issues under consideration include placement of the tunnel access portal on Wakehurst Parkway, extra transport services at Balgowlah and better use of green space near Burnt Bridge Creek.
Good For Manly President and Northern Beaches Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham said she was pleased with the consultation process so far.
“It is clear that RMS is listening to the concerns and alternative solutions raised by members of our community with senior RMS staff, and I would encourage everyone to go to the community meetings later this year,” she said. “But don’t forget that Beaches Link Tunnel is not a Council project - it’s a State project, and although the Council does have a seat at the table, it’s the State Government that has the final say.”
As for media reports that the tunnel has been put on the back burner, Cr Bingham said that was not the message from local MPs or the Premier.
“I know a lot of people are sceptical about the tunnel, but so far things are going as promised,” she said. “The council is listening to the politicians, rather than journalists or bureaucrats, and the politicians are saying the Beaches Link Tunnel is a priority and it’s going ahead.”
FINAL UPDATE: March 27
Locals and visitors will still be able to have a glass of wine while the sun goes down, after the Council adopted a motion from Crs Candy Bingham & Sarah Grattan for an 8pm curfew, and additional measures to control anti-social behaviour at East Esplanade Reserve.
The motion, which was passed last night, is that Council
The purpose of the Safety Management Plan is to ensure that there is a clear direction on how the park is to be managed in the future. This will include consistent signage, liaison with the Police, Council Ranger patrols and lighting for example. An immediate change is that Council landscaping work is set to start in April.
It was pleasing to see that new signs had already been erected in time for the Easter holiday weekend, and Ranger Patrols were scheduled.
UPDATE: Feb 28. At the Council meeting last night Crs Candy Bingham and Sarah Grattan put a four-point motion to Northern Beaches Council. As well as the call for council to monitor the area with night rangers or the deployment of off-duty police, the motion called for a review of the current Alcohol Prohibited Area times with alcohol banned at 8.00pm instead of 4pm, to give locals and visitors a reasonable picnicing window. . The reinstatement of the former Manly Safety Committee which brings together community representatives, councillors, police and other relevant agencies, will reconvene shorty as the Northern Beaches Safety Advisory Committee and will be asked to continue to monitor the situation.
Although Council staff indicated that the budget was available to immediately start the deployment of off-duty police (at a cost of $55,000 vs $14,000 for night rangers) the motion was lost with a deferral to the next meeting moved by Crs Pat Daley & Cr Stuart Sprott who are pushing for a 24 hour prohibited zone.
The matter is now on hold until the next meeting of Council on 27 March 2018.
BACKGROUND: Manly’s beautiful East Esplanade reserve is a crowd favourite for a few drinks as the sun is going down. But ‘the office’ is also popular for parties and drinking late into the night. And that leads to problems including aggressive behaviour, urination in public including in locals’ front yards, and piles of rubbish. The reserve is currently designated alcohol free after 4pm but clearly the ban is not working.
A Manly Community Forum residents’ meeting last week, attended by Northern Beaches Police Commander Superintendent Dave Darcy, and Manly Ward Councillors Candy Bingham, Sarah Grattan and Pat Daley, brought the issue to a head. Many locals said they hated the late-night parties and wanted to know why the alcohol bans were not been enforced by the Police or council rangers.
Good For Manly President and Northern Beaches Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham said while the situation was unacceptable, police resources were limited and they should not be criticised for putting the most serious incidents first. She said the Council should re-introduce night and weekend rangers to patrol the park and deal with low-level complaints.
“Manly Council used to have night rangers, but the service was lost with the amalgamation into Northern Beaches Council” she said. “We need to bring the council rangers back to take responsibility early in the evening, then the police would come in only if they were really required.”
Cr Pat Daley called for a complete 24-hour drinking ban, but an informal vote at the resident meeting clearly favoured limited restrictions only.
Supt Darcy said order maintenance in East Esplanade was “a team game”. He supported the return of night and weekend rangers, and the reinstatement of the Manly Safety Committee. He told the meeting that people should call triple 0 if they see someone acting aggressively, or urinating on private property. For other issues, including loud music or late parties, they should call Manly Police Station.
“Seventy percent of alcohol-fuelled violence in the whole Northern Beaches happens in The Corso,” Supt Darcy said. “We’ve had a huge improvement in that area over the years, but it needs tight policing, and that’s where my priority lies.
Good as Cabbage Tree Bay is, imagine it even better. Manly's favourite snorkel spot will be part of a project to restore Sydney's lost underwater forests. It involves physically attaching starter crayweed colonies to bare rocks in the bay. The crayweed - a form of seaweed which once flourished along the Sydney coastline - has the potential to re-invigorate the marine environment literally from the bottom up.
The project has been made possible thanks to the passion and generosity of local couple Dorset Sutton and Jenny Lim Sutton, and the creativity of scientists at Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS).
The couple's philanthropy has a second focus too - transforming seawalls in Little Manly Cove into complex marine communities.
SIMS Director Professor Peter Steinberg said 50% of Sydney's shoreline is built - mostly in the form of seawalls and jetties - creating an unnatural and difficult environment for sea creatures.
The 'Lim-Sutton Initiative' means seawalls at Little Manly will be retrofitted with 'tiles' containing ribs and protrusions to mimic rocky shoreline habitats, and turning flat vertical surfaces into three-dimensional microhabitats for creatures as diverse as crabs, mussels, sea snails, sponges and algae.
The 'living seawalls' can form the basis of an ecological community that supports marine plants, sponges, algae, molluscs, crustaceans and eventually healthy fish communities.
"Jenny and I are thrilled to be able to help with these two great projects,” Mr Sutton said. “Restoring crayweed and naturalising the seawalls will boost the whole marine community and be a step towards getting these areas back to how they once were."
Professor Steinberg said both projects were part of larger endeavours. He said crayweed (Phyllospora comosa) once formed 70km of underwater forests off Sydney's coast. The thick forests were killed off by water pollution during the 1980s, in an ecological tragedy that went unnoticed for almost 30 years. Now that our water is clean again, it's possible to bring them back. For more information and to help go to www.operationcrayweed.com
Manly Lagoon Park may be lit up all night under a Masterplan currently on display by Northern Beaches Council. The plan is intended to address safety issues for cyclists, runners & walkers who use the park after work. But locals say the proposed 21 6m-high poles, will completely change the parks nature. The poles, which will be similar to 2/3 size street lights, are planned to every 20m along the existing foot path/cycle way.
Local residents worry the bright lighting will encourage late-night drinking parties and scare off native animals. They say that's exactly what happened during the council's lighting trial a few years ago.
The trial, which focussed mainly on low intensity solar lights, found that the low-key lighting was too dim to meet Australian standards.
The light pole proposal has been funded to go ahead this financial year. However community concerns may prompt a rethink. One suggestion is to turn the lights off after 10pm, but that may also fail to meet Australian standards..
More information and your chance to have a say on the Council's website here.
A Manly Hospital Community Workshop was held in early December by Northern Sydney Local Health District and Health Infrastructure to engage with key community representatives and stakeholders, and build on the work previously undertaken by the Manly Hospital Community Advisory Group (MHCAG).
There is broad community support for the Manly Hospital Site to continue to provide health and wellbeing services and the aim of the session was to enable a mapping of the current and projected health services across the District, and identify potential gaps and service opportunities that may be pursued through feasibility and due diligence studies.
Who Is On the Committee?
A number of key community stakeholders including representatives from the Greater Manly Residents Forum and Manly Community Forum, Community Northern Beaches, Bear Cottage, National Parks and Wildlife, Royal Far West, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, One Door (formerly Schizophrenia Fellowship), Northern Beaches Council and Sydney North Health Network attended the meeting and provided valuable input into the workshop. The Local Member for Manly, James Griffin also attended for part of the workshop and was represented throughout.
The workshop commenced with an outline of project governance by Health Infrastructure and an overview of the extended timeline in terms of moving the project forward, commencing with due diligence studies of the Manly Hospital site to occur in 2018.
NSLHD provided an overview of the health services on the Northern Beaches including reference to the Northern Beaches Redevelopment program relating to the new Northern Beaches Hospital, the transformation of Mona Vale Hospital and the comprehensive approach to community health services, with a $100M investment for the establishment of major community health centres at Mona Vale Hospital, Brookvale and Dalwood.
The workshop examined the ‘health and wellbeing’ theme and a range of service opportunities were raised including homelessness; affordable housing generally, including affordable housing for essential service personnel; Big Bear Cottage (young adult respite and palliative care); residential care for younger adults (35 – 50) with complex conditions (i.e. MS); services for the disabled; aged care services and mental health services.
Stakeholders were asked to give thought to a range of considerations such as whether there was duplication of existing services; whether services were sustainable; community access; cost effectiveness; evidence of service need; consistency with service plans of the clinical networks and current & future funding arrangements and sustainability.
What is Happening Now?
Health Infrastructure has commenced procurement for site due diligence and zonal master planning which will start in early 2018 and discussions are underway with National Parks and Wildlife regarding the re-zoned environmental portion of the site (approximately 2 hectares).
Separately, an opportunities matrix will be developed outlining the identified service opportunities, which will then be subject to intensive review and examination of data, analysis, best practice, demand for services etc. This work will then inform a Future Use Options Paper initially, followed by a Project Brief, setting out the service need, development options, costs and processes to deal with the site post November 2018. It’s anticipated this Options Paper will be presented to the Northern Beaches Health Service Redevelopment Project Delivery Board (PDB) by mid-2018.
The Project Steering Advisory Committee will meet monthly to support this process and provide regular updates to the workshop participants, and broader community on the progress of the Study.
After 55 years as an aquatic wonderland, Manly Sea Life Sanctuary has closed its doors for the last time.
The much-loved aquarium has changed its name and focus over the decades, but has always been committed to sea creatures and the marine environment.
When the aquarium first opened as Marineland in 1963, it was the largest in the southern hemisphere and third largest in the world. It contained hundreds of fish, giant turtles and Port Jackson and Wobbegong sharks.
It survived the massive 1974 storm that demolished the harbour pool next door. But in 1987 it was largely rebuilt, and re-opened as Manly Underwater World. It became Manly Oceanworld in 2000 and finally Manly Sea Life Sanctuary in 2012.
While the aquarium has always been popular, the ageing building has been increasingly difficult to maintain. So in March of last year, Merlin Entertainments Group, which runs the Sanctuary, announced it would have to close.
The closure is upsetting for aquarium staff and visitors alike, but it's also a huge logistical exercise.
None of the sea creatures can be released into the wild, so new homes are needed for; 2000 fish, 500 invertebrates such as octopus and sea urchins, 19 little penguins, 11 reptiles and over a hundred sharks and rays.
Options include other aquariums owned by the company, including ones in Queensland, Victoria and Darling Harbour. Some of the little penguins may even be rehomed in the UK.
What comes next depends partly on the RMS, which owns the site.
What memories do you have of visiting the Manly aquarium?
Campervans parked in public and rented out despite having no toilet facilities, may disappear from our streets after rental company Airbnb promised to ban them from its website.
The campervans are hated by local residents, who say renters end up using their front yards as toilets when public facilities are closed over night.
In a recent Channel 9 investigation of the problem Airbnb said it would only accept the vans if they were parked on private property.
Northern Beaches Council is taking action too. They will put up No Camping signs in streets in problem areas, including around Manly Cove. And while the signs are sometimes ignored, as happens near Manly Lagoon, they are better than nothing.
Good For Manly President and Council Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham said it was a win for common sense.
“We need a variety of accomodation in Manly, and that includes cheaper, self-contained options,” Cr Bingham said. “But it’s just not right for renters to have no toilet facilities - especially at night when even the public facilities are closed. It’s not right for people renting and it can be pretty terrible for people living nearby.”
“I’d like to congratulate the local residents’ group Manly Community Forum for their persistence with this problem.”
While signs have not yet been put up, at least one of the vans previously parked on East Esplanade has now been moved to private land.
What’s the best way for the council to collect bulky, household rubbish?
Is it the twice-a-year general clean up that we used to have? Or the system Manly Ward has now where households book their own collections, with up to two free pick-ups a year.
Northern Beaches Council is currently considering tenders for both these collection systems and will make a choice in the next few months.
The general suburb-wide clean up is a great chance to re-use other peoples’ throw outs. But it generates mounds of junk, which is expensive for the council to collect. And the council says research shows that not many items are actually re-cycled.
The booked clean-ups generate much less trash, but the system has been over-loaded, with residents forced to wait weeks before their rubbish could be collected. The Council says that will change. Any tender they accept will guarantee that residents wait no longer than 7 to 10 days when they book a collection.
And if booked collections is the way the Council goes, here’s something to keep re-cyclers happy: Good For Manly President and Council Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham says she’s pushing for Second Hand Saturday to make a come back.
“I would love to see this brought back,” Cr Bingham said. “It would be a suburb-wide event that we advertise well in advance. People can put out anything they hope to recycle, but if it’s not taken away, they’re responsible for it and they have to take it back inside again. That way, the footpath doesn’t end up covered with junk, but there's still plenty of things to recycle.”
Once the Council has decided on general or booked clean ups, the system will be applied to the whole Northern Beaches area.
What is your preferred system and why?
It’s time to reclaim Manly village.
Manly Library, Whistler St car park and the surrounding plazas areas are the true heart of Manly for many locals. Referred to as the Whistler Street triangle, the area is alive with cool cafes and on-trend eating options. But it’s been let down by poor maintenance, multiplying garbage bins, and a lack of viable forward planning.
Good For Manly is pushing for a reset; with a call for a longterm plan, as well as an immediate clean-up and re-furbishment.
“We need to rethink this area,” Good For Manly President and Northern Beaches Council Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham said.
“The Whistler St triangle is right at the heart of Manly Village. Some parts, such as Whistler St car park have just been allowed to run down, and the whole area looks shoddy and un-loved.
“I’m asking Northern Beaches Council to take immediate action to repaint, or at least clean, the outside of the library and refurbish the toilets there and in the car park. Also to get rid of all the garbage bins in Market Lane and around the plaza and provide an area for the businesses to store their bins somewhere else. And to take action on Whistler St car park to improve signage, lighting, line marking and painting."
Cr Bingham said the Manly 2015 plan put forward by the former Manly Council would have revamped the central area, but involved virtually selling it off via a 99-year-lease to developers. The village would have ended up grossly over-developed and with a high-rise apartment block at its heart. That plan also relied upon the development of the Manly Oval car park which has now been discredited and cancelled.
“Thanks goodness that’s not going ahead now,” Cr Bingham said. “With the huge support of the local community we saved Manly Oval and now have the opportunity to revamp the Whistler Stret triangle into something special".
Cr Bingham has put a motion to Northern Beaches Council for a short-term fix, and a longer term plan for the whole Market Place precinct.
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.