Thanks to the hard work of a community committee comprising local residents and artists, the iconic Oceanides sculpture at Fairy Bower, known by locals as the 'sea nymphs, will be reinstated in long lasting bronze.
The committee, made up of Hugh Burns, Heather Potts, Wendy McCready, Julie Bakalor, Candy Bingham, Sherree Hooper, Sharon Curby and Janne Seletto, has successfully matched the $40,000 pledged by the Northern Beaches Council.
"We have been blown away by the passion felt by people in relation to this sculpture. The crowd-funding raised almost half the additional $40,000 needed, and the sale of limited edition miniature sculptures has ensured the funds needed have now been raised," explained Candy Bingham, Head of Fundraising for the project.
Feature stories in the Manly Daily and Sun-Herald spread the word, and more than 10,000 promotional flyers were distributed in local letterboxes promoting the crowd-funding website.
In addition, the Northern Beach Council supported the campaign by erecting a large "Save Our Sea Nymphs" donation sign at the entrance to the Fairy Bower pool.
The project was accepted by the Federal Government's Australian Cultural Fund, which enabled donations to be tax-deductible.
Artist Helen Leete worked tirelessly with the Committee, donating her time and talents to produce two miniature sculptures of the Sea Nymphs, which were available in 23cm and 50cm. Only twelve of each will be produced.
The launch of the fundraising event, took place at the Bronze Sculpture Gallery at North Head on Friday night (31/3/17) with students of Helen Leete providing the catering and the Manly Art Gallery providing its full support with the loan of glasses, a lecturn and donation box. By the end of the evening the final funds needed were quickly secured with the sale of the 50cm miniature sculptures selling out.
"The project has been a wonderful example of how the Council and its community can work together to get the outcomes they want, and really highlighted for me just how much art is appreciated in this area", Candy Bingham added.
Clive Calder of the Bronze Sculpture Gallery and Foundry at North Head will cast the replacement sculpture, which is hoped to be back in its proud position overlooking Fairy Bower Pool in time for next summer.
Well done Manly!
The Northern Beaches Council released last week a review of the Dog Parks in the Northern Beaches following representation by dog owner groups last year that there were inadequate off-leash areas.
It was revealed that there are a staggering 43,000 registered dogs in the Northern Beaches. It is unclear how many homes have dogs as many homes may have more than one dog.
Interestingly the report found that Council believed that the off leash dog areas within the Northern Beaches LGA was adequate as there is a higher supply in comparison to four similar sized local government areas in Sydney, and residents are able to access these areas with no more than 10 minutes driving time.
Dog owner representatives argued however that most of these areas are overcrowded, and do not provide adequate facilities.
Current Locations of Unleashed Dog Exercise Areas
Currently Council provides 26 Unleashed Dog Exercise Areas in the three regions including:
1. Hitchcock Park, Careel Bay
2. Dearin Reserve, Newport
3. South Mona Vale Headland (Robert Dunn Reserve)
4. Progress Park, Narrabeen
5. Rowland Reserve, Bayview
6. Mackerel Beach Reserve – from the public wharf north to the boundary with the National Park between
sunrise to 9.30am and 5:00pm to sunset
7. McCarrs Creek Reserve, McCarrs Creek – trial unleashed dog area allowing for unleashed dogs at the western
end of the reserve on weekdays (excluding public holidays) only
8. Deep Creek Reserve – Unleashed Dog Training Area
9. Forestville Memorial Playing Fields
10. Currie Road, Forestville (near Forestville Park)
11. Beverley Job Reserve, Narraweena
12. Flora and Ritchie Roberts Reserve, Griffin Road, Curl Curl (Curl Curl Lagoon)
13. John Fisher Park, Adams Street, Curl Curl
14. Hinkler Park, Pittwater Road, Queenscliff
15. Truman Reserve, Cromer
16. Griffith Park, Long Reef
17. Frenchs Forest Showground, Frenchs Forest
18. LM Graham Reserve, Fairlight
19. Lagoon Park, Queenscliff
20. Manly Cemetery, Fairlight
21. North Harbour Reserve, Condamine Street, Balgowlah
The Council committed $400,000.00, over four years, to be spent to improve facilities for dogs and their owners.
Manly Lagoon Issues
A site specific issue has been identified following complaints concerning dog usage of Manly Lagoon at Queenscliff Bridge. The boundary between the two former Councils at this location was the centre of the Lagoon. The southern bank of the Lagoon formed ‘Manly Lagoon Park’ which is a designated unleashed dog area. However, dogs enter the water at this location and often encroach onto the northern bank and into private properties opposite. One resident informed Council at the meeting that it was not uncommon for dogs to enter his property, even his home, from the other side of the Lagoon.
There is also a playground, barbecue facilities and a cycleway at Manly Lagoon Park which can cause conflicting issues with dogs off-leash. The Council has undertaken to investigate these areas further.
Following months of negotiations, the Northern Beaches Council will terminate the Development Deed for the construction of the Oval Car Park, although negotiations still continue on the cancellation of the development deed for the redevelopment of the Whistler Street site, which was dependant on the Oval car park being built.
Cartoon by Buddy Ross in Manly Daily sums the issue up well.
This follows an extensive investigation into the process undertaken by the former Manly Council which was headed by General Manager Henry Wong. Mayor Jean Hay and her Liberal bloc of councillors should also be held accountable for allowing the project to proceed. They continued to ram it through despite continued warnings by independent experts that it was fatally flawed.
The cost of cancelling the car park project contract with Abergeldie was $580,000 plus an initial contractual payment of $200,000. Add to this more than $500,000 spent developing the project including consultants reports, traffic studies and environmental assessments, interest payments together with the recent independent reports that led to the scrapping of the car park at $94,000 and the total known cost is $1.5m. However the money lost abandoning the project was nothing compared to what it would have cost if this flawed project had gone ahead.
The Northern Beaches Council has undertaken to release the two independent reports by Ernst & Young and Value Networks, which were commissioned to investigate the matter. However, this is not likely now until August as negotiations continue with Built & Athas. It is expected that these reports will vindicate independent Councillors Candy Bingham (Good For Manly); Barbara Aird & Hugh Burns; (Manly Independents) and Cathy Griffin (Greens) who fought long and hard against these developments, in addition to the Good For Manly Association and Save Manly Oval Alliance.
Whistler Street Redevelopment Still On the Table
The termination of the former Manly Council Development Deed for the redevelopment of the Whistler street site, including the Library, is still unresolved. The Northern Beaches Council will enter into a six month Negotiations Deed with Built & Athas, who won the tender to redevelop the site.
The purpose of this ongoing negotiation period is to find a "mutually satisfactory outcome" in the hope of avoiding a lengthy and complicated dispute with the developer.
During this time Council proposes to review "identified issues including parking, design, value for money, traffic flows, library, approvals required, community participation and procurement considerations".
So the focus now is on the future of the Whistler Street site. What would you like to see happen?
While locals were busy preparing for Christmas, the controversial development application for the Manly Vale Primary School was approved 3 to 2, by the Sydney North Planning Panel.
From a community school of 460 students to a 'super' school of 1,000 students. Is this the right location?
A further 3.65ha of bush at Manly Dam Reserve is to be lost to make way for a mega school, despite the fact that planners believe the new school could be built on the existing footprint, using two and three storey classrooms (as has been done successfully at Harbord Primary).
The former Warringah Council was strongly opposed to the plans in its current form, and Northern Beaches Council Administrator, Dick Perrsons, campaigned strongly against the loss of bushland.
The three year battle has seen the school community divided. Supporters of the $22.7 million development, which would make room for 1000 students on the site, have praised the decision as a win for education.
Parent Stephen Hancock in a previous statement on this blog (13/3/16) said that since getting unprecedented funding in the 2014 state budget, this project has been through an extensive two year design process ensuring the dilapidated 60 year old facilities are updated to a genuine 21st century learning environment.
Those against, including the Save Manly Dam group and the former Principal of the school, David Tribe, believe the loss of precious bushland is unnecessary. Furthermore they claim the site is not suitable for such a large school population due to inadequate local streets, and concerns regarding the evacuation of students should a bush fire occur.
At the core of the issue is the fact no one can argue with. The existing 60 year old school is dilapidated and badly in need of an upgrade. Students are currently housed in demountables, with 65% in temporary accommodation. All the other facilities such as library, canteen, hall and toilets are inadequate and not acceptable in their current condition.
It is understood that the Department of Education is about to call tenders for the new development. But with the appointment this week of Rob Stokes (Member for Pittwater) as the new Minister for Education, there is a slim chance that the Northern Beaches Council could have the matter reviewed, due to ongoing planning concerns.
Two major projects were announced by the Northern Beaches Council this week utilising $14m allocated for major projects that improve community infrastructure and services, provided by the State Government as a result of the amalgamation of the three former Councils.
Connecting the Northern Beaches
An iconic coastal walkway from Palm Beach to Manly will be created over the next two years connecting existing walkways with an additional 8km of new pathways and 14km of shared pathways. The 36km walkway will include an extensive council-wide cycle way and shared path network connecting with the B-Line (bus service). Total: $22.3m.
Connecting all through Play
This comprises firstly, the creation of a regional network of inclusive accessible playgrounds including two major new all abilities playgrounds at Manly Dam and Lionel Watts Reserve Frenchs Forest, and upgrades to play areas across the northern beaches to make them more inclusive. Total: 6.3m.
And secondly, further funding for the upgrade of sporting facilities and Surf Life Saving Clubs for priority upgrades to improve accessibility, inclusiveness and the critical role of surf lifesavers. Total: $4m.
The first round of Commuity Grants, totalling $537,690, were also announced with 25 community organisations receiving funds to support various projects ranging from bushcare to social impact programs. It was noted that about 1/3 of the grant funds were allocated to programs for those with disabiliies.
You can download more details on each of these projects from the documents below:
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.