Should Nos 34 & 36 Stuart Street on Little Manly Beach be sold? Frankly, I don’t know but I'm certainly not in support of this rash and rushed decision which was passed on Monday night (11/2/13) by the Liberal majority.
As a Councillor I have not been given any alternative options; I haven’t seen the plans for the park that Council commissioned for this land less than 6 months ago; I have no idea what the land would be worth once it was carved up into even smaller parcels; I don’t know what other assets Council has that could be sold to meet any shortfall; I don’t know how much Council has raised in Section 94 Contributions specially for this Little Manly area.
…… in fact as a Councillor I’ve been given absolutely no information to support this sale. Where is the due process in this matter? Why isn’t Council following proper procedures?
No’s 34 and 36 Stuart Street were purchased for the express purpose of one day being incorporated into a new community park, and they have been reserved for ‘Open Space’ for approximately 50 years.
The message that ‘rates will go up and Council can’t afford this plan’ is misleading. Council has many assets on its books which could be classified ‘surplus to requirements’ – why aren’t we investigating the option of selling another asset rather than foreshore land. Where is the due process in making this decision?
The Mayor, Jean Hay, has decided these properties will be sold to pay off the debt of Council's purchase of No. 40 Stuart Street which is the land closest to the existing reserve. Where is the open and transparent process in this decision? Where is the community consultation? What are our other options? Why are we selling such a valuable asset to justify the purchase of another? It just doesn't make sense.
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor & 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.