Manly's getting its crayweed back.
Crayweed, a form of seaweed, will be replanted in Cabbage Tree Bay in a locally-funded SIMS (Sydney Institute of Marine Science) initiative.
The crayweed, which formed dense underwater forests along the Sydney coastline, provides food and a habitat for fish and marine invertebrates. But it disappeared sometime during the 1980s due to high pollution levels. The ocean is clean now, but the forests won't come back without our help.
Local residents Dorset Sutton and Jenny Lim Sutton are supporting a replanting operation in Cabbage Tree Bay. Operation Crayweed Manly has now been approved by the Department of Primary Industries and will start early in 2019. Healthy adult crayweed from existing populations will be transplanted to deforested rocks in Cabbage Tree Bay and attached using biodegradable mesh. The technique has been successful in many other Sydney sites, with crayweed reestablishing itself and recolonising the area. And once the crayweed is back, crayfish, abalone and a huge array of other fish and invertebrates come back too.
More details here, including opportunities to help.
It is concerning that we are losing more and more of our precious bushland and open space on the Northern Beaches.
Manly Warringah War Memorial Park (Manly Dam) is a good example. Part of this magnificent park, which is crown land, is zoned residential due to an anomaly when the Warringah LEP was updated in 2011.
Two other parcels, also zoned residential, are owned by Sydney Water and share the boundary with the park on three sides, and should be incorporated into the Park.
In a letter to the Manly Vale Public School in October 2016 the then NSW Premier, Mike Baird, said that “the NSW Planning Minister is currently looking at ways to increase the conservation status of bushland within the Manly Warringah Memorial Park. One option is the conversion of the Park into a state park”. (That happened on 7th April 2017.)
The then Premier also said “the Government will transfer a parcel of land owned by Sydney Water at Seaforth and adjacent to the War Memorial Park, back to the park.” I think everyone just assumed this had been done. But it hasn’t happened yet – and we need to act now to protect it.
With the support of the Mayor, Michael Regan, Manly Ward Councillor Candy Bingham, has been successful in having the Council agree to commence the planning process to have these parcels of land rezoned from Residential to Recreational. And it is hoped that Sydney Water will also agree to have their land included in the boundaries of the Park.
This corridor of land which is situated at the north east corner of the intersectin of the Wakehurst Parkway and Kirkwood Street, Seaforth, is not pristine bush, but it serves the purpose of protecting the integrity of the park. It includes a part of the Wakehurst Golf Course, a section is traversed by the circuit trail for cycling and walking; and the land plays an important function in protecting the Manly Dam Catchment, and is part of a wildlife corridor.
A further two parcels of land on the fringe of the park in King Street Manly Vale and Wandella Road, Allambie, are also to planned to be rezoned to recreational.
The Save Manly Dam Community Group also need to be acknowledged for their tireless work to protect this special park.
It will take years for the Northern Beaches LEP to be completed which is why we need to get on with this rezoning from Residential back to Recreational to protect this very important area from redevelopment.
Old Manly Hospital site has locked in its first project. It’s ‘Big Bear Cottage’, a hospice and respite care centre for young adults with life-limiting illnesses.
Bear Cottage, located just down the road, can’t take patients over 18 years, meaning these sick young people often end up in geriatric hospital wards. Now, there will be an alternative, with the State Government unveiling a design plan for a young adult hospice last month. It features public areas, bedrooms for about eight patients, sweeping harbour views, and privacy - as a result of its proposed location at the back of the old hospital site.
Images: Hospice design plan, including games room.
The government is gifting the land for the hospice, and has committed to providing $2M in running costs every year, but most of the funding to actually build the facility has come from donations. An extraordinary $25M has already been raised, guaranteeing the project will go ahead.
The hospice, which will be the first of its kind in the state, will not only provide a much-needed service, but will help establish the hospital site as a community health precinct.
Manly Hospital closed on October 30, with medical services transferring to the new Northern Beaches Hospital at Frenchs Forest. its magnificent hill top site, which is owned by the State Government, is valued at around $500 M. The current Liberal government has promised the entire site to the community, either as bush land or as a community health precinct (see image below). Which facilities end up on the site are yet to be determined, with community members actively involved in the decision-making process. The government has promised the site will not be sold for residential development.
Image: Provisional old hospital site map: yellow area marked AYAH - the hospice; green areas - return to bush land; blue areas - future community health facilities.
Manly is set to get the surf club we deserve, after the Northern Beaches Council approved a plan to knock down and rebuild the existing Manly Surf Pavilion building.
Northern Beaches Councillor and Good For Manly President Candy Bingham, who has been campaigning for the project, said she was delighted that the work would go ahead.
"When the existing club building was built in 1981 there were only 15 female patrolling members," Cr Bingham said. "There are now 760."
"It is the largest club on the northern beaches, and it's not only used by club members, but by the Bold & Beautiful swimmers and other community groups."
"Storage facilities are completely inadequate and the public toilets under the building are a disgrace. The toilets are over 40 years old, but they're used by more than 2 million beach goers every summer. Every day I get complaints about the state they're in.
"The great thing about this project is that the whole community will benefit. We'll get the new toilets and we'll also get community facilities in the new building," Cr Bingham said.
Manly SLSC itself is 115 years old, and has occupied various buildings before the existing one. In 1981 the clubhouse was actually on the beach and could be accessed directly from the sand.
The club also has a huge collection of historic surfing artefacts and memorabilia. It's now in storage as there's no room to put it on display. The images below show: Frank Hurley's iconic image of the club and shark tower in the 1950s; Manly surf reel and long boards; surf life saving demonstration c1910.
The Council will carry out community consultation before a design is selected, and will soon invite expressions of interest from architects.
Cr Bingham said she would like to thank Manly SLSC members and Council staff for their work so far, and Manly State MP James Griffin, who is sourcing State Government funds for the project.
Work has started on the $12 million revamp of the St Matthews end of The Corso. The Anglican Church, which owns the seven shops adjacent to St Matthews, has commenced a major rebuild of the properties.
Work commences Corso Shops Artist's Impression of New Works
The historic facade on the first floor will be kept, but behind that will be new kitchen facilities, a row of flexible meeting rooms and offices. The set-back second floor, not visible from The Corso, will contain a 180-seat auditorium with a kitchen and cafe. There will be a large new basement for storage space.
At ground level, the row of shops will have ‘consistent’ frontages and signage, with the church looking for up-market tenants, including ‘iconic’ clothing brands, and a high-end coffee shop. Manly’s much-loved chemist Malouf’s Pharmacy, which was in that row of shops and was forced to relocate, will be offered a spot.
The work will take up to a year to complete, but the experience will be softened with a mural coming to replace the existing ugly hoardings.
It’s official - our beaches are very good.
The latest State of the Beaches report rated all 32 Northern Beaches as either ‘good’ or ‘very good’ in terms of water quality and swimability.
The State Government’s annual report showed that northern peninsula beaches did particularly well, with Palm Beach, Whale Beach, Avalon, Bilgola, Newport, Bungan and Mona Vale beaches all scoring ‘very good’ - the top mark.
South Curl Curl was also rated ‘very good’, while all the rest of our ocean beaches, including Freshwater, Manly and Shelly beach, were rated ‘good’.
Our harbour beaches did well too - with Clontarf and Forty Baskets pools, Fairlight Beach, Manly Cove and Little Manly Cove all rated ‘good’. All of these were the same as the previous year, except Clontarf, which improved.
Good For Manly President and Northern Beaches Councillor Candy Bingham welcomed the result.
“The water is such a big part of our life here on the Northern Beaches, so beach and water cleanliness is incredibly important to us,” she said.
“This is a good result, and the council will keep working to improve the stormwater network and continue with bush and creek regeneration so our beaches stay clean."
Our garbage collection is getting greener - with food waste set to be turned into compost under a new council waste management plan. And in a double win, the new system will cost ratepayers less.
Northern Beaches Council has signed a contract with waste management company SUEZ to process the entire contents of residents’ rubbish (red lid) bins. The process, which will be carried out at SUEZ’s Eastern Creek facility, will first remove any recyclable plastics or paper products. Organic matter will then be separated out and turned into compost material for use in agriculture and mine site revegetation.
The council originally envisaged residents sorting their own food waste and disposing of it in the green lid garden vegetation bin along with plant and lawn cuttings. However the new strategy means all food waste will be recovered, with no need to rely on residents doing the right thing.
The council selected SUEZ in August last year as a result of a tender process, with the new service to start in July 2019.
Council Deputy Mayor and President of Good For Manly Candy Bingham welcomed the extra recycling step.
“The new process will recycle 70% of what gets thrown into the garbage - whether it’s food waste, or paper and plastics that are in the wrong bin,” Cr Bingham said. “That’s a huge amount of material diverted from landfill and retuned to the economy.
“This is a major step by the council to recycle as much as we can, but there’s still a big role for individuals to play, in not throwing away so much in the first place. ”
The Council will also get a new fleet of garbage trucks after a 10-year contract was signed with United Resources Management (URM) earlier this month. The new vehicles will have up-to-date safety features, emission-controlled engines and fully enclosed covers for the loading ‘hopper’.
As well the Council will introduce a separate metal collection; and will work with local community groups to separate out and retrieve valuable items, such as furniture and white goods, from kerbside collections.
“Everyone I talk to has been inspired by the ABC’s War on Waste,” Cr Bingham said. “I have no doubt the community will work together with the council to recycle, reuse or repair - rather than tossing things that just go straight into landfill.”
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 confusion and unfounded concerns that fishers would be 'locked out' of all their favourite spots. In fact, only 2.5% of the coastline would have had fishing completely banned, and many popular fishing spots were specifically excluded from proposed sanctuary zones. Marine activists and environmentalists have criticised the back-down and vowed to continue the fight for a Sydney Marine Park.
7/9/18 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.
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.
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.