June 9 - 15, 2013: Issue 114
Pittwater Residents Trying To Save Beeby Park
During the past weeks we have been approached by residents regarding the green and wooded space beside the Scout and Guide Halls at Mona Vale. We spoke to Cr. Jacqui Townsend yesterday (8.6.2013) regarding this matter and our Mayor said that herself and the General Manager will be having a Meeting to discuss Beeby Park this coming Thursday, 13th of June.
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Beeby Park is crown land that is predominately taken up by the Mona Vale Golf club, however there is a small parcel of Beeby Park on the corner of Golf Avenue and Barrenjoey Rd that is set aside for community use. This part of Beeby Park sits within the Kitchener Park Plan of Management site, adopted by the previous council in 2009. It is the most Northerly point of the park.
Beeby Park currently has informal parking for approx 20 vehicles. These spaces service the Guide, Scout and Dance groups who use the built facilities next to the park.
The reason initially given for the very quick decision to move on this project was the fact that a new, much needed parking facility is due to be built behind the Post Office in Mona Vale, and with this construction, 60 car spaces would be removed from the town centre. The actual Agenda for this traffic committee meeting 9th April 2013 was difficult to find on councils website.
There are some concerns from Pittwater residents of the legal use of Crown Land being used for car parking. This is being followed up via the Department of Crown Lands. There is also a great concern among residents of the loss of community green space within the Mona Vale suburb. We know that Beeby Park falls within the mapping zone for Bio Diversity within the Pittwater area, and Bandicoot scratchings are very evident around the area. It serves as an important wildlife corridor, the bandicoot population on the eastern side of Pittwater Rd are dependent on these last remaining green spaces in Mona Vale. This car park design will see the removal of 53 Casuarina trees some of which have a girth as wide as our embraced arms. If you add this to the number of trees to be removed in the POM for Kitchener Park the total exceeds 200 trees. This is excessive and we do not believe this has been allowed to happen in any other Park area in Pittwater. Beeby Park forms the most northerly point of the green buffer zone along Pittwater Rd, a view that I am sure a great many commuters enjoy on their morning bus ride into the city. The aesthetic value of such a green belt is enjoyed by many in our community and was commented on in a positive light by the landscape architect recently involved in the Heritage Study conducted by the council.
A great many people have said they would not park here if they were going to do their shopping, it is too far from the town! And it must be noted that they are not permitted to park here as any parking in Beeby Park must be ancillary to the recreational use of the reserve.
We should look at preserving what is left of our valuable green spaces in and around our town centres and developing clever plans that retain green space. Good planning now, will make Pittwater an even nicer place to live. Perhaps it is time to reassess the Plan of Management for Kitchener Park so that we create something that all in the community can use and be proud of.
Over the last couple of weekends nearly 700 signatures have been collected supporting not building a car park on this land particularly in light of the fact that it possibly goes against the Crown Lands Act. It has been wonderful talking with the community and realising how many like minded people live in Pittwater and affirming why we live in Pittwater.
To: Councillors of Pittwater,
Please accept this as our Committees strong objection where Pittwater Council is proposing the destruction of this lovely little Crown Reserve in Mona Vale known as Beeby Park located on the corner of Golf Ave and Barrenjoey Rd (near the Scout Hall).
The following points to consider: -
• Research has now shown the subject site has Historical Significance as it was the original "General Cemetery" for Mona Vale or the “Village of Turimetta” as it was then known.
• Mid June 2013 Council proposes to start work removing nearly 60 well established trees and bulldozing most of the site for a 77 vehicle interim car park as stage 1. Stage 2 is planned for a future date with at least another 15 car spaces added, nothing will be left of this prestige site except bitumen and vehicles.
• Council has delivered flyers to local residents stating Council are planning to commence work on the Beeby Reserve carpark mid June 2013. The work involves the reconstruction of the existing carpark. (See diagram). This suggests that the only work that is being done is rebuilding the current carpark to make it better, and not expanding any further.
• Many residents are extremely concerned by this statement, as the “Existing Carpark” is an informal dirt surface, which currently provides parking for approx. 20 cars. The “new” carpark is for 77 cars, this is 4 TIMES THE SIZE OF the “Existing Carpark”, and this is only stage 1.
• One resident has said when he phoned Pittwater Council he was told "Oh don’t worry the work is to only redevelop the existing small little car park near the Scout hall" . Again as with the Council delivered flyer this is definitely not consistent with the scope of the proposed works. Local residents many of who are saying to us "Why is Pittwater Council Lying to us about this carpark"?
• See attached for Council’s letterbox drop and a Google image of the site showing the “Existing Carpark” in yellow and the “New Carpark” in red, it's at least 4 TIMES THE SIZE, and this is only stage 1, stage 2 will see at least another 15 car spaces added.
• This new carpark cannot be used by “Shoppers” or “Park & Ride” commuters as it is Crown Land and any parking on the site can only be to support or be ancillary to the Reserves purpose of sport and recreational purposes to which it relates.
• People we speak to then say “Well why build it then, there’s no need, the informal parking at present works just fine”.
• A number of people from within Pittwater Council have inadvertently given away the apparent motive for building this Beeby Reserve carpark. They have said it must be built ASAP to provide parking for “Shoppers” and existing users of the Bungan Lane carpark behind the Post Office, when it closes later this year for reconstruction to a multi level carpark. The term “Interim” carpark appears in current 2013 Council reports which also state another 15 car spaces (minimum no doubt) will be added at a later date. This “Interim” carpark for Beeby Reserve we feel is a knee jerk reaction to Council’s failure to have provided sufficient carparking infrastructure in previous years. Council were told previously that the Bungan Lane Carpark (which currently provides 57 car spaces only) should have gone down 2 floors underground at the same time the adjacent Gateway Building was being constructed as it went down with 2 floors underground parking, however Council chose not to and the opportunity to do this is now lost. Council were also told there should be 2 floors of parking under Pittwater Place but chose not to, and that opportunity is also lost. Now the community are expected to accept a “Knee Jerk” proposal to destroy a “Historical Reserve” when the motive to rush it through and build this carpark is flawed as Council’s apparent intended use of the Beeby Reserve new carpark is not permitted by the Crown Lands act as the parking will not be supportive or ancillary to the recreational use of Kitchener Park and therefore cannot be used by “Shoppers”.
• The Plan of Management states to build this carpark will cost $552,500. Isn’t this a shocking waste of ratepayer’s money that could be better well spent on a host of many other things in Pittwater, not building a carpark that basically no one wants and isn't needed?
• We have been collecting signatures (nearly 700 now) on petition sheets and nearly all people we approach have not even heard of this proposal due to start mid June. The hit rate is an outstanding 98% of people sign the petition opposing the carpark and want it to remain as it is now.
• The Scouts and Girl Guides who are outdoors based organisations will lose a beautiful play and activity area including but not limited to the following activities: - Egg Hunts, Around The World, Tip, Red Light Green Light, Spy, Chasing Games, Wide Games, Capture the Flag,Scavenge Hunts, Bull Rush, Erecting 4 Person Tents, Queen of The Hill and Practising for Clean Up Australia Day. It should be noted that no Council reports to date have ever acknowledged this and this is concerning as many objections in 2009 for the Draft Master Plan did mention this very issue. Mona Vale Girl Guides now have 50 + Guide and Junior Guide members with the Avalon Guides closing who now travel to Mona Vale.
• There has not been a Traffic Report done to indicate what turn over of vehicles per hour and the likely impact this will have on Golf Ave and the intersection with Barrenjoey Rd. Many locals are very concerned by this as the location is very busy, dangerous as it is now and also has a bad accident history, some fatal. This should be investigated and a Report provided.
• The subject site is identified as a Wild Life Corridor in Council’s mapping system and is home to many native animals and birds. In just 2 hours on a Saturday morning we identified Egret birds, Magpies, Native Minor Birds, flocks of Rainbow Lorikeets, Bandicoot evidence and the remains of a Ring Tail Possum possibly attacked by a Powerful Owl. Loss of habitat is a considerable concern in this matter.
• We have a request to review Council's Environmental Impact Statement when complete for this site and of course will need time to read it and raise any concerns we might have prior to works commencing, we feel this is reasonable.
• Council already has approval to build the 5 storey carpark in Bungan Lane rear of the Post Office which will start later this year, there simply is no need to destroy this lovely little green buffer on this corner for a bitumen parking lot.
• Attached are photos of the site showing the beautiful setting which will be completely destroyed by the car park. Once it's gone it's gone forever.
• Budget Funding for this carpark is to be voted on at the Council Meeting 24 June 2013. We are asking that the Councillors please raise a Motion to defer any decision on the portion of the Budget for this project to allow for more Community comment and feedback to come in. Our committee considers this is a reasonable request considering what is at stake with this park and that our research is showing 98% of the people approached do not support this project.
• Our Committee has today just set-up an online survey with a number of questions and the opportunity for respondents to type comments as well. We feel Council should defer any progression of this carpark until such time that the results can be compiled and presented to the Council. We also feel as people respond they may broaden their comments and what they say may be beneficial to the up and coming Mona Vale Masterplan, which would be useful for Staff to consider when developing the Draft in the future. Council is elected to represent the views and wishes of the community and we feel this is now an excellent opportunity to consider the views of the community in relation to this car park and Mona Vale in general.
• Our Committee has just completed a submission with 10 questions attached which Rob Stokes will be presenting to the Deputy Premier and Crown Lands Minister the Hon. Andrew Stoner. We are asking please put the brakes on building this car park until such time that a reply from the Minister and feedback from the community can be submitted to Pittwater Council for consideration.
• Our Committee has made an appointment with the General Manager for Thursday 13 June 2013 to discuss this proposal. It is our understanding that a number of Golf Ave residents also wish to attend the meeting objecting to the proposal.
• When Golf Ave near the intersection with Barrenjoey Rd some years ago had an “S” bend inserted so that it became aligned with Park St a considerable portion of this site “Beeby Park” was lost to the roads new position. The portion of the old road that was then redundant on the north side of Golf Ave is now used as a carpark for 20 vehicles. Beeby Park already provides parking for 20 cars on a dirt surface near the Scout Hall. Beeby Park therefore provides parking for 20 cars off site (due to the land swap and loss by the realigned road) and another 20 cars onsite near the Scout Hall. We feel that Beeby Park already has given it’s fair share of providing parking for 40 cars and Pittwater Council should not be proposing another 77 + 15 car spaces which will then see the whole park gone for carparking and that Pittwater Council should just leave the site and the trees alone. See image attached explaining this.
• Pittwater Council used to be a "Green Council", a Council that preserved trees but what has happened in proposing destruction of a Historic Reserve in this manner.
• Has the Council lost it's way, many people in the Community we speak to are now saying this and it is a shame and disappointment to hear particularly when the catch cry being spread around at the moment in relation to Amalgamation is that Pittwater Council was set up for the People of Pittwater, and our research is clearly indicating the People of Pittwater DO NOT WANT THIS CARPARK.
Save Beeby Park Committee
A survey for all residents of Pittwater - see link here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/pittwater
Any questions please email us at :- firstname.lastname@example.org
Some Background Information
Beeby Park was gazetted on 8 August 1910. It is thought, but not confirmed, it is named after George Beeby a New South Wales politician who was a member of the Legislative Assembly from 1907-1913 and 1917-1920. He was a member of the Legislative Council from 1916-1917. He held various ministerial posts, including that of Lands Minister where he was in the practice of handing over land to local Councils.
A NAMELESS PARK. It is rather unfortunate that no official name has yet been adopted for the park near the Post Office, and recently vested in the Municipality of Lismore. Too much time is lost in describing the place …to convey, an idea' of where it is. We have Coleman Point, Coleman bridge, Fawcett bridge, Spinks bridge, Stocks park, and Girard's Hill…. So me think 'Hindmarsh’ park would not be too far out, while others pronounce with vigour in favour of ‘Beeby’ park, since it was during Mr. Beeby's administration of the Lands Department that the park was handed over to the Council A NAMELESS PARK. (1913, March 29). Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72404587
BIOGRAPHIES. SIR GEORGE BEEBY. Sir George Stephenson Beeby, KBE., of Sydney, Chief Judge of the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, was called to the Bar in 1911 and in 1920 was appointed Judge of the New South Wales Arbitration Court and President of the Board of Trade. He was appointed to the Commonwealth Arbitration Court Bench 13 years ago. He was formerly a member of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales and of the Cabinet. BIOGRAPHIES. (1939, June 8). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), p. 19. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article46397610
Portrait of Mr. G. S. Beeby, 1912, nla.pic-an23198551 courtesy National Library of Australia
SIR GEORGE BEEBY DEAD. SYDNEY, Sun: Sir George Beeby, who retired last year as Chief Judge of the Commonwealth Arbitration and Conciliation Court, died on Saturday aged 73. Sir George Beeby was born in Sydney on May 23, 1869, and when 14 he began work in a bulk Iron store. Subsequently he was in turn a schoolteacher, stenographer, account-ant, and journalist. Finally he studied law and was admitted to practice as a solicitor in1900, being called to the Bar of NSW in 1911. He was a member of the State Parliament from 1907 to 1920. Upon the formation of the National Government by Mr Holman late in 1916 he became Minister for Labour and Industry. At the general election in March, 1917, he was returned again to the Assembly for Wagga.
Sir George Beeby was a judge of the Arbitration Court of NSW from1920 to 1926. He become a member of the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Court bench, and in March,1939, was appointed Chief Judge of the Court in succession to the late Chief Judge Dethridge. Three months later he was created a KBE. Sir George was the author of several plays published in Australia and a satirical comedy in verse, "The Quest of Pan." SIR GEORGE BEEBY DEAD. (1942, July 20). The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11986622
From Warringah Council Minutes of Meetings records:
Cr. Hewitt moved - That the Black Swamp Reserve at Mona Vale Swamp be named "Beeby Park". Cr.Nicholas seconded. Carried. Tuesday 29th of October, 1935.
51. Lands Dept., 2/12/35, advising that the Department Beeby Park no objection to the adoption of the proposed name "Beeby Park" for Black Swamp Reserve, and the plans and records of the Department have been noted accordingly. "Received"
By Cr. Hewitt - Could I have 20 feet allotted me along the Allen Street portion of Beeby Park for the purpose of planting 20 trees? 13/7/1937
Cr. Hewitt reported that the Mona. Vale Golf Club was prepared to plant and protect 120 Norfolk Island Pines and 20 New Zealand Christmas Bushtrees on Beeby Park, provided the Council supplied the trees. Resolved- That consideration of this matter be deferred until the President reports to next meeting. (Crs. Nicholas, Ross). 27/7/1937
Mona-Vale Golf's Tree- proposal for tree planting on Beeby Park , as stated by Cr. Hewitt at last-meeting, resolved, - That consideration of (a) be deferred to: the treeplanting Committee. (b) Resolved, - That the-Council 'purchase for the Mona Vale Golf Club 120 Norfolk Island Pines and 25 New Zealand Christmas bush Trees, at an estimated cost of £9. (Crs. Hewitt, Hughes) 10/8/1937
72. Mona Vale Golf Club, 16/2/39, requesting an extension of the Club's occupancy of Beeby Park at Mona Vale for a Mona Vale period of ten years from 20th October, 1940, such occupan to be on the same terms and conditions as at present for he Golf Club first five years, the position then to be reviewed and an equitable rental arranged should the condition of the course justify it. Elul:Eel, - That the Club's request be approved. (Cts. Nicholas, Butcher) 21/2/1939
Mona Vale Garbage Scavenging District. Commencing at the high-water mark of the Pacific Ocean at the south-eastern corner of Reserve No. 45244 for Public Recreation (Beeby Park or Black Swamp Reserve): 14/11/1939
reporting that 51 trees of the 75 supplied to the Mona Vale Golf Club and planted by that Club on Beeby Park had died: 10/4/1940 (dry weather/drought).
Mona Vale Golf Club, 21/5/40, replying that the condition of the trees on Beeby Park is attributable to, the abnormally dry summer, and to the exceptional amount of work which the Club's employees had been called upon to do during the last few years … contending with the peat soil on the fairways; expressing the opinion that Norfolk Island Pines are unsuitable for the area, and requesting advice as to the type and planting of more suitable trees. Resolved, - That Cr. O'Reilly, President of the Australian Forest League, be so good as to refer the matter to experts for advice.
May 20th, 2013 Council Meeting:
Question 1 – Mr Ross Smith
What processes will Council follow before commencing any construction works, tree removal or earth moving in relation to the Beeby Reserve carpark? Will there be a development application lodged to allow the public to comment or object?
The Director, Urban & Environmental Assets, advised that the adopted PoM includes the carpark at Beeby Reserve and Council has approved its construction. A development application is not required and the project will be administered as an activity under Part V of the EP&A Act.
Question 2 – Mr Ross Smith
The proposed carpark is for ancillary parking for the recreational users of Beeby and Kitchener Park public reserves. How does Pittwater Council propose to stop hotel patrons, shoppers, local workers and other people parking there? It is noted the proposed 4 hour timed parking restriction will not address this issue.
The Director, Urban & Environmental Assets, advised that the purpose of this carpark is to be an adjunct to the reserve precinct. Council is not in a position to check what a person subsequently does after parking their vehicle. This is the practical reality with most public carparks. The matter before Council is to consider the 4 hour parking restriction.
Save Beeby Park Update
On 13th June 2013 Save Beeby Park Committee had a meeting with the General Manager, the Mayor and a member of staff. Our petition of nearly 700 signatures opposing the car park was presented to the General Manager. A list of “Off the Cuff” quotes was also tabled that we have collected over the last 6 weeks when people sign the petition.
Our Committee came away from the meeting extremely disappointed as it was clear there was no room for doubt and that Council’s intention is for full steam ahead and build this car park ASAP starting early July.
We asked for a short time of stay of execution to be able to get a peer review of Council’s self assessment for Environmental Impact (REF) yet to be finalised around 21 June 2013. Our request was refused.
Nearly everyone we approach have not heard of this proposal and 98% of people we tell then say they oppose it and do not see the need for the carpark.
Noted “SHOPPERS” and “COMMUTERS for PARK & RIDE” will not be permitted to use the new carpark, so why build it they say.
Many have said to us Pittwater Council used to be a green Council but have obviously lost their way in destroying this lovely little patch of green, which is home to much wildlife as well.
The $552,500 this car park will cost people are saying is a complete waste of ratepayer’s money that should be better spent on so many other things in Pittwater. More footpaths and even a live performance arts Theatre has been suggested.
The Council and Councillors are there to represent the best interest of the community and the Environment so why are they continuing with this proposal when it is clearly not in the public interest. This only goes to show Pittwater Councils ignorance and arrogance is the feedback we are getting.
Pittwater Council is fighting to stop amalgamation with Warringah and Manly, saying when they broke away from Warringah in 1992; it was for the best interests of people for this unique area. Most people we speak to are now questioning this with this planned carpark saying if this is what Pittwater Council is now all about, destroying an Ecological Environment and lovely little patch of green then amalgamation may not be so bad after all.
The anti amalgamation cry by the protestors and activists led by our Ex Mayor from the recently formed group “People For Pittwater” is Say No To Amalgamation.
Well what we put forward we all should be saying is “Say No To Beeby Reserve Car Park”.
What we also need is to have Councillors to stop hiding behind the excuse that the carpark was approved in 2009 by the previous term of Councillors. We need the current Councillors to listen to the feedback and clear message they are getting now 4 years on.
We need Councillors to now stand up, be strong and be counted and say “No to the Carpark” as it clearly is not what the community wants.
Councillors will vote at the next Council meeting 6.30pm on Monday evening 24 June 2013 to allocate funds in the budget for this carpark. We say NO, leave Beeby Park alone spend the money elsewhere where it will go to greater use.
If not already done please do our survey athttps://www.surveymonkey.com/s/pittwater and email Councillors with the following links to object to the planned carpark.
SOME PETITIONERS “OFF CUFF” REMARKS Re BEEBY RESERVE CAR PARK
I would love to (sign the petition); That annoys me !; You just can’t concrete everything ! If I Had Enough Money I Would Take Council To Court ! You Can’t Have That ! Let Me At It (The Petition) ! This is the Only Local Park For Our Dogs !
Any questions please email us at :- email@example.com
Save Beeby Park Comittee
Update on Beeby Reserve and Mona Vale Car Park - 22 June 2013
Why are Pittwater Councillors and the Mayor continuing to say over and over again this new carpark in Beeby Reserve will be for the shoppers in Mona Vale? Firstly it is too far from the shops to expect shoppers will ever park there. Secondly it is across a six lane dangerous main road where there have been fatalities with pedestrians killed while crossing at the signalised lights intersection of Golf Ave and Barrenjoey Rd. Thirdly under the Crown Lands Act shoppers are not allowed to park in Beeby Park as this use is not supportive or ancillary to the Recreational Reserve. Kitchener Park carpark is classed as road reserve on Council’s map and Shoppers and Park and Ride can legally use it. Beeby Park is not, it is Crown Land. Only users of the Reserve can legally park there. We don’t understand why Councillors and the Mayor are missing this major point.
We are very disappointed that The Mona Vale Chamber of Commerce is severely pressuring Pittwater Council into building this carpark, it would seem the Council has now lost it’s way and commercialism takes priority over conservation.
How can Council say in their June Newsletter Question “What sets Pittwater Apart”? Council Answer “A deep desire to protect and preserve our natural environment”. Why then are they bowing to pressure from the Chamber of Commerce to bulldoze 60 trees and destroy a beautiful little patch of green, some would say it’s hypocritical.
This car park proposal will be voted on at the Council meeting 24 June 2013 at the Mona Vale Memorial Hall commencing at 6.30pm. Councillor Young has put on the agenda a Notice of Motion to halt construction until a review of the Kitchener Park Plan of Management can be undertaken. Come to the meeting and help Save Beeby Park.
If not already done please do our survey athttps://www.surveymonkey.com/s/pittwater
Please email all the Councillors expressing your concern and asking them to support the Notice of Motion.
Any questions please email us at :- firstname.lastname@example.org
Save Beeby Park - Committee Update June 30, 2013
At the Pittwater Council meeting of 24th of June 2013 Councillors voted 6 to 2 against Councillor Young’s Notice of Motion to stop the 77 vehicle proposed carpark until the Kitchener Park Plan of Management could be reviewed. Despite 847 signatures on a petition opposing the carpark, nearly 100 emails and written objections, with another 169 on line survey results with over 350 separate on line comments opposing the car park it didn’t persuade the 6 anti green Councillors. One of our Committee members had an unpleasant experience being cross-examined with questions dating back to 2009 by 5 Councillors for 15 minutes at the Council meeting. This is a dark day in Pittwater Council’s history for a green Council who now puts commercialism over conservation and paving over paradise. Save Beeby Park Committee is devastated by Pittwater Council’s decision to proceed ASAP with the bulldozers and chainsaws moving into Beeby Park. One writer to the local paper sums it up very well with the following prior to the Council meeting: -
Pittwater Council plans to turn the last bit of woodland in central Mona Vale into a car park. There is no doubt that Mona Vale needs additional parking and a large carpark is about to be built in the commercial area and other sites are also available. This last remnant of woods is also home to the Scouts and Girl Guides who have had their halls there for more than 60 years. This development flies in the face of what Pittwater was established for, conservation before commercialism, and if a decision to proceed is approved, it will be one of the most disgraceful the council has made in its 21 years. The destruction of this lovely little woodland area, that must give so much pleasure to the thousands of people who pass it every day, will be nothing short of environmental vandalism. Eric Green, the first mayor of Pittwater, and the Guringai people, will be turning in their graves.
BEEBY PARK RIP
NB: In the Pittwater Council Minutes - Council Meeting held at Mona Vale Memorial Hall, Mona Vale on 24 June 2013 is:
C10.1 Notice of Motion - Review of Kitchener Park Plan of Management with Respect to Beeby Park
Note: The following unsuccessful motion was moved by Cr Young and seconded by Cr Griffith:
“1. That the Beeby Park design be revisited with community consultation in order to reach a mutually agreeable solution for Council and communities.
2. That in light of community concern regarding the proposed carpark in Beeby Reserve construction not proceed until the review is completed.”
Procedural Motion (COUNCIL DECISION)
That Cr Young be granted an extension of time to complete her address to the meeting on this item. (Cr Grace / Cr Millar)
Procedural Motion (COUNCIL DECISION)
That Cr Grace be granted an extension of time to complete his address to the meeting on this item. (Cr White / Cr Millar)