August 13 - 19, 2023: Issue 594


From the Council Chamber June 27- August 1, 2023
By Pittwater Greens Councillor Miranda Korzy

New food vendor for Avalon Beach SLSC

Plenty has changed on council over the last couple of months with Karina Page sworn in to represent Pittwater and new CEO Scott Phillips on the job from July 24. With a marathon June council meeting that was adjourned part way through until August 1 - due to the volume of business on the agenda - this councillor is only now catching up on her report!

The budget, which has received plenty of publicity, was the most important item to come to the chamber. Other issues that created plenty of controversy included a proposal to support a “No take” Aquatic reserve at Bongin Bongin Bay; whether council should promote discussion of a First Nations’ Voice to federal Parliament; and returning citizenship ceremonies to Newport for January 26 next year.

New faces at the table

One new face at the June 27 council meeting was Pittwater Liberal Councillor Karina Page, who replaces former Pittwater Liberal Rory Amon. Ms Page signed her Oath of Office in the lead up to the meeting, which was officially recognised on the night. Mr Amon resigned his post after being elected as the Pittwater state MP at the March poll. Ms Page was selected on a countback of votes from the December 2021 council election.

And joining the council table for the first time at the reconvened meeting on August 1 was new CEO Scott Phillips, who has a five year contract for the post. An urban planner by profession, Mr Phillips has more than 30 years experience in local government, most recently as chief executive of Local Government NSW. He has also served as general manager at Sutherland and Hornsby Shire councils, and spent time living and working in Denmark. Having held executive roles at state and local levels in the planning profession, he also serves on several industry boards, ministerial advisory committees, and panels.

Meeting overflow - July back on the books for next year

If nothing else, I believe this meeting showed that the previous mayor - now Frenchs Forest Your Northern Beaches Councillor as well as Wakehurst Independent MP - Michael Regan’s proposal to scrap the July council meeting was a mistake. At the September 2022 meeting, I moved an amendment to the proposal for this year’s meeting dates to keep the one in July, however, it was voted down by all councillors, except Pittwater Your Northern Beaches Councillor Michael Gencher, Curl Curl Liberal (and now Deputy Mayor) David Walton, Narrabeen Independent Councillor Vince de Luca and Curl Curl Greens Councillor Kristyn Glanville.

The June meeting is always likely to be a long one, with discussion of the budget on the agenda. When at the June 27 meeting we reached 11pm with 12 items remaining, the majority of councillors voted to adjourn until a later date. However, because councillors had not expected a July meeting, some of us were on holiday during that month or at the beginning of August. So when the meeting reconvened on August 1, we had only nine councillors in the chamber, with Frenchs Forest Liberal Stuart Sprott and Manly Liberal Georgia Ryburn joining remotely (and Narrabeen Your Northern Beaches Councillor Ruth Robins for part of the meeting), and Mr Regan, Mr Gencher and Ms Page absent. 

Budget raids Mona Vale cemetery fund to finance new software

Plenty has already been written about the budget but here’s my take on it for those who’ve missed the discussions.

A raid on Mona Vale Cemetery’s Reserve Fund will part-finance a new software management system for Northern Beaches Council, following a vote at the June meeting.

The measure was contained in the 2023/24 budget papers, passed by all councillors except me and Narrabeen Independent Vince de Luca at the meeting.

In summary, the budget provides for total spending of $507 million, including capital works worth $102 million and loan repayments of $4 million - leading to a loans balance of $9 million by June 30 next year and an operating surplus of $0.4 million. Rates will rise by 3.7 per cent with an average of $58 pa and the domestic waste charge by $50 to $550.

Read on for my speech to the meeting about funding the $20 million “Enterprise Resource Planning system”.

"First of all I’d like to thank council staff for their work on the budget at a time when money is tight.

This was aggravated by the state govt’s last minute demand for a $3.1 million increase to the Emergency Services Levy after the draft budget had already been put on public exhibition.

However, as the Long term Financial Plan outlined in the budget papers indicates, we have an underlying problem with restrictions on our income compared to expected spending.

The papers foreshadow that next year we will either need to cut spending on asset renewal, maintenance and services or expect a rate increase of 7.7 per cent plus the govt’s approved rate peg, if we are to overcome the current backlog in asset renewal and maintenance.

This doesn’t sound to me like the former NSW state government’s promises of savings and increased services with council amalgamations.

The other issue is the need for a new software system, for Enterprise Resource Planning - managing all council operations. The supplier of the current system will switch off support next year so we can’t delay its purchase.

The budget posits spending $20 million on this - although it’s not identified as a separate line item anywhere, rather is subsumed under Corporate Support Services, to be spent over four years. I note also that this system is part of operational spending and not classed as an asset because the supplier can switch it off at any time.

My problem with this budget item is that it proposes borrowing $4.6 million towards its cost from the Mona Vale Cemetery Reserve Fund.

First of all, I believe this “borrowing from the dead” is unacceptable on principle. Families face considerable expense at the time of burials and some of it goes toward this fund to maintain the graveyard in perpetuity.

Secondly, this is an internally restricted fund - meaning that like those for Employee Leave Entitlements and Kimbriki Land Remediation, the money in them is meant to be retained for that specific use.

On this count alone, I am reluctant to support this budget.

However, there are other issues. In Avalon the council spent years developing the Avalon Place Plan and recently creating the shared zone - when all residents wanted was new footpaths to replace those full of trip hazards; similarly for Newport and Mona Vale villages; rockpools deteriorating at Palm Beach and Bilgola; and finally nothing for Bayview Baths or Catherine Park on Scotland Is.

Then we have, for example, roadwork eliminated to balance the budget after the Emergency Services Levy was imposed - so Grandview Dr between Newport and Bilgola Plateau will now miss out on resurfacing despite being patched and repatched after the La Nina rains.”

For those reasons, I voted against the budget.

However, with all other councillors, I supported council staff’s proposal that we enter into negotiations with software providers, Technology One Limited teamed with KPMG Australia Technology Solutions Pty Ltd, as well as separate supplier Civica Pty Ltd, with a view to contracting for a new Enterprise Resource Planning system.   

Proposal to Declare Bongin Bongin Bay a “No Take” Aquatic Reserve

A  “No Take” Aquatic Reserve proposed for Bongin Bongin Bay by a new environmental group, Friends of Bongin Bongin Bay, created some intense debate at the meeting. The gallery was  overflowing with fishers opposed and some supporters, and so the item was moved from near the end of the agenda to the top, taking precedence even over the budget! Given the level of interest, amount of passion and discussion, I’ll go into some detail about this item. 

The Friends sprang up in February from a group of swimmers who were inspired by the blue gropers, turtles and other marine creatures they see on their morning swims across the bay at Mona Vale beach. However, they were also troubled by the dramatic disappearance of marine life, including from the local rockshelf. The group approached councillors and three of us (Manly Independent Councillor Candy Bingham, Mr Gencher and I) met with the Friends, along with Mackellar Independent MP, Sophie Scamps to discuss the issue. They asked for our support in creating a “No take” Aquatic Reserve at Bongin Bongin Bay to protect marine life and increase biodiversity in the area (See website

In the meantime, the Friends created a petition and gathered 6,000 signatures in 16 weeks, showing a high level of support from the community - not surprising given the council’s research showing the environment is our top priority. 

With the support of me and Mr Gencher, Ms Bingham drafted a motion for the council to advance the cause by contacting NSW Fisheries for their view, and to notify NSW Agriculture Minister Tara Moriarty and Environment Minister Penny Sharpe. 

However, the fishing lobby got wind of the proposal and fishers (and yes they were mostly men) flooded the gallery to oppose the motion at the meeting. And while the Friends had their 6,000 supporters on their petition, the fishers - some identifiable as from outside Sydney - sent dozens of emails to councillors arguing against the reserve. 

A young local, Ellia Buhagiar, spoke at the meeting, saying no-take aquatic reserves created eco-systems that were free from exploitation and removed ambiguity about what could be removed from the area, making it easier to enforce. They could also aid public education, she said. At Manly’s Cabbage Tree Bay, designated a No-take Aquatic Reserve 21 years ago (see, scuba divers and snorkelers had observed increased biological diversity.

Regular swimmer and Friends spokesman Greg Pride tabled the petition at the meeting and said Cabbage Tree Bay had previously been a “marine desert”, before its transformation into a no-take aquatic reserve. According to Tripadvisor, snorkelling there was now one of the top 10 things to do in Sydney, Mr Pride said. He sought to calm the fears of the “voices of dissent”, saying that fishers would benefit from what scientists call the “spillover effect”, in which the increased survival rates of fish means they spawn as older adults so that their offspring are larger and fish stocks at nearby fishing spots have increased stocks.       

Opposing the motion was Marcus Lincoln-Smith, a consultant with a Phd in Aquatic Ecology, who told the meeting Cabbage Tree Bay was a “fantastic place” but very different from Bongin Bongin Bay. He disputed elements of the Friends research, such as the presence of sea grass at the bay and was critical of swimmers’ impact at the site.     

Another speaker against the motion was John Duggan, who identified himself as being employed in the fishing industry. Mr Dugan said the proposal was “divisive and elitist” as well as without scientific merit. Anglers had been fishing at Bongin Bongin Bay for more than 100 years, “so there’s clearly not a problem”, he told the meeting.

During debate, Ms Bingham said the Northern Beaches had 12 aquatic reserves and all but Cabbage Tree Bay allowed fishing. She noted the decision on the reserve would not be made by NBC, rather by the Department of Primary Industries. However, the number of signatures on the petition showed major support for the proposal. 

In my speech to council I said aquatic reserves helped us fight the extinction crisis along with the combined threats to sea life of pollution, particularly from plastics, warming and acidifying oceans and over-fishing.

I noted that at a Friends forum in June, Marine Ecology Professor Dave Booth, from the University of Technology Sydney, had said most people supported no-take aquatic reserves. Only about 10 per cent of Australia’s coast was covered by marine sanctuaries but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had called for an increase to 30 per cent of our coastline.

He described how “no-take aquatic reserves”, like Cabbage Tree Bay at Manly, were the only places we see increased biodiversity. Even a small area of 50 hectares could have a profound effect, he said. 

I also cited research showing aquatic reserves, and especially no-take reserves, were particularly effective at supporting marine creatures. An analysis of all previous research, carried out in 2017, found that the 

“biomass of whole fish assemblages in marine reserves is, on average, 670% greater (that is nearly seven times greater) than in adjacent unprotected areas, and 343% greater (or three and a half times greater) than in partially-protected MPAs”.

(See the ICES Journal of Marine Science, Volume 75, Issue 3, May-June 2018, pp 1166–1168,

“This critical point for environmentalists translates for amateur anglers into a bigger catch at spots near aquatic reserves. It’s a win, win, win situation - for sea life, environmentalists and fishers,” I said.

However, Narrabeen Independent Councillor Vince de Luca moved an amendment to the motion weakening its intent, by proposing that any correspondence to council from the community be sent to government ministers.

Mr Gencher supported the amendment because he said it “progresses the intent of the motion”, and the community would have an opportunity to voice their views through the consultation process.

The Deputy Mayor, however, said he was against both the original motion and the amendment because it was outside the scope of council business. “We’re overstepping the mark and creating division within the community,” he said. 

All councillors except me, Curl Curl Greens Councillor Kristyn Glanville, and Deputy Mayor Walton supported the amendment, which was adopted, and then the motion was passed unanimously, except by Mr Walton who opposed it.   

Promoting Community Discussion on "The Voice"

A call to support community discussion of “The Voice’ was another controversial item on the agenda. First of all, the motion was delayed until the August 1 meeting, and then after a decision was reached on that night, staff informed councillors the next day they had received a motion to rescind that decision. Consequently, no action can be carried out towards fulfilling the motion unless the rescission motion fails at the August 22 council meeting. Given the referendum is likely to be held in October, it would then allow very little time to implement. 

I regard this as a waste of council time, with those submitting the rescission motion probably hoping councillors absent from the August 1 meeting will support their case on August 22. This is yet another consequence of the failure to schedule a July council meeting.  

The motion, proposed by Ms Glanville and seconded by me, included provisions for staff to:

  • consult with the community on the federal government referendum on creating a First Nations Voice to Parliament.
  • set up a working group to promote discussion of the issue or support Aboriginal groups (either in kind or financially) planning activities concerning the Voice. 
  • and to print extra copies of the federal government’s Information Booklet “Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Through a Voice” for distribution at Council’s libraries and by request by community groups.

Ms Glanville told the meeting 1,700 First Nations people currently lived on the Northern Beaches and the Voice referendum, expected later this year, would be an opportunity for the community to review the Constitution and “show who we are”. She was concerned about inaccurate information being spread opposing the Voice and said the proposed measures would help facilitate democratic discussion, giving residents the opportunity to listen to a range of view points. 

Council staff said some councils, such as the Blue Mountains, had endorsed a yes vote for the Voice, and NBC staff could investigate what others were doing with regards to the referendum. However, copies of the federal government’s Information Booklet about the Voice were available at Northern Beaches local libraries. 

I said I supported the Voice and condemned misinformation being created by opponents to it,  saying that in fact the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), set up in 1990 by the Hawke Labor government (and scrapped by Howard’s Liberal government in 2005) gave First Nations people more control over their destiny than the Voice would. While the Voice would be an elected chamber, it would be purely consultative. By contrast, ATSIC had an elected membership but was actually responsible for development and implementation of policy, along with distribution of funding. I encouraged other councillors to support the motion to help ensure accurate information was provided to the community.

However, some councillors were opposed to involvement in the Voice debate. Deputy Mayor Mr Walton indicated he thought the Voice referendum was a federal government issue, which was already spending millions of dollars on pamphlets, a website and for other organisations to provide information about the issues. “This council is local government (and) should be concerned with issues close to home,” Mr Walton told the meeting.

Similarly, Manly Liberal Councillor Georgia Ryburn said she did not believe the Voice was a council issue and would vote against the motion, although she told the meeting that: “I agree with Councillor Glanville that the Voice is important, also that misinformation is a problem.”

And Frenchs Forest Your Northern Beaches Councillor Jose Menano-Peres asked why, if staff were to consult with the Aboriginal community, wouldn’t they consult “with the rest of us?” “I can’t in all conscience support a motion that ignores the majority of the community,” he said.

Ms Bingham reflected on the fact she was shocked when she found out recently that Aboriginal people did not get the vote until 1967. “This is not a political issue but a social issue,” she told the meeting. “Anything done is within the council budget (and) the outcome will effect 1,700 Indigenous people living on the Northern Beaches.

Also from Manly, Your Northern Beaches Councillor Sarah Grattan said she was “concerned about emails we’ve received with wild claims”. “Information is being shared in the community with extreme and inaccurate views,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Mr De Luca drew a parallel with the 1967 referendum that gave First Nations people citizenship and the vote, saying the coming referendum was of similar significance. “Local government is not just about roads and rubbish,” he said, noting it was also a social services provider. The motion was not “stating a position, it is merely to educate”, he said.   

Ms Heins, Mr Walton, Narrabeen Liberal Bianca Crvelin, Mr Menano-Pires, and Ms Ryburn all voted against the motion, leading to a tied vote, with Ms Glanville, Ms Bingham, Mr De Luca, Ms Grattan and me voting for. At that point Ms Heins changed her vote to support the motion, so that the motion was carried. Councillor Sprott was absent for the vote.

Australia Day citizenship ceremonies

In a convoluted demonstration of the limited control Pittwater residents have over our own activities, a Pittwater councillor motion for staff to investigate holding “Australia Day” citizenship ceremonies in Newport or another place in the Pittwater ward, was overturned by councillors from other parts of the LGA.

The motion was proposed by Mr Gencher and seconded by Ms Page, in response to a staff report originating from a resolution at the May 2023 meeting, requiring staff to prepare a proposal for trialling a citizenship ceremony in Newport on Australia Day in 2024.

The report included five options:

  1. Australia Day Newport ceremony only, with estimated cost $27,300. 
  2. Australia Day Newport and Glen Street Theatre ceremonies. Plan to host either only Pittwater Ward conferees (approximately 13) or a small number of conferees from across the beaches at Newport, with all other conferees from across the beaches to attend Glen Street Theatre (as per advice from Department of Affairs). Estimated to cost $17,100.
  3. Newport ceremony only (3 days before/ after Australia Day). Plan to host all 270 conferees and attendees at Newport. Estimated cost: $23,250.
  4. Glen Street Theatre ceremony only (not a public holiday). Plan to host all 270 conferees and attendees from across Northern Beaches. Estimated cost: $3,000.
  5. Australia Day ceremony at Glen Street Theatre ceremony only (current format). Currently the budget allocation proposed for the Australia Day citizenship ceremony at Glen Street Theatre in 2024 is $6,150.

Speaking at the public address at the start of the meeting, Pittwater locals Peter Middleton spoke on behalf of the Newport Residents Association, describing the January 26th celebrations as follows: “A marquee, specially erected the night before; chairs assembled for those to receive their citizenship, their supporters and audience; a local to lead the singing of the National Anthem – and on the nearby grass, local branches of service clubs catering an Aussie-style take-away breakfast, which in turn was a wonderful demonstration of community fund-raising and the volunteer spirit. And all within fifty paces of the sand, the Surf Club and the ocean!”

He called on councillors to support Option 2, with ceremonies both at Newport and Glens St on January 26. 

Similarly, Pittwater resident Dave Murray supported Option 2, saying: “The report highlights that a potential clash could occur with the Australia Day Breakfast at Newport. On the contrary, back in the Pittwater days, the Citizenship Ceremony was the highlight of the breakfast and the celebration.

“Any ‘significant’ changes that would be required to the breakfast event to host a citizenship ceremony are in fact, simply a return to the format that Pittwater folk enjoyed so much.”

However, before it could be voted on, Mr Regan moved an amendment, seconded by Mr Menano-Peres, simply that: ”Council note the report.”

I expressed my discomfort over celebrating “Australia Day” on January 26, which marks the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney Harbour and is regarded as a day of mourning for many First Nations people. However, I still voted against this amendment, along with the other two Pittwater Councillors and all three Narrabeen Ward councillors, because I recognised how much the community appreciated the Newport ceremony.  

The vote on this amendment was the clearest indication possible that even when all six councillors representing parts of the former Pittwater Council area vote together on an issue pertinent to Pittwater, we can still be outnumbered by those from other wards. Thus the amendment was adopted as the motion with support from: Mr Regan, Mr Menano-Peres, Ms Glanville, Ms Bingham, Ms Heins, Mr Walton, and Ms Grattan.   

However, in a turnaround on the final vote on the motion, Ms Heins joined the Pittwater and Narrabeen Ward councillors to vote against the new motion, so that it was lost. 

Proposal for disqualification from council office if elected to state or federal Parliament

The issue of disqualifying councillors elected as MPs from retaining their local government office was the subject of a motion from Mr De Luca, seconded by me, at the August 1 continuation of the meeting. 

Mr De Luca said MPs received salaries of $172,576 per annum with a $151,000 allowance on top of that. As a sitting councillor, they also earned a fee of $31,000 and about $10,000 in allowances over the same period. “I think we all recognise that it takes considerable time to be a councillor and an MP,” Mr De Luca said.

However, there was also a conflict of interest involved when the council voted to make representations to local MPs who also sat on the council, he said. 

I too commented on the conflict of interest, saying it would also come into play if a councillor followed a course of action as an MP in conflict with a decision taken by the council. “A job as an MP takes over your whole life and I don’t see how anyone could put the time into work as a councillor as well,” I told the meeting.

Ms Glanville noted that the motion would not effect the current council, given that the motion would require council staff to write to NSW government, Opposition and Cross Bench MPs, calling on them to introduce legislation taking effect from 2024, disallowing MPs on election to also hold council positions.   

Ms Bingham was concerned the motion could be seen as a “personal thing” and that it would result in the cost of a by-election for councils. And Ms Grattan said she was happy with the status quo, and thought there was a lot of overlap with other demanding jobs. 

However, Mr De Luca explained there was no need for the cost of a by-election because councils like our own replace councillors using a countback on votes from the previous election. “I don’t care if they’re Liberal, Labor or Callithumpian, if they’re in a dual role, they should step down,” he said.

On the suggestion of Mr Walton, he also introduced a clause that the motion be referred to the next Local Government NSW annual conference.

The motion passed with the support of Ms Glanville, Ms Bingham, Mr Walton, Mr De Luca, Ms Crvelin, Ms Ryburn and myself. Only Ms Heins, Mr Menano-Pires and Ms Grattan opposed it, while Ms Robins and Mr Sprott were absent for the vote.

Housing Affordability on the Northern Beaches

Most of us would be aware there is a housing shortage which is particularly severe for cheaper dwellings on the Northern Beaches - as for other parts of Australia at the moment. To counter this, Ms Glanville proposed a motion calling for a staff briefing: on ways to draw short term rental accommodation (like airbnbs) and vacant properties into the rental market; ways to build social and affordable housing on land already owned by Council; and possible changes to NBC planning rules and our affordable housing contributions scheme to address housing affordability. 

The motion also called for staff to write to the NSW government to oppose its recent planning changes that will allow it to declare certain residential development, with a capital investment value over $75m, as State Significant Development as well as to take action on the many issues contributing to the affordable housing crisis.

At the outset of the debate, I asked staff if they could tell us how many sites zoned for residential development are owned by council - which they accepted on notice. This week I received a response: that the council owns 262 parcels of land with a residential zoning. Of these, 137 are zoned R1, R2 or R3 but the majority are drainage reserves. Only a small number have a large enough lot size, under the current relevant LEP, to construct dwellings. 

Those zoned for mixed use - ie B2, B3 or B4 - total 64 parcels, with the majority forming carparks across the LGA - including Bungan Lane, Whistler St, and Manly Library.   

Finally, another 61 parcels are zoned C3 and C4 - or Conservation Zones - and the majority of these are also drainage or access reserves.

At the meeting, Planning Director Louise Kerr said staff were also going to explore other forms of housing which they would soon present to councillors at a briefing.

Ms Glanville emphasised the shortage of affordable housing on the Northern Beaches, saying many essential workers couldn’t afford to live here anymore and that it was an issue of social equity and public safety. She noted the council had kept an affordable housing policy in place for the last five years, with very little to show for it. “The last three times this has come before council, we have been told the 10 per cent required (in developments) for affordable housing is not realistic,” she said.

As a local landowner, council could increase the supply of affordable housing by building shop top housing or dwellings on top of community centres, for example. “I don’t think any of us want to see high rise on Clareville Beach,” she said, however, “We could have development on transport routes.”

“So I think there’s a lot we could do in terms of getting good outcomes that’s not developer driven and delivers what the council wants,” she said.

Ms Grattan said councillors knew there was tension between the demand for affordable housing and residents wanting to maintain the way they currently lived. “We need to look at everything that is available to us,” she said. Problems recruiting and retaining staff reflected the issue. “We do know that this is a big issue - the exodus of young people from the Northern Beaches.”

Supporting the motion, Mr Walton said we were in a crisis with young people moving out from the Northern Beaches. “We needed to start this five years ago,” he said. “The property committee wants to make hard decisions - we have lots of property that could be repurposed.”

Mr Menano-Peres warned that if the council was going to increase the population with affordable housing, it needed to develop infrastructure beforehand. 

Whilst I supported the motion, I voiced some cautions. I told the meeting that affordable housing had been a long-standing concern for myself and Northern Beaches Greens, and we had campaigned on it since at least 2017. “However, we fear this motion could be weaponised under pressure from the state government to force development of housing, with a fraction of it affordable, on environmentally sensitive land in Pittwater, regarded simply as ‘open space’ by some,” I said. 

I noted that councillors already knew there was limited land in council’s hands that was suitable for development of any kind - which was reinforced by the figures sent to me by staff this week.

“However, we also know from census data there are some 9,000 empty dwellings on the Northern Beaches, and if these were brought into use, would well and truly satisfy what I understand to be the targets for Affordable Housing in the LGA. Many of these properties are held by investors, waiting for property prices to rise when they can sell at a profit. Others, formerly rental properties, have now joined the Airbnb market.”  (This could be discouraged by increasing rates for properties left empty for extended periods.) 

Finally I said the state government sell off and failure to build more public or social housing during the last 10 years was now a major cause of the crisis and the council could not solve the problem on its own.

The motion passed with the support of all nine councillors present at that point in the meeting, with Ms Crvelin, Ms Robins and Mr Sprott all absent for the vote. 

Brewarrina Sister City Youth Program

Funding of $10,700 allocated to the Brewarrina Youth Exchange in the 2023/24 operational budget was noted in a report to councillors at the meeting. 

Public Exhibition of the Draft Library Strategic Plan

Council voted to place the draft Library Strategic Plan 2023-2028 on public exhibition for a minimum of 28 days. This was carried in a vote by exception (ie with a number of unopposed motions voted on all at once) on June 27. The exhibition period began on July 4 and closed on August 11. However, if you missed this date and are very keen to make a submission, staff will accept late lodgements - while they are still processing them all. (I’d get it in ASAP at this point).   

Confidential items

Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club Cafe and Restaurant Lease

The council voted to negotiate with Aimelie Pty Ltd, trading as Guinguette Café Bistro Francais (Emilie Mathel), with a view to entering into a lease of the café.

The proposed lease of the restaurant will be delayed for 6 months from the date of the lease for the café, while the operation of the café is evaluated. After 6 months, council will enter into negotiations with Aimelie Pty Ltd for the lease of the restaurant. If those negotiations were unsuccessful, the council would invite fresh tenders for the lease of the restaurant.

Design and Construction Services for the Warriewood Valley Community Centre

The council voted to negotiate with Belmadar Pty Ltd and Kane Constructions Pty Ltd with a view to entering into a contract in relation to design and construction of the Warriewood Community Centre.

Synthetic Sports Field Maintenance

The council voted to accept the tender of Sports Clean Pty Ltd for Synthetic Sports Field Maintenance Services for the initial annual amount of $176,896.25 per annum (ex GST) -  subject to cost adjustment by CPI for each year thereafter, for an initial period of 3 years, with two 12 month options to extend at Council’s discretion.

This decision was supported by all councillors present except me and Ms Glanville and I voted against.  

A speech from Northern Beaches resident Gregory Hogan, read by staff during the Public Address session on June 27,  pointed to a report by the NSW Chief Scientist Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyteon on synthetic fields that was released in June. Mr Hogan said the report included information about maintenance of these fields and he encouraged staff to consider the report before undertaking any maintenance on synthetic fields in the LGA. 

Bayview Seawall and Path Renewal Works

Council voted to negotiate with Enter Building Group Pty Ltd with a view to entering into a contract in relation to Bayview Seawall and Path Renewal Works. 

And finally, how are our honey bees doing?

Not so well, local beekeeper Michael Syme told the Public Forum on June 27. Mr Syme said European honey bees are under now threat from the Varroa Mite, from the Northern Beaches to Newcastle (see The mite was responsible for mass losses of bees - in Canada 80 per cent of hives, and in the US 50 per cent, he said. 

It was first discovered in Newcastle hives in 2020, and the “red zone” now extended to the northern peak of the Northern Beaches. “Palm Beach is now a red zone, Whale Beach is not,” he said. “We have our fingers crossed.” 

With local hives under surveillance, and the only strategy to combat the mite being to destroy the host, beekeepers were not currently allowed to catch and rehome swarms - which was usually done by bee clubs. Instead the council must use a professional pest controller, Mr Syme said. 

Thinking of all our fuzzy friends facing their own pandemic - and keeping my fingers crossed too for their keepers and our local honey supplies!

Public Forum Addresses: Peter Middleton - Dave Murray

Peter Middleton


Thank you for the opportunity to speak to this important community event on behalf of Newport Residents Association. 

In our earlier submission we wrote of what actually happened each year: 

“A marquee, specially erected the night before; chairs assembled for those to receive their citizenship, their supporters and audience; a local to lead the singing of the National Anthem – and on the nearby grass, local branches of service clubs catering an Aussie-style takeaway breakfast, which in turn was a wonderful demonstration of community fund-raising and the volunteer spirit. And all within fifty paces of the sand, the Surf Club and the ocean! “ 

Add to that the Australia day activities traditionally run by the adjacent Surf Club, including a thong-throwing contest, which is open to all! 

What could possibly be a more impressive and memorable celebration for our brand new citizens? As a community rep on an NBC Strategic Reference Group, I tabled the destination marketing plan of Dunedin, an ocean-side municipality two-thirds the population of our LGA. 

A very important part of Dunedin’s tourism promotion is to their resident international student population. Why? Because these are enthusiastic people who are writing, emailing and facetiming high-potential visitors from overseas. 

What could be a more vivid, picturesque and long-lasting memory than the very Aussie occasion on which you became an Australian! 

Pittwater plus Narrabeen Wards are the representation of the so-typical northern portion of the Northern Beaches. Together they are 20% of the Wards and (this Agenda tells us) they make up 24% of new citizens. 

So Councillors, I urge you to adopt Option 2 on the Agenda, a Ceremony at Glenn Street plus an auxiliary Ceremony at Newport Beach, NOT just for Pittwater but for Narrabeen Ward as well. This would give more of our newest citizens a life-long memory of their unique, “northern beaches” welcome and would not affect the estimated $17,000 cost. 

Remember, they will be a quarter of those citizens+friends+supporters, carrying away (and broadcasting) the most indelible Northern Beaches memory possible! 

In conclusion, the Agenda currently indicates: 

“That Council note the report.” 

I appeal for a Councillor to move an amendment of the nature: 

“That Council adopt Option two in the report, altered to embrace the new citizens of both Pittwater and Narrabeen Wards at the Newport ceremony.”

Otherwise I fear the head-hour costs for the admin, may exceed the cost of the event! 


Dave Murray



I would like to make a few comments regarding to the staff report outlining the proposal for trialling Citizenship Ceremonies at Newport Beach.

The report appears to emphasise the reasons why no further consideration should be given to this matter, and to promote the retention of the status quo, that is all ceremonies at Glen Street.

The report presents 5 Options, including the current format. I am only considering Option 2, which would provide for separate, concurrent ceremonies at Newport and Glen Street.

The report highlights that a potential clash could occur with the Australia Day Breakfast at Newport. On the contrary, back in the Pittwater days, the Citizenship Ceremony was the highlight of the breakfast and the celebration.

Any ‘significant’ changes that would be required to the breakfast event to host a citizenship ceremony are in fact, simply a return to the format that Pittwater folk enjoyed so much.

And if parking was ever a problem, it only spoke for the popularity of the event.

As for hot, wet or stormy weather being a potential liability at Newport, I’m sure that most of our new citizens fully considered the variability of the Australian summer weather before they made the decision to move here.

And then there’s the quoted cost, an extra $10950 to host both ceremonies concurrently rather than maintain the status quo.

This cost represents less than 0.04% of the supposed $29.5M saving that we are told the amalgamation provides us with each year.

The long-term Councillors here may recall that I spoke in this chamber some years ago about the divergent paths we were taking with Northern Beaches Council.

How we were heading in a different direction to what we previously loved and cherished about Pittwater.

I spoke about the perceived centralisation of our culture and our services to Warringah.

Well, quite simply, I believe the adoption of Option 2, as outlined in this staff report, presents an opportunity to wind that trend back a bit and I hope that it is progressed further tonight.

Thank You


January 30 - February 6, 2016: Issue 249

 Australia Day 2016 Breakfast By The Beach At Bert Payne Park

 Australia Day 2016 Breakfast By The Beach At Bert Payne Park

The Australia Day Breakfast at Bert Payne Reserve, Newport Beach on Australia Day, 26th of January.Bert Payne Reserve, attracted over a thousand residents for the hot fare provided by the joined teams of local volunteer organisations. Great food, music, face painting and rides for youngsters, volleyball and games ensured those who came to relax enjoyed themselves.

A community affirming Citizenship Ceremony undertaken by people from every corner of the world was preceded by an inspirational Formal Address from Acting Commissioner Catherine  Burn APM.

The Sun Up bush band gave a rousing rendition of 'Once a Jolly swagman, while guitar soloist Russell Pearce, with Aya sang the National Anthem to mark the close of the Citizenship ceremony with the raising of the Australian flag.

As part of the formal proceedings Pittwater Mayor Jacqueline Townsend introduced the Pittwater Australia Day Award winners, being Pittwater Citizen of the Year Bilgola SLSC's President Romilly Madew, Young Citizen of the Year is Kayleigh Greig and Pittwater’s Sportsperson of the Year,   shared between two recipients, Alyse Saxby and Newport SLSC's Charlie Brooks.

Mayor Townsend also applauded those who received Australia Day Honours, Tamara Sloper Harding being awarded an OAM for her work for the people of Soibada and Timor Leste and Harvey Rose a posthumous OAM for all he had long inspired in Pittwater.

MP for Pittwater, the Hon. Rob Stokes stated on Tuesday he was delighted Harvey Rose has been posthumously honoured with an award in the Order of Australia. The national acknowledgement is a fitting tribute to Harvey’s enormous contribution to local health, environmental and community projects and the countless sporting clubs, community associations and residents groups he supported. 

“This award is a terrific acknowledgement of Harvey’s contribution,” Rob Stokes said.  “Harvey never liked or sought any praise or appreciation - but he certainly deserves it. 

“This award appropriately recognises Harvey’s efforts and the countless groups, projects and causes he supported. 

“It’s unfortunate the honour was eventually awarded posthumously – but it certainly doesn’t take away from the significance. 

“Harvey was a fantastic member of our community and I’m delighted his contribution has been formally acknowledged,” Rob Stokes said.

Acting Commissioner Catherine  Burn APM Australia Day 2016 Address for those unable to attend and for those who would like to read this again:

Australia Day Ambassador Address by Acting Commissioner Catherine Burn – Pittwater Council

26 January 2016

Mr Rob Stokes, Member for Pittwater and Minister for Planning, The Honourable Bronwyn Bishop, Member for Mackellar, Councillor Jacqueline Townsend, Mayor of Pittwater and Other distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls

Good morning and happy Australia Day to you all.  Thank you for the invitation to attend today’s Australia Day celebrations in Newport. Let me begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land we are on and pay my respects to elders past and present.

I am honoured to have been appointed as an Australian Day Ambassador, particularly in this beautiful area, one so special to so many gathered here today.

And I must say there is something very fitting – almost quintessential - about spending our national day by the beach. I doubt there can be many better spots.

Here in Australia we celebrate a number of public holidays throughout the year. All have their own individual qualities and significance such as New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Christmas Day.  It is on these days our minds turn to events of the past and to the promise of the future.  These public holidays are anticipated for the respite they provide but they are much more than that.  They speak to our history and our beliefs - and the same is so for Australia Day.

Australia Day, if I read the public mood accurately, is in transition.  It is gaining in identity, gaining in significance, gathering its meaning.  It is evolving from just another “day off” to a day of real importance.  And so, I think, it should. But it still has some way to go before we get there.

What is Australia Day’s meaning? And is that meaning what it should be? Whatever it is, the day provides an opportunity for us to reflect and to embrace whatever may come with enthusiasm and positiveness. 

It could be difficult to understand the good fortune we enjoy in this country unless you have come from somewhere else or until you have been somewhere else for a period of time.  Though I’m a local, born in Sydney, I’ve had the good fortune to have visited many different places, here in Australia and abroad, and I have also worked in a job which has given me the chance to meet an extraordinary diverse group of people from across the spectrum, many of them immigrants, some newly arrived.  

Much like them, my ancestors came to Australia seeking a better life. In Australia they had stability, freedom of expression, security.  People had health care, leisure time and money.  Most of all there was the knowledge that if they were dealt a blow, there was a safety system to put them back on their feet.

My family and many other families good fortune was not really of our own making.  We were the beneficiaries of a society built by others, of a democratic tradition we hadn’t directly contributed to, of a land rich in resources that we hadn’t put there. We can now, however, contribute to that making.

In many parts of the world people are not so fortunate. War puts their lives at risk.  There is no guarantee of food or long term shelter. There is no sanitation.  Health care is unlikely, the chances of education remote. 

Unfortunately, there are still some places with similar problems in our country but generally, freed from worrying about the necessities, here in Australia we can concern ourselves with other matters: our families, education, our love of sport, our careers, whether the surf is running, whether the BBQ is on.

We are fortunate indeed and I am forever grateful. I am especially grateful that Australia is a country of unity, cohesion, mateship, resilience, compassion and courage. 

This is why we will survive the darker times that we go through whether they be economic, political, social or natural. In the last 18 months our country has experienced an unprecedented impact from terrorism. In that time there have been nine terrorist plots involving people in this country wanting to do us harm.  We have thwarted six of these attacks. Sadly that means we have seen three.

We know only too well the impact that the Martin Place siege had on many of us, and more recently the murder of Curtis Cheng outside PHQ. But, at a time when things could have disintegrated, when fear could have endured, when hate could have ruled – we went the other way. We came together. We stood side by side. People mattered. Our way of life mattered. There was light from the darkness. We prevailed.

Australia Day makes a call on all of us to reflect and show unity, not be hostile or triumphant. It makes a call to us to hold onto that perspective we gain in times of tragedy or profound sadness – when we realise what actually is important.

It makes a call to us to sometimes not take things for granted. To remember how quickly things can change and not put off that hug you should have given, that chat you could have had, that time you could have spent with a loved one, the forgiveness you could have shown or the acceptance you should have demonstrated.

Australia Day also makes a call to us to reflect and truly embrace our wonderful Aboriginal history, and to respect Aboriginal people and the richness of Aboriginal culture. To reflect and genuinely embrace diversity and the fullness that this brings to us as individuals and as a country as a whole.

The meaning of Australia Day - and the pride we take in living here – should also be anchored to the care, support and charity we provide to those we know and to those we don’t who live among us.

And it should be anchored both to our rejection of selfishness, of violence and of hate and to our preparedness to share with others the opportunities living in Australia provides.

Our achievements are diminished if they are not anchored in this way. 

Today let us enjoy our good fortune.  And let us also reflect on how we can put that good fortune to use to benefit others.

There is no shortage of examples to follow.  The Australia Day Council does an admirable job in bringing to attention the extraordinary good works and good citizenship on display across the country ... including here in Pittwater ... introducing us to people who didn’t set out to inspire or impress, but who did just that.  Their stories and their positive community-minded approach are terrific pointers for all of us.

Let’s all do our best to follow in their footsteps.  If we do, we’ll make Australia, a great place now, even better.

Have a wonderful day and thank you.

Australia Day Honours List 2016 - Pittwater Residents


Dr Robert Law JOSS, Palm Beach, NSW

For eminent service to business and finance through executive roles with major banking institutions, and as a contributor to taxation policy and reform, to education as an academic and administrator, to professional organisations, and to the community.


The late Emeritus Professor Christopher Noel CANDLIN, Church Point, NSW

For distinguished service to higher education, particularly in the fields of linguistics and communication research, and as an academic, teacher and mentor.


The Reverend Dr John Allan HIRT, Avalon Beach, NSW

For significant service to the Uniting Church in Australia, particularly through theological direction, to youth, and to the community.

Mr Michael Geoffrey KENNEDY, Avalon Beach, NSW

For significant service to wildlife conservation and preservation, as an advocate and supporter, and to environmental policy development.  

Mr Frank Anthony HAVEN, Collaroy Plateau, NSW

For significant service to surf lifesaving, particularly in New South Wales, through a range of roles, and to the community.

Mr Haven may be just outside of Pittwater but he is often enough serving inside Pittwater. For those who have not been fortunate to have met the gentleman serving at surf life saving carnivals, the following is courtesy of Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches:

Tony, a former Sydney Northern Beaches Branch President and current SLSNSW President, now joins an illustrious group following the announcement of the Australia Day Honours.

He has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to surf lifesaving and he immediately thanked his family, especially wife Thecla.

''It's a huge honour. But it's not about me,'' Tony said.

"It's for my family, the people the who have supported and mentored me. It's the organisation and shows how much surf lifesaving is held in such high esteem.''

Tony was just 16 when he joined South Narrabeen SLSC and has been a one club man for 51 years.

''I was a gear steward when I first kicked off, got my bronze and became involved in surf boats,'' he said.

"In those days clubs were lucky to have 100 members. There were reels and lines.

''There has been enormous change. Today, it is so much more professional with the rescue equipment (jet skis, IRBs and helicopters) and education that goes into training members to save lives.''

Tony was SNB Branch President for five years, moved onto State where he became Deputy President and is now in his eighth year as President.

''To be recognised by the country is something very special,'' he said.

Picture: Tony with wife Thecla at the recent SNB Life Members luncheon. Courtesy SLS SNB


Ms Mignon Elizabeth BONWICK, Newport, NSW

For service to homeless youth in Sydney.

The late Mr Harvey Maxwell ROSE, Avalon Beach, NSW

For service to local government, and to the community.

Ms Tamara Anne SLOPER HARDING, Avalon Beach, NSW

For service to the communities of Timor Leste and Pittwater.

Mr Leo Edward TUTT, Newport, NSW

For service to business, and to the community through contributions to charitable organisations.

Tamara Sloper Harding

For service to the communities of Timor Leste and Pittwater

We asked Tamara Sloper Harding OAM, for a statement:

I am really humbled  and a bit taken aback. I consider this award acknowledgement of all the wonderful volunteers in our community who support Soibada both here in Australia and in Timor Leste. It isn’t about me, a number of people give a lot of themselves to help change the lives of the people in Pittwater’s sister village. I am always saying, particularly to the school children I meet, that one person can make a difference, but in reality that one person can make so much more of a difference with the support of many! I am very blessed to have fantastic people behind this project. Nothing would happen without them. The Friends of Soibada are a many talented eclectic bunch who have been drawn together for this cause.  I am also very fortunate to have amazing family and friends. My husband Adrian and our four children, Vaughan, Isabeau, Xavier and Armelle are just incredible. They do without to make this all possible. Mum and Dad, Dannie and Graham Sloper, raised all of their children with a strong sense of social justice. They were fantastic role models as we grew up and have always been involved in the community. In addition to their own endeavours they now support Adrian and I in looking after our children so I am able to do my volunteer work for Soibada and Adrian can serve with the Army.

The project began with the children of Maria Regina Primary School and they inspired many other individuals and community groups, churches and businesses to get involved. Once Pittwater Council and Pittwater Catholic Parish became officially partnered with Soibada the project really grew. 2016 is a big year for us. There are a number of fundraising events coming up. The Training Centre and Guesthouse in Soibada is almost complete – it will be available for visitors by mid year. We will be running courses there in July. Our next focus will be building a senior high school in the village. It is easy to donate to our “Buy a Brick” campaign online

Above: Tamara Sloper Harding, Chair of the Pittwater Friends of Soibada, Consul Fonseca Dos Santos Pereira of the Consulate-General of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in Sydney and Councillor Harvey Rose, Mayor of Pittwater at Maria Regina Catholic School, Avalon in 2012

Australia Day Nominees - Pittwater Council

Citizen of the Year

Helen Howes

Helen has been a volunteer at Manly Warringah Pittwater Community Aid Service for almost three years. She is known for her hard work, big heart and reliability. She not only cares for elderly people but makes a huge difference in the lives of younger clients with a disability.

Rodney Austin

Rodney played an important role in bringing about the construction of a footpath connecting Avalon and Clareville Beach. This pedestrian-friendly addition to the local area is due in part to his drive and determination.

Tony Tenney

Tony is President of Pittwater Forever, an organisation made up of 18 residential groups. Pittwater Forever provided a strong and unified voice for those fighting against council amalgamations during 2015.

Geoff Searl

Geoff is a passionate Northern Beaches resident who has spent hours writing a detailed account of Avalon’s history. From interviews with local identities to unique photographs, this nominee has created an invaluable record of this unique village. An active member of the community, this nominee contributes heavily to the work of many local organisations.

Lynette and David Millett

This dynamic duo was nominated for their huge contribution to the wildlife organisation WIRES. On call 7 days a week, they work tirelessly rescuing animals, often bringing them home where they nurse them back to health. They are known for their strong work ethic and love of all animals.

Michelle Heaton-Armstrong

The amazing ‘Fight on the Beaches’ charity has raised a fantastic $326,000 for Cure Cancer Australia. The charity comprises a team of eight hardworking women. Michelle Heaton-Armstrong is the driving force behind the charity.

Lisa Routledge

An integral member of the ‘Fight on the Beaches’ charity, Lisa worked tirelessly managing the venue and all the responsibilities for the ‘Fight on the Beaches’ Ball.

Danielle Hobbs

Danielle was responsible for the auction and audio/visual elements for the Fight on the Beaches ‘Christmas in July Ball’. Her hard work paid off with the auction alone raising $70,000. 

Carol Chaffer

A busy working mum, Carol works as committee secretary for the Fight on the Beaches charity and is a great support to the organisation.

Stacey Mitchell

As sponsorship co-ordinator for the ‘Fight on the Beaches’ committee Stacey raised $34,500 just through sponsorship for the Christmas in July Ball.

Jacqui Marlow 

A busy mother of three who also works full-time and volunteers for the Wildlife Roadkill Prevention Association. Her responsibilities range from checking the pouches of dead wallabies for joeys late at night, to lobbying to help reduce roadkill numbers. This work has paid off resulting in new fauna fences on the Wakehurst Parkway.

Jayne Denshire

Jayne is project manager for the incredibly popular Avalon Art Carnival. Her role included managing the promotion and logistical aspects of this highly successful event. This year, the Avalon Art Carnival attracted more than 50,000 visitors over two weeks.

James Devitt

James oversees all aspects of the community station - Radio Northern Beaches. He’s volunteered for over 10 years as a program presenter, board member and now Chairman. He has been instrumental in the station’s transition to its new site in Terrey Hills.

Belinda-Jane Hunt

Belinda is a well-respected local grief counsellor. Her compassion was evident when she organised a public forum in Avalon after the loss of a young man to suicide.  Her support of community and family members was invaluable.

Janet Forrester

Janet has worked tirelessly as a volunteer communications manager for the community organisations Clareville and Bilgola Residents Association and Pittwater Forever. She has lobbied MPs, written strategic papers, developed marketing videos, all for the benefit of the Pittwater community.

Toby Jay

Over the past 13 years Toby has given up his time and used his own barge to complete offshore collections for Clean Up Australia Day. Last year he even gave up a long awaited reunion with mates that he hadn’t seen for many years to continue his amazing work on this important day.

Sue Brandenburg

Sue was a respected teacher for 35 years. She also volunteered time and energy outside school hours coaching a variety of sporting teams over the past 22 years.  Involved in netball and softball, this nominee has not only been a highly successful coach but a mentor to many young people.

Ros Marsh 

Ros was a recent president of the Avalon Palm Beach Business Chamber where she liaised with Council through the Enliven Program. A quiet achiever, this nominee has helped organise a number of community events including Carols by the Sea and Avalon Market Day. She is a true networker, often inspiring others to volunteer in the community.

David Owen

David is the President of Clareville and Bilgola Residents’ Association or CABPRA. He has been active in a variety of campaigns by writing letters and meeting with MPs to lobby for better transport in Pittwater. This nominee is a doer and a skilled project manager.

Rick Shires

Rick has been involved in the Scouts movement since he was a child. He has served as a leader for over 33 years, inspiring and mentoring hundreds of scouts on the Northern Beaches.  A passionate environmentalist, he has worked closely with the Coastal Environment Centre and Pittwater Council in the area of bush regeneration. He is also a dedicated fireman.

Frank Haviland

Frank works as a volunteer Marine Rescue Watch Officer with Marine Rescue’s Terrey Hills Unit operating a 24/7 radio safety service for recreational boaters. He currently holds the Marine Rescue NSW 10 year service medal as well as a National Medal for this work with the PNG Police force.

Kim Hubner

Kim is President of Living Ocean, a charity that promotes the protection of oceans by reducing the human impact on this precious part of our world. One of her biggest contributions has been inspiring businesses to go plastic bag-free, replacing them with the reusable ‘Boomerang’ bags.

Romilly Madew

Our next nominee is the CEO of the Green Buildings Council of Australia. This local resident is passionate about inspiring governments and individuals to create sustainable buildings and communities. Clearly not busy enough she is also President of the Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club and the very first Independent Chair of the Currawong State Park Advisory Board of NSW.

Lorrie Morgan

Lorrie is a passionate advocate for community arts in Pittwater. She is the President of Pittwater Community Arts, an artist in her own right and has been the driving force behind the Pittwater Artists Trail since it began in 2011. This nominee, along with the late Pittwater Mayor Harvey Rose, also initiated a collection of poetry from Pittwater residents.

Pittwater Young Citizen of the Year

Danelle Kelliher

Danelle is a Pittwater High School student who spends her spare time volunteering as a Junior Leader for the 2nd Mona Vale Junior Guides. She has shown exceptional leadership qualities and is a great role model for younger children.

Ned Williams

Ned worked as a carpenter for Community Aid for over four years. He also works closely with frail aged and younger residents with a disability. In August this year, this impressive young man’s calm, caring nature and quick thinking saved the life of an elderly gentleman who had collapsed.

Kayleigh Greig

Kayleigh is only 12 years of age and is already an active wildlife ambassador. Her various roles include membership of Sydney Wildlife, a volunteer for Southern Cross Wildlife Care and a member of the Wildlife Roadkill Prevention Association.  She’s also negotiating with Ernst & Young to establish a wildlife ambulance and clinic.

Pittwater Sportsperson of the Year

Charlie Brooks

Charlie is a highly accomplished member of the Newport Surf Life Saving Club. This year he won medals at local and state events with 5 gold and 2 silver medals at the Australian Championships, earning him the title of ‘Male Athlete of the Carnival’. This year he also represented Australia in the Youth Surf Life Saving team. 

Sam Bloom  

Sam became a paraplegic after a terrible accident. After working hard in rehabilitation, she started training and has now become part of the Australian Para-canoe Sprint Team, representing her country in Milan last year. She is a fabulous role model and an inspiration for all of us. 

Shellie Davis

Shellie represented New South Wales and Australia in Touch Football. She was captain of the Under 20s Trans-Tasman winning national team. Our nominee has also been officially recognised for her part in Manly Warringah Sea Eagles State Cup Championship win, receiving the Barry Gibson Perpetual Trophy.

Alyse Saxby

Alyse has represented Australia at the World Games for Special Olympics three times, bringing back the gold medal in sailing on two occasions, along with her sailing partner and coach on board. She was also a finalist for Sailor of the Year with a Disability at the 2015 Yachting Australia Awards. 

Families looking for photographs of yesterday's festivities (26.1.2016) for their own family albums will find images to download at  Pittwater Online News Photo Albums website here

Report and Pictures by A J Guesdon, 2016.