May 23 - 29, 2021: Issue 495


New Opportunity For Council Demergers Develops

May 22, 2021

Report by Miranda Korzy

The NSW government has opened up a new opportunity for fully funded council demergers, updating local government laws to allow for council-initiated proposals within a fixed time frame. 

Save Our Councils Coalition vice president Sue Young today said that under changes recently passed by both Houses of the NSW Parliament in the Local Government Amendment Bill 2021, councils amalgamated in 2016 would be able to launch demerger bids within 10 years of their establishment. 

The cost of any de-amalgamation of the new area resulting from a business case submitted under the new provision would be fully funded by the state government, Ms Young said.  

However, she questioned the usefulness of the amendment unless a majority of councillors supported a demerger. 

“The amendment may not be a viable pathway for Pittwater residents wanting to de-amalgamate from the Northern Beaches Council,” Ms Young, a former Pittwater councillor said. 

“I consider the benefit for Pittwater is that the community proposal should be treated in the same manner as a proposal from an amalgamated council and fully funded by the government, with limits on response and processing times.” 

Protect Pittwater president Bob Grace welcomed the development but said locals wanting to demerge from Northern Beaches Council should take matters into their own hands. 

“We must determine our own destiny and fight to demerge Pittwater,” Mr Grace said. 

“We can’t wait around for a majority of Northern Beaches councillors to recognise the failure of the council and initiate a de-amalgamation. 

“Anyone who wants Pittwater back should sign our petition, which is currently the only realistic route for a demerger.”   



North Narrabeen Win Nudie Australian Boardriders Battle National Final 

Photo by Ethan Smith/Surfing Australia

May 16th, 2021

Report by Surfing Australia

All the elements aligned today as Newcastle Main Beach turned on for the last day of the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle Series Final where former champions North Narrabeen Boardriders Club once again reigned supreme. 

As usual, the final was a nail-biting affair with all four clubs going blow for blow, sending their power surfers out for the last ten minutes in a position to win the crown. 

Nathan Hedge started the final for his beloved North Narrabeen in perfect fashion, nailing a 7 point single wave score in the first three minutes, giving the rest of the team plenty of breathing room. 

Nathan Hedge said: "It was definitely a good way to start the final, it just set a good precedent for the team to relax a bit moving forward. There's a legacy of champions that have come through Narrabeen and we have won this event before but there's fresh blood and each year it's mind-blowing to see new talent come through. These guys are the future and I am just super proud of this club."

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said surfing events were part of Newcastle’s fabric.

"City of Newcastle is proud to bring our community another successful surfing event, showcasing local talent and putting on a great display for Novocastrians and visitors alike.

The surfing world loves Newcastle for the people, community atmosphere and the waves, which is why on the back of years delivering Surfest we are able to attract the Australian Boardriders Battle and the recent WSL Championship Tour."

“Our City is well known for its iconic surfing culture and a community that’s passionate about creating and nurturing surfing talent."

“Congratulations to this year’s winner North Narrabeen Boardriders Club and all those who helped make the 2021 Australian Boardriders Battle a success."



IRB Premiership 2021: Kiama Downs Wins 15 Of 23 Finals In First Round - Local Clubs Get Points On The Board

Tuesday May 18th 2021

The first IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) racing event in two years kicked off in perfect conditions at Terrigal over the weekend (May 15-16). Over 300 surf lifesavers from 17 clubs travelled to the Central Coast location for the first round of the 2021 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Series.

Kiama Downs took out an incredible 15 of the 23 finals for the round one event. The defending series and State Champions admitting that despite being a small country team, they’ve put in the hours and passion to ignite the team for 2021 and develop the skills of their new members.

Kiama Downs Team Manager Steve Strong said his team was running really well over the duration of the weekend and they were pleased with the results. “We’ve had some new Under 23s and Rookies join the team this year which has been great and we continue to have very strong female crews.”

When asked about the secret to the team’s recent dominance in the sport Strong said, “There’s no secret. The core of our team has been racing for a long time so there’s a lot of experience in our team, our management systems and our training systems have all been in place for a long time and now we’re capitalising on it and have been fortunate enough to enjoy a really good run the last few years.”

One of the sport’s veterans, Scott Bryant from Caves Beach was very happy to be back on the beach racing. “So many people look forward to the sport each year. It’s nice, close racing today, great to see everyone back and a beach full of people,” he said.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I’ve always been an advocate for the fact IRB racing makes great lifesavers because these are the people you’ll see on your beach at home that will go out in any conditions and rescue someone,” said Bryant.

The COVID break allowed for the development of new young crews across the state, a promising sign for the winter sport. Queenscliff showed the depth of their young team after placing both first and third in the Rookie Mass Rescue final, a race with the youngest drivers and combined crew in the format.

The weather turned on for the weekend, despite the large swell at many other beaches across the state, the Terrigal headland provided protection from the wind and waves making it ideal for the newcomers to the sport.



Autumn In Pittwater 2021

Pelican on the beach at Turimetta at Sunrise, May 18, 2021 - photo by Joe Mills

Pittwater Online News is Published Every Sunday Morning: 8 a.m. 

 Past Features   Archives (pre 2014)

Pittwater Online News was selected for preservation by the State Library of New South Wales and National Library of Australia. This title is scheduled to be re-archived regularly.

Archived Issues (2014 on) may be accessed