April 23 - 29  2023: Issue 580


Avalon JRLFC Kicks Off An A Grade Season 'For The Community'

Previous A Grader at the Avalon Bulldogs, Craig Womersley, aka 'Truck', started getting phone calls at the end of last year from Bulldogs A Grade team members such as Jed about 'getting the band back together'.

After a few Seasons that had gone AWL due to Covid restrictions or members having a punt at union there was a rising call from residents to form up another A Grade team for the Doggies and Truck succumbed - agreeing to coach this year's team.

Craig is no stranger to coaching, he's the coach for his son's Under 12's and has played with the A Grade team himself, winning a few premierships along the way, until he hung up his boots in 2016. 

However, his priority as the 2023 Suburban Rugby League season commences is that the boys and he are 'doing of for the community'.

''There had been so many calls for Avalon to have an A Grade team again that we're doing it. '' he explained after Sunday April 16ths' opener at the 'Doggie dome' on Hitchcock park. 

''But we're doing it for the community - that's our priority and all else is just great stuff.''

The community came out in force for the A Graders first game of the season, so much so that the club ran out of beer.

''There were a few people there.'' Truck mused 

The A Grade Team has their practice on Thursdays. As Truck explained, they do their runs and work out some plays and then sit down afterwards with 2 beers each and talk - and not just about the next game. This is what is at the core of this group of players, whether new members or old crew, keeping each other good with the world - even when the going is tough.

The  A Grade crew is numerous this year - the Team named for the first game was:

Said to 'bleed red and green', Avalon JRLFC's colours, Truck is among a host of stalwarts and backbone for the Bulldogs. There's Jazmin Ball, Registrar and Secretary, who this year has organised 2 under 14 girls blues tag teams this season, expanding the club  into the Girls competition this year, Paul Collins - Life Member with Honours 'P.C.', who was in the paddock when the clubhouse was the loos near the tennis courts and was standing beside Brian Friend OAM - Life Member with Honours - when they raised enough dollars to lay the first bricks of the stupendous building that hosts club events and memorabilia - you will often catch these two on the field marking out lines for games hours before the first ball gets passed. President is PC's son Anthony, another who has been among the Doggies since he was knee high to a grasshopper.

Vice President Ian Dalgleish, Gear Steward Virginia Leigh and Sponsorship Coordinator Kristen Wolthers, who along with Coaching Coordinator Matt Eding are the volunteer Committee members who keep the club pumping during the Winter games and Touch Footy Summer rounds loved by hundreds and in February hosted a 9 aside Gala Day with the Mona Vale Raiders, Belrose Eagles and the Port Macquarie Sharks part of the fun. 

They're all backed up by more Life Members such as the legendary Samantha Baum, Jeff Loadsman, Glenn Farrell, Lisa Matthews, Annie Misdale, Bryan Iliffe, Richard Harris, Maryane Cuss, Barry Langham, Tom Gilbert (RIP) and Gordon O'Donnell, along with littlies to bigger littlies coaches, great referees, canteen mums and BBQ dads and a veritable army of scorers, broom sweepers and bottle collectors - all volunteers.

And all of who have been 'doing it for the community' for a long time as well. This is the backbone of the Avalon Bulldogs - they care about each other, are there for each other, and this makes them unbeatable, whatever the final score is.

Last Sunday Life Member, referee and long-term coach of junior teams Brian Friend OAM led a Tribute for Terry O’Sullivan prior to the A-Grade match on Sunday April 16. 'Tezza' as he is known to many in our community, passed away, just falling asleep, over Easter. His support through his business, Barrenjoey Designs, of local feetball clubs Warringah, Newport and Pittwater will be missed - but not as much as the gentleman himself.

Brian said ‘’Terry was a genuine bloke and a great supporter and sponsor of this club and his beloved A Grade over many years. His chair up in the supporters section, where he’d enjoy a beer, sits empty today.

The club feels deep sorrow for Terry’s family and extends its heartfelt condolences to his three daughters.  

We, as a club, will observe one minutes silence as a tribute to our mate.’’

The Avalon Bulldogs Junior Rugby League Club commenced in the Manly Warringah District Junior Rugby League in 1962. Since then the club has been growing great humans and equipping them with 'how to's on fitness, friendship and FUN!

Avalon's A Grade meets Berowra at Hitchcock this afternoon, 3pm - see you at the Doggie Dome!

This week's Pictorial runs some action from the Doggies first A grade run in a while - a muggy hotter afternoon that will get faster as the days get colder and the boys hone their form - ALBUM HERE for those who want snaps for their own Family Albums. But first, a dance from the Gala Day players and some Round 1 highlights: 

Go Doggies!


DA Proposal For Palm Beach Fish & Chip Site Refused: Residents Relieved But Still Calling For The Return Of Pittwater Council

Palm Beach fish & Chips, 2021, just before the site was demolished. Photo supplied
The common theme throughout the submissions objecting to the DA proposal for the old fish and chip site at Palm Beach, abutting historic Barrenjoey House, is that there have been too many breaches of the LEP and DCP - height breaches, bulk and scale breaches, heritage breaches, public amenity breaches and even geotechnical breaches. 

A decision from the Northern Beaches Planning Panel on February 15 to defer consideration of  Application No. DA2022/0469 was to give the applicant the opportunity to submit to Council by 15 March 2023 amended plans that reduce the overall height, bulk and scale including removal of the mansard roof, set back the upper level and roof form to be more compatible with surrounding development particularly heritage listed Barrenjoey House, reduce the overly strong vertical influence of the balcony columns at the front and their impact on bulk and scale and redesign the mechanical plant enclosure to minimise the height of the screening and the provision of rooftop landscape screen. 

Throughout the iterations of barely modified plans the Council has expressed its support for the proposal and recommended to the NBPP that it be approved, despite the clear breaches and hundreds of written objections from right across the community pointing these out, chapter and verse.

Council documents recommending approval have erroneously parroted piecemeal the proponents declaration that;

''Of relevance to the consideration of the height and form of the development is the existing active consent for a three storey shop-top housing development on the land (N0119/14 approved by Pittwater Council). Whilst the assessment of the current development application is not reliant upon or bound by the parameters of this existing consent, the reality of the situation is that the existing consent means that a three (3) storey shop top housing development could be constructed at any time.''

However, what this statement negates to mention, as that 2014 Pittwater Council assessment points out, that height breach was not over 30% and the structures was not 44metres in length and squeezed into every centimetres of the block, and did not require 'anchoring' itself under the neighbours homes - that 'height breach' was an extra metre at the western edge of just one roof line, and that Pittwater Council assessment found that;

'Most importantly, the height of the development is not considered to overwhelm the adjoining item of heritage significance as the proposed ridge height is approximately equal to that of 'Barrenjoey House' and set back from the street in line with the ridge of the existing adjoining building. Furthermore, as the development approaches the adjoining heritage item, the development is setback further into the site where the proposal complies with the prescribed building height.'

Page 16 Report to the Development Unit Meeting, to be held on 13th November, 2014 Pittwater Council assessment of N0119/14; PON Pittwater Council records kept

2014 - N0119/14; side profile drawing submitted to Pittwater Council; - no one objected to this DA; not a single person - letters of support were lodged, from PON Pittwater Council records kept 

Further, the community subsequently became aware Council had met with the planning panel members on March 8 2023 in a closed meeting (not open to the public). The Palm Beach Whale Beach Association pointed out that in this Council 'were able to advocate reverting to the “original” plans contrary to the Panel's decision of 15th February.'

''What is genuinely disturbing is that Council’s planning staff were able to advocate, in the absence of the public, for plans against which over 150 objections had been lodged by the public - plans which furthermore show a number of serious breaches of planning controls.'' the Association stated on April 11th.

The PBWBA and people who are not members of residents associations have reiterated again and again in past years that a council which advocates for the overdevelopment of sites and approves or recommends approval of structures that ignore the Pittwater DCP and LEP must be removed and their former Pittwater Council returned. 

Coupled with the council's rezoning plans, which will impact on thousands of properties in Pittwater and just 1 in the former Warringah and 54 in the former Manly council area, the perceived targeted 'trashing of Pittwater', as Pittwater could have its own zoning, and recent 'advocacy' that ignores the DCP and LEP across the former Pittwater LGA have reignited calls for a return of Pittwater Council and that council's focus on looking after the community and the environment that community lives in.

Local Planning Panels (LPPs) were established to ensure increased probity and accountability in the planning system, safeguard against corruption and lead to better planning outcomes. The panels consist of a chair and two independent experts plus a community representative. The role of the community representative is to ensure that local insights and knowledge are considered as part of the panel’s decision-making.

The NSW Planning Department developed the referral criteria with two key objectives in mind:

  • ensuring LPPs focus on contentious and complex development applications and applications with the greatest corruption risk, while council staff continue to determine routine applications
  • building flexibility into the criteria to reflect differences in the types of development and community expectations across local government areas.

Given their purposes and framework residents are wondering why that March 8 closed meeting took place at all. 

Council's continued recommendations to the NBPP to approve the proposal would have subjected those members to having to do a deeper dive as well - and find what everyone else found, from 2014 onwards.

The NBPP members have been joined in all the extra work by those this proposal would impact on directly; Neighbours to the south and east have had to engage specialists and legal teams to investigate and report on the geotechnical aspects, at their own cost and at great expense, and to point out that documents pertaining to these supplied by the proponent's agent do not meet the Council’s policy requirements or objectives. Further, the proponent's reports for these rely on encroachments into and under neighbours land and homes, without having ever approached the same to discuss this, and with those neighbours agents having to point out these would damage those premises, and the surrounding hill. 

Since May 2021, hundreds of individual submissions alongside local bodies such as the PBWBA and Mona Vale Residents Association, the newly formed Palm Beach Protection Group and Pittwater Environmental Heritage Group, formed since the forced amalgamation to fight Council decisions that 'trash Pittwater', have been lodged with the Council regarding this DAs various slightly amended plans. Just one of these, from a developer, supported the project. 

The latest 'amended' drawings had another brand new 77 objections by the time the next meeting on this proposal was held.

Despite the opportunity to modify the design, the drawings submitted since March 8 continued to ignore those changes requested and continued to ignore the objectives and planning controls of the Pittwater LEP and DCP.



Autumn In Pittwater

Snapperman Beach, Pittwater - late Autumn calm. Photos: A J Guesdon

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