September 1 - 7, 2019: Issue 419


Littoral rainforest on the newport-bilgola verge secured as public space 

Early in May 2018 residents contacted Pittwater Online News, separately, wondering why land then on the market (over 10 thousand square metres) could not be secured for the community to complete the Newport/Bilgola Crown to the Sea bush links.

Pittwater Online spoke to Mick Glasheen, who had also been speaking about the same matter in late 2017 and was renting a premises on the property. Pittwater Online subsequently contacted the Newport Residents Association President Gavin Butler, Marita Macrae President of the Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA), Neil Evers of the Aboriginal support Group, Manly, Warringah, Pittwater and arranged an informal morning tea - providing said yummies - to get all these people who had spoken about the same thing separately together so they could speak about it as one. This news service also informed MP for Pittwater Rob Stokes about the community's aspiration to secure this land.

These individuals and groups, took it from there - arranging to make a great video(by Bruce Walters with Danielle Bressington), launch an online petition (Marita Macrae of PNHA) and liaise with their members (Gavin of Newport Residents and Neil Evers of ASPMWP, PNHA members) councillors and council as well as Rob to get this one over the line.

NB: there is some lantana and other weeds on this land which may need extra bushcare volunteer hands to help clear it - we'll keep you posted once we receive any information on this and any new group that may be forming to do that work.

Below runs the confirmation received this week from Pittwater's MP, The Hon Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces:

More than 10,000 square metres of Littoral rainforest near Newport will be preserved as public open space thanks to a $4.6 million joint investment by the NSW Government and Northern Beaches Council.

Member for Pittwater and Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the acquisition will ensure the pristine ecological area is preserved for the next generation.

“Our government is committed to ensuring the people of NSW have access to great public open space,” Mr Stokes said.

“Protecting the environment is a huge priority for the Northern Beaches community, so I am delighted we have been able to preserve endangered rainforest, while protecting an important wildlife corridor and increasing green space in the Sydney basin.”

Mayor Michael Regan said the purchase was a huge win for the local community.

“Despite its high environmental value, this land on Hillside Road had been slated for sub-division and significant development, so it’s great we’ve been able to partner with the State government to save it and bring it into public hands,” Mayor Regan said.

“I’d like to thank the many community groups and individuals who fought to have this critical land saved and ensure this incredible outcome became a reality.”

The purchase, co-funded with Northern Beaches Council through the Greater Sydney Open Space Program, demonstrates the NSW Government’s priority to secure and improve green space across the State.

The site will now be transferred to Northern Beaches Council for ongoing care and management.

The view from the land saved for the public by Pittwater's MP The Hon. Rob Stokes and the Council.