May 7 - 13, 2017: Issue 311

Protect Pittwater Community Forum

7 p.m. Tuesday May 16 at Pittwater RSL

Residents Encouraged to Unite to Protect Pittwater at Community Forum

May 5, 2017

The Pittwater community should unite to protect the area’s environment and character from massive development, speakers will say at a forum this month.

Former Pittwater Councillor Bob Grace, Better Planning Network founding convenor Corinne Fisher and Greens MLC David Shoebridge have confirmed they will address the forum, “Protecting Pittwater: Where to From Here?” at Pittwater RSL on Tuesday May 16, at 7pm.     

The forum follows a number of recent rallies concerned about the B-Line bus, its role as a catalyst for development and calls for Pittwater Council to be demerged.

Mr Grace will invite residents at the forum to support his plans for a crowd-funding page to finance legal action aiming to restore the council.

“The crowd funding page is progressing. Clareville local Pip Rey is putting it together and we hope to have it ready and circulating by mid-May,” Mr Grace said.

“This will be very exciting because it will enable the community to understand  what we’re trying to do and how they can help so we can get our Pittwater back.”

Another major issue to be discussed on the night is the impact on the Pittwater area of the new government planning body, the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC). 

Its plans for massive development include a commercial centre at the new hospital at Frenchs Forest, the Ingleside housing estate and a ramped up Mona Vale town centre

Submissions on the plan – which must be implemented by local governments - closed last month without an elected council in place on the Northern Beaches.

Ms Fisher - whose network is not affiliated with any political party - will give insights at the forum into how the community can fight inappropriate development. 

She encouraged the Pittwater community to band together in a grassroots campaign to protect the area.

“By growing community awareness of the impacts of development, encouraging media coverage and putting pressure on local politicians, residents can work together to protect what they love about their neighbourhood,” Ms Fisher said.

The network, with a membership of more than 460 community groups, was founded in 2012 over concerns about NSW government planning reforms. Its members believe planning should centre on community well-being and environmental protection. 

Mr Shoebridge, who will speak about his bill for council demergers and problems with the GSC, said it was heartening to see the community standing up for local democracy.

“The Ku-ring-gai Court of Appeal decision [which found that the plan to merge that council with Hornsby could not proceed in the current form] could have an impact on every forced amalgamation that has either happened or been threatened to date,” Mr Shoebridge said.

Residents attending the forum will have an opportunity to join in the discussion and a number of other community representatives have been invited to speak.

from Miranda Korzy