January 28 - February 3, 2018: Issue 345

Protect Pittwater January Update: Have Briefed New Senior Counsel 

+ MP For Mackellar Calls on created council to Pause on Headlong Overdevelopment 

+ Phil Jenkyn OAM Addresses his Local State MP; the Minister for Planning

Pittwater residents attend the Cancel Council Amalgamations SOCC Event on Friday, May 12th, 2017 - photo courtesy Sue Young.
British statesman and Liberal politician Joseph Chamberlain is recorded in 1886 as having said:  ‘In politics, there is no use in looking beyond the next fortnight.’

With just over a year to go until the NSW State Government elections of 2019 and a review this week of the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian’s first year as NSW Premier, renewed discussion around recent events in the community has shown residents have the memories of elephants – they never forget.

In 2017 the Premier withdrew proposals to forcibly merge a number of councils fighting in court but would not allow communities forcibly merged a referendum to de-merge. Last week confirmation of who will chair Sydney Planning Panels confirms to many the incumbent government has now taken away the right of councillors to decide on local developments for their area.

Add to this the state government’s dismantling and erosion of so much of what was looked after under local government, such as the move to shift urban reserves out from under council custodianship and into the Department of Planning, via a ‘Ministerial Direction’, when some of these areas were dedicated to council by individuals from private land held by them, and you have a community waiting quietly to pounce when the next real opportunity arises.

Former Pittwater Councillor Bob Grace spoke on Northern Beaches Radio on Thursday January 25th with Craig Brown, who steers the 12 p.m slot. Mr. Brown interviewed Bob about his days at Warringah council and how he quit working there and became part of the then relatively new Pittwater Council. They then went on to speak about more recent developments, where Mr. Grace reiterated the anger within the community of Pittwater over the forced amalgamation with Warringah has not dissipated. 

Pittwater Online News spoke to Mr. Grace on Friday about the interview and what the community formed alliance, Protect Pittwater, is doing this early in 2018.

“It is important that Pittwater continues to be master of its own destiny. We cannot allow others to control our future, which has now happened with these forced amalgamations. 

" I was on Warringah council from 1980 to 1983. Our area up here now has three votes out of 12 now, similar to what was in place when I was on Warringah council, so nothing has changed. In fact, it has reverted back to what was in place prior to Pittwater seceding.

"Protect Pittwater is still investigating whether to proceed with legal action. We have briefed a new Senior Counsel to give advice.”

Just before Christmas (2017) the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal handed down its decision in Primrose v NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, with swathes of the decision rendered ‘not for publication’, which confirms to many the validity of Mr Primrose’s case. The State Opposition’s local government spokesman, MLC Peter Primrose, had taken the State Government to court to attempt it to release details of the $400,000 report from consultants KPMG, on which much of the justification for the mergers was based.

“The NSW Liberal-Nationals Government have again used public money to hide its secret report on forced council mergers from public scrutiny,” Mr. Primose stated. “This is despite Premier Berejiklian and Deputy Premier Barilaro repeatedly claiming that forced council mergers are no longer on their agenda.”

“If the NSW Liberal-Nationals are really no longer pursuing forced council mergers, why are they still going to these extraordinary lengths to keep their KPMG report a secret? The only conclusion to draw is that the NSW Liberal-Nationals Government are not finished with forced council mergers, and those documents show that there is a Phase 2 of forced mergers still to come.”

The KPMG report will remain a bone of contention, with many wondering how its claims that it was ‘independent’ from the government when, in the case of the merger of Manly, Warringah and Pittwater, KPMG provided advice to the NSW Government that was contrary to earlier advice it had provided to two of these relevant councils when they had commissioned the firm to do economic modelling on whether they should or should not merge.

The Community Consultation Delegate appointed by the state government in to hear views on amalgamation was Richard Pearson who stated in the opening pages of his report, seemingly confirming what many had been saying for years by then;
‘While there are two alternative merger options under consideration for the northern beaches – Warringah Council’s proposal for a single council (comprising existing Manly, Pittwater and Warringah LGAs) and the Minister’s proposals for two separate councils (one comprising existing Pittwater and part Warringah LGAs; and the other comprising existing Manly, Mosman and part Warringah LGAs) – it is my view following both public inquiries that the single council option (of Manly, Pittwater and Warringah LGAs) is preferred and that its impacts can be effectively managed. 

It is therefore recommended that the merger proposal proceed with the recommendations contained in Section 7 of this report.’

‘Overall, Warringah Council is strongly supportive of the proposal, having put it forward for consideration, and Pittwater and Manly councils have expressed strong opposition to the proposal in their submissions to this public inquiry. ‘

Mr. Pearson clearly heard Pittwater residents overwhelmingly and by then five years long emphatically stating they were opposed to amalgamation with Warringah. That was not relevant as;
‘The financial impacts of the proposal are likely to be significantly beneficial, in all likelihood to a similar extent to those identified by KPMG in its financial analysis ($136m net financial benefit over 20 years).’

A January 2018 article, Council Amalgamations in NSW: A Study in How Not to Tackle Hard Policy, by Lynsey Blayden, published on the Australian Public Law website,  points out;

Although the Independent Panel found it wanting, there is a statutory process for the consideration of merger proposals in the LGA. For reasons of accountability, fidelity had to be given to the process already in place, however slow and inconvenient it may have seemed.

The government’s defeats in the Court of Appeal, first in the Ku-ring-gai matter and in the later one involving Hunter’s Hill, Lane Cove, Mosman, North Sydney and Strathfield Councils, indicate that it didn’t conform properly to administrative process in its pursuit of forced amalgamations. In the Ku-ring-gai matter, Basten and Macfarlan JJA agreed that the delegate had required access to the KPMG material to fulfil his function properly. In obiter, Basten JA raised the further issue as to whether the LGA actually could be said to authorise the appointment of a delegate who was not employed in the public service to fulfil the functions of the Chief Executive of Local Government, as had been done in connection with some amalgamation proposals.

The rush to get things done, as stated as required by the Local Government Minister when the forced to merge councils were announced, and while the merged three council’s were under Administration, has also created a raft of changes and structure the now elected councillors have inherited – the French’s Forest Developments; the shemozzle the Pasadena pronouncement has evolved into; plus numerous other shifts in who’s in charge of what that has equally eroded the effectiveness of any Councillor now serving.

Add to this the Member for Mackellar adding his call for a pause on development this week, and you know the storm hasn't passed - and probably won't while the headlong rush to change the definition of 'having your say' becomes defined as 'responding to what is in the documents', especially if you don't agree with anything in the documents and that renders, alike 'no amalgamtion', your say irrelevant.

The election in 2019 may be too far away for many in Pittwater and too soon for others, despite a good long run under Administration and pursuing 'just ram it through' policy thereafter.

Mr. Phil Jenkyn OAM, who Pittwater Online News readers followed in his trek with companions south along the coastal tracks from Pittwater’s Barrenjoey to the Royal National Park, and Co-convenor of the Save Hunters Hill Municipality Coalition and also Spokesperson for Save our Councils NSW, has this week again called on his own local State MP, and the Minister for Planning, to consider listening to his electorate.

Both gentlemen's News runs below, as does the current matters named above.

Northern Beaches Council Needs To Press Pause On Development

January 23, 2018: NEWS
Today, I have called for the Northern Beaches Council to delay any further rezonings or developments until the transport situation on the Northern Beaches becomes clearer. 

Over the weekend we saw yet another example of how transport planning in our area is the proverbial cart before the horse.  Before transport projects are even started, they are already planning on how to fill up our suburbs with more people and more cars.  

The out of touch bureaucrats who run our transport and road systems have outdone themselves this time.

Even before the B Line bus project is finished they have removed the T3 lane, despite the fact that all their modelling shows that it will make matters worse.  No wonder they wanted to keep the decision under wraps, so by the time everyone noticed it would be too late. 

Well I have a message for them: it is not too late, and we will not let you get away with it.

Then we hear over the last week plans for over a thousand apartments in Dee Why and Forestville.  Can they be serious? 

The motion proposed by Cr Stuart Sprott is right on the money except for one thing: it should include the entire Northern Beaches. I am therefore calling on other councillors to support his motion, especially those who in the past have been in favour of increased development without any improvement in transport. 

As for the Pyrmont dwelling transport and road bureaucrats who don’t care about the impact of their decisions on the lives of tens of thousands of families on the Northern Beaches, I have a simple message: if you love development so much then do it where you live, places that have ample public transport, and brilliant access to the city centre, it makes more sense, and maybe, just maybe, you will understand how the rest of us feel. 

Stop looking after yourselves all the time and give the rest of us a go.

Jason Falinski
Member for Mackellar

Community Demands Democracy For Local Planning Panels

January 25th, 2018 
SAVE HUNTERS HILL Municipality Coalition calls upon the NSW Government, and our local member Anthony Roberts, as Planning Minister, to revoke the recent ‘Local Planning Panels Act’ mandating panels, and restore local decision-making on planning to our local councils.

Specifically, we call upon you as our local State member to listen to the local community on this issue.

We are entitled to and demand local democracy for our elected council and councillors.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian in her media conference on July 27, 2017 admitted that she and the Cabinet got it wrong and didn’t listen to the community over forced council mergers.

She said: “Perhaps we should have listened earlier on in the process. Every single person who sat around the cabinet table needs to bear responsibility, including myself.”

MINISTER ROBERTS, you were a member of the Cabinet and you got it very wrong.

You didn’t and wouldn’t listen to your community.
You are our local member and are supposed to represent us.

The Hunters Hill community held a large public meeting on February 23, 2016.

That meeting made it very clear for all to see and hear that you were not listening to our legitimate concerns.

Perhaps you should now view the speeches delivered that evening

Your government’s unsuccessful attempt to destroy Hunters Hill and Lane Cove and the City of Ryde councils was a direct attack on the local democracy of each of these communities.

Each one has been electing their own aldermen and councillors to make decisions involving planning and local developments for their area for over 120 years.

Hunters Hill Council is the earliest having been established over 156 years ago.

Its council has a proud and successful record of managing its historic municipality, with over two thirds protected as ‘conservation areas’.

It is now recognised as Australia’s most significant heritage municipality and oldest garden suburb.

The ‘Local Planning Panels’ legislation was rammed through the Parliament in the dead of night by Minister Anthony Roberts.

The Act takes away totally the right of our elected representatives – our councillors – to have any say or role in relation to local development applications.

LOCAL PANELS are dominated by non-elected officials from outside our area appointed or vetted by the Minister.

Our communities and their elected councillors for the first time in our long histories are being deleted from having a say on what is to be actually built in our areas.

This is another direct attack upon our local democracy by an out of touch and arrogant State Government.

The Minister and the Government are still not listening! One might ask – will they ever learn?

The Local Government Association (LGNSW) has called upon Minister Roberts to revoke this legislation mandating panels. So has Hunters Hill Council, Lane Cove Council, City of Ryde Council, the Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC), and many other councils and communities.

Save Hunters Hill Municipality Coalition calls upon Anthony Roberts to withdraw this legislation NOW or resign as our local member.

Co-convenor of the Save Hunters Hill Municipality Coalition.
Spokesperson for Save our Councils NSW

Draft Environment SEPP: Urban Bushland

The Berejiklian government has just announced changes that propose to repeal and replace the following State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) with a single Environment SEPP:

• State Environmental Planning Policy No. 19—Bushland in Urban Areas - [Manly, Warringah, Pittwater; pages 23 to 32]
• State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Drinking Water Catchment) 2011
• State Environmental Planning Policy No. 50—Canal Estate Development
• Greater Metropolitan Regional Environmental Plan No. 2—Georges River Catchment
• Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No. 20—Hawkesbury-Nepean River (No.2-1997) [*Pittwater and Warringah]
• Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005
• Willandra Lakes Regional Environmental Plan No. 1—World Heritage Property.

Aimed at reducing 'red tape' and 'streamlining' NSW's planning system, some changes are commended such as protecting Sydney Harbour's natural assets by prohibiting new canal estates.

However other changes will enable development in sensitive areas that are currently protected.

Designed to marry up with other planning instruments, such as the controversial Biodiversity Act 2016, the changes also give greater effect to Ministerial Directions.

The changes also propose to revise the term ‘bushland zoned or reserved for public open space purposes’ to ‘public bushland’. This includes all land that is zoned non-rural, and owned or managed by a council or a public authority, or reserved for acquisition for open space or environmental conservation by a council or a public authority, and that has vegetation which meets a clear definition of bushland.

From • Draft Environment SEPP (PDF: 6.215 MB):
State Environmental Planning Policy No 19 – Bushland in Urban Areas (SEPP 19)
  • The majority of the provisions of SEPP 19 will be transferred to SEPP (Environment). These provisions will be updated and some will be transferred to a Ministerial Direction.
  • Update council names to reflect recent council amalgamations and boundary changes.
  • Extend its land application to cover local government areas that are currently partly outside the application of SEPP 19 including parts of Hawkesbury and Central Coast local government areas.
  • Transfer plan making provisions in SEPP 19 to a Ministerial Direction.
  • A new circular on Urban Bushland is being finalised for consultation. It has been developed to provide further information and detail regarding the application of SEPP 19. This circular will replace planning Circulars No. B13 and No. 114. 
Creating a new Ministerial Direction – Urban Bushland
SEPP 19 contains provisions for the preparation of local environmental plans in clause 10. The clause ensures that when a council is drafting local environmental plan provisions for any land to which SEPP 19 applies, other than rural land, it considers the general and specific aims of the SEPP, and gives priority to retaining bushland unless significant environmental, economic, or social benefits arise which outweigh the value of the bushland. This should be transferred to a
new Ministerial Direction as it is the appropriate mechanism to guide plan making. No current direction adequately covers urban bushland in the same way. Urban bushland exists across many different zones, therefore Ministerial Direction 2.1 – Environmental Protection Zones, is not appropriate to address public urban bushland of the type protected by SEPP 19.

The new Ministerial Direction is intended to function largely the same way as clause 10 of SEPP 19. As currently, the direction will apply when a planning authority is preparing a planning proposal for land to which the Urban Bushland provisions of SEPP (Environment) apply.

Critically the current SEPP (no 19) SEPP 19 extends 'beyond the protection of environmental values of bushland by identifying 'the need to protect the aesthetic and community values as well as the recreational, educational and scientific values of this resource'.

The proposed SEPP also enables the Roads and Maritime Services, to undertake the subdivision of foreshore lands in order ‘to lawfully reclaim Sydney Harbour land’ and redefine the ‘heads of consideration for consent authorities when assessing Development Applications on Foreshore lands.

The changes also include amending the aim of the Harbour Regional Environmental Plan that ensures Sydney is a ‘working harbour’ to enable a range of recreational, transport, tourism and commercial uses. Greater flexibility to 'mooring pens' is also proposed, which are currently prohibited.

Other changes include transferring heritage provisions to the relevant local environmental plan, thereby reducing the protection of heritage assets.

In addition, concerns have been flagged that moving the prohibition of extractive industries in parts of the Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment to the SEPP for Mining, Petroleum and Extractive Industries - and moving the Sydney Opera House provisions in the Harbour Regional Environmental Plan to SEPP (State Significant Precincts) effectively reduces the current protections.

The changes are on exhibition for public comment until the 15 January*.

*page 26:
Provisions to be updated and moved to Ministerial Directions
Provisions within the Hawkesbury Nepean Regional Environmental Plan related to local plan making will be updated and are to be moved to a new Ministerial Direction.

The following current provisions contain plan making guidance suited to a Ministerial Direction:
• Clause 3 ‘Aim of This Plan’
• Part 2 ‘General Planning Considerations, Specific Planning Policies and Recommended Strategies’
• Clause 6(3) ‘Water Quality’
• Clause 6(10) (a) ‘Urban Development’ - rezoning or subdivision of land
• Clause 6(11) ‘Recreation and Tourism’.

Other aspects of Clause 6, such as water quality, total catchment management, biodiversity and environmentally sensitive
areas will be transferred to the proposed new SEPP.

Have your say on the Explanation of Intended Effect for the proposed Environment SEPP until 31 January 2018 (NB changed date for submissions/feedback)
• Or write to:

Director, Planning Frameworks
Department of Planning and Environment 
GPO Box 39 
Sydney NSW 2001

Draft Environment SEPP

October 31, 2017: NSW Dept. of Planning and Environment
• Draft Environment SEPP (PDF: 6.215 MB)
The Explanation of Intended Effect for the Environment SEPP is on exhibition from 31 October 2017 until the 15 January 2018.
The NSW government has been working towards developing a new State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) for the protection and management of our natural environment. These areas are important to communities in delivering opportunities for physical health, economic security and cultural identity.
This consolidated SEPP proposes to simplify the planning rules for a number of water catchments, waterways, urban bushland, and Willandra Lakes World Heritage Property. These environmental policies will be accessible in one location, and updated to reflect changes that have occurred since the creation of the original policies.
The Department of Planning and Environment is seeking your feedback on the proposed SEPP to update and improve the planning framework in regards to these environmental issues. This is discussed in the Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) for the proposed Environment SEPP.
Changes proposed include consolidating the following seven existing SEPPs:

• State Environmental Planning Policy No. 19 – Bushland in Urban Areas
• State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Drinking Water Catchment) 2011
• State Environmental Planning Policy No. 50 – Canal Estate Development
• Greater Metropolitan Regional Environmental Plan No. 2 – Georges River Catchment
• Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No. 20 – Hawkesbury-Nepean River (No.2-1997)
• Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005
• Willandra Lakes Regional Environmental Plan No. 1 – World Heritage Property.
Changes are also proposed to the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Some provisions of the existing policies will be transferred to new Section 117 Local Planning Directions where appropriate.
The EIE outlines changes to occur, implementation details, and the intended outcome. It considers the existing SEPPs proposed to be repealed and explains why certain provisions will be transferred directly to the new SEPP, amended and transferred, or repealed due to overlaps with other areas of the NSW planning system.

Have your say on the Explanation of Intended Effect for the proposed Environment SEPP until 31 January 2018

We welcome your feedback on the Explanation of Intended Effect and encourage you to have your say.
• Or write to:

Director, Planning Frameworks
Department of Planning and Environment 
GPO Box 39 
Sydney NSW 2001

New Sydney Planning Panel Chairs Announced

15.01.2018: Departmental Media Release - Department of Planning and Environment
Community and business leaders have been appointed to Chair the Sydney Planning Panels to help build on their strengths to make decisions on major development proposals.
The Chairs will commence their roles today following a rigorous selection process.
The Department of Planning and Environment’s Executive Director of Regions, Steve Murray, said the new Chairs will bring a high level of expertise to the panels.
“After careful consideration, the Sydney Planning Panels have been appointed new Chairs, having demonstrated that they have the skills, experience and acumen that makes them the top picks for the job,” Mr Murray said.
“The decisions made by the Sydney Planning Panels will be independent and based on the merits of the proposals that are put before them.”
The new Planning Panel Chairs are:
The Hon. Carl Scully — Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel
Mr Justin Doyle — Sydney Western City Planning Panel
Professor Helen Lochhead — Sydney South Planning Panel
Mr Peter Debnam — Sydney North Planning Panel
The new Chair of the Sydney Central Planning Panel is in the final stages of
appointment and is expected to be determined in the coming weeks. In the interim other members of this Panel will act as the Chair.
The five independent Sydney Planning Panels make decisions about significant development proposals in their region.
The new chairs have been appointed because the roles of Sydney Planning Panel Chair and District Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission have been separated.
“The separation of these roles will allow the district commissioners to focus on setting the strategic direction for their district through the Greater Sydney Commission’s district plans,” Mr Murray said.
“The new Chairs will also be able to focus entirely on the detailed development proposals that come before them for decision by the planning panels.”
The appointments followed a comprehensive, state-wide expression of interest process and consideration of 70 applications by a selection panel.
The planning panels are independent bodies that make decisions on significant developments and modification applications.
Currently, the projects they assess are valued over $20 million but from the 1st March that threshold will be increased to $30 million.
The panels also act as the relevant planning authority in some decisions when directed by the Minister for Planning or the Greater Sydney Commission, undertake rezoning reviews, and provide advice on planning and development matters when requested.

The Hon. Carl Scully — Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel 
A former minister of the NSW parliament, Mr Scully’s career spans more than 30 years in the public and private sectors.

He practised law for seven years before embarking on a 17-year political career. For almost 12 of those years he served in ministerial positions involved in the delivery of major infrastructure projects including the portfolios of public works and services, roads and transport, and housing.
He returned to the private sector in 2007 where he has worked for WorleyParsons, most recently as director of International Business Development. In 2015, he was appointed as Chair of the NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council.
Mr Justin Doyle — Sydney Western City Planning Panel
Mr Doyle is a lawyer focused on planning and environment law, with 11 years’ experience as a practicing barrister, and 10 years before that as a solicitor. He has been the lead counsel for a team of barristers acting for the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure in cases on the land at Badgerys Creek to allow for the development of Western Sydney Airport.
His work also includes land contamination issues and the redevelopment of the former James Hardie asbestos plant which includes negotiations with the Department of Lands and Parramatta Council.
Professor Helen Lochhead — Sydney South Planning Panel
For more than 20 years Prof Lochhead has combined university teaching with her practice as an architect specialising in complex large-scale projects. She is currently Dean of the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of NSW. Prior to that her career focused on the planning and delivery of major projects ranging from a five-year city improvements program for the City of Sydney to major urban regeneration projects.
Prof Lochhead has extensive experience on university, government and industry committees, panels and boards, most notably as the National Board of the Australian Institute of Architects, Central Sydney Planning Committee, Sydney Harbour Design Review Panel and the NSW Heritage Council.
Mr Peter Debnam — Sydney North Planning Panel
Mr Debnam served as leader of the opposition of the NSW parliament as well as holding several shadow ministerial positions including shadow minister for planning and urban affairs and housing from 1997 to 1999.
Before politics Mr Debnam had broad management experience starting with his military service followed by business development and general management in the aerospace and rural service industries. He completed an MBA in 1993.

Since leaving politics in 2011, Mr Debnam has contributed to charities and not for profit organisations including as the Chair of NSW Kids in Need Foundation Limited, The Muscular Dystrophy Association of NSW, and the Advisory Board of Our Big Kitchen Limited.

Mr. Debnam - Extra
Peter Debnam's early years of schooling were at Frenchs Forest Public School and The Forest High School. He was educated at the Royal Australian Naval College, where he graduated in 1974. He served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1972 to 1980. During his Naval career, Mr. Debnam served on many ships including the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, destroyer escort HMAS Torrens, destroyers HMAS Vampire and HMAS Anzac and patrol boats HMAS Attack and HMAS Barricade. After leaving the Navy, Debnam studied at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, where he gained an MBA. He held positions at Dalgety Farmers Limited, Hawker de Havilland and Australian Aircraft Consortium before entering politics.

In 1994 Mr. Debnam was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as Liberal member for Vaucluse. The following year the Liberal government was defeated by Labor under Bob Carr. Between 1997 and 2005 he was successively Shadow Minister for Housing and for Planning and Urban Affairs, Shadow Treasurer, Shadow Minister for Transport, Shadow Minister for Police and Shadow Minister for Transport Services.

Following John Brogden's sudden resignation as Liberal Leader in August 2005, the Deputy Leader, Barry O'Farrell, was initially the favourite to become leader, but Mr. Debnam steadily gained ground as he lobbied Liberal MPs, and on 31 August O'Farrell withdrew from the contest.

2005 was also the year the Liberal Party lost their Pittwater seat to Independent Alex McTaggart, on the 26th of November 2005.

Mr. Peter Debnam led the Liberal/National coalition to defeat in the 2007 state election. The Coalition gained a total of four seats from Labor and independents—too few to significantly reduce Labor's majority. Following the election, his deputy, Barry O'Farrell, announced he would challenge Mr. Debnam for the Liberal leadership. When it was apparent that Debnam did not have enough support to keep his post, he withdrew from the contest on 2 April 2007, effectively handing the leadership to O'Farrell. On 11 April 2007 Mr. O'Farrell appointed Mr. Debnam as opposition infrastructure and energy spokesman. He resigned in May 2008 because of his party's decision to support the Labor Government's plan to privatise the electricity system.

He retired from Parliament prior to the 2011 state election.

Better Community Engagement With Major Projects

16.01.2018: Departmental Media Release - Department of Planning and Environment
Community Consultative Committees (CCCs) for state significant projects will be strengthened after the Department of Planning and Environment appointed a group of high-calibre candidates to chair these important forums for enhancing community engagement.

Acting Executive Director Mike Young said the Department selected the independent Chairs after a rigorous and transparent recruitment process.

"We are pleased to announce the appointment of 27 chairpersons to the pool of independent experts who will now be available to chair CCCs across NSW. 

"The successful candidates bring extensive knowledge and experience of community issues, planning regulation, and state significant projects, and will ensure CCCs are run effectively," Mr Young said.

"As advisory forums, CCCs have long provided an important link between communities and the proponents of state significant projects, especially in the mining and wind farm sectors. 

"Last year, we published new CCC guidelines to make the committees more independent by enabling the Department to vet and appoint the chairpersons of these committees.

"We also expanded the scope for CCCs so they can now be established much earlier in the assessment process, and for any state significant projects including road, rail, industry and large residential projects."

Mr Young said the committees create a forum for community members and proponents to share information and address issues about state significant projects.

"State significant projects are large, complex, and can have major economic, social and environmental impacts over a long period," Mr Young said.

"The new chairs will be heavily involved in the appointment of community members to CCCs, promote effective communication between all members on projects, and mediate any disputes that may arise."

For more information about the 27 chairpersons, or for a copy of the CCC Guidelines visit the Department's website.


Pittwater - Amalgamation Proposal 

+ NSW Government's White Paper Proposed Local Government Reforms + Fit For the Future

Pittwater Council Community Forum on Amalgamation and Planning - May 2013

Pittwater - To Be Or Not To Be?

Hands Off Pittwater !! - Media Releases on the Dee Why Community Consultation on the Future Directions for Local Government proposals 

Transcription of Speakers at Independent Local Government Review - Dee Why, 4th of June, 2013

Front Page Issue 115 - Amalgamation and Transcription of Community Consultation by ILG

NSW Government's White Paper - Issue 116

Hon Rob Stokes Hosts Roundtable Discussion On Council Mergers from Hon. Rob Stokes and People for Pittwater

Pittwater Council submissions on the White Paper – A new planning system for NSW and the Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney and Future Directions for NSW Local Government – Twenty Essential Steps 

Presentation by Better Planning Network at Mona Vale Memorial Hall on the NSW Government's White Paper

Bigger is Better Theory on Council Amalgamations De-bunked by Mayors Townsend and Hay of Pittwater and Manly (New Report: AN ASSESSMENT OF SGS REPORT LOCAL GOVERNMENT STRUCTURAL CHANGE: OPTIONS ANALYSIS) - published 6 September 2013 - Professor Brian Dollery

ONE NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL OUT OF THE QUESTION: At its 13 October, 2014 meeting, Pittwater’s councillors reviewed the NSW Government’s local government reform package ‘Fit for the Future’ (FFTF), which was released in September 2014.  The proposal, reconfirming the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s recommendations that Pittwater be merged with Manly and Warringah to form one council, was rejected. 

Front Page Issue 185

One ‘mega council’ Would Be A Disaster for Pittwater - Pittwater residents are satisfied with Council - NSW government's Fit for the Future package includes amendments that make it harder for councils to prove they are financially viable, write Professor Brian Dollery and Joseph Drew - Front Page Issue 189

Artspot 2015 Opened with Aplomb

Pittwater Council to Purchase Avalon Beach Bowling & Recreation Club’s Green 3 - Keeping our Community’s Future 'Fitting' + Front Page Issue 211

Pittwater Uprising Again by ‘Pittwater Scout’ + Front Page Issue 212

Community News Issue 212  - May 2015: Local Government Reform - Have your say

NSW Government's "Fit For The Future" process erodes democracy and local lifestyle by 'Pittwater Scout'

Public Meeting on Proposed Local Government Reforms Indicates Forthcoming Backlash Against NSW State Government - Community Votes 'No' Amalgamation Again

SHOROC Shenanigans - Amalgamation Ploy to Undermine 'Scale and Capacity'? + Community News Issue 216

New Data Proves Overwhelming Support for Pittwater to Stay As We Are + Fit for the Future timeline makes mockery of fair process from Pittwater Council and LGNSW

Save Our Councils Coalition Launched – State MP’s Join their the Ranks Against Forced Amalgamations from SOCC 

Front Page Issue 218 

Community News Archives - June 2015

Pittwater Declares Autonomy: FFTF IPART Required Documents Lodged

NO Amalgamation Chant Becomes Louder in Pittwater: Rally at Local MP's Office + Front Page Issue 234

Pittwater Residents attend NO Amalgamation Rally in Hunters Hill Front Page Issue 235

Front Page Issue 236: Pittwater Residents Maintain NO Amalgamation Stance at Rosehill...

Keeping Pittwater Independent Stance Persists:  Media Releases Monday 12th October to Friday 16th October, 2015 relating to FFTF Reforms by LGNSW, IPART, State and Pittwater Council

Front Page Issue 237:  NO FORCED AMALGAMATION RALLY at Winnererremy Bay Park Thursday 29 October 5pm 

FFTF Facilitators Found Faulty: 'No Amalgamation' Chant Continues: + Front Page Issue 238  

A Greater Pittwater Option Discussed at Public Meeting on Proposed Council Amalgamations: Some Attendees Suggest A Statewide Referendum  

Two Council Model Option Preferred to Mega Council Pittwater and Manly Mayors Announce: Mosman Stands Firm

Pittwater Prefers to Remain Pittwater: Greater Pittwater Option Forwarded as Second Preference: Cr. Hegarty's Address at Council Meeting of November 16, 2015

NSW Government Announces Amalgamation Proposal Plans: Reactions and What's Next in Process - 2016

Having Your Say on Local Government and Council Proposals: Written Submissions and Public Inquiry at Mona Vale Feb. 2nd, 2016  

Community News February 2016VOICES of PITTWATER - community leaders on amalgamation

Pittwater Residents Urged to Have Their Say on Proposed Council Changes - Passionate residents speak out at Public Inquiry Meetings

Pittwater's Future Down to A Numbers Game? Warringah Council's Bid to Have it ALL Revives New/Old One Council Proposal -Community News March 2016  

Pittwater Asked to Have Its Say On Council Amalgamations AGAIN 

Pittwater Residents Reject Mega Council Proposal at Public Inquiry Meetings - Written Submissions To Close on April 8th

Front Page Issue 257  Community Have Their Say on Proposed Amalgamation

Front Page Issue 258Community Have Their Say on Proposed Amalgamation

Front Page Issue 259: Community Voices on Amalgamation

Front Page Issue 260 - Pittwater Councillors Passed Motion to Commence Legal Proceedings Against Forced Amalgamation Overturned Due to 'No Substance' to Grounds Raised

Pittwater is STILL Pittwater: Residents - Sacked Councillors Discuss Options: Legal action and second Secession to begin discussed

Mona Vale Place Plan: Have You Say By November 13, 2016 - community dismayed at draft slating six storey buildings for Mona Vale

Mona Vale Place Plan Meeting Discloses Salient Points And Communitys' Objections

Administrator's Message: draft Mona Vale Place Plan

Community News Issue 291 - Administrators Minute November 22nd, 2016

Mona Vale Rally on Mona Vale Place Plan Reopens Recent Wounds - Pittwater Council's MVPP List echoes Greater Sydney Commissions List for Mona Vale

Renewed Calls To Return Pittwater Council To Pittwater By Pittwater People in Wake of Recent Retirement Announcements: Issue 298

Community News Issue 299 :  Council Amalgamations Windback: Community Feedback This Week: Issue 299

Calls To Restore Pittwater Council Persist: Issue 300

Community News Issue 304: Interview with Hon. Rob Stokes on Mona Vale Hospital

Save Mona Vale Park Protest against B-Line Destruction of The Village Green space reignites calls for Protection of Pittwater

Resident Birds Baffled By B-Line Sleight Of Hand: Where Did All Our Trees Go?

Forced Amalgamations Hit "Procedural Fairness" Snag That May Bring Every Imposed Merger Completely Undone

'Don't Be Developed Out Of Pittwater' Rally At Mona Vale's Memorial Hall: Motion to Fight to Restore Pittwater Council Passed Unanimously

Protect Pittwater Community Forum7 P.M. Tuesday May 16 At Pittwater RSL - What impact will the new government body - the Greater Sydney Planning Commission – have on Pittwater? How will development approvals be carried out? How can we recover our local Pittwater Council?

One Year On: Amalgamation STILL RejectedMay 2017 Issue 312 + Front Page Issue 312

Pittwater Community Forum Supports Legal Action To Restore Council - Protect Pittwater launched + Front Page Issue 313 

Crowd-funding Appeal for Legal Action to Protect Pittwater Launching on Tuesday - contact points fixed + Front Page Issue 314

Huge Response To Pittwater Crowd-Funding Campaign To Reinstate Pittwater and Demerge + Front Page Issue 315 

Protect Pittwater Campaign Grows and Prepares to Join Careel Bay Marina Winter Festival Next Weekend by Miranda Korzy + Front Page Issue 316  

Careel Bay Marina Winter Festival 2017: + Community News Issue 317

The Local Government Amendment (Amalgamation Referendums) Bill 2017 Passes Upper House: gives residents in councils that have been forcibly amalgamated the right to a binding vote on de-amalgamation - goes to Lower House first week of August + Front Page Issue 318 

Community Expresses Dissatisfaction With B-Line To Newport Proposal and Reduction of L90 Service - Newport SLSC carpark to meet Mona Vale shortfall and be used as bus terminus, 100 buses a day turning through Newport + changing from L90 to B-Line services will make a longer commute for current longest bus run in Sydney + Front Page Issue 318 

Protect Pittwater Community Backed Group Engages Lawyers For Action On Council Restoration

B-Line Terminating At Newport Won’t Work: Community Residents Groups Alternative - Residents Groups Meeting with Project Team notes there will be no community feedback sought prior to new timetable being published, no through city services covering the ‘Newport Loop’ during peak hours, Newport Surf Club carpark to be used as commuter carpark, proposed L90 cuts during peak hour 

Pittwater Calls For Pittwater To Be Restored: We're Not Backing Down - Not Going Away, after NSW Premier's Announcement amalgamations of councils fighting in court against forced mergers will not proceed + Front Page Issue 323 

Pittwater Locals Disappointed by Delay in Plebiscite Bill

Residents Should Not Fear Demerger Costs - visiting Greens MLC states - de-amalgamation bill to be debated again in September, petition calling on the state government to reconstitute Pittwater Council within its former boundaries, President of Protect Pittwater Bob Grace states this community group is seeking further legal advice and 'the fact that we seceded 20-odd years ago has some significance'

Fight for Pittwater Continues as Voters Go to the Polls from Protect Pittwater Community Group

Warriewood Proposal A Taste Of Things To Come: Greens State

Local Government Election Results Show Very High Informal Vote Rate

Community Groups Input Seemingly Ignored In B-Line Consultations

Newport B-Line Update October 2017: Roundabout proposed for Neptune/ Barrenjoey roads - Newport Residents Association is holding a Community Rally around these issues on Sunday October 22nd at 12.30 p.m. at Newport Surf Club - all welcome. Transport for NSW is holding drop in sessions so you may ask questions and provide feedback - dates, times and places in page

Northern Beaches State MPs Vote Against Democracy: Local Government Amendment (Amalgamation Referendums) Bill 2017

Greater Sydney Commission releases the Revised draft North District Plan 2017 for feedback: Mona Vale prioritised for Urban activation 

B-Line Rally Calls For A Common Sense Approach To A Potential Problem

Newport's Bushlink 'From The Crown To The Sea' Paths: Celebrating Over 20 Years Of Community Volunteer Bushcare Results: The pathways wend through the Crown of Newport Reserve, Porter’s Reserve, Attunga Reserve and the Kanimbla Reserve. Includes link to March 2016 Amended Draft of 'North Ward' by NSW Government 'Planner'.

B-Line Services Reaches Its Day One: Wait And See If Modifications May Be Needed - November 26, 2017

B-Line Two Weeks On: Feedback Being Monitored - Newport Residents Update

LGNSW Conference 2017: Overview - Labor Councillors win President, Treasurer and Vice Presidencies, Motions carried: against the State Government takeover of planning powers through IHAP legislation + the requirement that where an amalgamation with one or more councils is proposed there be a binding referendum in each council area asking voters if they want their council to be amalgamated or not. Not discussed: Transfer plan making provisions in SEPP 19 to a Ministerial Direction: Urban Bushland

Community News Issue 342: December 2017

Palm Beach Walkway and Landscape Plans Misses A Few Consult, Coastal Study and Historic Storm Marks - Boardwalk Wipeout

Residents Want 'Welcome To Pittwater' Sign Returned

Pittwater Online has been contacted by a number of residents this week expressing their dismay that the 'Welcome to Pittwater' sign as you come along Wakehurst Parkway has disappeared.

Although many of the former Pittwater Council logos are disappearing or being scrubbed out from the names of wharves, obviously to be replaced by the new 'design', readers have expressed this cheery sign made them many feel welcomed and gave those returning home a boost after a long day.

As Pittwater is now a Ward, with different boundaries, the wish expressed is that such a sign may be returned and placed where the new lines mark Pittwater's circumference so that good cheer may continue.
The Old
 The New?

Community News page - Pittwater Online News, November 2017 to January 2018 (so at least they can still see it there)