April 24 - 30 2016: Issue 260

 Pittwater Councillors Passed Motion to Commence Legal Proceedings Against Forced Amalgamation Overturned Due to 'No Substance' to Grounds Raised

 Pittwater Councillors Bob Grace and Selena Griffith, who, with Councillor Sue Young, put forward Motion.

 A Motion passed at an ECM on Monday evening, April 18, ‘to immediately institute legal proceedings in the Land and Environment Court with respect to forced amalgamations’, put forward by Councillors Grace, Griffith and Young on April 6th, along with a request for an ECM,  not listed until the Council Meeting of the 18th, was overturned at a subsequent ECM, called with less than 24 hours notice and held on April 21st, during the absence of Councillors Griffith and Hegarty. 

Councillor Griffith was overseas meeting a week of work commitments, departing Tuesday afternoon. Councillor Hegarty also left Pittwater on Tuesday to attend the 2016 Aussies (Australian Surf Life Saving Championships) in Queensland and support her daughter, a competing member in the surf boat arena for Newport SLSC.

Both Councillors had voted for the Motion.

In a Tuesday media report Mayor Townsend was reported as having ‘slammed the idea as a waste of money which would cost $60k'. 

No mention was made in that report of a statement by Cr. Townsend during the course of the Monday evening meeting that our Mayor had written to the Minister for Local Government, requesting Pittwater “receive an undertaking from the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole that he would not attempt to act on the delegate's report into the forced merger of Pittwater until after the hearing on Woollahra Council’s action was settled” – which the Mayor also stated had been emailed to all Councillors, reiterating her ‘intention to seek a similar undertaking from the Minister’ on the same date the Motion and request for an ECM was communicated to her – April 6th.

Unfortunately the ‘C8.1 Mayoral Minute - Local Government Reform’ as part of the Council Meeting preceding the ECM is not in the Minutes of this Meeting.

See page 11-12: http://portal.pittwater.nsw.gov.au/common/Output/DataworksAccess.aspx?id=%252boyu6IxAR0E%253d&ext=pdf 

Nor is whether Mayor Townsend has received a reply from the Minister for Local Government.

The Motion, as retrieved from: http://www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au/council/meetings/council_meetings/council_meetings/2016/18_apr_-_council_meeting 

April 18, 2016

Notice of Motion - Legal Action - Council Boundary Review (Submitted by Cr Grace, Cr Griffith and Cr Young) 

Meeting: Extraordinary Council Meeting Date: 18 April 2016 



1. That Pittwater Council join with Woollahra Council in its current action against the Minister on the same or similar grounds, namely: 

a) A lack of procedural fairness 

b) No full public inquiry 

c) Denial of natural justice 

d) Failure to release the full contents of the State Government's KPMG report and such other grounds that may become relevant to the hearing. 

2. That Pittwater Council's legal counsel be authorised to seek to join Woollahra Council in its current action. 

3. That Pittwater Council's legal counsel brief Council in respect of such action. 

4. That this be actioned immediately due to the urgency. 

Cr Bob Grace Cr Selena Griffith Cr Sue Young

The Motion was subsequently reworded through the ECM due to a perception that the time to join Woollahra Council’s legal action had elapsed. 

The Motion was then passed.

For: Cr.s Bob Grace, Sue Young, Selena Griffith, Julie Hegarty and Kay Millar.

A Report of this week, dated April 22nd, states rural Council Oberon has joined the Woollahra  action – per the Lithgow Mercury;

 “Oberon mayor Kathy Sajowitz said an approach had come from Walcha Council for Oberon and other small councils, including Cabonne, to support Woollahra’s action. 

Cr Sajowitz said the challenge, which was scheduled to be heard yesterday (Thursday), was based around the claim that the Minister for Local Government misused Sections 218F of the Local Government Act to implement proposed forced amalgamations and that the subsequent Boundaries Commission process was procedurally unfair.”

See: http://www.lithgowmercury.com.au/story/3864532/the-gloves-are-off-as-council-mergers-go-legal/ 

This refers to Woollahra's legal advice that State government has used sections of the Local Government Act designed to be used only for voluntary amalgamations, not forced ones. 

This week Mosman Council and Hunters Hill Council have also announced the immediate commencement of legal proceedings against forced amalgamations while Ku-ring-gai Council have released a statement on the the Delegates report into the amalgamation they went to the Supreme Court to secure a copy of.


The Basin - Pittwater, image courtesy Pittwater Pathways.

2015-2016 Surf Life Saving Patrol Season Closes + Aussies 2016

Newport SLSC Maddogs Boat Crew. Photo courtesy Pittwater Councilor Julie Hegarty.

The Girls made it through to the quarter finals of Saturday afternoon (3pm) -  Awesome effort to be in top 12 in the country in Under 23 Women's Division!! Newport Maddogs are: Celestine May, Celia Peppitt, Piret May, Monique Hegarty Sweep Robert Emerson.

Palm Beach SLSC brought it home - GOLD for the Palmy Pumas in U23 Women - undefeated all Aussies, impressive stuff — Crew: Emily-Jane Sharpington-Recny, Georgia McCarthy, Alison Olmstead and Kate Molloy, Sweeps: Peter Spence, Stephen Cox,  at Aussies 2016 - Surf Life Saving Australian Titles.

Alex Tyrell, Club Captain: 6:37 pm, April 23: "So proud of Palmy today, 2 crews in the U23 girls final, Pumas winning GOLD, Punchers finishing 6th, and our Juniors, the Police, making the final and coming 5th in their first ever season in surfboats": - photo courtesy Georgia McCarthy 

Northern Beaches Surf Life Saving Clubs have excelled at the Aussies 2016 - the Surf Life Saving Australian Titles, with Pittwater clubs making into quarter finals, semi-finals and finals and then winning points in placings as well as bronze, silver and gold!

The Aussies conclude at the end of today, Sunday, April 24th 2016 - a few great pictures to accompany some results available so far run in this Issue's Aquatics page.

As Anzac Day 2016 marks the last day of the official Surf Life Saving Season, this week's Pictorial celebrates some of the wonderful people who have served as volunteers patrolling our beaches during the 2015-16 season and some of the great carnivals and events that have honed or maintained the skills of those whose motto is 'Vigilance and Service'.

Rescue statistics are not completed until after the season has ended. However, a request for statements from Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches and Pittwater's MP, who is also a volunteer and patrolling member of Mona Vale SLSC, was answered with a reminder to swim only on patrolled beaches and between the flags, and to make use of the free BeachSafe App, along with praise and thanks from the SLS SNB's President, Doug Menzies and the Hon. Rob Stokes:

End of Season for Northern Beaches Life Savers

From SLS SNB: April 20, 2016

Monday 25th April, Anzac Day, marks the last day of the official Surf Life Saving Season which commenced on 19 September 2015.

Volunteer Surf Life Savers on the northern beaches have committed more than 155,000 man hours patrolling the 21 patrolled beaches from North Palm Beach to Manly keeping a watchful eye over an estimated 3.3 million beach goers.

Leading into the last weekend of patrols for the 2015/16 season, volunteer surf lifesavers have conducted more than 1,530 rescues. Several of these rescues were of such an outstanding nature that they were nominated for NSW Rescue of the Month with two rescues being recognised by our peak body, Surf Life Saving Australia and winning the prized National Rescue of the Month.

Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches President, Doug Menzies, praised the 5,500 volunteers surf life savers who give up their time and often put their own lives at risk, for their efforts over the season. “The frontline surf life savers are backed up by a highly skilled Support Operations team including radio operators, who coordinate other emergency services; Duty Officers who provide back-up during incidents; a peer support group who provide care after a traumatic incident; and our Jet-ski operators who provide roving patrols along the coastline and are able to respond rapidly to any coastal emergency. Behind the scenes, a large group of Trainers and Assessors prepare new Life Savers to undertake their Surf Rescue Certificates, Bronze Medallions and many other awards. They also work with existing life savers to maintain and improve their skills in rescue, first aid, resuscitation, IRB driving and crewing”, said Mr Menzies

This weekend alone, we will require around 630 people to cover all shifts at our 21 beaches”, added Mr Menzies.

For information on the conditions and status of our beaches this Anzac weekend, feel free to download the free BeachSafe App to your mobile device.

Please visit: https://beachsafe.org.au/apps

Time To Thank Our Volunteer Surf Life Savers

April 22nd, 2015: Office of Hon. Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater

Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes today applauded Pittwater’s volunteer surf life savers as the summer patrol season comes to an end.

The official NSW patrol season concludes this long-weekend and is an important opportunity to thank all those who have generously donated their time at Pittwater’s twelve patrolled beaches.

“An enormous amount of work happens behind the scenes to help keep our local beaches safe and enjoyable,” Rob Stokes said today.

“Our local surf clubs provide an invaluable community service and must be applauded for their efforts.

“Without the generosity of surf club volunteers our local beaches simply wouldn’t have the same appeal.

“Whether it’s an ordinary Saturday or Christmas Day - these teams of red and yellow volunteers work tirelessly to ensure our local beaches are as safe as possible.

“With the patrol season coming to an end I encourage everyone in our community to show their appreciation to these outstanding volunteers,” Rob Stokes said.

Rain on Saturday at Avalon Beach SLSC opens the last weekend of the 2015/16 Patrol Season.

 Sail Port Stephens Junior Series Reveals Future Stars: RPAYC Opti Sailors Go North During April School Holidays

 Jack Ferguson, Fletcher Walters and Oliver Gordon - Opti placegetters - photo by Mark Rothfield

Two junior off the beach classes completed their two-day series on Thursday April 14 as part of Sail Port Stephens, the final event of a long summer season that has taken many young sailors interstate and some overseas to compete.

Jack Ferguson, 13, won the Optimist division from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s Oliver Gordon and Fletcher Walters. In the Open Bic division, the host club, Port Stephens Sailing & Aquatic Club, fielded the top three finishers led by Rhys Schultz skippering his boat, Jack Hollman.

On the series Jack said, “It was a really good, lovely flat water. It’s not as serious as some but every regatta you treat as if it’s a championship. Day one was pretty shifty with the rain squalls; there were 180 degree shifts!” 

Report by Lisa Ratcliff and all Results HERE

 Too old-big for juniors Adam Beashel - photo by Saltwater Images

Stand Up For Nature Protest Delivers 10 Thousand Signatures to Pittwater's MP

Stand Up For Nature protest in Pittwater: NSW Govt. Biodiversity Legislation Review

Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA): April 13, 2016

New Laws to protect our Environment? 

We presented a petition of over 10 000 signatures to Rob Stokes' office yesterday after the Stand Up For Nature protest, attended by about 40 people from many NGOs. 

Weakened offset provisions actually exempt developers from protecting bushland. This could expose urban bushland to destruction and permit developer profit. Watch out for the draft legislation coming soon.

Biodiversity Legislation Review

The NSW Government is considering the recommendations of an Independent Expert Review Panel of biodiversity laws which delivered its final report to the Minister for the Environment in December 2014. 

Find out more at: environment.nsw.gov.au/biodiversitylegislation/review.htm

Pictures Courtesy Dick Clarke

 Pittwater - Autumn 2016

Paperbark trees are currently in flower and lighting up Pittwater

White-faced Heron at Careel Creek - Thursday afternoon 21.4.2016

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