Pittwater is a unique part of the world, and in this merged mega-council we need our three elected Councillors to be truly independent and accountable to our local area and residents. We need to elect people on 9 September who will protect and advance what we love about living in Pittwater.

We all should think carefully about WHO will do the best job for our community.

Will the candidate we’re voting for:

  • vote independently on all issues
  • be a ratepayer or resident of Pittwater
  • understand and support Pittwater’s unique character
  • be committed to working hard for all the Pittwater community
  • support the eventual restoration of Pittwater Council on its pre-amalgamation boundaries.
  • consider matters on their merits, not on political or party grounds
  • not be beholden to or funded by developer or lobby group interests
  • not be locked into block voting regimes
  • support the provision of separate planning laws within the individual wards?

    For a list of candidates:


    Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 10.31.01 AM


Councils lose development control


From Government News Website. By on August 10, 2017

Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAP) are now mandatory for all councils in Greater Sydney and Wollongong after the Bill passed the NSW Parliament.

The NSW Government introduced the Environmental Planning and Assessment and Electoral Legislation Bill, it says, as a safeguard against corruption.

The Bill only passed in its amended version, which means that property developers and real estate agents will not be able to sit on the panels.

Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts welcomed the passing of the legislation in the Legislative Assembly after a late-night sitting in the Upper House passed the Bill.

“This is a fantastic outcome for ratepayers as IHAP bring transparency, integrity and a high degree of probity to the development application (DA) assessment process.

“These panels, which will consider applications valued at between $5 million and $30 million as well as a range of high-risk development types, will give communities and ratepayers greater certainty about planning decisions.

“Most importantly, local councils will be able to focus on preparing the strategic plans and development controls that will identify the range and location of development types for their local area.”

The Bill sets a standard model for IHAP, comprising three independent expert members and a community member.

  • The community member, to be selected by the council, will represent the geographical area within the LGA of the proposed development, to provide local perspective.
  • IHAP members, who will be chosen by councils from a pool managed by the Department of Planning and Environment, will have to be expert in one or more of the following fields: planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism, or government and public administration.
  • The chairperson must also have expertise in law or government and public administration.
  • The panel members themselves will be subject to statutory rules such as a compulsory code of conduct and operational procedures for the panels.

Local councils will still process most applications for individual houses or alterations to existing houses.

Existing independent hearing and assessment panels will continue to operate after the upcoming council elections on 9 September.

At least developers have been excluded: Labor

The NSW Labor Opposition says it has secured vital amendments to the new law, ensuring developers and real estate agents are unable to sit on new planning panels that will determine major development proposals.

Labor’s amendments, which it says were unanimously agreed to by the government and the crossbench, ensure that developers, real estate agents, and serving councillors cannot sit on any local planning panel. Decisions will also be made publicly available.

They also guarantee that members of the local planning panels will be scrutinised by ICAC, much like MPs and councillors are.

Labor has been calling for developers and real estate agents to be banned altogether from sitting on councils.

Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Michael Daley said:

“It begs the question: if the Government is happy to admit that developers should not sit on local planning panels, why should they be allowed on councils?

“Labor calls on the Government to immediately rectify this issue – before September’s council elections.”

The Council is not happy…

Liverpool City Council has expressed its frustration at the decision by the NSW Planning Minister to strip Sydney and Wollongong councils of powers to determine developments over $5 million.

“This is a naked power grab by the NSW Government – taking the decision-making authority to shape how our communities grow and develop away from elected representatives,” Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said.

Mayor Waller said Liverpool was one of the first of 15 councils in the Sydney basin to establish an IHAP. Council has used this independent expert advice to improve decision-making on major planning proposals for 20 years.

“We have long understood the importance of independent assessment when it comes to planning, but Council always had the option to bring matters of significant public interest back into the hands of elected representatives,” Mayor Waller said.

“We had the checks and balances in place and they were working well.

“The only thing this power grab by the State Government achieves is that it takes decisions further away from the community at the very time when Liverpool is growing fast and residents need to have a stake in this rapid expansion.

… but developers are

The announcement by the NSW Government that independent planning panels will determine all development applications with a value of between more than $5 million but less than $30 million in value in Sydney and Wollongong will streamline planning in metropolitan Sydney, said the developers’ union the Urban Taskforce.

“The announcement that all local councils in Sydney and Wollongong must establish independent planning panels will make the planning process much more efficient,” said Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson “The role of the elected councillors is in setting the strategic planning framework and the assessment of compliance with the framework is best undertaken by experts in the field.”

“The Urban Taskforce agrees with the Minister that mandating the Independent Planning and Assessment Panels (IHAP) will ensure a level playing field for everyone. Having a central pool of experts will also ensure effective use of resources and that all panel members have up to date knowledge of the planning rules.”

“The quality of panel members will be important to ensure they are assessing against the rules rather than becoming arbitrators trying to balance community concerns with the viability of the applicant’s proposal. Panel members must be supportive of growth that complies with the strategic plans approved by council or the state government. Having one member of the 4-person panel from the local area ensures an understanding of local issues.”

Northern Beaches Narrabeen Ward: Councillor Candidates

For more information on your local Council Candidates:

Candidate Ballot Name Locality Party Affiliation or Independent Phone Email
HEINS Sue DAVIDSON Your Northern Beaches Independent Team 0423379934
FISHER Rohan BEACON HILL Your Northern Beaches Independent Team 0424609879
NICHOLSON Matt NORTH NARRABEEN Your Northern Beaches Independent Team
DE LUCA Vincent NORTH CURL CURL Independent 0431473500
BIASI Tony COLLAROY Independent 0431473500
COOK Tammy CROMER Independent 0431473500
McGAHEY Vicky CROMER Liberal
HARRIS Conny BELROSE Independent 0432643295
BALDWIN Stephen ELANORA HEIGHTS Independent 0428994277
WALSH Jayden WARRIEWOOD Independent 0412088754
 Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 2.57.49 PM

Northern Beaches Pittwater Ward – Council Candidates

For more information on your local Council Candidates:

Candidate Ballot Name Locality Party Affiliation or Independent Phone Email
BUTT Barbara NEWPORT Labor
STONE Jenny MONA VALE Independent
WHITE Ian SCOTLAND ISLAND Your Northern Beaches Independent Team 0400600958
SCHROEDER Katinga TERREY HILLS Your Northern Beaches Independent Team
GYE Bill SCOTLAND ISLAND Your Northern Beaches Independent Team 0438698058
KORZY Miranda CLAREVILLE The Greens 0416192602
McINTOSH Andrew MONA VALE The Greens
GRIFFITH Selena ELANORA HEIGHTS Independent 0481000369
DALY Suzanne NEWPORT Independent 0419695095
RACKHAM Marcia MONA VALE Independent 0299977226
MORGAN Lorrie NEWPORT Independent
HOPTON Robert AVALON BEACH Independent 0412328887
BLACKIE Tony MANLY VALE Independent 0411743142
HOPTON Christine AVALON BEACH Independent 0410596196
McTAGGART Alex AVALON BEACH Independent 0411779585
STEWART Joss MONA VALE Independent
MAKIN Margaret CHURCH POINT Independent

Map of the area

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 2.57.49 PM


Yesterday Premier Gladys Berejiklian walked away from her government’s policy on forced Council mergers, abandoning plans to merge Councils in litigation against her government on this vexed issue. Last February, the NSW Government walked away from regional council mergers, saying that municipalities challenging the policy in court would no longer be forced to merge.

Unfortunately, she still has not taken the final step to bury this undemocratic policy by demerging Councils forced to merge against the will of their ratepayers.

This means that Pittwater and many other areas of the state similarly affected will fight on until the policy is completely dismantled.

It is only due to a failure in Pittwater Council (before its forced termination) to follow through on a motion to seek legal advice with a view to joining in that litigation that sees Pittwater residents in their current dire state.

The Premier said, “Perhaps up to two years ago when we entered into this process, with the benefit of hindsight we should have done things differently. Perhaps we should have listened earlier on in the process.”

Or at all.

The Premier’s comment applies to Pittwater as well as many other communities, whose strong objections to merging with other councils have in many cases been ignored by the NSW government.

Opposition Leader Luke Foley MP called for the Premier to complete the demolition of this failed policy by allowing plebiscites in all LGAs affected by forced amalgamations. These plebiscites must be held in the former council areas to be fair.

Pittwater Forever, its community group members, and many others are determined to carry forward the fight until we have achieved a demerger from Northern Beaches Council, as 89% of residents originally indicated as their preference.


NSW government abandons remaining council amalgamations

Gladys Berejiklian’s government will leave Sydney with a lopsided patchwork of councils, after abandoning its policy of local government amalgamations halfway through.

The Premier announced on Thursday that her government was walking away from its policy of merging Sydney councils, which have challenged their amalgamation in court.

From SMH’s Jacob Saulwick Jacob Saulwick Date: July 27 2017 – 4:02PM

“There’s no doubt that the court proceedings in relation to local government has provided a degree of uncertainty,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Our decision today as a government is to provide certainty to the community for the September 9 council elections,” she said.

It affects 14 councils, which had been set to merge into five. The affected councils are: Burwood, Canada Bay and Strathfield; Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai; Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde; Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby; and Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra.

Bill to fix forced amalgamations passes Upper House

In a win for communities and councils across the state, the Upper House has today passed a bill to end forced council amalgamations.

All parties other than the government have voted to halt all outstanding forced amalgamation proposals until residents are given their say in a binding referendum. The bill also gives residents in councils that have been forcibly amalgamated the right to a binding vote on de-amalgamation.

The Greens also successfully moved an amendment to ensure that no council amalgamation can ever happen again without first holding a referendum in local communities. This protects local democracy in the future.

Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“Communities had a great win today with the Upper House passing a bill to end forced council amalgamations.

“The Greens, the Shooters, Labor and the CDP have put their differences to one side and voted for a bill that will fix the forced amalgamation mess.

“This bill says that all outstanding forced amalgamation proposals must be halted until residents have their say at the ballot box.

“The bill also ensures that all the communities disenfranchised by the Coalition’s forced amalgamations in 2016 will be given the right to vote on de-amalgamating.

“The Greens successfully moved a crucial amendment to stop this or any future government from amalgamating councils without first holding a binding referendum of local residents. This protects local democracy in the future.

“This bill will now go down to the lower house, where the Coalition has one more chance to right a wrong on a failed and undemocratic policy.

“Premier Berejiklian must now listen to communities, councils, courts, the Upper House and abandon her failed forced amalgamation agenda.

“This is an opportunity to pull back from her government’s deeply unpopular forced amalgamations and start to restore faith with communities from Tumbarumba and Leichhardt to Pittwater and Gundagai.” Mr Shoebridge said.

From David Shoebridge’s website.