Residents say No to ONB Mega Council

Speech from Monday, 21 March 2016:

“Good Evening Delegate, Mayors, Councillors and Residents.  I’m David Owen, President of CABPRA (Clareville and Bilgola Plateau Residents Association)  – on the Pittwater Peninsular.  We represent over a 1000 households.  We say NO to the Proposal from Warringah for a Mega Council. WHY?  One answer lies in our fearsome Community of Interest.

The decision to create a separate Pittwater Council in 1992 had regard to a very strong and specific community of interest, very significant points of difference including a strong environmental focus, concern about overdevelopment, a backlog of infrastructure provision and local representation.  The exact same concerns exist today with the Mega Council proposal from Warringah.  For instance page 20 concerning Housing Density, page 18 concerning Transport and Infrastructure Development and page 15 concerning Local Representation.

Pittwater is a community that is strongly engaged, well informed, independent, organised and demonstrates clear-cut distinct values that seek to preserve the unique character of the area both physically and environmentally.  Pittwater is the only LGA where the majority (19) of the local residency groups have come together, as one, to fight off forced amalgamation.  Other examples of this intense sense of community are:

  • In 1992 in a non-compulsory poll, 73.5% of the Pittwater residents voted in favour of secession.
  • 91% of residents are satisfied with Pittwater Councils overall performance (2014 survey).
  • 89% of residents surveyed by telephone in 2015 by Pittwater Council wanted the Status Quo.  The highest vote for the Status Quo in the State.

Only 6% of Pittwater residents supported One Northern Beaches Council.  Note well.
Even if the NSW Government forced amalgamations onto Pittwater, 58% of residents would not support it.  That’s fighting talk.

Pittwater Councils Fit For the Future IPART submission received 45 supportive submissions (with only 2 negative), the 5th highest submission rate in the state.

Graham Sansom, chairman of the LGRP, in his submission to the Upper House Inquiry noted “Very rarely, however, communities are so different, or so fiercely independent, that forcing them to share a local council is probably unwise.  The recent example of the four de-amalgamations in Queensland highlights the point…..”.  We would say so does Pittwater.

The Boundaries Commission report back in 1992 noted “that unless the Pittwater issue is decisively resolved, (Warringah) council’s administration will be disrupted and divided well into the next century”. Food for thought indeed if Warringah’s Mega Council proposal gets up against the wishes of the Pittwater people.

It is therefore clear that any move to force an amalgamation with Warringah, Pittwater and Manly will immediately create dysfunction, and community conflict with council’s administration disrupted and divided for years to come.

I wouldn’t wish that on any Council and ask you all to give this proposed Mega Council the thumbs down.

After all it would be in full accord with independent and statistically valid telephone market research commissioned by the 3 Councils during the IPART process.  This showed:

  • 89% of Pittwater residents said NO to a One Northern Beaches council (Micromax)
  • 76% of Manly residents said NO to a One Northern Beaches council.(Taverner)
  • And, 63% of residents across the Northern Beaches said NO to a One Northern Beaches council.  That final result from Warringah’s own Jetty Research.

Say NO to this proposal.  Thank You.”

Make sure you also have your say to Warringah’s proposal for a mega council on the Northern Beaches: https://www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/manly-pittwater-and-warringah-councils/

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