Minutes of General Meeting – September 1, 2016

Minutes of General Meeting held at Northbridge Golf Club on Thursday 1st September 2016 commencing at 7:45 pm

Attendance:
As per attendance book (19 signed in members and 10 visitors)
Guest Speakers:
Willoughby City Councillors – Councillor Rachel Hill and Councillor John Hooper
Apologies:
Grant Sheldon, Helen Gulson, Angelos Frangopoulos, Max Menzies, Michael Condor, Councillor Hugh Eriksson
Quorum:
The Chairman noted that a quorum was present.
Chairman’s Welcome:
Rob Coote, Chair, welcomed members and visitors, including guest speakers for the evening – Councillor Rachel Hill and Ward Councillor John Hooper.
Approval of Minutes:
The Minutes of the previous General Meeting held on 3rd March 2016 were approved.
Matters Arising:
There were none.
Membership Renewal for Non-Residents:
RESOLVED THAT the membership of Mr. Peter McNair, resident of Cammeray (and past President of the NPA) be approved.
Moved: A. Kassis
Seconded: M. Lye
Voting FOR the Motion: Unanamous
: APPROVED

Suspension of Standing Orders for the Guest Speakers – Cr John Hooper and Cr Rachel Hill

The Chair introduced our two Ward Councillors.
He explained that whilst we have provided this opportunity as an open forum – that some of the issues that the Councillors might like to cover were in regard – an update on the Council Amalgamations; how might the Greater Sydney Planning Commission make a difference to Willoughby LGA?; the future of our Local Environmental Plan (WLEP 2012) and more specifically, the status that our Northbridge Town Centre Masterplan has and will have; and if possible, a brief update in regard the Northbridge Council Car Park that adjoins the Northbridge Plaza – the opportunities available and what plans are in place that we might move forward.

Ward Councillor John Hooper outlined:

  • Fears about amalgamation with Mosman Council were well-founded as it appears their finances have been understated whereas North Sydney and Willoughby are both in a good state.
  • All Northern Beaches councillors have been sacked but invited to serve on advisory committees and thus their allowances continue to be paid. However, these committees do not represent residents who now have to approach the Administrator. He doesn’t know if it will be the same for Willoughby.
  • Northbridge Baths have been closed while work is carried out on the pontoon. As a marine crane is necessary, this is costing around $50,000.
  • Northbridge Plaza Council Car Park – the shopping centre could be asked to contribute towards the upkeep as they are the predominant user. $50,000 a year is currently being spent to maintain the car park – white lines and new concrete repairs are currently being done.
  • WCC decided on 29th August that meetings are to be recorded on CD and available for play back in the presence of a council official for up to one year, after which they are destroyed. The main reason for such recordings is to ensure accuracy of the minutes. However, the minutes only cover resolutions, not the discussion, which makes it difficult when, for example, developers have made statements and commitments they can later deny. John’s opinion is that this is not in the spirit of openness. It requires three councillors to request the motion be rescinded within 3 months to cancel. He feels that webcasts would be preferable, as is done on the Northern Beaches and Central Coast.
  • Despite the uncertainties surrounding Council – much good work is still being done, eg. bushcare, pedestrian crossings, etc.
  • The Greater Sydney Commission is preparing a high-level plan for the whole of the northern area and this will include everything – public transport, industrialisation, architecture, public spaces, etc. Progress Associations, Bushcare and other conservation groups are being contacted for feedback and submissions. The plan goes on show next year and councils will be asked to implement it.
  • The Channel 9 Site development application was approved and now the developer wants to change it. WCC is strongly against any changes as it feels they are inappropriate.

Chairman, Rob Coote, thanked Ward Councillor Hooper for his comments.

Ward Councillor Rachel Hill outlined:

  • It’s business as usual for WCC and they are watching other councils which have already been amalgamated to identify mistakes, e.g. no rubbish collections arranged, and so avoid them when the time comes for us. After the recent Council restructuring, she advised that WCC has saved money and is now more efficient.
  • Recording of WCC meetings – she feels controls are needed so no breach can occur, but webcasting is very expensive. Discussions are continuing as some councilor’s are not happy.
  • Northbridge Plaza Council Car Park – this is moving forward, as previously outlined by Councillor Hooper.
  • Development at 58 – 70 Sailors Bay Road (opposite Shore Oval) for a 154 place child care centre. Many local people (particularly residents of Pyalla Street) are concerned about the impact and the extra traffic. Submissions close on 20th September. It is a large development and will require community consultation. This will take time but she recommends writing as individuals if NPA members wish to object.
  • Pedestrian Crossings will be installed at two sites in Sailors Bay Road – near Pyalla St and near Woonona Rd.
  • Golf Balls on Northbridge Oval – a new proposal is being considered as there are two problem areas which need to be addressed.
  • Northbridge Library – there is a vacant space at the back which should be used for the benefit of the community which is preferable to being turned into home units. Several proposals are being looked at.
  • Warners Park – there are plans for a café on the ground floor and for the top floor to be used by community groups, such as childrens’ and teenagers’ activities.
  • Bonds Corner – Councillor Hill has asked for fencing to protect the BYO café on the corner of Sailors Bay Road and Kameruka Road, as well as protection and extra parking for the houses there.
  • Community/Fundraising Events – The 2063 Golf Day on 14th October – an event run for the 3rd year and a lunch on 28th October at Northbridge Golf Club – proceeds to go to charity for research into allergies after a local child died from an anaphylactic shock.
  • The Haven, Castlecrag. A carnival is being planned around 18th February for 3 nights.

Rob Coote, Chairman, thanked Ward Councillor Hill for her input.

Community Update:

Rob Coote reported:

  • Bus timetable changes have been made for the 202 and other buses on the route. During peak hour some buses will terminate at North Sydney and not continue in to the city.
  • Woolworths Smith Street – The Greater Sydney Commission overruled WCC to approve this DA.
  • Illuminated sign at St Philip Neri School – the NPA, as well as individual residents, have made a complaint. Educational establishments are apparently exempt und SEPP (Infrastructure) 2007. Many members agreed that this is visual pollution and that it is inevitable that other schools and pre-schools will be encouraged to follow suit.
  • Pedestrian Crossings to be upgraded – at Woonona Rd and Sailors Bay Rd and Pyalla St and Sailors Bay Rd. Residents of Pyalla St pointed out that raising the crossing will not slow down the traffic so it will not be an adequate solution. Perhaps flexible bollards would be better, but in any case, the solution should be permanent. Additionally, should the new child care centre be approved with both entrance and exit in Pyalla St, there will be even more traffic, more often, which will be very, very dangerous. They do not want the development to go ahead. Councillor Hill agreed to send information on the DA to the NPA to be posted on the website. Rob Coote said members should write to WCC individually with a copy to the NPA so we can support the objections. He encouraged gathering data and suggesting a solution to offer a positive outcome for their protest.
  • Development Application – corner of Strathallan Avenue and Baringa Road. Many residents are against this and the NPA is keeping watch on it.

Next meeting

The Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 23rd November 2016 at 7.45 pm at Northbridge Golf Club.

Close:

The Chairman thanked both our Ward Councillors for taking the time to attend and speak to residents. He then thanked all Members, residents and visitors for their attendance and for their time and valuable input. He then invited everyone to take the time to meet and greet – with tea, coffee and drinks available at the bar.

Meeting Closed at 9.15 pm

Chairman: ………………………………………. Date: ………………………..

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