With the State Government closing down Pittwater Council after a successful 24 years on the 12th May 2016 (in favour of a new regional council to be known as Northern Beaches Council) the Pittwater Council Reference Groups have been disbanded. We await how the Newport and Pittwater community will get a say in the operations of this new regional council.
August Meeting Outcomes
Sustainable Towns & Villages
Selena Webber reported that the main topics were Waterways Review, Roadkill & Fauna safety, Reference Group priorities workshop and the Pittwater Bike Plan. With regard to the Waterways Review it was noted that council has authority over zoning and locations in which people can build and make alterations to jetties, ramps and pontoons. Council works with RMS in regards to mooring areas. E.g. Placing a cap on moorings and capacity on mooring fields.
Bill Thompson advised the matter of Wood Fire pollution had been discussed, also the ‘Boomerang’ ladies from Avalon who had been making environmentally friendly reusable shopping bags and distributing them around Avalon to try and eliminate all non-environmentally friendly bags from Avalon precincts. Also updates were given on the Waste Management Services, Newport Community Gardens and The Cannes Reserve Flying-fox maintenance program.
Kyle Hill advised that out of eighteen at the meeting, eight were council employees or representatives. There were three main topics, the first being Signage for Pittwater (Access & Linkages for the Mona Vale Place Plan) and the second was a long but interesting survey of the demographics of Pittwater that can be accessed on the council web site and lastly the results of a survey of the Reference Group members.
Leading & Learning Reference Group
Gavin Butler & Peter Middleton gave a report on the Leading & Learning Reference Group. The internal auditor for Pittwater Council gave a presentation on his role. A presentation on the Climate Change Policy was also given by the PC staff (full details of this policy is available on the PC website) and the recent storm damage and response by Pittwater Council was reviewed. The group considered that the PC storm response was very good.
The two year term for Reference group members has just commenced from May 2015, the NRA representatives are as follows;
- Connecting Communities – Kyle Hill (alternate Di Cook)
- Natural Environment – Bill Thompson (alternate Selena Webber)
- Leading & Learning – Gavin Butler (Alternate Peter Middleton)
- Sustainable Towns & Villages – Selena Webber (Substitute to be confirmed – we have nominated Nick Rogers subject to his agreement)
These reference groups meet four times a year in February, May, August and November from 4 – 6pm. They are a worthwhile method of communication with senior council staff and provide an opportunity to have a say and being heard on many issues. The issues are generally related to the type of group but also cover specific matters that become before council (eg Amalgamation, new planning laws etc). The groups consist of one representative from all community groups plus a number of community individuals to provide a cross-section of Pittwater.