July 2017 – NSW Government calls a halt to court cases and allows those in court to not be merged but leaves those forcibly merged out in the cold!!

The following extract from Pittwater Online News Issue 323 at the end of July 2017 sums up the position very well;

The jubilation expressed for those councils who have won through and stayed as they wanted has been met with an equal measure of anger in those communities who reiterated over and over and over they did not wish to be merged with others – especially those, in Pittwater’s case, they had finally freed themselves of, after a 20+ year battle, just a few decades prior to May 12th, 2016.

Pittwater community groups, Save Pittwater and the Protect Pittwater Association have quickly called for Pittwater to be demerged in one case and for a plebiscite, restricted to Pittwater residents within the original boundaries of Pittwater Council.
What is most telling is that everywhere the Protect Pittwater Association members stand to gather petition signatures is that the people in the street are readily doing so. They want Pittwater back along her original boundaries – stating the same message over and over and over again – “we’re not standing for this, and we’re not going away.”
What is clearly apparent is this week’s announcements have only strengthened the resolve of our community to have their own day, finally, in court’
Read more at http://www.pittwateronlinenews.com/


Update  March 2017

Blow to Berejiklian government’s council mergers as court rules against KPMG report secrecy




As from the 12th May 2016 Pittwater Council has ceased to exist

On 12 May 2016 the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole, announced the newly formed “Northern Beaches” Council.

Northern Beaches Council includes the following wards:

  1. Manly Ward
  2. Frenchs Forest Ward
  3. Curl Curl Ward
  4. Narrabeen Ward
  5. Pittwater Ward

Stronger more efficient councils will work harder for residents and deliver better services and infrastructure like roads, parks, playgrounds and sporting facilities.

  • Each new council will receive up to $15 million to invest in community projects like junior sporting facilities, playgrounds and library or pool upgrades.
  • Each new council will receive up to $10 million to streamline administrative processes and cut red tape. (Unspent funds may be redirected to community projects)
  • Ratepayers, in new council areas, will have their rates protected against future increases, meaning they will pay no more for their rates than they would have under their old council for 4 years.

Elections for new councils will take place on 9 September 2017. Details of the new council are contained in the proclamation.

Managing the implementation

An Administrator and Interim General Manager have been appointed to oversee the implementation of the new council through to the election.

Name: Dick Persson

Interim General Manager
Name: Mark Ferguson

For more information please call 1300 813 020 (This service is available 24/7)

Meeting with Administrator

On Friday 20th May the NRA President met with a number of other Pittwater resident group executive and gleaned the following information on what was likey to happen;

  • Ingleside development not to occur until after Administration period (Sept 2017) although R Stokes said a Structure Plan will come out during that period.
  • He requested the opportunity to drive around the area with us to update himself on what is important to our residents
  • We told him of our ambition to return to Pittwater [as was] and he didn’t have a problem with that as he  sees it would  happen after his administration period.
  • Processes and systems to be integrated by Sept 17
  • First Council meeting held last night (Thursday 19th May)
  • Next council meeting in two weeks’ time to be held in Mona Vale
  • Pittwater strategic plans will be considered in the longer term
  • DP willing to meet with us from time to time for an hour or so.
  • The local representation committees will be made up of just old councillors from all three councils and chaired by Hay, Regan and Ferguson (Kylie Ferguson will chair the Environment committee)
  • Reference Groups – DP plans to get them going and commented they would not be based on the old council areas but would include members from the whole new council area in each group.
  • All DA’s etc will proceed as normal. MV Place Plan, unlikely to proceed until after the Administration period. It could possibly go out for comment beforehand.
  • There will be no reclassification of land during the administration period unless approved by the Planning Minister (if there is a special case for a spot rezoning).
  • There will be no changes to the LEP’s or DCP’s during the administration period
  • Rate increases, only those already approved will go ahead
  • New Norther Beaches parking stickers – only apply to beach parking
  • Premier encouraged him to make changes not to stand still
  • 10/50 regulations unlikely to be changed as SES responsibility


DP will take no nonsense, prepared to make quick decisions, This next 16 months of the administration DP will be concentrating on the administrative amalgamation of the three councils and therefore there will not be much time to get into cultural, new development or other matters.




Second Merger Proposal– Speak Up Now

The NSW Government has announced another merger proposal for Pittwater which is for one council to cover Manly, Warringah and Pittwater LGAs.

The Pittwater community has voiced its opposition to one Northern Beaches Council many times and it looks as if we have to do it again.

The announcement of this proposal is of concern and requires an energetic and coordinated campaign from Pittwater.

Public Inquiry

The Delegate Mr Richard Pearson has announced today that Public Inquiry meetings will be held:

Date: Monday 21 March

Time: 6-10pm

Venue: Mona Vale Golf Club


Date: Tuesday 22 March

Time: 6-10pm

Venue: Manly Golf Club


Date: Wednesday 23 March

Time: 6-10pm

Venue: Dee Why RSL


The Delegate has confirmed that the same person cannot speak at all three meetings so it will be important that your group coordinates speakers from your group across the three meetings.

These meetings will be well attended so it is important to register as soon as possible as it is first in first served.

We need as many Pittwater residents as possible to attend. You can be sure that Warringah will attempt to stack the meetings as they did last time but this time we are arguing against the creation of a single Northern Beaches Council so it is important for us all TO BE THERE.



Whilst there is currently no documented merger proposal on the Council Boundary Review website submissions are open and will close by 5pm, 8 April 2016.




The politicians have spoken. Premier Mike Baird announced on the 18th December 2015 that they planned to combine Pittwater with app. half of Warringah. A lot of the details are not yet known but for an update on the announcement and the information of what comes next please refer to the following link to an explanation from Pittwater Council.

(Announcement link)

(Be patient – it is a large document)

Rally for Local Democracy – The Videos

On Wednesday 18 November 2015 a large ‘Rally for Local Democracy’ was held in Martin Place, Sydney.

The message from the Rally to the NSW Government was very clear. No forced amalgamations. Keep councils local. Listen to the people.

Film maker John Illingsworth has produced six videos of the day. They brilliantly capture what happened – the crowd, the speeches and the music. Each features a short aspect of the Rally.

The videos are all live on YouTube and are available to be linked to, ensuring that the people can have access to accurate information about what is happening.

The six videos with their links are set out below.

– The City https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dy1w9KDCW8

– Alan Jones AO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soxRTTFPgDM

– Local Government https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWULj4wSxg0

– The Unions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyK_ogTli3s

– The Politicians https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNp2aYPz4sA

– The Country https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqmGpry3MS0



(From November 16th 2015 Council Meeting)


‘That whilst Pittwater Council’s position is the status quo with an independent Pittwater Council providing local representation and delivery of local services to the people of Pittwater on its current boundaries, Council provide the following merger preferences if forced:

(a) Preference One – Pittwater Council
(b) Preference Two – Warringah Council (Explanation: Redefining Pittwater Council and achieving two Councils on the Northern Beaches.)

(c) Preference Three – Warringah Council (Explanation: Redefining Pittwater Council and achieving two Councils in the SHOROC region.)

(d) Complete the box for Comments on Preferences as follows: Preference 1 Pittwater Council status quo. Preference 2 – 3 Councils into 2, relocating Pittwater’s boundary including: TerreyHills, Narrabeen, Collaroy, CollaroyPlateau, Cromer, OxfordFalls, FrenchsForest, DuffysForrest, Belrose, Davidson. Warringah’s remaining suburbs merge with Manly. Preference 3 on same basis as preference 2 merging 4 SHOROC Councils into 2 Councils by adding Mosman.


On 21st October,  IPART found Pittwater Council (along with many other councils) ‘unfit’ on the basis of scale and capacity, and is recommending one large council on the Northern Beaches amalgamating Pittwater, Manly and Warringah, with a population of 250,000 people (see the full report here). However, what is meant by ‘scale and capacity’ was never defined.

As Pittwater Forever chairman, Tony Tenny puts it the whole process is a “sham”.

love-at-risk“Pittwater Council is strong, independent and focuses on local issues of importance to residents. A bigger council will diminish our councillor representation, our community spirit and the voice of the Pittwater community,” he says. “All the things which make our Pittwater Council fit.”

“The IPART report ignores all these factors only focusing on a fabricated “scale and capacity” test. A test which has no substance or evidence base, and one which only benefits property developers, political parties and big businesses,” he adds.

“We are financially fit and will be “fit for the future” on our present boundaries, formed only 23 years ago. A huge 90% of our residents want Pittwater Council to stay as is with its present boundaries. A bigger 91% of our residents are satisfied with Pittwater Council services,” Tenney explains.

90% of residents have voted for an independent council – this figure was NOT quoted in the IPART report.  The local members of parliament have responsibility to represent the views of their community. Where are they? This is a democracy and the voice of the people must be heard.

Some good papers have been put together so far and are well worth reading, plus clicking on the below ‘Pittwater Forever’ link for the current information.

Click onto the dedicated web site for all the up-to-date information https://pittwaterforever.wordpress.com/pittwater-is-fit/media-articles-and-letters/   Following the public meeting on the 19th May and the end of the council survey period on the 5th June, the council at its meeting on the 15th June presented a report on the outcome of the surveys, (click on the following link to read the details); http://www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au/council/meetings/council_meetings/council_meetings/2015/15_june_-_council and click on C10.1. At this meeting the staff put forward to council their proposal for the IPART submission due the 30th June 2015 with a recommendation of supporting the ‘No Amalgamation of Pittwater’ option plus a fall-back position of the ‘Greater Pittwater’ option (which is dividing Warringah council up between Manly and Pittwater and having only two councils on the Northern Beaches)’. Following forthright presentations from the community that to have a fall-back position would immediately put an end to Pittwater remaining alone, the council passed a resolution to complete the IPART submission based only on the option of ‘No Amalgamation of Pittwater’. The state Government is back-flipping on the ‘No Forced Amalgamation’ and we cannot expect our Council to get the message across to Government that Amalgamation has NO benefits for the Pittwater Community. Pittwater Council meets all the financial, community and cultural requirement of the government ‘Fit for the Future’ rules but fails only on the State Government preferred minimum size of councils, which has no evidentiary support within Australia or around the world. It is up to us, as a community, to let the State Government know that we do not want forced amalgamations.

Members of the NRA executive have met with seventeen other Pittwater community organisations and have formed a coordinating committee of the 18 community groups. This group, named  ‘Pittwater Forever’, will attempt to ensure all Pittwater Residents are aware of what is happening and supplying those residents with the facts and what it will mean to them, plus encourage them to let both the Government and our Council know what we want as a community. Pittwater Forever will lead the charge on behalf of the community to take the fight to the state government.

The Story so far:- The State Government has offered a $10.5 million carrot if Pittwater was to merge with other councils and if we merged with Manly & Warringah we would be entitled to another $3 million as we would exceed the threshold of 250,000 residents (with a combined app. 307,000 residents), giving a total carrot of $13.5million. However Pittwater council staff have calculated that at least all of this carrot would be lost in the costs of amalgamation. At the council meeting held on the 13th of October the council put forward a recommendation that restated that we were not interested in amalgamation however the recommendation empowered the Mayor & General Manager to enter into negotiations and appoint a facilitator in conjunction with Shoroc. Following presentations by ourselves and other resident groups at the meeting the recommendation was amended so that only discussions could be had with no negotiations or appointments of a facilitator. The original motion can be viewed on the council web site under the Agenda for the 13th October and the replacement under the Minutes for the same meeting. A copy of our submission to the council meeting can be viewed under ‘Submissions’ by clicking here.

It is obvious the State Government is intent on having Pittwater merge with Manly & Warringah, so all residents in Pittwater will have to strongly send a message to our local member and to the State Government well before the next election due in early 2015 that we do not want to merge with anyone.

DECEMBER 2014 UPDATE At the Leading & Learning Reference Group meeting of the 26th November the ‘NSW Governments Fit for the Future’ proposals were discussed at length. Before the meeting the NRA requested some information regarding our councils cost performance both against the other Shoroc councils and other councils of the similar size category. The council staff felt this information was not relevant however we believed we needed to know how we compared with other councils so we could not be sidelined by the Government regarding performance. We felt we should at least have the knowledge, whether it be good or bad. Council did however point us to a state government website which had the performance of all NSW councils in the years 2012/2013.


 We did our own analysis based on the information from the state government and the results are under submissions  in our web menu and click on the document titled (Pittwater council expense comparisons 2012.2013). MARCH 2015 UPDATE On Wednesday 11th March Pittwater Council is giving an update to representatives of all the Resident Groups and we will update this post following that meeting. At the Reference Group meetings in February 2015 council did provide an update although most of it was what was already known and to say they were still working on a response. One of the issues that appears to come out of the matter is that if we don’t take the government panel recommendation to merge then we have to show that we are ‘Fit for the Future’ which means we have to show we plan to do something new and different and we cannot say we already are a good council and don’t need to change. (i.e. we cannot simply say we are already ‘Fit for the Future’). THE 11th MARCH MEETING was a bit concerning in that the council appears to be saying we HAVE to consider one of the amalgamation options to be taken seriously by the Government. A paper to be presented to all Pittwater residents will be put to the 7th April 2015 council meeting for approval to be released. PWC appointed KPMG to review and cost all options but the emphasis appears to be on all options other than stay as we are. The assumptions made by KMPG re costs and savings have not been disclosed to date and we will be looking for those immediately.