Pittwater Life June 2017 Issue

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'Protect Pittwater’ rallying

residents to ‘control destiny’

Advocates for new local resident activist

group Protect Pittwater Association

(PPA) say all residents in the former Pittwater

Council region must support a campaign for

the return of Pittwater Council if they want to

regain control of local decision making.

Following a community forum chaired by

the Northern Beaches Greens last

month, PPA spokesman and former

Pittwater councillor Bob Grace said

that although local State MP Rob

Stokes had assured residents that

councillors elected to the new Northern

Beaches Council would control

decisions about land use, zoning

and strategic plans in their local

wards, true democracy involved

more than development decisions.

“We must control our own destiny…

local government means

local control of our rates and local

control of our budget – as much as control of

our tree canopy, open spaces, our interconnected

villages and our own character,” Mr

Grace said.

Mr Grace is spearheading the two-pronged

campaign to regain Pittwater Council – involving

litigation financed by crowdfunding, and a

petition unanimously agreed upon at the community

forum.

Seeking legal advice and preparing a statement

of claim would cost between $5,000 and

$10,000, he said.

“We’re lucky this is not a big case,” Mr Grace

said. “Other councils (Ku-ring-gai and Woollahra)

have done our work for us… we

only have to fit within the judgments

obtained by them in court – and we do.”

The forum also supported a proposal

by NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge

to petition the state government

to reconstitute Pittwater Council.

“The Local Government Act makes

it clear, that when you have a proposal

from part of a local government

area, that it only needs support

of 250 residents or 10% of the local

residents, whichever is the lesser,” Mr

Shoebridge said.

“Of course, if this proposal is going to be

taken seriously it needs many more than 250

residents behind it – and I’m pretty certain there

are thousands more in Pittwater who will be.”

More info on Protect Pittwater’s facebook

page.

– Miranda Korzy

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