Pittwater Life June 2017 Issue

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Cafe Society. Exclusive Q&A: Michael Regan. Dummies Guide To The B-Line. Cash Splash.

would be Mayor

keeping with local character. Nobody supports

over-development. Nobody. People

often refer to Dee Why on that front. Even

the high-rise that was introduced by the

administrator, didn’t create more units.

The amount of floor space was determined

decades earlier. I’m proud of what is finally

being delivered to Dee Why. Manly still

has the highest density and the tallest

buildings. A big part of the problem is

that the general public do not understand

how planning works on Council and the

State. The assumption is that Council is

responsible for it. The truth is it is the State.

I love having these respectful debates with

people and educating them.

PL: Would you support councillors being

responsible for planning in their wards?

MR: That’s a good question. I doubt it

is legal as it goes directly against our

responsibilities as Councillors as defined

by the Act. I support local ward Councillors

taking a lead on projects in their area. That

is critical. You would be naïve to believe

that local councillors only could decide on

planning controls in their area. Where is

the legislation? If it exists, what does the

fine print say? Think about it. All across

Sydney, how many ward councillors would

agree to increasing density in their patch?

Nobody. Sydney would grind to a halt. You

have reported Rob Stokes has said this

is going to happen, so it ultimately won’t

matter what anyone thinks. This is perhaps

another example of how State Government

tries to control Council.

PL: What does the ‘Your Northern Beaches’

party stand for?

MR: We are a registered party for one

day every four years – election day. The

rest of the time we think, act and vote

independently. Every vote on council is a

conscience vote – our track record at Warringah

Council proves that. Your Northern

Beaches will strive to give the community a

strong independent voice at the most critical

level of Government. We will endeavour

to make politicians and government departments

accountable to the community

with none of the usual rhetoric, deceit and

power plays that you see from our major

parties. Its members will always maintain

their independence and will work in a

spirit of co-operation to achieve the aims of

the team and maintain the passion for real

democracy. As a team, those broad aims

'We're bringing together

a like-minded group who

are already serving their

local areas and who want to

take the next step...'

are to protect our beaches, parkland and

natural assets from inappropriate development

and the potential impacts of a changing

climate; to commit the NB Council to

best environmental practice as well as the

highest standards of transparency and

accountability; to maintain council services

and where possible, enhance them; to

improve necessary infrastructure; to work

alongside and support local businesses;

to upgrade our sporting facilities; and enhance

the role of community groups.

PL: Where will you get your 15 candidates?

MR: We’re bringing together a group of

like-minded, grass roots community members

who are already serving their local

areas and who want to take the next step.

We’re still finalising details and election

day is a long way off but I’m excited by who

we are bringing together.

PL: What ward will you stand in?

MR: I am amused that everyone is so keen

to know which ward I am running in and

to be honest, I haven’t decided yet – I am

passionate about the issues affecting each

of the five wards.

PL: Do you aspire to the role as Mayor?

MR: Yes. But not for any ego factor or notions

of career progression but because I

am genuinely excited about the challenges

and opportunities for the community that

the new council has brought about. Over

the past eight years I’ve developed a longterm

vision for the area by working with

and listening to the community – not just

in Warringah but with our neighbours in

Pittwater and Manly too. I’m keen to share

that vision and develop it further. I think it

is an outrage and a step backwards that the

public no longer get to choose their Mayor.

The people of Manly and of Warringah have

previously voted overwhelmingly to have

that right to choose their leader but now

that right has been lost. I hope that in time

the new council will return to the model of

a directly elected Mayor.

PL: What have you learned chairing the

Strategic Reference Groups for Affordable

Housing and Arts Culture & Heritage?

MR: The Northern Beaches has an amazing

art and cultural scene and a wonderful

heritage with a great local narrative

Continued on page 26

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JUNE 2017 25

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