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Collapse Issue 520:<br />31 May 2021<br />_____________Issue 520:
31 May 2021
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Residents to pay $8M more after 42.1 per cent rate rise
Rate rise is Liberal Merger Tax, says Tesch
Public inquiry into council is open for submissions
Crouch urges residents to make inquiry submissions
Greens to start de-merger petitions
Administrator's 'facts' are wrong, says community group
Rotary club to hold book fair at PCYC
Men's Shed to hold annual sale
Arboretum receives 'koala song meter'
Open space policies under threat, says green group
Strategy lists 21 playgrounds but 20-year wait for others
Tree group gives reasons for saving council reserves
Petition to save Memorial Ave reserve sent to council
Rotary donates $1000 to each of five community groups
Tea Cosy Expo with Devonshire Teas
Fishing club donates to Vietnam veterans
Student driving course available free of charge
Special Rotary evening
Lion Island penguins benefit from Hawkesbury cleanup
Preschoolers use their own Opal cards
PCYC calls for volunteers
Encouragement to buy locally
Pearl Beach pool cleaned
Gabrielle named Volunteer of the Year
Tesch calls for support for oyster growers
MP hopeful that doctor shortage is lessening
Wednesday Wanderers travel to Davistown
New restaurant
Year's rainfall is spot on average
Details of five-storey Umina proposal available
CEN criticises 'excessive' approval of non-compliance
Contribution requirement reduced by $1200
More time for comment after portal anomalies revealed
Three townhouses proposed for sub-standard site
Flats proposal still in pre-lodgement review
Urgency to protect what green spaces we have left
State policy to protect and invest in open space
Council threat to mental and physical health and welfare
Put toll on M1 to pay council's debts
Reserve is oasis in rotting neighbourhood
Why not solar panels at carpark?
Austin Butler land should not be sold
Regional plan requires investment in open space
Breastscreen bus at Woy Woy for June
Hospital is supported by 17 volunteers
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Folk club holds house concert
Ephemeral art trail to be held over three weeks
Coastal Twist Festival preparation starts
Charli Grant appointed to Minister's student council
Umina campus students walk to Patonga
Last day for scholarship applications
Students visit Newcastle stadium for numeracy day
Whole school listens to book reading in space
Defeated in penalty shoot-out
Office staff thanked on Public Education Day
Dress rehearsal for dance performances
Three dance groups attend dress rehearsals
Outing to the shops
A virtual classroom hosts cattle farmer
Charity bowls raises $32,600
Grade 6 Pennant comes down to the wire for Umina
Ettalong Red loses to Bateau Bay for Grade 7 pennant
Slow start for Woy Woy in hard-fought encounter
Hornsby rubgy union victory in round seven
Tour de Central Coast stages to start at Woy Woy
Restricted bridge championship winners
Ducks elect new committee
Apply for funding, now, says Tesch



Administrator's 'facts' are wrong, says community group

Council Administrator Mr Rik Hart last week reprimanded residents for "spreading of misinformation" in relation to the Council's planned asset sales.

But one community group has accused Mr Hart of spreading misinformation himself.

Mr Hart provided what he called a "fact check" to refute misinformation on a number of topics in a lengthy media release on Monday, May 24t

Among the "facts" was a statement that "the Umina carpark at Bullion Ave would include strict conditions of sale so there is no loss of public parking, as well as ensuring that the businesses on West St maintain their rear lane access".

However, the Central Coast branch of the Australian Conservation Foundation says council minutes show the sale of the carpark is unconditional.

"Nowhere in the council minutes or agenda was there any reference to the sale of the carpark being conditional or what those conditions might be," said branch president Mr Mark Ellis.

"The fact is that there is nothing currently committing the council to condition the sale of the carpark in the way Mr Hart claims."

"If the council plans is to put conditions on the sale of any assets, the council should disclose these conditions in a council resolution ahead of any decision to sell.

"Any conditions need to be in place with the sale, and not left to a subsequent development approval process.

"The community should be given access to and be able to comment on the detail of any conditions ahead before a decision is made about the sale of any assets."

Mr Ellis said he was also concerned about a statement in Mr Hart's media release that "this urgent need for income may override historic strategic direction".

"Many submissions have cited current strategies and policies, not historic ones, which should not be ignored or over-ridden in an ad hoc fashion," Mr Ellis said.

If changes to strategic direction were proposed, they should go through established processes, he said.

"Failing to follow existing strategies and policies and ignoring them willy-nilly simply further undermines the community's trust and confidence in the council and its operation."

Mr Ellis said Mr Hart's statement called into question whether Mr Hart recognised how the role of Council Administrator representing the interests of the ratepayers differed from his previous role as interim general manager, representing the interests of council staff and the regulators.

"Mr Hart should be listening and seeking to understand ratepayers and reflecting their interests, not criticising them and telling them off.

"Given Mr Hart's deep involvement and stake in formulating this proposal as interim general manager, there is a clear conflict of interest between these two roles."

Mr Ellis said the comment period should be extended to allow residents to respond to the new information introduced by Mr Hart for the first time, just five days before the comment period closed.

Petitions opposing the sale have attracted "thousands" of signatures, according to Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch.

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