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Collapse Issue 546:<br />14 Jun 2022<br />_____________Issue 546:
14 Jun 2022
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
No council option to retain Pelican Park playground
Woy Woy consultation open for three more weeks
Tesch encourages locals to have their say
Council holds 15-minute online information sessions
Peninsula News readers disadvantaged
Vietnam Veterans' case officer awarded OAM
Umina oval and leisure centre are major budget items
Council elections delayed more than two years
Labor call for council democracy 'sooner, not later'
Bonanza Book Fair to benefit PCYC
Maritime historian speaks to Umina Rotary club
Woy Woy library to be repainted
Car boot sales prove opportunity for Men's Shed
Rotary club raises $25,000 from Opera in Arboretum
Random patrols at shopping centre
New patron for Rotary club
Microplastics workshop to be held at Patonga
Support available following plastic bag ban
More than 630 houses to be without power this month
Rotary club members collect $6000 for Salvos
Men's Shed to operate at two sites while shed is built
Senior surf presentation held at Diggers
Need for community education about trees, says GUST
Just 6mm in 16 days is well below average
Channel plan to cost $1.2M for five 'precincts'
Peninsula News launches Peninsula planning portal
Repair Pelican Park, don't remove it
Feeble justification for delay in council democracy
Masterplan leaves unanswered questions
Council operating budget needs to fix problems
Administrator should be replaced before election
Unelected council should not keep spending our money
Active cases lowest since January 2
Baby baskets donated to mark branch birthday
Aged care volunteers wanted
BreastScreen returns to Woy Woy CWA
Sister Carmel Silvas retires after 49 years' nursing
Women's Health Donor Circle started for health centre
Aged care residents make 'fiddle quilts'
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Music scholarships announced after annual concert
'Great families of folk' to perform at folk club
Monthly play readings resume
'Curved piecing' in patchwork workshop
Watercolour perspectives in the landscape
New art gallery from local artists
Woy Woy Roosters look to bounce back
'Come and try' outrigger canoes
Donation for hospital surgical area paging system
Bridge club to hold national qualifying event
Woy Woy in 28-0 rugby union defeat



Feeble justification for delay in council democracy

Anyone who was looking forward to a quick return to an elected Council, now that the financial crisis seems to be over, must have been bitterly disappointed with the Minister's announcement that there will be no election until the end of 2024.

By that time, we shall have been under the jurisdiction of an appointed Administrator for so long that most people will have forgotten what an elected Council looks like.

Given that the original idea was that the Administrator was to be in charge only until the Council's financial mess was sorted out and a working organization was put in place, it is difficult to understand why it is necessary for the Administrator to stay on for another two and a half years.

The excuse that the Minister doesn't want to wear out the ratepayers with two elections in two and a half years is about as feeble a justification for a delay as can be imagined.

We are going to a state election one of these days, so, at the very least, why couldn't our local election be held at the same time.The Administrator himself now says that the Council's affairs are on a sound financial footing and that there is a 10-year plan in place to guide long-term decision-making and maintain stability.

If that is the case, what obstacle is there to handing over the reins immediately?

The only conclusion we can draw is that the Minister doesn't trust any elected Council not to go off the rails again, as soon as it has its hands on the chequebook, and is going to keep the Administrator in office as long as possible, to avoid having to cover up another failure of Office of Local Government and the NSW Audit Office on her watch.

Anther meaningless public inquiry would probably erode whatever political capital she has left to the point where it was non-existent.

Residents of the Peninsula might also have noted the Minister's announcement that the new Development Control Plan will be promulgated this month.

However, if they think this will make any difference to the way development is managed in Central Coast, I suspect they will be in for a rude awakening.

The "new" Plan is just a regurgitation of the two old ones, with a few extra mistakes added, so we can continue to look forward to multiple future approvals of non-conforming developments, contrary to the wishes of the community at large.

The Council has departed from its standards so regularly and with so little justification that the Plan now has about as much legal strength as a wet lettuce leaf.

In fact, it is, accordingly, very difficult for the Council to exercise any authority, because it has created so many undesirable precedents that it has hardly a leg to stand on when it comes to a Court challenge.

Developers now have pretty much given up any pretence of observing the Plan requirements.

They do whatever they want and just point to all the other variations the Council has allowed as sufficient grounds for demanding approval of new ones.

It would be nice to think that an elected Council might change that situation, but history suggests otherwise.

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