It’s almost a week since the council meeting, I’ve needed to look at a few things a little closer before I put fingers to keyboard and will attempt to bring you up to date on what happened at the council meeting. I guess the real reason for my delay was an urgency motion by Cllr Hadchiti, seems all the Councillors were in receipt of an email from a local developer regarding his development on Bathurst Street (Cnrs, Northumberland and Lachlan Sts). From what I gathered from the conversation Cllr Hadchiti wanted council to override normal/legal procedures so the developer could be issued with an occupancy certificate so he could start selling his units. Cllr phrased this as 100’s of families waiting to move in, however I feel it is more likely not all those units have been sold and the inability to market them was causing financial distress to the developer…. so whats the problem, they look ready enough? If you were listening to the debate you’d think it just a matter of a lousy path, one that from all accounts had been laid wrong and needed to be replaced. Cllr assured us the matter could be rectified very quickly and the generous developer was even prepared to put up a $50,000 bond. WOW…. well not really, I have taken the time to go and have a look at this particular development and well yes it is BIG and is certainly in need of paths but would $50,000 even come close to covering what is required? I think not…. you see (pictures below) Not only is the path that has been laid not complaint, there are no plantings etc (subject to the DA Application, which by the way isn’t easily tracked online, I tried numerous methods DA Number/Street Location etc and drew a blank) there had not been even early this week a request from the developer to make the necessary adjustments despite what we were told in council (a Section 96 request). Building development requires a number of legal steps to take place, these are designed to protect the community, the council, and the developer, basically all involved and the section 96 request would allow council to consider the adjustments, appropriate cost coverage and of course process… you know who needs to check things out etc. I got from the conversation in council that it was just a little path and a tree… council officers advised that an arborist (tree Specialist) would need to be engaged and that the path that had been laid would need to be removed so the appropriate, correct path could be laid. On that alone I thought $50,000 was a poor guarantee but then I went and looked at the Street!
The last picture is I believe the path in question. The Lachlan Street (or main entrances) however have no paths at all and those magnificent trees will add enormous value to the property they stand in front of, an arborist would be able to determine whether or not paths will risk their viability, what needs to be done to maintain them and what if anything should be done to preserve them, they aren’t little trees that could be moved, or tinkered with… they are old and beautiful and need to be taken care of. Please don’t get me wrong, development is necessary, people do want to live here in Liverpool (a good thing) but the amenity of the place needs to be high on the agenda too, not just how fast and how much money will be gained from each development. It would actually be cheaper for the Developer to default than do what is required, is this the outcome our Councillors should be seeking on our behalf… I think not. Should our Councillors be seeking ways to ‘avoid’ protections and legal implications, I again think NOT . I am as I said all for business in Liverpool, however the majority of council is even more for it than practicality and process should ensure…. please note the Labor Councillors attempted a variance to the motion to protect Liverpool but the majority overrode it. (below is from the council draft minutes)
MOTION OF URGENCY DA883/2207/A 2-4 BATHURST STREET, LIVERPOOL
Clr Hadchiti requested that a motion relating to the above matter be dealt with at this meeting as a matter of urgency.
Mayor Mannoun ruled that the proposed business is of great urgency and on being put to the meeting, Council in accordance with Clause 14(2)(a) of the Code of Meeting Practice resolved to deal with the matter at this meeting.
Motion: Moved: Clr Hadchiti Seconded: Deputy Mayor
1. Upon receipt of a $50,000 bond, immediately issue the 88B instrument that relates to the construction works at 2-4 Bathurst St Liverpool (Property borders Bathurst, Lachlan & Northumberland) on the proviso that:
A. The applicant undertakes to meet with Council Officers to determine the best possible outcome for construction of footpaths that immediately border the development within one week.
B. The applicant undertakes to lodge a S96 modification application that reflects A within 2 weeks after a resolution has been agreed with Council Officers
C. The applicant undertakes that six weeks after the determination is communicated in writing the applicant satisfies the S96 determination. (end)
As it stands we have questions to ask of our Councillors, another is about donations, just because a donation is made via Liberal Party head office, doesn’t mean a Councillor in Liverpool is exempt from acknowledging it as a pecuniary interest! The Liberal Councillors have been somewhat tardy in their interpretation of the requirements and money donated through Liberal party head office then deposited in the Liverpool Liberals account, it is still required to be advised, as would have been clearer in the School issue I spoke of previously you may recall I posted the MSM Link. This would be the same of any party but presently its the Libs who are failing to report correctly to my knowledge. Would it have also altered those who were available to vote for the retrospective DA on the school and there fore the result? This is NOT acceptable behaviour from these Councillors and I invite them to be more up front about their donors and financial interests in the future. Are you aware that there are websites where you can go and see who is financing your political party? Well there is and one I like is ‘democracy for sale’, it really is an interesting read if you are interested.
Other things discussed at the council meeting were the approval of the 12% Rate increase(edit: Cllr Harle has suggested to me that this is not a 12% increase, rather a retention of 9% and an increase of 3%… for clarification, I and many others expected a 9% reduction [removal of the 9% and a 2.3% increase as mandated by the state, there for I see this as a 12% increase, bearing in mind that the mandated amount is 2.3% we in Liverpool will see a 9.7% increase and a 2.3% mandated increase….btw, no one mentions that the 9 is closer to 10 than it is because of the .7% no one else is getting but I take his point its a matter of where you sit in the debate. tks for the comment Cllr I hope this clarifies the situation.) , seems the majority of you are happy with the present situation and voted to retain it, in perpetuity if council gets its way, the Men’s Shed facility was approved ,as was approval to seek EOI on managing the Carnes Hill facility, the waiver the NSW police re using council meeting rooms, the council reforms and Deputy Mayor situation were both deferred and the Proposed use of No 1 Hoxton Park Road, disclosed. 3 Councillors are set to attend the ALGWA conference in Broken Hill (the costings were in the minutes, each likely to cost about $1500 give or take, and the best one for transparency is following Division of Local Govt advice council will seek approval (from the ratepayers) to go back to the correct procedures for Mayoral Minutes… this should never have been changed in the first place and we will now be paying for it to go out to the community AGAIN to have this restored in the code of conduct. (if you don’t recall just go back through this website, I detailed it previously) One thing I’d forgotten to mention previously and may be of interest to aspiring councillors and local business people is that council has approved using approx., 10 yrs of Town Improvement Fund (Money), to do feasibility consultation….regarding upgrades of things like Bigge Park, Riverside access etc. Knowing many business people keep a keen eye on where these funds are spent it worthy of a mention I think…. Some of these as I also mentioned previously have been done and are being done AGAIN…. 😦
If you have knowledge of a pocket park council is seeking disposal of, please let me know, I have heard that local residents are being advised but nothing in the local paper.(that I’ve seen)…council disposing of your little park is important, and we need to remain diligent if we want our kids and grand-kids to grow up in a leafy, lush and inviting location, because once they are gone they are gone forever.
If you disagree with what I’ve written, or heard it differently, or have additional facts please don’t hesitate to let me know. If as I’ve also mentioned before you think I’m missing detail or content, perhaps consider that the fault of council, I gather all my information from attending and listening, if the detail isn’t here, one might consider it because the detail wasn’t given. As always other opinion is and will be appreciated and shared if you wish.
Lastly if you are out and about this coming Sunday, drop into the Michael Wendon centre for the SHINE event, bring the kids and your cozies, have a free swim and check out the jumping castle….or even a snag from the Lions club.