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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach
August 16, 2009
Notices for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia
August 2009

Jetty Tax update and new HAA website
from BaysNews
Thanks to the efforts of Elvina Bay resident, Paul Purvis, jetty tax updates and information about the Home Access Association (HAA) can now be accessed via the HAA website :

State of Play
As you are aware the Home Access Association, (HAA) was formed in reaction to the impact of the NSW Government’s review of waterfront tenancies. For 9 years we have sought a discussion with the Department of Lands over the anomalous position of the water access only community and jetty tax. The need for this discussion became more urgent following the across-the board-jetty tax increases imposed by IPART in 2005.
Throughout this time your Committee has attempted to engage the Department of Lands through a continuous stream of letters, met with every Parliamentary party in the Upper and Lower Houses, attended rallies, talked to lawyers, talked to local government and developed possible solutions.

Despite these efforts, the Department of Lands has continued to stonewall any discussion. There are, however, some promising developments on the horizon.

Auditor General’s Report
You may recall the Auditor General announced a review into the system of license fees for waterfront jetties to be concluded in early 2009. After the Terms of Reference were widened the reporting time was delayed until June. We understand there has been a further delay following a flurry of responses from the Department of Lands and Maritime to the draft report and that the new reporting time is now September. We await the document with interest.

Liberal Commitment
The State Liberals have stood by a commitment to deal fairly with our issue, through three changes of leadership. They too are waiting for the Auditor General’s report before finalising their policy position on water-access-only residents. For further information contact your local member after the release of the Auditor General’s report: Rob Stokes for Pittwater; Judy Hopwood for Hornsby and Ray Williams for the Windsor/Hawkesbury area.

Onshore Action
The Department of Lands has also ignored requests from the onshore jetty owners for a sensible discussion. Fed up with waiting the Waterfront Action Group (WAG), a subcommittee of the Boat Owners Association (BOA) is gathering material for the class action they are mounting regarding jetty rentals.

The WAG attack is multi-pronged. First they will assert that the rate of return of 3.05%, which forms part of the equation on which the rental is based, is flawed. Rental averages are unfair; the real rate of return for waterfront rentals is much lower than for other properties, and while there has been a regular review of statutory land values there has not been matching reviews of the rate of return.

Secondly WAG will assert that the rate for the seabed on which the jetty sits should be based on the rental charged for similar seabed use such as a swing mooring, not the unimproved land value of the residence to which the jetty is attached, as the jetty’s potential rate of return can never match the rate of return from the adjacent residential land.

HAA believes members would support WAG in their endeavours.Not only would this class action ease the burden for jetty owners if we do not prevail with our separate argument  (that we should not be charged for primary access to our homes), but it will also assist those who have been hit with additional rocketing costs for the reclaimed land attached to their property. However, only those who are party to the class action by way of WAG membership will recoup their overpaid rentals for 2005 to 2009. For further information about WAG or to join the cause log on to their website at: http://www.waterfrontactiongroup.com.au/
HAA Online
To be in a position to capitalise on these developments the Association needs a better form of communication. Pittwater water-access-only residents have received regular HAA jetty tax updates through their own online community channels.   However, communication with members up and down the Hawkesbury has been limited by the cost of mail-outs and an outdated membership list. Now thanks to the efforts of Elvina Bay resident, Paul Purvis, the Home Access Association (HAA) offers all members the opportunity to receive updates via a website.

Sign On
Please use this link NOW to become an online member. We want to keep you up to date with all these developments, to discuss possible solutions and prepare ourselves for the state election in March 2011.

All future communication will come via this medium. Only members will be able to access all areas including material deemed 'sensitive'. Membership information will never be distributed to others and emails from HAA will be limited to essential information only. Please encourage your friends and neighbours to sign on so that we can fully inform and fully represent the water access community on this essential part of our life. Compellingly, membership continues to be free as the website will allow us to maintain good communications for minimal cost.

Any questions or news please telephone, email or write online to your local contacts
Paul Purvis:   paul.purvis@gmail.com  T: 9979 9667
Greg Roberts: greg.roberts@exemail.com.au  T:  9979 5228
Lesley Stevens:  lesley.stevens@prismpix.com   T: 9979 9477

Hawkesbury River, Berowra Creek and Marra Marra Creek.
Kevin Cooper: kevin@riverfront.com.au  T: 9655 1713
Carl and Carol Joy:  haa.agent@gmail.com   T: 9499 8113
John Sutton: johnjillsutton@bigpond.com  T: 9985 9188

Author Talk@ Mona Vale Library

Pliny's Warning
Anne Marie Nicholson, novel on Tues 25 August at 6.30pm, Mona Vale Library

The next author talk is ABC Arts Journalist  Anne Maria Nicholson - you may have seen her reporting on all sorts of cultural events and people on TV!

Her novel is Pliny's Warning, he being Pliny the Younger who gave an eyewitness account of the eruption of Mt Vesuvius and became known as the world's first vulcanoligist.

The 'warning' is what measures a group of scientists are wishing to implement to save the inhabitants from catastrophe in the event of disaster occurring again, which in their opinion, is a very real threat.

So, it is based on historical and contemporary fact, set in a factual location with intrigue and a love interest, thrown in, for good measure.

Click image to load flyer

Forthcoming Events  August - October 2009
Tuesday 25 August – Author - Anne Maria Nicholson
“Pliny’s Warning” Intrigue and passion in the shadow of Vesuvius

Wednesday 9 September – Jim Macken “Crimes, Scandals, Corruptions” – COST - $5 ONLY
Thursday 17 September – Kelsang Dornying “Transform your Life”
Tuesday 29 Sept – Author - Perminder Sachdev “The Yipping Tiger and other tales from the neuropsychiatric clinic”

Thursday 8 October – Author - John Robson “Captain Cook's War and Peace”
Bookings essential on 9970 1600 and payment within 3 days required to confirm bookings.
Cost $7.50, $5.50 – concession (Friends of Mona Vale Library/ Pensioner/student cards must be shown. Friends’  subscription needs to have been paid. Light refreshments provided.
All talks will be held at Mona Vale Library, Park Street, Mona Vale at 6.30pm.

Local Council Notices
Pittwater Council has extended the closing date for its Sustainability Awards to Friday 28 August.
Pittwater Mayor David James said that we have already received a number of entries but would like to give residents and businesses a further opportunity to be a part of these inaugural awards. 

“There are three categories where residents and business can demonstrate their commitment to making Pittwater sustainable namely: ‘sustainability in design’, ‘sustainability in business’ and ‘sustainability in landscaping’.”

Judging of the submissions will be undertaken by a panel of experts which includes the independent representative Ms Hazel Storey, a sustainability manager with the Local Government Managers Australia (NSW).

Cr David James said that we are delighted that Ms Storey has agreed to be a part of the judging panel. She has a wealth of experience in sustainable practices and is at the forefront of continuous improvement in this important area.
The sustainability in design category will focus on recognising architects, owner-builders and designers who have developed buildings with sustainable features.
Entries can include new residential buildings, extended, renovated or refurbished buildings, medium density housing and commercial premises.

Sustainability in business will offer awards to both small (less than 20 employees) and medium to large businesses (over 20 employees) who have become more sustainable through innovations involving staff, resources or new business practices.
The sustainability in landscaping category will recognise homeowners, landscape architects, landscapers or garden designers who have committed to making Pittwater more sustainable through landscaping and gardening. This may involve practices such as designing gardens to be drought-resistant, creating vegetable gardens or havens for native wildlife and birds.

All entries for the awards must be within Pittwater and be submitted by Friday 28 August. Awards will be announced at a special ceremony in October.

Alternatively, entries can be hand delivered to Simonne Shore or via mail to PO Box 882 Mona Vale 1660.

Further details about the awards and the criteria can be found on Council’s website at www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au

RTA hands council $15m road repair bill
Manly Daily

THE ROADS and Traffic Authority is trying to shift responsibility for ``a clapped-out road’’ on to Pittwater Council, along with the $15million cost of repairing it.

Pittwater Rd and McCarrs Creek Rd, between Mona Vale and the boundary of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, are classified as state roads, meaning they are the RTA’s responsibility.

But now the RTA wants to classify the roads as regional ones, leaving Pittwater Council with the responsibilities and costs involved in repairing and maintaining them.

The RTA tried the same thing in 2005 but failed after the council strongly objected to it.
A report at the time said ``a considerable portion’’ of the road needs full-depth reconstruction and the installation of drains.

Pittwater Councillor Julie Hegarty said it’s just another example of cost shifting by the State Government.
She said the road was never built to handle the amount of traffic now using it and the road verges are below standard.
``They’ve obviously looked through their road system for opportunities of getting roads that will cost money to fix,’’ she said.
``That’s the only reason they want to give it to us to save money at our expense.’’
McCarrs Creek Rd has already suffered a major landslip near Botham Beach and Pittwater Mayor David James said there have been significant failures in other areas. ``They are just trying to foist a clapped-out road on to us,’’ he said.
``It needs $15million to bring it up to scratch.
``It’s in danger of significant failure in several spots and there are also future impacts due to climate change part of the road goes underwater at spring tides and part of the road near Rowland Reserve will have to be elevated at some time in the future.’’

Is the RTA acting properly? Comment below

Council rejects RTA'S Reclassification of Roads
Pittwater Council has rejected the decision by the RTA’s Road Classification Review Panel to transfer road management responsibility from the state government for Pittwater and McCarrs Creek Roads from Mona Vale to the boundary of the Ku-ring-gai National Park.

A report presented to the Council this week said the current poor condition of both roads would require $15 million to repair, in addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars in ongoing maintenance each year.

The RTA advised the Council in June this year that it intended to reclassify parts of McCarrs Creek Road and Pittwater Road as ‘regional roads’, instead of their current classification as ‘state roads’.

Roads classified as state roads are subject to full funding and maintenance by the RTA. Regional roads are the responsibility of the local Council and are provided with limited funding from the RTA.

At its meeting last night the Council voted to accept the recommendations of a report by the Council’s engineering staff.

In addition to rejecting the reclassification of the roads, the report also recommended the formation of a joint working party with the RTA and the Council to assess the current condition of the roads and the future funding required for maintenance and improvements.

Mayor David James said the proposal by the RTA to reclassify the road was ‘unacceptable’, and represented another example of cost-shifting from state to local government.

“We will be inheriting major roads which are already in a poor state of repair and in parts have stability concerns,” he said.

“To repair and maintain these roads will cost the Pittwater community literally millions of dollars, especially when the future impact of sea level rise is taken into consideration.

“Pittwater and McCarrs Creek Roads are a major tourist gateway into the Ku-ring-gai National Park and should remain state roads on that basis.”

Mayor James said the Council would seek a meeting with the RTA as soon as possible to discuss the issue.

Newsletter Design:Paul Purvis [0403-442-764]