Council Decided – 5 September 2023
Mayoral Minutes – Mary Louise McLaws AO
In a Mayoral Minute delivered to the meeting, Mayor Carolyn Corrigan paid tribute to the late Mary Louise McLaws AO, for her extensive and significant contribution to the world of science and medicine. Emeritus Professor McLaws’ groundbreaking work in the area of HIV and AIDS research commenced in 1986 and for almost forty years Mary Louise was at the forefront of infection prevention programs, community medicine initiatives, academic mentoring and scientific scholarship. Most recently, Mary Louise was recognised as the calm and trusted voice that helped guide Australians through the COVID-19 public health emergency. A Mosman resident since 2005, Mary Louise was very generous with her time and her knowledge and spoke many times at community events as well as being a great supporter of the local business community. Married to husband Richard for 35 years, Mary Louise was mother to Zia and Zachary. She was honoured in the June 2022 Queens Birthday Honours List, being made an Officer of the Order of Australia.
Mayor Minute – Justice Paul Stein
Mayor Corrigan also presented a Mayoral Minute thanking former Justice Paul Stein for his many years of service and for the wisdom, accessibility, gravitas and balance he brought to his role as Chair of the Mosman Local Planning Panel. Paul Stein, who recently stepped down from the role, had been Chair of the Panel since its establishment in early 2011. Since its inaugural meeting, the Panel has determined over 1000 applications and continues to be held in high regard by the community. Mosman has been a leader in this area, establishing an independent planning panel well in advance of the NSW Government’s 2018 mandate requiring that all local councils establish such panels.
Paul has had a distinguished career having been appointed a judge of the District Court in June 1983, a judge of the Land and Environment Court in June 1985 and a judge of appeal of the NSW Supreme Court in April 1997. Previously he was Deputy Ombudsman in NSW between 1977 and 1979 and served as President of the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board between 1979 and 1982. He also served on or chaired many committees of review and inquiries and served as board member and Chair of the Australian Consumers Association, a member of the NRMA Crime Safe Committee and Chair of the NRMA Community Advisory Committee.
Election of Deputy Mayor
Councillor Pip Friedrich was elected unopposed to the position of Deputy Mayor until September 2024. Councillor Friedrich is currently serving on her first term of Council, having been elected as a Councillor in December 2021. This will also be her first term as Deputy Mayor. Mayor Carolyn Corrigan congratulated Councillor Friedrich on her election and also thanked Councillor Bendall for his contribution to the role of over the past year.
Aboriginal Land Claim
Council considered a report in relation to an Aboriginal Land Claim made by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council for a parcel of land at Balmoral Beach. After lengthy debate and representations from local residents the Council unanimously resolved that, as representative of the Mosman community, it object to the land claim and provide evidence to the Aboriginal Land Claim Assessment Team (ALCAT) that the land has been lawfully used and is required for essential public purposes, and therefore should in no way be considered claimable land. A formal submission will be made to the ALCAT in this respect and Council will also seek details of other Aboriginal Land Claims in Mosman.
2022/2023 Financial Statements
Council resolved to adopt its Draft Financial Statements for the year ending 30 June 2023 and to refer the statements for audit in accordance with Local Government Act requirements. It was noted that Council’s end of year operating surplus is significantly better than the modest surplus originally forecast. Council’s performance against key financial performance indicators also illustrates that it is in an excellent financial position.
Council considered a report outlining proposed revisions to its Mosman Art Collection and Public Art policies. The current policies have been in operation since 2015 and 2006 respectively and have been reviewed to ensure compliance with best practice principles and to respond to more recent changes to legislation and operations. Council resolved to place the draft revised policies on exhibition for public comment and to consider the matter again once the public exhibition period has concluded.
Youth Centre Name Change
For many years the official name of Council’s local centre for youth activities has been ‘Mosman Youth Development Centre’. A report was presented to Council outlining the results of recent consultations with young people, recommending that the name be shortened to ‘Mosman Youth Centre’ as the name preferred by the significant majority of young people consulted. Council resolved to adopt this change and to update signage at the centre accordingly. A new sign will also be designed with the involvement of young people at the centre’s street entrance on The Crescent.
Library Book Supply
Council has resolved to enter into a new three year contract for the supply of up to 6,500 shelf-ready books per annum to the Barry O’Keefe Library in Mosman. The new arrangement is expected to result in reduced costs for collection management as well as books arriving with customers more quickly. The contract does not include some items such as DVDs, eBooks, Large Print books and magazines which will continue to be sourced from specialist suppliers.
Public Interest Disclosures Policy
After considering a report on the new Pubic Interest Disclosures Act 2022, due to commence in October this year, Council resolved to rescind its current Public Interest Disclosures Policy and adopt a new policy effective 1 October 2023. The Public Disclosures Policy aims to protect public officials who make disclosures under the legislation from reprisals, and to ensure that matters raised in disclosures of corrupt conduct, serious maladministration, serious and substantial waste of public money, and government information, local government pecuniary interest and privacy contraventions are properly investigated.
Mosman Flood Study
Council received and noted a report outlining the current status and projected timeline for completion of the Mosman Flood Study. In June this year Manly Hydraulics Laboratory was engaged to assist with the Flood Study project, which will include data collection and modelling of areas that will be flooded, together with options and a plan to reduce flood risk. It is proposed that a Flood Risk Management Committee also be established to assist with the project, together with a Technical Working Group. The project is due to be completed by November next year, with community consultation to be undertaken in early 2024.
Environmental Sustainability Policy Review
Council adopted minor amendments to its 2009 Environmental Sustainability Policy, including reference in the amended policy to Council’s Statement of Business Ethics.
Code of Conduct Complaints
A requirement of the Model Code of Conduct for local councils in NSW is that a report must be presented annually to Council detailing code of conduct complaints dealt with during the previous year. Council received and noted the report presented at the meeting, which outlined the three complaints received during the period and how they were dealt with. This information will now be provided to the Office of Local Government and also included in Council’s statutory 2022/2023 Annual Report, due for publication in November this year.
Changes to Planning Panels
Council considered a report advising of the appointment of Councillor Michael Randall to the Sydney North Planning Panel and detailing new and ongoing expert members of the Mosman Local Planning Panel. Council also noted recently difficulties in recruiting additional community members to the Mosman Local Planning Panel and resolved that further Expressions of Interest be sought.
Revised Middle Head/Gubbuh Gubbuh Draft Master Plan
Council resolved to make a submission on the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust’s (SHFT) Revised Draft Master Plan for Middle Head/Gubbuh Gubbuh. In making its submission Council will note that it is grateful SHFT has listened to and acted upon Council’s previous submission – particularly as it relates to Middle Head Oval and facilities. The submission will also advise that Council is currently preparing plans for an upgraded change facility at Middle Head, including better provision for women’s sport, following adoption of the Master Plan, and that Council looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively with SHFT on the future planning of Middle Head/Gubbuh Gubbuh.