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Council Decided - 6 February 2024

Posted on Thursday 8 February 2024

Citizen of the Year

Mayor Carolyn Corrigan reported on the local Australia Day celebrations at Mosman Drill Hall, including the citizenship ceremony for 34 new citizens, a community BBQ and the announcement of Mosman’s 2024 Citizen of the Year.

The 2024 Mosman Citizen of the Year is Matthew Brownlie, who has committed the last 16 years to being a Scout Section Leader at 1st Balmoral Sea Scouts. Since 2016 Matthew has also been the Lower North Shore Turrumburra District Scout Leader, being responsible for the activities of 21 Scout Groups. Mayor Corrigan described Matthew as an exemplary example of a committed and dedicated volunteer, acknowledging that Mosman has been very fortunate to have him share his energy and passion for Scouting over many years with Mosman’s youth.

Proposed Planning Changes by NSW Government

A report was presented to Council in relation to proposed changes to the planning system by the NSW government that are intended to significantly increase the capacity for low and mid-rise housing in well-located areas near existing services and infrastructure. The changes, termed the diverse and well-located housing reforms, will radically transform the built environment by altering the forms of development permitted within certain zones and introducing new planning controls in a one-size-fits-all approach. If enacted, the proposals would represent a transformative change to the built form planning controls in the Mosman local government area and will result in substantially larger built forms, dwelling yield and future population than Council and the community had previously anticipated.

The reforms are explained in a document titled Explanation of Intended Effect: Changes to create low and mid-rise housing, which is currently on exhibition for public comment until 23 February.   

Following extended discussion by Councillors, Council resolved to endorse a submission to the NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure raising serious concerns with the proposals outlined by the Government in its consultation document. It was also resolved that the Mayor and General Manager seek an urgent meeting with the Planning Minister and/or the Premier to highlight Council’s concerns regarding the proposals and to seek additional time for input from local government. Further, it was agreed that a ‘town hall’ style meeting be held in coming weeks to further inform the community about the planning changes and to gauge community response. It was noted that an extraordinary meeting of the Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC) will be held on 15 February to discuss the proposed planning changes and to support collective regional action to address issues including inadequate consultation, excessive haste in introducing the reforms, lack of clarity regarding the reforms, the move away from carefully constructed and exhibited planning controls and the expected impact on residential streets and neighbourhood including heritage conservation areas. Council agreed that the Mayor also meet with Presidents of other Regional Organisations of Councils to develop a common understanding of the planning changes and to find common ground and approaches to challenge the manner and timing of these changes.   

Residents with concerns about the proposed changes are encouraged to learn more about the proposals and to make their own submission via the information and feedback page.

Social and Affordable Housing Reforms

Council also considered a report in relation to legislation gazetted in December 2023 regarding social and affordable housing reforms. As a result of these legislative reforms the State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) 2021 – the Housing SEPP – has been amended. These amendments include allowing up to 30% additional building height and floor space ratio (FSR) where a development meets certain criteria – namely having at least 10-15% of floor area as affordable housing, being permissible residential development under an environmental planning instrument and being within an accessible area. These changes (together with other related affordable housing amendments) were introduced as part of NSW’s response to the National Housing Accord, and will apply to approximately 90% of land in Mosman where residential development is permitted.

MOSPLAN and Budget Quarterly Reports – October-December 2023

The second quarterly report detailing progress against Council’s adopted Delivery Program, Operational Plan and Budget for 2023-2024 was presented to Council. The report identified good progress in service delivery and solid financial results, with a modest surplus still forecast at year end.

Festival of Mosman 2023

Council noted a report on the 2023 Festival of Mosman, held from Friday 20 October to Sunday 29 October last year. The festival featured more than 60 community and Council-run events , activities and exhibitions, and an estimated 25,000 people attended over the 10-day festival period. It was resolved by Council that the Festival of Mosman continue to be held biennially, with the next festival due to take place from 17 to 26 October 2025. An Out and About spring series of events will continue to be held in alternate years, including 2024 when the series will run from 18-26 October.

Rates and Charges Hardship Policy Review

Council approved minor amendments to its Rates and Charges Hardship Policy previously adopted in December 2016. The changes are primarily designed to strengthen the process for extension of the concession period granted to pensioner ratepayers and to provide greater clarity around the recovery of rates and charges accumulated under hardship rate relief agreements with eligible pensioners.

Management of Open Space Policy

In October 2023 Council considered a new draft Management of Open Space Policy which would, in part, supersede policies relating to Temporary Access to Private Property Across Council Reserves, Donation of Memorial Seats, Parks and Gardens, and Foreshore Reserves – Encroachments. Following Council approval to exhibit the draft policy, it was placed on public exhibition from 13 October to 3 December 2023 and 5 submissions were received. Council considered the submissions and a number of proposed amendments to the exhibited policy and subsequently resolved that the amended draft Management of Open Space Policy be adopted. The new policy will be available shortly on this website.

Mosman Local Planning Panel

Council has recently been advised of arrangements to extend the term of existing Local Planning Panels until 30 June 2024. During the period 28 February 2024 (when the Mosman Local Planning Panel expires) and 30 June 2024, Mosman’s panel will continue to operate with expert and community members who have not otherwise reached their maximum term duration of six years, together with a new Interim Chair to be appointed from the NSW Government’s 2021 Local Planning Panel Chair list.  To enable a timely appointment to the position of Interim Chair, Council resolved that the General Manager, in consultation with the Mayor, be delegated authority to appoint an Interim Chair to the Mosman Planning Panel in accordance with the Planning Panel Direction issued by the Minister for Planning in January 2024.

Georges Heights Oval Pavilion Project

Council considered a report relating to proposed upgrades to the Georges Heights Oval Pavilion, noting Federal funding received for the project and proposed amendments and additions made as a result of detailed design work and consultation with sporting groups and the land owner, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. It was subsequently resolved that further funds be allocated to cover the additional works and that delegated authority be granted to the General Manager in consultation with the Mayor to enter into agreements with preferred contractors to complete all works.