Councillor calls for banners in West St
Cr Richard Mehrtens.has called for the return of banners to West St, Umina, for occasions like Australia Day, Easter and Christmas.
Cr Mehrtens said that several years ago banners flew for such occasions.
He said he was disappointed that banners were absent this Australia Day, a concern he said was shared by a number of locals who had spoken to him.
"It seems like such a simple thing, but having the banners flying on Australia Day contributes so much to the atmosphere and celebrations on the Peninsula for our national day." Cr Mehrtens said.
"Council put on great events at the Woy Woy Waterfront this year, but clearly by the number of people who have raised this matter with me, the lack of flag banners is felt by the community."
Cr Mehrtens took the matter to Council staff and asked questions about why the banners failed to fly for another year.
"When the banners hadn't been installed by early January, I asked questions hoping that it might prompt a review of the situation, but was told that the banners had deteriorated to such a state that they couldn't be flown." Cr Mehrtens said.
"It's disappointing that the banners have been left to waste away in a storage room somewhere, and they weren't replaced in time to ensure that the community didn't miss out this year."
Council staff claimed budgetary restrictions were also to blame for the lack of banners, with traffic management during installation an expense left unfunded.
"If dozens of banners can hang along the Tuggerah straight and budget can be found for that, then I can't see why we can't have that on the Peninsula to celebrate Australia Day." Cr Mehrtens said.
"I will work with Council staff to ensure that the budget is available next Australia Day, as well as for other major celebrations and events in the future, to ensure that banners will again hang along West St."
Central Coast Council advised that its Community Partnerships Unit had recently undertaken a project to audit existing banner locations and related infrastructure, and that the local community will be engaged through the process to provide input into the design.
Media release, 24 Jan 2018
Richard Mehrtens, Central Coast Council