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Flagpoles to be installed at Umina oval

The playground area at Umina oval will have flag poles installed following Central Coast Council's adoption last week of its Street Banner Policy and Flying of Flags Policy.

The resolution of Council administrator Mr Rik Hart added a provision that "the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to be displayed in equal proportions on existing banner infrastructure to acknowledge Australia Day".

In his report to council, unit manager Mr Glenn Cannard said: "The Street Banner Policy, Flying of Flags Policy and Street Banner Guidelines are designed to provide clarity to local community organisations, residents, and businesses regarding Council's approach to the management of these important and visible assets."Mr Cannard said that Council officers had investigated installing flag poles in the Umina town centre to allow national flags to be flown.

He said the corner of West St and Oscar St was a possible location.

"However significant underground services render that location problematic," he said.

"Further investigations have identified multiple flagpoles and a dedicated space suitable for ceremonies and small events which could be included within the redevelopment of the Umina Recreation Precinct.

"Initial consultation undertaken with the Central Coast District Council of RSL Sub Branches indicates this option would be widely supported, providing an opportunity for residents to be included in ceremonies held by Ettalong, Woy Woy and Hardy's Bay RSL Sub Branches, as well as be of great value for other local organisations on the Peninsula to utilise throughout the year."

Mr Cannard said that 21 submissions had been received, which were summarised into 12 "themes".

Only two of the 12 led to amendments to the policies.

One was to list Australia Day as a significant event and the other was to use official campaign designs in street banners "where possible".

The report rejected a submission that national flags be permitted on "banner infrastructure".

"Council's policy is aligned to the policy position of Ausgrid, asset owner of the street lighting that support the banner hanging infrastructure in eight locations.

"The remaining locations do not meet the illumination requirements to meet Federal protocols."

The report also rejected a suggestion that banner use be restricted to "peak business organisations".

"Council should retain the wording of 'external organisations' within the policy as this service (flags and banners) is accessible to multiple organisations such as not for profit groups and community organisations and not limited to 'peak business organisations'."

The report also rejected submissions suggesting the council should not use the banners for its own purposes including "civic and community programs", "fostering inclusivity and community connection" and "create a sense of place for visitors".

It also rejected nine submissions that the Council refuse to fly the Australian flag.

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