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Collapse Issue 587:<br />12 Feb 2024<br />_____________Issue 587:
12 Feb 2024
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Year 10 students spend first day at new campus
'Pre-consultation' starts for community land review
'Is Ocean Beach sea wall still planned?' ACF group asks
Prime Minister has Medicare cake in Umina
Peninsula groups to pilot local energy trading network
Everglades opens grant applications*
Plenty of activities at Patonga fire station
Craft day held on long weekend
Talks to help residents become energy efficient
Dunecare work resumes
Umina CWA to hold fabric sale
Ferries diverted to Patonga*
Reminder of the world's oldest living culture
Report of Australia Day fireworks grass fire*
Local Member presents flags for Australia Day*
Food donations delivered*
Jam will be made on Thursday*
Lunch club meets on the first Monday*
Marine Rescue unit has busy Australia Day weekend
Ettalong mural is finished*
Sensitive storytime at Woy Woy library
Group to discuss Tao Te Ching*
Fire brigade holds training night*
January records 99mm rainfall
Affordable housing proposal has 17 one-bedroom units
Proposal to replace one 'gun-barrel' with another
CEN announces campaign to fix planning scheme
Blanket planning rules could change the Peninsula
Miticide used for varroa mite
'Cinderalla' reserve should be community land
Fortress mentality widespread within Council
Most complaints about Central Coast Council*
Celebrating her 105th birthday
Charity bowls day raises $1035
Retirement village residents celebrate Australia Day
Psychiatry specialist joins hospital team
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Patchwork group 'happy to be back'
Little Theatre holds free play readings
New silvercraft tutor starts at arts and crafts centre
'Rising star' to perform at Opera in the Arboretum*
Little Theatre announces 2024 season
Free basket and textiles project starts for women
Cross country training starts at Woy Woy South
Reminder to update phone app
Professional learning for school staff
Families will 'meet the teacher'
Students finish Year 6 typing faster than they write
Fours championship bowls final played at Umina
Woy Woy Wolves open baseball registration
Rugby club to celebrate 50 years*
Bunnies start 'boot bank'
Bridge club plays Australia Day pairs
Junior registration days for Umina Bunnies*
Canoe club to host regatta at Patonga
Floorball starts tomorrow*
Grommets' start delayed*
Kane Williams signs with Roosters*
Junior rugby players help at Mary Mac's*
Umina life savers spend at day at The Entrance
Pool 'regularly unavailable' over next five weeks
Grant for cricket pitch roller
Woy Woy Rugby holds annual sports luncheon*
Women rugby players 'better get in quick'
New team formation process at Southern and Ettalong
Umina hosts regional surf boat event*
Girls should give Aussie Rules a try, says Liesl Tesch
Swiss pairs results after three matches*
Umina United announces women's coach*



Fortress mentality widespread within Council

Norm Harris is right to be concerned about the lack of public access to planning information from the Council ("Significant failure of the planning system", PN 586).

In the past, there was always a duty planner available to provide information and advice to members of the public, and I availed myself of this useful service on more than one occasion, so it is disappointing, but not exactly surprising, that Council has decided to dispense with this avenue of assistance to ratepayers.

Anyone who has written a letter of inquiry to the Council knows that it will take months to get a reply and that the information reluctantly provided will be couched in the most unhelpful terms, while answering the inquiry in the most limited sense in which the question can be interpreted.

There is some kind of "fortress" mentality widespread within the Council organisation, whereby Council servants see ratepayers (their employers) as adversaries in a contest to keep as much secret within the organisation as possible and grudgingly reveal as little as can possibly comply with statutory requirements.

This contempt with which ratepayers are regarded is typified by the Administrator's decision to renew the CEO's contract for a period of five years, in breach of all procedural requirements and without giving the slightest hint beforehand of the intention to block any possible public review of the CEO's performance, when the new Council is elected this year.

This cosy little arrangement completely ties the hands of any elected Council, far out beyond the next Council's term of office.

In fact, the next two elected Councils, assuming that we have elections in 2024 and 2027, will be virtually hamstrung in undertaking any review of the CEO's performance, when he has tenure until 2029.

One wonders what other little tricks the Administrator has up his sleeve, to limit the freedom of action of our elected Council, whenever we are lucky enough to get one.

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