Mosman Council Unanimous Against Proposed Aged Care Development

Mosman Council Unanimous Against Proposed Aged Care Development

The Headland Preservation Group was well prepared for Mosman Council’s meeting on Tuesday evening 4 March 2014 at which it was to consider and vote on a Motion tabled by Deputy Mayor Roy Bendall and Councillor Tom Sherlock. The Motion was to oppose the proposed development of a residential aged care facility on Middle Head and proposed amendments to the Harbour Trust’s management plan

However at around 10.30pm Monday 3 March 2014 the President of the HPG, Linda Bergin OAM was alerted by Mayor Peter Abelson to a letter sent to him by Geoff Bailey, Executive Director Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.

Mr Bailey’s letter informed the Mayor that the proponent of the residential aged care facility on Middle Head intended to submit a revised proposal for only the 10 Terminal buildings and refer it directly to the Department of Environment and its Minister Greg Hunt for consent. The letter also requested Council not vote on the Motion at its meeting.

The Council meeting proceeded as planned with a packed public gallery. Mr. Bailey explained the proponent was revising their proposal but could not provide details other than that the revised proposal would be restricted to the 10 Terminal complex on the southern side of Middle Head Road and would be submitted directly to the Department of Environment. He also outlined the Department’s approval process.

HPG members spoke clearly and concisely against the proposal currently with the Harbour Trust and rejected any revision of it on the basis that it would still compromise and conflict with the Trust’s Objects for Headland Park. Two members of the indigenous community put forward the concept of an indigenous centre as an appropriate adaptive re-use of 10 Terminal buildings.

Each of the speakers from HPG had been assigned different community, heritage, legal and technical points to make against the proposed development. They each received sincere thanks from the Mayor of Mosman and rousing applause from members of the public in the gallery. A representative of the Save Little Manly Beach campaign and a Manly councillor were in the public gallery.

All Councillors spoke to the Motion from very informed positions and high regard for the community’s continued opposition to the proposal. When the Motion (slightly amended) was put to a vote it was carried unanimously to great applause by the public gallery.

Mosman Council has no jurisdiction over planning, fire ratings or development proposals for Middle Head, 10 Terminal or any other Harbour Trust site in the locality. Nevertheless the unanimous vote by Council against the aged care proposal was a strong moral and political statement on behalf of the Mosman, wider Sydney and Australian communities in relation to the protection of public land.

Linda Bergin subsequently sent letters of thanks to the Mayor and Councillors for the opportunity to speak and for their consideration of HPG’s speakers, the community’s opposition to the proposal and for the successful passage of the Motion by Council.

Linda Bergin has now been invited to speak at Manly Council’s meeting on Monday 10 March 2014. The Mayor of Manly is Jean Hay who is a recent appointee to the Board of the Harbour Trust. Manly is also in the electorate of Tony Abbott, who is the Member for Warringah and Prime Minister of Australia.

Addresses to Mosman Council Links:

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