Warringah Council

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Warringah Council
New South Wales
Australia NSW Warringah location map.svg
Coordinates 33°45′S 151°17′E / 33.750°S 151.283°E / -33.750; 151.283Coordinates: 33°45′S 151°17′E / 33.750°S 151.283°E / -33.750; 151.283
Population 140,741 (2011)[1]
 • Density 938.3/km2 (2,430/sq mi)
Established 1906
Area 150 km2 (57.9 sq mi)
Mayor Michael Regan (Independent)
Council seat Dee Why
Region Metropolitan Sydney
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)
WarringahLogo-300.jpg
Website www.warringah.nsw.gov.au
LGAs around Warringah Council:
Hornsby Pittwater Pittwater
Ku-ring-gai Warringah Council Tasman Sea
Willoughby Manly Tasman Sea

Warringah Council is a local government area in the northern beaches region of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

Warringah Council overlaps with a number of suburbs from the Manly Council area to the south and the Pittwater Council area to the north. Warringah Council currently administers 152 square kilometres (59 sq mi) of land, including nine beaches over 14 kilometres (9 mi) of coastline. It contains 6,000 hectares (15,000 acres) of natural bushland and open space, and is graced by four lagoons, Narrabeen Lagoon marks Warringah's northern boundary, Manly Lagoon marking the southern boundary, with Dee Why and Curl Curl Lagoons in between. It also contains Manly Dam, a popular place for recreation. The Warringah local government area includes a number of popular beaches (which are also suburb names) for swimming and surfing such as Narrabeen, Collaroy and Dee Why.

In 2008 Warringah was ranked 41st out of 590 Local Government areas in Australia in the BankWest Quality of Life Index.[2]

The Mayor of Warringah Council is Cr Michael Regan, a member of the Your Warringah independent group. The seat of Council is located in Dee Why.

Suburbs and localities[edit]

Dee Why Beach

The following suburbs are located within Warringah Council:

The following locaties are located within Warringah Council:

  • Akuna Bay
  • Allambie
  • Bantry Bay
  • Bungaroo
  • Collaroy Beach
  • Cromer Heights
  • Curl Curl Beach
  • Dee Why Beach
  • Fishermans Beach (Collaroy)
  • Freshwater Beach
  • Gooseberry Flat
  • Long Reef Beach (Collaroy)
  • Narrabeen Beach
  • Narrabeen Peninsula
  • North Curl Curl Beach
  • North Narrabeen Beach
  • Peach Trees
  • Sorlie
  • Wingala

Demographics[edit]

At the 2011 Census, there were 140,741 people in the Warringah local government area, of these 49.1% were male and 50.9% were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 0.4% of the population; significantly below the national average of 2.5%. The median age of people in the City of Penrith was 38 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 20.1% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 15.4% of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 53.1% were married and 10.2% were either divorced or separated.[1]

Population growth in the Warringah Council between the 2001 Census and the 2006 Census was 0.15% and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 Census, population growth was 3.68%. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78% and 8.32% respectively, population growth in the Warringah local government area was significantly lower than the national average.[3] The median weekly income for residents within the Warringah Council was on with par with the national average.[1]

At the 2011 Census, the proportion of residents in the Warringah local government area who stated their ancestry as Australian or Anglo-Saxon exceeded 68% of all residents (national average was 65.2%). In excess of 57% of all residents in the Warringah Council area nominated a religious affiliation with Christianity at the 2011 Census, which was higher than the national average of 50.2%. Meanwhile, as at the Census date, compared to the national average, households in the Warringah local government area had a marginally lower than average proportion (19.6%) where two or more languages are spoken (national average was 20.4%); and a slightly higher proportion (80.1%) where English only was spoken at home (national average was 76.8%).[1]

Selected historical census data for Penrith local government area
Census year 2001[3] 2006[4] 2011[1]
Population Estimated residents on Census night 127,613 133,837 140,741
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales 17th
% of New South Wales population 2.04%
% of Australian population 0.68% Decrease 0.67% Decrease 0.65%
Cultural and language diversity
Ancestry,
top responses
English 28.3%
Australian 24.7%
Irish 8.3%
Scottish 6.9%
Italian 3.9%
Language,
top responses
(other than English)
Italian 2.5% Decrease 2.3% Decrease 2.0%
Mandarin 0.9% Increase 1.1% Increase 1.2%
Cantonese 1.3% Decrease 1.2% Decrease 1.0%
Armenian 1.0% Decrease 0.9% Decrease 0.8%
German n/c Increase 0.6% Increase 0.8%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
Catholic 27.8% Increase 27.9% Increase 28.1%
Anglican 26.5% Decrease 24.5% Decrease 22.7%
No religion 14.3% Increase 17.5% Increase 22.6%
Uniting Church 5.4% Decrease 4.7% Decrease 3.9%
Presbyterian and Reformed 3.8% Decrease 3.2% Decrease 2.9%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$624 A$745
% of Australian median income 133.9% 129.1%
Family income Median weekly family income A$1,387 A$2,080
% of Australian median income 135.1% 140.4%
Household income Median weekly household income A$1,678 A$1,722
% of Australian median income 143.3% 139.5%

Council[edit]

Current composition and election method[edit]

Warringah Council is composed of ten Councillors, including the Mayor, for a fixed four-year term of office. The Mayor is directly elected while the nine other Councillors are elected proportionally as three separate wards, each electing three Councillors. The most recent election was held on 8 September 2012, and the makeup of the Council, including the Mayor, is as follows.[5][6][7][8]

Party Councillors
Your Warringah 6
  Independents 4
Total 10

The current Council, elected in 2012, in order of election by ward, is as follows.

Seat Councillor Party Notes
Mayor[5] Michael Regan Your Warringah Mayor[9]
A Ward[6] Wayne Gobert OAM Your Warringah
Vanessa Moskal Your Warringah Elected on Wayne Gobert's ticket
  Vincent De Luca OAM Independent
B Ward[7] Sue Heins Your Warringah
  Bob Giltinan JP Independent Deputy Mayor[10]
  Pat Daley Independent Manly Councillor 2004–2008
C Ward[8] Roslyn Harrison Your Warringah Elected on Michael Regan's ticket
Duncan Kerr Your Warringah Elected on Michael Regan's ticket
  Jose Menano-Pires Independent

History[edit]

There are various meanings put forward for the name Warringah, including "sign of rain", "across the waves" and "sea". It was once the home of the Guringai (or Kuringgai) language group of the Garigal clan, who owned the land between Port Jackson and Broken Bay, extending to the Lane Cove River in the west.

Warringah was explored early on in the settlement of Sydney, only a few weeks after the arrival of the First Fleet. However, it remained a rural area for most of the 1800s, with only small settlements in the valleys between headlands. While it was geographically close to the city centre, to reach the area over land from Sydney via Mona Vale Road was a trip of more than 100 kilometres.

Creation of Warringah Shire Council[edit]

On 7 March 1906, the Warringah Shire was proclaimed by the NSW Government Gazette, along with 132 other new Shires. It ran roughly from Broken Bay in the north to Manly Lagoon to the south, and by Middle Harbour Creek and Cowan Creek in the west. It covered 264 square kilometres (102 sq mi) and had a population of around 2800, with 700 dwellings. Under the then Shires Act, ratepayers with properties worth at least five pounds could vote for up to nine Councillors for a three-year term. The first Council was temporarily installed until official elections on 24 November 1906. The Council, originally titled as Aldermen, first met in Narrabeen Progress Hall on 14 June 1906, and thereafter met in purpose-built chambers in Brookvale. However these proved to be too small and the council moved meetings from 1912 for the next 60 years to a new Shire Hall also in Brookvale.

Development[edit]

A tramline was established through the south-eastern area of the shire, running along Pittwater Road from Manly Lagoon eventually stretching all the way to the tramshed at Narrabeen in 1934, with an additional terminating line through Harbord to Freshwater Beach. This, coupled with the opening of the Spit and Roseville bridges in 1924 led to increased interest and travel to the area, which increased even further with the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932. Early subdivisions were usually given over for weekenders and holiday homes, and at the same time the surf clubs and rock pools on the beaches began to be developed. After World War II, urbanisation began to occur, with family homes beginning to be built in the area, especially near the beaches. Retail, light industry and improved public amenity soon followed. It was also around this time that the tram lines were progressively closed across Sydney, to give way to more lanes for motor vehicles.[11]

The mid-1970s and late 1980s witnessed a rise in suburban expansion in the Northern Beaches area, prompting long term planning by Warringah Council, particularly during the term of Shire President Paul Couvret.[12] Work began on a new Dee Why civic centre in 1971, designed by Sulman Prize-winning architect Colin Madigan, to replace the Shire Hall in Brookvale which had been in use for the past 60 years. The building was completed in 1972 and the Council has remained there since 1973.[13]

In November 1979, Warringah Council opened the Warringah Aquatic Centre at Frenchs Forest. Prior to the opening of the Olympic Park at Homebush, the Aquatic Centre hosted the NSW and Australian Swimming Titles, as well as the 1992 Olympic trials.[14]

The Glen Street Theatre was officially opened in July 1985 as part of the Forest Community Centre by the Shire President, Darren Jones.[15]

Secession of Pittwater Council[edit]

The original council area was divided into A, B, C and D Ridings. There was a sentiment held by some in A Riding, the northern Riding and the largest in Warringah, taking up more than 40% of Warringah's land area, that they were being increasingly ignored and subject to what they considered inappropriate development and policies for their area.[16] This culminated in 1991 when a non-compulsory postal poll of the residents of A Riding was taken over the question of a possible secession. This resulted in a 73.5% vote in favour of secession, however only 48.18% of residents took part in this vote. This vote was, however, 600 short of the total majority required.

The Minister for Local Government at the time, Gerry Peacocke, nevertheless announced the secession of A Riding from Warringah Council, considering that those who did not vote did not have any particular inclination to how they were governed, and thus Pittwater Council was created.[16]

On 2 May 1992, The Governor of New South Wales, Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair, proclaimed the establishment of the Municipality of Pittwater, the area of which roughly followed the area formerly known as ‘A’ Riding of the Warringah Shire.

Also on that day, the offices of Robert Dunn, Eric Green and Ronald Starr, former Warringah ‘A’ Riding Councillors, were terminated with those persons forming, with others, a Provisional Council of the Municipality of Pittwater.[17]

Renamed "Warringah Council"[edit]

Warringah Council coat of arms on Mayoral chain

Soon after the secession of Pittwater, the Local Government Act 1993 was passed, causing Warringah to drop the term 'Shire' from its title, and the renaming of the Shire Clerk to General Manager and Shire President to Mayor. The remaining B, C and D Ridings were renamed the A, B and C Wards.[17]

The Council's current logo, featuring a Flannel flower, was adopted in 1998. The Coat of Arms used for Warringah Council was adopted in 1968 and was retained for historical and traditional purposes and as such appears on the Mayoral chain and inside the Council chambers. It features Dolphin supporters, a crested Wedge-tailed Eagle, the Flannel flower within a shield, and the motto, "Arte et Labore" ("by Skill and Labour"). In 2013, a place mark for Warringah, featuring a 'W' was created and became Council's logo.

Dismissals[edit]

Warringah Councils have been dismissed three times since the 1960s.[18][19]

1967[edit]

Warringah Shire Council was first dismissed in April 1967 by the Askin State Government and was triggered by the gaoling of two councillors for bribery. The Councillors involved, Dennis Thomas and George Knight, were prosecuted under the Secret Commissions Prohibition Act 1919 (NSW) for receiving bribes from a development company to influence planning and development decisions, and both received gaol sentences.[17][20] C.J.Barnett, Department of Local Government, acted as Administrator April to May 1967. R.H.Cornish, Department of Local Government, acted as Administrator from November 1967 to December 1968.[17]

1985[edit]

The Council was dismissed again in December 1985 by the Neville Wran State Government amid allegations of bribery, and local dissatisfaction with the handling of development applications at Palm Beach and Mona Vale amid alleged "discrepancies in council planning decisions". Warringah was placed under administration for 16 months with Daniel Kelly from the Department of Local Government acting as Administrator from December 1985 until April 1986 and Richard Connolly, former Chairman of the Metropolitan Waste Disposal authority from June 1986 to March 1987.[17]

Administrator Kelly advised that despite an "exhaustive examination" of the Mona Vale development by Council staff and its advisers that would normally lead to its approval, it would be in the best interests of the community and the developer "to have any doubts about the development to be settled once and for all". He subsequently sought legal advice from a leading authority on environmental law as to the merits of the application and the former Council's handling of it.[21] Murray Tobias QC, subsequently advised that the Council had not exceeded its powers in its handling of the development.[22] Tobias also advised that in respect to certain deficiencies that rendered the granting of the building approval invalid, that the deficiencies "were in all respects technical breaches of the Act committed without appreciation thereof by either Council, its Staff as well as the Developer and solely due to an oversight on the part of Council". He found that "these resolutions were clearly valid...and that they therefore remedied the situation given by the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales on 6 March 1986 and removed any point of continuing illegality." [23]

The NSW Local Government Association, supported by more than 150 constituent NSW Councils, demanded that the State Government institute an Inquiry into the dismissal of Warringah Council.[24] The NSW Ombudsman agreed to conduct his own Inquiry. Following the NSW Ombudsman's challenge against the government for its repeated refusal to provide him with all relevant files, it was subsequently found that there had been no evidence of corruption to support the dismissal, and that "the elected councillors were denied natural justice and were both unfairly and unlawfully dismissed".[25] It was also revealed that the Cabinet, headed by Local Government Minister, Janice Crosio, had made the decision to sack the council while ignoring the advice of the Under-secretary of the Department of Local Government who had been pushing for a public inquiry before the dismissal.[26][dead link]

Investigations into bribery allegations against councillors by the NSW Fraud Squad and the Ombudsman did not result in any charges being laid against any councillor or member of staff. Warringah Council was returned after elections in early 1987 and resulted in 7 Councillors from the previous Council being returned to office, including the Shire President, Ted Jackson.[26]

2003[edit]

On 15 January 2003 the then Minister for Local Government, Harry Woods, announced a formal public inquiry into Warringah Council. Emeritus Professor Maurice Daly was appointed the commissioner by the Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir.

The commissioner found that the majority of the community had lost confidence in the councillors' ability to fulfill their roles and he recommended their dismissal. It was recommended that extra measures were to be taken to eliminate conflicts of interest in Council matters, as well as increasing ease of access to information held by council. The commissioner also recommended consideration of boundary changes or merger opportunities with the neighbouring councils of Manly and Pittwater.[27][dead link]

The findings of the inquiry were criticised by the former Mayor, Julie Sutton, who said she found the report to be "very, very biased" and the then New South Wales Opposition Leader, John Brogden, who warned that the dismissal should not be used as a back door for amalgamations on the northern beaches or to prevent the elections scheduled for March 2004.[28]

Following the release of the report, Warringah Council was dismissed on 23 July 2003, and Dick Persson AM was appointed Administrator.[29] In September 2004, the Administrator requested that his term be extended beyond the next scheduled council elections on 1 August 2005, citing a number of important projects yet to be completed and establishing a change in culture amongst staff at the council. An extension was approved by the Governor until the Local Government Elections in September 2008.[30][dead link]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Warringah (A)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "BankWest Quality of Life Index 2008" (pdf). BankWest Quality of Life Index 2008. BankWest. 20 August 2008. p. 8. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Warringah (A)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  4. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Warringah (A)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Warringah Council - Mayoral Election". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Warringah Council - A Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Warringah Council - B Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Warringah Council - C Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Regan romps home with at least six seats". The Manly Daily. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Chang, Charis (24 October 2012). "New chums at Warringah Council agree on everything". The Manly Daily. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Local Studies". Warringah Council. Archived from the original on 9 February 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2006. 
  12. ^ O'Dea, Jonathan (28 June 2007). "Mr Paul Couvret". Hansard. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Warringah Library and Civic Centre". Royal Australian Institute of Architects. Retrieved 25 September 2008. 
  14. ^ "WAC". Warringah Council. Retrieved 19 July 2008. 
  15. ^ "About Us [Glen Street Theatre]". Warringah Council. Archived from the original on 24 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  16. ^ a b "Pittwater Library - Pittwater Secession". Pittwater Council. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "Presidents, Mayors, Councillors, Shire Clerks and General Managers of Warringah Council" (PDF). Warringah Council. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  18. ^ "Event Timeline". Pittwater Council. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  19. ^ "Administrator". Warringah Council. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  20. ^ "Councillor admits taking a bribe". The Age. 31 March 1967. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  21. ^ The Manly Daily, 23 January 1986
  22. ^ The Manly Daily, 10 May 1986, pg 1-2
  23. ^ Minutes Special Meeting, Warringah Shire Council, p. 9 
  24. ^ Daily Telegraph, 17 February 1986, pg 4
  25. ^ The Manly Daily, 24 October 1987. pg 1
  26. ^ a b Collier, Shayne (26 March 1987). "Warringah Reborn". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 May 2009. [dead link]
  27. ^ "The Warringah Council Public Inquiry". NSW Government. Retrieved 15 August 2008. [dead link]
  28. ^ O'Rourke, Claire (24 July 2003). "Warringah mauled for its sins". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 March 2009. 
  29. ^ Davies, Anne (26 July 2003). "Sacked council pushed through late deals". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  30. ^ "New South Wales Department of Local Government 2005-2006 Annual Report" (PDF). Department of Local Government. 21 November 2006. Retrieved 2008-08-17. [dead link]

External links[edit]