New South Wales
|Population||140,741 (2011 census)|
|• Density||938.3/km2 (2,430/sq mi)|
|Area||150 km2 (57.9 sq mi)|
|Mayor||Michael Regan (Your Warringah)|
|Council seat||Warringah Civic Centre, Dee Why|
Warringah Council is a local government area in the northern beaches region of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Warringah Council administers 152 square kilometres (59 sq mi) of land, including nine beaches 14 kilometres (9 mi) of coastline. It contains 6,000 hectares (15,000 acres) of natural bushland and open space, and there are 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 beaches for swimming and surfing.
In 2008 Warringah was ranked 41st out of 590 Local Government areas in Australia in the BankWest Quality of Life Index.
- 1 Suburbs and localities
- 2 Beaches
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Council
- 5 History
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Suburbs and localities
The following suburbs are located within Warringah Council:
- Allambie Heights
- Beacon Hill
- Collaroy Plateau
- Cottage Point
- Curl Curl
- Dee Why
- Duffys Forest
- Frenchs Forest
- Killarney Heights
- Manly Vale
- North Balgowlah
- North Curl Curl
- North Manly
- Oxford Falls
- Terrey Hills
- Wheeler Heights
The following localities are located within Warringah Council:
The following beaches are located within Warringah Council:
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
Current composition and election method
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.
The current Council, elected in 2012, in order of election by ward, is as follows.
|Mayor||Michael Regan||Your Warringah||Mayor|
|A Ward||Wayne Gobert OAM||Your Warringah|
|Vanessa Moskal||Your Warringah||Elected on Wayne Gobert's ticket|
|Vincent De Luca OAM||Independent|
|B Ward||Sue Heins||Your Warringah||Deputy Mayor 2013–2014|
|Bob Giltinan JP||Independent||Deputy Mayor 2012–2013|
|Pat Daley||Independent||Manly Councillor 2004–2008|
|C Ward||Roslyn Harrison||Your Warringah||Elected on Michael Regan's ticket. Deputy Mayor|
|Duncan Kerr||Your Warringah||Elected on Michael Regan's ticket|
|Jose Menano-Pires||Independent||Deputy Mayor 2014–2015|
The traditional Aboriginal owners of the land we now know as Warringah had mostly disappeared from this area within years of European settlement, mainly due to an outbreak of smallpox in 1789.
The name Warringah was taken from the Aboriginal word for Middle Harbour. Warringah had been in use for several years in the late 1800s and early 1900s as the name of the NSW electorate covering the areas of Mosman, Neutral Bay, North Sydney, Manly and the Northern Beaches. The use of the name Warringah was picked up again in 1906 when it was given to Shire 131. Warringah also has other meanings in various Aboriginal languages including ‘grey head’ and ‘signs of rain’.
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
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 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.
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.
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. 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.
Secession of Pittwater Council
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. 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.
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.
Renamed "Warringah Council"
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.
Coat of arms and logo
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. The coat of arms can also still be seen on council street signs installed prior to 1998. It features heraldic dolphin supporters, a wedge-tailed eagle rising from a mural crown as the crest, a flannel flower within a green shield, and the Latin motto, "Arte et Labore" ("by Skill and Labour"). Its heraldic design was spearheaded by Councillor Winston Gray MBE, who served on the council from 1968-1971. He was Chairman of Mackellar County Council in 1970. In 1998 the council adopted a square logo featuring a flannel flower, which has always been a symbol of the council. This was replaced in 2013, when a new logo featuring a "W" was adopted, with the Mayor Michael Regan noting that "the flannel flower was the logo of several other councils, and also the Mental Health Council of Australia". Despite this, the flannel flower was retained as the official council seal and the official floral emblem.
The Council was dismissed in 1967 following the jailing of two Councillors for bribery. It was again dismissed in 1985 amid corruption allegations but subsequent inquiries resulted in no charges being laid and Council was returned in 1987. In 2003, a public inquiry found the community had lost confidence in the Council and an administrator was appointed.
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. 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.
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.
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. Murray Tobias QC, subsequently advised that the Council had not exceeded its powers in its handling of the development. 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." 
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. 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". 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Following the release of the report, Warringah Council was dismissed on 23 July 2003, and Dick Persson AM was appointed Administrator. 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.
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- "Media Release: Warringah Council takes out prestigious award". Local Government NSW. Local Government NSW. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "BankWest Quality of Life Index 2008" (pdf). BankWest Quality of Life Index 2008. BankWest. 20 August 2008. p. 8. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "Warringah Council - Mayoral Election". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- "Warringah Council - A Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- "Warringah Council - B Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- "Warringah Council - C Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- "Regan romps home with at least six seats". The Manly Daily. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
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- Prentis, Malcolm D., ed. (1989). Warringah History. Dee Why: Warringah Shire Council. ISBN 1-875116-00-1.
- Eriksson, Boel (12 August 2013). "Call to reinstate Warringah Council's flannel flower logo". The Manly Daily. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
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- "Councillor admits taking a bribe". The Age. 31 March 1967. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
- The Manly Daily, 23 January 1986
- The Manly Daily, 10 May 1986, pg 1-2
- Minutes Special Meeting, Warringah Shire Council, p. 9 Check date values in:
- Daily Telegraph, 17 February 1986, pg 4
- The Manly Daily, 24 October 1987. pg 1
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- "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]