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Collapse Issue 225 - 06 Oct 2009Issue 225 - 06 Oct 2009
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
'Threat to rare bush' at Umina oval
Club Umina moves on drunken youth
Driest quarter in five years
Re-elected mayor outlines Peninsula projects
60k limit stays for speed crackdown
Cabinet wanted for St John's head
Pearl Beach road closures
Celebration of progress
Council must campaign on Woy Woy Rd
Freight train breakdown
Cleaning contracted
Refurbished playground is officially opened
Degree completed at 70
Beach season starts
Preparation for sacraments
Government forum held at Umina Beach
Maritime medal for patrol volunteer
Petitions about parking and dogs
Quest entrant holds trivia night
Ugandan orphan fundraiser
Apartments win HIA award
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
Write about hospital downgrade
Charge footpaths at full market price
Rehab closure not right
Great entertainment
Support Australian products
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
Students create animations
Art club started
Landscaping after asbestos find
Prizes at cattle shows
Students build bridges
Trent finishes third
School wins canteen awards
School to save on paper
Students asked to help nesting birds
Cricket knock-out
School changes evacuation routes
Student hosting encouraged
Farewell donation
St John's school fete
Aboriginal flag-raising
School musical
Naidoc Week prize
Puppets put on show
Newsletter survey
Call to audition
Mingara Cup winners
Vacation care program
Players gave their best
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Umina wins memorial trophy
Charity day raises $4300
Under-7 Bunnies undefeated
Juniors win major awards
Roosters sign new players
Teams take to greens
New archery equipment
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Artist displays call of Cape Town
Haiku at arboretum
Retrospective photographic exhibition held
Pearl Beach Proms evening
Woodwind finalists play at Wagstaffe
Performing at children's festival
Proceeds go to cancer
Returned to the Peninsula
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
New facility for dementia
Auxiliary closes after 25 years
Dementia day care centre opens
Memory walk raises $3000
Workshops at women's centre
Village wins prizes
New program of alternative health
Collapse  HISTORY HISTORY
Happy days at the Beach Cafe
Collapse  PROMOTION PROMOTION
Win double passes to Little Theatre
Winner
Zoo tickets

'Threat to rare bush' at Umina oval

Rare bushland at Umina oval is under threat in draft plans for the Peninsula Recreation Precinct, according to the Ettymalong Creek Landcare Group.

Group representative Ms Sue Ellis said draft development plans did not provide adequately for the protection of an endangered ecological community around the oval or its recovery.

Ms Ellis said the bushland, Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland, was listed under threatened species legislation.

"Listings such as this one are made to alert land managers and councils of the need to focus their resources on protecting and recovery of such communities.

"The draft development proposals for this site do not currently reflect an understanding of either the significance of the site as a whole to the potential recovery of the Endangered Ecological Community or its protection.

"Although the proposals provide for bush regeneration in some of the bushland area, the development proposal has a significant impact on the banksia woodland area near Umina School."

A bushland management plan should be created for the whole site, she said.

Ms Ellis said the draft plans included a two-and-a-half metre concrete pathway through the banksia woodland area adjacent to Umina Public School and a large restaurant and amenities block as well as the removal of large numbers of trees.

The Landcare Group has urged the council to relocate and radically reduce the size of the proposed restaurant/amenities block, to remove the pathway from the bushland area and to use the funds to upgrade existing facilities.

Ms Ellis said she was particularly concerned about the size and location of the proposed "kiosk", which was twice the length of the Umina Beach Surf Club.

"An additional 12 toilets as proposed would provide this precinct with a total of 44 public toilets as well as even more inside Umina Surf Club and the football club house.

"These funds could be spent more usefully on refurbishing the existing amenities blocks which are in poor repair."

Ms Ellis said council officers had confirmed at the recent stakeholders meeting that although a business plan for the recreation area did exist, no marketing survey or assessment had been carried out to determine the needs or viability of a large kiosk.

"Nor has any market analysis been undertaken of the potential impact on existing businesses, seasonal variations in demand, disposable income levels of residents and visitors to the area," Ms Ellis said.

"In response to this criticism, council has now advised that it is undertaking a feasibility study apparently to justify the proposal, rather than respond to community concerns to reduce its scale and impact.

"Ettymalong Creek Landcare Group has made strong submissions to council regarding these issues in the hope that it will seriously revise the draft plans and use the funds to enhance the passive and active recreational opportunities in this precinct rather than build large speculative commercial structures on valuable crown land."

However, Gosford mayor Cr Chris Holstein has defended council's plans to build a new kiosk and amenities facility as part of the Peninsula Recreation Precinct.

Cr Holstein said the new facility would cater for the number of people expected to make use of the area once it was completed next year.

"The area has been designed to cater for hundreds of people especially in busy holiday periods," Cr Holstein said.

"There is no point having a facility that doesn't cater for the needs of a growing population and one that will inevitably attract hundreds of visitors to the area.

"Council has a responsibility to provide the community with services and amenities they deserve and also those that provide reasonable amenities.

"There are also a number of measures in place to ensure the protection and conservation of endangered bushland in the area throughout the development process."

Peninsula Families Action Group president Ms Sarah Tolmie said she was pleased with the plans for the new precinct so far.

"I went to the community meeting and on the whole I felt pleased with the plans to date and think the council is doing a good job to canvas all opinions and cater to all the feedback from the many consultations," Ms Tolmie said.

"The desire from many sections of the community has been to have the cafe and toilet facilities.

"As for the size of the playground and the surrounding park space, I think the size of the cafe and toilet pavilion is reasonable and I am sure it would be more than adequately frequented by the local community and tourists alike.

"I know given the feedback the design team was going to go back and look at things again and I trust they are working with the best interests and intentions driving their decisions.

"I spent a day with council officers Kim Radford, Emma Head and Cr Vicki Scott doing a tour of about six playgrounds across the entire Gosford LGA that we as part of the Playground Strategy Committee have initiated and I can tell you the team is very skilled and dedicated and passionate about the parks and playgrounds and delivering for the community."

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