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Welcome to Mooney Matters

This site is sponsored by  

www.boomers-beachhouse.com.au

 

Click on links for

Matters currently in this site  

Peat Island and Mooney Mooney Lands

Derelict Oyster leases Mooney Mooney Creek

Mistaken name change for Pacific Highway

Community Precinct plans

History matters

Change of local government area

Member for Hornsby Judy Hopwood MP

Mooney Mooney & Cheero Point Sewerage Connection Fee Issue 

Mains water leak on the Peats Ferry Bridge

Water Connection History

Where do the politicians stand

History of Deerubbun Reserve

Community Feed Back

Photo Gallery

Art Gallery

This site is sponsored by

Hawkesbury Expeditions & Charters

www.hawkesburyriver.org.au/HawkExp.htm

Hawkesbury Waterways web site 

Pacific Palms Info

 

  If you would like to contribute to this site, email tony@island.net.au 

 Mooney Mooney Community Precinct Proposal, looking for support from Gosford & Hornsby Councils and the NSW State Members.
 
 

Peat Island and Mooney Mooney Lands

Be advised;

When considering any proposal by future DA applications to Central Coast Council, we must also take into account new DA considerations by Councils in NSW that have now a new consideration noted as 'Developer's Incentive Scheme'. This new initiative allows extra height space over and above hight restrictions in exchange for less ground covered by the development.

eg. an application for an apartment building to be constructed in a zoning for a maximum of four stories may cover the whole land site but if the building proposed application was to be revised under the 'Developer's Incentive Scheme' the application could be changed to an eight or ten story building covering less of the sight allowing more open space according to Council considerations.

This is beneficial to developers both financially and saleability as an eight or ten story high rise building is far more viable compared to a four story building covering more land space area.

Communities must keep this in mind when commenting on DA applications.

 

Planning Proposal RZ/58/2016 - Peat Island

 In regard to the matter, Planning Proposal RZ/58/2016 - Peat Island, tabled before Central Coast Council on Wednesday 22 March 2017, the majority of residents in Mooney Mooney are disappointed that the planning proposal to be tabled before Council at that meeting.

The amended proposal still ignores the comprehensive community consultations to date and still sights approximately 268 dwellings proposed comprising:

i. 82 low density
ii. 22 town houses
iii. 164 apartments

We are within a national park region with no visible sign of over development on the river such as apartments and townhouses so if these proposals are to be implemented, Mooney and Peat Island will be the stand out as high density, high negative visual impact and poor tourism impact with no regard to the scenic qualities of the region.

This is not the way we would like to see the Central Coast part of the Hawkesbury River be portrayed.

 

 

Mistake of renaming the Pacific Highway at Mooney Mooney

 

16 December 2016

Sorry I did not get back to regarding this issue. I confirm that is was an error by RMS to install the signs with OLD Pacific Highway. Plans are underway to have all the signs in the Moony Moony area rectified by Christmas. Thanks for your email

 Philip Oliver

Guidance and Delineation Manager

Network Sydney

8849 2960

 

9 November 2016

To; Mr Philip Oliver,

Manager Guidance and Delineation at Roads and Maritime.  

Dear Mr Oliver,

I'm writing to you in response to the email sent by Terry McSweeney regarding the correspondence to the Minister (Ref. 00196147) in relation to the re-naming of the Pacific Highway to OLD Pacific Highway in our area.

The response in the email letter states the renaming was in the interests of consistency from Calga south to the Hawkesbury River.

Can we suggest for the interest of consistency as a whole, the name Pacific Highway be retained in the Central Coast region as it is in all other regions the Pacific Highway runs through.

There is no 'New' Pacific Highway to necessitate a name change and the new highway sections are named accordingly, eg.M1 etc so any reason in this vain is seen as unnecessary.

As mentioned in our original correspondence, in our region there are residential properties and businesses that have not been consulted as to a street name change and also would like to retain their postal address as Pacific Highway and not OLD Pacific Highway.

The Pacific Highway has a history that is lost when the prefix of Old is added.

Please advise what other process we need to navigate to achieve this outcome.

With regards

Tony Lavidis

 

November 2016

NSW GOVERNMENT 

Transport for NSW 

Thank you for your correspondence to the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight about the recent renaming of the Pacific Highway at Mooney Mooney. The Minister has asked me to respond on his behalf. I appreciate the reasons which prompted you to write and asked Roads and Maritime Services about the name change. I am advised the 'Old Pacific Highway' name previously took effect at CaIga. Roads and Maritime extended this designation south towards the Hawkesbury River in the interests of consistency. In response to your concerns about the impact on residents, Roads and Maritime will re evaluate this change. 
If you have any further questions, Mr Philip Oliver, Manager Guidance and Delineation at Roads and Maritime, would be pleased to take your call on (02) 8849 2960. I hope this has been of assistance. 
Yours sincerely 
Terry M Sweeney Principal Manager, Ministerial & Government Services Customer Relations & Government Services 
Transport for NSW 18 Lee Street, Chippendale NSW 2008 I PO Box K659, Haymarket NSW 1240 Tel: 8202 2200 I Fax: 8202 2209 I transportnsw.goy.au I ABN 18 804 239 602 

 

 

 

Derelict Oyster leases Mooney Mooney Creek

November 2017

To date, nothing has happened to clean up this lease and the department remains defensive of the issue. The lease has a current lease term until 2026 and though the lease has been unused and derelict since 1999, the department states that 'is not classed as derelict'.

It is considered an inappropriate response as this lease holder's main business is based in Forster and his oyster leases are located at Wallis Lake. No hardships are evident in that region for this business.

Phone calls and written correspondence continue and the matter remains current.

February 2017

From: Jennifer Davis [mailto:jennifer.davis@dpi.nsw.gov.au]
Sent: Saturday, 11 February 2017 5:45 PM
To: Tony Lavidis
Cc: Christopher Clarke; Ben Travis; Stephen Mcorrie
Subject: Oyster Lease 79/090- Mooney Mooney

 Thank you for contacting myself, Ben Travis, aquaculture unit and Chris Clarke regarding oyster lease 79/090 at Mooney Mooney.  My apologies I was unable to respond to your enquiry before now due to being on leave.

 Since our last discussion regarding this lease back in May 2016 our department conducted an internal workshop regarding the compliance of various oyster leases at the Central Coast and Hawkesbury River. One of the outcomes of that workshop was to allow farmers in the Hawkesbury River a reprieve from lease clean up responsibilities until 2018. This resolution was due to the prolonged financial difficulties that the oyster farming industry has suffered as a result of multiple disease outbreaks and other factors over recent years.

 In relation to lease 79/090 being a navigational and environmental hazard, which is an issue you have raised previously, after consulting with Roads and Maritime services in 2015, they reported back that the channel markers nearby were adequate to direct boating traffic around the lease. 

 In relation, to signage and marking, the lease is required to be clearly marked as set out in the Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy (OISAS), a copy of which I sent to you in 2015. This strategy was again updated in 2016 and I have attached an updated copy to this email for your reference. I have also attached a map of the oyster leases in the Hawkesbury River. This map shows that the lease in question is in fact designated as a Priority Oyster Aquaculture Area (POAA). As previously advised, the lease has a current lease term until 2026 and is not classed as derelict. There are no intentions to remove the lease at present.

 The last inspection of lease 79/090 was carried out in April 2016 and at this time required one corner post and 2 signs. A compliance letter was sent to the permit holder shortly after this inspection, directing them to mark the lease. I have called the permit holder to follow up on signage.

 Please see below a record of our previous correspondence regarding this matter. At present, the lease is compliant to our standing policies. If you have any further new enquiries or complaints regarding these policies, you may contact me again or contact the aquaculture policy unit at Port Stephens on 02 4982 1232.

 regards

 Jennifer

Jennifer Davis | District Fisheries Officer | Central Coast

NSW Department of Primary Industries

 

April 2016

From: Jennifer Davis [mailto:jennifer.davis@dpi.nsw.gov.au]
Sent: Wednesday, 13 April 2016 2:52 PM
Cc: Christopher Clarke; Jai Settree; Katie Sachs; Aquaculture Administration
Subject: Re: Oyster Lease 79-090 Mooney Mooney

 Thanks for getting in touch regarding this lease. I can let you know that the work plan recently expired (ending March 2016). I recently inspected the lease (last Wednesday 6th April) on the lowest of tides, to ascertain the current condition. Compliance action is being undertaken for failing to comply with the agreed work plan. Compliance action now will consist of interviewing the farmer and issue of fines where appropriate. Policy then allows the farmer another chance to clean up the lease. If the farmer fails again, the department can clean the lease up and pursue costs from the farmer.

 regards

 Jennifer

 Jennifer Davis | District Fisheries Officer

Central Coast Fisheries Compliance

NSW Department of Primary Industries

 

November 2015

From: Jennifer Davis [mailto:jennifer.davis@dpi.nsw.gov.au]
Sent: Friday, 13 November 2015 12:41 PM
Cc: Christopher Clarke; Jai Settree; Katie Sachs; Aquaculture Administration
Subject: Re: Oyster Lease 79-090 Mooney Mooney

Thank you for getting in touch with us regarding this lease. I have looked at the files and note that the lease is currently on a work program for cleanup by March 2016.

I have phoned the oyster farmer and he is currently overseas and not due to return until mid December. A family member indicated that cleanup work has been delayed over the last 3 months due to ill health.

I will make contact with the farmer when he returns in December to get an indication of when they will get the work completed.

regards

Jenny

 

 

January 2015

After years of complaints derelict oyster leases on the Hawkesbury remain.

The Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Department have been contacted and notified that lease 79-090 at Mooney Mooney Creek still remains unused and derelict. 

The Lease has been assessed by a Fisheries Officer from the Central Coast. 

This officer inspected the lease on Wed 28/01/2014 together with the leaseholder (oyster farmer).

The response from Jennifer Davies 'District Fisheries Officer' is as follows;

Inspection results:

The lease is not presently being used for cultivation

The lease has boundary markers in accordance with our regulations which consists of corner posts with signs and boundary markers spaced at 50 m intervals. 

There are numerous posts/ farming infrastructure within the lease area . Some parts of this are broken and there is some over catch to be removed (oysters growing on the posts unintentionally).

Background information:

There is an active lease term of 15 years on this lease.

NSW Fisheries Compliance issued a clean-up notice on this lease 6 months ago. The farmer then entered into an agreed work plan. The leaseholder has been carrying out extensive repairs/ cleanup of 3 other leases in the Hawkesbury River over the last 5 months. NSW Fisheries Compliance is working with the farmer to achieve the best possible outcomes across all the leased areas belonging to this farmer.

It is not uncommon for farmers to leave posts in the leased area during periods when farming is not ongoing. This practice is acceptable however if the posts become rotten or broken they must be removed, due to aesthetics and also due to any dangers from material becoming loose.

As I am sure you are aware, the oyster farming industry in the Hawkesbury River was adversely affected by the outbreak of both QX disease in 2004 and Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome in 2013. Both of these major events led to a near collapse of the local oyster farming industry with only a few farmers remaining. Those that do remain, are working to re-mediate untidy leases on much reduced or no incomes. Most farmers lost all their growing oysters which take years to farm to market size. This lease has been in existence since 1979 and I note that over the years the lease has been in both tidy and untidy states. At present the lease is not too bad and the farmer is working toward further improvement together with his other leased areas. 

I also note concerns regarding navigation. In terms of our marking requirements, the lease is compliant. I have however made contact with NSW Roads and Maritime Services to discuss the current placement of the starboard channel marker, which in our opinion would be better placed near the north eastern extremity of the oyster lease. An RMS Boating Officer is best placed to make that assessment however, and they are investigating whether it would be necessary to mark the area differently.

Kind Regards

Jennifer

Jennifer Davis | District Fisheries Officer

Central Coast Fisheries Compliance

NSW Department of Primary Industries
North Loop Rd |University of Newcastle, Ourimbah Campus| Ourimbah NSW 2258 | Locked Bag 26 | Gosford NSW 2250
T: 02 4328 8618 | F: 02 4328 8628 | M: 0419 202 225 | E: Jennifer.davis@dpi.nsw.gov.au

 

 

August 2013

Communities Precinct Proposal

A request has been sent to NSW State Government Members for Hornsby and Gosford , Hornsby Shire Councillors and Gosford Shire City Councillors for consideration to the following proposal. The request is for support to be sent to the NSW State properties department section in charge of the sale of Peat Island and the Mooney Mooney Lands area in the Gosford LGA.

Re; a planning proposal for a Community Precinct to be considered for the future sale and development of the Government surplus lands in the Mooney Mooney Peat Island area.

This proposal offers Gosford Council an opportunity to manage the proposed re-developed decommissioned nurses quarters as a community centre and an opportunity to generate income from commercial leasing of shop/cafe and office spaces within that re-development. This income could go toward Council's costs of maintaining a community precinct in Mooney Mooney

 

Hawkesbury River Communities Precinct Proposal at Mooney Mooney

For the future benefit of all Hawkesbury River communities of the region.

Government Property NSW is managing the re-zoning and sale of surplus Government land at Peat Island and the Mooney Mooney Lands.
The proposed sale of the Mooney Mooney Lands and Peat Island in the Gosford Shire is expected to result in expansion of the size of the residential community of Mooney Mooney.

At the Mooney Cheero Progress Association meeting in March 2010, Government Property NSW outlined its draft concept plan for the Government land, recognising the need for community facilities in the area, including a community hall and library.

As shown on the attached Community Precinct Plan included in this submission, the southern portion of the area identified by the Authority as Parcel 3 Mooney Mooney Lands, comprises approximately 1.3 ha of land and includes a Chapel, a Tennis Court, a red brick two storey decommissioned nurses quarters Building and a small single storey fibro Cottage accessed via Church Lane.
 
The Minister's consideration and approval for a parcel of land, (being a portion of the area identified by Government Property NSW as Parcel 3 Mooney Mooney Lands), including the existing buildings and infrastructure, to be transferred from NSW State Properties' jurisdiction to Gosford City Council's jurisdiction.

This would be for the establishment of a Community Precinct to meet the needs of the residents of the Mooney Mooney, Cheero Point and surrounding Hawkesbury River Communities.
The Community Precinct is to support the current and future residents of the Hawkesbury River communities in the region.

 

Location

This area is adjacent to the Pacific Hwy. on its eastern side and abuts the F3 freeway on its western side. The area has existing access via Church Lane off the Pacific Hwy and will also be accessible from the southern areas of the Mooney Mooney and Peat Island lands in the Authority's proposal for future residential, tourism and commercial developments.

Government Property NSW acknowledges that the acoustic impact of the F3 Freeway on this parcel of land would not be favourable as a site for residential developments as there would be a case for noise retention barricades required for the purpose.

Notwithstanding this, the existing buildings together with the already established adjacent parking areas and the associated infrastructure would be suitable for community use. The existing buildings are grouped together and there is good, safe road access to them. The two story red brick building that was once the nurses quarters, has been decommissioned and boarded up for many years. This could easily be remodelled into a community centre, library, meeting rooms and possibly day care. There is an adjacent tennis court that has been available for use by the community for many years and it would be preferable to retain that access to this facility.

With the help of council funding from the developer's contributions scheme that would be required for any proposed development of other parts of the Mooney Mooney Lands and the Peat Island site, the community would seek to refurbish the existing buildings and infrastructure for community use.

Summary

There is a current urgent need for appropriate contemporary community facilities for the current communities of Mooney Mooney, Cheero Point and those of the surrounding Hawkesbury River in both the Hornsby and Gosford local government areas.
With the imminent sale of the Mooney Mooney Lands and Peat Island and the development of these sites, there is an expectation that the populations of these communities will significantly increase adding to the need for such community facilities.

The imminent re-zoning and sale of the surplus Government land at Peat Island and Mooney Mooney presents an opportunity to provide appropriate facilities in a timely and efficient manner.
The redevelopment of the southern portion of Parcel 3, as outlined in this proposal, could provide appropriate re-use of the existing facilities and infrastructure in a manner that not only addresses the short term but also the long term needs and expectations of the local Hawkesbury River communities and accrues benefit to the State Government and the local government areas of Hornsby and Gosford.

 

  Benefits

For many years the Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point community, with the support of Gosford City Council,  has been permitted access to the Mooney Mooney Public School grounds and buildings for events and meeting facilities. This current access includes the use of one of the school buildings as a community library.  With the closure of the Mooney Mooney Public School and the imminent sale of  the site, this access will no longer be available, significantly disadvantaging the community. The predicted expansion in size of the community as a result of the sale and redevelopment of the NSW State Government lands, will add to this disadvantage. The community considers relocation of the community library and meeting rooms to the remodelled nurses' quarters building is a reasonable solution to this.

In addition to providing benefits directly to the residents of Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point, our proposal would also offer these benefits to residents of the surrounding local Hawkesbury River communities of Brooklyn, Dangar Island, Milsons Passage, Wobby Beach, Cogra Bay, Bar Point and Mount White, who also do not have access to a local community centre. Brooklyn Community Groups have been campaigning for some years for such facilities.

The Mooney Mooney Branch of the Rural Fires Service is currently accommodated in a small, old fire shed building that does not satisfactorily meet its current requirements: the current facility is too small to accommodate the new RFS vehicle that is to replace the current vehicle due for decommissioning in the near future. The land on which the current RFS building stands, straddles land marked by Government Property NSW for future sale, as well as land belonging to the Roads and Maritime Services. This means that the current site is no longer viable and will be, in part, included in the Mooney Mooney School site sale.
 
Parcel 3 also has the potential to allow the Mooney Mooney Branch of the Rural Fire Services to be more conveniently relocated to the site of the current small fibro cottage, in a future, purpose built contemporary facility. It is considered that this would be an improved, secure amenity for the Rural Fire Service: driveway access to the cottage site does not directly lead on the Pacific Highway; surrounding land is available for training purposes; and there is readily available parking for Rural Fire Services volunteers.

     

 

Gosford Council's response;

Council officers have been negotiating with NSW Government representatives in relation to this matter, including conducting a site inspection.  During that inspection the government officers advised that the nurse's quarters has structural faults. An exterior inspection by Council also showed significant defects which in themselves would be very expensive to rectify along with the structural issues.

 

Council has no funds allocated for the provision of community facilities at Mooney Mooney other than an amount to construct the Fire Station in addition, there is not a contribution plan in place for the area and under the proposed new planning legislation such plans may not be possible.

 

I can advise that the General Manager has put a proposal to the Government that Council would accept transfer of part of the site which includes the Chapel, the old service station site and the land in between to be developed for community use.  Details of costing and certification of the site will be subject to further negotiation.

 

Council is anxious to ensure that the Mooney Mooney Community has access to facilities at least equivalent to those available now and I confirm Council is working towards that goal at minimum cost to ratepayers. 

 

Christ Holstein - Member for Gosford - response;

 I will send a letter to the minister.....

 

 

 
 

Response;

When reading council's response, we must consider that without further details of the decommissioned nurses quarters building defects, it is premature for council to dismiss the option to transfer of the site to council for community use.

We also find it difficult to understand the statement that 'there is not a contribution plan in place for the area' and question if the developer's co-contribution that would be generated from the development proposals resulting from the Peat Island and Mooney Mooney Lands sales is still applicable in the Gosford shire.

The option for Council to manage and generate income from commercial rental from the site has also been ignored when considering the future funding and investment for the site.

We welcomed the details that council would accept part of the site including the chapel but feel that it is short sighted to not include the existing tennis court and sealed parking area that adjoins the chapel area. To also include the old service station site may need further investigation if costs to council are to be considered as the site has not only contamination issues but also foundation issues if any type of building was to be erected on the site considering the existence of the old fuel storage tanks buried underground on the site.

 
In fairness to the communities of not only Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point but also Mt White, Brooklyn, Milsons Passage, Dangar Island and Bar Point, we will aim to publish the details in the local papers and aim to generate support for the community precinct proposal.
 
The community members of all these areas would benefit in this proposal and would appreciate Gosford Council's support and action in this matter.

 

 

In the mid 1980's the community lodged an application with Gosford Council to establish a parkland and boat launching facility at the site known locally as The Ruins that was the original John Holland Hard Stand for the construction of the freeway.

Council's original response was that there was no funding allocated for a project such as the one proposed and the site would not support vegetation suitable for a foreshore park.

It took 10 years and the foresight of one Gosford Councillor, Robert Bell's support to finally have council not only agree to create a park and facility on the site but also to seek funding from various Government sources to make the proposal a reality.

Deerubbun Reserve is now one of the most popular boat launching facilities and parkland in the area and has helped the region cope with the growing popularity of the Hawkesbury Waterways and tourism for the region and NSW. 

Deerubbun is also now a rest stop and an asset to the Gosford Shire thanks to Councillor Robert Bell and dedicated Mooney Mooney community members.

The question is do we have another Councillor or Councillors with the same foresight and commitment to help to make this 

Community Precinct proposal a reality?

 

 

 

Past matters - History

 

History of Deerubbun Reserve

A proposal was put to the Mooney Cheero Progress Association in 1985 for a committee to be formed to plan and instigate negotiations with Gosford Council for the area known locally as the ruins, to be reinvented as a pubic park and formalised boat launching ramp area.

The area was originally a filled area created for the construction of the Pacific Highway and expanded for the F3 (now M1 Pacific Motorway) construction works including the M1 Hawkesbury River bridge.

The area remained a derelict site until 1995 when the site was designated as a reserve and funding was granted through the Federal Government work for the dole scheme which was met dollar for dollar by the NSW State Government waterways infrastructure scheme. Gosford Council contributed the staff to oversee the works to be carried out.

The RTA was approached for funding contributions for the site to be a rest stop from the F3 but the application was refused with the reason being that, at that time, rest stops were to only be commercial retail outlets such ass petrol stations and no park areas were to be established as future rest stops. ( a policy RTA back tracked on when Deerubbun was created and now is used as an official rest stop).

The Progress Association Deerubun Committee included Ian Sprague (who designed the original landscape plan), Michael Far and Tony Lavidis.

Ian and Michael eventually left the area before permission was granted for the park and Tony Lavidis continued to campaign Council and the NSW State Government for ten years until some of the Gosford Councillors agreed to adopt the plan.

Deerubbun was named by Ian Sprague after the Aboriginal Name for the Hawkesbury River.

Deerubbun officially opened to the public in late 1995. 

 

 3 April 2009

Change to local government area from Gosford to Hornsby for Mooney Mooney.

Minister for Local Government, Barbara Perry makes her decision on misinformation from the Boundaries Commission

The Boundaries Commission report detailed incorrectly that there was no financial advantage to the community and that remaining under Gosford LGA the residents of Mooney Mooney were better off. 

In fact, it is the reverse as the rates under Hornsby are less than under Gosford.

These details were sent to the department's legal section and the response letter from the Dep. of Local Government's officer Ross Woodward, Acting Director General DLG was "I have noted your comments that rating information contained in the Local Government Boundaries Commission's report was inaccurate. However, it is apparent from the report that the commission's recommendation was based on issues broader than comparative rates."

Again, what the decision was based on is not highlighted and no clarification of "compelling reasons" necessary were given.

As the report was crucial to the decision from the minister and that report from the Boundaries Commission was inaccurate, the decision from the office of Minister Barbara Perry is to be disputed on further grounds that the reason given, " there is no compelling reasons to suggest that the boundary alteration proposal should be implemented." does not reflect the community interest in the matter.

This response does not take into account the majority support for the change reflected in the amount of submissions made, 

The decision does not take into consideration the matters raised in relation to community cohesion between river communities,

and the omission of Mooney Mooney in Estuary Management because of differing local government areas.

The decision is partly based on the Boundaries Commission false statement that the reduction in rate levies is untrue when it is true.

A meeting with the Minister has been requested but to date, the Minister has refused to meet nor address the discrepancies highlighted.

Is this the way a Minister holding a portfolio should conduct themselves? We think not and request Minister Perry re-consider the matter.

 

Council Rate comparisons between Gosford and Hornsby

1 September 2008

Recent comparisons of Local Government rates have been made with surprising results.

Example 1.   A comparison for a property with a Land Valuate General's appraisal of $595,000.00 the rates from Gosford council including levies is currently $1,976.00 per year. Hornsby council's rates for the same property would be $1595.00 per year. 

This is a saving of $381.00 per year for the same services.

Example 2.   A rate comparison for another property with a Land Valuate General's appraisal of $732,000.00 the rates from Gosford Council including levies is $2,173.00 per year. For the same property, Hornsby Council's rates would be $1,750.00 per year.

This is a saving of $523.00 per year for the same services.

So why do rates vary so much between adjoining council's?  It has to do with council ability to manage it's funding, the amount of rate payers in a shire, the amount of council dept, infrastructure spending and other related matters.

Gosford Council has applied to the State Government for increases to rates above the recommended state increases for the next few years.

Hornsby Council's current Quarry Levy is to be paid off over the next 7 years then removed from the rate base system.     If the quarry is sold or developed, the dept may be cleared sooner.

These factors affect our community. We are facing increases in cost of living expenses with charges for sewerage and ongoing service charges for maintaining an inferior system Gosford Council decided to install in our area.

Support from Member for Hornsby Judy Hopwood MP

31 July 2008

Thank you for your recent correspondence in relation to your submission to the Minister for Local Government for Shire Boundary Changes for Mooney Mooney. I have brought this matter to the direct attention of the Minister for Local Government offering my support for this proposal. I have requested the Minister consider this proposal based on the influencing factors relating to this matter. I trust the Minister will be in contact once this submission has been reviewed.

Once again thank you for making me aware of this matter.

Yours sincerely

Judy Hopwood MP

Member for Hornsby

Mooney Mooney & Cheero Point Sewerage Connection Fee Issue

2007.    The communications with the previous Minister for Water & Utilities, David Campbell, to consider an application for changes to be made to the Sydney Water Act 1994 to include Mooney Mooney & Cheero Point as customers connected to the Sydney Water System, have failed

The new minister for Water & Utilities is now Minister Nathan Rees.

The current system uses the limits of the Hawkesbury River Local Government boundaries. The relevant changes to the Sydney Water Act 1994 would have meant the inclusion of our communities as customers of Sydney Water and part of the Sydney Water Connection supply rate base system.

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Matter to date:

 

The IPART Final Determination can be viewed at Charges for Backlog Sewerage Services 2006 - Gosford City Council

Gosford Council's decision to adopt a strategy to include Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point in the Brooklyn & Dangar Island Sewerage Treatment Plant and the IPART determination of pricing methodology for the inclusion of Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point in the Brooklyn & Dangar Island Sewerage Treatment Plant has come at a substantial cost to our communities. The current estimate for the property charge for the Mooney Mooney & Cheero Point residents is $12,000.00 per house to be connected through the Priority Sewerage Program and this may increase by the time the works start. When compared to the property charge of aprox. $200.00 to the (Hornsby Shire or Sydney water rate base) Brooklyn and Dangar Island households, it shows how discriminated the communities of Mooney Mooney & Cheero Point have been in this process.

There are some major equity issues in this determination. As a result of the NSW State Government methodology, a financial inequity has resulted from the discrepancy in the sewerage connection charges applied to the communities of Brooklyn and Dangar Island and the charges applied to communities of Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point. This major difference in connection pricing has resulted in splitting these communities and causing a discrepancy for residents based on what side of the Hawkesbury River they live on. 

This costing discrepancy is not acceptable to our community considering that;

  1. Our community is in the same area (within 150 metres) with the same environmental concerns (ie septic tank leakage to the Hawkesbury River system) that placed Brooklyn and Dangar Island on the priority sewerage treatment listing and
  2. that Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point are connected to the same Sydney Water supply system as Brooklyn and Dangar Island and
  3. are to be connected to the same new sewerage treatment plant.

The only differing factor in this issue from Sydney Water and the NSW State Government is that Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point are in a different council region.

The Sydney Water Act states that “Sydney Water Corporation is responsible for the provision of drinking water, and waste water services and some storm water services to Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra communities”

This indicates that the Sydney Water Rate Base is not determined on Sydney metropolitan local council boundaries as indicated by the government departments and the IPART representatives.

An application was lodged on 7 February with the Department of Water and Utilities Minister David Campbell's policy advisor, Ophelia Cowell, for our communities to be annexed to the Sydney Rate Base as our 250 households are connected to the same Sydney Water system as our neighbouring communities of Brooklyn and Dangar Island. This would eliminate the discrimination against the communities of Mooney Mooney & Cheero Point evident in this process to date.

The next step is to approach the NSW State Governor's office for assistance in this matter.

To Date;

The letters from the government ministers have stated that the funding for Brooklyn and Dangar Island has been based on the subsidies from the Sydney Rate Base. On this basis we have stressed that as we are paying Sydney Water for our water supply and as our future sewerage levies, when the new system is up and running, will ultimately go to the sewerage system for the Sydney Rate Base, thus contributing to funding future sewerage connections and maintenance for the Sydney Rate Base and not to the Gosford Shire rate base, then surely our communities are entitled to the same determination as other Sydney Rate Base customers.  

Gosford Council spokesperson stated that "if Sydney Water Authority were to own the whole scheme (i.e. water connections and sewerage connections to Mooney Mooney & Cheero Point ) this would necessitate changes to the Sydney Water Act 1994 requiring Parliament approval, as there would be a change to the area of operation. This process would have caused a major delay on this priority project and was considered to be not acceptable in the current situation.

The residents have waited years for a sewerage proposal and the general consensus would be supportive to a further delay for the relevant changes by the NSW state government, to the Sydney Water Act 1994 if it were to save each household the majority of the $10,000. connection fee.

When speaking to Richard Warner of IPART, he stated that quote “where would the line be drawn for funding if it was not the shire boundaries.” A fair answer would be that the line should be drawn to the extent of water supply base of communities connected to the Sydney System which would include Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point. 

It would be fair to say that the IPART community consultation process was conducted too early to determine the financial outcome to the residents.

Our community want a fairer outcome that is not evident in this current determination and hardly fare when considering that our community is connected to the same Sydney Water supply system as Brooklyn and Dangar Island and are to be connected to the same new sewerage treatment plant that was given priority because of the same environmental issues for the Hawkesbury River in relation to river communities sewerage systems.

The main discriminating factor in this determination is that Mooney Mooney & Cheero Point are in a different council shire and that our communities, by a distance of 150 meters, are on the Central Coast side of the Hawkesbury River, thus not recognised as Sydney Water customers.  

Grant Savings for the NSW Sate Government;

The State Government should consider the savings to the state government grant process as well. As Gosford Council has been granted the Country Towns and Water grant subsidy for Mooney Mooney & Cheero Point, the grant has come from the State Government. If the relevant changes to the Sydney Water Act 1994 were to be adopted to include communities connect to the Sydney Water connection supply base system, as is the case for Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point, then the CTW grant would not be required. The costs difference would be the same as for Brooklyn and Dangar Island and spread over the Sydney Rate Base at less than $1. per rate base customer. Our communities number only 249 properties.

People contacted to date:  

NSW State Minister for Water and Utilities - David Campbell MP

NSW Labour for Peats - Marie Andrews MP,

NSW Premier Morris Iemma office - Jocelyn Mouawad,

NSW Liberal - Chris Holstine,

Federal Liberal - Jim Lloyd MP,  

NSW State Independent Candidate - Debra Wales,

Water & Sewer - Director - Rod Williams,

Senior Manager Water Recycling and Planning - Adrian Langdon,

 

IPART - Richard Warner,

 

Gosford Council - Pam McCann,

Energy & Water Ombudsman - Clare Petre,

NSW Ombudsman- Alison Shea.

Manager Mooney Mooney Workers Club - Kevin Mund 

CEO Revesby Workers Club - Edward Camilleri 

NSW State Governor Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir ACCVO

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Where do we stand with the politicians. 

do you see red?

These are the replies to our correspondence.

Debra Wales Independent :

I would be happy to support whatever your community wants as I believe I'm not here to tell you what you need but to represent you in State Parliament.  For too long now, the Central Coast has lost its voice. I will prepare a media release highlighting your issues.  Because your only 300 votes - Mooney's not going to be a headache for the Labour Government - but just like me you're going to have to be a very loud voice and the media can help. 

I will contact the Independent Member for Hawkesbury Stephen Pringle (we share a border) and see if he's prepared to do something  

Chris Holstine Liberal : 

IN LIGHT OF SYDNEY'S  WATER CRISIS  I FEEL YOU WILL GET THE ( WE WILL CONSIDER) WHICH MEANS AFTER MARCH "NO".
Happy to take the matter up with the shadow minister but the liberal offer is on the board $100mil to the CTWSS which includes Mooney and Cheero.

After Labour cutting the grants I can't see them funding via the Sydney water (too contentious)

Marie Andrews Labour : 

"I will send a letter to the minister"

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Waterfront living on the Hawkesbury River

The Brooklyn Bridge

Mooney Mooney Creek to Snake Island and Cheero Point

The locals

Under LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1993 - SECT 263

Functions of the Boundaries Commission

The boundaries commission did not adequately consider;

(3) When considering any matter referred to it that relates to the boundaries of areas or the areas of operations of county councils, the Boundaries Commission is required to have regard to the following factors:

(a)     the financial advantages or disadvantages (including the economies or diseconomies of scale) of any relevant proposal to the residents and ratepayers of the areas concerned,

when considering the discrepancy in what is stated by the commission in it’s report to the minister, between council rates as the rates are less under the new proposal for boundary change under Hornsby.

(b)     the community of interest and geographic cohesion in the existing areas and in any proposed new area,

when obvious advantages are highlighted and acknowledged by the commission but dismissed in the report,

(c)     the attitude of the residents and ratepayers of the areas concerned,

 when a majority of the submissions supported the proposal

 

(5) The Boundaries Commission must allow members of the public to attend any inquiry held by the Commission under this section.

This did not happen even though requests were made for community members to address a meeting or meet with individual members of the commission and these requests were denied.  

Under section 264 it states details of those who are not allowed to attend proceedings but community members are not mentioned in this section so why where our requests to attend the proceedings or meet with the commission members, rejected remains unanswered.

The minister’s response on the matter was based on misinformation from the commission in relation to the rates between council areas and as such, the minister has dismissed a case that 'the residents are financially better off under Hornsby LGA compared to staying under Gosford LGA'.

The minister’s report highlighted that there are no compelling reasons for a change in local government area yet no details are highlighted in the application, the process nor in the report from the minister, to state what constitutes a compelling reason.

The following reasons do constitute reasons for the justification for a boundary change as stated in the application process.

 (1) a reduction in rates to households, 

(2) better community cohesion 

(3) no disadvantages to either council 

(4) better access to facilities such as policing, schools and community facilities   

(5) Should the communities be united under one local government area, the resulting combined rate base would warrant an increased opportunity and facilities in the region.

The Mooney Action Committee request a meeting with the Minister to discuss this application and for the matter to be reconsidered.

 

Change to local government area from Gosford to Hornsby

for Mooney Mooney.

NBN New Bulletin link on

 http://www.nbntv.com.au/index.php?s=+boundary+change+for+Mooney+Mooney 

An application for a change to our local government area from Gosford to Hornsby was decided on by the Boundaries Commission to the minister for Local Government for her consideration.

The application was lodged in June 2007 by the Mooney Action Group. 

In March 2009, the application was refused by the Minister Barbara Perry. 

Details were as follows;.

With a local population of  414 people according to the 1996 census, the petition accompanying the application included more than the 10 percent population requirement. 

The petition conducted in March 2007 included 94 residents signing a petition and a further 11 people sending proxy votes for a change to the local government area from Gosford to Hornsby. The remaining members of the community have not been surveyed but it is understood that the matter holds a majority support.

Currently the shire boundary between Hornsby and Gosford local government areas is the northern shore line of the Hawkesbury River. The southern shore and islands on the Hawkesbury River are included in the Hornsby Shire and the Gosford Shire starts on the Northern shore line.

The application has included a change of the shire boundary between Hornsby and Gosford, from the Hawkesbury River shore line, to the start of the southern end of the Brisbane Water National Park just north of Mooney Mooney. This would enable Mooney Mooney to be included in the Hornsby Shire. 

Advantages and Local Government Act requirements;

Though the advantages of transferring to Hornsby Shire have been debated for some years, the matter has come to a head with the prospect of the sewerage connection discrepancy between the communities of Brooklyn and Dangar Island and Mooney Mooney. That being said, the advantages for the communities of Brooklyn and Mooney Mooney being under one local government area are recognised and details highlighted. Each requirement from the Local Government Act 1993 is addressed as follows.

Local Government Act 1993

(a)     the financial advantages or disadvantages (including the economies or diseconomies of scale) of any relevant proposal to the residents and ratepayers of the areas concerned,

Financial advantages or disadvantages are not an issue to the community as the property rate basis and council billing for services is similar in both shire areas.

 

(b)     the community of interest and geographic cohesion in the existing areas and in any proposed new area,

Community geographical cohesion is considered advantageous with a larger combined community replacing smaller communities segregated by differing shire boundaries.

 

(c)     the existing historical and traditional values in the existing areas and the impact of change on  them,  

Historical and traditional values would also be strengthened by the cohesion of communities under the identification of a single local government area.

 

     (d)    the attitude of the residents and ratepayers of the areas concerned,

 The attitude of a large sector of the community is that they tend to use Hornsby Shire facilities and relate to Hornsby Shire in preference to Gosford Shire due to our geographical positioning and local facilities. 

Most residence use Hornsby shire for primary and secondary schooling as well as Tafe courses, shopping for their weekly shopping, banking and commercial needs, library and medical needs such as doctors and hospitals. Brooklyn, again in Hornsby shire, is also used for it's marine facilities such as jetties and pontoons, railway stations, medical centres, post office and shopping facilities. 

 

The local bus service is from Hornsby and commuters use this service to the Hawkesbury River station and Hornsby's Westfield in Hornsby Shire.

Policing is also a consideration as we once had access to the Brooklyn and Hornsby police stations but now are directed to Woy Woy in Gosford Shire because of new policies.

Another factor is that the division in local government areas diminishes council spending on infrastructure in the region as communities are segregated into smaller population areas divided by differing local government areas and divided rate based funding.

Should the communities be united under one local government area, the resulting combined rate base would warrant an increased opportunity and facilities in the region.

           (e) the impact of any relevant proposal on the ability of the councils of the areas concerned to provide adequate, equitable and appropriate services and facilities,

Local government councils in both areas supply similar services to the relevant communities.

 

 

Under the Local Government Act 1993 Sect. 218E it states that a proposal may be made to the minister by a minimum number of electors being 250 or 10 percent of the enrolled electors.

 

With a local population of  414 people according to the 1996 census, the petition sent in the application included more than the 10 percent required. 

The petition conducted in March 2007 included 94 residents signing a petition and a further 11 people sending proxy votes for a change to the local government area from Gosford to Hornsby.

The remaining members of the community have not been surveyed but it is understood that the matter holds a majority support.

Other factors influencing the community toward Hornsby Shire include;  

  1. Most importantly Policing the area has also been a major problem in that there is a Police station in Brooklyn including Water Police but in the Mooney Mooney area, police have to be sent from Gosford shire stations to attend to matters. Mooney Mooney once had access to the Brooklyn and Hornsby police stations but now are directed to Gosford to attend to matters because of new policies. 

  2. The local bus service is from Hornsby and commuters use this service to the Hawkesbury River station and Hornsby's Westfield. 

  3. Since the closure of the public school at Mooney Mooney, most of the children attending schools now attend schools in the Hornsby Shire and under the Sydney Region of the Education Department and no longer the Education Department's Hunter and Central Coast Region section.

  4. The phone lines and numbers for Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point are also through the same exchange as Brooklyn and the numbers are Sydney phone numbers not Central Coast numbers.

  5. The water supply for Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point is connect to Sydney Water through Brooklyn and not from a Gosford Shire water supply. Water restrictions applicable to the Central Coast are not relevant to the area but water restrictions applicable to the Sydney Water rate base are relevant to Mooney Mooney. The water supply for Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point is connect to Sydney Water through Brooklyn and not from a Gosford Shire water supply. Water restrictions applicable to the Central Coast are not relevant to the area but water restrictions applicable to the Sydney Water rate base are relevant to Mooney Mooney. 

  6. The water supply and soon, the sewerage connection for Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point is to Sydney Water through Brooklyn

Infrastructure spending;

Another factor is that the division in local government areas diminishes council spending on infrastructure in the region as communities are segregated into smaller population areas divided by differing local government areas and divided rate based funding.

Should the communities be united under one local government area, the resulting combined rate base would warrant an increased opportunity and facilities in the region. 

Local Government Act 1993 (e) the impact of any relevant proposal on the ability of the councils of the areas concerned to provide adequate, equitable and appropriate services and facilities.

Local government councils in both areas supply similar services to the relevant communities

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Water Connection History

Prior to 1971 the NSW Government facility of Peat Island Hospital (as it was known at the time) including the shore based hospital houses for staff and the Mooney Mooney Workers Club were connected to the Sydney Water Supply and a primary sewerage treatment plant. All privately owned Mooney Mooney properties were on tank water only. The Mooney Mooney Progress Association at the time applied to Gosford Council to have the area connected to the Sydney Water supply through a feed line from the Peat Island Base Water Tower.

In 1971 Gosford Council brokered an agreement with the NSW State Government's department of Sydney Water (not an independent corporation at that time) to connect the residents of Point Road and Pacific Highway to the Sydney Water supply. The contract to the Department of Public Works from Gosford Council was finalised in October 1971 (contract number 3006970) and a loan was approved to the residents of Mooney Mooney, to Gosford Council to pay for the connections from  the gravity based water tower. This loan was honoured by the Mooney Mooney residents connected to the Sydney Water Supply as a result, over a number of years.

The residents of Mooney Mooney have paid (via this community loan over a number of years) for the water connections to the Sydney Water supply. This infrastructure was not paid for by Gosford Council nor Sydney Water.

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Letter to IPART from Minister Frank Sartor identifying the inequity in pricing methodology between Brooklyn and Mooney Mooney prior to the final determination.

 

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Mains water leak on the Peats Ferry Bridge

 

It has been detected that there is a water leak at the second south western pylon on the Peats Ferry Bridge. The matter was reported to Sydney Water and in turn Gosford Council.

Chief engineer, Roger Flanner stated a temporary pipe will have to be laid and new pipes will be scheduled for the water supply when the sewerage pipes are laid in the Peat Ferry Bridge. This involves RTA approval and applications. He stated that they are on to it but it may take some time as most of the expansion joints in the 600 meters of water pipe to the reservoir have faults. They have now relieved the pressure on the pipes and so the line to the reservoir has a reduced flow running open. With a slower constant flow, they aim to keep the reservoir at 70% without further undue pressure on the pipes.

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Community Feed Back

 

 

Thank You for the information you provided and your time.

It seems an unfair and biased treatment of the MM and CP residents bases on an artificial boundary. The reasons for the upgrade in the sewerage system is based on environmental reasons and because up till now the residents have paid for their own onsite sewerage treatment and maintenance not the councils or state authorities. Using myself as an example I installed when building 14 years ago an enviro cycle treatment system that treats the water to a level cleaner then the Hawkesbury River and council requires a report on it every quarter. All this does not cost the state or council.

Of course there are older systems that need upgrading and the benefit will be the environment and Australia, and while the councils and state have not required to fund the individual properties sewerage, why are they now reluctant to use the same level of funding and cost base for the one project.

The way may be as you say to change the wording to include all Sydney water users. I would be willing to work towards this and wait for a change to the Sydney Water Act

Regards

Phillip Psaila Mooney Mooney 

I visited the Mooney Mooney Matters website.

Thanks for the effort and please let me know if I can assist in any way.

Regards,

Greg Groppenbacher

Point Road

Happy to help with any issue with the sewer debate  Issues that don't seem to have been covered are;

1) Gosford have been returning less than our rate payments to us for as long as can be remembered; If you want me to investigate a freedom of information request from the GCC Finance section it would help our argument, conversely if they don't have the figures it would also help our argument as it would indicate our lack of importance to them.

2) Has anyone considered a total refusal to pay the levy by all owners -politically embarrassing for all parties if we could achieve it.

3) Gosford's complete lack of initiative in making the current system work through effective regulation. I do not believe the new treatment plant can meet required discharge limits, therefore it will be a point-source discharge that is in total, more polluting than the current un-regulated 'system'. As an environmental scientist I feel the envisaged system is an engineers dream that will not be a true step forward. It will never meet discharge limits and may in fact be shut down after it is built - a white elephant. If it is allowed to operate it will be worse that the present diffuse discharge.

Regards

Ian Wilson

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