Issue 1 Autumn 2013
MOSMANNOW NEWSLETTER Mosman puts case against amalgamation Fears State Government panel will recommend mergers despite community opposition, ignoring Mosman's views
from theMayor From Councillor Peter Abelson, Mayor. As you may now be aware the State Government has appointed the Independent Local Government Review Panel (ILGRP) to examine and make recommendations on amalgamations of councils in NSW. ILGRP will shortly produce an interim report that will outline its draft proposals on amalgamations involving all NSW Councils including, of course, Mosman. At the last Council elections a referendum was conducted on whether Mosman residents were in favour of a council amalgamation. The result was a resounding 81 percent rejection of any such plan. Defending this independence position Council has submitted a robust submission to the ILGRP reﬂecting our opposition to
any Mosman Council amalgamation. The submission in full is available on the Council's website www.mosman.nsw.gov.au This is an important issue for all Mosman residents. Council is concerned that ILGRP is ignoring our views and will not listen to our concerns. Council concern is based on the available evidence, that the ILGRP is on a predetermined course to propose a series of mega
councils for Sydney which would see Mosman swallowed up in a large regional council administered from Chatswood, North Sydney, Dee Why or even further aﬁeld. In order to inform all residents of the issues involved I have summarised the major contents of our submission. Continued Page 2
The case for independence More than 80% of residents are opposed to Mosman being swallowed up by a remote mega-council.
This edition of Mosman Now features a condensed version Mosman Council's oﬃcial submission to the state government's review of the structure of local government. Mosman is indeed fortunate to have a leading economist and academic as Mayor. Peter Abelson's cogent exposition of Council's position is surely one of the most compelling submissions made to the inquiry. Also enclosed is an edited version of the submission of our resident's committee on the issue, which I chair. It reﬂects the passion and depth of feeling within the community for continued independence. I commend both submissions to you and welcome your feedback and support as we all work to preserve the community we cherish. Cr Peter White Chairman Independent Mosman
from Page 1
Summary of Submission
The Mosman Council strongly supports the independence of ﬁnancially sustainable small local government areas and rejects forced amalgamations. Small councils are as cost eﬀective as large ones and provide greater and more personal levels of service than do large areas. Compulsory amalgamation would have serious consequences for local services and has been overwhelmingly rejected in many referendums by the Mosman community. Meals on Wheels
First, small councils can achieve economies through formal on-going regional organisations of councils or ad hoc relationships. Second, larger organisations are behaviourally less constrained and less transparent than small ones. Incompetence and corruption occur more often in large councils. Thirdly, small councils are innovative. Mosman Council has been innovative in management plans (MOSPLAN), ﬁnancial planning, outsourcing work to the market and comprehensive asset management. In ‘Councils in Cooperation, Shared Services and Australian Local Government’, Brian Dollery (Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Local Government, University of New England) and his co-authors show that forced amalgam-ations have not produced cost savings in Australia or elsewhere.
Mosman Council delivers a range of aﬀordable, highly recognised and award winning community services, including Seniors and Youth Services, Carers Support Group, Community Visitors Scheme, menu-ofchoice Meals on Wheels, community transport and early childhood programs. All would be threatened to some extent with amalgamation. Bushcare
Services of Small Councils
Eﬃciency and Costs
It is acknowledged that larger local councils may have cost advantages from economies of scale, for example in senior management. However there are three strong countervailing cost factors.
Diﬀerent communities have diﬀerent preferences and needs. Such service diﬀerentials are better achieved by small local areas than by larger areas. As recent Nobel Prize winner in Economics, American Elinor Ostrom has shown, small communities generate much greater trust and social capital. Communities of 300,000 people cannot generate as much interpersonal trust and mutual social capital as communities of 30,000. The number of volunteers per head of population in Mosman and in Manly is ﬁve to six times higher than in other councils with eight to ten times the population size. It is inconceivable that large councils could attract so many volunteers in community work.
Some local councils lack ﬁnancial viability because they have high proportion of low income households and/or have responsibility for large, low density areas. Such councils need state government support. Amalgamating neighbouring councils with similar socio-economic proﬁles and similar ﬁnancial constraints will not resolve ﬁnancial problems.
Mosman Design Awards Winners The winners of the 2013 Mosman Design Awards were announced on Monday 11 March at the Mosman Art Gallery.
The Mayor, Peter Abelson presented the popular People's Choice Award to architect Michael MacCormick for the house at 85-87 Bay Street. This innovative design also won the Contribution to the Built Environment Award decided by the judging panel of Nick Tobias, Gabrielle Morrish and Robert Staas. Luigi Rosselli won the other major award of the night for Excellence in Adaptive Reuse for 15 Lennox Street. Both these architects have been winners before and are enthusiastic supporters of the Design Awards program run every two years by Mosman Council. Nick Tobias, in presenting the commendation awards to Ian Moore for 31 Fairfax Road, and Domenic Alvaro for 27 Raglan Street, described the standard of design in Mosman as high quality and a delight to judge. The winning designs were well considered solutions to the particular sites that met the needs of the client, as well as considering the context and amenity of the surrounding area.
15 Lennox Street
85-87 Bay Street
mosman.nsw.gov.au There is no ﬁnancial case to merge Mosman with any local areas such as North Sydney or Manly. All these councils are independently ﬁnancially sustainable.
In its Interim Report November 2012, ‘Better, Stronger Local Government: The Case for Sustainable Change’, the Panel stated that: “Local government in New South Wales must change. The future is challenging but also full of potential. Local councils must embrace the challenges and realise the potential... We all know the world will be a very diﬀerent place in 2036, and therefore a realistic program for the future must be a program for substantial and lasting change.” This language is rhetoric with no clear substance or meaning. Also in the Interim Report, the Panel stated that “it is very diﬃcult to see how large imbalances in population size can be justiﬁed”. But the Panel does not explain the problems associated with having some small, highly eﬀective, councils. In the United States, there are over 80,000 local councils doing various functions, of very varying sizes and many with only a few thousand citizens.
The ILGRP has not identiﬁed clearly and precisely the problems to be addressed.
Planning Ahead The latest draft of Council's Community Strategic Plan, MOSPLAN (which incorporates the draft budget for 2013/2014) will be on public exhibition from Friday 19 April 2013 to Friday 17 May. This version of MOSPLAN – known as MOSPLAN 2013-2023 – provides an overview of Council's strategic objectives for the next decade, as well as more detailed accounts of action proposed over the next 4 years. 10-year budget forecasts are provided for the organisation, together with proposed 4-year income and expenditure levels across 10 key program areas. As part of Council's approach to ﬁnancing crucial infrastructure works, a new Stormwater Levy is also proposed and MOSPLAN includes information on speciﬁc works to be undertaken with this new revenue source. Comments on the draft MOSPLAN and Budget are invited up until 17 May. These can be submitted by regular mail, email or via the online submission form on Council's website. If you would like to learn more about MOSPLAN and the budget before considering a submission, a Community Information Evening will be held at Mosman Civic Centre on Monday 29 April, commencing at 7pm. Enquiries and RSVP's to the Community Development Team on 9978 4095.
Youth in Focus 2013 has kicked oﬀ with a bang for Youth Services in Mosman! Council's Youth team has been working on the delivery of a range of new activities during drop-in at the Youth Development Centre and numbers of young people visiting the Centre are growing. New faces are always welcome. One new face is Hayley, the lucky winner of an iPad mini and one of many young Mosman residents who completed the Youth Survey this year. Results from the Youth Survey will be available at the end of May. National Youth Week 2013 (NYW) was launched with the annual music festival Shorefest, which featured a line-up of local and internationally touring bands. A number of young Mosman residents were able to volunteer to help with the event, and despite some bad weather the crowd enjoyed the day. For the ﬁrst time, NYW was celebrated with a series of after school activities including grass-skiing, hula hooping and pizza making at the Youth Development Centre. New youth volunteering programs will begin in early May. They will focus on sustainability in Mosman, live music and global citizenship. These programs are open to all Mosman residents aged 12–24 and are a great way for Duke of Edinburgh participants to complete their service component. Planning is also underway for the popular Girls and Guys Nights In and Friday Nights Out programs. The monthly
Welcome to MosmanNow We have a new look newsletter that replaces ‘Mosman News’. The newly titled ‘Mosman Now’ aims to better deliver information to you with a clean easy-to-read format that follows on from Council’s updated presence in the Mosman Daily. You can expect to see this new format newsletter delivered quarterly to your homes and businesses with a regular mix of Council news, topical local information as well as event listings for the area. If you’re looking for the regular newspaper column, you can now ﬁnd it each week on pages 14 and 15 of the Mosman Daily. A message from the Mayor appears at the end of each month, while Consents Issued will appear in the second week of each month. Listings for meetings, DAs and events appear weekly. We hope you enjoy the fresh improved communications style, which we will continue to improve and reﬁne as time progresses. We welcome your feedback, so please let us know what you think.
Saturday Youth Group, a recreational group for young people with a disability continues and prospective members and their parents are encouraged to contact Youth Services staﬀ for more information. Council will shortly be instigating a Youth Forum to ensure young people have a voice in Mosman. Membership of the Forum will be advertised and young people from the ages of 15 to 25 are encouraged to apply. The Mosman Youth Art Prize and Mosman Youth Awards in Literature are now open. Receipting day for the Art Prize is Tuesday 21 May and closing date for entries in the Youth Awards in Literature is Friday 31 May. Further details are available on Council's website. All the latest information on the wide range of services and opportunities available for young people is now accessible through the youth Facebook page, facebook.com/mosmanyouth. Keep an eye also on the Mosman Council website where information for parents, such as parent forums, is regularly updated.
©2013 Mosman Municipal Council This publication is written by Council staﬀ and authorised for distribution by VHR May PSM – General Manager
mosman.nsw.gov.au Spit Junction NSW 2088 9978 4000 fax 9978 4132 email@example.com
Connect with us
What’sOn New Residents Morning Tea
Friday 3 May, 10am–12pm Harnett Room, Civic Centre, Mosman Square An informal morning tea for new Mosman residents. Find out about the local area and meet new people. RSVP to Mosman Library on 9978 4091 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mosman Village Market
Saturday 4 May, 8am–3pm Mosman Square and Village Green The markets feature goods from over 150 quality retailers with a selection of special gift ideas and ﬁne foods from the gourmet stalls. The popular jazz band plays throughout the day. Information 9978 4181.
Meetings Community Information Evening
Draft MOSPLAN & Budget Monday 29 April | 7pm | Council Chambers Come along and hear more about Council's Draft Community Strategic Plan (MOSPLAN) and 2013/2014 Budget. RSVP 9978 4095.
Tuesday 7 May | 7pm | Council Chambers
Wednesday 15 May | 10.30am | Harnett Room
Mosman Youth Awards in Literature
This competition awards prizes for both prose and poetry with a total prize pool of over $2000 and is open to primary and secondary students. Entries close Friday 31 May and the winners will be announced at a special ceremony on Wednesday 21 August at Mosman Library.
For a full listing of upcoming events see council’s website.
Save the Date Council is pleased to announce the return of the Festival of Mosman from Saturday 28 September to Sunday 20 October. This biennial event will be a highlight of the 2013 Mosman Events Calendar. Program features include: In Situ Mosman Festival of Sculpture & Installation, Friday 4 to Sunday 20 October – artworks in shops and businesses along Military Road from Mosman Junction to Spit Junction. Headland: The Middle Head Project A series of site-speciﬁc works and an accompanying gallery exhibition by 14 established and emerging artists in response to the active and disused Military sites at Middle Head. The International Fleet Review celebrations 3 to 11 October – the Royal Australian Navy's 100 year anniversary of entering Sydney Harbour (www.navy.gov.au/ifr). Freedom of Entry Parade For HMAS Penguin on Tuesday 8 October, 12.30–2pm, along Military Road.
Agendas may be viewed on Council's website, at the Library or Civic Centre. Call the Meetings Infoline 9978 4122 for a listing of Agenda items.
Swim Centre clean bill of health
in safety audit
On 25 January 2013, Mosman Swim Centre had its Annual Royal Life Saving Safety Audit. The Centre received an astounding 99.14% rating, which is extremely high amongst competitors. This result continues the Centre's ongoing partnership with Royal Life Saving as a '5-Star Water Safety Partner'. Mike Conna, General Manager says “We are exceptionally happy with this score. I believe it is a true reﬂection of the quality assurance and safety standards that we strive so hard to achieve and is a testament to all swim centre employees”. Mosman Swim Centre, operated by Aquatic Leisure Management has a state of the art, 25m indoor pool which delivers high-quality Ezyswim learn-to-swim programs for all ages, specialised programs for individuals with a disability, lap and leisure swimming, aqua ﬁtness programs and swim and triathlon squads. The recent introduction of a giant 'Treasure Island' pool inﬂatable on Sunday afternoons has been a hit with families. Mosman Swim Centre is located at 90 Vista Street. For further information call 1300 11 7946.
Youth Forum Members Needed! Are you a young person aged 15-25 with an interest in local youth issues? Council is looking for young residents to join the Mosman Youth Forum. Find out more by taking a look at the Forum Charter and the Expression of Interest form on Council’s website and the Youth Facebook page at Facebook.com/mosmanyouth. Then complete a form and make sure it’s returned to Council by Friday 17 May. Enquiries to the Youth Services team on 9978 4144.