Welcome

This blog is about Rosny Hill, its assets, the many enjoyable experiences to be had there and potential losses of its natural features.
Disclaimer: This blog generally represents the point of view of the Rosny Hill Friends Network. Blog readers are advised to check facts and links presented. Where there are links to external websites, these should also be fact checked. The inclusion of a link to another website does not imply that Rosny Hill Friends Network endorses the content of that website.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Rosny Hill Friends Network Inc. Lodges DA

MEDIA RELEASE 

Rosny Hill Friends Network - new proposal for Rosny Hill reserve
23 August 2019

Today we have submitted a development application to the Clarence City Council
for our Re-imagining Rosny Hill Concept Master Plan.

We are concerned that the current tourism hotel development proposal would be too big and damaging for this small hill top which is reserved for nature, recreation and education. 

President Beth Rees said that the community is fed up with large, unsuitable proposals being put forward for Rosny Hill. 

“We’ve taken the positive step of preparing an alternative proposal that protects the natural environment, provides a beautiful lookout and refreshment for visitors, and supports recreation, health and wellbeing. Our proposal is financially responsible, has community support and, importantly, is consistent with the purpose of reservation of Rosny Hill under Tasmania’s Nature Conservation Act” said Ms Rees.

Beth Rees
President 
Rosny Hill Friends Network

Details of the Master Plan.







There you have it:  visual representations of what the Rosny Hill Friends Network Inc. consider to be appropriate development scale.
The group is fully aware, because we surveyed our community, that the major concerns with this Nature Recreation Area are anti social behaviour, mainly as cars doing burnouts, and littering. These  do not need a tourist hotel to prevent them. In 2011, In the RHNRA Management Strategy,  Council expressed its intention of exploring a boom gate. Since then the community has heard little more about this. Indeed the first bin was installed at the lookout only in 2018.

We must reproduce the concept plan as individual pictures, but if you are on our mailing list, contact us at                                                   rosnyhillfriends210@gmail.com            for more information.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

The DA HAS BEEN LODGED

The General Manager of Clarence City Council gave Landowner Approval for the lodgement of the Hunter Developments DA this week. Community members got a quick glimpse of the the Concept on July 2 but no technical drawings were seen.

Council has 42 business days from the lodgement date to consider the application.
If they seek more information, the "clock is stopped" until the proponent provides it.

THOUGHT ABOUT WRITING A LETTER?

Here are some resources...


Letter of Concern regarding Rosny Hill Nature Recreation Area.

Dear Friends, 
Here is a copy of a letter sent to Clarence City Council. It is reproduced with the writer’s permission.
After viewing the latest developer's proposal my concerns are:

- Development footprint is still much too big for Rosny Hill and not consistent with RHNRA Management Strategy. I can see large swathes of bush land/habitat lost to the buildings and massive car park.
And during construction on sloping terrain, even more bush/habitat will be lost.

-  Proposed restaurant is more than 3 metres above road level in lookout area.  This means current 180-degree panoramic view from public lookout road area will be lost.

- Despite assurances from the proponents last night,
I am yet to be convinced in future the general public will have the same access to enjoy the nature and views of the area. Over time what restrictions can the hotel owner impose?

- It is a concern to me that not only the proposed leased area will by managed by the hotel. From what I gather the whole RHNRA will be managed by the hotel with input from others like Greening Australia.
This rings alarm bells to me as I have no confidence the conservation values in the RHNRA will be respected based on what is proposed within the leased area.

You could modify the above letter, or write one of your own 

What are your concerns?

You could consider some of these possibilities should the development be approved:  
·     Accessto the Nature Recreation Area once a hotel operator is in control
·     Buildingin a High Biodiversity Protection Area
·     Car parkand other construction will change water run off
·     Clearingof bushland  would be necessary to provide fire barrier for buildings
·     Destructionof threatened native orchids and other species
·     Excavationof hilltop rock for lower storey of the hotel
·     Lossof a peaceful green hilltop as the focus for local residents
·     Trafficincreases in the area
·     Vibrationsduring construction transmitted through bedrock to local properties
·     Your other concerns,which probably should come first

Letters to Council have far more impact if they are expressed in your own words.
For your information, the hotel still has 60 units and a dining room for 120 people.
There is also a proposed café. 

We urge you to send an email to the Clarence City Mayor, Alderman and General Manager. You can find the emails of the Aldermen here. https://www.ccc.tas.gov.au/your-council/how-council-works/aldermen/



Monday, 4 February 2019

Questions for 2019

Questions for 2019

       By the end of 2018, Rosny Hill Friends Network had compiled details of key  Clarence City Council documents which outlined the process involved in the proposal for a luxury hotel in the Rosny Hill Nature Recreation Area. These documents were retrieved from the Clarence City Council website and a hyperlinked list was produced for anyone to access if they wanted a copy from us, so that they could read the original documents for themselves. These hyperlinks no longer work. A new website is up and running at CCC. There is little of the history of the development proposal available.

                                 (Public domain; retrieved from Wikimedia Commons Jan.2019)

This is Janus, Roman God of transitions. Of reflecting and looking forward. January is named after him and January has been a time of looking back and looking forward at Rosny Hill Friends Network.

Looking back produced a number of questions:

Council received this advice in 2012: “Given the high margins in tourist accommodation, the scale of an accommodation facility can be kept relatively small (e.g. possibly 10-15 cabins).” 
        How did  this recommendation  translate  into  a  100-unit resort  proposal  complete with  swimming  pool and  conference  centre?

        Why  didn’t Council  undertake  any development  to  improve residential  amenity  such as  installing  a boom-gate  to  reduce cars  hooning  on the  hill  at night?

       Why did Clarence City Council, in the 2015  Interim  Planning Scheme,  zone  Rosny Hill  differently  from similar  hills  in other  City  of Clarence  villages. Natone  Hill, Lindisfarne; Gordon’s Hill, Rose Bay; Waverly Flora Park, Bellerive  and  Glebe Hill  Reserve  in the  new  Glebe Hill  subdivision.  These are  all  zoned Open  Space.  No hotels  allowed.  So why  Rosny Hill?

       Planning Schemes  and  Council Minutes  are  complex and  formal.  Can the  Council’s  actions of  the  last 9  years  be put  into  a more   everyday  style of  language?  

       Did  Council see  Rosny  Hill primarily  as  a cash  cow  to enhance  general  revenue rather  than  a priceless  community  resource to  be  developed for  residents  along the  lines  of Glebe  Hill  Reserve?

       Was  Rosny Hill zoned  with  community values  in  mind?

       Which  Actions listed in  the  Rosny Hill  Nature  Recreation Area  Management Strategy (non statutory) have actually been  completed?

       Has  the whole nine-year  process  wasted ratepayer  resources  that could  have  been directly  applied  to improving  the  Nature Recreation  Area?

       Had  our elected  representatives  of that time actually been trapped  in  a development  ‘filter  bubble?’ 

       Here we are in 2019 with a new council. Nine of these councillors have strongly expressed their commitment to community consultation before the 2018 election. Let us hope that this commitment becomes action.

       Another change is the impending Tasmanian Planning Scheme. Clarence City Council submitted  Draft Local Provision Schedules to the Planning Commission in 2018. Here is a relevant zoning map from that document.






Now it is interesting to note that under the Tasmanian Planning Scheme,  only caravan and camping is allowed in the Recreation Zone.

So what are the pressures?


Will the developers try to force through their DA while the 2015 interim planning scheme is still in operation?

Must those citizens who object to the 2018 proposal be poised to voice their objections at short notice?

What will be the future of Rosny Hill if a new planning scheme is in operation?

What is the best resource that it can be for the local community and Greater Hobart?

If you have your own vision for Rosny Hill Nature Recreation Area, please share it on our Facebook Page. Select Visitor posts. We encourage your input. Click below to have your say.


                                     Save Rosny Hill







   




Friday, 12 October 2018

The Rosny Hill Nature Recreation Area Development Saga - Untangled

By Guest Blogger, Denise Hoggan.

     Clarence  City  Council  is  the  initiator  and  facilitator  of  the  now  withdrawn  development  proposal  for  Rosny  Nature  Recreation  Area.
The  amount  of  direct  community  consultation  is  in  vivid  contrast  to  that  undertaken  for  the  Acton  Tracks  and  Trails  Activity  Plan.  The  consultation  for  this  included  the  usual  displays  and  newspaper  advertisements.  Surprisingly,  as  the  agenda  of  Councils  meeting  on 18th  June  2018  indicate:  "A total  of  969 letters  and  feedback  forms were  mailed  to  Acton  Park  residents,  property  owners  and  key  stakeholders..."
No  such  direct  consultation  occurred  with  the  750  households  of  Rosny-Montagu Bay  throughout  the  whole  proposed  development  process,  which  began  in  2010.  In  this  time  period  these  property  owners  would  have  paid  council  more  than  $10 million  in  rates  yet  are not  worth  $700  in  consultation.

My Interest

I  have  been  digging  into  documents  for  the  last  4  years,  have  met  with  the  Mayor  and  some  Councillors  to  discuss  the  situation  and  have  obtained  extra  data  through   Right  to  Information  legislation.  The  facts,  as  stated,  are  verified  facts.  Forgive  me  if  my  frustrations  and  opinions  creep  in.  4  years  of  research  to  get  the  answers  that  you  want  can  be  really  tedious.

     The  way  that  I  unfold  the  timeline  will  be  in  no  way  related  to  the  way  in  which  I  discovered  things.  My  personal journey  began  with  a  shock.  Date:  April  2014 - Hobart  Mercury.


Vacant Possession???  Rosny  Hill???  Isn't  it  a  Nature  Recreation  Area??

At  the  time  I  was  the  Rosny - Montagu  Bay  Landcare  and  Coastcare  Coordinator.
I  had  retired  to  Rosny  Point  in 2005,  for  the  quiet,  peace,  nearby  bushland  and  views.
My  investigative  journey  was  slow  and  fragmented.  It  does  not  bear  retelling.  Instead,  let  the  Council  Documents  tell  their  own  story.

It's  a  long  story


Clarence  City  Council  became  the  managing  authority  for  the  Rosny  Hill  Nature  Recreation  Area  in  2009.  Was  it  their  love  of  natural  spaces  that  drove  this  initiative?

Targeting


Perhaps  not.  In  the  2010  Strategic  Plan  Rosny  Hill  had  been  targeted  as  a  source  of  PROSPERITY.  Check  this  extract.  Rosny  Hill  is  not  the  only  source  of  mighty  $$$.


Were  you  aware  of  these  other  development  targets? Are  they  in  your  area?

Planning

     Council  wanted  more.  In  2011,  it  released  the  Rosny  Hill  Nature  Recreation  Management  Strategy (Non statutory - that is it cannot  overrule  the  provisions  of  the  National  Parks  and  Reserves  Management  Act  of  2002).
The  consultants  who  had  compiled  the  report  noted  the  following  Native  Vegetation:


     None  of  the  subsequent  reports  from  other  organisations  focus  on  the  threatened SPECIES,  but  this  report  does.  It  is  open,  honest  and  evidence  based.
Later  reports  stresst  the  absence  of  threatened   communities.   That  is  an  easy  way  to  play  down  recognition  of  the  threatened  species  in  the  area.

The  consultants  employed  to  produce  the  2011  management  strategy  made  their  findings  clear.


Was  this  an  effort  by  the  consultancy  firm  to  assert  their  Integrity  and  distance  themselves  from  this  part  of  the  action  plan?

Spending  more  ratepayers  funds  on  Consultancy.

     By  early  2012,  Council  was  employing  more  consultants.  This  time  it  was  a  property  assessment  firm.  Council  considered  its  report  in  June  2012.
I  have  read  the  Agenda  for  this  Council  Meeting  a  number  of  times  and  also  the  property  consultant's  report.  It  was  at  this  meeting  that  the  idea  of  a  conference  centre  on  Rosny  Hill popped  out  of  the  air  and  into  the  Council  officers  report.  It  was  NOT  a  consultant's  recommendation.
      Also,  with  respect  to  Tourist  Accommodation,  the  consultant's  report  stated:
 "Given  the  high  margins  in  tourist  accommodation,  the  scale  of  an  accommodation  facility  can  be  kept  relatively  small (e.g.  possibly  10  to  15  cabins )"
How  did  this  ever  translate into  a  100  unit  resort  proposal,  complete  with  swimming  pool  and  conference  centre?
     The  report  also  recommended  that  Council  spend  money  on "non-commercially viable development to promote increased active  recreational use of the property and provision of services infrastructure which will  underpin and facilitate commercial development”.
     Why  didn't  Clarence  City  Council  spend  a  little  money  on  improving  the  residential  amenity  for  the  residents  of  Rosny  and  Montagu  Bay:  a  boom  gate  to  stop  hooning  at  night  for  example.


Getting  more  Control

Just  five  month's  later,   in  2013,  Clarence  City  Council  had  its  lease  from  the  Crown.  Sole  authority.  Sole  lessee.  The  days  of  joint  management  were  gone.  Parks  and  Wildlife  ensured  that  the  lease  took  the  Nature  Conservation  Act,  2002  and  the  National  Parks  and  Reserves  Management  Act  of  2002  into  account. and



Creating  a  Suitable  Interim  Planning  Scheme.

     Council  continued  to  move  swiftly.  On  the  17th  of  March  2014  the  Clarence  Draft  Interim  Planning  Scheme  was  endorsed  by  Council.  Now  a  500  page  planning  scheme  does  not  pop  into  existence  overnight.  Admittedly,  the  State  Government  had  provided  a  template.  This  was  called  Planning  directive  number  1. (PD1)  The idea  was  to  get  the  29  councils  to  have  schemes  in  a  similar  format  before  the  State  Planning  Provisions  became  operational.  Why  were  Clarence  Council  finished  so  quickly?  The  agenda  for  this  meeting  points  out “there  is no  legislative  requirement to  initiate  a draft  interim  planning scheme  at  this time.”  Why the  rush?

     A  closer  look  at  the  agenda  for  this  meeting  might  show  what  is  going  on.  Skim  reading  would  not.  Firstly,  let  us  look  at  the  zoning  map  for  that  Draft  Interim  Planning  Scheme.  The  image  below  is  extracted  from  a  poster  size  map  obtained  under  Right  To  Information  Legislation.  This  map  was  not  in  the  agenda.  Councillors  may  have  been expected  to  recall  it  from  online  viewing,  unless  they  had  a  viewing  device  in  this  meeting.




   Rosny  Hill  is  shining  bright,  because  it  is  zoned  "recreation"  rather  than  "open  space" like  the  other  natural  areas  that  I  have  indicated  on  this  map.  Being  zoned  "recreation"  means  that  tourist  accommodation  was  allowed.  This  is  not  the  case  for  open  space.

Let's  look  at  that  agenda  more  closely.  The  officers  recommendations  in  their  conversion  table  are  out  of  step  with  this  zoning.  Read  them  for  yourself - here  is  there  table  from  that  agenda  17/3/2014:



     Hang  on,  you  may  well  say,  there  are  no  sporting  facilities  on  Rosny  Hill.  Shouldn't  it  be  zoned  open  space?   How  can  Council  justify  that?

It  comes  back  to  Don  Watson  and  his  "weasel  words".  They  appear  earlier  in  the  agenda.  Even  though  there  is  no  mention  of  Rosny  Hill  in  this  entire  agenda,  there  is  one  key  sentence  that  lets  the  Clarence  City  Council  off  the  hook  legally. No  mention  of  Rosny  Hill  Nature  Recreation  Area  needed...


This  situation  was  checked  with  Clarence  City  Council  by  submitting  the  following  question  in  a  meeting  on  the  13th  of  September,  2018:

"...at  its  meeting  of  17th  of  March,  2014,  why  was  the  anomalous  zoning  of  Rosny  Hill  Nature  Recreation  Area  not  made  more  explicit  in  either  the  agenda  or  the  minutes?"
The  reply:  'The  recreation  zone  was  applied  to  the  RHNRA ,  because,  in  accordance  with  the RHNRA  Management  plan (August  2011)  had  previously  been  identified  for  development consistent  with  the  'reserve'  status  of  the  land.


     But,  hang  on  again - Does  the  non-statutory  RHNMA  Management  plan  of  August  2011  over-rule    2  State  Laws  and  a  Legal  Lease?  No  matter.  Clarence  City  Council  forged  ahead. 

Seeking  Developers

     The  very  next  month  the  Expression  of  Interest   process was  advertised  in  the  Hobart  Mercury  as  an  "unprecedented development  site".  Ka-ching!
Submissions  were  due  by  the  end  of  June  2014.    The  document  was  available  for  potential  developers  but  was  never  placed  on  Clarence  City  Council's  website.  When  Council  was  asked  about  this  on  13/9/2018,  the  reply  included: ..."however,  if  a  request  had  been  made,  Council  would  have  provided  a  copy"  How  remiss  of  me.  I  thought  Council  represented  residents.  These  days  I  am  not  as  naive.

Announcing  a Concept  in  the  first  half  of  2015.



Full credit  to  the  developer for  holding  a  preview  for  the  local  Landcare  group  and  a  public  meeting  at  Rosny  Bowling  Club.  This  meeting  had  no  facilitation  by  Council.  In  my  opinion,  it  was  as  if  Council  were  trying  to  distance  themselves  from  the  developer.  While  I  am  straying  from  documented  fact,  let  me  relay  a  community  rumour  that  this  was  the  only  expression  of  interest  submitted.  It  has  to  be  an  ambit  claim.  Did  our  Councillors  even  understand  that  concept?  38  submissions  were  sent  in  to  Council  or  the  developer.  The  number  1  concern  was  traffic. 


Support  for  the  Preferred Developer


      This  was  the  modified  development  in  November  2015.  The  company  became  the  "preferred  developer".  This  version  has  an  extra  storey  dug  into  the  side  of  the  hill!  Swimming  pool  too!
      Clarence  City  Council  provides  support  for  developers  in  the  city.  This  Rosny  Hill  Nature Recreation  Area  development  proposal  received  support  for  over 2  and  a  half  years!  In  the  meantime,  no  support  was  offered  to  the  Rosny  Hill  Friends  Network  and  each  of  their  actions  to  protect  the reserve  status  was  obstructed.

The  Development  Application  of  April  2018

       It  was  submitted  on  the  20th  April  and  the  fee  paid  in  May. The  public  had  a  brief  glimpse  at  Rosny  Library  on  24th  April.  There  are  few pictures  in  the  public  domain.  ABC  News  released  this  one


Although  it  has  a  smaller  footprint,  it  has  the  same  capacity.  It  has  more  accommodation  units  than  Freycinet  Lodge.


I  hope  the  preceding  outline  of  the  process  gives  you  an  appreciation  of  how  information  can  be  hidden  from  the  public  domain.  Who  wants  to  trawl  Council  Documents  in their  spare  time?  Where  was  the  open  community  consultation?  Where  was  the  generation  of  ideas  for  alternative  uses?

I  have  empathy  for  the  position  of  Councillor.  Information  was  doled  out  to  them  piecemeal. They  are  swamped  with  information.  Yet  they  occupy  a  privileged  position.  They  must  be  information  analysts.  They  must be  aware  of  their  own  Cognitive  Biases.

Did  the  Council  have  a  Cognitive  Bias?

When  I  was  speaking  to  our  Mayor,  I  mentioned  this  to  him  and  he  objected  strongly,  saying  that  Council  is  not  biased.
Sorry  Mr  Mayor,  but  Cognitive  Bias  is  part  of  the  human  condition.  We  all  exist  in  our  own  "filter  bubble",  often  accepting  only  that  evidence  that  feeds  into  our  own  values.  It  is  a  hard  task  indeed  to  change  anyones  mind,  especially  your  own.


When  a  project  has  been  followed  for  a  long  time,  there  is  more  of  a  tendency  to  want  to  complete  it - as  mentioned  in  the  above  diagram  (which  can  be  sourced  on  wikipedia)  there  is  an  escalation  of  commitment.
Councillors,  don't  charge  blindly  down  a  path  that  you  have  followed  for  9  years.  There  is  everyday  word  for  Cognitive  Bias... Groupthink.

     Consider  the  alternative  cost.  What  could  we  have  in  the  Rosny  Hill  Nature  Recreation  area?  Don't  lead  us  by  the  nose,  but  listen.









Tuesday, 26 June 2018

The Pieces Fit Together.

The Pieces Fit Together.


Today, 26th June, the Convenor of Rosny Hill Friends Network, Peter Edwards, received from the Premier, Will Hodgman,  an answer to a letter in which he had asked eight questions. Peter felt that these had not been fully answered but tucked away in the letter was confirmation of what we Friends thought that we knew.

"Dear Peter
Thank you for your letter of 18 June regarding Rosny Hill.  I appreciate the opportunity to clarify the Government’s position.
The Rosny Hill Nature Recreation Area is reserved land under the Nature Conservation Act 2002 (NCA) and the Government has no plans to change this arrangement.  The area is reserved land under lease by the Clarence City Council (Council), who are also the Managing Authority for the area.  These arrangements give management control to Council in respect of the reserve.
I am advised that the previous Government leased the land to Council in 2013 to enable additional activities on the reserve to be contemplated through an Expressions of Interest process.  The lease allows for Council to enter into a sublease or subleases for the purposes of developing part or all of the land, including commercial development."

How did this come about? What did the local community know about this in 2012? Would Mr Mayor  tell us that this was in the public domain?
It was alluded to on the 4th of June 2012 when the Rosny Hill Nature Recreation Area Management Strategy scored a mention on the agenda at the Clarence City Council Meeting.

Note what 11.7.2 says! There is nothing about a lease, or visitor accommodation. Council's intentions are 'hidden in plain sight' in a 239 page document published on their website.


That is 34 pages devoted to the fate of Rosny Hill.
27 of them were the following report



At this stage Clarence City Council had been the managing authority for Rosny Hill since 2009.
Council targeted our Nature Recreation Area as a development opportunity in their 2010 Strategic Plan.
Property Consultants, Opteon,  were engaged by CCC to propose options for Development on Rosny Hill.
On page 21, when discussing visitor accommodation, they stated:

"Given the high margins in tourist accommodation, the scale of the accommodation facility can be kept relatively small.( eg possibly 10 to 15 cabins )." Now, six later we are faced with a 100 room hotel!

Here are CCC's records from that time:



























As has been confirmed by the Premier's letter, a lease was duly drawn up from the Labor Government of the time. 


Where has the community consultation been all this time?

The CCC meeting agenda noted on 18th of June that 969 letters were sent out to Acton Park residents to seek feedback on Acton Trails and Reserves Activity Plan.

When were you consulted about our Nature Recreation Area??

Please put your opinions on the Rosny Hill Friends Facebook page

Find the full council document

  HERE







































Sunday, 24 June 2018

Blocks to the public right to know

We live in the information age or so we are told. This information age has developed, and continues to develop, barriers to the public’s right to know, at many levels of government and society.




Commonwealth draft legislation that supposedly deals with national security directly threatens journalists and whistle-blowers. Fourteen media organisations have made a joint submission to parliament seeking to ensure journalists are protected. After all, it is their job to unearth material that is in the public interest.

At times, material is simply not available. The Tasmanian Liberal Party produced no details of more that twenty policies prior to the 2018 election. Material may be released to so called ‘stake holders’ as with proposed changes to gun regulations in Tasmania. With guns, everyone is a stakeholder.

Even when material is released, the nature of the information package is central to engaging, or perhaps enraging, the public. Advertisers know this. Todd Sampson, a former Ad man, pointed out the obvious when he stated, on the TV show Gruen: ‘I think that emotion does override rational thought’. This was apparent in the election pokies debate. Members of the public need to ask themselves: ‘How does this information make me feel.’ Emotion can warn against manipulation.

Boredom can be an emotional warning. Large volumes of dry data and a technical style lead to people missing out on key facts and skimming through reports.
Ron Morrison recently questioned modelling carried out prior to the increase of Salmon stocks in Macquarie Harbour. He observed: ‘they had a 1,500-page document that said everything was going to be OK… You give it to the average person and they wouldn’t be able to understand it’.

Spreading fragments of information about a key issue, through a large number of documents, is the most common barrier to getting the ‘big picture’. Hyperlinked documents force interested people to go back and forth between laws, policies, plans, maps, reports, news and social media to build understanding. 

How many of the public have the time and resources to do this? People need to earn an income, care for families, volunteer and engage in recreation, to lead a well-balanced life. Others are struggling to put a roof over their heads or are just making it from payday to payday. What of the aged and those from language backgrounds other than English? Putting fragmented information in the public domain is not enough. Often it will conceal more than it reveals. It needs to be under public scrutiny in a format that uses straightforward language.

The handling of the proposed development on Rosny Hill by Clarence City Council is a classic example of fragmented information. Their website contains a lot of information. The challenge is to find what is needed.



It was 2010 when Rosny Hill was targeted for development.

On it's official website the 2010 strategic plan had the extract shown above.
Did anybody letterbox you?

Dear fellow electors, did you realise it was your job to scrutinise the Clarence City Council Strategic Plans to divine your future? We now know that it is.
Clarence City Council has its official website, which is quite tricky to search and its Facebook Page, which could be described as cheery,  useful for everyday tasks, fluffy and light

In 2011, Clarence City Council produced the Rosny Hill Nature Recreation Area Management Strategy. The community got a hint that the Council wanted development. In a way, there was nothing alarming there because community members and the Landcare group had lobbied for development. Then the council built some trails, that the community loved. Signs too. Were we fooled?
The management strategy had these aims, among many others:

9. Council to explore the market potential for development
consistent with Council’s Planning Scheme and the site’s          🔺
status under the National Parks and Reserve Management
Act 2002.
Moderate-High (priority)
10. The General Manager to pursue any identified
developments in consultation with the State Government.          🔺
Moderate-High (priority)

There was a 'walk and talk" for consultation, but no mass mail out, to all the households of Rosny and Montagu Bay.

To find more information on Rosny Hill, it is necessary to read and cross reference a wide range of documents including: Council minutes, the Clarence City Council Economic Development Plan 2016-2021, Annual Reports, Clarence Strategic Plan 2016-2026, Clarence Cultural History Plan 2018-2023. 

Recreational? No. Boring? At times. Eye opening? Certainly. 

Some weeks ago, a group of Rosny residents received, from Council, the original 2014 Expression of Interest document given to developers four years ago. People have been wondering for years why the proposed resort on Rosny Hill differs so markedly from the ideas expressed in Council’s 2011 management strategy. 

On the 26thof March, 2014 the Mercury reported: ‘The maximum area available for building, 0.7ha, was near the two car parks at the degraded area on the top of the hill but developers could extend their activities beyond that as long as they were sympathetic to the nature reserve, Ald Chipman said.’

Yet we find, on page 7 of the Expression of Interest document:
‘Development proposals outside of the two designated development zones
will also be considered provided the proposal remains sensitive to and
addresses the conservation objectives and constraints of the reserve.’
Yes, the text was in bold.

A development application is expected in days or weeks. The version, seen by the public in 2015, covered not 0.7 hectares but 6.0 hectares. How long will members of the public have to absorb, investigate and respond? How will members of the public negotiate the 494 pages of the Clarence Interim Planning Scheme? This is just one challenge in our information age. It is likely to be repeated across the state. At a time when journalists are under pressure, not just from Commonwealth legislation but also from job cuts, what can members of the public do? Ask questions.  Ask questions of our representatives and persist in questioning them. Ask questions of ourselves when reading, viewing or listening.            Who produced this information and how reliable are they?            What do they want to do to me, or for me, or for themselves, by preparing this information?            How do I feel in response to this?            Why do I feel this way?            Where can I find out more and fact check this issue?            Whose point of view is missing?We now have a chance to share our concerns with Clarence City Council. Write a submission and send it to the General Manager CCC by close of business, 11th of July 2018.Save the date: 17th July 2018 for the Public Meeting at Rosny Bowling Club, at 7pm. 
 Guest Blogger, Denise Hoggan, has tertiary qualifications in Science and a Masters of Education focusing on Literacy. She has a particular interest in Critical Literacy