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Council meeting results on WSN Tip site

hawkeye's picture

By hawkeye - Posted on 27 April 2010

Good news about the proposed plan for the WSN tip site in Belrose:

We had four speakers in favour of the mountain bike trails option (Option 3) for the WSN site, including the local State member for the Belrose area, and a resident who has nothing to do with mountain bikes but wants to see the site utilised well.

After an amendment by Councillor Conny Harris in favour of Option 3, councillors overruled staff's recommendation and voted in support of Option 3 unanimously. Further, they committed Council to be actively involved to keep things moving forward for mountain bikers, and to pursue additional funding opportunities from State Government. The exact wording will be available on Council's site in a couple of days.

Now, I have a very important job for you all:

One of the Councillors buttonholed me prior to the vote expressing resentment over the fact that they got 411 emails telling them what idiots they were over the Manly Dam fiasco (which I'd add was staff's doing, not theirs) but they only got 4 emails expressing thanks.

I think that's a bit rough too, and have to confess I wasn't one of the four. So could you please email councillors and the Mayor thanking them for their support. Like us, they are human and like to be appreciated when they do the right thing:,,,,,,,,,

daveh's picture

A good result so far and thank you to you, hawkeye, for attending on all our behalf. I did email Councillors Laugesen and De Luca but must admit that I did not email all those that I originally emailed requesting their support. I think it is rough if anyone called the councillors idiots, play the ball not the player.

pikey's picture

was one of the four!

Disappointing .................! given the effort that went into the protest Sad

But good news on the tip site Smiling

hawkeye's picture

Without you it would have been three - how embarassing!

obmal's picture

In my case that's because banning walkers from the dam is a most terrible solution to a problem that really never was, are they now seeking a pat on the back for that??... ok thanks.. idiots?

Fatboy's picture

That's a pretty poor effort not thanking the Councillors for saving our dam access as we came within a bees dick of losing it. The Councillors definitely did the right thing by the mountain bikers following our 400+ complaints and I can confirm they were very appreciative when they did receive 'thank you' emails from those of us that bothered.

I suggest an appropriate show of thanks now would be to all chip in a couple of dollars and provide a NobMob cake & coffee spread at their next Councillors meeting? I'm assuming probity would prevent them accepting gifts as such so this may be a nice token of our appreciation. Thoughts?

herzog's picture


O's picture

When it was all resolved I really didn't think they'd want another 400 e-mails thanking them, that was honestly the only reason I didn't send a thanks. I started typing one and considered another round of e-mails (and no doubt replies) and thought better of it. Seems some Councillors have enough spare time to wade through that many e-mails...

obmal's picture

To be fair, a few of them deserved thanks for their efforts, not the actual decision, although being at the meeting and observing the entertaining but frustrating antics of the councilors; I can see that they were forced into a corner and why they ended up voting that way.
I'll be sure to remember who's who in the zoo when I next vote, because that's the real thanks they deserve.

Anyhow thanks Hawkeye, for attending last nights meeting and pushing the MTB cause and its good to see that the council voted unanimously in favor of option 3, thanks for that!

hawkeye's picture

I also sent thanks to the three councillors who did the most work on reversing the Dam closure, and I've since done a bit of lobbying and letter writing on their behalf on other issues.

The councillor who complained last night said that there didn't need to be 411 thankyou emails, but a few more would have been nice. I take on board obmals comments about banning walkers being far from ideal, and you'll remember my comments to that effect in the Manly Daily a couple of days later. However, I think it's a good idea to "catch people doing what's right" and give praise where it's due, and they did re-open the trail and commit to deal with us in good faith.

Thankyou emails could have taken the form of "thanks for reopening the trails to us. We'd now like you to explore ways of doing so in a way that allows pedestrians to share them with us, as we believe the liability issue has been grossly overstated."

Last night's vote was a demonstraton of that good faith. Conny Harris was the architect of the amendment and deserves special mention. Perhaps a separate email to her only thanking her for taking leadership on it might be appropriate.

Rob's picture

Well, I sent this on March 30. Note the first line is thanks, the rest might not be so welcome Eye-wink

Dear Councillors,

It's been some time since the Manly Dam PoM problem came to light, and I thank you for your swift action in re-opening the trail to bikes.

However, what hasn't changed is the fact that the Manly Dam bike track needs plenty of care to keep it in good condition for all users.

As far as I'm aware, the last volunteer maintenance day there for bike riders was back in March 2008[1] which is way too long. Prior to this date there were regular volunteer days to keep the mountain bike track in order. These were well attended and the community is keen to continue this work. I have been asking the rangers at the Dam for at least a year[2] if we can please help keep the track in order, but every time I do this am simply fobbed off with, "We'll be doing something in the next few months", but that 'something' never happens.

What makes things even more frustrating is the fact that council members and staff clearly have no objection to the principle of
volunteer work as it's common knowledge that bush regen. workers regularly attend the Dam. They even work on or beside the track that mountain bike riders use and sometimes without the supervision of council staff.

May I please ask that you do whatever it takes to have regular (at least once a month) volunteer days re-instated at Manly Dam.

For the record - the ideal outcome would be to allow IMBA trained volunteers work without supervision on any mountain bike track in the area. This is what happens in other trail areas around the world and is proven to work well.


Robin Rainton


FWIW, this received one reply and later a letter confirming that maintenance days will be looked at only as part of the PoM review.

I'm slightly worried that the PoM review, although supposedly a priority, will get overlooked and therefore there will be no maintenance for a long time. This leads to further worry that left with a track in a state of dis-repair, staff may well try and close it again, but this time cite safety issues (that could have been addressed by maintenance but weren't because of PoM delay).

Needless to say it that does happen council can bank on a huge uproar again and you would hope they realised the danger of risking such actions and changed policy appropriately to avoid it (eg. let volunteers maintain the track prior to full PoM review being completed).

loki's picture

Interesting reply just received to a thank you sent this morning:

Hope this will help to also protect our bushland from further onslaugther of new trails and would really appreciate a cooperatve approach regarding the "compliance management" in that respect.....

herzog's picture

"Onslaughter"? That's harsh. And perhaps a freudian slip.

In my experience Moutain Bikers have a far greater appreciation of the natural environment that most others in the community.

We make excellent custodians of the bush, given an opportunity.

We are also the responsible eyes and ears in the remote parts of the bush, where the rangers rarely get to, since they don't like to get out of their landcruisers!

Dibbler's picture

MP O’Dea rubbishes WSN tip plan
I'm not sure if I am reading it right but there appears to be some opposition to the plan

Rob's picture

O'Dea is opposed to passive recreation alone (ie. he'd like to see MTB and horse trails).

Noel's picture

thanks sent:

"Just a quick note to say I am so happy we are fortunate enough to be allowed to ride all the way around Manly Dam.

Thank you. I'll plant a tree for you this Saturday!"

Pants's picture

Last nights result is such good news for our community. Pity we will have to wait till 2016 to be able to ride on the trails.

hawkeye's picture

Given that things really do take that long (the wheels of bureaucracy turn very slowly), it makes it all the more vital that we have to get things moving now, otherwise it will never happen.

Just think ... deferred gratification... Smiling

CB's picture

Sent a short email to councillors to express thanks.


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