Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Another update on Go Ape and Council … sort of

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Council has heard from the Go Ape developer; he has advised Council that he will be writing to  them in the near future.

So this is news of the no-news variety ;)

We did, however, want to let you know that we continue to keep in touch with Council and that the wheels continue to grind slowly.

Progress report on what’s happening with Council and Go Ape

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Council wrote to the Go Ape applicant in September, expressing Council’s (and
our) concerns about the proposal. The applicant replied on 7 October, asking for
30 days to respond to those concerns.

So, it’s still a waiting game. Given the 30 day response time, it will probably
be the first week or two in November before there is any more news. I’ll harrass
Adam Dean at Council around that time :)


A new struggle against Go Ape in the UK at Itchen Valley Country Park

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

The latest people to have to fight Go Ape are The Friends of Itchen Valley Country Park, which is near Southampton in the UK.

“Brand new Go Ape Drumming Workshops in the heart of Britain’s most beautiful forests “

Monday, October 19th, 2009

This YouTube video was posted by Go Ape themselves! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear that resonating across Bidjigal Reserve?

I wonder how many of Go Ape’s planning applications in the UK mentioned drumming workshops for 50 people. Or did their DA’s also say, “No power is used, so no noise is created”?

Bidjigal Reserve and Go Ape in the news again

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Page 3 of the Hills Shire Times this week carries a story about the Lands Department urging the Bidjigal Reserve Trust Board to reconsider its decision not to proceed with the Go Ape proposal. Lands (or The Land and Property Management Authority, as it now is) appears to be making this recommendation based purely on the Go Ape DA, without any consideration of the proposal’s many, many shortcomings, or of the objections received by Council.

We are still waiting on the next stage of the DA process, as outlined in Michael’s What’s Next? post. We should have news from Council by early next week – we hope!


Go Ape at it again in Lever Park

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

It seems Go Ape at Lever Park in the UK are ignoring their stated opening times and number of participants.

What’s next?

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

“Whats next……” I hear you cry?

An excellent question and one that deserved an answer before now – apologies for not doing this earlier.

Without rewriting the Hills Shire Council webpage on the DA process the next stage of the process will be that the notes from the “conciliation meeting” will be sent to all those parties who registered on the night – providing of course your handwriting is legible – we’ll post them here as soon as we get them and they’re expected about now.  It’s important to remember these are “notes” only, not minutes and have no legal or binding status.  Council have been provided copies of all of our speeches plus other submissions on the night plus have all of our collective submissions on file.  Parallel to this the Developer will be advised of the issues raised on the night.

Council basically has 3 levels fpr determination of DA’s;

  • Under Delegated Authority (standard stuff that meets the guidelines, basic renos, carports, signage etc)
  • Council’s Development Assessment Unit (DAU) meeting. Development applications determined by the DAU are those which do not comply with the relevant planning regulations/ policies, and/or where an objection has been submitted.
  • Ordinary Meeting of the Council. Development applications determined by the elected Council are those of a controversial nature that may have been referred by the DAU or attracted a large volume of objections.

Obviously this DA will go to the DAU – the DAU may choose one/any/many of 4 basic options;

      1. Deny consent in total. Developer can challenge in Land & Environment Court.
      2. Grant consent in total – DA as submitted.
      3. Grant consent subject to conditions/terms.
      4. Refer the matter directly to a council meeting.

The minutes and applicable decisions of the DAU (Tuesday morning closed meeting) are published and Councillors have a limited timeframe to decide whether to refer the matter to a council meeting or not depending on the DAU decision.  We need to be ready to lobby councillors QUICKLY should the decision be against us, ie 2, 3 or 4 as above.  It’s highly likely however, given the “interest” generated that this will go straight to council.  It’s imperative that we have a good showing at any meeting, normal BRAG rules apply – no uncontrolled emotion, swearing, yelling or handguns.

Once we know what the determination of DA is the next challenge for us will be the lobbying of Council [and other parties] to get the Reserve rezoned or protected under the current zoning  – we will all need to meet to discuss a strategy further down the track.

Please keep visiting the website for updates and if you haven’t already done so, register your details via the contacts page.  Please ask any questions you may have and any suggestions, news, views etc always welcome.


Front page

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

The proposed Go Ape development in Ted Horwood and Bidjigal Reserves is front-page in this week’s Hills Shire Times, with more on Page 4. Only two of the three stories have text links at the moment:

Adventure lost

Action group goes ape and calls for action

There is a third story, “Applicant defends report”, about the noise report. You can find this story on page 4 of the electronic version.

In case anyone is interested, I have also uploaded the letter to the editor which I sent to the Hills Shire Times, refuting some of the claims made in the article. I also sent an annotated version, which goes into rather more detail and is complete with illustrations!

Michelle’s Letter to the editor

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Michelle Cavanagh has had a letter to the editor published in the Hills Shire Times of 8 September 2009.

2009-09-08 Michelle letter

Special Thanks

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

To the anonymous resident from George Muir Close who left the envelope in my letterbox:-

Thank you for your note, it was equally uplifting, unexpected and appreciated.  Your gift has gone to the intended recipients who also pass on their thanks.