While it is tempting to not let the truth ruin a good story, we fully believe in transparency, honesty and openness.
Some other people running in this election have decided to use fear and misleading information in their campaigns, scaring people into thinking our council isn’t working. Your Northern Beaches Independent Team believe you deserve the truth, so here it is:
Myth 1: The Current Council wasted $13 million on new bins.
Truth: Every single Councillor on the current council voted to proceed with a new waste collection service. It was costing hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to repair or replace old bins.
The $13 milllion had been collected by the three previous councils for this specific use, to engage one collection service for the entire Northern Beaches area. It has also increased our recovery from landfill from 0% to a whopping 40%.
Myth 2: Council Rates have risen unreasonably under the leadership of Mayor Regan.
Truth: It's important to remember that rates are determined by land value which has doubled in many parts of the Northern Beaches – this is beyond the control of the Council.
Rates have risen over the last 4 years in line with inflation - approximately 2% per year and except those in Manly who brought with them a $66 million debt, 76% of residents have received a rate reduction.
Myth 3: Individual Councillors can claim credit for Council projects – some individuals are claiming that they alone are responsible for securing funding for facilities like Surf Clubs or for protecting certain land from development.
Truth: The reality is that any project of council requires a majority of councillors – at least 8 – to agree to a decision – so no individual can take credit.
We are proud that most Council decisions are actually passed unanimously by all Councillors working together.
Myth 4: The current council is pro-development.
Truth: This council regularly votes to oppose any form of overdevelopment, such as the recent plans for Ingleside and many of the planning proposals put forward by developers.
State Government Housing targets have remained the same and it’s important to note that the planning controls and laws for the new Council are identical to those of the three previous councils.
Myth 5: This Council tried to build a “Covid Statue” on Manly Beach.
Truth: In late 2020 the Council considered supporting struggling local artists by calling for expressions of interest for a public art display to capture the community’s response to the Global pandemic. After community consultation, the plan was rejected by Council. That's why we have a council and community consultation measures in place as we explore ideas to help all sectors of our community.
Myth 6: Your Northern Beaches Team aren’t real independents.
Truth: We are a registered political party purely for election day – to compete with the Major political parties. We all vote on individual issues according to our unique beliefs, morals and the people we represent.
We are simply local residents of the Northern Beaches with different passions and ideas wanting to do the best for the people of the Northern Beaches.
Myth 7: That the Mayor wants to cancel the fireworks.
Truth: After community consultation where 25% wanted to explore more environmentally and pet friendly ways to celebrate, Mayor Michael Regan put forward a motion for staff to explore alternatives in 2022. In light of 75% of people saying 'yes' to fireworks, he approved the 3 usual fireworks locations plus an additional one in Frenchs Forest to celebrate after a tough year. That sounds like the opposite of cancelling to us.
If you hear or see any other claims, then please let us know. We are always happy to talk through the big picture (not the conveniently cropped and weirdly manipulated version some people have stooped to) and provide solid, reliable, sensible evidence.
We have safely led the community through the biggest health crisis in a century, as well as steering our community to reach environmental goals well before the State and Federal government made any movement at all. Our Council is in a strong position because of strong leadership and community collaboration.
In a time where misinformation can be dangerous, it is more important than ever to clarify the actual truth.