Elements of Ku-ring-gai Council (KMC) are trying to rush this change through while ignoring common sense and due diligence on traffic and environmental impacts. The PoM and the amendment process appears rushed, opaque and full of confused misinformation.
- KMC are downplaying the very real impacts in the draft netball traffic study done in August 2017 (ask Council to see the Lyle Marshall & Partners draft traffic report) and are now pushing a rushed process to pass the PoM amendment.
- The draft traffic study has many deficiencies and cannot accurately inform the KMC, the community and Comenarra Pkwy and Kissing Point Rd commuters to assess the development to install netball lights at Canoon Rd. To date no action has been taken to address the inadequacies and under reporting in the traffic study. It is critical a precinct wide traffic study is done before any further commitments to increase capacity at Canoon Rd as promised in the 2015 PoM (see the Action Plan on page 38 action number 18).
- Council have a netball traffic study from 2005 which to date has not been released. One can only assume the 2015 traffic study concludes the local road infrastructure cannot cope with continued expansion of netball capacity at Canoon Rd. If there is nothing to hide why not release the 2005 traffic study in the interests of a transparent Public Exhibition process?
- During the B2/3 lands development community consultation in 2008/2009 KMC knocked back an option for an additional football (soccer) field in South Turramurra due to traffic concerns. KMC seems to think it reasonable to knock back a soccer pitch with capacity for 22 players on the grounds of traffic impact and then approve expanded usage of a netball facility with capacity for 210 players. When asked for supporting documentation on the 2008/2009 decision KMC responds with …”sorry can’t find them”.
Why the lack of transparency? Why deliberately try to belittle impacts on the community? Why withhold or delay the very instruments required for an adequately informed development process?
This opaque rushed process is totally unacceptable and is certainly not representing the interests of South Turramurra residents and commuters on Comenarra Pkwy and Kissing Point Rd. KMC needs to serve the community while supporting sporting bodies, but it appears impact on the community is being flagrantly ignored.
In 2015 KMC agreed to establish the Canoon Rd Recreation Area Consultative Committee which included 3 Council officers, 3 KNA representatives and 3 local residents. The intended spirit of this Committee was that of collaboration, consensus and to strengthen community bonds.
During the Ordinary Meetings of Council on 14th Nov 2017 the Canoon Rd Consultative Committee was unceremoniously disbanded as the residents were accused of being obstructionist and delaying the process. Some Councillors appear to be either misinformed or deliberately misled, at times branding the residents with delays of 2.5 years even though KMC only convened the first committee meeting in Nov 2016.
KMC convened the first Consultative Committee in Nov 2016 and the second meeting in Jun 2017. KMC disbanded the Committee on 14 Nov 2017 after just 3 more meetings.
The residents merely tried to keep the negotiations within the parameters of the 2015 PoM guidelines and requested a traffic study for an informed decision on a development with such high traffic impact.
Interestingly, disbanding the Consultative Committee was not long after KMC’s General Manager’s directive (thank you GM) to stay within the 2015 PoM guidelines and the release of the draft traffic study outcomes not suiting the KNA. Hardly a reason to disband the Consultative Committee and deny the residents participation in a collaborative & consensus process.
Disbanding the Consultative Committee demonstrated a lack of regard for the local residents and devalued attempts by other members of KMC to promote a collaborative consensus process between the KNA and residents to strengthen community bonds.
For those interested, the details of the Consultative Committee proceedings are captured below.
The residents on the Consultative Committee requested just 2 things:
1. Stay within the 2015 PoM guidelines
That the Ku-ring-gai Netball Association (KNA) stay within the guidelines of the 2015 PoM and deliver the promised relief from Saturday traffic congestion as documented in the 2015 PoM. KNA representatives on the committee from the start pushed for netball lights way beyond the limits of the 2015 PoM guidelines (page 40 point 39) and their own promises.
The KNA didn’t like the rules of the game so they wanted to make up their own rules, not a great sporting example and it erodes trust.
The 2015 PoM allowed for netball under lights Thursdays and/or Fridays from 5:00pm to 7:30pm, however, the KNA were unrelenting in their quest for training Mondays to Thursdays 4:30pm to 9:00pm which didn’t remove any traffic from Saturday traffic congestion. The KNA eventually conceded, moving one age group to Thursday night but persisted with Mon-Wed training. This chain of events is documented in the Consultative Committee meeting minutes. The residents asked that the KNA play by the rules and stick within the 2015 PoM guidelines. This issue came to a head in August when the Consultative Committee was given a directive from the KMC General Manager to stay within the PoM guidelines (yay for the referee). Unfortunately the KNA overreacted to the referee’s decision and have lobbied selected Councillors to rush this PoM amendment through. Not a great sporting message…”if you don’t like playing by the rules then lean on the referee“. This chain of events has trashed what was meant to be a collaborative consensus process to strengthen community bonds.
2. That KMC commission a netball traffic study
The residents requested a traffic study to make an informed decision on such a high impact development. It appears one person’s common sense is another person’s obstructionism. After resistance from the KNA (as documented in the Consultative Committee minutes) a study was finally commissioned. The draft traffic study was released in August 2017. Despite it’s deficiencies and under reporting the traffic study strongly advised against any netball on Thursday/Friday weeknights due to the traffic impact during the evening peak commuter hours. So this put the 2015 PoM between a rock and hard place – it was only possible to deliver minor Saturday traffic relief by degrading weeknight traffic flows.
In response to this impasse the KMC (after KNA’s lobbying) have chosen to rush through a PoM amendment to further increase netball night light usage from 2 to 4 weeknights while failing to deliver any meaningful relief from Saturday traffic congestion. This represents another example of the KNA constantly intensifying the usage of the Canoon Rd Recreation Area despite assurances to contrary. The number of broken promises rises again.
It is in this context the residents have been charged with delays and being obstructionist during Consultative Committee proceedings. This is unjust and offensive to the residents and erodes confidence in the process.