February 2009 Newsletter

  • Council Votes $5 Million Towards Land Purchase
  • Registration of the Society
  • Update on the Court Case

Happy New Year! I hope 2009 is going well for you all. Here’s an update on what’s happening with the Society.

Council Votes $5 Million Towards Land Purchase

Late last year we asked the North Shore City Council to contribute towards the purchase of 4.8 hectares (11.9 acres) of land on Aw aruku Ridge in Long Bay. After months of discussion and three Council meetings attended by hundreds of members, we got a result! North Shore City pledged $5 million towards the purchase of the land. The Council resolved:

  1. That the Long Bay-Okura Great Park Society be strongly encouraged to establish a Trust to undertake fundraising and negotiate a sale and purchase agreement with Landco for an area of their land (approximately 4.8 hectares located adjacent to the heritage protection area, as indicated in red on the attachment) and that this Council recommends to LBOGPS, that such a Trust:
    • comprise eminent people (a mix of business, legal and environmental) whose reputations will be known not just locally, but preferably regionally or nationally;
    • carry out fundraising endeavours across a range of possibilities including charitable and business funding sources, Lottery Board, other government sources and the ARC; and
    • tap the apparent widespread public support through a public fundraising scheme.
  2. That this Council undertake to conditionally support these endeavours where appropriate, and contribute a maximum amount of $5 million if the Trust obtains the balance of the purchase price.

Other conditions relating to the Trust’s formation and other legal issues were also included in the resolution.

Now that we have the Council’s support, we have commissioned a full commercial valuation. This is a major exercise that has taken the valuer several weeks so far and will not be finished for at least another fortnight!

We are also working on forming the trust. This willbe much easier now that we have Council alongside!

Registration of the Society

More good news! The Long Bay – Okura Great Park Society is now officially registered as a charity under the new legislation. The new rules placed much stricter requirements on what organisations could and could not be considered a charity and required all non-profit organisations to reapply for charitable status. It’s taken nearly a year since we applied to the Charities Commission, but they have come back and said everything’s fine. What a relief!

Update on the Court Case

There was a big rush and heaps (and I mean heaps!) of meetings in the run up to the end of November last year as Council had to submit a draft map for the new Structure Plan to the Court. Once this was done, things settled down for Christmas as everyone involved (Council, ARC, Landco, OEG, Historic Place s Trust, and us) took a wellearned and very necessary break. Unfortunately that’s over far too soon and we are about to get back into the next phase where we tie down all the loose ends and (hopefully) agree on the Structure Plan text. Council have to give this to the Court at the end of March. In the event that we can’t all agree on matters, we have another month to submit our views to the court and if the judge wants any more information, it’ll be back to Court in May or June to hammer outthe last bits two years after the Court hearings began in 2007 and more than three years after we submitted our appeal.

It’s been a long trip, not just these last few years, but the decade before as well, and I’d like to thank you all for your unwavering support to the vision of protecting Long Bay for future generations.

Best Wishes,
Fiona and the Great Park Team

Print version LBOGPS February 2009 newsletter [114KB PDF]