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Website last updated: Monday 20 September 2021

 * September Newsletter available
 * Important information about upcoming SHIRA issues


September 2021 Newsletter OUT NOW -  AVAILABLE in FULL COLOUR  here...
 
2021 AGM has been CANCELLED - COVID-19 has completely stopped our 2021 AGM... here...
 
Climate Change & Council - Check it out here... TO BE A MAJOR ISSUE THIS YEAR
  
OUR Island Bridge update - see "Our Island Bridge" page to find out what's happening.
     
Greening St Huberts - Council's plans to "re-afforest" the Island here...

Meeting Minutes and MORE - here...
 
Print a Map of the Island! -  here...
 
Print a Map of Brisbane Water (and Terrigal Haven) - here...

Instant Notices...

  • Sunday November 7 - 11am St Hubert's Day Annual Family BBQ at Long Arm Park - Info is coming - CANCELLED

St Huberts Island Residents Association FACEBOOK page Facebook - See us on Facebook here.

2016 Plan of Management for the Maintenance of St Huberts Island Canals

What's Happened...

Following, in reverse chronological order, are the various items of information provided to the Island Community by this website, our Facebook page, Island Association member emails, The Island News newsletter and other communication methods. 


 

Central Coast Council management of their canals on St Huberts seems to be a "lost cause"?
SHIRA hasn't given up! - August 2021

Just noticed... there is no link to the "FINAL" Plan of Management for the Island's canal maintenance as delivered to the new Central Coast Council in late 2017. CCC was led by Mayor Jane Smith after the amalgamation with Wyong Shire Council under instructions from the then Liberal NSW Government, and was a part of this process. It is below... or here.

As mentioned below, SHIRA had considerable back-and-forth communication and face-to-face contact with Department Heads and the Mayor until the final 9 October 2018 email from the Mayor simply attaching the final Consultants report to SHIRA, as her response to our issues.
Then 34 days later (12 November 2018) we received an email from Council completely TRASHING the whole GHD Report saying in part... 

So...  Central Coast Council thinks their Waterways and Coastal Protection Unit consider a study and report by an experienced, renown and expert Consultant group is "not sound".
As referred to in the above extract, to date there is no mention of an "Island Handbook" to (sort of) replace the Consultants Study.

In the meantime SHIRA continues to pepper CCC with email requests for information on what they are going to do about maintenance of their canals.
We have to "pepper" because as CCC goes through all its ructions over finacianing, reportedly borrowing 100s of millions of dollars over two loans, a 45%+ increase in rates for Islanders, and continual changes of staffing and responsibilities as we deal with firstly one voted-in Council, and then two NSW Government appointed Administrators, our emails get constantly moved to other people.

The latest, and seemingly the last (but not for SHIRA!), is the Council's determination on our canals that arrived by email:

From recent inspections the canals do not require dredging. Council has not had navigation complaints. Indeed the navigation channels around the island appear significantly shallower than the canals.

Note that stability of the seawalls in front of each property is the responsibility of each landowner. Given that most of these seawalls have been in place for over 30 years then many are likely to be beyond the end of their useful life and require replacement, especially if they have not been maintained.

As previously mentioned, residents are allowed to scrape the foreshore in front of their properties; but not by machine, given the likely presence of acid sulphate soils at 0.5m depth and below, which exposed is likely to result in a fish kill event. Council cannot control the type of sediment on the foreshore, most of which is silty sand. In some areas it will be finer and some areas coarser.

If sand is imported in then it is likely to be washed into the canals, which may restrict safe navigation within the canals. So I cannot see any management action other than minor beach scraping.

 

The 2016/2017 GHD Consultants final "Guide for Management St Huberts Island Canals - May 2017" (6MB PDF)


 

Concern with implementing the Plan of Management - February to December 2018

The GHD created Plan of Management was carried out under the control of the previous Gosford City Council.

When the new Central Coast Council formed, we though "things" would continue to progress - but nothing happened, particularly when the Council officer in charge of implementing the plan was moved to the Wyong Office of CCC, and given a new role there (and no-one seemed to take over his Gosford Office role).

In mid-February 2018 a meeting was requested with the new CCC Mayor, Jane Smith and SHIRA to discuss various issues. There was still no response by late March regarding these issues. An early July meeting was then setup by the Mayor and held between the Mayor,   other senior Council officers, and the senior officers of the St Huberts Island Residents Association Inc.

For various reasons it did not go smoothly. After considerably shortening the agreed meeting time, the Council officers present professed no knowledge of the POM, and that a Council controlled fund holding the accumulating annual Licence fees paid by Pontoon owners even existed. Gosford Council collected and held this money with the purpose of funding future maintenance of the Canals. Interest accrued by this fund was also added to the fund.

Several other significant issues were raised with the Council officers at this meeting.

After many months of waiting for a response from the Mayor to the meeting SHIRA held with her, we have had the following email regarding the Plan of Management for the Island. 

This will require a new meeting with Peter Ham to further discuss the issues raised. 

See the latest concerning document received from CCC...

 


 

GHD Consultants & Central Coast Council @ September General Meeting - 15 September 2016

The Canal Plan Of Management was the topic for the Guest Speakers at this General Meeting.

The guests were - 

  • Craig Dengate - GHD Consultants
  • Edward Rowe - GHD Consultants
  • Tim Macdonald - Environmental Planner, Central Coast Council
  • Chris Drinan - Project Development Engineer, Central Coast Council

Chris Drinan is a Project Development Engineer at the new Central Coast Council, and he has been put in control of the development and possibly the implementation of the new Plan Of Management for the Canals on the Island.

Council has engaged GHD Consultants to develop this Plan Of Management. They have experience with similar “canal” type developments including those at Port Macquarie.

The brief GHD presentation and much longer Q&A with attending residents has been videoed,  and will be placed here when edited down and converted for web distribution.

 


 Canal Survey Completed - 30 July 2016

 

See the full Survey Report (as sent to Council and GHD Consultants) here - a 4.9MB, 18 page PDF...

 


 Canal Survey Update - Monday 18 July

One more week to go before the Survey submission closes - on the 25th of July.

AND... we need more...

The current count is:
* Total submitted to date = 48 of approx 529 residences
* Canal Blocks = 31 of a possible 275
* Dry Blocks = 8 of a possible 160
* Outside Blocks = 7 of a possible 85
* Canal/Outside Blocks = 2 of a possible 9 (these are blocks on points which appear to have both canal and outside frontages)

We need input from ALL ISLAND RESIDENTS - the Island "belongs" to all of us.

See your Survey options below.


 The RESIDENT CANAL SURVEY has been delivered to your letterbox.

It also includes an Island Residents Association membership form for new or renewal membership.

 

This Survey was devised by the Council appointed consultant - GHD - as a St Huberts Island community consultation on the care, maintenance and repair of the canals of the Island.

WOULD ALL ISLAND RESIDENTS please complete and return it.

We want ALL ISLANDERS to contribute, as the canals contribute significantly to make the Island what it is and why we live here.

Some important links follow -

• The Council's Consultancy Brief for the proposed Plan Of Management (POM) for the canals.
   This is considered essential reading for the completion of the Survey.

• A PDF of the Survey that arrived in your letterbox.
   Yours may be damaged, wet, lost etc, so you can reprint it.

• The online "Survey Monkey" version of the Survey.
   This link was emailed to those residents who provided their email address to the Association's Secretary
   at secretary@sthubertsisland.nsw.au.

• The Facebook notification of the Survey's arrival.

• The main CANALS page on this website.

 

Survey Summary

The canals are of major importance for all the residents of the Island. Whether you live on a canal, fish in their waters, kayak, swim, boat or just enjoy the views from different parts of the Island, the canals make the Island what it is.

For more than 20 years successive committees of the Residents Association have worked with the local council to prepare a Plan of Management (POM) for the canals and tried to have these plans activated.
Council has now appointed a consultancy firm to move forward with a plan that will provide direction as to how we look after the canals - your survey responses will contribute to this implementation.

The aim is to provide a POM to enable residents and Council to conduct maintenance activities including dredging within the canals. The POM will allow activities to protect and restore foreshores, seawalls and canal depths in a manner that will not affect the hydraulic, sedimentary or ecological processes occurring within the canals, foreshores and Brisbane Water.

The POM will also specify the minimum requirements for seawalls and boat ramps when they are constructed, replaced or repaired.

Whether you rent or own, we are all invited to participate in the discussion on how to look after this most valuable asset and what are the most important aspects that you feel need to be protected and enhanced.

You are asked to participate in the Survey which is attached here in writing, or on the Island’s website, or located on Survey Monkey, or emailed to you.

 

What’s in the Survey

Seven key areas have been identified for addressing through the Plan Of Management (POM). Council and GHD Consultants would like feedback as to the relevance of each of these key areas, and to determine other areas the residents would like to see addressed in the POM.

We consider it essential that you read the Council’s “Consultancy Brief” for the POM project. It is an eight page PDF document, making it too large to include here. This document is accessible here, or you can request a printed copy of this document from secretary@sthubertsisland.nsw.au

 


Central Coast Council

Consultancy Brief for the Plan Of Management St Huberts Island Drainage Reserves (Canals) 

 

See the Consultancy Brief document here - a 205 kB PDF file. The links in the PDF document are live - you can click on them.

 


[From 2016 June The Island News newsletter... "Island Canal Report"]

 Island Canals Report 

 Plan Of Management (POM) for Island Canals 

After many years of pressure from the Association and a long wait, Central Coast Council has appointed a consultant to begin planning the (long overdue) maintenance of our canals. Canal pontoon owning residents have paid into a Council Canal Maintenance fund for the benefit of all canal residents for many years. It is possible this fund has enough in it to start the POM process.

Central Coast Council has engaged GHD to prepare a POM for the St Huberts Island Drainage Reserves (canals).

The purpose of the POM is to produce a set of guidelines, standards, approval pathways and/or minimum requirements for the management of the canals.

The Association will be closely involved with collecting and compiling resident inputs, and reviews of the Draft and Final POM.

At the General Meeting, proposed questions from GHD will be discussed, if we get them in time. As soon as we receive them, we will distribute these discussion questions to residents ASAP by email, website, Facebook and letterbox drop.

KEEP WATCHING... and come to the Meeting!

 


 [From 2016 June The Island News newsletter... "NOTIFICATION of the June General Meeting"]

 JUNE GENERAL Meeting 

BIG DISCUSSION ON CANAL MAINTENANCE

A Plan Of Management for the maintenance of our Canals is happening.

The newly engaged consultant - “GHD” - is beginning their Community Consultation phase at this meeting.

Several questions should be provided by GHD in time for the Association Members to discuss at this Meeting. 

Components to be included within the scope of the study are -

  • Canal depths and sedimentation levels 
  • Foreshore management 
  • Shoreline erosion/accretion 
  • Seawalls
  • Boat ramps
  • Pontoons and associated walkways
  • Wrack (seaweed/seagrass) accumulation.

Our responses will be relayed to GDH so they can begin the draft plan phase.