Presentation by Richard Fisher of Mossy Point to Council Feb 27th 2018
RECREATION AND OPEN SPACE STRATEGY Thank you Mayor, thank you Councillors. I am Richard Fisher of Mossy Point. I'd like to talk about the Mossy Point Anchor Lookout, so called because there's an anchor monument there. After Mossy Point was developed in the 1930s, for over 70 years the Anchor Lookout area was pretty well barren. Before development, lightning strike bushfires burned through there two to four times each century. Over the last 25 years the perimeter of the Anchor Lookout precinct has become overrun with casuarinas, and the invasive Sydney Pittostorum, which is not native to this area. The inside portion is kept clear by regular council mowing. From the start the lookout was a core element of the Mossy Point culture. In response to the traffic there, in the 1970s or 1980s council sealed the 350 metres of roadway. Views were of the Tomaga River, coastline to the north and south, whales, dolphins, yachts, fishing boats, cliffs, headlands and waves breaking on the rocks. These stunning views, visible on foot and many from within a vehicle, were the envy of other NSW communities. Sadly, they are now mostly blocked by walls of vegetation. A general meeting of the Broulee Mossy Point Community Association agreed to a proposal to Council for four ten-metre viewing windows on the ocean side, made by enlarging the two existing windows and creating two more, all up totalling about 40 metres out of the 280 metres of the wall of vegetation. That's under 15 percent, so 85% left. Council staff responded with a request for an on-site meeting to discuss. But before that discussion, the Association's committee overturned the general meeting's decision, and for the ocean side proposed only enlarging one existing window by about 2 and a half metres to seven metres, and a cleared one metre zig-zag path through the trees to the cliff edge. Council staff professionally completed that work. Minutes of the Association's next general meeting include 'view to Broulee Island in front of bollards opened up, but other vegetation retained giving wind protection from different directions.' I expect that Councillors are aware that most of the shire's beaches don't have wind protection, yet people flock to them, so the wind excuse is quite absurd. People don't wait until it's windy and then go to a lookout to get out of the wind. They go to see the views. In the last council election at Broulee polling booth The Greens and the greenish Community Voice Eurobodalla attracted less than 38% of the votes between them, in other words 62% did not vote for them. I would alert councillors that any views expressed by the dictatorial and extreme green upper echelons of the Broulee Mossy Point Community Association can certainly be quite contrary to the sentiments and the values of the broader local community. Turning to the ROSS Report, it includes at page 24, paraphrased: 'The community’s ... six key values ... include ... appreciation of the natural setting.' and also: 'The following directions are seen as fundamental: (Item 4) Outdoor recreation −− maintain landscape and scenic views such as headland lookouts.' One suggestion made in respect of rehabilitation of the lookout was that some trees could be 'bare trunk' pruned. I have emailed to councillors a photo of an example. I expect that Mr Sharp and his team could conduct a site inspection, and produce in an hour or so a 'broad brush' plan with a 'ball park' dollar cost for again making this lookout stunning. Pruning would take a good outdoors work gang of four less than a day, even if twice as many windows were made. If Councillors adopt the Report your options seem to be: Option A - to pretend that you don't know what the word 'lookout' means, and to maintain the remains of what used to be a stunning lookout; or Option B - to meet the Strategic Plan and properly maintain the Anchor Lookout so that substantial views are there for both pedestrians, and those less fortunate who can't readily hop out of the car and walk to the edge to watch the whales. I ask that you take this latter course of action. With regard to those who can't readily hop out of a car, which could be us or our family and friends before too long, councillors have in the past committed to making the shire a friendly place for disabled and less abled persons. So I'm not really asking for anything new. Thank you Mayor, thank you Councillors.