Letters to the Tawny Frogmouth: Issue 1, Dec 2020
Please don’t tell me these lovely homes, such as 25 Pittwater Road Manly, are up for development now? More apartments? According to Council, the majority of the existing dwelling house is retained, recognising its heritage significance, but the new building at the rear of the site will be physically separated by only 3 METRES(!!) from the existing dwelling. Ummmm.... what about privacy and noise concerns??? Plus, to top it all off, on the ground level, the new building provides 6 car spaces with access from Kangaroo Lane. So, what about existing residents and all the complaints about traffic management right now??
North Head Burns to Ash
October 17, NPWS commenced a hazard reduction burn at North Head, a date coinciding with the appearance of spring wildflowers and the nesting season for local bird life. What started as a planned 8.7Ha burn was fanned by 20-30kmh north easterly winds, becoming out of control, and burning roughly 52Ha of North Head bush. The blaze finally burnt itself out around Fairfax lookout when the wind shifted to a more favourable direction. Excluding Quarantine station, almost 50% of North Head bushland has been burnt in the last few months in hazard reduction burns that have gotten out of control or reignited.
This burn was originally planned to start at the south edge of the treatment works and be contained at the old stone wall several hundred meters to the south. The fire, fanned by the strong north easterly winds, rapidly burned through the proposed burn area to the point
of planned containment. The fire was so strong that it jumped the stone wall and proceeded to burn uncontrolled towards the south, in bushland that could only be defended by helicopters. As the fire continued to burn, the focus of containment was centred on the Big Brother House with guests scheduled to arrive that afternoon.
The following day news reports stated the fire was “pretty much contained” and that hazard burning “does have risks”. The fact the fire covered 700% more than the planned burn, destroyed the Fairfax lookout bushland and half of the park’s fauna and flora wasn’t mentioned. Also not mentioned, why was this burn allowed to proceed on a day when it was clear temperatures would be high and winds would be strong?
If this devastation were arson it would be met with community outrage. Instead it’s covered up. The damaged areas of North Head are now inaccessible. We’ve lost 52 Ha of bushland, native animals, and one of Sydney’s most important tourist sites has been destroyed in what appears a preventable tragedy had better judgement prevailed.
Jim Buda, Fairlight
The Tawny invites the people of the Beaches to send in letters to firstname.lastname@example.org