Saturday, February 13, 2010

New concern for penguins

New concern for penguins

THE Bathers Pavilion at Manly is due to open later this month but the chairman of the Fairlight precinct committee says he can’t get access to the plan of management which outlines how the new restaurant will operate.

Richard Hewitt is also concerned smokers will use the promenade overlooking the harbour - which is a public thoroughfare - and that the little penguins nesting sites nearby will be affected by cigarette butts thrown into the harbour or flicked behind the pavilion. “The plan of management incorporates all the issues that were raised when the development application was approved,” he said. “It’s a key document for policing and liquor licensing. I’m concerned the plan of management has not been thoroughly checked by by council staff and that it has major errors.”

Mr Hewitt said he has been trying for several weeks to view the document “but I’ve got zero response so far”. “It should be a public document and we’d like to see it,” he said. Manly Council general manager Henry Wong said the plan of management was available to anyone who wants to view it.
Mr Hewitt said council staff had thoroughly examined the document and “there some clarifications we need to seek from the applicant before it can be formalised”.

“It’s assessed by us and by the private certifier. If it’s not consistent with the approval, that’s a risk the applicant runs if he doesn’t get it right. It’s not just a council staff issue, the private certifier also has a responsibility.”

Mr Hewitt said the vagueness about where smoking will be allowed leaves the little penguins at risk. “The Manly Independent Assessment Panel (MIAP) required designated smoking areas on the eastern side of the building to stop smokers using the boardwalk or the carpark, but the new plans show a solitary ashtray on the colonnade,” he said. “It’s part of the scenic walkway, so every passerby will share passive smoke. And there’s no barrier to stop butts being thrown into the harbour or smokers sharing their habit with the penguins.”


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