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Bays' board pays tribute

Bays' board pays tribute

At its December meeting, the East Coast Bays Community Board praised the forward-thinking of a past local authority which invested heavily in buying coastal parkland along the eastern bays.

Board members paid tribute to the former East Coast Bays City Council for acquiring properties along Manly Esplanade to create the recently extended Browns Bays Beachfront Reserve.

Board chairperson Sally Cargill says the Bays' councillors from the 1950s through to the late '80s showed foresight and determination, and deserve praise from today's ratepayers.

"It took guts to hike rates, take out loans and sell other investments such as airport funds to secure beachfront properties at market prices," Ms Cargill says.

The Browns Bay Beachfront Reserve started to take shape in the mid 1950s when the council bought the first of 23 properties it would acquire before East Coast Bays was amalgamated with other councils to become part of North Shore City in 1989.

The current North Shore City Council recently bought an elusive 1169 sq m site to ensure the reserve would stretch all along the popular beach. This has been the latest in a series of coastal parkland acquisitions by the council which has proven its commitment to securing open space for the public.

The story of how the Browns Bay Beachfront Reserve has been funded over the years is interesting, says Sally Cargill.

"In the early days, we used only money raised through rates to buy the properties as they came on the market.

"We funded other acquisitions by using the interest we got from our old airport shares.

"And in 1987 - in response to a petition from local residents - councillors polled the East Coast Bays community to see whether they wanted them to raise a special loan to buy another property. In February 1988, they borrowed half a million dollars and bought 4 Manly Esplanade from the reserve trust fund," she says.

The East Coast Bays Community Board also includes Don Blayney, Joy Brett, David Cooper and councillors Gary Holmes, Julia Parfitt and Peter White.

© Scoop Media

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