City News

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Councillor Darcy Byrne

Woollahra beaches become smoke-free

Woollahra Council and the Cancer Council of NSW have made all beaches in the Woollahra local government area smoke-free.

Woollahra Council voted to enact a smoke-free policy on all of the council’s foreshore. As of October 1, smoking on any Woollahra beaches will be met with a $550 fine.

“This ban will protect beach users from exposure to second-hand smoke, stop children seeing people smoke (which may influence their decision to smoke as adults) and reduce environmental damage from cigarette butt littering,” a council statement read.

“Community attitudes towards smoking have changed. Beaches are a place for relaxation and recreation. We don’t want to see children connecting healthy recreation with the habit of smoking.”

Leichhardt Council officially overhauls planning system

Leichhardt Council has overturned its approach to assessing development applications by replacing councillors with an independent panel.

Until now, councillors have been responsible for assessing and approving any development applications lodged with council. Following the reform, councillors will have no role in this process and instead an independent panel of experts will assess all development applications.

Leichhardt Mayor Rochelle Porteous opposed this reform.

“One of the reasons we were elected is because there’s a trust that we will ably and properly represent our local communities, particularly in planning decisions,” Mayor Porteous told City Hub in June.

Labor councillor and ex-Mayor Darcy Byrne is supportive of the changes.

“This is one of the biggest reforms in the history of Leichhardt Council,” said Cr Byrne.

“For a local government, so renowned for slow processing times, to embrace greater transparency and take the politics out of planning is a huge step forward.”

“This reform has been specifically endorsed by ICAC and is the strongest anti-corruption measure ever adopted by Council.”

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