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Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc. congratulates Bayside City Council for its decision at its meeting on 17th May 2004 to preserve the present quality of the treed public road verge in Holding Street, just east of High Street. That verge of indigenous coastal trees is part of the distinctive character for which Beaumaris has long been noted (Item 64 of Council Committee Agenda 17th May 2004). The rejection of the sale was supported by 7 of the 9 councillors. Only Crs Ken Beadle and Alex del Porto voted for the land to be sold.

REMNANT BUSH IS CRITICAL TO BEAUMARIS CHARACTER: BCS Inc. and very many Bayside residents strongly believe there is great value in retaining all of the relatively few remaining examples of indigenous Beaumaris treed road verges freely and fully visible and open to the public in the way they have always been. That ambience has long been recognized as a major appeal of Beaumaris. For those on the bus route from Sandringham railway station, Holding Street is the approach way to the Keys Street business centre, whose car park was well renovated after Bayside City Council took note of BCS concerns.

Intensive development has largely overwhelmed the original natural character of Beaumaris. Opportunities to hold on to tangible, visible and secure evidence of the character that gave Beaumaris its original distinctiveness and attractivemess are fast disappearing. Keeping this 50 metre narrow strip of treed roadside verge public, unfenced and truly a part of the public domain, has great benefit to the image of Beaumaris, and will attest to its past, present and future appeal. 

Indigenous Trees on and near the part of the Holding Street Nature Strip, at the corner of
High Street, Beaumaris, that
Bayside City Council proposes to sell to three adjoining landowners

PUBLIC RIGHT TO ROADSIDE AMENITY SHOULD PREVAIL OVER PRIVATE EXPANSION: Adjacent private property owners should only be offered public land if there is absolutely no public justification for its retention. There is sound justification for unfenced public amenity continuing in this landmark case. The new, narrower width would be below the width of most road verges in Beaumaris. 

FINANCIAL ASPECTS: The conditions on the proposed Section 173 agreement appear to be largely for show as they impose no greater burden on the proposed owners than would apply if they had always owned the land, or if those conditions were not specifically included. A development setback from Holding Street would surely be at least the width of the subject land, and there are numerous examples of 2 m high fences throughout Beaumaris. 

We note that the heavily discounted sale price would short-change the public. BCS Inc. recognizes that Council might be reluctant to retain the land, but that should not prevent it from at least holding out for a better deal by requiring the full market price. That option should be given a fair trial, as the municipality has no urgent need of the 50 cents per citizen that the present bargain price represents. 

Council has been told of the increased annual rate revenue that extra private land will produce, but it has not been told of the greater sacrifice of annual capital gain (exempt from capital gains tax) for Council that a sale will entail. 


Adrian Cerbasi 
President, Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc. 

cc. All Bayside City Councillors, Bayside Leader