A Title Search of Merewether Beachfront reveals that Sailor’s Rock Pty Ltd does not have a lease of land Lot 100 DP1130581 for the proposal in DA No: 08/1741.
You will recall that Newcastle Council in an effort to avoid responsibility for the restoration of the Surf House transferred the land to the Minister for Lands. The Movement is concerned that Council wrongly approved the development as a restoration/redevelopment of Surf House when clearly the proposal was an alienation of a Public Reserve dedicated for Public Recreation. Also the DA was inconsistent with the terms of the Deed of Conveyance of the land from the Merewether family.
The Trustees of the will of Edward Christopher Merewether transferred most of the Merewether beachfront to the Merewether Council in 1930 (Deed No 944 Book 1617). The Deed binds Council and its successors and assigns at all times to use and maintain the land as a public park or public reserve and not permit it to be used for any other purpose whatsoever.
The Minister for Lands now holds the title for this land as Public Reserve No. 56681 and is required to honour the Deed of Conveyance and consider the proper restoration of the Beach Pavilion.
The letter above was sent to all Councillors last weekend.
We had a FOI request into Council June 2008 but was not determined until 9 Nov 2009 (even then it was very much blanked out so much for transparency!)
However, we were able to establish that the Deed of Agreement between Sailors Rock P/t was signed by GM Lindy Hyam and Lord Mayor and Keith Stronach & Stan Panteleos in September 2008.
No lease had been registered up until last Wednesday therefore at this stage (last Wednesday) there is no Lease by any company or person.
The Transfer of the Merewether Land to the Minister was made by the Council on the 21 st August 2008 as a gift under Sec 134 of the Crown Lands Act 1989 under the signature of the GM and Lord Mayor.
On the 25th of September 2008 the Newcastle Council was made a Trustee of the gifted land. (Council was already the Trustee of the Baths area)
The Crown holds the Title and Council has been made Trustee for the public. So what was Community Land under the LG Act is now Crown Land and Plans of Management are no longer obligatory.
You must wonder what this is all about as we do.
Clearly Sailors Rock P/L has not taken up the Lease?
What Guarantees did Sailors Rock give to honour the Merewether Family Deed of Transfer to be offered a lease?
We hope that they were made because of the condition imposed by the Deed of Transfer from the Merewether Family in 1930. But we do not know.
The public interest has been left out of this matter since Newcastle Council began doing deals.
Enclosed is information about the building which is just a simple little building and could have been restored to its simple form donkey years ago.
Alienation of Public Land for sectional use has always been a problem in Public Park Management but has taken on a new drive by this Government.
Alienation of Public Parkland should be for a reasonable term 21 Years (No Bank would lend you funds for a commercial venture for such a long time).
Development in Public Reserves dedicated for Public Recreation must only be for uses that improve the public recreation and the test is, “what is the public access that is being served”?
The Merewether Beach Pavilion when it was in use was a public facility serving the recreational amenity of the beach area.
We are still waiting for answers?
Merewether covenant must be honoured
Parks and Playgrounds Movement believe that the Newcastle Council has dishonoured the legal covenant with the trustees of the will of Edward Christopher Merewether who gave most of the valuable Merewether beachfront property we now enjoy, to the Merewether Council in 1930. (Registered Deed No 944 Book 1617)
The covenant binds the Council and its successors and assigns at all times to use and maintain the land as a park or public reserve and not permit it to be used for any other purpose whatsoever.
Newcastle Council in its effort to avoid its responsibilities at Surf House transferred the land to the Minister for Lands as a consolidation of Land Title. It then encouraged and approved a commercial DA for the land which was clearly a denial of its responsibility under the covenant. Council claimed the development as restoration/redevelopment of Surf House when it was really alienation of a Public Reserve for private uses.
Parks and Playgrounds Movement endeavoured to reveal the truth by requesting freedom of information but our efforts were frustrated.
We call on the Newcastle Council and the Minister to honour the Merewether Covenant of 1930.
President of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement
A Freeman of the City of Newcastle