Community members made it clear to the NSW Government that funding for public transport, roads and hospitals are the major priorities for the Northern Beaches at the recent NSW 2021 Regional Action Plan Community Forum hosted by Health Minister and Local MP, Jillian Skinner.

“We heard loud and clear that transport and health continue to be rated as the top two priorities for residents,” said Jean Hay, SHOROC President and Mayor of Manly.

SHOROC has made a formal submission to Premier O’Farrell seeking to ensure that the NSW 2021 Northern Beaches Regional Action Plan heeds the call of the community and councils to invest in the transport and health infrastructure of the region.

The recent submission from SHOROC, a partnership of Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah councils, is based on the regional Shaping Our Future strategy adopted by all four councils after significant analysis of the major issues for the region now and for the future.

The major priorities outlined in the submission are:

  • Immediate construction of the level 5 Northern Beaches Hospital at Frenchs Forest while maintaining and upgrading Mona Vale Hospital in a long term complementary role.
  • Constructing a Bus Rapid Transit system for fast reliable public transport from Mona Vale to the city and from Dee Why to Chatswood.
  • Road upgrades for Warringah Road particularly the intersections with Wakehurst Parkway and Forest Way, for Mona Vale Road and for the Wakehurst Parkway.

In addition, SHOROC suggests regional priorities for growing the economy, particularly the support of local business, protecting the environment and supporting more liveable communities.  The community also spoke about these priorities as being most important at the Forum.

The strong link between transport and landuse planning in the SHOROC region suggests the Mosman Council area should also be included in the Northern Beaches Regional Action Plan.

“We were very pleased to see the NSW Government has included health and transport issues in the draft Action Plan, including confirming that the Northern Beaches Hospital construction will start in 2013, that Mona Vale Hospital will be retained, and investigating feasibility of a Bus Rapid Transit system”, said Mayor Hay.

“It’s vital the NSW Government takes the next steps and commits in the Northern Beaches Regional Action Plan to constructing the public transport and road infrastructure the community is calling for”.

The SHOROC submission can be downloaded for more information.

The NSW Government has said a final Regional Action Plan for the Northern Beaches will be released in mid-2012. Residents are encouraged to have their say at the NSW Government’s NSW 2021 website

Health Minister Jillian Skinner address the Commuinity Forum. Image courtesy the Manly Daily.