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Waverley Council last week agreed to extend the deadline on community submissions for the Bondi Pavilion Conservation and Upgrade Plan until Sunday, 13th of March 2016.


This decision springs from community feedback delivered at a Meet the Mayor event earlier this month where an explanatory session on the plan - which involves extensive restoration of the building and the construction of a new theatre and park area - unexpectedly turned into a formal meeting.


Residents of Bondi in attendance urged Mayor Sally Betts to extend the deadline beyond the original date of the 28th of February, claiming it simply wasn’t enough time for “proper consultation” on the fate of the National and State Heritage-listed Pavilion.


These claims were reiterated by a community address at the council meeting, with a local resident adding that “more details [should] be put forward so we can make an informed decision.”


While Greens Cr. Dominic Kanak and former mayor Labor Cr. John Wakefield delivered passionate speeches in support of a series of diminishing deadline extensions, they were consistently defeated by a unanimous block vote of Liberal councillors, holding majority.


“We’re dealing with one of the most significant assets this council owns… one of the most significant assets in the country,” Cr. Wakefield argued.

Cr. Wakefield also issued a number of scathing denunciations against Mayor Sally Betts, accusing her of “throwing some crumbs to the public” with the two-week extension and bemoaning the move as “political” and “PR spin”.


Cr. Wakefield’s speeches provoked a supportive response from the gallery, with attendant Bondi residents alternately clamouring for better representation of their interests and heckling the mayor and council. When it became clear that no further extension was forthcoming, most residents left in frustration.


Other defeated motions concerning the Bondi Pavilion Project included a push for a community consultation with the heritage architects undertaking the reconstruction, the acceptance of a petition pushing for a deadline extension, and an itemised listing of what the $38m allocated to the project would be spent on.


Waverley Council did, however, agree to put a square-metre breakdown of the space and its intended usage online.


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