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Memorials, Plaques and Public Artwork

By Manly Community Forum
Published in Council
June 15, 2024
1 min read

Northern Beaches Council currently has three policies concerning Memorials and Plaques. Although yet to be ‘harmonised’ all three policies essentially have the same intent and processes.

Most recently, in 2019 Northern Beaches Council revoked the former Warringah Council Policy except for paragraph 2.5 which states ‘Memorials and plaques may only be installed on public land or Council’s assets with approval.’ Going on to say… ‘The cost of the plaque/memorial, bench seat and associated infrastructure and/or tree shall be borne by the applicant and in accordance with Council’s adopted fees and charges if applicable. Applications for new memorials or plaques must be made in writing using the appropriate form. The applicant must meet all ongoing maintenance costs of the memorial/plaque including vandalism and theft, and if required the applicant must meet all replacement costs. The memorial/plaque will not be replaced at Council’s expense.’

An application form is available online and the costs outlined in the Northern Beaches Fee and Charges schedule are:

  • Installation of plaque on existing seat each $742.00
  • Installation of Olympic Plaque (Manly) each $1,873.00
  • Installation of plaque and seat each $3,029.00
  • Installation of plaque, seat & concrete slab each $4,995.00

Residents and ratepayers can of course engage with a councillor and seek through a Notice of Motion to get Council to consider installations to celebrate individuals or events with something larger and more artistic than a plaque or bench.

Recently a newly formed local group, called the Tommy Walker Community Group, supported by a Manly Ward Councillor Notice of Motion, were successful in getting Council to resolve at a recent Council meeting that this community group could meet with Council staff and present a concept for a Public Artwork to recognise the contributions of Tommy Walker to the Manly surfing community. From 1911 Tommy would apparently wow crowds in Manly and Yamba alike, with his signature surfing move: surfing upside down while whistling the Tipperary. He was a true showman, larrikin, and embodied much of what Manly’s surf culture continues to be today.

As part of the resolution Council will seek community input on the concept of recognising Tommy Walker and his contribution to Manly by undertaking broad community engagement through a Your Say page. Following the completion of the consultation, the proposed Art work will then be further considered at a Council meeting.


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