Central Coast Council has apologised for a photo that appeared to show two flags flying from one flagpole outside council chambers at Wyong.
“It is noted a photograph of the Wyong Administration Building used within various media platforms appeared to contradict the protocols proposed, however all flags flown in this location were, and will remain aligned to the adopted policy protocols,” Council said.
“The illusion of two flags flown on the same flagpole was a result of the angle from which the photograph was taken, and Council apologises for any confusion or concern this may have caused. This will be rectified in future images.”
Council says it is responsible for the care and control of a range of flagpoles and banner infrastructure across the Local Government Area (LGA).
“Council manages a range of official flag poles, located within and adjacent to the Council Chambers and Administration building, and select Council managed community facilities and open space sites,” a report into flag and banner policies to the October 11 meeting stated.
“These flag poles are for official and national flags to be flown and their administration is guided by State and Federal Government protocols.
“Additionally, Council manages a variety of street banner infrastructure, both vertical street banners within key town centres, and horizontal banner stands in prominent locations across the LGA.
“Many of these street banners are located in highly visible areas and as such are desirable locations for promotional purposes.
“Within eight of the region’s major town centres, Ausgrid are the asset owner of the street lighting that support the banner hanging infrastructure, while the banner hanging infrastructure is managed by Council in adherence to Ausgrid’s policies and procedures.”
That’s the background to the report that is expected to see the Administrator adopt the policies for flag flying and banner hanging at the October 11 meeting.
Council officers have investigated options for the installation of flag poles within the Umina CBD to provide opportunities for national flags to be flown in accordance with Council’s policy.
These investigations included a possible site for the installation of a flagpole on the corner of West Street and Oscar Street, however significant underground services render that location problematic, Council said.
Further investigations identified multiple flagpoles and a dedicated space suitable for ceremonies and small events which could be included within the redevelopment of the Umina Recreation Precinct.
“Initial consultation undertaken with the Central Coast District Council of RSL Sub Branches indicates this option would be widely supported, providing an
opportunity for residents to be included in ceremonies held by Ettalong, Woy Woy and Hardy’s Bay RSL Sub Branches, as well as be of great value for other local organisations on the Peninsular to utilise throughout the year,” Council said.
In response to feedback regarding the events and activities promoted on the vertical town centre street banners, Council will establish an annual calendar identifying what has been approved to be displayed in each location and this information will be constantly updated and available on the Council website.
The flag kerfuffle blew up when the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce wanted permission to fly Australian flags as banners on light poles as there were no no flag poles in the Umina Beach retail centre.
Council was accused of refusing to fly the national flag.
“This is a misconception of the purpose and premise of the Street Banner Policy and the Flying of Flags policy,” Council said.
“Council currently does and will continue to fly official and national flags on all appropriate infrastructure, including outside the Wyong Administration Building and within Chambers.
“Council will continue to support appropriate requests to fly national or official flags on open space and community facility assets provided specific flagpole infrastructure is available.”