Read the Mayor’s Message for updates on new recreational facilities and libraries, development of the ambitious coastal walkway from Manly to Palm Beach and big picture issues that affect the Northern Beaches.
Receive the weekly message straight to your inbox.
This week the Northern Beaches police community farewelled Superintendent David Darcy APM, who has served this community over the last 12 years as Commander of the Northern Beaches Police Area.
His commitment to quality policing on the beaches, his integrity and dedication to working closely with community groups and his extraordinary commitment to tackling suicide prevention has been world class. He recognises that community safety does not happen in isolation. Police cannot be responsible for crime prevention alone and we have to work together to be effective. Our Northern Beaches Safety Committee of which Dave Darcy played an integral role epitomises the cooperation and collaboration that ensures that our community remains one of the safest in the country.
I’m sure you will join me in wishing him and his family well as he commences his new life. His vision and his friendship I will personally miss but he has left a strong foundation for policing on the Northern Beaches into the future.
McCarr’s Creek Road has long been a haven for antisocial ‘hoon’ behaviour and quite rightly the residents have had enough. This week after a meeting with the Local Member for Pittwater, the Hon. Rob Stokes, MP, Superintendent Darcy APM, and members of the Bayview Church Point Resident Association we will be proposing a pilot project of establishing point to point speed cameras along this road to address the antisocial behaviour that is affecting the nearby residents along with some other safety measures.
This week Council endorsed Towards 2040, our Local Strategic Planning Statement, which will now make its way to the Greater Sydney Commission for approval. This is a substantial piece of work that has taken a couple of years to prepare and I thank the Council staff, community members and others involved for their enormous effort in preparing the 20-year vision for our local government area – which is our response to the State Government's plan for Greater Sydney.
Finally, next Friday we will be celebrating International Women’s Day. 2020 is about #EachforEqual, and encourages us to work together to drive action for gender parity, whilst also acknowledging and celebrating the many achievements of women. Our International Women’s Day Breakfast at the Manly Pavilion with guest speaker Jessica Rowe AM, is already sold out but head to council’s website for details of other Council and community events.
As we farewell summer I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.
Tuesday night sees Council meeting for the first time in 2020.
There is plenty for my fellow Councillors and I to review and discuss. I am especially looking forward to discussing how Council can appropriately acknowledge and recognise our local emergency service volunteers and the communities that were devastatingly impacted by the recent bushfires.
Another important item on the agenda is the latest draft of Towards 2040, Council’s Local Strategic Planning Statement. This is our response to the Greater Sydney Commission’s broader plan for our ever growing City. I would like to commend our staff, fellow Councillors and the community for the extraordinary work that has been done to prepare this 20-year vision for our area.
As many residents are aware, Council is committed to reducing the number of car trips on the Northern Beaches. To do this, we are building better infrastructure to support alternative forms of transport, such as bike riding. This week we installed double-decker bike racks at Manly Wharf as part of a trial allowing up to 102 bicycles to be securely stored at any one time.
On a normal weekday, over 300 bikes are parked at the wharf, and these new racks provide 60 percent more parking than the older style ones they replaced. We are monitoring their use closely and if they prove to be a good solution, we may install more at Manly and other cycling hot spots across the Beaches.
For those looking for a cultural break, be sure to check out two new exciting exhibitions at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Express Yourself and Bill Leak - Life Drawing, which kick off next Friday 28 February. You will be amazed to discover the depth of artistic talent among our young people on display at Express Yourself. Former cartoonist for The Australian Bill Leak is lesser known for his life drawings but they certainly make for a fascinating exhibition.
Finally, tomorrow afternoon I will be donning my cricket whites at my favourite place Manly Oval for a great cause - a T20 Celebrity Cricket game to fundraise for the Brain Cancer Group. The fun begins at 2pm in what promises to be a family-friendly terrific day. The line-up is very impressive with a mix of Sydney Swans, Sea Eagles and a reality TV star or two.
Have a great weekend
2020. We are not even two months in yet and already it’s a year of extremes. First, we were on high alert facing catastrophic fire conditions and then straight into sandbagging for flood prevention and supporting our emergency services in yet another widespread storm event. This is off the back of huge storms weathered in November 2019, damaging houses and roads and leaving residents without power for extended periods.
It has certainly kept Council crews busy! Last Thursday we readied excavators into our lagoons to prepare for the heavy rainfall predicted across the weekend. Both Manly and Narrabeen Lagoon entrances were opened by late Friday but the large swell and tides leading into Sunday coupled with more than 400mm of rainfall and wind gusts of over 100km per hour still required evacuations for many in the Narrabeen community.
Teams have been at the coal face assisting the emergency services, setting up evacuation centres, attending to more than 850 fallen trees on public land, hundreds of road and drainage repairs and other issues. Since Sunday we have had more than 2,870 calls mostly related to storm damage.
We all heaved a collective sigh of relief when conditions eased on Monday but sadly we had to make the call to cancel our bushfire fundraiser Rock Relief, which should have played today. Brookvale had seen over a third of its annual rainfall in just a few days and with a complex set up and more rain predicted, we couldn’t access the grounds to set up safely or in time, and we couldn’t guarantee the weather would hold out.
It certainly wasn’t a decision we took lightly. We’d raised over $110,000 and expected much more with tickets sales always peaking the week of such an event. A massive thanks to all the artists, supporters and sponsors, staff and our community, who got behind this event.
Our commitment to helping those in bushfire affected communities continues unabated. Next week we have staff heading to Bega Valley Shire Council to back up their exhausted staff and to help in recovery efforts.
In the meantime our focus this week has been on clean up, helping those without power access hot showers and charging facilities and putting arrangements in place to manage excess green waste – please check the website for all the details.
It seems like we are not totally out of the woods yet. We are closely monitoring predictions of high seas and the threat of coastal erosion this weekend and ready to act if needed.
Stay dry and safe!
More incredible footage has come to light this week, showing the extreme circumstances faced by firefighters across the summer. Hundreds of our local RFS crews have been on the front line and continue to back up their fatigued colleagues around NSW.
That’s one of the reasons we are putting on a massive fundraising concert, Rock Relief - to say thanks to these local heroes for their service, and to their families left to hold the fort when they are away.
And if that wasn’t enough to get you interested, in exciting news this week we’ve added Eskimo Joe’s Kav Temperley to the line-up. He will join one of my favourites, The Superjesus’ Sarah Mcleod, to sing for the first time to a live audience a song they co-wrote about the bushfire crisis. Throw in the Hoodoos, Nollsy, Graace and The Choirboys, market stalls and food and beverage trucks and you’ve got the makings of a great day out.
Only seven days now until the big event. If you can’t go, how about buying a ticket or two for someone else? Or for a firey and their family? Seriously, let’s get behind this and show them we care. Get your ticket at beachesrockrelief.com.au
Next week we are launching a new program called 1000 Books Before School. We know that early literacy is the foundation for doing well at school, socialising with others and developing independence so this program is all about providing incentives for kids, and parents, to share the joy of reading. Find out more and register at your local library next week.
Finally, there’s a packed three week program of events and activities on offer for the 2020 Seniors Festival, kicking off Wednesday. Learn tech skills, join a gallery tour or learn how to write your memoirs. Book now.
Have a great weekend!
Fantastic to see so many in our community out celebrating Australia Day at our events last Sunday. A huge welcome to the 174 new residents from 26 countries who became Australians on the day. Seeing the pride and joy on their faces as they take their pledges makes citizen ceremonies one of my favourite roles as Mayor.
Best of luck to the thousands of people taking part in the Sun Run and Cole Classic this weekend. We rescued these events, in partnership with Manly Life Saving Club, late last year so it’s great to see so many locals taking part. See you at the starting line!
The Seniors Festival is fast approaching and there is plenty on offer with author talks, tech and finance information sessions, walking tours, music and even a grandkids miniature pony show. The festival runs 12 – 29 February.
And don’t miss out on tickets for what I’m told is the biggest fundraising concert ever held on the Northern Beaches. It’s an opportunity for us to come together, say thanks to local firefighters and support those in drought and fire affected areas. It’s a top line up with Hoodoo Gurus, Shannon Noll, Christine Anu and many more, food and beverage stalls and even some activities for the kids. Stay tuned as we announce some exciting additions to the line up over the coming week. Get your tickets online now.
Finally, if you haven’t caught up with the incredible locals who took out the 2020 Northern Beaches Australia Day awards, check out the list, you might just know someone. They are all ages, come from all walks of life and all embody the generous and giving spirit of great Australians.
Have a great weekend!
I’m thrilled we are hosting Rock Relief, a huge benefit concert right here on the Beaches. On Saturday 15 February, top Australian bands including headliners Hoodoo Gurus, will perform at Brookie Oval to raise funds for those impacted by drought and bushfires. Grab your tickets to this all ages gig now and help us raise $1million for those in need.
Congratulations to Ben Tory, 2020 Northern Beaches Citizen of the Year, awarded at our Australia Day Awards ceremony this week. A paramedic, Ben gives thousands of hours each year to emergency services such as SES, RFS, St John Ambulance and Team Rubicon, spending any spare time volunteering in the community.
Our 2020 Senior Citizen of the Year, Helen Hendry, is just as deserving, dedicating her time to easing the end of life journey for many in palliative care and their families.
Eleven-year-old Dia MacNamara, 2020 Young Citizen of the Year, is already making a difference, establishing a school collection of plastic bottle lids which are then made into prosthetic limbs.
Incredible young Collaroy gymnast Chloe Trisic was crowned 2020 Sportsperson of the Year. A national and international champion, Chloe is an exceptional role model to other young gymnasts.
Arts for Wellness was named 2020 Community Event of the Year, coordinating events attended by over 500 people provided by more than 30 local practitioners during Mental Health Month.
Our 2020 Outstanding Community Service Awards recognised a group of truly outstanding locals who have dedicated their time to others. This deserving group includes long-term volunteer lifesavers, firefighters, scout leaders, and individuals supporting people with disability, young people, the homeless and protecting the environment. Congratulations to all.
Have a great long weekend. Hope you can make it to one of the big events we are hosting alongside our community tomorrow for Australia Day. All of the details are on our website.
Have a great weekend!
I have been sincerely moved this week to see the generous response of the Australian people to the devastating bushfires and ongoing drought.
I am in awe of how our community has found ways to help others at this time. Council is also doing its bit to help the bushfire recovery effort in various ways.
We are donating all profits from the Sun Run on Saturday 1 February to WIRES. Runners can make an additional donation at the time of registration, so if you haven’t already registered jump online and please dig deep.
Throughout our summer events including Christmas concerts, New Years Eve and last weekend’s popular Outdoor Cinema, we have been working with Rotary and the RFS who together have collected almost $9,000 in community donations.
Council, along with staff also supported Avalon Surf Life Saving Club’s appeal by donating essential supplies like ventilation masks and air mattresses, along with 168,000 litres of drinking water that was delivered to a dozen families on the south coast.
Over the holiday period, we also had the privilege of hosting four families from drought-affected Mullaley, just west of our sister city Gunnedah, at Manly Beach. Royal Far West, along with some of our generous local businesses and Council, helped these families have a few days respite from their tough lives.
We all welcome the sweet relief of rain and cooler temperatures that finally paid us a visit this week.
Still, with water supplies in Sydney at such a low, Council is also working with Sydney Water in a bid to help residents and businesses reduce our water use. Find out how you can do your bit at Sydney Water’s website.
Entrants will get a chance to take part in workshops, perform on stage to an audience and gain local exposure for their talents. There are also lots of prizes up for grabs with a total prize pool of $10,000. Entries are open now and close 14 February. The competition runs in March with finals in April, as part of National Youth Week. I encourage all our young bands to give it a shot.
Have a great weekend!
Happy new year! I hope you were able to have some quality time with family and friends over the holiday period and enjoy plenty of the great things that make the Northern Beaches so special over summer.
Thanks to Council staff, hospitality workers, health and emergency services and the many others who kept the place going while so many took their annual break.
And of course all our thanks goes to the many volunteers who also gave up their holiday time to fight the devastating fires we saw ravage much of the state during this time.
Our local district rural fire brigades have sent crews and trucks to parts of NSW every day since the beginning of August.
At our Council meeting just before Christmas, we resolved to call on the government to make sure no volunteers would be out of pocket due to their efforts. It’s good to see there is some action being taken to address this issue at the federal level.
We are continuing to make sure any RFS volunteers who are also employed at Council are not financially disadvantaged or their annual leave entitlements impacted while they are on the fire line. It’s time the Local Government Award was reviewed to see how all councils can better support volunteers in these kinds of emergencies.
More broadly I’ve witnessed incredible generosity and support from across our community all wanting to do their bit to help.
I’ve seen kids selling cupcakes on the street, people asking that money for birthday presents instead be directed to welfare agencies and bushfire supply collections coordinated. It’s fantastic to see such big-heartedness on show.
We are also supporting the fundraising efforts. We facilitated collections by Rotary at the New Year’s Eve event in Manly and the RFS will be collecting at our open air cinema at Brookvale Oval tonight. We’ll also donate any profits from the Sun Run to agencies working on the recovery efforts.
In the meantime we are being told that the best way everyone can help is still through cash donations to organisations like the Red Cross, St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army.
Have a great weekend.
As this is the last message of the year, it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate some of the milestones of 2019.
One thing I’m very proud of is seeing the masterplan come together at Lionel Watts. It’s been transformed into a real community hub.
The Narrabeen overwater boardwalk completed last month is also a great achievement of our amalgamated Council, seeing through the vision of local residents like Jim Somerville and others.
The Coast Walk is coming together piece by piece, with more sections complete along this spectacular 36km pathway. And the new Cargo Wharf at Church Point was also completed back in January.
Surf clubs across the area have been upgraded and huge improvements have been made to facilities at Collaroy Beach, North Narra Rockpool, North Harbour Reserve, Manly Dam and Melwood Oval, plus a new sports facility launched at Rat Park.
Our community services team has also done some great work this year, leading a coordinated approach to suicide prevention across the Northern Beaches.
And I’m pleased our advocacy saw some much needed changes to regulations on boarding houses to prevent the massive overdevelopment we saw happening in our suburbs.
While we had some inevitable hiccups with the rollout of our new waste service, we now have an integrated service, saving most residents money.
I simply can’t cover the array of other incredible events, exhibitions and workshops we’ve hosted; the great work done in our planning, child care, customer service, parks, transport, compliance, environment and library teams. Everyone at Council is committed to our community and many will be on deck as the rest of us take a break over the holiday period.
Please everyone, have a safe and happy Christmas. I look forward to doing much more together in 2020.
We all know the drought is hitting hard and as a Council we have been looking at how we can help those in need. This week I received a particular request from the Mayor of our sister city in western NSW, Gunnedah. Mayor Chaffey asked me to spread the word about the #buyfromthebush initiative, encouraging us all to support businesses in regional areas in the lead up to Christmas. Of course as Northern Beaches Mayor I’d always say shop local, but in this circumstance what a difference we could make if we also all bought something from a business in a drought-affected area. There is a list of Gunnedah’s participating outlets available on our website.
Can I also encourage interested community members to nominate for one of our Strategic Reference Groups. We greatly value the input of these groups in steering our priorities and now have a number of vacancies to fill for 2020. The role is not onerous, meeting once a quarter, but provides an invaluable resource for us to share ideas and seek advice.
We are looking for representatives in the community, tourism and tech sectors, volunteer organisations and those in community transport, among others. Nominations close Sunday 5 January.
Congratulations to teenager Jordyn Richards who took out the top prize at Northern Composure Unplugged last weekend, and to all the competing finalists. Our Dee Why Council Chambers have never sounded so good.
Have a good weekend.