Quiet afternoon on Pittwater near Thyra Road
What a year it has been. If you remember last Easter we were in strict lockdown – allowed to exercise as long as we kept moving. Public seating, BBQs, picnic areas were taped up, numbers in parks restricted, shops and restaurants closed with only takeaway open. We couldn’t travel. It was a fearful, anxious time.
Thankfully things are almost back to “normal ” and we can enjoy the Easter activities we have planned.
PBWBA has been liaising with Council regarding traffic and parking preparation for anticipated crowds at Easter. We remind residents and visitors of the 40km speed limit from Nabilla Road north past the Wharf. Parking time limits and restrictions will be enforced. Police have indicated they will be very active, in marked and unmarked cars during the holiday period as will Council Compliance Officers.
We recently received correspondence from A/Inspector Troy Delaney Northern Sydney Sector
Traffic North Command (which includes, North Shore, Kuring-Gai and the Northern Beaches) in response to concerns from one of our members who lives in Barrenjoey Road.
Extract follows –
“We had some fantastic results over the past two nights in the Northern Sydney Sector during our high visibility operation.
Over 15 drink driver, 10 drug driver, 166 infringements issued and 21 parking fines and numerous defects issued to hoon drivers/cars.
This operation is proposed again for next month.
I have also implemented an additional night vehicle on Mondays to target Palm Beach as you indicated.
Let the locals know we are trying different things as we go along.”
NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL COMMUNITY SAFETY COMMITTEE
Function: To act in an advisory role to Northern Beaches Council to collaborate, consider and advise Council on ways to maintain, improve, resolve and progress issues that impact on community safety, crime prevention across the Northern Beaches.
This committee meets six times per year and advises Council on community safety and crime prevention on the Northern Beaches, including:
- Security of open spaces and public areas, lighting, transport and event safety
- Community safety and crime reduction, prevention and detection initiatives
- Alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour
- Local crime hot spots and areas of community concern
- Relevant grant funding applications
- Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan
- Agenda on Council website.
URBAN DARK SKY
Original submission to Council November 2020
PBWBA has recently written to Council objecting to the Urban Night Sky Proposal being considered by the Northern Beaches Council (NBC) in Governor Phillip Park (GPP)
Despite a recent presentation for the proposal being made to the Committee our concerns were not satisfied and many questions still remain unanswered. The line between scientific investigation and commercial opportunism seems to be totally blurred.
It seems that the Night Sky project is, to begin with, designed for places where there is no possibility to view the stars without modifying existing lights coming from houses/buildings. This is not the case for its implementation in GPP. There’s hardly light flow which presents a problem, comparable to more densely populated urban areas where this is the case. The night sky from Barrenjoey and GPP is already spectacular.
The proposal seems to be a thinly disguised initiative meant to advance commercial interests with little benefit to the community but rather cost impost on the existing businesses in the park and on ratepayers.
We believe the Council should focus instead on its responsibility to maintain the GPP properly. PBWBA has repeatedly pointed to areas of concern.
Alternative sites should be explored by NBC for the Urban Dark Sky. Indeed, as indicated on the Council’s own Facebook page recently, for some years the Northern Suburbs Astronomical Society (NSAS) has been successfully running publicly available observation nights at JJ Melbourne Hills Memorial Reserve Terrey Hills.
This location ticks so many boxes.
We believe Governor Phillip Park and Barrenjoey Headland are not appropriate sites for the Urban Night Sky proposal.
We cannot support this project and neither should Council.
DRAFT AVALON PLACE PLAN
Avalon Beach Village is, for our members, their local shopping, amenities and service centre. They greatly value its casual, informal atmosphere, its pedestrian-friendly nature and the various facilities it provides. Like many people, they really treasure what the Plan calls the “distinctive style ” difficult to define until it is damaged.
We strongly encourage residents to “have your say ” via the NBC website. The Association’s submission is only counted as ONE submission so it is vital that everyone has a say – even just one or two thoughtful sentences!
The draft Avalon Beach Place Plan is available to view in full at Council’s Your Say website. The Avalon Preservation Association have placed a window display in an empty shopfront next to the florist at 55 Old Barrenjoey Road.
The Place Plan is intended to form the basis of a master plan for changes within 400m of the Avalon village centre and assumes a one percent decline in population between 2018 and 2036.
The Place Plan establishes a vision to guide decision making which is, “A relaxed, peaceful and vibrant coastal village, embracing and nurturing the natural environment, celebrating creativity and community connection. ”
The Guiding Principles provide an acceptable framework for the detailed proposals that follow but do not mention the context of the population profile of the catchment area. Importantly this comprises above Sydney average proportions of seniors and younger families with children (and, most likely, dogs)
OMISSIONS ZONING & BUILT ENVIRONMENT & ECONOMY
The Plan does not attach sufficient importance to 9 (i) preservation of the existing zoning and height limits; (ii) the built environment which provides the stage on which the local culture develops and the (iii) the importance and fragility of the local economy which does not exist just for the benefit of the locals but also to provide an added attraction for, and service to, visitors to this beautiful part of Sydney.
We are very concerned about the proposed construction of cycleways in Avalon Pde and Old Barrenjoey Rd and have worked with Avalon Preservation Association on an alternative proposal which is also on display.
PBWBA Avalon Place Plan Precis of Main Recommendations is on the website.
We have structured our comments around the three precincts defined in the Plan and have sought to deal succinctly with the more important issues, rather than deal with every single element of the Plan.
Proposed bike lane Avalon Parade
PALM BEACH COMMUNITY FIRE UNIT
Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has given approval for this area to have a Community Fire Unit (CFU). The unit would be a background support and will not be part of the Fire Service.
This new unit needs members to complete 4 e-learning modules before FRNSW can allocate a trailer and resources to our area.
PITTWATER ENVIRONMENTAL FOUNDATION
PEF was established in 2006 to provide an avenue for supporters to provide donations, grants and bequests to conserve and enhance the natural environment of Pittwater.
Despite Council amalgamation, the Pittwater in the PEF title still refers to the former Pittwated Council LGA.
Living on the edge of a city places huge stresses on our natural landscape. The bushland that surrounds Pittwater is an outstanding natural feature of the area. Much of it pre-dates European settlement. Within Pittwater remnant forest reserves soften the lines of our urban spaces creating a lush relaxed environment. Both areas, however, are subject to encroachment, illegal clearing, weed invasion, feral animals, altered drainage, bushfire hazard reduction requirements and other edge effects.
HERE & THERE & BITS & PIECES
Westpac Bank Avalon Beach will cease trading on 7th May 2021.
ROAD SAFETY AVALON PUBLIC SCHOOL
The Council Road Safety Officer has provided extra support re bicycle riding after a recent accident.
JOHNNY CARTER POOL PLAQUE
The plaque and interpretative signage has been approved and an appropriate location chosen by the family. Installation should take place in mid April.
View from the Wharf to Gov Phillip Park walkway
HERMINIE’S LANDING “PLAQUE “
Artwork and liaison with the family is underway. Installation should take place before the end of June.
Vegetation has been trimmed at Observation Point by Council so that views can continue to be enjoyed by everyone.
FOOTPATH OUTSIDE PALM BEACH WINE CO
The broken kerb near the mailbox will be repaired. Review of the condition of the footpath surface in this commercial area is to be undertaken by Council staff.
EXTENSION OF OCEAN BEACH PATHWAY TOWARDS WILTSHIRE PARK
Technical drawings are being prepared.
NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL RATES HARMONISATION.
Council is required by the NSW Government to harmonise the rating structure of the former Manly, Pittwater and Warringah Councils by 1 July 2021.
Harmonising rates will enable a fairer and more equitable approach to rates collection.
At the last Council Meeting on 23rd March 2021, Council adopted the methodology for Rates Harmonisation and acknowledged the process is to be implemented by 1 July 2021.
It also endorsed the harmonisation of the Stormwater Management Service Charge, Pensioner Rates & Charges and Concession Policy and Hardship Policy.
SAND POINT BOAT RAMP REMEDIATION WORK
This work will not be an extension of the ramp, rather remediation only. To be done in winter.
COUNCIL SHOP FRONT OFFICE IN AVALON COMMUNITY CENTRE
Currently closed as it is used by NSW Health for admin for Covid test site in Avalon Pde.
A three week celebration 13 – 30 April
Every year Council coordinates the Northern Beaches Seniors Festival, with a program of activities focusing on health and mental stimulation, food and nutrition, multicultural and intergenerational relationships, technology, accommodation and local service options.
The festival program aims to encourage over 60s to connect with their community and develop new skills and interests.
As part of the program Council will be coordinating two Meet Your Local Seniors Groups mini expos where you’ll be able to find a group especially for you at:
Northern Beaches PCYC, Dee Why, on Friday 16 April, and
Mona Vale Memorial Hall on Friday 23 April.
Avalon Computer Pals
Avalon Computer Pals (AVPALS) helps seniors learn and improve their computer and technology skills. Avpals is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers. Since 2000, they have helped thousands of seniors from complete beginners to people who need to improve or update their skills. They offer “one to one ” personal tuition or special short courses. Small class workshops are run at the Newport Community Centre on Tuesday afternoons.
TECH SAVVY SENIORS WEBSITE
Tech Savvy Seniors is a partnership between the NSW Government and Telstra, providing free or low cost technology training to seniors through NSW public libraries and community colleges.
The program aims to help seniors with little or no digital experience develop skills and confidence in using technology for socialising, accessing services or conducting personal business. Training is fun and hands-on, and includes basic introductory courses on using computers, tablets, smart phones, the internet, email and social media.
Training is offered in public libraries free of charge in English and other languages.
The Tech Savvy Seniors website also contains a great range of ‘self-teach’ videos and free digital literacy training resources available to make it easy to learn at your own pace to develop your digital skills from the comfort of your home.
AVALON HISTORICAL SOCIETY
A photographic Exhibition is planned for the October Long weekend.
AHS would appreciate any photos of Whale Beach for their archives as they are few and far between!
Business chambers join forces, becoming ‘better together’
Mona Vale, Avalon and Palm Beach and Newport chambers are merging to form Peninsula Business, a larger chamber providing broader representation for members.
AVALON CREATIVE SPACE
The Avalon Workshop is found on the lower floor of the Avalon Golf Club building. The newly renovated facility offers a space for local artists to work and explore their creative potential.
The main workspace opens out to the natural aspect of Avalon Golf Course. The large, naturally ventilated space can be configured in different ways, with easily moveable furniture and flexible layouts to allow for classes, talks or different uses of the space.
A second workspace has been specially configured as a digital media workspace with power and high speed internet connections available in the workspaces.
An artist studio is also available in the Workshop which is offered to local artists under a Council administered program called Northern Beaches Artist Studios which allows artists to hire affordable studio spaces.
Northern Beaches based Katika Schultz is the first artist who will be using the Avalon studio.
The Avalon Workshop is a creative space for the whole community and is available to hire for workshops, studio practice, artistic collaborations, arts activations and talks.
Spaces can be booked at Council’s website.
WAKEHURST PARKWAY FLOOD MITIGATION
Northern Beaches Council will be seeking community views on a study into options for reducing flooding on the Wakehurst Parkway between Sydney Sports Academy and Oxford Falls.
The Study will be released following confirmation that the NSW Government has made funding available towards the delivery of some of the options outlined in the document.
Council will only take up the funding offer under a number of conditions, including community support for the project. The issues are complex.
The feasibility study is expected to be available for community input in May.
Wakehurst Parkway was closed again recently during the heavy rain that drenched NSW.
5G Small Cells
There is some concern, disquiet and confusion within the Community regarding the installation of small cell ((Radiocommunications Facility) in several locations in Palm Beach and Whale Beach.
Of particular concern is the latest proposal which is 200 metres from the Palm Beach Kindy (with a similar proposal by Optus last year which did not proceed) and other peoples homes and businesses in the immediate vicinity.
Community Consultation is almost non-existent. We have requested a review of the current standards in Australia as they relate to increasing numbers of Base Stations Towers and Small Cell installations in our area and have met with our Federal Member Jason Falinski to discuss.
“HAVE YOUR SAY ” – RESILIENT NORTHERN BEACHES
Northern Beaches Council is conducting a community survey on resilience.
The past few years has seen community capacity tested by natural disasters including storms, fires and the COVID-19 pandemic. Northern Beaches Council is undertaking a public survey on questions relating to resilience and asking residents to participate.
The survey asks questions about a number of issues including economy, environment, security, health and housing. People are asked to rate their degree of concern about issues and are able to nominate issues that have not been pre-selected.
The objective of the survey will be to inform an eventual resilience strategy for Northern Beaches Council, building capacity within the community to adapt to shocks and stresses caused by external events. Survey closes 31st March.
NEXT COMMITTEE MEETING
Monday 12th April 7pm Pacific Club
TUESDAY MAY 11th 7pm Club Palm Beach.
Please join us for refreshments at the conclusion of the Meeting.
NEXT COFFEE MORNING
TUESDAY 27th APRIL 10.30am The Pacific Club Support your favourite cafe & BY0 coffee/tea
JUNE 23rd COFFEE MEETING venue TBA
Via NBC we have invited officers from The Aboriginal Heritage Office to give a presentation followed by question and answer time about the history and acknowledgement of Aboriginal heritage in the Barrenjoey area.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns or queries you would like to discuss.
PO Box 2 Palm Beach 2108
Wishing you all a safe, peaceful and happy Easter.
PROF RICHARD WEST AM
0407 942 941