Easter Newsletter – April 2020

Majestic Lion Island and tranquil Pittwater.

With physical distancing and self-isolating being the norm we are determined to stay connected to the Palm Beach and Whale Beach Community via our Newsletters.

We hope you and your families are keeping well. Please do not hesitate to email or call our President Richard West on 0407 942 941 arwest@bigpond.net.au or vice president Virginia Christensen 0419 462 244 if you need any assistance at this difficult time.

The AGM on 18th May has been postponed. Coffee meetings have been suspended too although we are exploring the possibility of using technology to have a “virtual” coffee morning! We are hoping to use technology to hold our next Committee Meeting on Monday 20th April. Council elections have been postponed until September 2021.

We will continue to follow up, respond to and comment on current local issues.


Letterbox Nabilla Road Palm Beach

The Palm Beach & Whale Beach Association firmly values both built and natural heritage

It has recently come to the attention of the Association that some 70 draft heritage items compiled following a period of consultation by Pittwater Council in 2014/2015 have yet to be assessed for heritage preservation.

Council has commenced work on the development of the Northern Beaches Local Environmental Plan (NBLEP). A component of NBLEP work relates to local heritage and therefore we anticipate the consideration and assessment of these nominated items will commence in late April 2020.


Stone steps – Thyra Rd

Don’t forget, if you are out walking/exercising, keep your eye out for any footpaths and public rights of way in Palm Beach and Whale Beach which would be useful as shortcuts or provide easier access to the beach, parks, bus stops, shops etc but are not clearly marked or maintained and are in danger of disappearing. We have obtained a list from CABPRA of approx 34 public rights of way in Palm Beach and Whale Beach and are currently investigating them with the objective of approaching the Council where we feel urgent work is required and where signposts need to be installed.

Please let us know if you are aware of any that need attention or have “disappeared” (photos are very helpful).


After representations from PBWBA, Council has agreed to minor maintenance works on the Whale Beach amenities which will include:

  • Painting of the building
  • Screen installation over the breeze blocks on the interior of the building
  • Screen installation over the breeze blocks on the exterior of the building on the northern side only

Works will commence after Easter. Major works are slated for 21/22.

Presentation to Committee / Questions & Answers on DAs

A presentation was given by Peter Robinson, Executive Manager Development Assessment Northern Beaches Council, to explain how the Development Application (DA) process works within council and the role of Private Certifiers.

Key points:

  • An organisation such as PBWBA counts as only one objection. This was very surprising!
  • Developments > $1M with three objections are determined by the Development Determination Panel (DDP) which is chaired by Peter Robinson 3 are on this panel which requires a majority opinion;
  • DAs with 10 objections (and a few other criteria) are decided by a Local Planning Panel a state sanctioned panel run by council with a chair, two experts and a community representative meetings are live streamed;
  • Developments of > $30M go to the Sydney North Planning Panel which is a state government panel this is a public meeting that can be webcast.
  • The President expressed concern that the Association receives no feedback on any of the objections it has raised on DAs, including some that had caused widespread community outcries. Peter Robinson undertook to investigate this matter;
  • Private Certifiers come under the control of the Building Professionals Board not the Council
  • If there are doubts about their work, inform the council;
  • Only larger developments are advertised in the Manly Daily;
  • All DAs are searchable online by date and suburb;
  • There are a number of privately developed apps (e.g. Planning Alert) that inform users of newly lodged DAs;
  • Objections to any development can be lodged by email;
  • If illegal works have taken place, it could take months to get the required information due to the notice and response periods specified in legislation.

Mr. Robinson explained that developments carried out by council itself were covered by state legislation and the council was obliged to carry out due diligence prior to construction.


In our view, pedestrian pathways should have priority over cycleways and the absolute necessity in our area is the construction of a pathway on Barrenjoey Road from Careel Bay Road, North Avalon to Nabilla Road, Palm Beach. There is a need for pedestrians to be able to walk from Avalon to Palm Beach, something that is impossible in the current state of Barrenjoey Road. This would be in accordance with the Council’s Connectivity Plan and its desire to encourage walking. However the road corridors in our suburbs are too narrow to create cycleways and we do not support the concept of shared footpaths. We agree with Council’s objective of wanting to increase walking in our area of the LGA and believe this means that pedestrians and their requirements should take priority over the needs of cyclists.


Member for Mackellar, Mr Jason Falinski MP is campaigning to have the Wakehurst Parkway upgraded. The Northern Beaches community has been demanding this for years and Mr Falinski is arguing that following the recent storms, the flaws of the road corridor are yet again exposed. Mr Falinski has already begun conversations with the Minister for Urban Infrastructure, the Hon Alan Tudge MP who indicated funding for a study could be made available through the Federal Government’s $4 billion Urban Congestion Fund. Wakehurst Parkway is a vital connection to the Northern Beaches Hospital.


The Warringah Road underpass near the Northern Beaches Hospital has opened both eastbound and westbound. Work is still continuing to complete the road upgrades in the area which will increase the carrying capacity and improve access to the hospital.

BYNYA ROAD RD & (upper) NORMA ROAD have been resurfaced as per the Council’s roadworks plan for 19/20.


Approval has been granted for a morning peak hour clearway southbound along Barrenjoey Road from Elaine Ave to Kevin Ave. It is now in the hands of Roads & Maritime Services.



Council is committed to designing and delivering public spaces which enhance our community’s lives. Our streets and places of the future will allow people to connect, feel safe and achieve a sense of belonging. Council are harmonising the three former Council’s guidelines around public space and developing a framework – Northern Beaches Public Space Vision and Design Guidelines.

These will present a unified vision for our public spaces that also recognises the unique character and heritage of the diverse villages and places that make up the Northern Beaches.

Council has identified three main types of streets across the Northern Beaches:

  • Beach High Street
  • Bush High Street
  • Urban Local Street

and have developed a material palette for these street types.

Have your say by completing the online survey on the Council website by May 3.


Northern Beaches Council is working with fresh food suppliers Harris Farm and local community groups to distribute 100 boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables every day to vulnerable residents.  It will be distributed through Meals on Wheels, Oz Harvest and Community Co-op to get to the right people.  Volunteers are needed so if you can help please email:

The Council is also working to help community organisations support their clients through coming months with homelessness and domestic violence as high priorities.

Also,  at the last Council meeting, the Council passed a $1.2m. package to aid local businesses including fee relief and flexibility.


From Monday 6 April, the Library2U service will be open to everyone to support the community through this period of restrictions. You can reserve items which will be delivered to you as they become available or let the librarians choose a selection of items for you based on your preferences. Please note, you must reside in the Northern Beaches Council Local Government Area and hold a library membership. Do not try to return books to the book bins as they are locked.

Vision impaired people who need large print or talking books please contact Vision Australia. ph 1300 847 466



MindSpot is offering ‘Wellbeing Plus’ an online course for people aged 60+ years. It aims to help older adults learn to manage stress, anxiety, worry, low mood and depression. It is run by eCentreClinic a not-for-profit initiative of Macquarie University in partnership with Beyond Blue.

If you are interested please contact ecentreclinic.org

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 / LifeLine  13 11 14

“This Way Up” developed by clinicians at St Vincent’s Hospital. www.thiswayup.org.au
Practical tips and strategies which can support emotional wellbeing during times of stress and uncertainty. Free during the COVID 19 crisis.

Avalon Youth Hub On-line drop in sessions via facebook messenger and insta DM or phone 0487 936 875

General COVID 19 Info


  • Mona Vale Urgent Care Centre 10am to 6pm 7 days and
  • Northern Beaches Hospital 9.30 – 6pm 7 days

Download the official Australian Govt information service and guidance about Coronavirus “What’s App” to your smartphone.
Download Covid19 Corona Virus app Australian Dept of Health
Phone 1800 020 080 National Corona Virus Helpline
Phone 137788 Corona Virus Support – Service NSW
Crimestoppers 1800 333 000 to report blatant breaches of Govt regulations

  • Ocean pools are closed.
  • Beaches are open for a swim or exercise only but Palm Beach and Gov Phillip Park have been closed on occasion when Council consider it too crowded and physical distancing rules are ignored.
  • Barrenjoey Lighthouse and headland are closed.
  • The Basin is closed.
  • All children’s playgrounds are closed.

Palm Beach pool

A rare sight in Pittwater Park recently. Extraordinary precision flying saw a Careflight helicopter land in Pittwater Park. Paramedics attended to a patient with possible spinal injuries as a result of an accident.

Our thoughts are with the medical & health professionals, the ancillary staff, first responders, our local GPs, pharmacies, aged care homes, teachers, volunteers and everyone at “the front line” and we sincerely thank them for their dedication and determination to support the Community through this difficult time.

Stay safe, stay well, stay at home or keep your distance and wash your hands!

Richard West
President  – 0407 942 941