After a fairly normal Easter and with crowds of people at Palm Beach and Whale Beach we are now facing the remainder of 2021 with more confidence than at the same time last year but by no means at the end of the pandemic.
The number of cases has been low in the last few months, mainly connected with hotel quarantine, and we are still in a better place than most of the rest of the world. We are going into autumn and winter with vaccines rolling out, albeit slowly, to essential workers and the over 70s, especially those in aged care homes, although not with the same efficiency that we tackled the pandemic and with a degree of hesitancy in the population. We will hope for a more secure supply, gathering confidence and very few cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia linked to AstraZeneca.
The Association is continuing its effort to improve some longstanding problems for us such as parking, unsociable driving including excessive speed and noise at night, walkways and footpaths including one from Avalon to Palm Beach along Barrenjoey Road, improvements to Wakehurst Parkway, road safety and Governor Phillip Park maintenance and improvements. There are many more issues and we rely on our members to inform us of matters concerning them. At present, the draft Avalon Place Plan requires urgent attention by all residents as the closing date for submissions to the Council’s Have Your Say is 16 May. Avalon is our closest and most important shopping centre and the decisions to be made on the proposals outlined in the Plan for, particularly, the village centre will have a lasting impact on its layout and usability. We urge you to make a submission making your views known. It is worth making a submission even if you only make a comment on one proposal. Our views are outlined elsewhere in the newsletter with the link to make a submission.
In all matters we genuinely wish to put forward the views of the majority of our members. At our monthly coffee mornings held during the last week of the month we have regular feedback from you and of course you can contact us at any time through our website or by telephone to the President or one of the Committee members. We will shortly be sending out a survey to our members asking their views on a range of matters and their experiences using local services. We ask you to complete it if you possibly can. It will be a private document used only to help us reflect your views and we will not be disclosing its contents to anyone outside the Association. It will be sent out on line but if you would prefer a hard copy please let us know and we would be happy to let you have one.
Annual General Meeting
Our AGM will be held on Tuesday 11 May at 7 pm at Club Palm Beach (the RSL). We look forward to seeing you there.
Avalon Place Plan
My Place Avalon (the Council’s name for the Avalon Place Plan) is a Council-designed plan for the future of Avalon over the next 20 years. The Plan has been exposed for public comment until 16 May and it is critical that everybody who uses or enjoys the village should make their thoughts known on how Avalon should look for the next few decades. The most contentious proposal is to introduce two through cycleways at right-angles across the village. There is no public demand for these and they will cut the village into four quarters, remove scarce parking spaces, endanger pedestrians, remove trees from Old Barrenjoey Road and, so far as this Association can see, do nothing to enhance the village while incurring considerable cost. There is an alternative bike plan put forward by the Avalon Preservation Association using little used lanes which we support. There are good proposals in the Plan – repairing and resurfacing footpaths, new street furniture, a monthly market in Dunbar Park, opening the lanes for public use, better lighting, a new plaza behind the community centre and improved access to the beach. There are some important omissions – the Plan does not preserve the existing building height limits in the village and does not directly address the economy of the village. The Plan is available online at http://northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/council/have-your-say/community-engagement-projects and scroll down to My Place Avalon. The submission form is there. You can also inspect a hard copy at the Library. GET YOUR SUBMISSIONS IN BEFORE 16 MAY
Rip Curl Classic at North Narrabeen Beach
The 10-day Rip Curl Classic, one of the most exciting surfing competitions in the world, has been held at North Narrabeen Beach this week. It is one of possibly eight events that decide the surfers who will make the world title playoffs in the US in September so competition has been keen. The Champion was Gabriel Medina of Brazil and Caroline Marks of the USA won her third CT victory. The event is making a real financial difference to the local area and it is hoped that it will boost the economy by approximately $15m. https://www.worldsurfleague.com
Order of Australia
Congratulations to one of our Committee members Ken Allen on the Award of an Officer in the Order of Australia. Ken was recognised with AO (2021) for distinguished service to International Relations, particularly through global information sharing networks for expatriate Australian professionals.
The annual Seniors Festival runs from 13 to 30 April this year and Northern Beaches Council has produced a brochure listing activities and events. Themes are Health (including physical activity, food and nutrition, dementia), Technology, End of Life planning and the value of relationships. There is also a Meet Your Local Seniors Group expo at Mona Vale Memorial Hall on Monday, 26 April from 6-7.30 pm. (Bookings and enquiries Karin Slade 0412 269 049) For further information call 8495 6618 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Waste and Recycling
Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre, owned by Northern Beaches Council (96%) and Mosman Council (4%), processes up to 75% of all our waste and it recycles 80% of what it receives. The Centre collects recyclable materials and runs recycling and educational courses as well as gardening classes. Last year it made a profit of $6 m. It aims to be a centre of excellence for environmental services and reduce the amount of landfill and to date has diverted 2.5 million tons of waste through resource recovery operations on site. The amount of waste is increasing, for instance a higher than normal rainfall has meant a larger volume of green waste during the last two years. We all want to recycle as much of our waste as possible and minimise the effect on the environment and Kimbriki continues to develop new ways of doing this, the latest being a Clean Water Diversion system to capture, treat and divert 75% of stormwater run-off from their 34-hectare site. The estimated cost is likely to be approximately $15m.
Quite apart from the weekly collections, you can dispose of bulky items by booking a household collection. Households are entitled to two free collections within 12 months in the Northern Beaches mainland area. If your surplus goods are suitable for resale you can advertise a garage sale on the Council website free of charge or you can donate them to a charity or on line.
Enquiries to Waste Services on 1300 434 434.
Helping local businesses
Don’t forget to download and use the Dine and Discover vouchers (four $25 vouchers to be used in participating NSW businesses that are registered as COVID SAFE). If you have not yet done so, download them on the Service NSW app on your smartphone or at any Service NSW Centre. https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/dine-discover-nsw
The Northern Beaches Council Visitor Information Centre is also curating a series of Live Like a Local articles which will showcase where to eat and drink and what to do in the suburbs of the Northern Beaches. Submit your favourite restaurant, café, bar, pub or tourism operator to contribute to the Live Like a Northern Beaches Local blog or browse through to discover new places for yourself. Submit suggestions by using hashtags #LoveNorthernBeaches and/or #LiveLikeALocalNB on your social media.
Women in Public Office
While Australia has one of the highest education rates for women in the world they are under represented at all levels of government. They comprise 37% of State and Territory Assemblies, 37% of Federal Parliament, 35% of Councils and, consequently, the Women for Election Australia organisation was established to strengthen our democracy by increasing the number, influence and diversity of women in politics. It is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to increasing the representation of women, of all backgrounds and lived experience, in elected office at all levels of government. To prepare women for Local Government elections in NSW the NSW Government is working with the WFEA to run EQUIP workshops throughout the State. They will provide attendees with key knowledge, tools and techniques to enable them to run for office or assist other women in their political campaigns. A workshop will be held on Thursday 29 April at Sydney Town Hall between 9am and 3pm. If you are interested or would like to give support please contact: Women for Election email@example.com Tel. 0410 550 338
Duke of Edinburgh Award
Last year there were 1200 registrations in the Duke of Edinburgh awards in NSW, the largest number ever in the state, showing the popularity of this part of the Duke’s significant legacy. If you would like to pass on your condolences to the Queen and the royal family on the death of Prince Phillip this is the link to the Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet: www.pmc.gov.au or you can download a Condolence form and print off a form
Taste of Palm Beach
This year the NB Council has expanded the Taste of Manly event into a month-long celebration of the best on the beaches. From Manly to Palm Beach to Terrey Hills and everywhere in between the Northern Beaches will be the place to eat, drink and play. In Palm Beach it will take the form of the Palm Beach Wine Garden and will showcase a range of wineries with food outlets and live entertainment. It will take place in Governor Philip Park on the weekend of 29 and 30 May. Tickets are $15 each
Jack Carter Pool
The signs were erected this week at the Palm Beach Rock Pool recognising the immense contribution of “our Jack”, Jack Carter who for so many years has been the swimming coach at Palm Beach and taught many generations to swim.
The damaged stormwater pipe between 100 and 102 Iluka Road will be replaced during winter.
Progress on the shower at the northern end of the beach is dependent on Sydney Water. The Council is attempting to co-ordinate this with them. Parking at the bus stop in Whale Beach Road will be allowed on days when schools are not operating. The signs will be changed in the near future.
Creative Art Spaces
Pop-up space is available for artists on the ground floor of the Community Centre in Mona Vale. Charges are $60 per week for a studio and $30 per day for a shop. This is a temporary arrangement as plans will be drawn up for a permanent art space in the Centre as part of a thriving community and cultural hub. In addition, the Avalon Workshop which is located on the lower level of the Avalon Golf Club, now offers two workshops, a studio and a communal kitchen. They are now also available to hire for use as workshops, artistic collaborations and talks. The Mayor has said that the Avalon Workshop has been designed to support young and emerging artists to reach out and build relationships.
Merger of the Chambers of Commerce
At a time when local businesses need the most support the Chambers of Commerce in Mona Vale, Newport and Avalon/Palm Beach have merged. Their combined voice – now to be called Peninsula Business – will use their total membership of several hundred to amplify their voice and strive for the most advantageous outcomes for their members. The Executive Committee comprises two members from each of the three Chambers to ensure fair representation and the President is Chris Kavanagh who was President of the former Mona Vale Chamber. They have ambitious plans to include regular networking events and a more sophisticated upskilling and education programme which is possible with a wider membership. They aim to combine to lobby the NSW Government for necessary funding and co-ordinate a calendar of events for the whole area which will be aimed at attracting visitors throughout the year.
Canopy Trees and Canopy Keepers
Residents of Pittwater concerned about the loss of canopy trees have formed a group called “Canopy Keepers” to help protect them. Canopy trees are the tall old-growth trees which have traditionally provided habitat and food to animals such as Powerful Owls, Sugar Gliders and Microbats. The group intends to act as a lobby group to encourage more effective action to retain our tree canopy. They will be setting up a web site. Meantime you can find them on Facebook.
The Council have asked for nominations for community representatives to sit on the local Planning Panel. They are looking for open-minded people to work with industry professionals to make decisions on development applications submitted to Council. The Panel is made up of four members – a chair with expertise in law or government, two independent professionals and one community representative from the Local Government Area. You do not need planning expertise but knowledge of the local area is essential. Successful applicants will be placed in a pool to attend meetings on a roster basis. Applicants should apply for the attention of Peter Robinson, Executive Manager, Development Assessment on firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a Dawn Service at 5.30 am in Dunbar Park organised by Avalon Beach RSL on Sunday 25 April and a Commemorative Service at 11 am in Dunbar Park.
The NSW Government has increased the fleet of intensive care ambulances with an additional 69 new vehicles being added at a cost of $11.7 m. This is in addition to the 35 new ambulances purchased last year. The advanced intensive care ambulances will carry upgraded defibrillators, video laryngoscopes and mechanical CPR devices. In the 2020/2021 financial year 180 extra staff are also being employed.
Avalon Youth Hub
Lifeline will be providing a free and confidential youth counselling service at Avalon Youth Hub on Tuesday afternoons for anyone aged 15-24 years. There has been a significant rise in demand for Lifeline counselling during the last year and this service will meet a considerable community need. The Burdekin Association operates the Avalon Youth Hub and its CEO Justene Gordon is the Director. They run workshops and events and offer a range of support including counselling, mentoring and drug and alcohol education. Appointments with the Lifeline Counsellor at The Hub can be made on 9949 5522 and for more information about the activities of the Avalon Youth Hub go to avalonyouthhub.org.au or call 0487 936 875. Help can also be given by Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.
There has been a spike in antisocial behaviour and violence, some of it serious, in many parts of the Northern Beaches. In spite of this NSW Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller, has said that crime is not increasing in Pittwater and that fewer offences had been committed since 2016. In most cases crime was trending down, particularly break and enter offences which have halved over the last five years. Nevertheless, the police had drawn in officers from other areas to patrol the beaches to focus on these troubled youths but he asked for the community to also take responsibility to prevent crime. He pointed out that this was not a totally new problems as there had been youth issues on the Northern Beaches for many years. The police had had some success in arresting young offenders and they would continue their efforts.
Wakehurst Parkway Flood Mitigation
Hard decisions will have to be made to put in effective flood mitigation on Wakehurst Parkway. At present the road floods on average 5 or 6 times a year. There are three locations on the road which are liable to flood and the Council’s draft Wakehurst Parkway Flood Mitigation Feasibility Study sets out options to provide flood protection, the best giving protection in up to a 1 in 2-year storm. Since the road runs through a very sensitive ecosystem this cannot be done without substantial effects on threatened plants and animal species so the Council has decided it is essential that the community have an opportunity to give feedback on the options. They will put the Feasibility Study on public exhibition in May and there will then be opportunity for residents to express their opinion. Even if there is widespread community support it is unlikely that the work will be completed before 2025.
New Water Taxi – the arrival of “Digger”
Barrenjoey Boating Services has added a 12-passenger water taxi to their fleet offering a new level of comfort and convenience for short trips on Pittwater or to the Central Coast and the Hawkesbury. “Digger” runs from 7 am to 6 pm seven days a week and offers a convenient service to Patonga Beach Hotel and other restaurants in the area. Bookings can be made on line at Barrenjoeywatertaxis.com.au or by telephone 0447 80 TAXI. After hours bookings are possible with notice.
The next Coffee Morning is Tuesday 27 April at 10.30 am at the Pacific Club Please byo coffee from one of our local coffee shops.
The next Committee Meeting is on Monday 10 May at 7 pm at the Pacific Club
A reminder that our AGM is on Tuesday 11 May at 7 pm at Club Palm Beach
Please contact me if you have any concerns.
Prof Richard West AM President 0407 942 941
https://pbwba.org.au | PO Box 2 Palm Beach 2108