Newsletter – August 22

Photograph courtesy Leonore Goldthorpe

We were very pleased that our new Federal Member for Mackellar, Dr. Sophie Scamps, was able to join us for our August Coffee Morning and she recalled spending long periods in Palm Beach as she was growing up.

Her first months as a federal member had been busy and exciting she said with many requests for assistance from constituents and finding her feet in Canberra with a heavy workload. Her first reactions to Parliament were positive. 18 bills had been presented during the first two weeks of sitting and the crossbench were receiving comprehensive briefings from the Government. She was anticipating the Domestic Violence Bill and the Aged Care Bill in the near future.
One of the themes of her election campaign had been the importance of integrity and the need for a Federal ICAC. She was particularly concerned with the misuse of appointments to government boards and committees and hoped to introduce a Private Member’s Bill before the year’s end. It was her intention to raise funds for additional help since the staffing provided to cross benchers had been reduced from four to one. Naturally, her strong focus was on health and, recognising the extreme pressure on the health service, she wished to emphasise the need for preventative measures such as tackling the widespread problem of obesity. Important gaps she saw in our local medical services were the difficulty in accessing chronic specialist care in the public system and the need for additional mental health facilities. Responding to questions, she confirmed that she would fight the attempt to reinstate the off-shore drilling licence and promised to keep us up to date with the Federal Court Case (see below).

PETROLEUM EXPLORATION PERMIT (PEP-11)

BPH Energy Ltd. has applied to the Federal Court to review the decision of the Federal Government to refuse to extend the term of PEP-11 to pursue gas exploration off the NSW coast. This decision was as a result of the direct intervention of the Prime Minister at the time, Scott Morrison, when exercising his extra-ministerial powers.

MIDGET FARRELLY, AUSTRALIA’S FIRST MALE WORLD SURFING CHAMPION

Concept drawing by Kelly Slater

Midget Farrelly was one of the best and most respected Australian surfers in the 60s. He proved it by winning the Makaha International Surf Contest in Hawaii in 1962 and then the World Surfing Championships in Manly in 1964.
To acknowledge our Inaugural World Champion a group of Midget’s Australian and international friends wish to install a statue at Palm Beach.
If you would like to contribute to funds to achieve this please donate at:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/midget-farrelly-recognition.
Further information is available at:
midget-recognition@gmail.com

MEETING WITH ROB STOKES, MEMBER FOR PITTWATER

The President and four Committee members met with Rob Stokes on Friday 19 August at his office and discussed the following.

1) Reclassification of Local and Neighbourhood Centres
The NSW Government Planning Department has put forward a proposal to create Employment Zones (E Zones) in place of the current B1 and B2 zones and light industrial zones. B1 zoning is designed to accommodate businesses which are intended to meet the needs of their neighbourhoods. In Palm Beach and Whale Beach the B1 zones are Neighbourhood Centres such as the area near Barrenjoey House, shops in Whale Beach Road and the shopping strip in Ocean Road. B2 zones are Local Centres and in Palm Beach they include the strip near Pronto’s café and the RSL. (Avalon and Warriewood Plaza are also Local Centres and zoned B2). The rationale behind the new E Zones is to increase opportunities for employment in residential suburbs and thus a far wider range of businesses would be allowed in them, such as amusement centres and entertainment facilities. We are opposing the changes proposed. All the neighbourhood centres are embedded in residential areas and strictly limited in area. Expansion of these areas to accommodate the wider range of businesses could require rezoning of surrounding land and affect the viability of the existing small businesses. We believe that the NB Council is also opposed to them.

2) Precinct
Rob Stokes supports our proposal to create a Precinct in Barrenjoey Road. It needs to be protected by a Planning Control and he will write to the Council to add weight to our proposal.

3) Timing of the Local Environment Plan (LEP)
The Council have informed us that the timing of the new LEP has been extended. It will go to the State Government in the early part of next year for Gateway Clearance (this can take up to 6 months), then it will go to a Council Meeting for approval to go on public exhibition for 3 months. It will then go back to the State Government for final approval. Therefore it is not likely to be in force until 2024. Rob Stokes agreed to raise it with the Minister of Planning to see if the timing could be shortened and talk to the Council.

4) Coastal Walkway
We are concerned with delays to the Coastal Walkway between Whale Beach and Palm Beach and the current state of Whale Beach Road. Rob Stokes will take up the matter on our behalf. Money has already been provided to the Council by the State Government for the Coastal Walkway and is held in trust to carry out this work.

5) Governor Phillip Park
The Park urgently needs work and regular maintenance. We discussed our disquiet that this is not being achieved and alternative ways of tackling it since the Council still has not budgeted funds for its regular upkeep and necessary improvements.

6) Intersection of Surf Road and Barrenjoey Road
There has been no action on making a safe walkway down Surf Road and the installation of steps to enable pedestrians to get to the bus stop on the other side of Barrenjoey Road. Rob Stokes will take up the matter with the Traffic Committee of the Council.

ROAD CLOSURE – FLORIDA ROAD

Council Road Engineers will be conducting urgent geotechnical investigations requiring a full road closure at 38 Florida Road, Palm Beach. The area affected will be from Norma Road intersection to Ocean Place intersection. This will take place on Thursday and Friday, 1st and 2nd September 2022. The timing will be 7am to 5pm on both days (subject to weather). The roadworks are required due to road stability concerns at the location and cannot be delayed. No vehicles will be able to pass North or South through the road closure. Emergency vehicles will be accommodated but may be delayed up to 10 minutes whilst plant is moved. Light vehicles and residents will be able to access their properties, however will not be able to pass through the road closure at the location. Larger vehicles that would not be able to turn around at the closure will be diverted away from Florida Road by Traffic Controllers at Norma Road and Ocean Place. Please re-assess your requirements for heavy vehicles on the days of the road closure.

OLD BARRENJOEY ROAD, AVALON VILLAGE

There has been much confusion about whether it is permissible to cross the continuous white lines which have been painted along the centre of Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon. We have checked with Mona Vale Police and the Highway Unit at French’s Forest just before publishing this newsletter. Their advice is clear. One may not do a ‘U’ turn over the lines (or park on them of course) but one can cross them if one is actively moving into a parking space on the other side of the road i.e. “leaving the road”. This is also the advice which Northern Beaches Council is giving.

AVALON PLACE PLAN ADOPTION AND REPAIRS TO COUNCIL CAR PARK

The Avalon Place Plan has been passed by the Council although after considerable community opposition the cycleways have not been included. There will be more consultation on cycleways in the next year.
The intersection of Avalon Parade and Old Barrenjoey Road will be reconfigured with upgrades to the pedestrian crossings at the intersection. The trial of the one-way (south bound) section of Old Barrenjoey Road from the Woolworths entrance to the intersection will proceed. Funding for this trial has been provided by the State Government. This will be a shared zone with a 10 kph speed limit. Repairs to the Council car park outside Woolworths should be finished by the end of September. It is not clear when work will start on the footpaths in Avalon which is long overdue as no money has been included for them in the Council Budget.

MENTAL HEALTH PHONE LINE 1800 011 511

A 24-hour/7 day week phone line is available which offers support and referrals to specialist NSW Health Mental Health services. If you have any comments on the service please contact the NSW Government Have Your Say (nsw.gov.au/have-your-say). There is a survey which you can complete or you can leave a separate submission. In 2020/21 a total of 864,000 Australians accessed at least one digital service related to their mental health but in reality this is still well below the number of people who are affected.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE/5G

Water Tower in Boanbong Road where upgrades to the Mobile Phone Base Station are proceeding.

As we have previously reported, current federal legislation allows significant telecommunications infrastructure to be installed without Council approval and despite local objections. In our area this particularly applies to upgrades on the Water Tower in Boanbong Road. After discussions with Dr. Sophie Scamps a meeting is being arranged with representatives of the PBWBA and Dr. Julie McCredden PhD, President of the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association Inc (ORSAA) and Dr Scamps. We wish to discuss the implications of the currrent 5G upgrade, particularly relating to health, and whether the guidelines provided by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) need revisiting. Residents would like to raise federal awareness of the issue which affects not only our area but the wider community.

WHALE BEACH FENCING

We have been informed by NB Council that the fencing near the drain pipe at Whale Beach has been repaired once but it will be examined and if further work is needed it will be added to the list of repairs necessary after recent storms.

MONA VALE LIBRARY 50TH BIRTHDAY

Mona Vale Library will celebrate its 50th birthday on Saturday 3 September 2022 from 1-3pm. You can celebrate the day and learn about the Library’s journey through history. A photographic exhibition will cover the period 1971 to today. There will be a talk by the Local History Librarian on the History of Mona Vale, a performance by Mona Vale Public Choir and afternoon tea.

Event Schedule

  • 1.15 pm Official Speeches
  • 1.45 pm Mona Vale Choir
  • 2 pm  Afternoon Tea
  • 2.30 pm  History Talk

The Council also wishes to help families access high quality toys and to this end has entered into a partnership with the not-for-profit organisation Early Ed which will be starting soon. This organisation is operated by volunteers and, on a 12-month trial basis , will support the existing toy library and provide space in Mona Vale and Manly Libraries for toy ‘click and collect’ services. Parents are asked to clean toys before return and advise staff of recent illnesses or infections within the household so that additional safety measures can be taken. In any case, volunteers will also clean the toys before they are available to borrow. A wide range of toys, games and books are available in the on-line catalogue.
For more information: http://northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/library/your-library/news/toy-click-and-collect
Or telephone 8495 5021

OPEN AIR CINEMA

The Council Pop-up Cinema returns to Brookvale Oval.
It will be showing ‘Spider-Man No Way Home’on Friday 7 October from 5.30 pm to 9 pm and the animated musical ‘Vivo (2021)’ on Saturday 5 pm to 8 pm. Tickets are $5 per person and the first 1,000 people through the gates at each movie will receive a free bag of popcorn.
If you want more information:
https://www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/whats-on/open-air-cinema
email events@northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au
Northern Beaches Council Events Team 1300 434 434

CREATIVE OPEN – ART, DESIGN AND MUSIC

Exhibitions and performances have been held throughout the LGA on two weekends this month showcasing the considerable talent on the Northern Beaches.

In the Mona Vale Creative Space, Ruth Shteinman is pictured showing her creation “Sedimentary” which is composed of bangalow palm sheaths, philodendron sheaths, palm inflorescence, driftwood, polished flax

Ruth grew up in Australia but her forebears are from Ukraine and Russia

and on Narrabeen Lagoon.

Oyster Shells – Middens, 2022 Frances Belle Parker with Urban Art Projects (UAP)
This artwork pays tribute to the middens that are found across the Northern Beaches. “The story of the middens is about digging further than what you see on the surface and understanding history, not only of the artworks, but also of the land that you are on” – Frances Belle Parker

CONSERVATION ZONES REVIEW

Conservation zones (previously known as environmental zones) are used to protect and conserve areas with significant environmental values or where there are serious hazards such as bushfires or flooding. The Council have undertaken the Conservation Zones Review to enable them to establish which land areas will be included in conservation zones in the LEP and it will be open for consultation and review for two months from 2 September 2022. Conservation zones identify land with ecological, scientific or aesthetic value or land that is subject to hazards like bushfire or flood. In these zones there will be a smaller range of permissible land use to protect the environmental value of the land and to ensure that more intensive development is not constructed in areas subject to hazards. In the former Pittwater LGA, 3,613 properties will move from a C (conservation) zone to an R (residential) zone and 1,328 from an R zone to a C zone so there will be considerable change. More information will be available on Have Your Say together with a map which will enable you to identify your property and its zoning. Please access this on or after 2 September on the Council website:
http://northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/council/have-your-say/community-engagement-projects

PROPOSED DOG OFF-LEASH AREAS

Northern Beaches Council has commissioned a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) to assess the environmental impacts for two proposed dog off-leash area trials, one at Palm Beach (North) and the other at Mona Vale Beach (South). You can Have Your Say on http://yoursay.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/proposed-dog-off-leash-area and this is available until 9 September 2022. You can also email: council@northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au or write to: ‘Proposed Dog off-leash areas, Northern Beaches Council, PO Box 82 Manly NSW 1655.

In addition the Council are holding on site drop-in sessions as follows:

  • Palm Beach (north) Wednesday 31 August 8am to 10am/3.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Palm Beach (north) Saturday 3 September 8am to 10am/3.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Mona Vale (south) Wednesday 31 August 8am to 10am/3.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Mona Vale (south) Saturday 3 September 8am to 10am/3.30pm to 5.30pm

If you would like to talk to them about the dog trials please go along.

DEVELOPMENT

Residents are rightly concerned about the many developments in our area which do not conform to the planning regulations and which seek to apply Clause 4.6 of the Pittwater LEP. We are aware that residents are sometimes spending considerable funds to oppose these developments by employing specialists when they would expect the Council Planning Department to enforce current planning laws. However, Council powers are limited and we have recently seen Council recommendations being ignored both by the Local Planning Panel and the Land & Environment Court. We hope that a new tightly drafted LEP and DCP will help this situation. Over development against residents’ wishes is a problem throughout Sydney although there is variable success in opposing it in different areas and Waverley Council has responded by employing a Community Planning Advocate to help residents fight development proposals, mainly high rise developments.

Major Development Applications still open:

231 Whale Beach Road – Mod2021/0983
The modification to the original approved development was referred to the Local Planning Panel with the Council recommendation that it be approved. It increases the numbers in the Surf Road restaurant from 70 plus 6 staff to 140 (indoors) and 30 (outdoors) plus 18 staff. However, when the Planning Panel considered it on 3 August they determined to refuse it. The reasons for the determination were given as follows:

  • The impacts of the proposed modification have not been adequately demonstrated.
  • Day to day management of the proposed modification will be problematic particularly relating to acoustic impacts.
  • The nature of the road and pedestrian movement systems in the vicinity.
  • The impact of topography on parking and pedestrian catchments.
  • The supply of carparking, particularly in peak times.
  • The proximity of residences and the local nature of the business zone.
  • The lack of containment of the development in relation to its infrastructure requirements

and reliance on the public realm to deliver these.

The original approval (REV2021/0034) still stands.

1105 Barrenjoey Road (Shop-top housing on the corner of Iluka Road)
The Conciliation Process conducted as part of the Land & Environment Court Proceedings did not produce a result. The site has now been advertised for sale.

1102 Barrenjoey Road (Fish and Chip Shop)
Following the Heritage report wherein they were unable to support the proposal, Northern Beaches refused the development application. We are not aware of any further applications.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS:

AVALON BEACH HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Hear from the descendent of a pioneering Palm Beach family At the Avalon Beach Historical Society’s (ABHS) Annual General Meeting on 13 September, there will be an illustrated talk by Bill Goddard. The Goddard family, along with the Gonsalves and the Verrills, were among the first groups to settle permanently in Palm Beach in the early 1900s. During Covid, Bill Goddard explored his family’s history in extraordinary detail and using family and other resources gathered a veritable treasure-trove of photos reaching back to when his great-grandfather established a boat-building business in Lavender Bay in the 1890s. Later a branch of the family took their boat-building skills to Palm Beach settling around Waratah Road. They built Goddard’s Wharf on Snapperman Beach, now demolished and established a store that was a forerunner to Palm Beach Wines. The Goddards continued a presence in the area until the 1960s. The meeting will be held on TUESDAY 13 SEPTEMBER in the ANNEXE at DUNBAR PARK AT 8.00pm. Brief AGM formalities will precede Bill’s talk which will be followed by a light supper. It is not essential to be an ABHS member to attend, though it will be possible to join on the night.

AVALON QUILTERS EXHIBITION

Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd September 9am to 5pm Avalon Uniting Church, 44 Bellevue Avenue, Avalon Beach $5 entry with proceeds to Mito Foundations. Enquiries 0401 335 737

MARKET ON THE GREEN

Sunday 11 September 11am to 5 pm Avalon Bowlo Small community market showcasing vendors who handcraft items and supporting Northern Beaches start-ups and small businesses

COMMITTEE MEETING

The next Committee Meeting will be held on Monday 12 September at 7 pm at the Pacific Club

COFFEE MORNING

Wednesday 28 September 10.30 am
at Moby Dicks, Whale Beach

Sue Martin (ex teacher at Barrenjoey High) from Avalon Computer Pals will give a presentation on “our digital legacy” and keeping our online affairs up to date and the unintended consequences of not doing so. She talks about what happens to all your online material such as banking, online bills, photos etc if you or a loved one becomes incapacitated or worse(!!) and how people are sometimes left with major issues – unable to access bank accounts etc. Sue’s presentation is for about half an hour and then we will continue with our regular discussions. These discussions are a great way to discuss your concerns and catch up with neighbours and friends.

PBWBA CHRISTMAS COCKTAIL PARTY

SUNDAY 11 DECEMBER 6.30PM AT MOBY DICK’S, WHALE BEACH

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your comments, concerns of questions.

Prof Richard West AM
0407 942 941
or go to our contact page