2019 has been a very busy and productive year for the Association and we have tried to keep members updated both with the Newsletters and at the Coffee Mornings each month. If you have a matter of concern please contact the President on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Christmas season started well with a very successful party for our members held at Moby Dicks. Our two Members of Parliament, State and Federal, Rob Stokes and Jason Falinski, attended with the Mayor of Northern Beaches Council, Michael Regan, so we had the three tiers of government within our sights. The President naturally asked them to join him on the platform and give their view of what the immediate future held. They were all basically optimistic about the future.
Rob Stokes outlined the State Government plans to improve the east/west transport links from Dee Why and Mona Vale following the success of the B-Line to the City.
The widening of Mona Vale Road is well under way and the temporary inconvenience will be repaid by a much faster smoother trip to the north shore and Macquarie Park and the western suburbs.
The Heritage bus stop opposite Surf Road in Barrenjoey Road has been replaced in the old style.
People who regularly walk in Governor Phillip Park and onto the Headland will be glad to know that the temporary toilets have been installed in the Park (near the picnic shelters) for the summer holiday period when many people use the park. Council have also installed sandstone blocks in the “paddock” area to deter hoons from gaining access to it but the hoons remain a problem elsewhere.
Temporary toilets are also going in on the Headland near the Lighthouse by the end of the week and following our submission on the new draft Plan of Management for National Parks and a discussion with Rob Stokes on the future of the Lighthouse Buildings, several Committee members accompanied National Parks staff and the Acting Manager for the Northern Region to tour the buildings. They are in good condition and there are no immediate plans to let them or modernise them (which was our fear) but we will continue to liaise on this important part of our heritage.
Assistant Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages
Work will continue next year including the provision of a new footpath to Governor Phillip Park past Blackrock and an extension of the walkway to Wiltshire Park. Kiddies’ Corner will be untouched and parallel parking will be maintained.
Meantime the beaches are filling up as schools break up and the Surf Lifesavers are gathering to keep us safe. Stormwater drains continue to be a problem, however, and various alternatives have been considered. Meantime, the beach is being kept as clean as possible. Upgrading work for stormwater infrastructure at Palm Beach, to be completed in the next 2-5 years, has a budget of $550,000 (as yet unfunded).
The proposed trial of dogs unleashed during certain hours on Station Beach (which we support) was approved by the Council but there is a legal challenge to it which will be heard on 11 February. The Council has applied for a licence from the Department of Lands for the ‘off leash’ trial but in the meantime plans to commence a trial of dogs on Station Beach ‘on leash’ as agreed at the Council meeting on 17 December 2019.
Plans are being finalised for the Coastal Walkway along Whale Beach Road between Norma Road and the steps to the pool. The Palm Beach Pavilion is being renamed the Douglas Marks Pavilion in a ceremony in 2020 to mark the centenary of the establishment of the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club. It will be held at 9.30 am at the Pavilion on Saturday 25 January. We are awaiting the installation of a defibrillator at the Ferry Wharf which is our donation to mark our Centenary last year.
At this time of the year, particularly, we are mindful of vulnerable young people in our area and continue our association with Avalon Youth Hub (their latest bulletin is on our website). The Hub is going well and is reaching out to many every week, establishing the essential connections which enable help to be provided when needed. Funding is required to continue and extend this work so please help if you can.
There are many issues to pursue in 2020 including the possible move of Mona Vale Police Station to another location to make way for affordable housing on the site (the Mayor’s wish), privatisation of Northern Beaches buses, a footpath from North Avalon to Palm Beach Ferry Wharf along Barrenjoey Road and the Northern Beaches Hospital (Inquiry due to report by February 2020). Keoride must be kept and it is only secure until June 2020. If you have not used it before, try it and connect with the B Line and travel comfortably to Mosman, Neutral Bay and the City. (Download the Keoride app or telephone 1800 536 743. You can use your Opal Card).
Meantime, enjoy this holiday period and make the most of our beautiful area. Apart from the beaches there are many spectacular walks some along little known footpaths and quiet roads. Have you visited The Bible Gardens with its wonderful views or Mackay Reserve?
THE PALM BEACH BIBLE GARDEN – NEEDS YOUR HELP
At some stage most of us would have visited the Palm Beach Bible Garden – accessed from Mitchell Road off Pacific Road. The Garden is a continuing joy for many with over 50 visitors a day and currently 25 weddings or other family events a year. The legacy of the Robinson family – over 60 years ago – has been beautifully continued but needs the ongoing support of ‘gardeners’ if it is to be maintained in its pristine condition. We need help with the care of the Garden – an hour or two, a week or two, a year – just keeping it tidy and cared for – and a “Working Bee” a couple of times a year. It would not be heavy work – anything that a moderately fit person of any age cannot do is contracted out. If you have a little time on your hands and want to continue the legacy on behalf of the residents of Palm Beach and the much wider community, we need your help.
Please contact the current President of the “Friends of the Palm Beach Bible Garden”: Stuart Spring email@example.com or 0438 260 042 for more information
Stairway to Heaven, Mackay Reserve
The Council is seeking to consolidate its Open Space and Recreation Strategy and is asking for residents’ comments on how these facilities can best be used. Comment on ‘Have Your Say’ by 16 February 2020. It is an interactive map and easy to follow. The Association will be making a submission and we welcome your comments.
If you have any issues or concerns during the holidays you can make contact as follows:
- Snap Send Solve (download the app and photograph the problem) or
- Dial 000 as advised by police from Northern Beaches Area Command if you are troubled by hoons or have any public safety issue or
- Northern Beaches Council website – online customer service – How can we help you?
On behalf of the Committee I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
A/Prof. Richard West AM