Newsletter – February 2021

Tranquil evening on Pittwater


Destination Northern Beaches: Creating a Sustainable Visitor Economy 2021 is the Council’s 5-year strategic plan that sets the direction for future growth of our visitor economy while protecting our environment and our community’s social values.
This balance between residents, the environment and business/livelihood is a very delicate one and the Council recognises that there is resistance from residents to promoting the Northern Beaches for further large scale business/tourist activity. They therefore requested community feedback on their Have Your Say page.
The scope of projects has to be of a truly sustainable scale and sustainability and must refer to the physical/natural as well as the cultural/social environments.
The amenity of the area must be maintained (or better still improved) which is the very thing visitors are drawn to.
The document highlights the difficulty of planning for the Northern Beaches LGA as a whole, as this is such a large area broken into five wards, each ward with its own characteristics.
In particular the northern end of the northern beaches (Pittwater) has unique geographical characteristics and a delicately balanced environment.
It is valued for many reasons: it is seen as clean, green, safe, peaceful and relaxed.
It has spectacular scenery, world class beaches and waterways, is accessible to everyone and enjoyed by all age groups.
The Association has made a submission which will be on the website.


The Palliative Care Unit has opened at Mona Vale Hospital.
It is a 20-bed inpatient facility in two wings with a 10-bed palliative care unit and a 10-bed geriatric evaluation and management unit. The budget for the unit was $20 m. part of the $619 m. upgrade of Northern Beaches health facilities.


Northern Beaches Council maintains a Register of Scenic Streets in the LGA.
The roads included which are in Palm Beach and Whale Beach are:

View from Northview Road
  • Barrenjoey
  • Rockbath
  • Beach
  • Ocean
  • Sunrise
  • Northview
  • Bynya
  • Surf
  • Cynthea
  • Boanbong
  • Ebor
  • Ralston
  • McKay
  • The Strand
  • Florida
  • Whale Beach
  • Malo
  • Mitchell
  • Morella
  • Norma
  • Pacific
  • Rayner
The following is an extract from the Council document:
The production of the Register was requested by (Pittwater) Council.
The purpose of the Register is to allow Council to more effectively manage the preservation of the natural and cultural features of Pittwater’s public roads by defining what attributes are to be preserved and how the Council and community are able to achieve this … Environmental features include significant scenic views from the road (water or land) over private or public land, significant trees/bushland/landscaping on roads and significant topographical features.
Cultural examples include significant buildings/structures on roads, significant streetscape overall appearance, heritage listed items and Aboriginal sites.
(Council Report 15 October 2010)
We ask residents to respect the qualities as identified for streets in the Register.
Some of the qualities have evolved gradually over time due to similar choices by neighbouring residents.
When people inadvertently make changes that are at odds with the character of the streetscape it can cause stress to neighbouring residents who have been nurturing the qualities for a long time.
Views will only be considered from the street for the benefit of the broader community.
Where a street contains significant views, we ask that hedging be kept to about one metre tall to allow the community to enjoy the views from the street.”
Another extract:
“If you reside in a street listed in the Register, we ask that you respect the identified qualities.”
“Maintaining the nature strip”
Please use the following guidelines to maintain the nature strip outside your home:
Provide a cleared area for pedestrians to walk along safely (unless your street is in a bushland setting)
Define the boundary of your property so people feel confidents that they are not trespassing on your property
If you are using hedges on the boundary of your property, keep the hedge pruned to about one metre for front fences and about 1.8 metres for side fences adjoining road reserves”


The next Clean Up Day is Sunday 7 March (7 am to 6 pm)
You can register a site special to you or volunteer at a Northern Beaches site near you.
Contact Clean Up Australia
Phone 1800 282 329
Over the last 30 years 380,000 tons of rubbish have been collected by volunteers across Australia.
Why not consider volunteering this year?


Sydney ranks well up in the list of most surveilled cities in the world.
There are an estimated 60,000 cameras watching us or 12.18 cameras for every 1000 Sydneysiders which compares with 5.65 for Los Angeles, 4.9 for Berlin and 7.18 for Istanbul.
Northern Beaches Council has 180 cameras predominantly in the Manly area.
This figure excludes privately owned cameras.
CCTV is one security measure Council uses to reduce crime, increase public safety and protect our environment.
They can assist in deterring antisocial behaviour and help NSW Police deter, prevent and prosecute offences.


Ratepayers in the north of the peninsula have had to find close to $1m for repairs to public property over the last five years.
In Pittwater, the most vandalised public buildings are Avalon SLSC Public Amenities, Kitchener Park Public Amenities, Mona Vale and N. Narrabeen Reserve Sports Amenities. Police have launched a month-long youth crime blitz on the beaches following violent assaults and street robberies and there are calls for more CCTV cameras and alarms.


Hordern Park

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment surveyed community views between May and August 2020 on the use of public spaces including public streets.
Participants were asked about local streets to find out what currently works well and what changes people would like to see and what impact social distancing had on their use of public spaces.
There were 4,700 responses with the following key themes:
Communities across NSW hugely value accessible and inviting local streets.
Safety is a priority for pedestrians and cyclists.
Trees and green space play an important part in making neighbourhoods pleasant, comfortable and resilient.
Communities, culture and local economies thrive when they have great public spaces.
The findings will be used to inform future public planning.
The NSW Government is committed to a citizen-led approach to delivery on the Greener Public Spaces Premier’s Priority to increase the proportion of homes within 10 minutes walk of quality green, open and public space by 10 per cent by 2023. The Department is keen to understand what public space is available near you including how it is being used.
The Public Space during COVID-19 survey will help them find out whether use of public spaces including high streets has changed as the pandemic continues.
The survey will build on earlier findings from mid-2020.

Public Space Covid-19 Survey
This survey will close on 15 March 2021,


North Narrabeen will host a key event in the World Surfing League 2021 calendar on 16-26 April.
The exciting event will provide a considerable boost to the local economy, possible between $10m and $15m. Athletes will undergo strict quarantine and compete in Newcastle before heading to North Narrabeen.


The first trial of a community battery on the east coast of Australia to store solar powered electricity has been launched in Beacon Hill by Ausgrid, Energy Minister Matt Keane and Northern Beaches Council.
There are approximately 11,000 households with rooftop solar on the Northern Beaches but about 50,000 more are suitable and it is hoped that more householders may be encouraged to install solar panels. As community batteries are developed they are expected to lead to smaller power bills and lower emissions.


Small grants up to $3000 are available for owners of eligible heritage buildings for such items as repairs to structure such as underpinning, repainting of external walls, repairing verandahs, balustrades, roof cladding or plumbing as well as repairing fences and drainage.
Works must be approved and completed before applying for a grant and it must not exceed 50 per cent of the total cost.
Priority is given to works which save buildings from deterioration.
Applications must be submitted before 5 pm on Wednesday 31 March.
Download an application form from the Council website or contact Council’s Heritage Planner on 1300 434 434.


The NSW Government is about to issue dine and discover vouchers to be used at eligible businesses on the Northern Beaches.
Residents will get four $25 vouchers, two to spend on activities at arts and entertainment businesses 7 days a week and two at dine-in restaurants.
Dine NSW Vouchers can be used to dine in at a restaurant, café, bar, winery, pub or club from Monday to Thursday (excluding public holidays).
NSW residents aged 18 and over can apply on line for Dine and Discover NSW Vouchers.
You can download the Service NSW app and register for a MyServiceNSW Account now.
If you are successful you will find the four $25 vouchers under the ‘Vouchers’ section of the Service NSW app, ready to use within an hour.
You will also receive an email from Service NSW with the vouchers available to download and print.


Rates harmonisation is required by State legislation and is designed to move all ratepayers to a single Northern Beaches common rate from the Pittwater, Warringah and Manly rates which have applied since the merger. It will take place over the next four years from 2021/22 to 2024/25 in small stages.
It is meant to provide the Council with the same total of rates collected as the current system.
It is likely that most Palm Beach ratepayers will experience a small decline in rates over that period of less than 3% but the 3-year valuation cycle, which will come round again in 2023 may distort this.
Have Your Say by 28 February 2021


We hear a lot about Climate Change and Sea Level Rise.
How could this affect our coastline?
It has happened before. About 14,000 years ago the Pacific coastline was about 20 km further east. Our now familiar beaches did not exist. When the sea level was lower, streams flowed faster and eroded bedrock in river channels. The Hawkesbury River has a huge catchment.
Its fast flow eroded the old Pleistocene bedrock channel between Barrenjoey and Box Head so that it is about 125 metres below the present sea level. Pittwater which now widens out to merge into Broken Bay did not join the ancient Hawkesbury River drainage channels to enter the sea north of Barrenjoey until very recent times, geologically speaking. The old channel etched into the bedrock under Pittwater showed it was a steep-sided V-shaped valley, parallel to the coast, and deepening steadily toward the north. Off West Head the channel swings abruptly eastward and heads for the ocean across bedrock between Barrenjoey and Palm Beach where the bedrock is at 76 metres below sea level.
This is because of a volcanic rock bar 12 metres below sea level which connects Barrenjoey to West Head. As the seas rose steadily from 14,000 years ago the Pittwater River silted up and became a swamp and the bedrock from West Head to Barrenjoey and beyond formed a rocky cliff along the southern shore of Broken Bay. The Pittwater drainage was quite separate.
Then as the sea rose the bar was breached and the Pittwater River could flow into Broken Bay. Along-shore currents carrying sand gradually built up the sandspit, or tombolo, on the bedrock connection between Barrenjoey and Palm Beach.
The old channel where the Pittwater River had run eastwards to the ocean was silted up and closed.
By 6000 years ago the system stabilised as we know it today.
However, according to coastal zone expert Angus Gordon “The infill of the old Pittwater River is still only partially complete.
The ‘Pittwater Deep’ a section of Pittwater in the middle of the waterway west of Careel Bay and south of Sand Point, is still almost 30 m deep whereas the rest of Pittwater is generally less than 10 m deep.”
Thanks to Pittwater Natural Heritage Association for this information.
Read more in Pittwater Nature Issue 4 February 2021. Contributions are welcome. Contact and on Facebook.


Northern Beaches Council has produced a draft Local Housing Strategy document setting out their aims as follows:

  • To enable residents to find the right housing that meets their needs, lifestyles and budgets
  • To enable the Council to protect the area’s character, environment and heritage
  • To bring more activity to the busy centres and hotspots that people love and leverage development to invest in better public spaces and more lifestyle options
  • To plan for most of the LGA to experience only minor change

The current demand for housing is 11,995 with the current supply standing at 10,751.
The 5-year target for new dwellings 2016-2021 was 3,400.
Currently 2,835 have been built and the Council believes the target will be met.
There is little scope to deal with the shortfall in housing through building new detached houses and only a little more in semi-detached housing although there is considerable demand for each of these.
However there is capacity to meet the shortfall through home unit construction.
There is currently an unsatisfied demand for 8,100 units of social and affordable housing and this is expected to increase by 1,880 by 2036.
The Council proposes to take responsibility for this increase but is looking to other levels of government to deal with the current shortfall. The zoning in Palm Beach or Whale Beach which is mostly E4 (Environmental Living) must be maintained.
The majority of housing development is likely to be within a one-kilometre radius of the strategic centres of Brookvale, Dee Why and Mona Vale with some development, also within a one-kilometre radius, in local centres such as Manly Vale and Narrabeen. The strategy for Mona Vale includes high rise buildings. Village centres such as Avalon and Newport will have some low to medium density housing within a similar radius.
The Association’s submission is on the website.
Have Your Say by 7 March 2021 (has been extended)
Draft Northern Beaches Housing Strategy
Homes for all. Learn more and have your say.


The walkway to Governor Phillip Park past Black Rock is now complete and provides a comfortable and easy walk beside the beach.
We congratulate the Council on their expeditious and efficient construction of this walkway which is being much used. Speed humps have been installed in Ocean Road although they are sufficiently shallow that they will have a very limited effect on speeding along this road.


Consultation Day on Avalon Place Plan 27 July 2019

The Avalon Place Plan is now on the Council website and the period of public consultation lasts for 3 months (closing date 16 May). This will determine the face of Avalon for many years to come and we ask our members to examine it carefully and make their comments on the Have Your Say website.
It has many recommendations some of which have great merit and others which are disturbing.
We feel it is important to preserve the three-story limit (12 metres high) which is necessary to ensure that the character of the village remains and to prevent over-development.
This commitment should be written into the plan.
The village is not on a through route and pedestrians currently have priority. This should remain.
The Council Plan sets out routes for through cycleways which we feel would be very damaging to the village and dangerous to pedestrians particularly children and the elderly.
They would cut the village into four quadrants and would require re-routing of buses and loss of car spaces and trees. The planned routes for the cycleways through the village are:
from Barrenjoey Road near Woolworths car park along Old Barrenjoey Road, across the intersection with Avalon Parade, past the primary school, returning to Barrenjoey Road at the roundabout at the start of the Bilgola Bends and from the car park near the beach, along Avalon Parade, crossing the intersection with Old Barrenjoey Road, continuing on Avalon Parade as far as the Old Wharf on Pittwater.
We totally oppose these plans which are disruptive, potentially dangerous and in parts extremely impractical.
Avalon Preservation Association has put forward an alternative plan which is on the Council website and also displayed in the windows of the empty shop on the street front at the entrance to Angophora Arcade.
We strongly support their suggestion of cycle routes that use the laneways of the village which are quieter and safer routes for cyclists and do not encourage large groups of cyclists on long recreational rides to sweep through the village.
We support many initiatives of the Council such as an entertainment area in Dunbar Park and the trial of monthly markets there and the suggestion that the entrance to Woolworths car park should be moved beside the exit and away from the busy crossing near the Library.
It is also important to retain the Golf Club as public open space and confirm its zoning in the plan. There is much detail in the plans which merit close examination.
The costing of some of the Council recommendations is considerable and they therefore need very careful consideration with clear priorities established and decisions based on showing real benefit to local inhabitants.
We urge you to make your views known.
Our submission will be on our website.
My Place: Avalon – Draft Avalon Beach Place Plan
Submissions close 16 May 2021


Would you like to be a Volunteer Ethics Teacher at Avalon Primary School?
Volunteers will undergo a free online training course from Primary Ethics and then teach for half an hour each week (on Tuesday mornings) in the primary school using a Community of Inquiry approach.
This involves posing questions to the students and then facilitating a discussion.
The curriculum is fully developed and approved by the Department of Education and volunteers find it a positive and rewarding experience.
If you would like to find out more, please contact the Co-Ordinator, David Bartolo, at (ph. 0407 371 338) or visit

Dates for your Diary

Next Committee Meeting – 7 pm Tuesday 8 March at the Pacific Club
Next Coffee Morning – 10.30 am Friday 26 March at the dine-in section of Palm Beach Fish & Chips