Newsletter – May 2020

We hope you and your families are keeping well and have been able to make the most of this beautiful Autumn weather to enjoy a walk or a swim.

Several of the Committee would like to share some of the “treasures” of Palm Beach and Whale Beach which they have enjoyed or found comfort in during this extraordinary time. Some photos were taken while on their (distanced!) walks or were found in treasured family photo collections.
You will find them scattered throughout this Newsletter.

“Nature humbles us, teaches us perspective. She surprises us too. Recently, after rain followed by copious sunshine, McKay Reserve was briefly flecked with the colours of Spring – a wonderful respite. And a brief escape from a world made bleak by a pandemic”.

We have scheduled a tentative date for the AGM – Wed 24th June 7pm – which we plan to hold via “Zoom” technology.
We will confirm details closer to the time. Our monthly coffee discussions have been suspended and we miss them!
We have held the April and May Committee Meetings via Zoom.
We continue to follow up, respond to and comment on current local issues as they arise. Should you have any comments, concerns, questions or ideas that you wish to discuss with President Richard West please don’t hesitate to call him on 0407 942941 or email


Whale Beach Rd near Rayner Rd
Whale Beach Rd near Moby Dicks

When you are out walking, 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 are currently investigating existing pathways and rights of way and have suggested to Council where signposts need to be installed and where pathway use would benefit the Community and improve connectivity.
To date, new “Public Pathway” signs have been erected by NBC
1) Whale Beach Rd to Dolphin Crescent opposite Rayner Rd
2) Whale Beach Rd to the beach opposite Surf Rd junction
3) Malo Rd to the beach — Malo Rd turning circle
Please let us know if you are aware of any others that need attention and would be of benefit to the Community. (photos are very helpful).

Pittwater – “This photo reminds me of peaceful and enjoyable times with the family and still help me to find serenity in these tempestuous times”

“Drama at Goddard’s – but the dogs are unfazed …” Fire at Goddard’s Wharf Snapperman Beach 1934.
(CL Geddes family album)


Some Capital Works have been deferred until next financial year.
The Coast Walk Whale Beach Rd and Black Rock to Gov Phillip Park construction budget is deferred to next financial year but with no reduction to budget proposed.
Community face to face drop-in sessions are on hold while alternate consultation strategies are investigated.
Council has a great deal of information re support available.
This includes suspension of some fees and charges for business, provision of extra or altered services and general community information.


Highly recommended!
The Library2U service is 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.

Spectacular sunsets over Pittwater from Dark Gully

After the hustle and bustle of boats and ferries on a busy day I love the peace and tranquility of early evening at Palm Beach Wharf.


Work continues on NBC’s spruce up of the Whale Beach amenities block and it’s looking much better already!
These works include painting of the building, screen installation over the breeze blocks on the interior of the building and screen installation over the breeze blocks on the exterior of the building on the northern side only
Major works are slated for 21/22.
PBWBA has received a request for NBC to install a shower at the foot of the steps from Whale Beach Rd to the beach at the northern end of the beach. There used to be a tap at the foot of the steps but it is no longer connected to water (even though the water pipe from road to beach remains in place). This will be investigated by Council.

A busy afternoon at Whale Beach!

A rock at the southern end of Whale Beach. “I love the variety of texture and shadow, the patterns in the shapes of the holes and the way there appears to be a reaching out for connection across the centre”.


The Association has been advocating for the provision of a safe footpath along Barrenjoey Road from Avalon to Palm Beach for some time and, while there is general acceptance of the need, it is a joint project by Transport for NSW and Northern Beaches Council, with possible funding by the Federal Government, so takes time to achieve. However, the section from Careel Head Road to Currawong Avenue is in the Council draft delivery programme for the next financial year although it requires endorsement of the concept design by Transport for NSW (RMS). It is hoped that this endorsement will be received by July 2020 so that it can be included in the Council Budget to be adopted later this year. We will continue to press for continuation of the footpath along Barrenjoey Road which is a very dangerous road for pedestrians.


The Council is preparing plans for two Walkways in our area and they will shortly be released. One is from Norma Road to Florida Road and the other from Palm Beach to Governor Phillip Park past Black Rock. Residents will have the opportunity to comment on the plans when they are published.


Council has received concerns from local residents regarding visibility, access issues and traffic flow in Iluka Rd, Pacific Rd & Crane Lodge Place.
Council recently undertook consultation with residents and as a result installation of unbroken yellow kerb lines in specific locations will be undertaken in the near future.
For further details refer to the NBC website


As part of the process of producing one LEP for the whole Northern Beaches local government area, the Council has prepared the Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) and a letter of support has been received from the Greater Sydney Commission. The LEP will also include the Council’s Housing Strategy, Employment Study, Social Infrastructure Study, Environment Study and Local Character Study. The Council is aiming to release a Discussion Paper late in 2020 and a draft Northern Beaches LEP by mid-2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, made community consultation much more difficult but the process is continuing as quickly as practicable.

“Spending the afternoon with the kids is very special.”  Simple pleasures on the water’s edge. Pittwater


NBC website

Delivery Program 2020-2024, Operational Plan and Budget 20/21 – closes 7 June
Click on the “area hotspots” button on the website to see the projects planned for our area.

They are:

  • Seawall renewal Pittwater Park. Minor repairs and maintenance
  • Retaining wall renewal Pacific Rd. Minor repairs and maintenance of Council owned wall.
  • Ocean Rd Black Rock to Gov Phillip Park and Whale Beach Rd pathway works.Footpaths
  • North Avalon – Barrenjoey Road – New footpath construction 725 m
  • Avalon Beach – Whale Beach Road – Footpath Renewal 196 mRoad re-sheeting
  • Avalon Beach – Whale Beach Road – Repair and Resurfacing 290m
  • Whale Beach Road re-sheeting – from Malo Road to Beauty Drive.
  • Development of the new Governor Phillip Park Plan of Management is budgeted in 20/21.

“The everchanging colours of the ocean are amazing. No two days are the same.
Shades of blue are my favourite. I find the ocean mesmerising.”


Detailed information available in this pamphlet.
Also Medibank Covid19 Health Assist has been set up to support health and wellbeing.
ph 1800 789 414 9-5pm Mon to Fri.


by Leonor Gouldthorpe (Committee member)

It is perhaps an understatement to say that the world is facing a health crisis reaching far beyond this domain.
The Corona Virus pandemic has highlighted like never before the correlation between the physical, social and psychological aspects of our lives. That is, a Wholistic Approach to mental health. In the past, there has been a tendency to compartmentalise these areas, but in the present crisis, their interrelation has become increasingly obvious.
Beyond Blue has reported an almost 60 per cent increase in calls seeking assistance in the past four weeks, compared to the same period last year.
Many people are experiencing episodes of anxiety and depression for the first time, while others with a past history, are suffering from increased symptoms of mental illness.
Some of the following factors are contributors:

  • Uncertainty, about Coronavirus itself. While symptoms have been identified, there is no vaccination or eradication treatment to deal with the virus. Additionally, people can be asymptomatic, yet be transmitters of the disease. There are some studies which suggest that the virus could mutate and become more virulent. Fear of a second wave of infection is also prevalent.
  • Uncertainty about the economic situation. Some social commentators say that this could be as lethal as the virus itself. It is almost impossible to predict when the economy (if ever) will go back as it used to be. Many workers out of jobs and employers going broke have contributed to anxiety, depression, increased stress, family conflict and a feeling of chaos.
  • Social Isolation. While at the moment, this is the only strategy to deal with the spread of the disease, prolonged isolation has shown to have detrimental mental health implications. Separation from family, friends and close contacts leaves those more vulnerable to contagion (eg the aged, those with underlying conditions) also psychologically vulnerable. Loneliness and suicide have been on the increase according to community and government organisations working in this area. Family stress can increase as sometimes several generations struggle to live, work and study together in confined spaces.
  • Fear of change. In the middle of this uncertainty it is clear that changes, some of them major, will be necessary, yet many are not prepared to face this and are distrustful of those in government and of their directions. While some may have taken steps to make changes to their lives, there are many factors outside people’s control which make it difficult to enact these changes.
  • Although some easing of the social isolation rules has been announced by the government, many fear that this strategy will bring about a second wave of infection. So, this is another area of uncertainty.
  • Compared to the rest of the world Australia has experienced less infection and fewer fatalities from Coronavirus, but many grieve for those seriously affected in other countries. Most people feel alarm and sadness at these tragic events and these feelings can be overwhelming.

Community and Mental Health Organisations have joined to develop strategies to support people’s health and wellbeing through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Beyond Blue” has a well developed Mental Wellbeing Support Service that can be reached by telephone on 1800512348, an Online Forum (https://www.beyond
Many online activities have sprung up to keep people active and connected to others from many organisations such as exercises, concerts, talks, cooking classes, forums, etc. They are worth looking at.
Beyond Blue has a dedicated online forum topic “Coping during the corona virus outbreak” which is very informative. They recommend Key measures,

  • Connection
  • Establishing routine
  • Managing uncertainty
  • Physical Health (looking after yourself, i.e. diet, exercise, etc)

The Australian government’s Head to Health page ( Is another important resource with information about tips to maintain good mental health and how to access mental health services and mental health courses online.
Other organisations have concentrated on preventative strategies such as building resilience and offer free lectures on this subject. There are many options to keep people informed and connected in these hard times.
If you or your family/friends are experiencing increased stress, don’t hesitate to seek help.

Wildflowers in Mackay Reserve. Joy in small things!

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 connected, stay well, keep your physical distance and wash your hands!

Richard West
0407 942 941


“We cannot be close to many people but the wildlife are coming close to us and we welcome them, particularly now.”

“The onset of colder weather can bring spectacular sunsets to Palm Beach, with Snapperman’s an ideal location for a sundowner or two while watching ever-changing skies.”