Newsletter – October 2022

We are looking forward to the annual Christmas Cocktail Party which will be held at Moby Dick’s Whale Beach on Sunday 11th December at 6.30pm.

Please click below for further details and to purchase tickets (financial members only)

Buy Tickets Online


The Council’s Conservation Zones review is a vital document to our members living in Palm Beach and Whale Beach (and of course to everyone living in Northern Beaches LGA). In Pittwater there would be 2,285 fewer properties in conservation zones and correspondingly more in residential zones. The first point to make is that although the report has been issued by the Council it is a consultants’ report (Meridian Urban) compiled on the basis of criteria definitions for each zone. It is being done to identify land with important environmental value and land subject to hazard in a consistent way across the LGA. This is not a final document and the Council is expecting to make changes to it. Hence submissions can be made in Have Your Say and site inspections can be requested if you disagree with the zoning of your property. In broad terms the zones are assessed on the basis of their environmental value and their level of hazard. The criteria for the zones is as follows:

  • C1 National Parks and Nature Reserves
  • C2 High ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic value on public land requiring environmental protection with strict controls on development
  • C3 (new zone) Land with special ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic attributes or a high level of environmental hazards in locations where evacuation may be difficult and which therefore requires careful management. Hazards include coastal and estuarine, close proximity to coastal cliffs (prone to instability), bush fire prone land (vegetation category 1 such as found in McKay Reserve), high and medium flood risk
  • C4 Land with special environmental and scenic values and accommodating low impact residential development. It contains residential land with high environmental values, biodiversity corridors, leafy escarpment lands, major ridgelines and steep slopes. Important criteria are native vegetation, threatened and endangered communities, wetlands, riparian corridors, transitional areas, heritage conservation areas. This zone is intended to recognise and protect the urban ecology of the Northern Beaches’ residential areas.
  • R2 Land including low rise housing providing the housing needs of the community (no mention of natural environment) and facilities and services to meet day to day needs


The zonings define what land uses are permitted. In summary, this is what would be allowed:

C3 Dwelling houses, Air BnB, home businesses and industries, recreation areas, emergency service and environmental facilities, oyster aquaculture, pond and tank-based aquaculture. Secondary dwellings are prohibited as are B & Bs and industry

C4 Dwelling houses, Bed and Breakfast accommodation, home businesses and industries, centre-based child care, community facilities, educational establishments, health consulting rooms, home-based child care, places of worship, recreation areas, respite day care centres, school-based child care, group homes, secondary dwellings, emergency and environmental facilities, oyster pond and tank based aquaculture.

R2 Dwelling houses, dual occupancies, multi-dwelling houses (including terraces) manor houses, group homes, exhibition homes, B & Bs, secondary dwellings, Child and Respite day care centres, veterinary hospital, boat sheds. At present Manly and Pittwater LEPs require larger land lots, more setback and car parking spaces than is required under the State Govt. Low-Rise Medium Diversity Housing in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development) – known as SEPP – which was introduced in July 2018 and applies in R2 zone. Approval of complying developments can be issued by a private certifier within 20 days without notifying neighbours.

“Residential ” zoning as yet unspecified what will be allowed here

Documents can be studied by clicking the link CONSERVATION ZONES REVIEW

We encourage all residents to access the interactive map on the Council website, establish whether their property zoning has changed from C4 to a Residential zone and if so request a site visit, submitting reasons why the change is inappropriate. The contact at the Council is:

Community organisations are preparing submissions and the PBWBA will be making a submission which we will put on the website. Submissions will now be accepted up to 2 December 2022. The stated aim of C zones is to protect and manage land that has important environmental value, particularly special ecological or aesthetic attributes, and including waterways, beaches and headlands. Careful management of land affected by high risk natural hazards is also required and these areas need to be identified. The Peninsula particularly the northern end which includes Palm Beach and Whale Beach is a unique and beautiful area but on a narrow spit of land which has little transport, is unsuitable for development and should be protected overall. It is an evacuation risk area as, in the event of a bush fire for instance emanating from Barrenjoey Headland (which has happened) or McKay Reserve, there would be severe difficulty in evacuating the area quickly. It is an area characterised by steep escarpments and stunning views and the Council has stated that it needs to respect an area’s character, landscape setting, access to transport and infrastructure and growth potential. We believe that the best protection of our existing environment would be for it all to be in a conservation zone apart from the current B1, B2 and RE1 zones (local and neighbourhood shopping areas and recreational areas). In addition we also recommend that the Council introduces a Foreshore Scenic Protection zone such as existed in Mosman until May 2022 (they are trying to reinstate it at present) which would cover the area between the mean high-water mark and the nearest ridgeline to ensure greater protection for the environmental, scientific and visual amenity of those areas.

Community Meeting

There was standing room only at a Community Meeting held on Sunday 16 October in Avalon Community Hall. Organised by Catherine Kerr, President of CABPRA, speakers outlined the implications of the review and a Q and A followed.
Panel : Sue Young (former Pittwater Councillor), Elizabeth Farrelly (Architect and writer for The Sydney Morning Herald), Craig Burton (Architect), Marita Macrae (Pittwater Natural Heritage Association) Tom Sherlock (former Mayor of Mosman), Frank Bush (Vice President, Palm Beach and Whale Beach Association)
The three Pittwater Ward Councillors, Miranda Korzy, Rory Amon and Michael Gencher were in attendance and Miranda Korzy invited attendees to sign a petition addressed to Northern Beaches Council, as follows:

Conservation Zones must protect Pittwater’s environment and community

To the Mayor and members of Northern Beaches Council
We, the residents of the Northern Beaches Council area, believe the bushland landscape of the former Pittwater Local Government Area is its predominant feature, with the built form secondary, and that this must be maintained in the future Local Environment Plan and Development Control Plan.
We therefore call on Northern Beaches Council in the former Pittwater Council area to:

  • Rule out rezoning of C4 land to residential
  • Apply conservation zonings to properties where any significant environmental values or hazards are present
  • Create Scenic Foreshore Protection Areas from shorelines to ridgelines

Retain all Heritage Conservation Areas and investigate those proposed – but not yet implemented – by the former Pittwater Council.

The meeting on a show of hands passed a motion endorsing the petition. If you would like to sign it please go to


A new draft Plan of Management for Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is open for public comment until 22 November 2022. It will provide direction for future management of the park and, once adopted, will be binding. Ku-ring-gai National Park occupies 15,000 hectares of land north of Sydney and is one of the most popular national parks in New South Wales, attracting nearly 4 million visits annually. It was established in 1894 and is the second oldest in NSW. Access to Lion Island, Long Island and Spectacle Island nature reserves is not appropriate as the conservation of their natural and Aboriginal cultural heritage is the priority and access is only permitted for park management and research. Barrenjoey Lighthouse became part of NSW National Parks and Wildlife collection of historic lighthouses when it was added to Ku-ring-gai National Park in May 2002. It was established in 1881 as part of a number of lighthouses built in 19th century to illuminate the coast of NSW. Together with its setting it is of state heritage significance.

The draft Management Plan sets out possible uses for heritage buildings on the Headland.

Existing and potential uses of heritage listed buildings in the national park

Barrenjoey Head Existing Use Potential new or additional use
Barrenjoey Lighthouse Guided tours
Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage Unoccupied Consistent with precinct planning, NPWS and/or community use, including visitor tours
Assistant Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage Unoccupied Consistent with precinct planning, NPWS Keeper’s Cottage and/or community use or visitor services shortstay visitor accommodation, visitor tours
Boatman’s Cottage Staff accommodation Staff, caretaker or shortstay visits accommodation
Fishers’ cottages Unoccupied Removal due to dilapidation and hazardous material
The Basin
Beechwood Cottage
Group function Consistent with precinct planning for The Basin, NPWS, community and/or visitor services (e.g. shortstay visitor accommodation, hospitality venue)

We are not in favour of providing shortstay commercial letting of the heritage buildings. We agree that the Fishers’ cottages, which contain asbestos and are falling down, should be removed. The Boatman’s Cottage provides long-term staff accommodation which is appropriate. The other cottages are in reasonable condition as historical buildings but would need substantial expenditure to become suitable for commercial letting thus obliterating the original interiors and their link to the past. Far better to increase the number of events to be held in them such as historical talks and exhibitions in daylight hours when safety issues are not so acute. If you would like to register your views email or follow the link below. Email:


Work for the 6-month trial of the section of Old Barrenjoey Road between Woolworths entrance and the intersection with Avalon Parade (funded at a cost of 500,000 by the State Government under its Streets as Shared Spaces programme) is beginning this week. The shared zone has a speed limit of 10 kph and is one way south bound. It includes wider footpaths with additional seating, changes to the pedestrian crossings and the removal of nine car parking spaces.

There are also some changes to the bus stops and the loss of a loading zone. Northern Beaches Council will welcome feedback from the public during the trial.
Further consultation will take place with the community and local businesses to proceed with activation of the lanes which, it is hoped, will make the whole area safer at night and encourage business activity after dark.


We value the ‘Have Your Say’ submission process to make Council aware of the views of the community and find out what others think but does it always truly represent our views and do Council’s decisions really take them into account? Michael Gencher, one of our Pittwater Ward councillors and Ruth Robins from Narrabeen Ward have raised some important questions with Council. Their concerns include whether Council ensure that online submissions are valid and legal, do they know the real identity of those behind them, how does it handle submissions from outside the LGA and do they consider differently submissions made by individuals and groups. We await the Council’s response …


The Royal Motor Yacht Club has launched a new three-race event this year – the Broken Bay Island Series – centred on the well-established Three Islands race. Boats and Club Teams will be welcomed from Sydney Harbour, the Central Coast and south to Port Hacking.
For more information email or ring 9998 5505


Northern Beaches Hospital has completed, or is conducting, 80 clinical trials or studies and is planning 20 more. Currently it is running trials on treatment for Covid clinical care patients, tick-induced allergies, cannabis for chemotherapy symptoms, cardiac arrest, lung biopsy study, robotic knee surgery and sleep disturbance in breast cancer patients.


The Association’s regular meeting with Phil Devon, Northern Beaches Council Traffic Manager, will be scheduled shortly to provide us with an update for plans to control traffic during the summer holidays and for us to give feedback on problem areas. We have asked for the Traffic Management Plans imposed during construction to be rigorously monitored to minimise disturbance to residents from the huge amount of building currently being undertaken.


Council is still awaiting a response to its request to Sydney Water dated 30 May 2022 so that a shower can be installed at Whale Beach. An unauthorised access to Sydney Water infrastructure could mean a significant fine so Council has to continue to seek a response from Sydney Water. The latest approach has been escalated to a higher level by Council.


Periodically we raise with NB Council public pathways/rights of way which are in danger of ‘disappearing’ or which have virtually disappeared so that we can try to keep them open to the public. We have received the following feedback from the Council concerning:

  • 65-67 Pacific Road, Palm Beach – has not been accessible for 10+ years and Council has no plans to upgrade access in the short to medium term
  • 6a Mitchell Road, Palm Beach – right of way to Florida – Bible Garden. There are a multitude of easements on this one so will need further investigation.
  • 4-5 Mitchell Road, Palm Beach – appears to be a drainage reserve so pedestrian access may not be possible.


Council staff are looking at options to relocate the dinghy racks in view of the erosion at Careel Bay which has also meant that the tree roots are exposed.
Erosion on large parts of the NSW coast is an issue which will require a state-wide policy as rate-payers in local council areas cannot be expected to bear all the significant costs of remediation


Council 2021

After a discussion at the Council meeting on 18 October, Council staff are reviewing the options to change the composition of the Council. At present there are five wards in the LGA, each having three Councillors as representatives. David Walton, the Liberal Councillor for Curl Curl, suggested that a smaller Council would be a more efficient one. If there were to be a reduction in the numbers of Councillors it would be likely to benefit the larger blocks such as the Mayor’s Your Northern Beaches Independent Team or the Liberals. Not surprisingly, the Greens, Cr. Vincent De Luca and Cr. Candy Bingham opposed this saying that existing Councillors already represented large groups of people in the five wards. Cr. De Luca had proposed a local government election to decide whether the Mayor should be popularly elected which would necessitate the creation of one more Councillor position, taking the Council over the maximum of 15 set by legislation. A referendum and any changes which might follow would require significant expenditure. There will be further discussion.


Work has recently been completed moving the substation originally located at the southern end of 1102 Barrenjoey Rd (next door to Barrenjoey House) across Barrenjoey Rd to Pittwater Park, laying electrical cables under the footpath and installing a new steel lightpole and luminaire beside Barrenjoey House. A terracotta tiled paved public footpath stretches from the southern end of 1102 Barrenjoey Rd north to the group of shops at 1112 Barrenjoey Rd (the B1 zone). At considerable expense these pavers were used to create a level, uniform ‘promenade like’ public footpath linking the commercial premises in this precinct. The was initiated by the former Pittwater Council as part of a street beautification project. We are shocked at the poor standard of workmanship of the subcontractors and the appalling state in which the public footpath has been left after these substation relocation works. It is completely unacceptable and disrespectful to the heritage of Barrenjoey House. The once safe footpath has become and unsightly, bitumen covered trip hazard. We have written to Council about our concerns and they have advised that they are pressing Ausgrid to complete the restoration works to the footpath.


There have been numerous reports of car thefts during the last few months, mainly cases where the thieves have been able to retrieve the car keys and drive the cars away. A teenager has now been charged with numerous alleged vehicle and property thefts. However, please ensure your car is locked, even if it is on your property, and your keys are safely stored behind locked doors.


Free screenings are held in Mona Vale Library on the last Sunday of the month. You can find the listings at Mona Vale Library. Enquiries to 8495 5024 (Just quietly “Penguin Bloom ” will be shown on Sunday 30 October – check for details)


In our midst we have a kindergarten familiar now to generations of Palm Beach residents . It was started in 1948 by local families and originally located in the Surf Life Saving Club then moving to the Crown Lands on which it stands. The building was purpose built and again funded by locals. It was designed by eminent Australian architect Peter Muller and is one of three of his works with heritage listing. The kindergarten offers day care and pre-school education for 29 children between 3-5 years from 9am and 3pm. Some funding is received from the State Government who support 15 hours per week of pre-school education for each child. Apart from that it relies on fees and fund-raising. It is a not-for-profit organisation aiming to provide quality early education in an inclusive way supporting where necessary children with special needs. Not surprisingly it has no vacancies at present and the Director, Kate Messenger, suggests joining a waiting list which you can do when your child reaches the age of 2 years.

The management of the school is done by the parents. When your child is accepted you join the school association and each year parents are voted onto the Parent Management Committee. Fund raising enables improvements, upgrades and additional resources for the children. Currently they are raising funds to replace a large tree which had to be removed recently. They would like to replace it with an advanced tree which will remain for many generations to come. The cost will have to include removing and replacing the surface of the play area. If you would like to support this endeavour please contact the Director, Kate Messenger on 9974 4835 or


There has been grave concern about the condition of Snapperman Beach Reserve which has been communicated to our three Ward Councillors and Council Staff. In response to a request from Councillor Amon, the Council has confirmed the following:

Council has completed the design, remediation action plan and environmental approval and is finalising the engagement of a contractor for the renewal of the seawall at Snapperman Beach.

  1. The wooden wall will be replaced with a sandstone wall to match the work recently completed at the north end of the beach. It is expected work will commence in mid-February 2023. Unfortunately, the failure of this wall was unexpected and consequently it has taken longer than normal to restore it as the process only commenced once it failed. Council is aware of the asbestos behind the wall, this has made the proposed works more complicated and subsequently contributed to the length of time taken to instigate the construction works. The ‘bulka’ bags are regularly inspected and replaced if signs of deterioration are noticed. It is expected they will remain serviceable until construction starts in February.
  2. The grass at the southern end benefits from the neighbouring residents watering and maintaining the grass in front of their properties to ensure it remains a high quality
  3. A customer request has been raised for a level 5 arborist to assess the pandanus palm (reference number Tr2022/06005)
  4. The crushed rock path to the beach maintains the more natural character of the area, a concrete path or asphalt path would create a more urban feel which might not be supported by the majority of the community. Jeremy Smith has been asked to raise this issue with the Palm Beach and Whale Beach Association for their perspective
  5. A customer request has been raised for Building Compliance to investigate the seawalls in question to ensure that they have the appropriate consent (reference number: BLD2022/02126)


In an emergency 000
Non-emergency 131 444
Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000

Please contact Crime Stoppers if you have any knowledge of:

  • People wanted by the Police
  • Unsolved crime or crime being planned People you know who have committed criminal offences where they have not been arrested
  • The NSW Police Force also has a YouTube Channel where you can view CCTV footage as well as news. For non-English speakers a translation service is available.


The new Federal Government has axed the commitment by the previous government to fund improvements to Wakehurst Parkway with $75m. which was met by the State Government giving a total of $150m.


1105 Barrenjoey Road/43 Iluka Road, Palm Beach

Following refusal of the original DA2021/2362 on this site the applicant took the case to the Land & Environment Court and a Conciliation Hearing was held which failed to reach an agreement. A revised plan was submitted to the Court which did not substantially change the design of the building and there have been negotiations under the auspices of the Court between the applicant and interested parties (including the Council). These have resulted in some agreements on certain aspects of the design but no agreement on the major issues where the design contravenes the planning regulations particularly with the bulk and scale of the structure and the narrow stepbacks. On Monday 24 October a meeting of the Land & Environment under Commissioner Peter Walsh was held on site. The applicant was represented by his solicitor, the Council by their legal advisers and staff. In spite of heavy rain a considerable number of residents also attended and there were addresses by neighbours and two members of the Association. Members of the Court then moved to inspections in some of the neighbouring properties and then later resumed hearings at the Land & Environment Court in the City. We are expecting an update on proceedings shortly but the final determination of the Court is not likely to be for some weeks. A sale of three shops and two residential units has been reported and ‘sold’ signs have now appeared. This is a matter which has been laid before the Court and may affect proceedings.



Since much of Palm Beach and Whale Beach is in a slip zone this is of interest to us all. However there is little new in the review although we would recommend that the regulations should be included in the LEP rather than the DCP. If you wish to have the tightest control make a submission before 2 December 2022 to:


Highly detailed study identifying and mapping core habitat areas, biodiversity corridors, and threatened flora and fauna species. If you have any questions about the study or need support with the online search tool you can ring 1300 434 434 or make a submission before 2 December to:


PBWBA Christmas Party Sunday 11 December at Moby Dick’s
‘Carols at the Beach’ Saturday 10 December at Avalon Beach
‘Market on the Green’ Sunday 4 December at Avalon Bowlo (Christmas theme and support local businesses)
‘Sydney Open’ Saturday and Sunday 5/6 December
Sydney unlocks the doors to more than 50 of the city’s important historic and architecturally inspiring buildings and spaces
Sydney Living Museums

Next Coffee Morning

Friday 25 November 10.30 am at The Pacific Club will include a talk by Robert McKinnon, the Association’s Secretary and keen student of local history and all matters heritage on “Hunger – the force that drove early explorers to Broken Bay: the northern peninsula’s role in feeding and housing the new colony ”

Next Committee Meeting

Monday 14 November at The Pacific Club

Please contact us with any concerns you have.

Prof Richard West AM
0407 942 941