Newsletter – September 2019

VALE: The Hon. Justice Bryce Ross-Jones

(1928 -2019)

It was with a great sorrow that I received the news of Bryce’s passing. He was one of those people who always looked for the good things in others. Soft, gentle and perfectly suited to his chosen career in the legal fraternity. He had a way with words, always had a joke, quick to ask you for an evening drink and was a great neighbour to us.

I first meet Bryce soon after moving in next door when one evening he materialised from the garden with a bottle in one hand and a question as to our feelings regarding him flying his beloved Australian flag 24/7 in his front garden.

It was his persuasion that introduced me to what was then the Palm Beach Association. Bryce served on the committee of the Palm Beach Association for 14 years, seven of which he was the Associations President. He was instrumental in the amalgamation of the McKay Reserve Committee and The Whale Beach Preservation Society with the Palm Beach Association which led to a change of name and logo. The Palm Beach and Whale Beach Association (PBWBA) was borne.

A major achievement of the Association in the beginning was the creation of Governor Phillip Park. Bryce was a keen student of Governor Phillip and wanted to see better recognition of his achievements which led to the sandstone entrances to the park being installed. During his stewardship he brought credibility and stature to the Association which faced many challenges including offshore sand mining. Through them all Bryce guided the Association wisth a steely reserve to protect the environment and the way of life that the community on the peninsular lives. His commitment to the community through the Association was amazing and he will be missed by us all.

A memorial service will be held in October. Details to come.

Storm Jacklin
Retired President and life member

This plaque was finally recently installed at the entrance to Governor Phillip Park.


Come along and meet Ray Brownlee, the CEO of the Northern Beaches Council, who will be the guest speaker. Mr Brownlee will speak about his first year as CEO, answer your questions and listen to your feedback, suggestions and concerns about local matters.



Did you know that Beechwood Cottage at The Basin can be hired for functions & events?

The National Parks & Wildlife Service (“NPWS”) as the responsible body for the Ku-ring-gai National Park has issued a public consultation document, following up on the concept plan released in 2016. It is seeking the views of the community to assist it in the formulation of a new management plan for the Park, to replace the current plan which dates from 2002.

To seek clarity, facts, figures and further details, at our request, Minister Rob Stokes has facilitated a meeting in his office on 20th September with Deon van Rensburg, the Regional Director of the NPWS, to discuss the proposed new management plan with particular focus on the Barrenjoey Lighthouse precinct.

The Association is most interested in proposals relating to Barrenjoey Headland, Lion Island and the Basin as the areas of the Park which impact on the interests of the members of the Association and the interests of the community, in the way in which those three parts of the Park are managed.

These three parts of the Park comprise a valuable site of heritage, historical and natural interest, much visited by tourists, a valuable nature reserve and a much-appreciated recreational area. The activities for which the Headland and the Basin are enjoyed affect the residential and commercial interests of our members and the communities of Palm Beach and Whale Beach. We therefore see one of our roles to help protect these unique values so that they can be enjoyed by future generations.

The number of visits to both The Basin and Barrenjoey Headland have been increasing year by year, both by locals and international visitors. Over 250,000 people were recorded as visiting the Headland in the 12 months to 31 March 2018, according to recording equipment but this is almost certainly an under-estimate. The continuing growth of Sydney’s population will ensure this trend continues and the management plan has to deal with this and the resulting pressure on the environment.

The NPWS document does not make the point explicitly but the Minister, Rob Stokes, does – that NWPS needs to look for ways to generate income from appropriate assets in order to augment the funds made available by the Government. Therefore “adaptive re-use” of heritage buildings within national parks for visitor accommodation and for educative purposes is being advocated. Funds have been spent on restoring the existing buildings around the Lighthouse and on Beechworth Cottage at The Basin. Beechworth Cottage is available for functions and NPWS wishes to promote its use for this. The absence of uses for heritage buildings and failure to generate additional sources of funds could result in reduced levels of maintenance and eventual deterioration.

The paper contains the same recommendation as the 2016 Concept Plan that Barrenjoey Headland should be considered for short-stay accommodation but it makes it clear that this is subject to community consultation.

It also advocates consideration of additional camping facilities at The Basin, including safari-style tents or “glamping”. Camping facilities within The Basin are regarded by NWPS as inadequate. It wants to improve access for mobility impaired people (including upgrading the wharf) and additional barbecue facilities.

Great to see the seal colony, believed to be approx 20 seals, thriving at the base of Barrenjoey Headland (photo courtesy Tracey White)

There is not (either in this document or the 2016 concept plan) any suggestion of wider commercial use such as conference centres or long-term accommodation on the Headland. The 2002 Plan of Management provided that “Buildings at Barrenjoey Headland may be leased to provide visitor facilities and experiences such as visitor accommodation and interpretation and/or used as caretaker accommodation”.

The discussion paper acknowledges that improvements are needed on Barrenjoey Headland, including basic toilet facilities and drinking water, to protect the precinct’s buildings and to enhance opportunities for visitors to appreciate historic heritage.



Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes has announced funding for the introduction of public toilet facilities at Barrenjoey Headland. The increasing popularity of the headland has led to calls from the community to introduce conveniently located public toilet facilities and access to drinking water to improve the visitor experience.
Rob Stokes Media Release – Funding Flows to Barrenjoey Headland

Short term rental accommodation

do you rent your property for short term accommodation? Is the property in a bushfire prone zone?
Properties affected by bushfire prone declarations
  • 852 T0 1074 Barrenjoey Road east side
  • 897 To 1127 Barrenjoey Road west side
  • 23- 26 Thyra Road
  • Bynya road all west side (as far as Ralston Road)
  • Cynthea Road both sides
  • Ebor Road both sides
  • Mackay Road both sides
  • Ralston Road all southern side

We are seeking clarification as it would seem that properties located in bush fire prone zones may not be able to be let for short term accommodation.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and the Department of Customer Service are seeking feedback on the draft instruments and Regulations that will introduce the state-wide planning framework and mandatory Code of Conduct for short-term-rental accommodation (STRA).

The proposed changes are outlined in a Discussion Paper, which also seeks feedback about introducing a new industry-led STRA property register.

The approach of the State Government to short term rental accommodation (“STRA”) regulation is multi-pronged, confusing and complicated. It encompasses:

  • A new State Environmental Planning Policy (“SEPP”) dealing with additional planning requirements for STRA premises.
  • Proposed new fire regulations for STRA premises. These will affect substantial parts of Palm Beach and Whale Beach, including all or parts of 15 out of the 31 roads in these two suburbs, as well as significant parts of Avalon and Avalon Beach, Bilgola, Clareville, Newport, Mona Vale, Bayview, Church Point, Great Mackerel Beach. Currawong Beach, and Coasters Retreat, all of which areas include many properties let on holiday lets. Holiday and short term lets in these areas are not easily replaced with longer term lets. This will have a significant economic and financial impact on these local economies. There are requirements for hard wired smoke and heat alarms in every bedroom and attached garage and there must be a fire hydrant within 60m of a dwelling.
  • A new code of conduct which will be administered primarily by the Department of Fair Trading
  • A new register of STRA premises, to be set up and funded by an “industry body” at present unidentified. It is not proposed that this register will be publicly accessible.
  • A limit of 2 persons to each bedroom or a maximum of 12 persons sleeping in each STRA premises, whichever is the lower.



Existing Public Path Whale Beach Road to Coral Close – No Signage or Lighting

This public path and stairs is a really handy shortcut!

The lighting issue will be further investigated and if it is feasible to install lighting at this location, it will be programmed as part of the ongoing capital works program to enhance the walkability of the local area.

Council is currently reviewing the wayfinding signage across the Northern Beaches with a report to Council in the near future. Council will respond to requests to improve signage following consideration of this report.

Lockers in Pittwater Park

The recently installed blue lockers will be moved to Church Point and a new style of lockers will be installed, as a trial, near the toilet block in Pttwater Park (north). This is to provide secure storage of goods for residents and visitors to the Western Foreshores, The Basin, Currawong and ferries while they park their vehicles at some considerable distance from the wharf.

The Whale Beach amenities block will be updated in 2021/22

The Surf Rd “heritage” bus shelter will be completed by the end of September weather permitting. The delay was caused by the discovery of an unknown Telstra pit.

The right of way from Pacific Rd to the Bible Garden has been listed for repair but no time frame given.

Wayfinding signage at Palm Beach Wharf will be incorporated into the NBC Destination Management Plan due for public comment in November.


PBWBA continues to work closely with NBC on various matters relating to the new landscaping works at the beach. There is some confusion with parking and signage which is being rectified.

Still to be resolved is the issue of stormwater pollution and rotting seaweed (particularly in peak season) in Kiddies Corner. PBWBA have suggested that NBC requests a permit from Dept of Fisheries for removal of “wrack” (seaweed) as is permitted at Balmoral, Coogee and Bronte Beaches.

Also to clarify, dogs on leashes are allowed on Ocean Rd and the path to the pool and the steps up to Florida Rd but NOT on the beach. Confusing signs in Ocean Rd will be amended.

New Aquafill stations on the beach -bubblers and taps are a welcome addition.

  • A 4th chair will be added to the cafe style setting on the beach front. They are already being well used and look great!
  • The shower on the beach in front of the Surf Club will be re-installed

Hordern Park: timber furniture, sandstone sculpture and sandstone place name will be repaired as part of the Coastal Walkway project.

Plans for the next section of the path north to Black Rock and beyond will be available in the next few weeks.


Hoons continue to be a huge problem particularly racing along Barrenjoey Road and Ocean Road. This is a regular occurrence and is potentially very dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and wildlife.  There has also been damage to grassed areas in Gov Phillip Park made by vehicles at night.

Residents are encouraged by Supt Dave Darcy of Northern Beaches Area Command to call 000 to report this behaviour. The calls are logged and statistics kept. This is important for police to be able to follow patterns of behaviour and plan police resourcing. He has assured PBWBA that these calls to 000 do not compromise other emergency calls.
Damage to “THE PADDOCKS” at North Palm Beach Sept ’19

Our local member Rob Stokes is very aware of our concerns. – ph: 9999 3599


From 28th September there will be an increase in services (6 per day) to and from Palm Beach Wharf and Patonga on weekends, school holidays and public holidays.


Monday, 23 September 2019 Macquarie Room, Parliament House, Sydney

Our President, A/Professor Richard West has been called to give evidence at the second hearing on Monday 23rd September 10am followed by Dr Jonathan King and Dr Suzanne Daly.
These sessions are live streamed LINK

Summary of PBWBA Submission – View the SUBMISSION


  1. Clinical Services: The lack of appropriate medical and surgical services at the Public/Private Level 5 Northern Beaches Hospital (NBH) for all Public and Private patients.
  2. Mona Vale Hospital: The downgrading of medical services at the Mona Vale Hospital Site.
  3. Access to NBH: The distance to be travelled, and therefore the time to travel from Pittwater to the NBH is excessive, either by public transport or private car. The distance and time are markedly increased in bad weather when The Wakehurst Parkway is closed.
  4. Ambulance services: Lack of Ambulance services and poor response times in Pittwater.

The residents of Pittwater should be able to obtain level 6 hospital services without having travel to, or be transferred from NBH to, RNSH which is over 40 km by road or at least 57 minutes’ drive in good conditions from Pittwater. Having to travel over 40 km in Metropolitan Sydney to RNSH to have access to critical life saving health services is simply unacceptable.

The vested interests of other medical communities should be ignored by the NSW Government.

It is well documented that the quicker patients with acute conditions such as myocardial infarcts, strokes, and major trauma, etc., receive definitive treatment the better is the outcome.

The emphasis must be on providing comprehensive high-quality patient care at the NBH and upgrading the services at Mona Vale UCC.

The residents of Pittwater and their families must have a fully functioning effectively run level 6 hospital able to provide critical care which is readily accessible within a reasonable time period. At the moment they do not, and it is incumbent on NSW Health to remedy that situation as a matter of urgency. At the moment the lives of the residents of Pittwater and their families are being unnecessarily and unreasonably put at risk.

A/Professor Richard West AM. MB BS(SYD) FRCS(ENG) FRACS
President PBWBA
VMO Surgeon Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Adjunct A/Professor Surgery University of Sydney
Surveyor ACHS

The first of four hearings was held at Parliament House Sydney on Monday 26 August 2019 with evidence given by Dept of Health and hospital executives, union representatives and representatives of local groups including Parry Thomas, Chairman of Save Mona Vale Hospital, Phil Walker Friends of Mona Vale Hospital, Helena Mooney Friends of Northern Beaches Maternity Services.



Councillors voted 12-2 to support the trial as follows –
That Council:
A. Conduct a dog off-leash area trial at Station Beach, Palm Beach for 12 months as outlined in the Council report (see Council website).
B. Delegate authority to the Chief Executive Officer to enter into a licence agreement with the Department of Industry, Lands and Water for the trial.
C. Declare Station Beach an off-leash area, for the purpose of a trial, under section 13(6) of the Companion Animals Act (1998) subject to the granting of a licence with the Department of Industry, Lands and Water.
D. Investigate other beach locations prior to appointing a permanent dog off-leash area at Station Beach

Date for commencement of the trial is not known at this stage as it is subject to Council obtaining a licence and mitigation measures being implemented by Council.


We are keeping a close eye on any strategies and options proposed by Council which may be appropriate for Palm Beach & Whale Beach.


Council voted 12 – 2 to declare a Climate Emergency. This was proposed by Councillors McTaggart and Warren.

Quote from the motion:

The Northern Beaches has a proud legacy of far-sighted sustainability initiatives and has demonstrated the ability to create positive change locally. Successful strategies and lessons learned from behaviour change campaigns by local community groups are key to the transition to a low carbon future. State and Federal support is imperative to scale up these local actions and a Climate Emergency Declaration at Council’s level would be a powerful signal that the community takes the threat of climate change seriously and demands action. In the short term, Council’s Declaration of a Climate Emergency would send a strong message to the community that there is hope and a strong commitment to the work to be done.


After Justene Gordon’s presentation at July’s coffee morning many of the attendees asked how they could help. It was suggested by PBWBA that a “Friends of Avalon Youth Hub” group be formed. Consequently, Justene has written the first “Friends of Avalon Youth Hub” communique which we are very pleased to share with you.
It has been one year since The Avalon Youth Hub was launched and many local community members have asked for regular information about what the Avalon Youth Hub does and the Governance structure it sits within.
If you are interested in learning about the needs of your local area, how you can help, what The AYH is doing and you wish to become a Friend of Avalon Youth Hub please read this newsletter. You may like to forward this onto others you believe may be interested.
View the Communique


Saturday 19th October 5pm – 10pm $20 per person ph NPWS1300 072 757

NPWS will be transforming Barrenjoey Headland into an observatory for 1 night only. They invite you to come along and witness the sparkly wonder of the solar system under the light of the new moon:

  • Learning about the solar system from local astronomers and looking through one of the onsite telescopes
  • Going on a guided tour of Barrenjoey Lighthouse
  • Listening to stories about Aboriginal astronomy
  • Learning tips and tricks for night sky photography from an experienced astrophotographer.
  • Don’t forget your camera and tripod
  • Discovering why dark, natural night skies are important to animals, plants and humans


Researchers and students from Macquarie University led by astronomy lecturer Richard McDermid, are gathering data from Barrenjoey Headland for an application to establish an Urban Night Sky Park. This data will be handed to Northern Beaches Council to assist its application to the International Dark Sky Association for the first accredited urban light-free sanctuary in the southern hemisphere.

There will be an information stall at Palm Beach Markets Sunday 22 Sept to explain the implications to residents and the community.

Next Committee Meeting: Monday October 14th The Pacific Club 7pm