Newsletter – September/October 2021

Palm Beach ocean pool (Susi Hanke)

Despite the challenge of many, many weeks in lockdown, the PBWBA has continued to attend Zoom meetings with Council officers, hold Zoom Committee meetings and even Zoom coffee mornings! We’re just about “Zoomed out” and looking forward to an easing of restrictions and the freedom this will bring.


Despite our concerns submitted to Council and expressed at several meetings and directly to Councillors, NBC will proceed with plans for Governor Phillip Park to be designated an Urban Night Sky Place. To gain accreditation with the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), the Council will need to introduce low level lighting and support 4 educational events each year at the park. The council has allocated a budget of $50,000 for the lighting plan and must also pay a fee of approximately $700 to the IDA.

Our concerns include lack of transparency and local community consultation during the process, commercialisation of Gov Phillip Park, cost impost on existing businesses, conflict of interest, possible loss of autonomy by the Council over lighting levels and activities in Governor Phillip Park which is Crown Land – the people’s land. We firmly believe Barrenjoey Headland and the Lighthouse precinct should not be included as part of the Urban Night Sky Place under any circumstances.

Additionally we believe the $50 000+ allocated by Council for the lighting plan, fees and investigations could be better spent on GPP which urgently requires upgrades and repairs to basic facilities such as adequate toilets, shade, solutions to waterlogged roads and parking areas, damage by large trucks, weeds and overgrown paths to name a few. We have been informed that upgrades will not take place until at least FY22/23 due to NBC budget constraints. (see next sectiion)

We will be seeking your feedback and comments about this Urban Night Sky Place project in the near future.


We are very concerned about the tired state of Governor Phillip Park and the damage and wear and tear caused by large trucks and apparatus used by film crews. GPP is a very popular park with picnic shelters and tables, barbecues, a playground and is access to Barrenjoey Lighthouse which is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year. Amongst other things, toilet infrastructure is inadequate, potholes abound and the picnic tables lack shade

We are very disappointed to be advised that an upgrade will not take place until at least FY 2022/23 due to Council budget constraints.

Trucks and other equipment used by crews when filming.

Queue for the toilet block

Support vehicles and trucks used while filming

We will continue to insist that all revenue (fees and charges) raised in the Park be spent within the park and not elsewhere. Open space has been so important to the Community during the pandemic and we will continue to seek funds for improvements and maintenance from the NSW Govt, the Federal Govt or the Council for this well loved, well used and iconic piece of Crown Land.


Council will be activating the COVID-19 Summer Safety Plan in time for the busy holiday season. Covid-19 Summer action plan

With an influx of visitors anticipated when lockdown regulations are eased, we have had meetings with Phil Devon, NBC Manager Transport Network, regarding traffic and parking difficulties in Palm Beach & Whale Beach. Barrenjoey Road is a State Rd managed by TforNSW and it is a very difficult and slow process to achieve changes. The other roads are managed by Council who are responsive, happy to listen to Community suggestions and ideas and implement changes if appropriate.

Issues discussed include

  • Surf Rd/Barrenjoey Rd dangerous intersection and lack of safe pedestrian access to the bus stops.
  • Ocean Place – no footpath to bus terminus
  • Whale Beach Rd encroachments make walking difficult and dangerous
  • Whale Beach Rd parking and traffic flow problems
  • Whale Beach Rd partial road closure due to subsidence – the problem is more complex than anticipated but should be finished late Oct/early Nov.
  • Speed limits on Ocean Rd and Barrenjoey Rd
  • Overflow parking at Careel Bay playing fields
  • Footpaths in general
  • Palm Beach Rd/Pacific Rd/Sunrise Rd pinch point and traffic flow
  • The dangerous, deep, open drains on the northern side of Palm Beach Rd
  • Missing times – 7am – 9am – on “NO RIGHT TURN” signs from Barrenjoey Rd into Old Barrenjoey Rd Avalon. The sign contractor made a mistake leaving times off signs. Has now been corrected.


The postponed local Council elections will be held on Saturday 4th December 2021.

The Palm Beach Kindy on Barrenjoey Road is the local polling place.


will host two candidates’ information sessions prior to the election. Each Candidate is invited to present a short outline of their policies, priorities and background.

Subject to public health orders allowing community centre bookings to proceed, the dates are –

  • Wed 1st December 7.00pm Pittwater Ward at Newport Community Centre main hall
  • Thursday 2nd December 7.00pm Narrabeen Ward at Nelson Heather Centre, Warriewood (Banksia Room)


Do you know what and where heritage listed items are in Palm Beach and Whale Beach?

Did you know there are 42 items listed in the Local Heritage List for Palm Beach and 2 in Whale Beach?

Click on the following link – you might be surprised to find trees, a post box, a toilet block, street lamps and picnic shelters on the list! A “Heritage” listing can apply to a place, a value, a tradition or an event, not just a building or structure. Age does not define heritage.

Items of local significance can be found listed here. Heritage Items NBC LEP schedule 5

This list is updated every 2 to 5 years.

Barrenjoey Lighthouse is the only listing on the State Heritage List. Heritage items of State Significance (Type “Palm Beach” into the suburb section).

At the Zoom coffee meeting held on 24th September a very interesting presentation was given by Anne-Maree Newberry, Manager Strategic Planning, from Northern Beaches Council on aspects of heritage including lists, grants available for homeowners of heritage properties and how to propose an item for heritage listing.

Should you wish to nominate an item of local significance for consideration please email Council.

Council will be commencing a Modern Architecture Study in 2022 which will recognise renowned architects of the late 20th Century.

Heritage listed Norfolk Island Pines

Heritage listed post box Nabilla Rd


Communities across the state can now nominate heritage places linked to notable personalities and events for recognition as part of the NSW Blue Plaques program.

The Blue Plaques program aims to capture public interest and fascination in key personalities, events and places that are important to the stories of NSW.

This recently announced NSW Government program fosters curiosity in our heritage by recognising the places, personalities and major events that matter to communities.

The Blue Plaques will recognise key sites and encourage people to explore their neighbourhood and other parts of NSW, connecting with the amazing people and stories that have shaped our state. The plaques will bring many of these histories and stories alive and engender a shared sense of belonging, identity and connection. In a post-COVID world, focusing on our local communities and nearby surroundings has never been more important.

Please send nominations to our local member The Hon Rob Stokes by 20th October.

For further information please click the link Blue Plaques Programme


You may have noticed personnel wearing military attire, carrying weapons, and military equipment supported by two defence vehicles and up to 10 Zodiac or Canoe type craft in the Northern Beaches area and water ways between 27 September 6 October. In case you were wondering this was a planned training exercise by NSW Defence.


PBWBA SUBMISSION OPENING STATEMENT – Tourism/visitation strategies must be respectful of both the Community and the Environment. Achieving the correct balance between residents, the environment and business/livelihood is paramount and very delicate. In the end, we will all suffer if we get it wrong.  Council’s DESTINATION NORTHERN BEACHES document recognises that there is resistance from residents in the area to promote the Northern Beaches for further large scale business/tourist activity. The scope of this project has to be of a truly sustainable scale. Sustainability 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 Destination Management Plan was adopted by Council at the last Council Meeting –

Destination Management Plan



The University of Sydney is working with RSPCA NSW and Northern Beaches Council to understand the challenges of looking after cats and keeping them safe and healthy while also protecting wildlife. They will use this information to offer better support programs in our local area.

If interested please click the link following-



We are so lucky to still hear the sound of frogs in our area, but they seem to be disappearing.

FrogID is a national citizen science project that is helping the Australian Museum learn more about what is happening to Australia’s frogs. All around the country, people are recording frog calls with nothing more than a smartphone. With the data obtained through FrogID they are able to track the Cane Toad and identify where frogs are thriving and where they aren’t. By matching calls to weather and habitat, they are learning more about how different frog species are responding to a changing environment.

For further information click on the following link – Frog Survey/

courtesy Australian
Download FROGID to your smartphone.


Council have advised that they are undertaking emergency stabilisation works to the timber seawall at Snapperman Beach Reserve, Palm Beach (south of Snapperman Lane) due to excessive loss of sand recently in front of the wall.  The seawall has been shored up and the area behind cordoned off for public safety.  The permanent renewal of this seawall has now been brought forward to this financial year.


We have requested repair/replacement of the wooden railings near the dressing shed at the southern end of the Whale Beach pool as they are quite dangerous.


Council staff will be commencing works on extending the path and tidying up the front of Hordern Park after the long weekend.


Avpals help seniors learn and improve their computer and technology skills. Avpals is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. Since 2000, they have helped thousands of seniors from complete beginners to people who need to improve or update their skills.They offer “one to one” personal tuition or special short courses. For term 4 courses click here AVPALS

THE LOCAL LIBRARY – Avalon & Mona Vale

Northern Beaches Council Libraries are treasure troves of books, magazines and eLibrary resources. If you want to learn a foreign language or want to improve your English skills click here LIBRARY

Your Northern Beaches Library membership provides you with access to great online resources that can help you on your learning journey.

You will need to use your library card number and pin to access these resources.

If you are having trouble signing up, logging on or accessing any of the content on the Library platforms please contact the Library.

All library branches (apart from Avalon Community Library) will open from Monday 11 October, Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm and Saturdays 10am – 1pm, with reduced capacity.

Library 2U will be replaced with a Click and Collect service.


Do you look after a family member or friend with disability, a medical condition, mental illness or who is frail due to age?

Hear from “Your Side” about the Carers Gateway, a free Commonwealth Government initiative supporting carers.

Find out about what services are available and how to access them.

This webinar has been brought to you by “Your Side” and the Councils of the Northern Sydney region and is part of National Carers Week: 10 to 16 October.

Carer Webinar


The Hawkesbury River comes into focus on World Rivers’ Day (26th Sept), with the launch of a photography competition by the NSW Government and 6 local councils to raise awareness of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Coastal Management Program.

Lion Island at the mouth of the Hawkesbury

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the Our Hawkesbury River photography competition is a collaborative project with Hornsby, Hawkesbury, Central Coast, Ku-ring-gai,  and Hills Shire councils.

“The NSW Government is passionate about providing support for local councils to manage and protect their valuable coastlines and waterways, and what better way to acknowledge that commitment than on World Rivers Day,” Mrs Hancock said.

“People across the catchment can acknowledge the global day by entering the photography competition and capturing what the Hawkesbury River means to them.”

Hawkesbury Photo Competion


Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2022-2026

Whether you are a person living with disability, a carer, service provider or an interested community member, Council wants to hear from you.

Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) 2022-2026

Feedback closes: 7 November 2021

Help Council make the Northern Beaches more inclusive and accessible by developing a Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP).

A Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) tells people what Council will do to make life easier for people living with disability.

How can Council:

  • help you feel more included in the community
  • make it easier for you to get around on the Northern Beaches
  • make it easier for you to work or volunteer
  • improve the way they deliver services and communicate with you.

Gov Phillip Park is a wonderful picnic spot.


The next Coffee Meeting will be be held on Monday 25th October at 10.30am. Depending on Govt Health orders it will be held via Zoom or at Moby Dicks Whale Beach.

Numbers will be limited so If you are interested in attending could you please contact Gordon Lang by email ( for the Zoom link or phone the President on 0407 942 941 for details closer to the date or watch for the email reminder which will be sent a few days prior.

The next Committee Meeting will be at 7 pm on Monday 8th November either via Zoom or at The Pacific Club. All members are welcome, so please contact us if you would like to attend.

Subject to Govt Health orders, the annual Christmas Cocktail Party is still booked for Sunday December 5th 6.30pm at Moby Dicks Whale Beach. Fingers crossed! Further information will be emailed/posted in early November.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss any matters please contact us: or PO Box 2, Palm Beach 2108

Stay safe, stay well.

Prof. Richard West AM
0407 942 941

In the surf at Kiddies Corner (Susi Hanke)


Leonor Gouldthorpe (Committee Member)

After months of restrictions on our movements, in our contact with others and unable to participate in our favourite and sometimes essential activities, things are changing in NSW. For the better, we all hope.

The path determined by health authorities is being followed accordingly, albeit not without strong resistance from some sectors. Judging by the success of the vaccination campaign, (73% two doses now and nearing 80% in the next week), this resistance seems more like a very well-orchestrated campaign intended to catch the public’s attention, rather than a widespread response in the community. Its tactics also indicate that it is meant to disrupt as much as possible using a perceived distrust in government, to ends that are very much open to speculation.

But here, at our end of the Peninsula, life resumes after a slowing down that brought to many, new realizations about our way of life, our community and our society. Our beautiful natural surroundings made isolation less hard to bear, with a continuous, if more limited contact with open spaces. It also made many aware of how essential this contact is, of how blessed we are to be able to enjoy the fresh air on a walk by the sea, a natural reserve, or a park, all reasonably accessible to most of us. This is a treasure that allows our minds to find the balance and tranquillity disturbed by the magnitude of this global catastrophe.

The pandemic also saw a resurfacing of solidarity amongst neighbours, friends and family that was perhaps always there, but not as visible, making us aware of the hidden treasure of solidarity and human compassion. A valuable strength that for many was essential for maintaining hope and optimism, and indeed in some cases, surviving.

No one can say these last months have been easy. For most, limited contact with family and friends has been the most difficult part. We are lucky that technology has progressed to the point of allowing many of us to at least see and hear the voices of loved ones. Nevertheless, as it has been acknowledged for some time, as amazing as the 21-century online world is, it cannot meet the need for a hug or a handshake. (1) So, a renewed physical presence is something to appreciate and cherish.

Some are not so lucky and isolation has taken a heavy toll. This is reflected by a noticeable increase in the use of and in the need for mental health services.(2) For many, their lives have been completely transformed. Hopes and achievements have been dashed and they have been faced with the hard task of finding the resilience to start again. The fact that this has been a collective experience in our country and throughout the world, hopefully lightens its burden.

As we leave behind some of the restrictions to our lives, not everything is clear ahead. We know serious health problems derived from the pandemic, are going to be with us for an indefinite time. Perhaps this uncertainty is the most dreaded factor.

What is clear, though, is that there are lessons learned, insights gained and we cannot discard them as we start, hopefully cautiously, on this new stage.


  1. L. Miller, Forbes Magazine, November 2015.
  2. Australian Institute of Mental Health and Welfare (AIMHW)