It is a pleasure to deliver my second annual report
On 12 May 2016, a few days after our last AGM the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole, announced the newly formed ‘Northern Beaches’ Council. This is the result of the compulsory amalgamation of Manly, Pittwater and Warringah councils.
Mr Dick Persson AM was appointed the Administrator to administer the council until new elections take place on the 9th September 2017.
The Pittwater Councillors were sacked. A number of the Councillors were appointed in an advisory role to the administrator.
Soon after his appointment Dick Persson and the member for Pittwater, the Hon. Rob Stokes, met with members of your committee at Pittwater Park Palm Beach. At the meeting it was recognised that various facilities at Palm Beach and Whale Beach needed to be upgraded as they had been neglected over many years.
The major issues to be addressed were identified as:
- Traffic congestion and parking, in Pittwater Park, especially at weekends and holiday periods.
- Lack of access and footpaths along Barrenjoey Rd, particularly from Pittwater Park to Governor Phillip Park.
- Landscaping, repairs and maintenance at Palm Beach.
We have worked closely with the Northern Beaches Council on the following projects.
1. The Walk Way from The Ferry Wharf to Governor Phillip Park
The good news is that this much needed project is to go out to tender in this month. It is hoped that it will be finished before the next summer season.
2. Council Demand Parking Study Pittwater Park Palm Beach
Pittwater Park is crown land. The park is managed by the council. The challenge has been to manage the needs of the ocal residents, the offshore residents, the visitors and tourists who use the offshore facilities and the commuters from the Gosford area.
The parking area has become a long term parking space during holiday periods and weekends.
The council, following a number of consultation sessions, has produced a Draft Policy Document. “Parking Demand Strategies.”
The number one strategy is to prioritise the parking needs of local businesses with an increased provision of high turnover parking spaces.
The association submitted a very detailed document which is available on our website. I wish to thank our committee member, Virgina Christensen, for all the hard work involved in the preparation of this excellent document. We have met with the council officials regarding the draft document. The policy also incorporates upgrades to signage and facilities in the park.
The Council has incorporated the majority of suggestions we made in our submission. The council’s draft document will soon be released for further consultation with the community.
I urge you all to study the document and have your say.
This is only the beginning of solving the parking problems. I think a review of the parking and congestion north of the Avalon Bends needs to be commissioned.
3. The 40 Kilometre Zone on Barrenjoey Rd opposite Pittwater Park
This zone is now in force with general upgrades to the road. There are approx five speed changes from Club Palm Beach to Palm Beach. We have asked for this 40 k to be uniform from Club Palm Beach to Palm Beach. The Main Roads has been approached regarding reviewing these speed limits.
4. The Walk Way from Pittwater Park to Governor Philip Park
Your association is delighted that at long last the walkway has been approved and financed by the Coastal Walk Project.
The project is due to go to tender this month and it is hoped that it will be completed before the next summer.
5. Barrenjoey Lighthouse
Our local member, Rob Stokes, has stopped the move to have short-term accommodation in the caretaker’s cottages at the Lighthouse following protests from the local community.
The project to install water supply and sewage to the light house is expected to be completed by midyear.
6. Landscaping Palm Beach
The committee has met on a number of occasions with Jenny Cronan and her landscaping team from the council. The approach is minimal and sympathetic so far.. the plans are progressing well. There will be another public consultation display shortly.
7. Whale Beach
There have recently been some road upgrades in Whale Beach.
The beach itself needs routine maintenance and we are in discussion with council in regard to this.
The sand has been removed from Whale Beach ocean pool and a new pump has been ordered.
The much delayed Bicentenary walkway from Whale Beach to Palm Beach needs to be completed.
8. The Heritage Bus Shed
The heritage bus shed on Barrenjoey Road opposite Surf Road was demolished by the council many years ago. We have had several meetings with the council about restoring and rebuilding the Bus Shed.
Our architect Bruce James in conjunction with the council has completed some heritage style plans.
We are waiting further developments.
Access to this bus stop especially from the north is difficult and dangerous.
It is not possible to walk safely from Avalon to Palm Beach along Barrenjoey Road. We will be addressing this issues in the future.
9. Pittwater Forever
Pittwater for Ever is an umbrella group of 18 community organisations including PBWBA. Ian Kennedy and I are members of the executive.
The Northern Beaches Council will include the following 5 wards of 3 councillors
- Manly Ward
- Frenchs Forest Ward
- Curl Curl Ward
- Narrabeen Ward
- Pittwater Ward
Pittwater will be in the minority.
Elections for the Northern Beaches Council will occur on the 9th September 2017 and it is essential that good candidates are elected who understand the importance of preserving the unique environment of Pittwater. Pittwater Forever will provide support to suitable local and independent candidates who wish to stand for the council.
There will also be Liberal Party candidates, Northern Beaches Party candidates ( Micheal Regan’s Party the former Mayor of Warringah council), Greens candidates and possibly Labour Party candidates.
The council will become a political body which is a shame. Local government should be local not taken over by the political parties for their own gain.
10. Christmas Party
The Christmas party at the Boathouse was very successful.
A record number of members attended.
I wish to thank Andrew and his staff at the Boathouse, and our committee members Susie Kennedy, Janette Davie and Doug Maher for making it such a success.
We look forward to seeing you all again next year
11. The Committee
I am very fortunate to have such an active and excellent committee. They all have different skills which complement each other.
We have had a number of resignations this year from our long serving committee members. I must acknowledge their service.
John Giblin for his local knowledge
Stuart Taylor for his diligent work as treasurer and vice president.
Bruce James has had a long association with Palm Beach. He has contributed invaluable services as an architect to the association. He agreed to stay on as our Honorary Architect.
Last but not least Storm Jacklin our president for a decade.
His advice to me has been invaluable. He is a life member of the association and he will be missed.
12. Coffee Mornings and Market Days
We have received valuable feedback from our members at our monthly coffee mornings and market days at Palm Beach. I encourage more of our members to attend our coffee mornings. Dates and locations can be found on our website
13. Monthly Meetings
The association meets on the second Monday of each month at the
Pacific Club Ocean Road Palm Beach at 7pm. Members of the association are very welcome to come along and to contribute to the meetings.
I have enjoyed being your president for the last two years. As previously mentioned I have been supported by a great committee.
The Palm Beach & Whale Beach Association (PBWBA) is a not-for-profit, non-political organisation of volunteer owners and residents who are passionate about keeping our area unique
PBWBA has served the community well for the past 99 Years. The association has achieved our main function which is to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area and protect its residential amenity.
The association celebrates its centenary next year. This is a great achievement.
We intend to have a big celebration.
Richard West AM