President’s Report – May 2019

It is a pleasure to present my annual report.

The Palm Beach Progress Association was established in 1918. An early achievement was to  ensure that Governor Phillip Park remained a public recreation space. After a number of drownings at Palm Beach the Association employed its first surf life saver. The Association was instrumental in the establishment of the Palm Beach Surf Lifesaving Club.
The Palm Beach & Whale Association (PBWBA) has had an exceptional Centenary year.
We have worked well with our local member, the Honourable Rob Stokes. We recently met with him and congratulated him on his re-election and appointment as Minister for Planning and Open Spaces.
We have a good relationship with the Northern Beaches Council (NBC), Mayor Michael Regan and the new CEO, Ray Brownlee.
The highlight of the year was the completion by the NBC of the long overdue walkway from Pittwater Park to Governor Phillip Park. The views from the walkway towards Lion Island are magnificent.


The introduction of timed parking at Pittwater Park adjacent to the ferry terminal has meant that the locals now have more access the local shops and restaurants. The surrounding streets are still inundated with cars. There needs to be more timed parking outside the shops near Nabilla Road. A review of the parking in the area, including trailer parking, needs to be done by the council.


The Barrenjoey Lighthouse is THE gem in the crown of Pittwater. Recently, at our meeting with Rob Stokes, he informed us that he had met with National Parks and Wildlife. He assured us that water and sewerage will be installed to the Lighthouse area. The toilets will be to connected to the main sewage system. If it is not possible to do this before the summer season temporary toilets will be installed. Then staff of the National Parks and Wildlife Service will arrange a meeting with us to discuss such issues as the positioning of the toilets.
At our recent coffee meeting two volunteers Roger and Jan Treagus were in attendance. They conduct tours of the Lighthouse on Sundays. The Lighthouse is the most visited part of the Ku-ring-gai National Park. The numbers of visitors is rapidly increasing. They are desperately in need of more volunteers.


Governor Phillip Park is a great recreational area where the public joy enjoy golfing, surfing, boating on Pittwater and family picnics. There is also a very busy commercial wharf which serves the offshore residents.
It is a little rundown and needs maintenance. The use of the park is increasing due to the popularity of Home and Away.
It is crown land administered by the council. Council receives income from the parking, the restaurants and Home and Away
The council should keep accounts of this income. The income should be spent in the area in which the money is raised.
The NBC recently proposed Barrenjoey Headland to be a venue for an Urban Night Sky Place. The council subsequently allocated $50,000 to modify the lighting in the park. We understand that this is a commercial venture and we are concerned that $50,000 of rate payers money has been allocated to support this. The NBC will arrange community consultation with interested parties, the Palm Beach & Whale Beach Assn Inc and National Parks Wildlife Service who administer the Barrenjoey Headland.


The PBWBA has supported this trial. We have canvassed our members at our morning teas and they are in favour of the trial. The council survey indicated 90% of the respondents were in favour of the trial. It has yet has to go to council to be approved.


Hoons remain a problem at Palm Beach. We have met with the police on a number of occasions however the problem remains. They zoom around Ocean Road and in Governor Phillip Park and, I believe, on the beach.
By the time the police arrive they have gone.
There needs to be more police presence in Palm Beach at night


During the January peak period there was a sewage leak and there was some contamination of the drain at kiddies corner. A family became acutely ill after the children had been swimming at kiddies corner.
This drain is the responsibility of the council.
This is not the first time kiddies corner has been contaminated. A long-term solution must be found for this problem.


The landscaping at Palm Beach is progressing well. The consultation with the association and community by council has been good.
The CEO of the council, Ray Brownlee, has guaranteed that kiddies corner will remain as it is.
I acknowledge the hard work of Stephen Guildford regarding this issue. Drains have been installed and the parking areas upgraded outside the surf club. The road is about to be resurfaced.


The association participated with the Palm Beach Surf  Lifesaving Club and Northern Beaches Council to name the pool The Johnny Carter Pool to acknowledge his contribution to Palm Beach – particularly in the area of teaching young children to swim.
The pool needs some urgent maintenance. The council are supposed to clean the pool once a week in summer and once every two weeks in winter.
We have received comments from the users of the pool that the way the pool is being cleaned needs to be improved.


Money has been allocated in the council budget to do maintenance on both pavilions. We are making enquiries with the council to see when this is going to take place.


The state of the roads in Whale Beach is causing some concern. The council has assured us that there will be some maintenance to Bynya and Surf roads before the end of the financial year.


The council is constructing a walkway from Manly to Palm Beach. The planning is going ahead for the section from Whale Beach to Palm Beach.
John Warburton, Ken Allen and I walked the first section with the CEO of the council Ken Brownlee.
It was a beautiful summers day. The views are amongst the best in the world.
The CEO has agreed to take a whole road approach to this project rather than just installing a walkway.
The walkway will have a cultural display.
I must acknowledge the contribution of Ken Allen.


The historic Bus Shelter at the junction of Surf and Barrenjoey Roads is to be rebuilt by the council.
Mayor Regan highlighted this building project in his recent newsletter.
I must acknowledge the work of previous long term serving committee member and now our honorary architect Bruce James for making sure that this project came about.


The NBC recently released a working plan document on walkways and footpaths on the Northern Beaches.
The major problem in Palm Beach and Whale Beach is the lack of footpaths.
We put in a detailed submission of where we thought footpaths should go but this was ignored by the council.
There needs to be a walkway from Avalon to the Palm Beach Village. This would connect with the coastal walkway.
The council are doing some planning for the section from Careel Bay to Surf Road. The section from Surf Rd to the Palm Beach village is a major project and will need support at both NSW and federal government levels. We intend to give this project a high priority.


This planning process is nearing completion. A lot of information has been collected and it needs to be correlated into a final report that reflects community needs. The village nature of Avalon must be preserved. There is some concern from the participating community groups regarding the process. A meeting is being arranged with the new director of planning of the council to discuss the issues.


Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) are a guide for planning decisions for local government areas. They do this through zoning and development controls, which provide a framework for the way land can be used. LEPs are the main planning tool to shape the future of communities and also ensure local development is done appropriately.
We are working with the Pittwater Alliance Group to ensure that the LEPs prepared by the NBC for Pittwater are consistent with the previous LEPs for Pittwater, prepared by the previous Pittwater Council.


There have been some problems with the introduction of the Northern Beaches Hospital. We need to ensure that it is functioning as a level five hospital, particularly regarding the level of surgery provided for children at the hospital
The acute care centre at Mona Vale is providing a good service and is working well.
The response time of the ambulances in Pittwater has been raised with Minister Hazzard and Minister Stokes. They have assured us that more resources are being allocated to the area. However we need to have ambulances based in Pittwater that do not go roving all over the city.
The situation needs to be continually monitored.


The Centenary Christmas party at Moby Dick‘s Whale Beach was a great success with our guest speaker Dame Professor Marie Bashir who is a local resident.
We had a very successful exhibition of documents and memorabilia arranged by Geoff Searl of the Avalon Historic Society.
We are hoping to have an exhibition of pictures and memorabilia of Whale Beach at this years Christmas party.
I acknowledge the contribution of Andrew Goldsmith and the Boathouse group for making this such a successful occasion. Andrew is also a very valuable member of our committee.


The committee meets at the Pacific Club Palm Beach on the second Monday of each month. All our members are welcome to attend. The next meeting is on Monday June 17 at 7 pm as the second Monday is the Queen’s Birthday long weekend,


The coffee meetings have been a great success. We obtain very valuable feedback from our members. It is also a good social get together.
Next meeting Tuesday 28 May 10.30 am at the Pacific Club.


Richard West