In the picture below you can see three trucks bolting down southbound on Pacific Highway, turning right onto Ryde Road. It appeared that most councillors including myself agreed that this sort of thing had an undesirable impact to residents from a safety and acoustics perspective, though we did not share the same view on what would be the most appropriate way forward.
The majority of councillors voted to ask the state government to ban vehicles over 12.5m from using the Pacific Highway (except for those which have an immediate requirement to use the Pacific Highway).
Other councillors voted against this for a variety of reasons. Some of us voted against because while we agreed that action had to be taken, we disagreed with the tone of the preamble, the accuracy of the media statement surrounding the matter, as well as the tone of the speeches given by ‘the other side’ on the night. Personally speaking, these came across as being unnecessarily hostile and I would have personally preferred to approach such situations diplomatically, seeking to get a more thoroughly considered outcome by working co-operatively and constructively with the State Government. We proposed that we ask the State Government for their traffic data, gather some independent data ourselves to verify, and work collaboratively to promptly reach a range of solutions by June in a civil manner. (This is also close to what we normally would have done through the Ku-ring-gai Traffic Committee.) But our alternate motion did not receive the 50%+1 support required.
Other exciting things from last night were the approval of some Men’s Health Week activities, the trial of a Youth Leadership Program, and a request to get a report to investigate the feasibility of an expanded St Ives Nursery and Garden.
Overall it was quite a long meeting (nearly four hours) with moments of intense debate. There were also numerous accusations and conjectures flying in all sorts of directions on the night so my suggestion is that if you hear something wild and fanciful, it’s best to watch the video of the council meeting to verify for yourself whether the wild claims are true or whether the people laying the accusations have misunderstood the situation. Having said all that, this is democracy in action.
Also, it’s good to be back to meeting in person. Online meetings have been great but after a while I start to miss the face to face element.
It’s been a long day. 5am Dawn Service and 1am Truck Watching.
Should vehicles over 12.5m be allowed on Pacific Highway? I’m still forming a vew but what’s clear to me right now is that the issue is far more complex than what people have made it out to be. If you have any thoughts (and in particular anything more sophisticated than the usual narrative) please let me know.
Today many of us gathered to remember over 100,000 Australians who died in armed conflict and the many others who returned, often with physical or mental scars that impacted their families. It is because of these sacrifices that we can live here today.
I caught up with the netball community this morning. An emerging theme in this year’s discussions has been the chllange of encouraging immigrant families to participate in local sports, and having been a migrant in the 80’s and 90’s I was happy to offer some insights. I look forward to contributing to this space in the coming years.
I joined over 1,200 runners this morning as we jogged through the hilly streets of Lindfield and Roseville. It was a great opportunity to catch up with people in the community and raise funds for KYDS Youth Development Service. Special thanks to those who donated to my run with just over $500 raised.
KYDS is a Northern Sydney charity that provides mental health and other preventative services to our young people, confidentially and free of charge. (I also happen to be on its board.)
The quarantine year of 2020 saw a huge increase in demand for their services, with over 5,400 counselling sessions delivered to our young people (up from 3,300 in the prior year). The wait list is also growing, meaning that young people may have to wait a few months before getting their first service.
The funding situation has become very challenging this upcoming year so if you would like to know how you can offer support (time or money) please reach out and we can discuss.