Earlier in the week we were at the park at St Ives watching the tree workers and excavators build the future High Ropes installation. Once complete, it will be a great opportunity for visitors to develop their skills and stay healthy.
NSW Roadmap to Freedom
A summary of the progressive opening and key dates (by AFR).
Greengate Park Killara
Undoubtedly one of the best parks in Ku-ring-gai for children under 2, we revisited this place recently (observing social distancing) and saw it with new eyes.
The lawn and path is fantastic for bikes and scooters. The upper terrace is great for social groups and badminton. And the shelter above the picnic area even provided a private space for teens (though I’m not sure if they’re meant to be up there)!
The land for this park was originally purchased from private owners with developer contributions under our Open Spaces Acquisition Strategy, and our council staff have done a fantastic job of making full use of the site.
Outcome of Mayoral / Deputy Mayoral Election
I’d like to thank Councillors Cedric Spencer, Christine Kay, Peter Kelly and Jeff Pettett for giving me a turn at being Deputy Mayor (Sep-Dec 2021). In the same meeting, Councillor Spencer was also elected as Mayor. Both positions were randomly drawn 50/50 out of a box.
It will be an extremely short mayoral / deputy mayoral term with 10 weeks to go before the local government election. Caretaker period starts in six weeks and there’s only one council meeting between now and then. With the little time we have, we’d like to make meaningful improvements for our community and we will provide you with updates along the way.
Upgrade of Norman Griffiths Sportsground
Last night the councillors voted unanimously to proceed with the design and upgrade of the Norman Griffiths Oval in West Pymble. This project has been a long time coming with the NSW Government, West Pymble FC , Northern Suburbs Football Association and a range of other sporting funds all having made financial contributions in the last five years.
In the interim, there was also a period of time when council was considering whether to relocate the project to Mimosa. My personal view has consistently been that Mimosa was not the right location from a public amenity, traffic and environmental perspective and that Norman Griffiths (the homeground of West Pymble FC) was the more appropriate location, especially with its access to readily available parking and adjacent green spaces for dog walkers.
It’s good to see that the councillors ended up on the same page on this occasion, and I look forward to seeing the community benefit from this in the coming years.
Note: The image is an indicative concept design only, not final.
Thanks Everyone for Playing your Part
10 weeks ago our first dose vaccination rate was less than 50% and I was one of the first under 40’s to opt for AstraZeneca.
Today and we are over 90% first dose, nearly 70% second. Looking forward to greater freedoms.
Overflowing Bins in Lockdown
During this lockdown residents have discovered some of our hidden gems such as Echo Point Park, Roseville Beach and Swain Gardens.
With increased use also comes increased demand for bins. I’ve asked council staff whether we can increase the collection frequency and/or increase the number of bins available for use. So far they have agreed to increasing the frequency to Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Two Creeks Track
We enjoyed the sights and sounds of this bushwalk over the weekend. Stretching through the suburbs of Roseville Chase, East Lindfield and Lindfield, this is a great way to get exercise and experience nature within our LGA. It’s also amazing to see how many people were on the track; we came across a few dozen whereas pre-pandemic it would have been less than a dozen.
Community and Stakeholder Engagement
At council it’s important that we make decisions that align with the needs of all of our residents.
This morning I had the pleasure of joining councillors and staff across NSW to discuss how we can improve our community & stakeholder engagement. Our group shared insights which I hope to apply to future initiatives.
Another Win: Greater Transparency on Unauthorised Works
At Ku-ring-gai we officially have hundreds of developments each year. Most of these developments, whether they be a driveway or fencing upgrade, a building extension, or a knockdown and rebuild, are supported by the following processes.
- Development Application (including DA’s, MOD’s and Reviews)
- Council Certified Application (including Complying Development Certificates, Construction Certificates and Occupation Certificates)
- Privately Certified Application (including Complying Development Certificates, Construction Certificates and Occupation Certificates)
Council’s DA Tracking website allows residents to search for records in relation to the above. However one common problem for residents has been the topic of unauthorised works and the absence of documentation that supports it.
Once allegations of unauthorised works are raised, council officers will investigate and if appropriate, serve the landowner with a notice of intention to stop, demolish or remove the works. At this point the landowner sometimes has the option of fixing up the structure to conform with the rules and receive retrospective approval in the form of a Building Information Certificate.
These Building Information Certificates for unauthorised works did not use to be available on Council’s DA Tracking Database but after several negative experiences by our residents, I politely asked council staff whether we could do anything to improve transparency on the matter. And as of last month, residents can now look up the DA Tracking Database to confirm the existence of recently issued Building Information Certificates.
Ku-ring-gai Council – eProperty – Production – DA Tracking Application Search (nsw.gov.au)
Please note however that while the database includes all of the supporting documents for Development Applications, the other processes (certified applications, building information certificates) are not readily available from the database. It was technically too difficult to achieve. If residents want to access the supporting documents for these then they will need to lodge a GIPA (Government Information Public Access) application. More information about GIPA applications is available here.
Quiet Morning at Roseville Beach
Weekly Green Bin Collections
Starting tomorrow, green bins will be collected weekly (previously fortnightly).
Red bins will remain weekly and the recycling bins will remain fortnightly.