Happi Burger Lindfield

It’s International Burger Day so I visited Happi Burger Lindfield for their lunch special. Even at 11am it had good patronage from the Coles construction workers across the road. The burger was quite intense! Worth checking out if that’s your kind of thing, though I’d also say take it in moderation along with regular diet and exercise.

It's International Burger Day so I visited Happi Burger Lindfield for their lunch special. Even at 11am it had good patronage from the Coles construction workers across the road.

The burger was quite intense! Worth checking out if that's your kind of thing, though I'd also say take it in moderation along with regular diet and exercise.

St Ives Agricultural Show 2024

Earlier this month I attended the St Ives Agricultural Show with Councillor Martin Smith and Councillor Kim Wheatley .

We looked at the winning entries for this year’s competition. In particular we enjoyed Ethan’s junior entry for novelty cake.

It was a well attended event with plenty of rides and food stalls. The St Ives show runs each year on the third weekend of May so we’ll see you there again 17-18 May 2025.

Earlier this month I attended the @[100057107273906:2048:St Ives Agricultural Show] with @[100026694423632:2048:Councillor Martin Smith] and @[100081079106909:2048:Councillor Kim Wheatley] .

We looked at the winning entries for this year's competition. In particular we enjoyed Ethan's junior entry for novelty cake.

It was a well attended event with plenty of rides and food stalls. The St Ives show runs each year on the third weekend of May so we'll see you there again 17-18 May 2025.

Walangari Sand Painting

As part of the annual Gai-mariagal Festival, we had Aboriginal elder and artist Walangari Karntawarra create a traditional sand painting at the Lindfield Village Green. He shared about his culture and local kids got involved with creating the artwork, which continues to be on display and apparently lasts until it rains.

I was joined by Councillors Simon Lennon, Barbara Ward, Alec Taylor, and Christine Kay (from left to right in picture).

Ku-ring-gai will also be hold other events as part of the Gai-mariagal Festival.

Gordon Library is offering a free screening of the film Lionel Rose on 5 June about the extraordinary rise and fall of Australia’s first indigenous boxing world champion.

The Country Connections exhibition at Ku-ring-gai Art Centre between 14 and 28 June features the work of Darkinjung artist Judith Franklin, who will also host two dot painting workshops at the Centre.

Mudgee-based Indigiearth catering company presents a unique dining experience on 15 June with owner and Ngemba Weilwan woman Sharon Winsor. Along with Australian native food prepared with modern techniques and traditional methods you can enjoy authentic entertainment, musical and cultural storytelling.

For more information visit https://www.gai-mariagal-festival.com.au/events-2024.html

As part of the annual Gai-mariagal Festival, we had Aboriginal elder and artist Walangari Karntawarra create a traditional sand painting at the Lindfield Village Green. He shared about his culture and local kids got involved with creating the artwork, which continues to be on display and apparently lasts until it rains.

I was joined by @[759939782:2048:Cr Simon Lennon], Councillor Barbara Ward, @[100075918232069:2048:Councillor Alec Taylor] ,  and @cr_christine_kay (from left to right in picture).

Ku-ring-gai will also be hold other events as part of the Gai-mariagal Festival.

Gordon Library is offering a free screening of the film Lionel Rose on 5 June about the extraordinary rise and fall of Australia's first indigenous boxing world champion.

The Country Connections exhibition at Ku-ring-gai Art Centre between 14 and 28 June features the work of Darkinjung artist Judith Franklin, who will also host two dot painting workshops at the Centre.

Mudgee-based Indigiearth catering company presents a unique dining experience on 15 June with owner and Ngemba Weilwan woman Sharon Winsor.  Along with Australian native food prepared with modern techniques and traditional methods you can enjoy authentic entertainment, musical and cultural storytelling.

For more information visit
https://www.gai-mariagal-festival.com.au/events-2024.html

Meet Dylan from Lendecon

Meet Dylan from Lendecon. He has identified a problem where we tend to buy equipment and use it once or twice while it sits inactive over 99% of the time. How good would it be if instead of owning the equipment (and committing to the embodied energy / resource used), we can search a directory and borrow from one another?

He has setup a platform to enable this and you can find it at https://www.lendecon.com.au

Meet Dylan from @[61553281002581:2048:Lendecon]. He has identified a problem where we tend to buy equipment and use it once or twice while it sits inactive over 99% of the time. How good would it be if instead of owning the equipment (and committing to the embodied energy / resource used), we can search a directory and borrow from one another?

He has setup a platform to enable this and you can find it at
https://www.lendecon.com.au

Chemical Cleanup

Chemical CleanOut is on again tomorrow at the St Ives Showgrounds. For more information, visit.

https://www.krg.nsw.gov.au/Community/Waste-and-recycling/Hazardous-and-problem-waste/Chemical-CleanOut

Chemical CleanOut is on again tomorrow at the St Ives Showgrounds. For more information, visit.

https://www.krg.nsw.gov.au/Community/Waste-and-recycling/Hazardous-and-problem-waste/Chemical-CleanOut

Event at Bancroft Park

Free sausages and coffee at Bancroft Park Roseville til 12pm. Sorry I should have promoted this earlier but it has been a busy week.

Free sausages and coffee at Bancroft Park Roseville til 12pm.

Sorry I should have promoted this earlier but it has been a busy week.
Free sausages and coffee at Bancroft Park Roseville til 12pm. Sorry I should have promoted this earlier but it has been a busy week.

Visiting 2nd/3rd Lindfield Cub Scouts

Earlier this week I visited the 2nd/3rd Lindfield Cub Scouts where they asked about Local Government, my role as Mayor, and about my own time as a Cub Scout in the 90’s. Some questions include: – What does Council do? – Which day does the garbage get collected? – Favourite part as Mayor? – Least favourite part as Mayor? – Do I enjoy flying? – Favourite activity as a Cub Scout? – What is Damper? – Did I have a woggle? – How can the scouts serve the community?

Earlier this week I visited the 2nd/3rd Lindfield Cub Scouts where they asked about Local Government, my role as Mayor, and about my own time as a Cub Scout in the 90's. Some questions include:
- What does Council do?
- Which day does the garbage get collected?
- Favourite part as Mayor?
- Least favourite part as Mayor?
- Do I enjoy flying?
- Favourite activity as a Cub Scout?
- What is Damper?
- Did I have a woggle?
- How can the scouts serve the community?

ANZAC Day at St Martins Killara

Yesterday, Councillor Simon Lennon and I presented wreaths on behalf of the community at Living Hope Anglican (St Martin’s Killara). It was also good to see the memorial created for Killara residents who gave their lives for our freedom, and hear from the personal experience of residents who had been affected by war.

This morning I will be attending services at Roseville, Wahroonga and Turramurra.

Yesterday, Councillor Simon Lennon and I presented wreaths on behalf of the community at @[100064588543857:2048:Living Hope Anglican] (St Martin's Killara). It was also good to see the memorial created for Killara residents who gave their lives for our freedom, and hear from the personal experience of residents who had been affected by war.

This morning I will be attending services at Roseville, Wahroonga and Turramurra.

Thank You Volunteers

This week, Council held a free movie screening of Fall Guy at the Roseville Cinemas for all of our volunteers who give up their time to support the community, whether it be to respond to extreme weather events, provide care for our elderly and youth, look after our financially or domestically vulnerable, or care for our environment.

While in Roseville I also stopped by at my favourite bakery for a Steak, Chilli Mexican Pie.

This week, Council held a free movie screening of Fall Guy at the @[100063868380258:2048:Roseville Cinemas] for all of our volunteers who give up their time to support the community, whether it be to respond to extreme weather events, provide care for our elderly and youth, look after our financially or domestically vulnerable, or care for our environment.

While in Roseville I also stopped by at my favourite bakery for a Steak, Chilli Mexican Pie.
This week, Council held a free movie screening of Fall Guy at the @[100063868380258:2048:Roseville Cinemas] for all of our volunteers who give up their time to support the community, whether it be to respond to extreme weather events, provide care for our elderly and youth, look after our financially or domestically vulnerable, or care for our environment. While in Roseville I also stopped by at my favourite bakery for a Steak, Chilli Mexican Pie.

Wear it Orange Wednesday

Yesterday was Wear It Orange Wednesday, a national day to thank the tens of thousands of volunteers who serve the community through storms, floods, road crashes, and other first responder incidents. These guys are the true heroes as they freely do it out of genuine care for the community.

Yesterday was Wear It Orange Wednesday, a national day to thank the tens of thousands of volunteers who serve the community through storms, floods, road crashes, and other first responder incidents. These guys are the true heroes as they freely do it out of genuine care for the community.

Transport Oriented Development Parliamentary Inquiry

Yesterday I was invited to visit Parliament House to deliver an opening statement then answer questions at the Transport Oriented Development Parliamentary Inquiry. Although it was not a perfect process, it was encouraging to see this aspect of democracy at work and Iโ€™m glad that we had the opportunity to share our experience of recent events.

Yesterday I was invited to visit Parliament House to deliver an opening statement then answer questions at the Transport Oriented Development Parliamentary Inquiry. Although it was not a perfect process, it was encouraging to see this aspect of democracy at work and Iโ€™m glad that we had the opportunity to share our experience of recent events.

Lindfield Fun Run

Great weather and an enjoyable run with over 2,000 participating in the Lindfield Fun Run this year, raising funds for KYDS Youth Development Service and Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter.

Great weather and an enjoyable run with over 2,000 participating in the @[100064649686516:2048:Lindfield Fun Run] this year, raising funds for @[100057506479179:2048:KYDS Youth Development Service] and @[100067239740050:2048:Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women's Shelter].

Roseville Tree Planting Initiative

๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒณ At Council we recognise the role that trees play in keeping our suburbs cool and fresh while also providing a home for our wildlife.

On my way to work, I met these sub-contractors who have been planting trees the last few days. They said that the trees were generally well received by the majority of residents they met.

๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒณ At Council we recognise the role that trees play in keeping our suburbs cool and fresh while also providing a home for our wildlife.

On my way to work, I met these sub-contractors who have been planting trees the last few days. They said that the trees were generally well received by the majority of residents they met.

Men’s Kitchen Turramurra

Last week I visited the Menโ€™s Kitchen, where their aim is to teach men how to cook.

A typical session involves 10 men and 3 instructors. The men choose what they want to cook from a recipe book and purchase the ingredients beforehand. The instructors provide guidance on the day and then they sit together afterwards to enjoy what theyโ€™ve cooked.

Itโ€™s a great way for the men to become independent or to provide for loved ones, while also building up a sense of community.

At Ku-ring-gai they meet on Thursdays in Lindfield and Fridays in Turramurra. For more information, contact info.kg@menskitchen.org.au

Earlier this year, the Menโ€™s Kitchen were the recipients of the Mayorโ€™s Award for an Outstanding Contribution by a Community Group.

Last week I visited the Menโ€™s Kitchen, where their aim is to teach men how to cook.

A typical session involves 10 men and 3 instructors. The men choose what they want to cook from a recipe book and purchase the ingredients beforehand. The instructors provide guidance on the day and then they sit together afterwards to enjoy what theyโ€™ve cooked.

Itโ€™s a great way for the men to become independent or to provide for loved ones, while also building up a sense of community.

At Ku-ring-gai they meet on Thursdays in Lindfield and Fridays in Turramurra. For more information, contact info.kg@menskitchen.org.au

Earlier this year, the Menโ€™s Kitchen were the recipients of the Mayorโ€™s Award for an Outstanding Contribution by a Community Group.
Last week I visited the Menโ€™s Kitchen, where their aim is to teach men how to cook. A typical session involves 10 men and 3 instructors. The men choose what they want to cook from a recipe book and purchase the ingredients beforehand. The instructors provide guidance on the day and then they sit together afterwards to enjoy what theyโ€™ve cooked. Itโ€™s a great way for the men to become independent or to provide for loved ones, while also building up a sense of community. At Ku-ring-gai they meet on Thursdays in Lindfield and Fridays in Turramurra. For more information, contact info.kg@menskitchen.org.au Earlier this year, the Menโ€™s Kitchen were the recipients of the Mayorโ€™s Award for an Outstanding Contribution by a Community Group.

Heritage Conservation Areas – A thing of the past

I want to make it clear that I have no problem with 6 storey buildings. People gotta live somewhere and I welcome them.

But what I have a problem with is the state government claiming that heritage controls will be respected, because in practice they cannot.

In the Transport Oriented Development (TOD) program documentation it says that “heritage controls will apply to the extent they are not inconsistent with the new standards”.

In the SEPP it says that the consent authority cannot apply more onerous standards than the maximum height and floor space ratio set within the TOD provisions.

I’ve asked the Planning Minister multiple times in person and in writing how it is possible that we do FSR 3:1 in an HCA (later revised to FSR 2.5:1, matching what’s in this image) while still following the Apartment Design Guide for amenity. He told me the usual spiel about how councils have the ability to assess against heritage.

This is a problem not just for Sydney’s North, but also for the Ashfield, Dulwich Hill, and Marrickville. But for the Inner West they’ve kicked the can down to December and it’s currently radio silence.

The government just needs to say it as it is. The Heritage Conservation Areas within a TOD precinct will be a thing of the past.

Once again I need to make it clear that I have no problem with 6 storey buildings. My problem is the message that HCAs are compatible with the TOD.

And at Ku-ring-gai we are exploring ways to save these HCAs while still providing great infrastructure outcomes for future residents.

Mothers Day 2024

Happy Mothers Day! Check out our Mothers Day portraits from students at Lindfield Public, Holy Family Primary, and Reddam. The competition is organised by the Lindfield Chamber of Commerce and the portraits hosted by…

Cafรฉ Lyon Lindfield Chem Pro Chemist Ciao Down DiJones Lindfield Gelatiamo Jeeves Dry Cleaners Lindfield Print @lindfield_specialty_butcher My Sewing Supplies Ogalo Lindfield Stone Real Estate Swimart Lindfield

Happy Mothers Day! Check out our Mothers Day portraits from students at Lindfield Public, Holy Family Primary, and Reddam. The competition is organised by the @[100068015786689:2048:Lindfield Chamber of Commerce] and the portraits hosted by...

@[100064038067937:2048:Cafรฉ Lyon Lindfield] 
Chem Pro Chemist
@[100054263150546:2048:Ciao Down] 
@[100070080633885:2048:DiJones Lindfield] 
Gelatiamo
Jeeves Dry Cleaners
@[100063519582284:2048:Lindfield Print] 
@[17841433694156126:6057:@lindfield_specialty_butcher] 
My Sewing Supplies
@[100064304425107:2048:Ogalo] Lindfield
Stone Real Estate
Swimart Lindfield

Community Grants

๐—Ÿ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป? Ku-ring-gaiโ€™s annual grants program is open for applications. Categories include: ๐ŸกHeritage (closing 13 May) ๐Ÿ”‹Net Zero (closing 17 May) ๐ŸŒณEnvironmental Conservation (closing 17 May) ๐Ÿ“…Events and festivals (closing 13 May) ๐ŸŽญArts and Culture (closing 7 June) ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸซCommunity Development (closing 7 June) ๐Ÿ‘Small Equipment (closing 7 June)

For more info visit https://www.krg.nsw.gov.au/Council/Grants-and-sponsorship

๐—Ÿ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป?
Ku-ring-gaiโ€™s annual grants program is open for applications. Categories include:
๐ŸกHeritage (closing 13 May)
๐Ÿ”‹Net Zero (closing 17 May)
๐ŸŒณEnvironmental Conservation (closing 17 May)
๐Ÿ“…Events and festivals (closing 13 May)
๐ŸŽญArts and Culture (closing 7 June)
๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸซCommunity Development (closing 7 June)
๐Ÿ‘Small Equipment (closing 7 June)

For more info visit
https://www.krg.nsw.gov.au/Council/Grants-and-sponsorship

Media Day

I had four radio, two newspaper, and two television interviews yesterday.

The way it usually works is they ask a bunch of questions and then you only get quoted for a few seconds (TV) or a few sentences (print). So the full message never goes out unless there’s a really smart pre-prepared soundbite.

The media was keen on discussing the unanimous vote on legal action. But on hindsight, I think I should have drawn more attention to our other unanimous vote to explore alternate scenarios for each of the TOD precincts. I did talk about it in most interviews, but I guess that’s not what the media is interested in portraying (with wordcount).

I had four radio, two newspaper, and two television interviews yesterday.

The way it usually works is they ask a bunch of questions and then you only get quoted for a few seconds (TV) or a few sentences (print). So the full message never goes out unless there's a really smart pre-prepared soundbite.

The media was keen on discussing the unanimous vote on legal action. But on hindsight, I think I should have drawn more attention to our other unanimous vote to explore alternate scenarios for each of the TOD precincts. I did talk about it in most interviews, but I guess that's not what the media is interested in portraying (with wordcount).

eBike Trial – Initial Thoughts

My first thoughts on this eight week eBike trial.

1. It makes the hills easy to climb. I would struggle with Tryon, Nelson and Culworth on my push bike but the e-bike makes it effortless.

2. I wish it had indicator signals. Using arms to signal left and right turn is a pain.

3. Still very conscious of sharing the road with cars, and overall safety. Because Iโ€™m not moving quickly, I sometimes pull over to let cars pass.

4. Our roads are great for cars but some are not so good for cyclists. Need good wheels and suspension.

5. It takes a lot longer to get to places, but if you have the time itโ€™s a great way to check out the neighbourhood.

My first thoughts on this eight week eBike trial.

1. It makes the hills easy to climb. I would struggle with Tryon, Nelson and Culworth on my push bike but the e-bike makes it effortless.

2. I wish it had indicator signals. Using arms to signal left and right turn is a pain.

3. Still very conscious of sharing the road with cars, and overall safety. Because Iโ€™m not moving quickly, I sometimes pull over to let cars pass.

4. Our roads are great for cars but some are not so good for cyclists. Need good wheels and suspension.

5. It takes a lot longer to get to places, but if you have the time itโ€™s a great way to check out the neighbourhood.
My first thoughts on this eight week eBike trial. 1. It makes the hills easy to climb. I would struggle with Tryon, Nelson and Culworth on my push bike but the e-bike makes it effortless. 2. I wish it had indicator signals. Using arms to signal left and right turn is a pain. 3. Still very conscious of sharing the road with cars, and overall safety. Because Iโ€™m not moving quickly, I sometimes pull over to let cars pass. 4. Our roads are great for cars but some are not so good for cyclists. Need good wheels and suspension. 5. It takes a lot longer to get to places, but if you have the time itโ€™s a great way to check out the neighbourhood.

345 Pacific Highway scheduled for KLPP

The Planning Proposal for 345 Pacific Highway will be decided by the Ku-ring-gai Local Planning Panel on Monday 20 May, 12:30pm.

I havenโ€™t had time to read through the reports but on page 35 the recommendation appears to suggest a reduced height of 12 storeys and FSR of 3.5:1. My own concern regarding Pacific Highway road widening appears to also have been covered, although I have yet to look into the detail.

https://eservices.kmc.nsw.gov.au/Infocouncil.Web/Open/2024/05/KLPP_20052024_AGN.PDF

Ku-ring-gai Councillors have no influence over what this independent planning panel does. The independent panel also has no obligation to follow the recommendations of the assessing officer.

With normal development applications, the meeting is open to the public but for an item like this, it’s closed off from public for some reason (I think that’s weird). I’ll ask council staff if there is a way for the public to make submissions.

The Planning Proposal for 345 Pacific Highway will be decided by the Ku-ring-gai Local Planning Panel on Monday 20 May, 12:30pm.

I havenโ€™t had time to read through the reports but on page 35 the recommendation appears to suggest a reduced height of 12 storeys and FSR of 3.5:1. My own concern regarding Pacific Highway road widening appears to also have been covered, although I have yet to look into the detail.

https://eservices.kmc.nsw.gov.au/Infocouncil.Web/Open/2024/05/KLPP_20052024_AGN.PDF

Ku-ring-gai Councillors have no influence over what this independent planning panel does. The independent panel also has no obligation to follow the recommendations of the assessing officer.

With normal development applications, the meeting is open to the public but for an item like this, it's closed off from public for some reason (I think that's weird). I'll ask council staff if there is a way for the public to make submissions.

Density Scenarios and Legal Action

So council just met and voted unanimously to proceed with legal action as well as to explore different density scenarios for our four Transport Oriented Development precincts.

I understand that there are some residents concerned about the cost of legal action but let me assure you, the benefits far outweigh the cost. In the last six months alone, Ku-ring-gai has already lost tens of millions in lost infrastructure opportunities as a result of a State Government that has shown no interest in talking to us prior to making detrimental decisions.

The value destruction is extensive.

They expect us to deliver the housing – and I am certainly up for the challenge – but to cripple both infrastructure expenses and funding before imposing a SEPP is just poor form.

13 councils have been willing to engage with the State to get the best possible outcomes, but the State was only genuinely interested in working with 12.

So council just met and voted unanimously to proceed with legal action as well as to explore different density scenarios for our four Transport Oriented Development precincts.

I understand that there are some residents concerned about the cost of legal action but let me assure you, the benefits far outweigh the cost. In the last six months alone, Ku-ring-gai has already lost tens of millions in lost infrastructure opportunities as a result of a State Government that has shown no interest in talking to us prior to making detrimental decisions. The value destruction is extensive. They expect us to deliver the housing - and I am certainly up for the challenge - but to cripple both infrastructure expenses and funding before imposing a SEPP is just poor form.

13 councils have been willing to engage with the State to get the best possible outcomes, but the State was only genuinely interested in working with 12.

Matt Cross MP

Wishing my good friend a speedy recovery. He has been a great representative for our people, and before his time in parliament I have enjoyed my chats with him at the blood donation clinic.

In the interim, any State queries are covered by other MPs who are familiar with our local area.

Flu Vaccinations

Meet Zac from the team at West Pymble Pharmacy and Pymble Pharmacy . They provide walk-in flu vaccinations on most weekdays, just call up in advance to confirm his availability.

It cost me $25 but for residents over 65 it is free.

Meet Zac from the team at @[100094667931538:2048:West Pymble Pharmacy]  and @[100057157492830:2048:Pymble Pharmacy] . They provide walk-in flu vaccinations on most weekdays, just call up in advance to confirm his availability.

It cost me $25 but for residents over 65 it is free.
Meet Zac from the team at @[100094667931538:2048:West Pymble Pharmacy] and @[100057157492830:2048:Pymble Pharmacy] . They provide walk-in flu vaccinations on most weekdays, just call up in advance to confirm his availability. It cost me $25 but for residents over 65 it is free.

The Trolley Problem

For those familiar with ‘The Trolley Problem’ then this is my summary of the dilemma that faces all councillors tomorrow night. We do it one way and get criticised. We do it another way and also get criticised. Critics from both sides don’t understand the complexity of the situation. As for how the trolley got to where it is right now, that is a frustrating thing as well… I wish the State Government was more genuine in its intent to collaborate with Local Government. And my perspective on the matter is covered in yesterday morning’s post (photo taken in the city).

For those familiar with 'The Trolley Problem' then this is my summary of the dilemma that faces all councillors tomorrow night.

We do it one way and get criticised. We do it another way and also get criticised. Critics from both sides don't understand the complexity of the situation.

As for how the trolley got to where it is right now, that is a frustrating thing as well... I wish the State Government was more genuine in its intent to collaborate with Local Government. And my perspective on the matter is covered in yesterday morning's post (photo taken in the city).

Thoughts on eBikes

๐—ก๐—ผ ๐—œโ€™๐—บ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—จ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—˜๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ. Iโ€™ve been researching electric cargo bikes with the intention of taking my kids on school runs and doing other fun stuff. Bikes give you some exercise, take up a lot less space than a car, and are cheaper to run.

But theyโ€™re not THAT cheap.

This one here is a Tern GSD S10. If purchased upfront with a whole bunch of accessories itโ€™s about $9,000. Who has that kind of money for a hobby?

Iโ€™ve actually been considering something similar at half the price. The Aventon Abound with accessories is about $4,000. Iโ€™ve seen the reviews and I reckon itโ€™s just as good if not even better. But thereโ€™s one slight problemโ€ฆ itโ€™s not street legal! It has a 750W motor but NSW legislation only allows for 500W / 25kmh motors. And even if you put a speed limiting device on the bike, the power means that it is still breaking the law. [Though I doubt a police officer would ever know your e-bikeโ€™s motor output.]

Anyway Iโ€™ve been agonizing over it. So many options to buy, all of them so overpriced or illegal, that the decision is too hard to make and I end up doing nothing. Iโ€™d rather save the money for a family holiday, or leave it in the mortgage offset account.

If I did get one, perhaps Iโ€™d earn the money back through some deliveries.

On a more serious note, I do believe that eBikes will become more common in our TOD precincts when families only have one parking spot and no ability to street park. When I walk around places like Crows Nest I already see bikes everywhere, and itโ€™s going to be similar if we end up with 20,000 new dwellings around four train stations.

As Mayor, Iโ€™d therefore want to try one out for an extended period and understand the infrastructure implications (similar to how I was the first councillor to get an EV).

If you search for โ€˜electric bike hireโ€™ thereโ€™s a few options to get a bike for the short term. One such provider is Lug+Carrie which is currently doing a half price eBike โ€˜trialโ€™ in Ku-ring-gai so Iโ€™ll probably end up with them. But Iโ€™d encourage anyone interested to do the research and figure out which provider gives the best value for your personal circumstances.

๐—ก๐—ผ ๐—œโ€™๐—บ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—จ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—˜๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ. Iโ€™ve been researching electric cargo bikes with the intention of taking my kids on school runs and doing other fun stuff. Bikes give you some exercise, take up a lot less space than a car, and are cheaper to run. But theyโ€™re not THAT cheap. This one here is a Tern GSD S10. If purchased upfront with a whole bunch of accessories itโ€™s about $9,000. Who has that kind of money for a hobby? Iโ€™ve actually been considering something similar at half the price. The Aventon Abound with accessories is about $4,000. Iโ€™ve seen the reviews and I reckon itโ€™s just as good if not even better. But thereโ€™s one slight problemโ€ฆ itโ€™s not street legal! It has a 750W motor but NSW legislation only allows for 500W / 25kmh motors. And even if you put a speed limiting device on the bike, the power means that it is still breaking the law. [Though I doubt a police officer would ever know your e-bikeโ€™s motor output.] Anyway Iโ€™ve been agonizing over it. So many options to buy, all of them so overpriced or illegal, that the decision is too hard to make and I end up doing nothing. Iโ€™d rather save the money for a family holiday, or leave it in the mortgage offset account. If I did get one, perhaps Iโ€™d earn the money back through some deliveries. On a more serious note, I do believe that eBikes will become more common in our TOD precincts when families only have one parking spot and no ability to street park. When I walk around places like Crows Nest I already see bikes everywhere, and itโ€™s going to be similar if we end up with 20,000 new dwellings around four train stations. As Mayor, Iโ€™d therefore want to try one out for an extended period and understand the infrastructure implications (similar to how I was the first councillor to get an EV). If you search for โ€˜electric bike hireโ€™ thereโ€™s a few options to get a bike for the short term. One such provider is @[100063454519480:2048:Lug+Carrie] which is currently doing a half price eBike โ€˜trialโ€™ in Ku-ring-gai so Iโ€™ll probably end up with them. But Iโ€™d encourage anyone interested to do the research and figure out which provider gives the best value for your personal circumstances.
View in Window

Marian Street Theatre

Of the Killara residents I met yesterday, NSW Housing Policy was the main topic but Marian Street Theatre was mentioned as well.

Council currently has an approved Development Application to renew and expand the theatre. The 2018 community-led price estimate was $10m, but an experienced quantity sureyor has priced it at $24m. This is for a 249 seat theatre, as site constraints cannot support more than that without triggering other issues.

Council currently does not have $24m of ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ funds sitting around so residents have been keen to explore alternate funding solutions.

One idea has been to borrow money. This was a popular idea in 2021 but Australiaโ€™s cash rate has since gone up from 0.10% to a 10-year high of 4.35%. Most bank loans are 5-7%. So if council had borrowed money to build the theatre, it would have been over a million of interest alone, plus principal repayments and operating costs taking it to $2m per year.

Another idea has been to use developer contributions. This currently isnโ€™t possible as Marian Street Theatre is not listed in Ku-ring-gaiโ€™s 2010 Contributions Plan, though the contributions plan will eventually have to be updated to reflect the dramatic changes anticipated from NSW Housing Policy. As for why Council hasnโ€™t updated it for 14 years, itโ€™s because the Contributions Plan was developed under a legacy system where contributions were not capped. However the modern system imposes caps to the size of each contribution, which has made it extremely difficult for other councils to raise funds to deliver much-needed infrastructure. NSW councils have been complaining about this issue for years! But Ku-ring-gai is fortunate to have established a development contributions plan just before the change in the system, and so has held onto the old plan to maximise the infrastructure we deliver for you.

The increased population will not only increase the volume of development contributions (for upfront construction costs), but also an increase in rates and fees (for covering ongoing operational costs). This may improve the viability of the theatre in the coming years.

Before the announcement of all these housing policy changes, another funding option floated has been a once off increase in rates (special rates variation) similar to what Hornsby and Willoughby have done in the last two years. In Ku-ring-gaiโ€™s case, we have had a 40% increase in operating costs in the last decade while the rates that we collect (which are pegged by the State Government) have only increased by 28%. Council can continue to identify cost efficiencies but at some point, there will be no more to squeeze out.

Yet another idea has been to sell community land to fund the theatre. But in an LGA where we are expecting the population to double, selling off community recreation space is a bit short-sighted.

There was also the option of using proceeds from the sale of the old Lindfield library site to fund the build of the new theatre – and this is an idea that I still support to this day. But with the new library delayed in its current form, it means the sale of the old library is delayed and there is a chain reaction to the timing of Marian Street Theatre.

In all of the sceanrios mentioned above, I wouldnโ€™t expect Council to be able to fund the construction of the theatre until 2026/7. And for someone with a long-term view like myself, thatโ€™s fine. But I also understand that for Killara residents, they would prefer a shorter (but unachievable) time horizon.

I also understand that with a local government election coming up, there is already electioneering on this topic. The reality though is that all Gordon ward candidates will likely want to build the theatre, and regardless of who the community elects, each councillor will be faced by the same constraints listed above. Donโ€™t think that by electing so-and-so, it will improve outcomes on this particualr issue. Youโ€™ll need to decide who to vote for based on other criteria.

In February, our Gordon Ward councillors moved a motion to explore a lower cost โ€˜open the doorsโ€™ option for the Marian Street Theatre. That report will come out in June, and will inform us of whether there is a viable lower cost way of reviving the theatre.

Of the Killara residents I met yesterday, NSW Housing Policy was the main topic but Marian Street Theatre was mentioned as well.

Council currently has an approved Development Application to renew and expand the theatre. The 2018 community-led price estimate was $10m, but an experienced quantity sureyor has priced it at $24m. This is for a 249 seat theatre, as site constraints cannot support more than that without triggering other issues.

Council currently does not have $24m of ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ funds sitting around so residents have been keen to explore alternate funding solutions.

One idea has been to borrow money. This was a popular idea in 2021 but Australiaโ€™s cash rate has since gone up from 0.10% to a 10-year high of 4.35%. Most bank loans are 5-7%. So if council had borrowed money to build the theatre, it would have been over a million of interest alone, plus principal repayments and operating costs taking it to $2m per year.

Another idea has been to use developer contributions. This currently isnโ€™t possible as Marian Street Theatre is not listed in Ku-ring-gaiโ€™s 2010 Contributions Plan, though the contributions plan will eventually have to be updated to reflect the dramatic changes anticipated from NSW Housing Policy. As for why Council hasnโ€™t updated it for 14 years, itโ€™s because the Contributions Plan was developed under a legacy system where contributions were not capped. However the modern system imposes caps to the size of each contribution, which has made it extremely difficult for other councils to raise funds to deliver much-needed infrastructure. NSW councils have been complaining about this issue for years! But Ku-ring-gai is fortunate to have established a development contributions plan just before the change in the system, and so has held onto the old plan to maximise the infrastructure we deliver for you.

The increased population will not only increase the volume of development contributions (for upfront construction costs), but also an increase in rates and fees (for covering ongoing operational costs). This may improve the viability of the theatre in the coming years.

Before the announcement of all these housing policy changes, another funding option floated has been a once off increase in rates (special rates variation) similar to what Hornsby and Willoughby have done in the last two years. In Ku-ring-gaiโ€™s case, we have had a 40% increase in operating costs in the last decade while the rates that we collect (which are pegged by the State Government) have only increased by 28%. Council can continue to identify cost efficiencies but at some point, there will be no more to squeeze out.

Yet another idea has been to sell community land to fund the theatre. But in an LGA where we are expecting the population to double, selling off community recreation space is a bit short-sighted.

There was also the option of using proceeds from the sale of the old Lindfield library site to fund the build of the new theatre - and this is an idea that I still support to this day. But with the new library delayed in its current form, it means the sale of the old library is delayed and there is a chain reaction to the timing of Marian Street Theatre.

In all of the sceanrios mentioned above, I wouldnโ€™t expect Council to be able to fund the construction of the theatre until 2026/7. And for someone with a long-term view like myself, thatโ€™s fine. But I also understand that for Killara residents, they would prefer a shorter (but unachievable) time horizon.

I also understand that with a local government election coming up, there is already electioneering on this topic. The reality though is that all Gordon ward candidates will likely want to build the theatre, and regardless of who the community elects, each councillor will be faced by the same constraints listed above. Donโ€™t think that by electing so-and-so, it will improve outcomes on this particualr issue. Youโ€™ll need to decide who to vote for based on other criteria.

In February, our Gordon Ward councillors moved a motion to explore a lower cost โ€˜open the doorsโ€™ option for the Marian Street Theatre. That report will come out in June, and will inform us of whether there is a viable lower cost way of reviving the theatre.

Second Meeting with the Planning Minister

I first wrote to the Planning Minister in November requesting a meeting to discuss housing. This he arranged for mid-February and later postponed to end-February. It took over three months to get the meeting, but at least he’s more responsive than the Transport Minister (crickets).

At the February meeting I asked for 12 months to plan for our Transport Oriented Development (TOD) precincts and he said NO. He later gave other (Labor) councils extensions ranging from 9-15 months.

He also said that we’d meet again in March, but then cancelled on me.

We finally met a second time in May and once again on grounds of fairness, I asked for 12 months similar to what he had offered other councils. He said NO. I told him that some residents wanted Council to commence a legal challenge if there wasn’t time to do proper planning.

On grounds of fairness, I also asked for funding to support some of our most pressing amenity needs (public open space, which we need to secure now as it cannot be retrofit). I said if he can make it work, we’ll promote it as a win-win. But surprise surprise, he said NO.

I pointed to the TOD Part 1 (Accelerated Precincts) program which aims to provide 47,800 homes in 15 years within a 1,200m radius of eight centres such as Crows Nest, Hornsby and Macquarie Park. I said it was unfair that they were getting $520m of infrastructure funding (~$10,800 per dwelling, 6,000 dwellings per centre) when we were getting no funding for 5,000 dwellings within an area 1/9th the size. And four of these.

He stuck with the no infrastructure funding line, and told me that I was wrong… That it was 47,800 dwelling in five years, and that there would be many more homes to come. He did say, however, that if Ku-ring-gai wanted to establish an Accelerated Precinct with 1,200m of a train station, he’d be open to talking about funding.

Of course I didn’t commit to anything as that would require a decision of council. But I did tell him that he needs to update his website if the intent genuinely is 47,800 dwellings in five years, because since December it has been saying 15 years.

If Labor had been genuine in working with Ku-ring-gai, we would have had a different outcome.

I first wrote to the Planning Minister in November requesting a meeting to discuss housing. This he arranged for mid-February and later postponed to end-February. It took over three months to get the meeting, but at least he's more responsive than the Transport Minister (crickets).

At the February meeting I asked for 12 months to plan for our Transport Oriented Development (TOD) precincts and he said NO. He later gave other (Labor) councils extensions ranging from 9-15 months.

He also said that we'd meet again in March, but then cancelled on me.

We finally met a second time in May and once again on grounds of fairness, I asked for 12 months similar to what he had offered other councils. He said NO. I told him that some residents wanted Council to commence a legal challenge if there wasn't time to do proper planning.

On grounds of fairness, I also asked for funding to support some of our most pressing amenity needs (public open space, which we need to secure now as it cannot be retrofit). I said if he can make it work, we'll promote it as a win-win. But surprise surprise, he said NO.

I pointed to the TOD Part 1 (Accelerated Precincts) program which aims to provide 47,800 homes in 15 years within a 1,200m radius of eight centres such as Crows Nest, Hornsby and Macquarie Park. I said it was unfair that they were getting $520m of infrastructure funding (~$10,800 per dwelling, 6,000 dwellings per centre) when we were getting no funding for 5,000 dwellings within an area 1/9th the size. And four of these.

He stuck with the no infrastructure funding line, and told me that I was wrong... That it was 47,800 dwelling in five years, and that there would be many more homes to come. He did say, however, that if Ku-ring-gai wanted to establish an Accelerated Precinct with 1,200m of a train station, he'd be open to talking about funding.

Of course I didn't commit to anything as that would require a decision of council. But I did tell him that he needs to update his website if the intent genuinely is 47,800 dwellings in five years, because since December it has been saying 15 years.

If Labor had been genuine in working with Ku-ring-gai, we would have had a different outcome.

NSW Labor is Building the Plane while Flying It

๐—ก๐—ฆ๐—ช ๐—Ÿ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—•๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—™๐—น๐˜†๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—œ๐˜ You may have read in the papers that ๐—–๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—น ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—š๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly, however, I believe that it is necessary in the interest of future and current residents.

The first reason is ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€. In my first meeting with the Planning Minister (over 3 months after I requested it), I asked for a 12 month extension to consult with the community and establish proper planning for the four Transport Oriented Development precincts and he said NO. Later on I find out that he has offered similar extensions to the majority of other councils, and is using Ku-ring-gai as the scapegoat. So whatโ€™s with that? It seems like the only way to get an extension is to go to court.

The second reason is ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด. These TOD precincts will generate over $200 million in Housing and Productivity Contributions for the State Government, but when I asked the Planning Minister to assist us with some of our most time-sensitive / critical infrastructure needs (i.e. open space, which cannot be retrofitted) he did not commit to giving us a single cent. ๐—œ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚’๐—ฑ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—น ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ž๐˜‚-๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด-๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ถ, ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚’๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ฑ $๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฌ๐—บ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฎ ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐˜…๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—บ๐˜€? Meanwhile, TOD Part 1 gets $520m of funding.

The third reason is out of respect for ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ. Now for those who have tracked my 6.5 years on council, I am not a heritage yes-man. On each occasion, whether it be a heritage conservation area or an individual heritage listing, I personally assess what’s proposed on its merits and I vote accordingly. Sometimes I vote in support of heritage listing. At other times I’ve been boo’d and scolded by residents during council meetings for voting against heritage protections on specific items that I didnโ€™t believe met threshold. But what NSW Labor has legislated means the complete destruction of all heritage conservation areas. I do not believe it is possible to do floor space ratio 2.5:1 and height 22m while maintaining the integrity of a garden-style heritage conservation area. And many of Ku-ring-gai’s HCA’s are definitely worth fighting for.

Like the open letter before this, it is not a matter that should be taken lightly. Having said that, when there is so much at stake then I do believe it is worth taking a risk-based approach to decision making.

I do want Ku-ring-gai to provide more housing for the residents of tomorrow, but I also want it done on fair and just terms.

Meeting the Korean Community

Yesterday we were joined by a group of Korean residents who came to learn about Australia’s three levels of government, Ku-ring-gai’s specific responsbilities and services, as well as the ways they can contribute to Ku-ring-gai’s policies and decision making. Glad to meet so many engaged residents.

Yesterday we were joined by a group of Korean residents who came to learn about Australia's three levels of government, Ku-ring-gai's specific responsbilities and services, as well as the ways they can contribute to Ku-ring-gai's policies and decision making. Glad to meet so many engaged residents.

New General Manager – David Marshall

Iโ€™m pleased to announce that Council has appointed our Acting General Manager David Marshall as Ku-ring-gaiโ€™s next General Manager.

During his seven months in the acting role, he has led a range of process improvements.

We conducted a customer service audit which led to improvements to our training, procedures and systems that will lead to more timely response in the coming months.

For residents concerned about the ongoing loss of tree canopy and habitat destruction, Council’s response is limited by State law but we have introduced order provisions under the EP&A Act to require replacement planting of illegally removed trees, with regular follow-ups and fines if the order is breached.

With our asset infrastructure backlog, we have identified new methods which may significantly bring down the cost of maintaining our ageing stormwater infrastrucutreโ€ฆ. expected savings of ~$100m over the lifetime of the assets.

We have introduced a library app and are investigating the provision of an app to cover borader council services.

We are now reviewing the Development Application process, seeing what we can do to streamline the process and improve the customer experience as a whole. Other service reviews will be announced in the coming months.

Internally, councillors are also getting better follow-up to their queries, regular activity updates, and a proactive response to regulatory change.

In particular, David has been responsive to each councillor’s concerns regarding the upcoming Transport Oriented Development and Low- and Mid-Rise Housing policy changes. His role is to proactively provide the councillors with information and options to consider, then to carry out whatever it is that Council resolves. It was also his proactivity that resulted in early resident notification in January when other councils had not yet grasped the implications.

There were other promising candidates in the selection process as well. I would have been happy to work with any of them, though was of the view that David would be the most appropriate for Ku-ring-gai at this point in time. Local Government plays a sepcial role in the community and I am encouraged at the talent that is contributing to the sector.

SILK Dining, St Ives

To celebrate the end of uni, the kids wanted Deep Fried Ice Cream so we went to SILK Dining at St Ives Shopping Village. The food is pretty amazing and generously portioned – much better than what you could get in Chatswood – and it was quite a peaceful experience on an early Monday night.

Bubs was fine with me carrying her again, so that was a bonus.

To celebrate the end of uni, the kids wanted Deep Fried Ice Cream so we went to @[100063619295866:2048:SILK Dining] at @[100063684966751:2048:St Ives Shopping Village]. The food is pretty amazing and generously portioned - much better than what you could get in Chatswood - and it was quite a peaceful experience on an early Monday night.

Bubs was fine with me carrying her again, so that was a bonus.
To celebrate the end of uni, the kids wanted Deep Fried Ice Cream so we went to @[100063619295866:2048:SILK Dining] at @[100063684966751:2048:St Ives Shopping Village]. The food is pretty amazing and generously portioned – much better than what you could get in Chatswood – and it was quite a peaceful experience on an early Monday night. Bubs was fine with me carrying her again, so that was a bonus.

General Manager Recruitment Update

Morning all!

We have had some queries about the General Manager recruitment process so I can say the following.

A. We had the help of an independent, experienced and well-priced external recruitment firm.

B. We had a large number of job applications, including several strong candidates.

C. We had a first round of interviews last month and the final round interview will be later this week. [The candidates are all fantastic and I’d be happy to work with any of them.]

D. After the final interviews, the ten councillors will likely resolve to make an offer to one of the candidates (subject to final negotiations on duration, package, etc.).

E. We probably won’t be able to announce the new General Manager until next week. Please be patient.

The recruitment process has taken up some of my time in recent weeks, but I’ve spent a larger chunk of it on housing policy.

Morning all! We have had some queries about the General Manager recruitment process so I can say the following.

A. We had the help of an independent, experienced and well-priced external recruitment firm.

B. We had a large number of job applications, including several strong candidates.

C. We had a first round of interviews last month and the final round interview will be later this week. [The candidates are all fantastic and I'd be happy to work with any of them.]

D. After the final interviews, the ten councillors will likely resolve to make an offer to one of the candidates (subject to final negotiations on duration, package, etc.).

E. We probably won't be able to announce the new General Manager until next week. Please be patient.

The recruitment process has taken up some of my time in recent weeks, but I've spent a larger chunk of it on housing policy.