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 I’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 I’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

🌳🌳🌳 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.

🌳🌳🌳 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 Men’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 they’ve cooked.

It’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 Men’s Kitchen were the recipients of the Mayor’s Award for an Outstanding Contribution by a Community Group.

Last week I visited the Men’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 they’ve cooked.

It’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 Men’s Kitchen were the recipients of the Mayor’s Award for an Outstanding Contribution by a Community Group.
Last week I visited the Men’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 they’ve cooked. It’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 Men’s Kitchen were the recipients of the Mayor’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…

Café 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:Café 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

đ—Ÿđ—Œđ—Œđ—žđ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ˜đ—Œ đ—łđ˜‚đ—»đ—± đ˜†đ—Œđ˜‚đ—ż đ—°đ—Œđ—șđ—șđ˜‚đ—»đ—¶đ˜đ˜† đ—Œđ—żđ—Žđ—źđ—»đ—¶đ˜€đ—źđ˜đ—¶đ—Œđ—»? Ku-ring-gai’s annual grants program is open for applications. Categories include: 🏡Heritage (closing 13 May) 🔋Net Zero (closing 17 May) 🌳Environmental Conservation (closing 17 May) 📅Events and festivals (closing 13 May) 🎭Arts and Culture (closing 7 June) đŸ‘©â€đŸ«Community Development (closing 7 June) 🏑Small Equipment (closing 7 June)

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

đ—Ÿđ—Œđ—Œđ—žđ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ˜đ—Œ đ—łđ˜‚đ—»đ—± đ˜†đ—Œđ˜‚đ—ż đ—°đ—Œđ—șđ—șđ˜‚đ—»đ—¶đ˜đ˜† đ—Œđ—żđ—Žđ—źđ—»đ—¶đ˜€đ—źđ˜đ—¶đ—Œđ—»?
Ku-ring-gai’s annual grants program is open for applications. Categories include:
🏡Heritage (closing 13 May)
🔋Net Zero (closing 17 May)
🌳Environmental Conservation (closing 17 May)
📅Events and festivals (closing 13 May)
🎭Arts and Culture (closing 7 June)
đŸ‘©â€đŸ«Community Development (closing 7 June)
🏑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 I’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 it’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 I’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 it’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 I’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 it’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 haven’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 haven’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

đ—Ąđ—Œ 𝗜’đ—ș đ—»đ—Œđ˜ đ—œđ—čđ—źđ—»đ—»đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ˜đ—Œ 𝗯đ—Čđ—°đ—Œđ—șđ—Č đ—źđ—» 𝗹𝗯đ—Č𝗿𝗘𝗼𝘁𝘀 đ—±đ—Čđ—čđ—¶đ˜ƒđ—Č𝗿𝘆 đ—±đ—żđ—¶đ˜ƒđ—Č𝗿. I’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 they’re not THAT cheap.

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

I’ve actually been considering something similar at half the price. The Aventon Abound with accessories is about $4,000. I’ve seen the reviews and I reckon it’s just as good if not even better. But there’s one slight problem
 it’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-bike’s motor output.]

Anyway I’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. I’d rather save the money for a family holiday, or leave it in the mortgage offset account.

If I did get one, perhaps I’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 it’s going to be similar if we end up with 20,000 new dwellings around four train stations.

As Mayor, I’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 ‘electric bike hire’ there’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 ‘trial’ in Ku-ring-gai so I’ll probably end up with them. But I’d encourage anyone interested to do the research and figure out which provider gives the best value for your personal circumstances.

đ—Ąđ—Œ 𝗜’đ—ș đ—»đ—Œđ˜ đ—œđ—čđ—źđ—»đ—»đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ˜đ—Œ 𝗯đ—Čđ—°đ—Œđ—șđ—Č đ—źđ—» 𝗹𝗯đ—Č𝗿𝗘𝗼𝘁𝘀 đ—±đ—Čđ—čđ—¶đ˜ƒđ—Č𝗿𝘆 đ—±đ—żđ—¶đ˜ƒđ—Č𝗿. I’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 they’re not THAT cheap. This one here is a Tern GSD S10. If purchased upfront with a whole bunch of accessories it’s about $9,000. Who has that kind of money for a hobby? I’ve actually been considering something similar at half the price. The Aventon Abound with accessories is about $4,000. I’ve seen the reviews and I reckon it’s just as good if not even better. But there’s one slight problem
 it’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-bike’s motor output.] Anyway I’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. I’d rather save the money for a family holiday, or leave it in the mortgage offset account. If I did get one, perhaps I’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 it’s going to be similar if we end up with 20,000 new dwellings around four train stations. As Mayor, I’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 ‘electric bike hire’ there’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 ‘trial’ in Ku-ring-gai so I’ll probably end up with them. But I’d encourage anyone interested to do the research and figure out which provider gives the best value for your personal circumstances.
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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 đ˜¶đ˜Żđ˜łđ˜Šđ˜Žđ˜”đ˜łđ˜Șđ˜€đ˜”đ˜Šđ˜„ 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 Australia’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 isn’t possible as Marian Street Theatre is not listed in Ku-ring-gai’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 hasn’t updated it for 14 years, it’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-gai’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 wouldn’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, that’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. Don’t think that by electing so-and-so, it will improve outcomes on this particualr issue. You’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 ‘open the doors’ 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 đ˜¶đ˜Żđ˜łđ˜Šđ˜Žđ˜”đ˜łđ˜Șđ˜€đ˜”đ˜Šđ˜„ 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 Australia’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 isn’t possible as Marian Street Theatre is not listed in Ku-ring-gai’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 hasn’t updated it for 14 years, it’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-gai’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 wouldn’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, that’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. Don’t think that by electing so-and-so, it will improve outcomes on this particualr issue. You’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 ‘open the doors’ 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

𝗡𝗩đ—Ș đ—Ÿđ—źđ—Żđ—Œđ—ż đ—¶đ˜€ đ—•đ˜‚đ—¶đ—čđ—±đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ˜đ—”đ—Č 𝗣đ—čđ—źđ—»đ—Č đ˜„đ—”đ—¶đ—čđ—Č 𝗙đ—čđ˜†đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž 𝗜𝘁 You may have read in the papers that đ—–đ—Œđ˜‚đ—»đ—°đ—¶đ—č đ˜„đ—¶đ—čđ—č 𝗯đ—Č đ—°đ—Œđ—»đ˜€đ—¶đ—±đ—Čđ—żđ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ˜„đ—”đ—Čđ˜đ—”đ—Č𝗿 đ˜đ—Œ 𝘁𝗼𝗾đ—Č đ˜đ—”đ—Č 𝗩𝘁𝗼𝘁đ—Č đ—šđ—Œđ˜ƒđ—Čđ—żđ—»đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜ đ˜đ—Œ đ—°đ—Œđ˜‚đ—żđ˜. 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 đ—łđ—źđ—¶đ—żđ—»đ—Č𝘀𝘀. 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 what’s with that? It seems like the only way to get an extension is to go to court.

The second reason is đ—łđ˜‚đ—»đ—±đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž. 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. 𝗜đ—șđ—źđ—Žđ—¶đ—»đ—Č đ—”đ—Œđ˜„ đ˜†đ—Œđ˜‚’đ—± 𝗳đ—Čđ—Čđ—č 𝗼𝘀 𝗼 𝗳𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿đ—Č 𝗿đ—Čđ˜€đ—¶đ—±đ—Čđ—»đ˜ đ—Œđ—ł 𝗞𝘂-đ—żđ—¶đ—»đ—Ž-đ—Žđ—źđ—¶, đ—žđ—»đ—Œđ˜„đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ˜đ—”đ—źđ˜ đ˜†đ—Œđ˜‚’𝘃đ—Č đ—°đ—Œđ—čđ—čđ—Čđ—°đ˜đ—¶đ˜ƒđ—Čđ—č𝘆 đ—œđ—źđ—¶đ—± $𝟼𝟬𝟬đ—ș đ—źđ—»đ—± đ—»đ—Œđ˜ 𝗼 đ˜€đ—¶đ—»đ—Žđ—čđ—Č 𝗰đ—Čđ—»đ˜ 𝗿đ—Čđ—¶đ—»đ˜ƒđ—Č𝘀𝘁đ—Čđ—± đ˜đ—Œ đ—łđ—¶đ˜…đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ˜đ—”đ—Č đ—čđ—Œđ—°đ—źđ—č 𝗼𝗿đ—Č𝗼𝘀 đ—œđ—żđ—Œđ—Żđ—čđ—Čđ—ș𝘀? Meanwhile, TOD Part 1 gets $520m of funding.

The third reason is out of respect for đ—”đ—Čđ—żđ—¶đ˜đ—źđ—Žđ—Č. 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 didn’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

I’m pleased to announce that Council has appointed our Acting General Manager David Marshall as Ku-ring-gai’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 infrastrucutre
. 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.

TOD SEPP Draft Maps are out

TOD SEPP draft maps are out. Shades of blue indicate where the Transport Oriented provisions seem to apply.

Individually listed heritage items are out. Heritage Conservation Areas are in.

Credit to Support Lindfield for providing instructions on how to access the map.

Thoughts on Transport Oriented Development Part 2 Provisions

Initial thoughts on yesterday’s Transport Oriented Development (TOD) Part 2 provisions.

Please note that I’m talking about what’s in the legislation itself, not what’s in a media release (which is not legally binding). https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/pdf/asmade/epi-2024-135

The 400m radius remains the same. Some would question whether it is realistic when TOD Part 1 uses a 1,200m distance.

The changes to height and floor space ratio sound gentler but in reality do not fix anything. What’s proposed is equivalent to the Lindfield IGA development with one less floor. There will still be no setback and it won’t achieve Greater Sydney’s 40% urban canopy target by 2036. The reduction in FSR will also mean that the any proposed development is less feasible, resulting in a slower rate of housing delivery.

The minimum lot width is a welcome change and will result in better outcomes for future residents.

2% minimum affordable housing target is very low. The Inner West for example has 15% in perpetuity and the Northern Beaches has targeted 10% in selected areas.

The SEPP itself is silent on heritage, and there are some provisions which might suggest the heritage conservation areas are still under threat. Further clarification is required.

It is also unclear whether a subsequent council-led change to the Local Environment Plan could result in the removal of the SEPP. What was proposed in December suggested that this was an option, but the SEPP that was gazetted yesterday does not provide for this. I will ask the Minister on Thursday.

I expect the state to raise $1.5Bn of Housing and Productivity Contributions from these developments in 37 precincts, but nothing has been committed to improving local infrastructure. This is different to Part 1 where $520m was committed for critical road upgrades, active transport links and public open spaces (approx. $10,800 per dwelling). I will be asking the Minister on Thursday re: infrastructure support.

Initial thoughts on yesterday’s Transport Oriented Development (TOD) Part 2 provisions.

Please note that I’m talking about what’s in the legislation itself, not what’s in a media release (which is not legally binding).
https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/pdf/asmade/epi-2024-135

The 400m radius remains the same. Some would question whether it is realistic when TOD Part 1 uses a 1,200m distance.

The changes to height and floor space ratio sound gentler but in reality do not fix anything. What’s proposed is equivalent to the Lindfield IGA development with one less floor. There will still be no setback and it won’t achieve Greater Sydney’s 40% urban canopy target by 2036. The reduction in FSR will also mean that the any proposed development is less feasible, resulting in a slower rate of housing delivery.

The minimum lot width is a welcome change and will result in better outcomes for future residents.

2% minimum affordable housing target is very low. The Inner West for example has 15% in perpetuity and the Northern Beaches has targeted 10% in selected areas.

The SEPP itself is silent on heritage, and there are some provisions which might suggest the heritage conservation areas are still under threat. Further clarification is required.

It is also unclear whether a subsequent council-led change to the Local Environment Plan could result in the removal of the SEPP. What was proposed in December suggested that this was an option, but the SEPP that was gazetted yesterday does not provide for this. I will ask the Minister on Thursday.

I expect the state to raise $1.5Bn of Housing and Productivity Contributions from these developments in 37 precincts, but nothing has been committed to improving local infrastructure. This is different to Part 1 where $520m was committed for critical road upgrades, active transport links and public open spaces (approx. $10,800 per dwelling). I will be asking the Minister on Thursday re: infrastructure support.

Updated TOD Parameters

I’m aware that the Department of Planning’s website has been updated with slightly watered down TOD parameters. But the SEPP has not yet been gazetted and I don’t have access to the final words.

I won’t be making any comment until I see the legislation.

Final Uni Assignment

It’s over!

Final assignment handed in for my final course at uni (Development and Planning Law).

In the last few days, our baby has started to cry whenever anyone other than mum picks her up. I know I’ve been away a while, but I need to somehow get her used to me again.

It's over! Final assignment handed in for my final course at uni (Development and Planning Law).

In the last few days, our baby has started to cry whenever anyone other than mum picks her up. I know I've been away a while, but I need to somehow get her used to me again.

Uni Student Interview Requests

This month I’ve had six uni students approach me with interview requests regarding the Transport Oriented Development Program. They are aspiring journalists or legal practitioners, and I wish them all the best with their assignments and future careers. I’ve got an assignment due this Sunday as well, and fortunately it’s on the same topic. There’s a few citizenship and ANZAC ceremonies to attend also, so it will be a busy week.

This month I've had six uni students approach me with interview requests regarding the Transport Oriented Development Program. They are aspiring journalists or legal practitioners, and I wish them all the best with their assignments and future careers.

I've got an assignment due this Sunday as well, and fortunately it's on the same topic. There's a few citizenship and ANZAC ceremonies to attend also, so it will be a busy week.

Another Day of Work (in Canberra)

Another day of work while the kids are having school holiday fun. Enjoying the fresh air though!

The ACT is a really beautiful place and since 2020 their electricity has come from 100% renewable sources. Having said that their ecological footprint was estimated at 9x their land size, in other words, there’s much further to go before they are considered self sustainable.

Another day of work while the kids are having school holiday fun. Enjoying the fresh air though!

The ACT is a really beautiful place and since 2020 their electricity has come from 100% renewable sources. Having said that their ecological footprint was estimated at 9x their land size, in other words, there’s much further to go before they are considered self sustainable.

Thoughts on Sydney Light Rail

For years I thought the light rail project was a waste of money because buses had more flexibility in taking people from Point A to Point B, and I’m sure the project was hugely disruptive to local businesses. But now that it’s all done, I think the outcome isn’t too bad either. The footpaths have been widened and it encourages more pedestrian traffic in the local area.

In the future, perhaps such projects can be implemented without such a significant cost. I’m thinking trackless trams and autonomous buses.

I was also reminiscing the days when I used to work on George Street. At that time, you could take eight trips in a week on your Opal card to unlock free travel. Every few hours on a Monday or Tuesday, I’d go out for a walk and catch the bus one stop as it’s cheaper to ride one stop than to pay for Killara Wynyard. I’d have free travel unlocked before my Tuesday trip home. Those days sadly did not last when they changed the rules, and the annual cost of going to work jumped up hundreds of dollars.

For years I thought the light rail project was a waste of money because buses had more flexibility in taking people from Point A to Point B, and I’m sure the project was hugely disruptive to local businesses. But now that it’s all done, I think the outcome isn’t too bad either. The footpaths have been widened and it encourages more pedestrian traffic in the local area.

In the future, perhaps such projects can be implemented without such a significant cost. I’m thinking trackless trams and autonomous buses.

I was also reminiscing the days when I used to work on George Street. At that time, you could take eight trips in a week on your Opal card to unlock free travel. Every few hours on a Monday or Tuesday, I’d go out for a walk and catch the bus one stop as it’s cheaper to ride one stop than to pay for Killara  Wynyard. I’d have free travel unlocked before my Tuesday trip home. Those days sadly did not last when they changed the rules, and the annual cost of going to work jumped up hundreds of dollars.
For years I thought the light rail project was a waste of money because buses had more flexibility in taking people from Point A to Point B, and I’m sure the project was hugely disruptive to local businesses. But now that it’s all done, I think the outcome isn’t too bad either. The footpaths have been widened and it encourages more pedestrian traffic in the local area. In the future, perhaps such projects can be implemented without such a significant cost. I’m thinking trackless trams and autonomous buses. I was also reminiscing the days when I used to work on George Street. At that time, you could take eight trips in a week on your Opal card to unlock free travel. Every few hours on a Monday or Tuesday, I’d go out for a walk and catch the bus one stop as it’s cheaper to ride one stop than to pay for Killara Wynyard. I’d have free travel unlocked before my Tuesday trip home. Those days sadly did not last when they changed the rules, and the annual cost of going to work jumped up hundreds of dollars.

The Big Issue – Bluey Edition

Meet Jack. He is a street vendor for The Big Issue Australia and I was particularly drawn to the Bluey edition, which narrates the rise of Australia’s favourite kids show.

This week’s edition also covers the challenges of Youth Homelessness, with over 28,000 young people aged 12 to 24 who do not have a home to live and face structural and financial challenges with accessing community housing.

There’s also an article on residents who commit their lives to saving local wildlife such as grey-headed flying foxes, lapwings, bare-nosed wombats, ducks and eastern grey kangaroos.

You can get your copy from vendors like Jack across the Sydney CBD. This photo was taken right outside Wynyard on George Street.

Meet Jack. He is a street vendor for @[100064784168119:2048:The Big Issue Australia] and I was particularly drawn to the Bluey edition, which narrates the rise of Australia's favourite kids show.

This week's edition also covers the challenges of Youth Homelessness, with over 28,000 young people aged 12 to 24 who do not have a home to live and face structural and financial challenges with accessing community housing.

There's also an article on residents who commit their lives to saving local wildlife such as grey-headed flying foxes, lapwings, bare-nosed wombats, ducks and eastern grey kangaroos.

You can get your copy from vendors like Jack across the Sydney CBD. This photo was taken right outside Wynyard on George Street.

Follow-up with Planning Minister

I have my follow-up meeting with the Planning Minister on 2nd May 😀

I need to move a few things around, but keen for it to happen.

I have my follow-up meeting with the Planning Minister on 2nd May 😀

I need to move a few things around, but keen for it to happen.
I have my follow-up meeting with the Planning Minister on 2nd May 😀 I need to move a few things around, but keen for it to happen.

345 Pacific Highway Planning Proposal

Earlier this week the North Shore Times reported a Planning Proposal for a 15 storey development at 345 Pacific Highway Lindfield which caused a stir. If approved, it will have implications for increasing housing supply, setting a new precedent of heights in the suburb, and also traffic implications. The developer has rejected Council’s suggestion of widening the Pacific Highway southbound bottleneck from 2 lanes (effective) to 3 lanes, matching the 3 lanes present at the rest of the highway. Details below.

đ—Șđ—”đ—źđ˜ đ—°đ—źđ—» đ˜đ—”đ—Č𝘆 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗿đ—Čđ—»đ˜đ—č𝘆 đ—Żđ˜‚đ—¶đ—čđ—± đ—Œđ—» đ˜€đ—¶đ˜đ—Č? Council’s Local Environment Plan (LEP) zones this land as E1 Local Centre. 2,665 sqm of land with allowed heights of 11.5m (3 storeys) and floor space ratio of 1:1 (i.e. 2,665 sqm of floor space).

đ—Șđ—”đ—źđ˜ đ—°đ—źđ—» đ˜đ—”đ—Č𝘆 đ—Żđ˜‚đ—¶đ—čđ—± đ˜‚đ—»đ—±đ—Č𝗿 đ˜đ—”đ—Č 𝗳𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿đ—Č đ—§đ—żđ—źđ—»đ˜€đ—œđ—Œđ—żđ˜ đ—ąđ—żđ—¶đ—Čđ—»đ˜đ—Čđ—± 𝗗đ—Č𝘃đ—Čđ—čđ—Œđ—œđ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜ 𝗩𝘁𝗼𝘁đ—Č đ—˜đ—»đ˜ƒđ—¶đ—żđ—Œđ—»đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜đ—źđ—č 𝗣đ—čđ—źđ—»đ—»đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ—Łđ—Œđ—čđ—¶đ—°đ˜† (𝗧𝗱𝗗 𝗩𝗘𝗣𝗣)? As the site is within 400m of Lindfield Station, which is a future TODD site, the owners will be allowed to build at a height of 21m (6-7 storeys) with floor space ratio of 3:1 (i.e. 7,995 sqm).

đ—Șđ—”đ—źđ˜ đ—¶đ˜€ 𝗼 𝗣đ—čđ—źđ—»đ—»đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č? It is a proposal, typically initiated by a land owner, to change the properties of an existing LEP. In this case, the owner wants to build taller than the 3 storeys and 2,665 sqm of floor space that is currently allowed.

đ—Șđ—”đ—źđ˜ đ—±đ—Œđ—Č𝘀 đ˜đ—”đ—¶đ˜€ 𝗣đ—čđ—źđ—»đ—»đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝘀đ—Čđ—Č𝗾? An increase of the height from 11.5m to 55m (15 storeys). An increase of the floor space ratio from 1:1 to 4.5:1 (11,992.5 sqm).

𝗜𝘀 đ˜đ—”đ—¶đ˜€ đ—¶đ—»đ—¶đ˜đ—¶đ—źđ˜đ—Čđ—± 𝗯𝘆 đ—–đ—Œđ˜‚đ—»đ—°đ—¶đ—č? No, it has been initiated by the land owner.

đ—Șđ—”đ˜† đ—±đ—Œđ—Č𝘀 đ˜đ—”đ—Č đ—Œđ˜„đ—»đ—Č𝗿 𝘀𝗼𝘆 đ˜đ—”đ—źđ˜ đ˜đ—”đ—Č 𝗣đ—čđ—źđ—»đ—»đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č đ˜€đ—”đ—Œđ˜‚đ—čđ—± 𝗯đ—Č đ—°đ—Œđ—»đ˜€đ—¶đ—±đ—Č𝗿đ—Čđ—±? A range of reasons were provided including Proximity to the railway station, multiple bus services, and the highway. The absence of environmental constraints such as bushfire or flooding hazards. Minimal impact on neighbouring properties due to being an ‘island’ site. Consistency with various State, Regional and Local planning objectives.

đ—›đ—Œđ˜„ đ˜„đ—¶đ—čđ—č đ˜đ—”đ—Č 𝗣đ—čđ—źđ—»đ—»đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č đ—œđ—żđ—Œđ—°đ—Čđ—Čđ—±? From what I understand, the Planning Proposal is going through two separate and parallel pathways.

The conventional path has council officers assessing the proposal. Once assessed, it will go to an independent planning panel (in this case the Ku-ring-gai Local Planning Panel) in May before going to a Council vote in June. If Council supports the proposal, then it will go to the Department of Planning for a ‘Gateway Determination’. If Council does not support, then it will follow an alternate path (which has already been triggered).

The alternate path which is happening in parallel is that the owner has requested a ‘Rezoning Review’ which means that an independent planning panel (in this case, probably the Sydney North Planning Panel) will review the matter before it goes to the Department of Planning for a ‘Gateway Determination’. It’s too early to tell how long it will take the independent panel to assess the matter, but Q2 or Q3 2024 may be a reasonable estimate.

In either case, if it reaches Gateway Determination then there will be some further assessments and public exhibition of what’s proposed before a final decision is made. Depending on what exactly happens, the decision maker may be the council, or a planning panel, or even the Minister of Planning. It is too early to tell which path will be taken.

đ—Șđ—¶đ—čđ—č đ—¶đ˜ 𝗯đ—Č đ—źđ—œđ—œđ—żđ—Œđ˜ƒđ—Čđ—±? I don’t know. But there has been a history of planning proposals rejected by Council but subsequently approved by an alternate pathway.

𝗜𝗳 đ—źđ—œđ—œđ—żđ—Œđ˜ƒđ—Čđ—±, đ˜„đ—”đ—źđ˜ 𝗼𝗿đ—Č đ˜đ—”đ—Č đ—¶đ—șđ—œđ—čđ—¶đ—°đ—źđ˜đ—¶đ—Œđ—»đ˜€? It may provide for more housing near the town centre. Each person has their own interpretation over whether this is good or bad.

It may set a precedent for building heights and floor space ratios elsewhere in the suburb.

𝘗𝘩𝘳𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘱𝘭𝘭đ˜ș 𝘐 𝘱𝘼 đ˜„đ˜Șđ˜Žđ˜ąđ˜±đ˜±đ˜°đ˜Șđ˜Żđ˜”đ˜Šđ˜„ đ˜”đ˜©đ˜ąđ˜” đ˜”đ˜©đ˜Šđ˜ș đ˜”đ˜¶đ˜łđ˜Żđ˜Šđ˜„ đ˜„đ˜°đ˜žđ˜Ż 𝘱 đ˜€đ˜°đ˜¶đ˜Żđ˜€đ˜Ș𝘭 đ˜łđ˜Šđ˜€đ˜°đ˜źđ˜źđ˜Šđ˜Żđ˜„đ˜ąđ˜”đ˜Ș𝘰𝘯 đ˜”đ˜° đ˜Žđ˜Šđ˜” 𝘱𝘮đ˜Șđ˜„đ˜Š 𝘼𝘰𝘳𝘩 đ˜Žđ˜±đ˜ąđ˜€đ˜Š 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘾đ˜Șđ˜„đ˜Šđ˜Żđ˜Ș𝘯𝘹 đ˜”đ˜©đ˜Š đ˜—đ˜ąđ˜€đ˜Ș𝘧đ˜Șđ˜€ 𝘏đ˜Șđ˜šđ˜©đ˜žđ˜ąđ˜ș. đ˜đ˜” đ˜Ș𝘮 đ˜°đ˜Łđ˜·đ˜Șđ˜°đ˜¶đ˜Ž đ˜”đ˜©đ˜ąđ˜” 𝘾𝘩 𝘱𝘳𝘩 𝘹𝘰đ˜Ș𝘯𝘹 đ˜”đ˜° đ˜©đ˜ąđ˜·đ˜Š 𝘱 đ˜Žđ˜¶đ˜łđ˜šđ˜Š đ˜Ș𝘯 đ˜±đ˜°đ˜±đ˜¶đ˜­đ˜ąđ˜”đ˜Ș𝘰𝘯, đ˜ąđ˜Żđ˜„ 𝘐 𝘣𝘩𝘭đ˜Șđ˜Šđ˜·đ˜Š đ˜”đ˜©đ˜ąđ˜” 𝘾đ˜Șđ˜„đ˜Šđ˜Żđ˜Ș𝘯𝘹 đ˜°đ˜¶đ˜ł đ˜Łđ˜°đ˜”đ˜”đ˜­đ˜Šđ˜Żđ˜Šđ˜€đ˜Źđ˜Ž đ˜Ș𝘮 đ˜€đ˜łđ˜Șđ˜”đ˜Șđ˜€đ˜ąđ˜­ đ˜”đ˜° đ˜°đ˜±đ˜”đ˜Ș𝘼đ˜Ș𝘮đ˜Ș𝘯𝘹 đ˜”đ˜łđ˜ąđ˜§đ˜§đ˜Șđ˜€ 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘾𝘮 𝘧𝘰𝘳 đ˜”đ˜©đ˜Š đ˜Šđ˜Żđ˜”đ˜Ș𝘳𝘩 𝘳𝘩𝘹đ˜Ș𝘰𝘯.

đ—™đ—Œđ—ż đ—șđ—Œđ—żđ—Č đ—¶đ—»đ—łđ—Œđ—żđ—șđ—źđ˜đ—¶đ—Œđ—», đ˜ƒđ—¶đ˜€đ—¶đ˜ https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/rezoning-reviews/under-assessment/345-pacific-highway-lindfield

Cameron Park, Turramurra

I caught the train to work from Turramurra yesterday and had a quick walk through Cameron Park.

Cameron Park was formed by acquiring four adjacent residential blocks to expand an existing council park. Its size is now over 5,400 sqm and it provides a range of recreation options for current and future residents who live in homes without a backyard.

With adequate planning and time to buildup funds, Council hopes to provide open space options to all Ku-ring-gai residents, however this has become more difficult in recent months with significantly increased land values under State Housing Policy. I’ve asked for funding to support the provision of amenities to support the policy, but to date we have not received a single cent.

April 2024 Ordinary Meeting of Council

Last night council resolved towards

đŸƒâ€â™€ïž Community uses for former lawn bowling land

đŸ„° Developing a Reconciliation Action Plan

🌆 Preparing an Affordable Housing Policy

📰 Publishing an open letter in national, metropolitan and local news publications to address Council’s concerns about the impacts of State Housing Policies

Last night council resolved towards

đŸƒâ€â™€ïž Community uses for former lawn bowling land

đŸ„° Developing a Reconciliation Action Plan

🌆 Preparing an Affordable Housing Policy

📰 Publishing an open letter in national, metropolitan and local news publications to address Council’s concerns about the impacts of State Housing Policies

Equipment Grant for St Swithuns Pymble

Each year Council runs a community grants program for equipment, outreach services and cultural activities.

One of last year’s recipients was St Swithun’s Anglican Church Pymble who used the funds to purchase gym / exercise equipment. It was good to see it put to good use and freely available to the public.

Each year Council runs a community grants program for equipment, outreach services and cultural activities.

One of last year’s recipients was @[100064915680982:2048:St Swithun's Anglican Church Pymble] who used the funds to purchase gym / exercise equipment. It was good to see it put to good use and freely available to the public.

Turramurra Trotters 50th Anniversary

On Saturday I was invited to join the Turramurra Trotters as they celebrated their 50th Anniversary.

This group was initially setup by residents to train for the City2Surf and it remains a key objective, but it has also been a great channel for community connection. On their records have been 1,970 participants and over 71,000 times recorded. They now offer different running / walking / cycling groups to cater for everyone.

The group meets at 6:30am on Saturdays near Kiplings, and they tend to have coffee afterwards. I joined the walking group and had a great chat with local residents while also enjoying the scenes of Turramurra.

On Saturday I was invited to join the @[100034752386305:2048:Turramurra Trotters] as they celebrated their 50th Anniversary.

This group was initially setup by residents to train for the City2Surf and it remains a key objective, but it has also been a great channel for community connection. On their records have been 1,970 participants and over 71,000 times recorded. They now offer different running / walking / cycling groups to cater for everyone.

The group meets at 6:30am on Saturdays near Kiplings, and they tend to have coffee afterwards. I joined the walking group and had a great chat with local residents while also enjoying the scenes of Turramurra.

Nailed It!

What’s your favourite TV show? I like to watch ‘Nailed It!’ on Netflix with the kids. In this show, amateur bakers are asked to replicate masterpieces in a compressed period of time, and with the promise of winning $10,000. It’s a great example of what happens when something is rushed, poorly planned, and without the right person for the job. Other examples in the link below. https://people.com/food/best-baking-fails-netflix-nailed-it/

What's your favourite TV show?

I like to watch 'Nailed It!' on Netflix with the kids.

In this show, amateur bakers are asked to replicate masterpieces in a compressed period of time, and with the promise of winning $10,000.

It's a great example of what happens when something is rushed, poorly planned, and without the right person for the job.

Other examples in the link below.
https://people.com/food/best-baking-fails-netflix-nailed-it/

TOD Update

What the minister said vs. what the mayor said.

In short, the minister says that 6 months is a reasonable timeframe to conduct studies, bypass community consultation, establish a plan without a target for the LMRH SEPP, and get an LEP approved.

The mayor said that 12-18 months is a more realistic timeframe to consult the community with targets, plan for good outcomes, and that funding is required to make it happen.

For the last five weeks I have personally been waiting for Minister Scully to further engage but he has not. Now it is clear why; he wants to portray the message that we have not collaborated on the process when in reality he has not been engaging on reasonable terms.

Climate Litigation and Personal Responsibility

This week a European Court ruled that the Swiss Government had failed to take enough climate action, thus putting senior citizens at risk of dying during heatwaves.

This sounds hectic but Climate Litigation doesn’t happen in Europe alone.

Last decade a court blocked a coal mine near Newcastle due to climate change impacts not being in the public interest.

More recently, eight children fought against the government and blocked a coal mine extension on the basis of duty of care and climate change impacts.

I know some residents are concerned about the future, but it’s not practical to take everyone to court. So I’ll suggest three easy ways for residents to play their part.

First, most energy retailers provide the option to purchase 100% renewable energy so this is something for you to consider.

Second, many super funds offer an ethical investment option to give you confidence that your money is going towards a good cause. You should speak with a financial advisor if you want to investigate that option.

Finally, meat production is a carbon intensive activity so you should think about how much meat you consume. While I haven’t gone totally vegetarian, I do choose to eat less meat to reduce my personal footprint.

Hope those tips help, and feel free to leave your comments below.

Scouts in the 90’s

Today’s theme has been the Scouts movement and its influence on leaders in formative years. Here’s pictures of when I first became a Cub Scout. For many migrant families, academic achievement is perceived as a means of success in a new country and that was the focus of my life, however, the Scout movement was also a great way to hang out with local kids, develop practical skills and character, and form a greater appreciation of our natural environment.

Today's theme has been the Scouts movement and its influence on leaders in formative years. Here's pictures of when I first became a Cub Scout. For many migrant families, academic achievement is perceived as a means of success in a new country and that was the focus of my life, however, the Scout movement was also a great way to hang out with local kids, develop practical skills and character, and form a greater appreciation of our natural environment.

Tony Balthasar Award

Last week I learnt that Dick Smith was a former Roseville Chase resident and member of 1st East Roseville Scouts.

During his formative years a Rover Adviser Tony Balthasar created opportunities for Dick and left a real impression, contributing to the person he is today. After Tony’s passing, Dick setup a fund for the Balthasar Award which has given similar opportunities for 27 other Rovers.

We listened to its final recipient, William Wade, as he shared about his cave diving course and expedition to Mexico.

Matt Cross – Member for Davidson also gave a speech of support, and it was a good night all round.

Last week I learnt that @[100064908991835:2048:Dick Smith] was a former Roseville Chase resident and member of 1st East Roseville Scouts.

During his formative years a Rover Adviser Tony Balthasar created opportunities for Dick and left a real impression, contributing to the person he is today. After Tony’s passing, Dick setup a fund for the Balthasar Award which has given similar opportunities for 27 other Rovers.

We listened to its final recipient, William Wade, as he shared about his cave diving course and expedition to Mexico.

@[100087669656114:2048:Matt Cross - Member for Davidson] also gave a speech of support, and it was a good night all round.
Last week I learnt that @[100064908991835:2048:Dick Smith] was a former Roseville Chase resident and member of 1st East Roseville Scouts. During his formative years a Rover Adviser Tony Balthasar created opportunities for Dick and left a real impression, contributing to the person he is today. After Tony’s passing, Dick setup a fund for the Balthasar Award which has given similar opportunities for 27 other Rovers. We listened to its final recipient, William Wade, as he shared about his cave diving course and expedition to Mexico. @[100087669656114:2048:Matt Cross – Member for Davidson] also gave a speech of support, and it was a good night all round.

Pothole fixed within a day

When I want a pothole fixed, I usually email council staff and it’s done within days. But this time I tried reporting via the council website to see if ordinary requests get the same treatment, and I was pleasantly surprised by the result! I reported two holes (Killara and Roseville) on the weekend and both were fixed by Monday afternoon! 😊😊😊

The process of reporting via the website wasn’t completely smooth. It was a bit clunky and embarrassing to be honest and I think there’s scope to improve the user experience. I’ll pass the feedback onto the website team, and I’ll also share a video this afternoon to show you how easy (or hard) it was for me to do it from start to finish.

I’m keen to improve the user experience of Council’s systems, phonelines, and processes so if you ever have any constructive feedback feel free to reach out to me.

When I want a pothole fixed, I usually email council staff and it's done within days. But this time I tried reporting via the council website to see if ordinary requests get the same treatment, and I was pleasantly surprised by the result! I reported two holes (Killara and Roseville) on the weekend and both were fixed by Monday afternoon! 😊😊😊

The process of reporting via the website wasn't completely smooth. It was a bit clunky and embarrassing to be honest and I think there's scope to improve the user experience. I'll pass the feedback onto the website team, and I'll also share a video this afternoon to show you how easy (or hard) it was for me to do it from start to finish.

I'm keen to improve the user experience of Council's systems, phonelines, and processes so if you ever have any constructive feedback feel free to reach out to me.
When I want a pothole fixed, I usually email council staff and it’s done within days. But this time I tried reporting via the council website to see if ordinary requests get the same treatment, and I was pleasantly surprised by the result! I reported two holes (Killara and Roseville) on the weekend and both were fixed by Monday afternoon! 😊😊😊 The process of reporting via the website wasn’t completely smooth. It was a bit clunky and embarrassing to be honest and I think there’s scope to improve the user experience. I’ll pass the feedback onto the website team, and I’ll also share a video this afternoon to show you how easy (or hard) it was for me to do it from start to finish. I’m keen to improve the user experience of Council’s systems, phonelines, and processes so if you ever have any constructive feedback feel free to reach out to me.

Gordon Creek

Gordon Creek is usually just a trickle but on Saturday midday, a few hours after the rain stopped, I joined my reptilian friend in watching a robust stream pass through. The stream was fed by runoff from stormwater systems, overland flow, and underground seepage as it made its way downhill. With the State Government’s future Transport Oriented Development, we will see more hard surfaces directly connected to stormwater and less soft landscaping (trees, bush, grass) to absorb and hold back the rain. This in turn will mean that water will get released into our creeks and rivers at a much faster rate, causing greater flooding and erosion.

Gordon Creek is usually just a trickle but on Saturday midday, a few hours after the rain stopped, I joined my reptilian friend in watching a robust stream pass through. The stream was fed by runoff from stormwater systems, overland flow, and underground seepage as it made its way downhill.

With the State Government's future Transport Oriented Development, we will see more hard surfaces directly connected to stormwater and less soft landscaping (trees, bush, grass) to absorb and hold back the rain. This in turn will mean that water will get released into our creeks and rivers at a much faster rate, causing greater flooding and erosion.

Vertical Espresso, South Turramurra

Yesterday I was keen to check out Vertical Espresso in South Turramurra.

Table order was via QR code and online payment. The food was fantastic and the place was packed.

I suspect part of the busyness was due to the power outage which affected most of South Turramurra. People gotta eat.

Yesterday I was keen to check out @[100063542174747:2048:Vertical Espresso] in South Turramurra.

Table order was via QR code and online payment. The food was fantastic and the place was packed.

I suspect part of the busyness was due to the power outage which affected most of South Turramurra. People gotta eat.
Yesterday I was keen to check out @[100063542174747:2048:Vertical Espresso] in South Turramurra. Table order was via QR code and online payment. The food was fantastic and the place was packed. I suspect part of the busyness was due to the power outage which affected most of South Turramurra. People gotta eat.

KNA Opening Day

🏐 Visited Canoon Road on the opening day of Netball. Usually I turn up and have tea, but this time was more hands on.

âšĄïž Because of the local power outage, the electronic locks to the toilets and change rooms were not functioning and I had to ask council staff to come with a key, which they did within an hour.

📩 We also talked about the storage situation (currently a container) and ideas for how to improve it going forward.

Ku-Ring-Gai Netball Association

🏐 Visited Canoon Road on the opening day of Netball. Usually I turn up and have tea, but this time was more hands on.

âšĄïž Because of the local power outage, the electronic locks to the toilets and change rooms were not functioning and I had to ask council staff to come with a key, which they did within an hour.

📩 We also talked about the storage situation (currently a container) and ideas for how to improve it going forward.

@[100046972015011:2048:Ku-Ring-Gai Netball Association]

Power Outages

There are over 3,000 households in Ku-ring-gai without power right now. If you want to know the estimated time for power restoration, visit the Ausgrid website. https://www.ausgrid.com.au/Outages/Current-Outages

There are over 3,000 households in Ku-ring-gai without power right now. If you want to know the estimated time for power restoration, visit the Ausgrid website.
https://www.ausgrid.com.au/Outages/Current-Outages

Thu Apr 4, 2024 07:07 AM

Yesterday I visited the Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury Sydney Lindfield Book Depot where residents drop off their books and a team of volunteers sorts through them for resale.

The work of these volunteers goes towards funding crisis support, suicide prevention, support groups, counselling and emergency relief. By giving these books a second (or fifth) life, they are also promoting re-use and reducing the waste that otherwise would go to pulp or landfill.

If you want to support the cause, you can buy a selection of second hand books at their store at 328 Pacific Highway Lindfield or you can wait til they have their big book fair held 18-21 July at Knox Grammar School.

For more information, visit their website. https://lifelineh2hsydney.org.au

Yesterday I visited the @[100064520299383:2048:Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury Sydney] Lindfield Book Depot where residents drop off their books and a team of volunteers sorts through them for resale.

The work of these volunteers goes towards funding crisis support, suicide prevention, support groups, counselling and emergency relief. By giving these books a second (or fifth) life, they are also promoting re-use and reducing the waste that otherwise would go to pulp or landfill.

If you want to support the cause, you can buy a selection of second hand books at their store at 328 Pacific Highway Lindfield or you can wait til they have their big book fair held 18-21 July at Knox Grammar School.

For more information, visit their website.
https://lifelineh2hsydney.org.au
Yesterday I visited the @[100064520299383:2048:Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury Sydney] Lindfield Book Depot where residents drop off their books and a team of volunteers sorts through them for resale. The work of these volunteers goes towards funding crisis support, suicide prevention, support groups, counselling and emergency relief. By giving these books a second (or fifth) life, they are also promoting re-use and reducing the waste that otherwise would go to pulp or landfill. If you want to support the cause, you can buy a selection of second hand books at their store at 328 Pacific Highway Lindfield or you can wait til they have their big book fair held 18-21 July at Knox Grammar School. For more information, visit their website. https://lifelineh2hsydney.org.au

Easter Services

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” – 1 Peter 3:18

This Easter I was invited to an 8am service at Corpus Christi Catholic Church followed by 11am at my own church St Barnabas Anglican Church East Roseville.

Both churches celebrated Jesus’ death and resurrection, and what it means for us today.

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” – 1 Peter 3:18 This Easter I was invited to an 8am service at @[100068667876782:2048:Corpus Christi Catholic Church] followed by 11am at my own church @[100064383624077:2048:St Barnabas Anglican Church East Roseville]. Both churches celebrated Jesus’ death and resurrection, and what it means for us today.

162 New Citizens!

🇩đŸ‡șThis month we welcomed 162 new citizens from 29 countries to our LGA. It’s always good to see the smile on their faces!

Special thanks go to: – the Ku-ring-gai Ranger Guides for their involvement – guest speaker Kevin Hao (Youth Citizen of the Year) for encouraging our residents to participate in volunteering – Matt Cross – Member for Davidson for his welcome speech, and – Cr Barbara Ward for leading the affirmation.

🇩đŸ‡șThis month we welcomed 162 new citizens from 29 countries to our LGA. It's always good to see the smile on their faces!

Special thanks go to:
- the Ku-ring-gai Ranger Guides for their involvement
- guest speaker Kevin Hao (Youth Citizen of the Year) for encouraging our residents to participate in volunteering
- @[100087669656114:2048:Matt Cross - Member for Davidson] for his welcome speech, and
- Cr Barbara Ward for leading the affirmation.

Ride2School Day

Last week I visited St Ives Park Public School for National Ride2School Day. Families were encouraged to ride to school instead of drive, and the kids were keen to show off their bikes and scooters.

The event aims to demonstrate that active transport is fun, healthy, and good for the environment.

Last week I visited @[100063606878717:2048:St Ives Park Public School] for National Ride2School Day. Families were encouraged to ride to school instead of drive, and the kids were keen to show off their bikes and scooters.

The event aims to demonstrate that active transport is fun, healthy, and good for the environment.
Last week I visited @[100063606878717:2048:St Ives Park Public School] for National Ride2School Day. Families were encouraged to ride to school instead of drive, and the kids were keen to show off their bikes and scooters. The event aims to demonstrate that active transport is fun, healthy, and good for the environment.

Bobbin Head Cycle Classic

This morning we had the Bobbin Head Cycle Classic with 2,500 riders, organised by local Rotary clubs and raising funds for Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury Sydney , KYDS Youth Development Service , Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter , Mentoring Men, Hornsby Connect and other local charities.

Events like this could not be organised without the help of volunteers and I thank the 450 who helped out today.

I normally volunteer as a marshall at these events, directing cyclists on which direction to ride next But this time as Mayor I decided to visit the oval where cyclists hang out before and after. I popped by at the Loving Living Ku-ring-gai stand with Cr Barbara Ward and made a smoothie with cycle power. I visited the Triple H 100.1 FM and Radio Northern Beaches booth to have a chat on the radio. And I tried out an electric cargo bike
 more on that in a subsequent post.

Kuring-gai Rotary Ku-ring-gai Rotary Community Network Rotary Club of St Ives, NSW – District 9685 Rotary Club of Turramurra Rotary Club of Wahroonga Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches

This morning we had the @[100063544543419:2048:Bobbin Head Cycle Classic] with 2,500 riders, organised by local Rotary clubs and raising funds for @[100064520299383:2048:Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury Sydney] , @[100057506479179:2048:KYDS Youth Development Service] , @[100067239740050:2048:Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women's Shelter] , @[100064756027471:2048:Mentoring Men], @[100064255587087:2048:Hornsby Connect] and other local charities.

Events like this could not be organised without the help of volunteers and I thank the 450 who helped out today.

I normally volunteer as a marshall at these events, directing cyclists on which direction to ride next But this time as Mayor I decided to visit the oval where cyclists hang out before and after. I popped by at the @[100064452052016:2048:Loving Living Ku-ring-gai] stand with Cr Barbara Ward and made a smoothie with cycle power. I visited the @[100063480253757:2048:Triple H 100.1 FM]  and @[100051622493530:2048:Radio Northern Beaches] booth to have a chat on the radio. And I tried out an electric cargo bike
 more on that in a subsequent post.

Kuring-gai Rotary @[100087346601405:2048:Ku-ring-gai Rotary Community Network]  @[100064308056841:2048:Rotary Club of St Ives, NSW - District 9685] @[100064523176140:2048:Rotary Club of Turramurra] @[100064675150272:2048:Rotary Club of Wahroonga]  @[100064759118653:2048:Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches]

Letter to the Premier

This week I wrote a letter to the Premier in response to his invitation to councils, and I hope to hear from him soon.

In the letter I outline why Ku-ring-gai is particularly impacted by the housing changes proposed. Key themes are:

1ïžâƒŁ The loss of enabling infrastructure and homes due to a recent state government decision.

2ïžâƒŁ The timing of the April Transport Oriented Policy, which is sudden, without public consultation, and secretive.

3ïžâƒŁ The uncertainty regarding heritage.

Click through to read more about it.

Feedback on NSW Housing Policy

📣📣📣 Your Feedback Appreciated💌💌💌

We mentioned last month that the State Government is making significant changes to housing policy across all of NSW (with limited opportunity for resident and council input).

I’m frustrated that their plans have been leaked or released in snippets rather than all at once. By incrementally providing the news over the holiday break, residents haven’t had the opportunity to consider what is proposed in its entirety and make an informed view on whether the changes are appropriate.

Our own understanding of the changes have also evolved in this time. The latest information suggests that there 𝘼đ˜Șđ˜šđ˜©đ˜” be less of an impact on neighbourhood centres away from train stations than we were initially led to believe, however this is offset by the allowance of dual-occupancies (either standalone or duplex) in small lots of 450sqm. On a larger block of 900sqm, that means there could be four homes. The potential impacts on tree canopy are also quite brutal.

Our council staff have summarised all the changes in a four page brochure and this brochure has gone out to all ratepayers. For those who receive physical rates notice, check your letterbox. For those who get it via email, check your emails from last Friday. You can also get the information on our council’s webpage.

https://www.krg.nsw.gov.au/Council/News-and-media/Latest-news/Proposed-changes-to-NSW-housing-policy-and-its-impacts-on-Ku-ring-gai

The State Government has established a feedback process with responses due February. As a council, we are also keen to hear what residents thinks about these changes. So take a look and please let us know what you think while council ponders next steps.

ïżœThere will also be an opportunity to attend a public information session held on Wednesday 31 January. More information will become available on the link closer to the time.

📣📣📣 Your Feedback Appreciated💌💌💌

We mentioned last month that the State Government is making significant changes to housing policy across all of NSW (with limited opportunity for resident and council input).

I’m frustrated that their plans have been leaked or released in snippets rather than all at once. By incrementally providing the news over the holiday break, residents haven’t had the opportunity to consider what is proposed in its entirety and make an informed view on whether the changes are appropriate.

Our own understanding of the changes have also evolved in this time. The latest information suggests that there 𝘼đ˜Șđ˜šđ˜©đ˜” be less of an impact on neighbourhood centres away from train stations than we were initially led to believe, however this is offset by the allowance of dual-occupancies (either standalone or duplex) in small lots of 450sqm. On a larger block of 900sqm, that means there could be four homes. The potential impacts on tree canopy are also quite brutal.

Our council staff have summarised all the changes in a four page brochure and this brochure has gone out to all ratepayers. For those who receive physical rates notice, check your letterbox. For those who get it via email, check your emails from last Friday. You can also get the information on our council’s webpage.

https://www.krg.nsw.gov.au/Council/News-and-media/Latest-news/Proposed-changes-to-NSW-housing-policy-and-its-impacts-on-Ku-ring-gai

The State Government has established a feedback process with responses due February. As a council, we are also keen to hear what residents thinks about these changes. So take a look and please let us know what you think while council ponders next steps.

ïżœThere will also be an opportunity to attend a public information session held on Wednesday 31 January. More information will become available on the link closer to the time.

Strange Road Markings

đ—Šđ˜đ—żđ—źđ—»đ—Žđ—Č đ—„đ—Œđ—źđ—± đ— đ—źđ—żđ—žđ—¶đ—»đ—Žđ˜€ Our council is generally quite good with potholes. If you report a pothole, it will be patched up within two weeks (usually a few days).

Last month I started seeing these strange road markings pop up all over the place. At first I just assumed it was some new council protocol but a month later they haven’t been fixed.

Our theory right now is that there is a ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑝𝑓𝑱𝑙 𝑐𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑧𝑒𝑛 going around graffitiing our roads in the hope that council will fix it. But the irony is that by marking the roads, they are making the general public think that the problem has already been reported to council when in fact council has no knowledge at all. So these potholes remain unfixed.

Everyone, if you see a pothole please report it via the council website or the following link.

https://t.ly/WssGM

đ—Šđ˜đ—żđ—źđ—»đ—Žđ—Č đ—„đ—Œđ—źđ—± đ— đ—źđ—żđ—žđ—¶đ—»đ—Žđ˜€
Our council is generally quite good with potholes. If you report a pothole, it will be patched up within two weeks (usually a few days).

Last month I started seeing these strange road markings pop up all over the place.  At first I just assumed it was some new council protocol but a month later they haven’t been fixed.

Our theory right now is that there is a ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑝𝑓𝑱𝑙 𝑐𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑧𝑒𝑛 going around graffitiing our roads in the hope that council will fix it. But the irony is that by marking the roads, they are making the general public think that the problem has already been reported to council when in fact council has no knowledge at all. So these potholes remain unfixed.

Everyone, if you see a pothole please report it via the council website or the following link.

https://t.ly/WssGM
đ—Šđ˜đ—żđ—źđ—»đ—Žđ—Č đ—„đ—Œđ—źđ—± đ— đ—źđ—żđ—žđ—¶đ—»đ—Žđ˜€ Our council is generally quite good with potholes. If you report a pothole, it will be patched up within two weeks (usually a few days). Last month I started seeing these strange road markings pop up all over the place. At first I just assumed it was some new council protocol but a month later they haven’t been fixed. Our theory right now is that there is a ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑝𝑓𝑱𝑙 𝑐𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑧𝑒𝑛 going around graffitiing our roads in the hope that council will fix it. But the irony is that by marking the roads, they are making the general public think that the problem has already been reported to council when in fact council has no knowledge at all. So these potholes remain unfixed. Everyone, if you see a pothole please report it via the council website or the following link. https://t.ly/WssGM

Hangul Day

đ—›đ—źđ—»đ—Žđ˜‚đ—č 𝗗𝗼𝘆 Earlier today, we joined the Korean Community in celebrating Hangul Day. Hangul is the ‘Alphabet’ of the Korean Language invented almost 600 years ago by King Sejong the Great. We had singing, dancing, drums, and talks celebrating the Korean culture and the opportunities we have together here for a multicultural life here in Australia.

As a person of Chinese decent, I genuinely appreciate Hangul because the alphabet is so easy to pickup (whereas Chinese is difficult to learn with over 50,000 words). It is this simple means of communication, along with its community-driven self-sufficiency and education program (called the đ˜šđ˜ąđ˜Šđ˜źđ˜ąđ˜¶đ˜­ đ˜œđ˜Żđ˜„đ˜°đ˜Żđ˜š) which helped the Koreans develop from a struggling agricultural country back in the 1960’s to the extremely advanced industrialised nation that it is today.

In Ku-ring-gai, 2.5% of our population is made up of residents of Korean decent. We welcome people of all nationalities to contribute to our multicultural society today, and look forward to further opportunities where we can share and learn from each other.

We thank the Korean Deputy Consul General Ms Deuk Shin along with the support of Ms Kim who came to support the event. We also give thanks to Deputy Mayor of Ku-ring-gai, Cr Christine Kay , Councillor Barbara Ward, and Cr Simon Lennon for their support.

đ—›đ—źđ—»đ—Žđ˜‚đ—č 𝗗𝗼𝘆
Earlier today, we joined the Korean Community in celebrating Hangul Day. Hangul is the 'Alphabet' of the Korean Language invented almost 600 years ago by King Sejong the Great. We had singing, dancing, drums, and talks celebrating the Korean culture and the opportunities we have together here for a multicultural life here in Australia.

As a person of Chinese decent, I genuinely appreciate Hangul because the alphabet is so easy to pickup (whereas Chinese is difficult to learn with over 50,000 words). It is this simple means of communication, along with its community-driven self-sufficiency and education program (called the đ˜šđ˜ąđ˜Šđ˜źđ˜ąđ˜¶đ˜­ đ˜œđ˜Żđ˜„đ˜°đ˜Żđ˜š) which helped the Koreans develop from a struggling agricultural country back in the 1960's to the extremely advanced industrialised nation that it is today.

In Ku-ring-gai, 2.5% of our population is made up of residents of Korean decent. We welcome people of all nationalities to contribute to our multicultural society today, and look forward to further opportunities where we can share and learn from each other.

We thank the Korean Deputy Consul General Ms Deuk Shin along with the support of Ms Kim who came to support the event. We also give thanks to @[100049240526757:2048:Deputy Mayor of Ku-ring-gai, Cr Christine Kay] , Councillor Barbara Ward, and Cr Simon Lennon  for their support.

Twenty74 North Turramurra

We were checking out some of the issues across Ku-ring-gai on Monday and stopped by at Twenty74 at the North Turramurra shops for lunch. They have friendly service and a good range of food.

We were checking out some of the issues across Ku-ring-gai on Monday and stopped by at @[100054301399395:2048:Twenty74]  at the North Turramurra shops for lunch. They have friendly service and a good range of food.
We were checking out some of the issues across Ku-ring-gai on Monday and stopped by at @[100054301399395:2048:Twenty74] at the North Turramurra shops for lunch. They have friendly service and a good range of food.

Recreation Needs Study

đ—Șđ—Č đ—»đ—Čđ—Čđ—± đ˜†đ—Œđ˜‚đ—ż 𝗳đ—Čđ—Čđ—±đ—Żđ—źđ—°đ—ž on the Recreation Needs Study which will inform how council develops facilities and services for community recreation. For more information visit

https://www.krg.nsw.gov.au/Council/Your-say/Draft-Ku-ring-gai-Recreation-Needs-Study

đ—Șđ—Č đ—»đ—Čđ—Čđ—± đ˜†đ—Œđ˜‚đ—ż 𝗳đ—Čđ—Čđ—±đ—Żđ—źđ—°đ—ž on the Recreation Needs Study which will inform how council develops facilities and services for community recreation. For more information visit

https://www.krg.nsw.gov.au/Council/Your-say/Draft-Ku-ring-gai-Recreation-Needs-Study
đ—Șđ—Č đ—»đ—Čđ—Čđ—± đ˜†đ—Œđ˜‚đ—ż 𝗳đ—Čđ—Čđ—±đ—Żđ—źđ—°đ—ž on the Recreation Needs Study which will inform how council develops facilities and services for community recreation. For more information visit https://www.krg.nsw.gov.au/Council/Your-say/Draft-Ku-ring-gai-Recreation-Needs-Study

Outcome of Extraordinary Meeting of Council – Norman Griffiths Oval

⚜ đ—ąđ˜‚đ˜đ—°đ—Œđ—șđ—Č đ—Œđ—ł đ—˜đ˜…đ˜đ—żđ—źđ—Œđ—żđ—±đ—¶đ—»đ—źđ—żđ˜† 𝗠đ—Čđ—Čđ˜đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ—Œđ—ł đ—–đ—Œđ˜‚đ—»đ—°đ—¶đ—č – đ—Ąđ—Œđ—żđ—șđ—źđ—» đ—šđ—żđ—¶đ—łđ—łđ—¶đ˜đ—”đ˜€ 𝗱𝘃𝗼đ—č – 𝟭đŸČ đ— đ—źđ—żđ—°đ—” 𝟼𝟬𝟼𝟯 In short, Norman Griffiths Oval to proceed but with minimal further consultation.

In the corporate world, decisions are usually made in a careful and considered manner. If there are four options on the table, then all four options are considered simultaneously with their relative strengths and weaknesses compared against each other. The governing body discusses then decides which of the four options to choose.

In Local Government, the Code of Meeting practices requires decisions to be made in a very different manner. Motions are considered and voted on one at a time, and depending on luck of the draw, sequencing of motions / amendments, and the chairperson it results in not all options being considered or debated by the council. This does, at times, lead to suboptimal decision making and results.

At last night’s council meeting we had four proposals (or options). The third proposal was the one that became ‘the motion’ and was voted on, and I’m disappointed that the first and the fourth proposal never had the opportunity to be voted on.

đ—ąđ—żđ—¶đ—Žđ—¶đ—»đ—źđ—č đ— đ—Œđ˜đ—¶đ—Œđ—» (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟭): 𝗖𝗿 𝗔 𝗧𝗼𝘆đ—čđ—Œđ—ż 🚧 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to continue as scheduled ✅ Further consultation with community groups and NPWS to explicitly occur, and inform potential design change 😱 No opportunity to vote, due to local government meeting procedures

đ—™đ—¶đ—żđ˜€đ˜ 𝗔đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ—±đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜ (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟼): 𝗖𝗿 𝗞𝗼𝘆 🛑 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to be put on hold ✅ Further consultation with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to explicitly occur đŸ—łïž Voted on but defeated 2 vs 7

𝗩đ—Čđ—°đ—Œđ—»đ—± 𝗔đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ—±đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜ (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟯): 𝗖𝗿 𝗣đ—Č𝘁𝘁đ—Č𝘁𝘁 🚧 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to continue as scheduled ⁉ Consultation with NPWS not mentioned, but I will be driving it behind the scenes đŸ—łïž Voted on 5 vs 4 and became ‘the motion’ đŸ—łïž As ‘the motion’ it succeeded 6 vs 3

đ—™đ—Œđ—żđ—Čđ˜€đ—”đ—źđ—±đ—Œđ˜„đ—Čđ—± 𝗔đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ—±đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜ (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟰): 𝗖𝗿 đ—Ąđ—Žđ—źđ—¶ 🚧 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to continue as scheduled ✅ Further consultation with NPWS to explicitly occur ⏰ Further update on NPWS endorsement scheduled for April council meeting 😱 No opportunity to vote, due to local government meeting procedures

I’m not comfortable with local government process that permits only one option to be considered at a time. It leads to suboptimal outcomes. But it is what it is and I don’t see these rules changing anytime soon.

I do wish that there would have been the chance to vote on Proposal 1 and Proposal 4. Both of these options strived to deliver the project without further delay but while also lifting community engagement beyond minimal statutory obligations and towards best practice (or community standards). In fact, a lot of the drama and grief that arose in the last two weeks could easily have been avoided had relevant stakeholders been more thoroughly engaged last year. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are further conversations about perceived gaps in community engagement in the coming months.

But given that Proposal 3 is what we ended up with, it means that the Norman Griffiths Oval will proceed as currently scheduled and we expect completion in mid November.

⚜ đ—ąđ˜‚đ˜đ—°đ—Œđ—șđ—Č đ—Œđ—ł đ—˜đ˜…đ˜đ—żđ—źđ—Œđ—żđ—±đ—¶đ—»đ—źđ—żđ˜† 𝗠đ—Čđ—Čđ˜đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ—Œđ—ł đ—–đ—Œđ˜‚đ—»đ—°đ—¶đ—č - đ—Ąđ—Œđ—żđ—șđ—źđ—» đ—šđ—żđ—¶đ—łđ—łđ—¶đ˜đ—”đ˜€ 𝗱𝘃𝗼đ—č - 𝟭đŸČ đ— đ—źđ—żđ—°đ—” 𝟼𝟬𝟼𝟯
In short, Norman Griffiths Oval to proceed but with minimal further consultation.

In the corporate world, decisions are usually made in a careful and considered manner. If there are four options on the table, then all four options are considered simultaneously with their relative strengths and weaknesses compared against each other. The governing body discusses then decides which of the four options to choose.

In Local Government, the Code of Meeting practices requires decisions to be made in a very different manner. Motions are considered and voted on one at a time, and depending on luck of the draw, sequencing of motions / amendments, and the chairperson it results in not all options being considered or debated by the council. This does, at times, lead to suboptimal decision making and results.

At last night’s council meeting we had four proposals (or options). The third proposal was the one that became ‘the motion’ and was voted on, and I’m disappointed that the first and the fourth proposal never had the opportunity to be voted on.

đ—ąđ—żđ—¶đ—Žđ—¶đ—»đ—źđ—č đ— đ—Œđ˜đ—¶đ—Œđ—» (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟭): 𝗖𝗿 𝗔 𝗧𝗼𝘆đ—čđ—Œđ—ż
🚧 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to continue as scheduled
✅ Further consultation with community groups and NPWS to explicitly occur, and inform potential design change
😱 No opportunity to vote, due to local government meeting procedures

đ—™đ—¶đ—żđ˜€đ˜ 𝗔đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ—±đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜ (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟼): 𝗖𝗿 𝗞𝗼𝘆
🛑 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to be put on hold
✅ Further consultation with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to explicitly occur
đŸ—łïž Voted on but defeated 2 vs 7

𝗩đ—Čđ—°đ—Œđ—»đ—± 𝗔đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ—±đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜ (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟯): 𝗖𝗿 𝗣đ—Č𝘁𝘁đ—Č𝘁𝘁
🚧 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to continue as scheduled
⁉ Consultation with NPWS not mentioned, but I will be driving it behind the scenes
đŸ—łïž Voted on 5 vs 4 and became ‘the motion’
đŸ—łïž As ‘the motion’ it succeeded 6 vs 3

đ—™đ—Œđ—żđ—Čđ˜€đ—”đ—źđ—±đ—Œđ˜„đ—Čđ—± 𝗔đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ—±đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜ (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟰): 𝗖𝗿 đ—Ąđ—Žđ—źđ—¶
🚧 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to continue as scheduled
✅ Further consultation with NPWS to explicitly occur
⏰ Further update on NPWS endorsement scheduled for April council meeting
😱 No opportunity to vote, due to local government meeting procedures

I’m not comfortable with local government process that permits only one option to be considered at a time. It leads to suboptimal outcomes. But it is what it is and I don’t see these rules changing anytime soon.

I do wish that there would have been the chance to vote on Proposal 1 and Proposal 4. Both of these options strived to deliver the project without further delay but while also lifting community engagement beyond minimal statutory obligations and towards best practice (or community standards). In fact, a lot of the drama and grief that arose in the last two weeks could easily have been avoided had relevant stakeholders been more thoroughly engaged last year. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are further conversations about perceived gaps in community engagement in the coming months.

But given that Proposal 3 is what we ended up with, it means that the Norman Griffiths Oval will proceed as currently scheduled and we expect completion in mid November.
⚜ đ—ąđ˜‚đ˜đ—°đ—Œđ—șđ—Č đ—Œđ—ł đ—˜đ˜…đ˜đ—żđ—źđ—Œđ—żđ—±đ—¶đ—»đ—źđ—żđ˜† 𝗠đ—Čđ—Čđ˜đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ—Œđ—ł đ—–đ—Œđ˜‚đ—»đ—°đ—¶đ—č – đ—Ąđ—Œđ—żđ—șđ—źđ—» đ—šđ—żđ—¶đ—łđ—łđ—¶đ˜đ—”đ˜€ 𝗱𝘃𝗼đ—č – 𝟭đŸČ đ— đ—źđ—żđ—°đ—” 𝟼𝟬𝟼𝟯 In short, Norman Griffiths Oval to proceed but with minimal further consultation. In the corporate world, decisions are usually made in a careful and considered manner. If there are four options on the table, then all four options are considered simultaneously with their relative strengths and weaknesses compared against each other. The governing body discusses then decides which of the four options to choose. In Local Government, the Code of Meeting practices requires decisions to be made in a very different manner. Motions are considered and voted on one at a time, and depending on luck of the draw, sequencing of motions / amendments, and the chairperson it results in not all options being considered or debated by the council. This does, at times, lead to suboptimal decision making and results. At last night’s council meeting we had four proposals (or options). The third proposal was the one that became ‘the motion’ and was voted on, and I’m disappointed that the first and the fourth proposal never had the opportunity to be voted on. đ—ąđ—żđ—¶đ—Žđ—¶đ—»đ—źđ—č đ— đ—Œđ˜đ—¶đ—Œđ—» (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟭): 𝗖𝗿 𝗔 𝗧𝗼𝘆đ—čđ—Œđ—ż 🚧 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to continue as scheduled ✅ Further consultation with community groups and NPWS to explicitly occur, and inform potential design change 😱 No opportunity to vote, due to local government meeting procedures đ—™đ—¶đ—żđ˜€đ˜ 𝗔đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ—±đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜ (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟼): 𝗖𝗿 𝗞𝗼𝘆 🛑 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to be put on hold ✅ Further consultation with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to explicitly occur đŸ—łïž Voted on but defeated 2 vs 7 𝗩đ—Čđ—°đ—Œđ—»đ—± 𝗔đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ—±đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜ (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟯): 𝗖𝗿 𝗣đ—Č𝘁𝘁đ—Č𝘁𝘁 🚧 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to continue as scheduled ⁉ Consultation with NPWS not mentioned, but I will be driving it behind the scenes đŸ—łïž Voted on 5 vs 4 and became ‘the motion’ đŸ—łïž As ‘the motion’ it succeeded 6 vs 3 đ—™đ—Œđ—żđ—Čđ˜€đ—”đ—źđ—±đ—Œđ˜„đ—Čđ—± 𝗔đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ—±đ—șđ—Čđ—»đ˜ (đ—Łđ—żđ—Œđ—œđ—Œđ˜€đ—źđ—č 𝟰): 𝗖𝗿 đ—Ąđ—Žđ—źđ—¶ 🚧 Construction of Norman Griffiths Oval to continue as scheduled ✅ Further consultation with NPWS to explicitly occur ⏰ Further update on NPWS endorsement scheduled for April council meeting 😱 No opportunity to vote, due to local government meeting procedures I’m not comfortable with local government process that permits only one option to be considered at a time. It leads to suboptimal outcomes. But it is what it is and I don’t see these rules changing anytime soon. I do wish that there would have been the chance to vote on Proposal 1 and Proposal 4. Both of these options strived to deliver the project without further delay but while also lifting community engagement beyond minimal statutory obligations and towards best practice (or community standards). In fact, a lot of the drama and grief that arose in the last two weeks could easily have been avoided had relevant stakeholders been more thoroughly engaged last year. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are further conversations about perceived gaps in community engagement in the coming months. But given that Proposal 3 is what we ended up with, it means that the Norman Griffiths Oval will proceed as currently scheduled and we expect completion in mid November.

Dukes Green Playground Upgrade

🍀𝗗𝘂𝗾đ—Č𝘀 𝗚𝗿đ—Čđ—Čđ—» 𝗣đ—čđ—źđ˜†đ—Žđ—żđ—Œđ˜‚đ—»đ—± đ—šđ—œđ—Žđ—żđ—źđ—±đ—Č The construction fencing is up. East Lindfield residents and patrons should soon have a larger and more accessible playground.

After this we expect the upgrade of Ibbitson Park (Lindfield Town Centre) to commence in 2023.

🍀𝗗𝘂𝗾đ—Č𝘀 𝗚𝗿đ—Čđ—Čđ—» 𝗣đ—čđ—źđ˜†đ—Žđ—żđ—Œđ˜‚đ—»đ—± đ—šđ—œđ—Žđ—żđ—źđ—±đ—Č
The construction fencing is up. East Lindfield residents and patrons should soon have a larger and more accessible playground.

After this we expect the upgrade of Ibbitson Park (Lindfield Town Centre) to commence in 2023.
🍀𝗗𝘂𝗾đ—Č𝘀 𝗚𝗿đ—Čđ—Čđ—» 𝗣đ—čđ—źđ˜†đ—Žđ—żđ—Œđ˜‚đ—»đ—± đ—šđ—œđ—Žđ—żđ—źđ—±đ—Č The construction fencing is up. East Lindfield residents and patrons should soon have a larger and more accessible playground. After this we expect the upgrade of Ibbitson Park (Lindfield Town Centre) to commence in 2023.

Seeking YOUR Feedback on Roseville Upgrades

𝗩đ—Čđ—Čđ—žđ—¶đ—»đ—Ž đ—Źđ—ąđ—šđ—„ 𝗙đ—Čđ—Čđ—±đ—Żđ—źđ—°đ—ž đ—Œđ—» đ—„đ—Œđ˜€đ—Čđ˜ƒđ—¶đ—čđ—čđ—Č đ—šđ—œđ—Žđ—żđ—źđ—±đ—Č𝘀 In 2023-24, Council plans to upgrade the streets in the Roseville Town Centre. Key changes proposed by council staff include visual revamp, đ—¶đ—șđ—œđ—żđ—Œđ˜ƒđ—Čđ—± đ—łđ—Œđ—Œđ˜đ—œđ—źđ˜đ—”đ˜€, addition of 𝘀𝘁𝗿đ—Čđ—Č𝘁 𝘁𝗿đ—Čđ—Č𝘀 and floral arrangements where it’s currently no parking, a đ˜€đ—”đ—źđ—żđ—Čđ—± đ—œđ—Čđ—±đ—Čđ˜€đ˜đ—żđ—¶đ—źđ—»/𝗰𝘆𝗰đ—čđ—Č đ—œđ—źđ˜đ—” đ˜€đ—Œđ˜‚đ˜đ—” đ—Œđ—ł đ˜đ—”đ—Č đ˜đ—żđ—źđ—¶đ—» đ˜€đ˜đ—źđ˜đ—¶đ—Œđ—», 𝘀𝘁𝗿đ—Čđ—Č𝘁 đ—±đ—¶đ—»đ—¶đ—»đ—Ž in laneways, and improvements to the Roseville Memorial Park.

Beyond the two year period, council may also be exploring the concept of a đ—„đ—Œđ˜€đ—Čđ˜ƒđ—¶đ—čđ—čđ—Č đ—©đ—¶đ—čđ—č𝗼𝗮đ—Č 𝗚𝗿đ—Čđ—Čđ—» behind the Roseville shops, similar to what we have in Lindfield. Parking moved underground with public open space on top. This concept likely won’t happen til next decade.

Council is seeking your feedback on these plans with 𝗳đ—Čđ—Čđ—±đ—Żđ—źđ—°đ—ž đ—±đ˜‚đ—Č đ— đ—Œđ—»đ—±đ—źđ˜† 𝟭𝟼 𝗩đ—Čđ—œđ˜đ—Čđ—ș𝗯đ—Č𝗿 𝟼𝟬𝟼𝟼. For more information visit the link below.

https://krg.engagementhub.com.au/rosevillepdp

Food Organics in Green Bin (coming in the distant future)

At the moment many Ku-ring-gai households are just chucking their food scraps in the red bin and believe it or not, that’s actually a good thing. Red bin waste is sent to Woodlawn where this mix of organic and non-organic material is used to generate electricity and re-habilitate an old mining site. And back in 2017, the EPA valued the Woodlawn concept so much that when I inquired about holding a separate composting trial for Ku-ring-gai, I was discouraged by the EPA as it would cause the Woodlawn bioreactor to cease working to spec.

Somehow things have changed and now in 2022, the EPA’s position is that all councils must implement FOGO (Food Organics and Garden Organics) thrown into the green bin by 2030. Ku-ring-gai is not yet ready to implement this and while some people at other councils have been critical of the delay, I don’t think the criticism is well thought out or justified. There is currently very limited capacity in NSW to support FOGO; it requires facilities that have not yet been built, so Ku-ring-gai will join in when the market develops and the capacity is there. FOGO will likely come at an increased cost to ratepayers due to the complexity of dealing with food contamination in green waste, and in the interim our practice of capturing organic emissions to generate electricity is quite a reasonable one.

There will also be new practices that come along with FOGO, especially for apartment dwellers. At the moment it’s sufficient for many apartments to have red, yellow and blue bins. In the future we will have to add the additional green bin and the concentration of predominantly food organics (only) will be particularly smelly.

Lindfield Village Hub Confidentiality and Communication

Earlier this week the councillors were given an update on the Village Hub and I am satisfied with recent progress. Having said that I want to talk about confidentiality and communication as they both affect the way that the public perceives the project.

At the moment much of the project remains confidential because it is against the public interest for particular details to be released. We are negotiating with potential developers to see which one can give us the best design at the best cost, and it is inappropriate for them to see each other’s designs and costings. If developers knew what each other were proposing, they would work less hard to produce a good design and/or offer an inferior price, and it is ultimately you as the ratepayer that loses out (by tens of millions of dollars).

However the project has been plagued throughout its life with poor communication which I believe has been less frequent and detailed than it could be. Members of the public are keen to hear what’s going on with Council’s biggest project to date (biggest in size, biggest in cost, biggest in success and/or failure) and for council to sometimes not provide an update for well over half a year is disappointing. Also, sometimes council votes on village hub-related matters but all of the file attachments are flagged as confidential. And in the absence of regular communication, members of the public start to speculate in unhelpful ways.

What’s frustrating for me as an individual councillor is that I’ve done the best that I can to improve project communication. With the mode of communication, I asked for more information to be made available on our website and this has been done. I also asked that council provide a regular project status report on major projects and initiatives, and this has also been done (but unfortunately with content that is bare minimum rather than informative). But I also believe that sometimes council has been excessive in marking project-related documents as confidential and I have sometimes voted in dissent to excessive confidentiality.

In recent years, Support Lindfield sought for confidential documents to be made public through a freedom of information process (which any member of the public has the right to do). It somehow ended up in the legal system and the tribunal decided that 5 out of 47 documents should be released (i.e. not confidential). The cost of the legal action from council’s side was close to $80,000, and while it is unfortunate that so much money had to be spent to defend the confidentiality of these documents, I think that the costs could have easily been avoided had council been more transparent with the project and had council made various reports available to public when they obviously should have been. By applying the confidential flag to any and every document regardless of its content, public trust had been undermined. And while we have a former-mayor actively trying to cast poor light on this incident with Support Lindfield, I think it’s ironic that she fails to realise that this incident would not have occurred had communication been more transparent under her leadership.

I’ve noticed that things have improved under the two more recent mayors and I will continue to advocate behind the scenes for information to be made available where appropriate. The information about the project will be available through council’s website, through items reported in council meetings, and through messages from council’s spokesperson (the mayor). I’m not going to say anything beyond what information has officially been released.

https://www.krg.nsw.gov.au/Planning-and-development/Projects-and-current-works/Lindfield/Lindfield-Village-Hub

Net Zero Champions

Ku-ring-gai Council is searching for residents to become Net Zero Champions, people who are willing to promote good practice in the community. In a recent webinar it was mentioned that:

📈 Perhaps the most effective way for each of us to make an impact is to ensure that our superannuation is invested in ethical options. In the local government sector, I know for example that Active Super is committed to sustainable investments while delivering good returns.

đŸ„•đŸ„ŠđŸŒœ Other participants were of the view that vegetarianism was the best way to reduce our impact, noting the immense amount of water and emissions that go into meat production. While this is true (and probably good for our health), the presenter admitted that it may be a practice that is difficult for most people to adopt.

đŸŒČ🌳🌮 There was a lot of talk about solar and batteries at home, but personally I feel that even more important is the careful selection and placement of trees.

For more information, watch the recording of our information session.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THaA83NmGtc

Tree Canopy

There’s been a lot of talk this month about the role of trees and the value that they provide to our residents.

Trees provide us with fresh air, shelter from the sun, and a home for our wildlife. During major storms, trees also play a role in mitigating the impacts of flooding as they reduce the amount that instantly hits the stormwater system.

At Ku-ring-gai, tree canopy covers 45% of our residential land though it’s a little bit lower in Roseville Ward. Sydney’s stats are lower at 23% with the state government is targeting 40% long term.

Apartment blocks have a reputation for reducing tree canopy but if it is done right, the impact is only temporary. In the attached image, we see a block of 31 apartments across the road from Lindfield Public School. At one point there was significant land clearing to establish these homes but we are now at a point where tree canopy has grown back to over 40%. I think most councillors are committed to policies which will help increase canopy over time while making us more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Thoughts on Racism, Conflict and War

In the coming months there will be further talk about economic sanctions, boycotts, lethal aid, armed conflict, and war. And I can’t help but notice that in both our printed and social media there appears to be people out there who are (consciously or subconsciously) promoting a universal hatred of anything and anyone Russian. While I understand the sentiment, I think it may be taking it too far.

The actions of a leader do not necessarily infer anything about the values of the people they seek to represent. If ScoMo holds up a lump of coal in parliament, would you want the International Community to think that all Australians are the same? If our Premier, Mayor, or even I as your lowly councillor do something silly, do you think that we therefore speak and act on behalf of all of you?

Yes the people of Ukraine need our support and yes there is a time and place for appropriate economic sanctions, but I also hope that we can still treat Russian and Belarusian people here in Ku-ring-gai with respect and not make assumptions about their values. They are probably just ordinary people like you and I, hoping to live a harmonious life here in Australia without people giving them a hard time about things that they may or may not agree with. I know I’ve personally been given a hard time on occasion for my appearance, country of birth (a British Colony), or for false rumours that other petty people in politics or in the community have raised and it’s quite disrespectful, painful, and not fun at all. So I hope that we can reach out to other residents and treat them with respect rather than just make assumptions about their values.

Local Government NSW Special Conference

This week we had councillors across NSW meet to exchange ideas, discuss policy, and agree on State and Federal advocacy matters. Key themes were financial sustainability, climate change and resilience, housing stress, domestic violence, reconciliation, and the impact of recent economic developments to the delivery of council services.

I was encouraged to see eight Ku-ring-gai Councillors engaged and attending the conference this time around (usually there’s only 2 or 3 of us). Hopefully we will bring some ideas back to benefit our residents here in Ku-ring-gai.

Summary of February Council Meeting

Key decisions included:

Roseville Chase Bowling Site – Council voted to ask the Department of Planning to undertake the final steps of rezoning the entirety of this public land to Low Density Residential (with the next obvious step to sell the entire site). The vote was close, 5 vs 5 plus the mayor’s casting vote in support of land rezoning. Our alternate proposal was to take a step back, consider potential community use, and retain part of the site for recreation but this was defeated 5 vs 5 with the mayor’s casting vote against the proposal.

Marian Street Theatre – Design work put on hold for three months so that members of the community could have further input into the design.

Norman Griffiths Oval – Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and other supporting documents to be made available on council website once available. It is noted by some that at other councils, the REF is usually conducted before a contract is awarded however there were concerns that at Ku-ring-gai the process was the other way around. Personally, I found that there were residents from various camps who were incredibly rude to councillors during the weeks leading up and although it didn’t affect me on this occasion, I felt sorry for those who had to put up with it.

Code of Meeting Practice – Glad to see that councillors supported my proposal to align our meeting practices with the majority of other councils in the North Shore (and in line with Office of Local Government Guidelines). Previously our Public Forums had very little interaction between residents and councillors, but with a revised code we hope to improve the public interaction and engagement.

Superannuation for Councillors – There was some debate over whether councillors should get paid superannuation, in line with basically every other job in Australia. Council’s resolved position was that councillors should get super, and that councillors may choose to opt out of receiving super if they choose to do so.

Help us find a new home

Larry and Leo are both domestic and extremely affectionate cats that have been looking for a new home since December.

I visited the Ku-ring-gai Pound today where Kristy, our Veterinary Nurse, showed me around and shared about Ku-ring-gai’s process of rehoming dogs and cats. Council drops off lost animals and do their best to contact owners who have up to 2 weeks to come and collect. After this period, the pets are up for adoption. (Some pets also come in because their owners are no longer able to look after them.)

If you know anyone who may be interested, please share this with them.

For more info and the list of available pets, please visit

https://www.thornleighvet.com.au/ku-ring-gai-pound/

New Commuter Parking

I’m working in the city today so tried out the 105 commuter parking spots at the new Lindfield Village Green. Arrived at 8am and only three parking spots were in use, I think this is in part due to Covid and also the fact that not many are presently aware of this option.

It was also great to see a kid (and mum) enjoying the water play on the ground floor.

What do YOU think council’s priorities should be these next 10+ years?

The Community Strategic Plan sets our priorities for the council term and covers traffic, footpaths, playgrounds, etc. but there may be gaps which you believe deserve greater attention.

Climate change adaptation? Better community consultation? Affordable Housing? These are themes that other councils emphasise but they don’t get as much (direct) coverage at Ku-ring-gai.

There’s an initial survey that is due this Friday 18 February.

https://krg.engagementhub.com.au/ourkrg

Checking out The Canopy

As councillors we can learn a lot from what other councils do well. This evening we visited The Canopy at Lane Cove Council and it seems to have it all.

✅ 500 parking spaces
✅ Green space with performance area / screen (currently playing Nadal vs Medvedev)
✅ Children’s playground, sandpit, and shade
✅ Street Dining
✅ Two major supermarkets
✅ Electric vehicle charging
✅ Pedestrian Bridge

With the Lindfield Village Green completing next month, we will get a mini version of this although I know residents would like to explore making it even better (with shade and play equipment). We’ll explore the possibility late in the year.

The Lindfield Village Hub will provide us a greater opportunity to do this and as a start, Ku-ring-gai has poached the person responsible for delivering The Canopy in Lane Cove to also deliver the Hub in Lindfield.

How Reliable are your RATs?

With the increased availability of RATs and the return to school, I found this ABC article helpful in explaining false negatives (sensitivity) and false positives (specificity).

The TGA also recently published a list that suggests that some RATs are not as good at picking up Delta and/or Omicron than others. It leads to confusing situations such as two weeks ago when I was consistently getting a positive result from one brand but getting negative results from another brand and from the PCR. As a precaution I isolated from the rest of my family and the world for a week, and things got pretty lonely in my room though it was nice to have family meals over Zoom.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-27/how-accurate-rapid-antigen-test-more-looking-for-lines/100782662

https://www.tga.gov.au/post-market-review-antigen-and-rapid-antigen-tests

Citizenship Ceremony and Awards

It was great to see 135 residents from 27 countries become Australian Citizens today. This is a great nation to be part of.

Council also presented Citizen of the year awards to five of our residents / groups.

Easy Care Gardening was recognised for their outstanding contribution to the community bay assisting housebound, elderly and vulnerable residents.

Yoel Hyman was recognised for his contributions to the community through RFS, Killara Brigade, and other community forums.

Jen Stokes was recognised for her contribution to the environment through @kuringgaiboomerangbags and the West Pymble Community Garden.

Oliver Conolly was recognised as young environmental citizen of the year for raising awareness of Ku-ring-gai’s vulnerable bird populations.

And our dear friend Helen Jarvis was awarded citizen of the year for her contribution to KYDS Youth Development Service during this difficult time of the pandemic when our young people and their families are in need of support more than ever. I have personally witnessed how she selflessly gives her time and money to the welfare of our people.

Holiday Photos & EV Infrastructure

Sharing some photos from our recent break in Country NSW (and ACT). It was good to have some time off with family; as a councillor it’s very rare to be able to focus 100% on them.

Also went to check out some of the regional EV chargers. As a general trend the Tesla ones are paid, fast and very reliable whereas the NRMA ones were decent speed but slower, with some of the EV drivers that I spoke to (including myself) experiencing reliability issues with them from time to time. We counted 35 electric vehicles over 11 days and across six sites.

I’m keen to see what we can do to encourage uptake in Ku-ring-gai by introducing a charging network, however want to first do research into what our neighbouring councils are doing and how they are finding the experience so far (as each seems to have gone with a different networking provider).