• Mayor Michael Regan

Read the Mayor’s Message for updates on new recreational facilities and libraries, development of the ambitious coastal walkway from Manly to Palm Beach and big picture issues that affect the Northern Beaches.

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Saturday 19 January 2019

With the astonishing heat we’ve been having across NSW I hope you’ve been staying cool and safe. It’s no surprise that our beaches and pools have been jam-packed this past week with locals and visitors flocking to favourite swimming spots to relax and manage the heat.

The work of our Lifeguards, local surf club volunteers, field crews and Rangers who work through the heat so locals and visitors can enjoy this beautiful place hasn’t been unnoticed – thank you!

At the beginning of summer we put on extra resources and increased the cleaning schedule of our facilities such as toilets, ocean pools and bins, to cope with the anticipated higher demand. We also increased the cleaning frequency of public beaches amenities across the region in early January (continuing till the end of summer) in response to customer feedback. Despite increasing service it’s not always easy to know when a facility or site needs extra attention, so I encourage you to contact our Customer Service staff by phoning 1300 434 434 or reporting the issue online where there’s excess mess, overflowing bins or illegal dumping. We will always try and respond with our rapid response teams to clean up problem areas as an urgent priority.

With Australia Day just around the corner, we are certainly gearing up for additional services to accommodate extra crowds. More importantly, we’re planning a line-up of ‘bonza’ Council run events for everyone to enjoy across the area. Find out what’s happening near you by visiting our website.

To help keep our community safe on Australia Day we are working with the local Police to discourage anti-social behaviour. A number of temporary 24-hour Alcohol Prohibited Areas will apply from 6am on Australia Day until 6am on 27 January to public parks, beaches and reserves, overriding the usual restriction hours at some locations, including East Esplanade, Manly. To find out more head to our website.

Have a great weekend…I hope you get a chance to either visit your favourite spots or discover a new Northern Beaches gem.

Michael Regan

Saturday 12 January 2019

Summer. How great is it here on the Northern Beaches? It’s good not to go too far from home at this time of year because it’s such an incredible place to spend time with friends and family.

Our teams are busy making sure locals and visitors can soak up everything on offer. Our lifeguards as always are doing a stellar job keeping an eye on all our patrolled surf beaches. Our cleaners, parks and waste staff are working round the clock to keep up with the additional demand on our parks and beaches. We’ve put on extra staff to keep the public toilets clean too.

If you need a break from the beach, Council has plenty of other things to keep you and the kids busy throughout January.

Check out the Destination Sydney Re-imagined exhibition at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum which celebrates the work of nine eminent artists with Sydney as their theme.

Our two aquatic centres have some great indoor pools to keep you cool and out of the midday sun, Warringah Aquatic Centre even has a giant inflatable on Thursdays throughout January. And our libraries have some really interesting programs on offer for the kids like stained glass craft and reptile shows.

Don’t miss Avalon Car Boot Sale next Saturday – lots of bargains and treasures to be found and thanks to great support from all the vendors, this is a successful plastic free event. BYO reusable cups and shopping bags.

And I am enjoying seeing both kids and adults searching about for tiny doors! Pick up a passport and map from your local library and get hunting for them. I’ve found the tardis and a very cute snoopy in Dee Why. You?

Have a great weekend.

Saturday 22 December 2018

At our last meeting of the year this week Council ticked off a number of important items - reductions to parking fees at Rowland Reserve, renewal for the playground at Manly Warringah War Memorial Park (Manly Dam), rules to control share bikes and support for an international surfing event to name a few.

One of the most exciting items endorsed for public exhibition is what is known as our Walking Plan. It includes a proposal for the doubling of the investment in footpaths over the next ten years to more than $30million, funded by developer contributions, grants and Council’s operating surplus.

Footpaths, their condition and their placement are one of the issues most raised with me as I travel around the area so I am pleased we are giving them the priority our community expect. I have asked Council’s team to go even further and see if we can get more done, faster – one for every street. The plan will be available for comment from mid-January and I encourage you to jump online and have your say.

I’d like to thank the thousands of people who gave us input this year on more than 50 projects we had out for consultation. Many provided comments or submissions, others attended our face-to-face sessions or even fronted Council meetings and our projects improved as a result. We’d love to have even more people share their views and we are looking at innovative ways to ensure people of all backgrounds and ages contribute to the exciting infrastructure, arts and cultural projects we are planning next year.

Finally, a shout out to all those who are keeping us safe and entertained over the holiday period. Our lifeguards, customer service and parks staff, our cleaning, waste and events teams and our aquatic centre and library staff are all on deck periodically over the next few weeks. Check out all our opening hours on the website.

I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe holiday season. I look forward to doing more fantastic things together in 2019.

Michael Regan

Saturday 15 December 2018

It’s fantastic to be able to finish off the year by seeing some big ticket projects complete and ready for our community to use over summer and plenty more coming online soon.

The fences are down at East Esplanade, revealing a fabulous upgrade including new sandstone seating walls, freshly laid grass and timber decking. At Collaroy, the new accessible toilet and shower building is finished including better all abilities access to the whole precinct. This will no doubt be a high traffic area over summer! It was great to have the Sargood Foundation involved in this important project.

Clontarf pool has also seen some urgent repairs finished this week including replacing damaged pylons, broken beams, netting and a paint job. Similar urgent repairs are also underway at Forty Baskets. Given the sensitive sea grasses and precious marine critters at both locations, including pregnant endangered seahorses, these jobs have required significant environmental controls but I am pleased to say both pools will be able to be used throughout the summer. More detailed assessments are also underway with a view to more significant improvements to these pools over the coming years.

At North Harbour Reserve the upgraded amenities block has just opened and we’ve turned the first sod for our newest inclusive playground at Frenchs Forest. Sport lovers will welcome the brand new sports building at North Narrabeen Reserve which is not far off completion with a new kiosk, change rooms and toilets. And the roof structure is up for the new amenities building which will serve our biggest sporting field complex at Nolan Reserve.

We are continuing to implement the Palm Beach masterplan and it’s great so many locals and visitors are making use of the much needed new path at Federation Place.

Millions of dollars have gone in to all these important projects and it is exciting to see our one Northern Beaches Council with the capacity to keep delivering the community infrastructure that in too many cases is long overdue.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 8 December 2018

The sign of a strong community is an inclusive community. At Council we’re passionate about ensuring all residents are considered when we’re upgrading or building new facilities. Our progress report for our Disability Inclusion Action Plan provides an insight into how we’re reducing and removing barriers for people with disability, with 39 actions completed over the 2017/18 period already.

We’ve improved accessible amenities on the Marine Parade section of Coast Walk, at our newly refurbished Harbour View Children’s Centre, Collaroy rockpool, Manly Soldiers Memorial Hall, Cromer Park, Warriewood Rugby Park and the Berry Reserve Playground. Additionally, 28 percent of our playgrounds are now accessible; up from 19 percent last year. While we are making progress, there is still a lot to do and we have more planned in the coming year. Construction has commenced at Lionel Watts all-abilities playground and Tania Park will kick-off in February.

If you are like me, and tend to leave Christmas gift shopping to the last minute, our Creative Made Makers Market is the place to shop. On today at the newly refurbished Tramshed at Narrabeen, there will be plenty of creative and unique gifts on offer.

On a more cultural note, feast your eyes on a new exhibition at Manly Art Gallery & Museum - Destination Sydney: Re-imagined. Responding to the inspiring works of trailblazing Australian artist Ethel Carrick Fox (1872 -1952), Northern Beaches’ artist Peta Dzubiel will have her paintings transformed into a large-scale outdoor photographic installation. I can assure you the exhibition is well worth a look.

And don’t forget to head to Dee Why Beach this Friday, where Santa will make an appearance along with some great stage entertainment for the kids for Christmas by the Beach.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 1 December 2018

In what looks on face value like a win for our community, the State Government this week announced their intention to cap the number of units in boarding house developments to twelve. Given we have proposals for 100 unit developments currently before us, some to replace a single house, this is a welcome response from the government.

We will be strongly advocating for the cap to be enacted quickly and apply not just to future developments but to all current ones too so we can knock out some of the ridiculous proposals we are currently fighting in the courts.

As I have said from the beginning, Council is a big supporter of affordable housing but not at the expense of good planning outcomes for our community.

And in a second win for common sense this week, the proposed clearway through Manly Vale has been put on hold by the State Government. Now we just need the same outcome for Collaroy.

Today I am delighted to be attending a significant milestone for one of the Northern Beaches’ most beloved community cultural facilities. The Harbord Literary Institute is celebrating its 100th birthday with a lovely community event.

While the local community began planning for this building in 1912, by the time approval for it had been granted by the State Government, the Great War had intervened and funding was scarce. So, the community pitched in and built the Harbord Literary Institute itself. Members of the local surf club cleared the land, local architects and builders chipped in and dances, concerts, and socials were held to fund it.

This building was a labour of love by people of Harbord- Freshwater and has played a significant cultural role in the community ever since. Join us from 10am today to celebrate.

Finally, I would like to thank all of the emergency crews, including many Council staff, who responded to incidents across the Northern Beaches this week during the severe storms.

Have a great week.

Michael Regan

Saturday 24 November 2018

Next Wednesday is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and is being marked here and around the world as a time to raise awareness about the terrible violence perpetrated against women, often by those closest to them.

Thanks to trailblazers like Rosie Batty, in Australia family violence has been chased out of the shadows, revealing that on average one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.

Everyone has the right to respect and safety in their relationship and it will take a community-wide response from us all to turn these dire statistics around. We all have an obligation to stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence against women.

That’s why I am so proud that as a Council we are well on our way to being accredited as a White Ribbon workplace. This is a significant commitment to looking at our culture, our policies and everything to we do to ensure we contribute to addressing this issue.

I encourage you to seek out one of the many White Ribbon or other family violence events happening in our community over the next week or join me on Wednesday at Queenscliff Surf Club from 7am for the Northern Beaches Domestic Violence Network’s White Ribbon Walk.

On a lighter note, Council’s cleaners, landscapers and painters are gearing up for a major blitz of Manly Corso next week. Our S.W.A.T (Special Works and Transformation) Team is on the attack for a Spring offensive to get Manly in tip top shape for the busy holiday period. The plan is to roll out similar blitzes to other town centres across the Northern Beaches over the next few months.

Finally, I am looking forward to spending some time at the cricket this weekend. Tomorrow, Manly plays host to a one day international match of the over-50s Cricket World Cup. The calibre of players is extraordinary, so come and watch Australia and England renew old rivalries.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 17 November 2018

Can you recycle a pizza box? What should you do with plastic bags from your bread? What’s with those numbers on plastic products? It’s National Recycling Week and because we know you are a keen community of recyclers we’ve put together a top ten list to answer all your recycling questions.

Both children and parents will be looking forward to moving back to their beautifully refurbished child care centre at Seaforth when it reopens in January. The $950,000 upgrade provides more spaces for children under three and access for children of all abilities. It’s a great addition to our suite of options for child care and early learning across our region. Come along on Monday afternoon for a sneak peek at the new Harbour View Children’s Centre and meet the educators. There are limited spots available for the new year.

If you’ve been to Manly lately you’ll have noticed some construction work happening on and around St Matthew’s Church. This is a big project and requires hoardings to be up for a while yet. To reduce the impact on local businesses and our visitors, Council has partnered with the Church and engaged a local artist, Patrick Hunter, to create a mural along the hoarding. You can even watch as it comes to life. Pop down between 5pm and 7pm tonight, pull up a chair and enjoy some music as the artist takes to the giant canvas and transforms it before your eyes.

And finally, a last call for nominations for the Northern Beaches Australia Day awards. I know there are some incredible people doing great things in our community. Let’s make sure they get the recognition they deserve. Nominations close Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 10 November 2018

Tomorrow, on 11 November at 11am, the world will pause to reflect on one of the most significant turning points in modern history.

It was on that date and at that time precisely 100 years ago that the German General Staff began putting into effect the terms of the Armistice of Compiègne, so effectively concluding The Great War of 1914 to 1918.

By war’s end, millions had died, and millions more had endured immense suffering.

In this nation, the Armistice ushered in a period of prolonged mourning that has continued to this day.

Across our Northern Beaches, one in every six men who enlisted for service abroad during the Great War did not come home, the conflict having a vast and enduring impact on the culture, heritage and memories of our local population.

It was the vain hope of the generation of 1918 that The Great War would be ‘The War To End All Wars’.

Of course, that wasn’t to be.

However, a grateful community still remembers the sacrifices of 100 years ago by local men and women, and this Sunday we will reflect solemnly on the suffering of all those who have been touched by conflict.

However you choose to do so, please take a minute then to reflect on our connection with the heroes who landed at Gallipoli Peninsula, on those who struggled in the other great battles in France, Belgium and elsewhere, on land, at sea and in the air, and pledge to never forget the unspeakable suffering that took the lives of 60,000 Australians in The Great War of 1914 to 1918.

And in reciting The Ode, let us pledge ourselves to remember, too, the 40,000 Australians who died in World War Two; those 2,000 other Australians who lost their lives in conflicts since 1945; and to reflect with appropriate solemnity on all those having suffered in wars.

Lest we forget.

Michael Regan

Saturday 3 November 2018

Who do you know that is an incredible person? That person who is always first to jump in to help out, puts others before themselves, excels in their chosen field, or just makes everyone around them happy.

Why not nominate them now for a 2019 Northern Beaches Australia Day Award. No contribution is too small - it’s so important to recognise those local heroes in our community that we know deserve to be honoured. There are six categories to choose from and nomination is easy using our online form. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to acknowledge someone you know. Nominations close 19 November.

Great to see some sunshine this week, if not for catching some Vitamin D, then to power up the recently installed solar panels at two of our large depots. Up to 40% of the energy needed for our Balgowlah depot will now be sourced from the sun and almost 30% at Cromer depot.

Not only will we reduce out carbon emissions by 120 tonnes a year (equivalent of taking 26 cars off the road) but it’s estimated to knock $40,000 a year off our electricity bills. That’s savings we can reallocate to more footpaths, new library books or sportsfield upgrades. Council now has solar panels at 34 sites across the Northern Beaches.

Last this week, but in no way least, a shout out to our female Councillors. November marks one hundred years since the NSW Parliament passed the Women’s Legal Status Act 1918, allowing women to stand for election to the legislative assembly and for local government. We are fortunate here on the Beaches that seven out of our 15 Councillors are deeply committed women who make an incredible contribution to our community.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan