Mayor Sue Heins

Read the Mayor’s message for updates on new recreational facilities and libraries, latest major projects, news and big picture issues that affect the Northern Beaches.

Friday 23 February 2024

A small fragment of bonded asbestos found by a child in playground mulch in the Inner West has spurned one of the largest investigations ever undertaken by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

On the Beaches, we had one local school impacted at Allambie Heights where bonded asbestos was found in an isolated garden which was made safe and fenced off without causing the school to be closed.

At Council we use mulch quite extensively in our playgrounds and garden beds but have not been contacted by the EPA and are not part of their supply chain investigations to date.

It will reassure the community to know that the mulch used in our children's playgrounds comes from controlled environments such as sawmills. This mulch produced is from the off cuts of items such as sleepers and does not contain any waste from building materials, so there is little to no risk of contamination.

The mulch used in Council garden beds for the most part comes from the public trees removed by our tree contractors which are chipped and immediately stockpiled at our depots. So again, there is little to no risk of contamination to this mulch.

Occasionally we use other suppliers for garden bed mulch and have sought assurances from all our suppliers that they have not been exposed to the current issue. To date this has not revealed any exposures for Council.

From time to time the community report asbestos and other materials which have been dumped illegally. Our teams immediately respond to safely remove the asbestos, but these reports are not related to the current mulch contamination issue.

The EPA reports that to date the asbestos that has been found in sites around NSW is predominantly bonded (non-friable) which, in good condition, is likely to be low-risk.

They advise that anyone concerned about contamination in mulch they have received or on sold should contact the EPA Environment Line on 131 555 or email

If you want to check in on the sites being investigated, the EPA is regularly updating the list here.

Mayor Sue Heins

Friday 16 February 2024

This week the 46th Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras kicks off with an expansive program across Sydney. Here on the Beaches, you can enjoy a performance by RAYN, make a pride badge or plant pot, or visit the Daniel Mudie Cunningham: Proud Mary exhibition at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum. Happy Mardi Gras all!

Also this weekend, head to Manly beachfront for the 2024 Health and Wellness Day. Delivered in partnership with Manly Business Chamber, there is a packed program of talks, fitness, cycling and breathing classes on the beach and grass. There is even a mums and bubs pilates, kids decathlon and a heap of local stallholders. Take a look at the program and join in.

If that’s not enough, the last World Food Markets for the summer is on at Killarney Heights this evening from 5pm. Don’t forget to bring your water bottle.

And we have a few projects on exhibition and ready for you to have your say including the plans for new recreation spaces at Killarney Heights Oval and Winnererremy Bay, the draft Multicultural Inclusion Plan (closing soon) and the survey on the changes made to traffic and footpaths in Avalon. We’d love to hear from you. 

Have a great weekend.

Friday 9 February

It’s been a busy summer and it’s worth recognising the incredible role our Council lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers play to keep us safe, often in the most challenging conditions. 

Just last Saturday, 8 to 10-foot swells closed beaches, but attracted many to the foreshore to see the waves crashing against the cliffs and rockfaces. A teenager was washed off the rocks near Freshwater rockpool and, a poor swimmer, was quickly in serious danger.  

Fast action from South Curl Curl and Freshwater lifeguards, on foot and jet ski, backed up by NSW Ambulance paramedics on the shore, saved her life. Lifeguard Tiaan Cronje in particular displayed incredible bravery, diving into the treacherous seas to keep the semi-conscious teenager’s head above water, get her onto the jet ski mat, administer life support and transport her safely to the beach. 

The incident is a timely reminder for us all to be extra cautious around our rocky foreshore. The ocean is unpredictable and can surprise even the most experienced swimmer or rock fisher. We have fabulous information about beach and rock safety available – please take a read and share with visiting family and friends.    

On a less dramatic note, the Seniors Festival program has been released and is full of events, talks, games and activities. Enrol in a family history workshop, take a Tai Chi class, try virtual reality, join a wildlife walk or get tips on writing your memoir.  

Have a good, and safe, weekend. 



Friday 2 February 2024

A huge congratulations to all our Australia Day award winners for 2024! We have an extraordinary community who selflessly give back to our community every day and I am thrilled we can recognise their efforts through these awards.

From volunteer lifesavers to youth counsellors, environmental champions to sports coaches, Paralympians to fundraisers – each recipient has made an incredible contribution to their field. 

A special shout out to the Northern Beaches Citizen of the Year, Jimmy Arteaga. He oversees more than 90 volunteers as Unit Commander for Broken Bay Marine Rescue and is regularly involved in rescues, saving lives and vessels on our busy waterways.

Congratulations also to the many Northern Beaches residents who were recognised on the national Australia Day honour list. 

And best of luck to all the runners in the Sun Run this weekend - we have a record 7,000 entrants. Join me on the sideline spurring them on and be aware there will be some road and traffic changes around the course on Saturday morning. The event has already raised more than $60,000 for charities across Australia.

Have a great weekend,

Mayor Sue Heins

Thursday 25 January 2024

This week we are coming to you a day earlier to align with the Australia Day long weekend.

While we feel proud to call this great country home, as we celebrate on the Northern Beaches, let’s do so with empathy and an open heart.

For many of us, one of the highlights around Australia Day is celebrating the efforts of the special people who are committed to making a difference in our community.

Tonight, I will be heading to the Northern Beaches Australia Day Awards and look forward to honouring the 2024 winners.

There has been an outstanding pool of high calibre nominees this year, and the selection process has not been easy. To all the nomineeswho are dedicated, passionate, humble people creating real impact in the lives of so many in our communitythank you! Your service to our community is so greatly appreciated and we are better off because of it.

Stay tuned to our social media channels and website for news on these standout individuals and their achievements.

In case you missed it, tickets went on sale last week for the International Women's Day Breakfast 2024. This event is one of my favourites on the Council event calendar. It is an inspiring and empowering celebration of incredible women.

Council is again hosting the breakfast event at the Manly Pacific hotel. Please join us for a delicious breakfast with guest speaker Chloe Daltonmulti-sport athlete, Olympic Gold Medalist, current AFLW player, Founder of the [Female] Athlete Project and new author. You’ll also enjoy the opportunity to network and go into the draw for several prizes. This event sells out fast so get your tickets early.

Have a lovely long weekend,

Mayor Sue Heins

Friday 19 January 2024

I really do believe that the Northern Beaches is a place for everyone. We have a long and proud history of being a multicultural community with residents from 123 different ancestries and over 110 countries of birth calling the Beaches home. Almost 1 in 3 people here were born overseas, and 1 in 2 have at least one parent born abroad.

After significant engagement with the community, we are proud to share the draft Multicultural Inclusion Action Plan, encapsulating the aspirations of our diverse community, ensuring that every individual feels welcomed and valued. Thank you to more than 500 community members that have contributed to the development of this plan so far. We could not have got it to this point without you.

This plan isn't just about ticking a box; it's about people. It’s about ensuring that every voice is heard, every culture celebrated, and every individual feels empowered to actively participate in shaping the future of our community. Read the plan and get involved.

Council has programmed a series of events across January to Celebrate Australia. One of our next events is the Australian Made Markets on this Sunday 21 January, 8am - 2pm at Winnererremy Bay, Mona Vale. Come down, treat yourself and support local.

And if you haven’t heard, our Sun Run which is happening on Saturday 3 February has officially sold out! This is a testament to everyone involved. My guess would be that it also has something to do with the spectacular course between Dee Why and Manly. Thanks to everyone who has registered to participate – good luck for race day.

For everyone else, mark the diary and look at the course map so you can find a spot to come down and cheer on the runners. Get more information.

Have a lovely weekend,

Mayor Sue Heins

Friday 12 January 2024

I’ve come to realise that our New Year resolutions don’t just have to be personal goals; they can be communal pledges to take decisive steps towards a stronger and more environmentally friendly and sustainable lifestyle.


With that, now is a great time to explore sustainable energy options and think seriously about installing solar. In collaboration with our independent energy and solar expert, Council is offering free phone appointments to discuss personalised green energy solutions for community members. Book your appointment and learn more.


If you are looking for other ideas on how to live more sustainably, please visit our webpages to learn about composting and worm farming and get a full A to Z guide to reuse, recycling and disposal. There is also a handy Northern Beaches Reuse and Recycling map which shows where you can take your used items for free.


If you’re looking for some cultural fun and haven’t already been, I encourage you to come along to Manly Art Gallery & Museum and experience the Lost in Palm Springs exhibition. The exhibition is touring Australia and on display in Manly until Sunday 25 February. It offers a truly unique experience that adds a touch of excitement to our cultural calendar.


While you are there, have a go at an artwork yourself! People of all ages and artistic backgrounds are also welcome to take part in Cut, Paste, Create: Drop-in and make a collage self-guided activity inspired by the exhibition. Find more information and join the creative fun.


Have a lovely weekend,


Mayor Sue Heins

Friday 5 January 2024

Happy New Year!


I hope you are having a well-deserved break and are loving everything great about summer in our area, from our pristine beaches, various outdoor events, thriving local businesses and mixing with your neighbours.


If you are having a staycation and looking for something different to do, please refer to this list of 30 reasons to love the Northern Beaches this summer and you're sure to be inspired.


For those with a little spare time on their hands, you may consider entering the Northern Beaches Writers' Competition 2024: Art & Words Project.


This year's theme is 'glass'. Whether you're an experienced writer or just looking to try your talents at storytelling, you can submit entries of up to 2,500 words accompanied by at least one image that complements and elevates your narrative. With a prize pool of $450 and the opportunity for online publication, your creativity could be celebrated far beyond the Northern Beaches!


Northern Beaches Council proudly supports this competition and is a testament to our community's commitment to fostering the arts.


Tonight, the World Food Markets kick off at Freshwater Beach. Come down for a dip and bring a picnic rug to enjoy food from various multicultural food trucks in Freshwater Beach Park. The food trucks will be back in Freshwater next Friday 12 January.


Have a great weekend,


Mayor Sue Heins

Friday 22 December 2023

As the year wraps up, I would like to thank my fellow Councillors, our volunteers, residents and Council staff for all working together to make the Northern Beaches such a wonderful community.

2023 has been a great year, with lots to celebrate. Council and staff have worked hard to deliver important services and programs to the community and will continue to strengthen these in 2024.

Throughout the year, our lifeguards saved 1400 lives, we welcomed over 10 million visitors to our area, opened new bike parks and surf clubs, cared for thousands of kids at childcare centres and vacation care, recycled some 50,000 tonnes of waste and staged some 50 public events, to name just a few achievements.

Council has teams operating over the Christmas period to ensure essential services like beach safety and waste management continue, and many of our facilities, like libraries and aquatic centres, will remain open for your enjoyment. Please check out our opening times here.

Thank you for supporting me as the new Mayor this year, I look forward to serving you again into 2024.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May the upcoming year bring you joy, prosperity, and fulfillment.

Stay safe,

Mayor Sue Heins

Friday 15 December 2023

Over the past month, I have had the privilege to attend many end-of-year award services at local schools and have been impressed with students' bright minds and achievements.


Special congratulations to our 2023 Higher School Certificate (HSC) students, who will have all received their marks this week. Whatever your results were, this milestone marks 13 years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Best of luck for your next endeavours.


This week, our highly valued Meals on Wheels service hosted a special Christmas-themed lunch with regular customers and a few new faces. This vital service holds a free community lunch most weeks of the year, bringing people together. The service also provides some 20,600 tasty and nutritious home-delivered meals to residents over 65 or those aged over 50 years and who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. 


Meals on Wheels is more than a tasty and nutritious home-delivered food service. The team, made up mostly of volunteers, offer a friendly smile, a sympathetic ear and a helping hand to older people in our community.


I am so proud and grateful for the work of Council's army of volunteers. Earlier this week we shared a meal to celebrate Christmas and an amazing year of selfless dedication with this special group of people. We are fortunate to have over 1,000 volunteers on the Beaches who dedicate their time to our community, helping to deliver services across Meals on Wheels, libraries, bush care, and visitor services. Thank you for all your do for our community.


Have a lovely weekend,

Mayor Sue Heins