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  • 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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Friday 14 August

One of the most satisfying things about this job is seeing community-led projects finished and open for use. 

This weekend the fences come down on our newest skate park at North Curl Curl. This great new facility was the result of a local teacher mobilising his community and lobbying us at Council to make it happen. 

Thanks to everyone involved along the way and especially our external experts on the Design Team for great ideas and road testing. It sits neatly in a great community hub comprising community nursery, community garden and a well-used community centre. A perfect addition to this public space. 

Lastly, a special shout out also to our veterans, marking 75 years tomorrow of those words from PM Chifley “the war is over”, declaring victory in the Pacific and the end of WWII for Australia; and 54 years on Tuesday since Vietnam’s Battle of Long Tan. 

While we can’t get together in person this year, be assured we are thinking of you and thank you for all you did for us. To all that serve and have served – we will never fully know the things you saw, the things you did - but we know you did them to protect the rights and freedoms of those more vulnerable and for that we are truly grateful.

Have a great weekend. 

Michael Regan

Friday 7 August

This Local Government Week, NSW Minister Shelley Hancock has called local government ‘a beacon of light in times of darkness.’ 

With the floods, fires and pandemic of 2020, Councils across the state have stepped up to support communities with evacuation and recovery centres, provide essential services and deliver in-kind and financial assistance to those in need.

I am particularly proud of our response during this challenging time, implementing a home delivery library service, providing online adolescent counselling, giving grants and relief to local businesses and front line organisations, investing in job-generating infrastructure and keeping everyone informed of the ever-changing government closures and restrictions. 

And we are looking ahead now, supporting a local economic recovery while also doing contingency planning should a second wave eventuate. 
 
We can all help reduce the risk of that second wave by following the health advice – keep up the social distancing and hand hygiene, stay home if unwell and get tested if showing any symptoms. Thanks for doing your bit. 

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Friday 31 July

This week a report was tabled at Council which demonstrated we are on track to almost double the state government’s $76.3 million estimated savings from amalgamation with a projected $161.6 million saving over ten years.

This is great news for our community since it means we have additional funds to reinvest in our community. And we have. In order to do this, we needed to restructure the Council and get the real financial position of Council. We have now begun the next critical piece which is the service level reviews. 

Like any organisation, we are not perfect. However as I have said before on many occasions, we should always strive to be. Right now, it is pleasing to report that we compare favourably with other Councils and organisations of similar size. Not bad considering the additional layers of legislation we have to work with compared to that of private enterprise. 

A quick snapshot of the story so far, we have used the savings to boost our maintenance program, and thus, close the gap on the backlog. We’ve increased the cleaning schedule of our busiest public toilets, invested in kilometres of new footpaths and expanded our customer service operations. 

And we’ll continue to prioritise investment in community assets as we realise the savings in the long term. Please have a read of the report. It will form the basis of our service level reviews. 

Have a great weekend. 

Michael Regan
 

Friday 24 July

Our coastal scientists and engineers have had a busy few weeks with Mother Nature sure putting on a show with 10m swells and strong winds. And guess what? She hasn’t finished yet. 

With more wild weather forecast for early next week we’ve had excavators out reopening the entrance of Narrabeen Lagoon and preparing our other lagoons ahead of the forecast rain. 

It’s hard to believe 2020 could throw anything more at us, but if you do live in a flood-prone area or are impacted by coastal erosion, please keep an eye on updates and warnings provided by emergency agencies. 

I also just wanted to acknowledge the great losses that are being felt through our tight-knit communities right now, including bright young lives lost far too soon. A reminder to please reach out, we can all do with additional support at times like these and help is available.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Friday 17 July

It was humbling to see that Council recently won the Community Partnerships & Collaboration category at the NSW Local Government Excellence Awards. What for you ask? It was for our leadership role in the Northern Beaches Suicide Response (The Response). 
 
The Response is a coordinated approach to suicide prevention in partnership with Police, Health, local service groups and the community. This incredibly valuable program has helped reduce suicide rates by a third between 2018 and 2019 on the Northern Beaches and our Council is now regularly asked for help, guidance and support from other Council’s facing similar challenges. This Award is well deserved and I thank everyone involved in the program, in particular all the staff who helped develop it.
 
In other news, the Council staff have also been busy completing our newest inclusive, accessible playground at Manly Dam. The playground is part of the Connecting All Through Play program and is designed to not only create exciting and vibrant play spaces, but also connect the community to our natural areas. The playground is open this weekend, so grab your family and friends and enjoy the great new equipment and picturesque area.
 
On a final note, I know the current COVID-19 outbreaks can be unsettling, but if we all do our part to maintain hand cleaning and social distancing measures we can get through this together.

Have a great weekend. 

Michael Regan

Friday 10 July

Nine thousand plastic straws a year have been eliminated from just one beachside cafe. Our largest shopping centre saves up to 12.4million plastic bottles by installing a water refill station. Swap & Go coffee systems are now established in almost 30 local cafes. Nine thousand plastic cups each year have been removed from a business water refill station. And local school canteens are removing straws and plastic bags from use.

These are just some of the fantastic outcomes of Council’s Swap for Good program which took out the Local Government Professionals Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Award this week.

Congratulations to all the local businesses, schools, organisations and our community who have joined us in the war on waste and taken up the fight against single use plastics. There is much more to do, please sign up and learn how your business can get involved. 

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

 

Friday 3 July

Game on - finally! I can’t wait to see our sports fields back in business this weekend as restrictions ease and our local soccer comps ramp back up. We’ll see more and more codes returning over the next few weeks. Please keep doing your bit and ensure social distancing on the sidelines in particular. We have come so far. The end is in sight.
 
It was great to catch up with the Mayor of our sister city, Gunnedah, last week. The change in the landscape is incredible since I was last there, rain has finally fallen and things are looking more optimistic for our rural communities. If you have a chance, I encourage you to see it for yourself. The recovering drought and fire-effected towns can use your tourism dollars. And it's a great drive, especially from Orange, through Mudgee, to Gunnedah. 

Of course if you are staying local, invite your friends to come to us! Many of our local businesses have reopened and will welcome the extra support. And there is so much to do here on the beaches, for free.

Have a great weekend everyone. 

Michael Regan

Friday 26 June

At our monthly meeting this week, your Council endorsed a range of initiatives which will benefit our community and stimulate our local community.

The newly endorsed budget contains millions of dollars to support our community as we emerge from the pandemic. It also includes an investment of $105million in community infrastructure for new and better roads, footpaths, pools, playgrounds, amenities and sportsfields.

We also passed an initiative to boost the local economy by appointing local concreters to undertake $500,000 of repair and upgrade works and extended fee waivers for outdoor dining until the end of the year.

A new Manly Life Saving Club is a step closer with an agreement to move to the design stage and Pittwater Rugby Club will see minor improvements while we work on a bigger plan for this area. And we resolved to advocate to the NSW Valuer General for those who will have a huge hike in their rates next year thanks to new valuations.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Friday 19 June

In welcome news, the review in to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust has been released, recommending a refreshed vision and plan for North Head and resolution of its long-term future. 

Due to be handed back to the NSW Government in 2032, the former defence site is an incredible community asset that needs better activation, with many of the buildings vacant and decaying. 

On the back of the review, the Federal Government has released $9million for maintenance at North Head and other Trust properties, well short of the $50million recommended by the review, but at least a start. 

We look forward to seeing what can be done to activate this incredible public space and working with the Trust, the State, and Federal governments to ensure it is protected and reinvigorated for future generations. There is so much opportunity to have maximum public benefit of this site and I look forward to playing a role in activating its potential.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Friday 12 June

Happy 90th birthday to Manly Art Gallery & Museum!

It all started when the community rallied for Council to purchase the winning artwork of a competition organised by the proprietor of the Manly Daily way back in the early 1920s. 

From there, artworks were donated by artists and citizens and in 1930, the West Esplanade bandstand was converted into a public art gallery. So launched what is now the oldest metropolitan regional gallery in NSW.

Thanks to the Gallery Society, community and our fantastic staff we have an enduring legacy of local art and culture that attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year. It showcases the work of artists across all disciplines, as well as supporting young up and coming artists through, my favourite, the annual Art Express exhibition of HSC students artworks.

Check out the exhibition marking its great history and book a ticket to visit.  

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

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