• 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 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

Saturday 27 October 2018

Some great news this week as the State Government stepped in to provide the final $2.5 million funding to rebuild the Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club building. The concept design is spectacular and overwhelmingly supported by the community.

It will provide top facilities for our volunteer and professional lifesavers but will also be used extensively by the broader community for decades to come.

This is another success story of our amalgamated Council – made possible with savings and funds secured as a result of the Council merger including the State Government Stronger Communities Fund.

A huge thanks to local MP Rob Stokes and hats off to the collaboration between Council, Club and the working group who have got the project to this point. We expect to start work by mid next year.

It’s exciting that the renewal of Long Reef Surf Club is also motoring on with some positive early feedback from the community on the draft plans. You can still see and comment on the plans or visit the drop-in session at the Club today, 12 - 2pm.

And of course Council voted last week to get the planning for a new surf club building at Manly underway. The current building is old and tired and not meeting the needs of the many groups, locals and visitors that use it. We’ll be starting from scratch on this one and I’m looking forward to hearing the vision of the community and the Club so we can create an iconic building befitting its world-renowned location.

Finally a shout out to all those dedicated grandparents out there. Spoil them rotten tomorrow as it’s NSW Grandparents Day. Council is hosting an expo for grandparents (and kids) on 8 November at Dee Why RSL. The Grand Connections expo promises to be a jam-packed day with over 20 information stalls, fun interactive play sessions, grandparenting workshops and a family photo booth. And it’s all free.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 20 October 2018

Nearly half of all Australians will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime. And if you don’t, you probably know someone who does. Reducing the stigma around mental health is critical if we are to encourage people to reach out when they need support. That’s why October’s Mental Health Month is so important.

Dunbar Park plays host this evening to the Avalon Mental Health Fair, complete with an outdoor screening of the blockbuster movie Wonder Woman. Pack a picnic and some cushions, grab some goodies, chat with support services and sit back and enjoy the film.

Or enjoy the forecast sunshine by doing the Manly Invictus Games Walk and Talk. Download the conversation starters and walk some, or all, of the 2.6km scenic path between Shelly and Queenscliff beaches – a great mental health initiative.

Have you heard of the ‘Human Library’ movement gaining popularity across the world? Council is excited to again be a part of it and we are looking for ‘human books’ willing to ‘loan’ themselves out for conversations of around 20 minutes each at an event on 1 December at the Tramshed. It’s all about breaking down prejudice and seeing other perspectives. I know many of you have amazing stories to share so please do put up your hand to be part of it. Expressions of interest close next Wednesday.

Thanks to the hundreds of residents that turned out to share their views on the Beaches Link tunnel at Council’s forum this week. It’s fair to say that while the tunnel has some support, our community has some serious concerns with the current concept design and we’ll be feeding that in to our submission to the NSW Government.

And finally, come down to the Brookie Show this weekend. Inflatable rides, circus, trolls, bubbles and a silent disco – kids will love it! Parking will be limited so public transport will be your best option and don’t forget to bring your refillable water bottle.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 13 October 2018

I hope you can pop down to the Tramshed Arts and Community Centre at Narrabeen today for its much anticipated official opening.

This cherished facility has seen an entire revamp of the site as it was outdated and needed to be modernised to bring its facilities up to current standards.

It’s now complete with a community centre and hall, an inclusive playground, basketball courts, a new café and a restored tram.

We’ll see the return of up to 65 classes a week from art to fitness classes and community support groups.

The project was a long time in the making and we really appreciate your patience during construction.

Next week marks the start of Carers Week which recognises and celebrates the outstanding contribution Australia’s 2.7 million unpaid carers make to our country.

On behalf of our community, I want to thank the local service providers and all our carers for the vital role they play in our community. I hope they can find time to take a break and engage in our range of free activities focused on getting together and having fun. They certainly deserve it.

We have a great line-up of activities especially for carers throughout the week including meditation, craft, health tips, cooking demonstrations, a movie screening and even massages. More information on Carers Week activities.

I’d also like to welcome the new CEO, Mr Ray Brownlee who started just over a week ago.

With his extensive career in local government and most recently as General Manager of Randwick City Council, he has already got down to the business of providing the best services and facilities to our community.

He has hit the ground running and I, along with my fellow elected representatives, look forward to working with him to make the Northern Beaches an even better place to live, work and visit. Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 6 October 2018

For hundreds of commuters travelling to and from the city every day, a tunnel that reduces travel time sounds like bliss. For others living near the construction zone and entry points, the prospect of the Beaches Link Tunnel may be a cause for concern.

If you haven’t yet seen the detailed designs for the state government’s proposed tunnel, I’d encourage you to have a look on the RMS website or attend one of the many information sessions they are hosting throughout October.

Council is also preparing a submission on the project for the state government and we are keen to include all your thoughts to ensure your voice is heard. You can now register to attend Council’s community forum on the tunnel project which will be held at 6pm on 17 October at Balgowlah RSL. We are in the early stages of a long process but we have a real chance to influence the design from the beginning.

And on the subject of transport, tomorrow is the last day to tell us what you think about Council’s 20-year strategy to combat the traffic and transport issues facing us all on the Beaches. We have some big targets to reduce car usage, improve public transport and get us all out walking and cycling more.

It’s NSW Small Business Month and we love to invest in our local community! If you have a local business and would like to work with us, join one of our workshops running throughout the month. Get some tips on how to win Council tenders and meet our procurement requirements. We also have a series of free events to get you inspired to start your own business or promote your existing one.

Finally, a massive congratulations to all the staff, performers and local businesses who made the Manly Jazz Festival a spectacular success over the long weekend. With visitation peaking at 180,000 over the three days, this event just goes from strength to strength.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 29 September 2018

Our internationally acclaimed Manly Jazz Festival rolls across this long weekend bringing great music to numerous beachside venues, inside and out. Download the map and program so you don’t miss a minute.

The long weekend marks the start of the summer swimming season too and you’ll be pleased to see the red and yellow flags back on our beaches up and down the coast as lifeguard patrols kick off. Fingers crossed we see some sunshine!

Given double demerits are in full force until Monday, there is no better time to get on board with our competition to find Northern Beaches safest driver. Get the app, improve your driving and be in the running for $5000 in prize money.

Look out for the giant excavators which have just started the job of clearing 45,000 tonnes of sand from the entrance to Narrabeen Lagoon. The works will help reduce the risk of flooding and also replenish the beach further down at Narrabeen and Collaroy. It’s a big task but we are hoping to have the lagoon reopen for the summer holidays. 

I’d encourage you to have a say on some of the great projects we are currently seeking input on. We’ve just released some lovely concept plans for a new surf club and beach facilities at Long Reef, there is a new kids playground planned for Allambie Heights and you can give us feedback on our Tree Canopy Plan which aims to make the Northern Beaches even greener.  

And finally, a shout out to all those year 12 students who graduated this week – we’re thinking of you as you sit those big exams over the next month or so. 

Have a great, and safe, long weekend.

Michael Regan