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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A lot can happen in the space of a few weeks. The way we live is changing every day as the state and federal governments put measures in place to stop the spread of the virus.
We are a social and active community. It’s hard to be told we can’t go swimming in our favourite rock pool, play a game of touch footy in the park or enjoy a Sunday afternoon picnic with family or friends. However, this is our new reality. And we need to do as we are asked, not just for our health but for the health of all those we love.
Please take it seriously. Stay home as much as you can. And know that we’ll get through this together.
This week we took additional steps and closed our community centres, playgrounds, ocean pools and skate parks. Signs are progressively being put up across these areas to ensure people are aware of the closures. While we also closed all our library branches, we launched our Click and Collect library service where you can order online and pick up your books and dvds outside your local library branch.
At the time of printing we are still operating our childcare and customer service centres. You’ll see our staff still out fixing roads, footpaths and stormwater drains, maintaining parks and gardens, working on capital projects and collecting rubbish. Our planners are still assessing DAs and our cleaning teams are working around the clock.
In this brave new world we are still trying to service the community, just in different ways.
We are committed to helping our community anyway we can. We’ve moved some of our youth and adolescent counselling services online so we can still provide this support. As we move forward we’ll continue to review what we can do to help our community connect through these challenging times.
For our businesses, we passed a $1.2 million package at our Council meeting this week which includes fee relief and flexibility to help them do things differently too. We’re working with our chambers of commerce to make sure everything we do will have the most impact and fill any gaps in state and federal government packages.
This is a tough time and it’s not going to end quickly. Please continue to follow the advice of health and government officials and stay safe.
The Northern Beaches community is pretty special. Thanks to those who have sent messages of support to me and our staff during this time. We thrive on positives as a community.
In an otherwise challenging week, it was great to welcome more than 100 locals as new citizens after they discovered the world’s best kept secret – the Northern Beaches.
COVID-19 (coronavirus) is here with us and in the news every day. Council’s senior staff and I continue to meet every day including across the weekend as things evolve and change, following the advice of our lead state and federal government agencies.
The safety and wellbeing of our staff and community are at the centre of our response.
We understand that these decisions have a huge impact on our community and I want to tell you they have not been made lightly. We need to comply with the 1.5m social distancing required by the Federal Government and that has huge ramifications for the way we operate.
Be assured that our decisions are being reviewed daily and we will reopen all our facilities - aquatic centres, galleries, theatre and our three closed libraries - as soon as we can.
Our focus is on maintaining essential services like waste collection, childcare, road maintenance and Meals on Wheels. And we are putting in place a range of measures that will support the most vulnerable and help our local businesses.
Manly, Warringah Mall and Mona Vale libraries remain open. Monday to Friday, 9-11am has been set aside for customers with a disability, older and vulnerable people and their carers; after 11am others are welcome. We’re also expanding our home library service and will offer a Click and Collect book service.
To assist the business community who are already feeling the pressure, we have developed a $1.2million Business Support Plan to compliment those of state and federal governments. It includes fee waivers, flexible delivery and parking arrangements and business marketing support.
Council is doing what we can to support local business during these tough times ahead and I hope you all will too. It’s as simple as two words: ‘shop local’.
We are a very resilient community and while we are in unprecedented territory, we are all in this together. Please check in on your neighbours, support each other and follow advice from health authorities.
Next week applications open for our 2020/21 grants program with over $310,000 worth of grants for projects and initiatives for the environment, community development and arts and creativity.
To support potential applicants we’ll be running a series of information sessions and grant writing workshops over the next month to give individuals and community groups the best chance of success. If you have a project that is creative,
innovative, will improve the environment or benefit our local community make sure you find out more and get your application in by 30 April.
Last chance to head to Manly for the Sydney Surf Pro today as finalists battle it out for the crown. Plus catch all the colour of the Kombi Rally featuring more than 40 kombis in a convoy from Tania Park to Manly, finishing with a display on the beachfront.
Harmony Week starts tomorrow and is a celebration of our vibrant and multicultural community – from the oldest continuous culture of our First Australians to the cultures of our newest arrivals from around the world.
Explore the Bahá’í House of Worship, learn about bush tucker, see the amazing frescos of St Sava Church at Ingleside or go in a traditional Austrian hammer and nail competition. And more! Events run until 28 March, book online now.
There are some interesting projects out for public comment at the moment including the draft Bike Plan. Compared to the Sydney average, we have high numbers of bike riders on the Northern Beaches and this plan is about continuing to support and encourage people to get out of their cars and choose other transport options. You can have your say now.
Finally, the Sea Eagles take on traditional rivals Melbourne Storm in their first game of the season tomorrow arvo. Go Manly!
Have a great weekend!
A huge congratulations to the incredible young visual artists recognised as part of the Express Yourself 2020 exhibition of HSC major works from students of 20 local high schools.
The Theo Batten Youth Art Award, named in honour of former local artist Theo Batten who bequeathed funds for the award, was shared between two fantastic emerging artists from Northern Beaches Christian School, Jasmin Pike and George Cox.
The Manly Art Gallery & Museum Society Award was shared between three talented students, Kaya Vulevic, Annika Rose Curotta and Charlie Belic.
Make sure you get down to see the work of these and other young artists at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum before the exhibition closes at the end of the month. You won’t be disappointed!
The Sydney Surf Pro kicks off tomorrow featuring over 200 of the world's best surfers competing in Manly. Check out Aloha Alley in the back streets and laneways in the evening next Wednesday to Friday and all the colour of the Kombi Rally next Saturday.
Just in time for this event, Council has revamped Manly’s visitor website with plenty of info, events and suggestions for people from out of town. As the tourism gateway to the Northern Beaches hellomanly.com.au is one of the many ways we support local business and encourage people to explore all that our unique area has to offer.
And if you’d like to be part of a local world record breaking attempt to form the world’s largest human pineapple, plus raise funds for the Kid’s Cancer Project, visit bluebottle.org.au now, registrations close tomorrow.
As a final note, like all responsible organisations, Council is taking proactive and measured steps to manage the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to staff and the community, following advice provided by state and federal health authorities. For the latest information visit health.gov.au.
Have a great weekend.
This week the Northern Beaches police community farewelled Superintendent David Darcy APM, who has served this community over the last 12 years as Commander of the Northern Beaches Police Area.
His commitment to quality policing on the beaches, his integrity and dedication to working closely with community groups and his extraordinary commitment to tackling suicide prevention has been world class. He recognises that community safety does not happen in isolation. Police cannot be responsible for crime prevention alone and we have to work together to be effective. Our Northern Beaches Safety Committee of which Dave Darcy played an integral role epitomises the cooperation and collaboration that ensures that our community remains one of the safest in the country.
I’m sure you will join me in wishing him and his family well as he commences his new life. His vision and his friendship I will personally miss but he has left a strong foundation for policing on the Northern Beaches into the future.
McCarrs Creek Road has long been a haven for antisocial ‘hoon’ behaviour and quite rightly the residents have had enough. This week after a meeting with the Local Member for Pittwater, the Hon. Rob Stokes, MP, Superintendent Darcy APM, and members of the Bayview Church Point Resident Association we will be proposing a pilot project of establishing point to point speed cameras along this road to address the antisocial behaviour that is affecting the nearby residents along with some other safety measures.
This week Council endorsed Towards 2040, our Local Strategic Planning Statement, which will now make its way to the Greater Sydney Commission for approval. This is a substantial piece of work that has taken a couple of years to prepare and I thank the Council staff, community members and others involved for their enormous effort in preparing the 20-year vision for our local government area – which is our response to the State Government's plan for Greater Sydney.
Finally, next Friday we will be celebrating International Women’s Day. 2020 is about #EachforEqual, and encourages us to work together to drive action for gender parity, whilst also acknowledging and celebrating the many achievements of women. Our International Women’s Day Breakfast at the Manly Pavilion with guest speaker Jessica Rowe AM, is already sold out but head to council’s website for details of other Council and community events.
As we farewell summer I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.
Tuesday night sees Council meeting for the first time in 2020.
There is plenty for my fellow Councillors and I to review and discuss. I am especially looking forward to discussing how Council can appropriately acknowledge and recognise our local emergency service volunteers and the communities that were devastatingly impacted by the recent bushfires.
Another important item on the agenda is the latest draft of Towards 2040, Council’s Local Strategic Planning Statement. This is our response to the Greater Sydney Commission’s broader plan for our ever growing City. I would like to commend our staff, fellow Councillors and the community for the extraordinary work that has been done to prepare this 20-year vision for our area.
As many residents are aware, Council is committed to reducing the number of car trips on the Northern Beaches. To do this, we are building better infrastructure to support alternative forms of transport, such as bike riding. This week we installed double-decker bike racks at Manly Wharf as part of a trial allowing up to 102 bicycles to be securely stored at any one time.
On a normal weekday, over 300 bikes are parked at the wharf, and these new racks provide 60 percent more parking than the older style ones they replaced. We are monitoring their use closely and if they prove to be a good solution, we may install more at Manly and other cycling hot spots across the Beaches.
For those looking for a cultural break, be sure to check out two new exciting exhibitions at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Express Yourself and Bill Leak - Life Drawing, which kick off next Friday 28 February. You will be amazed to discover the depth of artistic talent among our young people on display at Express Yourself. Former cartoonist for The Australian Bill Leak is lesser known for his life drawings but they certainly make for a fascinating exhibition.
Finally, tomorrow afternoon I will be donning my cricket whites at my favourite place Manly Oval for a great cause - a T20 Celebrity Cricket game to fundraise for the Brain Cancer Group. The fun begins at 2pm in what promises to be a family-friendly terrific day. The line-up is very impressive with a mix of Sydney Swans, Sea Eagles and a reality TV star or two.
Have a great weekend
2020. We are not even two months in yet and already it’s a year of extremes. First, we were on high alert facing catastrophic fire conditions and then straight into sandbagging for flood prevention and supporting our emergency services in yet another widespread storm event. This is off the back of huge storms weathered in November 2019, damaging houses and roads and leaving residents without power for extended periods.
It has certainly kept Council crews busy! Last Thursday we readied excavators into our lagoons to prepare for the heavy rainfall predicted across the weekend. Both Manly and Narrabeen Lagoon entrances were opened by late Friday but the large swell and tides leading into Sunday coupled with more than 400mm of rainfall and wind gusts of over 100km per hour still required evacuations for many in the Narrabeen community.
Teams have been at the coal face assisting the emergency services, setting up evacuation centres, attending to more than 850 fallen trees on public land, hundreds of road and drainage repairs and other issues. Since Sunday we have had more than 2,870 calls mostly related to storm damage.
We all heaved a collective sigh of relief when conditions eased on Monday but sadly we had to make the call to cancel our bushfire fundraiser Rock Relief, which should have played today. Brookvale had seen over a third of its annual rainfall in just a few days and with a complex set up and more rain predicted, we couldn’t access the grounds to set up safely or in time, and we couldn’t guarantee the weather would hold out.
It certainly wasn’t a decision we took lightly. We’d raised over $110,000 and expected much more with tickets sales always peaking the week of such an event. A massive thanks to all the artists, supporters and sponsors, staff and our community, who got behind this event.
Our commitment to helping those in bushfire affected communities continues unabated. Next week we have staff heading to Bega Valley Shire Council to back up their exhausted staff and to help in recovery efforts.
In the meantime our focus this week has been on clean up, helping those without power access hot showers and charging facilities and putting arrangements in place to manage excess green waste – please check the website for all the details.
It seems like we are not totally out of the woods yet. We are closely monitoring predictions of high seas and the threat of coastal erosion this weekend and ready to act if needed.
Stay dry and safe!
More incredible footage has come to light this week, showing the extreme circumstances faced by firefighters across the summer. Hundreds of our local RFS crews have been on the front line and continue to back up their fatigued colleagues around NSW.
That’s one of the reasons we are putting on a massive fundraising concert, Rock Relief - to say thanks to these local heroes for their service, and to their families left to hold the fort when they are away.
And if that wasn’t enough to get you interested, in exciting news this week we’ve added Eskimo Joe’s Kav Temperley to the line-up. He will join one of my favourites, The Superjesus’ Sarah Mcleod, to sing for the first time to a live audience a song they co-wrote about the bushfire crisis. Throw in the Hoodoos, Nollsy, Graace and The Choirboys, market stalls and food and beverage trucks and you’ve got the makings of a great day out.
Only seven days now until the big event. If you can’t go, how about buying a ticket or two for someone else? Or for a firey and their family? Seriously, let’s get behind this and show them we care. Get your ticket at beachesrockrelief.com.au
Next week we are launching a new program called 1000 Books Before School. We know that early literacy is the foundation for doing well at school, socialising with others and developing independence so this program is all about providing incentives for kids, and parents, to share the joy of reading. Find out more and register at your local library next week.
Finally, there’s a packed three week program of events and activities on offer for the 2020 Seniors Festival, kicking off Wednesday. Learn tech skills, join a gallery tour or learn how to write your memoirs. Book now.
Have a great weekend!
Fantastic to see so many in our community out celebrating Australia Day at our events last Sunday. A huge welcome to the 174 new residents from 26 countries who became Australians on the day. Seeing the pride and joy on their faces as they take their pledges makes citizen ceremonies one of my favourite roles as Mayor.
Best of luck to the thousands of people taking part in the Sun Run and Cole Classic this weekend. We rescued these events, in partnership with Manly Life Saving Club, late last year so it’s great to see so many locals taking part. See you at the starting line!
The Seniors Festival is fast approaching and there is plenty on offer with author talks, tech and finance information sessions, walking tours, music and even a grandkids miniature pony show. The festival runs 12 – 29 February.
And don’t miss out on tickets for what I’m told is the biggest fundraising concert ever held on the Northern Beaches. It’s an opportunity for us to come together, say thanks to local firefighters and support those in drought and fire affected areas. It’s a top line up with Hoodoo Gurus, Shannon Noll, Christine Anu and many more, food and beverage stalls and even some activities for the kids. Stay tuned as we announce some exciting additions to the line up over the coming week. Get your tickets online now.
Finally, if you haven’t caught up with the incredible locals who took out the 2020 Northern Beaches Australia Day awards, check out the list, you might just know someone. They are all ages, come from all walks of life and all embody the generous and giving spirit of great Australians.
Have a great weekend!
I’m thrilled we are hosting Rock Relief, a huge benefit concert right here on the Beaches. On Saturday 15 February, top Australian bands including headliners Hoodoo Gurus, will perform at Brookie Oval to raise funds for those impacted by drought and bushfires. Grab your tickets to this all ages gig now and help us raise $1million for those in need.
Congratulations to Ben Tory, 2020 Northern Beaches Citizen of the Year, awarded at our Australia Day Awards ceremony this week. A paramedic, Ben gives thousands of hours each year to emergency services such as SES, RFS, St John Ambulance and Team Rubicon, spending any spare time volunteering in the community.
Our 2020 Senior Citizen of the Year, Helen Hendry, is just as deserving, dedicating her time to easing the end of life journey for many in palliative care and their families.
Eleven-year-old Dia MacNamara, 2020 Young Citizen of the Year, is already making a difference, establishing a school collection of plastic bottle lids which are then made into prosthetic limbs.
Incredible young Collaroy gymnast Chloe Trisic was crowned 2020 Sportsperson of the Year. A national and international champion, Chloe is an exceptional role model to other young gymnasts.
Arts for Wellness was named 2020 Community Event of the Year, coordinating events attended by over 500 people provided by more than 30 local practitioners during Mental Health Month.
Our 2020 Outstanding Community Service Awards recognised a group of truly outstanding locals who have dedicated their time to others. This deserving group includes long-term volunteer lifesavers, firefighters, scout leaders, and individuals supporting people with disability, young people, the homeless and protecting the environment. Congratulations to all.
Have a great long weekend. Hope you can make it to one of the big events we are hosting alongside our community tomorrow for Australia Day. All of the details are on our website.
Have a great weekend!