• 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 18 January 2020

I have been sincerely moved this week to see the generous response of the Australian people to the devastating bushfires and ongoing drought.

I am in awe of how our community has found ways to help others at this time. Council is also doing its bit to help the bushfire recovery effort in various ways.

We are donating all profits from the Sun Run on Saturday 1 February to WIRES. Runners can make an additional donation at the time of registration, so if you haven’t already registered jump online and please dig deep.

Throughout our summer events including Christmas concerts, New Years Eve and last weekend’s popular Outdoor Cinema, we have been working with Rotary and the RFS who together have collected almost $9,000 in community donations.

Council, along with staff also supported Avalon Surf Life Saving Club’s appeal by donating essential supplies like ventilation masks and air mattresses, along with 168,000 litres of drinking water that was delivered to a dozen families on the south coast.

Over the holiday period, we also had the privilege of hosting four families from drought-affected Mullaley, just west of our sister city Gunnedah, at Manly Beach. Royal Far West, along with some of our generous local businesses and Council, helped these families have a few days respite from their tough lives.

We all welcome the sweet relief of rain and cooler temperatures that finally paid us a visit this week.

Still, with water supplies in Sydney at such a low, Council is also working with Sydney Water in a bid to help residents and businesses reduce our water use. Find out how you can do your bit at Sydney Water’s website.

January on the Beaches is all about beach swims, school holidays, Australia Day, and the launch of Northern Composure - the largest and longest-running youth band competition in the area.

Entrants will get a chance to take part in workshops, perform on stage to an audience and gain local exposure for their talents. There are also lots of prizes up for grabs with a total prize pool of $10,000. Entries are open now and close 14 February. The competition runs in March with finals in April, as part of National Youth Week. I encourage all our young bands to give it a shot.

Have a great weekend!

Michael Regan

Saturday 11 January 2020

Happy new year! I hope you were able to have some quality time with family and friends over the holiday period and enjoy plenty of the great things that make the Northern Beaches so special over summer.

Thanks to Council staff, hospitality workers, health and emergency services and the many others who kept the place going while so many took their annual break.

And of course all our thanks goes to the many volunteers who also gave up their holiday time to fight the devastating fires we saw ravage much of the state during this time.

Our local district rural fire brigades have sent crews and trucks to parts of NSW every day since the beginning of August.

At our Council meeting just before Christmas, we resolved to call on the government to make sure no volunteers would be out of pocket due to their efforts. It’s good to see there is some action being taken to address this issue at the federal level.

We are continuing to make sure any RFS volunteers who are also employed at Council are not financially disadvantaged or their annual leave entitlements impacted while they are on the fire line. It’s time the Local Government Award was reviewed to see how all councils can better support volunteers in these kinds of emergencies.

More broadly I’ve witnessed incredible generosity and support from across our community all wanting to do their bit to help.

I’ve seen kids selling cupcakes on the street, people asking that money for birthday presents instead be directed to welfare agencies and bushfire supply collections coordinated. It’s fantastic to see such big-heartedness on show.

We are also supporting the fundraising efforts. We facilitated collections by Rotary at the New Year’s Eve event in Manly and the RFS will be collecting at our open air cinema at Brookvale Oval tonight. We’ll also donate any profits from the Sun Run to agencies working on the recovery efforts.

In the meantime we are being told that the best way everyone can help is still through cash donations to organisations like the Red Cross, St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army.

Have a great weekend. 

Saturday 21 December 2019

As this is the last message of the year, it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate some of the milestones of 2019.

One thing I’m very proud of is seeing the masterplan come together at Lionel Watts. It’s been transformed into a real community hub.

The Narrabeen overwater boardwalk completed last month is also a great achievement of our amalgamated Council, seeing through the vision of local residents like Jim Somerville and others.

The Coast Walk is coming together piece by piece, with more sections complete along this spectacular 36km pathway. And the new Cargo Wharf at Church Point was also completed back in January.

Surf clubs across the area have been upgraded and huge improvements have been made to facilities at Collaroy Beach, North Narra Rockpool, North Harbour Reserve, Manly Dam and Melwood Oval, plus a new sports facility launched at Rat Park.

Our community services team has also done some great work this year, leading a coordinated approach to suicide prevention across the Northern Beaches.

And I’m pleased our advocacy saw some much needed changes to regulations on boarding houses to prevent the massive overdevelopment we saw happening in our suburbs.

While we had some inevitable hiccups with the rollout of our new waste service, we now have an integrated service, saving most residents money.

I simply can’t cover the array of other incredible events, exhibitions and workshops we’ve hosted; the great work done in our planning, child care, customer service, parks, transport, compliance, environment and library teams. Everyone at Council is committed to our community and many will be on deck as the rest of us take a break over the holiday period.

Please everyone, have a safe and happy Christmas. I look forward to doing much more together in 2020.

Saturday 14 December 2019

We all know the drought is hitting hard and as a Council we have been looking at how we can help those in need. This week I received a particular request from the Mayor of our sister city in western NSW, Gunnedah. Mayor Chaffey asked me to spread the word about the #buyfromthebush initiative, encouraging us all to support businesses in regional areas in the lead up to Christmas. Of course as Northern Beaches Mayor I’d always say shop local, but in this circumstance what a difference we could make if we also all bought something from a business in a drought-affected area. There is a list of Gunnedah’s participating outlets available on our website.

Can I also encourage interested community members to nominate for one of our Strategic Reference Groups. We greatly value the input of these groups in steering our priorities and now have a number of vacancies to fill for 2020. The role is not onerous, meeting once a quarter, but provides an invaluable resource for us to share ideas and seek advice.

We are looking for representatives in the community, tourism and tech sectors, volunteer organisations and those in community transport, among others. Nominations close Sunday 5 January.

Congratulations to teenager Jordyn Richards who took out the top prize at Northern Composure Unplugged last weekend, and to all the competing finalists. Our Dee Why Council Chambers have never sounded so good.

And finally, the last Council meeting of the year this Tuesday night promises to be a big one. You can register to address the Council, attend at the Civic Centre in Dee Why or watch it online.

Have a good weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 7 December 2019

It was a fantastic night with standout performances from Jay Laga’aia, Prinnie Stevens and Jack Vidgen, but of course the stars of the night were all our local dance acts, orchestra and volunteer choristers, who put on an amazing performance after only practicing together for a month.

Today from 10am - 12pm at The Centre in Forestville we’ll also keep you entertained with our Santa photo booth, Christmas craft workshop and the kids can even meet our roving elves whilst you enjoy the live music and do your Christmas shopping.

The Freshwater Fair on Sunday will also be a great place to get some shopping done with unique local specials and sales. While you shop you can enjoy the live music and the kids can get their face painted. Don’t forget to also take a load off and enjoy a local eatery.

Our annual Christmas by the Beach will be back again at Dee Why next Friday night and will feature all your favourite traditional carols and a children’s Christmas show. There will also be free face painting, free Santa photos as well as a jumping castle for the kids.

If you are looking for local and zero waste gift ideas, consider grabbing a subscription package or gift voucher from Glen Street Theatre for a loved one (and one for yourself) - that way you’ll get to see the best drama, dance, comedy, film and music right here in your own backyard. The 2020 season has just been released and includes returning sell-out favourite The Wharf Revue which is touring for the very last time. There’s also an incredible Matinee Music program and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow is coming for the first time.

After Christmas, the New Year’s resolutions always come, and what better gift to give yourself and family than health - you can get 2020 off to the right start by registering now for the Sun Run or Cole Classic.

Have a great weekend and good luck to all our young people competing in the Northern Composure Unplugged finals tonight.

Michael Regan 

Saturday 30 November 2019

What a storm. It hit so quickly and didn’t last long but it sure did some damage. Our thoughts are with those still cleaning up and trying to get houses and cars repaired.

At the time of writing, most people have had power restored but there are still some battling without. I know many people are seeking solace in our libraries to work, take a break, use the internet or charge devices. We have libraries open across the weekend if you need them, including extended hours at Forestville Library. We are also opening Community Centre rooms in the Forest Community Arts Centre from 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. The Warringah Aquatic Centre will also be open until 9pm across the weekend if you need a hot shower.

We have been checking in on our customers of the Home Library Service and Meals on Wheels but if you all can please check on your neighbours – it’s the most vulnerable in our community who suffer most during incidents like these.

A shout out to all those involved in the ongoing recovery efforts. The SES, RFS, Ausgrid and NSW Police have been brilliant, alongside many Council staff, working around the clock to remove fallen trees and manage traffic issues.

If you’re in a storm-affected area and find you can’t fit all the debris into your green bin, you can take up to 300kg of green waste to Kimbriki each day (remember to bring your proof of address). Or you can request we collect it from your kerbside by calling 1300 434 434 or logging an issue.

Council didn’t escape the storm and thanks for your patience to those who use our facilities up at Frenchs Forest and Belrose such as our library, childcare centre and the Glen St Theatre which have been closed this week. We are hoping to get all services back on online as soon as possible.

As many will know, we have a big community event planned to launch Lionel Watts new facilities tomorrow. We did debate whether to postpone given the storm but in the end got all hands on deck to get it cleaned up and ready so the community could have a day out. There’s some great circus-style entertainment for the kids and Skater HQ on hand with comps and giveaways.

I am really proud of what we have been able to achieve with the revamped showground, synthetic fields, new all abilities playground and skate park, co-designed with local young people. And there is more to come.

Have a good weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 23 November 2019

November has rolled around again, the month we traditionally raise awareness about family violence, and sadly the statistics haven’t improved. On average one woman a week in Australia is murdered by her current or former partner in Australia. That’s more than 50 of our mothers, sisters, daughters or friends that are killed every year.

I was pleased to walk alongside so many in the Northern Beaches Says No to Domestic Violence Walk yesterday. It really will take the growing awareness of all in our community to turn those statistics around. We can all help by raising awareness, speaking out and learning how to support those affected. A massive shout out to the Northern Beaches Domestic Violence Network for all they do, every day, on the front line of this issue. For help or advice: domestic and family violence information or call 1800RESPECT.

On a lighter note, Council hosted the fabulous Allambie Heights Public School Student Parliament this week. The students came to the Civic Centre in Dee Why, sat in the big Councillor chairs and made some important decisions. I was so proud to watch them put forward a motion to fundraise for firefighters and those affected by the recent bushfires and then adopt it unanimously. What a seriously thoughtful bunch of young people and a fabulous program teaching them about democracy and leadership.

Your Council meets next Tuesday night. Lots on the Council Meeting agenda including the adoption of the Little Manly Masterplan, water facilities for dogs and the draft Road Safety Plan. Come along or watch it online.

Finally, Cromer Park will host the Pararoos first match on home soil since the 2000 Paralympic Games next Saturday. Australia’s Pararoos will take on Canada in this international friendly on our doorstop. Grab a ticket, it should be a great game.

Have a good weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 16 November 2019

It was really impressive to see so many come together this week in the face of 'catastrophic' fire danger.

Our local RFS and emergency services attended a few small fires which were thankfully quickly extinguished. I certainly felt the collective sigh of relief around 9pm Tuesday when the temperature dropped a good ten degrees and it was clear the worst had not eventuated here.

A huge thank you to all those who stepped up to help support and prepare our community in that difficult 24 hour period. From overseeing conditions at the Terrey Hills Emergency Operations Centre to setting up fencing at the horse evacuation sites; to managing road and reserve closures, and providing community updates - we saw a large and coordinated effort across all our local agencies. And of course a particular shout out to all our local firefighters who were on standby, ready to mobilise at a moment’s notice.

We are only at the beginning of what promises to be a challenging summer bushfire season. After witnessing how our services and the community reacted to the threat this week, I have a great deal of confidence that we are ready to face whatever comes our way.

It’s worth mentioning that many others across New South Wales and Queensland were not as lucky as us this week and our hearts go out to those communities affected. If you want to help, organisations like the Red Cross are supporting those bushfire-affected communities and would welcome your donations.

If you are in a fire prone area please make sure you have a bushfire survival plan in place and everyone in your house knows what's in it. The RFS has lots of information available to help you create your plan and be as prepared as you can be for the months ahead.

On a lighter note, the new boardwalk around the edge of Narrabeen Lagoon is now open providing a scenic and safer route away from the busy Wakehurst Parkway. This is a fantastic piece of the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail, a project which has seen the vision of local residents like Jim Somerville and others come to fruition. It's another example of the benefit of the Council amalgamation which has allowed the trail to continue to be completed so spectacularly.

For those so inclined, the trail is a great training location for the Sun Run coming up in February! Registrations open next week.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 9 November 2019

At 11am on the 11th of November 1918 the guns on the Western front fell silent. This moment is forever marked as Remembrance Day - a significant opportunity for us all to remember those who have given their lives in wars and conflicts across the world.

Council is hosting two events in remembrance at Manly Dam and on The Manly Corso on Monday and there are a number of other events being held across the Beaches.

The Harbord RSL sub-Branch and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group are also hosting a family event to mark the centenary of Soldiers Ave at Jacka Park in Freshwater tomorrow from 10am.

Have you seen the makeover of the clubhouse and amenities block at North Narrabeen Rockpool? The $700,000 upgrade includes a refreshed external appearance, undercover seating, a family change room and kitchen - a great improvement on the old block and a much better space for both the community and the members of the local swimming clubs.

Heats are underway for Northern Composure Unplugged. The premier acoustic competition attracts plenty of talented young musicians with a prize pool of $4,000. Look out for the heats near you over the next few weeks before the final on Saturday 7 December.

Finally, a sombre reminder for speeding drivers will be on display in Manly today. Highlighting the differences in the impact on crashed cars travelling at 100 km/h versus 60 km/h, the twisted wreckage of the two vehicles tell a chilling story. On the ocean beachfront, 10am - 2pm.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 2 November 2019

A huge happy 40th birthday to the Warringah Aquatic Centre!

Affectionately known as the WAC, the centre opened in 1979 and has seen over 13 million swimmers through the doors over the past four decades.

Right from the outset the facility attracted both casual simmers and elite athletes. Local Lisa Forrest prepared for the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and Brooke Hanson and Mitchell Patterson trained for their bids for the 2004 Olympics and the 2010 Commonwealth Games respectively.

Other notable users of the centre include Sydney Olympic 2000 water polo gold medallist Deb Watson and champion disability swimmers Matt Levy, Ben Austin and Kate Bailey.

Mostly though, the centre is enjoyed by hundreds of people each week keeping fit, learning to swim or just having a great time splashing about.

Join us to celebrate the milestone tomorrow, with a giant inflatable course, diving boards and face painting. A number of eye-catching contemporary sculptures will also be on display in the WAC garden, not just tomorrow but throughout the summer. There are 17 incredible works featuring emerging and established artists from the local area and beyond, including budding artist Jake James, who is only 11-years-old!

While on the subject of milestones, the forward thinking of legendary ‘clubbie’ Warren Mitchell will be recognised this afternoon at Avalon SLSC.

Back in 1969, Mr Mitchell approached the surf club about the possible use of inflatable boats with a motor for ocean rescues. Multiple rescues later that summer, the IRB’s or ‘rubber duckies’ quickly became a vital aspect of surf rescues, and remain so in 2019 across Australia. What an incredible contribution, many lives have been saved as a result.

For those looking to celebrate the Melbourne Cup next Tuesday, why not enjoy the race festivities while supporting some important local organisations. Northern Beaches Peninsula Pals are hosting a Cup lunch for multiple charities including Sunnyfield and the Burdekin Association, and the Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter are also putting on a Cup event.

And head to Manly today for the inaugural Street Sale. A joint event between Council and Manly Business Chamber, you can grab a bargain at this large outdoor market down the centre of The Corso.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan