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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.

Saturday 3 July 2021

Monday 28 June 2021

Friday 18 June 2021

254 playgrounds, 122 sportsfields, 21 surf club buildings, 6 libraries, 41 community centres, 15 child care sites, 2 aquatic centres, 15 rockpools, a regional art gallery, a 400-seat theatre, wharves, walking tracks, cycleways, roads and footpaths…there is plenty of competition for how to spend Council’s annual budget!

 The 2021/22 Budget will see a record $125million spend on new and existing infrastructure, will pay down another $5million in debt and deliver a reduction in rates to 76% of households through harmonisation. 

 Residents often ask how we decide which park, road or footpath gets priority. There is a science behind it.

 We have over $2.9 billion worth of infrastructure assets and a 10-year plan to guide what is renewed when. Keeping our parks, playgrounds, pools and buildings well-maintained costs ratepayers less in the long term. 

Since amalgamation we have had a real focus on getting all our assets up to standard. We now have 80% rated as in excellent or good condition. So we need to keep those at the standard our community expect and focus on getting the other 20% up to scratch.   

We also have sophisticated road condition modelling system that allows us to make upgrades to roads that are in reasonable condition to prevent more costly repairs down the track.

And, of course, in some cases, while a building might be structurally sound, it’s outgrown its purpose and needs to be replaced to meet current community needs. 

In 2021/22 there are exciting new capital projects like Mona Vale and Long Reef surf clubs, Warriewood Community Centre, new playgrounds, shopping precinct upgrades and new amenities. But there is also significant expenditure on just making sure our existing community infrastructure is meeting our standards.

Thanks to everyone who had their say through the budget development process. We do consider all feedback and where infrastructure improvements can’t be addressed this year, I can assure you they are factored in our long term plans.

Have a great weekend.

Friday 11 June

How great are our local kids! I am constantly impressed by the talent, enthusiasm and skill of Northern Beaches teenagers.

And at Council we’d like to hear more of what our future leaders think. Applications are open now for our Youth Advisory Group, 30 young people who give us their feedback and ideas for events, programs and projects. We are looking for five young people from each ward, aged 12-21. Applications close 27 June.

We are also launching a new program to mentor young people to produce a local event for other young people. They’ll get to plan and develop the event through a series of workshops run by industry professionals. A great opportunity to learn new skills and make a difference. Apply now.

Or if art is more your thing, there are just eight days left to get your entries in for the new Environmental Art and Design Prize. There are a number of categories including two especially for young artists and designers, one for ages 7-12 and the second 13-18 years. With a $2,000 prize for each youth category, and the chance to have works exhibited, it’s well worth an entry.

It was fantastic to host Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC Governor of New South Wales this week. She met with our Chambers of Commerce and some of our local businesses in Avalon to hear about the ongoing challenges businesses face due to COVID-19. Her interest and support is appreciated.

Finally, whatever you do this long weekend, drive safely and remember double demerit points. Police will be out in force.

Have a great weekend

Friday 4 June

“Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid.”

That’s the message from the United Nations this World Environment Day 2021, encouraging everyone across the world to do more to “make peace with nature” and join #GenerationRestoration.

Council can help! Our free Simplifying Solar expo in Manly tomorrow will help you navigate the ins and outs of energy efficiency, renewable energy, solar and battery technology and the solar installation process. You can even win one of three free home energy assessments on the day.

For local businesses, we’re also hosting a business webinar next week to help you save on emissions and energy costs.

And we have a number of other fun activities this weekend like a bird walk and talk and our community nursery open day (with plant giveaway).

Busy this weekend? We have plenty of online options available including an A to Z of recycling and some great ‘how-tos’ on making possum dreys, using worm farms, creating bees wax wraps and planting natives.

At Council we are also pulling our weight by powering Council sites with 100% renewable-sourced electricity (saving $1.9 million over the next seven years), slashing our annual emissions by about 80%. We have partnered on a community battery trial in Beacon Hill (at no cost) and installed over 800KW of solar panels on our buildings. We are investing in electric cars for our fleet, and the infrastructure needed to power them, and working with Ausgrid to replace all our street lights with LED’s to further reduce our energy consumption and save 10’s of thousands dollars per year to boot.

Plus we have lots of programs to support the community and businesses to reduce single use plastics, cut water consumption and energy use thus saving you money, and much much more

There is plenty we all can do to become #GenerationRestoration. Let’s be bold together.

Have a great weekend.

Friday 28 May

A sad time on the Northern Beaches at the passing of two of our greats – Bob Fulton and Col Crawford.

‘Bozo’ was a true sporting legend with too many accolades to list here, both as a player and coach. He inspired the best from those around him and his contribution, not just to the Sea Eagles but to the broader code, cannot be understated. He will be sorely missed.

Col Crawford was another local giant. He was not just a very successful businessman but a generous supporter of many local charities, raising millions of dollars for those in need. I know his incredible legacy will live on under the stewardship of the next generations of Crawfords.

We acknowledged the contributions of both and offered our sympathies to friends and families at our monthly Council meeting on Tuesday night.

At the meeting we also resolved to release for community feedback a draft masterplan for Manly’s Ivanhoe Park and two strategies which seek to foster a safe, inclusive and socially sustainable community. We endorsed a trial for The Strand at Dee Why, making it more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, and will ask the state government to review boating usage in Cabbage Tree Bay and to save Killarney Point as public open space.

Finally, don’t forget to grab tickets for the final days in our month-long Taste of the Beaches food and wine festival or join one of the many events we are hosting to mark World Environment Day.

Have a great weekend!

Friday 21 May

Massive shout out to all our volunteers this week!

It’s National Volunteer Week, time to celebrate the six million volunteers who dedicate over 600 million hours a year helping others.

At Council we are fortunate to have over 900 volunteers across 12 different services involved in things like regenerating our bushland, delivering Meals on Wheels, supporting big events, looking after our gardens, helping visitors, maintaining tracks and delivering library books.

Our thanks to every single one of you – your support is absolutely invaluable.

I know it works both ways too, with volunteers getting a lot of satisfaction out of the work they do. If you’d like to join us as a volunteer, it’s easy to register your interest here.

And make sure you check out our events calendar – there is so much going on at present. The new creative space at Mona Vale is open to explore this weekend with local artworks and craft. Taste of the Beaches is in full swing – don’t miss out on the finale event at the Palm Beach Wine Garden, tickets available now. Plus put Sat 5 June in you diary for the household solar expo and find out how you can save on average $1,412/year. 

Have a great weekend.

 

Friday 14 May

I was fortunate enough this week to be taken over the Harbour Trust’s new Draft Concept for North Head.

 
This is one of the most significant large pieces of public open space on the Beaches and is treasured for its natural and cultural heritage. The Concept, among other things, proposes to restore many of the historic buildings to their former glory, establish interpretive and environment education centres and a First Nations welcoming space. Make sure you see what’s planned and have your say

How inspiring are our environmental warriors here on the Northern Beaches? This week we honoured many passionate volunteers for their contributions in the 2021 Northern Beaches Eco Awards. From bush regenerators to wildlife carers, sustainability advocates and ocean protectors, our community is lucky to have you working so tirelessly to protect and enhance our precious environment. 

Special mention to Phil Colman who received the Individual Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong contribution to the preservation of our coastal environments and the education of residents and visitors. 
On a sad note, this week we lost a Northern Beaches champion. Swimming coach and all-round legend John ‘Jack’ Carter OAM passed away on Monday, aged 90, leaving an indelible legacy.
Jack spent most of his adult life mentoring thousands of children in swimming and water safety. Jack’s contribution to the community is enshrined in the ocean pool at Palm Beach which we named after him in 2018.
My sincere condolences go out to his family, relatives and friends. Long may he be remembered. 
 

Friday 7 May

I’m sure all your hearts sank as low as mine when you heard Northern Beaches venues listed as part the latest COVID alert this week.

We need to let NSW Health contact tracers do their job and take it as a reminder that the risk of COVID is still prevalent. We all know the drill – follow the restrictions, wear your mask, sanitise hands, get tested and isolate if unwell and keep using those QR codes to check in wherever you go.

In the meantime, get your entries in for the all-new Environmental Art & Design Prize Northern Beaches 2021. This is all about using art and design to celebrate what we love about the natural world, how to live more sustainably or shine a light on modern environmental challenges.

There’s a $40,000 prize pool across the nine categories encompassing a range of practices, from fashion to ceramics, video and painting. There is even a youth category.

So find out more and make sure you get your entry in by 21 June and stay tuned for more information on the host of in-studio events that will complement the prize program.

And with our month-long food and wine festival in full swing, don’t miss getting your tickets for Taste of the Beaches events, all being held in line with COVID safety measures.

Have a good weekend.

Friday 30 April 2021

It was a full Council meeting this week as we debated a range of initiatives for our community. Thanks to the many people who addressed the Council, speaking so passionately about the issues they care about.

We agreed to sponsor a new concert series planned for North Head, continuing to support the recovery of our area and back great events for our community. Stay tuned for more info.

We endorsed the draft budget for 2021/22 to go out for community feedback which features $106million of capital projects across the whole area. This includes around $65.2m on new assets such as surf clubs, new parks and public amenities and important infrastructure that protects our environment. 

It also includes $40.4m for renewing existing assets such as our extensive road and footpath program and maintaining all our assets to ensure they are kept to a high standard and save ratepayer dollars in the long term.

I’d encourage you to see what’s planned and have your say.

We also voted to call for an end to shark netting and instead use a combination of alternative shark mitigation measures like drone surveillance, smart lines, listening stations and deterrent devices that still prioritise swimmer safety and reduce the impact on other species like turtles and dolphins.

And we are progressing the possibility of creating new off leash dog areas at Palm Beach (North) and Mona Vale Beach (South). Our next steps are getting community input and progressing the environmental impact assessments.  

Finally, our month long food and wine festival, Taste of the Beaches, kicks off tomorrow with an exciting selection of events. Make sure you check the program and get your tickets.

Have a great weekend.

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