• 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 13 July 2019

Celebrations for NAIDOC Week have been occurring around the country including with our own staff acknowledging the significance with a flag raising ceremony at Dee Why Civic Centre on Monday morning with a representative of our local Aboriginal Heritage Office.

NAIDOC Week celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and this year’s theme includes Truth, Voice and Treaty.

To mark NAIDOC, and the month-long Gai-mariagal Festival which winds up this week, we also launched the spectacular Weaving Bridges project on Queenscliff Bridge. This project involves months of workshops with local Aboriginal Elders, creating woven pieces that combine to create an incredible colourful artwork across the bridge. It will be up for the next week or so - make sure you get down to see it.

I know of many people across our area who have taken on the Plastic Free July challenge and are finding creative ways to avoid plastic. The challenge has grown from what was once a humble office initiative in Perth into a global movement, with over two million people in 170 countries taking part annually.

Whether you do the challenge or not, check out the great array of Council waste reduction workshops and take the Swap This for That pledge to replace your plastic bags, water bottles, straws, and coffee cups with reusable alternatives.

You can’t miss the message on our new colourful waste trucks too, helping to spread a mobile reminder for our community and visitors to avoid single use plastics.

Finally, if you are stuck without something for the kids to do next, we’ve got you covered. There are still a few spots available at our Vacation Care centres at Cromer, Curl Curl, Forestville and Manly Vale and I’ve been reliably informed some of the planned excursions include Ice Zoo, Hoyts, Inflatable World and the Quarantine Station.

And check out the Manly Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Aquatic Centre’s daily 30 minute swimming lessons or for the young creative types, the Manly Art Gallery is the place to be next Sunday 21 July for an artist workshop from 10.30am to 12pm.

Bookings are essential to all our activities.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 6 July 2019

It was a proud moment for all our staff recently when Council was officially recognised as an accredited White Ribbon workplace.

It is estimated that on average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner and one in four women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner since the age of 15. These are shocking statistics and it will take a community effort to turn them around.

As an accredited workplace, our Council continues to lead by example and raise awareness through our staff and the community. We provide training to staff to help support those in need and have introduced flexible work policies for anyone experiencing violence. A great initiative.

Elsewhere, many will be pleased to learn that we are putting the Manly Warringah War Memorial Park forward for a National Heritage listing.

If approved, the site, also known as Manly Dam, would join the likes of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, North Head and the Opera House as nationally recognised places of significance.

Given Manly Dam’s importance as a place of reflection and memorial for those fallen in war, it’s high degree of technical achievement as a dam of the era, the prevalence of threatened plant and animal species, and a rich Indigenous history, we hope it will have a good chance of a successful listing.

With a little over 100 approved venues across the country, to see Manly Dam added to the National List would be a massive coup for our area. Thank you to the various community members for pushing this forward.

Sport has always been a massive part of our identity on the Northern Beaches, so I am happy to confirm applications for the 2019/20 round of Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Grants are now open. This is a great opportunity for clubs and organisations to get a financial boost for worthy projects. Apply online by Monday 12 August.

Finally, a shout out to the many businesses who came along to our Swap for Good expo earlier this week. It was fantastic to see so many businesses learning from each other on how to eliminate single use plastics.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 29 June 2019

This week your Council endorsed a $453.5 million budget, with a $110.3 million capital works program. It’s a responsible budget with an emphasis on getting our assets like pools, wharves, sportsfields, roads and playgrounds up to scratch.

We continue to pay down the loans inherited from the former Councils plus outstrip the projected efficiency savings promised by amalgamation, allowing us to invest $29.5 million into new priority infrastructure, improved service levels and lower waste charges for ratepayers.

Our surf clubs will get a $1.5 million investment to improve their buildings, on top of $3.8 million for brand new clubs at Long Reef, Mona Vale and works at Manly.

Around $3 million will go to new footpaths and a continued investment in the 36km Manly to Palm Beach Coast Walk of another $3.7 million.

And we are prioritising areas of need our community has asked for, increasing our cleaning services in public areas and providing more childcare places for children under three.

Residents will see a local government CPI-like increase averaging $37 next financial year to cover rising costs for providing Council services, however, many residents will also receive a larger reduction in their waste charges as a result of the new consolidated waste service. In fact it’s one of the lowest domestic waste charges in Sydney.

Speaking of which, look out for the fleet of new garbage trucks which hit the road next week. In an Australian first for a domestic waste service, the entire domestic waste fleet will have fully enclosed hoppers to reduce odour and litter. Plus all the latest in safety features and technology to lift the service for residents.

Boarding houses are back in the news this week following the approval by the L&E Court of another 32-room facility in the back streets of suburban Allambie Heights. Unfortunately we still have a heap of these pending - over 500 rooms across the area - all submitted before the introduction of the 12-room cap. If the state government won’t apply the cap retrospectively it’s very difficult for Council or the community to stop them. And then, shockingly, once built, they are being advertised as exec apartments and renting for over $400pw. Hardly affordable!

With school holidays just around the corner, get the kids off the screens and into some awesome Council-run activities. Still spots available, book online.

Have a good weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 22 June 2019

Council’s new waste service is getting close to kick off on 1 July. Please check your new waste calendar to find out more about your new bin collection days.

I’m happy to report that more than 184,000 old bins have already been sent off to be recycled into new ones. Since it costs more to replace and repair them in an ad hoc way over the 10-year contract, ratepayers will save around $1.2million over the longer term if we replace them now. In fact the bins we picked up a few months ago from Avalon and Palm Beach have been recycled into bins being delivered now to Allambie Heights and Duffys Forest!

You may have read that there have been some instances where bins have inadvertently made their way to Kimbriki instead of our recycling plant. While a small number of bins appear to have been involved, our partners have put additional measures in place to further reduce the chance of this happening as the project wraps up.

Elsewhere, a gentle reminder that entries close for the Northern Beaches Art Prize this coming Monday at 5pm. It’s the area’s most prestigious art competition, offering total prizes worth $27,000 across four categories. Make sure you don’t miss out.

Entries are also now open for the 2019 Young Writers’ Competition. Encourage your budding young Shakespeare to apply - competition is open to students in Kindergarten through to Year 12.

And with year 12 exams rapidly approaching, students can get a lot from Council’s Secrets of HSC Success lecture series. The first is on Monday at Warringah Mall Library, with student Caroline Wang. Caroline achieved an impressive ATAR of 97.50 and she will share how she learnt to study smarter, not harder.

Finally, a shout out to all our committed staff who were recognised at the annual NSW Local Government Excellence Awards this week. Congrats to our library team who scooped up two awards and a special mention for the cross-Council team that won the highly coveted Australasian Management Challenge. Great work all.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 15 June 2019

Rowland Reserve in Bayview is the place to be on Sunday morning when Canine Connect comes to the Northern Beaches.

German shepherds, cocker spaniels, poodles or bulldogs – dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes are welcome and renowned dog trainer Steve Austin will be on hand to answer any questions.

For a bit of fun, a ‘best dressed’ competition will start at 9.20am, followed by a ‘look-alike’ competition just after 11am.

Elsewhere, the Gai-mariagal Festival continues this weekend with events across the Northern Sydney area. Starting late last month to coincide with Sorry Day, the festival aims to raise awareness of, and celebrate, our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Look out for the final two Weaving Bridges workshops with Elders of the Northern Beaches Aboriginal community – a great opportunity to learn new skills, make new connections and contribute towards a series of public artworks.

On Wednesday night, media personality Gus Worland will host a Big Ideas Forum at Glen Street Theatre. The focus is on mental health, with open conversations on the discussions we should be having. Tickets are $10 per person.

Next Saturday 22 June, Council will also host another ‘Human Book’ event at Warringah Mall Library. Launched successfully last year, the concept sees willing participants go ‘on loan’ to the public for 20 minutes at a time to share stories about overcoming challenges, stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination they have experienced in their lives.

Coinciding with Refugee Week, we are lucky enough to have a number of refugees who have agreed to share their unique stories and perspectives. I encourage you to come along.

And last call for those who’d like to help shape the future of the Northern Beaches by being part of the Youth Advisory Group. We’re looking for enthusiastic 12 to 21 year olds who would like to get involved – learn a lot, have a voice and get free entry to some youth events! Nominations close tomorrow.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 8 June 2019

At Council, everyone is on the same page when it comes to the war on waste. So when we launched our ‘Swap for Good’ program at Mona Vale earlier this week, it was excellent to see a number of local businesses on hand to lend their support.

In short, Swap for Good is all about supporting our local businesses to stop or reduce single use plastics. Council’s program offers resources, ongoing assistance as well as information on alternative materials and suppliers for businesses to use. You can register to get involved on our website or express your interest to be included as a sustainable supplier.

To that end, Council will also be hosting a Swap for Good business expo on 1 July at the Harbord Diggers. Come along to network with other businesses and see how you too can phase out single use plastics. With studies predicting our ocean will contain more plastic than fish by 2050, we all need to do our bit to tackle plastic pollution.

This week we were also fortunate to meet with the new Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock. It was a very constructive meeting and she was really open to supporting us to address some of the key issues facing our area. It was welcome to have her report back to the NSW Parliament on how impressed she is with what Council is doing and stressing the benefits of us working together for our residents.

As a very local example, last week we opened a new set of stairs alongside the Bayview Church Point Residents Association. They had received a state government grant and Council stepped in to help manage contracts and provide additional funds. This important project is a great example of what can be achieved in a partnership between the state, community and local government.

Huge congratulations to my fellow Councillor Roslyn Harrison for being a winner in the 2019 Minister’s Awards for Women in Local Government. A fantastic honour awarded to only one other elected representative in the Metropolitan Council category, demonstrating her strong leadership and commitment to our community.

It’s a long weekend. Be safe, Stop, Revive, Survive and avoid double demerits! Enjoy.

Michael Regan

Saturday 1 June 2019

Manly was absolutely pumping last weekend as residents and visitors flocked to enjoy everything on offer.

Council's Taste of Manly food and wine festival saw thousands soak up the spectacular weather and enjoy live music, quality food and a drink or two from a handful of top notch local brewers and international wineries.

The event, now in its 33rd year, goes from strength to strength and it's been excellent to hear great feedback from both stall holders and punters over the weekend.

Saturday afternoon also saw around 10,000 fans make their way to Manly Oval for the highly anticipated local rugby union derby between Manly and Warringah. The Rats claimed bragging rights at fulltime after beating the Marlins 31-25, with the contest gripping from start to finish.

And while on the subject of sporting tribalism, best of luck to Manly Sea Eagles captain Daly Cherry-Evans when he captains Queensland in the 2019 State of Origin opener on Wednesday night. He will be just the 15th Maroons skipper and will line up against his club teammate, Jake Trbojevic, who will turn out for the NSW Blues. I wish them both well. (Go the Blues!)

Elsewhere, there is a great opportunity for young people to get involved with Council by nominating for our Youth Advisory Group. We are on the lookout for passionate young people with big ideas who care about the future of their Northern Beaches. The only requirement is to be aged between 12 and 21 and have a positive attitude. The Group meets monthly and enjoys some perks like free entry to band nights and other youth events. Applications close Sunday 16 June.

More good news out of the Council meeting this week as the Northern Beaches Coast Walk Art Strategy was endorsed. Thank you to all who worked with us in its development. The Coast Walk from Manly to Palm Beach, covering 36km will be breathtaking, with the artworks and sculptures adding even more to the experience. Stay tuned for the next steps.

Finally, check out the draft masterplan for Clontarf Beach. The proposal includes moving the carpark for more open space, increasing the size of the pool and upgrading the playground. Have your say now.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 25 May 2019

It’s National Volunteer Week and I’d like to send a massive shout out and thank you to the many, many volunteers who do so much for our community.The 2019 theme is Making A World of Difference and we all know that’s exactly what millions of volunteers do every day. This week I have been fortunate enough to attend a few Council and community events acknowledging the huge contribution of volunteers in our libraries, Visitor Information Centre and Meals on Wheels.

It was also great to see Community Connect hold the 10th Northern Beaches Volunteer Expo and once again, an inspiring and hugely successful event so my congratulations to them. If you’d like to join our incredible volunteer pool, jump online and register your interest.

Make sure you get down to Manly this weekend to soak up all that is 2019 Taste of Manly. We are showcasing the best and brightest local restaurants and brewers plus some of Australia’s finest wine producers. Mix in some great music, sunshine and a spectacular beachside location and you’ll have ticked all the boxes. And in good news, this event is leading the way in sustainability and all stall holders have committed to keeping single use plastics out. Even this year’s glasses will be reusable – use it at home or keep it in the cupboard and bring it back next year! (An extra shout out to our Taste volunteers too,
thanks for helping make this event a success). Today you can also see some amazing sand sculptures come to life or join in the competition. Head to Manly Beach from 9am.

While we are on the creative theme, don’t forget the prestigious Northern Beaches Art prize has a $27,000 prize pool. Entries close 24 June.

Finally, Council’s monthly meeting is on Tuesday from 6pm in the Civic Centre at Dee Why. You can register to address the Council on any issue and we always welcome ideas and input from the community.

Have a great weekend. 

Michael Regan 

Saturday 18 May 2019

Local businesses are vital to our community, providing local jobs as well as making the Northern Beaches a vibrant place to live and work.

This week I hosted the first in our Beaches Biz Breakfast series of free events where local start-ups and business owners hear from experts and connect with loads of support services. I encourage anyone looking to start or grow a business to come along to one of the next ones at Mona Vale or Brookvale.

Council is also hosting a tourism industry summit next week to help shape the future of tourism on the Northern Beaches. I’m looking forward to hearing experiences and ideas from a range of our businesses and community leaders as we start to formulate a sustainable tourism strategy for across the area.

I’ve also been out and about talking to people about why they do or don’t have solar energy at home. Some are saying the system is too complex, others say it’s too expensive and still others have challenges with getting everyone in their unit block on board. Our aim is to get as many viewpoints as possible so we can see what we at Council can do to encourage more people to make the investment. Our Supporting Community Solar Power Uptake survey is open until Wednesday - please have your say.

And congratulations Northern Beaches! Our new free worm farm and compost bin program has gone gangbusters this week with thousands already on order. We’ve exhausted our stocks in just a few days but please jump online and we’ll let you know when the new stock arrives. You’d be surprised how much of what goes into the red-lidded bin is food waste. We’ve also created some handy instructional videos so you know how to set up your compost bin or worm farm.

Finally, Taste of Manly is back next weekend with plenty of fabulous food, wine and music right on the beachfront. This year we’ve made sure our glasses are dishwasher safe, re-usable and if you’re a regular at this event, you’ll be able to keep them and use them at Taste next year.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan

Saturday 11 May 2019

Winter is rapidly approaching, but Council is just warming up when it comes to making your Northern Beaches even more extraordinary.

A number of exciting capital works projects have either been recently completed or are just about to start and you’ll see lots of activity as you get out and about our area.

One of these community projects is the new playground at Tania Park in Balgowlah Heights featuring a shipwrecked themed play unit, balance items, a state of the art hurricane swing and a hill slide. Around the corner at Clontarf, a significant project is underway to improve the pool and beach as well as removing sand from the tidal pool. At present, the depth is not at a reasonable level for swimmers.

Further north at Palm Beach, Council is about to commence work to restore an iconic heritage bus shelter. The 1920s-era bus shelter, which used to stand on Barrenjoey Rd was a much-loved structure and will be welcomed back to its original location. In neighbouring Clareville, a footpath extension underway will make it easier and safer for pedestrians to reach the nearby beach as well as Avalon shops.

At Manly Beach, work is progressing well on the new seating, which will transform the ugly pipe that runs along the wall. Just off the Corso, have you checked out the incredible new freshly painted mural on Manly Library by local artist Manuel Gonzalez? Amazing!

Up at Lionel Watts Reserve, the masterplan is taking shape and it won’t be long before the new synthetic fields are open and the playground completed.

These are just a handful of the many projects on the go at any time as Council works through our extensive capital works program.

Lastly, the Northern Beaches Art Prize will again soon be up for grabs. With a massive prize pool of $27,000 on offer, it is the region’s most prestigious art competition, with a history spanning over five decades. Open to all residents aged 10 and above, the four entry categories include: general, small sculpture, waste-to-art and youth. Entries will be accepted from Monday and close on 24 June.

Have a great weekend.

Michael Regan