Two major projects were announced by the Northern Beaches Council this week utilising $14m allocated for major projects that improve community infrastructure and services, provided by the State Government as a result of the amalgamation of the three former Councils.
Connecting the Northern Beaches
An iconic coastal walkway from Palm Beach to Manly will be created over the next two years connecting existing walkways with an additional 8km of new pathways and 14km of shared pathways. The 36km walkway will include an extensive council-wide cycle way and shared path network connecting with the B-Line (bus service). Total: $22.3m.
Connecting all through Play
This comprises firstly, the creation of a regional network of inclusive accessible playgrounds including two major new all abilities playgrounds at Manly Dam and Lionel Watts Reserve Frenchs Forest, and upgrades to play areas across the northern beaches to make them more inclusive. Total: 6.3m.
And secondly, further funding for the upgrade of sporting facilities and Surf Life Saving Clubs for priority upgrades to improve accessibility, inclusiveness and the critical role of surf lifesavers. Total: $4m.
The first round of Commuity Grants, totalling $537,690, were also announced with 25 community organisations receiving funds to support various projects ranging from bushcare to social impact programs. It was noted that about 1/3 of the grant funds were allocated to programs for those with disabiliies.
You can download more details on each of these projects from the documents below:
It’s been a long time since we threw all our rubbish in the one bin and sent it to the local tip. Now food waste is set to join the long list of items that should never have ended up in landfill.
Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre, which processes garbage from the Northern Beaches area, already recycles more than 70% of waste. That includes glass, plastic, paper, aluminium cans, car batteries, televisions, computers, vegetation and wood waste, as well as waste concrete, asphalt, bricks and roof tiles. But it isn’t enough.
Our region only has one landfill site for waste that can’t be recycled. That’s at Belrose and, after 51 years of operation, the site is full. That means that after November, the Council will be forced to truck waste to a landfill site in western Sydney instead. It’s expensive and it’s not a sustainable way of dealing with our rubbish. As well food waste in landfill breaks down to release greenhouse gases, including not only carbon dioxide, but methane, which is even worse.
Now there’s a plan to take Northern Beaches recycling to the next level.
In two years time, householders will be required to separate out food scraps and throw them in the green lid bins, along with other garden waste. This one step will reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by almost half.
Kimbriki is not yet able to handle putrescible (food-containing) waste, but that will change when a major new recycling and waste processing facility opens at the site in 2019 or 20. Food and vegetation waste will then be turned into compost, which will be available for sale.
For residents, the number of different bins will decrease from four to three, as follows;
The general waste red-lid bins, which will be collected fortnightly for houses, and weekly for unit blocks.
The mixed recycling bins, for paper, glass and plastic combined, which will be collected fortnightly for houses, and weekly for unit blocks.
The mixed food and vegetation green-lid bins which will be collected weekly. Residents will also be given a free kitchen tidy bin and cornstarch bags to store food waste before putting it in the outside bin.
“This is a sensible plan that was put together by Mosman Council and the three former Northern Beaches councils, which jointly own Kimbriki”, former Manly Councillor Candy Bingham said.
"The Northern Beaches council is on board now as well, and has called for tenders.
“We need to look to the future - we just have to reduce landfill waste. Kimbriki’s advanced new waste technology will do that and at the same time take hundreds of trucks off our local streets.
“It will cost each household about $2 extra per week, which is a great investment.”
While community support for recycling is strong there are concerns such as, how to stop food waste from smelling, and what to do with nappies.
For these issues and more information generally go to
Wondering where you can park on the Northern Beaches under the new universal one sticker parking system?
Under the new Northern Beaches Council, residents displaying a beach and reserve parking permit, a Pittwater, Warringah or Northern Beaches permit sticker will have free parking at over 40 locations on the Northern Beaches. Manly residents will be sent a parking permit sticker within three weeks.
Former Manly Council residents who park in the former Pittwater and Warringah Council areas need to buy a parking ticket until they receive the new parking permit sticker. They also need to enter their vehicle registration for their digital permit in former Manly Council areas such as at the Manly beachfront, until they receive their Northern Beaches sticker.
Some restrictions apply:
Birdwood Park, North Narrabeen Beach, Mid Narrabeen, Narrabeen St Beach Carpark, Robertson St Beach Carpark, Devitt St Beach Carpark, Collaroy Beach North, Collaroy Beach South, Fisherman’s Beach, Long Reef Beach, Dee Why Beach, Dee Why Headland, North Curl Curl , Mid Curl Curl, South Curl Curl, McKillop Park Reserve, Freshwater Beach, Moore Road, Freshwater (beach end), Gore Street, Freshwater, Jamieson Park, Middle Creek Reserve, Manly Dam, Avalon Beach, Bilgola Beach, Clareville Beach, Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach, Mona Vale Beach, Newport Beach, North Narrabeen Rockpool, Ocean Road, Palm Beach, Warriewood Beach, Bayview Baths, Bilarong Reserve, Pittwater Park, Palm Beach, Winnererremy Bay Reserve, Whale Beach, Shelley Beach, Clontarf, Sandy Bay, Spit Bridge. Note: There are areas where parking permits ARE NOT VALID, including: Rowland Reserve, Bayview, Church Point Reserve, Church Point, Woorak Reserve and Iluka Park, Palm Beach.
How it works
For more information on the One Council - One Beach Parking System
(Information provided by Dick Perssons, Administrator, Nth Beaches Council)
What do you think? Is this going to be good for Manly residents?
It’s Springtime and Manly’s flock of woven birds are still in flight.
The bright-coloured artworks are the creations of over 200 local knitters and weavers, working together in this year's Weaving Bridges Project.
The birds were spun onto specially-made metal frames as part of the Northern Beaches Garingal Festival of Aboriginal culture and heritage.
Birds are an important part of Aboriginal culture, and the project was set up to celebrate the unspoiled environment that was the ancestral home of the first Northern Beaches locals - the Kay-ye-my people.
Taking part were local school children, community groups and individuals, with creative leadership from Manly Environment Centre, the Northern Beaches Aboriginal Community, Warringah Council and Manly Community Centre.
The installation was opened in July by Manly Mayor Jean Hay, Warringah Mayor Michael Regan, and co-chair of Garingai Festival Committee Sue Pinckham.
The pelicans, penguins, black cockatoos and cormorants are still on Stuart Sommerville Bridge at the Queenscliff end of the ocean beach.
See them now, before they fly south for the Summer.
The debate has started in earnest: Should Manly, Warringah and Pittwater merge into one Northern Beaches Council?
Size matters. That's the message from the State Government which is pushing for councils across NSW to merge into bigger, "stronger" groupings. The government report on the matter, from the Independent Local Government Review Panel, has recommended huge cuts to the number of councils operating in Sydney and across the state. Instead of the existing 41 Sydney councils, the reports says we should have less than 20.
And instead of our current three Northern Beaches councils Manly, Warringah and Pittwater the report says we should have just one.
But it's not that easy. While Warringah Council supports the amalgamation scheme, both Manly and Pittwater are opposed.
What Does Future Hold for Manly Council?
The first preference for Manly and Pittwater councils is to stay as they are. But if that's not possible, the two councils want to split Warringah and take half each, something Warringah Mayor Michael Regan describes as "laughable". Cr Regan says Warringah Council is the best performing council in the Northern Beaches region, so it should be the last one on the chopping block.
It's also the heavyweight of the group, with a population of 140,000, compared with 40,000 in Manly and 57,000 in Pittwater.
However a division of Warringah, using Warringah Rd as the boundary, would mean local council areas would be more in line with State and Federal government electoral divisions. And should an area the size of the Northern Beaches, which supports two Federal Government and two State Government seats, have only one local government body?
Supporters of Manly Council's bid to remain independent, also point to the 8 million tourists that visit Manly every year, massively boosting our nominal 40,000 population.
Current Financial Position Strong
As well, Manly's financial situation is strong. An independent audit of Manly's finances, presented to Council this week (10/11/14) gave the council a clean bill of health. The report from accounting firm Hill Rogers Spencer Steer said Council's books and records were well kept and up to date. It had an operating surplus of $4.6 million, and has good liquidity with available working capital of $1 million and $2.75 available for every $1 of debt.
Manly Mayor Jean Hay said only 32, out of the 152 councils in NSW, were endorsed as financially sustainable, and Manly was one of those. "Small councils can be just as strong financially as big councils," Cr Hay said.
And while the State Government has so far ruled out forced amalgamation, it is ramping up the pressure. Each council has until the end of June next year, to come up with a plan for "future cooperation with neighbouring councils". If not, they risk losing access to subsidised loans and government grants.
Would bigger councils mean more efficient government and greater political clout? Or less access to local representation and a weaker sense of local identity? What do you think?
The recent NSW Budget announcements could finally deliver the infrastructure seriously needed by the much neglected Northern Beaches.
Local Member Mike Baird has followed through with a $633 million transport upgrade announced that will include a rapid bus transport system from Mona Vale to the city, and five new public transport hubs.
This includes a $400 million package of infrastructure to support the yet to be built Northern Beaches Hospital, including two underpasses on the Warringah Road at Forest Way and Wakehurst Parkway, the widening of Warringah Road and Allambie Road as well as providing access to the new hospital via the intersection of Warringah Road and Hilmer Street. These upgrades will be in place by 2018.
The proposed Bus Rapid Transport system (BRT) is a project which has been lobbied by SHOROC (the combined Councils of Mosman, Manly, Warringah and Pittwater) for many years as the best solution to free up the grind that is the daily commute from the Northern Beaches.
A $125 million will be allocated to build the BRT from Mona Vale to the city, including indented bus bays, more frequent services and longer operating hours.
Five new interchanges will be developed at Mona Vale, Dee Why, Brookvale, Northern Beaches Hospital and Mosman at a cost of $30 million.
Also included in the package is the creation of 800 new commuter carparks at North Narrabeen, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Warriewood and Brookvale costing $67 million.
The building opposite Warringah Mall, which has been an eye-sore for years, is currently under negotiation to be transformed into a commuter car park.
Talks have also commenced to divert buses from the Spit Bridge approach through the nearby property that includes the old Greater Union cinema building at Spit Junction.
Manly’s Ocean Beach is often symbolised as a great curving beach backed by the magnificent stand of Norfolk Island Pines planted from 1860 to 1900.
Over the years these were damaged by the sewer outfall with the worst effect at the northern end of the beach. Unfortunately the replacements in the 1970’s and 1980’s were not quality controlled and Cook Island Pines or hybrids were often planted.
Cook Island Pines (Araucaria columnaris) can be easily recognised as they are smaller, denser and often crooked. When they are mixed with the larger, less dense and straight Norfolk Island Pines (Araucaria heterophylla) they spoil the overall effect as well as reducing the visibility through the trees to the water.
Council commissioned a ’Management and Conservation Plan for the coastal Norfolk Island Pines‘, updated in 2009, which recommended the removal of all Cook Island Pines and related hybrids and replacing them with the original Norfolk Island Pines.
At the southern end of the Steyne, between the surf club and the Corso there are 13 Cook Island Pines out of the total of 76 pines. There are some very healthy bushy and dense ones near the Corso which tend to spoil the ocean views from the various restaurants there. Near the Surf Club the Cook Island Pines are crooked and take away from the effect of the mature Norfolk Island trees. You will also see, when you look at their tops carefully that several of the Norfolk Island Pines at this end of the beach are dying.
At the other, northern end of the beach near the Queenscliff Surf Club there are many more Cook Island Pines and the effect of taller more open Norfolk Island Pines has been lost.
A properly planned replacement program should be a priority as well as replacing all of the older Norfolk Island Pines that are dying or thriving, such as those by the tables on the beachfront by the Corso.
Have you noticed the difference in the pines? What do you think Council should do about this?
(Our thanks to Evelyn Shervington who provided this information)
Treasurer Mike Baird, our local member, has come through with some solid funding for projects relevant to the Northern Beaches in the State budget released yesterday. These include:
The decision by Manly Council this week to retain the two hour free parking in the Manly CBD carparks was simply a farce! If you want to completely kill Manly, take away the free parking.
The real question that should be explored is what benefit would Manly gain if three hours free parking was introduced, just like the competing shopping areas nearby.
Yes, Manly is unique. It is not just shops. It's also beaches, schools, classes, community activities, a social meeting place. And locals are staying away in droves because it's just getting too hard to visit, and park in Manly. Two hours is simply not long enough.Those who do park here are constantly looking at their watches to make sure they don't go over the two hours!
Council's figures show that 80% of people who use the car parks stay for two hours. Yes, $1.2m is generated by the 3rd hour but I wonder how much business is being lost because people are rushing back to move their car rather than ordering that extra coffee, popping into a shop or calling into the newsagent for example.
What do you think? Is it time to review our parking approach in Manly?
Would three hours free parking encourage you to come back to Manly? Do our Poll. Add your comment.
There were no surprises in the selection of the priorities wanted by Northern Beaches residents at the public forum held on 29/2/12 for the NSW Government's Northern Beaches Regional Action Plan 2021.
Here are the top five in summary:
Transport - remove congestion; improve bus services
Quality Health Care - build new hospital, accessible by transport
Local Economy - local tourism; support local businesses & jobs; improved planning; infrastructure to support economic growth
Protect the Environment - improve sewage treatment to protect waterways
Affordable Housing - so young people don't have to leave the area; workers live locally
What do you think? Are these your top priorities for the area? What else is important?
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor & Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.