22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110

Each week, Mayor Ross Williams shares his thoughts, ideas and news with the community of Hunters Hill in one of the longest-running community newspapers, The Weekly Times.

Our sporting success

Congratulations to Hunters Hill Rugby Union Football Club on a highly successful season. Both senior teams were undefeated premiers and I hear from the club that lots of juniors were playing rugby this year too.

We have a great depth of sporting talent here in Hunters Hill, from rugby to cricket, netball, soccer and sailing.

At our recent meeting, Council voted unanimously to progress work on a sports and community facility at Boronia Park. This will not only provide essential facilities, which are currently lacking, to our sporting groups, such as change rooms and storage, but will also be a place for much broader community use, be it for local schools’ activities or as a meeting place for other groups and organisations.

The project is in the very early stages and we look forward to building on the community consultation that has already occurred as plans progress.

Enhancements to sporting facilities, such as playing fields and amenities, are also proposed at Henley Precinct, which takes in Gladesville Reserve, as part of our draft Community Infrastructure Plan.

I would encourage everyone in our community to take a look at the plan and provide your feedback. It cover a whole range of community facilities and services, and how best we can utilise these to meet the needs of current and future generations in Hunters Hill.

Go to huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate/cip to share your views.

Celebrating our environment

Our natural environment here in Hunters Hill is unique and special, from street trees to waterways and everything in between.

Birds are an important barometer for nature, and we are lucky to host some special species in our backyards and bushland.

This week, you can help provide a snapshot of trends in our bird communities by participating in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count. Head to our website for details.

This month also marks a celebration of waterways, with Riverfest running across several local government areas until the end of October. The program of events and activities focuses on the Parramatta River and surrounding catchment.

An important part of our work here in Hunters Hill is about activating Bedlam Bay as a swim site on the river. See our website for details on how you can hear more about this and join other events.

Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Open for Business

Wow – after several months of refurbishment Council opened its stunning new Customer Service area that is both bright and welcoming with state-of-the-art facilities.  You now access through the Town Hall front doors.  Council staff look forward to serving you in this new setting with the appropriate COVID plan in place.

Play for all

The beautiful outdoor surrounds of Hunters Hill are a key drawcard for people who want to live in and visit our local area. And with about 2350 families here and a quarter of our population comprising children, playgrounds have a role to play in getting people out to enjoy our places.

As well as getting kids active, playgrounds are meeting places for children and adults alike. An inspiring pilot project under way in Hunters Hill is about ensuring our playgrounds are inclusive spaces that cater to people of all ages and abilities. It is hoped that our success here will help initiate changes throughout the nation.

The ‘play it forward’ initiative is harnessing the support of local businesses and our playground users for the benefit of the whole community. I recently met Caroline Ghatt, who with husband Tim Smith has established social enterprise Play For All Australia. Their son Marcus, who lived with a significant disability and used a wheelchair, tragically passed away last April just before his thirteenth birthday. Caroline spoke about the experience for families who often find themselves left out of playgrounds due to lack of accessible equipment.

In honour of Marcus and to generate awareness of social inclusion, Caroline and Tim have developed a community-led initiative to install inclusive swing seats at parks, with Hunters Hill fortunate to be chosen as a pilot area for this project – and we need our community to get behind it.

Working with Gladesville Chamber of Commerce, local businesses are being sought to sponsor the installation of inclusive, high-back swings at playgrounds in our municipality. The broader community will then be invited to get involved when a tech-enabled swing is installed at one of our playgrounds, with a built-in counter clocking up swings to unlock upgrades at other play spaces.

For more information about sponsorship or to learn more about the personal experiences behind the initiative go to: opens in a new windowplayforall.com.au.

Art lives in Hunters Hill

We are gearing up for two major art exhibitions at Town Hall during October and November, celebrating the talent of our local community.

Young in Art (29 October to 1 November) is about showcasing the talent that exists within our local schools and recognising new and emerging artists.

Then comes a celebration of local art and artists in the CommunARTy exhibition (6-15 November).

With interest from more than 80 local artists across a range of mediums from paintings to sculpture, photography, mixed media and drawings, it’s evidence of the great depth of creativity that exists here in Hunters Hill.

For more information go to: opens in a new windowhuntershill.nsw.gov.au/art.

Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Participation is the key

It’s been a month since I have had the honour of returning to serve you as Mayor. Over this period, I have spent time connecting, and reconnecting with many of our community groups. I have been delighted to hear from organisations such as the Hunters Hill Theatre who inform me that the “show will go on” despite the challenges of the pandemic. Their show, to be produced in Town Hall from late November, is Mouse Trap, and I was thrilled to hear it is almost sold out.

Something I am very passionate about is the opportunity for our community to participate in the planning process for the future of our LGA. There are currently a number of opportunities for our community to be involved, such as the Draft Community Infrastructure Plan and Bike Plan. I would encourage all locals to read these documents and participate in creating the future of Hunters Hill. They can both be found on council’s website – huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate.

Reopening and reconnecting with our community

Last week I was very pleased to attend the reopening of Woolwich Ferry Wharf, a first class transport hub for our community and visitors. I congratulate the NSW Government on a job well done, and on time – how we all like our public transport.

I know I speak for my fellow councillors and council staff when I say that I am really looking forward to the reopening of the Council administration building. Over the last six months, a real transformation has happened at 22 Alexandra Street. There’s a ramp providing access to the main entry, and we have reorientated the reception so you are now greeted in the foyer. I have enjoyed testing out the new Mayor’s office over the past few weeks, and hope you agree with me that the upgrades have created a fascinating new space, that is now accessible and purpose built – including new accessible bathrooms and meeting rooms.

Council has updated our website and continues a commitment to streamlining service delivery with innovative pilots such as e-planning and online parking permits. We understand that not all of our residents are tech savvy, so have a self-serve kiosk in the new reception for your convenience. Of course, Council staff would be more than happy to assist you as you find your way around our online services, so please do drop in over the coming months.

These upgrades and renovations have provided council and the community opportunity to really reconnect in the coming months, and I hope to see you enjoy this new space soon.

Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Market Day at Henley

Congratulation is due to the Happy Hens at Henley who in the past fortnight hosted a wonderful Market Day. It was a great opportunity for people to get out in the fresh air and buy healthy and fresh produce. It was an outstanding success with many stalls selling out several times over. Although during the day a large number of people attended, everyone socially distanced responsibly to ensure everyone was safe. It was also a good time to see the extensive community gardens and sample a splendid array of locally grown food.

Stay safe this long weekend

With a long weekend ahead and school holidays under way, we are expecting more traffic on our roads as people head out locally to enjoy the warmer spring weather and on to major highways as holidaymakers travel by car to destinations throughout the state.

Promoting road safety, in partnership with the State Government, is an important part of the work we do here at Council. It involves anything from printing messages on our footpaths to remind people to look out before they step out to cross the road, to liaising with schools during term time to promote driver and pedestrian safety in school zones. It also extends to programs offered directly to our community, including two that are presently available to residents.

We are offering free child car seat fitting vouchers to people who live in the Hunter’s Hill Council area.

For those looking to educate the next generation of drivers, we are offering assistance by way of an online workshop on 26 November. It follows the staging of a highly successful workshop in September.

See our website for details on both programs.

And remember, please take care on our roads these holidays. Double demerits are in force this long weekend.

Hunters Hill Heroes

We have so many dedicated individuals and organisations in Hunters Hill who go above and beyond for our community.

Our weekly series of Hunters Hill Heroes articles, published through our website, email newsletter and social media channels, has offered some great examples of civic service. From sport to schools, veteran services and parish churches – these are just a few of the areas in which our people shine.

We look forward to sharing more of these stories. All nominations received will be considered for our Citizen of the Year awards. And as we know that age is no barrier to doing great things, we would be pleased to receive nominations for young people too.

So if you know a Hunters Hill Hero, nominate them today. You can do so via our website: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/heroes.

Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Engaging our community

In this most recent Council term, we have seen improvements in service delivery, an increased focus on being a sustainable and thriving organisation and a commitment to accountability and transparency for the community.

Ensuring strong engagement with our community is an important focus in the year ahead.

So it is pleasing that, with COVID-safe precautions in place, we are getting back to holding events at Hunters Hill Town Hall.

In this past week, on Australian Citizenship Day, we welcomed our newest citizens to Hunters Hill.

We were able to hold a ceremony that acknowledged the community’s engagement and commitment to citizenship.

We are also looking ahead to some of the much-loved events on our annual calendar.

Young in Art is scheduled from October 29 to November 1 and is a combined exhibition and competition, with artwork submitted from schools across Hunters Hill to showcasing the best of our young artistic talent.

A further celebration of art will follow in November with CommunARTy, a free community-focused exhibition and prize.

School sesquicentenary

This week marks a significant milestone for our municipality with Hunters Hill Public School celebrating its 150th birthday on 24 September.

The school is one of the oldest in NSW, having been established in 1870.

Our Council is supporting the Sesquicentenary celebrations through a $1030 donation for a time capsule, which will be sealed on the anniversary date, and the donation of a small item to be placed inside for future students to discover when the capsule is recovered, well in to the future.

Other community events have been postponed to September 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The history of Hunters Hill Public School is intertwined with that of Council and the community. The school is an integral part of Hunters Hill, and we look forward to a time when not only the current and former school community, but also the broader Hunters Hill community, can enjoy a public celebration of this great occasion.

Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Columns by previous Mayor Mark Bennett

The year 2020 has certainly been one with many challenges for the community and Hunter’s Hill Council operations, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’d like to congratulate the General Manager, Lisa Miscamble, and her staff, who have continued to deliver many important projects whilst also dealing with the pandemic’s substantial impact on the business.

It’s very important that we all continue to monitor and follow health authorities’ advice to ensure that COVID-19 remains under control in our community, as we have many residents who fall into high-risk categories.

Eight years ago, I was elected to Council for the first time and three years ago I was elected Mayor. It has been very satisfying to see the progress we, as a Council, have made in that time. We have achieved a lot to date and the business, under the leadership of our General Manager Ms Miscamble, has recruited an excellent team over the past two years. Together we have achieved a great deal so far.

Earlier this year, the State Government made a decision to extend the Councillors’ term for an additional 12 months to September 2021. Whilst I appreciate the kind opportunity offered by the State Government to extend the term by an additional year, my commitments at present preclude that option.

It has been a great pleasure working with the Council’s staff and Councillors and serving our residents for the past eight years, and I’m sure a bright future is now assured for our Municipality.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Taking Action for Sustainability

Our Council has made a commitment to manage and preserve our environment. It is one of the key principles of our Community Strategic Plan.

Operations and processes are regularly reviewed to identify opportunities to reduce, recycle, reuse and refuse products generated by our changing lifestyles.

Following a unanimous decision at our most recent meeting, Council is furthering its commitment to reduce emissions and support the community to live more sustainably.

A working party, including councillors and community representatives, will provide input, feedback and guidance on strategic planning, policy development, design and implementation proposals for a Sustainability Action Plan.

This will build on sustainability initiatives that Council has adopted over a period of time.

Resolutions in the past year relating to sustainability include: introducing a $300,000 Sustainability Reserve Fund; reducing water consumption; partnering with NSW Circular on a circular economy pilot project; looking at ways to reduce food waste in landfill; investigating alternative energy sources; and assisting to establish a waste education and volunteer program with environmental group Ecopaddle.

The Sustainability Action Plan will respond to these resolutions and provide a framework for Council’s future actions.

Supporting Community Services

We have a great events program planned for 2020-21 and look forward to delivering a host of activities – aligned with COVID-19 restrictions and guidance – for the community to enjoy.

While we were able to successfully deliver online programs during the COVID-19 lockdown period – from morning yoga to woodworking skills and business networking – other events had to be cancelled. This included the Hunters Hill Food and Wine Festival.

The cancellation resulted in a $25,000 budget deficit for the main beneficiary, Sydney Community Services (SCS).

SCS is a not-for-profit organisation that helps residents live a quality and independent life in their own home and community.

The cancellation came at a time when the organisation was dealing with a ten-fold increase in appeals for food and essential items, due to the pandemic.

Council and our community raised $3000 through an online campaign to assist SCS during this time.

Now the ability for SCS to provide much-needed support to vulnerable people in our community is set to receive a further boost with the launch of a Hunters Hill Food and Wine Virtual Festival.

Special offers are available to the community online, with a financial payback to SCS.

For more information go to: www.hhfoodnwine.com.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Over the past year, New South Wales has faced many challenges from drought to bushfires, floods and severe storms.

It has been very pleasing to see how our staff have responded to these challenges and provided support to other communities as well as our own, during these difficult times.

We are now faced with the ongoing spread of COVID-19 throughout Australia. Our role now is to ensure that we as a community, follow the official health advice and do our best to help avoid a second wave within our Municipality. The time to act is now, not following an outbreak of COVID-19.

We have seen in recent weeks how quickly the COVID-19 situation can change.

In Victoria, a State of Disaster has been declared in a bid to try to contain the spread of Coronavirus and keep the population there safe.

It is a cautionary tale for everyone not to be complacent when it comes to COVID-19.

While restrictions and doing things differently can be stressful and wearying, we need to remember we are in this for the long haul, and taking precaution now is the best thing we can do to try to stop the spread.

Here in Hunters Hill there are things you can do to keep yourself and your fellow citizens safe.

Bookings for Council-managed community facilities and sportsgrounds are only permitted with COVID safety plans.

We are working with groups that use these facilities to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities, such as additional cleaning, contact tracing registers and the maximum number of people in each centre.

Our priority in all things remains the safety and well-being of our staff and community.

Social distancing is extremely important. So too is staying home if unwell and getting tested if you show any symptoms.

At this critical time, it is important that we all stick to the rules about visiting other households, self-isolation and quarantine. Practise good hand hygiene and physical distancing. Take extra care if you are around vulnerable people. Get tested if you have symptoms and stay home while you are waiting for test results.

Further details and latest updates can be found online at opens in a new windowwww.health.nsw.gov.au.

NSW Health is advising anyone that has COVID-19 symptoms to get tested to help authorities identify as many cases in the community as quickly as possible.

Anyone feeling unwell, even with the mildest of symptoms, is urged to self-isolate from others and come forward for COVID-19 testing. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat, shortness of breath, and loss of taste or smell.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Can-do Council

This year’s Local Government Week (August 3-9) theme ‘Councils Do’ is a succinct way of describing councils’ role in supporting the way of life of their local communities.

This is especially evident in Hunters Hill, where our well-connected community and beautiful natural environment all tie back to our community and strategic planning to meet the needs of all who live, work and play here and importantly, to be sustainable into the future.

These days, the business of councils goes far beyond the traditional view. Today service delivery is also about creating a safe and enjoyable place to live, promoting a healthy local economy and building our community connections, particularly for the most isolated groups.

Our library and community space The YARN is a case in point. It will be a space for people of all ages to come together to access programs and services. Its location in Hunters Hill Village will also compliment surrounding businesses. Sustainability and circular economy initiatives will also be a feature of The YARN.

Regenerating our garden suburb

Our natural environment plays an important role in our identity in Hunters Hill.

Famed as “the garden suburb”, we are surrounded by beautiful bushland and impressive street trees, many with their own unique histories and stories to tell such as a 100-year-old war memorial tree opposite Garibaldi corner. We are lucky to have a dedicated group of volunteers who work to protect our bushland.

Among the current projects is landscape habitat restoration along the lower Parramatta River estuary, conducted in partnership with Habitat Network and with funding from a NSW Government Coastal and Estuary Grant.

Bushcare groups and bush regeneration contractors are working across five reserves: Clarkes Point, Kellys Bush, Gladesville Reserve, Betts Park and Bedlam Bay.

To date, 1.8 hectares of restoration work has been carried out. The advice from our bushland coordinators is that this has improved ecological connectivity between sites, restored Endangered Ecological Communities such as Coastal Saltmarsh and Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest, improved native fauna habitat and increased the resilience of these communities.

In addition, more than 1000 native plants will have been planted by the end of August 2020 across the five reserves.

It is a great achievement by our community and special thanks goes to those volunteers who have given their time and expertise to this endeavour.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

 

COVID safe planning

The NSW Government’s recent tightening of COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic enters a new phase of community transmission is a timely reminder that we must remain vigilant in protecting ourselves and one another.

Throughout the pandemic, the health and wellbeing of our community and our staff has been paramount. We are continuing to monitor the situation and respond to changes to public health orders.

As an organisation we have put in place a COVID-19 safe work plan, which has been accredited.

We are also continuing to communicate with groups using our facilities regarding requirements to ensure compliance with public health orders.

There are requirements for all groups to provide COVID safe plans and we have adjusted the maximum capacity in our venues.

We also continue to implement a $200,000 financial support package (adopted by Council in April) for the Hunters Hill community as part of the ongoing response to COVID-19.

Please remember to maintain physical distancing, stay home if unwell and get tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Libraries for all

The opening of our new library and community space The Yarn is drawing closer and we look forward to making this a multipurpose, welcoming and inclusive space for all in our community – not just those who reside within the Hunters Hill local government area but for people in neighbouring areas too.

This collaboration and sharing of knowledge, services and community is a key part of our joint use agreement with Lane Cove Council, which has delivered significant savings and made opening The Yarn possible.

We are also proud of the close working relationship we had previously with the City of Ryde and its library services.

We undertook a review of our library service arrangements in 2019, with Ryde and Lane Cove providing expressions of interest for the provision of library services to the Hunters Hill community under a joint use agreement.

Our Council in September last year determined, after an existing agreement with Ryde ended on June 30, 2020, to enter a new agreement with Lane Cove from July 1.

We did so in the best interests of our community, delivering cost savings and providing access to the comprehensive services of Lane Cove.

While Ryde has now proposed charging Hunters Hill residents – and no other – a fee for membership of its libraries, the State Library of NSW has advised us that our residents are classed as members of Lane Cove Library under our joint agreement, and therefore entitled to reciprocal membership.

The opening of The Yarn will allow us to offer a suite of library programs within our own local government area – for the first time since 1861.

Residents of the City of Ryde who choose to attend these programs will be welcome to do so at no cost and in the spirit of reciprocity.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Celebrating Hunters Hill Day

Anyone who has had the pleasure of living, working or spending leisure time in Hunters Hill will no doubt have felt the strong sense of community and pride that exists in our local area.

Particularly so on Hunters Hill Day, celebrated on July 31, and organised by Hunters Hill locals. It is a great time to reflect on this sense of place and the people who make it special.

We are fortunate to have many community members and partner organisations, such as The Weekly Times, committed to making occasions such as this a great celebration of our people and our place.

This year we are all being encouraged to support local businesses and community groups. COVID-19 has provided additional challenges for everyone, particularly smaller enterprises. So whether it’s grabbing a coffee, enjoying a meal, volunteering your time, or advocating on behalf of those who do great things for Hunters Hill, every bit of support helps.

The $200,000 COVID-19 support package our Council adopted earlier this year is, we are hearing from local groups, already assisting as they return to activity permitted under State and Federal regulations.

We will continue to work with our community and support locals in any way that we can. So please join us, especially so on July 31.

Sign up for library services

Work is progressing on our new library and community space ‘The Yarn’. Located at 64 Gladesville Road, and due to open in September-October, it will be an exciting first for our municipality, which until now, has never had its own library.

In the meantime you can enjoy the great services of Lane Cove Library, under a joint use agreement between our two councils, which is delivering significant cost savings that will allow us to not only open The Yarn in the heart of Hunters Hill, but deliver great services there too, such as story time for young children, school study and holiday programs and activities for adults.

I encourage you to go to our website to join our library today.

Encouraging safe driving

A speed radar display has been installed on Manning Road, north of Tarban Creek, to remind drivers to adhere to the speed limit and improve driver behaviour.

In using the device, we are aiming to improve driver awareness of their travelling speed, with the immediate feedback of the display acting as a catalyst in changing motorists’ behaviour.

Over time it will be relocated to other sites that are demonstrating a moderate speeding issue.

Child car seat safety is another area in which our team has focused efforts, working in partnership with the NSW Government to offer free fitting vouchers to Hunters Hill residents.

Vouchers remain available for use until July 31. You can contact our Road Safety Officers on (02) 9911 3576 or email stamperv@huntershill.nsw.gov.au for more information.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

 

Our principal concern is for the safety of our residents, staff and visitors to our municipality.

Accordingly, I’d like to remind you again, that it is only through complying with the health authorities’ directions that we will contain the spread of COVID-19.

Over the last week we have seen a very serious spread of COVID-19 in Victoria and a hardening of the restrictions.

Please continue to take great care as we have a number of particularly vulnerable people in our community who are at risk.

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Thank you to all our very talented Hunters Hill artists who have enthusiastically responded to our call for expressions of interest in this year’s art show.

While the COVID-19 pandemic meant our area’s annual art exhibition had to be moved from May to November, the high level of interest at this stage in the organising process is a great sign that the appeal remains high around this signature event.

It is our community – be it those working behind the scenes or those who come out to support what’s on show – that make our events program.

Our very talented students from schools across the municipality will once again have an opportunity to showcase their creative side when Young in Art is held in October. As well as highlighting individual achievement it is a chance to acknowledge the teachers, parents and citizens who support our youth in their artistic endeavours.

The effort of committed volunteers is also making possible a great new event on our 2020-21 line-up.

The Happy Hens Social Enterprise, supported by Hunter’s Hill Council, will be running a seasonal Growers Market at Henley Green Community Garden, in Gladesville Reserve, with the first market scheduled for Saturday September 19.

The Henley garden, and another at Bedlam Bay, are supported by volunteers, as well as preschool students and their families and provide opportunities for learning, environmental benefits, aesthetic appeal and a great location for community events such as the upcoming growers market.

At our most recent meeting, Council voted unanimously to continue a property licence agreement with the Happy Hens Social Enterprise at the Henley site and in doing so, officially thanked the Happy Hens for the service it provides to the community through the garden.

Also in the months to come, we look forward to opening our new library and community space in Hunters Hill Village. I encourage everyone to go to our website to sign up for a Hunters Hill library card, which has the added benefit of access to Lane Cove library services, under a joint agreement between the two councils that commenced on July 1.

Other billings on this year’s events line-up include open air cinema, village talks and music recitals.

Much-loved events such as carols in December remain on the calendar. Our successful staging of seniors and youth-oriented activities is also expected to continue in early 2021.

Unfortunately, public health restrictions necessitated the cancellation of the Moocooboola festival, traditionally held in August.

We look forward to a great series of other events this year, to be staged in a way that allows our community to continue to build new, and foster existing, connections in a way that is safe to do so.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

We are currently working on programs to increase knowledge, management and appreciation of the environment, ensuring the surrounds that characterise Hunters Hill and make it such a great place to live, work and play, are used in a sustainable manner now and to preserve them for future generations.

We are always looking at ways for our organisation and the community to get involved in helping make our environment the best it can be.

Our Community Strategic Plan (available on Council’s website) outlines how we are not only maintaining but also innovating in terms of our key directions, to build a sustainable and thriving organisation to serve our community.

One such exciting initiative, being undertaken in partnership with the University of New South Wales-hosted Circular Economy Innovation Network, is bringing together local champions to deliver a Circular Economy program that will focus on diverting materials from landfill.

In another project, in conjunction with Gladesville Chamber of Commerce, Council will be working with local cafes to reduce reliance on takeaway cups.

This month, as part of our ongoing efforts to increase sustainability and protect our environment, Council is joining forces with Plastic Free July to bring focus to reducing single-use plastics.

By encouraging people to take simple action in their daily lives and habits, the aim of Plastic Free July is to help people reduce single-use plastic waste every day at home, work and school.

Council staff are seeking to meet the challenge and we are encouraging residents to take the Plastic Free July pledge too.

The global Plastic Free July movement aims to help millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.

The challenge has a big focus on the top four single-use plastics – takeaway coffee cups, plastic shopping bags, plastic straws and water bottles – but also encourages participants to go further and eliminate all single-use plastics for a month, from plastic food wrap to pre-packed fruit and veg.

Keep an eye on Council’s social media channels, or go to our website and sign up for our weekly eNews for tips and support on how to choose to refuse single-use plastic. For more information go to opens in a new windowwww.plasticfreejuly.org.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

We are looking forward to a big year ahead in Hunters Hill as we commence our new Operational Plan, off the back of a successful delivery program in 2019-20.

It is always pleasing to see works delivered that benefit our community, particularly so given the recent challenges in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past financial year, Hunter’s Hill Council has delivered more than $2million in capital works.

This has included work on footpaths, kerb and gutter and roads. Traffic projects have delivered pedestrian safety improvements, such as crossings and islands, as well as speed humps to calm traffic. New bus shelters were also installed.

We’ve attended to sea walls, fencing and barriers, sewer repairs and drainage improvements.

Work has been carried out across the Hunters Hill municipality, from Woolwich to Gladesville.

Our community facilities – such as Gladesville Occasional Child Care Centre, Weil Park Hall, Clarkes Point Reserve and Riverside Preschool – have benefited from works including painting, roofing, landscaping or fire services upgrades.

In Gladesville Reserve, lighting was upgraded at the sports field and the skate park was painted, while in Boronia Park North the bike path was repaired, as were park benches and furniture in various locations across the municipality.

Street lighting audits were undertaken at Buffalo Creek and Clarkes Point reserves and an upgrade of Henley Community centre car park lighting completed.

The cenotaph In Alexandra Street, outside Hunters Hill Town Hall and the Museum, was restored, while at Woolwich Baths timber railings have been realigned and painted, new vegetation planted, a sea wall repointed, damaged netting repaired, pier posts repainted and concrete paths and amenities pressure washed.

This year of achievement has set the tone for an even bigger year ahead, with $4.7million in capital works scheduled in 2020-21.

The program is part of Council’s 2020-21 Operational Plan, adopted following a public exhibition period.

The projects include footpath and road works, kerb and gutter renewal, stormwater renewal and work on community buildings.

Some of this work is already under way, including work on Henley Community Centre and the Town Hall, the end results of which will be to make these fantastic facilities more accessible and useful for our community.

More broadly, our aim across all the business we conduct as a Council is to focus on the community, maintain the character of Hunters Hill and manage growth planning, manage and preserve our environment, and make getting around our area safer and easier.

We look forward to delivering in all of these areas in the year ahead.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Getting back to business

I want to extend my thanks to all our local community and sporting groups and businesses who have been working hard to get back to business, albeit with important safety measures in place.

And it is pleasing to see that as COVID-19 social restrictions ease, our community is out supporting these groups and enjoying all our favourite local spots, from cafes to sporting fields, while observing capacity, distancing and other safety requirements.

It is thanks to the efforts of everyone in following social distancing measures to date that we are able to take these steps.

As a Council we have sought to support local businesses and community groups along the way.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic we waived on-street dining fees for local businesses, sporting field hire fees and community centre and hall hire fees, and will continue to do so for the remainder of 2020.

This has been positively well-received, with one message in particular expressing thanks to Council for taking care of those who rely on the centres for their small local businesses.

We are continuing to work with groups, and within NSW Government guidelines, as they return to our community centres. There are rules that apply around the use of the space, for example checklists and cleaning programs and the maximum capacity of the centres.

Thank you to all the groups for working with us and for providing such a great service to our community.

Free safety check

With the return of more traffic to our roads as COVID-19 restrictions ease, Council’s Road Safety Officers have been working with our schools and broader community on delivering education and awareness programs.

At present we are offering free child car seat fitting vouchers to people who live in the Hunter’s Hill Council area. The voucher entitles the recipient to have a restraint checked, refitted or fully fitted by a designated local Authorised Restraint Fitter.

You can contact our Road Safety Officers on 9911 3576 or stamperv@huntershill.nsw.gov.au for more information.

Another recent initiative, an online Teaching Your Learner Driver Workshop, educating parents and carers on how to teach a learner driver to drive, was very well received and more of these sessions are set to be delivered in future.

You may also soon see pavement markings on footpaths around Hunters Hill, reminding pedestrians to ‘Look Out Before You Step Out’ as part of a joint Council and Transport for NSW project.

Our Road Safety Officers continue to work with schools and early child care centres regarding traffic and pedestrian safety, particularly around drop off and pick up times.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

 

Hunters Hill library space a winner

We are very pleased to be progressing work on our very own library and community space in the heart of Hunters Hill, a first for our municipality, at the same time as we start a new joint service agreement with Lane Cove Council.

We want everyone in our community to be a part of it, so I encourage you to sign up for a new library membership. Not only will you receive your own Hunters Hill library card, which will be particularly special as they are being designed by a local, we are offering some great prizes, ones that should come in handy when using the new space and its services. The first 100 residents to sign up before June 30 will receive a limited edition library bag and voucher for a local business, plus one lucky member will receive an iPad. You can find out all the details and how to sign up via our website: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/joinlibrary.

We expect to open the doors to the library and community space in Hunters Hill Village within the next few months. In the meantime, the new joint agreement for library services with Lane Cove Council will start from July 1. This means that Hunter’s Hill Council residents can take up all the programs offered and utilise the library services of Lane Cove. The savings we have made as part of this new agreement is allowing us to open the new space in the heart of Hunters Hill, a place to bring the community the programs and services you told us you wanted to see.

Our joint use agreement with the City of Ryde ends on June 30, but if you are a member of the Ryde library services and currently use the Gladesville branch, you will still be able to do so.

Welcoming new citizens

As Mayor it is always a great honour to officially welcome new citizens to this wonderful area that we are all so fortunate to live in.

While Council does not process or approve citizenship applications, the Department of Home Affairs does and then invites new citizens to attend a ceremony with us.

Traditionally the Council-hosted Australian Citizenship Ceremonies are held in the Hunters Hill Town Hall.

However, COVID-19 put all in-person citizenship ceremonies and citizenship appointments on hold.

Acting on a directive from the Department of Home Affairs, we hosted out first online citizenship ceremony last week.

I was pleased to welcome 15 people, including two children, to our community, whose countries of origin included the Philippines, Colombia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Korea, Romania and the Syrian Arab Republic.

Congratulations to all our new citizens.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Community effort in COVID recovery

Within the coming week, we expect to progressively welcome our community back to facilities that were required to be closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with NSW Health regulations, after June 13 community centres including certain recreational facilities can reopen, with appropriate limits on numbers of people and social distancing measures in place.

We have been communicating with local community groups who use Hunters Hill facilities, regarding the latest easing of restrictions and we look forward to welcoming people back to our facilities when it is safe to do so.  It is through the community’s patience and support that we are able to work through a COVID-19 recovery plan that is built around NSW Health advice.

The State Government has also signalled that children’s community sport competitions will restart from 1 July, with safety plans required for each activity. We will be working in line with NSW Health directives and with our local sporting groups in regards to the steps required to re-open Council-managed facilities.

Works delivery

During the COVID-19 pandemic we have continued to deliver our works and maintenance programs and it is pleasing to see that this has allowed us to conduct business throughout this time. It also means that community assets are ready for when we are all able to actively enjoy them again.

Cricket nets at Boronia Park have been repaired in recent weeks, after suffering damage when a tree fell in recent storms, and are now ready for use.

Meanwhile, structural rectification works and upgrades are happening at Henley Community Centre.

Along Victoria Road in Gladesville, crews have laid pavers between Batemans Road and Junction Street to create a safer footpath and improve the appearance of the area. It follows an extensive amount of promotion we have done of the suburb over the past year in partnership with the City of Ryde and the Gladesville Chamber of Commerce as part of the Love Gladesville campaign. Feedback has shown that activations including laneway murals, public art, installing planter beds to grow herbs for use by local cafes and restaurants, exhibitions and special events, and business promotion initiatives have celebrated not only what is great about Gladesville but helped attract more people to the area.

We’ve also recently completed kerb and gutter works, as well as reconstruction and restoration of the road, in Passy Avenue, Hunters Hill.

On Alexandra Street, kerb and gutter works have addressed long-standing issues of effective management of water runoff and drainage. I thank everyone using the area, particularly during school drop-off and pick-up times, for their patience while this work was carried out.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Stay safe and informed

With a further easing this week of NSW Government restrictions in response to COVID-19, it is encouraging to see people maintaining personal responsibility to keep themselves and those around them safe.

As our community becomes more active and gets back to business, it’s important that we follow the NSW rules for gatherings that apply to individuals and businesses, maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from others and practise good hand hygiene, as well as staying active and healthy.

Please take extra care if you’re around vulnerable people, get tested if you have any symptoms, even if they are only mild, and stay home until you get the test result, or are medically cleared.

Even though restrictions have eased, Council still wants to connect with our community to make sure that everyone has the support or contacts that they need.

Our team continues to make phone calls to residents to check in and offer assistance to those socially isolated or vulnerable.

In a rapidly changing and challenging environment, we are striving to keep everyone informed via our website, social media channels, newspaper ads, signage, letterbox drops and e-newsletters.

Neighbourhood works

Council teams are continuing to deliver on a busy program of capital works across the local government area.

To help our community keep in touch with what is happening across Hunters Hill, we have launched an interactive online map providing details of Hunter’s Hill Council capital works projects recently completed, under way and upcoming.

It includes a host of projects, from footpaths to roadworks, improvements in parks and gardens and more.

It is great way to see what is happening in your neighbourhood.

It also showcases the hard work of our teams to deliver great outcomes for our community.

To view the map go to: opens in a new windowhuntershill.mysocialpinpoint.com.au/capitalworks

Our Living River

The Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) is an alliance of councils, state government agencies and community groups, of which Hunter’s Hill Council is a member, who are working together to clean up the Parramatta River and make it swimmable again by 2025.

During June the group is encouraging the community to actively get behind this effort.

A ‘Get the Site Right’ initiative is targeting erosion and sediment control on building and construction sites, highlighting the impact of sediment laden runoff on our waterways.

The online education and awareness campaign promotes the importance of maintaining good erosion and sediment controls, even during COVID-19, given an expected increase in construction as part of the NSW Government’s new Planning System Acceleration Program, and in home renovation and DIY projects due to the COVID-19 isolation period.

Find out more at:  opens in a new windowourlivingriver.com.au/getthesiteright

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Safety a whole community effort

As COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed in recent weeks I would like to thank everyone in our community who has safely and responsibly enjoyed the re-opening of facilities including outdoor playgrounds and exercise areas. While Council has taken what measures it can in the way of installing signage and hand sanitiser at popular sites, it takes a whole community effort to make these spaces accessible. Please remember to respect the rules and guidelines, including those of social distancing, in the interest of public health and take measures where you can, such as bringing wipes and sanitiser to clean areas before and after use. Stay home if unwell.

In the coming weeks Council will consider re-commencing citizenship ceremonies online, while Council meetings will continue to be conducted remotely, with public access via live streaming services.

Bike plan

Work on a Bike Plan for our local government area is underway and we want you, our community, to share your ideas and feedback. You can do so using our new online consultation tool Social Pinpoint. The consultation process will be supported by guidance from a Bike Plan Working Group, which includes six local residents passionate about bicycling as a form of active transport.

Council has engaged consultants for the development of the Bike Plan.

Using the feedback collected in the engagement and consultation phase, a draft plan will be prepared. This will be put on exhibition in the coming months, providing the community with another opportunity to provide feedback and help Council set the vision for the Bike Plan.

Once Council officers and the consultants have reviewed feedback from the public exhibition, the final Bike Plan will be presented to a Council meeting for Councillors to consider adoption.

For more information go to: huntershill.mysocialpinpoint.com.au/bike-plan

SES thank you

In the past week we’ve marked WOW Day, which involves wearing orange on a Wednesday, as an acknowledgement of the extraordinary efforts of our State Emergency Service (SES).

We are very fortunate in Hunters Hill to have a dedicated group of volunteers at the ready to step up for our community when the need arises.

Council in March again acknowledged the work of our local crew, presenting a certificate of gratitude in recognition of the team’s exceptional service during severe storms in February.

When a significant area of the municipality experienced fallen trees, water inundation, building damage and power outages, NSW SES Hunters Hill Unit was on hand to respond quickly and effectively, logging 101 jobs and completing most of these requests for assistance within 48 hours.

Once again I thank those Hunters Hill SES volunteers, who worked 400-plus hours during that time.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Community acting for one another

In Hunters Hill we have been very fortunate to date to have avoided the worst of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and the sacrifices made by our community have helped us achieve a very low infection rate. However, as COVID-19 restrictions are being gradually relaxed, please take care to continue to observe physical distancing restrictions and download the COVIDSafe app. If you find yourself with any respiratory illness, please seek medical advice.

The risk of infection is still high and health experts remain concerned. A change in our habitual behaviours is difficult but important to protect ourselves, loved ones and those in our community who are vulnerable due to pre-existing illness and age-related risk factors. 

Budgeting for a sustainable and thriving year

Our draft operational plan and budget for 2020/21 is now on public exhibition and includes a number of highlights for our community in the coming year.

Among them are a $4million capital works program, which includes the $1m State Government grant towards the delivery of the new facility at Boronia Park.  The program also includes works on our buildings, roads and bridges, footpaths, kerbs and guttering, stormwater drainage and information technology.

We are increasing our focus on assets, which includes work on a digital asset management plan that will place Hunters Hill at the cutting edge in this area and will be of great benefit in Council’s ability to plan, design, construct and maintain accessible, safe and high-quality infrastructure.

In the coming year we will also be working to establish a library and community program space in Hunters Hill Village and partnering with the University of New South Wales Circular Economy Innovation Network to deliver a Circular Economy program that will focus on diverting materials from landfill.

Protection and rehabilitation of bushland areas and heritage conservation provisions are other key considerations.

The draft operational plan and budget recognises that there will be negative budgetary impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic through reduced revenues.

However, Hunters Hill has a strong foundation from which to grow and we are proud of that fact that we have been able to maintain a high standard of service delivery throughout the pandemic.

The operational plan and budget is set to be reviewed regularly as the impacts of the pandemic are fully realised.

Boat trailer parking

Council has adopted a boat trailer parking policy to manage and regulate the long-term parking of boat trailers on residential streets, in response to an increasing number of community complaints about the lack of available parking, car and traffic visibility and traffic congestion in relation to the number of parked boat trailers in residential streets, particularly those parked for extended periods.

The policy enables residents who own boat trailers to park them on a more long-term basis, on-street adjacent to their properties and encourages all boat trailer owners to use off-street storage or parking for trailers.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Supporting our village centres

Hunters Hill main streets and village centres are the heart of our neighbourhoods.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for all who live, work and play in these vital locales.

Council recognises the need to support these places and the people who make them special during this time of hardship and in to the future when were are all able to come together again to eat, shop and enjoy a sense of community.

Council is proposing to provide initiatives as part of operational and budget planning that act as a stimulus for the economy and foster a sustainable and thriving municipality.

This will include initiatives around: investing in the village centres; bringing forward developer-funded works; and bringing forward asset maintenance and capital works.

Our recently-adopted Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) sets out a vision for the future and will inform land use planning for the next 20 years.

Five local precincts are the focus for Council’s initiatives under the LSPS. They are: Gladesville Town Centre; Hunters Hill Village; Boronia Park Village; Woolwich Corner Village/Garibaldi Village; and the Gladesville Hospital Precinct.

Growth and change in these precincts will focus on ‘place-making’, enabling growth and change to activate these places for people and business, while protecting their character and heritage.

All councils are required to prepare a LSPS, under direction from the NSW Government and the Greater Sydney Commission.

Places to play   

Council has adopted a Hunters Hill Playspace Strategy 2020 – 2024, to guide management and renewal of our playgrounds in to the future.

The strategy will support work to make play spaces inclusive for people of all ages and abilities and guide opportunity for the delivery of three new play spaces at Riverglade Reserve, Figtree Park and at Huntleys Point over the life of the plan.

Hunters Hill is blessed with a wealth of beautiful outdoor recreation areas, enjoyed by many members of our active community.

Playgrounds feature in many of our best-loved locations, from those that look out across the waterfront to others that sit alongside sporting fields and public transport routes.

Having a strategy to maintain and promote our playspaces is essential, not only from an asset management point of view, but to ensure that these places are well-utilised and accessible to all.

Our municipality includes about 2350 families. Almost a quarter of our population is aged 0 to 17 years. So playspaces that cater to all ages and all abilities are an important part of Council’s commitment to deliver for our community.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Community ties

As the smallest municipality in metropolitan Sydney, the Hunters Hill local government area is home to a tight-knit community, with links that have offered an opportunity to strengthen ties in dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As well as maintaining essential services and operations, Council has implemented additional measures to recognise the need for a focus on the health of its community.

These programs are aimed at supporting people, leveraging off the social capital that exists in Hunters Hill. We have a passionate and connected community and a range of committed local service providers.

Council has to date made more than 1200 phone calls to connect with residents to let them know they are not alone and assist them in linking to services, where required. Feedback from this has been extremely positive.

Partnerships with local service organisations and businesses is providing for delivery of food packages to hundreds of households.

Free online programs have been developed to promote health and well-being and skills development, as well as encouraging business networking and advice.

A series of family yoga and meditation sessions has been extended due to popular demand, while a series of woodworking skills classes and workshops filled all places ahead of commencement.

The business connection program is also being well received.

More online programs covering fitness, music gardening, art and more are planned.

Keep an eye on our social media channels and website for details: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au.

Road safety

As most of you will have noticed our roads are less congested at the moment, allowing you to drive more freely through the streets.

With more people taking time out to exercise, please be mindful of the speeds you drive and look out for young children on bikes and playing around the roads.

While many parents may be opting to keep their children home from school at present, schools are open for students that need to attend, so NSW school zones with 40km/h speed limits are in operation in the mornings and afternoons.

Here in Hunters Hill, Council has recently undertaken works to help improve road and pedestrian safety around school campuses. These include footpath works on Earl Street, following damage caused by tree roots, to make the area safer for pedestrians and students outside Boronia Park Public School, and re-marking the existing lines of the pedestrian crossing and ‘Keep Clear’ pavement marking on Alexandra Street outside Hunters Hill Public School.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact has been significant and far reaching as we all strive to keep our community and livelihoods safe.

As a Council, our immediate focus has been on continuing service provision and the well-being of staff and residents, particularly vulnerable or socially-isolated members of our community.

Work has also focused on how we can ease the burden on those who may be experiencing financial hardship, with measures including waiving of some fees and charges for sporting and community groups and business owners, and assisting those who may be experiencing financial hardship when it comes to paying rates.

However, these measures have a long-term financial impact and in order to mitigate this as far as possible in to the future, we as a local government organisation will be looking to further bolster ties with our state and federal counterparts to deal with the consequences of COVID-19.

The NSW and Federal governments are to be commended on their stewardship during this crisis, and an ongoing partnership with local authorities will continue to protect community health and sustain local economies through this crisis.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) and the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) are leading a sector-wide campaign to obtain financial assistance, employment support and stimulus funding for the local government sector.

Such measures would be of considerable benefit to councils and their communities, including Hunters Hill.

It is early in the pandemic however Hunter’s Hill Council has already experienced impacts and these are likely to follow through into subsequent financial years. While revenue is expected to be reduced because of waivers to some fees and charges and lower rates income while we support those experiencing financial hardship, costs have increased in areas such as information technology and infrastructure to enable staff to work remotely and maintain customer service levels. Meanwhile we continue to offer essential services such as renewal of roads, footpaths and maritime assets. The refurbishment of our Town Hall is ongoing and is helping provide economic stimulus for our economy.

The impacts are escalating and are anticipated to continue over the coming 12 to 18 months.

Hunter’s Hill Council is doing everything possible to provide support and deliver the services needed to protect community health and keep our communities running during these difficult times.

It is critical that the local government sector receives adequate funding and resources to coordinate and deliver the goods and services needed as we navigate through, and recover from the new challenges presented by COVID-19 and its massive impacts on people and our local economies.

 

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

This article was featured in April’s printed newsletter to residents.

It has been a busy start to the year in Hunters Hill, natural disasters and global pandemics notwithstanding.

After working with emergency services to clean up after the February storms and now to adapt to continue service delivery in the face of COVID-19, it is pleasing to see what we have already achieved in the first quarter of 2020, across the spectrum of key areas of our Community Strategic Plan.

Focus on the community: bright young minds shared ideas for innovative environmental projects at our Youth Summit. An enthusiastic crowd attended a NSW Seniors Festival Urban Bush Dance, while volunteers joined our working bee to craft pouches to aid the recovery of bushfire-injured wildlife. On Australia Day we welcomed new citizens and honoured community leaders.

Maintain character and manage growth: the launch of an ePlanning portal means all DAs for Hunter’s Hill Council area can be lodged online. Plans and strategies adopted or drafted include a Local Strategic Planning Statement, bushfire risk management plan, draft boat trailer parking policy and local infrastructure contribution plan paving the way for a $4million, five-year works program.

Manage and preserve the environment: volunteers collected 125 kilograms of rubbish and 30 kilograms of recyclables on Clean Up Australia Day in March at Gladesville and Riverglade reserves. Popular recreation area Woolwich Baths has benefited from maintenance works, while a drainage project at Boronia Park Oval 3 has enhanced this sporting and recreation site. Street sweeping is keeping neighbourhoods tidy, while pit cleaning works removed leaves, branches and other debris from storm water pits, helping prevent flooding during heavy rainfalls.

Making getting around easier: drivers in Hunters Hill can now pay for parking and top up from their phones, with the NSW Government’s Park’nPay app going live in our council area. Council delivered a footpath and traffic project in Reiby Road, outside Hunters Hill High School, in time for the start of the 2020 school year. Footpath upgrades and kerb and guttering projects have been taking place in locations including Collingwood Street, Ryde Road, The Avenue and Ferry Street, for which Council has received positive comments from a number of happy and satisfied local residents.

Leadership and governance: Council has hosted public hearings on the draft Boronia Park Plan of Management, as well as Transport for NSW and Sydney Ferries operator Transdev’s proposed changes to ferry timetables (subsequently cancelled due to councils’ and community feedback). Upgrades to Hunters Hill Town Hall are making it more accessible. Our work with other councils and organisations continues in areas such as bushfire recovery assistance, as well as our COVID-19 response and pandemic planning.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Thank you to everyone for their compliance with the health advice and measures recently introduced to limit the spread of COVID-19, which we expect to be in place for some months. Together we are already making an impact!

Business as usual for us as an organisation means doing whatever we can to continue service delivery, while supporting the health and well-being of our staff and community and working in line with state and federal government directives.

In a matter of days and weeks, much work has already taken place to deal with the pandemic and take action for the benefit of our community, however and wherever we can.

This work is ever-evolving as we act swiftly on advice from other levels of government in relation to matters such as management of open spaces, planning and council meetings.

Key members of our staff meet remotely each day to manage the crisis response. All staff who can work remotely are doing so, with the exception of our Works Team and those in compliance, health and building divisions, who are following safe work methods.

We continue to support Sydney Community Services in its outreach to vulnerable residents who may be socially isolated, as well as making phone calls to check that members of our community have what they need and know we care.

Council is rolling out webinars to keep businesses connected and provide leisure and recreation activities for people to do at home. We will continue to investigate ways to address social isolation and mental health at this time, as well as providing up-to-date communications via our website, social media and through the support of The Weekly Times.

We are seeking to support local community organisations and businesses by waiving fees for outdoor dining, community centre hire and sporting field use to support groups and enterprises that have, until recently, used those facilities.

In the area of compliance and enforcement, we are continuing to take a ‘relaxed’ approach to the issuing of infringements. Compliance officers are giving warnings in relation to parking matters, where appropriate. The exceptions to this are where there are safety issues, blatant flouting of the rules or where we are responding to resident complaints about vehicles blocking sight lines or driveways.

We’ve also had positive feedback from local residents who recognise the difficult role our compliance team has, particularly at present, expressing appreciation in relation to the way in which they are managing this.

Most importantly, we want our community to remain informed and stay safe. The best way to do this is to adhere to government advice, particularly in relation to physical distancing and keep an eye on our website, www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/covid19, for regular updates on everything from Council services, to resources for staying healthy at home. You can also sign up to our eNews and follow us on social media.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

 As our community adapts to the challenges presented by COVID-19, our priority at Hunter’s Hill Council continues to be the health and safety of our staff and residents.

We are working hard to balance the continued delivery of service with the welfare of all in our municipality and Council is responding rapidly in line with the ever-changing national and global situation.

In keeping with the scaled-up social distancing measures announced recently by State and Federal authorities, our outdoor playgrounds and skate parks are closed.

Exercise remains an important part of maintaining health and well-being during this time of social distancing. While Hunters Hill is fortunate to have so many outdoor recreation areas for all to enjoy, it’s important that restrictions on public gatherings, which have been reduced to a maximum of two people, excluding household members, are adhered to and that people are only heading out to exercise, not to congregate. If you do go out, please remember to stay 1.5 metres from other people at all times.

Our Customer Service Centre is not receiving ‘walk-ins’, our team continues to deliver service over the phone, via email and through our website.

We have also been checking in over the phone with calls to residents, in an effort to ensure everyone in our community has access to the services they need, especially the elderly or those self-isolating and unable to get supplies. Please contact our team on 9879 9400 if you know of anyone who need helps.

Most importantly, we want to keep our community informed. I would encourage you to sign up to our email newsletter and follow our social media pages, details of which can be found on our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au.

Over Easter, please remember to stay home unless you are shopping for essentials, receiving medical care, exercising or travelling to employment in instances where you can’t work remotely.

While we continue to face many challenges, Easter is an opportunity to think of friends and family and of how we can continue to support those in need in our community.

It’s time to maximize your use of the ever-evolving world of remote social connection and make good use of your phone to keep yourself and others socially connected.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

What a challenging few months it’s been! Drought, fire, floods and now a virus which is having a worldwide impact.

Our ability to reduce the spread of COVID-19 will determine how quickly we can get back to normality. We need your help and I’m sure we’ll continue to support each other for as long as it takes.

The first priority of Hunter’s Hill Council is the health and well-being of our staff and residents and together we will get through this difficult time.

I’ve been very impressed by our staff’s dedication and urgent actions over the past few weeks to address the essential day-to-day issues, as well as the complexities surrounding COVID-19.

We’re receiving regular medical updates and we’ll keep you informed through our website: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/covid19

We are doing everything we can to ensure business continuity for our community.

Our staff are committed to supporting the community. Over the coming weeks, you might receive a call from one of our team, checking on your well-being and ensuring we have the best contact details to share any updates with you as efficiently as possible. 

If you’d like to get in touch with us, please call 9879 9400 or email customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au

Council meetings

Council meetings are an important part of our organisation’s commitment to open and transparent governance.

Ordinary meetings of the Council are usually held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month in the Council Chamber at Hunters Hill Town Hall.

However, given State and Federal mandated restrictions, closures and social distancing requirements, we will be holding virtual meetings to allow Council to continue to function and make decisions on behalf of our community, while helping to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Hunter’s Hill Council already live streams meetings on our Facebook page, with videos available afterward on both Facebook and YouTube.

We will be taking additional measures in the coming months to hold Council meetings remotely, using audio visual links.

We will keep you informed closer to the next scheduled meeting date of April 27 as to how to watch the deliberations and decisions.

Please remember to limit your travel and keep physical contact with others to an absolute minimum.

Our mandated social landscape has changed dramatically with the aim of keeping infection rates to an absolute minimum. Please do everything that you can to support all of these initiatives.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation, not only here in Hunters Hill, but across the nation and the globe, as all feel, if not directly, the flow-on effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is at times like these that we see the strength and resilience of our tight-knit Hunters Hill community at its best, working together (albeit in many cases remotely) to support each other.

At Hunter’s Hill Council, our focus continues to be on keeping our community and our staff safe and informed.

We are taking proactive and precautionary steps to ensure that essential Council services can continue to be delivered during any COVID-19 outbreak.

We have a small workforce, so minimising risk to frontline workers is in the best interests of being able to maintain service delivery to the community.

Council is encouraging the community to use online and phone services, rather than visit the Customer Service Centre in Alexandra Street.

If you are out in the community, please remember to maintain a 1.5 metre distance from others where possible, wash your hands and sneeze or cough in to a tissue or your elbow.

Most importantly, stay home if unwell.

Council is also working closely with our community allies to support those residents most in need.

Sydney Community Services is a central source for anyone in Hunters Hill or Lane Cove who either need to self-isolate or choose not to go outside if they worry they are at risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

The organisation has been putting together a database of people who are in isolation, as well as seeking volunteers who are able to help others who need emergency supplies, or even just give social contact through a phone link.

Sydney Community Services can be contacted via phone 9427 6425 or email support@sydneycs.org.

Residents of Hunters Hill who are self-isolating and do not have support can also contact Council via email customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au or phone 9879 9400 for assistance with service provision.

As this situation is rapidly evolving, we are providing regular updates in our local newspaper The Weekly Times, through our Council website, social media channels and electronic newsletters.

Go to www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/covid19 for relevant information as it comes to hand.

For more information on COVID-19, including updates, alerts and resources, please visit the COVID-19 page on the NSW Health website or the COVID-19 health alert page on the Federal Department of Health website.

Mark A. Bennett

Mayor of Hunters Hill

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Hunter’s Hill Council

22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400