Mayor’s Column

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

Columns by Mayor Zac Miles

Maintaining safety in our area

As we come into the warmer months, many of us are looking forward to spending our evenings out and about in Hunters Hill.

During our September meeting, Council endorsed a plan to improve public safety in our area and to help support the night-time economy in our villages. Included in these measures is a street lighting project with energy and cost savings: working together with street lighting services provider Ausgrid, we will transition 373 Main Road street lights to LED bulbs over the next three years.

The lower energy consuming LEDs will provide more effective lighting for our roads and footpaths, whilst also delivering environmental benefits; reducing greenhouse gas emissions and light pollution.

Another initiative in this plan is to increase residents’ feelings of safety in our neighbourhoods.

The Hunters Hill Crime Prevention Strategy and Action Plan proposes an number of improvements such as CCTV installation at selected locations around the municipality, improvements to lighting and signage, community education and engagement, amongst NSW Police force programs already in place. The plan was created with extensive community consultation and liaison with Ryde Police Area Command.

We’ve already seen success with the installation of CCTV in early 2021 at Woolwich Baths, which was introduced to promote community well-being.

It’s a priority of Council that we continue taking steps that maintain the safety of our public spaces, so that the community can get the most out of Hunters Hill.

Probus Day

This year, Probus Day on 1 October coincides with the International Day for Older Persons. Probus South Pacific is a not-for-profit organisation that provides retirees with the opportunity to connect socially with their local peers, it is an excellent opportunity to remind our older residents of the importance of social connections and support.

The Hunters Hill Probus contingent have the honour of being the first Probus Club to be formed in Australia in 1976. Since their formation, they have hosted monthly meetings with members of our community. Guest speakers are a common occurrence at this get together, talking on interesting topics as experts in their fields.

The Probus vision is to foster Friendship, Fellowship and Fun; they do this through hosting activities and outings- lunches, dinners and multi-day travel events.

The Hunters Hill Probus Club is always on the look-out for new members, so visit their website for all the details on the next meeting and joining: www.huntershillprobus.org

Improving local infrastructure
A project to improve traffic and safety of local roads in Boronia Park has now been completed.
In response to community concerns about rat running and speeding vehicles, the project involved upgrades to the roadway in High Street, including road resurfacing and the installation of rubber speed cushions.
Prioritising the safety of our community is not limited to the road; upgrades to the track at Kelly’s Bush has made the path more accessible and safer for a range of walkers. The path holds a huge historical significance, and it’s important to Council to protect the integrity of the area for generations to come.

Preparing for Emergencies
After witnessing the devastating impact of the floods in parts of NSW and Queensland this year, communities are increasingly focusing on being prepared for emergencies.
In Hunters Hill, extreme weather has provided disruption through localised flooding, fallen trees and power outages.
Disasters cannot be prevented from happening, but we can work to be prepared for extreme weather events.
Emergency Ready Week (19 – 25 September), an initiative by sustainability network, Resilient Sydney and Australian Red Cross, is a time for people to evaluate their emergency plans with the help of a ‘Get Prepared’ app: redcross.org.au/prepare.

Condolence Messages for the Queen
The opportunity to write a letter of condolence to mark the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is available in the foyer of Hunters Hill Town Hall. Please feel free to come in during business hours to pen your own message.
We thank members of the public for contributions made to our condolence book; Council will add its own letter of condolence. Following the official period of mourning, these messages will be collated and sent, via the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, to Buckingham Palace.

The Passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

On Friday morning, 9 September, we woke up to the devastating news of the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a cultural and constitutional giant in the lives of the people of Australia and the Commonwealth. The loss of Her Majesty is far-reaching and its effects will be felt here, and around the world, for many weeks to come.

For Hunters Hill, we were lucky enough to have had her and the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visit our Municipality during their first tour to Australia in 1954- as a budding Monarch a mere eight months after her coronation at St Edward’s Chair.

The Royal tour was truly exciting for Hunters Hill – residents turned up in great numbers to wave and cheer at the open topped motorcade as it glided past Boronia Park, on Ryde Road- something specially arranged for the people of Hunters Hill by request of the Council of the day.

It’s a cherished moment in the history of our community, and that first tour of Australia was also a momentous time for our country; the first time a reigning monarch had ever visited our shores. 70 percent of our population at the time turned out to see her during the exhaustive eight-week tour, at the time the largest event ever organised for the Commonwealth.

As with periods of mourning, there is reflection, too.

Queen Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years; the longest-reigning monarch in British and Commonwealth history, and the second longest-reigning monarch of a sovereign state in world history. From Churchill to Truss, from Menzies to Albanese; some of the greatest periods of the 21st century have unfolded under her sceptre.

It’s no surprise then that for most of us, Her Majesty is the only reigning monarch we have ever known. She has been the Head of State for more than half of the existence of the Commonwealth of Australia since our Federation in 1901.

During her life of service to our nation, Queen Elizabeth II earned a reputation for her timeless decency, faithfulness and served as a steadfast reminder of the continuity of the Westminster tradition. As Prime Minister Albanese noted today, she “always accepted the wisdom of the Australian people”, a strength of not only hers, but of our current system of government also.

Her wisdom and presence provided comfort through the years – some more turbulent than others, yet she always endured calmly and with great purpose. It is the grace and fortitude with which she handled the challenges of her time that we will remember her by.

Beyond her royal duties, Her Majesty was a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother; she doted openly upon her family members.

The end of this second Elizabethan age is a solemn time, but the respect and fondness for our Queen will always remain. We will not see one like her again in our lifetimes.

I conclude by noting that over the last week we have seen the old adage over social media: the Queen is Dead, Long Live the King.

Community Grants open for 2022-23

Applications for our 2022-23 Community Grants program are now open!

Our Community Grants Program provides financial support to community groups and not-for-profits to undertake work that they otherwise would not be able to afford. Council provides a ‘helping hand’ to these organisations to ensure that worthwhile projects or programs can move forward within the community.

It uplifts local groups to create innovative and inclusive programs, events, and projects that our residents love to participate in.

Often, these grant-funded events also mean that we attract visitors from outside the area, and they get to appreciate our wonderful Local Government Area. This also encourages the growth of our local economy through supporting local businesses within or villages.

The Community Grants program also includes the ability to support individuals selected to compete at a recognised sporting or cultural competition outside the Sydney metropolitan area in NSW, interstate or internationally.

There’s a total of $20,000 in grant funding available across two categories: Community Development and Community Assistance. It’s part of Council’s role in making a real difference to the lives of local residents and the provision of great local events, services and activities.

So if your community group or not-for-profit organisation have a one-off event or project in mind, get your Community Grants program applications in by 5pm on 30 September 2022 to be considered.

School holiday activities are back at The YARN

Free workshops are coming to The YARN these school holidays.

There’s ‘Rainbow Craft for Kids’ for 6-8 years, where your little one will use colourful paper and materials to create different rainbow crafts, including a rainbow snake, a hanging mobile, a happy cloud, and a rainbow blower.

If you have a tech head on your hands, the ‘Osmo Playspace’ event involves learning coding by playing games with the Osmo application. Those aged 5-12 will get to compose music, run their own pizza shop, create artwork and train their brain with the Osmo genius kit.

For the 10-17 year olds, there’s the ‘Mandala Art for Teens’ event, where participants will explore their creativity by making colourful mandala art using metallic foils and yarn.

All events are free but do require RSVP, so head to the Events page on the Council website to get all the details you need for each event.

Sharing our community facilities

Hunters Hill has a wide range of community facilities available, and they play a valuable role in providing our community with quality areas to spend time together, whether as local sports teams with quality pitches to play on or to catch up with the whole family for a special occasion.

We are proud to support our many community sport groups with these facilities, including the Hunters Hill Rugby Club and All Saints Hunters Hill Football Club, who both rounded out the ends of their seasons in a great way.

The Hunters Hill Rugby’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade teams all won their games in the week before Grand Finals; which is a feat that hasn’t been achieved since 1985, against the Woollahra Colleagues Rugby Club. On the same weekend, life member of the club Andy Johnson played his 400th game.

Plus, the Hunters Hill All Saints Football Club had 10 different teams make it to the Grand Finals. They also had 5 members from the same family (surname Jago) make it to 4 of those different Grand Finals and one member to a semi-final! Great stuff.

But our fields aren’t limited to just sports and training – they can be hired for other social events, too.

Using the new booking system

Our Council has many facilities available for hire – several halls, community centres (including The YARN), reserves, and parks that can suit anywhere between small groups of people to a large get together.

Community members regularly enjoy hosting private functions, parties, and other celebrations and can organise this using an online booking system.

Our Council recently introduced a new booking system for hiring community spaces, and so far we have received lots of positive feedback.

The new booking system streamlines the facility hiring process for community members, with improvements to make it easier to use than the previous system.

So next time you, a friend or family member have a special event coming up, take a look at the Council’s list of facilities you can hire to enjoy your event at in Hunters Hill.

Go to www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au or phone 9879 9400.

Enjoying art in our community

We are endeavouring to make Hunters Hill a haven for artists – Just last week the Anglican Parish of Hunters Hill hosted a free art exhibition ‘Splendour from Above’ by Michael Galovic at St Mark’s.

The week-long exhibition by renowned artist and iconographer Galovic featured his newest works, including Archangels Michael and Gabriel, as well as the Annunciation.

If you missed Splendour from Above, don’t worry: St Mark’s will be hosting the annual Romantics Art Show from the 11th – 17th September. Entry is free, and all original works and prints will be available for sale.

The Romantics Art Show will feature a collection of four of Australia’s leading traditional artists – including our well-known locals Ian Hansen and Robyn Ross – where you’ll enjoy the influence of the techniques and qualities of the old masters in modern form.

The return to regular events scheduling hasn’t just meant more chances to socialise; it celebrates art and grows our appreciation of the world around us and calls our attention in new ways.

We are so lucky to attract creatives from outside the Hunters Hill LGA whilst also nurturing and appreciating our incredible local artists.

Practicing road safety

During July to September, Transport for NSW’s Centre for Road Safety is highlighting the importance around truck safety by imploring citizens to ‘Be Truck Aware’.

NSW Centre for Road Safety has plenty of tips: Including allowing trucks to turn safely and understanding the dangers in merging in front of trucks. Vehicles like these as well as motorbikes and trailers have blind spots other motorists may be unaware of, so it’s best to allow extra space when you are driving in their proximity.

Unfortunately, driving routes you use regularly on local roads in Hunters Hill can impact your alertness of the road because of your familiarity with our area.

When driving locally is it is imperative to always remain alert and to minimise risk, we want to ensure safe driving practices on all of our roads and within our village areas in the municipality.

If you have a learner driver in your midst, consider taking the online course we have on offer: “Teaching Your Learner Driver”, available online through our website and sign-up via Eventbrite.

Not only will you be helping our learner drivers understand how to enjoy the roads safely, you’ll have peace of mind through refreshing your knowledge of the road and the rules.

Countdown to Moocooboola

Moocooboola is just around the corner – it’s on this Saturday. We have some surprises in store, but here’s a run-down of what will be going on in the Town Hall precinct and surrounds.

We kick off the fun from 10am with community market stalls in the Main Hall plus stage performances from 11am. The official opening with a Welcome to Country will take place at 10:30am at the Town Hall Forecourt.

At the rear of Town Hall, you’ll find rides and carnival-style attractions for the young, old, and everyone in between.

Food trucks on D’Aram Street will have offerings to satisfy a range of appetites.

More cuisine will be on offer from food stalls in the Life Congregational Church grounds, as well as great coffee, plus entertainment from live performers. Around D’Aram Street you’ll also find emergency services and garbage vehicle displays; interactive and educational for the kids.

Then, across the road inside the Hunters Hill Public School grounds, there will be more kids’ activities, live performances, and market stalls.

And don’t miss the Moocooboola Dog Show – a perennial festival favourite – at All Saints’ Church at 12pm.

Come rain or shine, we’ll see you at the Town Hall Precinct this Saturday, 20 August, when Moocooboola returns.

Vietnam Veterans’ Day

Tomorrow, 18 August, is Vietnam Veterans’ Day. The day is commemorated on the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in 1966.

During the 10 years between 1962 and 1972, almost 60,000 Australians served as part of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Tragically, 521 Australians died and more than 3000 were wounded.

Vietnam Veterans’ Day is a time to pay tribute to our veterans, to say thank you for the sacrifices that they and their families made. Our veterans helped secured the peace we enjoy on our shores today. Vietnam Veterans’ Day is also a time to reflect on the bravery, teamwork and endurance Australians displayed throughout the Vietnam War.

The Hunters Hill RSL Sub-Branch will hold a short service at 11am at the Memorial Wall at 56 Alexandra Street, with the laying of wreaths and poppies. If you can come along, community members are invited to bring a wreath, poppy or other flower to lay in honour of veterans.

Safe, Four-Paw Friendly Parks

Hunters Hill is known as a dog-friendly area and you’ll often see our residents out and about enjoying outdoor spaces with their pets.

As part of our continued work to ensure safety and utility in all of these places, our Council is seeking community feedback on a proposal for an enclosed small dog park in Tarban Creek Reserve.

Tarban Creek is already a haven for exercise, dog walking and other recreation.

Currently, we have no enclosed off-leash areas in Hunters Hill, and feedback received from our community during the development of the Riverglade Reserve Plan of Management identified the need for one.

An enclosed, safe space would allow smaller dogs and their owners to exercise and socialise together safely, whilst larger dogs continue to use the off leash areas close by. The enclosed off-leash area will also have facilities such as seating, dog waste bins and natural shaded areas. No trees would be removed.

Our Council has received grant funding from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for this important community project.

The concept plan, other information and details of how to share your views and feedback is available on our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/tarban.

Along with the proposed dog park plans, our Council has been servicing and planning upgrades for other recreational spaces in Hunters Hill. We are looking at ensuring that our parks have more regular maintenance, examining what we can do to improve our public spaces, and how we can create new activities for all of the community to enjoy.

One such project completed late last year, the Boronia Park Bike Track, recently received an award of excellence from Parks and Leisure Australia NSW/ACT, for a playspace valued at less than $500,000.

We won this award along with Youth Services Australia, as we worked with local riders and community members to create the custom-designed bike track with a three-level course.

The bike track has been a popular addition to Boronia Park since opening last December, and it ensures that riders have somewhere to enjoy Hunters Hill safely without damaging bushland areas.

We’re also looking to do extensive maintenance around Kelly’s Bush; works are currently underway on the main track to create a new boardwalk. This project is expected to finish by the end of September, wet weather and COVID permitting.

In the meantime, you can still enjoy other walking tracks in the reserve whilst the boardwalk is built. These measures ensure our community can enjoy the trails there for years to come whilst protecting the existing natural surrounds.

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying our outdoor spaces in Hunters Hill, with summer well on the way, I encourage you to get out and appreciate the best our area has to offer.

HSC trials study

As our next HSC cohort are entering the final push in their secondary schooling, Hunters Hill Council are committed to providing as much support as we can to ensure students are prepared for their trial exams and finals.

That’s why the YARN will be open later than usual for students to study for their upcoming trials, with extended hours on August 2 and 8. The YARN is a great place to work and concentrate on their studies free from the distractions that they often have at home.

On these days opening hours will be from 10am-7pm; and for those of you that are entering the exam period, I wish you all the very best of luck.

More than representation

During Local Government Week, workers across NSW have a great chance to reflect on what it means to be part of a Council team.

Roads, rates and rubbish are our core business, but it’s not all we do as your Council.

We work to improve community infrastructure and protect our beautiful heritage buildings. We organise events and support local community groups. We seek to grow our area in a way that works for our residents, because that’s the job we were elected to do.

We’ve got some significant upgrades to come to the sporting facilities at Boronia Park and the field and amenities at Gladesville Reserve. We’re also upgrading Figtree Park to feature an inclusive playspace, seating and walkways, and making sure it stays as a quiet and reflective greenspace for all in the community.

These project plans will utilise NSW and Federal grants our Council has successfully applied for.

Above all, we’re here to serve and boost our local economies and neighbourhoods, making sure that our villages and public spaces are inviting and showcase the very best we have to offer.

Events are Returning

Moocooboola is only a few weeks away now, and we couldn’t be more excited.

We have so many events that are coming up in Hunters Hill: The Quilt Show, Moocooboola, the Hunters Hill Art Exhibition and Young in Art.

Holding events that encourage everyone to get involved reminds us what community is all about, and how we all benefit from coming together.

Returning to these events also means staying safe too; be sure to stay informed of the latest guidelines from NSW Health to ensure we continue to enjoy our amazing area together.

Creating safer roads

After hearing concerns from our community and undertaking a comprehensive traffic study, we are introducing road safety measures to combat rat-running and speeding on local roads in Boronia Park.

Rubber speed cushions will be installed as well as resurfacing of the road on High Street between Pittwater and Park roads.

Council endorsed this measure at its July meeting after community consultation and recommendations of a Local Area Traffic Management Plan, as well as the endorsement of the Hunters Hill Local Traffic Committee.

We look forward to working with residents of High Street to ensure the resurfacing works run smoothly.

Unveiling Hunters Hill history

I had the pleasure of officially opening a display of the Bicentennial Quilt at Hunters Hill Museum last week.

Chris Schofield of the Hunters Hill Historical Society and Judy Grierson of the Hunters Hill Quilters shared their knowledge and stories behind the creation of the Bicentennial Quilt.

It is thanks to both these organisations that the community can now once again view this historical quilt from 1988 up close and in all its wonderful detail.

The quilt depicts stories of people and places through a pictorial map of Hunters Hill. Made over a two-year period, 57 women generously gave a collective 3000 hours of their time to create this gift for our Municipality.

Visit the Hunters Hill Museum, to appreciate all the intricate details up close, on weekdays from 10am to 12pm or to view by appointment phone 0417 067 511.

The quilt’s display comes ahead of the upcoming Quilters Show at Town Hall, from August 4 to 7.

Celebrating our Friendship with Le Vesinet

For the first time since the beginning of COVID Hunters Hill is welcoming students from Le Vesinet as a part of the exchange program organised by the Hunters Hill Le Vesinet Friendship Committee. The students will spend three weeks here in Hunters Hill with host families before traveling interstate for the rest of their journey. Before they leave we will be welcoming them here at Hunters Hill Town Hall to celebrate this wonderful program that for so many years has celebrated Hunters Hills French heritage and promoted improved French language skills for local students who have participated in the exchange. So to all of those students that touched down last week, Bienvenue!

 

Keeping our school zones safe

Welcome back to all the students and teachers who returned to classrooms this week following a well-earned school holiday break.

Especially to senior students who are are working hard to prepare for the HSC trial exams in August – we wish you all the best with your studies.

The return to school also brings traffic back to our local roads.

A reminder to all motorists that school zones are now back in force around morning and afternoon school drop-off and pick-up times.

We are asking everyone to be aware of road safety around these times – with both traffic and pedestrian movements increasing.

The peninsula in particular presents unique traffic challenges for us here in Hunters Hill, which is a matter that our Council is in constant contact with schools about.

Additionally, we are asking our community to do what they can to play a role in easing congestion where possible.

Please be patient and obey all traffic signs and rules when traveling to and from your local school. These regulations are about protecting our kids and the people who care for them.

 

Reduce your use

There is still time to ‘choose to refuse’ single-use plastics as part of Plastic Free July.

You might choose to switch from a disposal to a re-useable cup on your daily coffee run. Or maybe you’re avoiding pre-packaged foods when shopping. 

Any action, large or small, makes a difference.

Data from previous Plastic Free July campaigns shows that our participating residents played an important role in creating less waste.

The annual impact across 2020 and 2021 was an estimated avoidance of more than 58,000 kilograms of landfill waste and recycling disposal was reduced by more than 41,000 kilograms.

To all those participating, thank you for your efforts.

If you need more inspiration or are looking to get started, visit the Plastic Free July website for tips and resources: plasticfreejuly.org.

Moocooboola Festival returns

It’s my great pleasure to share with the community that the Moocooboola Festival is returning on Saturday 20 August, and for 2022 will be staged back where it all began more than 40 years ago in the Hunters Hill Town Hall and surrounds.

The Moocooboola Festival is an institution in Hunters Hill, and started at Town Hall, before moving to Hunters Hill High School, then Boronia Park ovals.

The festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, making its return this year a welcome addition to our community calendar. While most of us associate Moocooboola with Boronia Park ovals, the unrelenting rain and severe weather events of recent months has prompted a move away from the ovals this year to avoid any chance of having cancellations.

We know our community is eager to get back to local events like these, so rather than risking the possibility of cancellation due to oval and weather conditions, we are returning Moocooboola to its home in a venue with more indoor, undercover and hard surface options.

We will be utilising the Town Hall precinct and its surrounds, working with our neighbours to bring a unique event to our community.

We’re expecting plenty of fun to be had by all ages, with a wide range of entertainment options including live music, rides, games, stalls, displays, activities, and workshops. We’re encouraging a real focus on local community groups and services showcasing their crafts, wares and activities.

Food trucks and dining spots will provide an abundance of options for foodies and families alike.

We can’t wait to bring our community together for this Moocooboola Festival.

Save the date and keep an eye on our website for all the details: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

 

Amplifying Indigenous voices

The NAIDOC Reading Challenge is on!

Throughout July, you can head to our warm and welcoming community space, The YARN, to read, borrow, or learn about Indigenous Australian literature.

The NAIDOC Reading Challenge encourages children to read 10 books written by Indigenous Australian authors or illustrators. The challenge is a great way to broaden young readers’ understanding of Australia’s national heritage.

For more information go to: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Boost for sports and community

The delivery of a new Sports and Community Facility at Boronia Park has received a significant boost with the announcement last week from State Member for Lane Cove and Minister for Planning and Homes, Anthony Roberts, of $1.3 million in extra funding for this project.

This new funding adds to the $1 million the NSW Government has already committed, as well as $500,000 from the Federal Government and the ongoing fundraising efforts from the Hunters Hill Rugby Union Football Club.

This will be an outstanding facility for rugby, cricket and netball, as well as our local schools and broader community who use Boronia Park.

It will deliver much needed toilet and change facilities, particularly for women’s sports, where these amenities have been lacking for far too long.

The building will also provide much needed storage space for sporting equipment, as well as meeting spaces that can be used by Council and the community.

Thanks to this generous funding from the NSW Government we hope to have shovels in the ground before the end of the year.

 

Promoting healthy habits

We recently held our first School Principals Liaison Committee meeting for this term of Council, with some great discussion around road safety, youth participation in community initiatives and promoting healthy attitudes among children and families.

The Go4Fun program is a free NSW Health-funded initiative designed for children aged between 7 and 13 years who are above a healthy weight.

The program focuses on making lifestyle changes as a family, encourages healthy eating habits and fitness and improves self-esteem in kids.

For Hunters Hill residents, the program is offered at nearby locations including in Ryde.

For details go to: go4fun.com.au.

 

Plastic Free July

This month we are aiming to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics, working alongside fellow members of the Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC) as part of Plastic Free July.

Plastic Free July is recognised globally as an annual month of global action where individuals, businesses and governments come together to take action to reduce plastic waste.

By sharing ideas, positive actions and stories of change, the aim is to help people and organisations ‘choose to refuse’ single-use plastic every day.

To find out more, go to: plasticfreejuly.org.

Fostering inclusive communities

Making Hunters Hill a great place to live, work and visit is the core business of Council. One of the most important ways we can make this happen is to make our services and public spaces as accessible as possible as people move around the Municipality.

On a day-to-day basis, it’s about keeping roads and footpaths in the best possible condition, our parks and open spaces well maintained and our villages clean and tidy.

More broadly it’s about ensuring that we are improving the amenity that we provide for the community be it through the provision of adequate parking, or planning to make our places fit-for-purpose, welcoming and inclusive.

At its June meeting, Council endorsed a new initiative to help drivers find mobility parking spaces in our local government area.

This parking project, offering real-time data on the location of mobility parking spaces, will be introduced in Hunters Hill through the State Government’s Park’n Pay app.

Sensors installed in mobility parking spaces will help app users locate available spots.

This will improve the experience for drivers and passengers with mobility issues when they visit our villages and public places.

The program will also provide evidence-based data to our Council to help us determine if we require more mobility spaces than we currently have.

Work is also progressing on renewing our Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

The plan will detail the actions to be taken by our Council over a four-year period to build a community that is inclusive of people with disability through the creation of more inclusive and accessible public domain.

It aligns with our commitment to ensuring people can use, walk, drive, cycle and catch public transport safely and easily.

Communities including people with disability, Council staff and other key stakeholders have already provided valuable feedback through recent consultation phases.

Our Council also has a new Movement and Transport Advisory Committee, which first met last week.

It comprises Councillor and community representatives, including members with suitable knowledge and expertise to represent residents with reduced mobility, cyclists and those living in our two Council wards (north and south).

A range of advisory committees have been established for this term of Council to provide opportunities for community members to join with Councillors in making recommendations to the whole of Council, on key subject areas.

Already the Movement and Transport Advisory Committee has considered issues such as cycling, parking and pedestrian safety and will continue to work to improve our actions in this space.

We thank those community members who are volunteering their time to serve on our advisory committees.

Maintaining our places

We have been working hard to improve maintenance of our local roads, following the damage caused by recent severe wet weather.

Contractors have been out across the municipality undertaking road repairs and restorations.

As well as fixing potholes, an improved schedule of kerb, gutter and footpath works are occurring.

Our recent Community Survey highlighted the importance of improving the condition of roads and footpaths, being ranked by our residents as one of the key areas you want us to focus on.

We are working to act on this and deliver an improved program of repairs and road replacements in priority areas.

It was great to see through the survey, a high level of community satisfaction with our maintenance of parks and recreation areas.

Consistent with this feedback, the exterior of the Boronia Park grandstand was recently re-painted as part of our 2021-22 renewal program.

Maintenance work has also been carried out around the Woolwich Baths amenities block, including water proofing and an electrical upgrade.

 

Market this weekend

The Henley Growers and Artisans Market will be back on Saturday 25 June from 9am-1pm.

Market-goers can shop for fresh produce, buy some unique artisan items, grab brunch or enjoy a coffee in this great location at Henley Green Community Garden.

The event is hosted by The Happy Hens in partnership with Council.

 

Clothes swap

As part of our events and sustainability programs, we are teaming up with The Clothing Exchange to host a ‘Sip and Swap’ evening at Town Hall.

The idea is for participants to bring up to six items of clothing they value but no longer wear and exchange them for those they’ll love to wear.

It’s also an opportunity to meet like-minded locals and enjoy a light supper.

Registrations are required for the free event on Thursday 30 June, to be held from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

To book, go to: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Building a sustainable future

Waste services – alongside footpaths and roads – are among the most important services that Council delivers and should be our key focus.

Delivering and maintaining these services on a day-to-day basis is, and will continue to be, a priority for our Council.

Beyond simply delivering these services, we are also about continuous improvement to try to ensure that the way we do things is efficient, cost-effective and in line with industry best practice.

In the area of waste, and with the assistance of the NSW Government, we have been undertaking projects to look at ways to potentially reduce the amount and types of waste going to landfill.

Cafes, businesses, aged care facilities and schools across Hunters Hill are participating in a Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC) Food Scraps Recycling Trial.

By separating food waste using Council-supplied food caddies and placing these in specially-marked bins for collection each week, participants are providing valuable information on reducing the amount of food scraps that end up in landfill.

Early data is showing that close to two tonnes of food waste was collected from a small sample group of commercial and school premises in just four weeks.

To support the efforts of these hard-working businesses and organisations, we are asking community members to be mindful not to contaminate, with coffee cups or other general waste, the specially marked garbage bins put out for kerbside collection.

If the food scraps recycling bins are contaminated, the entire contents goes to landfill, thereby undoing all the hard work of trial participants.

Another project is focused on helping make recycling easier for residents, under our partnership with RecycleSmart.

You can book via the RecycleSmart website or app to have your soft plastics, clothes, e-waste and other tricky waste collected from your doorstep and recycled, for free when you subscribe, or for $2 a bag.

In the past six months, RecycleSmart has collected more than 860 bags, weighing a total of about 2150 kilograms, from our local government area.

Container recycling has also been embraced here in Hunters Hill.

More than 596,000 containers were recycled through the Return and Earn reverse vending machine at Henley Community Centre between January and March this year.

As an added bonus, users can earn a refund or gift it to a donation partner, such as a local charity, school, sports club, or community group.

Community survey results

Community feedback and participation is essential in helping to determine how our Council delivers services, facilities, programs and projects to our residents and ratepayers.

This feedback takes a variety of forms, all of which help the Council to represent the broad interests of our residents.

Among more formal methods is our independent surveys, which we conducted in March and April to help inform Council’s suite of draft business plan documents, including the draft 10-year Community Plan, draft 4-year Delivery Program and draft annual Operational Plan.

We have now published results from the survey, which details the priorities and levels of satisfaction that the community has with Council; it is available to the public on our website.

We are also seeking additional feedback on our draft business plan documents, which are on public exhibition until 13 June.

For more information, go to www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au.

 

Henley Garden Party

The severe weather has presented numerous challenges for our Council in recent months with our works and maintenance. However, our team is now redoubling efforts to ensure that we maintain public spaces to the standard our community expects.

The weather has also forced the postponement of some important local events, but we are pleased to now be hosting one such event next week.

The Seniors Festival and Henley Garden Party, initially planned for early April but delayed due to a torrential downpour that defeated even the wet weather plan, is now scheduled for 16 June.

The free seniors’ morning tea will run from 10am to 1pm at Henley, outdoors on the green if weather permits, or alternatively inside the community centre.

The event will celebrate and showcase community services and organisations across the Hunters Hill, Ryde and Lane Cove local government areas.

It’s a joint event from Hunter’s Hill Council, Lane Cove Council, City of Ryde, Stryder, Sydney Community Services, Presbyterian Aged Care and The Happy Hens.

Organisations including the Country Women’s Association and Easy Care Gardening will also be involved, providing morning tea and workshops for attendees.

To RSVP, email support@sydneycs.org  or phone 8598 7051.

A free door-to-door shuttle bus will also be available. If you require transport email info@stryder.org.au or phone 9816 5000.

Platinum Jubilee Of Queen Elizabeth II

In the coming days, many people here in Australia and throughout the Commonwealth will celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The central celebration period for Her Majesty’s historic 70-year reign is from 2 to 5 June, with our annual Queen’s Birthday public holiday to follow here in NSW on 13 June.

While Royal celebrations in London will be beamed around the world, here in Sydney activities will include the lighting of the Sydney residence of Australia’s Governor-General, Admiralty House in Kirribilli.

Admiralty House will be illuminated in purple light, as will other buildings around the nation to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

Other celebrations include a high tea and talk at NSW Parliament House and a concert of Royal music from across the centuries at St Andrew’s Cathedral in George St, Sydney.

Here in Hunters Hill, the Anglican Parish will celebrate with a special service of Evensong at 7pm tomorrow (2 June) at All Saints’ in Ambrose Street. All are welcome to the service that will include hymns and music from the coronation service, led and sung by a combined choir from St John’s Beecroft and All Saints’.

Becoming the first Australian Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee is a phenomenal achievement.

I look forward to joining people all over the world in commemorating The Queen’s remarkable 70 years of dedication and service to the Commonwealth of Nations and her subjects.

Celebration of the ‘Last Battler of Kelly’s Bush’

Last week the community also noted the remarkable life of Dr Joan Croll AO the last of the 12 Battlers of Kelly’s Bush. The ceremony was held at Weil Park, within cooee of the bushland that was saved in large part due to Joan and her colleagues efforts, resulting in the first ‘green ban’ after it was famously saved from incoming overdevelopment.

Dr Croll was a well-respected member of the Hunters Hill community, in both her professional and personal lives as a former breast physician and radiologist and conservation activist.

In line with the principles of the dedicated conservationists ‘Battlers for Kelly’s Bush’, Hunter’s Hill Council has made an application under the Queens Jubilee Canopy Project,  planting trees to mark the Jubilee and celebrate the values of another dedicated conservationist in Her Majesty.

Council is hoping to continue to protect and enhance our urban bushlands that so many of our residents enjoy for recreation.

Support the Red Shield Appeal

The Salvation Army will be out this weekend in the community, doorknocking and holding street stalls fundraising for the Red Shield Appeal.

This major fundraiser assists the most vulnerable members of our community at a time when natural disasters, COVID and increased cost of living pressures have created greater demand for the Salvos’ services.

Earlier this month, I attended the launch of the Salvos Red Shield appeal for the Hunters Hill/Ryde area.

I know that any and all support from our community will be greatly appreciated. To find out more, including how you can help, go to: www.salvationarmy.org.au.

 

Maintaining Our Great Outdoors

To deliver for Hunters Hill it is important that our Council understands the priorities of our community.

Since the start of this term of Council we have been talking directly to our residents, seeking feedback on strategic plans and conducting independent surveys, and the community has identified outdoor spaces as a priority for this Council.

Footpaths, roads and traffic management remain key areas that you have asked us to keep as our focus. So too was managing parks, playgrounds and open spaces.

When you are moving about our local government area or enjoying open spaces for sport and recreation, you may see members of Council’s outdoor team working to maintain these places for the safety and enjoyment of our community.

It’s a small team, dedicated to maintaining and enhancing all of our public spaces. We strive to reflect the pride that our residents and ratepayers take in Hunters Hill, through the work that we do for you.

In recent weeks, our Council farewelled a member of the outdoor team after 41 years’ service. He shared with us that the best thing about working at Hunter’s Hill Council was the friendships he formed over the years, as well as working with colleagues who shared his love of serving this community.

I know our team appreciates the respect and recognition that the community provides in return.

And as we have just celebrated Volunteer Week, we can also reflect on how fortunate we are to have the support of volunteers and local organisations that work to enhance and conserve outdoor spaces for the benefit and enjoyment of the broader community.

Delivering for our community

Since the beginning of this term of council, we have been hearing from our residents and ratepayers about the services, facilities, programs and projects that are important to our community.

This valuable feedback forms the basis of our strategic plans that set the priorities for what we will deliver in the next financial year and across the next four years.

These documents outline our priorities and how programs will be scheduled and is importantly underpinned by our budget.

Like many other councils, Hunters Hill faces the challenge of balancing community expectations with future financial sustainability.

A decision of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), announced last week, means we will be applying a special variation to rates from 2022-23.

This IPART decision makes up a component of the funding mix for Council to deliver balanced budgets into the future.

As well as improving long-term financial sustainability, it also means we can complete our capital works program and reduce our asset backlog.

Highlights of our upcoming Delivery Program include major projects supported by State and Federal grant funding that will benefit our local area for many years to come, such as:

  • the $4.75million activation of Figtree Park;
  • a new community and sporting facility at Boronia Park to service district-level sport, recreational users and the broader community; and
  • upgrades to the playing fields and amenities at Gladesville Reserve.

Other works and services will provide connected and accessible infrastructure, protect and sustain our outdoor spaces, and help our neighbourhoods and village centres thrive.

Our commitment to supporting our community, providing safe and inclusive experiences and places, and carrying out our business as a Council in an open and transparent way, are the key goals in this program.

To find out more about Council’s draft strategic plans or to provide feedback, head to our website www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au or phone 9879 9400.

Celebrating Our Community Groups

Hunters Hill is known for having a passionate community and this is part of what makes our area such a great place to live.

We are also lucky to have organisations that make so many valuable contributions across a range of fields. This covers everything from telling our Council what you think about the services, projects and programs we deliver; to hosting organised sport for community members; or volunteering with service providers to support vulnerable residents.

Hunters Hill Historical Society and Hunters Hill RSL Sub-Branch are two of these important organisations and they have worked together recently to capture valuable information about our military connections in a series of new booklets now available at Town Hall, the RSL and the Museum. A special thank you to Chris Schofield and Rod Stewart who compiled and edited these important documents.

With the support of Federal Government funding, this very detailed work looks at the contributions of our citizens who volunteered and served through historical wars; the memorials in our Municipality; and places in Hunters Hill utilised during wartime.

It is an important contribution to Hunters Hill’s history and demonstrates how our community has, over the years, willingly engaged in international struggles for the freedom, peace and the common good.

Booklets are available from Hunters Hill Museum at 22 Alexandra Street, next to Town Hall, Monday to Friday 10am to 12pm and via contact@huntershillmuseum.org.au or phone Council on 9879 9419.

The legacy of environmental campaigners is also an important part of the Hunters Hill story and is being honoured at a public event, organised by the Friends of Kelly’s Bush and the family of the late Dr Joan Croll AO.

The Battlers for Kelly’s Bush Celebration will be held at Weil Park, Woolwich, next to Kelly’s Bush on 22 May at 11am.

Dr Croll was a well-respected member of the Hunters Hill community, in both her professional and personal lives as a former breast physician and radiologist and conservation activist.

The event will celebrate Dr Croll and the achievements of the ‘Battlers for Kelly’s Bush’, the dedicated conservationists behind the 1970s campaign that led to this place becoming the site of the world’s first green ban, after it was famously saved from incoming overdevelopment.

The legacy lives on with groups such as the Friends of Kelly’s Bush continuing to protect and enhance this area of urban bushland that so many of our residents enjoy for recreation.

To register for the free event, go to www.eventbrite.com.au and search for ‘Kelly’s Bush’.

Stay safe on our roads

As many in our community return to their school routine following the recent break, it is especially important that we take care on local roads. Several road and pedestrian safety campaigns will remind us all to take care in an around our local streets and on state and national highways.

These are timely reminders that coincide with the work our Council is doing to help promote road safety in Hunters Hill.

During May, we are offering programs aimed at helping learner drivers become safe drivers, as well as initiatives to protect some of the young passengers that travel in cars on our roads.

Working with Transport for NSW, we are offering free child car seat safety checks to residents of our local government area.

This voucher program provides access to checks with an authorised restraint fitter. You can contact our Road Safety Officer via stamperv@huntershill.nsw.gov.au or 9911 3576, to access a voucher, which is valid until 28 May.

For those residents responsible for teaching our newest drivers how to safely get behind the wheel, we are hosting a free online workshop on 19 May.

The session aims to support parents and supervisors of learner drivers to be confident and effective teachers.

The workshop will cover information about licence conditions for learner and P-plate drivers, tips for using the learner driver log book and the importance of providing constructive feedback.

We are again working with Transport for NSW, as well as Lane Cove Council, to deliver this program. You can register through our website www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events or phone us on 9879 9400.

National campaigns during May will also act as a reminder to take care on and around our roads, in particularly during National Road Safety Week, from 15 to 22 May.

On 20 May, Walk Safely to School Day will promote health and pedestrian safety messages to children and their parents and carers, ahead of Fatality Free Friday on 27 May, a campaign that aims to have a fatality free Friday on Australian roads and to encourage long-term community change.

Whether you are taking a short journey locally or venturing further afield, take care and travel safely.

Share your vision for Hunters Hill

In delivering services to our community, it is important that this work reflects the needs and desires of the people who live and work in Hunters Hill.

There are many ways that our Council achieves this, including through formal frameworks and strategies such as our Community Plan.

We are seeking your views as part of the process we are presently undertaking to update our Community Plan and to make sure that we are delivering the best for our community, based on your feedback.

Updating the Community Plan will help highlight what we need to do to achieve the  priorities and aspirations for the future of Hunters Hill.

So, it’s important to develop a plan that contains the services, facilities, programs and projects that our community need.

We want to hear from you about your vision for our future.

Come to a drop-in session at Town Hall tomorrow (28 April) from 9am to 10am or on Wednesday (4 May) from 6pm to 7pm.

Council staff will be available to take questions and hear your feedback.

Or contribute ideas online by adding words or photos to our virtual vision boards on themes such as infrastructure, the environment, community services, local places and governance.

To RSVP for a drop-in session or connect online, go to our website www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/community-plan or phone 9879 9400.

Responses to a recent, independently conducted telephone survey will also inform the Community Plan. Thank you to the more than 400 residents who provided valuable insights to help us understand what is important in shaping the future of Hunters Hill.

At our April Council meeting, we also had an opportunity to share details of how we are tracking in delivering projects, programs and services under our existing strategic framework.

It was great to see increased maintenance of streets, parks and reserves and delivery of footpath and cycleway improvements in the reporting quarter covering January to March this year.

A footpath renewal and upgrade program is also near complete, and work to support maintenance of village centres is on track.

The report also highlighted how fortunate we are to have volunteers dedicated to managing and preserving our environment, such as the 80 active Bushcare volunteers who worked across 11 sites, collectively contributing 182 hours of their time to local projects.

Honouring our veterans

At this time of year, Australians stop to reflect on the courage and sacrifices of veterans and serving defence forces personnel.

This culminates in ANZAC Day, one of our most important national occasions, marking the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I.

This national day of remembrance is also a time at which to recognise the contributions of veterans from other past wars and military campaigns and to signify support for personnel presently serving.

In Hunters Hill, we traditionally hold a commemorative service on or close to the eve of Anzac Day.

We do this so our local veterans and personnel can attend a service in Hunters Hill, then mark the occasion of 25 April with others from their military squadrons, or attend services in Sydney city or the nation’s capital Canberra.

Council and the Hunters Hill RSL Sub-branch will jointly host the ANZAC memorial service here and this year will notably mark the 99th combined event.

The service will be held this Friday the 22nd April.

A march will commence at 6.45pm outside the RSL Memorial Hall at 56 Alexandra St and culminate at the Town Hall. We would encourage the community to participate in the event and watch the procession from Alexandra Street.

Immediately following the march, an outdoor ceremony at the Obelisk Memorial outside the Hunters Hill Town Hall (on the corner of Alexandra and D’Aram Streets) will commence at 7pm.

This is a community event and anyone wishing to pay their respects is encouraged to join us to reflect and commemorate.

We are so fortunate to have a safe and peaceful home in Hunters Hill and are forever grateful to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy this freedom.

Engaging with you

Our Council has a range of ways in which we interact with the community, both formal and informal, and these are often underpinned by legislative frameworks.

One such framework is a Community Engagement Strategy, which every council in NSW is required to have to support development of plans, policies, programs and key activities.

We are inviting feedback on the latest version of our Community Engagement Strategy.

You can view the draft document and details on how to make a submission via our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate.

Take a safe Easter break

With Easter upon us, I want to take the opportunity to wish everyone in our community a safe and happy holiday break.

Whether you are relaxing at home, catching up with family and friends, headed to the Sydney Royal Easter Show or heading off on a getaway, it is a great opportunity to take some time out.

It’s also a chance to step out and enjoy our outdoor recreation spaces (provided the weather cooperates) or visit the great cafes, restaurants and shops in our local villages.

It has been inspiring to see some new businesses opening in recent months, as well as much-loved favourites picking up patronage again following a difficult couple of years due to COVID.

We are also hosting activities over the break, including our always-popular school holiday workshops at The YARN, our library and community space in Hunters Hill Village.

Youngsters are also invited to come along to the Boronia Park ovals on Easter Sunday morning, where I will be joined by a special guest to hand out Easter treats. If you do plan to attend, please register via our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

For residents who are travelling over the holiday break, take care and stay safe, especially on the roads.

To assist Hunters Hill residents, our Council is working with Transport for NSW to provide vouchers for free child car seat safety checks.

Vouchers entitle you to have a restraint checked, refitted or fully fitted by a designated authorised restraint fitter.

You can contact our Road Safety Officer for details via stamperv@huntershill.nsw.gov.au or 9911 3576.

Vouchers must be redeemed by 28 May.

We are also hosting a free workshop for residents tasked with teaching a learner driver how to safely get behind the wheel.

The online session on 19 May will support parents and supervisors of learner drivers to be confident and effective teachers.

Workshop topics include information about licence conditions for learner and P-plate drivers, tips for using the learner driver log book and the importance of providing constructive feedback.

See our website for details: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Creating inclusive communities

The sense of community here is a big part of what makes Hunters Hill a great place to live, work or visit.

From knowing the name of your local barista, bumping in to friends and acquaintances at the local shops, or feeling safe when you’re out taking a walk along one of our beautiful foreshores – these are just some of the things that contribute to the atmosphere here.

For our Council, the goal is to enhance that welcoming feeling for all people.

That could be in formal ways such as through good urban design of village centres so that these are places that are easy to get around; or in simple everyday interactions, such as delivering friendly and efficient customer service.

We also have legislative frameworks in place to help us build a more inclusive and accessible community.

This includes having a Disability Inclusion Action Plan, which details how we intend to go about building stronger communities that are inclusive of people with disability.

We are presently reviewing our existing Disability Inclusion Action Plan and working with our neighbours, Lane Cove Council, to develop a shared plan for 2022 to 2026.

This plan is about making our communities more inclusive for people living, working and visiting our local government areas.

We’re also striving to make our local areas more connected and liveable places for carers, older people, those with a temporary disability and families with young children.

It’s about promoting diversity, inclusion and access.

To do this, we need input from our community.

Our communities, including people with disability, Council staff and other key stakeholders will be consulted through a range of engagement methods.

One of these is a survey, open until 1 May, which will inform a draft plan.

Please take a moment to complete it online via our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/diap. You can also access printed copies at our Customer Service Centre at Town Hall.

Your answers will help our Council plan for good community connections, accessible places and services, and improved participation in community life.

Giving voice to generations

People sometimes refer to Hunters Hill as being an area predominately made up of ‘older’ residents.

However, when you look at the demographics for our local government area, data from our Community Profile (based on Census of Population and Housing results), it shows that while we do have a higher proportion of persons aged 60 or older than Greater Sydney, we also have higher proportion of young people, aged under 18.

So, it’s fitting that around this time of year we dedicate events and conversations specifically to residents in these important age groups.

On 24 March, we hosted our annual Youth Summit at Town Hall.

It was an opportunity for local high school students to share ideas with our Council about sustainability projects, and also how to get youth more engaged in the community.

I’m passionate about youth representation on our Council and that was one of the reasons I stood for election as a Councillor almost a decade ago at the age of 21.

Having served two terms as a Councillor and now entering a third as Mayor, engaging a youth voice through Council is something that I believe is so important and it’s a view I know other Councillors share too.

Whether it is through a Youth Council and having young people represented on our committees, or hosting more events and promoting activities that appeal to a younger demographic, we hope to boost youth involvement in what we do.

Equally importantly, with the NSW Seniors Festival under way, we are taking the opportunity to recognise and thank older citizens in our community for the contributions they have made and continue to make.

Hunters Hill, working with Lane Cove and Ryde as well as other service organisations across our community, has organised activities for the Seniors Festival, including an April 7 Garden Party on the former bowling greens outside the Henley Community Centre.

See our website for details: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Welcoming our new GM

Our new General Manager, Mitchell Murphy, will officially start work here in Hunters Hill on Monday (28 March).

I know Mitchell is keen to hit the ground running, and as well as getting to know the staff here at Council, he is eager to get out and meet our community.

The Councillors and I are excited about the prospects that lay ahead for us to work with Mitchell and the team to deliver great things for our community.

Mitchell is coming to us from Longreach Regional Council in Queensland, where he was the Chief Executive Officer.

As well as this experience, he will be bringing extensive knowledge from senior executive leadership roles in professional services and media management.

I also want to acknowledge how fortunate our Council has been to have Nick Tobin as our Acting General Manager, since June 2021.

Nick has a wealth of experience and knowledge across all aspects of our business, which has been a real asset to the Council and our community.

We’ve been able to deliver some great things for Hunters Hill during this time.

We opened a new inclusive playspace at Riverglade Reserve; built the Boronia Bike Track; conducted community consultation on major projects including the Gladesville Masterplan and Figtree Park; and inducted a new Council following local government elections – just to name a few.

Many of you in our community will have had interactions with Nick, and I know that his willingness to lend an ear is appreciated by many of our Council’s staff and community members.

I want to place on record my and the Council’s great appreciation of Nick for his dedication, hard work and outstanding performance during his time as Acting General Manager.

A symbol of solidarity

Following several requests from community members and, as a show of support, we are flying the Ukraine flag on the poles at the front of the Hunters Hill Town Hall and Administration building over the next few weeks.

This is intended as a symbol of solidarity with the people of Ukraine and everyone affected by the conflict and humanitarian crisis.

Connect to your community

With recent severe weather events and COVID keeping us at home, we are hopeful that this month and next will bring new opportunities to reconnect local communities.

Events are back on the calendar for March and April, with many of these taking place outdoors to assist with COVID safety measures.

Clean Up Australia Day events at Gladesville and Riverglade reserves are scheduled for this Sunday (20 March) having been postponed earlier in the month due to storms and floods. If you have an hour or two to spare, the crews would love to see you there.

Henley Green Community Garden will be hosting a Growers and Artisans Market on 26 March, and the garden will also be showcased for all that weekend as part of the Sydney Edible Garden Trail.

The green will again be the site of festivities when our Council joins with our neighbours in Ryde and Lane Cove, as well as Stryder, Sydney Community Services, the Happy Hens Social Enterprise and Presbyterian Aged Care: North Ryde Community Aid, as part of Seniors Festival 2022.

The Henley Garden Party on April 7 will feature morning tea, music, stalls and more.

Prior to that, over in Hunters Hill Village, our Council will be working with local businesses to stage the ‘Festival of Fools’ on April Fools’ Day (1 April), a pop-up festival to introduce visitors to the precinct and stimulate our village’s night-time economy.

The April Fools’ night celebration is set to include entertainment, displays, workshops, tasting menus and themed takeaways.

It is being held as part of the Festival of Place Summer Night Fund initiative from the NSW Government, and our Council’s Love Your Local campaign.

As well as bringing activities and entertainment to our local residents, these events are also about giving a boost to the local economy, especially after a very tough couple of years, and reconnecting people after long periods of separation.

We hope you can join us for some of these great events. You can check our social media channels or website for any updates closer to the events.

For more information go to: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au.

Zac Miles

Mayor of Hunters Hill

 Help shape our future

Last December we were elected to represent the interests of the Hunters Hill community, and Council’s continued collaboration with our engaged and informed citizenry is so important in getting that job done.

At the start of this term of Council, we have established a number of committees to provide opportunities for community members to join with Councillors in making recommendations to the whole of Council on key subject areas.

Expressions of interest are now open for these committees, and we are seeking nominations for community representatives.

We hope to get a wide range of individuals involved from diverse set of backgrounds and with experience relevant to the core area of each committee.

The ability to effectively listen to and cooperate with community members holding similar or different points of view is vitally important.

Groups for which we are seeking community representatives include those with a focus on: bushland management; conservation; culture, arts and events; movement and transport; sport and recreation; and sustainability.

We are also seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified people to fill the role of two independent members of our Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee.

Committees provide valuable advice and guidance to Council, through members’ own experiences or by sharing the ideas and suggestions of others within our unique little municipality.

It’s a great way to contribute to the future of our local government area.

So, if you have experience in a committee focus area, an understanding of the role of local government, a commitment to consultative processes, and an ability to develop contacts with other individuals and groups in the community, we would love to hear from you.

For more information, go to: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate.

Nominations close on 28 March.

This month we are also planning to hold our annual Youth Summit, bringing together students from our four local high schools to generate ideas for projects that focus on sustainability and which they can implement within their school or local community.

The summit is also about increasing our level of youth engagement, something that we hope to build on during this term of Council.

Zac Miles

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Listening to our community

Thank you to everyone in our community who has been sharing ideas, thoughts and feedback with our Council about the things that matter to you.

This information provides valuable input to our decision-making and we want to let you know we are listening.

We are already seeing results, and expect that you will too, around Hunters Hill in the coming weeks and months.

At our most recent Council meeting, we decided on action for street maintenance in response to community feedback.

Observations and enquiries from community members raised concerns about the amount of leaf litter in gutters and on the roads in our local government area.

In response, we will be increasing the hours of street sweeping services and adding additional resources to clear behind vehicles.

Additional sweeping is to occur around shopping strips, priority streets and car parks during peak periods for trees dropping leaves.

Last week we also held a community meeting regarding the scope of works for a Gladesville Reserve playing field grant.

The meeting was designed to bring stakeholders together in a facilitated forum to discuss aspirations for an improved scope for a Gladesville Reserve playing field grant.

Attendees with different points of view shared their thoughts informatively and respectfully.

This feedback will be utilised by Council to consider a way forward, in further consultation with our community.

Another recent meeting, this one on-site at The Priory, also gave the community a chance to have input and seek information about restoration plans for this site within Riverglade Reserve.

It was an opportunity to ask questions and hear more from the proponent of a development application for reuse of The Priory as a restaurant and café.

The information shared and any concerns raised, as well as formal submissions to the public exhibition period, will be reviewed as part of an independent planner’s assessment of the application.

Should you wish to share your feedback with Council at any time on any matter, you can do so via our website www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au, email customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au or phone 9879 9400.

Zac Miles

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Riders take care and be aware

Our new bike track at Boronia Park has been a popular and well-utilised outdoor recreation space since opening in December, however there have been some accidents involving riders and issues relating to emergency access.

We wish those riders all the best for a speedy recovery and reiterate to the broader community that your safety is paramount in any public space in Hunters Hill.

In relation to emergency access to the facility, we have noted issues that have occurred and are implementing improved access procedures in consultation with NSW Emergency Services.

Our Council will continue to monitor the facility and make improvements to design or operations as required. If you are aware on any incidents occurring at the track, please do not hesitate to contact Council, or if anyone is at risk, NSW Emergency Services.

As a Council, we are constantly assessing the risk of our facilities, and if incidents do occur, we will take additional measures where required.

Understandably, community members may have questions when incidents do occur.

In relation to the Boronia Bike Track, this has included queries about the design, risk assessment and emergency services access.

The track was designed and constructed by an experienced organisation, Youth Services Australia, which designs and constructs urban bike parks, pump tracks and BMX race tracks, including for local and state government authorities. The designer is an avid rider with about 30 years’ experience riding tracks around Australia and internationally.

The track is asphalt rather than dirt as it was determined during the design process that deterioration of a dirt surface creates a more uneven surface when riders land from jumps. Dirt surfaces are also prone to have rocks and other materials embedded in them, which become obstacles that can make tracks unsafe. The asphalt surface was viewed as a way of reducing the number of incidents and maintaining a consistent track for riders.

Our Council does not want anyone to be injured using its facilities. But a bike jumps track of this kind is a risk-based activity and unfortunately falls and injuries may occur. For this reason, we had three tracks built for varying abilities and advise users to be aware of their own abilities. Rules and safety guidelines are well signposted around the track.

We continue to monitor the bike track and review the risks associated with its use – this may include additional safety measures being installed in the near future, particularly in order to avoid users crossing from one track to another, which is not permitted under the rules of the bike track. We are looking at what additional signage and barriers need to be put in place to deter this happening and to ensure that this community resource can be used as safely as possible.

Zac Miles

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Revitalising Hunters Hill

Our Council will be holding its next meeting this Monday, 21 February.

We welcome COVID-safe public attendance, or you can watch from the comfort of your own home via our YouTube channel, live from 6pm, or catch up with a recording afterwards.

It is the first ordinary meeting since the new Council took office in January, but already my fellow Councillors and I have been working hard to set priorities for a term of delivery for our community.

The local government election campaign provided a great forum for many of us to get out and hear directly from you, and we will continue the conversation as part of ongoing consultation and engagement processes.

Legislation sets the framework for our organisation’s strategic direction and operational planning, but at the heart of what we want to deliver are the priorities of the people we are elected to represent.

So, whether it’s at Council meetings and forums, or just out and about in our parks and villages, we look forward to seeing and hearing more from you.

Fostering activity in local business precincts and stepping up the maintenance of outdoor spaces are just the start of things to come.

You can help in creating great places and promoting improved environmental outcomes by joining us on Clean Up Australia Day.

Registrations are now open for the event on Sunday 6 March.

Our Council-led crew will be at Gladesville Reserve in Huntleys Point.

If you have an hour or two to spare in the morning, we would love to see you there.

See our website for details: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate.

We will have any required COVID safety measures in place to protect our volunteers’ health and safety.

I would also like to thank those local businesses who have worked with our community to provide rapid antigen test kits to those who need them.

Burt’s Village Pharmacy is just one example, with a program that provides a capped supply of free kits to eligible Commonwealth concession card holders.

Thanks too, to the teachers who coordinated delivery of test kits through our schools, to help parents and carers prepare their kids for a return to classrooms.

I wish our students all the best for a safe and productive first term.

Zac Miles

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Building a sustainable future

We recently launched a new service in Hunters Hill designed to make it easier for our community to recycle problem waste and reduce the amount of material going to landfill.

Our Council, along with several others in the northern Sydney region, has partnered with waste management company RecycleSmart, to make a ‘Power Pickup’ service available to households in our local government area.

RecycleSmart collects soft plastics, e-waste, clothes and other problem waste on demand, directly from residents’ doors for $2 a bag, or if you are a subscriber, for free.

Bookings are made through the RecycleSmart app or website and collected items are taken to local recycling facilities.

During January, 117 bags were picked up in Hunters Hill, diverting 297 kilograms of waste from landfill.

The items included soft plastics, clothes, e-waste and other problem waste. ‘Problem waste’ can include anything from batteries to coffee capsules and takeaway cups, medicine and cosmetic packaging.

If you are interested in finding out more or booking a pick up, go to: www.recyclesmart.com or contact Council.

You can also bring items including textiles, soft plastics, old mobile phones and household batteries to the waste wall at The YARN, our library and community space in Hunters Hill Village.

While you’re there you can also borrow library items, use the work spaces and enjoy the free Wi-Fi.

Drop in to The YARN any time during the opening hours of Monday to Friday, from 10am to 4pm.

Our community has also been embracing another sustainability project in Henley.

A Return and Earn reverse vending machine, located in the Henley Community Centre car park, is not only promoting recycling in Hunters Hill, it’s providing financial returns for individuals or their chosen charity.

Since opening in March 2021, the TOMRA machine at Henley has processed more than one million containers.

It’s a great effort and our Council looks forward to working with the community on these and other sustainability measures.

Zac Miles

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Participate in the Hunters Hill community

There are many exciting projects happening across Hunters Hill in the coming weeks and months, from road works and improved maintenance to reimagining our village centres.

In the next few weeks, we will be holding meetings to provide an opportunity to update our community about the status of two important projects and to seek the community’s views and feedback.

On Saturday 12 February, we are holding an on-site pop-up meeting from 9am at The Priory, at 10-12 Salter Street, in Huntleys Cove.

Council is looking to restore the Priory and add additional amenities to the immediate precinct and broader Riverglade Reserve. This will be done in a way that is consistent with the Plan of Management for the area, which also allows for a lease for The Priory.

A development application that proposes alterations and additions to facilitate re-use as a restaurant and café is on public exhibition.

A range of other information, including frequently asked questions, is also available on our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/thepriory.

The on-site pop-up will provide an opportunity for community members to come and discuss the proposal and matters relating to the restoration of The Priory.

On Tuesday 22 February, from 6pm at Henley Community Centre, we are holding a stakeholder meeting to look at the scope of works for a Gladesville Reserve playing field grant.

Our Council has been offered NSW Government funding of $2 million for the upgrade of Gladesville Reserve.

The expenditure requires Council to develop a scope of works to be submitted to the Office of Sport.

The aim of this funding is to provide an improved playing surface that will have increased capacity that can be used for more hours each week, for more players, teams and sports and as well as a range of passive recreation opportunities with increased amenity and better maintenance.

The meeting on 22 February is designed to bring stakeholders together in a facilitated forum to discuss aspirations for an improved scope for the Gladesville Reserve playing field grant.

For more details about the meeting, including how to register attendance, see our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate.

Zac Miles

Mayor of Hunters Hill

 

Citizens shine in Hunters Hill

On January 26 I have the great pleasure of recognising outstanding citizens from our community with our Australia Day Awards.

As Hunters Hill residents, we ought to be proud of what a passionate and dedicated community we live in.

As someone who has worked with many of you through my time on Council, I can tell you that it is not all talk.

Within our close community we know that we have neighbours to call on, fellow residents to look out for us, and an amazing part of the world we’re proud to call our home.

While this is a collective effort, it is also important that we take the time every so often to formally recognise groups and individuals who go above and beyond for our community.

This Australia Day we are hosting our Citizenship Awards and Ceremony at Bedlam Bay, on the shores of the Parramatta River and located within the traditional country of the Wallumedegal clan.

On this day we announce those who, nominated by fellow community members, have received annual honours recognising significant contributions to the wider community.

Outstanding achievements in sport and group contributions to the well-being of Hunters Hill residents are also highlighted.

I look forward to sharing the occasion, and personally thanking these people for helping make Hunters Hill the community we all know and love.

On this day we also take time to welcome individuals who are making the pledge to officially become citizens of Australia, and to reflect what it means for all of us to be a good citizen of this beautiful country of ours.

Some have been residents of Hunters Hill for a significant amount of time, others are newer to the area. Yet all share a bond in common once they have made a pledge of loyalty to Australia, to our democratic beliefs, rights and liberties and our laws.

As Mayor it is very special to have a role in making this happen, through leading the ceremony and receiving the pledge on behalf of the Commonwealth.

With our new citizens coming from a range of cultural backgrounds, the official welcome also allows us to act on the Australia Day theme of reflect, respect and celebrate.

To all in our community, whether you are enjoying a quiet public holiday, hosting a barbecue, or heading out to our free evening screening at the Hunters Hill Open Air Cinema, I wish you all the very best for a wonderful Australia Day.

Zac Miles

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Explore Hunters Hill

Summer is a great time to get out and explore, now in particular before the back to school rush begins.

Hopefully for most of you the first few weeks of January have included an opportunity to enjoy some COVID-safe time out and about in Hunters Hill.

If you haven’t already paid a visit, the Hunters Hill Open Air Cinema, running until the end of January, is a great night out.

As well as movies under the stars, food and cocktails, the event is showcasing our beautiful waterfront on Bedlam Bay.

It’s a perfect way to relax and unwind with family and friends.

Our Council is a presenting partner of the Hunters Hill Open Air Cinema.

You can find links to sessions and tickets on our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Our local businesses are now back on deck after the Christmas break, so remember to call in to our village centres for a coffee or a meal, or if you need to pick up gifts, flowers, new clothes or something for the home, to support our local shops.

As a Council we will be working towards activating our places to provide a great experience for our community and a boost to business, be it through events, encouraging outdoor dining or fostering a night-time economy.

In the coming weeks and months, we also hope you’ll see an improvement in and around our streets and open spaces, in terms of presentation and maintenance.

It’s also great to see so many people enjoying our new facilities at Riverglade Reserve and Boronia Park.

The Livvi’s Place inclusive playspace at Riverglade is being put through its paces these school holidays, and we look forward to bringing more improvements to the useability and experience of this precinct in the near future, as outlined in Council’s Plan of Management.

Likewise, the Boronia Bike Track is proving a popular choice during the holidays.

If kids in your care want to use the track, please remember to supervise those aged under 16 and follow the rules, as signposted on site, to keep everyone safe.

I’m also looking forward to hearing more from our community about what you would like to see happening in Hunters Hill, so please do let me know when you see me out and about in our community.

Zac Miles

Mayor of Hunters Hill

New Council starts work

This week we officially welcomed our new Council.

On Monday night my six fellow Councillors and I took the oath or affirmation of office. This is a declaration that we will undertake our duties in the best interests of the people of Hunters Hill – which we are looking forward to doing so throughout this term.

After representing the people of Hunters Hill for nine years on two previous councils, I am personally honoured to now be serving our community as the fourth ever popularly elected Mayor.

I am also looking forward to bringing new energy to this Council.

Our remit is broad, but chief among the tasks is bringing the organisation’s budget into surplus.

Ensuring we are getting it right when it comes to the traditional business of local government, such as our road and footpath network and public spaces, is also a key priority.

This is about both the maintenance and presentation of these spaces, but also their usability, be it through creating the best possible pedestrian, traffic or parking conditions, or ensuring the best use of our outdoor spaces for organised sport and general recreation.

We also have some exciting major projects ahead of us.

Council is looking to restore The Priory, and add additional amenities to the immediate precinct and broader Riverglade Reserve, as set out in the Plan of Management for this area.

A development application for integrated development at The Priory site is on public exhibition until 16 February. Details of the proposal can be viewed via the DA Tracker on Council’s website.

Plans are progressing to revitalise Figtree Park, as part of the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program, to deliver a high-quality open space that is accessible to all of our community.

A Boronia Park Sports and Community Facility is also within our sights, and I know our community is working hard to raise the funds required to complete this project.

Work in our key village centres is another priority, to help revitalise these places for businesses that are facing ongoing challenges, particularly with the COVID pandemic, as well as for public enjoyment.

Creating a sense of vibrancy and fostering a night-time economy will be a part of this work.

All of this is just the start of what we can achieve together – the Council and I are looking forward to delivering on these important priorities in this term.

Zac Miles

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Columns by Acting General Manager Nick Tobin

The Acting General Manager authored columns during Council’s caretaker period in the lead up to local government elections.

Visit us at The YARN

If you’re passing through Hunters Hill Village during the week, be sure to stop in at The YARN.

For anyone who hasn’t visited previously, it’s our library and community space, located in the arcade at 64 Gladesville Road.

We re-opened last week, following a closure due to the COVID lockdown.

We are back with extended opening hours, so you can now call in any time, Monday to Friday, from 10am to 4pm.

When you do drop in, please be mindful to follow public health orders. If the situation does change due to COVID, you can check our website for updates.

At The YARN we’re delivering Story Time sessions at 11am on Wednesdays for pre-schoolers and Baby Bounce read and rhyme time at 11am on Fridays for tiny tots. Both are proving popular and are a great way to introduce youngsters to language and reading, or just to get them out and about in a relaxed environment.

While you’re at The YARN you can also sign up for library services and browse and borrow from a small selection of library items we have on display. Or you can reserve your favourites online through the catalogue of our library services partner Lane Cove Council and pick the items up during The YARN’s opening hours.

We’ve also placed an after-hours library returns box at the front of the arcade, so you can easily get the items back to us too.

As well as the library component we’ve set this up as a community space.

Works stations and free Wi-Fi are available, and we’re looking to get back to hosting small community workshops, talks and other events there in the new year.

It’s a great spot, close to parking, transport and local businesses and services.

For more details, check our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/theyarn.

Plan ahead for the new year

Our Council fields plenty of enquiries around this time of year in regards to what’s happening in Hunters Hill on New Year’s Eve.

Clarkes Point and the Woolwich Peninsula are traditionally popular vantage points for people looking to celebrate the night.

For our organisation, New Year’s Eve is about supporting NSW Police to manage public health and safety and minimise traffic.

What we’re asking of our community is to please plan ahead and be aware of the measures in place.

These will include closing the peninsula to vehicles (other than those of residents); implementing clearways and no stopping areas; and closing Clarkes Point Reserve carpark.

Pedestrian traffic will be permitted.

You can find more details on our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au.

Nick Tobin

Acting General Manager

Hunter’s Hill Council

Celebrate the season

With the festive season now well and truly upon us, I’m looking forward to celebrating with our community this weekend at Carols in the Park.

The event on 5 December at the Boronia Park ovals is always a favourite, traditionally marking the start of the festive season in Hunters Hill.

It’s a relaxed, family-friendly event.

As well as some great music by local performers, you can enjoy a picnic in the park, with a visit from Santa for the kids and a sunset fireworks display, which is always a crowd-pleaser.

As no food or drink will be available for sale at the venue you will need to bring your own. Please minimise plastic and waste and take rubbish home with you. Local Scouts will be collecting bottles and cans for Return & Earn.

So be sure to come along on Sunday from 6pm to 9pm for a great night out.

And a reminder that all attendees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (or have proof of medical exemption). You will also need to check in with the Service NSW app and follow public health orders.

For more information go to: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Local government elections

If passing by Town Hall recently you may have noticed some additional activity around the front of the building.

The NSW Electoral Commission is administering local government elections.

A returning office and polling venue are located at Town Hall.

Pre-poll voting has been available over the past couple of weeks, as part of the commission’s COVID safety measures.

On election day this Saturday (4 December), polling places will be open across our local government area. You can check online for a place near you: www.elections.nsw.gov.au.

Our Council is in a caretaker period until after the election.

But our day-to-day services continue as usual and you can continue to contact us via our customer service centre, online or over the phone.

Nick Tobin

Acting General Manager

Hunter’s Hill Council

Annual success informs future planning

At this time of year councils are required to publish annual reports.

Reporting back to the community about progress being made on implementation of a Delivery Program, progress towards achievement of Community Strategic Plan outcomes, and financial performance against the annual and longer-term budgets are all part of the way a council is accountable to its community.

It is also a great way to showcase our successes, achieved in partnership with our community.

In 2020-21, Hunter’s Hill Council delivered and laid the groundwork for some of the largest projects undertaken in many years, while continuing service delivery through COVID-19.

We worked alongside service organisations to support vulnerable members of our community, and we put in place measures to assist local organisations, sporting groups and businesses through COVID.

Our innovative digital asset management planning is addressing an infrastructure backlog and shared service arrangements are providing significant cost savings.

The value of our capital works program expanded, with $5.7 million spent on building new assets, or improving the condition of existing assets such as roads and footpaths. This is compared with expenditure of $3.4 million in 2019-20.

We have delivered sustainability initiatives, including our award-winning circular economy project at The YARN library and community space, and a Return and Earn reverse vending machine at Henley Community Centre.

We are proud to have provided grants to local community organisations and secured major funding from State and Federal governments to deliver new facilities and services to our community at locations such as Riverglade Reserve, Boronia Park and Figtree Park.

We have also worked to strengthen our community engagement and we thank everyone who has participated in our consultations, as well as individuals and groups who have dedicated their time to volunteering, and those of you who have supported events and activations to keep our community connected.

Council’s 2020-21 Annual Report, available to view on our website by 30 November, will also help inform our future planning.

It’s a great acknowledgement of the work of Council staff, Councillors, volunteers and Hunters Hill community members.

Nick Tobin

Acting General Manager

Hunter’s Hill Council

Nominate an outstanding citizen

Our Council is fortunate to have many active and passionate citizens to assist with and compliment the work that we do through local government.

Community involvement really enhances places and supports people within this Municipality.

So, it is fitting that we take the time each year to recognise those individuals and groups who go above and beyond for Hunters Hill.

And who better to shine the light on these achievements than fellow citizens?

Nominations are now open for the Hunters Hill Citizen of the Year Awards.

The four award categories are: Citizen of the Year; Young Citizen of the Year (ages 12 to 24 years); Sportsperson of the Year; and Community Group of the Year.

Nominees must be a resident or affiliated with an association or community group within the Hunters Hill local government area.

Be sure to nominate someone you know who deserves recognition before entries close on 6 December. Go to: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate.

A panel will judge the nominations and winners will be presented with their awards on Australia Day 2022.

 

Youth talent on show

We had a great response to this year’s Young in Art online exhibition, which launched last month, and we now have the pleasure of displaying prints of many of these artworks around Hunters Hill.

If you are visiting our new Livvi’s Place playspace or taking a walk across the footbridge in Riverglade Reserve, you can view mini galleries along the fences at these locations.

Or take another look through the online gallery of works by local school students from kindergarten through to year 12. Go to: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/art.

Hats off to the students and teachers who produced such amazing artworks in what has been a tough year for schooling during the COVID pandemic.

A special mention also to those students who are sitting HSC exams and the teachers, parents and carers who are supporting them, through not only the usual stresses and challenges of this time, but with COVID thrown in to the mix – it’s a challenge but one that hopefully helps build resilience for life after school.

We wish you all the best of luck.

Nick Tobin

Acting General Manager

New places to play

The wraps are off our new inclusive playspace at Riverglade Reserve and, after a week of being put to the test by energetic youngsters, it is being very well received.

With growing numbers of families in the Hunters Hill local government area, accessible outdoor spaces for children to play are much needed.

Most importantly, this is a place where everyone can play, regardless of ability.

It compliments the work that our Council did last year with social enterprise Play for All Australia and local businesses and organisations to install inclusive infant swing seats in all our playgrounds.

Partnerships have again been essential in getting the Livvi’s Place playspace at Riverglade open for our community to enjoy.

The NSW Government matched Council’s funding to bring this fantastic facility to Hunters Hill, and we worked with Touched by Olivia, the charity behind the Livvi’s Place national network of inclusive playspaces.

Work is also progressing on the new bike track at Boronia Park. We look forward to welcoming riders there in the coming weeks.

We are also planning for upgrades to playspaces at Weil Park and Harding Memorial Playground as part of a playmaking project, and we want to hear from our community about what you would like to see there.

We are hosting on-site pop-ups and online consultation sessions to hear from you, or you can share your feedback online.

Head to our website for all the details: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/playmaking.

Town Hall update

If you are getting out and about around Alexandra Street, you may notice some activity around Town Hall.

Our customer service centre re-opened as of 8 November.

We encourage you where possible to contact us via phone, email or through our website. However, if you do need to come in and see us, we require that all visitors adhere to the latest public health orders, which you can check online at www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19.

Nick Tobin

Acting General Manager

Columns by Mayor Ross Williams

We are just a month away from local government elections, with polling day scheduled for Saturday 4 December.

Our Council enters a caretaker period on Friday (5 November), having held our last meeting on 18 October.

At the start of this Council term in 2017, Hunters Hill had successfully fought a merger proposal, emerging to remain a stand-alone local government organisation.

In the time since, this Council has worked hard to deliver on a mandate from our community to provide representation by locals, for locals, in our local area.

Work to protect our heritage and environment is ongoing, as are many major projects, and many infrastructure improvements across the Municipality.

The pandemic created a large challenge for us, in the way that we do business, support the community and deliver services. Council staff continued service delivery to our community throughout the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns. COVID also gave us the opportunity to bring a range of online events to people in their homes during lockdown

Community partnerships have assisted vulnerable members of our community, particularly through the COVID pandemic, and provided new facilities, such as inclusive infant swing seats in all our playgrounds.

This Council has made transformational changes to build a sustainable and thriving foundation for our community’s future. Council has strengthened its ability to make evidence-based decisions through its new asset management system.

We were also one of the few Councils who held a Carols in the Park event in 2020, and we are on track to do so again in 2021 at Boronia Park on 5 December.

We have strengthened community consultation and engagement, with new and additional communications, to compliment traditional approaches.

Opening The YARN library and community space in Hunters Hill Village was another highlight, as was the award-winning circular economy initiative we implemented there: turning old sporting team and school uniforms in to bench tiles for use in the space.

This and our other Council facilities are even easier to access now, thanks to a new online booking system. Development application processes have also benefited from the introduction of our online portal.

We thank past and present staff, and Councillors, including former Mayor Mark Bennett, for their contribution and acknowledge their commitment to continuous improvement for the betterment of our Municipality.

I would also like to thank community members who have participated and contributed in so many ways to the work that we do. From sharing feedback through public exhibitions, to serving on committees or volunteering for events. We couldn’t do it without you.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Community feedback guides major projects

Our Council is working with the community in planning major projects for Gladesville and Figtree Park in Hunters Hill Village.

Early consultation phases have been completed and the next stages will progress in the coming weeks and in early 2022 to conduct further investigations into the issues raised by the community.

For Gladesville, the work is to create a masterplan that will guide renewal of the town centre.

During August and September, draft concept plans were placed on public exhibition and about 1800 people participated through a digital interactive map, survey, written submissions and online meetings and webinars.

This feedback, in particular regarding lowering building height options, will be considered in early 2022, in the Masterplan’s next phase, and placed on public exhibition.

The Masterplan will assist in providing a town centre that is attractive and accessible and offers a wide retail offering, as well as useable open space, and a residential component.

In Figtree Park, a NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program project proposes the opportunity to enhance the landscape and gardens within the park. Additional paths, lighting and treatment of the interface with Gladesville and Ryde roads, and the inclusion of a small play area, are under consideration.

Our Council is moving to the next phase of consultation for this project, seeking community feedback on two design concepts.

You can find background information and details on how to participate on our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/figtree.

The feedback from this participation opportunity will inform the final, detailed design.

Market day

The Happy Hens, the social enterprise that has carried out some great work to create a thriving community garden at Henley, will be hosting the next iteration of the popular Fancy Flea Market on 20 November.

Stalls at Henley Community Centre will be selling high quality fashion as well as small homewares and collectables.

Proceeds will support Sydney Community Services, a local organisation that has provided outstanding outreach and support to some of the most vulnerable people in Hunters Hill and surrounding areas, particularly through COVID.

So, save the date and check for more details on our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Hunters Hill restart

It has been a welcome sight to find doors to local businesses open once more, and our community enjoying activities sorely missed during the lockdown.

As always, the health and safety of our people is paramount, so if you are heading out to enjoy renewed freedoms, please remember to follow public health orders.

And congratulations to everyone who has taken action to get a jab, ensuring that the Hunters Hill Municipality continues to record high rates of vaccination.

As a Council, we are working to assist local groups to return to community activity and sports safely.

We are supporting businesses to innovate and adapt so they can reopen and grow.

And we are working towards reopening all Council spaces, services and facilities by 1 December.

All actions will be undertaken in line with NSW public health orders and will reflect the ever-changing public health situation, which can change based on a range of factors and may see a potential relaxing or tightening of restrictions.

As always, our team remains available to assist the community any time over the phone, via email or online. Go to www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au for services, information and contact details.

New Bike Track

Work has started on our new Bike Track in Boronia Park. With weather permitting it should be operational in a few weeks’ time.

I was amazed at the popularity of the temporary jump and can’t wait to see the excitement of riders when the three tracks, (Novice, Mainline, and Proline) come into action. There will be a track for all skill levels to experience.

There will be no reason for our valuable bushlands to be used as improvised tracks.

Backyard bird count

Wildlife is a great indicator of the health of our outdoor spaces.

With an abundance of urban bushland in Hunters Hill, the sight of birds in our backyards, on bushwalks and around our foreshore is always welcome.

This week (18 to 24 October), the Aussie Backyard Bird Count is under way.

Organiser BirdLife Australia is calling on volunteers to download the Aussie Bird Count app and spend 20 minutes counting birds.

Anyone can join and take part in an outdoor space, be it a suburban backyard, a local park, a patch of bush, down by the water, or a street in one of our village centres.

The national total will be updated in real time, and the app allows you to see which species are being seen in your local area.

Last year, Hunters Hill observers recorded more than 2700 individual birds and recorded 60 species.

To register for the count, go to: www.aussiebirdcount.org.au.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Swimming in Bedlam Bay

Riverfest, an annual community event for ‘Our Living River’ that celebrates the Parramatta River and surrounding catchment, commences this week.

Running from 15 to 24 October, it highlights the great work that the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) is doing around our waterways. The PRCG counts our Council and other local and state agencies as members. I represent Hunters Hill as its representative on the group. It has been an amazing collaboration between 11 councils and 4 agencies to develop a plan for a swimmable river and now it is very exciting to put it into action.

This work includes potentially making Bedlam Bay another swim site along the Parramatta River by 2025.  It will be great to again have a public swim site in the area as the Henley Baths has been now closed for several decades.

Plans to reinstate the swimming baths have commenced, and as they progress the project is aiming to increase public access to Parramatta River Regional Park, as well as providing recreational opportunities for the local community.

Bedlam Bay lies within the traditional country of the Wallumedegal or Wallumattagal clan. During 1866, a bathing place at the small beach at the eastern end of the park was created for Gladesville Hospital patients. Known as the ‘bathing beach’, it included boardwalks, dressing sheds and timber pylons to support a shark net. The baths were demolished when the pool was built above the oval in 1956.

These days Bedlam Bay is a popular location that attracts many local residents with activities such as walking, boating, and weekend sports.

Activating this site for swimming will provide a valuable community asset in this part of the Hunters Hill municipality. You can read more and subscribe for updates on our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/bedlamswim.

To view the Riverfest program of online events, go to: www.ourlivingriver.com.au/riverfest.

Free safety checks

An important initiative as part of our road safety program is that Council offers free child car seat checking services for residents at regular intervals throughout the year. The vouchers are available until December.

It entitles you to have a child car seat restraint checked, refitted or fully fitted by the local authorised restraint fitter designated on the voucher.

Road safety data shows that a child is twice as likely to be injured if using the wrong car seat.

For more information about the vouchers, contact Council’s Road Safety Officer on (02) 9911 3576 or email roadsafety@huntershill.nsw.gov.au.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Love Your Local

Love Your Local is a new initiative from our Council to help support local businesses.

We know that COVID has hit many of our local enterprises hard, especially during lockdown periods.

Love Your Local is about supporting and engaging with businesses in our Municipality, highlighting what our local enterprises have to offer to our community, and encouraging Hunters Hill residents to get behind them.

You may spot the window decals, footpath stickers and street banners around our village centres, and start seeing some of the profiles on local businesses shared through our communications channels.

For proprietors, there are many ways to become involved. We’ve had a great response to our digital marketing workshops, and the Love Your Local network is growing through a Facebook group. We’re also keeping in touch with electronic newsletters.

For more information, go to the web page: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/loveyourlocal.

At its September meeting, our Council also approved a $400 rebate for eligible businesses as part of the Love Your Local campaign.

Application details will be published through Council’s website following a public notice period, which concludes on 22 October.

Young in Art showcase

From next week, we will be celebrating the creative talents of students from our local schools through our Young in Art showcase.

The exhibition is traditionally held at Town Hall, however due to COVID, this year we have moved Young in Art online.

Artwork will be available to view on the Hunter’s Hill Council website via www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/art from 14 October.

Images of the exhibition’s winning artworks will also be on display in surprising places around the Municipality.

Young in Art is always a wonderful showcase of locally-trained talent, and a tribute to the passion and hard work of the students and art teachers across all our schools.

We look forward to highlighting the talent of our young citizens through this year’s online format.

We hope to see Young in Art back at the Town Hall in 2022.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

A harbour for all to enjoy

During COVID we have seen the great importance and value of public open spaces.

The Woolwich harbour foreshore is a very popular site in our Municipality, and it is thanks to an historic community campaign that we are all enjoying it today.

In 2001, the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust was established to protect nationally significant sites on the harbour. It followed years of lobbying by community groups, who were adamant that places such as Woolwich Dock and parklands and Cockatoo Island should be maintained as public spaces and kept safe from multistorey unit development.

It was the fighting spirit, efforts and commitment of the Hunters Hill and neighbouring communities that ensured these important lands were saved. I would particularly like to acknowledge their efforts.

A public meeting was called in early 1997 and local citizens quickly formed two groups to combat Defence. One was Foreshore 2000 Woolwich, which had many local members including Alysoun Ryves and Richard White. Another aligned group was the Community Reference Group and the Defenders of Sydney Harbour Foreshores both led by Phil Jenkyn.

The Harbour Trust continues to protect and manage these and other picturesque, historically significant locations on Sydney Harbour.

Our community stands up for what it believes in and, twenty years on, we can all enjoy these splendid locations by the harbour.

Through COVID in particular, we are seeing significant use of outdoor spaces.

As we enjoy the opportunity to get out to parks and foreshores for picnics and recreation, we also all have a responsibility to make sure we take care of these sites.

Council is working to keep the parks and waterways in great shape, but we are asking our community to help.

This means taking your rubbish with you, picking up after dogs, and sticking to designated paths and open areas to help preserve our bushland.

Together we can continue to preserve our very special public spaces.

Community grants

Our Community Grants program is now open for applications. If you are a community group or a not-for-profit organisation looking to provide innovative and inclusive programs, events and projects in line with our Council’s Community Strategic Plan, I encourage you to apply.

Grants of up to $1500 are available.

See our website for information and get your application in before 5pm on 4 October: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/grants.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Get prepared for storm season

Spring is here and while the warner weather provides increased opportunity to get outside, it also marks a shift towards storm season.

We are fortunate to have a wonderful team of emergency services personnel working in our community, including dedicated volunteers from the Hunters Hill State Emergency Service (SES).

But nothing beats being prepared, and anything we can do to help prevent storm damage before it occurs is important.

Some simple checks and planning around your home before a disaster strikes – be it a storm, fire or other unforeseen event – goes a long way to minimising damage.

Mark Allerton of the Hunters Hill SES shares some great tips on our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/news.

You’ll also find on our website details of how to stay safe in a disaster or time of crisis with the assistance of an app called ‘Get Prepared’.

Co-created by the Australian Red Cross and general insurer IAG, it is a free and easy to use, one-stop tool to help you prepare for any type of emergency.

Lunchtime learning

We are bringing some great events to residents during the remainder of this month and in October to help keep you busy and build some skills in the garden and around the home.

The series of online events also includes art and fitness sessions and activities for kids.

Starting tomorrow (23 September) you can pick up tips to improve your recycling in our Lunchtime Learning series. Other workshops on 28 September and 7 and 14 October look at reducing waste when doing the weekly shop and storing your groceries.

For green thumbs (or those who aspire to be) there are gardening classes during October on composting, making hanging plants and, for young gardeners, making and planting sunflower pots. Gardening kits for the latter two workshops will be delivered to residents of the Hunters Hill Municipality who register beforehand.

Our online yoga classes and playgroup sessions are continuing on Thursday mornings and we are offering online activities for preschool and primary school-aged children during the school holidays.

For event details and registrations go to: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Boronia Park bike track to be a reality

In the latest Plan of Management for Boronia Park, our Council included a bike circuit (pump track) on the grassed area between Oval 2 and Princes Street.

We have heard and seen the demand from our community to get this built.

During September, we are engaging locals and, with help of our schools, are designing this space.

In the meantime, we have marked out the site and the first interim track jump has been built, with more to come.

Already there is great interest from kids and parents watching the jump go into action.

Until we can get more track into play, I request that all bike riders leave their shovels at home and not ride in the sensitive bush areas of our parks.

Our many Bushcare volunteers have spent decades repairing the bush and protecting special areas such as the critically endangered turpentine forest and wetlands and they would be heartbroken to see all this hard work undone.

Hunters Hill welcomes new citizens

I have the pleasure this week of officiating citizenship ceremonies to receive pledges from members of our community in their final step to becoming an Australian.

Sometimes people have lived in our community for many years; sometimes they are relatively new to the area.

That they have chosen Australia, and Hunters Hill specifically, as their home should come as no surprise to those of us who know and love this place so well.

Our community is further enriched by the diversity of backgrounds of the people who reside here.

Applications for Australian Citizenship are made to the Department of Home Affairs, with ceremonies hosted by Council about three times a year.

Due to COVID, we are holding ceremonies online, and while it can’t replace the in-person experience, the joy of those pledging their commitment to our nation is usually so great it can still be felt across a computer screen!

I extend a very warm welcome to our newest Australian citizens.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Caring for the great outdoors

We are so fortunate in Hunters Hill to have spectacular outdoor areas to enjoy.

This has become especially important to many of us during COVID lockdowns, with the opportunity to exercise one of the few occasions on which we can get out of the house each day. It is also a great way to clear the mind and lift the spirits during challenging times.

So that we can continue to enjoy out natural environment for many years to come, it is important that we all remember to care for and respect the great outdoors. This covers everything from not dropping rubbish, to sticking to marked trails when bushwalking. We have many dedicated Bushcare volunteers who work hard to restore natural habitats. So, it is important that others don’t come along and unwittingly trample these efforts.

As part of our Council’s response to COVID, we have been keeping lights on at Weil Park, Boronia Oval 1 and Gladesville Reserve in the evenings, and will continue to do so until daylight savings commences.

We are also working on other initiatives, such as providing a designated area for bike riders at Boronia Park, to provide our youth a place to exercise and help preserve bushland elsewhere in the area.

As highlighted in last week’s column, we also have a new inclusive playspace coming soon to Riverglade Reserve.

We will continue to work on other programs to help all our residents co-exist and enjoy our outdoor spaces safely.

Kelly’s Bush online exhibition

The Hunters Hill Museum has staged many wonderful exhibitions in the past year, and just before the current lockdown, the finishing touches were put to a showcase telling the story of the ‘Battle for Kelly’s Bush’.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the world’s first green ban on this very special bushland area, which is located on our peninsula and enjoyed by our community, thanks to the efforts of the ‘battlers’ who saved it from development all those years ago.

So, while COVID has temporarily put a hold on the Hunters Hill Historical Society opening the doors to the exhibition in the Museum, the society has worked with Council and Google Arts & Culture to take the showcase online.

Go to www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/news and follow the links to view the online exhibition.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

New playspace coming soon

If you have been getting out for your COVID-safe exercise around Riverglade Reserve recently, you may have noticed the work site for our new playground.

Work is expected to continue throughout this month, weather and COVID regulations permitting, for the soon-to-be completed space.

During COVID we have witnessed the importance and benefits of outdoor spaces and we are particularly proud that this will be an inclusive playspace for all to enjoy.

It has been a combined community effort to get to this point, involving young residents as part of the design and consultation process, along with Council, the State Government who jointly funded the work with us, and Touched by Olivia, the charity behind the Livvi’s Place national network of inclusive playspaces.

We look forward to opening this playspace to you on completion and in line with public health orders.

Stay tuned!

R U OK? Day

At any time of year – but particularly so during September as another month of lockdown begins – it’s important to check in on friends, family and neighbours.

This month, R U OK? Day is on 9 September and it is a timely reminder to ask that question of the people around us.

The national day of action is designed to remind all Australians that every day is the day to ask “are you OK?” if someone in your world is struggling with life’s ups and downs.

COVID has presented unprecedented challenges for our community and amplified feelings of isolation for many of our people.

Our Council is working on ways to keep in touch with you during this time, from phone calls to check in with residents to running online and contactless events to help keep our community connected and provide a little bit of joy in a difficult time.

So, whether it is wishing a Dad you know a happy Father’s Day this Sunday, phoning a friend or relative, or even leaving a note in a neighbour’s letterbox, why not ask the question: “are you OK?”

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Caring for our community in COVID times

COVID continues to present new challenges for many of our people, but we are also seeing the resilience and support of our tight-knit municipality coming to the fore.

I am hearing many heartening stories of neighbours looking after neighbours and friends looking after friends in our amazing community.

Unfortunately, we are faced with ongoing lockdown restrictions to combat the Delta strain of COVID.

While the stay-at-home restrictions are in place, I am reminded how fortunate we are to have some of Sydney’s most stunning harbour foreshores to enjoy when we are able to get out and exercise safely, as well as having a wonderful and supportive community to watch out for each other.

Please follow the mandatory COVID protocols if you do need to leave your home for essential reasons – the measures are there to keep us all safe. I also urge you to stay across NSW Health’s latest updates and remember the importance of vaccination and testing – data is showing a good take up of both in our local area.

You can also stay connected with others by Zoom, social media, text or picking up the phone to call friends and family. While we can’t be in touch in person, seeing or hearing a friendly face or voice on the other end of the line can provide an antidote to loneliness.

And please remember that our Council is here to help and support you. Visit our website to find out how to get in touch and stay up-to-date with our latest news and services: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au.

We are rolling out our COVID support package, as adopted by the Council at our August meeting, which provides for everything from fee waivers for sports and community organisations for field and facility hire fees and local businesses for on-street dining fees, to online events for families, networking for local businesses, economic stimulus measures and services to support the most vulnerable in our community.

I’d also like to thank those who are out in the field conducting essential work – from Council’s works and compliance teams, to the frontline workers such as our emergency services personnel and staff working in the health and aged care sectors. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Infrastructure Contributions Reform

Last year, the NSW Productivity Commission completed a review of the infrastructure contributions system with a proposed package of reforms. In March 2021, the NSW Government confirmed it had accepted all 29 recommendations of the final report. A framework is expected to be established by 1 July 2022 and apply to new developer contributions plans.

Developer contributions are used to fund public facilitates to meet increasing community demand. This takes the form of augmenting existing public facilities and providing new public facilities.

The impacts for our community of these possible changes would be significant for the future financial performance of all councils including Hunter’s Hill Council.

The State Government has not carried out modelling at an individual council level to gauge the impact of these reforms, instead modelling only four general categories of councils. Northern Sydney Regional Organisations of Councils (NSROC), of which Hunters Hill is a member, has done its own modelling at the individual council level. This found that Hunters Hill would be one of the worst affected of all NSROC councils by these reforms on a per-capita basis.

This is cost shifting at its worst with residents having to fund infrastructure for the benefit of developers. This lacks fairness and has significant intergenerational inequity.

Council has resolved to join with all Metropolitan councils to advocate against these proposed changes to the legislation. This is in support of decisions of NSROC and the recent Metropolitan Mayoral Roundtable discussions hosted by the Lord Mayor of Sydney.

Nurturing safe drivers

As anyone who has ever taught (or attempted to teach) someone to drive, it can be a challenging experience.  With the recent COVD lockdown I have noticed many more learners on our roads.

But with a little preparation, it is possible to boost confidence and help alleviate some of the stress.

Part of our Council’s road safety program focuses on helping community members in teaching a learner driver, as part of the Graduated Licensing Scheme (GLS). The state-based GLS is the process you follow to go from your learner driver licence through to your full licence. Through experience, restrictions, conditions and tests, the GLS prepares new drivers to be safe and low-risk drivers.

Council runs two free ‘Helping Learner Drivers Become Safe Drivers’ workshops each year.

These are free and run online via Zoom to provide practical advice on: supervising learner drivers; completing the learner driver log book; understanding the benefits of supervised on-road driving practice; understanding the licence conditions for learners and provisional licence holders; and providing constructive feedback.

Registrations are now open for the next workshop on 2 September. Go to our website for the registration link: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Share your vision for Gladesville

Gladesville town centre is one of our key precincts in the Hunters Hill Municipality and while we all have great pride in this place, working alongside our neighbours in the City of Ryde, I think it is fair to say that the town centre needs a long-term vision.

We have heard concerns about the presentation of the town centre, variable trading performance and delayed renewal of properties, and are working with the community, property owners, planning consultants and government authorities on a long-term vision for renewal.

We are seeking your thoughts and ideas on draft concept plans for the Gladesville town centre.

The feedback will form part of recommendations to our Council for finalisation of a Gladesville Masterplan, which will then form part of the public exhibition of a new Hunters Hill Local Environmental Plan.

This process will take time to implement, but it is important to have your say now to help define a vision for the future.

You can read more on our website at www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/gladesville, where you will also find links to our online consultation portal for making submissions, or details of how you can make a submission via email or post if you prefer.

Young citizens deliver

We have some great young talent in Hunters Hill and this year our Council has been keen to harness it for the benefit of the broader community.

We recently received an update on some of the impressive projects that high school students developed as part of our annual Youth Summit.

After meeting at Town Hall in February, small groups of students were supported by Council staff, community leaders and teachers to develop and implement projects to address issues we face as a community. Ideas covered areas ranging from environmental sustainability to mental health and community placemaking.

The summit was followed up with regular meetings and some great outcomes have already been achieved.

A group of students worked with our staff to design and install an oyster propagation study in Tarban Creek to improve habitat and water quality. Another group developed a project for a native bee habitat space to improve biodiversity and pollinator habitat and to act as a community place, incorporating a native food garden, habitat and gathering space in The Priory and Riverglade Reserve precinct.

Congratulations to all involved.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Local Council Elections Postponed Until 4th December

The local government elections, which were due to be held on 4 September 2021, have been postponed in response to the recent outbreak of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.  Council elections will now be held on 4 December 2021. Previously, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSW Government postponed the September 2020 elections to Saturday, 4 September 2021. The NSW Government has worked with the Electoral Commission and NSW Health to implement a comprehensive plan to allow voters to cast their ballot safely in person, by post or online on 4th December 2021.

This means that Council and its committees will now continue on serving our community for another 3 months and it will not be entering into Caretaker mode as mentioned in last week’s column, until November.

It is with great enthusiasm that I continue to serve you as Mayor for this extended term.

For those who are intending to run as candidates in the elections on the 4th December, please visit the NSW Electoral Commission website to obtain the most up-to-date information on the new arrangements and timeline.

COVID

In line with public health directives that we all stay at home for another four weeks, all non-essential public-facing services of Council remain closed until the end of the lockdown stay at home orders.  Other services remain available online and over the phone.  Operational outdoor works continue within the restrictions as best they can. Garbage services are not affected.

I have been receiving feedback that although it is great to get out in our beautiful Municipality for exercise, residents need to respect the social distancing rules and the safety of others. While the lockdown continues, take advantage of the oval lights remaining on until 7pm each weekday at three of our ovals (Boronia 1, Weil Park and Gladesville Reserve) to get outdoors and exercise. Please adhere to public health orders.

For those of us that are feeling isolated please make use of the Hunters Hill Connect app.  The new app designed to help people who may be socially isolated stay connected with their support circle and get assistance when they need it. To get connected please complete the Hunters Hill Connect registration form: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/connect. Once registered you can download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Please stay safe.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

TWT Mayoral column – 28 July 2021

Serving our community

At its most recent meeting, our Council had the opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved for our community over the past four years.

The creation of new spaces and places for people to enjoy has been a highlight, from the opening of our innovative new library and community space The YARN in Hunters Hill Village, to making our halls and parks easy to utilise and access, through things such as online bookings and the installation of inclusive infant swing seats across all our playgrounds – this was thanks to a great community partnership with social enterprise Play For All Australia and local businesses.

Consultation and engagement with the community has been strengthened. We have introduced a raft of new and additional communications to help keep our residents and ratepayers informed but we cannot forget the need for more traditional approaches to share ideas and engage with you.

Our events program has delivered much-loved billings such as Moocooboola and our annual art shows, while introducing new offerings such as open-air cinema, as well as online workshops and classes to assist people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Retaining the unique heritage and environment of Hunters Hill has been another important part of our work this term, in everything from planning to reinforce the garden suburb values of Hunters Hill to improving our local tree canopy, with 120 street and park trees recently planted.

It has been my honour to serve you this term, including as Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillor. Thank you also to former mayor Mark Bennett and former General Managers Barry Smith and Lisa Miscamble for their contributions.

As of last weekend, the NSW Government has postponed the local government elections to 4 December, in response to COVID-19.

Celebrating Hunters Hill Day

This Saturday, 31 July, is Hunters Hill Day, an occasion that recognises our Municipality’s independence and strong community values.  2021 marks four years since our community successfully fought a proposed merger with neighbouring councils.

The day is significant and to be celebrated as it symbolises the determination of this community to maintain local governance and its shared values, which it has done successfully for 160 years. This commitment over a long period has led to the Municipality being recognised as ‘Australia’s oldest garden suburb’, with over two thirds as ‘conservation areas’.

So, wherever you are on Saturday, and in line with public health regulations, take a moment to appreciate all that is great about Hunters Hill.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Have your say on Figtree Park

Our Council has successfully secured funding from the State Government under the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program for the enhancement of Figtree Park.

We are now seeking community input as to the future of this very special green place.

The proposed project will seek to enhance a place where all people in our community can feel connected in a quality green open space.

The initial thinking includes play equipment and seating areas, a public restroom and the potential installation of public art, and is being considered through a public consultation process.

Traffic, accessibility, landscaping, infrastructure, signage, lighting and safety considerations will also be taken in to account.

I encourage everyone in our community to get involved in this participation opportunity.

You can share your thoughts and ideas through our online consultation portal. Go to www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate for more information.

I appreciate not everyone is part of the digital world, so please feel free to send a letter or email your comments to Customer Service at Council. You can email customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au or post to PO Box 21, Hunters Hill, NSW 2110.

Your views and comments are valued.

Flying-Fox Survey

Our Council has been undertaking steps to manage the flying-fox camp located at the northern end of Riverglade Reserve.

Recent actions have included using a Department of Planning, Industry and Environment grant to install an automatic irrigation system along Richmond Crescent to deter flying-foxes from the bushland edge and foraging in adjacent residential properties.

Other actions are outlined in our Flying-Fox Camp Management Plan. The document and updates on actions are available on Council’s website.

In recent weeks we have also been conducting a survey to assess the effectiveness of management actions that have already been undertaken to manage the impact of the flying-foxes.

There is still time to complete the survey if you would like to help us understand the community’s current attitude to flying-foxes.

You can find a link to the survey on our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate.

Submissions close on 23 July.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

 

New dates for great events

Given the uncertainty around COVID in recent weeks, we have taken the decision to reschedule several of our upcoming events.

We will continue to monitor the situation, which as we all know can change at any time. However, we are still hopeful of bringing these great events to our community in the coming weeks and months.

New dates are scheduled for the following events:

NAIDOC Week Kelly’s Bush Walks – moved from 11 July to 18 July;

A Night on the Green (at Figtree Park) – moved from 31 July to 14 August;

Moocooboola – moved from 11 September to 16 October.

Any further updates will be posted on our website and social media channels.

We have a good track record of hosting COVID-safe events. We were one of the few councils across the state to successful host an in-person Carols in the Park event at Christmas-time last year. We were also able to host Seniors Festival events in April.

However, the safety of our community and staff is always the first priority.

So, while we will make every effort to bring great events to you, we must always observe public health regulations first and foremost.

Help create our place

During periods of lockdown, both past and present, we have been bringing online events to our community.

In one such recent offering, community members learned to draw their house or a local place in online workshops with artist Georgia Norton Lodge, of Georgia Draws a House.

Georgia is now taking all these creations, and adding them to a public mural she is creating for our community.

We are looking for your input – what places do you love in the Hunters Hill Municipality?

Georgia will draw 30 of your favourite and iconic places on the mural.

You can vote through our online poll. Go to: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

As our community continues to face the challenges presented by COVID-19 and works within the State Government’s restrictions, Council is here to support you.

Our customer service team is available to assist over the phone on 9879 9400, through email customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au or online www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au, while our physical centre in Alexandra Street is closed.

If you or someone you know needs assistance throughout the lockdown, please reach out to our Community Service team via email people@huntershill.nsw.gov.au or call 9879 9454.

We have also introduced some online activities to help people stay occupied during this period, from yoga, to art and craft, playgroups and more.

You can check what’s happening via our website www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events or social media channels.

Contactless services are available too. Members of The YARN can access a huge selection of digital books, audiobooks, magazines, comics and stream films any time through our arrangement with Shorelink Digital Library.

Our library services partnership with Lane Cove Council is also bringing Library To Your Door to Hunters Hill. For a small fee, residents are able to reserve items and have them delivered.

You can find details on our website: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/theyarn.

To assist our community to get some outdoor exercise, we are switching the lights on at Boronia Oval 1, Weil Park and Gladesville Reserve from 5pm to 7pm each weekday for local residents to access open space after work. We ask that everyone please follow public health guidelines when using these spaces.

As well as following public health guidelines and orders, we should also recognise the importance of testing, particularly as we have had locations in Hunters Hill as venues of concern for COVID.

A drive-through testing facility is available in Boronia Park, and there are many others nearby.

As I have also highlighted previously in the pages of The Weekly Times, it is important to get your vaccination when available. I had mine in May and it was professionally delivered, painless and with only minimal side effects.

You can check www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19 for details on regulations, alerts, testing, vaccination and more.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Strong foundation for our future

Our Council enters a new financial year with a solid plan to deliver great things for our community.

With our Delivery Program and Operational Plan for 2021/22 now adopted, following public exhibition, we look forward to getting on with the job.

We have put together a budget that focusses on continued delivery of services and measures to promote financial sustainability in to the future.

The considerable work we have undertaken in the past two years to transform our Council has laid a strong foundation and clear options for a sustainable and thriving future.

This year, we will continue with a focus on asset renewal, delivery of new facilities and providing a range of sustainability initiatives.

Highlights on the agenda include: restoration works on the Boronia Park Grandstand; delivering an inclusive playspace at Riverglade Reserve; and work on textile diversion projects to reduce the amount of materials going to landfill.

This is in addition to our ongoing work of continuous improvement in everything from maintaining footpaths, roads and public places to the way we deliver services to, and work with, our community.

It is a program we look forward to delivering for the benefit and enjoyment of all in Hunters Hill.

Sustainable success

As part of our commitment to preserving and maintaining the unique natural environment and heritage of Hunters Hill, our Council and community has been working on a Sustainability Action Plan.

With assistance from a Sustainability Advisory Committee, we have achieved some great outcomes in the past six months.

Having an advisory committee consisting of Councillors, Council staff and a range of community members, including our youth, allows our organisation to utilise their expertise, experience and local knowledge.

Among our achievements was an 8 per cent reduction in overall corporate emissions across the Council.

Other highlights include: installation of LED street lighting across 94 per cent of the local government area, resulting in a 10 per cent saving of $8,500 in electricity costs and emissions; adding electric vehicles to Council’s fleet; and installing a reverse vending machine at Henley.

We look forward to continuing our efforts on reducing emissions and supporting the community to live more sustainably.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Celebrating Kelly’s Bush

Kelly’s Bush is a very special place in Hunters Hill. Many in our community enjoy this piece of urban bushland for walking and general recreation, and the amazing views across the Parramatta River to the Harbour Bridge make it a lovely place to simply sit and enjoy.

In the past week we have recognised a special anniversary for this heritage-listed site, with 17 June marking 50 years since Kelly’s Bush became the site of the world’s first green ban, with dedicated conservationists saving this place from incoming development.

This was achieved thanks to a concerted campaign by active community members.

We are fortunate to have dedicated community members continuing to care for the area, including Bushcare volunteers who since 1995 have carried on the legacy of the Kelly’s Bush Battlers who worked so hard to preserve this vital site for future generations.

Among them, the Friends of Kelly’s Bush. The group’s Secretary Maureen Flowers last week shared more of the Battlers’ story in the pages of The Weekly Times.

I would like to thank those individuals and groups – past, present and future – who continue to care for Kelly’s Bush for the benefit and enjoyment of all in our community.

We look forward to holding an on-site community celebration on 29 August. You can register to attend through our website: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Honouring our citizens

Caring for our urban bushland is just one area in which we are fortunate to have giving and passionate people in our community.

From sporting clubs, to churches, schools and other organisations, people are willing to go above and beyond to make Hunters Hill a great place to live, work and play.

So, it is fitting when such individuals are recognised through official channels, such as the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Congratulations to Gladesville vet Max Zuber and Hunters Hill resident Matt Fehon, who were among those on the 2021 list for achievements in their professional fields and community service.

Max’s citation was for significant service to veterinary science, to professional colleges and to education.

Matt’s citation was for significant service to the community through a range of roles.

Thank you to Max, Matt and all of our community members who continue to work for the betterment of our Municipality and its people.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Partnerships bring great events

Partnerships are a great way for our Council to connect with our community, and it is through this collaboration with various organisations that we are able to co-host or support a range of events in Hunters Hill.

As well as supporting the amazing work that is happening across our area, it is also a way to enhance efficiencies in Council operations.

Our Council is proud to be supporting The Happy Hens to deliver the next instalment of the social enterprise’s Growers and Community Market.

The event at Henley Green Community Garden, this Saturday 19 June from 9am to 1pm, will show off the scenic beauty of this amazing location and offer a great way to shop.

Visitors can grab a bite to eat and a coffee, buy some artisan goods and pick up fresh produce from market growers to take home.

There is more shopping to do on Thursday 24 June, when our first Sip & Swap event comes to The YARN.

For this event, our Council is partnering with The Clothing Exchange.

The idea is to bring several quality clothing items that you no longer wear to the evening and exchange them with other participants for garments that are new to you.

A great way to update the wardrobe while supporting sustainability.

We are also planning to bring toy and plant swap events to the community in the coming months.

The swap event is free, but registrations are essential. For details go to: www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

School holidays at The YARN

With the mid-year break upon us, now is a great time to book ahead for some free activities to keep the kids entertained.

Our popular school holiday program returns to The YARN library and community space.

Activities for this June and July include learning how to design and weave baskets and placemats, digital coding and games, and clay sculpting and mosaics.

Go to www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/theyarn for links to register for these free activities – before they book out.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Leading Hunters Hill in to the future

This week, we officially welcomed our Acting General Manager Nick Tobin to Hunter’s Hill Council.

Nick brings many years’ experience in local government – including as a former General Manager of Willoughby City Council.

He also comes with a good understanding of the Hunters Hill community, having recently worked as a consultant with our organisation.

Our elected Council has appointed Nick in the acting role until the recruitment of a permanent General Manager following the September local government elections.

It follows the resignation of Lisa Miscamble, who has successfully led the transformation of our organisation in the past three years.

We wish Lisa all the best in her new role as General Manager of Wingecarribee Council in the NSW Southern Highlands

Thanks to her leadership, Hunters Hill will continue to benefit in the long-term with a sustainable and thriving Council.

We welcome Nick, and look forward to working with him in the coming months.

Supporting our schools

We are lucky to have many great schools in our municipality – indeed this is a factor that attracts many families to our area.

Among them is Giant Steps, a school for children with autism.

It was established at the old Gladesville Hospital site in 1995 by a group of dedicated parents who wanted to bring world’s best practice in the treatment and education of children with autism to Australia.

Some 25 years later, Giant Steps Sydney has evolved into a leading educational centre for children with autism and their families.

However, as for many schools and organisations, COVID made 2020 an extremely difficult year to fundraise.

With the option to now hold COVID-safe in-person events, Giant Steps is hosting a community fundraising event aimed at giving plant lovers and creative people a time to bond.

A Terrarium Workshop is being held on Saturday 19 June at the Hunters Hill All Saints Church Hall, with timeslots from 11am to 1pm and 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

For information and bookings go to: giantsteps.net.au/fundraising-event/terrarium-workshop or phone 9879 4971.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Moocooboola is back

One of Hunters Hill’s best-loved celebrations is set to return later this year.

We’re pleased to officially announce a ‘save the date’ for 11 September, when we plan to bring a fabulous Moocooboola festival to our community.

It’s a long-standing and highly popular event.

We were unable to hold it in 2020 due to the public health situation at the time with the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, we are hopefully that a COVID-safe event, with an array of food, stalls, rides and entertainment that are highlights of this cultural event, will go ahead in 2021.

We will announce more details about how to get involved and what to expect if you plan to attend the event, closer to the date through our email newsletter – you can subscribe via Council’s website if you aren’t ready receiving these weekly updates.

Landcare Award

We are very fortunate to have a range of hardworking volunteers in Hunters Hill, from those who tend our bushland environments, to others who keep our Museum running or help stage our annual art shows.

All of these efforts are greatly appreciated by the community, but it especially pleasing – and fitting – when this work is recognised through formal awards.

Hunters Hill Bushcare and Habitat Network were recently named winners of a Partnerships for Landcare Award at the 2021 Regional Bushcare and Landcare Awards.

The award recognises their work to engage a range of stakeholders, including the local community, in rehabilitating nine kilometres of small bird habitat corridor throughout the Municipality of Hunters Hill.

I would like to offer my congratulations, and thanks, to these groups for an outstanding effort and well-deserved award.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Plans for a sustainable and thriving future

Our Council has a commitment to continuous improvement, and over the past three years, we have taken a specific look at the way we do things and how we can make lasting changes for the benefit of our organisation and the community.

We have partnered with several organisations to develop industry-leading solutions to enhance our evidence-based decision making and resident service experience and delivery.

It’s a direction that is reflected in the day-to-day operations of the Council and in our long-term planning.

Our draft operational plan and budget are presently on public exhibition until June 15, giving a great picture of where we are going and what we are setting out to achieve.

We have also undertaken work this year to make these documents, which were previously very long and complex, much clearer and easier to read.

Our long-term financial strategy seeks to drive down expenditure and diversify revenues to move to balanced and, where possible, surplus budgets over the next 10 years.

To view the documents, go to: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate.

Sustainable takeaway

I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of our local businesses, who have not only worked through the COVID-19 pandemic but continue to innovate in the way they offer services and promote local enterprise.

A great and exciting recent example has been in our local cafes, helping fight the battle against single-use plastic waste.

Several have committed, with support from Council, to the HuskeeSwap program, a reusable takeaway coffee cup replacement system to repurpose waste and make using reusables more convenient and hygienic.

Customers can make a one-time purchase of a HuskeeCup with their takeaway order, then on their next visit drop off the cup and lid, order their coffee as usual and get the beverage in a fresh HuskeeCup.

The move coincides with the Council partnering with Responsible Cafes to help support cafes take steps to use resources more efficiently.

If you are a cafe that is interested in taking part in the initiative, you can contact our team at Council via: people@huntershill.nsw.gov.au.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Vote to choose our charity partner

It is two months since we opened a Reverse Vending Machine at Henley and I would like to thank all in our community who have used it so far for your overwhelmingly positive response.

The TOMRA Reverse Vending Machine our Council installed forms part of the NSW Government’s Container Deposit Scheme, Return and Earn.

Users can deposit empty drink containers to earn a refund for themselves or a chosen charity.

The results of the machine’s use speak for themselves, with about 22,000 bottles and cans a week being recycled through the machine.

We are looking to harness this activity to support a charitable endeavour. Voting is now open for our first local charity partner to be the featured on the machine.

It follows an expressions of interest process from local organisations.

Go to www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/returnandearn to cast your vote before 28 June.

Keeping our roads safe

Maintaining local roads is a big part of the work we do as a Council.

This includes everything from fixing potholes, to resurfacing and improving infrastructure such as gutters, drains and crossings.

Road safety education is another important part of our service to the community.

This week is National Road Safety Week (16 – 23 May) and a timely reminder to take care when driving through our municipality, particularly around our schools and village centres.

For those of you helping young drivers navigate our streets safely, we are offering a free online workshop on 3 June for parents and supervisors of learner drivers. Learner drivers are also invited to attend.

As well as practical tips and advice, the session is designed to help make learning to drive a safe and positive experience.

Registrations close on 31 May. Go to www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Nelson Parade People Power Victory

As we now know the Minister for Planning and Open Spaces approved the Preferred Project on 12th April 2021 to remove all contaminated material from the Nelson Parade Hunters Hill site.

Contamination in a residential area is now to be housed in an environmentally safe location with world’s best practice at a purpose built facility.

This now brings to a positive conclusion to what has been a terrible ordeal suffered by the Nelson Parade residents and wider community over 40 plus years.  This is extremely exciting that a very long and well supported battle in Hunters Hill is concluded.

We must acknowledge the large number of community members including Council who contributed over many years to this successful outcome.  Particularly noting the leadership and outstanding contribution of Ms Philippa Clark (Hunters Hill Citizen of the Year) and the Nelson Parade Action Group (NPAG).

It is important to highlight the role of technical expertise and advocacy from Hunters Hill local expert Barry Buffier, as well as Craig Lamberton and Bill Ryall, environmental consultants in this outcome. They rejected the government’s previous proposal for onsite encapsulation as inferior and strongly supported NPAG and Council in their fight for full removal of all contamination.

We also thank the community for their significant contribution to this campaign.  Their efforts in writing submissions and attending meetings for years on end emphasises how very powerful community passion is in achieving this outcome against all odds.

“People Power” as TWT has dubbed this campaign. Also, a special thanks to TWT who were vital in informing and getting the message across to the public.

We now look forward to an update on the project and we look forward to some action onsite very soon.

COVID Jab

As we are now again on heightened alert with new COVD cases it is important to get your vaccination when available. I had mine this week and I can report it was professionally delivered, painless and with only minimal side effects. A great experience.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Grants for local business

As a Council, we are always looking for ways to support the economic viability of our village centres, particularly during challenging times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, we waived on-street dining fees for local businesses as they sought to remain active and work amidst the pandemic.

We also extended a Financial Hardship Policy from residential ratepayers to also incorporate business and commercial property owners.

Now we are looking to continue our support through a Business Placemaking Grants program.

The program aims to assist local businesses, following the impact of COVID- 19, to make our village centres successful and vibrant destinations.

The $15,000 package will provide grants of up to $2,500.

Applications are open until 14 May. For more details go to: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/business-placemaking-grants.

Community Art Gallery

The Hunters Hill Historical Society’s museum now boasts a community art gallery.

This now fulfils the original intent of the museum to also be a focal point for displaying community art.  The hanging of the art wall was overseen by prominent local artists.  These paintings provide an exciting insight into evolution of local art styles and a snapshot in time of life as it was in Hunters Hill over the long history of the Municipality.

The Council was pleased to share some of its collection of paintings with the Historical Society so that a representative selection of art works either by local artists or of local scenes could be permanently made available for public viewing.

Among the paintings are ones by such celebrity artists as Archibald Prize winner Nora Heysen and landscape painters, George Collingridge and William Piguenit.

A must see and the museum is usually open weekdays between 10am and 12 noon.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Indigenous Connections

May I commend to you a new display at Hunters Hill Historical Society’s museum at the Town Hall. Called “Indigenous Connections”, it depicts the involvement of Australia’s first inhabitants of Hunters Hill.

The display contains artefacts, photographs and story boards. An informational booklet has been published and is available free at the museum. The booklet can also be viewed on the museum’s website – huntershillmuseum.org.au.

The project was made possible with a community grant from the Commonwealth Government. Invaluable professional assistance in putting the display and booklet together came from Macquarie University.

This project recognises the important contribution made by early Aboriginal people. The museum is usually open weekdays between 10am and 12 noon. However, during COVID, it is best to call the museum first on 9879 9443.

Renovating and Building in Hunters Hill

Next week, we are also hosting a renovating and building planning information session.

If you are building or renovating, or work in an industry that deals in property or construction, you can find out how to make the planning process as simple and easy as possible.

As well as looking at online ePlanning services, things such as what you need to know before you lodge a development application – and how we can help you with the process – will be covered.

The session will also highlight Hunters Hill’s values and heritage requirements and how best to understand its unique character as a garden municipality and conservation area.

The session will be held on Thursday 6 May from 7pm at Hunters Hill Town Hall.

Go to huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate for more information and to register your interest.

While an ideal session for residents, planners, architects, lawyers or real estate agents, all community members are welcome to attend.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Seniors Festival

While many people think of Hunters Hill as an area made up predominately of older generations, our demographics are in fact a diverse mix of all ages, with young families a growing population base.

However, the fact that many equate Hunters Hill with older people is testament to the incredible and dedicated seniors in our local area.

Many of you volunteer your time and efforts to a range of causes, and for that we thank you.

So, in recognition of the contribution of older people in Hunters Hill, and across the state, we are offering activities in our local area as part of NSW Seniors Week.

You can join us for a series of workshops and events at The YARN, Hunters Hill Town Hall, and online in April.

Activities include a Comedy Showcase at Town Hall on 20 April, as well as sessions with topics ranging from gardening to healthy ageing, grandparents as carers and staying in your own home.

Go to huntershill.nsw.gov.au/seniorsfestival for more information and booking details.

State-wide, Seniors Festival runs from 13-24 April with free and heavily discounted activities, workshops, and performances for seniors across the state.

Inspiring Stories

Older members of our community have their own inspirational stories to tell.

Hunters Hill resident Eddy Boas certainly fits this bill, and will be sharing his story of survival in the lead up to Anzac Day in a talk at Town Hall on 22 April.

Eddy showed resilience to survive and navigate the challenges faced from the Holocaust and go on to live a happy life and a have a successful business career.

Resilience is a central theme in his personal history and he will no doubt have some valuable lessons to share.

Eddy published his autobiography titled ‘I’m not a victim I am a survivor’ a few years back.

As a Hunters Hill resident of 27 years, he will be personally reflecting on many of these recollections in the company of friends from his local community.

You can register to attend Eddy’s talk through our website: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Wishing all a happy Easter

The upcoming Easter long weekend presents us with a welcome opportunity to reflect and relax with family and friends.

This year, our thoughts also go to our compatriots in areas across NSW that have in recent weeks felt the devastating impact of extreme weather events.

Natural disaster declarations were declared by our State and Federal governments for more than 30 local government areas in the wake of storms and floods that hit these areas.

This provides a measure of practical support for councils, communities, primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

However, the effects are often felt long after the floodwaters recede.

It’s a particularly difficult time, given that many of these are tourist areas that would have been looking forward to welcoming holidaymakers to their local areas.

If you are travelling these Easter holidays, please take care on our roads. Double demerits are in force from Thursday 1 April to Monday 5 April.

Whether at home or away I wish all in Hunters Hill and beyond a safe and happy Easter.

Return and Earn at Henley

As part of our Council’s commitment and action for sustainability, we have installed a Reverse Vending Machine in the Henley Community Centre car park.

It forms part of the NSW Government’s Container Deposit Scheme, Return and Earn.

We have already had eager youngsters from the local Riverside Preschool depositing containers there, and have received positive feedback from other user groups in the area.

The machine provides a great opportunity for community members to return and earn, or you can donate your recycling refund directly to a charity.

Council is also seeking expressions of interest from charities to be featured on the Henley machine.

For more information about this charity partnership participation opportunity, go to: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/returnandearn

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Delivering for our community

As a Council, we strive to be a sustainable and thriving organisation in order to deliver great services for our community.

A report presented to our March Council meeting on how we operate and deliver for the people of Hunters Hill, shows we have achieved some major milestones.

Between September and December, the second quarter of the 2020-21 financial year, we delivered initiatives to support sustainability and preserve our natural environment.

Electric vehicles were introduced to our fleet; a circular economy pilot project at our library and community space, The YARN, diverted textiles from landfill; and a great new event that gives new life to second-hand fashion and homewares – Fancy Flea Market – was staged.

The opening of The YARN in October was a milestone in itself. We are now providing library services and a community space in the heart of Hunters Hill Village. If you haven’t already paid a visit, I would encourage you to drop in to 64 Gladesville Road, inside the arcade, on a Tuesday or Thursday between 10am and 4pm. You can also book in for an upcoming village talk or bring the kids or grandkids along for a story telling session (see our website for details). The space is also available for hire.

Our capital works program delivered road projects in Pittwater Road, Alexandra Street and Flagstaff Street, while work on footpaths extended from Gladesville to Woolwich.

To make getting around Hunters Hill easier we worked with local schools to improve drop-off and pick-up zone safety and developed a Bike Plan.

Despite COVID, we were able to safely deliver in-person events including Young in Art, the CommunARTy local art exhibition and Carols in the Park.

We have also continued to implement our e-planning system and recorded a reduction in development application processing times.

Upgrades to our IT systems have been designed to enhance customer service.

We also completed an upgrade to Town Hall.

Connect with your community

This Sunday is Neighbour Day, Australia’s annual celebration of community, encouraging people to connect with their neighbours.

So, whether it is an opportunity to catch up with people you already know, or reach out to those who may need support, use this Sunday as an opportunity to connect with someone in your neighbourhood. You can find ideas and resources in the events section of our website.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Veterans reflect ahead of Anzac Day

Our Council has a close working relationship with the Hunters Hill RSL Sub-Branch year-round, but it particularly comes to the fore as we approach times of reflection and remembrance such as Anzac Day.

We expect to mark the occasion of 25 April this year in a more traditional sense than in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated new ways of honouring our service men and women, such as through the national Anzac at Home campaign.

In the lead up to Anzac Day this year, we will be working in partnership with the RSL Sub-Branch to present a Village Talk on 15 April at our community and library space The YARN. Local veterans will share their reflections and wartime stories with our community.

We are honoured that Rod Stewart, Jim Board and Ian Hansen have agreed to be part of this event.

Registrations to attend the Village Talk are now open. For details go to: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/events.

Stepping Up to Clean Up

Thank you to the volunteers who stepped up to join events around Hunters Hill as part of this year’s Clean Up Australia Day.

Working around Gladesville Reserve, Riverglade Reserve, Woolwich Baths and Boronia Park, they collected about 30 bags of waste and about 12 bags of recyclables.

Popular recreation areas can unfortunately become a place where rubbish is left behind, but it was great to hear from local organisers that the amount of waste collected this year on Clean Up Australia Day was less than in previous years. Please remember to utilise bins in public areas or take your rubbish with you.

If you find yourself with unwanted household items such as textiles, old mobile phones and tablets, or even metal coat hangers, you can drop these off at the The YARN’s waste wall. These items can then be given a new life as part of circular economy projects. Just like the benchtop tiles in our library and community space made from the uniforms of our local schools and sporting teams!

You can find more information on our website: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/theyarn.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

 

“Magic” at Gladesville

While geographically the centre of Gladesville is split between Hunters Hill and Ryde local government areas, there is great unity in the drive to make this place a vibrant centre to visit and do business.

We are fortunate to have a great working relationship with our friends at City of Ryde, aided by the contribution of the Gladesville Chamber of Commerce and other levels of government.

We have seen the benefits that this collaboration brings, through the success of the Love Gladesville campaign, which with the input of the councils and chamber has built a 6300-member Facebook group, as well as placemaking initiatives such as public murals and street furniture and marketing that encourages people to visit the area.

Now we are turning our attention to further activating Gladesville through a new Magic on Massey festival.

The three organisations, in partnership with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, will hold a festival across three weekends in Massey Lane, Gladesville, from 19 March to 3 April 2021.

Its aim is to enliven Gladesville’s business district at night, supporting the local economy and the creative and cultural sectors in the area.

So, save the date to visit Massey Lane to enjoy the view of colourful art installations, watch or listen to live entertainment and grab a bite to eat from local eateries.

You can find out more at: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/massey.

Greening your streets

To create a sustainable, liveable and cool Municipality, we need trees and green cover. More trees mean more shade, cleaner air and more beautiful places to live.

The avenues of trees that can be found on many of our local streets make these sought-after addresses.

We are looking to increase the quantity and quality of trees across our area, supported by funding from the Federal Government’s Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program.

This is a unique opportunity to reap the benefits of trees in our neighbourhood. They add enormous value in providing increased biodiversity, carbon sinks, urban shading, amenity and corridors. Trees have a major impact in the built environment as they not only provide shading but also improve the microclimate in urban areas.

Let’s all support this program by adopting and watering these trees when planted in the near future.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Join our community Clean Up

We are inviting volunteers to come together to help keep our beautiful urban bushland clean this Clean Up Australia Day.

Australia’s largest community-based environmental event this year falls on Sunday 7 March.

Our Council-led clean up will be held at Gladesville Reserve.

To be held from 9.30am to 11am, the meeting point will be at the Huntleys Point carpark, opposite Riverside Girls High.

Council will provide gloves, sunscreen, and rubbish bags. All you need to bring is a hat, water, suitable clothing and closed-in footwear (no thongs or sandals).

There are also clean up events at Tarban Creek and Woolwich Baths run by community members and groups.

Register via huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate or just come along on the day.

Young voices with bright ideas

I had the privilege of welcoming students from local high schools to Town Hall on a recent Friday for our annual Youth Summit.

While it was a day created for and led by our young people, it was great to have the opportunity to meet many of the faces that are already demonstrating their ability as leaders in our local community.

During the summit, students, with support from Council staff, community leaders and teachers, were challenged to design a creative, feasible and impactful project to address issues we face as a community.

Council along with representatives of community organisations will work with the students and their schools to bring these ideas – in areas ranging from environmental sustainability to mental health and community placemaking – to fruition.

It’s a real opportunity to make a difference in our community. No idea is too big or too small.

And, importantly, while it is an opportunity for students to put their ideas in to action, it is also about having fun – if you happened to be coming past Town Hall on the morning of the Youth Summit you may have noticed students mixing up smoothies on pedal-powered bike blenders, with music playing out across Alexandra Street! Bean bags and pizza also aided the flow of ideas during the day.

Thank you to those students who brought their enthusiasm and innovation to the table and the school communities allowing them the chance to do so. Our Council team and community mentors look forward to working with you in the coming weeks.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

 

Threading the Hunters Hill community together

We have just passed four months since opening our innovative library and community space, The YARN, in Hunters Hill Village.

It is wonderful to see and hear the responses of people who are discovering the space, in the arcade at 64 Gladesville Road, when they visit to collect a book reserved from the library catalogue, or to bring youngsters to a story-telling session or to drop off items to our waste wall for use in circular economy textile diversion projects.

Our library service is delivered in partnership with Lane Cove Council, which means that when you sign up as a member of The YARN, you have access to all the great services offered through Lane Cove Library, as well as all the free programs and services offered in Hunters Hill Village.

You can opt to ‘click’ to reserve titles online and ‘collect’ them from The YARN. Plus, there is a huge selection of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, eComics and film streaming available to view anytime, anywhere, with access via The YARN membership to the Shorelink Digital Library catalogue.

To sign up for library services and for program schedules go to: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/theyarn.

Free safety checks

In partnership with the State Government, Council’s Road Safety Officers work to continue to improve road safety for the community through the delivery of a range of initiatives.

Focus areas range from safety in school zones, to workshops for adults who are teaching learner drivers, public messages on pedestrian safety and supporting State campaigns on driver responsibility and road rules.

Council also regularly runs a free child car seat checking service for residents.

If you live in our local government area, you are entitled to a free child car seat fitting voucher. You can have a restraint checked, refitted or fully fitted by a designated local Authorised Restraint Fitter.

If you wish to obtain a voucher please email our Road Safety Officers at roadsafety@huntershill.nsw.gov.au.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Hunters Hill Connect

Over the past year we have all witnessed the important role that technology can play in providing a simple, effective means of keeping in touch.

And well before the COVID pandemic, the ties that make Hunters Hill such a close-knit community have been a source of pride among many in this local area.

So as a community we are proud to be piloting a new way for people who may be socially isolated to stay connected with their support circle and get assistance when they need it.

The Hunters Hill Connect App, downloaded to a smart phone or tablet, connects people with others in their nominated network, such as family, friends, volunteers, support people, and social and community service providers.

The app can also keep users up-to-date with activities and events in the local community.

Council is working in collaboration with community organisations and service providers including Sydney Community Services, SGCH, the Anglican Parish of Hunters Hill, Touched by Olivia and Checked In Care, to trial the technology.

We are now inviting people to take part in a trial of the app.

Whether you are socially isolated yourself, live in aged care and would like a tool to keep in touch with friends and family, or know someone who may benefit from using the app and want to give it a try yourself, we would love you to get involved.

To find out more go to our website or email people@huntershill.nsw.gov.au.

Council meetings

Ordinary meetings of Council have resumed after the summer holiday period.

Our council has now moved to monthly meetings.

You can join us on the third Monday of each month.

Our meetings are streamed live on our YouTube channel.

Meeting agendas and minutes are available on our website.

We also welcome public participation, through applications to address the Council on matters relevant to our community.

For more information go to: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/council-meetings.

Creating play opportunities for all

Our community has once again demonstrated its willingness to come together to achieve great outcomes in spaces that bring us together.

When you visit our playgrounds across Hunters Hill you may notice new infant high-back swing seats with the details of our Council, social enterprise Play for All Australia and local businesses and organisations printed on the back.

It marks the culmination of a successful campaign to promote social inclusion and create opportunities for children aged 1 to 5 years to play, regardless of their ability.

As part of the Play It Forward campaign, which ran over four weeks in late 2020, young community members were invited to swing on a tech-enabled inclusive seat at Buffalo Creek Reserve. A built-in counter recorded every swing, with live tracking at playforall.com.au. Targets were progressively reached to unlock sponsored inclusive swing seat upgrades at other playgrounds across our community.

The new swings are now installed at playgrounds throughout our municipality for children to enjoy.

A big thank you goes to Caroline Ghatt and Tim Smith from Play For All Australia, as well as the Gladesville Chamber of Commerce, Australia Business Rescue, Cushman & Wakefield, McGrath Hunters Hill, RDC Accountants, Robertson’s Remedial & Painting, and the Rotary Club of Hunters Hill. And to the parents, carers and youngsters who got behind the campaign.

Reducing waste to help those in need

Council, working in partnership with local organisations, has again achieved great outcomes to reduce waste, help people in need, and give community members the opportunity to enjoy a sustainable shopping experience.

We recently held our second Fancy Flea Market at Henley Community Centre, where stalls run by local residents offer high-quality second-hand fashion, small homewares and collectables.

Working in partnership with organisations including Sydney Community Services, The Generous and The Grateful and The Happy Hens, money raised has provided benefits such as financing the delivery of food parcels to locals in need.

Reducing waste to landfill through giving new life to second-hand goods and showcasing a great venue in Henley Community Centre, are added benefits.

Check our website for details on the next market planned for May and how to register your interest.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Significant Tree Register

Trees play a critical role in defining the unique character of Hunters Hill and providing a great place to live.

Our Municipality is regarded as Australia’s oldest garden suburb and our trees on both public and private lands significantly contribute to the look and feel of the area. They were also highlighed in a recent Biodiversity Strategy as major factors in our wildlife corridors, and health and connectivity of our bushland.

Trees are essential in providing habitat, relief from urban heat and locking up carbon.

In recent years we have seen a large reduction in our tree canopy cover and a Register is one way to provide a stocktake of the most critical ones to be protected. At the same time we need to ensure trees are retained regardless of being included on the Register.  We need to monitor the health and performance of our tree management programs and councils such as Lane Cove and Inner West are currently obtaining state of the art imagery to help in maintaining and enhancing their tree assets.

There is also now a greater emphasis state-wide on greening our city to increase the tree canopy and green cover across Greater Sydney, recognising that trees play an important role in creating great places for our communities. However current State planning laws are in conflict with this position and they are resulting in a major reduction in trees in our local communities.

Through Council our community has in place a Significant Tree Register, which helps inform activities associated with public and private lands.

We are reviewing the Register and inviting our community to nominate trees for potential inclusion or to comment on a tree on the register.

For more information go to: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate.

Congratulating our citizens

I would like to again extend congratulations, on behalf of our community, to the recipients of the Hunters Hill Citizen of the Year Awards and offer a warm welcome to participants in our most recent citizenship ceremony.

I had the honour of doing so in person on Australia Day, at our Council event held in the scenic location of Bedlam Bay in Gladesville, overlooking the Parramatta River.

The award recipients are individuals and groups who go above and beyond.

Our Citizen of the Year, Philippa Clark, led the Nelson Parade Action Group in lobbying and negotiating with the NSW Government to secure a commitment to clean up contamination on the former uranium smelter site in Nelson Parade, Hunters Hill.

For more many decades she doggedly and resolutely remained focused on this outcome, despite setbacks and changes in government responses to this environmental safety issue.

Our Community Group of the Year – Kelly’s Bush Carers – have also left a legacy, forged many years before by the Kelly’s Bush Battlers conservationists who in 1971 saved the former tin smelter site from development. This is an important year for Kelly’s Bush as we will be celebrating 50 years since it was saved from development.

Since 1995, Bushcare volunteers have lovingly restored and maintained regenerating areas and battled weeds to preserve a place that is enjoyed by many in our community for recreation.

Our Young Citizen of the Year, Oliver Gardiner, has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to volunteering across creative, educational and sporting pursuits, while Sportsperson of the Year James Quinn has achieved at the highest levels as a rugby referee and is sharing this knowledge as a coach and mentor to young referees.

On Australia Day we also welcomed new citizens from countries including New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, the Philippines, the United States, Kuwait, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and China.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Draft Housing Strategy

The unique lifestyle on offer to our residents makes Hunters Hill, Woolwich, Henley, Huntleys Point, Huntleys Cove, Gladesville and Boronia Park great places to live and bring up our families.

Our vibrant villages, heritage values; bushland, tree and garden environment; strong volunteerism; sense of community and scenic waterfront are just some of the characteristics that make this such a special area.

Council is exhibiting, until the end of February, a draft Hunters Hill Local Housing Strategy as required to be prepared by all NSW councils to meet the requirements of the State and regional planning framework.

The draft Hunters Hill Local Housing Strategy considers population growth, housing needs and trends and situational and environmental constraints presented by the area, while addressing modest dwelling targets set by the NSW Government through the Greater Sydney Commission.

The draft Strategy is available to view on our website. Go to: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate. Details on how to make a submission can also be found there.  Please have a look and provide comments as this is an important document in determining the liveability, look and feel of our area.

School is Back so are School Zones

This Friday also marks the return to school for many of our students for the 2021 school year.

I hope everyone has enjoyed a well-earned summer break and wish all a successful year of learning.

To parents and carers dropping off and picking up children, as well as motorists using local roads before and after school, please take care and watch out for students arriving and departing school grounds.

School zones are back in force this week, so please slow down in these areas.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Celebrating our citizens

This Australia Day in Hunters Hill we will celebrate the contribution of our citizens, from the new and young, to long-serving individuals and dedicated groups.

We will do this in two important ways: through a citizenship ceremony and our Hunters Hill Citizen of the Year Awards.

To participate in a citizenship ceremony on our national day is considered by many as an incredible honour and privilege.

Citizenship represents a commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future.

It also symbolises the sense of belonging to a country where we have been born or where we have decided to make our home.

As Mayor, presiding over such ceremonies, which are also held throughout the year, is an incredible honour and privilege, shared with those taking the oath to our nation.

The pride and emotion many feel during these ceremonies, often with friends and family looking on or also taking up citizenship, is very special.

Australia Day is also an occasion on which we recognise the contributions of our existing citizens.

Bestowing the thanks of our entire community on these outstanding individuals and groups through Citizen of the Year Awards is a particularly proud moment for a Mayor.

This year, we will award a Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Community Group of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year.

We had an incredible field of nominees and I congratulate and thank each and every one of those individuals and groups nominated for their passion, enthusiasm and dedication to Hunters Hill.

This year’s national Australia Day theme is ‘reflect, respect, celebrate’.

We look forward to doing that on 26 January and across several nights leading up to Australia Day.

A new event starts on 22 January at Bedlam Bay, with five nights of classic Aussie films screening at an open-air cinema on the oval, looking out across the Parramatta River.

We are fortunate to have received funding from the Australian Government for this event, which is free to Hunters Hill residents.

Over the next week we look forward to celebrating Australian stories, both in the world of film and from our own backyard.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

2021 a Year of Opportunity

Council will have a lot on its agenda for the coming year.

It is an important year for our community and local democracy.  We will be exercising our democratic rights to elect our local representatives and form a new council at the Local Government elections in September 2021.  The community will be electing a Mayor and 6 councillors to represent them for the ensuing 4 years.  This will trigger the reestablishment of our advisory committees and other essential volunteer groups through an expression of interest processes.

With the constant pressure of increased development in our Municipality we need to be vigilant so we can maintain our community values and the unique lifestyle on offer to our residents.  In community surveys the constant thread is the need to protect and respect our heritage, maintain our garden/ bush environment and tree canopy, and our vibrant village lifestyle.  Many of the strategies and statements developed over the last few years and a few still to be determined will feed into the review over the next 18 months of our key planning instruments the Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan.

Council had set an ambitious works program during the past year with significant improvements to our footpaths, roads, drains and other infrastructure.  The scale of the works has led to a need to strengthen our project management systems to ensure works are carried out to the desired community outcome.  Our works program will be enhanced this year by much appreciated additional Federal Government funding from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program with the support of our local Federal member Mr Trent Zimmerman.

Council will also be busy finalising by June this year Plans of Management for many of our reserves and this is a key opportunity for the community to have a say in what are the important attributes to be maintained and new elements to be included in our parks and reserves.

Australia Day Celebrations

In addition to the formal Australia Day proceedings Council this year will be hosting 5 great movies over 5 nights.  Just 500 people are able to attend the Australia Day open air cinema each night in line with latest public health orders for COVID safety. Make sure you grab your free tickets (Council Website) to ensure you can enjoy an Australian classic under the stars, with the backdrop of the Parramatta River in beautiful Bedlam Bay.

Starting on 22nd January 2021 choose from Mad Max, Happy Feet (Sold Out), The Castle, The Dressmaker and Priscilla.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Bringing biodiversity to our garden suburb

Our natural environment is a great asset of Hunters Hill.

Maintaining it so that it is sustainable and thriving into the future is made possible through the countless hours that dedicated volunteers contribute to this endeavour.

The work has been different this year, given the COVID-19 restrictions in place.

But although 2020 is a year most will be glad to see off, it has still been a year in which much has been achieved.

Despite Bushcare being cancelled in April and May, Bushcare volunteers contributed 797 hours from January to November, with December hours yet to be included in the tally.

Local government could not operate without volunteerism, particularly in areas like Bushcare.

Our thanks go to all of these volunteers for their highly-valued contributions.

A Bushland Management Advisory Committee, which was established in May last year to replace a former working party, continues its great work.

Another highlight this year has been the efforts of postgraduate students from Macquarie University to assist in developing a Hunters Hill Biodiversity Strategy.

Their work expresses a vision for the Municipality of Hunters Hill to be not only a garden suburb but a ‘bush suburb’, harnessing the advantage of being a small local government area with a tight-knit community, to become an example of urban biodiversity management.

Volunteer work is a vital part of realising this vision.

Thank you

Bushcare is just one area in which our residents give their time and passion – both in partnership with Council and through organisations that support and benefit our broader community.

I have had the honour of thanking many of you personally at some of our recent COVID-safe in-person events.

To these individuals and groups, and to those of you who I have not yet seen, thank you again for your continued efforts.

Best wishes for a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Making getting around easier

We are working with the NSW Government to improve how our community gets around Hunters Hill.

We have just completed the first phase of the discussion. Thank you to everyone who took up the invitation – advertised in The Weekly Times and through our website, email newsletter and social media channels – to provide valuable feedback through our online survey and interactive mapping tool.

We are keen to better understand how getting around the suburbs in our local government area can be improved.

The ideas and issues shared through this latest phase of feedback will be used to create a plan to enhance how our community is getting around.

Other projects delivered this year have assisted in making getting around Hunters Hill easier.

The State Government reopened a new Woolwich Wharf.

Council opened up its Bike Plan to feedback through a public consultation process, supported with guidance from a working group that included local residents passionate about bicycling as a form of active transport.

Our aim is to make our municipality more cycle-friendly.

We are also on track with our capital works program, with road and footpath works a key aspect of making moving around Hunters Hill easier, as is traffic and road safety work, especially around locations such as schools.

War Memorials

Applications are now open for grants for the NSW Government’s Community War Memorials Fund, with funding available to protect, conserve or repair community war memorials in NSW. Details are available on the Office of Veterans Affairs website.

Last year Council was successful in obtaining a grant to contribute towards the cost of repair and conservation of the War Memorial located on the corner of Alexandra and D’Aram streets, specialised work that has since been completed.

Beside the memorial is a Howitzer Cannon, which was restored in 2015.

These are just two of several important sites of remembrance here in Hunters Hill that we, along with other local organisations, are honoured to conserve for our community.

Clr Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Recognising our citizens

One of the things that makes Hunters Hill so special is our passionate, active and proud community.

Dedicated to all manner of pursuits from recognising and preserving our history, to finding new ways to make where we live, work and play sustainable and thriving in to the future, to mentoring our youth and fostering our sporting talent, our community is diverse, but so many are willing to share their dedication and talents for the benefit of many.

We have been honoured to share the stories of many of these wonderful individuals and groups through our weekly series of articles Hunters Hill Heroes, published through our Council website and social media channels. Several articles have also been shared in The Weekly Times.

We are now seeking additional nominations for our Citizen of the Year Awards.

All of our Hunters Hill Heroes nominated so far will be considered.

Nominations are being called for in four categories: Citizen of the Year; Young Citizen of the Year; Sportsperson of the Year; and Community Group of the Year.

A panel will judge the nominations and winners will be presented with their awards on Australia Day 2021.

Entries close on 7 December. So, if you know someone who goes above and beyond for our community, nominate them today. Go to: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/participate.

Sustainable cities

Our Council was proud to be named a winner at the recent Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Sustainable Cities Awards.

Our Circular Economy Award recognised the work we have done with the University of NSW’s (UNSW) Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Centre.

It is about promoting the circular economy as a measure to support sustainability and reduce waste to landfill and is now on display at our new library and community space The YARN.

Community members can drop in to see the bench tiles made from the old uniforms of local sports teams and schools.

A 3D printer, using e-waste filaments line (where waste plastic is made into filament for 3D printing) is also available.

You can also be part of the circular economy by donating your old textiles to The YARN’s waste wall to be processed into repurposed materials.

You can learn more about this and other services on offer at The YARN on our website: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/theyarn.

Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Get active for inclusion

Earlier this year we joined with the Gladesville Chamber of Commerce and social enterprise Play for All Australia in an innovative pilot project, to harness the support of our community to make our playgrounds more inclusive for all children to enjoy.

The first stage called on our local business community to get behind the initiative as sponsors. Despite the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 and the tough economic circumstances the pandemic created for many, businesses responded swiftly and generously to join with us to bring this project to fruition.

We are now about to take the exciting next step and are inviting you all to get involved. The Play It Forward program is coming to Hunters Hill this Friday, 20 November, on World Children’s Day.

An inclusive high-backed infant ‘smart swing’, with built in swing counting technology, will be set up at Buffalo Creek Reserve playground for four weeks.

We are asking our young citizens to use the swing and clock up the count, which will tally up to a target that then ‘unlocks’ the upgrades to add inclusive swings to other playgrounds in our municipality. The swing count will be tracked in live time online at: playforall.com.au.

So please do join with us in making this initiative a great success.

Share in our history

Hunters Hill is well-known and much-loved for its history and heritage and as a Council we are committed to conserving it for the future – not just in the built environment, but in everything from the artefacts to anecdotes that inform the story of our municipality.

We engaged social enterprise Jigsaw to digitise paper and physical records and items from our Museum, which is run by the Hunters Hill Historical Society.

The Australian Army Museum of Military Engineering has partnered with us to undertake conservation works on the Hunters Hill honour roll to preserve it for future generations.

These are the kinds of projects through which we making a commitment to conserve our heritage and make it more accessible into the future.

We are working towards sharing more of our history, arts and culture with our community through online platforms, coming soon.

Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

On a path to success

Our Council is undertaking a program of continuous improvement and innovation, to ensure that we deliver services to our community effectively and efficiently and are sustainable and thriving in to the future.

We are only a quarter of the way in to the new financial year, but already our 2020-21 Delivery Program has provided some great results.

Our environment has benefited from the work that Council staff and our dedicated community volunteers have carried out.

Thousands of natives have been planted across sites including Boronia Park, Bedlam Bay, Riverglade Reserve, Betts Park and Kelly’s Bush and more than 1.8 hectares of land along the Parramatta River has been weeded.

To make getting around our municipality easier, we have continued road and footpath maintenance in line with our innovative Digital Asset Management Plan.

A draft Bike Plan, which outlines a list of priority works to upgrade and connect our local network, has been developed and community feedback sought.

Our Council also supported Transport for NSW to upgrade Woolwich Wharf and in September myself and fellow councillors joined our local State MP, the Honourable Anthony Roberts, at the reopening.

A strategy has been developed to reduce the average number of days it takes Council to process development applications from an average of 90 days to 60 days.

A big focus in terms of our community services was preparing for the opening of our new library and community space, The YARN, in Hunters Hill Village and I am pleased to say we were able to officially open it on 23 October, with free public programs and services starting this week.

Join the trail

Sustainability is a key focus area for our Council and in the year ahead we will be looking at how we can make changes both within our organisation and in partnership with our community for the benefit of our environment.

These changes could include anything from switching to more energy efficient forms of lighting to working with local organisations to promote events that encourage sustainability.

On 21 November we will host a Fancy Flea Market in support of Sydney Community Services, a not-for-profit facing ever-growing demand that helps seniors, people with a disability and their carers live independently in their own home and in their community.

The idea is to give new life to something old, and put second-hand first. Stallholder registrations are now open. You can also register your own Garage Sale Trail event for 21 and 22 November in support of sustainability. Go to: garagesaletrail.com.au/Hunters-Hill.

Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

Welcome to The YARN

I had the privilege this week of opening the first ever library and community space here in Hunters Hill and I am thrilled to share this exciting and innovative place with our community.

Named The YARN in honour of its role as a site that threads the Hunters Hill community together, it is located at 64 Gladesville Road in the heart of Hunters Hill Village, in the arcade next to the Hunters Hill Hotel.

Working in partnership with Lane Cove Council we look forward to offering programs such as story time and village talks, and a click and collect library service.

The YARN will also be made available for hire and as an open house for business people or students to work.

It will be a place of innovation too, with waste and sustainability education a big focus and a circular economy pilot project we are delivering in partnership with the University of New South Wales Circular Economy Innovation Network – to divert materials from landfill – on display.

See our website and social media channels for details on how you can visit and participate in all that is on offer at The YARN.

Student talent on show

Our schools are a popular drawcard for the growing number of families coming to Hunters Hill and at this time of year it is especially easy to see why.

Our annual showcase of students’ creative talent, the Young in Art exhibition, opens on 29 October at Hunters Hill Town Hall. The collection of drawing, painting, photography and sculpture works is on show until 1 November.

It is inspiring to see the depth of talent that we have across the primary and high schools in our local area.

I would particular like to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of our senior students this year, many of whom are presently sitting HSC exams. In an unprecedented year of challenges, with remote learning, social distancing and a limit on traditional end of year celebrations, our young people have shown great maturity and resilience.

I wish all of you the very best of luck in completing your secondary school education and in whatever future endeavours you choose to pursue.

And to the families, teachers and school communities supporting our young people – well done on guiding your young charges on this journey!

Ross Williams

Mayor of Hunters Hill

 

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

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 www.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 www.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: huntershill.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: ourlivingriver.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
E: customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au
ABN: 75 570 316 011