Posted at 2:48PM on 19 September 2017
One of my aims as Mayor is to reach out to the local business community and give economic development a boost in Ku-ring-gai. Our Council is currently doing this is through a series of free networking events for local business people. The latest of these was a business forum held last week which I attended, discussing the issue of collaboration and partnerships. Around 50 local business people heard from our guest speakers their experiences of partnering successfully to drive income and profits. Attendees also discussed how their businesses could be supported by our Council to be more collaborative and we heard some very useful suggestions. The feedback provided from all our business events this year will be reported to Council in early 2017 with recommendations for how we can better support local businesses in the future.
A reminder also that we have arranged a visit from the Small Biz Bus to Tryon Road car park, Lindfield on Wednesday 7 December. The bus is run by the NSW Department of Industry and provides free face-to-face, personalised business advice and information. This confidential service is provided by independent business advisors with real small business experience. The bus will be at Lindfield from 9am to 3pm; click here to book a free business advisory session on the day or call 1300 134 359.
A date has been set for the Council’s appeal against the decision of the Land & Environment Court regarding our action opposing the forced merger with Hornsby Council. Our case will be heard by the Court of Appeal on 16 and 17 February next year. Once the case is heard the Court will pass judgement on our appeal. I will continue to keep you informed of developments concerning the merger through my column in this newspaper; if you require more information about the merger process and the Council’s legal action please visit Council's website.
Some major upgrades in Ku-ring-gai are nearing completion and will be open in time for the summer holidays. We recently upgraded the playground at Killara Park to be more accessible to all children, including those with a disability. We are also putting the finishing touches to a new playground with some exciting new features at Lofberg Oval in West Pymble. The expanded Cameron Park at Turramurra is now proceeding at pace after contractual difficulties were overcome and I expect this will be completed early in the new year. Despite the uncertainty created by the proposed merger, our Council remains committed to delivering new services and facilities to our residents.
On that note, I am pleased to say we have engaged the YMCA for a further two years to manage the Ku-ring-gai fitness and aquatic centre at Bicentennial Park West Pymble. The YMCA have brought a professional yet caring approach to the way they run this facility on our behalf and as an example, they are hosting a ‘dive-in movie’ on 3 December to help raise funds for swimming classes for people with a disability. I encourage residents to get behind this very worthwhile event. Visit the Ku-ring-gai Fitness & Aquatic Centre’s Facebook page to book!
This will be my final column before the Council elections on 9 September as required under electoral law.
This week we bade farewell to one of our most respected and hard-working members of Council’s senior management team.
Last week Council considered a report on Ku-ring-gai’s environmental levy.
I’m pleased to announce that the YMCA has been granted a two year extension to its contract to manage the Ku-ring-gai Fitness & Aquatic Centre on the Council’s behalf.
Our Council has lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court against the judgement of Justice Moore in the Land & Environment Court, which largely dismissed our case against a forced merger with Hornsby.
I am honoured to have been re-elected Mayor of Ku-ring-gai for a fourth term by my Councillor colleagues.