Posted at 11:32AM on 10 October 2018
A large part of the Council’s forward planning is being taken up with meeting the future needs of our growing population. Ku-ring-gai’s current population is just over 123,000. It is projected to grow to over 130,000 in the next decade. Many of our new residents have young families and are drawn to Ku-ring-gai because they want a safe and healthy place to raise their children.
One of our plans, on exhibition until 2 November for comment, is focused on renewing our public buildings. Many of the Council’s community centres and halls are operating at capacity and due to their age, no longer meet community expectations for modern, accessible public buildings. According to the draft strategy, the Council currently owns and operates 14 halls and centres available for hire by the community, four libraries, an arts centre and three youth centres.
With these community buildings now over 50 years old, replacement or major renovations are needed. The strategy addresses ageing public facilities and the shortage of space for hire by taking a regional approach to community buildings and centralising public facilities into ‘community hubs’. These hubs, such as the one planned for the western side of Lindfield centre, could contain a mix of attractive multi-purpose buildings which people can use for a variety of activities. For example, at the Lindfield Village Hub residents could visit the library, meet a friend in the nearby park, do some shopping and have a bite to eat – all within walking distance.
Among the draft Strategy’s recommendations are:
• A sub-regional cultural facility in Gordon, co-located with Gordon Library, the Council Administration and Chambers. This supports the Council’s vision to develop a new civic/cultural precinct in Gordon
• A performing arts hub in Killara centred around the redeveloped Marian Street Theatre
• Three new district community hubs in Turramurra, St Ives and Lindfield, ideally co-locating branch libraries with flexible multi-use public spaces
• Amalgamating a number of existing facilities into the new district hubs
• Upgrading several smaller local facilities.
Please have your say on this important plan by 2 November on our public exhibition page.
With the weather warming up, there are some exciting events happening in Ku-ring-gai. Our free Twilight Concert is on next Saturday night between 5pm and 8pm at Wahroonga Park. This year’s concert will be reliving the tunes of the 1990s, so if you’re a Prince or Spice Girls fan, this is sure to please! Please bring a picnic and low folding chair, or buy dinner from the stall holders at the venue.
At the Wildflower Garden, there is a special one-off performance of the children’s classic The Wizard of Oz on Saturday 13 October between 11am and 12 noon. This enchanting tale is perfect for children aged 5-12; there are some tickets still available on The Wizard of Oz webpage.
For the cyclists among us, we are celebrating Ride2Work Day next Wednesday 15 October between 6.30am and 8am in Gordon Recreational Reserve, Rosedale Road. Cycle to the city and enjoy a free bacon and egg roll cooked by us, giveaways and bike checks, plus the chance to go into the draw for a $300 gift voucher. More info is available here.
This week Council will start the next phase of consultation with our community on the Lindfield Village Hub.
Libraries across NSW are in the spotlight at the moment because of the gradual decline in funding from the state government, compared with other states in Australia.
On Tuesday 7 August we are hosting a very important seminar for older residents on healthcare at the Council Chambers in Gordon.
My latest message covers developments on the Lindfield Village Hub project, Environmental levy grants and the temporarily closure of Gordon Library.
The last Council meeting of June resulted in several significant decisions for our community.
Lindfield Village Hub is one of the largest urban renewal projects Ku-ring-gai Council has undertaken in its 100 year history.
Last week Council advertised for experts to join our newly formed Capital Projects Advisory Committee. Councillors voted in April to set up this Committee.
At the Council meeting this week some major planning documents were endorsed by Councillors for public exhibition and your feedback.
I want to talk in my column this week about two of Ku-ring-gai’s centres – Lindfield and Gordon.
Council is finding ever more creative ways to meet the escalating demand for sporting facilities in Ku-ring-gai.
Thank you to everyone who came to our free Moonlight Movie last Saturday evening at Turramurra Park.
Within the last two weeks Council has received final approval from the NSW Government for its bushfire planning in locations of high risk.
This is my first column for 2018 and I take this opportunity to wish all Ku-ring-gai residents a happy and prosperous new year.
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.
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.