Posted at 2:06PM on 23 January 2020
Happy New Year to all our residents! I hope you had an enjoyable time with family and friends during the holiday break. Of course, the festive season and the New Year celebrations have been overshadowed by the terrible fires that have devastated large parts of NSW.
Ku-ring-gai Council and the community are getting behind efforts to support fire-affected regions and our emergency service volunteers. RFS brigades from Ku-ring-gai and Killara have been deployed to fire-affected regions for a number of weeks and several Council staff have fought the bushfires as RFS volunteers. Ku-ring-gai St John Ambulance brigade volunteers also deployed to Moruya on the South Coast to help at the evacuation centre.
Ku-ring-gai has joined the Bushfire Recovery Support Group which includes metropolitan councils coming together with the Office Local Government, Local Government NSW and the Office of Emergency Management to assist council disaster recovery and support operations in local communities.
As Mayor, it has been so heartening for me to see residents, businesses and community groups mobilising to organise fundraisers for those affected by the fires. For example, on Sunday 9 February the Killara community is holding a ‘Bark Run’ at the Claude Cameron Grove dog park for dogs and their families to raise funds for the Killara RFS brigade.
Alternatively, not-for-profit organisation GIVIT is coordinating donations of much-needed funds, goods and services in bushfire-affected communities across the State. GIVIT captures pledges of assistance online and then works with local councils, charities and community groups to match a donation to a recipient in need.
Our Council will continue to do whatever we can to support those in fire-affected areas as they try to recover from the dreadful events of these past weeks.
This year we will be celebrating Australia Day at Bicentennial Park West Pymble at the new time of 5pm to 9pm. Come down and enjoy highlights such as lamington decorating, a bush band, an indigenous smoking ceremony and Aussie rock band The Great Southern Land. There will be food and drink stalls so no need to worry about dinner!
For those seeking to cool off ahead of the celebrations, the Ku-ring-gai Fitness & Aquatic Centre next to the park is hosting a pool party between 2pm and 5pm.
More info is available on our website.
This is my final column for the year and as I write, many of you are still cleaning up after the recent bushfire emergency, followed by the severe storm that affected many suburbs in Ku-ring-gai.
Last week Ku-ring-gai experienced a bushfire emergency that could have been catastrophic, particularly for the South Turramurra community.
Thank you to my Councillor colleagues who have entrusted me with the role of Mayor for a further 12 months.
The NSW Department of Planning expects Ku-ring-gai’s population to jump to 154,500 by the year 2036.
Last week Council voted to endorse the preparation of a planning proposal for the Lindfield Village Hub.
We’ve been talking to businesses and local residents in St Johns Avenue over the last few months about ways to regenerate the area.
I am pleased to announce that Council has received state government approval for new and extended heritage conservation areas in Pymble and Turramurra.
At the Council meeting in July, Councillors met to consider the lodgement of the planning proposal for the Lindfield Village Hub.