Mayor's Message - 21 October 2016

Posted at 3:24PM on 24 October 2016

As I advised residents in my first column as Mayor two weeks ago, 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 Council. A Supreme Court hearing has been set for 23 November and I would expect at that time a date for the full hearing of our appeal will be announced. This is likely to be early next year. Of course, if there are any other developments regarding the merger ahead of the directions hearing in late November, we will keep our residents fully informed through this newspaper and our website. 

One of Ku-ring-gai Council’s most popular events is our free Twilight Concert in Wahroonga Park, held every year in October. The Twilight concerts are always a great night out with family and friends and this year was no exception. Aided by fine weather, several thousand residents enjoyed great music from the 70s presented by the Bee Gees Tribute Band and Emma Birdsall of Channel 9’s Love Child. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and I hope you did too! 

This month has been a stellar one for awards for our Council. A very prestigious award has been bestowed upon us through the Australian Urban Design Awards for the Turramurra Community Hub masterplan. The masterplan sets out a design and planning framework to revitalise the Turramurra centre with a mix of new shops, outdoor dining, community facilities such as a new library and community centre and residential buildings. The master plan has been years in the making and involved input from many in our community. Last week our efforts were recognised, with the Council winning  the 2016 Award for Urban Design, Policies, Programs and Concepts – Large Scale.

We were also recognised this month for the quality of our natural disaster planning. Ku-ring-gai Council won the NSW Resilient Australia Government award for its Climate Wise Communities program. The program, which has been running for the past five years, helps local residents self-assess their vulnerability to severe weather events and through workshops, prepare plans to reduce risk. I was delighted to receive the award from the Deputy Premier Troy Grant and the Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott at a ceremony held at Parliament House last week. Well done to all our staff who have worked long and hard on both these projects.

Finally, we have some awards of our own to announce! The Council voted last week to hold the inaugural Ku-ring-gai Architecture & Urban Design Awards next year, with nominations opening soon. The awards are aimed at new buildings and developments in the local area that ‘support and enrich Ku-ring-gai’s quality built environment’. Five categories are proposed; heritage design, contemporary design, dwelling house design, sustainable building design and a ‘people’s choice’ award. Watch our website and this newspaper for more details on how to enter.