Freshie News


Queensland organic food supplier, FLANNERYS, is set to open a store in Freshwater.  With 11 stores in Queensland, and four in NSW, this retailer caters for those on vegan and gluten free diets.  It has been very successful in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and recently opened another store at Mona Vale.  In 2018 it will seek to move into the Freshwater Village Plaza.

With a SUPER IGA opening across the road in the new Freshwater Apartment complex, this will do much to reinvigorate Village retailing.


Council put the Draft Master Plan on display in late November 2017, with submissions to be received from the community by Feb.4, 2018. Some expressed concern, that with the community moving into summer holiday mode, the draft Plan would not get the deliberation it deserved.  This has proved not to be the case.

The widespread discussion and concern expressed by the community has led to a number of community meetings with Councillors and the Mayor. These have been specifically around the issue of parking and loss of green space in the Beach Reserve  A number of constructive proposals have been put forward to improve parking and traffic movement without compromising on existing green space and these have been put directly to Council

Of special note is the formation of a Freshwater Park Group comprising residents nearby to both Undercliff and Moore Roads.  They compiled a petition with 576 signatures to reinforce their proposals. These have already been the subject of meetings with the Mayor and senior Council staff.

Council will also be meeting with the bush regeneration group who have been patiently improving the bushland along Lumsdaine drive and Carrington Parade.

The proposed route of the Coastal Walk scythes straight through this bushland rather than straddling the Coast, as does the current Boardwalk.

The ball is now squarely in Councils court, and we await further developments.


Two DA’s lodged in late December 2017, for construction of 35 apartments on vacant land behind the northern side of the Village. This land, now zoned commercial, had never been built on and one of the blocks was owned by the one family for the last 70 years. It recently sold to a developer, IPM Holdings, which immediately lodged a DA. These blocks are uncomfortably close to the Harbord Electricity Sub Station and its 14 KV transformers and magnetic fields.

One DA (2017/1287) proposes 24 bedrooms to be located 3 metres from the Sub-Station, and we are of the view that this is unsafe, unhealthy and poor urban planning.

At the time of writing, FOF and 30 other residents have now lodged objections.  Of course we will need more, and we now have until Mid-march to lodge. These have mainly been on the grounds that the residential accommodation is accessed by driveways that flow onto busy Lawrence Street. This is in contravention of the Freshwater Village provisions within the Warringah Development Control Plan. There is also not underground parking for visitors or retail customers. These DAs will take much but given nothing in return.

Interestingly the Developers have not received one submission of support.


During this DA process, we discovered that only a small number of surrounding properties were being notified of these DAs.  Of particular note was the adjoining Kahana building in 18 Marmora St., which has its western wall abutting the proposed development. The newly installed residents were not notified, even though the development proposal affects them mightily.

For development proposals of such controversy, widespread notification would have been the norm. Once upon a time the community was letterboxed, and then it was reduced to 300 residences, and now it is a mere 79 properties being notified.

FOF is raising this with Council as it appears that Developers are seeking to have minimal notification by treating these DAs simply as “Alterations and Additions”.


Our Baby Health centre is no more and has closed, without any fanfare, after 50 years of excellent service.

The Department of Health has moved it to a new consolidated Community Health Centre.

Mothers seeking post-natal assistance are now forced to drive to Warringah Mall to obtain these essential services. This involves competing for a car spot in a building designed principally for the B-Line bus service traffic.  While it has the advantage of having specialist health services in situ, the days of the leisurely walk to the Village for the Mothers Group meeting and breast-feeding advice, appear over.  Village cafes serving coffee to this clientele will also notice their absence.


Both the Harbord Literary Institute and the Baby Health Centre are buildings under the care and control of Northern Beaches Council. Both are in the western end of the Village and are heritage-listed. Council, for planning purposes is also a major landlord in Freshwater Village.

With the Baby Health Centre now vacant, questions arise as to its future use.


A family friendly remembrance service will be held on 11 November 2018, Each year, our Nation pauses on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November to remember the 60,000 Australians who lost their life in this tragic war. This year has special significance as the Centenary of the conclusion of a tragic, prolonged War.

Did you know that: –

  • The Soldiers Avenue of Honour and Jacka Park are now known as the Freshwater Anzac Precinct.
  • The Soldiers Avenue of Honour (established in 1922) is unique to Sydney.
  • Soldiers Avenue and Jacka Park were declared a community war memorial in 2016 by the State Government.
  • Trees in Soldiers Avenue are heritage-listed and the Heroes Tree was first planted in 1923. Each tree was planted to recognise the service of a local soldier.
  • We are progressively installing bronze footpath memorial plaques adjacent to designated trees for soldiers who saw service in this War.
  • We have also compiled 20 histories of Freshwater soldiers and their descendants, many of whom still live nearby.
  • 129 men from Freshwater served in WW1 from a total Freshwater population of less than 1500. 34 were killed in action. This loss still reverberates with their families today.

This annual Armistice Day event is organised by the Harbord RSL Sub Branch and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group.


The 26“Freshwater’apartments on the former Harbord Growers Site are nearing completion and readying for occupation. Already major internal fit-outs are proceeding apace and scaffolding systematically removed. This apartment block is about 6 months overdue. Finishing touches are being placed on the facades. Friends of Freshwater, at the Approval stage, managed to get concessions on provision of a baby change room in the new public toilets as well as external seating and bike racks. The Super IGA will have 1200sqs of retail space.

The look of the external façade with its muted sandstone cladding is in keeping with the requirements of the Freshwater Village DCP provisions.

There has been much conjecture over the occupants of the third retail space, after Cellarbrations withdrew its Liquor Licence application. Latest mail from our Village snout, is that it will be a restaurant selling Japanese-styled food.

Underground parking for both residents and customers will be a welcome addition to the Village. We will welcome the return of Bakers Delight, and a Super IGA.

At 5 Pavilion St, the 6-storey cliff-top apartment block has now assumed its permanent profile for its 6 apartments. These will be very substantial and will sell for a pretty penny This undoubtedly will be a welcome improvement on the dog of a building that it replaces.


Freshwater’s Sean Rout was recently recognised by Northern Beaches Council on Australia Day. for his outstanding service to our community and more widely.  He is an Executive Member of the Friends of Freshwater, organises both the Anzac Day Ceremony at Mckillop Park and the Armistice Day Ceremony at Jacka Park but is also closely involved with the Manly Marlins and the Manly Waratahs.

Good one, Sean!


By mid 2018, Freshwater Village may have three outlets serving Sushi.  Hiro’s restaurant in Lawrence Street has doubled its capacity, and the owner is thought to be opening a Sushi Bar in Freshwater Village Plaza (where a well-liked Pharmacy used to be). In addition, a Japanese Ramen noodle establishment is rumoured to be opening in the new “Freshwater” complex.


High rents and short leases continue to plague shopkeeper in the Village.  Recently a three further shops had their leases terminated. “Wonders” toy shop, which serviced Freshies burgeoning 0-5 population, has moved to Darley Road, Manly.  Total Beauty is to be located upstairs in the Village Plaza and Phil Murray’s Gym is also looking to move elsewhere.

It appears that the landlord, IPM Holdings must be supremely confident of getting its opportunistic DA approved.

2018 Memberships of Friends of Freshwater are due for renewal.

If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership, then hop on line to our website at for easy subscription.


 New Development DA’s submitted in Village

12 February, 2018 – Another quick one that our illustrious leader, Peter Harley has discovered that was not adequately communicated by the council and his action today has had the time slot for submission of comments extended by a month.
If you feel this is of interest to the Freshwater Community please make your submission via the direct Council links below.

Both  blocks 21, 15&9 have had DA’s lodged for development  – DA2017/1294 and DA2017/1287.
They were lodged at the end of December for sites on the northern side of Lawrence Street, and in the case of 1294, received by Council on 20/12/17 with little time to prepare the documentation prior to the Christmas break. Then the turnaround time for submissions has to occur largely in School Holidays when the bulk of the beachside Freshwater population is enjoying its holidays.

The Council has just extended by a month the comment time and will circulate to more neighbours details and  is asking for any impact submissions before expiry.

Freshwater Coastal Open Space Master Plan

04 February 2018

Submissions on the Draft Masterplan close – if you have any comments  submit your comments to the Council link below.

    On November 28 the Council submitted a report to recommend that the draft master plan is placed on public exhibition and as available on the Northern Beaches Council Site. The key part is there has been a consultative process since earlier this year that is continuing. <click on image to see full size> MasterPlan 1 – The Greening of area behind Freshwater Beach MasterPlan 2 – Changes/ Improvements on the Freshwater / Queenscliff Hill MastrPlan 3 – Reclaiming Diggers Car Park, MacKillop Park and the boardwalk extension Here are the Key parts and the next important step is to attend the following on site meetings on : Saturday December 9  8am-11am – Beach end Kooloora Ave and again Wednesday December 13 8am – 11am – Beach end of Kooloora Ave to learn,  discuss it or offer alternative ideas or objections.

Dear Friends

Please see attached our comprehensive submission based upon a range of viewpoints put forward by our membership since November.
This is a once in a generation opportunity to progress on issues which we and others have been raising for nearly a decade.
These include:-
  • Completion of the missing link coastal boardwalk from South Curl Curl Pool to the northern end of Freshwater Beach.
  • Better access to Freshwater rock pool for disabled and frail-aged.
  • Upgraded public toilets and amenities in the Beach Reserves (Freshwater Surf Club) and at McKillop Park (Harbord Swimming Club site)
  • Refurbishment of the two children’s playgrounds and their surrounding safety, that have not had renewal for the last 20 years.
  • A Management Plan for the heritage-listed Freshwater View Estate
  • Stormwater upgrades and bush regeneration of Undercliffe Reserve to prevent overflows and further weed infestation.
  • An integrated linkage between the Freshwater Village and the Beach via Moore Road.

Submissions close on 4 February.

To lodge an on line submission:-

  1.  Go to Northern Beaches Council
  2. Click on HAVE YOUR SAY
  3. Click on Community Engagement Projects
  4. Scroll down to Freshwater Coastal Open Space Master Plan
  5. Click on Submission tab, make comments and then submit.

All the best

Best regards

Peter Harley

Friends of Freshwater inc.

Here is our  group submission


This image link below is a short ‘Time Lapse’ taken on Australia Day – Jan 26 2018 at 11am and represents 5 minutes of realtime but shows the impact of closing the Car Park completely and the issues at the beach end ‘cul de sac’ with turnaround traffic without more attention to car short unloading of passengers likely.

Freshwater Time-lapse ( 5mins realtime ) 


A Finnish research team from the University of Turku is currently in Australia identifying sustainability initiatives in local communities.  Team Members from the Finland Futures Research Centre, Professor Markku Wilenius and Dr. Ana Jones, recently visited the Freshwater Community Garden to observe how small green spaces can be used for a greater community purpose. They were impressed at the recycling of resources, water collection, composting, bee-keeping and collective production of fruit, vegetables and herbs. They were also impressed by the capacity of the Community Garden to provide a social focus for people residing in nearby medium density housing.


Freshwater Community Garden is now into its 5th year of existence and is a testimony to the persistent work of local volunteers with a small level of assistance from local government.

Volunteers in the unfenced Crown Reserve Garden, tend the plants, mow the lawns, remove the weeds and harvest the crops.  Many friendships have been formed during these activities.

These local bottom-up environmental initiatives, according to the Finnish Futures Research Centre have a wider application globally.


Monday Dec 4 2017 

A substantial camphor laurel tree with a massive tree root system has been removed in Soldiers Avenue and stump ground today.  So extensive were its roots, that the roadway and kerb will have to be lifted to enable it to be fully removed.


Friends of Freshwater has been calling for the tree’s removal for a number of years so that a footpath and further Queensland Brush box trees can be planted in it stead and along the Northern side of the Soldiers Avenue Memorial. Queensland Brush Box Trees comprise the heritage listed trees in the Avenue Memorial.


Our research has also revealed that there were memorial brush box tree saplings planted between 1920 and 1939, in memory of deceased service personnel, on this side of the Avenue, but they did not survive to maturity.


Burls taken from the Camphor Laurel will be made into suitable memorial items for installation in Jacka Park.


The Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group (including the Friends of Freshwater) has been negotiating for two years with Northern Beaches Council and its predecessor, to remove a massive Camphor Laurel tree on the northern side of the Soldiers Avenue World War 1 Precinct. Camphor Laurels, because of their invasive root systems, are considered a noxious pest by local government. This particular tree is relatively young compared to the heritage-listed Queensland Brush Box trees in Soldiers Avenue and it is not associated with the memorial plantings of trees over the last century.

This tree is causing major damage to the streetscape and its bulging roots are in the way of a proposed foot path for which the Group has also been campaigning. Council is planning to remove the tree on September 4 but obviously councils take their time.   

Undercliffe​ ​Reserve​ at​ ​Freshwater​ ​has​ ​been​ ​restored​ ​with​ ​a​ ​little​ ​help from​ ​some​ ​local​ ​friends.

For​ ​the​ ​past​ ​two​ ​years​ ​a Friends of Freshwater  ​Bushcare​ ​volunteer​ ​group​​ ​has​ ​been​ ​working​ ​to​ ​regenerate​ ​and​ ​stabilise​ ​the​ ​local​ ​environment in​ ​the​ ​area,​ ​contributing​ ​more​ ​than​ ​500​ ​hours​ ​of​ ​their​ ​time​ ​to​ ​the​ ​cause. Founding​ ​member​ ​Peter​ ​Harley​ ​said​ ​the​ ​results​ ​of​ ​their​ ​work​ ​had​ ​not​ ​been​ ​lost​ ​on​ ​local residents​ ​and​ ​visitors​ ​alike. “There​ ​is​ ​a​ ​great​ ​appreciation​ ​for​ ​our​ ​work​ ​among​ ​local​ ​beach​ ​goers,”​ ​he​ ​said. One​ ​such​ ​local​ ​beach​ ​goer​ ​includes​ ​seven-time​ ​World​ ​Surfing​ ​Champion​ ​Layne​ ​Beachley,​ ​who regularly​ ​stops​ on her way for a surf, ​to​ ​compliment​ ​the​ ​efforts​ ​of​ ​the​ ​group. “The​ ​transformation​ ​has​ ​been​ ​truly​ ​remarkable,”​ ​Ms​ ​Beachley​ ​said.​ ​“The​ ​work​ ​of​ ​the volunteers​ ​means​ ​you​ ​can​ ​now​ ​take​ ​in​ ​the​ ​beautiful​ ​view​ ​on​ ​the​ ​way​ ​down​ ​to​ ​the​ ​beach.” Mr​ ​Harley​ ​said​ ​the​ ​group​ ​had​ ​recently​ ​received​ ​a​ ​grant​ ​from​ ​Greater​ ​Sydney​ ​Local​ ​Land Services​ ​which​ ​had​ ​helped​ ​boost​ ​the​ ​results. “We​ ​also​ ​rely​ ​heavily​ ​on​ ​support​ ​and​ ​guidance​ ​from​ ​Northern​ ​Beaches​ ​Council,”​ ​he​ ​said. Greater​ ​Sydney​ ​Land​ ​Services​ ​officer,​ ​Rebecca​ ​Mooy​ ​said​ “ ​the​ ​volunteer​ ​effort​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Reserve is​ ​obvious​ ​when​ ​you​ ​walk​ ​the​ ​path​ ​from​ ​the​ ​new​ ​stair​ ​way.  “ Coastal​ ​Rosemary,​ ​Wattles,​ ​and​ ​Lomandra​ ​planted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​volunteers​ ​to​ ​increase​ ​the​ ​shrub layer​ ​are​ ​a​ ​big​ ​change​ ​from​ ​the​ ​weedy​ ​understory​ ​of​ ​Asparagus​ ​Fern​ ​and​ ​other​ ​weeds​ ​that had​ ​invaded​ ​coastal​ ​bushland,”​ ​she​ ​said. Northern​ ​Beaches​ ​Council​ ​General​ ​Manager​ ​Environment​ ​and​ ​Infrastructure​ ​Ben​ ​Taylor​ ​said the​ ​iconic​ ​beach, ​ ​within​ ​the​ ​Manly​ ​–​ ​Freshwater​ ​World​ ​Surfing​ ​Reserve, ​ ​is​ ​a​ ​highly​ ​valued part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​northern​ ​beaches​ ​coastline​ ​and​ ​is​ ​a​ ​focus​ ​for​ ​council’s​ ​volunteers​ ​who​ ​also stabilised​ ​the​ ​sand​ ​dunes​ ​to​ ​reduce​ ​the​ ​impact​ ​of​ ​coastal​ ​erosion. “A​ ​mountain​ ​of​ ​invasive​ ​weeds​ ​has​ ​been​ ​removed, ​ ​native​ ​plantings​ ​re-introduced​ ​and​ ​the general​ ​environment​ ​of​ ​this​ ​much-loved​ ​location​ ​greatly​ ​improved​ ​for​ ​everyone​ ​to​ ​enjoy,” ​ he said. Follow​ ​us​ ​​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​Twitter​ ​@lls_sydney​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​YouTube​ ​Greater​ ​Sydney​ ​Local​ ​Land​ ​Services

Census results for FRESHWATER NSW 2096.

One of the most fascinating is how Freshwater is evolving, in terms of population growth and shifts in demographic. How is the shift in different age groups affecting house and rental prices? Are there more baby boomers or millennials in your area?

Source: ABS Census data 2011 and 2016  

We are again gathering to do a bit of gardening in the sunshine.
This week we will be planting citrus and tending our other citrus trees which need a bit of TLC.
On Wednesday morning next week the Community Bank is filming a link between its customers and its sponsored organisations, of which there are more than 200). Our Garden is a recipient of Bank support for the purchase of its shed and its compost bins as well as one garden bed.
If anyone can afford an hour on Wednesday morning to assemble at Room 210 Cafe in mid Lawrence Street at 9.15am then please let me know?  Coffee and muffins will be provided by the Bank. It is anticipated that sporting, charity, environmental and kindergarten reps will be in attendance. Come with garden implements.

Friends of Freshwater Inc. Charter


  • Assisting with maintaining and developing sustainable village centres serving the local community for Freshwater and nearby threshold suburbs such as Queenscliff, North Manly, and Curl Curl.
  • Drawing upon Freshwater’s unique character, heritage and history to celebrate and enhance its institutions and its image.
  • Maximising opportunities for pedestrians, motor vehicles, public transport, and cyclists to move safely around and through the community.
  • Reducing adverse parking and traffic impacts in Freshwater Village, Beach Reserves and neighbouring streets.
  • Creating and maintaining a network of public open spaces and facilities to service the needs of the community.
  • Consolidating the Sydney Coastal Walk and its loop linkages as they pass through Freshwater from Palm Beach to Manly
  • Providing state-of the art, culturally sensitive, high quality, place-making and integrated urban design, with emphasis on amenity, safety and security.
  • Evaluate major development applications in Freshwater to ensure that they adhere to both the Local Environment Plan and other local planning instruments.
  • Restoring the natural environment and amenity of Freshwater’s coastal reserves.
  • Working with the three tiers of government to support the progress of community projects specific to Freshwater.

The Duke Newsletter

The Duke Newsletter – Friends of Freshwater

Peter Harley our President has published a Newsletter that he distributes by email to his list but is published here for review and comment upon registration.
The Duke  is filled with interesting chronological details that relate to matters of that month, from the local weather, the surf, background on history, events, comments and anything that has an impact on our life in Freshwater.

Simply click on the relevant month or use the SEARCH facility to find anything that is printed and relates to our area.

Membership Renewal


 The Friends of Freshwater is one of the biggest apolitical activist community groups on the northern beaches. If you wish to join or renew membership for 2017 then please refer to our online membership system here.


The Friends of Freshwater is a ‘Not for Profit’ Registered Organisation managed by a group of  locals who who share an interest in our local community and express concerns, news, history and events as it may impact our local area.

Our Group President is our general contact and can be emailed here Peter Harley