“The Duke” Newsletter October 2016

 “THE DUKE “

                                  October 2016 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES TEST THE FRIENDSHIP OF FRESHWATER COMMUNITY

The construction companies on the three major Freshwater sites have been working into the night with their trucks rumbling through the community during sleeping hours, and constantly during the day, without any obvious traffic management plan, and with apparently scant regard for either pedestrian safety or community amenity.  Recently a Tower Crane was erected by Hindmarsh Construction on Sunday night 23 October where an out of hours work application Permit 2016/00191 was approved by Council for commencement on Sunday 23 October 2016.

The Permit operating hours were clearly stated to commence at 8.00pm and conclude at 3.00am on Monday morning 24 October 2016.

 It was a surprise when neighbours received notice from Hindmarsh Construction in their mailboxes on 20 October 2016, stating that the massive Tower Crane installation would be commencing work on Sunday 23 October 2016 at 6.00pm and concluding at 6.00am Monday 24 October 2016.

With not much thought given to community amenity, Hindmarsh Construction was also blatantly contravening the out of hours permit approved by the Northern Beaches Council.

Residents have been most patient with these builders particularly on the numerous occasions that they have worked outside of allotted hours. It is apparent with Hindmarsh Construction that the Principal Certifier, and Council’s Compliance Officers have simply let this happen.

Hindmarsh Construction, as with Ganellen and Growthbuilt have a regulatory requirement to comply with the Conditions of its Permits, and Northern Beaches Council has to ensure breach enforcement action in accordance with the Provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979.


SWING CRANES AND THEIR AIR SPACE.

It appears to be a little known fact that the air space above one’s property can be a source of income. Construction companies have long paid a fee to nearby property owners whose properties are being overshadowed by the swing arc of Self-Erecting and Tower Cranes and their counterweights.

When the apartment complex, “Sea Change” on Crown Road, was being constructed, neighbours were handsomely compensated for the inconvenience of the tower crane hovering above. This is the current situation for properties in the near vicinity to both “Freshwater” and “Kahana “constructions.

SOLDIERS AVENUE ROADWAY UPGRADED.

Much work is being done on and below the road surface of Soldiers Avenue.  A variety of services are located under this road including major sewerage pipes, storage tanks, high voltage power cables, Telstra communication systems and, of course, Freshwater Creek.

In the last week, the road surface has been completely renewed after fully laden concrete and B-double trucks had roughed its surface. There are calls for a speed zone for this Avenue given the lack of two-way movement.  A speed hump is being installed between 56 and 58 Soldiers Avenue by NBC


FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER HAS ANOTHER ACTIVE YEAR

Friends of Freshie has been actively involved this year in a wide range of projects including: –

  • ·       Successful campaign for the removal of the 4G Optus tower from the McKillop Park headland
  • ·       Registration of the Freshwater Anzac Precinct as a community war memorial
  • ·       Refurbishment of the Soldiers Avenue of Honour, undergrounding of HV cabling and seeking State heritage listing.
  • ·       Public Toilets for Jacka park
  • ·       Freshwater Community Garden
  • ·       Urban planning issues
  • ·       The Village Public Art Project.
  • ·       Upgrading of Queenscliff steps
  • ·       Removal of weed infestation in Undercliffe Reserve
  • ·       Upgrading and saving Freshwater Beach Reserve Playgrounds.
  • ·       Boardwalk extensions from South Curl Curl to Freshwater Pool.

All of these projects require close interaction with the three tiers of government.

At its AGM on 12 October, a new Executive was elected for 2017. It includes:-

Peter Harley, President

Phil Curry, Vice-President

Brian Dunphy, Secretary

Denise Goldstein, Treasurer

Sean Rout, Executive Committee

Stacey Berkman, Executive Committee

Kent Bull, Executive Committee.

Mine Host of the Harbord Beach Hotel, John Thorpe, AO, was again elected as Patron.

HARBORD PUBLIC SCHOOL AND MANLY SELECTIVE CAMPUS SHORT CHANGED ON MAINTENANCE.

FOI documentation has revealed that Harbord Public School and Manly Selective are among 6 schools on the northern beaches which have a maintenance backlog in excess of $500,000. With $28 mill being spent on new classrooms at Harbord Public, this figure appears confusing and may relate to maintenance in other parts of the School. In the case of Manly Selective nothing appears to have been spent on the School or its grounds for a long time. The same dilapidated fence surrounds the Campus as it did in 1970.

ARMISTICE DAY CEREMONY AT THE FRESHWATER ANZAC PRECINCT IN JACKA PARK AND THE SOLDIERS AVENUE OF HONOUR.

It is now 98 years since the formal conclusion of World War One on 11 November 1918.  In Freshwater, we especially remember this day because of the profound impact this senseless conflict had on our community in both losses of life and injuries to those that returned.

On the 11 November next, we will be remembering a 24-year-old Freshwater Surf Club member, Horace “Ponto” Logan who was killed in action, near Fromelles, exactly a century ago. A bronze footpath memorial plaque in memory of him will be unveiled at his tree on the eastern corner of Eric St. and Soldiers Avenue. Many members of the Logan family will also be in attendance and for them it is a very poignant occasion.

The original Logan plaque and tree guard was mistakenly removed by Council in 1985.

The replacement of plaques is part of a five- year program to restore the original objects and fabric of the historic Soldiers Avenue of Honour. It has the support of the three tiers of Government.

At 11am on 11 November a commemorative ceremony will commence in Jacka Park and then proceed to Soldiers Avenue. All are most

welcome and then everyone will be invited to walk to Logan’s tree for the unveiling.

BABY HEALTH CENTRE SET TO GO

We reported in our last month’s edition that Freshwater’s long established Early Childhood Centre is set to close. It is slated to be part of a consolidated service within the new Community Health Centre being constructed near Warringah Mall. Mothers will then have to travel by car to the Mall to attend previously arranged appointments. This Centre will service the whole of the Northern Beaches.

The Village Early Childhood Centre is much cherished by young mothers, who can drop in for advice, and is used as a meeting point for mothers’ groups. It is pram accessible.

Located in a heritage listed building (a former fire station) it is an important part of the Village fabric.

Friends of Freshwater has written to the Hon Mike Baird to confirm the Department of Health’s intention to relocate the Service away from the Village. We are awaiting a response from the Department of Health before mounting a campaign for its retention.

WHO MAKES THE BEST COFFEE?

In Freshwater, we now have a large number of thriving coffee and café outlets. This has now increased with the re-opening of Carlos on Albert. This outlet previously had a loyal “milk crate” following.  In the new year, another coffee outlet will emerge with the opening of About Life and its mezzanine coffee shop.

Good coffee relies on a good barista, so who makes the best Coffee?

NORTHERN BEACHES WHITE RIBBON WALK AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  23 NOVEMBER.

Starting at Queenscliff Surf Club a 30-minute Community Walk to Manly will be held on Wednesday 23 November next from 7am with a BBQ to be held on the Corso. This initiative against domestic violence is actively supported by Northern Beaches Police Command.

A Flyer is attached.

2017 NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL ELECTION LOOMING.

All the political parties appear to be gearing up for the election of the inaugural Northern Beaches Council. On 21 October, Your Warringah which had a majority on Warringah Council, as well as the Mayoralty, sought to change its name on the Register of Political Parties to YOUR NORTHERN BEACHES INDEPENDENT TEAM. Campaign literature under its new name can’t be far away.

As we have stated previously, the Friends of Freshie is apolitical and will not be endorsing or supporting any political party.

“The Duke” Newsletter September 2016

 “THE DUKE “

                                  September 2016 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

Daylight Saving has again arrived to relieve the early morning darkness. Spring has sprung with hot dry westerly winds and hints of summer heat. Volunteer surfing patrols on Freshwater Beach have resumed, but only the wet-suited are in the water. Whales are migrating up the coast to their breeding grounds in Hervey Bay, and in their wake, sharks are circling.  Summer will soon be upon us.

B-DOUBLE TRUCK CONVOYS RAISE SAFETY CONCERNS

B-Double trucks carrying excavated material from the Harbord Diggers construction site are continuing to cause widespread community concern in Freshwater.  In one 30- minute period this week, no less than 40 fully laden trucks rolled through Freshwater village.  When a Traffic Management Plan was hammered out at the DA Approval process, it was agreed by all parties that the narrow streets of Freshwater, and particularly Evans Street, were inappropriate for such large truck movements. That Plan has apparently been abandoned by the builder and the trucks have gone rogue. Now we find trucks arriving as early as 3.30am for their first load at daybreak and making three trips per day, all of which are moving through Freshwater Village.  The builder, Ganellen, appears indifferent to the safety concerns raised by our community.

BABY HEALTH CENTRE TO GO

Freshwater’s long established Early Childhood Centre is set to close. It is slated to be part of a consolidated service within the new Community Health Centre being constructed near Warringah Mall. Mothers will then have to travel by car to the Mall to attend previously arranged appointments. This Centre will service the whole of the Northern Beaches.

The Village Early Childhood Centre is much cherished by young mothers, who can drop in for advice, and is used as a meeting point for mothers’ groups. It is pram accessible.

Located in a heritage listed building (a former fire station) it is an important part of the Village fabric.

Are we up for a fight to keep this Service in the Village?

A BROADCASTING CAREER STARTS ON A BUS TRIP TO MANLY WHARF

It’s not often that a notable career commences by chance on a bus trip from North Curl Curl to Manly, but that was the experience of a young Norman May in 1957.  Travelling to work in the city, the Freshwater surf lifesaver, who was part of Freshwater’s legendary R and R team, sat next to Richard Healy, then NSW Director of Sport for the ABC and a well-known sporting commentator (and later, long term Member for Wakehurst). In the course of conversation, Healy asked May if he would be interested in providing expert commentary at a Surf Carnival being held at Dee Why at the weekend.  In the early days of television, the ABC, did outside broadcasts of a wide range of sports on a weekly basis. May commentated on the event and was then invited to become a sports broadcasting trainee. The rest is history, as it involved a lengthy career where he used his encyclopaedic knowledge of a wide variety of sports to become one of the nation’s most recognised and acknowledged sports broadcasters. He is best known for his Olympic swimming broadcasts but was adept at covering everything from fencing to rugby.

Although he never married, and lived for a long time with his mother in the family home                      at Abbott Road, North Curl Curl, in his retirement years, Norman “ Nugget” May moved to Bondi. He died, aged 88, on 11 September 2016.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           FOOTPATH MEMORIAL PLAQUE FOR WORLD WAR 1 DECEASED SOLDIER

Horace Sydney Logan was killed in France during World War 1 a century ago. He was one of his Battalion who survived the horrendous Battle of Fromelles only to be shot in the head by sniper fire two weeks later.

The Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group is installing a bronze Footpath Memorial Plaque (see montage) in Soldiers Avenue adjacent to his allocated tree on the eastern corner of Eric Street and Soldiers Avenue. This will be commemorated with a ceremony at this tree on Armistice Day, 11th November, 2016. “Ponto” as he was known, was a student of St. Josephs College, and when he died, his family donated a rowing eight boat to enable the College to compete in its first Head of the River. Logan was also a founding member of Freshwater Surf Club (see photo of him seated in the front row, first right) and his name is on the Club’s Honour Board. Current students from St. Joseph College will form an Honour Guard at the ceremony.

FRIGID FROGS FLY THE FLAG

It’s a proud tradition for one of our local winter swimming clubs, the Frigid Frogs which operates throughout the winter at South Curl Curl Pool. It has again won the Australian Winter Swimming Championship as the best all-round club. This is the 14th occasion that this has occurred and is in part due to the dominance of its swimmers in the older age categories. Local swimmers Warren “Wick” Riley, Max Van Gelder and Barry Lumsdaine excelled in the Over 80 category, while Ossie Doherty did likewise in the over 90 category.  The Frigid Frogs are proudly supported by the Freshwater Community Bank.

NEW YORK TIMES OBITUARY FOR BERNARD “MIDGET” FARRELLY

It is not often that the death of an Australian gets coverage in the New York Times but this is what happened when one of Australia’s much admired surfing champions, Midget Farrelly, died on 7 August last, aged 72.

In an obituary published on 10 August 2016, columnist Daniel Victor, wrote that Farrelly who won a historic world championship at Manly Beach, was an outsider in the surfing world, who, in 1969, railed against drug-taking which had become ingrained in the surfing culture of the time. Farrelly editorialised in the surfing magazine, Surfing World. “Does the beach take dope; do the waves take dope; do the seagulls take dope”. “Man, if you are part of that scene, you won’t either

A young Farrelly, aged 14, joined Freshwater Surf Club in 1958 when his family was living at South Curl Curl.  In the world of surfing, it was then the age of 3-metre-long balsa boards, and “Midget” as he became known, even though he wasn’t small of stature, constructed his own balsa board and was off on a stellar career as a surfboard rider and manufacturer in this newly emerging sport.

In later years, he was the Sweep on surf boats for the Palm Beach Surf Club.

The magazine, Surfing Life, said that “he had surfed until a few weeks before his death from stomach cancer”.

WHO MAKES THE BEST COFFEE?

In Freshwater, we now have a large number of thriving coffee and café outlets. This will soon increase with the arrival of About Life (with an 85 seat mezzanine area) and the re-opening of Carlos on Albert. Good coffee relies on a good barista, so who makes the best Coffee?

TEACHERS HAVE LASTING IMPACTS

The late Tom Uren, surf lifesaver, boxer, prisoner-of-war, politician and activist, who spent his school years in Freshwater prior to 1939, always used to state that “Miss Rolfe’s words are always with me when I give a public or parliamentary speech”. Miss Rolfe was his Year 6 teacher at Harbord Public School in 1933. “She taught me how to frame a speech” said Uren who was delivering speeches into his 90’s.

It is yet another example of the lasting impacts of our teachers. To those who attended Harbord Kindergarten during her tenure, it will always be known to them as “Crump’s Academy”, after the long standing Director and community activist, Irene Crump.

Former students of St. John the Baptist School may have similar fond memories of Daphne Blake who has recently passed away aged 93.

Do you have a favourite memory of our local teachers such as John Speight, Keith Amos, Gwen Gordon or more lately Bryan O’Rourke?

TWO SUPERMARKETS FOR FRESHWATER

By early 1918, Freshwater Village will have two supermarkets.  A DA lodged by Harrington Property Group, the owner of the current IGA site in Freshwater Village Plaza, heralds the forthcoming arrival of About Life, an upmarket organic supermarket with obligatory coffee shop. This company currently operates, in a similar way, at other sites in Cammeray, Lane Cove, Crows’ Nest, Bondi and Surry Hills

Friends of Freshwater has also been informed that the incoming proprietor of the 1,200sq.m retail supermarket space in the Freshwater apartment complex will be a SUPA IGA operated by the proprietors of the Cremorne IGA. This retailer is one of the best performed in the IGA network across Australia. It is unlikely to be selling liquor.

The “Freshwater” development is still at the excavation phase with the builder, Hindmarsh Construction, currently extracting sandstone to create the second level of the underground car park. It has taken months of removal of compacted beach sand to get to this point. After the basement slab is laid in late October and the groundwater storage tank established, the structural phase will begin in earnest. It is at this point that the builder hopes to catch up valuable lost time caused by the SX Projects financial collapse. During this phase, we will likely see convoys of concrete trucks agitating up and down Albert Street. This will continue until March next year, when fitting out will commence. Residents are likely to be in their apartments by October and the supermarket and two shops (one a Bakers Delight) fully operational by early 2018.

The completed SUPA IGA has provision for 100 customers at a time with underground parking, public toilets and amenities. During the DA Approval Process, Friends of Freshie raised the need for a baby changing space, and has again raised it with the builder and architects. The Village currently has poor capacity for baby-changing amenities. Hindmarsh Construction advise that it is normal to supply this provision in their construction process and it is likely that it will be provided near the Supermarket and adjacent to the main toilets.

In addition, a modification to the “Freshwater” development at 22-26 Albert Street (currently lodged with Council), seeks to strata the retail entities within the complex, and indicates that the supermarket will be geared to cater for 100 customers at any one time.

OVER 55’S PREDOMINATE IN FRESHWATER DEVELOPMENTS.

By 2018, Freshwater will have 277 more apartments occupied primarily by over 55’s.

By that time, the Kahana at 18 Marmora (16 Units – 1 beach house); the Freshwater (23 units); 36 Wyndora (9 Units); Freshwater Rise at 94-96 Soldiers Avenue (10 Units) and the Harbord Diggers New Dawn (190+) will be either at or near completion. In addition, a 17 town villa complex in McDonald Avenue on a former health facility site will also be at an advanced stage.

Some of these developments were approved by Council on the basis of SEPP 55 legislation, while others are overtly priced to attract downsizers.

It is clear that Freshwater will have a significant influx of population in the Over 55 age bracket.

TRAFFIC CALMING IN WEST FRESHWATER

Council is intending to instigate a Local Area Traffic Management Scheme for areas between Harbord Rd and Oliver Street.  This will enable the installation of ‘raised thresholds” for Brighton Street, Wyndora Avenue and Soldiers Avenue, as well as a raised wombat crossing in Johnson Street adjacent to a school entrance.

Amazingly this has been in the Council pipeline since a 2007 Survey was completed.

We can now only hope that further traffic calming will also be extended to busy streets east of Oliver St.

FRESHWATER ANZAC PRECINCT REGISTERED AS A COMMUNITY WAR MEMORIAL.

The historic Soldiers Avenue of Honour and the nearby Jacka Park Wall of Remembrance, have recently been jointly registered by the State Government as a Community War Memorial. This will assist with the ability to gain support for maintenance and refurbishment of these memorials.

COME JOIN US FOR MEMBERSHIP DRINKS AND MEETING AT THE HARBORD BEACH HOTEL ON WEDNESDAY 12TH OCTOBER AT 7PM.

Friends of Freshwater will be holding its annual drinks and meeting in the lower Freshies Restaurant at the Harbord Beach Hotel. All members most welcome. THERE WILL BE A REPORT GIVEN ON ALL THE PROJECTS IN WHICH WE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN 2016.

IF YOU WISH TO  BECOME A FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER MEMBER OR SIMPLY RENEW YOUR EXISTING MEMBERSHIP THEN YOU CAN DO IT ON THE NIGHT

As you can see, we constantly need to raise our voice as a community on a variety of issues. Join us and strengthen our voice, and yours.

2016 memberships are now open at $10 per year via a simple transfer to FOF’s account at Freshwater Community Bank (633000/138650791) or via a visit to the Branch.

© Friends of Freshwater Village Incorporated

“The Duke” Newsletter August 2016

 “THE DUKE “

                                  August 2016 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

 

It is amazing that we are now approaching Spring with the wattles beginning to bloom, and the coastal rosemary flowering.  Big seas and heavy downpours of rain have battered and scoured our northern beaches in the last few months, but the sand is returning, and we are venturing out into the lengthening sunlight.

STORM DAMAGE REPAIRS

The South Curl Curl beach sinkhole that emerged after the major April 2015 storm provided a powerful indication of storm power. The southern corner of the beach was eroded to bedrock, the integrity of the beach ramp threatened and the pavement was undermined.  Northern Beaches Council has just spent $700k+ in buttressing the sea wall structures with wire anchoring into the sandstone at the rear of the beach. With the return of the sand, it is hard to see any evidence of this engineering work but be reassured that it is there to combat future storms. The large tonnage of rocks dumped into North Curl Curl Pool is another question and it may have to be removed by explosives prior to summer.

Along the South Curl Curl Boardwalk, there are minor signs of uplift and misalignment, but it held up well.

Amazingly, Freshwater Beach came through largely unscathed with minimal beach erosion. The prevailing science confirmed that its dunes, along the full length of the beach, acted as an affective buffer.

AN UPGRADED SOUTHERN WALKWAY FOR FRESHWATER

Work is nearing completion on the third stage of the upgrading of Queenscliff Steps with only permanent safety railings to be installed. The steepness of the steps has been reduced and potholes removed. The first two stages were completed earlier in the year, and a $100,000+ contract has been let to local company Performance Concrete Pty Ltd. to re-lay the last stage that links Queenscliff to Freshwater Beach.

These Steps are heavily used and form an important part of the Sydney Coastal Walk.

They were first created in 1880 by stonemasons employed by John Lewers, Freshwater’s first postal agent, who owned the Kiosk at the southern end of Freshwater (now Pilu at Freshwater). This enabled, for the first time, pedestrian access down a steep cliff, and through Undercliffe Reserve to the Beach and the Kiosk.  Previous access was only by boat, or around the rocks at low tide. Lewers’ stonemasons also carved a tunnel at Queenscliff Headland in a failed attempt to create a walkway to Freshwater Beach, (the tunnel is still there).

Local Stonemason, Mick Leslie, improved the carved 1880 datings in the 1970” s. These now appear in relief at both ends of the walk.

Friends of Freshwater still has a major concern about the inadequate pipes that have to cope with the massive amount of storm water that cascades down these Steps, from the hard surface areas of Crown Road and Pavilion Street, into Undercliffe Reserve and out to the ocean. We have been campaigning for the last 5 years for an upgrade of these storm water facilities and the stairs.  Overflows of nutrient laden storm water have become more frequent, and the new stairs will continue to bear the brunt of storm events.  Any overflows always lead eventually to weed infestation of the Reserve below.

Friends of Freshwater has been successful in gaining a $10,000 Land Care Grant to develop a vegetation management plan and undertake bush regeneration in this heavily weed-infested Reserve. Initial work is being done along the pathways to the Beach, and already lantana has been removed to reveal again the spectacular views.

A welcome addition will also be the provision of a bicycle rail along the Steps to compliment those installed in earlier stages.

APPALLING GRAFFITI TAGGING ON QUEENSCLIFF STEPS.


In an act of wanton vandalism, the new Steps have already been tagged by someone with a dislike of joggers and people from western Sydney.  Where do these attitudes come from in our otherwise very tolerant and accepting community?  And why joggers?

“BUSH TUCKA” Project in Freshie Community Garden


 At its meeting on 9 August, Northern Beaches Council approved a Community Development Grant of $2,000 to enable the Freshie Community Garden to mount a project focussing on indigenous foods.

With these funds the Garden will be able to plant native fruits including quandongs, kutjera, muntries, kunzeas and finger limes. It will also assist with the planting of native vegetables such as warrigal greens and wild parsnip. It is intended that indigenous food workshops will also be conducted at the Garden by Permaculture Northern Beaches.

TETRAGONIA RAVIOLI

While we are on the subject of indigenous food, local chef and television presenter, Ed Halmagyi, has been promoting neglected, largely unknown and forgotten foods that are all around us on the edges of our beaches, in our parklands and on our footpaths. These include dandelions, nasturtiums, pigface, turkey rhubarb and cobblers peg. Tetrogonia (also known as Warrigal greens, native or beach spinach) is readily available in Undercliffe Reserve.

Halmagyi has a recipe for Tetrogonia Ravioli which involves pasta dough, and range of ingredients and 6 cups of washed Tetrogonia. A word of warning is that the leaves have to be blanched in boiling water for 20 seconds or until wilted, and then refreshed in iced water.

OYSTERS EELS AND FISH—THE FUTURE OF CURL CURL LAGOON

In early August, 45 people attend a forum hosted by Curl Curl Lagoon Friends. Council provided an overview on the health of the lagoon. It is getting better, with very low bacteria and lots of phytoplankton. What it lacks is biodiversity caused by lack of seagrass for example.

Dr Vicky Cole from Sydney Uni  also spoke and is an expert on oysters (which are excellent as filters and creating habitat).

Oyster balls have been trialed successfully in Manly Lagoon recently. They filter massive amounts of water and create habitat for things like tube worms and marine plants to attach to.

Northern Beaches Council is hoping to take the same approach with a research trial in Curly Lagoon initially in the channel east of Griffin Rd bridge. It hopes to install plastic sea grass in 4 places in the lagoon. This is unusual process, but seagrass is difficult and almost impossible to transplant. Artificial grass allows essentials foods to grow on it and fish are attracted to the food, and as habitat. Although the memories of the old Curly Dump linger, we may even get to see edible fish and eels again.

FRESHWATER IS BEING SHORT CHANGED

Our submissions to Council to gain a share of the Sect 94 Developer Contributions (this year alone + $2m) have fallen on deaf ears. The bulk of funding has gone as per usual to Dee Why and its need for Town Centre infrastructure.

We recently addressed a full Council meeting on 23 August as to projects in Freshwater which we thought had been funded or at least evaluated.

These included the Jacka Park Public toilets (we have been waiting 30 years);

Footpaths on the norther side of Soldiers Avenue (these were previously approved as long ago as 1935 but never built); an above tidal zone walkway from the recently upgraded Freshwater Rock Pool through to Ocean View Road (to enable disabled access to a pool that has disabled access); and upgrading of Freshwater Beach children’s playgrounds (not touched since 1990’s).

We hope to gain access to the Stronger Communities Fund of $15m which was created out of State Government funding for the Council amalgamation.

The Administrator, Dick Persson, stated at the meeting that he would like to look at these sites with the Executive of the Friends of Freshwater.

AUSGRID MINOR TRIM OF TREES

The heritage-listed trees in Soldiers Avenue will have minor trim on September 2 to enable clearance of the insulated aerial bundle cables. At the same time, Ausgrid has agreed for some arboreal reshaping of the trees which had been severely misshapen from harsh pruning. Progressively we hope to get these trees back to a normal shape.

SOUTH CURL BOARDWALK MISSING LINK GETS FUNDING SUPPORT.

In a major coup, the Administrator, Dick Persson, has announced that $200,000 has been allocated from State government funding to extend the Board Walk from South Curl Curl Rock Pool to Freshwater Rock Pool.

Readers of “The Duke” will be aware that FOF has been campaigning for this outcome for a number of years, given the fact that the Board Walk is part of the Sydney Coastal Track, is heavily utilised, but is frustrating for the disabled, those in wheelchairs or with prams, who have to turn back at a set of stairs.

It is our hope that these improvements will pave the way for access to all and not just the able-bodied.

B-DOUBLE TRUCK MOVEMENTS CAUSE COMMUNITY CONCERN.

Currently Freshwater and Curl Curl are being beset with truck movements through its narrow streets. The Ganellen Harbord Diggers site alone has 300 B-double truck movements per working day. This will continue for the foreseeable future as 150,000 cubic metres of sand stone is progressively removed from the site.

Mostly these trucks are queuing in pre-dawn light in Griffith Road awaiting a call to load excavated materials. They then proceed on a predetermined path around Lumsdaine Drive and then, fully laden, return back along Carrington Parade. Many undertake this journey in convoy.   However, some rogue drivers are breaking out from the agreed traffic plan and taking short cuts through Freshwater Village and random streets. In their haste, street signs have been knocked over, chicanes, roundabouts and street surfaces damaged and pedestrian crossings made unsafe.  Dust and spoil is everywhere in the Village.

A similar situation applies to the former Growers Site, and nearby Kahana in Marmora Street. Fully laden B-double trucks are exiting the Growers site across Albert Street and up Lawrence Street. These are an imposing sight for pedestrians wanting to cross the Villages 3 pedestrian crossings.  Cement trucks have essentially taken over Marmora Street whenever there is a concrete pour with as many as 6 being nearby at the one time.

Friends of Freshie members in Kooloora St and Carrington Parade have reported disrupted sleep from large trucks idling nearby with engines running at 5.00am.

Clearly Council’s Traffic Management planning for these site is largely non- existent and very much at the whim of the construction company. Traffic control is deficient and pedestrians have to negotiate their own way along these streets.

Complaints to Council and the individual site foremen tend to fall on deaf ears. Even Council fines are simply regarded as normal daily business by these builders.

We can only hope that this construction phase will be soon over. “Kahana” with its 16 apartments will be finished in April 2017.  Likewise, “the Freshwater” with its 23 apartments, although slightly behind schedule, is also aiming for a 2017 completion. Stage 1 of the “Diggers New Dawn” is scheduled for 2018 but the site construction is currently two weeks ahead of schedule.

UGLY DUCKLING SOLD FOR DEVELOPMENT.


Although beauty is largely in the eye of the beholder, the 6-storey, uninhabited, building on the Queenscliff headland, known as 5 Pavilion Street, is plainly pug ugly, and in need of aesthetic re-development.  It has DA approval for a new building to replace the existing concrete-cancer riddled structure. It has been sold by the block’s 12 owners for $10 million to a developer. This values each apartment at $800,000. We will keep you posted of further plans.

LOCAL HERITAGE LISTING FOR DUKE SCULPTURE AND SURFING MEMORIAL

The Heritage Office has listed the Duke Surfing Memorial at Mckillop Park for local heritage listing. Friends of Freshwater is of the view that it is worthy of State Heritage Listing given the international significance of Freshwater/ Manly and its World Surfing Reserve in the history of surfing. The listing did not acknowledge the Centenary of Duke’s Day nor the emerging sister city relationship with Waikiki in Hawaii.  This is not the end of the road and there is clearly work to be done.

FRESHWATER ANZAC PRECINCT

An amalgam of Freshwater community groups known as the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group, is seeking to have both the Jacka Park Wall of Remembrance and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour jointly registered as community war memorials under the heading of “Freshwater Anzac Precinct”. The group is applying to NSW Department of Veteran’s Affairs for this to occur.

© Friends of Freshwater Village Incorporated

“The Duke” Newsletter June/July 2016

 “THE DUKE “

                                  June / July 2016 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

 

In the Duke edition of May, we thought that that there might likely be major coastal damage from a succession of east coast lows. The UNSW at Manly Vale’s Water Research Laboratory, from its monitoring, was stating that a gathering storm might turn ugly.  It proved to be too close to the mark, but little did we anticipate that this would be the equivalent of the 1974 storms in wreaking havoc along the Northern Beaches.  Throughout June, we had two major storm events on June 6 and 20, combined with heavy seas, high rainfall and king tides… a dynamic and clearly devastating combination.  

STORM DAMAGE CLOSER TO HOME

From North Curl Curl to Freshwater and along the Manly to Shelley beachfront, there are obvious signs of the ferocity of the storms. None more obvious than the tonnage of sandstone dumped into the North Curl Curl rock pool. Some of it was heaved by powerful wave action over the safety railings. At Fairy Bower, the top capping of the storm wall was hurled into the rear wall of the nearby cafe. Luckily no-one was inside but the Cafe was nearly demolished. 

At South Curly, the southern end was again scoured, and work to fortify the footpath and ramp was suspended. It has since resumed.

Further along the South Curl Curl Boardwalk, there are minor signs of uplift and misalignment, but the structures held up well.

Amazingly, Freshwater Beach came through largely unscathed with minimal beach erosion. The prevailing science confirmed that its dunes, along the full length of the beach, acted as an affective buffer. Previously, when the Beach had an esplanade/sea wall along its length (it was destroyed by storms in 1979) old photos confirm that there was regular flooding of Ocean View Road at the northern end of the Beach.

EARLY TEST FOR NEW NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL 

Damage to the Collaroy/Narrabeen beach erosion hotspot is well documented and provided an early test of the response capacity of the newly amalgamated Council. Less known is the swift work to rectify the damage done to North Curly Pool and the South Curl Curl Boardwalk (which was temporarily closed, but is now open again).

AN UPGRADED SOUTHERN WALKWAY FOR FRESHWATER

Work is proceeding on the third stage of the upgrading of Queenscliff Steps. The first two stages were completed earlier in the year, and a $100,000 contract has been let to improve the last stage that links Queenscliff to Freshwater Beach. 

These Steps are heavily used and form an important part of the Sydney Coastal Walk.  

They were first created in 1880 by stonemasons employed by John Lewers, Freshwater’s first postal agent, who owned the Kiosk at the southern end of Freshwater  (now Pilu at Freshwater). This enabled, for the first time, pedestrian access down a steep cliff, and through Undercliffe Reserve to the Beach and the Kiosk.  Previous access was only by boat, or around the rocks at low tide. Lewers’ stonemasons also carved a tunnel at Queenscliff Headland in a failed attempt to create a walkway ( the tunnel is still there)

A massive amount of storm water cascades down these Steps into Undercliffe Reserve and out to the ocean. Friends of Freshwater has been campaigning over the last 5 years for an upgrade of these storm water facilities, the stairs, and effective lighting, as overflows of nutrient laden storm water had become more frequent, and the stairs more worn and less safe particularly at night. These overflows had also led to major weed infestation of Undercliffe Reserve. 

Friends of Freshwater has been successful in gaining a $10,000 Land Care Grant to undertake bush regeneration in this heavily weed-infested Reserve. Initial work is along the pathways to the Beach, and already lantana has been removed to reveal again the spectacular views. We are always on the lookout for voluntary assistance every Thursday fortnight for a couple of hours.

Of course this small grant pales into insignificance in comparison to the $500,000 spent on the Green army project in the dune below.

A welcome addition will be the provision of a bicycle rail along the Steps to compliment those installed in the earlier stages.

“OLD LADY” BEING RAPIDLY DEMOLISHED

Sections of the Harbord Diggers Club (also known fondly as the Old Lady) are currently being demolished with frightening speed. Once completed, the excavation phase will commence. A convoy of trucks queue from early morning and are waiting throughout the day in Griffith and Harbord Roads for the call to take away the debris.

SUBMISSIONS MADE TO COUNCIL ON SECTION 94A FUNDING FOR FRESHWATER PROJECTS 

Freshwater as a community does not feature in any of the NBC operational plans for funding of much needed  community projects such as  public toilets and playgrounds. In fact, for the last decade, Freshwater has not got one cent from developer contributions. It appears the lion’s share has always gone to the Dee Why inthe near future.Town Centre sinkhole.

Friends of Freshie has made submissions on both Council’s Operation Plan for 2016-17, and its Sect.94A Developer Contributions Plan, seeking a contribution from the $2million of developer contributions made by Freshwater Developers.  

We await an outcome.  

CRANES OVER FRESHWATER

Economists often say that the “crane index” is a good indicator of economic activity. In Freshwater, we could likely have 4 crane in the near future  A ground-operated untethered crane was installed in the first week of July at the “Kahana” site at 17 Marmora. Nearby, Hindmarsh Construction on the “Freshwater” former Growers site will install a much larger crane in August. Neighbour approval has had to be gained for the cranes to utilise the air space above their residences and offices

The Soldiers Avenue of Honour,Stage II

The Friends of Freshwater has also been successful in gaining a $29,000 grant from the State Government as part of the Centenary of Anzac Stage II for 2016.  The funding will be used to install Footpath Memorial Plaques to commemorate those young Freshwater men who served, and in some cases died, at Gallipoli or on the Western Front in WW1. These Plaques will be inserted into the footpath beside nominated, heritage-listed trees.

Florist Closes Her Door in Village

Well known Freshwater Village florist, Tina, has not renewed her lease and is vacating her Lawrence Street site after 16 years of service to the community.  For all of that time, she has been preparing wreaths for Anzac Day, floral tributes for memorial services, and flowers for all occasions. The Freshwater Rose will be missed.

A BEACON OF OUR FRESHWATER COMMUNITY WINS AWARD

It seems only yesterday that the last of the Big Banks left Freshwater without any banking services whatsoever. The community rallied around and a Community Bank was formed with a franchise agreement established with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. 

The success of this initiative is now marked by the $2mill in sponsorships provided over the last decade to our schools, sporting teams, surf clubs, charities, environmental groups and university students. It is also marked by the high level of service given to the community by the Bank’s staff, all of whom are Freshwater residents. Its volunteer Board is also comprised largely of Freshwater residents, many of whom work nearby and implicitly understand the need for a good banking service.

Recently Freshwater Community Bank was adjudged the winner of the NORTHERN BEACHES LOCAL BUSINESS AWARDS IN THE SPECIALISED BUSINESS CATEGORY. This is great recognition for the outstanding contribution of  the Bank to our community. 

BECOME NEW FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER MEMBER OR SIMPLY RENEW YOUR EXISTING MEMBERSHIP for 2016

As you can see, we constantly need to raise our voice as a community, and keep it strong, on a variety of issues. Join us and strengthen our voice and yours. 2016 memberships are still open at $10 per year via a simple transfer to FOF’s account at Freshwater Community Bank (633000/138650791). 

“The Duke” Newsletter May 2016

 “THE DUKE “

                                  May 2016 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

Our “ Indian summer” is now over and winter is well and truly with us. El Nino has abruptly departed but not before leaving the hottest, rain-free, autumn on record. As we shiver into June, we are about to be deluged by a season of east-coast lows, big 3-6m seas and coastal erosion.  As they were in April 2015, the southern ends of our beaches will be the most vulnerable.


NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL CREATED. IMPLICATIONS FOR FRESHWATER.

The statewide, contentious, Council amalgamation process is still ongoing with many individual Councils contesting merger decisions made by the State Government. Submissions received from our community on the proposed Northern Beaches Council and its predecessor ( a divided model including Mosman), were an impressive 69% of those lodged throughout the State. It is our understanding that the bulk of submissions were in favour of combined Northern Beaches Council.

In Manly, Warringah and Pittwater, all elected Councillors and Mayors had their elected status abruptly annulled. It was a perfunctory process, with all having their email addresses cancelled and all Council property required to be returned. It was a heavy-handed, discourteous and undignified treatment of these elected officials.

It all happened with such speed that we, as a community, did not get a chance to say thank you to our Mayor and Ward Councillors for their 24/7 contribution on behalf of their elected ratepayers.

To the now former Mayor, Michael Regan, our former Councillors Sue Heins, Bob Giltinan and Pat Daley, the Friends of Freshwater extend a sincere vote of thanks for your contribution.

Its worth noting that we will never again have this level of representation, as Freshwater has been included in a proposed Curl Curl Ward comprising it, Dee Why, Beacon Hill, Narraweena and Curl Curl. This Ward will have three elected representatives covering a substantial population. The workload for elected reps will substantially increase, and take it out of the realm of enthusiastic volunteers.

Elections are proposed to be held in 2017. In the meantime, the appointed Administrator, Dick Persson, the acting General Manager, Mark Ferguson, and Deputy General Managers are comprising the formal Northern Beaches Council for decision-making purposes.

Of course, lumping four low rise residential areas (Freshwater, Narraweena, Curl Curl and Beacon Hill) with the fast growing, high rise, and largely medium density, Dee Why town centre, will inevitably mean that we will not get much of a lick of the ratepayer ice-cream. Dee Why, because of its location has massive storm water drainage issues which will require costly public works.

At its first meeting on Wednesday, 2 June, major project expenditures were approved. No prizes for discovering that the voracious infrastructure needs of Dee Why are to be funded by capital projects, and constitute a significant share of the NBC expenditure.

FRESHIE DEMANDS ITS FAIR SHARE.

As the photos below indicate, Freshwater is going through an obvious and noisy major construction phase with $200M worth of building contracts on the go. This is a once-off period for Freshwater as there are simply no more sites of this magnitude to develop.

 

SECTION 94 Developer contributions for these projects are approximately $2m and we have discovered that all of this will be devoted to infrastructure projects in Dee Why Town Centre. Not a cent will apparently accrue to projects in Freshwater. We believe this to be grossly unfair.

 

Many of these projects, we are told by Council staff, including the Jacka Park toilet facility, will only be funded out of Developer Contributions whereas previously we were told that they would be funded out of normal Council budgeting.

 

NBC Council officers have also apparently dumped the recently approved Open Space Strategy for Freshwater. After a lengthy public submission phase, we were informed as to the status of various projects including upgrading of playgrounds and an above tidal pathway from Freshwater pool, only to find that these projects have been swept into another process of consultation within a proposed Freshwater Beach Master Plan Project with a multi-year timeframe and no funding.

 

We raised our concerns with the former Warringah Mayor, Michael Regan and he shares our sense of unfairness As Chair of the Economic Committee, he is prepared to take our list of projects (none of which are big-ticket items) to the new Administrator.

We await a positive outcome.

DIGGERS CAR PARK DEMOLISHED

In what can only be described as a quasi-military operation, Tier 2 Construction Company, Ganellen, has already demolished the former Harbord Diggers car park, and parts of the western side of the former club building. This is in preparation for a major excavation of the site down to near sea level, with 150,000 cu.metres of rock to be removed. It will involve a large number of truck movements per day. Most of these trucks will be  queuing in Griffith Road awaiting a call.

OPTUS TOWER UPDATE

Friends of Freshie continues to keep a close eye on developments associated with the relocation of the Optus Tower in McKillop Park. We have been advised by Optus that the 3G Tower will be removed by March next year. Following our community campaign, the large 4G components have been removed. In the interim, Optus plans to establish Towers in the Curl Curl basin to overcome data signal black spots. Mike Baird’s Office and NBC Deputy GM Malcolm Ryan are also involved. 

NORTH CURL CURL COMMUNITY CENTRE

Conversion of the former Dee Why RSL Bowling Club site (on the corner of Griffith and Abbott Roads) into a Community Centre is nearing completion. The former Warringah Council sought public submissions to clarify usage.  It was pleasing to observe that a community garden is planned for the western bowling rink of the site.  Council received two petitions from 300 people, and 80 written submissions (including from Friends of Freshie) supporting a Curly Community Garden at this location. Already the Centre is heavily booked for various activities and meetings.

LOCAL PROVIDORING

 There is nothing better than fresh produce from one’s backyard. In days gone by, Freshwater had small farms, dairies, vegetable gardens and beehives. Many families fondly recall early school years when the Davidson family used to provide fresh milk to students from their dairy farm across the road from Harbord Public School.

Local restaurateur, Giovanni Pilu has revived this fresh tradition with his series of Locavore Lunches, where one can eat produce with a low food mileage. It runs counter to the supermarket offerings that often derive from international settings. In his latest menu, he has sourced potatoes from Robertson; Berkshire Kurabuta pork from Byron Bay, and persimmon-based deserts from his wife’s parents’ farm at Ourimbah.

Not to be outdone, Dale Hunt, GM of Mounties Northern Sites, has introduced local providoring into the Temporary Diggers. He has including genuine organic eggs, chutneys, honeys, jams and other local products. 

His honey producer is locally based in Freshwater, and it appears that there is also a local network of beekeepers in Freshwater busily harvesting honey.

POISONING OF BEEHIVE IN FRESHWATER COMMUNITY GARDEN

It is sad to report that the only native beehive in Freshwater Community Garden has been poisoned.  This is either an act of vandalism or one based on ignorance, as native stingless bees do no harm to anyone. Dan Smailes, Bee Co-ordinator with Permaculture Northern Beaches, found that a large amount of insecticide had been inserted into the hive.

Australia is now chronically short of pollinating bees and local governments are trying to redress this situation by locating stingless beehives in local reserves and backyards. Freshie Community Garden’s hive had recently been split into two thriving hives, and native honey had been harvested.

The Community Garden will purchase a new hive and start again with more explanatory signage.

COUNCIL SENDS FRESHWATER VILLAGE DA APPLICATION BACK TO THE OWNER.

A DA, which was lodged in February for a major re-development of properties along the southern side of Lawrence Street, has apparently been sent back by the Council Planning Department to its applicant. The properties are in the name of Mr. C.A.Zakos.

These properties play a prominent role in the life of Freshwater Village, and the ground-level retail shops provide a range of essential and hospitality services.

Our submission in February focussed on the significant shortfall in parking. It appears that Council have similar reservations and have asked for redevelopment of the plans to include the requisite parking. This will be difficult for the applicant as it involves foregoing revenue earning accommodation for parking provisions.

PEDESTRIAN SIGHTLINES IN FRESHWATER VILLAGE.

Council has planted a range of water gums in both the Plaza and along Lawrence Street. Some of these are located adjacent to pedestrian crossings. Their crown growth is now causing sightline confusion for both pedestrians and drivers. Former Councillors Heins and Giltinan, as well as Friends of Freshie, raised these concerns as part of a wider concern for the safety arrangements of these pedestrian crossings.

The new Northern Beaches Council considered these submissions on 2 June this week and resolved, “ that visibility and sight distance created by these street trees does not appear to be an issue at this location”.

Clearly it will take a major accident for something to be done to rectify the situation.

Queenscliff Steps to be upgraded in June.

The $100k Stage 3 of the Queenscliff Steps upgrade is scheduled to commence in June.

This will involve closure of the Steps to the southern headland of Freshwater Beach.  It is anticipated that the work will take a number of weeks and this busy thoroughfare will be closed for pedestrian access.

We have campaigned for this upgrade and for the improvement of stormwater drainage through Undercliffe Reserve.

 

© Friends of Freshwater Village Incorporated

“The Duke” Newsletter April 2016

“THE DUKE “

April 2016 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

The Duke loves summers in Freshwater, especially with the amazing likelihood that they will now extend into June. Our prolonged “ Indian Summer” in March with air and water temperatures as high as 25 degrees, king tides, and muggy conditions, has persisted throughout April. We have also had below average rainfall due to an extended dry heat scenario of inland Australia.

WINTER SWIMMING CLUBS FEEL THE HEAT.

Spare a thought for the winter swimming clubs who have commenced their 2016 seasons. The North Curl Curl Cool Cats are still in hot water: the Harbord Frigid Frogs are in thaw, and the Dee Why Ice Picks haven’t had to use theirs yet to break up any ice floes.  All will be hoping for more bracing weather beyond June.

FRESHIE WEDDING TREND

While idling on Freshie Beach, the Duke noticed a couple filling up small glass containers with sand. It appears that there is now a wedding trend when brides and grooms are exchanging vows, with each, simultaneously pouring sand into a common container to signify the strength of their bond with one another. Only quality Freshwater beach sand of course. A very Freshie experience indeed

BOUTIQUE BREWERS ESTABLISH ON THE NORTHER BEACHES.

Two boutique breweries have set up production facilities in Brookvale. 4 Pines is widely known for its bar and production facility in Manly, but less known for its set-up in Brookvale. When Prince Harry was visiting Australia last year, he made an unscheduled visit amid tight security, to the Brookvale outlet for a quite one, like the author, Thomas Hardy, “ far from the madding crowd “.

Another brewer, Nomad, like 4 Pines, is now producing a range of beers based upon German styles. It is even producing a “Freshie Salt and Pepper” beer and it is not a bad drop. Apparently the two Nomad brewers, Leonardo Di Vicenzo and Brooks Carretta, were having a few on Freshie Beach, and, in a Eureka moment, came up with the idea that they could replicate the salty style of German Gose Beer (from Leipzig) with the addition of salt water from Freshwater Beach. While one assumes that the production process purifies the water, the Duke would want to be assured that the salt water had come from the southern rather than the northern end of the beach, where the storm water pipe (and overflow sewerage outlet) is is located.

Liquor Licensing Update.

Many Friends of Freshwater have expressed concern about the increasing number of liquor outlets.

In a piece of good news, It appears that Woolworths has abandoned its application for a Liquor Licence in a street front BWS retail outlet. This was to be located in the  “ Freshwater” apartment complex on the former Growers site. It is understood that this application was part of the previous anchor tenant arrangements that Woolworths was seeking for the complex. There is speculation that the anchor supermarket tenant will now be a Super IGA , without liquor, following the recent sale of the Village Plaza IGA site.

Stowaway Bar is seeking DA Approval to formalise its 6-month opening hours trial. This would mean that it would continue to be open until 10pm midweek and until midnight on weekends. Stowaway has attracted a strong clientele in the short time it has been located in Freshwater Village Plaza.

Meanwhile down Moore Road, CAFÉ CALM has successfully obtained a liquor licence to compliment its intent on re-opening as a restaurant. Proprietor, Cedric La Page, intends to capitalise on his knowledge of French wines to add a Gallic touch to the fare.

Up at the Diggers, the Temporary Club, which Manager Dale Hunt assures will only operate for 18 months, has received approval for its liquor licence extension for the rooftop bar. This bar previously serviced the auditorium and its anteroom, but has been snazzily converted into a compelling rooftop and deck bar.

COFFEE CULTURE CONSOLIDATES

When the Friends of Freshwater formed in 2010, our weekly meetings were held on rotation in the Village’s four coffee shops. Now it takes 10 weeks to get to each venue such has been the expansion. Shortly the number of coffee shops will expand further with the re-introduction of Carlos’ Albert Street outlet; the expansion of “ Duke’s Bar” at the Freshwater Surf club; and the newly opened Diggers Diner.

There is clearly money in the humble cup of coffee.

PARKING BECOMES AN ISSUE AT MCKILLOP PARK HEADLAND AND SURROUNDING STREETS.

Now that construction is in full swing on the $150m Diggers “ New Dawn “ Development, the closure and demolition of the Diggers car park, has inevitably placed great strain on the limited parking arrangements at McKillop Park.

Events throughout the year, such as swimming and surf carnivals, Nippers days, Anzac Day, and two-up games, vividly illustrate the paucity of parking in this area. The overflow inevitably spills into neighbouring streets.

On any given day in Lumsdaine Drive, Evans Street and Carrington Parade, the vehicles of construction workers predominate in the casual parking available. When the new Club is constructed, facing Lumsdaine Drive, the vehicles of club patrons will replace these.

Imagine the surprise of the Diggers management when they finally shut the gates on their car park, and found nearby residents were using the undercover facility as a permanent garage for more than 40 of their vehicles.  Two vehicles had even been left for more than two years without being moved. These have now been removed outside to Evans Street and are now adorned with defect notices and probably parking fines.

NEW BUILDERS MAKE A START ON VILLAGE CONSTRUCTION SITES

Two new building companies have been contracted to build the two apartment development sites at 22-26 Albert Street (the former Growers Site) and at the Kahana at 18 Marmora Street (the former Frank Minnici owned consolidated property).  Hindmarsh Construction has been contracted for the Growers site development, and Growthbuilt have got the Kahana job.

Having two separate building companies operating across three entrances with double the truck movements is not a good outcome for the community.  The 18 Marmora St. site will now seek to place all its deliveries through a narrow entrance beside St Peters Uniting Church. The site is very compacted and the excavation abuts the boundaries of the site with little room for the normal amenities of a construction site. This construction process will test the tolerance of nearby neighbours in this otherwise quiet street and already Warringah Council has been fielding complaints about the interaction between heavy trucks and pedestrians. Local residents are watchful of the “ wedding tree” outside the Church, where many wedding ceremonies were conducted and photographs taken. Its roots protrude into the driveway used by concrete trucks, and special provisions were written into the DA to ensure its survival.

CONSTRUCTION IN FULL CRY ON MOUNTIES “NEW DAWN” DIGGERS DEVELOPMENT.

Demolition work is in full swing at the Diggers Club and Retirement Village Development. The well-respected building company, Ganellen, has been appointed to undertake the construction and it will take a minimum of three years. Hoardings, perimeter fencing and New Jersey style traffic barriers have already been erected and the last remaining house and the current car park are part of the immediate demolition..

Already work has been largely completed to establish a temporary Diggers Club  that will continue to operate during the construction process. An imported mobile café called the “Diggers Diner” has been installed near Evans Street, where the cenotaph was previously placed. It will operate from 7am until 7pm and no doubt hungry construction workers will frequent it. A rooftop Italian restaurant and bar known as Gio, is to operate and serve an a-la Carte menu with the presence of a triple-hatted chef. This is the first time that such a qualified chef has operated within a registered club. A spectacular temporary deck has also been constructed with outstanding views over Freshwater Beach and to the south.

The excavation of the site to enable underground parking will involve the removal of 150,000 cu.metres of rock. It would have been more except that Mounties decided not to go down to a further parking level. Even so it is one of the largest excavations in Sydney at the present time.

A critical site issue will be the daily removal of rock and spoil by trucks. This will undoubtedly put a heavy burden on neighbouring Evans Street, Carrington Parade, Wyndora Avenue and even as far as Abbott Road.

Currently the Retirement Village accommodation, which is being administered by Watermark, is apparently two-thirds sold off the plan.

FRESHWATER SHOWS RESPECT FOR ITS SERVICE PERSONNEL

Services inthe Freshwater Anzac Precinct of Jacka Park and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour on 17 April, as well as a larger service on Mckillop Park Headland, on Anzac Day morning, again exemplified the special respect that the Freshwater community has for those who gave service both here and abroad in international conflicts.

A free community event hosted by the Harbord RSL Sub-Branch and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group was held in Jacka Park on Sunday, 17 April, with students from Harbord Public School, and the Northern Beaches Band (under the baton of local Uniting Church Minister, Brian Hayes). Scottish Piper and local resident, Bob Metcalfe, led, pied piper like, those who attended on a walk along Soldiers Avenue.  Highlights included a wreath laying at the newly refurbished Heroes’ Tree by the Covey family in Honour of their WW1 grandfather, Alfred Hughes, who fought at both Gallipoli and the European western front.  Mayor Michael Regan also cut a ribbon on the footpath memorial plaque for Frederick Austin Reynolds, the first Freshwater resident to die in World War 1, and the first soldier to be killed at the Gallipoli landing.

Students from Harbord Public School were also involved with poppy laying at various sites in the World War 1 precinct of the Soldiers Avenue of Honour.

Local Fire and Rescue Service officers provided the Honour guard for the formal flag raising commemoration at Midday.

On Anzac Day, Careflight helicopters and RAAF flyovers marked the occasion with almost 850 children laying poppies at the flagpole. In view of the construction that is happening nearby, this may well be the last occasion that Anzac Day is commemorated on this site for some time.

Both events were very Freshie occasions.

COME IN SPINNER, FRESHWATER IS THE TWO-UP CAPITAL ON ANZAC DAY.

It is no surprise that two-up has grown to be a major event in Freshwater. This year more than 10,000 people attended the two venues, Harbord Beach Hotel and the Diggers. The numbers were down at the Diggers due to constrained parking and the site construction, but increased numbers at the Hilton took up the slack.  Security was tight at both venues and there were no unsavory episodes recorded.

GEORGIA MILLER AND NAOMI SCOTT EXCEL AT SURF NATIONALS

The Duke was again chuffed to observe the outstanding success of Freshie iron women, Georgia Miller and Naomi Scott, at the recent National Surf Carnival.  Both competed in a range of events that included the iron woman and each performed creditably both as individuals and in their respective team events. Both are outstanding swimmers and are improving rapidly in the various components of their surfing events. Georgia competes for Newport SLSC and Naomi for Manly SLSC.

BECOME NEW FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER MEMBER OR SIMPLY RENEW YOUR EXISTING MEMBERSHIP for 2016

As you can see, we constantly need to raise our voice as a community on a variety of issues. Join us and strengthen our voice and yours. 2016 memberships are now open at $10 per year via a simple transfer to FOF’s account at Freshwater Community Bank (633000/138650791) or via a visit to the welcoming staff at the Branch.

“The Duke” Newsletter March 2016

 “THE DUKE “

         March 2016 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

We have had a prolonged “ Indian Summer” in March with water temperatures as high as 25 degrees, king tides, and muggy conditions. Yet we have also had below average rainfall.

Sounds of Silence Continue on Village Construction site.

Although excavation work has recommenced on the “Kahana” development on the northern side of Freshwater Village, there is an eerie silence at the neighbouring former Growers now “ Freshwater “ development site. This is after a golden summer, ideal for demolition, excavation and building. Yet the sounds of silence have prevailed for four months, and some entity must be bearing the holding costs. One also suspects that lawyers are also cleaning up on contractual disputes.

SX Projects, whose bunting still ironically adorns these sites, went bust in December, and work on the site has been largely non-existent ever since. This has meant that the community has had to deal with an “ Indian” summer of dusty situations, and an Olympic pool-sized excavation prone to groundwater run-off at 18 Marmora Street.

Voluntary Liquidations within the Construction Industry cause concern.

The SX Projects situation is one that bedevils the construction industry.

The State Government has long been concerned at the propensity of small to medium sized construction companies to go into voluntary liquidation. In recent times this has included the demise of Kell and Rigby; Southern Cross Properties; The St. Hillier Group (currently making a comeback) and now SX Projects among many. Often these groups are constructing on multiple sites.

In 2012, the then Premier, Barry O’Farrell, emphasised the level of the Government’s frustration when he stated that “ there is growing concern with construction companies who enter into agreements, take out contracts, don’t meet their obligations, and inevitably seem to screw sub-contractors”. He might have added to the list those who have bought into residential developments on the expectation of a timely settlement and those nearby small businesses who suffer reduced turnover and other disruptions.

CONSTRUCTION SET TO COMMENCE ON MOUNTIES “NEW DAWN” DIGGERS DEVELOPMENT.

On a good note, work is about to commence in early April on the $140m Club, restaurants, recreation facilities and seniors living accommodation on the Diggers site. The well-respected building company, Ganellen, has been appointed to undertake the construction and it will take a minimum of three years. Hoardings, perimeter fencing and New Jersey style traffic barriers have already been erected. It is anticipated that the current car park will be shortly demolished along with the eastern parts of the Club and the only remaining house.

Already work is also being undertaken to establish a modified “Deconstructed Diggers” club operation with an imported mobile café, rooftop bar, and up market restaurant. This will enable the Diggers to continue operation during the 4-year long construction phase.

The excavation of the site to enable underground parking will involve the removal of 150,000 cu.metres of rock. It would have been more except that Mounties decided not to go down to a further parking level. Even so it is one of the largest excavations in Sydney at the present time.

This demolition and excavation work has been sub-contracted to NMK Pty Ltd., a company that was recently fined $120,000 in the District Court in 2015 for breaches of the Safe Work Act when one of its employees, an excavator operator, was seriously injured when he suffered skull damage from being impaled by a steel bar that penetrated the cabin of his excavator.  Lets hope that accidents of this kind do not occur at Freshwater.

A critical site issue will be the daily removal of rock and spoil by trucks. This will put a heavy burden on neighbouring Evans Street, Carrington Parade, Wyndora Avenue and even as far as Abbott Road.

Currently the Seniors Living Accommodation is apparently 65% sold off the plan.

COMMEMORATIVE ANZAC SERVICE ON SUNDAY 17 APRIL TO BE HELD AT JACKA PARK AND SOLDIERS AVENUE.

A free community event hosted by the Harbord RSL Sub-Branch and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group will be held in Jacka Park on Sunday, 17 April from 11am until 1pm. BBQ food and drinks will be on offer and the Northern Beaches Band will perform throughout.

Students from Harbord Public School will be involved with wreath and poppy laying at various sites in the World War 1 precinct of the Soldiers Avenue of Honour.

Local Fire and Rescue Service officers will form the Honour guard for the formal flag raising commemoration at Midday.

All are welcome.

AUSGRID COMPLETES UNDERGROUNDING OF HIGH VOLTAGE CABLING IN SOLDIERS AVENUE.

We have been reporting on the gradual undergrounding of HV cabling over the last two years in the Soldiers Avenue of Honour. This work was undertaken after a series of meetings involving the Friends of Freshwater, Warringah Council, our local MP Mike Baird and Ausgrid Executives. Some of these meetings were held on site in the Avenue. During the process Ausgrid came to appreciate the inherent importance of the Living Memorial represented by these trees.

The Ausgrid undertaking was to do the capital works across two financial years. Upper Soldiers Avenue was under grounded in 2015 and kiosks were installed at both the Harbord Road end and at Oliver Street. This work alleviates the need to lop street trees in order to reduce fire risk associated with uninsulated cabling. In net effect, it protects and increases the longevity of the heritage-listed trees in Soldiers Avenue, which are the cornerstone of the Avenue of Honour

Work was completed on 16 March in Albert Street and Lower Soldiers Avenue to establish the final cabling link. HV cabling was then finally removed in Soldiers Avenue and the height of telegraph poles was reduced.

The Friends of Freshwater are working further with Ausgrid to recover the natural shapes of the predominantly Queensland Brush Box trees. Arboreal work in the Avenue will be done after the conclusion of Centenary of Anzac commemorations.

FRESHIE FEMALE ATHLETES EXCELL

The Duke was chuffed to observe the outstanding success of Freshie residents, Georgia Miller and Naomi Scott at the recent NSW Surf Carnival.  Both competed in a range of events that included the iron woman and each performed creditably. Both are improving rapidly in the various components of their surfing events. Georgia competes for Newport SLSC and Naomi for Manly SLSC.

SECOND STAGE OF QUEENSCLIFF STEPS REVAMP NOW COMPLETED.

Warringah council contractors have completed the second stage of the Queenscliff steps upgrade.

These steps, which were first built in 1880,form an important pedestrian access way between the manly to Queenscliff promenade and freshwater beach. The first stage, which included the installation of a bike assist, was completed in 2014. The second stage was completed last week, and the third stage will commence shortly. It is more difficult as it also includes important storm water drainage activity. A cost of $100k has been estimated for these works.

BECOME NEW FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER MEMBER OR SIMPLY RENEW YOUR EXISTING MEMBERSHIP for 2016

As you can see, we constantly need to raise our voice as a community on a variety of issues. Join us and strengthen our voice and yours.2016 memberships are now open at $10 per year via a simple transfer to FOF’s account at Freshwater Community Bank (633000/138650791) or via a visit to the welcoming staff at the Branch.

“The Duke” Newsletter February 2016

“THE DUKE “

February 2016 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

It has been a very muggy February, with high humidity and almost no rain. This is in stark contrast to January, which was the wettest January for forty years. Cyclone Winston, which recently devastated parts of Fiji, is producing a by-product of heavy seas along the coast that are almost too powerful and messy for good surfing.

AUSGRID SET TO REMOVE HIGH VOLTAGE CABLING IN SOLDIERS AVENUE.

The Ausgrid undertaking to protect the heritage-listed trees in Soldiers Avenue is reaching finality. This is after 5 years of negotiation involving the Friends of Freshwater and both our local member, Mike Baird, and Warringah Council engineers.

Work has commenced today in Albert Street to complete the final link that will enable the removal of high voltage cabling in lower Soldiers Avenue. Previously low voltage cabling has successfully been sheathed in insulted cable and bundled. This removes the need for wholesale lopping of the trees.

We are working further with Ausgrid to recover the natural shapes of the predominantly Queensland Brush Box trees.

MAJOR REDEVELOPMENT PROPOSED FOR THE SOUTH SIDE OF FRESHWATER VILLAGE SET FOR MAJOR REDEVELOPMENT

The largest land holdings in Freshwater Village are the subject of a Development Application involving demolition of buildings, renovation and reconstruction.

In the short term if this proposed development goes ahead, it will inevitably cause considerable upheaval to lessees and their trade.

Landlord, Chris Zakos, who owns all of the southern side of Lawrence Street, from Dowling St. down to the Arcade, is proposing a $4m redevelopment for his parcel of 5 property holdings.

His plan, if approved, will see the demolition of two aging buildings and their replacement with shops at ground level and a mix of offices and residential about. He intends to retain the arcade, but will introduce a service lane at the rear to facilitate deliveries and the collection of waste. This is an eyesore that is currently left on Lawrence Street for collection.  The void above the former Chinese restaurant is intended to be filled with offices and rooftop parking. It will require significant concrete reinforcement.

Although the DA is largely compliant with both the WLEP2011 and the Freshwater Village Master Plan, it is deficient in its provision of parking by a factor of 20%.

Friends of Freshwater Inc. has made a submission to Council detailing this situation and also our concerns with traffic movement in the Village around the Dowling and Lawrence Street intersection.

Lack of adequate parking in Freshwater Village, which has become more acute with the loss of the Growers car park, bedevils its progress. Parking shortfalls apparent in this DA will inevitably spill over to further pressure on other public parking facilities in the Village, particularly the Freshwater Village Plaza. Both the underground and rooftop parking places in this building are almost always full.

This DA has the side benefit that it will negate the approval for a previous development proposed for these properties, which envisaged excavation for underground parking.  Friends of Freshwater was opposed to aspects of that DA in respect of the proposed demolition of the Arcade and the negative impact on the outdoors dining terraces. This new DA spares both.

We await the outcome of the planning assessment in the near future.

GOODBYE SX PROJECTS PTY LTD.

Work is scheduled to recommence on the two developments on the northern side of the Village. Apparently the developers of each site, the “ Freshwater” and “ Kahana” are about to settle on a new second tier building company.

SX Projects, whose bunting still ironically  adorns these sites, went bust in December, and work on the site has been largely non-existent ever since. This has meant that the community has had to put up with a ssummer of dusty situations, and an Olympic- sized swimming pool of storm water run-off generating mosquitoes. Fortunately this pool has been recently limed and then drained to negate this prospect.

SX Projects will not be missed in Freshwater but its demise will impact on eight other sites in which it has been involved, and it is symptomatic of a malaise among small to medium building companies that is attracting the attention of ASIC to “ phoenix-like” practices

The losers out of these liquidations are the sub-contractors, workers, and other unsecured creditors such as the ATO and Offices of State Revenue.  The Freshwater community has had to put up with long delays on this construction as have the off-the-plan purchasers of apartments.

BOUNDARY REVIEW HEATS UP

There is unprecedented interest in the whole Council amalgamation issue with a significant proportion of the northern beaches population making individual submissions to the Boundary Review.

Both options currently under discussion will see the demise of Warringah Council as an organization. The first, which splits Warringah in two and incorporates its ratepayers into Greater Manly/Greater Pittwater structures, has proved to be as popular as a bull shark in a rock pool. Its proposal to also include Mosman ratepayers, given a presumed commonality, has also been largely rejected.

The Warringah Council proposition of an amalgamated Northern Beaches Council has been gaining strong currency from ratepayers this side of the Narrabeen Bridges. Pittwater ratepayers are adamantly seeking to preserve their stand-alone status

Friends of Freshwater has submitted that a “northern beaches council’ model has a number of significant advantages and few downsides. We say that if Pittwater does not want to be involved, then the status quo should be the fall back position. Each northern beaches council appears to be well-run and in healthy financial shape.

Whatever the outcome, we have raised our concerns with our Local Member and the Boundary Commission about undertakings on a range of projects for Freshwater, which might be harmed, delayed, or simply “lost in translation” by such major organization change.

We are delighted that so many people from Freshwater also lodged submissions with the Boundary Review.

NBN SCHEDULED TO BE INSTALLED IN FRESHWATER IN 2016

The telltale signs have been there for some time, with Telstra tweaking its broadband capacity from its Freshwater building tower. We now know that NBN coverage will be rolled out to 2300 premises across Freshwater, Brookvale and North Curl Curl in September 2016. Of course this is NBN Light, a fiber to the node technology with slower line speed than originally envisaged. The telling question is whether it will be able to cater for the voracious data demands of NETFLIX, STAN and other similar products?

THE AMAZING HUGHES BROTHERS.

We are indebted to Freshwater residents, Wendy Machon, Sean Rout and Roy Buirchell, for their outstanding work on uncovering family histories associated with local soldiers who gave service in World War I.

Recently they uncovered evidence detailing the wartime experiences of the three Hughes Brothers who fought at both Gallipoli and in France. One of the brothers, Arthur Edward Hughes was killed at Gallipoli in 1915 while the other two returned safely to the northern beaches after the War to resume their lives. The Hughes family lived at various times in Manly, Queenscliff and Harbord.

According to Ken and Neil Covey, the grandsons of one of the brothers, Alfred Lionel Hughes, it appears that after he died in 1964 his ashes were planted by their grandmother under a tree in Soldiers Avenue, at a ceremony conducted by the Harbord RSL Sub Branch and consecrated by Reverend Jones, the then Minister of St. Marks Anglican Church.

Both Ken and Neil Covey now reside in Narraweena.

The placement of ashes under Avenue of Honour trees, of residents who served in both World War 1 and 2, was apparently a common practice with no less than 6 trees so complemented.

UGLIEST BUILDING IN FRESHWATER SET TO BE DEMOLISHED AND REDEVELOPED


5 Pavilion Street has sat imperiously on the southern headland of Freshwater, perilously close to the cliff face for more than 50 years. It is visible from a large part of Freshwater, and is even a landmark for passing shipping and yachts. Currently, by order from Warringah Council, it is uninhabited and uninhabitable. None of its 12 x 2-bedroom units is occupied and the extent of the corrosion of its electrical wiring makes it dangerous to enter.

By any measure it also an ugly, poorly designed and badly built building. It dominates the surrounding residences in Pavilion Street.

Fortunately it will eventually be demolished and replaced by a more modern version. A DA was recently approved by the Land and Environment Court which will permit a new building will to occupy the same spatial envelope but not repeat the same design mistakes of an era long past.  Friends of Freshwater, and others, raised concerns about geotechnical issues, adequacy of off street garaging and aesthetics of the architectural design. These have been addressed in the Court’s decision.

36 Wyndora is moving towards Demolition and Reconstruction.

Our campaign, along with local residents, to save the faux concrete duplex at 36 Wyndora Ave. in 2015 was successful at Warringah Council, with the DA being refused. However the developer applied to the Land and Environment Court for a 9- apartment complex under the Seniors Living provisions of the EP and A Act.

This took the matter out of the hands of Warringah Council and the Court approved the DA, with stringent provisions relating to storm water retention tanks and easements.

It appears, despite these additional costs, the development is nearing the construction phase with the bulk of the apartments sold off the plan, and with dilapidation work planned.

It appears that the Faux Concrete House of the Obrien family, (which we believe has heritage significance) built in the 1950’s under the serious building constraints of post World War 2 rationing, will shortly be demolished. Sadly another piece of Freshwater’s housing history will be gone forever.

BECOME NEW FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER MEMBER OR SIMPLY RENEW YOUR EXISTING MEMBERSHIP for 2016

As you can see, we constantly need to raise our voice as a community on avariety of issues. Join us and strengthen our voice and yours.2016 memberships are now open at $10 per year via a simple transfer to FOF’s account at Freshwater Community Bank (633000/138650791) or via a visit to the welcoming staff at the Branch.

© Friends of Freshwater Village Incorporated
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“The Duke” Newsletter January 2016

“THE DUKE “

January 2016 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

A very temperamental January, with wild thunderstorms, heavy seas, and hot and humid conditions. Sadly many annual camping holidays were washed out by this weather pattern. At South Curl Curl, beach sand is gradually returning with the presence of high tides and the arrival of nor-Easters driving sand back onto the beach. A similar experience is occurring at Freshwater Beach but too early for the Australia Day Surf Carnival with the March Past and beach sprinters requiring flippers to negotiate the high tides. Experts have predicted that this beach renewal process will take the best part of a year.

WHAT IS IT WITH ROCK FISHERMEN?

Yet another rock fisherman has been washed off South Curl Curl Headland and drowned while fishing in heavy seas. This sport has become among the most dangerous, with a high fatality rate.

This part of the coast is a popular fishing spot but is inherently dangerous. Many of the rock fishermen do not take basic safety precautions and when they get into trouble, lifeguards are often called to their rescue.

This rocky platform has a major rebound area, which even the strongest swimmer would find a challenge to negotiate. Many of these rock fishermen are not noted as strong swimmers. A recent tragic episode involved a fisherman who was swept off by a large wave and rag-dolled by the rebounding surf. A lifeguard risked his life in a vain attempt at rescue.

Basic safety requirements at this site should include cleated footwear, safety vests, clip on safety lines (as used by yachtsmen) and waterproof back to surf club communication equipment, and of course a large dose of common sense.

FRESHWATER VILLAGE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS COME TO A GRINDING HALT.

SX Projects, the controversial construction company contracted to build both the 16 Unit “Kahana” and the 23 Unit “Freshwater” apartment developments has apparently gone into voluntary administration. 
It proudly advertises its motto of “ building made easy” but it appears to all concerned that it is anything but.

Contractors moved swiftly to remove their heavy construction equipment from the site for fear of it being caught up in any legal proceedings. The site is now largely clear of equipment on the ” Freshwater” site with even computers and other office equipment also removed.

Residents in Lawrence, Oliver and neighbouring streets could well have been woken at 2am on a Saturday morning by the noisy rumbling of these trucks carrying this equipment.

This is not the first time that SX Projects has gone into voluntary liquidation, with a simple Google search revealing a Smith Hancock Liquidator Report of 2014 confirming that a previous legal iteration (also called SX Projects) was liquidated in 2013 leaving creditors such as the Tax office; Office of State Revenue; Banks and other suppliers with unrecoverable amounts. SX Projects NSW was also at one stage a part of the collapsed Southern Cross Properties Group.

So far there has not been even one item of media coverage of this situation. Friends of Freshie alerted the community with a Facebook posting on the day after this situation occurred and more than 12,000 people viewed the post. Clearly there is a high level of community interest in the progress of this construction.

Royal Wolf Hire, an unsecured creditor from a previous occasion, still has its amenities equipment on site, including a steel pedestrian thoroughfare.

It is our understanding that as many as 9 construction sites are involved in the demise of SX Projects including the Spring Cove development in Manly.

One has to question the decision making of developers that contracted this builder, given its questionable building history?

Such construction companies are attracting the interest of ASIC, which is looking for “phoenix-like” legal characteristics.

Undoubtedly this will delay the Freshwater construction process as new builders are sought and contracted.  Local residents have observed Liquidators with clipboards, and other construction companies looking closely at the sites.

To date, much of the preliminary dilapidation work to protect the properties of nearby neighbours has yet to be completed. Neighbours were first approached in August last year, with a September 2015 start date. This would indicate that the project are already well behind schedule.

While all this is occurring, Moorgate Pty Ltd, the company that is developing the 18 Marmora site, has lodged its 5th modification to its DA.

Friends of Freshie has long been concerned about the ability of any constructor to deal with the amount of groundwater that moves across the site. Our community is well aware of this problem as the back area of the Growers site used to be regularly flooded in previous downpours, and testing at the former Bakers Delight shop found groundwater at less than a metre.

We conveyed these concerns to Council throughout the Planning process. Strangely, Sydney Water had no such concerns.

Currently there is a large body of water from recent downpours, trapped at the Marmora Street end, and unable to get away. We have been informed that this has now been “limed” so as to prevent mosquito infestation. However a children’s playgroup uses the Church and a fenced area immediately nearby.

Those that have bought apartments off-the-plan for both these developments will be anxious to gain further information on the implications of this situation for their purchases and the amended timeframe for completion of the projects.

Likewise, Village businesses, whose takings are down due to the absence of the popular Growers Market, will not want any further delays before the Village retrieves its sense of normality.

THE POWER OF A WELL-WRITTEN SUBMISSION

Never underestimate the power of a well-written submission. In 2015, Optus encountered a very determined Freshwater community when it located a 4G tower in a headland public park. 250 submissions were written and Optus had not previously encountered such a strident campaign, nor had our local member Mike Baird, who was marked into these submissions.  It is now busily relocating its tower.

When Warringah Council proposed the removal of a beachfront children’s playground it created outrage among families with young children. Council was unaware that this playground was so heavily valued and used by the community. Many well-written submissions later and it has been saved.

Friends of Freshwater has been writing submissions to Ausgrid and the State Government for the past 5 years seeking the removal of high voltage cabling in Soldiers Avenue, so as to preserve the integrity of heritage-listed trees in the WW1 Avenue of Honour.  In 2015, Ausgrid began the process of removing this cabling.

Jacka Park has never had public toilets but the Friends of Freshwater mounted a campaign of public submissions in 2015, and now a public toilet facility and baby changing room is being planned.

The recently completed Warringah Council Open Plan Strategy has now been ratified by Council, but its public consultation process for the whole of Warringah was dominated by public submissions from the Freshwater community, and to good effect with positive outcomes.

We have a well-earned reputation for putting pen to paper for the benefit of our community.

“IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!”

The State Government has foreshadowed amalgamating our local councils into a two hybrid entities, which will see the demise of Warringah Council (recently adjudged as the best-performing LGA in NSW).

There is a well-worn organizational adage that “ if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and clearly the three Councils on the northern beaches are not broken by any measure. In comparison with the bulk of LGA’s across NSW, few would argue with the fact that these Councils are well administered, financially stable, with good corporate governance, and good to outstanding service delivery. Both Manly and Warringah have a lengthy and proud history, while Pittwater has achieved its own integrity and many positive outcomes since its breakaway from Warringah.

The proposed demise of these Councils and their merger into two other entities as proposed by the State Government will have both positive and negative features. It will inevitably lead to a loss of jobs, as roles become amalgamated or deleted.

Warringah Council has been arguing for combined Northern Beaches Council, which will remove some of the boundary anomalies that currently apply. (E.g. Queenscliff pool=Warringah; Queenscliff Beach=Manly) and generate economies of scale in service delivery. It currently has to maintain a range of public assets, such as swimming pools, green space, beach precincts and ovals that are heavily utilised by all northern beaches residents.

Friends of Freshwater Inc. favours a combined Northern Beaches Council, with the default position of the status quo (i.e. the current 3 Councils). We are of the view that we have little in common with suburbs within the Mosman Council, and they with us.

We feel that it is also absurd to place Killarney Heights, Forestville and parts of French’s Forest within a proposed Greater Pittwater.

As part of a process of public consultation, the Boundaries Commission is holding two meetings tomorrow, Tuesday 2 February in Manly and Pittwater. Curiously no meeting is being held in Warringah. Our community has been asked to lodge submissions as part of this process prior to 28 February 2016.

Cash for Cans Scheme

A small but dedicated group of volunteers rises every morning and cleans Freshwater Beach of unwanted plastic. Much of this is in the form of plastic bottles that have either come through the storm water system; been left on the beach or simply been washed up. Whatever the case this is a constant problem, which would be improved by, cash for cans scheme.

The State Government has recently released its Container Deposit System Discussion Paper and is seeking submissions on the topic. There is major opposition to this proposal from Coca Cola Amatil and other plastics companies. Their opposition extends over decades. South Australia has had a successful container deposit scheme for many years.

The public consultation phase on the State Government’s Cash for Cans Program is now open. Submissions close on 26 February and you can get advice on this proposal from the Boomerang Alliance on Facebook.

HARBORD GROWERS SETTLES INTO ITS NEW BALGOWLAH SITE.

It was like old home week as the Duke paid a visit to the new Harbord Growers Site at Stockland, Balgowlah.  With multiple refrigerated areas, under cover loading dock, and a larger capacity for fruit, vegetable and deli items, the Gerace family appears to be settling in well to the new environment, and has taken many of their former customers with them.  It was also great to observe that many of the familiar, helpful, former staff from Freshwater had been re-employed at Balgowlah.

Freshwater’s loss is Balgowlah’s gain.

HSC Triumph for Balgowlah Boys Campus.

As Schools resume for the 2016 academic year, many Freshwater boys will be making their first trip to Balgowlah Buys campus, as part of a growing number of students commuting from Freshwater. A third bus now is needed to take these students to and from the School each day.

In 2015, Bally Boys had a zoomer HSC with it being among the best performing non-selective public schools, and particularly in English where it came 4th in the State. It surpassed Selective public and private schools in the process.

Freshwater-based Principal, Paul Sheather, is presiding over a sustained academic progression at this campus and Freshwater students will be among the beneficiaries.

FRESHWATER COMMUNITY BANK SCHOLARSHIPS ASSIST STUDENTS AGAIN IN 2016

8 students from 9 local high schools are enrolling in their 2016 university courses, armed with a scholarship from the Freshwater community via its Freshwater Community Bank. This is the 4th year of this scholarship program and each year, $50k, is committed to the initiative.  The 2015 Freshwater Student of the Year will be announced on 22nd February at a function at South Curl Curl Surf Club.

IMPROVED ACCESS TO FRESHWATER POOL

Friends of Freshwater has been campaigning for improved access to Freshwater pool from Ocean View Road at the northern end of Freshwater Beach.  Currently the pathway access forces pedestrians to walk along a goat track and through the tidal zone at high tide. It also presents and impenetrable barrier for disabled or frail aged residents.

Warringah Council, with submissions from the Friends of Freshwater has decided to plan an extension of the coastal pathway from the Pool through to Ocean View Road.

FROM A LITTLE THING, BIG THINGS ARE GROWING

Few have heard of Crown Reserve, but in the space of a few years, the local Freshwater community has converted this rocky, sloping block of land between Queenscliff and Crown Roads in Freshwater from an unused neglected area to a flourishing green oasis.

With the approval of Warringah Council it has been transformed into Freshie Community Garden, and is also becoming a minor tourist attraction for those passing by or on their daily walks who appreciate seeing the garden change with the seasons.

Support from Warringah Council, local institutions and businesses such as the Freshwater Community Bank, has enabled seventy gardeners to now produce vegetables, fruit and herbs from 35 irrigated raised garden beds on the Reserve.

The bulk of these gardeners come from Freshwater and Queenscliff and many live in medium density housing where there is little space for growing plants and vegetables.

Crown Reserve was initially created as a result of the demolition of two houses to make way for a pedestrian pathway, upgraded power utilities, and storm water drainage. The Reserve was full of rock and demolition debris and with a thin layer of topsoil. An approach was made by the Friends of Freshwater to gain access to the Reserve for a community garden and in 2012 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Council to permit usage of a portion of the site. This MOU specified, among many provisions, that the site remain unfenced. Recently an extended Memorandum of Understanding has been signed to allow for an extension of the Garden northwards up the site to permit the planting of orchard trees and collective cropping.

Funding for the Community Garden is modest. Friends of Freshwater Inc. pays for the public liability insurance on the site, provide the garden beds, soil and irrigation, and individual gardeners rent these garden beds for a small cost.

The Community Garden has seen the development of shared crops in large beds so that we can get greater produce for gardeners. Recent bulk crops of snow peas, eggplants, potatoes, artichokes, ginger, turmeric and tomatoes have been well used by the gardeners.

We are also providing additional space for the collective cultivation of perennial herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, lavender and aloe vera.

Our gardeners take pride in doing things on a shoestring and recycling materials. We have sourced unwanted railway sleepers from a golf club; straw and builder’s sand bags from construction sites, and our restored gazebo was lying in a dilapidated state at Belrose, before we gave it a new lease of life. Even our signage derives from an ornate bed head retrieved from a Council clean-up.

We have also had great support from big-hearted local businesses that have donated prizes for raffles, and from plumbers, truck-drivers, builders and nurseries, which have given their advice and time freely.

This has been an inspiring Freshwater community effort.

BECOME NEW FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER MEMBER OR SIMPLY RENEW YOUR EXISTING MEMBERSHIP.

As you can see, we constantly need to raise our voice as a community on a variety of issues. Join us and strengthen our voice, and yours.

2016 memberships are now open at $10 per year via a simple transfer to FOF’s account at Freshwater Community Bank (633000/138650791) or via a visit to the Branch.

December 2016 Update

 “THE DUKE “

           December 2016 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES COMPROMISE COMMUNITY AMENITY

We have been continuing to report on the activities of construction companies on the three major Freshwater sites and their continuing high level of intrusion into the amenity of our community.

Their B-double trucks have been working into the night, and rumbling through the community during sleeping hours, and constantly during the day, without any obvious traffic management plan, and with apparently scant regard for either pedestrian safety or community amenity.
These trucks in the mornings were parked, like a long metal canyon, for hours in Griffith Street and Carrington Parade. Often they gathered well before dawn. There are no public toilets in this area at those hours. Inevitable “calls of nature” could have been accommodated by temporary portaloos, but none were provided by either the builder, Ganellan, or the site owner, the Mounties Group.
At one stage during the last 6 months, fully-laden excavation trucks were passing through Freshwater Streets at 2-minute intervals with more than 3 loads per day for each truck. All of these passed along a route involving the narrow Evans Street and thence through Lawrence Street at Freshwater Village. This caused considerable disruption and dust exposure to businesses in the Village as well as a daunting prospect for pedestrians at the three crossings.  These trucks would then exit Freshwater and deliver their load to various parts and return. Shale was transported to Austral Bricks at Fairfield, sandstone to Warriewood construction sites, and topsoil to Eastern Creek.
The community was never informed that the route changed mid-excavation from that envisaged in the DA, which included Abbott Road. This route change was apparently caused by safety concerns raised by North Curl Curl Public School.
Mounties could have issued a simple letter box drop to explain the reasons for this change.
Finally, the movement of excavation trucks on both the Growers and Mounties sites has ceased, and the D11 Excavator (the largest of its type in Sydney) has been moved off the Mounties site. These excavation trucks will, in turn, be replaced in the New Year by convoys of concrete trucks that will be delivering their loads from Brookvale Cement factories. Again this will be a major operation to complete the structural phase of the construction. Already at the Mounties site, Sections A and B are at Level 3 and Section C is at level 1.
Residents have been most patient with these builders particularly on the numerous occasions that they have worked outside of allotted hours or their residences have been caked in dust. It is disappointing that the Builder ceased site dust suppression, notwithstanding the fact that it was excavating 150,000 cubic metres of silica-laden sandstone and shale.
Ganellan, as a Tier 1 Builder on the Mounties Site, has a regulatory requirement to comply with the Conditions of its Permits, and Northern Beaches Council has to ensure breach enforcement action in accordance with the Provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979. Unfortunately, it is often passed to a PCA (Principal Certifying Authority) to ensure compliance. This can become a black hole for any complainant.
If you have a genuine concern, then it is worthwhile to contact the site project manager, Tim McLachlan, Ganellan Ltd, at emailt.mclachlan@ganellan.com.
Please also cc Dale Hunt at Dale.Hunt@mountiesgroup.com.au so that he is also aware of your concerns.

A SMALL VICTORY FOR COMMON SENSE.

Mounties Group recently lodged a DA Modification, 2016/0293 to increase the hours of work on its headland site. Saturday work was to be extended from 1pm until 3pm, and mid-week work until 8pm.

Friends of Freshie and 35 other nearby residents made detailed submissions of objection, and subsequently the application has been withdrawn. Common sense has prevailed

CLIFFTOP DEVELOPMENT HAS NEW DESIGN.

Arguably the ugliest building in Freshwater (and there are a few notorious contenders from the 1970’s) has finally been demolished at 5 Pavilion Street, after dominating the local skyline with its poorly built presence for more than 50 years.

The previous 12-Unit building has now been reduced to 6 large units with one per floor.

A Modification to the approved DA has now been lodged with Council for this to occur.

Construction will commence in early 2017.

It is thought that these will each fetch north of $4m.

FRESHWATER OPPOSES CELLARBATIONS LIQUOR LICENCE PROPOSAL.

Many thanks for your outstanding support in opposing the prospect of another packaged liquor outlet in Freshwater. More than 50 submissions were lodged and these have to be passed via a Community Impact Statement to the Department of Liquor and Gaming.

The proposal is to open a Metcash/ IGA franchise known as Cellarbrations in a new shop front in the Freshwater Development (now being constructed on the former Growers Site.

It should be noted that we are not opposed to licences being provided to Freshwater restaurants and cafes, as these enhance the vibrancy of the Village, and many now have them.

We are concerned at the prospect of this proposed outlet being located so close the Village Plaza and the adverse social impacts that its presence might generate.

YOUR RIGHTS WITH SWING CRANES AND THEIR AIR SPACE.

Our report on the impact of the installation of swing cranes for properties in the near vicinity to both “Freshwater” and “Kahana “constructions, has had a positive outcome for nearby residents. Even though their permission had not been sought, as is required, some neighbours approached the builders and have received recompense. One builder was reluctant to even return emails in the hope that his crane would be removed prior to having to pay anything. It has subsequently been removed but not before neighbours were paid their entitlements.

PROGRESS MADE ON RESTORING FRESHWATER’S SOUTHERN HEADLAND.

Friends of Freshwater has let a contract to Dragon Fly Environmental to undertake bush regeneration work in Undercliffe Reserve in accordance with funding provided by the GSLLS (land care) Grant.

Undercliffe Reserve has been heavily dominated by all manner of weed growth, and is not a great advertisement for a natural environment. By contrast, its alter ego, McKillop Park, on the northern headland, is relatively pristine The company has had WOHS induction for the work by NBC. These professional bush regenerators are now working on permanent stabilisation of a section of the Reserve (deemed inaccessible for volunteer work) and it is a fantastic supplement to our work. Images taken before work commenced, indicate a seriously weed infested area. The after image is of the first stage of the contract work, with further site stabilisation to occur and then installation of weed matting and native plantings.

During the year our numbers have grown to 6 volunteers with expert supervision provided by Peter Ziegler from Northern Beaches Council. It is rewarding work with one of the best workplace views.

We have been meeting on a fortnightly basis and this year have had 20 bush care sessions. If you have a spare couple of hours and would want to join us on a Thursday, then please do not hesitate to contact us on this site or via email.

Further minor funding assistance has also been provided by Council to enable further weed control of sloping sections. As a result we are now starting to make demonstrable progress.

In addition, the in-kind support by Council for refurbishment of Queenscliff Steps is reaching completion. This will also assist our work

CONFIRMED…HARBORD BABY HEALTH CENTRE TO BE CLOSED.

We reported in our last month’s edition that Freshwater’s long established Early Childhood Centre is set to close. Friends of Freshwater sought confirmation from the Department of Health and this has been confirmed in writing. It is slated to become part of a consolidated service within the new Community Health Centre being constructed near Warringah Mall. Mothers will then have to travel by car to the Mall to attend previously arranged appointments. This Centre will service the whole of the Northern Beaches.

There is an old saying that every child needs a Village, and the reverse is also true. The Village Early Childhood Centre is much cherished by young mothers, who can drop in for advice, and is used as a meeting point for mothers’ groups. It is pram accessible.

Located in a heritage listed building (a former fire station owned by Northern Beaches Council and rented to the Department of health for a nominal fee) it is an important part of the Village fabric.

This decision appears to have been made on the basis of administrative convenience and “cost effectiveness” rather than the needs of local women. Friends of Freshwater will be seeking to mount a campaign to reverse this decision in the New Year and we will need considerable support to overturn it.  

PALM BEACH TO MANLY COASTAL WALKWAY.

Readers of the Duke will be aware of our campaign to finalise the link between South Curl Curl and Freshwater Rock pools by a board walk, and have it extended above the tidal zone to Ocean View Road at the northern end of Freshwater Beach.

Our submissions had resulted in this concept being included in the recommendations of the previous Warringah Council’s Open Space Strategy.

With the December 17 announcement of funding through the Stronger Communities Fund (deriving from the formation of the NBC) we are a step closer to the completion of this missing link in the pathway.

THE EXECUTIVE OF THE FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER EXTENDS OUR BEST WISHES TO YOU FOR THE FORTHCOMING YEAR AND WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT ON OUR VARIOUS PROJECTS.