“The Duke” Newsletter November 2017

HARBORD DIGGERS CLUB CLOSES TEMPORARILY

A well-attended function was held last weekend, in what was left of the old Diggers Club building. It marked the temporary closure of the Club prior to its re-opening on Lumsdaine Drive in 2018. The last remaining section of the “Old Lady” will shortly be demolished to permit the construction of the final phase of the development. This will include levels of apartments atop a gymnasium and two swimming pools.

Some permanent staff have been relocated to jobs at the Manly Bowling Club (which is owned by Mounties Group) and others are being bussed each day out to the Mount Pritchard Club premises of Mounties. It is intended that when the new Club is completed that these highly trained staff will return.

Work on the residential construction is continuing apace and the Carrington Drive aligned apartments are scheduled to be available for occupation in February 2018. Already the sandstone facings of the apartments are being realised. This section also includes a pre-school facility

Also completed is the major storm water pipe that will remove excess storm water from the site. This will be discharged into the ocean nearby.

FRESHWATER VILLAGE IN A STATE OF TRANSITION.

The combined impact of major construction projects nearby, changes in retailing and high rents has placed the Village in a period of transition.

In a short space of time, the newsagency has closed; a travel agent has moved to other premises in Curl Curl; our two laundry shops have closed and 6 shops on the southern side of Lawrence Street lay empty. Soon our baby health centre will close, and families will have to hop into a car to travel to the Mall for neo-natal and midwifery services. When these services disappear, they never return.

On the plus side, we are soon to get a Super IGA supermarket and the return of Bakers Delight and possibly a new tenant for the current IGA space.

ARMISTICE DAY 2017 IN JACKA PARK AND SOLDIERS AVENUE.

A family friendly remembrance service will be held on 11 November 2017, and a Flyer is attached with details. Each year, our Nation pauses on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November to remember the 60,000 Australians who lost their life in this tragic war.

Did you know that: –

  • The Soldiers Avenue of Honour and Jacka Park are now known as the Freshwater Anzac Precinct.
  • The Soldiers Avenue of Honour (established in 1922) is unique to Sydney.
  • Soldiers Avenue and Jacka Park were declared a community war memorial in 2016 by the State Government.
  • Trees in Soldiers Avenue are heritage-listed and the Heroes Tree was first planted in 1923. Each tree was planted to recognise the service of a local soldier.
  • 129 men from Freshwater served in WW1 from a total Freshwater population of less than 1500. 34 were killed in action. This loss reverberates with their families today.

This annual event is organised by the Harbord RSL Sub Branch and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group and next year will be the centenary.

APARTMENT COMPLEXES NEAR COMPLETION

The 26“Freshwater’apartments on the former Harbord Growers Site are due to be completed by year end. Already major internal fit-outs are proceeding apace and scaffolding systematically removed.

At 5 Pavilion St, the 6-storey cliff-top apartment block has now assumed its permanent profile.  This should be a welcome improvement on the dog of a building that it replaces.

OUR CELLARBRATIONS LIQUOR LICENCE CAMPAIGN SUCCESSFUL.

Liquor and Gaming NSW has advised that the Liquor Licence application by Cellarbrations has been withdrawn.  This was for a packaged alcohol retail outlet in the new “Freshwater” apartment complex (formerly the Growers Market site).

With more than 50 submissions from the Freshwater community opposing the application, along with those of the Northern Sydney District of the Department of Health; Northern Beaches Council and the NSW Police, this is a pleasing outcome.

POISONED!

A mature Norfolk Island pine on the beach end of Kooloora Avenue is dying and Council has earmarked it for removal. It is part of a stand of mature Norfolk Island Pines in this Avenue that are heritage listed.

Upon being alerted to the poor state of the tree by a neighbour, we spoke with Northern Beaches Council Tree Preservation Officers. They have been investigating its demise and are of the opinion that it was poisoned by someone.  A note to that effect has been placed on the tree and Council is looking for further evidence and offering a $10,000 reward. The Tree will also be replaced.

The Friends of Freshwater is frankly disgusted at this turn of events. View enhancing at the expense of trees is the stuff of some beach communities where well-heeled individuals feel that they can do as they please.  This has not happened so overtly in Freshwater before and never on a heritage listed tree.

A PASSIONATE CHEF

SBS is filming segments for a Series on prominent Australian citizens of Italian background. The Series is entitled “Passionate Italians” and will include a segment on Freshwater restaurant owner and chef, Giovanni Pilu.

His much-lauded restaurant was recently recognised with a National Award for Best Italian Formal Restaurant. The judging criteria for this Award is based on a ranking by consumers of their dining experience. Clearly there are many contented diners.

Giovanni is also known for his campaign to include local produce in restaurant menus and it was fitting that filming of him was partly done in Freshwater Community Garden where gardeners, often from apartments nearby, are growing their own produce.

Fortunately, at the time of filming and despite the record dry, the Community Garden was looking like a green oasis.

CEDRIC RECOVERS.

Popular Café Calm Owner and Chef, Cedric La Page, is recovering from an horrendous motor bike accident at South Curl Curl. He was thrown from the bike and had various body injuries including two broken wrists, one of which required micro surgery. For a Chef, one’s hands are tools of trade and the accident has forced him away from the Café, while he recovers.

PUBLIC ART PROJECT FOR FRESHWATER VILLAGE PLAZA (UPDATE)

The first of five concrete pods in Freshwater Village Plaza has been the subject of artistic treatment by a well-known aboriginal artist, Leanne Tobin. See photos attached. The other four pods are also to be part of an ongoing public art project. These pods, that currently have a range of functions including as protection for a major storm water pipeline passing underneath, will be used to depict the various phases of the history of Freshwater. This will extend from the millennial occupation by our first peoples; the arrival of our early settlers in the 19th Century; our surfing and Anzac history, and a pod devoted to the future.

A project team with Sean Rout as Chair, and Stacey Berkman, Kent Bull, Tai Ropiha and Peter Harley as members, has been working for the last two years on this project.

On Saturday, September 30, a public launch of the Project coincided with the installation of a painted artwork which depicts Freshwater Creek moving to Saltwater.  This is very apt, given that Freshwater Creek snakes its way through our community and down to saltwater at the Beach. There is also a great deal of local evidence, including middens, to suggest that the Cammaraigal clan used both the environs of Freshwater Creek and Beach as regular sources of food, and cave overhangs for shelter.

This project has the support of Northern Beaches Council as part of its place-making strategy to make Villages and spaces on the Northern Beaches more vibrant.

Friends of Freshwater has been successful in gaining a grant from Council to assist with this project, but for its full realisation it will require further crowd-funding.

The Duke Newsletter- August 2017

BIG CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS MOVE TO COMPLETION.

The 17-unit Kahana development is now complete and people are now residing in their apartments. The so-called 4-br/3 baths/2 garage “Beach House” was for rent at $2,000 per week, and another 3 br. at $1450. A 2-br apartment sold in March 2017 for $1.5mill.

Nearby, the 26“Freshwater “apartments on the former Harbord Growers Site are due to be completed by year end. Already major concrete pours have been completed and scaffolding systematically removed.

At 5 Pavilion St, the 6-storey cliff-top apartment block is now out of the ground. This should be a welcome improvement on the dog of a building that it replaces.

Harbord Diggers

The First Stage of the Mounties Development is also moving to fit-out, with elegant sandstone facing starting to be unveiled along Carrington Drive. There is evidence provided by Mounties in a recent DA Modification submission on hours of work, that the construction is behind schedule. With the recent spell of outstanding weather, this building backlog may well have been removed.

With the closure of the Harbour Diggers Club in two month’s time, club management is looking to place its long term permanent employees. This will be for the period until the new Club premises is operational

. CELLARBRATIONS LIQUOR LICENCE CAMPAIGN UPDATE

We have been closely watching the Liquor and Gaming NSW website for any decision on the Cellarbrations Packaged Liquor Licence application. Apparently such applications can take months to be finalised.  We do know that there are very few applications rejected, so we are not holding our breath.

Meanwhile, the major anti-social behaviour hotspot has become the northern end of Freshwater Beach Reserve where a combination of excess alcohol consumption and rival gangs has led to Police intervention on a number of occasions.

FIRST NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL ELECTION ON SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 9.

Everything is unusually subdued in the lead-up to the Council Election with the three political parties mounting tickets along with a bevy of independents, across the five new Wards. What is interesting is the fact that a number of candidates do not even reside within the Wards for which they are seeking election. For example, Freshwater resident and former Warringah Councillor Pat Daley, is standing for the Liberal Party in Manly Ward, former Councillor Bob Giltinan, who is aligned to the Liberal Party and resides in Cromer, is standing as an Independent in Curl Curl Ward and there are other prominent examples.

It is axiomatic, that to properly represent your constituents at local government level, you have to live among them.

Prior to next Saturday, a public forum will be convened on Monday night, 4/9, by Curl Curl Lagoon Friends at North Curl Curl Surf Club. It is a chance to hear from a cross section of the candidates on their policies for our community.

In the meantime, all Council decisions involving future funding have been put on hold until the new Council is formed. In practice, this means that none of the projects that affect Freshwater will progress in 2017.

OPTUS CURL CURL TOWER SITE REJECTED BY INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT PANEL

Telecommunication towers and their location are always problematic. On the one hand we like clear, strong and speedy, signal for our mobiles and data, but we don’t like unsightly towers and their magnetic fields.  In July, an Independent Assessment Panel convened at Manly Council Chambers and rejected a DA submitted by Optus for a site in North Curl Curl. The community made 140 submissions, an 800 signature petition and 12 residents spoke to the Panel. The application was rejected by the Panel, which leaves Optus with the unenviable task of finding another site.

PUBLIC ART PROJECT FOR FRESHWATER VILLAGE PLAZA.

Five concrete pods in Freshwater Village Plaza are to be the subject of an ongoing public art project. These pods, that currently have a range of functions including as protection for a major storm water pipeline passing underneath, will be used to depict the various phases of the history of Freshwater. This will extend from the millennial occupation by our first peoples; the arrival of our early settlers in the 19th Century; our surfing and Anzac history, and a pod devoted to the future.

On Saturday, September 30, work will commence on the First Peoples Pod with indigenous artist, Leanne Tobin, installing an painted artwork which depicts Freshwater moving to Saltwater.  This is very apt, given that Freshwater Creek snakes its way through our community and down to saltwater at the Beach. There is also a great deal of evidence from local aboriginal middens to suggest that the Cammaraigal clan used both the environs of Freshwater Creek and Beach as regular sources of food, and cave overhangs for sleeping.

This project has the support of Northern Beaches Council as part of its place-making strategy to make Villages and spaces on the Northern Beaches more vibrant.

Friends of Freshwater has been successful in gaining a grant from Council to assist with this project, but for its full realisation it will require further crow-funding.

FRESHWATER CREEK

Freshwater Creek is a major waterway passing through Freshwater. It quietly services Freshwater by carrying our storm water and overflow sewerage. Its tributaries which come together beneath Jacka Park, cross Soldiers Avenue and Albert Street and flow down the northern side of Kooloora Avenue and thence to the northern end of Freshwater Beach. Heritage-listed Norfolk Island Pines at the eastern end of Kooloora avenue flourish because of their proximity to this water source.

During storm events, it is the default system for overflow sewerage. Installation by Sydney Water in 2014 of storage tanks at Wyndora and Soldiers Avenue, has effect reduced this possibility.

At Freshwater Beach Reserve, Freshwater Creek used to form into a lagoon (and regularly flood) but underground pumping equipment ensures that it flows smoothly to the Beach.

The recent completion of an architect designed residence immediately adjacent to this former lagoon, highlights the impact of the Freshwater Creek Storm Water Pipe. It was long thought that no residence could be built on this site, but by clever civil engineering, the builder has created an elevated bridge over the pipe to the house.

POISONOUS PHOENIX PALMS PROLIFERATE IN FRESHWATER BEACH RESERVES.

Phoenix Palms (also known as Canary Island Date Palms have been introduced into Australia and are becoming significant but unwanted plants in our Reserves. In Undercliffe Reserve for example there are now more than twenty examples and they grow rapidly from seed. They are the scourge of the bush regeneration industry as their poisonous barbs have hospitalised employees. Their spines, sometimes as long as 10cm, contain chemicals which cause inflammation and swelling. The spikes also harbour soil bacteria which can cause septic arthritis and subsequent hospitalisation.

The Friends of Freshwater is working with NBC and Greater Sydney Land Care to remove this threat.

VALE BILL SIMPSON

The funeral of the late Bill Simpson was held today, Friday Sept.1, but he passed away last Friday, and sadly, as the first President, and one of the founders of the Warringah Rugby Club, he missed, by a few hours, the triumphant Shute Shield victory of his beloved Warringah Rats.

The Old Duke, when he had a spring in his step, played for Warringah in its fledgling years. Bill Simpson, a longstanding resident of Queenscliff, would often coach players of modest talent, such as myself, in Sunday sessions at Kierle Park. He was passionate about everything associated with Rugby, and the venue, Rat park, is his lasting creation.

THE HARBORD GROWERS MARKET

BEST NSW GREEN GROCER 2017

The Harbord Growers Market traded in Freshwater for 26 years and has now been in Balgowlah for 2 years.  It is remembered fondly by the Freshwater community.

After an exhaustive selection process, which included mystery inspections of the shop, it has been awarded this prestigious award. Only Green Grocers that use Sydney Fresh Markets at Flemington are eligible to be considered.

Congratulations to the Gerace family including Bev, Dominic, Amerigo, Anthony and Maurice.

FRESHWATER COASTAL OPEN SPACE AND RESERVES MASTER PLAN UPDATE.

Friends of Freshwater, along with Freshwater SLSC, Harbord Diggers Club and 8 representatives of the local community have met on three occasions over the last two months to develop a draft Master Plan for the upgrading of the Coastal Reserves. These reserves extend from South Curl Curl to Queenscliff. A final project team meeting is envisaged.

With Council in caretaker-mode, the draft Master Plan will not be released for public consultation until it has gone before the new Council

This is a once in a generation opportunity to upgrade our Beach Reserves with funding from the Council amalgamation allocation.

DEMISE OF SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS

Friends of Freshwater applauds the recent actions of a number of organisations including Northern Beaches Council, Harris Farm, and the major supermarkets to end of phase out single plastic bag usage. Now if only the IGA would follow suit.

2017 MEMBERSHIP

OF FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER

CONTINUE TO Strengthen OUR VOICE.

 

The Friends of Freshwater is one of the biggest apolitical activist community groups on the northern beaches. If you wish to join or renew membership for 2017 then please see the details at the foot of this page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Duke Newsletter – June 2017

FRESHWATER IS IN THE MIDST OF ITS BIGGEST CONSTRUCTION PHASE SINCE 1970s

Major construction projects across Freshwater have now either commenced or are progressing to conclusion.

If a rough measure of economic activity is the “Crane Index”, then the Freshwater economy is relatively healthy. The coming influx of new residents, most of whom are downsizers, will have a flow-on benefit to businesses within Freshwater Village in particular.

We now have the 17-apartment “Kahana” at 18 Marmora St., now being occupied by new owners.

The retail and apartment complex to be known as the “Freshwater” at 22-26 Albert Street on the old Growers Site, is into construction of its upper floors and has only three more concrete pours prior to completion.

Likewise, the 6-story headland site at 5 Pavilion Street, is moving out of the ground, with fixed crane installed. Hopefully this will be a more aesthetically pleasing building than the poorly constructed ugly duckling that the community endured for more than 50 years. It is now designated as 6 whole-of-floor apartments rather than the pokey 12 two bedroom apartments that previously existed.

The demolition and excavation of the former disability services hospital “Sorrento Care” site at 12 McDonald St. Freshwater West has commenced for the construction of “the Pavilions” with 14x 3 bedroom well-appointed townhouses. All of these have been sold off the plan for high prices. A crane will no doubt appear on the skyline.

The SEPP55 sites at 36 Wyndora (9 apartments) and 96 Soldiers Avenue (10 apartments) have either not commenced or are seeking modification to building approvals.

All of these construction phases have inevitably tested the friendship of neighbours and the local community, with traffic control measures (or lack of), deliveries and concrete pours at all hours, crane movements, poor sediment control, as well as dust and noise, all causing concern.  The community realises that it is desirable for these projects to be completed as soon as possible, but there has to be a balance between expediency and amenity.

Building companies also have an historical reputation of asking for a centimetre of consideration but taking a kilometre. This is particularly the case for the demolition and excavation phase of these projects and the truck movements involved.

GANELLEN TESTS THE FRIENDSHIP OF NEIGHBOURS WITH EXTENSION OF WORKING HOURS.

The Mounties “New Dawn development is moving ahead with the first phase of its construction of 98 leasehold apartments rapidly nearing the fit-out stage. These apartments are being constructed along Carrington and Lumsdaine Drives. The second phase will involve the demolition of the remaining Club buildings and their replacement with residential apartments, gymnasium and a swimming pool complex.

Currently the South Curl Curl Boardwalk is closed due to the installation of a drainage pipe from the Diggers carpark to the ocean.

Harbord Diggers Members have recently been informed that the Diggers Club will close for a defined period from November 2017 until the new Club venue is due to open in April/ May 2018. This was apparently due to low patronage, but will permit acceleration of the second phase of the project

In February this year, the construction company, Ganellen, submitted a Modification application to vary the DA to permit extended hours of construction, despite a range of concerns being raised by 30 local residents who live nearby, as well as the Friends of Freshwater. Council has approved work hours during the week up to 7pm and on weekends uptil 4pm. This work has to be undertaken behind completed facades of the building. The Developer argued that fit outs including the laying of carpet and the installation of kitchens would not be unduly disruptive to the amenity of neighbours. A hotline for complaints has been established by Mounties to expedite concerns raised.

FRESHWATER IS THE MOST IN-DEMAND COMMUTER SUBURB IN AUSTRALIA

Freshwater has been identified as the most desirable and in-demand commuter suburb in Australia within 25kms of a capital city. This claim is based on the number of visits to the property site realestate.com.  Freshwater had 4,382 visits in the 6-month period to 31 May 2017 surpassing other Sydney and Melbourne suburbs.  Its location with iconic beach, and relatively close to the CBD with nearby, excellent, schools and public transport options, were cited as reasons why buyers viewed it so favourably. Visits to this site seeking Freshwater property vastly outweighed actual listings. On a recent weekend for example the Manly Daily listed only 3 properties open for inspection. This high demand has apparently resulted in an increase in the median house price to $2.1 million.

 CELLARBRATIONS LIQUOR LICENCE CAMPAIGN.

For the second time in a year, Friends of Freshwater has mounted a campaign against an application for a Packaged liquor outlet adjacent to the Freshwater Village Plaza in the new “Freshwater “development. More than sixty individual submissions of objection were also lodged with the Department of Liquor and Gaming including from the local District of the Department of Health and the site’s near neighbour Freshwater Community Bank.

Since 2010, the overall number of liquor licences in Freshwater has increased from a few to 11. This includes 3 packaged licences: 2 club licences; 6 on premise licences of which 3 have primary service authorisations.

All of these are within 300 metres of the proposed packaged alcohol applicant.

It should be firmly stated that our concern is not with those café and bar licensees that serve alcohol with the provision of food, or on occasions directly. but only with the excessive provision of packaged alcohol.

Comparison of Liquor Licence Rates has Freshwater at double the State average and with the addition of this application, double that of any suburb on the northern beaches. It should be noted that these statistics do not include the packaged liquor outlet attached to the Harbord Beach Hotel licence.

According to the NSW Department of Health, research indicates that, as the density of packaged liquor outlets increase in an area, the rate of adolescent alcohol use increases, with the most vulnerable young people being those aged 12-14years.

Recently a large crowd of alcohol fuelled adolescents descended on the northern end of Freshwater Beach. Local Police with the Riot Squad struggled to break up the melee. Many of those involved were found to be in the 12-14 years’ age group.

We have yet to be informed of the outcome of our submissions, but very few liquor licence applications have garnered such a strong oppositional response.

FRED REYNOLDS IS REMEMBERED 102 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH.

Famous Freshwater soldier/engineer, Fred Reynolds, who was killed in action on 25 April 2015 at the Gallipoli landing, has been remembered by his descendants and the Freshwater community at a ceremony in the Soldiers Avenue of Honour on 23 April. Reynolds, who lived, until enlistment, at 50 Crown Road with his family, was a very keen surfer.  At the time of his death, Reynolds was seen using his surfing skills to rescue other wounded soldiers during the chaotic landing on the beach at Gallipoli. He was hit by a sniper’s bullet.

For the last few years, Soldiers Avenue resident, Wendy Machon, has been researching Reynolds and his family tree. Machon, as part of the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group, was determined that there be an appropriate memorial for Reynolds in Soldiers Avenue rather than a tiny plaque in the roadside gutter. At the Centenary of Anzac in 2015, a Lone Pine was planted by the then Premier, Mike Baird, in Reynolds’ honour. The surround, built by Freshwater resident, Roy Buirchell, is painted in the regimental colours of the Royal Australian Engineers. A bronze Footpath Memorial Plaque was also installed in the footpath adjacent to this memorial. A full history of his short life has also been prepared by Machon, and this was made available to his descendants.

 

BENT FORK NO MORE

The sign on the window says that it has closed for renovations, but the word on the street is that it has closed permanently.  It will probably be replaced by another Café on this prominent but high rent site.

PIG FACE WATERFALL

A unique Pig-face “waterfall” has spectacularly grown over a cliff in Undercliffe Reserve. (See image attached). This common native plant, which Northern Beaches Council often uses as a salt tolerant ground cover, is also called ice-plant or angular sea fig. Its pollinated fruit tastes like salty strawberries, and its purple flower is eaten by aboriginals as bush tucker, much as one would eat zucchini flowers. The fleshy leaves were cut up for salads and provided aboriginals with a source of salt. The Freshwater Community Garden, as part of its “Bush Tucka “project, has a garden bed full of pig face.

FRESHWATER COASTAL OPEN SPACE AND RESERVES MASTER PLAN UPDATE.

Friends of Freshwater, along with Freshwater SLSC, Harbord Diggers Club and 8 representatives of the local community have met on three occasions over the last two months to develop a draft Master Plan for the upgrading of the Coastal Reserves. These reserves extend from South Curl Curl to Queenscliff.

FROM THIS PROCESS, WE ARE SEEKING THE FOLLOWING: –

  • EXTENSION OF SYDNEY COASTAL BOARDWALK FROM SOUTH CURL CURL THROUGH TO OCEAN VIEW ROAD
  • DUNE PATHWAY FROM OCEAN VIEW ROAD TO KOOLOORA AVENUE
  • UPGRADE OF DUNE LOOKOUT AT NORTH FRESHWATER BEACH
  • MODERNISE FRESHWATER RESERVE PLAYGROUNDS
  • CONSIDER RECYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE TO CATER FOR INCREASED USAGE OF RESERVES
  • VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR UNDERCLIFFE RESERVE
  • IMPROVE STORM WATER SYSTEMS FOR SOUTHERN HEADLAND
  • PLAN OF MANAGEMENT FOR FRESHWATER VIEW RESERVE INCLUDING INSTALLATION OF A SAFE LOOKOUT ABOVE SECRET ROCK
  • MOORE ROAD BOULEVARD OF TREES WITH LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE DESIGN FOR TURNAROUND AT THE BEACH.
  • TREATMENT OF LUMSDAINE DRIVE AND THE DIGGERS LEASED EASTERN CARPARK.
  • UPGRADE OF WORLD SURFING RESERVE IN MCKILLOP PARK
  • IMPROVEMENT OF LOOKOUT IN MCKILLOP PARK
  • INSTALLATION OF WAYMARKING SIGNS TO ASSIST VISTORS TO THE RESERVES AND ALONG THE COASTAL TRACK
  • IMPROVED AMENITY INFRASTRUCTURE SUCH AS PUBLIC TOILETS, WASTE RECYCLING, WATER BUBBLERS ETC.

This is a once in a generation opportunity to upgrade our Beach Reserves with funding from the Council amalgamation allocation.

NEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS ELECTED TO FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER EXECUTIVE.

At its Annual General Meeting held on 26 June, Freshwater residents, Christine Frith, Holly Carroll and Kent Bull were elected to the Committee. They accompany Sean Rout who was re-elected. Peter Harley was again elected President and Phil Curry, Vice-President while Denise Goldstein was re-elected as Treasurer.

Our Inaugural Secretary, Brian Dunphy, after 7 years of involvement, decided not to stand and his position was filled by Stacey Berkman. Dunphy, did much to set up the Friends as a Not for Profit Incorporated group and his contribution is much appreciated.    Committee Member, Samantha Clutton Ansley, also did not stand. as she has moved to Port Macquarie, but her contribution, particularly to the Optus Tower Campaign was very significant.

The President reported that the Friends of Freshwater had obtained more than $200,000 in grants for various projects in Freshwater. These included:

  • $163,000 for Soldiers Avenue Refurbishment Project from various State and Federal grant programs
  • $29,720 for the Freshwater Village Public Art project
  • $11,000 for the Undercliffe Reserve Bush Regeneration Project
  • $2000 for the Community Garden “Bush Tucka “Project

A further grant of $49,400 has been sought from the Northern Beaches Council Stronger Community Grant Program, Round 2. This has been sought for the preparation of a Moore Road Master Plan for the linkage between the Village and the Beach.

These projects will guide our work for the coming year.

1970s ACTIVISM REMEMBERED

When non-compliant, red-brick, medium density housing, was being erected across the Freshwater Basin during the 1970’s, many of the residents were opposed to both the consolidation of property and the rapid change in the fabric of their neighbourhood.  Some of these Unit Buildings gained dubious approval by exploiting loopholes in the then LEP or simply by corrupt activities. This led to Warringah Council being put into administration for the first time. A large number of residents banded together and fought against these developments, and even stood for Council elections, after the Council had moved out of Administration for the first time. This eventually led to WLEP 2000 which belatedly removed these anomalies.

One of those many activists was Jeanette Ward and it is always a delight to see her around the Village and continuing her activism as a Member of the Friends of Freshwater.

2017 MEMBERSHIP OF FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER CONTINUE TO Strengthen OUR VOICE.

 

 

 

 

The Duke Newsletter – April 2017

OPTUS 4G TOWER FINALLY REMOVED FROM MCKILLOP PARK

Our campaign to have both the 4G and 3G Tower equipment removed from public land at McKillop Park has now finally succeeded with the removal of the electro-magnetic equipment on 30 March.  Photos attached show the transition.

Behind this removal is our other negotiated achievements that should be re-iterated, including:

  • Real community consultation including transparent notification of intending tower location and construction (not simply a postage stamp advertisement in the back pages of a local newspaper)
  • Lodgement of a DA with all the processes for community submissions
  • No Towers to be erected in Public Parks and Reserves

Our campaign and its community backing led to the involvement of both State and Federal Governments and these arrangements have apparently now been adopted by the telecommunications industry and are to apply Australia-wide.

 

Optus has confided that it has not encountered such a concerted community campaign against one of its towers. The volume of submissions was unprecedented.

 

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION ON FRESHWATER COASTAL SPACE MASTER PLAN

 

Approx. 150 people participated in the community consultation and walking tour at Freshwater Beach Reserve on 25 March.

 

Through this process, OF is campaigning for: –

  • Completion of the Sydney Coastal Walk missing boardwalk link from South Curl Curl to Freshwater Pool
  • Improving access to Freshwater Pool from Ocean View Road with the construction of a path above the tidal zone and goat track
  • Upgrading existing playgrounds in Freshwater Beach Reserve to a standard enjoyed by other Beach Reserves such as at Collaroy and Dee Why.
  • An enhanced vegetation management plan for Undercliffe Reserve to progressively remove weed infestation, replace with native plantings and highlight the substantial drystone rock terraces in the Reserve.
  • Improve storm water pipes and drains to the Southern end of Freshwater beach.
  • Formulate a Plan of Management for the heritage-listed Freshwater View Reserve which includes a safe lookout above Secret Rock and bush regeneration of the two lower terraces.
  • Link Freshwater Village more tangibly with Freshwater Beach with a common tree scape along the full length of Moore Road.
  • Upgrade parking and traffic turnaround at the beach end of Moore Road.
  • Install more Recycling bins to cater for weekend waste.

 

Two members of the Friends of Freshwater have nominated to fill positions on the project team.

 

GOVERNMENT GRANT BOOSTS UPGRADING OF SOLDIERS AVENUE OF HONOUR.

A determined group of Freshwater organisations including the Harbord RSL Sub Branch; Freshwater Surf Club; the Harbord Literary Institute and the Friends of Freshwater, has been steadily refurbishing the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Living Memorial to its former grandeur.  A century ago, grieving mothers who were involved with some of these organisations, were at the heart of its initial establishment. In the process, the century long history of those who served in international conflicts and their families is being rediscovered.

Along the way, the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group has garnered support from the three tiers of government and even the energy utility Ausgrid, which last year undergrounded all high voltage cabling in the Avenue at an estimated cost of $500k, in part to protect the 66 heritage listed trees. Northern Beaches Council has also provided new footpaths, historic street signage and permission to install public verging.

Currently the Avenue of Honour has local-heritage listing but by 2018 we hope to achieve State heritage listing for the Memorial.

Recently the NSW Minister for Veterans Affairs, David Elliott, visited the Avenue of Honour and provided another cash boost with a small grant from the Community War Memorials Fund. This will be put towards the installation of footpath memorial plaques beside heritage-listed trees.

IMPROVING THE FRESHWATER BEACH VIBE

Everyone recognises the need to upgrade the Freshwater Coastal Reserves and their amenities, but it is great to observe local beachfront businesses getting in first. Both Café Calm and Pilu have recently upgraded their kiosks/cafes. This has involved additional seating, outdoor decks, lighting and comfortable furniture. With the aid of extended liquor licences, they are now able to serve wine and beverages in a controlled outdoor setting. Pilu has one of the best wine lists of any restaurant in the country and this will be at the disposal of its Café Bar called “ Il Birreto”.  Likewise, at Café Calm, owner Cedric La Page, displays his French lineage, with his reliable choice of wines and cocktails. On a splendid Freshwater day, there is nothing better than a glass of wine in these distinctive  settings.

FRESHWATER CONSTRUCTION SITES BATTLE THROUGH BIG WET.

The construction industry is well accustomed to delays caused by wet weather (and even builds its probability into contractual agreements), but nothing could have prepared for the constant March deluges including the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie.

Pumps have been going overtime and workers have had to resort to indoor work. Concrete Pours have been hampered and some sites have been working extended hours.

The 16 apartment complex “Kahana” at 18 Marmora St looks to be nearing completion with residents anticipating a mid-year occupancy.  The FRESHWATER 23 Unit Apartment and retail complex looks to be making up good ground after delays and its structure is nearing ground level. The New Dawn Diggers appears to be ahead of schedule with structural work above ground level on the Carrington Road/Lumsdaine Drive boundary.

Surprisingly Mounties on behalf of the builder has resurrected its Modification for an extension of working hours in midweek to 8pm and on Saturdays until 4pm.  The previous proposed modification of building hours was withdrawn in November 2016.

Friends of Freshwater will again lodge a submission opposing this and protect the community amenity.

FAMILIES GATHER TO HONOUR World War 1 War Hero FRED REYNOLDS.

A re-union on 23 April 17 of the descendants of World War 1 soldier, Sapper Fred Reynolds, will be held at his memorial in the Soldiers Avenue of Honour. Reynolds grew up in Crown Road Freshwater and enlisted in the AIF in 1914 as an Engineer. His military experience was cut short by his abrupt death on the shores of Gallipoli as our troops were attempting to land on the peninsula. His dead body is depicted in a famous photo of the Anzac Day landing. This image is now cast on the Information Plinth at the entrance to the Soldiers Avenue of Honour.  His memory is also recorded in a Footpath Memorial Plaque beside a Lone Pine tree planted in 2015 in his honour.

Reynolds’ descendants, including the Mazen, Anderson and Austin families, will gather there on Sunday 23 April at 11am. The Sunday before Anzac Day is traditionally a day of Commemoration in Freshwater.

A PLASTIC-FREE FRESHWATER?

The amount of plastic products floating around our oceans and its impact on marine-life is a cause for great concern. This is more so because we have caused it and there are relatively simple strategies to fix it.

On any given day there are Freshwater residents walking our beaches and picking up gross pollutants such plastic bags, take-way coffee cup lids and used sushi sauce sachets. These have either been flushed down from our storm water system or have been washed up with the incoming tides

Is it possible that we could have a Plastic-free Freshwater?  Already society is swiftly moving in that direction with some supermarkets not issuing free plastic bags, charging for them, or replacing with paper substitutes.

One of our Friends of Freshie members, Mark O’Brien is screening a film on the subject at his premises, Qi Yoga, at 2 Albert Street, Freshwater, on Saturday 22 April. A flyer is attached and will also be circulated on the FOF Facebook site.

A FRESH LOOK AT FRESHWATER VIEW RESERVE

Arthur Costin’s great folly, the heritage listed Freshwater View Estate (now called Freshwater View Reserve) passed into the care and control of Warringah Council in 1962 upon Costin’s death.  He had owned this property since before WW1 and had grand plans for a mansion with extensive gardens which were never realised. Located behind a high stone fence in Pavilion Street, its three stone terraces offering spectacular views across Freshwater to Palm Beach are now a cherished asset.

Costin was the “Great Gatsby” of Freshwater and his properties included a housekeeper and resident gardener cottages and his own cliff- hugging camp (of which the foundations still exist).

Unfortunately, only the upper terrace of this Reserve is available for community use. It is also booked for functions and is a favourite wedding venue from which Council earns a tidy income. The lower Terraces and stairs to Costin’s former Camp and thence the beach, are overgrown and unloved, except by those who seek to reach the notoriously dangerous ‘Secret Rock’. At this place, four people have died in recent times.

Through the process of the Freshwater Coastal Space Master Plan, the Friends of Freshie will be seeking to have a Freshwater View Reserve Plan of Management instigated which will seek to prioritise the whole of this Reserve. We would particularly advocate a safe lookout to be established above Secret Rock so that the whole community can enjoy this view. The former Manly Council achieved this at Fairy Bower, and Pittwater Council at the Warriewood Blowhole.

FRESHIE CHILDREN LEARN ABOUT FOOD PRODUCTION AND SUSTAINABILITY

It comes as a shock to find that children and even teenagers across western societies have little understanding of where their food, vegetables and even water are sourced.

It is heartening that 4-5 years-old children at Harbord Community Pre-School (based in the Harbord Literary Institute) are currently learning about sustainability and food production. Recently their teachers took them on an excursion to Freshwater Community Garden and they were able to see, taste, smell and feel a range of herbs and vegetables being grown. At the garden, they learnt about Australian Native Stingless Bees, compost worms, irrigation systems, soils and fruit trees. They saw that water was being collected in a tank connected to the roof of a nearby garage. They also saw frogs in a frog pond. And all of this at a pre-school age.

The Duke can only wonder what was spoken around the dinner table that evening.

2017 MEMBERSHIP

OF FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER

CONTINUE TO Strengthen OUR VOICE.

 

The Friends of Freshwater is one of the biggest apolitical activist community groups on the northern beaches. If you wish to join or renew membership for 2017 then please see the details at the foot of this page.

 

The Duke Newsletter – February 2017

FRESHWATER COASTAL SPACE MASTER PLAN

Local residents and various organisations are being invited to join a Master Plan Project Team to scope and generate policy directions on the use of public areas around Freshwater Beach. When finalised, the Coastal Space Master Plan will be put to the newly elected Northern Beaches Council in September 2017 for approval.

The Plan will encompass improvements for Freshwater View Estate; Undercliffe Reserve; Freshwater Beach Reserve; and the McKillop Park coastal strip from Lumsdaine Drive, South Curl, to the northern end of Freshwater Beach at Ocean View Road. Much of these Reserves have long been in need of upgrading and improvements. Friends of Freshie has continually argued that the missing boardwalk link from South Curl Curl to Freshwater Pool and the beach needs to be finally constructed. As a prelude, Council and volunteers, including Bushlink disabled workers, have done excellent work in returning the McKillop Park coastal strip to its heathland natural state.

The two children’s’ playgrounds in the Beach Reserve need to be upgraded as they haven’t had maintenance upgrades for twenty years. Heritage-listed Freshwater View Reserve, the scene of 4 deaths at Secret Rock in the last five years, needs a plan of Management and nearby Undercliffe Reserve, also needs substantial bush care to bring it back to its natural state.

The Plan does not involve consideration of the dunes.

The Friends of Freshwater has been allocated two positions on this Project Team.

STATE GOVERNMENT COMMUNITY CABINET MEETING IN FRESHWATER

The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian and Cabinet Ministers will be visiting Freshwater on Thursday, 16 March to hear directly from the community about important issues and priorities. The meeting will be held at Freshwater Surf Club.  Friends of Freshwater have been invited to attend.

 

REAL PROGRESS ON WEED ERADICATION AT UNDERCLIFFE RESERVE

 

A volunteer group generated by Friends of Freshie and professionally supervised by Northern Beaches Council has been working for the last two years on removing weed infestation from Freshwater’s southern headland.

With 480 hours of volunteer work already provided by local residents, we are starting to make real progress and stabilising areas that were dominated by weeds. Where once spectacular views of the Beach were impeded by lantana and morning glory, now native plants are returning.

 

If anyone would like to join us in our project, you would be most welcome. We work on a fortnightly basis for 2 hours, every second Thursday, and our next session is on Thursday 16 March from 1pm.

 

OPTUS TO FINALLY REMOVE TOWER FROM MCKILLOP PARK.

In correspondence with the Friends of Freshwater of 15/2, Optus has confirmed that the Optus Mobile facility at McKillop Park will be completely removed by 31 March 2017, at the very latest. The various contractors are currently being organised.

This is a great victory for our community in preserving the integrity of the heavily used McKillop Park public land.

 Meanwhile in order to overcome Curl Curl coverage black spots Optus is still planning to proceed with a replacement site in the Curl Curl area. Unfortunately, there has been significant delays in finalising a suitable site and obtaining the necessary clearances from NSW Crown Land and Northern Beaches Council.

These issues are now largely resolved and Optus expects to be in a position to lodge the necessary DA in April/May.

It is important to note that this DA process was also part of the consultation agreement reached with Optus by Friends of Freshie and Northern Beaches Council.

Many thanks to Samantha Ansley, Phil Curry and Peter Harley who were closely involved with this negotiated outcome.

 

A DEVELOPER’S COURTESY CALL.

In closely scrutinising Development Approvals, Friends of Freshie interacts with developers, owners and other parties. Often this is either within the Approval Process, Assessment Panels or the Land and Environment Court. Suffice to say that our involvement has led to some success (and failures) in this process. Clearly some developers do not welcome such close scrutiny, particularly when we extend this to ensuring that the approval conditions are properly complied with.

Recently, we received a “courtesy” call from a developer who wanted to make the point that the Friends of Freshwater were merely “troublemakers” and should better spend our spare time working for a charity rather than for the interests and amenity of the Freshwater community.

Developers have discovered that the Freshwater community, in particular, will not idly allow, as it did in the past, non-compliant developments to be approved, the consent conditions ignored, or their amenity trampled.

TRAFFIC “NON-CONTROL”

Various Freshwater residents have raised concerns about traffic control issues in the Village relating to the Hindmarsh Construction site.

This situation was always going to be problematic as the construction is in a critical, high traffic and pedestrian area.

When major concrete pours are occurring or equipment is being delivered involving overhead crane operations, one expects the community to be protected by adequate traffic control. This is often not the case, and pedestrians are denied access to formal crossings and are left to fend for themselves.

One alert resident has photographed a traffic controller asleep in a car while traffic control signs were in place and on-street construction activities occurring.

Not good enough!

A FRIEND IN KNEAD IS A FRIEND INDEED.

A member of Freshie Community Garden and the Friends of Freshwater, James Partington, has turned adversity into opportunity by the simple art of baking bread.  While recovering from a major heart operation, he decided to develop skills in baking sourdough and other specialist breads. After 5 years of pursuing this passion, his bread has been awarded a silver and bronze prize at the Royal Agricultural Society professional baking competition. He now sells his bread in Balgowlah Heights under the brand Staple Bread and Necessities. Apparently his output is keenly sought and literally flies out the door.

HARBORD PUBLIC SCHOOL’S NEW BUILDING NEARING COMPLETION

 

The new three storey education facility at Harbord Public School is nearing completion. This will alleviate the substantial overcrowding of the school caused by the continuing upsurge in enrolments.

These enrolments have also placed pressure on the maintenance of existing buildings. Department of Education documents reveal that Harbord Public School, along with Manly Selective Campus, are among a list of schools in NSW with exceedingly high maintenance backlogs. HPS has a backlog of $822,000 with a yearly allocation of $69,000. By this rate it will take 12 years to clear. Manly Selective is in a similar position.

 

MANLY’S ZANY INFLATABLE BOAT RACE

 

In its 13th year, this zany, wacky, boat journey between Shelley Beach and Manly attracts 100’s of entries in craft costing no more than $50. Most of these are themed and inflatable. This year’s event was held on Sunday, 26 February.

 

Freshwater resident, triathlete, developer and mortgage broker Denver Beven has organised the event since its inception.  He devised the event in order to raise funds for charities such as Tour de Cure. Boat paddlers pay a $50 entry fee which goes directly to charity.

  

Freshwater Community Bank continues its Outstanding Support for the Community.

 

Over the last decade, Freshwater Community Bank, with its one branch, has generated more than $2.4m in sponsorship for 70 of our community groups.  Many groups have placed their accounts with the Bank, and, in return, have shared in its revenues, 80% of which is returned to the community.

One project of which the Bank is particularly proud is its Tertiary Scholarship Program. To date, 44 students have received scholarship support for their first year of tertiary education, while 5 students have also received support for the whole of their undergraduate years. The Bank, is working directly with 9 local high schools in this program and has so far committed $275,000.

This year a Freshwater Student, Olivia Flower from McKellar Girls Campus, was awarded the Ken Ward Memorial Scholarship, as the Freshwater student of the year, and received $15,000 from the Bank.

She will use this support for her undergraduate studies at the ANU.

 

‘FRESHWATER FACELIFT”

A landlord, who owns shops and properties in Freshwater Village on the southern side of Lawrence Street, is grandly offering to upgrade long vacant shops as part of what he calls a “Freshwater Facelift”.  It remains to be seen what will unfold. Will the “facelift” be a nip and tuck, or a major facial reconstruction? We have heard that current business tenants will be both exchanging sites or moving into renovated premises, but apparently no major reconstruction is to occur. 

THE LAST OF THE “WEATHERBOARDS”

Our article on the demise of the weatherboards in Charles St. brought about a wonderful and nostalgic discussion from people who had either lived in them, or had enjoyed barbeques and dinner parties in them.  Sadly, no more.

2017 MEMBERSHIP

OF FRIENDS OF FRESHWATER

 

The Friends of Freshwater is one of the biggest apolitical activist community groups on the northern beaches. If you wish to join or renew membership please renew or join here.