“The Duke” Newsletter June 2019


June 2019

Friends of Freshwater
Community News
Volume 15 ,2019 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.


The Freshwater community is still without an essential food provider as wrangling over the empty 1200sqm space at the “Freshwater” continues.
Amid unconfirmed allegations that the landlord has gone into receivership, reports of recent creditors’ meetings and that legal action for recovery of debts is afoot, it is unclear as to which supermarket operator will eventually trade from the retail space.
The community has lived with the rumour that either a Super IGA or Woolworths would be the retailer.  Friends of Freshwater has been unable to substantiate either as the occupant.
Whatever the case it would take at least two months from a decision for an operator to be in a trading capacity with fit out, stock and staffing.
The site has been empty but ready for occupancy since October 2018.
Needless to add that this lack of an anchor tenant is having a debilitating impact on the vibrancy of the Village, shopkeepers’ trading capacity and its pedestrian traffic.


A development application is currently being assessed by Northern Beaches Council for this site. It has been lodged by Sky World Climbing and the cost of set-up is listed as $625,000. It is intended to use the premises as a recreational facility for 100-150 mainly mature age audience. Bouldering is a fast growing sport which will be featured at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo. The listed proprietor is already a member of the Australian Climbing Team.
Council will convene a Panel session to deliberate over the DA and those that made submissions on the impact of the development will be invited to present their objections in person.


It is refreshing to observe that our noted restaurant, Pilu at Freshwater, is using bush tucka on its menu.  We discovered a chef collecting tetragonia (native spinach) in nearby Undercliffe Reserve.  It is used by the restaurant, when blanched, as a garnish for a variety of fish dishes.
Tetragonia is grown as a ground cover and weed suppressant and is plentiful in the Reserve.


Our President, Peter Harley, has been recognised in this year’s Queens Birthday Honours List with an OAM.  The citation reflects on five decades of volunteer, community involvement across a range of organisations including those in Freshwater.
Many people conveyed their best wishes, for which he is appreciative and humbled.


On Palomar Parade at Freshwater’s southern extremity is a block of land the size of a pocket handkerchief that has a house under construction. For years the presence of underground utilities has meant that it was left undeveloped. No longer, as the photo attached suggests.


Our article on the phantom carver, Mick Leslie, brought forth other sightings of his carvings.  Residents of Curl Curl Parade have been well aware of his animal and train carvings on sandstone near to the stairs to Corella Street. See photos attached.


Is this going to be the new site?

Jacka Park has been in existence for more than 30 years without public toilets. Its recent heavy use as an open play area by the nearby St. John the Baptist School, coupled with its children’s’ playground and its role as a Registered War Memorial, has prioritised the need for permanent toilet facilities
We can now advise that The Friends of Freshwater 5-year campaign to get much needed toilets in Jacka Park has been successful.  Council has confirmed that the toilet block will be constructed this year (1919-20).
It has been a long time between pit stops and local neighbours will be mightily relieved.
We had proposed that an unused Council workers’ shed in the Park be used as a low cost option as the basis for the new toilet facility.  We argued that it should be modified to include disabled and baby change facilities. This has been agreed by Council.
Additionally, Council is also proposing to upgrade the heavily used children’s’ playground. It is unfortunately located adjacent to the confluence of two tributaries of Freshwater Creek (now a storm water pipe) and is often affected by heavy rainfall. Council is looking for a more suitable site within the Park.
It is thought that the existing Playground site will be used as an exercise gym structure.


We have been advised by Council that concept planning is well under way for two Freshwater walkways as part of the Palm Beach to Manly Coastal Walk. This planning and eventual implementation in 2022/23 is funded from the Amalgamation Allocation from the State Government to the Northern Beaches Council.

Manly-based landscaping design firm, Thompson Birrell has been awarded the contract to design the Walkways. This firm recently completed the Walkway at Malabar Headland. It is currently preparing design feasibility studies of the sections from South Curl Curl Board Walk to McKillop Park, and the section from Ocean View Road to Freshwater Rock Pool.

Additionally, restoration and upgrading of the surfing memorabilia around the Duke Sculptureis to occur soon with further support from the Harbord Diggers Club. Likewise, the Club’s Eastern Car park, which is now a construction zone for the last phase of the Club’s NEW Dawn Construction is to be converted to green space for use by all,
36 WYNDORA APARTMENTS – Progress to Completion

While the apartment complex at 36 Wyndora Rd – opposite Foam St is moving towards completion, it is easy to forget the widespread community opposition to its construction in the first place.

Friends of Freshie took up the cudgels for the local residents who took exception to a suburban house being demolished and being replaced with an apartment complex beside them.  So did the then Warringah Council who opposed it. Likewise, when it was taken to the Land and Environment Court, it was similarly refused. The developer then went to the State Government with a SEPP55 proposal for Over 55 and Disabled accommodation. It was approved with a reduction in apartments from 10 to 9 and with lift and disabled access requirements. Being at the base of a steep street, Foam Street, it also had to have costly, additional, storm water retention systems to deal with overflows.

Friends of Freshie will be keenly observing that the owners of these apartments are in fact people over 55 years of age or with disabilities as specified. There has been a tendency for this provision to be flouted.


Work will commence on July 2 on a heritage footpath down the northern side of Soldiers Avenue. This will extend from Oliver Street to Eric Street.
It will enable the insertion of plaques in the footpath to mark both the Centenary of the Avenue of Honour in November this year and further recognition of our forebears who gave service in World War 1.
The Friends of Freshwater is appreciative of your outstanding support to press Council to upgrade the priority this heritage section of footpath in Soldiers Avenue from medium (never to be built) to be constructed in the 2019-2020 Capital Budget Year.
The Soldiers Avenue of Honour is celebrating its Centenary in November this year. It is listed as a Community War Memorial and its Queensland Brush Box trees are heritage listed.
Since 2012, A Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group consisting of representatives from the Harbord RSL Sub Branch, Freshwater Surf Club; Friends of Freshwater Inc and the Harbord Literary Institute has been working to bring the Avenue back to its former grandeur.  This has included the installation of a wall mural: information plinth and commemorative bench, as well as the installation of bronze plaques inserted in the footpaths of the Avenue.
We have had great support from the three tiers of government, with Ausgrid undergrounded the high voltage cabling in 2015 to extend the lifespan of the heritage trees. We have also been recapturing the histories of those who served in World War One (and their families) for publication in book form.


Friends of Freshwater Inc has made a submission in respect of the above sale proposal by Council of land that forms an important viewing platform atop Queenscliff Steps.
We are of the view that this is an exceedingly poor urban planning decision and one that would be abhorrent to the Freshwater community for the following reasons :-

  • This land has long been used as a viewing platform for surfers, international visitors and the local community. It has a commanding untrammelled view of Freshwater Beach.
  • It is a much valued community asset
  • It is immediately adjacent to Council’s proposed upgrade of the Palm Beach to Manly Coastal Path.
  • Storm water emanating from Crown Road and Pavilion Street hard surfaces flow directly through many drainage pipes nearby and into Undercliffe Reserve. In major storm events water overflows across the land in question.
  • This part of Bridge Road is used a vehicle turnaround for traffic and a common drop-off point for pedestrians, given the paucity of parking available below.
  • If this sale is concluded the community will be in a position of trespassing on private land which was once freely accessible.

For anyone who would like to make a similar submission, send via email to the Property Team, council@northern Submissions close on 28 June next.

We are very pleased to observe that signage requesting payment for parking has been removed and that the boom gates for the 58 space car park are now open without charge.

Wilson Parking have left the Village and taken all their automated equipment with them including signage. Hopefully, never to return.


The underground car park in the new Freshwater Apartment complex had to date been a monumental failure with minimal occupancy.

It  suffered from two key factors. Firstly, its one-hour restrictive free period of parking, and secondly the fact that its lift operates to a locked and unoccupied supermarket. People who park there would have to walk out up a steep ramp. There have also been issues with credit card payment processes.

In the last edition of the Duke, we mentioned our concern at the arrival of this big end of town. parking operator, Wilson Parking, and its prohibitive requirements for the 58 car underground parking facility. Feedback from this article confirmed that the community and nearby businesses were concerned at the precedent this creates, as no other public or private parking in the Village is subject to a per hour charge or a specified free period of one hour. This precedent is also concerning in that it is based on the assumption that all those coming to the Village for shopping can conclude it within an hour. Overstaying in this car park would have  cost $6.00 for the second hour, $11 for the third and $18 for the fourth. It was also a cashless payment system.

In no other nearby shopping centre, whether it be the Mall or Manly, is there such an impost provision.

The Freshwater Village planning requirement makes provision for a specified amount of public parking space. In the case of the Freshwater complex there is provision for 58 car spaces. This underground car park was meant to take cars off the Street and increase the ambience of the Village. Clearly people boycotted it, and it failed.

A critical factor in the life of the Village is the linger factor. This is where people can come to the Village to do a range of things including supermarket shopping and other activities including banking, hairdressing, dental services, real estate transactions and of course café and coffee consumption.  Together these require more than an hour to conclude, and the parking fee incurred would have had an obvious negative impact.

JOIN the Friends of Freshwater for 2019- 2020
If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership for 2019-2020, then hop on line to our website at for easy subscription.
This year our projects are focussed on:

  • Seeing various aspects of the Freshwater Coastal Space Master Plan through the planning stage including the upgrading of Beach reserve playgrounds and public amenities: completion of the missing segment of the coastal walkway from South Curl Curl Pool through to Freshwater Beach: bush regeneration of Undercliffe Reserve to bring it back to a natural state, and implementation of a Reserve Management Plan for Freshwater View Estate. 
  • Continuing to grow the Freshie Community Garden in Crown Reserve as a model of urban sustainability.
  • Work on the next stages of the Freshwater Village Public Art project with a focus on Freshwater’s early settlers and surfers.
  • Refurbishing the Soldiers Avenue Honour for its Centenary Year 2019
  • Continue to closely scrutinise all significant Development Applications in Freshwater for compliance with planning requirements
  • Getting the basic necessities of life such as provision of fresh fruit and vegetable; public toilets and footpaths upgraded.
  • Ensuring Freshwater’s fair share of the Council Capital Works Budget.
  • Revitalise the weed-infested southern headland of Freshwater Beach with volunteer and professional assistance.
  • Continue to apply for Grant funding from the three tiers of government for various projects in Freshwater.

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