The Duke Newsletter April 2023 Edition

The Duke Newsletter April 2023 Edition


Vibrant Freshwater evening dining now part of Freshwater


This last summer has seen an evolution  in the popularity of outdoor and village dining particularly with all seats taken within the walkways of  the ‘Freshwater Village Plaza’ on many great summer evenings.

Be it the end of our Covid restrictions or just the great weather for a change, everyone was keen to use the Village and all of its great old and new venues.

Memo for those who have yet to renew their membership

Our community group continues to work to make Freshwater an even better place to live.  Being a financial member helps the group support a vibrant community.

We would appreciate your financial support for 2023.  It is only $20 per family and easy to become a member here.


Rebuild of 50 Lawrence St begins – reminder of what is going there

50 Lawrence St at the top end of the Village has been approved for redevelopment and the installation of fencing along Oliver St is indicative of imminent demolition and construction.  The current building has operated for more than 50 years primarily as a real estate agency and offices. It was approved for demolition last year and will be replaced by 11 apartments and 2 retail shops (artist’s rendition pictured).  There is no proposed completion date currently but late 2024 seems likely.

Friends of Freshwater submitted its concerns to Council during the DA process about the overshadowing of a nearby property, impact on a bus stop and loading and unloading of passengers. We were also concerned about the impact on the integrity of the heritage listed facilities across the road.

Current Buiding is being demolished

The construction is being done by Gledhill Pty Ltd that recently completed the Oceans Apartment/shop complex at 11 Lawrence Street. This development allowed both the Community Bank and the Doctors Surgery to own and occupy prominent modern shop fronts in the Village.






Saturday 29 April at 10am


Northern Beaches Council via its Kimbriki Eco Centre is conducting a major community composting workshop at Freshwater Community Garden in Crown Road Reserve Freshwater.


This Community Garden is located amongst medium density housing where apartment dwellers have a need to recycle their food and vegetable scraps. Five years ago, the Garden established a compost system to convert green matter from the 38 garden plots into healthy enriched soil.  With 10 bins and 4 large bays. It generates, on a six-monthly cycle, enough new soil for its gardeners. Apartment dwellers have now become an important section of the garden and their scraps are also put to good use.  Of course there is more to composting than simply offloading scraps and the Kimbriki Eco Centre staff will be leading the workshop participants through the science of it all.


The Freshie Community Garden is now 10 years old and is an excellent example of sustainability in action. It has grown, both in paid members and increased involvement.  With new plantings within the garden the community is thriving.  The Garden has applied for a Stronger Communities Grant via Zali Steggall’s Office which will support enhancement of the composting facility used by many members of the local apartments.

There is currently a waiting list for individual plots, but shared plots are available.

Contact Maureen… if you would like to become involved.






It’s been a tough 18 months for both residents and neighbours of this beachfront building in Evans Street Freshwater, but, thanks to a new and resilient strata executive committee. the Freshwater Towers unit block has started to reveal her new and very much improved exterior.

Not only has this iconic building been stripped back due to remedial works it’s also undergone environmental and future-proofing improvements to suit its spectacular location for many years to come.




Irene Crump (Undercliffe) Reserve

This much traversed Reserve forms an important link for the Palm Beach to Bondi Coastal Path. It was previously heavily weed infested such that Warringah Council found it difficult to maintain. In 1996 it was, by default, named Undercliffe Reserve, but should have been named after the woman, Irene Crump, who did her utmost to successfully save it from a developer’s grasp.  Council was of a mind then to name the Reserve after Mrs Crump, who, in the 1970’s, stood in front of tractors that were attempting to clear the site.

Council applied to the Geographical Names Board who refused saying that Crump was still very much alive and it was not its policy to name sites after living persons.  Mrs Crump died in 2011 and now Council is seeking to rectify the situation by formally naming this important Reserve, Irene Crump Reserve.

An enthusiastic group of volunteers under the auspices of the Friends of Freshwater has been labouring for extended hours in bringing the Reserve back to pristine health. It has found hidden waterfalls, created frog ponds and even a fairy garden for children.



Artist image of the new Wuruna Installation

The Lookout at the northern headland of Freshwater Beach, which for long has been a prominent vantage point for whale watching and ocean maritime activities is in need of a name.


Wuruna Installation Site at Headland

Council is currently in the process of installing a major sculptural piece on the Headland as well as natural bush landscaping.   This Sculpture will be known as WURUNA which is an Indigenous word for smouldering fire. When Cook was moving along the eastern seaboard in 1770 his crew recorded a whole series of smouldering fires on headlands. Little did they know that these were indigenous signalling and communication tools.


Given this contextual history, the Friends of Freshwater favours the naming of this Lookout, WURUNA POINT.  It will be within the current McKillop Park which we think would also be more appropriately called RAMSAY MCKILLOP PARK after the former Mayor of Warringah, Councillor Ramsay McKillop who died in office in 1926.  Too often it is often thought that it is named after Saint Mary MacKillop.  Council has advised that it will be erecting signage to explain Ramsay McKillop’s contribution to our community. Friends of Freshwater will continue to pursue a proper name change.




Courtesy of a grant from the Community Building Partnership Program via the Member for Manly’s Office, another ten Freshwater heroes have been commemorated as a result of their WW1 service.  Their bronze plaques have been installed in the footpath besides the imposing Queensland Brush Box Trees that frame the Avenue of Honour. This is part of an ongoing program to refurbish the Avenue of Honour with modern commemoration of these individuals sacrifice and service.

In 2023, six new plaques have been added to the avenue of honour with the support of a grant from the same source.


ANZAC DAY REMEMBERENCE 2023 – Harbord Diggers 

This years remberance held at The Harbord Diggers club – Lumbsdaine Drive was a memorable event and covered in more detail on our Facebook page

Master plan progress


We are disappointed that there has been no progress on the Freshwater Masterplan this year although it is possible that the lower playground will be enhanced over winter.  It is unfortunate that the pressing need for new toilets and change rooms continues to be delayed.  The Masterplan Community Consultation which closed some months ago has not led to any further announcements from the Council about proposed implementation.  We continue to hope for progress for this much needed face-lift for the Freshwater Reserve.



Queensland Tree Waratah

This Queensland Tree Waratah (Alloxylon flammeum) was planted in Jacka Park on 24 March 2023, by Zali Steggall OAM MP, Federal Member for Warringah, and unveiled by the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, on 14 April 2023, to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of the late Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

We look forward to the tree flowering in spring.

Flowering Waratah in Spring




Pilu – DA for approval of existing structure for events

Pilu Article

How does a simple consolidation plan upset a neighbour and become newsworthy in the Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald?

SMH articles

Nothing new, no changes to operating hours, no changes to use, no changes to existing structures and use, no further development, no impact on heritage issues, capacity, noise or existing parking – Simply nothing to see here!

Pilu Restaurant site

Pilu Site

The development application lodged with NB Council is purely to consolidate 2 existing long standing and APPROVED Applications, thereby formalising the existing restaurant and marque under a single consent.

The main submission opposing this DA is misleading in that it attempts to characterise the DA as being for a new development of standalone ‘function centre’ and that the development represents a ‘significant intensification of the use of the site’.

This is simply not true, the existing marque is not a ‘function centre’. The marque cannot operate independently of the restaurant, the marque does not have cooking facilities, bathrooms or other amenities.

Given the high regard Pilu is held in we were heartened to see the many supportive submissions from local residents, including residents who live close to Pilu, but dismayed to read the few submissions opposing (some from persons who list their address as being 1 hour drive  from Freshwater!!) All submissions can be viewed here:


The actual Freshwater residents, including two who live directly behind Pilu, are wholeheartedly in support  of the DA.