“The Duke” Newsletter September 2019


THE “DUKE”

September 2019

Friends of Freshwater
Community News
Volume 17 ,2019 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

 

WHATS HAPPENING IN FRESHWATER VILLAGE

For many residents, the amenities provided by a Village represent a second home (or a third one, if you go to work).

Freshwater Village is clearly going through a transitional phase as two, major, main street, residential/commercial developments are completed. This has taken the best part of seven years and has been very disruptive to local businesses.  When the Harbord Growers closed in 2013 and subsequently moved to Balgowlah, it left a major void in the Village which has yet to be finally filled.  It primarily supplied fresh fruit and vegetables directly from Flemington Markets, and not from a western Sydney cold store as other supermarket chains do.

Many in our community fought against an enormous 2012 residential development which would have dwarfed the Village. Out of that came a Village Master Plan which prescribed height controls, setbacks, underground parking and laneway closures.  These planning controls remain in operation, even with the Council amalgamation, and all recent construction has had to abide by these provisions.

The current state of the Village in terms of shop closures and lack of services is in part due to the lack of a Village anchor tenant, as well as capricious landlord behaviour.  This should have been resolved in October 2017 when the 1200sq retail supermarket space was completed, but it has been mired in litigation and liquidation proceedings ever since. We understand that this will be resolved soon and a suitable supermarket will be operating by year end.

We are also stuck with a small number of village landlords, a few of whom are not very community-minded. This is not going to change. One landlord with extensive holdings has, for a number of years, been tolerant of empty shops or shops with short term pop-up enterprises. This emptiness and constant departures is disconcerting for the community who would want to live in a vibrant village with active pedestrian traffic.

This landlord currently has an approved DA for demolition and construction of  his mainstream properties ( unlikely to be built), and also has recently listed them for sale ( now withdrawn from sale). In a confounding manner, he is now repairing and remediating individual premises and residential holdings above.

According to a recent Manly Daily article of 28 September, he is now proposing a New York Style delicatessen as well as Italian,Chinese and steakhouse restaurants. Of course all of these require considerable expenditure on outfitting with grease traps and fume extraction systems. Those with long memories will instantly recall that his properties have previously housed a Chinese restaurant; the Bronzed Onion; Stowaway Bar; a quality butcher shop and a Vietnamese Baker. These proposals represent a ” back to the future” approach, and for these initiatives to be successful, tenants will need to have security of a 5/5 leasehold ,fair rents, leases without demolition clauses, and support for the permanent fit outs.

GREEN SHOOTS EMERGING
There are some green shoots emerging:-
  1. A new tenant, SKYWOOD, is about to open as a bouldering centre in the former IGA site in Freshwater Village. It is currently spending < $1m on a fit out. It will be interesting to note the impact that its clientele will have on the Village.
  2. A small outdoor fresh fruit and vegetable market commenced on Sunday 25 August on green space adjacent to the Aboriginal Heritage Centre. It is being run by a local operator called Tim The Organic Scarecrow. It had been operating on a trial basis but has now been given an extended go-ahead by Council. Its quality produce has been well-received by the community. Other stalls on the site have been offering organic and eco-sensitive products that do not compete with offerings by nearby retailers.
  3. Wilson Car Parking has departed, along with its big end-of-town, automated, car park fees. The 58 car spots are now currently available for free for those wanting to shop or do other things in the village. The only downside is that the customer lift is not working, and when it does, it will emerge into a supermarket.
  4. The “Oceans” Development on the northern side of Lawrence Street is progressing well and its shops have been sold to local businesses. This will be ground floor retail with two upper floors of residential accommodation extending back to the Oliver Street Car Park. It is due to open in 2020. With some luck and a bunch of background work there may be a change from their car park access in Lawrence Street to the back of the building via the carpark on Oliver St, we will know soon.
  5. The old Freshwater Bakehouse site is going through an extensive renovation now and will soon be an exciting new food related venue to be advised by the new tenant.
  6. Our Albert Street Servo is being upgraded and renovated.
UNSAFE AWNINGS

Council inspections have led to awnings on Village buildings being in need of repair or removal.  The Awning on the Robinsons building at the western end of Lawrence Street was recently removed without the guarantee that it will be replaced. The concrete awnings on the properties extending from Dowling Street appear to have extensive spalling from exposure to salt air and water. This spalling has the capacity to cause a serious hazard and they are currently temporarily propped.
A LITTLE BIT OF FRESHIE IN ‘DOWNTON ABBEY’.
The current cinema version of “Downton Abbey” is a reminder of Freshwater’s association with ‘Highclere Castle’, the setting for the film and the television series.
One of the pioneering contributors to the establishment of Freshwater, as we know it today, was the horticulturist,Charles Holloway. His guiding hand can be seen in the establishment of Harbord Public School, the Harbord Literary Institute and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour (for which he donated the distinctive Bush Box Trees) and the Tramway which found its way to Freshwater.
Holloway had emigrated from England to Australia in 1881 and married Henrietta Fells in 1883 Sydney. He was a horticulturist, being apprenticed at 14 as gardener at Highclere Castle, which was the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon.  Highclere’s famous 1,000 acre park had been designed by renowned landscaper, Capability Brown.
(see photo from Old postcard C 1900 of Highclere found in Holloway family papers)
In Freshwater he set up a nursery business bordering Jacka Park and Eric Street, drawing its water from the nearby Freshwater Creek.This was very successful and later, with his sons, he would develop a bulb production business on land that is now the site of the Harbord Bowling Club. At one point this business was the biggest of its kind in Australia. Holloway Place, Curl Curl, is named after him.
Young Charles Holloway had a pretty impressive resume as a gardener before he arrived in Australia.  At one point he also worked on the estate of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
WHAT WILL BE THE FUTURE OF WAVES YOUTH CENTRE?
With the recent opening of the impressive new gymnasium within the revamped Harbord Diggers Club and the opening of the new swimming complex on October 9,
the Waves Youth Centre is currently dormant.
This Centre was a gift to the youth of our community from those our community who established this iconic Club. Legendary Harbord individuals such as Harry Knox, Mackie Campbell and Bill Messenger were closely involved in its establishment in 1986.When Mounties took over the Harbord Diggers Club, it quickly purchased additional assets such as the Youth Club site and the Sussex Inlet holiday facility for relatively token amounts. The Diggers Club was heavily indebted and did not have much bargaining power, whereas the Mt. Pritchard based Mounties was cash rich. Later, when acquired,Mounties Group moved these assets to non-core so that they could be dealt with in a way that did not require the full membership to vote on their future. This is the current situation and our community is rightly concerned as to the future of Waves, given that we have a tide of young people looking for outlets in a community which, other than Brookvale, has the least amount of green space on the northern beaches.
We need to be vigilant on actions taken by Mounties in respect of this site.
ONE OF OUR LAST SERVOS IS BEING UPGRADED
A servo which has been serving our community for near a century of motoring, is now being upgraded to meet the quickly advancing technology of motor vehicles. On the corner of Soldiers Avenue and Albert Street, it is a well located site and has seen many proprietors including the famous McPhee family that launched a national transport company from this site. Current proprietor, Keith Tucker, in renovating the site has found an old sewerage line running underneath as well as a large concrete plug designed to support a heavy vehicle hoist. The site should be fully operational again in the new year.
PUBLIC TOILETS IN A POOR STATE
Pity the people that need to go to a toilet in Freshwater, as it is a problematic experience. In Freshwater Village there is only one public toilet and it was built in the 1930’s and then only to serve the firemen from the nearby Fire Station. It has no hygienic facilities for men and is largely outdoors. For women it is little better but it does have hand washing facilities.
Private toilets in the Village often require a key from the local business.
In the southern Lawrence St., properties, the toilets are below standard and have not been upgraded for decades. the one exception is Little Collins Cafe which has a more than acceptable toilet facility.
At Jacka Park there is no toilet amenity but after lobbying by Friends of Freshwater this is about to change.
Likewise at Freshwater Beach the toilets located in the Surf Club which are often unsavoury, are to be renewed as part of the Beach Reserves Master Plan. They will be relocated to the southwestern edge of the Club. With as many as 10,000 people at the beach in the height of summer it is important that toilet facilities be of a high standard.
RV’S CAUSE A PROBLEM IN BEACH RESERVES
Freshwater attracts a significant passing traffic of surfers in RV’s as they move around the coastline of Australia. Unfortunately it is not well suited to this nomadic lifestyle given the fact that its amenities close at sundown and are not reopened until sunrise. Where to ablate in the intervening period. Sadly it is in the dunes or in the reserve. This is clearly unacceptable and recently Council has erected 12P traffic sites to encourage RV’s to move on promptly.

“The Duke” Newsletter June 2019


THE “DUKE”

June 2019

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

SUPERMARKET SAGA CONTINUES INDEFINITELY

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.

FORMER IGA SITE LIKELY TO BE A BOULDERING CENTRE

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.

BUSH TUCKA ON THE MENU


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.

FOF PRESIDENT ON QUEENS BIRTHDAY HONOURS LIST

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.

IS THIS THE SMALLEST BUILDING BLOCK IN FRESHWATER?

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.

FURTHER PHANTOM CARVINGS HIGHLIGHTED?

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.

FINALLY!  PUBLIC TOILETS IN JACKA PARK.


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.

PROGRESS ON SOUTH CURL CURL TO FRESHWATER BEACH COASTAL WALK.

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.

SOLDIERS AVENUE HERITAGE FOOTPATH CONSTRUCTION TO COMMENCE

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.

PROPOSED ROAD CLOSURE AND SALE OF LAND—PART BRIDGE    STREET AND ADJOINING 20 BRIDGE STREET.

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 beaches.nsw.gov.au Submissions close on 28 June next.
PAID PARKING IN THE FRESHWATER COMPLEX WAS A FAILURE.

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 www.freshie.org.au 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.

“The Duke” – May 2019


THE “DUKE”

May 2019Friends of Freshwater
Community News
Volume 14 ,2019 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

THE POWER OF MANY WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS

In a recent edition of the Duke, we called for public submissions to be submitted by members to Northern Beaches Council on the provision of a heritage footpath for the Soldiers Avenue of Honour.
Through social media and email, the Friends of Freshie sought to lift the priority of this foot path from one which would likely never be built to one that would be built in the near future. This would enable the timely installation of plaques to commemorate the Centenary of the Avenue of Honour (which was first named by Council in 1919).
Council received 151 submissions from across the northern beaches to its Walking Plan, of which 120 were from Freshwater concerning the heritage footpath in Soldiers Avenue.
The weight of these submissions was such that Council made special provision to commence work immediately.
It has decided to: -Complete the Project by Remembrance Day 11th Nov 2019

  • leave adequate space between the proposed footpath and the kerb to allow for garden beds and trees in the future
  • install some plaques on behalf of the committee. FOF to provide numbers of plaques they have available for install.
  • liaise with FOF once the project is set out onsite to determine the location of plaques to be installed.
  • install concrete blanks in the footpath for future plaque install. Peter to determine number and locations of blanks.
  • carry out repairs to existing footpaths on Soldiers Ave as part of the works

It just goes to show that well-written submissions in large numbers have their own persuasive strength. Many thanks to all those who made submissions. More strength to you.
The overall Walking Plan was approved by Council on 22 April 2019.

THE PHANTOM CARVER IS TERMINALLY ILL

If you look closely, while walking around the coast of the northern beaches, you will observe random rock carvings of animals, aboriginals and even trains.  In Freshwater, on both headlands we have rock carvings along the paths. These are the work of Mick Leslie, also known as the “phantom carver”.  For many decades he has been making his mark on our sandstone outcrops. They are not to everyone’s liking, and some even regard them as environmental vandalism, but they have stood the test of time, and Council is considering including them in its register of public art. Some of his carvings constitute way marking and this is so at Queenscliff Steps where his carving of 1880, at both ends, dates the arrival of this important thoroughfare.

Mr. Leslie, now 92, is terminally ill with cancer and is thought to have not long to live. His carvings will live on as a memento.

THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE…. FRESHWATER STILL WITHOUT A SUPERMARKET (Update)

Our community and our village businesses are none the wiser as to when, or if, a supermarket is going to open in Freshwater Village. The brand new 1200 square metres of retail space has been empty since October 2018 leaving our community without a convenient, close, source of fresh fruit and vegetables. Commendably, our local butcher is selling milk and The Captains Shop is selling a limited range of fruit and vegetables, and has plugged the gap left by the closure of our news agency.
The lack of an anchor tenant in this retail space has also had a debilitating impact on village businesses, some of which are now closing their doors and departing.
“Berties” and “Blaek” on the southern side of Lawrence Street have left for sites in Manly obviously hoping for greater pedestrian traffic.
Already there are empty shops and likely to be more. Their emptiness is compounded by the fact that one particular landlord is seeking rents well above what the tenants have the capacity to pay. A solid dose of realism is needed.

A Super IGA for Freshwater?
There has been no significant work on the Super IGA since we last reported. It is still likely that the eventual, probable, anchor tenant of the Retail space in the “Freshwater” complex is the Karellas Group, who are associated with the IGA/Metcash for basic grocery items, but operate under the Supa mart brand for other supplies.
If the experience from its other 6 sites (Cremorne; Rose Bay; Pyrmont, Pennant Hills; Blaxland and Rozelle) is anything to go by, it probably will attempt to offer a one-stop shopping experience focussing on fresh local produce. The Group is fast growing, after its successful initial foray into supermarket operation at its Cremorne site. It has converted the old Festival Records site in Pyrmont to a supermarket as well as the former Tram sheds factory building at Harold Park, near Glebe. Its MD, Vas Karellas is 42 and his brother, Andrew, is 40 and both are closely involved with every stage of the business.
Their arrival in Freshwater cannot come soon enough although latest mail suggests an April start.

INDOOR BOULDERING CENTRE PROPOSED FOR FORMER IGA SITE

A DA has been lodged BY SKYWOOD CLIMBING with Northern Beaches Council for an indoor bouldering facility with potential to accommodate 100-150 persons.
This former retail space still has refrigeration and a loading dock suitable for a large fruit and vegetable outlet.
During the public submission phase Council received mostly adverse submissions citing noise, traffic and closeness to residential properties.
Given that there will be no change to the building structure with only interior modifications including toilet and showering facilities, it is likely that the DA will be approved.
Bouldering, like its close cousin, Rock Climbing is a fast growing sport and has been recently included in the Olympics. It is not rock climbing as most of the activity is horizontal movement only. This means that the various climbing challenges do not require height. It is a sport for adults and young adults and attracts senior school participants.
Of note is the fact that rocks at the northern end of Freshie beach have been used for bouldering for a long time.
One of Skywood’s prime movers is Yossi Sundakov-Krumis who has been selected as a member of the Australian Climbing Team.
Approval of the DA will involve a change in building use to Recreational Centre, Indoor.
It is clear that this Centre will place additional pressure on parking in the Village plaza as participants are likely to seek parking for hours rather than minutes, as was the case with the previous supermarket.

5 PAVILION STREET APARTMENT COMPLEX

From Freshwater’s uninhabitable, ugly duckling, to an impressive apartment complex, the transformation of 5 Pavilion Street has been remarkable.  With its apartments recently selling for $5m and $6m, others appear to agree.
Friends of Freshie previously agreed with the approval of this apartment complex subject to a geotechnical survey, when it came up for consideration in the Land and Environment Court.

FARMERS’ MARKET INITIATIVE (update)
We reported in the last edition that Council has sought tenders for a fruit and vegetable market to be held each Sunday in the Oliver Street Car park. These closed on 28 February.
We have been advised by Northern Beaches Council that Cambridge Markets was the successful tenderer. It will commence on a weekly basis from Sunday 19 May offering a range of fresh fruit and vegetables.

HAVE YOU HEARD OF GEOCACHING?
Geocaching is a real world outdoor treasure hunt that has a number of sites in Freshwater. It enables the exploration of interesting locations using GPS receivers. Each player has a personal code and, upon location of the cache, is required to record the date and time of location. If the cache is in the form of a gift, the participant has to replace it with equivalent or better gift.
This worldwide activity is an innovative way of learning about the nooks and crannies of our neighbourhood.

RESCUING FRESHWATER BEACH’S SOUTHERN HEADLAND

Come and join a keen group of Freshwater volunteers that has been patiently removing a major infestation of weeds that had threatened to takeover Freshwater Beach’s southern headland.
Over the last few years these Friends of Freshwater members have removed tonnes of noxious weeds and replaced them with native species.
This is very satisfying “work” and the “workplace” views are unbeatable.

Now that the cover of poisonous phoenix palms, lantana, madeira vine, morning glory and Crofton weed has been removed, surfers can now clearly see the shape of waves from vantage points around Queenscliff Steps.
The pathways through Undercliffe Reserve on this headland are an integral part of the NSW Coastal Path and are used by many international visitors.
Come and join with us in this vegetation rescue.
We meet at Queenscliff Steps in Freshwater on alternative Thursdays and our next session is on Thursday, 9thMay at 1pm for two hours. For more details, contact harlquin@gmail.com

PHASING OUT THE FRESHWATER CLASS FERRIES FROM THE QUAY TO MANLY RUN.


There was widespread community concern at the prospect that the Freshwater Class Manly Ferries might be scrapped.  These have been plying the Harbour since 1982 and have provided yeoman service to our northern beaches community and to international visitors.
These ferries have an indelible association with Freshwater. Not only is one of the class so named, but the Member for Manly at the time the ferries were constructed at the Newcastle State Dockyards and then put into service, was Alan Stewart who still lives in our community. His explanatory words on the history of Freshwater are located on a plaque that is affixed amidships on the Freshwater Ferry. (See photo attached). It is worth a read if you get a chance.  Subsequent Members for Manly including our recently re-elected Member, James Griffin, have also been strong supporters of the Ferry Class and its renowned ability to ferry large numbers of passengers to and from Manly Wharf.
These double ended ferries were built to last and the hull life can be extended into the future.

ABORIGINAL HERITAGE OFFICE OPENS IN FRESHWATER

Did you know there are over 1000 sites of Indigenous culture and heritage on your doorstep in northern Sydney?
The Aboriginal Heritage Office, now based in Freshwater, proudly display a vast array of local cultural artefacts in their education and museum space. The new facility also boasts an outdoor space for school and community education sessions.
Their collection ranges from Aboriginal shellfish hooks through to wooden artefacts, some of which are dated back thousands of years prior to colonisation.
AHO Manager David Watts said the Office provides support to Council and the community when it comes to the protection and management of more than 1000 Aboriginal archaeological heritage sites. They also deliver important education programs to students.
“Delivering these services had become a major challenge in our (previous) cramped office space at Manly,” Mr Watts said. “We are delighted to now have the space to better service the community and raise awareness about Aboriginal culture and issues.”
Northern Beaches Council Mayor Michael Regan said he was pleased Council was in a position to support the AHO in finding an appropriate home, better suited to its needs.
“The AHO plays a vital role in helping develop a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture among school children and the broader community. We are very proud of our involvement with such an important community service.”
The Aboriginal Heritage Office, now in its 20th year, is a joint initiative involving Northern Beaches and five other councils: Lane Cove, North Sydney, Willoughby, Ku-ring-gai and Strathfield.
The new office space location is 29 Lawrence Street in Freshwater and is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 4pm.
Personal tours can be arranged online: http://www.aboriginalheritage.org/contact/contactform/

JOIN the Friends of Freshwater for 2019.
If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership for 2019, then hop on line to our website at www.freshie.org.au for easy subscription.
In 2019 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.

“THE DUKE “ Newsletter December 2018

FRESHWATER VILLAGE STILL WITHOUT A SUPERMARKET OVER SUMMER.

The ongoing saga of a new Supermarket for Freshwater Village continues, with the expansive retail space at 22-26 Albert Street remaining empty for the foreseeable future.  Neither the developer, Chris Rose, nor the lessee, Karellas Group, is commenting and rumours abound. In an attempt to get accurate information, Friends of Freshie wrote to the Managing Director of the Karellas Group, Vasili Karellas seeking a date for commencement of trade. As yet, no response.

WHO IS THE KARELLAS GROUP?

The probable, anchor tenant of the Retail space in the “Freshwater”complex is likely to be the Karellas Group, who are associated with the IGA/Metcash for basic grocery items, but operate under the Supamart brand for other supplies. 

If the experience from its other 6 sites (Cremorne; Rose Bay; Pyrmont, Pennant Hills; Blaxland and Rozelle) is anything to go by, it probably will attempt to offer a one-stop shopping experience focussing on fresh local produce. The Group is fast growing, after its successful initial foray into supermarket operation at its Cremorne site. It has converted the old Festival Records site in Pyrmont to a supermarket as well as the former Tram sheds factory building at Harold Park, near Glebe. Its MD, Vas Karellas is 42 and his brother, Andrew, is 40 and both are closely involved with every stage of the business.

Their arrival in Freshwater cannot come soon enough although latest mail suggests a March/ April start.

FARMERSMARKET INITIATIVE

Due to the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables for the near future in the Village, Friends of Freshie surveyed the community with a Facebook site Poll to determine interest in a regular fresh fruit and vegetable market at a site near or in the Village.

The response was heartening with 2500 views of the poll and nearly 1,000 engagements. The following was the voting response: –

Would you like to
see a Farmers
market in Freshwater Village?
Yes

278 votes 94.6 %
  No 16 votes 5.4%
If you had a choice
between a Farmers market or
parking spaces on a Saturday/Sunday,
which one would
you choose?
Farmers market 258 votes 87.8%
  Parking spaces 36 votes 12.2 %

 

Based on this response we have written to Northern Beaches Council seeking its support for the Market in 2019. We are aware that the highly successful Frenchs Forest Markets will soon be looking for a new site as their current one is about to be demolished. An opportunity arises.

PAID PARKING IN FRESHWATER IS A WORRYING DEVELOPMENT.

The arrival of a big end of town parking operator, Wilson Parking, into the Freshwatercomplex at 22 Albert Street, is a concerning development. This is so, because 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 sets a worrying precedence given 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 will cost $6.00 for the second hour, $11 for the third and $18 for the fourth. It is also a cashless payment system. 

In no other nearby shopping centre is there such an impost provision.

At the time of writing, not one car was parked in the car park even though it has been open for more than two weeks. 

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. If people boycott it, it will have 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 will have an obvious negative impact. It will undoubtedly force avoidance of this car park, and into nearby streets.   It could also force other Village privately run car parks into per hour charging.

Our community wants to encourage people to come to Freshwater Village, not deter them. 

The newly established Body Corporate of the Freshwaterclearly did not give any thoughtful consideration to the negative impacts of this anti-community initiative.

ZAKOS VILLAGE PROPERTIES NO LONGER FOR SALE

Five commercial and residential holdings in Lawrence Street, Freshwater, extending from the arcade through to Dowling Street were put up for sale by the owner, for $30m.  These properties are the largest single land holding in the Village and have been owned by the Zakos family for many decades. Expressions of Interest closed on November 14 and the suits+ clipboards were all over the Village at the time.

Apparently they are no longer for sale.

The Friends of Freshie is concerned that many of the shops are now empty with no apparent urgency to be filled. This includes 4 shops in the Arcade. Advertising signage atop the premises is also outdated and needs to be removed. Likewise, toilets are in need of upgrading and fire protection systems brought up to modern day standards

OF CREPES, GELATO, BREAD AND SUSHI

Soon to open in Freshwater Village are shops catering for a wider culinary taste. The former pharmacy site in the Plaza will open as a creperie and a gelateria. We see the return of Bakers Delight to the place near where it previously existed and the arrival of Teru Sushi (a sushi train restaurant) run by Hiro’s restaurant owner Francis Kim).

These are all welcome arrivals.

Harbord Literary Institute turned 100.

It is one of the last of its kind still standing and still serving its community during the day as a community kindergarten and library, and at night as a meeting place and activities centre. Political parties have held branch meetings there since the 1930’s.

A Centenary Celebration was held on Saturday, December 1, with more than 300 in attendance.  Its history was detailed by speakers including Local Studies Librarian, Michelle Richmond, and former local teacher and historian, Keith Amos.

Everyone recounted the various uses of the Hall for a wide variety of functions. Mayor  Regan also revealed that he had his engagement party there.

In order to recognise the contributions of those now deceased who have contributed their time to the Literary Institute over 100 years, the Freshwater Community Bank has provided a community partnership grant to enable a permanent legacy of those people to be framed and placed on the wall of the meeting room. This represents a small permanent legacy of the Centenary.

PUBLIC MURAL COMPLETED IN FRESHWATER VILLAGE PLAZA

As part of a community development grant gained by Friends of Freshwater Inc. for installation of public art in the Village Plaza, two northern beaches artists, Jaimee Paul and Miguel Gonzalez painted the mural with Freshwater themes across the southern wall in the Plaza. These artists were drawn from a list of community artists compiled by Northern Beaches Council. Another young budding artist, Annika Mulcahy, also has had her work incorporated into the mural complete with her signature.

The mural has been well received and is an attempt to give the Plaza more vitality.

Explanatory signage has also been erected at part of the project.

ARMISTICE DAY CENTENARY PRODUCES A LASTING LEGACY FOR FRESHWATER.

Armistice Day 2018 was a major community event held in the Freshwater Anzac Precinct memorials at Jacka Park and Soldiers Avenue of Honour with more than 500 in attendance. Both sites were formally registered in 2016 with the State Government as Community War Memorials. Soldiers Avenue has local heritage listing for both its trees and plaques.

In the wake of the Centenary, Freshwater now has 11 new bronze footpath memorial plaques installed in Soldiers Avenue beside heritage-listed trees, recognising the WW1 service of local soldiers.  Two significant bronze sculptures located in Jacka Park representing WW1 returning soldiers and nurses, as well as a commemorative bench to honour the centenary. This bench is permanently placed at the entrance to the Avenue of Honour, near its Albert St. entrance.

These legacy items were funded by various State and Federal government grants obtained by the Friends of Freshie on behalf of other stakeholder organisations.

OUTSTANDING RESULTS FOR BALLY BOYS.

We are indeed spoilt for excellent secondary schools on the northern beaches. The recent 2018 HSC results again confirmed the emerging academic reputation of Balgowlah Boys Campus.  It is now the most academically successful public comprehensive boys school, based both on its HSC and its Naplan Literacy and Numeracy results. In HSC English results, in particular, the Campus was 7thin the State, ahead of many Selective Schools including Manly Campus. It rose from 96 to 62 in the State overall.

Not surprisingly, parents have also noticed, with 260 boys enrolled for Year 7 in 2019, of which 75 are coming from Harbord Public School alone.

Dux of Bally was All Rounder, Joshua Smith, who also won a Freshwater Community Bank Tertiary Scholarship valued at $5,000. Joshua had previously attended Harbord Public School. His Principal, Paul Sheather, is also a proud Freshie person.

UNDERCLIFFE RESERVE GETS ANOTHER GRANT FOR BUSH REGENERATION

Land Care have provided a further $12,000 for professional work to be undertaken in Undercliffe Reserve. This will complement the volunteer work being done by Friends of Freshwater. If you would like to join with us on alternative Thursdays, then get in touch with us via this Facebook site or our website as per below.  You will be most welcome.

JOIN the Friends of Freshwater for 2019.

If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership for 2019, then hop on line to our website at for easy subscription.

In 2019 our projects will be 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 of Honour as part of the Centenary of Anzac commemorations.
  • Closely scrutinising 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; and public toilets and footpaths upgraded
  • Ensuring Freshwater’s fair share of the Council Capital Budget.
  • Revitalise the weed-infested southern headland of Freshwater Beach. With volunteer and professional assistance.
  • Closely scrutinise all significant DA’s.

“The Duke” Newsletter November 2017

FRESHWATER COASTAL OPEN SPACE DRAFT MASTER PLAN RELEASED FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION

At its meeting on 28 November, Northern Beaches Council approved a recommendation to release its Freshwater Coastal Open Space Master Plan for public comment.

This Draft Plan was prepared by Council staff with input from a project team consisting of reps from Freshwater SLSC, Harbord Diggers, Friends of Freshwater and people drawn from the local community. Funding for its implementation is to be drawn from the Amalgamation funding provided by the State Government.

From the perspective of the Friends of Freshwater, this is a once in a generation opportunity to inject some fresh thinking into the workability and amenity of these spaces.

We have been campaigning for a number of years for the missing link of the Coastal Walkway to be completed from South Curl Curl through to Ocean View Road; the two beachside playgrounds to be upgraded; removal of weed infestation in Undercliffe Reserve, and a Management plan for Freshwater View Reserve.  The current Diggers development also provides the opportunity to have a fresh look at the configuration of McKillop Park and surrounding streets.

It is without doubt that Freshwater Beach and the surrounding public open space forms some of the most stunning sections of the Palm Beach to Manly Coastal Walkway. The park area immediately behind the beach has been developed in an ad hoc fashion as land was acquired by Councils over a period of time, and is dominated by car parking. This dominance compromises the ability of this important space to function in a way that best serves the community.  Additionally, access to the beach area and adjacent headland reserves such as McKillop Park and Freshwater View Reserve, is far from ideal.

Maps of the three principal areas under consideration are attached. They extend from Queenscliff to South Curl Curl.

Public submissions are being received by Council on its website and at drop-in sessions that are being held adjacent to the Kooloora Avenue playground this Saturday, 9/12, from 8-11am, and on Wednesday 13/12 from 8am to 11am. Council can also be contacted on 1300 434 434.

Should you have any concerns about aspects of this plan, we urge you to put your thoughts in writing to Council.

Needless to add that Friends of Freshwater will also be making a submission to Council

MAGICAL MOMENTS FROM ARMISTICE DAY CEREMONY

An Armistice Day Ceremony to commemorate those men and women who served in WWI, was held in Jacka Park on the eleventh hour of the 11 November, as it has been done for the best part of a century. More than 400 attended including local dignitaries, defence service personnel and descendants of those who gave service. More importantly, Armistice Day is about recognising the fragility of peace and the impact of war on families. This is as poignant now as it was then.

The lessons of the 5 years of intense war during 1914-1918 still reverberate almost a century later.

In the Freshwater Anzac Precinct of Jacka Park and later in the Soldiers Avenue of Honour there were some magical moments on this day that illustrate the essence of peace and the depth of emotions for forebears long departed.

Pippas Peace Prose

Pippa Ravenscroft is the 2017 School Captain of Harbord Public School and within a few months, a high school student. She spoke of peace in her own crafted prose at the recent Armistice Day Ceremony.

Peace is special. So special, that sometimes we dont notice it, ad take it for granted, as it has always been there. And it hasnt.

But in my lifetime, peace is all I have known.

In Freshwater, my generation has grown up in a community that is safe. We’ve never had to worry about living in fear. When youre not living in fear, you have the freedom to be hopeful about what you can achieve in the future.

Peace is extremely precious and we have to look after it. We wont always agree with one another, but if we treat others how we like to be treated, and look at things from other peoples perspectives, it could help create a more peaceful future.

Future peace lies in our hand and I hope we dont throw our chances away.

I hope that people never have to wake up in fear for the future

I hope for a world where everyone lives in peace and harmony.

MARY SUGGATE AT HER SON, BILLYS TREE.

A cameo theatre-in- education role was conducted at the Suggate Tree on the corner of Soldiers Avenue and Marmora St.  Local Soldiers Avenue resident, Wendy Machon played the role of William “Billy” Suggate’s mother, Mary, who planted the tree in 1925.

Suggate died, aged 19, a century ago, in the battle for Passchendaele, Flanders, Belgium.

As “Mary” explained, Dad and I were never able to visit where our beautiful boy was buried. We shared our grief with dozens of our neighbours. With so many sons and husbands lost, we needed somewhere to grieve. Many towns and villages came up with the idea to plant a special tree for each soldiers memory. Our good friend, Mr. Holloway, donated the trees in this memorial street from his nursery. This is our Billys memorial tree, planted on this corner by Dad and I.

It didnt need to rain; our tears did that.

A century later, Harbord Public School, Deputy Principal, Brian ORourke unveiled a footpath memorial plaque at Billys Corner.

 

CONTAINER RECYCLING SCHEME OFF TO A SLOW START IN FRESHWATER

The State Government has embarked on the roll out the container deposit scheme across the northern beaches. However, there are very few reverse vending machines to cope with the demand and only 16 shops on the northern beaches allocated as collection points.

In Freshwater, only Polar Bar on Harbord Road is so licensed.

Soft drinks, juices, flavoured milks and bottled water have all gone up in price, while a carton of beer has increased by $4 a carton due to the introduction of the scheme. An apparent short term windfall for the bottlers.

Friends of Freshwater is a strong supporter of the Scheme due to the experience of plastics fouling the beach.

 

TREE REMOVAL

The poisoned Norfolk Island Pine in Kooloora Avenue, on which we reported last month, has been removed by Council. This tree had its roots poisoned by someone wishing to gain an unexplained advantage.  It will be replaced by a new pine in this heritage listed stand of trees.

PUBLIC ART PROJECT

We are still seeking further formal feedback on the first of our public art project pods…. the First Peoples Pod.

Many people have sought more information about the Aboriginal Artist who painted the pod façade. Leanne Tobin has worked as an artist for three decades. She is of Darug descent and grew up in Western Sydney. In 2011, Leanne won the Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize for her art work, “Defending Country”. She is currently the Artist in Residence at Blacktown Council’s Art Centre.

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AND ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

In response to a spate of anti-social behaviour at Freshwater beach which has involved under-age drinking, and widespread community concern, Northern Beaches Council and the local area Police Command have resolved to establish an Alcohol Prohibited Area to cover the beach reserves from Undercliffe Road in the south, the public car park adjacent to Freshwater Beach extending to Ocean View Road.  In addition,

An Alcohol Free Zone will be established for Freshwater Village to included public roads, footpaths and carparks within the area from the corner of Oliver and Lawrence Streets through to the junction of Albert St. and Ocean View Road. Police assert that these are needed public space management tools to combat anti-social behaviour associated with excessive consumption of alcohol.

TIM TRUMPER

Freshwater resident, Tim Trumper, has recently been appointed Chairman of the NRMA after being a Board Member since 2014. His Board responsibilities as a Director in that period have included the Northern Beaches, where he has been active in a wide range of motoring issues. He has been vocal on upper age driving limits and has stated that our view is that there is no driver upper age. Its about your driving ability and your awareness of that ability

Tim is closely monitoring new motoring technologies such as the introduction of driverless cars and alternative fuel sources.

HIGH RENTS KEEP SHOPS EMPTY.

One of the downsides of sky-high real estate prices is that the assessed value of property keeps rising, as do rates and taxes.  Landlords have to pay these increased costs and often pass them on to tenants in the form of higher rents.

In Freshwater, a real estate hotspot, commercial rents are inordinately high.  This has led to a number of shops becoming vacant and remaining unfilled for lengthy periods. Something has got to give.

“The Duke” Newsletter October 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 – 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.