Ku-ring-gai Update April 2008
Mayor Comment ............................................ page 3 Dates for your diary ....................................... page 5 Track your DA online ..................................... page 6 Become a fauna friend .................................. page 7 What's On ...................................................... page 8 Good governance key to long term success page 11 From the GM‟s Desk ................................... page 13 In Brief ......................................................... page 16 Guringai Festival workshops ....................... page 20 Sustainability in West Pymble ..................... page 22 Could you be a volunteer............................. page 23 Driving Seminars ......................................... page 24 Library ......................................................... page 26 Art Centre .................................................... page 28 The view from on high ................................. page 30 Eco suppliers wanted for new program ....... page 31 Environmental levy update .......................... page 32
Small grants for community projects ........... page 33 Ku-ring-gai Dog‟s day .................................. page 34 Venus for hire .............................................. page 35 Need help? .................................................. page 35 Alternative formats ...................................... page 36 Ku-ring-gai Council contact details .............. page 36
Welcome to the April issue of Ku-ring-gai Update, providing the latest information on Council‟s activities and issues affecting Ku-ring-gai. Court dates have been set for Council‟s legal action against Planning Minister Frank Sartor over the appointment of a planning panel. The case will be heard in the NSW Land and Environment Court from 22 to 24 April. It‟s in everyone‟s interest that our legal action be tested in Court so the role of the planning panel can be clarified. To keep pace with population growth stemming from new development, Council is purchasing land to ensure we have enough playing fields, parks and nature reserves across Ku-ring-gai. We recently issued an artist‟s impression for a new community park in Dumaresq Street, Gordon. This will be a much needed park for Gordon and follows the purchase of three residential properties last year for $7 million, funded entirely from Section 94 developer contributions.
In March we held a celebration to mark the acquisition of the last remaining privately owned land in the Blue Gum High Forest site at Rosedale Rd, St Ives. The campaign to acquire this land has been a real team effort involving contributions from the community, Council and the Federal Government. Its success has ensured this environmentally valuable site remains intact and protected for future generations to enjoy.
Cr Nick Ebbeck, Mayor
Dates for your diary
Sunday 4 May Bird Watchers‟ Breakfast. 7.30am. Dalrymple Hay Reserve, Pymble.
Sunday 25 May Dogs‟ Day Out. 10am - 3pm. St Ives Showground.
Saturday 7 June Guringai Festival. Bush tucker and Indigenous art workshops. Ku-ring-ai Wildflower Garden.
Tuesday 10 June Parenting Seminar - Coping with Teens. 6.30pm. Gordon Library.
Sunday 15 June Festival on the Green. 10am - 4pm. St Ives Village Green, Memorial Ave.
Track your DA online
Finding out the status of your development application (DA) is just a click away with the launch of Council‟s new online tracking service this month. DA tracking is a free service that gives residents immediate access to the status of their development applications, from start to finish, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Users can search for development applications by property address or application number in this easy to use system, making DA information more accessible than ever before. Other councils who have introduced the system have reported that phone calls for development application assistance have dropped, allowing Council staff to spend more time processing applications. The new system is part of Council‟s wider strategy to continue to slash DA processing times. Council has reduced median DA turnaround times from 138 days in 2003 to just 48 days now. Track your DA online -www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/track
Become a fauna friend
Native animals don‟t just live in theme parks and specially zoned bushland reserves, they can and do live among us in our own backyards when we provide the right conditions. Now Council is making it easy for you to help preserve biodiversity in Ku-ring-gai with a simple home kit. The Fauna Friends Starter Pack holds six young plants chosen for their ability to attract certain local species of either insects, birds, lizards, butterflies or frogs. The plants may provide a food source for fauna, like nectar from flowers, or they may provide a shelter for some species to nest among their root system. They might attract pollinators or small birds which provide a natural pest control service. The Fauna Friends Starter Pack costs $15 and is available from the Ku-ring-gai Nursery at 430 Mona Vale Road, St Ives. Open weekdays from 9am - 3pm. You can also purchase packs at a reduced price for local fundraising events - securing our local plants and animals while funding your favourite cause. See the website for details.
Walks and Talks 2008
See the hidden beauty of Ku-ring-gai‟s bushland in our program of guided bushwalks and environmental talks. Bookings: 9424 0951 or www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/walksandtalks
Sunday 4 May Bird Watchers‟ Breakfast 7.30am - 10am. Cost $15 includes bush tucker breakfast. Walk through Pymble‟s Dalrymple Hay Reserve with local bird expert Andy Burton.
Sunday 28 May Sheldon Forest Walk 10am - 12pm. Free. Walk 2km through Blue Gum High Forest and see Coachwoods along the creek.
Wednesday 4 June Gordon Creek Walk 10am 1pm. 4km with views over scenic Middle Harbour. Free.
Gardening workshops at the Wildflower Garden
31 May: Thyme with Herbs 9am - 12pm. Cost: $15. How to grow herbs in pots, a herb spiral, make pesto and take home a herb vinegar.
25 June: Growing School Gardens Teacher Training A one day workshop for teachers to start an organic food garden at school.
28 June: An Introduction to Organic Vegetable Gardening $30. The basics - design, seeds, compost, soil preparation, planting, pests and irrigation.
26 July: Backyard Chooks for Beginners 9am - 12pm. Cost $15. Bookings: 9424 0353. www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/organic
Good governance key to long term success
Ku-ring-gai Council now has its first internal auditor with the appointment of experienced auditor, Hong Lim, in January 2008. Located within the Office of the Internal Ombudsman, the new position will extend Council‟s commitment to achieving high standards of organisational governance
by independently assessing and enhancing internal controls. With over 24 years experience as an internal and external auditor, Hong Lim has come to Ku-ring-gai from Blue Mountains Council and previously the NSW Audit Office. Hong‟s first task is to develop a comprehensive plan for the review and testing of existing systems, processes, procedures and policies which are considered high-risk or significant. The plan will also include matters of internal controls, governance and probity. Management may also refer urgent matters to the internal auditor for investigation. Hong will play a role in providing ethical advice for Council staff from all levels. He hopes the independence of the position combined with an „open door‟ policy will encourage staff to raise any issues of concern or clarification they might have. Staff within Ku-ring-gai Council‟s Office of the Internal Ombudsman work closely with external bodies such as the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the
NSW Ombudsman and the NSW Department of Local Government.
From the GM’s Desk
Behind the scenes, a number of actions are enhancing our work environment with reforms on many fronts. Major system upgrades At Ku-ring-gai, we use over 30 different pieces of specialist software to manage our diverse range of services. However several key platforms have held back our performance due to overly complex or outdated technology. In 2008, major upgrades will improve our records management and human resources systems, and
Council will get an intranet for the first time, filling a vital gap in our information and communication needs. We are continuing to develop 3D computer modelling software Simmersion for the planning of town centres, and have added over 30,000 sightings of endangered flora and fauna from our Threatened Species Database to our main geographic information system. New Director Strategy Council welcomed a new member to its senior management team in January with the appointment of Andrew Watson as Director Strategy. Andrew has extensive local government and private sector experience in NSW, Western Australia and Tasmania and most recently was the Regional Director for Sydney South West with the NSW Department of Planning. The Strategy department is a relatively recent part of the organisation, created in last year‟s organisational restructure. Walking the talk In February the first meeting of the new Sustainability Reference Group (SRG) was held. This group will help
us to address sustainability issues at an operational level, and includes residents of diverse ages (from 9 - 99 years) and with expansive local expertise and knowledge. The SRG will keep building on research completed last year which has resulted in Ku-ring-gai‟s Draft Sustainability Vision Report, describing community aspirations and priorities for the next 25 years (2008 2033). The report will be on public exhibition in May, and later become the foundation for our next Management Plan. In addition we have set up a Sustainable Reporting Team of staff members to monitor and report on our sustainability actions. Some of the major initiatives underway are: • the replacement of our office lighting systems to reduce energy use • reducing the engine size and fuel type of our fleet cars to reduce carbon emissions by 20 per cent and fuel costs by one third • trialling the use of 100 per cent recycled paper for printing and publications
• segregating concrete and asphalt collected during road and paving works, so that the concrete can be recycled for re-use rather than sent to landfill.
John McKee General Manager
Wahroonga Traffic and Parking Study
A major study into parking and traffic at Wahroonga will be carried out this year, following a successful community forum on the issue last November. Problems include a shortage of car parking and extensive peak hour congestion.
Tennis and Hard-court Refurbishment Program
Council has recently completed repairs and resurfacing works on 13 tennis and netball courts at Canoon Road, South Turramurra. A number of the courts were in poor condition due to severe cracking and damage from tree
roots. The repairs have made a big improvement to the court surfaces and were completed prior to commencement of this year‟s netball season. The works also included the installation of an additional eight seats that were donated by the Ku-ring-gai Netball Association and the construction of an asphalt spectator area adjacent to the Amenities Block.
A Green Corps team of young people joined Council‟s Operations team in October and have been restoring walking tracks and undertaking stone work at Echo Point Park in Roseville, as well as offering valuable assistance with nursery maintenance.
Employment Lands Study
Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai councils, together with the Department of Planning, are working to develop policies that will improve the economic vitality of the region. To meet State Government requirements an additional
13,500 jobs must be provided across Hornsby and Kuring-gai by 2031.
Bicentennial Park project
A $250,000 grant was awarded to Council by the NSW Environmental Trust to complete a major project at Bicentennial Park, West Pymble. The project will involve the installation of a stormwater treatment and harvesting system to irrigate Lofberg Oval and rain gardens to filter stormwater and improve water quality within the catchment. This will greatly improve the condition of Quarry Creek, which has been formally identified as one of Ku-ringgai‟s most degraded waterways.
In an innovative trial project to rid private property of graffiti, Council provided Turramurra Rotary Club with a high pressure water sprayer and a $1,000 grant. The club members have been removing graffiti from key locations such as shopfronts, signs and billboards throughout Turramurra.
A forest for all time
Council has purchased the “missing piece in the jigsaw” of Ku-ring-gai‟s treasured Blue Gum High Forest site at 102 Rosedale Rd, St Ives. The sale of the half hectare piece of land, which was secured late last year after a lengthy negotiation process, means the entire 18-hectare forest site will be kept intact and protected for future generations.
Council‟s entire telephone system was replaced in February and a new tailored supply agreement was entered into for call costs, which has already seen large savings achieved. The main phone number is now 9424 0000 and the main fax number is 9424 0001.
Guringai Festival workshops - Bush Tucker and Indigenous Art
The Guringai Festival is an annual celebration of the uniqueness of Aboriginal culture and heritage, with the theme „Corroboree, Culture, Community‟. Now in its eighth year, the festival is jointly organised by Ku-ring-gai Council and nine other councils across the north shore. Ku-ring-gai will be hosting two indigenous workshops as part of the wider regional program. Bush Tucker Workshop with John Lennis This workshop suitable for adults Saturday 7 June, 10am - 12pm, John Lennis is an Indigenous consultant with Earth Spirit Indigenous Services specialising in bush tucker, interpretive walks and Aboriginal culture. The workshop will be followed by a guided bushwalk in the Wildflower Garden.
Indigenous Art Workshop with Leeanne Hunter Suitable for adults and children 8+ Saturday 7 June, 1pm - 3pm, Leeanne Hunter is a descendant of the Wiradjuri people who has been painting and teaching for twenty years. Her workshop will involve replicating traditional art styles with modern tools to create an artwork that tells a story of experience. Leeanne will discuss cultural respect for art. Where: Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden 420 Mona Vale Rd, St Ives. Cost: Free Bookings essential: 9424 0353 Places are limited so book early.
Sustainability in West Pymble
West Pymble community initiative
A group of residents from West Pymble are driving sustainability projects and planning in their neighbourhood. Initially, activities focused on West Pymble Primary School with the introduction of a „walking bus‟ and a community garden. The group‟s activities have expanded to West Pymble Shopping Centre where shop owners distributed a survey to customers in December and January on how the centre can practice sustainability from many perspectives. This project is being supported by Council‟s Sustainability team and is a model for future suburban-based community-driven planning and projects. West Pymble‟s sustainability activities have now become the subject of a research project for students enrolled in Macquarie University‟s Masters programs in environmental planning. Sustainability Vision Report The Draft Sustainability Vision Report, based on extensive research and community discussions in 2007,
is now complete and expected to be placed on public exhibition in May 2008. An educational DVD has been produced to assist in conveying the community views, visions and future aspirations. If you wish to borrow the DVD for a local screening call Kirsty Davies on 9424 0000.
Could you be a volunteer?
The Ku-ring-gai/ Hornsby Volunteer Service is looking for volunteers to provide assistance to carers and frail elderly people who are living at home. Volunteers perform a much-needed service by: • Visiting people in their homes • Driving people to medical/health appointments • Gardening/lawn mowing • Delivering meals to people in their homes. Volunteers come from diverse backgrounds with a range of experience, enthusiasm, skills and interests. The hours are flexible and ongoing support is provided. If you would like more information about volunteering in Ku-ring-gai please phone the service from Monday to
Wednesday on 9983 1622 or visit www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/volunteering
Senior Driver Refresher Course Enhance your driving skills, learn new road rules and prepare for the Aged Driving Test. Wednesday 14 May, 10am - 12pm at Turramurra Seniors Centre, 1 Gilroy Road, Turramurra. Cost: $5 includes morning tea. Bookings essential: 9424 0000.
Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers Get the right skills you need to teach learner drivers to stay safe on our roads at this free two hour workshop. Organised by Ku-ring-gai Council and the RTA, the workshop will be held on Tuesday 20 May, 6.30pm 8.30pm at Ku-ring-gai Council Chambers. Topics covered: • Planning a driving session • How to complete the Learner Driver Log Book • Importance of giving the learner constructive feedback
• How to deal with difficulties that may arise during driving practice. Bookings essential, limited seats: 9424 0798
Getting the balance right for busy parents Ku-ring-gai Library and Family Education Australia will present a parenting seminar on the modern day challenge of balancing work and family life, with a special emphasis on the father‟s role.
Explore new ways to deal with conflicting demands in a creative and simple way. Where: Ku-ring-gai Library, 799 Pacific Hwy, Gordon When: 15 May, 7.30pm - 9pm Cost: $5 includes light supper RSVP: 9424 0909
Library and Information Week May 19 - 25 Library and Information Week is a national event highlighting the tremendous contribution libraries make to educating, informing and entertaining all Australians. To celebrate, Lindfield Library will host author Jane Mundy who will speak about her book Cholas in bowlers. Where: Lindfield Library, 265 Pacific Highway, Lindfield When: 22 May, 1.30pm Cost: Free - places limited RSVP: 9424 0426
Free online tutoring School students from Years 4 -12 can access free and instant tutoring services in
Maths, English, Science and study skills from their library or home, using our free online tutoring service, Your Tutor. www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/tutor
Storytime at the library Children aged 0 - 6 are invited to the free storytime sessions at our library branches during school terms. St Ives: Wed 10.30am Turramurra: Wed 10.30am Gordon: Thurs 10.30am Lindfield: Thurs 10.30am
Art classes Ku-ring-gai Art Centre in Roseville has a diverse program of exciting classes held in a friendly atmosphere and taught by highly skilled, professional tutors. Classes are designed for beginners to advanced students of all ages and interests. A fantastic range of classes are on offer for term two including visual arts,
creative writing, guitar, glass bead making, felt making and Chinese brush painting and calligraphy. Enrolments now open.
Weekend Workshops Theatrical Hats 24 and 25 May Cost: $150 Guest tutor Christine Yarker, Head Milliner with Opera Australia, will encourage students to take hats away from their functional role to creations that will take centre stage. Suitable for secondary school students and adults.
Photography Jargon Unleashed 14 and 15 June Cost: $150 Are you confused by the jargon in your camera manual? What does depth-of-field, aperture or ISO mean? Gain the confidence to explore the functions of your camera and how to use it to its full potential to reproduce better photos. Contact
Ku-ring-gai Art Centre Bancroft Park, Recreation Avenue, Roseville Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday: 11am - 4.30pm Saturday: 11am - 4pm Phone 9424 0310, email email@example.com or www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/artcentre
The view from on high
An upgrade of aerial scanning data for Council‟s geographical information system has led to groundbreaking spin-off applications - like helping to identify potential endangered plant communities or illegal land clearing on bushland interfaces. The new Airborne Laser Scanning data, also known as LiDAR shows ground contours at half metre intervals and laser point files covering the whole of Ku-ring-gai
showing ground, building and tree canopy levels. Council‟s Strategy and Sustainability teams can now cross-reference the data on canopy height and density with existing information on soil and vegetation to identify likely plant communities. This means the ability to pinpoint individual trees on aerial photos and find out the probability of them belonging to an endangered plant community. The first innovative use of the data has been to identify trees with a high likelihood of being part of the critically endangered Blue Gum High Forest community. Council staff will now verify the data over the coming few months.
EcoSuppliers wanted for new program
Council will soon launch a new program to help Ku-ringgai householders turn a deeper shade of green. The FutureSavers program will involve Council officers visiting your home on request and providing tailored practical advice on how you can live more sustainably. While the program helps residents local businesses are definitely part of the picture.
Ecosupply is the name of a preferred contractor list that Council is establishing as part of the program. The list will help link up residents with local providers of high quality sustainable products and services. More information on the website at: www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/ecosupply
Environmental levy update
The environmental levy raises over $1.8 million a year to help improve our local bushland, waterways and urban environment. It has provided Council with the funds to complete a number of educational and on-the-ground projects including: • Long term bush regeneration at nine sites containing endangered ecological communities. Other sites are being targeted for weed removal including Harry Seidler Reserve in Killara, Seven Little Australians Reserve in Lindfield, and the Bannockburn Oval bushland area in Pymble. • Weeding for bushfire protection at Harry Nipper Hammond Reserve in Pymble, Richmond Park and
Blackbutt Creek in Gordon and Kooloona Crescent in West Pymble. • Construction of the Ku-ring-gai Recreational Fire Trail, which links Grosvenor Road, Wahroonga to Bobbin Head Road, Turramurra, and provides firefighters with vital access to bushland as well as a stunning walking track through scenic terrain for avid bushwalkers. • Stormwater drainage works are being constructed at Windsor Place, St Ives.
Small grants for community projects
Council is seeking applications from residents and community groups for small grants up to $5,000, for community projects that benefit the environment in Kuring-gai. Projects may include stormwater initiatives, native gardens, weed removal and education. For more project ideas or to receive an application form visit www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/smallgrants or contact Mary-Lou Lewis on 9424 0961. Applications close 30 May.
Ku-ring-gai Dog’s Day
It‟s time to get your dog into training as we edge closer to the biggest event on the canine calendar - Ku-ring-gai Dogs‟ Day. Bring your best friend down to St Ives Showground on Sunday 25 May, 10am - 3pm to revel in a hubbub of doggie delights including races, agility courses, obedience testing, training tips, behavioural advice and a pet product expo.
Every dog wins a prize with special awards going to the fastest, slowest, best dressed and best painted dogs. Pack a picnic or purchase a snack from one of the tasty food stalls.
St Ives Showground is located at 450 Mona Vale Road, St Ives. Parking is available inside the showground. Owners are asked to keep their dogs on a lead and pick up after their animals.
Venues for hire
Council has a number of fantastic venues for hire, from beautiful parks and gardens to well-equipped halls and meeting rooms. Perfect for social gatherings, birthday parties, weddings, picnics and community events. More information call 9424 0000 or visit www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/venues
This document contains important information and news. If you do not understand it, please call the Telephone Interpreter Service on 131 450 and ask them to phone
9424 0000 on your behalf to contact Ku-ring-gai Council. Business hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 5pm.
Ku-ring-gai Update is also available in large print, audio and electronic formats. To receive a copy, please visit Council's website or call Customer Service on 9424 0000.
Ku-ring-gai Council Contact Details
818 Pacific Highway, Gordon Locked Bag 1056, Pymble NSW 2073 Opening Hours: 8.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday Telephone: 02 9424 0000 Fax: 02 9424 0001 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.kmc.nsw.gov.au