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					Ku-ring-gai Update

April 2009
Mayor‟s message ................................................. page 3
Go Green with Greenstyle .................................... page 5
Residents have say on aquatic centre .................. page 6
By election ............................................................ page 7
Ku-ring-gai Crafters .............................................. page 7
Enriching our community ...................................... page 8
Rangers target schools ......................................... page 9
Pedestrian safety program ................................. page 11
Appeal to dog owners ......................................... page 12
Levy for new facilities.….………………………….page 13
By-election in Wahroonga ward .......................... page 15
Ku-ring-gai Dogs Day ......................................... page 16
Going wild over native bees ............................... page 17
ESL at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden .......... page 19
Development approvals fast-tracked .................. page 20
Small grants for community projects ................... page 21
Time restrictrictions for air conditioners and pool pumps
      Page 1
........................................................................... page 22
New committee structure .................................... page 23
Festival On the Green ........................................ page 24
Community Garden ............................................ page 25
Youth Summit ..................................................... page 26
Victorian disaster prompts bushfire review ......... page 27
Cutting Council‟s carbon footprint ....................... page 29
Bushfire donation................................................ page 30
Heritage home protected in Court ruling ............. page 31
Aerial act ............................................................ page 33
Federal funds boost ............................................ page 34
An abundance of gems ....................................... page 35
Queen‟s portrait poll ........................................... page 36
Need help? ......................................................... page 36

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Mayor's message
There have been some positive things happening in the lifetime
of the new Council since it was elected last September.
We have bought a building adjacent to our new depot site in
Bridge St, Pymble. This will enlarge the depot site, save money
on accommodation and relieve pressure on our overcrowded
Council Chambers.
We have applied to the State Government for a facilities levy to
fund two key projects: the West Pymble aquatic and leisure
centre and the North Turramurra Recreation Area. If approved
this means we will finally get moving on much needed facilities,
something the current councillors pledged to do when newly
Our governance has been streamlined with the number of
committees cut from 16 to four while retaining community
One of our two monthly council meetings has been replaced by a
meeting which includes briefings and informal discussion but still
makes formal decisions.
A new era of community consultation has seen five successful
ward summits in which community representatives let us know

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about their future needs and expectations. We have also held a
Youth Summit where young people discussed a range of local
Unfortunately, we still have a costly State-Government appointed
Planning Panel. I‟m seeking for it to be wound up as there‟s no
valid reason to continue it, especially considering we are now
one of the State‟s best performing councils in planning and
development matters.
Elaine Malicki, Mayor

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Go green with Greenstyle
Have you always wanted to make your home
environmentally friendly but thought it was too hard, or too
costly? Then Greenstyle is your answer.
Greenstyle is a free program that helps residents live more
sustainably. It starts with a professional home and garden
assessment, followed by expert workshops and advice.
Not only are the services free, you will also save on your
water and energy bills and have access to discounted
services and products.
The free home and garden assessment can be done in one
hour at any time including at night and weekends.
Turramurra resident Jacinda Posen took advantage of
Greenstyle and was impressed with the results.
“The benefits are outstanding. Greenstyle has helped to
reduce my water and energy bills and shown me how to
remove unwanted weeds and create a better habitat for
native animals and plants,” Ms Posen said.
“I‟m installing a range of environmental products and
preparing a „no dig vegetable garden‟ so my children can
enjoy growing our own food.”

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Greenstyle is supported by the NSW Government‟s
Environmental Trust.
For a professional Greenstyle assessment or to find out
more visit www.greenstyle.org.au or call Angus Weingott on
0401 567 759.

Residents have say on aquatic centre
Residents have provided feedback on design options for Ku-
ring-gai‟s new indoor aquatic and leisure centre to be built on
the current outdoor pool site at West Pymble‟s Bicentennial
The project, approved by Council last December, will include
a 25m indoor heated pool, fitness centre, water play areas
for children, improved change rooms, a new café and
refreshment facilities, creche and community meeting room.
The existing 50m outdoor pool, which has recently
undergone a major upgrade, will be retained.
Consultation on the project‟s design has included an
information day last month, comments via Council‟s website
and feedback from pool users. There will be further
opportunities for community input as planning continues.

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The new project means residents wanting to swim in the
colder months will no longer have to travel outside Ku-ring-
In February, Council resolved to apply to the State
Government for a new facilities levy to fund the project along
with the North Turramurra Recreation Area. If approved, the
levy would add around $1 a week to average rates over the
next six years.
See Council‟s website for updates on the project‟s progress.

30 May by-election in Wahroonga Ward
Voting is compulsory for all enrolled voters in Wahroonga
Ward. See story inside for details.

Ku-ring-gai Crafters
Do you love knitting? Would you like to learn to knit or
improve your knitting? Come and meet fellow knitters over a
cup of tea or coffee.
The group meets at Turramurra Library every 2nd Friday (or
3rd Friday if the 2nd is a public holiday) at 10.30am to knit
squares and sew the squares into rugs for Wrap with Love.

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Donations of 8 ply yarn and 25cm knitted squares would be
most welcome.
Contact Turramurra Library for further details on
9424 0480.

Enriching our community
Have you ever thought about becoming a local community
volunteer? Ku-ring-gai has many elderly residents who rely
on volunteer services to stay independent and live in their
own homes.
Volunteering opportunities can fit in with your lifestyle.
Whether you can spare two hours a month or two hours a
week, you can do something really meaningful in the lives of
others in Ku-ring-gai.
For further information please call Alison Grealish at Ku-ring-
gai/Hornsby Volunteer Service on
9983 1622.

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Rangers target schools
Every school in Ku-ring-gai will be visited at least once by
Council rangers in the upcoming school term to check traffic
and parking rules in school zones are being obeyed.
The visits are part of Council‟s school road safety program
which is having great success in improving driver behaviour
near schools.
The highly visible presence of rangers outside schools helps
ensure motorists do the right thing and obey all the road
Rangers are targeting illegal parking by parents dropping off
or picking up their children.
This can be very dangerous when there are so many
children within close proximity.
Large four-wheel drives pose a particular danger as some
models have poor visibility, making it hard for drivers to see
small children at the front or rear of the vehicle.
Council‟s school road safety program also involves the
display of large posters outside schools saying, „No stopping
means no stopping‟.

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This reinforces the message that parents cannot pick up or
drop off their children in „No stopping‟ zones under any
Council also conducts courtesy speed checks near schools,
using radar devices to display speeds of passing vehicles.
This is a helpful reminder to drivers to slow down and obey
the speed limit.
The school road safety program also involves information
packs, brochures and newsletters being distributed to
parents of school students.

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Pedestrian safety program
A pedestrian safety program, running during May in
Turramurra, will urge pedestrians not to get distracted by
mobile phones, personal stereos and other portable
electronic devices.
These devices can reduce pedestrians‟ awareness of traffic
dangers, particularly in busy CBD areas where there are
higher risks of accidents.
The use of devices with headphones can be dangerous
because they prevent pedestrians from hearing car horns
and other warning signals.
The campaign will include advertising in bus shelters, phone
booths and banners in and around Turramurra and North
Turramurra town centres.
It will promote safe road crossing practices with more „look
right‟ and „look left‟ road stencils to encourage pedestrians to
look for cars before they cross the road.
Bus stop advertising will alert pedestrians and motorists
about the risks they face in crossing the road in an unsafe

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Appeal to dog owners
A spate of recent dog attacks has prompted Council to
appeal to dog owners to properly supervise their pets in all
public places.
The NSW Companion Animals Act requires dogs to be on
leashes in all public areas other than off-leash areas, where
they‟re required to be “under effective control” of their
It is an offence for a dog to attack, bite, harass, chase or
rush at any person or animal (other than vermin). It‟s
important to understand there does not need to be an actual
injury to a person or animal for an offence to occur.
The minimum penalty for breaching the dog attack
provisions of the Companion Animals Act is a $550 fine.
Ku-ring-gai has pioneered off-leash areas and now has a
total of 20, more than any other council area in NSW.

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Levy for new facilities
Council will apply to the NSW Government for a new
facilities levy to fund two major projects – the West Pymble
indoor aquatic and leisure centre (see front page story) and
the North Turramurra Recreation Area.
The proposed five per cent levy – which would add around
$1 a week to the average yearly rates bill of $1,000 – would
enable Council to bring both projects to fruition.
The levy would run from 2009/10 for six years and generate
$13.8 million in funds.
Council resolved to seek the levy because there is
insufficient funding from other sources to fund the two
There is strong community demand for both projects. Unlike
most other council areas,
Ku-ring-gai does not have an indoor heated public swimming
pool for year-round swimming, and is faced with a playing
field shortage which is set to worsen as Ku-ring-gai‟s
population grows.
The total cost of the aquatic centre is $12.3 million, while the
recreation area is estimated to cost around $21 million.

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The levy income would provide a portion of the total funding
for both projects, with the remainder coming from other
sources such as Section 94 development contributions.
The North Turramurra Recreation Area will deliver three new
playing fields along with a range of other recreation facilities.
The project will involve a major re-configuration of the
council-owned North Turramurra golf course to make better
use of the land.
Residents will have an opportunity to comment on the levy
proposal when it is formally exhibited as part of Council‟s
2009/10 draft Management Plan.
Feedback on the proposal can also be submitted via
Council‟s website.
All community feedback will be considered as part of
Council‟s final submission on the levy to the Minister for
Local Government, Barbara Perry, who will decide whether
to allow it.

By-election in Wahroonga ward
A by-election to replace former Wahroonga ward councillor
Nick Ebbeck will be held on Saturday 30 May.

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The by-election is to fill the automatic vacancy that resulted
from Mr Ebbeck being declared bankrupt.
Last month Mr Ebbeck indicated he was declared bankrupt
on 9 October last year.
Under the Local Government Act, councillors are
automatically disqualified once they are declared bankrupt.
Voting is compulsory in the by-election for all enrolled voters
in Wahroonga ward.
More information on the by-election is available at

Ku-ring-gai Dogs Day
“So you think your dog‟s got talent” is the theme of the
biggest event on the local canine calendar -
Ku-ring-gai Dogs‟ Day, Sunday 31 May, 10am-3pm at St
Ives Showground.

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An enjoyable family day out, the event includes races, agility
courses, obedience demonstrations and the Kids and K9
Challenge, a chance for children under 12 to display their
dog‟s skills.
There will be races for small dogs, big dogs, slow dogs and
old dogs as well as an award for the best fancy dress dog.
Every dog entered into the competitions will receive a prize.
Dog owners will enjoy a host of stalls from the who‟s who of
the pet world, and be able to seek advice from vets, animal
behavioural specialists and pet nutrition advisers.
You don‟t need to be a dog owner to enjoy the festivities.
Come along for a great day of fun. Pack a picnic or grab a
snack at one of the tasty food stalls.
Entry to the event is free but participants will be encouraged
to give a gold coin donation to Australian Support Dogs,
which trains dogs for people with a disability.

Going wild over native bees
As part of Council‟s WildThings initiative, residents are being
offered the opportunity to have free beehives installed in
their backyards.

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Beehives help improve gardens as bees are great pollinators
of native and exotic plants and this encourages natural plant
More than 100 hives have been installed in local backyards.
There is no effort involved in their care as the bees look after
themselves. The species used in the program, Trigona
carbonaria, does not sting.
Often mistaken for the common fly due to its small dark
appearance, the species is common in Sydney. They live in
hives that can contain up to 10,000 bees.
The bees swarm around the hive entrance on warm days as
they collect pollen and nectar. On cooler days and when it‟s
about to rain, they remain in their hives, making them great
weather forecasters.
Native bee populations are being threatened by land
clearing, illegal gathering of firewood, removal of dead trees
and logs and being mistaken for pests.
Residents interested in joining the program can contact
Peter Clarke on 9424 0811. Due to the popularity of the
program, there is a waiting list for hives.

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ESL at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden
Council‟s Bushland Education staff at the
Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden are offering a new
environmental education program for English as a Second
Language (ESL) groups.
The program is designed to introduce English as a Second
Language classes to our local natural environment with a
guided bushwalk and fauna presentation.

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Participants will learn about some of the native animals they
may encounter in their own backyards and gardens.
The program will also educate participants on how to be
more sustainable in their homes and gardens. It‟s an
excellent way to introduce residents who are new to
Australia or
Ku-ring-gai to the area‟s unique natural environment in a
positive and educational way.
The success of the program has attracted a grant from the
Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority.
The program is being offered at a minimal cost. For
bookings and more information contact the Bushland
Education Office at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden on
9424 0352.

Development approvals fast-tracked
A new state-wide housing code that aims to fast-track
approvals for certain types of small-scale development came
into operation in late February.
The new code applies to lots over 450 square metres where
a new single or two-storey detached house is planned. It
also covers house alterations and additions including
swimming pools.
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These developments can now be approved by councils or
private certifiers in a streamlined process taking around 10
The code also allows 40 types of minor developments
around the home to proceed without planning approval.
Some proposed development is excluded from the code and
still requires assessment through normal council processes.
This includes proposals for undersize lots, heritage
properties, bushfire-prone areas and environmentally
sensitive areas such as those containing Blue Gum High
Councils across NSW have raised concerns that the code
promotes “one size fits all” development standards that
ignore local factors such as Ku-ring-gai‟s many
architecturally significant homes.
There are also concerns that the approval process under the
code denies residents a chance to comment on development
proposed for neighbouring properties.
More information on the code is available at

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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 Ku-ring-
Projects may include stormwater initiatives, native gardens,
weed removal and education.
For more project ideas or to receive an application form,
contact Mary-Lou Lewis on
9424 0961 or www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/smallgrants
Applications close 30 May.

Time restrictions for air conditioners
and pool pumps
Did you know there are time restrictions on when air
conditioners and swimming pool pumps can be run? Noise
from these appliances can disturb neighbours, particularly at
When an air conditioner system is audible inside a
neighbour‟s house, it cannot be used between 10pm and

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7am on weekdays or between 10pm and 8am on weekends
and public holidays.
When a pool pump is audible inside a neighbour‟s house, it
cannot be used between 8pm and 7am on weekdays and
Saturdays, or between 8pm and 8am on Sundays and public
More information on neighbourhood noise issues can be
found at www.environment.nsw.gov.au

New committee structure
Council has adopted a new streamlined committee structure
to improve the efficiency of decision-making processes.
Under the new structure, there is a General Committee
supported by four reference committees involving community
representatives. These will replace the 16 committees
Council had under the previous structure.
The new community committees will have responsibility over
a wider range of issues while retaining input from community
The new structure means one council meeting (of the two
held each month) will be replaced by the new General
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Committee, which will have briefings, less formal discussions
and be able to make binding decisions.

Festival On the Green
Sunday 3 May, 2009
10am - 4pm
At the St Ives Village Green,
Memorial Avenue, St Ives
Call 9424 0000

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Community garden
Council is assessing the viability of establishing a community
garden in
Community gardens are places where people come together
to grow fresh food, learn about the environment and make
new friends.
They are supported by a variety of larger organisations,
including the Australian Community Gardens Network and
Green Thumb.

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Through an online survey, Council has sought the views of
residents interested in creating a local community garden.
These views will now be assessed as research into the
concept continues.

Youth Summit
Around 70 young people took part in Ku-ring-gai‟s first ever
Youth Summit, giving their views on local issues including
the types of services and facilities they want Council to
The summit, held on 2 April as part of Youth Week, was
aimed at improving interaction between Council and young
people, who are under-represented in existing community
consultation processes.
Chaired by the Mayor and Council‟s Youth Services
Coordinator, Jason Guest, the summit featured four key

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topics for discussion: communication, environment, planning
and community.
Participants were asked how Council can better meet the
needs of local young people and their families. They were
also encouraged to continue contributing to the
Ku-ring-gai community in meaningful ways.

Victorian disaster prompts bushfire review
In the wake of the Victorian bushfire disaster, Council is
reviewing all its bushfire policies and operations to determine
possible areas for improvement.
Like all communities in bushfire-prone areas,
Ku-ring-gai has a detailed disaster plan to prepare for all
contingencies and coordinate emergency response
operations for bushfires.
Planning is developed through the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Local
Emergency Management Committee which includes a wide

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range of agencies such as the Rural Fire Service, SES,
NSW Police, RTA, public utilities and local councils.
There is also a local Bushfire Management Committee which
focuses on reducing bushfire threats, mainly by regular
hazard reduction burns.
Both these committees meet several times a year to discuss
procedures and debrief on incidents.
Council has updated its planning policies to restrict or ban
development in bushfire-prone areas, but there are many
cases where such development has been approved by the
NSW Government or the Land and Environment Court.
Council‟s report will cover issues including:
• How well prepared are emergency services and other
agencies for a major bushfire disaster in Ku-ring-gai?
• Could coordination for bushfire response between the
various agencies including Council be further improved?
• How effective are the current measures for controlled
hazard reduction burns?
• What educational material is currently provided to residents
on how to reduce bushfire risks and prepare for a bushfire

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• How well do Council‟s planning policies incorporate
bushfire safety and how could this be further improved? Is
there a need to lobby the State Government for increased
powers to ban or restrict development in bushfire-prone

Cutting Council’s carbon footprint
Work has been completed on a $233,000 project to install
power and water saving devices at 10 Council sites.
The project has involved installation of devices such as
sensor lights that turn on and off when people enter and
leave a room, smart water meters, zip boil heater timers and
automated air conditioning systems.
The work has been done at sites including Council‟s main
administration building, Gordon and Turramurra libraries, St
Ives Community Centre, Council‟s nursery and art centre
and Gordon and North Turramurra golf courses.
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Apart from benefiting the environment by reducing
emissions, this innovative project will help cut Council‟s
power and water bills, saving ratepayers around $40,000 a
Council is also making its fleet of vehicles more
environmentally friendly.
Larger six cylinder vehicles are being replaced with a range
of four cylinder vehicles with various energy efficient fuel
technology including hybrid petrol/electric, diesel, dual fuel
and Liquid Petroleum Gas.
The new mayoral vehicle is a hybrid petrol/electric Toyota
Council is also seeking comment on its draft Climate Change
Policy. This outlines a number of emission reduction targets
and mechanisms to reach these over the next 20 years.

Bushfire donation
Council has resolved to donate $10,000 to the Victorian
bushfire relief effort.
Council staff also organised their own fundraiser, collecting
more than $1,000. There have been generous donations
from right across the Ku-ring-gai community to a wide range
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of appeals including those organised by the Red Cross,
Salvation Army, local service clubs such as Rotary and local
State and Federal MPs.
Council has also resolved to consider providing further
funding from its 2009/10 budget for assisting with rebuilding
efforts for towns worst affected by the Victorian disaster.

Heritage home protected in Court ruling
The heritage qualities of Craignairn - one of Ku-ring-gai‟s
most famous historic homes - will be preserved by a NSW
Land and Environment Court ruling on an appeal against
Council‟s refusal of a proposed
re-development of the property.
The Court has rejected the original proposal but approved a
scaled down version which conserves the heritage
significance of the Burns Rd, Wahroonga property.
Craignairn was built around 1910 and is an excellent
example of the work of architect Howard Joseland.
The original proposal was for a new garage attached to the
home as well as a tennis court, swimming pool, pergola and
extensive internal renovations including an attic bedroom.

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When Council rejected this proposal last year, Craignairn‟s
owner appealed to the Land and Environment Court, which
rejected the garage and made significant changes to other
parts of the development application.
These changes provide greater setbacks, less bulky
development, a better streetscape result and landscaping
works which are more sensitive to Craignairn‟s original
garden setting.
In a separate legal action, the Land and Environment Court
last year upheld Council‟s refusal of a second house within
the grounds of Craignairn, ruling that the dual occupancy
was unsuitable due to its close proximity to the heritage-
listed home.

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Aerial act
The internationally acclaimed aerial performers from Brophy
Productions will be part of the entertainment line-up at 2009
Festival on the Green,
Ku-ring-gai‟s free community celebration at St Ives Village
Green on Sunday 3 May, from 10am to 4pm.
Take the family out for a day of fun, food and entertainment
including live music performances, Kids‟ Zone with a circus
playground, Jitterbugs interactive song and dance show and

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a vast array of stalls, offering everything from arts and crafts
to gourmet foods, jewellery and clothing.
For more information, call 9424 0000 or visit

Federal funds boost
The Federal Government has approved Council‟s bid for
$392,000 to fund a major upgrade of Killara‟s Marian St
Theatre and installation of compost toilets at St Ives
Wildflower Garden.
The grants are part of the Government‟s Regional and Local
Community Infrastructure Program, which aims to boost
spending in local communities.
The Marian St theatre project, which has received $292,000,
will allow public performances to resume at the venue. They
were suspended last year because the theatre was not
licensed as a performing venue.

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The upgrade will ensure the theatre meets all the relevant
criteria including fire safety, occupational health and safety
and disability access standards.
Marian St Theatre is one of Ku-ring-gai‟s local cultural icons
and is well known throughout Sydney as a performance
venue for children‟s theatre.
The Wildflower Garden compost toilets, which have received
$100,000 funding, will replace the current septic systems.
The project is consistent with the garden‟s overall focus on
environmental sustainability.

An abundance of gems
Ku-ring-gai Council‟s International Women‟s Day Luncheon
on Monday 9 March was very well received, with over 70
women gathering to celebrate the „Gems of
There was an array of entertainment including „The Singing
Treatts‟, a colourful women‟s group singing a selection of
cultural songs. Solo artist Lucy Darnley, a student from Ku-
ring-gai Creative Arts High School, performed two beautiful

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The Gems of Ku-ring-gai were individually presented with a
certificate and congratulated for their outstanding
contribution to the community by Mayor Elaine Malicki.

Queen’s portrait poll
A poll of residents has endorsed the portrait of Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II remaining in its current location behind
the Mayor‟s chair in Council‟s Chamber.
Last year Council resolved to consult with residents about a
preferred location within Council to hang the portrait. This
was done through a Poll Question on Council‟s website and
in the last Ku-ring-gai Update.

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Need help?
This document contains important information. If you do not
understand it, please call the Translating and Interpreting
Service on 131 450. Ask them to phone
9424 0000 on your behalf to cotact Ku-ring-gai Council.
Business hours:
Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm

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