Message from the Mayor

Published on 01 December 2023

Mayors message 2023 Sam Ngai

Read the update from our Mayor Sam Ngai about what is happening in Ku-ring-gai.

Mayor's message 1 December

It’s been a dramatic week for our Council, with the sudden decision by Transport for NSW to pull grant funding of $9.8 million for the Lindfield Village Hub. Council had been working with development partners in good faith to design the Hub in line with state government requirements, and was hoping to formalise the next step at last week’s Council meeting. But this unexpected decision has forced another delay. I have written to the Premier, the Minister for Transport, the Minister for Planning and the local government association LGNSW to seek their assistance in getting this funding restored. Without it the project can’t proceed in its current form. I’ll keep you updated on any developments.

The Council has been recognised for innovation through two awards this month. Our bushfire simulator which shows residents how a fire could start and spread in the local area won the NSW award for local government in the Resilient Australia Awards. We also won the Planning Institute of Australia 'Great Place' award for excellence for the Lindfield Village Green project. Read more about the awards.

There's just a few days left to donate to the Mayor's Christmas Appeal which we are running on behalf of Lifeline. Your donations of tinned or packaged food and gifts will be made up into Christmas hampers for local residents in need. You can drop off donations at 818 Pacific Highway Gordon or at any Ku-ring-gai library until Monday 4 December. More information on what you can donate here.

16 November

If you've ever had to hunt around for your library card then you'll be happy to hear Ku-ring-gai Library now have an app so you can store your card on your phone. The new app lets you renew, reserve and stream music and films as well as giving you instant access to our huge e-library of resources including daily newspapers. Download the app here or find it on your app store.

The Council is offering 100 community groups free subscriptions worth $125 each to a grant funding portal to help maximise their chances of winning grants. The Funding Centre grant portal contains over 5,000 avenues for community groups and charities to seek funding. It’s an opportunity to increase both your awareness and success rate with grants. Here are more details on how to apply.

Thanks to your generosity the Mayor's Christmas Appeal is receiving welcome donations for Lifeline which will be made up into Christmas hampers for those in need. You can drop off donations of tinned or packaged food or gifts at the Council's customer service centre at 818 Pacific Highway Gordon or at any Ku-ring-gai library until 4 December. More information on what you can donate here.

Congratulations to The Village Chef at Turramurra for winning a statewide award this month. Formerly known as Meals on Wheels, The Village Chef has a delicious wide-ranging menu to suit all tastes and also offers a meals service to community groups on request. Read all about them and their menu options here.

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2 November

Next Saturday 11 November from 10.40am Council and our community will mark Remembrance Day at Roseville Memorial Park. Everyone is welcome to join us for this special service.

A new tennis pavilion has been completed at Gordon Recreation Ground, so people using the courts have somewhere to change before and after their games. At Queen Elizabeth Reserve in Lindfield we're starting work on creating a new off-leash dog exercise area and rehabilitating the sportsfield which was damaged due to a recent lightning strike.

I'm happy to be supporting Lifeline through the Mayor's Christmas Appeal which opens today and runs until 4 December. This year Lifeline are asking for packaged and tinned food items or gifts that can be included in Christmas hampers for those residents doing it tough. You can drop off donations at the Council's customer service centre at 818 Pacific Highway Gordon or at any Ku-ring-gai library. Thank you for your support!

Each year the Council acknowledges the outstanding work of local volunteers and others with the Local Citizen of the Year Awards. These recognise Ku-ring-gai residents who have demonstrated excellent citizenship and a contribution to our community. You can submit an online nomination until 17 December and the awards will be presented on Australia Day in January 2024.

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19 October

Last week I joined other councillors in attending a prayer meeting with the Jewish community, showing our sympathy and support for the horrors they have suffered. My hope is that this conflict can end soon, with no further loss of life to civilians regardless of their nationality.

There are two special events coming up soon. The Twilight Concert at Wahroonga Park is on this Saturday from 5pm, featuring all your favourite tunes from the 1960s to the present. Bring a rug or a chair and settle in for a great night's entertainment. On  Saturday 11 November our community comes together at Roseville Memorial Park from 10.40am to mark Remembrance Day. I hope to see you at the service.

Good news for everyone who enjoyed last year's art installations in Turramurra! We have some grant funding to spend on new artworks there. You may have already see the family of quolls on the corner of Eastern Road and Rohini Street outside Kiplings Garage Bar. Keep an eye out for two more artworks being completed this week.

There are two more Meet the Mayor & Councillor sessions this year. On Sunday 29 October Councillors Cedric Spencer, Kim Wheatley and myself will be at Wahroonga Park between 11am and 1pm if you'd like to come and talk to us. On Sunday 19 November Councillor Alec Taylor and I will be at East Lindfield shops between 9am and 11am to meet Roseville ward residents. Looking forward to having some good conversations with you.

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5 October

Last Saturday was our Sustainable Futures Day which we hosted at St Ives with Hornsby Council. It was great to have residents asking questions, listening to speakers and taking part in fun activities to learn how to live more sustainably. If you missed the event, jump onto our Net Zero website for more info.

While climate change gets the most attention, another aspect of sustainability that we can collectively influence is the amount of waste that we generate. Did you know that Greater Sydney is going to run out of inert landfill capacity by 2028? To reduce our reliance on landfill, the NSW government has stated that they want councils to collect food waste separately by 2030 with the goal of reducing landfill by at least one third.

Last year the Northern Sydney councils including Ku-ring-gai jointly trialled separated food waste collection with 2,400 households. Unfortunately the trial found a high level of contamination in food-only bins, making it expensive or impossible to recycle. There were also issues with smells. It is clear that more community education will be required and we want to work with you to make it a success. You can read more about the trial here.

In 2022 our Council adopted a resolution to provide more support for local businesses to win Council work. I’d like to draw your attention to our procurement panels which are seeking expressions of interest form businesses to be included as preferred suppliers. Also the Council owned Firs Cottage at Roseville is open for leasing as a restaurant or café. Read on below to find out more about these opportunities.

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22 September

This week I was honoured to be elected by Councillors to the position of Mayor, with Cr Christine Kay supporting as Deputy Mayor through to September 2024. We take time to thank Cr Jeff Pettett and Cr Barbara Ward for their service as Mayor and Deputy in the last two years.

As Mayor, my aim is to collaboratively lead the Council and build on relationships with residents and with staff. I also know that each councillor genuinely cares for the community, and I believe that our diverse views will produce the best outcomes if we engage in respectful conversation.

In these 12 months we hope to deliver meaningful changes that improve your quality of life. We have commenced a customer service review which should lead to more efficient and effective responses to your queries. We are also reviewing our internal spend to identify savings which can fund infrastructure and process improvements.

The decisions that we make must benefit current and future generations, and where appropriate it is important to engage residents in the process.

I look forward to seeing you at some of the great events that Council has organised this month. With warmer weather and school holidays, there is no better time to be in Ku-ring-gai.

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Mayor's message 2023 January to July

Mayor's message 2022

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