Message from the Mayor

Published on 06 October 2022

Mayors-message gum leaves

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

Mayor's message 5 October

I am delighted to announce the opening of the new café at St Ives Showground for coffee, snacks and light meals. The former kiosk has been transformed with a new roof, commercial kitchen and outdoor seating. The café opens next Saturday 8 October for 6 days a week (Tuesday to Sunday) between 8am and 4pm. It’s close to the Showground’s regional playground, high ropes course and weekly fresh produce market.

Ageism Awareness Day is on 7 October and the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is hosting an online forum on the day between 2pm and 2.30pm discussing the experiences of older people and how ageism affects their lives. If you can’t join in a replay link will be uploaded to the Older Persons Advocacy Network website.

The FREE Spring Twilight Concert is returning to Wahroonga Park! The concert will kick off at 5pm with Jellybean Jam covering favourite disco, retro and pop tunes to start the evening followed by the main act Rocket Man v Piano Man where we will relive Elton John and Billy Joel's greatest hits from the 1970s and 80s. Either picnic in the park or buy dinner from the food stalls at the event. 

Mayor Jeff Pettett

21 September

Our popular Spring Flowers Celebration is back again in Kochia Lane Lindfield and Philip Mall West Pymble, with displays of spring flowers in place for six weeks. It’s the fourth year Ku-ring-gai streets have been brightened by the Spring Flowers Celebration. The colourful planters have been painted by clients at the Boonah Creative Arts Centre and children at Cromehurst School. Share your photos on social media using the hashtag #kcspringflowers

We’re also celebrating spring in the Wildflower Garden this weekend with two free open days. Saturday 24 September is discover biodiversity day with reptile encounters, guided walks and talks and insect displays. On Sunday 25 September we are showcasing our many educational programs. Go on a scavenger hunt and meet our rangers as they show you all the activities on offer at the Garden. Find out more on our what’s on calendar.

The Queen's Memorial public holiday is tomorrow Thursday 22 September and as a result many Council services and facilities will not operate. The customer service centre at 818 Pacific Highway Gordon will be closed. Our after-hours call centre is available on 9424 0000 for urgent matters and waste collections will continue as normal. 

9 September

On behalf of Ku-ring-gai Council and our community I would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family as we mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen has been a constant in our lives - and her own life was one of complete devotion to public service. May she rest in peace.

The Ku-ring-gai Sculpture Trail has returned to the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden. The Sculpture Trail artworks are made from recycled materials and you can see over 30 of them along the Garden’s walking trails until Monday 3 October. You can even vote for your favourite artist in the People’s Choice Award.

A final draft design for an expanded Bedes Forest in Stanley Street St Ives is open for comment until Monday 12 September. When built, the new park will be around 8000 square metres and could include a half basketball court, a playground, picnic and BBQ areas and a bike track. Residents have also asked for an area to be set aside for a community garden. Go to our Engagement Hubto view the design and give feedback.

The Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing at UNSW is giving a free talk on healthy brain ageing at the Council Chambers on Monday 19 September at 10am. Dr Katya Numbers, coordinator of the Sydney Memory & Ageing Study, will discuss strategies for risk reduction and delaying the onset of cognitive decline. The talk is just one of the ways we are helping make Ku-ring-gai a dementia friendly community.

Mayor Jeff Pettett

26 August

Our Council is setting the goal of net zero emissions for Ku-ring-gai by the year 2040. To help us achieve that, Councillors approved a draft Net Zero Strategy for public exhibition at the August Council meeting.

The Strategy was developed over the last six months with input from local residents and businesses. There are a range of things we can do, such as buying green and renewable energy, electrification, more sustainable transport and recycling of waste and land rehabilitation. I’d like to encourage you to read the Strategy and see how you can make a difference.

Our inaugural Eco Festival is a great way to learn about living more sustainably. Throughout September we’ll have workshops, demonstrations and other activities giving you practical information that you can apply at home. Click on the link to find out more.

From 3 September to 3 October the Sculpture Trail is back at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden in St Ives. Here you’ll be able to see amazing sculptures made out of recycled materials and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Garden.

My monthly capital works update is on Warrimoo Oval and what we’re doing about footpaths in Ku-ring-gai – you can watch the video here.

Mayor Jeff Pettett 

12 August

Our Council is working closely with other government partners to help small businesses during these challenging times. The Service NSW Business Concierge service is at Council at 828 Pacific Highway Gordon the first Tuesday of the month from 10am to 2pm. The Business Concierge is a free advisory service and anyone with a small business in Ku-ring-gai can come along with no appointment needed.

Along with the City of Ryde Council, we're also inviting home-based business owners to join us for Reconnect on Wednesday 17 August at North Ryde RSL. This free forum will provide insights tailored for home-based businesses including how to access business support and money; upskilling and digital skills and reconnecting with peers, customers and suppliers. There will be question time, lunch and representatives from TAFE NSW Meadowbank, Service NSW, Macquarie Incubator, Macquarie University PACE Program, local business chambers plus staff from the City of Ryde and Ku-ring-gai Council.

I’m also delighted to announce the launch of the Ku-ring-gai Men’s Kitchen on 31 August. The Men's Kitchen is free for older men who’d like to learn how to cook, meet some new friends and have some fun! Come to the Turramurra Seniors Centre from 11am to find out more and have a chat. 

Mayor Jeff Pettett

29 July

Local Government Week is on between 1 and 7 August and to celebrate we have some special events happening!

There’s campfires and nature journaling for kids and adults at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, a Lebanese cooking demonstration at Blair Wark VC Community Centre in Lindfield and library activities such as author talks and story times. The youth music festival Shoreshocked is on Saturday 6 August at the Chatswood Concourse, hosted by us and our neighbouring councils Willoughby, Lane Cove, Mosman, North Sydney and City of Ryde. You can find out more on our what’s on calendar.

Our draft policy on EV chargers is on public exhibition until 12 August. Through this policy we are aiming to increase the number of EV charging stations on public land. Read the policy and give feedback here. Also on exhibition until 15 August is a long-term plan to make St Ives safer for pedestrians and give the centre a more attractive look which will help local businesses. View the plan and make a comment.

I would like to give a shout out to the dozens of kids and parents who have worked with Council staff to design and rebuild Jubes Mountain Bike Park at Wahroonga. Thanks to this teamwork the bike park has some great new tracks – watch the video below for a sneak peek. Bring your bike to the Jubes Open Day this Saturday 30 July and celebrate the opening with a BBQ and competitions.

Mayor Jeff Pettett

15 July

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting some of the great SES volunteers who have been tirelessly cleaning up after the recent bad weather, as well as helping with flood recovery efforts elsewhere in Sydney and NSW.

Over the last 12 months the SES have responded to over 1000 requests for assistance from Ku-ring-gai residents alone – and since 1 July have attended to over 90 calls for help. Problems have ranged from fallen trees through to blocked drains.

Our Council quite simply could not do without the help of these wonderful people. A special mention too for the RFS who have been helping their SES cousins, as well as our police, fire and other emergency services.

Fortunately the weather is improving and this weekend we should be able to get out and enjoy ourselves again! Check out our event calendar for lots of ideas on things to do.

Over the next few months I’m going to be bringing you a video update each month of Council projects happening in Ku-ring-gai. Follow me on Facebook or watch them here and if you have any questions, contact me at mayorpa@krg.nsw.gov.au

Mayor Jeff Pettett

 

1 July

This week I’ve been out and about inspecting some sportsfields in Turramurra that the Council is upgrading.

In spite of the rain delays earlier this year work at Samuel King Oval is progressing well. We’ve completed the detention tank that will hold recycled rainwater for irrigating the Oval. The foundations have also been laid for the new amenities building there.

Over at Comenarra Reserve in Nimbrin Street the new amenities block is complete, except for some landscaping. We’ve also updated the car parking area with spacers and lines so visitors can park with more ease.

Follow me on Facebook for more updates on capital works projects happening elsewhere in Ku-ring-gai.

NAIDOC Week starts on this weekend and we have some great events happening during the school holidays. There’s a free screening of the documentary In My Blood It Runs, which has won many awards for its depiction of a young boy growing up in the Northern Territory and his struggle to hold onto his culture.

There are workshops with indigenous artists at the Ku-ring-gai Art Centre, plus bush skills for kids at the Wildflower Garden. Full details on Council's website.

Mayor Jeff Pettett

17 June

I’ll begin by congratulating a team of young Council staff who recently won the NSW regional final of the Australasian Management Challenge. The Challenge aims to identify emerging leaders in Australian and New Zealand councils. Ku-ring-gai Council will be in good hands if these staff are a benchmark for future managers!

Despite the recent wet weather, work is going well on several upgrades. St Johns Avenue Gordon is taking shape as an outdoor dining destination, thanks to the widening of footpaths and new landscaping. I was pleased to open the new amenities building at Turramurra Memorial Park and several sporting groups are already enjoying the new facilities there. Samuel King Oval is being transformed as well, with a new amenities building , cricket wicket and irrigation system using recycled rainwater. If you’d like to know more about these projects, visit Council's website.

This weekend Ku-ring-gai’s first Arts & Culture Festival kicks off with a month’s worth of performances, music, author talks and exhibitions. The Council is a great supporter of the arts and I’d encourage you to get along to some of the fantastic events on offer. Visit our what’s on calendar to find out more.

3 June

Council is currently consulting with the community about planned upgrades to Lindfield Avenue and Tryon Road. The aim is to make these streetscapes more attractive and pedestrian friendly and build on the success of the Lindfield Village Green.

You can view the plans and make comments on our website or drop-in to our community information session on Saturday 4 June where project staff will be on hand to discuss the plans, answer questions and collect feedback. More information is available on our engagement hub.

Earlier this week I attended a thank you BBQ for Council’s Operations staff for working round the clock in the recent weather disasters. These staff have had to manage the impacts from flooding, storms and high winds, often late at night and on weekends. Tasks included fixing multiple potholes, clearing parks/sportsfields of debris and attending to fallen trees. Our staff have done a great job to ensure public spaces are made safe and cleaned up as quickly as possible. Some of their work is still ongoing so please be patient while they get Ku-ring-gai back to its best!

It’s also been great to hold citizenship ceremonies once again in the Council Chambers. At last week’s ceremony, we welcomed 54 new citizens from 20 countries with assistance from 2nd Gordon Scouts who hadn’t been at a ceremony since April 2020.

Mayor Jeff Pettett 

20 May

There are several key documents currently on public exhibition until 30 May. These are the revised Community Strategic Plan, the longer term plan for Ku-ring-gai for the next 10 years and the Delivery Program, which outlines what the Council wants to achieve for the community in 2022-2023. Also up for your feedback are the proposed fees and charges for the new financial year and the Council budget. Head over to the Your say to read the documents and leave a comment.

At this month’s Council meeting we are going to be reviewing the draft Urban Forest Strategy. In other words, looking seriously at what the Council can do to protect Ku-ring-gai’s tree canopy and keep the local area the way we all know and love. I know that sometimes people get confused over the rules around trees on their property. We are addressing that through providing clearer information on our website and explaining why trees are so important. Check out the video to find out more.

Finally I’m very pleased to see a new farmers market starting at St Ives Showground from 4 June. The market will be on every Saturday between 8am and 2pm – I hope to see you there!

Mayor Jeff Pettett

6 May

Council has various grant programs currently open to support our local community in the area of events and festivals, environmental programs and heritage homes.

Ku-ring-gai's Events and Festivals Sponsorship Program opened on Monday. We're offering sponsorship support to individuals or organisations to stage events that contribute to the vibrancy and experience of Ku-ring-gai and provide a benefit to our local community. Applications close 29 May.

Our Environmental Levy grants are also open and offer a total of $50,000 for environmental and sustainable projects in Ku-ring-gai. The grants for up to $5,000 are a key part of supporting community-based projects in local neighbourhoods and community groups, schools, universities, not-for-profits and individuals are encouraged to apply. Applications close 13 May.

Our final round of grants currently open are for homeowners for heritage property projects that will be carried out in the 2022/23 financial year. The Heritage Home Grant program is to help owners with the upkeep of their properties and preserve the beautiful old buildings that Ku-ring-gai is known for and applications close 31 May.

And to all the mums in Ku-ring-gai, I hope you have a lovely Mother's Day on Sunday.

Mayor Jeff Pettett

22 April

On Monday 25 April I’ll have the honour of representing Council at three ANZAC Day memorial services, starting with the dawn service at Roseville. My Councillor colleagues will also attend other ANZAC Day events being held across Ku-ring-gai.

This is the first time in the last two years that we’ve been able to freely gather together and remember those who did not come home. If you’re interested in finding out about an ANZAC Day event near you, visit Council's website.

The Ku-ring-gai Heritage Festival is happening during April and May, with some great events celebrating Ku-ring-gai’s past. Discover how indigenous Australians use bushland plants for food and medicine on a guided walk at the Wildflower Garden. Or take mum out for afternoon tea on Mother’s Day in the glorious gardens of Eryldene, Gordon’s most famous stately home. Whatever part of our history you’re interested in, there’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy!

A couple of important documents are on public exhibition for your feedback. One is the draft flood study for the Middle Harbour southern catchments area, which includes Roseville, Lindfield and Killara. The study is open for comment until 23 May and we are holding information sessions for those residents who’d like to ask questions. Also on exhibition is the draft design for an upgrade to the north Gordon area, including Merriwa and Ridge Streets and Fitzsimons Lane. The design has been prepared with residents input and you can make a comment until 27 May.

Mayor Jeff Pettett

8 April

A huge thank you to the SES and other volunteers who have worked around the clock again to help residents with flooding issues this week. The unprecedented weather has caused drainage overflows in many areas and Council staff are also working hard to resolve any issues.

If you’re interested in helping Ku-ring-gai’s environment, consider applying for one of our community environmental grants. Up to $5000 is available for projects such as community gardens, native bee hives, weed removal and preserving bushland. Last year we funded nearly 20 projects; find out more and apply. Applications close on 13 May.

During April and May we are hosting the Ku-ring-gai Heritage Festival. This is a great event that showcases some of Ku-ring-gai’s stately homes and the history of our beautiful area. The Festival is on between 18 April and 19 May, details are on Council's website

Finally April is the time many in our community are marking Easter, Passover and Ramadan. I wish you all an enjoyable and safe time with family and friends.

Mayor Jeff Pettett

25 March

Weather permitting, I’ll be officially opening the renovated pavilion at Turramurra Memorial Park this Saturday.

This building had been crying out for an upgrade, with several sports sharing it throughout the year. Thanks to a NSW Government grant, the Council has upgraded the building with new toilets, change rooms and an outdoor area that’s perfect for BBQs and social gatherings.

In April we see the return of Enliven Ku-ring-gai at Lindfield and Turramurra, where we offer free music and entertainment outdoors in the evenings of Friday 1 April and Friday 8 April.

On 1 April between 6pm and 8pm at Lindfield Village Green there’s music from local band the Danni Da Ros Duo and games, a roving magician and face painting for the kids to enjoy. Parking is available at the Green in the underground car park via Milray Street.

On Friday 8 April at the same time the lawn area at 1 Gilroy Street Turramurra will be transformed into an outdoor dining area, with music provided by the Kristen Fletcher Trio. 

Hope you can come along for some free fun and support local restaurants at the same time!

Mayor Jeff Pettett


11 March

The last two weeks have been another test for our residents and staff, dealing with the aftermath of almost constant rain.

I want to thank the SES and other volunteers who’ve jumped into action yet again to help the community recover. I also want to thank Council staff who have worked round the clock dealing with more than 200 requests for help in the last three days. Rest assured we will attend to every request received, while obviously prioritising the most urgent.

Weather permitting, we’re going to be enjoying some more outdoor events in Lindfield and Turramurra in April. This is part of our Enliven series of events, aimed at bringing everyone together for some outdoor entertainment. Grab the picnic rug and a takeaway from a local restaurant and head down to enjoy the entertainment.

For our older residents we have lots happening in this year’s Seniors Festival between 22 March and 9 April. It’s the first time we’ve been able to hold the Festival for more than two years because of COVID and we have over 40 activities planned! Visit Council's website to find out more, or call 9424 0000 to get a festival booklet mailed to you.

Finally as we celebrated International Women’s Day this week, local government still has a way to go with female representation at a Councillor level and I encourage more women to be involved in Council.

Mayor Jeff Pettett

25 February

Following on from opening the Lindfield Village Green last week, this week it was the turn of the new skate park at St Ives, which opened on Monday 21 February. Despite the soggy weather, plenty of young skaters and riders are having a ball trying out their skills at the new park. If you haven’t been down yet, why not take the kids along for a ride or a skate this weekend.

This month the first full Council meeting of 2022 was held. The new Councillors are getting to grips quickly with their responsibilities and we had some good discussions and decisions come out of this meeting. Some of the items covered were Marian Street Theatre, Roseville Bowling club and the distribution of Council grants to community organisations. You can read more about our decisions at Council's website.

This week Ku-ring-gai became one of 24 other NSW councils which have signed a landmark deal to have all our electricity generated by renewable energy sources. This means we will have met our goal of 100% renewable energy generation three years early. Another box ticked on our journey to net zero emissions by 2040!

Mayor Jeff Pettett

27 January

Yesterday we celebrated Australia Day in Ku-ring-gai. It was such a pleasure to be at the Australia Day citizenship ceremony, meeting people face to face and congratulating them on becoming citizens. Over 130 people from 27 countries became citizens and on behalf of the Council, I welcome you all to Ku-ring-gai!

We also presented the winners of the 2022 Local Citizen of the Year with their awards. Congratulations to Easy Care Gardening, Yoel Hyman, Oliver Conolly, Jen Stokes and Helen Jarvis for their outstanding contribution to our community. All these volunteers are passionate about making Ku-ring-gai a better place for our residents; read more about their achievements.

Australia Day celebrations were capped off with free entertainment and a movie at St Ives Showground. I hope you enjoyed the day as much as I did!

Mayor Jeff Pettett

13 January

Happy New Year and welcome to our first enews for 2022!

I’m very pleased to be elected Mayor for the next two years, along with my colleague Barbara Ward who will be Deputy Mayor.

As well as Barbara, I warmly welcome the new Councillors Simon Lennon, Alec Taylor, Greg Taylor and Kim Wheatley as well as my re-elected colleagues Councillors Christine Kay, Sam Ngai, Martin Smith and Cedric Spencer.

During my term as Mayor, I have several goals I’d like to achieve. One of these is keeping our local area looking the best it can be, through a combination of sprucing up shopping areas and improved streetscaping. I look forward to opening the Lindfield Village Green very soon and progressing the Lindfield Village Hub.

Another is unifying the Council at a time when our community needs one voice to get them through the current pandemic. I can see light at the end of the COVID tunnel, and I’ll be working closely with my Councillor colleagues to help bring Ku-ring-gai through this difficult period.

I also want to work cooperatively with our local MPs on issues of common concern.

You can contact me at mayorpa@krg.nsw.gov.au and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook.

Mayor Jeff Pettett

 

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