In the second of a two part series the Monthly Chronicle talks to the Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby Mayors about their objectives for the year ahead
“The State Government has said we can go ahead and do works where other councils could not, and these have been in our long-term financial planning. They take in these areas….
Lindfield Hub and Lindfield Village Green – these projects have not been impacted by the merger proposal, unlike other councils who’ve had constraints placed on them while mergers are being decided. These will revitalise Lindfield considerably.
Given the public’s concern over the reduction in short-term spaces on the LVG proposal, we are getting council officers to look at this aspect of the DA again, to examine increasing underground short-term parking spaces while maintaining the proposed commuter spaces. I am confident that we can arrive at a solution that will meet the public’s needs.
Also negotiations are continuing over the layer of commuter parking and I am optimistic it will eventuate. The State Government has allocated money for commuter parking but originally it was going to go on the west side of the Pacific Highway, so now we are negotiating splitting it to go both sides.
This project has been planned for several years and consultation is ongoing with the community and business owners on how the construction period will be managed and traffic and parking allocated.
Turramurra and our Master Plan for the suburb: Turramurra Community Hub between Ray Street, the Pacific Highway and the railway line, will be a mix of community facilities, open space, residential uses and retail, including include a new Coles supermarket, library, community centre, town square and park. This Master Plan is progressing, somewhat behind Lindfield.
Gordon will be reactivated in terms of master planning: the building next to us has been bought by Aldi and they’re keen to work with council and find public domain benefits and improved access throughout the whole of the hub this area will become. We’ve been looking at having some new community space across the combined sites in a new development and that would be a wonderful outcome for Gordon. But first we’re waiting to see if they tear down the existing building and put up a supermarket there. Aldi has done their assessments and feels North Shore has lot of potential.
There are lots of small land ownerships in Gordon and a few owners have acquired adjoining sites – we need them to come together and see if any development can occur. We have a plan for public domain spaces across all areas of Ku-ring-gai and these are achieved by the catalyst of development and we feel if we can do a hub in Gordon, then it might encourage other developments. There will be announcements on Gordon some time this year, after extensive consultation.
Sporting arenas: We’re continually providing new sporting fields and open spaces and have had great feedback about our four new ovals at Koolah Oval in Killara, which now has cycle and running tracks. We’re doing the new North Turramurra Recreation area with a golf facility and sports field; we had our first synthetic field at former UTS site in Lindfield and new kids’ playgrounds are opening all the time, including two in St Ives.
My personal passion is tourism and attracting visitors to Ku-ring-gai: we have tourism consultants here at the moment doing a strategy for us to showcase the unique features of Ku-ring-gai. They want to see how the 123ha Wildflower Garden, St Ives Showground, and the adjoining nursery can link together with a track and possibly the introduction of glamping.
Amalgamation uncertainty and council plans: if we get certainty about the amalgamation, that will enable us to better proceed with planning. An amalgamated new council would have to reevaluate its budget. But we’re very hopeful that a merger won’t proceed and are awaiting the judicial decision from our appeal at the NSW Court of Appeal in mid February, to the original LEC ruling.
Standing a fifth time: If we have local government elections in September, whether it’s for a three or four year term, I will happily re-stand as a councillor for Ku-ring-gai.
We’re focussing on business as usual along the way despite the hiccup of mergers, and we’re on track to deliver quality services to the people of Ku-ring-gai.