From the Mayor

20 July 2017
  • Hawkesbury City Council is a major sponsor of the Hawkesbury Local Business Awards.  Nominations are now open for the 2017 Awards and business customers and owners are encouraged to nominate a deserving business. Nominations can be made online at www.thebusinessawards.com (select Hawkesbury) or by nomination forms available at business throughout the Hawkesbury or Council's Administration Building (366 George Street, Windsor).
  • I have two great reasons for you to come to Mulgrave next Saturday, 29 July from 9:30 am to midday - our annual plant giveaway at the Hawkesbury Community Nursery to celebrate National Tree Day in conjunction with Planet Ark, and our annual Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter Open Day.
    • Over 13 local organisations will also be in attendance at the Hawkesbury Community Nursery to provide you with all the answers you have been looking for, about waste and recycling, Landcare, National Parks, Aboriginal culture, bush regeneration, plants, Indian Myna control, wetlands, weeds, nest boxes, and your local environment.
    • If you are unable to make it to collect your free plants on 29 July, the Nursery will have a small supply of plants to also giveaway on Monday, 31 July from 10.30am – midday. For more information about the plant giveaway, contact Council’s Community Bushcare Officer, Martin Gauci on (02) 4560 4525 or mgauci@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
    • The Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter Open Day will include animal focused market stalls, a mobile dog wash, Australian Working Dog Rescue demonstrations, and a BBQ. There will also be free micro-chipping for the pets of Hawkesbury residents, maximum of two per household, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.
    • For more information about the Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter, please call (02) 4560 4644 or visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
    I hope to see you there!
  • Many homeless people suffer in the cold winter months. Helping homeless people is only a phone call away. The NSW Government's Link2home phone service is a single, statewide telephone information and referral service to assist homeless people and those at risk of homelessness. The service can provide information about local homelessness services and assess what people need and refer them to appropriate specialist services.
    The 24/7 service is available every day and makes it easier access the right service at the right time. Anyone can get help from the Link2home telephone service by calling 1800 152 152.

Mayoral Column

By now many of you will have met our Council staff and Councillors around the Hawkesbury as we actively engage with you about ‘Investing in Your Future’, a proposal for a Special Rate Variation that would commence in July 2018.

You’ve told us that Council needs to invest more money in maintaining and upgrading our assets and services. We are talking with community members about three funding options to consider, which will have a different outcome in terms of the standards to which Council manages its assets and delivers its services. We had town meetings in Glossodia and Bligh Park as well as information kiosks at Glossodia and South Windsor, and it’s great to meet so many enthusiastic and interested residents.

Upcoming town meetings include Thursday, 20 July at 6pm at Horrie Eley Memorial Hall, Colo Heights; Wednesday, 26 July at 6pm at Windsor Function Centre, Windsor and Thursday, 27 July @ 6:30pm at North Richmond Community Centre, North Richmond. Or meet us at 9am at local shopping centres on Saturday, 22 July - Windsor Marketplace (Woolworths), Saturday, 22 July - North Richmond Village, Sunday, 23 July - Windsor Mall Markets, Monday, 24 July - Windsor Riverview (Coles).

Please visit www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/investing-in-yourfuture for the full list of dates and more locations of upcoming meetings. Alternatively you can call our friendly Customer Service staff on (02) 4560 4444. You can also complete an online survey and obtain more information on the above link. Thank you to everyone who has already completed the online survey. I look forward to lots of constructive feedback about the future of our assets and services.

13 July 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Our first information kiosks for Investing in Your Future kick off this weekend. On Saturday, 15 July at 9am we have one at Glossodia Shopping Centre, Glossodia and another one also, on Saturday, 15 July at 9am at McLeod Park Markets, South Windsor.
    Investing in Your Future is a proposal for a Special Rate Variation that would commence in July 2018. Council staff and Councillors have already been actively engaging with our community about the future of our Council. Now we need your input to help us with some important decisions about our community assets and services.
    Residents can participate by returning the reply paid postcard with their rates notices or by participating in the online survey at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/investing-in-your-future For further information, please attend one of the many town meetings or information kiosks being held throughout the Hawkesbury until Saturday, 12 August. Go to www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au for more information as well as all meeting locations and times or call Customer Service on 4560 4444. Community consultation for Investing in Your Future will conclude on Sunday, 13 August 2017.
  • Congratulations to the 23 people who became new Australians citizens last night, Wednesday, 12 July, at a special citizenship ceremony at Windsor Function Centre. It was pleasure to meet so many happy people, with their countries of birth including China, Germany, Estonia, France, Iran, Fiji, Netherlands, New Zealand. Philippines and the United Kingdom.
  • Great news for kids - we now have a children's area in the foyer of Council's Administration Building at 366 George Street, Windsor. We have relaxing bean bag seats, a reading nook with books, and a table with pencils, pens and paper, all with light pouring in from the large garden windows. We hope that this will be a fun area for children when parents or carers come in with Council enquiries or business. Remember, you can always pay your rates by coming in to Council and meeting our friendly customer service staff who are always ready and willing to help.
  • I am proud to tell you that Hawkesbury City Council has received a Special Commendation from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Supportive Employer Program. The Program recognises the vital contribution employers make to the NSW RFS, especially by releasing volunteers to attend incidents and other NSW RFS activities during work hours.
    The primary aim of NSW RFS Supportive Employer Program is to recognise the contribution of the time given by volunteers, either self-employed or employed by a supporting organisation. My thanks to our Council staff and community members who, as RFS volunteers, readily assist the RFS and our community during times of fire.

Mayoral Column

Do you own or manage a local heritage residential property within the Windsor and Richmond historic townships? If so, I encourage you to attend an evening information session about our Local Heritage Assistance Fund on Wednesday, 26 July 2017. Application forms are available at Council's website and suitable applicants can receive up to $2000. Applications must be made by Monday, 21 August 2017.

Council and the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage are jointly funding the Local Heritage Assistance Fund which recognises the importance of conserving, protecting and caring for heritage listed residential buildings. The main objectives of the Local Heritage Assistance Fund are:

  • to promote community awareness of the significance of heritage listed residential properties within the Windsor and Richmond historic townships;
  • to encourage owners of residential properties within Windsor and Richmond historic townships, through advice and small grants to employ simple measures to undertake minor improvements/conservation works to those historic buildings to maintain and improve their heritage significance; and
  • to increase Council’s engagement with local heritage property owners.

The evening information session will be held on Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at Council‘s Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor, in the Large Committee Room First Floor (up the ramp) from 6:30pm to 8pm. To register for the information session, contact Karu Wijayasinghe, Senior Strategic Land Use Planner of Council on 4560 4546 or email council@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au For more information or to obtain an application form, visit here.

6 July 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I was delighted to host a Mayoral Reception last night for the new Rotary Governor of District 9685, Peter Ward. This District covers our local Rotary Clubs. My thanks to all of the representatives present for the magnificent contributions that Rotary makes to improving and supporting our community.
  • Please join me for the opening of Hawkesbury Regional Gallery’s next exhibition tomorrow night, Friday, 7 July from 6-8pm. It is a free exhibition exploring ideas, experiences and creative responses to notions of ageing in our society and communities. It comprises two parts: an in-house exhibition, Time Leaves its Mark,  featuring the work Jo Ernsten, Pablo Grover, Leahlani Johnson, Nicole Toms and David White (with a commissioned series of portraits of senior Hawkesbury artists), as well as a display of photographs titled The Art of Ageing toured by the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services.
    At 6.30pm there will be a floor talk by the exhibition curator, Elissa Blair, and artist David Newman-White, who has produced a series of portraits of senior Hawkesbury artists especially for the exhibition.
  • I was fascinated by the variety of artist styles and interpretations when local artists painted my portrait at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery last week. They are now on exhibition at the Gallery. So much talent and so many different styles. It was a new and unnerving experience to sit for a portrait but everyone did their best to help me feel comfortable while they worked their magic. Thank you so much to the many but quite unexpected visits from community members, you made me feel very special!
  • Just a quick note about roadwork that is being carried out on Putty Road at Wilberforce and Bells Line of Road at Kurrajong. Roads and Maritime Services is repairing joints on the bridge across Howes Creek and drains near Moles Road, working day and night shifts until late September. The Bells Line work is resurfacing the road from the Kurrajong traffic lights to 150m west of them, and it is expected to finish by Thursday, 27 July.

Mayoral Column

Ratepayers will receive a special information pack with their rates notice called ‘Investing in Your Future’. It’s about a proposal for a Special Rate Variation that would commence in July 2018.

Residents have told Council that the condition of many of our assets are not meeting their expectations, and that Council needs to invest more money in maintaining and upgrading our assets and services.

Many of you in our community have already seen Council staff and Councillors actively engaging with our community about the future of our Council. Now we need your input to help us with some important decisions about our community assets and services.

The Investing in Your Future brochure outlines three funding options for community members to consider: 1. Reduce 2. Stabilise or 3. Improve. Each option will have a different impact on local assets and the quality of services that Council can deliver into the future. As part of community consultation, Council will have information kiosks at shopping centres and markets as well as town meetings, an online survey and a telephone survey. Information will also be available online and in publications.

Residents can participate by returning the reply paid postcard with their rates notices or by participating in the online survey at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/investing-in-your-future

For further information, attend one of the many town meetings or information kiosks being held throughout the Hawkesbury from Saturday, 15 July until Saturday, 12 August. Go to www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au for more information as well as meeting locations and times or call Customer Service on 4560 4444. Community consultation for Investing in Your Future will conclude on Sunday, 13 August 2017.

29 June 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I was delighted to hear about the recent swan release at Pugh’s Lagoon by our dedicated WIRES volunteers. After nearly three long months of medication and care, a beautiful black male swan, who was suffering from infections in his foot and leg from fishing hook injuries, is now free again. Known as ‘Captain Hook’, he had some offspring with a local female black swan called ‘Joan of Park’.
    Well done to the devoted carers who have nursed him through this long period to get him through to release, in conjunction with North Richmond Vet. You can see the release here, where Captain Hook is greeted by a juvenile swan: MVI_1514.MOV
  • I thought I'd give you one last reminder about the Archibald Prize touring exhibition, before it closes this Sunday, 2 July. First awarded in 1921, it is one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art awards. I saw some amazing work at the opening recently. It's a great way to see all the finalists in the Archibald Prize 2016 right here in the Hawkesbury. By arrangement with the Art Gallery of NSW this is a ticketed event, adults $5, teens $3, family $15 (2 adults/3 teens), Gallery Members and children under 12 free. Don't miss out!
  • Our Cultural Services team will have a pop-up gallery and library on Sunday, 9 July between 10am and 3pm at Richmond Park, as part of the Hawkesbury's NAIDOC Week celebrations.
    There'll be free stuff, giant games, art activities and badge making as we celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements, and recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society. Richmond Park is located at 180 Windsor Street, Richmond, near the train station. This is a free community event for everyone, so I hope to see as many of you as possible come along.
    The 2017 theme - Our Languages Matter - aims to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.
    NAIDOC DAY itself is a lot of fun for all to enjoy, and Council is proud to sponsor the big event.

Mayoral Column

We had a wonderful community gathering at Thompson Square in Windsor last weekend as part of our 150 year commemoration of the 1867 flood - the highest-ever recorded flood in our local history. It was also a time for us to learn about how to be prepared for future floods.

The atmosphere was vibrant and moving for all of us, with a strong sense of unity as we contemplated the real fear experienced by past residents during that flood. My heart felt congratulations to the wider Eather family descendants who held a community dinner last week in memory of the 20 people lost in the 1867 flood, including the twelve Eather family members - 10 children and two mothers who were swept away in the dark of night from their rooftop at Cornwallis.

I want to especially thank our Master of Ceremonies on Friday night, Olivia Leal Walker, a former Hawkesbury Showgirl and amazing young woman who lead us through the Thompson Square proceedings. I was a captive audience member during Uncle Wes’ Dreamtime stories around the campfire at the Howe House garden. Thank you Uncle Wes, and Erin Wilkins too for our Welcome to Country. Our Aboriginal people have so much knowledge and it’s wonderful to see us all getting together to talk and learn more about floods.

My thanks also to State Emergency Services and Infrastructure NSW for their involvement. The talks by Regional Controller SES Peter Cinque and INSW Executive Director Maree Abood were particularly insightful and educational. Council will continue raising awareness within the community about the risks of flooding and the importance of being prepared for future flooding. Thank you everyone for participating in our 1867 flood commemoration.

22 June 2017

Mayoral Column

Hawkesbury City Council has received a $4.2 million Financial Assistance Grant for 2016/2017 to help deliver vital services and infrastructure to the Hawkesbury.

The Australian Government has provided Financial Assistance Grants to local government since 1974–1975. The Financial Assistance Grants are a regular source of income received by Council and we will continue to use the funds for programs and projects such as services, roads and infrastructure renewal as we have in previous years.

There was a freeze on the indexation of the grants in 2014 which placed significant pressure on Council’s budget. According to the Australian Government’s own estimates, its 2014 budget move to freeze the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants cost local communities across Australia more than $600 million worth of services and infrastructure over the three years.

As part of the 2017/2018 Federal Budget, the Australian Government has announced the reinstatement of indexation to Financial Assistance Grants from 1 July 2017, honouring their commitment to local communities. Whilst Council welcomes the return of the indexation to keep pace with costs, it will still take Councils a long time to recover from the freeze because it has permanently reduced the base level of the Financial Assistance Grants payments.

The Financial Assistance Grant program is provided under the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 (the Act). Visit here for more information about the grants.

15 June 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Remember to register to enter Council’s 2017 Waste 2 Art Competition by Wednesday, 28 June 2017, 11:59pm. I saw so many great entries last year that I don’t know how the judges can even decide!
    The Competition focuses on the REUSE part of the 3Rs of the waste hierarchy: reuse, reduce, recycle. I’m always amazed at how Primary School students can give waste a new purpose by transforming it into a creative piece of artwork. Through Waste 2 Art, Council hopes to encourage students to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. Please submit your by Tuesday, 25 July 2017.
  • For the younger ones studying the HSC, Hawkesbury Library Service has three great workshops to help students improve their HSC mark - bookings essential for three workshops via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or phone (02) 4560 4460.
    On Monday, 3 July 4pm to 6pm, teacher Kelly Bell will provide feedback and mentoring to students studying Community and Family Studies, in preparation for their exams. Cost $5.
    For students who want to improve marks, prioritise studies, create a study plan, boost memory retention, practice essays and how to study the night before the big exam, go along to the HSC Preparation Workshop presented by Rowan Kunz on Monday, 10 July, 4pm to 6pm. Cost $5.
    Discover tips and tricks to help you get those top marks in English with local English teacher, Bruce Pattinson on Tuesday, 11 July 3:30pm to 5pm. FREE.
    These workshops will be held in the Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street Windsor. Remember to book!
  • I’ve had many people tell me that our Library has been having some great authors visit this year. Kate Forsyth, an award winning Australian author and leading name in historical fiction, will visit Hawkesbury Central Library on Tuesday, 11 July from 6pm to 7:30pm to talk about her latest novel, Beauty in Thorns. The novel is a tribute to the world of the Pre-Raphaelites and their unconventional bohemian lifestyle which shocked Victorian sensibilities.
    Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. This is a free event with refreshments included. Bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call (02) 4560 4460. Hawkesbury Central Library is located at 300 George Street, Windsor.

Mayoral Column

Council is hosting lots of free events for the commemoration of the June 1867 Hawkesbury flood, which is the highest-ever recorded flood in our local history.

The Hawkesbury Regional Museum, 8 Baker Street Windsor, which is open Wednesday to Monday 10am-4pm (closed Tuesdays) will have extended hours until 9pm on Friday, 23 June. Visit our award-wining FLOOD! exhibition that looks at the significant history of flooding in the Hawkesbury-Nepean. It includes archival photography, film from ABC archives and the conserved Howell Mill wheel.

On Friday night, join us at Thompson Square, Windsor from 5pm-9pm, for a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the 1867 Flood. There will be food stalls, music, storytelling and performers. Get exercise and knowledge by going on a free FLOOD WALKING TOUR with Dr Stephen Yeo, flood specialist with Infrastructure NSW on Friday, 23 June 11am or 2pm or on Saturday 11am. The 90 minutewalks around Windsor commence at the Museum. Dr Yeo will point out flood landmarks and tell stories about the people and places involved in floods. FREE but bookings essential.

You can also RSVP for the FLOOD! CURATOR TOUR on Saturday, 24 June at 1pm and then stay on to hear David King’s talk ‘BOATMEN TO THE RESCUE’ about the history of flood rescue in the Hawkesbury, on Saturday, 24 June at 2pm. Museum events are FREE but bookings essential on www.eventbrite.com.au or call 4560 4655. Visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or Hawkesbury Events Facebook for more information

8 June 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Councillor John Ross and I recently attended the Local Government Professionals Australia National Congress in Hobart. The congress was themed ' A fresh perspective on leadership for the local government of today and tomorrow'. We both found that there was a focus on innovation, technology and leadership.
    I found the workshops on gender equality in the sector, engaging the community through social media and being prepared for crises to be interesting and thought-provoking. I also enjoyed hearing about the achievements of other Councils and the challenges they are currently facing.
  • It is with nervous excitement that I will be sitting for a Mayoral Portrait on Wednesday, 28 June from 11am to 1pm at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery with 12 local artists. It’s all part of the annual Archibald Prize touring exhibition currently on display. Feel free to come and watch their progress on the day, and even share in my trepidation! You are also welcome to view the finished works on the Mezzanine at the Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor, from Thursday, 29 June.
    Don’t miss out on the Archibald Prize touring exhibition, which runs until Sunday, 2 July. First awarded in 1921, it is one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious art awards. I saw some amazing work at the opening recently. It’s a great way to see all the finalists in the Archibald Prize 2016 right here in the Hawkesbury. By arrangement with the Art Gallery of NSW this is a ticketed event, adults $5, teens $3, family $15 (2 adults/3 teens), Gallery Members and children under 12 free.
  • Council will host free community events for the 150th commemoration of the June 1867 Hawkesbury flood, which is the highest-ever recorded flood in our local history. I encourage you to attend as many events as possible. It’s a great chance for us all to get together to mark this historical event and to also learn about the potentially devastating effects of floods.

FLOOD 1867 150YEARS ON - PROGRAM OF EVENTS

Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor

Daily until 31 August

FLOOD - implications for the present
A free display from Infrastructure New South Wales that highlights the modern flood strategy, as well as information about the historic 1867 flood. The display can be viewed during library opening hours.at Deerubbin Centre (Ground Floor), 300 George Street, Windsor.

Friday, 23 June

Hawkesbury Regional Museum:

All day until 9pm - FLOOD! Award-winning exhibition
11am and 2pm - Flood tour - 90 minute walk
All day until 9pm - Flood Boat Display

Thompson Square, Windsor:

5pm-9pm - an ‘Evening in the Square’ - food stalls, music, storytelling and performers.

Saturday, 24 June

Hawkesbury Regional Museum:

All day until 4pm - FLOOD! Award-winning exhibition
11am - Flood tour - 90 minute walk
1pm - FLOOD! Curator tour
All day until 4pm - Flood boat display
2pm Boatmen to the Rescue - History talk of flood rescue
3pm - An ‘Afternoon in the Garden’ at Howe House

Sunday, 25 June

9am - St Matthews Catholic Church will dedicate their normal Sunday morning mass to the flood commemoration and the Eather Family.

2pm - A combined church service - Catholic and Anglican as well as other denominations - will be held at St Mathews Anglican Church, Windsor. It will include a short Christian service and then discussion dedicated to history and education about past floods and flooding in general. Infrastructure NSW will assist in the historical information and State Emergency Services in the current flood issues.

For more information and event updates, visit our website or Hawkesbury Events Facebook

Mayoral Column

I’m pleased to announce that Hawkesbury City Council will be a major sponsor of the 2017 Local Business Awards to be run by Precedent Productions Pty Ltd later this year.

Council has been a major sponsor of the Local Business Awards over many years. The Business Awards event is one of the many ways in which Council supports the local business community.

The Hawkesbury 2017 Local Business Awards will be launched towards the end of June, with the Awards Night to be held at the Windsor Function Centre on Wednesday, 13 September 2017. The Awards Program will be very active during July and August in the Hawkesbury area, when local businesses are nominated and judged.

Awards will be presented for Business of the Year, Youth Business Person of the Year, Business Person of the Year and Business Longevity. A new awards category has been added called ‘The Community Access and Inclusion Award’. This Award will acknowledge initiatives from businesses that improve services so that the whole community can participate fully in the social and cultural life of the community.

Award winners receive trophies, gifts and media coverage and other gifts which is a positive way to encourage our local businesses and help them receive much deserved promotion. Watch local media for upcoming details and visit https://thebusinessawards.com.au for more information.

1 June 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Congratulations to all the winners of the 2017 Hawkesbury Sports Awards which were announced at a special Presentation Night at Lynwood Country Club on Monday, 29 May. I was happy to see so many of our Hawkesbury community members at this event to show their support for our local sports heroes.
    Nominated sports ranged from swimming, karate, soccer, netball, athletics, water ski racing, and even slalom kayaking. For details of all the winners, please visit Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and see local media.
    My special thanks to Lynwood Country Club and Vintage FM for joining Hawkesbury City Council as sponsors of the annual Hawkesbury Sports Awards. The awards are a wonderful way to acknowledge the sporting accomplishments of our individual sportspeople, sporting clubs and their support people.
  • Registrations are now open for primary school students to enter the Waste 2 Art Competition. Registrations close on Wednesday, 28 June 2017 at 11:59pm. Artworks need to be submitted by Tuesday, 25 July 2017.
    I think one of the best aspects of Council’s Waste 2 Art Competition is that it focuses on the REUSE part of the 3Rs of the waste hierarchy: reuse, reduce, recycle. It is always a surprise to see how students can give waste a new purpose by transforming it into a creative artwork. Students will be judged as per Stages 1, 2 and 3, with prizes including art supply gift vouchers and art hampers.
    An online registration form with all the guidelines for artwork and conditions of entry is available at https://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/media/forms/waste-2-art-competition
    For more information on the Waste 2 Art Competition and exhibition, please visit Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or contact Council’s Waste Education Officer on 4560 4566 or justin.murphy@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au.
  • I want to give you early notice for the 2017 Rex Stubbs OAM History Symposium, which will be held on Saturday, 9 September from 9:30am to 4:30pm in the Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George St, Windsor. Hawkesbury residents and members of local history and heritage groups are invited to attend the free symposium, which will provide the opportunity for liked minded individuals and groups to broaden their knowledge of trends in local and family history including talks on digitisation, as well as how social media is being used to promote history collections and other exciting heritage projects.
    Emeritus Mayor, Dr Rex Stubbs OAM had an abiding and passionate interest in art, history and culture. He was a member of Hawkesbury Historical Society for nearly 30 years and, in 2001, he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to local government and the Hawkesbury community. He was also awarded the honorary title of Emeritus Mayor in 2008 in recognition of his 10 terms as Mayor of Hawkesbury and one term as Deputy Mayor.
    To join the mailing list or to register your early interest in attending, please email Hawkesbury Library Service library@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 4560 4460.

Mayoral Column

Around 110 people gathered at Lynwood Country Club, Pitt Town on Monday night to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Hawkesbury’s leading sportspeople from a range of sports including swimming, dog obedience, sailing, karate, and athletics.

Running since 2004, the Hawkesbury Sports Award Program has been refreshed over the last two years to recognise the achievements of local sportspersons as well as the participation of both sports people and support personnel.

I felt truly honoured to present awards to so many high achievers and to spend an evening amongst so many inspiring people, from the tender age of 12 to the more mature of us. Congratulations to every award recipient and nominee, their clubs and also the family and friends who support them.

Sport is an integral part of our Australian culture and our Hawkesbury community. It’s great to see sport bringing people together in such a positive way, as well as promoting fitness and good health.

My thanks to the Hawkesbury Sports Council for managing our local sporting facilities and for their assistance with this Award Program, to the members of our Civic and Citizenship Committee who thoughtfully assess every nomination, and also to our sponsors Lynwood Country Club and Vintage FM.

Council also supports The Western Sydney Academy of Sport, who are always looking for talented sports men and women between 13 and 18 years of age to apply for a range of training programs to develop young athletes – please visit www.wsas.com.au for details. For details about our winners please visit Council’s website and Hawkesbury Events Facebook.

25 May 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Last week I attended a Floodplain Conference in Newcastle along with Councillors Danielle Wheeler and Peter Reynolds. We found that much of the focus was on preparing for the next big flood and referencing the 1867 flood in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley. What is very clear is that the aim of the recently released flood strategy for the valley aims to reduce current and future risk to life. There were also speakers and trade displays from across Australia and internationally, bringing different perspectives both on flood events and measures for mitigation, modelling, and rescue and recovery.
  • I also want to share with you that Council will be hosting a range of events focused around the commemoration of the June 1867 Hawkesbury flood, which is the highest-ever recorded flood in our local history.
  • In the lead up to commemorative activities on Friday, 23 June, Saturday 24 June and Sunday, 25 June, the next Hawkesbury Family History meeting topic on Wednesday, 14 June will discuss ‘Remembering the 1867 Flood’. Hawkesbury Library’s Local History Librarian, Michelle Nichols, will look at the devastating impact that this unprecedented disaster had on the district.
    The presentation will include some of the accounts of this tragedy, as well as some of the consequences of the Great Flood of 1867. Anyone interested in local and family history is welcome to attend this free event, which starts at 10am at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor. There is no need to book. Refreshments will be served after the meeting.
    The exhibition ‘Flood!’ can also be seen at the Hawkesbury Regional Museum, 8 Baker Street, Windsor. Open Wednesday to Monday 10am-4pm, closed Tuesdays.
    I will let you know about more events as they come in. Also, for more details about upcoming events based around the 1867 Great Flood, please check in on Council’s website or Hawkesbury Events Facebook, in the lead up to June 2017.
  • For history and movie buffs alike, I suggest you come along to the Hawkesbury Regional Museum this Saturday,  27 May at 2pm. There will be a special presentation by Glen Op’ Den Brouw called ’From The Hawkesbury to Hollywood’. It costs only $5 with refreshments provided, so bring your family and friends!
    It will be about Australia's most prolific, and arguably the hardest working actor in Hollywood, Frank Hagney. Born in Sydney in 1884, Frank attended school in Richmond where his mother ran the Royal Hotel, later moving to Liverpool. From boy soldier in the Boer War to winner of the Marathon Rowing World Championship at the age of 44, the life and times of Frank Hagney is a Boy's Own adventure and it’s all true. He had roles in over 400 films and TV serials over a 50-year career.
    Glen Op’ Den Brouw’s delightful presentation will feature many excerpts of Frank's forgotten Hollywood roles in films such as It's a Wonderful Life, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Ride Him Cowboy, and the TV serial, Daniel Boone. Bookings essential through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com.au/d/hawkesbury-regional-museum
    The Museum is located at 8 Baker Street, Windsor, phone (02) 4560 4655. Hours are Wednesday to Monday 10am-4pm, Tuesdays by appointment.

Mayoral Column

A local not for profit organisation called Hawkesbury Heartstart is helping community groups to become host sites for automated external defibrillators (AEDs) with top up funding for defibrillator installations. Organisations such as the Lions Club of Hawkesbury South and Hawkesbury Doctors Group have received AEDs thanks to Hawkesbury Heartstart. There are currently 38 AEDs in the Hawkesbury with the potential of saving someone you love.

A defibrillator is an easy to use electrical device that provides a shock to the heart when there is a life-threatening arrhythmia present. The heart loses any controlled rhythm it has, with no cardiac output able to be achieved.  A defibrillator provides a shock so that the heart can start rhythmically contracting again, providing blood flow to the brain and vital organs to support life.

Council also has AEDs at two Council facilities, the Hawkesbury Central Library at Windsor and the Visitor Information Centre at Clarendon. The installation of these machines is of considerable community benefit, as both sites attract many visitors and recreational users at surrounding parks and gardens.

The organisation’s founder, Dr Ravi Sahasrabuddhe, recently told me it is urgent to get a lot more units out into the community. Community groups, sporting clubs or individuals are asked to conduct their own fundraising for a defibrillator where possible but Hawkesbury Heartstart can also help with funding shortfalls. Just look up Hawkesbury Heartstart on Facebook to download an application for funding assistance or to make a tax deductible donation.

18 May 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I love our local libraries and I hope you do too! Library and Information Week from Monday, 22 to Friday, 28 May is a great chance to learn about the many resources and services available to you through your local library.
    Our popular Storytime for pre-schoolers will be celebrated at the annual National Simultaneous Storytime at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor on Wednesday, 24 May from 10:30am to midday. Children are invited to come dressed as their favourite nursery rhyme character to a fun party with games, songs and food. Puddles the Reading Dragon will arrive at 10:30am, with stories starting at 11am. Free, all welcome - no need to book.
  • Have you taken the pledge’ for Fatality Free Friday?  It is held on the last Friday in May every year and this year it will be Friday, 26 May 2017.
    Since its inception in 2007, the Fatality Free Friday campaign has continued to expand its operation and is now recognised as Australia’s only national community based road safety program. Fatality Free Friday is a driver awareness program that aims to have zero deaths on that one day. I have taken the pledge, along with many other community members, so I hope you do too. Many drivers will have their headlights on 26 May to mark the day’s pledge to always be fit to drive, to stay focused on the road, to scan the road ahead, to keep a safe distance and to drive to suit the conditions. To take the e-pledge and for more information visit www.fatalityfreefriday.com.au
  • As part of Hawkesbury Small Business Week from Monday, 5 to Friday, 9 June 2017, Hawkesbury City Council will host workshops to help businesses improve their skills in running a business every day. I encourage local businesses to get involved as you are all vital contributors to our Hawkesbury community and economy.
    Business skills workshops will be provided by program partners Western Sydney Business Centre and State Government agencies. To obtain the small business week program which includes details about business workshops, and to register, call Strategic Planner Fiona Mann at Council on (02) 4560 4579 or email fiona.mann@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
  • Karen Viggers, the award winning and internationally best-selling author, is visiting Hawkesbury Central Library on Tuesday, 6 June from 6pm to 7:30 pm, to talk about her novels which explore stories of history, humanity and controversy.
    Karen’s fiction novels are set in the Australian landscape, exploring connections with the bush and issues such as grief, healing in nature, family and friendship. Her books also tackle contentious issues including assisted suicide, kangaroo culling and scientific research on animals. Copies of Karen’s book will be available for purchase and signing. This is a free event with refreshments included. Booking are essential, to book go to www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call (02) 4560 4460. The event will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor.

Mayoral Column

Several Councillors and I recently attended a wonderful function at Hawkesbury Regional Museum celebrating the Thematic History of the Hawkesbury. Council is proud to release this publication which is available via hard copy and electronic copy through Council’s website

The Thematic History highlights the fact that Darug people were the custodians of this land long before European settlement. Their custodianship of the land saw much of their lives centred around the river that they called Deerubbin but which we call Hawkesbury. They lived, sourced food and undertook their cultural life in close proximity to the river, but had a particular respect for the river’s ability to rise and flood.

The Thematic History also highlights how the Hawkesbury has been shaped and defined by its river and floodplain during the custodianship of Darug people and following European settlement.

I feel that it is so important to understand our significant history, and the publication of The Thematic History of the Hawkesbury will play its part in that.

In addition to providing copies at our libraries, we are providing copies of the document to all schools within the Hawkesbury so that they can encourage our future generations to understand our past and the significant factors that shaped the Hawkesbury we live in today. I encourage you to get a copy of the publication and to spread the word of its availability so that together we can showcase our Hawkesbury Heritage.

11 May 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Visitor numbers in the Hawkesbury boomed last weekend, 5-7 May, with the 2017 annual Hawkesbury Show being one of the best shows ever according to so many people I met at the Show. I loved seeing the wide variety of events, as well as the arts, crafts, animals and produce on display. Congratulations to all the entrants and winners at the Show!
    Over 7,000 people visited Hawkesbury City Council’s tent at this year’s Hawkesbury Show which featured a theme of Getting to Know Your Council as well as plenty of giveaways, information and a special recycling competition - lucky prize winners will be notified soon!
    People showed plenty of interest in the flood maps on display and, of course, everyone loved the free plants provided by the Hawkesbury Community Nursery. Visitors of all ages showed a keen interest in recycling, composting and road safety.
  • Infrastructure NSW recently launched Resilient Valley, Resilient Communities - the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy at Governor Phillip Park, Windsor. The Flood Strategy is a comprehensive long term framework for the NSW Government, Councils, businesses and the community to work together to reduce and manage the flood risk in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.
    Council will undertake a thorough review the Strategy and is committed to working with all parties to address potential flooding in the Hawkesbury.
    As part of improving community flood risk awareness in the Hawkesbury, Council is also planning a series of events in the lead up to the 150th anniversary and commemoration of the 23 June 1867 Flood, the highest recorded flood in the Hawkesbury. These upcoming community events will be promoted on Council’s Hawkesbury Events Facebook page.
    The document Resilient Valley, Resilient Communities - the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy is available at http://www.insw.com/media/59396/insw_hnvfloodstrategy__1_.pdf
  • Council is asking for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from members of the community who have a genuine interest in, and are able to demonstrate knowledge in town centre revitalisation, to act as community representatives on the working group outlined below. Community members are generally appointed to working groups on the basis of their subject knowledge and experience, technical skills and/or their ability to interpret the common interests of residents.
    Six community members will be appointed to the Town Centres Master Plan Project Group. For more information or to obtain an Expression of Interest Form, please visit Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or contact Andrew Kearns on (02) 4560 4604. EOIs close 5pm Friday, 26 May 2017.

Mayoral Column

I’m thrilled to let you know that Council’s Library Service will now receive some much needed funding from the NSW Government. Thirty other local councils in NSW will also receive grants to improve public library buildings, spaces and information technology for NSW communities.

The funding is part of the Public Library Infrastructure Grant program and it will also help Councils in NSW to implement crucial IT infrastructure upgrades. The Public Library Infrastructure Grants program is administered by the State Library of NSW on behalf of the Library Council of NSW.

A selection of 19th century photographs from the albums of Mary Anne Amelia Stewart is now on display at Hawkesbury Central Library until Sunday, 25 June during opening hours. The Library is located at the Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor.

Mary was the only daughter of Dr William Farquharson Stewart, the first salaried doctor at Windsor Hospital. She grew up in a social and cultural atmosphere and there were always activities and gatherings with visitors, including the Rouse, Cape, McQuade and Town families from all over NSW.

Her wonderful collection of poems, letters, invitations, and photographs has remained in the family and now the collection has been scanned, courtesy of Mary’s descendant, Mrs Foster. A free curator’s talk about the collection and some of the people featured in the display will be held at 10am on Wednesday, 24 May. It is essential to RSVP for catering purposes at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/hawkesbury-faces-tickets-34220046079 or call 4560 4460.

4 May2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council is delighted to offer community members the chance to attend a free workshop on Hollows as Homes on Saturday, 20 May 2017 in Kurrajong. Hollows are used by around 300 animal species around Australia, with at least 64 of these threatened by extinction. In urban and agricultural areas large, hollow-bearing trees are in decline, but many species of animals rely on tree hollows. Nationally, hollow-using species include at least 83 mammals, 114 birds, 79 reptiles, 27 frogs and many insects and spiders.
    Registration for the three hour workshop is essential as places are limited. Spaces are filling fast so to register, please contact Council’s Bushcare Officer Martin Gauci (02) 4560 4525 or 0413 195 248 or email mgauci@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
  • Did you know that Legacy House is looking for a new home? They will need to move out of their current location at East Market Street, Richmond in July as Legacy has sold the building to new owners.
    Legacy House has been at this location since 1978, helping Hawkesbury’s war widows in various ways and selling preloved clothing and goods. Today, Hawkesbury Legacy still has 180 widows to look after and the Legacy Op Shop brings in much needed funds for legacy. Fortunately, alternative venues have already been found for the groups which met weekly at the Richmond premises. Please try to drop into the Op Shop as you might find something you like to buy. If you have ideas for a new venue for the Op Shop, or if you can help in any other way, please contact Alan Wilcox, the president of Hawkesbury Legacy on 0448 418 137.
  • For a peaceful but interesting morning you might want to go on the cemetery tour next Thursday, 11 May from 9:30 AM to 11:15 AM. You can join us our library staff on a driving and walking tour of the Hawkesbury's lesser-known cemeteries.  The special Heritage Festival excursion to McGraths Hill and Old Pitt Town is free but bookings are essential at www.eventbrite.com.au/e/cemetery-tours-tickets-31591077764 or call 4560 4460. Please note: the tour starts at Pitt Town Cemetery, 52 Old Pitt Town Road, Pitt Town. Wear comfortable shoes, a hat and BYO water.
  • Hawkesbury Regional Gallery is proud to host the annual Archibald Prize touring exhibition from Friday, 19 May to Sunday, 2 July. First awarded in 1921, it is one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious art awards. The Archibald Prize exhibition is a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists. This is a wonderful chance to see all the finalists in the Archibald Prize 2016 right here in the Hawkesbury. By arrangement with the Art Gallery of NSW this is a ticketed event: adults $5, teens $3, family $15 (2 adults/3 teens), Gallery Members and children under 12 free. There will also be a Gallery Curator talk from1-2pm on Monday, 22 May - a great way to learn more about the touring exhibition - no need to book.

Mayoral Column

This weekend I am really looking forward to attending the Hawkesbury Show. It is such a fantastic local event and I would encourage you all to come along.  There are rides, showbags and lots of action in the main arena, with fireworks being held on Saturday evening.  Hawkesbury City Council will have a tent where we will be showcasing to the community what Council does.  The Council tent is a great place to keep the kids entertained with colouring in, badge making, a sandpit to dig and photos to be taken in the Council truck wearing hi-viz and a hard hat.

The Hawkesbury Show will be held at Hawkesbury Showground, 40 Racecourse Road, Clarendon.  Opening hours: Friday, 5 May - 9am to 11pm; Saturday, 6 May - 9am to 11pm; Sunday, 7 May - 9am to 5pm. For more information visit www.hawkesburyshow.com.au

I recently went out to the Australian Pioneer Village in Rose Street, Wilberforce. It is such a great place to visit for locals and if you have any visitors coming to our beautiful Hawkesbury area I would encourage you to take them along to see the attractions, ride on the mini train, enjoy the carriage ride lolly shop, have lunch at the cafes or bring a picnic or BBQ.

The Village is open 10am – 4pm on Sundays and some Mondays and Public Holidays. For more information visit www.theapv.org.au about events and open days.

27 April 2017

Mayoral Column

Next week, our whole community has the chance to showcase everything that’s great and wonderful about our local area at the annual Hawkesbury Show. The Hawkesbury Show will be held from Friday, 5 May to Sunday, 7 May 2017. Many locals proudly say it is easily the best show in all of NSW!

The show is fun for the whole family, so I hope you can come along and enjoy the entertainment - from stunning fireworks displays to exhilarating rides and thrills! I enjoy it every year and there’s always something for everyone. Special events will include woodchopping, art and crafts exhibits, racing pigs, the Isuzu D-Max precision driving team, horse events, flyball dog demonstrations, Kachan School of Tumbling demonstrations, unchained BMX performances and special daily surprises.

Hawkesbury City Council will have a big information marquee with lots of things to see and do as well as free plants and other giveaways. There’ll be free kids’ activities and a chance to get to know some Council staff and find out what they do in their jobs, including staff roles in the Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter, Cultural Services, Community Services, Bushcare, and the Visitors Information Centre.

The Hawkesbury Show will be held at Hawkesbury Showground, 40 Racecourse Road, Clarendon.

Opening hours: Friday, 5 May - 9am to 11pm; Saturday, 6 May - 9am to 11pm; Sunday, 7 May - 9am to 5pm. Special ticket prices for families and concession. For more information and event schedules visit www.hawkesburyshow.com.au

20 April 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Next Tuesday, 25 April is ANZAC Day and on behalf of Councillors and Council staff, I would like to extend to all Hawkesbury residents and visitors best wishes for a safe Anzac Day on Tuesday, 25 April. It is a significant day of remembrance and understanding. My thoughts and wishes go to all of our community members who have loved ones who are currently overseas defending Australia and assisting in other countries.
  • Dumping of household waste on the kerb is the most common type of illegal dumping in NSW and a management burden for many councils. I’ve seen things dumped along the side of the road and I’m sure some of you have as well. Now the NSW Environment Protection Authority has released some new research on kerbside dumping.
    The new research findings provide some insights into what motivates people to dump waste on the kerb and some strategies to change this behaviour. The research was conducted with residents, councils, real estate agents and strata managers and to find out more visit http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/illegaldumping/research.htm
  • The health of our community is really important and that’s why I am heartened to know that the YMCA is offering girls aged 12-19 a 30-day free access pass to Oasis Aquatic and Leisure Centre in South Windsor. They can also access wellness programs from the start of April until Friday, June 30.
    Studies show young girls are twice as likely as boys to be inactive and that they experience more barriers preventing them from being as physically active. A lack of regular physical activity can affect your health later in life so this is an important initiative. I’m sure this will help young girls in the Hawkesbury finding activities they enjoy and lead happier, healthier lives. Visit www.australia.gov.au/girlsmove to access this offer - it’s free. Just download a voucher and take it along to the YMCA’s Oasis Aquatic and Leisure Centre.
    Join the discussion about Girls Make Your Move via the Facebook page ‘Girls Make Your Move’, on instagram @girlsmakeyourmove and twitter using #girlsmakeyourmove
  • I also want to mention that Oasis Aquatic and Leisure Centre offers great value memberships, which allow full access to all facilities including a fully equipped Health Club comprising of small group training classes, group fitness classes as well as the pool, sauna and steam rooms. Crèche, personal training and boot camps are also available as additional services. Swimming lessons are available seven days for all levels. Visit www.ymcansw.org.au/centres/oasis or call 4587 8900 for more information.

13 April 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • If you’re working or hoping to work in the food industry, now’s your chance to learn how to handle food properly and understand your legal obligations, with Hawkesbury City Council offering a food handling seminar on Wednesday, 26 April 2017.
    The seminar will run from 5pm to 8pm at Hawkesbury Leisure & Learning Centre at 114 March St, Richmond NSW at a low cost of $51.50 per participant. The seminars have proven to be very popular with community members whether they are working in a café, restaurant, service club sausage sizzle or the local school canteen  Whether you’re working or seeking to work in the food industry, or simply a concerned about food safety at home this would be a great course.
    Topics covered in the three hour seminar include personal hygiene, time and temperature, food preparation and storage, and cleaning and maintenance. All participants receive an informative summary kit as well as a Certificate of Attendance. Bookings are essential, Click here to book online. All attendees will receive confirmation of the seminar once sufficient attendance numbers are reached.
  • Did you know that the Hawkesbury Library Service has eBooks and eAudiobooks available for adults and kids?
    Overdrive is the service that Library members can use to download eBooks and audiobooks. It is easy to use and borrowers can immediately connect and download any time and from anywhere with an internet connection.
    If you are unfamiliar with this technology but you would like to start using it, then book into this free workshop. Participants must be Library members, have an email address and need to bring along their own device to the workshop.

    WHERE:           Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor
    WHEN: Thursday, 27 April 10am to 11:30am
    FREE:              Bookings are essential via Eventbrite or call (02) 4560 4460.
  • National Volunteer Week will be held on 8-14 May, and, to celebrate, our Cultural Services Branch will take our Library, Museum and Gallery volunteers on a free outing to the recently revamped Museums Discovery Centre (MDC) at Castle Hill as a special thank you for their valuable work. The MDC is a collaboration between the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (formerly Powerhouse Museum), Australian Museum and Sydney Living Museums.
    Council’s volunteers will have a guided tour then some extra time to explore, followed by lunch at a nearby café. If you would like to become a Library Museum or Gallery volunteer please contact our volunteer coordinator Rebecca Turnbull on 4560 4439 or email lmgvolunteers@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
    I commend all our volunteers, including our Bushcare and Animal Shelter volunteers, for their wonderful work they do and for making a positive difference to our community.

Mayoral Column

Good Friday, 14 April marks the start of many celebrations, including the Easter long weekend and the school holidays. I wish you all a happy and safe Easter. If you’re travelling over the break I would encourage you to check the Roads and Maritime Services website www.rms.nsw.gov.au to help you plan your trip.

If you are looking for activities to keep children entertained these holidays Council has a range of events on offer. Hawkesbury Library Service holiday workshops include drawing superheroes and villains; making sun catchers, Meccano machines and more. Visit www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com where you can see what is on offer, reserve a place and purchase tickets.

Hawkesbury Central Library is also currently holding its annual Giant Book Sale where I’m sure you’ll pick up a bargain. There’s a range of books for children, teens and adults including fiction, non-fiction, music CDs and DVDs. The book sale runs until Wednesday, 26 April 2017. It will be held during Library opening hours in the Charles Harpur Room, located within Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor. For more information, call the Library on (02) 4560 4460.

Hawkesbury Regional Gallery has fun things for kids to get creative on Wednesday, 19 April - paint a colourful chameleon in watercolour; Thursday, 20 April 2017 - 3D art using paper; and Friday, 21 April 2017 - design your own geometric pet. To see all Gallery events and book a spot visit http://hawkesburygallery.eventbrite.com or for further information contact the Gallery on (02) 4560 4441.

6 April 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • This week I had the pleasure to present a cheque for over $3000 to the Hawkesbury Community Kitchen in Windsor on behalf of the Adventure Caravanning Club (ACC), who recently held a large event at Hawkesbury Showground. Council sponsored this event and I was delighted to find out that the ACC were donating funds to an essential community service in the Hawkesbury. Hawkesbury Community Kitchen Coordinator Joan Bruce was obviously over the moon and surprised at the generous donation. Thank you Adventure Caravanning Club!

    Opened in 1993, Hawkesbury Community Kitchen provides an evening meal service to disadvantaged people in the Hawkesbury region. The Kitchen also provides a ‘drop service’ every Thursday where people can shower and do their laundry. Hawkesbury Community Kitchen always welcomes help and even local businesses can help out with donations or items such as new fridges that may use less electricity. If you would like to volunteer or donate money or goods to the Hawkesbury Community Kitchen, please contact Joan on hawkesburycommunitykitchen@gmail.com

  • A Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) will be introduced on 1 July 2017 by the NSW Government to fund the operating costs of the fire and emergency services provided by Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW State Emergency Service.

    All Councils in NSW are collecting this money on behalf of the NSW Government and you will see this on your Rates Notice in July 2017.

    The new FESL will replace the existing Emergency Services Levy which is currently paid by insurance companies through people’s insurance premiums. Previously only insured property owners contributed directly to the fire and emergency services. Under the FESL, all property owners will contribute.

    It is hoped that a vast majority of fully-insured residential property owners will be better off under the proposed FESL. Discounts will be available for pensioners and veterans. For Frequently Asked Questions please visit http://emergencyservicespropertylevy.nsw.gov.au

  • I was honoured to open the Regional Conference of the United Hospitals Association last week in Windsor. Eight auxiliaries from the Western Metropolitan Region attended including our local Hospital Auxiliary. This year the United Hospital Auxiliary of NSW - Hawkesbury Branch celebrates 81 years of Service to the Hospital starting at the Old Hospital and then with the Hawkesbury District Health Service and now with St John of God.

    The Hospital Auxiliary members have raised well beyond $1 million dollars and as a result they continue to purchase much needed equipment and items for the comfort and care of patients. Anyone who visits or stays at our local hospital benefits from the services provided by our local Hospital Auxiliary.  Some of the equipment they purchase includes blood pressure  monitors, patient analgesie machines, surgical equipment, lambswool mats for beds, anaesthetic systems, patient transport ambulance, chairs, ECG machines, humidicribs and the list goes on.

    These dedicated members work throughout Hawkesbury Hospital on many varied duties and they have literally worked hundreds of thousands of hours to help our community. Thank you to every one of you.

Mayoral Column

This week is National Youth Week (NYW) and on Friday, 7 April ‘Youthfest ‘17’ will be held in Richmond Park from 4pm to 8pm for all our youth to get involved and have fun! We will have stalls and games and being the last day of school term, I’m sure there will be a great atmosphere in the park.

Youthfest ‘17 is a FREE outdoor event organised by the Youth Action Team at North Richmond Youth Project and Council. Fun activities will include bubble soccer, an obstacle course, free food, DJs, prizes, giveaways and information. Specialist youth services will be providing activities and they will also have interactive displays. These services offer support to young people with issues such as mental health, homelessness/couch surfing, drugs and alcohol, sexual and reproductive health, disability as well as health and fitness.

Council also hosted a successful Youth Summit on Wednesday, 5 April at Richmond High School. Local high school students who attended the forum shared their ideas for the Hawkesbury’s future with passion and a real sense of purpose. I’m already looking forward to reading the report from the Youth Summit which details the issues they are facing while living, studying, or working in the Hawkesbury, and suggestions they are making for future programs and services for young people.

To find out more about ‘Youthfest ‘17’ or Youth Summit outcomes, contact Council’s Youth Participation Officer on (02) 4560 4562 or email rohan.smyth@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or www.facebook.com/ypo.council

30 March 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • It was lovely meeting some of our winners of the 2016 Hawkesbury Sports Awards last week as part of our promotion for this year’s Awards. Gathered at Lynwood Country Club, I met Sarah Jordan - 2016 Sports Person of the Year, Ashleigh Hill - Junior Sports Person of the Year, Sandy Freeman - All Abilities Sports Person of the Year, Fred Peters - Encouragement Sport Award winner and Donna Keith - Official of the Year. Castle Hill RSL Group President (representing Lynwood Country Club), Warren Glenny and Western Sydney Academy of Sport’s Athlete Program Manager, Steve Hewson were also hand to meet our champions.

    Nominations for the 2017 Hawkesbury Sports Awards are now open and I urge you to nominate a well deserving sports person in our community. Proudly sponsored by Hawkesbury City Council and Lynwood Country Club, the awards acknowledge sporting accomplishments of community members as well as the contributions of individuals to sporting clubs through support roles. For more information and nomination forms visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or pick one up at Council’s Administration Building and at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor or Richmond Branch Library. Nominations will close 5pm Friday, 7 April 2017.

  • Next week is National Youth Week and it’s going to be great! Next Wednesday, 5 April, Council will host the 2017 Youth Summit at Richmond High School. Local high schools are being invited to share their ideas for the Hawkesbury’s future - I extend an invitation to all our young people to come along and let us know what you think and what you think we need in our local area.

    Also as part of this special week, on Friday, 7 April ‘Youthfest ‘17’ will be held in Richmond Park from 4pm to 8pm - it’s free and there will be bubble soccer, an obstacle course, free food, DJs, prizes, giveaways and information. To find out more about ‘Youthfest ‘17’ or Youth Summit outcomes, contact Council’s Youth Participation Officer on 4560 4562 or email rohan.smyth@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or www.facebook.com/ypo.council

  • One of our dedicated Bushcare volunteers, John Jose has been dutifully planting, weeding and restoring the riverbank in and around the Windsor Wharf Reserve (adjacent to the Windsor Bridge) for about three years but he has now hit a real wall in what he describes as a true disgrace.

    John has planted the garden beds near the wharf countless times but the plants keep being dug up by people who seem to be digging up worms for bait when fishing. Unfortunately it leaves the soil exposed which is then susceptible to weeds and erosion.

    Ironically, native vegetation growing along riverbanks is proven to be a real winner for fish populations along riverbanks. So people digging up the riverbank plants means the exposed soil runs down into the river when it rains, creating a murky water with very little oxygen in it making it difficult for the fish to flourish.

    John would truly welcome a helping hand along the riverbank at Windsor Wharf (adjacent to Windsor Bridge) to restore such a historic riverbank and for people to take ownership of this great location. To volunteer and help John restore this part of the riverbank, contact Council’s Community Bushcare Officer on 4560 4525 or email mgauci@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au

Mayoral Column

Hawkesbury Library Service has a wonderful range of workshops and activities planned during the April school holidays, and I think they are a great way to entertain kids - no matter what the weather. For aspiring artists, you can learn how to draw your favourite Superheroes and Villains on Tuesday, 11 April, 2pm to 3.30pm, $7, for 8 years+. With Easter coming up, you can decorate an egg-shaped container for your treats at a workshop on Thursday, 13 April, 2pm to 3pm. $5, for 5 years+.

One of my personal favourites, you can learn how to use hand tools to create simple and complex machines with Meccano during the Meccano Machines workshop on Tuesday, 18 April, 2.30pm to 4.30pm, $7, for 8 years+, or make a shiny Sun Catcher to brighten up any window on Thursday, 20 April, 2pm to 4pm. $5 for 5 years+, bookings essential for all workshops via Eventbrite www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call (02) 4560 4460 to confirm a spot. Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult. You can even drop into Hawkesbury Central Library any day during these school holidays and build your own Lego creations at the Lego Play Area. Free – no need to book, all welcome.

As part of Youthfest, the Library and Gallery will be holding a Pop Up event at Richmond Park on Friday, 7 April, 3pm to 8pm, come along for some giveaways and fun activities - I hope to see you there!

23 March 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I’m pleased to announce on behalf of Council that Mr Peter Conroy has been appointed as Council’s new General Manager, commencing Monday, 1 May 2017. Mr Conroy has over 30 years’ experience working in Local Government and he has held executive management roles at Leichhardt Council and Campbelltown City Council. His most recent role since 2015 has been as the Director Planning and Infrastructure at Willoughby City Council. His senior management experience in Local Government will be a great addition to our Council and staff.
  • As a part of our community consultation to develop the Hawkesbury Disability Inclusion Access Plan, Council will host a Mental Health Forum at Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre, 114 March St, Richmond on Thursday, 30 March 2017. Two sessions will be held and you can choose between either 1:30pm to 4pm or 5:30pm to 8pm. Mental health consumers and health service providers will present on the day, followed by a facilitated discussion to identify ways in which we can work together to improve the well-being of our community. RSVP is required as light refreshments will be available – please provide details of dietary requirements for catering purposes. Please provide details of any special access requirements. RSVP through Eventbrite
  • Free asbestos fibro collections will soon be available for Hawkesbury households. In partnership with the Western Sydney Regional Organisation Councils and the NSW EPA, Council is offering free collection of loose asbestos fibro sheeting for 40 local residential households. Collections will be carried out by licensed asbestos removal contractors and are available for removal of up to a maximum of ten square metres (10m2) of asbestos fibro sheeting per household. Availability is strictly limited and conditions apply. Please register your interest by 14 April 2017. Collections will occur the week of 15-19 May 2017. This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.
  • I feel very connected to Hawkesbury’s heritage as I’m sure that many of you in our community do too. Owners and managers of local heritage items now have the chance to apply for heritage funding for local conservation projects through the State Government’s Office of Heritage and Environment. These grants aim to help conserve our local heritage so I encourage owners and managers of heritage items, as well as businesses, not-for-profit organisations and industry associations to apply. There are two heritage funding programs open for application:
    • $2.67 million is available under the second round of Heritage Activation Grants program - open to owners and managers of local heritage items listed on Council's Local Environmental Plan. Applications under the Heritage Activation program close on Monday, 21 April.
    • $2 million is available under the first round of the Local Heritage Strategic Projects Program - proposed projects can include conservation and repair work, the development of heritage management, strategy and policy plans and projects developed to specifically raise community awareness, knowledge and understanding of local heritage. Applications under the Local Heritage Strategic Projects Program are open all year round subject to available funding.
    For more information on both programs visit the Office of Environment & Heritage.

Mayoral Column

A special event on our Hawkesbury calendar, EquiFest, will be held from Thursday, 30 March to Sunday, 2 April and I encourage as many of you as possible to come along and share in the thrill and excitement of this equine event. While it is a ticketed event, entry will be free on 30 March, so there’s every chance to come along and support these brilliant riders and their champion steeds.

EquiFest is a multidisciplinary equestrian event run by Equine Productions and we are expecting hundreds of riders, their coaches, friends and family, as well as exhibition personnel and thousands of spectators to attend, which will help to stimulate our local economy. Council is sponsoring EquiFest and this will be one of the biggest equine events that the Hawkesbury has seen so I hope it will greatly benefit the Hawkesbury.

The show jumping championships will see the top riders in Australia attempt great heights to win $15,000. The young rider show jumping championships offer a winner’s prize of $40,000. There will also be free entertainment, mounted games, dressage, show horses (miniature, pony, and heavy horses), NSW Mounted Police display and an action-packed ‘6-Bar competition’. Horses and their riders will even have the chance to clear an impressive 2.33 metres to claim the Australian record and $70,000 in prize money for the ‘Puissance Wall’ from Europe. Visit the Equifest website for more information and to purchase tickets (remember free entry on 30 March!).

16 March 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is proposing to locate a permanent electronic message sign on March Street, Richmond with the sign’s column to be constructed within the RMS road reserve on March Street near the heritage listed Richmond Park. RMS has advised that they are now seeking community feedback, with submissions required by Friday, 31 March 2017. I encourage community members to provide their feedback to RMS via email to nsw_projects@downermouchel.com Council will make a submission indicating its opposition to the proposal, based on the visual impact of the sign on the park and seeking a more detailed analysis of alternate locations for public comment.
  • Roadside litter is one of the Hawkesbury’s most unnecessary and preventable environmental problems. I have recently seen a lot of litter as I go out on my regular morning walks around the beautiful Hawkesbury. The NSW EPA can issue fines of $250 for an individual and $500 for a corporation for littering from a vehicle, based on reports from members of the public. I hope I can encourage some of you to register to Report Tossers littering from vehicles to the EPA, you are part of the solution to the issue of litter.

    Litter damages our natural environments, harms wildlife and pollutes our waterways. Litter can also injure people by making our spaces less safe. Cleaning up litter is also very costly which ultimately costs ratepayers and the wider community. Reporting littering from a vehicle is part of a comprehensive NSW State Government anti-littering program that aims to reduce the volume of litter in NSW by 40% by 2020. I encourage everyone in our region to get on board. Visit the Hey Tosser website to register to Report Tossers littering from vehicles.
  • I was delighted to meet several high school students from Windsor High School this week as part of a program called ‘Out and About in the Community’. Through this program, students learn about the community as well as how to travel safely on public transport and other social skills. The students had the chance ask questions about how Council Meetings work and sit in the Councillors’ chairs in the Council Chambers. One curious student even tried on my Mayoral Chains and imagined being Mayor for a day!
  • I will be visiting Colo High School next week to sign a Safe Schools Pledge at the Schools Partnership Group meeting. This meeting will be chaired by Platform Youth Services and attended by student support officers, head teachers of welfare and youth service providers. I’m looking to meeting everyone on the day.

    Hawkesbury Council has supported Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) people through its previous Notice of Motion supporting Marriage Equality. This issue is Council business because we are the closest tier of government to these young people in our community. Council is well placed to provide support to young people who need it via our youth programs and to help change community values to increase acceptance. Our civic leadership and support will hopefully send a strong message to young people who may be suffering in silence. It is important that Hawkesbury Council adds its voice in support of this important Program, as a way to show support for our LGBTIQ young people, and for the schools that support gender diversity. A list of the supporters of Safe Schools, including several local councils, and the form which Councils can use to sign the pledge, can be found here.

    Colo High School has voluntarily ‘opted in’ to implement the Safe Schools Program, and our support of this school and other young people in the area is essential.

    Other Councils have passed similar motions supporting the original fully funded program, including Shoalhaven City Council, Kiama Municipal Council, Forbes Shire Council, Albury City Council, Inner West Council, Frankston City Council, Darebin Council, Hobsons Bay City Council, City of Sydney Council, City of Port Phillip Council, Marrickville and Leichardt Councils, along with a host of other organisations, here.

    Testimonials from teachers, students and principals are available here.

Mayoral Column

A special event on our Hawkesbury calendar, EquiFest, will be held from Thursday, 30 March to Sunday, 2 April and I encourage as many of you as possible to come along and share in the thrill and excitement of this equine event. While it is a ticketed event, entry will be free on 30 March, so there’s every chance to come along and support these brilliant riders and their champion steeds.

EquiFest is a multidisciplinary equestrian event run by Equine Productions and we are expecting hundreds of riders, their coaches, friends and family, as well as exhibition personnel and thousands of spectators to attend, which will help to stimulate our local economy. Council is sponsoring EquiFest and this will be one of the biggest equine events that the Hawkesbury has seen so I hope it will greatly benefit the Hawkesbury.

The show jumping championships will see the top riders in Australia attempt great heights to win $15,000. The young rider show jumping championships offer a winner’s prize of $40,000. There will also be free entertainment, mounted games, dressage, show horses (miniature, pony, and heavy horses), NSW Mounted Police display and an action-packed ‘6-Bar competition’. Horses and their riders will even have the chance to clear an impressive 2.33 metres to claim the Australian record and $70,000 in prize money for the ‘Puissance Wall’ from Europe. Visit the Equifest website for more information and to purchase tickets (remember free entry on 30 March!).

9 March 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • A feral rabbit baiting program using the new strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV-K5) will commence in Kurrajong in early March and is scheduled to run through to the end of March. Greater Sydney Local Land Services co-ordinates bait distribution in NSW with the support of major landholders, local councils and environmental agencies. The program takes an integrated approach to the reduction and management of feral rabbits.
  • I also want to remind rabbit owners in the Hawkesbury to vaccinate their pet rabbits prior to the release of the new strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV-K5). Vaccinating rabbits for RHDV early will help to ensure the immunity of a domestic rabbit if it comes into contact with the virus, which is mainly spread by contact between other rabbits (including their urine and faeces) and insects such as mosquitoes, fleas and flies. Owners of pet rabbits should consult with their vet and maintain a vaccination program to protect their rabbits.
  • You can now access a website and mobile phone app to provide the State Government with real time data on feral animal locations and trends. This information can then be used by Government and land owners to provide resources to target priority areas. Rabbitscan is available on the FeralScan website.
  • I'm delighted to let you know that Hawkesbury residents can still purchase a compost bin or a worm farm kit at 70% off the recommended retail price. We have been running this program since July 2015. The program has been made possible using grants from the NSW Governments Waste Less Recycle More Initiative. We all love a healthy garden and one of the best and cheapest ways of achieving this is through compost. Currently, 29% of the average Hawkesbury resident's garbage bin is food waste; residents can turn this waste into a rich soil fertilizer which is perfect for growing fruit, veggies, flowers and plants.
  • To purchase a discounted compost bin or worm farm kit, Hawkesbury residents need to complete an online tutorial and quiz (which takes less than 15 minutes). They are then able to order their compost bin or worm farm for a fraction of the regular retail price. Compost bins including a compost kit and delivery will cost $29.90 and Worm Farms, including farming kit and worms plus delivery will cost $44.90 - that's 70% off the recommended retail price. Just visit Compost Revolution to get started.
  • Hawkesbury residents in urban areas are really taking to the garden organics collection service, with collection amounts continuing to rise since the service was introduced in 2013. The service has collected 4,915 tonnes of garden organics in the past year, an increase of almost 560 tonnes compared with the previous last year. This is great news as the garden organics is recycled into compost instead of being sent to landfill.

Mayoral Column

Our valuable Hawkesbury volunteer, Chris Cleary, has received a 2017 Zest Award for Outstanding Community Leader – Voluntary Capacity. Chris founded StreetMed Inc. in 2014 to provide street level first aid, mental health services and advocacy for homeless people and people at risk in Western Sydney - and it is all done by a group of dedicated volunteers using their own cars. Chris has worked in the community sector for the past 22 years - well done Chris!

I’m delighted that another exciting project ‘Heading Home - Ending Homelessness’, has also won a Zest Award for Exceptional Community Partnership across a Region. The project was launched by Wentworth Community Housing, Platform Youth Services and Mission Australia together with Mercy Foundation and is proudly supported by Council. The project brings together specialist homelessness services, local businesses, real estate agents, volunteer groups and government to identify the most vulnerable people in our community to work together and provide the housing and support that people need to maintain a home.

Through the Homelessness Action Plan, Council has been working with many individuals and organisations to identify actions which can be undertaken by the Hawkesbury community, local services and agencies and all levels of government to support homeless people and reduce homelessness in our area. Anyone concerned about the welfare of a homeless person can call the NSW Government Link2home free phone service by calling 1800 152 152. For more information about Heading Home, visit the Heading Home website or call (02) 4777 8021.

2 March 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Today, Thursday, 2 March, is the big day for our great community celebration at McLeod Park from 10am to midday. This free Council event will include a pop-up library, Council sponsored free sausage sizzle cooked by the Rotary Club of Windsor and a giant Connect-4 game for everyone to play. The celebration will be an opportunity for local residents to connect with community services in the area. It will also be a chance for everyone to come out to see the upgraded park and bring their families along to enjoy the fun.
  • This week is Road Rules Awareness Week and it provides a chance for all road users to improve their knowledge of NSW road rules. Roads and Maritime Services is promoting awareness about commonly misunderstood road rules on bus CCTV and train stations. RMS is also holding a live Facebook Q&A at 5:30pm today,Thursday, 2 March to give community members the chance to clarify any misunderstood road rules, and posting animations; infographics and quiz questions on Facebook. To view the top misunderstood road rules video animations visit the Road Rules Awareness Week page.
  • On Sunday, 5 March I will be attending a special YMCA Swimathon and Family Fun Day at Oasis Aquatic and Leisure Centre, located at the corner of Church and Drummond Street, South Windsor. It will run from 10am to 2pm. I’m proud to announce that $760,000 in Council funded refurbishments are now complete and to celebrate we will host an official launch at 10:30am with a celebratory cake and activities including face painting, a jumping castle, games and of course cooling off in the pool. I encourage everyone to come along.
  • Clean Up Australia Day will also be held on Sunday, 5 March so I hope we will have lots of Hawkesbury residents joining a team or registering to keep the Hawkesbury beautiful. Volunteers can search already registered sites at Clean Up Australia Day and you can register online or on the day.
  • As many of you know, Council staff, Councillors and I have been out in the community meeting local residents for the past month to hear about your local concerns and to let you know about our Draft Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017-2036. I’m pleased to say that we have now completed our Town Meetings and Listening Kiosks about the Draft Hawkesbury Community Plan. Our Town Meeting at St Albans on Saturday, 25 February attracted 60 locals - a great end to the town meetings. We’ve had many interested community members attending our meetings and dropping into Listening Kiosks at various shopping centres with questions and feedback and the involvement has been fabulous to say the least. Council still has on line surveys and submissions open until Sunday, 12 March. I encourage you to have your say at Your Hawkesbury Your Say or direct link.  Just click on the 'Survey' tab next to the 'News Feed' tab.

Mayoral Column

I'm really passionate about recycling and I'd like to encourage all Hawkesbury residents to ‘recycle right'. Last year Council ran a bin inspection program in some of our areas where there was lots of contamination. This meant we had inspectors look in our residents recycling and organics bins.  Congratulations Hawkesbury residents, so many of you are doing such a great job keeping the plastics and contaminants out of your recycling and organics bins.

Council is going to hold another round of bin inspections in March. This means that inspectors will again be looking in your bins when they are out on the kerb, they won't be going through your rubbish or tipping out your bin. They will be checking for any plastics or contamination in the bins.

If you are doing a great job and keeping the plastics out of your bin, you will receive a green Smiley Face Bin Tag. If there are some plastics or other contamination in your bin, you will receive a red Contamination Sad Face Bin Tag that will help you to know in the future about how to sort correctly.

For further information or for a range of great resources such as the A-Z Reuse and Recycling Guide for the Hawkesbury and the Household Waste Guide 2016-2017, visit Council's website or call Customer Service on (02) 4560 4444.

23 February 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • For the past month Council staff and Councillors have been out in the community meeting lots of local residents. It has been such a great opportunity for all of us to hear about the issues that concern you, the local residents. It has also allowed us to tell you about our Draft Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036.

    We have been meeting with residents in the communities at North Richmond, Windsor, Richmond, Pitt Town, Glossodia, Colo Heights, Kurrajong, Bligh Park. We’ve also had Listening Kiosks throughout the Hawkesbury at various shopping centres. The meetings have been very interactive and the Listening Kiosks have offered lots of opportunities for questions from our community both about local issues and about the Draft Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan.

    Our last town meeting to talk about the Plan and local issues will be held this Saturday, 25 February 2017 at 11am, St Albans School of Arts at 7 Upper MacDonald Road, St Albans. I hope to see lots of local residents attend - come along and have your say.

    I will also be attending the Listening Kiosk this Saturday, 25 February 2017 at 9am, at North Richmond Shopping Centre, Bells Line of Rd, North Richmond. There will also be a Listening Kiosk at the shopping centre at King Road, Wilberforce. Bring your questions, we’ll see you there!
  • A free Jazz in the Park event organised by The Kurrajong Community Forum and sponsored by Hawkesbury City Council will be held at Memorial Park at Kurrajong from 5:30pm on Saturday, 25 February. So bring your friends, your picnic and blanket for a great time in Kurrajong. In the event of wet weather this event will be held in the school hall. The Steve Arie Trio will perform a wide selection of jazz and Latin standards, from artists including Louis Armstrong, Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr, Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim. I’m looking forward to a great night.
  • Council is joining with Hawkesbury business groups to host a keynote talk and networking event called ‘The Better Business - Simple steps to get more from your work’ on Monday, 27 February from 6pm at Stockbar and Grill 78 March Street, Richmond.

    Networking will commence at from 6pm and then Robert Gerrish, Director of Flying Solo, an online solo and micro business community, will give the keynote talk by from 6:30pm. I hope business people and interested community members can join us at this business friendly talk to hear Flying Solo’s inspirational tips and tricks. This event is as part of Back to Business Week, a NSW Government Business Connect Initiative. The keynote talk is proudly sponsored by What’s On Wrap by Hawkesbury business groups and Hawkesbury City Council. Flying Solo boasts a membership of around 100,000 Australian businesses visit the flying solo website
  • On Thursday, 2 March from 10am to midday, Council will host a great community celebration at McLeod Park. This free event will include a pop-up library, Council sponsored free sausage sizzle cooked by the Rotary Club of Windsor and a giant Connect-4 game for everyone to play. I hope plenty of local residents can come out to see the upgraded park and bring their families along to enjoy the fun.


    This McLeod Park event is part of a series of Council events to be held during 2017 that aim to connect our community. For details on more upcoming events in the Hawkesbury please visit Hawkesbury Events Facebook.

Mayoral Column

On Sunday, 5 March I will be attending a special YMCA Swimathon and Family Fun Day at Oasis Aquatic and Leisure Centre, located at the corner of Church and Drummond Street, South Windsor.

Council is proud to announce that $760,000 in Council funded refurbishments are now complete and to celebrate we will host an official launch at 10:30am, 5 March, with a celebratory cake and free activities including face painting, a jumping castle, games and of course cooling off in the pool. I encourage everyone to come along.

Managed and operated by the YMCA for over ten years, upgrades include a brand new timber sprung floor and ceilings for the group fitness room, a new cold-filtered wheelchair compliant water dispenser, an overhaul of all amenities, new family change rooms with baby change tables and showers to ensure youth security, and new accessible amenities for people with disabilities that include LED sensor lighting. Other improvements include grassed areas, shade sails and an accessible path for visitors with a disability. One of the most extensive changes includes pool filter and heat pump upgrades for the outdoor pool.

So if you’re not a member of the Centre yet, come along and see the improved facilities and find out about the many benefits of membership. The YMCA Swimathon is an annual national fundraising event to raise money for swimming programs for people with disability, so come along and support the Swimathon too! Normal entry fees apply. Visit the YMCA swimathon website for more information.

16 February 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

I’ll be slapping on my hat and sunscreen this weekend for Richmond Swimming Centre’s Pool Party from 11am to 2pm this Saturday, 18 February and I hope to see plenty of locals come along to cool down with Council.

Council will waive the entry to the pool for the day and is sponsoring a free sausage sizzle (expertly cooked by the Rotary Club of Richmond- thanks Rotary!), free entertainment, free giveaways for the first 100 people and even free snow cones! Children and adults alike will be out ot enjoy the day - and what a great chance to put Facebook aside and leave your Ipad at home as you jump into the cool pool with friends!

Our pool party is a special event that aims to help the community connect while visiting their local pool and sharing in the fun. Activities will include a jumping castle, a giant water slide and, for those aged eight years and over with substantial swimming ability, the U-Rippa Rip Generator.

Located at East Market Street, Richmond, Richmond Swimming Centre includes a shaded baby pool, an intermediate pool, a six lane Olympic pool, a shaded children’s playground,  picnic areas, a kiosk and a half-court basketball area. The Centre has received several upgrades which include enhancing the water quality and filtration, the addition of thermal blankets and change room upgrades and picnic areas. Richmond Swimming Centre is open seven days from September to April and offers swimming lessons, parties, club nights and squad sessions. For more information, visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call the Centre direct on (02) 4578 1349.

9 February 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Sweetheart Day, held every year on February 14, is a chance for all Australians to get together to help our Aussie heart kids by funding vital support and life-changing medical research into childhood heart disease. Eight babies are born every day with a heart defect in Australia. Register today to be a sweetheart and spread the word that 8 babies per day is just #8toomany. For more information on Sweetheart Day click here https://www.sweetheartday.org.au/about-sweetheart-day
  • Next week is Australia's Healthy Weight Week from Monday, 13 February 2017 to Sunday, 19 February 2017. The Week aims to inspire all Aussies to cook at home more often to achieve a healthy weight. Run by the Dietitians’ Association of Australia, this important week is all about getting the right advice and support. Much like our successful Shop Cook Save event last year, the campaign aims to get people cooking healthy food at home more often - See more at www.healthyweightweek.com.au
  • I love getting my mind activated and I’m sure most of us do. So why not try to book into the Library’s free book launch for award-winning crime writer, Candice Fox. Candice visited the Hawkesbury for a gripping author talk in 2016 and will return to launch her latest novel Crimson Lake at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street Windsor on Monday, 20 February, from 6pm to 7:30pm. Copies of her new book will be available to purchase and to have signed. Refreshments will also be provided, so bookings are essential. Visit www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com to book or call 4560 4460.
  • With healthy bodies and healthy minds it also makes sense to have a healthy environment. Now is the time to start registering for Clean Up Australia Day, which will be held on Sunday, 5 March. You can join a team or register a site for Clean Up Australia Day. In 2016 more than 750,000 volunteers removed an estimated 16,000 tonnes of rubbish from 8,205 sites across Australia. Every year our local participation rate grows and I am sure 2017 will be even better. You can go looking for sites that need a clean up or you may already know a site.

    Schools can also get involved in a special Clean Up Day on Friday, 3 March 2017 and businesses can get involved on Tuesday, 28 February 2016. This program is coordinated by Clean Up Australia Day. Council can only collect rubbish from registered sites. Dumped rubbish will not be collected and may incur a fine. To register and for more information, contact Clean Up Australia on 1800 282 329 or visit www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au
  • Council is supporting MobileMuster's 'Mobile for a Meal' campaign this summer. Until the end of February, MobileMuster will donate the value of a meal to OzHarvest, Australia's leading food rescue organisation for every mobile recycled.

    Our MobileMuster drop off point is located at Council's Administration Building at 366 George Street, Windsor. I encourage our community members to help by recycling their old mobiles. Many Council staff recycle their old phones at this drop off point as well. Please drop your mobile in as soon as possible because the mobiles will need to be packaged and sent off by the end of February for the Mobile for a Meal campaign.  Visit http://www.mobilemuster.com.au for more information.

Mayoral Column

Council recently held a smoking ceremony before its first Council Meeting for 2017. This marked the start of a new tradition for Council, in which Council has resolved to hold a smoking ceremony before the first Council meeting of every year. A smoking ceremony is one of the most significant ancient ceremonies performed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for spiritual cleansing and to ward off bad spirits. Around 50 people attended the ceremony, which included not only local and surrounding Aboriginal people, but many people who live and work in our area and others who maintain a special connection to the Hawkesbury. Thank you to everyone who attended.

It was a pleasure to pay my sincere respects to the Darug elders past and present, especially to our senior Darug elder who did our Welcome to Country, Aunty Edna Watson, accompanied by her granddaughter Krystal. Vicki Thom performed our smoking ceremony, with Aunty Edna's permission. Due to a Total Fire Ban, Vicki used eucalyptus leaves dipped in water for a brushing process, instead of using smoke.

As a group, the ceremony gave us the chance to acknowledge the local Aboriginal Traditional Custodians of the land, the Darug Nation. It was also a special gathering in which, we acknowledged the valuable contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make, not only to Australia’s national identity, but to our local identity, given our Indigenous community is such an integral part of the Hawkesbury.

2 February 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council kicked off its community engagement program this week and there has been lots of community interest. We are going out to the community with updates on the consultation that Hawkesbury City Council conducted in August last year about its Levels of Service for Council’s assets and, importantly, we are also engaging with our community members about our Draft Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan.
    The Plan is the core document underpinning Council’s future planning and determines strategies and desirable outcomes for the future. It outlines the focus and direction for the community for the next 20 years and indicates the role council will take in delivering these outcomes.
    I enjoyed attending the two town meetings held at North Richmond and also at Windsor this week. Both of the meetings offered plenty of opportunities for questions from our community about local issues and about the draft Community Strategic Plan, how it could impact on them and how they can have a say about the Plan.
    The meetings were very interactive, not only because people had the opportunity to ask questions, but because we invited the attendees to complete two exercises. In the first exercise people nominated three things in their local area that they thought should be included Council’s future works plan.  In the second activity we asked people to use flags and the map of the Hawkesbury and identify a ‘big picture challenge’ facing the Hawkesbury.
    The Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan ‘The Hawkesbury 2036 – It’s Your Future’ is now on display at Council’s Administration Building, George Street Windsor and available online. I encourage you to come along to our Public Meetings or Listening Kiosks (dates listed below) and have your say to help shape the future of the Hawkesbury.
Public Meetings Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017-2036 – Listening to our Community
Saturday, 4 February 2017 Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Public Meeting, 1pm, Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre,
114 March Street, Richmond
Monday, 6 February 2017 Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Public Meeting, 6pm, Pitt Town Sports Club, 139 Old Pitt Town Road, Pitt Town
Thursday, 9 February 2017 Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Public Meeting, 6pm, Glossodia Community Centre,
162 Golden Valley Drive, Glossodia
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Public Meeting, 6pm, Colo Height Horrie Eley Hall,
2996 Putty Road, Colo Heights
Thursday, 16 February 2017 Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Public Meeting, 7:30pm, Kurrajong Community Centre,
30 McMahons Park Road, Kurrajong
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Public Meeting, 6pm, Bligh Park Community Centre, 4 Sirius Road, Bligh Park
Saturday, 25 February 2017 Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Public Meeting, 11am, St Albans School of Arts,
7 Upper MacDonald Road, St Albans
Listening KiosksHawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017-2036 – Listening to our Community
Saturday, 4 February 2017Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Listening Kiosk, 9am, Windsor Marketplace Shopping Centre,
Kable Street, Windsor
Saturday, 11 February 2017Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Listening Kiosk, 9am, North Richmond Shopping Centre,
Bells Line of Road, North Richmond
Saturday, 11 February 2017Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Listening Kiosk, 9am, Richmond Marketplace,
78 March Street, Richmond
Saturday, 11 February 2017Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Listening Kiosk, 10am, Bilpin Markets,
2596 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin
Saturday, 25 February 2017Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 Listening Kiosk, 9am, Wilberforce Shopping Centre,
King Road, Wilberforce

Mayoral Column

Participating in Council’s 2017 Australia Day celebrations at the Windsor Function Centre was such an uplifting experience, especially being present for the first time as the Mayor of Hawkesbury. It felt so rewarding to witness the citizenship ceremony; to meet our proud new citizens; and to hear the heart-warming speech given by our Australia Day ambassador, Karen Banton, CEO of the Bernie Banton Foundation. She is really helping to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos. I wish her every success on her continuing campaign for the rights of asbestos-related disease sufferers.

I also had the honour of participating in the presentation of the Australia Day Awards Ceremony. The Citizen of the Year award went to Yvonne Tuckerman and the title of 2017 Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Rhiannon Williams. Well done Yvonne and Rhiannon! The Commemorative Plaque was also unveiled in acknowledgement of the work and achievements of Emeritus Mayor Dr Rex Stubbs OAM. I’m also pleased to announce the winners in other categories: Volunteer of the Year – Barry Adams; Volunteer of the Year – Vicki Case; Community Organisation of the Year –  Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands; Joint Local Hero Award – John Breaden and Stephen Richards, NSW Police Force; Hawkesbury Community Arts Award – Peta Gray; Hawkesbury Cultural Heritage Award – Carolynne Cooper; Hawkesbury Environmental Award – Les Dollin. Congratulations to all the winners. For details of their achievements, please visit Council’s website

26 January 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Want to save on waste? Join 20,000 businesses recycling more through the Bin Trim program. Reducing waste is good for business – it can reduce costs, save time, build staff morale and enhance your corporate reputation. Generating less waste also saves valuable water, energy and raw materials. Bin Trim has been designed to help small and medium sized businesses quickly identify simple actions they can take to start cutting waste and boost profits. Visit EPA website or contact the EPA on 131 555 or Bin.Trim@epa.nsw.gov.au to register your interest. Council also has a Waste Education Officer if you have specific local questions, (02) 4560 4566 or email justin.murphy@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
  • Did you know that Hawkesbury City Council is a Collection Point for Funnel Web spiders? Our brave Customer Service staff took a delivery this week and the spider has been carefully taken to the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast.
    Heatwave conditions and extreme humidity have been increasing funnel-web spider activity. While this means more people need to be on the alert and take care, it also means there are more chances for people to help boost the supplies of life-saving funnel-web antivenom, which are in danger of running low with 2016 seeing the smallest amount of hand-ins in the park's history. Female funnel web spiders are milked of their venom as part of the antivenene manufacturing process at the Australian Reptile Park, the only wildlife sanctuary that milks the spiders in Australia.
    The Australian Reptile Park is urging to people to follow instructions on their website to safely capture the spiders as supporting the anti-venom program saves lives. Please visit their website for a video on how to safely capture a spider. Please note that Ranger Mick from Australian Reptile Park insists that women are much better at catching spiders -- you’ll just have to ask him why! It’s obviously not for children or the faint hearted. Drop off points are also listed on their website.
  • Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) is inviting community input on what to include in a whole-of-government NSW koala strategy. The community’s feedback on what should be included in the strategy and ideas about how you wish to be involved is vital for building an effective strategy. For more information about developing the strategy and further resources, see the OEH Developing a NSW Koala Strategy site.
    Online public information session: In addition to the regional community information sessions, an online information session will be held on Thursday, 2 February, midday to 1:15pm. This webinar is an opportunity to find out how you can contribute to the development of the NSW Koala Strategy. All are welcome to register for the webinar.
    OEH is also inviting community feedback on the draft Saving Our Species (SOS) Iconic Koala Project, which sets out a framework for on-ground koala conservation actions for 2016-21 and forms one important part of the proposed koala strategy. Click here for more information on the SOS project and to provide feedback.
    The Saving our Species Iconic Koala Project will build on the valuable contributions made by individuals and groups across the state to conserve koalas. Ongoing involvement of all stakeholders will be critical to the success of the project.

Mayoral Column

Happy Australia Day. Australia Day is about Connecting the Community and that’s exactly what we are doing here in the Hawkesbury. On behalf of Council, I would love to invite you to come along to the events we have planned to connect our wonderful communities.

In just over a week we are starting a program of community consultation where we are coming out to talk to you at nine public meetings across the City and listening kiosks at six shopping centres. We will be updating you on the Levels of Service Consultation that Council ran in August last year and introducing our Draft Community Strategic Plan. We are having a community party at the Richmond Pool on Saturday, 18 February at 11am with free entry, a giant slide and lots of giveaways. You are also invited to come along to McLeods Park on Thursday, 2 March where we want to connect the communities of South Windsor. Everyone is invited to see the reinvigorated park and to meet lots of local service providers. There will be free cake and sausages and lots of fun and games. The YMCA at the Oasis Centre, South Windsor, are holding a National Swimathon Event and Family Fun Day on Sunday, 5 March. Council and the YMCA will be showcasing the recent improvements to the facility.

I hope to see you there. Visit Council’s Events Facebook page

19 January 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • We have planned lots of events in the coming weeks and months to connect our wonderful communities in the Hawkesbury. All are free and all are open to the public. Australia Day is next week so join us for the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony at the Windsor Function Centre at 9am on Thursday, 26 January and the Australia Day Awards Ceremony from midday also at the Windsor Function Centre. Please RSVP for catering purposes via email events@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 4560 4444 and state which event you will be attending, either the Citizenship and/or Australia Day Awards. Coming up in February is a community party at the Richmond Pool on Saturday, 18 February at 11am. There will be a giant slide and lots of giveaways. Then, on Thursday, 2 March at McLeods Park we will be connecting the communities of South Windsor. Everyone is invited to come along to see the reinvigorated park and to meet lots of local service providers. There will be free cake and sausages and lots of fun and games.  We are also having a party at the Oasis Centre (YMCA), South Windsor on Sunday, 26 February and so come along, see the Centre, get to know others in your community and be part of the fun. Visit Hawkesbury Events Facebook page for details of other Australia Day events around the Hawkesbury. I would love to see you all there.
  • Council is revising the Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan. This Plan is the core document that underpins Council’s future planning and strategies, so it affects everyone. The draft Plan has five Focus Areas - Our Leadership, Our Community, Our Environment, Our Assets, and Our Future, each having key directions and strategies. Council and the community have to consider things like growth in the Hawkesbury – I urge you to think about growth as being balanced and supported by adequate infrastructure, to ensure it doesn’t detract from the characteristics valued strongly by the community. I encourage you to tell us how we can cater for our current needs and for generations to come, whilst keeping an energetic and vibrant city. To enable you to do this and have your say, we will commence a series of public meetings and listening kiosks around the Hawkesbury in just two weeks time. Please try and attend at least of one of these to provide valuable feedback to Council. Otherwise, visit Council’s website, read the draft Community Strategic Plan, and fill in a short online survey to have your say.
  • A great way to start 2017 is to get involved in your local area is to attend the above local events and public meetings to have your say on the future of the Hawkesbury.

Mayoral Column

Preparation is well underway for Council’s 2017 Australia Day celebrations and we are proud to say that we will be joined by our Australia Day ambassador, Karen Banton, CEO of the Bernie Banton Foundation. Karen is a strong advocate on behalf of asbestos disease sufferers and their families.

Members of the public are welcome to join us for the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony which will be held at the Windsor Function Centre on 26 January commencing at 9am to witness people from a diverse range of cultures taking their citizenship pledge.

Celebrations will continue at Windsor Function Centre from midday with the Australia Day Awards Ceremony. It will recognise the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of Hawkesbury community members. The much anticipated Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year will be announced on the day. The Sports Person of the Year will also be presented, as well as a number of other awards recognising contributions to community services and the arts and cultural heritage of the Hawkesbury.

To join us please RSVP for catering purposes via email events@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and please state event: i.e. Citizenship and or Australia Day Awards. Alternatively call (02) 4560 4410 to RSVP for the Citizenship Ceremony or call (02) 4560 4444 to RSVP for the Awards Ceremony. Visit Hawkesbury Events Facebook page for details of other Australia Day events around the Hawkesbury.

12 January 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council has now opened West Portland Road Bridge, Lower Portland to the public. Construction of the new three span concrete bridge over Roberts Creek at Lower Portland commenced in August 2016. The new bridge has now replaced the single lane Bailey bridge which was a steel and timber structure in poor condition with a load limit of 12 tonne. The Bailey bridge was also on a tight bend with restricted sight distance. The new 30m span concrete bridge is located on a safer road alignment with no weight restriction.
    Along with eight other bridges, this bridge has now been replaced under Council's Timber Bridge Replacement program. It is funded through a subsidised loan under the NSW Government's Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme (LIRS) and received additional funding under the Australian Government Bridge Renewal Program (BRP).The timber bridge replacement program is now drawing to a close, and a tender has now been accepted for the final two bridges on Upper Macdonald Road.
  • Council honoured 336 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets, from RAAF Base Richmond, by granting Freedom of Entry to the City on 18 December 2016. The parade was an outstanding success, with hundreds of well wishers turning out to cheer on the cadets who took part. The parade was held on what used to be the Officer Training Unit parade ground within the Scheyville National Park. The Freedom of Entry was granted to the Squadron in recognition of their service to the Hawkesbury community and to recognise the 75th Anniversary of the Australian Air Force Cadets. 336 SQN will exercise the Freedom of Entry later in 2017.
    The granting of the Freedom of Entry to a City is a tradition that dates back to the early history of Europe, when cities were surrounded by walls, protected by soldiers and the right of entry to outside soldiers was rarely given by the authorities. Today, the ceremony is representative of the esteem in which the Hawkesbury holds the RAAF Base and provides recognition of the facility's contribution to the local community.
  • Preparation is well underway for Council’s 2017 Australia Day celebrations. We will be joined by our Australia Day ambassador, Karen Banton, CEO of the Bernie Banton Foundation, a strong advocate of asbestos disease sufferers and their families.
    Members of the public are welcome to join us for the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony at the Windsor Function Centre at 9am on Thursday, 26 January and the Australia Day Awards Ceremony from midday also at the Windsor Function Centre. To join us, please RSVP for catering purposes via email events@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and please state event: i.e. Citizenship and or Australia Day Awards. Alternatively call 4560 4410 to RSVP for the Citizenship Ceremony or call 4560 4444 to RSVP for the Awards Ceremony. Visit Hawkesbury Events Facebook page for details of other Australia Day events around the Hawkesbury.

Mayoral Column

Summer is a great time to enjoy the Hawkesbury, be it swimming or camping in one of our many beautiful sites, or enjoying our pools. While you’re enjoying the great outdoors, please protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes. Various mosquito borne infections are prevalent in summer and autumn, so we all need to take simple measures to avoid mosquito bites at all times.

Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor is offering a free workshop for kids 11 years and over to learn how to create an individual comic strip at the KAPOW workshop on Wednesday, 18 January 2-4pm. The design will be combined to create a mural in the Library. Bookings essential via Eventbrite www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call the Library on (02) 4560 4460. Hawkesbury Central Library is located at 300 George Street, Windsor.

Hawkesbury Regional Gallery is offering activities for creative kids, starting with the Art/Dressing Room, where kids from two years are invited to drop in for FREE art/craft and dressing up activities, including a puppet theatre which is open through the holidays until Sunday, 5 February 2017. There are also workshops on 18, 19 and 20 January at the Gallery. Visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/gallery for details. The Gallery is in the Deerubbin Centre (1st floor), 300 George Street Windsor, phone (02) 4560 4440.

The Library and Gallery will also host a Pop Up Library and Gallery with giveaways and fun activities at Richmond Swimming Centre, 71 East Market Street, Richmond on Tuesday, 24 January 10am-noon. Happy New Year and enjoy your holidays!

Page ID: 65461