From the Mayor

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.comCouncil 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!

22 December 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council recently 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 12pm 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 (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.

Mayoral Column

Over the past few weeks Hawkesbury City Councillors and I have been attending local school presentation assemblies to award Hawkesbury City Council School Citizenship Awards to deserving students.

Students are selected for these awards by their schools for a number of reasons including academic achievements, contribution to the school community or perhaps for displaying personal qualities important to the school’s spirit. Recipients receive a certificate and a book voucher.

It has been a delight to meet so many talented young people within our community who are dedicated to their studies and their school life. It has also been a great opportunity to learn of some of the many projects and activities that our young people are participating in through their schools.

As in previous years, Council will be operating with reduced staffing levels from

Monday, 19 December 2016 until Friday, 6 January 2017. Please visit www.hawkebury.nsw.gov.au for details. I’d also like to remind you that Council will provide free extra recycling services between 26 December 2017 and 30 January 2017. It’s our way of saying thank you to residents for recycling and to encourage continued recycling. The weekly recycling collection services will be provided to eligible properties paying for a domestic waste service on scheduled collection days including public holidays.

On behalf of Hawkesbury City Councillors and staff, I would like to extend to you and your families very best wishes for a safe and happy festive season. Thank you to everyone who has supported the 2016 Mayoral Christmas Appeal by donating presents for children and adults in need.

Christmas is the time of giving, community celebrations, festivities, hope and joy. I hope you all have the opportunity to spend time with or contact family, friends and loved ones. May 2017 be safe, happy and prosperous for you and your families.

15 December 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • The new launching facility at Macquarie Park, Windsor is now complete in time for summer. The NSW Government provided Hawkesbury City Council with $300,000 through the NSW Boating Now program to build a fixed non-powered boating facility with a launching ramp to improve access for disabled users.
    Macquarie Park is popular for users of recreational and other non‑powered craft such as kayaks and is the starting point for events such as the Windsor Canoe Classic which attracts up to 600 participants annually. Council has invested $170,000 over 2015-2016 into Macquarie Park, and Council will invest another $100,000 for further foreshore improvement The Parks staff at Council work very hard to make our parks part of a constantly improving Social Plan, and they are always on the lookout for how to make our parks better for everybody. This facility is a wonderful addition to our area which will further improve the recreational experiences of our residents and visitors to the Hawkesbury.
    For more information about NSW Boating Now or the Better Boating program visit the Roads and Maritime Services website or Transport for NSW
  • I’m pleased to announce that Council has resolved to engage a member of the local Darug community, determined by their Elders, to undertake a Smoking Ceremony at the beginning of the first Council meeting of each calendar year.
  • Council: has also resolved to pledge its support for the Safe School Program. Safe Schools is a program designed to create safe and inclusive schools, free from homophobic and transphobic bullying for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) young people.
    The pledge states: ‘We believe that schools should provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students, so that they can learn, grow, and reach their full potential - free from bullying and discrimination. We pledge to stand up against homophobia and transphobia whenever we see or hear it. We are proud to support Safe Schools Coalition Australia and its work to create positive change for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, school staff and families.’
  • On behalf of Hawkesbury City Councillors and staff, I would like to extend to you and your families very best wishes for a safe and happy festive season. Thank you to everyone who has supported the 2016 Mayoral Christmas Tree Appeal by donating presents for children and adults in need. Christmas is the time of giving, community celebrations, festivities, hope and joy. I hope you all have the opportunity to spend time with or contact family, friends and loved ones.
    Christmas is a time to remember and attempt to assist those who are less fortunate than us. As a society we should do our best to include the community, as a whole, in our celebrations, especially those who do not have the comforts or family that we might have, to surround them. May 2017 be safe, happy and prosperous for you and your families.

Mayoral Column

Hawkesbury volunteers and local community representatives gathered at Windsor Function Centre last night for Hawkesbury City Council’s Community Appreciation Party. This event was a special thank you for the community support given to the Hawkesbury region in so many ways by active community members.

A wide range of organisations, as well as many well respected individuals attended, including members of the Country Women’s Association, NSW Rural Fire Brigades, the State Emergency Service and many other community groups and individuals who have helped in so many different ways around the Hawkesbury over the past year.

Business, commercial and educational representatives, along with indigenous, history, art and cultural identities also attended. It is an honour to be part of this community, among people who tirelessly give to the Hawkesbury in a variety of ways.

Council is very proud to be able to work in partnership with the community on many projects and activities that have benefitted the Hawkesbury over the year. Thank you to the many other Council committee members, community organisations, and volunteers that contribute and support Council, the community and its residents.

This will be the fifth year that the Mayoral Christmas appeal will be partnering with the Rotary Club of Richmond’s Tree of Joy Appeal. I am calling on all Hawkesbury residents to help us collect more gifts this year. What better way to spread Christmas cheer than a donation to families who may be struggling this Christmas. Gifts may be donated at Council’s Administration Building at Windsor, Hawkesbury Central Library at Windsor and Richmond Branch Library until Friday, 16 December 2016.

8 December 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Congratulations to all the Bushcare and Hawkesbury Community Nursery volunteers who won awards at the recent Landcare Awards ceremony. Hawkesbury City Council hosted the nineteenth annual Bushcare and Landcare Awards on Saturday, 2 December to commend the environmental volunteers of the Hawkesbury on their efforts throughout the year. The highest honour of the day, Environmental Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Robin Woods for her outstanding achievements and volunteer work. Robin is a grandmother and former science school-teacher, now retired, and a founding member of Hawkesbury Rainforest Network Landcare group and secretary/web manager of the Hawkesbury Environment Network. This award is presented to a volunteer who shows inspiring commitment and dedication to the Hawkesbury natural environment.
  • The Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre now stocks a Snake Bite Kit.This kit includes an emergency action card, two heavy compression bandages, two triangle bandages and detailed snake bite first aid instructions. These instructions are used in wilderness first aid courses throughout Australia. For the month of December the Visitor Information Centre is offering the Snake Bite Kit and the best-selling booklet Best Bushwalks in the Hawkesbury for only $22. This is a special 15% discount - valid until the end of the year. To buy the Snake Bite Kit and booklet drop into the Visitor Information Centre, open seven days at Ham Common (opposite the RAAF base), 328 Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond, or call 4560 4620 for more information. Remember, reptiles, and all Australian wildlife, are protected. To report injured or orphaned wildlife call the WIRES hotline on 1300 094 737. Visit www.wires.org.au to find out more about snakes and other wildlife.
  • I am attending the Regional Strategic Alliance (RSA) Board meeting with our Deputy Mayor Barry Calvert tonight and we’re looking forward to helping progress our Alliance with Penrith and Blue Mountains City Council. Through a Regional Strategic Alliance Working Group, Hawkesbury, Penrith and Blue Mountains Councils are establishing a more effective and coordinated regional approach to benefit all residents and strengthen the intent of wider State policies. The Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Penrith City Councils collectively represent a growing region of 334,767 people, and a geographic area of 461,154 sq. km. The RSA aims to improve the performance of this region and to shape its destiny, in collaboration with the NSW Government.
  • I take great pride in being the Hawkesbury’s new Mayor and, since I became Mayor in September, I have been taking time to meet many of our community members. I want to be as accessible to our community as possible and if you need to contact me do not hesitate to contact my office on (02) 4560 4410 to make an appointment.

Mayoral Column

I recently attended the Light Up Windsor event at Windsor Mall, which was a wonderful family-oriented festival with musical performances, Christmas activities. Congratulations to all the organisers, businesses and sponsors who supported this event, and to Windsor Business Group.

This week I launched the 2016 Mayoral Christmas Appeal, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Richmond’s Tree of Joy Appeal, at a special Christmas morning tea at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor. If you can donate a gift to donate to a child or adult in need, please join in this wonderful Christmas Appeal. Gift tags and collection boxes are available until Friday, 16 December 2016 at Hawkesbury Central Library, Deerubbin Centre (Ground Floor), 300 George St, Windsor; Richmond Branch Library, 29 West Market Street, Richmond; and Council’s Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor.

Council has recently removed the Krupp Field Gun from at the Windsor War Memorial at McQuade Park to the Council Depot for restoration works which have been made possible by $60,000 in funding from the NSW Government under the War Memorial Grants Program. The War Memorial Grants Program was administered by Liquor & Gaming NSW in consultation with the NSW Branch of the RSL of Australia and the Office of Veterans Affairs.

The Field Gun has suffered increased deterioration since its previous minor restoration and has now extensive rusting in the trail and the timber wheels have rotted with sections missing. Following the restoration process the field gun will return to the park, with a vision to install in a new display inclusive of interpretative signage.

Repairing and looking after local war memorials is a vital part of honouring Australian servicemen and women who sacrificed so much for our nation and it is also another way of reaching out to a new generation.

1 December 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I'm looking forward to attending tonight's Light Up Windsor event at Windsor Mall, Thursday, 1 December from 6pm to 9pm.It's a children's festival with musical performances, Christmas activities, and even a special appearance from Santa, Mrs Claus and a naughty elf. Why not join me for the festive occasion? I'd love to see as many people from the local community as possible joining in the Christmas cheer! Shops will even be open for early Christmas shopping and I will officially perform the light ceremony at 8pm. It's sure to be a fun night for everyone!
  • If you're planning to get into the festive spirit by lighting up your house, why not register it with the Make-A-Wish Foundation?  You can help bring hope, strength and the joy of a cherished wish to children and teenagers battling life-threatening medical conditions by registering to fundraise at your light display. Register online for a special fundraising pack to help collect donations. Visitors are encouraged to make a donation on site when viewing the Christmas lights, and every house that lights up their home for Make-A-Wish foundation will be helping to make cherished wishes come true.
  • As in previous years Council will be operating with reduced staffing levels from Monday, 19 December 2016 until Friday, 4 January 2017. Please visit Council's website for details.
  • Hawkesbury City Council will provide extra recycling service collections (yellow lidded bin) between 26 December 2016 and 30 January 2017 to eligible properties paying for a domestic waste service. This extra service will be provided on scheduled collection days including public holidays.
  • There are lots of fun Christmas events coming up in the Hawkesbury! Visit the Hawkesbury Events Facebook page for details of events in the Hawkesbury. To name a few:

    Lighting of the Christmas Tree Celebration – 2 December 2016, 7:30pm-8:30pm, Hawkesbury District Health Service, 2 Day St, Windsor

    Windsor Riverside Christmas Markets – 3 December, 9am-2pm at Governor Phillip Park, Windsor

    Christmas morning tea at your Library and launch of the Mayoral Christmas Appeal – 6 December, 10am, Hawkesbury Central Library, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George St, Windsor

    Carols in the Park and Family Fun Time –10 December, 6pm, Kurrajong Memorial Park, Kurrajong Village

    Richmond Lions Christmas Markets – 10 December, 7:30am, Hawkesbury Showground, Clarendon

    Bilpin Christmas Markets – 3 December, 10am to midday, Bilpin Community Hall, Bells Line of Rd, Bilpin

    Carols on the Lawn – 11 December, 6pm, Pitt Town Anglican Church

    Hanna Park Carols –18 December, 4:30pm onwards, Hanna Park, North Richmond

    Twilight Christmas Market by Richmond Good Food Market – 23 December, 4pm-8pm Richmond Park, corner of Windsor Street and East Market Street, Richmond.

Mayoral Column

Christmas is fast approaching and families across the Hawkesbury are beginning to plan spectacular Christmas light displays to brighten up their homes, get into the festive spirit, and spread the joy.

Make-A-Wish® Australia is inviting local families to help bring the hope, strength and joy of a cherished wish to children and teenagers battling life-threatening medical conditions, by registering to fundraise at their light displays.

After registering light displays online families will receive a special fundraising pack with tips and tools to help them prepare to collect donations in the lead up to Christmas.

I encourage members of our local community to make a donation on site when viewing the Christmas light displays in the Hawkesbury participating in the program.

Along with residents, businesses have started getting into the Christmas spirit too. Council is helping businesses with some local Christmas light displays by providing $1,500 to the Windsor Business Group and $1,000 to the Kurrajong Community Forum for Christmas Lights displays and Christmas activities. Be sure to go along and see the beautiful lights and decorations over Christmas.

Next week on Tuesday, 6 December I will launch the 2016 Mayoral Christmas Appeal, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Richmond’s Tree of Joy Appeal, at a special Christmas morning tea at 10am at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor. From 11am, children will enjoy Christmas stories, songs and craft. No bookings are required, just come along for a cuppa and if you can, bring a gift to donate to a child or adult in need. Gift tags and collection boxes are available until Friday, 16 December 2016 at Hawkesbury Central Library, Deerubbin Centre (Ground Floor), 300 George St, Windsor; Richmond Branch Library, 29 West Market Street, Richmond; and Council’s Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor.

24 November 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Traffic changes are in place on South Street, Marsden Park as part of the $340 million upgrade of Schofields Road between Windsor Road and Richmond Road. The changed alignment will be in place until about mid 2017 weather permitting. Access to private properties will be maintained at all times. Please observe speed limits and follow the direction of traffic controllers and signs. For the latest traffic updates, call 132 701, visit www.livetraffic.com or download the Live Traffic NSW App. For more information on our projects, visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au.
  • Please note that Governor Phillip Park and Boat Ramp at Windsor will be closed to the general public on Saturday, 26 and Sunday, 27 November 2016 as exclusive use has been granted to NSW Water Ski Federation for the Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Classic.
  • Congratulations to everyone involved in the 2016 Newcastle to Blacktown White Ribbon Ride. 40 cyclists began their three day 230km ride on Saturday, 19 November and went through Windsor on their way to Blacktown Workers Club, where they were guests of honour at the White Ribbon Breakfast. The event raised over $60,000 for local women's services including The Women's Cottage at Richmond.
  • Hawkesbury City Council has commenced its review of the Community Strategic Plan (CSP) with a Strategic Planning weekend held locally on 19-20 November for Councillors and executive staff. The weekend involved Councillors in workshops and group discussions about the future needs of the Hawkesbury. This is the first step in developing a draft document for Council to discuss with the community through a wide ranging community engagement process. This will include public meetings, focus groups and shopping centre displays. Councillors enjoyed the interactive and collaborative sessions with staff on various topics including looking at the ‘big picture’ and ‘what makes a great Community Strategic Plan’. A draft of an amended CSP arising from the planning weekend will be presented at the Council Meeting on Tuesday, 13 December. Community engagement is planned for February 2017.
  • Hills Shire Council has advised that road reconstruction works will commence from Thursday, 24 November 2016 as outlined below:

    Boundary Road, Box Hill

    between Windsor Road to Old Pitt Town Road

    24 November to 29 November 2016

    Night Works

    7pm to 5am

    Boundary Road, Maraylya

    between Pitt Town Road to Maguires Road

    1 December to 6 December 2016

    Day Works

    7am to 5pm


    During the works traffic controls will be put in place including road closures and detours or stop/slow arrangements and travelling delays may result. Entry to properties may be possible under the direction of the traffic controllers. For further information please contact Hill Shire Council's supervisor Mr Suresh Sureshalingam on 0466 329 014.

Mayoral Column

As many of us make plans for the Christmas holidays, now is also the time to consider the furry members of our community and how they are going to fare during the festive season.

Responsible pet ownership means considering if your lifestyle suits having a pet and all the love and care they need including food, exercise, shelter, appropriate fences and social interaction. The costs of vet bills and health maintenance such as flea and worm treatments also need to be considered.

It’s widely discouraged to give pets as presents these days but if you’re thinking of one for yourself, and you’ve considered your lifestyle needs, then I certainly recommend considering going to the Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter to find your next cat or dog, especially after the holiday season. Historically our shelter ends up facing an influx of dogs and cats over the holiday period. Sadly, this is when many pets get abandoned or lost, especially after New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Our shelter staff do a fantastic job at reuniting people with their lost pets as well as rehoming the other animals brought into the Shelter. In the 2015 calendar year, the Shelter had a 94% re-homing rate for dogs. I encourage you to visit our Companion Animal Shelter to meet the dogs and cats that are looking for new homes – you will be helping to save the life of an animal. When animals are adopted from the Shelter they are microchipped, lifetime registered, vaccinated and desexed at the time of purchase.

The Shelter is located at 10 Mulgrave Road, Mulgrave. Hours for the Shelter are Monday to Friday: 9am to 12:30pm and 2pm to 4:30pm; Saturday: 9:30am to 11.30am and Sunday: 7am to 9am. You can also look at the dogs and cats available on Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au at any time.

17 November 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Traffic changes, which may affect the commute of some of our residents, will occur on South Street, Marsden Park from Thursday, 17 November as part of the $340 million upgrade of Schofields Road between Windsor Road and Richmond Road. Roads and Maritime Services traffic controllers will direct traffic at the intersection from 9am to 3pm on Thursday 17 November, weather permitting, while the new alignment is being implemented. The changed alignment will be in place until about mid 2017 weather permitting. There will be some temporary traffic changes including short term lane closures on Thursday, 17 November to ensure the work zone is safe while the new alignment is being implemented. This may affect travel times. Access to private properties will be maintained at all times. Please observe speed limits and follow the direction of traffic controllers and signs. For the latest traffic updates, call 132 701, visit www.livetraffic.com or download the Live Traffic NSW App. For more information on our projects, visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au
  • All future community land within the North Richmond Release Area, including an area of cultural significance, is to be formally categorised in order to determine the relevant management objectives for the land. A Public Hearing and community meeting will be held at the North Richmond Community Centre, William Street, North Richmond from 7pm-8pm on Wednesday, 23 November 2016. Have your say about how the future community land (parks and reserves) within the North Richmond Release Area are to be categorised/managed. Written feedback on the draft categories can be provided no later than Wednesday, 14 December 2016 to Council via: mail: P.O. Box 146, WINDSOR NSW, 2156, email council@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or via Council's Community Engagement site www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au For more information please contact the Manager, Parks and Recreation, Hawkesbury City Council on (02) 4560 4444.
  • It is unfortunate for our community that the Bligh Park Community Precinct has been severely vandalised and now this must be repaired with a damage bill of over $12,000. The precinct was only opened in 2014 and included over $100,000 in upgrades which allowed for the construction of new pathways, installation of tables and chairs, wooden artwork play equipment, landscape works and light upgrades, a skate facility, multipurpose court and Parkour facility to enhance recreational options for the community. We endeavour to provide good facilities for the community but this type of destruction makes it hard for everyone to enjoy.
  • Council recently joined with Family Worker Training + Development Programme Inc. to host a Family and Domestic Violence forum in Richmond. While I was at the forum I heard a personal story of family and domestic violence from a brave Hawkesbury businesswoman, as well as meeting Moo Baulch, Chief Executive Officer of Domestic Violence NSW. The forum shared recent findings based on three separate focus groups in the Hawkesbury: Legislative agencies, FDV services, and survivor participants. A key exercise was the chance for people to have their say on www.theworldcafe.com/key-concepts-resources/world-cafe-method in a collaborative session.
    There are many types of family and domestic violence and it does not have to be physical. It is violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour by a partner, carer or family member to control, dominate or cause fear. For information, support and help, call the 24 hour Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63 or visit www.domesticviolence.nsw.gov.au for more information. To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the 24 hour Child Protection Helpline on 132 111. Anyone in immediate danger should call Triple Zero (000).

Mayoral Column

The fire season is upon us with dozens of fires burning across New South Wales. Thanks to the hard work of firefighters, water aircraft deployment and the experienced planning of Emergency Services, these fires are being controlled.

High fuel loads, coupled with warm, dry and windy weather, provide the dangerous conditions which quickly fuel fire, so it is vital to stay aware of fire bans. In a Total Fire Ban no fire may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended. This includes barbeques which burn solid fuel, for example wood, charcoal or heat beads. No general purpose welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting can be done in the open. Visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au to stay updated on fire bans or for 24 hours a day information call 1800 679 737.

Saving people’s lives and properties is challenging work and it’s up to us to do our bit by being prepared, especially as many of us live in bushfire prone areas.

The risk of fire is too great to ignore preparing a Bush Fire Survival Plan. By taking 20 minutes with your family to discuss what you’ll do during a fire could save their lives as well as your home. Visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au for an easy guide.

Even if your plan is to leave early, the more you prepare your home, the more likely it will survive a bushfire or ember attack. A well prepared home can also be easier for you or firefighters to defend, and is less likely to put your neighbours' homes at risk. It will also give you more protection if a fire threatens suddenly and you cannot leave.

Sadly, fires are sometimes deliberately lit, so it is important to stay vigilant and immediately report suspicious activity and fire by calling 000.

10 November 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • There will be Temporary Changed Traffic Conditions during the IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney triathlon to ensure the safety of the public and the competitors, a number of temporary changed traffic conditions will be implemented on Sunday, 27 November. Parts of Castlereagh Road will be affected with The Driftway Closed between Castlereagh Rd and Londonderry Road from 4:30am to 1pm. For more details or to download the map visit www.ironman.com/hu-hu/triathlon/events/asiapac/ironman-70-3/western-sydney.aspx (search changed traffic conditions).
  • I recently attended the Big Red Ride Charity Event in Richmond Park which is an important fundraising event for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of NSW. Cyclists ride from Bondi to the Blue Mountains (stopping for a rest at Richmond Park) in a bid to raise the funds to help the 20,000 people in Australia affected by Muscular Dystrophy. 100% of funds raised will go to the MDNSW Kids for Life Program to help children living with Muscular Dystrophy. The Kids for Life Program provides critical life-changing support and assistance to young people living with Muscular Dystrophy to help them live more fulfilled lives. To donate visit http://bigredridesydney.gofundraise.com.au
  • Professor Fred Watson, one of Australia’s best known astronomers, will give a presentation on local astronomer, John Tebbutt (1834-1916) on Tuesday, 29 November, which is the centenary of John Tebbutt’s death, at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor. Born and bred in Windsor, Tebbutt was one of the 19th Century’s greatest astronomers, with a world-wide reputation. All participants to this event will also receive a free copy of the book written by John Tebbutt titled ‘Astronomical Memoirs’. Refreshments will be available from 6:30pm with the talk commencing at 7pm. This is a free event, however bookings are required by emailing programs@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 4560 4460. Hawkesbury Central Library is located at Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor.

Mayoral Column

Council’s Waste 2 Art Competition is now on exhibition at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor as part of National Recycling Week, which runs from Monday, 7 November to Sunday, 13 November.

Councillor Emma-Jane Garrow opened the Waste 2 Art Competition on Monday and presented prizes to the winning students.

Council received over 50 entries for its Waste 2 Art Competition which aims to show how waste can be given a new purpose by transforming it into a creative piece of artwork. There are some wonderfully original artworks from students who used their imagination to reuse and recycle objects into art.

Made entirely of used or recycled materials, the artworks reveal that our young people are passionate about helping our environment by reusing waste. Congratulations to all the winners! Visit Council’s website for details and make sure to visit Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Deerubbin Centre, Windsor to see the exhibition.

Now is also a great time to visit the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery for its annual Art Fair which is on until Sunday, 4 December. The Art Fair is a celebration of local creative activity where members of the community can meet a diverse range of creative people and purchase some beautiful, unique artworks made locally.

There are displays of work by the Hawkesbury’s finest artists and designers as well as guest artists from the Blue Mountains and Penrith, in recognition of the historic and strategic links between the three Local Government Areas.

There will also be two art workshops held in conjunction with the Art Fair, ‘Make your own linocut Christmas Cards’ and ‘Silver Jewellery’. Call (02) 4560 4440 for workshop costs and dates and to book. The Gallery is located in the Deerubbin Centre (1st floor), 300 George Street, Windsor.

3 November 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Sydney Trains will close the Western Line between Granville and St Marys/Penrith/Richmond on the weekend of the 5 and 6 November 2016. Buses will replace train services over the full closure. For bus routes operating during the closure visit service updates/trackwork at http://www.sydneytrains.info
  • The Lower Portland Ferry is now back in service. All work is complete and is operating as usual.
  • I’m looking forward to meeting the riders and supporters of the annual Muscular Dystrophy NSW Big Red Ride Charity Event this Sunday, 6 November 2016 at Richmond Park. Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular, genetic disorder which results in the progressive deterioration of muscle strength and function. While most forms of muscular dystrophy occur in babies or children but it can affect people of all ages. The cyclists will start in Bondi, break for lunch in Richmond and conclude the event in Katoomba, while some who opt for a shorter ride will finish at Richmond Park. The Rotary Club of Richmond will be there again in their numbers, providing a hot lunch for the riders, their family and supporters. For more information visit http://mdnsw.org.au/big-red-ride
  • Did you know that there are Justice of the Peace services available for the community at Hawkesbury Central Library? The free service is available at 300 George Street, Windsor on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:30am to 11:30am. Please arrive with enough time for the JP to certify your documents - the JP may limit the number of documents to certify in a session at their discretion. No bookings necessary but as this service is provided by volunteers, it is subject to availability. For more information call (02) 4560 4460.

Mayoral Column

Women, children and supportive men in the community gathered last week to walk from The Women’s Cottage in Richmond to Richmond Park as part of ‘Reclaim The Night’, a symbolic march through the streets which is a global women’s protest against men’s sexual violence.

In acknowledgement of the valuable work by the Women’s Cottage towards helping individuals and families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and other related family matters, Council has resolved to provide financial assistance of $22,399 per year to the Women’s Cottage over the next five years under the Community Sponsorship Program.

Council has also agreed to enter into a new ten year lease with Hawkesbury Area Women’s and Kids Services Inc. (the Women’s Cottage) in Bosworth Street, Richmond with two further ten year options. For more information about the Women’s Cottage support services, visit www.womenscottage.org.au or call (02) 4578 4190.

Council has joined with Family Worker Training + Development Programme Inc. to host a public forum in Richmond on Thursday, 10 November for support services and high schools representatives across the Hawkesbury to discuss strategies to address family and domestic violence (FDV). I warmly invite concerned and interested residents to also attend to help Council generate ideas to help address issues of family and domestic violence within the Hawkesbury community.

As well as a personal story of Family and Domestic Violence from a brave Hawkesbury businesswoman, keynote speakers will include Moo Baulch, Chief Executive Officer of Domestic Violence NSW; Dr. Susan Heward-Belle from the University of Sydney; and Superintendent Stephen Egginton, Hawkesbury Local Area Command.

Visit http://fwtdpcrm.vascrm.com/portal/event to register. For more information call Vicki on (02) 9620 6172 or email vickiw@fwtdp.org.au or email Council’s Community Safety Coordinator safety@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 4560 4498.

27 October 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Reclaim The Night is on tonight, 27 October - an annual event that celebrates women’s rights through a symbolic march through the streets. Women, children and supportive men in the community are encouraged to come along on the walk tonight from The Women’s Cottage at 22 Bosworth Street, Richmond – meet at 5:30pm for a 6pm march – to the Richmond Park Rotunda. After the march there will be various free activities and entertainment for adults and children, and a free BBQ. Reclaim The Night is a global women’s protest against men’s sexual violence, and the local event is being organised by the Hawkesbury Action Network Against Domestic Violence (HANADV) and Hawkesbury Sexual Violence Prevention Network (HSVPN). For more information about the Women’s Cottage support services, visit www.womenscottage.org.au or call 4578 4190.
  • The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Barry Calvert attended the Richmond Community Services Inc. (RCSI) Annual General Meeting this week and he said it was wonderful to see so many people from different sectors of the community in attendance. Now in its 36th year, RCSI is a Richmond based community centre that provides a range of family and social support programs to the community. Guest speaker Can Yasmut, CEO of the Local Community Services Association gave an insightful talk about ‘authentic community engagement’.
  • Well done to the many people in the local community who are hosting Pink Ribbon Fundraisers this week. The Cancer Council's Pink Ribbon campaign aims to raise awareness about breast and gynaecological cancers, as well as raise funds for prevention programs, support services and vital cancer research. Whether it was hosting a Pink Ribbon morning tea, wearing a pink ribbon, selling or buying merchandise or volunteering on Pink Ribbon Day or, it has been great to see everyone to unite in pink to help Cancer Council beat women’s cancers. Every day in Australia around 50 women are diagnosed with breast or a gynaecological cancer. To make a donation or for more information visit http://www.cancer.org.au/get-involved/events/cancer-council-pink
  • Councillor Emma-Jane Garrow attended a Rural Fire Service (RFS) Cadet Graduation ceremony at Arndell College on my behalf last Friday, 21 October, 2016 and she saw many proud cadets on the day. NSW RFS brigades offer junior or cadet membership for young people aged from 12 years, depending on a brigade's capacity to supervise, mentor and develop junior members. For more information visit http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/youth

Mayoral Column

This weekend, 27-30 October is The Sydney Blues and Roots Festival at Windsor, with lots of free entertainment planned. Now in its eight year, the festival gets bigger and better every year, with the program featuring a great line-up of bands, and plenty of free entertainment for the local community and visitors alike.

Following on the great success of the 2015 festival, and with the help of Council’s sponsorship, The Sydney Blues and Roots Festival will again throw its doors open to the public and make it free, with only the exception of some dinner/shows and blues cruises being ticketed.

The festival features amazing local and global talent playing the best blues music in the world, so I encourage as many of you as possible to get out and about to enjoy this wonderful musical experience right here in the Hawkesbury.

Council is proud to support the festival as the naming rights sponsor of the iconic Sydney Blues and Roots Festival, and it is great to see the local business community supporting the festival too. Visit www.sydneybluesfestival.com.au for details on all free and ticketed events. For help to book accommodation, visit the Visitor Information Centre’s website www.hawkesburytourism.com.au or call (02) 4560 4620.

I also want to remind everyone that nominations are now open for Australia Day Awards and Council is inviting individuals and community groups to nominate worthy individuals who address the selection criteria of one or more of the nine categories: Citizen of the Year; Young Citizen of the Year; Local Hero Award; Volunteer of the Year; Community Organisation of the Year; Community Arts Award; Cultural Heritage Award; Environmental Award and Commemorative Plaque.

More information about the award categories and nomination forms are available online or call Customer Service on (02) 4560 4444. Nominations will close on Friday, 11 November 2016 at 5pm.

20 October 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • At the Local Government conference this week, I valued the chance to meet Mayors and Councillors from other Local Government Areas across NSW and discuss current challenges facing local councils. I was interested to hear presentations on potential changes to the planning system and proposed legislative changes to the Crown Lands Act. I enjoyed exploring the many information booths providing information on the latest technologies and services for local government and it was beneficial to have discussions about how things may be improved or made more efficient. It was also a good opportunity to see some of the upgrades and achievements made by Wollongong City Council who did a great job hosting the event.
  • Remember the Garage Sale Trail is on this Saturday, 22 October! Hawkesbury households, community groups, schools, charities and local businesses will be selling all kinds of trash and treasure. While the Garage Sale Trail generates local economic activity, it also provides residents with a fun day of buying, selling and connecting with local people. Council is proud to support the movement that allows over 10,000 garage sales across Australia on one day. To find sales in your area, visit www.garagesaletrail.com.au.
  • Necessary road works will commence at Crooked Lane, North Richmond from Tuesday, 1 November 2016 for approximately seven weeks, weather permitting. A restricted through traffic along Crooked Lane between Bells Line of Road and Slopes Road will be available during this period. Motorists are advised to use an alternative route. Your assistance during this period is greatly appreciated and apologies are extended for any inconvenience. For further information please contact Mr Matthew Toriola during business hours on (02) 4560 4518.

Mayoral Column

Winners of the 2016 Hawkesbury Garden Competition were announced last night at Windsor RSL. Councillors Connolly, Rasmussen, Reynolds and I were pleased to attend the event, meet the winners and present their prizes.

Congratulations to all entrants and winners who put a great deal of time, effort and planning into their gardens.

45 entries in eight categories were received for this year’s competition, with the honour of Grand Champion Garden awarded to Peter and Judi Collier from Bilpin. Mr and Mrs Collier received a perpetual trophy engraved with all Grand Champion winners from the past, as well as many other prizes.

Beverley Kable from St Albans won Best Regional Garden – North; Michael Edwards from Pitt Town won Best Regional Garden - South and Peter and Judi Collier from Bilpin won Best Regional Garden - West.

Congratulations also to these winners:  Best Acreage Garden - Margaret Fedel, Kurrajong Heights; Best Kids Garden - Bligh Park Out of Schools Hours Care; Best Non Residential - Hawkesbury Self Storage; Best Residential Garden - Peter and Judi Collier, Bilpin; Best Schools Garden maintained by students - Grose View Public School; Best Schools Garden - maintained by staff – South Windsor Public School; Best Seniors Garden - Kay Jackson Glossodia; Best Small Garden - John Glanville, Richmond.

Thank you to all the people who took the time to enter the competition and to our independent judge Beth Chapman.

Thanks also to the Hawkesbury Camera Club for working with Council to organise the competition and for photographing the gardens so beautifully. Thank you also to our sponsor Windsor RSL for providing the venue for our presentation and the many other local business who supported this year’s competition.

13 October 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Tomorrow, October 14 2016, is the last chance for parents or teachers to register their primary school students for the annual Waste2Art competition, which focuses on the REUSE part of the 3Rs of the waste hierarchy by asking students to give waste a new purpose by transforming it into a creative piece of artwork. Prizes will be given to the best entries from students in Stages 1, 2 and 3 from local primary schools. Artwork must be delivered to Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor between 31 October and 2 November 2016. Click here for more information or call Council’s Waste Education Officer on 4560 4566.
  • Councillor Danielle Wheeler and I attended Council’s ‘Green Health Zone’ last week at Clarendon Skate Park as part of Mental Health Month. It was funded by a grant from the Way Ahead Mental Health Association NSW to promote the importance of early intervention practices for positive mental health and wellbeing. The relaxing space and the free plants were very popular, with the event being part of the YMCA NSW SkatePark League and Festival for 12 to 25 year olds. Council was a major sponsor of the Festival. We visited various stalls and even helped paint a community mural for the library.
  • This Saturday, 15 October, I am attending Pink Finss Charity Champagne Breakfast at Hawkesbury Race Course, Clarendon, organised by Hawkesbury High School and JobQuest. Pink Finss is a charity which aims to create a supportive environment for women suffering from breast cancer and raise awareness of the disease. The money raised will primarily benefit local Hawkesbury women and their families suffering with breast cancer. It is a great charity and I encourage everyone to consider supporting it. For more information visit http://pinkfinss.com.au.
  • I am looking forward to attending the Local Government NSW Annual Conference in Wollongong this Sunday, 16 October to Tuesday, 18 October where I will meet many other Local Government representatives. I will provide an update of the conference proceedings next week.

Mayoral Column

As the Hawkesbury’s new Mayor and a local resident, I take great pride in in the Hawkesbury, and it is heart-warming to be welcomed by so many community members who are excited about the prospect of the bright future of Hawkesbury with our new Council now on board.

Following the recent Council election, it is necessary for Council to invite suitably qualified members of the community to act as community representatives on Council Committees.

As a Councillor, I have attended many Committee meetings and it is my personal experience that community representatives play a very important and valued role. Depending on the Committee involved, members can provide advice and make recommendations to Council on a range of areas.

There are eight committees in which community representatives can help.. The areas include developing sustainability initiatives, improving the wellbeing of local residents (Human Services), future waste management, access and inclusion (eliminating barriers which prevent residents and visitors from participating fully in community and civic life) and risk management.

We value our community’s needs and opinions so I encourage you to consider becoming a member.

The Committees are: the Human Services Advisory Committee; the Hawkesbury Civics and Citizenship Committee; the Hawkesbury Sustainability Advisory Committee; the Waste Management Advisory Committee; the Heritage Advisory Committee; the Floodplain Risk Management Advisory Committee; the Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee; and the Hawkesbury Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

Community members are generally appointed to committees on the basis of their industry knowledge and experience, technical skills and/or their ability to interpret the common interests of residents. If you would like more information and to obtain an Expression of Interest Form, please visit Council website’s or call (02) 4560 4444. Expressions of Interest will close 5 pm Friday, 11 November 2016.

29 September 2016

News from Council

Hawkesbury City Council is conducting bin inspections across the Hawkesbury in an effort to continually improve recycling and to make sure that everyone in the community knows what can be recycled.

Bin inspection programs are an important aspect of community recycling education, facilitating the direct feedback to residents on their demonstrated recycling behaviours. They are gaining in popularity among councils throughout the country, with Hawkesbury City Council’s Waste Education Contractor, EnviroCom, conducting such programs on behalf of Council since 2013. Inspections are conducted on the morning of recycling or garden organics collections, predominantly in areas that have been targeted for contamination issues.

Residents will either receive a Thank you Bin Tag if the correct materials are found inside, or a Contamination Bin Tag to assist with sorting recycling correctly in the future if incorrect items are present. Residents may also receive a ‘Smiley Sticker’ for placement on their recycling or garden organics bin, identifying them as a Champion Recycler, if the bins presented were consistently uncontaminated.

The bin inspection program is for educational purposes only and residents will not receive financial penalties if contamination is present.

Things that can go into the recycling bin include newspapers, magazine, junk mail, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, milk and juice cartons, steel/tin and aluminium cans, aluminium foil/trays, empty aerosols such as bug spray, deodorants, air fresheners, all hard plastic containers such as ice-cream containers, margarine tubs, fruit and vegetable punnets, salad dressing and sauce bottles, shampoo/conditioner bottles, dishwashing liquid and laundry powder/liquid bottles.

Things that can go in the garden organics bin include grass clippings, fresh or dry leaves, cut flowers, pruned bushes, sticks (no longer than 40cm in length and 10cm in diameter) and garden weeds.

For further information, visit Council's website, 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 call Customer Service on (02) 4560 4430.

22 September 2016

News from Council

The Hawkesbury City Council election was held by the NSW Electoral Commission on Saturday, 10 September 2016. Following the election results, Hawkesbury City Council welcomes and congratulates seven newly elected Councillors: Emma-Jane Garrow, Amanda Kotlash, Peter Reynolds, Sarah Richards, John Ross, Danielle Wheeler and Nathan Zamprogno. Congratulations to the five re-elected Councillors: Barry Calvert, Patrick Conolly, Mary Lyons-Buckett, Paul Rasmussen and Tiffany Tree. For more information on election results, visit www.votensw.info or call the NSW Electoral Commission on 1300 135 736.

The election of the Mayor of Hawkesbury for the 2016 - 2018 Mayoral Term and Deputy Mayor will take place at Council’s Extraordinary Meeting on Tuesday, 27 September 2016. Recent changes to legislation provide for the Mayor to hold the position for a two year term. A Constitutional Referendum was also held at this election regarding the Hawkesbury Local Government Area being divided into wards. The majority of the community voted no, so Council will remain an undivided area with12 Councillors representing all electors.

With the days already getting warmer, Richmond Swimming Centre will open for the spring/summer season on Saturday, 24 September, ensuring all families can make the most of the school holidays. Thermal pool covers will be applied from the beginning of the pool season to keep the water temperature enjoyable. After a successful trial last season, the Centre will extend opening hours to 7pm on weekdays from 10 October, allowing residents to again take advantage of daylight savings.

This season Richmond Swimming Centre will offer swimming lessons for pre-school and school aged children from the first week of school in Term 4, squad options, club nights, swim carnival training as well as lap swimming. Richmond Swimming Centre is the perfect place to hold family gatherings, sporting and community group events. Richmond Swimming Centre is located at East Market Street, Richmond. Call (02) 4578 1349 for further information and opening hours or visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au .

15 September 2016

News from Council

Hawkesbury City Council residents and ratepayers elect 12 Councillors at a Local Government Election generally held every four years. The 2016 Local Council Election for the Hawkesbury Local Government Area was held on Saturday, 10 September. The election was conducted by the NSW Electoral Commission. Information about the progress of the count can be found on the Commission’s website or by calling 1300 135 736.

Hawkesbury Central Library, located at the Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor has plenty of free events planned for our community in spring! Bookings essential, call (02) 4560 4460 or email programs@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au with your name(s), contact number as well as which event and which session you would like to attend.

Try a free publishing workshop on Wednesday, 21 September 6:30-8:30pm with children’s author Aleesah Darlison, who will provide advice to new and aspiring authors about getting published.

Get to know your camera at a free workshop on Thursday, 22 September, 7pm to 9pm – BYO own camera. Learn more about the Hawkesbury’s native plants and what is available from Hawkesbury Community Nursery at a free workshop on Tuesday, 27 September 10:30am to 11:30am. Watch a free movie For The Term Of His Natural Life on Thursday, 29 September at 10am and again at 6pm at the Tebbutt Room. Refreshments available. This film has a classified rating of G. Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

Try the free computer courses for seniors on Wednesdays from 10am during October (5 – introduction, 12 – email, 19 – internet searching, 26 – social networking) and November (2 – introduction, 9 – email, 16 – internet searching, 23 – social networking).

Hawkesbury Regional Gallery also has new exhibition, Choose Your Own Adventure, which investigates the meaning of contemporary book arts, including the book as object, as media, and as a site of resistance. Free entry. The Gallery is located upstairs from Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor. Visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/gallery for Gallery hours or call (02) 4560 4441.

8 September 2016

News from Council

The Hawkesbury City Council election will be held by the NSW Electoral Commission on Saturday, 10 September 2016. Voting is compulsory. Information about the election and polling booth locations is on the Commission's website or call 1300 135 736.

A Constitutional Referendum will be held at this Local Council election regarding the Hawkesbury local government area being divided into wards. Council is currently an undivided area where 12 Councillors represent all electors. The referendum question will be: ‘Currently Hawkesbury City Council is an undivided council with no wards. Do you agree to the Hawkesbury local government area being divided into three wards, each ward electing four Councillors? ’. Further information is available on Council’s website.

In an effort to keep the Hawkesbury beautiful and protect our environment, Council has employed a new Compliance and Enforcement Officer to patrol the Hawkesbury, investigating incidents of littering, illegal waste disposal and dumping. This has been made possible through a partnership between the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Council under the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative and the Better Waste Grants Program.

Fineable offences can include roadside dumping, general littering and even putting waste on the kerbside without having a scheduled collection booked. Residents must not put the materials out more than 24 hours before the scheduled day. Otherwise residents may be required to put all the materials back within the boundaries of their property or face being fined. Individuals can be fined up to $450 on the spot for littering and up to $900 for businesses/corporations. Illegal dumping can carry penalties up to $1million and/or prison.

Members of our community can now report littering such as throwing cigarette butts and other litter from cars through the NSW EPA website. Without compromising personal safety, witnesses need to record details such as the vehicle registration, location, litter type, date and time. For more information or to report littering, dumpers or other pollution, call the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555 or visit the NSW EPA website.

1 September 2016

News from Council

Council accepts the need to improve the timely processing of development applications. In 2014/2015 the average days taken to determine a DA across all councils in NSW was 46 days. While the figure in the Hawkesbury was 57 days, over the past four years there has been a 52% improvement in DA processing times in the Hawkesbury. In contrast the average time taken to process a DA across all councils in NSW has increased. Processing times for all NSW councils can be accessed via the Department of Planning and Environment website.

The productivity of Council's development assessment staff also compares favourably with the NSW average. In 2014/2015, Council's assessment staff processed an average of 97 DAs each, while the corresponding figure across all NSW councils was 60. In the past three years, the Gross Regional Product of the Hawkesbury has grown by 26% (Source: REMPLAN) which is more than double the growth rate achieved across NSW as a whole.

Unfortunately there may be delays in the processing of DAs due to a number of factors which include:

  • the lodgement of incomplete DAs where Council needs to seek additional information from applicants, particularly where applications are seeking approval for developments which exceed Council's planning controls and guidelines
  • requirement to refer DAs to NSW Government agencies and other third parties for comment and assessment
  • where Council has requested that staff undertake further consultation with adjoining owners and affected residents who have expressed concern regarding the impact of a proposed development.

Council has both Section 94 and Section 94A Plans in place as well as a number of Voluntary Planning Agreements, all of which can be downloaded from Council's website. Since 2010/2011 Council has collected close to $90M in cash and dedicated assets from developers to provide essential community infrastructure. For more information about Development Applications and Developer Contributions, please visit the council website or call Customer Service on (02) 4560 4444.

25 August 2016

News from Council

Nominations are now open for the 2017 Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards. Council launched a range of new award categories in 2015 to better acknowledge the outstanding citizens of the Hawkesbury, which proved to be a huge success. Council is excited to have the same program for the second year.

The awards are a great way for the community to recognise outstanding people in the Hawkesbury. Community members can nominate in one or more of nine categories including Citizen/Young Citizen of the Year, Local Hero and Volunteer of the Year.

The winners will be announced on Australia Day, 2017, at a special awards presentation. Nominations close on Friday, 11 November 2016 at 5pm. Visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au for more information.  Council’s Civic and Citizenship Committee is responsible for assessing all nominations received, with judging to take place in early December.

Nominations are also open for the annual Natalie Burton Memorial Award. Residents are encouraged to nominate a worthy Hawkesbury high school student for the prestigious Natalie Burton Memorial Award trophy and $200 prize money. The award is intended for a recipient who has faced a challenging circumstance and, through application and determination, has overcome this adversity to succeed. More information and nomination forms are available online or at Council’s Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor, Richmond Branch Library and Hawkesbury Central Library at Windsor or by calling (02) 4560 4430. Nominations close 5pm Friday, 23 September 2016.

18 August 2016

News from Council

The Hawkesbury community has embraced the chance to attend town and village public meetings about Council’s level of service in a range of areas including roads and drainage, footpaths and cycleways, parks and public spaces, community buildings and amenities, and cultural services.

A total of six public meetings and seven ‘Listening Kiosks’ at shopping centres have underpinned Council’s ‘Listening to our community Your Services – Your Say’ community consultation about the level of service Council provides to the community.

For those people who have been unable to attend the public meetings or listening kiosks, community members can also have their say through an online survey at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/-services.

A last public meeting will be held this Saturday, 20 August @11am at St Albans School of Arts and a Listening Kiosk will be held this Saturday, 20 August from 9am – 1pm at Wilberforce Shopping Centre.

The public meetings already held at Pitt Town, North Richmond, Kurrajong, Windsor, Colo Heights and Richmond have been well attended and they have helped to confirm important community priorities; residents have also been asked to identify their priorities for future investment.

Light refreshments will be provided at the St Albans Public Meeting. Please RSVP for catering purposes to rsvp@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 4560 4444. For further information on the Listening to our community Your Services - Your Say consultation, visit the Services page on Your Services Your Say or contact Customer Service on (02) 4560 4444.

11 August 2016

News from Council

Hawkesbury Library Service has some great free events coming up. On Monday, 15 August at 6pm, award-winning crime writer, Candice Fox, will discuss her latest novel Never Never, a thriller co-written with James Patterson. This free talk will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor. Copies of her new book will be available for purchase and signing. Refreshments provided, so bookings are essential – see contact details below.

For the young ones, Hawkesbury Library Service will be celebrating Children’s Book Week with Dress Up Days on Tuesday, 23 August from 10:30am to 12pm at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor and on Thursday, 25 August from 10:30am to 12pm at Richmond Branch. Children are encouraged to come along to either Storytime event, dressed up in their favourite costume and have fun with songs, stories and craft. Puddles the Reading Dragon will also be making an appearance!

For the first time ever, the Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor will hold a free Book Week Party – with fun, games and delicious food – for primary school kids on Wednesday, 24 August at 4pm. It’s a wonderful way for families to celebrate the joy of reading together at their local library.

Hawkesbury Central Library is located within the Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor. Richmond Branch Library is located at 29 West Market Street, Richmond. Catering is provided for these free events, so please call (02) 4560 4460 or email programs@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au with your name(s), contact number and name of the event you would like to attend.

4 August 2016

News from Council

This week is Local Government Week and we’re celebrating with lots of free activities for everyone with the theme 'Our Council, Our Community' to refl ect that Councils are closely connected to their communities, and also deliver services every day that are important to peoples’ lives.

As part of Local Government Week, discover how to research the history of Hawkesbury families at the Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor; visit the Hawkesbury Regional Museum to see various ongoing exhibitions, such as The Great War 1914 – 1918: Hawkesbury Heroes; or visit the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery to see Wunderkammer: The Cabinet of Wonders exhibition.

You can also have your say on a range of services and facilities provided by Council. There will be a Listening Kiosk on Saturday, 6 August from 9am to 1pm at North Richmond Shopping Village, and a Public Meeting at Windsor on Thursday, 4 August at 6pm. RSVP for the Public Meetings are essential – call (02) 4560 4444.

Drivers aged between 17-25 years can also enter the ‘Fatigue can be Fatal – Driver Safety’ competition at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/community-safety. Answer three fatigue related questions to be in the running for one of three driver safety workshops as prizes. Alternatively, friends or relatives can enter on behalf of a young person to give them the chance to win a prize.

Visit the homepage for the full Local Government Week program, including details such as locations and whether bookings are required, is available at the homepage or call Customer Service on (02) 4560 4444.

28 July 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Next Thursday I will be attending the launch of an exciting new project called Heading Home - Ending Homelessness’, by Wentworth Community Housing, Platform Youth Services and Mission Australia together with Mercy Foundation at Windsor RSL. This project will bring 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. Most importantly, this is about engaging with our community to end homelessness. For more information, please contact call 47778021 or visit. http://www.wentworth.org.au/files/employment_43_3145883914.pdf
  • This Saturday, 30 July is the launch of Local Government Week and there’s a great program of events planned. First up will be a huge plant giveaway from the Hawkesbury Community Nursery, which will happen at the same place, date time as the Hawkesbury Companion Animals Shelter Open Day – Saturday, 30 July from 9am to midday at 10 Mulgrave Road, McGraths Hill. There will also be lots of free events at the Libraries, Museum and Gallery, plus our Listening Kiosks for our Listening to our community consultations. For more information visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call Customer Service on (02) 4560 4444.
  • This will be my last From the Mayor’s Desk column as Mayor for this current term as we approach the Council election on 10 September and Mayoral election after that. Information about the election can be found on the NSW Electoral Commission website www.votensw.info or by telephone 1300 135 736.
  • I will be retiring from Council at the election, and I will not be standing for re-election. I wish all candidates the best for the coming term.

Mayoral Column

The Local Council election will be held 10 September 2016 and so it is time for me to thank you for the opportunity to represent you as Mayor. I am proud to have fought to keep the Hawkesbury unique and free from a merger with The Hills that did not make economic, social or geographic sense.

During my term, we have maintained our strong financial position while working within our limited income streams. Council will continue to strive to provide housing choices for future generations through the Residential Strategy and, to help with this, Council is realigning its services to meet these needs. To enhance sustainable growth, our Horizon Project has delivered four investible projects to seek funding partnerships.

I am also very proud of the successful bridge replacement program that is so necessary to our local community. The opening of the $2 million Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre was also a memorable moment for me. I have witnessed the continued success of the Regional Gallery and indeed the entire cultural area.

I vacate my position reassured that the upgrade of Council buildings and parks is well underway, the Pitt Town By-pass has now been drawn on a map, and many road upgrades are finally occurring after long years of representation. I have also seen the extended use of online engagement by Council to allow the community a greater say in Council’s decision making process. Don’t forget to keep having your say at the Your Hawkesbury Your Say website and remember, your vote counts.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

21 July 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Hawkesbury City Council supports the unique history of the Hawkesbury and is encouraging people to apply for the Local Heritage Incentive Fund 2016/2017 for minor improvements or conservation works to heritage listed commercial properties in the Windsor and Richmond historic townships. The fund provides dollar for dollar grant funding of up to $2,000, jointly funded by Council and the NSW Office and Environment Heritage. Applications are now open and the final date for submissions is Friday, 16 September 2016. Visit Council's website for application guidelines and forms.


    An evening information session for the 2016/2017 Local Heritage Incentive Fund will be held on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 from 6:30pm to 8pm at Council‘s Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor. For further information visit Council’s website or call Customer Service on (02) 4560 4444 to register your interest in the information session.
  • As mentioned last week, Council is reviewing the level of service that it provides in a wide range of areas including; roads and drainage: footpaths and cycleways; parks and public spaces; sporting and recreational facilities; community buildings and public toilets; and cultural facilities. To help Council better understand the level of service desired by the community, Listening Kiosks will be held as part of a consultation program called Listening to our Community Your Services – Your Say, all at 9am on

    23  July           GLOSSODIA – Glossodia Shopping Village
    30  July          WINDSOR – Windsor Riverview
    13  August     NORTH RICHMOND – North Richmond Shopping Village (Coles)
    13  August   RICHMOND – Richmond Marketplace
    20 August    WILBERFORCE – Wilberforce Shopping Centre


    As listed last week, there are also community public meetings as part of Listening to our Community Your Services - Your Say. Please see my Mayoral Column below for dates and locations.

Mayoral Column

On Tuesday, 28 June 2016, Council resolved to hold a referendum at the Local Government Election on Saturday, 10 September 2016 regarding the Hawkesbury Local Government Area being divided into wards. Council is currently an undivided area where 12 Councillors represent all electors. Further information will be made available in the coming weeks regarding the advantages and disadvantages of both systems of representation to allow residents to make an informed choice.

The referendum question will be: ‘Currently Hawkesbury City Council is an undivided council with no wards. Do you agree to the Hawkesbury local government area being divided into three wards, each ward electing four Councillors? ’.

A consultation program called Listening to our community, Your Services – Your Say will commence 22 July to help Council better understand the level of service desired by the community in the areas of roads and drainage; footpaths and cycleways; parks and public spaces; sporting and recreational facilities; community buildings and public toilets; and cultural facilities. You are invited to join us at a Public Meeting

3 August @ 7:30PM KURRAJONG – Kurrajong Community Centre, McMahon Park
4 August @ 6PM WINDSOR – Tebbutt Room Deerubbin Centre 300 George Street
10 August @ 6PM NORTH RICHMOND – North Richmond Community Centre, 33 William Street
11 August @ 6PM RICHMOND – Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre, 114 March Street
17 August @ 6PM COLO HEIGHTS – Horrie Eley Memorial Hall, Colo Heights Reserve

Light refreshments will be provided. RSVP by 28 July for catering purposes to rsvp@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au with the location you wish to attend or call Customer Service on 4560 4444.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

14 July 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council is reviewing the level of service that it provides in a wide range of areas including; roads and drainage: footpaths and cycleways; parks and public spaces; sporting and recreational facilities; community buildings and public toilets; and cultural facilities. To help Council better understand the level of service desired by the community public meetings will be held as part of a consultation program called Listening to our Community Your Services – Your Say

    3  August@ 7:30PM    KURRAJONG – Kurrajong Community Centre, McMahon Park
    4  August@  6PM        WINDSOR - Tebbutt Room Deerubbin Centre 300 George Street
    10 August@  6PM       NORTH RICHMOND - North Richmond Community Centre, 33 William
    11 August@  6PM       RICHMOND - Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre,  114 March Street
    17 August@  6PM       COLO HEIGHTS- Horrie Eley Memorial Hall, Colo Heights Reserve


    Light refreshments will be provided Should you like to attend please RSVP by 28 July for catering purposes to rsvp@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au with the location you wish to attend or call Customer Service on 4560 4444.
  • Do you have what it takes to create the Grand Champion Garden? The much loved Hawkesbury Garden Competition is now open and it’s time to get gardening – entries close Friday, 26 August 2016 - entry forms are published in local papers or you can now enter online on Council’s website. Judging takes place in September with winners announced at a presentation evening in October. Contact Council's Events Coordinator on (02) 4560 4444, email gardencomp@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au.
  • Come along to a new exhibition that I am proud to be opening at 6pm on Friday, 15 July at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Wunderkammer: The Cabinet of Wonders. The Gallery will be filled with real wild animals including a zebra, a lion, penguins and more as part of artist Rod McCrae’s cutting edge exploration of human interaction with nature through the use of ethically sourced taxidermy animals. The exhibition runs until Saturday, 4 September 2016.
  • Also opening at the Gallery at 6pm on Friday, 15 July is After-Humans, an exhibition of illustration and rendered models from students in the Diploma of Graphic Design Illustration at the Design Centre Enmore, Sydney TAFE. The exhibition runs until Saturday, 4 September 2016. Visit the Gallery at Deerubbin Centre (1st Floor), 300 George Street, Windsor, email gallery@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or phone (02) 4560 4441. See the gallery page for more information, and Gallery hours.

Mayoral Column

Foodborne illness affects millions of Australians every year. Council is working to improve food safety in the food industry and within homes in the Hawkesbury by offering a food handling seminar on Wednesday, 27 July 2016. The seminar will run from 5pm to 8pm at Windsor RSL Club, corner of Argyle and Mileham Streets, South Windsor at a low cost of $51.50 per person. I encourage people working or seeking to work in the food industry, and residents concerned about food safety, to go along. Current food legislation requires all workers in a food environment to have adequate food safety ‘skills and knowledge’. Bookings are essential, visit the Food Handling page to book. For more information, visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or email council@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 4560 4444.

Hawkesbury Library Service, in association with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), will be providing Tax Help on Wednesdays from 3 August until 26 October 2016. Tax Help is a network of fully trained, accredited community volunteers who provide a free and confidential service to help people complete their tax returns during tax time. Tax Help is suitable for people earning around $50,000 or less a year with fairly straightforward tax affairs. Call 132 861(ATO) to see if you are eligible.

Appointments will be conducted at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street Windsor. It is essential to arrange an appointment, as limited time slots are available. Please contact library staff on (02) 4560 4460 to book a time.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

7 July 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • This week is NAIDOC Week in the Hawkesbury, a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Council is proud to sponsor a free concert at Richmond Park, Windsor Street Richmond on Sunday, 10 July to celebrate NAIDOC Week. Entertainment will be provided from 10am to 3pm including live bands, lots of stalls and childrens’ activities. Everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy a BBQ, bush tucker, face painting, art, and a wildlife display. I‘ll be going along so I hope to see many people celebrating on the day. For more information about the concert, call (02) 4588 5144. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be postponed to Sunday, 24 July 2016.
  • Hawkesbury Central Library also embraced NAIDOC Week with a free movie festival, showcasing a mixture of drama, suspense and insights into cultural responsibilities shared by Indigenous communities. There’s still time to catch a movie tonight, 7 July at 6pm at the Library which is located at the Deerubbin Centre, 300 George St, Windsor, in the Tebbutt Room. Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call Hawkesbury Central Library on (02) 4560 4460.
  • Congratulations to the 35 people who became new Australians citizens last week at a special Citizenship ceremony for Hawkesbury residents at Windsor Function Centre. It was pleasure to meet so many smiling, happy faces, with their countries of birth including Chile, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
  • Everyone loves a bargain and there’s nothing like reading a good book, so get along to the giant book sale at Hawkesbury Central Library where you’ll be sure to pick up a bargain!  The library will be selling a range of stock for children, teens and adults. Even the children can bring their pocket money and make it go a long way on all kinds of books, with prices as low as fifty cents. Items for sale will include new and ex library stock and the range for sale will include fiction, non-fiction, music CDs and DVDs. The sale is on from Wednesday, 20 July to Saturday, 23 July.  It will be held during Library opening hours in the Stan Stevens Studio, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor. For more information, call the Library on (02) 4560 4460.

Mayoral Column

Council has plenty of school holiday activities on offer in July for kids who love to create.

At the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery activities include a wide range of techniques and subjects with all art sessions held from 10am-midday at the Gallery,

Deerubbin Centre (1st Floor), 300 George St Windsor and costing only $15 each session per child.

The workshops include:

‘Whoooo Can Draw An Owl?’

8 July,
For children 5 years+

‘Shark Attack!’

13 July – create a school of sharks with tissue paper and paint,
For children 5 years+

‘A Dozen Doughnuts’

14 July – mould, cast and paint your own doughnuts
For 5 children years+

‘Magicube’

15 July – create a magic cube
For children 10 years+

Richmond Branch Library at 29 West Market Street, Richmond is offering

‘String Art’

12 July 2-4pm at Richmond Branch Library,
$5
For children 8 years+

Paper Beads

14 July 2-4pm
For children 8 years+

Hawkesbury Central Library, at Deerubbin Centre (ground floor) 300 George Street, Windsor is offering

Mini Beasts

8 July 2-3:30pm – see creepy-crawlies up close at the Stan Stevens Room
For children 5 years+

3D Printer Workshop

6 July 2:30-4pm
For children 10 years+
Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult

Bookings are essential, call (02) 4560 4441 for Gallery activities and (02) 4560 4460 for Library activities or email programs@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au with your name(s), contact number and the event you wish to attend.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

30 June 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • On Tuesday night Council resolved to hold a referendum at the Local Government Election on Saturday, 10 September 2016 regarding the Hawkesbury Local Government Area being divided into wards. Council is currently an undivided area where 12 Councillors represent all electors. Further information will be made available in the coming months regarding the advantages and disadvantages of both systems of representation to allow residents to make an informed choice.
  • The referendum question will be:
    "Currently Hawkesbury City Council is an undivided council with no wards.
    Do you agree to the Hawkesbury local government area being divided
    into three wards, each ward electing four Councillors?"
  • Sydney Trains is planning the closure of the Western Line between Granville and Richmond on the weekend of the 9 and 10 July 2016. During this period buses will replace train services. The work aims to minimise the overall impact on passengers by allowing for a cyclic maintenance/capital work program. Further closures are planned to occur 5/6 November 2016, 7/8 January 2017 and 17/18 June 2017. Visit http://www.sydneytrains.info or call 131 500 for more information about changed timetables and bus routes due to trackwork on the Western Line.
  • Councillor Jill Reardon, Christine Paine and I proudly joined local Rotarians, Hawkesbury MP Dominic Perrottet and Federal Member for Macquaire Louise Markus on Monday, 27 June 2016 to see the newly landscaped and upgraded Streeton Lookout at Terrace Road, Freemans Reach, which is a popular tourist stop. My thanks to The Rotary Club of Windsor that brought this project to life along with their hard work and tireless dedication to landscaping, mulching and watering the area with plants supplied by Council’s Hawkesbury Community Nursery. Council installed concrete pathways to replace the paths that were deteriorating, carried out repairs to other granite pathways, and provided a new tap, a new bin enclosure and signage upgrades. This is a great example of our community partnership with Rotary.

Mayoral Column

Council is working with Hawkesbury River Country Council (HRCC) to better coordinate weed management strategies in our region. Council and HRCC staff, plus our many valued Bushcare volunteers, are the first line of defence against many noxious weeds in our area, for example Blackberry, Green Cestrum and Cat’s Claw Creeper.

Council’s Bushcare newsletter, Weed All About It, highlights weed issues and details the work of volunteers who are helping to rid the Hawkesbury of weeds. For more information about noxious weeds, visit Hawkesbury River County Council (HRCC). You can also visit NSW WeedWise to check out WeedWise which contains over 300 noxious and environmental weeds, with information about weed control and the Noxious Weeds Act (1993). To join a Hawkesbury Bushcare group and help with weed control and Bushland regeneration, or to subscribe to our Bushcare newsletter, contact Council’s Community Bushcare Officer on (02) 4560 4525.

Hawkesbury Library Service will hold a free beginners class on the use of iPads on Tuesday, 12 July 11am to midday at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor. Call 4560 4460 or email programs@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au with your name(s), contact number and to book your place.

Young library members can access some great online resources thanks to Hawkesbury Library Service, which now has wonderful online additions for children to encourage learning and the love of reading. To access these programs, simply go to the Library website and look under the eResources tab. You will need your Library card number and PIN to log in.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

23 June 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I attended a wonderful Rotary Club of Richmond Changeover Dinner this week at Windsor RSL Club. In June every year, all 34,000 Rotary Clubs around the World conduct a Changeover ceremony which brings new leadership, new ideas, a new theme and renewed vitality to each Club. This changeover of leadership occurs throughout Rotary at Club, District and International level. I appreciated the great company and being among all the people who are always doing so much for our community. Congratulations to the outgoing president Rod Rose and welcome to the new president Barry Adams.
  • Hawkesbury Library Service has a great range of activities planned for these July school holidays. They are designed for kids who enjoy creating and learning new things including art, 3D printer workshops and looking at insects. Bookings are essential and places are limited – call (02) 4560 4460 or email programs@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au with your name(s), contact number and the event you wish to attend.
  • As temperatures fall and the school holidays approach, parents will be delighted to know that Hawkesbury Regional Gallery is offering a very hot program of things for creative kids to do this winter, exploring a wide range of techniques and subjects, from budgies to beetles to owls and sharks, with a dozen doughnuts to ‘round’ things out. All sessions are $15 each and held at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Deerubbin Centre (1st Floor), 300 George St, Windsor. Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult and bookings are essential, call (02) 4560 4441.
  • A Hawkesbury City Council scholarship recipient, Mitchell Price, recently contacted Council with an update on his progress since receiving his scholarship in 2012. It was great to hear that Mitchell has graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Science (Advanced) with distinction and that the scholarship helped him greatly in his studies. Mitchell is currently at the NSW Police Academy in Goulburn and he is looking forward to the prospect of working in his Local Area Command. Well done Mitchell.

Mayoral Column

I’m pleased to announce that Council will be a major sponsor of the 2016 Local Business Awards to be run by Precedent Productions Pty Ltd later this year.


The Hawkesbury 2016 Local Business Awards will be launched towards the end of this month with the Awards Night to be held at the Windsor Function Centre on Wednesday, 7 September, 2016. The Awards Program will be very active during July and August in the Hawkesbury area, when local businesses are nominated and judged.

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

In 2015, some 539 businesses were registered to participate with 7,782 nominations received, showing how important it is to our local community. 184 businesses were fi nalists; and the presentation evening attracted 478 patrons; making it the largest gathering of Hawkesbury businesses at any one event last year.

Various awards will be presented including Business of the Year, Youth Business Person of the Year as well as a new award, the Community Access and Inclusion Award, which will acknowledge initiatives from business that improve accessibility.

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

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

16 June 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • The Deputy Mayor, Dr Warwick Mackay OAM and I have just returned from The Royal Flying Doctors 2016 Outback 2WD Car Trek of 3,500 kilometres from Narrabri to Port Douglas. The trek is an annual event where teams in older 2WD cars travel through the remote, rural and regional Outback in support of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
  • We had a great time testing our endurance for the rigours of outback dirt road driving – I think we fared better than our old car. It was a great seeing so much of Australia and to contribute socially and financially to the towns we visited. The car trek raised $1.3 million in total for the Royal Flying Doctor Service which delivers emergency and essential health care services to people in regional and remote Australia. Visit https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au to make a donation.
  • Congratulations are in order for the Commander of Hawkesbury Local Area Command, Superintendent Steve Egginton, on being named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for the Award of Australian Police Medal (APM).
  • Save the date for the Companion Animal Shelter Open Day to be held on Saturday, 30 July. The Shelter is located at 10 Mulgrave Road, Mulgrave NSW. There will be lots of fun activities for all ages. Keep an eye out for the program which will be published shorty.
  • On Tuesday night, Council considered 15 submissions on its Draft Operational Plan 2016/2017. It also determined rates that will be applicable in the coming year. See the related Business Paper for the Extraordinary Meeting, 14 June 2016 – Minutes of the meeting will be available on the Council’s website on Friday, 17 June from midday.

Mayoral Column

The recent storms saw the Hawkesbury receive some much needed rain but also caused minor flooding, traffic delays and some ferries to be closed last week. Yarramundi Bridge was closed for a number of days due to floodwater while Windsor Bridge was closed for a shorter period based on river height and debris.

It was also a time to remember ‘if it’s flooded, forget it’. All vehicle types are vulnerable, even four wheel drives, because no one can predict what is in the water or what’s happened to the road surface underneath. It’s better to consider alternative routes for usual journeys and arrange for a friend or relative to collect the kids from school or daycare if necessary.

Council works closely with the State Emergency Services (SES), Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and local Police in situations such as riverine flooding in our Local Government Area. It is the responsibility of the RMS to decide when bridges are closed and the best way of determining the status of bridges is to monitor www.livetraffic.com during flood incidents.

The Hawkesbury SES was fantastic as always in responding to the many calls for help from our community – my thanks to all of our SES volunteers. Thanks also to local residents who remained calm and flexible. Coping with regular flooding is just one of the challenges we face living in this beautiful part of the world. I encourage all residents in potentially flood affected areas to prepare a flood plan. Visit http://www.floodsafe.com.au for details.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

9 June 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Wild weather this past week saw plenty of welcome rain but it also caused great havoc for the east coast of Australia and our local community, with minor flooding and closures to some ferry services and two bridges (Yarramundi, Windsor).
  • There is still the risk of pooled or flowing water in low lying areas, including across local roads. I urge motorists to use caution as road surfaces could be damaged. Do not attempt to cross a flooded road. For information about road closures please check www.livetraffic.com or Council’s website.
  • NSW SES attended over 10,000 jobs for this major storm event, with many call outs relating to storm damage, leaking and damaged roofs and trees down. My thanks to NSW and Hawkesbury SES workers and volunteers who did a fantastic job under difficult circumstances. My heartfelt thanks to the supreme efforts of the SES for responding to calls and emergencies.
  • The Hawkesbury came out of the event with far less damage than many other areas but a few more days of storm and rain could have changed everything. It’s a timely reminder to have our flood plans ready. Visit http://www.floodsafe.com.au for simple things you can do before, after and during floods. To help households and businesses plan for flooding, the SES has developed a Home Emergency Plan and Business FloodSafe Toolkit which is also available at the floodsafe website above.
  • If you’re looking for an exciting event this long weekend, why not go to the DARGLE WINTER SPECTACULAR 2016 on Saturday, 11 and Sunday, 12 June at Dargle Water Ski Resort 312 River Road, Lower Portland NSW 2756, for more details visit http://www.dargle.com.au call (02) 4579 1291. I hope you all have a great break over the weekend and please drive safely.

Mayoral Column

I have great news about planned upgrades for Governor Phillip Park car park and playground thanks to grants Council has successfully won.

The car park will be upgraded with $78,000 from the Roads and Maritime Services – NSW Boating Now Program while the playground will receive $120,000 total funding consisting of $50,000 from Section 94 developer contributions, $50,000 from Council’s Infrastructure Renewal Program and a $20,000 Community Building Partnership – NSW State Government grant.

The car park upgrade will provide spaces longer in length to accommodate larger vehicle-trailer combinations and new set-up bays will help reduce congestion at the boat ramp in peak periods.

A new, larger playground will replace the existing facility to better reflect the regional nature of the park and to support the large number of visitors that attend the park during events such as boat events and markets.

Council has reviewed the Master Plan for the 19 hectare park to reflect these upgrades and to guide future improvements of the area. The plan assists Council in future applications for grant funding to continue the upgrade of this important regional facility for the community and to complement the continuing development of the Windsor Foreshore.

We would love to hear your views, so the proposed playground design and Master Plan is available (Stage 1 works) online to view at Your Hawkesbury Your Say or at Council’s Administration Building, George Street Windsor, at Richmond Branch Library and at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor. Please email your comments to council@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or through Your Hawkesbury-Your Say by 27 June 2016.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

2 June 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • This week the Hawkesbury witnessed a formal military repatriation ceremony procession from RAAF Base Richmond, along Hawkesbury Valley Way and Windsor Road to Parramatta. The ceremony returned 33 deceased Australian service personnel and dependents back to Australia, many of whom were casualties of the Vietnam War, from cemeteries in Malaysia and Singapore. Security restrictions at the Terendak cemetery at the Malaysian Armed Forces Base, where most of these personnel were buried, meant that families were unable to visit the graves. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, Australia’s costliest day in the Vietnam War, and this repatriation now ensures that families can finally visit and honour their loved ones who died serving Australia. It marks one of the largest single repatriations of former Australian service men and dependents in Australia’s history and it was a poignant memorial service for all involved.
  • Following an audit of public car parking limits at the Deerubbin Centre, Council has improved access for all patrons by changing the limits to a mix of two hour and three hour spaces, removing the one and four hour spaces. This was changed because one hour limits were not useful for people attending Library and Gallery programs, which are usually one and a half to two hours duration.
  • This is also a good time to remind everyone that Hawkesbury Central Library now has a drive through Library Returns Chute, so people no longer have to park to return Library items.
  • Hawkesbury residents are participating in a first-ever trial of the Australian Government’s digital health record. ‘My Health Record’ is a secure online summary of an individual’s health information such as allergies, medications and adverse reactions that can be accessed by a patient’s healthcare practitioners or emergency departments anywhere in Australia. For more information or to opt out, visit www.myhealthrecord.gov.au or call 1800 723 471 or visit a Medicare Service Centre (the local centre in the Hawkesbury is in George Street, Windsor).

Mayoral Column

A local government election has been announced for Hawkesbury City Council. The election, which is conducted by the NSW Electoral Commission, will be held on Saturday, 10 September 2016. Information about the administration and conduct of elections can be found on the Commission’s website or by calling 1300 135 736. This announcement follows the decision by the State Government not to proceed with the merger of part of The Hills Shire Council.

More exciting improvements to community facilities have been announced.

Council has received funding to enhance the style and layout of Hawkesbury Central Library in Windsor. The upgrade will create a more relaxed and welcoming Library for all to use. The changes will focus on moving away from the traditional library layout with the large service desks to a more user friendly layout which promotes leisure and learning. Funding of $129,000 was secured for this project through the State Government’s Public Library Infrastructure Grant program.

Council is also undergoing refurbishment and extension work to three childcare centres; Wilberforce and McGraths Hill Long Day Care Centres as well as Windsor Pre-School. These upgrades will ensure that facilities provided to the youngest members of the Hawkesbury community continue to be among the best.

It was great to officially open the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery’s latest exhibition, Creative Accounting, last Friday night. The exhibition includes some intriguing objects from the Westpac Banking Group Archives, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and various regional collections across Australia, including our own Historical Society Collection.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

26 May 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • The next council election for the Hawkesbury Local Government area will be held on Saturday 10 September 2016. The election will be conducted by the NSW Electoral Commission. Information about the election can be found on the Commission website www.votensw.info or by telephone on 1300 135 736.
  • Hawkesbury Small Business Week is on again from Monday 31 May, 2016, offering a range of \seminars and networking opportunities to enable businesses to discuss issues, tips and ideas. Hosted by Hawkesbury City Council, with workshops and networking opportunities presented by Western Sydney Business Centre and SafeWork NSW.  Topics covered will include workplace safety, tax basics and Facebook marketing for small business.
  • For a program, to reserve a place or for further information about Hawkesbury Small Business Week activities, contact Council’s Strategic Activities Planner, Fiona Mann on (02) 4560 4579 or email fiona.mann@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au.
  • National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. The Hawkesbury Aboriginal Community Sorry Day gathering is on this day from 11.30am at Macquarie Park, Windsor.
  • I would also like to congratulate everyone who participated in the recent Hawkesbury Relay For Life.  There was more than 50 Hawkesbury teams registered for this event and together they raised more than $60,000 for cancer research. Well done to all involved.
  • The Salvation Army's Red Shield Doorknock Appeal will take place this weekend. Funds raised support a vast network of social and community services. To volunteer or to donate online visit www.salvos.org.au.

Mayoral Column

Small business is the backbone of our community and next week, Council will once again host Hawkesbury Small Business Week from Monday, 31 May 2016. Hosted by Council with workshops and networking opportunities presented by Western Sydney Business Centre and SafeWork NSW, the week offers a range of seminars and networking opportunities to discuss business issues, tips and ideas. Topics will include workplace safety, tax basics and Facebook marketing for small business.

To reserve a place or for further information about Hawkesbury Small Business Week, Council’s Strategic Activities Planner fiona.mann@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 4560 4579.

Thursday, May 26 marks National Sorry Day, an Australia-wide observance that gives people the chance to acknowledge the Stolen Generations, their families and communities and share in the healing process. The Hawkesbury Aboriginal Community Sorry Day will hold a gathering on this day from 11.30am at Macquarie Park, Windsor.

This week I attended the official launch of the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Door Knock Appeal. This is the major fundraising event for the Salvos, who rely on the generosity of our community to raise funds to provide a range of social and community services to over one million Australians. On Saturday, 28 and Sunday, 29 May, the Salvos will be door knocking throughout Australia and I urge everyone to give generously and support this worthwhile charity.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

19 May 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council certainly is not resting on it laurels following the announcement that the proposed merger with part of The Hills Shire Council will not go ahead. Staff, in particular, are now quickly refocussing to prepare for what may possibly be the end of term for the current Council in September 2016. I must stress, however, we have received no formal advice as yet from the State Government about the date of the next local government election for the Hawkesbury.
  • Congratulations to all those recipients of the Hawkesbury Sports Awards that were presented last Friday night at the Sports Awards presentation dinner held at Windsor RSL. The Club did an amazing job in organising the dinner in a beautifully decorated marquee. Our promotional sponsor Vintage FM provided an MC, Rosco who certainly entertained the crowd. My thanks to Windsor RSL and Vintage FM.
  • I encourage residents to visit the State Government’s Stronger Councils Stronger Communities website and particularly read the submission of The Hills Shire Council and compare it to the one provided by Hawkesbury City Council. I will leave it to you to come to your own judgement about the motives of The Hills Shire Council in putting forward a merger proposal with the Hawkesbury.
  • Minister for Justice, Hon. Michael Keenan announced last Thursday that Council will receive $186,000 under the Australian Government's National Crime Prevention Fund to install CCTV at South Windsor shops on George Street. This funding means we can install these added security measures at no cost to our ratepayers. The CCTV will give the business community and shoppers a feeling of security and safety, while giving NSW Police a positive tool to effectively target antisocial activity and prevent crime.

Mayoral Column

Last week the NSW Government advised Council that it would not be proceeding with the proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council and part of The Hills Shire Council.

This decision was based on the recommendation of Mr Gary West, the delegate appointed by the Office of Local Government to conduct the public inquiry into the merger proposal.

Mr West concluded that the proposed merger would not result in efficient and effective local government based on these reasons:

  • the proposed merged council entity would not befinancially sustainable and would not address the revenue shortfall which contributed to Council being assessed as ‘unfit’ by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal
  • no clear evidence that the infrastructure backlog of the proposed merged council could be funded without a reliance on rate increases
  • the proposed merger would have a significant negative economic impact on the Hawkesbury
  • the lack of direct public transport links between Windsor and Baulkham Hills
  • the clear evidence that the Hawkesbury area is oriented towards Penrith and the Blue Mountains rather than The Hills.

On behalf of Hawkesbury City Council, I extend my thanks and appreciation for the support that Council has received from residents and particularly residents who attended the public inquiry meetings and who lodged submissions with Mr West.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

12 May 2016

Mayoral Column

Council has recently completed a significant number of road works in the Hawkesbury, as part of a $1.6 million reseal program which aims to improve and maintain the condition of the Hawkesbury’s existing road assets.

Completed projects benefi tting the community include a section of Grose Wold Road, Grose Wold - reconstruction and sealing, Branders Lane, North Richmond - road rehabilitation, Mileham Street, South Windsor - road rehabilitation, Grose Vale Road, Kurrajong - shoulder improvement works, Freemans Reach Road, Freemans Reach - reconstruction and sealing, King Road/Sackville Road, Wilberforce - reconstruction and sealing, and Kurmond Road, North Richmond - traffi c improvement works.

We are getting on with the job of upgrading roads because we know how important the roads are to the safety of our community.

This weekend will see hundreds of locals participating in the Hawkesbury Relay for Life (May 14 and 15), to be held at the Hawkesbury Showground to raise much needed funds for the Cancer Council. 418 teams from the Hawkesbury have registered to take part in the event and have to date raised more than $26,000.

Hawkesbury Relay for Life is a relay style walk or run event which brings the whole community together for a fun experience including, entertainment, celebration and remembrance.

Anyone can get involved by joining an existing team, creating their own team, or sponsoring a team or individual. For information on the Hawkesbury Relay for Life event visit www.relay.cancercouncil.com.au.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

5 May 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council is working with Western Sydney Institute TAFE to  provide a free  ‘Introduction to Conservation and Land Management’ course designed to support volunteers and others looking to enter the bush regeneration industry.
    The training will be held fortnightly and will enhance existing bush regeneration knowledge and empower those who undertake bush regeneration by honing their skills and information base.
    Beginning on Wednesday evenings from 4 May, this course is free to smart and skilled eligible students who are 15 years and over and no longer at school, as well as volunteers involved in bush regeneration.
    The Course will be held at Richmond TAFE. Enrol directly at www.wsi.tafensw.edu.au or email peter.mobbs@tafensw.edu.au for more information.
  • Don’t forget that this weekend Saturday, 7 and Sunday 8 May an e-waste recycling event will be held at Hawkesbury Showground, Clarendon. This will run from 9am to 4pm each day.
    Televisions, computers, DVD players, projectors, cables and many other items that people struggle to dispose of in an environmentally responsible matter can be safely dispose of .
    Please ensure all data is erased from their devices before being handed over for recycling
    For further information about the e-waste recycling event visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au, or call 1800 334 776
  • After a career of 44 years, including nine years as Hawkesbury City Council’s General Manager, Mr Peter Jackson will retire from Council tomorrow Friday, 6 May. I would like to personally thank Mr Jackson for his dedication to his duties and his contribution to the improvement of our local government area. I am sure many members of the community, who have had the pleasure of dealing with Peter, would join me in passing on our best wishes for his retirement.

Mayoral Column

Council has commenced legal action against the State Government regarding the proposed Hills merger to protect the interests of our local residents. The State Government continues to refuse to release
the KPMG report on which the merger case is built. We have no clear indication of how the limited benefits are to be achieved or indeed what the costs will be.

I am not opposed to local government reform; indeed I believe there needs to be major changes to the funding model for local government. The Premier says that local government is broken and that
expenses exceed revenue. This is because the State Government has restricted rate increases to below the level of inflation for nearly 30 years, reducing the capacity of most councils to adequately fund the renewal of their infrastructure. Changing lines on a map will not solve the greater problem of adequate funding to provide necessary services and facilities.

In a combined new council with a divided system of five wards the Hawkesbury area would be represented by a maximum of three councillors out of 15 members. I am deeply concerned at this lack of representation and what it would mean for our residents.

This legal challenge is about keeping the Hawkesbury unique and ensuring it retains adequate representation. At the Public Inquiries our residents were overwhelmingly in favour of a stand-alone
Council for the Hawkesbury. If this merger proceeds the future of our beautiful area will be determined by a much larger entity with vastly different values.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

28 April 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Last week Council met with representatives of the Greater Sydney Commission which is responsible for metropolitan planning. The Commission aims to create and implement key plans for Greater Sydney. It will be focused on making Greater Sydney more productive, sustainable and liveable.
    The State Government has placed Hawkesbury, Penrith and the Blue Mountains in the West District of the planning process because of the synergies in our areas. This seems to be contradictory to the proposal to merge Hawkesbury City Council with part of The Hills Shire Council who have been placed in the Central West District. It is one of many examples of how this merger proposal seems to be working against other State Government plans, our natural connections and our community of interest with our southern and western regional strategic alliance partners.
  • All properties with a swimming pool or spa pool being sold or leased on or after 29 April 2016 now need a valid certificate of compliance, certificate of non-compliance or a relevant occupation certificate. Find out more about the new rules here.
  • I encourage residents to visit the latest exhibition at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery – Wait, Weep & be Worthy: Women, The Home Front & War which looks at women, WWI and the ‘home front’. The free exhibition will run  until 22 May 2016  and features a number of contemporary Australian artists as well as original art, photos and film footage, posters, objects and clothing from WW1 collections.  The Gallery is located on the first floor of the Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street Windsor. Hours: Monday, Wednesday - Friday 10am – 4pm, Closed Tuesdays and public holidays, Weekends 10am – 3pm.

Mayoral Column

Council’s Draft Operational Plan 2016/2017 is now on public exhibition and there is an opportunity for you to have your say! The Operational Plan outlines the proposed projects, programs and activities to be undertaken during 2016/2017. It also contains a Statement of Revenue Policy, which includes fees and charges and information regarding rates and annual charges. Estimated income and expenditure and the capital works program for 2016/2017 are also included. To view the documents and to make a submission see Council’s online community engagement site, Council’s website or contact Council on (02) 4560 4444. Submissions close Friday, 20 May 2016.

ANZAC commemorations in the Hawkesbury had a high attendance again this year with ceremonies held at various locations. I attended the dawn service at Windsor and an ANZAC service at Pitt Town War Memorial. This included the placing of a time capsule at the memorial, which was a poignant way of connecting the past with our present community in remembering the sacrifice of our ANZACs, their families and their communities. I felt honoured to participate in the ceremony which was organised by the Pitt Town Progress Association. The time capsule will be reopened in 2115 for the 200 year celebration of ANZAC Day.

Continuing the ANZAC theme, there is also a free Hawkesbury Regional Gallery exhibition called ‘Wait, Weep and Be Worthy’, highlighting the experience and contributions of women during WWI which is well worth seeing. It will run until 22 May 2016 at the Gallery at the Deerubbin Centre (1st fl oor), 300 George Street Windsor, phone (02) 4560 4441.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

21 April 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • The General Manager, Peter Jackson has offered his resignation. Peter has had a long career in government and the public service and will now be pursing semi-retirement. We thank him for his contribution to the effective and efficient management of this organisation over the past nine years and wish him the very best for a more relaxing future. Peter has served Council for nearly 12 years beginning as Manager Administration & Governance in 2004.
    Council’s Director of Support Services Laurie Mifsud will take the role as Acting General Manager until the position can be advertised following a determination of the current merger proposal affecting Hawkesbury City Council.
  • At an Extraordinary Council Meeting held this week it was agreed to pursue legal action in relation to the current merger proposal. Council believes that the amalgamation process has been severely flawed and that the Hawkesbury community has been denied the opportunity for full input into the limited consultation process. This issue is about the retention of the Hawkesbury Local Government Area not the current Councillors losing their positions. If we lose this merger fight you will lose your local council and become part of a mega council stretching from Baulkham Hills to Bilpin with an area of 3,200 square kilometers. Councillors can be voted in or out. What is most important is that we retain local representation for our community.
  • There are many commemoration services being held throughout the Hawkesbury to commemorate ANZAC Day. To find out more about your local event see Council’s website or Hawkesbury Events Facebook page. I will be attending the dawn service at Windsor and also an ANZAC service and the placing of a time capsule at Pitt Town.

Mayoral Column

The Minister for Local Government has offered Mayors and Councillors the opportunity to submit expressions of interest to be considered for an interim appointment to new councils which may be created out of the State Government’s merger proposal process.

I maintain the view that Hawkesbury City Council should stand alone. I believe that it would be in the best interests of Hawkesbury Council to progress the Regional Strategic Alliance with Blue Mountains City Council and Penrith City Council rather than to merge with part of The Hills Shire Council.

However, to ensure that the best interests of the current residents of the Hawkesbury are maintained in the event of a merger proceeding, I have decided to submit an expression of interest in becoming part of any interim governing body.

Should the State Government decide to proceed with the creation of a new entity it would be of the utmost importance that Mayors – who have been elected both by their ratepayers and their fellow Councillors to provide a voice for their communities – play a part in its governance.

This arrangement would ensure that the interests of both communities are adequately represented, advanced and protected.

By participating in the interim Council, I would be fulfilling my mayoral duties for which I was originally elected.

My full submission regarding this matter can be read on Council’s community engagement site yourhawkesbury—yoursay.com.au on the ‘Getting Council Fit for the Future’ page.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

14 April 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Come along and help us celebrate youth week at Youthfest. The event will take place in Richmond Park, Richmond on Friday, 15 April, 11am to 3pm. Hosted by NRGY – The North Richmond Youth Project, this Youthfest has been running since 2011 and is bigger and better than ever! This year’s theme is Be a Hero for a day in Health and Wellbeing! Its Your Say! It is a free event with many activities including: Laser-Tag, Bubble Soccer, Gladiator Castle, Live Bands and DJs, Sausage Sizzle, Pancakes, Activities, Workshops, Information Stalls, and more. It’s also a chance for young people to meet with Youth Service Providers and find out more about the youth services in the Hawkesbury. All ages welcome and its free!
  • Council will also be hosting a display tent at the upcoming Hawkesbury Show. Pop in to get your free plant from the Hawkesbury Community Nursery. Get some hints on composting and recycling or how to save money on energy costs. There will be plenty of entertainment for the kids and free giveaways. Our friendly staff will be on hand to explain some of Council’s major projects.
  • The Minister for Local Government has offered Mayors and Councillors the opportunity to submit expressions of interest to be considered for an interim appointment to new councils which may be created out of the State Government’s merger proposal process.
  • I maintain the view that Hawkesbury City Council should stand alone. However, to ensure that the best interests of the current residents of the Hawkesbury are maintained in the event of a merger proceeding, I have decided to submit an expression of interest in becoming part of any interim governing body.

Mayoral Column

It’s that time of year again when the Hawkesbury community will get the chance to showcase how wonderful the area is at the Hawkesbury Show from 15 to 17 April. This year the Show celebrates its 130th Anniversary which is an outstanding accomplishment.

Hawkesbury Show has for 130 years featured the region’s best agriculture and produce as well as arts, crafts and local talent. Congratulations to Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association for their ongoing commitment to the Show and dedication to ensuring this iconic event, continues to be a feature of the Hawkesbury, attracting visitors from all over New South Wales.

Council will proudly host a display at the Show and will be promoting the many great services we offer to the Hawkesbury community.

The display will feature Hawkesbury Library Service, the Companion Animal Shelter, the Community Nursery and Bushcare. Visitors will also be able to learn about waste and recycling, the Compost Revolution program - providing discounted compost bins to the Hawkesbury community and get tips on pedestrian safety.

This year, Council is encouraging show goers to recycle right. Council’s Recycling Rovers will reward visitors doing the right thing with on the spot prizes and activities.

There will be a pop up library and colouring in, thanks to Hawkesbury Library Service. There will also be lots of other free activities, giveaways and information in
our tent. Our popular plant giveaway will also be on again this year, so be sure to come and visit to get your free Hawkesbury native plant.

For more information about the Hawkesbury Show, visit www.hawkesburyshow.com.au.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

7 April 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Do you know that from 29 April 2016 all properties with a swimming pool or spa pool being sold or leased now need a valid certificate of compliance, certificate of non-compliance or a relevant occupation certificate?
    A ‘certificate of non-compliance’ will enable the seller to transfer the responsibility to obtain a certificate of compliance to the buyer. This transfer will take effect through the attachment of a certificate of non-compliance to the contract for sale. Buyers will have 90 days from the date of settlement to rectify defects listed in the certificate of non-compliance and obtain a certificate of compliance.
    Visit the Office of Local Government’s website for more information.
  • It's always great to see the many smiling faces and sea of colour at the season opening of the Hawkesbury District Netball Association. On behalf of the community I thank all involved, from committee members, canteen workers right through to coaches and managers. These people kindly allocate so much of their time to give netball players the opportunity to participate both in our local competition and at a representative level.
  • Hawkesbury Library Services have prepared a great range of activities to entertain children these school holidays. I am sure you will find something in the program for your children or grandchildren. The activities are designed for kids and teens that enjoy creating new things.
  • It was great to be invited along to the re-opening Pats Place a charity shop located Shop 9/499 George Street, South Windsor. Pat Ryan and her team do an amazing job in raising much needed funds for Camp Quality a charity which helps to create a better life for children living with cancer.

Mayoral Column

This week I had the pleasure of hosting a morning tea to acknowledge four members of our community: Les Dollan, Aleda Johnsen, Phillip Salt and Major Craig Straight, who have contributed much of their time and skills to the Hawkesbury.

Les Dollan has spent many years beautifying the Hawkesbury. He voluntarily maintains verges from Richmond to Kurrajong, mowing and removing litter and has also regenerated and subsequently maintained a large area of weed infested land, which has been of great benefit to our natural environment.

Aleda Johnsen is well loved by members of Fitzgerald Memorial Aged Care Facility. For the past 22 years, Aleda has been making a difference by generously sharing her love of music and performing at the aged care facility every Thursday morning.

Retained Fire fighter Phillip Salt has been contributing to our community for over 40 years. He has tirelessly been ‘on call’ for Richmond, the Hawkesbury and NSW as a retained fi re fighter with Fire and Rescue NSW based at Richmond since the 1970s.

Major Craig Straight of the USA Air Force is the Commander of Detachment 1,735 Air Mobility Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force Base Richmond. Whilst serving at the Base he has been dedicated to being a part of the Hawkesbury community, participating in community groups and events and whole heartedly becoming an active member of our community.

I commend these four individuals for their community spirit and thank them for tirelessly working to make the Hawkesbury great.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

31 March 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council is very pleased to have been allocated $129,285 from The Public Library Infrastructure Grant program to create a more welcoming Hawkesbury Library space with mobile service desks, a refurbished children’s area and IT enabled spaces.  The fund is administered by the State Library on behalf of the NSW Government to enhance library services and facilities.
  • Four of our local community contributors were honoured at a special morning tea which was held today. Les Dollan was recognised for his voluntary work maintaining verges between Kurrajong and Richmond, Aleda Johnsen was acknowledged for generously sharing her time and talent to perform at the Fitzgerald Memorial Aged Care Facility every Thursday morning. Phillip Salt was commended for his dedication to being “on call” for 40 years as a Retained Fire Fighter at the Richmond Station. Major Craig Straight was thanked for his dedication and commitment to being a part of the Hawkesbury community, participating in community groups, activities and events outside of the RAAF Base.
  • Make sure you come along and visit Council’s display at the upcoming Hawkesbury Show Friday, 15 to Sunday17 April. There is always a lot of interesting information to discover and of course some great giveaways. The Show turns 130 this year – quite an achievement! The Hawkesbury Show is regarded as the biggest regional show after the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
  • We welcome the news that State Member for Hawkesbury, Dominic Perrottet will be relocating his electoral office to the Hawkesbury. I encourage residents to visit him to voice their views about the proposed merger of Hawkesbury Council with part of the Hills. His new office will be in building R4 at the Western Sydney University campus in Richmond, and will officially open its doors on April 11.

Mayoral Column

Next weekend marks the start of the April school holidays, and Council’s Library and Gallery have prepared a diverse program of events to entertain children of all ages.

The school holiday program at Hawkesbury Central Library will include a 3D printing demonstration where kids can design and print their own 3D project, then collect it the following week. On Thursday, 14 April there will be a CLAYMATION workshop, where participants can make a miniature cartoon using manga figures with modelling.

From 18-22 April the Stan Stevens Studio at Hawkesbury Central Library will be transformed into a space where your kids can have fun learning new skills using a variety of tools, technologies and equipment. Workshops include Lego Robotics – learn how a robot works using computer programming; Madlab Electronics – construct an electronic device and learn about electrical components; as well as paper crafting, working with wood, crochet squares and card making workshops.

At the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery – there are a number of craft based activities to suit young children. Kids can design and print their own set of coordinating leaf print canvasses, sculpt a jellyfi sh using plaster bandage and a balloon or make their own cushion covers using fabric paint and stencils.

Hawkesbury Central Library and Hawkesbury Regional Gallery are located at 300 George Street, Windsor. For a full list of activities visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or contact the Library on (02) 4560-4460 or the Gallery on (02) 4560-4441.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

24 March 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • It was great to be joined by representatives of five of our local disability groups at the launch of the accessible gym equipment at Ham Common, Clarendon today. Special thanks to trainers from YMCA who assisted in showing us how to use the equipment and to the Rotary Club of Richmond for supplying all who attended with a sausage sizzle.
  • It was a busy week with the opening of the Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre at 114 March St, Richmond taking place on Tuesday, 22 March. A wide range of service providers and community groups were represented at the opening along with Councillors and staff who worked on the project. The Centre will be managed by Peppercorn Services Inc. They are currently taking bookings for this great new facility which can be hired by community groups for events, classes and the like. For more information or bookings call (02) 4578 2072.
  • Given that Hawkesbury Council is currently subject to a merger proposal it is unclear whether a local government election will be held as scheduled on 10 September 2016. Council has received advice that all councils, electors, potential candidates and registered political parties should monitor the website www.votensw.info as this site will be updated with the latest information.
  • I wish you all a safe and happy Easter. Please take care on the roads.

Mayoral Column

The 2016 NSW Seniors Festival will be run from Friday, 1 April to Sunday, 10 April. This is the largest festival for seniors in the Southern Hemisphere and locally, it will be celebrated with free dance and movement classes at Hawkesbury Library Service.

With the theme ‘grow young’ – the festival is about celebrating our seniors for their energy, experience and unique ability to know who they are and what makes them happy.

No matter what your age, it’s never too late to grow, learn, laugh and be inspired.

In keeping with this theme a series of free dance and movement classes are on offer for seniors. Classes will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor. For information or bookings contact the Library on (02) 4560 4460 or email programs@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au.

Nominations for the 2016 Hawkesbury Sports Awards will soon be closing and I urge you to nominate a well deserving sports person in our community. Proudly sponsored by Hawkesbury City Council, Windsor RSL and Vintage FM, the awards acknowledge sporting accomplishments of community members as well as the contributions of individuals to sporting clubs through support roles.

If you know an outstanding sports person, team, coach or volunteer in the Hawkesbury now is the time to nominate. Nomination forms are available online or at Council’s Administration Building and at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor or Richmond Branch Library.

On behalf of Hawkesbury City Councillors and staff I wish you all a happy and safe Easter.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

17 March 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Nominations are now open for the 2016 Hawkesbury Sports Awards which is proudly sponsored by Hawkesbury City Council and Windsor RSL. The new awards acknowledge sporting accomplishments of community members as well as the contributions of individuals to sporting clubs through support roles.
    If you know an outstanding sports person, team, coach or volunteer in the Hawkesbury now is the time to nominate. Nomination forms are available online , at Council’s Administration Building, Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor or Richmond Branch Library.

  • Council is happy to be supporting Hawkesbury Multicultural Interagency Harmony Day event at Windsor Markets Sunday 20 March, 10am – 3pm. Council has provided Nepean Migrant Access with funding of $500 to contribute to a stall with entertainment and information.

  • A new anti-bullying toolkit has been put together by Council with support from The Hawkesbury Youth Interagency and The Schools Partnership Group. The kit includes a variety of resources for high schools to help them plan, promote, teach and share anti-bullying messages with their school community.
    This toolkit is an initiative recommended by the 2015 Hawkesbury Youth Summit, which involved more than 60 young people representing six Hawkesbury high schools, it contains  anti-bullying posters, art-work, promotional material, lesson plans as well as research and information for teachers, parents and students.
    While this initiative is currently being provided to local high schools, local primary schools can also access this toolkit by contacting Council’s Youth Participation Officer on 4560 4562.

  • It was great to join the first free training session for Live Life and Get Active in Richmond Park today. Sessions are conducted 9:30am Thursdays for boxing and Fridays for Yoga. Visit their website for more information.

Mayoral Column

The Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre will be officially launched at 6pm, on Tuesday, 22 March, opening its doors to the community to explore and use its many new facilities.

The $2 million construction of the Hawkesbury Learning and Leisure Centre has seen an extension to the previous building (the former Richmond Senior Citizens Centre). This refurbishment has created a
contemporary facility which can better respond to the changing needs of our residents.

The Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre will be managed by Peppercorn Services Inc. They are currently taking bookings for this facility which can be hired by community groups for events, classes and the like. For more information call (02) 4578 2072.

All residents are welcome to come along and explore the new Centre, for catering purposes RSVPS are essential; via email rsvp@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or phone (02) 4560 4404.

On Thursday, 24 March, Council is inviting Hawkesbury residents to come along and learn how to use eight recently installed exercise stations at the fitness trail at Ham Common, Clarendon. This equipment is wheelchair accessible and provides additional amenities for all users of the reserve, especially those with physical support needs.

The equipment was installed by Council thanks to funding from the ‘Creating Liveable Communities Competition’, a NSW Government scheme.

A qualified fitness instructor will be available from 11am to 1pm to show community members how to use the new exercise equipment. There will also be a free sausage sizzle for participants. Bookings are essential on (02) 4560 4404.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

10 March 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Arrangements have been made through the local member, Mr Dominic Perrottet MP, for Council’s General Manager and I to meet with the Office of the Minister for Local Government today to present and emphasise our case to remain a stand-alone council. I am very satisfied that Council has presented a most logical counter argument to the merger proposal and have fully addressed all the necessary criteria as required by the Local Government Act. This submission is available for viewing on Council's community engagement platform Your Hawkesbury - Your Say.
    Residents should now direct their views on the merger proposal to the NSW Premier, The Minister of Local Government and/or our Local Member, Mr Dominic Perrottet MP.
  • Council has recently installed an additional eight exercise stations that are wheelchair accessible at the fitness trail at Ham Common, Clarendon, providing additional amenities for all users of the reserve, especially those with physical support needs.
    The equipment was installed by Council thanks to funding from the ‘Creating Liveable Communities Competition’, a NSW Government scheme. The project aims to make outdoor recreation accessible to all of the community.
    I would like to invite you to come along and learn how to use this great equipment with a qualified fitness instructor on Thursday, 24 March from 11am to 1pm. There will be a free sausage sizzle! Bookings are essential on (02) 4560-4404.
  • The Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre will be officially launched at 6pm, on Tuesday, 22 March opening its doors to the community to explore and use its many new faculties.
    The $2 million reconstruction of the Hawkesbury Learning and Leisure Centre has seen an extension to the previous building (the former Richmond Senior Citizens Centre). This refurbishment has created a contemporary facility which can better respond to the changing needs of our residents.
    The Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre will be managed by Peppercorn Services Inc. They are currently taking bookings for this facility which can be hired by community groups for events, classes and the like. For more information call (02) 4578 2072.
    All residents are welcome to come along and explore the new Centre, for catering purposes RSVPS are essential; via email rsvp@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or phone (02) 4560 4404.

Mayoral Column

Submissions regarding the proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council and part of The Hills Shire Council have now closed. I would like to thank the hundreds of people who attended, spoke and lodged submissions. I now encourage all residents to direct their views to the NSW Premier, The Minister of Local Government or our local MP Mr Dominic Perrottet.

This week marks International Women’s Day and I had the pleasure of attending a fundraising breakfast organised by the Rotary Clubs of Kurrajong North Richmond, Windsor and Richmond.

This event raised funds for two great Hawkesbury organisations – the Pink Finns who raise money to help local women and their families suffering with breast cancer, and the Women’s Cottage, a community based support and resource centre which offers specialist support for women who have experienced violence and abuse.

One of the aims of International Women’s Day is to stop violence against women and girls. This is a serious problem which is entirely preventable and we all have a role to play to end violence at home and around the world.

In a week where we celebrate the achievements of women, I would like to congratulate local resident Josephine Thomas on being a finalist for the ZEST 2016 Outstanding Community Leader - Volunteer Capacity Award. Josephine has been volunteering at the Hawkesbury Oasis where she developed and runs ‘Move 4 Life’ - a fitness program designed to help chronically ill people in the Hawkesbury.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

3 March 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • It is no too late to be a part of Clean Up Australia Day this Sunday. Volunteers can search registered sites at www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/join and register online or on the day to be a part of this great event. Council will coordinate with Clean Up Australia for the disposal of collected rubbish after the event however; sites must be registered with Clean Up Australia. For details contact Clean Up Australia on 1800 282 329 or www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au. Come on Hawkesbury, let’s get out there and make this year’s Clean Up Australia Day the biggest one yet by helping out at a site in the Hawkesbury.
  • Submissions regarding the proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council and part of The Hills Shire Council have now closed. I would like to thank the hundreds of people who attended, spoke and submitted submissions regarding this proposal.
    This week, Council’s Senior Executive team and I met with our local MP Mr Dominic Perrottet. He agreed to accompany myself and the General Manager of Hawkesbury City Council to meet with a representative from the Office of the Minister of Local Government, to further push our case against this proposed merger.
    I now encourage all residents to direct their views on this merger to the NSW Premier, The Minister of Local Government and our Local Member, Mr Dominic Perrottet.
  • I would like to congratulate Richmond resident Josephine Thomas on being a finalist for the ZEST 2016 Outstanding Community Leader - Volunteer Capacity Award. The ZEST Awards celebrate and promote life in Western Sydney and the great things being done by community service organisations and volunteers. Josephine has been volunteering at the Hawkesbury Oasis where she developed and runs the ‘Move 4 Life’ program - a fitness program designed to help chronically ill people in the Hawkesbury.

Mayoral Column

I’m pleased to announce that nominations for the 2016 Hawkesbury Sports Awards are now open. This is a great way for community members to nominate outstanding sports people, teams, coaches or local sport volunteers.

This new awards program is proudly brought to you by Hawkesbury City Council and Windsor RSL. The awards acknowledge the sporting accomplishments of community members as well as the contributions of individuals to sporting clubs through support roles.

There are nine award categories: Sports Person of the Year; Junior Sports Person of the Year; Senior Sports Person of the Year; All Abilities Sports Person of the Year; Team of the Year; Official of the Year; Coach of the Year; Sporting Excellence Medallion (previously the Hawkesbury District Sports Medal); Service to Sport Medallion (previously the Hawkesbury District Sports Certificate).

Whether these accomplishments are at a local, district, state or national level as a coach or manager

or as a volunteer in the canteen, every contribution counts.

Nomination forms are available at Council’s website at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or from Council’s Administration Building, Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor or Richmond Branch Library.

I encourage the community and all sporting groups in the Hawkesbury to nominate all those who contribute to their clubs or who have made an outstanding accomplishment in the sporting arena. Nominations for 2016 Hawkesbury Sports Awards will close at 5pm on Monday, 28 March 2016.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

25 February 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council is establishing a new Tourism Working Group to help support the tourism sector in The Hawkesbury. We need local people who have skills and experience in sectors such as tourism, business and industry development and growth, investment attraction, business innovation, tours, event management and community development to join the tourism working group. To find out more contact Council’s Strategic Activities Planner, Fiona Mann on (02) 4560 4579 or fiona.mann@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
  • It is with a great sadness that we learnt that Alan Eagle, who many would know particularly for his work with Hawkesbury Harvest including The Farmgate Trail and Markets, passed away last Saturday morning. Alan generously worked and volunteered his time over many years to promote the Hawkesbury in a diverse range of fields including the arts, agriculture, small business and tourism. He will be missed.
  • Thank you to all those hundreds of residents that turned out to the public inquiry meetings regarding the proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council and part of The Hills Shire Council held over the past couple of weeks. Submissions close this Sunday so if you haven’t made yours please get online at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils and contribute. Remember this is your last chance to have your say on this proposal.
  • Sadly at this time of year the gloss of that pet given as a Christmas present has worn off and many end up in our Companion Animal Shelter. Before purchasing a pet please consider adopting from our Shelter. View the gallery of animals and see if there is one that you could open your home to.

Mayoral Column

This week I had the pleasure of being involved in the official opening of the new Windsor Fire Station on Anderson Street and to acknowledge the 100 years of service by Windsor fire fighters.

The new Fire Station is State of the Art and the Hawkesbury will be a safer place thanks to the NSW Government’s investment in this essential facility upgrade for The Hawkesbury.

Fire fighters are often the people we look to in times of trouble, not only to put out fi res but for so many other vital services, from rescuing people in car crashes to stabilising hazardous material and educating our community.

There have been many fire fighters involved with the Windsor Fire Station over the past 100 years. I would like to thank all of them for playing a crucial role in providing essential emergency services to our community, often risking their own lives to ensure the safety of others. The Hawkesbury is indebted to you.

Thank you to everyone in the community who has supported Council in its position against a merger by attending the NSW Government’s inquiry meetings and by speaking their sensible and heartfelt messages about how it would affect the Hawkesbury community. I have met many of you at our shopping centre information displays over the past fortnight. You can still do an online submission up until 5pm this Sunday, 28 February 2016.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

18 February 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Hawkesbury Regional Gallery is asking residents for assistance with a free exhibition due to open in April 2016 called ‘Wait, weep & be worthy: women, the home front & war’. If you would like to share your female relatives’ stories through letters, photographs, postcards and so on –even clothes or items made at the time because of shortages of resources – we want to hear from you. If you have any items of interest, please contact exhibition curator, Elissa Blair on 4560 4586 or eblair@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au.
  • Members of the public can comment on the NSW Government’s proposal to merge Hawkesbury City Council with part of The Hills Shire Council up until 5pm Sunday, 28 February 2016. Lodge your submission online at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils.
  • Constant rain has damaged a number of Council’s roads and has resulted in the formation of a considerable number of potholes. Please contact Council’s Customer Service on 4560 4444 to report potholes and have them scheduled to be repaired. Please don’t assume others have reported damage. We cannot fix problems that we do not know about.
  • In association with the National Film and Sound Archive, Hawkesbury Library Service will be screening the movie Mental on Thursday, 25 February, at 10am and again at 6pm at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor. Free Movies @ Your Library are held on the last Thursday of each month, except for January. Bookings are encouraged. Call (02) 4560 4460 or email programs@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au with your name(s), contact number and which session you would like to attend. Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult

Mayoral Column

The Hawkesbury Regional Gallery launched its 2016 program on Friday, 12 February with a wonderful exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra – Awesome Achievers: Stories from Australians of the Year. The exhibition features selected recipients of the Australian of the Year awards over the past 55 years, grouped around eight main themes.  This exhibition truly brings to life the Aussie spirit and I certainly encourage everyone to come and view this exhibition which runs until 27 March 2016.

I would also like to thank the Windsor Business Group for standing up for the Hawkesbury and organising a public rally in opposition to the State Government’s Hawkesbury and Hills proposed amalgamation. There was a great turn out for the rally on Saturday and I would like to thank everyone who came along and let their voices be heard.

There is still more that can be done to make sure that the views of the Hawkesbury people are being heard. Due to public demand and Councillor requests, a second Public Inquiry Meeting regarding the merger has now been scheduled. It will be held after hours on Monday, 22 February from 7pm to 10pm at Hawkesbury Racecourse, Clarendon by the Delegate appointed to provide a report to the Minister for Local Government. For information on attending the meeting, to register to speak or to comment via submission, visit www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils. Written submissions will be accepted up until 5pm Sunday, 28 February 2016.

I urge all of you to stand up and have your say.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

11 February 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

Regarding the NSW Government’s proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council and part of the Hills, The Windsor Business Group has shown their support for Council’s position to remain a stand-alone council by organising a Public Rally this Saturday, 13 February 2016 between 2pm - 4pm at Hollands Paddock behind the Riverview Shopping Centre, Windsor. There will be food and entertainment available and I encourage everyone to attend.

  • Due to public demand and Councillor requests, there will now be a second Public Inquiry Meeting held in the Hawkesbury about the proposed merger. It will be held after hours on Monday evening, 22 February from 7pm to 10pm at Hawkesbury Racecourse, Clarendon. This will be a much more convenient time than the first one at 1pm last Friday (5 February), especially for people who work full time or run a business in the Hawkesbury. I urge you to attend.

  • Make sure you register to speak for this meeting as soon as you can, as once all the times are booked for speaking (5 minutes is allowed for an individual or 10 minutes for an organisation) no more speakers will be permitted. Unregistered speakers will only be permitted by the appointed Delegate if time permits.

  • For details about how to register visit www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils/ or call 1300 813 020.

  • I remind you that written submissions to the Delegate can be made online at https://www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils/ or by mail to GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001 and need to be lodged no later than Sunday, 28 February 2016. The website provides details on how to do your submission.

  • Keep updated on the latest merger related information at Your Hawkesbury—Your Say.
  • Hawkesbury Regional Gallery in Windsor launches its 2016 program with a spectacular exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra: Awesome Achievers: Stories from Australians of the Year. The exhibition features selected recipients of the Australian of the Year awards over the past 55 years, grouped around eight main themes. Dr Anne Sanders from the National Portrait Gallery will speak at the opening which I will also attend and open on Friday, 12 February at 6:30pm. Entry is free and refreshments will be served. The exhibition will run until 27 March 2016.

  • A Hawkesbury information session about Container Deposit Systems will be held from 6:30pm to 7:30pm on Tuesday,16 February 2016 Deerubbin Centre Community Room (Tebbutt Room) 300 George St, Windsor. In February 2015, the NSW government announced that they would be introducing a Container Deposit System. Container Deposit Systems are the best way to stop bottles and cans being littered or ending up in landfill. A good Container Deposit System also means great fundraising opportunities for local community organisations. The Boomerang Alliance would like to invite you to an information night for the Hawkesbury area. There will be a short presentation about what a good Container Deposit System looks like and how you can help make it happen. There will also be time for questions on recycling and the environment, as well as how fundraising opportunities for organisations would work. Contact Emma Bacon for more details emma.bacon@boomerangalliance.org.au.

Mayoral Column

There was an overwhelming sense of community spirit at the first Public Inquiry Meeting about the Hawkesbury-Hills merger last Friday. It was met with community outrage about the whole proposal, with comments that it was “ridiculous”, “without proper consultation” and a “change for the worse”.

Close to 200 turned out and the views expressed by the 49 speakers were passionate and well
considered.

In my address I explained that the merger proposal was not well thought out and that our evidence is that the merger is not the solution because we can achieve the same, if not better results without the many shortcomings of the proposal.

This merger will not create a council better able to meet community needs of the future but throw together two distinctly different regions, destroying historical and traditional values and weakening our community ties.

I explained how the doubtful net financial benefits flowing from the proposal are minimal and far outweighed by the adverse economic impact of the merger on the local economy.

Due to public demand for an after-hours Public Inquiry Meeting, a second meeting will now be held on Monday evening, 22 February commencing at 7pm at the Hawkesbury Racecourse. Call 1300 813 020 to register to speak or register online at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au.

I urge you to make the time for this last chance meeting before it is too late. Written submissions are also accepted until 5pm Sunday, 28 February 2016 either online or by mail to GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

4 February 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council held an Extraordinary Meeting on Thursday, 28 January 2016 to consider Council's submission regarding the proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council and part of The Hills Shire Council. Council resolved to support a public information campaign. The business paper is available for viewing.

  • Don’t forget that registrations to attend Public Inquiry about the proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council and part of the Hills Council. To find out more go to Your Hawkesbury Your Say.

  • Members of the community can also comment through a written submission no later than 5pm on Sunday, 28 February 2016. Submissions must address certain criteria and may be made either online at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils or by mail to GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001. Note that mail submissions must be sent in time for the Sunday, 28 February cut off. Public submissions will be reviewed by the Delegate appointed, Mr Garry West, to provide a report to the Minister for Local Government, The Hon Paul Toole MP.

  • I have to say congratulations to our Hawkesbury residents for their recycling efforts over Christmas. A total of 641 tonnes was collected through the yellow-lidded recycling bin service in January. Weekly recycling services were provided between 28 December 2015 and 22 January 2016, as a special way to motivate residents to continue their recycling efforts over the holiday period. This is an increase of over 12 tonnes when comparing with January 2015. That’s equivalent to 144,000 black balloons saved (each black balloon is equivalent to 50 grams of carbon pollution), or 1.73 cars being permanently removed from the roads.

Mayoral Column

Our Hawkesbury local heroes were acknowledged at the recent Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards ceremony as part of a new Local Hero Award that acknowledges outstanding dedication and contribution to the Hawkesbury through voluntary services, expertise or community leadership.

Paul and Catherine Barber from St John Ambulance – Hawkesbury City Division were awarded Local Hero Awards for their long term service to the community. The couple have tirelessly attended events and activities over many years in the Hawkesbury offering their medical assistance to those in need.

Their years of knowledge are invaluable to the Division which relies on their dedication to the group. They actively participate in all activities, passing on knowledge to other members and supporting fellow members during their learning.

Jan Earle has been a member of Freemans Reach Brigade of the Rural Fire Service for over 50 years and received a Local Hero Award for her dedication. She was the first female fire fighter in the Hawkesbury and has served many roles in Freemans Reach Brigade. Prior to her work with the RFS, Jan was involved with the State Emergency Services.

Good friends June Greenhalgh and Valmai Turnbull were awarded a Local Hero Awards for their
commitment to a project to commemorate the 2015 Anzac Centenary. The pair crocheted over 500 poppies for a community display at The Australiana Pioneer Village to commemorate those who fought in the Great War. It took them more than 180 hours and 60 balls of wool to crochet the poppies. My sincere thanks and congratulations to all our local heroes.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

28 January 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Tomorrow Friday, 29 January 2016 is the last day to register to speak or attend the one of the public inquiry meetings regarding the proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council and part of The Hills Shire Council. For details of all three sessions and how to register visit www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils/ or call 1300 813 020. Note that registration must be completed by 12 noon.
  • Only one of the three public inquiry meetings is scheduled to be held in the Hawkesbury Local Government Area. This will be on Friday, 5 February between 1pm to 5pm at Hawkesbury Race Club. Councillors have asked the Delegate appointed by the Office of Local Government to consider holding an additional meeting in our area. The current meeting time may be very inconvenient for residents, especially those who are employed full time. Keep updated on the news of any additional meeting and the latest merger related information at Your Hawkesbury—Your Say.
  • Council will hold an Extraordinary Meeting on Thursday, 28 January 2016 to consider Council's submission regarding the proposed merger and to determine a public information campaign. The meeting will commence 6:30pm in the Council Chambers, 366 George Street, Windsor. The business paper is now available for viewing.
  • Thank you to all who joined in all our celebrations on Australia Day throughout the community and special congratulations to all Australia Day Award Winners. Our 2016 Citizen of the Year is Paul Maher and joint young Citizens of the Year are Blake Atkins and Blake Coaldrake.

Mayoral Column

I would remind members of the community that if they wish to attend and or speak at Public Inquiry meetings regarding the proposed merger of Hawkesbury with part of The Hills Shire Council, they must register by 12 noon Friday, 29 January. Visit www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils or call 1300 813 020 to register and to obtain locations and times.

What a wonderful Australia Day we had this week! We welcomed 40 new Australian Citizens and also recognised the contribution of many individuals and groups at the Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards.

Our 2016 Citizen of the Year is Paul Maher. Over 20 years, Paul has dedicated countless hours to Kurrajong Comleroy Historical Society, Hawkesbury Environment Network, Boys Town and Hawkesbury Harvest. He is also an active member of Hawkesbury Chamber of Commerce, Hawkesbury Liquor Accord and the working parties for Hawkesbury Tourism. He acts as a mentor and provides his tourism expertise to local high schools and Vocational Education Training programs.

This year we have joint Young Citizens of the Year, Blake Atkins and Blake Coaldrake. These boys are true heroes. They were first on the scene of an accident at the 2014 Bridge to Bridge Ski Race. They heroically pulled four participants from the water, two with critical injuries. With little experience, the boys performed first aid, contacted emergency services and assisted in finding a suitable landing site for the inbound medical helicopter.

For information on the many other awards presented on Australia Day, see Council’s website.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

21 January 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Excitement is building for the various celebrations to take place in the Hawkesbury for Australia Day. All are welcome to join us at our civic Australia Day events at Windsor Function Centre, Dight Street, Windsor.
    Commencing 9am we will welcome new citizens from a variety of countries to Australia at a very special Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony. At 12noon the Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards Ceremony will take place. This is a chance for all Hawkesbury residents to recognise some of the many people who work so hard for our local community. To RSVP for catering purposes call Customer Service (02) 4560 4444.
  • There a number of other events happening around the beautiful Hawkesbury for Australia Day. See our Australia Day Events Calendar for more details.
  • Council will hold an Extraordinary Meeting on Thursday, 28 January 2016 to consider Council's submission regarding the proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council and part of The Hills Shire Council and to determine a public information campaign. The meeting will commence 6:30pm in the Council Chambers, 366 George Street, Windsor. The business paper is now available for viewing.
  • Don’t forget that registrations to attend and speak at public inquiry meetings into the proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council and part of the Hills Council close Friday, 29 January 2016. To find out more go to Your Hawkesbury Your Say.
  • Constant wet weather is playing havoc with our road system and Council is working to prioritize and complete repairs as quickly as possible. Please report any dangerous local road conditions to our Customer Service on (02) 4560 4444.

Mayoral Column

Residents can have their say about the proposed merger of Hawkesbury City Council with part of The Hills Shire Council recorded at public meetings for a report to the Minister for Local Government.

The NSW Government has now advertised details of a public inquiry in relation to the proposal. The inquiry will take the form of three public meetings, two at Castle Hill RSL Club (day and evening option) and one at Hawkesbury Race Club (day option):

  • Castle Hill RSL Club - Thursday, 4 Feb 2016 from 1pm to 5pm or from 7pm to 10pm, 77 Castle Street, Castle Hill
  • Hawkesbury Race Club - Friday, 5 Feb 2016 from 1pm to 5pm, 1 Racecourse Road, Clarendon.

To attend or speak at the meeting you must register prior to Friday, 29 January online at https://www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils/ or by calling 1300 813 020.

I encourage all local residents, community groups and business organisations that will be affected by this to try to attend one of the public inquiry meetings and also to make a submission through the same website.

This public inquiry is the time to voice your views and fi nd out more about the merger proposal.

Members of the public can also comment on the NSW Government proposal to merge Hawkesbury City Council with part of The Hills Shire Council, through a written submission, until 5pm Sunday, 28 February 2016. Submissions may be made either online at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils/ or by mail to GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

14 January 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • The NSW State Government released details of its merger proposals for councils across the State as part of the Fit for the Future Reform Program. This included a proposal for Hawkesbury City Council and part of The Hills Shire Council to merge.
    Submissions are now open for the public to make comment on the proposal. I encourage all local residents and organisations to have their say on this most important issue for the future of the Hawkesbury.
    Submissions close 5pm Sunday, 28 February 2016.
    Submissions can be made online or by mail to GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001.
    The Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government has delegated the function of examining and reporting on the proposal to a delegate, Mr Garry West.
    Mr West is a former politician who has held many ministerial portfolios including Local Government. Mr West will also conduct a public enquiry which will probably take the form of a public meeting however at this stage Council does not have any further information about these arrangements. A decision about the proposed amalgamation is not expected before the middle of 2016.
  • Thank you to the State Emergency Services, Rural Fire Service, local Police and emergency services and all the volunteers who supported the Hawkesbury community during the heavy rains last week – your work makes a huge difference to us all.
  • Keep recycling - ratepayers who receive the domestic waste service are still getting extra recycling services until Friday, 22 January 2016. Just put your recycling bin out every week on your scheduled garbage bin collection day (red or black lid) to take advantage of this free service.

Mayoral Column

No doubt many in our community will be concerned by the announcement of the State Government about a proposal to merge our Council with part of The Hills Shire. Submissions are now open for the public to make comment on this proposal and will close at 5pm Sunday, 28 February 2016.

Submission can be made either online at or by mail to GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001.

A delegate of the Office of Local Government has been appointed to examine and report on the merger proposal. Council will be meeting with the delegate tomorrow.

The delegate will prepare a report that considers financial impacts, communities of interest, elected representation, employment of staff, service and facilities, and the attitude of residents and ratepayers. This report will go to the Minister, as well as the independent Local Government Boundaries Commission, which will comment on the report.

Public submissions will be reviewed by the delegate and used to inform the examination and reporting process.

I encourage all local residents, community groups and business organisations that will be affected by this merger proposal to make a submission. A public inquiry which will probably take the form of a public meeting will also be undertaken by the delegate.

The date for this will be determined by the delegate. Further information on the proposal and how to make a submission can be found at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/proposals/hawkesbury-city-and-the-hills-shire-councils/ .

A decision about the proposed amalgamation is not expected before the middle of 2016.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

7 January 2016

From the Mayor's Desk

  • The NSW State Government released details of its merger proposals for councils across the State as part of the Fit for the Future Reform Program. This included a proposal for Hawkesbury City Council and part of The Hills Shire Council to merge.
    Submissions are now open for the public to make comment on the proposal. I encourage all local residents and organisations to have their say on this most important issue for the future of the Hawkesbury.
    Submissions close 5pm Sunday, 28 February 2016.
    Submissions can be made online or by mail to GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001.
    The Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government has delegated the function of examining and reporting on the proposal to a delegate, Mr Garry West. Mr West is a former politician who has held many ministerial portfolios including Local Government.
    Mr West will also conduct a public enquiry which will probably take the form of a public meeting however at this stage Council does not have any further information about these arrangements.
    A decision about the proposed amalgamation is not expected before the middle of 2016.
  • Thank you to the State Emergency Services, Rural Fire Service, local Police and emergency services and all the volunteers who supported the Hawkesbury community during the heavy rains last week – your work makes a huge difference to us all.
  • Keep recycling - ratepayers who receive the domestic waste service are still getting extra recycling services until Friday, 22 January 2016.  Just put your recycling bin out every week on your scheduled garbage bin collection day (red or black lid) to take advantage of this free service.

Mayoral Column

On Friday, 18 December the NSW State Government released details of its proposal for Hawkesbury City Council and part of (the current) The Hills Shire Council to merge. Whilst Council has maintained a position of standing alone and has provided detailed information supporting this position to the NSW Government previously, Council is now bound by legislative guidelines issued by the Office of Local Government. These guidelines control various decision making processes of Council including expenditure and the release of information campaigns and advice to the community which is required to be approved by an open Council meeting. Further information on the consultation phase is to be released in the early part of January. This will inform our current work on preparing a detailed community information program. To find out more information on the NSW State Government’s proposal visit www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au or www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/getting-council-fit-for-the-future.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all our residents a very happy and safe New Year. I hope you enjoyed the festive season and the children are enjoying the school holidays.

School holiday programs at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor will include a free giant board games and a Lego play area with Lego and Duplo bricks, stacks of baseboards, and an army of mini figures available for enthusiasts to build Lego dreams throughout the month of January.

Richmond Library will be holding a variety of craft afternoons on Thursdays in January. Workshops include; how to make a dream catcher, design a stylish bracelet and create a scrapbook box. These workshops are free, bookings essential on (02) 4560 4460.

The Hawkesbury Regional Gallery will hold an Acrylic painting workshop on Thursday 21, January and a Sculpture workshop on Friday, 22 January. For further information and cost, contact the Gallery on (02) 4560 4441.

Councillor Kim Ford

Mayor of Hawkesbury

Page ID: 65461