From the Mayor

22 November 2018

Mayoral Column

I was glad to see Hawkesbury farmers showed up with their utes and trailers at McGraths Hill Waste Management Facility recently, loading up cheap silage rolls. The rolls are being sold at cost by Hawkesbury City Council as part of a drought assistance effort, by selling the lucerne silage rolls for only $48 each. They are grown using recycled water at the Facility.

This initiative aims to help farmers get cheaper fodder for their starving livestock. The price of $48 per silage roll represents a significant subsidy from Council in recognition of the adverse circumstances that many of our primary producers are currently facing.

Council is subsidising the cost of the silage up to $30,000. Council will also donate all funds raised from any additional financial contributions, including money donated by Council staff and from the community at Council events, to Buy a Bale.

Buy a Bale has assured Council that all money raised in the Hawkesbury will be directed back to our local farmers.

Council is also encouraging local farmers to sign up to Buy a Bale themselves so they are eligible to receive support whether its hands-on, financial or emotional. There are also donation boxes for the community to donate to Buy a Bale at Council’s Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor.

Not only is this drought placing a financial burden on farming families, but it puts a huge emotional toll on every family member and our farming communities.

NSW farmers are in desperate need right now for livestock feed, fuel, drinking water and basic supplies. Our community has rallied around our local farmers by supporting many local initiatives during this drought.

8 November 2018

Mayoral Column

Local councils have a very strategic role in addressing the effects of ongoing climate change. One of the strategies being employed by Hawkesbury City Council is the commencement of a new solar initiative as part of its long term sustainability goals.

The Hawkesbury Solar Program will not only extend Council’s existing solar energy infrastructure, but will also include the creation of a new solar farm at the South Windsor Wastewater Treatment Facility and 12 other sites.

The new solar installations will improve sustainability outcomes by reducing our carbon footprint and saving energy, something our Sustainability Committee and staff have been steadfastly working towards as part of delivering on our Community Strategic Plan 2017-2036.

The Hawkesbury Solar Program will install 600kW in total solar power that will generate electricity for Council sites and provide cost savings for the community. The money saved through reduced energy usage will ultimately allow Council to invest this money in better infrastructure and services for the community.

By using a combination of energy saving devices, reducing energy use and installing solar panels, we can all save money and create a more sustainable future. I am aware that there are many Hawkesbury residents who are already using solar power very effectively, but I would like to encourage all of our community members to get on board to make the most of the reduced energy costs to be had by installing solar panels.

We will be rolling out this program over the next six months, so stay tuned for updates as we progress this solar initiative. To see the list of all 13 sites and more details visit Council’s website under Building Hawkesbury’s Future at www.hawkesury.nsw.gov.au and www.lightyearsahead.com.au

25 October 2018

Mayoral Column

The winners of the 2018 Hawkesbury Garden Competition were announced at our special presentation night held at Windsor RSL recently. Thank you to Windsor RSL for sponsoring the venue on the night and to all of the sponsors who supported the event and provided many prizes. Councillor Peter Reynolds attended the evening and he was amazed by the variety of entries featured in the Hawkesbury Camera Club’s slideshow presentation.

The 40 entrants included individuals, organisations and schools. Climate conditions always play their part in our landscape and unfortunately, the drought had an impact on all of our gardeners this year. Bilpin Public School had to withdraw from the competition as a result. Our sponsors kindly provided some gardening supplies to keep their spirits up.

Well done to our winners including Kathryn Wheeler - Winner - Regional Garden - North;

Mary and Michael Want - Winner - Best Regional Garden - West; and Bruce Skeen: Winner - Best Regional Garden - South. Bruce also won Grand Champion Garden 2018. For the full list of winners including best acreage, best residential, best school and best seniors, highly commended, first second and third prizes, visit www.hawkesbury,nsw.gov.au

Greg Bourke, Curator of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mt Tomah, gave a wonderful talk about finding new plants in Western Australia, including some newly discovered species, which had the local gardeners green with envy. His photos were a magnificent display of colour and beauty. I would also like to thank to our independent judge, Cameron Graves. Both Mr Graves and I hope everyone keeps up their wonderful gardening that adds so much to our beautiful Hawkesbury environment.

18 October 2018

Mayoral Column

Artists of the Hawkesbury will be pleased to know that Create NSW is keen to hear from you about the exciting arts, screen and cultural projects happening in the Hawkesbury and to find out ways that Create NSW can support you.

Many local artists attended the Create NSW roadshow held at the Deerubbin Centre recently to talk about funding opportunities for arts, screen and culture in the Hawkesbury and across NSW. This is such a positive program to support dance, music, regional touring, capital works, visual arts, museums, literature and professional development for artists in the Hawkesbury as well as Western Sydney and throughout NSW.

I am already hearing from local artists who are heartened by the offer of potential financial and in kind support to help make their dreams a reality. This is a great opportunity to encourage further cultural development in the Hawkesbury.

Create NSW has now invited Council to discuss possible funding opportunities from Create NSW and other partners to support a performing arts facility in the Hawkesbury, in acknowledgement of increasing cultural demand in our region. A great example of this increasing demand is the long established Hawkesbury Eisteddfod at Windsor Function Centre that attracts performers from as far afield as Newcastle, the Hills, North and South Western Sydney, and other regions across NSW.

To find out more about Create NSW opportunities, visit www.create.nsw.gov.au

11 October 2018

Mayoral Column

Have you heard about our Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards coming up for 2019? These awards are a special way to recognise outstanding local people who have done something special for our community, people who continue to achieve and contribute to the Hawkesbury. Nominations are now open for the 2019 Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards and I encourage you to nominate someone worthy for these awards. You will also go into a draw to win one of five $100 Coles/Myer gift cards as their nominator.

Nominations can be made in one or more of these categories: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Local Hero Award, Volunteer of the Year, Community Arts Award, Cultural Heritage Award, Environmental Award, Community Organisation of the Year, and Commemorative Plaque. The Committee is responsible for assessing all nominations received, with judging to take place in early December.

The winners will be announced on Friday, 25 January 2019 at Governor Phillip Park at a special awards presentation. Visit here for more information or to nominate someone - all nominations need to be completed online by 5pm Friday, 2 November 2018. Unsuccessful nominations may also be resubmitted in subsequent years. All nominees must be residents of the Hawkesbury or non-residents who have significantly contributed to the Hawkesbury community.

4 October 2018

Mayoral Column

I’m pleased to tell you that Hawkesbury City Council has made a commitment to support local farmers by selling lucerne silage rolls, which are produced at its McGraths Hill Treatment Plant using recycled water. The silage rolls will be available at cost for only $48 each over the next six months. This Council initiative aims to help farmers in need during the NSW drought.

The price of $48 per silage roll represents a significant subsidy by Council on the rolls in recognition of the adverse circumstances that many of our primary producers currently face.

Hawkesbury farmers need to complete an Expression of Interest on Council’s website at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/home/home-slideshow/baling-for-farmers/baling-for-farmers to buy silage rolls.

Not only is this drought placing a financial burden on farming families, it takes a huge emotional toll on every family member and our farming communities. Council is also encouraging local farmers to sign up to Buy a Bale so they are eligible to receive support whether its hands-on, financial or emotional.

There are donation boxes for the community to donate to Buy a Bale at Council’s Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor. Council will also donate all funds raised from any additional financial contributions, including money donated by Council staff, to Buy a Bale.

27 September 2018

Mayoral Column

I am honoured to have the opportunity to serve our community as the Mayor of Hawkesbury over the next two years, following the Mayoral Election on Tuesday, 18 September 2018. I would also like to thank our former Mayor, Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett for her hard work and dedication to the people of the Hawkesbury over the past two years. Councillor Lyons-Buckett has been tireless in her work for our residents during this time and has forged many strong links with all sections of our community.

I also congratulate and welcome Councillor Lyons-Buckett to the role of Deputy Mayor. We both look forward to continuing to work together for the community.

I’m proud to be elected as the Hawkesbury’s new Mayor and I will be working proactively to help Council partner with Federal and State Government to unlock further opportunities in education, business and employment for our region. I plan to promote the many positive aspects of the Hawkesbury and to encourage strong connections with our community, industry and government.

During my term, I aim to build on the many partnerships that we have developed with the community and many government agencies to secure the best possible future for the Hawkesbury. I also intend to lead the process of reviewing Council’s policies with a view to either updating existing policies, deleting older policies, or creating new, more relevant policies.

20 September 2018

Mayoral Column

What a wonderful KoalaFest event we had last week in Kurrajong! Did you know that koala sightings are increasing in the Hawkesbury? Council has installed new signage around rural roads in Kurrajong which see a higher amount of ‘koala traffic’ to try to protect our native animals and to encourage safer driving from tourists and locals alike.

There have been koala sightings at Cabbage Tree Road, Grose Vale, Hermitage Road, Kurrajong and also dangerously close to Bells Line of Road near Kurrajong Public School.

If you do spot a koala, you can record it at www.scienceforwildlife.org This is part of an exciting project run by Dr Kellie Leigh who has created important Koala Habitat Maps. The maps are based on a range of data including koala sightings, scat survey work and radio-tracking data in the South East Wollemi National Park and adjacent developed areas including Kurrajong and Grose Vale. The maps are available at http://scienceforwildlife.org/iconic-koalas/koala-habitat-maps

With the help of over 100 koala sightings submitted by the local community, we now have a good idea which habitats are most important to koalas at this site and where they are likely to be found. Our koala population appears to be growing while other koala populations across Australia are in decline. We have some highly suitable habitats for koalas in our developed areas which means koalas are likely to continue to move through these areas. It puts them at greater risk from vehicle collisions as they cross roads, and from domestic dog attacks. So please keep an eye out, slow down on the roads and keep your cats and dogs locked up at night.

13 September 2018

Mayoral Column

Exciting news! One million containers have been collected at the Windsor Metal Recyclers’ Return and Earn collection point. I was delighted when Ken Bleakley, the owner and operator of Windsor Metal Recyclers, invited me to symbolically drop off the millionth container. I also invited the President of Windsor Lions Ron Coleman, as Windsor Lions has delivered tens of thousands of containers as part of Return and Earn.

It’s fantastic news for our community that so many people are supporting the Return and Earn program, which ultimately means less litter and better environmental outcomes for our community.

The 1 million milestone places the Windsor Metal Recyclers’ collection point in the Top 3 ‘Largest Over-The-Counter sites in NSW’. Windsor Metal Recyclers, at 20/124 Ham Street, South Windsor, has been a collection point since the Return and Earn scheme started on 1 December 2017. Windsor Metal Recyclers is popular with local residents because they have the advantage of providing a cash payment and being able to accept bulk drop offs.

The Return and Earn allows you to receive a 10 cent refund on eligible bottles and cans when you drop them off at a collection point. The Return and Earn scheme aims to reach the goal of a 40% reduction in litter. About 160 million drink containers were littered in 2014-2015.

For more information about the Return and Earn scheme and to see the locations of the local Over-The-Counter sites and Reverse Vending Machines, visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/environment/waste-management/waste-and-recycling/return-and-earn

6 September 2018

Mayoral Column

Kurrajong is set to enjoy its first ever Koala Fest on Saturday, 15 September, 10am to 2pm at Kurrajong Village Memorial Park. Council is proud to sponsor Koala Fest, which is a HEN initiative supported by Western Sydney University and community groups including Kurrajong Community Forum.

The day will include local speakers, entertainment and kids’ activities, free native plants from Hawkesbury Community Nursery and the chance to meet some native animals.

Our endangered koalas are facing so many threats including drought, bushfires and over development. The Hawkesbury has a community of koalas that are trying to live and remain in our region, so I hope this event will raise community awareness. For details call 4560 4525 or email koalafest@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au

Another important community event will be the Free Dementia Awareness Forums to be held on Friday, 14 September at 12:45 pm and Friday, 28 September at 6:30 pm at the Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor. The forums, which will cover dementia, younger onset dementia and the importance of engaging with your local community, will be of interest to anyone living with dementia, their family and friends, people concerned with memory loss and service providers.

There will be presentations from GPs, geriatric psychiatry and aged care specialists as well information on how to refer and access dementia services, and practical support. Carers will also be sharing their experiences. Register at
www.eventbrite.com/e/hawkesbury-dementiaawareness-forum-tickets-49367564715 or call 45604502 for details.

30 August 2018

Mayoral Column

Bring your family along for a fun NSW Bike week event at South Windsor Family Centre, 6 Greenhills Way, South Windsor on Sunday, 23 September 2018 from 11am to 2pm.

Hawkesbury City Council is proud to host this local NSW Bike Week event and everyone is invited! AustCycle instructors and Freedom Wheels - cycling specialists for children with any kind of ability -will provide free 45 minute sessions upon the hour for children and their carers. Each carer-child team will learn how to upgrade their cycling and road safety skills. Children can bring their own helmet and bicycles or if you are new to bicycle riding, there will even be bicycles and equipment available to borrow.

To request a Freedom Wheels' obligation-free complimentary Child Disability Cycling Assessment on the day, please complete the Step 1 Application Form directly at https://freedomwheels.org.au/get-a-bike General tickets need to be booked through Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/nsw-bike-week-2018-hawkesbury-cycle-do-tickets-49031141464

Please book one ticket per parent/child team for lessons. General tickets without lessons are also available for supporting family members and friends. You can also receive a free gift from the special guests on the day, NSW Cops on Bikes, who use police pedal power to keep our Hawkesbury community safe.

For more information, please contact Council at safety@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call 4560 4498. For any enquiries on the day of the event, Sunday, 23 September, please call 0401 710 540. NSW Bike Week runs from 22-30 September 2018, and is a NSW Government initiative that raises the profile of cycling as a healthy and environmentally friendly transport option.

16 August 2018

Mayoral Column

I’m delighted to tell you that a NSW Women's Country Golf Meeting will be held in the Hawkesbury from Monday, 3 September to Thursday, 6 September 2018. The event will be run by Golf NSW and sponsored by Hawkesbury City Council.

The Women's Country Golf Meeting is an opportunity for women from Country NSW to come together and play on some of the top golf courses in NSW. The event is open to all female amateurs who hold a current Australian or overseas equivalent handicap and are a member of a Golf NSW affiliated Country Golf Club. It is expected that up to 200 women will participate at Lynwood Country Club and Windsor Golf Club.

Run by Golf NSW, the Women's Country Golf Meeting commenced in 1957 to provide women golfers with an opportunity to play a tournament styled competition on quality golf courses in metropolitan Sydney and coastal regions. Golf NSW aims to encourage participation, fellowship, fair play, and the well-being of their member clubs and districts.

It’s always great having visitors come to our region and I’m sure they’ll take some time to also explore our beautiful Hawkesbury and everything we have to offer. Council has sponsored this event with $5500 to help encourage more tourism to the area and we hope this will provide economic benefits to local businesses and the tourism sector in the Hawkesbury. I look forward to meeting the players from the many country areas within NSW and to presenting some special trophies to the winners.

9 August 2018

Mayoral Column

Hawkesbury Regional Museum will honour the memory of former Emeritus Mayor, Dr Rex Stubbs OAM on Saturday, 25 August with a symposium in the morning, followed an open afternoon for everyone to ‘Celebrate History’ - I encourage you all to come along!

Dr Stubbs was a Hawkesbury City Councillor for 26 years, including ten terms as Mayor. He had an abiding interest in art, history and culture, and championed the development of Hawkesbury Regional Museum and Hawkesbury Regional Gallery.  History was his first love, and as well as writing several books and articles on local history, he was a member and President of Hawkesbury Historical Society for nearly 30 years. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2001.

Dr Kate Gahan, a professional historian based in the NSW Northern Rivers region and the curator of the new museum exhibition, Food Bowl Farming, and Deborah Vaughan from the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS) will be speakers at the Symposium.

From 1:30pm regional historical groups including the Hawkesbury Branch of the National Trust, Colo Shire Family History Group and Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum will set up info stalls in the Museum grounds.

There will also be children’s activities and popular music from the 70s to today, plus Colonial tunes, performed by Brett Green (‘the hat’), who delighted audiences in June with his performance at Make Music Day. The Museum is located at 8 Baker Street, Windsor, for more details visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/museum or call 45604655.

26 July 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Hawkesbury City Council is calling for nominations for the annual Natalie Burton Memorial Award on behalf of the Burton, Turner and Lawrance families. Nominations close Friday, 17 August 2018.

    The award is intended for a recipient who has faced a challenging circumstance and, despite this adversity, has still succeeded through their personal application and determination. This could be a disability, illness or a serious accident, the loss of a family member or other situations that sometimes present in life.

    The award is open to male or female students and is not restricted to academic achievement; it may take the form of community, sporting or general achievements and improvements.

    Residents are encouraged to nominate any Hawkesbury high school student, whom they feel is a worthy recipient and they could be awarded with the prestigious Natalie Burton Memorial Award trophy and $200 prize money.

    Nomination forms are available online www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/services/people/community-awards/the-natalie-burton-memorial-award or at Council Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor, Richmond Branch Library and Hawkesbury Central Library at Windsor or by calling 4560 4430.

    I would also like to encourage you to consider nominations for some other very special awards before the deadlines close, please see the details below.
  • Do you know a rural woman volunteer within your local government area you would like to acknowledge for their contribution to the community? Nominations close Monday, 30 July 2018.

    NSW Department of Primary Industries' Rural Women’s Network program is seeking your help to uncover female volunteers within NSW rural communities before 30 July 2018.

    These worthy women in your electorate will be included in the NSW Department of Primary Industries Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.

    Women are so often the backbone of families and communities and without their support many groups including charities, emergency services, the arts, environment, social justice, education and sporting organisations would struggle to survive.

    The Hidden Treasures project was created to promote and document the work of these remarkable women. It is not an award program but a public tribute to the vast number of rural women who give their time and energy to help others across their community.

    Nominations can be completed online at https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/about-us/rural-support/rural-womens-network/hidden-treasures .All rural women nominated will be included in the Honour Roll. Please call 6391 3706 if you need help with your nomination.
  • The National Australia Day Council is accepting public nominations for the 2019 Australian of the Year Awards. Nominations close midnight Tuesday, 31 July2018. They could be quiet achievers, community members, leaders in their field of work, household names or unknown heroes.  Nominations are open to all members of the public across four categories: Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero.  Nominating is quick and easy – simply complete the online nomination form at www.australianoftheyear.org.au or call 1300 655 193 for assistance in submitting your nomination.

Mayoral Column

Hawkesbury City Council and Windsor RSL are embarking on a new partnership to launch a revitalisation program for Windsor using a $200,000 grant from Windsor RSL. The innovative program will involve funding a position to work with Council and existing landowners to activate the ‘High Street’ Commercial Centres of Windsor and South Windsor and boost the local economy.

Windsor RSL and Council will engage a specialist practitioner to develop and implement the project. I hope this initiative will stimulate the local economy of Windsor and South Windsor, and so help to grow the visitor economy, local employment, development and investment. The Hawkesbury has a lot to offer, and there are many great business opportunities yet to be opened up in this area.

A Town Centres Masterplan Project Group, which consists of Councillor Danielle Wheeler as Chair and six community representatives, has also been formed as part of the Revitalisation Program. The Project Group is assisting Council with the creation of Master Plans for a number of Town Centres within the Hawkesbury Local Government Area.

On behalf of the Hawkesbury City Council and our community, I would like to thank Windsor RSL for funding the engagement of a specialist to revitalise the Business Centres of Windsor, and partnering with Council to re-establish Windsor as a thriving community in the North West of Sydney.

For more information about the new initiative to revitalise Windsor and surrounds, please contact Council’s Placemaking Coordinator Charles Liggett on 4560 4527.

19 July 2018

Mayoral Column

To celebrate Local Government Week, Council is launching a brand new, free community event called ‘Hawkesbury Fest’ on Sunday, 29 July 2018 at Governor Phillip Park, Windsor, with lots of fun, free activities for everyone.

We will also officially open the new playground at Governor Phillip Park, which has been upgraded as part of the Governor Phillip Park Master Plan.

Completed Stage 1 works at Governor Phillip Park include a children’s bicycle path and a variety of play equipment which aims to encourage balancing, climbing, sliding, spinning and exploration. Based on community feedback, particularly from the Touched by Olivia Foundation, Council has modified the playground design to include fencing around the playground for extra safety for children.

In addition to the Governor Phillip Park gala opening with a special interactive community art initiative on the day, activities will include a free jumping castle, face painting and roving entertainment.

Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter will also be promoting pets for adoption with a photo board, plus there will be dog competitions, Rescue Groups and a sausage sizzle.

Hawkesbury Library Services, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery and Hawkesbury Regional Museum will provide free interactive craft activities, while Hawkesbury Community Nursery will have 1000 free plants to give away to celebrate National Tree Day.

There will even be food trucks and market stalls for a fun and festive event, so I encourage you all to come along and enjoy our first ever Hawkesbury Fest. Visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au for more details.

12 July 2018

Mayoral Column

NAIDOC Week 2018 will run from Sunday, 8 July to Sunday, 15 July and is a time for all Australians to come together to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I’m pleased that the Hawkesbury will host a free concert at Richmond Park, Windsor Street, Richmond from 10am to 3pm this Sunday, 15 July to celebrate NAIDOC Week (wet weather date Sunday, 22 July 2018).

Free entertainment will include live bands, lots of stalls and childrens’ activities. All are welcome to attend and enjoy a BBQ, face painting, art, information stalls and a wildlife display. For more information about the concert, contact Merana Aboriginal Community Association for the Hawkesbury Inc. on 4588 5144.

Hawkesbury Regional Museum, at 8 Baker Street, Windsor, will also embrace NAIDOC Week with a special video presentation by Darug elder, Aunty Edna Watson, and visitors can drop in any time during opening hours in NAIDOC Week to watch the video.

Visitors can also explore the Museum’s collection of artefacts, and read the moving Sorry Speech delivered by former Emeritus Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Dr Rex Stubbs, OAM, at the unveiling of the Yarramundi Memorial in Macquarie Park in 1999.

Children are also invited to come along to the Museum for storytelling and scratch art activities exploring Indigenous culture on Thursday, 12 July 10am to midday. This is a free community event, all welcome, no bookings required but children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

5 July 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • If you thought winter was the time to stay home tucked in bed, maybe you should get your winter woollies on and get out and about because this month is going to be action packed with events in the Hawkesbury, especially with Council’s first ever Hawkesbury Fest! It will be held on Sunday, 29 July from 11am to 3pm at Governor Phillip Park, Windsor. We’ll have a gala opening for the new playground, free activities and roving entertainment. There will also be displays from our Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter and Rescue Groups, who will run a sausage sizzle, Hawkesbury Community Nursery will be giving away 1000 native plants, plus there will be food trucks and market stalls at this free community event. I hope to see you there! Details at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au

Other key events coming up in July include:

  • Winterfest
    Winterfest will be held this weekend 7-8 July at Hawkesbury Showground, Clarendon From jousting, archery and combat to crafts, cooking and games, markets. There’s something for everyone. Tickets are available online and at the gate. Visit www.winterfest.com.au for more details.
  • 21st Australian Orchid Council Conference and Show 2018
    The show will be Open to the Public from Friday, 20 to Sunday, 22 July 2018 at Hawkesbury Indoor Stadium, 16 Stewart St, South Windsor
    9am to 4pm Friday and Saturday
    9am to 3pm Sunday
    Entry: Adults $10, Children Under 15 years free
    For more information call 0448 535528 or helenrobmason@gmail.com

    Windsor Park Public School also took up learning about orchids with a series of experiments on Oncidium Orchids which were provided by the Orchid Society of NSW. They will demonstrate their findings at the Orchid Council Conference and Show at the Hawkesbury Indoor Stadium.

    The Orchid Society of NSW is also challenging local chefs to prepare creative dishes featuring vanilla on their menu, with the winning chef receiving a $500 prize. Customers also have the chance to win a raffle prize of a beautiful flowering orchid.

    To enter the raffle, simply send your contact details and ‘proof of purchase’ receipt from a ‘vanilla flavoured’ menu item, bought at a participating food outlet, to AOCC2018, PO Box 5396 Chullora 2190 or email a scan to aocc2018@orchidsocietynsw.com.au but hurry, the  competition closes 5pm, 18 July 2018.

    See http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events/news/all-news/2018/may/orchid-show-and-vanilla-competition for more details.

Mayoral Column

Our Libraries and Hawkesbury Regional Gallery have so many school holiday activities on in July that your kids will never stop having fun! I hope you all manage to book in for some of the exciting and educational workshops on offer.

At Richmond Branch Library (29 West Market Street), create a set of coasters from old comics on Tuesday, 10 July 2.30pm-4pm. At Hawkesbury Central Library there will be a Free Comic Book Day on Monday, 9 July 10am-5pm, or Make a Comic Keepsake Journal on Tuesday,17 July 2pm-4pm, or on Thursday, 19 July 10am-midday create some weird and wonderful concoctions at the Potions Lab, or hear about the Life of a Comic Book Artist on Friday, 20 July 2pm-4pm. Some workshops are free. Bookings at www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call the Library on 4560 4460.

At Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, all activities are prepared and delivered by professional art educators. Learn the art of gold leaf gilding on Wednesday, 11 July 10am-2 pm. On Friday, 13 July 10am-2 pm, do a Print Mania workshop to create print art, including foam print, carved block prints and beautiful sun prints. Make Mythical Creatures from clay on Wednesday, 18 July from 10am-2 pm and on Friday, 20 July 10am-2 pm, learn different design techniques to create vibrant artworks with Graphic Letter Art. Go to https://hawkesburygallery.eventbrite.com to book or call the Gallery on 4560 4441. Children must be school age and, if 10 years or under, must be accompanied by an adult. Hawkesbury Central Library and the Gallery are located at 300 George Street, Windsor.

28 June 2018

Mayoral Column

If you have primary school aged children then why not get them involved in making some recycled art? Council is running its successful 'Waste 2 Art' Competition for primary schools for the fifth year, as part of Local Government Week, which will be held in the Hawkesbury from Sunday, 29 July to Monday, 6 August 2018. I encourage primary school students to enter as it is a great way to have fun as well as reducing, reusing and recycling waste.

The date for registrations for the 2018 ‘Waste 2 Art’ Competition has been extended to Sunday, 15 July 2018, so don’t miss out.  Artworks do not need to be submitted until Monday, 23 July 2018.

Students are invited to create unique and individual artworks that are different to their classmates’ artworks. The artwork can be either 2D or 3D and must follow the competition guidelines which can be found on Council’s website. They must be made entirely of used/recycled materials.

Prizes will be awarded for Stages 1, 2 and 3 (Kindergarten to Year 6) with 1st prize being a $200 gift art supplies voucher, 2nd Prize – $100 art supplies voucher, 3rd Prize – $50 art supplies voucher, and Highly Commended – art hamper.

I look forward to seeing all the amazing creative works this year, which will be exhibited during Local Government Week at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor with a presentation of prizes at the opening night on Monday, 30 July at 6pm.

Register at http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/environment/waste-management/waste-2-art/waste-2-art-competition

21 June 2018

Mayoral Column

This year Hawkesbury City Council will participate as an organisation in the Hawkesbury Relay for Life to connect with our community and show our support to staff and community members who have been affected by cancer.

This is the fourth year that Council has entered a corporate team in the Relay for Life. We had a great result last year and it is always wonderful to see staff and their family members devote personal time to this event.

Relay For Life is a fun and special overnight experience that raises vital funds for the Cancer Council’s research, prevention, information and support services. It is also a chance for all of our Hawkesbury community to recognise local cancer survivors, patients and their carers. It is a precious time to remember loved ones lost to cancer while raising money to help save more lives.

I would like to ask you to join the thousands of Australians who take part in Cancer Council’s Relay For Life each year in the fight against cancer by starting or joining a team in the Hawkesbury 2018 Relay. Fundraising starts now and the actual event will be held from 9:30am on Saturday, 22 September 2018 until: 9:30am on Sunday, 23 September 2018. Read more at http://fundraising.cancer.org.au/hawkesbury2018

Volunteers are the key to success for Relay For Life. Find out more about the volunteers at https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/145632/get-involved/volunteer/volunteer-stories-volunteer/read-about-our-volunteers/steve-marie-dalton/?pp=81804&cc=9727&&ct=35

14 June 2018

Mayoral Column

I’m delighted to tell you that Hawkesbury City Council is supporting the 21st Australian Orchid Council Conference and Show which will be hosted by the Orchid Society of NSW www.orchidsocietynsw.com.au from Friday, 20 July to Sunday, 22 July 2018 at Hawkesbury Indoor Stadium, 16 Stewart St, South Windsor, NSW.

As part of this, the Orchid Society has launched a competition for local chefs and their customers to honour the vanilla orchid. Cafe and restaurant owners just need to use Australian grown Broken Nose Vanilla in a menu item. I encourage local restaurants, cafes and chefs to get involved so that customers can come along and try their vanilla menu. Secret judges will patrol participating venues and taste the ‘vanilla enhanced’ items to select the winning recipe.

Customers also have the chance to win a beautiful flowering orchid plant, to be drawn at the Opening Ceremony of the 21st Australian Orchid Council Conference and Show.

Anyone ordering a ‘vanilla’ menu item must send their contact details and ‘proof of purchase’ receipt, addressed to AOCC2018 at PO Box 5396 Chullora 2190 or email a scan to aocc2018@orchidsocietynsw.com.au by 5pm, 18 July 2018. Interested chefs need to contact Helen Mason on phone 0448535528 or email helenrobmason@gmail.com to participate.

So, get out and about and start sampling new vanilla creations in the Hawkesbury. Participating venues can be identified by an A4 competition poster displayed at the café or restaurant venue.

7 June 2018

Mayoral Column

This week we’ve heard a lot about illegal dumping and its consequences for the community. I want to commend our Regulatory Services staff who helped launch the investigation into Dib Hanna. He was a repeat waste offender who has been sentenced to three years in prison by the NSW Land and Environment Court. Our staff, along with NSW and Victoria Police and the Environmental Protection Authority, kept on this case with great resolve for a just outcome for the Hawkesbury.

Dib Hanna has also been ordered by the Court to remove the illegally dumped waste within 90 days, pay the Environment Protection Authority’s substantial legal costs, and publish advertisements about his crimes.

Dib Hanna offered ‘free clean top soil’ to residents from the Hawkesbury and the wider Sydney region via flyers in letterboxes. However, after investigating deliveries of illegal fill, Hawkesbury City Council’s Regulatory Services Officers discovered the fill was not clean but contaminated with many items including asbestos, plastic, fibre cement sheeting, pipe, rubble and terracotta.

Illegal dumping, especially of asbestos waste, is an environmental crime which Council takes very seriously. I truly hope the tough anti-dumping legislation serves as a strong deterrent to any would be dumpers.

I urge all residents to be wary of free ‘clean’ fill offers. Council continues to receive reports of unscrupulous operators offering free ‘clean’ fill who deliver contaminated fill. Please call Council’s Customer Service on 4560 4444 or the Environmental Protection Authority on 131 555 if you witness any suspicious activity.

31 May 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I had a wonderful time at the Australiana Pioneer Village for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea last Thursday, which raises money for people who are affected by cancer. Everyone was in great spirits and we raised lots of funding.  As well as morning tea in the original shearing shed, there were raffles and prizes for the best dressed The village is one of my favourite places to go for a special a morning tea as it is such a lovely location. The company was great too!
    Of course there are so many organisations, schools and workplaces in the Hawkesbury and across Australia who host morning teas for the Cancer Council. The Cancer Council's most popular fundraising event is now in its 25th year of celebrations. I hope everyone supports them. To donate visit https://www.biggestmorningtea.com.au
  • Have you heard about Council’s ‘Plastic Bag Free Hawkesbury’?
    With strong community support, Council has launched the campaign to help reduce the amount of plastic bags used in our local area. Now local shops are going plastic bag free and you can too! To learn more and take the pledge to go bag free, visit on our waste and recycling page.
    Next in Hawkesbury City Council’s free series of waste workshops for the community, Hawkesbury Library Service will run a workshop on plastic free living on Tuesday, 12 June from 10am to midday at Hawkesbury Central Library at 300 George Street, Windsor.  Margaret Mossakowska, who has appeared on ABC Gardening Australia, will be the presenter. In an effort to help reduce plastic from everyday life, Margaret will suggest alternatives to common products and demonstrate how to make safe, beeswax-infused wraps. Our workshop series is a Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, funded from the NSW Environment Protection Authority waste levy.
    Bookings are essential for this free event as places are limited. Book online or call (02) 4560 4460.
  • Council is Connecting Our Community with eight Town Meetings in June, where you can hear about the work Council is doing and the work Council has planned. The LAUNCH EVENT will be held on Wednesday, 6 June at 6pm at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, 300 George Street, Windsor. Meetings are also planned for North Richmond, Glossodia, Pitt Town, Kurrajong, Colo Heights, Maraylya and St Albans. For details visit Council’s website. You can also provide a written or video question! Submit your question online.

Mayoral Column

A number of residents have been asking about the rate increase following the approval of Council’s Special Rate Variation Application by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

Including the Special Rate Variation, there will be an average rate increase of $107 in the first year. The total increase of 9.5% will apply each year in July 2018, July 2019 and July 2020. For instance, in the financial year 2018/2019, a landowner with the land the value of $250,000 will pay a total increase of $69.54 while a landowner with land valued at $1 million will pay a total increase of $205.15. See the online rates calculator at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/council/business-with-council/rates/rates-calculator to see the rate increase for your property’s land value. There is also a table that can be used as a guide at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/investing-in-your-future

Residents told us during two years of community consultation which assets were the most important to them. As a result of the Special Rate Variation, there will be an $82 million works program which will include improving sealed roads, sealing gravel roads, upgrading community buildings, and new pathways. To see the works planned in the Hawkesbury during 2018-2019, please visit https://www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/27535/documents/77608

I also want to let you know that Council has a hardship policy, which can be viewed on the Rates Section of Council’s webpage at http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/council/business-with-council/rates Access to Council’s website is available free of charge at both Council libraries for library members and at Council’s Administration Building for residents. Otherwise, call our friendly Customer Service staff on 4560 4444.

24 May 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Two sections of Freemans Reach Road, Freemans Reach are under reconstruction starting from today, Thursday, 24 May 2018 as part of a $1.4 million upgrade.

    A necessary road closure will be in place from Monday, 28 May 2018 until the project is completed, which is expected to be approximately four weeks, weather permitting.

    The road will be closed to through traffic between Wilberforce Road and Gorricks Lane, with access only provided for buses, local residents and emergency services.

    All through traffic will be diverted through Kurmond Road and Wilberforce Road to enable the proposed construction works to be completed as soon as possible. Please click here http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/109823/IGA_11_5_2018_10_16_10_489.pdf for the roadworks map. For further information or any enquiries, please contact Matthew Toriola during business hours on 4560 4444.
  • The winners of the 2018 Hawkesbury Sports Awards were announced at a special presentation evening at Lynwood Country Club on Monday, 21 May.

    Congratulations to all of our winners. My sincere thanks to the members of our Civic and Citizenship Committee who thoughtfully assess every nomination for these awards. It is never an easy task with so many great nominations received.

    The Hawkesbury Sports Awards program has been run as an annual event since 2004 as a civic award program which was developed to recognise positive contributions to sport in the Hawkesbury. Proudly sponsored by Lynwood Country Club, Council’s program acknowledges the sporting accomplishments of community members as well as the contributions of individuals to sporting clubs through support roles.
  • I also want to remind you that the Salvation Army’s annual Red Shield Appeal doorknock will be held this weekend of 26-27 May.

    Every donation counts, whether big or small. $28 helps children at risk of homelessness participate in an after-school program, $60 provides a food hamper so that a struggling family doesn’t have to go hungry, and $79 provides one day of support for a family to find a home.

    Following last year’s success, The Salvation Army is once again rolling out its Donation Tap Points across 400 locations in Australia. This community fundraising initiative was the first of its kind within the non-profit sector when it was introduced in Australia last year. The service provides more effective, safer, and more meaningful donation opportunities across the country.

    The money raised from the Red Shield Appeal doorknock supports The Salvation Army’s vast network of social services to help those in need. In a typical week, the Salvos provide over 17,000 beds for those suffering homelessness, 40,000 meals for the hungry, over 1,400 financial counselling sessions and refuge for over 100 women affected by domestic violence.

    To donate, please call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or register online at www.salvos.org.au

Mayoral Column

Tomorrow night, Friday, 25 May I have the privilege of opening the ARTEXPRESS exhibition at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, 300 George Street, Windsor that features outstanding student artworks created for the 2017 HSC Visual Arts examination.

This is a free community event and I warmly invite you all to come along at 6pm to explore and enjoy the diverse range of artworks on display. This unique exhibition not only celebrates student achievement but is a wonderful event that connects communities through the visual arts, and offers us a glimpse into the lives, hopes and concerns of our young people.

The exhibition includes works from both Government and non-government schools and features everything from ceramics, drawing and graphic design, to painting, photomedia, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and fibre, as well as time-based forms.

It is so wonderful that that our Regional Gallery has been chosen as the venue for the ARTEXPRESS exhibition and I encourage you to try to see it. There will be a free Curator talk on Wednesday, 30 May 2pm. Bookings via www.hawkesburygallery.eventbrite.com are essential for catering purposes.

Special workshops will be held for teachers and students on 27 and 28 June respectively. For those of you who cannot attend the exhibition opening, the exhibition will run until 15 July. Please contact the Gallery for more information by email gallery@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call 4560 4441.

17 May 2018

Mayoral Column

Did you know that the Salvation Army’s annual Red Shield Appeal doorknock will be held over the weekend of 26-27 May? I’m asking all of our community groups, sporting clubs, workplaces, families and individuals to get involved by volunteering or making a donation.

I’m honoured to be appointed Chairperson of the 2018 Red Shield Appeal for Hawkesbury, and I hope I can encourage as many people as possible to help the Salvos. I think there's a real lift in compassion and resolve in our community to do something to make the Hawkesbury a better place for all, particularly for those doing it tough. I’d love to see local schools embrace the Red Shield Appeal with mufti day fundraisers, as it would make a huge difference to our campaign. To volunteer or donate, please call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or register online at www.salvos.org.au

I also want to tell you that Council is Connecting Our Community with eight Town Meetings in June, where you can hear about the work Council is doing and the work Council has planned. The LAUNCH EVENT will be held on Wednesday, 6 June at 6pm at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, 300 George Street, Windsor. Meetings are also planned for North Richmond, Glossodia, Pitt Town, Kurrajong, Colo Heights, Maraylya and St Albans. For details visit Council’s website at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au You can also provide a written or video question! Submit your question online at www.bit.ly/askcouncil

10 May 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • The Hawkesbury Domestic and Family Violence Forum will be held next Wednesday, 16 May 2018 from 8:15am to 2:30pm at Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre, 114 March St Richmond. Councillor Danielle Wheeler will be giving the Opening Address and I will discuss Council’s Hawkesbury Domestic and Family Violence Action Plan and our achievements so far.

    It would be great to see members of our community come along to this free event which includes lunch.

    In the forum participants will:
    • hear about the impact of domestic and family violence
    • learn about how the Hawkesbury community can collaborate for change
    • find out about latest research on the economic impact of domestic and family violence
    • have opportunities to gain grant writing skills and responding to youth disclosure.

    There will also be the chance to gain skills that will directly benefit you to say NO to violence in the Hawkesbury Local Government Area.

    Register at www.leadpda.org.au using event code HK08HDV. This partnership event is proudly supported by Hawkesbury City Council, Hawkesbury Action Network Against Domestic Violence, and LEAD Professional Development Association.

Mayoral Column

I’m delighted to tell you that we will be celebrating Hawkesbury Regional Museum’s 10th anniversary on Friday, 18 May and Saturday, 19 May at 8 Baker Street, Windsor, and our whole community is invited!

Our Museum has had 156,819 visitors pass through its doors since it opened in 2008. In that time it has won seven major awards, including awards for tourism, volunteering, exhibitions and collection management, as well as an award for the building itself.

When I talk with residents, educators and people from many other walks of life about our Regional Museum, I keep on noticing the local pride that we all take in our award-winning Museum.

Kicking off the celebrations will be a new exhibition called Food Bowl Farming that I’ll be opening on Friday, 18 May at 6pm. It’s about the history of food production in the Hawkesbury since crops were planted in 1794 to save the colony from starvation. I’ll also be presenting awards to our long-standing, deserving volunteers. The Food Bowl Farming exhibition is produced in association with the NSW Migration Heritage Centre, and curated by Dr Kate Gahan.

On Saturday, 19 May, from 10am-4pm, come along and celebrate at the Museum’s 10th Anniversary Open Day, a free event which will include a garden tour, vintage tractor display, food, music, kids’ activities, and historical entertainment. Bookings required in advance for the free exhibition opening and the curator’s talk by Dr Gahan on Saturday, 19 Mayat 2pm($5) at www.hawkesburygallery.eventbrite.com

3 May 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

If you can knit, felt or crochet, you are invited to help make 2000 poppies for an installation to commemorate the WWI Armistice Day Centenary in November. I’m always amazed at how many crafty and artistic people we have in the Hawkesbury and now it’s your chance to use your skills to honour those who served.

The Poppy Project began as a small personal tribute by two Australian women, has become an international phenomenon, showing respect for, and remembrance of those who have served in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations, their families and their communities.

Hawkesbury Central Library is hosting craft days on the second Friday of the month until 9 November from 10am to midday (11 May, 8 June, 13 July, 10 August, 14 September, 12 October and 9 November). It’s free and everyone is welcome. Tea and coffee will be provided and there is no need to book - just come along and bring your own needles or hooks and wool.

If you are unable to attend, you are welcome to make poppies at home. Patterns are available at both libraries, as well as the Museum and the Gallery. You can also go online to find a pattern/designs of your choosing – any size, any shade of red – the only requirement is that the finished product be a Flanders-style poppy. When completed, just drop them off at one of the above locations by Friday, 26 October.

26 April 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

Thanks to funding from the NSW Environment Protection Authority, Hawkesbury City Council is using street performers to promote the message ‘bin your butts’ in new cigarette butt bins recently installed at George Street, Windsor, outside Target.

Street performers ‘The Little Aussie Butt-lers will be at the entrance to the Riverview Shopping Centre, George Street, Windsor, near Target, on Thursday, 3 May from 11am-2pm, to highlight two new cigarette litter bins that have been installed.

Collectively, Western Sydney councils spend $14 million managing litter every year, and while cigarette butts aren’t the only form of litter, they are by far the most common – making up 54 percent of all littered items across the region.

Council has installed cigarette butt bins to make it easier and more convenient for smokers to dispose of cigarette butts correctly. It’s all part of a program to tackle cigarette butt litter in Western Sydney’s shopping strips.

This is our community, we live here, and it is up to us to keep it clean by putting rubbish in the bin. The less Council has to spend picking up litter, the more money we can invest in other things such as road maintenance, community facilities and programs.

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils secured the funding on behalf of councils that are participating in the program. The litter education program will run until July 2018, and I hope it will help to keep the Hawkesbury shopping strips clean and inviting.

19 April 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

Anzac Day is next week and there will be many commemorative services held across the Hawkesbury starting on Sunday, 22 April and leading up to Anzac Day on Wednesday, 25 April. Please see Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au for all event details.

I was delighted to join RSL Sub Branch members and Reverend Chris Jones as well as St Matthews Primary and Windsor Public School students and teachers at a special ceremony to collect soil from Windsor War Memorial recently.

The Soil Collection Program is part of The Anzac Memorial Centenary Project Artwork by Fiona Hall which will create a new extension to the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park. The extension will open toward the end of the Centenary period in 2018. The project involves the collection of soil from 1,699 locations across NSW that were the addresses of Australians who enlisted for World War I.

The display of the soil from the War Memorials at Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce and Pitt Town will inform future generations of the enormity of the sacrifices made by the citizens of NSW on behalf of our country, and form a lasting record of the geographic reach of the Call to Serve.

I know we will all be very proud to have Hawkesbury soil from our various memorial sites included in the Artwork of the Anzac Memorial, in remembrance of the Hawkesbury soldiers who sacrificed so much for our freedom and our country.

12 April 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Have you heard about the ‘Live and Local Music Hawkesbury’ micro festival on this Saturday, 14 April at Kurrajong? Please see the program below. I’ll see you there!

The Kurrajong program

    • RAPT, at Feeding Frenze Café, at 10am, 11am and 12pm
    • Wombats Crossing, at The Village Kitchen Kurrajong, at 10:30am, 11:30am and 12:30pm
    • Antoinetta and Friends, at Carey & Co., at 11am, 12pm and 1:30pm
    • Macquarie Towns Brass and Circus Solarus, roaming performances between 10am and 2pm.
  • I hope our Seniors have been making the most of the NSW Seniors Festival events in the Hawkesbury last week and this week. The Festival continues until this Sunday, 15 April 2018. The full program of events is at https://seniorsfestival.nsw.gov.au/home While you’re out and about socialising at Seniors Festival events, it’s also a good time to think about your health and book in a check-up at the doctor’s or order a free bowel screening test kit.
    Recent data released by the Cancer Institute NSW has listed the Hawkesbury as having the highest bowel cancer rate in the Sydney region, and yet, if found early, 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated.
    Bowel cancer screening rates remain low when compared to other cancers, despite the introduction of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program which offers a free ‘at home’ screening kit to eligible Australians aged 50 to 74 years old.
    Eligible Australians are mailed their first free bowel screening Test Kit around their 50th Birthday. To request a Test Kit, just call the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Information Line on 1800 118 868 or go to www.cancerscreening.gov.au/bowel
  • Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network has also commissioned Men's Health Services to run free ‘Get in Early’ men’s health education sessions in the Hawkesbury, between April and June, focusing on bowel cancer screening. Individuals and organisations can contact Greg Millan on 0417 772 390 or email greg@menshealthservices.com.au for more information or to book a free session for a group or workplace.

Mayoral Column

I am strongly aware that we have many concerned residents following the State Government’s announcement to set aside over 190 kilometres of draft corridors across the Greater Sydney Commission’s Western Parkland City. The draft corridors in the Hawkesbury Local Government Area specifically relate to the:

  • Outer Sydney Orbital (including the outer Sydney Freight Line) between Appin and Maraylya
  • Bells Line of Road-Castlereagh Connection between Kurrajong Heights and the M7.

All of the planning, and the location of the current corridors was determined by the State Government as was the timing of the release of the current corridor details and the nature of the community engagement. Council did not have access to any of the current corridor details before they became publically available on 26 March 2018.

Although the roads proposed to be built by the State Government within the corridors are potentially one to two decades away, it is still vital to have your say now, for both the impact it may have on you, your family and future generations.

I urge you to participate in the State Government’s community consultation initiatives:

While there is an exhibition period up until 1 June 2018 to have your say, the sooner you act, the more we can ensure that our community response is heard.

5 April 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

To help to reduce the use of disposable cups from our local cafes, Council has entered into an exciting new partnership with the Hawkesbury Environmental Network (HEN) and the nationally recognised Responsible Cafes.

Over three billion takeaway cups are used in Australia every year, almost none of which are recycled. Disposable cups and lids can take thousands of years to break down in the environment, contributing to land and marine pollution and threatening wildlife.

I met several café owners recently who have signed up and I’m delighted that we have their support. HEN volunteers have already visited 70 cafes to get them on board, which includes cafes in Windsor, Richmond, North Richmond, Kurmond, Kurrajong and Glossodia. The Responsible Cafes platform, which was featured on ABC TV’s ‘War on Waste’ series, encourages cafes to sell discounted reusable cups and to provide a discount to customers who bring a reusable cup for hot drinks.

As part of the Responsible Cafes program, Council will provide a limited number of FREE reusable cups to residents.at the 2018 Hawkesbury Show on 20-22 April. All you need to do is visit the Council tent and then sign a pledge to use the reusable cup when buying takeaway hot drinks.

Customers can ask their local café to join the program. Café owners who wish to participate can visit www.responsiblecafes.org or call Council’s Waste Education Officer on 4560 4566 for details. Together we can Keep the Hawkesbury Sustainable!

29 March 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

The 2018 Seniors Festival, now in its 60th year, is featuring a theme of Let’s Do it Together’, with the Hawkesbury region hosting plenty of events for Seniors. Events include a Curator’s Talk and free morning tea at our Hawkesbury Regional Gallery in Windsor called ‘Nostalgia: It’s Not What It Used To Be’, an Old Time Dance Lesson at Stan Stevens Studio, Deerubbin Centre, Windsor, and a free sausage sizzle and blood pressure testing at YMCA Hawkesbury Oasis (includes free entry). Eligible seniors can also claim one week's free access to Hawkesbury Oasis, just visit www.ymcansw.org.au/promotion/seniorsfestival to complete the form or in person at Hawkesbury Oasis - just make sure you lodge your form between 4 April to 15 April.

I’m also pleased to tell you that THE POPPY PROJECT will be launched on Friday, 13 April at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor from 10am to midday. This free event means you can be part of a project that aims to make 2,000 poppies for an installation to commemorate the WWI Armistice Day centenary. Bookings are essential by calling Sonia Ward on 4560 4460. Please bring you own knitting needles, crochet hooks and wool. Patterns will be provided

There is also the free Premiers Gala Concert for Seniors and the 2018 NSW Seniors Festival Expo, also free, both at Darling Harbour. For details about this, and hundreds of events and offers across NSW, visit https://seniorsfestival.nsw.gov.au/home

22 March 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • The Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter has seen yet another influx of cats over the weekend. Council has made the outstanding decision to lower the price of overdue cats to a never before seen price, only $10. I encourage responsible owners to step up and if you can, get yourself a rescue cat from the Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter today. It’s strictly for a limited time only.

    For Shelter opening hours and more information, please call the Shelter on 4560 4644 or visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and click on the Animal Shelter link to see the photo gallery. The Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter is located at 10 Mulgrave Road, Mulgrave and is open every day of the week.
  • Yesterday I joined many of our residents in the Hawkesbury to celebrate Harmony Day at Hawkesbury Indoor Stadium, which was a great place to be out of the rain. Council was very happy to support the event which was held by Ability Links, Hawkesbury Community Outreach Services and YMCA. It included face painting, jumping castle, Bollywood dancing, a free halal sausage sizzle and plenty of community information stalls.

    Harmony Day is about celebrating community diversity and inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background.

    Our latest Census data tell us that 7,942 people who were living in Hawkesbury City in 2016 were born overseas, which is over 11% of our community. Council's Community Strategic Plan states that Council will partner with community and key service providers to deliver outcomes which support a connected, healthy, and inclusive Hawkesbury.
  • My heart goes out to the residents of Tathra and local fire crews who fought the fires this week. Sadly, 65 homes were lost as well as other property but thanks to the firefighters and the community, no lives were lost. The Hawkesbury is prone to bushfires too, and we understand how quickly a bushfire can take over. I’m always thankful for the courageous work of our Rural Fire Service. This week’s rain has been a welcome change for us all. Even though it’s autumn, it’s still important to have a Bushfire Survival Plan. Download your guide from the plan and prepare link at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and discuss it with your family.

Mayoral Column

Have you heard about the micro music festival on this Saturday, 24 March at Richmond?

It’s called ‘Live and Local Music Hawkesbury’. It’s a wonderful initiative to help build the local arts scene and promote the Hawkesbury as a creative and vibrant place to live, work and visit. We have engaged a music curator to assemble some of our best emerging artists and experienced professionals from a wide variety of music styles. Local businesses will also appreciate, and benefit from, our community support. We’re showing off our local and Western Sydney talent and I hope to see you there! Here are the Richmond gigs:

  • Rotunda in Richmond Park – Macquarie Towns Brass - 10am then roaming
  • Paull's Richmond Mowers, 293 Windsor Street – The Belle Trio –10am-12:30pm
  • Crazies Café, 334 Windsor Street – Dani Madeline, Abbey Gardner, Amy Nelson –10:30am-2pm
  • Café Relish, 229 Windsor Street – Macquarie Towns String Quartet featuring Chelsea Routley –11am-2pm
  • The Right Bite Café, 219 Windsor Street – The Quokkas –11am-1:30pm
  • Park Mall Richmond, 209-211 Windsor Street – WomanSong, Hawkesbury Song Company, Chorella –10:15am-1pm
  • Feel the Steel Tattoo, 187a Windsor Street – Sharon White, Chloe –10:30am-1pm
  • McDonalds Richmond, 69 March Street – Empty Fish Tank, Divinia Eather, Bella Luchetti, TRU’ – 10:30am-2pm
15 March 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Our staff and volunteers at Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter do a great job and they’ve been flat out this week with an influx of cats.

    If you’re looking for an independent, easy to care for pet, you could think about a getting cat from our Shelter rather than a pet shop, and the great news is that cats are currently at a discounted price.

    Hawkesbury City Council receives cats from the four local government areas of Penrith, Hornsby, Hills and of course, Hawkesbury.

    Our Shelter staff are always happy to talk with you and answer any questions you may have about caring for cats or what individual cats’ personalities are like to find one that suits you.

    For Shelter opening hours and more information, please call the Shelter on 4560 4644 or visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and click on the Animal Shelter link to see the photo gallery. The Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter is located at 10 Mulgrave Road, Mulgrave and is open every day of the week.
  • Have you hear about the micro music micro music festival coming up on Saturday, 24 March at Richmond? Dubbed ‘Live and Local Music Hawkesbury’, the micro music festival for Richmond will be held on Saturday, 24 March. I hope to see you there!

The Richmond program

  • Rotunda in Richmond Park – Macquarie Towns Brass - 10am then roaming
  • Paull's Richmond Mowers, 293 Windsor Street – The Belle Trio – gigs between 10am-12:30pm
  • Crazies Café, 334 Windsor Street – Dani Madeline, Abbey Gardner, Amy Nelson – gigs between 10:30am-2pm
  • Café Relish, 229 Windsor Street – Macquarie Towns String Quartet featuring Chelsea Routley – gigs between 11am-2pm
  • The Right Bite Café, 219 Windsor Street – The Quokkas – gigs between 11am-1:30pm
  • Park Mall Richmond, 209-211 Windsor Street – WomanSong, Hawkesbury Song Company, Chorella – gigs between 10:15am-1pm
  • Feel the Steel Tattoo, 187a Windsor Street – Sharon White, Chloe – gigs between 10:30am-1pm
  • McDonalds Richmond, 69 March Street – Empty Fish Tank, Divinia Eather, Bella Luchetti, TRU’ – gigs between 10:30am-2pm

Mayoral Column

Nominations for the 2018 Hawkesbury Sports Awards are now open and I urge you to nominate a well deserving sports person in our community. Proudly brought to you by Hawkesbury City Council and Lynwood Country Club, the awards acknowledge sporting accomplishments of community members as well as the contributions of individuals to sporting clubs through support roles.

Nominations are invited for one or more of the nine 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
  • Service to Sport Medallion.

Council has recognised hundreds of members of our sporting community for over ten years, and our Sports Awards Program has improved and evolved to reflect the high standards of our sportspeople. I encourage coaches, volunteers, team players and individual competitors of all ability levels to apply.

The online nominations form and criteria are now available on Council’s website http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/media/forms/australia-sports-awards-nomination-form

Nominations for the 2018 Hawkesbury Sports Awards close 5pm on Wednesday, 4 April 2018. Lynwood Country Club, Pitt Town will host a Presentation Dinner on Monday, 21 May 2018. More details will be available closer to the date. For further information, please call Council’s Events and Community Engagement Coordinator on 4560 4404.

8 March 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

I recently joined the Mayors from Penrith, Blue Mountains, Wollondilly, Campbelltown, Camden, Fairfield and Liverpool to sign a landmark agreement between Federal, State and Local Government called the Western Sydney City Deal. The agreement lays the foundations for a thriving, liveable and sustainable Western Parkland City.

The City Deal will establish a $150 million Liveability Fund, shared among the eight participating councils, as well as fund the first stage of a North-South rail link and target initiatives to create jobs.

I’m proud to be among the councils who have embraced this opportunity, as it will help to support a vibrant and resilient future for the Hawkesbury and transform the Western Sydney region.

The Hawkesbury needs to be included in significant projects like this; we are on the Western Sydney map and our region deserves every boost it can get.

To access the City Deal funding, local councils will also need to contribute funding. This will enable us to do even more for our community by combining the funds from Federal, State and Local Government. We have already identified funding opportunities for revitalising the Richmond and Windsor town centres, and to enhance access to the Hawkesbury River.

I’m truly optimistic that the Western City Deal will create a more connected and sustainable Western City. We are witnessing, and participating in, a significant and positive shift in collaborative projects, which is a sure sign of good things to come.

1 March 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • There are lots of events happening for International Women’s Day (officially Thursday, 8 March 2018) and here are some that Council is also proud to support and sponsor:
    • Bligh Park Neighbourhood Centre, 4 Sirius Road Bligh Park, will host a free morning tea with progressive play and conversation on Wednesday, 7 March from 10:30am to 11:30am. Parents with children are welcome. Call (02) 4572 5898 or email cdw@blighpark.org.au for more details.
    • North Richmond Community Centre is celebrating International Women’s Day jointly with The Women's Cottage on Thursday, 8 March from 10am to 1pm at 33 William Street, North Richmond. There will be a free movie screening of ‘Hidden Figures’ and a free morning tea with guest speakers. Child care will be available. Call (02) 4571 3748 or email manager@northrichmond.org.au
    • Glossodia Community Centre, Wednesday, 7 March from 10am to 12pm at 162 Golden Valley Drive, Glossodia. Morning tea with guest speakers. Parents with children are welcome. Call (02) 4576 5542 or email glossodiacc@ihug.com.au
  • Did you know that your library hosts free movies every month? I’m always amazed at how much our library offers.
    Master and Commander will screen at Hawkesbury Central Library on Thursday, 8 March at 10am and again at 6pm. The rated M movie was nominated for ten Oscar awards including ‘Best Picture’, and winner of the Oscar for ‘Best Cinematography’. It will screen in the Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street Windsor. Entry is free, however, bookings are essential via Eventbrite or call (02) 4560 4460.Free tea and coffee and you can even bring your popcorn and snacks!
  • Your library is also offering free workshops for seniors and I’ve been told many seniors enjoys the courses and the chance to meet others.
  • Introduction to using Tablets
    Monday, 12 March 6:15pm to7:45pm at Richmond Branch Library  
    Introduction to using Smart Phones
    Monday, 19 March 6:15pm to 7:45pm at Richmond Branch Library
  • Introduction to using Smart Phones
    Monday, 26 March 10am-midday at Hawkesbury Central Library
    In upcoming workshops in April and May, you will gain confidence and skills in downloading apps, using Facebook and practicing safe online shopping.
    These workshops are available for Library members. If you are not a member, you can join for free at the library. Participants need to bring along their own tablet or smartphone. Bookings are essential so phone (02)4560 4460.
    These workshops are available for Library members. If you are not a member, you can join for free at the library. Participants need to bring along their own tablet or smartphone. Bookings are essential so phone (02)4560 4460.
    Sessions will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor and Richmond Branch Library, 26 West Market Street, Richmond.

Mayoral Column

Did you know that we are renewing our parks and playgrounds? McLeod Park in South Windsor, Peel Park in North Richmond and Governor Phillip Park in Windsor are all going to get a boost that will make them so much better for our children and our whole community.  Council is about to commence works on Governor Phillip Park following valuable community consultation, which included meetings with the Touched by Olivia Foundation to ensure the design of an inclusive and safe playspace.

The Governor Phillip Park Master Plan will help to guide Council on how best improve the park and it will assist Council in applying for additional grant funding to continue the upgrade of this important regional facility.

Stage 1 works will also include a children’s bicycle path and play equipment to encourage balancing, climbing, sliding, spinning and exploration. Council will fund these improvements using a combination of Council’s capital works program, grant funding, and Section 94 developer contributions. I’m also pleased that, based on the feedback from the Touched by Olivia Foundation, Council has modified the design to include fencing around the playground for extra safety for children.

McLeod Park, South Windsor will also be upgraded. Have your say on three options available here.

A community workshop about Peel Park, North Richmond will be held on Thursday, 8 March 2018 from 6:30pm to 9pm at the North Richmond Community Centre, William Street, North Richmond. Visit here to register.

22 February 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I hope to see you all this Saturday, 24 February at ‘Jazz in the Park’ at Kurrajong Memorial Park on Old Bells Line of Road, Kurrajong. The evening will start at 5pm with local band Antoinetta and Friends playing some popular classics. This will be followed by two young up and coming groups from the Conservatorium of Music, the Emily- Rose Sarkova Trio and the White Ties.
    Proudly sponsored by Council and Bendigo Bank, Kurrajong Community Forum is presenting this outdoor jazz concert to bring the village to life with free entertainment.
    Bring a picnic or visit the local cafes and takeaway outlets for great food and refreshments. The evening concludes at 9pm. For further details, email fiona.smith132@gmail.com or call 0413 191 213. Also follow the latest updates on the Kurrajong Community Forum Facebook page
  • I know how much our residents take pride in the beautiful Hawkesbury. Clean Up Australia Day is coming up on Sunday, 4 March. This is your chance to clean up your local area which could bet the local park, reserve, favourite picnic spot or sporting ground. Simply follow this link to join an existing site or to choose your own site. You will be provided with a starter kit of 10-20 clean up bags and five pairs of gloves. I hope you will be able to participate in this national event.
  • Council will host a community workshop on Thursday, 8 March and it’s a great opportunity to have your say about upgrading Peel Park in North Richmond. The workshop will aim to clarify the recreational and sporting needs of our community as well as the role that Peel Park will play in meeting the current and future recreational needs of North Richmond residents and visitors.
    I encourage you to come along and help develop ideas for the next stages of the Peel Park Masterplan from 6:30pm to 9pm at the North Richmond Community Centre, William Street, North Richmond.
    Please register your attendance and complete the online survey about the project here. Just click on the web tile called Reinvigorating Parks, at the bottom of Council’s home page, and then follow the Peel Park link. For more information, call (02) 4560 4444 and ask for Council’s Parks and Recreation Manager.

Mayoral Column

As many of you know, I’m keen to see our levels of recycling increase to help our environment and to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

That’s why Council runs an annual bin inspection program that encourages all Hawkesbury residents to ‘recycle right’. Another round of bin inspections will occur in March this year. Contracted inspectors will look in our recycling (yellow lid) and organics (green lid) bins to check for contamination, which means things that don’t belong in those bins.  Many of you, including children, are helping to keep contaminants out of recycling and organics bins, and we need to keep getting better.

Inspectors will check the content of your bins when they are out on the kerb, but rest assured, they won’t be going through your rubbish or tipping out your bin. If you are doing a great job, you will receive a green Smiley Face Bin Tag. If there is contamination, you will receive a red Contamination Sad Face Bin Tag that explains how to sort correctly.

For further information on what can actually go into your bins (such as no food scraps in the organics bin and no toys in the recycling bin), see the A-Z Reuse and Recycling Guide for the Hawkesbury and the Household Waste Guide on Council's website or call Customer Service on (02) 4560 4444 for a copy to be mailed out to you.

15 February 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Mayoral Column

I hope to see you this Saturday, 17 February at Richmond Swimming Centre’s Pool Party from 11am to 2pm. We’ll have plenty of fun activities for everyone, not to mention free entry on the day.

Our fun activities will include a dunk tank (I’ve always been a water baby and I’ll definitely be having a  go), water slide, maze jumping castle, craft activities, giant games – Chess, Lego, Connect 4, Jenga, outdoor games – tug-o-war, sack races, three legged races, water and spoon races, helmet bucket challenge and a balloon artist.

Council 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!

This is another Council event designed for our community to get together and celebrate summer. It’s a great reason to leave your technology at home to jump into your local pool. Bring your family and friends!

Located at East Market Street, Richmond, Richmond Swimming Centre has three pools including a six lane Olympic pool, a shaded children’s playground, a kiosk and a half-court basketball area. The Centre has received several upgrades which include enhanced water quality and filtration, 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 about the Centre, visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call the Centre directly on 4578 1349.

8 February 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Hawkesbury City Council, LikeMind, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District and the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) are inviting organisations and individuals with an interest in mental health and wellbeing to join us at the Hawkesbury Meet Your Neighbour (MYN) networking event on Wednesday, 14 February from 12:45 pm to 4 pm at Hawkesbury Leisure and Learning Centre, 114 March St Richmond.

    This is an opportunity to:

    • Share what you are doing in relation to supporting people with mental health conditions
    • Find out what other organisations and mental health service providers are doing
    • Find ways to collaborate and work together to better connect people you support with local services and activities

    Meet Your Neighbour, is a Mental Health Coordinating Council approach to get connected - encouraging people and organisations with an interest in Mental Health to meet, learn more about each other and find ways to work better together. We look forward to meeting you.

    Tables are provided for you to promote your organisation - please bring along any material you would like to share and plenty of business cards.

    Past attendees include: CEOs, managers, team leaders, clinicians, community workers, disability workers, social workers, occupational therapists, registered nurses, program advisors, consumers, carers and so on.

    Everyone is welcome. RSVP essential through www.mynhawkesbury.eventbrite.com.au as light refreshments will be provided.

  • I’d also love to see you at the Hope Walk on Saturday, 17 February at 9:15am. It will start at the Richmond Tennis Courts, Windsor St, Richmond and finish at the Hawkesbury Visitors Information Centre, Clarendon. It’s an easy walk, and hopefully the weather is kind to us!

    This is a walk for hope to support families that have lost families and friends to death by suicide. Walk on this day to raise awareness about suicide, show that we care and break the stigma of suicide.

Mayoral Column

For the second year, Council had a Welcome to Country and a Smoking Ceremony before the annual term of meetings commenced. Erin Wilkins, a Darug woman opened proceedings with a Welcome to Country. The Smoking Ceremony followed Erin’s Welcome to Country and was conducted by Vicki Thom. Due to the extreme heat on the day Vicki used eucalyptus apple gum leaves dipped in water in place of smoke, using a brushing technique to sprinkle those in attendance with water from the leaves. Around 40 people were at the ceremony, including Councillors, local Aboriginal people and Aboriginal people from surrounding communities, as well as people who live and work in our area and others who maintain a special connection to the Hawkesbury.

The water was beautifully scented and refreshing on a hot day, and Vicki Thom kindly gave me the leaf branches afterwards. I have now placed the bunch on my desk as a special reminder of the ceremony.

This was the continuation of a relatively new tradition 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. I can confidently say that we all felt honoured to be there and to receive the spiritual cleansing and blessings. Thank you to everyone who attended and my thanks to Erin Wilkins and to Vicki Thom.

1 February 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council launched the Care Factor Survey www.placescore.org/hawkesbury in December 2017 to gather important research to help with to town centre revitalisation. The survey remains open until Wednesday, 7 February 2018 so please remember to share your priorities about what really makes a town centre great for you.

    We want to understand what is most important to you so we can prioritise investment that makes a difference. To do this we have partnered with PlaceScore, which, through its software and services, provides tools that improve engagement, transparency and measure the impact of investment.

    The Town Centre Care Factor survey www.placescore.org/hawkesbury that we asking residents, businesses and visitors to complete is like a ‘place census’ providing us with the data we need to make better decisions.

    We are now commencing the second stage of our research process; which will be Place Experience Assessments with local community members in 11 locations across the Hawkesbury. Your personal experience helps us to identify how a place is performing.

    Once we have the Care Factor and the assessments completed, we will be able to prioritise improvements in our centres based on solid research. This is exciting work and we are really looking forward to gaining invaluable insights into your priorities and your experiences.
  • For the first time ever, we celebrated Australia Day on the Hawkesbury with our Citizenship Ceremony, our Australia day Awards and our special community event which started in the afternoon and finished at 9pm with a magnificent fireworks display, thanks to our sponsors Windsor RSL, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, Hawkesbury Race Club, RAAF Base Richmond, Richmond Club and The Hawkesbury Gazette.

    The entire day was truly magnificent - many aspects of it were so fresh and new, and our community gratefully embraced the opportunity to enjoy a local Australia Day celebration.

    I am amazed at the attention to detail in the organisation of all the events - from the beautiful flowers for the ceremonies to the logistical organisation for vehicles, the layout of the area, the activities provided for families and the variety of experiences for a diverse array of people.

    What an incredible Australia Day we all had, with our own Hawkesbury flavour - including the huge variety of food truck that represented a United Nations of culinary experiences.  Thank you to everyone for coming and being such a wonderful crowd of Hawkesbury people. I think we are all proud to be in the Hawkesbury.

Mayoral Column

What a wonderful Australia Day we had, on the banks of the Hawkesbury! Our premiere event, ‘Australia Day on the Hawkesbury’ at Governor Phillip Park, saw families enjoy free family entertainment and a fireworks finale, proudly sponsored by Windsor RSL, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, Hawkesbury Race Club, Richmond Club and The Hawkesbury Gazette.

We welcomed 20 new citizens at our special Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and we also held our Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards with Jan Fran as our Australia Day Ambassador.

Our 2018 Citizen of the Year is Peter Webb, a member of the Western Sydney Suicide Prevention Network, who has recently started coordinating the newly formed Hawkesbury Group. He is responsible for several local ‘RUOK Day’ campaigns, and helped establish a local ‘Surviving Suicide Support Group’. Our 2018 Young Citizen of the Year is Adam Higgins, a resident of Blaxland’s Ridge and Rural Fire Service Cadet Program participant at Colo High School. He was Senior Deputy Cadet in 2016 and completed his Junior Basic Fire Fighting course with the local brigade in 2017.

Hawkesbury Camera Club received the Hawkesbury Community Arts Award and the 2018 Commemorative Plaque was unveiled for Sister Julia Bligh Johnston R.R.C. The Hawkesbury Cultural Heritage Award went to St Matthew’s Bicentennial Team and the 2018 Community Organisation of the Year is The Blue Datto Foundation.

Our 2018 Volunteer of the Year is Jodie Amor - Founder of the Pink Finss Charity for women and families dealing with cancer. Our Hawkesbury Local Hero is Peter Ross, who rescued a young girl from the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond. Our joint winners for the Hawkesbury Environmental Award are Jacki-Lyn Griffiths (WIRES) and Lily Spies (Windsor Public School).

25 January 2018

Mayoral Column

Tomorrow is Australia Day! We’ll be hosting our first ever Australia Day on the banks of the Hawkesbury at Governor Phillip Park, Windsor: It will be a wonderful day of celebrations.

First up will be our free BBQ breakfast and our Citizenship Ceremony at 8:45am, then our Australia Day Awards Ceremony at 10:30am. I’m delighted to welcome our entertaining and knowledgeable Australia Day Ambassador, Jan Fran, a popular journalist and broadcaster who currently hosts The Feed on SBSVICELAND. Jan writes, produces and presents everything from long form documentaries to sketch comedy segments for The Feed. Jan is a proud Lebanese Australian who has lived in Lebanon, France, Bangladesh and Uganda.

We will welcome 20 new citizens at our special Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony from a range for countries including Brazil, Canada, India, Lebanon, Malta, Northern Ireland, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom. All family, friends and community members are welcome. The Australia Day Awards Ceremony starts at 10:30am at Governor Phillip Park, Windsor. RSVP events@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call 4560 4404.

Council will also host its premiere special event, ‘Australia Day on the Hawkesbury’ from 4pm to 9pm at Governor Phillip Park, a free family fun and fireworks event,  proudly sponsored by Windsor RSL, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, Hawkesbury Race Club, Richmond Club and The Hawkesbury Gazette. For details visit Council’s homepage www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or Hawkesbury Events Facebook.

18 January 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

Great neighbourhoods and town centres are thriving and resilient places with strong community engagement and leadership. This is not always easy to achieve.

The foundation to Hawkesbury City Council’s approach to town centre revitalisation is great research. We want to understand what is most important to you, so we can prioritise investment that makes a difference. To do this, we have partnered with PlaceScore, which, through its software and services, provides tools that improve engagement and transparency, while also measuring the impact of investment. The Town Centre Care Factor survey www.placescore.org/hawkesbury that we asking residents, businesses and visitors to complete is like a ‘place census’ providing us with the data we need to make better decisions.

We have had hundreds of people complete the Care Factor Survey since December, and we’re hoping everyone gets on board. The added value of this survey is that we can use it for future projects in town centres across the Hawkesbury. The Care Factor data lets us know what everyone cares about, and how different groups value different things - whether this is residents in different suburbs, businesses or people of different ages.

The survey is open until Wednesday, 7 February 2018 so please share your priorities about what really makes a town centre great for you. Data collection is one of the hardest things to achieve and we are proud that our community is engaging with this survey, proving that Hawkesbury residents care about their town centres. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please complete the Care Factor survey at www.placescore.org/hawkesbury

11 January 2018

From the Mayor's Desk

After celebrating Christmas with loved ones and friends, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our residents a very happy and safe New Year.

2018 is set to be a wonderful year full of great community events including the Hawkesbury Community Race Day on Wednesday, 24 January at The Hawkesbury Race Club – free entry for Hawkesbury residents and Defence Force personnel.

Council is kicking off 2018 with a free Australia Day community event, packed with entertainment, food and fireworks on the beautiful Hawkesbury River. I warmly invite you to ‘Australia Day on the Hawkesbury’, which will be held at Governor Phillip Park, Windsor on Friday, 26 January 2018.

Our special community day will start with a free BBQ from 8am, provided by the Rotary Club of Richmond and the Rotary Club of Kurrajong North Richmond. Council’s annual Citizenship ceremony will then take place from 8:45am. At 10:30am, the annual Australia Day Awards ceremony will commence. We will also have a RAAF flyover at 12:15pm in celebration of our new citizens and Australia Day.

Our afternoon event starts at 4pm, with a Travelling Food Fest, jumping castles, a giant water slide, face painting and lots of activities, finishing with a spectacular fireworks display. My thanks to all of our sponsors. To RSVP for the Awards ceremony or for more information about Australia Day on the Hawkesbury, visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or email events@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call Council’s Events Coordinator on 4560 4404.

21 December 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

Christmas is a chance for us to reflect on the events of the past year and to give generously, from the heart.

Thank you to our community members who have contributed to the annual Mayoral Christmas Appeal, which is run in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Richmond. It’s wonderful to see so many people, both younger and older, donating presents for children and adults in need. The appeal has provided thousands of gifts for less fortunate residents of the Hawkesbury over many years.

Thank you to the service clubs, churches and community groups who have gathered residents together for the various Carols by Candlelight and Christmas activities held around the Hawkesbury. Many of these events provide fundraising for charities.

Let’s make Christmas not only a time to give but also to recycle. Following on from a successful program that is now becoming a Council tradition, ratepayers who currently receive the domestic waste service will get extra recycling services from Monday, 1 January 2018 until Friday, 26 January 2018.  Just put your recycling bin out for collection every week on your scheduled garbage bin collection day (red or black lid) to take advantage of this free service.

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

14 December 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

Over the past couple of 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

Friday, 22 December 2017 until Tuesday, 2 January 2018.

Importantly, we will also have a new Customer Service Telephone Contact Centre (phone 4560 4444) which will operate Wednesday, 27 December 8:30am to 5pm, Thursday, 28 December 8:30am to 5pm, Friday, 29 December 8:30am to 3pm. An after-hours telephone service will operate outside business hours from the general Council phone number, which is 4560 4444. For more details on all Council hours, please visit www.hawkebury.nsw.gov.au

7 December 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

Local residents visiting Bligh Park Community Centre Precinct this weekend will appreciate the new park furniture that has been installed recently.

There was plenty of goodwill at Bligh Park last week when I met our local Lions Club members at Bligh Community Centre Precinct.

We were celebrating the wonderful donation of $2794 from Hawkesbury South Lions Club for park furniture as part of their Centenary Project, with Hawkesbury City Council contributing $5000 for the concrete slab and installation.

It was such a pleasure to see the smiling demeanour of President David Brown, who was clearly thrilled to make a difference to the local community as part of the 100 year anniversary of Lions Clubs International.

Thanks to the generous donation from Hawkesbury South Lions Club, everyone can enjoy this new furniture which makes this Precinct an even more pleasant place to relax with family and friends.

Thank you to everyone who donated money to Hawkesbury South Lions Club, and to all the members and volunteers of the Club for their continued efforts for our community. It’s wonderful to see real partnerships between Council and local organisations that are strengthening our sense of community.

Bligh Park Community Centre Precinct is located at 4 Sirius Road, Bligh Park. It offers free or low cost services and programs for residents of Bligh Park and South Windsor. The adjoining hall is also available for hire for special events and to groups who offer classes or programs to local community members. For more information, email mainoffice@blighpark.org.au or call 4572 5898.

Mayoral Column

23 November 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

It’s been great getting so much positive feedback about our new ‘Plastic Bag Free Hawkesbury’ campaign!  Council launched this community-supported campaign, which aims to reduce the amount of plastic bags used in our local area, during National Recycling Week.

Like you, I am very concerned about the negative impact of single use plastic bags on our local environment and unique wildlife.

I recently met students from Windsor Public School who have written letters to me, as well as other politicians, outlining why plastic bags are such a significant problem.

I also visited Kurrajong Public School students on 10 November to listen to their concerns about the negative environmental impacts of plastic bags. Kurrajong Public School has been involved in Boomerang Bags and students have also surveyed local businesses in Kurrajong urging them to stop using plastic bags.

Already there has been an amazing level of community action by local residents including ‘Boomerang Bags’, which is a group made up of dedicated members who create reusable bags from disused materials and then provide them to shoppers at events such as the Richmond Saturday Markets. If you’d like to help Boomerang Bags at one of their bag making days, please search on Facebook for Boomerang Bags Hawkesbury and Boomerang Bags Kurrajong.

Other local schools that would like to address this issue are encouraged to contact Council’s Waste Education Officer by email justin.murphy@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call 4560 4566, as Council would like to highlight the efforts of our local students.

Mayoral Column

With so many great events coming, I’ve tried to list just a few for you - see Hawkesbury Events on Facebook, the Visitor Information Centre and other websites to find out more Christmas events and markets coming your way!

  • East Kurrajong Christmas Twilight Markets on Saturday, 25 November 2017 from 4pm-8pm at East Kurrajong School of Arts Hall, 1090 East Kurrajong Road, East Kurrajong. There will be stalls with vintage, collectables, homemade and home grown items, jewellery, stamps and coins, clothing and more.
  • Rotary Market on Saturday 25 November 2017 from 8am to 1:30pm. Free Local crafts, foods and gifts - hosted by the Rotary Club of Richmond.
  • Australiana Pioneer Village Birthday Celebrations will be this Sunday, 26 November 2017. Adults $5, Children $3, $15 family of 4

The Australiana Pioneer Village is turning 47! Enjoy a fun filled day for the entire family with music on the stage, birthday games, birthday cake and more! 10am-4pm at Australiana Pioneer Village, Rose Street, Wilberforce. Adults $5, Children $3, $15 family of four.

  • Light Up Windsor will be held on Thursday, 30 November 2017 from 6pm to 9pm. Join the excitement as Windsor Mall gets all Christmassy with free live entertainment plus carols by candlelight, bands, choirs, dance groups, school groups, market stalls and photos with Santa. Refreshments available for purchase. Organised by the Windsor Business Group. Council is proud to sponsor Light Up Windsor, a free family events with performances, a visit from Santa and I’ll even be turning on the Christmas lights at 8pm!
  • Twilight Markets at Australiana Pioneer Village Friday, 1 December 2017 from 5pm-9pm

Adults $5, Children $3, $15 family of four. This sounds like a magical night as the Village lights up with thousands of twinkling lights. The twilight markets will include 35-45 stalls, food stalls & coffee van. Christmas entertainment throughout the Village with a choir, live music and a ‘snow’ tent. Santa will arrive at 7pm, with photo opportunities available.

  • Coming up in December: Hanna Park Carols in 2017 is always an amazing Christmas event not to be missed! It will be held from 4:30pm to 9:30pm on Saturday, 23 December 2017.

This free family event is sponsored by many local organisations including Hawkesbury City Council, with free food, drinks, rides, entertainment and a fly in visit by Santa. There are free kids activities, a change to sing Christmas carols all together, colouring competition prizes and fireworks! More information at www.hannaparkcarols.org

Weekly markets

  • Windsor Mall Sunday Markets, George Street, Windsor. Held every Sunday 8:30am to 3:30pm. One of the Hawkesbury's longest running markets with stalls, local craft, clothing, food and entertainment.
  • Richmond Good Food Market - every Saturday 8am-1pm. Showcasing the best of the Hawkesbury's local produce, crafts and food situated beside the central Richmond Park.
  • Bilpin Markets - every Saturday 10am-12pm. Local market featuring food, craft and local fruit and vegetables.
16 November 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Around 80 local business representatives came along to Council’s first Meet and Greet evening at Hawkesbury Regional Museum last week. I enjoyed meeting so many people form our local business community and to see them forming connections with each other.  Our Councillors, Council’s General Manager Peter Conroy and Council Directors were also on hand to meet and talk about future prospects for business in the Hawkesbury.


    Thank you to everyone who came along, we all had a very collegial and productive night. Thank you also the Museum staff who so kindly let us fill their Museum with people. It was great to make use of this wonderful Council asset – it also gave our business community the chance to see our current exhibitions.

  • Just a reminder that the giant book sale starts today at Hawkesbury Central Library at Windsor from 9am. It goes until Tuesday, 21 November during Library opening hours - while stocks last.

  • Looking for something to do this summer? Be rewarded just for reading from 1 December 2017 until 31 January 2018 through the Library’s Rewarding Reads program.

    Hawkesbury Library Service will reward its members with a number of incentives including increased loans and borrowing bonuses where you can enter the draw to win weekly prizes.

    If you need more time, you can renew your items for a further three weeks at the end of the first loan period by phone, online or at the Library located at 300 George Street, Windsor.

    For more information about this program, please contact Hawkesbury Central Library on 4560 4460 or email programs@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au with your enquiry.

Mayoral Column

I would like to ask all Hawkesbury residents and business owners to help spread the joy of Christmas by donating gifts to the 2017 Mayoral Christmas Appeal which will be launched at 10am on Tuesday, 28 November at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor. There will be entertainment, a free morning tea and from 11am, a special visit from Puddles, the Reading Dragon followed by Christmas themed stories, songs and craft for children.

The Appeal collects toys and other Christmas presents for children and adults of all ages, to help bring extra joy to those families who find Christmas time an extra struggle.

Since 2012, the Mayoral Christmas Appeal has been run in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Richmond’s successful Tree of Joy program, which has provided thousands of gifts to less fortunate Hawkesbury residents over the last 17 years.

Collection boxes and tags will be available from Council’s Administration Building in Windsor, Hawkesbury Central Library in Windsor and Richmond Branch Library from Monday, 20 November 2017. Gifts may also be donated to the Mayoral Christmas Appeal on the day of the launch as tags will be available if you bring a gift and match it with a tag.

Please donate your gifts by Friday, 15 December so they get delivered by Christmas. There are three gift collection points – Council’s Administration Building in Windsor or the libraries in Richmond or Windsor.

9 November 2017

Mayoral Column

Kurrajong Village will be a hive of activity linking pollinators with food production at Kurrajong-A-Buzz on Sunday, 19 November 2017, from 10am to 2pm, to celebrate pollinator week. This free family event is being organised by Kurrajong Community Forum and Hawkesbury City Council is a proud sponsor of the event.

Pollinators drive biodiversity, and over 75% of the world’s flowering plants rely on insect pollinators to reproduce. The Hawkesbury’s gardens, farmlands, waterways and bushland are ideal for creating an environment that supports a range of these vital insects.

This event promotes the importance of pollinators in a way that is fun and educational and there will be activities, stalls and information for all ages, as well as a fundraising BBQ.

You can learn about how to create a pollinator paradise by maintaining a welcoming environment for birds and insects.

Native plants supplied by Hawkesbury Community Nursery and exotic plants that attract pollinators will be available for purchase. Honey producers and stalls will also be set up along the main street of Kurrajong.

The Kurrajong-a-Buzz Community Forum welcomes the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah this year, which will be entertaining and educating visitors with speakers, activities and games around pollination and other plant-animal interactions.

For the latest updates follow Kurrajong-a-Buzz on Facebook or contact Elizabeth Docking radocking@bigpond.com or 0438 670 753 or Lyn Ward lynward486@yahoo.com.au or 0411 107 456.

2 November 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I was delighted to spend some time with our local school students who were enjoying Dream Cricket Day at Richmond Oval last week. So many smiling faces as they played cricket with each other! Dream Cricket introduces primary school students with a disability to the game of cricket with the help of Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW and the Bradman Foundation. I want to congratulate the Rotary Club of Richmond for organising the event and running it so smoothly, especially Tony Miller who looks after the Dream Cricket event, as well as the schools who participated and their caring teachers. Congratulations to all the children who won prizes on the day.
  • Hawkesbury City Council is looking for community groups, churches, sporting organisations and schools that hold events for Christmas to be part of a Christmas Calendar of events for the Hawkesbury.

    The program of events will be publicised through Council’s channels and will include advertisements, flyers and banners.

    Promoting Christmas events in the calendar provides organisations the unique opportunity to reach a wider audience and it is free. It is also a positive opportunity to promote events in the Hawkesbury to our surrounding areas.

    To submit details about your event for the Christmas Calendar, visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and complete the registration form. Forms must be submitted by 5pm Friday, 17 November 2017 to be included.

    For any queries on the Christmas Calendar of events please contact Council’s Events Coordinator on 4560 4404 or email events@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
  • I’ve recently been informed about a new Climate Council report that is warning of escalating bushfire costs as a result of climate change. The ‘Bushfires in ‘New South Wales: Earlier, More Frequent, More Dangerous’, report shows  bushfire costs in New South Wales are likely to more than double by mid-century to over $100 million per year. These estimates are conservative, because they do not factor in climate change. See the full report http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/nsw-bushfires-2017 The warm, dry winter we’ve just had has greatly increased bushfire risk in the coming season, and as this new report notes, it’s only set to get worse due to climate change. While we’re managing bushfire impacts through hazard reduction burns and fire trails, we also need to act now to reduce our pollution levels to bring this bushfire risk back under control. Taking steps to reduce our emissions will ultimately help to protect our area from extreme weather impacts such as bushfires.

    Bushfire conditions are tipped to reach ‘above normal’ this summer, with more hot and dry conditions forecast. Communities, emergency services and the health sector must be prepared, in a bid to protect residents across the state from worsening fire danger conditions.

    For information on how to prepare your Bush Fire Survival Plan and Emergency Survival Kit please visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

Mayoral Column

Nominations are now open for the 2018 Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards. 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.

It’s wonderful to see an abundance of worthy individuals and organisations are nominated each year for these awards and I’m looking forward to seeing the list of nominees for the 2018. As a special thank you, all nominators will go into a draw to win one of five $100 Coles/Myer gift cards.

You can nominate in one or more of these categories:

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Local Hero Award
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Community Arts Award
  • Cultural Heritage Award
  • Environmental Award

Council’s Civic and Citizenship Committee also makes nominations for the Commemorative Plaque and the Community Organisation of the Year. The Committee is responsible for assessing all nominations received, with judging to take place in early December.

The winners will be announced on Australia Day, Friday, 26 January 2018 at a special awards presentation. Nominations close on Friday, 10 November 2017 at 5pm. Visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au for more information - all nominations need to be completed online this year.

26 October 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Award winning, best-selling author Judy Nunn will visit at Hawkesbury Central Library on Tuesday, 14 November from 10:30am to 12pm to talk about her latest novel, Sanctuary. Some of you may even remember her acting roles in various Aussie TV soapies such as a The Box, Prisoner, Sons and Daughters and Home and Away. Judy’s latest novel follows the tribulations of a group of refugees whose rickety wooden dingy runs aground on a barren island off the coast of Western Australia, and a tiny fishing community forty kilometres away on the mainland where nothing ever changes – until now. It is a tale of the human spirit where compassion meets bigotry, hatred meets love, and ultimate despair meets hope on the windswept shores of Australia. Judy’s career has been long, illustrious and multifaceted. After combining her internationally successful acting career with scriptwriting for television and radio, Judy decided to turn her hand to prose. She has since developed a love of writing Australian historically-based fiction and her fame as a novelist has spread rapidly throughout Europe where she is published in English, German, French, Dutch, Czech and Spanish.  Copies of Judy’s book will be available for purchase and signing. This is a free event with refreshments included. Booking are essential, to book go to www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call 4560 4460. The event will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor.
  • Come along to the giant book sale at Hawkesbury Central Library at Windsor from 9am on Thursday, 16 November until Tuesday, 21 November during Library opening hours - until stocks run out.

    The Library will have fiction and non-fiction books, as well as DVDs and CDs for children, teens and adults.Grab a bargain and discover some hidden treasures at the same time. The book sale will be held in the Charles Harpur Room, located within Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor. For more information, call the Library on 4560 4460.

    Award winning, best-selling author Judy Nunn will visit at Hawkesbury Central Library on Tuesday, 14 November from 10:30am to 12pm to talk about her latest novel, Sanctuary
  • Kurrajong-A-Buzz will be held on Sunday, 19 November, at Kurrajong Village to celebrate pollinator week. I encourage you to come along and bring your friends and families. This free event is being organised by Kurrajong Community Forum with Hawkesbury City Council as a proud sponsor of the event.

    This year Kurrajong-a-Buzz welcomes Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens Mount Tomah staff as part of the event, which will be entertaining and educating visitors with speakers, activities and games around pollination and other plant-animal interactions.

    Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens Mount Tomah has also arranged for Dr Megan Halcroft, the original initiator of Pollinator Week in Australia, to speak on the importance of pollinators and native bees. Dr Halcroft’s free presentation will be held at Memorial Park in Kurrajong from 11:15am.

    As well as many other free activities, you can visit the ‘Buzz Zone’ at Memorial Park where farmers, environmental educators and native bee enthusiasts will be available to answer questions. A Pollinator Passport will entice visitors to learn about pollination, finishing with a planting activity and the chance to win prizes.

    The ‘Challenge Zone’ in the village will be the place to challenge the brain with pollinator themed free activities and the chance to win prizes. For children, the ‘Kids Zone’ will have bug themed activities including dress ups and face painting.  For the latest updates follow Kurrajong-a-Buzz on Facebook or contact Elizabeth Docking radocking@bigpond.com or 0438 670 753 or Lyn Ward lynward486@yahoo.com.au or 0411 107 456.

Mayoral Column

I know we all love the Hawkesbury and this Sunday is the time to really ‘Love Where We Live’ by getting involved in the Graffiti Removal Day. Volunteers are encouraged to meet at the reserve at the end of Youl Place, Bligh Park at 9:30am on Sunday, 29 October.

Graffiti vandalism costs local businesses, households, NSW Government and Hawkesbury City Council millions of dollars each year. This is money which could be invested into roads, sporting facilities, schools and hospitals.

Graffiti is one of the most visible crimes in our community. This initiative increases the sense of safety and pride in the community, as well as increasing the value of property by keeping buildings and structures in the area clean.

Council and Rotary are committed to combating graffiti, which is why we are proud to be working with the NSW Government, Graffiti Removal Australia and great sponsors such as Dulux, Selleys and Smart Graffiti on this event.

Over 1500 volunteers removed more than 20,500m2 of graffiti from 460 sites in NSW last year and I hope this year will be even bigger and better.

As a volunteer, you will be supplied with cleaning products, paint, safety equipment and training on how to safely remove graffiti. If you can’t make it on the Day, you can still support this great event by promoting it on Facebook, Instagram Twitter and Snapchat using the hashtags #GRD17 and #LoveWhereWeLive

19 October 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Are you looking to complete those unfinished craft projects? Come along to Hawkesbury Central Library on Saturday, 28 October from 10am-6pm, for an opportunity to spread out your work in a place without interruptions for an eight hour craft marathon.

    Come along to meet like-minded crafters or organise a group of friends to attend and get your craft on! Tea and coffee will be provided however BYO craft supplies and equipment. This activity is free but bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call the Library on 4560 4460.
  • Do you want to comment on Council’s Draft Supplementary Resourcing Strategy and Delivery Programs? Now is your chance, while Council currently has these important draft documents on public exhibition until Friday, 10 November 2017.

    Interested community members are also invited to come and discuss the plans with Council staff on Thursday, 2 November 6pm to 8pm at the Stan Stevens Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor or on Monday, 6 November from 3pm to 5:30pm at North Richmond Community Centre.

    The Draft Supplementary Resourcing Strategy 2017–2027 includes Long Term Financial Planning, Asset Management Planning and Workforce Planning. The Draft Supplementary Delivery Program 2017–2021 turns the strategic goals within the Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017–2036 into actions.

    Community members can view the publicly available documents at Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and hard copies can also be viewed and collected at:
    • Council's Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor
    • Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor
    • Richmond Branch Library, 29 West Market Street, Richmond
    • North Richmond Community Centre, 33 William Street, North Richmond.
  • Did you know that Hawkesbury Central Library plays free movies for the community? Movies @ your Library events are held on the second Thursday of the month, except for January.  

    An Australian comedy classic, The Club, will be screened at Hawkesbury Central Library on Thursday, 9 November at 10am and again at 6pm, in the Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street Windsor. 

    Entry is free but bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call 4560 4460. Tea and coffee are available before the screenings and everyone is also welcome to bring along snacks and drinks. The movie runs for 95 minutes and is rated PG. Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult, with suitability for viewing at the discretion of the parent/carer.

Mayoral Column

Winners of the 2017 Hawkesbury Garden Competition were announced last night at Windsor RSL. Congratulations to all entrants and winners who put a great deal of time, effort and planning into their gardens.

37 entries in eight categories were received for this year’s competition, with the honour of Grand Champion Garden awarded to Mary Want, who received a perpetual trophy engraved with all the names of previous Grand Champion winners, and a bounty pack of other prizes.

All entries were divided into three regions: North, South and West and an overall best garden for each region was determined by the independent judge, Patrick McManus, who had a difficult time choosing the best gardens from the high quality entries.

Schools also proudly participated in the garden competition. Ebenezer Public School won Best Regional Garden - North, Paul Evans won Best Regional Garden - South and Mary Want won Best Regional Garden - West.

Council proudly sponsors the competition and the prize presentation, and assists with administration, which helps the Hawkesbury Camera Club organise the competition and photograph the beautiful gardens, which is of course a very pleasurable task in our beautiful Hawkesbury region.

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.

12 October 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Council is hosting a free business breakfast on Wednesday, 18 October from 7:30am to 9:30am at Windsor Function Centre to launch the ‘Nepean Jobs for All’ Project in the Hawkesbury - and I invite all interested local business owners to come along. You can RSVP for the Hawkesbury business breakfast by contacting Celia Bishop, Penrith City Council on 4732 7838 or by email celia.bishop@penrith.city
    Building an inclusive, diverse workforce benefits everyone – your employees, your organisation and the community as a whole; it makes good business sense.
    The Project provides business leaders and employers with access to online information, training and resources as well as breakfast style forums to help remove barriers to employing people with disability and unleash the benefits of an inclusive workforce. 
    The Australian Government provides supports to businesses looking to employ people with a disability, including funding for workplace changes, buying equipment and access to services.

    Nepean Jobs for All is a partnership project of Penrith, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury City Councils, funded by National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Program.
  • I think the process of making art can be quite therapeutic… have you ever wanted to explore art therapy? If so, come along to an ‘Unlock Your Unconscious’ workshop on Tuesday, 24 October from 10:30am to 12:30pm, presented jointly by Hawkesbury Library Service and Hawkesbury House. In this hands-on and interactive session, participants will be introduced to art therapy and participate in an art therapy session focused on strengthening positive emotions. This workshop is $30 with all art material included and will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street Windsor. Bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com.au or call 4560 4460. Refreshments provided.
  • 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. Visit http://hrcc.nsw.gov.au For more information about noxious weeds .You can also visit http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au 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 4560 4525.

From the Mayor’s Desk 17-10-12

  • Council is hosting a free business breakfast on Wednesday, 18 October from 7:30am to 9:30am at Windsor Function Centre to launch the ‘Nepean Jobs for All’ Project in the Hawkesbury - and I invite all interested local business owners to come along. You can RSVP for the Hawkesbury business breakfast by contacting Celia Bishop, Penrith City Council on 4732 7838 or by email celia.bishop@penrith.city
    Building an inclusive, diverse workforce benefits everyone – your employees, your organisation and the community as a whole; it makes good business sense.
    The Project provides business leaders and employers with access to online information, training and resources as well as breakfast style forums to help remove barriers to employing people with disability and unleash the benefits of an inclusive workforce. 
    The Australian Government provides supports to businesses looking to employ people with a disability, including funding for workplace changes, buying equipment and access to services.

    Nepean Jobs for All is a partnership project of Penrith, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury City Councils, funded by National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Program.
  • I think the process of making art can be quite therapeutic… have you ever wanted to explore art therapy? If so, come along to an ‘Unlock Your Unconscious’ workshop on Tuesday, 24 October from 10:30am to 12:30pm, presented jointly by Hawkesbury Library Service and Hawkesbury House. In this hands-on and interactive session, participants will be introduced to art therapy and participate in an art therapy session focused on strengthening positive emotions. This workshop is $30 with all art material included and will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street Windsor. Bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com.au or call 4560 4460. Refreshments provided.
  • 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. Visit http://hrcc.nsw.gov.au For more information about noxious weeds .You can also visit http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au 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 4560 4525.
5 October 2017

Mayoral Column

It is with much excitement that I invite you to the ‘The Cathedral of the Hawkesbury’: 200 years of St Matthews Anglican Church exhibition opening on Saturday, 7 October from 2pm to 4pm at the Hawkesbury Regional Museum at 8 Baker Street, Windsor. On display will be never-before-seen objects including a beautiful 1835 wedding dress, as well as items from the church vault including the original Communion Cup. It is free and everybody is welcome to this ongoing exhibition.

By foundation stone, St Matthew’s is the oldest Anglican church in Australia. It is also acknowledged as one of Australia’s most beautiful buildings.

On Saturday, 14 October there will be the St Matthew’s Anglican Church Big Birthday Bash, with a free bus operating between the Museum at 8 Baker Street, Windsor, St Matthew’s Anglican Church at 1 Moses Street, Windsor (McQuade Park) and the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery at 300 George Street, Windsor. Community and family celebrations at the church will include entertainment, stalls, food, tours and a RAAF fly-over.

The Hawkesbury Regional Gallery is also showing a special exhibition, titled Pure Greenway from Saturday, 14 October. It will be a selection of works focusing on the architecture and aesthetics of the church, and its brilliant architect, Francis Greenway.

There will also be a white gloves session and Curator’s talk at the Museum on Saturday, 28 October at 2pm. Please join our splendid Curator, Rebecca Turnbull, for a hands-on session and a close look at some of the fascinating objects in the exhibition. It only costs $5 and includes refreshments and gloves. Bookings are essential via Eventbrite www.hawkesburymuseum.eventbrite.com or call (02) 4560 4655.

28 September 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Congratulations to all the winners of the 2017 Local Business Awards run by Precedent Productions Pty Ltd. Various awards were presented including Business of the Year, Youth Business Person of the Year and the Community Access and Inclusion Award, which acknowledges initiatives from business that improve accessibility. Council has been a major sponsor of the Local Business Awards over many years to help support the local business community. Visit https://thebusinessawards.com.au to see all the winners, including Business Person of the Year, Karen Lebsanft of Kurrajong Kitchens.
  • You haven’t missed the Sydney Blues & Roots Festival, relax! I am very happy to report that the Ninth Annual Sydney Blues & Roots Festival, proudly sponsored by Council, will be held on Friday, December through to Sunday, 3 December, for more details in the lead up to the event, visit http://sydneybluesandrootsfestival.com
  • Did you know that today is Right to Know Day?
    Right to Know Day, 28 September 2017, is an international, annual event that aims to increase awareness of people’s right to access government information and open, transparent governance.
    NSW is marking the occasion as Right to Know Week from 25 September to 1 October 2017 to raise awareness about access to government information in NSW.
    I am proud to tell you that I have signed up as a Right to Know Champion for Hawkesbury City Council. This year's theme is 'Right to Information: Open and accountable government and the media's role' in which:
    • Open government builds community trust
    • Government transparency strengthens community participation and our democracy
    • Community access to government-held information keeps us accountable and transparent.

    This means that:

    • You have a right to access government information
    • We have a responsibility to release government information
    • Communities have the right to know, and governments have a responsibility to share.

    Visit http://www.ipc.nsw.gov.au/news-media/events/right-know-week-2017 for more information.

  • Jenny Joyce will be the guest speaker at the next Hawkesbury Family History Group meeting on Wednesday, 11 October and she will explain the many online resources available about London families. A lot of family history records can now be found online including births, deaths and marriage registers, census records, newspapers, wills, criminal records and much more.
    Jenny Joyce has been researching her own family history for many years, and is also a researcher, lecturer, teacher and writer. She is currently the President of Ku-ring-gai Historical Society.
    I encourage anyone interested to attend this free event. The meeting starts at 10am and bookings are not required. Refreshments will be available after the meeting. The Library is located at 300 George Street, Windsor.

Mayoral Column

Nominations are now open for the 2018 Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards. 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.

It’s wonderful to see an abundance of worthy individuals and organisations are nominated each year for these awards and I’m looking forward to seeing the list of nominees for the 2018. As a special thank you, all nominators will go into a draw to win one of five $100 Coles/Myer gift cards.

You can nominate in one or more of these categories:

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Local Hero Award
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Community Arts Award
  • Cultural Heritage Award
  • Environmental Award

Council’s Civic and Citizenship Committee also makes nominations for the Commemorative Plaque and the Community Organisation of the Year. The Committee is responsible for assessing all nominations received, with judging to take place in early December.

The winners will be announced on Australia Day, Friday, 26 January 2018 at a special awards presentation. Nominations close on Friday, 10 November 2017 at 5pm. Visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au for more information - all nominations need to be completed online this year.

21 September 2017
  • My heartfelt thanks to our wonderful Hawkesbury community for your generous and immediate support in crowdfunding for the stolen Marriage Equality banner at Council’s Administration Building this week. Over $1000 was raised and it meant that we could replace the banner and re-install it. I would also like to point out that Council has Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) enabled around its Administration Building for security.
    Last Sunday’s theft (17 September) of the banner has only made people even more aware and supportive of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual community in the Hawkesbury.
    Council is proud to support Marriage Equality, and, along with the banner, which states: ‘Hawkesbury City Council supports Marriage Equality. Vote Yes’, a rainbow flag is also flying outside Council Chambers until the postal survey for same sex marriage concludes on 7 November.
  • With the hot summer weather upon us snakes are out and about in the Hawkesbury region.  I’m always in the lookout for snakes when I’m walking around Kurrajong. Summer is also the time that many locals like to get out and explore our surrounding national parks and rivers.
    The Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre now stocks an excellent Snake Bite Kit for only $19 which includes an emergency action card, two heavy compression bandages, two triangle bandages and detailed snake bite first aid instructions. These same instructions are used in ‘wilderness first aid courses’ throughout Australia.
    To buy the Snake Bite Kit and find out more about the range of bushwalks in the Hawkesbury drop into the Visitor Information Centre at Ham Common (opposite the RAAF base), which is open 7 days with wonderful, friendly staff at 328 Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond (a short walk from Clarendon train station).  You can also call the VIC on 4560 4620 for more information.
  • While I’m on the subject of the Visitor Information Centre, I’m happy to let you know that families can collect a booklet ‘Best Cycle Rides Around The Hawkesbury’ free to the first 150 families that visit the Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre in Clarendon and ask for the booklet – but hurry, the offer ends Sunday, 1 October.
    Usually priced at $6, this handy, pocket sized guide contains twelve rides, maps and detailed routes, road and safety recommendations and latest cycling rules. All levels of cyclists are catered for – from beginners and children, to the more experienced recreational rider.
    NSW Bike Week is an annual celebration of cycling and road safety during 16–24 September 2017 and it’s a great time for local and visiting cyclists to enjoy the benefits of local cycleways and shared paths, while enjoying many of the scenic attractions around the Hawkesbury. Visit www.transportnsw.info/bikeweek for information regarding NSW Bike Week events which run throughout September in various part of Sydney and NSW.

Mayoral Column

I’m pleased to tell you that Hawkesbury City Council has been reassessed by the State Government as ‘Fit For The Future’. Fit for the Future (FFTF) is a Local Government reform program initiated by the State Government in 2014.

From July 2015 Council commenced the implementation of 20 expenditure and revenue measures as part of its FFTF Improvement and Council engaged with the community to gather information from residents on their satisfaction and expectations of Council’s services and facilities. When the proposed Council merger of Hawkesbury and The Hills Shire was dropped, Hawkesbury City Council submitted its Council-endorsed, revised FFTF improvement plans to OLG for reassessment in November 2016 and in late August 2017 Council was notified of its reassessment as Fit.

I am excited by the future for the Hawkesbury now that Council has been given the green light and declared Fit by the State Government. This is great news for the Hawkesbury community, after our strong fight in 2016 - when Council and the community united to remain a stand-alone Council when a merger was on the table.

Council will continue to do its best for the community, including monitoring our performance to ensure we deliver the improvements committed to within the FFTF process, and so that we can continue to strengthen our financial position overall. As Council undertakes its current cycle of Integrated Planning and Reporting, we will ensure that the strategies and actions identified in our FFTF Improvement Plan are reflected in Council’s new Delivery Program and Resourcing Strategy. For the key results from the reassessment of Council, please visit http://www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/home

14 September 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Around 80 people came along to the garden outside Hawkesbury City Council, Windsor on Tuesday, 12 September for the rainbow flag raising ceremony in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) community in the Hawkesbury and Marriage Equality.
    I was delighted to raise the flag outside the Council Chambers amid cheers and applause from the community members present. Council offers its full support to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual community and this rainbow flag will fly outside Council Chambers for the duration of the Marriage Equality campaign.
    Council is well placed to positively influence community perceptions to increase acceptance. Our civic leadership and support will hopefully send a strong message and help people in our community. A rainbow banner is also displayed outside Council which states ‘Hawkesbury City Council supports Marriage Equality. Vote Yes.’.
  • I also want to remind you that Council is calling for nominations for the 2017 Natalie Burton Memorial Award on behalf of the Burton, Turner and Lawrance families. Residents are encouraged to nominate any Hawkesbury high school student whom they feel is a worthy recipient for the prestigious Natalie Burton Memorial Award trophy and $200 prize money. Nominations close 5pm Monday, 25 September 2017.
    The award is open to male or female students and is not restricted to academic achievement; it may take the form of community, sporting or general achievements and improvements.
    Nomination forms are available online or at the Council Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor, or Hawkesbury Central Library at Windsor or Richmond Branch Library or by calling (02) 4560 4444.
  • Council is currently seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from members of the Hawkesbury community to act as community representatives on the Enhancing the Arts in the Hawkesbury Working Group. I encourage community members who have a genuine interest in the arts, with demonstrated expertise and experience in arts projects, to consider applying.
    The goal of the Working Group is broad but the initial focus of the working group will be around music sector growth and increased community participation in the arts.
    The Working Group will provide constructive advice and practical support and assistance to Council in enhancing the arts in the Hawkesbury, with a particular focus on seeking external funding, facilitating local arts activities and events as well as encouraging audience participation. The Working Group will consist of Councillors, Council staff and five community members.
    For more information or to obtain an Expression of Interest Form please visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or contact Joanne Russo on (02) 4560 3354. EOIs close 5pm Friday, 29 September 2017.

Mayoral Column

As the Mayor of Hawkesbury, I am united with the Mayors of Blue Mountains, Penrith, Campbelltown and Liverpool against the new planning regulations by the State Government, which are anti-democratic.

The State Government recently passed legislation to introduce mandatory Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs), which will see local councils lose the power to determine development applications (DAs) between the value of $5 million and $30 million. The mandatory IHAPs will also decide any other ‘contentious’ DAs of lesser value. Applications under $5M will be dealt with under delegated authority to Council CEOs. Essentially, these changes will mean Councillors, and therefore the community through their elected members, will not have any input into determining DAs in their local area.

We have written to Anthony Roberts Minister for Planning, Gabrielle Upton Minister for Local Government and the NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley to urge a review of the process that led to the decision. Prior to the introduction of this legislation, there was no opportunity for debate or community consultation. This is a removal of the democratic process at a very basic level – denying community-elected representatives a say on deciding local development applications.

This is a disappointing and ill-informed reaction showing little regard for communities in NSW. I believe it is essential for the Hawkesbury community to retain a say in shaping the future of our towns, villages and suburbs. This can only happen when elected council representatives have a role in determining DAs in their own Local Government Areas. I encourage the NSW Government to focus on providing the infrastructure and services that our community needs, not shutting the community out of the decision making process.

7 September 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • I have great news for our local swimmers! Richmond Swimming Centre will be open for the 2017-2018 Summer Season in time for the September school holidays on Saturday, 23 September 2017.
    Learn to Swim lessons and Squad training will operate after school and on Saturday mornings in Term 4, 2017 and in Term 1, 2018. School Holiday Intensive Sessions will run for all levels during the summer school holidays in the lead up to School Swimming Carnivals. Club nights are hosted on Friday nights.
    The Swimming Pool will again be open until 7pm on weekdays throughout the School term to allow for longer lap swimming times. For 2017-2018 Opening Hours visit here or for more information please contact the Pool Superintendent on 4578 1349. The pool will be closed Christmas Day, Good Friday and ANZAC Day.
  • School holidays are coming up and if you’re looking for great activities to entertain the kids then book in for some fun workshops at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery and our Libraries.
    At the Gallery there will be a range of workshops from Wednesday, 27 September to Friday, 6 October, all running from 10am to midday including swishy fishy painting, pet plants from clay, make your own 3D paper skull sculpture, learn watercolour techniques painting some colourful marbles, making zombie key rings, and paper peacock pictures. $15 per session – all materials supplied, bookings essential through Eventbrite or call the Gallery on (02) 4560 4441. The Gallery is located at Deerubbin Centre (1st floor) 300 George Street, Windsor
  • Hawkesbury Library Service is offering a great program for creative kids these school holidays. There is plenty to do, from Lego workshops to crafty sessions, felt craft (one day is making a monster pencil case and another day is create a felt owl), and a colouring in drop in space which is open Monday, 25 September to Friday, 6 October, during library opening hours. All activities are for school aged children (children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult). Some workshops have a small fee, payable at time of booking.
    Bookings are essential for the school holiday workshops through Eventbrite or call (02) 4560 4460.
    Locations: Hawkesbury Central Library: Deerubbin Centre (ground floor) 300 George Street, Windsor or Richmond Branch Library: 29 West Market Street, Richmond.

Mayoral Column

Our former Emeritus Mayor, Rex Stubbs, will be remembered at the second Dr Rex Stubbs OAM Commemorative History Symposium during History Week on Saturday, 9 September. It will be held at the Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor. Something new this year is that it will be open to the general public as well as historical societies and heritage related groups and I am happy to invite you all to this free event. The fully catered event recognises Dr Stubbs’ commitment to the Hawkesbury community, and aims to promote interest in the unique history of the Hawkesbury. RSVP is essential to Prue Charlton (02) 4560 4434 or pcharlton@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au

As the Mayor of Hawkesbury, I will have the honour of officially welcoming everyone to the symposium, which features an impressive line-up of speakers including:

  • Dr Tanya Evans, New approaches to local, family and public history
  • Courtney Page-Allen and Dr Rebecca Fleming, Quality publications made easy
  • Michelle Nichols, Hawkesbury Images, online database of historical images
  • Christine Fernon, Transplanted Lives: the first three fleets and their families

Dr Stubbs was a highly active member of Hawkesbury City Council, giving 26 years of service as a Councillor, including ten terms as Mayor. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2001 for service to local government and to the Hawkesbury community. Dr Stubbs had an abiding interest in art, history and culture. He also championed the development of Hawkesbury Regional Museum and Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, and he was a member and President of Hawkesbury Historical Society for nearly 30 years.

31 August 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • Nominations are 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 www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au 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 Monday, 25 September 2017.
  • For the fifth year in a row, Hawkesbury City Council is proud to be supporting the Garage Sale Trail which will be held on Saturday, 21 and Sunday, 22 October. The Garage Sale Trail has become a fun and well-known community event that many local residents take as the perfect opportunity to do a clean out.
    Registration is free at www.garagesaletrail.com.au If you register early enough, you will also receive a free Seller Pack, which includes printed posters, flyers and information to help you spread the word about your sale. Last year, 137 registered garage sales were registered in the Hawkesbury.
    For further information about the Garage Sale Trail, to register a sale or find sales in your area, visit www.garagesaletrail.com.au
  • Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Young Archie Portrait Prize, held in conjunction with the 2016 Archibald Prize exhibition. The winners took home iPad minis, and the runners-up were presented with art packs containing all manner of art materials, making them well equipped to continue their art careers. All 559 works can be seen until the end of the year at Hawkesbury Central Library in Windsor and on the mezzanine floor of the Deerubbin Centre, along from the Gallery foyer.
  • Computer classes for seniors are returning in October and I encourage our older residents to take advantage of these free classes. You will be introduced to the use of computers, plus you will gain confidence and skills in using the internet, email and social media. The classes are:
    • Beginners Computer Class
      Tuesday, 10 October 10am to midday
    • Introduction to Internet Searching
      Tuesday, 17 October 10am to midday
    • Getting Started With Email
      Tuesday, 24 October 10am to midday

    Bookings are essential, call 4560 4460. Participants must be Library members - new members welcome and membership is free! All sessions will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor. Tech Savvy Seniors is an initiative of the NSW Ageing Strategy and is funded through a partnership between the NSW Government and Telstra, and with the assistance of Hawkesbury Library Service.

Mayoral Column

I’m delighted to let you know that the annual St Albans Writers Festival will be held from Friday, 8 September to Sunday, 10 September 2017. As a Festival Partner, Council is proud to be a major sponsor for Australia’s newest and most intimate writers’ festival. As well as contributing financially, Council is providing in kind support which includes donating the use of Council grounds for this special event.

The St Albans Writers’ Festival attracts top writers from across the country, as well as hundreds of people who are both local to the Hawkesbury and from outside the area each year.

This year’s theme of ‘Escape and Explore’ will transform St Albans Village. The festival precinct includes the historic St Albans Church, the Settlers Arms Inn, and the School of the Arts Hall. There will also be marquees, a fire and hay bales in the St Albans Reserve to create a festival hub.

Some of the writers attending include Tom Keneally, Hugh Mackay, Stan Grant, George Gittoes, Tom Griffiths, David Hunt, Mark Tedeschi QC, Gil Jones, Helen Garner, and Bernadette Brennan. There will also be an opportunity to meet established writers Kathryn Heyman and Melina Marchetta, and new writers Melanie Joosten and Rachel Leary.

Festival goers will have the chance to discuss immigration policy with Madeline Gleeson, climate change with Jane Abbott or delve into the relationships between mothers and daughters with Jane Caro, Caroline Baum, Susan Wyndham and Nikki Gemmell. Visit www.stalbanswritersfestival.com.au to buy tickets and for the latest festival updates.

24 August 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • In partnership with St Albans Writers’ Festival, Hawkesbury Library Service is providing a Getting Published workshop for all aspiring authors on Saturday, 26 August, from 10am to midday. Published writer and editor Nigel Bartlett will provide aspiring authors with practical advice on getting published; how the publishing industry works, agents, how to make submissions and the value of writers groups and networking. His debut novel, King of the Road, was published by Penguin Random House in 2015 and he is currently working on his next novel.
    The workshop is $30, payable at time of booking.  Bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or phone (02) 4560 4460. This workshop will be held in the Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street Windsor.
    The annual St Albans Writers’ Festival will be held from Friday, 8 September to Sunday, 10 September. For full program details about the festival and to book your festival tickets, go to www.stalbanswritersfestival.com.au
  • The fourth Hawkesbury Art Fair will be held at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery from Friday, 8 September to Sunday, 8 October.
    This Fair is a chance for local artists to sell their work, and for residents and visitors to buy original art from the region’s best-known and accomplished artists.
    I invite you all to come along to the official opening at 6pm on Friday, 8 September.
    The fair will feature the best traditional and contemporary artists, designers and crafters living and working in the Hawkesbury, as well as guest artists and students from Penrith and Blue Mountains. All work will be for sale so you can buy some local art to take home or as a beautiful gift for family and friends.
  • I was thrilled to read exciting stories to a group of happy children at the Hawkesbury’s fifth Annual Children’s Festival ‘Party with Puddles’ in North Richmond recently. Around 250 people attended, with over 100 children, their parents, grandparents, child carers, and visitors enjoying the event.
    Facilitated by Paint Hawkesbury REaD with North Richmond Community Centre as the lead agency for the program, Colo High School students and staff did a great job as the wonderful volunteers on the day.
    The Party with Puddles, our Reading Mascot, is designed to raise awareness about the positive effects of reading, singing, rhyming, talking and playing with children during their early developmental years, while at the same time giving parents plenty of ideas about activities they can do with their children with very little effort or cost.
    For more information about Paint the Town REaD, visit https://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/library/kids/paint-the-town-read or call Hawkesbury Library Service on 4560 4460.

Mayoral Column

Recently Council has been hearing from ratepayers about their rates and the related land values of their properties. To help all ratepayers understand their recent land revaluations, how their land value has been determined, and the way land value affects rates, Hawkesbury City Council is holding a Community Information Session with representatives from the Valuer General of NSW.

Council staff have organised this opportunity for ratepayers so that they can bring along their questions about land valuation. I encourage you all to come along to the Community Information Session to get more information. It will be held on Wednesday, 30 August 2017 from 6:30pm at Windsor Function Centre, 2 Dight Street, Windsor. No RSVP required.

Please bring along your land valuation notice and any questions you may have. Ratepayers can make further enquiries about land values by contacting Valuation Services Property NSW on 1800 110 038 or valuationenquiry@property.nsw.gov.au

Hawkesbury rate notices were sent with a series of flyers which explained the changes on your Rates notice. Each of these flyers

  • Hawkesbury City Council is improving stormwater management
  • Hawkesbury City Council - Know your rates
  • Newsletter from the NSW Valuer General
  • Deferral of FESL

are available electronically at http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/council/business-with-council/know-your-rates and this link also has more information about rates and annual charges.

17 August 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • To help all ratepayers understand their recent land revaluations, how their land value has been determined, and the way land value affects rates, Hawkesbury City Council is holding a community information session with representatives from the Valuer General of NSW.
    I encourage you all to come along to have all your questions about land valuation answered. It will be held on Wednesday, 30 August 2017 from 6:30pm at Windsor Function Centre, 2 Dight Street, Windsor. No RSVP required.
    Please bring along your land valuation notice, and any questions you may have. Ratepayers can make further enquiries about land values by contacting Valuation Services Property NSW on 1800 110 038 or valuationenquiry@property.nsw.gov.au
  • Council received an official visit from our Sister Cities at last week’s Council Meeting and I was delighted to meet them all. Tina Tallack, President of the Hawkesbury Sister City Association introduced the students from Temple City, USA and Kyotamba, Japan, who are participating in current Sister City Exchanges. I presented certificates to the Sister City Exchange students who are enjoying their stay in Australia.
  • Mark Tedeschi AM QC and Senior Crown Prosecutor for NSW will visit Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor on Tuesday, 5 September from 6pm to 7:30pm to discuss his new book, Murder at Myall Creek, the most sensational trial of mass murder in Australia’s legal history. This is a free author talk however bookings are essential via www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call 4560 4460. Refreshments will be provided from 6pm.
  • Our former Emeritus Mayor, Rex Stubbs, will be remembered at the second Dr Rex Stubbs OAM Commemorative History Symposium to be held on Saturday, 9 September at the Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor. The free, fully catered event recognises Dr Stubbs’ commitment to the Hawkesbury community, and aims to promote interest in the unique history of the Hawkesbury. Aimed primarily at Hawkesbury historical societies and heritage related groups, as well as those in the wider region, interested residents are also welcome to attend - RSVP is essential to Prue Charlton (02) 4560 4434 or pcharlton@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au

Mayoral Column

Considering that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 3.7% of the Hawkesbury population, I’m pleased to let you know that Council is embarking on a new journey to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The RAP will outline practical actions that Council will take to build stronger relationships and enhanced respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. The RAP framework is based on the three key principles; Relationships, Respect and Opportunities.

Council’s engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has focused on activities that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or events that commemorate Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week. We are now hoping to deepen our work with, and commitment to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the development of the Reconciliation Action Plan.

In order to develop and implement a successful RAP, Council is seeking members of the local community to join the RAP Working Group. The Working Group will be responsible for developing the RAP. Darug and Darkinjung people are strongly encouraged to apply.

This Working Group is to be formed in accordance with the Council resolution No.138 from the Ordinary Council Meeting of 9 May 2017. For more information or to obtain an Expression of Interest Form for Community Representation on Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, please visit Council's website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or contact Meagan Ang on (02) 4560 4502. Expressions of Interest will close at 5pm on Friday, 15 September 2017.

10 August 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • We have recently completed our Investing in Your Future Consultation and Survey. Thank you to all of our community members who came along to hear the message and ask questions about the funding options available to help to meet community expectations for asset service levels in the future and a proposed Special Rate Variation (SRV).
    Our consultation during July and August included 10 town meetings across the Hawkesbury including St Albans, Pitt Town and Kurrajong as well as 11 information kiosks in many shopping centres and markets including Bilpin, Richmond, Bligh Park, Windsor, Wilberforce, South Windsor, North Richmond and Glossodia.
    The outcome of the ‘Investing in Your Future’ community consultations are now being collated and will be reported to Council in late August or early September 2017 so that Council can take into account the views of residents in determining the preferred investment option.
    Thank you to everyone for their input and it is great that so many people can see the merit of Council’s plan to secure a financially sustainable future for the Hawkesbury. For all the details of the consultation visit www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/investing-in-your-future
  • Don’t forget to enter the 2017 Hawkesbury Garden Competition - entries close Friday, 25 August 2017.
    Simply click on the garden competition icon at the bottom of Council’s website homepage or click here.
    Entrants can select one of the seven categories to enter this year’s competition, with all entrants going in the running for Grand Champion Garden and Best Regional Garden. Judging will take place in mid-September with entrants to be notified of the schedule of judging closer to the date.
    Hawkesbury City Council is proud to sponsor the 2017 Hawkesbury Garden Competition in partnership with Hawkesbury Camera Club and Windsor RSL. For more information, email gardencomp@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 4560 4444.
  • I enjoyed meeting several Ashikaga Minami High School students from Japan recently, who came to visit our Council Chambers in Windsor and hear about Local Government in Australia. As part of their eight days in Australia they enjoyed home stays with local families and visited interesting locations in the Hawkesbury and Sydney.
    Ashikaga Minami High School in Japan is the sister school of Hawkesbury High School in Freemans Reach. Several students from Hawkesbury High School have also had home stays in Japan to learn about their culture, language and food.

Mayoral Column

Hawkesbury City Councilhas joined forces with over 30 councils across Australia, representing more than 3 million people, as part of the Cities Power Partnership which hopes to slash emissions and combat climate change in our own backyards.

I attended the program’s national launch in Canberra recently and I was thrilled to see so many local council representatives becoming ‘climate champions’ and leaders.

This exciting partnership is a great opportunity for Hawkesbury City Council to continue to collaborate with the Climate Council, other Councils and their communities to work towards a more sustainable future. I believe this partnership will give us realistic and effective ways to encourage clean energy technology, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and other climate solutions, all at a local level.

The partnership also presents a number of benefits and opportunities for Council and our community.  This includes reducing greenhouse gas production, which will help to limit the impacts of climate change on our natural environment, in particular our World Heritage Areas and the Hawkesbury River Valley, both of which are also important economic and tourist assets. Council is already actively reducing its operational costs through energy and water saving initiatives and we will continue to seek these savings.

In coming months, Council will submit a report recommending five actions for Council to focus upon in relation to activities such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport and advocacy. For more information about the Cities Power Partnership, visit http://citiespowerpartnership.org.au

3 August 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • My Mayoral Column this week (see below) discusses important changes on your rates notice, and there are also some other charges which I’d like to explain.
    There is a domestic waste management charge for your garbage, recycling and possibly garden organic service (provided in urban areas). There is a sewerage management charge for areas with a reticulated sewerage service and there is a sullage charge for properties with a pump out service. These charges had to increase to reflect the cost for Council to provide these services.
    Property owners who live in our urban areas will now need to pay a Stormwater Management Service Charge that will contribute to the cost of providing new or additional stormwater services across the urban areas.
    More details are provided on the flyer 'Hawkesbury City Council is improving stormwater management' which was sent with the current rates notice. The flyer is also available online at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au Please also see my column below and, if you would like to know more, please call our friendly Customer Service staff on (02) 4560 4444.
  • Rates benefit our community because they help to pay for the services and facilities that our community needs. Rate income is used by Council to
    • contribute to the cost of maintaining the infrastructure you use every day, such as roads, parks, recreation facilities and community buildings
    • Support the programs, events and sponsorship that Council provides for our community and local businesses
    • Administer laws and regulations that keep our community safe and well.
  • If you want access to free, full-colour digital magazines with no strings attached, then come along to an introductory workshop held at Hawkesbury Central Library on Tuesday, 15 August, 10:30am to midday to learn all about the Library’s free downloadable eMagazine collection. If you would like to learn more about this then make a booking on www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call (02) 4560 4460. This free workshop will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor. Bookings are essential as numbers are limited.

Mayoral Column

By now many of you would have received your rates notice and you will see some changes. Your 2017/2018 rates have changed due to land revaluation by the NSW Valuer General, rate pegging and a change in rating structure, which I will explain below.

In regard to rate pegging, Council’s total rates revenue has increased by the rate peg amount of 1.5% as set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, which is the maximum annual amount by which councils can increase their total rate revenue in 2017/18.

In 2017/2018, Council changed the rating structure to create a fairer and more equitable rating system. Every property owner continues to pay a flat amount, known as a base amount as part of their rates. The balance is worked out on land value. All residential properties, including those previously sub-categorised as rural residential, are now subject to the same flat amount and the same rate in the dollar is applied to the land value of the property.

Council has also reduced the ‘rate in the dollar’ for the farmland category to 90% of the residential ‘rate in the dollar’ amount. The proportion of rates collected from business properties has been increased. These changes to the rating structure generally mean lower rates for farmland and low value suburban properties, and higher rates for businesses and larger, higher value rural properties.

The change in the rating structure has not increased the total income received by Council; it has just apportioned the rates differently across properties. Paying rates helps to fund the services and facilities needed in our community.

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