From the Mayor
Happy New Year 2021 from all of us at Hawkesbury City Council! First up, I’d like to thank everybody who donated gifts for children, women and men toHawkesbury Helping Hands, the nominated community charity organisation for the 2020 Mayoral Christmas Appeal. Once again, Hawkesbury residents have rallied together to provide hundreds of gifts to help those in need at Christmas time.
Thank you also to our residents for keeping each other safe by practising social distancing, good hygiene – especially washing hands – and for observing the need for facemasks in some indoor areas as per NSW Heath regulations. These steps will continue to be important for the time being while we wait for vaccines to become available to further protect our community.
Next Tuesday, 26 January, will be Australia Day! I’m truly looking forward to it. Council will host the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony on Council’s YouTube channel from 9am to 10am – something really important for the family and friends of people becoming new citizens in 2021, especially when numbers are limited for attending the ceremony in person, due to COVID-Safe requirements.
The 2021 Australia Day Awards will also be live streamed on Council’s YouTube channel from 11am to 12pm at a special ceremony. Join us to see the winners announced at www.youtube.com/channel/UCFGtg4C7e0sUyEGUtNz_9Hg
We’d love to see photos on how you’re celebrating Australia Day. Tag ‘Hawkesbury City Council’ in your own Facebook post and Hawkesbury Events Instagram www.instagram.com/hawkesburyevents and use the hashtag #ausdayhawkesburyway
Once again, we have been delighted to recognise the contributions made by our local students in the Hawkesbury Local Government Area. As part of this, Hawkesbury City Council annually presents a School Citizenship Award in the form of a book voucher and certificate to one student at each school in the Hawkesbury. Students are selected for their academic achievements, contribution to the school community or perhaps for displaying personal qualities important to your school’s spirit. Congratulations to all students and teachers for making it through a tough year and still finding great success!
Thank you to our generous community members for helping us to bring joy to our local community doing it tough this festive season by donating to the Mayoral Christmas Appeal and for putting the 'merry' back into Christmas for those less fortunate. The 2020 Mayoral Christmas Appeal has supported Hawkesbury's Helping Hands by donating unwrapped Christmas presents for people of all ages.
I hope everyone in our community gets the chance to see the Christmas trees in Windsor Mall and Richmond Park over Christmas. Take some photos and remember our special moments in the Hawkesbury using #lightuphawkesbury
On behalf of Hawkesbury City Council, I want to wish our community members a happy and safe holiday. Merry Christmas! See you in the New Year for a bright and promising 2021.
Hawkesbury City Council has partnered with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to provide digital services to the community on the NSW Planning Portal at www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au, so that Development Applications can be submitted online.
Council has been successfully accepting Development Application (DA) lodgements through the NSW Planning Portal since May 2020. From 1 January 2021, Development Applications can only be lodged via the NSW Planning Portal and not directly with Council.
The online platform allows homeowners and businesses to lodge applications from their home or office. Community members can also see in real-time what developments are proposed in their areas.
Council has computers in a COVID-safe environment with wipes and sanitiser available for use by the applicant at Council's Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor.
From 1 January 2021, online lodgement via the NSW Planning Portal will include lodgement for:
- Construction Certificates
- Complying Development Certificates
- Occupation Certificates
- Subdivision Certificates.
The NSW Planning Portal can be accessed at www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au
A video animation about Online DA lodgement is available at https://pp.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/onlineDA
To find out more about Development Applications, you can also go to Council's website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and click on the Plan and Build tab.
Council is delighted to welcome back more volunteers to Council facilities as COVID restrictions ease.
We currently have over 250 volunteers across six service areas: Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Hawkesbury Library Service, Hawkesbury Regional Museum, Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter and the Hawkesbury Community Nursery. Our volunteers do an amazing job for our community and we acknowledge and thank you for your voluntary work. We are so lucky to have volunteers that show such enthusiasm and dedication to our programs and services. Volunteering and community spirit are what makes the Hawkesbury so special.
Council has been contacting existing volunteers in the ‘vulnerable’ category to let them know they may return to their role with Council upon provision of a letter from their GP. All volunteers are required to complete an induction session and COVID Safety training.
Current advice is that when deciding to volunteer or to return to volunteering all individuals should consider their own health needs first. As a precautionary measure individuals may want to seek advice from a medical practitioner about whether it is safe for them to volunteer. This is particularly important for individuals who are in the following categories:
- aged 70 years and over
- aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions
- anyone with a compromised immune system
- Indigenous Australians 50 years or older with one or more chronic medical conditions.
For any enquiries about volunteering opportunities at Council’s facilities, please contact Council’s Volunteer Coordinator Patricia Sundin on (02) 4560 4444 or attention email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you heard about our Rewarding Reads program? The popular Rewarding Reads program is making a comeback from 1 December 2020 until 31 January 2021, with increased borrowing limits to 40 and the chance to win prizes!
Every time you borrow, you will be automatically entered in the draw for your chance to win weekly prizes. The more times you borrow, the more chances you have to win. Rewarding Reads is open to all ages, children as well as adults. Prize packs will include book packs, DVD packs and general fun packs. Something for everyone!
You can participate in Rewarding Reads by borrowing items from Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street Windsor and Richmond Branch Library, 29 West Market Street, Richmond.
Library opening hours at Hawkesbury Central Library are Monday to Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 9am-1pm, Sunday 2pm-5pm. Richmond Branch Library hours are Monday to Friday 9:30am-5pm, Saturday 9am-1pm, closed Sundays. You can connect with Hawkesbury Library Service
Facebook www.facebook.com/HawkesburyLibrary Instagram www.instagram.com/hawkesburylibrary or website: www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/library For further information please, contact Hawkesbury Central Library on 4560 4460 or email email@example.com
The Hawkesbury Disaster and Emergency Management Dashboard is now online for public use. The dashboard provides live updates on road conditions, weather warnings, fire incidents, power outages, flood alerts, bush fire alerts and school closures, all in one convenient location. It can be bookmarked on a smart device, and is designed to be adaptable to different devices and readily available without the need for a subscription, a log-in or an app download.
Use of the dashboard also has the potential to avoid the need to visit multiple websites and or social media pages to find out accurate, current information during an emergency. It is also a useful tool to help community members prepare and plan. See the dashboard via Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and click on the Emergencies tab or bookmark the direct link https://disaster.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au today.
The Disaster and Emergency Dashboard was funded by the NSW Government and assisted by Local Government NSW, through the Increasing Resilience to Climate Change Program. Hawkesbury City Council received $30,000 to develop the Dashboard.
The project was developed by Council’s Floodplain Risk Management Committee. The Committee is chaired by the Deputy Mayor Councillor, Mary Lyons Buckett and supported by Councillors Amanda Kotlash, Paul Rasmussen, Peter Reynolds, Danielle Wheeler and community representatives. Council acknowledges and thanks all of the committee members for their support of the project.
I was delighted to go along to the Homelessness Hub event hosted by Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands in South Windsor on Thursday, 5 November, where I launched the annual Hawkesbury Mayoral Christmas Appeal.
This is the first year that Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands has been the nominated charity for the Mayoral Christmas Appeal.
Hawkesbury residents have rallied together to provide hundreds of gifts over the years to the Mayoral Christmas Appeal to help those who struggle at Christmas time. I know that this generosity of spirit continues in the Hawkesbury and I thank everyone who can help Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands to help others at this special time when those less fortunate are struggling to make ends meet.
Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands has asked for gifts for men, women and children of all ages.
I hope the Mayoral Christmas Appeal brings plenty of Christmas cheer to our community, both through giving and receiving.
Gifts must be unwrapped and can be dropped off at Council’s Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor, at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor and Richmond Branch Library at 29 West Market Street, Richmond.
Small businesses are a vital part of our local community. We know our local businesses have been hit hard during the pandemic, and before that with the drought, bushfires and floods.
It’s been great to touch base with some of the local businesses that I’ve visited during October, NSW Small Business Month, including Tusken Engineering and the Teardrop Camper Company, both in South Windsor. I have heard from these and other businesses that the economic conditions have thrown up both diverse challenges and opportunities, and that they have appreciated the support of Council and the NSW Government while navigating through a changed business environment.
Hawkesbury City Council, in partnership with Hawkesbury City Chamber of Commerce, also hosted a series of webinars and online forums for local Hawkesbury businesses during NSW Small Business Month, including Anna Samos on small business success, Robert Gerrish on ‘Thinking Outside the Box through Disruption’, Linden Regina from the Australian Taxation Office on Starting a Small Business and Home Based Business Packages, and Kristie Petersen from the Rural Financial Counselling Service with Small Business Tips.
Business operators can explore many other grants, programs and initiatives on Council’s Hawkesbury Business Hub www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/hbh and also on the NSW Government’s Business Connect website at https://business-connect-register.industry.nsw.gov.au/pages/home.html
Hawkesbury City Council, in partnership with Hawkesbury City Chamber of Commerce, will host a series of webinars and online discussion throughout the month of October – NSW Small Business Month – focusing on supporting small businesses through disruptions.
Robert Gerrish, a small business expert and regular commentator on ABC Four Corners, A Current Affair, Sky Business, Fairfax Digital and numerous regional and national radio programs will be the key note speaker of the webinar series on 15 October from 1pm to 2pm. He will focus on ‘Thinking outside the Box through Disruption’. Other speakers will include Linden Regina from the Australian Taxation Office, Kristie Petersen from the Rural Financial Counselling Service and Anna Samos, a scaling up certified business coach and facilitator.
To register, visit at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/hbh
From strengthening the financial foundations of local businesses to growing with digital technologies, Council wants to support local small businesses as they enter their recovery phase. Business operators can explore many other grants, programs and initiatives at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/hbh and also on the NSW Government’s Business Connect website at https://business-connect-register.industry.nsw.gov.au/pages/home.html
NSW Small Business Month is the only dedicated festival for small businesses in NSW and it is brought to you by the NSW Government. To see all the activities being held across NSW for Small Business Month, visit www.businessmonth.nsw.gov.au
Well, I’ve been the new Mayor of Hawkesbury for just over a week now and I’m already enjoying it. Working with our community is important to me and I hope to be able to connect with as many of you as possible during the next 12 months in my role as Mayor. I’m delighted to tell you that we’ve launched a new ‘park pop up’ idea for our community this week for you to enjoy some great refreshments while you explore our open spaces in the Hawkesbury.
If you’re out and about, you may have already seen Council celebrating school holidays at our local parks with park pop ups of free tea or coffee and iceblocks for our community.
On Monday, 28 September, parents, carers, children and anyone at Ham Common, Clarendon and then Richmond Park had the chance to enjoy our park pop ups, as well as the beautiful spring weather. Everyone got into the spirit of it and had some free iceblocks to cool down while others took time to relax with a cuppa courtesy of Council.
Council is hosting more pop ups at three other locations during the school holidays, with the next pop up expected to be today, 1 October from 10am to 11am. Follow Council’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/hawkesburycitycouncil and keep an eye out as we’ll be giving away free coffee/tea and iceblocks (in a COVID-Safe way) to anyone who is there, discovering our open spaces!
I'd like to thank the Council for their confidence and support in electing me as Mayor of Hawkesbury last night for the 2020-2021 Mayoral Term.
My ambition is to work with the whole Council as the ratepayers expect us to, to benefit the community.
Please join me in congratulating Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett on her re-election as Deputy Mayor. I would also like to acknowledge the work of the former Mayor – Councillor Barry Calvert, over his past two years as Mayor.
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