From the Mayor
Supporting the restoration of our local environment is an important part of our bushfire recovery and now there are new tree planting grants available from the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) to restore bushfire affected regions, including the Hawkesbury.
The grants aim to support individuals, community groups and organisations that are working to bring communities together to restore the bush that was left scarred by the 2019-2020 bushfires.
If you are working to restore large areas of habitat by tree planting in areas that were impacted by the 2019-2020 bushfires, then you can apply for a Bushfire Restoration Grant from the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) to receive trees to plant. Please note that you must apply for the grant first before going to the Nursery for the trees and large orders are preferred.
The bushfire restoration grants are open for online applications at fnpw.org.au/grants until 30 June 2021.
In 2020, FNPW supported the upgrade of the Hawkesbury Community Nursery to become a bushfire recovery nursery to assist in restoration activities. I’m proud that Council’s Hawkesbury Community Nursery in Mulgrave is supplying the trees for the 2021 planting season under this grant program, along with the other bushfire recovery nurseries.
Free Flood Recovery - Chemical CleanOut events will be held in June to support flood affected community members of the Hawkesbury, The Hills, Hornsby and the Central Coast. The events will be run by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) in conjunction with Hawkesbury City Council and The Hills Shire Council.
The events will be held on:
Tuesday, 1 June
- 8am to 11am, Pitt Town & District Sports Club
- 2pm to 4pm, Wisemans Ferry Carpark, Off Northern Rd
- Wednesday, 2 June
- 8am to 1pm, Woodlands Oval, Wilberforce.
Only household quantities of household chemicals and items can be dropped off – up to a maximum of 20 litres or 20 kilograms of a single item. These include household cleaners and solvents, batteries, fluorescent globes and tubes, paint, pesticides and poisons, gas bottles, fire extinguishers, pool and hobby chemicals, acids and alkalis, car batteries, motor oils, fuels and fluids. These events adhere to NSW Government COVID-19 advice and protocols. Before attending a Chemical CleanOut event, please place all materials in the rear of the vehicle.
Further information is available at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/recycling-and-reuse/household-recycling-overview/household-chemical-cleanout or call the NSW EPA on 131 555.
We appreciate the assistance from the NSW EPA and The Hills Shire Council towards our Flood Recovery.
An annual Chemical CleanOut event will be held for all Hawkesbury residents on Sunday, 8 August 2021. Further details will be available on Council’s website hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and Councils’ Facebook facebook.com/hawkesburycitycouncil closer to the date.
Our community members have been affected by the 2019/2020 bushfires in many different ways and we know that bushfire recovery can take a long time, even years. We want to let you know we are still here to help. Hawkesbury City Council is now offering grants of $500 to $5000 to support communities impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires.
The grants are to support projects that are community-led and contribute to community recovery and/or resilience including supporting community wellbeing. This funding has been made available through the NSW Government’s Bushfire community recovery and resilience fund and is subject to application and funding availability. Applications for Round 3 will close on Wednesday, 30 June 2021.
A Zoom meeting will be held at 10:30am on Tuesday, 25 May to provide assistance to any applicant. You can register in advance for this meeting at https://bit.ly/3bmli6r After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
For more information and to apply for a Resilient Hawkesbury Grant, visit hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/for-residents/community/community-funding or call 4560 4576 or email email@example.com
For more information about Bushfire Recovery visit yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/bushfire-recovery This Community Recovery, Resilience and Readiness webpage includes information on relevant links and contact details.
The Bushfire community recovery and resilience fund is administered by Resilience NSW in partnership with the National Bushfire Recovery Agency and Emergency Management Australia.
Council is inviting community members to view and comment on Council’s Draft 2021/2022 Operational Plan, which is on public exhibition until Friday, 21 May 2021.
The Draft 2021/2022 Operational Plan has been developed to outline the proposed projects, programs and activities for 2021/2022. It also includes information about rates, fees and charges and estimated income and expenditure.
Now is your chance to have a say on the key services, projects, initiatives and actions Council has planned for 2021/2022. I encourage as many people as possible to take time to find out about Council’s budget and the projects planned for the year ahead.
A copy of the Draft 2021/2022 Operational Plan can be viewed at
- Council’s website at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au via the Have Your Say tab or the direct link at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au
- Council’s Administration Building, 366 George Street, Windsor, Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm
- Richmond Branch Library, 29 West Market Street, Richmond, Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 6pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm
- Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor, Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm and Sunday 2pm to 5pm.
Submissions can be made in writing via www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au or addressed to the General Manager, by mail to Hawkesbury City Council, PO Box 146 Windsor NSW 2756, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org up to close of business on Friday, 21 May 2021.
For any enquiries about the plan, contact Stephannie Kissun, Council’s Corporate Planning and Performance Strategist on 4560 4444 or email email@example.com
The past 18 months have been a challenging time for us all, and it has been encouraging to see our community band together and reach out to those who have needed help. To continue to help our community, Council has a dedicated recovery page on our website hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
Recovery Hubs have also been set up in the Hawkesbury where you can speak with recovery officers, support services and government departments that can help you to navigate your recovery and help you access support and assistance all in one location at the same time. Please check Council’s website on hawkesbury.nsw.gov.auor call (02) 4560 4444 for operating days and times.
There are also many forms of Financial Assistance available,so I encourage flood affected residents to apply for all of the grants and financial assistance that you may be entitled to. You can apply for assistance by going to a Recovery Centre, a Recovery Hub or Service NSW. Assistance can also be found at Service NSW: service.nsw.gov.au/floods/financial-assistance or call 13 77 88; Services Australia: 180 22 66; Red Cross: redcross.org.au/floodgrantsand GIVIT: givit.org.aufor donated goods and materials.
Council remains committed to supporting the community through the recovery from bushfire, COVID-19 and now flood. You can contact us regarding your flood recovery at (02) 4560 4444 or through our Contact Us Form at hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
We have all been through many challenges in the Hawkesbury over the past 18 months and it’s widely recognised that early treatment for the distress and trauma associated with disasters can make significant long differences to mental health.
Recovery from disasters takes time and mental health support will help with the long-term recovery of our impacted communities. For mental health support 24 hours/7 days you can call Lifeline on 13 11 44, Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.
Floods Psychological Therapy Services are also available to people who have been impacted by the recent flooding in our region. Up to 10 free sessions per calendar year are available for individuals, couples or families significantly affected by the 2021 floods (until June 2021). No Centrelink or Health Care Card is needed and no Mental Health Care plan is needed. For more information contact Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network on 4708 8100 or go to www.nbmphn.com.au and click on ‘Floods Psychological Therapy Services’.
For help with legal problems including insurance claims and disputes, financial hardship, tenancy and Centrelink, visit the Disaster Response Legal Service at www.disasterhelp.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/how-we-can-help or call 1800 801 529 from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Western Sydney Community Legal Centre offers free information, referrals and legal advice on insurance claims, disaster related legal issues and many other general legal problems. You can make a legal enquiry by completing the centre’s website at www.wsclc.org.au
On Friday, 16 April, I’ll be at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery to open two new exhibitions, Safe Space and Promiscuous Provenance – the first exhibition opening since COVID-19 began over a year ago. All are welcome to come along to the exhibition opening on Friday, 16 April 6pm to 8pm. Entry is free but bookings via Eventbrite are essential at eventbrite.com.au/e/exhibition-opening-safe-space-and-promiscuous-provenance-tickets-149981062395
As we all know, living in the Hawkesbury brings with it certain challenges. However, there are many great things that make it a very special place to live. Not least, the community coming together in adversity, as with the clean-up efforts after the March floods. As the Mayor of Hawkesbury, I sincerely thank everyone for their efforts in working together to help restore people’s lives and livelihoods back to a level of normality.
Of course, there are many other aspects of this region that make the Hawkesbury the best place to live, and that includes our cultural facilities where we can enjoy different kinds of community togetherness and activities. There have been over 16,000 visitors to the gallery since it opened in 2005!
Award winning artist, Anna Glynn is the creator of Promiscuous Provenance, a stunning exhibition which explores colonial artworks by reimagining antipodean landscapes. Safe Space, a major touring exhibition of contemporary sculpture, showcases the works of 12 acclaimed Australian artists. The free exhibition will run until 13 June 2021. For hours of opening go to www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/gallery or www.facebook.com/hawkesburygallery
Flood Recovery Centres are now operational in the Hawkesbury. For flood recovery assistance over the weekend, come along and meet us at one of our Recovery Centres at South Windsor, Wisemans Ferry, North Richmond, St Albans, Colo Heights or Wilberforce. For addresses and opening hours, please visit hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
To help people affected by the severe storms and flooding across New South Wales, generous Australians are encouraged to donate money, items, skills and services online at www.GIVIT.org.au to donate.
Donations for the Severe Storms and Flooding fund on GIVIT can be directed to the Hawkesbury specifically by selecting DONATE FUNDS and typing Hawkesbury in the Comments section when making a donation OR by selecting DONATE FUNDS and selecting to directly FUND items requested in the Hawkesbury area. You can also register goods you would like to donate by selecting DONATE ITEMS.
In partnership with the NSW Government, GIVIT is managing donations during this recovery. GIVIT is working directly with Hawkesbury City Council, outreach teams, local charities and community groups to identify exactly what’s needed. GIVIT then meets those needs through its online warehouse, or by purchasing requested items locally using donated funds.
GIVIT is free, private and easy to use, and currently supports over 3,800 Australian organisations. More than three million donations have been provided through GIVIT’s website since 2009. 100% of donated money GIVIT receives will be used to purchase essential items and services needed by people and communities impacted.
To support local businesses and the economic recovery of affected communities, wherever possible, GIVIT purchases locally.
GIVIT encourages all NSW charities, services and community groups supporting people impacted, to register with GIVIT, free of charge, to access thousands of wonderful donations offered by generous individuals and corporates. Register via www.GIVIT.org.au/need-help/organisations
Free skip bins are being delivered to flood affected areas. With thousands of Hawkesbury residents needing waste disposal after the floods, we are getting waste contractors out to you as quickly possible. Flood affected residents can book a free skip bin and waste removal at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
For information on the help and support available to all flood affected residents in the Hawkesbury, please visit our Flood Recovery information – Hawkesbury 2021 (click on the blue flood information banner) at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and please register your details to receive our flood recovery updates so we can stay in touch and offer ongoing support during recovery.
For more information on all available disaster assistance, please contact the Disaster Customer Care Service at Service NSW on 13 77 88 or online via Service NSW www.service.nsw.gov.au
Yesterday as I said in my Facebook video, the flood damage across the Hawkesbury is extensive. Until the flood waters subside we won’t know the full extent but the clean-up effort, and the bill, is going to be massive. I hope we will get the financial and logistic support of the NSW and the Australian Government in this huge task which will take weeks to clean up.
I am already in discussion with Robyn Preston, our State Member for Hawkesbury and David Elliott, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, about our flood waste and how the State Government will assist us, hoping for disaster funding assistance with this clean up.
Residents are asking us about waste services and pump out services. Please leave your bins outside your property and we will get to them as soon as we can.
Council is still providing sullage pump out services on the west side of the river where access is available. Our dedicated waste management crews are getting to as many properties as quickly as they can but we need to get them more resources and funding to provide extended services – we are working on that right now.
Council will have an Extraordinary Meeting tonight to discuss to all the issues surrounding the floods and especially the issue of managing the waste and rubbish collections and supporting our isolated residents. We have already been through so much in the past 18 months; we will also be discussing the next steps in our ongoing recovery plan to help all of our residents and Hawkesbury local businesses to get through this.
All the latest information about the floods, any help you might need, contact numbers, service updates is all available on Councils website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
Once you are on the website go to the blue tile called Flood Information Hawkesbury 2021 to access all the latest information.
If you need information about road closures go to the yellow banner on Council’s website www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and it will take you straight to our Hawkesbury Disaster and Emergency Dashboard https://disaster.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
And remember, blue skies or no blue skies, don’t enter the floodwaters – it just isn’t safe.
Bilpin residents and Council have asked Telstra to set a mutual date for a community meeting at Bilpin to address ongoing telecommunications issues. Council has previously expressed its desire to meet with Telstra representatives to outline these issues first hand with a view to working collaboratively on solutions with Telstra as well as energy providers and communication agencies. Bilpin residents have also called for a community meeting to be held in Bilpin. Council was simply told that representatives were ‘not available’.
I have now written to Telstra’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Penn, seeking his direct assistance in arranging relevant Telstra staff to meet with Council and the community to discuss matters of life and death in this vulnerable community. I also included a copy of Council’s submission to the Mobile Black Spot Program in relation to Council’s submission for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.
The devastating Black Summer bushfires of 2019/2020 severely impacted our community. During these bushfires, as well as many times previously, the failure of power, loss of overhead cabling and poor coverage made management of the unfolding disaster unnecessarily complex. It put the lives of emergency services staff and volunteers, and our community members, at risk.
A community meeting about the issue of failing telecommunications during emergencies, and regularly poor, unreliable service any other day is imperative for our residents. We need Telstra’s involvement to discuss how the telecommunications network can be made more effective and resilient. I look forward to a helpful response with some proposed dates for when Telstra will commit to attending a Bilpin telecommunications meeting.
By now many of you would have heard about the NSW Government’s new 'Dine & Discover' scheme. NSW residents aged 18 and over can apply for 4 x $25 vouchers, worth $100 in total:
2 x $25 vouchers to be used for eating in at restaurants, cafes, bars, wineries, pubs and clubs, and 2 x $25 vouchers to be used for entertainment and recreation, including cultural institutions, live music, and arts venues. The scheme is now being rolled out across NSW during March, so to be ready to access your vouchers, now is a great time to download the Service NSW app at www.service.nsw.gov.au
This is a great way to get out and about, support our local businesses and enjoy all they have to offer. Please support our local dining, arts and tourism businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Visit our Hawkesbury Visitor Centre website at www.discoverthehawkesbury.com.au to find out about the Hawkesbury’s many local cafes, bars, restaurants, tourism operators, award winning distilleries, vineyards and breweries that we have in our area. Remember, it’s also apple picking season in Bilpin too!
Vouchers can only be used within businesses that have implemented a COVID Safety Plan and are registered as COVID Safe. I encourage our local businesses to join in the scheme so that our we can support you. Business owners can register at www.service.nsw.gov.au Once approved as a Dine & Discover NSW business, you’ll be able to accept vouchers and redeem them through Service NSW.
As part of our community consultation, Council recently invited community members to complete questionnaires about the Plan of Management for Yarramundi Reserve and Navua Reserve. Council staff and the consultant team will be available at two community drop ins to discuss the survey results at:
- Yarramundi Reserve, Saturday, 6 March, 10am-midday at the picnic area
Springwood Road, Yarramundi, northern side
- Navua Reserve, Saturday, 6 March, 1pm-2pm, 271 Grose River Road, Grose Wold.
Preliminary results showed that survey respondents think that both reserves are beautiful, natural, quiet, safe recreation areas and ‘beaches’ for the local and wider community to swim, picnic, walk, canoe/kayak, fish, and to take their dogs and horses to exercise and swim. 258 submissions were received for Yarramundi Reserve and 163 submissions for Navua Reserve.
Council staff and the consultant team will also be seeking feedback on potential solutions to issues raised including parking, garbage collection and weed management.
For Yarramundi Reserve, respondents also frequently raised the need to improve carpark entries, fix potholes, provide parking spaces for horse floats and trailers, more/better toilets, and better ways to share the space between people, dogs and horses. Respondents who use Navua Reserve also frequently suggested a play space for children, a shower/tap to rinse off sand, planting and revegetation.
More information about the Plan of Management is available at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au For any enquiries about Yarramundi Reserve and Navua Reserve, please contact Council’s Parks and Recreation Manager on (02) 4560 4444 or email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of the popular Hawkesbury Library Service programs have returned in 2021, including Pre-School Storytime. This free activity is perfect for children aged 3 to 5 years with themed stories and fun craft activities. The aim of these sessions is for children to be entertained while helping to develop their listening and interactive skills.
Pre-School Storytime takes place at Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor every Tuesday and Thursday at 11am during the school term. Bookings are not required; you can just turn up.
Other children’s activities are planned to return soon, depending on COVID restrictions. Keep an eye on our Facebook page or contact the Library for more details.
If you are unable to make it to the Library try some of our online resources. Story Box Library www.storyboxlibrary.com.au is a must see for anyone who loves children’s literature. Have your Hawkesbury Library membership handy to access hundreds of favourite stories read by Australian celebrities. There’s something for everyone to enjoy including craft and activities related to most of the stories.
Hawkesbury Library Service has a COVID-Safe plan in place. Participant numbers will be restricted, and social distancing requirements will be observed. Hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities will also be available. If you are feeling unwell, please do not attend.
Storytime is held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street Windsor.
Clean Up Australia Day will be held this year on Sunday, 7 March 2021 and it will be great to see our Hawkesbury community supporting it again. Hawkesbury residents have shown they are committed to a litter free community, with over 30,000kg of litter removed in the previous four Clean Up Australia Day events. To get involved, you need to register at www.cleanup.org.au – registrations are now open!
There has never been a better time to tackle the surge in single use disposable items during COVID-19, such as takeaway coffee cups, food packaging, face masks and sanitised wipes. Businesses can also get involved by registering for a Business Clean Up Day, which will be held on Tuesday, 2 March 2021.
Like a lot of things, this year’s Clean Up Australia Day will look a little different but it’s still great to get involved and register a site. Clean Up Australia Ltd. has introduced COVID-safe clean up kits that include gloves, bags and hand sanitiser will be provided to each volunteer to ensure no materials are shared, minimising the risk of spread. Site Supervisors will have the QR code form so that volunteers can scan to sign-in to the site on the day to help with contact tracing. Volunteers will also be split into groups of 10 to adhere with social distancing protocols. The Clean Up Australia Day organisers will be able to postpone your activity if COVID-Safe requirements change. The health and safety of all volunteers, and the wider community, is of paramount importance. To get all the details on Clean Up Australia Day, visit www.cleanup.org.au
Hawkesbury Regional Gallery is featuring the historic and nationally significant Miss Grace’s quilt, created locally by Sophia Wilbow in the 1880s, as an addition to The New Quilt 2021 survey exhibition of contemporary Australian quilt art. Those of you who know me will know that I can’t claim to know anything about quilts or quilting but this is a very interesting local part of our Hawkesbury history at our local Gallery and I encourage you to take a look!
Born in Pitt Town in 1829, Sophia Wilbow was well known for her needlework skills in the Hawkesbury. She reputedly made a quilt for each of her seven daughters who reached adulthood and three of the quilts are still in existence.
The display of the historic Miss Grace’s Quilt at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery is a thought-provoking contrast to The New Quilt 2021 exhibition presented by Quilt NSW which showcases never before seen contemporary quilts. This fascinating exhibition includes two and three dimensional sculptural works in a huge range of materials and styles, responding to the many situations we faced in 2020 from bushfires and COVID-19, to environment, revenge and sheer joy.
The New Quilt 2021 and Miss Grace’s Quilt is on exhibition at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery until Sunday, 11 April 2021. The Gallery is at 300 George Street, Windsor, 1st floor of the Deerubbin Centre. Entry is free. For opening hours and more information, visitwww.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/gallery or call 4560 4441.
Have you heard about the Community Defib Project? The project aims to improve community access to defibrillators. A defibrillator – an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) – is a life-saving device that can be used by any member of the public to save the life of someone who suffers a sudden cardiac arrest. A sudden cardiac arrest is when someone suddenly becomes unconscious and stops breathing, as a result of their heart stopping. This is a life-threatening emergency that, without intervention, will have poor outcomes. Every minute counts, so having more defibrillators available in the community can help to improve the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest.
The Community Defib Project was founded by Sophie Wills who is the chairperson of the project committee, assisted by more than 30 volunteers. It is a collaboration between Western Sydney University, the Defib Shop and passionate community members.
More than 22 community AEDs have already been installed as part of the project. This includes Wisemans Ferry, Lower Macdonald, Central Macdonald, Lower Portland, Sackville and St Albans, Now Sophie wants to take it to more areas of the Hawkesbury and she needs your support to secure funding to install more of these life-saving devices in the Hawkesbury. To offer assistance and make donations towards defibrillators, training, resources, hardware, cabinets and signage, contact Sophie Wills via email@example.com and for more information visit www.communitydefibproject.org.au
Australia Day 2021 has been a wonderful way to connect with our community and it’s been great to see everyone celebrating Australia Day – the Hawkesbury way! Everyone enjoyed our park pop ups with free icecream and free admission to our local pools!
We held our Australia Day Awards Ceremony and the Hawkesbury Citizenship ceremony at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery on Australia Day and livestreamed on Council’s YouTube channel. It was a great chance to meet our proud new citizens from a range of countries – Armenia, United Kingdom, Malta, Nepal, Canada, India, United States of America and Denmark – and to hear the interesting speech from our Australia Day ambassador, Gary ‘Smokey’ Dawson OAM. He talked about his experiences as a marathon golfer and fundraising just over $18 million dollars for charities over the past 25 years, and was an inspirational speaker for all.
I also had the honour of participating in the presentation of the Australia Day Awards Ceremony. The Citizen of the Year award went to Dave Ryan, Deputy Group Captain, Hawkesbury Rural Fire Service and the Young Citizen of the Year award to Sam Bonus. I’m also pleased to announce these winners: Volunteer of the Year -- Suzi Samuel; Community Organisation of the Year -- Hawkesbury District Volunteers Rural Fire Service; Junior Person Sports of the Year – Holly Dalrymple; Community Arts Award – Arabella Logan, Local Hero Award – Karen Stuttle and Environmental Award -- WIRES Hawkesbury. Congratulations! For details and photos, visit www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and Council’s Hawkesbury Events Facebook at www.facebook.com.au/hawkesburyevents
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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