Wakeurst Parkway Funding For Warringah Intersection, Installing Pedestrian Bridge Scrapped From Federal Budget: Continued Closures Isolate Pittwater Community From Nearest Hospital
Following through on that it's cancelled around $2 billion in grants that were promised by the Coalition in its Budget announcements.
Some of these projects are from the Urban Congestion Fund and include commuter car parks, road upgrades and rail projects. The Urban Congestion Fund (UCF) was established in the 2018–19 coalition Budget. The stated objective of the UCF was to ‘support projects to remediate pinch points, improve traffic safety and increase network efficiency for commuter and freight movements in urban areas’. Total funding for the UCF had grown from $1 billion to $4.8 billion by March 31st 2021.The $660 million National Commuter Car Park Fund was a component of the UCF.
The Urban Congestion Fund was the focus of an audit by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) in 2021 that found the Department of Infrastructure’s administration of the commuter car park projects within the Urban Congestion Fund was not effective and that the department’s approach to identifying and selecting commuter car park projects for funding commitment was not appropriate and that it was not designed to be open or transparent.
On Tuesday 25 October 2022 federal member, the Hon. Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government stated: ‘’Our first Budget takes an important step to make our infrastructure pipeline more sustainable and to ensure we don’t further strain a sector already facing labour constraints, inflationary pressures and cost increases due to supply chain challenges.
After discussions with the states and territories, some spending has been moved into future years when the market will have greater capacity to support elevated levels of investment.
The Government is also closing down the Urban Congestion Fund and cancelling a number of the Coalition’s most egregious commuter car park projects.
Opportunity and connection come from good infrastructure. Making good decisions now is critical to making sure no one is held back and no one is left behind.’’
On March 28th 2022 then incumbent MP for Mackellar Jason Falinski announced a $150 million upgrade for Wakehurst Parkway which was specifically for, according to the announcement; widening to the road to two lanes in both directions at Warringah Road, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge, connecting Aquatic Drive and Fitzpatrick Avenue East, and new fauna rope crossings. Half of the money was to come from the then coalition government and the other from the NSW state government.
Mr. Falinski commented that the road widening may even reach to Oxford Falls, if the funds allowed that.
These listed works also formed part of what was announced for the Beaches Link project, including a modification of the pedestrian and cycle bridge, connecting Aquatic Drive and Fitzpatrick Avenue in October 2020 and again in January 2022.
Although touted at first as 'fixing Wakehurst Parkway flooding' so people north of the Wakehurst Parkway could access the Northern Beaches private Hospital, the works were not where the flooding occurs, further north towards the Narrabeen end of the parkway.
The works would also help with forwarding aspects of the NSW State Government's Frenchs Forest Precinct plans for 2000 new houses and/or units. As the main body of Narrabeen lagoon is fed by stream flow that drains of surrounding elevated suburbs, and the NSW Government facilitating not only the FF Precinct but proposed housing developments on MLALC lands in the same vicinity, the water runoff through these creeks and bush areas will only increase.
On April 10th then prime minister The Hon. Scott Morrison called the election.
After the Budget announcements made this week it was confirmed that the federal component of that Wakehurst Parkway funding had been scrapped.
Newly elected Mackellar MP Dr. Sophie Scamps stated on October 25th, ''The Albanese Government’s decision to withdraw funding allocated to the Wakehurst Parkway is very disappointing.
''However it is important the people of Mackellar know the facts. The $75 million in funding was originally allocated by the Morrison Government in their pre-election budget on the basis that the Northern Beaches Tunnel was going ahead. However the NSW Liberal State Government broke their promise to the people of the Northern Beaches and cancelled the project. This broken promise by the NSW Liberal State Government has led directly to the withdrawal of this funding.
I made strong representations on behalf of the people of Mackellar to both the Infrastructure Minister and the Treasurer in an attempt to save this funding, despite the NSW Government’s broken promise.
It is now clear the Commonwealth money was not originally allocated for flood mitigation works but was allocated to prepare southern sections of the road near the Northern Beaches Hospital for the now cancelled Northern Beaches Tunnel.
Both the Albanese Government and the Perrottet Government must do more to fix the major issue facing the Wakehurst Parkway – the recurring flooding that leads to its closure. It is unacceptable that one of the major arterial roads leading to the Northern Beaches’ only public hospital is closed multiple times every year due to flooding.
After decades of inaction from successive state and federal governments, I will continue to pressure both the Perrottet and Albanese Governments to fix the Wakehurst Parkway. ''
The Beaches Link - Gore Hill Freeway connection has not been scrapped, according to the state government, it has been put on hold, through advice provided by a report penned by Infrastructure NSW, released in May 2022, which recommended shelving some "mega-projects" in favour of smaller projects that provide "higher paybacks" - such as those that will facilitate housing developments in Western Sydney.
Infrastructure NSW's 2022 State Infrastructure Strategy recommended the project be re-sequenced to avoid delivery risks caused by complexity and a shortage of skilled labour.
The 2022-23 NSW budget allocated $1 million toward planning for the Beaches Link. The allocation followed the NSW Government’s announcement that delivery of Beaches Link would be delayed due to market constraints.
The day after Dr. Scamps, MP for Mackellar expressed her disappointment at the loss of the funding, Minister for Infrastructure and Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes said the upgrades were crucial for safety and easing congestion.
“While the NSW Government will honour our $75 million commitment, the withdrawal of Federal funding by the Albanese Government is a major blow to the people of the Northern Beaches,” Mr Stokes said.
“I went to Canberra in advance of the budget to discuss the funding for the Wakehurst Parkway with the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Catherine King, arguing it was desperately needed.
“The Independent Member for Mackellar Sophie Scamps’ claim that the NSW Government is to blame for Labor’s decision to withdraw funding for the Parkway is farcical. The deferral of the Beaches Link has nothing to do with the upgrade of the Wakehurst Parkway – two separate roads and separate projects.
“I’m disappointed that Dr Scamps has gone personal. For my part I think she’s a lovely person. Ultimately, my experience is that the community will judge you not on who you blame or what you say, but on what you deliver for them.
“We really need Dr Scamps to hold her Federal Parliamentary colleagues to account and contribute to the upgrade of the Wakehurst Parkway, rather than make excuses for them.” Mr. Stokes said
Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said the NSW Government had already contributed towards safety upgrades on the Wakehurst Parkway.
“The NSW Government is providing more than $500 million for road improvements on the Northern Beaches, including $18 million already provided to Northern Beaches Council for flood mitigation on the Wakehurst Parkway,” Mrs Ward said.
“Work on the widening of Mona Vale Road has hit more than 65 per cent completion, which is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the history of the Northern Beaches.
“The Federal Labor Government has walked away from a project that would have improved the lives of working families on the Northern Beaches by increasing safety and reducing congestion.
“It is unfortunate that the Independent Member for Mackellar felt it necessary to make a misrepresentation about Beaches Link.
“I am disappointed that since Dr Scamps has come into office, it has taken just one Federal Budget for people on the Northern Beaches to be forgotten by the new Labor Federal Government.”
'The NSW Government remains committed to the Beaches Link project as the third part of the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade packages of works, which will be vital connections for our growing city.' the issued statement reads
The $18 million provided to council was for flood mitigation works that would reduce, as the Council pointed out, but not stop flooding on the parkway.
Avalon Beach Village Shared Space Works Commenced
photos taken Saturday October 29, 2022
Residents Opposed To Rezoning Proposal For 15-17 Mona Street Mona Vale
Residents have contacted Pittwater Online this week regarding a rezoning proposal for 15 to 17 Mona Street, Mona Vale from SP2 to R2 residential.
Most of the site supports Estuarine Swamp Oak Forest, a form of endangered ecological community listed under the NSW State Biodiversity Conservation Act and Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
The Planning Proposal [PEX2022/0002], currently listed on the council website under '15 Darley Street' for feedback, seeks to rezone part of the subject site from SP2 Infrastructure to R2 Low Density Residential to enable a proposed 5 lot subdivision creating 4 residential lots and one residue open space lot. The Planning Proposal also seeks to apply a minimum lot size of 700 sqm to the 4 residential lots.
Residents state ''This is an environmental asset which should be protected and enhanced instead of over half of it being cleared for residential development. There is no guarantee that the remnant remaining on the site will be protected, in spite of assurances in the Preliminary Biodiversity Assessment, which we believe should be discounted.
This site is an important link in a chain of vegetated sites which form an informal corridor linking nearby Bangalow Park, the reserve adjacent to the canal running from Darley Street and the vegetation in the riparian zone in Flying Fox Park. The proposed dwellings which would be allowed in an R2 zone would hamper or prevent movement of bandicoots and other fauna between these habitat sites.''
The site is also adjacent to Patricia Giles Reserve and directly opposite Pittwater High School.
The site contributes to the tree canopy of the Northern Beaches Local Government area, which Northern Beaches Council has committed to protect.
A number of species of fauna were identified in the Preliminary Biodiversity Assessment as using the site as a foraging resource, including Long-nosed Bandicoots which are also believed to breed there.
''This should be grounds for preserving and enhancing the Swamp Oak Forest. In fact, we believe that over time tree hollows will develop, providing breeding sites for a number of native species.'' residents and local environment restoration organisations state
''The Preliminary Biodiversity Assessment acknowledges that clearing a substantial amount of vegetation on the site would disturb, and /or remove fauna habitat. This also should be grounds for refusing the rezoning proposal.
Further, the fact that the site is weedy is not an acceptable reason to destroy a large section of it, as suggested in the Preliminary Biodiversity Assessment. Instead, as a responsible owner Sydney Water should institute a targeted bush regeneration program to restore it. Such a program may be supported by students of Pittwater High School and the local community as has happened in other Parts of Pittwater Ward.''
Pittwater High School is directly opposite the site. Photo: Google maps
The major hazard affecting this site is low and medium flood risk, which those opposed to the rezoning state is another factor that mitigates against it being suitable for residential development. This risk has been established using current criteria, but the effects of climate change (which are already being experienced on the Northern Beaches) should be taken into account as this will cause the risk of serious flooding to increase over time.
Residents are opposed to the rezoning proposal (Application PEX2022/0002) and state the site is a Sydney Water environmental asset which should be retained and properly maintained by them, in keeping with their commitment to “protecting, restoring and enhancing our natural and heritage assets” (Sydney Water Environmental Policy issued 28/10/2021).
Of the ten fauna species known from the locality, four are considered to be particularly relevant to the Site (primarily as a forging resource) and these are the White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), the Southern Myotis (Myotis macropus), Large Bent-winged Bat (Miniopterus orianae oceanensis) and Grey-headed Flying Fox (Pteropus poliocephalus).
All these species are listed as Vulnerable under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The Preliminary Biodiversity Assessment found a number of species are resident to or found in adjacent sites, including twenty-one bird species that were heard and / or observed, all except one of which were native species.
The one non-native bird species was the Common Myna (Sturnus tristis).
The birds observed at the Site were:
Australian Brush Turkey Alectura lathami (breeding mound observed), Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa, Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos, Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris, Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus, Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca, White-bellied Sea-eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster, Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus, Silver Gull Chroicoephalus novaehollandiae, Little Corella Cacatua sanguinea, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita, Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus, Musk Lorikeet Glossopsitta concinna, Noisy Miner Manorina melanocephala, Australian Magpie Cracticus tibicen, Pied Currawong Strepera graculina, Australian Raven Corvus coronoides and the Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena.
Birds heard calling included:
Spotted Pardalote Pardalotus punctatus and Grey Butcherbird Cracticus torquatus.
There were also signs of usage of the Site by two native mammal species were also recorded. Indicative conical diggings of the Long-nosed Bandicoot (Perameles nasuta) were recorded across the Site, and it is likely this species is foraging and potentially breeding within the dense weedy shrub and undergrowth, the Preliminary Biodiversity Assessment states. Indicative scratchings similar to those made by the Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) were also observed on a smooth-barked tree.
The Large Bent-winged Bat (Miniopterus orianae oceanensis) has been recorded along the concrete channel at the corner of Mona and Bassett Streets and further south along the channel approximately 200 m from the Site. As stated above, it would likely to use this area as a foraging site.
The Southern Myotis (Myotis macropus) has also has been recorded along the concrete channel at the corner of Mona and Bassett Streets and further south along the channel approximately 200 m from the Site. As stated above, it would likely forage along the adjacent concrete channel at high tide.
adjacent concrete channel on Bassett street, Mona Vale
Mona Vale Surf Club Celebrates 100 Years
Life Members, long service members and distinguished guests were on hand to celebrate a remarkable milestone on the Northern Beaches on Friday October 21st, with the date marking 100 years since the formation of the new Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club.
It’s new in many senses of the word, certainly historically and foundationally, with the original club – formed in the early 1900s – ceasing to exist after all its members were enlisted in, and consequently never returned from, World War I.
“That’s where the club’s green and white colours come from,” said President, Paula Tocquer.
“They were the colours from the regiment of the soldiers who went to war.
“It’s such an interesting story and a part of our history we’re happy to commemorate.”
The centenary served not only as a chance to reflect on the past, but also to look to the future – the enormous milestone was celebrated in their still-new, state-of-the-art clubhouse, officially opened in June.
“It’s a beautiful building and we’re very lucky to have it,” Paula continued.
“We’ve tried hard over the last number of months to ensure the building is used by all parts of the community, not just ourselves.
“The upstairs space, the layout is so that it has operable walls, and everything can open up or be made into different spaces, so it’s designed to be multi-purpose for functions like our 100-year celebration all the way to yoga and training courses.”
The night itself would prove a great success, with many members taking the opportunity to share their stories from years gone by. One in particular, Alan Mason, had been working on a book to celebrate the centenary and while it wasn’t ready to print in time, he was able to share a number of great anecdotes that will feature once it is published.
“He even told some stories that were a little too risqué for the book but that was great,” Paula said with a laugh.
“I moved to Mona Vale around 15 years ago and didn’t know anyone, it goes to show the power of surf clubs.
“It’s a big part of my life and you meet people from all walks of life.
“It just gives you a sense of purpose outside of your working life.”
Club life members pictured here cutting the birthday cake.
Mona Vale SLSC:
Club founder Freddie Lane was Australia’s first World Swimming Champion, winning Gold at the 1900 Paris Olympics in the 200m Freestyle and Obstacle Race
Warringah Shire Council minutes show that Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club existed from 1908 to 1912 and there was accommodation for members. It is not known why the Club was disbanded.
A second coming of the Club for the 1913-14 season saw the Club abandoned following WWI
The Club currently boasts 37 past and present Life Members
The first Bronze Medallion course in 1922 had 10 successful candidates
In the 1930’s, because of the distance from the city, full patrols were only undertaken on Sundays and public holidays with just a one-man patrol on Saturdays from 2pm
In the most recent full season, Mona Vale had 1,100 members of which 245 actively patrolled and 372 were Nippers
- Mona Vale SLSC: Some History - for 2022 celebrations
- Mona Vale SLSC's New Clubhouse Grand Opening - June 2022
- Mona Vale SLSC's Frederick Claude Vivian Lane Inducted Into Swimming Australia Hall Of Fame - A Few Insights Into A Local Legend
- Freddie Lane's granddaughter Visits Pittwater on Eve of Mona Vale SLSC's Centenary Celebrations
- Brock's The Oaks - La Corniche From 1911 to 1965: Rickards, A Coffee King, A Progressive School, A WWII Training Ground
Avalon Beach SLSC Lifesavers Awarded Rescue Of The Month For Flood Role
Proving lifesavers are never truly off duty, Avalon Beach SLSC’s Nick Sampson and Jason Dale’s quick thinking and sound action in a high-pressure situation has seen the Northern Beaches pair awarded with Surf Life Saving NSW’s Rescue of the Month for July 2022.
On their way back to a hotel on July 4th after a full day assisting the SES in response to the heightening flood emergency in the Liverpool area, Nick and Jason found themselves caught in flash flooding where, for close to three hours, they switched gears back into lifesaving mode to assist nearly 100 stranded vehicles.
Their rescue support varied from pulling people through car windows and carrying them to self-made evacuation points, to escorting and directing people through the waters.
Chief among their outstanding efforts was the rescue of an elderly woman who had been swept off her feet into the moving water as well as a policewoman who had jumped in to assist.
Jason and Nick were able to rescue them both before they were washed into a nearby creek.
“If we weren’t there, there would have been a significant number of cars that had broken down in the water and consequently a lot more people in vehicles so also a higher chance of somebody being caught in their car,” Jason said.
“I think that would’ve played on my mind a fair bit if that was the outcome, but fortunately we were able to play our part.”
“The people that we got out at the very beginning, by the end their cars were completely submerged,” Nick added.
“Without a doubt there would have been fatalities at some point.”
Lifesavers have been posted to multiple flood emergencies over the past 12 months, with thousands of volunteers turning their backs to the ocean to face the burning issues within their communities.
$86,668 For Northern Beaches Scoping Study Allocated Under The Coastal Management Program
Technical support and $86,668 in funding from the NSW Government will enable Northern Beaches Council to better understand the northern beaches open coast and lagoons and develop a Coastal Management Program (CMP). This will be the fifth year and/or time the NBC has been allocated grant funds under the CMP. The announcement was made on Thursday, 20th of October 2022.
The NSW Government’s Coastal Management Program’s primary objective is to provide support to local councils to manage the risks from coastal hazards such as coastal erosion. A secondary objective of the Program is to restore degraded coastal habitats.
The Coastal Management Program is administered by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).
Local councils have received grants under the scheme since 2010.
The first for the NBC was the 2016 grant for Collaroy–Narrabeen protective works (fund the development of a distribution analysis of costs and benefits among the various parties for construction of protective works along Collaroy–Narrabeen beach), when the just amalgamated LGA (March 2016) was under administration.
Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said CMPs are vital to secure the future of the State’s coastal and estuarine environment.
“It’s great the NSW Government is partnering with Northern Beaches Council on planning their future coastal management,” Mrs Tuckerman said.
“The CMP is the long-term strategy to guide Council and other stakeholders in the management of this important coastal area which has recreational and ecological significance for the region,” she said.
“The northern beaches open coast stretches from Shelley Beach at Manly in the south, to Palm Beach in the north and features four lagoons. This open coast location also has significant recreational and ecological values to protect.”
Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said the funding was recognition of the role of local and state governments in responding to our changing climate and environment.
“We have already completed a significant body of work to assist us in managing all of our beaches. Preparation of a CMP for hotspot locations of Collaroy-Narrabeen, Fishermans Beach, Bilgola and Mona Vale Basin is well under way,” Mr Regan said.
“This funding will help us build upon that work and ensure all other beaches in our local government area have a CMP in place.”
The funding is the fifth time the Northern Beaches Council has been allocated support under the Coastal and estuary management grants scheme.
In 2021 Northern Beaches Council was allocated funding for three projects:
- Curl Curl coastal dune restoration - Implementation
- Dee Why dunes restoration and weed control - Implementation
- North Narrabeen dune restoration - Implementation
Details of those projects were:
Curl Curl coastal dune restoration
Aerial imagery of the northern most sand dune on Curl Curl Beach indicates it is the fastest landward moving dune on the northern beaches. Current impacts are the inundation of 7000 square metres of coastal vegetation and accelerated sedimentation of Curl Curl Lagoon.
This project aims to install dune-forming coir meshed fences to reduce pedestrian access and wind movement of the sand, while maintaining good access to the beach. Sand will be scraped to shape the dune and reduce sand near the mouth of the lagoon, 6000 native coastal species will be planted with 200 coir logs and 1000 tree guards to better protect the plants.
Dee Why dunes restoration and weed control
This project comprises restoration and protection of a coastal dune system at Dee Why Beach. The site is approximately 80 hectares and aims to control and remove widespread invasive weeds, revegetate the site with suitable endemic species, enhance wildlife habitat and corridor connections to the Dee Why Lagoon Wildlife Refuge and improve public recreational experiences.
North Narrabeen dune restoration
This project aims to stabilise the northern and largest dune bay at North Narrabeen Beach. The main elements of this project will be approximately 700 metres of dune fencing, coir mesh and 100 coir logs to reduce sand movement and 4000 plants following minor dune shaping/scraping. This project aims to reduce landward sand inundation into the Narrabeen Lagoon entrance.
In 2018 there were two grants:
- Northern Beaches Council coastal zone emergency action subplan Planning and;
- Northern Beaches Council open coast and lagoons scoping study Planning
Northern Beaches Council coastal zone emergency action subplan Planning:
Northern Beaches Council coastal zone emergency action subplan
This project aims to improve council preparedness and response to coastal storms through the preparation of a coastal zone emergency action subplan (CZEAS) for the Northern Beaches.
The CZEAS will outline the roles and responsibilities of Northern Beaches Council and other public authorities in response to emergencies immediately preceding or during periods of beach erosion, coastal inundation and cliff instability that occur through storm activity or an extreme or irregular event.
Northern Beaches Council open coast and lagoons scoping study Planning:
Northern Beaches Council open coast and lagoons scoping study
This project will develop a scoping study for Northern Beaches open coast and lagoons, as the first step towards development of coastal management programs (CMPs). A review of current coastal management arrangements will determine gaps, develop the scope and priorities.
This scoping study will cover; strategic context, CMP scope, first-pass risk assessment, a stakeholder and community engagement strategy, preliminary business case, studies needed for stages 2 and 3 and a time frame and cost for moving forward to prepare one or more CMP.
Collaroy–Narrabeen Beach coastal protection works
The June 2016 storm demonstrated that properties along Collaroy–Narrabeen Beach are under imminent threat of damage. This requires coastal protection works to be implemented in a coordinated manner. The proposed works are identified as suitable and desirable in the coastal zone management plan for Collaroy–Narrabeen Beach and Fishermans Beach and extend a length of 1.29 kilometres from South Narrabeen Beach to Collaroy Beach. They will provide effective protection to public and private assets from coastal storms.
The project benefits include ensuring public safety and preventing risks to human life, as well as maintaining public access, amenity and use of the beach and foreshore. These works will also significantly reduce the reliance on emergency response during and after coastal storms.
Northern Beaches Council - Collaroy–Narrabeen protective works benefit distribution analysis
This project will fund the development of a distribution analysis of costs and benefits among the various parties for construction of protective works along Collaroy–Narrabeen beach. Development along Collaroy–Narrabeen beach is classified as the most at risk in New South Wales from coastal processes. This site was subjected to coastal erosion during the June 2016 East Coast Low and significant impacts occurred to private and public properties.
Before 2016 Grants Included:
Manly Council - Fairy Bower seawall remediation and protection project Manly NSW
Fairy Bower seawall forms part of a continuous seawall stretching along Manly Ocean Beach to Shelly Beach Manly. The Fairy Bower seawall is in need of upgrade to address immediate risk of failure of the toe section and to increase the height of the seawall crest to address wave overtopping. The project involves detailed design and construction work to raise the seawall crest, add a wave return parapet and provide structural support to the base of the seawall and the Manly Ocean outfall sewer contained within the seawall.
Pittwater Council - Pittwater Local Government Area coastal dunes restoration
The coastal dunes in the Pittwater local government area are continually degraded and destabilised as a result of invasive weed species outcompeting native species. In order to prevent or minimise future environmental and asset damage, Council proposes to upgrade or replace fencing where appropriate to delineate access pathways for the public and revegetate a large proportion of the Pittwater coastal dunes through weed eradication and plant propagation of indigenous coastal fore dune species.