Reverse Vending Machines

Reverse vending machineCouncil has been considering the implementation of Reverse Vending Machines as part of the NSW ‘Return and Earn’ container deposit scheme.

Council undertook an extensive review of potential locations for these machines where you can return a bottle and receive a deposit refund for a number of specified containers such as drink bottles.

The initial sites considered were:

  • Northbridge Plaza carpark
  • Willoughby Leisure Centre
  • Dougherty Community Centre carpark
  • Chatswood Youth Centre carpark
  • Spring St Mall, adjacent to Victoria Avenue

Subsequently five additional sites were considered (none of which were in West Ward).

The Officer’s recommendation is that vending machines be installed at two locations – Northbridge Plaza and the Dougherty Centre carpark and that Council seek a lease fee of at least $25,000 per site (per annum?)

As we know, empty containers are relatively bulky items and, if made of glass, relatively heavy. The refund we believe is of the order of 10 cents. The Dougherty Centre carpark is quite small and heavily used. It is difficult to see anyone getting easy access to this machine. The closest carpark is the public carpark across the road which on average is probably a 100m walk to the machine.


Changes to rating

The Office of Local Government has announced some changes to rating for 2018. However, it has not specified (at this stage) what (if any) cap on rates there will be for 2018-2019.

The changes cover:

What’s new or changing

  • The maximum Boarding House Tariffs for 2018-19 have been determined.
  • The maximum interest rate payable on overdue rates and charges for 2018‑19 has been determined.
  • Section 603 Certificate fee for 2018-19 has been determined.
  • The statutory limit on the maximum amount of minimum rates for 2018-19 has been determined.

Rating Charges 2018

Vivid Chatswood 2018

Chatswood’s a trip through time and space for Vivid Sydney 2018

Vivid2018The buildings, streets and even park benches in Chatswood will be transformed into an array of art and light, food and fashion, to create Lightscape for Vivid Sydney 2018 at Chatswood.

 From May 25 to June 16, Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, will transform the Chatswood CBD for the fourth year in a row, with immersive projections using NASA imagery and interactive light installations.

 Willoughby City Council Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney said the community was excited Vivid Sydney will return to Chatswood.

 “It’s a wonderful event that our local community loves. Vivid Sydney brings remarkable cultural and economic development opportunities for the area,” she said.

“What makes Chatswood unique is that each year the precinct is designed as a continuous walk to take you on a sensory journey from the Chatswood Interchange, through Chatswood Mall and past Westfield Chatswood, on to The Concourse and to Chatswood Chase. This could not be possible without the valued contribution, and the collaboration of our Precinct Contributors and sponsors.

 “We have developed a reputation for being a family-friendly precinct, with a special daytime exhibition of wearable art and a light walk that is fully accessible for prams and wheelchairs,” Mayor Gail added.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall welcomed Chatswood’s return to the festival.

 “Vivid Sydney is set to shine brighter than ever in Chatswood this year, with fantastic installations and activities planned for the family-friendly precinct, which opens at 5:30pm each night for 23 nights,” Mr Marshall said.

Visitors can start their journey at Chatswood Interchange, where a giant interactive screen transports you to amazing global locations using green screen technology.

 Choose from a fantastic array of international cuisines at Light Market, a pop-up market designed by the creator of Adelaide Festival’s famed Barrio precinct. Built from scaffold and recycled materials and lit by lasers, Light Market is inspired by the favelas of Brazil and Star Wars. A quirky, delicious experience, Light Market is dotted with playful light installations for kids and big kids.

Take a journey through the stars and planets, imagine life on Mars or find yourself in the middle of a black hole at The Concourse. Using NASA’s amazing imagery and 360 degree projection we take you on a deep, immersive dive into the universe.

In an addition, on weekends artists will create their vision of life in 2050, projected live on to the Anderson St facade of The Concourse. Even the park benches will come alive with chatter – when you sit on them, they will actually talk to you.

 Fashionistas will love Chatswood Chase’s World of Wearable Art exhibition, where breathtakingly unconventional costumes are on display. Combining light, art and technology these fashion garments are designed by artists and architects from around the world.

 Visitors are invited to enjoy great shopping, dining and market stalls and wander through the CBD, including The District which is known as a hotspot for Asian dining experiences.

 Vivid Sydney in Chatswood is run by Willoughby City Council and supported by Precinct Contributors Chatswood Interchange, Chatswood Chase Sydney and Westfield Chatswood.

 Vivid Sydney at Chatswood is presented as part of Vivid Sydney, which is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s major events and tourism agency. The Chatswood precinct is created by Bluebottle, Modelbox Design, Sydney University and Amigo & Amigo.

 Vivid Sydney at Chatswood is on every evening from 5.30pm – 10.30pm25 May to 16 June.

Willoughby Living on Facebook

Willoughby LivingDid you know that there is a specialised Facebook group dedicated to the Willoughby City area with over 16,000 members.

Welcome to Willoughby Living – a place to share information in order to get the most out of living in our beautiful area. We cover all of Willoughby City and surrounds (basically the Lower North Shore), and our focus is anything that relates to family, community, home and lifestyle.

Sale items, babysitters available, blogs and job listings can be posted on the WL website Noticeboard (not in the Facebook Group).

If you are looking for a recommendation please check the website directory or use the search bar in the Facebook Group before posting to the Group.

Please email if you have any questions or suggestions, or if you would like to advertise anything (this includes job advertisements and ticketed events). Please see the WL website to list in our local business directory or if you have a local class or activity If you have other Facebook friends from the area who would enjoy being part of the group, you can add their name in the ‘add members’ section top right. Visit the WL website for more on our great area – local features, events, local business and activities directory, jobs and babysitters and more

Three cities plan briefing

The GreaterSydneyCommissionGreater Sydney Commission’s A Metropolis of Three Cities – Greater Sydney Region Plan and District Plans, Transport for NSW’s Future Transport 2056 and Infrastructure NSW’s State Infrastructure Strategy 2018-38 have been finalised and are now available to read here.

This is the first time in Greater Sydney’s history that land use, infrastructure and transport plans have been prepared concurrently.

You are invited to a briefing from the Commission and Transport for NSW on what is in the plans, what we have changed in response to submissions, and the next steps for putting the plans into action.

After these presentations there will be time to ask questions and discuss key issues.

DATE:                   Thursday 12 April 2018

TIME:                    5:30pm for a 6:00pm start. The event will end at 7:30pm

LOCATION:         Lennox Room 3
Novotel Parramatta
350 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Ph: (02) 9630 4999

TRANSPORT       Novotel Parramatta is a 10 to 15-minute walk from Parramatta Station.
& PARKING:       
Limited undercover parking is available at the Hotel for a $10 flat fee.

RSVP:                    Please RSVP by Tuesday 10 April by registering online here

More information about the Greater Sydney Commission is available on our website

For any enquiries please contact Amanda Elisha at

We look forward to seeing you at this important briefing.


Sarah Hill

Strategic plans finalised

ThreeCitiesThe Greater Sydney Commission (GRC) has announced: .

A Metropolis of Three Cities – the Greater Sydney Region Plan has been released. This plan, along with Transport for NSW’s Future Transport 2056 and Infrastructure NSW’s State Infrastructure Strategy 2018-36 will bring to life the vision of Greater Sydney as a vibrant and sustainable metropolis of the Eastern Harbour City, Central River City and Western Parkland City.

The Commission has also released the final five District Plans that support implementation of A Metropolis of Three Cities at the local level.

For the first time Greater Sydney now has land use, transport and infrastructure plans that have been developed concurrently.

The plans are the final version of the plans reviewed some time ago on this site.


Thank You Principal Blakeney

MowbrayNewsAt the meeting of the Chatswood West Ward Progress Association last evening the recent departure of former Mowbray School Principal Anna Blakeney was noted. Our members asked if their tribute to Ms Blakeney could be forwarded to her. We are hoping that you can oblige.


The Association was sad to hear of Ms Blakeney’s departure after what we believe has been an outstanding career in education spanning over 23 years at Mowbray.
Whilst at Mowbray we recall that some of Ms Blakeney’s outstanding achievements were::
  • the sale of a small portion of land with a specific reason in mind
  • securing the entire funds from the sale of land into the school’s bank account
  • the subsequent utilisation of the funds to build a school hall
  • negotiating with Willoughby Council to take on responsibility for the maintenance of the school oval
  • negotiating with Willoughby Council for a number of school improvements including an amphitheater and upgraded play equipment
  • negotiating with Willoughby Council on a variety of trafic and pedestrian safety issues and achieving solutions to the problems she outlined
  • operation of the school tennis courts in such a way that the funds generate covered maintenance of the courts and cash transfers to the school account
  • achieving an ‘out-of-box’ outcome by negotiating to divert federal government global financial crisis funds to the replacement and expansion of the school library
  • establishment of the childcare centre within the school grounds and the retention of rents raise to the school account.
  • oversight ofthe design, construction and delivery of a new school building catering for 1,000 students
  • Growing the student population from the low 200s to around 600.
  • construction by Willoughby Council of lights on the school oval
  • securing DET grant co-funding for rooftop solar panels for the school
Ms Blakeney was renowned not for her diligent cooperation and compliance with education department process for securing change at school. More importantly she had a tremendous ability to ‘take the school community with her’. Most importantly, Ms Blakeney’s utmost concern was alsways for the education and care of the students entrusted toher.
We wish Ms Blakeney well in her future pursuits and thank her from the depths of our hearts for her contribution to the City of Willoughby.