10 ways to relieve Sydney’s traffic headache

The NRMA has proposed 10 ways to relieve Sydney’s traffic headache:

1. renewed focus on managing traffic
2. manage the motorways
3. optimise the operation of the traffic light network
4. Quick clearance of traffic incidents
5. give motorists reliable & up to date information
6. promote flexible working hours & practices
7. improve the transit lanes
8. remove inaccurate traffic signs & declutter
9. review parking restrictions
10. adopt meaningful performance measures

Read the full details of the NRMA’s Strategy to relieve congestion in Sydney




Willoughby Council proposes to place on public exhibition the draft Plan of Management for part Fullers Park, part O H Reid Reserve and part Burns Park, Chatswood West in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1993.


The subject land comprises part of Chatswood Golf Course and natural areas along the Lane Cove River and Swaines Creek foreshores. The land has been used as fairways as part of a golf course for over 60 years. During that time the subject land has been leased to Chatswood Golf Club for golf, with the remainder of the golf course land owned by Chatswood Golf Club. The most recent 20-year lease of the subject land expired in November 2012. The golf club wishes to renew the lease to continue use of the land for golf.

Renewal of the lease over the subject land needs to be expressly authorised in an adopted Plan of Management. The subject land is not included in an adopted Plan of Management, having not been incorporated in the Chatswood West Ward Parks Plan of Management (1996) nor having had a specific Plan of Management prepared for it.  Recreation Planning Consultant, Parkland Environmental Planners was engaged to prepare the draft Plan of Management, which will be added to the suite of Park Plans in the Chatswood West Ward Parks Plan of Management (1996). The consultant will also undertake the public hearing for the categorisation of the community land (Sect 40A of the LG Act).


As stated previously, the subject land has been leased to Chatswood Golf Club for over 60 years. The land is made up of 3 land parcels:

1. River foreshore (100 foot reservation) Crown Reserve R59294 – part of O H Reid Reserve       Lot 7334 in DP 1157827

2. River foreshore Crown Reserve R 44128 –Burns Park Lot 7088 in DP 1123914

3. CommunityLand – Lot 1 in DP 1171023

Leasing the subject land to the Golf Club requires two leases – a Crown Land lease (with Council as Reserve Trust Manager) and a Community land lease (with Council as owner). Once a new Plan of Management is adopted for the land and the use of the land for golf is confirmed, two new leases will be prepared for the Golf Club.

The relevant issues for the subject land are:

  •  Recreation uses
  • Public access
  • Environmental rehabilitation, and
  • Water quality and quantity

These issues form the basis for the draft Plan’s objectives, performance targets, means        of achievement and assessment.


A separate topic that has been relevant for many years is public access across private land owned by the Golf Club. Whilst access along the Lane Cove River foreshore is available to the community, the link connection from OH Reid Reserve to Ferndale Park using bushland owned by the Club has been the subject of on-going negotiations between Council and the Club.

It is proposed that the negotiation to achieve a Memorandum of Understanding with the Club for public access across the Club-owned land will be finalised prior to enacting a new lease for the Council owned section of the subject land.

The Community land owned by Council must be categorised as per the requirement of the Local Government Act Section 36. The draft Plan proposes that land currently used as golf course be categorised as ‘sportsground’, and land containing bushland be categorised as ‘natural area- bushland’. These proposed categories must be subjected to a public hearing (Section 40A). The categorisation of the community land as sportsground doesn’t preclude the land being used for any other active recreation involving organised sports or the playing of outdoor games.

Community Notification

The Local Government Act sets out the community notification/ public exhibition process (Section 38). The period of public exhibition must not be less than 42 days from the date the draft plan is exhibited.

During the public exhibition period, a public hearing will be held in respect to the proposed categorisation of the community land owned by Council – but not the Crow nLand. The Crown Land is already reserved for the purpose of ‘Public Recreation’ under the Crown Lands Act, and is not subject to categorisation under the Local Government Act.


Plans of Management have an important role in ensuring the community is involved with the use and management of community land. In this instance community land and land reserved for public recreation has been used for sport (golf) in response to the community desire for the sport.  Once the draft Plan has been on public exhibition and undergone a public hearing, the matter will be reported to Council for final determination.

Chatswood Ignites

No, there has not been a bushfire in Chatswood. However, what has been happening is a rapid growth in the sale value of Chatswood homes.

 A 4-bedroom 1955’s house on a former Orchard in Violet St, Chatswood on a 422sqm block recently sold for more than $400,000 over its reserve, setting a new record of just over $1.9M. The previous record was just under $1.8M.

 There was a crowd of 150 people on hand for the auction. Thirty were registered bidders. There had been 200 inspections and 45 contracts issued. Bidding started at $1M. It was a tortuous bidding war with over 150 bids. Toward the end the bidders tried to offer $500 bids but the auctioneer refused on the basis he would be there all day. The final bid  was $2,000 above the previous highest bid.

Location is the key. Proximity to the Chatswood CBD is valuable. The new owners are planning to renovate rather than rebuild.

Opal Card

The new Opal Smartcard being introduced by the NSW Government has run into more trouble. The Opal card is designed to allow commuters to travel on all form of public transport: trains, buses and ferries.

 ImageNSW has been trying to get a system like the Opal card implemented for some time, at least over the past ten years. They have been promoting the card as providing lower costs for travel. There are also other incentives offered such as free travel after the completion of eight journeys in a week, lower fares during off-peak travel plus a cap on daily spending.

 The Government have been trailing the cards in Sydney. Reports are in that rather than saving commuters money, in fact, it is costing them more. One commuter expecting to save 60 cents per week found she was paying an extra $7.60. Commuters who use multi-buy tickets to commute to and from work during peak hours will also pay more. The hardest hit will be yearly pass holders.

Driveway speed bumps

The Federal Transport Department is considering proposals to introduce measures in suburban driveways to protect small children from being run over. Under consideration are driveway speed limits, speed bumps and pool fences. The slope, width and length of driveways may also need to change. They are also recommending the removal of plants and landscaping that block a driver’s view.

 It appears that children are most at risk on driveways longer than 12m, cul-de-sacs, single driveways and driveways located on the property boundary. A study found that seven children aged 15 or younger are killed on driveways every year and 60 are seriously injured.

 The proposals for change have the potential to dramatically change the character of many homes.

The idea for the change came after consideration of the effectiveness of pool fencing in reducing the number of deaths in swimming pools.


Single-deckers the way to go?

Single deck trainTransport Minister Berejiklian recently defended her decision to limit the North West Rail Link to single deck trains using small tunnels. She acknowledged that the decision to go with small tunnels might be unpopular. She said that would have been easier for her  (politically) to build a double deck system, but she said this would have been the wrong decision.

Cramming passengers quickly onto single deck trains is used in a number of world cities. Will it work in Australia where our culture is different and very diverse? Let’s hope so.

A reasonable compromise might have been to dig tunnels that can cater for double deck trains. Then if the experiment fails, at least there would be something useful to return to. There is no way once the system is operational could you back and make the tunnels bigger.

Bouncing Ball Branding

TransportLogoThe design of Sydney’s new public transport “brand” – a hopping ball – cost over $1 million for design fees, market research and testing.

Transport Minister Berejiklian defended the costs saying “it will add to information for customers”.

The branding to deck-out traIns, buses, posters and uniforms.

The State Opposition claims the cost is well in excess of $1M when a number of other consultancy contracts are considerable. According to Ms Berejiklian the re-branding signage will be introduced gradually.


Chatswood Rotary War Memorial Athletics Field at the western end of Mowbray Road is an important open space resource in the Willoughby Council area and has significant environmental, active and passive recreational value. Council is seeking to develop an understanding of how the Field and its surrounds are used in order to produce a Master Plan for future management and improvements to ensure this open space continues to meets the needs of the community and its users. Willoughby Council has sent letters to about 400 residents surrounding the Field asking how they use the park, as well as all user groups and other stakeholders. A survey is included on the Council’s website under Have Your Say. Also, a Notice has been placed on the site, and at the West

Chatswood Branch Library. All comments received will contribute to the development of a Draft Master Plan for the Field. Once prepared, all respondents will be contacted and will have an opportunity to comment on the Draft Master Plan.

What a joke – Meriton!

The NSW State Government is currently proposing to change the Planning Laws to give us a greater say in planning the localities where we live.

What a joke!

Under the current system we already have that ability.

What a joke!

A point at hand is the current proposal by Meriton Apartments to build what will be the tallest building in Chatswood. Taller even then the former State Architect’s structures rising above Chatswood Station.

What a joke!

Willoughby Council spent years planning the area around the station in consultation with local residents. This plan was accepted and signed-off by the NSW Planning Department and the Government.

What a joke!

The NSW Planning Department assessed the Meriton plan. Whilst they did not agree exactly with what Meriton are asking for, they did recommend approval of the project with far taller building than allowed under the current planning on the basis that it would help contribute to population targets in the Metropolitan Strategy.

What a joke!

Stop the joke!

Residents have one more chance to have a say. The Meriton proposal will be determined at 4PM, Tuesday, 27 August at the Joe Ciantar Rehearsal Room, Zenith Theatre, Cnr. McIntosh & Railway Streets, Chatswood.

(Note: The PAC has been advised that the correct address for the Joe Ciantar Room is 8 McIntosh Street.)

You can request the right to address the panel (of two) who will make the decision by contacting Miss Stephanie Calderaro on 9383 2112 by 1PM, Thursday 22 August or uyou can email pac@pac.nsw.gov.au Attention: Kate Masters.

Talk with your neighbours, check that you will not be repeating points that someone else will be making. Focus on how the proposal will impact you (and the city).

As an aside, one of the Commissioners who will determine the application is prominent architect Mr Rick Thorpe. Rick was one of the leading architects who designed The Concourse. Implore him not to allow property developers to despoil the Chatswood that he has so significantly contributed to.