Local News

SavilleClr. Saville has posted the following update:A few local matters:

A few local matters:

  • Proposal for Optus telecommunications tower on Chatswood Golf course
  • Waiting to hear govt intentions re proposed sale/lease of the southern campus RNSH
  • Departure Nick Tobin &Greg Woodhams  Tracey & Tony have done an excellent job as Acting GM.
  • New GM starts first week in Feb
  • Anticipated chaos expected re closure  Chatswood to Epping rail leg, construction new line, & replacement bus services
  • Australia Day in the Pavilion a great success
  • Report expected to come to council re planning propososal for Pacific Hway & Oliver
  • Opening Mental Health centre Hercules St (former Westview) 17th Feb

Check your carpark ticket

I wish to draw Council’s attention to what I believe is a breach of operating conditions at the caparkWestfield Car Park entry in Anderson St (it may well apply to all entrances).

On a number of occasions I have noticed that the time entry imprint on the parking docket is some 5-6 minutes behind the time shown on my phone and Eastern Standard time as found on the Internet.
he outcome from such a situation is if one notes their entry time from their time source when they exit they may be charged more than expected. e.g enter at 10AM by your time exit at 11:58AM the ticket would show entry as 9:55 and expiry of 2 hours s 11:55. You get slugged for 1/2 overstay. The same principle applies if your card is validated for a third hour and you exit just prior.
A second implication relates to the ‘No charge after 6PM” policy. Again enter at what is one minute past six, the ticket show 5:55PM. You get slugged on exit. Also, perhaps more concerning, if you do happen to notice the time on the ticket, you need to circle around in the carpar, exit the park, wait outside for a few minutes before re-entering the park – hardly a sustainable principle.
I have raised this issue with Westpac on a number of occasions. They maintain that they are on standard time (maybe their ‘standard time’ is one that all carpark operators agree on to apparently allow them to rip-off the public’.
PS. I have also checked the Chatswood Chase entry in Victoria Avenue and it has a similar discrepancy.
Can Council, as the owner of the Westfield carpark and as the regulatory authority please remedy this situation?

Free Ad for Meriton

meritonA resident writes:

Dear Chief Librarian, 

The reason(s) ‘ Blueprint for Success – 50 years of Meriton’
has been procured and placed on the shelf in the Library
is beyond me.

‘ A corporate propaganda’ , one comments.

An advertising product with the sole purpose of self-promotion,
it has no place therein to take up council resources.

Let their blueprint for success be kept to themselves, outside
of this library.

Thank you for your time,


Mobile Phone Tower on Golf Course

Phone TowerA resident has expressed the following concern about a proposed Optus Mobile Phone Tower on Chatswood Golf Course.

“This is a big deal for our West Ward area and very contentious! We received a letter on Saturday in regards to a proposed installation of a mobile phone tower at the back of our property on Chatswood Golf Course. I have attached a copy of the letter we received.
There are a couple of things I’d like to mention:
1. The land we live on (21 Colwell Crescent) is zoned as 2A Scenic Protection and E4 Environmental Living which suggests to me that this tower does not really fit in with this!
2. We believe that this is a purely revenue raising stunt by the Chatswood Golf Club committee. Our understand is that the Golf Course is in financial trouble and will receive quite a hefty check for use of their land. We are Optus customers for home phone, internet and mobile and have never had a problem with reception.
3. There is a meeting to be held on Thursday 29 January 4 to 6 pm at Chatswood Golf Course to discuss the proposal”.
A representative of Chatswood Golf Club has indicated that the proposal did not start with them, but Optus. They also stated that they had suggested less intrusive sites but Optus was not prepared to consider them due to addition costs.
Under Federal Telecommunication Legislation Optus has wide ranging power over the installation of Mobile Phone Towers.

Mayoral Candidate Expenditure

Scramble to the top!

Scramble to the top!

Recently released figures on how much candidates spent on the recent Mayoral Election make quite interesting reading,

In total, nine candidates spent nearly $300,000. The plum role of Mayor (in this instance being for just two years) was worth around $140,000. The lowest amount spent was just $2,450. The highest spend was over $110,000 (more than a third of the total spend by all candidates). A Councillor who has previously stood at two previous Council Mayoral elections spent $63,000. His total spend over the three times he has unsuccessfully stood as Mayor is probably well over $100,000.

The successful candidate, Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney, spent just $41,000. This proves that just spending money on more and more glossy brochures does not guarantee success.

As mentioned above, we are required to re-elect a Mayor in September 2016. It will be interesting to see how much candidates tilt at the role of Mayor next time.

Mayor Reilly Commemeration

TReillyhe much-loved and respected Emeritus Mayor of Willoughby, Pat Reilly passed away 20 January 2014. As we approach the first anniversary of his passing, we are asking the community to share their views on a fitting tribute that will allow the Willoughby community to recognise and remember his service in a fitting way.

Mayor Reilly was Willoughby’s longest serving Mayor being on Council for 27 years, the last 17 as Mayor. During this period he contributed enormously to the City of Willoughby.

Council at its meeting 14 July 2014 endorsed the expenditure of up to $35,000 to contribute to the tribute. Donations will be sought if the cost is over this amount.

Initial community consultation has gathered a list of tribute options. Council is now seeking to determine the community’s preferred option from this list. The selected item will be placed in a fitting location, and pay tribute to his life and contribution to Willoughby.

Tell Council what you think!

West Ward News

newsletterThe Association’s printed newsletter (the West Ward News) has been in existence for over 25 years. Currently, the West Ward News is produced twice a year. 6,000 copies of the ‘News’ are distributed within the Ward. The News is supported by local businesses and is coast neutral to the Association.

The biggest challenge for the Association is delivering the News. We have a dedicated band of deliverers who have delivered the News over many years (some dating back to its inception). However, like many organisations, helpers tend to diminish. Recently we have had a number of new volunteers and that is great. However, there are still a couple of areas we need someone to deliver in. These areas are unit developments near the Highway. The beauty about delivering to units is that is possible to cover a large number of units in a small area and minimum time. If you can assist by volunteering no more that 4 hours a year please contact the Editor at cwwpanews@gmail.com or on 0477 299 763

The next edition of the West Ward News will be produced prior to the State Election in March. We plan to have the News to distributers by the 20th March.

The Year Ahead


2015 will pose many issues for Willoughby Council.

For the first time in over 20 years Council Officers will be led by an ‘outsider’. In 1993, after decades of Town Clerks, Council (encouraged by the State Government) recruited a General Manager (Michael Beilby) from outside local gavernemnt. This proved to be a short-lived experience. Four years later, Council promoted the then Director of Insfrastructure Services (John Owen) to the role of General Manager. On John Owen’s retirement, Council again promoted from within. This time Nick Tobin, the then Corporate Services Director.

With the appointment of Debra Just (see separate article) Council has again gone outside the existing organisation. Ms Just, like her previous two predecessors, has been promoted from previous ‘Directors’ roles to the top job of General Manager. We can only hope that this proves a wise choice by Council.

It will be crucial that the new General Manager (Ms Just) establishes herself quickly and firmly within the existing experienced General Magaers representing the other Councils of the Northern Regional Organisation of Councils). With the spectre of amalgamation becoming a reality, it is important that Willoughby Council achieves a central position in deliberations. Both the Mayor and the General Manager need to grasp the ‘amalgamation’ issue and set the standard.

On 28 March 2015, NSW goes to the polls to elect a new State Government.The outcome from this election is likely to have a significant impact on NSW local government. In particular, post the election it is expected that the State Government will increase pressure for Councils in the Sydney area to amalgamate.

Much of the pressure for Council amlgamations in Sydney has come from groups associated with property developers. They want a simplified and faster process to have their developments approved. The fear with such reforms is that local communities lose their voice and are not consulted as they have been in the past.

Anticipating the pressure for structural change to local government, the West Ward Progress Association has led an initiative to linkup with like-minded associations and groups across the lower North Shore. It is hoped by this initiative that we can assist Willoughby maintain it central position with[n the region.

New General Manager

DebraJustWilloughby City has appointed highly experienced local government professional, Debra Just to the role of General Manager at Willoughby City Council.  The unanimous decision was made by Willoughby City Councillors following a rigorous recruitment process with more than 75 applicants.

“Debra is a perfect fit for Willoughby Council bringing a wealth of experience spanning Local Government, State Government and educational environments to Willoughby,” said Willoughby Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney.

“Debra has a well-established local government career with key positions including General Manager Strategy and Policy, City of Onkaparinga, South Australia (South Australia’s most populous council with more than 200,000 residents) and General Manager, City Strategy and Design for the City of Adelaide.

“Her illustrious local government experience has included leadership roles across a breadth of portfolios with significant expertise in city planning, development assessment, parks and open space, natural environment, sustainability, economic development, governance and organisational leadership. This experience is sure to build on the existing knowledge and culture of Willoughby.

“Debra’s recent role of General Manager, Urban and Portfolio Planning for RenewalSA will bring expertise in areas of affordable housing, urban design, social planning and sustainability to Willoughby.

“We are delighted to appoint Debra in this role.  Together we will continue to work very closely with our community, continue with our existing strategies and policies for the City and ensure Willoughby is a dynamic and highly functional government body.

Debra will commence her appointment at Willoughby City Council on 2 February 2015.

Debra Just’s portfolio includes:

Member of the Board

Adelaide & Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board

2006 – Present

General Manager Urban & Portfolio Planning

Renewal SA

2012 – 2014

General Manager, City Strategy and Design

City of Adelaide

2007 – 2012

Member of the Board

Southern Region Waste Resource Authority

2003 – 2007

General Manager, Strategy & Policy

City of Onkaparinga

1997 – 2007

Member of the Board

Onkaparinga Catchment Water Management Board

2002 – 2006