Scientology – 126 Greville

Willougby Council forward its support for this application to the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP). However, they requested an additional condition in relation to the hours of operation. This is to be 8:30AM to 8:30PM, 7 days a week with premises to be vacated by 9:30PM. These hours to be for a trial period of 6 months and 12 months with any variation being subject to Council prior consent.

It is understood that the JRPP approved the application with the condition set out above.

Westfield carpark clock

drunkenclockThe situation in Westfield’s car park turned toxic last week when shoppers were receiving car park tickets that were out by 10 minutes. CWWPA reported this situation to Westfield some four months ago. At the time they said that everything was ‘honkydory’. They claimed their computers used ‘Standard Time’. At that time (in December) the machine was some 5 minutes out.

A good example of what was happening was: you arrive at the carpark (by your phone’s time) of 6:01 PM. The ticket was being imprinted with a time stamp of 5:56.PM. Trouble was, when you left (expecting to have your free entry after 6PM, you could be faced with paying an unexpected parking fee. This week, both the North Shore Times and radio station 2UE  took up the story.

READ THE NST ARTICLE

LISTEN TO 2UE INTERVIEW

Later this morning, I had a call from the Customer Services Manager at Westfield. He acknowledged that there had been a problem. The story now is that their carpark computers are not connected to the Internet (and hence cannot access world time clock). To make matters worse, the batteries in the computers had gone flat. That is why the clock was running slow. (Believe it or not).

The manager assured me that they have changed the batteries and that everything has been fixed.

Let’s hope so.

I will be keeping a close eye on things.

High Rise Schools

gheryThe Department of Education is talking about building multi-storey classroom. What are the implications? What are the questions?

Multi-story schools are not new. St Andrews in the city is one example. However, multi-storey is new for public schools.

How many storeys are they thinking off? Currently, the majority of public schools have no more than two storeys. However, there are some private/catholic school in Sydney with 3/4 storeys. Reports from those schools is that they work just fine.

The first thing that often falls to mind with high-rise schools is lifts. Walking up flights of stairs is a positive benefit for students. A healthy exercise. However, lifts are required for special needs and perhaps for some of our ageing teacher force.

Having a high-rise school can also mean more playground. In fact, I have seen one school where almost the entire block was available for student play. Some of the area provides shade, covered by the building above. A great outcome.

One aspect of the concept of a high-rise school that may need some thought is if the Department of Education start developing housing above the school (to pay for the cost of construction). This could mean more traffic around the school. So we need to see an Environmental Impact Assessment on these new ideas.

Officeworks

OfficeworksA new Officeworks store will open on the 21st March in Victoria Avenue, Chatswood near Penshurst Street. The store is on the location of the former Bunnings/BBC Hardware site. This site was originally owned by AJ Benjamin who set up their Benjamin Building Centre (hence the BBC).

New Carpark – Albert Avenue

ParkingCarparking has returned to Albert Avenue. 250 car spots are now open in the vicinity of the old Albert Avenue carpark nrear Fleet Lane. When Council sold the site to Meriton, a condition of the sale was that the carparking previously on the site would be returned. It has, and to boot, the parking is now underground.

The parking fee is a modest $8.00 for all day parking.

Unfit for the Future?

unfitThe awaited ‘Fit for the Future’ report will be considered by Council on Monday. Although short it is fascinating reading.
By itself, Willoughby Council will never meet the ‘Scale’ criteria of 250,000 people. Further,even with an Infrastructure Levy, Council will not meet the Asset Maintenance criteria. In addition, without the requested IPART approved Levy, Council will not meet the Renewal Ration or Infrastructure Backlog criteria.
Within the region, Hunter’s Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde do not support voluntary amalgamation. Instead they wish to look at a Joint Organisation Structure designed for rural (not metropolitan) Councils.
Mosman Council is currently conducting community consultation (one option being canvassed is for regional amalgamation). North Sydney Council is also canvassing the regional amalgamation option.

The Council report has 12 Recommendations. One of the key recommendations is that Willoughby Council enter into discussions with North Sydney Council regarding ‘the prospects of creating a new entity that satisfies the Fit for the Future criteria (although the total population of such an entity would only be 142,000 not the required 250,000).

 Council is also proposing to undertake community consultation by telephone survey, the Citizen’s Panel and community meetings. Federation/Progress Assocations need to ensure that they are invited to any community meetings. In the past, some of these community meetings have been ‘closed shop’ with attendees chosen at random.
Key information missing from the report is the Fit for the Future statistics for each of the other Councils in the region. Federation should request these figures.
It can be expected that the deliberations on Monday night might be worth a visit to Council.
The full report is available online.

Lowanna Unleashed

offleashAfter some years of dithering, Willoughby Council has finally proclaimed Lowanna Park as an official Dog Off-Leash Park. Even better news is that the hours that dogs can be exercised off-leash in the park is between 3 PM to 11 AM the next day. Owners however must ensure that their dogs do not go closer than 10M to the children’s play area.

Since the park has been used for off-leash dog exercise, the number of people (and dogs) using the park has increased. The dog owners have proven to be most responsible, picking up doggie-doo (and rubbish left near the BBQ by other park user). One Council ranger has remarked that ‘Lowanna Park is the cleanest park he has seen in Willoughby”. Also, there has been few complaints about the operation of the park. Older users also also give suggestions to newcomers who may not fully understand their responsibilities

A fascinating by-product has been the development of ‘local community’ associated with the park. Every Friday night around dusk, people gather at the picnic tables for a chat and some refreshments.

Meet the Candidates

Haines GLADYS cavanah

Greens

Liberal

Labor

The Chatswood West Ward Progress Association and the Federation of Willoughby Progress Associations will be hosting a “Meet the Candidates” meeting, at the Dougherty Community Centre, 7 Victor St, Chatswood on March 19th, starting at7:00pm.  Everyone is welcome.On March 28, 2015, electors will be required to vote for the 56th NSW Parliament.

(Note: The Federation of Willoughby Progress Association comprises nine Progress Associations covering the entire Willoughby Council area)

This is your opportunity to meet those candidates who are standing for election as your State Parliamentary representative and hear them speak about their vision for the Willoughby electorate and have them address your issues and answer your questions.

Each Candidate will be allocated six (6) minutes to speak, followed by a question/answer session – where the voting public can have their issues/questions answered by candidates. A two-minute summation by each candidate will then follow the Q&A session.