Blasts from the past

We recently cam across the following. Progress Associations have been around for a ling time championing the interest of local communities.

Sydney Morning Herald, 6th February 1915 p.20

25th January. 1915

A DEMONSTRATION OF PROTEST, under the auspices pf the ChatswoodWilloughby Progress Association, against continued flouting by the Willoughby Council of definitely expressed wishes of the Ratepayers in regard to the rating and management of Municipal affairs, will be made in the TOWN HALL, CHATSWOOD, on MONDAY, 8th FEBRUARY, Chair at 8 p.m.

The Ratepayer are urged to attend the meeting in full force to confirm the enthusiastically proclaimed unanimous decision of the large and thoroughly representative gathering of the 13th January, which declared “that the Council does not retain the confidence of the Ratepayers, and that it becomes the duty of the Aldermen to resign their seats forthwith.*’

Rally to the standard of public duty, and attain the victory that awaits you of the triumph of right over wrong by intelligent assertion of your authority and power.


Hon. Secretary.

Sydney Morning Herald, 6th February 1915 p.20



Road Safety Events



Date & Time Details Where
Supervising Learner Drivers. 22 March


If you are, or will soon be, supervising a learner driver then this workshop will help make the process as smooth as possible. Dougherty Centre

7 Victor St, Chatswood

Child Car Seat Checks 22 March


Get children’s car seats checked for correct installation.  A free service but not available to Family Daycarers Chatswood Youth Centre Carpark
Drive Safer – Drive Longer 7 and 14 April 9.30-11.30am A two-session workshop for anyone over 60.  Update on road rules and new vehicle technologies, find out how to avoid the most common crashes and when to consider not driving any more. Council Chambers, Level 6, 31 Victor St, Chatswood.
You’re the Driver Day sessions:

Wed 20 & 27 April9.30-11.30am

Evening sessions:

19 &26 April


This is a two session workshop for all drivers from L & P platers to anyone who has had a licence for more than 10 years or got their first license overseas.  Workshop covers a road rules update, crash avoidance and minimising risk of parking and other fines.  Choose from day or evening sessions. Day sessions:

Council Chambers, Level 6, 31 Victor St, Chatswood.

Evening sessions:

Dougherty Centre

7 Victor St, Chatswood

Street Savvy Seniors 21 April


In conjunction with the NSW Police find out about keeping yourself safe on the road, crossing the street, on public transport and as a passenger. Essential information and surprisingly informative. Council Chambers, Level 6, 31 Victor St, Chatswood.

Amalgamation Public Hearings

IanReynoldsThe ‘Delegate'(Ian Reynolds) appointed by the State Government to prepare a report for the Boundaries Commission regarding the amalgamation of Willoughby and North Sydney Councils has announced the date for the Public Hearings he will host. The date is 2 February either 1-5 PM or 7 – 10 PM at  Rydges North Sydney.

If you wish to speak or attend a hearing you need to register by phoning 1300 813 020.

Written submissions on this issue are due by 5 PM Sunday 28 February 2016.

About Ian Reynolds

Ian established his own consulting firm in 2012, providing practical and incisive advice on urban planning and governance issues. He has held a range of Senior Executive and CEO roles in Government. He has in depth experience in urban planning, public infrastructure provision and financing, public policy development, project management, organisational development and leadership, corporate planning and government relations.

In 2009 he joined the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure where he had responsibility for housing and employment land supply, planning strategy development, demography, infrastructure levy policy and land acquisition for major public purposes.

Prior to this, in 2005, he was invited by the State Government to join the newly established Growth Centres Commission. He developed and implemented rapid planning processes to secure the rezoning of land, coupling the rezonings with detailed infrastructure planning and environmental approvals to facilitate subsequent development.

At Blacktown City Council, the largest local government authority in NSW, he was responsible for strategic planning (including major rezonings and the overhaul of statutory planning controls), corporate planning and reporting, budget and staff direction for the Council and organisational structure review and direction. He had oversight of land development activity and initiated a new asset management planning program for the Council.

Under his leadership, the Council was awarded the 2004 A.R. Bluett Award, acknowledging the pre-eminent performance of the Council across all its activities.

He fostered and maintained close working relations with the private sector and development community to provide the opportunity and scope for business growth in the City.



The evidence is in.

generally, citizens are ambivalent toward amalgamationevidence

A recently published evidence-based scientific study (Ryan 2015, The Australian Experience of Municipal Amalgamation, Australian Journal of Public Administration) found some startling outcomes.

The results of this survey are starkly in contrast to previous reports in both public and academic literature.

64.3% of respondents reported that amalgamation would likely make ‘little difference’ to their sense of community. This raises the possibility that a person’s sense of community might be distinct from local government> Possibly we identify more with school, sporting and interest communities.

60.4% of respondents were not concerned about changes in the way services are delivered.

Concern about rates was nearly equally split.

57.8% were not concerned that representation would be worse.

The outcomes articulated in this report are exactly the sentiment that both the State Government the the ‘independent’ Boundaries Commission arelikely to take into consideration when determining the proposed amalgamation. (a)






Administrator for Council?

AdministratorAdministrators could be running the new Willoughby/North Sydney Council area for up to 9 months before new elections are held (likely in March 2017).

Mayors were recently advised that the new Council area should be established by mid-year. The Government can either appoint an administrator or existing Councilors. Lst year Willoughby Councilors were told that they would continue to run Council until the elections. It was hinted that North Sydney Councilors would not be afforded the same opportunity.

The State Government has now appointed ‘Delegates’ to conduct a public inquiry into the proposed merger between Willoughby and North Sydney Council It is planned that this review will be completed by the end of February. This review then goes to the Boundaries Commission who will the recommend amalgamation to the Government.

Full details of the process going forward can be foound at

Clr. Saville has provided the following information.

“It seems the Greater Sydney Commission will have powers over council LEPs.  However it is important that local councils maintain their control of LEPs and DCPs.  Local government should remain local, as articulated by the majority of residents across Sydney in surveys & submissions made through FFTF (Fit For The Future).

Sydney’s population is expected to increase by 1M in 10 years so the government is keen to expedite planning processes.  Fit for the Future is silent on the future of council properties, including town halls, community buildings and facilities, which should be retained by the local communities, particularly amid much larger councils.  I am particularly concerned after the state sale of $3B worth of iconic Sydney buildings.
Loss of natural, built heritage, and conservation areas is a key concern for many, particularly in larger councils with far fewer elected representatives,
Despite negative press, local councils provide an extraordinary range of services efficiently, including waste management, libraries, environmental protection, child and aged care services, also recreation facilities, & infrastructure such as roads & stormwater, with constrained budgets.”
Save Our Councils Coalition will provide further information on its website and FB page.



Community voice

Within the Willoughby Council area nine Progress Associations (PAs) cover the entire area. These vary from the West Ward Association covering an entire Ward whereas the majority of Associations cover a locality. In addition the Federation of Willoughby Progress Associations provides the avenue for concerted campaigns by member associations. Typically, the Associations meet monthly and are open to anyone living within their defined area.

Progress Associations are independent of Council. The majority are Incorporated bodies. However, the Associations do take up the offer of free meeting rooms provided by Council.

Within North Sydney,  Council has established  twenty-four Precinct Committees (PCs). The Committees are advisory panels to Council.However, there does not appear a ‘Peak Body’ within North Sydney reflecting city wide issues.

The lack of a ‘Peak Body’ of North Sydney Precinct Committees is unfortunate possible collaboration between PAs and PCs more difficult.It will be interesting to see in an amalgamated Council the role that either Progress Associations or Precinct Committees will prevail.