534 & 533 bus routes

Transport for NSW has announced some changes to local bus routes:

Route 534 between Ryde Shops and Chatswood via North Ryde will be replaced by route 533, which will now operate full time seven days a week.

Old 534 route


New 533 route


Rotary Athletic floodlights

rotary-war-memorial-athletics-field-chat4Chatswood Rotary War Memorial Athletics Field is an important open space resource in the Willoughby Council area with significant recreational and environmental value.

Willoughby Council is now planning to replace the existing two floodlights with six new poles and floodlights.

The proposal includes:

  • Removal of existing 2 floodlight poles 25 metres high.
  • 6 new floodlight poles around the field perimeter
  • New poles proposed to be: 4 x 20 metres high, and 2 x 22 metres high.
  • Hours of use: from sunset to 9.15pm

Some concerns with this proposal could be:

  • light spill into bushland with impact on flora and fuana
  • visual light pollution as viewed from neighbouring homes
  • better lighting could mean the ground may sustain higher usage with consequentials such as increased traffic and noise

Council has called for comments. Details are available at: Have Your Say

Submissions close: 12 July 2019


Sports shuttle


Something different for once.

We all know that the weekend traffic congestion is the worst. Part of this is caused by the number of trips taken to drop-off and pickup at sporting venues. Finally, the state government might be doing something to address the issue.

Transport for NSW is working with Sutherland Shire Council to introduce weekend bus services that will stop at every major sporting field. It is hoped this will help reduce traffic congestion.

Why has it taken so long for such an initiative? For decades the private bus lobby were able to sway the Government of the day to implement policies that favoured themselves. Hopefully those days are long gone. In the past, a Council could not charge a fare for any bus service it wanted to run (such as a community bus service or Link service).

Details of this new proposal are not clear. If it is a ‘user pays’ service, past experience would suggest that it may not be successful. Time will tell.

An alternative funding source might be to include a levy in the fees charged by the sporting body to its players. This could then be returned to the service provider.

SMH story

Comments welcome.

Lights near bushland

floodlightsnearbushland.jpgCouncil’s Natural Heritage and Bushland Advisory Committee (NHBAC) is recommending that Council develop a Light Pollution Impact on Bushland Policy.


NOTING the recent community discussions about light pollution at O H Reid Oval, and further NOTING that Willoughby City Council has no policy concerning light pollution impacts,


1 That NHBAC ADVISES Council

1.1 that there is a body of evidence which indicates that light pollution adversely impacts native bushland fauna;


1.2  that light pollution should be controlled to protect nearby bushland from these impacts;


2 That NHBAC RECOMMENDS that Council:

2.1 should develop and adopt a light pollution policy to guide planning, development and other decisions by Council which might affect bushland;

and, following adoption of the new policy

2.2  invites other Councils with boundaries in common with WCC to adopt similar policies (e.g. North Sydney Council’s Tunks Park area);


2.3 educates and informs property owners about the impacts of light pollution on bushland fauna, and ways in which light pollution impacts can be minimised.






Tennis courts


Willoughby Council is in the process of reviewing its tennis court policy.

In 2018 Council commissioned a report that looked at all of the tennis courts in the city. This has not been released to the public. We have asked for a copy of the report.

There are a total of 51 tennis courts in the city owned by Council. Of these, six are in West Ward at 52 Fullers Rd. These are synthetic courts and are leased out. In addition, there are a number of privately owned courts at:

  • Chatswood Lawn Courts, 699a Pacific Highway – 2 lawn courts
  • Chatswood Tennis Club, 152 Fullers Rd – 10 synthetic grass courts (most with lights)
  • Mowbray Public School, Mowbray Rd West – 3 hardcourts with lights

This is a total of 18 courts in West Ward.

All up it appears that there are around 100 courts in Willoughby. On the basis that their are four Wards in Willoughby, West Ward seems to be under supplied with courts. We would expect around 25 courts on a pro-rate basis).

Of the 100 tennis courts half fare owned by Council (50% in public ownership). West Ward’s six publicly owned courts represent around just 10% of Council owned courts. So not only do we have less courts but far less Council owned courts.

No one is suggesting that we necessarily need more tennis courts in West Ward. However, this analysis continues to display that quite often West Ward has fallen short on Council resources.

Fast track housing


State government legislation allowing developers to by-pass Council building regulations is likely to be re-introduced after July. Last year when the new Code was introduced, Councils resisted the policy eventually seeing it shelved for twelve months.

The new Code is designed to make it easier for developers to build terraces and other medium density housing in traditional areas by a process known as ‘Complying Development‘. This bypasses Council. Instead Private Certifiers paid by the developer decide if the development should be approved. The first you may know about a development next to you is when you are advised that work is about to commence. There is no requirement that you be consulted prior to approval being granted.

Fortunately, perhaps, the Code will only apply in areas already zoned for medium-density

Longer pub hours sought

Monkey Bar

The Monkey Bar in the heart of Chatswood has taken Willoughby Council to court after Council refused to allow the pub to trade until 4AM.

Residents in hundreds of units near the pub opposed the hours on the basis that noise was already an issue with rowdy patrons often creating a nuisance.

Local police also opposed the extension, saying the hotel could become a “target” for people drinking “large quantities” of alcohol.