Pittwater Life May 2024 Issue




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The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

FREE<br />

pittwaterlife<br />





Editorial<br />

‘Cozzie livs’ is a dead weight<br />

When the Macquarie<br />

Dictionary announced<br />

‘cozzie livs’ as its ‘Word of<br />

2023’, it did so as a humorous<br />

take on prevalent cost-of-living<br />

pressures. But six months<br />

on, no-one’s chuckling about<br />

‘cozzie livs’.<br />

Workers, families, businesses<br />

and governments are<br />

reeling under the pressures<br />

of unchecked inflation and<br />

stubbornly high home loan<br />

interest rates.<br />

Locally, things haven’t been<br />

tougher in decades.<br />

Council has just forecast a<br />

whopping $255 million hole<br />

in funding it needs to deliver<br />

adequate services and capital<br />

growth over the next 10 years.<br />

Cue significant rate increases.<br />

While some public service<br />

workers across NSW have had<br />

cause to celebrate pay hikes in<br />

recent months, seems those<br />

financial gains are being balanced<br />

by a claw-back from a<br />

NSW Government that’s scrap-<br />

ing the bottom of its coffers.<br />

This month we report on<br />

the massive funding cuts to<br />

11 public schools across <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

– with Avalon PS the<br />

worst affected with a 21 per<br />

cent chop equating to almost<br />

$100,000 per year (p24). That’s<br />

at least one full-time teacher,<br />

or two or more part-timers or<br />

support staff.<br />

Returning to Local Government,<br />

<strong>May</strong>or Sue Heins explains<br />

Council has opted out of the<br />

Beachwatch water quality monitoring<br />

service – because the<br />

State Government has handballed<br />

the six-figure per annum<br />

cost across to Council (p9).<br />

It’s not all doom and gloom<br />

though: historic local yacht<br />

‘Buckle Up’ is heading back to<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> after a restoration<br />

(p20); we have a great profile on<br />

Avalon power couple Greg Combet<br />

and Juanita Phillips (p32);<br />

and learn how to bake some<br />

delicious treats for Mother’s Day<br />

(p66).<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 3





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Website:<br />

pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

Publisher: Nigel Wall<br />

Managing Editor: Lisa Offord<br />

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Photography: Adobe / Staff<br />

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Burton, Beverley Hudec, Brian<br />

Hrnjak, Jennifer Harris, Janelle<br />

Bloom, Sue Carroll, Geoff Searl,<br />

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* The complete <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> archive can be<br />

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Vol 34 No 10<br />

Celebrating 33 years<br />

12<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

FREE<br />

pittwaterlife<br />





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thislife<br />

INSIDE: We update devlopment approvals and uncertainty<br />

at Whale Beach and Palm Beach (p6); Council is projecting<br />

a $255 million shortfall in funding over the next decade<br />

(p8); locals may not get access to the Beachwatch water<br />

monitoring program from July (p9); police have indicated<br />

the time for warnings has passed and they will now start<br />

issuing fines to riders of e-bikes who break the law (p12);<br />

local MP Rory Amon looks back at his first year in office<br />

(p18); and check out what we’ve seen, heard and consider<br />

absurd this month (p40).<br />

COVER: Banksia / Julie Hickson, podandpod.com.au<br />

also this month<br />

Editorial 3<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Local News & Features 6-47<br />

The Way We Were 28<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Story: Greg Combet & Juanita Phillips 32-37<br />

Seen... Heard... Absurd... 40-41<br />

Community News 42-47<br />

Hot Property 48<br />

Times Past 49<br />

Art 50-51<br />

Health & Wellbeing; Hair & Beauty 52-59<br />

Money 60-61<br />

Food & Tasty Morsels 66-69<br />

Gardening 70-72<br />

Crossword 73<br />


Bookings & advertising material to set for<br />

our JUNE issue MUST be supplied by<br />

FRIDAY 10 MAY<br />

Finished art & editorial submissions deadline:<br />

FRIDAY 17 MAY<br />

The JUNE issue will be published<br />

on WEDNESDAY 29 MAY<br />


All contents are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced except with the<br />

written consent of the copyright owner. All advertising rates are subject to GST.<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> The Local Voice Since 1991

News<br />

Whaley stoush site gets nod<br />

Whale Beach is finally getting a<br />

new hospitality and residential<br />

precinct after a ‘ridiculously<br />

expensive’ 18-month legal battle won<br />

by local developers, the Cassar family,<br />

who say the process was flawed from the<br />

start and could have been avoided.<br />

Anthony Cassar and his dad, travel<br />

entrepreneur Les Cassar, said they had<br />

appealed a ruling “which in our view,<br />

was made in error by Northern Beaches<br />

Council” that any café or restaurant facing<br />

Surf Road could only have a maximum<br />

indoor capacity of 44 seats.<br />

“This condition made any cafe or restaurant<br />

on the site unviable, especially<br />

given the huge investment required,”<br />

they said.<br />

They wanted seating for 170 patrons<br />

– 140 indoors and 30 outdoors – so<br />

appealed to the Land and Environment<br />

Court, ultimately compromising on a<br />

maximum of 150 for weekday lunch and<br />

80 on the weekends. Dinner numbers<br />

will vary from 150 to 100 depending on<br />

the day and season.<br />

The five-level project, known as 231<br />

Whale Beach Road, includes five apartments,<br />

two retail spaces on Whale Beach<br />

Road, the restaurant on Surf Road, and<br />

underground parking for 14 vehicles. The<br />

existing building is scheduled for demolition<br />

in <strong>May</strong>.<br />

“Whilst we are happy with the outcome,<br />

the process was ridiculously<br />

expensive and took almost 18 months to<br />

resolve,” the Cassars said.<br />

“It could have been negotiated at the<br />

beginning of the appeal process rather<br />

than at the end and avoided these unnecessary<br />

costs, delays and angst for<br />

everyone involved.”<br />

But the Cassars, who have lived on<br />

site for 25 years, believe Council and<br />

its Planning Panel, which set the much<br />

lower numbers, were swayed by a vocal<br />

minority.<br />

“Unfortunately, our intentions have<br />

been completely misunderstood by some<br />

locals, and our application was subjected<br />

to a targeted scare campaign amplified<br />

on social media,” they said.<br />

“It appears that the Council application<br />

process, particularly the Panel, placed<br />

too much weight on objectors’ subjective<br />

views and not enough on objective,<br />

experts’ reports.<br />

“Even the Council’s own planning<br />

department originally recommended<br />

approval of the modification application,<br />

only to be knocked back by the Panel.”<br />

It’s a familiar scenario for Northen<br />

Beaches Council, which has another two<br />

matters – shop top apartment developments<br />

either side of Barrenjoey House<br />

on the <strong>Pittwater</strong> side of Palm Beach –<br />

either in or heading to the Land<br />


Artist’s impression<br />

of the new 231<br />

Whale Beach Road<br />

development<br />

and the current<br />

dilapidated dwelling<br />

(above).<br />

and Environment Court.<br />

A proposed four-storey redevelopment<br />

of the former general store site at 1112-<br />

1116 Barrenjoey Road is going to the Land<br />

and Environment Court after developer<br />

IPM, which bought the site for $12 million<br />

in 2021, decided it had no chance of getting<br />

plans past the Planning Panel.<br />

At 1102 Barrenjoey Road on the south<br />

side of Barrenjoey House, AirTrunk<br />

founder Robin Khuda is fighting for his<br />

right to develop a three-storey, six-apartment<br />

building. This stoush has been<br />

dragging on for two years and is now<br />

with the Land and Environment Court.<br />

Fresh plans were submitted but have<br />

not yet gone on public display.<br />

There’s been strong local opposition<br />

to both Palm Beach developments, which<br />

seek to amend existing Development<br />

Approvals from <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council that<br />

predate the formation of North Beaches<br />

Council in 2016.<br />

The conservative Palm Beach and<br />

Whale Beach Association (PBWBA) opposed<br />

each proposal because of size and<br />

suitability. It was also against increasing<br />

seat numbers at 231 Whale Beach<br />

Road.<br />

But PBWBA President Richard West,<br />

who has led the charge against commercial<br />

development in the area, warned<br />

that saying no to everything – such<br />

as the ‘ridiculous decision’ to restrict<br />

opening hours at The Joey, now a cause<br />

celebre, was not the way forward.<br />

“If we’re not careful, we’re not going to<br />

have anything down here soon. We think<br />

it’s important that there are restaurants<br />

opening for the locals to go and for visitors<br />

to come and enjoy the great area.<br />

It should be done with a minimum of<br />

fuss,” he said.<br />

Meanwhile, further down Barrenjoey<br />

Road, the shopping centre on the corner<br />

of Careel Head Road and a house behind,<br />

are under option to purchase by a private<br />

company.<br />

Agent Peter Robinson from LJ Hooker<br />

did not foresee any medium-term<br />

changes to the precinct, home to several<br />

popular stores including Cranzgot’s<br />

Pizza Café, Oliver’s Pies and the Chick’n<br />

Shack.<br />

– Martin Kelly<br />

6 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

News<br />

Council unearths $255m hole<br />

Northern Beaches Council’s ery Program Model which they be undertaken with the<br />

income.<br />

dire financial situation has say would claw back 60 per community to develop this “Significant events in recent<br />

been laid bare, with staff projecting<br />

a $25.5 million annual<br />

shortfall in necessary funding<br />

over the next 10 years.<br />

As a result, significant<br />

residential rate rises are likely<br />

in coming years as Council<br />

grapples to fulfil its obligations<br />

to deliver essential services.<br />

The financial details were<br />

contained in a staff report on<br />

a series of Draft Budgets and<br />

Operational Plans, including<br />

its 10-year Long Term Financial<br />

cent of the gap over 10 years.<br />

To provide funding for this<br />

model, rates income would<br />

need to increase by $20 million<br />

from the 2025/26 financial<br />

option should Council choose<br />

to explore it,” the executive<br />

report said.<br />

Staff warned that without<br />

future rates hikes, a reduction<br />


years [have] required reprioritisation<br />

of funds including<br />

the COVID-19 pandemic<br />

($41 million cost) and 6<br />

natural disasters ($14 million<br />

cost of which $7 million has<br />

been recovered to date from<br />

the Federal Government Disaster<br />

Recovery Fund).”<br />

Also, the Emergency Services<br />

Levy increased by a whopping<br />

$3.1 million (50 per cent) to<br />

$9.3 million per year from<br />

2023/24.<br />

Plan, tabled at Council’s April<br />

Rates are It recommended that the<br />

set to rise<br />

meeting.<br />

in coming drafts of the Delivery Program<br />

The staff report indicated<br />

years. <strong>2024</strong>-2028, Operational Plan<br />

Council will not achieve key<br />

Office of Local Government<br />

financial and asset performance<br />

benchmarks in <strong>2024</strong>/25<br />

– despite an approved 4.9 per<br />

cent rates increase that would<br />

see the average property owner<br />

slugged an extra $79 over the<br />

next 12 months.<br />

Staff have provided Councillors<br />

with an alternative Deliv-<br />

year and be retained in future<br />

years.<br />

Council forecasts rates<br />

revenue of $197 million in the<br />

<strong>2024</strong>-25 financial year.<br />

“The draft Long-Term Financial<br />

Plan includes an alternative<br />

scenario to strengthen the<br />

Council’s position in the future<br />

and further engagement would<br />

in services to the community<br />

would continue.<br />

“The primary issues are that<br />

over the past three years inflation<br />

has increased by 16.8 per<br />

cent – more than double the<br />

7.2 per cent increase in rates<br />

income over the same period<br />

– this is an accumulative gap<br />

of $18 million in lost rates<br />

<strong>2024</strong>/25, Long-Term Financial<br />

Plan <strong>2024</strong>-2034 and Asset<br />

Management Plans <strong>2024</strong>-2034<br />

be placed on public exhibition<br />

for a minimum of 28 days,<br />

with the outcome reported to<br />

Council.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*More info Council website.<br />

What do you think? Tell us at<br />

readers@pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

8 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

<strong>May</strong>or: ‘Bye, bye Beachwatch’<br />

Northern Beaches Council has decided<br />

to opt out of the NSW Beachwatch<br />

water quality-monitoring program.<br />

It follows the Minns State Government’s<br />

decision to transfer some of the system’s<br />

operating costs to participating Councils.<br />

The Government informed Councils last<br />

month that it would contribute $18.5 million<br />

to Beachwatch and expected Councils<br />

with beaches and estuaries within their<br />

boundaries to help foot some of the bill.<br />

For Northern Beaches Council, that cost<br />

has been estimated at up to $150,000 annually<br />

across 23 beaches from Palm Beach<br />

to Manly.<br />

The Government’s $18.5 million contribution<br />

was a budget allocation by the<br />

former NSW Liberal Government.<br />

Until now, 14 Sydney Councils have been<br />

included in Beachwatch without having to<br />

pay for the service.<br />

Regional Councils in NSW have always<br />

paid for their testing.<br />

Beachwatch has operated as a Government-funded<br />

program since 1989. The<br />

agency told <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> it collected water<br />

samples weekly at Sydney’s ocean beaches<br />

year-round. It also utilises water gauges at<br />

key locations to monitor rainfall levels and<br />

the potential for polluted water conditions.<br />

Council says it is hopeful the Minns<br />

POLLUTED: North Narrabeen on April 6.<br />

Government will reverse its decision given<br />

widespread backlash from Councils across<br />

NSW.<br />

However, Council sources admitted to<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> it was unsure what it would<br />

do if the Government’s position remained<br />

firm.<br />

<strong>May</strong>or Sue Heins told <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> the<br />

Government’s new ‘user-pays’ proposal<br />

was unfair.<br />

“Beachwatch is a wonderful program<br />

that provides valuable information to all<br />

people across greater Sydney to make<br />

informed decisions before they swim,” she<br />

said.<br />

“The decision to shift costs to coastal<br />

Councils is unfair to our community.<br />

PHOTO: Martin Kelly<br />

“While the Government may justify this<br />

as a ‘user-pays’ system, they are failing to<br />

acknowledge that the people using this<br />

service come from a wide range of Local<br />

Government areas, not just from coastal<br />

communities. It should remain statefunded.”<br />

Council confirmed it would not be<br />

participating in the new system, which<br />

required notification to the Government by<br />

April 30.<br />

The new user-pays system comes into<br />

effect on July 1.<br />

Council added it was under no legal<br />

obligation to provide the service –<br />

especially as the costs involved may be<br />

prohibitive if it were to deliver them standalone.<br />

“There are several fixed costs for the operation<br />

of such a program,” it noted. “The<br />

(Department of Climate Change, Energy<br />

and the Environment and Water) DCCEEW<br />

is able to defray these costs over a number<br />

of Council areas, lowering the cost that an<br />

individual Council could not.”<br />

Council maintained it was strongly supportive<br />

of the NSW Beachwatch program,<br />

ensuring the community has access to the<br />

information on water quality. – Nigel Wall<br />

*What do you think? Tell us at readers@<br />

pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 9

News<br />

Strategy to limit graffiti crimes<br />

Northern Beaches Council<br />

is investigating the<br />

feasibility of establishing<br />

a specialised taskforce to<br />

combat the burgeoning graffiti<br />

crisis across <strong>Pittwater</strong> and<br />

the broader beaches region.<br />

Currently Council budgets<br />

more than $500,000 towards<br />

removing graffiti each year.<br />

However, Council’s responsibility<br />

solely encompasses<br />

graffiti removal from assets<br />

owned by Council itself,<br />

excluding private property,<br />

state, or crown-owned assets.<br />

Council staff have been<br />

given six months to report on<br />

the opportunities of setting<br />

up a broad working group<br />

that would comprise essential<br />

community stakeholders<br />

including a Councillor from<br />

each ward, local Members of<br />

Parliament, representatives<br />

from the local area command,<br />

residents’ associations,<br />

local schools, sporting<br />

groups, youth organisations,<br />

chambers of commerce, local<br />

businesses, property owners,<br />

and individual community<br />

representatives.<br />

The goal is to develop<br />

a comprehensive graffiti<br />

mitigation strategy and action<br />

plan that addresses the distinct<br />

needs of each ward and<br />

the broader LGA.<br />

It’s hoped the strategy will<br />

have flow-on effects to benefit<br />

private landowners via reduced<br />

rates of graffiti.<br />

The strategy was proposed<br />

at Council’s March meeting via<br />

a resolution submitted by <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Ward Councillor Michael<br />

EYESORE: Graffiti on<br />

private property<br />

in Narrabeen and<br />

Avalon Beach.<br />

Gencher and Frenchs Forest<br />

Ward Councillor Stuart Sprott<br />

and carried unanimously.<br />

Cr Gencher told <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

<strong>Life</strong> the collaborative initiative<br />

was “dedicated to formulating<br />

pragmatic solutions”.<br />

He said graffiti was vandalism<br />

that impacted various<br />

stakeholders, including residents,<br />

property and business<br />

owners, public transportation,<br />

utilities, and both state<br />

and local governments.<br />

“Annually, substantial<br />

taxpayer funds are allocated<br />

to rectify the damage inflicted<br />

by graffiti. It’s crucial<br />

to recognise that graffiti<br />

constitutes vandalism and,<br />

consequently, a criminal act –<br />

not an expression of individuality.<br />

“The challenges posed by<br />

graffiti are multifaceted and<br />

significantly affect our community.<br />

It diminishes community<br />

wellbeing by fostering perceptions<br />

of decreased safety<br />

and increased crime rates.<br />

“Furthermore, graffiti<br />

contributes to environmental<br />

degradation through several<br />

avenues, such as chemical<br />

pollution during removal<br />

processes, litter run-off into<br />

waterways, and harm to<br />

environmental sites. The use<br />

of aerosol sprays in graffiti<br />

art exacerbates atmospheric<br />

impacts.<br />

“And financially, graffiti<br />

imposes burdens on the community,<br />

property owners, and<br />

the Council, encompassing<br />

expenses related to removal,<br />

management, and potential<br />

decreases in property values.”<br />

He added that survey conducted<br />

in February revealed<br />

that 87 per cent of respondents<br />

in <strong>Pittwater</strong> identified<br />

graffiti as a matter of “serious<br />

concern”.<br />

“Some of the key themes<br />

extracted from the survey<br />

responses included aesthetic<br />

concerns, property damage,<br />

economic impact, potential<br />

for escalation, impacts on<br />

tourism and reputation, community<br />

safety and community<br />

pride, and legal consequences,”<br />

he said.<br />

Respondents were also accepting<br />

of opportunities for<br />

creative expression through<br />

legal and artistic outlets,<br />

reducing the appeal of illegal<br />

graffiti.<br />

“While graffiti may not be<br />

the most severe crime in the<br />

Northern Beaches LGA or elsewhere,<br />

it still poses several<br />

concerns related to aesthetics,<br />

property damage, economic<br />

impact, the environment, and<br />

community well-being,” Cr<br />

Gencher said.<br />

“It’s essential to strike a<br />

balance between addressing<br />

this issue and providing<br />

alternative outlets for creative<br />

expression to mitigate its<br />

impact on the community.<br />

“The goal is to develop<br />

a comprehensive graffiti<br />

mitigation strategy and action<br />

plan that addresses the distinct<br />

needs of each ward and<br />

the broader Local Government<br />

Area,” he said.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*What do you think? Tell<br />

us at readers@pittwaterlife.<br />

com.au<br />

PHOTOS: Martin Kelly<br />

10 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

E-bikes crackdown:<br />

cops in fines blitz<br />

News<br />

After a year of warnings<br />

and rider education<br />

that nonetheless has<br />

failed to curb rampant illegal<br />

use of e-bikes by Northern<br />

Beaches teenagers, Northern<br />

Sydney Highway Patrol will<br />

start fining those who break<br />

the law and threaten public<br />

safety before someone is seriously<br />

injured or killed.<br />

Inspector Stuart Forbes says<br />

there’s been a “massive escalation”<br />

in e-bike issues since<br />

Christmas – especially the<br />

so-called “fat bikes” – many of<br />

which are being illegally modified<br />

to reach speeds approaching<br />

50km/h – almost double<br />

the 25km/h speed limit.<br />

“We’re fully aware of all the<br />

issues that are rolling out with<br />

more and more e-bikes being<br />

bought and ridden, especially<br />

at Palm Beach, Avalon and<br />

Manly,” he told <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong>.<br />

“No-one’s wearing any safety<br />

gear, they’re not wearing<br />

helmets, and they’re doubledinking<br />

(double passengers),<br />

triple-dinking and sometimes<br />

even quad-dinking.”<br />

He says police and Northern<br />

Beaches Council had worked<br />

hard since last <strong>May</strong> to educate<br />

local youth on the risks for<br />

riders and pedestrians, with<br />

244 cautions issued for e-bikeand<br />

e-scooter-related offences<br />

such not wearing helmets or<br />

riding on the footpath.<br />

In some cases, police took<br />

riders home and spoke with<br />

their parents.<br />

“But is the community actually<br />

listening?” asks Inspector<br />

Forbes. “We’re not seeing<br />

that. A classic example was<br />

over Easter at Dee Why. There<br />

were the big fat bikes, young<br />

girls of 12 or 13, bikinis, no<br />

safety gear, riding down the<br />

footpath.<br />

“So from a policing perspective<br />

we need to now<br />

go into a lot more engaged<br />

enforcement. If you’re going<br />

to modify the bike or scooter,<br />

you’re going to have a serious<br />

PHOTO: Nigel Wall<br />

number of fines attached to<br />

it.”<br />

Based on current trends,<br />

riders could easily be hit with<br />

more than $1000 in multiple<br />

fines. Amounts range from<br />

$129 for riding on a footpath,<br />

$387 for riding without a<br />

helmet, and up to $772 for<br />

unregistered or unsured illegal<br />

bikes.<br />

Fat bike frenzy<br />

Leading retailer Michelle<br />

Ashton, co-owner of Energy<br />

Electric Bikes at Brookvale,<br />

says she and her husband<br />

West started the store just<br />

before COVID-19 expecting<br />

the target market to be people<br />

aged 40+, with a sprinkling<br />

of teenagers on some classic<br />

hardtail e-bikes.<br />

But teenagers turned out to<br />

be the major market, falling<br />

for the genre-defining DiroDi<br />

Rover – the original fat bike.<br />

It’s been a category killer, the<br />

design all other manufacturers<br />

are channelling to win<br />

market share.<br />

“We certainly didn’t expect<br />

all the teenagers riding. It just<br />

exploded with all the teenagers<br />

during that big COVID<br />

lockdown and once they’re out<br />

there, they just sell themselves,”<br />

she says.<br />

“The Rovers and any of<br />

the fat-tyred bikes with the<br />

bench seats have become the<br />

most popular bike. We try<br />

to encourage people to buy<br />

something different, but they<br />

all come back to that one.<br />

“Even the mums who are<br />

getting one for their kid’s<br />

birthday end up getting one as<br />

well. They end up being used<br />

by the family, or the teenagers<br />

take over and the parents just<br />

allow it – because that’s what<br />

we do as parents, just give in!”<br />

The demand is such that<br />

even Aldi has put out its own<br />

version, retailing for $1199<br />

compared with the $2770 entry<br />

level price for the standard<br />

DiroDi Rover or $3090 for the<br />

Rover Plus. They’re not cheap<br />

but that’s been no impediment<br />

to soaring demand.<br />

“A lot of our other e-bike<br />

suppliers are scrambling to<br />

make their version of a Rover.<br />

So, there’s going to be more of<br />

them out there, it’s not going<br />

away unless there’s a huge<br />

change in the laws,” she says.<br />

The Ashtons are on the<br />

record as saying they won’t<br />

service an e-bike if the owner/<br />

rider turns up without a<br />

helmet.<br />

12 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

PHOTOS: Alec Smart/Manly Observer<br />

They have a sign in the shop<br />

that reads: “We won’t look after<br />

your bike if you won’t look<br />

after your head!”<br />

Out of control<br />

Harold Scruby, Chairman and<br />

CEO, Pedestrian Council of<br />

Australia, has been lobbying<br />

hard but without success for<br />

more regulatory oversight of<br />

all types of battery propelled<br />

bikes, scooters, and skateboards.<br />

“These things are out of<br />

DANGEROUS: Teens,<br />

no helmets, ‘tripledinking’<br />

on a ‘fat<br />

bike’ in Narrabeen; a<br />

teenage female<br />

passenger, no helmet<br />

(opposite page).<br />

CONCERNED: Michelle<br />

and West Ashton<br />

from Energy Electric<br />

Bikes at Brookvale.<br />

control. The kids are doubling<br />

and tripling on them but<br />

they’re not wearing helmets –<br />

no-one up here (Avalon) wears<br />

a helmet – and police are not<br />

enforcing the law. One of the<br />

problems is they don’t like<br />

booking children,” says Scruby.<br />

“Every kid here is riding a<br />

souped-up bike (and) a lot of<br />

them are doing over 25km/h.<br />

They are very, very simple to<br />

soup-up. That means they are<br />

immediately unregistered,<br />

uninsured motor vehicles.<br />

“I think the police are in this<br />

invidious position of being<br />

caught between the law and<br />

politics in that they’re finding<br />

it very difficult to enforce<br />

the law. I think the best way<br />

around this is confiscation.”<br />

Someone could die<br />

There have been no serious<br />

injuries caused by an e-bike on<br />

the upper Northern Beaches<br />

– yet – but Curl Curl Ward<br />

Councillor David Walton – a<br />

former police officer – believes<br />

it is only a matter of time unless<br />

concerted strong action is<br />

taken, particularly with speed<br />

tampering.<br />

“Council and I are not anti<br />

e-bikes,” says Cr Walton.<br />

“We’re just worried because<br />

of the speed, size and scale of<br />

some of these e-bikes being<br />

ridden on shared paths or on<br />

footpaths, that if they do hit<br />

a pedestrian, they are highly<br />

likely to cause serious injury<br />

and the possibility of death at<br />

speeds like 40km/h.<br />

“We need to get on top of<br />

this in a proactive manner.<br />

We’ve heard about lots of<br />

injuries but it’s just a matter<br />

of time before serious injury<br />

or death occurs, in my professional<br />

opinion.”<br />

Community concern<br />

Narrabeen Ward Councillor<br />

Vincent De Luca says the community<br />

has significant concerns.<br />

“I receive on a weekly<br />

basis, complaints of the bikes<br />

and other devices of near collisions,<br />

failure to adhere to the<br />

speed limit, particularly on<br />

the Narrabeen Lagoon path,”<br />

Councillor De Luca says.<br />

“There are so many kids<br />

tripling up on these bikes,<br />

without helmets, and at speed.<br />

“And people do not realise<br />

that e-scooters, e-skate boards<br />

and e-hoverboards are illegal<br />

on public land. NSW Police<br />

need to perform their regulatory<br />

duty in this regard before<br />

someone gets killed.”<br />

– Martin Kelly<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 13

News<br />

Mona bus reroute rethink<br />

Residents of Mona Vale’s<br />

Cook Terrace are waiting<br />

for Council confirmation before<br />

celebrating a bittersweet<br />

victory in their battle to stop<br />

the rerouting of a major bus<br />

service down their street.<br />

Last month, a review of<br />

a proposal put forward by<br />

Northern Beaches Council,<br />

bus operator Keolis Downer<br />

and Transport for NSW<br />

(TfNSW), landed on two options<br />

– one a “compromise”<br />

outcome that would spare<br />

Cook Terrace from figuring in<br />

the re-routing.<br />

That is the preferred option<br />

of adjudicator the Northern<br />

Beaches Local Traffic Committee<br />

– which if enacted would<br />

mean neighbouring Melbourne<br />

Avenue would bear the brunt<br />

of the traffic switch.<br />

As <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> reported<br />

in March, local residents received<br />

a letter from Council in<br />

January about the rerouting<br />

of the 155 bus, which services<br />

the Mona Vale Hospital to<br />

Northern Beaches Hospital<br />

run, due to safety reasons.<br />

The bus currently operates<br />

up and down Narrabeen<br />

Park Parade. The rerouting<br />

proposal was to the run’s<br />

northbound buses through<br />

Melbourne Avenue and then<br />

Cook Terrace.<br />

Council said it had received<br />

concerns from residents and<br />

bus drivers regarding the<br />

limited opportunities for two<br />

buses to pass each other on<br />

Narrabeen Park Parade between<br />

Melbourne Avenue and<br />

Cook Terrace.<br />

The NB Local Traffic Committee<br />

heard representations<br />

from Councillors and State MP<br />

Rory Amon before agreeing to<br />

support two options moving<br />

forward – with a solely Melbourne<br />

Avenue diversion as<br />

its preferred option, pending<br />

TfNSW approval.<br />

However, Councillor Michael<br />

Gencher said both the<br />

proposed options fell short<br />

of addressing primary safety<br />

concerns and could exacerbate<br />

other safety issues.<br />

PROTEST: Cook Terrace residents,<br />

with Cr Gencher, opposing the bus<br />

shift in February.<br />

“Both options presented may<br />

offer some benefits in terms<br />

of convenience or parking, but<br />

they appear to neglect the overarching<br />

safety considerations<br />

and disregard community<br />

preferences,” he said.<br />

“It’s essential that any<br />

alterations prioritise enhancing<br />

safety for all road users.<br />

Failure to do so could lead to<br />

unforeseen consequences and<br />

potential risks to public safety.”<br />

He added that both options<br />

seemed to introduce new safety<br />

concerns, such as potential<br />

conflicts between buses and<br />

pedestrians or increased congestion<br />

in certain areas due to<br />

the relocation of bus stops.<br />

“These unintended consequences<br />

could further<br />

jeopardise road safety and exacerbate<br />

frustrations among<br />

residents,” he said.<br />

“The proposed options<br />

for the bus rerouting appear<br />

to prioritise other considerations<br />

and the interests of<br />

Keolis Downer over addressing<br />

the initial safety concerns<br />

and community preferences.<br />

“It’s imperative that any<br />

changes to transportation<br />

routes prioritise safety and<br />

incorporate meaningful community<br />

engagement to ensure<br />

that the final decision reflects<br />

the best interests of all stakeholders<br />

involved.<br />

“Failure to do so risks compromising<br />

public safety and<br />

eroding trust in the decisionmaking<br />

process.” – Nigel Wall<br />

*What do you think? Tell us at<br />

readers@pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

14 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

News<br />

130 apartments target for old Wesley<br />

Wesley Taylor Village, a near century-old retirement<br />

precinct over 9200sqm of prime<br />

beachside land on the Narrabeen Peninsula,<br />

has been sold for an undisclosed price by<br />

owner Wesley Mission to premium developer<br />

and operator Retirement by Moran.<br />

Sally Taylor, Managing Director of Retirement<br />

by Moran, says the existing buildings<br />

will be demolished to make way for 120-130<br />

premium retirement<br />

apartments over four-levels<br />

including penthouses<br />

with ocean views.<br />

There is a chance that<br />

the height limit for the<br />

block at 156 Ocean Street<br />

could be increased to<br />

six-storeys under proposed<br />

planning changes<br />

announced by the State<br />

Government late last year. These changes have<br />

been opposed by Northern Beaches Council.<br />

“We’re seeking advice on that and will certainly<br />

be looking at all options,” says Taylor,<br />

adding that, “the proposed rezoning has been<br />

a surprise to everyone in the area I think.”<br />

There is no design yet, but Taylor envisages<br />

a single building around a large central courtyard<br />

for the sprawling site, which is bounded<br />

by Ocean, Lagoon, Octavia and Loftus Streets.<br />

Planning is likely to take two years before<br />

construction can start. Pricing has yet to be<br />

NEW FUTURE: Shane Moran, Executive<br />

Chairman of Retirement by Moran,<br />

and Sally Taylor, Managing Director<br />

of Retirement by Moran at the former<br />

Wesley Taylor Village, Narrabeen.<br />

determined but Taylor says the<br />

average is typically 30 per cent<br />

of the suburb median.<br />

According to PropTrack, the median house<br />

price in Narrabeen for the year to March 31<br />

was $3,150,000, which means the average<br />

apartment price will likely be around $2 million.<br />

Taylor says 14 residents remain at Wesley<br />

Taylor Village (now renamed Taylor Village)<br />

and that Retirement by Moran will work<br />

closely with them to ensure their transition<br />

to another village or aged care facility is as<br />

smooth as possible.<br />

– Martin Kelly<br />

6THINGS<br />


Vivid cruises. Want to see the<br />

spectacular lights of Vivid Sydney<br />

without the intense crowds? The<br />

luxury catamaran Coast will be out<br />

and about on the harbour during this<br />

year’s festival (Fri 24 <strong>May</strong> – Sat June<br />

15) offering private cruises from 30<br />

to 150 guests with some excellent<br />

packages available now. A pick up<br />

from Manly Wharf can be arranged<br />

too, weather permitting. Head to<br />

coastcruises.com.au<br />

Surf classic. The Northern Beaches<br />

Para Surfer Boardriders Club is<br />

joining forces with the Mona Vale<br />

Boardriders from 8am on Sat 4 for<br />

the <strong>2024</strong> <strong>Pittwater</strong> RSL Boardriders<br />

Inclusive Classic Fundraiser – an<br />

action-packed day of inclusivity<br />

events, exhibitions and sessions plus<br />

food trucks and music backed up<br />

with an evening of fun, grazing tables,<br />

pizza, drinks and fundraising at the<br />

Mona Vale Surf <strong>Life</strong> Saving Club’s<br />

Cook Terrace from 4pm-9.30pm.<br />

Permaculture fun. Enjoy an<br />

afternoon celebrating International<br />

Permaculture Day with guest<br />

speakers and demonstrations, live<br />

music, unique product stalls, face<br />

painting and petting zoo for the kids,<br />

craft activities and more at New Leaf<br />

Nursery, Ingleside on Sun 5 from<br />

12.30pm – 3.45pm. More info at<br />

permaculturenorthernbeaches.org.au<br />

Composting with kids. Parents<br />

and carers are invited to join in some<br />

outdoor activities to introduce the<br />

kids to composting and worm farming<br />

on Sat 18 from 1pm-3pm at Kimbriki’s<br />

Eco House and Garden. Cost $20-<br />

$25. More info 9486 3512.<br />

Acrylic painting 101. Join Northern<br />

Beaches artist Judy Salleh and<br />

discover the joy of acrylic painting<br />

over two half-day workshops at<br />

Avalon Creative Space on Fri 17<br />

and Fri 31 from 9.30am-12.30pm.<br />

Cost $80 ($72 for Manly Art Gallery<br />

and Museum Society Members).<br />

All materials provided. Bookings<br />

essential through NB Council<br />

website.<br />

Bushtucker tasting. Bush to Bowl is<br />

visiting Mona Vale Library on Fri 31<br />

from 1pm-2.30pm during National<br />

Reconciliation Week to present<br />

a first hand insight of their First<br />

Nations knowledge of Country and<br />

its rich diverse food sources. Free.<br />

Limited places bookings essential<br />

at the library or on 8495 5028 or via<br />

Council website.<br />

16 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Pollies at odds over hospital<br />

Local politicians are divided staff are trying their best, they<br />

Government has no ability to<br />

about the solution to reported<br />

say it is evident that they are<br />

deliver outcomes is absurd,”<br />

staff cuts at Northern<br />

Beaches Hospital which question<br />

the hospital’s ability to<br />

deliver top-quality care.<br />

Mackellar Independent MP<br />

Dr Sophie Scamps told <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

<strong>Life</strong> she was deeply worried<br />

about whether the hospital was<br />

delivering the standard of care<br />

which the community could<br />

legitimately expect.<br />

She said she understood<br />

hospital operator Healthscope<br />

planned to reduce nursing<br />

staff across three mental<br />

literally run off their feet. Patients<br />

report waiting for hours<br />

to be helped to the bathroom,<br />

cannulas left in at discharge,<br />

no patient transport available<br />

and other signs of a staff<br />

stretched to their limits.”<br />

Dr Scamps said that unlike<br />

other public hospitals, Northern<br />

Beaches Hospital was not<br />

subject to the mandated nursepatient<br />

care ratios that operate<br />

in government-owned public<br />

hospitals after an agreement<br />

lapsed last October.<br />

WORRIED: Dr<br />

he said.<br />

“The contract between<br />

the State and Healthscope<br />

requires services to be delivered<br />

to the highest standard<br />

of patient care and safety. If<br />

Healthscope is not providing<br />

proper care, the State Government<br />

must act.”<br />

It’s understood the contract<br />

between NSW and Healthscope<br />

require that the operator “must<br />

perform the Services having<br />

regard to the highest standard<br />

of patient care and safety at all<br />

health wards, resulting in the She said she had written to<br />

Sophie Scamps times, as well as in accordance<br />

at NB Hospital.<br />

loss of two nurse unit managers<br />

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park<br />

with good operating standards”.<br />

and the equivalent of one<br />

12-hour day shift.<br />

This would mean that two<br />

nurse unit managers would<br />

now be responsible for four<br />

mental health wards with 61<br />

beds, Dr Scamps said.<br />

“My office is frequently<br />

fielding communications from<br />

patients about concerns with<br />

their treatment,” she added.<br />

“While they report that the<br />

and has also raised the issue<br />

with Federal Health Minister<br />

Mark Butler.<br />

Wakehurst State MP Michael<br />

Regan said he was outraged by<br />

the reported cuts.<br />

He said operator Healthscope’s<br />

claim that changes<br />

would not compromise the<br />

quality of patient care and<br />

would have a minimal impact<br />

was “spin I do not buy”.<br />

“If you can’t meet legitimate<br />

public expectations of levels of<br />

service and staffing, hand the<br />

contract back to the government,”<br />

he said.<br />

Meanwhile <strong>Pittwater</strong> MP<br />

Rory Amon pointed the finger<br />

at the State Government for a<br />

“fix”.<br />

“Given the governance and<br />

contractual arrangements<br />

in place, any suggestion the<br />

Mr Amon maintained that<br />

the State Government had a<br />

contractual right and obligation<br />

to enforce the terms of its<br />

contract.<br />

“If the State Government sincerely<br />

thinks that patient care<br />

and safety are compromised,<br />

they are the only entity able to<br />

act and must do so.”<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 17

News<br />

Amon heralds one-year wins<br />

State Liberal MP Rory<br />

Amon has pointed to<br />

more than $1 million<br />

in funding for community<br />

projects as well as $20 million<br />

in desperately needed school<br />

upgrades as highlights of his<br />

first year representing <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

constituents.<br />

Mr Amon said he was also<br />

proud of the community for<br />

supporting his petition to the<br />

Minns Government to reboot<br />

the now-cancelled Mona Vale<br />

Road West upgrade after it was<br />

fully funded by the previous<br />

Coalition State Government.<br />

He said more than 15,000<br />

locals had sent a clear message<br />

to Macquarie Street that<br />

the completion of the Mona<br />

Vale Road upgrade was crucial<br />

to safeguard commuters<br />

and visitors.<br />

“Locals know how dangerous<br />

this stretch of road is,<br />

but Premier Chris Minns<br />

has claimed this upgrade is<br />

not ‘needs-based’ and his<br />

Government has refused my<br />

request for a safety audit of<br />

the abandoned project,” Mr<br />

Amon said.<br />

“The Government has treated<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> with contempt,<br />

putting lives at risk. We will<br />

continue our campaign to reinstate<br />

funding for this vital<br />

project.”<br />

School upgrades had also a<br />


<strong>Pittwater</strong> MP<br />

Rory Amon with<br />

constituents.<br />

been a focus over the past 12<br />

months.<br />

“We have secured more<br />

than $20 million for urgent<br />

upgrades at Narrabeen Sports<br />

High School from the NSW<br />

Government. Unfortunately,<br />

no Federal Government funds<br />

have been received,” he said.<br />

“Thanks to a strong community<br />

campaign, led by<br />

Principal Heidi Currie and<br />

the hardworking P&C, and<br />

supported by the thousands<br />

who signed another of our<br />

petitions, the school now has<br />

new science labs, bathrooms,<br />

roofing, and classrooms, with<br />

more works underway.<br />

“There is still more work to<br />

do. You can show your support<br />

for our school by signing<br />

the petition.”<br />

Mr Amon added the community<br />

was celebrating more<br />

than $1 million in funding for<br />

small community projects, including<br />

for mental health and<br />

domestic violence survivor<br />

support services, sporting,<br />

and surf clubs, and more.<br />

He slammed the Government’s<br />

proposed radical<br />

overhaul of the state’s planning<br />

system, labelling it lazy,<br />

threatening and poorly communicated.<br />

“We need to stop this development<br />

onslaught,” he said.<br />

“The Government is propos-<br />

18 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

for <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

ing a radical overhaul of<br />

our planning system, which<br />

would override local communities<br />

wishes.<br />

“Their lazy, one-size-fits all<br />

approach to planning would<br />

see a significant increase in<br />

density and population with<br />

apartment building heights<br />

set to more than double to 27<br />

metres.<br />

“At the same time, Labor<br />

has cut vital infrastructure<br />

and services. If this plan<br />

proceeds, our environment<br />

will be destroyed, public<br />

transport overrun and roads<br />

gridlocked.<br />

“We all agree on the need to<br />

improve housing supply and<br />

affordability, but the Government<br />

must work with communities,<br />

not against them,<br />

to achieve this goal, ensuring<br />

adequate public transport,<br />

infrastructure and services<br />

are provided.”<br />

Also, recently NSW had<br />

become the first State in Australia<br />

to ban offshore oil and<br />

gas mining, prompted by the<br />

ongoing uncertainty over the<br />

extension of the PEP-11 lease.<br />

“I was proud to introduce to<br />

Parliament the strongest ever<br />

Bill to protect <strong>Pittwater</strong> and<br />

NSW’s coast and beaches from<br />

severe environmental damage<br />

caused from the release of<br />

toxic materials in marine and<br />

coastal environments.<br />

“In February, Labor agreed<br />

to support my proposal and<br />

the NSW Parliament unanimously<br />

voted for this ban to<br />

become law – no other State<br />

has acted this comprehensively.”<br />

He added a one-year newsletter<br />

will hit letterboxes this<br />

month; it will include updates<br />

on the Wakehurst Parkway,<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Road, e-Bikes,<br />

reopening the Narrabeen Athletics<br />

track, vaping amongst<br />

kids, and more.<br />

“Please reach out if you<br />

would like me to attend a local<br />

event or meeting, or if you<br />

need any assistance.”<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*More info roryamon.com.au<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 19

‘Buckle Up’ is back<br />

News<br />

Forty years ago, motor<br />

vehicle industry<br />

figurehead Bill Buckle<br />

launched his 40-foot yacht,<br />

Buckle Up. McConaghy Boats<br />

had built the original Wild<br />

Oats in 1983 for his great<br />

friend Bob Oatley and in<br />

1984, Buckle decided he<br />

would like to build something<br />

“that would blow it away”.<br />

The design of Buckle Up was<br />

radical. It was like a giant skiff<br />

with a five-metre pole off the<br />

bow, an asymmetrical spinnaker<br />

and three trapezes. The<br />

keel was made of timber, and<br />

the boat only weighed three<br />

tonnes – half the weight of<br />

most 40-footers at the time.<br />

Eight years ago, Narrabeen<br />

resident James Hoy was doing<br />

some work for Brian Cunnyngham<br />

in Belrose. Buckle<br />

Up had changed hands a few<br />

times. Bill Buckle had sold<br />

the boat to someone on Lake<br />

Macquarie, and its name was<br />

changed to Redback, then<br />

it went to Adelaide, where<br />

James Hoy thinks its name<br />

was changed to Flashback.<br />

Now Flashback, owned by<br />

Cunnyngham and his wife<br />

Joan, was on a mooring off<br />

Greenwich. Several years later<br />

Brian died, and Joan didn’t<br />

know what to do with it,<br />

James says.<br />

“The keel had fallen off,<br />

and Brian and she had begun<br />

repairs. After Brian died she<br />

had sold it to someone in Adelaide,<br />

but hadn’t been paid. I<br />

RESTORED: Buckle Up,<br />

with Warren Cross (on<br />

left) and James Hoy; Bill<br />

Buckle (below, far right)<br />

in the 1980s; and the<br />

yacht flying on <strong>Pittwater</strong>.<br />

said, ‘you should have sold it<br />

to me’. ‘I still will,’ she said.”<br />

James, 63, has sailed for 50<br />

years. Avalon local Warren<br />

Cross and he became friends<br />

on a building site. Warren,<br />

64 and a builder by trade,<br />

is ‘new’ to sailing – though<br />

through his building skills<br />

he spent six years in the early<br />

2000s working for McConaghy<br />

Boats constructing hi-tech<br />

yachts.<br />

“I started working there in<br />

early 2004, and the first boat<br />

I worked on was Wild Oats XI –<br />

the fastest 100-foot maxi ever<br />

built – which hit the water in<br />

2005.”<br />

James and Warren came<br />

to look at Flashback in 2019,<br />

which Warren described as<br />

“in a mess”. The rig, keel and<br />

bulb were all lying at Woolwich<br />

Dock; nonetheless they<br />

decided to purchase it.<br />

“I wanted to bring it back to<br />

life. I’m a history buff,” says<br />

James.<br />

Bill Buckle had stayed in<br />

contact with every owner of<br />

the boat, and Joan Cunnyngham<br />

gave him James’ mobile<br />

number.<br />

“Bill rang me and he wanted<br />

to know all about the rebuild.<br />

He was so excited that it was<br />

going to be restored to Buckle<br />

Up. He said when you get it up<br />

to <strong>Pittwater</strong> for a sail I’ll follow<br />

you around in my rib. That’s<br />

what he planned to do aged 96,<br />

which sounded great to us.”<br />

James plans to set up a<br />

YouTube channel dedicated<br />

to the restoration of Buckle<br />

Up, and asked Bill if he could<br />

interview him about the early<br />

sailing days.<br />

“Bill talked about the design<br />

elements, explaining that<br />

he wanted the boat to plane,<br />

and the original keel had little<br />

fins that helped lift it out<br />

of the water… we think that’s<br />

how he achieved 28 knots<br />

towing waterskiers.”<br />

James and Warren have<br />

spent hours restoring the<br />

boat. The keel timbers had<br />

rotted, so they called on the<br />

expertise of Avalon-based naval<br />

architect Andrew Dovell,<br />

and a way was devised to<br />

keep the original wooden keel<br />

logs, replacing the original<br />

very light timber with stronger,<br />

slightly heavier wood.<br />

From his time at McConaghy<br />

Boats, Warren knew<br />

Chris Koreman, who, based<br />

at Woolwich Dock, works<br />

with fiberglass and carbon<br />

composite, and had worked<br />

on Wild Oats XI.<br />

“I can’t thank Chris Koreman<br />

enough. He laid up the<br />

fiberglass for us, and got the<br />

keel ready to go on the boat.”<br />

In March, James and Warren<br />

entered the boat in its<br />

first race – a Greenwich Flying<br />

Squadron twilight race – and<br />

James says they plan to race<br />

Buckle Up with the Greenwich<br />

Flying Squadron during<br />

Winter.<br />

“We’ve painted the hull its<br />

original colours, although<br />

it hasn’t got the name on it<br />

yet,” Warren explains. “But<br />

when we take it out people<br />

from other yachts ask, ‘is that<br />

Buckle Up?’ There is a lot of<br />

interest in it.”<br />

“We hope to have Buckle Up<br />

back in <strong>Pittwater</strong> for Spring,”<br />

James says.<br />

Sadly, Bill Buckle passed<br />

away in <strong>May</strong> 2023. But with its<br />

enthusiastic new owners, and<br />

its lightweight and innovative<br />

design, Buckle Up is set<br />

to challenge all the other 40<br />

footers for years to come. How<br />

proud Bill would have been.<br />

– Rosamund Burton<br />

20 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

News<br />

Ben’s breakthrough charge<br />

As with all scientific innovations, the<br />

development of a sustainable electricity<br />

technology has been a journey for<br />

16-year-old Benjamin Lenehan.<br />

Benjamin began generating electricity from<br />

nitrogen, which was challenging, but led<br />

to him noticing that energy was still being<br />

created once the nitrogen flow had stopped.<br />

Further testing led to the discovery that<br />

moisture in the air could be used to create<br />

renewable energy, which could effectively<br />

work 24 hours a day.<br />

After months of testing various materials<br />

and approaches to get the largest voltage<br />

possible, Benjamin created a prototype called<br />

the NitroNet, with an output of 190 volts –<br />

using moisture in the air.<br />

“Ultimately, I want to sell this product as a<br />

panel that can output 240 volts – the amount<br />

required to power an entire house,” said<br />

Benjamin.<br />

His invention hasn’t come by chance; he has<br />

spent countless hours every day for the past<br />

year developing the technology.<br />

“I’ve funded it with my own money,<br />

earnt from my after-school job. Research<br />

and development comes with significant expense, but the<br />

investment has proved to be worthwhile,” he said.<br />

“The prototype is very cheap to make at just $6.50 for the<br />

190-volt variant. I’ve turned part of mum’s kitchen into a<br />

chemistry lab to do experiments every evening after dinner.”<br />

GREAT THINGS: Spark Tank winners<br />

Benjamin, 16 (right) and Oliver, 18, with<br />

their invention that creates electricity<br />

from the air.<br />

The product is patented in Australia and<br />

the UK.<br />

“The beauty of the NitroNet is that it works<br />

24/7, is cheap and portable and only needs<br />

access to air to operate. I have been testing<br />

different processes and combinations to<br />

increase the output and also am conducting<br />

endurance testing to ensure it will be a<br />

sustainable product in the long-term.”<br />

Benjamin, along with the support<br />

of his brother, entered the local youth<br />

entrepreneurial business competition Spark<br />

Tank, where he was required to pitch his<br />

business plan and invention in front of a<br />

panel of judges and audience. They were<br />

very impressed with Benjamin’s working<br />

prototype, which powered two lights.<br />

As the winner, Benjamin and his brother<br />

received $5000 in seed funding and six<br />

months of business coaching, provided by<br />

local business entrepreneurs.<br />

Benjamin has also won a Teens in Business<br />

competition, winning the 2023 Australian<br />

Most Impactful Entrepreneur of the Year. The<br />

young inventor says he plans to develop more<br />

useful technologies in the future.<br />

“Once I finish developing the NitroNet, I plan to continue to<br />

try to find solutions to real world problems using scientific<br />

methods, and plan to make them accessible to the world<br />

through my business, Watergate Labs,” he said.<br />

*Follow Benjamin’s journey at watergatelabs.com<br />

22 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Improved notice of DAs urged<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Greens Councillor<br />

Miranda Korzy has called<br />

for improved notice of Development<br />

Applications (DAs).<br />

Raising the matter at Council’s<br />

April meeting, Ms Korzy<br />

said given residents frequently<br />

complained to her about<br />

problems with the DA notification<br />

system, she wanted a<br />

review of how it worked and<br />

improvements made.<br />

“The process is governed<br />

by the Council’s Community<br />

Participation Plan, which is<br />

due for a five-year review anyway<br />

after coming into place in<br />

2019, and I would like to see<br />

that carried out and improvements<br />

bedded down before<br />

the end of this Council term,”<br />

Ms Korzy said.<br />

“Residents want to know<br />

when a development is proposed<br />

for their community<br />

– and not just next door – yet<br />

there are myriad reasons why<br />

this no longer happens.<br />

“Unfortunately, I’ve<br />

received complaints from<br />

neighbours either right next<br />

door or across the road, who<br />

should have been notified,<br />

but haven’t.<br />

“But I also hear from<br />

residents who live, not immediately<br />

next door or across<br />

the street, but close enough<br />

to the property for which a<br />

DA has been submitted to be<br />

impacted by its construction<br />

and the final outcome.<br />

“A regular gripe is that by<br />

the time residents hear about<br />

a DA or see the sign outside a<br />

property, the 14-days notice<br />

period has expired – and they<br />

MOTION: Ms Korzy.<br />

often don’t realise NBC will<br />

accept comments up until the<br />

DA is assessed.”<br />

She said an end to the NSW<br />

Government requirement<br />

for publication of DAs in<br />

local media and loss of local<br />

weekly newspapers meant<br />

residents no longer saw regular<br />

notifications.<br />

“Another change has been<br />

that <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council directly<br />

notified resident groups of<br />

newly submitted DAs, which<br />

helped them alert members<br />

to any concerns.<br />

“Many in the community<br />

struggle to use the DA system<br />

on council’s website and I’d<br />

also like to see improvements<br />

to make it more user friendly.<br />

“And finally, we could give<br />

more prominence to notifications<br />

of newly submitted DAs<br />

in the weekly online ‘Northern<br />

Beaches News’ (which<br />

Council emails to residents<br />

who are registered).”<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*What do you think? Tell<br />

us at readers@pittwaterlife.<br />

com.au<br />

Wakehurst<br />

Parkway<br />

works update<br />

Northern Beaches Council<br />

reports that its Wakehurst<br />

Parkway Flood Improvement<br />

Project is underway, with<br />

staff preparing information<br />

for the detailed design and<br />

construction of the Oxford<br />

Falls Road West flood works.<br />

As part of this process,<br />

final site investigations are<br />

taking place including survey<br />

information, geotechnical<br />

investigations and potholing to<br />

identify utilities.<br />

Council says Oxford Falls<br />

Road West will remain open;<br />

however there may be some<br />

minor impacts to traffic flow in<br />

coming weeks.<br />

Minor investigative works at<br />

other flood mitigation locations<br />

such as The Bends and Sydney<br />

Academy of Sport are also<br />

expected over the next 4-6<br />

weeks as Council builds up the<br />

design information for these<br />

areas.<br />

*Updates on Council website.<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 23

News<br />

School funding cuts ‘shameful’<br />

The NSW Labor Government<br />

has cut almost<br />

$600,000 in funding to<br />

11 schools across <strong>Pittwater</strong> –<br />

an act one Parents & Citizens<br />

committee has labelled<br />

“shameful”.<br />

Last month Premier Chris<br />

Minns announced a total $150<br />

million would be slashed from<br />

schools across NSW in <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

It follows the Labor Government’s<br />

landmark near-10<br />

per cent pay increase for the<br />

State’s 95,000 teachers, which<br />

commenced last October.<br />

Avalon Public School is the<br />

worst-hit local school – with a<br />

21 per cent funding cut equating<br />

to a $97,639 shortfall this<br />

year.<br />

In a statement provided<br />

to <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong>, the Executive<br />

Committee of the Avalon<br />

P&C said: “To lose over 21<br />

per cent of a budget that is<br />

fundamental in keeping a<br />

school running effectively is<br />

a shameful act by the current<br />

State Government. The impact<br />

will be felt by our students and<br />

teachers immediately.<br />

“To lose almost $100,000<br />

previously set aside to support<br />

the running of our school<br />

is both disappointing and<br />

demoralising. The deepest<br />

impact will be felt by the<br />

students.<br />

“This is a bitter blow for the<br />

families who not only support<br />

Public Education but who also<br />

supported increased wages for<br />

teachers.”<br />

The committee said the State<br />

Government had effectively<br />

taken much-needed funds set<br />

aside for children to cover<br />

wages.<br />

REELING: Avalon Public School<br />

is the most affected by the NSW<br />

Government’s funding cuts.<br />

“The fallout of this cut will<br />

be seen across many facets of<br />

school life,” it warned.<br />

“Both State and Federal Governments<br />

need to better fund<br />

our public schools for the sake<br />

of the teachers, students and<br />

families who choose Public<br />

Education.”<br />

The Minns Government’s<br />

pay rise agreement, endorsed<br />

by the Teachers Federation,<br />

saw teachers’ starting salaries<br />

increase from $75,791 to<br />

$85,000 and salaries for topof-the-scale<br />

teachers go from<br />

$113,042 to $122,100.<br />

State Opposition Leader<br />

Mark Speakman said principals<br />

had been blindsided by<br />

the decision, which will strip<br />

at least $570,000 from <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

schools alone.<br />

“In practice, this will mean<br />

students could be left without<br />

crucial learning support staff,<br />

as well as having wellbeing<br />

programs slashed and school<br />

upgrades cancelled.<br />

“The timing is also concerning<br />

– the school year is well<br />

underway… key decisions have<br />

already been made and people<br />

have already been employed<br />

for specific roles. This is not<br />

good enough and our kids<br />

deserve better.”<br />

Other local schools affected<br />

included Narrabeen Lakes PS<br />

(-17 per cent); Bilgola Plateau<br />

PS and Barrenjoey High School<br />

(-15 per cent each); Narrabeen<br />

Sports High (-14 per cent);<br />

Elanora Heights PS (-13 per<br />

cent); Newport PS (-12 per<br />

cent); Narrabeen North PS (-11<br />

per cent).<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> High will lose<br />

almost $47,000 (-7 per cent),<br />

while Mona Vale PS will lose<br />

just over $40,000 (-6 per cent).<br />

Terrey Hills PS was the only<br />

school to gain funding, with a<br />

$21,000 boost (+14 per cent).<br />

The figures are based on<br />

resource allocation funding<br />

models on the government’s<br />

website.<br />

Member for <strong>Pittwater</strong> Rory<br />

Amon said it was clear the<br />

Government had broken its<br />

promise that its union deals<br />

would not impact classrooms.<br />

He added Labor’s cuts followed<br />

record additional funding to<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Schools under the<br />

Coalition of nearly $5 million<br />

in the 2022/2023 Budget.<br />

He said schools could previously<br />

opt to carry over additional<br />

funding and save it for<br />

future projects and programs.<br />

However, the Government’s<br />

cutbacks had resulted in those<br />

carry-over amounts being<br />

frozen and withheld.<br />

“This important funding helps<br />

principals meet the unique<br />

needs of their school including<br />

additional staffing, programs,<br />

capital, and operational projects<br />

which help their students.<br />

School communities are<br />

telling me that these projects<br />

are now at great risk. Where<br />

schools have saved funds from<br />

prior years, they have been<br />

taken by the Government.<br />

“Additional funding to <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

schools has been reduced<br />

from $4.9 million in 2023 to<br />

$4.3 million in <strong>2024</strong>. This is<br />

a huge decline given recent<br />

inflationary pressures.<br />

“These cuts will compromise<br />

our kids’ education. And<br />

they defy a rational budgeting<br />

process, with the cuts taking<br />

effect part-way through the<br />

year.”<br />

Secretary of the Narrabeen<br />

Sports High Parents & Citizens<br />

Association Dr Peter McDonald<br />

said: “Although a small cut to<br />

the school’s operating budget,<br />

parents will rightly be concerned<br />

if it negatively impacts<br />

delivery of our student welfare<br />

programs such as mental<br />

health & wellbeing.”<br />

“More broadly, any cutback<br />

in funding required for the<br />

school’s long-overdue infrastructure<br />

upgrade would be of<br />

great concern, as there is still<br />

much to be done. Latest advice<br />

suggests that the next stage<br />

of capital works will be fully<br />

funded.”<br />

Mr Amon said he had written<br />

to Minister for Education<br />

Prue Car demanding to know<br />

the extent of these cuts and<br />

what projects and programs<br />

would need to be cancelled by<br />

schools.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*What do you think? Tell us at<br />

readers@pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

24 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Launchpad surf event returns<br />

Professional surfing is<br />

returning to the Northern<br />

Beaches with some of<br />

the world’s best surfers heading<br />

to North Narrabeen for<br />

the GWM Sydney Surf Pro, a<br />

Challenger Series event that’s<br />

being held from <strong>May</strong> 9-16.<br />

The tier-2 World Surf<br />

League competition is a<br />

proven launching pad to<br />

surf stardom, as last year’s<br />

Sydney winner Cole Houshmand<br />

demonstrated when,<br />

after graduating to the <strong>2024</strong><br />

Championship Tour, he won<br />

the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach<br />

in early April.<br />

That victory vaulted Houshmand<br />

into the world’s top 10,<br />

ensuring he finished on the<br />

right side of this year’s dreaded<br />

mid-season cut, when male<br />

Championship Tour competitor<br />

numbers were reduced<br />

from 36 to 22 for men and 16<br />

to 10 for women.<br />

Many of the culled surfers<br />

are expected to compete<br />

in Sydney, meaning the large<br />

fields – 80 men and 48 women<br />

– will include household names<br />

and rising stars such as Northern<br />

Beaches surfers George<br />

Pittar and Winter Vincent.<br />

Andrew Stark, President of<br />

World Surf League Asia-Pacific,<br />

says the six Challenger<br />

Series events play a key role<br />

in the competitive eco-system,<br />

providing a launching pad to<br />

the elite level for the top 10<br />

men and top 5 women, who<br />

will join the 2025 Championship<br />

Tour.<br />

He says professional surfing<br />

is in an exciting phase.<br />

“From a professional surfing<br />

perspective in Australia<br />

there’s some amazing talent<br />

coming through with the<br />

likes of Jack Robinson, Ethan<br />

Ewing and Molly Picklum,”<br />

says Stark.<br />

“There’s new talent across<br />

the board. Look at Caitlin<br />

Simmers and Griffin Colapinto<br />

from California – there<br />

a whole new breed, which is<br />

super exciting for the sport.”<br />

Stark says some of the biggest<br />

changes have occurred in<br />

women’s professional surfing,<br />

where the depth and quality<br />

of talent has sharply lifted<br />

over the past couple of years,<br />

particularly in waves of consequence,<br />

as this year’s competitions<br />

in Hawaii demonstrated.<br />

“The girls are incredible,<br />

what they’re doing. And it’s<br />

a real testament to the approach<br />

we took in combining<br />

all the events and making<br />

sure the women did have the<br />

opportunity to surf in Tahiti<br />

and Pipeline and had equal<br />

prize money,” he says.<br />

STEPPED UP: Cole<br />

Houshmand surfing<br />

to victory in the 2023<br />

Sydney Surf Pro at<br />

North Narrabeen.<br />

“I think that’s given the<br />

women the opportunity they<br />

rightfully deserve in critical<br />

waves, and they are proving<br />

to the world they deserve<br />

to be out at those breaks –<br />

they’re sending it and it’s<br />

amazing to watch.”<br />

Construction of the competition<br />

site at North Narrabeen<br />

– which takes over the car<br />

park and much of the surrounding<br />

area – will run from<br />

April 29 to <strong>May</strong> 8. It’s followed<br />

by the contest over seven<br />

days. Pack down is expected<br />

to be complete by <strong>May</strong> 23.<br />

– Martin Kelly<br />

Beaches battle on <strong>May</strong> 18<br />

The twice-postponed inaugural ‘Battle of the Beaches’<br />

board riders tournament will now be held on <strong>May</strong> 18 –<br />

weather and swell gods permitting!<br />

Originally canned due the lack of swell in early March,<br />

organisers rescheduled to April 6 – but had to cancel that<br />

as well due to the fierce east coast low and rain event that<br />

savaged the peninsula.<br />

The Surf Comp will kick off at 8am and conclude at 3pm<br />

at North Narrabeen, with all participating board riding<br />

clubs competing for a share in $10k prize money. First place<br />

will take home bragging rights and enjoy the right to host<br />

the tournament next year.<br />

All participating board riding clubs will head back to<br />

Park House, Mona Vale for the presentation and after party<br />

kicking off at 4pm.<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 25

News<br />

Melinda stands fast to Assist<br />

One of the biggest names in Australian<br />

athletics Melinda Gainsford-<br />

Taylor AM is showing no signs of<br />

slowing down.<br />

Since retiring from competitive sprinting<br />

more than 20 years ago, the triple<br />

Olympian, World Indoor Champion and<br />

national record holder in the 200m has<br />

delighted in being a hands-on mum and<br />

sharing her insights as a media commentator,<br />

a national selector for track and field<br />

and a motivational speaker – while making<br />

time to support a variety of charities.<br />

With her children Nicholas and Gabriella<br />

now young adults, Gainsford-Taylor<br />

is channelling more energy into coaching<br />

and mentoring at local schools and<br />

holding regular running clinics for a<br />

range of ages and abilities at The Sydney<br />

Academy of Sport at Narrabeen.<br />

The Collaroy Plateau local has been<br />

based on the Northern Beaches since she<br />

was a teenager after spending her early<br />

years on the family’s farm in Narromine<br />

in the state’s central west.<br />

She says her strong work ethic and the<br />

core value she holds dear – supporting<br />

others – were gained from her parents;<br />

mother Jill, who died in 2015 after a long<br />

battle with cancer, and dad Brian.<br />

“My beautiful mum had cancer three<br />

AMBASSADOR: Melinda Gainsford-Taylor.<br />

times which was obviously incredibly<br />

challenging not only for her but for the<br />

family as a whole,” Gainsford-Taylor said.<br />

Her mum would have to travel to Sydney<br />

– some 400km away – for treatment.<br />

“I still remember to this day her<br />

spending so much time in Sydney in hospital<br />

fighting cancer… it was tough.”<br />

When her mum was diagnosed a<br />

second time, Melinda and older brother<br />

David were living in a unit on the Northern<br />

Beaches.<br />

“Our family was lucky in that respect<br />

– we had accommodation in Sydney and<br />

were here to help look after mum while<br />

she was having chemotherapy.”<br />

Looking back, Gainsford-Taylor acknowledged<br />

how hard it would have been<br />

on her father who was trying to keep the<br />

farm running while his wife was battling<br />

cancer and he was unable to always be by<br />

her side.<br />

“I’m sure that’s what a lot of country<br />

people find challenging – they want to be<br />

with their loved ones,” she said.<br />

Gainsford-Taylor says her recently<br />

becoming an Ambassador for the charity<br />

Can Assist, “feels right”.<br />

Supporting country people with cancer<br />

since 1955, Can Assist provides accommodation,<br />

financial assistance and<br />

practical support to people from regional<br />

and rural areas of NSW.<br />

“I’m honored to be in a position to help<br />

city people become more aware of the extra<br />

challenges country people face when it<br />

comes to accessing cancer care,” she said.<br />

“With the right support we can help take<br />

some of the pressure off.” – Lisa Offord<br />

*To find out how you can help, go to<br />

canassist.org.au<br />

26 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

The Way We Were<br />

Every month we pore over three decades of <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong>, providing a snapshot<br />

of the area’s recent history – and confirming that quite often the more things change,<br />

the more they stay the same! Compiled by Lisa Offord<br />

The Way We Were<br />

25 Years Ago…<br />

Moves were afoot to have Currawong – the<br />

privately owned trade union conference and<br />

holiday centre – heritage listed and protected<br />

from proposed redevelopment which<br />

included the construction of a conference<br />

centre and replacing the existing cottages<br />

with “new accommodation”. <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Council had “now declared its opposition to<br />

the proposal by moving to have the site listed<br />

under its heritage plans.” An assessment of<br />

Currawong commissioned by Council had<br />

“identified several natural features as being<br />

of considerable heritage significance but notes<br />

that the holiday cottages and outbuildings,<br />

the conference centre, tennis court and golf<br />

course are of no appreciable significance.”<br />

In other news, an alcohol-free zone was<br />

proposed for Church Point. “All reserves in<br />

that area will be declared alcohol-free and<br />

in particular the public space between the Pasadena and the<br />

Ferry Wharf where commuters congregate in the afternoon<br />

for a few drinks.” It was proposed that the zone would be<br />

in force until 2002; Council launched an internal inquiry<br />

into the “recently stopped Bed and Breakfast development<br />

adjacent to Jonah’s restaurant” and a review of the Council’s<br />

15 Years Ago…<br />

B&B policies, to ensure that only “existing<br />

homes with spare accommodation<br />

are used… and that it did not lead to<br />

development of private hotels in residential<br />

areas… with a limit of six persons per<br />

establishment”; and <strong>Pittwater</strong> mums were<br />

among the first to experience Strollers<br />

Pramwalking – “… a group which provides<br />

exercise for new mothers with infants and<br />

small children”. Contributors had plenty<br />

to say – a local lawyer revisited “thoughts<br />

of the notorious OJ Simpson trial and its<br />

ramifications, if any, for the legal system in<br />

the country”; <strong>Pittwater</strong> MP John Brogden<br />

looked at the recent NSW elections: “On 27<br />

March the NSW Liberal Party recorded its<br />

worst primary vote in living memory. We<br />

lost eight seats – seven to Labor and one to<br />

the National Party. In Sydney the Liberal Party now holds<br />

only two seats south of the harbour – Vaucluse and Cronulla.”<br />

And technology expert David Hague waxed lyrical about<br />

the new Palm Pilot V organiser which apart from having the<br />

capacity to hold 2000 names and addresses “can also send<br />

and receive emails!”<br />

5 Years Ago…<br />

The editor at the time<br />

matters, is considerable.” In Barely two months on from<br />

noted the “passing of PRAID news, the Warriewood Child the NSW State Election,<br />

(<strong>Pittwater</strong> Residents Against Care Centre was expected to <strong>Pittwater</strong> residents were<br />

Inappropriate Development) open; local MP Rob Stokes was heading back to the polling<br />

after eight years of activity, concerned about “ill-considered booths to cast their votes<br />

mostly opposing SEPP 55 changes” to Northern Beaches for the seat of Mackellar in<br />

proposals around the shire… bus services; and Council’s the 2019 Federal Election<br />

it used its influence to get the landslip rulings were in<br />

on <strong>May</strong> 18. Meanwhile NB<br />

Council to challenge many a question with a report<br />

Council was “researching<br />

development, at some cost to from geotechnical experts dog water parks with an<br />

ratepayers, in the Land and recommending substantial eye on future local offleash<br />

Environment Court.” The changes to the existing<br />

walking needs”; Council<br />

article explained the group policy, stating that many<br />

agreed to “allocate $50,000<br />

struggled to find a person of the 17,000 properties<br />

towards the public lighting<br />

to lead it after its founder listed as landslip affected or work required for the<br />

and then its<br />

possibly affected Barrenjoey Headland and<br />

President<br />

“… have been the sand isthmus to be land at Hillside Road above<br />

resigned after<br />

inappropriately designated as an Urban Porter Reserve in Newport<br />

“getting on to”<br />

classified<br />

Night Sky Place” and also and leave it as greenspace.<br />

the Council,<br />

as having a<br />

resolved to set up a working We featured a host of locals<br />

“like so many<br />

restriction on group for the project. and their interesting stories<br />

volunteer<br />

development Parking fees at Rowland including inspirational<br />

organisations<br />

when in fact Reserve in Bayview were Newport mum Sam Bloom,<br />

it found lots of<br />

they simply<br />

slashed by up to 40 per cent community photographer<br />

people willing<br />

need design<br />

to encourage more visitors Michael Mannington, and<br />

to support<br />

input from a to park in the allocated Meg Keneally – Thomas’<br />

but no-one<br />

geotechnical areas and not clog up the daughter – talking about<br />

willing to do the<br />

engineer or just surrounding streets; and “growing up with her<br />

work, which in<br />

an awareness of the State Government and famous dad and the steps<br />

environmental<br />

good hill slope Council teamed up to try that have led her to the<br />

and planning<br />

management”. to buy developer-owned release of her first novel.”<br />

28 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

High Flyers<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

Couple Juanita Phillips and Greg<br />

Combet discuss the media, politics…<br />

and Greg’s passion for finch breeding.<br />

just time to do something winter. Phillips describes it<br />

different.”<br />

as “the Taj Mahal of the bird<br />

Story by Steve Meacham<br />

This morning, the man world – a monument to Greg’s<br />

who has been compared to “a love of finches!”<br />

When Juanita Phillips questions!’”<br />

lanky Clark Kent” is showing Growing up on Penfold’s<br />

interviewed Greg It was five years before me the aviary in their back Minchinbury Estate in<br />

Combet for The they met again and – both<br />

garden featuring 16 of the western Sydney (he’s a<br />

Bulletin magazine in 2007, she recently divorced – they<br />

tiny, endangered birds – passionate Penrith Panthers<br />

already knew he had a soft<br />

five of them born over the fan), Combet’s winemaker<br />

began a life together.<br />

spot for Gouldian finches.<br />

summer.<br />

father introduced his son<br />

These days, that life is<br />

“That brownie-looking one to birds as soon as he could<br />

She’d done her research, and based in Avalon Beach, where<br />

is a baby,” Combet says. “It’s walk. “Pigeons, poultry,<br />

after quizzing the then-head Greg still breeds Gouldians,<br />

with its father. It will change peacocks, pheasants,” he<br />

of the Australian Council as he prepares to start his<br />

colour later.” Then there’s remembers. “The Gouldian<br />

of Trade Unions (ACTU) latest role as chairman of<br />

an iconic rainbow finch finches came later. The blue<br />

about the 1998 waterfront the Future Fund, the Federal<br />

which will eventually sport ones can only be bred in<br />

dispute (during which time Government’s largest asset. a red face, blue bib, yellow captivity. Some people get<br />

Combet was ACTU assistant Phillips recently left the waistcoat and green back quite crazy about them.”<br />

secretary), his political ABC after 21 years as the feathers – first identified by Both Phillips and Combet<br />

ambitions and his successful national broadcaster’s NSW the British-born ornithologist have a long association with<br />

prosecution of James Hardie 7pm news presenter, the John Gould in 1824 and Avalon Beach, although<br />

on behalf of asbestos victims, longest serving after the found only in the Northern neither realised that when<br />

she went in hard.<br />

legendary James Dibble Territory, the Kimberley and they first met. Phillips, who<br />

“I said to him, ‘why do you (1956-’83).<br />

Far North Queensland.<br />

grew up in Brisbane, has lived<br />

like birds so much?’ And this “I’ve worked as a journalist Combet designed this there on and off “for the best<br />

tough union leader sighed full-time for the past 42 aviary himself, including part of 30 years”, and wrote<br />

deeply, and said, ‘Because years,” she said. “But I’m glass louvres to control the her children’s books series<br />

they don’t ask me any<br />

definitely not retiring. It’s breeze, and a heater for The Newspaper Kids in the<br />

32 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

mid-1990s, while living in a<br />

share house in Park Avenue<br />

and working for Sky News.<br />

She left Avalon to work<br />

for the BBC and CNN<br />

International in London,<br />

but always knew she would<br />

return to this “magical<br />

seaside village”. When she<br />

married, she had her two<br />

children – Marcus, now 20,<br />

and Mischa, now 18 – while<br />

living in a house in Riverview<br />

Road, where she also wrote<br />

her work/life juggle memoir<br />

A Pressure Cooker Saved My<br />

<strong>Life</strong>. (Marcus now works as<br />

a commercial and fashion<br />

photographer – he took these<br />

photographs for <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

<strong>Life</strong> – and Mischa is studying<br />

at the Australian National<br />

University in Canberra).<br />

And how did a kitchen<br />

appliance save her, exactly?<br />

“<strong>Life</strong> was too hectic, working<br />

at the ABC five nights a<br />

week and raising two young<br />

children. I really wasn’t<br />

coping with everything,” she<br />

admits.<br />

“I bought a second-hand<br />

pressure cooker for $5 from<br />

the Red Cross shop in Avalon.<br />

It saved my life because it<br />

allowed me, as a working<br />

mother of young children, to<br />

cook large batches of healthy<br />

food and freeze it, so there<br />

was always something ready<br />

to go.”<br />

The old Hawkins cooker<br />

has long since gone to the<br />

great recycling bowl in<br />

the sky. Now she owns an<br />

electric version with a timer<br />

that allows her to cook<br />

while she’s doing pilates in<br />

Newport (“Yoga’s a lot more<br />

challenging on the knees<br />

these days!”) or emceeing a<br />

corporate event.<br />

Combet’s links with the<br />

area go back much further.<br />

His great-grandmother lived<br />

in one of the original cottages<br />

in Elvina Avenue. “And every<br />

summer when I was a kid,<br />

we would spend six weeks<br />

camping at Palm Beach with<br />

my cousins, all through the<br />

1960s. The camping ground<br />

is long since gone, but it has<br />

wonderful memories for<br />

me – swimming, fishing and<br />

spending entire days on the<br />

beach.”<br />

The couple bought their<br />

current home in Avalon six<br />

years ago, but it was a long<br />

and convoluted path to get<br />

there. When Phillips’ children<br />

AVALON CONNECTION: Greg Combet (above centre) has fond memories of<br />

swimming and fishing locally with his family; Juanita Phillips (left) wrote<br />

her children’s books series while living in Park Avenue in the mid-1990s.<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

were young, she moved the leader was a constant battle<br />

family from Riverview Road against the climate deniers.<br />

to Roseville on the North Combet says the Coalition’s<br />

Shore, as the two-hour daily negativity about the “carbon<br />

commute to and from the tax” was amplified by Rupert<br />

ABC studios in Ultimo was Murdoch’s media interests.<br />

too gruelling.<br />

When Gillard was herself<br />

Combet, meanwhile, had replaced by Rudd before<br />

moved from Melbourne the 2013 election, Combet<br />

(where he was based as ACTU resigned from Cabinet with<br />

secretary) to Newcastle, when an announcement he would<br />

he was elected to Federal not contest his constituency.<br />

Parliament in 2007.<br />

By then, both Combet’s<br />

Marked out as a highflier,<br />

and Phillips’ marriages had<br />

he was appointed the ended and they were happily<br />

minister for Defence Materiel together, after he plucked up<br />

when Australian troops were the courage to email her and<br />

in Afghanistan and Iraq, and ask her to lunch.<br />

was elevated to cabinet as the “My electorate staff and I<br />

Minister for Climate Change were watching the 7pm news<br />

when Julia Gillard ousted one night, and I mentioned<br />

Kevin Rudd in 2010.<br />

that I’d had lunch with<br />

If the 1998 waterfront Phillips years ago and she<br />

dispute had been brutal, was very nice. My staff said<br />

being Minister for Climate to me – well, she’s single now,<br />

Change in a minority<br />

ask her out!”<br />

government with Tony<br />

Combet then moved from<br />

Abbott – then MP for<br />

Newcastle to Sydney to<br />

Warringah – as Opposition<br />

Continued on page 34<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 33

<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

PASSION: Combet<br />

designed his aviary<br />

himself. It houses 16<br />

magnificent finches.<br />

Continued from page 33<br />

embark on his post-politics<br />

career, with frequent trips<br />

to Melbourne to see his<br />

daughter Anna, now 33, and<br />

his two other step-children<br />

Clara and Yannis.<br />

His main role since leaving<br />

parliament has been as chair<br />

of IFM Investors, a global<br />

funds management company<br />

investing money on behalf<br />

of industry super fund<br />

members.<br />

But his reputation as an<br />

ideology-free fixer has led to<br />

numerous other adventures<br />

– including an extraordinary<br />

phone call from Scott<br />

Morrison during the early<br />

months of COVID-19 when<br />

the economic consequences<br />

facing Australia and the<br />

world became obvious.<br />

“I’d entered parliament<br />

at the same time as Scott<br />

Morrison in 2007 so we knew<br />

each other across the aisle,”<br />

he points out. Unemployment<br />

looked like falling off a<br />

cliff. According to one press<br />

report, then treasurer Josh<br />

Frydenberg told the Prime<br />

Minister: “We need Greg<br />

Combet on this.” To which<br />

Morrison apparently replied: “I<br />

Continued on page 36<br />

34 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Phillips recently left<br />

the ABC after 21<br />

years as NSW 7pm<br />

news presenter.<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

Continued from page 34<br />

was thinking the same thing.”<br />

The man in question says<br />

he’s never heard of that story,<br />

but says he recommended<br />

JobKeeper, with the<br />

government reimbursing<br />

employers to keep their<br />

workforce on staff rather<br />

than pay the same people<br />

social service benefits.<br />

JobKeeper is seen as one of<br />

the great achievements of the<br />

Morrison government.<br />

When his former Cabinet<br />

colleague Anthony Albanese<br />

won the 2022 election,<br />

Combet accepted a plea from<br />

the Lodge to return to the<br />

Climate Change combat arena<br />

as Chair of the Government’s<br />

Net Zero Economy Agency – a<br />

role he’ll forgo in June to take<br />

up another Albanese request<br />

to head the Future Fund,<br />

replacing former Liberal<br />

treasurer Peter Costello.<br />

Both he and Phillips travel<br />

often for their jobs – mainly<br />

to Canberra and Melbourne<br />

– but their future is in<br />

Avalon, where they settled<br />

permanently in 2018.<br />

“People used to say when<br />

36 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

I worked for the ABC, ‘Why<br />

would you live all the way<br />

up there?’” Phillips says.<br />

“My reply always was, ‘Why<br />

wouldn’t you? It’s the most<br />

beautiful place in Sydney!’<br />

“Since COVID, people<br />

have really discovered the<br />

Barrenjoey peninsula and the<br />

population has boomed. But<br />

it’s still a wonderful, friendly<br />

community set among the<br />

most extraordinary natural<br />

beauty. We love it here.”<br />

As local residents they are<br />

both concerned about the<br />

threat of overdevelopment –<br />

and are particularly looking<br />

forward to the day when<br />

their favourite local cafe,<br />

at Avalon Beach Surf <strong>Life</strong><br />

Saving clubhouse, eventually<br />

reopens with new operators.<br />

One thing they don’t<br />

share is Phillips’ visits to<br />

the hairdresser for her<br />

trademark shoulder-length<br />

cut and colour.<br />

She posed for a photograph<br />

for the Good Weekend<br />

magazine several years ago<br />

showing, as she put it, “that,<br />

naturally, I’m as grey-haired<br />

as a badger”. The article<br />

accompanying it bemoaned<br />

the double standards<br />

facing men and women on<br />

television, with males rarely<br />

criticised for their weight,<br />

clothes sense or facial<br />

appearance.<br />

Her stand was seen as<br />

a feminist disclosure, but<br />

Phillips readily admits the<br />

photo was airbrushed: “I<br />

wasn’t brave enough to go<br />

grey while I worked in TV,<br />

and I’m still not.”<br />

Having Combet as a<br />

partner doesn’t help. Apart<br />

from a little whitening<br />

around the sideburns, his<br />

hair is as naturally black<br />

as it was when he was a<br />

teenager at Rooty Hill Public<br />

High School. “It’s not fair,”<br />

she jokes.<br />

Mind you, Combet admits<br />

to facing adverse criticism<br />

himself. “When I was<br />

first a junior minister in<br />

parliament, my office would<br />

receive complaints asking<br />

why I felt it necessary to use<br />

Grecian 2000!”<br />

*More info futurefund.gov.<br />

au<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 37

News<br />

PHOTO: Lachlan Peknice<br />

SEEN…<br />

Given more than<br />

200mm of rain<br />

fell during the<br />

east coast low<br />

on April 4-5, you<br />

can understand<br />

why locals were<br />

sceptical about<br />

the all-clear on<br />

possible water pollution given by Beachwatch,<br />

the NSW Government’s water-monitoring service, for<br />

Sunday April 7. Beachwatch issued a green light on water<br />

quality for the Northern Beaches at 6am – but by midday had<br />

red-flagged the entire coastline. Why? We contacted Beachwatch<br />

who told us: “The information on the Beachwatch website<br />

utilises rainfall data from local rain gauges to forecast the likelihood<br />

of pollution at monitored swim sites. Due to the intense<br />

rainfall of over 100mm at some sites, a number of rain gauges<br />

failed. This meant accurate rainfall data was not available and<br />

as a result, the 6am water quality forecast on the Sunday was<br />

incorrect.” No kidding – just check out the Narrabeen Lagoon<br />

mouth (pictured). Meanwhile, Council is now being asked<br />

to contribute almost $400 a day to remain a partner in the<br />

Beachwatch program (see story P9).<br />

* * *<br />

Council has unveiled new<br />

First Nations art on Freshwater<br />

headland, as part<br />

of the Coast Walk Public<br />

Art project. Led by artist<br />

Nicole Monks from mili<br />

mili, the work is a tribute to<br />

the tradition and historical<br />

significance of signal<br />

fires, which were lit up and<br />

down the east coast as a<br />

means of communication<br />

by Aboriginal people for<br />

tens of thousands of years.<br />

The structural work, several years in design and making, is a<br />

key landmark on the 36km Coast Walk, which will eventually<br />

stretch to Palm Beach.<br />

HEARD…<br />

PHOTO: Martin Kelly<br />

Following last month’s ‘Absurd’ item on the lacklustre<br />

contractor maintenance of <strong>Pittwater</strong> Park at Palm Beach, as<br />

highlighted by resident Robert Ellis, we gave Council the opportunity<br />

to respond. We thought they might at least acknowledge<br />

the evidence of shoddy work, as published. Instead they<br />

doubled down, issuing a statement we can only assume was to<br />

assure residents that they are on top of things. In summary<br />

they said: “Council maintains its parks, foreshores and tracks<br />

and trails across the Local Government Area proactively and<br />

reactively to achieve the highest level of service possible within<br />

current funding constraints. This includes mowing around<br />

2,700,000 square metres of grass… Contractors… are selected<br />

after a rigorous open tender process to ensure Council is delivering<br />

a value for money… Throughout the contract period,<br />

Council staff conduct site inspections, collect data on key performance<br />

indicators and<br />

meet with contractors<br />

to monitor and<br />

discuss performance<br />

and service delivery.”<br />

So… our next question<br />

is, how long<br />

since staff inspected<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Park?<br />

Judging by the latest<br />

photo forwarded<br />

to us (thanks again<br />

Robert Ellis), it’s<br />

once in a Blue Moon.<br />

* * *<br />

The hot local topic of the past few weeks has been the kerfuffle<br />

over Council’s three-person panel knocking back the application<br />

by the owners of The Joey to extend their operating hours to<br />

11pm, seven days a week. Plenty of locals in favour, seven objectors<br />

(at least on the record). Even Premier Chris Minns got in on<br />

the act, bemoaning the “troubling” decision which was “the opposite<br />

direction” to his vision for an open Sydney. Premier Minns<br />

even met with operators Ben <strong>May</strong> and Rob Domjen, although<br />

why remains unclear. The only meeting that counted last month<br />

was the one between Council and the operators, looking to ward<br />

off a costly likely legal challenge from the owners in the Land &<br />

Environment Court. And – it can now be revealed the real reason<br />

Council representatives knocked them back was because…<br />

they filed the wrong paperwork. Seriously. Which is something<br />

Council’s planners must have known at the time – but for<br />

whatever reason didn’t make clear to the owners. So instead of<br />

saying “hang on a minute, this is wrong”, they muddled through<br />

the process and knocked back something they actually couldn’t/<br />

shouldn’t have ruled on. Anyhoo. Council now tells us: “[We] met<br />

with the applicant and the operators of Joeys (sic) to discuss options<br />

for a review of the application to extend the operating hours<br />

of the venue. These discussions were productive and Council staff<br />

have extended an invitation to meet with the applicant prior to the<br />

lodgement of the review. In the opinion of Council, the applicant<br />

should have lodged the request to modify the consent as a section<br />

40 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

4.55(2) modification, given the extent of changes requested. Council<br />

understands that the applicant is now in the process of obtaining<br />

the necessary information. We remain confident this matter can<br />

be resolved with a positive outcome for the venue and the community.”<br />

We’ll update you next month.<br />

* * *<br />

Don’t get too excited yet, but Council says it is currently<br />

finalising the terms of a lease with a prospective tenant for<br />

the restaurant and café space at Avalon Surf <strong>Life</strong> Saving Club.<br />

The deal is being handled by Upstate Real Estate. Also heard –<br />

Council has knocked back prospective tenders for the Flying<br />

Fox Café at Bayview and will “seek submissions from suitably<br />

qualified agents with a track record of comparable leasing<br />

deals in the local area” to help find the iconic local cafe a new<br />

operator.<br />

ABSURD…<br />

Still focusing on the poor maintenance of <strong>Pittwater</strong> green<br />

spaces… <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> has been keeping tabs on the new<br />

Yarning Circle at Mona Vale Hospital since its opening around<br />

two years ago. The space occupies a central position on the<br />

campus, with gardens, paths, trees and a covered children’s<br />

playground. Our eyebrows were first raised when the trees<br />

were left unwatered over several months. They died. (They’re<br />

still there… see? The feeble stick things.) Over time, weeds<br />

became the dominant species in the gardens. On occasions we<br />

saw a worker tending the space – but the extent of his care was<br />

to whipper-snip the weeds to ground level (pictured). Could<br />

not have done less! So when we revisited again last month we<br />

were surprised to observe a Bushlink crew – supervisor, two<br />

paid workers and<br />

participants – pulling<br />

up the Yarning<br />

Circle’s weeds. The<br />

supervisor told us<br />

Bushlink – which assists<br />

individuals with<br />

disabilities to participate<br />

in work programs – had won a tender by the hospital to<br />

deliver eight sessions to clean up the space. Hmm. Outsourcing<br />

maintenance to fix a problem created by an employee/contractor?<br />

Surely not. We reached out to Northern Sydney Local<br />

Health District; a spokesperson told us: “Mona Vale Hospital<br />

directly employs a gardener to maintain the hospital grounds<br />

and is currently recruiting a new gardener following a recent<br />

resignation. While the recruitment<br />

process continues, the<br />

hospital has contracted a local<br />

landscaping company, which<br />

assists people living with a disability,<br />

to attend to the gardens<br />

of the hospital’s Yarning Circle.<br />

The Mona Vale Hospital site<br />

has a large campus to maintain,<br />

and at times an external<br />

landscaping contractor does<br />

assist the hospital gardener<br />

with the maintenance. Once the<br />

gardener position is filled, they<br />

can continue to attend to the<br />

requirements of the garden.”<br />

Wow. No wonder the State<br />

Government is struggling for<br />

money everywhere.<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 41

News<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> News<br />

<strong>May</strong> Probus Club news<br />

Palm Beach and Peninsula Probus<br />

Club’s <strong>May</strong> speaker is Hette<br />

Mollema, a long-term volunteer<br />

with the Powerhouse Museum and<br />

a foundation member of Newport<br />

Probus Club. His talk covers the<br />

history of trams from around 1860<br />

onward, the reason for their demise<br />

as well as the logic of their reintroduction<br />

as Light Rail. Meeting at<br />

Club Palm Beach on 15 <strong>May</strong>, 9.30am.<br />

The club has off-street parking and<br />

is right at the bus stop. Visitors<br />

welcome; enquiries to Membership<br />

Secretary (0421 435 792).<br />

The next meeting of the Newport<br />

Probus Club is on Thursday 2<br />

<strong>May</strong> at the Newport Bowling Club,<br />

commencing 10am. The speaker<br />

is well-known antiques dealer Ken<br />

Buxton who has invited members to<br />

bring an article which he will discuss<br />

and value. He will pay cash for war<br />

medals, old coins and old watches.<br />

Visitors welcome. More information<br />

Phil Butcher (0413 046 370).<br />

The next monthly meeting of the<br />

Bilgola Plateau Probus Club will be<br />

on Friday 3 <strong>May</strong> at Newport Bowling<br />

Club; assemble 9.45am for 10am<br />

start. The meeting theme focuses on<br />

men: where do they go when they<br />

experience distress or are feeling<br />

helpless? Speaker John Milham will<br />

detail a program called ‘Mentoring<br />

Men’, a registered Australian charity<br />

that provides free life mentoring<br />

for men. John will explain how the<br />

process works, who benefits, and<br />

how Mentoring Men fills in the gaps<br />

left by other mental health agencies,<br />

drawing on the power of the ‘camp<br />

fire’ conversation. Visitors welcome;<br />

call or text Shelley (0415 538 864).<br />

The next meeting of the Combined<br />

Probus Club of Mona Vale will be on<br />

Tuesday, <strong>May</strong> 21 in the auditorium<br />

at <strong>Pittwater</strong> RSL Club (from 10am).<br />

Guest speaker will be Michael<br />

England, Manager of Major Projects<br />

at Northern Beaches Council. Michael<br />

will talk about the Council’s plans for<br />

the construction of a new multi-use<br />

Community Centre at Warriewood.<br />

Work will commence soon on the<br />

centre, which will be on the existing<br />

site of the Nelson Heather Centre<br />

building at Warriewood. Michael<br />

will bring attendees up to date with<br />

design, facilities and construction<br />

timelines. Visitors welcome;<br />

enquiries call Barry (0435 010 367).<br />

The next meeting of <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

Men’s Probus will be at Mona<br />

Vale Surf Club on Tuesday 14 <strong>May</strong>,<br />

commencing 10am. Hear how<br />

Sydney Water delivers world class<br />

water services to more than five<br />

million customers every day. Clare<br />

Porter is the Head of Strategic<br />

Communications and Corporate<br />

Social Responsibility at Sydney<br />

Water. Clare will take attendees<br />

on journey through the work at<br />

Sydney Water and their plans for the<br />

future. Visitors welcome; more info<br />

Terry Larke (0412 220 820).<br />

The next meeting of Narrabeen<br />

Lakes Probus will be held on<br />

Wednesday, 22 <strong>May</strong> at Narrabeen<br />

Baptist Church. Hette Molema<br />

will give an entertaining talk on<br />

‘Toiletology’, from the days of hunter<br />

gatherers to today’s waste operation.<br />

Starts 10am; visitors welcome. More<br />

info call/text 0424 464 047.<br />

The next meeting of Avalon Beach<br />

Ladies Probus will be on Tuesday,<br />

7 <strong>May</strong> at Club Palm Beach. Guest<br />

speaker Gwen Lansbury will take<br />

attendees on a “tour” of Christmas<br />

Island and the Red Crab migration.<br />

Vale Martin McCallum<br />

At the February Committee Meeting of the Palm<br />

Beach & Whale Beach Association (PBWBA), acting<br />

chairperson Frank Bush sought to formally acknowledge<br />

the contribution Martin McCallum made<br />

as a committee member, a service he performed for<br />

almost 10 years before his passing in January aged<br />

73. Frank also gave praise to the wisdom Martin had<br />

shown in dealing with the wide range of matters<br />

that came before the PBWBA.<br />

Committee member John Pearson spoke of Martin’s<br />

legacy, which in terms of the performing arts<br />

was of global significance. He recalled the outstanding<br />

2010 Broadway production of ‘Putting It Together’<br />

starring Carol Burnett for which Martin was<br />

the producer. John spoke too of Martin’s involvement<br />

in the local arts<br />

scene. Martin joined the<br />

Council’s working group<br />

on Art, Culture and Heritage<br />

in 2015, which among<br />

other activities, gave<br />

advice on the Manly to<br />

Palm Beach Coastal Walk.<br />

Northern Beaches <strong>May</strong>or<br />

Michael Regan often<br />

sought Martin’s counsel.<br />

Later, with John Pearson,<br />

Sue Boaden and Conrad<br />

Grayson, Martin formed<br />

the Barrenjoey Alliance<br />

for Arts and Culture (BAAC). John said he admired<br />

Martin’s quiet style and thoughtful advice, and was<br />

working with Gwynne Jones, Martin’s partner, to<br />

find a suitable permanent reminder to acknowledge<br />

Martin’s role in shaping the cultural life of the<br />

Northern Beaches.<br />

Because we both served on the PBWBA committee,<br />

I came to know Martin at a personal level. We shared<br />

a love of dogs, sometimes explored the northern<br />

peninsula by foot and had a mutual interest in the<br />

history of the area. A memory that will never leave<br />

me is the boyish delight Martin showed when we<br />

visited a secluded Northern Beaches Aboriginal<br />

shelter and examined the ancient handprints and<br />

petroglyphs that had been inscribed into the rock.<br />

Martin’s light will forever shine in the minds of<br />

those who had the pleasure to know him.<br />

– Robert McKinnon, Secretary PBWBA<br />

42 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Retired Police<br />

meetings<br />

The Northern Beaches Branch<br />

of the Retired and Former<br />

Police Association (RFPA)<br />

holds bi-monthly meetings at<br />

the Manly Warringah Leagues<br />

Club. The upcoming meeting<br />

is scheduled for 11am on<br />

Thursday, <strong>May</strong> 23. Retired<br />

and former police officers,<br />

along with their wives or<br />

partners, are welcome.<br />

These gatherings provide<br />

an opportunity to reconnect<br />

with old colleagues, forge<br />

new friendships, and enjoy<br />

the camaraderie of likeminded<br />

individuals. After<br />

the meeting, participants<br />

can share a meal at the<br />

Club’s bistro. In addition to<br />

regular meetings, the group<br />

organises coffee catch-ups,<br />

lunches and outings. Notably,<br />

last year’s outings included<br />

visits to the new Western<br />

Sydney Airport and the<br />

NSWPF Aviation Command<br />

based at Bankstown<br />

Continued on page 44<br />

Meet our new gardening crew<br />

Cicada Glen Nursery – a beautiful secret<br />

garden at Ingleside surrounded by<br />

gardens and heritage trees – is the oldest<br />

continuous nursery on the Northern Beaches.<br />

The team at Cicada Glen – Fran, Tim<br />

R, Tim L and Michael – are all qualified<br />

horticulturists who are passionate about<br />

Australian plants and their use in gardens.<br />

Each month in <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong>, these experts<br />

will deliver the latest gardening tips and<br />

information to help readers get the most out<br />

of their gardens.<br />

They can all help with garden advice and<br />

consults from local natives, dry land and<br />

rainforest species, including supplying<br />

landscapers and implementing garden<br />

design.<br />

Cicada Glen specialises in Australian<br />

native plants, in particular hardy east coast<br />

natives, rainforest plants as well as a range<br />

of unusual natives that you won’t find<br />

anywhere else in Sydney.<br />

*Turn to page 70 for this month’s column<br />

on banksias.<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 43

News<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> News<br />

Continued from page 43<br />

Airport. More info email<br />

northernbeachesrfpa@<br />

retiredpolice.com.au<br />

Info sessions on<br />

housing reforms<br />

Northern Beaches Council is<br />

hosting information sessions<br />

for residents on the NSW<br />

Government’s proposals to<br />

increase housing heights<br />

and density on the Northern<br />

Beaches. Council has called<br />

on the Government to scrap<br />

the proposals due to the<br />

anticipated scale of proposed<br />

development having longlasting<br />

environmental<br />

and social impacts for<br />

the local area. <strong>May</strong>or Sue<br />

Heins encouraged residents<br />

to attend an information<br />

session to understand what<br />

the proposals would mean<br />

for them. The sessions will be<br />

hosted by Council Planning<br />

staff; locally they will be held<br />

at the Narrabeen Tramshed<br />

on Thursday 23 <strong>May</strong> (6-7pm)<br />

and the Newport Community<br />

Centre on Thursday 6 June<br />

(6-7pm). The events are free<br />

but registration is essential<br />

on Council’s website.<br />

Share the Spark<br />

annual fundraiser<br />

Eat, drink, dance, and do<br />

good at Share the Spark’s<br />

annual fundraiser on Friday<br />

<strong>May</strong> 17 at Royal Prince<br />

Alfred Yacht Club. Enjoy a<br />

three-course sit-down fine<br />

dining meal, silent auction<br />

with amazing bargains, and<br />

splash out on the dance<br />

floor overlooking beautiful<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong>. Half the $160<br />

ticket fee is tax deductible,<br />

supporting Spark’s free<br />

youth mentoring programs<br />

on the Northern Beaches.<br />

Buy your tickets now – closes<br />

<strong>May</strong> 7. For more info visit<br />

sharethespark.org.au<br />

Biggest Morning Tea<br />

Head to RPAYC on Thursday,<br />

23 <strong>May</strong> for Australia’s Biggest<br />

Morning Tea Fundraiser for<br />

the Cancer Council. This is<br />

Keoride’s 1 million passengers<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> residents are celebrating a major transport<br />

milestone, with local Year 11 student Seren becoming the one<br />

millionth passenger to use Keolis Downer’s On Demand service<br />

Keoride.<br />

Keoride – an advanced, user-oriented form of public transport<br />

– has been servicing the Northern Beaches since 2017. It offers<br />

a flexible mode of public transport, meeting the needs of the<br />

community in a more personal, accessible, and convenient way.<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> MP Rory Amon said countless parents had told him<br />

how Keoride services got their kids to and from home safely,<br />

when or where buses might not have been available.<br />

“With over 500 trips every day, it’s clear that <strong>Pittwater</strong> loves<br />

Keoride and that it’s here to stay,” Mr Amon said.<br />

Passengers use an app to easily book rides, track their journey<br />

in real-time and provide valuable feedback to both Keolis<br />

Downer and Transport for NSW.<br />

Keoride now claims to be the most successful On Demand<br />

service in Australia, with more than 98% customer satisfaction.<br />

*What do you think? Tell us at readers@pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

44 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

more than just a tea party;<br />

it’s an opportunity for<br />

community to unite, savour<br />

scrumptious homemade<br />

treats, and show support<br />

for a vital cause. For $35 per<br />

person, indulge in a spread<br />

of delectable sandwiches,<br />

cakes, and an assortment of<br />

teas and coffees, all lovingly<br />

prepared in-house. What’s<br />

more, $5 from each ticket<br />

will be donated to the Cancer<br />

Council, with RPAYC matching<br />

the donation from each ticket<br />

sold. Raise cups to a morning<br />

filled with compassion,<br />

camaraderie, and contributing<br />

to the fight against cancer.<br />

Starts 10.30am; register<br />

rpayc.com.au<br />

Korzy call for<br />

demerger poll<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Greens Councillor<br />

Miranda Korzy has called on<br />

Northern Beaches Council<br />

to support a demerger<br />

poll at September’s Local<br />

Government Elections. Ms<br />

Korzy wants residents to have<br />

their say at the election on the<br />

question: ‘Do you support the<br />

de-amalgamation of Northern<br />

Beaches Council (NBC) to<br />

reinstate <strong>Pittwater</strong>, Warringah<br />

and Manly Councils?’ She<br />

said: “I cannot ignore the<br />

wishes of the thousands of<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> residents who have<br />

signed petitions calling for a<br />

council demerger.” She said<br />

residents had only until 2026<br />

for the Council to initiate a<br />

demerger, and the cheapest<br />

route was via a poll at the<br />

Local Government Election.<br />

“After eight years as part<br />

of the Northern Beaches<br />

‘Astrovan’ keeps Composure<br />

Local group Astrovan are headed to the<br />

studio to record their first single with<br />

renowned music producer Paul Najar at<br />

Jaminajar – part of their prize for winning the<br />

<strong>2024</strong> Northern Composure competition.<br />

The band took out the coveted titled on 20<br />

April in a super-charged atmosphere and after<br />

fierce competition.<br />

Band members also took home $1,000 cash<br />

from Northern Beaches Council and a marketing<br />

and publicity package from Perfect Pitch valued<br />

at $1,100. Also, Mall Music and BOSS provided<br />

a consultation with Rowland Product Specialist<br />

and a $400 retail Rowland equipment voucher.<br />

Now in its 21st year, Northern Composure<br />

Council, I believe it’s now<br />

time to give all residents a<br />

say.” Ms Korzy noted there<br />

are currently two Bills before<br />

the NSW Parliament seeking<br />

to create pathways to deamalgamations.<br />

Scamps targets<br />

cost of living<br />

Cost of living pressures are<br />

affecting everyone in our<br />

community, with the pain<br />

at the check-out adding<br />

to the pressures from the<br />

Continued on page 46<br />

offers 12- to 19-year-olds the rare chance of a<br />

live on-stage performance.<br />

Other finalists included Bangalley (runnersup),<br />

Melaluka (third) and Overnight Lows<br />

(Emerging Artist).<br />

The judges selected the winning band<br />

through criteria including musicianship,<br />

originality, stage presence, youth audience<br />

appeal and overall conduct.<br />

Forming the centrepiece of Youth Week,<br />

Northern Beaches Council has supported<br />

Northern Composure unearth many success<br />

stories such as Dear Seattle, The Rions and<br />

Lime Cordiale.<br />

*More info on Council website<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 45

<strong>Pittwater</strong> News<br />

Continued from page 45<br />

rental crisis in Mackellar<br />

and stubbornly high interest<br />

rates. Independent Member<br />

for Mackellar Dr Sophie<br />

Scamps says that’s why she<br />

has put this issue at the<br />

forefront of her advocacy in<br />

Canberra. In late January,<br />

she put in a detailed<br />

budget submission to the<br />

Treasurer’s office. Since<br />

then she’s had meetings<br />

with several ministers to<br />

urge action in areas she<br />

thinks will help families in<br />

Mackellar. She has also urged<br />

the Government to deliver<br />

targeted help for households<br />

including tougher laws<br />

and funding to investigate<br />

allegations of price gouging<br />

by supermarkets, more<br />

help for households with<br />

power bills, and a lift in the<br />

Medicare rebate, beginning<br />

with long consultations. On<br />

15 June, Dr Scamps will be<br />

holding a people’s jury to<br />

discuss the housing crisis<br />

in Mackellar and solutions<br />

she can take to Canberra.<br />

“I am inviting submissions<br />

from the public and I will be<br />

holding a livestream of the<br />

expert panel on the day, as<br />

well as reporting back to the<br />

community on the group’s<br />

findings,” she said. More info<br />

sophiescamps.com.au<br />

News<br />

Wingz4Kidz charity ride<br />

Narrabeen’s Kathy Robinson has completed her first<br />

750-kilometre ‘Late Fe-mail Postie Bike Ride’ and together<br />

with her team has raised over $6,000 for the Wings4Kidz charity,<br />

which works to provide air transport for rural youth requiring<br />

treatment in metro hospitals.<br />

Kathy, who has owned Just Cuts Warriewood salon for more<br />

than 10 years, said a sense of adventure drove her to buy a<br />

Postie bike online and join 66 women from regional NSW on the<br />

ride from Gulgong to Mudgee in April.<br />

Kathy entered with a team called ‘the Valkyries’ which<br />

included her daughter, sister, niece and friend. The team had<br />

only just obtained their motor bike licences in the weeks and<br />

months leading up to the trip.<br />

“At the moment Wings4Kidz are supporting around 76 rural<br />

families in NSW with free air transport services to metropolitan<br />

hospitals, and they are working to boost that to 100,” said Kathy.<br />

“Wings4Kidz transforms a 12-hour round car trip at the crack<br />

of dawn into a one-hour flight, alleviating much of the stress for<br />

these families. Given rising cost of living as well, it’s so tough on<br />

the parents. That’s why 66 mostly regionally based women came<br />

together to raise $310,000.”<br />

Wingz for Kidz is a 100 per cent volunteers-run organisation<br />

where pilots and drivers donate their time to transport sick kids.<br />

All the money raised is used for aviation fuel and aircraft hire.<br />

*Donations tax deductible; visit: wings4kidz.org.au<br />

46 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Push to keep<br />

your cat at home<br />

Northern Beaches residents<br />

are being encouraged to keep<br />

their pets safe at home as<br />

part of an ongoing animal<br />

protection campaign. Northern<br />

Beaches Council is one of 11<br />

councils who have joined<br />

forces with RSPCA NSW as<br />

part of the Keeping Cats Safe<br />

at Home project. According to<br />

RSPCA NSW, two out of three<br />

cat owners have lost a cat to a<br />

roaming-related accident, and<br />

one in three to a car accident.<br />

Promoting responsible<br />

ownership that goes beyond<br />

desexing and micro chipping<br />

of cats, Council is asking<br />

owners to consider keeping<br />

their cats at home. <strong>May</strong>or Sue<br />

Heins said providing a secure<br />

environment benefited not<br />

only cats but helped keep<br />

wildlife safe. “This initiative<br />

aims to protect native<br />

species while also protecting<br />

domesticated cats from tragic<br />

road accidents,” she said. To<br />

help promote the campaign,<br />

Council is running their<br />

‘Keeping Cats Safe at Home’<br />

competition for a second year.<br />

Cat-lovers are invited to submit<br />

a photo or a video reel of their<br />

cat or kitten living its best life<br />

at home; they will go into the<br />

draw to win one of 50, $500<br />

vouchers for a deluxe outdoor<br />

cat enclosure from Catnets.<br />

More info on Council website.<br />

<strong>May</strong> Shack acts<br />

The Shack Live Music Club<br />

is held on the first Saturday<br />

of each month at the Ted<br />

Blackwood Hall at Warriewood.<br />

<strong>May</strong>’s show features three<br />

live music acts in a cabaret<br />

candlelit atmosphere with BYO<br />

food and drinks for an<br />

affordable and enjoyable night<br />

of live entertainment. The<br />

concert on Saturday 4 <strong>May</strong><br />

features Daddy Longlegs & The<br />

Swamp Donkeys, Anousha<br />

Victorie and Cap in Hand.<br />

Tickets $30 at shackfolk.com<br />

or cash at the door (no wi-fi).<br />

Vet<br />

on call<br />

with Dr Brown<br />

Cats are experts at hiding<br />

illness. Regular checkups<br />

with your vet will ensure<br />

that they catch any potential<br />

illnesses early, leading to happier<br />

and healthier lives.<br />

More and more of us are<br />

choosing cats as their companions,<br />

yet cats receive fewer<br />

veterinary check-ups than our<br />

canine companions. Here are<br />

some things to know:<br />

Dental Care – Just like humans,<br />

cats need regular dental<br />

care to prevent dental problems<br />

that can cause pain and serious<br />

health issues. Plaque, tartar,<br />

and gum disease are common<br />

issues among cats, with 70% of<br />

them developing periodontal<br />

disease by the age of two.<br />

Spotting Dental <strong>Issue</strong>s –<br />

Bad breath, yellow and brown<br />

tartar deposits on the teeth,<br />

bleeding gums, and difficulty<br />

eating are classic indicators<br />

of a dental issue. Regular<br />

teeth brushing or using dental<br />

wipes, along with special<br />

dental food, can help maintain<br />

your cat’s oral health.<br />

Taking Action – Ensure your<br />

cat’s dental health by scheduling<br />

regular check-ups with your<br />

vet – at least once a year, if not<br />

every six months. During these<br />

visits, your vet can assess your<br />

cat’s dental health and recommend<br />

appropriate at-home<br />

care, or a dental procedure if<br />

necessary.<br />

General Health Tips –<br />

Provide enough litter trays,<br />

preferably one more than the<br />

number of cats you have; use<br />

shallow dishes for feeding to<br />

prevent feline acne; enrich<br />

their environment with scratching<br />

posts and toys for mental<br />

and physical stimulation; and<br />

offer multiple water sources<br />

throughout your home to<br />

encourage hydration.<br />

Take the first step in ensuring<br />

your cat’s health by booking<br />

a free dental check with a<br />

vet nurse at your local Sydney<br />

Animal Hospital. Don’t wait<br />

until it’s too late – prevention is<br />

better than a cure.<br />

More info or to schedule an<br />

appointment, visit sydneyanimalhospitals.com.au<br />

or<br />

call Avalon (9918 0833) or<br />

Newport (9997 4609).<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 47

Hot Property<br />

Hot Property<br />

Lower-end prices for high-aspiration buyers<br />

First home buyers and<br />

young families looking to<br />

scale the property ladder<br />

may not have to look too far<br />

for affordable properties…<br />

Newport<br />

Located just a short walk from the village<br />

and beach, selling agent Benjamin von<br />

Sperl from LJ Hooker Newport says this<br />

neat, light-filled spacious one-bedroom<br />

ground floor apartment at 9/28 Bardo<br />

Road offers a “great first home in a highdemand<br />

setting.” Features include built-in<br />

robes and a combined kitchen and living<br />

area, with room for lounge and dining table<br />

– plus a coveted lock-up garage which<br />

is over six metres in length.<br />

Warriewood<br />

Benjamin von Sperl is also handling the<br />

sale of a generously proportioned resortstyle<br />

apartment in the heart of Warriewood<br />

at 211/79-91 Macpherson Street. With<br />

contemporary finishes and effortless flow,<br />

high ceiling and skylights, the spacious<br />

two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment<br />

COSY: The Bardo Rd,<br />

Newport apartment.<br />

also boasts a generous study (or third<br />

bedroom) and open-plan living flowing out<br />

to a large, covered entertainer’s balcony.<br />

The unit is in a security building with lift<br />

access, reverse cycle air conditioning,<br />

tandem parking with storage cage and is<br />

pet friendly. ‘Oceanvale’ offers terrific facilities:<br />

two indoor pools, a spa and sauna,<br />

a gymnasium, a kid’s playground and BBQ<br />

facilities. For sale: $1.2 million.<br />

Narrabeen<br />

Cunninghams has a unique three-bedroom<br />

split-level apartment 200 metres from the<br />

beach at 4/16 Clark Street for sale “on<br />

the quiet”. Sales agents Kelly Santos and<br />

Florence Labadens say the clever design of<br />

the tranquil light-filled property featuring<br />

an upper-level bedroom with built-in wardrobes<br />

and two other bedrooms separate<br />

to the living zone, creates “a house-like<br />

feel to the space”. With “an attractive package<br />

that includes a large lock-up garage,<br />

wrap-around balcony and an internal<br />

laundry, this is a neat and functional home<br />

that will serve growing families.”<br />

Great Mackerel Beach<br />

For those who desire a quieter life, a threebedroom<br />

timber house at 22 Monash<br />

Avenue is surrounded by natural beauty,<br />

delivering peace and tranquility. LJ Hooker<br />

Palm Beach agent BJ Edwards says the<br />

character-filled house on 670 square metres<br />

would make it a comforatable full-time<br />

residence. It comes fully furnished and fitted<br />

out too, so the buyer can “dive straight<br />

into relaxation… with the added convenience<br />

to begin your new life seamlessly”.<br />

Edwards says while the home is “perfect as<br />

it is” it offers versitility to further enhance<br />

the property by adding a second storey to<br />

capture <strong>Pittwater</strong> and ocean views (STCA).<br />

For sale: $1.29 million. – Lisa Offord<br />

48 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Times Past<br />

Snapshot of <strong>Pittwater</strong> Camera Club<br />

Way back in 1966, the<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Camera<br />

Club (PCC) was born<br />

in the loungeroom of camera<br />

enthusiasts Did and Charles<br />

Usher at Mona Vale.<br />

The Usher’s son Bruce and<br />

I began our secondary school<br />

education at Narrabeen Boys<br />

High School in 1959. Before<br />

the PCC had begun, I remember<br />

entrepreneurial Bruce<br />

spending most weekends on<br />

the end of a camera shooting<br />

mates and surfers in action;<br />

he had prints for sale the next<br />

week at school.<br />

The PCC soon began to<br />

flourish and by 1975 was<br />

becoming well-established,<br />

moving to St Pauls Presbyterian<br />

Church Hall previously<br />

located at 22 Barrenjoey<br />

Road, Mona Vale.<br />

It wasn’t long before the<br />

PCC was considered the premier<br />

camera club on Sydney’s<br />

Northern Beaches. Visiting<br />

photographers and professionals<br />

in the industry gave<br />

lectures, helping to improve<br />

the photographic skills of its<br />

members, which reached 50.<br />

Regular competitions were<br />

held, along with tutorials, to<br />

encourage an appreciation in<br />

the art of photography for budding<br />

amateurs and to stretch<br />

members’ creative skills.<br />

Some were recipients of<br />

both national and international<br />

awards.<br />

My dad Ron began his<br />

Vice Presidency of the PCC<br />

in the 1970s and was also<br />

granted <strong>Life</strong> Membership on<br />

1 December 1986. He won an<br />

international photographic<br />

competition with a photo he<br />

took of the Warriewood Surf<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Saving Club surfboat at a<br />

carnival at Bilgola. The prize<br />

was an all-expenses-paid trip<br />

for him and mum to the Munich<br />

Olympic Games in 1972.<br />

Marie Windred’s commitment<br />

to the PCC as President<br />

was outstanding; by 2006 she<br />

had held the position for 25<br />

years. She was active as head of<br />

the PCC as they helped guide<br />

members from capturing<br />

images on film and processing<br />

them in a darkroom to the new<br />

digital age where the computer<br />

carried out all the darkroom<br />

jobs without the messy chemicals<br />

that went with them.<br />

I am assured that she is<br />

still taking photographs, but<br />

mostly of her grand and great<br />

grandchildren and these days<br />

with her phone rather than<br />

a large lump of 35mm SLR<br />

camera body and lens.<br />

Sadly from 31 December 2023<br />

the PCC ceased operations.<br />

Several reasons are attrib-<br />

SPECIAL: The photo that won<br />

Ron and Gwen Searl an allexpenses<br />

paid trip to the 1972<br />

Munich Olympic Games.<br />

uted, including dwindling<br />

membership numbers especially<br />

brought on by COVID,<br />

plus natural attrition and a<br />

lack of funding. They had<br />

been conducting their last<br />

meetings at <strong>Pittwater</strong> RSL.<br />

TIMES PAST is supplied by<br />

local historian and President<br />

of the Avalon Beach<br />

Historical Society GEOFF<br />

SEARL. Visit the Society’s<br />

showroom in Bowling Green<br />

Lane, Avalon Beach.<br />

Times Past<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 49

Art <strong>Life</strong><br />

Art <strong>Life</strong><br />

Enchantment at The Studio<br />

Be Enchanted by the Sea next month at The Studio, the awardwinning<br />

gallery experience at Careel Bay Marina in Avalon.<br />

The exhibition is the creation of local artist Jo Bell, whose<br />

works explore and share the magic of marine and plant life.<br />

Jo says she is inspired by the changing colours of the ocean.<br />

“In Australia, we are spoilt for choice with how much marine<br />

life we see,” Jo says. “From the migration of humpback whales,<br />

witnessing the beautiful bonds mums have with their calves,<br />

to the seal colonies, sea<br />

turtles, the delicate beauty<br />

of the seahorses, and the<br />

corals and plant life.”<br />

Jo (pictured with Amy<br />

and Matthew Young) uses<br />

black and white pen and<br />

ink to explore a range of<br />

mixed mediums.<br />

Enchanted by the Sea<br />

will raise funds for the<br />

Organisation for the<br />

Research and Rescue of<br />

Cetaceans in Australia<br />

(ORRCA), with 10% of sale proceeds from the exhibition supporting<br />

the inspirational rescue, preservation and conservation work<br />

of ORRCA’s volunteers.<br />

The Studio by Laing+Simmons Young Property is a local go-to<br />

creative hub, supporting local charities and causes through collaborations<br />

with local artists.<br />

– Lisa Offord<br />

*Open and free from 9am-2pm on Saturdays and Sundays<br />

throughout <strong>May</strong>.<br />

GUIDANCE: Kathrin Longhurst will deliver a Masterclass in <strong>May</strong>.<br />

Portraiture masterclass<br />

As part of its ‘Collection<br />

100’ centenary celebrations<br />

during <strong>2024</strong>, Manly Art<br />

Gallery & Museum has enlisted<br />

four artists represented in the<br />

collection to each present a<br />

masterclass.<br />

Readers can join these<br />

intensive workshops which<br />

provide unique insights and<br />

access to the artists as they<br />

share their knowledge, skills<br />

and tips about approaches to<br />

the landscape, the figure and<br />

the still life.<br />

Each artist talks about<br />

their work, demonstrates key<br />

techniques and offers discussion<br />

and guided instruction<br />

on the essential techniques of<br />

drawing.<br />

Leading the second masterclass<br />

on 16 <strong>May</strong> is contemporary<br />

Australian artist Kathrin<br />

Longhurst, with a session<br />

focused on portraiture.<br />

Kathrin is known for her<br />

figurative paintings, often<br />

exploring themes of identity,<br />

gender, and cultural heritage.<br />

Her works frequently feature<br />

strong, empowered women,<br />

drawing inspiration from her<br />

own experiences and diverse<br />

background.<br />

Kathrin will discuss working<br />

with your model and styling<br />

the model to bring out their<br />

character. You will also be<br />

looking at lighting set-up, how<br />

to create shadow and light<br />

in your portrait, and how to<br />

effectively use backdrops and<br />

accessories.<br />

You’ll learn how to guide your<br />

model through different poses<br />

and facial expressions and how<br />

to create a ‘power pose’.<br />

Also, Kathrin will touch on<br />

how to work with colour to<br />

create dramatic effects, and<br />

also cover techniques for<br />

taking professional reference<br />

photographs and working with<br />

supporting reference drawings.<br />

There will be a life model<br />

for you to draw and Kathrin<br />

will demonstrate how to<br />

familiarise yourself with the<br />

model’s features by creating<br />

reference drawings.<br />

Kathrin’s work has been<br />

included in international exhibitions<br />

in Europe and the USA<br />

and more than 20 successful<br />

solo exhibitions in Australia.<br />

She was the winner of the 2021<br />

Archibald Packing Room Prize.<br />

*Cost $100 non-members<br />

($90 members); BYO materials<br />

and refreshments. More<br />

info on MAG&M website.<br />

50 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Enviro Art Prize<br />

Deadline looms<br />

Entries for the <strong>2024</strong> Manly Art Gallery<br />

& Museum-led Environmental Art<br />

& Design Prize ($46,000 prize pool)<br />

close at 5pm on Sunday <strong>May</strong> 19.<br />

The Prize presents an opportunity<br />

annually for the Australian community<br />

to engage with the unique insights<br />

that artists and designers bring to our<br />

understanding of the natural world and<br />

the environmental challenges we face.<br />

The Northern Beaches has a strong<br />

relationship with the natural environment<br />

and sustainable living, as well as a long<br />

history of excellence in art and design.<br />

The Gallery says that in bringing<br />

these themes together over the past<br />

three years, local creatives and diverse<br />

participants from across Australia have<br />

been inspired to contribute to an exciting<br />

and relevant exhibition that connects<br />

audiences with new ideas, innovative<br />

practices and critical reflection.<br />

The exhibition of finalists’ works<br />

engages audiences with contemporary<br />

arts practice, reaffirming the<br />

Northern Beaches as a vibrant hub of<br />

contemporary arts and culture.<br />

*Entries open Australia-wide; more info<br />

MAG&M website<br />

Star duo’s local concert<br />

Internationally acclaimed virtuoso<br />

instrumentalists, flautist Jane Rutter<br />

and classical guitarist Giuseppe Zangari<br />

(pictured), are coming to the beaches this<br />

month, brought to our shores by Peninsula<br />

Music Club.<br />

Everyone is welcome to experience the<br />

magic of this brilliant duo who have been<br />

performing to sell-out audiences around<br />

the world for several years.<br />

The concert CANTILENA! Hispanic,<br />

Classical & Baroque Jewels for Flute &<br />

Guitar will feature a a captivating performance<br />

of works by Ravel, Bach, Haydn,<br />

Piazzolla, Bizet and more.<br />

The concert will be held at 8pm on<br />

Friday 24 <strong>May</strong>, at a new venue for <strong>2024</strong> –<br />

The Byrne Theatre at Mater Maria Catholic<br />

College in Warriewood.<br />

The concert is the first in a series of<br />

four concerts hosted by Peninsula Music<br />

Club this year.<br />

Other concerts feature one of Australia’s<br />

most renowned classical pianists<br />

Simon Tedeschi with special guest,<br />

violinist Cedar Rose Newman, playing<br />

Schubert, Prokofiev, Gershwin and Bloch<br />

on Friday 23 August; Aria Award-winning<br />

pianist and ABC presenter Tamara- Anna<br />

Cislowska, playing familiar classics by<br />

Rachmaninov, Beethoven and Liszt on<br />

Friday 27 September; and sublime Jazz<br />

Vocalist Hetty Kate bringing her clarion<br />

tone and effortless swing to the songs<br />

you love by Cole Porter, Jerome Kern,<br />

George and Ira Gershwin and more on<br />

Friday 22 November.<br />

A feature of Peninsula Music Club concerts<br />

are the free suppers served after<br />

each performance, when concertgoers<br />

have the opportunity of meeting the artists.<br />

– Lisa Offord<br />

*Single tickets cost $35; annual membership<br />

$100 (four concerts, a saving of<br />

$40). Bookings at peninsulamusicclub.<br />

com.au or buy at the door. Enquiries<br />

0413 077 749.<br />

Art <strong>Life</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 51

Health & Wellbeing<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

Youth Group driving outcomes<br />

Comprising 25 passionate and<br />

dedicated young individuals from<br />

diverse backgrounds, Council’s newly<br />

announced Youth Advisory Group (YAG)<br />

will serve as a vital platform for amplifying<br />

the voices of the next generation and<br />

informing key decisions that impact youth<br />

within our community.<br />

Northern Beaches <strong>May</strong>or Sue Heins says<br />

the Youth Advisory Group demonstrates<br />

Council’s commitment to youth empowerment,<br />

ensuring a brighter future for<br />

themselves and generations to come.<br />

“The formation of this advisory group<br />

underscores our unwavering belief in<br />

the power of youth engagement and the<br />

invaluable perspectives they bring to the<br />

table,” she said.<br />

“By actively involving young people in<br />

the decision-making process, we are not<br />

only fostering a culture of inclusivity but<br />

also ensuring that policies, programs,<br />

and initiatives are reflective of the needs<br />

and aspirations of our youth.<br />

“The group work directly with Council<br />

staff to help identify the needs and wants<br />

of young people in the region.”<br />

The group comprises five young people<br />

representing each of the five Council<br />

wards and are aged between 12 and 24<br />

years of age, for a two-year term.<br />

Commitment to the program includes<br />

having a shared interest in contributing<br />

to the future of the Northern Beaches<br />

community and being advocates for<br />

their peers, as well as monthly meetings,<br />

various skills development, training and<br />

volunteering opportunities available.<br />

Avalon Beach 18-year-old Izzy Schilling<br />

is returning to the <strong>2024</strong>-25 YAG cohort<br />

after serving a YAG term in 2020.<br />

Currently studying for a Bachelor of<br />

Social Work at the University of Sydney,<br />

Izzy has devoted five years as a volunteer<br />

at the Avalon Youth Hub, where counselling<br />

partners such as <strong>Life</strong>line, Headspace<br />

and Mission Australia run free counselling<br />

sessions, workshops, and events for local<br />

young people aged 14-25.<br />

Izzy says the most pressing issues facing<br />

today’s youth include cyberbullying,<br />

mental health concerns, and the lack of<br />

engaging, safe spaces for youth to gather<br />

ENTHUSIASTIC: The new YAG members with<br />

Councillors and <strong>May</strong>or Heins (front/centre) and<br />

Isabel Schilling (on <strong>May</strong>or’s left, thumbs up).<br />

outside of school hours.<br />

“Cyberbullying, in particular, has become<br />

increasingly prevalent with the rise<br />

of social media, leading to severe emotional<br />

distress among victims,” she said.<br />

“Mental health issues are also a significant<br />

concern, with many young people<br />

silently suffering from depression or<br />

anxiety.<br />

“Providing youth with positive, constructive<br />

environments to spend time in,<br />

outside of school, can go a long way in<br />

promoting their overall wellbeing and development<br />

– when it rains on the Northern<br />

Beaches, the only outlet for young<br />

people to hang out with friends are malls,<br />

movies, bowling etc.<br />

“I think more creations of indoor<br />

community centres for youth would be<br />

extremely beneficial – for example, PCYC<br />

and Rec centres are great spaces to run<br />

indoor sports, games, art workshops,<br />

gaming, music lessons, study rooms,<br />

couches areas to relax and hang out with<br />

friends. This provides a safe and welcoming<br />

space for youth to socialise and<br />

engage in productive activities.”<br />

She would love to see more inclusive<br />

events and environments for young people<br />

living with disabilities, which could<br />

include play centres with sensory rooms<br />

and wheelchair-accessible swings.<br />

Izzy added that if youth workers and<br />

individuals aged 22-30 supervised, they<br />

could potentially act as mentors and<br />

establish positive relationships with teenagers,<br />

promoting different counselling<br />

services if needed.<br />

“There is a growing recognition for the<br />

need to include the youth in decisionmaking<br />

processes,” she said.<br />

“Youth bring different perspectives and<br />

innovative solutions. We are finally being<br />

acknowledged as the leaders of tomorrow<br />

and involving us in discussions helps<br />

shape a future that is inclusive and representative<br />

of our needs and aspirations.<br />

“However, we still have a very long<br />

way to go. We need to ensure that every<br />

young person, regardless of where they<br />

come from (ethnicity, sexuality, gender,<br />

age) has the opportunity to express their<br />

views and that these views are taken into<br />

consideration.”<br />

Council noted this year’s ‘YAGs’ come<br />

from 10 different schools, two universities<br />

and the Group has both self-employed<br />

and part-time members.<br />

“I can’t wait to see the group thrive and<br />

make meaningful contributions,” <strong>May</strong>or<br />

Heins said. “Their voices matter, and we<br />

are dedicated to listening, learning, and<br />

taking action based on their insights and<br />

recommendations.” – Nigel Wall<br />

52 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Health & Wellbeing

Health & Wellbeing<br />

with Sani Nand<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

Watch for the signs: detecting<br />

vision problems in children<br />

Many school-aged<br />

children are far-sighted<br />

– meaning things that<br />

are further away are easier<br />

to see than close up. In most<br />

cases they don’t need glasses.<br />

Children can accommodate by<br />

using their focusing muscles<br />

to see clearly both near and<br />

far. As they age, their eyes<br />

grow and lengthen. However,<br />

depending on genetics and<br />

the environment, this growth<br />

can become disproportional,<br />

resulting in a prominent<br />

condition called myopia, or<br />

short-sightedness.<br />

Myopia is a condition where<br />

the length of the eyeball is too<br />

long for the focus, resulting<br />

in blurry vision at distance.<br />

A person with myopia can<br />

see clearly up close – such<br />

as when reading a book or<br />

viewing a tablet – while distant<br />

objects like the leaves on the<br />

trees or the smart board may<br />

appear blurry or hard to read.<br />

Squinting in order to make it<br />

clearer, or walking up closer to<br />

see something, may be a sign<br />

that your child is short-sighted.<br />

High degrees of myopia<br />

are associated with increased<br />

risks of blinding eye diseases<br />

in adulthood, such as retinal<br />

detachment, macular disease,<br />

cataract and glaucoma. Slowing<br />

down the progression of myopia<br />

is now proven possible with<br />

specialty myopia-control glasses<br />

and contact lenses, as well as<br />

specialty eyedrops. Therefore,<br />

it is important for your child to<br />

attend routine eye examinations<br />

conducted by an optometrist<br />

in order to detect, treat and<br />

educate on its prevention.<br />

Here are some good visual<br />

hygiene tips for kids:<br />

• Encourage at least two<br />

hours of outdoor play a day. The<br />

effects of vitamin D from the<br />

sun and the relaxation in the<br />

focus at a distance have shown<br />

to slow down the development<br />

and progression of myopia;<br />

• Limit screen time and near<br />

work with the 20-20-20 rule.<br />

Look up from near tasks every<br />

20 minutes and focus at least<br />

20 feet away (6 metres) for 20<br />

seconds; and<br />

• Monitor your child’s reading<br />

distance with the fist-to-elbow<br />

rule. They should read and write<br />

no closer than the distance<br />

between their closed fist placed<br />

under the chin and the end of<br />

their elbow.<br />

Signs that may suggest your<br />

child is having eye problems:<br />

• Squinting or rubbing the<br />

eyes;<br />

• Headaches;<br />

• Constantly moving close<br />

watch the TV;<br />

• Double vision or appear<br />

cross-eyed;<br />

• Losing their place when<br />

reading, such as skipping<br />

words or lines;<br />

• Turning or tilting the head<br />

to seeing something straight<br />

ahead;<br />

• Loss of interest in activities<br />

that require the use of sight;<br />

and<br />

• Poor eye-hand coordination.<br />

A routine eye examination,<br />

regardless of symptoms, is<br />

the best way to detect eye<br />

problems before they impact<br />

on a child’s learning. We<br />

recommend an eye exam every<br />

two years from the age of 5<br />

years, and more frequently if<br />

problems are detected.<br />

Dr Sanisha Nand is a senior optometrist at Eyecare Plus<br />

Avalon Beach. She graduated from Auckland University in<br />

2009; she has been practising as a clinical Optometrist for<br />

the past 14 years. Sani is passionate about children’s eyecare<br />

and has extensive knowledge in the management<br />

of visual anomolies. Eyecare Plus Avalon Beach<br />

(formerly Milat Optometrist) has operated in the local area<br />

for the past 40 years. P: 9918 2400<br />

54 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

New one-stop cancer centre<br />

new cancer centre has<br />


statistics, and unfortunately<br />

A opened at Frenchs Forest<br />

THERAPY: One the incidence of cancer is<br />

providing patients with a<br />

of the services only projected to increase.<br />

provide at the<br />

range of vital non-surgical<br />

“GenesisCare offers<br />

new Genesiscancer<br />

services under the<br />

Care centre at access to treatment for<br />

one roof.<br />

The $35m GenesisCare<br />

centre is the first facility<br />

on the Northern Beaches to<br />

offer radiation therapy and<br />

access to clinical trials for<br />

eligible patients together<br />

with medical oncology in<br />

one convenient place.<br />

Evidence-based,<br />

personalised services<br />

include radiation therapy,<br />

chemotherapy, haematology<br />

and immunotherapy.<br />

Pathology services operated<br />

Frenchs Forest. most adult cancer types<br />

and is committed to<br />

putting the patient at the<br />

centre of our care and their<br />

decision-making process…<br />

we welcome any referred<br />

patient who is interested in<br />

considering our services.”<br />

GenesisCare’s General<br />

Manager of NSW Richard<br />

Briggs said the relocation<br />

and expansion of services in<br />

the new facility at Building 9,<br />

49 Frenchs Forest Road East<br />

would provide capacity to<br />

by NSW Health Pathology are also available and operators say<br />

diagnostic imaging will be offered soon.<br />

Head of Department and Medical Oncologist Associate<br />

Professor Connie Diakos explained GenesisCare medical<br />

oncologists and haematologists had been providing care to the<br />

local community for more than a decade.<br />

“We’re proud to have expanded our service offering so that<br />

patients needing radiation therapy can access this service in the<br />

same familiar location,” she said.<br />

“There were around 1700 people diagnosed with cancer on<br />

the Northern Beaches in 2021, according to Cancer Institute NSW<br />

deliver around 14,000 treatments to patients every year.<br />

The official opening of the centre last month was attended<br />

by local politicians, doctors and community members including<br />

Federal Member for Mackellar Dr Sophie Scamps.<br />

“Being able to access a range of services in the one place is<br />

really important for patients dealing with cancer treatment,” Dr<br />

Scamps said.<br />

“It can be a very stressful experience, so it is great news for<br />

the people of the Northern Beaches that we have this new centre<br />

offering multiple therapies and services under the one roof.”<br />

– Lisa Offord<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 55

Health & Wellbeing<br />

with Dr John Kippen<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

Why it’s preferable to choose a<br />

Plastic Surgeon for Injectables<br />

In recent years, the popularity<br />

of muscle-relaxing injections<br />

has soared, with many individuals<br />

seeking the treatment<br />

to reduce wrinkles and achieve<br />

a more youthful appearance.<br />

However, when it comes to<br />

administering, the qualifications<br />

and experience of the practitioner<br />

matter significantly. While<br />

both nurses and plastic surgeons<br />

can perform injections,<br />

there are compelling reasons to<br />

opt for a plastic surgeon.<br />

Plastic surgeons undergo<br />

extensive medical training,<br />

including years of medical<br />

school and specialised training<br />

in plastic and reconstructive<br />

surgery. This comprehensive<br />

education equips them with a<br />

deep understanding of facial<br />

anatomy, muscle structure, and<br />

nerve pathways, which are crucial<br />

for administering safely and<br />

effectively. On the other hand,<br />

while nurses receive training in<br />

administering injections, their<br />

education and expertise may<br />

not be as specialised.<br />

Plastic surgeons are skilled in<br />

creating personalised treatment<br />

plans tailored to each patient’s<br />

unique facial features, aesthetic<br />

goals, and medical history. They<br />

can assess factors such as muscle<br />

strength, skin elasticity, and<br />

facial symmetry to determine<br />

the most suitable injection sites<br />

and dosage for optimal results.<br />

This approach helps minimise<br />

the risk of over-treatment or<br />

under-treatment, ensuring<br />

natural-looking outcomes.<br />

Injectables, like any medical<br />

procedure, carry inherent risks<br />

if not administered properly.<br />

Plastic surgeons are well-versed<br />

in identifying potential complications<br />

and managing any<br />

adverse reactions that may arise<br />

during or after the treatment.<br />

Their advanced medical training<br />

enables them to respond quickly<br />

and effectively to emergencies,<br />

always ensuring patient safety.<br />

Plastic surgery practices are<br />

typically held to rigorous standards<br />

of patient care and safety.<br />

Plastic surgeons must adhere to<br />

strict regulations and guidelines<br />

set forth by medical boards<br />

and professional organisations,<br />

ensuring that they maintain the<br />

highest standards of practice.<br />

This commitment to excellence<br />

encompasses all aspects of patient<br />

care, from initial consultation<br />

to post-treatment follow-up.<br />

In addition to injections,<br />

plastic surgeons offer a wide<br />

range of cosmetic procedures<br />

aimed at enhancing the overall<br />

appearance of the face and ad-<br />

dressing various signs of aging.<br />

This comprehensive approach<br />

allows patients to explore complementary<br />

treatments such<br />

as dermal fillers, and surgical<br />

procedures to achieve their<br />

desired aesthetic goals. Plastic<br />

surgeons can provide valuable<br />

insights and recommendations<br />

based on their expertise in<br />

facial anatomy and aesthetics,<br />

ensuring a holistic approach to<br />

facial rejuvenation.<br />

In conclusion, while both<br />

nurses and plastic surgeons can<br />

administer injections, choosing<br />

a plastic surgeon offers distinct<br />

advantages in terms of safety,<br />

expertise, and quality of care.<br />

By entrusting your treatment to<br />

a qualified plastic surgeon, you<br />

can have confidence in achieving<br />

natural-looking results while<br />

minimising the risk of complications.<br />

Ultimately, prioritising<br />

expertise and experience<br />

ensures a positive experience<br />

and optimal outcomes.<br />

*Dr John Kippen uses Abbvie/<br />

Allergen products.<br />

Our columnist<br />

Dr John Kippen is a qualified,<br />

fully certified consultant<br />

specialist in Plastic and<br />

Reconstructive surgery.<br />

Australian trained, he<br />

also has additional<br />

Australian and International<br />

Fellowships. He welcomes<br />

enquiries; email<br />

doctor@johnkippen.com.au<br />

56 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

‘Healthy’ foods bad for teeth<br />

Everyone knows that sugar is bad for<br />

ACIDIC:<br />

“Enjoy instead at mealtimes, when<br />

your teeth – but that’s not the only dietary<br />

Sparkling<br />

they can be paired with alkaline foods or<br />

factor to watch out for to maintain<br />

good oral health.<br />

Several common healthy foods and<br />

drinks can have serious effects on tooth<br />

enamel and lead to dental erosion.<br />

Principal dentist of Maven Dental<br />

Avalon Beach Dr Celso Cardona said it<br />

was important to be paricularly aware<br />

of foods and drinks that contained high<br />

levels of acid.<br />

These included oranges, lemons, tomatoes,<br />

pickles, vinegar, citrus juices, any<br />

carbonated drink, sports drinks and wine.<br />

“Realisitically almost everything we<br />

drink is acidic, except water and milk,”<br />

he warned.<br />

“Sparkling water is acidic… even some<br />

brands of still water are acidic.”<br />

Teeth are in a constant state of<br />

demineralisation (loss of minerals) and<br />

remineralisation (gain of minerals), Dr<br />

Cardona explained.<br />

“If you have more loss of minerals than<br />

gain of minerals your teeth wear away.<br />

“Acidic foods promote demineralisation<br />

and contribute a lot to tooth wear.”<br />

The best way to avoid damage caused<br />

by acidic drinks is to simply limit exposure<br />

to them, or rinse your mouth with<br />

water.<br />

water after.<br />

“Choose plain water from the tap over<br />

sparkling water and use a straw when<br />

drinking juices or carbonated drinks,” Dr<br />

Cardona said.<br />

To limit the harm caused by fruit and<br />

other high-acidic foods, avoid snacking<br />

on them.<br />

foods with higher pH to balance acidity,<br />

for example eat cheese after your fruit,”<br />

he said.<br />

Cheese helps raise the pH levels in your<br />

mouth and increases saliva production.<br />

Dr Cardona said saliva was the best<br />

defence against acid, as it helped neutralise<br />

acids and remineralise teeth.<br />

“Saliva is full of minerals, mostly calcium<br />

and phosphate, that go back into<br />

the tooth,” he said.<br />

“To increase saliva, stay hydrated and<br />

chew sugar-free gum.”<br />

To help protect your teeth, wait at<br />

least 30 minutes before brushing after<br />

consuming acidic foods or drinks to allow<br />

saliva to neutralise acid.<br />

“If you brush straight away, it would<br />

be like pouring acid on a surface and<br />

scrubbing it – you will wear it away very<br />

quickly,” Dr Cardona said.<br />

Maintain good oral hygiene, by<br />

brushing twice a day, flossing daily and<br />

scheduling regular check-ups with your<br />

dentist – your dentist can help to deterine<br />

whether your eating and drinking<br />

habits are affecting tooth enamel.<br />

– Lisa Offord<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 57

Health & Wellbeing<br />

Artists help Be Centre trauma work<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

Member artists of <strong>Pittwater</strong> Artists<br />

Trail (PAT) have donated $2,000<br />

from the proceeds of sales at their<br />

recent <strong>2024</strong> Group exhibition to local<br />

trauma recovery specialists Be Centre to<br />

help their work with children and families.<br />

PAT has chosen Be Centre as their<br />

nominated charity for the past three<br />

years, donating $6,000 from silent auctions<br />

since 2022.<br />

Established locally on the Northern<br />

Beaches in 2008 and based at Warriewood,<br />

Be Centre specialises in empowering<br />

young children (3-12 years) and their<br />

families to process and recover from<br />

trauma triggered by domestic violence,<br />

neglect, abuse, illness and grief, bullying,<br />

family breakdown, parental drug and alcohol<br />

abuse, depression and anxiety and<br />

other serious life challenges.<br />

Be Centre CEO Tania Taylor said the<br />

not-for-profit organisation was dedicated<br />

to early intervention, stopping cycles of<br />

harm, and helping children through play<br />

therapy (for children) and parent counselling<br />

(for parents/carers) with emotional,<br />

behavioural, psychological and social<br />

issues to heal so they could become<br />

adolescents “with prospects instead of<br />

problems”.<br />

“Be Centre has an objective to advocate<br />

for play and creative therapies as<br />

an evidence-based and age-appropriate<br />

alternative to traditional cognitive intervention<br />

and medication, which may not<br />

always be necessary or appropriate,” she<br />

explained.<br />

“In the last financial year we’ve been<br />


Tania Taylor and<br />

Jan Cristaudo.<br />

able to hold more than 2000 one-on-one<br />

therapy sessions with children and provided<br />

over 280 parent support sessions to<br />

support our community, amongst other<br />

outreach to disaster impacted areas such<br />

as Lismore and the Snowy Mountains.<br />

“With no ongoing government funding<br />

as a local charity, we rely on community<br />

donations, corporate grants and<br />

foundation support to help provide these<br />

services free of charge.<br />

“Fundraisers like the <strong>Pittwater</strong> Artist<br />

Trail event help provide funds to support<br />

these services and some artists also<br />

donate art to help raise funds through<br />

silent and live auctions. Our team are so<br />

grateful for the support of the Artists,<br />

organisers, and community who support<br />

the <strong>Pittwater</strong> Artist Trail.”<br />

PAT committee member Jan Cristaudo<br />

said the artists were proud to be able to<br />

give back to the community. – Nigel Wall<br />

*The Be Centre Charity Golf Day and<br />

Lunch will be held at Monash Country<br />

Club on Thursday 16 <strong>May</strong>. Form a table<br />

of eight or book a group of four players;<br />

individual bookings also available.<br />

More info becentre.org.au<br />

58 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Hair & Beauty<br />

with Sue Carroll<br />

Hyperpigmentation: dealing<br />

with ‘brown spots’ and sun<br />

We all desire a clear and<br />

consistent skin tone.<br />

However, lingering<br />

hyperpigmentation is a constant<br />

barrier to achieving this. It<br />

impacts every skin type at every<br />

stage of our lives, especially<br />

when sun exposure, heat and<br />

prolonged UV damage are<br />

factors. The pleasing news is<br />

that with the proper homecare<br />

regime and in-clinic treatments,<br />

the brown spots can be reduced<br />

or removed completely. This will<br />

be a consistent program including<br />

prevention and treatment.<br />

Hyperpigmentation refers<br />

to areas of the skin with an abnormal<br />

appearance of pigment,<br />

resulting in darker areas of the<br />

skin compared to the rest of the<br />

complexion. There are three<br />

main types of hyperpigmentation:<br />

epidermal (surface is light<br />

brown and not quite as dense),<br />

dermal (skin is ashen-grey and a<br />

deep brown and appears more<br />

solid), and then a mixture (both<br />

of the above levels and usually<br />

dark brown).<br />

There are many triggers<br />

creating pigmentation (dyschromia)<br />

changes, as well as varying<br />

depths of damage to the skin.<br />

These types of changes in the<br />

skin may occur when melanocytes<br />

(colour-producing cells)<br />

are either over-stimulated<br />

resulting in hyperpigmentation,<br />

or they may be destroyed,<br />

resulting in hypopigmentation.<br />

The colour changes may also be<br />

an uneven pigmentation from<br />

procedures, picking or scratching.<br />

Melasma is denoted by<br />

more dense larger patches and<br />

is normally created with hormonal<br />

imbalance with estrogen<br />

and progesterone. Other causes<br />

may include birth control pills,<br />

HRT, PIH (post-inflammatory<br />

hyperpigmentation), long-term<br />

sun exposure, razor bumps,<br />

heat, humidity, severe sunburn,<br />

eczema, chemical irritations,<br />

rashes, abrasive scrubs, medications,<br />

chicken pox, insect bites,<br />

surgical procedures, thyroid,<br />

and adrenal disorders.<br />

One thing to keep in mind<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

with most types of hyperpigmentation<br />

is our melanocytes<br />

are there for a reason, which is<br />

to protect the cell initially. We<br />

need this to help fight against<br />

the impact of the UV rays. After<br />

this protection process has<br />

taken place, the skin is now left<br />

with underlying damage which<br />

is seen in the form of pigmentation.<br />

The two main factors<br />

stimulating hyperpigmentation<br />

are UV exposure and heat.<br />

Wearing an SPF of 30+ each<br />

day will assist with this protection.<br />

The best sunscreens for<br />

hyperpigmentation are typically<br />

all-mineral formulas. Chemical<br />

SPFs neutralize the UVA and<br />

UVB rays, while the mineral<br />

SPFs, create a barrier on top of<br />

the skin, blocking these factors<br />

and protecting it from infrared<br />

damage. A huge reminder, even<br />

when you wear your hat, sun<br />

protection and sunglasses and<br />

your face is covered, tanning<br />

on other parts of your body can<br />

still stimulate the melanocytes.<br />

Hydroquinone is a wellknown<br />

ingredient to treat<br />

hyperpigmentation. It is banned<br />

in many countries as it has been<br />

linked to possibly being carcinogenic.<br />

Our skin is very smart<br />

and may develop a resistance,<br />

or immunity to it, resulting in a<br />

very dark hyperpigmentation,<br />

which usually takes longer to<br />

reduce.<br />

Other proven ingredients<br />

for use in both homecare and<br />

clinical treatments include the<br />

enzyme papain (from the papaya),<br />

and bakuchiol (a retinol<br />

alternative supporting the skin’s<br />

cellular renewal. When applied<br />

topically it encourages sloughing<br />

of overly pigmented cells,<br />

leaving skin looking renewed<br />

and more even), mandelic<br />

acid (a water soluble exfoliating<br />

alpha hydroxy acid made<br />

from bitter almonds and is<br />

generally tolerated well by<br />

most skin types with its larger<br />

molecular size and therefore<br />

slowing the absorption resulting<br />

in less irritation to the skin),<br />

tranexamic acid (will even<br />

out hyperpigmentation when<br />

melanin density is connected<br />

to sun damage. It is also safe<br />

to use through pregnancy),<br />

pyruvic acid (derived from<br />

the hibiscus and is both oil<br />

and water soluble and has the<br />

capacity to brighten the faster<br />

by encouraging the rapid cell<br />

regeneration), and niacinamide<br />

(a vitamin B3 product impedes<br />

the production of melanin as it<br />

is happening).<br />

Some of the in-clinic treatments<br />

available include IPL<br />

(Intense Pulsed Light), Fractional<br />

Laser, Tixel, Q Switch Yag and<br />

herbal and chemical peels.<br />

Protect the skin you are in; it<br />

is yours for a lifetime.<br />

Sue Carroll is at the forefront<br />

of the beauty, wellness<br />

and para-medical profession<br />

with 35 years’ experience on<br />

Sydney’s Northern Beaches.<br />

She leads a dedicated team<br />

of professionals who are<br />

passionate about results for<br />

men and women.<br />

info@skininspiration.com.au<br />

www.skininspiration.com.au<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 59<br />

Health Hair & Wellbeing Beauty

Business <strong>Life</strong>: Money<br />

with Brian Hrnjak<br />

Business <strong>Life</strong><br />

That’s (nearly) a wrap: time<br />

to plan as tax season looms<br />

With <strong>May</strong> upon us there<br />

is another reason, other<br />

than cooling weather,<br />

to start shivering. It’s tax<br />

season again. With 10 months<br />

of the year now passed by,<br />

<strong>May</strong> is a good time to be thinking<br />

about how we might wrap<br />

up the current financial year<br />

and what the new one may<br />

bring. Leave it any later and<br />

you could find yourself hard<br />

up against deadlines.<br />

ment’s amendment to the following year – for example a person who has been retired<br />

As we know, there are as Stage 3 tax cuts.<br />

by timing the sale of an asset or out of the workforce for the<br />

many planning situations as As there will be a reduction where a capital gain might past five years who may hold<br />

there are taxpayers, but the in tax scales from 1 July <strong>2024</strong> arise.<br />

assets outside of super they’d<br />

list here will be a good place to for the majority of taxpayers<br />

Aside from end of financial like to sell. But the moving<br />

begin checking off things for<br />

earning up to $200,000, year there are other deadlines parts to timing this in this year<br />

consideration as 30 June approaches.<br />

deductions are worth more and measurement points, such or the next can be difficult to<br />

This year one of the to you in this financial year. as those affecting superannua-<br />

determine – how close to the<br />

main things to keep in mind Similarly, there would be an tion, that means the simple $500,000 threshold were you?<br />

is the change to tax scales advantage if you were in a position<br />

question of do I do something Returns have been good this<br />

brought about the Governplicated.<br />

to defer income into the now or next year? can be com-<br />

year and could easily take you<br />

We can identify some over if you were around the<br />

of these here but always seek $450,000 mark last year. What<br />

advice if in doubt, otherwise about age – go over 67 and<br />

you can find yourself out of you need to pass a work test<br />

pocket.<br />

or an exemption hurdle to<br />

Let’s start with an example make a deductible contribution.<br />

and tick off one of these planning<br />

Turning 75 soon? The<br />

considerations. Those work test won’t help, you can<br />

who meet the age tests have only contribute mandated<br />

been able to make catch-up or SGC contributions and<br />

concessional (tax deductible) downsizer contributions.<br />

contributions to super, from Get it wrong and a potential<br />

up to five previous financial $157,500 deduction this year<br />

years, but only if their super falls to next year’s concessional<br />

balance at 30 June the year<br />

limit of $30,000 or zero.<br />

before was below $500,000. Similar balancing acts of<br />

GN Manly Choir<br />

The point of this rule was to allow<br />

for some smoothing where those at the other end of the<br />

valuation and age also affect<br />

people may not have been in wealth spectrum – your ability<br />

IN MAY Page 60<br />

the workforce for that whole to contribute further to super<br />

time or not been able to make is governed by your total superannuation<br />

full contributions.<br />

balance (TSB). If<br />

The issues for this tax you had a balance below $1.68<br />

planning season are that million measured at 30 June<br />

contribution thresholds for 2023 and meet the age tests<br />

the 2018/19 financial year (under 75 during the financial<br />

will drop off from 30 June year) you can contribute up to<br />

<strong>2024</strong>. Someone who may have $330,000 in non-concessional<br />

not made any concessional contributions (no tax deduction)<br />

contributions in the past five<br />

this financial year. If your<br />

years would theoretically have balance last year was over<br />

$27,500 available to them in $1.9 million you are locked out<br />

the current financial year plus except for downsizer contributions.<br />

$130,000 from prior years (a<br />

total possible deduction of SMSFs that are holding direct<br />

$157,500). This could apply to<br />

property and are hovering<br />

60 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

anywhere near these thresholds<br />

should obtain a valuation<br />

before 30 June if they are contemplating<br />

top ups to avoid<br />

surprises down the track.<br />

Some of the other time<br />

sensitive superannuation matters<br />

on the list at this time of<br />

year are:<br />

n Co-contributions – achieve<br />

a government co-contribution<br />

to you super of $500 if you<br />

make a non-concessional contribution<br />

of $1,000 provided<br />

you earn less than $43,445.<br />

n Spouse contributions –<br />

achieving a $540 rebate for<br />

a $3,000 contribution to a<br />

spouse’s super account provided<br />

the spouse earns less<br />

than $37,000 in this financial<br />

year.<br />

n Check that you’ve drawn<br />

the minimum pension amount<br />

before 30 June – failure to<br />

draw the minimum can mean<br />

your pension is non-complying<br />

and higher tax rates will apply.<br />

If you have drawn over the<br />

minimum, consider electing a<br />

lump sum withdrawal for the<br />

amount over as this will be<br />

credited back to your transfer<br />

balance cap for future use.<br />

n For those looking to offset a<br />

capital gain or one-off income<br />

boost, there is scope to claim<br />

a double deduction in the<br />

current year, up to $57,500 per<br />

member but it is only available<br />

to SMSFs and you need to<br />

speak to your adviser about<br />

this one.<br />

For those in business, March<br />

activity statements are due<br />

for lodgement on 25 <strong>May</strong><br />

which means profit and loss<br />

to at least 31 March should<br />

be known. The FBT year also<br />

finished on 31 March and<br />

as part of the BAS you may<br />

have calculated the employee<br />

contributions to offset any<br />

potential FBT liability on motor<br />

vehicles and the like.<br />

We have a federal budget<br />

due on 14 <strong>May</strong> and while the<br />

centrepiece of the cost-ofliving<br />

relief will undoubtedly<br />

be the Stage 3 tax cuts<br />

mentioned earlier, there is also<br />

likely to be something there<br />

for small business. Currently<br />

the only incentive we have on<br />

the books for tax planning is<br />

accelerated depreciation on individual<br />

assets up to $20,000<br />

but this is a hangover from<br />

last year’s budget and hasn’t<br />

received Royal Assent yet (not<br />

yet law) which makes me think<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

there might be more in store.<br />

In prior years we’ve seen both<br />

skills and technology investment<br />

boosts announced in the<br />

Budget which leaves little time<br />

to react but usually includes<br />

an allowance for inclusion of<br />

amounts already spent in the<br />

current financial year.<br />

The usual items in small<br />

business accounts that should<br />

be reviewed for tax planning<br />

include prepayment of expenses<br />

that meet the 12-month<br />

rule, review of bad and<br />

doubtful debtors and inventory<br />

valuation methods. Where<br />

possible, payments of wages,<br />

dividends or trust distributions<br />

to individuals should be<br />

reviewed to allow for Division<br />

293 tax which is an additional<br />

15% tax on super contributions<br />

for those whose adjusted taxable<br />

income is over $250,000.<br />

Small businesses should also<br />

be anticipating an increase in<br />

SG superannuation rates from<br />

11% to 11.5% per annum from<br />

1 July <strong>2024</strong> and keep front<br />

of mind that superannuation<br />

obligations need to be paid by<br />

30 June to claim them in this<br />

financial year.<br />

For individual investors,<br />

something that is showing up<br />

more and more with an ageing<br />

population are carried forward<br />

capital losses that have not<br />

been offset with realised gains<br />

elsewhere in the portfolio.<br />

Often this can arise because<br />

there is an emotional attachment<br />

to the assets that have<br />

risen in value. Death does not<br />

create a capital gains tax event<br />

however carried forward capital<br />

losses die with the holder. It<br />

can be a hard conversation to<br />

have with an elderly relative<br />

but tax planning of this nature<br />

should be as normal part of<br />

estate planning.<br />

Brian Hrnjak B Bus CPA (FPS) is<br />

a Director of GHR Accounting<br />

Group Pty Ltd, Certified Practising<br />

Accountants. Office: Suite 12,<br />

Ground Floor, 20 Bungan Street<br />

Mona Vale NSW.<br />

Phone: 02 9979-4300.<br />

Web: ghr.com.au and altre.com.au<br />

Email: brian@ghr.com.au<br />

These comments are general<br />

advice only and are not intended as<br />

a substitute for professional advice.<br />

This article is not an offer or<br />

recommendation of any securities<br />

or other financial products offered<br />

by any company or person.<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 61<br />

Business <strong>Life</strong>

Trades & Services<br />

Trades & Services<br />


Alliance Climate Control<br />

Call 02 9186 4179<br />

Air Conditioning & Electrical<br />

Professionals. Specialists in Air<br />

Conditioning Installation, Service, Repair<br />

& Replacement.<br />


TeslaAirportTransfers<br />

Call Ben 0405 544 311<br />

New Tesla Model Y fleet; Airport transfer<br />

Mona Vale ($129), Avalon ($139), Palmy<br />

($149). Guaranteed on-time pick-up.<br />


Battery Business<br />

Call 9970 6999<br />

Batteries for all applications. Won’t be<br />

beaten on price or service. Free testing,<br />

7 days.<br />


Able Carpentry & Joinery<br />

Call Cameron 0418 608 398<br />

Avalon-based. Doors & locks, timber gates<br />

DISCLAIMER: The editorial and advertising content in<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> has been provided by a number of sources. Any<br />

opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Editor or<br />

Publisher of <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> and no responsibility is taken for<br />

the accuracy of the information contained within. Readers<br />

should make their own enquiries directly to any organisations<br />

or businesses prior to making any plans or taking any action.<br />

& handrails, decking repairs and timber<br />

replacement. Also privacy screens. 25 years’<br />

experience. Lic: 7031C.<br />


Amazing Clean<br />

Call Andrew 0412 475 2871<br />

Specialists in blinds, curtains and awnings.<br />

Clean, repair, supply new.<br />

Aussie Clean Team<br />

Call John 0478 799 680<br />

For a good clean, inside and outside;<br />

windows, gutters. Also repairs.<br />


Adrians Concrete<br />

Call Adrian 0404 172 435<br />

Driveways, paths, slabs… all your<br />

concreting needs; Northern Beachesbased.<br />


Alliance Service Group<br />

Call Adrian 9063 4658<br />

All services & repairs, 24hr. Lighting<br />

installation, switchboard upgrade. Seniors<br />

discount 5%.<br />

Eamon Dowling Electrical<br />

Call Eamon 0410 457 373<br />

For all electrical needs including phone,<br />

62 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

TV and data. <strong>Pittwater</strong>-based. Reliable;<br />

quality service guaranteed.<br />

Warrick Leggo<br />

Call Warrick 0403 981 941<br />

Specialising in domestic work; small jobs<br />

welcome. Seniors’ discount; Narrabeenbased.<br />


Blue Tongue Carpets<br />

Call Castro 9979 7292<br />

Owner/operator of Northern Beaches<br />

Flooring Centre. Owner/operator, Mona<br />

Vale. Carpets, tiles, timber, laminates, hybrids<br />

& vinyls. Open 6 days.<br />


!Abloom Ace Gardening<br />

Call 0415 817 880<br />

Full range of gardening services including<br />

landscaping, maintenance and rubbish<br />

removal.<br />

Conscious Gardener Avalon<br />

Call Matt 0411 750 791<br />

Professional local team offering quality<br />

garden maintenance, horticultural advice;<br />

also garden makeovers.<br />

Luxury Property<br />

Maintenance<br />

Call Luke: 0415 112 480<br />

All maintenance inc hedge trimming, lawn<br />

mowing, pressure cleaning, mulching +<br />

planting.<br />

Melaleuca Landscapes<br />

Call Sandy 0416 276 066<br />

Professional design and construction for<br />

every garden situation. Sustainable vegetable<br />

gardens and waterfront specialist.<br />

Precision Tree Services<br />

Call Adam 0410 736 105<br />

Adam Bridger; professional tree care by<br />

qualified arborists and tree surgeons.<br />


Cloud9 R&G<br />

Call Tommy 0447 999 929<br />

Prompt and reliable service; gutter<br />

cleaning and installation, leak detection,<br />

roof installation and painting. Also roof<br />

repairs specialist.<br />

Ken Wilson Roofing<br />

Call 0419 466 783<br />

Leaking roofs, tile repairs, tiles replaced,<br />

metal roof repairs, gutter cleaning, valley<br />

irons replaced.<br />


Local Handyman<br />

Call Jono 0413 313299<br />

Small and medium-sized building jobs, also<br />

welding & metalwork; licensed.<br />


Gold ‘n’ Things<br />

Call 9999 4991<br />

Specialists in remodelling. On-premises<br />

(Mona Vale) workshop for cleaning,<br />

repairing (including laser welding),<br />

polishing. Family owned for nearly 40<br />

years.<br />


Hot Water Maintenance NB<br />

Call 9982 1265<br />

Local emergency specialists, 7 days.<br />

Sales, service, installation. Warranty<br />

agents, fully accredited.<br />


Collaroy Kitchen Centre<br />

Call 9972 9300<br />

Danish design excellence. Local beaches<br />

specialists in kitchens, bathrooms and<br />

joinery. Visit the showroom in Collaroy.<br />

Seabreeze Kitchens<br />

Call 9938 5477<br />

Specialists in all kitchen needs; design,<br />

fitting, consultation. Excellent trades.<br />


Avalon Physiotherapy<br />

Call 9918 3373<br />

Provide specialist treatment for neck &<br />

back pain, sports injuries, orthopaedic<br />

problems.<br />


Cloud9 Painting<br />

Call 0447 999 929<br />

Your one-stop shop for home or office<br />

painting; interiors, exteriors and also roof<br />

painting. Call for a quote.<br />

Tom Wood Master Painters<br />

Call 0406 824 189<br />

Residential specialists in new work &<br />

Trades & Services<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 63

Trades & Services<br />

Trades & Services<br />

repaints / interior & exterior. Premium<br />

paints; 17 years’ experience.<br />


Predator Pest Control<br />

Call 0417 276 962<br />

predatorpestcontrol.com.au<br />

Environmental services at their best.<br />

Comprehensive control. Eliminate all<br />

manner of pests.<br />


Craig Florimo Plastering<br />

Call Craig 0420 866 009<br />

All aspects specialising in ceilings,<br />

cornice, walls, repairs, renovations,<br />

insurance work. Vermiculite ceiling<br />

solutions. craigflorimo@hotmail.com<br />


Platinum Plumbers & Pipe<br />

Relining<br />

Call Rhys 0421 637 410<br />

Northern Beaches Plumbers, all general<br />

plumbing and specialists in blocked drains.<br />

Total Pipe Relining<br />

Call Josh 0423 600 455<br />

Repair pipe problems without<br />

replacement. Drain systems fully relined;<br />

35 years’ guarantee. Latest technology,<br />

best price.<br />


NB Removals<br />

Call Greg 0417 253 634<br />

Owner/operator, Avalon-based. For<br />

local / country / interstate requirements.<br />

Reputation (30+) years built on<br />

excellence in furniture removing. Trucks<br />

regularly upgraded.<br />


Jack’s Rubbish Removals<br />

Call Jack 0403 385 312<br />

Up to 45% cheaper than skips. Latest<br />

health regulations. Old-fashioned honesty<br />

& reliability. Free quotes.<br />

One 2 Dump<br />

Call Josh 0450 712 779<br />

Seven-days-a-week pick-up service<br />

includes general household rubbish,<br />

construction, commercial plus vegetation.<br />

Also car removals.<br />


Beautiful Sliding<br />

Door Repairs<br />

Call 0407 546 738<br />

Fix anything that slides in your home;<br />

door specialists – wooden / aluminium.<br />

Free quote. Same-day repair; 5-year<br />

warranty.<br />

Advertise<br />

your Business<br />

in Trades &<br />

Services<br />

section<br />

Ph: 0438 123 096<br />

64 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Luxafoam North<br />

Call 0414 468 434<br />

Local specialists in all aspects of outdoor<br />

& indoor seating. Custom service, expert<br />

advice.<br />


Local Window Cleaning<br />

Call Simon 0406 389 841<br />

Free quote; Mona Vale-based window<br />

cleaning micro-details specialist.<br />

Reasonable price, no subcontractor, the<br />

owner does it himself. Fully insured.<br />

Advertise your<br />

Business in Trades<br />

& Services section<br />

Ph: 0438 123 096<br />

Trades & Services<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 65

Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

with Janelle Bloom<br />

Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

Recipes: janellebloom.com.au; Insta: instagram.com/janellegbloom/<br />

Wake and bake! Spoil Mum<br />

with these delicious treats...<br />

<strong>May</strong> is a great time to get out your<br />

Mixmaster (if it’s not permanently on<br />

the bench, like mine), with Mother’s<br />

Day and Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea<br />

celebrations in <strong>May</strong>. My love for baking<br />

came at a very young age, spending endless<br />

Mother’s Day<br />

chocolate<br />

‘mug cakes’<br />

Makes 2<br />

You can double the recipe to<br />

make 4; best to microwave<br />

one at a time, but if baking in<br />

the oven, 2 or 4 can be baked<br />

together.<br />

4 tbs self-raising flour<br />

½ tsp baking powder<br />

4 tbs cocoa powder<br />

¼ cup sugar<br />

2 eggs, lightly beaten<br />

1/3 cup full cream milk<br />

2 tbs oil<br />

4 tbs Nutella<br />

whipped cream, fudge sauce<br />

and fresh berries, to serve<br />

1. Lightly grease 2 x 1½ cup<br />

capacity (375ml each) chipfree<br />

coffee mugs. If baking<br />

in the oven, preheat 170°C<br />

fan forced.<br />

2. Sift the flour, baking powder<br />

and cocoa powder together<br />

into a bowl. Stir in the sugar.<br />

Make a well in the centre.<br />

3. Add the eggs, milk, oil and<br />

Nutella. Beat with electric<br />

beaters until well combined.<br />

4. Spoon the mixture evenly<br />

between the 2 mugs. If<br />

baking in the oven, place<br />

mugs onto a tray, bake<br />

15-20 minutes until cooked<br />

through when tested with<br />

a skewer. Alternatively,<br />

microwave on High for 1<br />

minute or until risen.<br />

5. Top with cream, drizzle with<br />

fudge sauce, and serve with<br />

fresh berries.<br />

Janelle’s Tip: Never use<br />

anything chipped or cracked<br />

when heating or cooking in the<br />

microwave.<br />

Homemade chocolate<br />

fudge sauce<br />

Chop 200g dark chocolate and<br />

place in a microwave-safe bowl<br />

or jug.<br />

Add ¼ cup thickened cream or<br />

espresso.<br />

Microwave, uncovered on High,<br />

in 1-minute bursts, stirring<br />

with a metal spoon each<br />

minute until smooth.<br />

Pikelets<br />

Makes 15<br />

2/3 cup full cream milk<br />

1 egg, lightly beaten<br />

25g butter, melted, plus extra<br />

melted butter for greasing (see<br />

Tip)<br />

1 cup self-raising flour<br />

¼ tsp baking powder<br />

1 tbs caster sugar<br />

Jam and cream, to serve<br />

weekends in the kitchen with my Nan, Mum<br />

and Aunties. I am excited to share some of my<br />

foolproof recipes. And Happy Mother’s Day<br />

to all the wonderful mums; I have my fingers<br />

crossed your family bake you something<br />

delicious from these pages!<br />

1. Combine milk, egg and<br />

butter in a medium jug.<br />

Whisk until well combined.<br />

2. Sift the flour and baking<br />

powder into a large bowl.<br />

Add the sugar. Make a well<br />

in the centre. Whisk in milk<br />

mixture until the batter is<br />

smooth. Stand 1 minute.<br />

3. Heat a large, greased,<br />

non-stick frying pan over<br />

a medium heat. Brush with<br />

butter then wipe over with<br />

paper towel. Spoon one<br />

tablespoon of batter into<br />

pan, (hold the spoon 180<br />

degrees to the base of the<br />

pan and allow the mix to<br />

run off the spoon tip to get<br />

nice round pikelets). Spread<br />

to a 5-6cm round. Repeat to<br />

make four more pikelets.<br />

4. Cook for about 2 minutes, or<br />

until bubbles start to appear.<br />

Turn and cook for a further 1<br />

to 2 minutes, until browned<br />

underneath. Transfer pikelets<br />

to a wire rack. Repeat with<br />

remaining batter. Serve warm<br />

or room temperature topped<br />

with jam and cream (jam<br />

always first!)<br />

Janelle’s Tip: When cooking<br />

pikelets, pancakes or crepes,<br />

the butter can burn so tips<br />

here are to try to use an<br />

unscratched, newish, nonstick<br />

frying pan. Brush with melted<br />

butter then wipe of excess with<br />

paper towel before adding the<br />

mixture. Or use melted Ghee<br />

for greasing – ghee won’t burn<br />

like butter can!<br />

Carrot cake with<br />

best cream cheese<br />

frosting<br />

Serves 8<br />

3 eggs<br />

250ml (1 cup) extra light olive<br />

oil<br />

1¼ cups firmly packed brown<br />

sugar<br />

1¾ cups plain flour<br />

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda<br />

1 tsp baking powder<br />

1 tsp freshly grated or ground<br />

nutmeg<br />

400g (about 2 medium)<br />

carrots, peeled, grated<br />

100g walnuts, roughly<br />

chopped, plus extra for the top<br />

cream cheese frosting<br />

375g full fat cream cheese,<br />

softened<br />

3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted<br />

2 tsp vanilla extract<br />

1. Preheat oven to 170°C fan<br />

forced. Grease and line a<br />

22cm round (base) cake pan.<br />

2. Whisk together the eggs,<br />

oil and sugar in a medium<br />

mixing bowl until pale.<br />

Sift together the flour,<br />

bicarbonate of soda, baking<br />

powder and nutmeg and stir<br />

into oil mixture until just<br />

combined. Fold in the carrot<br />

and walnuts.<br />

3. Spoon the cake mixture into<br />

the prepared pan. Bake for<br />

35 minutes or until a skewer<br />

inserted into the centre of<br />

the cake comes out clean.<br />

Stand in pan for 10 minutes<br />

before turning onto a wire<br />

rack to cool completely.<br />

4. To make the frosting, beat<br />

cream cheese with an<br />

electric mixer until smooth.<br />

Add the icing sugar and<br />

66 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

For more recipes go to janellebloom.com.au<br />

vanilla, beat on low speed<br />

until smooth and creamy.<br />

5. Use a large, serrated knife<br />

to cut the cake in half<br />

horizontally. Place the base<br />

on a board or plate. Spread<br />

one-third of the icing over<br />

the base. Replace the top<br />

of the cake. Spread the<br />

remaining icing over the top<br />

and side of the cake. Sprinkle<br />

with extra walnuts. Serve.<br />

Janelle’s Tip: You can split<br />

the mixture between two cake<br />

pans if you’re not confident<br />

cutting the cake in half. Keep<br />

an eye on the cooking time;<br />

check it after 30 minutes.<br />

Toll House cookies<br />

Makes 40<br />

These are one of the first<br />

things I learnt to make – they<br />

will always be a favourite.<br />

Don’t be put off by how many<br />

it makes; they keep well, if you<br />

can keep the cookie jar closed.<br />

250g butter, softened<br />

½ cup caster sugar<br />

½ x 395g can sweetened<br />

condensed milk<br />

2½ cups plain flour<br />

3½ tsp baking powder<br />

375g choc bits or chopped<br />

milk chocolate<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

1. Preheat oven 170°C fan<br />

forced. Line 4 baking trays<br />

with baking paper.<br />

2. Use an electric mixer to<br />

beat the butter, sugar and<br />

condensed milk until pale<br />

and creamy. Sift the flour<br />

and baking powder together<br />

over the butter mixture<br />

and mix until the dough<br />

almost comes together. Add<br />

chocolate and stir until well<br />

combined.<br />

3. Roll heaped tablespoons<br />

of mixture into balls and<br />

place onto baking trays,<br />

allowing a little room for<br />

spreading. Flatten slightly<br />

with fingertips.<br />

4. Bake two trays at a time<br />

for 9-12 minutes until light<br />

golden. Stand 5 minutes on<br />

trays before transferring<br />

biscuits to a wire rack to<br />

cool.<br />

Lamingtons<br />

Makes 24<br />

1½ cups wheat cornflour<br />

1½ tsp cream of tartar<br />

3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda<br />

6x55g free-range eggs, at<br />

room temperature<br />

1 cup caster sugar<br />

4 cups desiccated coconut<br />

Pink icing<br />

½ cup frozen raspberries,<br />

thawed<br />

150ml boiling water<br />

3 cups icing sugar mixture<br />

Pink food colouring, optional<br />

Chocolate icing<br />

3 cups icing sugar mixture<br />

½ cup cocoa powder<br />

3/4 cup boiling water<br />

1. Preheat oven to 160°C no<br />

fan. Grease and line 4cm<br />

deep, 23 x 28cm (base)<br />

lamington pan, allowing an<br />

overhand along both long<br />

sides.<br />

2. Sift flour, cream of tartar<br />

My Top 5 Baking Tips<br />

Know your oven! All ovens cook differently, so always use<br />

1. cooking times as a guide. Set the rack in the centre of the<br />

oven before you preheat.<br />

Ingredients like self-raising flour, baking powder and<br />

2. bicarbonate should always be fresh, as these are the<br />

raising agents. Make sure they are well within the date of<br />

use.<br />

Use the correct tins suggested. I will always give you the<br />

3. base measurement; the size of the tin can make a huge<br />

difference to the result.<br />

Measure carefully. Baking is a science, so all<br />

4. measurements should be level cups. (Electronic scales can<br />

also be a great addition to your kitchen if you like to bake.)<br />

Read the recipe from start to finish before you start<br />

cooking. Reading is NOT overrated when it comes to baking.<br />

5.<br />

and bicarbonate of soda<br />

together three times to<br />

aerate. Using an electric<br />

mixer, beat eggs and caster<br />

sugar on high speed for 5<br />

minutes or until the mixture<br />

is thick and pale.<br />

3. Sift flour mixture over<br />

egg mixture one last time<br />

and gently fold until just<br />

combined. Carefully spread<br />

sponge mixture into the<br />

pan and bake, for 28-30<br />

minutes or until light golden<br />

and a skewer inserted into<br />

the centre comes out clean.<br />

Allow to cool in the pan.<br />

Cover with a clean tea towel<br />

and set aside overnight (see<br />

Tip).<br />

4. Remove cake from the pan<br />

and trim the edges. Cut into<br />

24 squares. Spread 2 cups<br />

coconut onto a tray.<br />

5. For the pink icing, crush the<br />

raspberries in a bowl with a<br />

fork. Stir in 2 tablespoons<br />

boiling water, set aside<br />

to cool 5 minutes. Sieve<br />

raspberry mixture into<br />

another bowl. Sift icing<br />

sugar into a large bowl.<br />

Combine two tablespoons<br />

raspberry puree and<br />

remaining ½ cup boiling<br />

water together and stir into<br />

icing sugar. Whisk until<br />

smooth. Add pink food<br />

colouring to reach the colour<br />

you desire.<br />

6. Using 12 pieces of the<br />

sponge, dip 1 piece at a time<br />

on the end of a fork into the<br />

warm pink icing, turning<br />

quickly to coat. Allow excess<br />

to drip back into the bowl.<br />

Roll the cake in the coconut<br />

and place on a tray lined<br />

with baking paper to set.<br />

Discard any leftover coconut<br />

on tray and replace with<br />

remaining 2 cups coconut.<br />

7. For the chocolate icing, sift<br />

the icing sugar and cocoa<br />

powder into a medium bowl.<br />

Add the water and stir until<br />

smooth. Using the remaining<br />

sponge repeat step 6 using<br />

chocolate icing and coconut.<br />

Janelle’s Tip: Sponge is best<br />

baked 1-2 days before making<br />

into lamingtons. Slightly stale<br />

sponge will absorb more icing<br />

making the lamingtons even<br />

better. If you have time freeze<br />

the sponge 4-5 hours, it’s<br />

easier to cut sponge almost<br />

frozen.<br />

Date crumble slice<br />

Makes 24<br />

2 cups chopped pitted dates<br />

1 cup water<br />

1/3 cup caster sugar<br />

1 tsp ground cinnamon<br />

185g butter, chopped, at room<br />

temperature<br />

3/4 cup firmly packed brown<br />

sugar<br />

2 tbs golden syrup<br />

1½ cups plain flour<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 67<br />

Food <strong>Life</strong>

Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

Pick of the Month:<br />

Broccoli<br />

Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda<br />

1½ cups traditional rolled oats<br />

½ cup walnuts, chopped<br />

1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan<br />

forced. Grease and line base<br />

and sides of 20 x 30cm<br />

(base) slice pan.<br />

2. Place the dates, water and<br />

caster sugar in a saucepan<br />

over medium heat. Cook,<br />

stirring, 10 minutes, until<br />

the dates have absorbed<br />

most of the liquid. Stir in the<br />

cinnamon. Set aside to cool.<br />

3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, using<br />

an electric mixer, cream<br />

butter, brown sugar and<br />

golden syrup together, until<br />

pale and creamy. Sift the<br />

flour and bicarbonate of<br />

soda together over butter<br />

mixture. Stir to combine.<br />

Add oats, mix well. Press<br />

half the oat mixture into<br />

base of prepared pan.<br />

Spread date mixture over<br />

the base.<br />

4. Mix walnuts through<br />

remaining oat mixture.<br />

Crumble the mix over the<br />

date mixture. Bake 30-35<br />

minutes, until golden. Set<br />

aside to cool completely. Cut<br />

into squares to serve.<br />

Buy<br />

Choose bright blue-green<br />

heads that have tightly closed<br />

clusters of florets. The stalk<br />

and stems should be firm<br />

and not soft to the touch.<br />

Avoid broccoli with yellow or<br />

damaged florets.<br />

Storage<br />

Store unwashed in a bag in the<br />

crisper section of your fridge.<br />

It will keep for up to five days.<br />

Nutrition<br />

Good source of iron,<br />

potassium and vitamin C and<br />

dietary fibre.<br />

Broccoli & pea soup<br />

Serves 4-6<br />

1½ broccoli heads, cut into<br />

florets<br />

2 tbs olive oil<br />

1 brown onion, finely chopped<br />

2 garlic cloves, crushed<br />

1 potato, peeled, chopped<br />

4 cups chicken or vegetable<br />

stock<br />

1 cup (120g) frozen peas<br />

½ cup (125ml) thickened<br />

cream<br />

40g parmesan cheese, flaked<br />

1. Cut the broccoli into florets,<br />

then cut the stems from the<br />

flowers and separate.<br />

2. Heat the olive oil in a large<br />

saucepan over medium heat.<br />

Add the onion and cook,<br />

stirring, for 5 minutes or<br />

until soft. Add the garlic,<br />

cook for 1 minute. Add<br />

the broccoli stems and<br />

potato and stock. Bring<br />

to the boil. Cook, stirring<br />

occasionally, for 10 minutes<br />

or until broccoli and potato<br />

are very tender.<br />

3. Add the broccoli florets<br />

and frozen peas to the<br />

pan. Bring to the boil. Boil<br />

for 1 minute or until the<br />

vegetables are bright green<br />

and just tender. Remove<br />

from heat. Blend or process<br />

until smooth. Return to<br />

In Season<br />

<strong>May</strong><br />

Apples, bananas (keep a<br />

look out for Little Gem<br />

variety); Custard apples;<br />

lemons; oranges (Navel);<br />

pears; pomegranates;<br />

quince and rhubarb; also<br />

avocados; Bok Choy;<br />

broccolini and broccoli;<br />

Brussels sprouts; cabbage;<br />

cauliflower; eggplant;<br />

fennel; kale; ginger;<br />

spinach and Sweet potato.<br />

the pan, stir in the cream.<br />

Season with salt and pepper.<br />

4. Ladel into bowls, top with<br />

parmesan and serve.<br />

68 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Tasty Morsels<br />

with Beverley Hudec<br />

Some Tiny Morsels to savour in <strong>May</strong><br />

Avalon’s Pasta Amici<br />

is simply al dente!<br />

Pasta Amici will appeal to lovers of<br />

fresh pasta and homemade sauces.<br />

The Avalon shopfront is filled with<br />

Italian easy-meal options and desserts.<br />

The veal and pork ragu with tagliatelle<br />

is one customer favourite. There<br />

are also vegetarian sauces, and for<br />

vegans, alla Norma, the tomato, roast<br />

eggplant and basil sauce is spot on.<br />

Jonah’s wine dinner<br />

a taste of Europe<br />

The next Jonah’s wine dinner heads<br />

to France’s Rhone Valley. Head<br />

sommelier Georgina Larsson has gone<br />

for an ‘autumn drinkability’ theme<br />

showcasing whites and reds from two<br />

producers, Bernard Gripa and Jean-Luc<br />

Jamet. Executive chef Rey Ambas will<br />

match her choices with a four-course<br />

dinner. <strong>May</strong> 9; tickets are $215 a head.<br />

Relax, take<br />

things slow at<br />

4 Knots Cafe<br />

Make Friday night dinner<br />

easy by outsourcing the hard<br />

work. 4 Knots Cafe at North<br />

Narrabeen Surf Club is now<br />

open until 7.30pm for dinner.<br />

There are no surprises for<br />

the most popular dish. It’s<br />

beer-battered barramundi,<br />

chips and salad. There are<br />

cheeseburgers for the kids,<br />

and the bar is open for<br />

a beer, glass of vino or a<br />

cocktail.<br />

Seafood medley on<br />

lunch menu at Dunes<br />

Dunes Kiosk casually switches easily<br />

from bircher muesli and avo on<br />

sourdough for breakfast to outdoor<br />

lunchtime eats. Seafood fans can decide<br />

between tiger prawns, fish and chips,<br />

salt and pepper calamari as individual<br />

orders. Alternatively, for a little bit of<br />

everything, plus chips, salad and tartare<br />

sauce, order a Fisherman’s box.<br />

Tasty Morsels<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

Three of a kind: Weekend brunch<br />

Savoury or sweet, De’assis’<br />

social media is pretty foodie<br />

‘porn’. Popular brunch orders<br />

include French toast (pictured),<br />

acai bowls and smashed avo<br />

with heirloom cherry tomatoes,<br />

whipped goat’s cheese and<br />

sumac. Both the Narrabeen<br />

and Collaroy cafes serve The<br />

Cat’s Pyjamas, a locally roasted<br />

coffee from Seven Miles.<br />

If pancakes are your thing,<br />

Girdler’s Clareville menu has<br />

gluten-free organic buckwheat<br />

crepes like prosciutto crepes<br />

with mozzarella, caramelised<br />

onion and oregano. Keep<br />

the kids happy with fluffy<br />

mini pancakes topped with<br />

strawberries, banana slices and<br />

organic maple syrup. Vanilla<br />

coconut ice-cream is extra!<br />

The Brightside Cafe keeps<br />

it sweet on weekends by<br />

bringing New York-style<br />

cinnamon scrolls to Mona<br />

Vale beach. Order one – or a<br />

buttery croissant – alongside a<br />

compulsory caffeine hit from<br />

Nine Yards. Following that midmorning<br />

surf, what’s tastier<br />

than a free-range egg-anddouble-bacon<br />

brekky roll?<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 69

Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

Robust, native banksias are<br />

bloomin’ beautiful right now<br />

Banksias are a spectacular<br />

and popular Australian<br />

native plant that are used<br />

in a variety of ways in the<br />

garden. With approximately<br />

170 different species that<br />

range from low ground covers,<br />

to trees up to 30 metres, they<br />

have become a must-have in<br />

any native garden.<br />

Flowers are produced on<br />

spikes and are arranged<br />

around a woody axis. Each<br />

spike can produce hundreds<br />

if not thousands of individual<br />

flowers that range in colour<br />

from pale yellows, cream,<br />

orange, pinks and reds. They<br />

are heavy producers of nectar<br />

that are an important food<br />

source for native birds, sugar<br />

gliders, possums and other<br />

invertebrates such as native<br />

stingless bees.<br />

In the garden they prefer a<br />

sunny, well-drained position<br />

– but different species can<br />

tolerate a range of soil types<br />

and conditions. Banksias are<br />

phosphorus-sensitive, so a<br />

good native fertiliser is best<br />

when it comes to feeding time.<br />

Some standout examples:<br />

Banksia robur – or Swamp<br />

banksia – (main photo above)<br />

is a wonderful shrub or small<br />

tree growing to approximately<br />

2 metres. Although it naturally<br />

occurs in wet places, it is<br />

most adaptable in the garden<br />

and will tolerate wet or dry<br />

conditions. It has large,<br />

serrated leaves and produces<br />

large, pale yellow-to-green<br />

flower spikes in Autumn and<br />

Winter.<br />

Banksia serrata – or Old Man<br />

banksia (photo left) – is a small<br />

tree that produces abundant<br />

yellow flower spikes that fade<br />

into fluffy, woody seed heads.<br />

It is a common sight in the<br />

bush around the Northern<br />

Beaches, with its gnarly, often<br />

misshapen trunk that gives<br />

70 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Compiled by the team at Cicada Glen Nursery, Ingleside.<br />

HARMONY: Nardoo<br />

and water milfoil<br />

growing together<br />

it a wonderful character. A<br />

great choice in the garden for<br />

attracting native nectar-eating<br />

birds.<br />

Banksia ‘Birthday Candles’<br />

(photo above) is a dwarf<br />

cultivar version of Banksia<br />

spinulosa that is a great choice<br />

for a smaller garden, or for<br />

creating different layers of<br />

height in a native garden. It<br />

grows to approximately half a<br />

metre and produces abundant<br />

yellow-to-orange flower spikes.<br />

Autumn citrus tips<br />

It’s approaching citrus harvest<br />

season, with oranges (below),<br />

lemons and limes starting to<br />

ripen through Autumn and<br />

Winter. With citrus being heavy<br />

feeders and prone to pest and<br />

disease, Autumn is a good time<br />

to follow a few simple steps to<br />

keep your trees protected and<br />

healthy.<br />

• Look out for signs of pests,<br />

such as leaf minor, and treat<br />

early with a pest oil before<br />

moths lay eggs. Also removing<br />

affected leaves can be<br />

effective.<br />

• Regular feeding throughout<br />

the year will help promote<br />

healthy plants that are less<br />

susceptible to pest and<br />

disease.<br />

• Maintain soil moisture by<br />

adding a fresh layer of mulch.<br />

• Protect ripening fruit from<br />

possums and birds.<br />

Native backyard<br />

oasis<br />

Not only is a backyard pond<br />

a great way of attracting<br />

frogs and other wildlife into<br />

your garden, it makes a great<br />

focal point and provides<br />

opportunities for using plants<br />

that would not otherwise grow<br />

without a permanent water<br />

source.<br />

In addition to the well-known<br />

water lilies and iris, there are<br />

a range of native water plants<br />

that help filter water naturally<br />

and create a stunning visual<br />

effect.<br />

Myriophyllum variifolium<br />

– Water Milfoil is a native<br />

aquatic plant that has dark<br />

green, feather-like plumes<br />

that emerge above the water<br />

surface. Tiny red flowers<br />

appear along the stems in the<br />

warmer months. It creates<br />

a wonderful, native border<br />

around the edge of ponds. It<br />

also serves as a great hiding<br />

place for fish or frogs.<br />

Marsilea drummondii –<br />

Nardoo is an aquatic fern that<br />

roots in mud substrates and<br />

produces leaves that float on<br />

the surface of ponds and still<br />

water bodies. It can grow in<br />

water up to one metre deep.<br />

When planted with water<br />

milfoil it creates a pleasing<br />

contrast in foliage.<br />

Philydrum lanuginosum<br />

– Woolly Frogmouth is a<br />

fast-growing, upright aquatic<br />

plant that uses up excess<br />

nutrients in the pond, aiding in<br />

maintaining clear water. It has<br />

iris-like foliage but soft and<br />

fleshy, bright yellow flowers on<br />

a woolly stem.<br />

Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 71

Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

Your <strong>May</strong> to-do list...<br />

Daylight Saving has ended<br />

and Autumn is well<br />

underway! The days are<br />

getting shorter and colder, the<br />

deciduous trees and shrubs<br />

are losing their foliage… but<br />

it’s not all doom and gloom!<br />

Not only do the deciduous<br />

trees create colour but<br />

there are plenty of Autumnflowering<br />

plants like camelias,<br />

roses and hibiscus that will<br />

brighten up the garden. If you<br />

want to get in the garden,<br />

here’s some things that may<br />

need to be a focus:<br />

Sow seeds for<br />

Winter crops<br />

Most parts of Sydney don’t<br />

need to worry about frosts or<br />

snow which can be a real issue<br />

for your garden; if you have a<br />

sunny spot, why not try sowing<br />

some seeds for the Winter<br />

period? Autumn is a great time<br />

to do so, the weather is colder<br />

but there are some nice sunny<br />

days sprinkled through the<br />

season. Some of our favourite<br />

crops to sow now include<br />

broccoli, cabbage, carrots,<br />

spinach, peas and onions.<br />

Getting your plants off to a<br />

strong start before Winter will<br />

help with your survival rates.<br />

Maintain lawn & turf<br />

Now is an important time<br />

to look after the lawn. After<br />

a warm and dry Summer in<br />

some parts, some lawns may<br />

look brown or patchy and<br />

with the increased rainfall<br />

and decreased temperatures<br />

approaching, it’s a great time<br />

of year to give it a boost!<br />

Improve growth by fertilising,<br />

aerating and watering.<br />

Furthermore, collecting or<br />

mowing fallen leaves from<br />

plants like frangipanis will<br />

provide more sun to your turf.<br />

Cymbidium orchids<br />

Cymbidium orchids are a<br />

feature of many people’s<br />

gardens. They are known for<br />

their flowering display and<br />

toughness. Although they<br />

are tough, they do require<br />

some care. It is not far away<br />

from the flowering season<br />

for Cymbidiums and there<br />

are some things you can do<br />

to encourage flowering or<br />

increase health. Cymbidiums<br />

prefer to be kept moist but<br />

not wet! In Autumn, watering<br />

in the mornings is preferred<br />

every couple of days; if<br />

temperatures are cool then<br />

only one watering a week is<br />

needed. Keep your orchid in<br />

a well-drained orchid mix or<br />

pine bark mulch and fertilise<br />

regularly. Place in a spot with<br />

filtered light.<br />

Fertilise your garden<br />

Autumn in Sydney is the<br />

perfect time to be fertilising<br />

your garden. Temperatures<br />

are cooling down, but the<br />

soil temperature is still quite<br />

warm, which makes great<br />

growing conditions for the<br />

garden – particularly the<br />

Winter vegetables. It may<br />

not seem important to some<br />

but keeping the fertiliser up<br />

and the plants well fed is<br />

essential to help you grow<br />

healthy crops, which in turn<br />

leads to a great harvest later<br />

in the year.<br />

Winter weeds<br />

Overall, weeds tend to become less prolific<br />

through the colder months. For most weeds,<br />

growth and germination slows down, which makes<br />

it a great time to get on top of them. Conversely,<br />

some Winter weeds will now start to show up or<br />

become obvious. Poa annua (Winter Grass (left,<br />

bottom) is very common Winter weed throughout<br />

Sydney in the garden or lawns. It’s important<br />

to get on top of Winter grass to slow down the<br />

cycle for the next year. It can easily be removed<br />

manually, otherwise there are specifically targeted<br />

herbicide controls you can use. Senna (top) is<br />

another common weed in Sydney; it becomes<br />

visible through autumn with its bright yellow<br />

flowers. It’s a tall, sprawling shrub that grows<br />

quick and invades bushland. It’s best to remove<br />

these weeds by hand before they set seed, or<br />

employ the cut-and-paint method with herbicide.<br />

Pruning<br />

Some plants will benefit<br />

from pruning at this time of<br />

year. Roses benefit by hard a<br />

prune; the hydrangea season<br />

has come to an end and they<br />

require pruning, while rubus,<br />

grapes and wisteria will also<br />

benefit from hard pruning.<br />

Crossword solution from page 73<br />

Mystery location: TOWLERS BAY<br />

72 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Puzzler<br />

Compiled by David Stickley<br />

immediate supervision of the<br />

hardware of a computer system<br />

(9)<br />

28 Sand hills – a feature of Palm<br />

Beach possibly (5)<br />

29 A way of doing something (6)<br />

30 A body of troops stationed in<br />

a fortified place (8)<br />

ACROSS<br />

1 Vandalism in the form of<br />

scribbling or drawings on public<br />

and private property (8)<br />

5 Particular localities (6)<br />

10 Motorised form of transport<br />

that boosts pedal-power (1-4)<br />

11 Weather monitoring<br />

equipment that measures<br />

precipitation (4,5)<br />

12 A person who lives near or<br />

next door to another (9)<br />

13 A persistent, dull pain (4)<br />

15 Rules set by local authorities<br />

(2-4)<br />

16 Puffed up (7)<br />

18 In timezone-speak, the E in<br />

AEST (7)<br />

21 A department or office for<br />

the transacting of business,<br />

such as collecting and supplying<br />

information (6)<br />

24 Winner of the 2023 Sydney<br />

Surf Pro at North Narrabeen,<br />

____ Houshmand (4)<br />

25 Take from place to place by<br />

car etc. (3,6)<br />

27 People responsible for the<br />

DOWN<br />

1 Putting surfaces at Mona Vale<br />

Golf Club, for example (6)<br />

2 Cleverness, talent; mental<br />

power (7)<br />

3 Beach just north of Manly (10)<br />

4 Mischievous or troublesome<br />

people, usually children (7)<br />

6 A company emblem or device<br />

(4)<br />

7 The local administrative body<br />

of a city, municipality, or shire<br />

(7)<br />

8 <strong>May</strong>or of Northern Beaches<br />

7-down (3,5)<br />

9 Lemon, lime, orange, and<br />

grapefruit, for example (6)<br />

14 A surfer, say (5,5)<br />

17 Organisation found at 5/48<br />

Old Barrenjoey Rd and 336B<br />

Barrenjoey Rd (3,5)<br />

19 You and people like you (7)<br />

20 Aquatic fern, marsilea<br />

drummondii (6)<br />

21 A spectacular and popular<br />

Australian native plant (7)<br />

22 A former pupil or student (7)<br />

23 A state when success is more<br />

likely than failure (4-2)<br />

26 An establishment like Classic<br />

Coffee in Avalon Beach or<br />

Pronto in Palm Beach (4)<br />

[Solution page 72]<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Puzzler<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong> 73

Travel <strong>Life</strong><br />

Travel <strong>Life</strong><br />

Wonder at the Northern Lights<br />

The Solar Maximum occurs halfway<br />

through the sun’s cycle. It’s a time<br />

of intense solar activity – and<br />

dramatically more auroral displays.<br />

Scientists predict the Solar Maximum in<br />

<strong>2024</strong>-25 will result in the most frequent and<br />

impressive Northern Lights in more than<br />

a decade. The next Solar Maximum after<br />

<strong>2024</strong>-25 won’t be for 11 more years.<br />

Whether it’s a small-group escorted<br />

tour through Scandinavia or a premium<br />

voyage in search of the Northern Lights,<br />

Hurtigruten has you covered, says Travel<br />

View Avalon’s Gail Kardash.<br />

Hurtigruten’s bestselling ‘Follow the<br />

Lights’ small-group escorted tour is back for<br />

the 2025/26 season.<br />

“On this fully escorted small-group tour,<br />

you will ride one of the world’s most famous<br />

trains, the Flåm Railway and experience The<br />

Coastal Express northbound voyage,” said<br />

Gail. “You will visit charming hamlets, sail<br />

through picturesque fjords and hopefully<br />

see the magnificent Northern Lights on this<br />

journey up into Arctic Norway.<br />

“Experience Finnish Lapland and enjoy<br />

gazing up at the night sky inside your<br />

glass igloo. Then discover Rovaniemi, the<br />

hometown of Santa Claus and explore the<br />

contemporary and historic architecture of<br />

Helsinki.”<br />

The tour includes excursions including<br />

the Flåm Railway journey, a fjord cruise<br />

on UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord, Reindeer &<br />

Husky Safaris, a Santa Claus Village visit,<br />

and an overnight stay in Glass igloo.<br />

“Central to this expedition is the<br />

opportunity to witness nature’s most<br />

spectacular light show – the Aurora Borealis<br />

(Northern Lights),” said Gail. “Under the<br />

guidance of expert expedition teams, you<br />

will venture into the Arctic wilderness,<br />

where clear skies and minimal light<br />

pollution offer optimal conditions to view<br />

this celestial phenomenon. “<br />

And you can experience the magic of<br />

the Northern Lights on a new signature<br />

all-inclusive voyage aboard Hurtigruten’s<br />

refurbished MS Trollfjord.<br />

Departing from Oslo between September<br />

and March, this all-inclusive voyage sails<br />

along Norway’s stunning coast.<br />

“This premium voyage offers an<br />

unforgettable journey, exploring 14<br />

incredible destinations with exclusive<br />

seasonal excursions. Spend up to eight days<br />

above the Arctic Circle, immersing yourself<br />

in local communities’ ways of life.<br />

“Enjoy exceptional all-inclusive dining,<br />

enhanced onboard activities, and several<br />

hours in handpicked ports like Stavanger,<br />

Alta, Narvik, and Haugesund.<br />

“If you have your heart set on witnessing<br />

the breathtaking aurora borealis,<br />

Hurtigruten has a promise no-one else<br />

can match. If you sail the Norwegian coast<br />

with Hurtigruten between September and<br />

March on a voyage of 11 days or more<br />

and the Northern Lights do not show, they<br />

will give you a 6-day southbound or 7-day<br />

northbound Original Coastal Express Classic<br />

Voyage free of charge*.”<br />

*Multiple departures and voyage lengths<br />

available. *Conditions apply; more info<br />

call Travel View on 9918 4444.<br />

74 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

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