Council Updates from Within and Around and About

Hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year. Council business generally slows down over the holiday period, but a few people have brought up some ongoing local issues. Please pass this on to interested parties.

Berowra Creek and Hawkesbury River water quality

I attended a couple of meetings relating to this issue. One was at Berowra Waters just before Christmas, which was addressed by representatives from Sydney Water and Hornsby Shire Council. There are concerns about the quality of water being discharged from the Sydney Water treatment plant at Hornsby. There was some disagreement about the difference between swimming and wading in water discharged from the plant into Berowra Creek. 

I also attended a meeting with the Berowra and District Community Association, council staff and councillors at Crosslands to discuss swimming and fishing conditions, as well as signage, at Berowra Creek. It was generally agreed that the creek is considerably better than it was many years ago, but still needs constant monitoring and actions to ensure the safety of users. It was suggested that Sydney Water reduce the amount of water put in Berowra Creek in incremental amounts each year. Perhaps they could divert the water to farmers who need it. 

There was also some disagreement about whether there should be more Water Quality Information signs placed along the entrances to walking trails from Mt Kuring-Gai, Berowra and Hornsby. We’re still working on that one. The Council Swimming Conditions website has been updated to align with the Beach Watch website, with three main advisory statuses. These are: 

Pollution is unlikely, enjoy your swim!
Pollution is possible, take care
Pollution is likely, avoid swimming today

Website:         Phone: 9487 6666 

It no longer informs people how long the water has been polluted or safe, so it is very important to check before you swim. 

Stormy Weather

Hornsby Shire was battered by storms just before Christmas. First, people in the south of the Shire copped high winds that caused significant damage to structures and brought down many trees. Then residents in the north, especially Berowra Heights (Tarp City) and rural areas, were battered by hail the size of tennis balls. What a terrific job the various emergency services and community groups did, not to mention the many volunteers. I’d also like to  mention  the great work done by Council’s staff in cleaning up the mess left by the storms and responding  to the hundreds of call for assistance. 

There are many people who are unable to live in their homes until repairs are completed, while others are still living in damaged houses that may not be repaired for a long time. Some have limited electricity, mould on walls, ceilings caved in and water damaged furniture. Many  people are still in shock and even the mention of rain puts some  into  a state of anxiety  owing to the many leaks in their roofs. A lot of these people need a hand and, although I have heard many compliments about insurance companies, I have also heard complaints. So please check out your neighbours and see if they need any help. If you need assistance, please call:

One of the issues in the aftermath of the storms is residents inappropriately handling and disposing of storm damage waste, including asbestos. If you need some advice or want to report something call:

Berowra Oval:

There have been complaints about people smashing alcohol bottles at Berowra Oval, creating a significant safety issue again.  Thankfully it did not have the outcome of the incident  at a Turramurra park last week. If you see or hear anything at night that seems suspicious, please phone the police  and you will be doing everybody a favour.             

Phone:   Hornsby Police on 9476 9799 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Berowra Waters:  

Had some discussions with locals, and they need a  local community meeting place as their other one near the ferry is supposedly not safe. Suggestions include the old Tea House or former RFS shed. Council is working on it.

All the best 

Mick Marr