Feb 26, 2011

Mornings at the Museum

Last week our museum held the first of its “Mornings @ the Museum”. The idea is to introduce the expanded George Hanna Memorial Museum along with the upgraded and bigger Mascot Library to as many locals as possible. Council will when an occasion arises host a series of talks and discussions on our local history. I didn’t preview the first in the series as it was booked out before anyone could almost blink. Although it’s been held, the inaugural one was on Daceyville and coincided with the current exhibition: “Audaciousville: The Story of Dacey Gardens Suburb”.

I’ll let everyone know well in advance when the next “Mornings at the Museum” is to be held. If you want to get in ahead of me then contact the Museum on 9366 3888. Also, the Dacey Gardens exhibition has been such a success that it’s been extended until the end of April. Make sure you get down to the Museum in Hatfield Street, Mascot and have a look at a fascinating depiction of a remarkable part of our local history.

Feb 21, 2011

School Zone Parking

We’re more than a few weeks into the new school year and the lollypop people at our local schools and our rangers have asked me to give a reminder to everyone that when they’re driving around schools to take extra care. School zones are where kids and cars don’t mix and we want everyone to obey the parking laws. People sometimes blame our rangers when they are booked when they park where they shouldn’t – but you only get booked if you break the law. Ignoring these parking laws just puts our kids in danger.

Feb 20, 2011

Made in Botany

The George Hanna Memorial Museum is planning a new exhibition on Botany’s manufacturing history – and we need some help.  The museum people would like anyone who has any photographs, objects or stories about the old manufacturing history of our City to get in touch with them and get new material included in the exhibition. When we’ve asked for local help for previous exhibition, we’ve sometimes unearthed some special items.  

If you’ve got photographs we can copy them and let you have the originals back.  If it’s a story then tell it to the museum people and if there are a few objects from our local manufacturing past that we’d love to borrow them. There were a lot of major manufacturing operations in the Botany and Mascot of old – From Davis Gelatine to Johnson & Johnson.  We’ve transformed the area, getting rid of the old and often noxious industries and revitalising the suburbs.  But we don’t want to forget our past and that’s where this new exhibition will come in.  I’ll give more information about the exhibition a little later but, in the meantime, if you’ve got something call the museum on 9366 3802 or drop them an email (with contacts and details) on: museum@botanybay.nsw.gov.au

Feb 18, 2011

Off-leash Dog Area ­ Sir Joseph Banks Park

By the end of next month our City’s second off-leash area for dogs will be open.  We had more than a few requests for an off-leash area apart from Astrolabe Park in Daceyville, especially since the forshore area along Botany Bay has been lost to that Port expansion that we bitterly opposed.
We were slightly delayed in completing the new off-leash area because of delays in the supply of materials but now we’re back on track.
The off-leash area is off Hayden Place, Botany and there is sufficient distance from the nearest residential areas.  I have had a few nearby residents express concern about noise but I think the distance is more than enough to reduce any noise.
There are new plantings to soften the area’s fencing and facilities for those who bring their dogs to exercise.  Special plastic bags and bins are available to ensure that any dogs’ mess is cleaned up – and I know the dog owners who will use the area will clean up after their animals.

Bourke Road Landscaping

By the end of March we will have completed the landscaping alone Bourke Road between Gardeners Road and Coward Street.  This is all part Council’s work in the revitalized Mascot Station Precinct.
Along Bourke Road there will be four islands of planting, dotted with Council’s distinctive flagpoles.
With the concentration on native species, these islands will add to what is fast becoming the “new look” Mascot.  As we do more, I will keep everyone appraised.

Feb 11, 2011

Jane McGrath Day

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Mayor Ron Hoenig at Jane McGrath Day
Day 3 of the Sydney Cricket Test is referred to as Jane McGrath Day, in memory of Jane McGrath and her charity, the McGrath Foundation.  

Anyone going to the Sydney Cricket Ground is requested to wear pink throughout the Test Match, but particularly on Day 3 when all the cricket community and patrons join in support of the McGrath Foundation and Jane's legacy. 

This year Cricket Authorities donated all ticket sales to the McGrath Foundation to assist in their funding of breast care nurses in Australia.  It was wonderful to have been a part of it.

Feb 9, 2011

Playground Update

Council has had for many years now a policy of providing parks and recreation area based on surrounding demographics – putting playgrounds in the midst of those who will use them.
We did it with the regional playground at Booralee Park, which has proved to be a success way beyond what we had anticipated.
Over the past few months, Council has been working in a number of our parks and playgrounds and I thought I should give an update on playgrounds.
The new playground in Briget Tight in Eastlakes is finished and the new circular swing and the spider man climbing have added top this popular venue.  The circular swing allows a number of young children to enjoy themselves as a group while the spider man climbing allows for individual fun – all with parent and carer supervision.
At the Botany Aquatic Centre, the new playground equipment under the trees is increasing the attraction of one of our City’s popular recreational venues.  This is for the younger children with “bouncies”, climbing and the swing.  Again we’re matching equipment with demand.
The playground at Sir Joseph Banks Park is aimed at the under 6’s and if the numbers going there are any indication of success then we have a winner.  There are climbing bits, ropes, ladders, swings, “bouncies” and more along with a shaded area where parents and caers can keep an eye on the kids.  The special feature here is the water trickle that allows a few mud pies and fund with splashes of water.  This is one feature I think the kids like more than the parents and carers but to hear the squeals and laughter makes a bit of cleaning up more than worth while.
Work on our second regional playground at Jellicoe Park is well underway and you can get an idea of how the final playground will look.  Equipment will be, like at Booralee Park, for different age groups, separated with mounds and sitting walls.

Metrobus Route extension

Council has been asked by that organisation to assist it in extending Metrobus Route 20 from Mascot to the Botany shops. The aim is to get the extension done by the end of this month and it will mean extra capacity for passengers travelling between the City of Sydney and Botany. It will also allow Route 20 to have a common stop with Route 400 at the shops in Mascot.  There are a few things we’ll have to do (change some signs and extend bus zones) but they’re not really difficult and we’ll work with State Transit to improve local services. The better the bus service the more people will leave cars at home and use public transport – and good win for all of us.

Feb 7, 2011

Hale Street/Foreshore Road connection Open

The Hon Michael Daley, Minister for Police and Deputy Mayor George Glinatsis open the Hale Street Extension 

Last Saturday the Deputy Mayor represented Council at the opening of the Hale Street/Foreshore Road connector – a new piece of road infrastructure that will go a long way of getting large trucks off Botany Road.  Councillor Glinatsis joined with the Member for Maroubra, Michael Daley, in opening this short but vital stretch of road.  At the outset I must congratulate Michael Daley for his work in seeing this road through from concept to opening.  As the ribbon that was cut on Saturday explained: “The City of Botany Bay and Michael Daley working together …”  This is what led to the Hale Street/Foreshore Road connector.

The growth of container traffic through Port Botany and the opening up of industrial estates geared to the import/export trade have, over recent years, seen a rapid growth in the number of container trucks on Botany Road.  This growth, while a good indicator of economic growth in our State and nation, has had a detrimental impact on local residents.

By working with the State Government through the local member Michael Daley, we diverted some of the heavy traffic along Foreshore Road to and from the port, we still had negative impacts with trucks servicing the growing number of port related companies within our City’s borders.  Council sought to both protect local residents and promote business growth – sometimes things with direct conflicts.

The Port Air Estate in Hale Street is the largest of the import/export business parks and the destination of many trucks from Port Botany. These trucks came up Botany Road and adjoining streets, clogging our thoroughfares, polluting our local environment and lessening local amenities. Given the percentage of heavy trucks heading for the Port Air Estate, and given the distance between the end of Hale Street and Foreshore Road, logic suggested a connection.

Michael Daley, like Council, appreciated the logic and worked with various State Government departments and authorities to get the necessary approvals and agreements.  The owners of the estate also came to the party.

And last Saturday it all came together when the connector road was opened.

Dangerous Bus Zones

Sometimes things that are obvious take longer to fix.  Take for example bus zones and bus shelters.  There’s a bus zone down in Beauchamp Road outside of number 50 and between Rhodes Street and Grace Campbell Crescent.  There have been a number of accidents near the bus zone and even Council’s distinctive bus shelter was damaged on more than a few occasions last year. While speed seems to be the cause of the accidents, the actual location of the bus shelter adds to the problem.  Some drivers have lost control of their vehicles on the bend in the road (again, speed) and as the bus shelter is only 40 metres from the bend we’ve seen vehicles mount the kerb and hit the shelter.  For the safety of intending bus passengers and locals, we need to fix the situation.  A few local residents have raised this with Council and although the solution – move the bus zone – is obvious, we can’t do it by ourselves.  The RTA and State Transit (the bus operators) have to have their.  So rather than just picking up the bus shelter and moving the bus zone, we will have to wait to hear what the RTA and State Transit have to say.

Feb 4, 2011

2011 and that rubbish

Although this is my first post for 2011, it’s not the beginning of my year – or, indeed, Council’s.  Over the holidays there’s been a lot of cleaning up to do (and my office has had more than a few calls) on dumped rubbish.  We seem to get it in spates and in certain areas and our vigilance has been upped so that we can find those responsible and make them pay through fines for the clean up.  

People often say to me ‘Why can’t Council fix this problem?’ We would if we could.  It’s not like we go round dumping the rubbish – people do that!  What we have to do is clean it up and that also costs us (and our ratepayers) money.  If you see someone dumping rubbish don’t approach them, just take down any details that can help us track them down and pass it on to our rangers.  We’ll do what we. We can prosecute them and we can to make them pay, but we need to catch them. In the meantime we’ll keep on cleaning up after other people. That aside, it is nice to be back in print.