Jul 30, 2012

On the Campaign Trail with the fabulous Young Labor Heffron Team

Pedestrian Crossing Bay St & Botany Rd Botany - Now the landscaping

Bay Street Botany Pedestrian Crossing

I know that traffic lights are the preferred option for the intersection of Bay Street and Botany Road, Botany, but until we can get them approved and installed by the Roads and Maritime Services we are happy to announce that a zebra crossing and signage will be installed and up, hopefully, by the time you read this. The pedestrian crossing should help our youngsters and their parents/guardians to cross safely at this busy intersection. I will keep you posted on the progress of traffic lights. 
On the subject of traffic lights, it is not in our area, but I know many of our residents will be pleased to learn that the RMS has finally agreed to install traffic lights at the intersection of Beauchamp Road and Perry Street, Matraville. I have received many letters regarding this intersection which have all been referred to the RMS and several Ministers responsible for Roads. At last, thanks to the intervention of our excellent local member, Maroubra MP, Michael Daley we have some action and the lights should be up and running by August.

Jul 29, 2012

My Heffron State By-Election Campaign Opened in Mascot Yesterday

Former Premier Kristina Keneally launches Ron Hoenig's Heffron  Election Campaign yesterday in Mascot

E-Waste Collection on again August 18

Put Saturday August 18th in the diary, as that is the next E-Waste Collection Day at Botany Depot. Following on from the success of our first E-Waste Day the depot staff have organised another. Just one little reminder if you do dump your old computer remember to delete or save any information that is stored on it. A couple of people show up a few days after they had delivered it to the depot hoping to retrieve their hard drive, but unfortunately it had already gone to the recycling depot and been dispersed. I know a few people wrote asking for a collection point in Mascot, but for the time being Botany Depot will be the collection point.

School Exhibition at Mascot Museum Launched

Yesterday afternoon I had the privilege of launching the latest exhibition on show at the George Hanna Memorial Museum on the weekend, and I must say I think this is our best ever. The topic appeals to all ages – after all we have all had to go school and we all have stories to tell. It is just a little hard when I realise that our current students look on my time in school as “our history!” If you have some time pop in and have a browse, and remember Mascot Library which houses the museum is open until 8pm on Wednesdays.

Jul 26, 2012

Heffron by-election 25 August - Why I am standing

As residents of the City of Botany Bay you’re entitled to know why I’m seeking your support for election as the State Member for Heffron. 

The decision to seek election as the Member for Heffron on Saturday, August 25 was not taken lightly. I’ve been Mayor of the City of Botany Bay for over three decades, during which much has changed for the better in your neighbourhood and for local residents. 

During the time I’ve had the privilege to serve as Mayor, our suburbs and our streets have undergone massive change. The successive Councils on which I represented our residents, worked relentlessly to transform what was a polluted industrial area into a modern and vibrant city, where the quality of life for residents is paramount. In this, I feel, without being immodest, I’ve had some success. 

Many of the issues that impact on our every day lives are State Government issues. The cars and trucks that clog our main roads are now filtering through our residential streets. There’s aircraft noise, which can only be reduced by a second airport for Sydney and the need for proper and efficient public transport for all residents of Heffron. 

There’s also the vital issue of planning. The State Government is moving to bring in a planning system that will let bureaucrats and outsiders with no local knowledge decide what will be built in our neighbourhoods and next to our homes. We have to stop this and State Parliament is the place to stop it. 

The only way I can make our local voice heard is for me to represent you and all of of Heffron residents in State Parliament. For a better way of life for all our residents, State Parliament is where I can work on you behalf. 

Over the years, I think I’ve shown I will speak out and fight for what is best for the residents. No matter who is in power in the State or what agendas they may have, for me, our residents always come first.

With your support, it’s in State Parliament as the Member for Heffron where I can continue to work for you, your family and your neighbours. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years and, in a different place, I’ll keep doing it

Jul 25, 2012

Volunteers Recognised

Last week I had the privilege to host a special dinner for our local volunteers – people who give so much to our community and many of our residents. It takes a very special person to volunteer to assist others in the community and all of them were worthy of our thanks. A number of local volunteer groups were represented: 

The Senior Citizens Advisory Committee, which is instrumental in providing input and advice into the planning of events such as the Garden Party and information sessions and tips on health and safety issues and other matters of importance to our older residents. 

The Access Committee, with which Council liaises for advice to help make our city more accessible for all of the community. 

The Botany Historical Trust, which is helping us preserve the history and heritage of our area for the benefit of current and future generations. The Trusts is also involved in mounting exhibitions, like the Shop Locally one and our upcoming Back to School exhibition on schooling in the City of Botany Bay. 

Meals on Wheels, the most recognised and the most constant of our volunteering groups. The Meals on Wheels volunteers are out every day – even during the wet weather we’ve experienced this year has not deterred them from turning up and delivering meals to our more vulnerable residents, always with a smile and an encouraging word 

The Knitting Network, the members of which donate their time to craft beautiful hand knitted items to support the residents of Sir Joseph Banks Nursing Home, Southern Cross Apartments and Frenchmen's Lodge, to name but a few. They have also raised funds to provide seating in one of our parks, again as a way of contributing to their community. 

The dinner was one of the few ways we, as a community, can thank the volunteers for their great contribution.

Pagewood Seniors turn 40!

I was honoured to join the members of the Pagewood Senior Citizens this week as they celebrated their 40th Birthday. A great milestone for any club particularly one that relies entirely on volunteers. I was looking through some old scrape books and came across an article done when the club celebrated it’s 30th birthday. It doesn’t seem that long ago. Their birthday celebrations were a fun day for all who came along and joined in the festivities, and I think a great day was had by all. Happy 40th Pagewood and I wish you and your members many, many more.

Six a Side Soccer at Hensley Field

The new season of Council’s six-a-side soccer (or football for the purists) is about to get underway – and if it’s as popular as it was last year then the places that are now on offer will be filled quickly. Spots are available in the boys and girl’s junior (6 to 12) and youth (13-18) divisions as well as men’s and women’s divisions. Competition kicks off on September 8 and runs to December 20 at the upgraded Hensley Athletic Field where it’s played on the cushioned synthetic field and the games are never rained out.

Nominations close on August 31 and you can fill in an interactive application form on Council’s website: www.botanybay.nsw.gov.au All the details are on the web and this year there are more divisions and more opportunities to play this exciting version of soccer. So grab your mates and get a team together and don’t miss out on the action.

L'Estrange Park playground now open

The fences are down and the L’Estrange Park playground in Mascot is now open for our young residents to enjoy! Driving by this afternoon it was a great sight to see that our local youngsters are exploring and running around the playground. That’s what it is all about.

Jul 17, 2012

Streetscape Upgrades in Mascot, Botany & Banksmeadow

If you were out and about last Sunday night between Rolfe Street, Tramway Street and Gardeners Road in North Mascot you’d have seen our gangs beginning the footpath upgrades along Botany Road. The old and stained pavers are being ripped up and replaced by tile edged asphalt and street furniture. The work will take a couple of weeks and then we’re off to Wilson Street and Botany Road down in Banksmeadow where again the footpath will be upgraded. 

At Wilson Street the work will also facilitate outdoor dining from an adjoining cafĂ© and food outlet. From Wilson Street, which should be done in August, weather permitting, we’ll be back in the Botany shopping strip with more upgrades. All the work, right around the City, is making the place look better almost each week.

Jul 16, 2012

Computer Skills for Seniors

The transition from wireless to wifi is made easier for local seniors via the work of the Botany Bay Computer Club for Seniors, run by Bruce Bradford and his dedicated group.

In reality, we don’t have a life now without computers and via the club our seniors can not only catch up with grandchildren but, maybe, even get ahead. There are classes for beginners and intermediate as well as photography from this club, which was set up in 1998 with systems we’d now think of as Neanderthal. Whatever was a Windows 98 operating system? 

Anyhow, the club is getting ready for its next 10 week term and, if you’re interested, there is time still to sign up. The classes are held on Fridays at Matraville Primary School (on the corner of Beauchamp and Bunnerong roads) between 12.30pm and 2.30pm. The term begins on July 20 and finishes September 21 and there are some vacancies for the Beginners Class, Basic Windows 7 Class and photography.

The latter really interest me as it’s a great way to keep in touch with relatives and friends by exchanging photos when you’re not on Facebook (which a lot of seniors aren’t). You’ll need your own computer to be in the classes and if you want to sign up (or sing on) contact Pat on 9349 8074 or Norma on 9667 3491.

Jul 15, 2012

Alcohol-Free Zones proposed in Mascot

We are seeking public comment on the extension of two alcohol-free zones – one around Mascot Memorial Park and the other around Mascot Park. After discussions with local Police and residents, it is proposed to extend the alcohol-free areas around both parks.

As far as Mascot Memorial Park is concerned, the park alcohol-free zone will be extended to the public roads of Aloha Street, Coward Street between Aloha Street and Botany Road and Botany Road between Foster Street and Coward Street.

For Mascot Park the zone will extend out of the park to include Coward Street between O’Riordan Street and Oliver Street and Foster Street between Oliver Street and McIntosh Street. 

The extension of the alcohol-free zones is subject to community responses and is meant to improve our local way of life and not as some wowser idea. If you have any comments or suggestions, please get them to me at Council. Once we’ve got local reactions, we’ll take the next step with the Police Local Area Commander.

Jul 14, 2012

Speech to NSW Labor State Conference

Today at the NSW Labor Party conference  I had the privelege of moving the vote of thanks to our State Parliamentary Leader The Hon. John Robertson and expressing how humble I felt before my peers in accepting the honour of being the ALP candidate for the State Parliamentary seat of Heffron. The transcript of that speech is available for download at:

Jul 13, 2012

L’Estrange Park Playground

I have had a lot of calls for local mums and dads keen to know when the new playground in L’Estrange Park will be ready. Everyone has been very positive with the feedback as the playground has sprung up taking real shape over the last few weeks. It looks very exciting and enticing for our young city residents. Even my son commented the other day as we drove passed that there was nothing like this in Mascot when he was young! He is after all an old man of 20. Back to the important issue we are on the count down to it being opened which hopefully will be by July 20.

Jul 12, 2012

New Dog Off-Leash Areas

We’re about to begin the community consultation for a new dog off-leash area on the edge of the Botany Aquatic Centre, just beyond the Big Splash. We’ve talked about this area in the past and now we’ve formalised the plans, which would see a new off-leash area as well as retaining the existing function area at the pool.

The Aquatic Centre and adjacent Booralee Park is a major recreation area in the City and as the population grows so too do the numbers of canine companion animals. We’ve put in off-leash areas for dogs in other parts of the City (and a couple more are about to get underway, which I’ll outline at the end of this item) and it was logical to utilise this area in Botany. The function area at the pool was not being used as much as it could and, after careful examination, Council decided to examine splitting the area into two – for functions and for dogs. There are some exiting fences and we’ll need some more to keep the dogs away from the function area but we feel it can all work out for everyone. 

We’ll circulate our plans to nearby residents in the next couple of weeks and then get local feedback, which will be part of the final decision. 

We have approvede two new off-leash areas for dogs – at Firmstone Reserve down in Pagewood and High Street Reserve, which runs between High Street and King Street, Mascot. Work on the Firmstone Reserve area will begin in the near future while High Street Reserve may take a little longer to get underway as we have a few things to finalise with Sydney Water.

Night work in North Mascot

Work will begin next week (July 16) in Tramway Street and along Botany Road to Gardeners Road as we begin to refurbish the footpath and streetscape in this area. Where possible the work will be done at night to reduce any inconvenience to pedestrian traffic. This worked well for us when we redid the Mascot Shopping Strip.

Jul 9, 2012

Six-a-side Soccer

It’s back again in September (in fact it kicks off the same day as the Council elections) and I’m sure it will be as popular as it was last year. What I’m talking about is our six-a-side soccer down at Hensley Athletic Field.

By the end of the last season, the demand was such that we had to do it again. There are divisions for men, women, mixed, girls and boys and as the comp uses the amazing cushioned synthetic surface the comp is never rained out. What we found last year were groups of friends, work-mates, extended families or social groups got together a team to join the comp. Per player it works out at around $10 a match, which includes insurance, registration, referees and an end of season BBQ. 

We’ve got a special $200 early bird discount for team registrations if you register on-line before July 31. Everything can be done on-line at www.botanybay.nsw.gov.au You’ll see the six-a-side soccer log and you can go from there.

Jul 8, 2012

Good News for Mascot Station Precinct

After several years of talking Sydney Water has finally agreed to grant Council a licence over the land known as “Linear Park” for open space purposes in the Mascot Precinct. 

This is great news as it will provide much needed green space in the Mascot Precinct. Linear Park runs from the corner of Gardeners Road and O’Riordan Street through Church Avenue and John Street to Coward Street. Once the paper work is completed Council will prepare a design for the new park to create an attractive passive open space area for the new community in Mascot Precinct and the surrounding area.

Residents will soon be sent the design of the new park for their input.

Jul 6, 2012

Local Elections

Residents will see in the Southern Courier an advertisement from Council concerning the Rolls of Electors for the forthcoming local government elections on September 8. The ad reminds people of voter eligibility for the election of both the Mayor and Councillors. There is the residential roll, which covers anyone registered to vote in Commonwealth and State elections. If you live within our City and have not voted in previous State or federal elections you’ll need to get on the roll. You can get an enrolment form at any Post Office or you can get one (and check your enrolment) online at www.votensw.info The cut-off for enrolment is 6.00pm Monday July 30. 

If you are on the roll or if you complete your enrolment you must remember that voting on September 8 is compulsory and if you don’t vote you can be fined. There is also a non-residential roll, which is for people who own, are a rate-paying lessee or an occupier of rateable land, which is not a person’s primary address. If you fit these criteria, you are eligible to vote in the September 8 election but you have to enrol before 6.00pm Monday July 30. If you have been on the non-residential roll at a previous Council election you must re-apply for the forthcoming election. Council will keep everyone informed of the actions Council and the Returning Officer take in preparation of the September 8 election for Mayor and Councillors.

Critters and other bugs invade the Library

It’s appropriate that on Friday the 13th (of July that is), our Central Library at Eastgardens has some special guests to entertain and delight all our local children aged between 8 and 12. It’s the Mobile Mini Beasts and there will be “live” critters and bugs – spiders, scorpions, centipedes, a giant burrowing cockroach, stick insects, grass hoppers and perhaps the most effective assassin of them all, the praying mantis. 

You will need to book as seats are limited. It’s on between 10.30am and 11.30am and because of the limited space in the Library’s conference room we’re asking parents and carers to stay outside – but there will be some “photo opportunities” during the hands-on session, which will no doubt be a delight (and a bit noisy) for all the participants. There is a cost of $5 per child and you can book by calling Candy at the Central Library on 9366 3888. This should be real fun.

Jul 5, 2012

National Diabetes Week

During National Diabetes Week, which runs 8th -14th July, the Central Library at Eastgardens will hold an Information Workshop featuring Danny Kirk. Danny will be discussing how to prevent and manage diabetes through lifestyle and physical activity. Danny Kirk is a diabetic type 1, a diabetic lifestyle coach and an accredited Beat It trainer. The workshop will be on Thursday July 12 between 6:00pm and 7:30pm and light refreshments will be served and there will be lucky door prizes. Bookings are required so either call Linda or Wanda on 9366 3888 or email library@botanybay.nsw.gov.au

Jul 4, 2012

Road Works continue in Sutherland Street, Mascot

A reminder to all residents and motorists that Sydney Water is still working in Sutherland Street, Mascot, and the road is closed between King Street and Hollingshed Street. The works will be in progress for another couple of weeks. If you can bypass this area by using Wentworth Avenue and Botany Road it will be appreciated

Botany Family Day Care Recognition

Parents of children at Botany Family Day Care and the Centre’s staff are a bit pumped at the moment with the recognition of Shahnaz Rahman.

The Botany Family Day Care Educator has been named regional winner in the Family Day Care Australia Educator of the Year Awards. Shahnaz was selected from hundreds of family day care educators in the area and she is now in the running for the national title to be announced in July. According to Shahnaz her first priority is ensuring the children are happy, comfortable and settled as well as watching them grow and share their special stories. Congratulations go to Shahnaz.

Botany Road Speed Limit now 50KM

Drivers beware. The speed limit along Botany Road, from Hayes Street, Rosebery to General Holmes Drive, Mascot has been reduced from 60km to 50km. There is a fixed speed camera on Botany Road, north of Gardeners Road, that will enforce the 50km speed limit.

JJ Cahill Creative Arts Exhibition

Make sure you pop down to Mascot Library and Museum before July 13 to see works by the talented students of JJ Cahill. The exhibition features art by Visual Arts, Photographic and Digital Media students. I was there the other night when there was a small function for the artists and their families, and I was most impressed with the quality of the works and the talent on display. The Museum is open until 8pm on a Wednesday night.

Jul 1, 2012

Daceyville 100th set for Spring

After studying the long range weather forecasts for July and August, Daceyville’s birthday celebrations have been rescheduled for Spring – September is looking like the best month with little rain predicted at this time. And spring will be a very appropriate time to celebrate Sydney’s first Garden Suburb’s 100th birthday. We can perhaps merge Daceyville’s 100th year with our Garden Competition’s 25th year with a special category. The organisers are back at work putting everything in place, so I will keep you informed through my column,  here and look out for more information in your letterboxes. I would like to thank to all those residents who have taken the time to express their support for the celebrations, their disappointment at the cancellation and their encouragement to try again.

Seniors Brochure

Council has recently updated its Services for Seniors booklet. We have posted copies to those on our data base, but if you have not received a copy of this helpful little booklet please give my office a call on 93663600 and I will be happy to pop one in the post to you. Or you can ask for one next time you visit my office at Eastgardens. It will be available to download soon.

Good Neighbours - When can I use my Lawn Mower?

I have had a few enquiries over the past weeks about when neighbours can start up their lawn mowers, leaf blowers and power tools – and when they should stop. Just to clarify the issue lawn mowers, leaf blowers and power tools can be operated Monday to Saturday between the hours of 7am and 8pm and on Sundays from 8am to 8pm.

NAIDOC Workshop

During the school holidays, the Central Library, Eastgardens, will celebrate NAIDOC Week with Aboriginal artefacts, dreamtime stories and painting. 

The event, for 5 to 12 year olds, is on twice –Thursday July 5 and Tuesday July 10 between 10.30 am and 12.30pm. The children will be taken through the workshops by Lesley McLeod, who is well known in our area as a senior and respected indigenous person. 

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

The children are encouraged to wear red, yellow and black as part of the NAIDOC Week celebrations. Spaces are limited and there is a cost of $5 per child for each of the workshops (with one parent or carer per family free) and you will need to register in person with Candy at the Central Library. We can’t take phone bookings for this event.

Pan Pacific Games at Eastlakes Sports Club

Last weekend, I the privilege of welcoming the participants in the 6th Annual Pan Pacific Floreal Petanque Competition to our City and the Eastlakes Sports Club. Teams representing Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia and New Caledonia came to play. The game which has its origins in France, is growing in popularity in Australia.

Sydney Water closes Sutherland Street 3 weeks

Sydney Water has advised they are undertaking emergency works in Sutherland Street, Mascot, between King Street and Hollingshed Street following a severe failure of the sewer line which has caused the road to collapse. The works are major and will take about three (3) weeks to complete. There will be delays and disruptions to local traffic but it is unavoidable. Sydney Water apologises for the inconvenience and seeks the co operation of residents and motorists. If you can avoid using Sutherland Street over the next three weeks it would be appreciated. Parents wishing to access L’Estrange Park for their children’s sport, if travelling via Wentworth Avenue you should continue along Wentworth Avenue to Botany Road turning right and then right again at King Street.