Recently attending a concert at our Pioneer Theatre of the Western Sydney Symphony Orchestra I was reminded of how much local musical talent we have. Shutting my eyes, I could have been in any concert hall - such were the acoustics and quality of the performance.
The Pioneer Theatre is proving to be a versatile performance facility entirely appropriate to the artistic needs of the Hills community and demonstrates the importance of prudent oversight by Councillors as to how ratepayers’ money is spent.
The recent decision to commit to a major upgrade of the Waves swimming centre in Baulkham Hills came after long debate and careful scrutiny of the options available and followed the same path of prudent financial oversight.
The project, likely to involve expense of around $50 million, is the largest capital expense undertaken by Council for many years but will see the dated current complex replaced by a modern, world class community facility.
As the Metro beds down as a fabulous piece of transport infrastructure, its impact on traffic and dwelling choices continues to become apparent. Those choosing to move into an apartment at a Metro station precinct offer glowing reports about their new lifestyle and it is now very clear, if ever there was any doubt, that Castle Hill and its surrounding suburbs have entered a new era far, far removed from the bucolic scenes of the 1960s. Norwest continues its stratospheric trajectory of wealth creation and job opportunities and we can only begin to imagine what the region will look like in coming decades.
An interesting planning proposal recently came before Council when the developer of an apartment complex in a station precinct requested permission to change the use of some of the residential dwellings to serviced apartments - a commercial use not permitted in a residential zone. The proposal was declined but discussion about Airbnb came into the debate. What, practically, is the difference between using a serviced apartment and using Airbnb? Whether it’s Uber, Airbnb, 5G or any other new initiative, the changing landscape brought about by technology will continue to challenge government.