My thoughts are with our residents and businesses along the Hawkesbury River who have been hit very hard by the floods at the end of March. This was the worst flood seen in decades and has caused significant damage to properties, roads and parks. While Resilience NSW have been leading the recovery effort, Council staff have been assisting by collecting information for waste pickups, staffing a flood recovery centre and sending out crews to help with the clean-up and begin repairing assets. Council is waiving fees for residents who need to submit DAs and Section 68 applications as part of recovering from floods. I would also like to thank the EPA, RFS, ADF, Fire and Rescue NSW and many other community members and groups have been on the ground helping our residents and businesses get back on their feet.
In better news for rural residents, larger secondary dwelling sizes are on the way for those who live on rural zoned land. This provides rural residents more options to help support their families, friends or loved ones in bigger secondary dwellings on their property. The planning proposal would see secondary dwellings allowed to be 110m2 or 20% of the primary dwelling area, whichever is the larger. The motion I brought to Council increases the old 60m2 rule to 110m2 and leaves the 20% rule unchanged. The planning proposal is currently with the Department for Gateway determination before community exhibition and hopefully adoption later this year.
Council has been making progress on a number of parks and reserves. Staff have recently completed playground updates at Duncraig Drive Reserve in Kellyville and Sophia Doyle Reserve in Baulkham Hills. Master plans have been adopted for the future Samantha Riley Drive Reserve and Stringer Road Reserve in North Kellyville as well as Brindle Parkway Reserve in Box Hill. Construction also continues at Balmoral Road Sports Reserve and the Waves Pool in Baulkham Hills.
Finally, I wanted to say congratulations to my friend Robyn Preston who recently finished her time as a Councillor after twelve and a half years service. Robyn was an incredibly hard working and well respected Councillor and North Ward’s loss is Hawkesbury’s gain.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if there is any way I can assist you.