Congratulations to our former Mayor Yvonne Keane AM on being awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to women and children and to those who are deaf or hard of hearing. In my time on Council, Yvonne was unparalleled in her dedication to the community, innovative thinking and ability to drive forward positive change.
It has been a tough year and a half for The Hills community whether it has been drought, fire, flood or Covid. However I have never been more impressed by the resilience and spirit of our community, with countless stories of residents helping one another. In particular, I would like to thank all of our volunteers in the community.
Council has been working hard to improve the quality of life for local residents. Progress continues with the upgrade to the Waves Aquatic Centre in Baulkham Hills. The $56 million project is on time to open early in 2022, with the demolition stage, bulk excavation and substructure works being completed.
The upgrade of Hezlett Road to four lanes continues to make progress, with the widening of the road and construction of a bus bay at North Kellyville Public School being prioritised. A number of services have been relocated and preliminary works have also begun for the traffic lights at Samantha Riley Drive.
Council has committed to building a new Community Centre in the years ahead at the upcoming Anthony Skarratt Reserve in Box Hill, replacing the existing Box Hill Nelson Community Centre. I would like to thank the residents of Box Hill and Nelson for their trust in Council in providing the facilities that the area requires for the long term.
The Parramatta Eels have entered into an agreement with Council for the redevelopment of Kellyville Park as a Premier Rugby League Facility and the establishment of pathways to assist athletes reaching representative and elite levels. This is a significant coup for The Hills and ties into the growing presence of elite sporting organisations choosing to call The Hills home including Eastwood Rugby Club at Fred Caterson Reserve and Hockey NSW in Gables.
As the population in The Hills grows, upgrades to intersections and parks is a top priority. Council has finished a number of intersection upgrades recently, including the roundabout on the corner of Boundary Road, Pitt Town Road and Neich Road in Maraylya and the roundabout at Aiken Road and Salina Avenue in West Pennant Hills.
Progress in buildings parks and sportsfields continues with construction to begin in the near future at Equinox Drive Reserve and Hannaford Avenue Reserve in Box Hill as well as the expansion of the southern field at Kenthurst Park. Master Plans have also been exhibited for community comment for Samantha Riley Drive Reserve and Stringer Road Reserve in North Kellyville and Brindle Parkway Reserve in Box Hill.
Council has updated several playgrounds in The Hills including Telfer Way Reserve in Castle Hill, Mount Francis Reserve in Kellyville, Beaumont Drive Reserve and Barker Street Reserve in Beaumont Hills and Manor Place Reserve and Amphitheatre Circuit Reserve in Baulkham Hills. I would also recommend families check out the new BMX track at Turon Reserve in Baulkham Hills.
Finally, while it has been a period in which families have not been able to get interstate or overseas, I would encourage you to go out and see the best The Hills has to offer. Our community is home to some of Sydney’s best natural wonders, villages, experiences and in visiting our attractions right here you will be supporting our local businesses as well.