Gladesville Hospital Ceremony 10 December 2019

Hi Everyone,

Locals who walk around the hospital will be familiar with the graves and the cemetery site just off Victoria Road, and may have noticed works recently tending to the site.

Please see below for details received from the NSW Mental Health Commissioner of a memorial ceremony to be held at Gladesville Psychiatric Hospital on 10 December 2019.

Forwarded to you by the team at Gladesville Community Group (inc)


Gladesville Hospital Cemetery Memorial: in memory of former residents

The NSW Mental Health Commissioner, Catherine Lourey, cordially invites you to the Gladesville Hospital Cemetery Memorial ceremony to acknowledge and remember the lives of former residents of the Gladesville Psychiatric Hospital on Victoria Road, Gladesville.

This area is the final resting place of more than 1,200 former patients and several staff of the old hospital at Gladesville. The memorial ceremony will be the first time these people have been formally acknowledged.

Initially known as the Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum (1838-1868), the hospital was renamed Gladesville Hospital for the Insane (1868-1914) and finally known as Gladesville Hospital (1915-1993).

Almost all the graves are unmarked — an indication of the high level of ignorance and shame that pervaded attitudes towards those who experienced mental health issues in the past.

The cemetery is a poignant reminder that we must never again allow vulnerable people to be abandoned, devalued, and hidden away. Instead we must focus on hope, recovery, support, and inclusion.

In holding this historic memorial ceremony, we offer respect to those whose remains are here in unmarked graves, as well as former residents buried elsewhere. We also pay respects to people buried at other hospitals and institutions. Our community acknowledges their journeys of suffering, distress and abandonment. This memorial is part of a journey to honour their memory.
The ceremony will include Aboriginal cultural elements, lived experience acknowledgements, speeches and shared stories.

Light refreshments will be available. Parking: on Crown Street or on the Hospital campus (access via Punt Road).

For any more information, please email or call (02) 9859 5200.

Date And Time: Tuesday 10 December 2019, 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: Gladesville Hospital, Carpark C (adjacent to cemetery), Victoria Road
Gladesville, NSW 2111

For any more information, please email or call 9859 5200.

Happy Hens Fundraiser and Christmas Puddings

Hi Everyone,

Today we have some really positive things to share with you.

The Happy Hens are a local community group started by three friends Helen, Emma, and Nicole (hence the name HEN). Their aim is: to make Gladesville, Hunters Hill, Ryde and beyond an engaging, enjoyable and sustainable place to live, especially in our beautiful public open spaces. So far they have created two community gardens, one at Bedlam Bay in the grounds of Gladesville Hospital, and one at Henley Green.

In October 2018 they also organised a mental health awareness event called Bedlam at the Bay, which was a great success. 

Fundraising party – Happy Hens

They’re having a fundraising party on Saturday 30th November 2019. Tickets are only $33 and that includes 1) a Glass of Prosecco by The Fizz Fellas (alternative beer or wine), 2) Gourmet BBQ BURGER or PULLED-BEEF BUN or VEGETARIAN FRITTATA generously prepared by The Happy Hens and Friends, and 3) a Serving of Decadent Cake, Rich Pudding or Sweets.

They’re doing fantastic voluntary work and this is a great chance to show our support for local people building community.

Or you can find out more about the Happy Hens and the fundraiser at this link

You can buy tickets directly from this link

Christmas Puddings – Happy Hens

The Happy Hens are also raising funds by selling the popular Pudding Lane Christmas Puddings. All 500g puddings are $30 and all 1kg puddings are $45.

These prices are less than retail and delivery is free around Gladesville area.

You can download their order form from our website at this link

Or you can email the Hens directly to reqeust an order form at

Please note: Orders received by Friday 22 November will be delivered by 15th December 2019.

Hunters Hill Council’s horrendous infrastructure backlog about 604% worse than they thought!

Have you ever thought that Hunters Hill Council isn’t maintaining the footpaths and roads well enough?

Have you ever thought it must be a Council of low aspirations if they think this IS good enough?

Did you see the other Councillors vote against Councillors Ben Collins and Zac Miles Motion to Hunters Hill Council on 11th February 2019 to commit to addressing the backlog, and wondered whether they’re ever going to fix the roads and footpaths?

Have you thought that Hunters Hill Council might have been in denial when they said they have the scale and capacity to continue without being amalgamated?

Have you thought these roads and footpaths JUST AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH?

Well it turns out YOU ARE CORRECT!

In the Agenda for the Extraordinary General Meeting (4469) of Hunters Hill Council held on Monday 21st October 2019, draft financial statements were presented that are informed by a better review
 of assets than Council has performed in prior years.

It turns out that prior years’ reporting of the condition of our assets and infrastructure backlog, and cost to bring them up to the level set by Council, has been GROSSLY under-reported. In the Schedule 7 to the Financial Statements for the year ending 30th June 2018 that figure was reported at $3,955,000.

With the new General Manager (GM), and a new Asset Management Engineer, and actually looking at it properly, that value is estimated at $27,858,000!

Assuming no significant movement between the 2018 and 2019 condition of assets, given that the main driver
 of this year’s increased value is Council’s NEW KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS, the infrastructure backlog problem is bigger than was previously recognised – by approximately 604%!

(in the absence of reliable information, we can only assume that the actual infrastructure backlog value last year should have been similar to the best estimate we currently have for this year)

The report with the Agenda of that meeting on 21st October 2019, as well information given by staff at the meeting to explain the situation, confirm that the current number is a better informed estimate but they have only surveyed the roads at this stage and are yet to complete surveying of the footpaths and other assets (in progress or scheduled). The figure may rise further.

Refer to PDF page numbers 96,97, and 169 (footnote page numbers 93, 94, and 166 respectively) at

Similar to the Councillors, we do not blame the new GM Lisa Miscamble, or other current senior staff, for this legacy issue. To the contrary they should be (and were) thanked for their professionalism and diligence in bringing this horrendous issue of under-reporting of facts to light. We’re not saying it was deliberate lying in the past. It could have been incompetence, or maybe there is some other explanation for it.

Councillor Ben Collins’ comments at the meeting, starting at 36:00 minutes (for 5 minutes) are worth watching even if you don’t have time to watch the whole meeting.

Councillors fixing the problem?

As referred by Councillor Ben Collins during the meeting on 21st October 2019,  Councillors’ Ben Collins and Zac Miles requested the Motion which is copied below (in italics) in Hunters Hill Council Meeting 4454 on 11th February 2019, inviting Council to commit to fixing the roads and footpaths.


Notice of Motion
1. That Council adopts a policy of restoring sealed roads, footpaths, kerbs and guttering, and other road assets to the agreed level of service set by council;
2. That Council adopts a policy of budgeting for all required maintenance and restoration costs on infrastructure assets in the annual budget delivered each year;
3. That Council undertakes a review of all infrastructure assets and brings back a report to Council in March outlining the estimated costs to bring all infrastructure assets to a satisfactory standard.

Do we just point out problems or do we try to help fix them?

Of course we try to help.

On 18th April 2018 (more than 18 months ago) the header image of this email, a person riding a quad-bike with mounted equipment, was posted on Facebook Group “In the Cove”. It was suggested that they may be surveying Lane Cove Council assets – roads and footpaths.

A member of the Committee of Gladesville Community Group, Russell Young, posted below on “Captive Councillor” (a Facebook Group created by Hunters Hill Councillor Elizabeth Krassoi) in April 2018. That discussion is copied below, in italics. Even in April 2018 we could see the value in a high-quality review of our assets condition and the response from Hunters Hill Council was to accept reactive reporting focussing on micro-issues instead of proactively and systematically reviewing assets with best-practice as our neighbouring Council was doing at the macro level.

RY: Hi Councillors, there’s suggestion this could be surveying Council assets – roads and footpaths around Lane Cove. If it’s true, could this be done in HHC also?Systemic monitoring and management of assets would be much better than relying on frustrated residents to report condition. I know there are raised footpath slabs that form trip hazards in Cowell St (and elsewhere no doubt) where the big fig tree roots get under them, and it would be good risk management to have periodic surveys and to ensure that high foot-traffic areas are attended to as appropriate. A risk-based approach.
I’d be amazed if there was any survey going on of the footpaths around the Gladesville commercial precinct – which has higher foot traffic than other areas because of the high level of pedestrian activity. Some of those trip hazards in streets where a lot of retail staff and shoppers walk really need to be monitored and addressed more frequently.
CC: Hi Russ Young I understand that Council does have a schedule of road and footpath works that is reviewed and approved ongoing on top of essential call outs. I know that a schedule of road upgrades was approved some months ago and is on the website. I’ll email steve and ask if there is more we can share and do. Meanwhile other councillors may recall more. Watch this space and thanks for the info. I wonder what that little buggy is??
RY: Thanks Elizabeth
CC: Russ, Barry Smith our GM has replied. I’m attaching here the link to the community strategic plan where you can download the roads and related assets plan which outlines the priorities to 2030. Barry also suggested, as this is an operational question, that a call to himself or dhruba would be welcome if you have more questions. I’ll have another read too and happy to assist if you have further questions or suggestions on this. Our next community strategic plan is in final workings so a good time for comment coming very soon. Put In a call to Council if you want to ensure a particular street definitely makes it into the next stage. http://www.huntershill.nsw.

CC: Quoting: Roads and footpaths are inspected regularly and at least annually for a condition assessment to meet the AAS. Maintenance is undertaken in accordance with the adopted Asset Management Plans that form one part of the Resourcing Strategy that supports the Community Strategic Plan. The AMPs are reviewed annually as part of the budget process.
RY: Thanks Elizabeth. It’s really the effectiveness of that review that I’m focusing on. These trip hazard slabs have been what I think is dangerous for quite a while, and even something as simple as the pepper tree branches blocking access to the pedestrian layback at the designated point of crossing has been a long persisting problem.
CC: Russ Young hi. Would you email this photo and location once again to Council and, if you wouldn’t mind, a copy to me as well.

What can we have – if we can’t have safe footpaths and decent roads?

We can have Hunters Hill Day, for anti-amalgamation campaigners to gloat over the victory against the NSW Government on a legal technicality that prevented Hunters Hill Council from being amalgamated with neighbours. Did we really win something good?

We can have fairy lights in the fig trees at the top of Cowell St, lights by which to trip on bad footpaths.

We can have 10% per annum rates increases as we’ve had this year.

We can have bad roads and footpaths until or unless Councillors vote to fix them, instead of leaving millions of dollars in the bank so we look strong on paper – against the next amalgamation initiative whenever a NSW Government gets around to it.

Like children having dessert instead of dinner if they’re allowed, some of our Councillors seem more focussed on projects that deliver photo opportunities while people trip on our footpaths and smash their faces because asset maintenance doesn’t make for sexy politics. BUT IT IS THE JOB OF LOCAL COUNCIL AND UNTIL NOW HUNTERS HILL COUNCIL MISUNDERSTOOD THE COST OF THAT REQUIREMENT BY ABOUT 604%.

Lets see what promises we get when aspiring Mayors start saying ‘the right thing’ ahead of the Local Council elections 2020.

From the team at Gladesville Community Group

GS’V’ update and Master Plan for Gladesville (draft coming)

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch, but even though you haven’t heard from us we’ve been trying to keep an eye on things affecting Gladesville.

Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ (GS’V’) update – where is it up to?

Earlier in 2019 Hunters Hill Council submitted its response to the applicant’s request (by the GS’V’ land owner who also now owns the adjacent land that used to be public) to the NSW Department of Planning to relax the Height and “Floor space ratio” (FSR, basically ‘bulk’) controls applicable to the site. 180 flats and 10 storeys wasn’t enough, after our land was sold to them, so they sought a State Government amendment to our Local Environmental Plan (LEP) to allow even bigger development on the site.

Thanks to YOUR continued attention to this issue, and YOUR attendance at the public meeting and YOUR submissions, the response from Hunters Hill Council was not to support any increase to FSR (bulk), but concession on height may be allowable. There were also increased open space requirements, a “design excellence” (according to WHO?) requirement, and a site-specific Development Control Plan to be considered for the site.

Overall, this is as good an outcome that we could hope for, after having already sold the public land to the developer and Council really holding no cards to manage the site in a ‘deveoper-friendly’ state political environment. Well done everyone!

We are still waiting for hear what the NSW Department of Planning will decide for the site. We will update you when we know more.

Master Plan for Gladesville

One significant initiative that should be achieved soon is exhibition of a new draft Master Plan for Gladesville. This was announced in March 2018, and nearly 18 months later we believe there will be a result soon.

You can read the Motion at the link below to our previous communication when the Master Plan was announced, and we note that a public meeting of residents and stakeholders was to occur early in the process (Point 2 of the Motion). We’ll see what’s actually happened so far when the Master Plan goes to public exhibition for comment. Certainly we are hoping that it is not a case of a plan from Hunters Hill Council being developed behind closed doors and then shown to the public for ‘rubber-stamping’ with little or no room for input, to qualify as Public input. But we remain optimistic because this 2017-2020 Council has actually recognised that planning is a responsibilty of Hunters Hill Council.

The previous Council 2012-2017 sold off our heritage asset at 10 Cowell Street (with the only heritage listing in the history of Hunters Hill Council to exclude curtilage, making it easier for the property to be relocated or demolished) and sold other public land including a public car park in Gladesville (without tender), re-zoned Gladesville to take almost all of the increased density for the entire Hunters Hill Local Government Area (LGA) when the State Government pushed targets into each LGA, and invested little or no visible effort to plan for or to mitigate the adverse impacts of the significant additional development – of which we are now seeing the beginning.

What is a Master Plan?

Have a look at the last one – from 2006 – at the link below!

The 2006 Master Plan basically became redundant when the 2012 Local Environmental Plan (LEP) was adopted, because the “Heights of Buildings” and “Floor space ratio” (FSR, basically ‘bulk’) controls changed significantly. That 2012 LEP was the planning instrument that paved the way for all of this extra development – basically the 5 and 6 storey buildings to line most of Victoria Rd as well as the 10 storey development over the Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ (Coles site).

Before the 2012 LEP, the 2006 Master Plan was an excellent document to guide the planning and development for Gladesville, applicable to both Ryde and Hunters Hill Councils – which jointly developed it.

The Master Plan considers heritage, character, amenity, and how to best plan to retain or promote favourable elements of the suburb’s character. It considers relevant factors beyond our boundaries, such as Top Ryde shopping centre. It considers public transport and the promotion of its use.

Importantly, it considers the management of the suburb at the level of infrastructure that is within the control of the Council. Parking and traffic managment are given due consideration, with chapter 4.6 titled “Access Management and Parking”. “Parking” was mentioned 117 times in the 2006 Master Plan, and “Traffic” was mentioned 29 times. This attention to ‘what Council can do to help’ is what we think has been critically absent since the 2012 re-zoning of Gladesville for high density. Also absent has been sufficient collaboration between City of Ryde and Hunters Hill Councils, to develop such a Plan.

Since lodgement of the Development Application in 2013 for the 4 x 8 storey towers above the two storey podium proposed redevelopment of Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’, the public has been asking (including as a theme in the 290+ submissions received in response to the DA, 99% of which opposed it) for an integrated parking and traffic management plan for Gladesville – which suffers from being split across the Local Government Areas of two different Councils.

Why do we keep talking about parking and traffic management?

Because it matters, because it won’t solve itself, and because Councils shouldn’t be waiting until it’s too late before trying to fix it after the fact.

Businesses rely on customers, and convenient access to enter, park, and leave the suburb is important to the choice of desination. Never have we heard a restauranteur say “I’ll be happy just to have as many diners as would like to ride their bikes here on a rainy Saturday night”, or “there should be enough people on the bus route” to fill a restaurant in a suburban precinct. Not everyone can walk their groceries home.

Commercial landlords rely on businesses success. Bad sites, or sites which are turned bad by lack of planning, don’t attract good rents or resale.

Residents’ ability to enjoy a suburb’s vibrancy requires businesses to succeed instead of closing down as we’ve seen through Gladesville in recent years, both in and out of the Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’. We don’t accept that just building 180+ extra flats above the Coles will somehow solve everything, or even that it won’t create a congestion problem if Councils don’t plan for success. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Public transport in Sydney is only as good (or bad) as it actually is, and Victoria Rd remains a bus corridor with few destinations to/from Gladesville other than the CBD-Parramatta route. 

Indeed, the article from Inside Retail at the link below acknowledges the positive contribution to successful local shopping strips made by some councils focussing on convenient parking and lobbing for improved transport links, the latter not actually being under the control of councils.

We have not seen an articulated strategy from Hunters Hill Council (or City of Ryde) adopting a position against vehicular transport. Any such intention should be properly exihibited for public consultation before the future of our suburb is put at risk. We just haven’t seen any action that recognises that the increased residential and commercial load coming from the 2012 rezoning actually requires planning and increased capacity.

Even if businesses are prepared to pay for parking permits for staff, there are no car parks in Gladesville that have capacity – and this is before the coming wave of development is finished and before the public car park on the northern/easter side of Cowell Street is incorporated into the redevelopment of the Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’. Even if residents with more cars are prepared to rent additional above the low parking space ratios required for approval of blocks of flats these days, there is no capacity to rent what does not exist.

We don’t even have capacity to supply business or residents with additional parking when it’s commercially viable or otherwise desirable to pay/rent/lease. We cannot manage and meet staff + resident + shopper/diner/customer demand for parking if we’re can’t plan to increase capacity. And that ignores the impact of commuter parking already saturating many of our residential streets.

Again, failing to plan is planning to fail.

The Master Plan – coming soon

We keenly await the public consultation for YOUR input into the Master Plan for Gladesville, and hope that by the end of the 2017-2020 Council term we will have a planning achievement to celebrate!

From the team at Gladesville Community Group (incorporated)

Amalgamate Hunters Hill Day?

Amalgamate Hunters Hill Day?

It was resolved at Hunters Hill Council meeting on 10th December 2018 to adopt 31 July each year as a day to celebrate defeating the NSW Government’s most recent attempt to amalgamate Hunters Hill into a municipality with scale and capacity – which was withdrawn on 31 July 2017.

We recall the public debate at that time as being unbalanced. The Save Hunters Hill Municipality Coalition (SHHMC) campaigned against amalgamation and Council decided to mount a fight for its own jobs and benefits, but there was no organisation campaigning for amalgamation. There was no counter-balance. As a result, the ‘debate’ was one-sided and there was no chance to stop and actually consider whether we would be better off being part of a larger council, or whether it woulde be better to have boundaries that do not divide Gladesville (or Boronia Park) into two different Local Government Areas (LGAs).

Since 31 July is now adopted as Hunters Hill’s official day of gloating over their anti-amalgamation victory, we are committing to not leaving rational residents of Gladesville (or any other supporters) feeling like their/our voices do not matter. Hunters Hill Council has voted to support the divisive initiative, celebrating 31 July each year – so we will use that same day to give a voice to open-minded, progressive people who are open to change and reform.

We acknowledge there are those who would like the NSW Government to come back and finish the job (legally), and amalgamate the smallest Council in NSW into a council with enough size to be effective – without 9.74% rates increases, as are being sought at the Hunters Hill Council meeting to be held 12 December 2018.

The most balanced argument we saw at the time was the “Rough guide to the impact of amalgamation” published by the Hunters Hill Trust. Apart from publishing the thought-provoking guide available at the links below, the Hunters Hill Trust generally stayed out of the 2017 amalgamation debate because it was divided.

If Council’s size and shape is an important issue to you, or the opportunity to be a part of a constructive and balanced discussion about whether new boundaries might be better for the modern era – then this initiative is for you. If you have wondered whether a more-widely skilled staff could deliver better and more cost effective services than a micro-council, this is for you. If you have wondered whether economies of scale are more important than parochialism, this is for you. If you have wondered where it’s good for Gladesville to be targetted for almost all of the Hunter Hill municipality’s development, this is for you.

With the help of HHC, the anti-amalgamation group were very loudly heard in the 2017 process, but being loud does not necessarily mean their opinion is right, it doesn’t mean they’re the majority, and it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call for municipal improvement and reform. It is time to find out how many of us are actually open to amalgamation, without being shouted down.

To build the best future, we think the community needs to be master of its own destiny. If we wait for the next forced amalgamation, we might not have much of a say. Amalgamation does not need to be forced, not when the sensible discussion moves from insularity and emotional fear of change, and considers the benefits of scale with an open mind. It could be the best thing to happen to us!

We expect to form a sub-committee or working group to drive this forward. We will also look for street/neighbourhood coordinators to help with distributing printed leaflets. You do not have to live in Gladesville, this is an issue that affects residents throughout the area.

Also, please email this to like-minded friends who think that the Council size and shape and reform issue needs more attention. New subscribers can register for our emails by contacting us at

9.74% rates increase in HHC and Anti-amalgamation Day

Hi Everyone,

Please note below urgent action on the Special Rates Variation seeking to increase your rates by 9.74% – bold item under “what you can do” in the second section of this email.

Anti-amalgamation day: 31st July each year

At the Hunters Hill Council meeting to be held on Monday 10th December (tomorrow), Council is looking to adopt 31st July each year to celebrate the NSW government’s decision not to pursue council amalgamations which were subject to legal challenge – on 27th July 2017.

The relevant section of the Council Meeting Agenda is available at the link below. Submissions are included, if you’d like to review them.

We are disappointed that this divisive issue of amalgamation has been brought up again.

We respect that some people believe the boundaries should remain as they are. Unfortunately they do not respect that there are other opinions, which are valid and widely held – certainly in the north ward.

We are well aware that there is a lot of support for the ideas that:
1) the boundary on Victoria Road dividing Gladesville across two municipalities is problematic, and
2) amalgamation to a more suitable size – such as the combination of Hunters Hill Council and Lane Cove Council
– would create a better-sized municipality with economies of scale and the capacity to employ a wider range of specialist skills which are so important in the modern era, while retaining a suitable local focus.

It is very disappointing that a particular interest group has sought to insult and speak over other residents who feel differently, by seeking official recognition of their views as the adopted position of the Council – and of all of us rate-payers.

We already have Moocooboola which is a great festival for the Community, attracting 20,000 attendees (and we can’t even maintain a website for it – check the Moocooboola website link on the page below).

Our view is that Hunters Hill Council should be focussing on performance, focussing on delivering value to rate-payers. In this pause between NSW Government initiatives to amalgamate this micro-Council, we should be focussing on earning and building genuine support, rather than more of the same games we saw last time when Council tried to tell people what they think.

Such a blatant leading question as whether people want “a SUPERIOR alternative” as shown in the header image of this email (laughing face added) – extracted from the Fit For The Future propaganda downloadable at the link below, would not be tolerated by those who argued against amalgamation if it wasn’t convenient to their argument.

It was not surprising that 70% of respondents wanted a “superior alternative”, what was surprising was that the other 30% either didn’t undertsand what the word Superior means, or they didn’t trust Council!

For those who hope to defend the smallest Council in NSW from amalgamation in the future, we thought uniting the community in support of a better performing Council was a better idea than insulting the members of the community with different views.

Our initial thoughts have been to petition the NSW Minister for Local Government and the Shadow Minister every year on that same day – to give a voice to those who aren’t committed to the existing boundaries. We don’t expect it to achive much for a while, but after 5-10 years with a few hundred signatures each year, it should provide political support to revisit the boundaries of this anomaly micro-council.

We didn’t pick this fight, but we’re certainly not going to be spoken over.

What you can do:

* Come to the HHC meeting on Monday night at 7:30 if you can make it

* Fill in a request to present and sent it to HHC before Midday on Monday if you’d like to speak – form available at the link below

* Watch it on the Facebook live-stream if you are able to – but can’t attend

* Email us back with your ideas about how to make sure reasonable opinions about reforming council and boundaries aren’t drowned out by the hijacking of our Council’s endorsement by those who think the smallest micro-council in NSW must remain forever so.

Do help us out when you have ideas: please reply back with your suggestions of how we should counter this disappointing insult which really was SO UNNECESSARY.

Special Rate Variation (SRV) – increase rates by 9.74% or 6.74% instead of the 2.7%

You can’t make this stuff up.

On the same week that Hunters Hill Council is looking to adopt a day to celebrate anti-amalgamation which was intended to give the scale and capacity required to cost-effectively serve rate-payers in the modern era, Council is looking to hike our rates dramatically.

You might notice from the header image (laughing face added) – extracted from the Fit For The Future propaganda – that Council was going to strengthen its financial sustainability with increased shared services delivering long term savings. There were a range of initiatives that HHC argued made amalgamation unnecessary, but we haven’t seen a roadmap to achieving them, nor any progress.

But we do see plans to celebrate anti-amalgamation day.

The scare-mongering is even worse on the page below. We certainly weren’t told that our assets were going to deteriorate, when they were telling the state government that we don’t need to be amalgamated because we have scale and capacity!

You can’t have it both ways.

Our view is that HHC should make good on it’s claims made when campaigining against amalgamation, of delivering operating synergies and improved economic performance – before asking us to pay more in Council rates.

Otherwise we may just be throwing good money after bad, extending the demise of the micro-council, at cost to rate-payers – both financial and performance/amenity.

Other problems we see with the SRV are that:

1) The items are list without costings, and nor have we been given detail on the expenditure beyond a few words’ description,

2) Relocating 10 Cowell St – why are we rate-payers funding that after selling approximately 2,000 sqm of public land ADJACENT to the 10-storey+ development site for only $9.5m in 2016 (without tender)? And don’t forget Council’s handling of the heritage listing – remembering that HHC listed the timber cottage at 10 Cowell St in the draft Local Environmental Plan 2012 but pulled it out at the last minute because APPARENTLY they hadn’t had enough time to decide (scale and capacity to get the job done eh?) – and then instead of deciding whether to list it they signed Option Deeds for its DISPOSAL, eventually returning to the question of heritage listing years later after complicating the matter with the disposal Deeds, and then creating the ONLY listing in HHC for a heritage item EXCLUDING ITS CURTILAGE! We haven’t even agreed that the timber Cottage at 10 Cowell St should be moved! Hasn’t HHC DONE ENOUGH for the developer by now!?!?!?!?

3) Insurance is listed as requiring the Operational Special Variation – does this mean we will be under-insured without it, and if so how could it become the case and for how long has this been the situation?

4) The very significant Operational Special Variation (3% component) is described as being permanent, and also described as being for 4 years – on the same page. How can people even be properly expressing a view on that component when we can’t tell if we’re accepting at 3% increase to be compounded into our rates forever, or is it only for 4 years as listed?

Of course, as always, we’re happy for our subscribers to disagree with our comments, and say whatever you believe to be right. We don’t speak for you, we’re letting you know there is a chance to be heard – because you may not otherwise know.

What you can do:

* Send your submission to ASAP, with your view on the SRV. Per the page on HHC’s website, submissions closed on Friday, but they might still be taking feedback. You might like to cc the Councillors by copying the list below into your email:” <>,” <>,” <>,” <>,” <>,” <>,” <>

* Go to the HHC meeting on Wednesday 12th December – for those who can make it at 5pm.

* Fill in a request to present and sent it to HHC before Midday on Wenesday if you’d like to speak – form available at the link below.

– From the team at Gladesville Community Group (inc)

GSV Planning Proposal Public Meeting and more

Meeting re GSV Planning Proposal – 30th August 2018, 6pm at HHC Chambers

You might remember that the owner of the Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ site is seeking to amend the local planning instruments to increase the number of flats on the expanded site consolidating adjacent land including what is currently a public access car-park on Cowell St, and the timber cottage at 10 Cowell St which was sold to the developer by the previous Council of Hunters Hill. The changes sought will allow them to increase the number of flats that can be built, from approximately 180 already allowed by the controls in the Local Environmental Plan, to go up as high as 280 flats on that site alone.

Council will be holding a public meeting, which interested parties are welcome to attend. The meeting will be held on Thursday 30th August 2018, from 6pm to 7pm, at Hunters Hill Council (22 Alexandra Street). Come along and find out what’s happening with this very important issue!

New General Manager for HHC – Ms Lisa Miscamble

We are pleased to share the good news that a new General Manager has been appointed and will commence at Hunters Hill Council on Thursday 20th September 2018. You can read more at the link below.

2 Massey Street DA – Boarding House

We were pleased and grateful to see that Hunters Hill Council refused the DA.
The issues are well summarised in items 3.1 on pages 6-24 (pdf page numbers, not footnote page numbers) of the Local Planning Panel Agenda, available at the link below.

219-221 Victoria Rd DA – Comm Bank site

We were pleased to see that Hunters Hill Council rejected the DA, but we have been advised that the applicant is appealing, and a conciliation conference will be held on-site on 26th February 2019. You can read more at the link below.

Gladesville RSL DA

We don’t have much information on it yet, but a DA has been lodged with Ryde Council for “Refurbishment of existing club, façade upgrade and signage and replacement of footpath awning”. You can find some details at the link below.

Eltham Street area parking and traffic management drop in session

Hi Everyone,

Ryde Council has organised a ‘drop-in’ session at Gladesville Library to allow residents in the area bound by Monash, Ryde, Pittwater, and Victoria Roads the opportunity to discuss parking or traffic matters with a member of their traffic team.

The picture shows that it is advised to be held from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on Tuesday 18th June 2018. We cannot be certain whether it is on Monday 18th or on the Tuesday 19th, but Mr Hassan Choudhry is listed as the contact on 9952 8199.

We cannot see the event listed on City of Ryde Council’s website, so cannot confirm when it will be held, but wanted to get this out to you ASAP – for anyone in the relevant area.

Well done Ryde Council. It’s great to see consultation and proactive management of parking and traffic problems.

Shout out to Kirsten, one of the subscribers, THANK YOU for letting us know about this (and other helpful emails).

Answer to good Question + Ryde Council response to NSW Government’s new planning controls + Graffiti on hoardings

Hi Everyone,

Header ImageYou may have noticed some graffiti on the construction site hoardings in Gladesville. Without condoning the graffiti, we have copied some pictures of it as header image for this email because we think it is a sign of community sentiment that could be held by many others – who might not actually paint it. From what we hear and observe, there is real concern amongst locals about this high rate of development.

Clarification by answering question we received

We received the following question from a subscriber. It is an excellent question, which is why we have distributed this answer to all subscribers.
My question relates to this statement from this newsletter: ‘Until now, the focus from both Councils has been on re-zoning Gladesville for high-density development.’.
I’m wondering, is this a statement of fact, based on Councils’ clearly stated objectives, or is it sarcastic in nature, reflecting on the reality of what’s actually happening around us and which isn’t openly acknowledged by the Councils?
If the former, then this is news to me and I’d like to find out more information. Who decided this? When? Why? What is the end goal; another Chatswood?
Thank you for the excellent question, which may be shared by others, so we provide this answer to the whole mailing list.
The use of the word “focus”
The reference to the focus being on redevelopment is reference to the lack of equivalent investment in planning to manage the inevitable consequences. We meant focus in terms of the lack of balance in efforts. We we would have preferred the amendment to Local Environmental Plans (LEP’s, which control building height and bulk) to be accompanied by revised master plans and timely development of Development Control Plans from both Councils, regulating aesthetic and other impacts of the developments as well as planning for investment in infrastructure and services, and communication of these plans to the public – for reassurance.
Why the rezoning for redevelopment

Both Councils have been required by the NSW government to amend LEP’s to create more dwellings. We acknowledge that the NSW government drove the creation of the new LEP’s in each Council, adding dwelling numbers in each municipality.

The Councils chose where to rezone to accommodate the dwelling targets.

Unfortunately we don’t have detailed information at hand about exactly how and when the NSW government drove the creation of those new LEP’s, but it has often been discussed and we accept that it was as claimed – driven by NSW government.

Council-by-Council: City of Ryde
Ryde has a larger footprint and other suburbs within its Local Government Area (LGA) have also been targeted for high levels of development. This is easily recognisable when considering areas such as Meadowbank and Macquarie Park.
It has not concentrated all of its development in Gladesville. However, we would like to have seen City of Ryde Council develop and communicate plans to invest in assets and services as described above.
Council-by-Council: Hunters Hill Council
Hunters Hill Council has rezoned Gladesville to take the overwhelming majority of new dwellings in it’s LGA. Given the proximity to Victoria Rd public transport services, some focus is to be expected – to some degree. However, there is a question of balance, about whether too much development is concentrated here vs other areas which also have good public transport links – most notably the Hunters Hill overpass area and along other main roads also served well by buses.
Similarly, we would like to have seen Hunters Hill Council develop and communicate plans to invest in assets and services as described above.
Also, Hunters Hill Council undertook actions during the 2008-2012 and 2012-2017 terms, which may exacerbate rather than mitigating the impact. We understand that the ‘Newbold Report’ and DCP review process was used to inform amendment to the Development Control Plan (DCP) for Gladesville in 2009 – a year in which TWO DCPs were made. The focus was to make the controls applicable to the GS’V’ site more development friendly.
At the very end of the 2008 – 2012 term, Hunters Hill Council deferred heritage listing of 10 Cowell St Gladesville (after exhibiting the draft LEP with heritage listing included). Council did not decide that 10 Cowell St Gladesville wasn’t worth heritage listing (expert recommendation clearly identified that it should have received such protection) – but apparently ran out of time to decide that – before finalising the 2012 LEP (at the end of the 2008-2012 Council term).
Then, at the start of the 2012-2017 term, instead of finalising the outstanding question about heritage listing, Council voluntarily entered into Option Deeds (like contracts) for the disposal of 10 Cowell St Gladesville as well as other public assets adjacent to the GS’V’ development site. That action was authorised at the second meeting of the 2012-2017 Council term, at which time new Councillors must be expected to be ‘learning the ropes’ and looking to more experienced peers for guidance.
Although ‘new’ Councillors of the 2012-2017 term may not have fully understood the history of the deferred heritage listing, not having served on Council during time when it occurred, there were Councillors and senior staff who carried across from the 2008-2012 term. Further, a transaction as significant as disposal of public land for ~$9.5m should have attracted sufficient attention that the combination of those events should not have been ‘unknown’ in a coordinated sense. Eventually, in 2016, a weaker heritage listing was applied but it was the first in Hunters Hill municipality which excludes its curtilage, and that limitation was not included in the Davies (heritage expert) recommendation. We believe that the exclusion of curtilage was introduced not to limit the aspiring developer, having just sold our previously-public asset to them.
You can read more about the treatment of the 10 Cowell St Gladesville heritage listing and disposal at
Publicly owned heritage assets are easier and ‘fairer’ to protect, in the sense that applying restrictions to public assets does not concentrate the financial impact of restricting actions of the site owner – to a private individual – but rather is borne by the whole community – just as the whole community benefits from amenity of its continued existence.

We are not alone in our view that we should expect better from Hunters Hill Council, which claims to be a champion of heritage. You can read more about the disappointment with Hunters Hill Council’s handling of the Heritage listing and the disposal of 10 Cowell St Gladesville, which occurred alongside rezoning of Gladesville for a high level of redevelopment, at:

We hope that this additional information provides better understanding about what was meant in our original comment.

Ryde Council response to NSW Government new planning controls – Medium Density Housing Code

Please also find information from NSW Government and Ryde Council’s response, which we have just received, at the link below:

From the Committee of Gladesville Community Group Inc.

Solve tomorrow’s problems: Traffic and Parking

Hi Everyone,

Councillors Zac Miles and Ross Williams successfully moved a Motion at the Hunters Hill Council meeting on 12th March to develop a long overdue Master Plan that is consistent with the current planning controls.

The current planning controls allow so much more development along the Victoria Rd corridor than was contemplated when the last Master Plan was developed in 2005. We gratefully welcome that initiative. That Motion was, ultimately, supported unanimously by all Councillors of Hunters Hill when it was voted upon.

Until now, the focus from both Councils has been on re-zoning Gladesville for high-density development. Ryde Council has taken the lead on works that provide some benefit, as is evident if you look at the pavements on either side of Victoria Road and the current place-making initiative for Coulter Street.

Re-zoning Gladesville for high density development and ‘walking away’ as if the job is done, and blaming the state government, is not good enough. The effort needs to be made to invest to mitigate the problems which will come with high density. This investment is made more difficult by the boundary dividing Gladesville between two Councils.

We need our Councils to rise to the challenges created by the state government’s policies of forcing additional dwellings into each Local Government Area, by planning to develop infrastructure and services to cope with the increased population. That needs to happen in Gladesville because if we only get the development and don’t benefit from planning and investment, the end result will be worse for residents, worse for businesses, worse for visitors, worse for everyone – than it HAS to be.

In that spirit, we are requesting that Councillors at both Ryde and Hunters Hill Council act now to solve identifiable problems which are inevitable.

This email has been sent to all Councillors in both Councils, as well as our mailing list, and we’re hoping that there will be support from Councillors on both sides to move Motions at the next meeting of their respective Councils – to support these actions.

The problems described below real problems and they will not solve themselves. Councils cannot expect to wake up one morning and find that the “cross-border municipal infrastructure and services fairy” has magically dealt with them.

We need our Councillors to demonstrate a greater sense of leadership and commitment to solving problems, particularly those which require investment in collaboration. We are calling on the current Councillors to continue showing leadership to fix problems, as Councillors Zac Miles and Ross Williams did recently at Hunters Hill.


1) Resourcing and deliberate focus on boundary interfaces

1.1) That, contingent upon reciprocal agreement by the ‘other Council’, the Council resolve to dedicate sufficient resources to ensure that adequate planning and management occurs where areas of high density residential or where commercial activity exists at the boundary between Ryde and Hunters Hill Council’s Local Government Areas (LGA’s). Such areas include Gladesville, Boronia Park, and may include smaller groups of shops such as those on Pittwater Road between Harvard and Venus Streets.

1.2) That, contingent upon reciprocal agreement by the ‘other Council’, the Council nominate a staff member or agree contribution for a shared staff member (full or partial load) to coordinate information flow between specialist teams of each Council, to ensure that activities are undertaken collaboratively where applicable. Such activities should include (but not be limited to): notification of Development Applications, Planning Proposals, or other planning and assessment initiatives; notification and consultation about place-making initiatives, ground surface and streetscape management, and similar; provision of services; and routine management of parking and traffic. The protocol should be activated when the impact of one Council’s actions at or near the municipal boundary is reasonably expected to affect residents, businesses, landowners, students, or other stakeholders across the boundary. Without delaying proper progress, the relevant specialist staff of that Council should provide earliest possibly notice to the liaison officer or agreed resource, to then communicate to their equivalent specialist staff. The would enable the ‘other’ Council to communicate to it’s residents and stakeholders and, where appropriate, contribute to or participate in that activity of the initiating Council.

2) Traffic modelling – Gladesville

2.1) That, contingent upon reciprocal agreement by the ‘other Council’, the Council resolves to contribute appropriately to engage a suitable consultant to develop a comprehensive traffic model informed by the Local Environmental Plans (LEP’s) of each Council. The model should realistically assume development to the maxima of the each Council’s LEP, in height and floor-space-ratio (bulk) – which can be translated into dwelling numbers using benchmark references. With the derived number of dwellings and application of Development Control Plan (DCP) ratios for parking provision, the model should reasonably accurately inform traffic generation which will arise from existing planning controls.

2.2) For the first time since the LEPs were amended to allow so much development in Gladesville, stakeholders in the Gladesville area should have reference to a cumulative and integrated model for traffic management, and the outputs including traffic flows should be prescribed and included in master planning, development of planning instruments, and made available for other purposes.

2.3) That the traffic consultant who is engaged to develop such a model should deliver a comprehensive report, including assumptions and detailed outputs including optimal traffic flows, which must be made available to the public.

3) Parking management – Gladesville

That, contingent upon reciprocal agreement by the ‘other Council’, the Council resolves to engage a consultant to evaluate the adequacy of parking supply for Gladesville, on an integrated basis across both sides of the municipal boundary.

3.1) The model should be informed by the Local Environmental Plans (LEP) of each Council. The model should realistically assume development to the maxima of each Council’s LEP, in height and floor-space-ratio (bulk) which can be translated into dwelling numbers using benchmark references.

3.2) Subject to improved assumptions or methodology under professional guidance by the consultant, the model should assume the existing pattern of retail usage at ground level, residential properties above, and creation of space for commercial use at the existing rate in Development Applications for sites in Gladesville. With the derived number of dwellings and application of Development Control Plan (DCP) ratios for parking provision, the model should reasonably accurately inform any shortfall of parking spaces to be created by complying with DCP ratios, vs expected parking demand, and derive resultant excess parking demand (overflow).

3.3) The model should reasonably accurately describe the demand for parking spaces required by staff of retail and or commercial enterprises to operate in Gladesville. The model should address requirements for customers, shoppers, diners, parents dropping off or picking up school children, and other users. It should provide estimates of the foreseeable level and pattern of demand for parking spaces for relatively short durations (peak periods).

3.4) The model should reasonably accurately define gaps where supply is expected to be insufficient for demand, which would then enable both City of Ryde and Hunters Hill Councils to develop integrated strategies to meet foreseeable demand. Such data may inform the business case for capital investment to develop multi-storey car-park(s). Coulter St and Signal Hill (3/3A Cowell St) car-parks are both sites which may be considered, among others. Proper consideration of the requirement or business case for development of mutli-storey car park(s) serving Gladesville will require collaboration by both City of Ryde and Hunters Hill Councils.

3.5) The collaborative effort above should support the development and management of cost and/or revenue sharing arrangement(s) between City of Ryde and Hunters Hill Councils as appropriate*. The problems faced by Gladesville are shared between both Councils, and must be solved collaboratively. Solving a shared problem but should not attract financial penalty for being the responsible council that acts to solve it.

3.6) The collaborative effort above should support the development and management of various parking schemes which may be tailored to time-of-day based demand, including: parking passes which may be available for sale to businesses, residents, etc; casual paid parking; casual free parking for limited duration; and commuter parking to support the use of public transport (opal car park or otherwise). Such solutions may also look to providing additional/improved commuter parking at locations outside the commercial centre of Gladesville, such as the car park at the corner of Victoria Rd and Crown St (to Henley).

3.7) That the consultant who is engaged to develop such a model should deliver a comprehensive report, including assumptions and detailed outputs, which must be made available to the public.

* For example, given the loss of parking supply to be expected when Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ (GSV) is redeveloped, it may be appropriate to expedite planning and development of a muti-storey car park at the Coulter St location for construction to commence when the RSL youth club development is completed. Signal Hill might also be designated for a multi-storey car-park when an integrated solution is designed to meet Gladesville’s needs, but it may be preferable to avoid redevelopment of the Signal Hill car park while the GS’V’ is occurring, reducing parking supply and increasing demand. The Council that makes the required investment should not be required to subsidise the ‘other Council’, but rather this should be an initiative of collaboration to solve what is a highly foreseeable problem, with the financial impact shared appropriately.