A brief look at the important local issues, and amazing stories and images that have been lighting up the Northern Beaches Living Facebook Group. These are the top five posts this month by engagement, just in case you missed anything…


Dee Why Beach Front Now One Way

When Northern Beaches Living member Rachael Lee Jackson reported that the beachfront at Dee Why is now one way, members of the community were firmly divided. Some hoped it would slow down traffic:

“Best thing that could happen. 20k speed limit instead of 30 would be even better.”

“Hope they keep it – fantastic for families, pedestrians, cyclists… pretty much anyone but revheads.”

While others were concerned about the impact on local businesses, safety issues and losing ocean views :

“Very worried someone is going to get hurt or worse. From a town planning perspective there are so many safety issues… It doubles the number of traffic movements around the affected streets… the parked cars block ocean views and now even more with constant traffic that’s at a standstill.”

“While I don’t mind the one way traffic flow along the beachfront, I’m incredibly concerned with the state of the LOCAL streets running parallel to the beachfront that will now have hugely increased traffic flows.”J

“My missus went to walk across the crossing at Girdlers where the cars now go round the round about coming out of Oaks and [drivers] didn’t even look as they were looking at everyone getting coffee.”

According to Northern Beaches Council, it’s part of a trial for the Shared Spaces Program: “We’re making some temporary changes in The Strand, Dee Why as part of the NSW Governments Streets as Shared Spaces program. The changes are a trial and aim to create safer and enjoyable spaces for people and to provide greater pedestrian and bike access.”

Changes include:

  • increased space for pedestrians through a wider footpath area
  • seating and plants
  • traffic flow will be one-way north bound
  • 30kph speed limit in The Strand
  • a two-way cycleway
  • changes to the south-bound bus service and stop (view map(Opens in a new window))
  • changing the Clyde Road pedestrian refuge to a pedestrian crossing.

For more information, see the NB Council website: https://www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/services/roads-and-paths/streets-as-shared-spaces/the-strand-dee-why

Message of Hope from Hirsty

Popular local photographer Richard Hirst kept our spirits up with another stunning local image titled ‘Brighter Days are Coming”.

You can view more of Richard’s work, and order prints or even puzzles made from prints (perfect for lockdown) here: https://hirsty.com.au/

The Rule that Had Everyone Confused

With new rules and restrictions changing on what seems to be a daily basis as the NSW Covid crisis continues, it’s the 5km from home rule that continues to perplex. For the Northern Beaches Local Government Area (LGA) it’s no wonder there are questions as this area extends around 30km. Kathy Franco kindly posted a simple and helpful map that cleared up that those living in the Northern Beaches area can travel the length of their LGA (the whole of the Beaches), but if going outside of their Local Government Area they should be no more than 5km FROM THEIR HOME.

A Run on Bunnings Shows Not Everyone is the Sharpest Tool in the Shed

Despite there being widespread knowledge of a killer virus on the loose that’s transmitted via close contact with others, the announcement that Bunnings was closing all its stores caused a mass run on tools, garden supplies and paint swatches. One member put it perfectly:

“Queues at most stores apparently, Eftpos went down and website. All those people rushing out out again to do a panic buy have possibly just put them selves at risk of being exposed to Covid.”

Messages from Bunnings confirmed they were closing their stores but were still open for Click and Collect, and to tradespeople.

Members were quick to wonder if all of the Bunnings shoppers would now wander aimlessly around other stores still open: “Oh great now everyone will be wondering the aisles in Coles.”

And another member pointed out that dads across NSW would sadly be going back to socks and undies for Fathers’ Day. There was also much talk of what would be next to close under the ‘non-essential’ banner with concerns that bottle shops could be next.


Another Full Moon Lights Up the Night

Donna Peirce captured a stunning pink full moon over Long Reef Headland that was “too beautiful not to share”. It made for some breathtaking pics above evening kitesurfers.


July’s top posts:

Gladys Urged to Release the Beaches from Lockdown

Amid cries to keep the Spit Bridge open and the Northern Beaches contained, Leigh Mccormack was on to something when he posted on NBL that the Beaches have no active COVID cases and should be let out of lockdown. Tagging our local MP, James Griffin, the post received an outpouring of support from locals.

“So Zero cases of covid on the beaches, with the prospect of the current lockdown being extended, since it was geographically easy for the NSW government to lock down the beaches over Xmas, would the inverse be true? Easy to let the beaches out of lockdown and keep Greater Sydney in if need be? We did the heavy lifting for the rest of NSW a few months ago, no need to make us suffer without reason!
Leigh updated the post not long after with a surprise development. James Griffin had taken up the cause and written to Gladys. We’re all still waiting eagerly for the response!

A Double Rainbow Captured Off Mona Vale

Local photographer extraordinaire Richard Hirst brightened our lockdown days with this incredible capture of a double rainbow taken off Mona Vale headland.

You can view more of Richard’s work, and order prints or even puzzles made from prints (perfect for lockdown) here: https://hirsty.com.au/

The Community Rallies to Help Women Get Back on Their Feet

Eleni Psillakis posted in the NBL Group to ask for donations for a program that she runs supporting women with a criminal record get back on their feet. She wrote, “900 women were released from prison to homelessness in 2019. I have a woman who has just secured accommodation but is in need of a fridge, washing machine and dryer. If there is anyone that is getting rid of these white goods, or any removalist who may have these that people are upgrading on, please let me know.”
She happily updated the Group not long after: “I have tears in my eyes as I type this post for more reasons than you may think.
The Northern Beaches Community is AWESOME!! I cannot thank you enough for your generosity! I posted re the work I do supporting women with a criminal record get back on their feet. B was in need of a washer and dryer (she had secured a fridge). She was in crisis accommodation for 4 months post release.
She got housing on Monday. She told me yesterday that she was singing and dancing as I shared with her that this community supplied her with a washing machine, dryer and linen! To top it off, pickup and delivery of these was done by a local man who volunteered his time and muscle .. all the way to Redfern! B is SO SO GRATEFUL! THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HELPED!
I also have had offers of ongoing support. THANK YOU!
This is not just about the goods or service. It is about what it does to a person’s sense of worth, particularly when you have a criminal record. I know this feeling. The shame you feel and constantly reminded of when you are discriminated against or excluded only causes you to look backwards and not forwards. Over 70% of women that experience the legal system have experienced domestic violence, mental illness and trauma before they find themselves on the other side of the law. Many do not see this. They just see the record.
Your support has not only helped B look forward but restored my hope that we can all make a difference when we recognise rehabilitation and that a person is giving back. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. YOU ARE ALL AMAZING 💗
Now to get B a job!”

A Dee Why Sunrise
Simon Clayton shared some Beaches sunrise magic with the Group with this image:

More of Simon’s beautiful work can be seen here, and prints are available: www.sglcimage.com/store

The Great Garbage Bin Mystery

There was a fabulous game of ‘guess what’s eating my red bin’ on the Group recently that had everyone laughing, when Joanne Veitch posted to pose the intriguing question.

Responses ranged from birds to rodents, and there were suggestions of acid or chemicals. Conspiracy theories abounded with bin switching, people taking it for a ride, aliens and the garbage truck having dragged the bin upside down being popular. One member even fessed up to having a regular nibble on the bin himself.

Joanne thanked the Group with the following message: “Thank you everyone for all your help. I now know I’m looking for rats, possums, cockatoos, drop bears, bin caterpillars or teenage boys riding it down the road. I feel much better informed and very entertained.”

Thankfully Sue Heins offered some great assistance with a link for a new bin lid from Northern Beaches Council (click here if you also need one), and Clean and Green Pest Managers were able to identify the culprit as rats. “To keep their teeth from growing into their brains, rats must gnaw on things constantly, they commonly do this on bins, etc.” You can reach these experts by clicking here if you have any pest issues! https://www.cleanandgreenpest.com.au/

A Beautiful Message and Incredible Artwork

Tracy Thomas shared her stunning painting in the Northern Beaches Living Group and blew everyone away with her talent. She says: “My husband passed 5 years ago and I never thought I would feel the same again. Recently I went through all these amazing feels and had to put them on canvas. I guess this shows us we too open like a flower and bloom once again. I hope this brings hope to those needing a sign of new life, which is why I’m sharing my artwork with you all.”

Super Image of the Super Moon

Photographers had a field day with the super moon recently, but Richard Hirst’s image of the super moon in all her phases “ from a bright orange glow on the horizon through to the blood red full eclipse” lit up social media across Sydney. You can follow Richard’s work here: www.hirsty.com.au

Big Surprise for Ben

Another of our favourite photographers, Ben Holmes, had quite the big surprise recently. “At Avalon this morning for a quiet shoot with some friends an I noticed a huge splash on the horizon. Think my mates thought I was crazy until just out of the corner of my eye I managed to capture these two beauties way out on the horizon making their way North up the coast.” See more on Ben Holmes Photography here: https://www.benholmesphotography.com.au/

A Reminder to Reach Out to our Elderly Community Members

Megan Mitchell shared this touching experience to the Northern Beaches Living Group remind us all there are members of our community who need the occasional helping hand. “A couple of weeks ago I was leaving Rabbet Street turning into Forest Way. I was follow two other cars waiting to turn out onto this road. An elderly gentleman was knock on windows asking if he could get a lift to Frenchs Forest shopping centre (just a crossed the road). Each car obviously refused, possibly thinking you are there already.

When he made this request to me I realised he must have been disoriented. I said yes to taking him to the shopping centre. Once he was in the car (breathing heavy and visibly stresses). I was able to establish he was lost and really trying to find his home. He handed me his wallet and stuck inside the wallet visible when open was his address printed (obviously been lost before). He was a 89 y o gentleman, feeling frightened and lost. Apparently with all the changes in the area he doesn’t know his bus stop anymore.

For me it is a reminder to watch out for these situation where people in our community are venerable. He was a elderly man asking to be taken to where he already was. That rang alarm bells for me after a little effort was able to get him home safely.

Please watch out for opportunities to make our community and the venerable safer. It certainly felt nice to be able to offer this gentleman a helping hand, and he was so grateful someone took the time to help.”

Dogs Banned on Ferries

Rachael Leah Jackson shared a post from the Mosman Living Group that mentioned dogs would no longer be permitted on ferries after June 1. Comments on this topic were in the 100s, with many disappointed in the new policy which was apparently due to someone being bitten while travelling on a ferry.

There were suggestions to have dogs muzzled or create a designated area just for commuters with dogs. Others were of the opinion the ban was a sensible decision to not only prevent people being bitten, but also due to people with allergies and because owners might not pick up after their dogs. In any event, Transport NSW have stated that dogs are not banned but there are some strict rules around travel:

“Assistance animals with a valid form of accepted accreditation are allowed on all public transport in NSW.

Pet animals may be allowed to travel on buses, ferries, light rail and in a taxi if it is confined in a box, basket or other container as required by the NSW Passenger Transport Act and regulations. However, permission is still required by staff or the driver.

In accordance with industry recognition, therapy animals, facility animals and emotional support animals are considered to be companion animals. These animals do not have public access rights and can only travel using the arrangements provided for travelling with pets.

When boarding public transport with a pet or other animal, please be aware that:

  • The animal must be restrained in a suitable box, basket or other container at all times while on board.
  • The driver or crew may refuse to allow the animal if the service is reaching capacity.
  • Animals that are not clean, appear vicious or likely to annoy, threaten or inconvenience other customers will not be allowed.
  • Animals are not allowed on seats and must not obstruct passageways.
  • You should keep your animal away from other travelling animals to ensure the safety and comfort of other customers and pets
  • On ferries, animals should not travel in the enclosed ferry cabin areas, unless the vessel does not have an outdoor area or it is unavailable.” From https://transportnsw.info/travel-info/using-public-transport/travelling-with-animals-pets

The above posts are from each month’s top five most popular from the Northern Beaches Living Facebook Group as determined by member engagement. We’ll keep adding to the list so that you don’t miss any of the top news stories from the Group!

For more local stories, click through to the homepage www.northernbeachesliving.com.au 

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