In a wide-ranging, two-part interview Mike meets with the newly elected Mayor of Ku-ring-gai Jennifer Anderson as she takes office for the third successive term.
Congratulations on being elected to the role Ku-ring-gai Mayor for a third term.
Thank you, this will be my third time as mayor as well as three times as deputy mayor.
What would you call your key successes of your last period as Ku-ring-gai Mayor?
I think council is in a very active phase of providing community infrastructure. We have a growing population so the demand is there for us to provide for the future. There have been a lot of projects either completed or advancing to being close to completion.
We have seen the renovation and reinvigoration of the Gordon Library. We have the new council depot site. We have the pool, ready to open next month. We delivered the first synthetic sports field delivered in Ku-ring-gai at the old UTS site at Lindfield costing more than a million dollars.
And our activities have been acknowledged for the second year in a row as a finalist for the Bluett Memorial Award for delivery of services to the community by local government.
What are your aspirations for Ku-ring-gai for your coming period of office?
It certainly doesn’t stop with what have already been doing. We have got an on-going program with a lot of work on the activation of local town centres, predominantly activate Lindfield and activate Turramurra and we will be engaging with the community on those projects and a range of master planning.
Can you expand a little on what you mean by “activating a community?”
We have particular proposals before us now to deliver new community facilities on both sides of Lindfield with the State Governments announcement of a commuter car park on the western side of the highway. So we are working with the community to ensure a better outcome; that car park would have been an above-ground car park. We will be engaging thoroughly with the community about the possibility of under-grounding that car park and providing community facilities and retail on the sirface.
On the eastern side of Lindfield we’re hoping to deliver another green open space, under-grounding the car park there as well. That may also have some commuter car parking. We have had an open day on the site some months ago, with the residents who live in the vicinity and other stake-holders. We received a marvellous array of feedback from the community on what they would like to see delivered.
Activate Turramurra is another project that has come on board. Again, we have had an open day on site with the community to discuss what services and facilities they would like to see delivered there.
So these projects have a fairly long time frame
These projects will not be a quick solution. Delivery within Lindfield will be very likely to be within the next few years.
In terms of key projects, the Ku-ring-gai Fitness and Aquatic Centre is due to open when?
The Ku-ring-gai Fitness and Aquatic Centre is due to open next month (October). The hand-over from the construction company is due next month and then we will be having an official opening with the community after that.
What is the council involvement with North Connex
North Connex is not a council project it is a State Government project, but we have engaged a range of specialist consultants to assist with a submission to the State Government. We work closely with residents, we have had meetings with them to make sure we have covered the key issues that are of concern to them. On top of the that, the community as individuals have been putting in their submissions to the State Government as well.
We had the consultants assist council with a detailed submission that has come to council and been adopted and has been sent in.
We recognise that there is a whole range of issues that the community is concerned about and we have provided as much substantial information as we can to support those concerns.
This is probably another project that is dear to your heart; The Hornsby/Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter?
I don’t play favourites; all these issues are important to our community, however I am on the board and started off on the steering committee of the Women’s Shelter. I was at the last board meeting, last week and it appear that a site was to be secured before the end of that week. Because it is to do with women’s safety we cannot discussion the shelter’s location, so that the women that reside there can feel safe and secure.
So you believe you can deliver on that promise? You can provide somewhere where women can feel safe and secure?
We have had marvellous support from the Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai communities to fund that project. It was seen as a gap in the community and will be very appreciated by many people including women suffering domestic violence or other unfortunate circumstances.