NSW Governor Marie Bashir will be among the guests at a festival organised by Hornsby Council to mark the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge.
“This was a major milestone that is well worth remembering, not just for Hornsby shire but for the entire nation,’’ mayor Steve Russell said.
He was making reference to a speech Sir Henry Parkes gave at the opening of the bridge on May 2, 1889, in which he made the bridge a powerful symbol of Federation.
“The bridge created the final railway link that joined South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Queensland together, becoming a major symbol of the move towards Federation,’’ Cr Russell said.
The bridge was at the time the fourth-largest bridge constructed in the world and the only steel-trussed bridge of its type in Australia.
Previous bridges were built with wrought iron.
The council’s festival is on Dangar Island on May 3 and 4.
It includes a free exhibition telling the story of the bridge, a cruise of the Brooklyn River with the river postman (bookings: 0400 600 111), a river tour aboard the historic Banksia Ferry from Dangar Island ($7.50, departs 11am and 2pm) and kids’ events in the park.
Spoil mum with high tea at Bella Vista Farm Park’s newly restored historic homestead.
Guests will be welcomed with a gift and a glass of sparkling wine, followed by sweets and savouries, tea and coffee.
There will be tours of the precinct (10.45am or 1.45pm), a fashion parade and discount vouchers provided by Stockland Mall, Baulkham Hills.
■ May 10 and 11, 11am-12.30pm or 2pm-3.30pm, Bella Vista Farm Park (2 Elizabeth Macarthur Drive). Tickets: $70 per person via http://sydneyhillsevents.com.au
The Hills councillors have approved a proposal for a car wash and valet parking service (for 25 cars, with drop-off and pick-up zones) on level 1A red car park of Castle Towers shopping centre.
Both would operate 9am-5.30pm, Monday to Wednesday and Friday, 9am-9pm Thursday, 9am-5pm Saturday, 10am-5pm Sundays/public holidays.
A separate application for centre alterations will be determined by a Joint Regional Panel as it has a capital investment value of $164 million. The panel looks at applications with a CIV of between $10 million and $20 million.
The Hills mayor Michelle Byrne has renewed calls for council amalgamations.
While she welcomed Pru Goward and Paul Toole — the new NSW government ministers for planning and local government — to their respective portfolios, she also urged them to ‘‘push on with much-needed reforms’’.
“We need code-assessable development, we need to scrap regional planning panels . . . we’ve got too many councils in NSW, with too many of them being propped up by grants,’’ Cr Byrne said.
‘‘We unanimously voted to alter our boundaries with Hornsby, Hawkesbury and Parramatta to form a new, larger council.
‘‘We would be happy to speak to Minister Toole about our proposal and how The Hills Council can help get the ball rolling on local government reform.”
The Hills mayor Michelle Byrne is inviting the public to comment on the review of environmental factors for the Showground Road widening project in Castle Hill.
It is on exhibition online, at The Hills Council and Castle Hill Library.
The project affects the section of Showground Road between Carrington and Old Northern roads.
“We’ve badgered Roads and Maritime Services about this project for many years and we make no apologies for that,” Mayor Michelle Byrne said.
“We support what the NSW government and RMS have in mind and I thank them for moving ahead with this project.”
Current The Hills Council road projects include:
■ Pitt Town Road, Maraylya — reconstruction of two timber bridges, Monday to Saturday, 7am to 5pm, until May;
■ Old Castle Hill Road, Castle Hill – road patching/resheeting, Pennant Street to Old Northern Road, this Sunday to May 2, 7pm-5am;
■ Bannerman Road, Kenthurst – road patching/safety improvements, Glenhaven to Annangrove roads, May 3, 4 and 10, 7am-5pm (8am Sunday).
Footway projects include:
■ Lawndale Avenue, North Rocks – existing path to Jason Place, footpath construction, 7am to 5pm;
■ Edinburgh Avenue, Carlingford – full length, footpath construction, 7am to 5pm;
■ Castle Hill Road, near Highs Road – footpath construction, 10am to 3pm; and
■ Arcadian Circuit, Carlingford – footpath construction to Felton Road, 7am to 5pm.
Waterways projects include:
■ 18 Valencia St, Round Corner – stormwater pipeline replacement to be completed by Wednesday (April 30), 7am to 5pm; and
■ 38 Ashford Avene, Castle Hill – construction of a stormwater pipeline extension, starts today (April 29) and continues Monday to Friday, 7am to 5pm. Estimated completion by the end of May.
The Hills Council’s tennis court hire has gone cashless.
In response to requests from customers, cash payments will no longer be accepted.
From July 1, tennis court users will book courts using either direct debit or an online booking system.
Payment will now require customers to either pay online, send a cheque or in person at the council’s administration building.