Independent voices. Good government.

Announcing my team and our vision for the Hawkesbury

I was elected as a Liberal Party Councillor five years ago. it has been an incredible honour to serve and represent the Hawkesbury community since then.

However, I will be standing at the coming Local Government election on the 4th December as an independent candidate alongside a team of intelligent, driven and community-lead individuals from throughout the Hawkesbury.

Let me introduce the team and what we stand for in the video here. Or check out the dedicated 2021 Election page to hear from the team themselves.

2021 Election & our team

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Latest news

Hawkesbury Council rejects critical flood safety measure – Again!

The long-awaited EIS has been released providing new details on the project to raise Warragamba Dam. I'm appalled that a majority of Councillors were so wedded to their ideology that, at last night's Council meeting, they voted down a motion to simply make a submission to the EIS consultation process. Shameful, reckless behaviour.


Read More

How much land clearing should people be able to do for fire safety? The Rural Boundary Clearing Code

Here's a thorny question: How much land-clearing should rural landholders be allowed to engage in to increase their fire safety? Here's how I think we should answer that question.


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Granny Flats: You deserve more choice | Hawkesbury City Council

The way Council treats granny flats and dual occupancies in our area is insane. Some types are allowed in built up areas, but not on rural acreages. Some kinds are forbidden for reasons that don't apply to those suburbs, or become permissible just because a small modification is made to attach the dwellings. This needs to change.


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Hawkesbury Council’s position concerning the new Hawkesbury River bridge

Last night Council considered the submission we would make to the consultation process on the route of the new Hawkesbury River crossing at North Richmond.
My position is guided by an awareness that this is not Council’s project. Like the Windsor Bridge project before, we neither decide nor craft its appearance, budget or timeline...


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Make no mistake – raising Warragamba Dam will make our community safer

This morning, the opponents of flood safety in the Hawkesbury were falling upon a 'leaked' State Government report that stated something so obvious it's banal – that in the event of a major flood, the water has to go somewhere.
Those confecting outrage even suggest that raising the dam would *worsen* the effects of flooding in the Hawkesbury – a staggeringly misleading and contemptible statement.


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When will the NSW Local Government Elections be?

Council elections were supposed to happen in NSW in September 2020.
Then COVID put them off to September 2021.
Recently, the Minister delayed them a second time to December 4th, 2021.
Now there's a rumour going round that they will be delayed to next year.
You should demand your right to vote.


Read More

The Tragedy of Afghanistan

I rarely venture into geopolitics, but what’s happening in Afghanistan is simply a tragedy. The Taliban are resurgent, and will shortly repossess all the territory won from them after 2001. So much of our own blood and coin spilled for no gain after a twenty year war.
I feel deeply for the 26,000 men and women of our own defence forces who served there. What must they think? Ultimately, I believe our presence in Afghanistan was just.


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Further delays to the Grose River Bridge should make you cranky

The Redbank project, and associated wrangling over the promised Grose River Bridge crossing goes all the way back to 2008.
So if you're angry or confused about why it seems that this infrastructure keeps receding to the horizon, then I'm with you.
Why is it taking so long? And why, after this week’s Council meeting, is it going to be delayed even more?


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Why you should be angry about reckless election-season posturing

If there was any doubt that the election silly-season is upon us, this week's Council meeting should leave you in no doubt.
Two things in particular stand out – variations on the same theme, one might say.
I regard two motions that came to Council for us to abandon relationships with two regional bodies WSROC and HRCC (which we have been a member of for 73 years), to be lazy, reckless vandalism. 


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A Win For Colbee Park Users – A Masterplan… And $573K in Funding!

Overwhelmingly, the biggest problem Council has with developing masterplans for our parks is there is no money allocated to execute the plans once they're made. In this term I have lamented that community consultation and masterplanning processes raise community expectations, only to dash them with no follow-through...


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We should look after Jenolan Caves better

Jenolan Caves is a much loved tourist destination, not far from the Hawkesbury. When I visited in January, I found it in a shocking state. Here's what I did.


Read More

What you need to know about COVID

Recently, at the Australian Local Government Conference in Canberra, I was briefed about some surprising COVID statistics. Here's what I learned.


Read More

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Last night one of the very few face-to-face 'meet the candidates' events was held, hosted by the Oakville Progress Association.
For those who did not attend, these are my remarks.
I address some issues which are relevant to people living around Oakville, Pitt Town, Vineyard and Maraylya, but I hope that there's something to consider for all Hawkesbury residents.

All the things we stand for are at our campaign site.
We're asking for your support at these elections though a vote for GROUP 'A'.

councillorzamprogno.info/campaign/
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55 minutes ago

We’ve been continuing to letterbox around the district in the lead up to polling day. Team member Zed visited Yarramundi with our fliers. We’ve also done remaining areas of Kurrajong Hills, Oakville and Pitt Town today.

We’ve been continuing to letterbox around the district in the lead up to polling day. Team member Zed visited Yarramundi with our fliers. We’ve also done remaining areas of Kurrajong Hills, Oakville and Pitt Town today. ... See MoreSee Less

14 hours ago

Comment on Facebook We’ve been ...

Hi Nathan. Could you just confirm please that Group A don't have a preference deal with any of the other parties? There's a rumour doing the rounds that a vote for Group A on Saturday is just a vote for the Liberals. I'd be very happy if you could dispel that for me.

For many Hawkesbury families, our rating system has become very unfair.
The State Government Rating Manual says that Councils should be mindful of both use of services and ability to pay as guidelines in setting rates.
Meaning - similar families, enjoying similar services from Council, and of similar income and demography, should be paying similar rates.

Despite this, the majority bloc on this Council set about putting through changes to the rating formula, and a rate hike that have more than doubled many properties rates - vastly disproportionate to either access or ability.

Youll hear plenty of excuses about land value and of new capital works programs, but the rebuttal is simple: If you could do something to take the edge off unfair rates and, far from doing so, you made matters worse, you get to wear the blame. 
And for those communities who have borne the brunt of the rate rise, how much of that new road maintenance money are you seeing in your street? Not much im guessing.

I opposed the Special Rate Variation of 31%. I opposed their change to the Base Rate which made distortions in land value more acute in the formula. I opposed their abolition of the Rural Residential category.
Reform back to a fairer system is possible, but only if we change the complexion of the elected Chamber.

https://councillorzamprogno.info/fairer-rating-system/

For many Hawkesbury families, our rating system has become very unfair.
The State Government Rating Manual says that Councils should be mindful of both 'use of services' and 'ability to pay' as guidelines in setting rates.
Meaning - similar families, enjoying similar services from Council, and of similar income and demography, should be paying similar rates.

Despite this, the majority bloc on this Council set about putting through changes to the rating formula, and a rate hike that have more than doubled many properties' rates - vastly disproportionate to either access or ability.

You'll hear plenty of excuses about land value and of new capital works programs, but the rebuttal is simple: If you could do something to take the edge off unfair rates and, far from doing so, you made matters worse, you get to wear the blame.
And for those communities who have borne the brunt of the rate rise, how much of that new road maintenance money are you seeing in your street? Not much i'm guessing.

I opposed the Special Rate Variation of 31%. I opposed their change to the 'Base Rate' which made distortions in land value more acute in the formula. I opposed their abolition of the Rural Residential category.
Reform back to a fairer system is possible, but only if we change the complexion of the elected Chamber.

councillorzamprogno.info/fairer-rating-system/
... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

Comment on Facebook For many Hawkesbury ...

So if we are rated Residential, why do we need to put up with unregistered noisy bikes metres from our boundary fence

For those new to the area-is there a way to see what our rates would be under the old system or a similar system?

Thank you for your work in this area.

Im pleased to have the endorsement of Sean Prendergast from Bilpin Cider Co at these elections. Hes faced a lot over these years. First Council tried to fine him just for having a sign on a trailer outside his business. Then he couldnt get Council to take responsibility for sealing a dangerous corner near his entrance because it was the intersection of a State road and a Council road.

These kinds of practical, hands-on challenges are what being on Council is all about – delivering good outcomes for residents and businesses.

Thank you, Sean.

I'm pleased to have the endorsement of Sean Prendergast from Bilpin Cider Co at these elections. He's faced a lot over these years. First Council tried to fine him just for having a sign on a trailer outside his business. Then he couldn't get Council to take responsibility for sealing a dangerous corner near his entrance because it was the intersection of a State road and a Council road.

These kinds of practical, hands-on challenges are what being on Council is all about – delivering good outcomes for residents and businesses.

Thank you, Sean.
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2 days ago

Comment on Facebook 1621812811450319_294217652711713

I remember that incident over the sign on the trailer and thought Council were ridiculous. I remember it because my uncle had a similar experience with his plant Nursery in another electorate and Council backed off and grew up. Being honest, I believed Council were being pedantic

Some areas of Hawkesbury Council would be right to feel they have been forgotten.

Residents of Lower Portland, Colo, Sackville and nearby suburbs have copped a lot.
The threatened closure of the Lower Portland Ferry. Fire and floods. The loss of the Upper Colo bridge. Poor toilet facilities and rubbish collection at the Upper Colo Reserve and bridge carpark. Ongoing delays to the repair of Greens Road - which are vital access routes not only for day-to-day purposes but for emergency services and utilities as well.

When the ferry service was threatened with closure, discussions began about the sealing of Packer Road as a partial compensation. Those talks ceased when the ferry service was saved.
However, the tacit admission that Packer Road was in a shocking state considering its level of use remained with me. If there was a case to seal the road then, the case remains valid.

I've had some success in this term of Council in securing funds for road-sealing. Brennans Dam Road and Old Stock Route Road are heavily trafficked in the Vineyard area and I claim credit for persuading Council to find the $560,000 to fund stage 1 of a larger project to seal the road. I was told for four of the last five years that it wouldn't be possible.
It wasn't, until it was.

What road sealing program would you like me to advocate for in this coming term of Council? I think Packer Road would be a good start to that list.

My team offer a positive vision for the Hawkesbury. We’re asking for your help by voting for GROUP ‘A’.

councillorzamprogno.info/campaign/
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2 days ago

Comment on Facebook 293838369416308

Roberts Creek would be nice, council in there wisdom have left the 300m or so right in the middle unsealed, it is the only road running between East Kurrajong Rd and Blaxlands Ridge Rd.

Packer Road, Greens Road, Old East Kurrajong Road and Roberts Creek Road all should have been sealed about 20 years ago, in my opinion.

If you were up to date with the operational plan you would see the sealing of Packer Road is due to commence in this financial year - courtesy of the SRV program which you voted against - a program delivering infrastructure improvements to our community. Prior to having the SRV there were NO unsealed roads able to be sealed as the infrastructure backlog was so enormous. Now there are several, and Packer Road is one of the major ones. What a difference it will make to the users of that road as it is a major access road for people in that area.

Exploring every corner of the Hawkesbury is one of the pleasures of campaigning. Today my team and I letterboxed Ebenezer and Sackville. What a beautiful part of the world. 

We’re asking for your support through your vote for GROUP ‘A’

Exploring every corner of the Hawkesbury is one of the pleasures of campaigning. Today my team and I letterboxed Ebenezer and Sackville. What a beautiful part of the world.

We’re asking for your support through your vote for GROUP ‘A’
... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago

At the beginning of this term, Councillors were able to vote on Development Applications. This is as it should be, as we are democratically accountable to you.
 
Councillors live in this community and understand your concerns. We balanced the requests of applicants with the broader public good – the very purpose for which elected chambers exist. If DA approval was exclusively a box-ticking exercise, why elect a Council at all?

That changed when the State Government took away most elected Sydney Councils ability to vote on DAs in 2017, and replaced them with Planning Panels. I felt it was a retrograde step. I strongly lamented the erosion of democracy and accountability.

As a result, many DAs are now approved that the community have little awareness of. Appeals are not permitted. A majority of appointees to Panels are made by the Minister. Only one community representative is allowed.

Although these people may possess eminent subject expertise in planning, they are not accountable to the voting public. In most cases they dont even live in the area.

My Liberal colleagues on Council declined to join me in expressing concern, even though Liberals in many other Councils were appalled. Worse, Clr Tree moved in 2017 to ask the State Government to expand the panel to cover us, Blue Mountains, and Penrith – meaning it would be even less local or attuned to our needs.

I invite all voters to agree with me in opposing these panels.
You have a principled alternative in me.
Please support me and my team through a vote for GROUP A at these elections.

Ive appeared many times in the media about Planning Panels. Heres where Ive stood:
https://councillorzamprogno.info/?s=planning+panels

At the beginning of this term, Councillors were able to vote on Development Applications. This is as it should be, as we are democratically accountable to you.

Councillors live in this community and understand your concerns. We balanced the requests of applicants with the broader public good – the very purpose for which elected chambers exist. If DA approval was exclusively a box-ticking exercise, why elect a Council at all?

That changed when the State Government took away most elected Sydney Council's ability to vote on DA's in 2017, and replaced them with 'Planning Panels'. I felt it was a retrograde step. I strongly lamented the erosion of democracy and accountability.

As a result, many DA's are now approved that the community have little awareness of. Appeals are not permitted. A majority of appointees to Panels are made by the Minister. Only one community representative is allowed.

Although these people may possess eminent subject expertise in planning, they are not accountable to the voting public. In most cases they don't even live in the area.

My Liberal colleagues on Council declined to join me in expressing concern, even though Liberals in many other Councils were appalled. Worse, Clr Tree moved in 2017 to ask the State Government to expand the panel to cover us, Blue Mountains, and Penrith – meaning it would be even less local or attuned to our needs.

I invite all voters to agree with me in opposing these panels.
You have a principled alternative in me.
Please support me and my team through a vote for GROUP 'A' at these elections.

I've appeared many times in the media about Planning Panels. Here's where I've stood:
councillorzamprogno.info/?s=planning+panels
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3 days ago

Comment on Facebook At the beginning of ...

DA approval is a huge issue, last thing I want to see is ‘more of who you know’. Big developments need more oversight, minor improvements should just be a box ticking exercise with little council bureaucracy- reducing time for approval and cost. Us residents would all appreciate this.

Voted for you but absolutely do not agree with you on this one

My son joined me on the campaign trail at pre-poll yesterday. I couldn’t do this without my team!

My son joined me on the campaign trail at pre-poll yesterday. I couldn’t do this without my team! ... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

Comment on Facebook My son joined me on ...

You got our vote Nathan.. keep up the good work.

My husband and I recently moved to the Hawkesbury and have been following you… we love your videos and would like to vote for you… is there a particular way you would like us to fill out our form ..? Is there a guide on how to vote..? Can you send me an email..?

I'm a little confused. I've been following your page/posts and had assumed you were an independent. Now there are a lot of comments that you're actually aligned with the liberal party. Which is correct?

Good luck 🤞

Most of us want to protect the things that make the Hawkesbury a special place to live. Most of us.

But finding a balance between job opportunities, housing affordability and the other things we value - things like our open spaces and semi-rural amenity - is hard. 

I and my team completely oppose the kind of barely controlled, appallingly designed subdivisions that have eaten the areas on our doorstep, whole.

But we do support:

✅ Granny Flats: A more reasonable policy for allowing acreage landowners to put secondary dwellings or detached dual occupancies on their land

✅ Design excellence principles: A set of guidelines in our planning rules that make our built environment places we can be proud of - sustainable, connected and leafy

✅ Infrastructure first: When we must build, we will demand that State and Federal governments do their bit and provide necessary infrastructure first - not a decade later

I’ve written and spoken more about the topic of development than any other thing during this term of Council. Please review my position and support us at the coming election. 

Vote for Group ‘A’

https://councillorzamprogno.info/?s=development

Most of us want to protect the things that make the Hawkesbury a special place to live. Most of us.

But finding a balance between job opportunities, housing affordability and the other things we value - things like our open spaces and semi-rural amenity - is hard.

I and my team completely oppose the kind of barely controlled, appallingly designed subdivisions that have eaten the areas on our doorstep, whole.

But we do support:

✅ Granny Flats: A more reasonable policy for allowing acreage landowners to put secondary dwellings or detached dual occupancies on their land

✅ Design excellence principles: A set of guidelines in our planning rules that make our built environment places we can be proud of - sustainable, connected and leafy

✅ Infrastructure first: When we must build, we will demand that State and Federal governments do their bit and provide necessary infrastructure first - not a decade later

I’ve written and spoken more about the topic of development than any other thing during this term of Council. Please review my position and support us at the coming election.

Vote for Group ‘A’

councillorzamprogno.info/?s=development
... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

Comment on Facebook Most of us want to ...

It’s not just happening on our doorstep. On commercial Road it’s happening as we speak in our own backyard. Lots so small that you will never ever be able to plant a tree. When it reaches 45° as it usually does each summer, we will all suffer from the lack of tree canopy. This subdivision is irreparable damage. Once done it can never be reversed.

What about dirt bike track developments on 5 acre lots ,with tracks metres from neighbouring properties, and non-residents invited to ride creating noise ,dust and trees cut down to create the recreational facility?

Agree we don't want another Kellyville. I have to maintain 5 metres from boundary...so should all development.

Don't think the council go the way penrith has turning into a ghetto all comes down to money $$$$ in the end money talks bullshit walks

Warragamba Dam is spilling today. Again. Some degree of flooding is being warned by the BOM – hopefully minor this time.
Our community has to live with the river, and we endure the greatest unmitigated flood risk in the nation.

If you think we should do something about this, then its important to vote at these elections for people who will push for action, and not sit on their hands.

Ive been a staunch advocate for increased flood safety, including raising Warragamba Dam, for years.

Learn more:
https://councillorzamprogno.info/?s=warragamba

Warragamba Dam is spilling today. Again. Some degree of flooding is being warned by the BOM – hopefully minor this time.
Our community has to live with the river, and we endure the greatest unmitigated flood risk in the nation.

If you think we should do something about this, then it's important to vote at these elections for people who will push for action, and not sit on their hands.

I've been a staunch advocate for increased flood safety, including raising Warragamba Dam, for years.

Learn more:
councillorzamprogno.info/?s=warragamba
... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago

Comment on Facebook Warragamba Dam is ...

What we should do is make sure that there is no more development allowed in flood zoned areas. Coucnil should be opposing all these developments that are changing the flood plain, and causing it to impact where it never did before. raising the dam wall hides the sins the of past, and will allow/encourage them to be repeated.

I’m disappointed you want to raise the dam wall flooding 10s of thousands of acres of pristine wilderness because councils allow people to develop on flood plains. It would be cheaper and more effective to buy back these property’s. You nearly had my vote

Nathan you of all people should know that raising the dam wall does very little. The issue is the river narrowing around Sackville and that forms a nature choke during floods, back filling at a rapid rate.

The BOM have forecast for a very wet spring and summer . The forecasts so far have been accurate . Why can’t the dam water levels be dropped to 80% capacity surely this would help ease pressure down stream or have I got this totally wrong ?

PAID ADVERTISING CONTENT
Incumbent Hawkesbury City Councillor, Nathan Zamprogno’s ticket has drawn Group ‘A’ on the ballot paper.

Elected as a Liberal five years ago, but now standing at the head of an independent ticket, Nathan feels that many voters were looking for a safe alternative to the major parties.

“The Hawkesbury is largely a Liberal-leaning electorate, but the one thing I’ve heard over this term is that people expect their Council representatives to be above party politics.”

Nathan’s approach to Council has been very public-facing, with a website, YouTube channel and large social media following. He explains his training as a HSC technology teacher was a skillset he was happy to bring into the political realm.
“People have responded positively to me actually engaging with them, using videos and articles to explain the complex Council issues that affect them. Frankly, I’m surprised that the other Councillors don’t feel an obligation to do the same. Most people barely know who represents them.”

Nathan and his team have laid out a platform that includes support for raising Warragamba Dam, opposing inappropriate development, and reform of Council’s planning codes to permit granny flats on acreage properties.

He says that a hot-button issue is Council’s poor record of customer service, pointing to Hawkesbury’s D.A approval times that are twice as long as some neighbouring Councils.
“People are sick of endless delays, and then finding Council moves the goalposts on them. We have landowners by the river who have waited six months for approval to do urgent erosion protection works after the last flood and all they got is red tape. Now the next flood may be on its way.”

Nathan also warns voters to number multiple squares, above or below the line to maximise their voting power. “Don’t fall for the ‘one and done’ advice the major parties are recommending on their how-to-votes.

Nathan’s information is at his Facebook page Councillor Nathan Zamprogno
And website:

councillorzamprogno.info/campaign/
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5 days ago

Comment on Facebook PAID ADVERTISING ...

Is independent against or for mandate vaccine

What kind of commitment does being a local Councillor involve?

Over this term of Council, I decided to conduct an experiment. I kept every piece of Council-related paper that crossed my desk. I wanted to see how high it would be at the end of this term.

I've treated being one of your representatives like a full-time job.
When Council gave me a laptop, iPhone and Cellular modem, I gave them back because I was happy to use my own resources to do my Council work.

I've worked hard to explain complex issues and help individual families and businesses when they have problems with Council.

My team offer a positive vision for the Hawkesbury, and we'd appreciate your support through a vote for GROUP 'A'.

And remember to engage with friends and neighbours about numbering *way* more than 1 square above (or >6 below) the line for maximum voting power!

councillorzamprogno.info/campaign/

*Authorised by Nathan Zamprogno, Oakville
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6 days ago

Comment on Facebook 289942879805857

Time for council to go paperless haha! you should make that one of your commitments when you get in

That's crazy in a digital world today

Doesn't it all get delivered electronically to all council reps..

Nathan I know you'd read and understand them but some of the others would be better served with colouring books and crayons

Well done.

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