Should development be allowed on our floodplain?

  Two stories appearing recently in the media criticise Hawkesbury Council for approving DA’s on flood-prone land. I have been flagging concerns over the statistical inevitability of another serious flood for a decade before my election to Council in 2016. My support for raising Warragamba dam has always been paired with a demand for more stringent controls on floodplain development.…

The family home flooded because they live next door to development

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0Lla_aW6iE James and Nadine lived in Harkness Road in Oakville, squarely in the area we call Vineyard Stage 1, a location of intensive subdivision caused by the North West Growth Sector. The Vineyard Stage 1 subdivision area Their home was nearly, but not quite at the top of a hill. The developers over the road had already razed the houses that had stood…

Against Over Development

Against Over 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…

Proposed McGraths Hill motel development knockback prompts litigation

Those driving down Windsor Road from Windsor will be familiar with the former but beloved Millers Nursery (a.k.a Windsor Garden Centre) on the left hand side on the corner of McGrath Road at McGraths Hill. Opened by Ross and Lynette Miller in 1969, and carried on by daughter Bec it was a stalwart local business for 47 years. I remember it as a cosy and personal ramble – a place…

Sending a strong message about inappropriate development at Kurrajong and Kurmond

At Council's meeting this week, I supported a motion to end the ‘Kurrajong-Kurmond investigation area’ process. I believe the proposed rezoning and adoption of the 'Structure Plan' would have encouraged the lodgement of further subdivision proposals. I felt it would have sent a message to landowners or developers that we were encouraging subdivision west of the river. The motion…

Hawkesbury’s Local Housing Strategy and the pressure for development

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5BjvtJ35es On Tuesday, Hawkesbury City Council adopted our long-awaited Local Housing Strategy. This document sets out how we will meet our housing targets over a timeframe of several decades. Although this has implications for our whole city, the Liberal Councillors felt it was important to address a gap in the document. The south…

Straight talk about Development

I was with Garry Cotter being interviewed at Hawkesbury Radio and the subject turned to development in Sydney generally, and the Hawkesbury in particular. How can we balance the destruction of urban sprawl with Sydney's need for housing? On reflection, I thought this two-minute segment sums up where I'm coming from. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzLZvP1ldoM Where do…

The Vineyard Development area

Recently I completed a trio of short videos that go together in covering issues relating to housing development. My desire is to touch on larger issues affecting our city and its future growth, but I use the example of the proposed development of the Vineyard area to illustrate them. They cover: The extent of the Vineyard development in the context of the North West Growth…

Consistent inconsistency from Council regarding development

Applications in the Kurrajong-Kurmond Investigation Area currently in the pipeline. Hardly a deluge of Rouse-Hill like densification. Today, the Liberal Hawkesbury Councillors issued a media statement to express their concern about the current Council’s inconsistent attitude to development in the Hawkesbury. This post is intended to provide more information on our position. On the 29th of…

About the Grose River bridge and the Redbank development

Today, I’m writing about the proposed bridge across the Grose River that forms part of the deal struck when the Redbank development was approved at North Richmond. First, I’ll repeat something I’ve said before: If I had been on Council when the Redbank development at North Richmond was put up, I wouldn’t have voted for it. It worsens the congestion at North Richmond and across its bridge. The…

When development fails the common-sense test

What would you think, if you lived on a pleasant suburban block, and your neighbour knocked down a modest 50's era home to build a duplex so big that it came up hard to the fenceline on both sides of the property, and parts of the building even overhung your fence? This is the situation a local resident has faced in Teviot St, Richmond. I was concerned when I visited this site that a building of…

About the Redbank development at North Richmond

An image of the RSL Kingsford Smith village layout, still available on their website today, advertising open space on the subject lands (the green area near the words "retirement living") Last Tuesday was the first public meeting where we new councillors addressed regular council business. It went from 6:30pm until well after midnight, owing to the backlog of matters created by the election,…

The NSW Government’s push to build 8 story flats in your suburb

A map of the Hawkesbury areas potentially affected by the government's proposed changes to housing.   The NSW Labor government is targeting a range of suburbs for massive new urban growth and unprecedented densification. They’ve announced a proposed policy of massive flat-building to meet a target of 377,000 new homes by 2029. For those who wonder what the proposed rule changes could…

Elect Councillor Nathan Zamprogno to the LGNSW Board

ELECT Nathan Zamprogno to the LGNSW Board   ✅   I was elected to Hawkesbury Council in 2016 ✅   I am proud to be an Independent Councillor, and was re-elected on a substantually increased margin as an independent in December 2021. ✅   I have used my skills to build a storng profile of advocacy on the larger issues facing local government in…

Upon leaving the Liberal Party

MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday, 5th September 2023 PDF version of this statement MEDIA COVERAGE UPDATE: This story has received some coverage in the Press and I am gratified that it has been so balanced and supportive. Mayor behind Liberal Councillor’s dumping (Sept 5th) Zamprogno finds support, two more councillors publicly attacked by McMahon (Sept 8th) Liberal Party move to expel Councillor…

Update on the Grose River Bridge project – the Wilcox Home saved – for now

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLiV7RpemGI   This week's Council meeting ran to 1am. One of the most significant items considered was the revised Voluntary Planning Agreement associated with the Grose River Bridge project.   Many would know of the controversy caused by the baffling insistence of the developers that the road linking Grose Vale Road and Springwood Road plough…

The debacle that is the Grose River Bridge project

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ2w5MfuAy8 When the Redbank developers promised they'd build a bridge across the Grose River back in 2012, they said the bridge would be completed by the time the development had sold 641 lots. It's now ten years later, the Redbank estate has sold over 700 lots, and not a single sod has been turned. Most of the blame lays with Council, who inked a weak…

Sky News Australia special report into flooding on the Hawkesbury-Nepean River

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btoFN1KSLAU As I have been saying for years, the Hawkesbury-Nepean River will flood again. It's a statistical certainty. I am heartened a major news outlet like Sky News Australia have recently run a four part investigative series on the subject in June 2022 on their Sky Weather channel. What they had to report should concern everyone in the…

Are you paying too much in Council rates? News from the 2022-2023 Hawkesbury Council Budget

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaFMOMniUkw Hawkesbury Council's rating system is broken and unfair. However, there are developments I'd like to share with you. For context, I've been advocating for reform of our rating system since I was first elected to Council in 2016: October 2020 - Defeated in the effort to ensure fairer Hawkesbury Council Rates May 2020 - New land valuations…

On ABC Breakfast Radio about Warragamba Dam (again)

This morning I was interviewed on ABC Sydney's Breakfast show by James Valentine (whom, I recalled, I used to watch on the 'Afternoon Show' as a kid). The well-worn subject was whether to raise Warragamba Dam. I appeared before on the same subject in 2019.   Why the renewed interest? The release of a report by the IUCN - a UN environmental body, critical of the Government's EIS for the…

Planning Panels are Undemocratic

'Planning Panels' are Undemocratic 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 balances the requests of applicants with the broader public good - the very purpose for which elected chambers exist.…

A Fairer Rating System

A Fairer Rating System Your Council rates have skyrocketed during this Council term. I voted against every rate rise, and against the changes to the rating formula that made matters worse. This Council rammed through a Special Rate Variation that jacked up everyone's rates by a third. Then it moved the "Base Rate" - a flat fee that evens out rates between families of equal income,…

A Better Policy on Granny Flats

A Better Policy on Granny Flats If you think that acreage landowners should have the same rights as people on small house blocks to build a modest granny flat next to your house, then I've been fighting for you over this term of Council. At the moment, you can't. Even at our very last Council meeting for this term, we had a major breakthrough. I moved to send our very overdue,…

A New Performing Arts Facility

A New Performing Arts Facility We believe it’s time to undertake long term planning for a dedicated Performing Arts precinct in the Hawkesbury. Consider: There are two performance venues in our city. Richmond School of Arts is a colonial architectural gem, but is an intimate and very constrained space. I secured grant funding over the years to upgrade its lighting and sound systems.……

Re-elect Councillor Nathan Zamprogno

Thank you for your support! The results of the Hawkesbury Council elections held December 4 2021 have been officially declared and I have been re-elected. ✅   I was elected free and clear on the primary vote without a reliance on preferences. ✅.  I was the first candidate declared elected in the count, up from 11th in the 2016……

Donations

Thank you for your support Councillor Nathan Zamprogno and his team are standing as independent candidates at the upcoming Hawkesbury City Council Elections on 4th December 2021. Donations will go to supporting the promotion of Nathan Zamprogno and his teammates through printed and online marketing, brand materials and more. We hope, with your support, we can continue the job in…

Granny Flats: You deserve more choice | Hawkesbury City Council

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4UhDDutkvw I want to talk about granny flats and dual occupancies, because the way that Hawkesbury Council currently treats them is insane. A dual occupancy is just a fancy way of saying there are two houses on the same block of land, but under one title, one owner. It’s not like a subdivision because there’s no rezoning, no sale, or separation of the…

Further delays to the Grose River Bridge should make you cranky

https://youtu.be/FuF-kUkjoSY 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? Here's what…

Oakville Oval needs an upgrade

Oakville Oval is one of 23 different playing fields, and one of the 215 parks and reserves around the Hawkesbury. I've been a user of the oval all my life. I remember attending Oakville Public School sports carnivals there as a boy, kicking about kerosene-soaked fireballs when I was in Oakville Scouts (probably an OH&S nightmare now), and now witness my nephews play there as a soccer…

The Hawkesbury Floods, March 2021

Some times it must feel like our community can't cop a trick. Devastating fires, pandemic and two floods, all within a 16 month period. Yet again, out of the distress and destruction of property has arisen the real spirit of our local community, which has rallied magnificently. The response of our SES, Police and RFS have been truly heroic, and they deserve our respect, as do those who…

Hawkesbury Radio interview, February 2021

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bxd6yZtkjE This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with Garry Cotter at Hawkesbury Radio 899 to talk about my personal opinions on a wide range of issues. The fate of a concrete recycling plant continues to be of concern to residents of Ebenezer, and I had an update concerning an upcoming planning panel meeting, along with remarks about the…

Defeated in the effort to ensure fairer Hawkesbury Council Rates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TEPAWxhUr8 Last night the Mayor moved a Mayoral Minute to try to make our rating system fairer. We failed. The vote was defeated 8:4. Some suburbs in the Hawkesbury are suffering under Council rates that are anywhere between 50% higher to 300% higher or more than other suburbs. This is despite those families having similar incomes and…

What are the facts about raising Warragamba Dam?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6eIVAetywU In any given year, what are the risks of your house burning down, you getting sick, or you crashing your car? Low, I hope. These events have a low probability, but serious consequences. So we weigh the risk, and take out insurance. So it is with our floodplain. There have been 124 floods in the Hawkesbury-Nepean since the…

Speaking to Ray Hadley about Planning Panels

This morning I was invited to speak to Ray Hadley on Sydney Radio station 2GB about two issues. If the streaming link above for the audio does not work, try this direct .mp3 sound file link. The first issue is the prospects for two Development Applications that have been lodged for a concrete recycling plant at Ebenezer. Both DA's are problematic for a number…

Protecting the Cumberland Plain woodlands

Update: 9th October 2020. I have made a submission to the State Government on the Conservation Plan. Read it here. This week the State Government placed the Draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan on exhibition for comment. This is a significant document for a number of reasons, although it has some failings which my submission to the Minister will seek to remedy. The…

New land valuations give little relief for rates in most Hawkesbury suburbs

Residents around the Hawkesbury should be receiving their latest land valuation letters from the Valuer General. I got mine this week. I'll be making a more detailed analysis when some details crystallise, but since it's already been mentioned on social media, let me get some data out to you. Every few years, the VG revalues your land. It has nothing to do with the improved value of…

The Hawkesbury’s Response to the Bushfires

I thanked RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons for his leadership during the crisis. June 8th update:The total value of the funds received from the Commonwealth and State Government in relation to bushfire assistance to date is now $1,737,477. The breakdown of funds is as follows: • $1.3 million from two Commonwealth Grants of $1 million and $300,000• $437,477 from the…

Ecotourism, Hindu Temples, and WTF is a Housekeeping LEP?

On Tuesday night, Council resumed for 2020 and half way in, the meeting descended into chaos. A massive thunderstorm killed the power at a crucial juncture, forcing a second postponement, much to the frustration of a full gallery. The meeting had already been held over one week after flooding shut the Hawkesbury's three major bridges. It wasn't an auspicious start. Before the storm,…

Is a Hindu temple appropriate for Pitt Town?

A number of residents have approached me about a development application which was lodged in late November for the construction of a $6.4M temple complex at 95 Old Pitt Town Road, Pitt Town. The image below should provide some context: In the upper left is the Pitt Town cemetery and in the lower right is Pitt Town Sports Club. The application as submitted to…

Pitt Town Road upgrades

Back in August 2017 I joined members of the Pitt Town Progress Association, fellow Councillors and staff on a tour of the Pitt Town area to identify a long list of "action items". High on that list were upgrades to Pitt Town Road that were promised as benefits to the Pitt Town development. These upgrades consist of the Pitt Town Bypass project, which received a $4.7M boost in the most…