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…

The Children’s Crusade on Climate Change

Today, some schoolchildren around Australia will wag school and march to promote action on climate change. In discussing this with my 16yo son, I took the opportunity to draw a parallel with the ill-fated Children's Crusade of the early 13th century. Unarmed, and "led" by the 12 year old Stephen of Cloyes, they bore crosses, banners and an optimistic assumption that once they got to…

Commissioner rejects appeal on the Avina Caravan Park expansion

The 2016 story about the opposition to the proposal. Click here to read original story. There has been a major development in the proposal to massively expand the Avina site, and I wanted to give you an update.  In October 2016, barely a month into this term of Council, concerned residents approached me over the proposed expansion of the Avina Van Village bordering Oakville and…

Appearing on the Hawkesbury Gazette Podcast

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with reporter Conor Hickey from the Hawkesbury Gazette for their weekly podcast. Topics covered included how elected representatives can better engage with the community, development, and Windsor bridge. Listen in! https://soundcloud.com/hawkesburygazette/talking-engagement-with-councillor-nathan-zamprogno

Demanding clarity on the future of the Hawkesbury

(Edit-- 27th June: The motion I put to Council on the 26th passed 11 votes to 1. Audio of the debate can be accessed below:) Original post: The whole messy process that has unfolded since March about road corridors has brought the issue of development in the Hawkesbury into focus. Everyone can see the  massive surge of housing and commercial building that has marched down Windsor Road and is…

The BLOR and M9/OSO Corridors, Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KraZcyB3Rb4 This post is the second of two in response to a proposal to create two motorway and rail corridors through the Hawkesbury. The first video provides some historical context to the broader phenomenon of State and Federal governments foisting large projects on unsuspecting communities. The challenge of balancing long term planning and the…

The BLOR and M9/OSO Corridors, Part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HG64RUjv7I This video is the first of two, and explores the history of government attempts to ride rough shod over the community, and what has tended to happen when they try. It is intended to encourage people engaged in the current struggle to protect the Hawkesbury from two destructive corridor proposals to recognise that these kinds of things…

Hawkesbury Council gets 2018 underway with a bang

After the unqualified success of Hawkesbury's Australia Day celebrations down by the river, the first Hawkesbury Council meeting of 2018 occurred on Tuesday night and went from 6:30pm and until well after 1am. A number of issues of consequence to local residents were on the agenda. Thankfully, now that Council is "podcasting" its meetings (a move I pushed for and endorsed), I can bring you the…

Is Sydney Full?

A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald has declared "Sydneysiders in revolt over development as two-thirds declare the city is 'full'". So what's my view? The common stereotype is that Liberal governments are pro development and left-of-centre governments are full of NIMBY greenies. The truth is not so simple. I sat up and took notice at this quote in the story: "Significantly for the…

Hawkesbury landowners get extended deadline for review of their land value

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bwf7QCqn5o "In this episode, a climactic meeting with the Valuer General, plans to secede from the Hawkesbury, and a ray of hope for people who have endured massive rate rises, but only if you act now. In my last video I described how thousands of Hawkesbury ratepayers have been hit with a big rise in their Council rates. I described how the 23% of our…

Are some Hawkesbury residents paying too much tax?

Angry residents demand answers at a community consultation session at Pitt Town The hot-button issue this month is that rate notices arriving in the letterboxes of many Hawkesbury ratepayers show that their rates have risen sharply, while other suburbs have had a modest decrease. And by "risen sharply", I mean doubled or tripled from this time last year. The worst example I found was a…

St Joseph’s Church, St Albans

At Council last night we were presented with the application for the use of the restored St Joseph's church at St Albans as an accomodation and function venue. We had originally considered this application before Christmas but it was felt that a site visit would be useful for Councillors to be able to appreciate the merits (and concerns raised) over the application. I was pleased to visit the…

About NBN towers and the rollout of fixed wireless

A community meeting at Pitt Town about the NBN rollout We've all waited far too long for better Internet broadband in the Hawkesbury, especially for many of the rural and acreage properties in the district. Frustratingly, there isn't much of the newer, faster NBN broadband outside the Richmond/Windsor area, excepting the northern fringe of the larger urban rollout that has petered out just…

The Hindu Temple at McGraths Hill

The proposed Hindu temple, Mcgraths Hill The proposal to build a Hindu temple in High street in McGraths Hill came before Council at the last meeting and was narrowly approved. The vote was tied six-all and was approved on the Mayor's casting vote. I spoke and voted against the proposal. The councillors who voted for and against the proposal are listed in the following table: Voted for…

Where I’m coming from

This is my first post, and I wondered how I might begin. A bout of spring cleaning supplied my answer. As I was digging around in my shed, by happy coincidence I found a flier that I used when I first ran for Council in 1995. I was 22. Good god, in 1995, I had a pony tail. Stop it. Stop laughing. I cringe a little when I look back and think of how earnest and callow I was back then,…