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My family and I are avid users of Willoughby’s wonderful parks, bushland reserves and and the great network of bush tracks and cycleways. (Incidently, Council has just updated a great brochure called walking and wheeling in Willoughby, I highly recommend it if you want to discover some great walks in our city).

One thing that often irks me is the abandoned shopping trolleys that often seem to escape shopping centres and end up in our streets, parks and worst of all, our creeks. I have requested Council to put a motion at the 2007 Local Government Association Conference requesting that the State Government grant council’s the right to charge for the cost of recovery and disposal of shopping trolleys from public areas.

Currently the percentage of a retailer’s trolleys which become ‘lost’ or stolen and end up in our environment and streets, are written-off as a business expense.

However the full costs of the product, i.e. cradle-to-grave costs, are not being completely included in this economic analysis. The burden of the lost trolleys is being transferred to the public and the environment.

If local government can recover the costs of retrieving lost and abandoned trolleys from retailers it may just tip the economic balance in favour of preventing the trolleys being ‘lost’ in the first place.

The Willoughby Men’s Shed was officially opened on 26 July 2007. Situated in the Northbridge RSL hall (down near the Northbridge Golf Club), the shed is is fully decked out with brand new equipment like table saws, wood and metal lathes, band saws and a state of the art dust extraction system to keep it all crisp and clean.

Any blokes out there who have a project lurking on the back burner or simply want to while away some time with some like minded fellows should contact Council’s Help Line on 97771000 to find out how they can get into it! Experienced hands are on deck to ensure you keep yours safe and sound).
The Spring Festival is back in Willoughby this September for its eleventh year running. The Festival gets bigger, better and more diverse each year. The Street Parade is the highlight and was held on Saturday the 15 September, with dancers, musicians, sporting groups and more weaving their way along Victoria Avenue, showcasing the fabulous talent within the Willoughby community. On display were many inspirational and practical initiatives that can help us all ‘think globally and act locally’.

This coincided with the launch of Willoughby City Council’s draft Sustainability Charter. It is the proposed policy that will oversee all Council’s activities with a view to their sustainability. It has three elements covering social, ecological and economic sustainability. The Charter is in draft form because we are seeking community comment on the policy before consideration or adopting it formally. There are lots of words, but no doubt they encompass the most exciting, meaningful and positive initiatives I have had anything to do with in my time on council. Check it out by typing ‘sustainability charter’ into the search field on Council’s website (hard copies are available from Council). Feedback is most welcome and the Charter is open for comment until 8 January 2008.

Cr Adrian Cox, Sailors Bay Ward