6th April 2018   Edition One.
In this edition:
Presidents Message,
Ahimsa open 15th April,
AGM , brothel in Beecroft, Cheltenham oval update,
Cr Emma Heyde news,  Trust Autumn Walk 6th May.
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Message from the President
The Trust had its 54th AGM last week. We managed to get the required ten residents elected on the committee but not the requisite three from Cheltenham. This has been an issue for as long as I have been on the committee. And that’s over 20 years!  The various committee positions will be decided at our next committee meeting next week. So currently I’m an acting President.  I attended the David Shoebridge talk at Hornsby Library last week. Having studied planning during my career I can say that David provided a good perspective of how the planning legislation has evolved since 1979, when the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act was enacted. Planning legislation is not easy to negotiate and over the years legislative changes have favoured development over the environment.  He also strongly encouraged all community groups to communicate with one another where there were common interests. Perhaps it was a coincidence but two weeks ago I met with Janet McGarry and Noel Oxley, presidents of Epping and Pennant Hills Civic Trusts, respectively. The meeting was fruitful as it informed each of us what is happening in our broader area. We definitely have a lot in common. Epping Civic Trust intend to update their constitution and adopt many of the key elements in our constitution, like election of a president for only three years and adopting an apolitical position.

This week I met Damien Tudehope to discuss matters pertaining to Beecroft and Cheltenham. There is an issue at Cheltenham Oval with the Metro project and a legal issue regarding a brothel in Beecroft. The Trust is also investigating an opportunity to apply to Veterans Affairs for the Community War memorials grant to assist maintenance of the war memorials at Beecroft. In all the above matters we are liaising closely with Hornsby Council and our Member for Epping.      

Ross Walker
Celebrate Heritage Week at Ahimsa on Sunday 15th April –
the home of Marie Byles

Almost exactly 118 years after her birthday, an event to showcase the extraordinary life of a former resident of Beecroft–Cheltenham will be held on Sunday 15 April 2018. Marie Byles was a prominent conservationist, adventurer, Buddhist and the first practising woman lawyer in NSW.

“Her former property ‘Ahimsa’ at the end of Day Road Cheltenham is the location for a talk about her amazing life by biographer Anne Mcleod, and will be followed by a walk around the bushland property. There will also be a short walk in Marie Byles’ footsteps in adjoining Lane Cove National Park which she was passionate about preserving “, says Martin Fallding, who is co-ordinating the event.

Marie Byles (1900 – 1979) left her property ‘Ahimsa’ to the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and it is recognised as of State heritage significance.

The event, on 15 April 2018, will be followed by another in September 2018. It is being organised in conjunction with the Beecroft-Cheltenham Civic Trust, National Trust, and Byles Creek Valley Union.

“The event provides an opportunity to reflect on protecting the local bushland environment, and walks are suitable for children”, says Martin Fallding.

Martin will also talk about childhood and family recollections of Marie Byles and the Cheltenham bushland during the day. The activities start at 10.30 am and finish about 4.30 pm.  Bring your own picnic lunch. All welcome.  

People interested in attending the event please register by emailing Martin at
A brothel in Beecroft
Late last year the Trust was notified by residents that there was an brothel operating illegally in Beecroft shopping centre. The Trust immediately contacted Hornsby Council who are in the process of closing the operation down. The Trust has quickly learnt that removing an illegal brothel in not easy, not fast and not a cheap process. They are often associated with criminals who know how the system works and will often reappear somewhere else in the area if the demand remains.

After discussing the matter with Hornsby Council staff, Councillors and Damien Tudehope, Beecroft is not alone in dealing with this problem.  We have been informed it is a legal issue. In simple terms a brothel is defined under the planning legislation as having two or more workers.  So a sole operator does not require development approval and can operate anyway, including next door to a child care centre or school. The Beecroft operation had at least two workers. There have been and still are similar problems at Pennant Hills.  So we are not alone. Because the problem appears to centre around the definition of a brothel in the Environmental and Assessment Act, then this issue potentially affect the whole State. The Trust is writing to Damien, seeking his help in correcting the ongoing problem.

Three does not go into two. The tale of Cheltenham Oval, the Metro and Epacris
In the last Metro bulletin readers would have read that the project is on target to open in December 2018. At Cheltenham Oval the project managers have been consulting with the local sporting groups, the Trust, as well as the local bush regenerators. Everyone wants the project completed.

Twelve months ago the community and sporting groups were informed that the tuck shop and toilet block can’t be incorporated into the Metro administration building, as originally proposed.  Instead the sporting facility would be positioned between the top car park and the playing field, and the building cut into the existing sandstone embankment with some loss of vegetation.  

All ok except that 12 months ago the bush regenerators identified a rare plant called Epacris ( like a native heath) growing on the edge of, but within, the construction zone. Nine months later and minimal communication, the project announced to all parties before Easter, that construction will commence in two weeks! This lack of communication for nine months has not just been with community groups but also with Hornsby Council, the owner of the land!

Currently Council is frantically working with the Metro project team, discussing options of how to do a recovery plan in two weeks for the Epacris or perhaps shifting the building slightly to avoid the Epacris, or both.  Apparently Epacris is very hard to propagate or transplant and this time of the year is not an ideal time.  In the meantime the sporting clubs want their courts and facilities back.

We will keep you informed of progress.

Beecroft is in the top 10 advantaged postcodes in Australia
Good news, postcode 2119 has been measured by the Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD), published by the Bureau of Statistics (ABS), as being in the top 10 most advantaged postcodes in Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald published the information last Wednesday 28th March on page 14 .  What is worth noting is the definition of ‘advantage’, being access to material and social resources, as well as the ability to participate in society. Our suburbs’ active social and community network come to mind. 
Well done 2119.  

Annual General Meeting Summary
The Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust AGM held on Tuesday 27th March 2018 at the Beecroft Bowling Club was well attended with almost 80 attendees.

Ten committee members were elected on the night. The various committee positions will be filled at our next committee meeting in April.

Two Beecroft shop keepers, Jaythene Hiscock and Jean Campbell, spoke about the health of Beecroft shops and stressed the importance for residents to shop at Beecroft.

We also had Chris Staples promote his new book on the history of Beecroft and Carlingford. 

It was a lively Q and A forum with the Member for Epping Damien Tudehope, Hornsby Mayor Philip Ruddock, Hornsby C Ward Councillor Emma Heyde and Hornsby B Ward Councillor Robert Browne participating.  There were apologies from Member for Berowra Julian Leeser, C and B Ward Councillors with legitimate reasons ranging from parliament sitting in Canberra to family commitments.

Life memberships were presented to Michael Stove and Colin Johnston; both were past presidents but also both very active on the executive committee for many years.

The ten elected committee members are Michael Book, Harkirat Dhinsa, Neil Donovan, Janet Hayes, Michael McAuley, Nina Mital, Bill Rankine, Glynn Rogers, Brian Shirley, and Ross Walker.

Hornsby C Ward Councillor Emma Heyde Update
Hornsby Councillor Emma Heyde has distributed another email update.
Below is a link to our website that contains her latest email that she sent to her followers.
The Trust supports Emma’s initiative in keeping the local community informed.
 CLICK HERE for the letter.

The Trust Autumn Walk 6th May – Advance Notice
Residents of Beecroft and Cheltenham are very fortunate to live in a healthy, bushland environment. After all we are custodians of this special asset and to fully appreciate its value the Trust has been regularly holding autumn and spring walks through our bushland for over 50 years.  We intend to continue the tradition.

On Sunday 6th May at 2pm the Trust will lead a walk commencing and finishing at the end of Welham St Beecroft. This year we will pass through Chilworth Reserve and along Orchard Rd to Ray Park. Then return via Kirkham Street.  The Trust will point out recent changes to the bushland in Chilworth Reserve but more importantly changes around Ray Park.

Just turn up at Welham St. at 2pm.  It will be a fairly long walk so wear sturdy walking shoes, a hat and carry some water. Afternoon tea will be served at 4.30 pm at the Scout hall below Welham St. All welcome.

In case of inclement weather  contact Ross Walker on 0412 257 556

Scam Alert
The Trust has added a new section to our website.
We will attempt to inform the community of current fraudulent scams.
If you hear of any new ones we have not covered, please report them to
Annual Memberships for 2018 are now Due... CLICK HERE
Keep our two suburbs strong and informed by being a member!

To support or join the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust, please visit our website. CLICK HERE.

The eNews has become our main method for disseminating information to the community. Currently we have over 1040 email addresses, up from 900 two months ago.  We encourage residents who receive the eNews to tell their neighbours and friends.  The eNews letter is available to all who subscribe.  Trust Membership is not a requirement. 

The eNews archives are available HERE.  To subscribe to the eNews: CLICK HERE.

At this stage, the Trust will continue to distribute the printed bulletin as not everyone uses the internet.  We are continuing to looking for volunteers who like walking and who may be able to distribute approximately 100 Bulletins a couple of times per year, as this is all done by kind members of our community. If you are able to help out, even as an occasional fill in person, please contact

The Trust has always had an unwritten policy to assist any resident regardless of their membership status.

Kind regards,
Ross Walker

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Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust Inc. · PO Box 31 · Beecroft, NSW 2119 · Australia

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