The airport proposal was an early and major hurdle for the fledgling association and opposition to this plan was maintained until 1971 when a separate Anti-Airport Committee was formed as a Sub-committee of the Terrey Hills and Duffys Forest Progress Associations to continue the battle.
The eventual political victory over the airfield development also reinforced the desire of residents, and through them their elected representatives in the Council, to keep Duffys Forest as free as possible from undesirable commercial developments, particularly if they would appear in any way to prejudice neighbourhood amenity or future planning of the area.
The two year planning study of the Terrey Hills/Duffys Forest area conducted by the NSW Planning & Environment Commission and Warringah Shire Council, and involving a great deal of resident participation, recommended in April 1976 that:
The uncertain future of Skippy Park has been at the forefront of concern for the Association. The Association successfully lobbied the NSW Labour Government to terminate the commercial lease held on the Park by the Melbourne based development company Prudentia Investments after the native animals were removed from the site by the RSPCA. We successfully urged both the Planning Department and Warringah Council to include the Rangers Cottage into both the State Heritage Register and the Local Government Register.
DUFFYS WHARF RESTORATION
More recently the Association has obtained a number of grants to preserve and enhance local assets. Thanks to a $70k grant with NP&WS the heavily eroded Duffys Wharf track was restored, and hopefully with future grants will be enhanced with interpretive signage and a boardwalk through the mangroves on Cowan Creek.
A HOME FOR HORSES
Over the years the area has slowly changed, and today most of the properties now have equine facilities, and large houses have replaced the nurseries and chicken sheds of previous years. It is believed that Duffys Forest has one of the highest concentrations of horses in NSW. The DFRA has been instrumental in the building and refurbishing of the 2 Public Horse Arenas in the area (Anembo Rd and Kinka Rd) and the establishment of the Community Bridle Path along Booralie and Thuddungra Rds. There are 2 Pony Clubs in the area- Forest Hills Pony Club based at JJ Melbourne Hills Memorial Reserve on Mona Vale Rd, and Avondale Pony Club in St Ives. There is access to over 22kms of horse and walking trails through the neighbouring National Park, and the St Ives Showground, home of Northside Riding Club, is only a 15 minute drive (or 1 hour ride) away.
Duffys Forest is also home to the Terrey Hills Golf Club and the NSW Rifle Club.
Following 20 years of lobbying Council and another CBPP grant for $30k, a horse arena was constructed in Kinka Reserve in 2011.
MARY NEWLINDS RESERVE
In 2023 signage was erected on Guwara Rd at the entrance to what is now named Mary Newlinds Reserve, to honour the enormous contributions Mary made to the community over many years from the formation of DFRA. The views south and west from the reserve and adjacent National park are exquisite.
The Association continues to discuss and take action on such matters as planning, roadworks and repairs, water, bus services, street lighting, the Community Bridle Trail etc.. Liaison is maintained with Ku-ring-gai Chase authorities on relevant matters, particularly weed control and horse trails. The future of Waratah Park will remain a priority for the Association.
Residents of Duffys Forest can look with pride at this beautiful and unique area, the character of which is due to the efforts of vigilant residents both past and present, and of your elected political representatives.