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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackerel Beach

March 18, 2018

Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater





HubertI am writing to you to let you know of a change in the SIRA committee. As some of you may know, I bought my  property on the island in 2000 and sold it in 2017, and since I have been renting on the Island. My lease is ending and I have not found a new home on the Island. I have found a lovely patch in Lovett Bay though and this is where I am moving to.

Since SIRA membership requires residency or otherwise property ownership on the Island, my eligibility for membership will cease and I will no longer be able to fill the President’s role.

I joined the SIRA committee in March 2014 as committee member and received the honour of serving as Secretary in 2015 and 2016 and from November 2017 as President. I joined during turbulent SIRA years and the first three years on the committee were a challenge. But I feel that it has been worth it and I believe the proof is in the pudding: the transformation we have undergone is there and will yield long term positive results for the community.

My successor

The challenge a committee faces when its leader has to leave is to find away to continue regardless and ensure that harmony and stability can continue to exist. I am proud of the Committee in the way it has handled this situation.

In consensus, the Committee appointed Neelica Raffel as the new president. Neelica has impressed us in the short time she has been on the Committee. Her intellect, knowledge of association mechanics and her pursual of the values of fairness and transparency are attributes that will assist her in being a great leader. Neelica will introduce herself below in some more detail, but I can attest that the Committee is thrilled with having her as President.

The Committee also decided to retain its numbers (reduced by one) as it sees no benefit in adding additional committee members and a risk that the harmonious collaboration that currently exists, being disrupted.

My ongoing role

The Committee felt that with my departure there would be a potential gap in continuity, knowledge and manpower, so I have accepted the role of Advisor to the Committee until the next AGM. I will be available as sounding board and will advise on matters of both operational and policy nature.

We are in the middle of a lot of ongoing work in relation to Church Point parking, the Pasadena and related issues. I will continue to be active in that space. Where requested by the Committee I will be making representations on behalf of SIRA and otherwise I will be ensuring I am in the loop. There is a band of private citizens of various backgrounds involved as well. I will continue to fight for the interests of the Scotland Island residents and of course the West Pittwater community. I am also still involved with the Water Booking and Automation project for which SIRA received a grant from Council. I will continue to manage that project to its conclusion.

A few more words

Lately it seems that discussion around ‘values’ and ‘behavior’ of community members is becoming more prominent, especially on social media. Many of these discussions highlight a fundamental issue within our community:

There are the ‘old’ long term residents who believe that the way things were in the past – few rules and a free spirited, unconstrained community – is under threat from the group of newer residents who prefer a more orderly environment.

My advice to the long termers is that you should consider that change may be good at times. Really, the way things were in the past were in some cases pretty ordinary. We dealt with these problems on the SIRA committee too: it took many months to implement operational processes that are now completely accepted and do not feature in any discussion any longer, because they are efficient and current.

To the ‘newbies’ I would like to say: Listen to the long-termers. They have seen a lot of what is currently proposed and know from experience that some of it won’t work. Especially when it comes to preserving what makes Scotland Island special, they know what you may lose if you are not careful.

Support the SIRA Committee

The balance between ‘old and new’ is one that is important to understand and our current Committee is in my opinion in a good position to provide a sensible strategy that pleases all sides of the debate. This current committee consist of members who all have a passion for supporting, promoting and solving the issues we as Island community are dealing with.

This is why I say: Please support this committee. Please set aside your preconceptions (if any) or opinions you may have formed in the past (if they are negative). As a member of SIRA you are entitled to know that your committee is working in your interest, so ensure that you are being kept up to date. There are several methods to contact the committee, including the SIRA Facebook page.

An effective SIRA committee will get more done in our communal interest. We have had several wins over the last couple of years and we will be able to achieve more if the committee is supported. New committee members make great contributions, an example to note is Alec Beckett of last year’s committee who is leading the wharf extension

Thank You

I thank the SIRA committee for their confidence in me. I thank the many people who have been able to offer positive contributions to SIRA and the community. Thank you to the volunteers who selflessly assist when help is needed, at SIOCS, the Hall Events and the many other small community initiatives throughout the year. I am a little sad to leave my friends Boyd, Sharon, Colin, Neelica, Anne, Jane, Shane, Fabienne, Nadia and Nicole behind (although I will see them regularly) but I know they are destined for success this committee year!

Hubert van Mierlo
Outgoing SIRA President


May I first say that I am deeply honoured to have been selected to step into the Presidency of the  Scotland Island Residents’ Association. I come in to the role having spent not so many years on the island as others, however I am dedicated to the principles and vision of the Association and am proud to be in service to you.

Some of the residents who do know me will also know something of my passion and energy in relation to social justice, equity and environmental issues. It is my commitment to give the same such energy and passion to the Island, the Association and the issues facing us all on our unique and extraordinary Island home.

For those who do not know me I’ll give a little of my background.
I am, and have been a working single mum for the better part of the last
20 years. My daughter is now of course a grown woman in her own right and quite independent but we never stop being parents do we? She is the source of my greatest pride.

In terms of my working history I have worked in community based welfare with children and adults with disabilities; in the criminal justice system – again with children and young people; I have worked in Government Relations and Village Operations with the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and I have also worked in
a range of retail and hospitality settings over many years. I have qualifications in Health Sciences (counselling) and in Teaching (primary).

Since commencing work as a Primary school teacher in south western Sydney less than a decade ago I have also become very active within the union (NSW Teachers Federation) and hold a positions with them at the association and state level. I am currently working in a relief capacity for the NSWTF as a City Organiser.

Over the course of this history, I have, and continue to serve on a number of committees and in a range of capacities. I have a strong understanding of democratic processes and in implementing policy and procedural fairness. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet and negotiate with both local and state government representatives in relation to a broad range of issues.

I look forward to serving out the remainder of the current term working alongside the executive team, the various sub-committees and working groups and in getting to know all of my neighbours better. I am fortunate to be supported by so many warm, wise and well informed others and can only benefit from their greater experience.

I thank you for this opportunity.

Neelica Raffel
SIRA President.

The complete SIRA News Report be downloaded HERE.


Church Point Precinct Upgrade

As a community member with a registered interest in the Church Point Upgrade, you’d be aware of the extensive work we are currently undertaking in the area, with the construction of a multi-story carpark, a seawall and boardwalk.  This work is the first stage of a series of upgrades to the Church Point precinct in line with the Church Point Plan of Management.
We’re pleased to advise that the carpark is progressing rapidly and is currently estimated to be completed mid-late April 2018.

Over the next few weeks the ramps to the top floor of the carpark and timber façade will be constructed as well as the realignment of the road near the General Store to remove the double curve in preparation for the second stage of the works.

Stage 2

These works have been designed to improve pedestrian safety in the precinct as well as enhance the recreational opportunities at Church Point. The works will involve extending the Boardwalk around the General Store, adjusting the access road and associated roadworks in front of the Pasadena.

We will also be undertaking the reconstruction of Cargo Wharf to improve user safety and functionality for both private and commercial uses. These works will be tendered shortly and will include both the design development, liaison with local residents and stakeholders and construction.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this important project.

Information about the project is available on the Church Point Upgrade project page.

Church Point Car Parking – Round 2

Parking spaces are still available to off-shore residents (Scotland Island, Elvina Bay, Lovett Bay, Morning Bay and Douglass Estate) for a two year term in the new carpark on McCarrs Creek Rd, Church Point.

Round 2 ballot is now open. For more information, eligibility and to submit your application visit Council's webpage.

Please note that the previously advertised price on our website and application form incorrectly stated the price as $4,939 per year + GST,  however the correct price is $4, 939 per year inclusive of GST.

Enquiries: parkingoperations@northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au
Round 2 applications close 25 March.

Community Engagement Team

Catherine Park Reserve - Feedback sought on parking proposal

We’re writing to you as a Scotland Island resident to let you know we’re proposing changes to parking at Catherine Park Reserve, and seek your feedback on the proposal (visual attached for your reference).

The preservation of Catherine Park and its recreational benefit to the community has always been a major consideration of both Council and the local community.
In recent years concern has grown regarding the interaction between vehicles, such as golf buggies, and pedestrians at the bottom of Pitt View Street, near Tennis Court Wharf.  The increased number of  households using the  buggies to get around the Island each year, and parking encroachment into the reserve has resulted in a  noticeable degradation of Catherine Park Reserve.
As a measure to  protect the reserve and allow for remediation of Catherine Park, we are putting a proposal forward to implement ‘No Parking’ restrictions at the bottom of Pitt View Street.
The proposal will not affect the accessible spaces, as Pitt View Street is very steep and therefore a number of accessible spaces, for people with a disability, will need to be retained.
The plan, if supported by the community, would also require Council to implement parking restrictions on the shoulder of Robertson Road, below the Fire Station, to accommodate parking for those relocated from Catherine Reserve.
We invite you to provide feedback to Council via the online feedback form or in writing to:
CEO, Northern Beaches Council, marked’ Catherine Park Reserve – Parking Proposal, 725 Pittwater Road,
Dee Why, 2099
For further information regarding this project please contact me on 9970 1248.
Comments close on Monday 2 April
David Munday
Senior Project Engineer

Scotland Island Fire Brigade High Tea

Saturday March 24th 3-5pm


Time to Choose

A community family friendly rally for clean air, water and energy.

Participants will be joined by concerned citizens from all over the state including farmers, horses from the hunter, musician from Tamworth and of course the Knitting Nannas.

Catch a bus from Mona Vale at 10.30. Wall to Parliament House for a 12pm start.

A tragedy in the making. Stand up for the future of for the great artesian basin, our inland forests, the health of farmland and rural families.

Your voice can make a difference. Hope to see you there

Want to know more check out the film trailer for the Sacrifice Zone on   Vimeo  https://vimeo.com/226883151


Woody Point Yacht Club AGM

Saturday 7th April

Lovett Bay Boatshed


Boat for Sale

Bluebird Yacht

  • Fiberglass -Baker built mid 70,s
  • 22 foot (6.7m)
  • Clean, light, dry boat with open plan interior
  • Good economic family boat, twilight racer, day sailer or overnighter
  • Full set of sails
  • Tohatsu 5 HP outboard
  • Other extras
    • Includes mooring off Cargo wharf (location subject to RMS)
    • Antifouled in December, registered to Jan 2019
Also have a 2m fiberglass dinghy on the Island for $100 if required.
We have moved off the Island so would love to find a good home for our boat.
Please contact Richard on 0438799159 for more information.

Washed Up washedup

The canoe pictured was washed up on our shore in the western side of Scotland Island a few weeks ago.

Could the owner please contact Marie on 0411253438 to arrange collection

Queen size Bed Frame for Sale (it's grown!)


  • Queens size bed frame only
  • Well finished
  • Disassembled frame - (easy to put together)


Call Nathalie


Boat Mooring Needed

Hi there - Looking for a place to moor our 4.5-metre boat on the Island.  Eastern side would be great. 

Access generally needed morning & early evening weekdays. 

Even if a space is just available on a temporary basis.

Please get in touch on 0435 796 706 or hjbarry@outlook.com if you can help.

Many thanks - Hayden


You can now join the Scotland Island Residents’ Association through the online Self-Service Portal at sira.org.au

Alternatively, there are offline methods of joining, read more here or contact  secretary@sira.org.au

Join West Pittwater Community Association

To join the Western Pittwater Community Association http://www.westpittwater.com.au/Contact/join-the-wpca

Archived Newsletters

A complete set of past electronic newsletters since May 2000 can be found and read at https://ymlp.com/archive_gesgjgm.php  or by clicking here or by visiting the Mona Vale Library.

The Island website is at www.scotlandisland.org.au

Offshore Gallery

Pittwater Offshore Photo Gallery

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The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the views of the Scotland Island Residents Association (SIRA), or the Western Pittwater Community Association (WPCA)

Original Newsletter Design:Paul Purvis & Julian Muir