Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackerel Beach

October 19, 2015

Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia

Island Serenity Violated

On Friday, 9 October, while we were off the Island, our house was entered and robbed.  The only items taken were beer, liquor (scotch, gin, vodka, rum, brandy, Cointreau, Cherry Heering), and a small step stool that when inverted made a convenient “bucket” to carry the bottles, while sherry, port, and wines were left.  Computers, iPads, jewelry, etc. were not taken, only the grog, and there was no vandalism.

We have reported this theft to the police and they will take fingerprints.

That same evening, there was a raucous party at 103 Florence Terrace, and a party that trashed Catherine Park.  The circumstances suggest that the theft may be related to one or the other of these gatherings.

We are immensely saddened by the fact that there are individuals on the Island who have no respect for the standards of honesty and ethical behaviour that characterise our community.  It has always been a matter of pride in our community that we didn’t have to lock our house; now it seems that those days of innocence are gone.

Alan & Ruth Gaines
71 Florence Terrace

Stolen from Cargo Wharf last Night (16 Oct 15)

12ft Savage Aluminium dinghy with carpeted boarding deck and a white IKEA Baby Seat attached.

YEAR: 2006
SERIAL: 1026545

Our baby is really missing her seat and loves to ride in the boat. Please whoever took it kindly return it no questions asked. It is not insured and we cannot afford to replace the boat and motor.

Phone: My mum (Adriana) on 0420507566 or my dad (Colin) on 0421799347
Thank you kind people!

Curry & Trivia Night

Scotland Island Kindy Fundraiser

Get ready for the curry & trivia night!! Book in and spread the word, 'cause it's going to be hot, hot, hot!!

Limited numbers, so book in quick!

Secure your spot by prepaying to BSB 032 196 A/C 233039 and include your name.

Prize donations welcome, email:

Queries to Ian 0404 833 674.

See you there!!


Scotland Island Business Expo

Sunday 1st November


Yes, Kindy Cafe is on again

and so is the Scotland Island Business Expo!.... 

Sunday 1 November from 10am!!

Get down to Catherine Park, check out our local businesses and take the opportunity to let the kids play while you catch up with friends and relax with a cuppa!

If you're a business owner living off-shore, register now to participate in the Business Expo and let your neighbours know about you and your skills.

Kindy Cafe will operate from the Kindy. The Business Expo will operate from the Hall.

Hope to see you there.

Ian Laughton-Smith

0404 833 674

Funds raised will go to the Scotland Island Kindy.


Local Council Notices

Pittwater's future bright but rumours unconfirmed

16 Oct 2015

Various media reports today speculate that Pittwater Council will escape local government amalgamations but the State Government is yet to confirm this is indeed the case.

IPART’s deadline to deliver its recommendation to State Government is today, but already there are alleged ‘leaks’ suggesting Pittwater will remain as is and Manly and Warringah will merge to form a mega council.

It’s no secret that Pittwater’s community remains firmly opposed to forced mergers and wants Pittwater Council to stay independent, strong and local, but Deputy Mayor Kylie Ferguson says it’s too early to start celebrating.

“Like all affected councils, we’re awaiting State Government decision,” Cr Ferguson said.

“If true, this decision reflects our strong submission to IPART and the strength of our council—acknowledged earlier this week with us receiving a special commendation award at the local government 2015 A R Bluett Memorial Awards,’ Cr Ferguson added.

Results from independent research and Pittwater Council’s community engagement have consistently demonstrated overwhelming support for the status quo.

“It’s not just a majority of our residents—it’s all but 11 percent—support Pittwater standing alone.

“Pittwater’s independence remains front and centre in our community, so standing alone just makes sense for us,” she added.

To stay informed, please visit

Contact: Community Relations
Phone: 9970 1119/1172

Seeking Pittwater's local heroes

Nominations are now open for Pittwater’s 2016 NSW Local Citizen of the Year Awards to be announced at next year’s Australia Day celebrations.

Residents are encouraged to nominate outstanding citizens who have contributed to their community in one of three categories: Pittwater Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year.

Deputy Mayor Kylie Ferguson applauded the many volunteers who give their time generously for the benefit of others.

“These people are often considered experts in their fields which cover bushcare, aged care, lifesaving, emergency services, coastal patrol and youth and community services to name just a few,” she said.

“It is a great opportunity to recognise residents who work tirelessly behind the scenes making a significant contribution to their community.”

“This is our opportunity to acknowledge their contribution and to say thank you,” added Cr Ferguson.

Winners will be announced at an Australia Day Awards Reception and at celebrations at Bert Payne Reserve, Newport on 26 January 2016.

Nomination forms for the Awards can be completed online or downloaded at Printed copies are also available from Council’s customer service centres and libraries at Avalon and Mona Vale.

Entries for the Awards close on Friday 27 November 2015. Nominations can be mailed to: Community Relations Team, Pittwater Council, PO Box 882 Mona Vale, NSW 1660 or emailed to

Enquiries relating to the Awards or Pittwater’s Australia Day event can be directed to the Community Relations Team on 9970 1172.

Contact: Media contact: Community Relations
Phone: 9970 1172 or 9970 1114

Springtime Slitheries

by Lynleigh Greig

Spring is a wonderful time of year!  The flowers are blooming, cute baby animals are emerging, people are just happier!  And Spring-time is when all our beautiful scaly creatures start getting active again. 

Not everyone is a fan of snakes, but mostly because they are a very misunderstood species…  They are essential to a healthy ecosystem.  Without them we would be overrun with rodents and other pests.  By keeping down the quantity of rodents, they reduce the occurrence of diseases carried by these and other pests. 

General Behaviour:
  • Contrary to popular belief, snakes are not out to ‘get us’ nor are they hiding and waiting to ambush us.
  • They want nothing to do with us and tend to be shy and secretive.
  • Their first line of defence is to slither away as fast as possible.  If we continue to pester them, they give warnings, such as hissing and ‘neck-flattening’.  If we still torment them, they might ‘strike’ or head-butt with a closed mouth.  In the case of venomous snakes, if they do bite, it is often a ‘dry’ bite i.e. no venom is injected.  Hospital statistics show that around 60% of patients submitted with snake bites turn out to have ‘dry’ bites.
  • In pet-and-snake encounters, our domesticated pets are always the instigators.  Snakes won’t attack dogs or cats but will defend themselves if pounced upon.
Interesting Snake Facts
  • There are roughly 3,000 species of snakes in the world.
  • Snakes are found on every continent except Antarctica  (and New Zealand only has sea-snakes).
  • Snakes have no eyelids.
  • All snakes are carnivores.
  • Snakes have flexible jaws that allow them to eat prey bigger than their head!
  • Snakes ‘smell’ with their tongue.
  • Snakes don’t have external ears.
  • Snakes are mistakenly called ‘cold-blooded’.  They are, in fact, ectothermic, which means that they rely on the outside environment for the temperature of their blood.
  • Most snakes have no maternal instincts (with the exception of some pythons).  Finding a baby snake does not mean that ‘the mother and father must be close-by’.
  • Not all snakes lay eggs.  Some give birth to live young e.g. red-bellied black snakes, death adders.
  • An ‘expectant’ snake is referred to as being gravid, not pregnant.
  • Most snakes are solitary animals and only get together during breeding season.
  • Extreme fear of snakes is called Ophidiophobia.

The Most Common Species of Snakes on the Northern Beaches:

Diamond Python
 Morelia spilota spilota
Harmless and non-venomous

Diamond pythons are predominantly black in colour with yellow spots arranged in diamond-like shapes.  The average adult size is between 2m and 3m.
Diamond pythons are typically placid in nature and reluctant to bite.  They are mostly arboreal (tree-dwelling) but have been seen on roof-tops, curled up under trees or draped over fence-tops.  They prey on rodents, lizards, birds and mammals such as possums.  They are constrictors.

Green Tree Snake
Dendrelaphis punctulata
Harmless and non-venomous

The Green Tree Snake is very slender, is greenish-blue on the body and bright yellow on the belly.  They have big black eyes and a very long, thin, prehensile tail.  They reach lengths of around 1.2m.
They are often seen on the ground which surprises people – given that they are tree snakes.  They come to ground to prey on frogs, skinks and fish. Gorgeous little creatures!

Golden-crowned Snake
Cacophis squamulosus
Mildly venomous – not considered dangerous

These little snakes are very secretive and are nocturnal so you’d be lucky to encounter one.  They’re dark brown to grey in colour with a pink belly.  They have a yellowish ‘halo’ or crown – hence their name.  Golden-crowned snakes tend to reach lengths of between 50cm – 75cm. They feed predominantly on lizards and occasionally frogs.
They are wonderful little snakes but they often get into trouble when cats pounce on them and bring them inside. 

Photo by Glenn Addison
Red-bellied Black Snake
Pseudechis porphyriacus
Venomous but very reluctant to bite or engage with humans or animals

The Red-bellied Black Snake is a gorgeous glossy black on top and red on the lower sides and belly.  The average-sized specimen is 1.2m - 1.5m.  They are often found near water and are excellent swimmers!   Their diet consists primarily of frogs. 
They are not an aggressive species and their first form of defence is always to escape.   They are often just moving through your property and should just be left alone.

How to Behave if you Encounter a Snake:
  • Snakes love to lie out on warm surfaces, basking in the sun.  You are most likely to encounter them on concrete walkways, on roads, on bush pathways or on warm rocks.  Snakes will almost always slither away into the nearby bushes if they see or feel you approaching.
  • If, however, they are asleep (which is hard for you to see as they don’t have eyelids to close) and don’t sense your approach – just stomp loudly from a good few metres away and they should awaken and slither away.
  • NEVER poke them with a stick, or attempt to hit them with an implement, don’t step on them or do anything to enter their strike-zone.  This is the only time they will become defensive and possibly strike.

What to do if you are bitten:

Unless you are trying to catch a snake or kill it, you are unlikely to ever be bitten.  However, in the unlikely event that you are, follow these 3 easy steps:
  • Do NOT wash the area of the bite – the hospital will take a swab at the bite site for the Venom Detection Kit (VDK).
  • Use a compression bandage at the bite site and then bandage all the way up the limb and down again. 
  • Sit down – don’t panic – and call an ambulance.
Never apply a torniquet!

There is no need to identify the snake.  The Venom Detection Kit in the hospital will process the venom from the swab and identify which antivenom is required.
60% of snake-bites are ‘dry’ bites i.e. no venom is injected.

What to do if a Snake enters your Home or Property:
  1. Do not panic
  2. Keep people, children and pets away from the snake
  3. If the snake is outside, keep an eye on it and call for advice
  4. If the snake is in a room, close the door to that room and call Sydney Wildlife
Snakes have every right to be here and should be treated with respect.
Do NOT attempt to kill ANY snake!!!  It is illegal and dangerous.  Generally, a snake will only become defensive if it is threatened.  Leave them and they will tend to move off of their own accord.  Or call Sydney Wildlife to have the animal relocated.
Sydney Wildlife:  9413 4300

Southern Cross Wildlife Care’s Dr Howard Ralph will treat any injured snake – venomous or non-venomous.

With thanks to Pittwater Online News
Re-print from October 11 - 17, 2015: Issue 235

Looking for house sitting over Xmas holidays

Lovely respectable Avalon family looking for any available accommodation over the Christmas week any time from about 21st December to the new year and also later in January.

We are two adults and 3 children between ages 10 and 15.  No pets but love animals so happy to look after yours if necessary.  We'd look after your house and water garden etc. We have a number of good friends living on Mackeral and Elvina Bay.

Please contact Nic Prandle on 0481 041 061.

For Sale


Ravensburger and fine art. 
Various sizes from 500 to 1000 plus pieces. 
I have done them all so they are complete.  $5 each.

Contact Linda on 0407 020 110 or email

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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)

Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackerel Beach