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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach
June 13,  2013
Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia

Media Release

Pittwater Council has released an independent report prepared by local government expert Prof. Brian Dollery from the University of New England.

The report was commissioned by the Council in response to the NSW Government’s Independent Local Government Review Panel’s recommendation that Sydney councils be merged into 15 mega-councils.

As a result the Panel had proposed that Pittwater and Manly Councils be amalgamated with Warringah Council to form a northern beaches council of 250,000 residents.

The Panel’s ‘Future Directions’ report was issued in April this year. A final report on council reform in NSW will be presented to the government in September.

Prof. Dollery’s 115 page report examined Pittwater Council’s viability and the case for amalgamation with one or more neighbouring councils.

It examined a number of factors affecting any potential amalgamation, including socio-economic profiles of each council area and their respective finances. The report also examined case studies on amalgamation using examples from Queensland, Victoria and South Australia and those councils which had merged and subsequently decided to de-amalgamate.

The report made a number of findings based on the evidence and statistics it examined, including:
  • A merger would not improve financial sustainability
  • An absence of economies of scale would not result in cost reductions
  • Given the diverse socio-economic profiles of the Pittwater, Manly and Warringah Council areas, there was no evidence of a strong joint ‘community of interest’ which was an essential pre-requisite for a successful merger.
The full report was published today on the Council’s website at www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au

Mayor Jacqui Townsend said Prof. Dollery’s report highlighted the lack of detail in the Panel’s recommendations for amalgamations.

“All the evidence suggests that rates do not decrease – quite the reverse – and ratepayers from merged councils are disenfranchised from the decision-making process for their area,” she said.

“Pittwater was created out of a sense of frustration that money was not being spent locally and people not being consulted about what was happening here. If the Panel’s recommendations are adopted by the state government, the danger is there will be a return to this sense of frustration.”

Mayor Townsend urged Pittwater residents to have their say on the local government reforms at www.localgovernmentreview.nsw.gov.au by the closing date of 28 June.

Media contact
Mark Ferguson Pittwater Council
Ph:  9970 1105


A new program to ‘enliven’ Pittwater’s village centres through public art and cultural events will kick off shortly with a launch next month.

The Enliven Pittwater project is designed to improve the street life and vibrancy of Pittwater’s town and village centres.

Mayor Jacqui Townsend said the collaboration between Pittwater Council, local businesses and the community would see a range of programs and events in our villages.

“These are likely to include ‘pop-up’ art and cultural activities in public spaces,” said Mayor Townsend.
“To give residents a taste of the type of activities that will occur when the Enliven Pittwater program gets underway, we’ve placed an art installation outside Mona Vale Library.”

“The art work called imag_ne by Emma Anna is a sculpture which measures 4.2 metres in length. It will be on show from June to August,” she said.

imag_ne is composed of large wordplay letters that spell out the word ‘imagine’, although the second ‘I’ is missing. This absence operates as a blank canvass, inviting the audience to physically engage with the work in order to complete the word.

Over the last four years imag_ne has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including at the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in Bondi.

Sculptor Emma Anna suggests that ‘the capacity to imagine is an inherently human characteristic, shared by all human beings. Its power is to inspire us to imagine new possibilities and different ways of looking at the world and each other.’

Other initiatives to be explored as part of Enliven Pittwater include the development of a phone app with a calendar of events across Pittwater.

Mayor Jacqui Townsend said the program reflected the changing expectations of the community.  “Enliven Pittwater is a wonderful opportunity for our village and business centres to become vibrant community spaces attracting more people to them.”

Media contacts:
Melinda Hewitt, Pittwater Council
Ph: 9970 1170

People for Pittwater 
Media Release - 06 June 2013

The strength of opposition from Pittwater residents to a recommendation from the Local Government Review Panel that Pittwater, Warringah and Manly councils should be amalgamated into one super council, was demonstrated at both the rally outside Warringah Council Chambers and submissions to a hearing by the panel on 4th June 2013.

The rally, organised by People for Pittwater committee was attended by about 150 concerned residents who chanted the themes of “No amalgamation” and “Hands off Pittwater.” The rally was addressed by People for Pittwater executive members Shane Withington (Friends of Currawong) and Eunice Raymond (Chair, Save Mona Vale Hospital Committee) and was MC'd by Co-Convenor of People for Pittwater Harvey Rose.

The rally was attended by many prominent members of community organisations who passionately voiced the opposition to amalgamation proposals. The rally unanimously passed a motion which stated total opposition to amalgamation of Pittwater with Warringah and Manly.

People for Pittwater Co-convenor Harvey Rose stated “The passionate connection of so many residents with Pittwater and their willingness to fight for Pittwater’s independence was demonstrated at the rally.” “People for Pittwater will continue to campaign for as long as it takes to ensure the view of the overwhelming majority of Pittwater residents prevails.” “We must not be steamrolled by the bureaucrats” Mr Rose concluded.

The hearing of community submissions to the Review Panel was held inside the Warringah Council chambers. Around 150 people attended the hearing - 95% of these appeared to be Pittwater residents who were there to support submissions against amalgamation. People for Pittwater Executive members Harvey Rose, Shane Withington and Eunice Raymond presented to the panel as did former Pittwater mayor Robert Dunn. Thirteen people in total made submissions opposed to amalgamation. Nearly all submissions opposed amalgamation - in fact no submission supported amalgamation.

People for Pittwater’s Harvey Rose commented “The quality of the submissions was of the highest level and must have impressed the Panel chair.” “Let us hope the Panel heeds the view of our community.” “People for Pittwater will continue our campaign until this matter of amalgamation is entirely defeated.”

Mr Rose further commented “The panel chair Prof. Graham Sansom admitted all three councils on the Northern Beaches were financially strong and sustainable.” “We must ask then why the panel would suggest amalgamation.” “Amalgamation would disturb our communities and be very costly.” “What would likely follow, as in Queensland, would de-amalgamation with more disturbance and unnecessary financial burdens.” Mr Rose continued “We have the ideal organisation now with agreement on regional issues, cost savings through bulk buying and shared services to come, through the regional organisation SHOROC”. “Significant cost savings have already been made.” “Keeping our local councils means we ensure our communities have access to sufficient councillors.” “The Panel should let us get on with the business of serving our council well and withdraw their baseless recommendation about amalgamation” Mr Rose concluded.

Harvey Rose
0438 593 157

Reprint of Media Release from
People for Pittwater
13 Urara Rd
Avalon, NSW 2107


Letters to the Editor

A Thankyou...

We are excited to share with everyone that after 5 months and over 100 days in ICU Adam has been moved to a ward and is now breathing without the ventilator and making great progress towards coming home.

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank the island community for all their help & support. From the brilliant & life saving first response team, the help with the move & the new house, dinners, babysitting, puppy sitting, boat repairs and some amazing support & company.

Thank you!!!!
Karine, Adam, Chloe, Mia & little buddy

Amalgamate--no way!

If it ain't broke don't  fix it.
And Pittwater is not broke. NSW Treasury has just announced that it has a "strong" financial rating.

So what would we gain by amalgamating with Warringah and Manly?

We would certainly incur higher rates, which would go towards funding the big new Civic Centre in Dee Why and we would definitely have minimal Pittwater Councillor representation on a mega Council dominated by Warringah Councillors.

What would happen to Pittwater's strength, our "community of interest"?

What is the up side? Noosa Council found there was no up-side and the last year the residents voted to de-amalgamate.
Amalgamate? -- no way. Hands off Pittwater, Minister Don Page, MP.

Go on -- tell him at  office@page.minister.nsw.gov.au and The Premier Barry O'Farrell, MP at  office@premier.nsw.gov.au and Rob Stokes, MP at pittwater@parliament.nsw.gov.au
before Friday 28th June 2013.
Lynne Czinner
12 Orchard St
Ph (02) 9997-1723

To Pittwater residents on proposed State Government Reforms

There have been a number of recent notices urging responses to the Future Directions for NSW Local Government (report of the Independent Local Government Review Panel) and to A New Planning System for NSW (the White Paper) and its associated draft Planning Bill 2013

I also strongly urge all residents to respond to these two proposals, but I recognize the burden imposed just by reading all the documents!  I have read them, and offer my personal comments for those who may be interested.

Future Directions calls for amalgamation of local Councils; this is the thin end of the wedge.  I know that many people have had issues at one time or another with Pittwater Council over development applications or compliances.  While I think the process can certainly be improved and simplified, I don’t think that Warringah Council will provide the solution.   While the issue of Council amalgamation has been addressed by several groups, I believe that the implications of the White Paper are more serious and require urgent consideration and response.

The system proposed in these documents would result in the NSW government taking control of all development in the state.  In the words of the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure (The Hon Brad Hazzard MP) in his Foreword to the White Paper:

“The new system represents a shift in focus from one that restricts and controls development to one that enables positive development outcomes for the state.” (White Paper p. 4)

The documents pay lip service to Community Participation and to Environmental Concerns, however

 “The main purpose of the planning system is to promote economic growth and development in NSW.” (White Paper p. 12)

Economic growth is predicated upon population growth, which requires additional housing, the location and type of housing to be controlled by the state.  If it is deemed to be in the interest of the state,

“The Minister may. . .amend or replace any provisions of a local plan.”  (Planning Bill 2013, Section 3.12)

Planning Bill 2013, which will implement the provisions of the White Paper, will give the Minister virtual control over all development to be carried out in the state.

The implications of the White Paper are substantial and of great concern.  Do we want the NSW Government to control development in Pittwater?


Alan Gaines, Scotland Island


Scotland Island Wine Tasting
Sunday June 30, 3 to 5pm

Greetings Wine Lovers,

Finally we have the tasting notes for our next wine tasting on Sunday June 30, 3 - 5pm.

With such respected names as Kalleske, Fireblock, Chateau Tanunda,  Possums and more to tempt you, I am sure this will be a memorable tasting event.

Please remember to bring along your own tasting glass, tasting notes and a platter of nibbles as a contribution.

Peter and Debbie Crookes.
121 Richard Road.
  • If coming by road  and heading south past cargo wharf. its about 80 meters past the intersection down to the wharf. look for a big sparkling sign with "121" on it. Walk down the path to the house and follow the path to the right of the house heading for the water.
  • If coming by road and heading north, keep an eye out for the sign - it does face north partly hidden by a bush but you should be able to see it. If you get to cargo wharf intersection. turn around and  follow above instructions.
  • By Boat. First boat house south of cargo wharf. High gable grey roof with white windows / doors.

If you are new to our totally not-for-profit wine syndicate it is lots of fun. Not only a chance to have a taste of fine wines but also the opportunity to meet your neighbours.

Date: June 30th 2013 from 3pm.

Download the tasting notes here.......tasting notes

Friends signup http://pittwaterwine.net46.net

Thankyou Everyone!

Hi everyone,

Island & Bay residents (and visitors) opened their hearts and wallets over the past few weekends, with over $3300 ($2000 more than last year) raised for a wonderful cause. Thanks so much to everyone who donated so generously (including those envelopes still finding their way to my PO Box 566)!
Special thanks to our enthusiastic and energetic Island volunteers - Scott Frazer, Greg Roberts, Annette Ritchie, Barbara Labram, Claire O'Brien, Di Watts and Jane Rich, with a special mention to Shona Forsyth and her young sons Joel and Emile, as well as Joel's friend Felix Maple, who showed that families and friends can have fun together while doing something nice for others.
In the Bays, an amazing effort from Therese O'Neill and her friend Ingrid Hawke, together with quiet achievers, brother and sister team Lily & Jack Rich, as well as the irrepressible Anthony Mills, who all unselfishly gave up their time to help.
Special mention to Jonathan Brailey and his staff at Quays Marina Cafe who generously contributed their tips, and to Steve Hosking and Tim Byrne at Quays Marina who collected from marina customers.
Thanks also to Mary & Joe Romeo and their effusive staff-member Mauro, who enthusiastically encouraged patrons of the Church Point Waterfront Cafe to dig deep and fill the Salvo's bucket.

A big thankyou to Chad on the Church Point Ferry, who led the way with the on-water fundraising
effort, and to Alex, Rod & Dave on the water taxis for joining in as well.

Jenny Frazer

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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)

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