Pittwater Council has adopted a bushfire management plan for Scotland Island after a draft plan was re-exhibited for public comment during July and August.


The management plan was prepared with the assistance of a grant from the Natural Disaster Mitigation Program, in recognition of the potential risks associated with bushfire hazards on the island.


The plan addresses access for emergency vehicles, the availability of water to fight fires and the effects of any bushfire on the island’s bio-diversity. The plan also takes account of the responsibilities for bushfire management and ecological conservation which are shared by the Council, state government agencies and the Rural Fire Service (RFS).


Council’s Natural Resources Manager Mia Dalby-Ball said most of the recommended high priority actions in the plan were either underway or about to start.


“For example, we are intending to have a green waste mulching service on Scotland Island to help eliminate bushfire hazards from vegetation build-up,” she said.


Ms Dalby-Ball said that under the plan the RFS would be responsible for notifying residents to remove bushfire hazards from their properties.


“The Council is also preparing a road reserve masterplan for the island to improve access for residents and emergency vehicles.”


Other priorities identified in the bushfire management plan include:

  • A setback for any future development adjacent to Elizabeth Park of at least 20 metres to provide a protection zone.
  • Future developments as well as alterations and additions to existing properties to be subject to special bushfire planning controls, including a requirement for a water storage capacity of 10,000 litres for fire fighting purposes.
  • Upgrading of selected fire trails and improved access for emergency vehicles.
  • Assistance from the Council to obtain a grant to extend water supply lines from the three emergency water tanks in Elizabeth Park.