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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach
November 21 2011
Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia

Thinking about the future

How do you write a letter without being seen as extreme? First I guess you recognise the island statesmen that worked for years to secure the Church Point Plan of Management (PoM). It secured parking for offshore residents, but it also set out a process for implementation including design, costing and community consultation. This is not unusual with a PoM. It is a guiding document, but it is also common sense to review progress, especially for those persons paying the bills be it Council or the community.

How much should the island community be asked to pay for non-exclusive car and boat facilities? Presently there is the parking levy roughly 300, the garbage levy, for some residents an off-shore boat parking levy 100 (Tennis Court Wharf with a start up fee 400), the coming Church Point boat parking levy and what about a possible levy for water and sewage or roads and drainage. I am not against contributing to cost, but I am extremely concerned about the rising cost to island residents and the negative impact it may have on the more vulnerable of our community?

Are there sensible alternatives? Can we achieve safe boat parking without incurring ballooning costs? It would appear so. We do not need to go to the biggest most expensive option first. We can build in a modular fashion. We can also retain the existing wharf (good for 10 to 20 years) and save. We have an opportunity to deal with the issue of safety, to avoid or set a low boat parking fee (100 max) and to monitor our needs.

What is your vision for Church Point? That is a very personal question. For myself I like to think in terms of community hub (not just a transport hub), a backwater on the estuary that retains its heritage and natural beauty. I am concerned about marina-like boat parking, large infill into Pittwater and gambling that an expensive double storey carpark will pay my way. I will not say never, but I want to have a say in the future of my community, in how much I will be asked to pay and how my money is spent.

Can we move ahead and use grant money? Common sense would say take the low key, low cost option and reassess the situation. Then stop and consult with the community. Provide all the facts (include design, costs and alternatives), have a community meeting, encourage discussion, ask for new ideas and look for consensus.

What next? None of this is possible unless we write letters and make our concerns known to our community representatives, Council staff and Councilors. Time is short. We have only days to respond. Please ask to have a say in how your money is spent, how much you will pay and the future of Church Point.

Kind regards, Sharon Kinnison

Email and hard copy are recommended

Mark Ferguson, General Manager, pittwater_council@pittwater.nsw.gov.au

Council staff:
chris_hunt@pittwater.nsw.gov.au, les_munn@pittwater.nsw.gov.au, mark_eriksson@pittwater.nsw.gov.au

 julie_hegarty@pittwater.nsw.gov.au, david_james@pittwater.nsw.gov.au, jacqueline_townsend@pittwater.nsw.gov.au,bob_dunbar@pittwater.nsw.gov.au, patricia_giles@pittwater.nsw.gov.au, ian_white@pittwater.nsw.gov.au, bob_grace@pittwater.nsw.gov.au,peter_hock@pittwater.nsw.gov.au, harvey_rose@pittwater.nsw.gov.au

"SIRAPittwater" ,  community@wpca.org.au

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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)

Newsletter Design:Paul Purvis [0403-442-764]