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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackerel Beach
May 23 2020
Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia




Scotland Island Water System Phase 3 Live!

We are pleased to let you know that phase 3 is live with more than 30 users, getting water, using it so far!

The Zoom sessions we conducted over the past 2 weeks were successful, with over 70 people joining the 30 minute sessions to see the explanation and ask questions. 35 people self tested their understanding anonymously with the Quiz.

If you missed the Zoom sessions and would like to watch one, we have a recording for you.

Another handy resource is the 2-page cheat sheets pdf.

For help and instructions, use the links below. To pass on any comments or ask questions, contact to your Water Monitor or a SIRA (sub) committee member.

Online Help Guide Emergency Water Guidline Cheat Sheets

Offshore Community

Blue Bins are for Bagged Domestic Waste ONLY !



You will notice that the poster above will soon be displayed in public wharves to further remind residents of their obligations regarding waste disposal.

This notice has been made necessary due to actions of someone who has filled a blue skip bin at North Elvina with building materials including plasterboard and timber.

This act has affected all local residents and also forced the local contractors to manhandle and deal with the waste. (They are under no obligation to do so).

The large blue skip bins are for bagged domestic waste only, including food waste / food soiled paper / nappies / polystyrene / broken glass & ceramics.

Items such as building materials, hazardous waste, recyclable items, computer equipment, asbestos, batteries, gas cylinders or bulky goods must be disposed of privately either by yourself, by using a local contractor to assist you, or in the twice yearly bulky goods collection.

The West Pittwater Community Association on behalf of all residents ask that everyone take responsibility for their rubbish and do the right thing.


Winter Fire Safety

Winter fire Safety1
Winter Safety 2
Click image to load flyer

West Pittwater Rural Fire Brigade


Unseasoned Wood

There's nothing quite like a good wood fire, however the West Pittwater RFS advise householders not to burn unseasoned wood or to slowly burn wood overnight. (see why below)

The health problems associated with woodsmoke include asthma, chronic lung disease, heart problems and premature births and deaths. Some of the toxic chemicals in woodsmoke are known to cause cancer.

Did you know that smoke from wood heaters is a major cause of pollution and during winter can produce up to 7 times as much particle pollution as cars.

The Basics

  • Backyard burning and unauthorised incineration are prohibited at all times in all council areas in the Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle regions.
  • Burning builders rubbish and treated pine is not only illegal it can have some serious health consequences for residents and neighbours. The health problems associated with woodsmoke include asthma, chronic lung disease, heart problems and premature births and deaths. Some of the toxic chemicals in woodsmoke are known to cause cancer.

Never Burn

  • Driftwood (driftwood releases a lot of dioxin from combustion. Dioxins are carginogenic)
  • Treated or painted wood (it can produce toxic gases)
  • Coal or coke - Can produce sulphur dioxide
  • Household rubbish

The danger of burning unseasoned woods or allowing fireplaces to burn slowly overnight.

Unseasoned firewood, (also called greenwood ) hasn’t had time to dry properly. This unseasoned wood uses its energy to remove the remaining moisture from the wood, rather than warming your home.

Burning wood and fossil fuels at low temperature causes incomplete combustion of the oils in the wood, which are off-gassed as volatiles in the smoke. As smoke rises through the chimney it causes water, carbon, and volatiles to condense on the interior surfaces of the chimney and on exterior surfaces such as roofs.

The condensation can then be washed into rainwater tanks, which builds up as chemical residues in the water.

The residue inside the chimney also builds up as creosote. Since creosote is highly combustible, a thick accumulation creates a fire hazard. If a hot fire is built in the stove or fireplace, and the air control left wide open, this may allow hot oxygen into the chimney where it comes in contact with the creosote which then ignites—causing a chimney fire.

Chimney fires often spread to the main building because the chimney gets so hot that it ignites any combustible material in direct contact with it, such as wood. The fire can also spread to the main building from sparks emitting from the chimney and landing on combustible roof surfaces.



  1. Do not burn builders or garden refuse.
  2. Burn only aged, dry and well seasoned hardwood (at least a year after cutting).
  3. Keep the wood heater air vents open for at least 20 minutes after lighting the fire
  4. When you've lit your fire, check your flue around 20 minutes after lighting the fire. Go outside and have a look, if it's smoking you know that you're not burning your fire properly.
  5. One of the worse things you can do is to turn the damper down on your fire overnight. Keep the fire live and bright and let it go out at night. Don't turn it down to smoke away all night .  
  6. To reduce the build-up of soot and creosote, burn the fire fast for 1-2 hours every day the fire is lit.
  7. Small logs burn brightly and do not crowd the heater as larger logs can do. Smaller logs will make a fire easier to light, and help in establishing a vigorous fire quickly after refuelling.
  8. Wood is ready to burn when air-dried for at least 8 months to a moisture content less than 20%. Two pieces of dry, seasoned wood banged together will make a loud hollow crack, whereas unseasoned wood makes more of a thud. Alternatively, buy a moisture meter from most hardware stores, Stihl outlets or online. They are simple and easy to use.
  9. Clean your flue yearly.
Chimney sweeps who service the Bays include:
  • Geoff Nimmo - Lovett Bay geoff.nimmo33@gmail.com 0429 984 524
  • Brads Fireplace Services - Naraweena 0403 735 078

West Pittwater Rural Fire Brigade

Andrew Cutler
0423 244 444


Greenlight for South West Lovett Bay Coastcare

Newly formed South West Lovett Bay Coastcare (SWLBC) has been successful in achieving support from Greater Sydney Local Land through funding from the NSW Government's Catchment Action program.

The grant of $20,000 is to support the rehabilitation of native vegetation on 11 ha of public and private lands leading to the iconic Linda Falls in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

SWLB Coastcare has engaged a team from Dragonfly Environmental to undertake this funded stage of the project. Headed by Paul Webb the team will work together with the community over the next 18 months to bring the invasive weeds under control and the site into a maintenance phase.

Community involvement will include a number of “Bamboo Out’ days, a weed workshops, plant ID workshop, and the development of a wildlife corridor along the waterfall track

Lesley Stevens, Secretary of SWLB Coastcare, said “ It’s an ambitious community project, however, the involvement of all of the residents surrounding the infested area, and the practical support offered by Elvina Bay Bushcare,  Rocky Point Bushcare  the West Pittwater Rural Fire Service, Northern Beaches Council and National Parks & Wildlife Service will give SWLB Coastcare every chance of a very successful outcome”.

West Pittwater Rural Fire Service has already done several site inspections with SWLB Coastcare. Andrew Cutler, Captain of the West Pittwater RFS said “ this is an important part of the RFS community strategy to encourage community resilience and readiness and at the same time preserve these special environments’

There is lot riding on this project. The pocket of littoral rainforest surrounding the Linda Falls in Lovett Bay is listed as an Ecological Endangered Community (EEC) - part of the remaining 1% of the littoral rainforest still found along the NSW coast. Further away from the Falls the rainforest is surrounded by a majestic Spotted Gum Forest which is also listed as an Ecological Endangered Community.

Paul Webb commented that it was a unique scenario. “ To have overwhelming support and involvement from all of the local community means that long after the funding has been spent the project will have a long term effect as maintenance work will be continued under the stewardship of the local residents”.

Contact Jennifer Cook
President SWLL Coastcare Inc & Media Coordinator
0400 108 239.     

Avoiding Mosquitoes

Unfortunately mosquito numbers in the local area are still quite abundant and are a potential source of disease transmission.  The information below provides a reminder for residents to avoid mosquitoes to prevent  disease.

To prevent potential transmission of disease it is important to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
The best way to avoid mosquitoes is to:
  • Wear appropriate clothing – minimise the amount of skin exposed
  • Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin - Use a mosquito repellent on all exposed skin areas. Reapply the repellent according to instructions or when you notice mosquitoes biting.
  • Use appropriate insecticides
  • Be aware of the peak risk times for mosquito bites - In NSW, most mosquitoes become active at dawn and dusk, and into the evening.
  • Take appropriate measures around your home reduce mosquitoes
  • Check for and repair any holes or openings in rain water tanks that would allow mosquito entry. Rainwater should not be allowed to pool in containers or on surfaces below tank outlets or taps, as this can also provide a breeding site. If mosquitoes are detected in a tank the entry point should be located and closed.
  • Keep roof guttering and drains clean so they do not hold standing water
  • Use insect screens on doors and windows
  • Store items that can hold water undercover or in a dry place, and keep bins and containers covered
  • Maintain yards in a clean condition by removing overgrown vegetation (ensuring compliance with Councils vegetation removal policies) and remove any water-holding debris such as tires and containers
  • Empty standing water in bases of pot plants
Please see the NSW Health factsheet for further information on avoiding mosquitoes
Kind Regards,
Haris Shakoor

Environmental Health Risk Manager | Northern Sydney Public Health Unit
36-76 Palmerston Road, Hornsby, NSW 2077
Tel (02) 9477 9029 | Fax (02) 9482 1650 | Mob 0428 245 042 | Haris.Shakoor@health.nsw.gov.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)
Original Newsletter Design:Paul Purvis & Julian Muir