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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach
- May 2009 -
Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia - Volume 10, Issue 385
May 2009


Common sense finally prevails with the rejection of the development proposal at Currawong. This is a fantastic result and an triumph for the Friends of Currawong and their tenacity. This editor has received numerous emails congratulating Shane and the group for their hard won battle. This win also helps to remind us that it is worth jumping up and down and making as much noise as possible about such issues, despite what is sometimes seen as an overpowering influence that business exerts on our decision makers. More details regarding the outcome below.

Well we manged to fool quite a few readers with the Woody Point Redevelopment expose in our April 1st issue. A big thanks to Paul Burchall for coming up with the poster photo and the idea to "stir the pot" a bit.

The ANZAC Memorial Service at Church Point attracted a good crowd this year with Morning Bay resident Piers Akerman giving the speech. June has kindly submitted some photos of the event, these can be seen here on the online gallery.

What do you use to cure swine flu?   Onik-ment!



  • Cartoon of the Month
  • Currawong Development Proposal Blocked
  • Offshore Book Launch
  • Pittwater Community Arts - Open Meeting
  • Council Notices
  • Mona Vale Library Events
  • Author Talk@ Mona Vale Library
  • Scotland Island Fire Shed Dinner
  • Ariel Salleh's Book Launch
  • You Asked...
  • For Sale
  • The Local Guide
  • Join SIRA
  • Archived Newsletters
  • Your subscription Information

  • Cartoon of the Month

    Gwyn Perkins

    Download a full version of this months calendar, ready for printing - click the calendar image to the right →


    Luxury homes plan for Currawong rejected
    Matthew Moore and Elicia Murray
    April 29, 2009

    Sydney Morning Herald
    Brisbane Times.com.au

    THE State Government has blocked a development proposal to build 25 luxury houses at a site owned by Unions NSW in the national park at Pittwater and put the whole area on the State Heritage Register.

    After a 12-year campaign to save the historic holiday cottages at Currawong within Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park on Pittwater's western shore, the Planning Minister, Kristina Keneally, revealed yesterday she had refused the application to subdivide the site to allow residential development. At the core of Ms Keneally's decision was concern about the plan to dump huge quantities of fill onto the site to build houses on low-lying land around a creek prone to flooding.

    "While it would be technically possible for the valley floor to be developed, it would not be justifiable, considering the susceptibility of the site to shoreline recession and flooding during high tides or storms," she said.

    Her department and a separate independent assessment panel had advised that the risks of infilling were unacceptable in a clear warning about the dangers of flooding due to the effects of global warming. "That situation would only worsen with any rise in sea level over time," she said.

    Ms Keneally said the ministerial panel considered a recommendation from the Heritage Council in 2007 to list the site and concluded it had great heritage value.

    The president of Friends of Currawong group, Shane Withington, said the decision provided hope for other sensitive coastal areas under threat of development. "This ludicrous development has been rejected in a great victory for common sense."

    He said the site should continue to be a cheap place for family holidays but it must be included in the surrounding national park to ensure a gated community did not develop.

    Friends of Currawong said it had raised $500,000 and Pittwater Council had pledged $4 million to buy the site, and the Government should put in.

    Unions NSW bought Currawong in 1949 to provide cheap holidays for working families but the former secretary of Unions NSW, John Robertson, successfully argued it must be sold and the money used in the 2007 election to campaign against Work Choices.

    Developers Allen Linz and Eduard Litver agreed to pay $15 million in what Mr Robertson said was the highest "unconditional" offer. They did not return calls yesterday.

    Last night Unions NSW refused to confirm whether it had received anything more than a deposit of about $1 million for the site or whether it would refund in full.

    Expert Panel report on the Currawong Decision can be seen at this link;

    Pittwater Commends Currawong Decision
    Pittwater Mayor David James has welcomed the decision by the NSW Minister for Planning Kristina Keneally to refuse the development proposal for a subdivision of 25 homes at Currawong.
    “Pittwater Council is very pleased that the Minister has signaled the NSW Government’s intention to protect this historic site from inappropriate development,” the Mayor said.

    Currawong was the subject of a development proposal for 25 luxury homes by Eco Villages Pty Limited, following negotiations between the developer and the owner Unions NSW.
    The NSW Department of Planning took over the assessment of the development proposal from Pittwater Council, after it decided the site was one of state significance.
    In 2008 an independent planning assessment panel was formed by the Minister to hear submissions from the Council and the community on the development proposal.

    The panel retired at the end of last year to consider submissions and put forward a recommendation to the Minister on the development proposal. Minister Keneally advised the Council yesterday that the development proposal would be refused.
    In refusing the development application, Minister Keneally cited ‘visual amenity, indigenous and European heritage, mainland parking and access and the method of wastewater disposal’ as key reasons.

    She was also quoted as saying that the ‘vulnerability of the proposed development on the lower lying section of the site’ to flooding was another important factor in the decision.
    The Minister has also announced the NSW Department of Planning will place the whole Currawong site on the State Heritage Register.

    Mayor James said the Council and the Pittwater community had sought a heritage listing of Currawong for over a decade before the Eco Villages development proposal was submitted.
    He paid tribute to the Friends of Currawong and the Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes. “They have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure Currawong was spared from this development,” he said.

    Mayor James said that the Minister’s decision meant that the site would no longer be considered as ‘state significant’ and that Pittwater Council would assess any future development application for the site.

    “However it’s our belief that the site should be acquired publicly and as a result fully protected from any development in the future.”

    Media contact:  David James, Pittwater Council Ph: 9970 1104


    Offshore Book Launch - Saturday 16 May
    Michelle McDonald's book  - The Kiss of Saddam

    Michelle McDonald is having an off shore Pittwater launch of her book - The Kiss of Saddam.

    Date: Saturday 16 May.
    Open house from 2.30 pm until 6.00 pm.

    Everyone welcome: Michelle McDonald's house, two-storey grey cottage next to Beashells boat shed.
    The subject of the biography, Selma Masson and Mohamad al Jabiri, her husband, will be present and happy to talk about their amazing lives.
    Mohamad al Jabiri was Iraqi ambassador to Spain and chairman of a human rights committee in the UN when he disappeared. His wife, Selma personally pleaded with Saddam Hussein for his release. 'The Kiss of Saddam' is the story of an amazing women who gambled everything for love and freedom.
    All wine, tea, coffee and finger food will be provided.


    Pittwater Community Arts - Open Meeting
    The Sydney International Piano Competition
    "The Inside Story"

    Please join Pittwater Community Arts at their next Open Meeting for a talk on;
    The Sydney International Piano Competition - The Inside Story
    Professor Warren Thomson OAM - Artistic Director of SIPCA

    Wednesday 20th May 2009  - 7pm
    Avalon Recreation Centre
    Old Barrenjoey Road

    Professor Thomson will talk on the logistics and mammoth undertaking of this competition which is held every 4 years.

    Hear all about the world wide audition process, the make up of the international jury, voting regulations,
    and behind the scenes running of the 2 week event by volunteers.

    After the talk you will be invited to ask questions.

    A sparkling wine supper will be served at the end

    Gold coin entry

    Enquiries Janice Tuynman 9999-1937


     Local Council Notices   

    Public Meeting on Pittwater's Planning Controls
    Pittwater Council will hold a public meeting to discuss the current review of Pittwater 21 Development Control Plan on Thursday 7 May at Mona Vale Golf Club from 6pm to 8pm.

    The review is being undertaken with the emphasis on making the planning controls easier to understand and DAs easier to lodge.

    Council’s Planning and Assessment Manager, Lindsay Dyce said the meeting will be a chance for residents to give feedback on the changes, to propose additional changes and ask questions.

    “The revised controls should offer increased protection for the character of Pittwater’s ‘special places’ such as foreshore areas, which can be vulnerable to development,” he said.

    “Concerns raised by residents had played a part in forming some of the new controls. For example, residents have said they want noise from equipment in new homes such as air-conditioning units and pool pumps better controlled.

    “Pittwater’s Development Control Plan has more than 1100 pages and it has taken staff around six months to scrutinise every page and make changes where needed,” Mr Dyce added.

    The plan is on exhibition until Friday 8 May and submissions on the changes will be accepted until 23 May 2009.

    The draft plan is available for viewing at www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au/Documents_On_Exhibition  or Pittwater Council’s customer service centres at 1 Park Street Mona Vale and 59A Old Barrenjoey Road Avalon.

    For more information about the proposed changes visit www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au or contact Karen Chapman on 9970 1161.

    Media contact:     Andrew Pigott, Pittwater Council, Ph: 9970 1163

    New Budget and Management Plan go on Public Exhibition
    Pittwater Council’s draft 2009-2010 budget and four year management plan will be on public exhibition for comment between Saturday 25 April and Friday 22 May.

    The management plan sets out the goals to be achieved by the organisation on behalf of the Pittwater community for the next four years until 2013.

    The draft 2009-2010 budget has also been prepared, showing a small surplus of nearly $80,000.

    The Council voted to adopt the draft plan and budget at its meeting on Monday 20 April. Both are on exhibition for public comment, after which the Council will meet to consider the budget and management plan for final adoption.

    Mayor David James said that despite the impacts of the current economic downturn on local government in general, the Council had achieved a good result in terms of budgeting.

    “Staff at all levels of the organisation have worked hard to find ways to cut costs without compromising services to the community,” he said. “For the first time the organisation’s performance will measured through key performance indicators.”

    “This means that the community will be able to monitor more closely how we as an organisation are delivering on the goals that residents have said they want to see achieved.”

    Projects identified as priorities for the community in the next four years include:
    • Local road repairs and improvements. The Council was recently awarded $1.4 million in funding over the next five years through the federal government’s Roads to Recovery grant program.
    • A water harvesting and reuse scheme at the Lakeside Holiday Park at Narrabeen.
    • An upgrade of Governor Phillip Park and its playground at Palm Beach.
    • Further upgrades to the Bicentennial Coastal Walkway and other bushland tracks.
    • New regional skate parks at Avalon and Mona Vale.
    • A network of new parks, cycleways and pedestrian pathways in Warriewood Valley funded through developer contributions (Section 94 funds).
    The 2009-2010 budget and 2009-2013 management plan are on exhibition at www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au and at the Council’s customer service centres and libraries at 1 Park Street Mona Vale and 59A Old Barrenjoey Road Avalon. Comments must be in writing and received by Friday 22 May.

    The Council will also hold a community briefing on the budget and management plan at 6.30pm on Thursday 14 May at Mona Vale Memorial Hall, 1 Park Street Mona Vale.

    Media contact:     Simonne Shore, Pittwater Council Ph: 9970 1103


    Mona Vale Library Events

    Stitch-Up @ The Library
    Mona Vale and Avalon Libraries are hosting a simultaneous ‘stitch-up’ of knitted squares for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
    Friday 1 May  - 7am to 7pm

    Mona Vale Library – 1 Park Street Mona Vale
    Avalon Library – 59A Old Barrenjoey Road AvalonStitch-Up @ The Library

      click to load the flyer

    Law Week -  A free legal talk for Seniors
    Date:  Friday 15 May 2009
    Time:  11am to 12 noon                                   

    Learn how to:                           
    • Help your family financially
    • Who will make the financial decisions
    • Who will make the financial decisions if you are unable
    • Information on Power of Attorney and Guardianship
    • Free legal advice available after the talk.

      click to load flyer        


     Author Talk@ Mona Vale Library

    Crime Writer, Sydney Bauer, "Move to Strike" Thursday 7 May 6.30pm.

    Click to load flyer
    Part of biography of Sydney Bauer

    Sydney Bauer began as a junior publicist at Network Ten, and within four years was appointed National Network Director of Publicity whilst still in her twenties. In the late nineties she moved to the Seven Network to become Sydney Director of Programming.

    “It was a gift,” says Sydney. “I literally loved what I did, and did what I loved 24 hours a day.

    “The big treat was traveling to LA, meeting some of the best TV writers in the world, and watching them make these mini-movies on amazing studio sets week after week, season after season."

    It was the writing talents of these scriptwriters, and an admiration for authors such as Lee Child, David Baldacci, Dennis Lehane, John Grisham, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais and Richard North Patterson, that inspired Sydney to put pen to paper and start her own franchise - in the form of a series of novels featuring Boston based criminal attorney, David Cavanaugh.

    Catherine Buddin
    Events & Promotions Librarian
    Mona Vale Library
    Park St
    Mona Vale  NSW 2103
    tel 9970 1600 or 9970 1605  fax 9979 1465

    Author Talk Forthcoming Events  April-June 2009
    Thursday 7 May – Author Sydney Bauer
    ”Move to Strike”. Crime fiction

    Thursday 14 May – Author Mary Moody
    “Sweet Surrender. Love, Life and the Whole Damn Thing”. a memoir

    Thursday 28 May – Author Donna Gibbs
    “When I’m 64.The New Retirement”

    Wednesday 17 June – Author Noel Braun
    “Whistler Street”. A novel
    • Bookings essential on 9970 1600 and payment within 3 days required to confirm bookings.
    • Cost $7.50, $5.50 – concession (Friends of Mona Vale Library/ Pensioner/student cards must be shown. Friends’  subscription needs to have been paid. Light refreshments provided.
    • All talks will be held at Mona Vale Library, Park Street, Mona Vale at 6.30pm.
    For more information contact Catherine Buddin on telephone 9970 1605 or email catherine_buddin@pittwater.nsw.gov.au


    Inaugural Scotland Island Fire Shed Dinner
    Curry Night - Saturday May 2nd 7.00pm


    Ariel Salleh's Book Launch
    Eco-Sufficiency & Global Justice: women write political ecology

    An invitation to the Sydney and Melbourne launches of Ariel Salleh's Eco-Sufficiency & Global Justice: women write political ecology.

    Monday 4 May
    Gleebooks, 6 for 6.30pm

    To be launched by Lee Rhiannon, Greens MP, NSW Legislative Council

    Tuesday 2 June
    Readings Carlton, 6 for 6.30pm
    To be launched by Prof Verity Burgmann, School of Political Science, University of Melbourne
    click image to load flyer

    For those of you in Sydney, the launch is a co-launch with Bill Dunn's Global Political Economy: A Marxist Critique.

    For more details on the book, visit: www.spinifexpress.com.au/book_detail.php?id=196

    Spinifex Press
    PO Box 212
    Nth Melb
    Vic  3051

    Ph   03 9329 6088
    Fax 03 9329 9238


    You Asked.. 
    Fellow Islander in New Zealand Introduces his Island
    Hi There,

    I became interested in your island after my brother moved there recently.

    I also live on an island (Kawau Island in New Zealand) and it would appear that your community faces similar issues to ours.

    Kawau Island is quite a lot bigger than Scotland Island but we have fewer full time residents than you have. We are located about 8 km off shore from Warkworth and have no reticulated water, sewage etc. As well we have an ongoing battle to convince the mainland officials that things are different on an island and mainland templates do not apply.  We are also currently battling a proposed 300% rates (Property tax) increase from the mainland Council we come under.

    Like yourselves we have our own Volunteer Fire Brigade and provide first response for medical emergencies.

    If any of your members are interested in more information on our island, they could view my website: www.kawau.co.nz or www.kawauisland.org.nz

    If any of your members are visiting New Zealand, they would be most welcome to visit.

    Regards John Pryor

    Violin Teacher
    Class 11 student playing violin with the Northern Beaches Youth Orchestra available to teach violin to beginners. Anyone interested please phone Elena on 9999 4885.
    Luisa is a eurythmy therapist  - If anyone is interested please ask for Luisa on the same phone number.

    Need your Septic Pumped out ?
    Anyone needing to pump septic tank in the next four weeks? Please contact Tony Hill: tevake2@gmail.com or 0412529104


    For Sale 
    If you have something for sale that you think locals would like - let us know and we will put a SINGLE line entry in the PON at the beginning of each month...


    The Local Guide

    What's On in Pittwater - Self Editing Event Calendar
    Click Here
    online Offshore Photo Gallery - http://picasaweb.google.com/PONeditor/ 
    Scotland Island Traders - On-line shopping from your computer, through your door on Scotland Island. Contact Graeme on 0419460331 or click here for full details
    Scotland Island Children's Centre, Catherine Park (Long Day Care Service)  8.30am - 4.30pm (Tues, Weds & Thurs)
    Playgroup @ Children's Centre every Monday, 10.00am - 12 midday
    Other services include: School Holiday Programme / Facility & Equipment Hire
    For information please call 02 9979 7856 or email:  siocs@comcen.com.au

    Century 21 Showcase Pittwater (click for property news) L.J.Hooker Mona Vale
    PMC Hill (subscribe to their newsletter here) Pittwater Real Estate

    Local Pittwater Council, or email them at Pittwater_council@pittwater.nsw.gov.au  or by clicking here
    Federal: Bronwyn Bishop, Member for Mackellar by clicking here or Bronwyn.Bishop.MP@aph.gov.au
    State: Rob Stokes, Member for Pittwater, at pittwater@parliament.nsw.gov.au or by clicking here

    Scotland Island Community Vehicle: Info: click here. Phone (0404103700)    Church Point Ferries (0408296997) Church Point Ferry Timetable click here  Manly Warringah Cabs (0299725600) Palm Beach Cruises (0299974815) Pink Water Taxi (0428238190)

    Bed & Breakfast: Scotland Island Lodge: or http://www.scotlandislandlodge.com.au (0299793301)
    Yacht Clubs Woody Point Yacht Club  or http://www.wpyc.com.au 
      Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club or http://www.rpayc.com.au/
    Short Term Holiday Accommodation: ) Wiringulla Retreat (0299718375) or here
      Treetops on Towlers Bay' (0293322611) info@walkabouttours.com.au
    Budget Accommodation:

    On the doorstep of the Ku-ring-gai Chase N P: Pittwater YHA, Ph 0299995748 www.yha.com.au/hostels/details.cfm?hostelid=31 

    Local Pittwater Studies Website: http://www.pittlink.net/ls
    Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade: http://www.sirfb.org.au

    ALL EMERGENCIES (Police - Fire - Ambulance) 000
    Police Assistance Line & Information 13 1444 or 9281 0000
    Broken Bay Water Police 9910 7899 or 0412 162 093
    NSW Fire Service General Information 9265 2999 9265 2999
    Rural Fire Service General information 9450 3000
    State Emergency Service, Warringah/Pittwater SES 9486 3399
    National Parks & Wildlife Service: 000, general information 9457 9322
    Dept of Community Services: general information 9977 6011
    Sydney Water 132 090
    Energy Australia 131 388, (ah) 131 909

    Membership of SIRA, Emergency Scotland Island Water Contacts and Application for Water + Guidelines for water, in one document: click here for information (while online) Download the Scotland Island 'Water Agreement' by clicking here (while online)

    Sydney Airport:
    Arrivals and Departures
    Virgin Blue:

    Sydney Buses: Information.

    Sydney Ferries:
    City Rail:
    Timetables & Information.
    Country Link Rail:

    Join SIRA You can now join the Scotland Island Residents Association by clicking here. Please print the page and return the completed form to SIRA at this address: The Treasurer, SIRA, PO Box 70, Church Point 2105. Please NO CASH. Contact SIRA at sirapittwater@hotmail.com
    Join WPCA To join the Western Pittwater Community Association, contact Michael Wiener at m2wiener@bigpond.net.au

    Archived Newsletters:
    A complete set of past electronic newsletters since May 2000 can be found and read at https://www.ymlp.com/pubarchive.php?sira or by clicking here topor by visiting the Mona Vale Library.
    The Island website is at www.scotlandisland.org.au

    If you would like to contribute to this newsletter it's easy!. Send an e-mail to the editor by clicking here. Type your short contribution (100 words would be fine) and assuming it is of general interest to the community, does not include matter of a political nature and is not offensive to your neighbours, it will appear next month.

    To get on and off this newsletter, click here or got to: http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/signup . To change your address, click the 'modify' link at the bottom of this newsletter.

    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]