Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackerel Beach

December 13, 2015

Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia


Mayoral Message

AR Bluett Award Commendation Award

Earlier today I had the great pleasure to be officially presented with the A R Bluett Memorial Commendation Award from LGNSW. Council’s senior management team, my fellow councillors and I were again humbled by this state-wide recognition.

Mark Ferguson - General Manager, Cr Jacqui Townsend - Mayor with Grahame Fleming & Allan Ezzy AR Bluett Trust Board Members 

What a feeling to know that Pittwater Council's outstanding levels of excellence, innovation, service delivery and relative progress in addressing the needs of our community have been recognised with this rarely awarded commendation.

On behalf of the Pittwater community I would like to thank the General Manager and his dedicated team who continue to deliver for our community.

Two-councils for the region

It’s now only a matter of time until we know what is next for Pittwater Council. The State Government will shortly announce the fate of NSW councils by year-end.

Local Government remains the closest level of government to the community and it is important we maintain a strong level of representation, whatever the State decides.

The need to ensure decision-making remains local as well as recognises the uniqueness of our communities and the larger challenges that our local community faces is pivotal to any change in structure.

We know that a single council for the region is not in the best interests of the community.  The cost savings promoted by Warringah Council for a mega council have been exaggerated and discredited*.

Although we would prefer the status quo, we recognise the need to respond to the State Government's call for change.  A two-council model allows us, and our neighbours, to continue a strong focus on protecting the natural and built environment.

A two-council model provides all the positive benefits, without negatives of a mega-council.  It would deliver two equally balanced and specialised councils that focus on the provision of local infrastructure and services to communities of approximately the same population size, while maintaining a local identity and services including:
  • Stronger surf life saving
  • Common parking system
  • Allow for a specialist approach to growth and development.
  • A two-council model would align catchment and economic boundaries for stronger environmental management of our treasured natural assets including our national parks and Narrabeen Lagoon. It would also allow for the preservation of our precious Pittwater—the largest harbour in Sydney outside of Sydney Harbour.
A two-council model builds on the strengths of all the great things Pittwater Council and Warringah Council have delivered for the northern end of the region. Under this model the two councils would join forces on all fronts to manage the issues that our communities face—sustainability, local economies, employment and transport, to name a few.

Last but not least, a two-council model would enable strong councils capable of partnering with State Government to achieve vital outcomes for our growing community. 

Potential boundary adjustment

A two-council model would involve a boundary adjustment for Pittwater that would include Terrey Hills, Narrabeen, Collaroy, Collaroy Plateau, Cromer, Oxford Falls, Frenchs Forest, Duffys Forrest, Belrose and Davidson.

Together the communities of a Pittwater and North Warringah Council would include shared community of interest in lower density, healthcare and environmental assets.

Pittwater Council is planning for transition to a two-council model, should the government favor this preference.

We will be ready for the villages of Pittwater and North Warringah to become one inclusive larger community.

What’s next?

The State Government is due to make an announcement before the end of the year and we will continue to communicate with you throughout this process.

To stay up to date on reform news, visit  our Facebook pages @Pittwater Council and @I love Pittwater or Twitter @aboutPittwater.
Cr Jacqueline Townsend

Church Point works take flight

Council has approved the commencement of the next stage of the Church Point Plan of Management including, the realignment of McCarrs Creek Road, a new seawall, boardwalk and a 120 space car park.

Pittwater Mayor Jacqueline Townsend said that she was pleased that Council was ready to go to tender on the design and construction of this major project after working closely with the Church Point and offshore communities regarding a suitable design.

“These works will help to alleviate parking issues in the area as well as improve connections to the commuter wharf and foreshore access via a new boardwalk. It is a decision that has divided the community, but we are working towards achieving a good balance for all involved in the outcome of this project.

Construction companies are invited to put forward a tender for the design and construction of the approved works.

The project will be funded through loan funding, income generated from user pays car parking, a low interest loan from the state government via the Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme (LIRS) and reserves from the Special Rate Variation.

Mayor Townsend said the project will address a range of issues identified in the Plan of Management including safety concerns raised by residents on McCarrs Creek Road and the shortage of parking in the area.

“Council has worked hard and will continue to meet the interests of both the on-shore and off-shore communities with this proposal.

“We are committed to creating intergenerational infrastructure that can address the future demands of this important local and regional transport hub and tourist destination.

“Last night’s decision does not end the measures that are needed to meet the demands for this hub; but these works will see Council start to achieve them,” she added.

Tender documents will be available from 15 December 2015.

New Years Eve Fireworks for 2015!

Two sessions 9.00pm and 12.00pm at Rowland Reserve Bayview 31st Dec 2015: 11:59pm - 12:10am

Celebrate New Years Eve with family, friends and picnics at this year's Fireworks Spectacular at Rowland Reserve, Bayview.

There are two times scheduled for the fireworks, which include a family friendly session at 9.00pm, followed by the 12.00pm session to bring in 2016.

Pittwater Council requests that members of the public comply with the Fireworks Exclusion Zone at Rowland Reserve.

Rowland Reserve has been declared by Pittwater Council as an Alcohol Prohibited Zone on New Year’s Eve, which will come into effect from 6.00am 31 December 2014 until 6.00am 1 January 2015.

Island Possums under Threat

Dear Islanders

On Monday morning 7 December I found a dead ring-tail possum on the beach in front of our house on the south side of the island just east of Bells Wharf. In speaking with a neighbour, this is the third dead possum, that we are aware of, to be found along the beachfront in this area in the last couple of weeks.

During the previous night, around 2am, we heard a lot of disturbance in the bush and our dog, who is locked in at night, was very agitated by the outside activities we could all hear in the vegetation.

I can't say what killed this possum and he showed no distinct signs of being mauled, although previously one of the victims was found without it's head. However, I believe the occurrence of three dead possums in a couple of weeks is not a just natural mortality, particularly when found in the intertidal zone.

As a measure of prevention, if you are the owner of a dog(s) or cat(s), PLEASE ensure they are locked up at night to ensure they can't get out and hunt and/or stress out the few natives we have the pleasure of sharing the island with.

Thank you
Christine Soul
Richard Rd.

Carols @ Tennis

Sunday 20 December from 5.00 pm

This year the Kindy will also be involved and are trying to raise some funds by selling soft drinks and donations for wine.

Santa is due to arrive at 5.45pm
carols start at 6.30pm

Details are 5pm on Sunday 20 Dec at Catherine Park.


Pink Water Taxi

ptWater Taxis - Christmas Hours

The Water Taxis will operate for the following hours on Christmas Day:
  • 8am to 12noon
  • 3pm to 7pm

New Years Eve will run as follows:

  • With the Newport Arms closed until April 2016 and Rowland Reserve and other fireworks venues being Alcohol Free, NYE is a shadow of its former self.
  • Play that one pear-shaped!

Water Taxis - Communications

The water taxis formally ceased 24-hour operations in September 2009.  This was an easy decision as the Global Financial Crisis had been squeezing everybody for a year, the after-midnight work was no longer there and Maritime OH&S had become prescriptive.   A midnight finish every night was still too many hours for Maritime and a 10pm finish on Sunday and Monday nights has been the norm for nearly two years.  Unfortunately, changes to the relevant Awards earlier this year meant it all had to be looked at and justified again.

The advice from our dodgy accountants and solicitors was simple and unanimous; don’t have set finishing times.  Be there when the work’s there and go home when it’s not.  An hour saved on one day can be used on another.  Generally, our customers need the midnight finish on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The other nights, not so much.

So how do you have a flexible closing time?  Since mid-winter, we’ve been asking our customers who need us later in the evening to ring the night driver after 3pm and discuss what they need.  On balance, this has worked very well indeed.

Our regular late-night customers have been invited to Follow our Twitter account, @PinkWaterTaxis.  Armed with our list of who’s coming back and roughly when each night, we push out daily tweets on intended finish times.  This has the excellent knock-on effect of prompting people who will need us and haven’t called us, to do so.

Still not the perfect system as Australians are not big users of Twitter.  Yes, we’ve tried normal SMS and iMessage but trying to maintain curated lists of who’s got an iPhone vs an Android vs a Windows Phone is virtually impossible.

So we put our Research Hat on and went looking for a better instant messaging system.  We’ve looked at Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, Skype, LINE, Kik, BBM, Tango, Hike, MessageMe, SnapChat, Wickr, Threema and a few obscure ones.

We quickly settled on and have trialled Telegram Messenger.  It’s a very small app, it’s free and there’s a version for every phone, tablet and desktop (cross-platform).  It’s heavily encrypted, has serious broadcast capabilities (which we love) and has no affiliation with any data-miners.

So, do please Follow us on Twitter (@PinkWaterTaxis) if that suits you or better still, give Telegram a try.  The Silly Season is upon us and good comms means no one gets stranded.

Yours aye - Rod, Alex and Mickey

Woody Point Prints for Sale

Pittwater we all know as a canvas for all life’s colours, with an eternal appeal to the artistic whether that be of talent or temperament.

Katie Clemson was an outstandingly talented artist, renowned not only here in her native Australia but internationally too.

‘Pittwater for me is heaven, my haven and inspiration’ wrote Katie in a prelude to an exhibition of her linocuts of Pittwater at Tarranagaua in 2004. Katie‘s work really does reach into the canvas of Pittwater and captures the energy, the light and indeed the raw beauty of her, and our, haven.

We have a number of Katie’s superb print of Woody Point for sale with proceeds to our local Fire Brigade. The price is $250 and a perfect gift for Christmas or treat yourself to this image of our beloved Woody Point.
Please email or text Suzanne Akerman on 0419 240 426 for details.”

For Sale

Boat: 4.5m Brooker:

   -      Central console
   -       Bimini T-top
   -       power steering
   -       outboard: Yamaha 4-stroke 40hp 2014 (bought brand-new, installed
   and serviced at Pittwater Marine, just done 1-year service, still 3 years
   of manufacturer warranty left) electric tilt 84 hours on the clock
   -       bilge pump
   -       navigating lights
   -       anchors etc
Price $8,500

SUV car: Volvo XC60 2012

   -       extended manufacturer warranty until March 2017
   -       mileage 66,000km
   -       recently done 60k service
   -       rego until March 2016
Price $34,000

Call Den on


Free Beds & cupboard

Two beds in good condition (no mattresses)
Folding legs on second bed allow trundle storage.

Please contact John or Jane on 9997 5993

Archived Newsletters

A complete set of past electronic newsletters since May 2000 can be found and read at  or by clicking here or by visiting the Mona Vale Library.

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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)

Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackerel Beach