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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach
- December 2008 -
Notices for Offshore Residents of Pittwater
December 2008


A CONFUSING and inequitable system for establishing taxes for waterfront residences that use a jetty has led to the NSW Audit Office announcing an inquiry into the fiasco.

Following prompting from Pittwater MP Rob Stokes and Manly MP Mike Baird, who have hundreds of people in their electorates that rely on jetties to access their properties, the audit will investigate serious flaws in the formula that imposes huge fees on waterfront residents, even when the only access to their homes is across water.

The dispute has been raging for years with residents threatening a campaign of civil disobedience and withholding payment of the fees. Jetty fees in Pittwater range from $3.74 per square metre to as high as $40.18 per square metre, while in Middle Harbour, fees vary from $6.38 per square metre up to $68.95 per square metre, Mr Stokes said.

“To make matters even more complex, different charges apply to waterfront areas administered by NSW Maritime, such as Middle Harbour, and areas controlled by the Department of Lands, including Pittwater,” Mr Stokes said.

“And what about people in places like Scotland Island and the Hawkesbury River, who have no way to get home except across the water? No one faces big charges to travel across public land using their driveway. Why should water-access-only residents be treated any differently?”

He said all the residents he had spoken to were happy to pay an equitable fee but the haphazard pricing structure had to be amended.

Mr Baird said he had received numerous complaints about the issue and thought it demonstrated “lack of transparency and complete lack of logic”.

Submissions to the NSW Audit Office must be received by December 24 and should be addressed to: Chris Bowdler, Performance Audit Leader, The Audit Office of New South Wales, Level 15, 1 Margaret St, Sydney, GPO Box 12, Sydney, NSW 2001.

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