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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach
- February 2009 -
Notices for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia
February 2009

Note from the Kindy
Spiders in Kindy Playground

Prior to the kindy re-opening this year, two funnel web spiders were found at playgroup in the sand pit, after the area had been unused for at least a week.  SIOCS is taking this very seriously, but we must none of us forget that we live in the bush, and Australia has much more than its fair share of poisonous animals.  Funnel webs are everywhere in this area.  It is up to all of us to understand what needs to be done to keep ourselves and our children safe, not just at the kindy, but also at home, around the island and bays, and anywhere which is close to the bush.

Lizzie has been in touch with the Reptile Park near Gosford, which provides consultation services to the community on poisonous animals.  They were not overly concerned about our discoveries, and thought that the kindy being unused over the Christmas period could be a factor in finding them outside their normal place of residence.  We're looking at organising someone to come to the island from the Reptile Park to do a site inspection at the kindy, and also to give a talk on poisonous creatures, which would be open to everyone.

In the meantime, however, this is the advice we have been given:

Funnel webs do not normally live in sand, as it does not make strong burrows (the burrows collapse).  Therefore it is likely that they have just fallen in and couldn't get out.

The recent wet weather has seen an increase in the numbers of funnel webs generally, which may be why we are seeing more of them (there have never been funnel webs reported in the kindy play area before).   They also come out in Feb/Mar to look for a mate and the hot weather has encouraged them to come out a little early.

General safety precautions you should all follow are:

(1) Do not leave clothes, shoes, towels etc on the floor
(2) Check shoes before putting them on
(3) Do not walk about at night without footwear
(4) Do not handle spiders that appear to have drowned in pools, buckets, etc
(5) Wear gloves when gardening or working outside

Specifically, the kindy will be taking the following precautions in addition to any that apply above:

(1) The sand pit is already raked every day before the children play in it, as part of our normal procedures.  This happens prior to the children coming out into the playground, so that no child can jump into the sandpit before it is raked.

(2) The outside of the building will be sprayed with outdoor surface spray.  This will reduce the incidence of both spiders and the wasps that build nests in all the corners.

(3) Staff will talk to children about spider safety, in a non-threatening way, to teach them not to put their fingers into cracks in rocks or small holes in the ground, as these are exactly the sort of places that spiders might live.

(4) Our staff all have first aid certificates, and recommended actions in case of a spider bite have been reinforced by advice from the Reptile Park.

(5) We are looking at a new sandpit cover as part of our ongoing drive to improve conditions at the kindy, and this could help with keeping spiders off the sand - though as previously said, sand is not really a funnel-web habitat.

Could all parents please reinforce the spider safety message with their children.   While only funnel-webs and red-backs are currently considered dangerous, there are others, such as mouse spiders, which are rarely encountered but potentially dangerous.  Any spider larger in size than a dollar coin should be treated with respect, as all spiders have venom glands, though only the larger species have fangs able to puncture human skin.

We will keep you posted about the Reptile Park visit.

If you have any further questions or comments, Lizzie Hazelwood would be happy to talk to you - 9999 6871.


SIOCS Committee


New Stroke Information
Please read, as this information CAN save lives

Click image to download the full PDF document


Plea from an Island Mum
I am a mother of 2 small boys living on Scotland Island.
I, like all of us, cherish the uniqueness of island life and the beauty and peacefulness of our natural surrounds. I would like to make a plea however, to all dog owners to PLEASE keep your dogs at home, unless you are directly supervising them. There are high a number of dogs around the island, with many gaining regular freedom to fight with each other,  bark aggressively at passers-by and defacate randomly. My 3 year old son has an inconsolable fear of dogs now as the direct result of being jumped on and barked at without provocation on a number of occasions. To the majority of people who do keep their dogs contained, THANK YOU.
Annette Palmer.

Local Council Matters - Media release  


Pittwater Council is asking businesses in the Pittwater area to contribute to a healthier environment by getting involved in Business Clean Up Day on Tuesday 24 February........read more here

Media contact:     Barbara Harvey, Pittwater Council    Ph: 9970 1226


You Asked.. 
Church Point Ferry Service Work...
"Would you like to get paid to take your kids to school" ?
Join us on the run to Newport Primary School.
Flexible days am and pm shifts available.
Contact Penny at Church Point Ferry Service 0433 038 408."

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...

2 boats for sale
- 14ft fibreglass commuter hull - needs motor $100
- 20ft yacht twin bilge keel - it can be dry moored on a beach  $650 o.n.o.
Phone Damian 0425 212 852

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