Final draft report under review

Working group meeting planned for July 2020

We have received state government funding through the Stronger Communities Fund to conduct an independent investigation into the feasibility of supplying water and wastewater services to Scotland Island.

Project updates

Council has received the final draft report for the Scotland Island water and wastewater feasibility study.

The study has found that water and sewerage can be delivered for a cost of $185,000 per house lot on the island. The study also recommends a system that connects to the Sydney Water network (standard water, pressure sewer) as the most efficient and cost-effective option in the long term.

Council will be meeting with the community working group on Scotland Island in late July to discuss the finer details of the study and how they might use this information.

A summary of the results from the Feasibility Study will be available in August.

In the coming month we'll arrange a community working group meeting. At the meeting we'll discuss the recent assessment findings and confirm the community representatives support the findings before finalising the report.

You may like to take some time to review the options summary report provided in the March 2020 Community Update.

This summary includes an indication of the potential cost to construct a water and/or wastewater system on the island.

The community working group for the Scotland Island water and wastewater commercial feasibility study met on Saturday 25 May 2019 to discuss progress with the options assessment for the study. The meeting was attended by Northern Beaches Council and Pressure System Solutions, who are carrying out the study.

A high level review of environmental factors is complete and has helped inform preparation of a longlist of options for both water and wastewater systems on the island. These options were put through an assessment process, which resulted in a shortlist of two water and two wastewater options. The community working group agreed that these options should be taken forward to the commercial feasibility study.

An update is provided in the documents list on this page that runs through the assessment process and the shortlisted options. A meeting record is also available on the documents page.

On Tuesday 11 December 2018 the working group met Gavin Ovens and Steve Wallace from Pressure System Solutions (PSS) to discuss the project. The meeting record is saved under 'Documents' on this page.

Gavin and Steve are currently focused on collecting information that will allow them to prepare a high-level review of environmental factors that could have a bearing on what type of system might be appropriate for Scotland Island.

In early January they intend to survey a range of properties to improve their understanding of possible construction issues across the island (eg. connecting a waterfront property versus a property at the top of the island).

The working group will be helping PSS select a number of properties for surveys, so please assist them where you can.

The group will most likely next meet in March 2019 to discuss the development of servicing options.

The contract for the commercial feasibility assessment has been awarded to Pressure System Solutions Pty Ltd.

Over the next few months they will be collecting information for the high-level Review of Environmental Factors (this will not be a full, detailed study) and developing options for water and wastewater systems on Scotland Island.

Two preferred options will be taken forward to a commercial feasibility assessment, which will look at the risks, costs and benefits of building and operating a water and wastewater system for the island.

Progress updates will be posted on the Your Say page at regular intervals.

The working group for the commercial feasibility study has been selected and nominees informed whether they were successful or unsuccessful in gaining a place on the group. Thank you to all of those who nominated but missed out. The working group selection process is detailed in a document in the Document Library on this website. There is an incorrect reference on page one - the accommodation provider was also in SIRA - not SIPCO, and there are a couple of spelling mistakes of people's names. I apologise for any offence. The selection was carried out by Council officers not involved with the management of the project.

Our working group members are:

Colin Haskell (SIRA - also accommodation provider)
Peter Heffernan (SIPCO - a private consortium that have their own water supply)
Jenny Cullen (Environment)
John Cave (Accommodation provider)
Cameron Nicol (Business operated from the island)
Graeme Crayford (Rural Fire Service)
Cass Gye (Resident)
Fabienne d'Hautefeuille (Resident)
Steve Yorke (Resident - also Rural Fire Service)
Steve Blackwood (Resident - also Business operated from the island)

Residents should feel free to speak to the members above to discuss aspects of the project relevant to the community. More technical questions or comments about this project should be directed to Ruby Ardren, Northern Beaches Council - Phone 9970 1311 or email ruby.ardren[a]

The working group met for the first time on 1 July 2018. The meeting was very productive and members agreed to the project scope to be included in tender documents. A record of the meeting is contained in the Document Library.

Due to commercial risks associated with the tender process, the scope for the study cannot be released until the tender is publicly released in a few weeks. When the tender is released to the public, the scope will be added to the "Have Your Say" project website.

Throughout this project, there will be number of ways you can contribute to the feasibility study.

At this stage, residents and representatives of key stakeholder groups of Scotland Island may choose to:

  • Nominate for the project Working Group;
  • Join the project email contact list; and or
  • Read more background information in the document library on this webpage

Working Group

The Working Group will have representatives that will speak on behalf of key stakeholder groups and residents of Scotland Island. The group will meet on a number of occasions throughout the project to discuss key documents and decisions, including:

  • the scope for the project
  • the water and wastewater service options to be included in the commercial feasibility study
  • the draft outcomes of the commercial feasibility study.

View the Working Group Terms of Reference

Nominate to join the Group

Nominations close on Tuesday 5 June 2018

Please note: Local Councillors and employees of Northern Beaches Council, the office of the Local State Member, Sydney Water, or of water utilities licensed under the Water Industry Competition Act may not nominate for the working group.

Email contact list

    Add your details to the emailing list

    As this project progresses, we will update this webpage. We'll send an email to those on our list to let them know when updates happen.

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    The provision of reticulated water and wastewater services to Scotland Island has been on the agenda of local residents for several decades.

    Scotland Island is listed under the Priority Sewerage Program. In the past, Sydney Water's Operating Licence has committed them to delivering schemes under the Priority Sewerage Program.

    The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) review of Sydney Water's Operating Licence in 2015 noted Sydney Water's estimate that the capital cost of providing wastewater services to Scotland Island would be $235,000 per lot ($2014/15). Sydney Water claimed that delivering the remaining schemes under the Priority Sewerage Program would result in an unacceptable increase to Sydney Water service charges for Sydney Water's 1.7 million wastewater customers.

    This was accepted by IPART and therefore Sydney Water's current Operating Licence 2015-2020 does not contain any commitment to delivering schemes under the Priority Sewerage Program, but does state that Sydney Water must comply with any government review of the Program.

    Sydney Water's Operating Licence is reviewed every five years, and this includes a review of commitments to programs such as the Priority Sewerage Program.

    We have received State Government funding through the Stronger Communities Fund to conduct an independent investigation into the commercial feasibility of the supply of water and wastewater services to Scotland Island.

    This project will be delivered through a transparent and participative process, including establishing a project working group made up of residents and stakeholder representatives of Scotland Island.

    As part of the project a number of options for servicing the island will be investigated. This will address the type of system (eg. gravity or pressure sewer) and who might operate the system. Two servicing options will be selected to take forward to the commercial feasibility study. The commercial feasibility study will consider whether the proposed options are likely to be commercially viable in the long term, and may propose suitable operating models for the system.

    This study will inform decisions to be made on the provision of reticulated water and wastewater services on Scotland Island, which is ultimately a matter for the appropriate service providers.