Scotts Head’s popularity causing headaches for community

Much of the foreshore land in Scotts Head is managed by Reflections Holidays Parks.

THREE members of the Scotts Head Community Group (SHCG) addressed Nambucca Valley councillors at last week’s Council meeting, held at the Macksville=Scotts Head Surf Life Saving Club, to share issues the community is facing and their vision for the future.

Anthony Crimmins, Janet Granek and John Schmidt spoke on the popularity of Scotts Head over recent years, the unique system of governance in place and the community’s needs.

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“More and more people are making Scotts Head their home, favourite holiday spot or favourite beach (daytrippers),” Anthony Crimmins told the meeting.

He told Council that the most recent population census put the population of the village at 986 people, up from 794 in the previous survey, but that with the local caravan park’s visitors and private visitors to the area, the group estimated that this population figure could be tripling in peak holiday periods.

“This popularity is supported by Surf Lifesaving Australia data which shows that for the previous year between the first and fourteenth of January, 10,838 people visited Scotts Head Beach,” Mr Crimmins said.

“This is more than the combined totals for Nambucca Heads and Valla Beach and basically makes Scotts Head the most popular beach in the Nambucca Valley.”

He outlined the effects of this including pressures on parking, waste management, maintenance and an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour.

As for the unique governance in place at the popular beach town, Mr Crimmins explained that most beaches and foreshore land in Scotts Head are Crown land, managed by Reflections Holiday Parks, while anything inland of this is owned and managed by Nambucca Valley Council.

According to the SHCG, most places that people who move to the area love and enjoy are not managed by Council, but by the manager of the local caravan park, making it a unique yet frustrating situation for locals who feel they have little input into decision making in the area.

Janet Granek of SHCG told Council of the exhaustive community consultation which the group has undertaken recently.

This has resulted in the draft form of a vision statement aimed at holding onto and protecting what residents love; the village lifestyle of the area.

All three speakers stated the need for community and major stakeholders, i.e. Crown Land and Nambucca Valley Council, to work together to face the challenges posed by popularity and population growth in the area.

John Schmidt as third speaker for the group talked about the need for communication between the stakeholders on matters such as dog control and setting a ‘master plan’ for the area to which all three parties could commit.


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