Friday, 14 February 2020

What the FAQ is Council up to?

The most Frequently Asked Question(FAQ) within the community is What’s Happening at Bath St? However council’s FAQs on subject on their Creating a Place for People in Toronto webpage  do not even mention council’s change of heart decision on Sept 23rd, compounding concerns about the authenticity of the decision. 

The Toronto Foreshore Protection Group (TFPG) has resumed regular meetings to continue to advocate for prompt resolution of the council determination of 23/9/19, almost 5 months ago, in which works on the multi-storey development proposal on Bath Street were deferred and processes set in motion to reclassify Operational land to Community land, to include the Bath St site in the Foreshore Masterplan and further engage with the community.

Council released a community update in January which identifies some actions being completed, work pertaining to the DA has been deferred, the Bath St site is now included in the Foreshore Master planning process however further actions to secure the site as part of the Foreshore park are dependent on “the results of the sustainability review so they can inform the master planning process”.

Council FAQ’s still states “The concept proposal for the Bath Street site is for a medium-density development including a mix of residential, tourist and commercial space…Council has approved the development of a concept design for the Bath Street site. The community will have further opportunity to provide feedback on this proposal once the project reaches the Development Application stage. The project will be determined independently of Council by the Regional Planning Panel…Council’s Long Term Financial Plan proposes $22M in 2022-2023 for the projected construction cost of a proposed mixed-use development at 4 Bath Street and 1B Victory Row, Toronto.”

When the initial decision (23/4/18) to develop the Bath St site was made work progressed with extreme haste, the surveyors were out the next day, communication was swift and plentiful. By comparison it now appears that stalling tactics are in place and the lack of genuine community consultation does little to allay the unease. 

While Council’s FAQs  have not been updated at all, community cynicism about council’s intent remains high. Are there facts missing in the FAQs?

Council commenting

There are several significant documents on exhibition at the moment that will shape our City of the not-to-distant-future which can be viewed on https://shape.lakemac.com.au/

Comments on The Lake Mac Housing Strategy close on 16/2/20.
The CPPA is endorsing the Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance’s (SNA) submission which acknowledges the need for affordable housing, supported by adequate infrastructure and housing diversity to address the requirements of an ageing population. Opposition to large apartment blocks was noted and in order to protect the City’s natural assets the SNA is recommending 20 -30% greenfield and 70 -80% infill as the baseline, as opposed to the 40:60 ratio put forward in the Draft Strategy.




The Draft Environmental Strategy and Action Plan 2020-27 is open for consultation until 6/3/20. 
Several locals from CPPA/TASNG are attending the community information session on 26/2/20 and an update will be posted on the CPPA website and facebook pages. 

The Carey Bay Toronto Scout Group are back

  • Cubs & Scouts: Tues nights 6.30 - 8pm - girls & boys aged 8-14.  
  • Joeys : Thurs nights 4.30 -5.30pm - girls & boys aged 5-8 (must be at school) .

Active Kids Vouchers can be used. Come along & join in the fun.

74 Excelsior Parade Toronto (just past industrial estate)

For more information contact the Group Leader Diane Bellette  akela_diane@bigpond.com or our FaceBook page - Carey Bay Toronto Scout Group

Congratulations Nico - Lake Mac Environmental Leader Award


In recognition of his award local champion Nico Marcar said “'Since moving to Lake Macquarie I have welcomed the opportunity to become involved in and take a lead in issues around resource use, active transport, landcare and sensitive residential development. I enjoy researching, exploring ideas and developing projects with dedicated people around me.”

Nico has championed environmental and community initiatives in western Lake Macquarie for many years, overseeing the establishment of and chairing the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group for the past seven years. Nico has been actively involved as chief researcher for the Toronto Foreshore Protection group, he’s a local landcarer and has recently joined the Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance Board, which was awarded community group of the year at the Lake Mac Awards

Power & Pollution Summit

Eraring Power Station , Ash Dam and Myuna Sport & Rec Centre
Over the weekend of 8-9 Feb, 200 coal community members from NSW, Vic and Qld attended the Power & Pollution National Community Summit at Point Wolstoncroft to hear about the status of the coal industry, the approaches to a just transition for these communities and clean up options for the pollution legacy of toxic coal-ash dams.

Power

It started as quite a positive affair. Scott McArdle from the Latrobe Valley Authority sharing how after the closure of Hazelwood in Victoria there are now 10,600 more jobs in the region. A concerted effort was made to build local business through incentives, increase local spend, provide retraining opportunities in new sectors, and invest in building and activating local spaces to ensure the local community continues to engage with each other.

The summit also heard from Dr Amanda Cahill, CEO of The Next Economy, who provides advice to industry leaders and governments seeking to implement just transitions from a coal-based economy. She spoke of the need to connect all sectors of the community and acknowledge the significant role the coal mining industry has played in local communities. There are an increasing number of positive case studies and projects founded on renewable energy but they are ‘invisible’ in the dominant press. She also mentioned, more than once, how the conversations that are taking place behind closed doors with ministers, peak bodies and council who see the economic benefits of a just transition, are not being shared with the public. In Queensland this is triggering industry groups to develop their own transition plans as there is an absence of leadership from government.

Prof John Wiseman from the University of Melbourne’s Energy Transition Hub outlined the urgent need for a well-managed, just transition from coal-fired power to renewables by 2040 to keep climate predictions to below 1.50C warming. He stated that 50% of Australia’s coal-fired power stations are over 35years old and many will close sooner than currently assumed. Locally, Eraring’s predicted closure is 2032 and Vales Point is 2029. He outlined the critical criteria for a successful transition that builds on regional strengths - proactive policies, transition strategies, collaborative planning with respectful community engagement, long-term political commitment, leadership, and community action.

The Collie community’s ‘no one left behind’ transition strategy, Collie at the Crossroads, was presented by Zero Emissions’ Lachlan Rule. Collie is a West Australian coal community of 9000, with three power stations, in an energy transition resulting from the plans to close coal-based infrastructure. The strategy identifies opportunities in supporting the renewable energy network transition, developing sustainable building materials and renewable technology which would create 1,750 jobs to replace the 1250 lost in coal-based closures. It was recognised that to make this transition work there needs to be a plan with a ‘grand coalition’ of workers, unions and the climate movement.

Prof. Michael Askew’s presentation on behalf of the Australian Transitions Academy at Monash Uni was positively uplifting. He spoke of the rapid transition away from coal which is happening in many areas of the world, faster than anyone expected, being driven by a corporate shift from the environmental division to risk divisions of industry, giants such as Google, Amazon and Shell all decarbonising.

Citing examples of China’s reduction in coal-fired generation from 515GW to 76GW, 42% of the global coal fleet already losing money as renewable energy overtakes coal, and entities where renewables already exceed coal; Germany, the ACT and SA , the case to get on board quickly to optimise industry positioning was well made.

Prof Askew gave an overview on the transition megatrends which are shaping the emerging transformation against the background of an ageing, urban population experiencing climate change, biodiversity loss and sociocultural shifts. The principles guiding this transition include integration, decentralisation, collaboration, regeneration and valorisation (value adding) resulting in a win-win-win driving prosperity with environmental sustainability with social capital.

The transition megatrends included;

  • renewable energy in distributed systems, which is great for local regional development
  • intensive sustainable food systems, supported by community and access
  • Bio-innovation, looking at new ways of converting organic material to valuable products
  • The circular economy that maximises value, keeps materials in use and shifts from goods to services
  • Support systems that facilitate behaviour change such as cooperatives and reclaiming democracy
  • The internet of things which enables change and
  • Urban transport renewal


Pollution

The session on pollution was not nearly as chipper with a sudden plummet back to reality with the 1950’s unlined coal-ash dams of Eraring and Vales Point uppermost in locals’ minds.

Coal ash, the by-product of burning coal in power stations, is concentrated in heavy metals and toxins. Locally coal-ash is mixed with water and ‘stored’ in unlined ash dams, where the toxic cocktail leaches into the groundwater, the contamination flowing into the Lake with ecosystems being impacted and heavy metals concentrating in lake seafood such as crabs, prawns and fin-fish and anything that eats them…birds, people.

There is currently an Inquiry into the remediation of coal-ash dumps in NSW which could be a pivotal moment in the campaign to see the 60 million+ tonnes of coal-ash waste on Lake Macquarie's shores cleaned up! Submissions close on Sunday 16th Feb.

The Hunter Community Environment Centre (HCEC) has a comprehensive guide to the issues and how to make a submission. https://www.powerandpollution.com.au/inquiry

HECE advocate to fix the pollution from coal-ash in Lake Macquarie, we need:

  • Stronger regulation on heavy metal escaping from ash dumps and power stations
  • A waste recovery industry to turn coal-ash into safe products and provide local employment to a region in transition
  • Commitment from community and Government in a long-term plan to decontaminate and rehabilitate these valuable shoreline areas to the wetland habitat they were before the power stations
The local Coal-ash Community Alliance is hosting a community awareness gathering at
Wangi Workers on Wednesday 25/3/20, 6pm to update on the problems of the accumulating coal-ash in our community. The 'deathiversary' recognises it’s been 12 months since the Myuna Bay Sport & Rec Centre closure due to the risk of the ash-dam wall breaching in an earthquake.

The Power & Pollution Summit presentations and more information about the speakers can be viewed online https://www.powerandpollution.com.au/speakers

A Bird in the Hand

Baza in care
The recent fires are causing changes in avian distribution and increasing the need for supplies for wildlife carers who are tending to injured animals. Our local wildlife carer Catherine “got a Sooty tern…from Grant Rd, and a red tailed tropic bird that some people brought down from up near Mudgee! The strong winds have blown these birds off course and they're exhausted. I also have 2 juvenile sooty terns and 3 pacific bazas - one of which is a young one that came from Lake View Rd near Jarret St.” If you are interested in donating funds to provide resources for local wildlife the CPPA has a Fur & Feathers fundraising page.
Red-tailed Tropic bird in care


The Pamper Care Project is asking for donations of fruit (especially Mangoes and Pears), veges and bird seed to help our local wildlife survive and relieve some the pressure off the carers.Donations can be dropped off at Woodrising Neighbourhood Centre Wednesdays and Fridays.

Female Golden Whistler
Every month local bird enthusiasts Rob Pallazzi and Michael Paver monitor our bird population. This month they were “very pleased to record the presence of a couple of 'smaller' species in the Cary Bay Wetlands such as the Golden Whistler, the female is almost the classic Little Brown Bird that birdwatchers all over seem to like to complain about on their excursions into the bush, the male is pictured.The Eastern Yellow Robin is a very welcome sighting always - they appear to almost follow a walker maybe hoping we might disturb some insects/food. Sometimes they will sit on the side of a branch near the path just quietly watching then pounce to the ground to grab some snack, then back up to their vantage point.”

Dr Grainne Cleary is compiling stories of changes in bird behaviour as a result of the recent bushfire season. Many birds and animals have been displaced by fires as they’ve 
lost their habitat, but where will they go? It is possible they may move into urban areas such as backyards and our local parks/ovals as they seek refuge. If you see any new and/or increase in birds/ animals that you see in your gardens, parks and neighbourhoods please email Dr Cleary clearygr@tcd.ie
Male Golden Whistler

TASNG update

Plastic Free Cafes are one cup closer 

Every day in Australia 2.7 million takeaway coffee cups must go to the tip, 500 billion
each year worldwide!

Locally we are doing our bit to ease the tip-burden. There are 25 cafes in Toronto and Warners Bay who are part of the campaign to reduce single use plastics by switching to metal straws and offering re-useable, collapsible, pocket-sized cups for a $2.00 donation.

This project is a partnership with the Sustainable Neighbourhood Groups and New South Wales Government.

For more information about the reductions in plastics please do not hesitate to contact Steve torontoareasng@gmail.com

Pamper Care


Pamper Care was busy in January with 22 individuals (and their families) assisted, and three back-to-school kits were given out. The bush fire at Awaba Conservation Area (proposed) saw approximately 43% of the bush burnt. The Project assisted Awaba Rural Fire Brigade with bottled water and snacks to take on the trucks. With the bush fires and extreme heat conditions, we are assisting wildlife carers at Dora Creek and their network, with food.


TASNG will be supporting Harmony Day on Saturday March 21 with an event on the Toronto Foreshore 5-7pm. The day celebrates our cultural diversity and coincides with the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.


Keep in touch with TASNG Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TASNG/
Email 
torontoareasng@gmail.com

Clean Up Australia Day (CUAD)

Yural Reserve CUAD

The CPPA will be Cleaning Up our patch of Aus on Sunday 1st March, 9-10:30am meeting at Yural Reserve. We’ll be collecting large rubbish items that have been dumped in local reserves and relocating them to Yural along with the three abandoned boats in the reserve, ready for Council to pick up. If you think an abandoned dinghy would make a good sand-pit or veggie garden pop by and investigate or check the CPPA website for pictures, especially if you think it might be your abandoned dinghy! RSVP here.




Plodders Unite!

Can we all do a little extra on CUAD? Whilst out walking, take a collection bag and do some plodding – picking up litter as you walk – it adds another dimension to the daily walk with a bit of bending and for those doing a foreshore ramble, there’s always plastics a plenty to pick up.

Greenway CUAD

The TASNG will be hosting a Clean Up event on the Greenway from Carey St to Cook St and out along Stoney Ck on SATURDAY February 29 between 8-10am. The meeting point will be at the Cook St end of the Greenway. RSVP online

Cant’t get enough of the Clean Up warm & fuzzies?

Twice a year the CPPA crew give the Hall a bit of a clean up, the timing coincides with the council clean ups in case there are items to relinquish. We do it because Progress Hall is owned by the Progress Association, it is truly our community's asset.

All are welcome, especially regular hall users, to come along and lend a hand on Sunday 15 Mar 9:30-11:30, there's always something to do.

Bridging the neural and social gaps with Bridge

The Toronto Bridge Club meets regularly at Shop14 in the Carey Bay Shopping Village. 

A 4-week beginners’ course is running throughout February and catch up sessions are available. Also on offer is a regular 9:30-11:30am Monday morning walk-in supervised play session where you can ask as many questions as you like. Everyone is welcome. For more information Josephine Most m:0434400395, josephine_most@hotmail.com or visit the website: www.bridgewebs.com/toronto

There are a multitude of reasons to play Bridge. 
  • It helps keep your brain active, you have to concentrate to keep your math skills alive, which keeps the old grey matter in top condition. 
  • Playing bridge regularly can be great for your health, a study by Prof Diamond (Berkeley Uni) confirmed this. 
  • It’s gives your social life a boost, a card game where more makes it merrier, and new friends are made. 
  • Bridge isn’t just for mature adults, even small children can enjoy a game of mini bridge, it’s good for their math and social skills.
Players meet on:
  • Saturday Pairs 12.45pm,
  • Tuesday Pairs 6.30pm,
  • Thursday Pairs 10.00am,
  • Friday Supervised 1.00pm,
  • U3A also hold Beginners Bridge and Bridge for Improvers classes on Wednesday afternoons.

DA UpDAte: 114-120 Cary St

HCC Regional Planning Panel decision on 114-120 Cary Street DA

On 11/12/19 community presentations were made to the Hunter Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel opposing the multi-storey development at 114-120 Cary Street. 

Suzanne Pritchard spoke on behalf of CPPA and TASNG. The panel rejected the DA on multiple grounds. Many of the issues raised resonating with the Bath St debacle and included:
  • In its current form would not be in the public interest
  • Proposed height and visual impact was inappropriate and contrary to local planning objectives of the area
  • Inconsistent with the objectives of the Toronto Town Centre Plan
  • Potential environmental effects on the adjacent SEPP14 Wetland had not been considered and addressed
  • Inadequate setbacks and building separation from adjoining property
  • Inadequately addressed acoustic and odour impacts from McDonalds
  • Inadequately addresses traffic impacts on surrounding streets and other local users
  • Didn’t address the pedestrian issues associated with the narrow width of Arnott Avenue
  • Didn’t meet visitor parking requirements
 The full determination can be viewed here.