Sunday, 7 March 2010

Dates for Doing

Thursday 18th from 9.30am Toronto Garden Club- Scout Hall
21-27th Seniors Week

12th 7pm Annual General Meeting of Coal Point Progress Association.

Landcaring  every Thursday
March the Carey Bay Wetlands
April is Gurranba
May Burnage
June Threlkeld
July Laycock St
August Stansfield Reserves

Transition Town Movie Festival

April 16th Friday- 6-9.30pm
May 8th- Saturday Noon-4.30pm
June 19th Sunday 11am-4.00pm-
July 15th Friday 6-9pm
August 13th Saturday Noon-5pm
September 18th Sunday 11-4.30pm

Annual General Meeting Monday 12th April at Progress Hall

The Annual General Meeting of the Progress Association is on the horizon... Monday April 12th at 7pm at Progress Hall 197 Skye Point Road. The business that is planned for this auspicious event is the confirmation of the previous minutes, the presentation of Annual reports, election of Office Bearers and the Committee and eating.

After the AGM there will be a discussion about the roles and responsibilities of the various Committee positions and a calendar of activities and events will be planned. The aim is to give the new committee the information they need to contribute in a meaningful way to management of the affairs of the Association.
If you are interested in channelling some of your excess energy or enormous experience into a local organisation you would be most welcome.

The Committee has been relatively stable in composition for several years and this has ensured continuity however, new faces, new ideas, extra enthusiasm and experience are always welcome. Contact Suzanne to have a chat to find out about what the Progress Association has been up to and what roles are available.

DA 115/2010 - 120 place Childcare Centre at 135 Excelsior Parade

A proposed development for a 120 place childcare centre at 135 Excelsior Parade was recently discussed at the Committee meeting.

The location of the proposed centre is opposite the light industrial complex on Excelsior Parade, roughly opposite Triggs. This area services and repairs many cars and motor-homes and receives landscaping, hardware and timber supplies. The nature of these businesses entails frequent traffic in to and out of the existing industrial area and many more than usual car and traffic movements associated with drop-off/pickup and vehicle safety checking.

There is concern that a Child Care Centre of the proposed size does not adequately accommodate for traffic movements and flow in to and out of the Centre as well as have sufficient off street car-parking spaces, with the potential to generate more congestion around the light industrial area, which is already having difficulty dealing with traffic flow and adequate parking.

The size of the Centre has the potential to compromise the existing diversity of childcare operators in the area. There are currently 12 local child care centres and preschools, with almost non-existent waiting lists. The local community has an average age of 56, and so a baby-boom is highly unlikely to necessitate such a large Centre as is proposed.

The current diversity of childcare providers offers considerable choice within the community and the viability of several of the smaller centres would be compromised by such a large centre in the area.

Finally there is a lack of detailed diagrams to assess the full impact of the scale of the buildings, stormwater effects on the adjacent wetland and flow-paths. This means the full impact of the Centre can not be assessed from the information available. Additionally the parcel of land in particular, and the surrounding areas in general, are well vegetated and the natural environment is valued by the residents. The removal of all mature vegetation and replacement by hard surfaces would seriously compromise the ridgeline corridor that currently

The advertising period for this proposal occurred in between Chronicles and so the formal exhibition period has just closed, however if you want to make a comment do it ASAP, LMCC is usually pretty good about receiving community feedback.

The  application can be viewed on LMCC’s website if you search for DA 115/2010 and give LMCC a ring 49210333 and make your issues known or send LMCC an email

BAM Update

At a recent committee meeting Paul Moors from Blackalls Against the Mine (BAM) popped by to say a few words about Centennial’s Olstan project.

Whilst the mine did not go ahead, there were three different reasons given for the decision. Centennial said it was uneconomical , State MP/Mayor Piper said it was lobbying, State MP Jody Mackay said the Planning Instrument was upheld and determined it to be a prohibited application.

Paul raised the following:
The Olstan project has now been exposed as a prohibited mine, so it seems fair to ask why were the community, the LMCC (ratepayers) and the State Government (tax payers) made to bear the unnecessary cost, effort and stress imposed by Olstan?

Centennial must release all technical studies it promised throughout the Olstan episode so that the unbelievable
statements it made can be compared to the scientific information available.  Centennial has refused to provide these studies stating that their promises to release these studies are null and void now that they have withdrawn the Olstan project.

The community has a right, and an obligation to examine these studies to determine if Centennial’s statements have the same fatal flaws as its Olstan proposal.  Unless the community can verify that these studies support Centennial’s statements then every Centennial statement and future project must be treated as spurious and opposed by the community.  Unless this matter of credibility is cleared up, Centennial has poisoned the well for itself and other miners when it comes to trustworthiness.

I encourage you and your members to raise any questions about Centennials operations to Newstan 1800 247 662, Awaba 4959 3420 or through email . Don’t forget to keep a record of your complaint for future reference.

Locals Landcaring

Landcaring continues around the reserves with a keen and committed crew getting together every Thursday to learn a bit more about the local bushland, what has been growing and what needs knowing.

There is a focus reserve every month and once a month bush-regenerators from Lake Mac Landcare Network (LMLN)come out and lend a hand.
  • In March the Carey Bay Wetlands will be the focus. 
  • April is Gurranba’s turn on the foreshore( 8th LMLN)
  • May the energy will turn to Burnage (6th LMLN) – the Excelsior Parade side aka Giant Reed area, 
  • in June the joy will be shed at Threlkeld (3rd LMLN), 
  • July sees Laycock St South get a go-(1st  LMLN) and
  • in August the Stansfield Reserves will have some energy spent on them.
If you’re interested in finding out a little more about what is involved in local Landcaring give Robyn a ring 4959 1507.

Seniors Week March 21-27

Trees In Newcastle is offering a free plant to any Seniors who present their Seniors Card in Seniors Week March 21-27. TIN is open Tues-Friday 8.30-5pm.

If slow food and GYO (grow your own) is your cup of tea, keep an eye out for some exciting activities coming up at the Figtree Community Garden, Albert Street Wickham. Activities include the Seniors Week Open Day in late March a Cheese making workshop, a Bee Keeping workshop and a Food Preserving

Toronto Garden Club

The Toronto Garden Club is powering along at the Scout Hall, Excelsior Pde on the 3rd Thursday of each month, 10am with the trading table opening at 9.30am. Friends of members are welcome as is anyone wanting to join up. There’s always a raffle, trading table and great camaraderie. Don’t forget to bring a mug for tea and coffee and also a chair to the club meetings.

The March 18th meeting has guest experts from the Herb and Garden Club at Adamstown talking on Growing Herbs and Their Uses. A week later is a visit to the Wallis Water Garden at Mulbring one of the best collections s of water garden plants in Australia with almost two acres of unique gardens with many ponds displaying a huge collection of plants.

April 15th  meeting at the Scout hall will feature a talk on Weeds – Their Identification and Eradication
April 22 visit out will be to the Shortland Wetlands Centre.
Contact Jan Hissey 4959 1382 for more information


The value of mulching around plants is quite well known. It can reduce the need for watering, as the mulch breaks down it adds organic matter to the soil, it provides habitat for bugs which provide food for larger animals such as birds, frogs and lizards and it is also a home for fungi.

Fungi are nature’s great decomposers. The ‘mushroom’ that we see is just the tip of the iceberg though, being the fruiting body. The real workhorse of the fungi-brigade is the fine threadlike white bits you often see under leaf litter or mulch, the hyphae.

Fungi are very good at breaking down woody material, if they weren’t around we’d be buried under piles of
dead wood, everyone can do a bit for decomposition by leaving some leaf mulch and a few bits of wood about.

Membership drive

If your neighbour comes knocking on your door, waving a piece of paper they might be asking you to join up to the Progress Association. Membership renewal time is happening and for only $6/person or $10/family you can be a part of an Association that works for the betterment or our community, maintains and owns our Hall and ensures issues that affect our community are made known to the community.

Membership doesn’t mean you have to come along to meetings…unless you want to of course, it does mean that you are supporting the organisation and the voice of the community which it represents. If you would like to join up, contact the Association through your favourite communication method and we’ll get a membership form to you.

One satisfied member penned the following note with their membership renewal:

“You’re doing a wonderful job. Wish I were 39 instead of 89 so I could take part instead of having to hire a gardener to keep my rather large patch tidy. 

Yours sincerely grateful for your efforts on my behalf to keep this as a wonderful area in which to live”

Sincerest thanks also go out to the generous members who gave financial donations to the organisation. It certainly helps make ends meet.

Transition Town Titbits

The Coal Point Transition Steering Group has been busy of late. The group hosted a 2-day training workshop recently in which 12 ‘transitioners’ came together to learn more about the Transition Town Movement and the tools and techniques that have made this international positive movement the success it is.

There were sessions on the various transition tools such as ‘Open Space Technology’- a way of gathering community input on various questions that the community wants answers to, Conversation Café- a process for gathering ideas and actions on a specific topic, Visioning-a way of defining how the community will look, feel, and build resilience to the twin challenges of Peak Oil and Climate Change, and information sharing. activities that go way beyond a lecture format and are interactive, fun and empowering.

The other aspect to this weekend was meeting and catching up with others who have been working within their communities on Transition Initiatives. There were people from Foster and Taree who were thinking how to start the process, folk from Maitland about to mobilise the masses, Newcastle Transition Towners getting reinvigorated and six members from the Coal Point group who now have a greater understanding of the Transition model and how it all works.

Sincerest thanks to the Trainers Bob Thomas and Sandra Menteith who came from the Bowral Transition group-Climate Action Wingecarribee, recently famous for the Bundy On Tap triumph which has all the community supporting a no-bottled water policy within the town of Bundanoon.

Gracious thanks also to Chris & Libby Walters for hosting the event at their home.

The movies are coming

The past few Chronicles have made mention of a Transition Movie Festival that aims to share the current information about building community resilience to the twin challenges of Peak Oil and Climate Change.
The movie program has been set, the Hall booked and the data projector and screen purchased, thanks to a Volunteers Small Equipment Grant from the Dept of Families, Housing, Community and Indigenous Affairs.

The movie marathon is running over several months, with multiple screenings over Friday, Saturday or Sunday so that as many people as possible can see the movies at a time that’s convenient for them.

All the film sessions will also have Conversation Café forums to gather ideas and issues that arise from the films.The format for the viewings will run to a pre-advertised schedule so that people can come along to any particular film that is showing, and not have to stay for all the films.

All the movies will be shown at Progress Hall, and there’ll be supper/food available.
  • April 16th Friday- 6-9.30pm, In Transition- The Movie and A Crude Awakening
  • May 8th- Saturday Noon-4.30pm In Transition-The Movie, End of Suburbia and The Power of Community
  • June 19th Sunday 11am-4.00pm- In Transition- The Movie, An Inconvenient Truth, The Power of Community
  • July 15th Friday 6-9pm In Transition- The Movie and Power of Community
  • August 13th Saturday Noon-5pm In Transition- The Movie, Escape from Suburbia and A Crude Awakening
  • September 18th Sunday 11-4.30pm In Transition- The Movie, End of Suburbia and Escape from Suburbia
The local Transition group meets on the 2nd Monday of the month at 4pm at Progress Hall, to plan the events and activities and think about how the Transition Town process works. All interested people are welcome to come along. Email or talk to Luke 4959 9401 about what the group is upto.

Privacy Policy summary

The CPPA is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information it collects, holds and administers. It will collect only information it needs for its primary function; make sure people know why we’re collecting the information, securely store it, and keep it up to date

The reasons for collecting personal information could include
  • Sending reminders about up and coming Progress events which may occur before the next Chronicle comes out
  • Sending membership renewals
  • To opt to join discussion groups that discuss Progress activities or ideas
  • To opt to receive an electronic copy of the Chronicle as well as the hardcopy that will continue to be delivered. The Chronicle is increasingly using web references and providing email contacts.
  • To opt in to online social networks that the Progress Association is establishing to connect members of the community to each other and facilitate interaction.
The Privacy Policy also states that
  • Bulk mailouts will be blind copied and our e-lists are not available for promoting activities of third parties.
  • The Treasurer (or delegate) will maintain the accuracy of the email lists, 
  • a delegated Committee member with communication dissemination tasks will have access to the email list for the purposes outlined within the policy 
  • Social networking/websites are moderated. 
  • Distribution lists include The Committee & meeting contributors (members), financial members, interested non-member supporters.