Wednesday Dec. 14th 7pm Community Gardeners and Vegetable growers meeting at Progress Hall
Saturday February 18th 2012, 4-7pm Community Garden Picnic at the Pony Club.
Saturday 3rd March 2012, 5-8pm at Progress Hall. The Songs of Henry Lawson & Tunes of Waltzing Matilda
Monday 5th March, 7pm at Progress Hall. Annual General Meeting of the Coal Point Progress Association. The Progress Association provides a vehicle for community contributions and manages the maintenance and upkeep of Progress Hall. If you would like to be involved talk to Suzanne on 4959 6741 about what is involved.
Local Landcaring each Thursday Ring Robyn for details 4959 1507
On Saturday March 3rd 2012, from 5pm the Progress Association will be hosting a community social event.
Australian traditional music researcher Roger Walter will be presenting a unique audio-visual presentation that looks at a selection of songs by Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson. It’s a fresh insight into Lawson’s poetry and emphasizes the depth of mood of his writing and a new perspective on Paterson’s Waltzing Matilda. A share-a-plate supper and community camaraderie will be available. Advanced bookings are $10/person. Tickets are $12 at the door on the day. Table bookings encouraged.
The Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group (TASNG), covering Carey Bay, Coal Point, Kilaben Bay and Toronto, is in the process of developing a local action plan around the themes of Foreshore Protection, Community Garden, Landcare, Children’s Parks and Playgrounds, Footpaths & Cycleways and Reducing Computer Components in Landfill. Each of these project areas has a team leader coordinating the group’s input into the local area action plan. The coordinating group of TASNG meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month at the Toronto library meeting room. Kelly Wood, the Sustainability Engagement Officer supporting the group, can be contacted for more information or getting involved. Ph 4921 0089, email@example.com
There is a catamaran that has been abandoned for several years at Wippi reserve.
The Progress Association has made an effort to contact the owner. They have left the country and have no objection to CPPA making it known that if someone would like the catamaran they are most welcome to take it away.
The CPPA will be pursuing the removal of this abandoned craft in early 2012. If unclaimed it will be reported as illegally dumped rubbish.
Catamarans and watercraft over 4m are not all allowed to be stored on reserves according to Councils Dinghy policy.
There is always Landcare activity happening around Coal Point, weeding, mulching and planting in various places. This month will see a milestone reached in Burnage Reserve. Five years ago the local landcare crew set out to remove a mass of Lantana in “Lilipilly Gully” by mosaic weeding and planting so that we kept shelter for birds and possibly other critters as well and could replace what was removed to “head off” weeds as much as possible. The last patch of Lantana and some of Colonel Burnage’s orchard of exotic fruits will be replaced and with a planting of the Australian Fingerlime, Microcitrus australasica – a rainforest species that will hopefully be happy in the sheltered gully replacing the old and very decrepit fruit trees. The Fingerlimes were donated to the group by Sue Herd who was a horticulturalist with our Hunter Region Botanic Gardens at Heatherbrae, Raymond Terrace. Congratulations to the local landcarers who received recognition for their contribution to the local environment at the recent Annual Environmental Excellence in Landcare Awards. The Bushcare In Threlkeld on Thursday group received a Long-Standing Landcare Group award, Jean Austen received the award behalf of the group and was then duly presented with a personal Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition for her inspiring and ongoing commitment to maintain the unique bushland of Threlkeld reserve. Thursday Landcare ladies Lois Simpson and Judy Hughes were awarded Local Legend Awards for their continued regular and enthusiastic work in our local reserves over several years.
A separate footpath strategy is being developed in the next 12 months, which will provide detailed information on where footpath will be installed in the Council area. Whilst there may not be a lot of footpath in our area there are quite a few access points that link road to lake or road to road that many people may not know about. The Progress Association has been investigating what access ways may still be viable within our community to increase walking options. The hope is to increase awareness and get better signage so their existence is obvious and passable. Local maps have been scrutinized for pathways and access points, the locations identified and photographed. A community meeting was held and the access options discussed and prioritised. The aim is to provide the location information in a community brochure. If you would like to further discuss any of these locations please contact Suzanne on 4959 6741 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org The CPPA is keen to talk to anyone who knows any of the history or information about the ‘lines on the map’ that we have identified. First priority is to address the Operational land zoning on 83-85 Skye Point Rd as this is seen as a vital access point into the publicly owned lands on the West Ridge, a great walking spot through local bushland with spectacular views.
A note on the links to the locations: The links will take you to the approximate location we are trying to explain. The photo is of what is visible from the road.
The next priority is to pursue signage at the following locations: 40A Ambrose St, next to the service station and where access to the lake is possible beside the caravan park.
The next priority is improved identification and working towards improving the access is proposed for the following locations: The obscured access between 26-28 Coal Point Road that provides a link to the Quarterdeck (14-16) through public reserve.
On exhibition at the moment is the Draft Cycling Strategy 2011-12 Correspondence from LMCC has stated that consideration will be given to a shared pathway connection between Coal Point/Carey Bay and the Toronto CBD in the development of Council's Cycleway Strategy. The Strategy is out now, there will be an information stall in Toronto Town Square on Thursday 19th January and the local Sustainable Neighbourhood Footpaths and Cycleways group will also be considering the draft.
Submissions are due by Friday February 24th, 5pm. If you would like to see a shared pathway in our community consider lodging a submission, which is as easy as writing a letter.
There’s always something happening at Lake Mac Council, sometimes it seems to happen quickly and other times it seems to take a while. A review of the Flood Plain Management Strategy has been promised since the Pasha storm of 2007. The draft was released for comment in October with submissions closing on 28 November. Sometimes Council will accept late submissions so you may still have opportunity for feedback. There is a very informative brochure on Council’s website outlining the findings and recommendations. It states that :-
The average water level in the lake will rise to 1m Australian Height Datum (AHD) by 2100. The lake rose to about 1.10m AHD in the June 2007 storm.
The worst floods are caused by heavy rain at the same time as high tides and storm surges.
The risks from rising lake levels to 1m AHD due to sea level rise will permanently cover some low-lying area around the lake foreshore. At least some portion of 3300 residential properties may be affected by permanent inundation by 2100.
From 2012, Council will work with communities to develop detailed local community adaptation plans, looking at issues such as flood hazard, sea level rise, infrastructure, environment, recreational uses and land uses. Council and the community will consider the best options for adapting to sea level rise, protecting against it and retreating where necessary. The Local Environment Plan 2011, the draft Lifestyle Strategy 2030 and the Development Control Plan 2011 will all go on exhibition together in the first half of 2012, a trifecta of planning instruments to ponder. Until then there are lots of interesting maps already prepared to have a look at including zone maps, flood maps, acquisition maps, urban release maps, heritage maps, minimum lot size maps, biodiversity maps, building heights maps, foreshore building line & coastal risk maps and a few others. Here is a link that will get you to them.
A relatively common practice in several of our local reserves is for people to place their domestic ‘smelly’ rubbish into the public rubbish bins in reserves. Birriban, Gurranaba and Wippi Reserves seem to a particular favourites.
Whilst this may remove the offensive odours from one person’s place, the combined effort of several rogue rubbishers means that people who live with a wind’s waft of the bins get to experience overwhelming odours for an extended period of time, as the bins in the reserves do not get emptied as regularly as the domestic bins.
If you see someone dumping rubbish please take their details or a photo and we will lodge an official complaint as we undertake our Squealy Bin campaign. There is a fine that can be issued to illegal dumping of domestic waste in public bins, we are hoping to discourage this practice.
The Progress Association was recently advised that lodging a service request to LMCC will get the bin emptied the next day. To keep everyone happy if you're going to fill the bin you could also make the call to LMCC 4921 0333 and get it emptied.
A CPPA volunteer, whilst delivering the October Chronicle, has lost her spectacles somewhere between Rofe St and Killara Close. If you have seen or picked up a pair of glasses in that vicinity can you please contact Barbara on 4959 1259, a reward is offered for their return.
Over the past 12 months a group of local vegetable growers have regularly gathered to discuss how, in the short term, to best to support the community in growing food in their own backyard and in the long term pursue a community garden project on public land. Monthly meetings continue to be held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at Progress Hall from 7pm. The next meeting is Wednesday 14th December. A proposal to convert the front yard of Progress Hall into a demonstration vegetable garden will be discussed and interest gathered to determine if it is a viable project. Also for your diaries, if you’re interested in having a Community Garden in the area, there will be a social picnic held on Saturday 18th February 2012, 4pm - 7pm at the Pony Club For further information on or to RSVP for these events, please contact Michelle on 0402924819 or email email@example.com
Christmas decorations may be starting emerge however thoughts of next years Arts & Craft show are starting to take up space in the cranial cavities of the organising committee. If you would like to be involved in helping to organise an amazing community event contact Barbara on 49591259 and she’ll keep in contact with you as plans to plan the event begin.
The results of the Sustainable Neighbourhood survey of Toronto, Carey Bay, Coal Point and Kilaben Bay showed that the most highly rated considerations was the need to “protect and improve the natural environment” followed closely by the need for access to parks, beaches, bushland and other natural areas”.
While this appears to be aimed mainly at lake foreshore homes it's good to remember that several of our reserves are not on foreshore eg Burnage, the Ridge Reserves and Carey Bay Wetlans with its catchment creeks.
The suggestions in the brochure about ways to protect reserves apply to all homes in our area as seeds from very invasive plants in gardens fly through the air and flow with drainage. This causes big problems in reserves which local landcarers struggle to manage especially in the bushland areas we so much appreciate.
Nico Marcar has taken on the role of convenor for the group and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feedback from Council over requests for pedestrian options around the point was received. “Consideration will be given to a shared pathway connection between Coal Point/Carey Bay and the Toronto CBD in the development of Council's Cycleway Strategy. It is anticipated that the draft strategy will be placed on exhibition sometime in November/December 2011. This will give the community further opportunity to comment on the proposed shared path links in the Coal Point/Carey Bay area, it will not however provide a detailed analysis on footpath location. A separate footpath strategy is being developed of the next 12 months, which will provide detailed information on where footpath will be installed in the Council area.”
The Progress Association at its August meeting has also been investigating various lines on maps which could possibly provide access to foreshore and bushland areas. Clarification of what constitutes public access will be sought, signage will be pursued where possible and investigations undertaken to open up obscured access ways to promote community usage. This information will be distributed throughout the community on a map in the not-to-distant future.
Spring is here and the time has come to get out your tools and get busy planting out your vegie garden. During August hopefully you dug your plot over and gave it a good does of lime, compost and manure. You would have removed all the weeds and it would be brimming with life just beneath the surface awaiting the summer crop.
Salad vegies are probably the first that spring to mind and a variety of small sowings would be suitable now. It’s better to sow a little at a time every few weeks to give a continuous and varied supply throughout the season, especially if you’re only feeding a few.
Plants to grow include: cabbage, capsicum, silverbeet, lettuce, spring onion, tomato. Seeds to sow include: beetroot, carrot, cucumber, marrow, parsnip, pea, radish, sweetcorn, zucchini and pumpkin.
A few tips:
Cabbage: Sprinkle the outer leaves with Derris Dust to scare off white butterfly-one dusting usually does the trick.
Sweetcorn: Plant 2-3 rows or in a group as it is wind pollinated. Pick when the tassle is brown.
Carrot: Don’t manure prior to sowing as it causes deformed root growth.
Pumpkin: When the flowers are formed pinch off the leading shoots to promote clumping growth.
Cucumber: Sow amongst the Sweetcorn. They will use the spent corn stalks as a climbing frame.
Since the workshop in August there has been activity in various areas.
The Community Gardening crew meet regularly on the 2nd Wednesday of the month All are welcome. The group will discuss how to go about getting a great crop in your own backyard and progress gathering interest in a community garden.
LMCC has a Community Garden Policy. It is well worth reading as it clearly describes the process that has to be undertaken for planning a community garden, approvals etc:
The Sustainable Neighbourhood project is gathering momentum throughout the community. At the August 16th workshop several areas of community interest emerged.
Project teams were formed around the topics of:
Children's Parks and Playgrounds
Footpaths and Cycleways
Reduce Computer Components in Landfill
Participants undertook a planning exercise from these interest areas and developed a prioritised action plan.
A Toronto, Coal Point, Carey Bay & Kilaben Bay Sustainable Neighbourhood Board has been elected comprised of
Chair: Steven Slott
Assistant Chair: Janice Bendeich
Secretary: John Gill
Assistant Secretary: Hellen Slott
Treasurer: Era Wellsmore
If you’d like to be put on the contact list for any of these groups Sarah Jordan, Sustainability Engagement Officer is the go to person. Phone 4921 0333, Email email@example.com
There are quite a few opportunities available at the moment to input into the future of our local community and the City as a whole.
The Sustainable Neighbourhood action planning workshop is a great process to get ideas for the future, recognize the wealth of opportunities that exist and create the place we want to live. The workshop is a well thought out, tried and tested process and will be a fantastic opportunity for all who want to contribute to have their ideas heard.
If you’ve ever thought wouldn’t it be great if we could … this workshop is just the place to see if it can become a reality.
Hopefully everyone has received the invitation to the Sustainable Neighbourhood Community Action Planning Workshop to be held at Coal Point School Hall on Tuesday 16th August 5.30-8.30pm.
Tour de Point…it would be good if we could and there is an online opportunity to put ideas forward to advance Lake Macquarie’s Cycling Strategy
The aim of the survey is to better understand the barriers to getting on your bike. If Council understands what is preventing people from cycling, they can build actions into the strategy to encourage people to cycle more.
The cycling strategy will play a key role in increasing the city’s environmental sustainability, by reducing the number of cars on our roads.
Cycling currently accounts for less than two percent of all trips in Lake Macquarie. The strategy aims to increase this number to five percent over the next 10 years.
Toronto Tidy Towns are holding a fundraiser on Sunday 18th September
2-5 pm at Progress Hall. You can check out the new paint job.
BYO picnic lunch,
beverages (hot and cold) and some friends and settle in to an afternoon of
acoustics music with Blackheart , widely regarded as
the fastest rising new stars of the British 'Urban Folk'. Enquiries and bookings to Lyn
Pascoe 0404 002 006.
The Anderson family made its mark on Lake Macquarie by planting identical gardens of Norfolk Pines and Magnolia grandiflora on their waterfront properties at Belmont and Carey Bay.
John and Grace Anderson settled at Belmont in 1870, and their eldest son George and his wife Amy (nee Clack), lived at Carey Bay. Amy’s parents had settled at Carey Bay in 1894.
It was the responsibility of John Anderson’s employee, Ahfong, to communicate between the father and the son by rowing back and forth across the lake. The trees were used as markers.
The Norfolk Island pines have gone from the old Carey Bay Anderson family site, struck by lightening, but the great twin Magnolia gandifloras, now significant Lake Macquarie trees, still stand.
The original house remains, although altered by subsequent owners, and looks across the water towards Belmont and Anderson’s Hill where Norfolk Pines and a giant Magnolia grandiflora dominate the landscape.
Family still live on a section of the original land at Carey Bay.
Many thanks to Pat McKensey for the information and the picture of Carey Bay
The Progress Association was fortunate to be able to meet with Council’s planning gurus recently to gain a better understanding of the Development Application (DA) process and how the community can participate more effectively.
The hierarchy of planning instruments was explained. State legislation requires all councils to have a Local Environmental Plan that provides the overarching guidelines of what is permissible in the various zones.
The Development Control Plans are the Council’s detailed design guidelines that determine how developments impact ‘on the ground’ and the controls that can be put in place, to get the best outcome that fits in with the City’s Vision.
When a DA is lodged a council officer is allocated to the project depending on the experience of the officer, workload and the complexity of the application.
One of the most interesting bits of information gleaned from the meeting was that not all DA’s have to be notified. DA’s that do not require notification include
Development of a minor nature that will not adversely affect the amenity of adjoining land or locality.
New residential dwelling houses up to and including two storeys, with a maximum height of eight metres measured from existing ground level; and
Additions to residential dwelling houses up to and including two storeys, with a maximum height of eight metres measured from existing ground level.
The most effective way to get your views on DA’s heard is to make your views known…to Council, to Councillors, your neighbours, your friends and even your long lost aunt if she has a connection to the community. The more people that contact the Council the more ‘complex’ the application and more senior people will have to consider the merit of the proposal. The more community comment the more personnel involved. If it becomes ‘controversial’ or is very expensive, Councillors will also be involved. Most applications are dealt with under delegated authority to Senior Council staff not the community elected Councillors.
Getting your point across is important too. You don’t have to have a planning degree but you do have to plan what you say. Emotions cloud the issues so try and make logical arguments based on your understanding of the community and the impacts of the development. Some of the areas you may want to make comment on scenic quality, tree preservation, heritage, waste management, stormwater, transport and access, community character, landscape design. You can have a look at the DCP guidelines to get a feel for some of the areas you may want to comment.
The ‘planning gurus’ said that talking about your broad concerns is very valid as well and the final bit of advice was to use your Council Officers and talk to them.
Keeping up with what developments are happening locally has been made easy by Councils Development Tracking System which also includes a map and recent listings.
Sincerest thanks to LMCC for providing the staff and the time to talk to the Progress Association about the community concerns over recent developments.
This came through the email and is worth sharing...
In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.
The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."
The clerk responded, "That's the problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."
He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But
that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of movie cinema. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we
didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a gym to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then. We drank from a bubbler when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then. Back then, people took the tram or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service.
We had one power point in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 3,200 kilometres out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
Being a waterfront community it’s not surprising that queries arise from time to time about who can do what and where along the foreshore.
The Progress Association has been sifting through two areas of late, dinghy management and foreshore fencing.
How far can your fence go?
With regard to fences the LMCC DCP 3.1 Lake, Waterway and Coastline Development document outlines what is permissible.
The overall aim is that structures such as fences, walls and enclosures are restricted in height, location and materials, to limit any potential for adverse visual impact, environmental impact, scenic quality or accessibility.
In order to achieve this aim
the height of any fence or wall or enclosure within a Foreshore Building Line can not exceed 1.2 metres.
The fence, wall or enclosure can not be constructed of masonry.
No part of the fence, wall or enclosure can be within 6 metres of DHWM
No fencing, wall or enclosure extends into the Lakefront Area Development Zone.
Fencing, walls or enclosures in the Lakefront Area Development Zone are no higher than 1.2 metres.
Another item that was investigated was what to do about dinghies. LMCC has a succinct Dinghy Management Policy that defines a dinghy as a single hulled vessel up to 4m long. It also describes what is not a dinghy and includes vessels such as catamarans, canoes and sailboats.
The policy allows dinghies to be stored on public land as they are essential for accessing moored vessels and to enjoy the Lake. The policy also states that storage is not to impact on native vegetation, established groves or individual trees or impede access to or along the shoreline.
The Progress Association is keen to investigate what options for storage of dinghies are possible within our reserves. Council will regulate storage where environmental and safety issues emerge and CPPA is looking for a long term solution that addresses all of the issues and needs of the community.
If anyone is interested in being on a working group to pursue this matter please contact the CPPA. We are investigating funding options for storage and there are several rather large (but interesting) hoops to jump through to achieve an outcome.
Another successful National Tree Day was held recently at Threlkeld Reserve where 44 canopy trees were planted to grow and shade out the exotic grasses. When grown the right conditions will be established for the next generation of local groundcovers to thrive. A dozen people participated and enjoyed the glorious sunshine and physical activity that landcaring provides.
The 2011 National Tree Day Landcarers
During the morning we heard about the plight of a local Squirrel Glider, found mummified in a nest box. The find raises more questions than answers…why did it die, are the nest boxes being used still, how many Squirrel Gliders are left, how does a local community care for a threatened species? If you are interested in working on a plan to support the ongoing care of Squirrel Gliders in our community please contact us. firstname.lastname@example.org. Here's a link if you’re interested in Squirrel gliders.
Some other interesting faunal news was provided in the April site report from LMCC’s Ecosystem monitoring project where Wallaby scats (poo) were found in the Stansfield Close reserves. A local has since reported seeing a dead wallaby on the foreshore at Gurranba Reserve. If anyone has seen a live wallaby or more scats it would be great to hear about it.