Monday, 9 October 2017

Hunter Intrepid Landcare visits Coal Point

by Callum Reedman
On Saturday the 23rd of September, Hunter Intrepid Landcare descended on the Coal Point Progress Association, to participate in the event: “Squirrel Glider Surveying and Spotlighting at Coal Point”, within the Ridgeline bush remnants of Coal Point.
The event brought 11 participants from all walks of life along to survey the Squirrel Glider population and replace fallen nest boxes. 
Monitoring was performed by climbing a ladder up to each box and peeping in to the Glider residence, an extremely cute and rewarding experience for us if perhaps a bit scary for the Gliders. 
We looked for the visible signs of habitation, as to whether the boxes contained green leaves, or old nest signs like that of brown/grey leaves, alongside whether animals were inside, and if so, how many. 
For most of the participants, this was the first time Squirrel Gliders had been viewed outside of posters, if at all, and it was certainly an exciting time to view not just 1, but ten of the endangered Squirrel Gliders across multiple next boxes with six occupying just one. Much excitement and photographs abounded. 
We also helped replace fallen boxes, which are needed to extend and replace the tree hollows that are critical habitat for the Squirrel Gliders. The locations of the replaced boxes were logged via GPS and will hopefully become a home to a growing Squirrel Glider population in the near future.
The event ran for approximately 6 hours, culminating in a spotlighting session that night, whereby the group along with local families, sought to see whether we’d be able to catch a glimpse of the Gliders from earlier on. 
While we didn’t find any Gliders, we did spot 3 possums and a Boo-Bok Owl that, with the unique experience of exploring the bush by torchlight and the great company of friends, made for a fun night.
Overall the event was a roaring success, having replaced 2, and checked 9 nesting boxes we found 10 gliders across 3 boxes and 1 box with Rosellas. 

An enormous thanks to the CPPA for inviting Hunter Intrepid Landcare to share the lovely wildlife gems which reside in their suburb’s backyard as part of the Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula project and to Chris Mclean for running the spotlighting event along the West  ridge. 

Dig In & Celebrate National Gardening Week 8-14 October 2017

The Inaugural National Gardening Week celebrates the simple joys of gardening and the environmental, social and health benefits it brings. Whether it be maintaining a few pots on a balcony, a suburban or a bushland backyard, the enjoyment, the improved mental and physical wellbeing and the satisfaction gardeners gain from ‘getting their hands dirty’ is universal.
  • Would you like to join a garden club? Toronto and Districts Garden Club Inc meet 3rd Thu 9.30am (Feb-Nov) Contact Doug Treloar 02 4959 1826 
  • Want to get involved with planning the local community garden? Visit the Scout Hall on Excelsior Parade. 
  • Feel like learning about gardening in the bush? Catch up with the landcare crew on Thursday any time from 8:30 till 1pm 
  • Plan your next garden makeover with a locally inspired landscape plan for slopes or to create a fire retardant garden from the resources on the CPPA website
  • Purchase a native plant. They for sale from $4.35 from the Landcare Resource Centre, 80 Toronto Rd, Booragul any Tuesdays, 8am-1pm. 
  • Add another dimension to your garden and create a habitat haven. 
The are some great ideas on the Backyard Buddies website such as
  • Add mulch - to encourage bugs which make great food for birds 
  • Add rocks and logs - to give skinks and frogs somewhere to hide 
  • Add a bird bath - as clean, fresh water will attract many buddies 
  • Add a nest box - to give a great home to a bird or mammal family 
  • Add locally native plants - as this provides excellent food, shelter, and nest sites 
  • Add an understory - to give small birds somewhere to hide in the shrubs and plants that grow under trees but above your groundcovers 
  • Add a frog pond - as frogs will love it, and other buddies will love a drink and a splash 
  • Add a cat run, or keep your cat indoors - to keep your backyard buddies safe 
And you don't have to do it all at once!

Your backyard buddies will appreciate any improvements you make, and it's awesome to watch your backyard evolving over time.


But one thing is for sure - if you build it, they will come.

Sustainable News

TASNG AGM

The AGM of the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group (TASNG) will be held on Wednesday (11 October) at 5 pm at the HUB (97-99 The Boulevarde, Toronto) and will be followed by the monthly meeting. All welcome!

TASNG would love to welcome new faces who would like to see our beautiful Toronto even more sustainable and thriving. Please let your friends and colleagues know.

If you would like to consider nominating for a committee position, feel free to contact TASNG Secretary (Lois Simpson) on 4959 5863 to find out more information. All positions are open!

Pamper Care Project

The LT Creek Sustainable Neighbourhood Group is working with the Woodrising Neighbourhood Centre to help people in West Lake Macquarie who are homeless or disadvantaged.

The Pamper Care Project collects donations of personal care products for distribution to those who need it most.

Donations can be taken to the drop off basket at the Blackalls Park Pie and Cake Shop.

Friendship Foreshore Picnic


Enjoy a friendly start to the weekend by getting to know your neighbours and local community members.

The first of these friendly affairs is a spring Community Picnic being held from 5.30pm onwards on Friday 10th November. Meet at Toronto Rotunda on the Foreshore.

Bring your own food, drinks, seating and games to share. Bring your guitar or your knitting needles or dust off the cricket set. Enjoy a friendly start to the weekend by getting to know your neighbours and local community members. A family-friendly event. All welcome, supported by TASNG and CPPA.

Catherine Wroe- Wildlife carer

Very sadly, in early September I found one of the powerful owl chicks dead not too far from the water tank. It had been attacked - most likely from a fox... it may have come to ground because it was not well and then got attacked.... we can't be sure... The good news was that I saw both parents and the other young last week, so fingers crossed that this one makes it.

Care to comment on what you want our community to contain?

We live in a very picturesque lakeside community which is beginning to suffer from the increasing impacts of STHL. Our local amenity and the neighbourliness of the place we call home is under threat from non-resident business enterprises.
Unlike city-based STHL where visitors go out to enjoy the surrounding area, our lakeside community is the destination point where the visitors recreate and relax at the venue, bringing in the necessary supplies to lubricate their enjoyment of the area.
The Coal Point-Carey Bay area is a residential zone that has always had a number of onsite host B&Bs that have quietly co-existed amongst the community generating an income stream for the owners and supporting local businesses. This permissible usage in a residential zoning is accepted. 
The rise of online booking systems and investor-owner income streams for absentee hosts is changing the nature of the clientele and the community impacts. Without a host on site the arrangement constitutes a serviced apartment, as such it is not permissible in a residential zone. 
It is incompatible to have tourist-zone impacts in a residential area not designed for such. The increasing number of Party Houses comes with an increased number of people for which the house was not designed, accompanying excess noise, and additional impacts on parking and privacy of residents. These tourist zone impacts compromise the amenity and ambience of a family-centric neighbourhood. 
To avoid the increasing impacts of STHL on a residential community of neighbours the following position is being proposed on the Options Paper. 
  • Industry regulation is required as self-regulation by non-resident hosts is a conflict of interest
  • There needs to be a planning framework to protect the intent of residentially zoned land
  • A metropolitan approach is warranted as the region transitions to Hunter City
  • 30 day annual limits for non-resident hosts will ensure community amenity is maintained
  • The amenity and privacy of existing community of residents and families should not be compromised by solely business enterprises in a residential zone. 
There is a letter detailing these options available on the website to download and submit to The Director of Housing Policy.

Other feedback options on the NSW Planning & Environment website include a submission form, or a survey to complete.

Submissions due by 31/10/17


Director Housing Policy
Department of Planning and Environment
GOP Box 39
Sydney NSW 2001

Short Term Holiday Letting (STHL):

Response to the Options Paper Short Term Holiday Letting in NSW (July 2017)

Thank you for the opportunity to provide a submission to Short Term Holiday Letting (STHL) in NSW Options Paper July 2017
As a resident of a very picturesque lakeside community I am concerned about the increasing impacts of STHL on the local amenity and neighbourliness of a place I call home.
Unlike city-based STHL where visitors go out to enjoy the surrounding area, our lakeside community is the destination point where the visitors recreate and relax at the venue, bringing in the necessary supplies to lubricate their enjoyment of the area.
The Coal Point-Carey Bay area is a residential zone that has always had a number of onsite host B&Bs that have quietly co-existed amongst the community generating an income stream for the owners and supporting local businesses. This permissible usage in a residential zoning is accepted.
The rise of online booking systems and investor-owner income streams for absentee hosts is changing the nature of the clientele and the community impacts. Without a host on site the arrangement constitutes a serviced apartment, as such it is not permissible in a residential zone. It is incompatible to have tourist-zone impacts in a residential area not designed for such. The increasing number of Party Houses are often excessively loud, accommodate an increased number of people for which the house is not designed which impacts on parking and privacy. These tourist zone impacts compromise the amenity and ambience of a family-centric neighbourhood.
To avoid the increasing impacts of STHL on a residential community of neighbours I offer the following recommendations on the Options Paper.

Industry Regulation is required.

All businesses have some form of industry regulation. The more the industry impacts on those around its field of operation the greater the level of industry compliance required.
As STHL is operating in a residential zone the impacts on the surrounding families needs to be regulated. Self-regulation will not affect a solution to the problems associated with having tourists impacting on a residential zone.
An independent government body that has the capacity to monitor the occupancy levels, enforce compliance and issue fines is required, as would be expected of any business that operates at the scale and spread of the STHL industry.

Regulation through the Planning System

People purchase a house in a low or medium density residential zone because they desire the amenity and friendliness associated with familiarity of neighbours and a home context, otherwise they would live in a business or tourist zone.  It is unreasonable to change the nature and the expectations of the zoning to accommodate solely business enterprises.
If SHTL is to be a part of the residential schema then it is imperative that the values and amenity of the residential zoning are maintained. This could be achieved by having Complying, Exempt and Prohibited regulation criteria as outlined below.
Exempt Development would be when the STHL
·       Is registered and has a licence
·       The owners live on site
·       There are no more than 4 guests on site at any one time
Complying Development would be when the STHL
·       Is registered and have licence
·       The owners do not live on site
·       There are no more than four (4) guests on site.
·       The use is limited to 30 nights per year 
Development Application would be when
·       The owners do not live on site
·       There are more than 4 guests on site
·       The host wants to operate greater than 30 days per year
Prohibited Development (In Residential Zones)
More than ten (10) guests on site should be prohibited in residential zones as – this is getting to the size where guests should be accommodated in Tourist Zones.

A Metropolitan approach

The options paper aims to differentiate between metropolitan and regional areas. With the transition of our area to ‘Hunter City’ the metropolitan criteria should be applied, as it is inconsistent to be touting the area to be metropolitan and the second largest city in NSW on one hand, but still allowing a regional context in which to develop and promote business on the other.  

30 Day Limits to the number of total days per year

In a residential zone there is an expectation that you will be able to enjoy the amenity and solitude of your home. Within this context one has to consider how much disruption to privacy and amenity is reasonable.
I would suggest as part of complying development no more than 30 days be acceptable. This is still almost every fortnight, or once a month, which would be a significant impost on neighbours.
Limiting visitor days is consistent with standards adopted in cities around the world and AirBnB’s own data which states majority of hosts made their properties available for 25 nights each year, on average, and generated about $4500 of income”.

The Community Ethic of STHL

AirBnB founder Brian Chesky states “At the heart of our mission is the idea that people are fundamentally good and every community is a place where you can belong”.
It is fundamental to our community that all who have chosen to live here on a permanent basis still feel that they belong, know their neighbours and can enjoy a home that they have emotionally and financially invested in.
On-site hosts provide continuity of community context.  Non-resident investor driven hosting is compromising the integrity of our community.

In summary

  • Industry regulation is required as self-regulation by non-resident hosts is a conflict of interest
  • There needs to be a planning framework to protect the intent of residentially zoned land
  • A metropolitan approach is warranted as the region transitions to Hunter City
  • 30 day annual limits for non-resident hosts will ensure community amenity is maintained
  • The amenity and privacy of existing community of residents and families should not be compromised by solely business enterprises in a residential zone.
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Ride2Work

R2W Wednesday 18/10/17

Over 77% of trips are taken by car in Lake Mac but the community says it wants more bike and foot options. A chance to put your best feet forward and into action is looming with National Ride2Work Day on Oct 18th . Once you’ve done it you may want to do it again…with friends. 
Riding to work is one of the easiest and most time-efficient ways to fit exercise into a daily routine. By swapping the car, train or bus for a bike, you can get your recommended daily exercise without having to spend extra time or money at the gym… and you’ll be happier and healthier for it! 

A better network for cycling and connected footpaths is part of LMCC’s plans for the future. 

DA Update

Amended plans lodged for 2 Brighton Av- 133 Excelsior Pde

After five months of waiting amended plans were lodged by the developer on 19/9/17 leaving little time for community comment prior to the Land & Environment Court hearing on 9-10 October.

The amended plans include

  • deleting Unit 4 to allow for visitor carpark 
  • deleting vehicle access onto Brighton Ave (although a concrete driveway still exists on the plans) thus have all traffic moving on and off the site via Excelsior Parade 
  • some additional planting around visitor carpark 
  • provision of a turning area 
  • increased solar access for Unit 19 
The Residents for Responsible Lakeside Development met to consider the amended plans and felt that overall there was little change in impact from the original submission. It remains unclear from the plans what trees will remain, LMCC officer commented on the inadequate documentation provided.

You can keep up to date with developments in the area through Lake Macquarie City Council’s Application Tracking system.

Lake Mac 2050


 http://shape.lakemac.com.au/LM2050

By 2050, 50,000 more people will live in Lake Macquarie. Technology will have changed the way we live, work, play. Driverless cars will be part of our daily life and climate change will have a real impact.

LMCC is preparing a exciting land use plan to make sure Lake Mac is ready for the future. This will develop high-level directions for the future of housing, transport, recreation, the environment, and the economy in Lake Mac.

They’re checking in because they want to get it right. Are they on the right track?

Participate now at http://shape.lakemac.com.au/LM2050. The following are a few statements taken from the ‘read more about our Land Use Plan’ section.

Toronto 2050

In 2050, Toronto is the service centre for Westlakes. Professional, aquatic, medical and aged care services are the engine of the Toronto town centre.

At a glance:

  • More transport choices. It’s easy to get around by walking, cycling and public transport 
  • More people live and work in the centre 
  • The scenic and natural settings of the area are complemented by better connections between the centre and the water 
  • Outdoor recreation is improved with a revitalised Foreshore Park 
  • Increased population provides support for small business in the area 
  • A place where you can better balance work and recreational opportunities 

Our Green space

  • The City’s natural features are conserved 
  • The scenic and natural settings are well managed 

Lake coast and waterways

  • There is potential to expand transport options such as ferries and water taxis 
  • Climate Change will be a great challenge and means the Lake foreshore and coastline is changing and that resources will need to be put into adapting and renewing infrastructure affected by inundation.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

It’s Biodiversity Month!

Biodiversity is the web of life, where individual strands link together to make something that is strong, complex and beautiful.
In our bushland suburb we can experience the best of this diversity because we still have many of the connections needed for a variety of plants and animals to survive. We have trees (young and old), shrubs and groundcovers that create places and spaces for animals to live and breed.

Many locals are doing their bit to protect our local biodiversity by having a bit of natural habitat in their backyards and keeping the weeds under control and out of the public bushland.


Many locals are responsible pet owners and keep their killer kitties indoors, and their frolicking fidos under control so we still have local birdlife such as the West Ridge Wood ducks (regularly recorded in the bird surveys) who have produced a vulnerable and fluffy flock and the Powerful Owls parents that have produced a pair of owlets this year. 

Squirrel Glider Survey & Nightlife Spotlight

On September 23rd the Squirrel Glider nestboxes will be surveyed to better understand how the local population is surviving.

Hunter Intrepid Landcarers will be undertaking the annual review, checking to see if the nestboxes are occupied, counting the occupants and relocating any unused boxes to a more potentially preferable location.

If you’re a young person and want to connect with the Intrepid tribe find the Hunter Intrepid Facebook page and register for the surveying on the Eventbrite page.

As part of the Squirrel Glider surveillance a spotlighting session for locals and the Intrepid crew will be held from 6pm with Dr Chris McLean providing the know-how as he is very much in-the-know when it comes to the night time activities of arboreal wildlife. To book one of the 20 locals tickets visit Eventbrite .

WHAT IS DEMENTIA?

Alzheimer’s Australia has a raft of resources to better understand dementia.The following has been taken from The Talk to Me brochure.

Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease. Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks and in time will interfere with the persons normal, social, and working life.

Everyone with dementia is unique. There are many different types of dementia and symptoms can present differently in different people.

These are principles of communication that people living with dementia have told us would make a difference to their lives

Talk to me

Please talk to me, not my carer, family member or friend. Don’t prejudge my level of understanding.

Please speak clearly to me

Make eye contact and speak clearly. Use short sentences, with one idea at a time. Avoid jargon, as I might misunderstand.

Please keep questions simple

Make sure I am listening and use simple questions and/or repetition, offered with sensitivity. It’s easier for me to answer direct questions, rather than open-ended questions, such as saying ‘wasn’t it lovely when we went out to the park yesterday?’ Not just ‘wasn’t it lovely yesterday?’.

Treat me with dignity and respect

I am still a person, so don’t patronise me. Respect and empathy are important to everyone. If I act differently it may be because I am having difficulty communicating or because of my disease.

Don’t question my diagnosis

The symptoms of dementia are not always obvious. Listen to me and don’t minimise my feelings.

Distractions cause disruptions

Less noise and fewer distractions, such as bright lights, will help me to focus.

Be patient and understanding

Sometimes it takes a little longer for me to process information and find the right answer. Don’t rush me. Allow me time to speak.

Break it down

Providing information in smaller chunks will really help me.

Signage

Please use clear and simple signage.

The Science of Success


The Science of Sustainability was comprehensively shared during August with an estimate of 656 visitors exploring Questacon’s hands on exhibits, the Fur & Feather exhibit and Scinema short films at Progress Hall. The Fern & The Burn observation trail was walked by 525 people and provided insights to the impact of fire on native vegetation, how garden escapes, especially Asparagus fern, can transform the landscape and also the ethics around biking in the bush.

Over the week 448 students and teachers attended. The local schools included Coal Point, Teralba, Awaba, Birriban, St Josephs and St John Vianney. Several groups from The Hunter Home Schoolers & Educators also visited. On the weekends 208 visitors were received.



The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

“Exceptional, Really great afternoon, can’t do that sort of science in a classroom” “We go for a walk all the time and never look up, a great investigation”

“We all had a wonderful time. The science presentation was awesome and the kids loved the interactive displays and the observational trail walk. It was a truly educational, fun and amazing experience for children and parents alike”



The event was made possible by $8650 of community sponsorship and $18,566 of inkind contributions in the form of printing by Toronto First National and 510 hours of volunteer time by 18 amazing volunteers.

Will there be another science week event? Possibly but not for a few years.






What business is permissible in a residentially zoned neighbourhood?

The lack of a consistent definition of Short Term Holiday Letting, the rapid growth of the online booking industry and the ambiguity of what is and isn't permissible within a residential zone is why the State Government has put out an options paper on Short Term Holiday Letting such as AirBnB , Stayz and TripAdvisor.

The aim is to develop a framework to hopefully provide a balance between people being able to utilise their assets for economic gain but importantly not compromise the integrity of the neighbourhood in which they are placed or the amenity of the residents that call a place home.

Further to last months article on NSW Government Short Term Holiday Letting (STHL) options report we have reviewed the document and have provided below a brief summary, in the context of residential neighbourhoods, of the key elements which relate to regulation/compliance and planning controls.

In regards to the regulation/compliance component, the report provides commentary on three options being:

  1. Industry Self Regulation 
  2. Government Regulation 
  3. Combination of Government and Self Regulation 
It is our opinion that in order to protect the amenity of residents and maintain the character of our neighbourhoods and community, registration, complaints management, penalties for non conformance and monitoring (i.e. number of days of use etc) should be controlled by Government. Other functionary tasks, that don’t have impacts on amenity, including education etc can be dealt with through self regulation.

The second component deals with planning controls including
  • Limits on number of days per year of use 
  • Limits to length of stay 
  • Limits to number of rooms/guests 
  • Regulation based on whether hosts live on site or don’t live on site 

Thresholds based on above criteria will determine whether STHL is either
  • Exempt Development 
  • Complying Development 
  • Requires Development Consent 
It is considered reasonable that where hosts live on site the operation would be categorised as exempt development provided the operation is registered. Exempt development doesn’t require Council approval and would be considered to have low risk to residential amenity as the hosts live on site and affectively control/police the behaviour of guests to ensure code of conduct is enforced.

Complying Development would apply to operations were owners don’t live on site and a threshold of number of days of operation is set, number of guests is set and the operation is registered.

A Development Application would need to be lodged when the threshold criteria of days of use, number of guests etc is exceeded.

There are feedback options on the NSW Planning & Environment website. You can fill in a submission form, complete a survey or write to The Director of Housing Policy.

The Progress Association will be providing a template for people to use which addresses items outlined in above summary for submission to Department of Planning. It is anticipated that this template will be available on CPPA webpage from Monday 25th September.

Of interest there was a story on ABC 702 (Sydney) on Monday 4th September on impacts of STHL on residents in strata, the story opened with the commentator advising that the market penetration of Airbnb in Australia was the highest of any country in the world. With this in mind we urge people to consider the options paper carefully and make submissions to Department of Planning and also contact Greg Pipers office as per our August newsletter advice. (NB Submissions close 31 October 2017).

Depending on community interest CPPA may look at arranging speakers to talk on this topic in October. If you are interested could you please send an email or sms to Suzanne via a committee contact, or make a comment on the Facebook page. Details will be provided when the level of interest is known.

There has been quite a bit of concern about this issue across the State, but it starts in our suburbs. A website www.neighboursnotstrangers.com has lots of information about the impacts that are being felt.

DAs In Play 1/8/17 to 11/9/17

You can keep up to date with developments in the area through Council’s online tracking system. The list below has been abridged from Lake Macquarie City Council’s Application Tracking system. It has been compiled to support community understanding of developments in our area. Please consult LMCC’s website for details and a complete listing. The information below is from 1/8/17 to 11/9/17

• 6 Alkira Street: Boundary Adjustment, 1 into 2 Lot Subdivision and 2 Dwelling Houses - Amendment To Consent: Decision pending
• 29 Amelia Street: Remove 1 tree and build a 5x3.8x2.4 m single car shed and storage space to house a car and provide
• 47A Brighton Avenue: Dwelling House and Demolition of Existing Dwelling: Awaiting Information Requested
• 151-155 Brighton Av (Hirecrafft Marina) Awaiting Information Requested.
• 23 Coal Point Road: New Residential Dwelling & Retaining Walls: Approved
• 63 Coal Point Road: Dwelling Alterations and Additions and Retaining Wall: Check New Application
• 77 Coal Point Rd: Dwelling House and Ancillary detached Garage/Shed - Amendment: Check New Application
• 128 Coal Point Rd: Dwelling House Alterations & Additions: Approved
• 226 Coal Point Road. Dwelling Alteration & Additions. Under Assessment
• 236 Coal Point Road :Dwelling House: Approved
• 269A Coal Point Road: Fence: Under Assessment
• 38 Excelsior Parade: Dwelling Alterations and Additions: Under Assessment
• 58A Brighton Avenue :Secondary Dwelling: Under Assessment
• 75 Excelsior Parade :Dwelling House, Swimming Pool, Workshop and Demolition of Existing Dwelling - Amendment: Lodged
• 27 Hampton Street: Dwelling & Retaining Walls: Approved
• 38 Kilaben Road : Split level Dwelling and retaining walls- approved
• 1 Laycock Street: Steel reinforced swimming pool and associated pool surrounds: Awaiting Information Requested
• 14/17 Laycock Street: Community Facility- Bridge club- Under Assessment
• 1/17 Laycock St: Child Care Centre: Awaiting Information Requested
• 1 Oakhampton Court: Dwelling Alterations and Additions: Approved
• 7 Robey Crescent :Dwelling Alterations & Additions & Attached Secondary Dwelling: Approved
• 11 Robey Crescent: Alterations and Additions - Modification: On Notification/Advertising
• 20 Skye Point Road Dwelling Alterations & Additions. Awaiting Information Requested
• 47 Skye Point Road. Dwelling House Additions. Approved
• 74 Skye Point Road. Dwelling House, Garage, Swimming Pool, Alt & Adds to Boatshed. Approved
• 78 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House - Alterations & Additions, Boat Shed, Water Recreation Structure: Awaiting information requested
• 106 Skye Point Road: Dwelling Alterations and Additions and Pool with Associated Safety Barriers - Amendment: On Notification/Advertising
• 180 Skye Point Road: Dwelling Alterations and Additions (Garage and Boatshed) and Demolition of Existing Boatshed - Amend: Under Assessment
• 228 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House, Swimming Pool with Associated Safety Barriers and Demolition of Existing Dwelling: Awaiting Information Requested
• 268 Skye Point Road: Detached Dual Occupancy and Strata Subdivision: Under assessment
• 296 Skye Point Road: Dwelling Alterations and Additions: Under Assessment
• 27 Whitelocke Street: B149 - Dwelling House: Approved
• 29 Whitelocke Street: Secondary Dwelling and Retaining Wall Awaiting Information Requested

Sunday, 6 August 2017

The Science of Sustainability featuring Questacon's Earth quest

Months of planning and anticipation is about to come to fruition as time stands still for Science Week. One week with two weekends means several super-hands-on science sessions are available for all the community near and far to attend on 12-13 August and 19-20 August, or perhaps during the week.

What will be on show?


  • 15 Earth Quest interactive exhibits from Questacon will spark an interest from Outer Space to Inner Earth. 
  • A mini festival of the best short science films from Scinema - (no popcorn though). 
  • Some local sensory exhibits around our feathered and furry friends with nestboxes built by the Toronto Men’s Shed 
  • An observation trail in the bush out the back to wander along and discover some field science and the impacts of fire on garden escapes. 
Over 400 students have booked in for the mid-week sessions, which is very exciting including two sessions with the Hunter Home Educators-Schoolers. Some mid week 9am sessions are still available.

Whilst bookings aren’t essential for the weekends, if we do get overwhelmed with enthusiasm those with a ticket will get in and numbers will have to be regulated. If you’d like to lend a hand contact us.

Bookings can be made through Eventbrite- The Science of Sustainability – Questacon’s Earth Quest exhibits-Community.




National Tree Day Planting perfect for Threatened Species

This year’s National Tree Days have been a celebration of community enthusiasm. 

On Schools Tree Day 120 Stage 3 students and Kinder buddies from Coal Point Public School planted 240 Blue Flax Lilies and native grasses as a border to the expanding Squirrel Glider Garden that has been growing since 2015. The joy and skills exhibited by these students was inspirational.

On the community-planting day, Sunday, The Rotary Club Toronto Sunrise pitched in and
planted with perseverance and purpose, 1260 plants forming an instant forest on the site of the decommissioned water tank and Whitelocke Street edge of Hunter Water’s land.

Thanks go out to Hunter Water for providing the resources not only for making the planting possible but also for providing professional bush regenerators to tackle the weed infestation that was compromising the integrity of the West Ridge Reserve.

Overseeing the planting were our resident high profile Powerful Owl duo (Ninox strenua). The avian intel is that the pair have produced another chick this year due to the amazing hundred year hollow that is home-sweet home.

Rod Warnock, Wildlife Photographer, captured some amazing photos of the Powerful Owl on National Tree Day. He’s also taken this photo of a Regent Honeyeater that was at Blackalls Park recently, just a flutter away. The Regent Honeyeater is listed as endangered because it has been badly affected by land clearing. A lot of the planting of winter flowering plants that has been undertaken for the Threatened Species Last Stand project is an attempt to increase the numbers of nectar producing trees for Regent Honeyeaters and Squirrel Gliders. If you see the Regent Honeyeater please share the joy it’s quite rare.

More information about it is on the Birds in Backyards website http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Anthochaera-phrygia.