Monday, 20 December 2021

Best wishes from us all

 


TASNG, CPPA, local landcare and the TAG team are all having a well earned break over summer.


2022 Back to Business

17 Jan CPPA Meeting

3:30-5:30 Progress Hall-197 Skye Pt Rd. All Welcome

9 Feb TASNG meeting

5-6:30 The Hub, 97 The Boulevarde


Tools & techniques supplied.

Morning tea at 10am with plant ID advisory session
  • 6/1 Hampton St Link (near Carey Bay Cellars)
  • 13/1 West Ridge
  • 20/1 Hampton St Link
  • 27/1 West Ridge
  • 3/2 Yarul
  • 10/2 Threlkeld
  • 17/2 Burnage
  • 24/2 Killibinbin

Want to join Us?

If you would like to receive weekly emails about where we are landcaring and what we will be doing contact Lois cppalandcare@gmail.com

There's more information about the local Landcare program here.




HOME – NEIGHBOURHOOD – COMMUNITY (2021)

What a roller-coaster of a year! At least we have reached the year’s end almost 95% vaxed, so some peace of mind for Xmas and no more lockdowns in 2022.

There was some other good news. Council finally relented in its determination to build a 6-storey apartment tower on the Toronto Foreshore and the long-awaited masterplan was finalized, albeit with the unwanted removal and rebuild of the rotunda and closure through the summer of what planners have decided should be known, English-fashion, as the ‘Town Green’.

The delayed Council elections were eventually held on Saturday 4 December and did not result in much change. Mayor Kay Fraser was returned for another term, as were three of the West Ward councillors, David Belcher, Jason Pauling and Luke Cubis. Hard-working Independent Wendy Harrison retired and was replaced by Labor’s Madeleine Bishop. Cr Harrison was always available to meet with, listen to and act for the community. We hope Cr Bishop will be as accessible and community-minded as her predecessor and look forward to meeting with her.

One thing we learned from the last term of Council is the importance of having a strong community voice and engaging respectfully with councillors and staff. The ad hoc Toronto Foreshore Protection Group has provided a voice with representatives of Toronto Sunrise Rotary, the Royal Motor Yacht Club, Coal Point Progress Association, and the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group(TASNG) as well as local residents. This single-issue group has now morphed into the Toronto Action Group (TAG) and will continue to represent community concerns to councillors and staff. Ongoing issues will be the zoning of and access to foreshore land and the lake; pedestrian safety, parking and cycling; care of the wetlands; and protection of the tree canopy from aggressive development.

Another lesson from the previous Council is the importance of networking with community groups in Toronto and adjacent suburbs. The pre-election Candidates’ Forum for West Ward candidates was organised by TAG in conjunction with the Rathmines and the Five Bays Sustainable Neighbourhood Groups. We look forward to working together through Council’s next term.

One of the big challenges is how residents can find out what is happening in the community. Thanks to Covid, we no longer have the weekly Lakes Mail. ‘The Herald’ doesn’t give much attention to Lake Macquarie. Council has expanded its own media ‘spin’ machine but only tells us what it wants us to know and when.

To help fill the gap, the letter-boxed ‘Chronicle’ will continue to update residents each month on local news, including ‘Development Applications near You’, but the extra distribution beyond Coal Point and Carey Bay costs money.

To support a local voice, consider joining the sponsoring neighbourhood group (TASNG), especially if you live in Kilaben Bay (where there are currently no members) or please consider a small donation. We require $550/year to cover the expanded distribution. https://www.givenow.com.au/toronto-foreshore-protection

TAG reports its activities in the monthly Chronicle and also has a (moderated) Facebook page where residents can post comments or queries on local issues https://www.facebook.com/TorontoActionGroup

The more of us who get involved, even in small ways, the stronger our neighbourhoods and community will be and the more Council will listen first instead of deciding for us.

Community Quirks

Welcome to all the new residents in our area celebrating your first Christmas in our community. We all think our community is great, here are some of the reasons why we love to live where we do.


Seaworthy Santa

For several generations there’s been a tradition of Santa cruising the western Lake foreshores on Christmas Eve, heralding in the festive season, singing carols, and spreading cheer, in the form of lolly bags, to children who flock to the foreshore reserves to give the big guy a wave and a yo-ho-ho.

Back in the day the Wangi Queen was Santa’s boat-de-jour, but with ‘The Queen’ retiring a few years ago the Toronto Sunrise Rotary Club took up the Santa sack and have continued the local tradition with local boats.

If you feel like joining in the festivities you can join the flotilla from Bolton Point at 4.30 pm or bring the family to one of the local jetties listed below to enjoy this wonderful community tradition. This year will be a little different, alas no lollies, spreading cheer not COVID was the priority.
  • Bolton Point- 4:30 pm
  • Toronto 5:00 pm
  • Kilaben Bay 6:15 pm
  • Rathmines 6:45 pm
  • Wangi Workers Club 7:15 pm


Waterfront Walking

Another long-time and strong tradition in our community has been the ability for locals to walk along the foreshore as a mode of recreation. Without safe pedestrian paths in our community, the relatively flat foreshore has always been a walking option. Whilst acknowledging that there are absolute waterfront properties in our community with boundaries extending to the high water mark, the neighbourly notion that it was OK to walk past was greatly appreciated and part of keeping the community connected.

Backyard Buddies

Enjoying our bigger bushland backyard and the abundant bird and wildlife is another peculiarity of the Coal Point Peninsula. The sunrise cacophony and sunset chorus of the kookaburra is something special that our suburbs still have. We have large remnant trees with the capacity for kookaburras to make their nests in. The midnight meditative hoots of the migratory koels can be heard above the bark-a-lot dogs, punctuating the day and night, a sound to treasure. Our bushland provides not only a corridor for birds to move through but food and shelter for the wildlife. Responsible pet ownership is key to keeping these places safe for our community-pets-without-borders, our ‘backyard buddies’. https://backyardbuddies.org.au

The Chronicle

The Chronicle has been gracing the letterboxes of the CPPA community since January 1980, with 317 editions circulated to date. The newsletter is wholly produced and distributed by volunteers with sponsorship of spaces covering the printing costs. It takes 3-4 days each month to write, collate and edit the content, lay it out for printing, put it online and distribute into 2300 letter boxes in Coal Point, Carey Bay, Kilaben Bay and Toronto areas.

The demise of the local newspapers in the past year has meant that The Chronicle was one of the few hard copy information sources available with a perspective on the local issues of importance. The protection of the Toronto Foreshore, local sustainability initiatives, development applications, a multitude of Council’s plans and strategies as well neighbours noticing nature, landcare activities and insights on our local flora and fauna regularly grace the space on the yellow pages.

You can also view the Chronicle online - https://coalpointprogress.blogspot.com
or subscribe to receive an email each month with The Chronicle articles, coalpointprogress@gmail.com.

Heaven Can Wait (HCW) Charity Regatta (5-6 Feb)

The HCW Charity Regatta was conceived and inaugurated by Lake Macquarie resident, keen sailor and cancer survivor Shaun Lewicki as a major annual sailing event on the lake to promote sailing and to raise funds for cancer research – particularly men’s cancers. As the survival rates from cancer have improved, so have the needs of the Hunter Branch of Cancer Council NSW, and the funds raised from this regatta are now directed to the Home Help Program. This program provides domestic assistance to both recovering and terminal cancer patients who, because of their illness, are unable to perform many of the domestic duties they would normally do.

In the 15 years that this event has been run, it has raised some $470,000 in support of the charities and it’s expected to be well over the $500,000 after the 2022 event.

The 16th HCW Charity Sailing Regatta will be run over the weekend of February 5 and 6.

The Charity Dinner will again be held on the preceding Friday - February 4th, at the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto.

Race Entry and information can be found on the RMYC website - https://www.rmyctoronto.com.au/heaven-can-wait

CPPA Membership Renewal is underway

Membership to the Coal Point Progress Association aligns with the calendar year. Shortly all existing members will be given an update about their membership status, whether they need to renew or how long their multi-year membership has left to run.

If you’re not a member and would like to join, a membership form is available on the website or by emailing cppa.membership@gmail.com.

Seniors Computer Help close at hand


For those Seniors who are having troubles with their technology, whether it is a laptop, a desktop, phone, tablet, PC, Mac, Apple or Android, help is available. For several years now, we have been volunteering at the Toronto Centenary Hub, assisting people with their various computer worries or those who would simply enjoy learning more. For example, in recent months, there have been plenty of us who have battled with showing Covid vaccination proof or even using a mobile phone for the QR code. These are the sort of issues with which we help.

The cost for this service is minimal, involving becoming a member of The Hub, $10 a year which entitles you to become involved in many other classes that operate there, plus a gold coin donation for each lesson. We operate on Tuesdays only, from a small room which holds several computers. Each session lasts for one and a half hours with usually four people being assisted at each time slot. The times are: 9-10.30, 10.30-12, 1-2.30 and 2.30-4.

At present, we are looking at restarting in early February 2022 unless there are further Covid developments. If you are at all interested, or know someone who might benefit, please contact either of us so that you can be added to a waiting list.

Please leave a message if we are unable to answer the phone.

Keith Harvey
m: 0407106230, e: harvey45@gmail.com

Brian Coogan
m: 0432646264 e: 123456kruger@gmail.com

Sustainable Neighbourhoods in Lake Macquarie


Sustainable Neighbourhoods is a unique, Council-supported but independent community network which has been operating since 2010. Council provides Secretariat and funding support.

The Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance provides governance and supports local Sustainable Neighbourhood groups (SNGs) across the City. This includes:
  • supporting the network and mentoring new groups;
  • communicating between groups and sharing information, tools, case studies, connections, project plans etc; and
  • providing advice and advocacy on sustainability-related issues and making submissions on strategies and plans to all three levels of government.
A key initiative of the Alliance has been to foster City-wide projects. One of these is ‘ReLeaf Lake Mac’ which aims to promote urban greening for mitigating climate change and to educate the public on the multiple benefits of trees. Another is ‘Repair cafes’ which aim to teach residents how to reuse goods and recycle materials (clothing etc.). A third is the promotion of alternatives to the use of plastics, especially single-use bags.

There are 12 active SNGs across the City. They take actions to:
  • reduce our resource consumption (energy, water and waste);
  • increase community involvement in protecting and caring for environment and place;
  • increase our capacity to respond effectively to environmental threats, and;
  • increase community wellbeing and pride in our local areas.

Our local group is the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group (TASNG). The TASNG has a close working relationship with the CPPA, the Five Bays SNG and the community garden at the HUB, Toronto. The Chronicle regularly features TASNG updates.

Current projects include: promotion of bamboo take away cups for cafes and coffee vans, maintenance of the small native garden on Awaba Road, phasing out single-use plastics in Toronto, rehabilitation of the foreshore near Fennel Bay bridge, advocacy for better cycling and walking infrastructure and monitoring improvements to Toronto’s foreshore.

More information can be found at
http://www.sustainableneighbourhoods.org.au/

We invite you to consider becoming a member of TASNG. We are always looking for new ideas. If you would like more information please email torontoareasng@gmail.com or phone 0418 967 158 or http://www.sustainableneighbourhoods.org.au/toronto-area.html

Nico Marcar- Alliance Chairperson and TASNG Secretary.

Neighbours Noticing Nature - Enclosing cats

“I was disappointed to read the article in the Chronicle regarding cats and wildlife. Same tired article outlining how “bad” cats are. Why is it that the real problem is never or rarely addressed, pet owners?

People are 100% responsible for their pets and have the power to control the interactions of their cats with wildlife. Why not be part of the solution and do an article on the many enclosures, cat runs etc that are available and start to educate the real problem - people.

Unfortunately focusing on the “cat problem” just encourages haters and can, and has, resulted in “people” trapping, killing or poisoning neighbour’s pets.

Be part of the solution and educate rather than stir up the anti-cat brigade.

The benefits of enclosing a cat are many. Cats fighting can result in abscesses, feline AIDS and many other health complications which can cost a considerable amount of money to rectify if indeed they can be treated. Some like feline AIDS cannot be cured and will impact the cat for the rest of its life.

To the woman whose garden is a hunting ground for the neighbour’s cat, I would suggest hosing the cat at every opportunity to discourage it. I would also have a conversation with the owners suggesting an enclosure. Who knows, they might not be aware of the many options available for the “responsible cat owner”.

There are numerous enclosures available including portable enclosures suitable for travel or permanent relocation and prices are varied, but all are preferable to free range cats causing destruction and as a result of this reinforcing the negative views of the anti-cat brigade. https://www.sydneycatenclosures.com.au

See also: 

Climate Action on Our Doorstep

Just 14 km away is Eraring Power Station (EPS), owned and operated by Origin Energy. EPS has four 720 megawatt (MW) coal fired units, and one 42MW diesel fuelled gas turbine.

Eraring is Australia’s largest power station with a generating capacity of 2922MW, and accounts for approximately 25 percent of New South Wales’ power requirements.

In January 2021, Origin announced plans to progress the development of a major grid scale battery at Eraring.

This battery has a potential peak generation output of 700 MW. If it goes ahead it will be one of the largest battery projects (in terms of both peak power output and energy duration) in NSW and Australia.

Large-scale batteries can in theory be placed anywhere along the electricity grid. However, to take advantage of the infrastructure already in place and reduce the cost of the energy produced, Origin is looking at installing large-scale battery technology at many of their existing power stations, including the a 700MW battery project at the Eraring Power station.

Interestingly, a large-scale battery located next to a power station is not powered by the power station. Large-scale batteries operate independently, are connected to the grid and can continue to operate when the power station is not running or even after it may have been retired from service. Origin has committed to exiting coal-fired generation by 2032 and we anticipate that the capacity at Eraring will be replaced by a combination of renewables, battery storage and gas peaking power stations.


This was an excerpt from https://www.originenergy.com.au/blog/how-large-scale-batteries-support-renewables/

DAs In Play 9/11/21-20/12/21

The CPPA endeavours to provide a summary of active applications in our area as outlined in the table.

Please consult LMCC’s website for a full listing: https://www.lakemac.com.au/Development/Planning-and-development-services/Application-Enquiry.

  • DA = Development Application
  • BC = Building Information Certificate
  • TA = Tree Assessment
  • CC = Construction Certificate
  • CDC = Complying Development Certificate
  • REF = Review Environmental Factors
  • SC = Subdivision Certificate.
  • MU = Mixed use
  • RFB = Residential flat Building

Of note is this selection of DAs is the commencement of public works for the 20 Laycock Street development, addressing access to the stormwater system on Laycock Street.Interestingly there is also a scoping project to develop a 50 Megawatt AC (MWAC) Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on land adjacent to the Ausgrid Awaba substation.




Wednesday, 10 November 2021

CANDIDATES’ FORUM, Tuesday 23rd November, 7pm to 8.30pm

Local Government Elections
4th December, 2021


 Additional questions that weren't answered at the Forum have been posted to the TAG Facebook page for candidates to comment

The change of date for the forum was made to accommodate the attendance of incumbent councillors.
The Toronto Action Group and the Rathmines, Toronto and Five Islands Sustainable Neighbourhood Groups have organised a West Ward candidates’ Forum to be held online as a Webinar on Tuesday 23rd November from 7 pm to 8.30 pm.

This Candidates’ Forum will precede the Lake Macquarie Local Government elections being held on 4th December. The Forum will give both Mayoral and West Ward candidates an opportunity to answer a range of questions submitted by members of the community.

Residents are invited to submit issues and questions by:
• Email - toronto.action.group.info@gmail.com
• Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TorontoActionGroup
• Drop a note in to the CPPA letterbox (197 Skye Point Rd)
• Post it to PO Box 329, Toronto.

One concern already raised is that many Councillors seem reluctant to engage with residents and lack an understanding of what the community needs and wants. At the same time, there is seen to be a lot of ‘spin’ that promotes Council in the media but largely ignores community feedback.

Council’s profit-making operations appear to be interfering with its primary responsibilities to the community at a time when our rapidly expanding population needs more parkland for recreation. The failure to reclassify the ‘Operational’ land at Bath Street on Toronto’s foreshore as ‘Community’ (Park) Land highlights this concern.

Others have questioned whether some Councillors consider that the development controls are only a ‘guideline’ and therefore are too willing to allow extra height and bulk to large developments. The LEP allows Council to grant exemptions under certain conditions when in the ‘public interest’, but are outcomes more in the ‘developer’s interest’?

Other issues relate to lack of car parking and the need for more and better maintained shared pathways.

There is also a general concern over the apparent reluctance of Councillors to direct the Council staff on implementing important decisions.

It is pity that a majority of candidates have failed to complete the optional section (part 2) of the nomination form, which gives the opportunity to provide some detail on the candidate’s beliefs and policies – sadly in most cases we are left in the dark!

Mayoral candidates are:
  • Kay Fraser (Labor)
  • Rosmairi Dawson (Independent)
  • Luke Cubis (Lake Mac Independents)
  • Jason Pauling (Liberal)

Councillor Candidates are:
The first two listed candidates for the West Ward Councillors from the nominated parties are:
  • Group A: Jason Pauling, Lindsay Paterson (Liberal)
  • Group B: Luke Cubis, David Gibson (Lake Mac Independents)
  • Group C: Ingrid Schraner, Kim Grierson (The Greens)
  • Group D: David Belcher, Madeline Bishop (Labor)
Ungrouped:
  • Rosmairi Dawson (Independent)

For the 2021 Local Government elections, you will only be able to vote in person in your council area.

Local Polling Places are:

  • Coal Point Public School, Rofe Street, Coal Point.
  • Kilaben Bay Community Hall- Kilaben Rd, Kilaben Bay.
  • Toronto Multi-Purpose Centre – 9 Thorne Street.
  • Biraban, Blackalls Park, Fassifern and Fennell Bay Public Schools.

There will be additional COVID safety measures in place this election


Early voting or pre-poll is available from Monday 22 November to Friday 3 December 2021. Any person enrolled to vote may vote by pre-poll at the Meeting Rooms, Toronto Library, 7 Pemell Street.
  • Postal voting is available if you are self-isolating or believe you pose a risk to those around you

Voting on the day at a polling place you’ll be required to
  • check-in with QR code
  • 1.5m physical distancing at all times
  • BYO pen if possible
  • Hand sanitise at entry and exit
Another measure mandated under the Local Government Act to reduce the risk of infection from COVID-19 is that handing out ‘How to Vote’ electoral material will not be permitted within 100 metres of a polling place or pre-polling office.

Candidates' Forum

This is a good reason to join us on 23rd November to get to know the candidates before voting to ensure the best prospects for the future of our area.

Register now to attend this online forum in the comfort of your home at https://west-ward-and-mayoral-candidates-online-forum.eventbrite.com.au. You will then be sent a Zoom link the week before the Forum.

The Town Green

Many locals were surprised with the rapidity at which the fence was erected on the Toronto foreshore, and many have been frustrated at not knowing what is happening behind the screens, with the QR code on the fence not providing an informative link.

Below is the extract from the Feb 2021 ’Toronto Foreshore Masterplan’.

The Town Green is a generous civic arrival space, celebrating the termination of The Boulevarde at the foreshore.

The current shared Greenway will be extended along the eastern edge of Victory Parade to improve the pedestrian environment and allowing a generous consistent public edge - forming part of the larger shared-way network connecting to Fassifern and in the future, Coal Point.

It is proposed that the existing bus stop is moved slightly south to better integrate the stop and shelter on gentler topography and closer to the Town Green and upgraded crossing points.

More open than other areas of the foreshore, the Town Green links the activity at the Sailing Club with the attractions of the pool, cafe and playground of the Wharf Road Precinct. It is grassed and broad, allowing flexibility for major cultural events, regattas, ball games or simple every-day occupation.

The Town Green is subtly sculpted to create a shallow amphitheatre which addresses the water with a new stage and shade canopy. This canopy is a keenly located upgrade to the existing rotunda, and makes for a dramatic stage for weddings, performances and social gatherings right on the water’s edge.

Access to the Sailing Club and the quality of the ground plane surrounding it are both enhanced - forming a water square which can accommodate drop off and parking for 12 cars but at key moments can be transformed for markets, performances, or spill-over space for rigging during sailing events.

A more generous and upgraded edge to the water allows clear movement along the foreshore as well as improved relationships between visitors and Sailing Club activities.

The potential expansion of the Sailing Club is considered, with a potential expanded footprint shown dotted.