Friday, 11 March 2011

Local Happenings

  • Thursday 3rd March 7.30pm- Bonnells Bay Community Centre
    • Meet the State Candidates
  • Saturday 5th March 1.30pm Westlakes Community Church.
    • An Acromegaly High Tea to  raise funds for the  Australian Pituitary Foundation.
  • Sunday 6th March at Speers Point Park
    • Paddlefest fundraiser to purchase a house for short term housing of homeless
  • Sunday 6th March 9am-1pm at Regatta Walk Park,Toronto
    • Clean Up Australia Day
  • Monday 7th March 7-8pm  at Progress Hall
    • Coal Point Progress Annual General Meeting
  • Friday 11th March, 9-12 Teralba Worm farm.
    • Natural Pest Control and Companion Planting Workshop 
  • Friday 11th March 10am-noon Toronto Workers Club.
    • Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns workshop
  • Saturday 12th March 10am-1pm Toronto Multipurpose Centre
    • Sustainable eating
  • Tuesday 15th March 4.30-6.30 at Landcare Office
    • Lake Macquarie Landcare Inc Annual General Meeting
  • Thursday 17th March 9.30am-12.30 at Toronto Scout Hall
    • Toronto District Garden Club meeting
  • Local Landcaring each Thursday
    • Focus reserve for March is Burnage  contact  Robyn for details  
  • Saturday 30th April 7-10pm
    • Music Hall at Progress Hall, variety flood fundraiser. 

Who will be on a new Committee?

A stint on a Committee can be a mind expanding experience. It gives an appreciation of what it takes to keep an organisation moving along for the membership.

The Annual General Meeting provides an opportunity to put up your hand to share your expertise. The Coal Point Progress Association, Neighbourhood Watch and Landcare Inc. AGM will be held on Monday 7th March 7-8pm at Progress Hall, 197 Skye Point Road, Coal Point.
All the positions will be up for re-election so if you have a hankering to share your talents and experience for the greater community good it would be absolutely fantastic to see you at the meeting. 

The Progress Association has a long and credible history of caring for the community and maintaining Progress Hall for community use. 

The Committee meets monthly to discuss issues that arise and plan events that generate funds to maintain the Hall.

Sub-committees that the Association currently supports includes Landcare, Social/Fundraising and Transition Towns. 

Progress Hall Helpers Needed

Progress Hall is a considerable community asset that is maintained by the CPPA members for community use. As with any structure, a bit of regular maintenance goes a long way to improving the life of the building. 

CPPA is looking for locals that could be on a working bee list who would meet infrequently throughout the year to undertake basic maintenance of the Hall and surrounds. If you are interested please pass on your name to one of the contacts listed in the Chronicle.

In the dark?

The CPPA has been pursuing street lighting adequacy around the peninsular. Correspondence from LMCC' has outlined their approach as one of reactive maintenance based on prioritisation of requests.

Are there any dark spots within our community which you feel would benefit from street lighting making walking or night time driving safer? 

Suggestions can be posted on the comments on the blog, emailed or posted to the PO Box 329, Toronto.

Musical Hall at Progress Hall

The CPPA will be holding a Music Hall fundraiser to support the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal on 30th April from 7-10pm at Progress Hall. Entry is $10 per person, $20 a family with all proceeds going towards the appeal. 

The variety night line up will have something for everyone, drama, bush poetry, amazing harmonica, entertaining accordion, comedy, old-time sing along,  historical film and some local trivia. 

The fun time social evening aims to have everyone leaving with a smile on their face and knowing a few more locals from within our community, as well as raising funds for the Premiers Disaster Relief Appeal. 
Bookings are essential to

Many thanks from Hugh Jarvis on behalf of Angie & her family

On behalf of Angie and her family, could you extend our deepest gratitude and thanks to all those associated with the Toronto Chamber and , in particular, the Coal Point Progress Association that either took part in the working bee and/or donated to the Appeal. 
Without the various "helpers" that grabbed a paint brush, cleaned paint from the floors, carried various building materials etc., we would not have achieved the amazing final result that is now Angie's Dream House. It is incredibly gratifying to know that we live in such a caring and humane area out here on Lake Macquarie!!

An Acromegaly High Tea fundraiser for the Australian Pituitary Foundation.

Saturday 5th March 2010 at 1.30pm ,a Westlakes Community Church ,156 Bay Rd, Bolton Point. Cost $5.00 

Please  RSVP to Rochelle Buckley to reserve your Tea-cup by email . If you would like to help in any other way, the following donations are needed;
  • quality handmade items for our trade table, goods or services (if you are a business) for our Auction
  • a plate of slices, savories, sandwiches or cakes on the day suitable for a high tea
  • vintage tea cups and saucers, souvenir teaspoons,teapots, sandwich plates, sugar pots etc

Toronto Tidy Towns

Phil Kelly, Program Manager of Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns and Sustainable Communities, will be conducting a workshop on the benefits of the program to local government and local communities to encourage other communities to become involved. Toronto's huge success stories will be shared a well! 
The workshop will be held on Friday 11 March at Toronto Workers Club between 10.00am and 12.30pm in the small auditorium. Please RSVP by 8 March for catering purposes to Lyn Pascoe ph 4950 5216, 

Meet the State Candidates

With the long awaited NSW election looming, Morisset Park & District Action Group have invited the candidates to a public meeting about the NSW planning system, and in particular about the Part 3A legislation that led to such extreme Trinity Point proposals.
The meeting will be held at the Bonnells Bay Community Centre on Thursday 3rd March, commencing 7:30 p.m.
Candidates will have the opportunity to make a brief opening statement, after which the meeting will be open to questions from the audience. All four candidates for election to the Legislative Assembly have agreed to attend. They are:
  • Charmian Eckersley -Greens
  • Marcus Mariani -Australian Labor Party
  • John McDonald -Liberal Party
  • Greg Piper -Independent, sitting member

Order of Australia to local volunteer

Congratulations to Peter Lynn on his recent Order of Australia for services to the community through the Uniting Church.

Peter has been an active volunteer  in aged care with the Uniting Church NSW Synod since 1978. He served on a number of Boards advocating for seniors who require care, particularly those suffering from frailty, dementia, mental health and loss of means.

Peter formulated financing methods and encouraged good building design to assist those less fortunate to enjoy a comfortable home without discrimination.

Peter, up until December 2010, was actively involved on the Boards of UnitingCare Aging Sydney Region and the War Memorial Hospital in Sydney. His past Board roles have influenced the way that UnitingCare delivers its aged care services.

According to Peter, “It has been rewarding to assist the aged in our community. They have served our country well and have left legacies for us for which we can all be proud. We should provide our elderly with the best of facilities so that they might enjoy the twilight of their years with dignity, security and respect. We owe it to them.”

A little seen large local 
by Jean Austen

Lace Monitor (Varanus varius) Sighted at Jean’s place 12/13 January

It was an extremely hot day when I was alerted to the sound of Noisy Miners and Butcher birds going off with their familiar sound that warns there is something in the garden they’re not happy about. Thinking it was probably a Blue-tongue lizard or maybe a Red-bellied black snake visiting again I went to investigate.

To my surprise and excitement I discovered it was what appeared to be a Lace Monitor approximately 1m long with an amazing yellow pattern forming stripes and spots on its body, tail, and very strong front legs with very big claws.

I followed it as it loped through the garden, down the end of the block as it hurried up a telegraph pole (obviously thinking it was a tree).It later came down and disappeared in the leaf litter and understorey around the tree.

I have lived here at Coal Point for over 40 years, worked in Threlkeld Reserve doing bush regeneration and have never ever seen a reptile of this species before. However a neighbor, with a bushland backyard, told me he had sighted one in his yard...  30 years ago, and a neighbour’s son sighted a goanna in their backyard prior to my sighting.

I can only conclude since I have joined Habitat for Wildlife and have a sign in my garden-maybe birds and animals can read after all having had lots of different birds and animals visit!

I would be very interested to know if you too have had one of these amazing creatures visit you. Please contact CPPA by email or post.

Coal Point & Carey Bay to join LMCC's Sustainable Neighbourhood Program

LMCC's Sustainable Neighbourhood project for Toronto has expanded its local reach to include Coal Point and Carey Bay. A mini-workshop and community survey will be conducted locally to gather the values and issues within the community and then an action plan developed to progress local ideas. The Sustainable Neighbourhood program aims to build grassroots connections to Council to help communities lower their  ecological footprint.

The next Sustainable Neighbourhood Meeting for Toronto will be held 5pm Wednesday 16th March at the Toronto Library. If you think you may be interested this meeting will discuss how the program will proceed now that the sustainable neighbourhood includes Coal Point and Carey Bay and potentially Kilaben Bay. 

VegeTTable Talks

During February Geoff Woods delivered a series of highly informative talks on how to grow vegetables in your backyard as part of the Transition Town project. What follows are the insights gained from the 1st talk.

Lesson #1 behind every good vegepatch is great soil. Around Coal Point there are two main kinds of local soils, the very unproductive ridge soils which have had their nutrients leached out over time and the much more productive gully soils which have received the sediments washed from the ridges. The waterfront soils are aquatic deposits, which aren't too bad either. If you live on the ridge an elevated garden or pots are the best options.

Lesson #2 Soil horizons-Improve the top 20. As far as vege growing goes it's the top 20cm of soil, full of organic matter, where all the action happens as most vegetables have a shallow,fibrous root system.

Lesson 3# Soil is not dirt. Dirt is dead and is the stuff of vacuum cleaners. Soil is a living system made up of organic materials such as earthworms, insects, bacteria, fungus and decomposing plant material (humus)and inorganic material such as sand,clay, pebbles, water and air.

Lesson #4 Be kind to compost worms. There is a difference between compost worms and earthworms, the former needing plant material as their food source and doomed to starvation if added to soil...sorry to all the compost worms I have freed from captivity. Earthworms eat the humus in the soil.

Lesson #5 Location, location, location. A daily dose of sunshine for 5-7hours a day, especially morning sun which warms the soil and gets the sap flowing will keep veges on the sunny-side of life. It's important to watch the shadows before deciding a location and the best aspect to aim for is North. Slope was considered something to avoid by building up the low side.

Lesson #6 Soil chemistry. The optimum pH of 7, neutral, is good for growing vegetables, knowing your soil pH will help determine what you need to add to ensure the bumper crop. The best organic complete fertiliser was deemed to be cow manure which is rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, the key elements for leaf, root and flower growth. Worm castings were also given a big thumbs up.

Is dilution the solution to pollution?

Newstan’s coal handling and preparation plant is set to expand to handle coal from Mandalong (2 million tonnes/year) and Awaba (800,000 tonnes/year) and a reopened Newstan, totaling 4 million tonnes/year. 

To accommodate the expansion, requests to Dept. Environment Climate Change & Water (DECCW) have been made to expand the pollution control dam from 16 to 50 Megalitres, relocate the discharge point and increase the volume of the discharge from 7 to 11Megalitres/day and 14ML during prolonged and intense rain events.

There are community concerns that the washery waters from the coal handling will end up in LT Creek with peak flood events utilised to pump the holding ponds out dispersing the holding waters further into the lake than just Fennell Edmonds Bay.

Centennial has refused to make a copy of the Water Management Plan available for review by the community. There has been no mention of any hydrological study or its purpose to the Community Consultative Committee (CCC). 

If you are concerned about the proposed increase in discharge levels into LT Creek and lack of community consultation urge the Dept. Environment Climate Change & Water to contain pollution into LT Creek to a level no greater than the existing permitted level  by installing and utilising established technologies for the removal of oil and grease as well as total suspended solids from water. 

For more info contact Paul Moors the CCC community representative on the CCC.