Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Dates for the Diary

  • Local Landcaring every Thursday around Coal Point
    Ring Robyn for details  4959 1507 
  • Wednesday 14th November 12-6pm @ Toronto Library
 Community conversations about LMCC Planning Instruments
  • Friday 16 November 7.30-10.30pm @ 
Progress Hall, 197 Skye Point Rd, Coal Point
    Opening Night 
Art & Craft Show
  • Saturday 17 Nov.  10am-5pm- Art & Craft Show
  • Sunday 18 Nov. 10am-2pm @ Progress Hall
 Art & Craft Show. 
    For entries or volunteering
 contact Barbara 4959 1259

  • Saturday 17th November  8.30am-3pm
Lake Macquarie Community Garden Tour for volunteers involved in community garden projects or interested in starting one in your local area.Bookings essential (places are limited) to 4921 0333 or council@lakemac.nsw.gov.au

Art & Craft Show Immanent

The Art & Craft show opening night on Friday 16th November  celebrates local artistic talent in a community space, Progress Hall. The night brings art loving locals under the one roof to catch up and kick off the festive season. 

This year’s Art & Craft show will provide local artists with a venue to display their works and the community with opportunities to acquire something unique. 

Additionally the Opening Night will officially launch the NSW Environmental Trust Funded Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point peninsula project.

Opening night will run from 7.30 to 10.30pm and will include

  • Official Opening and Project Launch by Greg Piper MP
  • Auctions of a painting by June Friend (Mattara Prize winner), Quilt from Sew Easy, Toronto, and 4 art lessons provided by the Arts Emporium
  • Lucky Door Draw
  • Art and Craft items for sale
  • Local Native plants for sale
  • Information about the Threatened Species project
Opening Night bookings are being taken to assist with catering. For $10.00 per person you’ll receive a glass of wine/soft drink & nibbles and a ticket in the lucky door prize.
Contact Barbara 49591259 or 0409839428 for bookings.

 The Art & Craft Show excitement will continue over the weekend on 17-18 November with demonstrations by

  • Geoff Davis, renowned leatherworker who will be making a leather belt over the week-end - if anyone would like to pre purchase the belt he will make it to order. 
  • Jean Hurley showing her encaustic art technique
  • Stephen Cassettari demonstrating his Chinese painting and
  • Florence Humphreys, renowned porcelain and ceramics painter demonstrating her skills.
The Art & Craft Show raises funds towards upkeep and maintenance of  Progress Hall which is owned by the Progress Association.

The 2012 Art & Craft show raffle

The tickets are $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00, apologies for error in the October Chronicle

This year the raffle has been generously supported by
  • Harvey World Travel- $100 gift voucher, lightweight suitcase and travelers gift pack
  • Bunnings Glendale- 4 burner Jumbuck BBQ
  • Toronto Bay Bistro RMYC - $60 voucher
Raffle tickets can be purchased at the Hall, 197 Skye Point Rd, Coal Point over the weekend of the Art Show.

Ethics Classes in Schools

Coal Point Public School is one of two schools in Lake Macquarie that participates in the Primary Ethics Program.

Currently students from Yr 5 & 6 benefit from studies in Ethics. Next year  Years 3 & 4 will also be included in the program and so support to expand the program is sought.


  • Join an active and growing community in the Lake Macquarie area
  • Teach children how to think not what to think

Flexible working environment
Volunteer Ethics Coordinators are the conduit between the school and teachers
An Ethics Coordinator:
✓    Is well organised and able to liaise with school principals, Ethics Teachers and parents
✓    Interviews, selects and supports the best Ethics Teacher

 ✓    Is comfortable working in an online environment

Ethics Teachers deliver Primary Ethics classes
An Ethics Teacher:
✓    Engages children in learning about ethics
✓    Is a good listener with a genuine interest in helping young people
✓    Commits to teaching one class each week during school terms
Ethics Teachers undertake
✓   Police and Working with Children checks

✓   Full free training in the Primary Ethics curriculum 
✓  Ongoing online training

Learn more and apply online at www.primaryethics.com.au
or contact Graham Wrightson, Volunteers Manager, email: gwrights@bigpond.net.au 
or phone 0409594732


A new system for dealing with Graffiti has been launched. It requires registration to log an incident but allows the general public to report and monitor incident progress through cleaning and prosecution.

Graffiti is a significant issue within many local government areas reducing the value and image of our communities & neighbourhoods. 

The VandalTrak system aims to log, track and manage Graffiti incidents in one place.
It's your community. Report graffiti vandalism with VandalTrak, so together we can assist authorities to bring those responsible to justice.

Lake Macquarie City Council Floodplain Management Committee

~Expressions of Interest ~
~Community Representatives ~
~Applications close 9am, 12 November 2012 ~

Are you interested in flood risk management and have the capacity to consult with community members to make objective, evidence-based decisions about floodplain management in the City of Lake Macquarie? 

Council is seeking seven (7) community members to join the Lake Macquarie City Council Floodplain Management Committee, including:
Three (3) community representatives from flood-affected locations within the City
One (1) delegate from each incorporated Aboriginal Land Council within the Lake Macquarie Local Government Area
One (1) representative of an established environmental group
The role of the Committee is to provide guidance and assistance to Council on issues relating to sustainable floodplain management. The membership term is for 4 years, meeting 3 to 4 times each year.  For further information or to register your interest, please contact Greg D Jones, Senior Sustainability Officer (Natural Disaster Management), on 49210303, gdjones@lakemac.nsw.gov.au, or Box 1906 HRMC NSW 2310.

Planning for 
Lake Macs future

A community drop in day to talk to Council staff will be held on Wednesday 14th November, noon-6pm at Toronto library to discuss the proposed new planning instruments.

The Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan

This is final objective of the Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan. The working group coordinators meet monthly to discuss the various projects. Contact with the group can be made through the Secretary, John Gill on 4959 1507 or tasngsecretary@gmail.com

Objective 6:  Enhance the appearance and atmosphere of our neighbourhood

  1. Reduce the incidence of graffiti and encourage alternative appropriate expressions of art:
    1. Initiate graffiti removal events that have an intergenerational approach with the whole community working together
    2. Establish a reporting mechanism to advise Council of graffiti incidents to enable timely removal of graffiti 
    3. Investigate graffiti removal initiatives undertaken in other neighbourhoods
    4. Organise and conduct a community street art program, which engages with the local youth community and establishes a sense of place and ownership:
      1. Organise a mural project with local schools and youth groups
      2. Investigate the feasibility of a graffiti wall in the neighbourhood
      3. Seek grant opportunities
  2. Organise an anti-littering campaign in the neighbourhood in conjunction with Council and  local organisations:
    • Enlist the support of programs such as “Don’t be a Tosser” and Clean Up Australia campaigns
    • Seek grant opportunities
    • Liaise with Council to ensure adequate and appropriate rubbish and recycling bins are available in public places
  3. Ensure that community groups are well supported and in touch with each other:
    • Develop and promote a directory for local groups in consultation with Council, Toronto Chamber of Commerce and Tidy Towns Committee
    • Organise and hold an open day to showcase the groups within the neighbourhood
    • Build connections with relevant community groups throughout the development and implementation of the Action Plan to work collaboratively and share appropriate resources
    • Conduct regular Sustainable Neighbourhood Group meetings
    • Liaise with Council and community organisations to improve the streetscape of the Toronto CBD
    • Advertise and promote community activities through community and school newsletters and networks (e.g. magazine and Coal Point Chronicle) 
  4. Support our community’s young people:
    • To have a voice in the neighbourhood and to   develop ideas and projects
    • Find ways to engage with young people from local schools
    • Develop ways of communicating with young people, build relationships and opportunities for them to develop projects they are interested in and are able to express some ownership 

  5. Enhance understanding of our community's history: 
    • Develop a project to record local history and create signage and landmarks to recognise historical, cultural and environmental aspects of the neighbourhood through liaison with the Lake Macquarie and District Historical Society 
    • Build relationships with the local indigenous community to improve understanding of local indigenous history and culture
  6. Work with Council and community groups to create way-finding signage throughout the neighbourhood
  7. Liaise with Council and community organisations for the upkeep of community facilities, parklands and reserves (see also Objective 4)
  8. Enhance playground facilities:
    • Monitor the use of playgrounds within the neighbourhood and report misuse or other issues to Council
    • Promote the creation of playground facilities for toddlers and preschool children within the neighbourhood

A Little Local History

Landcaring around Coal Point provides a unique perspective on the vegetation and often a window into the past. Local Landcarer Robyn Gill caught up with long term resident John Wilson and gained an insight into Gurranba Reserve and the local history. 

John Wilson grew up on the shores of Lake Macquarie, during World War II at the home of a relative where his mother also cared for 4 children of the extended family so they would be safer than at their home near the BHP. 

From 1955 he lived adjacent to Gurranba Reserve at the home which was built after his father died (at BHP in 1954) on land bought just before his death. This was close to the lake so John learned to swim well and has been swimming long distances there ever since.
John remembers walking to Burden’s dairy farm in Rofe St (where the home still stands) and to Moss’s farm (where Carey Bay Wetlands and  the “Pony Club” area are now) to collect milk which was available once a week from each farm as rationing was in place during the war.  

John’s mother, Hilda, established a shop and Tearoom next to their home as there were many visitors at the reserve often to see the beautiful garden above the foreshore next to Gurranba reserve.

This garden which was a matter of pride to the community was established by Miss Dawkins and Miss Tannah who came from England to live there after WWII first buying an old shack then building a new brick home which is still there. The two women had a shop in Newcastle in Hunter St. near Pacific Park which may have been a jewellers but opinion suggests featured craft materials especially for embroidery (John thinks they had similar businesses in England).

John still refers to some places on the foreshore by the names of early residents such as Skillen’s Point between Skye Point and Rofe St. 

He also remembers most of the local residents such as the Guy family who had the Coal Point Post Office and store were well known residents and their daughter, Joy, with her daughters continued the pedestrian postal delivery as a contractor until quite recently when it became a standard Australia Post service.

Landcare Report

Landcare in Coal Point/ Carey Bay in October can be fairly much summed up in 2 words – watering and mulching .  

The plants we use usually need no further water from us after planting day as they are so fitted to their environment but this month we have needed to save some lives of the most recently planted. It is heartening to see how they respond and also to see that most of the more established ones cope well with the conditions. 

The other bright spot is that some of the most vigorous weeds are looking stressed  - even Mother of Millions. 

Please work on some rain dances as we are seeing curtains of rain approaching over the water from Wangi but melting away over the water.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dates for the Diary

  • Local Landcaring every Thursday around Coal Point
    Ring Robyn for details  4959 1507 
  • 5th-7th October @ Honeysuckle
Bikefest- Celebrating cycling for fun fitness and smart transport
  • Saturday 6th October 1.30pm @Toronto Senior Citizens Hall-97 The Boulevard
Community Garden 1st planting 
  • Wednesday October 10th 7-8.30pm @ Progress Hall
Ultra-Low Carbon Housing & Sustainable Living with John Sheil
  • Saturday 13th October 8.30am-4pm @ Kilaben Bay Community Hall, Kilaben Bay Park
Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser, stalls,BBQ & face painting
  • Saturday 20th October 1-3pm@LMCC Chambers
Make your own Backyard Habitat
  • Sunday 21st October 11am-1pm@ Landcare Centre
Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance show & Tell, BBQ, AGM
  • Saturday 3rd November 10-3pm @ Rathmines Park
Catalina Festival-Seaplanes &more
  • Wednesday 14th November 12-6pm @ Toronto Library
Community conversations about LMCC Planning Instruments
  • 16,17,18 November @ 
Progress Hall
Biennial Art & Craft Show. 
    For entries or volunteering
 contact Barbara 4959 1259

Talks, tours and actions

This edition of the Chronicle has a raft of riveting recreational activities for enjoyment and education of all. Talks, tours and actions are all available within our community.
The successful launch of the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood group means that efforts towards implementing the Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan are now in progress, there are also plenty of Progress activities underway.

For those interested in community gardening, there is a garden in the making at the Senior Citizens Hall, if low carbon living is your dream there is a talk on offer that could move you towards reality, if you’re interested  in Art & Craft the biennial Art & Craft show preparations are underway.

Additionally Landcarers continue to connect with the local environment and in the process keep active and raise awareness of the beautiful area in which we live, bikefest beckons and a local fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness month is on.

Ultra-Low Carbon Housing & Sustainable Living

Wednesday 10 October 7.00-8.30 pm @ Progress Hall

Is it really possible to have a high standard of living whilst dramatically reducing our carbon emissions?

John Shiel, a PhD researcher at the University of Newcastle's Centre for Energy, will present the results of sustainable research into issues that are urgent and important, and that should concern all of us. 

The talk will include recent evidence of rapid global warming; common myths; global trends and efforts; practical ideas from a housing development workshop held at Eraring Power Station a few years ago; features of impressive 9 and 10 star Australian houses; and local suggestions from attendees of a Lake Macquarie University of the 3rd Age course, run earlier this year. John will follow-up questions if they cannot be addressed on the night.

Contact  Toronto Area SNG:  tasngsecretary@gmail.com. 
For more info contact jafshiel@gmail.com or on 4952 5209. Some of the slides from the talk are available at  http://www.envirosustain.com.au/page21.php.

Toronto Area Community Garden

Saturday 6th October 1.30pm @ Toronto Senior Citizens Hall, 97 The Boulevarde, Toronto.

Time to get your hands dirty! Bring your shovels, gardening gloves and afternoon tea. We’ll be planting beans and peas for a summer feast along the wall of the car park. There will be a load of compost to shift onto the beds, so be prepared for a workout! Children welcome. 

Bring your friends and family and afternoon tea to share.

The Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan

The SNAP launch on 8/9/12 was a great success with many locals showing interest in the various projects the working groups are working on. Following are the goals of the Sustainable Neighbourhood group relating to  PROTECTING THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

Objective 4:  Protect and enhance natural bushland in reserves and increase awareness of Landcare principles and practice
  • Plan and carry out bush regeneration in reserves 
  • Increase community awareness, interest and participation through distribution of information including Council and Community publications (e.g. 'Living on the Edge' and 'The Marvel of Mulch'), and articles in local newsletters (e.g. Coal Point Progress Association) and media
  • Increase appropriate signage to identify reserves, their assets and threats
  • Prepare a brochure listing reserves and showing an appropriate walking path connecting all of them 
  • Engage with Council for grant application to undertake and support bush regeneration activities within the community

Objective 5:  Protect the health of the natural environment enhance biodiversity values
  • Promote sustainable management of foreshore reserves by supporting any appropriate Council program for management of dinghies left on reserves
  • Audit and evaluate Neighbourhood Risk Management Plans for fire, storm and tsunami. Initiate neighbourhood preparedness education and awareness meetings
  • Plan and initiate native plant planting days
  • Hold habitat for native wildlife workshops with nest box building (birds, microbats, gliders)
  • Establish health status for Stoney Creek and Puntei Creek and increase awareness of adjoining property owners
  • Hold workshops on garden escapees and weed control
  • Lobby for control of feral animals like foxes, feral cats and Indian mynas

When was the last time a bushfire was on the Coal Point peninsula?

The Progress Association is keen to gather some details about the local fire history. Some members recall a fire in the 1950’s, and then perhaps two since 1960. Can anyone fill in some detail? Contact a Committee member or coalpointprogress@gmail.com

Planning for Lake Macs future

It seems like only yesterday our City’s Strategic plan Lifestyle 2020 emerged from lengthy community consultation, a decade later Lifestyle 2030 has been released for discussion along with the planning instruments to guide future development. 

They are available for viewing at Toronto Library and online 


The new planning instruments include:             
  • a new draft Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan (LMLEP)
  • an updated strategic plan- Lifestyle 2030 (LS2030) Strategy,
  • a new draft Lake Macquarie Development Control Plan (LMDCP) to complement the new LEP.
  • and the draft Flora and Fauna Survey Guidelines.

Landcare Report - Robyn Gill

Our Landcare hours in August and September have been taken up with our usual spring game of “hunt the planting” among the weeds where the white tipped stakes are a great help. The growth of the plantings has been very encouraging and we’re now hurrying to make room for some more replacing of weeds before it is too hot and dry. 

Our other major blitz is on the Formosa Lily that is spreading like wildfire in the whole lake area carrying a formidable amount of seed per head (there can be 14 of these heads on one stalk) that fly off in the breeze. We have set up test areas to try to find the best ways of dealing with the plant as they are a fairly recent challenge. We are following up on our last year’s approach, which seems promising but not yet proven. http://sydneyweeds.org.au/weed/formosa-lily/

Ecosystem Site Monitoring was carried out for the second time at Stansfield Reserve as part of a council programme with a professional leader and a group of experienced and knowledgeable volunteers. It is a careful way of checking on the state of our natural areas by returning at regular intervals to a measured and recorded small area to count the number and variety of trees and plants, both native and exotic, fallen logs, tree hollows and any evidence of insects, birds, fauna etc. 

We saw a tiny possum in the same tree hollow where it was photographed last year but this year it had more sense than to be inquisitive and show itself in the opening. Perhaps it had had a big night and was too sleepy.

We also watched a Kookaburra moving in and out of its nest inside a large termite’s nest high up in tree.

Asparagus Fern is marching on at a frightening pace but native plants continue to resist its advance until it is too thick. It has this year been declared a Weed Of National Significance that will hopefully result in some more assistance with its control.

Landcaring often brings up surprises. Last year kangaroo poo at Stansfield Close reserves, more recently a nest of eggs at Burnage Reserve. They look like hen’s eggs, they seem fresh.  Investigations are underway to see if a local native bird may be involved. Have you lost a chook or heard the happy cackling?

Walking Wisely - Peter Boules

In today's society and workplaces where safety is paramount, as it should be, it astounds me that so little, if at all, high visibility gear is worn by people walking at night or in the morning during winter months.

On many occasions I see walkers wearing dark track suits making them impossible to see and if there's been any rain or even dew on the windscreen, together with a street light it's a recipe for disaster.

Let's face it, the chances of getting footpaths in our lifetime aren’t real promising so let's make it safer with what we've been given on this lovely peninsula of land.

Toronto Dry Cleaners have gladly donated 15 high-visibility vests for local walkers.

If you would like a high-vis vest answer the following question and either email coalpointprogress@gmail.com or drop your response to 4/21 Excelsior Pde:

Where is the most dangerous spot for walking around the Coal Point peninsula?

15 respondents will be randomly drawn and provided with a high visibility vest courtesy of Toronto Dry Cleaners.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

On Saturday 13th October a fundraiser to support women and men with breast cancer is being held at Kilaben Bay Community Hall from 8:30am-4pm.

Proceeds from the event go towards providing services for adults being treated for breast cancer and their families in the Hunter Region.

The family focused day will have an array of high quality market stalls including arts/crafts, candles, beading, wool n ribbons. There is also children’s face painting a sausage sizzle and lucky door prizes. 

If you would like a stall on the day contact Peg Hargraves 0n 4959 5336


Jude McDonald owner operator of Just Jude’s Hairdressing Carey Bay has been a collector of old clothing, sewing machines, laces, jewellery etc for many years.  Her clients have given her beautiful items one dated from 1887 being a Treadle Singer Sewing machine. 

Jude was going through the jewellery donated, she found a medal that was given to the women of Australia who had family serving in the Second World War. 
The medal, pictured, has a bar attached and the stars attached to the bar represent the number of family members serving. 

Jude believes this medal should be with the family it was given to, she did a search and found the medal was awarded to the wife of Lieutenant J A Riley of 31 Sackville Street Fairfield. 

Now the story becomes more interesting, Jude’s husband James McDonald grew up in Sackville Street Fairfield and the Riley family were neighbours of McDonald family.
They are JACK & INA RILEY who had 4 children.

 If you are one of the above or a relative of the Riley family please contact Jude at her salon on 49592926 so she may be able to return the medal to its owners.

Art & Craft afoot

Planning is well underway for the biennial Arts and Craft Show. The artistically orientated fundraiser is the foundation for securing the necessary dollars to maintain the upkeep and insurances for the community owned Progress Hall.

The Art & Craft show is also a celebration of the local talent and a fun night out full of community camaraderie.

As with all community events enough volunteers are the key to success and support is sought to help out on the event. Mature volunteers, Duke of Edinburgh candidates, High School students undertaking community service projects are all welcome to lend a hand.
Are you interested in volunteering for any of the roles below contact Barbara on 49591259 or email artandcraftcppa@gmail.com

  • Staffing the kitchen - Friday night, Saturday or Sunday. Even if only for a couple of hours. 
  • Taking entrance fees and selling raffle tickets over the 3 days at Hall.
  • Assisting with sales
  • Being the MC for the opening night
  • Being an Auctioneer for opening night.

The 2012 Art & Craft show raffle

This year the raffle has been generously supported by
  • Harvey World Travel- $100 gift voucher, lightweight suitcase and traveller's gift pack
  • Bunnings Glendale- 4 burner Jumbuck BBQ
  • Toronto Bay Bistro RMYC - $60 voucher
Raffle tickets can be purchased from .

Barbara Lawrenson ph 4959 1259
Tony Dynon
 ph 4959 4533
John Gill  
ph 4959 1507

Sincere thanks for your support in keeping Progress Hall a community asset.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Dates for the Diary

  • Local Landcaring every Thursday around Coal Point
    Ring Robyn for details  4959 1507  
  • Friday 31st August 4pm @Old Pony Club-Hampton St
    Community Garden Onsite meeting with LMCC 
  • Saturday 1st September 1.30pm @Toronto Senior Citizens Hall-97 The Boulevard
    Community Garden Get-together & brainstorm 
  • Wednesday 5th September 5pm @Progress Hall
    Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood AGM and monthly meeting 
  • Saturday 8th September 10-12 @ Toronto Town Square
    Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood SNAP Launch-free BBQ & Plants, demonstrations 
  • Saturday 8th September 10-2pm @ Landcare Resource Centre
    Landcare Week Celebrations  
  • Sunday 9th September @ Ocean St Dudley
Awabakal Wildflower Walk 
  • Saturday September 15th  9am-3pm @ Speers Point Park
Living Smart Festival -lots to see & do and plant giveaway 
  • Wednesday October 10th 7-8.30pm @ Progress Hall-Ultra-Low Carbon Housing & Sustainable Living with John Sheil 
  • 16,17,18 November Art & Craft Show at Progress Hall. For entries contact Barbara 4959 1259

SNAP Launch

The launch of the Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP) is the culmination of community consultation and consensus, neatly wrapped into a dynamic action plan that supports the local vision for Toronto, Kilaben Bay, Carey Bay and Coal Point. There are 6 objectives outlined in the SNAP which fit under three themes, Living Sustainably, Protecting the Natural Environment and Enhancing Community Well-being and Pride. In this Chronicle are some of the Living Sustainably Actions from the SNAP. More will follow in future Chronicles.

An Annual General Meeting  for the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood group will be held at 5pm prior to the commencement of the regular meeting of the TASN Group on Wednesday 5 September 2012 at the Coal Point Progress Hall 197 Skye Point Road Coal Point . 
Business will be:
  1. To elect an executive committee: Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary, Assistant Secretary,  Treasurer
  2. To determine an annual membership fee.
  3. To conduct any other business as required.
Nominations for each of these positions should  reach the Secretary – John Gill rjgill@bigpond.com at least ONE week prior to the meeting date.

Toronto Area Sustainable Action Plan

Living Sustainably

Objective 1:  

Reduce reliance on motorised vehicles by identifying and enhancing safe and efficient connections for walking and cycling and identifying options for more efficient public transport.

1.1 Promote public interest in cycling:

  • Contribute to the Lake Macquarie Draft Cycleway Strategy
  • Identify priority locations to make cycling a safer and more efficient experience through cycleway construction and/or better on-road access (e.g. around Coal Point and Toronto)
  • Identify key impediments to enhanced bicycle usage both for transport (commuting, shopping) and recreation, through surveys and other means and to engage with Council to address these constraints
  • Promote the use of the Toronto to Fassifern Track for recreation and to link with trains
  • Engage with Council to improve cycleway signage, bicycle rack facilities, adequate lighting and encourage employers to provide showers where appropriate
  • Engage with Council to educate the public to be more sympathetic to shared use of roads with cyclists
  • Promote child bicycle education and maintenance
  • Initiate companion riders for leisure and commuting activities
  • More school children encouraged to cycle safely to and from schools thereby relieving traffic congestion
  • Reduced reliance on motorised vehicles (other than electric bicycles) and, consequently, reduce levels of atmospheric and other pollution (i.e. reduced ecological foot print)
  • Improved health and well being of residents who are able to enjoy the beauty of the natural and built environment of this neighbourhood
  • Increased neighbourhood awareness of issues 
  • Better promotion of the use of available and potential pedestrian and cycleways infrastructure 
1.2  Make walking a desirable and safe experience:

  • Identify and formalise public walking tracks and access points in the area and transpose to maps (hard copy and internet)
  • Engage with Council and the community (e.g. Coal Point Progress Association) to seek funding to improve problem areas (e.g. insufficient verge on road along parts of Coal Point and Skye Point Roads, creation of pathways along sections of Brighton Ave, bushland tracks) and to improve signage
  • Investigate better connections of pedestrian pathways and cycleways to bus and train facilities
  • Make tracks safe with user-friendly access
  • A more friendly neighbourhood because of increased pedestrian activit
  • Neighbourhood awareness and use of available and potential pedestrian and cycleway infrastructure promoted
  • Reduction in energy use and transport costs
  • Increased public safety and health
1.3 Promote and encourage more efficient and effective transport options:

  • Engage with Council, bus companies and community groups to audit and promote public transport use and availability in the area (e.g. greater use of minibuses, better options to transport bicycles on buses and trains)
  • Facilitate a car-pooling project
  • Facilitate and encourage improved access for people with a disability 
  • Improved access to various transport options other than cars for more peopl
  • Reduced carbon footprint

The Toronto Area Community Garden Group

The Toronto Area Community Garden Group has its own Newsletter being compiled by Michelle Teear. If you would like to to be on the email list contact Tricia Hunt 4959 8811. Here are some snippets from the Newsletter.


We wish to thank Lake Macquarie Council and Tidy Towns for giving $1000 to the Toronto Area Community Garden. What a great start to get the garden going!


On the 4th of August we had a great turn out for the first planning workshop of the community garden at the Senior Citizens Hall in Toronto. We welcomed many new faces, including some young school age budding gardeners. Liza Pezzano from Hunter Permaculture kindly donated her time and expertise to give us a grounding in the ethics and principles of permaculture (permanenant agriculture). This sustainable design philosophy provides some wonderful practical ideas that we can apply to the site such as the use of companion planting. A tour of the site followed with afternoon tea and an inspiring brainstorm session of wants and needs for the garden.
In order of priority...
Water tank/taps
Propagation Area
Raised Garden Beds

Fruit Trees in Pots/Fruits
Plan for Children
Pond/Water Feature 
Living screen for protected seating area
Fundraiser/Market on site


4pm Friday 31st August, Old Pony Club Grounds in Hampton Ct, Carey Bay
Council have asked us to meet with them to discuss our interest in applying for use of the land in Carey Bay for a community Garden. This is an important opportunity for us to display the level of interest and commitment from the local community for the garden. So rally your friends and neighbours and come on down to the park for a chat and a show of support.


1.30pm SAT 1st September at the Toronto Senior Citizens Hall, 97 The Boulevarde, Toronto.
Come along and contribute your ideas to the designs for both the Senior Citz Hall garden and that of the proposed Carey Bay garden.

Snr Citz Hall Garden: phase two of planning the garden at the hall: partake in the garden layout brainstorm. We are hoping to arrange a soil analysis to take place on the day. 
So come along and learn more about soil and how we can get the most out of our site. 

Carey Bay Garden: Contribute your ideas to what our garden will be... Fruit trees, veggies, bees? There will be an ideas workshop and a survey to fill to out. If you cannot attend but wish to contribute your ideas, please contact Tricia Hunt for a survey.
Bring your friends and family and afternoon tea to share.



A community garden is a wonderful thing for any community and we look forward to putting our first plant into the ground. However before we can get to this point there is planning and liaison work with land owners to undertake. This job is performed by the elected committee.

A healthy working committee is essential to making it all happen. So this is where you come in, we need your help! The more hands on board the lighter the load and faster the work can get done. Being on the committee is only a small commitment. On average to date we've found that each member has only needed to commit 1 - 2 hours a week (including meetings) to doing the job. Being on the committee is a great opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends. No special skills are required to join.

We require interested persons to fill the following positions:

  • Secretary (must have basic computer skills)

  • Treasurer 

If you are interested in either of the above roles, please contact the committee to discuss.
Tricia Hunt-Chairperson 4959 8811
Michelle Teear- Publicity 4023 8304
Ira Rantanen- Publicity
Bea Burgoine- Toronto Senior Citizens Liaison
Suzanne Pritchard- Committee
Join our Face Book Group: share tips, stories photos and meet other gardeners and wannabe gardeners..... www.facebook.com/groups/445900508768505/?bookmark_t=group

Backyard Habitat for Wildllife

Awabakal Wildflower Walk is being organised by the National Parks Association this spring. Meet at the end of Ocean St, Dudley on Sunday 9 September for a slow walk through coastal heath to admire the wildflowers. Bring sun protection and water. Call Maree 0410405815, John 0400882897 or Greg 0418192938 for further information.

Interested in Reducing your personal Carbon Footprint?

John Shiel, will present a talk on the Ultra-Low Carbon housing development with a summary of Sustainable Living at Progress Hall on Wednesday 10th October at 7– 7.45pm, with 45 mins for a Q&A. John will research questions that are not satisfactorily addressed on the night, on behalf of those enquiring. Please RSVP by 1st Oct to jafshiel@gmail.com or 49525209. John has Degrees in Engineering and Computing and is currently researching a PhD on rapid reduction of Housing Greenhouse Gases.

At a recent presentation given to the local U3A ideas were gathered on Keeping Warm Sustainably – the class agreed these tips would lower energy use with the benefit of having lower bills.
  • Allow the sun in the Northern windows, by having the eaves protrude at the top of the window no more than approximately ½ the height of the window from the eaves (this cuts off the sun in summer)
  • insulate ceiling to R4
  • zone your living room to only heat a small volume eg. additional doors or curtains across corridors;
  • put closely-fitting heavy lined curtains with a pelmut on windows and ensure it reaches the ground, wraps around the edges and overlaps in the middle to act like double-glazing and draw the curtains at dusk and don’t fully open until the sun is coming in windows;
  • add thermal mass to the living room with a large wine cellar rack, or remove the carpet on a concrete floor or add an internal brick wall;
  • draught proof external doors with metal strips on base and plastic foam around door edges, but watch mould issues, and also air quality if there is gas in house;
  • monitor humidity for mould with a temperature and humidity USB monitor with LED or open up doors and windows regularly or use ozone or Damprid;
  • close adjustable wall vents;
  • use more clothing and blankets.
  • Another tip could be to use an air conditioner to heat one room instead of a radiator, but to keep the thermostat low to say around 20 degrees with additional clothing or increased activity.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Dates for the Diary

  • Local Landcaring every Thursday around Coal Point
    Burnage Reserve 26/7/12
    Laycock St South 23/8/12
    Ring Robyn for details  4959 1507
  • National Tree Day
    Sunday 29th July Threlkeld Reserve-Grant Rd 9.30-11.30am
    Ring Jean for details  4959 4019
  • Community Garden planning at the Senior Citizens Centre
    Saturday 4th August 1.30pm  
97 The Boulevarde 

  •  Free eWaste Recycling
    Saturday 4th August 8am-noon. Solo Resource Recovery Centre 25-27 Oakdale Rd Gateshead
  • Progress Committee meeting at Hall with soup and bread, all welcome
    Monday 6th August 5.30-7.30pm @ Progress Hall
Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Coordinators meeting. All Welcome. Wednesday 8th August 5-6.30 pm  @ Progress Hall. 
  • Landcare Week 3-9th September
  • Landcare Week Celebrations at Landcare Resource Centre
    Saturday 8th September
  • Living Smart Festival -lots to see & do
    Saturday September 15th  9am-3pm @ Speers Point Park 

  • Art & Craft Show
    16,17,18 November  at Progress Hall.
    For entries contact Barbara 4959 1259

National Tree Day 2012 
at Threlkeld Reserve

Sunday 29th July between 9.30-11.30am there will be an opportunity to pop a few plants in the ground at Threlkeld Reserve, near the Grant Rd access for National Tree Day.

Threlkeld Reserve is home to a colony of Squirrel Gliders and provides critical habitat for their survival. On a walk through the bushland you may also find the Magenta Lilly Pilly and the local cycad, Macozamia flexuosa .

National Tree Day coordinators Jean Austen and John Greenhalgh will be there to great you. A morning tea will be provided.

The National Tree Day website  http://treeday.planetark.org/site/53002 has a few more details.

Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula

World Environment Day was memorable for the CPPA with a phone call from ‘the Trust’ providing the fantastic news that the Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula (TSLS) project was successful.

This six year, large scale, bush regeneration project has a $250,000 budget to support bush regeneration within our community.

The following excerpts from the application provide the background to the project which has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

The Coal Point peninsula ridgeland and Carey Bay floodplain hold the remnants of a botanically bygone era. The ornamental gardens of early settlers from the 1800s have become environmental transformers. This project will regenerate a 20.2ha mosaic of public-private bushland along the Coal Point ridge and 8.7ha of wetlands & catchment at Carey Bay.

A successful 17 year history of local landcaring has inspired the Coal Point Progress landcarers to undertake a whole peninsula project to protect and preserve 3 endangered ecological communities, 2 endangered populations and 5 vulnerable species. Social media will support community monitoring, participation and information sharing.

This project will enable the bushland corridor which spans the community to be treated as one entity, enhancing the ecological connectivity and resilience within and between areas of differing ownership and enabling the regeneration of critical habitat for the threatened species and communities to be addressed holistically.

The Coal Point peninsula contains three endangered ecological communities, Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest, Swamp sclerophyll forest on coastal floodplain and Coastal Saltmarsh. Endangered populations of the Magenta Lilly Pilly & Powerful Owl exist. Vulnerable animal species that occur are Squirrel Glider, Osprey, White bellied seaeagle. The vulnerable plants are Tetratheca juncea and Macrozamia flexuosa.

The Outcomes that the project intends to achieve are
  • Whole of community awareness about the existence of and habitat requirements of local threatened species and ecological communities and ongoing community contributions to monitoring their status.
  • Whole of community awareness about managing major transformer weeds Bitou bush, Lantana, Asparagus fern, Madeira vine, Camphor laurel,Morning glory, Olive and Privet and their replacement with local natives.
  • Native vegetation gains the ascendency along the Coal Point peninsula and birds disperse local provenance seed and not exotic weeds.
  • Wildlife corridors are recognisied and supported across private and public land to encourage the Squirrel Glider colony's movement, and other rare and endagered fauna and flora along the peninsula.
  • An active and socially connected community of local landcarers support each other on public and private land to restore and enhance the local environment.
  • Public reserves are enjoyed for non-destructive recreation & pedestrian movement along Coal Point peninsula.
The CPPA has been busy setting up the governance structures to implement the project.  The Progress Association has established a TSLS subcommittee, there is Steering Committee comprised of an LMCC rep,John Hughson, a Lake Macquarie Landcare rep Ken McPherson, a Sustainable Neighbourhood rep, Tricia Hunt and 3 CPPA members, Robyn & John Gill & Jean Austen. The project is being coordinated by a Project Management team from Trees In Newcastle (TIN) and on-ground support will also come from TIN and continue to be provided by the Lake Macquarie Landcare Resource Centre.

Part of the application also required declarations of conflict of interest, real, potential or perceived. These were declared as follows “The President of the Coal Point Progress Association for the past 18 years has been Suzanne Pritchard. Suzanne took on the office with the explicit intent of protecting the bushland of the Coal Point -Carey Bay area. Suzanne initiated Landcare within the Coal Point community. Suzanne has recently become employed by Trees In Newcastle and would be part of the TIN project management team if contracted to undertake the project.”

Sincere thanks to the locals who supported the application and to the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust for providing the funding to undertake this amazing community project.

The Lake is a Lake

You may recall hearing about LMCC’s ongoing discussions with the State government in their bid get the ‘new & improved’ Lake Macquarie Local Environment Plan (LMLEP) out and about for community discussion. 

One of the sticking points had been that the State wanted to zone the actual Lake as a recreational waterway. A zoning of similar intent is over the Penrith Lakes system. Our Council stood firm for the natural ecosystem, The Lake is a natural Lake, and took the issue to the Department and Minister.

In June 2012 many of Council’s concerns were addressed which means the LMLEP2012 will go out for community comment in the foreseeable future. Some of the concerns that got addressed include:
  • Lake Macquarie (the Lake) being zoned W1 Natural Waterway
  • 'Deferred’ sites under LMLEP 2004 remaining ‘deferred’ under LMLEP 2012, or being zoned to reflect their existing developed uses.
  • Existing mine and quarry sites being zoned SP1 Special Activities
  • Investigation land under LMLEP 2004 being converted to RU6 Transition zone under LMLEP 2011.
You can keep up to date on the the LMLEP2012 progress by subscribing to the planning newsletter .

Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Update

The Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood group has been quite busy in the past month.

The Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP) is with Council getting feedback and having the production finalised. The community launch of the document is being organised for Spring and the local working groups have been developing their projects.

Below is the next instalment of The Toronto Area SNAP, the guiding document for the group which outlines the projects as well as the community vision and values as formulated at local workshops.

Toronto Area Community Vision
  • To be proud of our neighbourhood
  • To maintain and improve access to natural beauty and cultural heritage.
  • To promote sustainable growth and tourism and
  • To foster a community of environmentally aware and active residents
The Toronto Area Community Vision was developed following engagement with residents about community values and needs.  Formal engagement between Council and the Toronto community began in September 2010 with the objective of forming a Toronto Sustainable Neighbourhood Group and to develop a local Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP).

Community engagement has included a Community Attitudes Survey (March 2011), two workshops, meetings and youth activities. Improvement of walking and cycling path infrastructure is seen as the single biggest environmental and social issue for Toronto Area residents.

Local sustainability issues of most concern to residents as highlighted in the survey were:
  • Protecting and improving the natural environment
  • Having access to parks, lake foreshore, bushland and other natural areas
  • Improving streetscape and stormwater systems through environmental design
  • Reducing waste and energy consumption
  • Responses from the community workshops focussed around six key areas of action:
  • Engaging in sustainable living activities such as community/backyard vegetable and native gardens, cycling and walking
  • Protecting and enhancing natural environments including bushland, wildlife and the lake foreshore through initiatives such as Landcare and responsible pet ownership
  • Fostering a safe neighbourhood
  • Creating more opportunities for community interaction
  • Reducing traffic noise, pollution and congestion and increasing sustainable transport accessibility such as public transport and electric vehicles
  • Improving community facilities such as footpaths, cycleways, kerb and guttering, bushland tracks and access to public land.
Toronto Area Community Values
The residents of the Toronto Area value our:
  • Peaceful village atmosphere
  • Lake-side culture and healthy outdoor lifestyle
  • Magnificent natural environment and rich cultural heritage
  • Convenient and diverse range of local services
  • Enterprising community people
  • Community’s potential to keep the Toronto Area a special place
  • Ability to make local decisions so that we can provide support for each other

What have the Working groups been upto?

Toronto Area Community Garden are organizing a planning workshop for a community gardening space at Toronto Senior Citizens Hall, set for Saturday 4th August 1.30pm, at 97 The Boulevarde, Toronto, with parking at rear, access via driveway.

The grounds of the Senior Citizens Hall may provide a learning and growing space for interested gardeners to gather and grow not only vegetables but friendships around the larger goal of trying to get a fully functioning Community Garden within our community.
As with any well thought out garden planning is essential and we’ll be looking at the space around Centenary Hall and the potential for propagation.  Please bring afternoon tea to share.

All welcome, seasoned and new gardener's alike. Inquiries: Tricia 4959 8811 or Michelle 0402924819. You can get updates on the Toronto Area Community Group on Facebook.
The Pedestrian-Cycleways team has also been meeting and discussing priority projects for the next few years. They are in the process of putting a map together of the local access/safety issues and undertaking a survey of the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists in the area. If you would like to go for a walk and talk about the issues please get in touch.

The group has an online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/8KHW9JX if you would like to provide some comments on your cycling habits to inform the process.

Tony (ph 49598811) and Nico (nico.marcar@gmail.com) are the group’s contacts.
The Landcare arm of the local Sustainable Neighbourhood project includes the local Progress activities and Kilaben Bay Landcare, who are planning a massed planting in the near future. The Lake Macquarie Landcare Office has contact details for the local groups. Robyn Gill is our local contact 49591507.

Do you like to wander in the Watagans?

The Watagans National Park, 10 minutes away, is one of the areas recently declared open for shooting.

The National Parks Association has a number of key concerns about the decision to allow shooting in National Parks and are encouraging the broader community to express their concern to their local State Member.

The concerns are
  1. The purpose of National Parks is to protect the environment and allow the quiet enjoyment of nature, not for blood sports.
  2. This decision poses a huge risk to the safety of the public, who just want to bushwalk, have a picnic or enjoy nature with their families.
  3. Control of feral animals should be left to the professionals. Recreational hunting is not an efficient or cost-effective tool for feral animal control in National Parks, and may have serious impacts on our native wildlife.
  4. This is a major betrayal of the public by the Premier, who has consistently promised that there will be no recreational hunting in National Parks. It is completely unacceptable for our protected areas to be used as a pawn in a political trade-off.
Local National Parks affected include
  • Watagans National Park
  • Barrington Tops National Park and SCA
    Myall Lakes National Park
  • Coolah Tops National Park
    Goulburn River National Park
  • Nowendoc National Park
Please register your disappointment directly with your local member of parliament, Greg Piper MP with a short telephone call (02) 4959 3200 a letter 92 Victory Parade, TORONTO NSW 2283 or an email lakemacquarie@parliament.nsw.gov.au 

There is also an online letter writing facility .

Keeping in the Loop

There are quite a few events and activities supported by LMCC’s Sustainable Neighbourhood and Landcare programs. One way to find out about them all is to ask Maree at the Landcare Office to put you on the weekly mailing list, ph 49210392 or email lro@lakemac.nsw.gov.au


The online version of the Chronicle at http://coalpointprogress.blogspot.com offers a few extras that aren’t possible in the paper version. There are links to other local organisation’s web presences, surveys to complete, pictures in colour, access to maps and all the Chronicle articles since 2009 all in the one spot and highly searchable.

Some recent additions to the local links include

Landcare Report –Robyn Gill

Recently we’ve been at Hampton St working around one of the little gullies of the Puntei Ck catchment above Carey Bay Wetlands and along the interesting Gurranba foreshore in the sunshine at times.  At both sites passers by have commented encouragingly on the changing scene. We are lucky that we have conditions for all occasions in our many reserves from the warming sun to the cooling breeze and sometimes the absence of these when the season is different. The views are great too.

In the recent showers one Thursday we had the amazing roll up of 5 energetic workers, 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren and 2 dogs to enjoy the occasion.

If you are interested in learning a bit about the bush, landcaring provides local connections to both people who share your interest and the wealth of resources available through the Lake Macquarie Landcare Network & Office.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Dates for the Diary

  • Monday 4th June 5.30-7.30pm @ Progress Hall
    Progress Committee meeting at Hall with soup and bread, all welcome
  • Wednesday 6th June 5.30-9.30pm @ Club Macquarie

    Managing your Community Group. Book with LMCC on 49210333
  • Thursday 7th June 9.30am-1.30pm  @ Hampton St corner of Pony Club.
Local Landcaring with the Green team.
  • Wednesday 13th June 5-6.30 pm  @ Progress Hall. 

    Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Coordinators meeting. All Welcome.
  • Saturday June 16th 9.30-2.30pm @ Landcare Centre- Teralba
Landcare Skills Soils ain’t Dirt RSVP  lro@lakemac.nsw.gov.au or 4921 0392.
  • Wednesday 27th June 5.30-9.30pm@ Council Service Centre, 126 Main Rd Speers Point
    Planning for Successful Projects BOOKINGS Call 4921 0333 or council@lakemac.nsw.gov.au
  • Local Landcaring each & every Thursday around Coal Point

    Ring Robyn for details  4959 1507
  • Toronto Area Community Gardeners will gather this month. 

    Contact Michelle 0402924819 or Tricia 49598811 for details
  • 16,17,18 November
    Art & Craft Show at Progress Hall

Walkers Wanted

The Coal Point Chronicle is hand delivered to 1300 local homes and we’re looking for some people to assist in distribution.

If you have an hour once a month to pop about 50-100 chronicle in your neighbour’s letterboxes contact Barbara on 4959 1259

Arts and Craft Show 2012

The Arts & Craft Show preparations are underway. The organizing Committee have been organising, prizes have been procured, the date set, November 16-18, and the entry forms are printed and being circulated far and wide.

If you’re a local artist,artisan or craftsperson and you would like to share your wares there is plenty of time to be creative. An entry form is only a phone call or email away. Barbara is the contact person.

Thank you LMCC for the Rates Rebate.

The Progress Association owns and covers all the costs for maintaining Progress Hall for community use. Lake Macquarie City Council have generously provided the Progress Association with a rate rebate for which we are truly grateful.

Raising Resilient Kids for a Better Future

How we can we protect our children from advertising, instant gratification, over-consumption and fear of the future?
How can we help them be contributors, not just consumers, who care for the environment and the wellbeing of others?

Transition Newcastle and the Family Action Centre are hosting a forum on Tuesday June 19th 7-8.30pm at Lambton Public School, Croudace St, Lambton.
Speaker: Anna Campbell Author of “Honeycomb Kids: Big picture parenting for a changing world... and to change the world”
Followed by a Q&A panel also including:
  • Tricia Hogbin - Little Eco Footprints Blog
  • Graeme Stuart - Transition Newcastle & Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle
  • Natashja Treveton - Hunter Alliance for Childhood
  • Moderated by: Phil Ashley-Brown - 1233 ABC Newcastle
After the forum join us for some supper.
Child care available (limited places). Booking of child care is essential: Lesley Asher (ph 4921 5758 or Contact Graeme Stuart, Transition Newcastle Ph: (02) 4921 7241 or 0400 347 186


Sustainable Neighbourhood Update

The local Sustainable Neighbourhood group have been gathering the local goals and putting them together in a document called the SNAP, Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan.

The document provides the pathway to local projects and facilitates securing support from LMCC.

Locals John Gill and Nico Marcar have done a tremendous job in compiling this community document.

The following information is contained in the the background section of the SNAP.

The Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group

The Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group (TASNG) comprises community members who live in and identify closely with the neighbourhood through work, volunteering, friends, family or other means of connection. The Group is committed to implementing this plan and to monitoring and reviewing it annually. The TASN Coordinating Group, formed by local residents, with the support of Council, has utilised a participatory democratic process to coordinate the implementation, evaluation and review of the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group Action Plan (TASNAP) and associated community projects.

Our aim is to support activities associated with the TASNG by:
  • Establishing decision-making mechanisms that are inclusive and democratic
  • Encouraging neighbourhood representation and participation
  • Promoting and supporting Sustainable Neighbourhood projects
  • Developing a regular review process of the Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan
  • Increasing communication within the community and the different community groups
  • Encouraging residents to join Council sponsored programs
If you are interested in becoming involved in any of the actions in this Plan or have ideas on how to improve our neighbourhood the Group would love to hear from you. Find out about our current projects and activities, and how you can join with us to be part of this community-based initiative.  The TASNG meets monthly at the Toronto Library or a local venue.

The Lake Macquarie Sustainable Neighbourhoods Program

Reducing our ecological footprint neighbourhood by neighbourhood
Through the Sustainable Neighbourhoods Program Lake Macquarie City Council partners with its residents to plan and promote local action, enhance and protect their natural environment, reduce their ecological footprint and increase community connectivity and resilience. The program enables residents to develop a vision for their neighbourhood, articulate local values, uncover neighbourhood assets and develop a local action plan to address neighbourhood challenges.  The Sustainable Neighbourhoods Program is about individuals and groups collectively taking responsibility to ensure that their unique environment remains sustainable for future generations.

The Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Initiative

The Toronto Area is a vibrant community with a history of community action and environmental protection.  In September 2010, a group of dedicated residents embraced the Sustainable Neighbourhoods Program proposal and worked with Council to conduct a series of community engagement activities within the Toronto community.  Further interest from the peninsula communities sparked the expansion of the Sustainable Neighbourhood Area to include Carey Bay, Coal Point, Kilaben Bay and Toronto.  Engagement activities were designed to elicit content for the development of the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan. This Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan is a living document that will be reviewed and adapted on an annual basis by the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group (TASNG).

About Our Area

The Toronto Area including Carey Bay, Coal Point, Kilaben Bay and Toronto is the traditional land of the Awabakal people.  The aborigines called the Toronto foreshore 'Derah-bambah' meaning 'rising ground', Toronto was 'Pondee' meaning 'overlooking view' and Kilaben Bay was 'Killibinbin' meaning 'unspotted bright shining'.

Our area is situated on the north-western side of Lake Macquarie, the largest coastal saltwater lake in Australia – seven times the size of Sydney Harbour.  The name Toronto was chosen by the Excelsior Land, Investment & Building Co. and Bank Pty Ltd. when it purchased a portion of the original land grant to Reverend Threlkeld that had been used for an aboriginal mission in 1887.  By 1906 Toronto was still mainly limited to the triangle formed by Cary Street, The Boulevard and the railway line. In the 1830s and 1840s the current centre of Toronto was the site of a prosperous farm with a variety of crops and many fruit trees including mulberry.  Coal was first mined at Coal Point in 1841 by the Rev Threlkeld.  By the late 19th century, ferries were running from Speers Point to Toronto. When the railway was extended to Toronto, a regular ferry service operated to Coal Point and Carey Bay. A steam tramway service linking Toronto to the Fassifern railway station was started in 1891.  The subsequent railway service was replaced in 1993 by a connecting bus service. Toronto is considered to be the hub for public transport on the western side of Lake Macquarie.

Known for its natural geographic features, the Toronto area contains five of the City’s nine ecosystem types including forest, woodland, waterways, wetlands and lake. As is the case with most urban bushland areas, the natural assets of this area are deeply treasured by neighbours but are unfortunately under considerable pressure.  These pressures are brought about for example by urbanisation, over-development, coal mining in neighbouring communities and lack of awareness of property owners in conservation zones ( i.e. garden escapees, logging and clearing of dead and sometimes living trees), thereby destroying valuable habitat.

Our area is characterised by its relaxed and outdoor loving, water-based lifestyle.  The lake foreshore with historic buildings, wetlands, reserves and bushwalking tracks as well as events like the Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest, Carols by Candlelight and local markets attract a broad range of local, national and international visitors.