Saturday, 31 March 2012

April Diary Dates

  • Saturday April 14th  4-6pm Community Garden Gathering at the Pony Club. 
  • Saturday April 14th Landcare Skills bus trip to the Central Coast visiting the Crommelin Arboretum at Pearl Beach. Book now at or 4921 0392. A $10 cost will cover catering! 
  • Local Landcaring each & every Thursday around Coal Point
Ring Robyn for details  4959 1507  
    Landcare Resource Centre, cnr Five Islands and Toronto Rd Teralba
    BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL Call 4921 0333 or 
  • Monday 7th May 7-9pm Progress Committee meeting at Hall 
  • Tuesday 8 May 10.00 - 11.00 am
    Wednesday 9 May 10.00 -11.00 am
    Landcare Resource Centre, cnr Five Islands and Toronto Rd Teralba
    Call 4921 0333 or to register. 
  • 16,17,18 November Art & Craft Show at Progress Hall

Memorable members

Alf Jones polishing the refurbished table at the Hall
It is with much sadness that we acknowledge the passing of two Progress members Roy Thompson and Alf Jones. On behalf of the Progress members thoughts of peace and strength go out to the families of Alf and Roy.
Alf was a stalwart Committee member for many years attending to the maintenance of Progress Hall and overseeing the major refurbishment with the local lads during 2007.
Alf’s generosity of time and skills, smile and beautiful heart will be greatly missed.

Thanks to our Supporters

New tables at Progress Hall.

Last year the Toronto Diggers Club provided The Progress Association with funds to assist in purchasing new tables.
We have finally acquired 8 new lighweight, stay up all the time tables for the Hall.
In the process Bunnings provided some additional assistance which helped purchase another 2.
Many thanks to Toronto Diggers and Bunnings for the tables.

Songs of Henry Lawson & Banjo Paterson

It was a memorable evening that provided insights into the number of poems that had been put to song by our iconic poets. An enjoyable evening all round with a mountain of scrumptious treats provided by Bakers Delight for the supper.
Thanks to all who supported the local social.

Centennial Community Consultative Committee update

Centennial has just released two new briefing papers for community consideration.

Firstly is the Newstan Colliery Extension Project. It appears to be the similar  as "Awaba East" or "Newstan Lochiel" projects.  Centennial's information on the projects is here.

The second is the Centennial Northern Coal Services logistics Project. This is of importance because Centennial  wants to upgrade their  infrastructure which includes the new Mandalong Mine Private Haul Road. This is the road they put in 2009. More info is here.
The local community consultative committee representative is Robyn Charlton, contactable at

AGM Outcomes

The AGM came and went with a keen crew signing up for another eventful Progress Year.
Thanks were given to all present and absent Committee members and time was taken to reflect on the achievements of year that’s been. The highlights included
  • Mr Sqib - The Tuesday night Trivia team arrived to provide some social glue for the committee.
  • The Hall got painted and looks picture perfect
  • Sustainable Neighbourhoods started up
  • Movement on pedestrian options and cycling issues
  • Movement on a local community garden
  • Lots of regular Landcaring throughout the community
  • A $250,000 six year  Environmental Trust grant was written for a weed free Coal Point
  • Ascertained that the Chronicle does get read through the feedback received over accessways
  • A few monthly chronicles less than normal  impacted on the bottom line, but generally fully subscribed with space sponsors
  • Some great social/fundraisers
    • The Premiers Flood Appeal supported Queenslanders in January 2011
    • Songs of Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson brought locals together socially
Financially a breakeven year which was pretty good considering the painting of the Hall was a major expense.
Many thanks to the ongoing sponsorship of space by local businesses in the Chronicle which generates enough funds to keep the wolf from the door and the necessary insurances in place.
Special thanks to long term sponsors Ross McGrath, Stylish Abodes, Avery’s Real Estate who no longer are in need of the space.
The year ahead looks pretty good too
  • There will be a brochure about our community distributed
  • The Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan will be launched, providing a foundation for ongoing community projects
  • If the Environmental Trust grant gets up there’ll be lots of landcaring along the peninsula
  • The Art & Craft Show is on again
The Committee remained relatively stable with Warren Sinclair not restanding and Annette Minnards putting up her hand. Many thanks to the stalwarts for ongoing community contributions Robyn Gill, Ian Dennison,  Barbara Lawrenson, John Gill, Jean Austen, Suzanne Pritchard,  Tony Dynon and John Greenhalgh

Landcare Report for 2011 -Robyn Gill

In 2011 the Coal Point Landcare Group planted 670 plants in 6 reserves while carrying out maintenance weeding at 4 others. All plants went into places where weeds were flourishing  so it is a challenge to prepare for planting and then to protect the new plantings from weeds as they grow to occupy the space. Our white tipped stakes make it possible for us to find them and help them along until they become a largely self supporting patch of appropriate vegetation and habitat.
The plantings in WIPPI Reserve have now reached the stage where minimal maintenance is needed ( and a wedding took place among them last year ).

More Members

The Treasurer is patiently waiting by his letterbox to receive CPPA memberships renewals. It looks like it’s going to be a big year and being on board for the whole journey  will allow you to bask in the warm glow of community contentment for at least 9 months, just long enough to make a baby or watch one grow.
If you can’t find the Treasurer’s letterbox at 235 Coal Point Rd, the Progress letterbox is PO Box 329 Toronto, John regularly takes a sack to clear out the membership renewals, please make his sack carrying worthwhile.

How fast is your Broadband?

It’s been raised that some people are having problems with Bigpond's  ADSL2 and finding it very slow. The CPPA is prepared to approach Telstra or the Communications Ombudmans with a complaint if this is a common widespread experience.
There are concerns that Telstra may have have oversold ADSL2 in this area and their copper wires cannot handle the traffic. Tony Dynon will be investigating further would like to hear of anyone’s experiences. Contact Tony by phone 49594533 or email

Sustainable Neighbourhood Update

Lake Macquarie City Council’s Sustainable Neighbourhood program is going from strength to strength with many local groups now making progress on their pet projects and the community driven umbrella organisation, Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance up and running. The Board of the Alliance is calling for nominations to fill the position of Secretary and upto four ordinary Committee members.
The Board seeks to:
• Provide support and assistance to member Sustainable Neighbourhood Groups in Lake Macquarie City;
• Act as a point of communication between Sustainable Neighbourhood Groups in Lake Macquarie, including collecting and distributing relevant information;
• Provide Council staff with guidance, advice and feedback on community engagement and empowerment issues relating to the Sustainable Neighbourhoods Program;
• Reduce duplication through identifying and addressing common issues for multiple Sustainable Neighbourhood Groups;
• Undertake other general activities associated with peak body responsibilities;
• Undertake activities to develop sustainability initiatives in Lake Macquarie City; and
• Support the formation of sustainable communities in areas of Lake Macquarie.
If you’re interested in finding out what is involved contact Dot Seiffert, Chair, Lake Macquarie Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance Contact: 0409 788 684,
Nominations are due by Friday 13th April.

Pedestrian Options & Accessways

Thanks again for the feedback on the various accessways around the community. Apologies for any distress caused to adjacent neighbours in the quest for clarification.
The amended access information will be supplied to LMCC for any further investigation as part of the ongoing process to get up to date local information available on how to traverse the area by foot.
The Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group -Cycling and Pedestrian Group met in March and are trying to gather some local information about why people cycle and how to get more people engaged in this healthy lifestyle option.
A short online survey has been put together to gather your thoughts.
If you'd like more information about the is group please contact group leader Tony Stephens- phone 4959 8811 or
Nico Marcar-

Community Gardeners Gathering

The Toronto Area Community Gardeners gathered in March to progress this group’s ambitions of supporting local vegetable growing. Some Office bearers were nominated; Secretary: Tricia Hunt, Pubicity Officers: Irina Rantanen and Michelle Teear, TASG Representative: Suzanne Pritchard
In light of the success of our last local get-together, our next growers gathering will be held at the Carey Bay Pony Club grounds off Hampton St, on Saturday 14th April from 4 - 6pm.
Bring some snags to put on the BBQ, a picnic rug and plants and produce to swap.
We will hold an initial brainstorming session of what you would like our community garden to be, so get thinking!
And to make it all a reality, we still have one committee position to fill of Chair Person: Duties will include chairing regular meetings as a per nominated agenda, liaison with council, and other general duties as negotiated by the committee. If you think you may be the ideal candidate (no previous experience required), then please consider nominating yourself for the roll.
Friends, family and children all welcome!
BYO Frisbee or boules
If you know anyone else who may be interested in a local community garden, please bring them along
Further enquiries to Michelle  0402 924 819

What to grow in April

If you’re wondering what to be planting at this time of year the Hunter Organic Growers website has a very easy to read planting guide.
In April globe artichoke,broad beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, chinese cabbage, garlic, leeks, lentils, lettuce, onion, parsnip, peas, raddish, shallots, silverbeet, strawberries, swede and turnips are all recommended.

Arts & Craft Update

Arts & Craft Show is set for the weekend of the 15-18 November.
This year there’ll be  a special prize for an artwork depicting and endangered species, plant/animal. We’re also receiving some great support from locals with plenty of prizes on offer for a raffle and auction.
Proceeds will be going towards the ongoing upkeep of Progress Hall.
Opening night will include an Auction, nibbles, wine and general joie de vie.
Definitely a date for the diary.

Landcare Update

This month apart from some planting and weeding at Burnage we have spent many hours at Gurranba tackling OUR GREATEST FOE, Asparagus Fern.
Fortunately our quote comes in considerably lower than the other 2 we received ($1200 and $1500) and the satisfaction is enormous when we tip a bag of Asparagus “crowns” in the bin as that represents a huge amount of long, very green, seed bearing fronds.
The Green Team Day which was good still left us with a long way to go before we can replant in April. The plants will be supplied by Hunter Water as part of a special program to assist reserves which “house” a sewerage facility. We are getting close to the result we need.
The amazing thing is that apart from some Mother of Millions, a colony of large African Olive and an occasional Broadleaf Privet, some natives keep struggling through the junk – especially Wombat Berry, some Native Olive and many little Rapanea.
On Thursday April 5th REPLANTING BEGINS with assistance from the Lake Macquarie Landcare Green Team and any other welcome volunteers.

Controlled burn on the horizon

Many moons ago mention was made about how to manage The Asparagus Fern carpet in the reserves off Stansfield Close. One thought that was touted was to burn it all. Many moons on and permissions are being acquired by LMCC to undertake a controlled burn with Fire and Rescue NSW.
The issue was discussed at the last Progress meeting and LMCC’s Craig Holland who is facilitating the process provided the following response to concerns raised about the impacts on the wildlife and smoke.
There are only positive effects on animals as the hazard reduction burn creates regeneration, which creates more food sources and reduces the monoculture that weeds create. With more food sources (particularly with isolated patches of bushland like Coal Point) more animals are attracted to the area and the food chain is then reinforced. This is very positive. As we are intentionally only burning half of the bushland area, the half not being burnt provides a refuge for the animals. The fire authority don't just throw a match in to the area and walk away. The usual prescribed low intensity burn is usually done in segments. The ones I have seen, they burn a 10m x 5 segment usually downhill (‘cause it burns slower and is more controlled) and wait for that to burn until they move on to the next segment. Very controlled and slow. This gives the animals an opportunity to move.
In terms of smoke, Fire and Rescue NSW will conduct a burn plan for Coal Point, which addresses such issues as wind direction and smoke mainly because of vehicular traffic. Fire and Rescue NSW will give residents notice (at least 7 days) of when the burn is likely, warning residents to close windows, don't wash their clothes and put them out on the line, retract pool covers and move out of the area for the day if someone suffers asthma or a lung condition.
If you’d like more information contact Craig Holland 
| Natural Areas Officer (Bush Fire Mitigation)
Lake Macquarie City Council | P: (02) 49 210 288 | M: 0419483349 | F: (02) 49210351

Community Ecosystem Monitoring Program

If you're interested in getting out in your local bushland, you may wish to volunteer your time for an ecosystem monitoring survey.
Learn how to measure the health of our city's natural areas through monitoring the number of native and exotic plant and animal species, fallen logs and hollow-bearing trees for habitat, and regeneration of native species.
Autumn surveys are running now. To join, please contact Council at or 4921 0333, or see for more information. No prior experience is necessary.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Have you Lost your Keys?

Found: 1 set of keys - along Skye Point Rd - mid. February.
2 keys plus a Newcastle Squash Association tag and 1 other item.
Ph: 0429385951, ask for Merrilyn McSporran