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.

Local Landcaring

For Coal Point landcarers May began with the Lake Macquarie Green Team assisting us at the West Ridge Reserve (off Whitelocke St) which gives us great pleasure and satisfaction (especially after we have managed to remove some Bitou and Asparagus Fern colonies ).
This area is specially blessed with a diversity of natives that have been lost from other reserves and it was a thrill to be told by the professional leader of the Green Team that she regards it as one of the top 5 in the Lake Mac. area. A neighbour to the reserve also mentioned that a botanist writing a report on their land commented on the quality of the vegetation.

At Gurranba the blitzing of Asparagus Fern is almost complete with consistent maintenance to follow as the red berries that had fallen spring up. The planting to replace the weeds is doing well and continuing.

Part of the planting at Gurranba has great hopes pinned on it as it follows from an interesting comment by one of the Dune Carers working at Pearl Beach recently that they notice that Mother of Millions doesn’t grow below Tuckeroos (Cupaniopsis). As we’re always hoping for a magic bullet to deal with these great survivors we’ve planted 16 Tuckeroos so far. They are attractive small to medium trees that thrive “in humid places near the sea or on windswept headlands”- which sums up Gurranba point very well.

Observers of Carey Bay Wetlands might notice some additional plump black plastic bundles. They are full of a large volume of Morning Glory and as they “cook” will provide safe mulch to continue filling in around and over the dumped concrete chunks that are scary to work among. Bundles from last December have been unwrapped and provided fill.

On June 7th we will be at Hampton St corner which adjoins the Pony Club area at the back of  “the” wetlands (with help from the Green Team).

Thursday May 31st will be at Gurranba (magic views and hopefully sunshine).
A bird in the Bush

by Robyn Gill : Landcare Coordinator

A bird in the Bush

Recently a local Wildlife Rescuer discovered two baby Owlet-nightjars that had been mauled and killed in our local bushland. Whilst saddened at the loss, it was significant to find these small nocturnal birds locally. 

The Owlet Nightjar is a common and widespread bird preferring tree-studded habitat with hollows. During the day it roosts in these hollows and tree trunks. The birds form permanent bonds and live in the same territory throughout the year.

The Owlet Nightjars are the smallest of the nocturnal birds and only raise one brood per season of 2-5 eggs. The nest is usually placed in a tree hollow or rock crevice. The Progress Association will be assisting local wildlife carers with provision of suitable nestboxes to support the local population of Owlet Nightjars and increase  the number of ‘tree hollows’ available.

Hollow logs are vital for survival for many native animals. Possums, sugar gliders, birds of all shapes and sizes need the shelter, protection and warmth that only good wood insulation can provide. The removal of logs from the bushland especially as winter approaches, places the survival of local wildlife at risk. Log hollows take decades to form and are a precious commodity. Please leave the logs in the bush this winter.
For more information about Owlet Nightjars 

Super Saturday Sessions (SSS) @ the LRO

Saturday 16 June  theme is ‘Soils Ain't Dirt’ hosted by Ann and Rob Loughran at the Landcare Resource Centre from 9.30am - 2.30pm.

Saturday July 14 will be a session at Trees in Newcastle (TIN). Photos of SSS’s can be viewed on the LML Facebook page. Morning tea and lunch is supplied so for catering please RSVP to the LRO on 4921 0392 or email lro@lakemac.nsw.gov.au

Container Deposit Scheme

Do you remember gathering up the cans and bottles in your youth to collect the deposits? It seemed to be a system that worked. There is a groundswell of people who are wanting to revisit the good old days of container deposits and you can add your weight to the current campaign the Toronto Tidy Towns and Clean Up Australia Day crew are supporting.

The Federal and State Environment Minsters are currently investigating a national Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) and will make a decision in August 2012. With a YES vote to a CDS we are on the way to reduce rubbish in our environment and increase recycling rates of beverage containers from currently 40% to up to 80%.

The introduction of a container deposit system in Australia will:
  • significantly lift our recycling rates of glass, plastic and metal beverage containers
  • virtually eliminate beverage container litter
  • help charities
  • create new jobs
  • support hundreds of new convenient drop-off centres for other products like batteries and e-waste as well.
This website has an easy to complete letter to the Minister to lodge your support.

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is celebrated across Australia each year between 27 May and 3 June. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey—the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.
May 27 marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in our nation’s history. The 1967 referendum saw over 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the national census. 2012 marks the 45th anniversary of the ’67 referendum.
On 3 June, 1992, the High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land—that existed prior to colonisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights called Native Title. This year is the 20th anniversary of the Mabo decision
National Reconciliation Week provides a time to reflect on the national reconciliation effort. The NRW website lists several actions that we can take.
Look and listen: We have a rich multicultural society that we can be proud of. Why not listen to or go watch some of our talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists? Dan Sultan, Christine Anu, The Mills Sisters, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Iwantja Band, Busby Marou, to name a few.
Give your brain a workout: Exercise is the key to good health—for both body and mind. According to the Australian Reconciliation Barometer 4 in 5 Australians believe it is important to know about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures and become open to learning more. 
Knowledge and understanding is important for reconciliation.  Why not watch a movie, pick up a book and learn a bit more about our awesome country and the amazing people that make Australian great. 
(Abridged from http://reconciliation.org.au/nrw)