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 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 if you would like to provide some comments on your cycling habits to inform the process.

Tony (ph 49598811) and Nico ( 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 

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

The online version of the Chronicle at 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.