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 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.....

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 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.