Thursday, 28 November 2013

Dates for the Diary

Coal Point Progress Committee Meeting :
Monday 9/12/13,
Progress Hall 4-6pm
more info contact Suzanne 0438 596 741

Landcare every Thursday
Contact Robyn 4959 1507

Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group : 
Wednesday 14/12/13. Progress Hall 5-6.30pm
More info contact Nico on 40231978

TSLS Project and Members get together
Thursday 19/12/13
Progress Hall 11am-1pm

or by phoning Suzanne 0438 596 741

The Chronicle is delivered to  1450 houses in the Coal Point and Carey Bay area.

If you do not wish to receive it please let us know, It is hand delivered into all letterboxes.

Lots to say about Carey Bay!

A total of 81 community submissions were lodged with 79 opposing the development at Carey Bay. Due to the number of submissions received the development application will go before Council for approval i.e. the decision will not sit with a Council Officer as delegated authority… but in the meantime the developer has some work to do. 

On 15/10/13 Lake Macquarie City Council posted a ‘Request for Information’ to the developer in order to adequately assess the proposed 26 dwellings on Laycock St. A 12 page document, identifying LMCC’s concerns about the proposed DA is available for viewing on LMCC’s Application Tracking website and via this link

LMCC’s ‘Request for Information’ stated in its conclusion (p3) “an assessment of the development application has found it to be deficient in terms of owner’s consent, information provided to enable a detailed assessment, and were an assessment has been undertaken the proposal has been found to be of poor quality design. Further, a number of the areas of deficiency or poor quality design where identified as significant issues to be addressed at a Pre-lodgement meeting of 27 February 2013. Also a significant number of submissions have been received objecting to the development proposal. Therefore in its current form there is no option but to determine the development application by way of refusal.

In this regard, it is required that the development application be withdrawn, the required specialist reports be prepared, the design be reviewed and a Pre-lodgement meeting be convened prior to re-lodgement of the development proposal. Should additional information be submitted for the application Council may proceed to determine the application without any further negotiation.”

There was a suite of concerns that need to be addressed under headings of Ecological values, Ecological Corridors, Scenic values, Tree Preservation  & Management, Bushfire Risk, Sloping Land & Soils, Erosion Prevention & Sediment Control, Energy Efficiency, Noise & Vibration-Air Quality, Stormwater Management/On-Site, Stormwater Harvesting, Operational Waste Management, Vehicle Parking provision, Car Parking Areas & Structures, Access, Streetscape & local Character, Landscapes, fences, Building Siting, Form  & Design. Many concerns also reflected the proximity of the Childcare Centre to the proposal.

The Progress Association and Sustainable Neighbourhood Groups are keen to use this opportunity to discuss what could be possible on the site. If you have an interest or expertise in sustainable development please contact either group via Nico Marcar by phone 40231978 or email

TSLS project update

To date the majority of the bush regeneration activity of the Threatened Species Last Stand (TSLS) project has focused on the public reserves along the peninsula. In 2014 an expansion of the on ground activities will support local landholders. 

Monthly Sunday sojourns around neighbourhood nodes will aim to provide opportunities to learn about the local natives (and weeds) and bush regeneration techniques as well as meeting adjacent neighbours who border your ‘bigger backyard’.

Starting in February 2014, two bush regenerators will be on hand on the 1st Sunday of the month from 10am-1pm to provide demonstrations on weeding techniques, conduct backyard audits to help identify natives and weeds, investigate nest box opportunities and recommend plants to strengthen the wildlife corridor. 

On Thursday 19th December from 11am-1pm, at Progress Hall, there is a chance to meet the folk involved in the project and find out more about when the on-ground crew will be close to your home.  

Bush regenerators, landcarers and the Project Steering Committee will all be on hand to chat about and celebrate the achievements of the year. A BBQ lunch will be provided. RSVP by 13/12/13 is essential to or Suzanne 0438 596 741. 

Birds of Coal Point (and Turtles)

An important part of the TSLS project has been the monitoring of the birdlife in the local area. Birds are being used as indicators of the bushland health and to guide the bush regeneration strategies over the life of the project…and beyond.

Tom Clarke reported the Spring Survey highlights…” It was great to see the migrant birds (Sacred Kingfisher, Dollarbird, Channel-billed Cuckoo and Eastern Koel) back in the area again and busying themselves in re-establishment. A pair of Dollarbirds was encountered at Carey Bay and was suffering the attentions of Magpie Lark; we wait with interest to see if they can secure the advantage of the dead trees within the wetland. 

Another sign of spring was the widely encountered behaviour of nest hollow inspection. Laughing Kookaburra were checking out and/or excavating nest hollows in various arboreal termite mounds at Noorumba Reserve, Burnage Reserve and West Ridge South while Rainbow Lorikeet were inspecting tree hollows at West Ridge Central and West Ridge South.”
The spring, summer, autumn and winter seasonal bird surveys and the 1st annual report are now available for viewing.

Additionally BirdLife Australia, through the Powerful Owl project has shown that there was a local chick hatched. This was the first year this project has extended beyond Sydney. An interesting observation noted in the report is that “Powerful Owls have been seen eating a higher number of birds this year along with the usual diet of possums, including Rainbow Lorikeet, Currawong, Kookaburra, Magpie, Channel-billed Cuckoo and even a Noisy Miner. 

P.S The Hunter Central-Rivers CMA has recently produced a movie about marine turtles and with the warmer weather about you may be lucky enough to see some bobbing about.

Congrats on the Corridor Project

The recent Keep Australia Beautiful- Tidy Towns Awards have bestowed a 1st Place to the Toronto team for the Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula Project. 

The news story can be viewed online in the Lakes Mail 

Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood News

Tossers can be Binners

There are changes a foot both locally and federally in dealing with litter.
On our doorstep the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group is doing its bit and doing the right thing, having secured funding to install new recycling bins in the Aldi-Woolworths area, cleaning up the litter in the carpark gardens, addressing graffiti and planting to make the area more attractive.

At the National level on the 5/12/13 Australia’s environment ministers will make a decision on the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS). You can be a part of history.

Dear Cash for Containers Supporter,
Australia currently wastes 8 billion containers every year – and we all know where many end up – on our roads, parks, beaches and in the ocean.  It is time to implement a proven solution.

The beverage industry led by Coke, are spending millions of dollars on advertising to defeat our campaign.  They began on 14 October and it's still going.  They are feeling the heat.

We can win if we show the ministers what the community wants - and New South Wales can lead the way. Here’s how you can help:

Your personal message to Premier Barry O'Farrell is important.  Key Facts to help you are online. 
You can also share our facebook link with your friends

CPPA Membership renewal with a TASNG Option and an end of year gathering

Membership to the Progress Association runs to the calendar year and renewals will be distributed over the next month or so. 

For the first time in several years the membership fees have increased to $8/individual and $13/family.

This year the membership form will include an additional  $2 option to join the local Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood group as well.

The TASNG has a webpage that outlines the projects and structure of the group. 
The Association sincerely thanks its members for their ongoing support. 

All members are warmly invited to Progress Hall on Thursday December 19th from 11-1pm to, meet with other locals and discuss the activities of the Association and renew your membership. RSVP to Suzanne on 0438 596 741 or

How fast is your Internet? By Ian McLean

The way the Rudd Labour Government originally announced they were setting up the National Broadband Network Co (NBN) did not include any incentive for the existing owners of the ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) exchange equipment (mainly Telstra and Optus) to update their internet exchange infrastructures.

The copper wire from existing NODES to our premises or to the nearest exchange and the performance of the existing ADSL exchange equipment limits the current speed we experience.

The existing NODES, usually a conspicuous olive green cabinet off to the side of the road, are fed from the nearest exchange by fibre optic cable. The NODE that feeds Coal Point is in Amelia Street, near Whitelock Street in Burnage Reserve.
It is fed by fibre optic cable from Toronto exchange and from there the houses have the normal copper cable.

This NODE provides local subscribers with telephone and internet services.
If you are lucky enough to live past the NODE you really should be enjoying relatively high speed broad band but the speed is restricted by the equipment at Toronto exchange and to some extent old NODE technology.

If the new NBN Co policy was to concentrate on upgrading the outdated ADSL equipment at the exchanges (already fed by fibre from the existing National backbone network) we would all be better off much sooner.

The slow roll out of the fibre in the streets from exchanges to the subscribers houses is the problem because the inexperienced new NBN Co underestimated the size and complexity of the project.

As a matter of interest you can test your speed at various times during the day and in the middle of the night say 2.00AM - write down your results so you can review your findings 

Without exception you will find your existing connection is much faster when the exchanges aren’t overloaded therefore confirming that any copper between you and the exchange or NODE is only a part of the slow speed problem.

The owners of the ADSL equipment at the exchanges must be given the incentive to up grade the equipment without further delay so we can enjoy higher speeds - NOW.

This is not Rocket Science just practical and common sense logic – I hope this gets through to the new board that will be running our NBN Co.

It’s comforting to know that the newly appointed CEO by the new Government, Ziggy S used to run Telstra.

Seasonal support for our sponsors.

This and forthcoming editions of the Chronicle will showcase the amazing variety of skills, services and expertise provided by our sponsors. Sincere thanks to all of the long term and new sponsors whose financial contributions have supplemented the CPPA coffers.

With the giving season upon us, gifts that give personally and to the local community abound. Available at Carey Bay are gifts and vouchers for haircuts, exercise classes, fine wines, fine foods and photography. 

For a truly unique gift Westlakes Framing & Trophies will provide inspiration for capturing and sharing memories in tangible formats from glassware to picture frames. For festive food … don’t forget to order the prawns at Shane’s!



Better Planning Network

The Better Planning Network and 432 affiliated groups want a responsible planning system for NSW, one that is driven by Ecologically Sustainable Development; has at its heart community wellbeing; protects our environment & heritage; minimises risks of corruption and respects the rights of communities to shape local planning & development decisions.

The Government's Planning Bills won't deliver the visionary planning system NSW needs. With the Upper House debate coming up in a few days' time NOW is the time to contact Upper House MPs to say NO to the NSW Government's Planning Bills!

The BPN has an easy email letter on their website which can quickly make your thoughts known to the powers that be.

This week the debate occurred and the Planning Bills were passed. 
from the Better Planning website...
On 27 November 2013, the NSW Upper House passed the amended NSW Planning Bill 2013 and NSW Planning Administration Bill 2013.  Govt, Labor, Christian Democrats and Shooters and Fishers MPs voted in support of these Bills.  The Greens NSW voted against these Bills.
Overall, the amended Bills passed by the Upper House are a missed opportunity for visionary reform and will not deliver good planning and development outcomes for communities across NSW.  The Bills are unfit for the 21st century.
The amended Bills will now need to be considered by the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) before they can become law.
You can email your views on the NSW Planning Bills to your local MP and Upper House members by clicking here.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Dates for the Diary

Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group meeting 

Wednesday 9th October. Progress Hall 5-6.30pm, 197 Skye Point Rd, Coal Point

Guests: A council officer from the City Projects teams and Fee Mozley to discuss the Toronto Streetscape plan and lessons learnt from Lamen St Figs
6pm - Discussion about proposed development at 20 Laycock St.
Input from local ‘experts’ greatly appreciated.
Comments from the blog and facebook pages will be included in the community submission

Coal Point Progress Committee Meeting 
 Monday 14th Oct Progress Hall 4-6pm,197 Skye Point Rd, Coal Point

Local Landcaring ever Thursday
The Landcare program for 2013 is outlined below with the focus reserve of the month. 
TIN volunteers help out each week. The date is the Lake Mac Green Team day.


West Ridge Reserves 3/10/13


Yural/Ambrose St Reserves 7/11/13


Carey Bay Wetlands 12/12/13

February 2014 

Carey Bay Wetlands  6/2/14

What would you pay to live at Carey Bay?

The Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula project appears to have been aptly named. 

A Development Application (DA) has been lodged for 26 multiple dwellings at Carey Bay in an area identified as ‘the rehabilitation corridor’ on LMCC’s Corridor mapping. 

It will be up to the community to make ‘a stand’ to protect and retain the local wildlife corridor.
The development proposes to clear native vegetation including most of the 71 trees on site to construct
  • Fourteen 1 storey villas
  • Twelve 2 storey terraces
The notice to the residents states “The purpose of the design is to provide a mix of dwelling types and sizes to provide new housing choice primarily for existing local residents wishing to downsize from their large detached home but still remain in the area”.

The scale of this project is larger than the recently completed Lakewood development on Laycock Street, due to the area of land being smaller. A ‘compact’ design is being proposed. 

Neighbours adjacent to the proposed development are concerned about loss of amenity, privacy and the canopy-corridor that supports the abundant wildlife as well as impacts upon the existing sewer and storm water systems.

The Coal Point Progress Association and Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group have concerns about the scale and impact of the development on the local community, existing infrastructure and wildlife corridor, whilst acknowledging it would be ‘good for business’ at the Carey Bay shops.

The proposal and its impact on the community will be discussed at the next meeting of the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood group, on Wednesday 9th October 5-6.30pm Progress Hall, 197 Skye Point Rd.  The discussion on the development will start at 6pm. 

It is recognised that the majority of residents will not attend the above meeting so this Chronicle will outline some of the concerns that have been already identified and provide options to make your thoughts known to LMCC by the 11th October.

...But first a Declaration of Conflict of Interest. 

Writing this Chronicle is Suzanne Pritchard, I live adjacent to the proposed development, am the Project Manager for the ‘Threatened Species Project, President of the Progress Association and Committee member of the Toronto Sustainable Neighbourhood group. 
When I first moved to Carey Bay 24 years ago the area was zoned low density residential and there was a Council owned corridor of public land over the gully which channelled water from the Quarterdeck down the hill and under the preschool and off to the Carey Bay wetlands.

Alas, the public corridor and the low-density zoning have both changed and the remnant bushland that is now medium density zoning and creates part of a viable wildlife corridor has 26 dwellings proposed upon it.

Having commented on several DA’s on behalf of the Progress Association community, obtained a $250,000 grant to restore the local wildlife corridor and connected my backyard to the corridor through native plantings, my concerns over the proposed development are both personal, community and environmentally based. 
Neither myself nor the organisations I belong to are opposed to development per se. There is merit in urban consolidation and some innovative designs that display foresight and environmental compatibility and sustainability are available. The issue here is the style of development and the impact on the existing residents, the community and the environment. 

Why comment?
According to LMCC’s Lifestyle 2030 Strategy, Lake Macquarie aims to be a City “that practices participatory democracy and is well governed where there are diverse mechanisms for enabling citizens to have meaningful and empowering input into key decisions that affect their lives in Lake Macquarie.” This Chronicle is an attempt to enable the community to participate in the DA process.

The CPPA met with LMCC planners in 2011 to gain insights into the DA process. . One of the findings from that meeting was that the assessment of a DA’s impact is highly dependent upon the number of comments that get received during the exhibition period. 

How to Comment
In commenting on a DA, short letters stating your broad concerns or a detailed document outlining multiple issues are both valid. If you object to a development you do need to say ‘I object’.

All the development documents for the 26 Multiple Dwellings at 20 Laycock Street can be viewed online at

A letter summarising some of the concerns of the Progress Association has been provided in this Chronicle to facilitate community members to comment. The Progress Association applied for and received an extension to the notification period.

The deadline for submissions to be received at Council is 11/10/13. 

The letter can be signed and posted as is, edited or sent as an email to and to the  West Ward Councillors 

Letter to Council objecting to the proposed development at 20 Laycock St, Carey - DA 1274/2013

Box 1906
Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310
Ref DA/1274/2013
To whom it may concern,

I object to DA 1274/2013 on the following grounds.

Our local environment is suffering from death by a thousand cuts. This development has the potential to be the straw that breaks the corridor’s back, compromising the options available for wildlife movement.

The scale and bulk of the development is excessive for the local community context. The site plan shows minimal green or community space. 

The Tree Protection plan only protects trees on adjacent blocks. There are concerns about destabilising  the root structures of these trees. No trees are left on the site.

Vehicle access to the site is adjacent to the preschool. Traffic movements around the preschool will be increased compromising safety and parking. Access by service vehicles appears to be problematic.

Stormwater management both entering and exiting the site does not appear to be sufficient for the hard surfaces or reflect the the drainage patterns in the catchment. The site is currently providing ecosystem services such as carbon storage, filtering surface water, and assimilating pollutants. The geotechnical report states “The broad gully that dissects the site is composed of loose to medium dense water charged gravelly sand and clayey sand to depths of upto 1.7m (but generally less than 0.5m)”. The DA proposes removal and recompaction or replacement with engineered filling. 

Personal privacy for residents and neighbours appears minimal with lake-facing decks providing the outdoor entertaining areas and minimal ‘backyards’ 3m from adjacent neighbours.

View corridors for aged residents in the care facilities will be compromised. There are recognised mental health benefits provided by tree and vegetation cover. Additionally the daily environment of the  preschool children will be altered and dominated by the structural mass of the development. 

The recent release of the 5th Report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states more extreme weather and changing rainfall patterns will occur. Corridors will be vital to allow wildlife to continue to move across the landscape.  This is an opportunity to make a stand for corridor sympathetic development.

Two threatened insectivorous bat species are present of the site. The loss of 0.6ha of habitat will fragment and isolate the remaining habitat almost severing the corridor connection that exists on the Coal Point peninsula.

I urge Council to demand a more sustainable development that exemplifies best practice and provides long term viability for the corridor and the community of Carey Bay-Coal Point.

Yours sincerely


TSLS Project Update

September, being Biodiversity Month, saw a lot of activity under Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula project.

The inaugural BioBlitz was attended by 21 locals who found out a little bit more about the local birds, local plants, night-time critters and habitat hollows. 

Two presentations on wildlife corridors were delivered to the Carey Bay preschoolers who were well aware of the importance of trees and found out about how tree canopies help animals to move through the neighbourhood. (Congratulations to the preschool community for achieving excellence in their recent accreditation process!)

Stalls were held at Blue Gum Hills Biodiversity Day and the Living Smart Festival to help spread the word and connect kids with nature through seed craft and treasure hunts and a poster presentation was created for the State Landcare forum.

Weekly Landcaring has been continuing every Thursday with Burnage Reserve the recipient of the bush regen benefits and additional support from volunteers from Trees In Newcastle(TIN) and Lake Macquarie Landcare’s Green team in the past month.

TIN bush regenerators have been busy too… at the remnant bushland link between Hampton St and Laycock St, targeting freesias on the West Ridge Reserves and lending a hand at the BioBlitz. In the coming month they will be focussing on the threatened plant, Tetratheca juncea (TJ) which is in bloom at the moment so it’s easy to spot. The aim is to give the TJ a helping hand by reducing the local the weed competition. 

If you know of any Tetratheca juncea patches that need help please make contact with Suzanne by email  and the help will be allocated.

Heading in to Year 2 of the project the focus for bush regeneration support will be shifting to assist local landholders who live adjacent to the public reserves with their weed management and corridor creation.  

Several neighbourhood nodes have already been identified and weekday and weekend bush regeneration support is available. It is not too late to be included in the project. Support is available for bush regeneration, nest boxes and their installation and discount native plant purchases.

Additionally there has been a flurry of neighbourhood activity behind the scenes as some locals have been wondering how to protect the corridor around Carey Bay.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Discuss, Decide & Do

A major development at 20 Laycock Street has been lodged with Council and comments are due this Friday 13/9/13. Adjacent neighbours have been notified but not the rest of the local community. An opportunity to share information is being organised to;

Discuss the development and its features.
20 Laycock Street CAREY BAY Description: 26 Multiple Dwellings
Status: On Notification/Advertising

Decide on what you think is OK or could be done better
Do a letter and post it off or email to

When:    5-6.30pm Thursday 12/9/13
Where:  Carpark in front of Hype fitness, Carey Bay Shopping Village
Who:     Anyone who is interested about the effects of the development
BYO:      Chair to sit on, pen, paper, envelope and stamp
More information?   
Contact Suzanne Pritchard

The development can be viewed online at

The Coal Point Progress Association and Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group have both been notified.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Dates for the Diary

BioBlitz for beginners

The votes may all have been counted but on Saturday September 14th from 9am till night time the local flora and fauna of the Coal Point peninsula will be the focus of the polls.

September is Biodiversity month and it will be celebrated at Progress Hall with walks & talks, surveys, displays and an opportunity to find out what resources are available to help you learn about and care for the web of life that surrounds your home.

The variety of life from giant gums, amazing animals, frilly fungi to soil microorganisms and everything in between is biodiversity. 

The inaugural BioBlitz event will have experts on hand to help you identify that weird plant or the curious night time noise. 

There will be opportunities to learn some survey and identification skills too. What does a habitat hollow look like, how does a GPS work, how are plants surveyed and how do you know what birds are in the area are some of the questions that will be answered.
The day of discovery aims to share local knowledge and resources.

9:00-4pm Progress Hall open for displays and discussion. Do you want a hand with weed control, native plants or nest boxes? Book in for an expert to advise on what treasures you have in your yard. Find out who are the local wildlife carers and experts and what Council can do to help. 

10-11 am -Birds in the bush. Walk & talk around Stansfield Reserve with bird observer Tom Clarke. 

11.30-12.30- Know your natives. A look at the plant survey plots around Stansfield Reserves and what’s in them with botanist John Moen. 

12.30-1:00- Wildlife carer Catherine Rowe explains her role and that of the Native Animal Trust Fund. 

1-2:30 Habitat hollows. What cracks and crevices do our local wildlife have to live in. A survey of the West Ridge reserves with nocturnal mammal expert Chris McLean

1.30-2.30 - Birds and the bush. Walk & talk around West Ridge Reserves with bird expert Tom Clarke and botanist John Moen.

6:00 pm What goes thump in the night? Spotlight tour of West Ridge Reserves with Chris McLean. Meet at the top of Whitelock Street. Limited numbers RSVP essential.
All activities, except for the spotlight tour, start at Progress Hall, 197 Skye Point Rd, Coal Point 

Food and drinks available at the hall. 

To assist in coordination of the day please RSVP to or ring Trees In Newcastle during office hours on 4969 1500.