Sunday, 24 March 2013

Dates for the Diary

Local Landcaring every Thursday around Coal Point
April  : Gurranba Reserve
Thursday 4/4/13 - with Green Team.
Every Thursday with volunteers from Trees In Newcastle.
Ring Robyn for details : 4959 1507

Lake Mac Workshops at the Landcare Resource Centre, Five Islands Rd: 
Make your own backyard habitat workshop
Saturday 20/4/13 : 1-3pm. Frog ponds, possum boxes and a whole lot more.
Create your own Naturewatch Diary 
Saturday 25/5/13 10.30-12.30

Community Garden Working Bee
Saturday 6/4/13 1.30pm at the Toronto Senior Citizens Hall, 97 The Boulevarde, Toronto.
There’s more planting, eating and chatting to be done. Not to mention plenty of sitting back and admiring our efforts to date!
Bring your friends and family

Progress Committee Meetings

8/4/13   April 
13/5/13  May
No June Meeting
8/7/13 July
12/8/13 August
9/9/13 September
14/10/13 October
10/11/13 November
9/12/13 December

Landcare dates

The Landcare program for 2013 is outlined below - Each month the Reserve mentioned will be the focus of attention.
The dates noted are for the Lake Macquarie Landcare volunteer support days
Every Thursday Trees In Newcastle volunteers lend a hand as well. 

Gurranba Reserve 4/4/13

West Ridge Reserves 2/5/13

Laycock St South 6/6/13

Stansfield Reserve 4/7/13

July 28th
National Tree Day- Carey Bay Wetlands

Burnage Reserve 8/8/13

Gurranba  Reserve 5/9/13

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

Annual Report 2013

There was no coup at the recent AGM, just a handful of Committee folk keen to keep progress happening around Coal Point and beyond.  The new Committee looks very similar to the old Committee only wiser, their contact details are on the back of the Chronicle.

At the outset of this report I would like to acknowledge the tremendous work that The Committee has done over the past year and encourage any community minded folk to get involved in your passion project. The Progress Association can be a vehicle to both give to the community and gain from the experience, there is a lot of evidence that supports community mindedness being a key to happiness.

The AGM provides an opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months and some of the shimmer from these reflections is below. 2012 proved to be an eventful and exciting year for the Progress Association and the community in general. Special mention goes out to Treasurer John Gill and auditor Allan Fletcher for their financial tenacity in maintaining a beautiful set of balanced books.

Formation of the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood (TASNG) group was a significant highlight for the year which brought interested locals under a well structured, LMCC supported, umbrella, ‘The Alliance’ and a plethora of opportunities for working towards sustainability emerged across the Toronto community in the form of the Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan.
The benefits of the TASNG include
  • Providing clear project objectives to work towards
  • Good council contacts
  • Governance support 
The working groups that sit under the TASNG are working on
  • Community Garden activities
  • Pedestrian /access ways with safety issues being identified and community feedback sought
  • Increased Landcaring opportunities
  • Waste reduction issues
Congratulations to John Gill and Nico Marcar and the TASNG team realising the formation of the group.

Obtaining and delivering grants was another highlight in 2012.
Receipt of the six year Environmental Trust funded Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula (TSLS) project aims for a weed free environment that supports the ongoing survival of the local threatened species. The project will provide opportunities a plenty to
  • Get on top of the weeds
  • Learn about and love the local wildlife
  • Secure succession of CPPA
  • Provide a social events program
Completion of the recently delivered LMCC sponsored brochure tied in well with the TSLS project in providing local information to locals about the local community. The compilation of the content of the brochure highlighted pedestrian access points that need further work to get officially recognised by LMCC and a process to get them publicised for the community. Thanks go to Robyn Gill for her support in compiling the content for the brochure.

The CPPA owned Hall continues to be well utilised providing a community space for yoga, painting and parties. The Hall hire rates were reviewed based upon CPI and new fees set with discounts available at the discretion of the Committee. The fees for 2013 are
  •       Commercial uses =$14/hr
  •       Incorporated Community groups=$12.50/hr
  •       Social groups=$8/hr
  •       Small Parties (upto 30ppl)=$75
  •       Large parties =$150
  •       Party bond $350

Renovations are afoot to tile the toilets and provide onsite secure storage. If you know of a business or organisation that would like to assist please pass on the details.
Sincere thanks to Margaret Vero for her ongoing generosity in coordinating the bookings for Progress Hall and to Tony Dynon for keeping a watchful eye on maintenance issues.

The Fundraising highlight of the year was the Art & Craft show. The funds raised have ensured the running costs for the Hall can be met for another year. Thanks to Barbara Lawrenson and the Art & Craft Committee for doing a great job and contributing over 1000 voluntary hours towards the event. The Art & Craft show showcases the local talent and provides a wonderful opportunity for local artists to collaborate.

The Chronicle was distributed eight times this year and with the support of the sponsored spaces generated funds to almost cover the Association’s insurance needs. The Chronicles are produced by Suzanne Pritchard and letterboxed by 12 locals. This year 204 hours of volunteer time made it happen. Content and suggestions for what you’d like in the Chronicle are always appreciated.

Community assets were the topic for discussion towards the latter stages of the year and will generate the undercurrent for Progress activities in 2013.
  • Removal of public toilets will be questioned
  • Sale of public land 93-95 Skye Point Rd will be investigated
  • The sale of Progress owned land adjoining the Stansfield Reserves will be investigated
  • Support for work on public and private land will be provided through the TSLS grant

The local landcare team continued to work wonders and a full report is provided by Robyn Gill our local Landcare Coordinator   

As we work over 10 reserves… Coal Point Landcarers are a keen bunch… even after the excitement of realizing that we would soon be seeing paid professional bush regenerators working with us as part of the Threatened Species project, we didn’t put down our tools.
We enjoy our reserves so much that (with the help of a skilled spread sheet manager) we are able to report that in 2012 we worked a total of 858.5 hours OR  21.4 weeks of 40 hours (morning tea time only allowed).

During those hours we planted and cared for (especially in the dry time) 650 seedlings. The Landcare group varies between 3 and 6 workers weekly and our aim is to spend as much time as possible replacing the problematic plants that enjoy the conditions as much as we do. Left alone these often take over from native plants that, given a chance, do a great job of maintaining the balance of the environment and are quietly beautiful. 

We try to spread our work as well as possible through the reserves but can see that last year Gurranba and Burnage had a lot of attention because of special projects we were working on.  At Gurranba we removed a large amount of Asparagus Fern and Mother of Millions replacing them with a variety of Westringia, Dianella, Tuckeroos, Wattles, Allocasuarinas and Casuarinas and especially Kangaroo Grass which does very well in some quite harsh conditions on the point. At Burnage we had a “breakthrough” in a gradual process of removing Lantana while replacing it with Wattles and other lowish plants that quickly provide some canopy to suppress weeds.

We are always mindful of not taking too much bird and animal shelter and sometimes they prefer weed cover to nothing. We enjoyed the sight of a rapidly shivering and curving pathway of Trad. (often known as Wandering Jew) as a Rail ran among it totally invisible except for leaf movement. The area where that happened is rapidly becoming fern covered – even more shelter.  At Carey Bay Wetlands a Red-browed Finch has nested in a Melaleuca with spiky leaves specially planted for small bird shelter on National Tree Day about 5 years ago and a Regent Bower Bird’s brilliant blue bower has definitely been noticed by a female lately. Sightings like these help to make the work a joy.

To now have the pleasure of working, as part of “the big project”, with professionals who encourage us, share and hugely enlarge what is achieved is definitely the “icing on the cake” for us. Many thanks go to Suzanne Pritchard who pulled off this dream project design with a huge, complex and unrefuseable grant application and is now coordinating the groups involved to the benefit of our environment and community.  

Ethics Classes in Schools

  • Join an active and growing community in NSW
  • Teach children how to think not what to think
  • Flexible working environment

An Ethics Teacher
    Engages children in learning about ethics
    Is a good listener with a genuine interest in helping young     people
    Commits to teaching one class each week during school terms
Ethics Teachers undertake
    Police and Working with Children checks
    Full free training in Primary Ethics curriculum delivery
    Ongoing online training
Learn more and apply online
(Ethics Coordinator for Coal Point Public School)



Silverbeet, white onion, red onion, beetroot, broccoli and passionfruit. Start digging out those favourite winter recipes as our crops are in the ground and growing for a hearty winter harvest!
We also harvested a bountiful basket after basket of late summer crops. Eggplant dip anyone? Produce that was not taken home has been offered for sale at the hall and is making us a tidy bit of petty cash.

1.30pm SAT 6th APRIL at the Toronto Senior Citizens Hall, 97 The Boulevarde, Toronto.
There’s more planting, eating and chatting to be done. Not to mention plenty of sitting back and admiring our efforts to date!
Bring your friends and family and afternoon tea to share.

FUNDRAISING STALL AT THE TORONTO LIONS MARKETS: 7am – 12pm SUN 21st APRIL at the Lions Park, Cary St Toronto.
We will be running a stall to raise funds to expand the garden and facilities at the Seniors Hall. 

Stall Assistants: If you can donate some time to help with running the stall please contact the committee to put your name down.
Donations: Second hand goods, seedlings, seeds or other plant material is required to sell. If you have something to donate please bring non perishable items to the hall at our next meeting, plants can be brought to the stall early on the market day.


Calling all shy committee members to be! If you would like to be apart of making something beautiful happen in your community then please get in touch with the committee to find out more. Requirements: no special skills just lots of ‘can do’!

Snow Peas, Green Beans, Peas, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Beetroot, Cabbage, Garlic, Cauliflower, Onion, Kale, Celery, Khol Rabi,Celeriac, Lettuce, Spinach ,Silver beet, Shallots, Leek, Turnip.

Do you have a gardening tip, a great story, photos, something to swap/sell or ideas to share? We welcome relevant contributions from the community to this newsletter. Please contact Michelle (TACG Publicity)

Make your own backyard habitat
Learn about the importance of backyard habitat for local native animals, and discover how to create a frog pond and possum nest box in your own backyard.
When: Saturday 20 April
Where: Landcare Resource Centre, corner Teralba and Five Islands Rd, Teralba
Time: 1-3pm
Cost: Free
Bookings essential to Council
on 4921 0333.
Regular Beginners Gardening Workshops
First and third Friday of the month, 10am start
A basic, hands-on gardening workshop on how to grow and maintain a garden.
Belmont Community Garden, at Belmont Neighbourhood Centre.
For more information, contact Chris, Community Garden Coordinator.  Find him garden Mon to Fri 8am to 12 noon, 49470031 or at

Michelle Teear (Publicity)             4023 8304
Bea Tanner Burgoine (Toronto Senior Citizens Liason)

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Growing Community

Birds of Coal Point

Threatened Species Last Stand (TSLS) Update

Birds of Coal Point

Tom Clarke -TIN Bush Regenerator

In January the first of several seasonal bird surveys for the TSLS project were carried out by birding experts Colin Byrnes and Tom Clarke over seven survey sites within the reserves of Coal Point. 

A list of species put together by the local Progress Association several years ago was used as a basis and no additions were made during the first survey. A sneak preview of the sites done two day’s prior to the survey and a quick list generated on the run did result in some species seen that day being added to the list for each site. 

While the CPPA list contains 60 species many of these represent various water bird families which are unlikely to occur in the bush sites that were focused on for this survey. The Threlkeld site will produce some of these, however, they will be recorded as species seen outside the survey area. 

The greatest diversity of birdlife was found at Carey Bay Wetlands (22 species) with all other sites consistently recording around 66% of that mark. Note that four well-proportioned sites (Burnage, West Ridge Central, Stansfield & Thelkeld) did show higher bird family diversity than the two thinner and poorer sites (Norumba & West Ridge South).

Highlights of this survey included the sighting of two noisy Channel-billed Cuckoos being harassed by the Stansfield resident birds, a possible young Sulphur-crested Cockatoo in a hollow at Threlkeld, Whipbirds calling at Burnage & West Ridge Central and the late sighting of Satin Bowerbird and Yellow Thornbill at Carey Bay Wetlands. 

The bushland appears to be dominated by Noisy Miner, Rainbow Lorikeet and other large, loud types and a serious lack of small bush birds (passerines) such as wrens, honeyeaters and thornbills. This paucity of smaller species may be seasonal but the condition of the understory within much of the forested sections gives little cover from the more aggressive types. 

Knowing what wildlife is present is key to the way the Threatened Species Last Stand on The Coal Point Peninsula will progress. In undertaking the bush regeneration work it will be critical to keep what good habitat there is whilst transitioning the weedy enclaves back to biodiverse beautifulness.

As mentioned in the report above the lack of smaller species is something that can be addressed over time with planting plants that offer protection and the right food.  The Habitat Network has a great article on the decline of small birds and what can be done to stop the loss.

CPPA list 
Carey Bay Wetlands 
Norumba Reserve 
Burnage Reserve 
West Ridge Central 
West Ridge South 
Stansfield Reserve 
Threlkeld reserve