Monday, 14 April 2014

Meet the Firies and admire their planting prowess

The Toronto Fire Station Open Day will be held on Saturday 17th May 2014 10:00am to 2:00pm.

Meet the firefighters. look over the station, explore the fire engines and learn about fire safety in and around the home.

Plant a tree or shrub to extend the new fire retardant garden and then join the Firies for a sausage sizzle.

For further information contact Tim Brown on 49591265 or email

It’s Play Outside Day On Sunday 4 May

On Sunday 4 May, it’s our Play Outside Day. Put on some comfortable shoes and be part of something big!

Many of us don’t get out into nature much. We’re too busy, plugged in to screens and rushing through our busy lives. But nature is crucial to our health and wellbeing — and to the health of our planet.

Nature is our life support system. It underpins our communities, our economy and our livelihoods. We all need clean air and healthy rivers, yet our politicians seem determined to exploit and damage the environment. But when nature is diminished, so are we.

That’s why on Sunday 4 May, we're holding Play Outside Day. Let’s reclaim nature and grow our connection with each other and the places we love!

Come along, explore and enjoy some of the best bits of bushland along the peninsula on 4th May 10am-1.30pm. Meeting at the gates to the Hunter Water land off Whitelock St. More information about the day can be found here

Experienced naturalists will be on hand to pass on the passion, there’ll be a treasure hunt for the young at heart and an opportunity to connect with like minded local folk.

DA’s in Play

In the past month
  • Approval was given to demolish an existing dwelling at 41 Skye Point Rd
  • Under assessment still is the 1 into 3 lot subdivision at 69 Coal Point Rd
  • Approval was granted for additions and alteration at 202 Skye Point Rd
  • Approval granted for extensions at 15 Robey Cres
  • Awaiting requested information for a garage and retaining walls at 273 Skye Point Rd
  • Awaiting information requested for dwelling alterations and additions at 215 Coal Point Rd
  • Approval granted for 3 trees to be removed at 48 Amelia St
  • Amended plans on notice 26 Multiple dwellings to 24 Multiple dwellings at 20 Laycock St
This information is publicly available via LMCC's Application Tracking system and summarised here for community convenience

20 Laycock St proposal- DA1274/2013

On behalf of the community The Progress Association sought and was granted an extension to the notification period until 6th May and requested that those who had previously lodged comments be advised of the amended plans.

The proposed development of 26 multiple dwellings at 20 Laycock Street has been amended, reducing the development by two dwellings to accommodate access to the site, access for garbage storage and an expanded community area.

The 2-storey units have been split into pairs to accommodate changes in levels across the site and reduce the perceived bulk. The number of structures has consequently increased from 9 to 12. There are twelve 2 bedroom and twelve 3 bedroom dwellings proposed.

The amended plans are available on council’s Application Tracking website. The documentation is dated 17/2, identified as ‘Additional Information’ D06892475 and D06894195. A copy of the amended application is available from the blog as well.

An overall site plan was not publically available so the diagram below is a modified shadow diagram to allow people to gain a perspective on the proposed development.

To lodge a comment on the amended plans you will need to email or mail your views to LMCC; or Box 1906 HRMC, NSW 2310.
  • if your previous comments remain pertinent a statement to that effect will suffice you don’t have to write a completely new, detailed submission,
  • you can copy and paste your previous submission  or
  • write a completely new one.
  • If your issues have been addressed, make that known as well
  • If you didn’t make a comment previously you can now have your thoughts heard 

The important thing is to make your views known. This is an opportunity to ensure that the development aligns with the aspirations of a community that enjoys and respects the local environment and the existing residents within it.

The Coal Point Progress Association and Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group still 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 comments made on the original application last October remain relevant and can be viewed on the blog.

Comments on the amended application are outlined below in the form of a sample letter which is also available on the blog.

Letter to Council: Amended DA 1274/3013

I object to the amended application DA1274/2013 on the following grounds.

The amended plans for DA1274 do little to reduce the overall impacts of this large development on the local community.

It is acknowledged that there has been a reduction in the number of units to enable access to the site and address the inability of garbage collection to be undertaken which were problematic in the original application.

The bulk and scale of the development remains a problem. Any gains made in the amended application by the ‘reduction in size and footprint of the two storey terraces’ were negated by the addition of an extra 2-storey terrace.

The increase in the number of structures to accommodate the level changes across the site is sensible in that it will reduce the overall cut and fill requirements however this does little to address the overdevelopment of the site and removal of all existing vegetation.

The increase in size of the communal area is acknowledged however the location, surrounded by the access road may not be conducive to public enjoyment and its size to service the entire development which contains only small private spaces may still be inadequate. If the intent is to reduce the visual impact from Laycock Street it will achieve this.

The landscaping plant schedule does little to support the existing wildlife corridor. Native shrubs could be used to increase nectar sources and habitat potential within the development. Introducing more exotic species compromises the local bushland and landcaring efforts.

The proposed stormwater management plan states that 1.73ha of upstream catchment will be diverted around the site in a pipe network which will ‘connect into the existing stormwater pipe…maintaining the existing runoff regime. The capacity of the existing pipe to accommodate the runoff generated by the development is of concern. Within the past decade this pipe has reached capacity on several occasions and caused flooding of adjacent properties.

In addition the original concerns from previous correspondence still stand.

Yours Sincerely

Annual Report

President’s Report- Suzanne Pritchard 

2013 saw the finalization of the 2010 Hunter Water grant and the Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point peninsula project run for a full year. The on ground outcomes have been amazing thanks to the concerted efforts of the landcare team enthusiastically and competently led by Robyn Gill. The annual TSLS project provides details of the outcomes to date.

The Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group (TASNG) has been working tirelessly implementing waste and landcare projects which have made community contributions beyond the Progress boundaries. The CPPA has supported the TASNG by sharing post office box and offering a membership drive via the CPPA renewal process. Congratulations to the TASNG for an amazingly productive year.

The governance of the association has been strong with a stable committee overseeing operations and considering the long term viability of the organisation. To this end Ian Dennison has conscientiously undertaken the process of reviewing the constitution and charitable status. The process has begun and will be finalised in the upcoming year along with consideration of selling a portion of the CPPA owned land to LMCC to expand the reserve. These important issues will be taken to the membership at a Special General Meeting in 2014.

Hall use has increased over the past year with regular bookings in place from yoga groups and art enthusiasts. Sincere thanks to Margret Vero for overseeing the hall use and coordinating the use. Tony Dynon and his band of willing workers have effortlessly attended to the maintenance of the hall. The interior and exterior remain in great condition and this adds to the ability for the hall to continue to provide a significant community space.

Financially the CPPA ended the year with a financial surplus. For the first time in many years the membership fees were reviewed and increased. Renewals for 2014 stand at 103 memberships including 38 family. The membership renewal process also provided a 63 membership boost for the TASNG thus strengthening community connectedness and active citizenship. The accuracy and integrity of the accounts are a credit to Treasurer John Gill.

Seven editions of 'The Chronicle' were published in 2013 providing $2085 of income for association. The Carey Bay shopping village approached the association to run a block of sponsorships in 2014 which will provide additional income in to the future. The Chronicle continues to provide a community communication vehicle to inform and increase awareness of local activities. An Item that generated considerable community response with 80 submissions to LMCC was the proposed 26 Dwelling development on Laycock St at Carey Bay. The online presence of the CPPA continues to develop via the blog. The coordination and distribution of the Chronicle has occurred seamlessly thanks to Barbara Lawrenson’s efficient and affable efforts.

Community advocacy was provided in the areas of
  • Commenting on the Toronto Masterplan and the street trees
  • Providing information and comment options on the proposed 26 multiple dwellings at 20 Laycock St
  • Proposed changes to the state planning laws 

It is with sincere thanks once again that the Committee is acknowledged for its contributions in working for the betterment of the local community.

It is with pleasure that Robyn Gill and Barbara Lawrenson have life membership to the Association bestowed upon them.

Since 2006 Robyn Gill has been a tireless champion for local landcaring implementing an extensive landcare program that has ensured the full complement of public land along the peninsula receives regular attention. The coordination of landcaring efforts at Gurranba, Wippi, Burnage, Hampton St, South Laycock St, West Ridge and Carey Bay Wetlands have ensured that the landcare gains continue to be made. Robyn’s extensive knowledge and expertise is an asset to the community and the Association. Sincere thanks for giving so generously of your time and talents.
Barbara Lawrenson & Robyn Gill-Life members
It is with enormous thanks that the efforts of Barbara Lawrenson are acknowledged as she stands down from the Committee. In 1999 Barbara commenced her Committee internship as Treasurer and over the past 15 years has been the Secretary, Vice President and convenor or the  Arts & Craft and Social Subcommittees. The Progress Association has been very fortunate to have been the recipient of Barbara’s enthusiasm, energy, attention to detail, planning prowess and culinary expertise.

Coal Point Landcare Annual Report 2013- Robyn Gill

2013 has been a very productive year for Coal Point Landcare Group. More help in various forms provided by the TSLS Project Grant has enabled the small local team to work more efficiently.

Over the year 885 hours were devoted by local volunteers to the special, amazingly biodiverse, environment that we value so much.

In addition further hours were contributed to the planting on National Tree Day by local volunteers which resulted, after preparation work in advance, in 500 plants being installed at Carey Bay Wetlands. These were cared for by follow up watering and weeding so that they are surviving well to enjoy the recent rain.

In addition to the NTD planting over the year we managed to clear enough formerly weedy places to put in a further 552 plants of locally occurring species selected for each reserve. Often during this work we admired the growth of earlier plantings which are doing the job of reducing weeds as well as complementing what nature provides which continues to amaze us.

Lake Macquarie Landcare Resource Centre provided by our very supportive city council continues to give great help through plants, materials, mulch, tools, advice, Green Team labour and stimulating workshops as well as accessing, on behalf of volunteers, support of government and non-government groups. All of this reaps a huge volunteer effort for our Lake Macquarie environment.
Local Landcarer Dianne and Duke of Edinburgh participant Robert