Thursday, 18 September 2014

Local Events

Print Friendly version of September Coal Point Chronicle can be viewed here

Online Calendar :coalpointprogress.blogspot
  • The Hub Garden Show Sat 20th Sept-11am-3pm, 97 The Boulevarde
  • People’s Climate March Sun 21st Sept noon-2pm-Speers Point Park.  A picnic to support the international day of action on Climate Change...’the largest climate mobilisation in history’
  • Living Smart Festival Sat 27th Sept 8am-2pm-Speers Point Park. A focus on Food. Clever cooking tips, Chefs, and growing your own food, all partnered with the fantastic local Farmers Markets.
  • Toronto Spring Fair Sat 11th Oct 10am-3pm, The Boulevarde
  • Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group : Wed 8th Oct The Hub, 97 The Boulevarde 5-6.30pm
  • Coal Point Progress Committee Meeting : Mon 13th Oct, Progress Hall 4-6pm

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Hub Garden Show 20/9/14

People's Climate Mobilisation- Picnic in Speers Point Park

Sunday, September 21, 12:00 PMSpeers Point Park, Speers Point, Lake Macquarie
The Esplanade and Creek Reserve Road
Speers Point, 2284, Australia
Action on Climate Change: Where is the Government Leadership?
On Sunday 21st of September, a gathering will be held beside Lake Macquarie to support GLOBAL ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE.

RSVP via this link
Where:           Speers Point Park, Lake Macquarie at the Shelter Shed near the lakes’ edge and jetty.
When: Sunday 21st September from 12.00 pm. Speakers from 1.00 pm
How do I get there?  Come on the train, arriving as near as possible to midday (Check times with Cityrail). Get off at Teralba Station and walk across Five Islands Bridge. Or travel from Warners Bay by bus (dep.12.43 arr. 12.47) Or ride a bike. Or paddle a canoe to the jetty nearby. Try to avoid using fossil fuels to travel unless riding on public transport.)
What do I bring?      As many friends as you can. A picnic lunch without any processed food and no plastic containers. Bring your water in a glass bottle.   Bring a groundsheet to sit on and maybe a cushion.                   
What do I wear?       A tee shirt from Get Up or Greenpeace or The Greens or Climate Action Newcastle or any group that spreads knowledge of the effects of climate change. Bring a hat and sunscreen or an umbrella.  Choose a hat with an appropriate logo if possible. Carry a banner or a poster on a stick. 
Offer your help with organisation and make a contribution to the hire of the area of the park($125 charged by Council)
How long do I stay?      Please stay for at least an hour, preferably two. Eat your picnic lunch and mingle, chat and exchange ideas about how we can make our leaders(?) see sense and recognise that climate change is happening NOW. Make new friends with like-minded people.     Speakers starting at 1.00 pm. How do we convince the wider community that action is urgently overdue?
How do we convince our polititians that climate change is not a religion – there is no question of ‘believing’ or not believing. Climate Change is a FACT and it is HERE.
 Let your ideas be heard. Please come with ideas for future action to spur those in charge to act. Be prepared to stand up and speak or tell those ideas to someone who will stand up and speak.

There's less than a week to go until millions of people around the world – from New Delhi to New York – hit the streets like never before for a massive, inspiring, and truly global day of climate action. 

Australia will be the first to ring in September 21st – which means we need to put on a really good show if we're to set the foundation for the biggest coordinated demonstration of people power the world has ever seen. 

Sounds ambitious? It is. But thanks to more than 3,000 generous GetUp members who've already chipped in, the People's Climate March, and the on-the-ground campaigns it will kickstart and sustain, will soon become a reality. It's all happening. Now it's up to all of us to make it unforgettable. 

How? Watch this video to get inspired and hear the plan: 

Toronto Spring Fair

If you wish to participate and are a business or organisation located in the Greater Toronto Area (Teralba to Wangi to Freemans Waterhole) then you are invited to do so.  The Fair is only one month away now so phone Monday or Tuesday 1300488356 to contact the Toronto Chamber or visit  the website

There are 4 ways to participate;
  1. Have a stall or display or activity on the Day
  2. If your business is located close to or in The Boulevarde be a participating business
  3. Become a Sponsor for the fair
  4. Donate a prize for the Buy a Bale Guessing Competition which is supporting the NSW rural community

Living Smart Festival

Saturday 27 September, 8.00am – 2.00pm
Clear the calendar on Saturday 27 September, the Living Smart Festival is back! This year’s Festival will focus on something we all love – food!

Clever cooking tips, Chefs, and growing your own food, all partnered with our fantastic local Farmers Markets.

Learn all about sustainable cooking and healthy food at this year’s festival from NYT best-selling author of I Quit Sugar, Sarah Wilson, and take up the Love Food Hate Waste challenge.

The 2014 Living Smart Festival promises to be fun and interactive, an event you won’t want to miss. Live entertainment and kid activities will keep all ages entertained, along with amazing stallholders, fresh produce, eco displays, experts, plant giveaways and more!

Location:  Speers Point Park, Speers Point

Keep an eye on to for the latest details and public transport timetables.

BioBlitz for Biodiversity Month

Threatened Species Day was celebrated on the Coal Point Peninsula with the installation of 27 nest boxes for Squirrel Gliders (Petaurus norfolcensis) and the unexpected sighting of two patches of Black-eyed Susan (Tetratheca juncea). 

The Coal Point Progress Association in conjunction with Lake Macquarie Landcare’s Super Saturday Session hosted the mass installation of nest boxes. Twenty-one locals and landcarers attended the day to hear Dr Chris Mclean, a Squirrel Glider specialist, describe how people can help the threatened population, and then they got out and did something helpful.

Fiona Hawke installing her new nestbox
Supporting the local Squirrel Glider population was as easy as installing a nest box or two with a suitably small entrance hole, 40mm diameter, to exclude larger possums and birds. The Toronto Men’s Shed cleverly crafted 30 such nest boxes. With natural habitat hollows taking over 100 years to form and mature trees regularly being felled the new nest boxes were a timely addition to the local bushland.

Expressions of interest for nest box locations were sought via The Chronicle and twelve local landholders responded. The day prior to the installation a reconnaissance mission was undertaken to see if there was enough connectivity to remnant bushland and suitably high trees for Squirrel Gliders to be able to launch from and glide between. Three properties didn’t meet the critter criteria. Alternative nest boxes for birds and larger possums were recommended.

The installation process was guided by a comprehensive risk assessment developed from conversations with long-time nest boxing expert, Ray Thomas, Dr Chris Mclean and the Conservation Volunteers Australia’s working at heights and use of ladders module from the In Safe Hands toolkit. The installation process was trialled and revised with landcarers at a Hunter Region Landcare Network meeting. 

With safety predicating feet not being more than 1.8m off the ground it seemed that the nest boxes were ‘too low’ to the untrained eye. Dr Chris assured us that “if a cat was going to climb to the nest box the height would make little difference”. 

Two volunteer teams armed with ladders, 65mm roofing screws, cordless drill and baton-backed nest boxes, safely secured sixteen nest boxes over two hours in the mosaic of public reserves along the vegetated West Ridge and Threlkeld Reserve, known locations of the mini-marsupials. The private landholder installation was undertaken by bush-regenerators from Trees In Newcastle.

Now the nest boxes are in they have the potential to also be a great monitoring tool to see how many Squirrel Gliders are local residents. It will be much easier to locate them and determine their spread along the peninsula. An ethics application is in process to allow for monitoring expeditions to be held. 

The sincere thanks list

Super Saturday Session Success -By Winsome Lambkin

It went that way...local nest box installers
Lake Macquarie Landcare Network and Coal Point’s ‘Threatened Species Last Stand’ combined to present a range of activities. 

Dr Chris McLean presented information about Squirrel Gliders and the group went on to install nestboxes throughout the local community both on private and public land. 

We were given instructions on the removal of Fishbone ferns which need the complete plant removed and Asparagus ferns where just the crown needs to be removed as well as any berries.  

Lunch at Progress Hall
A heavy downpour sent us scurrying inside where Ann Loughran conducted a weed verses native plant identification session. 

Throughout the day, Barbara and her catering team kept up a supply of delicious food and drink which allowed for some great interaction between the 25+ attendees. 

Thanks to Suzanne Pritchard, Project Manager for the Coal Point Bioblitz for inviting us participate in an informative day.

Garden Escapes almost Gone at Progress Hall

The fiendish fern removal and slope stabilisation demonstration at Progress Hall highlighted the impact of garden escapes. Once a stronghold has been established by the Fishbone and Asparagus ferns very few natives can outcompete the water hungry and soil surface sealing ferns. 

The Grow Me Instead guide suggests native ferns such as the Rasp fern, Rough Maidenhair and Gristle Fern as hardy frond friendly replacements…and they are locally found as well. 
A selection of fire retardant and bird friendly plants was selected to replace the fiendish ferns at the Hall. Thanks go out to Robyn, John, Jacob and Andrew for the slope stabilisation landscaping of the grounds around the Hall. 

Robyn Gill demonstrated Fishbone and Asparagus Fern removal,
solarisation and slope stabilisation techniques

Bioblitz botanical bonanza -Tetratheca time

Whilst out installing nestboxes the eagle eyes of flora focussed fanatics spied some Black-eyed Susan (Tetratheca juncea) in full bloom…most exciting for all concerned, a real botanical bonanza!

This plant is difficult to spot most of the time as its leafless stems are pretty insignificant but these patches were beautiful. The T. juncea plant is a very pretty, delicate low shrub that forms a ‘tussocky clump’, which is slow growing, some bigger clumps are estimated to be more than 100 yeas old.

Tetratheca juncea grows mostly in Eucalyptus woodlands on low nutrient soils in association with fungi filaments (mycorrhiza) and around Coal Point it is in the Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum Ironbark Forest ecotone, this is the vegetation community along the ridge.

Nationally the species has a very restricted range with only two meta-populations, in the Central Coast and North Coast areas. The Lake Macquarie LGA is part of the Central Coast population.

Tetratheca juncea is a bit of a ‘toughy’ known to withstand slashing and nearby clearing and it can even persist in areas of weed invasion but weed infestation over the long-term appears to gradually diminish the size of the T. juncea population. Dumping of garden waste into reserves is the biggest local threat to its ongoing survival.

T.juncea is listed as a threatened species under both the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999. It is also listed as a Rare Or Threatened Australian Plant (ROTAP) with status 3VCa. 

Factual information above was gleaned from Table 1 Summary of important characteristics of T. juncea in the Lake Macquarie T juncea Planning and Management Guidelines 2014.

The Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point peninsula project has funds available to cover the cost of some bush regeneration on private land for landholders who have Tetratheca juncea on their block.  Now is the time to have a good look for it because its flowering is peaking. 

Recently a 2 hour survey along the West Ridge located 10 clumps in a relatively small area. A significant population by national standards, would mean 20 clumps/hectare. 

Do you know where there are T juncea clumps? 
Would you like some bush regeneration support? 

Please contact Suzanne to share the joy.

DAs in Play

The following list of various development applications is compiled for community awareness as a snapshot of local activity. Please consult LMCC’s application tracking website for a complete listing and more details. 
  • 20 Laycock Street: 24 Multiple Dwellings- Withdrawn
  • 98 Excelsior Parade: Car Repair Station - alterations and additions - Awaiting Information requested
  • 151 Excelsior Parade: Multiple Dwelling Housing - 23 Units - Under Assessment
  • 135 Excelsior Parade: Childcare Centre - Amendment to Block A, Block B & Condition review, adoption of acoustic report-Under Assessment
  • 96 Excelsior Parade: Recreation Facility (Gym) Energize fitness - Under Assessment
  • 7 Excelsior Parade: Dwelling Alterations and Additions and Garden Wall - Approved
  • 14/37 Laycock Street: Patio Cover - Approved
  • 30 Ambrose Street: Dwelling additions and alterations to garage - Approved
  • 91 Excelsior Parade: 1 into 2 Lot Subdivsion - Under Assessment
  • 252 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House, Garage, Boat Shed, Swimming Pool, Retaining Walls and demolition of existing structures- Lodged
  • 130 Skye Point Road: B149 - Dwelling, Swimming Pool, Retaining Wall, Slipway & Decking to Foreshore-Awaiting Compliance with order
  • 120 Skye Point Road : Retaining Wall - Swimming Pool and Associated Safety Barriers-Approved
  • 188 Coal Point Road: Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate - Lodged
  • 283 Coal Point Road: Roofed Deck - Under assessment

20 Laycock St Update

Local residents who made a submission to the proposed 24 Dwellings on Laycock St were recently advised that the application had been withdrawn. Thanks go out to those who made submissions for a better style of development that respected the local environment.
Whilst this was welcome news the Urban Planner designing the project, Trevor Allen, has said on 22/8/14 "My client has met with the land owner this afternoon and has now advised me that he has an extended period to submit a new DA…

The new DA will require consideration and adjustments to design to accommodate the various ecological issues raised by council with the land. The varying slope of the land is such that these adjustments may have a domino effect across the site. Accordingly, this will take time to consider and resolve. 

I anticipate being in a position to submit a new DA within 12 weeks if not before…”