Sunday, 17 May 2015

Squirrel Glider Spotlighting Soiree

The Annual Squirrel Glider Spotlighting Soiree on the Coal Point peninsula will happen this year on Biodiversity Day, Friday 22nd May.

The recent discovery of Squirrel Gliders (SG) in occupation of a nestbox in the vicinity of Whitelock Street has buoyed the spirits of the locals. The plan to ‘install nestboxes and they will come’ seems to be working.  The spotlighting session aims to survey the area for SG activity.

The Spotlighting Soiree will commence at 5:30pm, meeting at the crest of Whitelock St, Carey Bay, at the entrance gate to the Hunter Water land. The leading light will be held by Dr Chris McLean, SG enthusiast & expert.

International Biodiversity Day this year is a time to reflect on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development. Monitoring the presence or absence of Squirrel Gliders along the Coal Point peninsula is one way to consider what sustainable development within our community means for the local flora and fauna.

Ensuring the variety of plants and animals on the Coal Point peninsula remains abundant is the goal of the Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula project . The Environmental Trust funded project is now in its fourth year.

Planting Prowess

The National Tree Day plantings in April were a resounding success with 20 people putting 650 plants in a well prepared place to lay down their roots, and some drenching follow up rain to settle them. 

Many thanks to local Carey Bay business, Matthew R Morgan Pty Ltd, (Hessian, Jute, Poly products and Safety gear distributor) for coming to the rescue with the supply of water during the plantings.

Toilet tiling

Thanks to a donation of $1000 from Origin’s Eraring Power Station the Progress Association is about to embark on the tiling of the bathroom floors in the male and female toilets at Progress Hall. 

We are looking for interested community folk who would either like to quote on undertaking the job, provide donations/discounts of materials or participate in a working bee. We’ve estimated the area is about 20m2 . More details about the project and offers of support can be directed to Tony Dynon 4959 4533.

Farewell Michael

The CPPA would like to thank Michael Sealy, formerly of Lucky 7 Carey Bay Convenience store, for his amazing contribution to the community since 2011. 

Michael’s welcoming smile, willingness to provide exceptional customer service and fathomless friendliness will be missed by all those who had the pleasure of knowing Michael and shopping very locally.

We wish you well in your early retirement and hope that you’ll find a fantastic hobby to fill the days.

Action at the AGM

The AGM held in April was a resounding success with 22 attendees raising their hands and their glasses to unanimously endorse both of the proposed motions; to begin the process to sell some of the Association’s land and adopt the revised constitutionIn the past month the Department of Fair Trading has formally endorsed the new constitution.

The AGM returned the Committee with L to R, Ian Dennison, Suzanne Pritchard as President/Secretary, John Gill as Treasurer and Committee members Robyn Gill (Landcare) and Tony Dynon (Hall) . There are still places on the Committee if you’d like to join in.

President's Annual Report for 2014

It’s always a positive experience sitting down to write the Annual report because it encapsulates the amazing outcomes that the active folk in our community have achieved. There have been some very significant happenings this year.

The year has climaxed in the highly anticipated review of the Constitution and discussions about the proposed sale of some of the CPPA land to extend the Stansfield Reserve. Considerable cranial processing power went into the revision of the constitution aiming to retain the integrity of the original intent of the Association within a changing community landscape…a great team effort. Thankyou to Ian for leading the process.

The Landcare group was recognised as the Community group of the year at the Lake Macquarie Australia Day Awards for the “the huge amount of time donated to protecting these  (local) valuable assets… a testament to the group members’ generosity. Coal Point Landcare group’s ongoing commitment of 20 years is not only hugely beneficial to local ecosystems but is also an inspiration to the wider Lake Macquarie community”.

The local landcare group has successfully coordinated the on-ground program of landcaring to ensure that gains continue to be made possible thanks to the detailed local landcare knowledge that is held by the group. Additional support from the Green Army, Lake Macquarie Landcare’s Green Team and the Trees In Newcastle landcare crew have strengthened the local efforts. Enduring gratitude to Robyn for keeping it all moving in a forward direction.

The Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood group shared the Australia Day Community group of the year award. The CPPA has been supporting TASNG through regular updates in the newsletter about their flagship projects, Fire Retardant Garden and Tossers can be Binners, and offering membership to locals via the CPPA membership renewal system. Collaborative funding proposals are also being developed to support the ongoing issue of pedestrian safety within the community.

The Threatened Species Last Stand project has continued to provide support to the local landcare efforts on-ground activities and widening the landcare ethic to the private landholders in the community during the third year of the project.

This year’s focus was on identifying and supporting the local Threatened Species. Installing 28 nest boxes for Squirrel Gliders has shown signs of occupation and so appear to be providing habitat opportunities as intended. Extensive Tetratheca juncea clumps were located along the West Ridge and will direct bush regeneration activities to ensure their survival. The annual flora surveys have provided training opportunities and the discovery of another vulnerable plant, Grevillea parviflora.

The Landholder engagement process has begun with a biodiversity audit trial, which aims to provide a useful resource for the broader community as well. Outreach events included school landcaring and a schools National Tree Day planting, stalls at the Toronto Spring Fair and several other community events. Thankyou for the opportunity to learn and continue to support the environmental outcomes in our area.

Progress Hall has continued to provide a local venue for local activities with Yoga, Art and local gatherings. Eraring Energy has provided $1000 to support the completion of the flooring in toilets and install secure storage. Additionally the grounds of the Hall are undergoing a transformation to demonstrate best practice bushland gardening. Appreciation goes to Tony for keeping an eye on the maintenance, Margaret for securing the bookings and Robyn for the grounds makeover.

The ever watchful eye of Treasurer Gill ensured that the accounts were well maintained, a profit generated for the year and a meaningful reporting system maintained. Hall hire and sponsorships generate enough income to cover the costs of insurances, rates and operating expenses.  The motion to sell part of the Progress Association’s land was proposed to reduce the rate-able land therefore reducing one of the Association’s major costs. More details will be provided in the Treasurer’s report. The Association’s assets include Progress Hall and adjacent land. John’s attention to accounting is a valuable contribution to the ongoing management of the Association’s affairs.

The Chronicle was published 10 times in the past year (no October of January) and continues to provide a vehicle to engage and inform the community as well as generates income from sponsorship. A block of sponsors from the Carey Bay Shopping Centre was added this year. Regular updates in the newsletter have included the Development Applications in process, Landcaring projects, the TSLS project activities and outcomes, local events, TASNG activities and the review of the constitution.

The online ‘blog’ of the Chronicle has allowed for extended versions of some articles and more pictures and information to be shared and is developing into a repository of information about our local community and the environmental assets. Local media outlets have been reading the newsletter online and following up with mass media on items of interest.

The Association provided comments on behalf of the community to LMCC on
  •        the LMCC Coastal Zone Management Plan
  •        26 multiple dwellings on 20 Laycock St , which was ultimately withdrawn and
  •        150 Excelsior Parade which is still being processed

TSLS Annual Report Summary

The past month saw the annual report submitted for the local Environmental Trust funded project. The report summary follows.

This year volunteers have contributed 5148 hours towards to support the Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point peninsula project. Landcarers have contributed 54% of this time to onground work, expanding the primary weeding areas and following up on all the previously worked sites

The project has positively engaged people to protect and enhance the corridor values. Squirrel Glider nestboxes were installed at 27 locations on public and private and an outpouring of community concern at the potential loss of a strategic link in the corridor to a development, saw people and Council take a stand for the Last Stand and the development withdrawn.

Training opportunities have been provided to landcarers and the community to enhance landcare skills and a trial of a landholder audits to provide information and training has shown that this level of engagement will be very effective in supporting on-ground outcomes on private land.

Surveying of local species has identified significant areas of Tetratheca juncea throughout the peninsula and Grevillea parviflora previously unrecorded, and the presence of Squirrel Gliders, in one of the newly installed nestboxes. These findings confirm that the local environment has significant values worthy the protection and effort being contributed by this project.

The Lake Macquarie Australia Day celebrations saw The Coal Point Progress Landcare group and Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood group share the honour of Community group of the Year.

The three most important outputs for the year were
  1. Squirrel Glider Nestbox installation:  27 nestboxes installed, 10 on private land. Occupation has confirmed the installation height was appropriate
  2. Onground effforts:  The Landcare crew have been able to increase the gains made against weed incursions due to the additional support provided by TIN Landcare and The Green Army
  3. The identification of multiple Tetratheca juncea clumps throughout the peninsula and the presence of Grevillea parviflora have confirmed the value of the surveys and guiding principles of the project