Friday, 13 May 2016

Habitat enhancement with fire and steel

Bookings can be made through Eventbrite. This will greatly assist in coordinating the day and the catering.

A field day focussed on creating, maintaining and monitoring habitat in an area that received an environmental burn on 6/4/16.

A morning session showcasing the creation of habitat structures in standing trees (stags) and in fallen logs using advanced chainsaw techniques.

An afternoon session monitoring the impacts of the 6/4/16 environmental burn by taking photopoints along a transect that was established prior to the burn and sampling flora quadrats for the first arrivals after the burn.

Habitat enhancement with a chainsaw.

This session will showcase the creation of habitat structures in standing trees (stags) and in fallen logs using advanced chainsaw techniques.

Jarrah Hume-Cook, an experienced arborist and TAFE chainsaw teacher, is keen to share an emerging trend in the enhancement of habitat hollows by creating ‘nestboxes’ and habitat cavities in large standing stags and fallen logs. The creation of the nesting structures will be demonstrated on fallen logs and the finished products installed in the local bushland to enhance habitat.

Habitat enhancement with fire

On 6/4/16 a medium to high environmental/hazard reduction burn was conducted at Stansfield Reserve, Coal Point.

This session will monitor the impacts of the fire by taking a series of photopoints along a transect that was established prior to the burn and sampling established flora quadrats for the first arrivals after the burn. A presentation on the burn and the monitoring process will precede the field trip. Skills gained include taking a photopoint, cover class vegetation monitoring and an understanding of the impact of fire on vegetation.

Displays at the Hall will include

  • LMCC’s Backyard Habitat for Wildlife, 
  • Lake Macquarie Landcare and 
  • Trees In Newcastle. Local native plants will be available for sale. 
  • Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group
  • Coal Point Progress Association

Before the burn
Day 1 after the burn

 Program (subject to change)

9:30am Registration and morning tea

10:00 Welcome

10:15 -11:30 Demonstration & Discussion: Habitat enhancement with a chainsaw

11.30 -12 Tour of the burn site and installation of habitat structures

12:00 - 12:30 Lunch

12:30 -1:00 Monitoring the burn. A picture presentation of the process.

1:00 - 2:00 Field trip. Taking photopoints and flora surveys

2:00 - 2:30 Afternoon tea

Venue:   Progress Hall 197 Skye Point Rd, Coal Point. 

Parking: Gurranba Reserve 100m from the Hall.

Time:     9:30am-2:30pm


  • The chainsaw demonstration will be conducted in the grounds of the Progress Association’s Hall.
  • The site tour and monitoring activities will be held in Stansfield Reserve. There will be approximated 500-700m of walking around the site on uneven surfaces with an ascent/descent of approximately 30m. A moderate level of fitness-mobility is required.
  • There will be displays in the Hall for those that do not want to go for the walks.

This workshop has been made possible through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and is supported by Hunter Region Landcare Network and Hunter Local land Services.

What’s been happening.

There’s been quite a lot happening locally over the past month. 

‘The Burn’ at Stansfield Reserve did go ahead on 6/4/16 and the bush is already starting to bounce back, so is the Asparagus Fern. There’ll be more on this next month with a field day planned for 17/6/16 ,Habitat Enhancement with Fire & Steel.More details and booking on the website.

On the 11/4/16 the community meeting to discuss DA410/2016 at 2 Brighton Avenues was highly successful and the DA was withdrawn.

On 15/4/16 the Autumn Bird Survey was undertaken. Winter gum blossoms saw an increase in nectar chasing birds. The full report is available online

National Tree Day on 17/4/16 saw 280 Dianellas planted as a backyard border to the Endangered Ecological Community at the Carey Bay Wetlands…and it rained!

On 9/5/16 the Progress Association’s AGM saw the Committee re-elected and Barbara Lawrenson return to the Committee. 

On 9/5/16 the Boomerang Alliance’s  13 year long campaign to reinstate a Container Deposit System became a reality.

Event information is also in the Dates for the Diary  and the CPPA online calendar.
  • Landcare Every Thursday
  • May 2016 : 19,26 West Ridge Reserve
  • June 2016: 
    2nd Threlkeld/Hampton St 
    9th Hampton St
    16th, 23rd Gurranba 
    30th Stansfield
  • Chemical Clean Out:Sat 21 May. Glendale TAFE, Frederick St 9am-3pm
  • Birdscaping your garden: Planting natives to attract birds:Tues 31st May, Morisset Library 10am-12. Booking Morisset library 4973 1248
  • Toronto Streetscape Presentation:Wed 1st June Toronto Diggers downstairs Lounge, 6-7pm
  • Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group : Wed 8th June The Hub, 97 The Boulevarde 5-6.30pm.Including Toronto Streetscape presentation at 5pm
  • CPPA Monthly Meeting:Monday 13th June, 197 Skye Point Rd, 4-6pm.
  • Habitat Enhancement with Fire & Steel:Sat 17th June, 197 Skye Point Rd 9:30-2:30. RSVP to Suzanne 0438596741 or online
  • Online Calendarcoalpointprogress.blogspot

A little bit about TASNG: Nico Marcar-Chair

The Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group (TASNG) is one of 17 groups operating in Lake Macquarie, supported by Council under the Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance. We work closely with the CPPA. We are interested in executing projects that better the social and environmental health of our community and acting as a 'voice' for a variety of issues that affect us and the broader area. 

Projects undertaken or in progress include a fire retardant demonstration garden at Toronto Fire Station, increasing awareness of litter and providing practical solutions, with the Tosssers can be Binners campaign and improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, having secured funding for foot paving on Brighton Ave. 

Everyone is welcome to attend our meetings 5 pm, 2nd Wednesday of each month. at The Hub, 96-98 The Boulevarde.

New ideas and involvement most welcome!

Toronto Streetscape Implementation Update

Two chances to hear from LMCC’s  Toronto Streetscape team about the final implementation plans for The Boulevarde
  1. A business focussed presentation is on June 1st at 6pm Diggers Club Downstairs Lounge- hosted by the Toronto Chamber of Commerce
  2. A community presentation on June 8th, 5pm at The Hub hosted by the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood (TASNG) meeting.

This will be the last opportunity to seek feedback before work operations commence. Please join in and have your say.

Annual President's Report- Suzanne Pritchard

A Commendable & committed Committee

The Progress Association Committee met 11 times throughout the year to discuss the business of the association and progress projects.
The committee is
  • Suzanne Pritchard - President-Secretary, Public Officer
  • John Gill - Treasurer
  • Robyn Gill- Committee - Landcare
  • Tony Dynon- Committee - Hall
  • Ian Dennison- Committee

Awesome Achievements

On 11/10/15 the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission officially registered the CPPA as a charity for advancing the natural environment and purposes beneficial to the general public and analogous to other charitable purpose. This milestone has reinstated the charitable status of the Association that had lapsed. Charitable status will enable the CPPA to pursue additional avenues for funding the association’s activities.

Several grant applications were written to undertake projects at Progress Hall, a community owned asset. The CPPA successfully secured $19,993 funding from the Community Building Partnership Program for the project ‘Safe & Sustainable solutions to ensure Progress Hall’s survival’. Solar panels, rainwater tanks, roof renewal and WHS friendly chairs and trolleys will refurbish Progress Hall and minimise the costs associated with maintaining the hall.

The CPPA entered the NSW Regional Achievement & Community Awards under the
Peabody Energy Environment & Landcare category and won the award. The recognition of the local landcare effort was celebrated in the same week as the 20 years of local’s landcaring was commemorated. The award provided $2500 towards the Association’s activities.

The Progress Association made formal submissions on The Lake Macquarie Squirrel Glider Planning and Management Guidelines and The Draft Hunter Regional Plan.
Correspondence with LMCC focussed on seeking clarification on the recreational uses on the Pony Club-Hampton Street Reserve and the removal of trees under the 10/50 code.

Community communication

There were eight editions of the Coal Point Chronicle produced in the past year distributed to 1500 local residences and emailed to a distribution list of 219 members, supporters, media, local councillors, State and Federal representatives. The Chronicle continues to be well received and makes a significant contribution to sharing local events and maintaining community connectedness. The monthly summary of development applications, DA’s in Play, provides a valuable community service in alerting locals to changes in the community that they can comment upon.

The Progress Association’s Facebook page has 49 likes, up from 30 at this time last year. A dedicated social media strategy and regular postings of local activities will be needed if this communication channel is to be a success.

The Chronicle also makes a significant contribution to the Associations’ finances through the sponsorship of spaces promoting local businesses. Sincere thanks are given to our long term sponsors, many who have been supporters for over 10 years: Just Jude Hair Salon, Matthew Cook Plumbing, Ross McGrath Electrical, Westlakes Trophies, Framing & Engraving, Carey Bay Cellars, Lake Mac Print, RA Mackay Yacht Brokerage and The Jetty Man. Over the past few years regular sponsorship has been appreciated from Triggs Motors, Toronto Dry Cleaners, Harris Wheeler Lawyers, Shields Auto Repairs and Burrells Landscape supplies. Sincere thanks are also given to those sponsors who have short-term spaces that provide them with a vehicle to promote their services in the local community.

This year over 202 hours went in to the production and distribution of the Chronicle through the considerable volunteer efforts of many. Many thanks to the Chronicle Crew, Chris Marcar, Clare Whittaker, Dianne Onslow, Heather McRae, Hetty Fedley, Ian Dennison, Jenell Heslop, John Gill, John Johnson, John Smith, John Whittaker, Lois Simpson, Nico Marcar, Nicole Haigh, Pamela Amos, Robyn Gill, Robyn Steiner, Roly James, Steve Dewar, Sue Burrough, Suzanne Pritchard, Tony Dynon and Wendy Cheek.

Activities of the Association

The past year has provided multiple opportunities to support local interest in the community and share the Progress Association’s achievements. Following is a summary of the activities undertaken
  • 17/4/16 - National Tree Day community planting at Carey Bay Wetlands saw 260 Dianella planted by 9 people.
  • 6/4/16 - Asset protection burn at Stansfield Close Reserve undertaken by Fire & Rescue NSW and the RFS. CPPA support in monitoring the effects of the burn will provide useful data on the impact of medium-high intensity burns.
  • April 2016 - Support provided to the Residents for Responsible Lakeside Development to advocate for a more appropriate development than that proposed by DA410/2016 at 2 Brighton Av to 131-133 Excelsior Pd.
  • 20/11/15 - The 20 Years On Trivia Tournament attracted 50 people and $1500 of prizes from sponsors.A great social community event.
  • 12/11/15 - BBQ to celebrate 20th Anniversary of locals landcaring in the community. A well deserved commemoration of years of perspiration.
  • November - 2015- Community input sought for a name for the Pony club/Hampton St Reserve at Carey Bay
  • 14/11/15 - Award Ceremony NSW Regional Achievement and Community Awards-
  • Stalls were staffed at local community events and presentation given to interested groups:
  • 19/9/15 Toronto Garden club-1hr presentation about the project
  • 17/10/15 Greater Toronto Spring Fair-Display stall shared by Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group- Hairy Clairy sales
  • 7/11/15- Coal Point Public School fete- display stall including plants for sale
  • 9/2/16 - Hollows for Habitat Forum- 20 minute presentation on nestbox installation
  • 5/3/16- Presentation to Central Coast landcare-Bushcare forum on the Progress Association’s landcare efforts of the past 20 years.
  • 26/3/16 - The Lake Mac Heritage Festival –display and native plants for sale shared by Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group

The Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula project also provided multiple opportunities for locals to be active. These are reported on separately in the project report.

The CPPA continues to develop a strong partnership with the Toronto Area Sustainable Group (TASNG) through supporting and promoting their activities and assisting with membership renewals and collaborating on funding applications such as the Tossers Can Be Binners and Community Building Partnerships Pedestrian Paving options projects.

Thankyou to our Members and Volunteers

The Progress Association is indebted to all the volunteers who give their time and talents for the greater community welfare and the members whose support is vital for the organisation to be able to represent community views.

Sincere thanks to all the volunteers who provide support for the Association in managing hall bookings, hall maintenance, newsletter distribution, social events, catering, photography, excel spread sheet mastery, data collection and collation, providing local insights, professional expertise and landcaring.

A special vote of thanks goes to Robyn Gill for her sterling effort in coordinating the landcare program and maintaining the reserve folders over the past decade and enabling the transition to the role being shared.

Annual Treasurer's Report- John Gill

The Association has completed the year 2015 with a small surplus of $647.

The large ticket items of LMCC Rates and Insurances are expenses ($7081) that the Association cannot avoid. On the receipts side Hall Hire was down in 2015 but donations increased. The Association’s receipts were boosted by $2500 from the Peabody Award and just in time to allow the felling of two large trees as the result of the April storm.

The income streams from Subscriptions, Donations, Hall Hire and Sponsorships for The Chronicle have allowed the Association to meet its expenses and permit normal function during the year.

Our thanks are extended to our Auditor for his thoughtful and enthusiastic examination of the Association’s finances for the year during January this year.


Membership in the Association was again offered as either Single or Family. The membership in 2015 comprised Single- 37 and Family 49 (or 98 persons) totalling 135 persons. The Association has 8 Life Members. Again this year the Association provided the opportunity for members to also join the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group (TASNG)-91 members subscribed in 2015.

My thanks are extended to the members of the Committee who have been very co-operative and helpful to me during the year.

Annual Landcare Report-Robyn Gill

2015 was a big event in Landcaring in Coal Point as the 20th ANNIVERSARY of the formation of the group – one of the earlier groups in Lake Macquarie. Our special environment of 13 reserves received even more attention with 2 community events to add to the usual and growing “on the ground” effort.

By the time we were ready to celebrate our 20 years of effort in November the “locals” had put in 1098 hours of on-ground work by working weekly and 1300 plants for the year 2015. Lake Macquarie Council, as part of their contribution to the TSLS Project, provided plants. Efforts to total our 20 years of landcaring hours were collated by John Sharples and the group has recorded approximately 10,000 hours.

2015 was the 4th year of the 6 year project Threatened Species last Stand. The dimensions of the programme have provided for community participation in varied ways from
backyard surveys where community members were interested to spotlight and daytime walks. A volunteer team, with a professional Bush Regenerator as leader, from Trees In Newcastle make a much valued contribution to the work.
Our NATIONAL TREE DAY planting for the year has made a great contribution to CAREY BAY WETLAND - the first and last of the reserves noticed in our home “patch” as we travel. It appears so much better maintained and maintenance is so much easier as a result.

Our workday lunch and the community TRIVIA NIGHT in November in the hall were a fitting way to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of our landcaring efforts- we made use of one of the reserves and the Progress Association hall in ways that the farsighted people who appreciated the reserve and built the hall would have been happy with.

We are also able to celebrate that the very special RIDGE RESERVE at the centre of our environment is still growing - enlarged by council buyback of land where offered by landholders (rather than reduced in the way some such special places seem to be). The recent Hazard Reduction/Asset Protection burn in a surprisingly diverse area of the ridge ends a long time of hoping that it would be given priority and gives us hope that significant restoration can happen there.    

Annual Hall Report-Ian Dennison

The Hall is our biggest physical asset and the Committee is always on the lookout for ways to maintain and improve it.  We applied for a grant under a NSW Government program called "Community Building Partnership" which provides funding with the aims of  "improve community infrastructure for the people of NSW, and encourage the enhancement of local community based activities that create more vibrant and inclusive communities."  Our application was successful and provides a total of $19,993 to pay for 4 items:
  • Repair rusted roofing
  • Install solar panels
  • Install a water tank plumbed to flush the toilets
  • Provide lightweight chairs and table and chair moving trolleys

We are busy developing the detailed designs / Scopes of Work and getting competitive quotes for these 4 items, and expect to complete all of them in the course of this year. 
We would be delighted to hear from any of our members or supporters who have relevant knowledge or experience with solar and/or rainwater systems and would like to contribute to the projects.

The April storm of 2015 impacted on the Progress land with several large trees requiring attention to ensure their future safety. The felling and retention of the trees on site was undertaken to retain the habitat values of the timber.