Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Are you feeling solastalgic?

The figs have fallen and the birds and flying foxes have flocked off …are you feeling the pangs of solastalgia? 

Professor Glenn Albrecht’s website ‘psychoterratica’ offers an explanation to what you might be feeling. The following has been excerpted from his writings

Despite the importance of connections between environmental or ecosystem health and human health (physical and mental) in many cultures, we have very few concepts in English that address environmentally-induced mental distress, or conversely, environmentally enhanced positive mental health.

Solastalgia is the pain or sickness caused by the loss of, or inability to derive, solace connected to the
present state of one’s home environment.

Solastalgia exists when there is recognition that the place where one lives and that one loves is under physical assault.

Solastalgia is a form of homesickness one experiences when one is still at ‘home’. Any context where place identity is challenged by pervasive change to the existing order has potential to deliver solastalgia.

One feels solastalgia where there is the direct experience of negative transformation of the physical environment by forces that undermine a
personal and community sense of identity, belonging and control.

Witnessing the removal of much loved trees for new development in an urban environment can be the cause of a profound distress that can be manifest as intense visceral pain and mental anguish…solastalgia

By acknowledging and confronting the effects of solastalgia there is potential empowerment. This can renew a commitment to engage in action to cooperate with and support distressed people and heal distressed environments which is itself a profoundly healing act.

In Australia, voluntary land care groups have formed to offer mutual support for each other and engage in direct action to restore and repair of distressed environments. It is clear that good human health (mental and physical) is intimately tied to ecosystem health.

Fortunately the new Toronto Streetscape will reinstate a green avenue over the next few years. In the meantime you might like to try landcaring in the local area, along the Greenway, at the Lions Park or in Kilaben Bay. The Landcare Resource Centre has contact details for all the groups, ph 4921 0392.


Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group

Pedestrian Perseverance

There’s been a huge win for the pedestrian folk in our community. The proposed installation of a crushed gravel path along Brighton Avenue between Ambrose St and Jarret Street has transmogrified into a 350m concrete footpath.

Last year TASNG was awarded a $8750 Community Building Partnership grant to trial a low tech gravel path as a model that could be rolled out around the non-paveable areas in our community. It turns out that this particular approach “will not meet Council requirements” but LMCC has kept their commitment to the project and upped the ante.

A concrete footpath will be installed in 2 stages over 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years, the planning is in process to determine the best location and which side of the street.

The footpath will certainly meet the objectives of the grant by improving pedestrian safety for residents now and into the future as more single dwellings inevitably transition to medium density housing.

What are West Ward Issues?

Councillor Kay Fraser is interested in hearing about our local issues, such as footpath and cycling infrastructure in Western Lake Macquarie from various groups and interested community members. 

Kay has agreed to an informal chat with TASNG at 4.30 pm on Thursday 4th August at the HUB, The Boulevarde. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Toronto streetscape update presented to TASNG 8/6/16

  • Work will start at the Victory Pde end and proceed in 50 m sections, eight weeks at a time. There will be no trees in the first section.
  • 23 trees (Waterhousea floribunda) to be planted in purpose-built root boxes using 5 m advanced stock and with anticipated final heights of 10-15 m to create a green avenue. Garden beds will have ground covers.
  • Two bus shelters are planned. 
  • Bike stands are planed, some under cover e.g. by lower bus shelter.
  • There will be Wednesday drop-in sessions 9-10am at the library from 22 June for interested community members and fortnightly updates to businesses.
  • A coloured brochure is being prepared to be delivered to every household and main street businesses to overview the project, including dates.

Progress Patter

News from Coal Point Progress Association

Do you like to walk with a purpose?

The Chronicle is hand delivered by local walkers into your letterbox each month and we’re looking for some additional walkers. If you’d like to lend a hand and a pair of feet for an hour a month please contact Tony on 4959 4533 to find out what routes are available.

Care to be on the Committee?

The CPPA activities are coordinated by a group of enthusiastic locals and we’d greatly welcome more enthusiastic types onto the Committee. If you have some energy to spare and would like to direct it to very local endeavours please feel free to come along to the Committee meetings to see what we get up to.

The CPPA committee meets on the 2nd Monday of the month between 3:30-5:30pm at Progress Hall.

We’ve joined the SunCrowd and we’re proud!

The CPPA has been able to join the SunCrowd and take advantage of their solar bulk buy leveraging capacity thanks to the funds from the Community Building Partnership grant Safe and sustainable solutions to ensure Progress Hall’s survival. In the near future 20 solar panels will grace the recently refurbished rooftop that is directing water into the ever-so-stylish rainwater tank that will flush the toilets, a truly sustainable solution which is also reducing the electricity bill. 

Naming of the ‘Pony Club’ to Puntei Park

In November last year a community call went out to find a name for the ‘Pony Club’ land at Hampton Street.

At the recent CPPA meeting it was decided to propose Puntei Park to the Geographical Names Board. Puntei is an Aboriginal name meaning narrow place or any narrow neck of land. It was also the early recorded name for Reverend Lancelot Edward Threlkeld’s land grant in the Coal Point area. The name is also referred to in George Whiting’s deed, dated 1882. Puntei Creek was named in 2005 by the CPPA and it seemed fitting that the reserve be recognised as well.

Surveying our avian amigos

The local seasonal bird survey is planned for Monday 25th July, under the supervision of avian authority- Tom Clarke. We’ll be meeting at 6:45am near the Scout Hall. If you’re interested to tag along for some or all of the survey there are a few places available.

The local bird surveys are painting are rather interesting picture of the birds that visit our area and will help to better understand the effects of the landcaring activities on the local wildlife.

If you can’t make the survey don’t worry, in August there is the opportunity to participate in The Australian Bird Feeding and Watering Study from your very own home. The citizen science study is investigating the interactions people have with birds in their own backyards because this can have a huge impact on bird diversity and abundance. Many people provide food and water for our avian amigos but it is unknown what these acts of kindness do to the bird ecology and diversity.

The Australian Bird Feeding and Watering Study aims to gather quantitative data on the effects of supplementary feeding and providing water for birds and the reasons why people provided food and/or water. In doing so they aim to develop guidelines for people who feed birds to do so with minimum risk to birds.

If you provide food or water for birds and would like to take part in this exciting study, Sign up today! 

TSLS Update- Yeah Team

Positive feedback from the Environmental Trust has been received on the annual report of
the Threatened Species Last Stand project, here’s some highlights.

“Outstanding progress has been made to date, with strong momentum maintained throughout year four. The project is in an excellent position with two years to run and remains one of the best performing projects in the Trust’s Community Bush Regeneration (CBR) program.

The project manager and lead group continue to demonstrate an acute understanding of the changes occurring across the project area, in part because of the ongoing collection of monitoring data, but also because of their strong ability to interpret the results into meaningful information to determine the condition trends across each site.

In terms of overall attention to detail with monitoring, work-planning and interpretation of results, this project continues to provide a best practice show-piece with the CBR program”

Congratulations to all the landcaring locals and volunteers from near and far and Trees In Newcastle who have been donating their time and efforts to the project.

Shape Your Future

LMCC is asking the rate payers what do we want our City to be like by 2050 so they can prepare a new vision and a set of values that will guide the look, feel and function of the City. The following is abridged from the Shape Your Future website

The website provides options to

  • Discuss the questions
    • What do you like about living in Lake Mac?
    • What would make Lake Mac City better in the future?
  • Lodge your ideas around the themes of Getting around, Your Life & Community, How and Where we Live, The Natural Environment, Recreation and Culture and Economy and Jobs and
  • Think about the background information that is motivating the need to review the City’s vision. Over the next few decades that population is increasing and ageing and we love our cars.

There are more of us

Lake Macquarie’s current population of 204,000 will continue to grow to an estimated 253,000 by 2050. We are part of the 2nd largest urban area in NSW and the 7th largest in Australia. Our existing settlement pattern is dispersed around the Lake, which poses challenges for the efficient provision of infrastructure, services, facilities and transport.

How do we best respond to these changes and continue to enjoy a quality lifestyle?

We are getting older

Lake Macquarie’s population is significantly older than the state average, with 25 per cent of residents aged 60 or over (compared to 20 per cent for NSW). Lake Macquarie has appeal as a retirement destination due to its coast and lake and proximity to Sydney and Newcastle. This aging trend is set to continue and is resulting in significant investment in medium density and seniors housing developments. This trend is also impacting on our community, the type of services and facilities provided, jobs and how we move around.

Across Australia, the ageing population is leading to greater workforce participation by over 65s and a growing demand for access to leisure opportunities. The ageing population is accompanied by an increase in lifestyle-related diseases, putting strain on health services. There is also a growing trend for older people to remain in their house longer. This requires careful design and built environments that cater to less mobile people.

How do we best respond to these changes and continue to enjoy a quality lifestyle?

How we move

In the Lake Macquarie LGA, 90% of trips are by car.
With a growing population, the number of vehicles on the road is increasing. In 2013, there were 13,000 more vehicles on Lake Macquarie roads than there were in 2009.
When we look at why we move, going to and from work is 2nd on the list. Most of our trips are for recreational pursuits and social interaction.
Interestingly, recent survey work has shown that 26% of trips to our town centres are by walking, cycling and public transport.

What will help you move around the City more easily?

There will be a pop-up stall at the Toronto Foreshore on August 15th to share your views and ideas.

DAs In Play

You can keep up to date with developments in the area through Council’s online tracking system.

The list below has been abridged from Lake Macquarie City Council’s Application Tracking system. It has been compiled to support community understanding of developments in our area. Please consult LMCC’s website for details and a complete listing. 

New listings were from the period 6/6/16 to 18/7/16

  • 6 Ambrose Street: Dwelling House Alterations & Addition: Under Assessment
  • 2 Angela Close: B149 - Part - Deck: Awaiting Information Requested
  • 5/78 Brighton Avenue: Tree Removal (1): Approved
  • 17 Brighton Avenue: Dwelling Additions, Alterations and Detached Garage: Approved
  • 57 Brighton Avenue: Dwelling Additions, Alterations and Deck: Awaiting Information requested
  • 43 Coal Point Road: Dwelling House: Awaiting Information requested
  • 55 Coal Point Road: Swimming Pool Compliance: Under Assessment
  • 77 Coal Point Road: Dwelling House and Ancillary detached Garage/Shed: Approved
  • 103 Coal Point Road Demolition & Swimming Pool: Approved
  • Coal Point Public School: Removal Seven (7) Trees: Under Assessment
  • 49 Excelsior Parade: Dwelling Additions and Alterations - Amendment: Scanning of Application Documents
  • 53 Excelsior Parade: Alterations and Additions - Garage and Carport: Approved
  • 75 Excelsior Parade: Dwelling House, Swimming Pool, Workshop and Demolition of existing Dwelling: Awaiting Information requested
  • 181 Excelsior Parade: Storage Shed: Under Assessment
  • 18 Grant Road: Garage: Approved
  • 27 Hampton Street: Dwelling & Retaining Walls: Approved
  • 27 Hampton Street: Remove Twenty Six (26) Trees: Approved
  • 20 Jarrett Street: Dwelling Additions & Swimming Pool with Associated Safety Barriers. Approved
  • 65 Jarrett Street: Secondary Dwelling: Under Assessment
  • 6 Jonquil Close: Deck: Approved
  • 1/17 Laycock Street: Child Care Centre: Awaiting DA determination
  • 18/37 Laycock Street. Patio Cover: Awaiting Allocation
  • 14 Lorron Close: Dwelling House & Retaining Walls: Under Assessment
  • 37 Skye Point Road: Alterations/Additions & Partial Demolition: Approved
  • 106 Skye Point Road: Dwelling Alterations and Additions and Pool with Associated Safety Barriers. Approved
  • 124 Skye Point Road: Water Recreation Structure (Proposed Slipway): Awaiting DA Determination
  • 184 Skye Point Road: Dwelling Alterations and Additions (Internal), Carport and Deck Extension
  • 202 Skye Point Road: Alterations/Additions to Boatshed: Approved
  • 264 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House Alterations & Additions - Deck/Pergola: Under Assessment
  • 268 Skye Point Road: Alterations and Additions - Amendment Verandah, ramp, setback: Under Assessment
  • 282 Skye Point Road: Alterations/Additions - Rear and Front Deck
  • 14A Whitelocke Street: Residence & retaining walls: Awaiting Information Requested