Saturday, 22 July 2017

Friendship Festival

A celebration of  community diversity is happening on Wednesday 2nd August at Toronto Library (RSVP to library)

The program of events include

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Science Week is Sneaking up…helpers wanted!

It is less than one month to the biggest event Progress Hall has seen in quite a while and the sponsorship goal has been met thanks to the support of our amazing community and Origin Energy.

The next logistical hurdle to leap is having helpers on hand. We’ll need guides to assist with receiving the weekend visitors and supporting the mid-week students, 400 students have already booked.

There are other jobs too, meeters & greeters, and ticket receipters as well as catering for the volunteers and at the community event. If you’d like to lend a hand please contact Suzanne with your availability so a roster can be produced.

Looking for a contractor with a strong back and moving equipment.

The exhibition will also be required to be set up and pulled down. For this we’ll require some muscle and are looking for a contractor that can move big things without breaking a back. The exhibition states equipment required to include ‘Pallet jack, fork lift and any other equipment required’. If you know of someone who might be interested in this job please pass on their details.

A free social science session for locals!

What could be more fun than a Questacon exhibition? Catching up with friends and neighbours at the same time. The final session on Sunday 20th August from noon till 4pm will be a free session for locals. If you receive a Chronicle in your letterbox, bring the Science Week sponsors panel along, this is you free ticket. You’ll be welcome with open arms, some afternoon tea and friendly local faces.

If you want to come along to one of the other weekend sessions book through Eventbrite to avoid disappointment. 

There are session limits to ensure that everyone can enjoy the exhibits. Book Now!

Bookings with Eventbrite

Details for school bookings and the exhibits on display
are provided on the Science Week page.

National Tree Day Sunday 30th July

Be inspired by nature this National Tree Day, Get down and gritty for our local community planting day on Sunday 30th July 9am-noon.

Research from Planet Ark repeatedly shows that spending time outdoors provides a range of health and wellbeing benefits, by making people happier, healthier, and calmer. A new 2017 report from Planet Ark also shows that learning outdoors can help kids develop the crucial skills Australian teachers say they will need most to face major global challenges, like climate change, critical thinking and problem solving, ‘grit’ or resilience, and emotional intelligence.

National Tree Day is a fulfilling opportunity to do something good for the environment and experience the many positive benefits associated with spending time in nature.

Schools Tree Day

The Threatened Species project is supporting Coal Point Public School to continue the creation of the Squirrel Glider Garden on Thursday 27th July. 240 plants will be planted around the perimeter providing food and habitat for critters that Squirrel Gliders like to eat.

Community Tree Day

Thanks to the support of Hunter Water on Sunday 30th July from 9am - noon a community planting of over 1000 plants will be undertaken on Hunter Water land on Whitelocke Street and on the site of the decommissioned water tank. These plantings will provide a buffer to the bushland to protect it from garden escapes and also aid in the regeneration of the ex-water tank site.

All community members are welcome to attend. The Sunrise Rotary crew will be on hand to ensure that the planting targets are met.

Registration on the National Tree Day site is helpful for catering purposes.

So long Senna…it’s pod-picking time

What’s bright and yellow and given half a chance will spread throughout your garden and the local bushland? Cassia, also known as Winter Senna, botanical name Senna pendula var glabrata.

Its yellow flower-heads were a visual treat a month or so ago but now the flowers are gone the cylindrical green bean-like pods are drooping with intent. Soon they’ll burst open and spread the 20-40 seeds amongst your garden and then eventually into the bush as the birds, bugs and beasties carry them off.

So what’s the harm in a few lovely yellow flowers? They spread and keep spreading, replacing the native plants and eventually changing the whole plant community if not controlled.

Controlling it is easy and very doable, if it’s in bloom now, you can’t miss it.

If you’re really fond of your Senna, responsible plant ownership is needed. After it’s finished blooming pluck off the seed pods and put them in the bin.

If you want to remove the plant permanently, they are easy to dig out, especially now the soil is so moist, just make sure you get all the roots. Being a very weedy species you’ll probably have to go back over the area a few times to deal with the seedlings but they pull out very easily.

There are some very clear pictures of all life stages of the plant available online

A great Gum Guide for Coal Point tree enthusiasts

In the spirit of National Tree Day The Common Gums of Coal Point can now be celebrated and identified thanks to a case study produced by LMCC’s Landcare Resource Centre.

The Gum Guide describes the trees that are also known as Eucalypts, Angophoras and Corymbias. These are tricky trees to identify. The handy pocket sized pictorial reference of identifying features such as the bark and the fruit can be downloaded from the CPPA website on the Plants in our Bigger Backyard page.

Winter Bird Survey

The Winter Bird survey has turned up a treat…White-headed Pigeons, three of them perched high in the Casuarinas that border Puntei Creek. This sighting is perhaps a rarity on Coal Point since there are very few records of these birds on the western side of Lake Mac. In the Hunter region they are mostly reported within the wet forests and rainforests margins further north although occasional sightings are made along the margins of the Watagans. In these areas these birds forage for various native fruit but also like Camphor laurels and Privet. The Privet along Puntei Creek is currently heavy in fruit.

The complete Winter Bird survey can be read on the CPPA website

Some great Reconciliation Reads…Part 2

In 2014 came DARK EMU BLACK SEEDS: agriculture or accident? By Bruce Pascoe.

Here further extensive evidence makes a compelling argument “that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing” as well as building houses, storage and dams and altering the course of rivers to provide for irrigation.

So many revealing stories from early explorers such as Major Thomas Mitchell and Charles Sturt are common in early colonial records. Writers such as Mary Gilmore and Kate Langloh Parker tell stories of pioneering families witnessing planting ceremonies, dam building, irrigation and harvesting.

It is now believed that over long periods of time Aboriginal people made changes to genomes and habitats of plants through selection of seeds for use. In the case of RICE the genome of Australian rice is of importance as Asian rices are losing qualities that protect them from diseases. Protection of the environment without use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and even, at times, the growing of rice in brackish water are features that have valuable effects in food production.

Other grains, such as wild oats (a round grain) were extensively harvested and the process of baking developed. Grindstones from Walgett (dated to 30,000 years ago) and Kakadu (dated to 25,000 years ago) suggest that Aboriginal bakers were at work well before Egyptians (dated to 17,000 years ago) previously believed to be the earliest bakers. Sturt describes the “evening whirring of hundreds of mills grinding grain into flour”.

Early records “were so persistent in their description of grain harvests from all parts of the country that Norman Tindale in 1974 was able to draw a map of Indigenous grain areas “which went way beyond the current grain growing areas.

The loss of valued grasses through grazing was disappointing to early settlers – one Wimmera settler commenting that after 3 or 4 years of grazing “the long, deep rooted grasses… have died out”(to be replaced by??).

An example of the managed use of valuable but scarce ‘domesticated’ plants is the Bush Tomato or Desert Raisin (Solanum centrale) now a feature in cooking products. This is now needing to be built up in availability by Aboriginal groups – not a rapid process.

While Bruce Pascoe is strongly arguing for a reconsideration of the “hunter-gatherer” label for pre-colonial Australians he also points out that the SHARING and TRADING of the fruits of the land by Aboriginal people resulted in “a system of pan-continental government that generated peace and prosperity” .

This book has been well recognised as making an interesting and compelling case for a different way of looking at our land and its history.It is available at Lake Macquarie Council libraries.

Choose to Refuse!

The War on Waste is being won in Toronto with all but three local cafes having now switched over to biodegradable coffee cups instead of the plastic lined variety. Not only that but all cafes will now allow you to bring your own cup in for a refill and some are offering a discount if you do. Steve Dewer, the TASNG Waste Champion, has recently followed up on the cafe survey of November 2016.

Are you in for the Plastic Free July Choose to Refuse challenge? A couple of weeks of noticing how much plastic you encounter makes for an interesting experience.
Sign up at


2 Brighton Avenue- 133 Excelsior Pde

This development proposal will be heard at the Land & Environment Court on October 9-10. Anyone who commented on the original application should have received a notice from Matthewsfolbigg Solicitors by now.

Several Residents for Responsible Lakeside Development including the CPPA’s President will be attending the hearing in Sydney. A meeting of this group will be held in September to clarify once again the issues that we’ll be putting forward. The developer has not yet submitted any amended plans and until they do it will be hard to know what to comment upon. If you are planning an overnighter to Sydney why not build in and informative session at the Land & Environment court…it could be lots of fun!

DAs In Play

You can keep up to date with developments in the area through Lake Macquarie City Council’s Application Tracking system.The abridged list below has been compiled to support community understanding of developments in our area. Please consult LMCC’s website for details and a complete listing. Listings below are from 18/6/17 to 8/7/17
  • 58 Amelia Street.Dwelling Additions/Alterations. Approved
  • 47A Brighton Avenue: Dwelling House and Demolition of Existing Dwelling: Awaiting Information Requested
  • 23 Coal Point Road. Demolition of Dwelling House. Approved
  • 47 Coal Point Road : Attached Rear Fly-Over Patio fixed to Existing Deck. Approved
  • 77 Coal Point Rd: Dwelling House and Ancillary detached Garage/Shed - Amendment: Awaiting information requested
  • 128 Coal Point Rd: Dwelling House Alterations & Additions: Awaiting information requested
  • 226 Coal Point Road. Dwelling Alteration & Additions. Awaiting Information Requested.
  • 254 Coal Point Road. New Garage. Approved
  • 151 Excelsior Parade: Footpath works for Multi dwelling housing: Approved
  • 38 Kilaben Road Dwelling House – Amendment- Under assessment
  • 1 Laycock Street: Steel reinforced swimming pool and associated pool surrounds: Under Assessment
  • 1/17 Laycock St: Child Care Centre: Awaiting Information Requested
  • 1 Oakhampton Court: Dwelling Alterations and Additions: On Notification/Advertising
  • 7 Robey Crescent :Dwelling Alterations & Additions & Attached Secondary Dwelling: Awaiting Information Requested
  • 20 Skye Point Road Dwelling Alterations & Additions. Under Assessment.
  • 47 Skye Point Road. Dwelling House Additions. Under Assessment.
  • 74 Skye Point Road. Dwelling House, Garage, Swimming Pool, Alt & Adds to Boatshed. Awaiting Information requested
  • 78 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House - Alterations & Additions, Boat Shed, Water Recreation Structure: Awaiting information requested
  • 228 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House, Swimming Pool with Associated Safety Barriers and Demolition of Existing Dwelling: Awaiting Information Requested
  • 268 Skye Point Road Detached Dual Occupancy and Strata Subdivision
  • Applicant: On Notification/Advertising
  • 308 Skye Point Road. Proposed Jetty. Awaiting DA Determination
  • 151-155 Brighton Av (Hirecrafft Marina) Awaiting Information Requested
  • 29 Whitelocke Street: Secondary Dwelling and Retaining Wall On Notification/Advertising