Thursday, 8 March 2018

Progress Patter

AGM notice

Monday 12th March, 5-6pm is the Annual General Meeting of the CPPA, at Progress hall, 197 Skye Point Rd. This is a time when we bask in the achievements of the past year, wonder how we did it all and then sign up to do it all again. The Committee are a pretty amazing bunch of socially minded folk who like doing things to make our community a little bit friendlier, a smidgin more sustainable and in doing so protect one of the reasons we choose to live here, the bushland setting and the wildlife that also call our peninsula home.

The CPPA is keen to expand its social side, we have an amazing hall and believe that having place based community events is a great way to build community cohesion. Are you socially minded, does the thought of giving a bit of time make you feel buoyant? Are you keen to try something new and share your skills or develop some new ones? We’ll be considering participating in the Small Halls Festival next February and would love any musically minded locals to come along for the ride.

If you enjoy living & giving locally and want to lend a hand, we’d be really happy to see you at the AGM, 5-6pm Monday 12th March at Progress Hall. 


Have you renewed your membership to the CPPA/TASNG? There’s still time, we haven’t closed off the books and if you join before the AGM you’ll be able to vote for the Committee…if that’s not an incentive what is! There is a membership form on the website or feel free to pop in at the AGM or the monthly meeting before hand.

Thankyou to all the members that have submitted the renewal forms and paid the membership fees it certainly helps knowing we have your support. 

Are you a one-off volunteer?

We’ve got a couple of one-off opportunities where we could do with a hand. With the Council Clean Up looming, the Progress Hall working bee is set for the Sunday 18th March. There are always jobs on the to-do list, this working bee we’ll be labeling cupboards, so everyone knows where to put things, massaging the grounds with the gentle throng of a lawn mower, cleaning the crevices, washing the windows and other activities that make the hall habitable and healthy.

If you’re a hall user or want a lend a hand, feel free to come along any time from 9.30am-noon (there’s a morning tea break in there as well). Contact Ian for the complete jobs list.

Progress Land Sale

Over the past few years the CPPA has been investigating options to reduce the ongoing costs of owning and maintaining a Hall. The CPPA became a registered charity, but the rates rebate for charities did not apply to the hall. Funding was secured for rainwater tanks and solar panels, the latter are now generating more electricity than we use, lowering the energy costs and Stamp Duty exemption has reduced insurance premiums. In February the sale of CPPA land (zoned for environmental purposes and acquisition) to LMCC was completed, providing a financial buffer and reducing the LMCC rates burden.

Proceeds from the sale will go towards maintaining Progress Hall, a community owned hall (not LMCC) that was built in the 1950’s on land purchased by Association members in 1946 as a place to meet and gather. The CPPA covers all insurance and maintenance of this unique public space.

The sale of CPPA land has also expanded Stansfield Reserve, with only a handful of properties in the acquisition zone still in private ownership.


DA Updates

DA in Play

214 Coal Point Road 1 into 2 Lot Subdivision. On Notification/Advertising

151-155 Brighton Avenue: Hirecraft marina: 

LMCC’s Urban Design Committee had quite a few comments on the amended DA ranging from the need for a revised waste management plan, an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Assessment to be undertaken, revised traffic impact assessment, revised acoustic report, revised disability access audit, review of the Brighton Avenue Streetscape, recommendations to improve street trees and landscaping, revised landscape design to clarify public and private domains, revised foreshore landscaping, more details on the view sharing impacts and a submission on why the building height is exceeded in the amended design.

Talking with TASNG

Land & Environment Court Hearing - 2 Brighton Ave/133 Excelsior Pde

Following a false start in October 2017, the L&E Court Hearing between Council and SNL Building was held in Sydney on 27-28 February under the direction of Commissioner Dickson. Barristers for both sides presented arguments and expert witnesses (including arborists) who were cross examined. In essence, the Council's thrust was to elevate the importance of the scenic quality and likely severe visual impact within this coastal planning zone with the LEP R3 zoning subordinate to this. In contrast, SNL Building highlighted the importance of being able to build multi dwellings in this zone with other considerations less important and more subjective. Council strongly argued for much less development on the ridge-line portion of the block. Commissioner Dickson will consider all arguments and all previously lodged submissions and other information tabled. A decision should be forthcoming in about 6 weeks. Everyone who made submissions and helped galvanise community resolve should feel some pride in getting this landmark case so far. 

Community Picnic

The second Community picnic organised by the Community Friendship Group (including Toronto Area and LT Creek Sustainable Neighbourhood Groups, Council and Disability Links) was held on Friday evening 23rd February at the Toronto Foreshore. Though windy, around 150 people - including many families with young children - turned up and enjoyed the musical entertainment and games. The Toronto Men's Shed provided BBQ food. Further events will be organised this year. 

The first meeting to organise a 'Repair Café ' in Lake Macquarie was held on 27 February. Repair Cafés are free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things (together). We throw away vast amounts of stuff. Even things with almost nothing wrong, which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair. The trouble is, lots of people have forgotten that they can repair things themselves or they no longer know how. Knowing how to make repairs is a skill quickly lost and easily learnt. The Repair Café shares valuable practical knowledge on how to repair your things that then get used for longer and don’t have to be thrown away...reducing waste and the resources needed to make things.
Groups involved are: Toronto Area and Warner's Bay Sustainable Neighbourhood Groups, Women's Shed Woodrising, the Hub-Toronto and Toronto Men's Shed. Various repair Café models exist internationally and in Australia, staffed by volunteers with specialist skills. Transition Newcastle already run an Upcycling program. We hope to run the first repair Café at the HUB in May, probably focussing on clothing-related and tool sharpening/fixing. More information to come. 

Improving and Enhancing the Western Entrance to Toronto

The western entrance to Toronto along Awaba Road is unkempt, unappealing and uninviting. A project is being formulated to build an attractive, low maintenance native garden along Awaba Road, near Hy-Mix, in order to substantially improve visual appeal. Organisations involved are: Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group, The Lions and Lioness's Clubs of Toronto. Rotary Club of Toronto Sunrise, the Toronto Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Toronto District and Garden Club. We hope to complete the project by July 2018.

Wanted: Marine ply for nestboxes

The CPPA has a dozen orders for nestboxes and a keen member who has offered to be the nestbox builder. All we need now is some material… like marine ply. Are there any builders within our community that have any 17mm marine ply offcuts from form-work that we could use? Ideally 260mmm wide or greater is perfect.

The material can be dropped at Progress Hall, preferably under the hall but we can relocate it if it’s deposited in the lower section of the front yard.

If you’d like a nest box built for any local animals, such as Squirrel Gliders, possums, or birds please get in touch.

Art & Craft Awareness

The Art & Craft show preparations are moving along at a fast and furious pace. The Opening Night caterer is secured and the beverages are being sponsored by Carey Bay Cellars.

There is $1000 of prize money on offer, $700 to celebrate the threatened species and local flora and fauna in our community and a $300 People’s Choice.

There is a webpage of information on the CPPA website and the Entry Form will be available towards the end of March

Guest artists Stephen Cassettari, Geoff Davis and Hugh Cross have been secured to showcase their talents and share some tips throughout the weekend and raffle prizes are rolling in.

The Art & Craft Show is a very social occasion, an opportunity to catch up with friends, support local artists and get warm in winter.

Proceeds will go towards the supporting the local landcare group to continue caring for the local bushland that creates a common connection throughout our community.

Mega-Mural…Making it happen

The paint has been purchased, Toronto High School students have the dates locked in the diary, the facebook page is up , local street artists have put their support behind the project, Graffiti Dan has a plan and the Youth Week Celebration tickets for the 17/4/18 can now be secured via eventbrite booking system.

During March and April the water reservoir will receive a makeover and the project completion will be celebrated during Youth Week when two community painting sessions will be offer, a morning and an afternoon event, 50 places at each. To secure a painting spot visit the ticketing website

If you'd like to get involved in the Street Art style painting of the water tank there is information about the image selection on the webpage.

A Community Garden is growing at Carey Bay

Behind the Scout Hall at Carey Bay, 74 Excelsior Pde, there’s a community garden that is now cultivating a community to support its growth. The mission is to develop and provide a resource for the community of fresh vegetables and fruit and the opportunity to engage with like-minded folk, learn news skills and share knowledge about planting and growing your own fruit and vegetables.

Lyndon Duncan-Watt is the co-ordinator and has been doing the preparation work building on the garden infrastructure that was established at the Scout Hall by the Jobskills crew.

The community garden has been fenced, there are garden beds in place, a shed and a shade house all ready to go. Lyndon has been testing the soil, sorting out the shade angles and ensuring the overall layout of the garden is optimal for growth.

The garden beds have been resized and the height adjusted, the soil pH corrected and test plantings undertaken to ensure there are enough pollinators present. There have been some successful plantings, and harvests, and now the gates are swinging open to invite budding green thumbs to join in the growth of the garden.

There is still a lot to do with plans for a citrus grove, a compost heap, more garden beds and of course growing vegetables and fruit… and the more the merrier.

The garden will be open to one & all, on demand, from Wednesday 14th March. A facebook page is in the wings and a flyer is on its way. Contact Lyndon on 0422 709 749 and he’ll gladly be there to open up and share the joys of growing.

A neighbourly earth hour weekend is approaching

The weekend of 24-25 March has occasions for getting together and doing something positive about building a stronger sustainable community for all.

Neighbour Day is Sunday 25th, a time to make time to catch up with the neighbours. Any
day can be a Neighbour Day but in our busy lives sometimes we need a reason. What better reason than building a connection with those who share your community. Social connection makes us feel better and helps prevent loneliness, isolation and depression…it’s like a great big people pill of happiness without being hard to swallow. If you feel like getting your local crew together there are loads of resources on the Neighbour Day website such as invitations, name cards and posters.

Saturday 24th March 8:30-9:30pm is Earth hour, a global movement where people switch off their lights for an hour as a symbolic gesture to show the need for stronger climate action. This year the impacts on nature are being recognised with an encouragement to reconnect with the natural environment. When was the last time you sat outside at night and heard the chrirrups, twits and kerthunks of the nocturnal neighbours? Saturday night might be the time!

Perhaps you want to keep the connection going a little longer, the WWF has six ways you can #Connect2Earth
  1. Reduce your plastic use: Switch to reusable shopping bags, and avoid using plastic plates, utensils and straws. 
  2. Grow some plants: There’s something really therapeutic about growing plants. By looking after your plants, you're getting a deeper connection with the incredible nature that surrounds us. 
  3. Go for a hike: take a walk through nature and appreciate everything around you. We’ve got lots of tracks through our local bushland…why not explore them. 
  4. Eat sustainably: Reducing food waste and meat intake are good for the budget and the body. Council’s greener 3-bin service is starting 30/7/18. We’ll get a kitchen scraps bin too! 
      • All food waste will go into the green bin along with garden waste. 
      • Green bins will be emptied weekly. 
      • Material from green bins will be taken to a new composting facility at Awaba. 
      • Garbage bins will be emptied fortnightly on alternate weeks to recycling bins 
  5. Invest ethically: know where your super is invested, there are fossil-free funds 
  6. Take action for our planet: #Time2Choose. 
On Saturday 24th March from noon till 2pm there is a massive
rally planned, starting from NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St. It’s a march because clean air, clean water and clean energy can’t wait. The climate change movement is about shifting the political agenda though people power. If you’d like to add your personage to the plethora of groups that will be massing, there is a group of locals who’ll be catching the 9:18am train from Fassifern. We won’t be holding hands and singing kumbaya, we will be meeting like-minded locals and feeling a bit stronger for it.

Native Plants-A-Plenty Fundrasier

The CPPA is having a native plants-a-plenty fundraiser to keep the local landcare program kicking along after the 30/6/18 when the Threatened Species project winds up. There is a selection of local plants available, 3 for $10, a good price for tubestock that will make your garden low maintenance, dry-time tolerant and habitat friendly.

Over the past six years the landcare group has grown from 5 to 12 weekly volunteers who protect and preserve our bushland assets through weed management and planting when appropriate. Ten reserves, including the big ones at Stansfield and the West Ridge, covering the majority of the bushland in our community, are on a recovery trajectory thanks to the 14,614 hours this group has contributed in the past six years, conservatively valued at $438,430.

It’s not only the public land that benefits from the landcare crew by controlling and removing weed worries, the group is reducing the weed incursions into private gardens. The TSLS project has been able to cover the costs of tools, resource books, PPE, morning tea and a fuel subsidy for volunteers that carpool from Newcastle. We are aiming to raise $2500 annually to keep the crew together.

You can complete an order online or via a downloaded hardcopy. The plants will be available for collection at the Art & Craft Show.