Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Spread the word and print a poster for the community meeting.

Help spread the word download the poster here

TFPG Update August 2018

Members of the TFPG have held meetings or had dialogue with: Crs Adamthwaite, Langford, Belcher and Pauling; Mayor Cr Fraser; CEO Cameron and various Council staff. 
We have continued to push the case for early community consultation about Council’s plans for the foreshore. We believe that this is a major reason why Council has now embarked on the recent extensive communications campaign (Lakes Mail, Newcastle Herald, letterboxed cards and on line tools ( This is certainly a significant achievement and we hope that as many people as possible avail themselves of the opportunity to comment on the Shape Lake Mac website.

What we have discovered from all of the meetings is that Council and Councilors cannot understand that their proposal for 4-6 storey residential/tourist/commercial development at 4 Bath Street/1B Victory Row (adjacent to the RMYC) is at odds with what the community wants. 

In addition, they will not countenance including the Bath Street site in the Foreshore Masterplan so as to explore all reasonable options, even though they recognise that this site is actually public foreshore land. Rather they talk about 'integration' with the masterplan and are determined that something will be built as a fait accompli (def. a thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it.)

The TFPG is not accepting that the most appropriate use of the public foreshore land is a 4-6 storey building. 

A public meeting to explain the community group’s view is planned for 4th September 7 - 8.30 pm at the Toronto High School. Please put this date in you diaries. 

There will be a presentation from TFPG as well as by Cr Jason Pauling on behalf of Council and then a Q&A session. 

Flyers are being distributed and there will be media releases. 

There are now over 3000 petition signatures and many comments have been added on line

Please continue to let Council and Councillors know your ideas and consider writing a letter to the editor.

Campaign updates are available at

What Price Growth? by Linda Ireland

How does economic growth relate to quality of life in our complex society?

Growth can pull a country out of poverty by providing goods, jobs, income. But it can also have harmful long-term effects if it is not balanced with improved quality of life.

The well-being of a community should not be measured in money terms alone. We need a built environment in harmony with a protected natural environment and with its people. Development must be also be preceded by efficient infrastructure.

The community invests great trust in its political leaders at local, state and federal levels. They are the stewards of our environment and the supporters of our well-being. They also move us forward economically.

A quote in David Pilling’s book The Growth Delusion states,” . . . we need to get away from the idea, dominant since the invention of GDP, that the only measurements worth a candle have a $ in front of them.” (1)

It may be profitable in money terms to have a sewerage treatment plant in the midst of a residential area, or a noisy helipad placed in a quiet suburb, or a multi-storey building in a waterfront location on what could be open recreational space, but will people’s lives be better for these developments?

Ordinary people know what planners seem to miss. If traffic flow is greatly increased outside a school, if roads are clogged with traffic, if parking space is greatly reduced through population pressure, if safety is compromised on inadequate arterial roads, quality of life is reduced. We need to demand that the infrastructure goes in first.

Ordinary people need to be involved in these decisions. Communities need to be consulted. Otherwise “growth” can become malignant – not benign.

Examples of unfettered growth are easy to find in areas of Sydney such as Hornsby, North Sydney or the Inner West. Planners have had apparent disregard for the number of vehicles pouring onto already congested, narrow streets and inadequate supermarket car-parks. How are lives improved in this application of growth?

Closer to home are the multi-storey buildings Lake Macquarie Council are eager to see erected at waterside locations in Warners Bay and Toronto. In the case of Toronto, Council is itself the “developer”, proposing to build up to six storeys on lakeside land in public ownership. They are justifying this decision because the land is zoned “operational”. The details of just what the development entails remain “commercial in confidence”, so can’t be made public. Council have voted to allocate up to $1 million dollars to prepare a Development Application.

Interestingly, Council’s own planning documents make frequent reference to the prioritising of increased open public recreational space on Toronto’s foreshore. Their development will reduce that space.

Doubtless you will hear this proposal couched in terms such as, “good for jobs and growth”, “growing business”, “revitalising the town”. We are all too familiar with these buzz words. But what of references to community well-being or prioritising infrastructure?

The people of Lake Macquarie need to expect of their Council a more nuanced 21st Century conversation such as those starting to appear in contemporary books and media programs dealing with economic growth and development.

This newer kind of conversation recognises that there needs to be a careful balancing of the natural and built environments. There is a recognition that some important things are being left out of GDP: the present and ongoing value of the natural environment (our “natural capital”), the very significant issue of human well-being. Whilst growth is necessary and may be robust, it need not be insensitive.

People do not want to short change the future. Communities are more aware of and more vocal about the impact of big developments on well-being, on the environment.

People all across our country are starting to think ahead of their leadership. They are less likely now to accept the old idea that you can “maximise growth today no matter what the impact tomorrow.” (2).

There will be two groups of people watching what happens with Council’s proposal for the Toronto foreshore: one is the community, pushing back against the commoditising of the precious natural capital of open foreshore space. The second group will be the developers with a keen eye on the potential for similar developments around our beautiful lake. This is a story which needs to be observed carefully by all residents of Lake Macquarie.

A happier, smarter community will leave the natural foreshore environment as open recreational space for future generations. We are all its custodians.

Those voted to represent us need to prove that they are visionary leaders who get the balance right. That is their responsibility. Our responsibility is to make decisions at the ballot box for representatives who foster community well-being and the preservation of natural assets as a paramount consequence of growth.

The Toronto Foreshore Protection Group is holding a public meeting at Toronto High School on Tuesday September 4th at 7.00 pm to share current information on Council’s proposal. You are encouraged to attend.

(1) William Davies, The Happiness Industry, Verso, 2015, p65.

(2) David Pilling, The Growth Delusion: The Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, Bloomsbury 2018 p197

Last chance plants-not-so-plentiful

 It was great to be able to move along several hundred plants from the plants-too-plentiful project but there are still over a hundred left. 
If you would like some devine vines there are still Wonga-wonga vine, Dusky coral Pea and Purple climbing Pea available.

If a drought tolerant and mowable lawn is what you’re after, there is lots of Weeping meadow grass to make your meadow with.

Perhaps some feature grasses for a border… 
Tussock Grass will do the job, or if you have a slope that needs stabilizing there are Spiny-headed Mat Rush. 

If any of these plants interest you contact Dianne 4959 8152 to arrange a vegetation inspection/acquisition. Plants not sold by 31/8/18 will be returned to the grower…and it is still four plants for $10, which is a real bargain.

Helping hands are happy hands- Hall working Bee 9/9/18

The biannual Progress Hall working bee is planned for September 9th from 9am till noon, with a BBQ lunch (we’ll be very experienced BBQers by then having mastered the Bunnings BBQ on 26/8/18).

The Hall is our community’s asset, it is owned by the Progress Association (not council) and as such the CPPA covers all of the costs of the upkeep and undertakes the maintenance, which is why we have working bees.

The 9/9/18 working bee will involve some spring cleaning, labelling of cupboards, sorting of storage areas under the hall and defining the backyard boundary.

The working bee is timed to take advantage of the Council clean up, there will be items to be put out at the roadside.

Ian is coordinating the event and rest assured busy hands will be happy hands. Whatever amount of time you’d like to offer, there’ll be a job to fit. The working bees are fun and social events and an opportunity to meet the CPPA Committee or pop in and renew your membership fees.

The hall is at 197 Skye Point Rd, Coal Point

DAs In Play - August 2018

DA update 

151-155 Brighton Avenue: Mixed Use Development: Council Assessment

It is possible that this DA will go before council on the 10/9/18 at 6:30pm meeting. Community are encouraged to attend, this could be what the future Toronto will look like.

DAs in Play

This list has been compiled from LMCC’s Application Tracking website as a commnity communication service. For full details of all applications please consult LMCC’s Application Tracking website:
  • 191 Coal Point Road: Water Recreation Structure - (Jetty Extension & land use of Existing Slipway) On Notification/Advertising 
  • 279 Coal Point Road: Dwelling House: Scanning of Application Documents 
  • 279 Coal Point Road: Demolition of Existing Dwelling: Approved 
  • 279 Coal Point Road: Swimming Pool with Associated Safety Barrier: Awaiting Information Requested 
  • 183 Excelsior Parade: Multi Dwelling Housing and 3 Lot Strata Subdivision: Under Assessment 
  • 24 Grant Road: BIC - Dwelling House-Approved 
  • 74 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House, Garage, Swimming Pool, Alt & Adds to Boatshed - Amendment To Consent: Awaiting Information Requested

Sustainable House Day (SDH)- September 16th

This year you can visit 
Hugh’s Solar Battery House in Toronto anytime between 10am-4pm

The full address will be displayed 2 weeks prior to SHD at

Hugh says:

As an environmental scientist, I was aware of the need to move away from fossil fuels quickly. In addition, my ageing father needed the house to be heated and cooled for long periods each day which was leading to large power bills.

So, beginning in October 2015 I installed a 4.94kW solar system on my garage. Each of the 19 panels has an Enphase micro-inverter so that I maximise the power output despite afternoon shade on some panels. Then in February 2017 I installed a 10kWh battery as part of a Suncrowd bulk buy scheme. Most recently, in August 2017, I installed a Sanden Heat Pump hot water system when the old off-peak tank started leaking. In 2015 I also renovated a granny flat downstairs using a second hand kitchen.

To round out my home’s sustainability, I have a small veggie garden, an electric scooter for heavy shopping trips and a Toyota Prius for longer trips

Sustainable features include:

  • 4.94kW PV system incl. 10kWh battery 
  • Sanden Heat Pump hot water system 
  • EVs
  • Veggie garden