Monday, 10 December 2018

Volunteer's Lunch 20/12/18@ Progress hall at noon

All CPPA volunteers are warmly invited to an end of year lunch on Thursday 20/12/18 at Progress Hall at noon. 

RSVP essential by 17/12/18 to or ring/sms 0438596741
On behalf of the Coal Point Progress Association best wishes to all for a festive season full of familial friendship and happy times. 

On behalf of the Coal Point Progress Association best wishes to all for a festive season full of familial friendship and happy times.

What a year!

It’s been a big year for the CPPA with the completion of the 6-year Threatened Species project, an Art & Craft Show, a new grant for energy efficiencies at the Hall along with joining forces with other community groups to raise awareness about and prevent a 4-6 storey development on public land at Bath Street.

The Bath St proposal has been a real eye-opener for what happens when the community
doesn’t see eye-to-eye with council proposals and the majority of elected representatives don’t seem to be supporting the community viewpoint.

Since the tabling of the 5295 signature petition in late October the following actions have been undertaken and information obtained:

  • A comprehensive submission was compiled and delivered to all councillors and key council staff detailing inconsistencies with local and state planning instruments. 
  • TFPG lodged requests for information from Council on documentation deemed ‘commercial in confidence’ relating to environmental constraints, heritage, traffic, architectural drawings and feasibility results. The Information & Privacy Commission have stated that Council’s decisions to withhold the information were not justified and have recommended council make a new decision. Council have declined to release the information sought either until the DA is lodged or not at all. 
  • Council has produced a summary of the community engagement from the Toronto
    Foreshore Masterplan. The document reiterates council’s intention to build and has a strong flavour of community opposition to that proposal. 
  • A meeting was called by the Mayor with Clr Pauling and representatives of the TFPG in attendance to investigate how trust could be re-established with the community and to identify areas where cooperation and collaboration could be undertaken. At the meeting 
    • The Mayor extended an invitation to TFPG to meet with councillors and consultants in the new year 
    • TFPG representatives suggested Council investigate other landholdings in the Toronto CBD such as the 1500m2 holding on the corner of Pemell St and Brighton Ave or their landholdings between the Aldi Carpark and the Anglican church 
    • TFPG suggested partnership options with the RMYC be explored. 
The CPPA is a member of the Toronto Foreshore Protection Group (TFPG) and by including updates in The Chronicle has played an important role in keeping the community informed of the proposed Bath St development.

The CPPA has agreed to continue to support the TFPG by offering space in the newsletter for updates. The TFPG is hoping to extend the delivery area of the Chronicle to Kilaben Bay and Toronto to aid dissemination of information whilst the Bath Street issue is unresolved. To extend the delivery requires additional funds to cover the cost of printing and walking volunteers to letterbox the newsletter. If you can assist with either of these actions visit the ‘Volunteer’ or ‘Donate’ tabs on the website.

Want to join up or's the time

The CPPA has been a strong advocate for our community since its inception in 1946. In the early days land was purchased and a hall built for a community meeting space, then there was advocacy for roads, equitable rates and community services such as footpaths. The most recent era has seen the protection and preservation of the natural assets take priority, the hall refurbished and upgraded, a continuous community watch to retain the community character and prevent overdevelopment and collaboration with sustainable neighbourhood initiatives…including footpaths.

The CPPA is just as relevant now as 72 years ago, providing a unified community voice advocating on issues that impact on where and how we live whilst providing community services through landcaring, maintaining the community owned hall, community advocacy and awareness via The Chronicle.

It’s time to renew...CPPA membership runs with calendar year, here is your membership renewal form and in an effort to optimise efficiency we are offering 5-year memberships.

Member's Morning 23/2/19

On Saturday February 23rd from 8:30am-12:30pm we will be hosting a member’s morning at the hall providing an opportunity to pay your membership fees or join up, find out what projects we’ll be pursuing in 2019, talk to our local experts about our energy efficiency and landcare projects, purchase a discount native plant and enjoy a BBQ.

A new project we are hoping to start in 2019 is a series of super social soirées. These friendly community gatherings at the hall could include music, performance, games, food…anything the yet–to-form social subcommittee would like to organise. Would you like to be on the social subcommittee? Do you have any ideas for a soirée? Come along to the member’s morning and have a chat.

AGM notice

The AGM will be held on 11/3/19 where the plans for the year will be put forward.

Climate Action Pledge

The CPPA has been awarded a $16,198 Community Building Partnership grant to
implement Sustainable Solutions for Progress Hall Stage2-Excellence in Energy Efficiency. 

This exciting project will capitalise on the energy being generated by our solar panels, which have generated 5.41 MWh of power this year. The energy efficiency will also benefit our regular hall users and support our efforts to have social activities at the hall in the new year and most importantly it will help us to do our bit to address the causes of climate change.

Doing something to tackle climate change is a big issue and we will only succeed if everyone together does their bit. Every climate action that we take, no matter how insignificant it may seem, matters a lot when a lot of people do them.

Sir David Attenborough’s recent plea to leaders at the UN was clear.

“If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

The Australian Climate Council offer these tips from their ‘What can I do toolkit’ 
  • Call your MP to share your support for strong policies that support renewable energy solutions 
  • Install rooftop solar and take back control of your power bills. 
  • Change the way you travel and think about opportunities to catch public transport, cycle or walk instead. 
  • Move your money so it doesn’t support the fossil fuel industry. 
The Climate Council also provides BBQ guides for talking about the various climate change issues recognising that it can be a difficult conversation. 

Neighbours noticing nature

Have you seen the White Headed Pigeons? 

Rod Mackay: “Positive sighting of a pair of White-headed Pigeons this afternoon (3/12/18) on an electrical wire at the Carey Bay Wetlands. They are probably breeding down here somewhere. I saw some a few years ago down near the pool at Toronto west , and have seen some further up the coast; but these two are a first for me this side of Ambrose St.

I also saw four Long-Billed Corellas last Friday on the Toronto Golf Course- now they are a long way from home judging by my bird book at least!: R

Bee in the moment

Coal Point Public School has been successfully awarded an Environmental Sustainability grant from Lake Macquarie City Council. The funds will be

The school appreciates the guidance and support of Coal Point Progress Association and Coal Point Landcare during the grant application process. 

used towards a native bee sanctuary. A native bee hive has recently been installed by bee expert Tobias Smith who also conducted a workshop with year 5 students at the school. This was followed up with a 'Bee Happy’ day with students encouraged to dress to the theme and workshop information shared via peer support groups. The grant funds will also be put towards rehabilitation and establishment of gardens throughout the school, installation of a water tank and garden consumables and equipment.

Help Save Our Limited Foreshore Parkland

The Toronto Foreshore Protection Group is working hard to keep building our campaign to save the foreshore from a multi-story development on the Bath St site.

We need as many of the community as possible to engage with this campaign in practical ways.
Our ongoing strategy will involve:
  • Doubling the distribution of The Chronicle 
  • Printing flyers, post cards, posters, banners, documents 
  • Hiring venues for public meetings and letter writing sessions 
  • Newspaper ads 
  • Fees for such things as document searches and freedom of information requests 

All of these things require funds. We rely solely on the generosity and goodwill of the people of Western Lake Macquarie.

You can help by donating on our website

Community Activated To Save Its Foreshore

Everywhere people are becoming increasingly outraged at the way in which councils are making decisions in spite of the clearly demonstrated wishes of their communities.

The people of Toronto and indeed Western Lake Macquarie have every right to feel deeply offended by the way in which Council are treating their efforts to save waterfront land at Bath Street opposite the Royal Motor Yacht Club for improvement as open public space.

At the 29/10/18 Council meeting, a packed gallery of local people were insulted by the treatment that Councillor Wendy Harrison received when she moved a motion to bring the tabling of their petition to the front of the agenda, the usual practice when the public attend to support a petition. When the motion was put, the Mayor declared in favour of a NO vote, with no count taken. The Toronto community were not afforded the courtesy that is the usual practice in these circumstances. It suited Council that night to follow the rule book

The contempt for our case against Council’s proposed development was on full display:
  • in the treatment Councillor Harrison received especially when she attempted to speak briefly to the contents of the petition, 
  • in people from our community having to sit through a full agenda of Council business for over 90 minutes in what appeared to be, at times, a “work to regulations” pattern, 
  • in the deliberately ironic question being put to Suzanne Pritchard, in response to her presentation, around whether there have been any threatened or endangered species found on the Bath St site. 
Over 5,200 people signed a petition of protest; over 450 turned out to a public meeting. People from our community packed the gallery at the Council meeting on October 29th.

The people of Toronto will not be treated as a few vocal seniors who don’t like change, or as being anti- development. The people pushing back against this development are informed, loyal to their lake and progressive in their concern for the environment. Far from being regressive and resistant to change, they are thinking ahead of the Council who is meant to represent them and protect their environment.

The people of Toronto are thinking of protecting open spaces for posterity. They accept that towns grow, that multi-story living is environmentally sound and importantly that the protection of public open spaces in relation to the placement of those buildings is a very high priority.

Council have a couple of favourite buzz words: Activate and bookend. Apparently, the multi-story proposal is a “bookend” to the foreshore. We say to Council, activate the Bath Street site into open green public recreational space. It will bring the people and events. We see this model working on the Eastern side of the lake. Put your bookend somewhere else where it won’t deny our community and its visitors yet another 10% of its already limited public foreshore space. There are some decisions that trump the pragmatism of profit.

At that unpleasant Council meeting referred to earlier in this article, each Councillor was given a lengthy and very well researched submission detailing the Toronto Foreshore Protection Group’s opposition to the proposal, prepared on behalf of the Group by Nico Marcar.

We have yet to have any response from any Councillor indicating that the submission has been read. This submission now appears on the website, along with the petition which can still be signed.

The Council is hoping that this will all just go away. This is not what many of you want. Keep up those emails to the councillors. Keep those letters appearing in the Newcastle Herald and Lakes Mail.

We are not the poor cousins of Lake Macquarie and we will not be treated as such.

Oh, and yes, to the Councillor who posed that deliberately ironic question, there is a threatened species on that foreshore land in Bath St: it’s called the community.

Local Artist recognised

Hugh Cross recently won the Watercolour Award at the Royal Art Society of NSW’s annual Student Exhibition. 

The painting was created under the guidance of John Haycraft, a terrific watercolour tutor.

Hugh has a facebook page if you'd like to see what he gets up to.

Squirrel Glider Search Success

The 2nd combined Hunter Intrepid Landcare and CPPA Squirrel Glider nest box monitoring session held in November was highly successful.

Eight participants checked 12 nesting boxes positioned in various places along the West Ridge. Each box had its identification number, location and attachment confirmed (2 boxes were relocated) and was checked for evidence of habitation and whether a leaf litter nest was present (this indicates the boxes are being used).

Some of the participants had never viewed Squirrel gliders up close and personal, with three of the boxes occupied it was a perfect opportunity to view the adorable cuteness of our threatened species!

Although this year’s glider count of 12 was down from 15 viewed last year, the real positive was that all the nest boxes checked contained evidence of glider use, whether is was a leaf nest or a residence. There was only one nestbox the Squirrel gliders weren’t using, it had been adopted by European Honey bees, who had filled the box to the brim with honeycomb.

All up, the event ran for about 4 hours, culminating in a light lunch at the hall and jovial conversation after the monitoring was completed with everyone keen to catch up again next year.