Sunday, 27 January 2019

Members Welcome and Wanted

The 2019 Progress year is swinging into action with a Members Morning on Saturday 23rd February. The drop in session, any time from 8:30am till 12:30pm will be a very social and welcoming event.

You’ll be able to
  • join the CPPA / TASNG and pay your membership fees, the membership form is here. 
  • meet the committee and discuss potential projects for the year 
  • purchase a native plant for only $2.50ea 
  • get assistance with nasty or nice plant ID 
  • hear about the solar and air-con installation story and 
  • To finish up the social there’ll be a BBQ. 
This year the CPPA is looking to be quite social, using the hall to bring the community together. The immanent addition of reverse cycle air-con will mean that the comfort level will be able to be maintained all year round as well. We are looking for people interested to be on a social subcommittee.

Other thought bubbles that would be good to explore include a community event, The Coal-Carey Carnival at Hampton St reserve (aka the Pony Club/Carey Bay Wetlands), car-boot sales and the concept of a Coal Point – Carey Bay Conservancy, a land purchasing scheme to secure corridor connections along with providing sustainable and social housing.

The Annual General Meeting will be held on 11th March where the plans for the year will be put forward. It would be great to discuss any potential projects at the member’s morning.

World Wetlands Day 2/2/19

The Earth’s climate is changing due to increased amounts of carbon dioxide, methane and
other green house gases (GHG) in the atmosphere due to human activity.

The global community is acting via the Paris agreement to stabilise and reduce GHG to limit the increase in global average temperature and in turn will reduce the number of extreme weather events. We all need to play a part to fix the problem, and there are solutions.

Protecting wetlands is one of the keys to coping with climate change. We are not powerless against climate change. Wetlands help us prepare for, cope with and bounce back from the impacts of climate change. Wetlands come in a variety of forms. Locally we have been protecting and expanding the small wetland remnants at Carey Bay, a Swamp-Oak Forest. Wetlands also include mangroves and seagrasses.

The Carey Bay Wetland acts like a sponge absorbing floodwaters during storms, if you walk through it you’ll realise how wet it stays long after the rains have left. Wetlands naturally absorb and store carbon; they are the most effective carbon sinks on Earth.

We also have seagrass meadows along our foreshore acting as a buffer from extreme weather, reducing the intensity of waves and storm surges. Seagrasses also absorb carbon 35times faster than rainforests. Do you have an environmentally friendly mooring that protects our seagrass beds? Want to help the planet…one mooring at a time?

Would you like to fortify your foreshore? Casuarinas are nature’s own shock absorbers, these whispering warriors are prepared to be the front line of defence against storm surges and offer property protection. If you’re noticing your foreshore eroding the CPPA is growing some Casuarinas from locally collected seed and we can put one aside for you to help protect your water frontage.

TFPG Update: Feb 2019

The Toronto Foreshore Protection group, a coalition of local community groups, has continued to meet regularly to discuss council’s plans for the Toronto foreshore on the Bath St site.

Since the December meeting between the Mayor and TFPG representatives, when a suggestion was put forward for exploring alternate sites owned by Council within the Toronto area, LMCC has notified the community, via a newspaper advertisement, that several lots in Toronto have been reclassified from community to operational, a shift from uses such as public access and recreation to commercial development or sale.

While it is always disappointing for the community to lose recreational land, this situation now provides additional opportunities for Council to consider some of its other suitable land holdings in Toronto for multi storey development instead of destroying significant public foreshore land near Bath Street.

Some of the reclassified lots were in the areas identified by TFPG as possible alternatives to Bath St for multistorey development.

One site is the vacant block at the corner of Pemell St and 171 Brighton Ave which has 3 old homes adjoining and as a combined site would provide approximately 2,970 square metres. This land also adjoins the old Community Hall facing The Boulevarde, and if included would provide a very large parcel with three street frontages, close to the Lake and cafes.

The other very large elevated and cleared site, with magnificent lake views, is between the Anglican Church and the Aldi car park including 199 Brighton Avenue.

A more considered approach would allow Council to undertake commercial development and retain the important foreshore as improved parkland for the community, in some way addressing the loss of community zoned land from the December decision.

The TFPG has also been pursuing information that is being held as ‘commercial in confidence’ regarding the environmental constraints, traffic and heritage issues surrounding the Bath St development proposal. An application to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal is underway seeking a ruling over Council’s continued refusal to release documents deemed relevant to understanding the basis of its decision to progress the Bath St development.

Letters continue to be written and a bumper sticker has been produced and will be available from the RMYC from 29/1/19 and various locations around town, check the Facebook page for details.


Panic grass was renamed to Guinea grass, (Megathyrsus maximus). As you might have guessed, it comes from Africa. It was introduced as a fodder species in northern Australia but is causing big problems in our area.

Guinea grass is a coloniser of disturbed sites, including roadsides, and will settle itself happily in our yards, invading lawns and choking out other vegetation. It is robust, carrying hundreds of seeds on each flower head and threatening our bushland by sheer weight of numbers.

It is a large, clumping, long-lived grass that can grow up to 3m tall. Its long narrow leaves are very large, up to 1m long, and 3.5cm wide. Its stem can be quite hairy. It has a large, much-branched seed head, 15-50 cm long, that has large numbers of flower spikelets which form seed that are green or purplish and drop to the ground in great numbers when ripe. Guinea Grass is flowering profusely now and through to late summer with masses of small rounded purple seeds.
Pic.John Sharples

We can keep Guinea Grass under control by mowing it before it sets seed and ensuring seed heads are binned. Of course the more effective control is removal, easily achieved, as the roots are quite shallow, a gentle tug by holding the base of the plant usually does the trick, or a garden knife to sever the roots. Again, the imperative is to make sure seed heads are not left anywhere on the ground.

As with all weeds we have green and red bin options available and this has helped enormously is reducing the amount of garden waste dumped in to our reserves.

Let’s all pull together, for a healthier Coal Point!

Looking out for each other by looking out.

Living on our peninsula has lots of benefits, everyone is close to the water, the birds in the bush and the breezes make for enjoyable walking… a lot of us enjoy the water and the walking and what would be really wonderful, a new years gift perhaps, is if the users of motorised craft, be it on the road or in the bays slowed down so that the people powered pursuits could done without fear for personal safety.

One local sent a plea, “All I want for Christmas... is for some care and consideration from motorists on Skye Point and Coal Point Roads. A great many residents walk along the edge of the road, not to annoy motorists, but because the footpath (where it exists) is uneven, has tree roots, broken kerbing, long grass and holes making it in many places hazardous for walking.  Some of us are not so young anymore so even ground is important.

When passing someone walking, please move towards the centreline, even over it when safe to do so, to provide a margin of pedestrian safety. Slowing down a little would be an added bonus, it is a 50 zone… and to those drivers who do already give walkers a wide berth, a sincere thank you!

Another local was swimming in Carey Bay and fast moving vessels came within metres of the bobbing body, a speeding dinghy passing through the moored boats on one day and a jet ski (with passenger) who decided to launch from the shore at full bore on the following day. Vigorous splashing and shouting avoided collisions. The Boating Handbook Boating says 
When navigating near, in or through a mooring area:
  • Drive slowly and keep wash to a minimum
  • Keep a lookout for people in the water, small dinghies, and trailing ropes
  • When travelling at 6 knots or more in a powered vessel you must stay at least 30 metres from any moored vessel.

Birds in Our Backyard

Avian experts Rob Palazzi and Michael Paver have continued to survey the local bird community on a monthly basis since April 2018 following on from Threatened Species Last Stand project. Here are Rob’s highlights from the January survey.

The most recent survey noted the presence of the Dollarbirds - they turn up in the Spring/Summer and then disappear as it cools. There were lots this year, particularly down the Threlkeld end. They tend to establish a spot/perch and chase food on the wing from there, so I'm pretty confident the records show all different individuals. They migrate down here from PNG/Indonesia to breed, using tree hollows. They are related to the Rollers of elsewhere in the world.

There are some 'trends' in numbers: Carey Bay wetlands are showing a slow increase in both species present and numbers of individuals. The Noisy Miners peaked in number about September and have dropped right off in the last months (maybe the heat). Also we have very low numbers of Common Myna in the reserves - this may contrast with observations among the houses.

Are you thinking about how to keep cool?

Quite a few people have already thought about it.

The Cooling buyers guide to Active Cooling published in Dec 2018 by Renew magazine looks in detail at the options for active cooling such as fans, reverse-cycle air conditioning, evaporative air conditioners, hydronic cooling and ways to reduce cooling costs and impact on the grid.

The article provides a comprehensive table of air-cooling devices with brands, power ratings, airflow, features and RRP and links to other articles on heating and cooling your home.

Local LMCC events

Plants and Pollutants at the LRC

On the 9th February at Landcare’s Super Saturday Session (SSS) you can learn about plant propagation with Landcare’s nursery guru Alex Wilson and purchase a plant from the nursery (9:30-11:30am) which grows local native plants for landcare groups and to support residents that are interested in growing local native plants. Prices start at $4.90 with discounts for landcarers and Backyard Habitat for Wildlife members.

At the SSS you can also find from Jo Lynch (Hunter Community Environment Centre) about the latest research into contamination of Lake Macquarie from coal-ash waste, and plans to restore and preserve the ecology of the lake.

The venue is Landcare Resource Centre, 80 Toronto Road, Booragul, the event runs 9.30 to 12noon.

Bookings essential as numbers are limited. Morning tea will be provided at the event.
Please RSVP by Wed 6/2/19 to the Landcare Resource Centre on 4921 0392. Plant sale only attendees also need to RSVP.

Help Shape Lake Mac Libraries 

Council is seeking community feedback on the draft Lake Mac Libraries Strategic Business Plan 2019-2024, which outlines steps to introduce new and innovative activities in our libraries.

To find out more about the draft Strategy, and to provide feedback by 24 February, visit Shape Lake Mac or pop in to your local branch.

Events at Toronto Library

2/2/19 @2pm Scott Bevan talks with local author and master of crime mystery Barry Maitland on the release of his new novel, The Promised land . Event info is here.

21/2/19 @11am: Travel talk - Taking you to places you've never been with Ian Smith . Event info is here.

Preparing for Power Station Closure

The Hunter Community Environment Centre will host an evening forum "Preparing for Power Station Closure" on the problems and possibilities faced by the workforce, environment and ecology, public health and the local community when power stations begin their closure in the next decades. 

The venue is the Wangi Workers Club, Wangi Wangi.

The date, February 13th, 6-9pm. 

The cost is $16.91, including dinner. 

The speakers and panellists include trade union representatives, industrial relations researchers, health professionals, environmental chemists and more. 

Contact Jo on 0417 750 850 for more information.
Register and get tickets online from Eventbrite 

Or via  through the Facebook page.

Dementia support for carers

Dementia Australia is providing some learning opportunities for family carers and friends, to support caring for a person with dementia.

Activities at Home

Activities at Home is a practical workshop that will assist carers looking after someone at home to plan engaging activities that promote independence and wellbeing. By focusing on what the person with dementia can still do, rather than the skills they have lost, you can enjoy interesting activities and outings together. Ideas for activities that promote thinking, using the senses, cultural and social connections, movement and purpose will be explored.

The course is on 16/4/19 @9:30-12:30. More information and the registration sheet is here.

Carer Education

Carer education is a full day course to deepen your understanding of how dementia affects the person and impacts upon quality of life with tips to
·       Improve everyday communication
·       Identify common triggers and use strategies to manage changes in behaviour
·       Support services and information
The dates on offer are 7/2/19,6/3/19,9/4/19,7/5/19,12/6/19 . The time is 9:30-3:30pm

Both courses are held at Hunter Dementia & Memory Centre at 2 Percy St Hamilton

Registration forms are available from the links above or by contacting Dementia Australia on 4962 7000 or email

DAs In Play

Here is an abridged list of local DA activity from 1/12/18 to 23/1/19. It has been compiled to support community understanding of DAs in our area.
Please consult LakeMacquarie City Council’s Application Tracking system for details and a complete listing.

  • 22 Brighton Avenue: Multiple Dwelling Housing, Subdivision and Demolition - Section 4.55(2) Amended Plans: Scanning of Application Documents
  • 161 Brighton Avenue: Mixed Use - Residential Flat Building (6 units) and Commercial Premises -: On Notification/Advertising
  • 149 Coal Point Road: Water Recreation Structure (Jetty Extension and Slipway) and Demolition of Existing Rails: Decision Pending
  • 176 Coal Point Road: Dwelling House & Demolition of Existing Structures: On Notification/Advertising
  • 335 Coal Point Road: Boat Shed: Under Assessment
  • 214 Coal Point Road: Dwelling House and Retaining Walls: Check New Application
  • 9 Lorron Close: 1 into 2 Lot Subdivision: Under Assessment
  • 7 Robey Crescent: Dwelling Alterations & Additions & Attached Secondary Dwelling - Amended Description under section 4.55 (delete Secondary Dwelling and replace with Guest Accommodation): Under Assessment
  • 110 Skye Point Road: Alterations and Additions to Dwelling, Garage, Swimming Pool & Associated Safety Barriers: Under Assessment
  • 260 Skye Point Road: Water Recreation Structure (Jetty): Under Assessment