Friday, 8 March 2019

Lake Mac Regional Woman of 2019

The NSW Women of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution made by women across NSW to industry, communities and society. This year, the CPPA President of the past 23 years, Suzanne Pritchard has received the Lake Macquarie region Local Woman of the Year award.

In 1995 Suzanne joined Coal Point Progress Association, a 70 year old community organisation, and lifted it from a state of imminent collapse by taking on the role of President. The CPPA has become increasingly influential in our community.

Suzanne’s cheerful, thoughtful and consultative ways have continuously attracted helpers to support the many well researched, innovative and wide ranging projects proposed for action.

A Landcare Group was formed early in Suzanne’s time as President to protect and care for the special bushland that connects and unites our community.

Multiple grants have been sought, funding acquired and projects implemented that have contributed over $1.25million in cash and in-kind to local landcare and community projects including the maintenance and improvement of the CPPA owned hall to ensure its sustainability in the future.

Suzanne has utilised her science and communication degrees to research and design community education materials and produce the Chronicle. She continues to monitor urban development issues with the town’s welfare in mind, working in collaboration with other local groups.

These efforts have been undertaken through periods of full-time work, operating her own business and caring for her family as a single parent of 3 children (now + 2 grandchildren) and more recently as a full-time carer for her father.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Dates for the Diary

 Dates for the Diary

Check the Online Calendar for details

Hall Working Bee 10/3/19.
Sunday , 9:30-noon. All welcome @ Progress Hall, 197 Skye Pt Rd.

CPPA AGM Monday 11/3/19 5-6pm
ALL Welcome @ Progress Hall, 197 Skye Pt Rd. .

CPPA Monthly meeting 11/3/19
ALL Welcome @ Progress Hall, 197 Skye Pt Rd. 4-5pm. 2nd Monday of the month

TASNG Monthly Meeting 13/3/19
ALL Welcome @ The Hub, 97 The Boulevarde 5- 6:30pm. 2nd Wednesday of the month

Landcare each Thursday

8am-noon. Morning tea at 10am. Tools and friendly company provided. Check the calendar for details of the day’s activities.
  • 7/3: South Laycock St-Kilibinbin
  • 14/3: Burnage Reserve
  • 21/3: Gurranba
  • 28/3: Carey Bay Wetlands
  • 4/4: Hampton St Link
  • 11/4: West Ridge
  • 18/4 South Laycock St- Kilibinbin

11/3/19 AGM & 10/3/19 Hall working Bee

AGM Approaching

The 73rd Annual General Meeting of the CPPA will be held on Monday 11th March from 5-6pm at Progress Hall, 197 Skye Point Rd, with an opportunity to socialise afterwards.

Not only is it a time to give ourselves a pat-on-the-back for the amazing year that’s been it’s also time to renew our commitment to the community by electing some good people to guide the good ship CPPA.

New Committee members are always welcome and committee roles are varied and fulfilling providing opportunities to utilise or expand your skills or give a pet project the space and support to take shape and fly.

The CPPA has ongoing local commitments to maintaining our hall and landcaring in our reserves whilst supporting the broader community in projects that affect the greater Toronto Area.

If you’d like to join us, we’d like to welcome you.

One-off volunteering event - Hall Working Bee

The biannual Progress Hall working bee is set for Sunday 10th March 9:30am till noon with a break for morning tea. This twice a year event is planned to coincide with the council clean up and is a great way to volunteer for a short, sharp burst of community spirit.

There are regular maintenance tasks to undertake, fixing things and considering what things need to be fixed, a bit of work around the grounds, gutters to declutter and cleaning inside and outside.

Progress Hall belongs to the CPPA (not council) and as such all of the maintenance, repairs and upkeep is the responsibility of the CPPA. If you’re a member or hall user your helping hands would be most welcome for a few hours a year to help keep the hall as you’d like to have it.

TASNG Tales- March 2019

By Nico Marcar- TASNG Chair
As part of the Community Harmony Initiative, TASNG was again involved in organising the community 'Picnic in the Park' on the Toronto Foreshore on the evening of Friday 22 February. Numbers were down somewhat because of a little inclement weather. However, those present were treated to great music from Ukenjamit (ukelele band), a participatory African Drumming session, meditation, access to Lake Mac roving library and games.

The Awaba Road garden at the west entrance to Toronto has been marked, edged and mulched and a few hardy Lomandras planted. Major planting is planned for May.

TASNG is spearheading a campaign to reduce the use of plastics in Toronto. Twelve businesses are plastic bag and plastic-lined coffee cup free, twelve are well on the way and nine are still to change.

We always welcome new ideas for projects!

Toronto is making the switch

By Steve Dewer: TASNG Waste Warrior

Toronto is leading the way in the Hunter, encouraging local cafes, shops and residents to switch from single-use plastic items. Toronto’s lakeside location has the benefit of increased awareness about pollution from single-use plastics;plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic-lined takeaway coffee cups, plastic packaging, plastic cutlery, you can’t go for walk without seeing it washed up on the foreshore.

The cafés in Toronto that have switched out of plastic-lined takeaway coffee cups are Hughzies, Double Take, Bean-to-go, Miranda’s, Tinto, Cafe 2283 and Greg and Audrey’s Ice-Creamery. Michelle’s Cafe will switch in the next month. Having twin bins throughout Toronto means you can RECYCLE the non-lined takeaway coffee cups. Toronto has a community that cares!

Toronto clubs and pub have either switched to paper/cardboard straws or offer plastic straws only if asked. Maccas has even committed to switching away from plastic straws!

Of course, the supermarkets, and their liquor stores and service stations, are still handing out plastic bags but customers have to pay for them and most are reusing them. Most other shops have either stopped using plastic bags or will switch soon with customers now bringing their own bags!

Takeaway food from cafes still offer single-use plastic bags, Council has offered reusable non-plastic bags to help them and a few other shops and Chemists, to switch to non-plastic solutions.

As Toronto switches from single-use plastics, YOU, the customer, can encourage the remaining cafes and shops to make the switch to protect our little patch of paradise and the planet from the harmful effects of all this plastic which is affecting our birds, aquatic animals and even making its way up the food chain into us.

2019 Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta

By Mel Steiner, Vice Commodore RMYCT

The 2019 Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta – run over the weekend of February 23 and 24, proved to be a very challenging time for competitors, particularly those doing the overnight races with 30 plus knots of wind experienced in the early hours of Sunday morning. Many competitors experienced gear failure. Only 6 of the 15 boats entered in the 24 hour race, completed the 24 hours of racing.

Not only did he take out Line Honors for the One Lap Dash – a 30 nautical mile dash around the length and breadth of the lake, but Andrew Sim sailing a Moth - Out Of The Blue, also took out the Overall Handicap position and Division 1 Handicap. More importantly, Andrew broke Nathan Outteridge's 2013 record for the One Lap dash completing the circuit in 2h 11m 20s - a shade under 3 minutes better than Nathan's record.

Full results can be viewed at

Pre race entertainment featured well known local aerobatic pilot – Paul Bennett, who put on dazzling display for competitors and the local community, in front of the Royal Motor Yacht Club at Toronto. This is the second year that Paul has starred in the event and is a key component of this annual event.

The Heaven Can Wait Regatta is a fundraiser – primarily for the Hunter Branch of Cancer Council NSW and their Home Help Program, with some funds going to Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie who provide on water support during the event. Funds are raised via corporate sponsorship, a charity dinner and auction, race entry fees and fundraising activities on the part of competitors and crew, their friends, family and work associates. The numbers are still being tabulated and are expected to be less than 2018 – a record year, mainly because much of the available charity funds have been directed toward drought relief, however we do expect to raise in the order of $40,000 from this year’s regatta. In total, over $300,000 has been raised through the Heaven Can Wait Regatta in support of the Hunter Branch of Cancer Council NSW.

Mother of Millions…more like mother of all nightmares!

By Lois Simpson - Chair Lake Mac Landcare Volunteer's Network

It seems like this devil can sniff out bushland, lake’s edge or road-side verge a mile away. The pinkish-brown to grey mottled stems can be over 60cm high, successfully camouflaged amongst other plants, or, in winter and spring, hailing their presence with tubular, bell-shaped, red to orange flower heads. Look out especially for the sneaky little young ones, hidden and un-noticed, but proliferating like crazy, to surprise us one day as a mini-forest.

It has every survival strategy mastered. Readily spread by plant fragments and seed, even the tiniest piece will take root. Its succulent nature allows it to adapt to prolonged dry conditions and it is unperturbed in saline ground. So it is no surprise that it so rapidly and successfully invades bushland and disturbed sites. It is also highly toxic to stock and poisonous to humans and household pets.

Preventing the spread of mother of millions is the best control measure. Learn to identify mother of millions and regularly check for it in winter when the plants are in flower and are easier to see. If found, remove immediately using a combination of control methods including hand removal, herbicide application and rehabilitation. Herbicides meet with mixed success only.

For small infestations, mother of millions is best removed by pulling up individual plants by hand. Once the plants have been removed they should be stored in black plastic bags until completely decayed, placed in your red bin or buried. Care needs to be taken when using this method of control as plantlets may detach from the leaves during removal and establish as new plants. Regrowth will therefore occur and follow-up treatment is a must.

Once removal of the infestation is complete the infested area should be revegetated with more desirable plants to provide competition to future mother of millions seedlings and plantlets.

For more information on bushland gardening check out the Bonza Bushland Gardening Guide.

TFPG Update March 2019

The TFPG is continuing to raise community concerns about the Bath Street site with Council and Councillors at various levels, as well as the media, and suggesting alternative options.

Indications are that Council intends to lodge a DA between June and September. It is therefore critical that as many people as possible write to Council and the media to express their concerns.

We expect to hear from Council in the near future about further community consultation about the foreshore and appointment of consultants.

Following Council’s refusal to provide key background documents (including the feasibility study) associated with its decision in April 2018 to proceed with progress towards a multi-storey development at Bath Street, and in the face of a recommendation from the Information and Privacy Commission to do so, the TFPG took the matter to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Nico Marcar attended the preliminary meeting on 26 February in Sydney and was able outline the TFPG’s position on behalf of the community. Two Council staff members and Council’s solicitor were present, as well as a Tribunal member. No ruling was made at this meeting. As a sign of good faith, it was agreed to follow up with a mediation session (an often suggested next step) in Newcastle, hopefully, sometime in March. More to follow.

A recently discovered 1980 Council brochure says “It is Council’s intention to extend the foreshores Park…” and later continues “The foreshore park should be extended to Bath Street”. The brochure prepared by award winning urban designers and architects, outlines the recommended strategic plan for Toronto Centre and shows the Foreshores Park as a narrow waterfront strip extending from Wharf Road to Bath Street.

This brochure helps to explain why many in the community believed that it was now a park. Council’s concerns about future growth of Toronto have not changed since the 1980 brochure that stated “The growing population will also demand more open space, a more attractive environment and improved and larger community facilities in Toronto”.

The TFPG recently identified that Council has substantial land holdings in the Toronto Commercial Centre and two of these sites (for which Council has no immediate plans) would be ideal for the type of commercial development that Council has in mind for the Bath Street foreshore site. The first site is the elevated vacant land in Brighton Avenue located between the Anglican Church and Aldi; some of the allotments in this parcel were the subject of a recent reclassification from Community Land to Operational Land. The second site is at the corner of Brighton Avenue and Pemell Street where Council owns the vacant corner property and three adjoining old homes suitable for demolition.

The TFPG calls upon Council to listen to the community’s concerns and to reverse its flawed development proposal and instead use one of its other sites, if it wishes to continue a Council-led development.

DAs in Play 1/12/18 to 3/3/19

Here is an abridged list of local DA activity from 1/12/18 to 3/3/19. It has been compiled to support community understanding of DAs in our area.

Please consult Lake Macquarie City Council’s Application Tracking system for details and a complete listing.
  • 10 Alkira Street: Dwelling House and Demolition of Existing: Under Assessment
  • 22 Brighton Avenue: Multiple Dwelling Housing, Subdivision and Demolition - Section 4.55(2) Amended Plans: Under Assessment
  • 161 Brighton Avenue: Mixed Use - Residential Flat Building (6 units) and Commercial Premises -: Amended Plans- Under assessment
  • 149 Coal Point Road: Water Recreation Structure (Jetty Extension and Slipway) and Demolition of Existing Rails: Approved
  • 176 Coal Point Road: Dwelling House & Demolition of Existing Structures: Awaiting information requested
  • 335 Coal Point Road: Boat Shed: Under Assessment
  • 214 Coal Point Road: 1 Into 2 Lot Subdivision: Approved
  • 214 Coal Point Road: Dwelling House and Retaining Walls: Under Assessment
  • 219 Coal Point Road: Remove 1 Tree: Scanning of Application Documents
  • 108 Excelsior Parade: Remove a Gum tree: Approved
  • 9 Loron Close: 1 into 2 Lot Subdivision: Approved
  • 7 Robey Crescent: Dwelling Alterations & Additions & Attached Secondary Dwelling - Amended Description under section 4.55 (delete Secondary Dwelling and replace with Guest Accommodation): Approved
  • 102 Skye Point Road: Remove One (1) Tree: Approved
  • 260 Skye Point Road: Water Recreation Structure (Jetty): Approved