Friday, 7 June 2019

Stop the Chop!

We will get the community that we care for. If you want to do your bit to protect our community a letter is needed. It is the only way you can make your concerns heard. The one below was submitted to Council by the CPPA on a current subdivision proposal at 323 Coal Point Rd. It can be downloaded from the CPPA website and edited.

I wish to express my concern over non-complying development application and object to a DA that has been lodged for 323 Coal Point Rd, a subdivision of a battle-axe block to create another residential block without sufficient access and below width requirements.
Development needs to be sympathetic to the community in which it occurs, not destroy the very essence of it; as such it is vital to protect our urban forest for the lifestyle we enjoy in this beautiful area.
If this subdivision is allowed it will mean the removal of approximately 22 gum trees along with two majestic trees located adjacent to the driveway that is only 3.6m wide instead of the required 5m.
This subdivision will impact the corridor that provides for the fauna in the area, of which there are threatened Squirrel Gliders.
The subdivision will add to the already congested bin servicing, blocking the footpath, as there will be 10 bins each week in an area of about 20 metres, adjacent to a bus stop.
Council needs to abide by its own rules and enforce them for the greater benefit and long-term planning implications of the community.
This development proposal sets a precedent for decreased block sizes and would further erode council’s planning instruments in a community that is not supported by adequate community infrastructure or public transport and has topographical challenges where high velocity water impacts on the water quality of the Lake.

EOI : To exclude wildlife from Hall roof cavity

There’s been a fair bit of work undertaken at Progress Hall over the past few years with the substantial support of two Community Building Partnership (CBP) grants. The latest
grant has seen the hall insulated and temperature controlled, thanks to the installation of air conditioners that take advantage of the abundant power generated from the super solar system thanks to the first CBP grant.

The next activity in the refurbishment is to exclude the wildlife from the roof-space. Expressions of interest are being sought. We have an objective to keep everything out without trapping / killing any wildlife in the process. We have some information about some known access spots. We are seeking someone to close off the known access spots and check / reinforce the security of any other potential points of entry. There is no preference for closing off from the inside or outside we jut want to ensure nothing is trapped in the roof space

If you are interested please contact Tony 49594533 to come and look, and make us an offer.

Help Power up the Hall

The CPPA gets its power from our solar panels and an electricity provider that is 100% carbon neutral, Powershop. They are an online electricity provider and often support community projects through sign up discounts. There is one going at the moment.

If you sign up via the CPPA recommendation you get a $75 discount over 3 months on your power bill and so does the CPPA. Using this link tells Powershop that the CPPA gets your love and you get the discount.

Or if you would like the CPPA to pass on your details, get in touch and we’ll get Powershop to send you an invitation. The main thing is to let them know your interest came from reading this.

Here’s a bit about Powershop:

Powershop is an online provider, they have an app and online usage tools, you can see how much you’re using and hopefully find ways to use less and save money.

Switching is easy. You can do it online in around five minutes and Powershop handle the whole thing for you (including contacting your old power company, and don’t worry, your power supply won’t be interrupted).

There are no lock in contracts, no exit fees and definitely no sneaky bank or credit card fees.

It takes about five minutes online to switch your electricity to Powershop and to welcome you aboard, you’ll get a $75 discount to use off your Powershop bills (and so will the CPPA to thank them for spreading the good word).

June Planting Guide

Gardening is a great excuse to get outside and watch a few things grow over winter. The
Hunter Organic Growers Society have taken the guesswork out of what grows in our region and here are a few suggestions for planting in June.
  • Asparagus crowns
  • Broad beans
  • Cabbage
  • Winter lettuce
  • Onion
  • Peas
  • Rhubarb crowns
  • Spinach
Have your green thumbs produced an abundant crop? There’s a LakeMac Crop Swap event held on the last Friday of each month at the Landcare Resource Centre, next one in 28th June at 9-11am.

DA Discussions

Caring for the planet is vital for our survival, so the United National declared on World Environment Day (5/6/19), and we all have the opportunity to express that care by thinking globally and acting locally.

It’s no secret that there are a few ‘environmental types’ that lurk amongst the shrubbery within our community, many don’t overtly label themselves as such but you get a sense that this community does care about our neighbours, the lake, the bushland, and the wildlife that call our peninsula home. These features are some of the main attractors for living here and contribute to the premium on property pricing. Leafy -friendly suburbs are sought after for their calming qualities, leafy - lakeside living has the added aquatic bonus.

So what happens when your neighbourhood becomes a speculation zone and property is purchased not with the intent of being a part of the community but to tear apart the community, destroying the beauty and the very reason for its unique character? Neighbours become not-so-nice, hard surfaces echo where birds don’t, rain fall turns into a torrent as it cascades in piped culverts down hill pluming the lake brown till the sediment settles.

Each month in the Chronicle a list of Development Applications (DA) is compiled from LMCC’s Application Tracking website as a community service to inform locals what is happening in our own backyard. The listing started when the council’s notification requirements changed so that only adjacent neighbours to the DA would get notified, and only then if council deemed it to have an impact. If taken to the extreme a house could be built and no one would know till construction started.

In the last month the CPPA has been thanked for providing this service on one hand, alerting neighbours to a local subdivision and being asked to not include a DA on the other hand, because the neighbours got upset. This resulted in the Committee discussing the criteria that determine what gets on the list that is published in the Chronicle and seeking feedback from the community as a whole as to what is a useful service.

The discussion so far as to what makes the list is anything that affects the character of the area, this includes subdivisions, multiple dwelling housing, housing demolitions and tree removals. Have we got it right? Please let us know what you think about the DA listing, drop us a letter, post on facebook or an email. 

TASNG Talk - June 2019

One of the key issues being addressed at present is the lack of safe cycling infrastructure for western Lake Macquarie. TASNG members are in contact with Newcastle Cycleways Movement and council’s Active Transport Advisory Group to put forward constructive suggestions for enhancing both commuter and recreational cycling opportunities in our area.

Planting of the community garden on Awaba Road is now complete and has been bolstered by recent rains. An official launch is planned for September.

New members and project ideas are always welcome.

28th July National Tree Day 2019 the cloud watching place, Yarul Reserve 28/7/19

This year we’ll be giving Yarul reserve, at the northern end of Laycock Street a bit of a boost of grasses and shrubs to form a protective perimeter around the small remnant struggling to survive the strangling buffalo grass.
2003 - Before the stabilisation and planting

There’ll be some exotic grasses to remove and plants to plant at this scenic lakeside reserve. BYO gloves and favourite tools.

There’ll be Bocce/Boules to play and a BBQ at noon to celebrate this social occasion.

All the community volunteers that support the CPPA and TASNG through the various volunteering efforts are welcome to come along for the lunchtime social at 12:00. RSVP to coalpointprogress@gmail, to assist in organising the catering.

TFPG Update June 2019

The saga continues...

Council continues to maintain its stance for a proposed DA for a 6 storey commercial complex on the Bath Street foreshore site, with no community consultation until the DA is lodged, probably around the end of this year or next year. What this means is that a protracted campaign seems likely.

Because of the concerted efforts of the TFPG over almost a year (via freedom of information), council have recently released several documents that it claimed were too ‘commercially sensitive’ to be provided earlier. These documents pertain to potential commercial development of the northern section of the Toronto foreshore, including the Bath Street site. They include consultant’s environmental constraints, traffic study and stakeholder engagement reports. To our great disappointment, the feasibility study report and architectural drawings were so heavily redacted as to make them pretty much useless. Nevertheless some interesting information can be gleaned and we are continuing to liaise with council staff concerning issues raised in these reports.

In the mean time, the best opportunity for members of the community who oppose council’s stance is to write directly to your west ward or all councillors as well as council’s general manager and voice your concerns and also suggest constructive, alternative uses for this land. This can be by email and/or via posted or hand delivered letter (hand written letter is often effective). Contact details and other information on Letters to the editor are another good opportunity for comment as is strategically-positioned signage! 


In 1839 Edward Bulwer-Lyntton coined the phrase ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ referring to advocacy being more effective than violence. Little did he know at the time that it was going to be the touchstone for getting a message through to our local Council.

Our Council loves to feel the love of a good letter, once your letter goes in it’s on record and the Councillors that are there to represent the community have the community comments to back them up. It’s also a numbers game, when quite a few letters get sent the issue escalates up the chain of command, eventually coming to the attention of the decision wielders at a council meeting.

For really big issues Council’s media machine kicks in with glossy brochures of half truths to quell community concerns, talking points for councillors who don’t want to listen to the community and a strategy designed to frustrate and deliver community exhaustion, if the Bath St proposal is anything to go by.

In the West Ward we haven’t been served particularly well over the past few year by some of our councillors, do you remember when we lost one for a year, it seems now we’ve lost two. At the moment it feels like the West Ward is being grossly underrepresented again. Efforts by the Toronto Foreshore Protection Group to meet with all four West Ward Councillors have been unsuccessful. Clrs Harrison and Pauling have been willing to meet and correspond and hear the concerns of the people they were elected to represent, Clr Belcher and Cubis have not event bothered to reply to correspondence let alone meet their constituents.

Whilst it is frustrating to be ignored it is critical not to be worn down by the stalling, manipulative tactics employed to diffuse community concern about local injustice.

More than ever it is important comment, to write a letter to the Councillors and the Council, it doesn’t have to be long. Council has recently made a decision to not accept online petitions so it’s long-form letters and hard copy pen & paper petitions from now on.

Our West Ward Councillors

  • Luke Cubis:
  • David Belcher:
  • Jason Pauling:
  • Wendy Harrison:
Council is big on community consultation…so make sure you send a copy to , LMCC, Box 1906 HRMC, NSW 2310

DA’s In Play as at 6/6/19

Here is an abridged list of local DA activity as at 6/6/19, compiled to support community understanding of DAs in our area that may impact on our community character.

Please consult Lake Macquarie 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: Under Assessment
  • 161 Brighton Avenue: Mixed Use - Residential Flat Building (6 units) and Commercial Premises -: Amended Plans- Approved
  • 69 Coal Point Road: 1 into 3 Lot Subdivision: Approved
  • 158 Coal Point Road: 1 Into 2 Lot Subdivision: Approved
  • 323 Coal Point Road: 1 into 2 Lot Subdivision : Check new application
  • 176 Coal Point Road: Dwelling House & Demolition of Existing Structures: Approved
  • 36 Jarrett Street: Removal 18 Trees: Under Assessment


20 Laycock Street Multi Dwelling Housing (22 units). An email from 27/5/19 says that the re-lodging of material will be happening soon. Pens Poised!

Thursday, 6 June 2019

What to do with your dog’s poo?

What goes in, must come out, but where it lands can cause some doubt.
Doggy doo upon the lawn can make an owner quite forlorn.
What to do one well might ask, to remove said droppings from said grass.
Hold your breath, don’t look around, don’t focus too hard on the brown.
Think of all the good you’ll do when you bend down to scoop that poo.
The lake and swim spots will be cleaner without gut-processed Fido dinner.
But how can all this come to be with just your dog and only thee?
A plastic bag can do the job of picking up your pooch’s log.
Make one bag fit you like a glove, and all that dog doo in it shove.
Another bag, or two or three, will help carry the load to a repository.
Once off the ground inside you’ll glow, cause doing the right thing costs less you know.
Two hundred bucks you could be shorter if caught without your pooch poo porter.

By Suzanne Pritchard

The Cursed Cassia

Over the last couple of weeks, our local area has been decorated with golden highlights. This “golden glory” is in fact classed as a noxious weed in NSW. Introduced from South America, Cassia (Senna pendula var.glabrata) has invaded our whole coastline.

It is a fast growing plant that can suppress the growth of native species and displace them. It produces huge amounts of long-lived seeds contained in long beans. One mature tree can be surrounded by a small forest of its own offspring in no time at all.

We can really help prevent the spread of this pest by gathering the green pods before they ripen.

Luckily, young plants are quite easy to uproot. Mature plants are best controlled by lopping just above ground level and then painting the stump immediately with undiluted Roundup. They can also be sprayed with Roundup, at a rate of 20ml per litre, but beware of spray drift onto other plants.

Happy cassia culling!