Thursday, 22 August 2019

You’re needed at Council’s Monday night meeting 26/8/19 – 6:30pm

On Monday 26 August, Lake Macquarie City Councillors will be asked to endorse an extended planning precinct on the Toronto Foreshore, to assist the safe passage of the 6-storey Bath St development proposal.

Councillors are being asked to endorse an extended Foreshore precinct that includes the 6-storey tower on Bath St/Victory Row, Arnott and Bay St residences and the Royal Motor Yacht Club. Areas not previously considered as part of the Toronto Foreshore project.

The reason for the precinct proposal is that “Feedback from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) indicates it is not likely to support a proposal to amend LEP 2014 controls only for Council’s land at 4 Bath Street and 1B Victory Row.”

Lake Macquarie City Council by over-riding its own master planning and community consultation processes are shifting the goal posts and proposing to change their own planning rules to get a favourable commercial outcome, setting a poor precedent for planning, governance and trust.

Included in this proposal is also rezoning multiple foreshore parcels of ‘operational land’, that the community always believed to be ‘community land’. This is a positive aspect of the proposal. Unfortunately it is an all or nothing option that is being put forward.

With only 2 options being presented to Councillors it opens a window of opportunity for them to reconsider the 6-storey Bath St tower by reflecting on the community’s need for more open space.

It is a chance for Councillors to acknowledge the outpouring of opposition to commercialisation of the foreshore and respect the feedback to date such as the 450-person public meeting, a 5200-signature petition and repeated representations.

If councillors choose to not proceed with the LEP precinct planning proposal Council would have to abide by its current planning instruments that have been designed to guide the growth of Toronto in an integrated and strategic manner.

The Toronto Foreshore Protection Group calls upon Councillors to act in good faith and respect its own planning processes by rejecting this premature and ill-considered proposal to amend the LEP and provide the Toronto community with the much-needed foreshore parkland for our growing population.
We are urging the community to attend Monday’s Council meeting 26/8/19 at 6:30pm

This is the agenda item being discussed
Here is a recent media release outlining some of the issues

Contact your Councillors today, 
tomorrow, the next day and the day after that !

Mayor Kay Fraser (ALP)
ph 4921 0223

Clr Wendy Harrison (IND)
M: 0409 775 432
Clr Jason Pauling (LIB)
M: 0417 416 577
Clr David Belcher (ALP)
M: 0429 914 623
Clr Luke Cubis (LMIND) Deputy mayor
M: 0429 939 475

Clr Brian Adamthwaite (ALP)
M: 0417 061 433
Clr Kevin Baker (Lib)
M: 0429 867 935
Clr Barney Langford (ALP)
M: 0417 137 758
Clr Colin Grigg (LMIND)
M: 0429 908 747

Clr Adam Shultz (ALP)
M: 0429 931 044
Clr Nick Jones (LIB)
M: 0429 889 781
Clr Christine Buckley (ALP)
M: 0428 546 549
Clr John Gilbert (LMIND)
M: 0429 945 243

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Let your fingers do the talking – Toronto Foreshore survey deadline Sunday August 11th

Survey closes on Sunday 11th August.

Council has now invited feedback from the community on design principles and ideas for

improvements to Toronto’s foreshore as part of its master planning process.

You can provide feedback by

  • visiting the ‘Creating a Place for People in Toronto’ website ( and completing the online survey by August 11th,
  • registering to attend the community workshops August  10th or
  • dropping by one of the pop-ups near the rotunda on the foreshore Aug 10th – 1–3 pm; 4-6 pm. Six consultants have been engaged.

However, Council still refuses to include the Bath Street site at the northern end of the foreshore in its master planning process for the Toronto foreshore park.

This is disappointing and perplexing, especially in the face of immense community opposition, including a 5200-signature petition, to its plans for a 6 storey commercial building on this site.

By segregating the Bath Street site from the Toronto Foreshore Masterplan, Council is insisting that high-rise will be the core of any foreshore improvement.

Everyone is encouraged to provide comment on the design principles and ideas.

Although there is no provision to comment on the Bath Street site high-rise per se (only on the ‘interface’), please take the opportunity to let Council know what you think of its proposal and how you think this site could be better used as part of your feedback and other communications.

It is very important that Council continues to hear concerns from residents. 

Hear from the Foreshore Consultants

TASNG meeting Wednesday 14 August 5 pm at the HUB, 97 The Boulevarde

John O’Callaghan from JOC Consulting, one of the six consultants employed by Council on the Toronto Foreshore Masterplan and the Bath Street site projects, will be attending the TASNG meeting to further update on developments and listen to community feedback/concerns. 

This will be just after Council’s community engagement period closes. John and other consultants are aware of the immense community opposition to Council’s Bath Street site high-rise proposal. This session will run from 5 - 6 pm. All welcome to attend. 

Is the Bath Street site to be rezoned?

Listed on Council’s Application tracking website is a Rezoning Proposal.

4 Bath Street TORONTO : LEP Amendment - Bath Street Toronto


Status: Phase 1 Assessment

In seeking details from Council the CPPA was advised there is a folder created, with no information in it and no Council Officer responsible. Further enquires from TFPG at Council's  pop-up stall and to Integrated Planning staff, have revealed that there are early plans being formulated to amend the LEP to permit greater height limits for 4 Bath Street and the surrounding area.

My Community Projects

The NSW Government is providing $250,000/electorate via a public voting system under the My Community Projects Grants, the aim of which is to improve the wellbeing of people and communities in NSW.

There are 16 projects listed for our local electorate of Lake Macquarie, 7 in the Greater Toronto Area.

You can vote for 3-5 projects. Funding will be allocated to the projects that receive the most votes.

Grab a cuppa and do your part to change our community and don’t forget to encourage your family and friends to do likewise.

Voting is open until 15 August 2019. You have to have a MyServiceNSW account to vote and verify your identity. This is easily done at the Toronto Service NSW centre or My Community Project online portal. 

Coal Point Public School Naturespace and Community Hub $198,086. A naturespace for the school and wider community to gather, make connections and enjoy healthy outdoor exercise during leisure time at Coal Point Public School.

Toronto Community Kitchen $34,000. We will provide a free meal and Food bank to the marginalised in our community and all who are in need.

Textile Recycling and Sewing Hub – 118,370. Create a community sewing hub and textile collection point in Toronto to reduce textile waste and build community.

Installation of a Swimming Stroke Lab $82,115. Swimming machine that analyses a swimmers’ stroke, while providing both coach and athlete instantaneous, real-time feedback via cameras and mirrors at Toronto Swim Centre.

Grandstands for all the community to enjoy! $36,510. Sun-safe covered seating to give community, supporters and families an enjoyable environment to watch football or cricket at Finnan oval.

Woodrising Neighbourhood Centre Solar Project $21,496 .To place solar panels and solar hot water on the roof of the centre’s building.

Managing Big Emotions $28,830. Working with children and their carers to build skills and strategies to manage children’s big emotions.

The CPPA has been approached by some of the local project coordinators to sharing their community project, The Coal Point Public School has included an insert and below are projects by TRASH Inc and the St Josephs community. 

Coal Point Public School Naturespace and Community Hub $198,086

Textile Recycling and Sewing Hub($118,370.)

This project aims to tackle a growing problem – textile waste in landfills. Kilaben Bay local Geraldine McCabe intends to collect textiles bound for landfill, offer sewing classes and courses, an open sewing studio so you can start or finish your own projects, and reasonably priced alterations and mending .

Volunteers can come in to teach their sewing skills to the younger generations. This will be a place to drop in, have a cuppa, get those pants hemmed or that button replaced (or learn how to do it yourself!) – to bring young and old together to share skills, connect, and create together.

Aussies dispose of 6,000kg of textiles every 10 minutes, Gerri explains, but most of this can be re-used, re-purposed, upcycled, or recycled into produce bags, sunhats, and new outfits. It’s a fantastic, affordable alternative to fast fashion. We are already leading the way with our local green waste bins, and this is a great opportunity to keep Lake Mac on the forefront of sustainability. 

Toronto Community Kitchen $34,000.

The St Joseph’s community has partnered with Development & Relief Agency (DARA) with the vision of creating Toronto Community Kitchen.

The plan is to offer a nutritious meal and provide companionship to those who share a meal. We also hope to provide fresh fruit and veggies from Foodbank at a very small cost to supplement households. The Grant would enable us to purchase suitable catering equipment for our kitchen.

Our volunteers will serve a meal, but will also have the time to sit and listen to our guests. Sharing a meal is a simple but powerful way of forming connection and building community.

A community that knows and supports each other will become a stronger community.

If you have a heart for the marginalised and lonely within our community, please consider voting for Toronto Community Kitchen in your number one spot.

Celebrate Science Week August 11-19

Celebrate Science Week August 11-19 by joining in the
Great Aussie Bioquest

In our community we are surrounded by some amazing plants, animals and fungi. We have lots of tracks to trek along as well. This makes for a fun adventure to join in for Science Week, The Great Aussie BioQuest, the largest bioblitz in Australia’s history.

Bioquest is run through the QuestaGame App. Your sightings contribute to real research and conservation , it’s free to join and there are even prizes.

All you need is a camera, and it can be the one on your phone or in the app. You don’t need to know what the lifeform is, but you get bonus points if you can identify it.

To better protect life on Earth (including ourselves), we need to learn more about what is out there. So far, we have only described a fraction of the species of life on our planet - and even for those we know of, there is a lot more we can learn about their distribution.

QuestaGamer’s sightings are shared with CSIRO’s Atlas of Living Australia and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility - the world’s premier collection of biodiversity records. As of April 2017, our data has had 50 million record downloads - helping researchers understand how we can better manage and protect biodiversity in a changing world.

This image by John Sharples provides amazing detail of a local Orchid. There are a few tricks to getting an image to look like John explains.

The Acianthus is a small ground orchid some 80mm high. The flower head is about 5 or 6mm high. The size of the flower dictated the type of photography applied; a process known as focus stacking.

To achieve the image a camera was set on a tripod with a macro lens and tethered to a laptop computer. The lens front was some 150mm from the front of the flower with a resulting in focus area, depth of field, of approximately 1 to 1.5mm. The software controlling the camera was set to take 60 images over a focal distance of 15mm. After each image is stored the software inches the camera’s focal distance forward about .25 of a millimetre.

This process takes around 10 seconds per image so about 6 to 10 minutes for the photography and nearer to half an hour for the setup. The 60 images are then taken into the stacking program where the in-focus part of each image is used to slowly build up the final, stacked, image.

After a small amount of cleaning up in Lightroom the flowers were cut out of their natural background and pasted into the uniform dark background you see.
From first observations of the bud to the image before you, I checked the plant over a period of some three weeks and then photographed the plant on four separate occasions plus some 10 or more computer hours to produce the final image.
Unfortunately, the flower head has wilted and a clearer middle image is not possible, but watch this space as a multiple headed stem is in bud. I think it was worth the effort.

Please enjoy.John Sharples

DAs In Play as at 6/8/19

Here is an abridged list of local DA activity as at 6/8/19. The list is compiled to support community understanding of DAs in our area that may impact on the community character. Please consult LMCC’s Application Tracking website for details and a complete listing.

*17 Brighton Avenue: Water Recreation Structure: Under Assessment

*22 Brighton Avenue: Multiple Dwelling Housing, Subdivision and Demolition - Section 4.55(2) Amended Plans: Approved

*27 Brighton Avenue: Remove BASIX Certificate and Condition from consent. Demolition of existing Garage and construct New Garage.: Approved

*232 Coal Point Rd: Alterations and additions to existing dwelling house: Awaiting information requested

*54 Skye Point Road - Sea wall: Under Assessment

*110 Skye Point Road: Modification 1A - Alterations and Additions to Dwelling, Garage, Swimming Pool & Associated Safety Barriers: Approved

*228 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House, Swimming Pool with Associated Safety Barriers and Demolition of Existing Dwelling - Modification of consent: Under Assessment

*335 Coal Point Road: Two Storey Dwelling & Retaining Walls: Approved

Toronto’s Barangaraoo

The issues surrounding the proposed development on the Bath Street site are not new to waterfront development proposals that ‘suck private benefit out of public land’.

One of the six consultants employed to develop the Toronto Foreshore Masterplan/Bath Street proposal is Philip Thalis of Hills Thalis Architecture and Urban Projects, a public space advocate. In 2012 he wrote about Sydney’s Barangaroo project in The Conversation

The issues raised in the interview give a sense of déjà vu for the current proposal for
Toronto’s waterfront precinct.

Q. What aspects of Barangaroo could have been better?

A…“Crucially, we proposed the entire foreshore as inalienable public space. Our professional experiences had alerted us to prevalent commercial forces that promote enclaves of self-interest at the expense of the broader public good.

So why are our governments making these big projects so dumb and anti-public? Public space is fundamental to civil society. Government should be custodian of our long-term interests, yet Labor and Liberal governments have proved equally bad – perpetuating ‘business as usual’. They completely lack what could be called ‘public imagination’ that engages with ideals of equity and sustainability, with initiatives for cultural vitality and quotidian vibrancy.

Q Should it ring alarm bells for other cities?

A. We must not squander such important strategic sites. Instead we should be building the open city as a paradigm of the society we wish to be; intelligent, environmentally progressive, equitable and inclusive.

Kilaben Bay Baths

Below are excerpts from Council’s explanation to the CPPA as to the status of the Kilaben Bay Baths.
Following the inspection and testing of the Kilaben Bay swimming enclosure undertaken earlier this year, the presence of asbestos fibres was confirmed in the pilings. Whilst the jetty itself is unaffected, the ability to access the swimming enclosure and therefore the pilings from the jetty necessitated the temporary closure and fencing of the entire facility.

Following a review of options associated with the remediation of the Kilaben Bay swimming area, Council will be engaging relevant specialist to remove all of the asbestos - containing pilings which form two sides of the swimming facility. It is hoped the removal … can be completed by September with the Kilaben Bay jetty and associated foreshore area reopened immediately post works.

Upon completion of these works, the Kilaben Bay jetty will be accessible again to the public, however the swimming area will no longer be formally defined. You are probably aware that Council has undertaken the replacement of the lake baths at Belmont. Due to the significant cost associated with providing such a facility Council has made the decision to review the success of the Belmont Baths project prior to supplying any further swimming enclosures within the Lake. As there is an existing designated swimming area located at the 30 Victory Row at Toronto, which is less than two kilometres from the Kilaben Bay Baths site, it is unlikely that a replacement swimming facility will be constructed at Kilaben Bay in the near future.
Image credit:

National Tree Day Success Stories

The two community plantings for this year’s National Tree Day both made an important
contribution to our local environment.

The Coal Point Public School plantings created gardens for the native bees and the community planting at Yural Reserve has helped to protect the remnant foreshore vegetation and raise awareness where the boundaries of the reserve are, so everyone can enjoy this special foreshore place.

At Yarul reserve, 2a Laycock Street, two areas were mulched and bordered with plantings to protect the remnants from mowing and to slow down exotic grass encroachment. One area is obvious at end of the street, the other area is more out of sight on the eastern boundary of the reserve, adjacent to the waterfront house, extending up the slope.

The eastern planting was an opportunity to reclaim the public perception of the reserve boundaries as the waterfront property has recently changed ownership. Encroachment on public reserves is something the landcare group
deals with quite regularly. With Yarul reserve being so small, highlighting the full extent of the reserve means that people can sit or play on the shady flat grassed area, swing on the swing and walk down the track with the knowledge that they are on public land.

The eastern boundary ‘landscape features’ including, garden bed, paving, concrete slabs and retaining wall, are actually all within the public reserve. The CPPA has written to council seeking advice on the encroachment and requesting the fence be relocated to be indicative of the reserve boundaries.

There are still plants to go in and mulch to move. If you visit this reserve and would like to assist with the watering of these young seedlings please feel free to water at will.

Thank you to all who came from near and far to make National Tree Day a memorable one.

New Kid on The Block - Barleria

The African twiner Barleria repens was first reported in Brisbane (2006), and then recorded in NSW (2010) as a garden escape from a caravan park up at Hallidays Point. It has now arrived in Coal Point and is really making its presence felt. It’s pretty – they mostly are. It’s resilient – they always are.

The pink, five-petalled flowers appear all year, which means it continually seeds too, propelling the seeds for metres through a mechanism of explosive release. It climbs on fences and shrubs, blanketing everything as it grows and laying new roots wherever stems touch the ground. It can cause environmental damage by colonising bushland, especially near water courses, and forms dense thickets that displace native vegetation and prevent movement of animals.

Help keep Coal Point Barleria free.

Individual plants and stems can be manually removed, taking care to ensure that as little as possible of the root system is left behind.

If total removal is difficult, the removal of flowers and immature fruit will help reduce new infestations.

Do not add the weeds to your garden compost unless you can leave them in a bin of water for 3 months (to kill the seeds) before re-using.

Thicker stems can be scraped and painted with undiluted Glyphosate.

Or you can you can spray foliage with diluted herbicide. As the leaves are shiny, mixing in a surfactant will improve results. (Some brands already include it.)

Regularly spot spray re-emerging seedlings for a year.