Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Amazing community support for My Community Projects!

Coal Point Public School Naturespace and Community Hub - is celebrating!

Coal Point Public School would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of our local
community members through their participation in the NSW My Community Project grant program.

The community decided which projects would receive funding by casting their votes, and last week the results of the ballot were revealed. Coal Point Public School Naturespace and Community Hub is one of three successful projects in the Lake Macquarie electorate that will be funded.

The Coal Point Public School Naturespace and Community Hub is a large landscaping and public facility improvement project that will revitalise the school grounds bordering the bushland and create an attractive space that everyone can access, to; play, exercise, explore and relax.

If you would like to know more about the project our first community drop-in session at Coal Point Public School will coincide with the Lake Macquarie Garden Club's Open Garden and Art Trail, between 10am - 2pm on October 13th. Preliminary design concepts will be available for comment and we will be providing tours of the school gardens and a sausage sizzle. All community members are welcome. 

Toronto Community Kitchen

We are so excited to see the overwhelming support that the Toronto Community Kitchen received in the voting for the My Community Project grant.

Our project received the highest points in our electorate! Thank you to all our supporters!

It gives us great heart to know that our community has come together to help some of our neighbours who don't always have a voice, let alone a home or a meal.

We are busy making plans to open our Kitchen while we wait to receive the Grant money. If all goes well we hope to open before the end of 2019.

As this is a community-based Project, we'd love to hear from you if you’d like to help serve in our Kitchen to make some new friends and support others in need.

God bless you and your families from St Joseph's,Toronto

Contact: Bev McWilliam 0437 868888. Community Engagement Coordinator

Lake Macquarie Open Gardens 2019 Celebrate Spring – Lynne Turner

Lake Macquarie Garden Club has only 38 members, at the very mature end of the age spectrum, who get together every third Tuesday of the month to explore gardens, expand our knowledge of all things horticultural as well as fulfil our social needs.

This year, the club is planning to open another ten gardens to the public on the weekend of 12th & 13th October in celebration of Spring, to show the wider community the beautiful gardens in our area along with exhibitions of artworks, and at the same time raise money for, and awareness of, the medical research undertaken by Hunter Medical Research Institute.

The Club, formed thirty-seven years ago, still has some of those original members who ask the question,” what makes a garden unique?”  Is it a reflection of its creator? Where do the ideas come from? And how do you use this inspiration or knowledge to create a garden or a work of art?  An artwork does have a finite completion; a garden is always a work in progress.

Our area has many talented artists; painters, print makers, sculptors, potters, felt workers and calligraphers.  It seemed the perfect combination; beautiful gardens, big and bold, small and intricate in which to exhibit art works.  Some of the gardens were professionally designed, others the result of hard yakka and dedication by the owners.  The artists exhibiting in the gardens, under a pergola or in a garage, are as varied as the gardens.

Each garden will be open from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th  October.   Entry will be by donation of $5 per garden or $35 for all ten gardens with all money collected going to HMRI-   Hunter Medical Research Institute. All money raised over the weekend stays here in our community for the benefit of the of the community.

HMRI undertakes research into the cure for cancers, pulmonary fibrosis, stroke prevention and treatment, heart attack and arterial disease, the impact of healthy arteries on cognitive function in older members of our community.

This year the 10 unique open gardens & 2 bonus gardens are located on the western side of Lake Macquarie.  From Eraring, Wangi Wangi in the south to Coal Point, Toronto, Blackall’s Park and around the lake to the northern side of Toronto.

The bonus gardens include: 
  • A great space/ idea.  What do you do with the longer wanted swimming pool? These owners have young son who has turned the pool into a creative pond environment.  The frogs and fish just love it.
  • The Coal Point Public School. The rejuvenated gardens, plantings and the above ground vegetable gardens are a must to see.  A focus of study for the students has been on healthy food production and the garden gives simple practical experience for the young students. The plans for the recently announced Naturescape project will also be on display.  

Owners of the gardens will be on hand to answer your questions and share their passion for gardening, the environment, sustainable gardens and horticulture.  One gardener will share her knowledge about a Japanese method of producing a natural liquid fertiliser.
Morning and/ or afternoon tea/coffee will be available at some of the gardens. 

Details and maps will be available for you to plan your day out.A Facebook page Lake Macquarie Garden Club, will keep you informed. Print your own flyer from the Facebook site or obtain a flyer from all businesses displaying our posters.

Round up friends and family for a wonderful weekend visiting spectacular gardens, lunching in the area at restaurants, cafes or even a picnic in a park-as simple or as sophisticated as you desire.

For more information contact Lynne Turner
Email: artandgardenslakemac@gmail.com

Now here’s an idea -Wilton Ainsworth

Attracting visitors to the foreshore via the Bath Street site! 

What is the best use for the strategically located land at Bath Street, at the northern end of Toronto's foreshore and adjacent to the 'Greenway' former rail corridor?

Both areas have been poorly maintained, are poorly presented and are long overdue for a makeover. They could be linked by a low-rise structure at Bath Street that could accommodate a restaurant and an interpretive centre for newly developed features along and near the Greenway, and parking.

New features could include enhanced wetlands at Endeavour Bay and between Cary St. & Stony Creek, new pathways around Edmonds Bay and Blackalls Park as well as the petrified forest area, and a kayak launching area providing access to Stony Creek, Mudd Creek and Edmonds Bay.

Visitors would be attracted to the foreshore if the existing shared pathway from Fassifern Station is repaired and provided with new landscaping and screening and signage.

The prospect of reactivating some form of tourist rail transport would also be a possibility.

With the prospect of population pressures in Western Lake Macquarie being forecast by Council there will be a need for additional accessibility to the waterways around Toronto that have always been the drawcard for the area. 

TFPG Update - September 2019


A chaotic Council meeting on Monday 26 August, with 150 people in an extended public
gallery, accepted a motion to defer any further work on the ‘mixed-use development’ on the Bath Street site pending a ‘comprehensive review of Council’s property portfolio’.

Council committed to continue with the Toronto Foreshore Master Plan BUT did not vote to include the Bath Street site in the Master Plan, thereby continuing to ignore the community’s 5200-signature petition, the 450 people at the public meeting, etc., etc.

The motion did, however, vote to commence a process to reclassify most of the Operational land in Victory Row to Community land and also to commence a process of ‘investigating the reclassification of all or part of the Bath Street and the [adjacent] Victory Row site to community land and consult with the community on future planning for that site’.

The Mayor took the initiative to break the longstanding deadlock and apologised to the community for a flawed process.

So has the community won? Not yet.

The Mayor and the majority of councillors are to be applauded for resetting the agenda but the immediate hurdle is a rescission motion moved by Councillor Pauling that leaves everything on hold until Council’s next meeting on Monday 23 September. The decision could still be reversed or watered down.

IF Council affirms its decision of 26 August, then the proposal of Council’s Property & Business Development section to define a new Bath Street precinct with a new Local Environment Plan for high-rise development will thankfully become irrelevant.

And the review of Council’s property portfolio should identify other sites in Toronto township that are much better suited for apartment buildings.

Meanwhile the tanking of the Australian economy means that there will be surplus apartment units on the market for the next several years and even approved new projects are likely to be kept on hold.

That leaves a big question mark over the future of the Bath Street site.

The community has long had a firm view on how to resolve that question: include Bath Street in the Foreshore Master Plan! The contract is let, professionals have been engaged, the process is under way. It should be a ‘no brainer’. 5,200 petitioners are not wrong and they should no longer be ignored.

The Master Plan is the proper way to evaluate all options, including NSW MP Greg Piper’s concept design, and come up with an integrated strategy for community comment.

That process should be coordinated not by Council’s commercially oriented Property & Business Development section but its Planning section in close liaison with Community Planning & Leisure Services.

If these sensible steps are taken, the growing population of Toronto will be able to look forward to a vibrant and enhanced Foreshore that will also once more attract visitors. With $9 million in earmarked funds, this project can be carried out through the looming recession.

The September 23 Council meeting will decide which way it goes. We need to stand firm and do what we can to make our views known to the Mayor and Councillors. 

CPPA snippets

Social enthusiasts required for a night to re-member 9/11/19

The CPPA is keen to hold an end of year members event, that is social, fun and brings everyone together at the Hall. An opportunity to catch up with neighbours and spread some community joi de vie around the seasonal summer celebrations.

We need a few keen social enthusiasts to help with the organising of the event. If you’d like to get involved in organising this one-off community celebration please get in touch with Suzanne by 4/10/19 coalpointprogress@gmail.com

Thieves are about - A local’s warning

We recently had a garden statute (a Buddhist Thai Angel) 50cm high stolen from outside
our front door. The thief had to come the 20m up our driveway to get it and then carry it away - it was metal and a little heavy. So he/she was determined!

Please be aware that there is a brazen thief out there in our community. 

FREE Biodynamic Workshop 15/9/19

FREE Biodynamic Workshop, Facilitator, Daniel Piason at the Toronto HUB on Sunday, 15 September
2019 from 10am to 3pm.🍍🍓🌶🍇🍅 
Toronto HUB, 97-99 The Boulevarde, Toronto
Contact Linda 0427 519 900 to book or for further information.

Plant a seed - grow the future!

Come to learn and help the Toronto HUB in setting up it's Backyard into a vegie feast!
enjoy – fresh – local – seasonal – ripe – high nutrition
Basic gardening practical ‘hands-on’ techniques using premium biodynamic practices:
• Premium soil fertility
• Experience using simple and inexpensive biodynamic preparations for total soil care and protection from pests and diseases.

The festival of Friendship – October 22nd at Toronto library

The Festival of Friendship is part of range of activities designed to promote inclusion, access, tolerance and respect in the Toronto local community area. Toronto Library is part of the Community Harmony Initiative.

10-11.30am 'Travel Sketching - it's easier than youthink!' Join local artist Hugh Cross to hear about travel sketching, get some tips and have a go!
11:30-1pm conversation café: Join others to develop understanding of different people, cultures, religions and beliefs over a light lunch.
1-2pm Laughter yoga : Laugh and the world laughs with you! Laughter is a fun form of exercise - it makes you feel good and brings happy thoughts.

Bookings are through Eventbrite (links above) or ring/visit the Toronto library and they’ll book you in 4921 0641.

Lake Mac’s first renewable energy project launched by community power

It only took 18 months but LMCC now has a LIVE community renewable energy project! A unique collaboration between LMCC, Allambi Care and Pingala will deliver the City’s first community-funded renewable energy project.

LMCC are actively seeking community investors to fund, and receive a return on, solar panels on Allambi Care’s head office roof in Charlestown. You can express interest to invest $250, $500, $750 or $1000. The initiative is different to crowdfunding, because community investors receive an annual return on their initial investment by becoming members of the Pingala cooperative.

Community investors can submit Expressions of Interests online at www.allambicare.org.au/solar.

Over the next two weeks LMCC will be chasing investors. By late September they’ll be seeking EOIs from interested organisations who want to do a similar thing to Allambi.

To discuss being a part of the project contact Thomasen Knight Sustainability Engagement Officer, 02 4921 0012, tknight@lakemac.nsw.gov.au

DAs In play

Here is an abridged list of local DA activity as at 9/9/19. 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.

  • 158 Coal Point Road: 1 into 2 Lot Subdivision: Approved
  • 191 Coal Point Road - Part area of concrete ramp located below MHWM and Sliprails: Under Assessment
  • 232 Coal Point Rd: Alterations and additions to existing dwelling house: Awaiting information requested
  • 24 Laycock Street Remove One (1) tree: Approved
  • 54 Skye Point Road - Sea wall: Under Assessment
  • 78 Skye Point Road: Alterations & Additions to Existing Dwelling Including Swimming Pool (excluding slipway): Approved
  • 202 Skye Point Road: New Boat Shed and Retaining Wall: Approved
  • 228 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House, Swimming Pool with Associated Safety Barriers and Demolition of Existing Dwelling -: Under Assessment
  • 24 Robey Road Water Recreation Structure (Jetty) - Extension: Scanning of Application Documents
  • 137 The Boulevarde: Multiple Dwelling Housing and 1 into 5 Lot Strata Subdivision: On Notification/Advertising
  • 24 The Quarterdeck Removal Two (2) Trees: Under Assessment


Council is striving to keep a corridor at 20 Laycock Street

The 22 unit multi-dwelling proposal lodged in 2017 is still moving along.

In early August an LMCC officer informed the applicant that “The proposed layout … does not realistically facilitate the retention of trees and associated corridor/fauna habitat value that has been identified on site in the long term.

It is recommended that the layout be reconfigured/reviewed to provide for retention of the trees and associated corridor/fauna habitat value that occurs along the site’s western boundary in the long term. Ideally a negotiated vegetation easement under communal ownership would be incorporated along the site’s western boundary … The easement would also provide opportunity for natural tree recruitment / regeneration over time.”

On 22/8/19 council informed the applicant that “The internal advice indicates the information(provided) has not demonstrated trees 3 & 4 can be retained, and their long term survival is questionable. The questions over the retention of these trees reinforces the concerns with the loss of habitat supporting the corridor.

In reviewing the corridor with one of Council’s ecologists, it was identified the corridors at Coal Point are individually weak and therefore it is important to retain as many corridors as possible. Retention and enhancement of vegetation in the corridor is a preferred outcome, with the corridor on the western boundary identified as one of the more viable links at Coal Point.

Ideas to live Sustainably

Sustainable House day is Sunday Sept15 and if you’re looking for sustainable ideas and a
drive with a purpose you won’t have to go too far.

Hugh’s Solar Battery House is open again (143 Brighton Ave, Toronto) - As an environmental scientist, Hugh was aware of the need to move away from fossil fuels quickly. Solar panels with micro-inverters, a 10kWh battery and Sanden heat pump hot water system along with a small veggie garden, an electric scooter for heavy shopping trips and a Toyota Prius for longer trips are

some of the features on display.

Green Gullies at Martinsville (17km away) is an off grid architecturally designed modern house that combines a love for country living, self sufficiency and technology.

If you are up for a trip to Narara (45km away), the Narara eco-village has 8 homes on display at 25 Research Rd, Narara.

To get the address details you’ll need to go to the website https://sustainablehouseday.com/find-a-sustainable-house/