Friday, 1 December 2017

It’s been an amazing year

On behalf of the Coal Point Progress Association and
Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group
we wish you all a safe, happy, family-fun-filled festive season and a magnificent and peaceful New Year full of hope and fulfilment!

Looking forward to 2018

Art and Craft Show returns

Can you believe that it has been six years since the last Art and Craft show at our Hall? It was also the official launch of the six year $250,000 Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula (TSLS) project which will be wrapping up in the same way, with an Art and Craft show on the weekend of 29th June-1st July 2018. This rather special community event not only showcases the local artistic talent but it is a fantastic community gathering, definitely a date for the diary!

Mega-Mural on Hunter Water Reservoir

During 1st Term 2018 local youth artists will benefit from the TSLS project with the Hunter Water Reservoir on Whitelocke Street getting a mega-mural makeover by Toronto High School Students, local primary students, local street artists and the community. This showcase of youth talent will transform the graffiti-plagued water tank into a celebration of the local flora and fauna.
  • Graffiti Dan will be providing the professional support, mentoring and guiding the artistic endeavours. 
  • Origin Energy, the TSLS project, Toronto Lions, Lioness and Sustainable Neighbourhood groups have all offered financial support to make it happen. 
  • The mega-mural will culminate in a Youth Week (13-22 Apr) public event with BBQ and a celebration of the completed mural…another date for the diary.

Bush Regeneration

Other project activities that are already underway include 8 days of professional bush regeneration support, four of these at Stansfield Reserve following up from the burn (incl. Nov 29-30) and four days in the narrow reserve that links Laycock Street to Hampton Street, (incl. Dec 13-14). The link reserve will also be the location of the National Tree Day community planting in April-May.

Membership Form Complete, Detach Page & Return

The Coal Point Progress Association sincerely thanks the community for their ongoing
support. The membership form can be downloaded.

The membership fees for 2018 have been kept at $8/individual and $13/family.

The Coal Point Progress Association’s objectives are:
  • To enhance the natural environment of the Coal Point peninsula and surrounding areas by protecting, preserving and regenerating habitat for indigenous flora and fauna.
  • To advance social welfare, community spirit and sustainability in the area through community education and engagement.

The membership form includes an option to join the local Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group (TASNG) for $2 per adult

The TASNG’s webpage outlines the projects and structure of the Group.

The TASNG has a broader geography, encompassing Toronto, Kilaben Bay as well as Carey Bay and Coal Point and all of their objectives complement that of the Coal Point Progress Association.

TASNG’s vision is to be proud of our neighbourhood, maintain and improve access to natural beauty and cultural heritage, promote sustainable growth and tourism and foster a community of environmentally and active citizens.

The CPPA Committee hopes that you will join us in 2018 in what is shaping up to be another exciting year for the community and the environment.

Why join the CPPA?

The CPPA has been a part of the local community since 1946 and built the Hall in 1951. We like to think we’ve made a difference in our area.

The more members we have the more representative we are of our community. Membership doesn’t mean you have to actively volunteer, although that’s always nice, it does mean you support what we do. It’s a way of giving your community organisation a bit of a pat on the back for a job well done.

Why join Now?

The CPPA year aligns with the calendar year and so we not only get to celebrate the festive season but we also invite one and all to support our efforts for the coming year.

This year we have streamlined the membership process. The membership form is either your renewal form or a chance to join up for the first time. We are hoping that by providing four different ways to get the form and membership fee to us we can avoid calling on our volunteers to hand deliver renewal notices. 

What does the CPPA do?

Our community has some unique assets being a peninsula with a green corridor that supports abundant birdlife and flora. Over the past few years we’ve seen increasing pressures on our community assets. The CPPA advocates and acts for the protection, preservation of the bushland qualities and supports a sustainable community driven lifestyle that locals who live here enjoy and value.

  • We keep an eye on Development Applications that may impact on the broader community and support residents to understand the DA process.
  • We apply for (and regularly get) funding to undertake community projects, with over $320,000 of successful grants gained in the past 20 years.
  • We own and maintain the Progress Hall, to provide a space where locals can gather and enjoy activities like yoga and taekwondo or celebrate events such as parties and science week. 
  • We landcare weekly on the multiple reserves along the Coal Point peninsula, protecting habitat for threatened species and amazing our flora and fauna, and reducing the weed threat to bushland neighbour’s yards.
  • We provide a community communication conduit via the Chronicle, website and facebook page.
  • We collaborate closely with the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group on projects to achieve broader sustainable goals in minimising and controlling waste and improving pedestrian-cycling infrastructure. 
  • We make submissions to all levels of government on issues that affect our community such as the Lake Mac Boat Storage Strategy and Short Term Holiday Rentals Options paper.

So why not share some community spirit this festive season and join up. The Progress Association team would love to have your support.

Members Morning Tea

In 2018 we’ll be hosting a members morning tea on Saturday 10th Feb from 8:30-12:30 at our hall where you can drop in and

  • join up or renew your membership 
  • share morning tea 
  • pick up some information on native plants and local weeds 
  • get a free banksia for your garden 
  • chat about local projects 
  • watch ‘Guarding the Galilee’ to understand the Adani issue 
  • meet the Committee. 

The Coal Point Chronicle-opt out option

There will be no January Chronicle as the CPPA team have a well-earned rest over Summer. The Chronicle is hand delivered by volunteers to 1500 local letterboxes. We do not consider it junk mail or advertising material but a community communication tool. We do respect your decision to refuse the newsletter though. Please advise us if you don’t want to receive one in your letterbox.

Christmas Bells + Kitty = Joy to the World

Roughly half of Australia’s cats are pets, and they also take a considerable toll on wildlife. Cat’s kill more than one million birds every day across Australia, roughly 3-4% of our birds each year.

While recognising the many benefits of pet ownership, we also need to work to reduce the detrimental impacts. Fortunately, there is increasing public awareness of the benefits of not letting pet cats roam freely. These include cats less likely to run away, get into fights or get injured and reduced territorial behaviour such as spraying or looking for

a mate.

By being responsible pet owners and using predator-deterrent tools such as such as bells and collars, cat owners can help to look after the birds in their own and neighbours backyards and local bushland, and hence contribute to conserving Australia’s unique wildlife.

The Progress Association has a remote camera that is easy to use and available for loan to members to photograph which animals are visiting your backyard. You may find some neighbourly possums or your neighbour’s cats. The first loan yielded some interesting images. “ I’ve spent 25 years creating habitat for the local wildlife in my backyard so it was great to see the possums at my place but really distressing to see the cats, one of which visits several times every day and night. The camera was really helpful in explaining the mystery growls, cat fights and death squeals ”

The images may help to identify a nuisance cat which is defined as one that
  • makes persistent noise that occurs or continues to such a degree that it interferes with the peace and comfort of any person in any other premises 
  • repeatedly damages property of others. 
If a nuisance cat affects you, Lake Mac recommends the following actions:
  • talk to the neighbour, they may not realise their angel is creating a bother 
  • drop them a polite letter if you can’t have a conversation 
  • contact the Community Justice Centre to get mediation 
  • apply for a nuisance order 

More information on LakeMac’s web

Beyond Plastic Pollution

Nico Marcar and Steve Dewer from TASNG provide the following report from the recently attended 3-day Beyond Plastic Pollution conference. The event was organised by the Boomerang Alliance and focused on the impacts of plastic on the marine environment.

Around 6 to 12 million metric tonnes of plastic pollution enter oceans annually worldwide, with small and micro plastics being an increasing concern.

One trillion plastic bags are produced worldwide and used for an average of 12 minutes each.

The key to marine health is to reduce entry of plastics into rivers, creeks and lakes (and reducing the amount of stormwater as well).

Behavioural change is needed, especially in lower socio-economic areas, to cut down on plastic litter. Some councils have banned balloon events, others plastic utensils, etc. This pollution is very obvious with the increasing number of severe storm events. There are an increasing number of organised clean up actions and educational events targeting tourists, cafes, markets and fetes.

One Perth company, UST, is implementing a basket system for regular collection of plastics from stormwater drains called Catch Basin Insert. Along with the plastics the company found that blocked drains are a breeding ground for mosquitoes!

Scientists around the world are working with various groups (e.g. Globelet, Tangaroa Blue) and citizens to assess the extent and distribution of pollution. Governments are working on policy via UN forums.

A key focus throughout the conference was on the Circular Economy and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which may take the form of a reuse, buy-back, or recycling program. Examples of recycled products include plastic pallets, plastic-bitumen materials for road making, biodegradable plastic made from cassava, seaweed and palm oil (Indonesia), use recycled plastics to make new products (e.g. clothes/fabrics (e.g. Waste2Wear), shopping bags (e.g. Onya), computer cases (Dell) and sculptures.

New recycling initiatives being investigated in Australia include child car seats, solar panels, textiles, building materials, energy storage materials, automotive recycling.

DAs in Play

Have you missed pursuing the active DAs? 
Here is an abridged list of local activity from 1/10/17 to 30/11/17. 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.

Some of the larger DAs at the moments are
  • 25-27 Kilaben Road: Construction of kerb & Guttering, associated stormwater construction and tree removal: Awaiting information requested 
  • 20 Laycock Street: Multi Dwelling Housing (22 units): Under Assessment.
Other local DAs are
  • 128 Coal Point Road: Alterations and Additions and Retaining Walls: Approved
  • 133 Coal Point Road: Proposed Recreation Structure, Slipway removal of existing rails , Approval of existing wall: Lodged 
  • 49 Excelsior Parade: Dwelling Additions and Alterations - Amendment: Approved 
  • 20 Laycock Street: Multi Dwelling Housing (22 units): Under Assessment 
  • 264 Skye Point Road: Tiled Deck & Timber Screening: Approved 
  • 31 Grant Road: Garage Extension: Under Assessment 
  • 31 Hampton Street: Dwelling House and Secondary Dwelling: On Notification/Advertising 
  • 94 Excelsior Parade: Recreation Facility (Indoor Gymnasium): On Notification/Advertising 
  • 58 Kilaben Road: Dwelling House and Demolition of Existing: Under Assessment  
  • 41 Lake View Road: Dwelling: New Application Under Assessment 
  • 14/17 Laycock Street: Community Facility - Modify Consent: Scanning of Application Documents 
  • 18 Puntee Street: Patios: Approved 
  • 21 Puntee Street: Dwelling House - Alterations & Additions: Scanning of Application Documents 
  • 41 Ridge Road: Demolition and Dwelling House: Under Assessment 
  • 76 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House - Alterations & Additions and detached Garage: Check New Application 
  • 114 Ridge Road: Garage addition, Ensuite, Deck and Plunge Pool: Approved 
  • 172 Skye Point Road: Patio Cover:Under Assessment 
  • 202 Skye Point: Alterations and Additions to Existing Boat Shed: On Notification/Advertising 
  • 264 Skye Point Road: Tiled Deck & Timber Screening: Approved 
  • 29 Whitelocke Street: Secondary Dwelling & Retaining Wall: Approved

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Magpie Mass Murderer in our Midst

On the 9th October, 21 magpies were found on and around the perimeter of Coal Point School and Rofe Street. The EPA was advised and autopsied a bird. A Facebook post reaching 13,213 people highlighted the considerable community distress this caused.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is asking for the community’s help to catch a suspected bird killer after recent reports of 21 Magpie deaths at Coal Point. A local consortium is putting up a $5000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

Laboratory analysis of one of the dead birds by the EPA has shown high concentrations of pesticides including Fenamiphos and Fenthion, both of which are not readily available to the public.

The EPA has warned residents of Coal Point to keep a close eye on their pets. The EPA knows people have used food in the past to lure and kill birds. Please make sure your pets do not eat anything foreign when on their daily walks.

If you see anyone disposing of food or chemicals near open spaces such as ovals or parks, please call the 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555

It is an offence under the EPA’s legislation to use pesticides in a manner that harms non-target animals. The maximum penalties for this are $120,000 for an individual. It is also an offence to cause danger or harm to an animal by littering and maximum penalties are $3,300.