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It Takes A Village ...

Is originally, an African proverb. We have all heard it and understand that raising children and the next generation requires multiple members of the community, sIt takes a village Word Artuch as extended family, teachers, mentors, surrogate family members and friends to support and help them develop. Parents are not enough, children need mentors, teachers, surrogate aunts, uncles, grandparents, go to people, to understand their place in the community, their role and identity.

The recent Covid -19 restrictions have separated us from these go to people putting all the weight on the parent/s. Creating quite a bit of stress on members of our community, in which everyone has been impacted.

If we look at it from the perspective of the next generation, predominately Youth and their social connections with their friends and peers was not available during the restrictions. So, the opportunity to share their experiences and grievances was lost during this period. Our health and wellbeing as social creatures are essential for living fully functional connected lives.

Our CEN Youth group that I have had the privilege to develop have shared with me the frustrations and suffering young people are facing. A middle-aged woman as I, has built the resilience and skills to manage the social isolation and find creative ways to connect with friends and family. This opportunity may not be readily accessible to many Youth.

Our CEN Youth group have been catching up regularly online, touching base and sharing experiences with each other, acknowledging that they are experiencing the same suffering not being able to connect, face to face with their friends and family. We are also planning a short hike (following the restriction guidelines) with a team building exercise for our next catch up.

It is important we try to understand how it must feel from their perspective to see the changes that are unfolding as a new system develops. Hence why Youth voices must be heard and supported as they will be inheriting this future we have already started to create.

Community is Everything

Hale Adasal CEN Chair

The CEN is an alliance of community and environment groups from Lake Macquarie, Wyong and Gosford.

We are a non-profit organisation working to protect and improve our local environment.

The aims and objectives of CEN are as follows:
• to increase effectiveness of community groups
• to be a regional voice on the Central Coast
• provide a forum for public discussion and education
• increase public awareness and understanding
• to promote community monitoring of the environment
• to facilitate the empowerment of individuals

If the aims and objectives resonate with you, please have a look at our opportunities page for more information about what positions are avaliable. 

CEN would like to remind the Community and CEN Members that The Central Coast Council's Draft Waste Resource Management Strategy is currently open for Public Exhibition.  

https://www.yourvoiceourcoast.com/our-coast-our-waste

The team at Community Environment Network hosted a discussion with Kariong Eco Garden about the Strategy.
Check out CEN's facebook page for some more information on the Strategy.

Waste is inevitable, we have a chance to better help how we manage waste as a resource.
Send your submission via

Council's online submission form
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Post: PO Box 20, Wyong, NSW, 2259

Submissions close for comment 21 June 2020 5pm (This Sunday) 

Local Systems

As a member of the Local Futures network a global organisation that recognises, that the future lies with the local community. We share ideas, stories and models of operating that work in our localities with the aim of developing socially inclusive and sustainable communities. So, we understand, that all our communities globally are distinct and a response to a problem should vary and be culturally appropriate to that locality and environment. Just as our natural environments are biologically diverse, our community cultures have developed matching this diversity with their own uniqueness. So, Wyong is different to Woy Woy, is different to Terrigal and Mangrove Mountain. They, however, are all interconnected giving the Central Coast its distinct identity.

When we buy locally grown seasonal foods, this reduces our carbon footprint with reduced transport costs and supports local growers. It cuts out the middleman so to speak, essentially farm to table and seasonal, keeping us in touch with nature and her regenerative cycles. Local growers generally tend to use less pesticides as they are more accountable to their customers, rather than a faceless distant market. Supporting local businesses develops a deeper relationship with our producers as they are our part of our community. This builds our sense of belonging and connection to our locality, each different, and unique to its local natural environment.

Hands down Local Futures

So, when we have a blanket policy, or development that might sit well in an urban suburb of a metropolitan city but is out of character with a beachside suburb of the coast. Or next door to one of the most biologically diverse wetlands integral to Central Coast’s clean water supply. It is then, we see the unsustainable nature of globalisation which excludes the community in informing how their locality should look or function. Whereas localism reconnects us with our natural environment, each other and keeps us healthy and sustainable as a community, into the future.

We are in this together

Hale Adasal CEN Chair

We are looking for nursery hand volunteers to assist the nursery coordinator at our Ourimbah Wildplant Community Nursery 2-15hrs a week.

 

Duties include: watering, tidying, weeding of plants, stocktake, preparing plant orders and labelling.

No experience needed, onsite training provided.

 

Please contact CEN if you are interested. 

Nursery hand Volunteer opportunity Closes 30th June.

For more information about our nursery please see brochure.

Phone: 02 4349 4756

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Central Coast Council's first draft Local Strategic Planning Statement

(LSPS) is on exhibition until the 8th June.

This is an important document as it will strongly influence if not direct how and where local development will take place over the next 20 years

If you want to have a say on the future planning of our local Central Coast now is your chance - we encourage you to make a submission 

The draft Local Strategic Planning Statement and options for feedback can be accessed via the following link: https://www.yourvoiceourcoast.com/lsps

Submissions and feedback will be accepted by Council until 5pm Monday 8 June 2020. The website sets out how you can submit an individual submission.

Online video forums are being held in each of the five council wards beginning on Wednesday 27th May and we encourage you to participate to find out more.

Budgewoi Ward - Wednesday 27th May 2020 6pm-7:30pm

Wyong Ward - Tuesday 2nd June 2020 1pm-2:30pm

Gosford East Ward - Tuesday 2nd June 2020 6pm-7:30pm

Gosford West Ward - Thursday 4th June 1pm-2:30pm

The Entrance Ward - Thursday 4th June 6pm-7:30pm 

Please Click Here to Register for the forums

CEN members have been working on a submission and have come up with some points that might assist you when reading the document and making your own submission:

  • The profile within the draft LSPS only presents economic parameters.  It does not identify many of the things we value and wish to see protected or enhanced such as the Coastal Open Space System (COSS); our local biological diversity; value of local tourism; value of local agriculture; importance of all of our local waterways;  importance of our Aboriginal Heritage.
  • The Draft LSPS Identifies areas such as Picketts Valley, land between Kincumber and the Bouddi Peninsula, Erina Valley, Matcham Valley, Holgate Valleys, areas along Tumbi Umbi Road and areas west of the M1 Motorway at Tuggerah as urban Land.  
  • In the Lake Munmorah region, the draft LSPS does not identify the Employment, Commercial, Educational, Recreation/Sports, Biodiversity Corridor lands or land claims within the corridor, nor the land use conflicts of Consolidated Coal Leases that are identified in the Greater Lake Munmorah Structure Plan.
  • The draft LSPS suggests consolidation (selling off?)  of our local parks by undertaking an audit and review of the use of small parks. The save our parks campaign in 2015 demonstrated that the community wants to retain our local community parks.
  • The LSPS should make a clear statement that Council intends to prepare Character statements for each “Planning Area” and for each “Community” area.  In preparing character statements Council needs to ensure prominent backdrops to town centres, waterways and main roads should become leafy low-density hillsides, where new developments do not dominate the landscape.

A link to more detailed comments can be found Here. Please note this is a work in progress as we are still reviewing the document.

Remember submissions close 5pm Monday 8th June

The CEN office is closed to the public until further notice.

There will be skeleton staff working at the office, if you have any queries related to CEN please contact us via email or phone. 

02 4349 4756

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Health Crisis?

The recent outbreak of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has forced authorities to take measures to practice self-isolation and physical distancing. So hence CEN has had to cancel its upcoming events, that engage us with our natural environment and each other through our numerous programs. As well as being a human health crisis this is also an environmental health crisis. Let me explain.

Our natural environment has evolved to be the only planet in our universe, where our oceans and forests provide us with the oxygen to breathe, sustain us with fresh water and nurture us with the foods we eat from trees and plants and in effect regenerating populations.

Several researchers today think that it is humanity’s destruction of our biodiversity that has created the conditions for new viruses and diseases such as Covid-19. Hence there is a call world-wide, for an overhaul of current approaches to urban planning and development, that is cancerous in its approach to unsustainable development and out of balance with the natural environment.  Sustainable development is essential if we are to keep our biodiverse wetlands and native forests across the Central Coast and beyond intact and in equilibrium to provide us with the clean air, fresh water and clean soils, plants/ trees to sustain us.

The United Nations, Environment executive director Ms Inger Andersen, in a recent article in the Guardian newspaper titled, ‘Coronavirus, Nature is Sending Us a Message’ is quoted as saying. “There are too many pressures at the same time on our natural systems and something has to give. We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. And as we hurtle towards a population of 10 billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally.”

health crisis

On the Central Coast we are privileged enough to have, in our back and front yards the beaches, lakes and wetlands, native forests and parklands, all essential to human health and well-being. Once the physical distancing and crisis passes, which it will, it is important we reconnect with one another and our natural environment. Recognising the role nature plays in our lives and doing all that we can to protect her from unsustainable cancerous development.

CEN regularly holds planning submission workshops for ecologically sustainable development. Educating our community in ways to reconnect with nature through our Waterwatch, Habitat for Wildlife and Land for Wildlife programs. Visit our Marine Discovery Centre, plant native trees by supporting our native/wild plant nursery. Most importantly build the resilience of our future leaders in practising regeneration through our Youth. Encouraging and supporting them to be involved with our CEN Youth program, related events and initiatives.

We are all in this together.

Hale Adasal CEN Chairwoman


The year is 2050 and our Central Coast Youth are now leading in their respective fields in our communities across the coast. The transition to renewable energy production is now complete, the local economies are interdependent on sustainable industries, run and owned locally. Community gardens are a hive of activity and act as community meeting hubs. Eco-tourism is a thriving industry employing more than half of the workforce in our region as our wetlands, old growth forests, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are world acclaimed.

Each decade, from 2020, our next generation of community members and leaders were involved in projects, events and programs supported by the elders in our community and leaders in their respective fields. This staged succession planning was strategically coordinated by the leaders in 2020, ensuring our youth were learning to proactively develop and manage the challengers of their generation.CEN YOUTH outdoor shot

This year, our CEN Youth will be working together with the elders (committee members) of our Community Environment Network (CEN). Together on local community projects and events in generating positive action towards a sustainable future. Inspiring engagement of our wider community in connecting with our natural environment on the Central Coast. In 2019, our CEN Youth developed the ‘Steps Towards a Sustainable Future’, with the core themes of Protect, Reconnect and Regenerate. The steps focus areas included: Reduce Reuse Recycle; Transport; Renewable Energy; Native Trees, Plant Based Foods and Storytelling. These were developed to act as an easy guide for members of our Central Coast community to act in building a sustainable future. In which everyone with every action we take could have a positive impact.

The story we write and tell ourselves this year and in years coming will determine our future and that for our next generation. At CEN, we are playing our part, as we all have a role to play in building sustainable communities and future leaders. What role will you play?
For more information about the steps to take and to become involved with CEN Youth please visit our www.cen.org.au website and contact us via our CEN Youth projects page.

Ms Hale Adasal CEN Chairwoman

If you think about our first response to emergencies and disasters, we generally look out for our fellow community members. We offer them shelter, feed and care for them, it’s in our DNA, we just do it automatically without giving it much thought. Recently, a wider cross section of our community, responded to the impacts of the bushfires, extreme heat and smoke on our wildlife. Leaving water out, for our birds and wildlife and financially supporting the groups who physically care for them. But once the urgency has passed and life goes back to some form of normality, we generally continue with our routines and business as usual. Not making time to reflect and ask questions, leaves us vulnerable to experience the same tragedies over and over again.IMG 5138

Questions, such as: What can we do to lessen the impact of this extreme weather? How can we work collaboratively with our community organisations, who care for vulnerable members of our community: homeless, elderly, young families and local wildlife; who don’t have evacuation centres to seek refuge? What are we doing as a community to protect our native state forests and national parks, that create rain and protect us from droughts? Are we involved and supporting diverse native tree planting events in our yards and streets? Are we members of our local environment network (CEN), proactively seeking the informed knowledge and attending local events to reconnect with our nature on the Central Coast and beyond?

Are we involved in protecting our precious biodiverse wetlands, home to so much wildlife and birds, ensuring our local environments resilience to the extreme weather? Why aren’t we working with our First Australians who have for more than 60,000 years, through cultural burning managed the land we now call home and community? I wonder what it must feel like to have this wealth of intergenerational knowledge as first peoples of Australia, yet not be acknowledged and allowed to lead in working the land and watch the land and wildlife burn unnecessarily. And sadly, watching native forests be treated as commodities even though they have been around for as long as your ancestors and are part of your heritage and your responsibility to protect. I imagine it would be like losing a loved one, over and over again.

CEN Chair Hale Adasal

Depending on who you ask, ‘what is human nature?’ You’ll receive a completely different response. The lens with which the world is viewed is the key here. An economist may say human nature is to strive for development and growth, a health practitioner may say human nature is to strive for a long, healthy life. A cultural anthropologist may say human nature is a social animal striving to belong and connect. A technology expert may say human nature strives for innovation; an ecologist may say human nature is to ensure a balance between living organisms and their natural environment and spiritual leader may say human nature is to strive for peace and equanimity.

The time in history we ask this question, would also change the response. Our First Australians would still answer human nature is to be caretakers for our living community (flora and fauna) that sustains it. In fact, all of our ancestors, first peoples from all over the globe, would have said the same, looking out for one another our natural world, which provides us with this abundance, shelter, clean air and water to live and be, without which we wouldn’t be able to ask this question.

But I’m asking this question in 2020 and my answer would be all the above. We need all our lenses to blend into one and just like in nature a diverse community ensures resilience and survival. The basics of clean air, water, shelter and healthy soils for food should be a given for all our living communities. Anything additional could focus on community development and innovation with the aim of continuing to ensure all our living communities, including our wildlife with which we share this bounty, have their basic needs met. That is my human nature, in which human and nature are one and the same. So, what’s your nature?

Hale Adasal CEN Chair

Last night, 28 November was CEN’s End of Year get-together where we celebrated together the achievements of this past year. We also presented the 2019 Be a Team (BAT) Awards and CEN Staff gave a brief update on their activities for the year.

The 2019 winners are:

  • Most outstanding all-rounder “BAT” Award– Gary Blaschke for his dedicated work with Disabled Surfers Association, Coal-ash Community Alliance and as a vocal spokesperson on local issues.

  • Most outstanding community based organisation– Grow Urban Shade Trees (GUST), founders Melissa Chandler, Debbie Sunartha and Jennifer Wilder for their tireless work promoting the benefits of trees and community planting events.

  • Rookie of the year– Justin Estreich, for his inspirational marine debris clean ups across the Central Coast for Sea Shepherd and bringing people together in these events.

  • Best 12thperson –Carla Roberts for her dedication and commitment to Wildlife ARC caring for injured native animals for more than 30 yearsBAT AWARDS

living Systems

The recent catastrophic fire conditions have highlighted the deep disconnect we have with nature and lack of understanding of our interdependency with this living system, of which we are a part. This ignorance at all levels of our complex societies, has detached the connection between deforestation leading to soil erosion and without the “deep root of trees to bring moisture from deep underground eventually replenishing the atmospheric moisture from our oceans, the droughts tend to be longer and drier,” as described by Charles Eisenstein in his book Climate a New Story. He describes how deforestation results in higher clouds, which produce less rainfall in total but in greater intensity, aggravating the drought/flooding cycle.

This living system also includes our wildlife, such as our Koala’s, whose interdependent relationship with native eucalyptus trees are vital for other wildlife and so any catastrophic change to their population can trigger an ecological chain reaction. That’s why we are in a critical stage in human civilisation and why more than ever, we need to protect our Coastal Open Space System (COSS) and native forests from being cleared. Also, continue to protect our biodiversity, essential for the resilience of our living system, such as Porters Creek Wetlands on the Central Coast, so it is not only protected but thriving. Join us at our monthly Sustainable Saturday’s to Protect, Reconnect and Regenerate our living human communities so dependent on a healthy ‘living system’.

Hale Adasal CEN Chair

Please make a submission - they close on Monday, 11 November, 2019. 

Biodiversity Strat image

Central Coast Council has recently exhibited a draft Biodiversity Strategy.

We note that there are many good actions in the document that staff have prepared. It is also a well presented document with lots of good information and illustrations.

Click here to access the Strategy and a Summary Document

 

However, CEN has concerns about the detail - and the devil is in the detail!

The Strategy will result in a nett loss of biodiversity, the replacement of the COSS Strategy (and loss of the term "COSS") and the "disposal" of public lands.

Some key points:

Vision:

The vision (page 10) is "to maintain a healthy, connected, and socially just community that cherishes and protects our natural landscapes, and balances social and economic needs with the protection of the environment and its irreplaceable biodiversity.

We believe that the vision for a biodiversity strategy should be focused on protecting, maintaining and improving biodiversity - and the actions should ensure that there is "no nett loss of biodiversity"

Reliance on Offsetting

The strategy relies heavily on biodiversity offsetting - that is, allowing development to destroy biodiversity and "offset" that loss by protecting biodiversity elsewhere. We acknowledge that development will happen and there will be some vegetation loss - however, a biodiversity strategy should not rely as heavily on biodiversity loss to fund protection elsewhere.

Focus on Areas under threat - rather than protecting biodiversity

The Strategy focuses too heavily on "high priority areas" - rather than protection of biodiversity more generally

Strategy seeks to get rid of the term and concept of COSS

The Strategy effectively removes the concept of COSS (Coastal Open Space System). COSS is a long-term strategy that was started by Gosford Council over 35 years ago. COSS identified land for voluntary acquisition based on a set of criteria including scenic and catchment management values. The expansion of COSS was specifically identified as an action in the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 and also Council's own Community Strategic Plan. This strategy replaces the term and concept of COSS!

Strategy wants to work with developers - but does little to recognise the community

The Strategy identifies "engaging the development industry" as a priority - but fails to acknowledge environment and community organisations that are working to protect biodiversity. This includes CEN's Land For Wildlife Program that is coordinated on a State wide basis - as well as a range of other groups on the Central Coast.

Land Disposal Plan - a public land sell off!

The strategy includes an action to "Develop and implement a Land Disposal Plan specifically for parts of natural assets with no biodiversity or recreational value (in order to generate income for the Central Coast Conservation Fund)". This suggests a public land sell off - not only of public land - but environmental lands and open space

As a minimum, CEN is calling on Council to:

  • Change the vision to include "protect, maintain and improve biodiversity with no nett loss of biodiversity
  • include a Theme for COSS (Coastal Open Space System) - that is focused on expanding the COSS system and voluntary acquisition of lands including scenic and catchment values.
  • Council should allocate an annual amount equivalent to the previous COSS levy ($0.00003 per rateable dollar) that is held in a restricted fund towards the acquisition and management of COSS lands. The COSS committee must continue.
  • Delete the action relating to the development of a Land Disposal Strategy.
  • Establish a Biodiversity Management Advisory Committee to oversee the implementation of the Biodiversity Strategy

Please make a submission by Monday, 11 November, 2019

Send your submission by:

  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (External link)
  • Post: PO Box 21, Gosford NSW 2250 or PO Box 20, Wyong NSW 2259

Or click here to use our online submission

Nature is diverse, connected, interdependent, restorative, and regenerative which has with time generated resilient communities of species and natural wonder. Those of us who do enjoy spending time in our natural environment would recognise this quality about being human, we are aware of nature’s beauty and bounty.

Maitland Bay

Building our Youth, for the future is something as community members and leaders we should be refocusing our energies. To quote Franklin D. Roosevelt, “We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.” As a community campaigner over the years I have regularly attended community events and met with local community groups and organisations. It amazes me that succession planning, to include younger members of these quite successful organisations has not developed as effectively as their organisations. Succession planning and having younger members on boards being mentored by the elders of the group sharing their knowledge and supporting them to eventually succeed them, is essential for the regeneration of community organisations and groups. I am proud to be guiding the Youth (16-30 years) arm of CEN together with the experienced elders of our committee and supporting them with ongoing training, events and projects to build on their leadership and community engagement skills. The best legacy we can leave behind is a generation of leaders resilient enough to manage any future challengers they may face. Our CEN Youth in their first project will be partnering and supporting the 2019 Central Coast High Schools Competition, ‘Human Rights in an Age of Climate Change- So What’s the Action Plan?’ For more information contact us

 

Hale Adasal

CEN Chairperson

We face challenging times across the globe with global warming and climate change, these challenges also bring opportunities to develop sustainable development, that is in balance with our basic needs of clean air, water and soil to grow our foods and plant our trees. A balanced approach is needed to ensure the clean water we drink and clean air we breathe is never compromised in the name of development.

Recent State government approval of the Wallarah 2 coal mine and Federal Government’s approval of Seismic testing off the Central Coast, does just that. It risks polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink. Our freshwater sources as lakes, estuaries, underground water tables and aquafers provide our community with the clean water needed to survive. These challenging times provide an opportunity for members of our community in voicing their concerns by joining us in writing letters to local MP’s over recently approved developments that impact on our precious water catchments and clean air. Our letter drive will be held in conjunction with our monthly wild plant sales on Saturday’s the 3rd August and 7th September. Join us, in this opportunity to voice to our representatives in parliament of valuing clean air and water over any development that risks our precious human needs. One of the best legacies we can leave behind for future generations is a liveable planet and community. 

Hale Adasal

CEN Chair

 

Pile Burning a health risk

CEN belives that this is a very bad policy that will impact the health of many people with asthma as it allows burning without a permit and increases the amount of fuel by 270%.

The existing RFS/NSWFB Policy on Pile Burning does all that is needed for keeping properties clear of fuel around buildings. In areas within the Sydney Air Shed (i.e. from the Hunter to Illawarra via the Central Coast) Pile Burning should not be allowed as nearly 5 million people (roughly 450,000 of whom have asthma) are impacted by what is discretionary burning.

The asthma foundation has previously raised the issue with the NSW Government, see file:///C:/Users/CCEN/AppData/Local/Temp/wlmail-433777574/supfiles2A14595/Clean%20Air%20for%20New%20South%20Wales_Submission.pdf

In particular:

The NSW Rural Fire Service has an existing Pile Burning Standard (See: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/13323/Standards-for-Pile-Burning.pdf )which notes:

If the pile burn could be of danger to a building (at any time of the year) or the burn is during the Bush Fire Danger Period, you must have a Fire Permit issued by the RFS or Fire and Rescue NSW. This standard provides advice regarding the construction of vegetation piles in order to allow safe and efficient burning.

It appears that the CC Council has been lobbied to implement a Central Coast Council draft Pile Burning policy which is on exhibition until 19th December. The policy is a massive expansion of the scale of burning (i.e. Increases the size (diameter) of logs from 150 mm to 300 mm , an increase of 400%, Increases the bulk of Open Pile Burns from 1.5 by 2 metres to 2 metres by 4 metres an increase of 270%). It also seeks to remove the need for a permit and instead allow for self assessment and burns at any time. 

The current draft allows self assessment for:

D1           Parcels of land must be:

  • Greater than 4,000m2in area; and
    • RE2 Private Recreation, 
    • R5 Large Lot Residential, 
    • RU1 Primary Production, 
    • RU2 Rural Landscape,
    • RU5 Village or 
    • RU6 Transition under the Local Environment Plan.
      • Self assessment means nothing.

bonfire2 webThe draft policy has excluded self-assessment on Environmentally Zones land – but there is huge pressure on councillors for this to be allowed.

RFS have indicated that there are 3 major considerations each comes under different legislation:

  1. Safety and Controlling Wildfire is the responsibility of the RFS and the Bushfires Act;
  2. Smoke is the regulatory responsibility of the EPA and CC Council. The person who lights the fire (either with or without a permit) is responsible for any deleterious effects on neighbours;
  3. Environment(vegetation) is the responsibility of the CC Council and clearing or burning needs their approval.

However, RFS are missing a significant aspect, being the impact of pollution on public health. As this policy covers the discretionary burning of a heap of dry vegetation at any time except during days of total fire bans it is not emergency or critical part of the fire risk management strategy. The fuel could just as easily be disposed of by other means which do not generate smoke – such as mulching or dumping at a waste facility. Air Pollution in the Sydney Air Shed can come from anywhere from the Central Coast to the Illawarra as the winds recirculate being trapped between the mountains and the coast.

There are many areas on the Central Coast where blocks of rural residential of 4,000 + square metres could be burnt regularly. For example, In the immediate area surrounding Glenning Valley, (Ourimbah, Berkeley Vale) there are nearly 14,000 people who are likely to be adversely impacted by smoke. Hence, the policy should not apply near urban areas.

Where burning may be conducted without a Permit, there is nothing to stop people burning each time a pile of leaves can be raked up, this could be almost continually. 1 in 9 Australians suffer from asthma and wood smoke is a source which is almost impossible to avoid.

It is not that hard to take vegetation to the tip – just laziness and disregard for the health of others by some landowners.

If you are affected by smoke or live in an area where people like to light up every weekend say NO to more pollution. Put a submission which asks CC Council to always require a Permit for Pile Burning.

CEN has an online form to help with submissions - click here

For more information visit: https://www.yourvoiceourcoast.com/draftopenpileburnpolicy

Remember - submissions are due by 19th December

The Central Coast Council has recently placed its Draft Tree and Vegetation Management Chapter XXX on exhibition for public comment.

While the draft chapter generally requires landowners to obtain a Permit from Council to remove or prune a tree, the draft also describes Exemptions to avoid having to obtain a Council Permit.

The Draft Chapter and Submission details are available through the following link: https://www.yourvoiceourcoast.com/draft-development-control-plan-xx-tree-and-vegetation-management.

Under the proposed chapter, trees may be removed without a Permit if Council is “satisfied” that they are dead or are assessed as posing a risk to persons or property and are not required as habitat for native fauna. Evidence of these assessments is required to be kept by the landowner for 6 months after the removal.

THE COMMUNITY'S CHANCE TO STOP MANGROVE MOUNTAIN LANDFILL

Background information on Mangrove Mountain Landfill

Mangrove Mountain Landfill sits at the highest point of the Central Coast water catchment and threatens the quality of the Central Coast water supply. The Landfill is located at the Mangrove Mountain Golf Course on the boundary between Gosford LGA and Wyong LGA. The threat comes from escaping leachate produced by the landfill that can seep into the underlying groundwater aquifer. This landfill has been getting bigger since 2001 and is currently 10 times the approved size.

The landfill has lain idle since 2014, following action in the Land and Environment Court, although there is still the matter of 800,000 cubic metres of waste sitting there without an effective lining underneath to prevent the escape of toxic leachate into the groundwater.

Scientific study has demonstrated that almost half of the stream flow in Ourimbah Creek comes from this groundwater. Central Coast Council pumps out of Ourimbah Creek into Mardi Dam. Water in Mardi Dam is shared with Mangrove Creek Dam. These are the two potable water storage facilities for the entire Central Coast.

The Mountain Districts community has been engaged for over ten years, opposing this threat to the regional water supply.

Two actions are sought. Firstly, a Special Commission of Inquiry to investigate the reasons that allowed a minor golf course remodelling project with development consent to become a regional waste management facility. Mangrove Mountain Landfill is an example of a gross failure of regulatory process and the community would like an inquiry to identify how this happened so that these sorts of things can be prevented in the future. Secondly, the community believe that Mangrove Mountain Landfill should be closed and the site remediated to eliminate the threat of leachate contaminating the Central Coast drinking water supply.

CEN News Headlines

  • Chair's Update- It Takes A Village

    It Takes A Village ... Is originally, an African proverb. We have all heard it and understand that raising children and the next generation requires multiple members of the community, such as extended family, teachers, mentors, surrogate family members and friends to support and help them develop. Parents are not enough,

    Read More
  • Volunteer and paid opportunities at CEN

    The CEN is an alliance of community and environment groups from Lake Macquarie, Wyong and Gosford. We are a non-profit organisation working to protect and improve our local environment. The aims and objectives of CEN are as follows:• to increase effectiveness of community groups • to be a regional voice on

    Read More
  • Call for Submissions- CC Council Draft Waste Resource Management Strategy 2020-2030

    CEN would like to remind the Community and CEN Members that The Central Coast Council's Draft Waste Resource Management Strategy is currently open for Public Exhibition.   https://www.yourvoiceourcoast.com/our-coast-our-waste The team at Community Environment Network hosted a discussion with Kariong Eco Garden about the Strategy.Check out CEN's facebook page for some more

    Read More
  • Chair's Update- Local Systems

    Local Systems As a member of the Local Futures network a global organisation that recognises, that the future lies with the local community. We share ideas, stories and models of operating that work in our localities with the aim of developing socially inclusive and sustainable communities. So, we understand, that

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  • Volunteer positions available at our Wildplant Community Nursery - Ourimbah

    We are looking for nursery hand volunteers to assist the nursery coordinator at our Ourimbah Wildplant Community Nursery 2-15hrs a week.   Duties include: watering, tidying, weeding of plants, stocktake, preparing plant orders and labelling. No experience needed, onsite training provided.   Please contact CEN if you are interested.  Nursery hand Volunteer

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  • Submissions required- Central Coast Council's first draft Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) is on exhibition until the 8th June

    Central Coast Council's first draft Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) is on exhibition until the 8th June. This is an important document as it will strongly influence if not direct how and where local development will take place over the next 20 years If you want to have a say on the

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  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

    The CEN office is closed to the public until further notice. There will be skeleton staff working at the office, if you have any queries related to CEN please contact us via email or phone.  02 4349 4756 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  • Chair's Update - Health Crisis?

    Health Crisis? The recent outbreak of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has forced authorities to take measures to practice self-isolation and physical distancing. So hence CEN has had to cancel its upcoming events, that engage us with our natural environment and each other through our numerous programs. As well as being a

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  • Chair's Update - Imagine

    The year is 2050 and our Central Coast Youth are now leading in their respective fields in our communities across the coast. The transition to renewable energy production is now complete, the local economies are interdependent on sustainable industries, run and owned locally. Community gardens are a hive of activity and

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  • Chair's Update - Community Healing

    If you think about our first response to emergencies and disasters, we generally look out for our fellow community members. We offer them shelter, feed and care for them, it’s in our DNA, we just do it automatically without giving it much thought. Recently, a wider cross section of our

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  • Chair's Update - Human Nature

    Depending on who you ask, ‘what is human nature?’ You’ll receive a completely different response. The lens with which the world is viewed is the key here. An economist may say human nature is to strive for development and growth, a health practitioner may say human nature is to strive

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  • CEN Networking Night and BAT Award Winners

    Last night, 28 November was CEN’s End of Year get-together where we celebrated together the achievements of this past year. We also presented the 2019 Be a Team (BAT) Awards and CEN Staff gave a brief update on their activities for the year. The 2019 winners are: Most outstanding all-rounder “BAT”

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  • Chair's Update - 'Living Systems'

    The recent catastrophic fire conditions have highlighted the deep disconnect we have with nature and lack of understanding of our interdependency with this living system, of which we are a part. This ignorance at all levels of our complex societies, has detached the connection between deforestation leading to soil erosion

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  • Rapid Response needed! Submissions on the Draft Biodiversity Strategy

    Please make a submission - they close on Monday, 11 November, 2019.  Central Coast Council has recently exhibited a draft Biodiversity Strategy. We note that there are many good actions in the document that staff have prepared. It is also a well presented document with lots of good information and illustrations.

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  • Chair's Update - Be Like Nature

    Nature is diverse, connected, interdependent, restorative, and regenerative which has with time generated resilient communities of species and natural wonder. Those of us who do enjoy spending time in our natural environment would recognise this quality about being human, we are aware of nature’s beauty and bounty.

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  • Chair's Update - Building Youth

    Building our Youth, for the future is something as community members and leaders we should be refocusing our energies. To quote Franklin D. Roosevelt, “We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.” As a community campaigner over the years

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  • Chair's Update - Challenging Times

    We face challenging times across the globe with global warming and climate change, these challenges also bring opportunities to develop sustainable development, that is in balance with our basic needs of clean air, water and soil to grow our foods and plant our trees. A balanced approach is needed to

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  • ABC 4Corners expose of waste industry and Mangrove Mountain landfill - calls for a Commission of Inquiry

    Mountain Districts Association (MDA) and the Community Environment Network (CEN) are now calling for an Independent Commission of Inquiry and investigation by the NSW Police into the Mangrove Mountain Landfill as a matter of urgency. We are also calling on the NSW Premier to sack the EPA Board. Did you see the ABC 4Corners story exposing the waste

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  • THE BATTLE OVER MANGROVE MOUNTAIN LANDFILL IS IN THE LAND AND ENVIRONMENT COURT

    Background information on Mangrove Mountain Landfill Mangrove Mountain Landfill sits at the highest point of the Central Coast water catchment and threatens the quality of the Central Coast water supply. The Landfill is located at the Mangrove Mountain Golf Course on the boundary between Gosford LGA and Wyong LGA. The

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  • New Council Pile Burning Policy

    CEN belives that this is a very bad policy that will impact the health of many people with asthma as it allows burning without a permit and increases the amount of fuel by 270%. The existing RFS/NSWFB Policy on Pile Burning does all that is needed for keeping properties clear

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Contact details

CALL 02 4349 4756

FAX 02 4349 4755

PO Box 149 Ourimbah NSW 2258

CEN OFFICES
The Manor, Central Coast Campus
University of Newcaste
Brush Road Ourimbah
NSW

EMAIL US


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