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Collapse Issue 598:<br />08 Jul 2024<br />_____________Issue 598:
08 Jul 2024
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Council cuts $1.44 million from Peninsula capital works
Steady flow of visitors at Bays Art Show
Mary Mac's seeks donations for meal service
Kevin Brooks announces run for council
Nominations sought for community champion awards
Klaas celebrates 90th birthday
Mingaletta to hold Naidoc gathering on Friday
Woy Woy volunteer wins 'rising star' award
CWA branch starts next stage of hall renovation
Woy Woy Rotary club receives bulletin award
Incoming president honours Scottish heritage
Marine Rescue volunteers undertake training exercises*
Reid welcomes 'cost-of-living measures'*
Men's Shed encourages members to new location
Patonga fire brigade boat crew called to assist
Bushcare group seeks new members*
Represented at Bathurst changeover*
Butter cake was demonstrated by cookery officer
Recommended by CWA book club*
Naidoc storytime session to be held at library
Beginners' workshop with craft cutting machine*
CWA branch has lunch in East Gosford*
Group urges residents to ask for more tree planting
Council provides plants for bushcare group
Track from Patonga to Pearl Beach is promoted*
Elders and seniors wellbeing gathering*
Man dies in St Huberts Island house fire*
Level crossing incident
Volunteers wanted on day of festival*
Library hosts Mod Podge Hats workshop*
Mingaletta holds free school holiday program
Wildlife show at Woy Woy library*
Monthly youth yarn-up on Thursday
June rainfall 40 per cent above average
Application for $2.6M beachfront house at Pearl Beach
Residents association holds planning workshop
Seven complying developments approved
Stage two work starts at aged care home
Parking fine despite absence of signs or yellow line
Good news for council election
Reasons why Blackwall Reserve should be saved
'Deferred matters' decision shows lack of good faith*
Replace the deadly Rawson Rd level crossing
Knitted goods and cash donated to Mary Mac's
Visitors asked to wear masks at aged care home
Referral program proves successful recruitment strategy
New bus takes its first excursion*
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Six plays selected for Flash Festival
Enrolments open for term three painting class*
Documentary about Palestinian struggles screened
Woy Woy to lose 'immensely popular' teacher
Woy Woy South plays in basketball gala day*
Girls soccer team win Bill Turner Cup
Students meet Local Member in Canberra
Three-way conferences to replace of interviews
Umina Beach students take part in First Aid course
Futsal team wins State championship*
St John's appoints new parent engagement co-ordinator
School produces digital reports for the first time*
Aboriginal education officer wins cultural award
Year 11 subject selection information evening*
Roosters appear vindicated with 20-year ban on fan
Peninsula Swans had a mud bath
Mixed fours championship play in cold wet wind
Everglades bowls awards night held
Bridge club holds Novice Pairs championship
Southern Spirit seeks grade captains
Three Tour de Central Coast rides involve Woy Woy
Umina surf club members win Central Coast awards
Eagles lose with depleted side*
Joint rubgy league team has first win*
Ocean Beach surf club elects new committee
PCYC offers 'Mini Olympics'
Outrigger club presents awards
Park run is short of volunteers
High-scoring rugby union match for Woy Woy*
Berkeley Vale beat SEU for second time*
Umina surf club elects life member*
Registration opens for winter water polo



Reasons why Blackwall Reserve should be saved

Here are a few reasons why Blackwall Reserve should be saved and reclassified from operational to community land.

In the wider scheme of things, Blackwall Reserve is insignificant.

Vast forests are still being logged, overfishing is rampant, industrial farming is sucking the joy out of everything, and polar bears will soon be extinct.

So why should we care about the fate of this tiny piece of woodland, no bigger than two suburban blocks?

There are many answers to this question, the first one being that this reserve is a microcosm of wilderness.

It's got the lot, from tall and ancient trees to a Noah's Ark of animals co-existing together, and doing a much better job of it than humans would.

From the micro bats in the treetops to the ringtail possums sheltering in tree hollows to the elusive boobook owl, they live their lives and rear their children and search for food without need of us.

Sometimes the human neighbours catch glimpses of them.

Coming face to face with a tawny frogmouth is something to boast about, as is hearing the boobook hooting.

Blackwall Reserve is a refuge for its inhabitants.

So many surrounding trees have been razed to the ground and replaced by human dwellings.

So many cars don't stop when possums venture onto the road.

The reserve is a citadel whose walls are made of paperbark and bangalay, and a place where animals can feel safe.

The trees are a remnant of Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland, which once covered the Peninsula but now only exists in a few spots in Umina and in this reserve.

The second most important answer is the link to the past.

The reserve contains an extensive midden that has been registered with the National Parks and Wildlife Service by indigenous elder Tracie Howie.

What is now our reserve was once a sheltered and welcoming meeting place for the original people living on and around the amazing Blackwall Mountain.

Following on from its sheltered aspect is answer number three.

It is very low-lying and flood prone.

When the surrounding blocks were sold off to a local developer 60 years ago, the reserve remained in Gosford Council possession to act as flood mitigation.

During heavy rain any cars parked on the edge of the reserve are at risk of water damage.

Chopping down the trees and covering the ground with concrete would inevitably lead to the laneway and surrounding houses being flooded.

The fourth answer is quality of life for the neighbouring humans.

The only access to this reserve is along a narrow laneway which is inadequate for the mid-density housing already constructed.

On the Ettalong side of the reserve is a townhouse complex, and on the Woy Woy side are three blocks of privately-owned land awaiting development.

The reserve is our breathing space, and will be even more so when the land next to it is built on.

Finally, although this part of Blackwall is quite densely populated, it has few amenities.

If you walk down to Springwood St, you can get a bus to Woy Woy but not to Umina Beach.

There are no food shops or cafes or restaurants; no schools, tennis courts or community centres.

To build on the reserve would mean shoehorning more people and their cars into a treeless purgatory, which does not sound like good town planning.

Blackwall Reserve is classified as operational land by Central Coast Council.

This means that it has no value except its sale price.

Council should change the classification to community land in order to respect its inherent qualities and value, and to prevent it from being sold off to the highest bidder.

It will then truly belong to the community, as well as to its community of animals.

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