Your input is appreciated.
If you have any "news" items that you think would benefit from being on this page then please email them to Phil Bolton by clicking here.
The CCA will only publish non-biased articles on this website. This is not a forum for expressing personal views or arguments, so please ensure anything you send is not "for" or "against" the goings on in Copa and it's surrounds.
Your input is appreciated.
If you have any "news" items that you think would benefit from being on this page then please email them to Phil Bolton by clicking here.
The CCA will only publish non-biased articles on this website. This is not a forum for expressing personal views or arguments, so please ensure anything you send is not "for" or "against" the goings on in Copa and it's surrounds.
A Heart in Africa
and a Home in Copa
Dr Andrew Browning, an esteemed obstetric fistula surgeon, lives in Copa with his wife, Stephanie and their two boys, William and Christopher. It’s a world away from their life in Ethiopia, where Dr Browning began his life-saving work with the late Dr Catherine Hamlin in the 1990s, treating women who suffered fistula; life-long, untreated and stigmatising injuries resulting from long deliveries at home that might take 3-10 days. The injuries permanently diminish their health and quality of life, leaving them ostracised, depressed and often suicidal.
Dr Andrew, as he was known in Ethiopia, established maternity hospitals, trained midwives and performed surgery across Kenya, , Somalia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Malawi and South Sudan while based in Tanzania. He established The Barbara May Foundation to raise funds and awareness to support and expand his important work across Africa and has recently written A Doctor in Africa (a book which has already sold out of its first print run) detailing the plight of the women he serves and what is being done to help them. As a result of Dr Browning’s leadership and the work of his Foundation, maternity hospitals and training programs have been set up across Africa and South East Asia, providing an essential, life-saving model of care for thousands of disadvantaged women.
Andrew and Stephanie lived and worked together in Africa for 17 years as Christian missionaries; volunteers who were supported by churches including Kincumber Anglican Church. Stephanie grew up in Africa and while Andrew was building hospitals, she was building schools. A formidable couple, it seems!
Stephanie’s parents live in Copa, and when they were visiting Australia they returned to a home they owned in Avoca, and eventually settled in Copa permanently in 2017. Their boys, now aged 15 and 12, attend local schools and play footy for the Avoca Sharks. Although they miss Africa the family enjoys the beautiful coastal surrounds and peaceful life at Copa.
Andrew returns to Africa regularly to perform surgeries and has only managed three trips since the onset of the pandemic, since travel there is often fraught with other challenges, including civil wars. He ‘has a ticket and permission’ to go back in October and has his fingers crossed he will be able to get on the plane and continue his work.
We wish him safe travels and a speedy return.
If you’d like to know more, or make a donation, go to barbaramayfoundation.com and keep a lookout for ‘A Doctor in Africa’ at local bookstores or online.
me feel good!’
I don’t have a more complicated explanation about why I do it.
By Courtney Curtis
Accredited Japanese Yoga Teacher
Having the opportunity to live in Copa and share Japanese remedial yoga
with the community is very exciting for me. I began practicing Japanese yoga
fifteen years ago whilst managing manic creative departments in some of Sydney’s
biggest advertising agencies and realised that I could share the feeling of wellness it
gave me by teaching this yoga to others.
I undertook the Cert IV in Remedial Yoga teaching course and have been teaching for the last ten years.
Coming from a dance background, I have an understanding of the way the body moves and reacts, combined with the strength, control and dedication it takes to master an art like yoga. Yoga creates an opportunity for participants to pause and listen to their bodies.
Japanese yoga offers easy to follow postures and is suited to all fitness levels and body shapes, while each posture can be easily adapted so as not to aggravate any existing injuries (but still provide benefit).
Apart from improving your general wellbeing, practicing yoga regularly can help in many ways:
Easy weight bearing exercises which assist with bone strength
Strengthening of the legs to maintain and improve balance
Lubricating the joints through full range of movement
Stimulating the nervous system to aid in better sleep
I encourage a fun atmosphere to allow people to enjoy a little more social interaction in their own community. Many clients say that yoga classes help them tackle their day-to-day schedule with a bit more energy. Covid-restrictions permitting, I currently run a class for seniors held in the surf club Mondays 11:30am-12:30pm (except for the 2nd Monday of the month) – all abilities are welcome to join, including absolute beginners. If there is interest in more targeted practice - for example surfers or pre/post-natal classes - I would be happy to accommodate. For those that wish to practice in their own space, I also offer classes via Zoom.
Please get in touch with any questions or for more information - Call 0417 156 303 or email me at email@example.com
See you on the mat soon.
In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, defibrillation must be delivered without delay.
With every minute that passes without defibrillation, the patient’s chance of survival decreases by approximately 10%. Community Access Defibrillation is the solution.
Copa RFB Captain, Shane Hughes, was able to access the defib inside the Fire Station in an emergency situation experienced by a visitor recently. Consequently he realized that ready access to defibs in the right places in the community could really save lives, and he instigated a project to install them at several locations in Copa.
Shane worked with a group of organisers from Copacabana SLSC and Copacabana Community Association who have involved the not-for-profit organisation, ‘Community Defib Project’ to help guide the installation of defibs in Copa and for ongoing support and maintenance of the equipment.
An AED/Defib is a lightweight, portable device that instructs the user when turned on how to use it, step by step. The unit analyses the patient’s heart rhythm and only delivers a shock when safe/required.
The project group has secured funding for three Defibs that will be placed around Copa with 24/7 access for the community. Thanks to our generous sponsors, Floormaster Kincumber, Stone Real Estate and Change Property for their support.
There will be a fourth Defib installed and the CCA has made a donation on behalf of members for that unit.
A planned launch and training event had to be postponed due to Covid. Even though the AED/Defibs can be used with no training as they ‘speak’ to the user when turned on, the project group will be releasing some online training videos in the coming weeks and holding a face to face session when possible.
For further information, see communitydefibproject.org.au or contact local organisers:
Shane Hughes – Project leader and Copacabana RFS 4382 2400 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Richards – Copacabana SLSC, President@copacabanaslsc.org.au
Rob Morgan – Copa Community Association (CCA) – Info@copanews.com.au
To donate to the Copa Defib Project, please pay by direct debit
Bank: Community First Credit Union
Account Name: Community Defib Project.
Account Number 100333488
Reference: Copa / Surname
Please be sure to email: email@example.com
to request a tax-deductible receipt for donations over $2.
An Update from
Copa Medical Centre
Although we are bombarded daily with news about the pandemic - and we are fortunate that there are apparently very few positive cases on the
Central Coast right now - a few simple reminders might help to keep us all safe.
Masks are now mandated for use in all settings except your own home. You may take your mask off in your car, provided you are travelling alone.
Correct wearing of masks is essential to provide effective protection. Secure the mask ties in the middle of the back of your head and neck or slip the elastics over your ears. Make sure it covers both your nose and your mouth. Fix the flexible band to the bridge of your nose with the mask sitting snugly to your face and below your chin. For more info go to www.health.nsw.gov.au
Hand hygiene and social distancing are also crucial to help stop the spread of the virus, so make it a habit to keep your distance and wash your hands or use hand sanitiser whenever you are outside your home environment.
If you have any symptoms at all, it is vital to get tested as early as possible. Laverty Pathology currently runs a drive-through testing clinic on Avoca Drive in Kincumber (adjacent to the oval). No appointment or referral required.
For FAQs on vaccination go to www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/covid-vaccination-faqs.aspx
Copa Medical is providing COVID-19 vaccinations. To check whether you are eligible go to https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility or give us a call to discuss. Influenza (flu) vaccine is also important and can be administered to people 6 months and over 7 days apart from any Covid-19 vaccine.
Please do not neglect your normal health and medical needs at this time.
It is important to maintain use of any regular medications and to ensure that you seek medical advice if you are experiencing pain or illness for any reason.
Do not delay medical appointments or check-ups, including heart and eye care. At this time of year, allergies and asthma symptoms are common and medications should be regularly reviewed to ensure symptoms are being correctly managed.
Routine breast and skin checks are also important.
Our friendly team at Copa Medical is ready to assist, so please make an appointment if you have any concerns.
The Copa Tennis Committee advises that despite lockdowns and Covid limitations, Copa tennis courts are still available for use, although rules and restrictions apply. Tennis NSW, Central Coast Council and the Committee are responsible for ensuring that Health rules are followed and appreciate your co-operation and understanding at this time.
Players must check in using the Tennis QR code, which is affixed to all gates & doors.
Singles play only allowed. That is only two people allowed on court at any time. No gatherings are permitted on or around the courts.
As most locals will know, the upgrades to Susan Fahey Park have been completed. We’re sure users are enjoying the new facilities, but please note there have been changes made due to the upgrade. Council is now totally responsible for the two toilets and all facilities (except the Clubhouse). It is also responsible for the BBQ, water, equipment, and cleaning. Work on the Copa Tennis online booking system is almost finalised, with trial runs currently in progress. The community will be notified when the system is fully operational. Meanwhile, you can continue to book and pay for the courts via Leanne at Copa newsagency as usual on 4382 2442.
Copa Tennis Courts
Coaching is still allowed, but again, court use is restricted to two people. Please contact Tennis Coach, Mark Presdee directly on 0403 499 308 if you are interested.
Obviously, we all appreciate the opportunity to get outdoors and take some exercise, particularly during these stay-at-home times. The Tennis Committee thanks you for your co-operation and wishes you safe and ‘Happy Hitting’.
We are actively seeking new Committee members – please call Lorraine Parks on 0410 122 625 or Roge Mairet on 0452 507 070 if you can spare some time.
Copa Carols Returns - Save the Date
Saturday December 4 4-8pm
Pandemic permitting we hope to stage a pared-down
Covid-safe event this year and preparations have begun.
We’ll update you on plans as we go.
CCA MEETING DEFERRED
We propose to run a meeting via ZOOM on Thursday, September 23rd at 7.30pm.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Zoom format, we will be sending some instructions with the invitation, which will be sent closer to the date with an Agenda.
Will be held by Zoom on Thursday October 21 at 7.30pm.
We are in the early stages of planning for Copa Carols (seeking Council permissions etc) for 2021. Saturday December 4 is the anticipated date and we will provide more info as plans firm up.
A GENTLE REMINDER
Please pay your annual membership
fees if you haven't done so already.
Please pay $20 by Direct Deposit to:
Copacabana Community Association
BSB - 302 975
Account Number - 0051004
PLEASE ENSURE YOU INCLUDE YOUR SURNAME/RENEWAL IN THE PAYMENT REFERENCE
Thanks for the continued support to those who have already paid, and welcome new members.
Blue bottles on our beaches
By Margaret Platell, Lecturer in Environmental Science, Newcastle University and CCA Management Committee member
The term blue bottles is often used in different ways, but this time it is referring to the occasional (invertebrate) visitors that strand on our beaches when the wind is blowing in an onshore direction.
When the winds come from the east, they often carry along with them members of the “Blue Fleet”, an unusual community of invertebrates that float on the water’s surface. The striking blue (or violet) colour is thought to protect these animals from intense UV radiation and perhaps predation – hard to see a blue animal when looking down at the water’s surface (if you are a bird).
The most visible member of the ‘Blue Fleet’ is the blue bottle (Physalia utriculus). The blue bottle is a colonial jellyfish, which contains several colony members that cannot live separately from each other. The most obvious colony member is the gas-filled bladder, which acts to keep the blue bottle at the surface, and which can inflate and deflate slightly to sink or rise, perhaps as further protection against bird predators. You may have also noticed (if you look closely at the animals in a single stranding), that the keel-like crest will be angled in one direction which acts to catch the wind, but in another stranding the direction is different – this means that when the winds blow, not all of them will strand.
The one fishing tentacle of the blue bottle represents another colony member. This tentacle can be up to 1 metre long and contains many stinging cells that are used to stun small fish upon which blue bottles feed. These tentacles float close to the water’s surface, and can cause painful stings to beachgoers that may require medical attention.
Be aware that these stinging cells persist on stranded individuals, and can still cause painful stings.
Does the presence of blue bottles indicate a problem with our ocean ecosystems? The answer is that no-one really knows. Although blue bottles are the main species in the Blue Fleet, there are others, including invertebrate predators of blue bottles, and not much is understood about any of them. They are not considered commercially important, much of their life is spent far out of view of people and their distribution is wind-dependent and difficult to predict. It has been thought that numbers can increase quickly in response to certain temperature and nutrient combinations, which are then evidenced by the mass strandings seen on the shore.
For further reading, Blue bottles in particular:
Gershwin (2015). The blue bottles are coming, but what exactly are these creatures? Retrieved from https://rheconversation.com/the-blue-bottles-are-coming-but-what-exactly-are-these-creatures-48675
Power, J. (21021). ‘Large numbers are being stung’: Bluebottle invasion hits Sydney’s beaches. https://smh.com.au/national/nsw/large-numbers-are-being-stung-bluebottle-invasion-hits-sydney-s-beaches-20210206-p5706f.html
Jellyfish in general: Lamb, P. (2018). Jellyfish have superpowers – and other reasons they don’t deserve their bad reputation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/jellyfish-have-superpowers-and-other-reasons-they-dont-deserve-their-bad-reputation-88746
This is the second in a series of articles written by John Oates, a descendant of the Nyampaa Wailwan Nation of the Central West. John is a retired teacher of HSC English, Modern History, Aboriginal Studies. He was Regional Aboriginal Education Consultant for the Hunter Central Coast region for 12 years. John has been a Copa resident for 36 years. We appreciate the opportunity to bring you this article which he calls:
A snapshot of Copacabana
Not so long ago
A Summer’s Day
Tdjudibaring – Bulbararing – Mourawaring – Bouddi
The Garigal Clan had experienced another beautiful summer’s day at Tdjudibaring Bulbararing and were stoking the cooking fires - the camp fires for the Elders, the Women and children’s camp, the Mens’ camp and the Communal Circle where they were all going to gather after eating. In the Summer - or in this instance the season of the Salmon - the Clan liked to camp in the northern corner of Tdjudibaring, on and around the massive Midden that was the northern sand dune in the lee of the great headland, Bulbararing. They slept under the stars on warm summer nights. The children were taught all the names and stories of the Ancestral Beings up there, looking over them in protection. They learned of the Mirabooka (Milky Way); The Dark Emu; The Seven Sisters and many more. Everyone was taught to Recognise the Creator, Biaimi, and what his movements in the sky meant for the seasonal movements of the Clan.
The Tdjudibaring midden was thousands of years old. The Clan had camped and eaten their fish, lobsters, crabs. oysters, pippies, cunjevoi and spiny sea urchins amongst other things and left the bones and shells on the dune. The winds coming over the dune would then cover those remains with a layer of sand and thus the dune would gradually grow higher and higher each year. This day had been a particularly good one for the tuckerbox. The signal fires on top of Bulbararing and Mourawaring alerted the mob to the huge school of baitfish being followed by the salmon, bonito and kingfish early in the morning. The large ocean- going bark canoes were launched ready to spear and net a feed while the Guparr (Dolphin) callers were slapping the water near the shore for some help from the local pod in herding the massive school towards the shore so the men and women could spear and net fish in the holes along the shoreline and share the catch with the Gupaar.
Meanwhile, Elders and children went in search of food on the rock platform underneath the southern cliffs of Bulbararing. They methodically searched the holes and dived off the rocks to gather food such as oysters, tritons, abalone, cunjevoi, striped periwinkle lobsters and crabs. Others ventured north behind the dune into the freshwater billabong where they collected swan and duck eggs including ducks for the cooking fires. Eels and snakes were plentiful as evidenced by the name of the bay, Allagai - place of snakes/eels - and they were added to the menu for that night. Others still used the smaller bark canoes in and around the lagoon where the women fished with handlines with shell hooks and line woven from stringybark and younger men practiced their spearing skills with multi-pronged 3m fish gigs.
As the fires grew into the late afternoon all the food was gathered for the feast. Everything was shared. Meat was cut using oyster shell blades, stone flake knives and sharp stone axes. The Elders were served first followed by their sons and daughters as the Warrior Men and Fisher Women and so on until the children had their turn last. Then the Story Telling began. Funny incidents of the day’s activities were related and often turned into a dance or song. The Song Men and Women would sing songs to Country, to the Ancestors, to the Spirits who were all around, to Biaimi the Creator for protection and respect.
The Men and Women Dance Bosses would then lead the dances in the Bora Ring just near the communal fire, dances that would often continue late into the night.
As the dances slowed and finally finished, the Clan members returned to their own camps. The Elders in their sheltered hollows on the Midden, the women and young children to their camp and the men to their separate camp. The camp warrigals dutifully followed their families back to the sleeping fires where they guarded the Clan as it slept. They quietly talked as they watched the Mirabooka, the Dark Emu, The Southern Cross, The Seven Sisters and The Creator, Biaimi look down upon them. The Clan slept peacefully, safe and warm in the arms of their Mother, the Country they belonged to and cared for and loved: Tdjudibaring; Bulbararing; Mourawaring; Bouddi. In the morning the Clan was welcomed by the songs of the magpies and kookaburras as the sea eagles soared over the bay, looking for those bait balls and the larger predators in chase as they were breakfast for the young ones back in their nests high in the trees behind the lagoon.
There is much more to tell about the life of the Garigal Clan. We could tell of the Mullet season or the season of the Hairy Caterpillars, the season of the Whales or how the position of Biamai in the sky told the people to venture through the Bouddi, paying respects there and then along the connecting ridges to all the ceremonial lore places all the way out to Wollombi and Yengo. But not this time, for this has been a snapshot
So, if you place a 21st century Western civilization pair of lenses on Aboriginal Pre-Contact Civilization, hopefully you will recognise the truth. Aboriginal society was peaceful, moral, spiritual and law-abiding with a complex social structure. Moreover, this society had developed deep ecological practices which created and maintained environmental sustainability and harmony for thousands of years. They were not ‘primitive savages’, who wandered nomadically at their whim as my snapshot attempts to show. The People knew where they lived, cared for that place exclusively and when they moved around Country they did so under strict guidelines and protocols as to when and where and why they left their Home. Fire was a constant companion, friend and tool for the People, not an enemy. People lived long lives. Their diet always consisted of fresh foods: seafood; fruit; vegetables and lean meat of kangaroos, emus, birds and reptiles which led to fit strong men and women who really deserved the term “Elder” as they often lived well into their nineties!
Estimates vary today as to how many people lived on the Central Coast and at Tdjudibaring, Bulbararing, Mourawaring, Bouddi in particular, but there definitely was a local Clan, the Garigal. After 1788, European contact changed this Place forever. Regardless of how many people were actually here, by 1805, 85% of the Aboriginal people of the Central Coast ie Wanninginni, Awabakal and Darkinjung, were dead. But that’s
The issue of illegal/ unauthorised mountain bike riding tracks/trails on public lands has become a significant issue which is currently being considered by CC Council.
It has been brought to the CCA’s attention that such a track exists in Copacabana in native bushland between Del Monte Place and Cochrone Lagoon (near Casa Place). This is an ecologically sensitive/protected bushland area. Photos and a video showing the land which has been illegally cleared were shown to the meeting. Some community members at the meeting reported that they have also heard motor bikes using the area. There are also trails adjacent to the water towers going towards Winney Bay.
This - illegal trail building - has been reported to CC Council by residents. The CCA will recommend Council erect signage to indicate that the destruction and unauthorised use of this land is illegal and fines may apply. There is commercial interested in trail building and the broader issue of mountain bike policy is being considered by several councils across the state. The CCA will keep members informed.
Mountain Bike Riding Tracks/Trails
Findings/Comments on CC Council’s Lagoon and Lake Management Report
Margaret Platell prepared a report on this issue, which was summarised and presented to the recent meeting by Rob Morgan in Margaret’s absence.
Locals clean up after the floods – by Greg Maude
When the big flood comes out of the Durabin (Hawkesbury river)
As we have just experienced, the floodwaters turn north like many of our east coast rivers, carrying the debris of man and nature along our stretch of central coast beaches. Community members of Tdjudibaring (Copacabana) have been doing a great job removing all sorts of debris washing up on the beach.
Did anyone else notice the huge, brand new hardwood deck washed up on the rocks just past the rock pool? Sadly, someone has had it washed away from their home up the
A few of The Point board riders spotted the deck laying on the rocks and decided it was such a hazard to swimmers, surfers and boaties especially if it had refloated into the ocean in the next big swell. Pictured in the photos doing their bit caring for country are Ben Childs, Tony O’Toole, Ross McEoin and a few others who gave up a day to dismantle and remove the deck and other hazards along the rocks. Someone reckons the deck would look just great under the tree of knowledge where The Point crew hang out. All jokes aside take extra care on and around the water as there will be debris washing up for weeks to come.
Origins of Tdjudibaring
Some pre-contact history, by John Oates
This is the first in a series of articles written by John, a descendant of the Nyampaa Wailwan Nation of the Central West and a Copacabana resident of 36 years. He is a retired teacher and Regional Aboriginal Education Consultant for the Hunter Central Coast region. He was the organiser of the Smoking Ceremony held on the beach on January 26 this year and in previous years. We are grateful for his contribution to our knowledge and learning.
I pay my respects to the Ancestors of this Land and give thanks.
Thank you to all those who attended Our Smoking Ceremony on 26th January.
That was a gift. A gift of Healing.
I present this document also as a gift to our community. I give thanks to the Metropolitan North Regional Education team and their many Aboriginal Community contacts for much of the historical evidence presented here. Great thanks also to the Elders who have taught me for many years and especially to Aunty Tracey Howey, Wannannginni Traditional Custodian.
Copacabana has other names, ancient names, Aboriginal names, descriptive names that indicate a deeper connection to
and understanding of this place where we live today. The beach and the northern rock platform were called Tdjudibaring,
“Where the waves beat like heartbeats”. The northern headland is Bulbararing, “The biggest most powerful”.
The southern headland is Mourawaring “High ocean lookout” and the bush to the south was and still is the Bouddi, “The heart”. Think about some of those descriptors – “Most powerful, Beat like heartbeats, High ocean lookout, The Heart” and you’ll get an inkling of how the First People belonged to and loved this Country and had a responsibility to care for and cherish Mother Earth.
Everyone who lived here Belonged. Everyone was protected by the Lore, surrounded by love and lived in peace.
There was no war, no prisons, no cities or towns, no armies of conquest, no forts, no guns…
No rabbits, foxes, deer, horses, cows, sheep, no lantana!! And no guns. There were families and Clans and language groups.
In Tjudibaring Bulbararing there lived a Clan - ie, a small group of interrelated families. This Clan were the Custodians of this place for thousands of years.
The Clan living here at Tdjudibaring belonged to the social organisation or Country of the Wanninnginni Awabakal. This clan will now be identified in this document as The Wanninnginni, with permission of Aunty Tracey Howey, Blood line Custodian of Bungaree of the Wanninnginni. The Wanninginni Awabakal People inhabited the coastal fringes from Norah Head to present day Manly.
The Awabakal were north to the Hunter River and west towards the Wannarua near Muswellbrook. Just to the immediate west of the Coastal mobs were the Darkinjung whose Country extended from around Tuggerah Lakes and Wyong all the way west to Wollombi.
Relationships between the Wanninginni, Awabakal and Darkinjung were known to be cordial. Reciprocal visits were made each year between groups for several reasons including trade, ceremonies, sharing a beached whale or for Corroboree. Trading sojourns were important as Clans of each Country were able to barter for materials and items that were not available or non-existent in their own area.
Marriages were also arranged between groups through strict kinship and totemic rules that ensured the health of the next generation. All this was made possible by the Lore. Therefore all the above-mentioned gatherings were extremely important to the wellbeing of all the different Mobs. These were the Rules of how to Live and Behave and Belong. This was the Lore.
The Lore guided and protected everyone and everything. It was written in the petroglyphs or rock carvings on the ridges, in the pictographs or paintings in the caves and overhangs, it was there in the sky every day and every night. The people knew these places and rules and songs and stories because they spoke and sang to them all. The Lore connected our Tdjudibaring Clan to everyone and everything, everywhere. The Ancestors were always around, their Spirits in the trees, ocean, headlands, birds, sea life and all the animals.
The Stingray is the Wanninnginni Totem and can be seen on nearby rock shelves today. Ancestral Beings were in the Moon, the Stars, the Sun, the Mirabooka
(Milky Way), the Big Dipper and the Dark Emu. This Lore connected the Wanninnginni people of Tdjudibaring not only to the rest of the Wanninnginni Nation; The Awabakal and the Darkinjung Peoples but also to other Clans, Countries and Nations right around what is known today as Australia.
Aboriginal Lore was understood, loved and adhered to by all.
Cockrone Lagoon Management
Jellies in the lagoon!!
Jellyfish (not blue bottles!) have recently been observed in Cockrone Lagoon in Tdjudibaring. Using images and the expertise of locals, supported by Australian Museum information, these have been identified as the Jelly Blubber Catostylus mosaicus. This is a species which is known to occur in high numbers in estuaries in NSW, sometimes even being fished for human consumption. One local has commented that in her 33 years she has never seen such a bloom. So is this a cause for concern?
These jellies have a large bell (up to 45 cm across), often creamy white or brown and a large cross that may be seen on the top. They have up to eight clublike mouth-arms – that can sting but are not dangerous. The stinging cells on these mouth-arms act to catch their food and then funnel it to their stomach. Their food is zooplankton, including very small crustaceans and larval fishes.
Some scoping around has revealed how little we understand the reasons for jellyfish appearances. Jellyfish have a complex life cycle, involving both a sexual medusa stage and an asexual polyp stage. The large adult medusa include separate females and males that look very similar to each other. The females most probably brood their larval young after mating. These very small larvae (0.1 mm) will leave the parent, settle onto solid materials (seagrass, shells, rocks etc) and metamorphose into polyps which then stay in that one place. Polyps look like very small stalked flowers (less than 0.5 mm) and feed on zooplankton.
Polyps can persist for years in estuarine environments, sometimes budding off new polyps via asexual reproduction. At certain times (for reasons still not clearly understood by scientists), these polyps can rapidly metamorphose into free swimming medusa. These medusa then rapidly grow in size and appear as large swarms in estuarine environments. Their life span may exceed ten months.
The sudden appearance of such jellies in Cockrone Lagoon does not provide a clear cause for concern about any risks to humans or our water quality. Firstly, the stinging cells that are present on the short arms of this jelly are not considered a serious risk to humans. Any links to declines in current water quality are difficult to establish as polyps can live for years without metamorphosing into the adult medusa. However, if they do make more frequent appearances in Cockrone Lagoon in the future this may require investigation!
For further information see:
Atlas of Living Australia – specific details for this species https://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:afd.taxon:ca512058-d179-4a58-b8af-4e6c3517d5ba
Smithsonian Institution – All about Jellies https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/invertebrates/jellyfish-and-comb jellies#section_16508
Pitt & Kingsford (2000) Reproductive biology of the edible jellyfish catostylus mosaicus (Rhizostomeae). Download scientific article from here https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s002270000399
Margaret Platell – Lecturer in Environmental Science, Newcastle University and CCA Management Committee member
Council assessing future options for closed Kincumber Waste Management site
Residents can still utilise Council’s two major public waste management facilities, Woy Woy Waste Management Facility and Buttonderry Waste Management Facility, which are located at the northern and southern ends of the Central Coast and operate seven days a week.
Residents can also take advantage of Council’s comprehensive domestic waste bulk kerbside collection service. Households are entitled to 6 bulk kerbside collections per year, which reset annually on 1 February and can be booked at 1coast.com.au.
There are also a number of other options available to community members to responsibly dispose of items such as electronic waste, scrap metal, batteries, cardboard and more, which can be found on our other waste and recycling page.
Last year, the Kincumber Waste Management Facility was closed to the public in response to COVID-19. Council utilised this time to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the facility’s infrastructure and services, making the decision to close the facility in its current capacity as a waste transfer station. We are now reviewing opportunities for the Kincumber site’s best use in the future and will keep the community updated throughout this process.
Escape to the (other) Copacabana, NSW, where you can fall in love
Unlike its Rio de Janeiro counterpart, you won’t find any carnival-style bedazzled thongs in Copacabana, NSW. Just regular old thongs on feet in this sleepy central coast town.
Entrepreneurial land developers named the town after the famous Brazilian hot spot in 1954 hoping to give it that extra sizzle. It was 24 years before Barry Manilow sang about the Copacabana, but the name and the comparisons have stuck (much to some local frustration).
First Nations people knew the seaside suburb as Tdjudibaring, which means “where the waves pound like a beating heart”, or Allagai, meaning “a place of snakes”. Today, residents simply call it Copa.
Hidden by virtue of its one-road-in, one-road-out location, Copacabana is snuggled between Macmasters Beach and Avoca. Unlike its Brazilian counterpart, there are no high-rises, and minimal traffic and noise make it a popular summer holiday spot.
In recent years Copacabana has grown as more tourists have fallen in love with the beach and the small-community vibe. The population has picked up as more holidaymakers have chosen to call it home and Covid has pushed Sydneysiders to find new regional digs.
Population: 2735 as of 2016 census.
Copa Medical Centre Wed 3 December 2020
Essential Summer Skin Care for the hot months ahead
Higher temperatures and longer days are with us again, and with most of us heading for the great outdoors over the Summer it’s important to remember to practice good sun protection and monitor your skin for any changes. Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia, so it really pays to be Sun-Smart, particularly for us beach-dwellers.
Exposure to the sun’s Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the major cause of skin cancer and also causes premature aging of the skin and eye damage. Unlike the sun’s heat and light, we can’t see or feel UV radiation, so check the UV for your location on the free SunSmart app.
STAY SAFE IN THE SUN
Slip on covering clothing - Choose clothing that covers as much skin as possible, for example, collared shirts with long sleeves. Some clothing may provide an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), which is a guarantee of how much UV protection a fabric provides. (Check labels).
Slop on SPF 30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen - Apply a generous amount of sunscreen to clean, dry skin at least 20 minutes before you go outside. The average-sized adult will need a teaspoon of sunscreen for their head and neck, each limb and the front and back of the body. That’s about seven teaspoons (35mL) for a full body application. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating. Remember, sunscreen is not a suit of armour and should be used with other sun protection measures.
Slap on a hat - Choose, a broad-brimmed, legionnaire or bucket style hat which shades your face, nose, neck and ears, which are common sites for skin cancers. Caps and visors don’t provide enough protection.
Seek shade - Use trees, built shade structures, or bring your own umbrella or shade tent. Shade reduces UV radiation, but it can still reach you via reflection, so make sure you use shade in combination with other sun protection measures.
Slide on some sunglasses - Sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat worn together can reduce UV radiation exposure to the eyes by up to 98%. Sunglasses should be worn outside during daylight hours. Choose close-fitting wraparound sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard AS/NSZ 106.
To minimise your risk, the Cancer Council recommends adopting the above five Sun-Smart protection steps(1):
GET THE FREE SUN-SMART APP
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. More than 434,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma cancers each year and more than 11,500 people are treated for melanomas.
It’s important to get to know your skin and what is normal for you. Check your skin regularly for any new spots or changes in shape, colour or size of existing spots. Skin cancers come in a variety of forms, not just moles.
If you notice anything unusual, see your doctor as soon as possible. We encourage you to make an appointment at Copacabana Medical Centre for a check-up.
Dr Risto offers a comprehensive skin check and an expert medical opinion as well as treatment, including skin surgery. We take this opportunity to wish all of our patients and Copa locals a happy and healthy holiday season.
Cockron Lagoon Wed 3 December 2020
Twelve months ago, we provided information about a briefing paper we prepared for Council. We obviously couldn’t foresee what this year would bring. Clearly lagoon health has not been the most pressing issue on anybody’s mind, but we want to update the community. Just to set the scene - our lagoon is the smallest of the four coastal lagoons and considered the least impacted by urban development, with a relatively well-forested catchment area. This means that the quality of any runoff following storm events is relatively good, although sometimes very heavy rainfall can result in leaks from waste-treatment facilities, which can obviously impact water quality.
The water quality in our lagoon received a “Poor” rating in the latest State of the Beaches 2020 report, released in October. This report, which is based on the occurrence of water that is contaminated with organic waste (poo), did recognise that such poor water quality ratings were typically only found in the few days following rainfall events. Residents and visitors are therefore reminded to obey any no-swimming signs that may be posted by Council after heavy rainfall. You will be glad to hear that Copacabana Beach was also rated as “Good” and Macmasters as “Very Good” in the same report.
Many were delighted that Cockrone Lagoon was opened to the ocean by Council on November 3 on the night-time high tide, a process that was started earlier that day by locals keen to take advantage of the standing waves that are generated by water exiting the lagoon. Council opens the lagoon when low-lying adjacent houses are considered to be at risk of flooding. Emptying is part of the natural life cycle in our lagoons and the connection with the sea allows exchange of waters that also include fish and prawns. When emptied, the sediments from land runoff are very obvious, we were lucky that the lagoon filled again quickly from continued inflows – as this promotes continuity of the habitats for fish, prawns and waterbirds.
The briefing paper we sent to Council last year is still in their system, 2020 has been a big year!! We ask that residents make the CCA Management Committee aware of any issues around lagoon usage or water quality so that we can most appropriately drive change where needed to enhance the management of this amazing natural resource.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with LAGOON ISSUE in the subject line if you have any information to share. Meanwhile, we expect to see many families with small children, kayakers and visitors continuing to enjoy the lagoon waters over the warmer months.
The first sub-division of Copacabana was developed in 1954, with a considerable part of the headland acquired for open space. Shops were built and the Surf Club established in 1963. It was not for some years that electricity and water services were established. Sewerage wasn’t connected until 1990. The surveyor, Bert Hunter has vivid memories of those early days as contained in extracts from a book about developers Willmore & Randell.
“Copacabana was one of the hardest subdivisions ever – a few hundred acres of rugged rough steep rocky terrain, thorny thick scrub, plenty of timber. Sand dunes with a swamp behind. Native flora and fauna galore. It was a surveyor’s nightmare. Steep narrow roads following the contours, 1500 home sites.”
George Brand lived in Point Clare as a boy and went to local schools until the age of 15, when he left to work with his uncle, Peter Brand, at the only general store & newsagent in Avoca Beach. It has been fifty years since he set up shop as a real estate agent in Copa. His recollections from the book remind us just what an undertaking it was in those days.
‘So we put all our furniture – a few chairs and a pot plant – into the back of a utility truck and set ourselves up in an office out there. We had already listed quite a number of properties, and at about 3pm on the Friday when we opened the door people were waiting for us. We sold three blocks of land straight away, then over the weekend we sold about twenty properties and in three weeks we sold nearly fifty blocks. Prices ranged from $350 to $2100 for a beach front block’. Those were the days!
George now lives in Davistown with his wife, Tosca, who was intrinsic to the success of the business. They live on the waterfront in a house they built, with lovely gardens and a chook house.
The Brands built their first Copa house in Helen Drive in the early 1960s, having bought three blocks of land there for $1000 each. They recall a Christmas party they held there attended by ninety people, which was at the time almost 100% of the total population of Copa.
After 50 years, George Brand Real Estate’s current owners are Scot and Michelle Harvey – Scot worked for George for 25 years, and Kyle still works in the Avoca office, so it’s still a family business and still going strong.
George Brand Wed 3 December 2020
Susan Fahey Park Update from the Council Project Manager: Mon 12 October 2020
The civil / landscape works are nearly at an end with the majority of the pathways now in place. The creek bed has been lovingly handcrafted and looks amazing, complete with bespoke timber bridge.
The picnic shelter and drink bottle refill station have been installed and the retaining walls are complete. Drainage has also been installed throughout the reserve.
This week (w/c 12/10) the playground equipment will commence installation closely followed by the park furniture, ping pong table, fitness equipment, softfall, handrails and soft landscaping such as planting, mulching and installation of grass.
If you have any questions about this project, please contact Emma Wallace on 4325 8458 or Emma.Wallace@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au
Advice received from Council regarding pruning at Lookouts 23/24 September Mon 14 September 2020
Council has listened to community concerns about their enjoyment of Captain Cook and Winney Bay Lookouts being impacted by vegetation growth, and we will be undertaking vegetation pruning at both lookouts on the 23 and 24 September.
The management works will take no longer than two days and include minor and strategic pruning and removal to maintain the scenic value of the coastal lookouts and increase accessibility.
Some lookout closures are expected whilst works are being completed, and signage will be placed on site.
We ask the community to obey the signs and stick to the formal tracks.
Susan Fahey Park - Project Manager Emma Wallace reports Monday 14 September 2020
I know the community is watching with keen interest as the project takes shape. I have had a few lovely conversations with locals about their excitement for the finished product.
The formwork has commenced for the footpaths and picnic shelter and concrete will start being poured this week. Keep your fingers crossed for sunny weather.
Sandstone blocks are also due for delivery this week so the retaining walls around the tennis building will also start to take shape.
The contractor (James from Ascape) is working to schedule deliveries and concrete pours around school times so as to make sure the carpark is free for parking and safe for the kids to make their way to school.
The project is still currently on track for completion at the end of October.
Emma Wallace, Parks & Playgrounds Officer, Central Coast Council
Ph: 4325 8458
Tuesday 1 September 2020 - Copa Medical Centre
With sustained community transmission across the state, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant recommends (direct from NSW Health) wearing a mask under these circumstances:
When it is hard to maintain 1.5 metres of physical distance from others
When in high-risk enclosed areas such as public transport, supermarkets, shops, places of worship and entertainment venues
When caring for or serving vulnerable people
When working in a cafe, restaurant, pub, club or in other high-risk indoor venues
And at all times outside the house if you are over 70, have a compromised immune system, or chronic medical condition.
Why is wearing of masks recommended?
One way COVID-19 is spread is when an infected person coughs or sneezes near another person. A mask helps to contain airborne droplets when a person coughs or sneezes and helps reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading.
What types of masks are effective?
The mask should cover your nose and mouth. It should fit securely around your face (that is snugly under your chin, over the bridge of your nose and against the sides of your face).
Single-use, surgical masks
Use surgical masks made with a non-woven, meltblown polypropylene layer.
Do not buy masks that have holes or a valve.
Buy single-use surgical masks from reputable retail outlets including chemists, hardware stores and other shops.
Reusable cloth masks
Properly constructed reusable cloth masks are made from at least 3 layers of materials, including a water-resistant outer layer.
You will need more than one reusable mask to allow for laundering between uses.
People who are unable to wear a mask may find it easier to wear a face shield but it is not a substitute for a mask.
Ensure the face shield covers the sides of the face and below the chin. Clean and disinfect reusable face shields after each use.
Wear disposable face shields only once.
Scarves and bandanas are not recommended
A scarf or bandana does not offer the same protection as a well fitted mask.
How do I wear a mask safely?
For each new situation put on a clean mask. For example, you might wear a mask on public transport until you get to work. You shouldn’t re-use the same mask during your journey home. Carry clean masks with you in a paper or zip-lock bag. Don’t touch the mask while you are wearing it. If you do touch it, wash or sanitise your hands. If your mask gets soiled or damp, replace it with a new one.
And ensure you remove your mask safely:
Removal: When removing your mask, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times. Remove your mask outside and away from other people, if possible, by grasping the ear loops or untying the ties. For masks with a pair of ties, unfasten the bottom one first, then the top one.
Disposal: Dispose of single-use masks responsibly in the rubbish bin. For safety, put it into a sealed bag before putting it in the bin to ensure others won’t touch it.
Laundering: Wash and dry reusable cloth masks after each use in the washing machine with other clothes or by hand using soap. Store in a plastic or zip-lock bag until you have an opportunity to wash them. Lay out flat to dry (in the sun if possible) or put in the dryer. Store in a clean, dry place.
After removing your mask, always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol.
WHAT IS THE CORRECT WAY TO PUT ON A MASK TO BE SURE IT IS EFFECTIVE?
Before putting on your mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Or use hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol.
Ensure you are using a new surgical mask or clean and dry cloth mask. Do not reuse surgical masks.
Check the mask for defects, such as tears or broken loops.
If you are wearing a surgical mask, position the coloured side of the mask outward.
If the mask has:
Ear loops: Hold the mask by both ear loops and place one loop over each ear.
Ties: Hold the mask by the upper strings. Tie the upper strings in a secure bow near the crown of your head. Tie the bottom strings in a bow near the nape of your neck.
Dual elastic bands: Pull the bottom band over your head and position it against the nape of your neck. Pull the top band over your head and position it against the crown of your head.
A metallic strip or wire: Mould the bendable metallic upper strip to the shape of your nose by pinching and pressing down on it with your fingers.
Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin. Be sure your mask fits snugly.
WE'RE HERE TO HELP:
If you would like some advice about the wearing of masks call Copa Medical Centre on 4381 1576 before dropping in and we will be happy to answer any queries you may have.
If you have any cold or flu-like symptoms (runny nose, temperature, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, loss of sense of taste or smell) you must isolate, arrange to be tested and then continue to isolate while waiting the result of your test. If you think you may have COVID-19, please call (do not visit) Copa Medical Centre for advice.
Susan Fahey Park - an Update from the Project Manager Monday 31 August 2020
The works at Susan Fahey Reserve for the playspace upgrade got off to
a great start last week with site establishment and demolition
Council crews have been in and done a small renovation to the toilets
to make them suitable for public use. The brick partition wall has
been removed to provide better passive surveillance to the toilet
block, vacant/occupied locks have been fitted as well as unisex signs
on the doors. The security doors have swapped sides and now open back
against the building. These works have been completed so the toilets
will be ready to open as soon as the reserve upgrades are completed.
This week the bulk earthworks, sandstone retaining walls and drainage
installation will commence.
We have been very lucky with the weather so far and hoping the
sunshine and dry weather continue, which is fabulous news for
Emma Wallace, Parks & Playgrounds Officer, Central Coast Council
Ph: 4325 8458
Works Commence at Susan Fahey Park Monday 24 August 2020
After vigorous inputs from many residents and community members, works for the major upgrade to Susan Fahey Park commence today August 24.
See the final plan below and the letter to nearby residents sent by Council last week. (Click on them to enlarge to full size)
Sections of the park will be closed off to allow works to proceed, but as sections are completed, they will be gradually re-opened. Council has asked that residents be patient while these major works are in progress.
Weekly updates will be posted here as they become available.
If you have any questions, please direct them to Parks & Playgrounds Officer, Emma Wallace at Emma.Wallace@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au or call her at the Council offices on 4325 8458.
Thursday 23 July 2020
BEAUTIFUL IMAGES BY CHRIS DICK
How lucky are we to have access to these fantastic photos of Copa by talented Avoca local, Chris Dick. We want to thank him for sharing, and for showcasing our beautiful neighbourhood.
Tucked away in Kincumber opposite the high school, KNC (Kincumber Neighbourhood Centre) is a hive of activity on weekdays, despite dealing with necessary changes during these days of COVID-19. With many of the centre’s regular volunteers being vulnerable to infection and unable to attend, Centre Manager Colette Baron and Senior Staff member Leanne Clarke are working hard with a small team of volunteers to continue the great programs at KNC despite the challenges. Services at KNC are currently in even greater demand from disadvantaged people in the community due to job or income losses and with school students gradually returning, programs like the Youth Brekky Club will be as important as ever to support local families.
During term time, KNC volunteers serve a hot breakfast to high school students from 7.30am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, serving an average of 650 meals a month. The benefit to both students and volunteers is apparent – the kids get a hot, nutritious breakfast to help set them up for the day’s learning and the volunteers get to interact with younger people and connect with the community in a really meaningful way. KNC Youth Brekky Club is not funded, however Bendigo Bank at Kincumber have been making regular donations to help keep this program running. Please consider a cash donation to support this important program.
Another important KNC community activity is their Food Pantry & Second Bite program:
For a $5 donation, people in need receive two bags of fresh food, groceries and toiletry items. The programme runs every Wednesday at 10.30am and much of the food is donated by local businesses – helping to avoid food waste.
The $5 donation makes it possible to include the extra items that families need every week. Usually the public are allowed to choose what they need from tables of produce and products to fill their own bags, but the centre is currently pre-packing bags to ensure that social distancing protocols are in place.
Copacabana Community Association (CCA) representatives visited the centre in May, to check out the Second Bite programme in action and meet key staff. We were delighted to make a donation of grocery vouchers to the value of $600 - on behalf of CCA members and Copa News sponsors – to assist KNC with supplies for their food programs.
Donations of staple foods and toiletries are always welcome as are new volunteers. Contact the centre for more information at www.kincumbernc.com.au or call 4363 1044 and ask for Leanne or Colette.
We have noticed lots of people turning their home gardens into productive patches during the lock-down. It’s very satisfying growing things you can eat (as well as saving you a trip to a crowded supermarket). Here are my tips if you’re just getting started – maximum output for minimal cost and effort. Even if you have a brown thumb, give it a try – start small and then build up to a bigger patch – and your kids will love to help plant and pick.
Choosing a ‘patch’
The spot needs a minimum of 6 hours sun a day. Pick a place where watering is easy.
Garden Beds – If raised about 50cm or more will make them easier to tend and save your back.
Old guttering run along the fence or between balcony poles or pots and hanging baskets may also suit your situation.
Soil – Is the key to healthy plants. Improve your soil by having a compost bin and or worm farm so the soil can be continually replenished or buy in some good organic soil to kick off with.
Can be very basic and still do the job well. Start with gloves, bucket, small and full-sized trowel and fork, scissors/secateurs, permanent marker for plant tags, ties. Always clean tools after use as it helps prevent infections.
What and when to plant
Google details about what and how you can plant each month. An easy place to start is by watching ABC TV Gardening Australia live or on iView. Specific topics are often covered by short Youtube clips - just type in what you are looking for.
What to plant when you’re starting out
Seeds and a mix of some small vegetable seedlings is a good starting point. Stagger the plantings to avoid gluts. Start with plants that grow and reward quickly like rocket, spinach, radish, beetroot, parsley, basil and rosemary.
If space permits, a citrus tree is worth considering and some come in dwarf size.
Despite their small proportions, dwarf lemon and lime trees produce full-size fruit. Usually it will take up to three years for a tree to reach mature fruit production.
Protect your patch
Here in Copa gardens often fall victim to rabbits, possums, destructive brush turkeys and odd creatures of the night. It’s easy to protect your garden with some second-hand fly screen wire, netting or chicken wire. Use old broom handles or timbers easily found in street ‘rubbish’ for
supporting posts. Pests and insects are less likely when you plant a variety rather than mass planting but if they strike seek information from your nursery. Companion planting can help.
Enjoy your produce fresh or preserved
Freezing, drying, pickling, and canning are all great ways to preserve the vegetables, fruits, and herbs you grow during the season.
Drying is the easiest method of preserving herbs. Simply expose the leaves, flowers or seeds to warm, dry air. Leave the herbs in a well-ventilated area until the moisture evaporates. Sun drying is not recommended because the herbs can lose flavour and colour.
Good luck with your growing. Send your photos to email@example.com and we’ll put them on the website.
The CCA pays tribute to the fallen Saturday 25 April 2020
It was very special to see so many people quietly standing on their driveways in Copa this morning with candles in hand, waiting for the sun to rise. And for a few lucky locals, lovely to receive the delicious Anzac biscuits being handed out by good neighbour Christine.
Representatives from the Copacabana Community Association yesterday laid a wreath on behalf of CCA members and the broader community at the Terrigal Foreshore War Memorial.
This morning's quiet, individual reflections on Anzac Day were very different from our normal Dawn Service, but it was a memorable Anzac morning for many of us, celebrating 'apart but together'.
Lest We Forget.
‘Our Josi’ nominated for Australia Day Awards
Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator for twenty-five years and long-time CCA Committee member Josi Fudge said she was honoured and proud to attend the Australia Day Awards Ceremony at the Laycock Theatre, for which she was nominated in the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award. She received a Certificate of Appreciation for her many years of voluntary service to our community, including nine years at the East Gosford Regional Art Gallery.
For many years Josi produced the Neighbourhood Watch newsletter, keeping the community informed about crime and other issues of interest to local residents. Josi said ‘I want to thank all involved for my nomination and award. I look forward to continuing my voluntary service to the Copa community and the Gallery for as long as I am able’.
The CCA joins the rest of the community in thanking Josi for her many years of service and warmly congratulates her on this well-deserved recognition.
SAVE OUR COAST.ORG.AU
a grassroots community organisation fighting Seismic Testing
The group was founded in 2018 as the Stop Seismic Testing campaign and has since evolved into the not for profit community group Save Our Coast. Natasha Deen, Founder and Chair explains how the campaign began, after testing off Newcastle.
‘When I started to search for information about seismic testing, I was horrified to learn that it uses intense and explosive underwater air gun blasts that fire continuously every 3-10 seconds, 24 hours a day for days, weeks or months to detect oil or gas reserves beneath the sea floor.
To inflict this torment and harm that is seismic blasting, in the whale migration path, in an area of rich biodiversity that includes dolphins and endangered sea turtles, to search for fossil fuels in a climate emergency, that will not only exacerbate climate damage but risk devastating our beautiful coast forever, is simply unconscionable. I’ve lived in Newcastle for 40 years and I love coastal walks and the serenity and peace it brings me. Knowing whales and dolphins and turtles are nearby swimming freely in their domain brings us all a feeling of joy. I felt it was imperative to take action’.
What is seismic testing and what is the impact?
Petroleum Exploration Permit 11 allows for fossil fuel exploration over 4,500 square kilometres of ocean from Manly through the Central Coast to Newcastle, in some areas only 5.5 km from shore. Seismic blasts are known to be amongst the loudest human made sound in the ocean, between 200-257 decibels, which penetrate hundreds of metres into the ocean floor and have been detected thousands of kilometres away. Peer-reviewed academic and scientific sources state the devastating impact of seismic blasts and underwater noise on marine life, including killing plankton and krill larvae over 1 km away (with impacts to our living ocean, atmospheric health and climate resilience) to causing stress, hearing damage, disruption of critical behaviour, and injury to marine life including fish, penguins, dolphins and whales.
Where is the campaign at now?
Save Our Coast has been in the news, after delivering a 60,000 strong petition opposing seismic testing to the federal parliament via Independent MP Zali Steggal. This was the culmination of two years hard work – 15 major events; dozens of film screenings & information evenings; over 14,000 conversations in the community. The campaign was nominated for the Best Environmental Campaign of 2019.
Subsequently, ADVENT Energy has cancelled plans for 1000 kilometres of seismic blasting off our coast but have now stated they are awaiting approval to apply for drilling. There will be a Senate Inquiry on the Impact of Seismic Testing, which will be heard in Gosford on March 17 with a community event planned for March 15. The battle is far from over.
Information for this article has been provided by Dr Natasha Deen, BDS(Syd), MPH (Dist), Founder and Chair, Save Our Coast.
For more details go to saveourcoast.org.au
The CCA management committee has been busy - here is a brief rundown on some of the issues we are currently working on:
Central Coast Council Draft Consolidated Local Environment Plan/Development Control Plan
We continue to be concerned about new development controls and regulations proposed in R2 zones under the new (draft) LEP/DCP currently with Central Coast Council for consideration. We have made two submissions regarding this and continue to push Council Planning Staff and local Ward Councillors to ensure that the unique local character we enjoy in Copa is respected, valued and retained. We are hoping the Council will not adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach to planning regulations across the Coast – we do not have the resources or infrastructure for increased population densities here.
We held a special meeting at the Surf Club to discuss this issue, well attended by many CCA members and residents. Deputy Mayor Jane Smith and Ward Councillor Jeff Sundstrom attended to answer questions and concerns from the floor. Locals made valuable contributions to the discussions and the Councillors provided suggestions as to how the community can make their concerns heard. The two Councillors appreciate the special character of Copacabana and were sympathetic to the group’s concerns. Updates will be posted on our website and emailed to members, so stay tuned.
CCA Management Committee members attended a 3 hour workshop hosted by Councillor Smith to explain the Planning system with strategic documents presented by the Environmental Defenders Office which was very valuable.
Meetings with Lucy Wicks, Adam Crouch and senior Council staff
We’ve attended several meetings over the past couple of months to further discuss issues relating to Copacabana. Amongst the many agenda items were:
Susan Fahey Park Upgrade
Concept plans still have a way to go as far as we are concerned. Discussions were constructive and we are waiting on further advice before we come back to the community with news and progress. We thank Adam Richards, President of the Surf Club, for his major contributions to this project.
We strongly argued that the local character of small seaside suburbs such as Copacabana must be protected and that new planning regulations must consider how the local environment will be affected by the introduction of new rules. Both elected representatives were sympathetic and agreed that these places are unique and must not be over-run by inappropriate development. Council advised that Local Character statements are factored into planning and development deliberations and undertook to consult with the community should there be any changes to existing Local Character statements.
We also made it clear to senior planning executives that we were not satisfied with the Draft LEP/DCP as it currently stands, and again raised our major objections to the proposed new rules under R2 zoning.
Water quality and lagoon management
We discussed the need for better communication between the Council and community regarding the management of Cochrone Lagoon, and particularly the need to monitor events such as fish and bird kills that can occur when the lagoon is opened to the sea (either manually by Council or from natural weather and tidal conditions). Council will communicate directly with Dr Margaret Platell (CCA Management Committee member) in order to ensure we are kept informed, and that there is a conduit for local reporting of issues about this and water issues generally.
Traffic and parking issues
We received an update from Council about the upgrade to Del Monte Place: Preparation works will commence before the end of the financial year and will include drainage works and a new footpath. Construction works will be spread over four stages and will take a couple of years to complete. We also presented our Parking and Traffic survey and discussed the best methods for making the area adjacent to the shops safer for motorists and pedestrians. The Council is working on solutions and we will update the community as more information comes to hand.
There are a number of other projects in progress such as early stage planning for an upgrade to the foreshores around the surf club and Bonnie Lookout; planning and preparations for our annual Anzac Day Dawn Service; preparations for local Clean Up Australia Day activities; liaison with the Save Our Coast organisation regarding seismic testing as well as regular meetings and communications with members and residents.
COPA BUSHCARE GROUP
Come and Join us!
We meet on the first Saturday of the month: 2-4pm. Join us at the viewing platform opposite the shops. We’ll always need new volunteers and you’ll be made very welcome.
For more information:
Contact our Bushcare Convenor, Bernadine Mitchell, 0418 420 737 or our Bushcare Supervisor, Nicole Hetta, 0404 135 597.
Copacabana Bushcare was established in 1993. Our aims are to improve and restore habitat for native birds and to stabilise the sand dunes. Over the years we have won several grants, enabling us to build the viewing platform and information signs that you see on our foreshores. Our major achievement has been to preserve and improve the coastal vegetation in the dune area. Without the hard work of our volunteers over the years, the native plants would be overrun with weeds, including the dreaded Bitou Bush (pictured above), which we are ultimately trying to eradicate.
If you’d like to help improve our environment but don’t have a lot of time, come along to the Copacabana Bushcare afternoons where you can make a difference (and some new friends). We’ll help you to understand the importance of the dune plants while you are helping to restore, enhance and protect our fragile coastal environment. You’ll help with seed collection and propagation, learn bush regeneration techniques, flora identification and how to tell the good native plants from the weeds.
Bitou Bush is a major threat to NSW Coastal ecosystems and biodiversity.
Bitou bush is native to South Africa and was planted along the NSW coast between 1946 and 1968 to stabilize the dunes. However, it spread rapidly and is now found along 46% of the NSW coastline. In some cases, the weed has spread 10 kilometres inland.
Bitou invades native coastal heathlands, grasslands and woodlands. It grows quickly and forms dense stands, replacing native plants and destroying the habitat of native animals. Infestations can smother sand dune, headland and coastal vegetation communities. Many threatened species and plant communities have been affected.
The NSW Scientific Committee has listed the Invasion of native plant communities by Bitou bush and boneseed as a key threatening process impacting both native plants and animals.
A Threat Abatement Plan (TAP) has been prepared to reduce the threat posed by bitou bush and boneseed to threatened species, populations and ecological communities and species, which may become threatened as a result of invasion.
If you have Bitou Bush in your garden, PLEASE remove it and cut and paint any roots with herbicide.
Our Council no longer removes it.