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Senseless Vandalism Our reporter spoke with Sharon McCarthy from Galgabba Landcare in regard to a recent spate of vandalism on the Landcare site at Swansea South. On arriving at work last Monday, they found that a large area had been chopped down. Beautiful Banksia trees that served as a buffer for the ecological area had been sawn off and just left to fall to the ground. Banksia is very slow growing and they have been watching these trees grow over a ten year period These trees that have been taken such good care of have now been mindlessly destroyed. Not only have they trampled all over the site causing a lot of damage, but they have also started to try to saw through other big established trees and left them bleeding. As Sharon says there is vandalism everywhere around the lake and people can become indifferent to it, but when it happens in an area that has been so well looked after it becomes very personal, This site has a large team of 25 to 30 people working tirelessly 5 days a week looking after the environment and making an area that the community can be proud of. These people are devastated when the area is senselessly destroyed. Sharon is amazed by the fact that whoever did this destroyed everything else but left the Lantana. A week prior to this incident the crew had to scrape down trees that had foul

language and graffiti spray painted all over them. Sharon said that they have had many people ringing up or stopping to say how sorry they were about what had happened. This woman and her team have gained a lot of respect in the community because of the wonderful work that they do to protect the environment and the wildlife in this area. She would love to see the next generation of children grow up to respect not only the environment but the community. Many school children have been through the site and have learnt so much about nature. Sharon is passionate about preserving these living corridors and does what she does because she wants the community to benefit from the work that they are doing. Anyone who is interested in preserving the environment, native flora or birdlife should go to the Landcare site and talk with Sharon. She has such a vast knowledge of taking care of plant life and not only that she has also studied marine life and is full of information in that area, she would be happy to speak to groups and organisations who want to know more about these subjects. Her photographic work is amazing and has not long ago had her marine life pictures up in the Lake Macquarie City Council’s foyer and has presented talks in this field. Sharon draws wonderful sketches of native birdlife and plants for the children that visit the site to take home and colour in. Sharon, Jack Ballard and the team at Galgabba are a wonderful asset to our community and work hard to put something into the area rather than take away and destroy it. It is a shame they are being targeted by these senseless acts of vandalism.

Channel Dredging to Commence Robert Coombs MP, Member for Swansea, has welcomed funding for urgent dredging works to Lake Macquarie as part of the NSW 2009/10 Budget. The NSW Government will be investing more than $300,000 towards the dredging works in Swansea Channel. The works are aimed at providing early relief for recreational boaters over the coming peak boating season that commences in September. The section of channel between Pelican Marina and the drop-over near Marks Point has recently been affected by a build up of sand. Tenders for the project are expected to be called in the next few weeks with work commencing in late July. “These works are needed for local recreation and commercial uses to navigate the channel,” Mr Coombs said. “This will provide a real boost to the local economy as

it will open the waterways for recreational boaters and tourist operators as well as commercial boaters.” Minister for Lands, Tony Kelly, said that the Department of Lands is continuing to review proposals from the private sector aimed at developing a commercially viable operation for maintaining the channel. Lands is working closely with Lake Macquarie City Council, NSW Maritime and other stakeholders to look at all options for a sustainable long term strategy for the channel. The dredging funding is part of the $2.9 million for the minor ports and river entrances program. “Navigation of river and port entrances are essential for the regional economy and the government is committed to working with communities, authorities and the private sector to achieve improvements to maritime infrastructure”, Mr Kelly said.

Swansea Woolworths The Lake View spoke with Andrew Loveday, the Development Manager of the new Woolworths that is going up in the Main Street of Swansea. Andrew said that he was very happy with how the development was progressing. The only real setbacks have been due to the wet weather, but everything is still going to schedule. It’s amazing as you drive through Swansea to watch it all come together and realise that it is actually happening. They are hoping to open their doors prior to Christmas, so good news for the community to be able to have some shopping variety over the holiday period. The supermarket will be a 3,400 square metre

development. It will include some specialty retail shops fronting the Pacific Highway and a Council owned car park at the rear of the building. The design also includes a small terrace café area for outdoor eating, enabling the front area facing the Highway to become more user friendly. A supermarket this size would employ around 100 people in full time and part time positions, with 70% of these opportunities available to locals. Woolworths are keeping in touch with the local Chamber of Commerce, who Andrew said have been very supportive. They are looking forward to being a part of this community and being able to bring something new and fresh to the area.

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