Figtree Chapel

Figtree Chapel just before demolition

When next visiting the Hunters Hill Hotel stroll across the road to the Moreton Bay fig tree and small garden opposite the shops.  You’ll discover underneath the shade of the tree a sandstone plinth with a plaque. This marks the original entrance way to Figtree Chapel, the oldest public building in Hunters Hill, which was saved at the 11th hour from total destruction.

The sandstone church was relocated just down the road to Figtree Road, Hunters Hill where is resplendently stands today as St Mark’s Church.  After it was moved, the congregation added stained glass windows and other traditional features which have enhanced this lovely and quaint church.

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Trees in Sydney’s north: new clearing rules

Image: Friends of the Urban Forest

NSW Government has introduced new tree clearing laws.  What does it mean for the future of wildlife?  What about our ever-shrinking tree canopy?  You are invited to attend Total Environment Centre’s community forum:    Trees in Sydney’s North.

Speakers:  Jeff Angel TEC and Emily Ryan, Environment Defenders Office

When:  30 November, 6.30-8:30pm

Where: Cheltenham Recreation Club, 60-74 The Cres, Cheltenham
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Water Dragon strikes a pose

Image: Alister Sharp

Australian Water Dragons are out and about in Hunters Hill gardens this spring.

The recent drought conditions may be responsible for the visits from these dramatic creatures who are often seen in Brickmakers’ Creek in Boronia Park where there is usually ample flowing water, tree cover and basking sites.  This one trecked 300 meters from the riverfront.

Water Dragons have been around for a really long time.  Fossils found in Queensland show that this genus has existed in Australia for at least 20 million years. They grow to about 90cm in length and live on diet of insects as juveniles, becoming omnivorous as they mature, eating figs, crabs and vegetable matter.  A female in captivity was still producing eggs at age 27.

Check  the Australian Museum for more.  Send us your images of wildlife in suburbia.

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plan to reduce water going back to the Murray Darling Basin

image: Sascha Healy

The Murray Darling Basin Authority is proposing to reduce the amount of water that is currently going back into the river environment. This will stop water recovery in its tracks and limit the environmental outcomes of the Murray Darling Plan.

To give birds, fish, frogs and trees a fair go, keep salinity in check so that the rivers water can be used, and keep the mouth of the Murray open, the plan needs to recover 3200GL of water to flow for the environment.  If you have a minute, please sign the NSW Conservation Council’s submission before Friday 3rd November.

Read More »

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North District Plan: what is the real story?

or get this?

do we keep this?

The Greater Sydney Commission has released the Revised Draft North District-Plan. It predicts there will be 200,000 more people living in 92,000 more dwellings in the North District by 2036.

It sets out priorities raised by all of us who commented on the 2016 draft, including:

  • Protection of neighbourhood character
  • Medium density rather than high density housing
  • Enhanced walking and cycling connections
  • Improved transport and infrastructure to support housing
  • Measures to protect biodiversity
  • Protection of natural landscape including foreshore and bushland
  • Protection of open space, including Green Grid and urban tree canopy
  • Protection of metropolitan rural areas, particularly South Dural.

Why is this so very different from the reality of what is happening around us right now?

Comment on this latest draft before December 15th.

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SOS green space: signs of hope

Community pressure and the SOS Green Spaces campaign is having an impact:

  • NSW Minister for Planning is appointing a Parks and Open Space Coordinator to provide leadership and direction
  • NSW Government Architect’s Office is preparing a best practice policy for Sydney’s green spaces
  • Greater Sydney Commission plans to significantly expand Sydney’s tree cover.

Image:RicardoCarloLonza

The habitat of koalas and other wildlife is threatened by plans to house hundreds of thousands more people in Western Sydney. Total Environment Centre’s forum on November 16th will unpack the issues and strategies to manage risks.

Register to attend: Last Chance for Western Sydney Bushland.

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Australia’s oldest public square faces the bulldozers

For the past 5 years, community members have been protesting at Thompson Square in Windsor:  every single day, 24 hours a day, Christmas Day included.

The aim of this extraordinary vigil is to stop the NSW government from constructing a massive bridge and road right through the nationally significant heritage square – Australia’s oldest public square. Despite their efforts, the NSW government is pushing ahead with their plan. See the recent media coverage shown on Current Affair recently.

PEOPLE POWER

It's the little town with a huge history, and some of the most passionate locals you'll ever meet. In fact they've staged a 24/7 protest for the past 5 years, with not one day, or night, off. What's got them so fired up?#9ACA | WATCH THE FULL STORY: https://www.9now.com.au/a-current-affair/2017/extras/latest/171020/people-power

Posted by A Current Affair on Friday, 20 October 2017

Sign the petition here: community-action-for-windsor-bridge-save-the-birthplace-of-the-fair-go-and-australia-s-oldest-town-square.  There is a rally there on Sunday 29th from noon.

It is just incomprehensible that this precinct is going to be destroyed. Why not find another route?

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what about green space in the Domain?

Sydney Modern NE perspective

We are very concerned about the location of the Art Gallery of NSW’s controversial Sydney Modern Project.  The proposed design involves a series of pavilions on the open space Domain lands at the entrance of Mrs Macquarie’s Point with the Entrance Plaza and part of the main buildings over the landbridge.

Read about the issues at stake set out in the Briefing Paper prepared by concerned citizens Roslyn Andrews, Gillian Appleton and Bruce Donald who highlight:

  • loss of public open green space at the same time as Sydney population is soaring
  • adverse impacts on district views, pedestrian and vehicular access and parking
  • lack of informed consultation with all stakeholders and the public.

The design concept: Read More »

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Christmas party: for your diary

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Hunters Hill Trust members and their guests are invited to join us for the 2017 Christmas party.  Elizabeth and David Dossetor have kindly agreed to host our annual event at their historic Jeanneret house.  This stone house is said to have been a wedding present for CE Jeanneret’s youngest daughter Florence Hull.  It shows the transition towards the Federation style with geometric woodwork trims and shingles.  It is set in a beautiful garden.

When:  6:30pm Thursday 30th November

Where: 2 Futuna Street, Hunters Hill

Cost:  $55 per person    RSVP:   members@huntershilltrust.org.au

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what lies ahead for Crown Lands in NSW?

Crown Lands are precious and irreplaceable.

The draft Crown Lands Regulation 2017 and the Crown Lands Management Act 2016 will affect the use, management and potential transfer or sale of publicly owned lands across NSW.

The new regulations will govern the proposed transference of Crown Lands to local government.  Better Planning Network points out serious risks and problems in the current draft.  Read BPN’s submission here.

Image: NSW Dept of Industry

About half of NSW is Crown Land. Some of this land is for public use such as national parks, state forests, schools, hospitals, sporting, camping and recreation areas.  There are also significant portions of Crown land that can be leased for commercial or agricultural purposes or developed and sold.

Read the submission sent by Hunters Hill Trust here.

Send your own message (large or small) to the Department of Planning before October 15th:  here is the link.

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