It's on Again!!!!

This years awards will be hosted by Tilligerry Lions Club. Please contact the phone number in the add.

Firing up the Grass Trees

 Blackboys, grass trees, xanthorrea: call them what you like but whatever the name they are a native plant worth preserving.  

The ACI sand miners were very keen to keep them and apart from direct seeding and growing seedlings in the company nursery at Tanilba, the also used a front-end loader to transplant the mature trees.  

As well as this they retrieved many from the golf course before the bulldozer cleared the fairways. Indeed this ancient plant became the golf club logo.  

The secret of successful transplanting was fire. You see, if the trees were burnt off after being relocated, there was no transpiration from the fronds and a fire induced regenerative cycle came into play. What's more the seed spikes soared skywards. These formed triangular seed pods and the black seed was scattered by the wind.  

There are at least four varieties of xanthorrea in Tilligerry but the 'australis' is the only one which has a trunk. Look at the photo. The one the boy is leaning on is well over 60 year of age as the trunk grows at the rate of about one metre every 30 years.  

Landcom, in developing the Koala Bay Estate, involved Tanilba School in transplanting many grass trees into the school grounds. It also asked the school to name some parks in the estate. They presented the school with computers as a way of saying 'thank you ' to the children for their help.On top of this, they transplanted many more to the RSL entrance and surrounded the lake with them as well.  

Sadly. many have died due to heat stress and from Landcom's failure to burn them off after transplantation.  

The picture shows pupils supervising the placement of the trees.  

This is an old photo and these children are well and truly grown up and could even  have children of their own by now. Do you recognize any of them?    

Photo: Pupils with an area of  relocated  grass trees.


Internet at the LTP Community Library

We are in the middle of changing over the internet/phone system at the library and as such we have no internet available at this stage. We will endeavour to have it up and running as soon as possible.

In the meantime there is internet access at the mobile library.


We apologise for any inconvenience and we will let you know when we are back up and running. We do still have photocopying facilities available. Black and white printing 25c per sheet.

Foreshore Future Plans 

“Why don't they just fix the roads?” This is the standard response of ratepayers when council pours hundreds of thousands of dollars into parks,  boat ramps and amenities. 

Councillor Steve Tucker explains: 

“ We must understand that the State Government gives us grants for specific purposes,” he stated. “The $1 500 000 roundabout at Tanilba is one such case. The money was given to us as part of the 'Black Spot' initiative. It simply can't be spent for any other purpose,” he added. 

Much of the foreshore makeover is funded by another grant with  council contributing as well,” he said. 

“The sail over the decking has taken a while because the original design of the pillars did not suit the swampy sub-soil so it had to be re-engineered,” he pointed out. 

“By making Henderson Park a showpiece, the word gets around and we attract visitors, day trippers the boating fraternity and holiday makers. They spend money and our business people prosper,” he added. 

Future plans for the area include a 'Town Square' piazza designed in the shape of an oyster with seating, trees and shades with an extension of the pedestrian pathway to the end of Rudd Reserve. The removal of boats from the sand into racks has given the public more space to move and the 'dump point,' attracts travelling caravaners and those with mobile homes.   

“We are also looking to construct a new Marine Rescue base station on the waterfront above the existing amenities block,” he concluded. 

Photos: Workers preparing the deck foundations....and …. The finished product.

Food for Thought 

Which ever way you look at it, there are those out there in the community doing it tough at the moment. With job losses, soaring rents, petrol price rises and living costs going through the roof, it will be even harder for them as we enter winter. 

That's the bad news but Tilligerry has always been a place where civic minded souls reach out to those in need. 

For many years our two charity stores, staffed by volunteers, have sold clothing and food very cheaply to people who simply cannot afford top of the range goods. 

Coles has played its part too with its 'second bite' initiative providing excess food to the needy. Lyn Martin and her group of young mothers at the Mallabula halll were eager consumers of this generous offer. 

Our churches too offered assistance with the regular free dine in lunch for the elderly of a Thursday. It changed when covid restricted public gatherings and became a drive in service with fresh vegetables from their own 'Garden of Eden' featuring on the menu. 

As well as this, the Uniting Church has always run a free Xmas dinner for those left alone on the day. 

But, dear reader, another initiative has recently come to the fore in the form of a free kerbside larder as its instigator Bree explains. 

“ I noticed the stress people were under when covid forced lockdowns and they were put out of work with rent or mortgages to pay and bills mounting up,” she said. “I had already put a community library structure on my front boundary and the idea of a larder or pantry came to mind” she stated. 

“Residents wanting to donate, just have to put in-date non perishable food in the pantry and those in need just take what they fancy,” she said. 

“It's worked very well apart from some minor vandalism. We roll the pantry into the garage at night and during wet weather,” she added. 

Want to take part in this wonderful initiative? The library and larder are in Pershing Place Tanilba Bay opposite the old fire station and next door to the Uniting Church. 

Photos: The Baptist Church's 'Garden of Eden'.....Lyn Martin distributing the 'second bite' goodies from Coles.....and the kerbside library and larder.


Making Your Own Fun 

With the Covid lockdown, people once again resorted to making their own fun. This is what previous generations had done to keep their minds active and  to generate that all important social interaction. 

Before the use of radio and TV, community dances , card nights and housie (now bingo) were all the go but with the arrival of the electronic age these etertainments have all but disappeared. 

Tilligerry, being an isolated peninsula, has always entertained itself but, some ten years ago the last of the live theatrical shows came to an end. 

The Tilligerry RSL Amateur Theatrical Group had a cast drawn mainly from its staff and patrons. It ran to packed houses and the shows were written and directed by local people.What's more, profits from them were donated to worthy causes and charities. 

Long time cast member Margaret Curry reflects on those years: 

“It was all about having fun,” she said. “We were all rank amateurs and made our own costumes and scenery. There was something for everybody who was interested to do. The sense of belonging and community spirit was overwhelming. We sometimes forgot our lines which brought roars of laughter from the audience and a few of the shows were a bit risque but they kept coming back for more,” she added.

Another 'hands on' crowd which trod the boards were the 'Tilligerry Boot Scooters'. This was comprised of senior citizens who wanted to keep their minds and bodies active. They travelled far and wide inspiring others and entertaining those less active. They were always a big hit with their annual performance at the Fire Brigade's long weekend market day and fireworks spectacular. Most of them have now departed and in the the way they wanted to go -  feet first and with their boots on! 

A rather secretive lot of like minded ladies decided to get gentle exercise and have fun by forming their own belly dancing group.

 They practised behind closed doors at the Guides Hall at Tanilba. Some of these ladies were of middle age and their partners objected to them flaunting themselves in public but to no avail. 

A call went out to support the MS Society so the complete harem along with a few dubious male ring-ins took over the golf club to a sell out crowd. This raised many thousands of dollars for a worthy cause. A video disc of the performance is still to be found around the town. 

But why have these live shows faded away? 

Margaret Curry explains: 

 “ The next generation was simply not interested” she stated. “They were time poor and  both partners worked  long hours and communicated  with high tech electronic devices,” she said. “That face- to- face interaction is gone to be replaced by a computer screen. It's sad, but that's the way it is these days ,” she mused. 

Photos: Margaret as the wicked witch with Dave Garnham, Jim Morrison And Roby Miles from one of the shows…..Mel Howell, Jim and Robin from another...... and The Tilligerry Boot Suzie Offner and her belly dancers on Australia Day in Henderson Park


Opening Day Celebrations 

Tanilba Tyres and Mechanical has been up and running for months now under its new management but they had to postpone the big gala opening.  That's the bad news but they have a new date now, Saturday 23rd July (between 9am and 2pm) for the celebrations. Circle it on your calendar. 

There's something for everyone. This includes a free sausage sizzle, a jumping castle for the kids, give-aways, an exhibition by our local car club and discounted tyre / wheel packages. 

On top of this there's a hands-on tyre changing workshop for women. What a great idea! No longer will girls have to play the hapless role of a damsel in distress waiting for a knight in shining armour to come to the rescue! They'll be able to do it themselves. What's more, If they spot a good looking bloke with a flat tyre, they can fix the problem in a jiffy, whether he likes it or not! 

For those new to the area, the business is located at the end of the cul-de -sac in Industrial Dve, LTP. See you there. 

Picture: New owners  Jo and Greg Gordon... “Come along to our official grand opening!” 


Check Out the Bee Hotels 

The first mud house in Mallabula was built some 30 years ago. Its owner used clay dug up from his own backyard mixed with straw to mould the large mud blocks. These he rendered with a sand / cement mix. 

His exterior walls were then attacked by bees. They weren't the European honey bees but a type of solitary native bee which bored holes in them to nest. They only went away after he sealed the surface. 

With the honey industry  now in crisis, attention is being focused on the propagation of native bees and their role in pollination. We can all play a part in this and here's how. 

For years now, forward thinking conservationists knew that it was only a matter of time before the destructive verroa mite invaded Australia so they started to promote the breeding of native bees. 

Native bee populations had declined as clear felling of their habitat had made an impact and the grassing and sealing of urban areas had covered the homes of those which bred in the ground. 

Hundreds of beekeepers nationwide now propagate the native bees which have community hives in tree hollows and produce honey. They are stingless. There is also a simple way of ensuring the survival of the numerous solitary bees. In nature they seek out the holes left by borers in tree trunks to nest. You can replicate these holes by the construction of the 'bee hotel'. They can be bought for around $30 from hardware chain stores or you can make them yourself. 

Just get a big block of timber and bore a series of holes in the end between three and 13mm in diameter and up to 15 cm deep. Nail a 'roof  on top to keep the rain off and you're done and dusted. 

Alternatively you can stack PVC pipes, cans or  containers with hollow bamboo canes and  get the same result. 

Position your 'hotel' between one and two metres above the ground facing the morning sun and you're in business. 

A shaded spot is best as direct noon day summer sun will 'cook' the brood. 

By packing short terra cotta or PVC pipe lengths with wet clay and poking holes in them you can also create a different version. 

These solitary bees just lay their eggs, seal the end and leave. They pollinate native plants as well as backyard vegetable patches. 

Interested? Just google 'bee hotels' to view the numerous video clips for the finer details and information to get you started. 

The structures are cheap, easy to construct and you will be helping our flora survive these troubling times. 

Photo: The purple coral pea (hardenbergia violacea) a favourite browsing vine frequented by native bees. 

Lost Port Stephens Found 

Facebook groups are a  way of reconnecting with friends from the past or with those of like minded interests. 

Denise Gaudion from the Port Stephens Family History Society discovered  this and is gathering rich historical data and rare photos from one such local site. “ After we published 'A History of the Tilligerry Peninsula' people kept coming to us asking why we did not ask them about the book as they had lots of information and photos.” she said. “They had slipped through the net.” 

“These days facebook has come to the rescue in the form of an online group  called 'Lost Port Stephens'. Through this we have been able to add much new information to our archives and fill in many gaps. On top of this, priceless old photos have emerged from people who are happy to share their family stories with the wider community,” she remarked. 

If you would like to view the site just key in the name and away you go. A click on the mouse will join you up and you can then ask questions or contribute family stories and pictures. You can even track down long lost relatives and friends from your childhood. All submissions are vetted and standard conditions apply to postings. 

After a successful launch of 'History and Heritage of Tanilba House' the publication is now into its second edition and research into an expanded version of Tilligerry's history is well underway. Requests for missing details will be posted on 'Lost Port Stephens' as the need arises. 

The PSFH research centre is located at the Old Lemon Tree Passage School Site on top of the hill behind Club Lemon Tree and will assist residents to trace their family roots. It operates each Thursday and Denise will assist with enquiries on 49 823587 or you can visit their facebook page or website.   

Photos: The sign on the main road indicating the site of the research centre.....and Denise flanked by Tanilba House owners Glenn Short and Deirdre Hall at the book launch.


Turning the First Sod 

Mallabula residents were thoroughly fed up with the proposed $1 700 000 makeover of Tanilba Rd being deferred. So was Port Stephens Council. They were just about to start when the 'big wet' hit.  Alan Gibson's Tanilba weather station actually recorded the annual average rainfall by the end of April. 

This meant that Council's roadwork gangs were diverted to filling potholes and washed out culverts and repairing landslips. 

It was therefore decided that they would employ a contractor and the work has begun in earnest. 

The greatest challenge is to get the sub - strata drainage pipes in place which need to be connected to the watercourses which flow into the bay. This is why there is such a huge pile of pipes stacked in Caswell Reserve and in the park opposite the end of Wychewood Ave. 

The work is expected to be completed by November 2022 and diversions of traffic will be needed during the months ahead. 

Commenting on the project, Cr Steve Tucker said that he planned to retire at the last council election but ran again because he wanted to see the two big roadwork projects he fought for come to fruition. 

“Residents are entitled to complain about the roads but they must realize the enormous cost of a complete rebuild,” he stated. “ Tilligerry gets more road funding per ratepayer than other areas of the shire,” he added. 

Those residents whose properties front on to the newly rebuilt roadworks will be expected to partly pay for the kerbing and guttering. 

“It's a small price to pay,” remarked Cr Tucker. “The increased value of their homes will more than compensate for the contributions they make.”   

Photos: Workers turning the first sod.......The stockpiled pipes in Caswell Reserve.....and Steve Tucker.... “ Completion date expected to be November 2022.”

Apiarists' Alert 

The one word that strikes fear into every apiarist is 'verroa.'  You see this destructive mite is present in most every country of the world but so far Australia has not been overwhelmed by it. 

Two cases were detected in Townsville but swift action by the authorities eradicated it. The government praised the efforts of those involved which saved the state an estimated  $2.4 billion . Indeed, nationally the bee keeping industry is worth some $14 billion per year mainly from the pollination of vast almond orchards in the Riverena. 

On top of this the export of billions of disease free bees to California keep their almond and citrus industry thriving. 

Newcastle is a very busy port and is constantly monitored for the verroa mite in sentinal hives around the area. They have been discovered in these and other hives so mandatory destruction will take place of all hives within a radial distance of 10 km. 

There is a state wide ban on the movement of bees and hives moved recently from the Newcastle area to a western town have been tracked down and destroyed. 

The big fear is that if the mite infestations get into wild bee colonies in hollow trees it will be very hard to detect and destroy them. 

Tilligerry is the home of several apiarists and Campvale is the base of an extensive bee keeping business. Our Tilligerry Men's shed actually assembles wooden bee boxes for them as they just can't attract the labor to do it the job themselves. 

Photos: Tanilba's Bert Willey attending his hives ...and his local honey on sale at the Tilligerry 'Habitat'.


Tribute to Mike 

It was as a 30 year old, fresh faced, enthusiastic Mike Stanwell who took up the role of principal of St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Merriwa in the 1990s. Here he witnessed the parish priest abusing a young girl. 

He warned the pupils not to approach the priest and duly reported it to the Bishop of Maitland. Nothing happened and a certain father Philip Wilson visited him reassuring him that the church would 'take care' of the matter. 

It didn't and there began a long crusade by Mike to seek justice for the abused children and to expose those who actively covered it up. 

At every turn in the road he was stonewalled by the Church. He lost his job and his health failed. 

Undaunted, he pressed on to the extent that he petitioned the Vatican but to no avail. Others joined in the call for justice and they included Walkley award winning Herald journalist Joanne Mc Carthy and Detective Chief  Inspector Peter Fox. 

This resulted in a commission of inquiry which exposed other paedophile priests in the Maitland / Newcastle area as well as senior figures within the Church who covered up their crimes. The now Archbishop Philip Wilson was convicted and sentenced to home detention. He has since died. 

Mike never wavered in his faith and was a regular worshiper at Mallabula's Catholic Church. He was also an occasional bridge player and trivia contestant at Club Lemon Tree when his health permitted. 

He told his story without pulling any punches and at our last interview with him he made the chilling statement: “They are still out there. We didn't get them all!” 

Those of you who have an interest in Mike's saga can view the celebration of his life by Googling: 'Mike Stanwell Fry Bros.'  Peter Fox's book 'Walking Towards Thunder' can be ordered online or from the Library Service. 

Photo: Mike at his Lemon Tree Passage child abuse and cover-ups within the Catholic Church.


Good and Getting Better 

The big makeover of Henderson Park at Lemon Tree Passage has greatly increased day trippers and tourists to the area. 

A state government grant of some $1.3 million replaced the old swimming pool, the boat ramps and public wharf. 

Council also came to the party by upgrading the play equipment, seating and amenities block. They also constructed a two tiered platform behind the pool but there was a problem. A large sail was to be erected over it but the ground was too soft and unstable. 

Council went back to the drawing boards and have re-engineered the design and work is now underway. 

That's not all. An oyster shaped piazza is to be built at the southern end and a pathway along Rudd Reserve will link the waterfront park to the western  rocky foreshore. 

Local councillor Steve Tucker sees passive recreation as playing a major role in the economy of the peninsula. 

“The Covid crisis has seen huge interest in quiet seaside retreats such as Tilligerry,” he said. “City people holiday here and many sell up and relocate,” he added. 

“On top of this, day trippers love to walk in the bush and along the foreshore,” he added. “As things stand, you can more or less circle all the way from the Lemon Tree Holiday Park around the foreshore to Tanilba House. The new Caswell Reserve makeover at Mallabula is also a great drawcard as are  the upgraded foreshore parks at Tanilba Bay, he stated. 

Photos: The deck platform behind the pool.......and workers installing the support piers for the sail.



End of an Era 

From the 1920s onwards, you would see them in increasing numbers. These were the tailor fishermen sometimes standing almost shoulder to shoulder along the Queensland beaches. 

The standard rig was a long rangoon cane rod and a wooden Alvey sidecast reel. They'd flick a gang-hooked bait out into the foaming surf and wait. The tailor would strike and soon be flapping on the sand. Some anglers used slabs of fish as bait with a hook connected to a wire trace as tailor had a nasty habit of chopping through the line

Charles Alvey invented the legendary reel and after many models and modifications over some 100 years, the company is closing. 

This will be sad news for Lemon Tree's Anglerz Corner, the local Alvey agent. 

The great advantage of the Alvey was that if it fell into the sand, a quick rinse in the surf would have it as good as new. It was virtually maintenance free. 

Most prized amongst collectors are the early model silky oak and red cedar models. Later designs were moulded plastic. The company also made rods and their nipper pump was a best seller. 

In 2016 the company, in a nostalgic throwback, recreated their early silky oak model in a limited edition. 

The Port Stephens beach fishers still use the Alvey reel for any type of angling. From the humble whiting to the giant mulloway, the reel is one of the most preferred and effective. 

The photo shows a range of Alvey reels which are now collectors' items. You can sill pick them up from deceased estates and garage sales. Ebay and Gumtree are also worth a try. They work just as well as the day they were made.

 Photos: Some of the Alvey models which include a child's bakelite version, red cedar, silky oak and a blackfish reel.......Plus  'Anglerz Corner,' the local distributor.


Firies go High Tech 

It wasn't long ago that the local firies would drag a sheet of blackboard out of their station in summer with a 'TOTAL FIRE BAN' warning hand written in chalk on it. This they would prop  up against a post on the main road as a warning to locals. Not anymore! 

Tilligerry RFS has just switched on an impressive interactive sign which can be activated from a computer from their station or by mobile phone. In standard operational mode it has coloured rolling frames giving details of the brigade and its logo as well as the date and weather details. 

More importantly, when the fire conditions change, warning texts can be keyed in immediately from the station computer or from the mobile phones of senior personnel. This could extend to sudden unexpected events such as fires closing roads and major traffic accidents. 

It could also save lives as communications from the fire - front could be instantly displayed to those travelling both in and out of town. In turn it could augment the RFS 'Fires Near Me' site. 

Early warnings have always been vital to residents of both the Tomaree and Tilligerry peninsulas. There is only one road out of each and an approaching fire from the west can isolate the residents. 

This was only too evident several years ago when a bushfire cut the road at Oyster Cove and worked its way towards the Lemon Tree Passage Holiday Park. Occupants were evacuated to Club Lemon Tree. 

In retrospect, the fire was a blessing in disguise as it was a cool winter bushfire. No lives or property were lost. 

The following summer a firestorm from Salt Ash, fanned by 90kph winds came our way. When it hit the burnt out scrub it went out. No fuel meant no fire. 

The overwhelming recommendations of the recent bushfire inquiry were to decrease fuel loadings by controlled burning. The government has now allocated some $600 000 000 to both the RFS and the NP&WS  to upgrade equipment and to target fuel loadings in high risk areas. 

Photos: The new sign in operational mode and the 'friendly' fire that saved Tilligerry.


QX Now Widespread 

It was thought some months back that an outbreak of the dreaded QX (Queensland Unknown) disease in Sydney rock oysters would be comfined to the upper reaches of Tilligerry Creek and the Karuah River. 

Normally, outbreaks of QX  subside during late summer and early winter and with the arrival of colder water but not this time. It has almost totally devastated the industry in Port Stephens. 

Our farmers were experiencing high prices for their product before the wild weather prevented them harvesting but QX has stopped them dead in their tracks. Also, the Department of Primary Industries is currently monitoring the situation and has put a ban on the transfer of Port Stephens Oysters to other growing areas. 

Looking forward, growers have few options other than to lay off staff and to seek employment elsewhere. Their leases will not generate any cash flow for at least three years. They are hoping that government assistance will help them through these trying times. 

Some are turning to Pacific Oysters as these are not affected by QX and a disease resistant strain of the Sydney Rock has already been developed. 

Photos: This mound of oysters would sell in upmarket restaurants for $2 000 000. Today they are worthless......and racks of QX affected oysters sit high and dry in Lemon Tree Passage.


Winter Shutdown 

The annual maintenance closure of the Tilligerry Aquatic Centre will be from 4th July 2022 to 28th August. 

The previous shutdown dovetailed well with the outbreak of the Covid pandemic where the three shire swim centres were closed. 

During this shutdown, a major makeover saw the pool drained and the old liner and tiles removed . A troublesome leak was fixed and the pool relined. It now retains the heat better. 

 With soaring electricity prices Tilligerry will not be impacted as much as other swim centres. Energy efficient solar blankets covering the council recreational hall next door provide much of the heat required.   

One recent year Tilligerry did not close at all. Technical issues at both the Tomaree and Lakeside centres saw Tilligerry as the only operational option for the squad swimmers and dedicated swimming tragics. 

Council and 'Belgravia' management have a policy by which when a 'home' pool is closed, patrons have the option of extending their season tickets for the time of the shutdown or by opting to use one of the other swim centres that remain open. 

All three pools have learn to swim classes, aqua exercise groups , lanes reserved for lap swimmers and free swimming areas. The Tilligerry contact number is 49824720. 

Photos: Tilligerry's major makeover in progress.


Pipe Dream 

Mallabula residents' pipe dream of their new $1 700 000 rebuild of Tanilba Road is now one step closer to reality. 

The contractor has stockpiled the concrete drainage pipes and gutter fittings behind the carpark in Caswell Reserve.

It has taken a long time to see some action on the project after the council road building teams were diverted to repairing pot holes and wash-aways. These appeared after the record breaking rains of recent months. Indeed, by the end of April Tilligerry had received its annual average rainfall! 

Council therefore employed a contractor to do the job after months of surveys, environmental impact studies and the drafting of working plans. 

The fact that most of Mallabula's roads were put in during the 1930s meant that no drainage, kerbing and guttering or solid road base were use in their construction. 

The expensive rebuild will bring the road up to modern day standards. 

A total reconstruction of Avenue of the Allies at Tanilba Bay will be next on the list. 

Traffic from  Mallabula Point, Watersleigh Ave and The Parkway Nth areas will be diverted down Wychewood Ave during the makeover which will take several months. 

Photos: A PSSC team carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment prior to the work starting....and the pipework stockpile in Caswell Reserve.

Wood Worries 

All is not well in the building industry with the supply of timber holding back house builds by nine months or longer. On top of this, costs are rising and tradies are hard to come by. 

This perfect storm has many contributing factors and the consequences can be dire as one local builder explains. 

“The Covid crisis greatly affected the supply chain,” he said. “Soaring fuel prices also fed into the industry as well as the availability of local and imported timber,” he stated. 

“It's a sad thing to see building firms go under as they often go broke owing tradies and suppliers a fortune. They also leave the home buyers in the lurch with partially built houses ,” he said. 

On closer examination, the local timber industry is still recovering from the massive firestorms which devastated pine and native hardwood plantations. 

Green politics also come into it with Victoria introducing a  complete ban on native forest logging by 2030 and Western Australia by 2024. 

The federal government is taking steps to ramp up the supply of plantation pines by introducing a five year initiative whereby an $86 million grant will see some 150 000 000 trees planted. 

This however cuts no ice with prospective home owners at the Koala Bay Estate Tanilba Bay. A building firm has apparently gone belly up leaving their owners with no idea what will happen to their 'Dream Homes'. 

Neighbouring residents have seen no activity on several sites for almost a year with the surrounding grass unmown and reports of rats nesting in the partially built houses. 

“It's not a good time to be a builder,” said one long time  building company director. 

“ It's impossible to enter into a contract with a time limit on completion and you just can't give a fixed figure for the build as prices of materials are rising all the time,” he suggested. 

Photos: Abandoned building sites at Koala Bay.

From the Tip to Your Chips 

Have you seen any chroicocephalus novaehollandiae lately? If you haven't, you need your eyes tested as this is the scientific name for the humble seagull. 

Like the Ibis (bin chicken) they have adapted to urban environments and are mostly found on garbage tips and swooping on hot chips cast their way from waterfront picnickers and people in shopping centres. 

They are natural scroungers and in the wild feed on worms, insects, hatchling turtles, dead animals and birds' eggs. They can also be found at sea following trawlers for any tasty morsels floating in the wake. 

Seagulls nest on offshore islands, jetties, boats and buildings. 

But, dear reader they can make you very sick. You see, they pick up bacteria from the rubbish dumps and if you come into contact with their faeces, you can be infected. Ecoli,urinary tract infections, meningitis and sepsis can result from this. What's more these conditions are resistant to antibiotics and up to 25% of seagulls carry these infections. 

Seagulls are very competitive and fight for food while screeching at the top of their voices. It's very much survival of the fittest in the wild and any injured creature just doesn't survive.....well almost. 

At Lemon Tree Passage waterfront there is one crippled seagull which has turned its deformed leg into an asset. Look closely at the picture. This lame bird lands on the bonnet of cars waving its useless leg. Those in the vehicle take pity on it and cast food its way. Indeed it is the best fed seagull on the foreshore. 

Picture: The very smart crippled seagull.


Meet the New Owner

Tanilba Bay Tyres and Mechanicals has new owners in the form of  Jo and Greg Gordon. What's more, they are keen to meet with the locals and have innovative plans for the future. 

Jo explains: “ We are running a gala 'Meet and Greet' day for the community at a date to be advised where there will be amusements  for the kids, a sausage sizzle, other entertainment and some opening 'specials' 

We decided that the business was a great opportunity and a challenge so we purchased it, she said.” 

“Our qualified mechanics will offer every service and we envision extending the business into car air conditioning,” she added. 

“To make it more user friendly, we will be giving our customer reception area a makeover with upgraded  furniture and a coffee machine,” she said. 

“So far we have had a very positive interaction with the community and look forward to offering them the very best of services, she concluded. 

Photo: Greg and owners of Tanilba Bay Tyres and Mechanicals.

At Last! 

It's been a long, long time since the $1.7 million upgrade of Tanilba Rd Mallabula was announced. A series of unforseen events has delayed work but just next month the long awaited roadwork will begin. 

Cr Steve Tucker explains: 

“All of the boxes have been ticked including the EIS, surveys and the working plans drawn up,” he said. “Council was all set to go but the Covid crisis intervened and a sustained wet period saw our roadworks people repairing wash-aways and filling the plague of potholes around the Shire,” he added. 

“I'm told that Alan Gibson's Tanilba weather station actually recorded rainfall up to the end of April exceeding our average yearly total,” he pointed out. 

“ We have therefore employed a contractor to do the work. It will start at the end of May this year,” he stated. 

“Ratepayers must realize that many of the roads out here were put in during the 1930s. They were rough gravel tracks and later on they were sealed,” he explained. “There was no kerbing and guttering or underground drainage. “Most of the costs of this new rebuild will be in bringing them up to modern day standards and it doesn't come cheaply,” he concluded. 

The rebuild will be from the bus shelter at Caswell Reserve and extend along Tanilba Rd and around the corner and into Mallabula Rd. 

Following the completion of this section, around $4 million will be spent on upgrading the Avenue of the Allies Tanilba Bay between the stone entrance pillars and the arched  gates at the northern end. 

Cr Tucker also answered the most common questions he received about roadworks in Tilligerry: 

“Why aren't roads with many potholes resealed when other perfectly good ones get a new surface?” 

Reply: “Council constantly inspects all roads.” When they see one starting to break up with the 'crocodile' effect they reseal it because this will save a total rebuild in the future at great expense?” 

“Why don't we get more roadwork done. We would have some of the worst roads in Port Stephens?” 

Reply: “I agree. I ran for council 17 years ago on a roads, roads and more roads platform. It's a matter of fighting for a share of the roads allocation and Tilligerry is well ahead of the the other areas on a per capita basis. You can't just go to a money tree and pull $100 bills off it to fix the neglected roads. It's all about options. You borrow the money, apply for state grants, sell off assets, reallocate funding, or increase the rates.” 

Photos: Steve Tucker...“ No 'quick fix' for road problems”......and Tanilba Rd Mallabula...... contractors to start work in May 2022.



Book Donations



Tilligerry Community Library has always enjoyed the support of the community donating their books. Whilst we do appreciate them, we can only accept them with prior consultation. Our hours are 10-12 noon Monday to Saturday and our phone number is 4982 3477 if you wanted to call up or pop in and check with us before bringing them in. Please don’t leave them at the door.









More than Just a News Service

You've seen our illuminated sign '' beside the main road near the golf club as you drive into town at night.

With news services moving away from the print media, for over 10 years now has moved with the times and gives local residents the news that they can't get anywhere else. Indeed, those travelling around Australia or internationally can keep up to date with a click on a mouse or a mobile phone.

Before our 'hit meter' broke down we were averaging around 2000 views each month. We have a few businesses supporting us but we really don't want advertisers as we are a not for profit community service.

That's not all! Each year we run a national Literature Award (a short story competition) with the support of PSSC, Club Lemon Tree and News Of The Area.

On top of this we offer the public internet access, assistance with the operation of electronic devices and photo copying.

It gets even better. There are constant requests, usually from residents new to the area, for general information about available services and organizations out this way.

We now have an extensive community directory listing some 80 of these which includes: churches, clubs, social groups, cultural events, schools, tourist information, community support, JPs, medical services, play groups and pre schools.

For more details scroll to the bottom of this page or click on 'Literature Award' and 'Community Directory' in the left hand green side bar.

Photo: more than just news.

              1. elebrating the re-opening.

New Community Directory

As the Tilligerry community expands and changes, there is the need to provide residents (particularly newcomers) and tourists with a directory of service groups, clubs and businesses. With this in mind, TACE (Tilligerry Adult and Community Education) will be compiling one in the near future.

It will be available in both an online and printed format.

TACE works under the umbrella of PSSC and coordinates community groups such as art, lead lighting, family history and mah jong. It has its home base at the LTP library. It also publishes our local online news service which has grown to be the major source of local news for residents .Most months it gets over 1500 'hits'. The Port Stephens Literature Awards, a national short story competition, is another initiative of TACE and is run by volunteers.

If you would like to publicise your club, social group or business, email basic contact information to: and it will be considered for inclusion. There will be no charge for this service.

Photo: TACE volunteers Helen Mizrachi and Sue Hamilton at the library.


Tilligerry Adult & Community Education Inc. (TACE)

Don't forget that we have the only public internet/computer access open 5 days per week. We are located in the community library (opp the Motel) at Lemon Tree Passage.

Normal Hours

Monday         10am to 12 midday
Tuesday         10am to 12 midday

10am to 12 midday

Thursday       10am to 12 middal

10am to 12 midday



Cost to non-members of TACE is $5.00 per hour (minimum charge $1) and printing/photocopying is 25c per sheet (black and white only)


Thanks to Club Lemon Tree and Tilligerry Lions for assistance in keeping our equipment up-to-date. We have 3 computers running Windows 7, MS Office 2010, 1 computer with Windows XP and MS Office 2003 and a Brother printer/fax.


If you have any stories you want to put on the send an email to or ring Sue on 4982 3986.


The local Tilligerry Adult and Community Education  (TACE)  volunteers headed by Sue Hamilton has got the site up and running. They welcome all community groups to send in their news or details of upcoming events.


Sue Hamilton said that online news was the way of the future. “It is very hard to promote the activities of community organisations these days so we have decided, as a community service, to provide a site for all to access.  I’d ask people to go onto our website at and have a look and  if it suits them they can send their photos  and stories to for consideration.  Photos should be of low resolution and news items brief, non political and edited. This is a free service run by volunteers and supported by Port Stephens Council.”


 Photo:-   Check it out – Sue Hamilton at the TACE office in the LTP Library.