Banning the Bags

Our recent online survey had respondents overwhelmingly in support of the withdrawal of single use plastic bags by Coles and Woolworths.

There were however others who pointed out that such a survey would only draw comments from those in favour of the ban. Others noted the fact that plastic bags were still available but at a cost of 15c.

We always look behind the mask of smoke and mirrors for the real story and, just as in the bottle and can saga, we found that there is more to this one than meets the eye.

Together, the two supermarket giants stand tomake a cool $170 million each year in savings. There was no mention of this in the lead up to the cut out day. Environmental activists had a field day with scare campaigns but our probe into the bag problem revealed something very different.

In 2006 a report to the Productivity Commission explained that most of the negative claims about the bags were false. There was little scientific evidence that single use bags had any impact on marine animals. Indeed the bags were not really 'single use'. People recycled them to line their 'kitchen tidy.' They also used the bags to transfer household waste to their wheelie bins. Bagged garbage was found to be far better for landfill than loose refuse. On top of this, it was discovered that they actually saved on greenhouse gas emissions as other bags generated much more CO2 in their manufacture.

The lesson in all of this is never to listen to the propaganda ground out by self interest groups. We don't, indeed our inbox is regularly chock-a-block with the stuff which (as you probably guessed) goes straight to the recycle bin!

Photo: Coles....'one use' bags finished and report shows minimal impact of bags on marine environment.


Park Plans Changed

Concerns expressed by the Heritage Council about the vista from Tanilba's arched gates have seen modifications to the waterfront Centennial Park project.

The new amenities block will now be rebuilt on the old site which is nestled amongst the tea-trees. The play equipment has been upgraded and a picnic shelter shed and barbeque will be constructed in what is now a gravel carpark.

A new sealed carpark will then be constructed to the west of its current location.

The initiative is a joint venture between PSSC and Tilligerry Lions Club. It will cater for the ever increasing number of day trippers, tourists and locals alike.

Councillor Steve Tucker said that the makeover was part of a wider initiative to make the peninsula's waterfront more 'user friendly'.

“The big upgrade of Lemon Tree's waterfront has worked wonders for our local businesses,” he said. “Upgrading of our other parks and reserves will continue to be a major priority in our Forward Works Program,” he added.

Photos: 'Now you see it, now you don't!'.... Cr Tucker at the old site and reconstruction begins.


Prawn Problems

Some time back under the heading: 'Coming the Raw Prawn' we told you how the Hunter's prawn industry could be under threat from the dreaded 'white spot' disease. This has wiped out prawn farms along the Logan River in Queensland. It has also tainted our national reputation as a clean and green supplier of seafood to world markets.

So far the Hunter has not fallen victim to the problem but recent bio-security breaches have put us in the firing line.

Media reports have it that unscrupulous importers and corrupt inspectors have allowed vast quantities of infected green prawns to avoid quarantine. As much as 30% of imported green prawns currently being sold in supermarkets is believed to have had contact with the 'white spot' virus.

This in itself is not a problem if the prawn products are cooked and eaten.

It does however pose an extreme risk if fisherfolk use the cheap green supermarket prawns for bait. Recreational fishers along the banks of the Logan River are believed to have unwittingly introduced the disease into the estuarine system in this way. The farms then fell victim when water was pumped from the river.

Second generation Hunter trawlerman Robert Hamilton puts it like this: “For years we have tried to make governments listen to our warnings about the risk of 'white spot' from raw imported prawns,” he said. “Sadly, those in authority ignored them,” he added. “Our worst fears were realized in 2016 when this virus ran rampant in Queensland,” he added.

“We all have to play a role in keeping our estuaries disease free and pristine. Recreational anglers can do their bit by only using green prawn bait sourced from local suppliers. Never, repeat never use imported green prawn products from supermarkets for bait. This is how 'white spot' got away north of the border. We don't want it happening in our river systems in NSW.”

Photos: An infected Queensland prawn and Robert Hamilton …. “ Never use imported green prawns for bait!”


Why Monash Close?

The only street in Henry Halloran's grand plan at Tanilba Bay not to carry the visionary's alliterative name is Monash Close. The reason is that it was a much later council subdivision of parkland deemed 'surplus to requirements' and it honours the memory of a distinguished Australian General. Field Marshal Montgomery later named him as the greatest allied commander of WW1.

So great was General John Monash's influence on the war's outcome that even today there are moves afoot to posthumously promote him to the rank of field marshal.

Monash suffered discrimination because of his Jewish religion and his German background but the sheer skill and determination of the man saw his rapid rise through the ranks. He was knighted in the field by the King.

100 years ago this month, in a relatively small engagement at Hamel, his strategy became the blueprint for the final push which was to see the German front collapse. Put simply, Monash believed that infantry were not there for frontal assaults. This earlier tactic had seen them mown down by machine guns. His strategy had them advancing after creeping artillery barrages were deployed with tanks and aerial bombardment. This wreaked havoc on the enemy's entrenched positions. At Hamel, it was all over in a mere 93 minutes.

Australia's contribution to this global conflict was enormous. Out of a population of some five million, 416 000 saw service. 62 000 were killed and 156 000 were wounded. On top of this a pandemic (Spanish Flu) spread by returning troops, swept the globe killing many more people than the Great War itself. 12 000 Australians perished and the death of so many young men in the war saw a geneation of young women with little prospect of ever marrying. Many became maiden aunts and lived alone or with their siblings' families.

Pictures: General Sir John Monash and the street bearing his name at Tanilba Bay.


Real Estate Market Moves

According to the latest data, Sydney real estate prices have peaked and have now fallen by as much as 4.5% over the past year in some suburbs.

Normally the price movement in Tilligerry reflects that of the state's capital with a time lag of about six months. This time 'round it's a bit different and there are reasons for this.

Portside's Rodney Keers explains:

“We still lack stock,” he said, “but the market is a bit slower than six months ago,” he added. “This could very well be a seasonal thing but unlike a year or so back, house prices have plateaued.” he stated.

“On the rental front, demand is very strong with few homes available to choose from and large flat building blocks are hard to come by and asking prices are high,” he said.

“Buyers from Sydney tend to be investors or those seeking respite from the rat race of life in a big city,” he stated. “Some 'cash in' their properties for a very large sum and buy in Tilligerry for a better lifestyle and have a lot of money left over to fund their retirement," he said.

“Other enquiries come from Newcastle, the Upper Hunter and towns west of the mountains. A laid back lifestyle, reasonable prices, the proximity to water and the temperate climate are what they are looking for,” he added. “For these types of buyers, Tilligerry ticks all the boxes.”

Photo: Rodney Keers: “ Prices have plateaued.”


Donors Beware

“But we gave you some money just last week!” This is the type of statement made by shoppers as they walk past the Legacy and RSL sub branch fundraisers outside Coles at Tanilba Bay.

According to sub branch treasurer Alex Niven there are reasons why locals should only donate to recognised local charities.

“There is a Queensland mob who set up shop regularly and the money disappears from the town,” he said. “We are unpaid volunteers and spend every cent we raise supporting needy veterans and their dependents.” “No longer do we forward any money to the State branch as it is currently embroiled in a financial scandal,” he added. “All of this is very damaging to the good reputation we have earned over so many years. We no longer have the funds to do as much for the needy that we used to,” he stated.

Sadly, dear reader it doesn't end there. There is rot at the top of Surf Life Saving NSW where some $3million went missing. On top of this the Rural Fire Service Association's telemarketing has seen very little of the $20 million raised flow on to the grassroots volunteer firefighters.

We just don't have the space to explain it all but if you Google the following links, all will be revealed: 'rfsa telemarketing scandal'...'slsa manager embezzled $3 million'.....'nswrsl corruption scandal.'

The lesson in all of this is to only donate to identified local officials if you really want your charity dollars to work for your community. You will see them selling raffle tickets outside the shops. The firies have red hat 'money boxes' and tins on shop counters and a visit to to the surf clubs to donate is the way to go.

File photos: Legacy fundraisers Mick Purdon and Neville Brindley and local RFS volunteers......locals making your donations work for you.



Council's Library Services Officer Vicki Bailey was on hand recently to present framed certificates of appreciation to the volunteers at the Tilligerry Community Library.

It is the only library in the shire to be run entirely by unpaid volunteers and has existed in one form or another for well over 30 years.

The first 'library' was situated in a private residence before a Deposit Station was established in the recently vacated Lemon Tree Passage School in 1982. It was open for just two hours on two days each week.

PSSC purchased the former RSL hall on the main road and the Deposit Station relocated in 1997. A name change saw the Tilligerry Community Library come into being in the year 2000.

In 2008 TACE (Tilligerry Adult and Community Education) augmented the options available and installed computers in the library for public use. It also provided a photocopying and emailing service as well as a facility which assisted those needing help with the operational problems associated with computers and mobile phones.

Vicki Bailey puts it thus: “TACE has brought much needed services to the community and has proved a lasting and productive partnership.”

She also thanked co-ordinator Marcia Lancaster for her long time involvement and ended in saying: “I just hope that you all know just how much we (PSSC) appreciate your dedication and commitment in keeping this vibrant community space alive.”

Photo: Vicki Bailey ( back row, far right) with volunteers and their certificates.


Note: Our mobile library will be off the road for the near future. Those with overdue books will not be penalized. Avid readers can always borrow books from the Lemon Tree Facility, it is open from Monday to Saturday between 10am and 12 noon.


Romance in the Air

“How does she do it?” This is the question being asked by readers of local author Helen West's growing list of rural romance novels.

With some four books published online in little over a year and a few more in the pipeline, her output seems prolific but if we look behind the scenes of the Oxley Crossing series, a very different story emerges.

The former Tanilba Bay teacher has a rural background and for years travelled the outback as a 'grey nomad' in a campervan with husband Darryl.

“Darryl loves to explore on foot the bush tracks, mountains trails and valleys of our wide brown land,” she said. “This left me alone at times and it was the perfect situation in which to gather my thoughts and write,” she added. “I'd start writing a book and then put it away while the storyline developed in my mind” she mused. “Meanwhile, another idea for a novel would develop so I'd start working on it as well,” she added.

Now retired to Tanilba Bay, Helen, writing as Lena West, has the time to finish off her books, polish up the manuscripts, and publish.

“I'm a member of 'Romance Writers of Australia' and have attended live-in workshops and writers' festivals which have given me the skills and confidence to self publish,” she said.

So girls, if you want to escape the cares of the world and ride off into the sunset with that tall, dark silent stockman of your dreams, Oxley Crossing might just be the place to start. Simply Google ' lena west author,' navigate your way around Lena's (Helen's) site and away you go! Oh! The books all have happy endings. Keep some tissues on hand for the last few pages.

Photos: Helen and Darry returning from one of their outback adventures and a selection of the 'Oxley Crossing' series.


Social Interaction

Being home alone isn't a good thing. Small problems loom large in people's minds and they can become introverted and very narrow in their outlook on life.

One of the many local groups which helps residents get out and about and relating to one another is the happy band at our Senior Citizens Centre.

President Coral Mc Caull puts it this way:

“It's not the activities in themselves that are important, it's the interaction and exchanging of ideas with positive forward looking people which is important.” she said.

“In these times of the electronic media ruling our lives, many people lose the social contact and interpersonal friendships that we used to have,” she added.

“For example, our Thursday line dancing provides gentle exercise, helps with mind and body coordination and gives our members that vital personal contact. It also fosters community spirit and a sense of belonging,” she remarked.

“Our annual fete and flower show are always very popular with the wider community.” she added.

New members (over 50 years of age) are most welcome to join in the activities and all details can be had from Coral on 49823305.

Photo: Boot scooters getting it all together at the senior citizens' centre in Tanilba Bay.


Has it Been Wet?

Some 400mm (12inches) of rain inundated the peninsula in just the first 20 days of this month. With the long-time average being a mere 150mm (6 inches) you would think that this would be something of a record.

Not so, according Alan Gibson whose weather station's website (Current Weather Conditions at Tanilba Bay) has detailed statistics dating back as far as 2004.

June 2007 was by for the wettest according to Alan and the 'Pasha Bulker' storm contributed 180mm (7inches) in one day alone to lift the monthly total to 522mm (21 inches).

If we want to talk of absolute record rainfall we have only to backtrack to April 2015. Cyclonic conditions saw our power lost for almost a week with trees down everywhere, houses unroofed and oyster leases smashed to pieces. This was April 2015 when rainfall topped the gauge at 523mm, 369 mm(14+ inches) of which fell in just three days.

So bad was the damage that the State Governor, His Excellency General David Hurley, was helicoptered in to thank our firies for their stirling efforts and to commiserate with the oyster farmers and those whose properties were affected.

Photo: The NSW State Governor flies in after the cyclone and local weatherman Alan Gibson monitoring his site.


Pathway Problems

The recent construction of sections of a proposed cycleway along Tanilba's foreshore has seen a wave of protest from local residents. Since then the executive of the Parks and Reserves Committee has been replaced and PSSC has been asked to explain how approval was given.

Committee member Coral Mc Caull said that the first thing residents noticed was an area being marked out and concrete being poured.

“If residents had been consulted, they would have pointed out that building a concrete path in a virtual wetland was just asking for trouble,” she said.

“Home owners have to lodge a DA for simple things such as a pergola or carport but for a major project such as this, there was no notification, no advertising or anything. It was just open slather,” she added.

Cr Steve Tucker sees a breakdown in council's approval process as being the root cause as he explains:

“This whole thing is a bit of a dog's breakfast,” he stated. “I'll want some answers as to why detailed plans were not forthcoming and why there was no input from residents,” he said. “We (PSSC) have been left with a mess to clean up with ongoing maintenance and OH&S issues. To continue with this pathway means that either trees will have to be cut down or the path will dip into a virtual swamp.”

In researching this article we contacted Kate Washington's office and PSSC with questions such as: Was a DA submitted? Who gave approval for the construction? Who is responsible for the flooding problems created and who will pay for the structural and drainage rectification? Neither Kate Washington's office nor PSSC responded.

Photos: Coral Mc Caull points to the flooded pathway and Daniel Mc's photo of the wetland created by rain and big tides.


Local OAM!!


Local identity, Fran Corner was recently recognised with an award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for service to the community of Port Stephens. It was a Medal in the General Division (OAM). Congratulations Fran!


Update on Oysters

It wasn't all that long ago that the State Governor flew into Tilligerry to give moral support to our oyster farmers after their leases had been trashed by wild weather. They had also been hit by regulations associated with the 'Red Zone' and they worried about the threat from the dreaded 'Poms' virus which had devastated other growing areas in the state.

The good news is that a combination of ideal growing conditions, a scarcity of product and record high prices have given our local industry a huge boost. Indeed, such is the projected demand from Asia that large companies are already snapping up leases in the southern esturine systems and are looking for more. They hope to use modern streamlined production methods to cut costs and cash in on the export market.

Meanwhile, our local farmers are updating their approach and trialling a new 'floating basket' technique. This promises to be far more efficient as the baskets stay in the water all the time and can be 'flipped' to rid them of parasitic problems. Another advantage is that fewer poles and posts are needed to support the structure as the weight is minimal.

Grower Paul North has also bought himself a drone to monitor his leases for storm damage and to spot check for 'rack rats' who steal oysters.

“It's much cheaper and more time efficient to do it this way,” he said. “It's the way of the future and we must move with the times.” he added.

We told you in an earlier story how the discarded shells were being sold to construct artificial reefs in Sydney. Apparently other users are after the shells as well. On a recent visit to the depots we noticed that the stockpile had all but vanished as chicken farmers had taken it along with others using it for driveways. We also showed you a picture of an outgrown Pacific oyster. These could bring as much as $100 each to selective buyers.

Currently, a South Coast farmer is about to enter a claim for the largest oyster in the world for the Guiness Book of Records. His oyster, 'Jack' tips the scales at 2kg, beating the existing title holder from Denmark which weighs 1.62kg and measures 35.5 cm in length.

Photos: Paul with his surveillance drone; 'Jack' the world record oyster and the shell stockpile before and after it was taken away.


Going Solo

What to do when, for whatever reason, you're left alone in life with time on your hands? This was the situation faced by the happy band of campervan owners who took up station on Tilligerry RSL's oval recently.

A spokesperson for the group said that they were affiliated with the MHCA (Motor Home Club Of Australia), a 100 000 strong group of like minded souls who travel far and wide.

“We call ourselves the 'Eagles' and have 156 members. Mostly we ramble around the Lower Hunter,” she said. “We try to plan our outings around fairs and events,” she added. “Recently we travelled to Wollombi, Paterson and Broke and soon we will be off to Stroud for the annual Brick throwing festival.”

The Eagles send out scouts to suss out varied locations as well as getting feedback from other groups when deciding where to go. In the case of this solo group they had been recommended to camp out at the Tilligerry Scout Hall but it was considered too small. The nearby RSL Oval proved to be ideal for the expected 30 mobile homes.

Another member stated that their 'Leave no Trace' policy was rigidly enforced and they were welcomed with open arms wherever they went.

“We are off to the RSL for the raffles and a meal tonight,” he said “and a few of our members might chance their luck on the pokies. It's a win, win all 'round,” he added.

When we mentioned the 'Dump Point' for waste located in Henderson Park LTP we were informed that they were well aware of it. In fact they were proud of that the MHCA had provided many such facilities Nationwide in tandem with the Federal Government which had injected some $600 000 into the scheme's rollout.

Photos: Happy campers setting up at the RSL Oval and the new 'Dump Point' in Henderson Park LTP.


Nailing It

The Thai name of Kodchaporn is very difficult to pronounce in English so the owner of our new 'Pro nail' beauty studio in the Kooindah Centre adopted her married surname of McIntosh. She put 'Apple' in front of it and now has a name that is easy to remember. Only readers with a very low IQ would not see the play on words.

'Pro nail' is all about fingernails, their care and decoration and Apple provides a broad range of services for every need.

An acrylic with gel polish can set you back as little as $50 with basic infills from $40.

Natural nail gel polishes range in price from $28 to $38 with a 'take off and soak' costing $20 with repairs priced at $5 each.

Want to know more? Ph: 0418 285 828.

The salon is located next to Tanilba PO and is open Monday to Friday and of a Saturday morning.

Still don't the get the play on words thing? Stare at your computer screen for a while and the penny should drop.

Photo: Apple at her new shopfront in the Kooindah Centre.


Council Committed

The reality of a new Marine Rescue base station on the waterfront at Lemon Tree Passage became one step closer recently with PSSC's listing of the project in its forward works program.

According to Cr Steve Tucker, $100 000 has already been ear- marked for the initial design process. This will involve a think tank involving PSSC, the local flotilla executive and Marine Rescue personnel.

“It's early days at the moment and we will have to decide whether to place the new structure aove the existing amenities block in Henderson Park LTP or to demolish the building and start from scratch,” he said.

“Structural engineers will be given the task of delivering us costings on the design options,” he added.

“The other major decision will be to decide the fate of the current home base perched on top of Whitbread Drive. It could very well be retained as a training centre or sold to offset the cost of the new waterfront complex,” he stated.

Cr Tucker also said that he was pushing for the injection of more funds to make both the LTP business district and parklands more visitor friendly.

“Tourists always drive to the end of the road and their initial impression of the area is dictated by what they see. We've made a lot of positive improvements and we want to keep the momentum going,” he said.

Photo: Marine Rescue members – looking forward to their relocation.


Closing The Pool

Tilligerry Aquatic Centre is now closed until 5th August. But why? The two month shutdown is longer than at Tomaree (less than three weeks) and Lakeside (a mere two weeks.)

No major maintenance is required at Tilligerry but it is cheaper to close the facility than to keep it open with the low off-season patronage and the high running costs (wages and electricity).

Dedicated swimmers are not disadvantaged however as they can extend their season pass for the length of the down time.

Tilligerry is lucky to have a heated pool at all as it has always run at a loss.

To understand why we have such a great asset, we need to backtrack well over 25 years.

A pool committee was formed and it put the concept before PSSC.

Council costed the project at $1 000 000 and told the committee that if they raised $100 000, then it would be built. It was not expected to make money or even break even as demographers estimated that a population of some 12 000 was needed to make it viable. Tilligerry at the time had less than half this number of residents. The isolated location of Tilligerry was also considered as a factor in swaying the decision makers.

Nobody thought that the committee could raise such a large sum. In today's money it would be the equivalent of around $500 000 but Doreen Bradley and her dedicated team got there. The rest is history.

On most days at the heated pool, lap swimmers can have a lane to themselves. True! Solar blankets on top of the community hall save a fortune in power bills.

One of the most prominent lap swimmers in the early days was the late local MP and former mayor John Bartlett. He led a group of local schoolchildren on an exchange visit to one of our sister cities in Japan.

His counterpart asked through an interpreter what he liked doing. When he said that he was a swimmer, the Japanese mayor's eyes lit up. He was whisked away to their pool.

What he saw astounded him. Nobody swam in the pool. They were packed in shoulder to shoulder and merely bobbed up and down, like tea-bags! That's not all! Every now and then the pool superintendent got everybody out of the water as the staff searched for bodies on the bottom.

Look at the two pictures. I know where I'd rather swim. What about you?

Winter closure times: Tilligerry: 4th June until 5th August.

Lakeside: 9th July until 22nd July. Tomaree: 23rd July until 19th August


On the Bite

Fisherfolk have had a bumper season this summer, the highlight of which being the run of 20 000 kingfish which escaped from the fish farms off Port Stephens. They were biting at anything (including bare hooks). The same thing happened in Tasmania where 250 000 farmed salmon escaped.

Winter is now upon us and local blackfish anglers are dusting off their rods, oiling their reels and looking for green weed bait.

Local luderick fishing in winter has the advantage of being able to access both the green weed bait and the fish in the passage at Lemon Tree itself. You can fish from the public wharf or both inside and outside of the tidal pool. There is also the option of mooring your tinnie across the tidal flow and drifting your float beside the mooring piles and craft at the marina. Blackfish rest in the eddies behind these structures and snap up weed as it washes by.

The gear: Oldtime blackfishers used split cane rods and bakelite centrepin reels. They made their own floats which were painted black. Long, thin strip lead became the sinker with a small eyeless hook on the end. Some put vaseline on their six pound lines to keep it on the surface for long drifts. The float was free running with an adjustable matchstick 'stopper'.

These days it's fibreglass rods, eggbeater reels and coloured varnished floats.

The bait: green weed can be found on the foreshore rocks in LTP or near the Mallabula jetty. Rock pools around the sea shore at The Bay are also a good source. Use beach sand mixed wit some finely chopped weed for burley.

The technique: Set the depth of the hook at about two metres. Bait the hook with a long thin strip of weed by winding it up the hook shaft to above the top. Keep winding back down in the same direction and nip off the weed about 1cm below the hook. Adjust the height to find the level of the feeding fish. Drift the bait about a metre out from the structures with the rod tip low and with little slack line. Don't strike too quickly! Wait for the float to submerge and strike sideways. Do not wind in but keep a firm pressure on the fish. If it pulls too hard, control it by lowering and raising the rod tip.

As the fish tires, lift it to the surface, wind in slack line and slowly bring it towards your net. Put the live fish in a keeper net.

At the end of the day, bleed the luderick, fillet them and get the skin off the fillets. Nip out the red lateral line and it's home for a very fine seafood meal.

The luderick season starts now (June) and runs until about August.

Photos: Craig Brown and Max Harrison with a good haul from the Nelson bay breakwall, Ron Gunness fishing inside the old LTP pool and Adam Parbera with kingfish.



We have warned our readers over the years about the various scams that plague us. Usually they come in the form of phone calls. There's the long pause and then the foreign voice saying that the tax department owes us money and they need our bank account number to pay it in. Or there's the fake Telstra call saying that you have been double billed and yes they need your bank details for the refund.

The 'Do Not Call' register can get rid of a lot of this but a new and somewhat frightening scam has reared its ugly head and it works like this.

Suddenly and without warning siren sounds erupt while you're browsing the internet with a repetative: 'SECURITY BREACH DETECTED' voice overlaying the noise.

Frightened browsers usually turn their computers off as the red corner cancel button won't work. Switching the computer back on finds you in the same place you were before!

Those who follow the prompts find themselves being asked to pay for security protection. This costs hundreds of dollars for a service that can be had for free and yes they want your credit card number so that you can pay in American dollars.

We checked out 'Advanced Security Protector' which one rating agency described as..'a fake tool designed to mislead the victim and swindle their money.'

If, dear reader you have been infected by this 'scareware' you can punch in their name followed by 'removal' and follow the prompts. Too hard for you? If this is the case you will need to see a computer guru.

Want to know more? Google: 'scareware examples' to see the type of thing we are up against.

Photo: The online removal form to get rid of the 'scareware.'


Bowling Them Over

Four local lady bowlers have come into the spotlight recently.

Vicky Parkinson has just returned from WA where she represented NSW and Sharon Williams, Pam Mc Intosh and Delma Price came up trumps in taking out the Newcastle triples championship.

Vicki represesented the state in the Multi Bowls (disability) titles and reached the semi finals, an outstanding achievement considering she had been playing for only 18 months.

“This would not have been possible had it not been for the support of Club Lemon Tree, the lady bowlers' club and others,” she said.

Meanwhile, our triples team, playing as a trio for the first time in the Newcastle District Championships beat off entrants from as far afield as Alder Park, Tea Gardens, Raymond Terrace, Wallsend and Heaton over five matches to take out the title.

With fewer senior lady bowlers taking up the sport, bowling authorities are taking an innovative approach in actively encouraging young school age children to become involved. They are offering coaching lessons and making their facilities available to schools. The results have been encouraging and have helped lawn bowls to shed the 'old people' image it is sometimes seen as.

Photo: Winners are grinners! Vicki, Sharon, Pam and Delma at Club Lemon Tree.


Turning Backyards into Big Bucks

With the cost of new free standing houses on small portions of land beyond the reach of many, there is another way to capitalise on older homes which were built on the standard quarter acre blocks.

It's all about putting a 'granny flat' in the backyard and renting it out or living in it and leasing out the old house. Alternatively you could use the rental return from of the new dwelling to finance a makeover of the old one or indeed to pay it off.

Ian and Barbara Rufus are currently value adding to their Mallabula property by having a new ready built house put in the backyard.

The retirees from the lower Blue Mountains have leased out the old Mallabula house since they bought it in 2004. They also use it for holidays in between tenants. Their new 'granny flat' will become their permanent weekender. They also now have the option of retiring to Mallabula at some point down the track whilst the other two houses generate income.

Here are some details to consider if this type of investment appeals to you.

The all-up cost of the two bedroom dwelling is around $130 000.

This includes Council application fees and service connections. It also includes delivery and siting of the house on its foundations. You do not have to subdivide nor are there additional council rates to pay. You do need however to fork out for extra garbage bins as well as the standard council garbage collection fees.

Look at the numbers. Initial all-up cost: $130 000. Weekly rental income: $250.This equates to $13 000 pa. Investment return: 10%.

Of course, dear reader there is more to it than that. You will have to consider vacancies, repairs, insurance premiums, taxes and real estate management fees. On the plus side, there could be long time profits from capital gain. Think about it.

Photo: Happy – Barbara and Ian with their new property addition.


Best Show Ever

The clear, fine Autumnal weather no doubt helped to achieve record entries and visitors to this year's Motorama held at the Tilligerry RSL & Sports Club. There were roughly 400 vehicles vying for trophies in some 20 sections. A crowd estimated to be around 6000 was in attendance.

Food stalls did a roaring trade with our local Lions Club selling out at its sausage sizzle. Stallholders also did very well as did the RSL Club.

Some of the standout winners were:

Best in Show: Lancia Fulvia Jim White.

People's Choice: Iron Head Harley Greg Hodson.

Best Vintage: 1929 Oakland Mal Smith.

Best Holden: 1996 HR Tony Rowe.

Best Motorcycle 2015 Harley Breakout Shane Evans.

More details and photos can be found by visiting the Tilligerry Auto Club Inc. website.

Apart from a large cash donation to the John Hunter Paediatric Oncology unit, this year five local sporting clubs will also benefit from generous equipment donations.

It takes several weeks to finalise the net proceeds of the day. At a date to be advised, a presentation night at the RSL Club will see a sizable cheque handed over to representatives from the hospital. We will cover the event and keep you informed. Watch this space.

Photos: Two of the superbly restored vehicles from Motorama 2018.


Gypsy City

Sisters Linda and Karen Grundy have opened a new business: 'Gypsy City' in the Kooindah centre next to Tanilba's Post Office.

Why? The duo has been on something of a healing journey since leaving the corporate culture rat race and seeking more tranquility in their lives.

The name of their business was drawn from their Romany Gypsy Welsh heritage.

In the shopfront they offer up a range of giftware such as crystals, pendants, jewellery, aromatic oils, balms, bags, ear-rings and shawls.

The main focus however is on healing and relaxation of the mind, body and soul.

Services available include: aromatherapy, reflexology, crystal Reiki, Tarot reading, foot spa massage and hot stones. Pensioner discounts are available and full details can be had on their website:

Bookings and enquiries ph: 0412515635 or 49824144.

Photo: Check us out! Linda and Karen at 'Gypsy City.'



 Zoe - then …..and now 

Getting a job as a schoolteacher these days can be very difficult with few full time vacancies and long waiting lists for those fresh out of university. 

There are however ways to jump the queue and former Dux of Tanilba Bay Public School Zoe Mizrachi struck gold. 

Training in subject areas with chronic shortages of qualified teachers will vastly improve your chances as will a willingness to go anywhere in the state. 

With a Bachelor of Teaching (Mathematics) (Honours) degree, Zoe was offered an appointment in a country town on the western slopes of the Great Divide. After accepting it, she now teaches maths from year seven through to year twelve. 

She recently returned to Newcastle University for her graduation ceremony. 

Photo: Zoe, then …. and now!

Why RAF Park? 

With RAAF Williamtown close by, residents could be forgiven for believing that the 'RAF PARK' sign on the small triangular piece of land beside the RFS and ambulance stations is a misnomer. It's not and to find out why, we need to revisit the history books and the legendary Henry Halloran who developed Tanilba's township in the 1920s. 

Halloran was a true son of the British Empire and named the streets after prominent WW1 allied figures. He also named 'Army Ave,' 'Navy Nook' and RAF Park after the three armed services. Monash Close was the only one not to use alliteration in the names as it was subdivided well after Halloran's death. 

The RAAF did not exist until after WW1 and the infant Australian Flying Corps served under the umbrella of the Royal Flying Corps which was truly huge. In 1918 it was reborn as the RAF with some  20 000 aircraft! (and that's not a misprint). The RAAF was formed in 1921. 

Believe it or not, Australia had the fourth largest air force in the world during WW2 with some 6000 aircraft. RAAF aircrews suffered the highest casualty rates of any of our armed forces; 9780 in total which included 3486 in bomber command alone. 

RAAF Williamtown was established in 1941 with four separate 1100 metre runways. It acted as both a training base and as well as giving protection for the industrial hub of Newcastle. 

The most famous local officer was Grant Lindeman DFC, OBE who took a torpedo squadron to Russia during the war and later returned as as a senior officer at the base. He turned his hand to oyster farming in Lemon Tree Passage upon retirement. 

Photos: RAF Park and Wing Commander Grant Lindeman with fellow officers (and torpedo) during WW2.

Foreshore Fiasco 

For quite some time now we have been trying to get some sense out of both Port Stephens Council and RFS in relation to fire management of the foreshore reserve between Tanilba Sailing Club and Billy's Beach Mallabula. 

This scrub regularly goes up in smoke destroying sections of the pine boardwalk. Without fire management of the overgrown scrub it will continue. On top of this the fire reliant flora, particularly the koala food trees cannot seed and regenerate. 

We asked PSSC and the RFS to examine the history of wildfire in this scrub but they point blank refused to address the problem.  PSSC stated that it was...'low risk', and the RFS suggested that a community awareness initiative was the answer. Had they consulted the local firies and residents, the answer would have been entirely different. 

There is however a plan to overcome the problems related to the toxic smoke and ash generated by the burning arsenic impregnated pine. 

Council will remove the ash residue from the previous fire when they rebuild the boardwalk and the new decking will not contain arsenic compounds. Indeed PSSC has plans to remove all structures containing arsenic and will replace them with a more benign treated timber. 

So, dear reader, who will carry the can next time it all goes up in flames?The answer of course is nobody.  It's yet again another case of 'Catch 22'. 

Photos: A burnt out section of the boardwalk and Bob Hunt, one of the 'bucket brigade' who saved parts of the structure.


Makeover for Pharmacy 

The Lemon Tree Passage Pharmacy is about to get a makeover with a wider range of products and services in the pipeline. 

New owner Fady Fahny will be creating a new look within the premises itself while expanding the services on offer. His wife Basma, an accredited HMP pharmacist will also be out in the community checking that residents understand their prescribed medications, their dosage and application. 

There was a time when local chemists made their own pills and potions in house. Their preparation rooms resembled a science laboratory. That changed with the mass production of medications. It did, however create a problem in as much as the 'one size fits all' dosages didn't always work. Sometimes individuals returned to their doctors many times before the ideal calibration and mix could be arrived at. 

Fady puts it this way: 

“We now provide a 'Compounding Service' whereby we check the strength of medications, their interaction with other prescriptions, the dosage and the timing of ingestion.” he said. “Close monitoring can deliver the best outcome for the individual,” he added. 

“We  also offer flu shots, free home delivery, a range of mobility aids, a Diabetes Australia access point and both blood glucose and blood pressure monitoring,” he said. 

Opening hours are from 8.30am until 6.00pm weekdays and from 9.00 am to 12 noon of a Saturday. 

Photo: Fady with his sign displaying what his pharmacy has to offer the community.

Cashing In 

With our 'Return & Earn' facility up and running, we thought that you would like to know the finer details – and what's going on behind the scenes. 

For starters, it is NOT a recycling project. It is an initiative of the government to clean up the the state of NSW. 

For those items you pay a surcharge on, you can get your deposit back (or some of it). 

Put simply, you get a 10 cent return on each can or bottle accepted by the machne in the 'Coles' carpark at Tanilba Bay. These containers must be undamaged and have the original label intact. 

You can opt for a credit to your 'Pay Pal' account which involves scanning of your mobile phone. Alternatively you can get a docket redeemable from Coles or you can decide to donate your refund to one of four listed charities which are:

The Cancer Council; Clean up Australia; 'Ostomy NSW' (which supplies colostomy bags) or the Tathra Bushfire Appeal. 

Servicing of the deposit centre is thoroughly professional with the containers being collected on a daily basis and cleaning is done twice each day. 

So keen are some locals to cash in, they actually drive around the streets on garbage night and retrieve containers from the kerbside yellow bins. 

The scheme however has its downside. A few residents rock up to the machine with piles of bottles and cans that are rejected and just dump them there. Others have to clean up the unsightly mess. 

The big winners in all of this are huge beverage companies which slap on as much as $4 to the retail price of a carton of drinks. With only 13% of bottles and cans returning they don't have to fork out the 10 cents refund on the 87% that don't come back. 

This equates to some $400 000 000 in a year!   

As far as recycling goes, it is cheaper to crush the glass bottles and use it for landfill than to find a buyer for the stuff. Aluminium cans have value and some types of plastic bottles can be recycled. 

 Photo: This dynamic duo got a $9.80 Coles voucher for two bags of cans.


Boomerang Bottles

The 'feel good' bottle and can recycling depot in place at 'Coles' carpark Tanilba Bay may not have the result it was intended to.

Nobody wants the glass and warehouses in Sydney are bulging with the stuff. It is even being trucked to Queensland for use as landfill.

The interesting thing about the bottles that local people cash in is that they could very well have come from this area in the first place.

White silica sand is a rare and valuable commodity. Indeed the NSW white glass industry depends on the sand extracted from the Tilligerry Peninsula.

It all began in 1980 when ACI built their processing plant at Tanilba Bay and mined the dunes behind Tanilba Golf Club. P B White was another company extracting sand as well. ACI moved its plant to Salt Ash in 1995 where they also mined beach (amber) sand. This is used to make brown glass bottles.

The northern dune running between Oyster Cove and Tanilba Bay is currently the source of the white sand.

Whereas the earlier rutile miners wanted the valuable minerals in the sands, the silica miners wanted to get rid of them. This was done by pumping a sand / water slurry over spirals and using centrifugal force to cut the heavy minerals out. Iron in particular was the enemy as it turned the glass green. This 'reject' sand was much sought after by bricklayers.

The 'Return and Earn' system is, in reality, something of a misnomer. You have already paid for the cost of the service and are simply getting your money (or some of it) back.

Photos: The new 'Return and Earn' facility and the silica sand mine in Tanilba Bay.


Judy Saves the Day

People assume that 'Coles' owns our major shopping centre at Tanilba Bay. They don't. Just like the other businesses in the plaza they are tenants with a separate company responsible for its management.

Charities and local fundraisers have always been able to sell raffle tickets in the forecourt as it is the major traffic area for the town's shoppers. The only stipulation is that each group must book in so that everybody gets a fair go.

Apparently management had changed and Tilligerry Car Club was horrified when they faced the prospect of having to cough up some $55 to fundraise there for the upcoming 2018 Motorama.

Long time community worker Judy Camm saw red and took to the airwaves to try to change things. She got on the John Laws radio show and gave them (the management) both barrels. For ten minutes she rattled on about how the Motorama had supported the John Hunter Hospital's children's wing for many years with donations of well over $100 000. She also pointed out that other small community groups could not afford this fee.

The end result was that the $55 charge has been waived and all of the fundraising dollars now stay on the peninsula helping local community groups to carry on with their good work.

Note: All details of the Motorama can be found by punching in 'tilligerry motorama 2018' on your preferred search engine.

Note: We wish Judy and Geoff, all the best for the Grand Tour of Europe - ed

Photo: Judy Camm – standing up for the little guy.

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.



Have you seen the ads on TV where school kids are showing off their new garden built from logs made out of recycled printer cartridges?

Well, if you would like to help with this initiative you can drop off your used cartridges to the Lemon Tree Passage Library (opposite the motel).

The Library is open six days a week between 10 am and noon. Out of hours you can leave them in a bag or box in the alcove at the front door.

Oh! this recycling facility also accepts spent batteries which can be dropped of at the same time.

Our library always has new stocks of books and FREE magazines donated by readers. They are stacked on a table just inside the door.

We look forward to you helping make our planet just that little bit greener and cleaner.

Photo: TACE volunteer Helen Mizrachi: “We need your old cartridges and batteries!”

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 2.30pm *

10am to 12 midday



Cost to non-members of TACE is $5.00 per hour (minimum charge $1) and printing/photocopying is 20c 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.


*Please note that during the school holidays our Thursday hours are 10am to 12 midday.


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.