November 12 - 18, 2017: Issue 337

Avalon Preservation Association

The Avalon Preservation Association, also known as Avalon Preservation Trust, is a not for profit volunteer community group incorporated under the NSW Associations Act, established 50 years ago. We are committed to protecting your interests – to keeping guard over our natural and built environment throughout the Avalon area.

Membership of the association is open to all those residents and/or ratepayers of Avalon Beach and adjacent areas who support the aims and objectives of our Association.

In APA, we care for Avalon because we live here.

Our Aims

  • To preserve the natural beauty of the area through promoting proper planning of all future development
  • To express positively in appropriate quarters the point of view of the residents with regard to any proposed development, and to protect the residential amenity of the area
  • To work with and assist local government in any efforts to improve and beautify the locality and where appropriate to instigate such improvements.

A Management Committee is elected each year at an Annual General Meeting to operate the business of the Association. All APA members are eligible to nominate for the committee. Nominations are called in September each year. The committee meets regularly during the year.

The current Management Committee comprises:

Peter Mayman

Marita Macrae

Sue Martin

Craig Boaden
Pat Gleen
Conrad Grayson
Ros Marsh
Geoff Searl

Committee members are at your disposal at all times to take up any matter which you feel requires attention. APA is a fast, efficient and effective operation. It has access to the authorities and gets results. Please see Contact Us for contact details.


What can you do to protect our lovely area?

For a start you can keep a watchdog – the Avalon Preservation Association (APA).

APA constantly monitors proposed changes in Council and State Government planning rules and legislation and is represented on the appropriate Council committees. APA also monitors local developments, supports local residents and makes submissions to Council in case of inappropriate developments.

All APA asks from you is the opportunity and means to look after the attractions of the area in which we live. Which amounts to your support and a nominal $10.00 per annum membership fee. We need both.

Join APA now.

Caring For Avalon

People who love our bushland volunteer to join Bushcare groups, to work in various reserves. The Council provides insurance, training and supervision. Avalon’s bushland is challenged by many weeds, so the work is mostly controlling these, and occasionally planting tubestock where natural regeneration is unlikely.

For information on all the local bushcare groups please contact council’s Bushcare Officer on 02 9970 1367. There is also information on the website.

Bushcare Groups

Angophora Reserve Bushcare Group
The Angophora Reserve Bushcare Group meet on the third Sunday of the month at one of the four entrances to the reserve. Geoff posts emails to members of the group with details of the next work day 1 week ahead. It is a large group who ‘talk hard’ and work hard as well – nothing like being serenaded by a golden whistler or one of the many avian occupants of the reserve whilst you work!  We meet at 8.30am and morning tea usually happens around 11. Any queries please call Geoff on 0439 292 566.

Avalon Dunes Bushcare Group
The Avalon dunes need you. The dunes look green but some of that is weeds. We meet on the first Sunday of each month, 8.30 – 11.30am near the Montessori School off Tasman Road. Contact Marita Macrae 0439 409 202.

Avalon Golf Course Volunteer Bushcare Group
The Avalon Golf Course Volunteer Bushcare Group work on the second Wednesday of the month and meet in the golf course car park at 2.30pm finishing at about 5pm for a well-deserved afternoon tea. New bush carers are very welcome and tool belts and tools will be provided along with advice where necessary. Any queries, please call Geoff on 0439 292 566.

Bangally Headland Reserve Bushcare Group
The group meet on the second Sunday of each month from 8.30 – 11.30am entering from Whale Beach Road. Contact Marita for more information on 0439 409 202.

Careel Creek Bushcare Group
This is a long creek, so the group works at two main areas – near the tennis courts off Barrenjoey Rd and beside the dog exercise area near Etival St, where a freshwater wetland is being restored. A grant to Pittwater Natural Heritage Association from Greater Sydney Local Land Services is employing contractors to tackle the many vine weeds along whole the creek. The bushcare group meets on the fourth Saturday morning of each month from 8.30 to about 11.30. Contact Karin Nippard, Northern Beaches Council Bushland Management Officer, on 0417 040 945 to find where the group will work each month.

The Careel Creek Bushcare Group works irregularly at this area near the Barrenjoey Road corner with Etival Street, restoring a remnant freshwater wetland. A $15000 grant to Pittwater Natural Heritage Association funded this as part of its Pittwater Estuary Care grant from the Federal Government’s Community Landcare program (through Greater Sydney Local Land Services). Big coral trees and other weeds were removed, local native trees and shrubs planted and bagged to protect from rabbits. Northern Beaches Council coordinates and co-funds the project. Contract bush regenerators do the heavy work and volunteers do planting and maintenance. The Project is now completed.

Plateau Park Bushcare Group
 Would you like to work beside Waratahs in flower? The Plateau Park Bushcare Group meets on the first Friday morning of each month from 8.30 – 11.30am in the playground on Plateau Road Bilgola Plateau. For further information contact: Ken Hughes 02 9918 9170.

Toongari Reserve Bushcare Group
The Toongari Reserve Bushcare group meets from 8.30-11.30am on the third Saturday of each month. This reserve lies between Avalon Parade and Central Road. Contact: Robyn Hughes 02 9918 3931.

Avalon Preservation Association
50th AGM – 27th November 2017
Celebrating 50 years of caring for Avalon
Come along and celebrate our 50th anniversary protecting Avalon!
Venue: Avalon Bowling Club, 4 Bowling Green Lane, Avalon Beach.
Date/time: Monday 27 November from 6.30pm.

Guest speaker: Richard Stutchbury, Avalon sculptor and landscape architect.
There are 2 websites to look at some of Richard’s sculptures –


Warringah Shire Council’s ‘Amended Warringah Scheme’ to allow the zoning of 90 acres (36.5 hectares) for flats in Avalon in 1967 brought an overwhelming response.

Although Avalon Progress and Ratepayers’ Association fired the first shots, it was the impetus that stirred a new residents’ group into formation to engage in positive action.

According to ‘The Avalon News’ vol.15 no.12, the Avalon Preservation Trust held it’s inaugural general meeting in July 1967.

The new Trust wasted no time and became immediately active, opposing this new zoning. A team of members set-up in the shopping centre each Saturday to assist locals wishing to lodge objections.

Within a short time, the State Planning Authority, the Warringah Shire Administrator, the Minister for Local Government and the Member for Collaroy had been swamped with letters of protest and objections lodged on Form 1AA.

For most of the late 1960s, commercial interests had been removing tons of sand from the northern dune, which included a huge spur buttressing this dune. Repeated requests from the Trust for a court injunction from Warringah Shire Council to stop this destructive activity were constantly ignored. The Trust sent a telegram to the  Minister for Local Government requesting cessation of the work and was advised that the State Planning were seeking to acquire the land for recreation purposes. The Trust was also informed that the council had the situation in hand. In truth neither had the situation in hand at all, so some members of the Trust took it upon themselves to stage a sit-in and create a vehicular barricade to stop the trucks from accessing the sand-loading equipment. Apparently this had the desired effect and a further injunction was successful. One wonders how much sand would have been left had the Trust members not brought about this action. 

The corner of Tasman Road and Marine Parade Avalon during the sanding mining.

 The Avalon News’ article on same - photo by John Stone - six cars were parked along the front of where the photographer has stood to take this photo - this stopped access to the site by the sand miners.

In 1969 a Junior Preservation Trust was formed at the excellent suggestion of a Mrs Hinds. The idea and the motive was to encourage young Avalonians to learn about the benefits of conservation for the future of their area.

During the first year of the Junior Trust members benefited from talks by persons in the wildlife and conservation fields. They also participated in museum and sanctuary trips and helping to plot koala trails and the counting of koalas.

The Trust Management Committee for the 1970/71 year was as follows;
Mr R.W. Patterson – Chairman, Mrs C.J. Adams, Mr K. Ryman, Mrs K. Ryman, Mrs E. Moline and Mr B. Campbell. Mr W. Highfield was the Honorary Auditor.

In 1971 ABC Television filmed a meeting of the Junior Trust as well as members planting trees in Catalpa Reserve with a koala called ‘Humphrey Tyson’ looking on. A copy of this documentary is held in the archives of the Avalon Beach Historical Society.
A conservation club was formed at Barrenjoey High School.

The Trust was ably represented on the Northern Beaches and Bushlands Committee with 2 delegates. The committee assisted residents from Duffy’s Forest and Terrey Hills by supporting their campaign against the push for a third airport site in their area.

Two runways already existed and were used necessarily for general aviation, feeder services, crop dusting and aerial survey work.

The threat of a larger third runway and possible jet aircraft was totally unacceptable. It took almost 5 years of continual effort until the idea was finally put to rest.

“To save a few wealthy people a few minutes’ a proposal for a hovercraft operating out of Careel Bay was mooted in 1971. The thought of a ‘thundering, spraying, churning monstrosity’ taking over the bay revolted most residents and boat owners. The Trust encouraged residents and recreational users of the bay to urgently write to the Minister for Transport expressing their dissatisfaction at this threat. Thankfully it never became a reality.

In July 1972 ‘The Australian Women’s Weekly’ saw fit to publish 3 entire pages, including coloured photographs, of the Careel Bay mangroves. The NSW Department of Lands proposed to Warringah Shire Council reclamation of most of the bay’s 60 intertidal acres (24 hectares) for playing fields and other recreation, including a marina.

The ‘Weekly’ reported that ‘the Avalon Preservation Trust was the first to leap into battle, it wants the mangroves left alone. And it has enlisted some impressive supporters. The Australian Littoral Society insisted that the mangroves are a non-renewable natural wealth of the highest order and along with the Trust, wants Careel Bay to be declared a marine nature reserve’.

The Trust became a major player on the Careel Bay Advisory Committee and a public meeting in 1975 attracted 600 people. 
A 1974 report from the Water Research Laboratory confirmed that the bay must be left alone.

The committee for 1972/73 saw only a few changes. 
Mr R.W. Patterson was Chairman, Mrs E. (Betty) Moline and 
Mrs Connie Adams shared the duties of Vice-Chairman, 
Mrs Gen. Wales – Hon. Secretary. Mr Doug Blaydon – Hon. Treasurer
Mrs Ricki Trevorrow – Publicity. Other committee members were
Mr Trevorrow, Mr Bruce Campbell, Mr Norm Poppleton, Mr John Pollock. Mr Jim Rawlings and Mrs J. Patterson.
Our Federal member, W.C. Wentworth was Patron.
At the AGM special mention was made of Ron Searl’s provision of the wall of his shop for our notice board and the taking of APT membership dues.

1974/75 saw increases in postal rates so members of the Trust chose to hand-deliver the newsletter.  

In 1962 the Wild Life Society sought to establish a management committee for the Angophora Reserve to be known as the 530A Committee, under the control of the Warringah Shire Council. Voluntary workers cleared lantana, bridged small watercourses and burnt rubbish. Waratahs were planted and the small parking area at the Palmgrove Road entrance was constructed. Unfortunately this inaugural committee didn’t last as members moved out of the area and some passed away.

1968 saw a re-activated 530A Management Committee get underway with the assistance of Pittwater Rotary and Bert Payne (Payne’s Timber in Newport). An excellent photograph in the archives of the Avalon Beach Historical Society shows the construction of the timber fence and gateway, a fittingly rather grandiose structure at the Palmgrove Road entrance. Sadly, members in the photo - local builder Roly Jeffery, Sid Roberts who built the squash courts and Dr and Mrs Sanders (Avalon Beach’s first doctor) along with Bert Payne, are no longer with us.

This photo shows members of the newly-formed APT erecting the gateway at the Palmgrove Road entrance to Angophora Reserve in 1968 with the help of Bert Payne from Payne Timbers at Newport. The guy with the rake is Sid Roberts who built the squash courts in Old Barrenjoey Road. The guy with the ‘rings’ around his biceps is our first doctor - John  Sanders. Under the ‘g’ is a local builder Roly Jeffrey talking to Bert Payne. Courtesy ABHS

This new committee was formed 1 year after the formation of the APT and so one member of the Trust became a delegate on this committee – it is assumed Connie Adams was the chosen delegate.

Members of the Trust became very active, especially planting lots of Grey Gums, the chosen food tree for the koala population.  

In June 1976 ‘The Avalon News’ announced that a new management committee to care for and control Angophora Reserve was to be formed. The Pittwater Flora and Fauna Society (PFFS) had managed the control of the reserve previously but considered it would be beneficial to include ‘an equal number of delegates from Avalon and the Trust to sit on this committee. Some original members lived far afield and some unable to do much in the way of hard physical work.

This new committee consisted of five APT members, two members of the PFFS and two residents whose homes bordered the reserve. 
Plans were drawn up by landscape architect (and member of the committee) Don Irving and objectives established. Lantana and privet were both attacked and cleared and pathways made more accessible. The idea of a tourist kiosk in the reserve was very smartly squashed. 

Advertisement supported by the Avalon Preservation Trust, The Palm Beach Association and the Whale Beach Preservation Society’.
The advert was paid for ‘by a number of residents of the Peninsula because they were deeply concerned about the change that is occurring to the character of the area’. It was drawn by Tony Edwards (aka Captain Goodvibes from early Tracks magazine) who at the time was living in ‘Windy Ridge’ up on Sunrise Hill and he drew this from his balcony. Circa 1970s.

The Management Committee in 1988 had grown quite large and now had 4 adjacent residents assisting along with some talented co-opted advisors. Unfortunately this committee was not a lasting one either and the care of the reserve these days is managed by an enthusiastic group of volunteers, including members of the Trust. They have been working every 3rd Sunday of the month since February 2010 when the group was formed. 

The Trust newsletter of 1977 made mention of the decision by the Boundaries Commission to amalgamate both Manly and Warringah Council. Mr Ferris, Chairman of the Commission (and Minister for Local Government said that ratepayers can either ‘take it or leave it’) which the Manly Daily translated as ‘like it or lump it’. Eventually he refused to poll ratepayers because he now had ‘considerable reservations of this as a reflection of public opinion’. The LGA unanimously agreed that no amalgamation involving any municipality should occur unless a poll of residents favoured amalgamation. 

In 1979 the Trust was very critical of some of the work proposed by the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Board, especially in regard to the path taken by the sewer line through Angophora Reserve. The Trust Committee did not agree that ‘environmental destruction was the price we would have to pay for sewerage’. Attention would also be given to the works associated with the construction of the several pumping stations that were being constructed in the area.

In 1985 the Pittwater Palms retirement village was mooted and on behalf of the Trust, Connie Adams approached the Heritage Council to ‘put an interim conservation order on the site to preserve existing trees’. Leightons asked for Council’s approval of change of consent.

The Ombudsman replied that he could ‘under his act, do nothing to help us’. The Trust then asked the Councillor Frank Beckman to have council defer consideration of plans until after the Heritage Council had approved it.  

This was the straw which broke the koalas backs. It severed the corridor necessary for their transit from the grey gums (their food trees of choice) in Angophora Reserve to those in Stapleton Park. 

Ron Searl and then State MP for our area Max Smith - ABHS newspaper clipping - Manly Daily; 'He admitted some trees may have been bulldozed 'accidentally

Chairman Garvon Kable had attended several meetings with the Chief Engineer of the Department of Main Roads (DMR) and local member Mr Max Smith concerning the Bilgola Bends. The DMR thought widening the bends in association with the new ‘Bendy’ Buses would be an appropriate move until WSC refused their application to use 60 square metres of Hewitt Park to widen the western (and sharpest) corner. The spoil created by premature excavation in preparation for the widening of the bends was then deposited on the southern side of the valley. This eyesore was hurriedly planted out using native shrubs and trees after the National Trust announced (via Garvon Kable) in August 1985, that ‘the DMR have abandoned their plans to make a four-lane highway across the valley’.

June 1989 saw the first Avalon Preservation Trust newsletter ‘roll off the press’. It was agreed at the AGM in March that a newsletter would be an effective way to keep members informed of the activities and issues involving the trust.

One of the early membership forms

The first item recognised the marvellous effort of the Trust’s Vice-Chairman, Connie Adams, in having the Angophora Reserve included in the National Estate Register. The Heritage Commission considered that the area has a national significance in our heritage providing ‘an important refuge and protected movement corridor for fauna, particularly Sydney’s diminishing koala population’. The areas value in terms of flora such as the Spotted Gum communities (which used to be widespread on the peninsula) was also noted. The Aboriginal rock-shelter and its social and spiritual significance to the Aboriginal community in pre-European times was also noted.

Besides holding the position of Vice-Chairman of the Trust, Connie was also Chair of the Management Committee of the Angophora Reserve. An appropriate plaque is mounted on a sandstone plinth at the Palmgrove Road entrance to the reserve commemorating her devotion to the preservation of the reserve.

The article finished with ‘….. residents of the local area are indebted to Connie for her generosity with her time, the thoroughness of her research and her indefatigability when pursuing an issue’. 

The newsletter also announced that ‘Koalas are still on the move and we have koala food trees for sale at 80 cents for members and $1.00 for non-members’.  

Garvon Kable handing over reigns as Chairman at 40th Anniversary of APT

By Geoff Searl
President, Avalon Beach Historical Society