September 1 - 7, 2019: Issue 419


Littoral Rainforest On The Newport-Bilgola Verge Secured As Public Space 

Early in May 2018 residents contacted Pittwater Online News, separately, wondering why land then on the market (over 10 thousand square metres) could not be secured for the community to complete the Newport/Bilgola Crown to the Sea bush links.

Pittwater Online spoke to Mick Glasheen, who had also been speaking about the same matter in late 2017 and was renting a premises on the property. Pittwater Online subsequently contacted the Newport Residents Association President Gavin Butler, Marita Macrae President of the Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA), Neil Evers of the Aboriginal support Group, Manly, Warringah, Pittwater and arranged an informal morning tea - providing said yummies - to get all these people who had spoken about the same thing separately together so they could speak about it as one. This news service also informed MP for Pittwater Rob Stokes about the community's aspiration to secure this land.

These individuals and groups, took it from there - arranging to make a great video(by Bruce Walters with Danielle Bressington), launch an online petition (Marita Macrae of PNHA) and liaise with their members (Gavin of Newport Residents and Neil Evers of ASPMWP, PNHA members) councillors and council as well as Rob to get this one over the line.

NB: there is some lantana and other weeds on this land which may need extra bushcare volunteer hands to help clear it - we'll keep you posted once we receive any information on this and any new group that may be forming to do that work.

This week confirmation of the land being acquired for all was received from Pittwater's MP, The Hon Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces.

The Hon. Rob Stokes said the acquisition will ensure the pristine ecological area is preserved for the next generation.

“Our government is committed to ensuring the people of NSW have access to great public open space,” Mr Stokes said.

“Protecting the environment is a huge priority for the community, so I am delighted we have been able to preserve endangered rainforest, while protecting an important wildlife corridor and increasing green space in the Sydney basin.”



Pittwater Residents’ Fears About Hospital Services Confirmed At Parliamentary Inquiry's First Public Hearing Date

Photo: Chairman of SMVHC Parry Thomas and SMVHC Secretary Sue Martin before the hearing. Supplied.

Pittwater residents’ fears about local hospital services were confirmed by doctors at the first hearing of a Parliamentary Inquiry into the new Northern Beaches Hospital on Monday.

The NSW Upper House inquiry is investigating the hospital and its impact on Mona Vale and Manly Hospitals as well as the community.

Save Mona Vale Hospital chairman Parry Thomas said he was appalled to hear how the hospital was being run.

“The management and problems there underline the importance of our primary campaign objectives to get emergency, surgery, maternity, ICU and other acute services returned to Mona Vale Hospital,” Mr Thomas said.

Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation of Australia president Dr Tony Sara told the inquiry committee the hospital’s private operator, Healthscope, had prioritised elective surgery over emergencies for the first month after the hospital opened on October 30.

He was not prepared to say categorically that this does not happen anymore.

And Healthscope state manager of NSW and ACT hospitals Stephen Gameran revealed that 17 patients had spent more than 24 hours in emergency at NBH during the first month of operations.

This was despite one of Healthscope’s key performance indicators being the amount of time patients spend in emergency.

Additionally, Dr Sara, who works in the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, said the hospital had opened with empty stores in line with a “Just in time” supply policy, which he pointed out was inappropriate for a major hospital.

“Just in time is when you run out of a package of bandages or syringes then you order them from the supplier, whereas a big public hospital will have those things in the basement and intravenous [IV] fluid will maybe be in the pharmacy in the basement,” Dr Sara said.

“What they built was a private hospital and it had the tenor and the operations of a private hospital, not the tenor and the operations of a public hospital.”



Spring In Pittwater 2019

Indigofera australis - photos by A J Guesdon, 2019

Indigofera australis, known as Australian Indigo, is an attractive species of leguminous shrub in the genus Indigofera (family Fabaceae). The genus name "Indigofera" is Neo-Latin for "bearing Indigo" (Indigo is a purple dye originally obtained from some Indigofera species), while "australis" from the Latin, means "southern", referring to the geographical distribution of the species. This plant will flower throughout Spring.

It grows in a variety of different habitats, mainly open woodland and eucalypt forest, but also in desert and in the margins of rainforest. Widespread in southern Australia from the southeastern Western Australia to northeastern Queensland. The flower colour ranges from soft purple to pinkish hues with flowers that are smooth, in short spires in the leaf axils. 

Australian aborigines crushed the leaves and added these to water to kill or stun fish and eels.

This is an excellent habitat plant for wildlife. Flowers are a pollen and nectar source for many native insects, including native bees and wasps. The plant is a useful food plant for butterfly larvae (caterpillars) including Chilades trochylus – "Grass Jewel", Eurema hecabe – "Common Grass Yellow", Lampides boeticus – "Long-tailed Pea Blue" and Zizina labradus – "Common Grass-blue".

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