Inbox and Environment news: Issue 486
March 7 - 13, 2021: Issue 486
Wanted: Sydney's Precious Woody Elders
- A home - birds, bats, frogs, possums and gliders and reptiles will live in and on these stags
- A nursery - the hollow cavities in particular provide a place for some of our favourite creatures like owls and parrots (including some Threatened species) to lay eggs and raise young
- A snack - invertebrates, fungi, mosses and lichen will feed upon decaying wood, and so in turn provide food for our wildlife
- A safe lookout - stags often give unique vantage points for wildlife, especially raptors to look for prey
- are in Sydney
- are at least 85 to 95 cm around at chest height
- have at least one hollow/cavity of 40cm or larger at the entrance
The Coast On Radio Northern Beaches - Every Friday With Wendy Frew
- Episode 6, Season 2: Starry, Starry Night by "The Coast" - Wendy Frew
- Episode 5, Season 2: Finding Nemo by "The Coast" - Wendy Frew
- Episode 3, Season 2: Giants of the Sea by "The Coast" - Wendy Frew
- Episode 2, Season 2: Birds of a Feather by "The Coast" - Wendy Frew
- Episode 1, Season 2: An Everyday dose of nature by "The Coast" - Wendy Frew
Radio Northern Beaches
ORRCA Autumn News: Victoria To Implement Ban On Plastic + Whales Are On The Move - Already!
BirdLife Australia Autumn Survey Time
- Breeding behaviours - If you see a bird carrying nesting materials, sitting on a nest or feeding chicks, let us know. Select the option under 'Breeding Activity' that best matches your observation (remember to keep your distance though from birds who are breeding. We don't want to disturb any nests. Be sure to limit your observations and don't get close enough to scare a bird off it's nest.)
- Aggressive interactions – Let us know if you have observed any species initiate interactions with other birds and whether this interaction could be classed as aggressive – you can do this in the sighting details tab using the specific species interactions option.
- Have you seen any birds feeding on the native plants in your garden? If so – who was dining on what? – you can tell us in the notes section when you record the species you have observed under “sighting details”
- Have any birds been dabbling in some Oscar-worthy acting? – tell us about the weird and wonderful things your backyard birds have been up to you using the notes section in the sighting details tabs.
Narrabeen Lagoon Clean Up: March 28
Weed Of The Week: Cassia - Please Pull Out And Save Our Bush
Pink Flush Across Blue Mountains
Pink flannel flowers (Actinotus forsythii) only bloom a year or so after a bushfire.
They're known as bushfire ephemerals because their seeds lay dormant for years on end without any reports. Until the right mix of fire and rain bring them back to life.
Take these flowers' recent appearance in the Blue Mountains. The 2019-20 fire season damaged 80% of the area. But rainfall in the region then enabled these flowers to bloom.
Photos taken at State Mine Gully Rd, Lithgow - by and courtesy Kerry Smith
Invasive Turtles Terrorising Sydney's Wildlife Tracked Down By Scent Detector Dogs
March 5, 2021
Scent detector dogs who ‘nose out’ invasive pests have swarmed Sydney’s parklands as the NSW Government unleashed a specially-trained squad in a calculated raid to eradicate an alien turtle species from our waterways and wetlands.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said they might look harmless, but the red-eared slider turtles were introduced from North and Central America and posed a serious biosecurity threat, preying on native turtle species.
“Red-eared slider turtles are one of the world’s worst invasive alien species,” Mr Marshall said.
“These turtles are an extremely serious introduced biosecurity threat, and we need to extinguish them from our water-ways.
“Our highly trained scent detector dogs have the ability to nose out traces of these invaders above and below the water. While experts in camouflage, the red-eared slider turtles have nowhere to hide.
“These invasive turtles came from the United States and Mexico, and they prey on our native species, fish and frogs, compete for food, nesting areas and basking sites, and can even spread infectious salmonella bacteria to people, pets and other animals.
“We have already removed hundreds of red-eared slider turtles from Sydney waterways and the hands of illegal keepers, but this is just the start.”
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) collaborated with Greater Sydney Local Land Services, Centennial Parklands Trust, local councils and University of Canberra to develop a new range of tracking and trapping devices being trialled.
Mr Marshall said keeping red-eared slider turtles as pets was prohibited and they were an issue on the black market.
“These alien species have been smuggled into, illegally kept and illegally released in Australia which have been found across the Sydney basin, from Camden north to Woy Woy and west to Windsor,” Mr Marshall said.
“They are often illegally purchased when they are very small and attractive, but grow rapidly into large adults capable of biting their owners.
“Red-eared slider turtles might appear to be an ideal pet when small, but they are vicious. If you see one, or you have inadvertently purchased one - or have one that you no longer wish to keep – contact us immediately so we can safely remove them.”
Members of the community are advised to be on the lookout for unusual non-native animals, including turtles, snakes, lizards and other reptiles, mammals, birds and amphibians.
If you see a red-eared slider turtle or any other illegal invasive animals, please contact NSW DPI on 1800 680 244 or take a photograph and post the details on NSW DPI’s unusual animal form.
Image: “Bunya” and his handler, Bradley, tracking down a red-eared slider turtle. NSW DPI photo.
Red-eared slider Turtle. NSW DPI photo.
Orange-Bellied Parrot Breeding Success
Design And Place State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP): Open For Feedback Until March 31
'The Design and Place SEPP puts place and design quality at the forefront of development. Our shared responsibility to care for Country and sustain healthy, thriving communities underpins the policy. The SEPP spans places of all scales, from precincts, significant developments, and buildings to infrastructure and public space. ''The public exhibition will allow us to work closely with state government, local councils, industry peak bodies and communities. This process will inform the development of the Design and Place SEPP and safeguard our shared values for future development in NSW. We will draft the policy in 2021, following the review of the formal submissions and feedback. Submissions are open from now until 31 March 2021. 'The final Design and Place SEPP will go on public exhibition later in 2021 to provide more opportunities for feedback. We will also develop supporting guidance and tools alongside the policy. These include a revision to the Apartment Design Guide, improvements to the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) tool and the development of a new Public Space and Urban Design Guide. '
Worth Noting: Australian Car Sales Statistics 2020
- There were 1,062,867 new vehicles sold in Australia 2019
- New car sales in Australia dropped 8% down from 2018, making it the lowest since 2011
- Toyota was the top-selling car brand in 2019, with 205,766 total sales
- SUVs accounted for 45.5% of new car sales in 2019
NSW Department Of Planning Projects On Exhibition: Open For Comment
- your name and address, at the top of the letter only;
- the name of the application and the application number;
- a statement on whether you ‘support’, ‘object’ to the proposal or are only making a comment;
- the reasons why you support or object to the proposal; and
- a declaration of any reportable political donations you made in the previous two years.
- > A new 500/330 kilovolt (kV) substation located within Bago State Forest and adjacent to TransGrid’s existing Transmission Line 64 (Line 64)
- > Two 330 kV double-circuit overhead transmission lines, approximately nine kilometres long, linking the Snowy 2.0 cable yard in Kosciuszko National Park (KNP) to the new substation
- > An overhead transmission line connection between the substation and Line 64
- > Construction of new access tracks and upgrade of existing access tracks where required to facilitate the construction of the transmission lines and substation and service ongoing maintenance activities
- > Establishment of temporary sites and infrastructure needed during construction including crane pads, site compounds, a helipad, equipment laydown areas, and tensioning and pulling sites for the stringing of overhead conductors and earthwires.
- increased open cut coal extraction within the approved Mount Pleasant Project (EPBC 2011/5795) development area, including accessing deeper coal reserves in North Pit;
- staged increase in the extraction, handling and processing of ROM coal up to 21 Mtpa (i.e. progressive increase in ROM
- coal mining rate from 10.5 Mtpa over the Project life); and
- continued use of the controlled release dam and associated infrastructure that was approved through Bengalla Mine State and Federal approvals.
- Under the proposed Action, mining operations at the higher production rate would extend to 22 December 2048
Forestry Corporation Fined $33K For Failing To Keep Records: Endangering Swift Parrots
Forestry Corporation Fined For Failing To Mark Out A Prohibited Logging Zone
Bushcare In Pittwater
Where we work Which day What time
Angophora Reserve 3rd Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Dunes 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Golf Course 2nd Wednesday 3 - 5:30pm
Careel Creek 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Toongari Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer)
Bangalley Headland 2nd Sunday 9 to 12noon
Winnererremy Bay 4th Sunday 9 to 12noon
North Bilgola Beach 3rd Monday 9 - 12noon
Algona Reserve 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Plateau Park 1st Friday 8:30 - 11:30am
Browns Bay Reserve 1st Tuesday 9 - 12noon
McCarrs Creek Reserve Contact Bushcare Officer To be confirmed
Old Wharf Reserve 3rd Saturday 8 - 11am
Kundibah Reserve 4th Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Mona Vale Beach Basin 1st Saturday 8 - 11am
Mona Vale Dunes 2nd Saturday +3rd Thursday 8:30 - 11:30am
Bungan Beach 4th Sunday 9 - 12noon
Crescent Reserve 3rd Sunday 9 - 12noon
North Newport Beach 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Porter Reserve 2nd Saturday 8 - 11am
Irrawong Reserve 2nd Saturday 2 - 5pm
North Palm Beach Dunes 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Catherine Park 2nd Sunday 10 - 12:30pm
Elizabeth Park 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Pathilda Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Warriewood Wetlands 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Norma Park 1st Friday 9 - 12noon
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay 2nd Sunday 10 - 1pm
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay 1st Monday 9 - 12noon
Gardens And Environment Groups And Organisations In Pittwater
Endangered Turtles Troop Back To Bellinger River
March 3, 2021
Over 30 critically endangered Bellinger River snapping turtles, bred at Taronga Zoo, have been returned to their Bellinger River habitat and appear to be well after recent floods.
Back to the wild for a rare Bellinger River snapping turtle (Myuchelys georgesi) - Photo courtesy Taronga Zoo
It is the only place in the world where they are found but in 2015 a devastating virus wiped out 90% of the turtles in just six weeks.
After a breeding program was rapidly developed, this release further boosts the population after earlier releases in 2018 and 2019, bringing the total number of turtles now released to 52.
Gerry McGilvray, a Department of Planning Industry and the Environment (DPIE) Threatened Species Officer, said after the Bellinger River Virus hit, a partnership led by the Saving our Species (SoS) program established a captive breeding program to ensure the species’ survival.
Gerry said: “This 3rd release of turtles since 2018 is excellent news for these animals, which are unique to the Bellinger River catchment and were declared Critically Endangered after the virus.”
Soon after the turtles were released, the Bellingen area and other parts of the north coast experienced heavy rain and flash flooding but threatened species experts and monitoring the released turtles have confirmed the turtles are safe.
Taronga Zoo staff used their expert skills to establish an insurance population to breed animals for the releases, with over 100 turtles now at the zoo’s quarantine facility. A second insurance population has also been developed at Symbio Wildlife Park.
Taronga Zoo Chief Executive and Director, Cameron Kerr, said that the release was a humbling moment following years of hard work and dedication by zoo staff.
“Bellinger River snapping turtles are considered one of Australia’s most critically endangered animals, and I am incredibly proud of the work of our dedicated keepers and scientists that has led to the release of these healthy individuals into the wild,” Mr Kerr said.
Radio transmitters attached to the turtles help locate them for regular monitoring by SoS Threatened Species Officers who also capture the turtles intermittently to measure growth rates, determine body condition, assess general health and look for signs of exposure to the virus.
The Bellinger River snapping turtle is a short-necked freshwater turtle in the family Chelidae first observed by John Cann in 1971.
The release was approved by the DPIE and Environment Animal Ethics Committee and was guided by reptile and translocation experts, wildlife disease experts and zoo professionals.
Major partners include Symbio Wildlife Park, Department of Primary Industries, Bellinger Landcare, OzGREEN, local community members and researchers.
PFAS Firefighting Foam Banned In NSW
- banning the use of any PFAS firefighting foam for training and demonstration purposes from April 2021;
- restricting the use of long-chain PFAS firefighting foam from September 2022; and,
- restricting the use and sale of PFAS firefighting foam in portable fire extinguishers from September 2022.
NSW lifts ban on Genetically Modified crops
Crab Population To Improve With Recreational Size Limit Changes
March 3rd, 2021
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries has announced changes to recreational Blue Swimmer Crab size limits set to come into effect from 30 April 2021.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries Deputy Director General Fisheries Sean Sloan said these changes will result in an overall improvement in the abundance of crabs.
“The small increase in the size limit for blue swimmer crabs from 6.0cm to 6.5cm will assist total egg production by protecting spawning crabs and improve the productivity of the stock over time,” Mr Sloan said.
“It will also provide consistency between the recreational and commercial fishing sectors and provide an overall improvement in the abundance of crabs.
“The changes will come into effect on 30 April this year so we wanted to give fishers as much notice as possible.
“NSW Fisheries will be out in the community over the coming weeks to speak to fishers to make sure they are aware of the changes and answer any questions they may have."
Mr Sloan said these changes have been implemented following consultation with and support from the NSW Recreational Fishing Advisory Council.
“These changes are being implemented following consultation with and support from the NSW Recreational Fishing Advisory Council who do a fantastic job representing the interest of fishers,” Mr Sloan said.
“The recreational fishing industry is worth $3.4 billion in economic activity every year so it’s critical we all work together to ensure the sustainability of this fantastic resource."
More information about the recreational fishing rule changes are available online at www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au, or by contacting your local NSW DPI Fisheries office.
New Yabby Net Give-Away
March 3, 2021
The NSW Government is giving away 5,000 yabby nets to recreational fishers as part of a comprehensive program to phase out the use of enclosed yabby traps in NSW from 30 April 2021. Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the government has been transitioning to open-top nets for some time, due to the risk that enclosed yabby traps can pose to native wildlife.
“We know that ‘opera house’ style yabby traps pose a risk to air breathing animals such as platypus, water rats and turtles, which can inadvertently get caught in traps,” Mr Marshall said.
“Open top nets allow mammals to exit through the top, unlike opera house traps which only have openings on the sides.
“By moving away from ‘opera’ style traps to open-top yabby nets, we will allow both our fishing resources and native animal populations to flourish.”
Mr Marshall said the changes are part of a National process, with ‘opera’ style traps having already been phased out in the ACT, Victoria and NSW waters where platypus are mostly abundant, including east of the Newell Highway as well as parts of the Edward, Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers.
“These changes have been implemented following consultation with and support from the NSW Recreational Fishing Advisory Council and we want to give fishers has much time as possible to make sure that they’re aware of the new rules and ensure they have the right equipment,” Mr Marshall said.
“By transitioning to using open top nets, fishers can keep fishing, while also continue to do their part to protect our wildlife and ensure the ongoing health of our inland river systems.”
From 30 April, up to five nets, comprised of either open pyramid lift nets, hoop / lift nets or a combination of both, can be used to catch yabbies in all inland waters where it is legal to use lift nets. For more information, visit the DPI website.
To assist with this transition, the Department of Primary Industries are giving away 5,000 open-top nets. To collect a free open-top yabby net, please phone (02) 6051 7760.
More information about the recreational fishing rule changes are available online at www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au, or by contacting your local NSW DPI Fisheries office.
NSW DPI Fisheries Officer inspecting an opera style trap
EPA Takes Legal Action Against Cleanaway For Pollution Of River
Former Truegain Director Convicted, Fined For Failing To Supply Information
NSW State Water Strategy: Have Your Say
Senate Inquiry Into Environment Protection And Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Regional Forest Agreements) Bill 2020
''This Bill will affirm and clarify the Commonwealth’s intent regarding Regional Forest Agreements to make it explicitly clear that forestry operations in a Regional Forest Agreement region are exempt from Part 3 of the EPBC Act, and that compliance matters are to be dealt with through the state regulatory framework.
Requiring native forestry operations to seek EPBC Act approval would create operationally unviable delays in planned harvesting operations that have already been subjected to significant environmental planning and approvals and create congestion in the approvals pipeline.
This is achieved by removing the ambiguity of what it means to be “undertaken in accordance with a Regional Forest Agreement” (subsection 38(1) of the EPBC Act), which a recent Federal Court decision (Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum Inc v VicForests (No 4)  FCA 704 has shown is not explicit with respect to the Commonwealth’s intended meaning.
Furthermore, the operation of subsection 38(1) is just one of several legal questions considered by Justice Mortimer’s judgment and subsequent appeal. There is no guarantee that the appeal will deal with the substantive question about the operation of subsection 38(1).
The Independent review of the EPBC Act Interim Report (Samuel 2020) recommended addressing this uncertainty:
- “During the course of this Review, the Federal Court found that an operator had breached the terms of an RFA and should therefore be subject to the ordinary controlling provisions of the EPBC Act. Legal ambiguities in the relationship between EPBC Act and the RFA Act should be clarified, so that the Commonwealth’s interests in protecting the environment interact with the RFA framework in a streamlined way.” (page 10), and
- “The EPBC Act recognises the RFA Act, and additional assessment and approvals are not required for forestry activities conducted in accordance with an RFA (except where forestry operations are in a World Heritage property or a Ramsar wetland). These settings are colloquially referred to as the 'RFA exemption', which is somewhat of a misnomer.” (page 60).
The Interim Report also made it clear that under a regional model of empowering the states, the oversight functions would be the responsibility of the states through accredited frameworks (as occurs with Regional Forest Agreements):
“For projects approved under accredited arrangements, the accredited regulator would be responsible for ensuring that projects comply with requirements, across the whole project cycle including transparent post-approval monitoring, compliance and enforcement. The Commonwealth should retain the ability to intervene in project-level compliance and enforcement where egregious breaches are not being effectively enforced by the accredited party.” (page 55).
''The Commonwealth must act urgently to resolve this uncertainty to ensure that the tens of thousands of jobs that depend on Australia’s native forestry operations are not exposed to the sort of crisis now facing Victoria’s native hardwood sector. This amendment Bill will achieve this outcome.''
- First reading: Text of the bill as introduced into the Parliament
- Third reading: Prepared if the bill is amended by the house in which it was introduced. This version of the bill is then considered by the second house.
- As passed by both houses: Final text of bill agreed to by both the House of Representatives and the Senate which is presented to the Governor-General for assent.
NSW Government Plan To Protect And Preserve Bushfire Affected Biodiversity
- developing conservation plans for threatened species and communities facing the most significant fire impacts
- establishing new breeding and propagation programs for priority threatened species
- continuing to implement comprehensive post-fire feral animal and weed control
- monitoring species, ecosystems and landscapes over the long-term
- building the capacity of the wildlife rescue and rehabilitation sector and fire combat agencies to respond to future fire events
- increasing opportunities for Aboriginal people to practice cultural fire management and manage fire-affected sites.
New Shorebirds WingThing For Youngsters Available To Download
A Shorebirds WingThing educational brochure for kids (A5) helps children learn about shorebirds, their life and journey. The 2021 revised brochure version was published in February 2021 and is available now. You can download a file copy here.
If you would like a free print copy of this brochure, please send a self-addressed envelope with A$1.10 postage (or larger if you would like it unfolded) affixed to: BirdLife Australia, Shorebird WingThing Request, 2-05Shorebird WingThing/60 Leicester St, Carlton VIC 3053.
Shorebird Identification Booklet
The Migratory Shorebird Program has just released the third edition of its hugely popular Shorebird Identification Booklet. The team has thoroughly revised and updated this pocket-sized companion for all shorebird counters and interested birders, with lots of useful information on our most common shorebirds, key identification features, sighting distribution maps and short articles on some of BirdLife’s shorebird activities.
The booklet can be downloaded here in PDF file format: http://www.birdlife.org.au/documents/Shorebird_ID_Booklet_V3.pdf
Paper copies can be ordered as well, see http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/counter-resources for details.
Download BirdLife Australia's children’s education kit to help them learn more about our wading birdlife
Shorebirds are a group of wading birds that can be found feeding on swamps, tidal mudflats, estuaries, beaches and open country. For many people, shorebirds are just those brown birds feeding a long way out on the mud but they are actually a remarkably diverse collection of birds including stilts, sandpipers, snipe, curlews, godwits, plovers and oystercatchers. Each species is superbly adapted to suit its preferred habitat. The Red-necked Stint is as small as a sparrow, with relatively short legs and bill that it pecks food from the surface of the mud with, whereas the Eastern Curlew is over two feet long with a exceptionally long legs and a massively curved beak that it thrusts deep down into the mud to pull out crabs, worms and other creatures hidden below the surface.
Some shorebirds are fairly drab in plumage, especially when they are visiting Australia in their non-breeding season, but when they migrate to their Arctic nesting grounds, they develop a vibrant flush of bright colours to attract a mate. We have 37 types of shorebirds that annually migrate to Australia on some of the most lengthy and arduous journeys in the animal kingdom, but there are also 18 shorebirds that call Australia home all year round.
What all our shorebirds have in common—be they large or small, seasoned traveller or homebody, brightly coloured or in muted tones—is that each species needs adequate safe areas where they can successfully feed and breed.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is managed and supported by BirdLife Australia.
This project is supported by Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Funding from Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Port Phillip Bay Fund is acknowledged.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is made possible with the help of over 1,600 volunteers working in coastal and inland habitats all over Australia.
The National Shorebird Monitoring program (started as the Shorebirds 2020 project initiated to re-invigorate monitoring around Australia) is raising awareness of how incredible shorebirds are, and actively engaging the community to participate in gathering information needed to conserve shorebirds.
In the short term, the destruction of tidal ecosystems will need to be stopped, and our program is designed to strengthen the case for protecting these important habitats.
In the long term, there will be a need to mitigate against the likely effects of climate change on a species that travels across the entire range of latitudes where impacts are likely.
The identification and protection of critical areas for shorebirds will need to continue in order to guard against the potential threats associated with habitats in close proximity to nearly half the human population.
Here in Australia, the place where these birds grow up and spend most of their lives, continued monitoring is necessary to inform the best management practice to maintain shorebird populations.
BirdLife Australia believe that we can help secure a brighter future for these remarkable birds by educating stakeholders, gathering information on how and why shorebird populations are changing, and working to grow the community of people who care about shorebirds.
To find out more visit: http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/shorebirds-2020-program
Aussie Bread Tags Collection Points
Final Report Calls For Fundamental And Systemic Aged Care Reform
- A new Aged Care Act that puts older people first, enshrining their rights and providing a universal entitlement for high quality and safe care based on assessed need.
- An integrated system for the long-term support and care of older people and their ongoing community engagement.
- A System Governor to provide leadership and oversight and shape the system.
- An Inspector-General of Aged Care to identify and investigate systemic issues and to publish reports of its findings.
- A plan to deliver, measure and report on high quality aged care, including independent standard-setting, a general duty on aged care providers to ensure quality and safe care, and a comprehensive approach to quality measurement, reporting and star ratings.
- Up to date and readily accessible information about care options and services, and care finders to support older people to navigate the aged care system.
- A new aged care program that is responsive to individual circumstances and provides an intuitive care structure, including social supports, respite care, assistive technology and home modification, care at home and residential care. In particular, the new program will provide greater access to care at home, including clearing the home care waiting list.
- A more restorative and preventative approach to care, with increased access to allied health care in both home and residential aged care.
- Increased support for development of ‘small household’ models of accommodation.
- An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care pathway to provide culturally safe and flexible aged care to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wherever they live.
- Improved access to health care for older people, including a new primary care model, access to multidisciplinary outreach services and a Senior Dental Benefits Scheme.
- Equity of access to services for older people with disability and measures to ensure younger people do not enter or remain in residential aged care.
- Professionalising the aged care workforce through changes to education, training, wages, labour conditions and career progression.
- Registration of personal care workers.
- A minimum quality and safety standard for staff time in residential aged care, including an appropriate skills mix and daily minimum staff time for registered nurses, enrolled nurses and personal care workers for each resident, and at least one registered nurse on site at all times.
- Strengthened provider governance arrangements to ensure independence, accountability and transparency.
- A strengthened quality regulator.
- Funding to meet the actual cost of high quality care and an independent Pricing Authority to determine the costs of delivering it.
- A simpler and fairer approach to personal contributions and means testing, including removal of co-contributions toward care, reducing the high effective marginal tax rates that apply to many people receiving residential aged care, and phasing out Refundable Accommodation Deposits.
- Financing arrangements drawing on a new aged care levy to deliver appropriate funding on a sustainable basis.
Respect, Care And Dignity – Aged Care Royal Commission $452 Million Immediate Response As Government Commits To Historic Reform To Deliver Respect And Care For Senior Australians
It's A Girl: Rare Black Rhino Calf Born In Dubbo
Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo is celebrating the birth of a critically endangered Black Rhino calf, born in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday February 24th 2021.
Keepers arrived at work on Wednesday to find the female calf standing beside mother Bakhita in the Zoo’s behind-the-scenes calving yard. Taronga made the announcement on Monday, March 1st, 2021.
“This is the fourth calf for experienced mother Bakhita, who is the Zoo’s most successful Black Rhino breeding female and also the first female Black Rhino born here,” said Taronga Western Plains Zoo Director, Steve Hinks.
Keepers are currently monitoring Bakhita and her calf via CCTV cameras to allow them plenty of space to develop their bond and ensure both mother and calf remain calm.
“This calf is especially important as it carries the legacy of our Black Rhino breeding bull, Kwanzaa who sadly passed away in 2020.”
“Kwanzaa played a prominent role in the Black Rhino conservation breeding program here in Dubbo, siring four calves, and it is such a great feeling to see his final calf arrive safely,” said Steve.
Both mum and calf are doing well and will remain behind-the-scenes for the next couple of months. This time is important for both mum and calf to bond and to allow the calf to grow and develop before making the move to the Black Rhino paddock on the Zoo circuit.
“The team will provide regular updates on our newest addition via Taronga TV and social media whilst the calf is behind-the-scenes,” said Steve.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo has been very successful in breeding Black Rhinos throughout the history of the conservation breeding program which commenced in the 1990s. This is the fourth calf born into the program in the last six years.
“Our team that care for this species here at the Zoo are experts in their field and this latest success is a testament to their knowledge, husbandry skills and dedication in conserving this remarkable species.”
Black Rhinos are currently listed as critically endangered with estimates that there are less than 6000 remaining in the wild.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is internationally renowned for its Black Rhino conservation breeding program and actively funds and supports conservation efforts for wild rhinos in Africa, Indonesia and India. Funding and support for habitat protection and restoration, anti-poaching and rhino protection units and the reduction of human-animal conflict are all vital to ensure Rhino species will continue to survive in the wild.
New Short Course Teaches You How To Innovate Like A Startup Founder
Future Leaders In Focus For Women Of The Year
- Khawlah Asmaa Albaf (14), Young - Khawlah Asmaa Albaf embraced country life and represented a minority group through the NSW Regional Youth Taskforce and United Nations youth programs.
- Daniya Atif Syed (16), Bardia - Daniya Atif Syed’s enthusiasm for technology saw her lead a robotics team and work on projects including a bionic hand to assist people with disabilities.
- Charlotte Childs (14), Heddon Greta - Charlotte Childs is the president of an Interact Club, a youth section of Rotary, which runs wellbeing and fundraising projects for her school and community.
- Molly Croft (15), Dubbo - Molly Croft displayed courage and strength through her journey with cancer, while actively participating in fundraising, mentoring and sporting initiatives.
- Izabelle Kelly (9), Dubbo - At just nine-years-old, Izabelle Kelly sewed and donated more than 100 pouches for bushfire-affected joeys and encouraged her peers to support native wildlife.
- Annabelle Kingston (17), Tootool - Annabelle Kingston launched the not-for-profit, ‘Fetch it for a Farmer’ to provide grocery vouchers for more than 20 farming families battling drought.
- Zara Matthews (13), Kariong - Zara Matthews launched an annual mufti-day at her school to raise more than $20,000 for Kenyan orphanages and is also a Fred Hollows Foundation ambassador.
- Amelia Munday (16), Berkeley Vale - Amelia Munday started a medical science university degree at the age of 13 and used her love of science to create accessibility apps such as an AUSLAN interpreter.
- Ella Treanor (17), Oak Flats - Ella Treanor showed immense resilience to overcome an extensive hamstring injury and go on to represent Australia in acrobatic gymnastics.
Funding Boost For Councils For Youth Week 2021
NSW Premier's 2021 Reading Challenge Opens
March 1st, 2021
The annual bookfest that encourages a love of reading kicks off today.
Page turner: Students can now log their reading as part of the Premier's Reading Challenge.
Students from Kindergarten to Year 9 are being encouraged to jump into reading with the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge opening today for 2021.
The challenge encourages students across NSW to read between 20 and 30 books for leisure and pleasure, depending on their challenge level, from a reading list of quality literature.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said last year almost nine million books were read during the challenge, a 5 per cent increase on previous years.
“It's important for children to discover what books have to offer because we know a passion for learning will set them up for the future," Ms Berejiklian said.
“Whether it’s picking up a book to boost your knowledge, relax at the end of a hard day, or look for inspiration from great figures, reading offers so much for anyone at nearly any age.
"I would love to see as many children as possible develop an interest in reading like I did when I was at school.”
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said last year an additional 38,000 books were read and 165 more schools joined the challenge.
“It’s not too late for schools and students to join the Premier’s Reading Challenge. All you need to do is register, pick up a book and start reading,” Ms Mitchell said.
“The ability to read well is one of education’s greatest gifts, and everyone involved should be proud that the challenge continues to grow and encourages all students to explore the many benefits that result from a love of reading.”
There is a particular focus in 2021 on ensuring representation on the reading list of literature by Indigenous authors and illustrators, with Bundjalung woman, author and illustrator Dr Bronwyn Bancroft providing this year’s promotional artwork.
More information about the Premier’s Reading Challenge and reading lists can be found on the challenge website at: https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/prc/home.html
NSW Youth Advisory Council 2021 Applications Now Open
- Question: What do you think are the important issues affecting children and young people in NSW? Please explain why you think these issues are important. (As a guide, your answers should be no more than 250 words.)
- Question: What life experiences have you had which would assist you in contributing to the Council’s work?
- Question: Details of any current or past voluntary or community activities you have been involved in.
- We'll ask a few questions about you and your background.
Applications Now Open For Y NSW Youth Parliament
NSW Youth Week 2021: 16 To 24 April
- share ideas
- attend live events
- have their voices heard on issues of concern to them
- showcase their talents
- celebrate their contribution to the community
- take part in competitions
- have fun!
Express Yourself Exhibition 2021
The talent and creativity of more than 40 HSC Visual Art students on the Northern Beaches will be on display for the annual Express Yourself exhibition at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum (MAG&M) from February 19th until March 28th 2021.
The winners of the $3,000 Manly Art Gallery & Museum Society Youth Art Award and $5,000 Theo Batten Bequest Youth Art Award will be announced on Friday 19th of February. These two awards are granted annually to students featured in the exhibition.
Artist statements will be displayed alongside the artworks describing the inspirations and influences that informed the works and the students’ creative journeys.
Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite artwork in the KALOF People’s Choice Award which is announced at the end of the exhibition period.
Express Yourself is also part of Art Month Sydney, March 2021.
Exhibition: 19 February - Sunday 28 March 2021, 10am - 4pm daily (excluding Mondays)
Teachers' preview: Friday 19 February, 5 - 6pm. Bookings essential via Council’s website
Art Walk and Talk: Saturday 27 February, 3 – 4pm: Artists walk through the exhibition and discuss their works with the curator. Bookings essential via Council’s website.
CSIRO Moves Towards Open Access For National Benefit
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Stark Warning: Combating Ecosystem Collapse From The Tropics To The Antarctic
- Ecosystem collapse (defined as potentially irreversible change to ecosystem structure, composition and function) is occurring now in 19 case studies. This conclusion is supported by empirical evidence, rather than modelled predictions.
- No ecosystems have collapsed across their entire range, but for all case studies there is evidence of local collapse.
- The 19 ecosystems include the Great Barrier Reef, mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Mediterranean forests and woodlands, the arid zone of central Australia, Shark Bay seagrass beds in Western Australia, Great Southern Reef kelp forests, Gondwanan conifer forests of Tasmania, Mountain Ash forest in Victoria, and moss beds of East Antarctica.
- Drivers of ecosystem collapse are pressures from global climate change and regional human impacts, categorised as chronic 'presses' (eg. changes in temperature and precipitation, land clearing) or acute 'pulses' (eg. heatwaves, storms, fires and pollution after storms).
- Awareness of the importance of the ecosystem and the need for its protection;
- Anticipation of the risks from current and future pressures
- Action on reducing the pressures to avoid or lessen their impacts
Protecting pencil pines from fire in the Southwest Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area: by mapping vegetation values against fire sensitivity (to identify fire-prone Gondwanan conifer communities), maintaining an area specific awareness of the shifting causation of bushfires (increasing frequency of dry lightning strikes), and developing new action strategies to lessen the pressure of unregulated fire (installing sprinkler systems), conservation managers established and used Awareness and Anticipation to formulate positive Action.The scientific team concluded that in the near future, even apparently resilient ecosystems are likely to suffer collapse as the intensity and frequency of pressures increase."Anticipating and preparing for future change is necessary for most ecosystems, unless we are willing to accept a high risk of loss," Dr Bergstrom said."Protecting the iconic ecosystems we have highlighted is not just for the animals and plants that live there. Our economic livelihoods, and therefore ultimately our survival, are intimately connected to the natural world."
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Retroviruses Are Re-Writing The Koala Genome And Causing Cancer
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Detective Work Inside Plant Cells Finds A Key Piece Of The C4 Photosynthesis Puzzle
Largest Carbon Stores Found In Australian World Heritage Sites
Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.