February 16 - 22, 2020: Issue 438

Pittwater Natural Heritage association Bird walks and talks Next weekend

PNHA Activities for 2020, will be on Fridays and Sundays. The first is on Friday February 21, 2020. Free guided Irrawong Waterfall Track walk. Booking through Eventbrite

Free guided Irrawong Waterfall Track bird and plant walk on Sunday February 23rd, 2020Booking through Eventbrite.

The Pittwater Natural Heritage Association has been formed to act to protect and preserve the Pittwater areas major and most valuable asset – its natural heritage.

PNHA is an incorporated association seeking broad based community membership and support to enable it to have an effective and authoritative voice speaking out for the preservation of Pittwater’s natural heritage. Please contact us for further information.

Visit: www.pnha.org.au

Our aims:

  • To raise public awareness of the conservation value of the natural heritage of the Pittwater area: its landforms, watercourses, soils and local native vegetation and fauna.
  • To raise public awareness of the threats to the long-term sustainability of Pittwater’s natural heritage.
  • To foster individual and community responsibility for caring for this natural heritage.
  • To encourage Council and the NSW Government to adopt and implement policies and works which will conserve, sustain and enhance the natural heritage of Pittwater.

Hot Days forecast: please keep your bird baths topped up or put out shallow dishes of water in the shade for local fauna

During this January break please be mindful of our local native animals and place shallow dishes in the shade with sticks or twigs to climb on. With BOM weather forecasts predicting soaring heat over the next few weeks we need to look out for and care for the original residents.

Saving Grevillea Caleyi: Join The Baha’i Temple Bushcare Group

Bush regeneration at the Baha'i Temple is on again, so please join us on Monday 17 February, from 8.30 am to 11.30 am

Meet on site at the picnic shelter at 8.30 am. New volunteers welcome, training will be provided. Wear long trousers, a long sleeved shirt and boots or closed in shoes.The session will be cancelled in the event of rain. For more information contact David Palmer on 0404 171 940.

Saving Grevillea Caleyi: Join The Baha’i Temple Bushcare Group - Profile

Grevillea caleyi, now critically endangered. Image taken in Bush at Ingleside/Terrey Hills verges - picture by A J Guesdon

Curl Curl Clean Up: Feb 23 - NB Clean Up Crew

Hosted by Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew and WildAware
Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 10 AM – 12:15 PM
Our clean ups are always the last Sunday of every month at 10am and our next clean up is in Curl Curl. 
All welcome to this family friendly event! The more the merrier. Do a good deed for the planet and make new friends at the same time. No need to bring anything but a smile. We start at 10am and clean up for about 90 minutes. 

After that we welcome everyone who can stay to to help out with sorting and counting of the rubbish.  We do this as part of a contribution to a national marine debris data base available for researcher and universities. 

Looking forward to meeting you all. The only thing we ask is for you to leave your political and religious messages at home because it's a community event and we want everyone to feel welcome and included. We provide you will buckets, bags and gloves. If you are driving put 52 Surf Road, Curl Curl in your GPS to easiest find our meeting point. We are meeting just opposite that house. 
Looking forward to meeting you and making some more friends.
Stay up to date with further posts on the Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew Facebook page.

Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon february 2020 Forum - Catchment Secrets of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment: Discoveries so far in the 21st Century

Next Forum: 7pm Monday Feb 24, 2020
Coastal Environment Centre, Pelican Path
Lake Park Road, Narrabeen
Catchment Secrets of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment: Discoveries so far in the 21st Century
Speaker: Jayden Walsh

Jayden is always inspiring, telling us about finding various creatures in the wild. He will describe and show images of some of the very special wildlife that is in the catchment of Narrabeen Lagoon, especially recent sightings.

As of the time of writing this, bushfire has not impacted the catchment. Here’s hoping this remains the case for the sake of the wildlife.  Check that February 24 is in your diary and, so that you don’t miss out, book your ticket early by emailing Judith Bennett email@narrabeenlagoon.org.au

Night time Wildlife Walk
Jayden Walsh is offering a special guided night walk at Katoa close from 7:30 to 9:30pm on Friday, the 28th February, at Warriewood Wetlands to meet some of the creatures that he will talk about on the previous Monday. (See item above bout the Forum.)
Bookings essential: jayden.sydneybirder@gmail.com

Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment: Bushwalks 2020

Sat 8/2/ 2020 Walk & Weed. 
If dry conditions: Meet 7.30am at Deep Creek near dog training area; walk 1hr next to Deep Creek and contributory creek. Weeding (2hrs):small leaved privet, Crofton weed, Ludwigia peruviana and possibly some grass. Walk back and finish at 11:30am.
If wet, but not too wet: Terrey Hills to Morgan Road, with some weeding along  5 Mile Creek track. 

Sun 1/3/2020 walk & plant identification
Meet 8am near 27 Morgan Rd for Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment Transverse.
Carpooling required as we finish at Deep Creek.

Sun 26/4/2020 Cromer Circle
Cromer Circle with 1 hr for weeding grasses along the track of Aboriginal carvings. Fabulous views over the lagoon and its valleys, and viewing of carvings.
10am - 3pm. Limited numbers.

Sat 23/5/2020 Explorative Walk
9am explorative walk from Morgan Rd to N/W catchment corner.

Sun 21/6/2020 walk & weed.
Meet 9am at Deep Creek near dog training area; walk 1hr next to Deep Creek and contributory creek. Weeding 1hr—crofton weed, Ludwigia peruviana etc. Continue walk to Baha'i temple and carpool back ~ 2pm.

PNB 1st Meeting for 2020: Habitat Protection 

Thursday, February 27, 2020: 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Transhed Art and Community Centre
1395 Pittwater Road, Narrabeen
Our first meeting of 2020 focuses on protecting our bushland, eco-systems and habitats.

Permaculture Northern Beaches (PNB) is an active local group based on Sydney's Northern Beaches. We are an independent organisation registered as an association in NSW.

PNB hold monthly permaculture related events on the last Thursday of each month at the Tramshed Community Arts Centre, Lakeview Room, 1395A Pittwater Road, Narrabeen. Buses stop directly at the Centre and there is also car parking. Doors open at 7:15 pm. Meetings are February to November.

North Narrabeen Beach Clean: March 1- legends cleaning beach  Vol. 6.

Hosted by Legend Element
Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 9 AM – 11 AM
North Narrabeen Beach: Malcolm St.
The 6th official BEACH-CLEANUP BY LEGEND ELEMENT! In total we have already collected about 300 kg of trash, join us to do something good again. This time you can help us clean up Nort Narrabeen Beach and lagoon our beloved surfing and spearfishing spot. 

Why do we think beach cleanups are helpful? It is opportunity to raise awareness of the trash problem among local #communities. We believe that such cleanups are as important for the impact they have in our heads as that which they have on the environment.

Meeting point at North Narrabeen beach car park on Sunday 1.3. 2020 at 9am
We will provide rubbish bags, bins and some refreshment. We will also take care of the rubbish afterwards.
Please bring your protective glove, thanks! 

Legend Element is a lifestyle brand that transpired from a love of adventure sports, particularly a passion for kiteboarding. It is about passion, good vibes and an active lifestyle. 

At the beginning of 2019 we realised, that more of us are connected not only by kitesurfing but also by different kind of outdoor adventure sports like freediving, spearfishing, rockclimbing, mountaineering, snowkiting .... and the idea started to grow. We have transformed our group LEGEND KITEBOARDING into a lifestyle brand LEGEND ELEMENT. We believe that everyone is unique in their own way, everyone has different passions and it's this special element that is the Legend Element.

Rock Platform Tour

Hosted by Coastal Environment Centre
Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Coastal Environment Centre
1 Lake Park Road -Pelican Path, North Narrabeen
Come and join one of our educators and discover the weird and wonderful creatures that live on our rock platforms.  Fun for all ages, there is so much to see if you know where to look!
Free Event
Booking Essential: HERE

Haerses Road Quarry MOD 3 - Production Increase

Increase extraction rate from 250,000 tpa to 495,000 tpa; increase the amount of clean fill VENM & ENM from 100,000 tpa to 250,000 tpa; and increase truck movements from 56 per day to 180 per day (ie 90 inbound, 90 outbound).
Development Type: Extractive industries
Local Government Areas: The Hills Shire
Exhibition Start: 29/01/2020
Exhibition End: 26/02/2020

Offshore Clean Energy Infrastructure - Proposed Framework: Consultation

Closes 28 Feb 2020
The Australian Government is developing a regulatory framework to enable the exploration, construction, operation and decommissioning of offshore wind and other clean energy technologies and associated infrastructure in Commonwealth waters (beyond three nautical miles from the coast).

They have developed a discussion paper and process map outlining the proposed regulatory framework. The proposal brings together the Australian Government's experience in regulation of other sectors with best practice for offshore energy regulation overseas.

Please provide your feedback on the proposal by 28 February 2020 to offshorewind@environment.gov.au. Submissions will not be published.

Discussion paper and process map at 

Photo: Burbo Bank Offshore Windfarm, Irish Sea off the Wirral, Image credit- Ian Mantel

Extension To Submissions For EPBC Act Review

January 16, 2020
Statement made by Professor Graeme Samuel AC, independent reviewer of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The bushfires affecting so many areas of Australia have been devastating for our communities and for our environment.

I would like to extend my condolences to those who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods. I acknowledge all those on the front line who are providing emergency response and support, including all the volunteers supporting communities and caring for our injured wildlife.

The attention of so many is rightfully focused on managing the bushfire events and taking the important first steps towards recovery. This includes people and organisations that are keenly interested in the independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (known as the EPBC Act) that I am currently conducting.

Acknowledging that the bushfires are the focus of many of the review’s stakeholders, it is appropriate to extend the timeframe for providing submissions. I am keen for every interested stakeholder to have their say about the EPBC Act and how it operates.

Submissions are now due by close of business Friday 17 April 2020.

I encourage those who are able to provide submissions earlier to do so, including if people want to submit early or focussed views and ideas in advance of a fuller submission at a later time.

To read the discussion paper, find out how to make a submission and to register your interest in the review please visit the review website https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/.

Wildlife Care This Summer

Some excellent advice from the veterinary team at NEVS in Terrey Hills: Sydney is facing a catastrophic fire danger ratings, with high temperatures, hot gusty winds, and dry conditions. But what does this mean for our wildlife?

Native wildlife are struggling to cope with bushfires combined with habitat loss. Although our wildlife has evolved with fire, urbanisation has made their habitat so limited they are at great risk. During bushfires wildlife are forced to come to the ground where they get hit by cars and attacked by domestic dogs.

We can help our wildlife by creating refuge areas, that are shady, cool and somewhat wet. You can leave out shallow water dishes, and place a rock in them so smaller animals and birds don’t accidentally drown. Keep your dogs contained indoors and away from smoke for their own benefit as much as for the safety of wildlife. Avoid driving into fire areas unnecessarily where wildlife are likely to be present on the roads trying to escape, and instead await updates from online sources. If you encounter any injured or burnt wildlife, take them immediately to a vet hospital that you can safely access. Do not attempt to handle any bats unless you are vaccinated against Lyssavirus (the rabies vaccine covers this virus). Never chase wild animals in an attempt to capture them as they are prone to capture myopathy brought on by stress which is fatal.

For assistance or advice do not hesitate to phone NEVS on 9452 2933 and Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Service on 9413 4300.

Bushcare in Pittwater 

For further information or to confirm the meeting details for below groups, please contact Council's Bushcare Officer on 9970 1367

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 

Church Point     
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     
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 

North Narrabeen     
Irrawong Reserve                     2nd Saturday                   2 - 5pm 

Palm Beach     
North Palm Beach Dunes      3rd Saturday                    9 - 12noon 

Scotland Island     
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 

Whale Beach     
Norma Park                               1st Friday                            9 - 12noon 

Western Foreshores     
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay      2nd Sunday                        10 - 1pm 
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay           1st Monday                          9 - 12noon

Gardens and Environment Groups and Organisations in Pittwater

Gould's petrels breed on Broughton Island after 10 years

February 7, 2020
For the first time in a decade there’s evidence Gould’s Petrels have bred on Broughton Island near Port Stephens, National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Director Hunter Central Coast Kylie Yeend said.

The success is part of a program to restore seabirds to the island thanks to a collaboration between NPWS, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE Ecosystems and Threatened Species), the Hunter Bird Observers Club (HBOC) and Birdlife Australia.

Ms Yeend said the successful breeding of the threatened species is the result of a long-term project which began with the removal of pests in 2009.

“It’s very exciting news. After the removal of rats and rabbits, we began a second phase with a two-pronged approach. We started ‘sound attraction’, in which speakers broadcast bird noises continuously overnight, and installed nesting boxes,” she said.

“A baby Gould’s Petrel chick has now been found in a nesting box, showing that breeding is occurring on the island in response to our intervention. It’s encouraging to see habitat creation being utilised for successful breeding.”

In December 2018 the Gould’s Petrels started using the boxes, but it wasn’t until December last year that an adult was discovered incubating an egg in a nest box.

“It was sensational,” HBOC volunteer Alan Stuart said. “We’d found an egg in a December visit, and so as soon as we arrived last weekend in late January, we went straight up to see how things were going, and it was so exciting to look inside the nest box and see the chick.”

Since 2012 a total of 20 volunteer birdwatchers from HBOC have been part of quarterly visits to stay on Broughton Island for two nights to undertake bird monitoring for NPWS.

The money for the nest boxes and sound attraction equipment came from the general public sponsoring teams in the Twitchathon. This annual birdwatching competition donates sponsorship money to a different cause each year – and in 2016 it was Broughton Island seabirds.

In 2017 six nest boxes for Gould’s Petrels and eight for White-faced Storm Petrel’s were helicoptered to the island and installed.

Following this successful breeding event there may be more nest boxes installed to extend the habitat creation.

Photos: Broughton Island, with National Parks and Wildlife Service and Hunter Bird Observers Club representatives Photos: DPIE


More About Gould's petrel

Gould's petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera) is a species of seabird in the family Procellariidae. The common name commemorates the English ornithologist and bird artist John Gould (1804-1881).
Gould's petrel is a small gadfly petrel, white below and dark brown and grey above. The species is classified within the subgenus Cookilaria, all members of which have a dark M pattern across the upper wings. Gould's petrel has long narrow wings, a short rounded tail and the head is noticeably dark, with a white forehead and face. Gould's petrel is 30 cm in length with a wingspan of 70 cm and weighs 180–200 g. Males are slightly larger than females.

There are two subspecies of Gould's petrel. The nominate subspecies (Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera) breeds on several small islands off the New South Wales coast in Australia, but primarily on Cabbage Tree Island (John Gould Nature Reserve). The other subspecies (P. l. caledonica) breeds on New Caledonia and differs from the nominate subspecies in being slightly larger in morphological measurements, and having a more robust bill, paler back and sides of the breast, reduced pigmentation on the underside of the wing, and a white or mainly white inner vane of the outer rectrix.

Gould's petrel is the name chosen by W.B. Alexander in his classic work Birds of the Ocean. Gould described this bird in 1844, naming it Cook's petrel (Procellaria cookii) after James Cook. In his 1865 Handbook he changed the name to white-winged petrel (Aestrelata leucoptera). Today it is known as Gould's petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera).

Gould's petrel illustrated by John Gould with Cabbage Tree Island in the background by  John Gould (1804–1881) - from John Gould's Birds of Australia

Gould's petrels spend most of their life at sea and come ashore only to breed. Prior to the 1990s it was thought that the Australian subspecies of Gould's petrel bred only on Cabbage Tree Island off Port Stephens in New South Wales. After the discovery of a small number of breeding pairs on neighbouring Boondelbah Island, translocation of 200 chicks in 1999 and 2000 has established a small satellite colony which breeds in artificial nest boxes that were installed prior to the first translocation.  In December 2009, just one month after it had been confirmed that rabbits had been eliminated from Cabbage Tree Island, one single Gould's petrel was found incubating an egg on another nearby island, Broughton Island.

Today, the nominate subspecies breeds on at least five islands off New South Wales (Cabbage Tree Island, Boondelbah Island, Broughton Island, Little Broughton Island, and Montague Island). The New Caledonian subspecies breeds on New Caledonia on steep forested valleys on the central mountain chain, from 350–500 metres above sea level between Mountains Dzumac and Poya. There is also a small colony on Raivavae in French Polynesia.

Both subspecies forage in the Tasman Sea during the breeding season and may venture as far west as the Indian Ocean south of south-western Western Australia before laying. After breeding, Gould's petrel migrates to the central (P. l. leucoptera) and eastern (P. l. caledonica) Pacific Ocean.

Gould's petrels (of unknown subspecies) were sighted in December 1994 in waters south of Western Australia. It is deduced that these were not breeding birds, because in December breeding birds are incubating (see Life history below), and these waters are too far from the breeding colonies for a foraging trip.

Little is known about the diet or feeding behaviour of Gould's petrels. We do know that they eat small cephalopods and fish, and that variation in foraging success is substantial.
Gadfly petrels have relatively long breeding seasons. They are generally monogamous and form long-term pair bonds.

While most petrels nest in burrows, as do the Gould's petrels on New Caledonia, the Australian subspecies of Gould's petrel does not. On Cabbage Tree Island, they nest in amongst rocks and boulders, under fallen palm fronds, in hollow trunks of fallen palms and between buttresses of fig trees.

On Cabbage Tree Island, birds arrive in mid-October to secure their nest site and reunite with their mate. In November they return to sea for 2–3 weeks (the 'pre-laying exodus'). The single egg (which is not replaced if lost) is laid between 18 November and 10 December. Incubation is undertaken by both parents and takes 6–7 weeks. Males undertake the first shift which can be as long as 17 days. Females then take over for a shorter shift. Finally, males take the final shift until the egg hatches, usually in January. The chick reaches a maximum body mass that is often more than 130% of adult body mass. The young fledge in April to May at 80–100 days of age and a body mass of 160–180 g.

The age at which Gould's petrels commence breeding is unknown. The youngest bird of the Australian subspecies known to breed was 12 years of age. Young birds are thought to spend the first 5–6 years at sea before starting to breed. However, during this time they do return to their natal breeding colony to establish pair-bonds and to learn courtship and breeding skills.

The longevity of Gould's petrel is unknown. The oldest known member of the Australian subspecies was at least 23 years old.
In the early 1990s the breeding population of the Australian subspecies was fewer than 250 pairs. Breeding success was less than 20% and fewer than 50 young fledged each year. Each year more adults died than chicks fledged successfully.[26] In 1992 scientists estimated that the population had declined by 26% over the previous 22 years.

Research revealed that the major problems threatening processes were (a) sticky fruit of the birdlime tree (Pisonia umbellifera) which immobilised birds; (b) predation by pied currawongs (Strepera graculina) and (c) habitat degradation caused by grazing of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Rabbits had eaten the undergrowth allowing sticky birdlime fruit to fall to the ground, so birds, both adults and chicks, were exposed to fruit which would otherwise have been entangled in shrubbery.

Population decline was unsustainable and intervention was required. In 1993 birdlime trees in the nesting colony were removed and pied currawongs were culled. Rabbits were eradicated from the island in 1997. Fledging success increased from fewer than 50 to more than 450 per annum and the number of breeding adults increased to over 1,000 pairs.

Removal of Pisonia umbellifera seedlings within the breeding colonies and culling of pied currawongs is undertaken periodically. Annual surveys estimate the size of the breeding population, breeding success and the number of fledglings produced. Because birds were monitored closely there was concern that ornithologists' intrusion could upset the birds and affect breeding success. However, this does not appear to be the case. In one study conducted in 2000/01, the breeding success of birds handled regularly during incubation was higher than for the colony as a whole.

Having just one population was deemed an unacceptable risk, so nest boxes were developed and chicks were translocated to nearby Boondelbah Island. Most seabirds are strongly philopatric, so translocating chicks is difficult. Young must be moved before fledging. They are taken away from parental care and fed artificially. Gould's petrels breed less synchronously than many other seabirds: each stage of egg-laying, hatching and fledging takes place over a period of 6–7 weeks. Scientists had to determine the optimum time to translocate chicks: young enough so that they had not yet imprinted on their natal site but old enough to maximise survival in the absence of parental care.

Active conservation management for the Australian subspecies of Gould's petrel has been so successful that the conservation status of the subspecies has been down-graded from endangered to vulnerable. In 2010, the total population of the Australian subspecies was estimated to be 2,500 individuals and increasing.

At the same time, the population of the New Caledonian subspecies was estimated at 10,000 individuals and decreasing. However, this number is no more than an estimate and scientists do not have high confidence that it is correct.

The main threats to the nominate subspecies are the introduction of feral predators (cats (Felis catus), black rats (Rattus rattus), foxes (Vulpes vulpes) or dogs (Canus familiaris)) or wild fire, particularly in December when birds are incubating. Because of their chosen precarious nesting habits, accidental egg breakage is not unusual.

The New Caledonian subspecies is also classified as vulnerable because of its restricted geographic breeding range.

Photo: Gould's Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera), east of Southport, Queensland, Australia by Christopher Watson - http://comebirdwatching.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/southport-pelagic-17th-of-december-2011.html

Information from BirdLife Australia and Wikipedia.

Woolworths, Foodbank and WWF-Australia band together to support wildlife

February 12, 2020

Tens of thousands more sweet potatoes and carrots have been flown by helicopter into NSW national parks with Woolworths, Foodbank and WWF-Australia banding together to support the NSW Government’s aerial food drop program.

NSW Saving our Species Program Manager Linda Bell said the collaborative effort was to sustain specific endangered species in bushfire affected areas.

“Woolworths and Foodbank are donating carrots and sweet potatoes, and WWF-Australia is funding more helicopter flights, to deliver emergency food to the endangered Brush-tailed rock-wallaby while other food sources become available,” Ms Bell said.

Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director, Claire Peters said they were pleased to further add to their existing financial and surplus food donations to wildlife charities by standing together with the NSW Government, WWF and Foodbank.

“The impact of these bushfires on Australian wildlife has captured the attention of our teams and customers, who are looking to us as a business to provide additional support.

“Supporting this program with the supply of fresh food from Woolworths will make a meaningful and immediate impact on the lives of our vulnerable and endangered native species,” Ms Peters said.

WWF-Australia CEO, Dermot O’Gorman said the bushfires have devastated communities and our wildlife is hurting like never before, so we must look for innovative solutions like these food drops to make a difference.

“Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we can help our native species that are struggling without access to their natural food and water resources,” said Mr O’Gorman.

Foodbank NSW & ACT CEO, Gerry Andersen said Foodbank NSW & ACT is proud to be part of the effort to feed our endangered native animals.

“While our role is usually to feed hungry Aussies, food for Australia’s endangered native fauna is an important part of the recovery for these regions that have been so devastatingly impacted by the fires,” he said.

Field officers Katherine Howard and Judd Stinson- photo Credit J Stinson

Second food drop - photo (c)J Stinson.

Stocky galaxias rescued from fire affected creek

February 7, 2020

Experts from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and University of Canberra have stepped in to save the extremely rare Stocky galaxias, a tiny fish only found in Kosciuszko National Park.

Stocky galaxias (Galaxias tantangara) being rescued from Tantangara Creek. Photo: DPIE

NPWS Southern Ranges Director, Mick Pettitt, said NPWS firefighters escorted researchers to the short section of Tantangara Creek as fires approached to catch and save up to 140 of the fish to ensure a captive insurance population.

“University of Canberra researchers were concerned that ash from the fires would contaminate the creek and endanger the fish, which live in cold, clear and fast flowing water, often covered in snow during winter,” he said.

“The rescued Stocky Galaxias which are a critically endangered species, will be kept at the university, providing a unique opportunity to learn more about the reclusive fish.

“They are about as long as an adult’s index finger and only weigh about 13 grams, but are an important part of Australia’s unique Alpine environment.”

Mr Pettitt said very little is known about the Stocky Galaxias, which appears to have a home range of just 100 metres. It’s named for its distinctly stocky body which is mostly dark olive-brown with dark spots and a lighter cream colour underneath.

There are also risks to the fish from erosion and disturbance by hooved animals of the bed and banks of the creek, suspending fine sediment into the water which smothers the Stocky Galaxias eggs, washes the fish’s eggs off rocks where they are usually protected. Loss of overhanging vegetation on the creek banks also reduces the number of insects the fish can feed on.”

Fencing of the small catchment is planned to occur in 2020 once the threat of fires are diminished and crews are able to move in safely.

This one small creek is a tributary of the Upper Murrumbidgee River and the fish has survived above a waterfall upstream of the Tantangara Reservoir.

The Stocky Galaxias are protected by a waterfall which creates a natural barrier that stops Trout moving into this section of the creek, which are a predator of the Stocky Galaxias.

The stocky galaxia grows to the length of an adult's index finger and weighs about 13 grams. Photo: DPIE

Action to Improve Water Quality in The Richmond

February 7, 2020

Innovative new approaches to improving water quality issues in the Richmond River are being piloted as part of the NSW Government’s Marine Estate Management Strategy.

NSW DPI Program Leader Coastal Systems Marcus Riches said the river estuary has experienced poor water quality and fish deaths in the past, and current weather conditions are once again increasing this risk with heavy rainfall predicted in the region.

“Poor water quality can have significant impacts on industry, communities, the economy and our natural resources, particularly when large scale fish deaths occur, like those in the Richmond River in 2001 and 2008,” Mr Riches said.

“More than $45 million will be invested in the Marine Estate Management Strategy 2018-2028 (MEMS) to address these issues, with over 70 per cent of funds dedicated to improving water quality across the coast, including runoff from acid sulphate soils and agricultural drainage works on our coastal floodplains in the Richmond.

“In the Richmond, over $3.4 million has been invested in the past 18 months to support water quality improvements under the strategy, with this catchment chosen as a key pilot area for new evidence-based approaches to addressing water quality.

“This is a multi-faceted, long-term approach to deliver on-ground works, and better planning and coordinated management across industry, government and community with a focus on estuarine health and reducing the severity of poor water quality events.”

Part of this funding has been provided to the North Coast Local Land Services and in 18 months they have delivered:

  • 18km of riparian vegetation protection and enhancement activities (fencing, weeding, planting);
  • 600m of bank erosion protection and a further 900m is underway at Emigrant Creek sub-catchment; and,
  • 9 upgraded road crossings and the sealing of 4.1 km of gravel roads to reduce sediment input into the Richmond estuary.

Mr Riches said more works are planned this year.

“NSW DPI is working with blueberry, greenhouse vegetable and macadamia industries on improving water and nutrient management to reduce off-site water quality and habitat impacts to waterways,” he said.

“$150,000 has been provided to assist Rous Council with coastal floodplain studies to improve water quality outcomes and infrastructure management at the Keith Hall drainage system.

“Development of estuary-wide foreshore structures, riverbank protection and marine vegetation management strategies will improve the coordinated management of coastal habitats, ensure sustainable development and identify where protection and rehabilitation efforts are needed.

“The Coastal Drainage Management project will help improve the management of floodplain drainage infrastructure and restoration of coastal floodplain wetlands, to enhance natural water retention and flows, and address poor water quality from acid sulfate soils and low dissolved oxygen conditions.”

Mr Riches said all management options are currently on the table, including existing government rules and processes and non-statutory options, such as farm, drainage or floodgate management plans and on-ground works.

“These projects are unprecedented in NSW, in both their geographic scale and the complexity of issues they are addressing,” he said.

“Already we’re seeing significant progress being made that will lead to sustainable outcomes and an improvement in water quality and productivity in the long-term.

“These projects are being undertaken in collaboration with key stakeholders including local government, industry, Aboriginal leaders and local landholders – all providing unique insights and local knowledge crucial for identifying solutions.

“While we can’t stop fish kills occurring in certain conditions, we want to ensure their extent and severity are reduced both now and in the future.”

Detection dogs track down rare orchid

February 11, 2020

Two English Springer Spaniels are helping find a very rare underground orchid called Rhizanthella, first discovered in 2016 in Barrington Tops National Park.

Detection dogs Missy and Taz of OWAD Environment were brought in by NSW Government’s Saving our Species (SoS) program and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) after staff spent fruitless days searching for new orchid populations.

Missy the orchid sniffing detection dog Photo: DPIE

Discovered by a member of the public, the orchid is being investigated as a potential new species – and like other underground orchids, it’s difficult to track down.

Most of the plant grows underground, and only the flower is visible above ground – but even this is nearly always covered by leaf litter.

The clever canines – who usually search for koalas and quolls – were given just four flowers to learn to identify the scent during training.

Although Barrington Tops National Park was recently impacted by bushfires, the area with the Rhizanthella was unaffected. Field trials took place in early January, when Missy and Taz found remnants of the season’s last flowers hidden under leaf litter.

“This is the first time detection dogs have been used to find underground orchids, and it was a resounding success,” said Paul Hillier, Senior Project Officer, SoS.

“On top of both dogs locating the orchids in the known location, Missy may have also found the orchids growing in a new location.”

However, no flowers were seen at the new site, as the plant had finished flowering for the year.

The dynamic duo will return in winter when Rhizanthella flowers start emerging again, and search across more locations. The exercise is laying groundwork for finding other elusive species such as the threatened eastern underground orchid.

“This work opens up a doorway for us to come out and find other species that are also proving a challenge to work with and conserve.”

The SoS program is the NSW Government’s commitment to secure the future of NSW threatened plants and animals, with $100 million being invested in it over five years (2016 – 2021).

Eastern Australian underground orchid (Rhizanthella slateria) in bloom Photo: Luke Foster

Missy is a professional field detection dog. She usually searches for koalas, quolls and an introduced plant, the hawkweed. Saving our Species and the National Parks and Wildlife Service engaged trainers OWAD Environment to add a new target scent for her, the underground orchid, Rhizanthella sp.

Training involved working over a number of 1000 square metre plots, timing how long it would take Missy to find a sample, or deciding when to call off a search if there was no sample in a plot.

Dogs like Missy can detect half a teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic sized pool but the training makes sure she can distinguish between what humans are interested in and what she can smell underneath the ground. The dogs are trained to apply a specific search pattern to confirm the target location.

Training is all about positive reinforcement. The detection dogs love their job, considering it all fun and games.

Illegal behaviour hampers fire recovery efforts

February 10, 2020

Illegal 4WD access in the Blue Mountains National Park is jeopardising both recovery efforts and safety, says National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

Blue Mountains Park Operation Manager Glenn Meade, said staff were disappointed to see several metal gates had been cut and 4WD access had increased despite the area remaining closed to vehicles.

"It's concerning to see illegal activity at the Waterboard Fire Trail in the Vale of Avoca precinct when our staff are working so hard to protect impacted species here and make this area safe," he said.

"While the majority of visitors do the right thing, some people have not only accessed areas which are strictly off limits at the current time but have gone so far as to destroy property to get through in their cars.

"What these people need to know is that they are jeopardising recovery efforts, putting themselves at risk and increasing the amount of time and funds needed to restore this area and its fire trails.

"NPWS is working with NSW Police and RFS to manage illegal activities; if you are doing the wrong thing, we will catch you and you will receive a substantial fine."

Recreational visitor access to the Grose River via the Waterboard Trail is currently restricted to walking only in the wake of Gospers Mountain Fire.

NPWS will continue undertaking works to restore affected fire trails, protect water quality, and minimise further impacts to flora and fauna while the area rehabilitates from the fire.

If you have information regarding illegal 4WD access in the area, please call 4787 8877.

Photo: View from Mount Hay walking track, Blue Mountains National Park Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH

NSW Government opens the floodgates for irrigators to profit from the Barwon-Darling river system

February 12, 2020

Conservation groups are outraged at the NSW Government’s decision to allow big irrigators to take millions of litres of flood water from the Barwon-Darling river system. The government on Monday (February 10) temporarily overturned a restriction it placed on the capture of floodwaters just three days before on Friday (February 7).

The move could divert millions of litres of water from towns and the environment into the storages of large irrigators in the north of the basin.

“After such a prolonged drought, the priority for these vital first flows through the Barwon-Darling system must be to replenish town water supplies and revive fish stock and river ecosystems,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Chris Gambian said.

“Over-extraction by big irrigators, aided and abetted by the NSW Government, has made the impact of this drought much worse than it should have been. The drought is not yet over, and the government is at it again.

“The NSW Government’s management of the recent flows has been chaotic and poorly communicated, with three contradictory directions issued over the past week.

“On Friday, it simultaneously imposed a restriction on floodplain harvesting in the northern basin while also authorising landholders use of illegal levies and dams to capture and store overland flows. Then on Monday it announced a three-day free-for-all allowing irrigators to take as much water from the floodplain as they can pump.

“Once again the government appears to be pandering to the interests of big irrigators ahead of communities and the environment.”

Inland Rivers Network spokesperson Bev Smiles said: “These flows are the first ray of hope for the Darling River for years and should be allowed to flow through the system to Menindee Lakes and the Lower Darling.

“They are an important opportunity to reverse the extreme stress suffered by the Darling River and its dependent communities and wildlife.

“Now the government has authorised irrigators to harvest the best part of the flows in Namoi, Gwydir and Barwon rivers. The ad hoc approach to water management in western NSW has caused significant trauma to people, native fish and the riverine environment along the Darling River.

“This opportunity to revive the river system has been squandered at the behest of the powerful upstream irrigation lobby.”

Leaked report should be the nail in the coffin for Liddell power station 

February 11, 2020

"The Federal Government must rule out spending $300 million on extending the life of Liddell power station for just three years", states the Nature Conservation Council

The station is due to close in 2023 but Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor is pushing to keep the station open until 2026.

Sky News revealed today that a draft report by federal and state bureaucrats found extending the life of half of the plant by three years would cost $300 million and that AGL did not want to pay.

“Liddell is a dud and should shut by its use-by date in 2023, or even sooner,” Nature Conservation Council Campaigns Director Brad Smith said.

“If the government is going to spend $300 million on energy, it should invest in pumped hydro and batteries, not extending the life of dirty old clunker like Liddell.

“Keeping the station open would not only be an obscene waste of taxpayers’ money.

“It would add more than 12 million tonnes of carbon pollution to the atmosphere and the draft report found it make the grid more unstable.

“There is no reason to spend millions polluting our climate when we have cleaner ways to power our state.

“Instead of obsessing about coal, there are 21 storage projects that are ready to roll in NSW that the Federal Government should expedite funding for.” [2]


[1] Liddell power station 'to cost taxpayers $300 million'

[2] NSW Emerging Energy Program shortlist

Farmers fear Whitehaven may have contaminated river system

February 9, 2020

Landholders living near Whitehaven’s Maules Creek coal mine have been alarmed to find what they say is evidence the company has contaminated the local river system.

Thousands of small white styrofoam balls, used in explosive blasts during mining, were found in the overflow of Back Creek following recent rain.

Back Creek is part of the Namoi River system, which itself eventually flows into the Murray Darling System.

Local landholder Ros Druce notified NSW’s Environmental Protection Agency following her discovery. 

She said authorities must respond quickly, and penalise Whitehaven to the full extent of the law if it was found to be responsible.

“This styrofoam could have long lasting negative impacts on the local aquatic ecosystem,” she said.

“We also don’t know what else has been released into the river system.

“That’s why we’re urging an urgent investigation into whether Whitehaven has once again failed in its responsibilities to protect the community and environment that it operates in.

“This company is a repeat offender, and has no social licence left in this community.”

NT offsets scheme set to fail: Protect Country Alliance

February 12, 2020

Protect Country Alliance has slammed the Gunner Government’s draft NT Offsets Policy, labeling it a farce while MPs are actively promoting and pursuing a massive polluting fracking industry in the Territory.

According to the Alliance’s analysis, the offsets policy is vague, mixes biodiversity offsets with greenhouse gas offsets, and does not offer any assurance that damaging fracking projects won’t lead to serious pollution events.

“Fracking the Beetaloo Basin has the potential to unleash a carbon bomb equivalent to the commissioning of more than 50 coal fired power stations,” said Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer.

“It is doubtful that offsetting this is feasible for the nation, let alone the NT, given the scope of the emissions that would be produced from fracking the Beetaloo.

“The emissions produced cannot be offset by preserving a patch of bush here or there, as the Gunner Government would have the public believe.

“Offsets are a last resort in the process of managing impacts of resource projects and as such are not legitimately considered as an operational justification for a polluting process."

Mr Sawyer said once again, it appeared this policy was designed to appease the fracking companies rather than serve any sort of public benefit, and it was not in line with Pepper Inquiry recommendations.

“The Pepper Inquiry was explicit in ensuring fracking companies paid to offset the pollution they caused,” he said.

“But the lack of rigour and detail in the NT Government’s draft policy suggests the fracking companies will be jumping for joy if it is approved in its current form.

“It would mean fracking companies could weasel out of the accounting required as well as the upfront costs to offset the expected pollution associated with fracking the Beetaloo.”

Climate change expert and researcher at the Australian National University Professor Will Steffen said that there was a more fundamental reason the development could not go ahead under any circumstances.

“We simply cannot open up any new fossil fuel developments, including Beetaloo unconventional gas, and have any chance of meeting the Paris targets, irrespective of where the fuels are ultimately burnt and irrespective of any proposed ‘offsets’,” he said.

“That is, all proposed new fossil fuel developments must be rejected if the world has a hope of meeting its Paris Agreement targets."

Submissions on the draft offsets policy are due on Friday 14 February.

Gosford Economy Waste Group fined $15,000 for licence breach

February 10, 2020

The NSW Environment Protection Authority has fined Economy Waste Group Pty Ltd of West Gosford $15,000 for potentially putting the community and environment at risk through alleged non-compliant stockpiling of waste.

EPA officers inspected the premises at Nells Road West Gosford in December last year and found waste stockpiles exceeding the four metre licence height limit. There were also no stockpile height markers in place, both alleged breaches of their Environment Protection Licence.

EPA Director Regulatory Operations Metro North Adam Gilligan said limits are placed on stockpile heights to reduce the likelihood of dust and litter being blown from the site. Stockpile height markers are an important tool to help manage stockpile heights.

“The company is required to adhere to the conditions of its Environment Protection Licence. Waste which is stockpiled at excessive levels has the potential to generate dust and affect air quality.

“The company has previously received Official Cautions for breaching environment legislation,” Mr Gilligan said.

In 2017 they were cautioned for storing waste outside their licensed area and poor management of stormwater.

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions. In this instance the EPA issued a penalty notice. The notice recipient may pay the penalty notice, seek a review, or elect to have the matter determined by a court.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

Central Coast waste facility fined $15,000 for over-height stockpiles

February 7, 2020

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined EBH Environmental Services Pty Ltd $15,000 for allegedly stockpiling waste to nearly twice the allowed 3 metre height.

An EPA inspection of EBH’s Berkeley Vale facility on 6 September 2019 found a 5.63m high stockpile of soil and unprocessed concrete batch waste on the site’s western boundary.

A second waste stockpile on the northern boundary was found to be 3.55m high.

Neighbours had previously complained about dust from the waste facility.

EPA Director Regulatory Operations Metro North Adam Gilligan said excessive waste stockpiles had the potential to generate dust and impact on air quality.

It is a condition of EBH’s Environment Protection Licence that waste stockpiles must not exceed 3 metres in height. 

 “The EPA enforces Environment Protection Licence conditions to make sure neighbouring homes and businesses are not adversely impacted,’’ Mr Gilligan said.

“Environment Protection Licences are in place to protect the environment and licence holders must comply with all conditions.

“This fine is a reminder of the importance of abiding by licence conditions to prevent any potential environmental impacts.’’

In addition to the over-height stockpiles, EBH is also alleged to have breached its licence conditions by failing to have stockpile height markers in place.

Fines are just one of the ways the EPA can enforce compliance. The EPA can also use formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.

The community can also play a vital role in helping the EPA to monitor compliance by reporting environmental incidents to the EPA’s 24-hour Environment Line on 131 555.

EPA action over Central Coast Council sewage leak

February 6, 2020

Central Coast Council has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to spend almost half a million dollars on upgrades following a sewage leak in January 2019.

A corroded sewer main near the Entrance Road in Wamberal broke, sending about 2.2 million litres of untreated sewage into Forresters Creek and Wamberal Lagoon, a protected coastal wetland nature reserve which is home to several native plant and animal species.

EPA Director Regulatory Operations Metro North Adam Gilligan said residents reported strong rotten egg smells.

“The EPA investigated the incident and found that Council’s sewage electronic surveillance systems were not able to detect the discharge.

“Council has agreed to spend about $250,000 to replace the failed sewer main and has agreed to upgrade its electronic monitoring systems.

“It has also undertaken to carry out a risk assessment of all pressurised sewer pipes by the end of this year, to help prioritise an inspection program to prevent a repeat incident,” Mr Gilligan said.

Council estimates this risk assessment will cost it more than $140,000.

The Enforceable Undertaking also requires Council to spend $100,000 to significantly upgrade a pollution control trap near Wamberal Lagoon by June 2021, to pay the EPA’s investigation and legal costs of $16,425 and to report on progress of the upgrades every three months.

Council spent more than $290,000 responding to the spill, including clean-up and remediation costs.

Enforceable Undertakings are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance. Through an Enforceable Undertaking, the EPA may secure outcomes such as environmental restoration measures or contributions to environmental projects. The undertaking is enforceable by the Land and Environment Court.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

Aussie Bread Tags Collection Points

Collecting bread tags enables us to provide wheelchairs that change the life of disabled people in need, as well as keeping the tags out of landfill to help to preserve the environment. 

Bread Tags for Wheelchairs was started in South Africa in 2006 by Mary Honeybun. It is a community program where individuals and organisations collect bread tags, which are sold to recyclers. The money raised pays for wheelchairs for the less fortunate which are purchased through a local pharmacy. Currently about 500kg of bread tags are collected a month in South Africa, funding 2-3 wheelchairs.

We have been collecting bread tags nationally in Australia since September 2018 and now have more than 100 collection points across the country. In February 2019 we started local recycling through Transmutation - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in Robe, SA, where our tags are recycled into products such as door knobs and bowls. Tags from some states are still sent to South Africa where a plastics company called Zibo recycles them into seedling trays.

These humble bits of polystyrene can make a real difference so get your friends, family, school, workplace and church involved. Ask school tuck shops and boarding school kitchens, child care centres, aged care facilities, hospitals, cafes and fast food outlets to collect for you - they get through a lot of bread!

All the information and signage for collecting or setting up a public collection point is on our website.

Local Collectors
Lesley Flood
Please email for address - lespatflood@gmail.com
Jodie Streckeisen
Please email for the address - streckeisenjodie@gmail.com

Green Team Beach Cleans 2019!

Hosted by The Green Team
The Green Team is back for 2019! 
It has been estimated that we will have more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050...These beach cleans are aimed at reducing the vast amounts of plastic from entering our oceans before they harm marine life. 

Anyone and everyone is welcome! If you would like to come along, please bring a bucket, gloves and hat. Kids of all ages are also welcome! 

The Green Team is a Youth-run, volunteer-based environment initiative from Avalon, Sydney. Keeping our area green and clean.

Create a Habitat Stepping Stone!

Over 50 Pittwater households have already pledged to make a difference for our local wildlife, and you can too! Create a habitat stepping stone to help our wildlife out. It’s easy - just add a few beautiful habitat elements to your backyard or balcony to create a valuable wildlife-friendly stopover.

How it works

1) Discover: Visit the website below to find dozens of beautiful plants, nest boxes and water elements you can add to your backyard or balcony to help our local wildlife.

2) Pledge: Select three or more elements to add to your place. You can even show you care by choosing to have a bird appear on our online map.

3) Share: Join the Habitat Stepping Stones Facebook community to find out what’s happening in the natural world, and share your pics, tips and stories.

What you get                                  

• Enjoy the wonders of nature, right outside your window. • Free and discounted plants for your garden. • A Habitat Stepping Stone plaque for your front fence. • Local wildlife news and tips. • Become part of the Pittwater Habitat Stepping Stones community.

Get the kids involved and excited about helping out! www.HabitatSteppingStones.org.au

No computer? No problem -Just write to the address below and we’ll mail you everything you need. Habitat Stepping Stones, Department of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University NSW 2109. This project is assisted by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust

Living Ocean

Living Ocean was born in Whale Beach, on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, surrounded by water and set in an area of incredible beauty.
Living Ocean is a charity that promotes the awareness of human impact on the ocean, through research, education, creative activity in the community, and support of others who sustain ocean health and integrity.

And always celebrating and honouring the natural environment and the lifestyle that the ocean offers us.

Our whale research program builds on research that has been conducted off our coastline by our experts over many years and our Centre for Marine Studies enables students and others to become directly involved.

Through partnerships with individuals and organizations, we conceive, create and coordinate campaigns that educate all layers of our community – from our ‘No Plastic Please’ campaign, which is delivered in partnership with local schools, to film nights and lectures, aimed at the wider community.

Additionally, we raise funds for ocean-oriented conservation groups such as Sea Shepherd.

Donations are tax-deductable 

Newport Community Gardens

Anyone interested in joining our community garden group please feel free to come and visit us on Sunday at 10am at the Woolcott Reserve in Newport!

Keep in Touch with what's happening on Newport Garden's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newportcg/

Avalon Preservation Association

The Avalon Preservation Association, also known as Avalon Preservation Trust. We are 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.

Permaculture Northern Beaches 

Manly • Warringah • Pittwater | Sydney
Permaculture Northern Beaches (PNB) is an active local group based on Sydney's Northern Beaches.  Our parent body is  Permaculture Sydney North.

PNB hold monthly permaculture related events on the 4th Thursday of each month at 7:15pm at the  Nelson Heather Community Centre,  Banksia Room, 5 Jacksons Rd, Warriewood

Report illegal dumping

NSW Government

The RIDonline website lets you report the types of waste being dumped and its GPS location. Photos of the waste can also be added to the report.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA), councils and Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) squads will use this information to investigate and, if appropriate, issue a fine or clean-up notice. Penalties for illegal dumping can be up to $15,000 and potential jail time for anybody caught illegally dumping within five years of a prior illegal dumping conviction.

The Green Team

This Youth-run, volunteer-based environment initiative has been attracting high praise from the founders of Living Ocean as much as other local environment groups recently. 
Creating Beach Cleans events, starting their own, sustainability days - ‘action speaks louder than words’ ethos is at the core of this group. 

Australian Native Foods website: http://www.anfil.org.au/

Avalon Boomerang Bags

Avalon Boomerang Bags was introduced to us by Surfrider Foundation and Living Ocean, they both helped organise with the support of Pittwater Council the Recreational room at Avalon Community Centre which we worked from each Tuesday. This is the Hub of what is a Community initiative to help free Avalon of single use plastic bags and to generally spread the word of the overuse of plastic. 

Find out more and get involved.

Avalon Community Garden

Community Gardens bring people together and enrich communities. They build a sense of place and shared connection.


Avalon Community Garden is a community led initiative to create accessible food gardens in public places throughout the Pittwater area. Our aim is to share skills and knowledge in creating fabulous local, organic food. But it's not just about great food. We also aim to foster community connection, stimulate creative ideas for community resilience and celebrate our abundance. Open to all ages and skills, our first garden is on the grounds of Barrenjoey High School (off Tasman Road)Become part of this exciting initiative to change the world locally. 

Avalon Community Garden
2 Tasman Road
North Avalon

Wildlife Carers and Organisations in Pittwater:

Sydney Wildlife rescues, rehabilitates and releases sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife. From penguins, to possums and parrots, native wildlife of all descriptions passes through the caring hands of Sydney Wildlife rescuers and carers on a daily basis. We provide a genuine 24 hour, 7 day per week emergency advice, rescue and care service.

As well as caring for sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife, Sydney Wildlife is also involved in educating the community about native wildlife and its habitat. We provide educational talks to a wide range of groups and audiences including kindergartens, scouts, guides, a wide range of special interest groups and retirement villages. Talks are tailored to meet the needs and requirements of each group. 


Found an injured native animal? We're here to help.

Keep the animal contained, warm, quiet and undisturbed. Do not offer any food or water. Call Sydney Wildlife immediately on 9413 4300, or take the animal to your nearest vet. Generally there is no charge. Find out more at: www.sydneywildlife.org.au

Southern Cross Wildlife Care was launched over 6 years ago. It is the brainchild of Dr Howard Ralph, the founder and chief veterinarian. SCWC was established solely for the purpose of treating injured, sick and orphaned wildlife. No wild creature in need that passes through our doors is ever rejected. 


People can assist SCWC by volunteering their skills ie: veterinary; medical; experienced wildlife carers; fundraising; "IT" skills; media; admin; website etc. We are always having to address the issue of finances as we are a non commercial veterinary service for wildlife in need, who obviously don't have cheque books in their pouches. It is a constant concern and struggle of ours when we are pre-occupied with the care and treatment of the escalating amount of wildlife that we have to deal with. Just becoming a member of SCWC for $45 a year would be a great help. Regular monthly donations however small, would be a wonderful gift and we could plan ahead knowing that we had x amount of funds that we could count on. Our small team of volunteers are all unpaid even our amazing vet Howard, so all funds raised go directly towards our precious wildlife. SCWC is TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

Find out more at: southerncrosswildlifecare.org.au/wp/

Pittwater's Environmental Foundation

Pittwater Environmental Foundation was established in 2006 to conserve and enhance the natural environment of the Pittwater local government area through the application of tax deductible donations, gifts and bequests. The Directors were appointed by Pittwater Council. 


About 33% (about 1600 ha excluding National Parks) of the original pre-European bushland in Pittwater remains in a reasonably natural or undisturbed condition. Of this, only about 400ha remains in public ownership. All remaining natural bushland is subject to encroachment, illegal clearing, weed invasion, feral animals, altered drainage, bushfire hazard reduction requirements and other edge effects. Within Pittwater 38 species of plants or animals are listed as endangered or threatened under the Threatened Species Act. There are two endangered populations (Koala and Squirrel Glider) and eight endangered ecological communities or types of bushland. To visit their site please click on logo above.

Avalon Boomerang Bags 2019 

WORKSHOPS are held Tuesdays during the school term
at the Avalon Recreation Centre 11.30 - 3.30pm

Everyone is welcome; come for an hour or come for all 4, we'll even provide a cuppa and guaranteed laughs.  Non-sewers also very useful.

Pop in with your excess fabric donations or spare enviro bag donations. We also sell our very handy Boomerang Bag coffee cups, stainless steel drink bottles and other enviro products and of course, our "Bought to Support"  bags. 

These two koalas lost their mothers to deforestation

I call on you to urgently end the deforestation and land-clearing crisis by making potential koala habitat, threatened species habitat, and other high-conservation-value areas off limits to clearing, and by repealing the land-clearing codes.

I also urge you to invest in a restoration and conservation fund and deliver the world-class mapping, monitoring, and reporting the community expects.

Newport Community Garden: Working Bee Second Sunday of the month

Newport Community Gardens Inc. is a not for profit incorporated association. The garden is in Woolcott Reserve.

Local Northern Beaches residents creating sustainable gardens in public spaces
Strengthening the local community, improving health and reconnecting with nature
To establish ecologically sustainable gardens for the production of vegetables, herbs, fruit and companion plants within Pittwater area 
To enjoy and forge friendships through shared gardening.
Membership is open to all Community members willing to participate in establishing gardens and growing sustainable food.
Subscription based paid membership.
We meet at the garden between 9am – 12 noon
New members welcome

For enquiries contact newportcommunitygardenau@gmail.com
4 Pines Brewery Newport will be providing up-cycled malt bags from the brewery to store the trash and keep it from our shores. 

Do you get a beer? 
Absolutely! 4 Pines will hand out tokens to participants which will be redeemable for a fresh cold beer back at Public House. 

Bushcare in Pittwater 

For further information or to confirm the meeting details for below groups, please contact Council's Bushcare Officer on 9970 1367

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 

Church Point     
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     
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 

North Narrabeen     
Irrawong Reserve                     2nd Saturday                   2 - 5pm 

Palm Beach     
North Palm Beach Dunes      3rd Saturday                    9 - 12noon 

Scotland Island     
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 

Whale Beach     
Norma Park                               1st Friday                            9 - 12noon 

Western Foreshores     
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay      2nd Sunday                        10 - 1pm 
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay           1st Monday                          9 - 12noon
Permaculture Northern Beaches

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What Does PNHA do?


About Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA)
With urbanisation, there are continuing pressures that threaten the beautiful natural environment of the Pittwater area. Some impacts are immediate and apparent, others are more gradual and less obvious. The Pittwater Natural Heritage Association has been formed to act to protect and preserve the Pittwater areas major and most valuable asset - its natural heritage. PNHA is an incorporated association seeking broad based community membership and support to enable it to have an effective and authoritative voice speaking out for the preservation of Pittwater's natural heritage. Please contact us for further information.

Our Aims
  • To raise public awareness of the conservation value of the natural heritage of the Pittwater area: its landforms, watercourses, soils and local native vegetation and fauna.
  • To raise public awareness of the threats to the long-term sustainability of Pittwater's natural heritage.
  • To foster individual and community responsibility for caring for this natural heritage.
  • To encourage Council and the NSW Government to adopt and implement policies and works which will conserve, sustain and enhance the natural heritage of Pittwater.
Act to Preserve and Protect!
If you would like to join us, please fill out the Membership Application Form ($20.00 annually - $10 concession)

Email: pnhainfo@gmail.com Or click on Logo to visit website.

Think before you print ; A kilo of recycled paper creates around 1.8 kilograms of carbon emissions, without taking into account the emissions produced from transporting the paper. So, before you send a document to print, think about how many kilograms of carbon emissions you could save by reading it on screen.

Friends Of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment Activities

Bush Regeneration - Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment  
This is a wonderful way to become connected to nature and contribute to the health of the environment.  Over the weeks and months you can see positive changes as you give native species a better chance to thrive.  Wildlife appreciate the improvement in their habitat.

Belrose area - Thursday mornings 
Belrose area - Weekend mornings by arrangement
Contact: Phone or text Conny Harris on 0432 643 295

Wheeler Creek - Wednesday mornings 9-11am
Contact: Phone or text Judith Bennett on 0402 974 105
Or email: Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment : email@narrabeenlagoon.org.au
"I bind myself today to the power of Heaven, the light of the sun, the brightness of the moon, the splendour of fire, the flashing of lightning, the swiftness of wind, the depth of the sea, the stability of the earth, the compactness of rocks." -  from the Prayer of Saint Patrick