April 23 - 29, 2017: Issue 309

Seed Pods for Natives Now in Fruit In Pittwater

Thanks to the Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA) for this photo of a seed pod of a small local native shrub Pittosporum revolutum which splits open, inviting hungry birds and animals to eat its attractive fruit and spread the seeds. This one snapped in Avalon Beach, Sydney. The pods follow clusters of small yellow flowers - a nice plant for the garden!


Get ready Australia… ABC’s War on Waste starts in May

April 20, 2017: ABC
Australia generates a staggering amount of waste every year and alarmingly our waste is growing at double the rate of our population. Presenter and provocateur Craig Reucassel (The Chaser) tackles this growing issue in the thought-provoking, three-part series War on Waste, premiering Tuesday 16th May at 8.30pm on ABC and iview.

No stranger to confrontation, Craig takes on the supermarkets, challenges Australians to go waste free, discovers what really happens to our recycling and how Australia’s obsession with fast fashion is causing an even faster waste problem.

He tackles the immense problem of food waste, with millions of tonnes of food from our homes, supermarkets, farms and businesses ending up in landfill every year, uncovering why we are throwing out so much food and what we can do about it.  Plastic bags are causing a huge problem for the environment and with over 4-5 billion plastic bags thrown out every year, Craig explores how we can do things differently.

The daily morning coffee fix creates nearly a billion disposable coffee cups which end up in landfill each year, so Craig starts a campaign to reduce this unnecessary waste stream. #ByoCoffeeCup

To gauge our nation’s current attitudes and habits toward waste and recycling and how they may change after watching War on Waste, a public survey has been launched. The survey will help to understand where Australians are at and where we need to go to create change. You can access the survey at:


It’s time for all Australians to wake and declare a War on Waste.  With some simple ideas and small changes, we can all do our bit to care for the world we live in now and into the future.

Citizen scientists help identify shorebird extinction threat

April 21st, 2017 - article compiled by Deborah Smith/UQ Media


A critically endangered curlew sandpiper in a mixed flock of migratory shorebirds at Cairns Esplanade in Queensland. Photo: Nick Murray.

Degradation and destruction of mudflats in north-east Asia has contributed to a dramatic decline in the number of migratory shorebirds in Australia, new research shows.

The study, by an international team of citizen scientists and researchers including UNSW’s Dr Nick Murray, found that species of godwit, curlew and sandpiper are among those under threat in Australia, due to the loss of mudflats thousands of kilometres away.

Many species of birds follow the East Asian Australasian Flyway migratory path from their non-breeding grounds in Australia to breeding sites in the Arctic, resting and refuelling along the way in the Yellow Sea between China and South Korea.

“The more a species relies on the disappearing Yellow Sea mudflats, the faster they are declining,” says study first author Assistant Professor Dr Colin Studds of the University of Maryland in the US.

To reach their conclusions, the researchers analysed citizen science data collected between 1993 and 2012 on 10 key species of shorebird.

"We are indebted to the volunteers across Australia and New Zealand who have counted the number of migratory birds over a period of decades, making this research possible,” says Dr Murray.

“Even though the birds spend only one or two months of the year at the mudflats in the Yellow Sea, our study shows this is the most important factor in determining the decline in their populations.”

In the past 50 years, about 65% of the tidal flats along 4000 kilometres of coastline between China and South Korea have been lost to development.

Australia has signed agreements with China, Korea and Japan to protect migratory birds, yet the birds have continued to decline.

“Every country along the migration route of these birds must protect habitat and reduce hunting to prevent the birds declining further or even going extinct,” says study senior author Associate Professor Richard Fuller of the University of Queensland.

“We are particularly excited that China and Korea have recently begun the process of listing parts of the Yellow Sea as World Heritage Sites.”

The study, published in Nature Communications, involved researchers from across Australia and from the US, the UK and New Zealand.

Walk With Penguins In Immersive 3D Experience

Published on 19 Apr 2017 by BirdLife International
For the first time, you can instantly transport yourself to a sub-antarctic penguin colony and immerse in the lives of Southern Rockhopper, King, Magellanic, and Gentoo Penguins. Watch in full HD as the penguins return from challenging journeys back to their colonies of fuzzy chicks. 
Beautiful. Inspiring. Under threat. Protect a Penguin at: http://penguin.birdlife.org

Despite being loved the world over, penguins are the world's second most threatened group of marine birds, with 10 of the 18 species threatened with extinction due to competition with fisheries, bycatch, marine pollution, disease, habitat disturbance and climate change.

The world’s largest nature conservation partnership, BirdLife International, has worked with London-based virtual reality and post-production specialist, Visualise, to create Walk with Penguins, an engaging 3D 360 short nature film used to connect audiences with penguin protection.

For the first time, you can instantly transport yourself to a sub-antarctic island and immerse in the lives of penguins—thanks to a new 3D 360-degree film launched today.

Amidst the sound of trumpeting parental calls, with wind buffeting against its fluffy feathers, a King Penguin chick walks right up to you and stares you in the eye. You duck your head as an albatross soars overhead, whilst another nests on a rock ledge just above you. As penguins squabble for a shower you feel almost splashed by water, and you sense the exposure as you peer over a cliff and watch a line of Southern Rockhoppers Eudyptes chrysocome jump up the steep slope to their colony. When you take off the virtual reality headset, with a bit of a dizzy wobble, you feel like you have seen the world from the perspective of a penguin—and it’s a tough realisation.

BirdLife has worked with virtual reality producer, Visualise, to create Walk with Penguins, an engaging 3D 360 short nature film—the first of its kind—to bring the daily challenges and lives of remote penguin colonies to you, and to raise awareness about threats to penguins, the second-most threatened group of seabirds (after albatrosses).

You can watch online in high-quality 360 video on YouTube (embedded below—click to view full-screen), or for the full experience, watch via the YouTube app or Google Cardboard app, using a cheap cardboard frame that allows you to use your phone as a virtual reality headset. The only thing that is missing is the smell of a real colony…

Urgent action is needed to better protect penguins, please visit http://penguin.birdlife.org to show your support.

Credits:
Executive Producer – Matt Shannon 
Creative Director – Will McMaster 
Director of Photography – Jonathan Curran
1st Assistant – Joe Packman 
Music & Sound Design: Henrik Oppermann 
Senior VFX Artist: Tom Hawksley & David Robinson 
Colour Grading: Jonathan Curran 
Producer: Alex McMaster and Sophia Georgiou

Script: Luca Bonaccorsi, Shaun Hurrell, Alex Dale
Music Composer: Renée Abe
Voice Over: Matt Hopper

Special thanks to:
Margaret Balaskas, Rory Crawford, John Croxall, the staff at Falklands Conservation, and supporters of the Osaka Gala Dinner and Tokyo Gala Dinner.

Copyright: 2017 BirdLife International & Visualise - article by Shaun Hurrell

Historic Acland court case set to close today after extensive evidence of water impacts

April 20, 2017: Media Release - Lock the Gate
The court case challenging the New Acland coal mine on the Darling Downs is set to close today, making it one of the biggest cases in the history of Queensland’s Land Court.

Lock the Gate Alliance says the scale of the case reflects the immense impacts this mine would have.

"Over several months of evidence, the Court has heard of the serious impacts the Acland Stage 3 coal expansion would have on groundwater, farming businesses and the health of families," Carmel Flint from Lock the Gate said.

"Hearings were re-opened two weeks ago following a request from New Acland Coal to submit further evidence.

"Once the Land Court hands down its recommendation it will fall to the Queensland Government to make a final decision.

"Hard-working farmers and community members have given up countless hours of their time and travelled back and forth to Brisbane to protect the precious water resources and rich farmland of the Darling Downs,” Ms Flint said.

 In summary, the evidence has shown:
  • Flawed groundwater modelling: The case showed flawed and unreliable groundwater modelling, potentially placing farmers’ critical groundwater supplies at risk.
  • Noise and dust risks and complaints: Evidence showed there was a high risk of the project exceeding air quality limits unless controls were in place. The Court heard the community’s complaints about coal dust and noise levels and requests for data have fallen effectively on deaf ears for the past decade, including more than 100 complaints to New Hope and 30 to the state environment department.
  • Over-inflated job figures: The project’s original environmental impact statement stated the project would produce an average of 2,953 jobs per annum, yet in court this figure was reduced to 680 net jobs nationally.
  • Limited royalties to Queensland government:  In court it was revealed an estimated $500M in royalties from the expansion would flow to the coal company and a small number of property owners, instead of to the Queensland Government which would receive just 7% of this, severely limiting financial benefits from royalties to taxpayers.

Battle For Berrima A new 'Coal Free' declaration is coming

Published on 4 Apr 2017 by Battle For Berrima Inc.
Exeter joins Berrima, Medway and Burrawang as 'a Coal Free Community'. 
Visit our website for more information about our battle https://www.battleforberrima.com.au/

Coral reefs struggle to keep up with rising seas leave coastal communities at risk

April 20, 2017
In the first ecosystem-wide study of changing sea depths at five large coral reef tracts in Florida, the Caribbean and Hawai'i, researchers found the sea floor is eroding in all five places, and the reefs cannot keep pace with sea level rise. As a result, coastal communities protected by the reefs are facing increased risks from storms, waves and erosion. The study, by the US Geological Survey (USGS), is published today in Biogeosciences, a journal of the European Geosciences Union.

At two sites in the Florida Keys, two in the US Virgin Islands, and in waters surrounding the Hawaiian island of Maui, coral reef degradation has caused sea floor depths to increase and sand and other sea floor materials to erode over the past few decades, the Biogeosciences study found. In the waters around Maui, the sea floor losses amounted to 81 million cubic meters of sand, rock and other material -- about what it would take to fill up the Empire State Building 81 times, or an Olympic swimming pool about 32,000 times, the USGS researchers calculated.

As sea levels rise worldwide due to climate change, each of these ecologically and economically important reef ecosystems is projected to be affected by increasing water depths. The question of whether coral colonies can grow fast enough to keep up with rising seas is the subject of intense scientific research.

But the USGS study, published on April 20, 2017 in the journal Biogeosciences, found the combined effect of rising seas and sea floor erosion has already increased water depths more than what most scientists expected to occur many decades from now. Other studies that do not factor in sea floor erosion have predicted seas will rise by between 0.5 and 1 metre by 2100.

"Our measurements show that seafloor erosion has already caused water depths to increase to levels not predicted to occur until near the year 2100," said biogeochemist Kimberly Yates of the USGS' St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, the study's lead author. "At current rates, by 2100 sea floor erosion could increase water depths by two to eight times more than what has been predicted from sea level rise alone."

The study did not determine specific causes for the sea floor erosion in these coral reef ecosystems. But the authors pointed out that coral reefs worldwide are declining due to a combination of forces, including natural processes, coastal development, overfishing, pollution, coral bleaching, diseases and ocean acidification (a change in seawater chemistry linked to the oceans' absorption of more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere).

For each of the five coral reef ecosystems, the team gathered detailed sea floor measurements from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration taken between 1934 and 1982, and also used surveys done from the late 1990s to the 2000s by the USGS Lidar Program and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Until about the 1960s sea floor measurements were done by hand, using lead-weighted lines or sounding poles with depth markings. From approximately the 1960s on, most measurements were based on the time it takes an acoustic pulse to reach the sea floor and return. The USGS researchers converted the old measurements to a format comparable with recent lidar data.

They compared the old and new sets of measurements to find the mean elevation changes at each site. The method has been used by the US Army Corps of Engineers to track other kinds of sea floor changes, such as shifts in shipping channels. This is the first time it has been applied to whole coral reef ecosystems. Next the researchers developed a computer model that used the elevation changes to calculate the volume of sea floor material lost.

They found that, overall, sea floor elevation has decreased at all five sites, in amounts ranging from 0.09 metres to 0.8 metres. All five reef tracts also lost large amounts of coral, sand, and other sea floor materials to erosion.

"We saw lower rates of erosion -- and even some localised increases in seafloor elevation -- in areas that were protected, near refuges, or distant from human population centers," Yates said. "But these were not significant enough to offset the ecosystem-wide pattern of erosion at each of our study sites."

Worldwide, more than 200 million people live in coastal communities protected by coral reefs, which serve as natural barriers against storms, waves and erosion. These ecosystems also support jobs, provide about one-quarter of all fish harvests in the tropical oceans, and are important recreation and tourism sites.

"Coral reef systems have long been recognised for their important economic and ecological value," said John Haines, Program Coordinator of the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program. "This study tells us that they have a critical role in building and sustaining the physical structure of the coastal seafloor, which supports healthy ecosystems and protects coastal communities. These important ecosystem services may be lost by the end of this century, and nearby communities may need to find ways to compensate for these losses."

The study brought together ecosystem scientists and coastal engineers, who plan to use the results to assess the risks to coastal communities that rely on coral reefs for protection from storms and other hazards.

Kimberly K. Yates, David G. Zawada, Nathan A. Smiley, Ginger Tiling-Range. Divergence of seafloor elevation and sea level rise in coral reef ecosystems. Biogeosciences, 2017; 14 (6): 1739 DOI: 10.5194/bg-14-1739-2017

Call for public comment on draft seabird Threat Abatement Plan

15th March 2017
Public comment is now being sought on the draft Threat abatement plan for the incidental catch (or bycatch) of seabirds during oceanic longline fishing operations (Threat abatement plan for incidental catch of seabirds). The public consultation period is open until 30 June 2017.

The draft Threat abatement plan for incidental catch of seabirds provides a national strategy to guide the activities of government, industry and research organisations in abating the impact of oceanic longline fishing operations on seabirds in Commonwealth fisheries.

The consultation paper and related documents are available on the Department of the Environment and Energy website. Your comments on this consultation paper are welcome.

Further information about the existing Threat abatement plan 2014 for the incidental catch (or bycatch) of seabirds during oceanic longline fishing operations is available at the Threat Abatement Plan – seabirds page


A black-browed albatross with chick, on Macquarie Island. (Photo: Kim Kliska)

Bushcare in Pittwater 

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

BUSHCARE SCHEDULES 
Where we work                      Which day                              What time 

Avalon     
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 

Bayview     
Winnererremy Bay                 4th Sunday                        9 to 12noon 

Bilgola     
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 

Clareville     
Old Wharf Reserve                 3rd Saturday                      8 - 11am 

Elanora     
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 

Newport     
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                     3rd 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     
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

Want to know where your food is coming from? 

Do you like to enrich the earth as much as benefit from it?

Find out more here:

Profile

What Does PNHA do?

PROFILE

On-ground bush regeneration. eg: Asparagus Fern Out Days
Activities: guided walks, bird-watching
Quaterly informative newsletter, online or paper
Members email group for leaset environmental news and events
AGM with Guest Speaker
Free advice for members on managing gardens for Native Vegetation and fauna habitat
Lobbies Pittwater Council and State Government on inappropriate management practices and development
Provides support to Council for PNHA-approved grant applications for environmental projects
Publications: Introductory Field Guide to Birds of Warriewood Wetlands & Irrawong Reserve, $20.00rrp, attractive cards with photos of Pittwater scenes, flora and fauna $2.00

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

Avalon Boomerang Bags 2016 Workshops

Boomerang Bag Working Bees run in Avalon Community Centre on Tuesdays 11:30am- 5pm.

For those of you unable to come to workshops there are many other ways to get involved, just let us know you're willing by leaving a comment or sending us a message.

Pictured is a Boomerang Bag Box. 

The boxes are located at:

Avalon Organics
Hertford Chemist
Avalon Wholefood
Fresh Fruit and Veg
Johnson Bros Mitre Ten
Avalon Meats
Avalon Rec Centre
Watch this space for another venue soon.

A huge thank you to everybody who has helped Boomerang Bags Avalon get this far. But the work is not over yet. Materials and more hands always welcome  Facebook page  Profile

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/

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.

This is the first time RIDonline has been opened to the public. Since September last year, the EPA, councils, RID squads and public land managers have used it to report more than 20,000 tonnes of illegally dumped waste across more than 70 local government areas.

The NSW Government has allocated $58 million over five years to tackle illegal dumping as part of its $465.7 million Waste Less Recycle More initiative. NSW Premier Mike Baird has also committed to reducing the volume of litter by 40%, by 2020 to help keep NSW's environment clean.

Long-nosed bandicoot takes up residence in Mosman

Media release: 19 April 2017 - NPWS
A long-nosed bandicoot has been caught on camera by a local Mosman resident in a sighting that gives growing hope that the species is recovering in the area. 

NPWS Harbour Area Manager Ben Khan said the resident was surprised to see the small marsupial because, despite being common on the north side of the Spit Bridge and throughout other parts of NSW, bandicoots have been mostly absent in Mosman for many years. 

“Over the past few years we’ve had increasing numbers of reports showing that some of our once-common fauna is bouncing back a little, and it’s really pleasing to have local residents excited by these finds,” Mr Khan said. 

“It is quite unique that in one of the biggest cities in the world with five million people that we can still enjoy seeing native wildlife in and around our backyards. 

“Active pest baiting programs such as the fox control program and responsible pet ownership have really had an impact in helping populations of some of our native animals to grow. 

“People are becoming more aware and active in spotting and protecting native species and habitat, and our thanks goes to the community for the part they have played in making these programs a success. 

“We’re hearing about bandicoot sightings where residents haven’t seen them locally for 30 years, as well as increasing numbers of wallabies and brush turkeys. 

“An Eastern Snake-necked Turtle was even found last week at a residence in the middle of Mosman,” he said. 

Local residents can contribute to the conservation of bandicoots and other native species by keeping pets locked up at night, and by not allowing their dogs or cats to enter national parks at any time.

Foxes are one of the biggest threats to native animals, and residents can help by reporting any fox sightings to the Fox Scan website: feralscan.org.au/foxscan/

To find out more about living with wildlife, go to Living with wildlife.

Sydneysiders urged to listen out for 'Powerful Owls'

April 7th, 2017
Beth Mott, Birdlife Australia is asking Sydney residents to report the presence of Powerful owls in their area.

Please report any sightings to beth.mott@birdlife.org.au 

If you are interested in becoming a Powerful Owl Project volunteer or would like to submit a sighting of a Powerful Owl, please contact powerfulowl@birdlife.org.au

You can help us learn more about the Powerful Owls by letting us know if you see or hear one in your area (particularly around Sydney, Blue Mountains, Newcastle, Central Coast,  Illawarra). Send an email (to the email addresses above) with your location (street address or GPS location), an attached photo or call recording (if you have it), details of when you saw or heard the bird, and anything interesting you noticed about where it was or what it was doing (e.g. holding prey, perched on a tree branch).

Caution:  rarely, some birds can get very aggressive while nesting and it can be very dangerous for people to be too close to the nest tree at night. If you come across a Powerful Owl nest hollow, use caution and please do not approach it (especially at night). Do not use flash photography at the nest as this may disturb the birds and cause them to abandon the nest.

Powerful owl Ninox strenua- picture by Paul Wheeler, 2014 - at Clareville. 

Applying new biosecurity technology to support Australian fisheries

18 April 2017: Media Release - Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston

A mobile application that will strengthen Australia’s capability to manage and respond to significant aquatic animal disease incidents has been released by the Australian Government.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said the application allowed industry to be better informed on aquatic diseases of significance for Australia and provided a faster system to report incidents to the relevant authorities. 

“Australia’s relative freedom from a range of pests and diseases constitutes one of our most valuable assets in the fishing and aquaculture industries,” Minister Ruston said.

“We’re always working to strengthen the way we manage biosecurity risks.

“Our fisheries and aquaculture sectors are important for Australia—valued at $2.8 billion and supporting jobs, regional communities and food security. 

“Exotic pests and diseases can seriously impact on the productivity of our industries. They have the potential to damage market access for our fisheries and aquaculture industry and significantly increase production costs for farmers. 

“People are now familiar with using mobile applications and our simple app provides accessible and fast biosecurity information, as well as an easy, effective way to report incidents.

“It will support those with the most to gain from a strong biosecurity system to help play a role.”

The Aquatic animal diseases significant to Australia: Identification field guide mobile application was an agreed priority of industries and governments under AQUAPLAN 2014-2019 and funded by the Australian Government.

It is available on Android, Windows and iOS platforms and provides comprehensive information on diseases included on Australia’s National List of Reportable Diseases of Aquatic Animals. 

“I encourage all of our commercial fishers, aquaculture workers, recreational fishers, biosecurity staff and scientists to download and get across this valuable application,” Minister Ruston said. 

“It is a great tool that will help further ensure serious diseases do not impact on the future prosperity of Australian fisheries and aquaculture.”   

For more information or to download the application, visit www.agriculture.gov.au/aquatic-disease-field-guide​ 

Aquatic animal diseases should be reported to the national Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE FUTURE OF  Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Lion Island Nature Reserve, Spectacle Island Nature Reserve and Long Island Nature Reserve

April 7, 2017: NPWS
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is one of the most popular national parks in NSW, with over 2 million visits each year. The existing plan of management for the park was written in 2002. Since that time much has changed. There has been a steady increase in visitors coming to the park, new recreational uses have become popular, information about the values of the park has improved, and new approaches to managing fire and pests and weeds have been developed. 

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) manages Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Lion Island Nature Reserve, Spectacle Island Nature Reserve and Long Island Nature Reserve under one plan of management, which can be accessed here. The plan of management is a legal document that sets out future directions for a park (or group of parks), management actions to be undertaken, and the types of uses that are allowed.  

We are now starting the process of preparing a new plan of management for these parks, and we want to hear the community’s views and ideas.  

To find out about the plan of management and to register your interest in receiving updates during the preparation process, please go to https://engage.environment.nsw.gov.au/ku-ring-gai-chase-national-park-consultation

There will be opportunities to provide input to the plan of management, including exhibition of a draft plan for public comment.

If you have any queries or would like more information please email 

Bird Walks and Talks 2017: PNHA

Come and see and hear some of our fantastic native birds, many of which you'll never see in your garden. Join in a Sunday guided bird walk with Pittwater Natural Heritage Association. All walks  start at 8am and end about 10am.

May 28, Warriewood Wetlands, meet at End of Katoa Close, north Narrabeen.
August 27 Chiltern Track. Meet at gate, off northern of Chiltern Rd Ingleside.
September 17 Irrawong reserve. Meet at corner Irrawong Rd and Epworth Rd.
November 26 Warriewood Wetlands. Meet end of Katoa Close, north Narrabeen. 

Bring binoculars if possible. Drink, hat and comfortable shoes.
More information contact pnhabirdwatching@gmail.com or 
Ph Kerry on 0402605 721.

You don't need to book but if we know you're coming we'll watch out for you. Call if in doubt about weather as we won't go out if it's raining.


Department seeks community input on Hume Coal Project proposal

30.03.2017: Departmental Media Release -Department of Planning and Environment
The local community in the Southern Highlands is encouraged to give feedback on an application for an underground coal mine that will go on public exhibition today.

The Department of Planning and Environment is exhibiting the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) application for the Hume Coal Project for an extended period of 90 days, beginning today until 30 June.

Clay Preshaw, Director of Resource Assessments, said members of the community are encouraged to give feedback as part of the community consultation process.

“Every submission is read and considered as part of the Department’s assessment of the EIS,” Mr Preshaw said.

“We are seeking feedback from the public and a wide range of stakeholders. We encourage any landowner, individual or group to share their views on the Hume Coal Project and Berrima Rail Project with us.

“There is a high level of public interest in these applications and we understand the EIS is a lengthy document - that’s why we are going above and beyond in seeking community input.”

Mr Preshaw said the Department had arranged public information sessions, giving the local Southern Highlands community a chance to meet with Department representatives in person.

“Information on the assessment process will be provided and department officers will be able to answer any questions the public may have about the planning process,” he said.
 
“We will also meet with special interest groups during the exhibition period.
 
“The Department assesses all applications on their merits, in accordance with the planning legislation and all relevant NSW Government policies and guidelines.”
 
Mr Preshaw added that the Department will apply a rigorous, scientific approach to the assessment of the proposal and seek the best advice available from independent experts.
 
“At this stage, the Department will seek advice from experts in the fields of groundwater, mining, subsidence, and economics. We will also be seeking expert advice from specialist government agencies.”
 
The Hume Coal Project proposals involves a new underground coal mine extracting up to 3.5 million tonnes of coal a year over 19 years. The associated Berrima Rail Project involves the extension of the Berrima railway line to connect the proposed mine to the Main Southern Railway.
 
To attend one of the public information sessions, people should register their interest at 1800 854 405
 
Location: Exeter Hall, Exeter Road, Exeter 
Dates: Wednesday 26 April and Thursday 27 April from 6:30-8:30pm
 
If media plan to attend they must register via mediaunit@planning.nsw.gov.au
 
For more information please visit the Major Projects website

Department seeks community views on Narrabri Gas Project proposal

20.02.2017: Departmental Media Release - Department of Planning and Environment
The Department of Planning and Environment will today place on public exhibition Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project Environmental Impact Statement and is inviting the community to share its views.

Given the high level of public interest in the proposal, the Department has extended the normal exhibition period to more than 60 days. It closes on April 24.

Mike Young, Director of Resource Assessments, said the Department will be consulting broadly on the proposal and is keen to hear from all individuals and groups interested in the proposal.

“We are making every effort to make sure people have an opportunity to hear about the project and give us feedback during this assessment,” Mr Young said.

“There will be a number of opportunities to provide feedback including community information sessions and meetings with local landowners and interest groups.

“We want to hear people’s views - farmers, landholders, locals, Aboriginal groups, industry groups, councils. Everyone is welcome to make a submission and all will be read and considered in our assessment.”

Mr Young said as part of the assessment the Department will be establishing a panel of eminent scientific experts to provide independent advice on the proposal.

“These experts will be an integral part of the assessment process. Much of the information is of a scientific and technical nature and we are keen to get the best independent advice possible in assessing this project,” he said.

“In addition, we will be working with other key NSW Government agencies and seeking advice from the Commonwealth’s Independent Expert Scientific Committee.

“Any issues raised in submissions will be looked at and taken into account.”

Given the high level of public interest in the proposal, the Department has extended the normal exhibition period to more than 60 days. It closes on May 22nd.

Following the exhibition period, the Department will comprehensively assess the submissions and the EIS.

The Narrabri Gas Project proposal involves a coal seam gas field with up to 850 gas wells to be developed progressively over 20 years, and a gas processing and water treatment facilities.

Santos’ Environmental Impact Statement is available on the Department’s website, and at all major centres in the region including Narrabri, Wee Waa, Gunnedah, Coonabarabran and Coonamble

Related information: 
  • Environmental Impact Statement for the Narrabri Gas Project
  • NSW Chief Scientist 2014 Coal Seam Gas Review
  • NSW Gas Plan
Narrabri Gasfield

Exhibition Start 21/02/2017
Exhibition End  22/05/2017

Department seeks public feedback on Wambo Coal Mine extension application

30.03.2017: Departmental Media Release- Department of Planning and Environment
The community is being encouraged to give feedback on a proposal by a Hunter Valley mine that will extend the life of its operations by seven years.

Peabody Energy has applied to the Department of Planning and Environment for a modification to extend Wambo Coal Mine’s underground operations which will involve extracting an extra 18 million tonnes of coal from nine additional underground longwalls.

The extension application would mean extending the life of the Wambo Coal Underground Mine, located near Warkworth, by seven years until 2039.

A spokesperson from the department said community consultation is an important part of the planning process and anyone can provide feedback before the exhibition close date of Tuesday 2 May.

"We encourage people to give feedback on the application. All submissions from members of the public, community interest groups, and relevant government agencies will be considered during our assessment," a spokesperson said.

"Anyone can read the modification application, which has now been published on the Department’s website, and there are also several locations providing a printed copy for public view."

To read the modification application and Environmental Assessment online and make a submission, visit the Major Projects website 

Alternatively, the documents are available at:

- Department of Planning and Environment, Information Centre, Level 22, 320 Pitt Street, Sydney
- Singleton Council, Administration Centre, Cnr Queen Street & Civic Avenue, Singleton
- Nature Conservation Council, 14/388 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW 2000

Climate Change Review discussion paper released

The Federal Government has released a discussion paper for public consultation as part of the 2017 review of climate change policies.

The discussion paper follows the Government’s commitment to review its climate change policies when it set Australia’s target to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.


The Government invites submissions on the discussion paper by 5 May 2017.

Call to local councils as floodplain management grants open for applications

Media release: 16 March 2017
Grant funding to assist councils in carrying out floodplain management projects to help manage flood risk open for applications today, announced the NSW Government.

The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Executive Director Ian Hunter said grant funding is available to assist local government with flood studies, flood risk management studies and plans and major projects such as flood levees, gates, warning systems and house raising and purchase in high risk areas, under the 2017-18 Floodplain Management Program.

“This grant program funds important projects that assess risk and help reduce flood impacts across NSW,” Mr Hunter said.

“I encourage local councils to apply for this funding round. Applications close on 27 April 2017.

“The last funding round supported forty-four projects which shared $6.72 million.

“This grant program supports the implementation of the NSW Flood Prone Land Policy which aims to reduce the impacts of flooding and flood liability on communities,” Mr Hunter said.

Local councils, county councils and other government bodies with floodplain risk management responsibilities (refer to program guidelines) equivalent to those of local councils are eligible to apply.

Further information and application forms are available here: 

If Victoria can ban CSG, NSW can too!

By The Wilderness Society
Coal seam gas (CSG) threatens our water, our health and our climate. Many jurisdictions around the world are permanently banning this dangerous industry, most recently Victoria. We do not need or want risky coal seam gas in NSW. 
 
It’s clear that the industry has no social licence in our state, yet vast and critical areas—as well as human health—are still under threat from CSG across the state.

Call on the new Premier Berejiklian and the new Planning Minister Roberts to follow Victoria's lead and ban this harmful and risky industry in NSW. 



Myna Action Group 

Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA)
Indian Mynas - what a pest - like flying rats. 
Contact us on pnhainfo@gmail.com for more information and have a look at https://www.facebook.com/MynaProblems/

Indian Mynas are displacing our native birds. 
They often nest in and around shops where their food source is. I took this one down this morning in Avalon (no chicks or eggs but I disturbed the female). There were literally hundreds of tiny bits of plastic in the nest which makes you think that all this plastic would be swilling down the stormwater drains into the sea.

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. 

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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. 

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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/

Av Green Team

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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. 

Turning up for Beach Cleans, or starting their own, underlines an ‘action speaks louder than words’ ethos is at the core of this group. 

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. 

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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 Community Garden

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

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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. 

www.pcga.org.au Contact us info@pcg.org.au or Visit us at facebook.com/acga.org; image artwork: www.gravey.com

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.

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

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

  "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