June 20 - 26, 2021: Issue 499

Consultations on Wakehurst Parkway + Ingleside development closing soon

Readers are reminded that the current consultations on these proposals, that both involved the removal; of vast swathes of bush and habitat for local wildlife, as well as being 'nursery' spaces for wildlife, will close soon. Visit:

Mona Vale Dunes Bushcare Group Planting-out installs 600 Natives

Volunteers from Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA) assisted by Council had a  great morning planting on Mona Vale Dunes on June 17th. About 600 plants went in, were watered and protected from rabbits with wire and bags. 

''Thanks so much everyone and our supervisors Toya from ABR and Adam from NBC. We're creating better habitat for wildlife as native plants host more insects than weeds. Nearby Fairy Wrens kept an eye on us and a calling Whitebrowed Scrub Wren stayed hidden. Millie found a baby bluetongue and we also found this big skink, yet to be identified. They were safely tucked back under nearby bushes. 

We will need to water again within a couple of weeks.'' PNHA said






Bangalley Head Landcare group Progress

Another great day last Sunday June 13. With the help of some new volunteers we really got stuck into the Morning Glory and Trad. And very encouraging to see where the contractors have been at work since last month. A lot of work ahead yet though. Fantastic to see some Trad leaf smut taking hold where we released it last October. Yellow spots on the leaves are a good sign. Morning Tea together is a great time for a chat. 




Our next meeting will be 8.30 am Sunday July 11, at foot of track on Whale Beach Rd, near no 79.

Brookvale to Get Cooler and Greener with installation of 250 trees

The Northern Beaches will receive a share of $9.9 million funding from the NSW Government, to increase tree cover and create cooler suburbs.

James Griffin MP, Member for Manly said Northern Beaches Council has secured $134,937 as part of the Greening our City program, to plant 250 trees in the Northern Beaches.

“Quality green and open public spaces are important to everyone,” Mr Griffin said. 

“This is an excellent initiative to boost the number of trees in Brookvale and Curl Curl to make it an even more comfortable and vibrant place for the community to enjoy.”

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said 20,000 trees will be planted across 23 council areas in Greater Sydney as part of the program.

“Greening our City is a wonderful program to increase our tree canopy. It was first launched in 2018 and has since delivered more than $15 million to local councils for planting 66,000 trees,” Mr Stokes said.

“We’re already more than halfway to meeting the Premier’s Priority to plant one million trees by 2022 and every tree planted from each of these programs gets us one step closer.”

Northern Beaches Council Mayor Michael Regan said the project will rejuvenate Brookvale and Curl Curl and will create green corridors within the high heat index areas of Brookvale Industrial area, Roseberry Street Industrial area and John Fisher Park Curl Curl.

“We are pleased to have been successful in our grant application to support to green those areas which have low tree canopy. 

“The trees will reduce the intense summer heat on the footpath and carpark areas and improve the look of these highly urbanised spaces.”

To increase community involvement and tree planting on private land, the NSW Government has also partnered with Bunnings Warehouse to give away 25,600 free trees to Greater Sydney households between June and October.

“Our tree giveaway with Bunnings is open to all 33 local government areas throughout Greater Sydney between June and October, allowing 10,500 eligible households to get their hands on more shade, privacy and fruit trees for their home,” Mr Griffin said.

“Applications can be made online and the local Bunnings store will be in contact when your trees are ready to be collected and planted.”

This third round of grants are being administered by Local Government NSW (LGNSW), on behalf of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and support the Premier’s Priority to plant one million trees by 2022.

A list of successful grant applicants is available at: https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/greeningourcitygrants

For more information on the tree giveaway visit: www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/free-tree

Federal Consultation on Endangered Listing for the Koala now open - closes July 30, 2021


Consultation on Species Listing Eligibility and Conservation Actions: Phascolarctos cinereus (Koala)
You are invited to provide your views and supporting reasons related to:

1) the eligibility of Phascolarctos cinereus (Koala) for inclusion on the EPBC Act
threatened species list in the Endangered category; and
2) the necessary conservation actions for the above species.

The purpose of this consultation document is to elicit additional information to better understand the status of the species and help inform on conservation actions and further planning. As such, the draft assessment should be considered to be tentative as it may change following responses to this consultation process.

Evidence provided by experts, stakeholders and the general public are welcome. Responses can be provided by any interested person.

Anyone may nominate a native species, ecological community or threatening process for listing under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) or for a transfer of an item already on the list to a new listing category. The Threatened Species Scientific Committee (the Committee) undertakes the assessment of species to determine eligibility for inclusion in the list of threatened species and provides its recommendation to the Australian Government Minister for the Environment.

Responses are to be provided in writing by email to:
koala.consultation@environment.gov.au please include “Koala-Listing” in Subject field.
or by mail to:
The Director
Bushfire Affected Species Assessments Section
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
John Gorton Building, King Edward Terrace
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Responses are required to be submitted by 30 July 2021.

_____________________________________________________________________________


Koala listing strengthens call for an independent environmental compliance agency

June 18, 2021
The World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia today welcomed the recommendation to uplist koalas in eastern Australia from vulnerable to endangered, but said this could have been avoided.

The Threatened Species Scientific Committee, which advises the federal government, has made a tentative assessment (on page 51) that “the Committee considers that the Koala is eligible for listing as Endangered” in eastern Australia because of population declines.

There will now be a public inquiry to confirm that assessment. It follows WWF-Australia, IFAW and HSI nominating the koala to be listed as endangered last year.

“Had Australia put in place an independent compliance agency in 2012 when the koala in eastern Australia was first listed as vulnerable, we could have avoided this day. But we didn’t, we kept on with business as usual,” said Stuart Blanch, WWF-Australia Senior Manager, Towards Two Billion Trees.

In fact last year WWF-Australia revealed that destruction of koala habitat actually increased after the iconic marsupial was listed as “vulnerable” in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT.

“There was little to no consequence for those who didn’t follow our nature laws.

“If we don’t instate an independent environmental compliance agency, then we’ll keep marching our koalas to the extinction line across eastern Australia.

“This sad milestone could be a turning point for the Regeneration of Australia, but it requires reform and a commitment to a nature positive way forward.

“The decline of our Australian icon also shines the spotlight on why Australia needs to rise to meet the global ask of securing 30% of Australia’s landscape under protection.

“While the government recently celebrated meeting ocean protection targets, it is failing to meet the 30% land protection targets being called for globally.

“Australia also needs to commit to a target at the climate COP that is koala safe, because climate change is causing extreme drought and bushfire conditions – major extinction threats to koalas alongside clearing.

“WWF is confident that Australia can not only turn around the sad decline of Australia’s icon, but actually double the number of Koala’s across Eastern Australia by 2050.

Draft National Recovery Plan for the Koala (combined populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory)

AWE have drafted a National Recovery Plan for the Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) (combined populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory). It is proposed that this plan be made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). They invite you to comment on this draft national recovery plan by 24 September 2021.

What is the Draft National Recovery Plan for the Koala (combined populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory)?
The combined population of Koalas in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory are listed as threatened under the EPBC Act. The Koala populations of Victoria and South Australia are not listed as threatened under the EPBC Act and therefore are not covered by this recovery plan. The National Recovery Plan for the Koala identifies national-level strategic actions to support recovery of the EPBC Act listed Koala. It aligns with relevant state and territory planning, programs and strategies to ensure we are all working together to save the Koala.

What is the purpose of this consultation?
The 3-month public consultation process gives Australians the chance to have their say on the draft plan that sets out the research and management actions necessary to stop the decline, and support the recovery, of the nation’s threatened Koalas.

All comments received during the public consultation period will be considered by the Minister for the Environment in making the final recovery plan.

Provide your feedback
We invite you to comment on this draft national recovery plan.

Who can respond to the consultation?
Everybody can have their say and we encourage feedback from members of the general public as well as representative organisations, land managers, community groups and the scientific community.

How long is the consultation open for?
Submit your feedback by 24 September 2021.

How can I provide my comments on the recovery plan?
To have your say, use our survey portal below to answer questions, upload a submission, or both.

Alternatively, you can send your submission via:

Post: Attn Koala Recovery Plan team

Protected Species and Communities Branch
Biodiversity Conservation Division
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601

Or email: Koala.consultation@environment.gov.au(External link) with "Recovery Plan" in the subject heading.

What next
We provide your feedback to the:

Threatened Species Scientific Committee
Minister for the Environment.
The Minister will consider the feedback received in making the final recovery plan, on advice of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

Conservation advice and listing assessment
The National Recovery Plan is not the only koala document out for public consultation. The draft conservation advice and listing assessment for the koala has been released for public consultation as well. The public consultation period closes on 30 July 2021. Information on how you can provide comment can be found at https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/nominations/comment/koala-2021.

Any relevant information arising from the listing assessment will be considered in the final version of the draft National Recovery Plan for the Koala.

The Powerful Owl Project Update

Hi Folks. We’re getting reports of Powerful Owls turning up in strange places!
The young owls from last year’s breeding season are dispersing and looking for somewhere to settle down. As they’re making their way through our increasingly urbanised landscape they don’t always find habitat suitable for roosting when the sun comes up. 

In recent days we’ve had owls roosting in boat sheds, Woolies loading docks and industrial premises.
Keep sending us your sightings please! It’s excellent information that helps us understand how our young owls disperse, which in turn will help inform decisions about the development of Green Corridors through the Greater Sydney Basin.



Photo: young owl caught out without a suitable roost at Brookvale. Thanks Jacqui, for the photo.

ORRCA News: 2021 Census Day - Sunday June 27 

YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN: ORRCAs annual great whale migration census day.
  • This is a FREE event for all to join in.
  • From sun up to sun down.
  • Record all your sightings from your favourite whale watching location using an ORRCA data sheet and sending it into the team at the end of the day.
  • Email orrcacensusday@gmail.com for all the details as they unfold.
Can we beat last years count of 2,589 Humpbacks?
Be part of our annual whale watching day and help count how many whales move up our coastline on the last Sunday of June.

Heat spells doom for Australian marsupials

June 17, 2021
When animals are hot, they eat less. This potentially fatal phenomenon has been largely overlooked in wild animals, explain researchers from The Australian National University (ANU).

According to lead author Dr Kara Youngentob, it means climate change could be contributing to more deaths among Australia's iconic marsupials, like the greater glider, than previously thought.

"Hot weather puts all animals off their food. Humans can deal with it fairly well; we usually have plenty of fat reserves and lots of different food options," Dr Youngentob said.

"But it's much more serious for animals with highly specialised diets, like greater gliders. If they don't eat regularly, they don't meet their nutritional requirements to stay alive. They also get most of their water from their food, so not eating leads to dehydration too.

"Even night-time temperatures can get hot enough to cause nocturnal animals to lose their appetite during heatwaves.

"A lot of the focus until now has been on the impact of climate change on food quality and quantity, but the bigger picture here is that hot animals eat less even if they have plenty of food."

We already have evidence that marsupials have trouble processing the natural toxins in eucalyptus leaves at high temperatures. But in this scenario, hot temperatures alone, even with a toxin free diet, can stop them from eating enough to stay alive.

Dr Youngentob said there are a few things we can do to address the issue, including protecting sources of food.

"If you're eating less, the small amount you do eat needs to be more nutritious. Not all eucalypts have the same level of nutrients, so we need to identify and protect those areas of the forest that have the best quality food for these animals," Dr Youngentob said.

"We should restore degraded forest with more nutritious food trees too.

"We also need to look closely at what makes some forests cooler, and what contributes to forests getting hotter so we can protect and expand those cooler microclimates."

Kara N. Youngentob, David B. Lindenmayer, Karen J. Marsh, Andrew K. Krockenberger, William J. Foley. Food intake: an overlooked driver of climate change casualties? Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2021; DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2021.04.003

Public concern on human health impact of plastic pollution

June 16, 2021
The impact of marine plastic pollution on human health tops a list of health-related concerns over marine threats in a large scale survey which could help shape policy over how best to protect our oceans.

Researchers at the University of Exeter led a survey of more than 15,000 people across 14 European countries, plus Australia, as part of the interdisciplinary European collaboration called the Seas, Oceans and Public Health in Europe (SOPHIE) Project, funded by Horizons 2020.

Working with colleagues from the European Marine Board, the University of Vienna and the University of Queensland, the SOPHIE project investigated public perceptions towards various marine topics, including marine plastic pollution. The new study, published in Global Environmental Change, found that both Europeans and Australians were highly concerned about the human health impact of marine plastic pollution, ranking it top of 16 marine-related threats in terms of cause for concern, including chemical or oil spills, marine biodiversity loss and climate change related effects such as sea-level rise and ocean acidification.

The research comes as plastic pollution is widely acknowledged as a major cause for international concern. Tiny particles of plastic known as microplastic have been found in all sea life sampled, meaning they are likely to be ingested by humans. However, while much is known about the ecological damage, including to marine life and other wildlife, the potential impacts on human health are inconclusive. The study found that people surveyed supported more research to understand the impact of marine plastic pollution on our health.

Lead author Sophie Davison, of the University of Exeter's European Centre for Environment and Human Health, said: "Plastic pollution is one of the fastest-growing environmental challenges on our planet. Yet, while the damage to marine life is well understood, the impact on human health remains unclear. Our study indicates that this is of grave concern to the public, and that there's widespread support for more research in this area."

Research has shown that plastic pollution breaks down to miniscule particles of microplastic, which find their way into the guts of sea creatures, birds and other wildlife. Yet to date, the evidence surrounding if and how they affect humans, for example by ingesting them through eating seafood, is limited.

Co-author Mathew White, an environmental psychologist at the University of Vienna, said the paper aimed to inform decision-making around policy on plastic pollution and funding for research into potential human health impacts. He said: "Given that marine plastic pollution is a global challenge and all of society contributes to some degree to the plastic consumption cycle, we urgently need to find ways of connecting the high level of concern with ways of curbing the leakage of plastic into the environment."

The findings echo a recent poll of 8,000 people, conducted by the Government's Department for the environment, food and rural Affairs. The survey found that three quarters of respondents felt that plastic pollution and litter was the greatest threat to the health of the seas, and 94 per cent of people believe the health of oceans and humans are inextricably linked, in turn echoing a warning from researchers led by Exeter which set out an action plan to instigate the first stages of change.

The University of Exeter is a world leader on microplastics research, including the biological impact on marine animals, and developing a new method to test for different types of plastic simultaneously.

Sophie M.C. Davison, Mathew P. White, Sabine Pahl, Tim Taylor, Kelly Fielding, Bethany R. Roberts, Theo Economou, Oonagh McMeel, Paula Kellett, Lora E. Fleming. Public concern about, and desire for research into, the human health effects of marine plastic pollution: Results from a 15-country survey across Europe and Australia. Global Environmental Change, 2021; 102309 DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102309

NSW Government to tackle plastics and waste

June 13, 2021
Plastics like single-use lightweight bags, cotton-buds, straws and stirrers will be phased out, and green bins for food and organic waste will be rolled out across the state, under the NSW Government’s plastics plan and waste strategy.  Premier Gladys Berejiklian said more than $356 million will be invested over five years to implement the nation leading plans to protect the environment and promote recycling.  

“We want NSW to be a leader when it comes to reducing waste, maximising recycling and protecting our environment, but we want to do it in a way that drives job creation and innovation," Ms Berejiklian said. 

“The community has high expectations and we need to make sure we put in place the best plans for the future while also giving businesses and councils enough time to adjust to the phase-outs and find sustainable alternatives.”

Environment Minister Matt Kean said we must reduce the plastics ending up in the environment because we are on track to see more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. 

“The single-use items we are phasing-out will stop an estimated 2.7 billion items of plastic litter  from ending up in our environment and waterways over the next 20 years,” Mr Kean said. 

“We can’t keep sending our scraps to languish in landfill when there are huge opportunities to turn our trash into treasure.

“Under our plans, every household will have access to a separate bin for their food and organic waste for the first time in NSW. 

“This will not only deliver on our commitment to achieve zero emissions from organics in landfill by 2030, but will also grow our economy by extracting more resources like biogas from our waste.  

“In addition, we will lead by example and help stimulate new markets for sustainable products by adopting an ‘if not, why not’ approach to the use of recycled materials in government procurement.”

Small businesses will be supported to transition to new products before the phase-outs come into effect. Exemptions will also be available for members of the community who rely on particular single-use plastics for disability or health needs.

A statewide education campaign will be rolled out to provide households with clear information on how to get onboard with the new waste programs, and learn how to properly dispose of their food and organic waste. 

The government will also continue to work closely with councils, with $206 million in funding available to support local government to deliver these ambitious plans, including $65 million to support the rollout of green bins.

The NSW Government will consult on and introduce the necessary legislation and regulations to deliver on the plans to Parliament in the coming months. 

Read more on the Waste Strategy and the Plastics Action Plan

Prioritising the state's coastline for future generations

June 17, 2021
A sustainable, secure and safe coastline for future generations is at the forefront of a new five-year strategic plan released today by the NSW Government, which outlines the state’s priorities and commits significant funding and resources to support NSW councils futureproofing their coastal environment.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the Future Directions Statement for NSW’s Coastal and Estuary Management Program acknowledges the pivotal role local councils play in managing the state’s vast coastal environment.

“The priorities in this new statement focus on steps local councils and the community can take to ensure we leave our beautiful coastal environment in a better place for our future generations to enjoy,” Mrs Hancock said.

“Last year, I called for a strategic document that showcased the NSW Government’s intentions and aspirations for the Coastal and Estuary Management Program over the next 12 months, two years and five years.

“In developing the Future Directions Statement, we listened to what local councils had been saying and sought additional feedback from the sector, other agencies and key coastal management stakeholders on what the priorities should be.”

The Future Directions Statement commits the NSW Government to 54 actions under five priority areas including:
  1. Delivering outcomes;
  2. Reviewing legislation and updating guidance;
  3. Supporting coordination, collaboration and engagement;
  4. Providing science and information; and
  5. Funding and financing.
Minister Hancock said the statement will help encourage even more collaboration in managing the state’s shared vision and goals for the NSW coastline.

“The result is a well thought out program of strong actions to strategically address how we manage complex coastal issues that require a coordinated and collaborative approach,” Mrs Hancock said.

“I encourage all coastal councils to continue to develop their management programs as a priority and set their long-term strategy for managing the coast and estuaries.”

For further information and to view the Future Directions Statement, visit Future Directions Statement.

piece of foreshore history secured

June 16, 2021
One of the most picturesque parks on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour is now entirely public space after the remaining parcel of private land was bought by the NSW Government.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the purchase of the remaining part of Blues Point Reserve at McMahons Point enables the whole park to now be accessible for generations to come.

“Blues Point Reserve is one of our most popular foreshore parks, with spectacular views of Sydney Harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge, but for decades there was a private property cutting the park in two,” Mr Stokes said.

“Our parks define Sydney as the emerald city but I believe we can do more – create more parkland, grow more trees, conserve more bushland and rehabilitate what has been degraded.

“Bringing this parcel of land into public ownership is a great example of how the NSW Government is expanding and creating more public parkland.”

Member for North Shore Felicity Wilson said this was a commitment she made to her community before the 2019 election, and to deliver the final piece of the puzzle is a great win for locals who have supported the Government’s efforts to secure the site.

“Our community has long sought the acquisition of 1 Henry Lawson Ave for an expanded park and I am proud to have secured this outcome. This acquisition is another investment in increasing local parks, this time right on the waterfront of Sydney Harbour,“ Ms Wilson said.

“Once the Sydney Metro works are finished there will be the opportunity to undertake further improvements to deliver an enhanced and expanded public space across the entire Blues Point Reserve.”

Fencing riverbanks program cuts off access for wildlife to water

June 17, 2021
The NSW Government has today announced eligible landholders and community groups can apply for a share of $7.5 million from the NSW Government to fund valuable projects through the Fencing Northern Basin Riverbanks Program.

Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall said a highlight of the program was the construction of 500 kilometres of riparian riverbank fencing.

“This program is a win-win for landholders and native fish species,” Mr Marshall said. “The fencing funded through this initiative will not only keep livestock safe, but by controlling their access to areas of our river system, it will also help improve water quality and fish habitat.

“The beauty of this program is it will allow funding to be provided to grass roots projects that will make a real difference, so I encourage landholders who think they could be eligible to contact their closest Local Land Services (LLS) office.”

The program is targeting riverbanks across NSW include stretches of the Darling, Macquarie, Little, Bell, Gwydir, Macintyre and Dumaresq rivers.

Landholders from the Central Tablelands, Northern Tablelands, North West, Central West and Western LLS regions are encouraged to enquire.

Round one Expressions of Interest close on Friday, 19 November 2021 and can be lodged via the LLS website.

Other activities under the program will include exotic woody weed control, revegetation, river re-snagging for fish habitat and minor erosion control works that protect native fish and contribute to a healthier river system.

Minister for Water Melinda Pavey said improving water quality would go a long way to better supporting our environment, farmers and regional communities.

“Severe drought over the past three years certainly stressed our river system, but as NSW recovers, it’s important we are finding ways to better protect environmentally sensitive areas of the Basin,” Mrs Pavey said.

However, the wildlife that needs to access this water for a drink was not mentioned once during the announcement, nor were any plans to decrease the extinction rate of species such plans enable.

NSW State Government's Plans to open Western NSW to coal mining Open for Feedback

Public consultation is now underway into the proposed release of land known as Hawkins and Rumker 160km north west of Sydney, with consultation over a third parcel - known as Ganguddy-Kelgoola still to come. The three mooted coal release parcels cover 60,369 hectares in a region where the economy is currently built around sustainable agriculture and nature-focused tourism. There are also large areas of public land and more than 84% native vegetation cover. 

A report, ''Western Coalfields Strategic Release Mapping and Analysis'', based on spatial analysis conducted by Earthscapes Consulting, shows the risks the community, existing industries, and the environment face if coal mining is allowed to proceed in the region.

Within the three “strategic coal release areas”, the consultants found:
  • Forty-five recorded Aboriginal heritage sites and an additional 13 sites that are restricted and location data not supplied in the proposed coal release areas. 
  • Twenty-two threatened fauna species and six threatened flora species including the koala, the critically endangered regent honeyeater and the endangered spotted-tailed quoll, as well as four plant species endemic to the Rylstone/western Wollemi area.
  • One thousand, eight hundred and fifty-four hectares of groundwater dependant ecosystems. 
  • Six thousand, six hundred and thirty-four hectares  of potential threatened ecological communities. 
  • Thirty-six water bores.
  • One hundred and twenty kilometres of stream channels in good condition and 118 kilometres of stream channels classed as a high level of fragility. 
The report also showed the potential coal release areas adjoin the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, stretching more than 100km along the western edge of the WHA.

The World Heritage Commission has asked the NSW Government for a cumulative impact assessment of mining impacts on the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. This assessment appears not to be complete, even though it was due by the end of 2020.

University of NSW environmental scientist, local, and writer, Dr Haydn Washington said, “The coal release areas are full of diverse and significant natural and cultural heritage. 

“The Coricudgy and Nullo State Forests have already been recommended for addition to the World Heritage Area by the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Committee.

The proposal is open for feedback until July 28, 2021 at: https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/pria-consult

Keith Pitt’s gas and oil basin “release” plans for destruction of Channel country

June 16, 2021
Resource Minister Keith Pitt’s has continued in his enthusiastic spruiking of plans to tear up sustainable outback agricultural enterprises and the last free flowing desert rivers in the world to fracking is utterly removed from reality, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.

Mr Pitt reportedly told the APPEA conference in Perth today that the Cooper Basin in Queensland and South Australia is the next cab off the rank for the Morrison Government’s “Strategic Basin Plan”, and part of its ongoing fracking or 'gas led recovery' extra tax on farmland, water, and the environment.

“The Cooper Basin underlies the Lake Eyre Basin, which includes globally significant desert rivers that have been earmarked for protection in Queensland since 2014,” said Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland spokesperson Ellie Smith.

“Keith Pitt can talk about fracking Lake Eyre Basin all he wants, but the fact is it is the states who make decisions on fracking applications, and Queensland has an unfulfilled promise to protect the floodplains.

“His comments totally ignore widespread local opposition to gas and oil extraction on the globally significant Channel Country floodplains.

“This push will put at risk the clean, green export beef industry in the area, the tourism sector, and important cultural sites for Traditional Owners.

“Mr Pitt should be sticking up for Queenslanders and the agricultural sector, not sacrificing them to appease multinational fracking giants.”

Channel Country grazier Angus Emmott said, “The Cooper Basin underlies the heartland of Queensland’s Channel Country - this is one of the world’s last remaining great free-flowing desert river and wetland systems.”

“Plans to open up the Cooper Basin for unconventional gas fracking would be insensitive to the graziers and Traditional Owners of the Channel Country who have been fighting for many years to keep this river system protected from industrial activity such as gas fracking. 

“Such activity would compromise the Channel Country way of life and the desire for a sustainable future built on agriculture and tourism.

“Every drilling rig will need a road, a pipeline and perhaps even a wastewater storage pond. This will result in an industrialised landscape - threatening the nature, water, people and organic pastures the Channel Country is known for.”

Bin Trim App helps waste industry and councils guide business recycling

June 15 2021
Councils, waste service providers, consultants and industry groups now have free access to the Bin Trim web application to help the businesses they work with to reduce waste, recycle more and save money.

Users of the Bin Trim App can access waste data from various industry sectors and locations, generate high-level reports by local government area, industry sector and volume and weight.

They can also track their progress through helpful graphs and charts.

The user-friendly App guides users to enter the types and amount of waste produced by their business and the user will then receive a free and easy action plan to reduce waste, save money and improve the environment.

The public dashboard on the Bin Trim App will allow users to search for broader statistical waste information from a database of more than 36,000 businesses.

“Councils and industry can use the Bin Trim App to engage with their clients, prepare waste assessments and tailor waste advice to their needs,” said EPA Executive Director Liesbet Spanjaard.

“Users can access industry-specific data and tailored waste reduction action plans to help the businesses they are working with.”

The Bin Trim program has supported over 36,000 NSW businesses with free advice from independent assessors who help small business to improve their waste management.

To date the NSW Government has awarded $21.73 million to 91 grantees who will engage with over 37,589 businesses through the Bin Trim program by August 2021.

Bin Trim is funded under the nine-year Waste Less Recycle More initiative and is designed to help achieve NSW recycling targets for the business sector.

Visit the EPA website for more information or https://apps.epa.nsw.gov.au/bintrimapp/ to access the Bin Trim App

Boris Johnson overstates Morrison’s climate ambition, as Australia-UK trade agreement reached

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson put Scott Morrison on the spot when he told their joint news conference he thought the Australian PM had “declared for net zero by 2050”.

When Johnson made the statement a journalist interjected to point out Morrison’s policy was to get to net zero “preferably” by 2050.

Johnson pressed on to say this was “a great step forward when you consider[…] the situation Australia is in. It’s a massive coal producer. It’s having to change the way things are orientated, and everybody understands that.

"You can do it fast. In 2012 this country had 40% of its power from coal. It’s now less than 2%, going down the whole time. […] I’m impressed by the ambition of Australia. Obviously we’re going to be looking for more the whole time, as we go into COP26 in November.”

The net zero moment came as the two stood together to announce they had reached an in-principle agreement on a free trade deal between Britain and Australia – the first such deal the United Kingdom has done post Brexit.

Johnson had been asked whether he wanted Australia to go beyond its present 2030 emissions reduction target.

Morrison has been under strong pressure from both Johnson and United States President Joe Biden to embrace the 2050 target. But he has so far not done so, despite edging towards it. His position is to get to net zero “as soon as possible, preferably by 2050.”

Formally embracing the target would threaten a fight within the Nationals that could destabilise the party’s leader Michael McCormack.

Nationals Senate leader Bridget McKenzie warned this week:

“There is no agreement with the second party of this Coalition government on any target date for zero emissions. In fact it would fly in the face of the Nationals public policy commitment.”

The free trade agreement, which still has details to be finalised, would reduce barriers on the mobility of workers between the two countries as well on trade in goods and services.

The deal would promote more exchange of young people, allowing them to stay and work in each country for three years instead of two. This arrangement would apply to people up to age 35 rather than 30, as at present.

The federal government says Australian producers and farmers would “receive a significant boost by getting greater access to the UK market” while Australian consumers would “benefit from cheaper products, with all tariffs eliminated within five years, and tariffs on cars, whisky, and the UK’s other main exports eliminated immediately” the agreement started.

Australia would within five years place less onerous conditions on British backpackers, who presently have to spend a set time working in agriculture, or other sectors of labour shortage in regional Australia, to get an extension of their visa.

A separate agriculture visa would be established for UK and Australian visa holders, to get more two way traffic (for example, of shearers) in the agricultural sector.

Over 10 to 15 years the UK would liberalise Australian imports of beef and sheep meat, with shorter periods for sugar and dairy products.

The agricultural sectors in both Britain and Australia expressed concerns when the agreement was being negotiated. In Australia farmers have been worried about the possibility of losing labour if the conditions on backpackers were scrapped.

Johnson said the deal would be good for British car manufacturers and the export of British financial and other services, and he hoped for the agricultural sectors on both sides.

On agriculture “we’ve had to negotiate very hard. […] This is a sensitive sector for both sides, and we’ve got a deal that runs over 15 years and contains the strongest possible provisions for animal welfare.”

The removal of the farm work requirement would make it easier for British people and young people to go and work in Australia, he said.

Morrison said the deal would open the pathway to Britain’s entry into the The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

He also indicated it was “enormously helpful” in the context of the difficulties with China. “Where you have challenges with one trading partner from time to time, then the ability to be able to diversify your trade into more and more countries is incredibly important.”

Morrison and Johnson discussed the final points of the agreement in principle over a dinner meeting at 10 Downing Street. Their talks also included climate change.The Conversation

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Australia needs construction waste recycling plants — but locals first need to be won over

Shutterstock
Salman Shooshtarian, RMIT University and Tayyab Maqsood, RMIT University

Strong community opposition to a proposed waste facility in regional New South Wales made headlines earlier this year. The A$3.9 million facility would occupy 2.7 hectares of Gunnedah’s industrial estate. It’s intended to process up to 250,000 tonnes a year of waste materials from Sydney.

Much of this is construction waste that can be used in road building after processing. Construction of the plant will employ 62 people and its operation will create 30 jobs. Yet every one of the 86 public submissions to the planning review objected to the project.

Residents raised various concerns, which received widespread local media coverage. They were concerned about water management, air quality, noise, the impact of hazardous waste, traffic and transport, fire safety and soil and water. For instance, a submission by a local businessman and veterinary surgeon stated:

“The proposed facility is too close to town, residences and other businesses […] Gunnedah is growing and this proposed development will be uncomfortably close to town in years to come.”

Map showing location of the proposed waste recycling facility in Gunnedah
The location of the proposed waste recycling facility in Gunnedah. Source: Google Maps (2021), Author provided

The general manager of the applicant said descriptions such as “toxic waste dump” were far from accurate.

“It’s not a dump […] Its prime focus is to reclaim, reuse and recycle.”

He added: “[At present] the majority of this stuff goes to landfill. What we’re proposing is very beneficial to the environment, which is taking these resources and putting them back into recirculation. The reality is the population is growing, more waste is going to get generated and the upside is we’re much better processing and claiming out of it than sending it to landfill.”


Read more: We create 20m tons of construction industry waste each year. Here's how to stop it going to landfill


Why are these facilities needed?

According to the latest data in the National Waste Report 2020, Australia generated 27 million tonnes of waste (44% of all waste) from the construction and demolition (C&D) sector in 2018-19. That’s a 61% increase since 2006-07. This waste stream is the largest source of managed waste in Australia and 76% of it is recycled.

However, recycling rates and processing capacities still need to increase massively. The environmental impact statement for the Gunnedah project notes Sydney “is already facing pressure” to dispose of its growing construction waste. Most state and national policies – including the NSW Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2014-2021, NSW Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Strategy and 2018 National Waste Policy – highlight the need to develop infrastructure to effectively manage this waste.


Read more: The 20th century saw a 23-fold increase in natural resources used for building


Why, then, do people oppose these facilities?

Public opposition to new infrastructure in local neighbourhoods, the Not-in-My-Back-Yard (NIMBY) attitude, is a global phenomenon. Australia is no exception. We have seen previous public protests against waste facilities being established in local areas.

The academic literature reports the root causes of this resistance are stench and other air pollution, and concerns about impacts on property values and health. Factors that influence individuals’ perceptions include education level, past experience of stench and proximity to housing.

Protesters march behind a sign reading 'We demand fair development'.
Local communities around the world have protested against local waste management plants that they see as a threat to their health. United Workers/Flickr, CC BY

What are the other challenges of recycling?

Our research team at RMIT University explore ways to effectively manage construction and demolition waste, with a focus on developing a circular economy. Our research shows this goal depends heavily on the development of end markets for recycled products. Operators then have the confidence to invest in recycling construction and demolition waste, knowing it will produce a reasonable return.


Read more: The planned national waste policy won't deliver a truly circular economy


A consistent supply of recycled material is needed too. We believe more recycling infrastructure needs to be developed all around Australia. Regional areas are the most suitable for this purpose because they have the space and a need for local job creation.

To achieve nationwide waste recycling, however, everyone must play their part. By everyone, we mean suppliers, waste producers, waste operators, governments and the community.

Today we are facing new challenges such as massive urbanisation, shortage of virgin materials, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and bans on the export of waste. These challenges warrant new solutions, which include sharing responsibility for the waste we all generate.


Read more: A crisis too big to waste: China's recycling ban calls for a long-term rethink in Australia


What can be done to resolve public concerns?

Government has a key role to play in educating the public about the many benefits of recycling construction and demolition waste. These benefits include environmental protection, more efficient resource use, reduced construction costs, and job creation.

Government must also ensure communities are adequately consulted. A local news report reflected Gunnedah residents’ concern that the recycling facility’s proponent had not contacted them. They initiated the contact. One local said:

“I do understand the short-term financial gains a development like this will bring to the community, but also know the financial and environmental burden they will cause.”

Feedback from residents triggered a series of consultation sessions involving all parties.

A robust framework for consulting the community, engaging stakeholders and providing information should be developed to accompany any such development. Community education programs should be based on research.

For instance, research indicates that, unlike municipal waste recycling facilities, construction and demolition waste management facilities have negligible to manageable impact on the environment and residents’ health and well-being. This is due to the non-combustible nature of most construction materials, such as masonrt.

Such evidence needs to be communicated effectively to change negative community attitudes towards construction and demolition waste recycling facilities. At RMIT, through our National Construction & Demolition Waste Research and Industry Portal, we continue to play our part in increasing public awareness of the benefits.


Read more: With the right tools, we can mine cities The Conversation


Salman Shooshtarian, Research Fellow, RMIT University and Tayyab Maqsood, Associate Dean and Head of of Project Management, RMIT University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

An act of God, or just bad management? Why trees fall and how to prevent it

AP
Gregory Moore, The University of Melbourne

The savage storms that swept Victoria last week sent trees crashing down, destroying homes and blocking roads. Under climate change, stronger winds and extreme storms will be more frequent. This will cause more trees to fall and, sadly, people may die.

These incidents are sometimes described as an act of God or Mother Nature’s fury. Such descriptions obscure the role of good management in minimising the chance a tree will fall. The fact is, much can be done to prevent these events.

Trees must be better managed for several reasons. The first, of course, is to prevent damage to life and property. The second is to avoid unnecessary tree removals. Following storms, councils typically see a spike in requests for tree removals – sometimes for perfectly healthy trees.

A better understanding of the science behind falling trees – followed by informed action – will help keep us safe and ensure trees continue to provide their many benefits.

tree lying on home
We must try to stop trees falling over to prevent damage to life and property. James Ross/AAP

Why trees fall over

First, it’s important to note that fallen trees are the exception at any time, including storms. Most trees won’t topple over or shed major limbs. I estimate fewer than three trees in 100,000 fall during a storm.

Often, fallen trees near homes, suburbs and towns were mistreated or poorly managed in preceding years. In the rare event a tree does fall over, it’s usually due to one or more of these factors:

1. Soggy soil

In strong winds, tree roots are more likely to break free from wet soil than drier soil. In arboriculture, such events are called windthrow.

A root system may become waterlogged when landscaping alters drainage around trees, or when house foundations disrupt underground water movement. This can be overcome by improving soil drainage with pipes or surface contouring that redirects water away from trees.

You can also encourage a tree’s root growth by mulching around the tree under the “dripline” – the outer edge of the canopy from which water drips to the ground. Applying a mixed-particle-size organic mulch to a depth of 75-100 millimetres will help keep the soil friable, aerated and moist. But bear in mind, mulch can be a fire risk in some conditions.

Root systems can also become waterlogged after heavy rain. So when both heavy rain and strong winds are predicted, be alert to the possibility of falling trees.


Read more: Why there's a lot more to love about jacarandas than just their purple flowers


People inspect trees fallen on cars
A combination of heavy rain and strong winds can cause trees to fall. Shutterstock

2. Direct root damage

Human-caused damage to root systems is a common cause of tree failure. Such damage can include roots being:

  • cut when utility services are installed
  • restricted by a new road, footpath or driveway
  • compacted over time, such as when they extend under driveways.

Trees can take a long time to respond to disturbances. When a tree falls in a storm, it may be the result of damage inflicted 10-15 years ago.

tree uprroted
This elm, growing very close to a footpath, fell in Melbourne during a 2005 storm. Author provided

3. Wind direction

Trees anchor themselves against prevailing winds by growing roots in a particular pattern. Most of the supporting root structure of large trees grows on the windward side of the trunk.

If winds come from an uncommon direction, and with a greater-than-usual speed, trees may be vulnerable to falling. Even if the winds come from the usual direction, if the roots on the windward side are damaged, the tree may topple over.

The risk of this happening is likely to worsen under climate change, when winds are more likely to come from new directions.

4. Dead limbs

Dead or dying tree limbs with little foliage are most at risk of falling during storms. The risk can be reduced by removing dead wood in the canopy.

Trees can also fall during strong winds when they have so-called “co-dominant” stems. These V-shaped stems are about the same diameter and emerge from the same place on the trunk.

If you think you might have such trees on your property, it’s well worth having them inspected. Arborists are trained to recognise these trees and assess their danger.


Read more: The years condemn: Australia is forgetting the sacred trees planted to remember our war dead


car bumper stopped at fallen tree trunk
Storms can trigger falling trees which block roads. Shutterstock

Trees are worth the trouble

Even with the best tree management regime, there is no guarantee every tree will stay upright during a storm. Even a healthy, well managed tree can fall over in extremely high winds.

While falling trees are rare, there are steps we can take to minimise the damage they cause. For example, in densely populated areas, we should consider moving power and communications infrastructure underground.

By now, you may be thinking large trees are just too unsafe to grow in urban areas, and should be removed. But we need trees to help us cope with storms and other extreme weather.

Removing all trees around a building can cause wind speeds to double, which puts roofs, buildings and lives at greater risk. Removing trees from steep slopes can cause the land to become unstable and more prone to landslides. And of course, trees keep us cooler during summer heatwaves.

Victoria’s spate of fallen trees is a concern, but removing them is not the answer. Instead, we must learn how to better manage and live with them.


Read more: Here are 5 practical ways trees can help us survive climate change The Conversation


Gregory Moore, Doctor of Botany, The University of Melbourne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Peatlands worldwide are drying out, threatening to release 860 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year

Shutterstock
Yuanyuan Huang, CSIRO and Yingping Wang, CSIRO

Peatlands, such as fens, bogs, marshes and swamps, cover just 3% of the Earth’s total land surface, yet store over one-third of the planet’s soil carbon. That’s more than the carbon stored in all other vegetation combined, including the world’s forests.

But peatlands worldwide are running short of water, and the amount of greenhouse gases this could set loose would be devastating for our efforts to curb climate change.

Specifically, our new research in Nature Climate Change found drying peatlands could release an additional 860 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, by around 2100. To put this into perspective, Australia emitted 539 million tonnes in 2019.

To stop this from happening, we need to urgently preserve and restore healthy, water-logged conditions in peatlands. These thirsty peatlands need water.

Peatlands are like natural archives

Peatlands are found across the world: the arctic tundra, coastal marshes, tropical swamp forests, mountainous fens and blanket bogs on subantarctic islands.

They’re characterised by having water-logged soil filled with very slowly decaying plant material (the “peat”) that accumulated over tens of thousands of years, preserved by the low-oxygen environment. This partially decomposed plant debris is locked up in the soils as organic carbon.


Read more: Peat bogs: restoring them could slow climate change – and revive a forgotten world


Peatlands can act like natural archives, letting scientists and archaeologists reconstruct past climate, vegetation, and even human lives. In fact, an estimated 20,500 archaeological sites are preserved under or within peat in the UK.

As unique habitats, peatlands are home for many native and endangered species of plants and animals that occur nowhere else, such as the white-bellied cinclodes (Cinclodes palliatus) in Peru and Australia’s giant dragonfly (Petalura gigantea), the world’s largest. They can also act as migration corridors for birds and other animals, and can purify water, regulate floods, retain sediments and so on.

Giant dragonfly on a branch
The giant dragonfly (Petalura gigantea) is listed as endangered under NSW environment law. Christopher Brandis/iNaturalist, CC BY-NC

But over the past several decades, humans have been draining global peatlands for a range of uses. This includes planting trees and crops, harvesting peat to burn for heat, and for other land developments.

For example, some peatlands rely on groundwater, such as portions of the Greater Everglades, the largest freshwater marsh in the United States. Over-pumping groundwater for drinking or irrigation has cut off the peatlands’ source of water.

Together with the regional drier climate due to global warming, our peatlands are drying out worldwide.

What happens when peatlands dry out?

When peat isn’t covered by water, it could be exposed to enough oxygen to fuel aerobic microbes living within. The oxygen allows the microbes to grow extremely fast, enjoy the feast of carbon-rich food, and release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

A marsh in Les Sables d Olonne, France. Some peatlands are also a natural sources of methane, which is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Arthur Gallois, Author provided

Some peatlands are also a natural source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas with the warming potential up to 100 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

But generating methane actually requires the opposite conditions to generating carbon dioxide. Methane is more frequently released in water-saturated conditions, while carbon dioxide emissions are mostly in unsaturated conditions.


Read more: Emissions of methane – a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide – are rising dangerously


This means if our peatlands are getting drier, we would have an increase in emissions of carbon dioxide, but a reduction in methane emissions.

So what’s the net impact on our climate?

We were part of an international team of scientists across Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, the US and China. Together, we collected and analysed a large dataset from carefully designed and controlled experiments across 130 peatlands all over the world.

In these experiments, we reduced water under different climate, soil and environmental conditions and, using machine learning algorithms, disentangled the different responses of greenhouse gases.

Our results were striking. Across the peatlands we studied, we found reduced water greatly enhanced the loss of peat as carbon dioxide, with only a mild reduction of methane emissions.

A swamp forest in Peru. Rupesh Bhomia, Author provided

The net effect — carbon dioxide vs methane — would make our climate warmer. This will seriously hamper global efforts to keep temperature rise under 1.5℃.

This suggests if sustainable developments to restore these ecosystems aren’t implemented in future, drying peatlands would add the equivalent of 860 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year by 2100. This projection is for a “high emissions scenario”, which assumes global greenhouse gas emissions aren’t cut any further.

Protecting our peatlands

It’s not too late to stop this from happening. In fact, many countries are already establishing peatland restoration projects.

For example, the Central Kalimantan Peatlands Project in Indonesia aims to rehabilitate these ecosystems by, for instance, damming drainage canals, revegetating areas with native trees, and improving local socio-economic conditions and introducing more sustainable agricultural techniques.

Likewise, the Life Peat Restore project aims to restore 5,300 hectares of peatlands back to their natural function as carbon sinks across Poland, Germany and the Baltic states, over five years.

But protecting peatlands is a global issue. To effectively take care of our peatlands and our climate, we must work together urgently and efficiently.


Read more: People, palm oil, pulp and planet: four perspectives on Indonesia's fire-stricken peatlands The Conversation


Yuanyuan Huang, Research Scientist , CSIRO and Yingping Wang, Chief research scientist, CSIRO

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

'Unshackled' palm-destroying beetles could soon invade Australia

June 17, 2021
A destructive pest beetle is edging closer to Australia as biological controls fail, destroying home gardens, plantations and biodiversity as they surge through nearby Pacific islands. University of Queensland researcher Dr Kayvan Etebari has been studying how palm-loving coconut rhinoceros beetles have been accelerating their invasion.

"We thought we'd outsmarted them," Dr Etebari said.

"In the 1970s, scientists from Australia and elsewhere found that coconut rhinoceros beetles could be controlled with a beetle virus from Malaysia.

"This virus stopped the beetle in its tracks and, for the last 50 years or so, it more-or-less stayed put -- that is, until now.

"It seems that they are now unshackled from the virus in some places and could be in Australia before we know it."

In the last few years, the pest has spread to many South Pacific islands, including islands in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, causing severe agricultural and economic damage.

"If they spread to Australia, garden palms would be at risk, along with the country's emerging date industry, coconuts, oil palms, and many other palms, both wild in the forests and ornamental," Dr Etebari said.

UQ's Professor Michael Furlong said the research team investigated the beetle's population genetics and the incidence of the virus in specimens collected in Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Philippines.

"We found that there have been several new waves of beetle invasions, not only one as we first expected," Professor Furlong said.

"And there are different populations of the beetle that we didn't recognise previously -- in the Solomon Islands for example, there are three populations of the beetle, and they are interbreeding."

The beetles all look alike, but the molecular tests show they are different.

"Similar to how scientists spot different strains of COVID-19, we are also detecting variations in the beetle virus," Professor Furlong said.

"This presents us with a complex problem: multiple types of beetles and beetle-controlling virus.

"The next step will be finding out how these virus variations behave in these different beetles, and how this can be used to control them.

"We know the virus doesn't kill the beetles outright, but probably affects the number of eggs a female lays and changes beetle behaviour, for example how far infected beetles can fly, so we need to explore these important aspects of the interaction too."

Dr Etebari said investing in research and new control methods was vital, not only for Australia's prosperity, but for humanitarian reasons.

"The coconut rhinoceros beetle remains a serious threat to livelihoods across Pacific islands, where the coconut tree remains their 'tree of life', providing essential resources like food, copra, building materials and coastal protection for five million vulnerable people," he said.

"It's imperative that Australian scientists help our neighbouring countries in the Pacific to tackle their emerging pests and diseases.

"And everything we're finding in the Pacific islands may later be critical to managing the beetle here in Australia."

It was supported by funding from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and The University of Queensland.

Journal References:

Kayvan Etebari, James Hereward, Apenisa Sailo, Emeline M. Ahoafi, Robert Tautua, Helen Tsatsia, Grahame V Jackson, Michael J. Furlong. Examination of population genetics of the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) and the incidence of its biocontrol agent (Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus) in the South Pacific Islands. Current Research in Insect Science, 2021; 1: 100015 DOI: 10.1016/j.cris.2021.100015
Kayvan Etebari, Rhys Parry, Marie Joy B. Beltran, Michael J. Furlong. Transcription Profile and Genomic Variations of Oryctes Rhinoceros Nudivirus in Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles. Journal of Virology, 2020; 94 (22) DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01097-20

Kayvan Etebari, Matan Shelomi, Michael J. Furlong. Identification of a Novel Picorna-like Virus in Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles (Oryctes rhinoceros). Virus Research, 2020; 287: 198100 DOI: 10.1016/j.virusres.2020.198100

Kayvan Etebari, Igor Filipović, Gordana Rašić, Gregor J. Devine, Helen Tsatsia, Michael J. Furlong. Complete genome sequence of Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus isolated from the coconut rhinoceros beetle in Solomon Islands. Virus Research, 2020; 278: 197864 DOI: 10.1016/j.virusres.2020.197864
Photo: An adult coconut rhinoceros beetle. Image credit - Forest and Kim Starr 

New plan to revitalise NSW's oldest park by installing mountain bike trails

One of Sydney's most loved natural destinations, the spectacular Royal National Park is set for a major revitalisation. Greater Sydney Branch Director Deon van Rensburg said the draft Plan of Management (PoM) maps out how the Park will be protected and showcased as one of the nation's most important natural areas.

"With around 6 million visits per year Royal National Park is one of Australia's most popular parks. It is also on Australia's National Heritage List as a place of outstanding significance to the nation," Mr van Rensburg said.

"Royal National Park together with nearby Heathcote National Park and Garrawarra State Conservation Area, protect one of the most biodiverse areas in Australia, supporting more than 1000 plant and 350 animal species, including some of the most significant vegetation remaining in the Sydney Basin.

"Management priorities include freshwater wetlands, heathlands, rainforest, shorelines and grassy woodlands that support the Parks' rich animal biodiversity.

"The world's second oldest national park, Royal is a stunning place and one of our most visited parks where sites like Wattamolla and Audley attract thousands of visitors every weekend.

"The Plan will guide the future management and protection of the natural and cultural values, while providing opportunities for people of all ages, cultures and abilities to enjoy these much-loved places.

"This includes improvements and restoration at popular visitor precincts including upgrades to the historic 82-year-old Audley Boatshed, providing undercover space for picnics and a new open pavilion so that visitors can continue to enjoy the beautiful Port Hacking River.

"At Wattamolla, another popular visitor precinct, new amenities include better picnic areas, access improvements and a new walking track to the beach.

"To manage sustainable mountain biking in these areas a Royal Parks Mountain Biking Plan is also available for public comment.

"This is a great way for the millions of people who love and use these Parks to have a say in how these precious natural assets are managed into the future," Mr van Rensburg said.

The Plan now on exhibition has been prepared with extensive consultation from key stakeholders and your views are important.
You can have your say until 2 August 2021 at Royal parks Draft Plan of Management: public consultation.

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                     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     
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

Avalon Golf Course bushcare needs you

We're so short of helpers we've had to cancel for the time being. Meanwhile the weeds will go gangbusters. 
We used to meet on the second Wednesday afternoon of each month. Could you come if we worked on another day or time? say a morning, or on a weekend day? 
Contact Geoff Searl on 0439 292 566 if you'd like to help. He'd love to hear from you. 

We have fun using the Tree Popper, here with our supervisor from Dragonfly Environmental. We can lever out quite big Ochnas, aka Mickey Mouse plant from Africa.  We want to bring back the bush, not let the weeds win!
   

Ochna or Mickey Mouse plant has yellow flowers in spring, then lots of green berries that turn black when ripe. Seedlings come up in hundreds. Ochna has a very strong taproot but the steady pressure of the Tree Popper lifts the plant out of the ground easily. The alternative control is repeated scraping and painting with Roundup, very slow and time consuming. If you have an Ochna you cant remove, you can enjoy the flowers, then PLEASE prune it so that berries can't develop.

Pittwater Reserves

Annie Wyatt Reserve - A  Pictorial


These hot days are tough on our wildlife - please put out some water in a shaded location and if you come across an animal that is in distress, dehydrated or injured - please contact your local wildlife rescue group:
Photo: Bronwyn Gould

New Shorebirds WingThing  For Youngsters Available To Download

A Shorebirds WingThing educational brochure for kids (A5) helps children learn about shorebirds, their life and journey. The 2021 revised brochure version was published in February 2021 and is available now. You can download a file copy here.

If you would like a free print copy of this brochure, please send a self-addressed envelope with A$1.10 postage (or larger if you would like it unfolded) affixed to: BirdLife Australia, Shorebird WingThing Request, 2-05Shorebird WingThing/60 Leicester St, Carlton VIC 3053.


Shorebird Identification Booklet

The Migratory Shorebird Program has just released the third edition of its hugely popular Shorebird Identification Booklet. The team has thoroughly revised and updated this pocket-sized companion for all shorebird counters and interested birders, with lots of useful information on our most common shorebirds, key identification features, sighting distribution maps and short articles on some of BirdLife’s shorebird activities. 

The booklet can be downloaded here in PDF file format: http://www.birdlife.org.au/documents/Shorebird_ID_Booklet_V3.pdf

Paper copies can be ordered as well, see http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/counter-resources for details.

Download BirdLife Australia's children’s education kit to help them learn more about our wading birdlife

Shorebirds are a group of wading birds that can be found feeding on swamps, tidal mudflats, estuaries, beaches and open country. For many people, shorebirds are just those brown birds feeding a long way out on the mud but they are actually a remarkably diverse collection of birds including stilts, sandpipers, snipe, curlews, godwits, plovers and oystercatchers. Each species is superbly adapted to suit its preferred habitat.  The Red-necked Stint is as small as a sparrow, with relatively short legs and bill that it pecks food from the surface of the mud with, whereas the Eastern Curlew is over two feet long with a exceptionally long legs and a massively curved beak that it thrusts deep down into the mud to pull out crabs, worms and other creatures hidden below the surface.

Some shorebirds are fairly drab in plumage, especially when they are visiting Australia in their non-breeding season, but when they migrate to their Arctic nesting grounds, they develop a vibrant flush of bright colours to attract a mate. We have 37 types of shorebirds that annually migrate to Australia on some of the most lengthy and arduous journeys in the animal kingdom, but there are also 18 shorebirds that call Australia home all year round.

What all our shorebirds have in common—be they large or small, seasoned traveller or homebody, brightly coloured or in muted tones—is that each species needs adequate safe areas where they can successfully feed and breed.

The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is managed and supported by BirdLife Australia. 

This project is supported by Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Funding from Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Port Phillip Bay Fund is acknowledged. 

The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is made possible with the help of over 1,600 volunteers working in coastal and inland habitats all over Australia. 

The National Shorebird Monitoring program (started as the Shorebirds 2020 project initiated to re-invigorate monitoring around Australia) is raising awareness of how incredible shorebirds are, and actively engaging the community to participate in gathering information needed to conserve shorebirds. 

In the short term, the destruction of tidal ecosystems will need to be stopped, and our program is designed to strengthen the case for protecting these important habitats. 

In the long term, there will be a need to mitigate against the likely effects of climate change on a species that travels across the entire range of latitudes where impacts are likely. 

The identification and protection of critical areas for shorebirds will need to continue in order to guard against the potential threats associated with habitats in close proximity to nearly half the human population. 

Here in Australia, the place where these birds grow up and spend most of their lives, continued monitoring is necessary to inform the best management practice to maintain shorebird populations. 

BirdLife Australia believe that we can help secure a brighter future for these remarkable birds by educating stakeholders, gathering information on how and why shorebird populations are changing, and working to grow the community of people who care about shorebirds.

To find out more visit: http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/shorebirds-2020-program

Aussie Bread Tags Collection Points

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
Warriewood
Please email for address - lespatflood@gmail.com
Jodie Streckeisen
Balgowlah
Please email for the address - streckeisenjodie@gmail.com

Surfers for Climate

A sea-roots movement dedicated to mobilising and empowering surfers for continuous and positive climate action.

Surfers for Climate are coming together in lineups around the world to be the change we want to see.

With roughly 35 million surfers across the globe, our united tribe has a powerful voice. 

Add yours to the conversation by signing up here.

Surfers for Climate will keep you informed, involved and active on both the local and global issues and solutions around the climate crisis via our allies hub. 

Help us prevent our favourite spots from becoming fading stories of waves we used to surf.

Together we can protect our oceans and keep them thriving for future generations to create lifelong memories of their own.

Visit:  http://www.surfersforclimate.org.au/

Green Team Beach Cleans 

Hosted by The Green Team
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

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.

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

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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. 
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.

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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. 

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. 

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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/

"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

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.

Objectives
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

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 

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                     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     
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:

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What Does PNHA do?

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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

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.