February 14 - 20, 2021: Issue 483


Bangalley Neglect Disgraceful: Lack Of Care Of Bushland Since Amalgamation An Indication Of How Much Council Is Out Of Step With Residents

May be an image of flower and nature
The invasive weed Morning Glory strangles and kills all in its path

This week Pittwater Online received a plea for help from the Bangalley Head Landcare group; 

We Bangalley bushcare volunteers are really angry at Northern Beaches Council's neglect of this reserve. We work at the foot of the track on Whale Beach Road. Weeds are taking over the bush. The Morning Glory, Trad and other grass weeds and vines are smothering the native plants. 

The bushcare group cannot save this bushland without help from the contractors. Please demand proper bushland management from NBC. 

This mess shows how little the Northern Beaches Council values Bangalley Head Reserve, a Wildlife Preservation Area with a huge list of native plants and animals.

Our Bangalley volunteer bushcare group has been working on this site since 2004. We can only work for three hours on the second Sunday morning of each month when we get 6 volunteers if we’re lucky. Rain and COVID have prevented us coming here much in 2020.

Should we just give up? Stop caring? We love the bush and want to look after it.

You can help look after the reserve by protesting this neglect and asking for proper management.  Please email or write letters to the Councillors and CEO - this neglect must cease.

Survey of Vertebrate Fauna of Bangalley Head Reserve (September 2019-November 2020) has just been completed by Jayden Walsh, engaged by Pittwater Natural Heritage Association. He found a total of 61 bird, 11 reptile, 3 amphibian and 11 mammal species in the survey period. 

The volunteers and residents state the NBC should accept care of bushland as one of the overlooked costs of the amalgamation.

The weeds are damaging the bushland and getting rapidly worse. The weeds named actually strangle the bush.

Contract bush regeneration funding must be increased for proper maintenance of this area

''NBC is supposed to be looking after our natural environment.'' the group states.

They ask residents to not be fobbed off by claims that COVID has reduced NBC income - in fact, this problem at Bangalley has been developing for a few years, not just a few months - since Pittwater was usurped. 

The amount of rate payers dollars being spent sending us all spin-letters about 'rates harmonisation', or, this week, another telling all the 'Avalon Beach Place Plan' about to go on exhibition indicate where NBC deems our dollars can be spent. 

The group is asking all residents to write or email all councillors and the CEO and keep a record of their letter - it's time we all stood up for Pittwater again. The neglect of what Pittwater people hold to be important, the ignoring of where we think our rates should be spent, must cease.

Enough endless studies and consultations that ignore what 99% of residents have said, enough announcements about where to put in more concrete, or seeing those interminable sandstone blocks suddenly  flourishing like mushrooms all over our once green gentle landscapes without any announcements that a new row of these are about to be put in.

This is a disgrace and should be addressed immediately - it's time to get with the Pittwater Program!

Residents whose homes back onto the reserve have also been sending emails and messages in lately - they want a few Council rangers to do a stroll through this Wildlife Preservation Area and hand out a few fines to those taking dogs into this NO DOGS area. That's no dogs, not even on a leash.

Enough lurking around car parks handing out fines - get off the bitumen and into the parks, onto the beaches and Wildlife Preservation Areas and save our wildlife along with the peace and safety of all the other humans who go there.

In the meantime, Avalon and Whale Beach residents, the group meets today, 8.30 am, at the foot of the track on Whale Beach Road (between Numbers 81-83) to try and get some of these weeds out. If you can lend a hand for a few hours, those hands will be most welcome - let's not wait for the Council imposed on us, that is clearly so out of step with what really goes on in Pittwater.

Message the Bangalley group via their Facebook page if in doubt about the weather or phone 0420 817 574. There will be cake for morning tea.

The Bangalley Head Landcare group usually meets on the third Sunday each month but is giving up this Sunday morning, Valentine's Day 2021, to put some love back into this Wildlife Preservation Area.

Those 61 bird, 11 reptile, 3 amphibian and 11 mammal species who actually live there, along with all the flora species, and this group of local volunteers need our help.

Golden Whistler, male, one of the birds that lives on Bangalley - photo by Nick Hill


Rotary Club Of Upper Northern Beaches Donates Fire And Fog Nozzles To West Pittwater RFS

Photo: Members of West Pittwater RFS, receiving the Nozzles from Rotary -  l. to r. : - Geoff Nimmo; Jon Matthews; Greg Hurst; Melinda Broughton; DC (Deputy Capt.) Kylie Stackhouse; DC Paddy Brougton;  Rotary Deputy Community Director Raylene Jarvis; Captain Andrew Cutler; DC Pat Warnes; Andy Derijk.

Last year, the Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches, along with other Rotary Clubs collected funds which were donated to our front-line fire fighters in our local RFS brigades and this we reported to you in a previous Issue.

Further funds of $19,000 have now been donated from Rotary Clubs in New Zealand and Japan to our local Rotary District area and the Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches were able to receive over $2,000 of this which has enabled the West Pittwater RFS brigade to replace damaged special fire and fog nozzles from two of their Cat 7 vehicles whilst on deployment in the fires on the Southern Highlands, South Coast and Gosper’s Mountain areas over last summer.

These nozzles were presented to the RFS brigade last Saturday at a special barbeque at their Elvina Bay station on the western shores of Pittwater, at which the brigade was awarded the Premier’s Citation for participating in last year’s bushfires.

Captain Andrew Cutler recalled that he had informed the Rotary Club when they had a zoom meeting with the UK Rotary Clubs last year that the NSW fires had burnt 72,000 square miles or 18.6 million hectares of land (equivalent to over ¾ of the UK land area) in which 34 people including 7 fire fighters were killed and over 3,500 houses and buildings burnt.

Andrew himself spent a total of 26 days on deployment starting at Longnose Point fire in Pittwater then up to Tenterfield and working his way south in stints of 1 to seven days, including multiple deployments around the Gospers Mountain Fire west of Sydney and the Blue Mountains, then down the Southern Highlands around Bargo for the Green Wattle Fire ending up in Cooma in the Snowy Mountain area in late January. 

Greg Hurst started after Longnose in September in the mid north coast area and spending 30 days chasing the fires as the marched south. Dave Lambert, Pat Warnes and Wayne Lazarides also spent a number of weeks out on the fireground.  

They had another 17 firefighters spend between 1 and 10 days on deployment. They were often not on their own appliances as these were also out on far fields across the state. In fact for extended periods, they had neither of their trucks available to them and they had a 500 litre bladder and a pump in their Toyota troopy and a pump and a 1000litre IBC on a flatbed truck to give them fire coverage.

Andrew also stated that the scale of the fires really became apparent to him when he brought a yacht back from Sydney to Hobart race and due to the smoke, he didn’t see land from Wineglass Bay in Tasmania until Bangally Head at Avalon - thank goodness they had a GPS.

We owe so much to these incredible members of our community.


PEP-11 Licence Expires Without An Official Decision: State Minister Reported To Be A ‘Nay’, Federal Minister Indicates Will Give A Yea’

photo by A J Guesdon

The licence for the PEP-11 exploration offshore of Sydney, stretching from Newcastle to Sydney's Manly, expired on February 12th 2021 without any decision on an application to extend it being officially listed on the NEATS page for this permit. The permit area is primarily within commonwealth waters, which begin 5.5km offshore.

On February 5th 2021 the company announced it had made a submission to extend the permit for two years, which would extend proposed activities until 2023.

‘’BPH Energy Limited ( ASX:BPH) wishes to advise that investee Advent Energy Ltd has on behalf of the PEP11 joint venture submitted to the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) an application to extend the PEP11 permit offshore NSW. (Advent, through wholly owned subsidiary Asset Energy Pty Ltd, holds an 85% interest and is operator of the permit. Bounty Oil and Gas NL ( ASX:BUY) holds the remaining 15%).''

BPH has an interest of 22.7 % in Advent Energy Ltd. MEC Resources Ltd (ASX MMR) holds an interest in Advent. Advent holds an 85% interest in the PEP11 permit.

The application was made under the COVID-19 -Work Bid Exploration Permits announcement released by the Federal Government on 20th April 2020.

In that release the Government recognised the that the COVID-19 pandemic was having a significant impact on the offshore petroleum sector and that additional flexibility would be required to assist titleholders to manage the COVID -19 crisis. The Joint Authority confirmed in that release that it regarded the COVID-19 pandemic as a force majeure event.

The application is for a 24 month suspension of the Permit Year 4 work program commitments, with a corresponding 24 month extension of the permit term was accepted for processing by NOPTA on February 4th 2021. 

While it was due to expire on Friday February 12th, the PEP-11 licence has now entered a rollover period and exploration can continue until a final decision is made.

Advent has previously stated it has secured the semi-submersible drilling rig Ocean Patriot and intends to drill the first well offshore NSW to evaluate a target of multi-TCF size. 

In December, BPH announced it had appointed Professor Peter J Cook, an Australian expert on CCS, to join the team working to develop the huge PEP-11 offshore gas field.

Last week BPH raised $9 million in an oversubscribed share placement to increase its stake in Advent to 33% ahead of the planned drilling of the offshore Baleen gas prospect within PEP 11.

In December 2020 Advent announced it has appointed Professor Peter Cook as an advisor on the geosequestration — the geological storage of carbon dioxide — for this project.

On Tuesday February 9th, the company announced it has appointed Andrew Hogan as Contract Manager. Mr. Hogan is known in the drilling and completion industry and has been engaged to advise and assist Advent Energy in the procurement of key equipment and services for the drilling of the proposed Baleen well in PEP-11.

NSW Minister The Hon. John Barilaro MP, Department of Resources and Geoscience and Federal Minister The Hon. Keith Pitt MP, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources are the Joint Authority members for offshore areas in New South Wales. If both these ministers disagree, then the responsible Commonwealth Minister will have the last say.

On Wednesday New South Wales' Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, said he was not in favour of the oil project and the application should be rejected.



Summer In Pittwater 2021

Entrance to Narrabeen Lagoon - photo by Margaret G Woods.

Narrabeen features this Issue - the Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon catchment is Profile of the Week, while a few insights into the catchment, past and present, runs as this Issue's Pictorial.

Pittwater Online News is Published Every Sunday Morning: 8 a.m. 

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