inbox and environment news: Issue 521
December 5 - 11, 2021: Issue 521
Sounds-Signs Of Summer: Birdland
Adult Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans) have a single post-breeding moult each year, from December to May. This moult is complete except in some bids, mostly females, that defer moult of outer primaries until the following year. Birds fledge in juvenile plumage, pass into pre-adult plumage when two to six months old with a moult of the head and body feathers and pass into adult plumage when twelve to eighteen months old with a complete moult. Replacement of primaries starts with middle primaries and progresses inwards and outwards from this focus. Average duration of primary moult is 114 days
Edmund Wyndham, John Le Gay Brereton & Robert J.S. Beeton (1983) Moult and Plumages of Eastern Rosellas Platycercus Eximius, Emu - Austral Ornithology, 83:4, 242-246, DOI: 10.1071/MU9830242
Almost all rosellas are sedentary, although occasional populations are considered nomadic; no rosellas are migratory. Outside of the breeding season, crimson rosellas tend to congregate in pairs or small groups and feeding parties. The largest groups are usually composed of juveniles, who will gather in flocks of up to 20 individuals. When they forage, they are conspicuous and chatter noisily. Rosellas are monogamous, and during the breeding season, adult birds will not congregate in groups and will only forage with their mate.
Nesting sites are hollows greater than 1 metre (3.3 feet) deep in tree trunks, limbs, and stumps. These may be up to 30 metres (98 feet) above the ground. The nesting site is selected by the female. Once the site is selected, the pair will prepare it by lining it with wood debris made from the hollow itself by gnawing and shredding it with their beaks. They do not bring in material from outside the hollow. Only one pair will nest in a particular tree. A pair will guard their nest by perching near it and chattering at other rosellas that approach. They will also guard a buffer zone of several trees radius around their nest, preventing other pairs from nesting in that area.
The breeding season of the crimson rosella lasts from September through to February, and varies depending on the rainfall of each year; it starts earlier and lasts longer during wet years. The laying period is on average during mid- to late October. Clutch size ranges from 3–8 eggs, which are laid asynchronously at an average interval of 2.1 days; the eggs are white and slightly shiny and measure 28 by 23 millimetres (1+1⁄8 in × 7⁄8 in). The mean incubation period is 19.7 days, and ranges from 16–28 days. Only the mother incubates the eggs. The eggs hatch around mid-December; on average 3.6 eggs successfully hatch. There is a bias towards female nestlings, as 41.8% of young are male. For the first six days, only the mother feeds the nestlings. After this time, both parents feed them. The young become independent in February, after which they spend a few more weeks with their parents before departing to become part of a flock of juveniles. Juveniles reach maturity (gain adult plumage) at 16 months of age.
Channel Billed Cuckoo being harassed by miner birds
The channel-billed cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) is a species of cuckoo in the family Cuculidae. It is monotypic within the genus Scythrops. The species is the largest brood parasite in the world, and the largest cuckoo. It is found in Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia.
The channel-billed cuckoo is often shy, remaining hidden in tree canopies feeding on fruit and most active in early morning and evening. Its loud raucous call makes it more often heard than seen. Other birds such as crows harass and chase it when they encounter it; Miner birds and crows and some other species also swoop them.
Channel-billed cuckoos are brood parasites; instead of raising their own young, they lay eggs in the nests of other birds. They are thought to form pair bonds for the duration of a breeding season. Their mating behaviour has been described as involving calling and gift-giving, with the male presenting items of food such as insects to the female. Pairs also work together in order to aid the laying of eggs in host nests; the male will fly over the nest in order to provoke the nest occupants into a mobbing response, whereupon the female will slip into the nest and lay an egg. Alternatively the pair may work together by attacking an incubating bird, driving it off the nest and allowing the female to lay.
The host species varies depending on the location; the most commonly targeted hosts are ravens, currawongs, butcherbirds and Australian magpies. Several eggs can be laid in a single nest, sometimes by different females. Often resembling those of currawongs and magpies (but not ravens), the eggs vary in colour and pattern, measuring 48 x 32 mm. They can be a reddish- or yellowish-brown to dull white, with darker brown splotches. The incubation period for this species is unknown. Upon hatching the chicks are altricial, being blind and naked. Unlike many other cuckoos, the chicks of the channel-billed cuckoo do not eject the other host eggs upon hatching or kill the host's chicks, but these seldom survive as the cuckoo chick is able to monopolise the supply of food. The chicks are fully feathered within four weeks, and leave the nest to clamber about on the branches, although chicks are fed for a number of weeks by the host parents after fledging. - BirdLife Australia
Fledgling Butcher Bird being fed this week; our garden:
Photos by A J Guesdon, 2021.
White's Seahorse Signage At Palm Beach
White’s Seahorse, also known as the Sydney Seahorse, is a medium-sized seahorse that is endemic to the east coast of Australia. The species is named after John White, Surgeon General to the First Fleet, and is one of four species of seahorses known to occur in NSW waters. Favouring shallow-water estuarine habitats, it is currently known to occur in eight estuaries on the NSW Coast, but is most abundant in Port Stephens, Sydney Harbour and Port Hacking. Its northern limit is Hervey Bay in Queensland and it has been historically recorded as far south as St Georges Basin in NSW.
Some of the characteristics of the White’s Seahorse are:
- 17-18 dorsal-fin rays,
- 16 pectoral-fin rays
- 34-35 tail-rings
- coronet is tall arranged in five pointed star at apex
- spines are variable ranging from low to moderately developed and from round to quite sharp
- a long snout
They have a very small anal fin which is used for propulsion, however, they are known to be one of the slowest swimming fishes in the ocean.
The White’s Seahorse is considered to be endemic to the waters of southern Queensland (Hervey Bay) to Sussex Inlet NSW where it can be found occurring in coastal embayments and estuaries. It is known to occur from depths of 1 m to 18 m. Habitats that are considered important habitat for the White’s Seahorse include natural habitats such as sponge gardens, seagrass meadows and soft corals. It is also known to use artificial habitats such as protective swimming net enclosures and jetty pylons.
The primary cause for the decline in abundance of White’s Seahorse is the loss of natural habitats across their range in eastern Australia. The seahorses occur within coastal estuaries and embayments which are areas subject to population pressure.
Below: the signage at Palm Beach
Careel Creek: Dusky Moorhen + Chicks In Residence - Please Keep Your Dogs On Their Leads
Dusky Moorhen in Careel Creek, Saturday October 30, 2021 - photos by A J Guesdon
Dusky Moorhen in Careel Creek, Thursday November 30, 2021 - photos by A J Guesdon
Canopy Keepers Offer 100 Trees For Avalon Beach 100 Celebration
A group of local tree enthusiasts is inviting Avalon Beach residents to celebrate the suburb’s 100th anniversary by planting a tree.
Canopy Keepers convenor Deb Collins said Pittwater residents are surrounded by a unique urban tree canopy covering nearly 60 per cent of the area.
However, between 2009 and 2016 the Pittwater Local Government Area lost more canopy than any other in NSW - due to development and the removal of trees from residential land.
So to celebrate the naming of Avalon Beach 100 years ago, Canopy Keepers will plant at least 100 trees in the 2107 postcode in coming months, Ms Collins said.
Avalon Beach residents and others in the postcode area are therefore invited to apply for one of these trees at no cost, to plant and care for the next generation of canopy, she said.
“We are looking for 100 recipients - 100 new Canopy Keepers,” Ms Collins said.
“Will you help us grow the future and become a canopy keeper, so that we can ensure our children and grandchildren enjoy the benefits of our wonderful urban forest?” Ms Collins said.
“The radical changes to our environment are not just upsetting residents.
“Forty per cent of all wildlife relies on a connected canopy to nest, raise their young and travel between food and water sources.
“The simple removal of ‘just one tree’ can break a critical link in a canopy pathway and threaten the habitat of wildlife such as Squirrel gliders, Powerful owls, and of course the much loved Koala, now extinct from our area but remembered here by so many of us from our childhood.
“We can do much to prevent our wildlife and trees from suffering the same fate as the Koala.
“But it will take a noisy village to achieve this.
“Please join our growing community and ensure Avalon and Pittwater in 100 years are as beautiful as they are today.”
Residents are asked to fill in the following form before December 10 and Canopy Keepers will offer you a tree that is best suited to where you live.
Otherwise please email Canopy Keepers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find Canopy Keepers at the Avalon car boot sale, on Sunday December 19, where registered tree recipients will be able to pick up their trees for planting.
Canopy keepers is a local group dedicated to the preservation and regeneration of tree canopy in our local area. We want to link arms with all our neighbours and bring to life the vision of homes amongst the trees not shrubs along the edge.
Find out more at: www.canopykeepers.org.au
Migratory Bird Season
Boobook Owl And Baby Possum Rescue; Sydney Wildlife Rescue Volunteer - Nesting Boxes Available - All Sales To Sydney Wildlife
Helen Pearce is one of our local Sydney Wildlife volunteers - last week she got a call for a raptor rescue.
Helen says; ''As a licensed wildlife rescuer, I get to deal with some pretty cool animals, but today was a beautiful privilege.
Sydney Wildlife Rescue had a call at about 8:30 this morning for an owl on the ground. Thinking it’d be a Tawny chick (who is not an owl, not even a nightjar, but has very recently been reclassified in its own classification order), but preparing for a Powerful Owl, I set out with all necessary equipment. When I arrived, I found the most gorgeous fledgling Boobook owl. What a cutey!
The parents were around and watching and rather concerned as to what we were going to do with their precious baby. Fluttering between Jo’s and Lisa Yost Palmer ‘s garden, I caught the petrified little fluffball of claws and sharp beak and we formulated a plan.
Having consulted with SWR’s experienced raptor coordinator, we made a make-shift nest and Jo and Lisa’s amazing husbands scaled a tree and started fixing the new ‘nest’ as high as we practically could and placed ‘Fluffy’ in.
This evening, mum and dad have tended to the chick and there’s a second chick still in the original nest!
I’d like to extend my massive thanks to all involved for the effort made to help these birds. It’s great to know there’s people like these guys who care so deeply about our wildlife. Chicks of all species are fledging at the moment and may need a little extra help from us humans.''
The other recent rescue Helen has attended is a baby possum. More and more of these are coming into care as their tree homes are cut down without any checking to see if they are already inhabited by our wildlife.
''It’s baby season! And I have a huge soft spot for brushtail possums.
The little guy in this photo is a 300g brushtail Joey. He was found all alone, in the middle of the day on a concrete slab by the side of a building. How he wasn’t already dead, I don’t know. Cats, dogs, birds, snakes, humans……hunger, dehydration, exposure to the sun, wind, cold……either way, he’s a very lucky boy. What happened to his mum is unknown.
He’s very scared. He doesn’t know what’s happened to him, who this strange thing is who’s trying to feed a funny-tasting milk to him, where his mum is. He cries at night, calling for his mum, but she doesn’t come.
He will settle in a day or two and get used to the new milk (which is a specialised marsupial milk, purely for his stage of development. Other various types of milks can kill him) and he’ll begin to trust me, but I can’t replace his mum.
If you find a Joey on its own, it needs help. If you find one, please try to contain it and keep it safe from predators and exposure and call either Sydney Wildlife (Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services) or WIRES. If you find a dead possum (ringtail or brushtail), please check the pouch for a Joey. Brushies generally have one but ringtails will have 2, sometimes three. If you are unable to, that’s ok, but please call it in to a wildlife organisation so someone can attend to it.
If you find a native animal in need, or if you have concerns, please call either
Sydney Wildlife Rescue - 02 9413 4300
Or WIRES - 1300 094 737
NB: Please do not attempt to handle a raptor, snake or other wild animals unless you are trained as you may cause injury to them or yourself.
Nesting Boxes Available
We are licensed wildlife rescuers with Sydney Wildlife Rescue and have been making more and more wildlife boxes, both for our releases and for members of the public.
As fewer nesting areas are available and tree hollows are becoming rarer, as development takes over, our native wildlife are struggling. We have decided to make more boxes and sell them to the community with all profits going back to Sydney Wildlife.
They can either be painted and sealed to make them weatherproof or unsealed for you to paint yourself as a fun activity for the family to add your own personal touch.
The possum boxes will all have an access branch on the front. The Kookaburra boxes have an access tunnel to mimic a tree hollow.
Please email me if you’d like to purchase one at email@example.com
Photos: Helen Pearce
Dendrobium Coal Mine Declared State Significant Infrastructure
On Saturday December 4, 2021 Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Resources Paul Toole said a proposal to extend Dendrobium coal mine had been declared State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) given its importance to Port Kembla steelworks and its thousands of employees.
“Dendrobium is a critical source of coking coal for the Port Kembla steelworks and the decision to declare the project SSI will provide thousands of workers with greater certainty on the future of their jobs,” Mr Toole said.
“This decision recognises the proposal’s potential economic benefits, with the mine already contributing $1.9 billion to the State’s economy each year, employing 4,500 workers and supporting another 10,000 jobs across the Illawarra.”
On February 5 of this year the Independent Planning Commission refused the company's proposed extension under the Sydney Water Catchment.
South32 wants to extract an additional 78 million tonnes of coal from its Dendrobium mine, west of Wollongong, through to 2048.
The company had received approval from the state Department of Planning for the $956 million project but was blocked by the IPC.
The state's planning authority found the impacts of the project outweighed the benefits.
In its reasons it said "the level of risk posed by the project has not been properly quantified and based on the potential for long-term and irreversible impacts — particularly on the integrity of a vital drinking water source for the Macarthur and Illawarra regions, the Wollondilly Shire and Metropolitan Sydney drinking water — it is not in the public interest".
The IPC also raised concerns about the longwall design, the degradation of watercourses and loss of swampland.
WaterNSW also "strongly opposed" the extension, finding it would cause significant environmental impact in watercourses and "would fundamentally change the hydrological and ecological functions" of upland swamps.
Then the proponents, South32, stated that as many as 2,000 jobs in the region were at risk if a reworked mine plan was not considered.
The company then commenced proceedings in the Land and Environment Court, seeking a judicial review of the IPC assessment of the Dendrobium mine.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said Dendrobium mine’s proponent, South32, had taken into consideration concerns raised by the Independent Planning Commission.
“The decision to declare Dendrobium SSI followed support for a motion passed in the Legislative Council early this year. It will now go through a rigorous assessment process and the community will still have their say,” Mr Stokes said.
An SSI declaration does not change the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s rigorous assessment of the proposal to extend Dendrobium coal mine.
South32 can now request assessment requirements to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement which will then go on public exhibition for community feedback and detailed assessment.
Government Must Release Natural Resources Commission’s Forestry Report In Full
November 25, 2021
The NSW Government must explain why it ignored the advice of the independent Natural Resources Commission and kept logging forests in regions hit hardest by the 2019-20 Black Summer Bushfires.
The government has kept the Commission’s report secret since June 2020 but extracts have been published today by Guardian Australia. 
“It is now clear the government was advised it should suspend timber harvesting for at least three years in extreme risk zones, including Narooma, Nowra and Taree,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.
“The leaked extracts from the NRC report validate what the conservation movement has said since day one – logging must stop in burnt native forests to give them a chance to recover.
“For some unknown reason, the government and its logging company, Forestry Corporation, chose to ignore the expert advice and put wildlife at extreme risk.
“It’s quite astonishing. If you were looking for a case study of environmental negligence, you wouldn’t need to look any further than this.
“The government must explain why it has kept this report secret for almost six months and also why it has not fully implemented the recommendations.”
 Extract from Advice on Coastal IFOA operations post-2019-20 wildfires, June 2020, NSW Natural Resources Commission. Published on The Guardian Australia.
Secret document urges native logging halt in NSW regions hit hard by black summer bushfires, 25-11-21, The Guardian Australia
Threatened Species Habitat At Risk From A Hotter Climate
October 12, 2021
New research released today has found climate change will expose larger areas of forest in coastal NSW to higher frequency and more intense fires, amplifying the changes to fire regimes brought about by the 2019/20 fires.
Leading researchers at the University of the Wollongong, a partner at the NSW Bushfire Research Hub, conducted the research using the latest data on behalf of the NSW Natural Resources Commission.
According to the lead researcher, Emeritus Professor Ross Bradstock, “The 2019/20 fires mean now only 10 percent of forested areas are currently within their recommended fire frequency thresholds. We found half of the state forest and national park area is now classified as ‘vulnerable’ in coastal NSW. This means the 2019/20 fires effectively doubled the extent of vulnerable forested vegetation on these tenures.”
The research also modelled what would happen to the habitat of 24 threatened species under a climate change scenario of hotter temperatures and little change in rainfall. Of the 24 species, seven species are predicted to have their habitat reduced by over 75% by 2070.
NSW Natural Resources Commissioner Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said. “This is an important report, one that highlights consequences of the 2019/20 bushfires and future climate for NSW's forests and provides guidance for future planning of our forests”.
The research team evaluated:
- the specific risks to achieving the Coastal IFOA objectives and outcomes as result of the legacy landscape scale impacts of the NSW 2019/20 wildfire season
- the broad implications of predicted changing fire regimes on the achievement of the Coastal IFOA’s objectives and outcomes options to mitigate risks.
The researchers found:
- The 2019/20 fires impacted about 3.6 million hectares of forests across all tenures within the mapped Coastal IFOA region.
- Around 60 percent of the total state forest and national park area within this region was burnt, almost half of which was subject to high or extreme fire severity.
- Previous timber harvesting did not increase the fire extent or severity of the 2019/20 fires. However, there is potential for cumulative impacts in harvested landscapes that are subject to fire.
- The 2019/20 fires mean now only 10 percent of forested areas are currently within their recommended fire frequency thresholds.
- Half of state forest and national park area is now classified as ‘vulnerable’, meaning the 2019/20 fires effectively doubled the extent of vulnerable forested vegetation on these tenures.
- Under the climate change scenario of hotter temperatures and little change in rainfall, of the 24 assessed threatened species, seven species are predicted to have their habitat reduced by over 75% by 2070.
However, there is potential for cumulative impacts in harvested landscapes that are subject to fire, particularly in the next 5 to 10 years.
This research supports the recommendations of the NSW Bushfire Inquiry, and through the implementation of those recommendations, the NSW Government can lead efforts to mitigate the impacts and risks from changing fire regimes and climate.
The ful University of Wollongong report is available here: ''Risks to the NSW Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals Posed by the 2019/2020 Fire Season and Beyond: A Report to the New South Wales Natural Resources Commission''
Draft Cycling Strategy For NSW's National Parks
The Draft Cycling Policy, Draft Cycling Strategy and Draft Cycling Strategy: Guidelines for Implementation is on public exhibition until 30 January 2022.
The scope of this new strategy is broad. It includes all types of cycling experiences in our parks. It is complemented with a more detailed set of guidelines for implementation and updates to our Cycling policy.
- The Draft Cycling policy builds upon our experience from previous versions and has been updated in parallel to the draft strategy. It identifies in a legislative framework where cycling is permissible in parks.
- The Draft Cycling Strategy outlines our vision, objectives and priorities for the provision of cycling experiences.
- The Draft Cycling Strategy: Guidelines for Implementation provides further details on the processes and procedures that National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) will apply to assess, approve, manage and monitor cycling opportunities within NPWS estate as detailed in the Cycling Strategy.
- The draft Cycling Strategy sets a precedent for managing the conservation of natural and cultural heritage values in our parks as a priority and then allows for the development of compatible cycling opportunities. Not all cycling activities will be suitable in all parts of parks.
- The draft Cycling Strategy details a clear framework for how we seek to provide for, and manage, cycling opportunities within parks. The processes for cyclists to work with National Parks and Wildlife Service are made clear. We intend to work collaboratively with stakeholders and other land managers to tackle key challenges including, unauthorised tracks, the safety and enjoyment of visitors on multi-use trails and the provision of park visitor facilities.
- The draft Guidelines for Implementation address the way we will deliver the Cycling Strategy, including the approval process for new tracks and networks, the rehabilitation of unauthorised tracks, how we will work with external parties (including volunteer groups) and our management of cycling experiences. These documents will replace the Sustainable Mountain Biking Strategy 2011.
Public online presentation
You are invited to an online public presentation on Wednesday, 1 December, 12:00 – 1:00pm. Please register to attend this presentation.
Your feedback on the draft Cycling Policy, strategy and implementation guideline documents is valued. Our response to your submission will be based on the merits of the ideas and issues you raise rather than just the quantity of submissions making similar points. For this reason, a submission that clearly explains the matters it raises will be the most effective way to influence the finalisation of the plan.
Submissions are most effective when we understand your ideas and the outcomes you want for park management. Some suggestions to help you write your submissions are:
- write clearly and be specific about the issues that are of concern to you
- note which part or section of the document your comments relate to
- give reasoning in support of your points - this makes it easier for us to consider your ideas and will help avoid misinterpretation
- tell us precisely what you agree/disagree with and why you agree or disagree
- suggest solutions or alternatives to managing the issue if you can.
Have your say by Thursday 30 January 2022.
There are three ways to provide feedback:
Formal submission: Address: Manager, NPWS Planning Evaluation and Assessment Locked Bag 5022 Parramatta NSW 2124
BASIX Higher Standards: Feedback Open
The NSW Government are improving BASIX standards to build more comfortable homes, cut energy costs and contribute to our target of net zero homes by 2050.
This is part of the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings, a national plan that aims to achieve zero energy and carbon-ready buildings. The plan proposes increases to the energy efficiency provisions in the National Construction Code (NCC) for residential buildings from 2022.
What do the proposed new standards mean:
- Cheaper energy bills. You’ll use less electricity so your bills will be cheaper – saving as much as $980 a year on energy bills.
- More comfortable homes. Your home will be naturally cooler in summer, warmer in winter, which means you won’t be turning the heater or air conditioner on as often
- Fewer carbon emissions. This contributes towards our goal of net zero homes by 2050
The proposed higher standards
Te NSW Department of Planning welcome feedback on the proposed increases to BASIX standards. The proposed changes can be found in the Proposed BASIX Higher Standards document. This document shows a map of the climate zones in NSW.
The proposed thermal performance and energy standards vary according to climate zones.
The tables show the proposed maximum allowable thermal loads and the energy standards for the climate zones.
Technical information about the changes
The proposed BASIX thermal performance and energy standards vary depending on;
- location based on climate
- building type for apartment buildings
Standards for most new residential buildings are proposed to increase across NSW from late 2022. Exceptions include apartment buildings up to 5 storeys and properties in the NSW North Coast climate zone.
The North Coast climate zones where standards won’t be changed are climate zones 9, 10 and 11 defined by the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). They are predominantly on the NSW North Coast but also include Port Stephens and Maitland.
Proposed BASIX Higher Standards
Cost Benefit Analysis report
BASIX Higher standards FAQ
Have your say
The government welcome your feedback on the proposed BASIX higher standards from Wednesday, 17 November until January 17 2022. The BASIX higher standards exhibition aligns with the Design and Place SEPP exhibition.
The exhibitions will close on the same day, currently expected in January 2022.
Home Design To Drive Energy Bills Down
November 22, 2021
New sustainability standards for homes will save residents up to $980 a year on energy bills and reduce the State’s carbon footprint as we move to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) is a key assessment tool that ensures new homes are comfortable to live in regardless of the temperature, are more energy efficient and save water.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said BASIX had prevented 12.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas over the past 17 years – equivalent to taking 2.5 million cars off the road.
“These proposed increases in standards will see more energy-efficient homes from Double Bay to Dubbo and beyond, with better design, better insulation, more sunlight and more solar panels,” Mr Stokes said.
“We want to lift BASIX standards even higher to drive down emissions further, saving another 150,000 tonnes a year and helping to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Better design will keep your home naturally cooler in summer and warmer in winter, so you won’t be turning the heater or air conditioner on as often.
Energy bills are expected to reduce significantly as a result of the new BASIX standards:
- Savings of up to $190 each year for people living in high-rise apartments;
- Savings of up to $850 each year for people living in new Western Sydney houses; and
- Savings of up to $980 a year for people living in new houses in the regions.
“To showcase the benefits of these new measures, we’re inviting up to 10 builders to test the proposed BASIX requirements ahead of its official roll out next year,” Mr Stokes said.
These new targets complement work underway, such as planting one million trees and investing $4.8 million to make building materials more environmentally friendly.
The community is encouraged to provide feedback on the proposed BASIX changes by Monday 31 January, 2022 at planningportal.nsw.gov.au/BAS IX- standards
Draft Marine Park Management Plan Released
New Plans To Protect Sydney's Koalas
December 2, 2021
Sydney's largest, and one of the state’s healthiest, koala populations will be further protected under new measures being implemented as part of the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP).
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the changes put the protection of one of Australia’s most iconic threatened species at the heart of planning in south-west Sydney.
“After seeking advice from the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer on the draft Plan, I’m pleased to confirm we are adopting all 31 recommendations to protect our critical koala population,” Mr Stokes said.
“We have updated the Plan to protect additional areas of habitat and ensure that wildlife corridors are suitable for koala movement.
Member for Penrith and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the koala population of the Greater Macarthur region is one of healthiest colonies in the state and one which continues to grow.
“It’s important that we support the region’s koala population, while also managing a growing community in Sydney’s south-west,” Mr Ayres said.
“This area is also rich in significant Aboriginal culture and history, and we’re committed to working more closely with Local Aboriginal Land Councils and Traditional Custodians to preserve this in our planning for the community.”
Environment Minister Matt Kean said one of the leading threats to koala populations in the wild, is the loss and fragmentation of their habitat.
“South West Sydney is home to the only disease-free koala populations in the Sydney basin and it is one of the most important koala populations anywhere in the state,” Mr Kean said.
“This advice from the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer is crucial in protecting koala habitat in the Campbelltown and Macarthur regions as we finalise the implementation of the CPCP.
“As this part of Sydney continues to grow these recommendations will guide future development in the area and ensure koala habitat and wildlife corridors are protected in perpetuity.”
The Greater Macarthur 2040 Plan is also being finalised which will work alongside the CPCP to create koala movement corridors, improve connections and allow koalas to travel more safely throughout the region.
The CPCP and Greater Macarthur 2040 Plan are expected to be finalised and released in 2022.
For more information on the CPCP visit the CPCP web page.
Koala Underpasses Must Be Built Before Development: Greens
December 2, 2021
Today’s commitment by the NSW Government to enact all 31 of the Chief Scientist & Engineer’s recommendations to protect Campbelltown’s Koalas is welcome news for the community and koalas, however underpasses must be built and koala corridors protected before Lendlease starts any development, says Cate Faehrmann Greens MP and spokesperson for Environment and Wildlife.
The new measures will form part of the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan and include commitments to build koala underpasses on Appin road and protect the east-west koala corridors. The commitment comes after the NSW Legislative Council passed a Greens motion calling on the Government to ensure the underpasses are built and corridors protected prior to the development.
“This is a welcome news for local residents who have been working tirelessly to see Campbelltown’s koalas protected for years now. They’ve been demanding more be done to protect this vital koala population from development and they’re being heard,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“There is a serious desire to see Campbelltown’s koalas protected from the threats posed by development in the south west Sydney Growth centre.
“Just a few weeks ago, the NSW Upper House overwhelmingly supported my motion calling for Appin Rd koala underpasses and corridors to be in place before construction begins.
“This latest commitment by the government is welcome but there are still questions over when the corridors and crossings will be completed. The government has known about how deadly Appin Rd has been for koalas for years and have sat on their hands while koalas continue to be killed.
“If the necessary protections aren’t in place before development begins the koala population will be hugely impacted by construction activities.
“Lendlease should not be allowed to put a shovel in the ground until these underpasses are in place,” said Ms Faehrmann.
Novel Implants To Protect Australia’s Wildlife From Feral Cats
New technology developed by the University of South Australia may put an end to predatory cat behaviours in native environments and help control Australia’s feral felines.
Using polymer chemistry principles, researchers at UniSA’s Applied Chemistry and Translational Biomaterials Group have created novel Population Protecting Implants (PPIs) to provide a targeted method for controlling invasive and problem feral cats.
The rice-sized implants are injected just under the skin of native animals, where they remain inert, only activating when digested by a feral predator. The result is deadly.
UniSA PhD student and 2021 recipient of an Australian Wildlife Society research grant, Kyle Brewer, says the PPIs could save hundreds of native animals that have been decimated by feral cats.
“Feral cats present a catastrophic threat for Australia’s wildlife as they occur across more than 99 per cent of Australia’s land area and kill more than 815 million mammals each year, the majority of which are native species,” Brewer says.
“Smaller, ‘meal size’ mammals are most at risk, especially ground-dwellers such as the bilby, bettong and quoll.
“Efforts to remove feral cats from a native landscape have had limited success, making it near impossible to re-establish threatened native populations outside a fenced area. Invariably, when native mammal reintroduction schemes are activated, they’re swiftly wiped out by an incursive feral cat.
“By injecting native species with the PPI before they are reintroduced to their natural environment, we’re providing a protective buffer that aims to take out the feral invader in one stroke.
“If a feral cat successfully preys upon one of the PPI-injected mammals, it eats the implant, which activates in the cat’s gastric system causing poison release and death. Ultimately, this protects the remaining native animal population.”
The PPIs are covered by a protective coating and contain a toxin derived from a natural poison in native plants. They present no danger to tolerant native mammals but are deadly once the toxin is activated in the introduced predator’s stomach.
Brewer’s project is a collaborative effort, with researchers from local ecology groups, Ecological Horizons and Peacock Biosciences, and the University of Adelaide, already trialling PPIs in South Australia.
Currently, 30 bilbies have been implanted with PPIs at Arid Recovery, a 123 km2 wildlife reserve in South Australia’s north. Results from this trial are expected to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology and lead to its commercialisation.
Feral cats threaten the survival of more than 100 native species in Australia and have caused the extinction of many ground-dwelling birds and small to medium-sized mammal species.
“We need to pounce on any opportunity to protect our native species. Nine lives no more for feral cats.”
Bushcare In Pittwater
Where we work Which day What time
Angophora Reserve 3rd Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Dunes 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Golf Course 2nd Wednesday 3 - 5:30pm
Careel Creek 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Toongari Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer)
Bangalley Headland 2nd Sunday 9 to 12noon
Winnererremy Bay 4th Sunday 9 to 12noon
North Bilgola Beach 3rd Monday 9 - 12noon
Algona Reserve 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Plateau Park 1st Friday 8:30 - 11:30am
Browns Bay Reserve 1st Tuesday 9 - 12noon
McCarrs Creek Reserve Contact Bushcare Officer To be confirmed
Old Wharf Reserve 3rd Saturday 8 - 11am
Kundibah Reserve 4th Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Mona Vale Beach Basin 1st Saturday 8 - 11am
Mona Vale Dunes 2nd Saturday +3rd Thursday 8:30 - 11:30am
Bungan Beach 4th Sunday 9 - 12noon
Crescent Reserve 3rd Sunday 9 - 12noon
North Newport Beach 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Porter Reserve 2nd Saturday 8 - 11am
Irrawong Reserve 2nd Saturday 2 - 5pm
North Palm Beach Dunes 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Catherine Park 2nd Sunday 10 - 12:30pm
Elizabeth Park 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Pathilda Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Warriewood Wetlands 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Norma Park 1st Friday 9 - 12noon
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay 2nd Sunday 10 - 1pm
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay 1st Monday 9 - 12noon
Gardens And Environment Groups And Organisations In Pittwater
Avalon Golf Course Bushcare Needs You
Pittwater Reserves + Others
A History Of The Campaign For Preservation Of The Warriewood Escarpment by David Palmer OAM and Angus Gordon OAM
Angophora Reserve - Angophora Reserve Flowers
Annie Wyatt Reserve - A Pictorial
Avalon's Village Green: Avalon Park Becomes Dunbar Park - Some History + Toongari Reserve and Catalpa Reserve
Bairne Walking Track Ku-Ring-Gai Chase NP by Kevin Murray
Bangalley Headland Bangalley Mid Winter
Banksias of Pittwater
Barrenjoey Headland: Spring flowers Barrenjoey Headland after fire
Bungan Beach Bush Care
Careel Bay Saltmarsh plants
Careel Bay Birds
Careel Bay Clean Up day
Careel Bay Playing Fields History and Current
Careel Creek - If you rebuild it they will come
Centre trail in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Chiltern Track- Ingleside by Marita Macrae
Clareville/Long Beach Reserve + some History
Coastal Stability Series: Cabbage Tree Bay To Barrenjoey To Observation Point by John Illingsworth, Pittwater Pathways, and Dr. Peter Mitchell OAM
Cowan Track by Kevin Murray
Curl Curl To Freshwater Walk: October 2021 by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Currawong and Palm Beach Views - Winter 2018
Currawong-Mackerel-The Basin A Stroll In Early November 2021 - photos by Selena Griffith
Currawong State Park Currawong Beach + Currawong Creek
Deep Creek To Warriewood Walk photos by Joe Mills
Drone Gives A New View On Coastal Stability; Bungan: Bungan Headland To Newport Beach + Bilgola: North Newport Beach To Avalon + Bangalley: Avalon Headland To Palm Beach
Dunbar Park - Some History + Toongari Reserve and Catalpa Reserve
Dundundra Falls Reserve: August 2020 photos by Selena Griffith - Listed in 1935
Elsie Track, Scotland Island
Elvina Track in Late Winter 2019 by Penny Gleen
Elvina Bay Walking Track: Spring 2020 photos by Joe Mills
Elvina Bay-Lovett Bay Loop Spring 2020 by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Fern Creek - Ingleside Escarpment To Warriewood Walk + Some History photos by Joe Mills
Ingleside Wildflowers August 2013
Irrawong - Ingleside Escarpment Trail Walk Spring 2020 photos by Joe Mills
Irrawong - Mullet Creek Restoration
Katandra Bushland Sanctuary - Ingleside
McCarr's Creek to Church Point to Bayview Waterfront Path
Mona Vale Beach - A Stroll Along, Spring 2021 by Kevin Murray
Mona Vale Headland, Basin and Beach Restoration
Mount Murray Anderson Walking Track by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment: Past Notes Present Photos by Margaret Woods
Narrabeen Lagoon State Park
Narrabeen Lagoon State Park Expansion
Narrabeen Rockshelf Aquatic Reserve
Nerang Track, Terrey Hills by Bea Pierce
Newport Bushlink - the Crown of the Hill Linked Reserves
Newport Community Garden - Woolcott Reserve
Newport to Bilgola Bushlink 'From The Crown To The Sea' Paths: Founded In 1956 - A Tip and Quarry Becomes Green Space For People and Wildlife
Pittwater spring: waterbirds return to Wetlands
Pittwater's Lone Rangers - 120 Years of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase and the Men of Flowers Inspired by Eccleston Du Faur
Pittwater's Parallel Estuary - The Cowan 'Creek
Riddle Reserve, Bayview
Salvation Loop Trail, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park- Spring 2020 - by Selena Griffith
Stapleton Park Reserve In Spring 2020: An Urban Ark Of Plants Found Nowhere Else
The Chiltern Track
The Resolute Beach Loop Track At West Head In Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park by Kevin Murray
Towlers Bay Walking Track by Joe Mills
Trafalgar Square, Newport: A 'Commons' Park Dedicated By Private Landholders - The Green Heart Of This Community
Turimetta Beach Reserve by Joe Mills, Bea Pierce and Lesley
Turimetta Beach Reserve: Old & New Images (by Kevin Murray) + Some History
Warriewood Wetlands and Irrawong Reserve
Whale Beach Ocean Reserve: 'The Strand' - Some History On Another Great Protected Pittwater Reserve
Winji Jimmi - Water Maze
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
Class Of 2021 Conquer HSC Exams
How To Host A Safe Party: Tips And Advice
Happy Dragon Off To Antarctica This Summer
There's a new ship in town...Happy Dragon is an ice-strengthened heavy cargo vessel that will help us resupply Casey and Davis research stations this summer.
Welcome to Hobart and the Australian Antarctic Program!
Photos: BigLift Shipping
Sydney's Sunny Beaches
Published by NFSA December 2, 2021
From the Film Australia Collection. Made by the Cinema and Photographic Branch 1925. Directed by Bert Ive. Huge crowds enjoy mixed bathing, playing games and relaxing on Bondi Beach. Women with parasols parade on promenade. Men form a human pyramid, young girls do cartwheels, and lifesavers demonstrate a surf rescue and resuscitation techniques. Shows 'flappers' at South Bondi as well as scenes at Bronte and Tamarama Beaches.
Royal Australian Navy Commissions Replenishment Ship HMAS Stalwart
Published by the Department of Defence Australia
The Royal Australian Navy’s newest ship HMAS Stalwart was commissioned at a ceremony at Fleet Base West on 13 November 2021. Stalwart is the second of two Supply class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ships built for Navy and will be homeported at Fleet Base West, Rockingham, Western Australia. The Supply Class AORs’ primary role is to provide logistics replenishment to naval combat units while at sea.
JOIN Ruby “Rockstar” Trew at DROP IN for YOUTH 2021
SKATE VERT COMP
+ Skate Park Fun - BEST Limbo, Highest Ollie, Board Jump and Trick Jam
OVER $10,000 in CASH - PRIZES - GIVEAWAYS to be WON!
DJ - FOOD TRUCKS - CAFE
SATURDAY 11 DECEMBER 2021 9:30AM
@MONA VALE SKATE PARK, 1604 Pittwater Road, Mona Vale
Saturday, 11 December 2021; 09:30 am- $15 entry online. $20 entry on event day, rego opens 9:30am. Vert Comp kicks off 10:30am.
SKATE VERT COMP Kicks off 10:30am
- - 6 & Under - Girls and Boys
- - 8 & Under - Girls and Boys
- - 12 & Under - Girls and Boys
- - 16 & Under - Girls and Boys
- - Open Women’s - All Ages
- - Open Men’s - All Ages
- - Masters 45+ - Women's and Men's
Participants can only compete in a single category for the event. Age Group participants are competing for prizes. Entry into the Open category is for anyone who wants to compete for prize money.
Open and Masters participants are competing for ca$h and GLORY!
Skate Park Fun - BEST Limbo, Highest Ollie, Board Jump and Trick Jam competitions are for everyone to have some fun!
Presented by: Avalon Youth Hub - Business Education Network (THE BEN) - Hurley ANZ - Lifeline Northern Beaches - Modest Eyewear Co - Monster Skate Park - Rotaract - Skater HQ
Lifeline Northern Beaches is offering FREE face-to-face counselling at the Avalon Youth Hub for people aged 15-24. Counselling is safe and confidential, and our service is available with or without a referral. For more information, visit www.lifelinenb.org.au/avalon-youth-hub. To book an appointment, call Lifeline Northern Beaches on 9949 5522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
TAFE NSW Offers Thousands Of Free Training Places
November 22, 2021
School leavers and jobseekers in the Northern Beaches now have access to thousands of free course places in the NSW Government funded Summer Skills, Lockdown Learning, and Job Trainer programs at TAFE NSW.
TAFE NSW is offering free training in courses aligned to meet the skills needs of businesses in NSW, such as aviation, construction, cyber security and hospitality.
TAFE NSW Managing Director Steffen Faurby said more than 20,000 people have already enrolled in fee-free Lockdown Learning courses, with almost 10,000 people studying with TAFE NSW for the first time.
“TAFE NSW has assisted thousands of people with free training to upskill themselves or their staff, enhance their job prospects, or begin retraining for a new career,” Mr Faurby said.
“With HSC exams underway, Summer Skills offers school leavers free short courses to upskill over the summer months, in courses such as Medical Terminology, Design and Build a Website, and Retail Customer Service.”
TAFE NSW Northern Beaches will be offering the free Summer Skills course: Statement of Attainment in Introduction to Cookery Skills.
Leading employment marketplace Seek currently has 1,200 kitchenhand jobs in NSW on its site, with North Shore & Northern Beaches accounting for more than 140 of them.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Commercial Cookery Richard Etherington said the Statement of Attainment in Introduction to Cookery Skills is fully subsidised for eligible students and allows them to launch a career in the fast-paced hospitality industry.
“TAFE NSW is offering many Summer Skills courses via online learning or virtual classrooms, which means that no matter where you are located you can take up the opportunity to boost your employability and gain new skills,” Mr Etherington said.
“The Statement of Attainment in Introduction to Cookery Skills is being offered at the local Northern Beaches campus, and is a great opportunity for school leavers to learn practical cookery and kitchen organisational skills.
“Students will learn how to prepare dishes using basic methods of cookery, use hygienic practices for food safety, participate in safe work practices, and use food preparation equipment.”
For more information about studying at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
Seniors Stories: Volume 7 Now Available
Free Diary Helps Seniors Know Their Rights
Cut In Home Care Wait List Welcomed; But Where Are The Workers?
More Seniors Access Home Care Packages As Waiting List Decreases
Scoping Study To Identify Key Issues For The Mental Health Of Older People
- General community members aged 65 years+, or aged 50 years+ if they are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background, live with HIV/AIDS or have an experience of chronic homelessness (participants will receive a $40 gift card for their involvement)
- An adult (18 years+) family or friend carers of older person living with mental health problems and using mental health services (participants will receive a $40 gift card)
- Providers who work with older people with mental illness.
- Persons aged 65 years+ (or aged 50 years+ if they are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background, live with HIV/AIDS or have an experience of chronic homelessness) who have used mental health services in the past 12 months (participants will receive a $75 gift card).
Is The Pension Fair?
Unorthodox 'Exercise In A Pill' Could Offer Simple Solution For At-Risk Patients
National Aged Care Advocacy Expanded As Reforms Gain Momentum
- doubling the workforce to support more than 15,000 additional advocacy cases and adding more than 1,000 local networking and education sessions each year;
- new community advocacy activities, including increased capability for self-advocacy, home and community care vulnerability check-ins, and education around home care service costs;
- support for aged care reform and emergencies, including extending COVID-19 response advocacy activities, and
- education for providers to better understand the diversity of the community they are serving and help remove any related barriers to access.
Famous Beach Is Popular Summer Playground: Australian Diary 16
Varenicline Vs Nicotine Patches: Heart Attack And Stroke Risks Similar
Curtin Celebrates First Cohort Of Medical School Graduates
Study Suggests Sun Is An Unaccounted Source Of The Earth’s Water
Nibbling Prehistoric Herbivore Sheds New Light On Triassic Diversity
As LA Traffic Slowed Amid The Pandemic Researchers Gained New Insight Into Air Pollution
Butterfly Migration: Sun Compass On Demand
Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.