inbox and environment news: Issue 522
December 12, 2021 - January 22, 2022: Issue 522
The Good - The Bad - The Ugly - The Ugliest: Pittwater Environment 2021
Damage within the grassed area at Plateau Park, Bilgola - image supplied
Damage within the grassed area at Plateau Park, Bilgola - image supplied
one example of what has occurred in Crescent Reserve, Newport: image supplied
Line in the sand 2021. Photo: Surfrider Foundation Northern beaches
Ten New Canopy Trees Planted At Avalon Beach
Thanks to support from Avalon Public School and Canopy Keepers, the Avalon Preservation Association were able to lobby the Council to plant this beautiful row of 10 water gums that will create shade for school kids and pedestrians, along the footpath beside the playing fields on Old B/joey Rd opposite the school.
Sydney's Last Koala Population Being Killed As Mount Gilead Development Cuts Down Trees With No Fauna Passes: Pittwater Demonstration Falls On Deaf Ears
December 7, 2021: Save Sydney’s Koalas response to Lendlease Tree removal on Figtree Hill without Koala underpasses on Appin Road
Yesterday more tree removal work started on Stage 1 of Lendlease’s Figtree Hill (Mount Gilead) development at Campbelltown. At the same time two healthy koalas were hit on Appin Road not far from where tree felling was taking place on the property. One died instantly and the other is critically injured.
If the government is serious about protecting this expanding and chlamydia free koala population, we call on them to deliver the following measures immediately:
1. Two koala/wildlife underpasses promised by Lendlease at Noorumba and Beulah Reserves and
2. All koala/wildlife corridors identified by the Chief Scientist must be secured and viable before construction.
These corridors need to be continuous and connected and follow the Chief Scientist’s advice.
We call on the NSW Government to end its obfuscation and act in the best interest of the koalas to ensure their survival in the wild.
Save Sydney Koalas and their supporters will continue to protest until we are satisfied that the Campbelltown Koalas are safe.
Trees Being Cut Down - December 6 2021
Save Mount Gilead Inc. ask ''Where are the wildlife corridors and underpasses promised by Campbelltown Council, Matt Kean, and the Liberal State Government?
This within days of one koala being killed just down the road from the property another being rescued with very bad injuries, and three koalas found trying to find a way through a wildlife corridor to Airds which has been destroyed by Landcom.
Landcom, Lendlease, Walker's shame on you, shame on the Liberal Government, and shame on Campbelltown City Council
Is this how the last large, expanding, and Chlamydia free koala population is expected to survive?''
Save Mount Gilead Inc. photos.
On Monday December 6th people gathered outside the office of Pittwater MP and NSW Minister for Transport and Planning rob stokes'office to bring attention to the fact that no measures are in place to protect the koalas that live in these trees while the mount Gilead development has already commenced.
Pittwater Pathways' John Illingsworth files the following report:
BirdLife Australia Has Made An Album! Currently Number #5 On Australian Charts
On December 3rd, BirdLife Australia released an album called ‘Songs of Disappearance’, a tribute to Australia’s unique and threatened birds – it’s a celebration of the incredible diversity of the Australian soundscape.
On this album of pure birdsong you can hear 53 of our most threatened species. The title track celebrates the incredible diversity of the Australian soundscape, and highlights what we stand to lose without taking action. Be immersed in a chorus of iconic cockatoos, the buzzing of bowerbirds, a bizarre symphony of seabirds, and the haunting call of one of the last remaining night parrots.
A collaboration between the acclaimed nature recordist David Stewart, Nature Sound, the Bowerbird Collective, BirdLife Australia, Charles Darwin University and Mervyn Street of Mangkaja Arts, this project, released alongside the 2020 Action Plan for Australian Birds, shows that Australians will not allow these precious avian voices to be silenced.
But now they need your help to get these birds the recognition they deserve – by sending them soaring in the ARIA charts before the end of the year! Thanks to your incredible support Songs of Disappearance’ has reached #5 in the ARIA charts, ahead of ABBA, Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé.
Let's take it to #1 Pittwater!
Order your copy at https://songsofdisappearance.com/ to help end 2021 on a high note for some of Australia’s most threatened birds.
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 installed at Palm Beach - these have been recorded at Barrenjoey Headland and adjacent seagrass beds for decades.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy Harbour Trust’s North Head Manly Update
- Weigh less than a golf ball (up to 45g).
- Are important pollinators, transferring pollen between flowers as they feed on nectar.
- Inhabit heathland, Banksia scrub and eucalypt forests along the southeast coast of Australia.
Narrabeen Rock Platform: An Underwater Garden At Your Feet
Sydney Wildlife Rescue: Helpers Needed
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
Governing Authority To Reconsider Regulation For Bird-Killing Rodenticides
Retailers urged to act ahead of regulatory changes
BirdLife Australia welcomes the announcement by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority that they will reconsider the use of anticoagulant rodenticides, including second-generation products that impact native wildlife. But major retailers, including Bunnings, are being urged to act ahead of any potential regulatory change.
An APVMA public consultation held last year and attempts by the NSW Government to obtain a permit to use huge quantities of bromadialone both highlighted public concern with deadly second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs).
SGARs work by causing internal bleeding in rodents and are strong enough to impair or kill birds of prey and other native wildlife that eat the poisoned rats and mice. Recent analysis by BirdLife Australia of dead Powerful Owls showed nearly all had some level of SGAR poisoning.
“We are very pleased that the APVMA has looked at the evidence provided during last year’s public consultation and has decided to reconsider how SGARs are regulated,” said BirdLife Australia’s Urban Birds Program Manager, Dr Holly Parsons.
“There is significant scientific evidence from both overseas and Australia that these chemicals should be banned from public sale and be available for use only by licenced professionals, as is already the case in the EU and Canada,” she continued
“While the APVMA reconsiders arrangements for these products, we call on major retailers — including Bunnings — to move ahead of any regulatory changes and take products off their shelves now.”
“This is an issue that Australians care deeply about. Tens of thousands of people contributed to the APVMA public consultation and subsequently to our petition to Bunnings.”
“Among Australian retailers, Bunnings stocks the largest range of SGAR products. They have a huge opportunity to be industry leaders and act now.”
powerful owl - one of the birds impacted by introducing rodenticides into their home environments
Pesticides Regulatory Newsletter; December 2021
December 15, 2021
The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority Board and Other Improvements) Bill 2019 (Improvements Bill) passed through Federal Parliament on 1 December 2021.
The Improvements Bill includes measures to:
- establish a governance board for the APVMA
- allow for prescribed approvals and registrations for chemicals of low regulatory concern
- provide for extensions to limitation periods and protection periods as an incentive for chemical companies to register certain new uses of chemical products
- allow for computerised decision-making by the APVMA
- simplify industry reporting requirements for annual returns.
Implementation of the measures will be staggered, and a list of measures and the expected implementation date is available on our website.
Stakeholders are encouraged to subscribe to receive email updates from the APVMA to be notified as measures commence and are implemented.
More information is available on our website.
Updates from the APVMA Chemical Review Team
Proposed regulatory decision on molinate
The proposed regulatory decision on molinate was published in a Special Gazette on 11 October 2021.
The APVMA proposes to:
- affirm the currently approved active constituents
- vary the relevant particulars of the product registrations to allow them to be affirmed
- vary the labels to allow affirmation.
Details of the proposed variations and labels are included in the Special Gazette.
The proposed decision is currently open for public consultation. The closing date for submissions is 11 January 2022.
Reconsideration of anticoagulant rodenticides
The reconsideration of active constituent approvals, product registrations and associated label approvals of anticoagulant rodenticides was announced on 2 November 2021 and published in the APVMA Gazette.
The reconsideration includes both first generation anticoagulant rodenticides (warfarin, coumatetralyl, diphacinone) and second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, difethialone, and flocoumafen). The scope of the review includes chemistry, toxicology, worker and public exposure, residues and environment, and will consider whether the product labels carry adequate instructions and warning statements.
The APVMA has requested submission of information for consideration under the review. Details of how to make a submission are included in the APVMA Gazette of 2 November 2021. The closing date for submissions is 2 February 2022.
Action Plan For Australian Birds Released
December 1, 2021:
Many Australian birds faring badly, but conservation action works
A worrying number of Australia’s birds are closer to extinction than they were a decade ago, according to a landmark new report which was launched today. But the new Action Plan for Australian Birds 2020 shows the situation could have been much worse, if not for conservation efforts across Australia which have prevented further declines for many species.
Last released in 2011, the wholly updated and revised Action Plan — a collaboration between Charles Darwin University and BirdLife Australia — provides an overview of the risk of extinction of all birds occurring in Australia and our territories.
Written by more than 300 experts, the book was edited by Professor Stephen Garnett and Dr Barry Baker and published by CSIRO Publishing.
Climate change and fire are the biggest threats to Australian birds. In the rainforests of Queensland’s Wet Tropics birds such as Fernwren and Golden Bowerbird are being forced to move towards mountains tops as rising temperatures impact their cool upland rainforest habitat.
Among the 77 birds threatened by increases in fire frequency, 26 were made more threatened by the 2019–20 Black Summer bushfires. This includes 16 on Kangaroo Island alone, such as the tiny Kangaroo Island Southern Emu-wren.
Many of these are among the 91 birds affected by more frequent and severe droughts and heatwaves. Among them is what may be Australia’s rarest bird, the Mukarrthippi Grasswren of central-western NSW, of which they may be only two or three pairs left.
“The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2020 reports on a decade of monitoring and assessment of the populations of Australian birds,” said report author Professor Stephen Garnett.
“The results tell us clearly that without changes, many species will continue to decline or to be lost altogether.”
“However, within our report we also have some clear instructions on how to avoid these outcomes.
The 2020 report also illustrates how conservation action can turn things around when well-resourced and implemented.”
Birds such as the Norfolk Island Green Parrot, Albert’s Lyrebird and Bulloo Grey Grasswren have an improved conservation status thanks to direct conservation efforts to protect against threats and safeguard crucial habitat in conservation reserves such as national parks.
The report also describes how declining populations of several key species have been stabilised or increased following intensive conservation efforts.
These include the Eastern Hooded Plover, Kangaroo Island Glossy Black-Cockatoo and Eastern Bristlebird.
“Our Action Plan is a measure of our performance as a society, of how we treat the birds in our collective care,” said BirdLife Australia CEO, Paul Sullivan.
“Many accounts in this Action Plan document successes in protecting our most threatened birds. This could easily have been a book of the dead, a compendium of species obituaries. That it is not is a testament to the efforts of those who love Australian nature.”
“Species with well-resourced conservation efforts have held the line. With proper investment, more populations will increase by the next Action Plan."
Determined To Nest: Regent Honeyeaters
December 16, 2021
Captive-bred Regent Honeyeaters breeding in the wild
Back in late October, 58 captive-bred Regent Honeyeaters were released into the eucalypt woodlands around Cessnock-Kurri Kurri in New South Wales. It was the biggest such release of the Critically Endangered species in that state. And despite having been raised in captivity, these birds are taking to life in the wild like a duck to water — and they’re determined to breed!
In the last few weeks, a brood of Regent Honeyeater nestlings was discovered — the first ever successful hatching of chicks from a zoo-bred pair of Regents in NSW. We continued to observe the parents feeding the two nestlings for at least 10 days and all seemed well.
However, sadly, this pioneering pair were forced to abandon their nest during a recent period of inclement weather, as a severe low pressure system lashed the area with heavy rain and strong winds. While this was a disappointing outcome, we were heartened to note the same pair was building a new nest in the same tree just two days after abandoning their first nest!
This determination has been demonstrated by multiple pairs now. The natural drive to breed is certainly strong in these zoo-bred birds, despite this being their first experience at nest building and rearing chicks. A number of pairs of Regents are up to their second, third and even fourth attempts at nest building now! Some of these attempts have been rather short-lived, but we now have at least four zoo-bred pairs incubating and another few pairs building nests. Being that these birds are attempting to breed for the first time it seems more than justified that they require a few practice-runs before perfecting their strategy.
It has been exciting to note at least two zoo-bred pairs have chosen live clumps of Long-flowered Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe vitellina) as nesting sites in the last week. Mistletoe is a vitally important food-source and habitat for nesting, particularly in the Cessnock-Kurri Kurri woodlands.
The Aussie Backyard Bird Count Results Are In!
December 13, 2021
Check out BirdLife Australia's recap below or head to https://aussiebirdcount.org.au/2021-results/ for more! The Pittwater statistics collated after the Bird count in November, ran Issue 516, have been added in below.
And for the 8th year in a row, Rainbow Lorikeets have taken the crown for the year’s most counted bird – with over half a million rainbows counted.
Taking place over National Bird Week in October, BirdLife Australia’s #AussieBirdCount is the nation’s largest citizen science event.
Remarkably, over 100,000 people took part this year once again – smashing previous records of the most birds counted in a single day.
Together, we counted and vetted almost 5 million birds from every corner of the country – even as far as Davis Station in Australia’s Antarctic Territory!
And in a surprising turn of events, Red Wattlebirds landed a spot in this year’s 10 most common birds – knocking the Common Myna out of the top 10 for the first time since the Bird Count began in 2014.
A huge thank you to everyone who submitted a survey during the 2021 Aussie Backyard Bird Count – you’re helping us find out more about the birds we live with.
Careel Creek Birds: Aussie Backyard Bird Count 2021 Local Stats
Saturday afternoon, returning north after taking a few happy snaps was good to see a Dusky Moorhen, White-faced Heron and two lots of Pacific Black Ducks along the creek - which still smells putrid and looks rotten, but it was low tide. At least the jacaranda just past the high school is currently flowering, making it look nicer.
This is the first time in decades of walking beside the creek this bird-noticer has seen a Dusky Moorhen in the creek and it scuttled back under some nearby palm fronds on the western bank - possibly a nest may be under there - so please be careful not to scare this returnee to the creek if you're passing that way.
Did you know that our area is part of the ancient Pacific Black Duck songline? A recent Pittwater Online News article, Ellis Rowan's Adventures In Painting Birds, Flowers and Insects: 'This Meant That I Was Tapu - Sacred - Because I Painted The Birds', for Bird Week and the Aussie Backyard Bird Count inspirations shared as part of that an article, ‘Singing up Country’: reawakening the Black Duck Songline, across 300km in Australia’s southeast' by Robert S. Fuller, Western Sydney University; Graham Moore, Indigenous Knowledge, and Jodi Edwards, University of Sydney.
Almost 5 million birds were counted this year. In our area there were more counts submitted in some postcodes than 2020 while others were around the same, which may be reflected in the totals of birds counted overall.
The local statistics by postcode are:
2108: Checklists submitted: 53, Species sighted: 60, Birds sighted: 1,365
2107: Checklists submitted: 210, Species sighted: 76, Birds sighted: 5,320
2106: Checklists submitted: 76, Species sighted: 46, Birds sighted: 1,650
2105: Checklists submitted: 23, Species sighted: 43, Birds sighted: 565
2104: Checklists submitted: 38, Species sighted: 49, Birds sighted: 982
2103: Checklists submitted: 108, Species sighted: 56, Birds sighted: 2,970
2102: Checklists submitted: 64, Species sighted: 81, Birds sighted: 1,577
2101: Checklists submitted: 157, Species sighted: 106, Birds sighted: 2,844
2100: Checklists submitted: 171, Species sighted: 108, Birds sighted: 3,808
2099: Checklists submitted: 252, Species sighted: 91, Birds sighted: 5,192
2097: Checklists submitted: 79, Species sighted: 66, Birds sighted: 1,665
2096: Checklists submitted: 50, Species sighted: 51, Birds sighted: 1,077
2095: Checklists submitted: 99, Species sighted: 64, Birds sighted: 3,445
2094: Checklists submitted:, Species sighted: 27, Birds sighted: 470
2093: Checklists submitted: 101, Species sighted: 71, Birds sighted: 2,820
2092: Checklists submitted: 28, Species sighted: 43, Birds sighted: 569
Last year's statistics for our area are available in: Over 5 Million Birds Counted: Aussie Bird Count 2020 - Local By Postcode Statistics For Our Area
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: Helen Pearce
Taronga Zoo Receives AFP Christmas Gift
December 22, 2021
Re-gifting unwanted items is an eternal Christmas grey area, but Australian Federal Police members have embraced the concept this year for a very good cause at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.
The AFP’s Eastern Command recently upgraded the two-way radio system used by AFP members during operational activity, leaving a surplus of 40 portable radios, associated accessories and infrastructure.
With the tech in good condition, the AFP wanted to help those who dedicate their time to look after furry victims.
Assistant Commissioner Eastern Command Kirsty Schofield said the radio upgrade was to keep pace with modern policing needs, but it was evident the radios and equipment would be useful for someone else, instead of being consigned to e-waste.
“One of our AFP technical experts was doing volunteer emergency management work with the Taronga Zoo, and was impressed by the work of Taronga Wildlife Hospital and Vets Beyond Borders, and their commitment to wildlife rescue and recovery during disasters, such as bushfires,” she said.
“We talked with the Taronga Wildlife Hospital, as the leading wildlife emergency responder in NSW, and found they could use these radios for their emergency response activities in the field, or loan them out to rescue organisations like Vets Beyond Borders doing similar work.
“These radios are specialist equipment that could really help an organisation doing some important work, and the AFP was happy to help out where we could.
“It can’t be ruled out that the equipment may also be used by Santa to locate some stray reindeer on Christmas Eve.”
Nick Boyle, Divisional Director, Welfare, Conservation and Science at Taronga Conservation Society Australia said the equipment would be put to good use.
“We’re really thankful for this donated equipment from the Australian Federal Police which will help us carry out vital work to protect Australia’s iconic wildlife including koalas and platypus,” he said.
“Taronga’s Wildlife Hospitals are extremely busy helping sick and injured wildlife, with their workload sadly increasing each year – in the last year alone, we treated over 1,400 animals across our sites in Sydney and Dubbo.
“Taronga’s expertise is often called upon in climate emergencies with our teams stepping in as first responders. These radios will help improve our communications in the field, which will be invaluable to our dedicated staff when rescuing or bringing in injured wildlife.”
The AFP donation consisted of 40 portable radios and one tactical expeditionary repeater, which improves the range and quality of radios when used in areas with limited mobile phone coverage, or where communications services are affected or destroyed by a disaster.
AFP technical experts helped in the design and setup of the radios for their new use, and are providing training in how to use them and the repeater. The radios have been set up so they can communicate with Taronga Zoo’s network. If purchased new, each radio would cost $4000, and a repeater $20,000.
Key Koala Habitat Secured For Port Macquarie
December 17, 2021
The NSW Government has today announced the purchase of 194 hectares of prime koala habitat located adjacent to the Lake Innes Nature Reserve, south-west of Port Macquarie.
The purchase is funded as a joint initiative and only possible through the generous contribution of $3.5 million from Koala Conservation Australia (KCA) as well as from the NSW Government's landmark $193 million dollar investment in koala conservation.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said the purchase will protect core koala habitat of strategic importance in the Port Macquarie region which will help us reach our target of doubling the koala population by 2050.
"There has been sustained community advocacy to see this land purchased, and I want to pay particular tribute to the local member Leslie Williams and the KCA who have been instrumental in making this happen, their work will leave an enduring legacy for the community for generations to come," Mr Kean said.
"Our iconic koalas are increasingly threatened by the loss and fragmentation of habitat, this purchase will protect critical habitat from development and ensure the koala population in this area is safeguarded forever."
"Our plan is to add this purchase to Lake Innes Nature Reserve and declare it an Asset of Intergenerational Significance, which will provide the highest possible protections to this critically important population in perpetuity."
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said this is a victory for the many advocates in the local community who have fought so hard for this result.
"The conservation of koalas on this land will be boosted by an ongoing partnership between the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and KCA – a great demonstration of what can be achieved when government works closely with the community."
"It's such welcome news here in the Port Macquarie region that the NSW Government has recognised the significance of this land through our passionate local community campaign," Mrs Williams said.
"Our koala population here in Port Macquarie is beloved – a key part of our community's identity, their conservation helps to support the tourism economy attracting tourists who want to enjoy the magic of seeing a koala in the wild." she said.
"Most importantly, our community has the surety of knowing their children for generations to come will see koalas in the wild, which is cause for celebration."
Chairperson of Koala Conservation Australia Sue Ashton said they are delighted that this purchase is finally being made a reality.
"This is a huge win for the koala population in the Port Macquarie region and will play a critical role in helping the population recover after the terrible Black Summer bushfires," Mrs Ashton said.
"KCA is very pleased to partner with the NSW Government to secure this lasting legacy for one of our most iconic species."
As well as the koala, 3 additional threatened species (eastern coastal free-tailed bat, glossy black cockatoo and grey-headed flying-fox) have been recorded on the property.
It is expected more will be found through survey effort, noting another 44 threatened species that may use habitat on the land have been recorded within a 2-kilometre radius of the property.
Port Macquarie is an iconic area for koalas and the local community has strong association with koalas. The Koala (Guula) is a totem animal to the Birpai people and maintaining this population is of great cultural and spiritual importance to contemporary Birpai families.
NSW Government To The (Genetic) Rescue Of The Endangered Eastern Bristlebird
December 6, 2021
The NSW Government is launching a genetic rescue mission to save one of NSW's rarest birds, the Eastern bristlebird, from extinction.
NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Senior Threatened Species Officer Kelly Roche said there are only around 2500 Eastern bristlebirds remaining in the wild, most of which occur in small, isolated populations across eastern NSW and southern Queensland.
"Small, disconnected populations can suffer from low genetic diversity, which compromises their ability to breed and leaves them extremely vulnerable to threats such as wildfire, habitat loss, disease and climate change impacts.
"With so few birds remaining, we've reached a critical point where we must pull out all the stops to bring this endangered bird back from the brink, before it is too late.
"That's why under the Saving our Species program we are taking advantage of a cutting-edge conservation technique known as 'genetic rescue' in a bid to turn the tide on Eastern bristlebird extinction in New South Wales.
"Genetic rescue improves resilience by increasing genetic diversity in smaller populations by carefully introducing breeding individuals from suitable larger populations.
"We have gathered samples from wild Eastern bristlebirds across their entire range, including just last week on the North Coast, to obtain information on the genetic characteristics of each population.
"We will use this knowledge to selectively breed birds from different populations, with the aim of improving disease resistance, increasing genetic diversity and lifting fertility rates, particularly in the smallest population of birds located in northern NSW.
"The end goal is to see resilient populations of healthy birds, able to sustain population growth in the wild," said Ms Roche.
Along with genetic rescue NSW Government threatened species experts will continue to implement on-ground habitat management actions which are also helping to reverse the decline.
Actions undertaken as part of Savings our Species program include detailed population mapping, implementing appropriate fire regimes to enhance habitat, and extensive weed and feral animal control. Saving our Species is also working with landholders in known habitat zones to promote habitat protection and encourage sustainable stock grazing.
The genetic rescue project is being undertaken in collaboration with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS), Cesar Australia, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), University of Queensland, Parks Australia and the Australian Department of Defence.
The eastern bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus) is a species of bird in the bristlebird family, Dasyornithidae. It is endemic to Australia. Its natural habitats are temperate forests, temperate shrubland, and temperate grassland. It is threatened by habitat loss. Sites identified by BirdLife International as being important for eastern bristlebird conservation are the Scenic Rim on the border between southern Queensland and northern New South Wales, Budderoo and Barren Grounds, Jervis Bay, and Nadgee to Mallacoota Inlet straddling the border between south-eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria.
Eastern bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus). Currarong, New South Wales. Photo: John J Harrison.
Killalea Reserve Gets Parks Protection
December 6, 2021
One of the Illawarra’s most popular destinations, Killalea State Park, will be added to the NSW National Parks estate, creating one of NSW’s newest Regional Parks.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said the transfer, from NSW Crown Lands, was a major win for the community who have campaigned for greater protections for some time.
“Killalea is an area of incredible ecological and cultural importance and a space that is much loved by locals attracting about 30,000 visitors a month,” Mr Kean said.
“As a Regional Park, Killalea will continue to be treasured, while at the same time its plants, animals, birds and threatened species will be protected for future generations,” Mr Kean said.
Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the 260-hectare park will be dedicated as a Regional Park and protected by national parks legislation.
“Dedication of Killalea Regional Park will ensure this spectacular coastal location remains a pristine spot for camping, world class surfing, bushwalking, fishing and picnics,” Mrs Pavey said.
“The reserve is currently managed by Reflections Holiday Parks who welcome the outcome for it to come under the care of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and recognise its unique environmental and cultural values.”
The Park is home to diverse vegetation types that support nine endangered ecological communities and provides habitat for many bird species.
Migratory shorebirds such as the Sooty and Pied Oyster Catcher are also known to nest at Killalea.
NPWS will develop a new Plan of Management for Killalea Regional Park when the transfer takes place, working with local residents, Aboriginal groups, Council, the surfing community and environmental groups.
NSW Sets The Bar For World's Best Public Spaces
December 8, 2021
New South Wales has unveiled its commitment to delivering equal access to better public spaces, with the launch of the NSW Public Spaces Charter at the World Urban Parks Congress in Sydney today.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the Charter established a set of ten unifying principles to underpin the creation and improvement of high-quality public spaces across the State.
“As NSW’s first Minister for Public Spaces, it is our Government’s priority to provide equal access to public space and I encourage councils, industry and the community to sign up to the Charter to unify that commitment,” Mr Stokes said.
“The pandemic has emphasised the need for safe and welcoming public space, and the NSW Public Spaces Charter will set a design bar for achieving that.
“The Charter provides ten principles for quality public space that have been designed to maximise the social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits that public space delivers.”
During 2022, signatories will be supported with advice on how to implement the NSW Public Spaces Charter into their organisation or practice.
“The benefits of becoming a signatory include access to NSW Government one-on-one support, a community of practice, promotional opportunities and data sharing.”
The NSW Public Spaces Charter has been developed in close alignment with the United Nations Charter of Public Space which was developed in 2013 and formed a basis for the Global Public Space Toolkit.
To view more information, visit: NSW Public Spaces Charter.
To register your interest in becoming a signatory, visit: Sign up to the charter.
Looking After Liverpool's Feathered Friends
December 9, 2021
Wildlife volunteer Luke Williams and his team have received more than 1,800 calls for assistance and released more than 1,150 rescue animals back into the wild in the past two years.
The Bundjalung man from Horningsea Park is the Avian Coordinator for the Cumberland Branch of WIRES whose love for nature started early.
“I’ve had an affinity for our land and animals my entire life,” Mr Williams said.
“Even as a young boy, I was always finding animals, injured or sick and my parents would tell me ‘you can’t keep them in the house, they need to go back to the wild’. My folks were always driving me to the vet to drop off animals and I always had an interest in looking after them.”
Like the animals he cares for, Mr Williams has had his own ups and downs over the past 24 months, losing his job to COVID-19 after a previous injury. But his work with WIRES has helped provide him with a sense of purpose and motivation.
Mr Williams is the first point of contact for people reporting injured birds in the south west Sydney area. From ducks, tawny frogmouths and owls to rainbow lorikeets, cockatoos and magpies. If you can name a bird species that nests in Sydney’s west, he’s helped identify and care for it.
One of his most memorable rescues was an emu found wandering down a footpath in West Hoxton after escaping from a nearby property. When Mr Williams arrived on scene with local police following the animal down the street in front of amazed locals.
He and another WIRES volunteer then kept the emu calm as they waited for a special response team from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to attend.
Without the support of WIRES’ Cumberland Branch’s 86 members and partnerships with local veterinary clinics, Mr Williams says their work wouldn’t be possible.
“I love being able to help nurture and rehabilitate our animals, and I love seeing them being released, after they’ve been in care. It’s very rewarding to see their transformation,” Mr Williams said.
Member for Holsworthy Melanie Gibbons thanked Mr Williams and his team for their ongoing work.
“Volunteer-driven organisations are the backbone of our communities, making them safer and stronger and help build a more resilient and inclusive NSW,” Ms Gibbons said.
“Groups likes WIRES contribute so much and play a vital support role not only protecting our wildlife, but improving people’s wellbeing too by creating the connections so necessary to building our communities.”
Luke Williams keeping the emu cool while waiting for the special response team. Photo: supplied
Mice Support Extended Into 2022
December 9, 2021
The NSW Government has today announced mice bait rebates for farmers, small businesses and households have been extended into 2022, while primary producers will now be able to make multiple claims for zinc phosphide purchases, up to the $10,000 cap.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the changes ensured the mice bait rebates would benefit those in the bush who need it most ahead of a potential post-harvest surge.
“The reports we are getting indicate mice numbers are down, but we can’t be complacent, which is why we’ve extended the deadline,” Mr Toole said.
“Under the changes, households and small businesses will have until 31 January to claim up to $500 or $1,000 respectively to help meet the cost of mice baits, traps and cleaning materials bought after 1 February 2021.
“Primary producers, who can claim up to $10,000 in zinc phosphide based bait rebates, will also have until 31 January next year to claim. This change means farmers can better protect crops from any resurgence in mice numbers.
“More than 52,500 households and 6,500 small businesses have taken advantage of this rebate worth more than $31 million so please get your applications in. It’s an easy process both if you’re a small business or household applying through Service NSW, or the Rural Assistance Authority if you’re a primary producer.”
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the primary producer rebates had proven very successful so far, and were critical in helping keep numbers down.
“Now is not the time for farmers to be doing paperwork, they should instead be focused on managing their properties through harvest and rain events,” Mr Marshall said.
“Farmers did the right thing and baited with zinc phosphide early, ahead of the current harvest, and they will now able to make multiple claims up to the $10,000 cap and get cash flow support sooner.
“The experts are also telling us, although the number of mice has reduced, it is critical to make this harvest as clean as possible to reduce available food and shelter – which is why we’ve extended the deadline for applications.”
Mr Marshall said the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) had so far approved more than 800 rebates worth $5.5 million.
“The RAA has already approved millions of dollars in rebates, however I want to see
as much money back in farmers’ pockets as possible,” Mr Marshall said.
“We continue to work closely with bait manufacturers to ensure there is enough zinc phosphide concentrate available to produce the bait farmers need to protect harvest.”
For information on rebates for small businesses and households, visit Service NSW.
For information on zinc phosphide rebates, visit the Rural Assistance Authority.
Read the latest information about the mice plague, including information about eligibility, how rebates can be claimed as well as health advice.
Simplified Policies To Drive Planning Reform
- Introduce nine planning principles to guide the planning system, creating clear strategic approaches to delivering housing, jobs, infrastructure and good design;
- Consolidate 45 existing SEPPs into 11 aligned with the planning principles to bring together controls and set a roadmap for ongoing planning reform; and
- Simplify and rationalise other policy including Ministerial directions and planning circulars to align with the planning principles.
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.
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
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
OLD Christmas comes ! his airy steeds
The warm north winds which waft him on,
No grand yule log he bears, nor needs,
For snows and biting frosts we've none.
No howling storms his train attend,
No icy gales around him play ;
But balmy winds their wings unbend,
And sport amid his locks of grey !
No bright green holly we may twine,
His old and wrinkled brow to grace ;
But better far a wreath of vine
Will here become his merry face !
Old Christmas comes, and with him, too,
He brings a sheaf of golden grain ;
A heavy fleece of snowy hue
Finds place amid his num'rous train !
He brings the clust'ring grape that would
Suffice an epicurean taste ;
He brings the juicy pine, a food
On which the gods might love to feast !
The dainty pear, the melting peach,
The apple rosy-cheek'd; whate'er
A southern clime may yield to each
He brings, the hearts of all to cheer.
W. PORTER, Narrabri.
CHRISTMAS POEM. (1871, December 23). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63618420
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (2021 Christmas In Rockefeller Center)
Carrie Underwood performs “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” from her “My Gift (Special Edition)” album from NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center.
How To Host A Safe Party: Tips And Advice
A Voice For Young People In Online Safety
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
"Castaway" - By ESMA
NAZARE ALIVE Part 3 Big Wednesday 8th Dec 2021
Thomas Kincade's Christmas Cottage
Christmas Under Wraps
New Australian Disability Strategy
Boosting The Mature Age Workforce
Free Diary Helps Seniors Know Their Rights
Financing Aged Care: A Black Hole?
Stories Show NSW Seniors Have The Write Stuff
December 8, 2021
A grandmother’s enthusiasm for children’s tales inspired by her own Nanna is among 100 short narratives selected for the new edition of Seniors’ Stories.
Minister for Seniors Natalie Ward said the book, which showcases a selection of stories every year from authors aged in their sixties to nineties, is now in its seventh edition.
“This collection of creative stories threads together tales of wisdom from our seniors and shines a light on the important contributions they make each and every day across generations,” Mrs Ward said.
“Older people from across the state including the Illawarra, Newcastle, Central West, New England and Sutherland Shire submitted stories as a way to share their experiences and also challenge our views on ageing.”
NSW Seniors Card members were invited to contribute short stories to the 211-page book. Among the 100 authors selected is 68 year old Robyn Schiralli.
“My biggest love in retirement has been writing books. It’s not about making money or selling them, it’s about the achievement and providing entertainment,” Ms Schiralli said.
“Age hasn’t stopped me, I’ve probably done more as I’ve got older. I have a greater appreciation for what you can do.”
Ms Schiralli’s 600-word short story, My Nanna Through a Child’s Eyes, is about her Nanna’s love of children’s tales and how that passion continues to influence her family.
The NSW Government first published Seniors’ Stories in 2014 as a way of recognising and valuing the experiences of the state’s older people.
Seniors’ Stories Volume 7 is now available at all NSW libraries, and can be downloaded as a PDF or audiobook from seniorscard.nsw.gov.au
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