The Spring Outdoors flyer is out again with a
range of activities to get people enthused for 2010
their local environment after the cold winter
months. Below are some of the exciting Contents:
highlights from the Banyule area. For a full listing Page
of events please pick up a copy of the flyer from Council news 2
our Cutomer Service team or download the flyer
from Banyule's web site. Waterwatch 3
Bookings are essential so book early to avoid Biodiversity 4
Also in this edition of the Greenwrap:
• An unexpected find in Monty Water 6
• Get a spring in your step with Spring Outdoors
• Froggy events to attend Sustainable
• Weeds to watch out for
Saturday 9 October, 9am-10am Ecology of the Rosanna Parklands Homes 8
Naturalist Michael Cincotta will guide you around this popular park highlighting the
habitat value of a suburban reserve. Where: Rosanna Parklands, Lower Plenty Road Bushland
end, Rosanna (Melway 20 A12). Bookings: Banyule City Council on 9490 4222 Management 9
Following the talk: Weedbusters with Friends of Salt Creek
Join the Friends of Salt Creek and Associated Parklands for a Weedbusting Day in the Friends
Rosanna Parklands. Learn about the weeds of bushland and gardens. Where:
Rosanna Parklands, Lower Plenty Road end, Rosanna (Melway 20 A12) Bookings:
Sunday 24 October, 7.30am Breakfast with the Birds News 11
Join the Bird Observation and Conservation Australia for an early morning walk with
experienced guides who will help to identify over 70 species of birds. Where: Meet at Events
car park, Banyule Flats, Somerset Drive, Heidelberg (Melway 32 F2) Bookings: BOCA Calendar 12
on 9877 5342
Sunday 21 November, 10am-12noon Catch a Carp Day
Presented by the Greensborough Angling Club
Join volunteers from the Greensborough and District Angling Club to rid the Kalparrin
Lake of a few carp. Help our waterways stay healthy and have a relaxing fishing experi-
ence close to home. Where: Kalparrin Gardens, Yando Street, Greensborough
(Melway 10 H12) Bookings: Banyule City Council on 9490 4222
STOP THE PRESS:
Vulnerable Marsupial found in Banyule Bushland Reserves
On Thursday the 8th of July a species of marsupial know commonly as the Brush-tailed
Phascogale (Phascogale tapoatafa) was found in a bushland reserve in Montmorency. The find is
significant and exciting for Banyule’s Bushland Management and Environment teams, as the
Phascogale is listed under the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural
Resources and ANZECC (Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council)
as being Vulnerable.
The initial discovery was by a group of Green Jobs students who found a dead marsupial
and informed the Bushland Management staff of their find so that it could be correctly identified.
The identification of the Phascogale was found to be correct after it was taken to the Arthur Rylah
Institute (DSE) and examined by Peter Menkhorst and Dan Purdy from the Terrestrial Ecology
The exciting thing about the discovery is that there is no listing of the Phascogale in this
area and considering the Bushland Reserves in this particular part of Banyule are so fragmented,
it suggests they have been present in that reserve for a number of years.
The fact that this individual was found dead is not overly concerning as the Brush-tailed
Phascogale, leads an interesting life. They are a small nocturnal marsupial that are carnivorous,
feeding mainly on spiders, insects, small birds and nectar. They are predominantly arboreal
creatures, meaning they forage in trees for their food source. They live in hollows of both dead
and alive trees, but nests can also constructed under flaking bark or tree stumps where there are
scarce tree hollows, however these homes increase the chance for predation as they are easily
The males spend the majority of their life searching out a mate, and when they find one, will
die soon after mating at the age of 1 year from stress related diseases, the female will give birth
to up to about 6 young at a time. The Phascogale that was found in the Bushland Reserve was
The main threats facing the decline in numbers of the Bush-tailed Phascogale are clearing
and fragmentation of preferred
habitats and the removal of old
dead tress that have excellent
hollows for nesting. These issues
highlight the importance of the
work that Banyule’s Bushland
Management Unit and
Environmental Department do on
a daily basis.
Vehicle Hygiene Training
In August Parks Staff underwent vehicle hygiene training with the goal of improving our capacity
to stop the spread of weeds throughout the
municipality. The key weeds of concern are Chilean
Needle Grass and Serrated Tussock (both Nassella
grasses). These species produce massive volumes of
seed which is easily picked up on the underside of
mowing vehicles. There are no quick fixes for these
very serious weeds but we are taking steps in the right
You can reduce the spread of weeds at home by
cleaning any gardening equipment you lend to friends
before it leaves your property and asking them to do
the same before they give it back.
North East Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9457 9885
Viewbank College Visit Banyule Swamp
Over two days in August, six classes of year 8 students and their
teachers from Viewbank College met staff from Healthy Waterways
Waterwatch to investigate the ecology of the Banyule Creek and
Students used scientific equipment to test the water from the creek to
assess its quality. They found that despite recent heavy rains, the wa-
ter was quite clear and had a high salt content. There was also quite
a bit of litter washed into the creek from surrounding streets.
Students also conducted habitat surveys to evaluate the habitat of the Banyule
Swamp. By looking at factors such as litter, animals, water quality, and the pres-
ence of weeds and indigenous plants, the students could rate the habitat. Most
students found it to be average habitat that needs improvement and learned
ways in which Banyule Council and Friends Groups are continually working to
improve it. Sightings included a small mob of kangaroos and two black swans
and their cygnets. Students also learned that Banyule Swamp is a bird habitat
site of State significance with several major bird migrations passing through each
Greensborough Primary studies waterbugs
As part of their study of wetland environments, three classes from
Greensborough Primary identified waterbugs (macroinvertebrates) that
live in local creeks and wetlands. Students were able to identify a num-
ber of waterbugs including numerous caddisfly larvae, damselfly
nymphs, freshwater shrimps and backswimmers. Students learned
about the role waterbugs play in freshwater food chains and ways in
which they can help keep the water clean that flows into wetlands and
Some students were able to get a closer look at the waterbugs by tak-
ing photos of them with a digital microscope.
Article and photographs supplied by Peter Grenfell.
The City of Banyule funds free stormwater education programs in conjunction with Healthy Waterways
WaterWatch. For details, contact Julia Vanderoord.
Contact Belinda Moody for a copy of the
poster Mosses, liverworts, fungi and li-
chens of Melbourne Middle Yarra region
Amazing Fungal Display
Possibly getting into the sprit of the World Cup, a
huge Basket Fungus fruiting body emerged in a
Montmorency backyard during June this year. The
fungus mystified onlookers by its unusual form and behaviour, rapidly expanding from a solid white
mass to an open lattice likened to a hollow soccer ball.
Having never seen a fungus like that before the resident turned to Theresa Lebel the Senior
Mycologist at the Royal Botanic Gardens for identification. The Basket Fungus, Ileodictyon gracile
is one of over a hundred species listed on the Fungimap web site, a resource for gathering and
sharing information about fungi. People who are interested should visit www.rbg.vic.gov.au/
fungimap, where you can find the list of target species, report your sightings, read the Fungimap
newsletter and access other fungus focused resources.
Indigenous plant Wicked Weed
Hedge Wattle Gorse
(Acacia paradoxa) (Ulex europaeus)
A listed Noxious Weed Gorse is one of those
Not for every backyard this wattle is extremely plants that effects agriculture and bushland. It is
prickly but that makes it very good habitat. Its difficult to remove because the leaves are
dense foliage and prickles combine to give good extremely spiky making hand weeding a painful
cover for small birds to hide and nest in. Hedge job and the herbicides that effectively kill it require
Wattle has beautiful yellow blossoms and will training to use. Thick gloves and a mattock are
cope well with a dry, exposed site. It can be the answer for small plants.
used as a hedge or screen if mass planted, just Gorse seeds have a hard coat and can persist in
keep it well away from any footpaths. the ground for decades before being prompted to
germinate by disturbance. Gorse provides
habitat for pest species such as rabbits and foxes
but also for small local birds. Removal of large
inf est at io ns
p r i c k l y
Banyule Childcare Centres Involved in World First
130 families with children attending one of 3 Banyule Childcare Centres
agreed to participate in a world first trial of a fully compostable disposable
nappy. The nappies have been developed by Kuver Design, owner of the
Eenee brand, and are fully compostable by incorporating plant based mate-
rials and a detachable, reusable waste band, eliminating the need for plastic
This could be the solution to getting nappies out of the kerbside rubbish bin thus reducing the
volume of waste going to landfill. It could have a big impact as it’s been estimated that 8.5% of
Banyule’s landfill is comprised of disposable nappies.
Trials will continue and if successful the use of the compostable nappies could extend to other
childcare centres, age care facilities and maternal and children’s hospitals before hopefully be-
coming a mainstream product.
The first trial was conducted at the Joyce Avenue Childcare Centre, where there were already
environmentally committed staff and parents at the centre. Initiatives already implemented at
Joyce Avenue include food recycling and energy efficient timers on light switches.
The nappies are collected separately from normal waste in dedicated bins and are composed off
site. Compost generated from the nappies is already degraded enough to be offered as a soil
Joyce Avenue Childcare Centre and staff Kim
The frog is one of the most iconic and amazing creatures living in our waterways. In fact,
they are labelled by scientists as an "ecological indicator" because their very presence can
indicate that a river, creek or wetland is healthy. Unfortunately the numbers of frogs in
our waterways are declining, due to factors impacting on their habitat such as reduced
water quality and plant life, changes in land use, human activities and more increasingly,
Come and join the Darebin Froggers on our regular frog
romps at a number of wetlands and on the Creek itself
throughout the Darebin Creek Catchment. The Darebin
Froggers have been participating in the Melbourne Frog
Census in the Darebin Creek catchment for the last 6 years
and have discovered many species in the area. We run a
number of different activities throughout the year on
weekday evenings and weekends. In our sessions we cover:
How to identify different frogs and go out and find them!
Growling Grass Frog. J.Wardzynski
Learn about the local populations of frogs, how to
participate in the Melbourne Water frog census, the
health of our local waterways.
Our outings are appropriate for the whole family!
Bring: walking shoes, torch and wet weather gear if rain is
forecast. Recording gear if you have it, camera, etc.
Thursday 23rd September 4-5:30pm Tim Connell from City of
Whittlesea will take us for a walk along the Darebin Creek in an
area of good frog habitat. Porsche Crt, Epping (Mel ref: 182 D7)
Sunday 17th October 10am-12noon. Bring your bicycle for a ride
along the Darebin Creek. We hope to see Growling Grass Frogs.
Norris Bank Reserve (Mel ref: 9 G12)
Bookings essential for all events: Peter Grenfell 9499 4454, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stage 2 water restrictions are in place from 1st September. Information on
what that means for you is available on Melbourne Water’s web site.
Keeping up sustainable water use practices developed during the drought is the best thing we can
do to ensure our catchments continue to rise. www.melbournewater.com.au
Tree Day 2010
One day was not enough for Banyule’s schools to participate in tree day, in fact our
local schools plant right throughout winter and spring to increase the biodiversity of
our neighbourhoods and provide habitat for local species. Among those who planted
in celebration of Tree Day and the International year of Biodiversity are:
Audrey Brookes Preschool Greenhills Primary Rosanna Golf Links
Banyule Primary St Helena Secondary Rosanna Primary
Concord School Parade College Ivanhoe Primary
Montmorency Primary Sherbourne Primary Viewbank Primary
Greensborough Primary WELL DONE!
Banyule PS Banyule PS
Give Our Streets the Green Light
If you’re interested in helping Council reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and make Banyule streets
greener, join our new campaign for energy-efficient streetlights atwww.greenlightourstreets.org.au and
sign the online petition.
We’ve long been looking into switching from old 80 watt Mercury Vapour streetlights to the likes of Twin
14 watt T5 Fluorescents on Banyule’s local residential streets. The T5s use 68% less electricity to
produce the same amount of light. This switch would save money in the long run and reduce Council’s
emissions by about 18%, which would help out with our 30% emissions reduction target we’ve
committed to achieving by 2010.
The main difficulty with the switch is the high upfront cost, currently estimated at about $2.4 million for
This energy efficiency opportunity is applicable across most of the state and the nation. Banyule is one
of over 50 Victorian Councils that have joined forces with the Municipal Association of Victoria in
mounting this campaign to ask the Victorian and Federal Governments for funding support for the switch.
A Victoria-wide switch to T5s could result in huge emissions savings over the nominal 20 year light
lifetime. Savings estimates range up to 2.6 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide-equivalent, equivalent to 52
billion ‘black balloons’ or taking 600,000 cars off the road for the year.
State and/or Federal money for saving 52 billion ‘black balloons’
would be money well spent. Please support this campaign so we
can get on with making the switch and give our streets the green
Scott Walker, Director City Development
For all those Foodies out there:
The Greensborough Food Swap is now set to happen regularly on the sec‐
ond Saturday of the month from 10 am to 12 midday at St John of God Ac‐
cord (Churinga) 108 Diamond Creek Road Greensborough.
What's a food swap?
A food swap aims to give people the opportunity to come together and swap
their excess home grown produce ‐e.g lots of winter greens and no carrots?
It is a no/low cost way of obtaining a variety of fresh, locally grown and often
chemical free food and meeting like minded people. Food swaps often occur during
a short time frame, say a couple of hours, in an easily accessible place within the
local community enabling people to connect with each other. Garden tips, seeds and
recipes are often exchanged and friends made.
No money changes hands. It is all about redistributing excess and keeping the
fresh food supply chain as local and as low cost as possible.
For more information phone Linda 9438 1164 email@example.com or Rachel
Banyule Bush Crew Profile
Introducing Stef and Adrianna, Park Rangers within Banyule’s Bushland Management Unit.
This newly formed team manage a variety of bushland areas within Banyule. Some of their reserves
Wilson Reserve in Ivanhoe. Situated along the Yarra River and approximately forty hectares in size, it
contains a variety of ecological vegetation communities (EVC’s) which provide habitat for an array of
flora and fauna.
St Helena Bushland Reserve is located within the suburb of St Helena and is a box-stringy bark
woodland approximately two hectares in size. This reserve is now a small fragment of a forest type,
which was once more widespread prior to urban development.
The team enjoy managing nine diverse bushland reserves. They aim to enhance the biodiversity of
these areas through targeted weed control, regeneration activities and revegetation of specific areas.
Stef has an interest in all things aquatic, native wildflowers and fauna. Adrianna has a love of plants
and an interest in environmental education.
You can say “Hi” to this duo and care for the local environment by volunteering through “Friends of”
groups. Local friend’s group working bees take place every month for a few hours.
More information regarding how to get involved with the team’s Friends groups are detailed below:
Friends of St Helena.
Meet every 4th Sunday of the month from 10:30 am – 12:00pm
For more information contact:
Lawrie Rigg; Mobile: 0420 363 142; Phone: (03) 9434 6685
Friends of Wilson Reserve.
Meet every 3rd Sunday of the month from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
For more information contact:
Robert Bender - 9499 2413; Websites: www.freshwater.net.au;
Rosanna Bird Group
A dedicated group of bird watchers affiliated with the Friends of Salt Creek and Associ‐
ated Parklands have developed a postcard of birds commonly found in Rosanna. The
group hopes the postcard will help educate and
engage the local community by depicting birds
they are likely to spot. Being a linear reserve
where dogs are allowed off leash, the Parklands
are very popular but face threats including
dumping of garden rubbish, riparian weeds and
an abundance of dog deposited nutrients.
For a copy of the postcard please email
Warringal Conservation Society News
Local walker Shirley spotted this resident Koala in a tree in Banyule
Flats. This sighting is significant because the trees this koala is using
were planted many years ago by the Warringal Conservation
Society. Proof that revegetation is a valuable tool in habitat creation
and protection. Also proof that this area is very valuable and should
be protected from the threat of freeways.
Who are you calling a RAT?
Recently Geoff Williams from the Australian Platy-
pus Conservancy gave a talk on Rakali at the Darebin
Parklands. Here are some of the interesting points
from that talk:
Can live in fresh and salt water
Have slight webbing on their feet
They live for 3-4 years on average
They are highly intelligent and good climbers
They are very otter like with their sleek appear-
ance (due to waterproof fur)
Spotting characteristic is the white tipped furry
Can co-exist with platypus
They have a wide ranging diet including water-
bugs, frogs, birds, bats, and fish including carp
Threats include illegal yabby nets, foxes, cats, Photo by Ian Moodie
loss of habitat, loss of environmental flows.
The Darebin Creek has the highest population of For more information:
Rakali recorded in Melbourne! http://www.platypus.asn.au/
Have your say
This page of Greenwrap is a dedicated space for you, the reader to
become a contributor. If you would like to include any environmental
events, information, veggies swaps etc please email
What’s happening to our Box?
Observant Banyulians may have noticed the leaves of many Yellow and Red Box turning
black. On closer inspection you’ll find the culprit is a lerp, probably of the genus Spondyliapsis.
According to entomologist Nick Collett, these outbreaks occur from time to time in Melbourne
but more commonly in rural and forest settings. They don’t usually cause significant problems
so no conclusive research has been conducted as to their ecology and triggers for outbreaks.
Some literature suggests trees nutritional and water potential role plays a part while others
suggest a combination of suitable climatic conditions and prey/predator/disease balances cause
outbreaks. Large scale tree mortality is unlikely unless other contributing factors intervene (ie
tree old age).
Banyule’s arborist Peter Armistead says “people will notice the
lower leaves affected first, then the lerps will spread up the canopy.
We ask people give the trees time to recover and not assume the
condition is fatal to the trees”. All we can do now is wait and see
but to help protect Eucalypts from this sort of attack in the future
we need to enlist the help of our local birds.
To keep small birds in the community and safe from predator at-
tack plant dense shrubs under and near large Eucalypts. Shrubby
prickly acacias are perfect for this task and can be purchased from
VINC and La Trobe Indigenous Plant Nurseries. Call Belinda
Moody for more details on 9457 9821.
Pests, pests and MORE pests!
The Department of Primary Industries has released a new policy document regarding the management of
pest species in Victoria. The Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework (IPAPF) outlines the priorities
for control and management of existing and potential pest animal and plant species. This might have some
implications for how resources are allocated to established pests verses new and emerging pest. To
download a copy of the document visit http://new.dpi.vic.gov.au/home and search for IPAPF.
Environmental Events Calendar
2010 International Year of Biodiversity
1 September Wattle Day
19 September Wetland to Wetland Bike Ride See Spring Outdoors Brochure
19 September Friends of Wilsons Reserve meet every 3rd Sunday (see page 9)
26 September Friends of St Helena meet every 4th Sunday (see page 9)
29 September at 6pm-6.45, Rakali Reconnaissance Look for elusive native Water Rats in the Merri
Creek at Coburg Lake Reserve with the Friends of Merri Creek. Meet outside the Harry Atkinson
Centre, Lake Grove Coburg at 6pm, Melway 17 H10. Bring a torch and binoculars if you can. Phone
Ray 0422 989 166
1 October Walk to Work Day www.walk.com.au/wtw/
9 October Ecology of the Rosanna Parklands See Spring Outdoors Brochure
9 October, Weedbusters with Friends of Salt Creek See Spring Outdoors Brochure
13 October Ride to Work Day www.bv.com.au/ride-to-work/
24 October, Breakfast with the Birds See Spring Outdoors Brochure
21 November, Catch a Carp Day See Spring Outdoors Brochure
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would rather receive the Greenwrap electronically, please contact Belinda on 9457 9821, or email: