2010 Spring - Banyule City Council

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2010 Spring - Banyule City Council Powered By Docstoc
                                 Outdoors 2010
                                 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
                                                                                          Minimisation   5
                                 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
                                                                                          Schools        7

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:
                                                                                          Groups         10
Rosanna Parklands, Lower Plenty Road end, Rosanna (Melway 20 A12) Bookings:
not required
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
                                                        Council News

                            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
    Research Department.
           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
Waterwatch Coordinator
Julia Vanderoord
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
  Banyule Swamp.
  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
                                     in wetlands
                                     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
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
                                                          must         be
                                                          by alternative
                                                          p r i c k l y
Waste Minimisation

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
and Marjen

                                          The Darebin
                                        Froggers Events
                                           for 2010!
      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,
                                       climate change.
                                       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!

      Upcoming Events
       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,

                               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.
 Sustainable Schools

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
                            2007                              2010
                                                                   Sustainable Homes

                                              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 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  or  Rachel 
Bushland Management

 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:;
                                                               Friends Groups

                                                                       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!                   
     Community News
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 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

     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

     24 October, Breakfast with the Birds See Spring Outdoors Brochure

     21 November, Catch a Carp Day See Spring Outdoors Brochure

 No longer want to receive the Greenwrap?
 If you don’t want to receive the Greenwrap any longer, your contact details have changed, or you
 would rather receive the Greenwrap electronically, please contact Belinda on 9457 9821, or email:

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