Indigenous Natural Resource Management Issue No. 9 March 2008 Newsletter Launched for Southern NSW What’s In This Issue? A quarterly newsletter to help raise Aboriginal community awareness of activities and opportunities in natural resource management in the region was launched by Southern Rivers Bomaderry Climate Change Catchment Management Authority (SRCMA) in February. Forum "SRCMA respects and acknowledges the Aboriginal people as the traditional owners and custodians Protection Works for the Clyde of the land and sea country. We also recognise the value and benefits that come through working River in collaborative partnerships with Aboriginal communities," said Mrs Green, Chair of SRCMA. Carbon Farming Award for “Koori Catch uP is a fantastic resource for those indigenous groups wanting to know more about Braidwood Farmer what is happening in their area or get more involved in environmental activities in their local community. It will showcase positive activities and contributions to natural Incentive Funds to Protect resource management and Aboriginal culture and heritage by Aboriginal communities across the Bush region. Erosion Works Completed “Les Kosez, SRCMA Aboriginal Community Support Officer from our Bega office has done a great Along the Murrah River job in pulling this first edition together,” said Mrs Green. "SRCMA Aboriginal Community Support Officers can assist Aboriginal communities in identifying possible projects and in planning and d e v e lo p me nt of the ir id e a s . T hey can a ls o a s s is t with a p p ly ing f or p ro j e c t f und ing a nd ensuring that effective information is provided to Aboriginal communities so that they are aware of opportunities and activities in their area.” Contributions to the quarterly newsletter are welcome. To contribute or to be added to the distribution list, please contact Les Kosez on 64918222”. Local Schoolgirl Wins Indigenous Logo Competition Albion Park Rail Public School student Nikitah Wilson was announced as the winner of the 2007 Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority’s (SRCMA) Aboriginal Logo Competition during a school assembly in February. Nikitah’s drawing of a platypus has now been adopted by the SRCMA Aboriginal Community Support Team and will feature on all of their correspondence and promotional materials. SRCMA Chair, Pam Green presented the award, “SRCMA would like to congratulate Nikitah and Albion Park Rail Public School for their involvement in the competition. We had nearly 40 entries from schools in the Southern NSW area, but Nikitah’s logo was chosen by the judging panel for its representation of Australian Aboriginal culture, the natural environment and its biodiversity,” Mrs Green said. She praised Nikitah’s vision, “Nikitah wanted to raise public awareness of SRCMA to ensure the future of the rivers systems in Southern NSW and Pam Green was on hand to present Nikitah Wilson with a certificate the platypus which inhabits them. The colours she used in designing the and a $500 cheque logo are black, for Indigenous people and red for the earth in which the platypus build their burrows. The zigzag pattern represents the river systems flowing through the state. Nikitah used red and white spots to represent micro-organisms that are vital in keeping our waterways healthy and the green spots are for the vegetation along the river bank.” Nikitah received a certificate and a $500 prize for her work and Albion Park Rail Public School was presented with a new laptop as the winning school in the competition. 2 Bomaderry Climate Change Forum SRCMA is always on the lookout for opportunities to support the community with the task of raising awareness about climate change. On 17th March, 70 members of the local Shoalhaven community came along to the Bomaderry Bowling club to hear a range of speakers discuss climate change. The forum was facilitated by David Curtis (SRCMA) whose own knowledge and experience on the subject of global warming and The Climate Change Forum panel. Back row: Brian Kenny, Verne climate change was vital in planning this event. The event started Mutton, Darryn O’Connell, Willian Armitage, David Curtis. Front with an introduction from Bomaderry Rotary Club President Vern Row: Chris Presland, Annaliese Milne, Andrew Best. Mutton and a short address on climate change from Bomaderry High student Annaleise Milne. A video presentation of Sir Nicholas Stern’s address to the Canberra Press Club on the economic impacts of climate change, the main inspiration and draw-card for the event, was the one of four presentations on the evening. Stern believes that “there is no horse race between energy security, climate change responsibility and economic growth – we can have them together” and that developed countries should target a 60 to 90% cut in CO2 equivalent emissions by 2050 (a target he believes is achievable). Andrew Best, an Australian Climate Project Messenger trained by Al Gore gave an overview of climate trends and impacts of climate change in Australia. Andrew’s An Inconvenient Truth presentation provided wonderful graphics and his engaging presentation style made for an informative and entertaining talk. The Australian Climate Project works with the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) to raise awareness and community capacity. Darren O’Connell, Environmental Project Officer at TAFE Illawarra spoke about how businesses can reduce their energy footprint – that we can achieve a 15 to 20% reduction in energy use just through staff awareness. TAFE Illawarra has been able to make significant energy and financial savings through more efficient use of resources. Chris Presland (SRCMA) spoke about the impact of climate change in the Southern Rivers and on our coastal natural resources, drawing on the CSIRO report on Climate Change in the Southern Rivers Region. Chris reported a CSIRO finding that with “a warming of 1.0°C and a 5% decrease in rainfall (a moderate scenario for 2030) would make the climate of Nowra similar to the current climate of Parramatta in Western Sydney” (CSIRO, 2007). Promoting sustainable NRM outcomes in the Southern Rivers is a significant contributor to buffering the region against the effects of climate change. Presentations were followed by one hour of questions from the audience to a panel made up of the four speakers and local Shoalhaven resident and Landcare/Bushcare volunteer Will Armitage. Will’s 30 years of experience in the energy industry and personal efforts to raise awareness of climate change and greenhouse issues was a valuable asset to the panel, providing sound answers to many questions from the audience Through effective collaboration with Bomaderry Rotary Club, the ACF and individuals from the local community, SRCMA has been able to support a community organisation in spreading useful and relevant information on climate change – the science, the impacts, mitigation and adaptation - to a broader audience within the Shoalhaven Community. Threatened Species Network Community Grants Round 11 Community conservation groups are invited to apply for up to $50,000 in Round 11 of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants program, which will open on 28 March and close on 30 May 2008. Managed by the Threatened Species Network (TSN), the grants program was established to support and inspire communities to conduct on-ground work for the ongoing health of our natural environment, specifically targeting the needs of nationally threatened species and ecological communities. More than 380 conservation projects have been funded through the program so far, to a total value of more than $4.9 million. Grants are provided for activities such as: • Enhancing, restoring, and establishing key habitat • Weed and feral animal control • Monitoring and surveying species populations • Fencing to protect populations and key habitat Fire management Interested parties should note that all applications must be discussed with the TSN Coordinator for your region before submission or they will not be assessed. The TSN Community Grants Program Guidelines and Application Forms may be obtained from www.wwf.org.au/tsn or by calling 1800 032 551. If you would like to be notified by email when the grants are announced, please contact the TSN Program Officer Grants, Simone Albert on 02 8202 1233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 3 Protection works for the Clyde River A series of protection works to address sediment input to the near-pristine Clyde River are underway as part of a partnership between Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (SRCMA), Forests NSW and the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC). Funding for the project is through the Natural Heritage Trust supported by the Australian and NSW Governments. The bridge crossing of Boyne Creek on Yadboro Rd was recognised as a priority site by all three agencies and on-site works have just been completed. The project is a demonstration of sediment reduction techniques at this crossing through a series of controls and road engineering works, including installing lateral piped drainage at three locations, installing numerous new mitre drains, improving sediment trapping devices and gravel resheeting 100m of the approaches to the Boyne Creek bridge. Pam Green, Chair of SRCMA said, “This project will make a real contribution to reducing the amount of sediment entering The bridge crossing of Boyne Creek on Yadboro Rd Boyne Creek, which is a major |tributary of the upper Clyde River. “The work is part of a bigger program which aims to improve and protect coastal water quality by reducing sedimentation into sensitive coastal waterbodies such as the Clyde. SRCMA has also formed important partnerships with other road management agencies including Eurobodalla Shire Council, Shoalhaven City Council and Bega Valley Shire Councils. “Southern Rivers CMA is committed to maintaining and improving the condition of the Clyde River, which is the only High Conservation Value river left on the NSW coast which flows uninterrupted from its source to the sea. “Southern Rivers CMA wants to expand and build on this investment to protect the River and to continue strengthening partnerships with organisations such as Forests NSW and DECC will help achieve this,” Mrs Green said. Carbon Farming Award for Braidwood Farmer At the recent Carbon Farming Conference in Mudgee, local Braidwood farmer, Martin Royds was awarded winner of the ‘Carbon Cocky - East of the Divide’ section. John Kerin AO, Board Member of Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (SRCMA), today presented Martin Royds with $2,000 prizemoney in recognition of his achievement. “I would like to congratulate Martin on his efforts. Having seen his property and some of his practices first hand, it’s clear that farmers now have the opportunity to increase the drought resilience and productivity of their properties. Importantly, these practices also contribute to less carbon in the atmosphere,” Mr Kerin said. Martin’s innovative and progressive farming has evolved from his exposure to the principles of holistic management, biological farming, biodynamics, natural sequence farming and Landcare. John Kerin, along with Chris Presland and Rebecca Hall from SRCMA were on According to Martin, the key components of his farming hand to congratulate Martin Royds, practices are to understand how plants and animals function. This knowledge is critical to making decisions that promote the sustainability of his farming enterprise. At the core of his farming practices is a focus on encouraging pasture diversity, maintaining ground cover, increasing soil and animal health, and ultimately increasing the carbon content of the soil. “Improving the carbon content of the soil increases its capacity to hold water and prolongs plant growth. This extends a property’s ability to maintain pasture cover and productivity during dry periods,” Mr Kerin acknowledged. “Southern Rivers CMA has programs that encourage farmers to learn about and implement sustainable land management practices similar to those that Martin has implemented. I encourage interested farmers to contact their local CMA office for more information,” he concluded. 4 Incentive Funds to Protect Bush Round five of the Southern Rivers Bush Incentives (SRBI) program, launched recently by Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (SRCMA), recognises the crucial role that landholders play in environmental recovery and is based on a tendering system for the provision of these services. Southern Rivers CMA Chairperson, Mrs Pam Green, said that the previous rounds of the SRBI program have been successful in benefiting not only local landholders, but also the wider community. “The attraction for many of the participating landholders has not just been money – but also the opportunity to learn more about their land. They are helping to protect native vegetation for future generations,” said Mrs Green. The Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust and the NSW Government Sustainability Trust have provided funds for the program. The fifth round of SRBI program will focus on landholders in the Shoalhaven River |catchment or the local government areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven. “These locations have been chosen because they contain specific vegetation types that are known to need special protection,” Mrs Green said. “SRCMA is inviting property owners in these areas to take the opportunity to express an interest in the program. The SRBI program applies to the shaded areas “When we receive an expression of interest a project officer will then visit the property at a time arranged with the landholder to do an assessment and discuss management aims with them. “After the free assessment is provided landholders who wish to continue the process can submit a bid representing the price for which they will do conservation work on their property. “The selection of successful tenders by SRCMA will be through a transparent process based on the conservation value of the site, the expected outcomes of the work and the amount of the tender.” For more information on the SRBI program visit www.southern.cma.nsw.gov.au, or contact David Curtis (Wollongong) on (02) 4224 9715, or David Hilhorst (Braidwood) on (02) 4842 2594. Native Grasses Identification Workshop Twenty-five Eurobodalla residents enjoyed a field trip in February to learn about the Native Grasses in their local area. The workshop was conducted by Jackie Miles, botanist, and Hayden Kingston from the Department of Primary Industries. Participants received information about the structure and parts of the grass plant and attended a field trip to a rural property at Broulee and the Moruya Cemetery. Rural cemeteries are often sites of remnant native vegetation and some unusual native grass species were found on the day. Funding to conduct the workshop was provided by the SRCMA Community Partnership program. “Participants on the day were from a range of backgrounds. Some from the Efarm Participants visiting Moruya Cemetery on the Native Grasses workshop and rural Landcare groups wanted to learn about identification of grasses for better pasture management. Others from coastal Landcare groups wanted to learn about identifying the differences between the exotic grass weeds, and the native grass species they wish to preserve,” said Peter Gow, Landcare Community Support Officer. There was so much interest that Eurobodalla Landcare is considering conducting a second workshop for those who missed out on this Native Grasses Workshop. For further information please contact Peter Gow on 4474 1329. 5 Broom Control Undertaken Along the Bombala River Broom control works have recently been completed along the Bombala River as part of the Bombala, Little Plains and Delegate Rivers Broom Management Program. The $60,000 project was initiated in 2006 as a partnership between the Snowy River Interstate Landcare Committee (SRILC), the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (SRCMA) and local landholders. The program is jointly funded by the Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust Program and the NSW Government. Broom is an invasive, declared noxious weed which forms dense thickets that can eventually lead to complete dominance of native vegetation, particularly along waterways. Broom infestations also diminish pasture availability and can A contractor from Landini Rural who undertook the control works, significantly decrease bio-diversity along river banks. spraying an isolated broom plant along the Bombala River near Bibbenluke Over recent years, control of Broom infestations along the Little Plains, Delegate and Bombala Rivers has been a major focus for agreements. Approximately 10 km of stream was treated, with local Landcare Groups. More recently, the Victorian East spraying commencing on the Bombala River at Bibbenluke and Gippsland Catchment Management Authority has raised working progressively downstream, finishing on a property concerns about Broom spreading from the Bombala/Delegate bordering Cambalong Creek. River systems into the Snowy River. “The program has a three year target to reduce densities of “Due to its invasive nature, there is a recognised need for an Broom along the Bombala, Little Plains and Delegate Rivers to integrated approach to manage Broom, focusing on a manageable levels, specifically cleaning up catchment wide “top-down” approach rather than sporadic, areas of core infestations”, explained Ms Brennan. Its individual efforts which are often hindered by accessibility, time long-term success will be dependent on the commitment of and cost”, explained SRCMA River Rehabilitation Officer la nd ho lder s to c o ntinue o n-g o ing m a inte na nc e Shannon Brennan. following the initial knockdown”. The Broom project was initiated by a comprehensive mapping For further information and to register your interest in program, documenting Broom densities along the Bombala, becoming involved, please contact either Nancy Spoljaric Delegate and Little Plains River systems. (SRILC Project Officer, Bombala) on (02) 6458 4003 or Shannon Brennan (SRCMA, Bega) on (02) 6491 8223. In spring 2007, nine identified priority sites were sprayed by licensed contractors as a result of incentive based landholder Community Biodiversity Monitoring Program Launched The Australian Museum recently launched Bugwise - a community biodiversity monitoring program. BugWise has been designed to enable schools, community groups and land managers to get involved in ecological research. It provides an opportunity to test new methods of habitat assessment and develop a community-focused habitat monitoring tool kit. The Bugwise website www.bugwise.net.au offers a great range of practical field surveys and identification guides, including butterfly shapes and colours, a quick invertebrate guide, a Web2Spider guide and a seed removal survey. A recent Web2Spider Workshop hosted by SRCMA in Nowra attracted 22 community members. Wollongong Council Bushcare has since offered two Web2Spider Workshops, proving very popular with volunteers and the community of the Illawarra. The training provides participants with skills to identify and record spider webs, and link them to the types of spiders occurring on their sites. This information is then posted online. The invertebrate surveys and guides are easy to use and allow volunteer groups to monitor the outcomes of their own rehabilitation projects. The staff at Bugwise actively encourage the community to collect this biodversity data from their sites and report back to them on results. They are also hoping to build their image collection of invertebrates so take your cameras on your next bug survey! For further information on future BugWise workshops in the Southern Rivers region contact Nikki on (02) 4224 9709 or email email@example.com 6 Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has recently produced ‘Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide” for those Australians who love their seafood but also love their oceans. The guide is a tool to assist people in making informed and responsible choices about the seafood they buy and cook. Guides are available from Australian Marine Conservation Society website www.marineconservation.org.au Erosion Works Completed Along the Murrah River Construction works to halt actively eroding river banks and improve fish habitat along a tidal reach of the Murrah River, downstream of the Tathra-Bermagui Road bridge crossing, have recently been completed. Jointly funded by the Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust Program and the NSW Government, the $120,000 project was designed and supervised by SRCMA in conjunction with the owner of the property, Mr John Gowing. “Prior to construction works, the bank of the river on a bend downstream of the bridge was eroding at a much higher rate than natural,” explained SRCMA River Rehabilitation Officer Shannon Brennan. Advice obtained from the Department of Water and Energy’s Principal Geomorphologist, Dr David Outhet, highlighted that erosion at the site was from a combination of factors including floods eroding the toe of the banks, a lack of vegetation on the banks, stock access, bank slumping and wave action. These factors also reduced fish habitat along this reach of river. Erosion rates on the bend were estimated to exceed 20 m over the last 50 years. Without intervention, continuing erosion Catch uP would have resulted in avulsion of is the electronic newsletter of the Murrah River (where the main Southern Rivers CMA river diverts into another channel) into a large flood channel draining the floodplain nearby. This would To contribute an article or to receive have isolated a section of a hard copy or an emailed Acrobat productive grazing land, PDF version of Catch uP contact: exacerbated erosion along the Barry Lee from Lee’s Excavator Hire placing logs flood channel and sent a major behind pins for the log wall Laura Hawes slug of sediment into the estuary downstream. Phone: (02) 4224 9707 Fax: (02) 4224 9669 Construction work involved installation of a log retaining wall and a series of log Laura.firstname.lastname@example.org groynes – structures that stick out from the bank perpendicular to flow to deflect water away from the bank. Three different types of groyne structures were trialled by SRCMA to assess their long-term success in treating bank Southern Rivers erosion and improving fish habitat. Extensive revegetation of the banks using Catchment Management Authority native trees, shrubs, rushes and mangroves was also carried out. PO Box 3095 Wollongong NSW 2500 In addition to SRCMA construction works, Mr Gowing is carrying out fencing and Phone: 4224 9700 revegetation of the floodplain adjacent to the river and flood channel to allow further stabilisation and improve the long-term health of the stream. Fax: 4224 9669 Email: email@example.com “We are now confident that the health of the lower Murrah River and its estuary are www.southern.cma.nsw.gov.au well protected and commercial and recreational fishing provided by the Murrah estuary will continue into the future” Ms Brennan said.