Welcome back to another exciting year of Bushcare!

We hope you have had a wonderful holiday season!  Now, it is January and that time when many of us reassess our busy lives and think about what we want to accomplish or do to balance our lives during the next year. With that in mind, here’s to peaceful days on your Bushcare sites with friends.

Here’s hoping that time off over the holiday season has not had too much impact on your Bushcare site. It is inevitable that with the recent storms and heat across the Blue Mountains that your patch may have undergone significant changes while you were gone.

Bushcarers are doing people and would just love to get in there and get the site cleaned up straight away. Stay safe in the hot weather by taking a few precautions:

  • Schedule your workday by weeding in shaded areas
  • Take regular breaks
  • Drink lots of water
  • Wear light and loose-fitting clothing
  • Pace yourself and rest when you need to
  • Keep an eye on each other for signs of heat exhaustion

We have a fun filled program planned for Blue Mountains Bushcare this year. It is different to previous years with new training courses and workshops in that you will be taking part in to enhance your knowledge of your site and the surrounding catchment, so keep an eye out for these on the Bushcare Website, Gecko and Bulletin.

Looking forward to catching up with you all over the year ahead.

Sandy Benson
Bushcare Team Leader

Changes to the Noxious Weeds Act 1993

WHAT HAS CHANGED?

From the 1st of July 2017 the NSW Government has replaced the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 with the Biosecurity Act 2015. Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, the Blue Mountains City Council, as the Local Control Authority, has a legal obligation to manage the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by reducing the impacts of Priority Weeds.

WHAT IS BIOSECURITY?

Biosecurity refers to the protection of native plant communities; reducing the risk to human health: and the risk to agricultural production, from invasive weeds.

WHAT DOES THE NEW BIOSECURITY ACT MEAN FOR ME?

Under the Biosecurity Act, landowners have a responsibility to control the risk that Priority Weeds on their property pose to neighbouring bushland and properties.

Residents will see a change in the terminology used, for example, the term Noxious Weed will be replaced with Priority Weeds or Biosecurity Matter, and weed notices/orders will be issued as Biosecurity Directions under the Biosecurity Act. There are also some changes target invasive plants identified as Priority Weeds compared to previous Noxious Weeds lists.

Therefore the Noxious Weeds Classification of individual weeds is no longer correct.

Will the Biosecurity Act change the way Council manages weeds on private property?

No. Council’s Urban Weeds Program and the process for inspecting private properties for invasive weeds will continue unchanged. Council will also maintain its current approach to education and enforcement relating to invasive weeds. Council will maintain the current process for issuing Weed Control Notices. The main differences will be the terminology used and that Orders will be issued under the Biosecurity Act. They will be known as Biosecurity Directions.

For further information on Priority Weeds in the Blue Mountains please download the Priority Weeds Information Booklet here;

https://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/files/PriorityWeedsInformationBooklet.pdf

Blue Mountains Priority Weeds Information

For further information on the Greater Sydney Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017, and can be found on:

Department of Primary Industries website

https://greatersydney.lls.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/722368/Greater-Sydney-Regional-Weed-Mgmt-Plan-29-June-2017_FINAL-web-res.pdf

or download the FREE NSW Department of Primary Industries weed app

NSW Weedwise app

Where you will find the weeds listed for the Blue Mountains including a profile of the weed and your Biosecurity duty under the Biosecurity Act 2015.

Mt Wilson Fauna Survey results

Greater Glider found on the Mt Wilson Fauna Survey

Last weekend we had the Mt Wilson Fauna Survey Workshop and Spotlight. We were incredibly lucky to see three greater gliders, a threatened species and the Anabat detector also recorded a threatened species, the Eastern Bentwing Bat!

Despite the cold, we had a great turnout of people and animals…..

Next time you spot an animal in your backyard or local park, record your sighting at www.bluemountainshaveyoursay.com.au/faunaproject or on Facebook www.facebook.com/BMFaunaProject/

We have one more weekend this year of wildlife walks and talks coming up on the 27/28 October in the upper mountains, please let your family and friends know.

Bookings are essential, go to www.bushcarebluemountains.org.au/events/

 

SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 29.9.18
Australian Magpie Cracticus tibicen 4
Australian Raven Corvus coronoides 3
Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans 6
Eastern Spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris 2
Fan-tailed Cuckoo Cacomantis flabelliformis 2
Gang-gang Cockatoo Callocephalon fimbriatum 2
Pied Currawong Strepera graculina 1
Red Wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata 2
Satin Bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus violaceus 3
Superb Lyrebird Menura novaehollandiae 1
White-throated Tree-creeper Cormobates leucophaea 2
Yellow-faced Honeyeater Lichenostomus chrysops chrysops 2
Common froglet Crinia signifera 1
Greater Glider Petauroides volans 3
Swamp Wallaby   1
Common Wombat   1
 
White Striped Free tailed Bat Austronomus australis
Large Forest Bat Vespadelus darlingtoni
Eastern Bentwing Bat Miniopterus orianae oceanensis

Mt Wilson Bird Walk

Credit Bas Hensen

Saturday, 27 October @ 7:00 am9:00 am

Free

Enjoy the chorus of birds and find out who is making what noise with Ecologist Anne Carey!  We will review bird guides and apps too.

This is an outdoor event on a bush trail, walking over uneven ground and on hilly terrain. You will be on your feet for a few hours. Please be self sufficient with snacks, water and suitable clothing for a variety of weather conditions and as the sun rises. If you have binoculars, please bring them.

Bookings are essential so please RSVP via the link below by 22nd October.

Mt Wilson Bird Walk

Location details provided in confirmation letter

Waterbug Identification Training

EOI – Thurs 11 Oct

Blue Mountains City Council have been fortunate to have secured John Gooderham, author of The Waterbug Book (CSIRO Publishing), to deliver waterbug identification training workshops on the 29th and 30th October 2018 (probably at Old Ford Reserve, Megalong). These workshops are for Council staff, Bushcare/Landcare/Swampcare/Streamwatch volunteers, teachers and other community members.

If you would like to participate in the training, please contact Amy St Lawrence by Thursday 11 October to express your interest.  Places are limited but we’ll do our best to accommodate everyone. You can complete either the Monday or the Tuesday workshop, or if super keen (and places are available), both!

Council’s Healthy Waterways team can then assist workshop participants to complete their own waterbug surveys with their Bushcare/Landcare/Swampcare/Streamwatch groups or schools, with data collected to be entered into the National Waterbug Blitz – https://www.waterbugblitz.org.au/

Amy St Lawrence – astlawrence@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Swampfest at Leura draws a crowd

Drain stencil by Katoomba Public School

Leura’s Peter Carroll Oval was abuzz with swamp-lovers of all ages on Sunday at Swampfest.

The event was a joint project between Council and the Leura Falls Creek Catchment Community Group, as well as students and staff from Katoomba Public School, St Canice’s Primary School and Katoomba High School.

Over 200 people enjoyed walks, talks, displays and workshops on swampy topics from crayfish and skinks to how to keep a water-sensitive home.

“Swampfest was a wonderful way to discover our unique and ancient Blue Mountains swamps and how we can help protect them,” said Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill.

“Swamps are ancient systems that play a vital role in keeping our waterways clean and clear. Like giant filters in the landscape, they help to keep pollution out of our creeks. They also act like enormous sponges. By absorbing and releasing water slowly over time, swamps keep our creeks and waterfalls flowing even during drought. They also provide a vital drought refuge for wildlife. Some local swamp species are found nowhere else in the world,” said the Mayor.

About 50 festival-goers made a pledge to protect local swamps and waterways by being more stormwater aware: keeping litter and chemicals out of stormwater drains, washing their car on the lawn to keep detergent out of street drains and installing a rainwater tank.

“Many people don’t realise it, but stormwater runoff is one of the biggest causes of damage to our swamps and creeks. Unlike sewage, stormwater is generally not treated before being discharged to waterways. By keeping pollution out of stormwater drains, we are helping to protect our creeks.”

Emma Kennedy (BMCC) demonstrates a waterway-friendly house

Since 2014, Council and Water NSW together have invested $350,000 in the protection of swamps and water quality in Leura Falls Creek, including water quality monitoring, remediation works and the installation of 7 new stormwater treatment systems. Water monitoring has shown up to 93% reduction in faecal bacteria, up to 91% reduction in total nitrogen, and around 11.4 tonnes of rubbish and sediment removed annually from the creek.

Swampfest was supported by a grant from the NSW Government’s Environment Trust.

Water Sensitive Cities Workshops

Help shape a sustainable water future for the Blue Mountains

Do you want our waterways to be healthy in the long term? To live in a place that is more resilient to heatwaves, drought, flooding and bushfire?

Our city faces significant challenges (such as climate change and urban development) that will have a big impact on our waterways and the way we use water. To secure a sustainable future, we need to rethink how we use and value water now. As a member of our local community, your knowledge and ideas are vital to this discussion.

Have your say

Council, together with Water NSW and the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, is running community workshops to help guide us towards a more sustainable, livable, ‘water sensitive’ future. This is an exciting opportunity for people from the community, government and business to get together and help shape our future.  The workshops will be dynamic and interactive, exploring:

  • How we might benefit from a ‘water sensitive’ approach to development;
  • successful ‘water sensitive’ case studies from Australia and overseas; and
  • potential local projects to implement as part of Council’s new Water Sensitive City Plan.

You can choose a workshop time and location that suits you:

Date Location Time
Tuesday 30 October Lawson Mechanics Institute Hall Evening: 7-9pm. Dinner provided
Wednesday 31 October Katoomba Cultural Centre Daytime: 9.30am-12.30pm. Lunch provided
Wednesday 31 October Springwood Sports Club Evening: 7-9pm. Dinner provided

To secure your place, go to: www.watersensitivecityworkshops.eventbrite.com.au

Enquiries: ekennedy@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Phone 4780 5000 (ask for Emma Kennedy or Geoffrey Smith)

National Landcare Awards – VOTE NOW for GARGUREE SWAMPCARE

Carex erupting in the newly-wet swamp area.

National Landcare Awards

Vote now for our very own Garguree Swampcare Group!

We are so happy to announce that through sheer hard work and perseverance Garguree Swampcare are finalists in the National Landcare Awards.

The Gully was recognized as an Aboriginal Place in 2002, where a joint management initiative began between The Gully Traditional Owners and the Blue Mountains City Council. In 2012, Garguree Swampcare began repair on the degraded swamp system located in “The Gully, Katoomba” by removing large stands of willows and other woody weeds to encourage native vegetation to regrow and encourage native fauna back into the area. This along with groundworks has  allowed water flow back into the swamp to rehydrate the natural system.

The most important part of this work has been connecting people back with Country. Working on Country has not only healed the land but has forged long lasting links between the Traditional Owners and the people who volunteer with Bushcare on this special site.

Voting is now open and closes on Wednesday, 10 October 2018 with the winner being announced on Thursday, 11 October at the Awards gala dinner.

VOTE NOW using the ‘awards’ link below:

Awards

Garguree Swampcare (Located in ‘The Gully’ in Katoomba)
http://nationallandcareconference.org.au/project/garguree-swampcare-nsw/