Category Archives: News

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

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)

Call out for contributions to the Gecko Newsletter

Bushcare needs your stories!

The Gecko is a newsletter produced by Blue Mountains City Council to keep volunteers up to date with current news, events and information.  If you have any interesting environmental stories, Bushcare moments or successful how to’s that you would love to share and would like to contribute to this newsletter, please contact the Blue Mountains City Council Bushcare Team Leader on (02) 4780 5528, or email sbenson@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

We would love to hear from you!

Bushcare Team News

In the Bushcare Team there have been a number of exciting changes in recent times. We have Tanya Mein joining as the Bushland Projects Officer whilst Erin Hall is on Maternity Leave and due to start at the end of the month will be Mick Owen, the new Bushcare Team Leader. Mick will be keen to catch up with the individual groups once he starts, and we’ll introduce him more fully in the next issue.

Tanya joins the Bushcare team as Bushland Project Officer after spending a year working as the BMCC Waste and Resources Project Officer where she did education and engagement activities. Prior to that, Tanya spent 7 years working at Hornsby Council on Community Gardens, Bushcare and in the Native Nursery. Tanya has also worked at NPWS and Conservation Volunteers Australia. Tanya will be sharing the position with Erin when she returns from parental leave.

Tanya Mein joins the Bushcare Team as Project Officer

– Eric Mahony, Bushland Operations Co-ordinator, for the Bushcare Team

 

Bushcare News: North Katoomba wins Local Government Award for restoring the Minnehaha Falls pool

Minnehaha Falls plunge pool – full of sediment washed into Yosemite Creek from many years of urban development

This year at the annual NSW Local Government Awards, the Blue Mountains City Council  and the local North Katoomba community was recognised for its outstanding work over many years, winning the  Division C and Overall Category Winner of  the Natural Environment Protection and Enhancement: On-Ground Works Award, for the project the Return of the “Bottomless Pool’ in Yosemite Creek, North Katoomba.

The result is the culmination of decades of work addressing urban stormwater runoff and weed invasion, which had previously resulted in sedimentation, erosion and decline of Yosemite Creek’s water quality, as well as loss of habitat and aquatic biodiversity across the Katoomba and Minnehaha Falls Creek.

Local residents lamented the loss of their favourite swimming hole, as the ‘bottomless pool’ at the base of Minnehaha Falls had filled with sediment. A coordinated and collaborative approach with the Blue Mountains City Council, government agencies, businesses and the local community resulted in the successful restoration of Yosemite Creek and the return of the pools including Minnehaha’s ‘bottomless’ plunge pool.

Key to the success of the project has been the long term  involvement of a number of Bushcare and Landcare groups in the broader Katoomba  and Minnehaha Falls Creek both through on ground action and the coordination of annual  sub catchment planning meetings. These groups have, through the leadership of Lyndal Sullivan, provided  a well-coordinated approach to catchment management working closely with Council and NPWS through their yearly planning meetings.

The work of the Minnehaha Falls Bushcare Group needs special mention for its unfailing commitment and the positive results it has been able to achieve in significantly improving the health of the bushland and aquatic habitat of this stream.

The same pool – now clear of sediment and staying that way – thanks to bush regeneration (both paid and unpaid) and improved stormwater management throughout the Yosemite Creek catchment.

The BMCC Bush Regeneration Team

Back row from left: Matthew Steele, Jane Anderson, Matthew Rudge, Aaron McKellar, Sue Cunningham. Front row John Parkinson, Helen Munro, Justine Vella. (Team Leader). Absent: Lynn Godfree, Stephanie Chew, Robert Hajjar.

Did you know that Council has its very own team of bush regenerators quietly beavering away behind the scenes? As there have been some changes to the team we thought it  a good time to shine the spotlight on them!

We are very lucky to have a very capable and experienced crew led by the newly appointed Justine Vella as Team Leader and Matthew Rudge as Bush Regeneration Project Officer.

The team is currently working on a number of high conservation projects restoring the rare forests of the lower Blue Mountains and Blue Mountains Swamps in the upper mountains.

They are often called upon to support our Bushcare program and Council’s new organisational structure is providing more and more opportunity for them to work more closely with the Bushcare Team. We hope you’ll get to meet them in person on site one day soon!

 

Take part in the ‘Recent Ecological Change in Australia’ Survey!

Over the past century, average land surface temperatures have risen by almost 1° C across the Australian continent. Models suggest this may have already had significant impacts on Australia’s ecosystems and biodiversity in some areas, but these impacts have not been systematically investigated.

CSIRO Land and Water and the Department of the Environment and Energy are undertaking an exciting project to collect stories and anecdotes that will help build a national picture of ecological change (or lack there-of) that has been observed in the past 10-20 years or more. We are looking for people with strong links to Australian environments (e.g. farmers, natural resource managers, ecologists, naturalists) to share their stories for an area they know well, including perceptions of the presence or absence of different types of recent ecological change.

To participate, you would need to be able to select a natural area (e.g. your local region or farm, a Nature Reserve, urban bushland) that you have been familiar with for at least the last 10 years. Note that we are interested both in areas where change has been observed and where change has not been observed.

The survey will take about 30 minutes – please click here to undertake the survey.

For further information please contact Suzanne.Prober@csiro.au

A Good Recipe for a Happy Pollinator Garden

Food A pollinator habitat garden is more than just flower beds. By providing an assortment of plants, which flower throughout the year, you are providing a consistent food supply which will encourage pollinating insects and birds to stay, feed, drink, shelter and even reproduce. It is recommended that you plant swathes or large patches of flowers, rather than scattering them randomly through the garden. By planting flowering food-crops in large patches, you encourage specialist pollinators such as bees to forage within these patches, cross pollinating the plants as they move efficiently from flower to flower.

Shelter The next thing you need to do is provide potential shelter. You can include hollow logs, pieces of thick bark and crowds of rocks which will provide shelter and nesting substrate for a variety of pollinators. Resin bees, leafcutter bees and solitary wasps will nest in large drilled holes in wood, which mimic the natural cavities produced by wood-boring insects. Hollow or pithy stems can be collected and bundled up when plants are pruned. These will attract reed bees and masked bees as well as small solitary wasps and ants. By providing small cavities in rockeries or with layers of rolled bark, you will be providing shelter for ladybeetles, resin bees and other pollinators.

In Australia, gardeners are encouraged to mulch their plants, to maintain soil moisture. However, some of our pollinators, such as solitary bees and wasps, nest in the ground and find it hard to dig through the thick layers of mulch. So leave an area of bare ground, at least a metre squared, to encourage ground-nesting bees into your garden.

Water  is necessary for honey bees and birds so include a shallow bird bath, with a large rock in it to reduce the chances of insects drowning. A bowl filled with wet mud will provide minerals and water for some butterfly species and rocks provide insects with a warm place to bask.

Maintenance of your habitat garden is important if the plants and the pollinators are to thrive. Water deeply and regularly to ensure flowers produce plenty of nectar and pollen. Don’t use insecticides. If a plant is infested with many pests, it may need feeding, pruning or pulling out. A healthy garden will not only encourage pollinators, it will encourage wasps, shield bugs, spiders, dragonflies and other natural pest-predators. Keep the water and mud bowls topped up and place a seat out in the garden so you can sit, observe and enjoy your wonderful pollinator habitat garden.

by Megan Halcroft www.beesbusiness.com.au

 

Changes to Noxious Weeds Legislation: the new Biosecurity Act

From 1st July 2017 the NSW State Government has replaced the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 with the Biosecurity Act 2015. Under the Noxious Weeds Act all landowners had a responsibility to control noxious weeds on their property. Under the Biosecurity Act the same responsibility will apply and will be known as a General Biosecurity Duty.

General Biosecurity Duty

Under Part 3 of the Biosecurity Act 2015, landowners or land managers have a “General Biosecurity Duty” to prevent, eliminate or minimise the “Biosecurity Risk” posed or likely to be posed by priority weeds.

What is a Biosecurity Risk?

A biosecurity risk exists where priority weeds have the potential to negatively impact on agriculture, industry, the liveability of our city, human health or the environment.

The new name for invasive weeds

Under the Biosecurity Act 2015 invasive weeds are known as “Biosecurity Matter” or “Priority Weeds”.

The Greater Sydney Local Land Services have created a list of State and Regional Priority Weeds with expected outcomes and recommended measures for each species. Council has also nominated Local Priority Weeds that are a problem within the Local Government Area and specified expected outcomes and control measures for these weeds.

For further information regarding your responsibility or the Biosecurity Act 2015, please go to: http://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/sustainableliving/weedmanagement/ or call 47805343.