When: Wednesday 12th May 2010 at 6 pm
Where: Mountains Community Resource Network Meeting Room, Lawson
Present: Barbara Harley (Tree Fern Gully, Lindeman Road Leura), Allan Murray (Glenbrook Lagoon), David King (Gundungurra), Una King & Jessica Martin (Red Gum, Bullaburra), Christina Day (Braeside), Erst Carmichael (Sth Lawson), Margaret & Warwick Tafe (Mt Riverview), Ivan Jeray & George Harris (Katoomba Falls), Lyndal Sullivan (BMCC)
Apologies: Karen Hising (Valley of the Waters), Veronica Paul (Katoomba Creek); Lachlan Garland (Braeside, Valley of the Waters), Elizabeth Mitchell (Birdwood Gully), Mike Purtell (Else Mitchell & Deanei), Clive Heywood Barker (BMCS), Monica Nugent.
Facilitator: Jessica Martin
Confirmation of Minutes of Meeting February 2010 moved Barbara Harley
Matters Arising from Previous Minutes
Integral vegetation clearance work program and protocols
The questions raised in the Network letter to Integral to attend Network meeting to discuss program and policies were read, together with the response from Integral, and discussed (letters attached). It was agreed to pursue firstly the issue of consultation with Bushcare groups raised in question 2.
Action: the Network to write to Council asking whether Integral Work Plans for vegetation clearance works are received, and if so how far in advance of works being performed. Also requesting if council does receive this information, whether there could be a procedure to notify the bushcare team. (Allan Murray)
Environmental Education Officer, Jasmine, has now produced:
- a set of 6 posters for displays in both A2 and A3 sizes for street stalls and community notice boards
- Bushcare/Landcare brochures with general information for new volunteers; with possibilities for specific group or local area inserts
The photographic project is contuining obtaining photos of all bushcare and landcare sites.
The site A frames have not progressed any further. The ideas developed by the network for slogans will need to be matched up with appropriate promotional photos.
Participation in community events
deferred until Annette is present.
Papers from Provenance/Bioregionalism Forum for website.
Allan reported that he was still working on it, as it was more complex than first apparent.
Weed Trees – fee exemption from Tree Preservation Order
Action: Barbara and Elizabeth to write, on behalf of the Bushcare Network, to Council proposing the fee be waived for residents making a TPO application to remove any of the weed trees identified by BCN but not currently exempt. The 1998 Network list of weed trees to be used, plus:
- Phoenix canariensis Canary Island Date Palm
- Populus nigra Lombardy poplar
Also that Pittosporum undulatum be removed from the DCP weed list and any exemption list for the TPO. (See list in attachments)
BMCC Weed Management Strategy
Barbara was thanked by the meeting for compiling the Network’s comments on the preliminary draft of the Strategy, and appreciation from Council also noted.
Action: that a special meeting of the Network be held to discuss the strategy during the public exhibition period. Tentative date Monday 12 July. (Lyndal to confirm once draft is on public exhibition)
Downhill Bicycle Tracks in Bushland
Soren Mortensen, BMCC Bushland Management officer, joined meeting. Warwick Tafe provided a history of the Downhill Mountain Bike activities and issues on the eastern escarpment and showed photos of the damage to bushland.
- Tracks were closed in the Nichols Pde Mt Riverview area in 2004 and activities recommenced in 2009. Other main site for activities has been Old Bathurst Road.
- During 2009 BMCC commenced discussions with downhill riders. The spokespeople for the group agreed to the rationalisation of tracks closing Nichols Pde, and also to assist with drainage works on the Old Bathurst Road track. A small number of riders continued to use Nichols Pde.
- Councillors voted to close all tracks and for asked for a further report on other suitable sites.
- New illegal tracks have been reported at Knapsack Reserve. Knapsack Reserve’s Plan of Management allows for a single down hill bike tracks and tracks for cross country mountain bike riding.
- Margaret Tafe reported that Mt Riverview residents were keen to work together to assist with the remediation. It was agreed that it was best as a separate activity from the regular Bushcare day, and would be beneficial to have the assistance of the Bushcare officer. It would be also be an opportunity for recruitment of new members to the group.
Following discussion of the appropriateness of the different forms of mountain bike riding in the Blue Mountains, the Mt Riverview representatives were thanked for bringing the issue to the attention of the network. It was agreed that the Bushcare Network did not support the building of downhill bicycle tracks in environmentally sensitive areas.
Draft Street Tree Master Plan
Copies of the Plan were circulated and it was noted that comments would be
received till until 18th June.
Issues of concern discussed included:
- Weedy species proposed with no plan for active replacement eg Camphor Laurel, Phoenix canariensis (Canary Island Date Palm),
- Where ‘native species’ proposed these should be defined to ensure local species of local provenance.
It was agreed that in preparing submissions on local areas, individual groups could exchange ideas by sending these to Lyndal for distribution.
Resignation of Barbara Harley as Bushcare Network Convener
Barbara’s resignation was accepted and she was thanked for her huge contribution over many years as the Upper Mountains Bushcare Network convener.
Action: election of an Upper Mountains Bushcare Network convener at next meeting.
Volunteer Insurance Cover
George Harris reported on an accident he had had on a bushcare site where there had been some uncertainty about payment of medical expenses incurred. His medical related expenses were covered and had triggered a review of the policy.
It was agreed that a review of Council’s insurance coverage for volunteers was needed and should be incorporated into the current review of the Bushcare Policy and Procedures, with a clear statement that of out of pocket expenses would be covered.
Volunteer registration and agreement forms
Next meeting: Thursday 16th September
Following discussion with Mike Purtell, convener, the date for the next meeting was changed from August to September and to a Thursday evening.
Special meeting to discuss Weed Strategy planned for Monday 12 July, to be confirmed once exhibition period is known and draft is available.
Attachments with these minutes available in the PDF, which may be downloaded here: Minutes of the Bushcare Network May 2010