Minutes of meeting August 2009

When: 6.00pm Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Where: Mountains Community Resource Network Meeting Room, Lawson

Present: Karen Hising (BMCC), Annette Coulter (Pitt Park), Allan Murray (Glenbrook Lagoon), Jasmine Payget (BMCC)

Apologies: Lyndal Sullivan (BMCC), Tracy Williams (BMCC), Barbara Harley(Lindeman Road), Lachlan Garland (NPWS Bushcare), Clive Heywood-Barker

Minutes Of Meeting May 2009 accepted: moved Karen Hising and Allan Murray

Matters Arising From Previous Minutes

  1. Archiving Records Of Bushcare Network Minutes

    As Mike was not in attendance, it could not be confirmed whether he had provided his archival records to Lyndal Sullivan.

    Action: Mike to confirm on the above issue.

  2. New Weeds To Be Added To Website

    Lyndal and Clive were not in attendance. However, it had previously been confirmed that an article on Acacia elongata would be added to the website. An article by Clive was provided to the participants of the Meeting for discussion (copy attached Attachment 1).

    As there were only two people in attendance at this Meeting, this subject was deferred to the next Meeting. Clive would welcome any feedback from this article, comments to lsullivan@bmcc.nsw.gov.au . It was not confirmed whether the Australian Plant Society receives ‘Gecko’.

    Action: Article on Acacia elongata to be discussed at the next Bushcare Network Meeting.

    Action: Lyndal to check whether the Australian Plant Society receives ‘Gecko’.

  3. Integral Vegetation Clearance Work Programme And Hygiene Protocols

    Lyndal previously advised that contact had been made with Scott McKenzie (Integral Environmental Specialist), who agreed to call a meeting between Integral and Council. However, this has not as yet happened. At that meeting, Lyndal intended to invite the relevant representative to attend the next Bushcare Network Meeting.

    On a positive note, Lyndal was contacted by a contractor prior to undertaking clearing works around the power poles in Mike Eades Reserve, North Katoomba and was able to come to agreements in minimising damage to restoration works.

    Action: Bushcare Network write directly to Integral, requesting their attendance at the November Meeting, with the questions outlined in the May Minutes.

  4. Bushcare Network Bank Account

    As Mike was not in attendance, it could not be confirmed whether he had taken the forms
    to the Credit Union.
    Action: Mike to confirm on the above issue.

  5. Forum On Provenance/Bioregionalism

    Allan has not completed his investigation as to whether copyright would prevent the
    papers on provenance to be scanned and placed on our website or whether there could be
    links to them. Matter deferred.

    Action: Allan to finalise the investigation of the above issue.

  6. City Of Blue Mountains Bushcare Biodiversity Project Update

    Mike to contact Barbara to develop a list of the photos required for the PowerPoint presentation. This list to be circulated to assess if volunteers already have appropriate photos. As Mike and Barbara were not in attendance, it could not be confirmed whether this matter had progressed.

    Action: Mike to confirm on the above issue.

  7. Strategies For Retaining And Attracting Volunteers

    Lyndal supplied a list of Wentworth Falls Bushcare co-ordinators to Nick Todd, with a view to holding a stall at Wentworth Falls in September. A list of all co-ordinators’ email addresses are being compiled, but their approval for distribution would be required.

  8. Lawson Creek And RTA

    Council expected to discuss the formation of an interagency working party with community representatives at a Meeting on Tuesday, 18 August. (Refer to Item 16 of Council’s Business Paper for full details.)

    A letter by Mike and Barbara, on behalf of the Bushcare Network, was recently published in the ‘Gazette’ in regard to the Highway widening and possible impacts on local creek systems. Annette raised her concerns about the impacts of the Highway widening on local creeklines and bushcare sites. Annette was particularly concerned about Jamison Creek.

General Business

  1. Bushcare Slogans

    A brainstorming event, ‘Bushcare Slogan Seeking Soiree Of Wine, Words And Wit’ was held in June.

    Allan provided a compilation of some of the slogans offered that evening (copy attached attachment 2). Jasmine has been assessing all the ideas generated from that meeting.

    At this Meeting, Jasmine provided a range of posters of varying designs and media (canvas posters, laminated paper, business cards (either Bushcare generic or customised to specific Bushcare Groups), corflute for A-frame signs — all possibly to be used at stall displays, events and at Bushcare workdays).

    Allan preferred that the words ‘Environment Levy’ not be included in any poster, as it may generate negative feedback (residents paying more in rates).

    Allan also preferred that emphasis be on volunteers caring for their local environment.

    The Group discussed a range of ideas, designs and media. Some of the suggestions included:

    • A map of the LGA including all the Bushcare/Landcare Groups
    • Before and after photos
    • Large, simple text
    • Bushfire-affected areas and how weeds can impact those areas
    • Pockets on A-frame signs to hold leaflets about Bushcare/particular Groups/weed booklets
    • Clear contact details on posters
    • The poster ‘Tread Softly Footprint’ with no other text except Nurture Nature with contact details
    • Bush. Care. Bushcare.

    Action: Jasmine will draft up some varying ideas and media and present them at the next Bushcare Network Meeting in November.

  2. Review Of Vegetation Mapping For Local Environment Plan 91

    Two workshops are being planned to assist members and volunteers identify the most common vegetation communities in their part of the Mountains. Karen will be organising these workshops with Peter and Judy Smith.

  3. Winter Magic

    Annette presented a few proposals regarding Winter Magic, whereby Bushcare becomes more active in the parade/event, which could include volunteers and children, dressed up in various roles: Bushcare volunteers (with tools), fairies, elves, weeds, etc (refer to background information Attachment 3).

    Annette would like to involve more youth in Bushcare and this could be of interest to them.

    The Group also suggested other events, such as Springwood Foundation Day or a staged event at Glenbrook Australia Day.

    Action: Annette suggested an advertisement in ‘Gecko’ to assess interest from people who would like to either be involved or to provide support (making costumes, props, etc).

  4. Name Of Bushcare Group/s To Bushcare Network Members

    Annette asked if the name/s of Bushcare Group/s could be linked to people’s names who are attending the Bushcare Network Meeting for the information of other people.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, 18 November 2009


Attachment 1

Acacia elongata (swamp wattle), inappropriately planted in parts of the Blue Mountains.

A report for Blue Mountains Bushcare Network, August 2009.

Clive Heywood Barker (Blue Mountains Conservation Society Bushcare Officer)

Acacia elongata (swamp wattle), as with many other wattles produces a brilliant display of yellow flower heads during its flowering season (late winter to spring) and is popular as a result. It is also popular as it is sold as a ‘native’ and widely available in the nursery trade, including ‘native nurseries’ selling it outside of its natural range.

Many plants from the continent and associated islands of Australia are sold in this manner and an increasing number are naturalizing (invading, going weedy etc) beyond their natural range (where they actually are native). This phenomenon is occurring across Australia, not just in the Blue Mountains.

Most Australian plants invading outside of their natural range in Australia are wattles; any wattle planted outside of its natural range in Australia should immediately be considered a weed and removed; the risk is too high. (Think of them in the same vein as broom or gorse – very long lived seed, can be triggered by disturbance decades later, even after the original adult has been dead and gone).

Inappropriate Planting

Plantings of this species are a dominant component of much of the Roads and Traffic Authority’s road works along the Great Western Highway over the last 15 years or so (e.g. Blackheath, Katoomba, Leura).

It was noticed in the late nineties as being non-native to the Blackheath area (M. Williams, pers. comm.), apparently only present where the RTA had planted it along with construction of a crash barrier along a section of the Great Western Highway east of Evans Lookout Road.

The long term implications of such inappropriate plantings came to fruition following the Blackheath Glen Fire of summer 2002-2003, when all the vegetation between Blackheath and Medlow Bath was burnt. Several years’ worth of soil stored seed was triggered to germinate by the fire and over the ensuing few years the previously planted population at the location became a lot larger, in numbers of plants and also in area covered.

Nature moves; seed dropped or washed away from the immediate vicinity of the plantings expanded the available area for individuals of this population, in fact the species had ‘jumped the Water Board fence’ with some individuals established and seeding directly in the protected catchment area for Greaves Creek Dam.

Although very little disturbance occurs in the Water Board land, management activities (e.g. weed removal, patrols) and other disturbances (e.g. future fires) will facilitate germination and spread this wattle further into the ‘protected’ area.

General Distribution

Occurs from north-eastern N.S.W. near Kingscliff, S to near Eden and W to Wagga Wagga. Although there is a specimen from Vic. (i.e. ‘the Grampians’, Oct. 1981, W.D.Campbell , NSW), it is probable that this locality is an error or the specimen represents cultivated material.

The world wide wattle web also lists this species as introduced in the state of Victoria.

Natural Distribution in the Sydney Basin.

The species is known as a native in the Hunter Valley, e.g. Kurri Kurri and Cessnock and north of Newcastle, Central Coast also some areas of coastal Sydney such as Dee Why Lagoon on the Northern Beaches, also in the southern highlands near Wingello.

Coming closer to the Blue Mountains it is known as a natural component of some vegetation types in western Sydney (e.g. Castlereagh Woodlands and Agnes Banks) and west of the Blue Mountains in Clandulla State Forest (near Kandos in the Capertee Valley). It is known from the Jenolan Cave, Kanangra Walls, and Wombeyan Caves areas.

Natural Distribution in the central Blue Mountains.

Acacia elongata is known to be native at the following locations within the central Blue Mountains:

  • south of Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains National Park (e.g. Portal Waterhole and above Euroka Clearing) – Wianamatta Shale Cap
  • Yarramundi area – Shale sandstone transition area
  • behind Buckland Village at Springwood. – Wianamatta Shale Cap
  • Bilpin area – Ashfield Shales
  • 15 miles south Katoomba (assumed to be the Kedumba Valley) – soils unknown, but more fertile than on the plateau.

Introduced distribution in the central Blue Mountains

At the following locations Acacia elongata has been searched for on surrounding land, particularly remnant bushland, in an effort to clarify the status of these populations as native or introduced.

  • Linden Ridge, from the end of Glossop Road to the Water Treatment Plant — several hundred planted by Sydney Water as part of re-vegetation efforts along sealed, restricted vehicle access track to water treatment plant. Acacia elongata (and A. falcata) present in a band along either side of the road, old woodchip mulch obvious. The only individuals away from this band are growing in drains that have transported their seed away from the road.
  • Bullaburra Railway Station — Three mature specimens to 4.5 metres with numerous offspring beneath and downslope, including spreading on edge of road. Old bitumen surface above level of current road indicates likely origin as plantings, as do adjacent Hakea sericea, also apparently absent in nearby bushland. Erica lusitanica and Coreopsis lanceolata established in the vicinity indicate previous ground disturbance.
  • Shell Corner, Katoomba — planted by the Roads & Traffic Authority
  • Great Western Highway near Evan’s Lookout Road, Blackheath — planted by the Roads & Traffic Authority. This population was expanded significantly following the Blackheath Glen Fire of early 2003 which germinated soil stored seed.
  • Narrow-neck road, Katoomba — a single plant of unknown origin, suspected to be introduced due to the distinct lack of other specimens in nearby bushland, including Peckman’s Plateau.
  • Kedumba Park Rest Area, Great Western Highway, Leura — Wentworth Falls — planted by the Roads & Traffic Authority
  • Mount Victoria — lateritic soils, possibly an invasive population (roadside adjacent to house)
  • Sinclair Avenue, near junction with Great Western Highway, Wentworth Falls — planted by the Roads & Traffic Authority

Other wattles spreading outside of their natural distribution in the Blue Mountains include: Acacia boormanii, cognata, pravissima, baileyana, podalyriifolia, howitti, decurrens, saligna, fimbriata, spectabilis, floribunda, vestita, caesiella and sophorae (in no particular
order). Some of these are native nearby e.g. along the Nepean or on shale soils, others from
Victoria or the Snowy Mountains, West Australia etc.

At least A. baileyana (Cootamundra wattle) and A. podalyriifolia (Queensland silver wattle) stand out from the crowd with their blue phyllodes (‘leaves’). Wattles with green leaves blend
in easily with local bushland to most people’s eyes, hiding the extent of their invasion.

In conclusion the vast majority of plantings of Acacia elongata in the Blue Mountains represent the deliberate introduction of a non-native species that spreads of its own accord (i.e., a weed). It is one of several wattles naturalised in the Blue Mountains as a result of plantings based on gardening aesthetics, ignorance or expedience, rather than it being native to the area of planting. Essentially it is known from soils that are richer than the general sandstone matrix found in the Blue Mountains (and it is important not to remove it from places that it is native!)

The more accurate we are in our knowledge of natural systems the more easily we can defend our landscapes from ‘McDonaldisation’ by agencies such as the Roads and Traffic Authority and those who make money out of horticulture.

References

General Distribution

Blue Mountains 15 miles south of Katoomba, Kanangra Walls, Jenolan and Wombeyan Caves: Bob Covey of the Herbarium (Royal Botanic Gardens) checking of specimens.

Portal Waterhole & Springwood: Peter Smith, pers. comm.

Above Euroka, Yarramundi, Bilpin, Mount Victoria: Clive Barker, personal observation

Capertee

Jenolan Caves (Link no longer available.)

Dee Why Lagoon:

Auld, T. D. & O’Connell, M. A. 1989 Changes in predispersal seed predation levels after fire for two Australian legumes, Acacia elongata and Sphaerolobium vimineum. Oikos 54: 55–59

http://www.warringah.nsw.gov.au/environment/documents/Vegetationcommunitydescriptionspages19-33.pdf

Central Coast:

Bell, S. A. J. 2004 Distribution and habitat of the vulnerable tree species, Angophora inopina on the Central Coast of New South Wales

Hunter Valley References:

http://www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/cessnock/uploadedFiles/Council_Services/Environment/Sustainability/Flora2.Understorey(1).pdf

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/determinations/KurriSandSwampWoodlandSydneyEndComListing.htm

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (2000). Vegetation Survey, Classification and Mapping. Lower Hunter and Central Coast Region. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Sydney.

http://www.geocities.com/liveattentively/balickera.html

Southern Highlands:

http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/g-plumosum/information.html


Attachment 2

Bushcare Slogans: Meeting summary points

Slogans in yellow

  • Test of 16 year olds – check for cultural popularity
  • Add in Gazette to test for response

Can you handle a Bushcare bling belt? Come over to the green side

  • Slogans in by end July (website??)
  • A safe and easy way (not threatening) way to join the local community.
  • Doing things together
  • Companionable silence
  • An easy way of being with people
  • Learn on the job in a safe and friendly atmosphere

Help secure our future

  • Future makers (nurturers)

Like the bush? Nurture with Bushcare.

Allan after the event.

  • Practical, hands on, optimism

Future is on your gloved hands.

  • Cartoon: progress from tool belt. Needs to establish that bushcarers wear a belt first.

Stream of life: Offset your grandchildren here

  • Gang Gang photo
  • Frog hollow
  • Koalas
  • Tool belt & cuppa
  • Favourite tree
    • Paperbark
    • Oreades
    • Angophra
    • Turpentine
  • Bushcare ants
  • Snail
  • Flower

Bushcare:

  • Appealing for a better nature
  • Appealing to your better nature
  • Appealing to our better nature

Wanted a volunteer last seen down the creek with a Bushcare belt.

Need some green therapy? Find it here. (OR ‘Bushcare is here.’)

Like some social contact? Try it with Bushcare.

Share the good life, care for gums

New member potentials

  • Way to gain new volunteers
    • Business cards for all volunteers
  • New residents
  • Circumstances change
    • Retirement
    • Kids leave home
    • Care for grandchildren
  • Seeing group in action
    • Friendly response
  • Bushcare Stall
  • Passerby ‘display board’
  • Letterboxing. Unsuccessful in some areas even seen as a negative junk mail

Message

Objective

  • Get involved
  • Take responsibility

Audience

  • Walkers
  • Gardeners
    • Vegie
    • Clubs
    • Open garden
    • Native garden instruction
  • Consoc member into active service through Bushcare
  • Aust Plant Society
  • Exhausted welfare voluntees
  • Teachers’ Fed.

Implementation

  • Once a year volunteer event
  • Opportunity for a trial run
  • No long term commitment
  • Consoc Bushcare training (5 session)
  • Reward is free training
  • Growers market for permaculture

We pull out weeds too! Target for gardeners

Smile enjoy the bush for free

Future – climate change

If I have not time at present there’ll be no future

Bushcare is not time consuming and very rewarding.

Weeding is fun, not a chore

Learn how to maintain your garden quickly

Bushcare can save you time.

Take out a weed and enjoy the green.

Make an ethical investment by joining Bushcare.

Like being in the bush? Like doing something for the bush? Look after the bush with Bushcare.

Connection with your local place

  • Ownership in the area
  • See improvements
  • Trees free from strangler vines
  • Area improves not degrade to a concrete desert

Worried about our future

Preserve (conserve) our future here, now and have fun.

Want fresher air? Nurture a tree with Bushcare.

We welcome willing weeders.

Tool belts are the new black.

Try out a Bushcare bling belt.

Get a black belt in a green gym with Bushcare remote track care.

Climb every mountain, weed every stream.

Can you handle a Bushcare bling belt?

Come over to the green side

Help secure our future

Future is on your gloved hands.

Stream of life

Offset your grandchildren here

Wanted a volunteer last seen down the creek with a Bushcare belt.

We pull out weeds too! Target for gardeners

If I have not time at present there’ll be no future

Bushcare is not time consuming and very rewarding.

Take out a weed and enjoy the green.

Like being in the bush?

Like doing something for the bush?

Look after the bush with Bushcare.

Preserve (conserve) our future here, now and have fun.

We welcome willing weeders.

Tool belts are the new black.

Try out a Bushcare bling belt.

Slogans organised by ‘Value Driven Aspirations’

A share of the good life

Finance

Make an ethical investment by joining Bushcare.

Comfort

A clean, attractive neighbourhood

Beauty

Smile enjoy the bush for free

Share the good life, care for gums

style=”background-color: yellow;”>Like the bush? Nurture with Bushcare. (Allan after the event.)

Safe Community

Bushcare

  • Appealing for a better nature
  • Appealing to your better nature
  • Appealing to our better nature

More time

Learn how to maintain your garden quickly

Weeding is fun, not a chore

Bushcare can save you time.

Friends

Like some social contact? Try it with Bushcare.

A healthy family

Need some green therapy? Find it here. (OR ‘Bushcare is here.’)

Is the gym doing enough for you? Join the green exercise team – Bushcare.

Want fresher air? Nurture a tree with Bushcare.

Climb every mountain, weed every stream.

Get a black belt in a green gym with Bushcare remote track care.


Attachment 3

BMCC Bushcare At Winter Magic Festival

Main Proposal

As a way to profile our Bushcare activities, that we consider taking part in the Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival procession in Katoomba St at Winter Solstice, June 2010.

Objectives/Purpose:

  1. Recruitment of Bushcare volunteers
  2. Profile Bushcare purpose, aims, activities
  3. Promote Public Awareness
  4. Further educate about Weeds
  5. Distribute Information
  6. Provide Bushcarers communal light relief and collective fun (for those who miss the picnic)

Proposal 1:

That Bushcare take part in the Winter Magic Procession up Katoomba St. We wear our Bushcare outfits plus hats, tool belts, galoshes, insect shields, carry bags of weeds, look tired, some of us dirty and scratched, etc. etc. and walk in the procession, handing out flyers listing the Bushcare groups (with contact numbers), the Weed Booklets, Info about the purpose of Bushcare, anything else (?). We carry banners to feature each Bushcare group; maybe have a big map.

Proposal 2:

Same as above, but include Bushcare volunteers dressed as weeds, and native plants. Others could carry large sponged tongs, spray bottles, loppers, other tools.

Proposal 3:

Same as above, but we have street dramatics: weeds attacking natives, Bushcare volunteers defending native plants, theatrical swiping, spraying, snipping, digging, etc.

Proposal 4:

Same as above, but Bushcare is also promoted as providing good habitat for native fairies and native elves. For some of you, this might be too much a deviation from our purpose, however, it would appeal to festival bystanders. Some people travel long distances to see the rare sight of fairies, wizards and other ethereal beings. However, there is not much promotion to date of native fairies and elves; we mainly have only fancy commercial glittery, sparkly ones, out-of-area city coiffeur-style fairies, or down and out feral elves.

Bushcare could start a new trend: the native fairy/elf, Banksia Men, Gumnut Babies!!

(We could advertise for local native fairies and elves to come forward: recruit young people!!)

Bushcare volunteers can contribute in a range of ways; whatever way they feel most comfortable.

I am happy to coordinate/assist with organisation, visit groups to promote the idea, whatever it takes to get general discussion/interest off the ground.

Further Thoughts

Establish a Bushcare Winter Magic sub-committee to organise, develop ideas, represent groups.

Include/invite other groups such as Swampcare, Stream Watch, Cons Society, National
Parks. (We could have a Giant Dragonfly, an endangered Water Skink, some odd-looking water bugs, a scientist, people with water nets; recruit more young people to assist!!)

Annette Coulter Pitt Park Bushcare Group Wentworth Falls
Tel. 4784 3278

Mob. 0408 822 080

Email: annettecoulter@bigpond.com

Advert Draft:

Native Fairies/Elves Wanted

Blue Mountains Bushcare Volunteers are looking for local native fairies and elves, Banksia Men, Gum Nut Babies, Water Bugs, Giant Dragonflies, Blue Mountains Water Skinks, Yabbies, Frogs, Lizards, to assist
with the promotion of Bushcare, Swampcare and StreamWatch.

Any age, size, shape, colour, texture, all welcome

Please Contact…


A PDF of these minutes may be downloaded here: Minutes Bushcare Network August 2009