Minutes of meeting Feb 2009

Time: 6pm Wednesday February 18 2009

Place: Mountains Community Resource Network Meeting Room, Lawson

Present: Barbara Harley (chair), Lachlan Garland, Monica Nugent, Karen Hising, Francoise Matther, Mike Purtell, Clive Barker, Allan Murray, Lesley Sammon, Shirley Brown, Steven Ridd, Lyndal Sullivan (minutes, BMCC) and Chris Dewhurst (first Item)

Apologies: Ivan Jeray, Michelle Rix, Erst Carmichael, Kevin Bell

Minutes of November 2008 meeting accepted Lachlan/Francoise carried

Weeds along the Highway/Rail Corridor

Chris Dewhurst (BMCC Green Team Coordinator) outlined Council’s weed control program along the highway. In the past Council has given priority to undertake work in areas lower down in the catchment rather than along the ridgeline. Priority has also been given to 3 catchments: Nth Katoomba, Sth Katoomba, and Sth Lawson. Next year this will be extended to west Blackheath, Medlow Bath and Hazelbrook.

Priority is also being given to developing good relationships with other authorities and coordinate works programs. Legislation does not allow Council to issue noxious weeds notices. Many authorities also do not have weed control expertise and so council has assisted these with management and techniques.

RailCorp has allocated $400,000 this year, which is far more than in previous years. Blackberry and broom are being targeted. Contractors are working between Woodford and Katoomba in 08–09 and planning on Katoomba–Mt Victoria 09–10. RailCorps’s own Vegetation management team also works outside these priority areas.

Re the highway: Under a Management Agreement, BMCC is responsible for the land outside the kerb or, where no kerb, the white line. Due to risk of working beside a highway, some areas require lane closures, and hence traffic control which is costly. Opportunities have been taken to undertake work when the RTA is closing lanes for their own works. Council does not get compensated for the cost of weed removal on RTA land. The Local Weeds Committee has asked to be consulted during the review /renewal process for the new Management Agreement. The problems of the RTA planting non-provenance ‘natives’ was raised and the difficulties in influencing the landscaping Plans. The best example of good landscaping has been Soldiers Pinch where local seeds were collected by Consoc, and a range of revegetation techniques were used.

Council has had limited success in dealing with highway stormwater issues in an integrated way as it becomes a Council responsibility once the water is in an urban street.

It was suggested that Coolatai grass should be given high priority because of the small infestation in the LGA and the huge problem it was elsewhere in NSW.

Discussion of the value of the World Heritage listing in having authorities and residents adopt more environmentally sensitive practices. The development of guidelines for people living in sensitive areas was discussed, and the presence of this material in the previous Consoc publication, Living Near the Bush and in the current Development Control Plan. DLWC undertook a Study of the success of various environmental education methods implemented in 2002.

Matters Arising from Previous Minutes

  1. Bushcare Picnic

    Lyndal reported that Megalong Valley was the only suitable location for the next Picnic to be on 30th May 2009. All were asked to look at for suitable venue for 2010 in the mid or lower mountains. Warrimoo Oval was suggested as a possibility to be checked, but would only be available outside of the rugby season.

  2. BM Bushfire risk Management Plan

    Ivan reported (via Lyndal) that he had been speaking to Tom Shirt of RFS who said it was 25% complete and due to be exhibited in June with possibly a public meeting to discuss the draft.

  3. Archiving Records of Bushcare Network Minutes

    Mike reported that the Australian Archives were unable to store Bushcare network historic files. Lachlan reported on electronic storage as possibility Action: Lyndal to ask the volunteer librarians if they are interested in sorting our historic files to reduce them to the key documents. Also Lyndal to approach the records section of Council to see if it would be possible to undertake the scanning for electronic storage.

  4. New Weeds: Acacia elongata range

    Clive tabled a report on the range of Acacia elongata after consulting widely including with Peter Smith (consultant) and Bob Coveny (Herbarium). The paper covers areas where it has become a weed and other wattles becoming a problem when planted beyond their natural range. Clive was thanked for the excellent information.

    Action: Clive to check whether it could go on the Weeds website

  5. Blue Mountains Local Weeds Committee

    No items in addition to the transport corridor works; to report back.

  6. Website

    Barbara reported that a Bushcare Network page has now been set up on the website.

  7. Phytophthora protocols and Integral clearing

    Lyndal reported making contact with Troy Fazakerley, Vegetation Control Officer from
    Integral, who promised to send their policies and work program and also to arrange a
    meeting between Council and relevant Integral officers.

    Action: Lyndal to contact Integral again for details of planned works and policies.

  8. Bushcare Network Bank Account

    Francoise was thanked for dealing with this long and tedious process to sort out the change of account details. It was agreed that the signatories for the Credit Union account be amended. Current signatory Hugh Paterson is to be removed. Current signatory Elizabeth Mitchell will remain. New signatories are Lachlan Garland, Mike Purtell and Barbara Harley. These new signatories have completed the appropriate form and will attend a Credit Union office to be suitably identified. The signing authority of any two (2) to sign will remain. The address for correspondence is to be changed to: Lachlan Garland, 69 Shortland Street Wentworth Falls NSW 2782. Proposed: Lachlan Garland/ Seconded: Monica Nugent. Carried.

    Action: Lachlan to take copy of minutes to the Credit Union.

    Action: Lachlan, Barbara and Mike each to take the form to the bank to have signatories
    verified with the 100 id points.

  9. Forum on Provenance: Thursday April 2nd 2009 7pm

    Action: The following people volunteered to distribute posters and/or leaflets

    • Steven: to upper Mountains nurseries
    • Allan: SCAP
    • Monica: NPWS electronic copies
    • Clive: Consoc
    • Website: Barbara
  10. City of Blue Mountains Bushcare Biodiversity Project update

    Some photographs in the upcoming photographic exhibition were suggested as
    appropriate for the PowerPoint presentation.

    Action: Mike, Monica & Barbara to continue to work on a power point presentation on
    Bushcare that could be used in Council’s foyers and other venues such as the Edge.

  11. RTA Landscape Plans

    Lachlan reported only one response from his request to Mountain Watch members to
    also monitor RTA Landscape Plans. Steven and Ivan already monitor Bullaburra to
    Katoomba. Some progress has been made with the RTA project manager for the Leura
    section, who has arranged for E. oreades seeds to be collected and given to Wildplant
    Rescue for growing. Shirley, Barbara and Clive were congratulated for their
    perseverance in attending RTA community meeting for many years in order to get
    appropriate plantings and adequate stormwater controls from highway works.

General Business

  1. Attracting more volunteers

    It was agreed that freestanding A4 signs would be beneficial to all groups whilst working to inform community members about Bushcare. It was agreed to run a competition for sign slogans, which could be ‘voted’ on by volunteers at the Picnic.

    Action: Lyndal to advertise in next Gecko. Karen to add it to the photographic exhibition at the Picnic.

  2. Education of the Blue Mountains Community about the value of natural bushland

    The following ideas were discussed: a campaign of carefully crafted letters to the editor,
    involvement of students, Duke of Edinborough, Council newsletter; the aim of respecting

    Action: All to send any creative ideas for key words and slogans to Allan Murray.

    Action: Lyndal to bring newspaper advertisement designed by Barbara for the Weed
    booklet launch to next meeting, to discuss appropriate use.

  3. Bushcare Program Procedures Manual

    Discussion of further issues for inclusion/amendment in the procedures manual deferred to next meeting.

Meeting closed at 8.30pm.

Next meeting Wednesday 20 May 6–8.30pm.

A Minutes_BCN_Feb_09.