Minutes of meeting May 2009

When: 6pm Wednesday May 20 2009

Where: Mountains Community Resource Network Meeting Room, Lawson

Present: Nick Todd, Lachlan Garland, Karen Hising, Allan Murray, Erst Carmichael, Mike Purtell, Shirley Brown

Apologies: Barbara Harley, Rob Agars, Michelle Rix, Clive Barker, Neil Stuart

Minutes of meeting February 2009 accepted moved Lachlan/Shirley with correction of date to 2009.

Matters Arising from Previous Minutes

  1. Archiving Records of Bushcare Network Minutes

    Lyndal reported that records have been compiled and culling was underway; and that it may be reduced to one ring folder, able to be stored in the Bushcare office.

    Action: Mike to give his archival records to Lyndal.

  2. New Weeds to be added to website

    Clive’s notes on the problems of listing acacias as weeds in the Blue Mountains was discussed; viz Whilst Acacia elongata is weedy in upper mountains it is native to some specific areas, hence need for vey clear distribution information. Other invasive wattles are: A. boormanii (Snowy River wattle), A. pravissima (Oven’s wattle/wedge-leaf wattle) and A. howittii (native to Victoria).

    It was agreed that it would be valuable to have the information collated by Clive on weedy wattles on the website.

    Action: Lyndal to ask Clive if the information compiled on weedy wattles could be adapted for use on the web and also an article for Gecko.

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

  3. Integral vegetation clearance work program and hygiene protocols

    Copies of Integral’s Tree Management and Clearance Policies were circulated. It was agreed that the Bushcare network invite a representative to attend a future network meeting to discuss the following questions:

    1. Could the Network be provided with the annual works program and map for interpretation prior to July each year?
    2. Would Integral undertake to consult with any effected Bushcare or Landcare groups at least one month prior to any works commencing?
    3. If trees are shrubs to be pruned are environmental weeds (as listed in the Blue Mountains LEP 2005), would Integral agree to treat these plants with herbicide rather than just prune them back?
    4. Does Integral have hygiene policies and protocols to ensure that vegetation management works do not spread weeds or soil pathogens?
    5. Does Integral have any special policies and practices for areas where threatened vegetation communities or species exist?

    Action: that Lyndal contact Integral to invite a relevant representative to the August or November meeting.

  4. Bushcare Network Bank Account

    The minutes authorising the change of signatories has gone to the Credit Union.

    Action: Mike to take forms to Credit Union.

  5. Forum on Provenance/Bioregionalism

    The forum was well attended with over 75 people and very informative.

    Supporting scientific papers were distributed, and the value of putting these on the web was discussed.

    Action: Alan to investigate whether copyright would prevent the papers distributed on provenance to be scanned and put on our website, or whether there could be links to them.

  6. City of Blue Mountains Bushcare Biodiversity Project update

    Action: Mike to contact Barbara to develop a list of the photos needed for the powerpoint presentation. This list to be circulated to see if volunteers already have appropriate photos

  7. Bushcare slogan

    Alan presented ideas for discussion:

    Goal: to attract new volunteers.

    Aim: catchy slogan to use in newspaper letters and articles, on posters and near Bushcare groups working. (A frames have been ordered and awaiting slogan.)

    Potential audiences and questions to be addressed:

    It was agreed to hold a brainstorming evening on Friday 19th June from 6–8.30 with dinner and wine. Venue to be MCRN. Event to be advertised via the monthly email bulletin as an evening of ‘Bushcare Slogan Seeking Soiree of Wine, Words and Wit’.

  8. Strategies for attracting new volunteers

    The following strategies for attracting new volunteers were discussed:

    • Letterbox drops – more frequently than 12 monthly can be negative
    • Posters with tear off section with contact details
    • Letters to Gazette
    • Street stalls – early start important to get ‘active’ residents
    • Community barbeques

    Discussion of ways to retain volunteer members:

    • Regular morning or afternoon tea break
    • Newsletter
    • Phone or email reminders

    Action: Lyndal to compile a list of group coordinators’ and their emails. Nick to contact coordinators on behalf of the Network, to canvas ideas for recruiting new members.

General Business

  1. Review of Local Environment Plan 91

    Lyndal reported on a discussion with a Strategic Planner at council about involving bushcare groups in checking the mapping of vegetation communities and creeks. Correcting any inaccuracies of these natural features is important to their correct zoning and ultimately protection.

    Groups will be provided with hard copy maps to enable them to check their area of concern. Any inaccuracies are to be reported back to Lyndal to then refer it to the Environmental scientist for ground truthing.

    Whilst the planning phase is expected to be extensive, it was agreed that this was the most effective time for groups to become involved.

    Opportunities will be planned to inform Groups and bushcare officers of the planning process and how to make an input.

  2. Lawson Creek and RTA (Erst)

    Bushcare sites currently being impacted by RTA roadworks, or expected in near future were:

    • Coates Park Hazelbrook
    • Lawson Creek (South Lawson)
    • North Lawson
    • Jamison Creek
    • Water Nymphs Dell
    • Govetts Creek (Brahma Kumaris and Rawson Pde)

    It was agreed that the Bushcare Network take the following position: That the Bushcare Network is concerned about the large scale impacts on sensitive catchments, and the apparent lack of a whole of Mountains approach to ensure the protection of bushland and watercourses from the impacts arising from highway construction.

    Action: That Mike and Erst write to the Gazette about the impacts on catchments.

  3. Blue Mountains Local Weeds Committee

    Railcorp’s contractor has made significant progress between Woodford and Katoomba. Next financial year a contract is planned to cover the more extensive area of Lapstone to Mt Victoria. Some large broom plants were reported as still evident at the Leura end of Wentworth Falls station.

  4. Bushcare Program Procedures Manual

    Additional points to be included in the review:

    1. Expectations of Council re Planning re planning (manual p8)

      This paragraph should clearly state that not only will Council undertake to consult on works proposed which may impact on a Bushcare or Landcare site, but that it will also facilitate consultation with other agencies.

    2. Revegetation Policy/clarification of ‘native’ plant

      A policy on revegetation should be included which states that plants that are not native to a particular bushcare site are not to be planted on that site and weeding of such plants is to be supported by Council.

Next meeting Wednesday 19 August 2009.

These draft Minutes may be downloaded as a PDF here: Minutes_BCN_draft_May09