When: Wednesday 18th May 2011 at 6pm
Where: Mountains Community Resource Network Meeting Room, Lawson
Present: Elizabeth Mitchell (Birdwood Gully), Margaret & Warwick Tafe (Mt Riverview), Paul Vale (Popes Glen), Clive Heywood Barker (BMCS), Shirley Brown (MHH, Kat Ck, BK, Leura Pk), Susan Jalaluddin (Vale St, Cumberland Walkway, Hazelbrook), Allan Murray (Glenbrook Lagoon), Erst Carmichael (Sth Lawson), Lyndal Sullivan (BMCC)
Apologies: Barbara Harley (Tree Fern Gully, Lindeman Road Leura), Xuela Sledge (NPWS), Rob Agars (Deanei), Annette Coulter (Pitt Park), Karen Hising (Valley of the Waters), Mike Purtell (Else Mitchell & Deanei)
Facilitator: Allan Murray
Acceptance of Previous Minutes (Feb 2011) moved Margaret Tafe
Matters Arising from Previous Minutes
Post Fire Weed funding
Paul reported limited information available on the effect of fire on weeds, and was mostly overseas; he will continue a literature search. Ian Baird offered to undertake a journal search of those journals to which he has access, in the near future when he has time.
It was suggested that Groups take photos of areas where HR burns are planned then undertake photographic monitoring after the burns. Glenbrook Lagoon has a planned burned, and Sublime Point may have before and after photos of their burn.
Paul will collect any information and photos.
Weed tree exemption from Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
The decision of the Council meeting of 15th March was reported, which was primarily that weeds listed in the DCP are currently exempted; also that there are plans for a review of both the exemptions from the TPO and the DCP weeds list.
Proposed Amendments to DCP Environmental Weeds list
It was agreed to defer this matter until the council review.
Reprint of ‘Living Near the Bush’
BCN members were interested in contributing to the review of this publication.
Action: Clive would find out about the process and how contributions could be made. Lyndal to distribute copies to all participants to assess for suggested changes to the content, to be discussed at next meeting.
Network of Bushcare groups working in Shale-base Vegetation Communities
A field day for all groups working in Shale based Vegetation Communities has been organised for Sunday 19 June, and advertised in ‘Gecko’. This is an opportunity to learn more about these communities and for groups to meet each other.
Sale of Weeds at Local Markets
It was agreed to send the draft letter (attached) to organisers of markets held on all lands (other than Council land); also that an article be written in the next Gecko asking volunteers to report what markets are held and contact numbers and explaining the planned letter.
Action: Shirley to write article and Margaret to be the contact person to collate responses.
Mike, Paul and Lachlan have commenced the change of signatories for bank account.
Site A frame Design
One A frame was displayed and all agreed that they looked effective and were keen to get them out on sites.
Bushcare Network 2006 Proposal for the Use of Lawson Golf Course Site
Erst outlined the previous process of consultation and the development of the BCN proposal.
More recently, a number of groups have expressed an interest in its use for sporting fields, dog off-leash area, community farm, indigenous centre and housing development.
Transition Towns is planning a meeting of those interested in the city farm idea.
It was agreed that Erst represent the Bushcare Network in liaising with Transition Towns to arrange a meeting to discuss possible agreements between the two groups for future options for the Lawson Golf Course site. Erst will notify BCN members of date and venue.
It was agreed that a press release and photo be prepared. An option Allan to organise with Barbara.
Meeting with new State Member, Roza Sage April 21
Elizabeth Mitchell, Mike Purtell, Allan Murray & Margaret Tafe represented the Network in a meeting with Roza Sage and her staffer, Benn Benasick on 21 April. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the election promise of $10 million State-wide for funding of Bushcare. Roza clarified that the fund would be one off, not an annual amount
The group explained how the Bushcare program worked, and that it had been operating for 19 years with 70 active groups working on a monthly basis across the Mountains. Also that some LGAs had no Bushcare or Landcare groups. Each area and group has different needs. Also that here Council deals with the finances, allowing group members to put in the hours on the ground and not get worn out with the tedious work of management of grant funds.
She supported the idea that ‘one size fits all’ won’t work.
It was suggested that a figure of $200,000 p.a. would be a reasonable one to assist the Blue Mountains Bushcare program, although both parties agreed that this figure was quite conservative when looked at in context. She thought that being an area adjacent a World Heritage National Park we should have high priority.
Roza agreed take ideas to the Minister, Robin Parker, promised to write back with a response to the submission, and would consider a follow up meeting.
A copy was left of each of the 2009–2010 Bushcare Annual Report, the current Training Guide for Bushcare & Landcare Volunteers, and the two page submission on the NSW funds.
It was agreed that Allan would try to arrange a similar meeting with Stuart Ayre, and that Mike follow up with Roza in one month, as promised.
Update of ‘Instead of Weeds’ list
It was agreed to delete all the acacias known to be weedy from the list as proposed by Clive, and to commence using this list, and update as we can.
Actions: Lyndal to amend the ‘Instead of Weeds’ list by removing identified weedy alternatives from list, and adding the alternatives included in the Weeds booklet. Allan to improve the formatting for website use as well as hard copy.
Bushcare Network Conference
It was agreed that a conference or meeting of all groups across the Mountains be held. This forum would provide an opportunity to discuss current issues, such as what projects be prioritised for State funds and could include an educational session.
Margaret & Warwick Tafe reported on the 2011 Regional Landcare Forum, attended on 13 May at the Elizabeth Macarther Demonstration site.
A diverse range of groups attended, with interesting talks on fauna, promotion, Landcare framework etc. A tour was conducted focusing on history of site including human impacts on flora.
A surprise was the number of gas extraction well sites and associated fracking (fracturing the shale beds to release gas) across the whole of the Institute, which seems a contradiction when considering so much good work has been carried out to support and nurture the regenerating bushland.
One presentation held was about how to involve young people in Landcare using social media (Facebook, Twitter). Penrith CMA to planning run sessions on how to use this media and also a session with Les Robinson.
It was useful to attend to understand how we each fit into the bigger picture of over 4000 groups Australia wide.
Notification of Bushcare Groups of Development Applications on adjacent sites
Council Minutes no 460 part 5 (meeting 12 October 2010) was noted, which states that ‘Council’s internal processes be amended to ensure that the Council’s Bushcare Team leader is notified of and involved in all relevant Development Applications adjacent to Bushcare sites.’
It was noted that this decision to notify the Bushcare groups had not been implemented.
Action: that Mike as convenor monitor situation over next month and follow up on behalf of the network if required.
NPWS BM Regional Volunteer Coordinator — possible cessation of position
Action: Allan to write on behalf of the BCN to the BM regional office of NPWS to express concern about the cessation of the position of Regional Volunteer Coordinator, and the importance of this being a permanent position supported from a core budget, not just grants.
Next Meeting: Wednesday 17 August
For attachments to these minutes (letter to market stallholders), download meeting minutes as PDF here: Minutes of the Bushcare Network May 2011