Minutes of meeting Nov 2011

Draft minutes to be confirmed at February 2012 meeting

When: Wednesday 17 November 2011 at 6pm

Where: Mountains Community Resource Network Meeting Room, Lawson

Present: Paul Vale (Popes Glen, Centenary Reserve), Susan Jalaluddin (Vale St, Cumberland Walkway, Hazelbrook), Allan Murray (Glenbrook Lagoon), Ray Richardson (Nth Lawson), Mike Purtell (Else Mitchell & Deanei), Elizabeth Mitchell (Birdwood Gully), Margaret & Warwick Tafe (Mt Riverview), Joy Kane (WWFalls), Lyndal Sullivan (BMCC)

Apologies: Annette Coulter (Pitt Park), Karen Hising (Valley of the Waters), Erst Carmichael (Sth Lawson), Shirley Brown (MHH, Kat Ck, BK, Leura Pk), Barbara Harley (Tree Fern Gully, Lindeman Road Leura), Clive Heywood Barker (BMCS).

Facilitator: Paul Vale

Acceptance of Previous Minutes (August 2011) Allan Murray/Susan Jalaluddin

Matters Arising from Previous Minutes

  1. Post Fire Weed Monitoring

    Paul reported on the monitoring project at Centenary Reserve Blackheath. The burn took place on 16 November.

    Three study plots have been set up in the area burned: very weedy, moderately weedy and pristine, with three unburned control plots matching as closely as possible.

    Photo records have been made. Floristic surveys have involved the listing of species and % cover in each plot (eg 1 plot had 53 species, and there are probably 75 in whole reserve).

    As the objective of this project is to compare weed spread in burned to non burned areas, a number-specific weed count has also been taken in each plot; it is also hoped to create a template to repeat on other sites.

    Kate Hammil was thanked for her generous contribution to the project. She has volunteered her time and expertise to guide the methodology and identify species

    Action: Lyndal to thank Kate Hammil for her generous contribution to the project on behalf of the Bushcare Network.

    Lyndal to circulate Paul’s progress report with minutes, with emphasis that it is a work in progress and should not be passed on to others outside the BCN at this stage.

    Discussion on the plume of mature broom in the National Park at Sublime Point following the March 2009 fire. The issue of planning for and funding weed control as part of hazard reduction operations has been raised by the Blue Mountains National Parks Advisory Committee. David Coleby’s work in treating this area of 30m x 50m was acknowledged.

  2. Reprint of ‘Living Near the Bush’

    Contact has been made with Brendan Doyle who is managing the review of the publication for Blue Mtns Conservation Society. Electronic copies have been send to Lyndal and Paul. Paul has begun making comments on changes suggested in the current edition.

    Actions: Mike and Warwick to review the building sections. Lyndal to add to Paul’s comments with names of other people to assist with specific sections, also to review bushland management sections. Lyndal to circulate electronic copy.

  3. Sale of Weeds at Local Markets Action

    Margaret to circulate her current list of markets (dates, venues and contacts) to all Network members, to allow all to add information and return to Margaret.

  4. Bushcare Network 2006 Proposal for the Use of Lawson Golf Course Site

    It was agreed that we needed to be prepared for the consultation planned for 2012, having a a clear position, and therefore to review previous proposal at the next meeting in February.

    Action: Lyndal to circulate proposal before next meeting for discussion.

  5. NSW government funding/Meeting with State Members

    Allan reported that Stuart Ayres’s office has not responded to his request for a meeting. He will seek to make an appointment and raise the election funding promise

    Mike reported on the response to a question to Roza’s staffer re the progress of the election promise of funding for Bushcare (after attending another meeting) – he was referred to other funding sources, the election promise was not acknowledged

    Ray reported on the release of the NSW govt 2020–2026 plan. All agreed that this framework is important to understand and to operate within when lobbying on state issues.

    Actions: that Allan attempt to make an appointment with Stuart Ayres; accompanied by Mike, Elizabeth and Margaret if possible. A further appointment be made with Roza Sage if required to follow up the funding promise.

    Allan to send to Ray a copy of the submission made to Roza Sage.

    Lyndal to send information of the election promise to members of the Volunteer Coordinator Network.

    Note: on 17 November the announcement was made of the ‘promised’ funds for community bush regeneration projects, although only $8 million, not the promised $10 million, and also in a format that makes it difficult to access the funds.

  6. Update of ‘Instead of Weeds’ list

    It was agreed that the purpose of the list was to provide suggestions to people who sold plants, at nurseries or markets, for alternatives to any of the weeds their customers may be asking for. Amendments to latest version of list were discussed and incorporated by Alan, including warning re size of tree and impact on neighbours

    Actions: Allan to finalise amended ‘Instead of Weeds’ list with Barbara, including her amendments. All to suggest a better name for the list, to replace ‘Instead of Weeds’.

  7. Bushcare Network Conference

    Three broad objectives for a conference were agreed as being:

    1. to offer an opportunity to members of groups to learn more about an aspect of Bushcare (educational);
    2. to engage more volunteers in Network issues;
    3. to encourage networking between groups and a sharing of ideas.

    Ideas discussed included:

    • Les Robinson’s ideas on recruiting and retaining volunteers
    • Current projects: short presentations by groups
    • Future projects for funding and prioritisation
    • All coordinators of groups be invited, as well as members Action Mike and Margaret to present a draft structure and possible dates to discuss at the next meeting.
  8. Notification of Bushcare Groups of Development Applications on adjacent sites

    Lyndal reported that Damien Drew, the City Services Group Manager, has been pursuing the problem of the failure of the internal process to notify Bushcare of development applications on adjacent sites, in spite of the council resolution.

    He has reported that the development section (Development Health and Customer Services) claims that notifying anyone outside of the Property branch (the notional ‘owners’ of Council land) goes outside the regulatory framework on DA notifications. They have therefore been notifying the Property section of Council, who should then pass the information on to Bushcare. Damien is in communication with the relevant Group Manager, and expects a positive result in the near future.

    Action: Send list of relevant DAs and DCP on Public Participation on Land Use Planning to Susan and Paul.

  9. Les Robinson Workshop on Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

    Ideas from the workshop were discussed and considered as a good topic for broader discussion at a conference. (The Nov Gecko contained a summary of the key ideas.)

    An idea tried since the workshop was a Nth Lawson birdwalk, associating the bushcare group with an event. It attracted a large number of local residents, and will be interesting to monitor if any new recruits come from this to the next meeting.

  10. Sydney Water Winmalee Sewer Tunnel Improvement Project

    Mike reported on the three community workshops: 70% of participants supported the option of discharge into the creek near the Winmalee Treatment Plant, rather than the other two options. Currently waiting for response from Sydney Water. In wet periods of more than two weeks the sewer system is overloaded; needs option to release overflow (20% raw sewerage in stormwater)

  11. Tunnel through Wolli Creek remnant Bushland for duplicate M5 motorway

    Following a discussion on whether the Network would get involved in writing letters of support to other groups, it was agreed to write supporting the Wolli Creek group.

    Action: Paul to draft a letter of support from the BCN for Wolli Creek Bushcare group to the relevant minister and circulate to BCN Committee for approval as per item 13 below.

  12. Revised Environmental Weeds List in DCP

    Clive and Paul compiled a Network response to the draft Weeds List within the Better Living DCP and the TPO supporting increased exemptions for the removal of weeds

General Business

  1. Protocol for approval of BCN letters and submissions, Paul

    It was agreed that for matters that had already been discussed, were relatively easy or urgent, that any member could initiate a response with the approval of an additional three members of the Network.

  2. Change to Bushcare Team Leader position

    Lyndal reported on changes to the Team Leader position – that a 3 month trial to job share the position had commenced. The position would be shared with Erin Hall. Feedback on how this was working, or not, would assist (before end of January).

  3. Meetings for 2012: every 3months, second Wed

    • 8 February
    • 9 May
    • 8 August
    • 14 November
  4. Link Road through Deanei Reserve

    It was agreed that the BCN write to councillors expressing disquiet at any link road proposal that would have a detrimental impact on the Deanei Reserve. The letter to include information on BCN (representing 70 groups) and the specific site:

    • the conservation values of the reserve
    • Endangered Ecological Community
    • Shale Cap
    • Forest
    • yrs of BC vol work (group started in June 1994)
    • Council’s investment over 20 years: first large bushregeneration grant from Environment Trust in 1993 for the restoration of reserve; major funding under URCP
    • Community investment
    • Community resource: recreational and educational area

    Action: Paul to write to the GM with copies to all councillors.

  5. Bushcare Network Convenor

    Mike advised that he would vacate the position at the next meeting on 8 February and asked members to consider nominating.

Next Meeting Wednesday 8 February.

Meeting closed at 9.45pm.

These draft minutes may be downloaded in PDF format from here: Draft_Minutes_BCN_Meeting_Nov_2011