GCCA newsletter – Issue 10, October 2013
Catch up on Gold Coast’s catchment news
As always, it is our greatest pleasure to bring you Gold Coast’s catchment news!
This issue is packed with catchment news from across the Gold Coast. By informing you on what’s new and in the news for Gold Coast’s catchments, we can continue to strive towards enhancing catchment health.
In this newsletter:
- Gold Coast Catchment Association committee activities
- Annual General Meeting invitation
- Turtle Conservation Project Event!
- Abbott’s Green Army
- Here’s some good news!
- City of Gold Coast branding
- Birds of the Broadwater
- Catching up from SEQ Catchments
- Noosa Integrated Catchment Association
- On the beach:
- National Clean Beaches judging
- Summer program
- Ocean Beaches Strategy
- Boomerang Bag project
- Beaches to Bushland Volunteer Restoration Program announced as a finalist in 2013
- QLD Landcare awards
- Environmental Weeds of the Gold Coast booklet 2013 revised edition
Enjoy Gold Coast’s only community catchment news!
From the Gold Coast Catchment Association
Our committee has been working hard behind the scenes to support members and further discuss future needs for Gold Coast’s catchments. For instance, simply as technology transforms the way we communicate and even manage catchments, we have recognised the need to re-develop the functionality of our website. The objective is to refresh and collate information to support members and recruit volunteers, as well as streamline communication and requests between email, social media networks and general website updates. If you are tech-savvy, need to dust off your computer skills or are interested in learning more about website hosting and/or social media please contact us – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, just a reminder that our next meeting will be held at Country Paradise Parklands on Tuesday 19th October, 5.30pm, all are welcome.
Other than that, please enjoy the newsletter – Issue 10.
The Gold Coast Catchment Association committee
It’s that time of year again – AGM TIME!
Our committee invites all members and interested stakeholders to attend our Annual General Meeting to be held at Country Paradise Parklands next month. Light refreshments will be provided prior to the meeting, as well as an inspiring tour of the parklands. Keeping business as usual committee roles will become vacant, which means the following positions will be available for interested members:
- Communication and website
- 2 X committee member
It is important to ensure there is an upper, mid and lower catchment representative on the committee, as well as an even spread across our linear geographic landscape. Remember, being on the committee and an active member will increase our collective weight to gain support from major partners as well as secure new partnerships.
The Coalition has launched a re-vamped Green Army program and there is much more involved than up-skilling 15,000 young Australian’s green thumbs. As Prof Stewart Lockie highlighted in an article published in ‘The Conversation’, there are two-sides to the Green Army story.
Firstly, the plan aims to rationalise natural resource management programs and amalgamate existing Landcare and Caring for Country programs. This will streamline projects and outcomes, and aim to allow for long-term project funding, which the Australian Landcare Network welcomes. This will also devolve projects through regional NRM groups, such as SEQ Catchments to support more networking opportunities, long-term projects and see a reduction in short-term funded projects.
This all sounds like a relief, especially for ‘Landcare’ groups in need of support. In addition, see on-ground support from Green Army groups and help connect projects that support more strategic outcomes; for instance, SEQ Catchments Strategic Investment Plan targets and City of Gold Coast greening projects. As for Gold Coast Catchment Association members, we recommend for you to get into contact with the relevant officers at SEQ Catchments and City of Gold Coast to ensure they are aware of your projects or desires to expand existing endeavors.
Projects of interest to this initiative include:
- Weed control
- Re-vegetation and regeneration of local parks
- Habitat protection and restoration
- Improving water quality by cleaning up waterways
- Re-vegetation of sand dunes and mangroves
- Creek bank regeneration
- Foreshore and beach restoration
- Construction of boardwalks and walking tracks to protect local wildlife
- Cultural heritage restoration
Local luck in the Queensland Government’s Everybody’s Environment Grant continues with a successful project being awarded to Coomera Catchment Management Group. The funding will support the Waterhen Lake Restoration Project in Russell Hinze Park, Oxenford, where there is a nature refuge for waterbirds.
Funding to support restoration of Loders Creek
Southport State High School was also granted an Everybody’s Environment Grant to support restoration of the mangrove and creek habitats adjacent to the school boundary. Congratulations!
An example of the new logo (image source: City of Gold Coast).
There is still a little confusion around the City of Gold Coast branding. In particular, acronyms, the name and how to use the logo. First of all, there is no acronym and you can say good-bye to Gold Coast City Council, replacing City of Gold Coast and then thereafter, the City.
As for the logo, it best to familiarise yourself with the FAQs on the City’s website, or download the branding document. You can also directly contact the City’s communication team for more information or access to a logo pack via us – email@example.com.
Eastern Curlews use the Broadwater for roosting and feeding – listed under the EPBC Act (image source: Bob Westerman)
Bob Westerman, ‘Bob the Broadwater Shorebird Man’, has been out and about wherever he can, sharing his passion for the shorebirds that use the Broadwater. In the last year he has achieved much to acknowledge and celebrate, including presenting at community forums and schools, meeting community and industry leaders, produced Birds of the Broadwater Field Guide, nominated the unnamed island to be nationally recognised, developed broadwaterbirds.com and has become a regular columnist for The Sun and Southport VMR magazine, and secured funding for signage!
Interestingly, it wasn’t until he was volunteering at Southport VMR when he recognised the shorebirds roosting in the Broadwater! Ever since then, he promotes the shorebirds as jewels of the Broadwater – and links the analogy of the Eureka Diamond to the Broadwater Birds. Above all has earnt much respect in the community. Keep up the good work Bob, as the shorebirds need you!
To find out more about the birds of the Broadwater, please visit Bob’s website – broadwaterbirds.com – or visit The Grand or Muriel Henchman Drive boat ramps to see the impressive signage.
Shorebirds of the Broadwater signage at The Grand boat ramp – a collaborated project facilitated by SEQ Catchments.
A recent highlight in the region includes the Shorebirds of the Broadwater signage. SEQ Catchments Gold Coast’s Community Partnership Manager, Linda Durham, believes that education is an important first step in raising awareness about natural resource management. Coupled with Bob Westerman’s passion and knowledge about the Shorebirds of the Broadwater, Linda successfully facilitated a shorebird signage project now erected at The Grand and Muriel Henchman Drive – funded by the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program, also in partnership with Birdlife Australia, Queensland Waders and Study Group, City of Gold Coast and Friends of Federation Walk.
“Growing urbanisation has placed increased pressure on shorebirds and their habitat. Having safe roosting sites free from predators and disturbances is key,” said Linda. “Even dogs off leashes can scare these birds and put them into flight unnecessarily. We hope these signs are both informative and interesting to read.”
For more information about what’s on across the region, please visit SEQ Catchments website.
This article was sourced by SEQ Catchment Catching Up in the Gold Coast Catchments September issue
In our last issue, we highlighted the Brisbane Catchment Network to inform you about other collective catchment networks across the region. This time round, the Noosa Integrated Catchment Association (NICA) is discussed.
NICA is relevantly similar to the Gold Coast Catchment Association, in regards to the integrated stakeholder approach to enhance catchment health. NICA mission is to foster responsible land and water management in the Noosa River Catchment, resulting in a clean and healthy river system. Formed in 1996, a community-based steering committee was established to:
- Provide a forum for community input and discussion
- Identify and prioritise catchment issues
- Develop and promote the adoption of catchment management strategies and actions by all stakeholders
- Leverage funding to implement, monitor and evaluate such strategies and actions
A strategy was produced in 2001, which 153 actions were identified and prioritised. NICA strategically focuses on high priority actions between local on-ground and planning groups, whilst creates partnerships to facilitate various projects from SeagrassWatch, Noosa River Ranger Program and Waste Wise Program – which Kris Boody (City of Gold Coast Catchment Liaison Officer) use to coordinate when he was a fresh graduate! For more information about NICA, visit noosariver.com.au.
Currumbin Beach – ‘Keep It Cleanest’
On the Gold Coast it is always ‘funshine’, famous for fun! Also famous for clean beaches, which BeachCare recently took the National Clean Beaches judge for an all day show and tell along Currumbin Beach.
Part of Keep Australia Beautiful’s Clean Beaches competition, Currumbin Beach is a finalist in the national award. Though, it is not just about a clean beach, rather the diversity of active partnerships that promote sustainability, innovation and community pride.
A whole catchment approach was lead by Joel Hayes and Naomi Edwards from BeachCare, who engaged with almost every Currumbin carer from The Ecovillage to the sandy shores. The enthusiasm displayed by each stakeholder, and not to forget SWELL Festival’s festivities and perfect weather sure caught heart of the judge.
The award will be announced at Keep Australia Beautiful’s Sustainable Cities Award Ceremony in November – so stay tuned!
BeachCare’s summer program
Caring for Gold Coast’s beaches over summer just got easier with two new partnership programs soon to be launched as a result from extra funding from Landcare Australia.
- Healthy Creeks = Clean Oceans
- Coolangata Project
For more information please contact Joel Hayes, BeachCare Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org or 5552 8829.
Ocean Beaches Strategy
As Gold Coast beaches support a significant component of our lifestyles and economy, the City of Gold Coast recently released the Ocean Beaches Strategy 2013-2023. The Strategy highlights on-going and developmental activities that support the enhancement of the coastal zone. There are four strategic outcomes:
- Everyone can enjoy a beach experience
- Our beaches are healthy and clean
- Our infrastructure is protected from coastal hazards
- There is joint stewardship of the ocean beaches
Surfrider Foundation and Yeskandoo are working together and striving from strength to strength. They are currently working on a Boomerang Bay project to eradicate plastic bags from the Burleigh Heads business district. This forms part of a larger project called Rise Above Plastics to encourage people to NOT use single-use plastics.
So, what’s in the name for the Boomerang Bag project…
What is the Boomerang Bag project? The Boomerang Bag (BB) project is a collaborative community project providing a free, sustainable alternative to plastic bags for shoppers and retailers within the Burleigh Heads business district. A number of Bag-Share or ‘Boomerang Bins’ of varying sizes will be stocked with re-useable bags for customers to borrow if they have forgotten to bring their own, and return it on one of their next visits. How did the project come about? As a result of our ‘throw-away’ consumer mentality, large amounts of plastic pollution have been rapidly filling up our landfills, clogging our waterways and polluting our oceans for decades. To help solve this global issue, Surfrider Foundation initiated a campaign called Rise Above Plastics to raise awareness and advocate for a reduction of disposable plastic shopping bags within Burleigh Heads. Further, inspired by a documentary called ‘Bag-it’ Yeskandoo, another not-for-profit organisation started working on similar campaigns to raise awareness of plastic pollution and inspire change in the local community. Due to the synergies between both organisations, a partnership was born to implement the BB project, which reduces the reliance of local businesses to supply plastic bags to all customers and encourages a mentality of re-use among the local community. The concept was adopted from a Bag Share program implemented by the Lane Cove Sustainability Action Group in a suburb of North Sydney. The benefit of the project is that it’s at no cost to local businesses or consumers – a win-win for all stakeholders involved.
Boomerang Bags is a pilot program which, if effective, will pave the way and provide a template to roll out the program across other local districts of the Gold Coast.
Who is involved?
Project leaders include – Surfrider Foundation Gold Coast Tweed – Protection of our oceans, waves and beaches, and Yeskandoo…to a life less plastic
- Burleigh Men’s Shed Association – Boomerang Bin construction
- Coral Homes – donation of fabric supply
- Numinbah Correctional Facility – Sewing boomerang bags (ongoing)
- Country Women’s Association – Sewing of bags
- St Andrews Lutheran School – Sewing of bags
- All Saints High School – Sewing of bags
- Silkwood School – Sewing of bags
- Local community members – Sewing of bags
What resources does the project need?
- Donations of material (old bed sheets and doona covers work well!), threads
- Volunteers for sewing, cutting, ironing, pinning, etc. and either work from home or come and join one of our community sewing bees.
When is the launch or how can people get involved?
- We don’t have a launch date (yet), though, we aim to start early in the New Year (the more people sewing bags, the sooner we can launch)
- Come along to a free Bag it screening on the 7th November at Fradgley Hall, Burleigh Heads.
- Follow our Rise Above Plastics Facebook page for updates about upcoming community sewing bees, Bag-it screenings and Launch date.
Who’s who in GCCC? Spotlight on Local Law
Local Law compliance is a section within the directorate of Community Services. They provide a service for a range of internal and external clients. The section is responsible for issues regarding:
- Boat ramps
- And other public and private property
To ensure our streets and neighbourhoods are safe places for residents and visitors, Local Law staff are committed to the efficient and effective delivery of services and take pride in being outcome focused. For more information about Local Law please visit the link.
Beaches to Bushland Volunteer Restoration Program announced as a finalist in 2013 QLD Landcare awards
The City of Gold Coast was a finalist in the 2013 QLD Landcare Awards for the Partnering with Landcare Award through the Beaches to Bushland Volunteer Restoration Program. The program has been running since 1999 and is coordinated and funded through the City’s Natural Areas Management Unit (NAMU). The program supports 10 Bushcare/Landcare groups, 3 individual carers and various school and community groups that generously give their time and contribute thousands of hours to help restore natural areas on public land.
Program Coordinator Saraya Robinson recently travelled to Warwick to celebrate with other finalists and to congratulate the winner of the award Suncoast Farm Flow project. A highlight from the trip was networking with various Landcare,/Bushcare groups and organisations from around the state that contribute to restoring our natural environment. Another highlight was hearing the achievements and goals that have been reached by various groups. Very inspiring!
You can find out more about the achievements of each group by clicking the link Beaches to Bushland Volunteer Restoration program
Beaches to Bushland Program coordinator Saraya Robinson and CEO of Landcare Australia Tessa Jakszewicz at the awards ceremony
The City of Gold Coast has reproduced the new edition of the Environmental Weeds of the Gold Coast booklet. The booklet was recently revamped by the City’s Natural Areas Management Unit and includes various new additions including the Giant Devil’s Fig, an additional 10 declared water weeds, updates to current weed control methods, how you can help and where to go for assistance.
This is a handy brochure that is great for when in the field and can be used as a quick reference guide to identify the most common environmental weeds found on the Gold Coast.
Easter Cassia- Senna pendula var glabrata (photo source: City of Gold Coast)
Results are in from the September survey:
- Currumbin Survey – 2 Platypus sightings
- Coomera Survey May – 2 Platypus sightings
- Mudgeeraba Creek Survey – 2 Platypus sightings
PlatypusWatch will be out watching again, so keep your watchful eye out for the latest news! Please contact Natalie Hoskins for more information via email – email@example.com.
Happy Platypus watching!