members

GCCA newsletter 09 June 2013

By Naomi Edwards – contact n.edwards@griffith.edu.au, 07 555 28823

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 full of information, events and updates as well as a spotlight on a volunteer and update about the City of Gold Coast’s rapidly changing news. Also, enjoy a photo gallery from SEQ Catchments fun-filled Catchment Crawl and other information about the region’s catchment management network.

While on networks, in this issue we have also opened our communication door to shed some light on other community catchment networks. The first one is about the Brisbane Catchment Network (BCN). BCN is a similar collaboration of all existing community-based volunteer catchment groups operating within the city of Brisbane. Therefore, we thought it would be useful for our members to become aware of other integrated catchment management networks – to learn more about what happens in other regions, as well as the challenges and innovative strategies to overcome the many hurdles of catchment management.

Learning by doing is a way of approaching catchment management for the majority of our members. Hence why communicating with each together we’ll be able to help each other to restore our catchments to places of beauty, clean water and native habitat that will support our communities and our wildlife for the centuries to come. “We’ll have nothing to do in 10 years if we continue to approach challenges together”, said Naomi Edwards, our secretary and youngest committee member, at our last committee meeting (certainly a breath of fresh air).

Make yourself a cuppa and enjoy this newsletter,
From the Gold Coast Catchment Association committee.

To keep up to date with what is happening, ‘LIKE’ us on our Facebook Page. You can also contact Naomi Edwards if you have anything you’d like to share.

Enjoy Gold Coast’s only community catchment news!

From the Gold Coast Catchment Association

 

In this newsletter:

To keep up to date with what is happening, ‘LIKE’ us on our Facebook Page. You can also contact Naomi Edwards if you have anything you’d like to share.


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 full of information, events and updates as well as a spotlight on a volunteer and update about the City of Gold Coast’s rapidly changing news. Also, enjoy a photo gallery from SEQ Catchments fun-filled Catchment Crawl and other information about the region’s catchment management network.

While on networks, in this issue we have also opened our communication door to shed some light on other community catchment networks. The first one is about the Brisbane Catchment Network (BCN). BCN is a similar collaboration of all existing community-based volunteer catchment groups operating within the city of Brisbane. Therefore, we thought it would be useful for our members to become aware of other integrated catchment management networks – to learn more about what happens in other regions, as well as the challenges and innovative strategies to overcome the many hurdles of catchment management.

Learning by doing is a way of approaching catchment management for the majority of our members. Hence why communicating with each together we’ll be able to help each other to restore our catchments to places of beauty, clean water and native habitat that will support our communities and our wildlife for the centuries to come. “We’ll have nothing to do in 10 years if we continue to approach challenges together”, said Naomi Edwards, our secretary and youngest committee member, at our last committee meeting (certainly a breath of fresh air).

Make yourself a cuppa and enjoy this newsletter,
From the Gold Coast Catchment Association committee.

Gold Coast Catchment Association committee activities

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 20th August at 5:30pm at Country Paradise Parklands (finishing at approximately 7:00pm). All members are welcome to attend. If you wish to attend please submit an agenda item and/or RSVP to Naomi Edwards via email – info@goldcoastcatchments.org.

GCCA progress report

Approaching the end of the financial year calls for a quick summary of what the committee has been working on behind the scenes:

  • Profile status – frequent liaison with local Councillors and State MPs, hold representation on the Board of SEQ Catchments and SEQ Catchments Membership Association.
  • Direct engagement with the City of Gold Coast’s natural areas, catchment management, engineering services, and other departments on behalf of members.
  • Supported two members to achieve success in the State Government’s Everybody’s Environment grant.
  • Maintained database, memberships and developed a draft membership pack.
  • Supported events, including Gecko’s Green Week and SEQ Catchment’s Catchment Crawl.
  • Provided advice to new groups/members and linked new volunteers with existing groups.
  • Was a key stakeholder in the recent success of Currumbin Beach winning Queensland’s cleanest beach, and a finalist in the National Landcare awards.
  • Current liaison with GC TAFE and Department of Education and Training to develop an opportunity to support training opportunities for members.

back to top

A legacy dinner for Peter Davidson

In April, a small group of us got together to celebrate and thank Peter Davidson for his long-term contribution to catchment management on the Gold Coast as he moves into on-ground retirement. Supported by the City of Gold Coast’s Catchment Management Unit, it was rewarding to have a night off, dress up and enjoy a nice meal at Country Paradise Parklands. In addition, share stories and thoughts about volunteerism and why we all maintain our dedication to the cause. You can watch the video that was prepared for the dinner by clicking here!

“For those that haven’t been fortunate enough to meet the young Peter Davidson he has dedicated his life to improve the lives of many and the environment. He has worked as a pharmacist in the developing world and spent many years in West Africa in aid relief before settling along the Coomera River to make a home with his wife of 50 years and his three sons. Over the past three decades he has seen his abode change for the good and the bad, which inspired him to give back to ensure the environment was not sacrificed – the Coomera River. He is a founding member of the Gold Coast Catchment Association and has created a legacy for community-based catchment care”.

Peter Davidson is still involved as an advisor to the Gold Coast Catchment Association and Coomera River Catchment Care Group. Many thanks to Peter for creating an inspiring legacy to continue!

back to top

Round Two Opens: Everybody’s Environment grants program

The Department of Environment, Heritage and Protection state “how everyone has a part to play in finding ways to clean, repair and restore the local environment, use natural resources more wisely, and live more sustainably”.

Round Two of Everyone’s Environment grants program has just closed, and the following members applied through the Association.

Previous successful applicants included, Austinville Landcare and Currumbin Eco-village, which supported their on-going restoration plans at Austinville and Currumbin, respectively.

Best of luck!

back to top

New road hazard signage

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) will soon start installing fixed road hazard signage on some hinterland roads to increase safety during road closure events such as landslips or flooding. The signage will also improve driver and traveller information for those roads most at risk of closure.

The signage will be installed on the following state-controlled roads:

  • Nerang-Murwillumbah Road – further information to follow once location is determined.
  • Beechmont Road – near Nerang-Murwillumbah Road as well as near Brushbox Road.
  • Lamington National Park Road – near Sarabah Road.
  • Tamborine Mountain Road (The Goat Track) – near Beaudesert-Nerang Road as well as near Laheys Lookout Road.
  • Currumbin Creek-Tomewin Road – near Brocks Road.
  • Gold Coast-Springbrook Road – near Austinville Road as well as near Pine Creek Road.

The signs will be:

  • 2.9 metres wide by 1.7 metres high.
  • Panel hinged to allow message to change from ‘rock fall area’ to ‘road closed ahead’.
  • Fitted with lights that will be set to flash when a warning is necessary or a closure is activated.
  • Lights will be solar-powered at those locations with minimal tree coverage and mainspowered at others.

The installation of the signs is expected to start in early June and will take approximately 4 weeks to complete. All works will be carried out on weekdays between 7am and 5pm and, as the signs will be installed in the road reserve, so there can be expected minimal disruptions.

While these signs will be of assistance to residents and motorists and TMR have suggested to check the traffic and travel information website or call 13 19 40 for the most up-to-date information on road closures and events. Should you have any questions about these works, please call TMR’s program support officer, Larissa Burke, on (07) 5596 9500 or email pdo.regions.goldcoast@qld.gov.au.

back to top

City of Gold Coast new signage

The City of Gold Coast is updating the city’s signage suite with the new branding in every corner. This will include new signs at council managed/owned reserves, parks, creeks and other green open spaces where members currently volunteer. There have been some concerns highlighted by members about the effectiveness of signage. Through engaging with experts, we have suggested for the council to adopt participatory involvement with groups to ensure all new signs support our members. The following questions were prepared by the committee and emailed to relevant council officers:

  • How could the new branding and signage suite reflect the interests of members who volunteer their time to help restore council owned/managed open spaces?
  • How much do the signs cost?
  • What is the choice method for the type of signs – e.g. does vandalism override engagement opportunities?
  • What areas will be getting new signs and when?

For more information about Gold Coast’s new city brand please click here.
If you wish to know more about this or are concerned, please contact Naomi Edwards via email – info@goldcoastcatchments.org

back to top

On location: who’s who in the zoo with Steven Gill

In our last issue we caught up with Mark Tierney. This time round we shine the spotlight on a new face in the Coomera River Catchment Care Group – Steven Gill.

Naomi: What is the best thing about volunteering?
Steven: The most rewarding aspect of volunteering is that you are not paid for the job rather you do the work because you want to. Because you want to, you ensure that the work is carried out with goodwill and in co-operation with others to ensure each person contributed their best. There is always someone who will make up the shortfall in effort if required. Volunteering produces a level of satisfaction not normally experienced through paid work.

Naomi: You are involved in many organisations, which ones and what is the best thing about each one?
Steven: The many organisations that I am involved in on a voluntary basis, are generally The Rotary Club (which gives access to many different organisations and causes to support), The Salvation Army, Anglicare, the Catchment Groups, and any other organisation that requires assistance which I can provide from my skill set. Each organisation is different from the other, however, the common theme is in assisting where my skill set is most required. In some instances, it is simply money (such as funding for 20 beds for aged homeless people in The Philippines) or in others it is simply time, such as the Catchment Groups, or a combination as Rotary, where both money and time are given without thought of recognition.

Naomi: How did you get involved with Coomera River Catchment Care Group?
Steven: Involvement with the Coomera River Catchment Group came via contact from the young Peter Davidson whom we all know. Peter introduced me to both the water monitoring and riverbank replanting as a result of long contact through Rotary. To my delight both activities were greatly enjoyed; in hindsight, all I needed was to be asked to join in – and therein lies a lesson.

Naomi: How could we support your cause to engage the Coomera community in catchment management/care?
Steven: Support for the cause to engage the local community could manifest itself in different ways with suggestions, such as what is the best approach. For example, letterbox drop to suggested timing of a public meeting to engage the community, moral and practical support in experiential form and other strategies to achieve strategic goals.

Naomi: If you found a genie in a bottle what three wishes you would ask?
Steven: If I found a genie in a bottle it would be greeted, acknowledged, thanked and released, for the simple reason that if something was wished for, and materialised, what effect would that have in unexpected consequences? If something was achieved that disadvantaged others, where is the win?

The freestyle question: What do you have any hobbies?
Steven: My principal hobby is philosophy and spirituality, and exploring the connection in humans between body/mind/spirit, and the disconnection with science which claims the higher ground of factuality yet is often based upon speculation and interpretation. Another area of interest is the verbalisation and intellectualisation of emotive influences. I simply love being around and working with, interesting and vibrant people.

Steven Gill
Steven Gill on the recent SEQ Catchments Catchment Crawl (May 2013)

back to top

Who’s who in GCCC? Spotlight on Engineering Services – Beaches and Foreshores

This time round we shine the spotlight on Engineering Services who are responsible for managing our beaches, foreshores, roads and drainage, to city cleaning, parks, traffic and construction. Though, as Engineering Services is a large department of council, only the management of our beaches and foreshores will be highlighted in this issue.

Since the 1970s, council has been at the forefront of implementing pioneering coastal management strategies. This was initially in response to the devastated state of the coast after the 1967 storms, which caused extreme erosion that destroyed beachfront development. It was estimated that after the 1967 storms, our beaches would need 10million cubic metres of sand to bring back the golden shores – and we think we have erosion issues today! Given such, with direction from the then State Government’s Beach Protection Authority, coastal science, engineering and management were a priority and highly valued. This was proven to support large partnership investments in coastal management works, including, the construction of the seawall, groynes, river training walls and large-scale beach nourishment treatments. More recently, the sand bypass systems at the Gold Coast Seaway and Tweed River, as well as the artificial reef at Narrowneck Beach supplement an integrated approach to coastal zone management.

Today, the council still implements innovative coastal management strategies. Guided by the Gold Coast Shoreline Management Plan and in partnership with Griffith Centre for Coastal Management (GCCM), the council is one of a handful of councils who have a Professor of Coastal Management on hand. The tricky situation about coastal management is the large risk involved due to the dynamic and active nature of the ever-changing wave and sandy environment, as well as the diverse and passionate input from the community. This is why the council recently provided an opportunity for the community to submit their concepts, ideas and thoughts for the overarching Ocean Beaches Strategy. Also, continues to support the Coastal Community Engagement Program facilitated by GCCM – commonly referred to as BeachCare and CoastEd.

The question that you may want answered – what is happening about the current erosion along the ocean beaches? Council is implementing a number of projects; which one includes the interim Surfers Paradise Beach Nourishment project. This has involved partnering with the Gold Coast Waterways Authority to use the sand dredged from the Broadwater and stockpile 60,000m3 of dredged sand at The Spit (just south of the car park). The needed volumes of sand will then be trucked to Surfers Paradise. Consultation with Friends of Federation Walk was carried out to ensure all stakeholders approved the location and scale of the project (see photo). Keep in mind, if we didn’t have sand naturally nourishing our beaches from longshore drift, we would need almost 70 truck loads of sand delivered to the beaches each day for a whole year – which amounts to 500,000m3 of sand!

beach1

beach 2
Photos: the three football sized ‘sandpit’ storage area at The Spit (northern section of Federation Walk Coastal Reserve

Other council projects include the Miami seawall upgrade, Palm Beach Shoreline Project and attending to encroachment along the beachfront at Bilinga – Tugun.

beach 3
Photo: construction of the seawall along Miami Beach.

For more information about Engineering Services – beaches and foreshore activities, please click here or email info@goldcoastcatchments.org, which we can then forward your request/question to the right person (this will be the best way to avoid the vortex of council contacts).

back to top

Birds galore at Federation Walk Coastal Reserve

There is much to love about Federation Walk Coastal Reserve and the hard work by the many dedicated volunteers of Friends of Federation Walk and their supporters over the years is paying eco dividends. The reserve is now an important bird refuge for many species, from Rainbow Bee-eaters, to Bush Stone Curlews and migratory bird species when they choose to fly in for a Gold Coast getaway. Photographers Peter Scholer and Gary Casey have captured some incredible images and collated a bird species list, which can be viewed by clicking here.

If you’re lucky you might even spot the resident Koala in a Banksia! 

koala
Photo: The resident Koala (unknown photographer)

For more information about Friends of Federation Walk or the reserve visit federationwalk.org by clicking here.

back to top

SEQ Catchments in the southern east corner

Managing Horse Properties on the Gold Coast

Horse owners on the Gold Coast recently benefited from a series of workshops to help horse owners better manage their paddocks for happier, healthier horses. Participants were guided through a series of practical steps over two workshops, by horse expert Mariette van der Berg and property planning advice from SEQ Catchments. Mariette van der Berg took the participants through the broad issues of horse behaviour, horse nutrition and pasture management.

At the end of the workshops SEQ Catchments also sought
out interest from property owners interested in adopting some of these on ground land management improvements, by providing financial assistance with some of the upfront costs. Properties have so far included some in Nerang, Tamborine and Canungra.

These workshops were funded by the Australian Government and coordinated by South East Queensland’s Regional Landcare Facilitator, hosted by SEQ Catchments.

Gold Coast Catchment Crawl

All members of Gold Coast’s catchment network were recently invited to join the fun-filled guided coach tour of three community-initiated projects designed to protect and enhance the environment and its biodiversity.

Starting at the Country Paradise Parklands, Mark Tierney provided a great show and tell about what Nerang River Keepers have achieved recently, best practices, tool advice and even how to increase tool resources (what happens on the crawl stays on the crawl!). It was impressive to see what they have achieved in recent years, including building a shed, community nursery and planting 5100 plants in one morning!! Anyway…

After morning tea, we travelled up to Mt Tamborine to see one of the 22 sites Mt Tamborine Landcare actively managed. It was delightful to hear they were recent award recipients of a Healthy Waterways Award, and the evidence proves their success. Key messages from this site included the need to have safe accessibility to sites, encourage neighbouring properties to be the champions of sites and also be innovative to support financial needs (they have a book shop, which provides seed funding to access grants).Also, engage with local experts, and for them this has included GIS Experts to help map the corridor they aim to connect and evaluate restoration efforts. Well done!

The last stop took the tour to Ormeau (the northern part of the Gold Coast) to where Northeast Albert Landcare has been restoring the Pimpama River. Their project was very interesting from a stakeholder perspective, as they have strategically partnered with Boral, who owes the local quarry.

This has provided them with additional resources and capacity and a blue-print for exciting goals in the future. Key messages at this site included the need to partner with larger organisations to support the works of volunteers, promote a unique reason to care (the need to protect the critically endangered Ormeau Bottletree) and dream big to achieve big.

Feedback from all participants was positive and it looks like the Catchment Crawl may become an annual event. Thanks for SEQ Catchments and the City of Gold Coast for supporting it!
To see the photos from the day please click here.

back to top

Congratulations to Currumbin for winning QLD’s cleanest beach

curumbin

Currumbin Beach recently topped Keep Queensland Beautiful’s Clean Beaches competition and we think Currumbin certainly deserves the crown of Queensland’s cleanest beach. Currumbin Beach is known for its ocean and creek beaches, world class surfing break, estuarine environment, the community-owned beach village, amongst many historical, cultural, social and environmental values – it really wasn’t hard for the judge to pick up just why.

Friends of Currumbin have been caring for the coastal frontline for the past three decades and more recently powering through dune care activities with BeachCare and corporate volunteer partnerships. Further, sustainability initiatives implemented at Currumbin SLSC and the many partnerships between the City of Gold Coast and other organisations and businesses also contributed to the success.

Griffith Centre for Coastal Management recently held a local celebration ceremony to thank all the stakeholders, partners and friends, as well as other State award recipients for the Snapper-Kirra beaches, Burleigh Heads and The Spit.

Well done to all involved! If you’d like to get involved with BeachCare and/or Clean Beaches please contact BeachCare on 07 5552 8829, email the coordinator Joel Hayes – joel.hayes@griffith.edu.au or see the calendar below for the list of dates and locations.

calendar
BeachCare’s activities for July-December 2013
Click here to see enlarged version>>

back to top

Brisbane Catchments Network

“The Brisbane Catchments Network (BCN) is a collaboration of all existing community-based volunteer catchment groups operating within the city of Brisbane. The network provides opportunities for individual groups to share information and develop partnerships and projects to address citywide environmental issues.

By bringing together Brisbane’s many, catchments, BCN also provides a voice on a number of regional natural resource management bodies, including: the Moreton Bay Waterways & Catchments Partnership, Community and Industry Advisory Group, Moreton Bay Implementation Group, SEQ Catchments, SEQ Water and Land Carers.

BCN is supported by Brisbane City Council, which provides secretartiat and other support services, as well as, opportunities for training and capacity building of member groups.
Council also provides financial assistance to groups through its environmental and community grants program”.

For more information about BCN please visit their website by clicking here or contact the secretary via email: BrisbaneCatchments@gmail.com

back to top

Yeskandoo…. to a life less plastic

yes can do

Just when you thought using your green bags at the grocer or even remembering to have your Keep Cup on hand was good enough! Well, it is a positive start – to a life less plastic – though, Yeskandoo are taking everyday use of plastic to another level!

The supermum’s behind Yeskandoo are moving in fast forward and it’s incredible to think how one of our members is now founding a collective network to reduce plastic ending up in our waterways and environment. All with the hope of Australia to wake-up and seriously start to reduce our consumption of single-use plastics.

Between the launch of a website, delivering presentations at schools and community events, hosting screenings of ‘Bag It’ and developing a self branded 100% plastic free water bottle, the Yeskandoo team are committed to reducing the use of plastic in everyday life. They were also recently a finalist for a Healthy Waterways Award for their significant achievements since being founded only in April 2012. Well done!

For more information about Yeskandoo, please visit: yeskandoo.org

back to top

PlatypusWatch

Due to the elevated creek levels, increased creek flows and likelihood that Platypus were moved to more sheltered grounds for a while, PlatypusWatch surveys were conducted in May (instead of earlier in the year). Here are some of the results*:

  • Currumbin Survey May 4th  – 14 Volunteers – 0 sightings
  • Coomera Survey May 5th – 21 Volunteers – 1 Platypus sighting.
  • Tallebudgera Survey 18th May – 11 Volunteers – 0 Platypus
  • Mudgeeraba Creek Survey – 19th May – 14 Volunteers – 0 Platypus

*Surveys were conducted in the afternoon and will be returning to the morning in August/September to see if we can find Platypus again.

Between surveys, Natalie Hoskins, the Platypuswatch Coordinator provided a talk for the Springbrook Wildlife Appreciation Group in early May. This was well received!

Also, Platypuswatch will be on exhibition at the Gecko Green Week Wildlife Expo on Sunday 9th June and Saturday 15th at the Upper Coomera Community Centre Open Day – volunteers are needed to help man the stalls – please contact Natalie if you can help on either of these days. Lastly, a photo competition is currently being judged by Cr Chris Robbins – winner will be announced very soon.

Please contact Natalie Hoskins for more information via email – econat1@bigpond.com.

Happy Platypus watching!

back to top

Farmer Markets

Buy local and the save planet – and your pocket! There are numerous markets located throughout the Gold Coast and always have a great selection of local-regional-national grown produce that is in season and fresh! To find your local farmer’s market visit the following websites:

  1. Gold Coast Farmer’s Markets
  2. Farmer’s Markets Organisation

back to top

Landcare Awards

Landcarers across the country are being encouraged to submit a nomination for the 2013 State & Territory Landcare Awards.The renowned Awards, now in their 23rd year, honour the invaluable work that is being undertaken by the Landcare community, with the winners from the State & Territory Awards going forward as finalists to the prestigious National Landcare Awards in 2014.

2013 State & Territory Landcare Awards Categories

  • Individual Landcarer Award
  • Partnerships with Landcare Award
  • Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices Award
  • Landcare Facilitator or Coordinator Award
  • Coastcare Award
  • Qantas Landcare Innovative Community Group Award
  • Westpac Agribusiness Innovative Young Landcare Leader Award
  • Junior Landcare Team Award
  • Indigenous Land Management Award

The Gold Coast was very fortunate in 2011-12 with two finalists up to win the Coastcare and Urban Landcare categories for both BeachCare and us respectively. If you are interested in submitting a nomination please visit the Landcare awards website and email Naomi Edwards at info@goldcoastcatchments.org for some advice.

Please note nomination submissions close on Sunday 30th June 2013.

back to top

site design Working Planet