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Phone: (07) 3420-4800 This Issue:
FAUNA BRIDGE AT COMPTON ROAD BEST PRACTICE
Fauna bridge, Compton Road Kuraby.
- WORLD RECOGNITION
Healthy Food Garden Program Dream River Fires at Tingalpa and Hemmant SEQ Wildlife Rescue Exciting Grants Wildlife Conservation Partnerships News from Mt Gravatt Bush Tucker Dayâ€”Burnett Swamp
In 2004, faced with the necessity of upgrading Compton Road, Kuraby, from two to four lanes, Brisbane City Council made the visionary decision to incorporate a wide range of fauna-friendly crossing structures into the road design of the upgrade. The infrastructure includes eight glider poles, three rope ladders, faunafriendly culverts, exclusion fencing, escape poles and a fauna land bridge. The project has been monitored since its construction and an unexpectedly high rate of use by a remarkably large number of species of both the underpasses and the land bridge was revealed. This has received national and international attention.
We would also like to thank Judy Spence State Member for Mt Gravatt for her continued support with the printing of our newsletter
With Thanks To Our Major Sponsors:
There is a clear seasonal aspect to the use made of the structures. Winter has typically low numbers and midsummer surveys usually yield peaks in numbers and activity across the different groups of animals. The current prolonged extreme drought conditions appear to be responsible for a steady reduction in overall animal numbers. The vegetation planted on the land bridge has grown dramatically over the past few years and scat counts have indicated that wallabies continue to use the bridge regularly, as do hares. Foxes are still rare. B4C congratulates Brisbane City Council and Karawatha Forest Protection Society in this far-sighted approach to saving our wildlife.
Worldâ€™s best ! Fauna land bridge Compton Road Kuraby.
HEALTHY FOOD GARDEN PROGRAM This project involves the strategic collaboration between Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C), Southern Gulf Catchments, an award winning urban school Mt Petrie State School, the newly formed Gregory River Landcare Group and the Gregory River Educational Facility. The two schools have recently begun a program of twinning with students exchanging information. Representatives from B4C have made two visits to the Gregory River in 2007. The twinning concept is a ‗kids teaching kids‘ education experience that has key learning outcomes but is also fundamentally about social understanding and cultural appreciation. The objective is overcoming the ―environmental deficit syndrome‖ of urban children and the isolation of kids in remote regional areas. It is a challenging process that requires a level of commitment from all involved but the simple results are a step towards cultural understanding and community enrichment. Southern Gulf Catchments – is a Commonwealth and State accredited body preparing an integrated natural resource plan and investment strategy for its North Queensland region. It seeks to restore biodiversity values, improve water quality and improve coastal and marine management. Mount Petrie State School - is known as a country school in the city, the 120 students enjoy over 12ha of school grounds which includes 50% bushland. This dynamic allows the school to provide a stimulating learning environment. The school is dedicated to providing access to a variety of educational opportunities. Gregory River Landcare Group – This landcare groups was formed in May 2007. The founding members were local business operators, pastoralists, regional government officers and long term visitors. The group was formed due to the combined concern and love of the Gregory River. Gregory River Educational Facility – is a one teacher school with 18 registered students. Its energetic teacher – Rebecca Yamaguchi has been instrumental in the twinning exchanges with students at Mt Petrie. The intimate and remote learning environment makes this school a great location for the school garden project. The project is a way to encourage children to grow their own food and improve their horticultural awareness through practical Gregory Downs & School of the Air students hands-on activities. The project is based on the twinning concept where kids will learn and share experiences based around the construction and harvesting of school based food gardens. Increasingly children from all over Australia are becoming disconnected with where their food comes from. This project seeks to reconnect them and will also encourage the basis for an ethic of healthy diets for children.
DREAM RIVER The Watershed Committees and local schools of the Loire River in France together with B4C and those of the Gregory River in the Gulf of Carpentaria are collaborating to facilitate the ―Dream River‖ project. Children of primary school age attending the participating schools will be invited to explore their local river, wetland or creek. They will investigate its ecological and cultural aspects and express these through a work of art. The scheme will encourage all children to participate and produce an original version of their ―Dream River‖. It is emphasized that this is not a contest and the children will be able to express their ideas and produce a work of art of their own choosing within the framework of their school‘s organisation. Each school will be encouraged to produce a 1.5 X 2.5m canvas using whatever medium they choose, be it oils, acrylic, watercolour, collage, text or mixed media. A poem or story can accompany the work of art. Art materials will be provided to schools in need. Twelve of the artworks will be posted on the websites of the organisations involved and will be exhibited locally at fetes and fairs. It is hoped to produce a calendar featuring the works at some time in the future. We hope to create a water basin concept of a ―Sense of Place‖ the feeling of belonging to a natural place and it belonging to you. We have much to share with each other— from France to Southern Queensland to the Gulf of Carpentaria. This project will hopefully begin a collaboration which will grow in scope and which will improve ―twinning‖ among the catchments concerned.
FIRES AT TINGALPA WETLAND In a three month period between August and October there have been 13 significant wildfires that BCC staff from Local Assets Services and the fire brigade have attended in the Hemmant Tingalpa area alone. In 90% of cases, BCC were on site fighting the fire within 15 minutes of notification. Crews also attended the sites the next day to make sure the mop up was successful. As a precautionary measure BCC organised patrols of the area. The environmental damage has been severe with large areas of wetland and bushland being burnt. This has resulted in loss of habitat and food source in this time of drought. Many animals were killed from either the fire or by cars, while trying to move to a safer area. It has been very disheartening to the environmental groups who have worked for many years to consolidate the corridors. It is hoped that the arsonists responsible will be apprehended and dealt with severely for the damage and carnage they have caused. We thank BCC, fire brigade and police for their efforts during this environmental disaster. Thank you also to the public who have quickly reported the fires.
This project is based on the principles of sustainable living. Not only does the community receive environmental and health benefits, there are also tangible ethical and social benefits attached, through practical awareness and collaborative volunteering opportunities. It is hoped that this project will be the beginning of people of the communities in the north discovering and cultivating many different kinds of tropical fruits and vegetables to enhance the variety and nutrition and thus health-giving properties, of their food.
INTERESTING INFORMATION FROM SEQ WILDLIFE RESCUE In her recent report to the B4C monthly meeting wildlife carer Hazel Shields said that she is continuing with talks regarding the rescue of injured wildlife to various local schools and the Girl Guides at Coorparoo. In the past six months Hazel and the SEQ Wildlife Rescue team have addressed over 800 people from preschoolers to seniors. It is hoped that this information will enable everyone to do the best thing if they encounter an injured creature. One point of interest is that if an injured echidna is confined to a box with corners it will damage its beak in an effort to burrow out. Once the beak has been injured the animal cannot feed and unfortunately, has to be euthanased. The best way to transport them is to wrap them in a towel or blanket or put them into a container with no corners (a bucket). In the previous month three koalas were brought to Hazel for care and after she attended to their injuries they were passed on to Daisy Hill Koala Centre where more facilities are available. During routine garden maintenance in her garden, Hazel found a lace monitor under a hedge. It was later released at a nearby creek. Drought continues to be a problem, forcing animals to move about the suburbs. Naturally they have to cross roads looking for food sources, which accounts for many injuries. Since August 2007 Hazel alone had handled 216 animals. Suburbia with its barriers, roads, dogs and cats are the predominant problems bringing clients to Hazel. Hazel can be contacted on 3398 7413. The RSPCA Animal Ambulance phone number is 3426 9971. Wildcare Australia has an interesting website at www.wildcare.org.au.
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION PARTNERSHIPS The majority of Brisbane‘s wildlife visit or live on private property and that is why partnerships between Council and residents are important for the conservation of Brisbane‘s wildlife. The goal of the Wildlife Conservation Partnerships Program is to encourage and assist private property owners to conserve and enhance wildlife habitat on their property. Partnerships are entirely voluntary with four levels of support available: Land for Wildlife Agreements General Voluntary Conservation Agreements Higher Voluntary Conservation Agreements and Voluntary Conservation Covenants. The Wildlife Conservation Partnerships Program has been running for ten years and currently involves over 300 landowners, collectively protecting approximately 1,300 hectares of wildlife habitat.
EXCITING GRANTS RECEIVED ENVIROFUND —The Federal Government has just announced the next round of Envirofund grants. Our nominated project at Spring Creek has been accepted. The on ground works will involve weed control and planting of native species to protect the Clay Pools in Belmont Hills. These spring-fed pools are the home of the rare Ornate Rainbow Fish. We also assisted the baseball club located on Mt Gravatt-Capalaba Rd, Mansfield, near the Gateway intersection. Their project will also involve weed control, planting and also focus on increasing awareness of the importance of the corridor by the baseball families. Congratulations also to Bayside Creeks Catchment for their project at Greencamp Road, Wakerley. B4C will be assisting them with the onground works. CRIME PREVENTION — In June, we were successful in obtaining a small grant for crime prevention items at our new Sustainability Centre. Funding will supply solar powered spot lights, security alarm and window locks. Pictured are Senator David Johnston (federal Minister for Justice and Customs), Luke Diett and Heather Barns (B4C) and Ross Vasta (federal member for Bonner). BUSHCARE SUPPORT KIT —Thank you to Cr Adrian Schrinner (Chandler) for providing us with funds to purchase 2 pop up marquees, baby BBQ, folding table and chairs and other assorted items which are available for bushcare groups, corporate planting days and community environment events. The items have been used on an almost weekly basis and have enhanced the capacity for catering to large groups. Westpac and Price Waterhouse Coopers volunteers days, Mountain Neighbourhood Day at Mt Gravatt, Landcare Australia twinning day and G a t e w a y S c h o o l s Network are some of events that have been able to benefit from this generous grant. Contact B4C office to book some or all of the items for your next event. Westpac volunteers at Phillips Creek enjoying shade and BBQ after assisting in a Landcare sponsored project — August 2007 THANK YOU TO COUNCILLOR SCHRINNER FOR THE GRANT TO OBTAIN THE BUSHCARERS SUPPORT KIT
Program partners receive expert advice, regular newsletters, free native plants, access to workshops on habitat management and on-ground assistance with weeds and pest animals. Members of the higher-level agreements also receive financial assistance. If you live on a property of an adequate size to allow a minimum of 0.5 hectares (5000m2 or 1.3 acres) of intact bushland to be protected or created, and would like some assistance with protecting and enhancing the habitat values of your property, contact Council on 3403 6575. For further information visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/environment and select ‗Environment programs‘ from the menu on the left, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PriceWaterhouse Coopers volunteers at Spring Creek — November 2007
NEWS FROM MT GRAVATT Mt Gravatt Environment Group MOUNTAIN NEIGHBOURS DAY Over 50 people gathered at the Garden City Christian Church Ranger Headquarters in October for an afternoon dedicated to environmental awareness and education. Susan Jones (coordinator of MEG) had organised speakers on a variety of topics regarding protection of the natural areas of Mt Gravatt. Dorean Erhart from BCC Pest Management showed photos of garden plants that have escaped into bushland, causing enormous environmental harm. Many of these plants are to be found in our suburban gardens—Ochna, Singapore Daisy, Dutchman‘s Pipe, Lantana and Maderia Vine. Dorean also showed native plants that can be substituted to provide food and shelter for our native animals. Craig Hardie, BCC Ranger responsible for Mt Gravatt and other southside reserves, discussed the importance of valuing our reserves. Residents need to show Council that the natural state is important to them. Craig also discussed infrastructure requirements for power and water, fire protection of properties and feral animals, such as foxes.
BUSH TUCKER DAY Burnett Swamp Creek FREECS John Wrench, well-known bush tucker food writer, presented an interesting program at the Stones Corner Bush Tucker Garden in November. John had made scones from wattle seeds and macadamia oil , cordial from rainforest berries and tea flavoured with eucalypt leaves. About 30 people ranging in age from preschoolers to seniors learnt about the varied diets of the indigenous people of the Burnett Swamp area, the bunya pine treks to Maleny, collecting the pupea of the giant wood moth, and using the roots of ferns to make a type of flour. Thank you to BCC Habitat Brisbane for providing the funding for this very worthwhile and interesting presentation.
John Wrench at Burnett Swamp Bush Tucker Food Day
Hazel Shields and Monique and from SEQ Wildlife Rescue brought along a cockatoo and an orphaned baby wallaby and explained the care given by many volunteers for birds, mammals and reptiles, injured by domestic pets, cars and the effects of the drought. Thank you to BCC Habitat Brisbane for providing free plants and catering for the afternoon. All participants showed that the residents of Mt Gravatt indeed care for the mountain and delight in the birds and other wildlife who share our environment. FOX GULLY PLANTING (Mt Gravatt Environment Group) Local residents of O‘Grady Street (off Klumpp Rd) joined forces to plant 400 native species in the gully which runs behind their properties and provides a corridor to Mt Gravatt mountain and across to Roly Chapman Reserve at Upper Mt Gravatt. Bamboo and other garden escapees had been removed to allow for the planting to occur. Botanist Ann Moran recently visited the area to identify rainforest plants as a number of interesting and unusual plants had been sighted by local residents. Thank you to BCC Habitat for providing the plants and for the botanical survey. The information collected will assist with further plantings in the future. MANAGEMENT PLAN PROGRESS As a result of approaches from MEG and B4C, Council has agreed to formulate a Management Plan for Mt Gravatt. Natural Environment and Sustainability Department are involving other Council departments such as Local Assets Services, Open Space and Habitat Brisbane along with local environmental groups. A Management Plan will stop piecemeal tree clearing, develop nature based recreation opportunities, protect environmental and indigenous cultural heritage values and provide ongoing rehabilitation and revegetation plans and educational opportunities. It is hoped that the Plan will address vegetation management and ecological aspects and incorporate the extensive Ecological Protection Report commissioned by MEG in 2006.
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BCC FUNDING FOR WIPE OUT WEEDS Council funding has been obtained for weed control and replanting in the Roly Chapman Reserve over the next five years. Work has already commenced with planning and on ground works. As with many of our urban areas, garden escapees have had a detrimental affect on our natural vegetation, which in turn affects the wildlife. New plants will provide food, shelter and corridor connections for birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. ECHIDNA MAGIC KIOSK Council approval and Federal funding have been received to allow the construction of the kiosk on Mt Gravatt summit. It is expected that works will commence early December 2007. The landscape plan includes native vegetation from the Mt Gravatt area. Part of the Council approval is that the road will not be widened, but that traffic calming devices will be installed to slow vehicle movements.