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CRADLE COAST NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT 2014 – 2015


Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014 -2015 Copyright Š Cradle Coast Authority 2015 No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express prior permission of the publisher. Published by: Cradle Coast Authority PO Box 338 Burnie TAS 7320 Ph: 03 6433 8400 nrm@cradlecoast.com

This report is produced to fulfil the statutory reporting obligations of the Cradle Coast NRM Committee under the Tasmanian Natural Resource Management Act 2002. The Committee is required to report on its activity to the Minister for Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. This report covers the period from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015. The Cradle Coast NRM Committee acknowledges the financial support provided to it by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments.


CO N TE N TS 5

Foreword

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Introduction

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Executive Officer Report

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Cradle Coast NRM Staff and Committee

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Cradle Coast NRM 2014/15 Projects

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In Focus: Climate Change Adaptation Opportunities for Regional NRM Strategy

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Sustainable Agriculture

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In Focus: Traditional Natural Resource Management

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Sustainable Environment

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In Focus: ‘Natural Values’ Workshops and Free Events

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Cradle Coast NRM 2014/15 Project Snapshot

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In Focus: Regional Natural Resource Strategy for 2015-2020

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Cradle Coast NRM Financial Statements

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Photograph by Ernst Kemmerer

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Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015


F OREWOR D by the Chair of the Cradle Coast NRM Committee On behalf of the Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management Committee I present the Annual Report for 2014/15.

Our Committee sits at the heart off these efforts and I would like to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge the valuable contributions of Committee members James Reynolds and Eva Finzel who retired in 2014/15. Both Eva and James brought unique skills and perspectives to our table and were strong contributors to NRM discussion. In particular Eva’s passion for King Island and long and valuable service to the region as Deputy Chair are appreciated. With these changes I would also like to welcome Shane Broad, Tony Moore and Helen Strickland to our Committee, and the wealth of experience and knowledge they will bring to our team.

It has been pleasing to see both State and Australian Governments commit to continue their investment in regional NRM in 2014/15, particularly in view of the decreasing revenues and budgetary pressures. To receive this commitment is surely recognition of the important role that regional NRM plays at both a regional and national level. The scale of the issues we face is such that success can only be achieved by working in partnership with our community. It is this continued support and engagement that has supported the investment decision. It is however concerning that in these periods of lean investment we are seeing an increase in administration and compliance costs in order to meet ever changing contractual obligations. The importance of good governance and accountability is not in dispute, but the opportunity cost to NRM from this continuous change is significant. Our hope is that this cost is recognised in future and the value of stability and appropriate levels of oversight is realised.

As ever the success of natural resource management activities in the Cradle Coast region is only possible through the ongoing commitment and support of our community and this has been paramount in securing ongoing investment. On behalf of our Committee and staff I would like to thank you and look forward to partnering with you in a prosperous and successful 2015/16. Rick Rockliff AM Committee Chairman

The stability this provides to our operating environment is most welcome after a turbulent few years and provides an ideal background for the 2015 Regional NRM Strategy review, a process which has been ongoing over 2014/15. The results of this review will guide future decisions and investment and our Committee has appreciated the time and thought that the community has dedicated to our consultation process. Provisional results indicate a good correlation between our current activities and community expectations, but it has also highlighted some areas of divergence between the science and community expectations, as well as new opportunities. These results will be presented in the revised Regional NRM Strategy and provide the basis for much of our Committee work in 2015/16. The consultation process has also provided an opportunity to work more closely with our regional stakeholders and industry partners. In an environment of declining funds and increasing challenges collaboration and partnerships are providing a key means to achieve regional outcomes. While these have always been a feature of NRM delivery in this region, work in 2014/15 to improve communications and develop relationships has the potential to significantly increase the efficiencies and benefits of NRM delivery over future years. Consequently there has been significant work done in this period to consolidate and formalise many of these working relationships.

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I NTRO D U C TIO N The Cradle Coast region is remarkably diverse, bounded by 2,640km of coastline and covering 22,520 square kilometres; approximately one-third of Tasmania. The region’s natural resources and landscapes are valuable for their ability to sustain primary industries, their ability to provide ecosystem services such as clean water and air and their intrinsic value as homes for animal and plant communities which also act as tourism drawcards. The region stretches from Narawntapu National Park in the East to King Island and Cape Grim in the far North West and to Port Davey in the South. Its Eastern border runs diagonally through Cradle Valley. The region incorporates the nine local government municipalities of Burnie City, Central Coast, Circular Head, Devonport City, Kentish, King Island, Latrobe, Waratah-Wynyard and West Coast. In 2000, these nine local government municipalities established a regional organisation known as the Cradle Coast Authority to facilitate the sustainable development of the Cradle Coast by hosting and coordinating regional-level initiatives. The Cradle Coast NRM Committee is an independent committee hosted by the Cradle Coast Authority. The Cradle Coast NRM team work with North West Tasmanian communities to improve natural resources such as our land, water and coasts to ensure a healthy future for the region. Cradle Coast NRM supports community and industry projects, facilitates funding, and coordinates natural resource activities and information sharing. The Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report for 2014/15 outlines the achievements and project deliverables of natural resource management activities within the Cradle Coast region. Additional copies of this report can be obtained from www.cradlecoastnrm.com For information on the objectives and strategic direction of natural resource management in the Cradle Coast, refer to the 2015-20 Regional Natural Resource Management Strategy also available from www.cradlecoastnrm.com

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Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015


EX ECU TIVE O F F IC E R R E P O R T The 2014/15 year brought with it great hope, with a welcome and positive commitment of three years funding from the State Government and the confidence of a five year contract in place with the Australian Government, running until June 2018. In the current fiscal environment, it was encouraging to see continued investment in natural resource management and recognition of the value that we as a community and organisation contribute to the region. Surety of funding did however require Cradle Coast NRM to undertake the formal transition from the previous Caring For Our Country Program to the new National Landcare Program in 2014/15. This transition process required review, development and realignment of regional activities to ensure that they were in line with the national priorities. Our staff worked incredibly hard in this period to minimise any disruption to current projects while administering this transition, and we are now looking forward to future years of relative program and funding stability.

To deliver on such plans is only possible with the support of our community, from the many dedicated individuals, to our community groups, industry and government partners. I am pleased to say we have strengthened partnerships in 2014/15 and worked hard to listen and support parts of our community who were not as engaged in NRM. This has led to significant improvements in communications and new partnerships, including our work with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community to build regional awareness and support for Cultural Heritage and traditional land management practices. Our environmental issues do not recede with the funding cycles, so the challenge for Cradle Coast NRM and our community will be to find ways to work together on common goals to make our region a better place. With that in mind we look forward to working in partnership with you to deliver some wonderful NRM outcomes in 2015/16.

As noted in 2014/15, the advances in technology have presented significant opportunities to improve the way we work and the support we can offer in the region. Examples include our partnership with Devils@Cradle to remotely monitor Devils at the Vale of Belvoir and our support for mapping and developing visual tools for Platypus research, being conducted by PhD student James Macgregor. The emergence of the Atlas of Living Australia as a national repository for information and increasing accessibility of technology add to the future potential for developing valuable citizen science projects in the region, and telling our stories better.

Richard Ingram Executive Officer

For details of all Cradle Coast NRM projects, refer to the Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management Committee annual report 2014/15 available from www.cradlecoastnrm.com

This potential can only be realised with appropriate planning. This period also marked the start of the Regional NRM Strategy review process. In accordance with the NRM Act 2002, Cradle Coast NRM began working through a review process including significant consultation with our community and key State and National stakeholders. While this process is still underway, initial community survey results indicate a growing awareness and knowledge of natural resource management issues in the region. It was also reassuring to see many areas of current investment and activity identified by the community as priorities for the region. This includes our education work with children and increasing focus on river health and water quality. Final results of this review work will be published in 2015/16 and serve to guide regional investment in coming years.

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Photograph by Elisabeth Gleave

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Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015


C RA D LE C O A S T N R M S T A FF A N D C O M M I T T EE Tasmania has three Natural Resource Management Committees established under the Tasmanian Natural Resource Management Act 2002 to represent the South, North and Cradle Coast (North West) regions of the state.

ANNA WIND – COORDINATOR: COASTAL Heads the Coastal, Estuarine and Marine and Community Skills, Knowledge and Engagement programs, provides support to community groups through grants and sponsorship and works with land managers to implement on ground projects.

Cradle Coast NRM comprises of an independent Committee in collaboration with dedicated staff with expertise in agriculture, water, coastal and biodiversity management, monitoring and mapping, and community engagement. Collectively Cradle Coast NRM helps identify regional natural resource management priorities, prepare regional strategies, promotes NRM principles and supports the implementation of NRM activities.

WILL HOGG – COORDINATOR: BIODIVERSITY Heads projects to protect healthy ecosystems by monitoring threatened flora and fauna species, protection of conservation areas, community education events, private landholder management and regional weeds management advice.

Cradle Coast NRM is a business unit based within the Cradle Coast Authority. The Authority is responsible for providing services including economic development, tourism and natural resource management across the North West Region of Tasmania. The information below reflects the team composition at 30 June 2015.

SPENCER GIBBS – COORDINATOR: PRODUCTIVE LANDSCAPES Leads the Sustainable Agriculture program, facilitating latest best farm management and innovation practices for a range of Agricultural sectors.

BRETT SMITH – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Is responsible for the planning, organising, controlling, and leading of the Cradle Coast Authority’s services and functions including Cradle Coast NRM.

SHERRIE JAFFRAY – PROJECT OFFICER: EDUCATION Works with school groups and youth organisations and supports community groups to raise awareness of regional NRM issues and implement ‘hands-on’ programs.

RICHARD INGRAM – EXECUTIVE OFFICER Leads the team and is the link between the Cradle Coast NRM Committee, Cradle Coast Authority, community and industry stakeholders.

GRANT PEARCE – OPERATIONS MANAGER Networks with stakeholder groups, manages and finds efficiencies in project management, and positions Cradle Coast NRM to support the direction of relevant sciences.

ERNST KEMMERER – STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION MANAGER Develops strategies and programs that better align State and Commonwealth funding with community aspirations for natural resource management in the region.

APRIL LANGERAK – INFORMATION MANAGER Collects and maintains NRM data from regional projects and coordinates program monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement.

DIONNA NEWTON – PROJECT OFFICER: COASTAL, ESTUARINE & MARINE Facilitates Coastal, Estuarine and Marine projects and supports community groups to raise awareness of regional NRM issues and implement ‘hands-on’ programs such as Shorebird monitoring and Citizen Science.

MARK WISNIEWSKI – PROJECT OFFICER: GIS & NRM Provides regional NRM GIS services whilst supporting community groups to raise awareness of NRM issues and implement ‘hands-on’ programs.

TOM O’MALLEY – REGIONAL LANDCARE FACILITATOR/SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE EXTENSION OFFICER Facilitate community access to skills and knowledge related to sustainable land management practices

Additional helpers: During 2014/15 the Cradle Coast NRM team was also assisted by: Brad Griffiths – Project Officer

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CRADLE COAST NRM COMMITTEE The Cradle Coast NRM Committee is comprised of ten members with agricultural, cultural heritage, scientific, educational and forestry experience. The Committee meets monthly to guide NRM projects, define priorities and, as required, oversee regional NRM strategic planning. Committee members are appointed by a selection panel established through a public process for a term of up to three years.

RICK ROCKLIFF AM – CHAIR 1. What’s your favourite place in the Cradle Coast region? My favourite place is Sassafras, looking South West on a clear day to Mt Roland and beyond to Cradle Mountain. 2. What’s the most important issue facing NRM? The most important issue is the uncertainty of ongoing funding and being able to ensure more money is available at the coal face rather than tied up in administration and process at all levels. 3. What do you enjoy most about being on the Cradle Coast NRM Committee? I enjoy being part of an interesting and diverse bunch of characters.

BILL WALKER – DEPUTY CHAIR 1. What’s your favourite place in the Cradle Coast region? My favourite place is Kings Run at Church Rock (Arthur River). 2. What’s the most important issue facing NRM? The most important issue is de-politicising NRM delivery. More pragmatism, less politics should be the modus operandi to take us into the future. 3. What do you enjoy most about being on the Cradle Coast NRM Committee? I enjoy being on the Committee because it provides opportunity to be at the cutting edge of local NRM planning.

TINA ALDERSON - COMMITTEE MEMBER 1. What’s your favourite place in the Cradle Coast region? My favourite place in the region is Rocky Shores. 2. What’s the most important issue facing NRM? The most important issue is the incremental changes that don’t get noticed but that all add up to a big change. 3. What do you enjoy most about being on the Cradle Coast NRM Committee? I enjoy seeing community groups get a project up and follow it through.

GUY GREY - COMMITTEE MEMBER 1. What’s your favourite place in the Cradle Coast region? My favourite place in the Cradle Coast Region is Rocky Cape. 2. What’s the most important issue facing NRM? The most important issue is communication between all stakeholders on every level. 3. What do you enjoy most about being on the Cradle Coast NRM Committee? I enjoy the diversity and knowledge I learn from fellow members.

TONY MOORE – COMMITTEE MEMBER 1. What’s your favourite place in the Cradle Coast region? My favourite place is the Gordon River. 2. What’s the most important issue facing NRM? The most important issue is obtaining funding for regional environmental projects of national significance and managing those projects to achieve successful outcomes. 3. What do you enjoy most about being on the Cradle Coast NRM Committee? I enjoy working with NRM people to achieve worthwhile regional outcomes.

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Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015


SUE JENNINGS – COMMITTEE MEMBER 1. What’s your favourite place in the Cradle Coast region? My favourite place is the Detention River mouth at Hellyer Beach. Good dog-walking along the beach at low tide and good bird-watching in the river. 2. What’s the most important issue facing NRM? The most important issues are: development, land clearing, land use, erosion and weed issues along our coastal reserves. This spans a variety of tenures and land management agencies, all of which are under-resourced. 3. What do you enjoy most about being on the Cradle Coast NRM Committee? I enjoy the opportunity to participate in decision making which affects the region, and to be aware of the issues being addressed and projects which are currently being undertaken by Cradle Coast NRM staff and community groups.

SHANE BROAD – COMMITTEE MEMBER 1. What’s your favourite place in the Cradle Coast region? My favourite place is a little corner of the Gawler River on the farm where I grew up just out of Ulverstone. 2. What’s the most important issue facing NRM? The most important issue facing NRM is balancing urban and rural development and intensifying agricultural production with maintaining our natural landscapes. 3. What do you enjoy most about being on the Cradle Coast NRM Committee? I enjoy the discussions we have as NRM Committee members and the relevance these discussions have to my other roles as a scientist and a member of Local Government.

PETER TYSON – COMMITTEE MEMBER 1. What’s your favourite place in the Cradle Coast region? My favourite place is where I live, the Sassafras/Port Sorell area. I feel fortunate to live in an area that combines wonderful fertile soils with spectacular scenery of both the mountains and the sea. 2. What’s the most important issue facing NRM? The most important issue is for NRM to maintain a presence thus enabling continued effort to address issues relevant to our environment and continued prosperity. 3. What do you enjoy most about being on the Cradle Coast NRM Committee? I enjoy that it provides an opportunity to influence environmental outcomes in the region whilst maintaining my interest in profitable and environmentally friendly agriculture.

PETER VOLLER – COMMITTEE MEMBER 1. What’s your favourite place in the Cradle Coast region? My favourite place is Leven Canyon, it’s such a breathtaking reminder of the power of nature and the timelessness of the Earth. 2. What’s the most important issue facing NRM? The most important issue is getting people to think of the long term when their short term social, economic and environmental viability is compromised. 3. What do you enjoy most about being on the Cradle Coast NRM Committee? The group has great diversity yet we have a strong common sense of purpose, the shared ideas are really positive.

HELEN STRICKLAND – COMMITTEE MEMBER 1. What’s your favourite place in the Cradle Coast region? My favourite place is Seal Rocks Reserve, King Island for its windswept wildness and unique vegetation. 2. What’s the most important issue facing NRM? The most important issue is balancing long term environmental conservation with economic and social priorities. 3. What do you enjoy most about being on the Cradle Coast NRM Committee? The most enjoyable aspect of being a committee member is working with enthusiastic and dedicated people with a diversity of backgrounds and expertise.

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CRADLE COAST NRM 2014/15 PROJECTS Commenced in 14/15

Completed in 14/15

Ongoing projects commenced prior to 14/15

PROGRAM / PROJECT SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT Restoring and maintaining urban waterways and coastal environments Interpretive signage Access management program Coastal revegetation and rehabilitation Conserving and protecting species and ecosystems Protect and connect natural values program (Natural Connections) Threat mitigation of riparian zones program Conservation land management training and partnerships program Volunteer field research program Riparian workshops program Community skills knowledge and engagement Healthy coasts and estuaries program Shorebird monitoring Beachwatch program School education program Discovery Ranger program Environmental awareness program Community Group support program Local/State Government support program Innovation in engagement Building Indigenous people’s capacity for NRM Aboriginal engagement strategy Junior Ranger program NRM partnership program On-ground works for Aboriginal lands program

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Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015

STATUS IN 2014/15


STATUS

PROGRAM / PROJECT

IN 2014/15

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE – PRODUCTIVE LANDSCAPES Protecting the resource base Trial and demonstration sites Adoption of sustainable land practices Improving planning and capacity for resource and environmental management Engagement and participation in NRM activities Implementing property management planning incentives REGIONAL LANDCARE FACILITATOR Regional Landcare Facilitator events Small landholder program Community Group support King Island Regional Landcare Facilitator CLEAN ENERGY FUTURES Regional NRM Strategy update

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I N FO C U S C LIMA TE C HA N G E A D A P T A T I O N OP PORTUN ITIE S F O R R EGI O N A L NRM STRA TE G Y LOCATION: Region-wide PARTNERS: AK Consultants, PDF Management Services, RM Consulting Group, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, Van Dieman’s Land Company

The regional Cradle Coast NRM strategy for 2015-2020 is a document that reflects the vision and priorities for stakeholders in the region. The strategy is due for release later this year after public consultation amounted to several statewide and regional workshops, a regional community survey, and a public exhibition of the draft to include any feedback. A key feature of the updated strategy will be climate change adaptation opportunities for each of the themes of land, water and coasts. The climate change adaptation strategies were also developed for sixteen major agricultural activities, with detailed work on rain-fed dairy pastures. These strategies provide practical applications of climate change research that landholders can consider and implement. As a result of these studies, major industry players are taking practical steps to mitigate business risks, such as increasing feed storage to manage for feed deficits in summer and autumn. However, the climate change adaptation work also applies to our natural landscapes with a lead study on improved fire management for biodiversity values. The decision support tool enables land managers to optimise fuel reduction targets while maintaining population numbers of ground mammals with differing post-fire recovery times. Additional features of the strategy are a program logic table for each landscape theme that outlines short, medium and long-term goals for the region. The program logic connects the strategy to on-ground activities and programs that need to take place for the goals to be achieved, making the document relevant to regional stakeholders.

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S U STA IN AB L E A G R IC U L T UR E STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES: To promote sustainable production of food; To promote innovation in Australian agricultural and fisheries practices; To reduce impact of weeds and pests on agriculture; To improve management of agriculture and fisheries and the natural resource base; and to foster a skilled and capable Landcare community.

Here are some of the key Sustainable Agriculture projects for 2014/15:

PROTECTING PASTURES WITH INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT Investment theme: Protecting the resource base – trial and demonstration sites. An extensive program was implemented in 2014/15 to help the region’s livestock producers reduce their reliance on agricultural chemicals while managing pasture pests, reducing soil erosion and improving pasture productivity. Cradle Coast NRM’s Pasture Pests Program was open to farmers, land managers and agricultural advisors from across the region and presented information in two streams, one in Burnie and one in Smithton. Both Program streams offered a series of workshops and demonstration sites so participants could see theory being put into practice.

Investment theme: Regional Landcare Facilitator – small landholder project.

The main pasture pests of grazing systems in the Cradle Coast region are the black and red headed cockchafers and corbie grubs. When present in sufficient numbers these pests can create large areas of bare ground and eliminate susceptible perennial ryegrass pastures.

Cradle Coast NRM’s Regional Landcare Facilitator continued its Small Landholder Property Management Planning Program this year, with participants taking part over three weekends.

Participants developed an understanding of the identification, lifecycle, population-monitoring and management options available for these more common pasture pests.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT PLANNING FOR SMALLHOLDERS

The weekend workshops targeted specific environmental topics including soil and land capability, weed management, stock carrying capacity, and biodiversity. The outcomes of these sessions were developed into personalised property plans for implementation over a five-year period. Small landholders own significant amounts of land in North West Tasmania and so have been a target of Cradle Coast NRM sustainable agriculture programs over the past two years. The aim is to help these landholders keep their properties healthy and avoid future environmental problems which can have implications for the broader catchment if not addressed in a timely and efficient manner. The program also aims to increase smallholder knowledge of the factors involved in soil, water, livestock and crop health.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) incorporates preventative measures and involved the active monitoring of pests using a range of control techniques including bio-control, natural enemies, tolerant pasture species, management practices and chemical control. The focus was also on how grazing management played a role in determining if a property experienced pasture pest damage. The workshops, facilitated by Macquarie Franklin, were held across different seasons to demonstrate the different conditions and pest life-cycles. Participants received a Pasture Pests Manual to guide their learning and development of an action plan for their property.

For participants, the Property Management Planning Program was an opportunity to learn about the challenges and potential of their land and also connect with a network of people who could field their questions and provide advice. Guest speakers attended the various workshops and assisted the participants in understanding their local situation and options for action. The successful program is scheduled to continue throughout 2015/16.

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Photograph by Ernst Kemmerer

Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015

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Photograph by Ernst Kemmerer

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Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015


S U STA IN AB L E A G R IC U L T UR E

(co n ti n u ed)

ASSESSING FARMING LANDSCAPE HEALTH

RURAL LIVING ROUND UP

Investment theme: Improving planning and capacity for resource and environmental management

Investment theme: Regional Landcare Facilitator – events

Cradle Coast NRM undertook an audit of native birds around Forest as a measure of biodiversity in the area.

The Rural Living Roundup is an annual event hosted by Cradle Coast NRM that provides information and interactive learning opportunities for hobby farmers, back-yard gardeners and the general public.

The results of the roadside bird surveys were strongly influenced by the presence of wide riparian buffers to the south-east of Forest. Much higher bird density was recorded in this location as compared to the western area where the riparian vegetation was narrow or non-existent.

The prevalence of small-acreage landholders in the region saw the full-day event held on 9 November at Freer Farm attract over 600 participants.

Vegetated riparian zones were found to contain up to three times the variety of native bird species and up to five times more in abundance than shelterbelt systems. The benefits of ecosystem services provided by riparian zones have been found to range in scale from soil micro-organism health, to improved pollination levels, through to landscape-scale improvements in water quality. Farm systems that included healthy riparian buffers have higher biodiversity values and are likely to be naturally assisted with pest and disease control through improved resilience against climate change.

Guest speakers shared insights on biosecurity, beekeeping fundamentals and soil management and there were practical demonstrations throughout the day on fencing and chain-sawing. A range of market stalls sold local produce, native plants and seeds and the Cradle Coast NRM display distributed information on plant identification, the Smallholder Property Management Planning Program and guides to rural living in North West Tasmania.

SOIL AMENDMENT TRIALS Investment theme: Protecting the resource base – trial and demonstration sites. In 2014/15, Cradle Coast NRM partnered with Botanical Resources Australia (BRA), the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) and RM Consulting Group (RMCG) to investigate the merits of soil amendments on experimental fields at TIA’s Forthside Research Station. The study was significant in its duration and scope, testing a variety of soil amendments across a variety of crops and over a number of seasons. The soil amendments included pyrethrum marc, biochar, oaten chaff and traditional chemical fertilisers. Earlier tests involved green bean, onion and broccoli crops. The focus of 2014/15 is lettuce. This Action on the Ground Project funded by the Australian Government is helping the region’s growers to identify ways to grow better yielding crops with fewer input costs. The study is continuing into 2015/16 and will assess the benefits versus costs of transport, spreading and potential purchase costs of the amendments themselves. A Soil Wealth Facebook page was launched to enable growers from across the region and Tasmania to follow the trial’s progress.

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I N FO C U S TRA D ITION A L N A TU R A L R ESO U RCE M A N A G E M EN T LOCATION: Region-wide PARTNERS: Tasmanian Aboriginal Community, Tasmanian Land Managers Beachwatch sites

Cradle Coast NRM is always looking for the best ways to manage the natural resources of the Cradle Coast region. Cradle Coast NRM sponsored a group of six people from the Tasmanian Aboriginal community to attend an Indigenous Fire Management workshop in northern Queensland. The six representatives attended the week long workshop to learn a traditional fire burning technique, cool burning, in the hope it may be used state-wide for fuel reduction and regeneration. By blending traditional knowledge with modern science and technology, cool burning provides a method of reducing the fire load and fuel whilst working with the landscape. The Fire Management workshop was very significant to the Aboriginal Land Council. It provided an opportunity for the transfer of fire management skills directly between Indigenous communities. Cool burning is currently being tested on Tasmanian Aboriginal land. The technique can be applied to many landscapes and may be of value on both private and reserve lands. Cradle Coast NRM is working with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community towards the next phase of this work including potential trial burns in collaboration with a variety of Tasmanian Land Managers.

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Photograph by Andry Sculthorpe

Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015

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S U STA IN AB L E E N V IR O N MEN T Penguin Guide Training Program STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES:

Investment theme: Community skills, knowledge and engagement

To maintain ecosystem services, including ecological and cultural values, now and into the future; To protect our conservation estate; and To enhance the capacity of Indigenous communities to conserve and protect natural resources.

Cradle Coast NRM gave a $500 Community Sponsorship Grant to the Friends of Burnie Penguins, supported by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Cradle Coast NRM coordinated a training session for new and existing volunteers which was attended by a record number of 31 locals.

Here are some of the key Sustainable Environment projects for 2014/15: Rice Grass Management Investment theme: Conserving and protecting ecosystems. Cradle Coast NRM’s development of a strategic eradication program not only supports Circular Head Landcare Group (CHLG) and the Circular Head community in defeating rice grass, but also assists in the fight to preserve fragile ecosystems in the entire North West. With support and technical assistance from Cradle Coast NRM, CHLG hired a helicopter to fly over the Duck River estuary, Boullanger Bay and Robbins passage. This allowed Cradle Coast NRM Project Officer, Mark Wisniewski, and CHLG members to view the spread of the weed in areas previously unseen. CHLG work closely with local stakeholders and have a limited window of opportunity to undertake the necessary weed control. Rice grass is no longer just a threat to the oyster industry but also to the low lying coastal dairy industry. With the advantage of a birds-eye view both still images and video footage of the terrain below were captured. Utilising Geographic Information System (GIS) technology the aerial footage was combined with weed control chemical information allowing Mark to model different weed eradication scenarios.

Penguin watching is a popular drawcard in the Cradle Coast region, attracting thousands of people to the penguin viewing platforms in Burnie and Lillico Beach each year. Visitors are greeted by interpretation guide volunteers from the Friends of Burnie Penguins and Friends of Lillico Penguins. These guides share their knowledge and answer any questions. Cradle Coast NRM’s School Education program. Investment theme: Community skills, knowledge and engagement. In December 2014, Cradle Coast NRM hosted the first annual Kids Teaching Kids event with Stella Maris and Somerset Primary Schools. Both schools had worked closely with the Cradle Coast NRM School Education Program throughout the year to enhance their learning about environmental and sustainability issues. The event was designed to allow the children from each school to share with one another what they had learned throughout the year in a fun and engaging way. Each group of students taught the others on their chosen topic which involved presenting facts, running hands-on activities and quizzes and evaluating their knowledge. Stella Maris spent months preparing fun activities to teach their counterparts from Somerset about the Little Penguin. The diversity of the activities designed by the students was a true credit to their enthusiasm; a penguin photo booth, find-a-word quiz, penguin origami and plasticine model making. Somerset Primary children were equally as inventive having designed a murder mystery game. They led the Stella Maris students through the school’s bushland to find and solve clues along the way to discovering ‘Who killed the bandicoot?’ All of the children had a wonderful time and were not only able to share knowledge on issues relevant to them and their school, but also to build their self-confidence.

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Photograph by Geoff Gleave

Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015

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Photograph by Ernst Kemmerer

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S U STA IN AB L E E N V IR O N MEN T

(co n ti n u ed)

Students in Science- Environmental Awards

Tasmanian Devil Research

Investment theme: Community skills, knowledge and engagement.

Investment theme: Conserving and protecting species and ecosystems.

Cradle Coast NRM and Cradle Coast Authority were proud sponsors of the UTAS Science Investigation Awards held on 4 September 2014. Cradle Coast NRM and Cradle Coast Authority provided sponsorship for the Best Environmental projects in each year level, and the Best Environmental project overall.

Cradle Coast NRM proudly supports Devils@Cradle in continuing their Infra-Red Remote Camera Survey in the Vale of Belvoir Reserve over the next four years.

The awards recognise scientific inquiry in young minds. They had a record number of entries in 2014 with 220 science investigations, 18 schools, 400 students and 30 teachers participating on the day. Students had the opportunity to share their love for science by presenting their investigation to the judges in a professional, interactive and positive manner. Environmental science projects provide the opportunity for students to investigate ways to better understand and look after our natural resources including biodiversity, land and coastal environments – and help foster the passion of our next generation of Environmental Scientists. Protecting migratory shorebirds at Moorland Beach Investment theme: Restoring and maintaining urban waterways and coastal environments. Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Cradle Coast NRM have teamed up to improve the management of migratory shorebirds at Moorland Beach. An increase of unauthorised vehicles accessing the beach in recent times has disturbed the feeding sites of Ruddy Turnstones and other migratory birds. By positioning large rocks to restrict access to part of the beach, it’s hoped that birds will be protected and encouraged to return to this important site. The Ruddy Turnstone migrates to Australia each year from their breeding grounds in Siberia. With a wingspan of less than 60cm and weighing only 85 – 150 grams, it is one of the many wonders of nature that these little birds can fly such amazing distances. BirdLife Australia estimates that one Ruddy Turnstone flies a round trip of up to 27,000km each year. Australia has international agreements with Japan, Korea and China to protect these birds on their remarkable migratory flight path. Moorland Beach is a favourite feeding site as large masses of seaweed and seagrass wash up and accumulate there. Ruddy Turnstones feed by overturning stones and seaweed to find insects, crustaceans, molluscs and spiders.

The survey is undertaken to establish the effects of Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) on the Tasmanian Devil population and provide an insight into population dynamics across three species: the Devil, Spotted-tail Quoll and Eastern Quoll. In 2012/13 the survey was established on 473Ha of Tasmanian Land Conservancy land, bordering the Reynold Falls Reserve. From November last year, with additional funding from Cradle Coast NRM, the survey was expanded to include the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service managed land in the Vale and around Lake Lea, encompassing 4,217Ha bordering the Black Bluff Nature Reserve. The Devils@Cradle research not only assists in understanding how DFTD is evolving in the wild it also provides new insights into the disease. Data collected from the remote cameras will be combined with road kill statistics from the area between the sanctuary and the Vale of Belvoir and provided to the Save the Tasmanian Devil program on a six monthly basis. Celebration of Shorebird Monitoring Project Volunteers Investment theme: Community skills, knowledge and engagement. Volunteers from the Cradle Coast NRM’s Shorebird Monitoring Project celebrated their achievements at an annual function in Burnie. The function gave volunteers the opportunity to share monitoring stories. The event was well attended by almost half of the 100 participants in the Shorebird Monitoring Project. Birdlife Tasmania attended to present research results from within the region. After four and a half years, the project is still going strong thanks to the commitment and passion of volunteers who undertake twice yearly counts of select shorebird species along the coastline from Stanley to Narawntapu National Park.

Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015

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I N FO C U S ‘NATU RA L V A L U E S ’ W ORKSHO PS A N D F R E E EVEN T S LOCATION: Region-wide PARTNERS: ECOtas

Cradle Coast NRM in conjunction with ECOtas hosted a series of free events and workshops during October, November and December 2014. The value of our region’s natural assets can sometimes be underestimated, overlooked and unknown to all but a select few in our region. The aim of the workshops was to bring greater knowledge to the community to better care for the natural environment we have been given. The events included nature walks, workshops and field trips and were open to the community and those involved in land management in the Cradle Coast region. Sixty-five participants from across the Cradle Coast attended a series of four workshops held in Burnie and Devonport. The workshops focused on flora and ecology, legislation and tools on how best to source information on threatened flora and fauna and identify plants and animals. Mark Wapstra and Fred Duncan from ECOtas shared their extensive knowledge of Tasmanian ecology. The Threatened Crayfish workshop, led by Dr Alastair Richardson and Mark Wapstra, focused on the Burrowing Crayfish and Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster (tayatea), their habitat and riparian management. Field trips were undertaken to crayfish habitat sites providing the opportunity to discuss and observe the best management options for protection of the threatened species’ habitat.

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Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015


Photograph by Ernst Kemmerer

Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015

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CRADLE COAST NRM 2014/15 PROJECT SNAPSHOT

JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER

COMMUNICATING OUR WORK

COASTCARE WEEK CELEBRATIONS

Cradle to Coastlines is the quarterly Cradle Coast NRM newsletter published in print and online to keep community groups, stakeholders and project partners informed.

Coastcare Week is a Tasmanian initiative held annually in the first week of December to celebrate the invaluable work of Coastcare volunteers.

Across the Paddocks e-Newsletter is sent out quarterly to 300 individual landholders and interested community members. NRM News for Schools e-Newsletter NRM News for Schools is sent to 100 primary and secondary schools and individual teachers to inform them about Cradle Coast NRM events for schools. Facebook Cradle Coast NRM launched its Facebook page in early 2015. Youtube Cradle Coast NRM Youtube Channel hosts clips about pasture productivity, simulations, mapping, Shorebird Monitoring and Restoration Projects. GIS Mapping Gallery The online GIS (Geographic Information System) Mapping Gallery presents natural resource management information in a simple and interactive format. Android app The Cradle Coast NRM Android app has an active subscription of 50 users. All the latest news and upcoming NRM events are forwarded straight to their mobile device.

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Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015

The week also aims to highlight actions everyone can take to protect our vulnerable coasts. We invited our regional Coastcare groups and local schools to join us in celebrating. The week showcased the work being done to help look after our coastal and marine environment. A special ‘Let’s Celebrate Coastcare’ event was held in December 2014. This was an ideal opportunity for local Coastcare and Landcare groups to find out first-hand how youth are learning and understanding local environmental issues and ways they can help protect the environment.


JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH

APRIL MAY JUNE

HEALTH ASSESSMENT FOR PLATYPUSES

COMMUNITY GROUP SUPPORT

PhD student James Macgregor developed a holistic health assessment for platypus to investigate temporal and individual patterns in data, and provide insights into potential threats.

Community Group Sponsorship was made available to support community groups to undertake small on-ground projects, communications and capacity building of volunteers. Cradle Coast NRM provided support to the Friends of Lillico Penguins, Wynyard Landcare and Friends of Howie Island.

Platypus distribution and population density in two regions catchments in the region were investigated in a live capture/release field study of 154 animals. Data was collected on the breeding season, genetic diversity and distribution to determine baseline population health. Cradle Coast NRM used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and developed maps to assist in local platypus research and visually demonstrate the results of the study.

NATURAL CONNECTIONS GRANTS Natural Connections funding is designed to support community group activities including revegetation, of reserves and conservation areas, interpretative signage, protecting natural values and rare and threatened species and control of Weeds of National Significance. Three community groups received grants between $500 to $2,500 and Ulverstone Coastcare, King Island NRM Group and Turners Beach Coastcare activities were supported.

Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015

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I N FO C U S R EGIO N A L N A TU R A L R ES O UR C E S T RA TEGY F O R 2015- 20 2 0 LOCATION: Region-wide

North West Tasmania’s five-year strategy for natural resource management is being updated to guide the region through to 2020. Cradle Coast NRM achieves the Strategy’s regional goals through our program of projects. The Strategy is developed on behalf of the region by Cradle Coast NRM and is a reference document that any individual, business, community group, and public or private landholder can use to prioritise their local environmental activities. Determining the region’s environmental priorities has involved an extensive period of community surveys, and five landholder and special interest group workshops. Most of the 276 street surveys were completed by Cradle Coast NRM’s Strategy and Implementation Manager, Ernst Kemmerer. They were conducted in both urban and rural areas, across all age groups and professions. The surveys revealed that rivers are considered the most important feature in our region’s environment, followed by natural landscapes and then coastlines. The people’s expectations were often aligned with scientific research findings which further reinforce recommendations that will be contained in the Strategy. A key area of consistency was the preference to invest in fauna populations in decline before they become threatened, rather than reacting only when they are on the brink of extinction.

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Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015


Photograph by Anna Wind

Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015

31


The financial statements presented have been compiled from the audited financial statements of the reporting entity, the Cradle Coast Authority, for the year ended 30 June 2015.

C RA D LE C O A S T N A TU R A L R ES O UR C E MA N A GEMENT C O MP RE HE N S IV E IN COM E S T A T EMEN T For year ended 30 June 2015 NOTE REVENUE

2015

2014

$

$

Grant Income

1

2,107,294

2,424,992

Other Income

2

17,131

3,805

Interest Income

31,263

30,404

Total Revenue

2,155,688

2,459,201

Employee Costs

872,329

1,041,256

Project Delivery and Consultancy

461,387

473,242

521,819

490,882

1,855,535

2,005,380

300,153

453,821

EXPENSES

Other Operating Expenses

3

Total Expenses

Comprehensive Result

32

4

Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015


The financial statements presented have been compiled from the audited financial statements of the reporting entity, the Cradle Coast Authority, for the year ended 30 June 2015.

C RA D LE C O A S T N A TU R A L R ES O UR C E MA N A GEMENT BAL A N CE S HE E T As at 30 June 2015 2015

2014

$

$

1,585,944

1,357,555

-

0

2,243

4,874

Total current assets

1,588,187

1,362,429

TOTAL ASSETS

1,588,187

1,362,429

21,100

70,160

-

0

104,326

64,006

-

10,000

13,921

18,023

995

1,826

140,342

164,015

Provision for annual and long service leave

5,636

56,358

Total non-current liabilities

5,636

56,358

145,978

220,373

1,442,209

1,142,056

1,142,056

688,235

300,153

453,821

1,442,209

1,142,056

ASSETS Current assets Cash at Bank Trade Receivables Interest Accrued

LIABILITIES Current liabilities Trade Payables Superannuation Payable Provision for annual and long service leave Provision for parental leave PAYG payable Payroll tax payable Total current liabilities Non-current liabilities

TOTAL LIABILITIES NET ASSETS EQUITY Accumulated Funds Comprehensive Result TOTAL EQUITY

Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015

33


The financial statements presented have been compiled from the audited financial statements of the reporting entity, the Cradle Coast Authority, for the year ended 30 June 2015.

C RA D LE C O A S T N A TU R A L R ES O UR C E MA N A GEMENT NOTES TO F IN A N CIA L S T A T EM EN T S For year ended 30 June 2015 NOTE 1

GRANT INCOME Dept of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Community Dept of Primary Industry, Parks, Water & Environment Dept of the Environment

2

$

1,842,900

1,842,900

246,667

246,667 335,425 2,424,992

NRM North

12,927

1,187

NRM South

1,623

OTHER INCOME

2,581

2,618

17,131

3,805

3,144

12,643

234

332

16,421

13,585

Meeting, Planning & Forum Expenses

5,935

9,416

Phone Faxes & Internet

4,641

1,970

14,268

11,889

6,786

11,774

54,272

28,515

7,387

10,908

19,247

24,807

OTHER OPERATING EXPENSES Fringe Benefits Tax IT Support

Postage Printing & Stationery Recruitment & Relocation Costs Rent - Rates & Taxes Sundries Travelling Expenses Audit Fees

6,122

7,902

39,363

34,165

238,904

169,863

5,643

9,852

444

433

Vehicle Expenses

32,884

27,765

Committee Expenses

Communication Office Costs Seminars, Conferences & Subs Bank Fees

56,173

34,645

Sponsorship

3,201

6,520

Capital Expenditure

6,750

73,898

521,819

490,882

1,142,056

688,235

COMPREHENSIVE RESULT Project Carry Over 13/14 14/15 Surplus Total Project unexpended Funds

34

$

17,727

Advertising

4

2014

2,107,294

External contributions to projects

3

2015

Cradle Coast NRM Annual Report 2014–2015

300,153

453,821

1,442,209

1,142,056


Cradle Coast NRM would like to acknowledge the following photographers for their contribution to this publication: Ernst Kemmerer, Geoff Gleave, Elisabeth Gleave, Mark Wisniewski, Kaare Wind, Anna Wind, Helen Robertson, Jessie Watson and Tourism Tasmania Cover photograph: Richea scoparia by Ernst Kemmerer This report is printed on recycled paper Designed by Emma Duncan, Red Bird Design


Cradle Coast NRM 1 – 3 Spring Street, Burnie PO Box 338 Burnie TAS 7320 Ph: 03 6433 8400 Fax: 03 6431 7014 nrm@cradlecoast.com Cradle Coast NRM is an independent committee hosted by the Cradle Coast Authority

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NRM Annual Report 2014-2015  

NRM Annual Report 2014-2015

NRM Annual Report 2014-2015  

NRM Annual Report 2014-2015