Natural Environment Recovery Group

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Meeting Notes

Date: 20 May 2010

Time: 10am to 12 noon

Venue: Strathewen Community Centre

1. Present

· Donna Stoddart (NSC)

· Lori Arthur (NSC)

· Corinne Mays (NSC)

· Doug Evans (Christmas Hills Landcare Group)

· Kacie Melfi (Port Phillip and Westernport CMA)

· Julia McKinnon (St Matthews Parish)

· Pat Corr (Arthurs Creek Landcare Group)

· Anna Zsoldos (Melbourne Water)

· Kylee Woods (Strathewen Landcare)

· Barrie Tully (Strathewen Landcare & Renewal Committee)

2. Apologies

· Tim O’Donnell (NSC)

· Kirsten Jenkins (NSC)

· Tony Fitzgerald (PV)

· Sue Aldred (St Andrews Landcare Group/NSC)

· Natalie Brida (Parks Victoria)

· Warwick Leeson (St Andrews Bushfire Recovery Association)

· Bronwyn South (Strathwen Landcare and Recovery Committee)

3. Confirmation and actions from previous minutes

Doug noted that the minutes should state Christmas Hills Landcare received $10,000 for trailer not $20,000.

Action

Who

Action taken/completed

Action commenced

Natalie to distribute information regarding the PV rabbit control program

NB

 

Feb

Lori to liaise with DSE/consultants about appropriate wording and possibility of running these sessions. Information to be circulated to NERWG before going into the bulletin.

Kacie to follow up with Owen.

LA/CM

Draft received from Owen. Dianne and Robyn are refining this information. It is anticipated that a letter will go to all residents in the FAA containing information about regeneration, roadsides and legalities of vegetation removal, as well as a fact sheet on regeneration and info also in next bulletin.

Feb

Lori to re-circulate the brief for the Community Environment Action
Recovery Plan.

LA

Completed. Scope was circulated with April minutes

April

Lori and Tony to liaise regarding dates for a walk for NERWG through Kinglake NP to look at recovery programs

LA/TF

Has not been organized but proposed for one months time and could follow the NERWG meeting.

April

Actions: Lori to circulate draft of the regeneration fact sheet to the NERWG

4.0 Discussion items

4.1 Recycling Recovery – Grocon funding

Doug provided an outline of the opportunity for Landcare groups to obtain funding for land management/environment recovery/capacity building programs from the Grocon Recycling Recovery program. Funding is divided up across Victoria according to the amount of area burnt and the PPW region is to receive approx $322,000. Seven Councils across the Port Phillip Region can apply with funding provided on project merit. Applications maybe from individual landcare groups or as a multi group application but should involve options for volunteering.

The group discussed possible options:

· Christmas Hills Landcare are interested in programs which continue on with what is currently being implemented ie. advice, CVA volunteer working bees, coordinated programs

· Strathewen – keen to implement programs which support landholders to establish sheltherbelts

Works are to be completed and funding spent by December 2011.

The group discussed a request from Maria (VBRRA) for the group to consider a proposal for these funds to be used for requests that the people from the ’Black Belt’ have had. These include the clearing of pine trees and installation of crossovers. The group discussed that these are not Landcare related and do not fit with the criteria which could jeapordise a proposal.

Action: Lori to draft a proposal which links to the implementation of recommendations from the Community Environment Recovery Action Plan and incorporates the Landcare Groups ideas and circulate to the group for comment/suggestions.

4.2 Community Environment Recovery Action Plan

Funding agreement has been received by Council. Proposed process from here:

1. Revisit and agree on timelines (NERWG) Action: Lori to recirculate proposed new timelines to the group.

2. Sign off on agreement (NSC and VBRRA)

3. Develop and circulate draft consultant brief (NSC). Define boundaries ie. separate reports for communities/landcare groups NERWG)

4. Groups/agencies to develop short list of preferred consultants (Landcare Groups/agencies) Action: Groups to email list of preferred consultants.

5. Determine selection panel for selection panel (groups/NSC) and implement selection process.

4.3 VBRRA projects

Landcare groups to determine structure/timelines for implementing the projects. These will need to be signed off with the VBRRA funding agreements.

Need to be clear as to what Council and Landcare Groups will do, eg. More efficient to coordinate chemical use training across the landcare groups and Shire maybe better placed to organize this. Timelines will therefore need to be consistent. Doug has already drafted some timeframes for CH LC which could be rolled out across the groups.

Action: Lori to circulate Christmas Hills proposed timeframes to the group for agreement.

4.4 Fencing

Donna provided an update of the fencing project. See NERWG report for more details.

4.5 Pest Plant and Animal issues

Council programs – refer NERWG report.

Melbourne Water – some weed control works on Arthurs and Chadds Creek have been completed. Works will continue in these waterways in spring. Diamond Creek works to begin in spring.

Corinne outlined the new DSE Urban Weed Initiative for interface Councils. This is a $4M program over 4 years with weed control works to focus on protecting biodiversity assets on public land. Works on private land can be funded where they will protect public land assets.

Kinglake NP currently implementing a fox cull in the park and wanting to notify/work with adjoining landholders.

4.6 Biodiversity

No further update.

4.7 Community Nursery

Several community nurseries are growing plants from the seed collected by Kahn and Julie. Sue is coordinating dates with Julie and Kahn for running pricking out sessions at Edendale for the end of May. Merriang Nursery is also looking for assistance with pricking out seedlings which will help to reduce the price per tube. Dates for this look to be mid to late June.

4.8 Erosion

Erosion projects still being implemented. As per NERWG report

4.9 Field days/info sessions

~ Spotlight Walk held with approximately 25 people but was a bit wet and there wasn’t much out to be seen.

~ session on dams June 5th (flyer to be circulated)

~ Barry Tully offered his property for a session on fencing at the previous meeting as his property has several different types of fencing. David Stewart from DPI has also previously offered to run fencing demonstrations. Sue will liaise with Barry and David about an appropriate date.

4.10 Landowner needs

~ Barrie discussed that he is keen to re-establish wind breaks on his property and is interested in using indigenous plants. Local indigenous nurseries are listed in the Live Local Plant Local publication and the Greening Australia Victoria website also has a list of indigenous plant stockists (www.greeningaustralia.org.au)

Sue has been liaising with local nurseries about growing plants for such purposes and may have some plants for Barry. Lori to follow up with Sue regarding assistance for Barry.

5.0 Updates

5.1 Council update

· As per NERWG report attached

5.2 SACBRA

· Warwick an apology – no report.

5.3 SCRA/Strathewen Landcare

· Seeking a sign for the area around the Poets Tree to stop mulch being dumped

· Friends of Warrandyte State Park have been assisting with working bees

· Looking to organize a talk with Dianne Simmons regarding fire recovery. Donna to forward Diannes contact details to Bronwyn and Kylee.

5.4 Arthurs Creek Landcare

· Planting day held at Peter Jenkins

· Working bee at the Hattans property

· Assisting with pricking out of seedlings

· Pat and Gayle attended the Whittlesea fungi talk and are looking to organize the speaker for a session in Arthurs Creek. The speaker is currently selling a book on fungi which Pat reported was very good.

5.5 Melbourne Water

· Geomorphological study is underway and is anticipated to be completed by Autust. The outcomes of the study should help to identify what is going to happen in the future in the waterways and identify hot spots. The information from this study will be used to develop education materials and hopefully designs for addressing hot spots. The findings for the report will also assist with the Community Environment Recovery Action Plans.

Action: NERWG members to report any hot spots to Anna.

· Stream frontage program is still engaging new landholders. Melbourne Water currently in the planning phase for capital works projects for the next 2 years which takes them to the end of the current Water Plan.

5.6 Christmas Hills Landcare

· Rabbit field day being held in June

· Rabbit control program

o 300ha coverage – 29 properties

o Blackberry spraying nearly complete

o Ferreting with volunteers first and then baiting

· Had an information session with Alan Webster from DSE who spoke about locally relevant native species. Currently liaising with Deakin University about potential studies they could do.

5.7 CMA

· Kacie and apology – no report.

5.8 Parks Victoria

· No report

5.9 St Matthews Church

· Working bees continuing. It is hoped that the program will continue until Dec 2010.

· Julia is currently working with Plenty Valley Christian College as part of a school volunteering project. This will involve a week of volunteering mostly doing general garden weeding.

· Working to support the gardening groups.

5.10 St Andrews Landcare

· Purchasing Landcare trailer.

· Developing newsletter and keen to ‘grow’ numbers and profile

Next meeting: Thursday 17th June

10-12noon

Location: St Andrews Hall

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