Connector Newsletter – Issue 19

October – December 2018


Community Lens

Our Community Lens project is in full swing with image data from across northern Western Port now flowing in from landholders and volunteers. Most of our citizen scientists have now been monitoring their motion sensing cameras for 3-4 months, conducting monthly camera checks to collect SD cards and replace rechargeable batteries. Once SD cards are collected the excitement begins as our citizen scientists go through the image data to see what species have visited camera sites over the previous month. Following training at our image processing workshop, as well as some one-on-one training, participants have been using ExifPro software to process images data. This user-friendly software allows users to view images, ‘tag’ species capture in images and export image ‘tags’ as a text file. Exporting image ‘tags’ to a text file provides us with a list of species activity for each camera. We are compiling this data and as it grows with each passing month it will improve our ability to determine areas of high fox activity and identify biodiversity hotspots. This knowledge will prove crucial in the second phase of the Community Lens where we will seek to introduce fox control in an effort to abate predation pressure from foxes in northern Western Port.

This project has great potential to help conserve biodiversity and promote a prosperous agricultural industry in our beautiful region. We thank our Community Lens citizen scientists; this project depends on the fantastic work you are doing and we are very thankful for your ongoing commitment. Western Port Biosphere Reserve also thanks the Victorian State Government for funding the Community Lens.

The good news is we are capturing more than just foxes on cameras.

Tom Healey, Project Officer, Western Port Biosphere


Port Phillip & Western Port Catchment Management Authority

Wildlife monitoring aids feral cat eradication on French Island

Wildlife monitoring has commenced on French Island as part of a project to eradicate feral cats from the Island.

This work aims to establish the ‘baseline’ activity of feral cats and native wildlife populations, particularly ground-nesting birds, prior to undertaking intensive broad scale control across the island – with the long term aim of island wide eradication of feral cats.

A range of tools, including motion-sensitive cameras and soundscape (acoustic) recorders, are being installed across the Island to collect data that will be used to determine the distribution and abundance of individual species. Ongoing monitoring is planned to document the change in species presence as the project progresses.

Local landowners have been paired with scientists experienced in feral cat and acoustic monitoring techniques to undertake these preliminary works.

This project seeks to build upon the work of Parks Victoria and French Island Landcare Group who have delivered an extensive trapping program that has helped to reduce feral cat predation on native wildlife. Since 2010 over 1,000 feral cats have been caught on French Island.

The French Island Feral Cat project is part of the ‘Five Feral Cat-Free Islands’ program funded by the Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner. Part the Threatened Species Strategy, the program aims to eradicate feral cats from Christmas Island, Bruny Island, Kangaroo Island, French Island and Dirk Hartog Island, transforming them into safe havens for threatened species.

This project is supported by Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.


Water Stewardship

The Water Stewardship program has been working away at finalising a number of Site Water Stewardship Plans and also working in some new areas to bring new water stewards into the program.

BlueScope Steel Completes its Site Water Stewardship Plan

We are pleased to have launched the Site Water Stewardship Plan for the Western Port Plant of BlueScope Steel on the 26 September 2018. Shelley Kyriazis (see also In the Spotlight) from BlueScope Steel at their Western Port Plant in Hastings has been working hard over the last 12 months with the Western Port Biosphere to develop their Site Water Stewardship Plan. We at the Western Port Biosphere very much appreciate the commitment and work involved in developing the plan. The Plan will have multiple benefits for BlueScope and also contribute to the biodiversity and improved environmental conditions of the BlueScope sites and more broadly the whole Biosphere region. Further, their commitment to the project contributes to the Biosphere’s efforts to protect our ecosystems and promote truly sustainable management of our region.

We handed over a Water Stewardship Gate Sign to BlueScope Western Port Manager, Mike Hussey in recognition for the hard work of the Bluescope team. Land managers who have completed a plan under our program are also able to use an electronic version of the sign and the Water Steward logo, to ensure widespread recognition of their efforts in good water stewardship on their site and the region.

Water Stewardship @ Bimbadeen, Phillip Island

The 340 acre farming property, ‘Bimbadeen’, is located close to the centre of Phillip Island and has been owned and operated by the Davie family since 1955, and was first used for dairying and pig production before beef cattle were introduced in 1968. Bimbadeen has become renowned for its award winning premium quality beef and innovative environmental practices winning awards both at State and National levels. Learn about and experience the farm, their carbon practices and water management on site.

The “Building a Water Stewardship Community in the Western Port Biosphere” Program is working across the region helping land holders develop water management plans for their properties to save water, nutrients and money as well as protect our natural resources, water supply, water quality and biodiversity of our creeks, wetlands and estuaries.

In mid-September 2018, Bimbadeen and the Biosphere held a site tour to see some water stewardship actions underway, or planned, and had talks by Bob Davie (Bimbadeen) and Lance Lloyd (Western Port Biosphere) on Water Stewardship and Carbon Farming. We had a small but interested attendance and this enabled us to spread the water stewardship concept to land managers and agencies in the region.

Water Stewardship and Biodiversity at Coolart Wetlands

The Water Stewardship Project Officer, Lance Lloyd, participated in the 4th Science in the Park in August 2018 at Coolart Wetlands as we have done so for each of the 4 years it has run.

Lance conducted a site tour and field activity to demonstrate the work being undertaken by the Western Port Biosphere together with a group of regional stakeholders, which is building collaboration between major water users, the community, water agencies, local government and other stakeholders around the framework of the International Water Stewardship Standard. Coolart Wetlands is developing a Water Stewardship Plan to support the water management onsite and seeks to improve water quality, management of water quantity and biodiversity, and maintain healthy ecosystems. We were able will show participants several sites where actions have been undertaken, or are planned, to improve water management and also sample water bugs which demonstrated how they can measure if their waterway is healthy or not!

Lance Lloyd, Water Stewardship Project Officer


Dolphin Research Institute

Walk For Our Bays

A great day for a great cause! At the Hastings foreshore or Warringine Park on Sunday, 21 October, 2018 – 9.30 or 10.00am start. Food, fun activities, face-painting and magic. If you can’t make it on the day, do a virtual walk on-line at dolphinresearch.org.au.

On-Line Auction

Monday November 26 – Monday December 3, 2018

Special gifts donated by our marvellous supporters. Everything from wine to worm farms! Great for Christmas or anytime. Easy way to support DRI and beat the shopping crowds.
On-line at dolphinresearch.org.au or 03 5979 7100.

Newborn Humpback Whale Found by DRI Research Team – Tiny and Early!

The newborn humpback whale off Cape Woolamai recently recorded by DRI is only the third ever newborn recorded in Victorian waters. Based on the calf’s appearance, and comparing images from previous sightings, this one is by far the youngest humpback whale calf on record in Victorian waters.

Only days old, it was pale and under 4 metres long, its dorsal fin was flopped over, and it had a large rostrum and prominent foetal folds. The foetal folds are creases in the calf’s skin and insulating blubber caused by being curled up in the womb. These folds are prominent in newborn whales and dolphins, and typically fade as the calf matures.

Our cold waters could be dangerous for the calf. David Donnelly, DRI’s Research Officer, said “the mother was one of the largest humpback whales the DRI team has ever observed anywhere, possibly nearly 16 metres long and very girthy”.

She needs to be “girthy” to supply her calf with the many hundreds of litres of milk every day during the 10-11 months until the calf is weaned. Humpback calves are usually born and spend their first months in warmer waters off northern New South Wales and Queensland, unlike southern right whales that normally give birth in Victoria’s relatively cold waters.

Record Numbers of Humpback Whales for the Two Bays Whale Project

Citizen scientists around the coast have been reporting their sightings of migrating whales, with confirmed sightings of humpback, southern right and killer whales. The Victorian humpback whale fluke identification catalogue now has over 70 individual whales! This is up from 52 last year.

Sending us your sightings of dolphins and whales is easy on DRI’s website – click on the ‘Report Sightings’ button, and off you go. Or you can phone in your sightings on 03 5979 7100.

We respect your privacy and never release your details. Sometimes, with permission, we use images sent to us; like these from Anna Carson and Kath Hart.

Reporting your sightings is an important, and easy, way to be part of the ‘i sea, i care’ Community – and to care for our bays.


Bass Coast Shire

Erosion a number one priority for Bass Coast

Protecting our beaches is a top priority for Bass Coast Shire Council as they work closely with the Department of Environment Water Land and Planning (DEWLP), and the community, to address the serious level of erosion at Cowes East, Cowes and Inverloch foreshores.

Works carried out recently at Cowes involved replacing lost sand after recent storm events, high tides and big swells had removed significant amounts of sand from the beach. Similar renourishing works are planned for Inverloch in Spring, once the weather has settled.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, explained that replacing lost sand is a short term solution to restore the amenity and help protect these beaches. However, more short, medium and long term strategies are required, as is investment from state government to fund programs and infrastructure to protect these beaches.

“Recent weather events have made it very clear that without investment from higher levels of government, the beaches and natural landscapes on which our economy depends may be lost and literally swept into the sea,” Cr Rothfield said.

“People visit Bass Coast for the environment and stay to enjoy the coastal lifestyle and to join the tight knit communities that are passionate about protecting our natural assets.

“In 2035 we can expect an additional 1.6 million domestic and international visitors coming to experience our pristine beaches each year. Without action, these beaches and the visitors who come to enjoy them are at risk of declining rapidly.”

Two reports presented to Council at the August Ordinary Council Meeting support Council’s position of advocating on coastal infrastructure to minimise erosion as a top priority.

These reports provide both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ engineering options and associated costs to protect the existing coastal assets and install new coastal infrastructure.

“As a level one priority, Council will be actively advocating to State and Federal government in the lead up to the upcoming elections in the effort to secure funding for coastal infrastructure,” Cr Rothfield said

“As with all of our advocacy priorities, it’s important to recognise that success comes from collaboration.”

“We will continue to work closely with the DEWLP, local community and environmental groups to ensure we achieve the best result for our community.”

Steve Fuery, Senior Communications and Engagement Officer


What’s on at The Briars this Spring

Slimy, bumpy, very jumpy FROGS!
Slimy, gooey, blow fly-chewing frogs! Join the Briars Rangers and become Junior Herpetologists as we travel through the Wildlife Sanctuary discovering many cool facts and amazing survival skills our local frogs use to thrive in their sometimes muddy, sometimes stinky natural environment. Please bring a back pack with a light snack and some water.
Suitable for 6 – 10 year olds. This program is for children only. Parents, please drop off your little ones and head out for a coffee.
25 September 9.30am – 12pm & 1 – 3.30pm
26 September 12 – 2.30pm
2 October 9.30am – 12noon & 1 – 3.30pm
Cost: $19

Bush fairies, elves and superheroes
Calling all fairies, elves and superheroes! The wildflowers are in bloom and the
sanctuary creatures are displaying their finest. Come on a magical journey of discovery and find out what the Briars fairies and elves get up to in spring. Please dress in your favourite fairy, elf or superhero outfit and boots. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Suitable for 3 – 5 year olds.
26 September 10 – 11am
1 October 10 – 11am
3 October 10 – 11am & 12 – 1pm
Cost: $14 child

After dark wildlife walk
Enjoy an authentic nocturnal bush experience using your senses to help locate native wildlife such as sugar gliders, possums, microbats, tawny frogmouths and kangaroos!
Bring along a torch. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
28 September 6.30 – 8pm
4 October 6.30 – 8pm
Cost: $16 adult, $13 concession

Twilight highlights
Enjoy being out in the bush during the beautiful twilight hours. Hear the kookaburra’s goodnight call and witness nocturnal animals coming out to forage and hunt for food. Use your senses to help locate native wildlife such as sugar gliders, possums, microbats, tawny frogmouths and kangaroos!
Bring along a torch. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
24 September 6 – 7.30pm
1 October 6 – 7.30pm
3 October 6 – 7.30pm
Cost: $16 adult, $13 concession

Aboriginal cultural heritage walk
Discover how Victorian Aboriginals have cared for and used the flora and fauna of the Mornington Peninsula during a beautiful walk with Gunditjmara Kirrae Wurrung- Bundjalung man Lionel Lauch (Living Culture) as your guide.
13 October 10.30am – 12noon
Cost: $20 adult, $15 concession

Games on the green
Bring a picnic and enjoy some time on the |grass playing one of the Briars’ timeless and ingenious outdoor games including over-sized connect four, naughts and crosses, sack races, frisbee, soccer, egg and spoon races, cricket, and volleyball. Games are available for both kids and adults to use whilst enjoying time in the Briars grounds.
Weekends and public holidays 10am – 4pm

Homestead life
Join our volunteer guides on a one hour tour and explore the surrounding buildings and gardens of the Briars Homestead, immersing yourself in the remarkable story of the Balcombe family.
To request a booking, please call the Briars visitor centre on 5974 3686. Tours subject to guide availability.
Cost: $12 adult, $7 child/concession, $25 family (2 adults & 2 children)
Prices includes a packet of heritage seeds and feeding of the farm animals.

SENIORS WEEK: 7/10/2015 – 14/10/2018
Present your Seniors Card to receive these offers:

Shire Nursery
10 – 12 October 9am – 3.30pm
All plants at wholesale prices on presentation of your Senior’s Card. The Shire Nursery specialises in native and indigenous plants.
For more information, call or email: 5974 8417; nursery@mornpen.vic.gov.au

Josephine’s Restaurant
10 – 12 October 10am – 4pm
Treat yourself to morning or afternoon tea at Josephine’s Restaurant at The Briars. Devonshire tea $8, or $20 for a two course seniors lunch (incl soup) and 10% discount on other menu items.
Bookings required, call 5974 1104.

Angus and Rose
10 – 12 October 10am – 4pm
Enjoy FREE entry to the two-acre landscaped gardens showcasing artistic hedging, perennials and old world roses, including the David Austin.
$8 coffee and cake (includes flower posie) for Senior’s Card holders.
Bookings essential, call 5974 4833.

For more information:
pH: 5974 3686
the.briars@mornpen.vic.gov.au
facebook.com/briarsmtmartha
450 Nepean Highway, Mt Martha, 3934

Jacqueline Salter, Landcare Facilitator, MPSC


Frankston City Council’s new A – Z Waste and Recycling Directory

Got an item you don’t know how to dispose of correctly? Frankston City Council’s A – Z Waste and Recycling Directory lists local recycling and disposal options for a wide range of items.

Frankston City residents can use the Directory to find out which bin an item can be disposed of in, as well as to find recycling and disposal options for items that can’t go in household bins.

You might be surprised by the number or local recycling options available.

To view the A – Z Waste and Recycling Directory, visit frankston.vic.gov.au


Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network News
Excerpts from the September 2018 Edition

Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Biolink

The ‘Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Biolink’ has made tremendous progress, with 16,000+ indigenous plants planted on private property since the project’s inception. With the projects’ planting almost completed, the focus for this month will be continued weed control activities in remnant bushland and our spring fox control program. Nest boxes will also be ordered for installation on properties without hollow bearing trees to provide valuable habitat for hollow dependent species. Our 21 participating landholders will also receive their ‘Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Participating Property’ roadside signage to help promote this wonderful project at street level.

The ‘Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Biolink’ is delivered by the Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network and the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority through funding provided by the state government’s ‘Our Catchments Our Communities’ initiative.

Chantelle Kelly

Fact Sheets on Nest box use and monitoring

The Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research has released two new fact sheets on nest box use and monitoring:

  • A general guide on the installation and use of nest boxes for conservation purposes:
    https://www.ari.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/328191/Nest-box-fact-sheet-general-guide.pdf
    A how-to on monitoring, recording and maintaining nest boxes:
    https://www.ari.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/328193/Nest-box-fact-sheet-monitoring-data.pdf

Additional Arthur Rylah Institute news and publications may be found at: https://www.ari.vic.gov.au/about-us/ari-enews

Declaration of the Feral Cat as a Pest Animal in Victoria

The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio has announced the declaration of the feral cat as an established pest animal on specified Crown land in Victoria under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.

The declaration applies to areas of Crown Land managed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Parks Victoria, Phillip Island Nature Park and the four Alpine Resort Management Boards.

Feral cat control will be implemented by department and agency staff and their agents, ensuring efforts are targeted to protect the threatened wildlife most at risk of predation by feral cats. A code of practice will be developed in consultation with animal welfare organisations to guide and develop best practice for feral cat management.

Feral cats will not be declared as a pest animal on private land, meaning farmers and other private landholders will not be required to control feral cats. Private land owners will still be able to manage cats roaming on their property in accordance with current laws.

Recreational hunters will not be permitted to hunt feral cats on Crown Land, unless they are accredited volunteers operating in control programs managed by Parks Victoria or the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Feral cats are estimated to kill 466 million reptiles and 272 million birds in Australia every year.

Media release: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/feral-cats-declared-as-a-pest-animal-in-victoria/
More information: https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/invasive-plants-and-animals/feral-cats


In the spotlight…

In this issue we talk with Shelley Kyriazis, Senior Environment Advisor, BlueScope Steel

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your job at BlueScope?
My role is Senior Environment Advisor for BlueScope’s Western Port site. The role is largely compliance driven as we hold an Accredited EPA licence. We strive for a proactive approach to managing our environmental risk. The role can be very varied with activities ranging from: Providing technical advice to various operations departments on new projects or better ways to manage risk; identifying waste management and resource recovery opportunities; to rescuing wildlife from operating lines.

There are some unique challenges that come with the role due to the size of our landholdings which includes a broad mix of activities including manufacturing, operational wharf, recreation centre, farmland, and foreshore bushland areas. It is certainly never boring!

Can you tell us about the BlueScope Western Port Plant and why water is important to your site?
BlueScope use a lot of water in our manufacturing processes, and as a result have always monitored our consumption closely, we actively seek opportunities to improve our consumption efficiencies. Back in 2012 recycled water was brought on line and supplements our supply (approximate 50/50 split between recycled and potable water consumption). Stormwater is also harvested from our site for use in our Water Treatment Plant processes and assists in management of water balances on our site.

Why did BlueScope Western Port choose to participate in the Biosphere’s Water Stewardship program (that is, why water stewardship is important to you)?
The Water Stewardship Program provides a great way for BlueScope to capture a lot of work already being undertaken on our site. The program provides a transparent and public way that we can make a commitment to the continuous improvement in our performance beyond compliance. The program sits very neatly within our ISO 14001 certification requirements and provides a great tool to capture a lot of the work we conduct outside of our EPA licence footprint, that would not otherwise be formally captured.

What are some of the major challenges you hope to address as part of your water stewardship program?
A continued focus on water consumption, steel manufacturing consumes large volumes of water and we strive to maximise use of recycled water in our processes (wherever practical) and maximise stormwater harvesting of overland flow within our manufacturing footprint. Stormwater harvesting also assists in management of quality via containment of stormwater flow within our manufacturing footprint.

What benefits do you hope to realise for BlueScope Western Port, the local community and the catchment?
Actively contribute to efforts to maintain water quality in the Western Port region and maintain and improve biodiversity on our site.


South East Water welcomes 300th School to the SWEP

On 5 September 2018, South East Water welcomed Beaconsfield Primary School as the 300th school in its service region to join to the Schools Water Efficiency Program (SWEP).

Almost half the schools in Melbourne’s south-east are now participating in the program.

SWEP provides data loggers to Victorian schools to track their water usage which means they can detect leaks, save water and teach students about the importance of water efficiency.

Participating schools also receive access to a tailored curriculum program, which incorporates the school’s water data in mathematics and sciences.

Beaconsfield Primary School intend to integrate SWEP into its STEM program.

In 2017–18, South East Water sponsored 40 SWEP school memberships and another seven schools over August/ September.

Since the start of SWEP, South East Water’s schools have saved more than 913 megalitres of water, worth an estimated $3.7 million.

Some schools have even detected leaks on the first day after installing the data logger. St Brigid’s Parish Primary School in Mordialloc was able to detect within a day that more than 850 litres per hour was being wasted – equating to 20,000 litres of water wasted each day or 2000 buckets of water.

The school was able to fix the leak which was found in their school hall, stopping the water before it damaged the foundations and floor of the building.

Schools interested in joining the SWEP program can visit https://www.myswep.com.au/ or contact South East Water’s Education Team on 9552 3231.

Rachel Jacgung, Communications Coordinator, South East Water.
M: 0436 600 218 E: rachel.jacgung@sew.com.au


Five Star Sustainability Rating for South East Water’s HQ

South East Water’s corporate headquarters, WatersEdge is now certified with a 5-star Green Star Office As Built rating from the Green Building Council Australia (GBCA). This certification represents Australian excellence in sustainable construction.

WatersEdge was designed to achieve this 5-star rating using GBCA’s Green Star Offices v3 tool. Some of the sustainable features WatersEdge was assessed on include:

· High performance double glazing to limit thermal heat transfer

· External shading systems to allow optimal access to daylight whilst minimising glare and excessive solar gains

· Rainwater storage for use in toilets, urinals and landscape irrigation to reduce potable water demand

· Enhanced internal thermal comfort

· Sustainable materials selection throughout

· Sustainable transport solutions provided

· Proximity to public transport options and cycling facilities with limited access to car parking

· Optimised Indoor Environment Quality

· Increased understanding of building performance through the use of sub-metering

“Our WatersEdge corporate headquarters is a dynamic space that fosters innovation and collaboration amongst our employees. Located within the heart of our service region, WatersEdge was purpose built, with sustainability front of mind throughout the design, build and now operational phases of development.” Said Terri Benson, Managing Director at South East Water.

Almost three years since South East Water moved into the purpose-built WatersEdge on Frankston foreshore, the building has brought a positive economic impact to Frankston and draws a diverse range of talent from across South East Water’s service area.

Rachel Jacgung – Communications Coordinator, WatersEdge, 101 Wells Street, Frankston, VIC, 3199
Telephone: +61395523973 Mobile: 0436 600 218


South East Water is Helping to keep Kids Under Cover

South East Water recently donated some tanks and pumps to Kids Under Cover, a not-for-profit organisation providing disadvantaged young people with space to thrive by providing studio accommodation in family backyards and education scholarships.

Kids Under Cover recently faced challenges when building studios in areas of Victoria which are affected by the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO), which meant some studios had to be put on hold while Kids Under Cover sought to meet the requirements for new builds.

By providing 10 x 5,000L water tanks and pumps to Kids Under Cover to install in affected locations, South East Water has helped the organisation to meet the necessary bushfire protection regulations.

South East Water are proud to be supporting an organisation like Kids Under Cover, who have a vision to deliver housing to prevent youth homelessness.

Find out more about Kids Under Cover and the work they do: https://www.kuc.org.au/about-us


Western Port Catchment Landcare Network

Demonstrating Sustainable Farm Practices wraps up after 5 years!

The 5 year National Landcare Program “Demonstrating Sustainable Farm Practices” project managed by Westert Port Catchment Landcare Network has just concluded.

A big highlight was the number of people engaged through participating in the project. We ran 321 training workshops, field days, discussion groups and forums with a total attendance of 7362 people!

These results were only achieved due to the hard work of all our key delivery partners; Western Port Catchment Landcare Network, Bass Coast Landcare Network, Mornington Peninsula Shire, South Gippsland Landcare Network, AgVic and PPWCMA who managed and delivered the project.

The regional participation breakdown was:

  • Western Port Catchment Landcare Network – 147 activities with 3971 participants
  • Bass Coast Landcare Network – 86 activities with 1617 participants
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire – 38 activities with 865 participants
  • South Gippsland Landcare Network – 17 activities with 519 participants
  • Jointly managed activities make up the remainder of activities and participants

Five new farmer discussion groups were established; 2 in WPCLN, 2 on the Mornington Peninsula and 1 in BCLN. Another 4 existing groups were supported. It was especially pleasing to connect with and support farmers in horticulture, viticulture, agroforestry and niche enterprises that have not traditionally been supported by landcare.

Training programs such as GrazFert which we piloted were hugely successful and are now being rolled out across the state. Fert$mart and the Master Tree Grower programs also created strong interest from farmers leading to significant practice change.

Most importantly, a special thank you to the hundreds of farmers we work with who opened up your farms for field days, discussion groups, and hosted demonstration sites! Your generosity, friendships and support are greatly appreciated by all the project team.

The project has created a real buzz around sustainable agriculture in the Western Port region and we look forward to continuing to support farmers in the region. A comprehensive final report is on our website http://www.wpcln.org.au/resources/reports/ and a final report video can be viewed on our YouTube channel https://youtu.be/aLWr6vAnxS8

Peter Ronalds
Project Manager
Sustainable Agriculture Manager
Western Port Catchment Landcare Network
Mob: 0402 650 382
E: peter@wpcln.org.au


Phillip Island Nature Parks

Keeping the Island Fox Free

To ensure Phillip Island remains fox-free, Phillip Island Nature Parks is undertaking a range of activities on the mainland and on the island, including the recent installation of a “Foxcam” on the Phillip Island bridge.

Using a series of infra-red sensors, Foxcam is designed to detect any fox crossing over the bridge to Phillip Island, with an e-mail alert sent to program staff who can then respond to any incursion immediately.

Genetic studies have shown foxes from the mainland have made their way on to Phillip Island in the past, possibly using the bridge for easy access.

In addition to the Foxcam on the bridge, the Nature Parks is also assisting with the creation and maintenance of a buffer zone of low fox density around San Remo and the Anderson Peninsula to minimise the risk of foxes migrating on to Phillip Island.

Monitoring programs will continue across the island, including the use of fox detection dogs and infra-red cameras, to ensure that Phillip Island’s biodiversity and wildlife are protected from the destruction of the European red fox.

Residents and Rangers help threatened Hoodies

Hooded Plovers are internationally recognised as a threatened species, with less than 600 birds left in Victoria. The Nature Parks’ Hooded Plover Watch program, established in 1998, is celebrating 20 years of raising awareness and community engagement in the conservation of the species, along with promoting coexistence between recreationalists and beach nesting birds.

Teams of rangers and volunteers record nest and chick numbers, band chicks, create refuges, and eradicate predators, such as foxes and feral cats. The Island’s Hooded Plover population has now increased from a low of 21 in 2001 to almost 50 today.

The 2017/18 breeding season had the highest number of breeding birds with 23 pairs producing 12 fledgling chicks. Over the last 5 years, an average of 12 chicks have fledged per year, compared with an average of only 2 chicks per year in the 5 years before Hooded Plover Watch started. Twelve fledglings is almost double the long term average (6.96 fledglings), making the 2017/18 season the equal third most productive on Phillip Island in recorded history.

The nests are extremely vulnerable as Hooded Plovers lay their eggs in little scrapes somewhere between the high tide mark up into the sand dunes. As soon as the eggs hatch the chicks must search for food, hide from predators, and shelter from extreme weather along the beach. The parents do their best to distract humans and predators for the 35 days it takes for the chicks to fly, however accidental trampling can occur.

How you can help Hooded Plover conservation:
– Walk your dog on a leash whenever you are at the beach.
– Maintain a distance from fenced off areas.
– Always be vigilant for Hooded Plovers and their behaviour.

Roland Pick – PINP Communications Executive


Downs Estate Community Project

A “Wellness Garden and Quiet Space” proposal – VOTING IS ON NOW!
This garden has been proposed for an area at the northern end of the Down’s site. It’s an area currently unused and would be ideal for some landscape and replanting works for this sort of use. This project has been entered for the PICK MY PROJECT Grant and it NEEDS YOUR VOTE!

Voting is online via the State Govt’s Pick My Project community grants initiative. Register your name and address to show you live in Victoria and then choose Seaford as your area to vote in. You have 3 votes to use and we would love it if one of them went to our Garden. Only one vote per project. There are so many good community ideas in the list for Seaford, Frankston and all over Victoria, well worth a look and needing your encouragement.

Website: https://pickmyproject.vic.gov.au
How to vote: https://pickmyproject.vic.gov.au/voting
Or
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pickmyproject/videos

We’ll try to update you again soon, or alternatively you can like us on Facebook or stop for a chat at the Seaford Community Committee stall at the Seaford Farmers Market – every 3rd Sunday of the month.

DECP Committee


Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
What’s On

The Explorer

Discover the iconic Australian landscape on this 25-minute open-air bus tour led by one of our expert guides. From the Red Sand Garden, journey along the east coast of Australia around the river bend before winding back through the Peppermint Garden, taking in the wonders and beauty of the native bush.
DAILY TOUR, 10am to 4pm (25 minutes)
Australian Garden

Snapshots of Australia Walking Tour

Travel through the Australian Garden and enjoy the beautiful display of native flora, landscapes and architecture. Be led by an expert guide along the Rockpool Waterway, across the Waterhole Bridge and into the Arid Garden. Discover the beauty and diversity of Australian plants and the evolving connections between people, plants and landscapes in this one hour walking tour. Enjoy complimentary lemon myrtle tea tastings with every tour in October.
DAILY TOUR, 11am (60 minutes)
Meet at the Visitor Centre

Manna Discovery Walk

Go on this school holiday adventure and discover a slice of Cranbourne Gardens’ bushland. Be led by an experienced guide along the Manna Walk and seek out the mysteries of the native environment. Get in touch with the land through nature play and a hands-on activity. Pack a picnic and explore the rest of the Gardens after the tour.
Tuesday 2 and Thursday 4 October, 10.30am (1.5 hours)

Sketching in the Gardens

Calling all emerging and established artists, come along to Sketching in the Gardens and try your hand at illustrating flowers and plants. Learn the techniques of sketching and painting botanical subjects, and get friendly advice and support from experienced tutors. Presented by Cranbourne Friends in partnership with City of Casey’s Ageing Positively Festival.
Wednesday 17 October, 10am (2 hours)

Spring Plant Sale

Do you have a love affair with plants? This is your chance to select from a range of plants, many of which you will find in the Australian Garden. Presented by Cranbourne Friends.
Australian Garden
Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 October, 10am to 4pm

Bushland Bike Tour

Get on your bike and join a guide to explore the beauty of Cranbourne Gardens. Weave through the bushland and open grasslands for over 6kms, with stops to hear the wonderful stories depicted in our unique environment. Keep a lookout for some of our local wildlife along the way, and end your ride with a refreshing drink at the Boon Wurrung Café, included in the tour.
Sunday 18 November, 10am (2 hours)

Woodlands Bush Wander

Join us for a walk around the woodlands and discover the incredible habitats of Australian animals, big and small as we explore the hidden life in the Cranbourne Gardens bushland. Look out for evidence of wombats, echidnas, wallabies and the endangered southern brown bandicoots. Investigate the mini beasts of the wetlands and listen out for frogs and birds. Have fun making animals out of clay and share some lemon myrtle tea. This hands-on and informative workshop gives participants a practical way to engage with conservation while having fun learning all about Australian animals, pond life, biodiversity and ecosystems.
Saturday 24 November, 11am and 1.30pm (90 minutes)

Visit rbg.vic.gov.au or call 5990 2200 to book

Author: Nigel, RBG


Cannons Creek Environmental Festival 2018

Sunday November 25, 2018

The Cannons Creek Community Place will host this year’s Environmental Festival, with plenty of kid’s activities and educational entertainment for the whole community. Held from 11am to 3pm, this is an alcohol-free family friendly afternoon. Organised by the Cannons Creek Foreshore and Residents Groups, the event is proudly supported by the City of Casey Community and Environmental Grants, the Devon Meadows Fire Brigade, and by our own local Tooradin Bendigo Bank.

On offer is free children’s entertainment; with a jumping castle, face-painting, The Connies, Seaweed Sally, and an educational nature walk. There will be a local vintage car display, local artwork, and of course the hugely popular live Australian animal show from Aussie Wildlife Displays, with birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects. There will be free barbeque food and drinks, with live band entertainment, a SES display, and a Devon Meadows CFA Brigade information stall.

Come and see the bush display and flower show, with information on local history, weeds, indigenous plants and animals, including local birds. There will be a bee keeping display, and support from Fishcare, Myuna Farm, and Moonlit Sanctuary. A marine display will illustrate the dangers of plastics in our oceans, showing the risks to marine animals from our discarded rubbish. Creative time will be available for kids to make inspiring animals from banksia cones, glue guns, and gumnuts!

This is a truly hands on educational fun day for both adults and kids from the local area and other interested visitors, so come and get up close and personal with the local wildlife and wildflowers. If you would like to be part of the festival display, or a volunteer helping with running this year’s event, please contact Tracey on 0403 160 119, or me on tracyper@tpg.com.au.

By Tracey Perrott.
Cannons Creek Foreshore Reserves Committee of Management
Cannons Creek Residents Association


Baden Powell Park Scout Environment Day 2018

The Friends of Williams Road Beach along with Friends of Baden Powell Bushland Reserve hosted an Environment Day for the Baden Powell Park Scouts on 5th August 2018.

Lionel Lauch from Living Culture conducted a Welcome To Country and a walk and talk with the scouts, focusing on the many uses of indigenous plants. This year, there was also a heavy focus on teaching scouts how to minimize waste and, in particular, how to reduce and responsibly use plastics. Activities included sorting rubbish, making paper dustbin liners, collecting rubbish off the beach, dividing and re-potting indigenous grasses and the making of bee houses.

Paula Rivera and Janet Wheeler from Living With Wildlife were also on hand to teach the scouts about the plight of wildlife who inadvertently ingest the plastics which we, as a society, discard. Scouts also viewed part of the film “Albatross”, depicting the agonizing death of Albatross who have ingested plastics. Their breeding ground, on Midway Island, is deemed as isolated from the urbanized world, however, they too are paying the price for our thoughtless misuse of plastics. As a graphic illustration of the Albatross’ demise the scouts made a mosaic, using plastics picked up on the foreshore.


Upcoming Events

Garage Sale Trail
Date: Saturday and Sunday 21 October 24 July

Frankston City Council’s ‘Greening Our Future’ events
Date: Various

From Scraps to Soil: Home Composting
Date: Tuesday 23 October, 1-3.30pm

Birds in Backyards
Date: Tuesday 23 October, 9.30-11.30am

Aussie Backyard Bird Count in the Seaford Wetlands
Date: Saturday 27 October 10.00am-12.00pm

War on Waste Tour
Date: Friday 16 November, 9.15am-1.00pm

Waste Wise Living: Christmas and Beyond
Date: Friday 7 December, 11.00am-12.00pm