Connector Newsletter – Issue 9

April – June 2016


Biodiversity Forum – register now!

The inaugural Western Port Biosphere Biodiversity Forum in 2015 was a great success, with over 80 attendees. This year’s Forum will be held on Friday 6th May at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, with a general theme of “pest control”.

Professor John Woinarski, Deputy Director of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub, National Environmental Science Programme at Charles Darwin University, will deliver the keynote presentation Reflections on the Ongoing Loss of our Biodiversity.

Professor Woinarski (left) has published extensively on the ecology and conservation of threatened species and his work has been recognised with many awards.

The Western Port Biosphere will present updates from the Growing Connections and Water Stewardship projects.

Some of our member councils and Landcare groups will present on their pest control activities, including limitations, learnings and improvements. They will also host display stands during the lunchbreak where you can get more information and ask questions.

The Forum is a great opportunity to learn about biodiversity in the Western Port Biosphere Reserve, share knowledge and make connections with like-minded people.

Entry to the Biodiversity Forum is free; however bookings are essential as seating is limited, and also for catering purposes.

For more information, or to book your seat, please email: admin@biosphere.org.au

RSVP: Friday 22nd April 2016. Light refreshments will be provided so please advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking.


Growing Connections project

On ground works continue

The Western Port Biosphere is pleased to announce that the final round of on ground works for the Growing Connections project have been approved and are now getting underway. The works include revegetation and remnant vegetation restoration across key areas of the landscape, and will be implemented by eight delivery partners:

Parks Victoria: Weed control to protect important migratory bird habitat on Tortoise Head, French Island. This is the first year of funding for this project.

Mornington Railway Preservation Society: Continuation of woodland restoration works and revegetation along the Mornington Railway corridor. This is the third year of funding for these important works.

Habitat Restoration Fund: Continuation of woody weed removal in Woods Reserve, Moorooduc. This is the third year of funding for this project.

Cardinia Catchment Landcare Group: Continuation of targeted revegetation and restoration through the peri-urban and rural areas within and to the north of Beaconsfield focusing on the areas adjacent to Cardinia Creek. This is the third year of funding for this project.

Cardinia Environment Coalition: Continuation of revegetation activities on a site adjacent to Bandicoot Corner. This project will provide a greater area of habitat for the local Southern Brown Bandicoots. This is the third year of funding for this project.

French Island Landcare: This is the second year of funding for mainly revegetation works on French Island with the aim of reconnecting the important remnant on and near the southern coastline of the island. This work will build on past investment through other programs such as the Port Phillip and Westernport CMA’s Ramsar project.

Bass Coast Landcare Network: Following two years of funding for intensive weed control within the Holden Proving Ground, this year the project is moving to the surrounding area working with local landholders to build greater connections between the proving ground and surrounding reserves and areas of significance.

Downs Estate Frankston: This project is currently under negotiation and we are working with the Council and management committee to put together a project on this valuable piece of land adjacent to the Ramsar-listed Seaford Wetland.

Overall, these works will contribute an additional 47 hectares of revegetation and 228 hectares of remnant vegetation restoration in key areas of the landscape. This will bring the total for the project so far to 163 hectares of revegetation and 1,115 hectares of remnant vegetation protection.

We would like to the thank our delivery partners for their great work on these important projects, and for continuing their commitment to the outcomes of the Growing Connections Project.

Chris Chambers, Growing Connections Project Officer


Fox control program to protect livestock and wildlife

A baiting program aimed at reducing fox populations in the Tooradin area will begin in early April 2016 and run for approximately 12 months.

The program is part of the Western Port Biosphere’s Growing Connections project, funded by the Australian Government, which aims to create a biodiverse and resilient habitat within the Biosphere Reserve.

Foxes pose a significant threat to livestock and wildlife. The Tooradin region program will help protect livestock production and native wildlife populations.

The area being targeted is bounded by the coast, Dore Road and Muddy Gates Lane in the west, Manks Road to the north and Dalmore Road to the east.

The Western Port Biosphere’s project officer Sally Jacka, and Malcolm Legg, a qualified fox control contractor, will be working with private property owners to determine locations for bait stations. Information on where and when baits will be laid will be displayed on advisory signs, and letters will be delivered to neighbouring properties.

Baits will be buried to a depth that non-target species, including dogs, are unlikely to smell, but that foxes, which have a very keen sense of smell, are likely to find. The baits will be closely monitored during the program, however it is recommended that dogs be kept away from areas where baits are laid.

If you are interested in participating, or would like more information about the program, contact Malcolm Legg on 0438 898 325 or Sally Jacka on (03) 5979 2167.


Water Stewarship in Merricks-Coolart Creek catchment

Merricks Creek, on the Mornington Peninsula, is the next major catchment area to be part of the Western Port Biosphere Water Stewardship Program.

Merricks-Coolart Creeks system is the major system within the catchment; the wider catchment includes:

  • An un-named creek running through Somers village entering bay near mouth of Merricks Creek
  • Tulum Creek Entering Merricks Estuary Lagoon
  • Merricks Creek and its major tributary of Coolart Creek
  • East Creek and Waterhole Creek entering the bay at Point Leo
  • Stoney Creek entering the bay at Shoreham
  • Manton Creek (with tributaries Musk and Cotton Tree Creeks)
  • Dodds Creek at Flinders

The main Merricks Creek system flows east along Balnarring Beach, parallel to Westernport Bay for 2.5 km through an estuary system, before opening to Westernport Bay at Somers. Land in the catchment is a mix of urban areas (Balnarring, Somers and Merricks), and rural agriculture lands (grazing, orchards, vineyards, and nurseries). Many farm dams have been established throughout the catchment to cater for agricultural water use.

The Merricks Creek estuary is experiencing increasing unpleasant hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg gas) odour, fish kills and decreasing aquatic recreation opportunities resulting from excess seaweed in the estuary and a lack of flows down the catchment which would normally remove such debris. Water Stewardship will provide a catchment-wide approach to resolve the problems within the catchment and the estuary by addressing water management issues throughout the catchment.

If you live and work or own property in the Merricks Creek catchment (as described above), we invite you to get involved and be at forefront of water stewardship, a form of water and catchment management that helps businesses, landholders and organisations to better manage our precious water resources.

The Western Port Biosphere will provide you with the assistance and training to develop your Site Water Stewardship Plan; this can be produced from scratch or built on your existing site works and plans.

A site water stewardship plan increases your ability to deal with environmental issues on your site, saves you money and resources by reducing water use and run-off of water and nutrients, and protects local waterways. It will also assist you in getting grants and support for works that may be necessary to implement your plans.

For more information visit our website or contact Lance Lloyd, Water Stewardship Project Officer: lancel@biosphere.org.au or 03 5979 2167.


Foundation news

Our new board is working enthusiastically to identify opportunities to expand collaboration and build a strong organisation and recently appointed a Fundraising Committee to identify funding opportunities.

At its first meeting the Committee identified this as an area where the Foundation could invite input from Biosphere members with expertise in this area.

So, if you have ideas to contribute or are a member with expertise and are willing to volunteer some time to work with the Committee, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Cecelia Witton: cecelia@biosphere.org.au


New Mornington Peninsula Produce certified trademark

An initiative designed to help consumers identify authentic produce grown or produced entirely on the Mornington Peninsula was launched in March.

Mornington Peninsula Produce (MPP) is a certified trademark, developed by Mornington Peninsula Shire and the Food Industry Advisory Body, which can only be used by farmers who grow their produce in the Mornington Peninsula shire. MPP has the legal backing of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC).

“Around one third of our land is devoted to agricultural production, and the Mornington Peninsula is the second most valuable agricultural region in Victoria, producing at least 15 per cent of the state’s agricultural wealth from less than four per cent of the state’s farmland,” Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Graham Pittock told guests at the launch of the MPP trademark.

The Peninsula produces an array of delicious produce, from avocados to artichokes, broccoli to beetroot, herbs to heirloom vegetables, apples to Asian greens, pears and plum, potatoes and parsnips, goats’ milk & cheese, lamb, beef, mussels, chicken, free range eggs, salad mix, truffles, olives and garlic. Registered producers will be authorised to use the MPP logo on their products, and their produce will be searchable on the MPP website.

Increasingly, people want to know where their food is grown and how, who grows it and how far it has travelled. The MPP trademark will make it far easier for locals and visitors alike to identify the provenance of food when they are purchasing from local markets, farmgate and retail outlets, as well as further afield.

More information: visit the mpproduce website


WPCC Eastern Arm boat excursion

The Western Port Catchment Committee (WPCC) held its highly popular boat trip in March for the fifth consecutive year. Departing from Tooradin, the Tidemaster set off on an adventurous journey at high tide across the watershed of French Island, then south to explore precincts around Jam Jerrup.

The cruise provided a rare opportunity for 40 community and agency interests to network, share knowledge and inspect this fascinating, remote coast. Those on board were presented with numerous inspirational topics including:

  • Historic climate change, geomorphology (Mike Cleland)
  • Current and future climate change (Greg Hunt: SECCCA)
  • Cultural heritage of KWR Swamp and Harewood (Pat McWhirter)
  • Seagrass change over the last 50 years (Hugh Kirkman)
  • Mangrove revegetation and coastal erosion (Ian Stevenson)
  • Port development (Sandra Johnson, Jeff Nottle)
  • French Island geography, history, culture (Chris Chandler)
  • Sediment sources, turbidity, toxicants (Dick Cox)
  • Recreational Fishing experiences over time (Jeff Clark)

Of note, the Lang Lang section of coastline was viewed for its substantial erosion that is increasing at a rate up to 80cm per year. The value of saltmarsh, seagrass and mangroves was also highlighted. Known as ‘Blue Carbon’, this phenomenon is estimated to provide potential carbon sequestration up to 40 times greater than terrestrial plantings.

Thank you to the Western Port Biosphere Reserve for again sponsoring the excursion, to Lindsay Mitchell for hosting the event, and skipper Rex and his crew on the Tidemaster. Thank you also to Lorna Mitchell for her acclaimed banana muffins!

For more information on the boat trip, read Keith Platt’s article in the Western Port News

Given the huge popularity of the event, a similar excursion is planned for 20th April, 2016, which will be co-sponsored by Port of Hastings and Parks Victoria. A modest charge of $10 per person will help to offset overall costs.

For more information about the next boat excursion, or WPCC, please contact the Executive Officer (hon) Ian Stevenson, Executive Officer: ian@biosphere.org.au

Ian Stevenson, Western Port Catchment Committee


Interpretive signs showcase nature in Casey

The City of Casey’s coastal bushland reserves are a prime example of where nature reserve interpretative signage is being used to inform residents of the richness of the local environment.

Woodlot Lane in Tooradin, Colley Street in Pearcedale and Blind Bight Reserve all provide an array of exciting and varying environmental experiences. Home to a large number of flora and fauna, each reserve plays a critical role in ensuring the environmental connectivity of the municipality. With the aim of increasing environmental and habitat awareness and their importance as rich natural resource, a series of signage has been designed and is being installed.

Two out of the three reserves now have a sequence of interpretative signage to add to the experience of visiting these sites, with Colley Street soon to have new signs installed.

Residents can read about the history of the site they are visiting or learn further about the habitat localised to that area.

The interpretative signage is fast becoming an informative feature of many of the City of Casey nature reserves with more signs being installed yearly.

For more information on the nature reserves visit the City of Casey website

Steve Coldham, City of Casey


Frankston City’s fauna network – providing a highway for nature

Along with more than 135,000 human residents and major arterials such as Peninsula Link, a large number of native animals, with their own unique travel needs, also call Frankston City home.

Mostly travelling at night, approximately 26 species of native mammals, including the Swamp Wallaby, sugar gliders and koalas – along with over 200 species of reptiles and birds – rely upon Frankston City’s local network of fauna links that allow animals to safely migrate across Frankston and neighbouring municipalities.

“As many of us sleep soundly, Frankston’s network of reserves, beach front and agricultural land all come to life – providing a highway for the safe passage of native animals across the City,” said Frankston City Mayor James Dooley.

The significance of local fauna networks was identified in 2012, following an independent study of fauna migratory habits across South East Melbourne.

With approximately 450 hectares of natural reserves, Frankston was identified in the study as a major hub of fauna activity, and home to many high priority fauna linkage highways.

An example is Seaford’s McCulloch Avenue Boardwalk (left) which won a Victorian Government Coastal Award for Excellence for its compliance with the natural environment. It allows people access to the beach without damaging the dunes, and complements the natural coastal environment by allowing fauna to use underpasses for safe travel.

Frankston Council has also installed Wildlife Crossing signs on McClelland Drive, worked with VicRoads to ensure underpasses at Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve and regularly liaises with other Councils to ensure that flora linkages are not affected at the border of our municipalities.

For more information on the fauna networks visit the Frankston City Council website

Natasha Duckett, Frankston City Council


In the spotlight…

This is a new section in Connector where we put the spotlight on someone who is contributing to improved biodiversity outcomes in the Biosphere.

Our first mini interview is with Hudson Cameron, Advanced Water Treatment Plant Manager at Inghams Enterprises, Somerville.

Why did Inghams choose to participate in the Biosphere Water Stewardship program?
Inghams have a long history of working with the Western Port Biosphere, for the protection and betterment of the Watson Creek catchment especially. A parallel goal has been to see water stewardship taken up in Australia. As part of that Inghams had a goal in 2015 to achieve certification under the Water Stewardship Australia standard, which we achieved in October/November 2015. The Western Port Biosphere Water Stewardship project is a natural extension of the requirement of the AWS standard to contribute to catchment improvements and work with community on their important water-related areas.

What is your role in Inghams’ water stewardship program?
As manager of our Advanced WTP (water treatment plant) at Somerville I report to the Plant Manager and my role encompasses site water, wastewater and trade waste plus environmental and sustainability activities. I am site lead for water stewardship and take direction in these areas from our National Head of Business Sustainability, Julia Seddon

What are some of the major changes implemented as part of Inghams’ water stewardship program, and which lead to you being awarded gold level certification by BM TRADA?
As early adopters involved in the beta development of water stewardship in Australia, the largest project we implemented was the construction of Advanced Water Treatment recycling plants at out Murarrie Queensland site, and also here at Somerville.

These AWT plants have contributed to at least 65% reduction in total fresh water used at each site per day. At Somerville this amounts to something in the order of 8,000,000 litres of water per week that we no longer require from South East Water or send as trade waste to the South East Water Mt Martha community sewage treatment plant.

More recently we have engaged in on-site waterway improvement projects through Melbourne Water’s streamside program, Mornington Peninsula Water Sensitive Rural Land grants and offsite projects with Watson Creek Landcare Group. We enclosed and planted a strip of waterway inside our property that is over 600m long and planted with more than 5,200 natives trees, shrubs and grasses. This waterway now keeps our cattle out of the waterway and thereby reduces sediment and pollution entering Watson Creek directly from our site.

What benefits have been realised already for Inghams, the local community and for the protection and conservation of the Watson Creek catchment?
Water stewardship has a significant requirement to engage with local stakeholders in realising community aims to identify and protect or improve important water-related areas. For Inghams the water stewardship project has encouraged us to look beyond our boundary and try to do more with community groups. For the Western Port Biosphere Water Stewardship Project we attempted to facilitate engagement with the initial major stakeholders by our own example and commitment.

Can you tell us about any future water stewardship initiatives from Inghams?
In 2016 we will continue to support the Western Port Biosphere Water Stewardship Project extension to the wider Biosphere region by encouraging our growers to participate in the project. We hope to use the methodologies to help us increase water usage efficiency as our production capacity increases. We wish to engage with the Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority in their Large Remnant Tree Protection programme and we hope to assist the Watson Creek Landcare group in work they are doing to encourage local landholders to join and support the Watson Creek Biolink project.

Do you have a suggestion for someone we can feature in a future issue (whether they are an individual, or from a community group or organisation)? Please contact admin@biosphere.org.au and tell us briefly why you have nominated them and how they can be contacted.


Help shape water for Victoria

The Victorian Government recently released the state’s draft water plan Water for Victoria for consultation.

Water for Victoria outlines the need to balance agricultural, industrial, recreational and environmental needs to get the most out of one of our most precious resources. The plan recognises that the sector needs to work more closely with local communities when making critical decisions about their water supplies

Community feedback is invited to ensure Victoria has the best possible plan to prepare for critical challenges such as climate change, population growth, and increased demand for water and water security.

The plan will be tested with communities over the next six to eight weeks through online and face to face consultations.

To read the discussion paper, join a community session, or have your say visit haveyoursay.delwp.vic.gov.au/water-for-victoria

Closing date for comments is 29th April 2016.


Shorebird and wetland conservation training

Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA), West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and BirdLife Australia recently teamed up with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation Rangers to deliver shorebird and wetland conservation training.

Participants learnt first-hand from industry experts about wetland ecosystems, shorebird identification and monitoring, beach-nesting bird conservation strategies and toured the beautiful beaches and wetlands within the internationally significant Corner Inlet Ramsar site.

“This training was a fantastic opportunity to work with the dedicated and highly enthusiastic Gunaikurni Rangers,” said PPWCMA’s Environmental Projects Coordinator Andrew Morrison, “Coming from outside of this region I was stoked to be welcomed onto Country by the Rangers.”

The program showcased to participants the management actions that help protect wetlands and manage the threats to these sensitive ecosystems. Participants learnt how to identify a range of birds, giving them the necessary skills to monitor populations and provide management input and recommendations to land managers.

A highlight of the training included a boat trip from Mcloughlin’s Beach to meet with and assist BirdLife Australia and the Victorian Wader Study Group to monitor birds. Gunaikurnai Rangers were shown how to set cannon-nets which were used to trap shorebirds, allowing the study group to record vital information about the birds.

This training program forms part of the PPWCMA-led Ramsar Protection Program, funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

For those passionate about the Western Port Ramsar site, a second training program will be held in Hastings at the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Gathering Place from 20th-22nd April. The free training event is available to indigenous Australians and provides practical classroom and field-based learning opportunities.

For more information, please contact Andrew Morrison on (03) 8781 7960.

Andrew Morrison and Rhys Collins, Port Phillip and Westernport CMA


A new strategy for rabbit control on the Bass Coast

When the Bass Coast Network’s telephone rings, there’s a good chance someone will be asking for help with rabbits. An early dry summer saw an increase in rabbit numbers, especially in urban areas.

The need for a coordinated effort to control rabbits was identified through strong working partnerships between the Bass Coast Shire Council, Bass Coast Landcare Network, and the Phillip Island Nature Parks. Other stakeholders are Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, South Gippsland Water, VicRoads, and Westernport Water.

A working group was formed and terms of reference set to steer the development of a new five-year rabbit strategy. The working group’s vision is: “Community, agencies and organisations collaborating to strategically reduce rabbit numbers to protect biodiversity, agricultural and social amenity assets in the Bass Coast Landcare Network area”.

The new strategy guides organisational and community rabbit control actions, work programs, and funding applications, and is already bearing fruit. Agencies are coordinating rabbit monitoring (using a standard monitoring method) and rabbit control, and focusing efforts on areas identified as a high priority.

With the vast majority of land in the Bass Coast Shire privately owned, and some of the highest densities of rabbits in coastal urban areas, the working group quickly recognised that control programs will rely heavily on successful engagement with the local community.

The working group has received funding through the National Rabbit Facilitator to host a series of community workshops. The workshops will raise awareness, talk about the recipe for successful rabbit control, facilitate the creation of new rabbit action groups and/or promote rabbit control activities within existing groups.

There’s a big job ahead, but with a strategic approach, and pending the release of the new rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus, the working group is confident a momentum for change can be sustained.

For more information contact Rob Gray: robbie.gray@vic.chariot.net.au

Rob Gray, Bass Coast Landcare Network


Lighten your load at Frankston’s new waste transfer centre

The Frankston Regional Recycling and Recovery Centre (FRRRC) is now open. The FRRRC can be used by residents from any municipality, with Frankston City residents eligible for discounts when they show proof of residency. The Centre also accepts small quantities of business waste.

Many items can be disposed of free of charge, including white goods, scrap metal, TVs/electronic waste, cardboard, bottles, household and car batteries, light globes and fluorescent tubes and much more – visit the FRRRC website for a complete list.

FRRRC is great value for chargeable waste disposal too: a bag of hard waste starts from as little as $6. Learn more about prices.

There is also a Treasure Chest shop on site selling recovered furniture, household goods and bric-a-brac. This is a must-visit destination for bargain hunters and anyone who has a good eye for items that can be restored/up-cycled (open daily from 8.30am to 3.30pm)

The FRRRC is located at 20 Harold Road, Skye and is open seven days a week from 8.00am until 4.00pm (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day).

Sort your load and save – separating your load before you arrive at FRRRC makes it easy to identify what’s recyclable and will save you money at the gate.

Note: FRRRC is not a landfill site. No food, liquid or hazardous waste accepted.

Debbie Coffey, Frankston City Council


Cardinia Environment Coalition

The Cardinia Environment Coalition (CEC) strives to help connect people working on environmental issues in the shire of Cardinia. CEC manages several areas of public land, and assists with local groups working on private land conservation or sustainability projects. We can provide publicity, advertising, and a web presence for groups and events, as well as help with payroll and grant applications. Our native and indigenous nursery can also provide cost effective tubestock, from seed collected locally.

We have recently redesigned our website with the aim of making it a hub for environmental information and contacts. Our facebook page also provides information, members events listings and local connections.

The CEC welcomes new members. If you have an interest in forming a group, we can help.

The CEC can be contacted at: info@cecinc.net.au


Five ways to participate in World Environment Day

The United Nations’ World Environment Day (WED) is held on 5th June every year to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment.

This year’s theme is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.”

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says that the wellbeing of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources – however, people are consuming far more natural resources than the planet can sustainably provide.

Living within our planet’s limits is the most promising strategy for ensuring a healthy future. Human prosperity need not cost the earth. Living sustainably is about doing more and better with less. It is about knowing that rising rates of natural resource use and the environmental impacts that occur are not a necessary by-product of economic growth.

WED is an opportunity for everyone to take responsibility for caring for the Earth and to take action, no matter how small.

“Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

So what can you do to contribute to World Environment Day? Here are five suggestions from the WED A to Z:

  • Bike to your destination! It’s not just earth-friendly, it’s healthy too!
  • Discover an alternative to using traditional wrapping paper for birthday gifts – like scarves, old newspapers or discarded maps or magazines
  • Keep your recyclable bottles, bottle caps etc. – Google ways to transform them into badges, games, household decorations, artwork and jewellery
  • Optimise the use of your washing machine – use the cold-wash option and significantly save energy and reduce your daily carbon emissions
  • Vanish energy vampires – appliances that suck energy even when not being used – by unplugging them, using power boards with on/off switches or standby power controllers.

For more practical ideas on how to get involved, visit the WED website. You can also register your planned activity as an individual, community group, school, or private organisation.


Become a member of the Biosphere

Become a member of the Biosphere Foundation and you will be supporting our goals of bringing people together to foster conservation and sustainable development.

Membership costs $25 and includes invitations to Biosphere events, the latest Biosphere news and the opportunity to network with like-minded people.

You can join by calling us on 59792167 or visit our website.


Upcoming Events

Nature Play Week
Date: 6th – 17th April
Time: Various
Location: Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, cnr Bellarto Road and Botanic Drive, Cranbourne
More details: Nature Play Week (NPW) is an annual celebration of initiatives of all shapes and sizes that reconnect kids with nature and the outdoors.

EmFsus Talk
Date: Monday 11th April
Time: 7.00-9.30pm
Location: Emerald Library, 400A Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Emerald
More details: EmFsus is a local sustainability group formed in February 2008 in response to the community need to establish a grass roots organisation to tackle the problem of climate change and to empower the community to take action.
The focus is for residents, businesses and community groups in the Emerald district to reduce their water and energy consumption, minimise waste and increase the biodiversity; with an aim to live a low carbon or carbon neutral lifestyle. Meet your local EmFSus group leaders and learn more about what is happening around you and your local township.

Birdlife Mornington Peninsula Tootgarook Wetland Visit
Date: Wednesday 13th April
Time: 9.30am
Location: Meet in the ‘Wedding Car Park’, Boneo Park, 312 Boneo Road, Tootgarook
More details: More information: 0429 947 893

Resourceful Gardening
Date: Friday 15th April
Time: 1.00-2.30pm
Location: Frankston Library, 60 Playne Street, Frankston
More details: Revitalise your garden with great tips for creating superb compost, soil and vegie gardens. Free but bookings essential.

Ethical Supermarket Tour
Date: Saturday 23rd April
Time: 10.00am – 1.00pm
Location: Hampton Park Library, 24 Stuart Avenue, Hampton Park
More details: Come and learn about some of the issues that are behind the products we buy and where we buy them from. Each attendee receives a comprehensive supermarket guide and lunch is purchased during the session with items the group chooses, but doesn’t pay for. Tea coffee bikkies also provided.
Bookings are essential, contact City of Casey Customer Service: 9705 5200

Australian Stream Management Conference (Early Bird Registrations)
Date: Monday 2nd May
More details: The 8th Australian Stream Management Conference will be held in the Blue Mountains , New South Wales from Sunday, 31st July to Wednesday, 3rd August 2016.
Twenty years on from the inaugural Australian Stream Management Conference in 1996, the 2016 event will provide the opportunity to reflect on our progress over two decades. We will discuss recent developments and challenges in stream management, in the context of experiences from the past two decades and beyond. The conference is relevant to anybody involved in any aspect of the management of streams, rivers, wetlands and estuaries in Australia or beyond. Focus areas will include the role of physical interventions, catchment and riparian management, environmental flows, community involvement and expectations, government policy, the role of markets, and the management of droughts and floods , and monitoring and evaluation programs.
More information: for all Conference enquiries, please contact
GEMS Event Management on +61 2 9744 5252

Western Port Biosphere Biodiversity Forum
Date: Friday 6th May
Time: 10.00am – 2.30pm (registration from 9.30am)
Location: Tarnuk Room, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, cnr Bellarto Road and Botanic Drive, Cranbourne
More details: Join us to hear the latest news about pest control and other biodiversity activities from the Western Port Biosphere, Councils, Landcare & Community Groups. Keynote presentation: Reflections on the Ongoing Loss of our Biodiversity by Professor John Woinarski
This event is free however bookings are essential. Please also advise of any dietary requirements when booking: admin@biosphere.org.au

Native Gardening for Wildlife
Date: Saturday 7th May
Time: 9.30-11.30am
Location: Frankston South Community & Recreation Centre, 55 Towerhill Road, Frankston South
More details: Free but bookings essential.

Culinary Gardening
Date: Tuesday 10th May
Time: 10.00am – 12.30pm
Location: The Old Cheese Factory, 34 Homestead Road, Berwick
More details: Culinary gardening will explore what can you plant and use in the kitchen, what works best where and how to maintain. To register for the workshops please contact the Old Cheese Factory on 9702 1919 or via email on ocf@casey.vic.gov.au. Full payment of $20 is required at time of booking to confirm placement.

Biodiversity and the Law
Date: Tuesday 24th May
Time: 7.00-8.30
Location: Frankston Football Club (Graham Room), Plowman Place, Frankston
More details: This informative session organised by Council and presented by Environmental Justice Australia will explain what can and cannot be done within the environmental laws currently in place in Victoria. Free but bookings essential.