e-Newsletter – August 2016


Newsletter

August 2016


Welcome to our August 2016 newsletter. In this edition we cover an extension to the Regional Contaminated Land Program, updates to the Hunter Region Vegetation Mapping, recent Flying Fox management grants, action to restore one of the last remaining pockets of Hunter Valley Dry Rainforest, and details on a range of upcoming events.  Greater detail on these and all of our program initiatives are also included in our August Program Report.

Contents:

  1. Meet the Team
  2. Contaminated Land Program Extended
  3. New Project – Restoring Hunter Valley Dry Rainforest
  4. New Flying Fox Initiatives
  5. Regional Vegetation Mapping
  6. NSW Biodiversity Reforms – Regional Submission
  7. Regional Litter Projects
  8. The Waste Wrappers
  9. Regional Organics Project
  10. Beat the Heat this Summer
  11. Events
  12. Notices – Grant Programs Now Open

Meet the Team

There have been a number of changes in the Environment Division team this year, so to keep you up to date with who’s who: 

Bradley Nolan has replaced Meredith Laing as Director of the Environment Division.  Bradley is now responsible for overall Divisional Management, and continues work on regional initiatives including the Regional Flying Fox Program, Regional Waste Program, and review of the Hunter Region Vegetation Mapping.

Steve Wilson has taken on the role of Deputy Director, providing Divisional Management support, and continuing to work on programs including the Contaminated Land Program,  Natural Disaster Resilience, and Regional Waste Program.

Michael Neville is the Regional Waste Program Manager, and has primary responsibility for managing implementation of the Hunter Regional Waste Program, including coordinating the Regional Waste Managers Group.

Chantelle Sage has recently joined the team as Regional Waste Education Coordinator, replacing Juliana Cain while she is on maternity leave.  For many years Chantelle has worked for the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority on waste management programs, including the Territory’s container deposit scheme and plastic bag ban.  Chantelle will coordinate the Hunter Waste Educators Group (HWEG), Regional Charitable Recyclers Working Party, and Waste Wrappers troupe, along with regional delivery of the 2016 Garage Sale Trail and ‘Small Acts Big Change’ program.

Leanne Sanderson is our Regional Litter Project Officer (part time), and is now focused on implementing the Hunter Region Litter Implementation Plan.

Emma Grezl continues as Regional Waste Project Officer (part time), and is delivering the Love Food on Campus project in collaboration with the University of Newcastle

Eva Twarkowski is our Senior Ecologist, delivering natural resource management initiatives including land restoration and rehabilitation projects, the Roadside Environment Program, and ecological assessment and monitoring activities.

Ellen Saxon is our GIS Project Officer (part time) providing spatial data analysis and GIS mapping support to the Environment Division and Councils.

Alison Gleeson (part time) is responsible for coordinating delivery of the HCCREMS Professional Development Series

Brooke Willmott provides administration coordination and support to all of our regional programs.

btn-read-more

  Back to top


Contaminated Land Program Extended

The EPA has confirmed the NSW Environmental Trust will invest a further $150,000 to extend the Regional Contaminated Land Capacity Building Program (until 30th June 2017). The project now seeks to employ a full time project officer to work directly with councils to assist in reviewing and updating their ‘in house’ contaminated land systems and procedures. The program will commence once EPA has approved the project plan.

MORE INFORMATION:

Steve Wilson – Deputy Director Environment Division
P (02) 4978 4026
E stevew@huntercouncils.com.au

 

Back to top


New Project – Restoring Hunter Valley Dry Rainforest

We’ve received $99,618 over 3 years, from the NSW Environmental Trust to restore one of the last remaining stands of intact native vegetation along the Lower Hunter River. The site contains Hunter Valley Dry Rainforest, an Endangered Ecological Community. The project will remove environmental weed infestations, undertake planting and remove illegal dumping waste.

MORE INFORMATION:

Eva Twarkowski – Senior Ecologist
P (02) 4978 4029
E evat@huntercouncils.com.au

Back to top


New Flying Fox Initiatives

Camp Management Plans
A regional funding application has been submitted to the NSW Flying Fox Management Grants program. If successful, this project will provide direct support to eight of our member Councils (Mid Coast, Port Stephens, Cessnock, Maitland, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Upper Hunter and Central Coast), to develop new Camp Management Plans, or to map and update their existing camp management plans. The proposal also includes the creation of regional habitat mapping, and staff training on strategies for effectively engaging local communities affected by Flying Fox camps. 

Community Engagement
A funding application has been submitted to the NSW Environmental Trust’s Environmental Education Program. If successful, this will encourage positive change in community attitudes to flying-foxes via more consistent  community education and engagement messages across Councils and key agencies.

MORE INFORMATION:

Bradley Nolan – Director Environment Division
P (02) 4978 4024
E envirodirector@huntercouncils.com.au

Back to top


Regional Vegetation Mapping

We have re-engaged with the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to review and update the Hunter Region Vegetation Mapping to resolve previous issues of scale and accuracy. Environment Division and OEH staff have hosted a number of Council workshops, designed to refine linework, prior to remodelling to Plant Community Types (PCT). The current mapping covers the Upper Hunter and Manning areas. Coastal areas will be addressed in 2017. Digital files are now available for Council interrogation with final comments due by 4 September 2016.

MORE INFORMATION:

Bradley Nolan – Director Environment Division
P (02) 4978 4024
E envirodirector@huntercouncils.com.au

Back to top


NSW Biodiversity Reforms – Regional Submission

In May 2016 the NSW Government released the Biodiversity Legislation Reforms Information Package which includes a draft Biodiversity Conservation Bill and draft Local Land Services Amendment Bill 2016.  The two Bills are designed to replace the Native Vegetation Act, Threatened Species Conservation Act, the Nature Conservation Trust Act and parts of the National Parks & Wildlife Act. A regional submission to the reform process was collated by the Environment Division in collaboration with officers and senior managers from all member Councils.

MORE INFORMATION:

Bradley Nolan – Director Environment Division
P (02) 4978 4024
E envirodirector@huntercouncils.com.au

Back to top


Regional Litter Projects

We have recently commenced work on two core projects included in the Hunter Region Litter Plan. These focus on reducing litter in recreational parks and improving governance around the management of litter by Councils. Site visits and on ground planning for target locations has recently been completed.

MORE INFORMATION:

Leanne Sanderson – Regional Litter Project Officer
P (02) 4978 4042
E leannes@huntercouncils.com.au

Back to top


The Waste Wrappers

The ‘Waste Wrappers’ are a highly engaging performance troupe contracted to deliver performances at a range of high profile festivals and events across the region, raising awareness of correct recycling practices.  In the coming months they will be performing at the following events and locations:

  • 21st August 2016 Newcastle Museum Science Fair
  • 18th September 2016 Vacy Country Festival
  • 24th September 2016 Lake Macquarie Living Smart Festival
  • 27th September 2016 Raymond Terrace Library
  • 27th September 2016 Tomaree Library
  • 29th September 2016 Kurri Kurri Library
  • 29th September 2016 Cessnock Library

MORE INFORMATION:

Chantelle Sage – Regional Waste Education Coordinator P (02) 4978 4028 E chantelles@huntercouncils.com.au

Back to top


Regional Organics Project

The Regional Organics project is continuing to explore how the Regional Waste Program can contribute to resolving long term structural issues that have inhibited organics market development, and that have been problematic for many years.  We have recently confirmed a two-day regional tour (1st and 2nd September, 2016) of organics processing facilities by senior EPA staff and Council representatives. This aims to enhance understanding between the EPA and Councils about the range of issues affecting organics recovery, including collection and processing infrastructure requirements.

MORE INFORMATION:

Michael Neville – Regional Waste Program Manager
P (02) 4978 4034
E michaeln@huntercouncils.com.au

Back to top


Beat the Heat this Summer

Heatwaves or long periods of extreme heat are a major cause of health problems every summer in Australia. To assist your staff, clients, customers and communities ‘Beat the Heat’ this coming summer, a  host of communication resources including posters, flyers, webpage content, social media content, newsletter articles, scripts for Community Service Announcements, e-mail alerts and text alerts are all now freely available on our website.
FREE printed copies of posters and flyers are also currently available.

MORE INFORMATION:

Steve Wilson – Deputy Director Environment Division
P (02) 4978 4026
E stevew@huntercouncils.com.au

btn-view-resources

Back to top


EVENTS CORK

Community Drop In Session – Nine Valleys Wildlife Trail

Saturday 20th August 2016
9.30am – 12.30pm
St Martin Church Hall, Martindale

Targeting landowners in the Jerry’s Plains to Giants Creek area, this event will provide local landowners and managers with the opportunity  to sign up for free property inspections,  to meet and ask questions of various agencies and community organisations, and to find out about funding opportunities available to support land management and conservation works on their properties.

CONTACT:

Eva Twarkowski – Senior Ecologist
P (02) 4978 4029
E evat@huntercouncils.com.au

btn-event-details

Back to top


Community Workshop Weed Identification and Control

Saturday 3rd September 2016
9.30am – 12.30pm
Tocal College, Tocal Road, Tocal

This community workshop will assist participants identify problem weeds and control techniques. Activities and topics will include:

  • Weed identification and information stall (bring your weed samples)
  • Splatter gun demonstrations for woody weed control
  • Aquatic and vine weed control demonstrations
  • African Olive control program and opportunities to get involved
  • Free BBQ lunch

CONTACT:

Eva Twarkowski – Senior Ecologist
P (02) 4978 4029
E evat@huntercouncils.com.au

btn-event-details

Back to top


Garage Sale Trail

Saturday, 22nd October 2016

This year we will again be coordinating regional delivery of the Garage Sale Trail. The Regional Waste Program has contributed $15,000 to purchase a full regional delivery package, meaning there are no direct financial costs to participating Councils.  This package provides Councils with a suite of communication and promotional resources that can be adapted directly to their local needs and communities.

CONTACT:

Chantelle Sage – Regional Waste Education Coordinator
P (02) 4978 4028
E chantelles@huntercouncils.com.au

Back to top


CORK BOARD - JPEG

Hunter Local Land Services Natural Resources Management and Community Capacity Building Grants

$2.2 million grants in grant funds

Applications close 16th September 2016

are now available for landholders, land managers, community groups and Aboriginal organisations, to deliver natural resource management, sustainable agriculture and community capacity building projects during 2016/17.

btn-read-more

Back to top


Community Resilience Innovation Program (CRIP)

The CRIP supports a broad range of community-led projects designed to increase all-hazard disaster preparedness and build community capacity and resilience. CRIP projects are based on collaboration and partnership between local community organisations and emergency services agencies.

Applications close 26 September 2016

btn-read-more

Back to top


Environmental Trust Restoration and Rehabilitation Program

The NSW Environmental Trust is now inviting applications to the 2016/17 round of its Restoration and Rehabilitation Grants Program. A total of $4 million is available to the following organisations for projects that protect, conserve and restore the natural environment:

  • $2 million for projects by community organisations
  • $2 million for projects by government entities

Grants of between $5,000 and $100,000 are available.

Applications close 3pm Monday 26 September 2016

btn-read-more

Back to top