Annual General Meeting & 2018 Program

Presidential Address 2018 By Graham Lalchere

Graham thanked the outgoing committee, In particular Shaun Keays-Byrne who will not be standing for the committee this year and resigning from the position of Newsletter editor. He thanked Shaun for the great work he has done on the Newsletter, meeting posters and calendar this year as well our banners. He will be missed both as editor and from the committee.

We heard about an inspirational community campaigner from the Botany area of Sydney ; Nancy Hillier OAM. She was a truly outstanding campaigner for her local community, in development of services, championing the interests of residents, and protection of the environment in the Botany Bay region. A “Relentless rebel with many causes”.



……”Nancy began work at age 14 at Australian Paper Mills at Matraville, sorting paper for recycling into cardboard. She also took up her first issue. One of Nancy’s work companions said workers were not allowed to take toilet breaks in work time. Nancy thought this was wrong, and she told her fellow employees during their break that they should take off their underpants and wash them in the hand basin. She then took the wet garments and hung them on a line at the bottom of the stairs leading to the boss’s office. Naturally, the boss took offence, but Nancy said if employees were allowed to go to the toilet when they felt the urge, they would not wet themselves.”

Hillier was given many public roles, including a place on the Botany community consultation committee, the Botany industrial park environmental committee, the Port Botany expansion committee, the senior citizens’ advisory committee and the emergency management planning committee. In 2006, she was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia. Still she did not sit back. In August, 2012, the 88-year-old called on residents to fight and stop the state government’s plan to remove the container cap at Port Botany. She did not win that fight, but she would never be silenced.

Graham reminded us that we must remain vigilant to the issue of tree cover in our area.   We must ensure that the council’s announced tree canopy policy is a sound one and implemented properly, particularly when it comes to developments which are denuding our area. See more on Community Tree Watch

Read OFF-Presidents AGM Address 2018



Our Secretary Liz Cameron gave a good synopsis of the year’s happenings.

Some highlights include:

  • Initiation of a Research Grants Program

  • Establishment Community tree Watch

  • Completion of the wheel-chair accessible pathway in Oatley Park

  • Photographic competition that resulted in  Oatley – Nature in the Suburbs Calendar 2018

  • Greening of the River Road Reserve near the railway underpass in Oatley with 850 native plants.

  • We fielded 6 stalls at community events , these enable us to promote OFF’s objectives to a wider audience.

  • We continued to lobby MPs, Georges River Council and other authorities about environmental matters

  • OFF involves itself in a wide range of issues and we have made submissions on draft plans and legislation.

 Read Secretary’s Annual Report for 2017













Appeal to New Councillors to Save Bowling Club Site

The society has written to the new Georges River Councillors informing them of the history of the acquisition of the land on which the Oatley Bowling Club (OBC) was built and issues important to the community in retaining the site for recreational community use. 

Please write to your Councillors asking them to consider retaining the site for community recreational use.

OFF letter to Georges River Councillors on planning proposal for OBC

Click here for list of Councillors and email addresses


Three facsimiles below are of 1944 Hurstville Council minutes that relate to the original acquisition of the land on which the former Oatley Bowling Club is situated.

Council minute 680 on 16/11/44- The blocks of land that make up this reserve were acquired in 1944-45 by council for a park




Minute 680 states quite clearly that the land was purchased for a park, lists the blocks bought, and includes all of the blocks on which the Bowling Club was built.






Minute 884 – Grant for acquisition of the lands.




Georges River Councillors 2017 -2019

Councillor Kevin Greene was elected as the first Mayor of Georges River Council following an Extraordinary Council meeting on 25 September 2017 and will represent Council as the Mayor for the next two years. Mayor Greene will be joined by Councillor Kathryn Landsberry as Deputy Mayor.

For more information on Georges River Councillors please visit Georges River Website:

We have posted successful candidates and their contact details for your convenience.


Name Party



Blakehurst Ward

Sam Elmir Liberal

0410 654 310

Sandy Grekas Independent

0424 617 831

Katherine Landsberry Labor

0419 984 934

Hurstville Ward

Vince Badalati Labor

0411 745 255

Nancy Liu Independent

0400 681 188

Christina Wu Liberal

0400 241 851

Kogarah Bay Ward

Stephen Agius Liberal

0419 556 023

Nick Katris Labor

0419 402 191

Leesha Payor Kogarah Residents’ Assn

9330 6296

Mortdale Ward

Con Hindi Liberal

0408 383 783

Lou Konjarski  Independent

0421 188 896

Warren Tegg Labor

0427 671 666

Peakhurst Ward

Kevin Greene Labor

9330 6020

Rita Kastanias Liberal

0416 009 695

Colleen Symington Labor

0409 546 202


Plans of Management for Royal, Heathcote NPs & Garawarra SCA

Oatley Flora and Fauna Society submitted a discussion paper on the Plans of Management for Royal, Heathcote National Parks and the Garawarra State Conservation.  Read OFF submission.

  • The paramount consideration should be protection of the natural values of the reserves. Protection of these values is the reason the reserves were established and it is required under the National Parks and Wildlife Act requires. The two National Parks in particular, should be managed first and foremost for their natural values
  • The focus should be on protection of entire plant communities and overall biodiversity, not specific species.
  • Recreational activities in the reserves should primarily promote an understanding and appreciation of their natural values.
  • No new mountain bike tracks should be made in the reserves, and existing tracks that are causing erosion or damaging natural features, should be closed. Other venues and tenures of land can provide for these activities in the region.
    It is curious that the NSW Government should consider the necessity to provide extensive opportunities for mountain bike activities in natural reserves while reducing opportunities for commuter cycling in the city, where it poses no harm to the environment










Georges River Council Elections

OFF survey results of candidates have been published to help make your decision on your vote. Please read individual responses we have received from candidates to make your vote count. You can follow links (highlighted in yellow) to view their comments




OFF Launches Council Election Campaign With Mass Planting

Today, Oatley Flora & Fauna Conservation Society (OFF) members and friends gathered to plant out a small portion of the reserve near Oatley station. The project was started in May with 300 plants and today it was completed by planting 200 more.

At the same time Society President Graham Lalchere announced that OFF has decided to take an active part in the September council elections. However, he said “We won’t necessarily be advocating a vote for any particular candidate. What we are looking for are new candidates who will give the newly merged Georges River Council a fresh start.”

“We are seeking candidates who will support:

  • Council openness and good governance

  • Protection of open spaces like Myles Dunphy Reserve

  • Effective control of developers and development

  • Protection of trees on public and private land

  • Georges River water quality improvement projects and programs; and

  • Climate change policies that enhance liveability and sustainability at the local level.

“With this planting we are putting our money where our mouth is and leading the way to maintaining healthy parks and open space” Mr Lalchere said.

So, what we will be asking the community to do is get to know who they are voting for – It really matters. First and foremost we want the Council to be well governed by ethical councillors who act honourably, fairly and solely in the public interest.

Protection of our local environment underpins the health and well-being of the whole community. Councillors have a key role in ensuring our quality of life is maintained so look for those who will be putting these policies high on the agenda.

To assist with this OFF will be raising awareness by canvassing the candidates’ opinions and positions on important local issues and publicising their responses.

“We cannot afford to sit back and abdicate our responsibility when voting on 9th September.

Show you care for our local environment. Ensure it is protected. Vote 1 for a fresh start” Mr Lalchere said.

OFF Photographic Competition

Scroll down to read Terms and conditions

Download pdf of competition details


Tucoerah – Georges River Bushcare Volunteers Newsletter

DSC01423Tucoerah – the quarterly newsletter of the Georges River Bushcare Volunteers (GRBV) will now be available on the OFF website under Newsletters

Tucoerah is the traditional Aboriginal name for the Georges River and it is appropriate to acknowledge the original custodians of the land and waterways in the area.


2017 AGM – Long Term Members Recognised

2M4A2731OFF 62nd AGM was on Monday 6th February 2017, held in Oatley RSL and Community Club from 7.30.The meeting was well attended with 38 present; apologies were received from a further nine members.

Secretary Liz Cameron presented her report summarizing the years activities. READ FULL REPORT HERE 

President, Graham Lalchere thanked the outgoing committee for its work during the year and announced with regret that John Davoren was stepping down as Editor of OFF News after nine years in that position. He detailed some of the projects OFF would be undertaking in the coming year. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ADDRESS

Philip Andersen chaired the election of office-bearers and committee for 2017. The following were elected unopposed: We welcome two new committee members Ben Hope and Keith McRorie.

President: Graham Lalchere             Vice-Presidents: Alan Fairley and Julian Sheen

Treasurer: Rodger Robertson            Secretary: Liz Cameron

Committee:  Matt Allison ; Melina Amerasinghe; Peter de Beuzeville; Vicki Bolling;Robin Dickson; Graham Fry; Ben Hope; Shaun Keays-Byrne; Keith McRorie and Kim Wagstaff.


2M4A2718At the AGM Graham Lalchere, Robin Dickson and Alan Fairley presented certificates of recognition for long-term membership to fourteen who have been members of the Society for 35 years or longer. Foremost among them were Rafe and Moyia Kowron, foundation members of OFF when it was formed in 1955.

Altogether 26 members were recognised for their long-term membership and certificates will be sent or delivered to those who could not attend the meeting.Members recognised were: Peter & Margaret Airey (1977), Alan Argall(1977), Janet Austin (1975), Elizabeth Benbow(1973), Beryl Black (1968), George & Barbara Carrard(1982), Lesley & Peter Cox(1979), Valmai Douglas(1975), Alan Fairley91973), Dave and Tricia Koffel (1974), Heather Mackey(1981), Don & Elaine McGuire(1976), Graham & Jenny Quint(1982), Julian & Annette Sheen(1975), Win Tonkin(1968) , Gaham & Margaret Walters (1968)

Recipients spoke of their delight at receiving this recognition and their appreciation of the work OFF does for environmental issues.

2M4A2734 2M4A2729 2M4A2726 2M4A2725 2M4A2716 2M4A2714 2M4A2713 2M4A2712









Shaun Keays-Byrne took photos of the presentation – CLICK HERE FOR FULL ALBUM

Letter of appreciation from Lesley Cox: Peter and I appreciate OFF’s recognition of our many years of membership of the Society. Like many other members, we are “rusted on” and cannot imagine not belonging to OFF.

- Since joining the Society thirty eight years ago we have seen the many ways in which OFF plays an important part in the local and wider community in matters of conservation. For my own part (Lesley) I first read about OFF in the local paper at Peakhurst where I grew up, maybe in 1956 – the year I started high school. I seem to remember there were Oatley residents actively trying to take better care of the bushland in Oatley Park. Oatley Park was special to me even then, probably due to my conservation-minded grandfather who took the family to Oatley Park from the time I was a small child.  CLICK HERE FOR FULL LETTER

Alan Argall – I would like to thank OFF for their kind thought; even though I am still a paid up member I have not been to a meeting since 1998 for personal reasons. For this reason I do not believe I am entitled to the society’s appreciation. Once again I thank OFF for the thought and rest assured I will stay a member as long as I remain upright, in my recognition of the work OFF does for environmental issues.  

George Carrard – Thanks for your kind letter about our 35 years membership of Oatley Flora and Fauna Society. These days I am very concerned about global warming and hope members of OFF are too.

Oatley Streams Litter Audit -Two & Half Year Report

IMG_4030The results are in from a litter audit of several urban streams in Oatley conducted by the Oatley Streamwatch Team over the period April 2014 to September 2016.

IMG_0050Audit Locations -

  • MDR Mulga Rd Site A -Myles Dunphy Reserve – Creek from sewer viaduct to 50m upstream (towards Mulga Rd)
  • MDR Kogarah Site B – Myles Dunphy Reserve – Stream flowing into MDR from pipe under the railway line draining the Kogarah side of Oatley.
  • Dairy Creek – a 50m section of the creek from the sewer viaduct to 50m upstream


Results – The top 14 items collected are shown in Table below

Untitled 1 

Preliminary conclusions and recommendations

IMG_0049The item most collected was foam insulation and packaging (whole and remnants), whilst the second most collected item was plastic film remnants.

IMG_4052The foam insulation becomes a problem in the environment as it breaks up into small pieces, right down to the spherical beads ( 2-4mm diameter). At this size it would be easily ingested by aquatic fauna and birds.

Equally the plastic film remnants tear apart, wrap around vegetation and clog streams, drains and gross pollutant traps. They also become partly buried in stream bed and banks and then may be exposed in the next high flow event. They too present a threat to aquatic fauna and birds as well as vegetation due to its smothering effect.

IMG_4581Nine out of the top 14 items were based on a plastic material in one form or another. The foam (or polystyrene) form is increasingly being used for packaging, particularly around consumer items such as electrical appliances, as it is lightweight and helps to reduce transport costs. However, this material is not readily recycled in the general community as it is not allowed to be put into our yellow recycling bins that are regularly collected.

It is understood however that it is capable of being recycled and large quantities are actually processed by specialist companies. It needs to be made easier for residents to at least drop this material off at a conveniently located central depot. The proposed Georges River Council’s St George Community Recycling Facility to be located at Depot Rd Mortdale would be a good location and it is highly recommended that the capacity for recycling polystyrene foam waste be incorporated in this facility.

P1010385In regard to plastic bags and plastic film remnants community recycling of these materials is just starting to catch up. Plastic resulting from many food packaging situations such as bread, frozen vegetables, etc and newspaper and magazine wraps and a range of other items have recently become able to be dropped off at REDcycle bins located at certain Woolworths and Coles supermarkets.

In this regard it is highly recommended that Georges River Council also consider establishing a drop-off capacity for these types of plastics in the proposed new St George Community Recycling Facility at Mortdale.


HEAR OUR NEXT SPEAKER on 27 February 2017  -  Associate Professor Stuart Khan from UNSW Civil Engineering Faculty talking about the concept of turning urban rivers – like Parramatta River – into swimmable recreation areas by arresting contaminants.  Did you know that Oatley Swimming Club at Jewfish Bay Baths, has a long history and enduring existence of as swimming? It will be interesting  what can tell us to do to ensure that it remains safe in terms of water quality?

Recent Leader article highlights that the River health is slipping.

The recent 2015-16 Georges River Combined Council’s  report card revealed a slight decline in the ecological condition of the catchment.

With the Greater Sydney Commission’s draft region plan for Sydney South projecting 23,000 more homes in the next 40 years outlook for the waterways is unfavourable.