Streamwatch – Up The Creek?

The future of the long running Citizen science program Streamwatch is in jeopardy.

The local group which includes representatives of the Oatley Flora and Fauna Conservation Society, Friends of Oatley and the Georges River Environmental Alliance. Plans by the Australian Museum to not continue with the community-based Streamwatch program has raised concerns amongst volunteers about the future of Georges River’s water quality.

The Streamwatch program has been going for almost 30 years and is run by 53 volunteer water monitoring groups at 120 sites across Sydney. Streamwatch was established in 1990 by Sydney Water and in 2012 it was transferred to the Australian Museum which runs it under its Citizen Science programs. The groups share free on the Streamwatch website giving a snapshot of the standard of Sydney’s creeks and rivers.

Pollution is extremely common in the creeks on Oatley especially after high rain fall. In addition Sydney Water sewer mains frequently overflow after heavy rain and this ends up in the Georges River and becomes a serious health and environmental issue. It is often volunteers who report these indents. The Sydney sewer system is collapsing under the pressure of growing population. 

The volunteers believe that the Australian Museum should see this volunteer program as part of its core business as it is about the environment, it is about science and has a huge role also in educating the public.

It is believed the Steamwatch program costs around $100,000 a year to run support the entire network of more than 50 Streamwatch groups testing more than 150 waterway sites throughout Sydney. Sydney Water reported a record profit of $447 million in 2016-17. The search is on for a new organisation to host the program from mid-2019.

READ LEADER ARTICLE

READ OFF member Sharyn Cullis letter to The Leader (26 September)

Oatley West Public School Festival

The society participated in the Oatley West Public School festival on the weekend of 25 & 26 August. Our stall was staffed by OFF Committee members. We demonstrated the Australian Museum’s catchment model which shows where the rain and waste water ends up.

Other focuses were recycling, reducing the use of plastics (e.g., cloth bags), and there were brochures available. We also encouraged people to submit photos for our 2019 calendar and even sold a few 2018 ones. There was a lot of interest and participation from the public.

 

People Power Cleans Georges River

On 19 August despite bitter wind, 24 volunteers from Oatley Flora and Fauna, Bankstown Bushland Society and Oatley Kayak Crew participated in a clean-up of the beach and surrounds at Beauty Point Reserve, on the Georges River at Padstow Heights.

In four hours, we collected 49 large bags containing 100’s of straws, bottle tops, lighters, syringes, and glass and plastic bottles. Not to mention thousands of polystyrene pieces. But we all wondered how a tyre and wheel, a suitcase and even furniture ended up in the river!!

SEE PHOTO GALLERY

 

Community Planting Day at River Road Reserve

Over thirty Oatley Flora and Fauna members, friends and community members gathered on Sunday (5th August)  morning at River Road Reserve to extend our successful planting from one year ago near the railway underpass in Oatley.

We planted over 500 native trees, shrubs and grasses purchased from the Sutherland Shire Nursery, with a grant from the Minister for the Environment’s Conservation Fund, which was sourced through local member Mark Coure who attended on the day..

We hope that this planting will provide a balance to the increasing urban density and paved areas in Oatley which have resulted in a loss of green space.

READ LEADER ARTICLE

Photo Challenge 2019

Challenge is finished Thank You to those who contributed photos.

Calendar will be on sale at the Oatley Lion’s Fest.

For the past few years, OFF has produced a calendar that we normally release for sale at the Oatley Festival in October. The 2018 calendar featured wildlife of the Georges River area, this calendar proved to be very popular with very few copies left. Consequently, we are planning to produce a calendar with a similar theme for 2019. The major difference is that there will not be a competition for the images. However, photographers will get the satisfaction of seeing their images in the calendar.

The criteria for the images are that they must of flora or fauna of the St George area. Entries will close on  Sat 8th  September 2018 in order to make the Oatley Festival deadline. Therefore, all photographs start clicking!

PHOTO ENTRY RULES

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

Phone

Email

Blakehurst Ward

Sam Elmir Liberal

0410 654 310

selmir@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Sandy Grekas Independent

0424 617 831

sgrekas@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Katherine Landsberry Labor

0419 984 934

klandsberry@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Hurstville Ward

Vince Badalati Labor

0411 745 255

vbadalati@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Nancy Liu Independent

0400 681 188

nliu@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Christina Wu Liberal

0400 241 851

cwu@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Kogarah Bay Ward

Stephen Agius Liberal

0419 556 023

sagius@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Nick Katris Labor

0419 402 191

nkatris@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Leesha Payor Kogarah Residents’ Assn

9330 6296

lpayor@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Mortdale Ward

Con Hindi Liberal

0408 383 783

chIndependenti@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Lou Konjarski  Independent

0421 188 896

Lkonjarski@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Warren Tegg Labor

0427 671 666

wtegg@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Peakhurst Ward

Kevin Greene Labor

9330 6020

kgreene@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Rita Kastanias Liberal

0416 009 695

rkastanias@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

Colleen Symington Labor

0409 546 202

csymington@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au

 

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

SEE COUNCIL WEBSITE FOR INFORMATION ON WARDS & POLLING BOOTHS