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

 

 

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.

IMG_1049

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.

LONG TERM MEMBERS RECOGNISED

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

IMG_4025

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.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL REPORT

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.

Penshurst Public School Project

P1000645Oatley Flora and Fauna Society was contacted in mid 2016 to help years 3 & 4 at Penshurst Public School, with a unit on Sustainability in Term 3. We were asked to talk about sustainability or endangered fauna and flora in the Georges River area and to suggest native plants suitable for an area of the playground to be planted by the children.

image2On 15 September four OFF members – Melina Amerasinghe, Vicki Bolling, Liz Cameron and Graham Fry – spoke to about 120 children. Melina presented a slide show on the historical forest on Forest Road, and the subsequent clearing and settlement of the area. The children listened with interest and participated actively, asking question throughout the presentation.         CLICK HERE FOR SLIDE SHOW

P1000652Some plants and birds were highlighted to show the structure and variety of plants and animals of the lost forest with some flowers passed around to the children. A small group of students planted some of the native shrubs we had brought with us. A list of plants suitable for the garden was suggested with an offer by the society to source some for the school.

P1070022There was some concern that with the onset of the warmer weather it may be best to wait till Autumn in 2017. However, as the children were enthusiastic to see the project completed and with the assurances that the caretaker was going to water the plants over the summer holiday, the society funded tube stock from the Menai Wildflower Group nursery. These were planted late in term 4.

InvitationVicki Bolling and Liz Cameron attended the Grand Opening of the Garden on 8 December with a program and refreshments organised by the students. The students sang a song about sustainability with the refrain “refuse, reuse, recycle” composed by one of the teachers and his daughter. We hope this has been a fulfilling project for the children that will instill in them an interest in local flora and fauna.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO ALBUM

Lions Festival 2016

img_0974This year’s festival was superb, sunny with a light breeze, and well attended. OFF’s stand, was adjacent to the Bush Care and Oatley Heritage sites, and we all benefited from the locations with the public going to each of our stalls. img_1045

OFF had a good range of materials, both free and for sale. Our Oatley Park brochures were popular, particularly the bird brochure, and Shaun Keys-Burn produced a nice set of greeting cards using the brilliant photos of Peter Mercer. These sold well and raised over $100.

img_0972We had a good range of plants for sale, courtesy of the East Hills Aust Plant Society and Menai Wildflower Group. We sold about 75% of the stock and were very happy to share the proceeds with the suppliers.

img_1037 This is OFF’s best opportunity for public exposure. We benefited by gaining 5 new memberships on the day, and distributing many membership packages. It was a good day; many thanks to the volunteer staff, and to those who arranged our stall

What Next for Oatley Bowling Club Site?

p1000594It is disappointing that the Georges River Council is pursuing action to alienate public land.

A development application to consolidate the lots at the former Oatley Bowling Club (OBC) site was approved (9/9/16) by the Independent Hearing Assessment Panel (IHAP). Whilst this DA does not include any construction and operational works, community members addressing the panel stated that it is integral to the rezoning planning proposal submitted in conjunction with this DA. 

p1000351Despite the consolidation, the OBC site is STILL in Myles Dunphy Reserve, given the following statements in the IHAP report…. ” The lots will remain in one ownership and still form part of the public reserve and community land. ” See Friends of Oatley Website for more on the campaign to keep public land public

In September 2010 the former Hurstville Council decided to rezone the former Oatley Bowling Club site in Myles Dunphy Reserve from Open Space to Residential. Georges River Council is now proposing to rezone the site to SP2 Infrastructure (Seniors housing) as per 2014 council resolutions.  There are no height limits in SP2 zones whereas residential zones are limited to three (3) storeys. Documents from two closed door meetings in 2014 have been finally made public (3/8/16). It appears council resolved to build more than 80 seniors residences including tower potentially up to 9 storeys  for it to be financially viable. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

p1000600p1000597

p1000362A Planning Proposal Should be in the next few months – This should include traffic and access, contamination, train noise and vibration, hydraulic services, as well as bushfire, ecological and planning studies.

As part of this stage there will be opportunities for the community to provide their feedback to Council via community information sessions.

 

The community can to keep up to date on this issue

pop-up-picinic-group-21-aug-2016by following Friends of Oatley website ; and Facebook sites  Myles Dunphy Reserve ;

Myles Dunphy Reserve Backyard ;

Oatley and Surrounds

Georges River Councilmail@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au
State Member Mark CoureOatley@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Federal Member David Coleman  - david.coleman.mp@aph.gov.au