Longwall Coal Mining is Jeopardising Water Supply

cordeaux 239 people participated on our Picnic at Cordeaux dam on 1/5/16 to protest about environmentally damaging longwall coal mining projects in the Metropolitan Drinking Water catchments.  Most of those were members of Oatley Flora and Fauna who sponsored the day, but there were also  some present from The Georges River Environmental Alliance and National Parks Assn, Macarthur.

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Our particular focus was to oppose the proposal to extend the Dendrobium mining operations in the Cordeaux and Avon Dam catchments, as that was our location for the day. This project has done the most harm yet seen in terms of both draining  precious water yielding swamps and tributary streams, and yet the state government is on the verge of a further approval.

Attached is a report that some participants urged me to compile. It summarizes the current dam threatening proposals; The Metropolitan Mine in the Woronora, The Russell Vale Project in the Cataract as well as the aforementioned Dendrobium project. Included is some scathing evidence against the continuation of damaging longwall coal mining beneath our precious drinking water assets, from the governments’ own agencies and instrumentalities including the NSW Dam Safety Committee, the PAC Commission of Inquiry and Water NSW. It is therefore not surprising, that some of the comments included from participants on the fieldtrip, reveal a level of incredulity, appalling surprise,  that our state government not only permits, but even encourages coal mining that threatens drinking water supplies, and that it applies a third world standard of environmental regulation, in what is  supposedly our first world country. Apart from objecting to the appalling damage that is occurring, a discussion of the financial fragility of some of the proponents, and their poor record in terms of ethical governance added extra concerns.

Report by Picnic organiser Sharyn Cullis (1May 2016)

Please take the time to read paper by Sharyn Cullis which details why coal projects in drinking water catchments is wrong. 

Coal projects in the drinking water catchments 

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Committee member Matt Allison wins Banks Volunteer Award

Congratulations to Matt Allison  who was presented with a Banks Volunteer of Award on 6 April . The event was organised by member for Banks David Coleman with presentations made by special guest Julie Bishop MP at Club Rivers .

Matt Allison is passionate about caring for the natural environment and has contributed much to our organisation. He has been a member of the committee of OFF for 15 years and for the past six years, our Program and Publicity Officer. That role includes finding 10 speakers for our monthly meetings, up to a year in advance, and liaising with them to produce publicity and ensure the program is delivered smoothly. Matt’s selection of top-class speakers has ensured high attendances at our meetings and generated interest in, and understanding of, a wide range of natural history and conservation topics.

Matt has also provided expert advice to OFF on bush regeneration and, despite the demands of running a full-time business, contributes many hours of voluntary work to our projects, cheerfully and willingly. With another committee member, he has been instrumental in re-activating the Bushcare program in Oatley Park.

Oatley Historic Walk

On Sunday 3 April we (about 6 but grew to 9) commenced our walk in the Povelli Café and Deli with the large photos on the wall. We discussed James Oatley’s Sydney history before reading the words on the plaque opposite the Clock. Walking through the Memorial Park we remembered the splendid Kogarah Council on 1920’s that made it a Park before walking down through the old railway cutting between the Community Hall and Guide Hall. Janet Austin told us about the plaque commemorating the old Como rail bridge being maintained for the pedestrian and cycle way it is today.

The Como Bridge and Neverfail Bay followed and then the long walk to the Charles Street lookout. To the Oatley Pleasure gardens where David Koffel stated he was seeing things he had never known after only 43 years in Oatley!

Back to the St Pauls Church, the new plaque at the old War Memorial site and back along Letitia to the Radio Theatre and School of Arts.

0006 Oatley Bay  from Charles Street Reserve 1926a Oatley Radio Theatre

It took nearly 3 hours and the walk was revealed to many new discoveries or details of our suburb. Apart from those places mentioned above we looked at several other features along the way.

Thanks to the enthusiastic group who came and their additional knowledge that added the enjoyment to the morning walk.

Report on Historic Walk of Oatley  by Leader Rodger Robertson

Lime Kiln Bay Wetland Guided Walks

W5.royal spoonbillEver wondered where your stormwater goes and what happens to it?

As part of the Wetland Awareness project OFF will be conducting free guided walks around the Wetland to show interested people how the quality of stormwater runoff is improved and the abundant native plants and wildlife that the wetland supports.

Saturday 20th February, 2016 3pm – 5pm
and
Saturday 19th March 2016 3pm – 5pm

 

Meet at corner Waterfall Rd and Acacia St. Oatley

Wear sturdy shoes and a hat, bring water and sunscreen
CLICK HERE FOR PROJECT FLYER

 

2016 Annual General Meeting

Right version white eye Green card

Our AGM was held at the RSL Oatley on February 2016. Secretary Liz Cameron presented the minutes and report for 2015. President Graham Lalchere’s speech reflected on OFF activities through a lense of  “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally”. CLICK HERE FOR FULL Presidents AGM Address

Election of  2016 committee was overseen by David Crawford acting as returning officer.

President  Graham Lalchere

Vice Presidents- Alan Fairley & Graham Fry

Secretary Liz Cameron

Treasurer – Rodger Robertson

A full list of committee members will be posted on line as soon as our program for the year is published.

The official part of the meeting was followed by a dazzling array of members’ slides.  Alan Fairly – Elora & Ajanta Caves in India; Shaun Keays-Byrne Oatley Park & OFF activities; Graham Fry – Smiggins  trips; Sharyn Cullis – Small African Fauna ; Phil Andersen -  Large African Fauna Melina Amerasinghe – Sri-Lanka; Graham Lalchere – Central & Western Australia.

The meeting was followed by supper. With a generous spread of  goodies available members mingled till closing time.  The new venue worked well with equipment and catering facilities.

 

 

Drains are for Rain

The Leader 20 Jan 2016 Its clear drains are for rain so butt out
Oatley Flora and Fauna Conservation Society  is painting messages on drains in the Penshurst, Mortdale and Oatley area to remind people of what drains are for and what their misuse can do to wetlands and river systems. Their current target is the drain system that flows into the Lime Kiln Bay wetland.
 
Leader published the photos and LKB/ drain stencilling story in Wed 20 January 2016 edition..
It is on-line on The Leader website.  There is room on the website version for the public to make comments.

Lime Kiln Bay Guided Walks

IMG_1683OFF conducted free guided walks on 8 and 12 December around Lime Kiln Bay Wetland to show interested people how the wetlands improve the quality of storm water runoff and the abundant native plants and wildlife that the wetland supports.

The walks are part of  a  project undertaken by the society to raise awareness in the local community of potential environmental impacts on the wetland from urban activities. What goes down the drain ends up in the wetland and then into the Georges River. The project is being funded from the NSW Minister for the Environment’s Conservation Fund. It will benefit the local community and Council by improving the long-term health of local waterways and reducing maintenance costs of Council’s drainage infrastructure.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE Project

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE WALKIMG_1723 IMG_1721

Being Green 2006 – 2015

Magpie with green circle backgroundIn celebration  of OFFs 60th anniversary, Alan Fairley (OFF Vice President) has updated Being Green – The History of Oatley Flora and Fauna Conservation Society.  The latest chapter covers successes and challenges experienced by the society during the last decade 2006 – 2015.  We hope to have a complete printed copy available soon at meetings and on the web.

CLICK LINKS BELOW READ A pdf copies of OFF HISTORY

. Being Green Ch8 – Sucesses and Challenges 2006- 2015

. Being Green the first 50 yrs OFF  1955 – 2005

 

Mark Coure MP launches “Drains are Just for Rain”

Mark Coure 25 Nov (2)On 25 November, Mark Coure MP launched OFF storm water drain stencil project. The society plans to stencil 120 signs to raise awareness in the local community of potential environmental impacts on the Lime Kiln Bay wetland from urban activities. What goes down the drain ends up in the wetland and then into the Georges River.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE PROJECT

 

IMG_1568 IMG_1577 IMG_1580 IMG_1588 IMG_1595 IMG_1600

Lime Kiln Bay Wetland Guided Walks

W8. long-necked tortoiseOFF is conducting free guided walks around the Wetland to show interested people how the wetlands improve the quality of storm water runoff and the abundant native plants and wildlife that the wetland supports.

  • Tuesday 8 December 10am – 12 noon
  • Saturday 12 December 3pm – 5pm

Meet at the corner of Waterfall Rd and Acacia St Oatley.

Lime Kiln Bay Brochure CoverThe walks are part of  a  project undertaken by the society to raise awareness in the local community of potential environmental impacts on the wetland from urban activities. What goes down the drain ends up in the wetland and then into the Georges River.

The project is being funded from the NSW Minister for the Environment’s Conservation Fund. It will benefit the local community and Council by improving the long-term health of local waterways and reducing maintenance costs of Council’s drainage infrastructure.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE PROJECT