Coogee to Bondi Walk

Eight OFF members set out on Sunday, 30th July for a walk along the Coogee to Bondi cliff path. We picked a day with very disrupted transport arrangements but eventually arrived at Coogee desperate for a caffeine fix. Because it was such magnificent weather, we joined a cast of hundreds walking the path, although it was great to see so many people enjoying our beautiful coast. We passed the smaller beaches of Gordons Bay and Clovelly and looking southward the view along the coast was picture perfect.

After a little over an hour’s walk we arrived at the historic Waverley Cemetery. Here we visited the graves of many notables such as Lawrence Hargrave, Henry Lawson and Dorothea Mackellar among others. Our hero must surely be Sir James Martin (three times Premier and later Chief Justice of NSW) who was a founder of the League for the Prevention of Pollution of Air and Water (later the Sanitary Reform League) in 1880, possibly Australia’s first conservation group.

After a short lunch at Bronte beach we continued onto Bondi where a combination of beautiful weather and a festival at Bondi beach resulted in long bus queues to take us back to Bondi Junction. Unfortunately the group was split while boarding the bus so Graham L and Trevor decided it was quicker to walk back to Bondi Junction while the rest of us were kind enough to wait for them by having an outdoor coffee.

See more photos in webgallery

For free downloadable books and maps on graves search for Waverley Public Library, then Local Studies. http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/services/library/local_studies

Report by walk leader Sue de Beuzeville

Sheldon Forest Track – OFF Field day

OFF Field Day on Tuesday 15 August will be on Sheldon Forest Track, a 5-6 km walk from Turramurra Station through tall forest bordering Avon Creek and returning along Pymble streets.  This is not a long walk but includes steep streets and an uneven track with many stone steps descending to a running stream and back up again.  The track passes through majestic forest which transitions from Sydney Blue Gum through Blackbutt to Turpentine and thence Coachwood.  The main attractions are the changing vegetation, birdlife and peacefulness – it will be an opportunity for photography and ‘forest bathing’, so a leisurely pace is recommended.

Travel in 2nd last carriage departing Oatley Station at 8.45 am; 9.27 am train from Town Hall arriving Turramurra at 10.04 am.

Bring something for a late morning tea/early lunch along the track.  Back at Turramurra Station by about 2 pm.  Leader: Liz Cameron 9580 6621; elsmere02@gmail.com 

For more information and map see – Ku-ring-gai Council – Sheldon Forest Track:

Forest bathing:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_bathing

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

 

Greening Oatley West Rail Park

Oatley West Train Park PlantingMatt Allison organised an OFF tree planting ‘event’ on Sunday 28 May at the Oatley West Rail Park (next to the underpass). We put in over 300 shrubs, grasses and ground covers as well as two trees – a Sydney Iron Bark and a Turpentine. Both are appropriate for the area.  OFF is working towards making our urban spaces greener as in  202020 Vision has been helpful in framing our latest project on trees.

VIEW PHOTO ALBUM

Oatley West Train Park PlantingOFF dedicated the Iron Bark to the memory of Glen Turner, the OEH Officer murdered while trying to prevent illegal land clearing in Moree district in 2014. Remnant natural vegetation on farms was being cleared by a greedy and insensitive farmer who disregarded the essential habitat needed to support koalas among many other creatures. Glen’s murder was essentially ignored by our state government who are keen to further weaken laws to protect native vegetation. To learn more about this significant Australian story look for the movie “Cultivating Murder” which was shown by OFF at our meeting back in April at the RSL.

P1020236The Turpentine was planted in memory of Val Boyan, an active member of OFF for many years before her death in 2014.  The nearby Myles Dunphy Bush reserve contains Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest (STIF) which is an Endangered Ecological Community. It is the only remnant in the Georges River LGA that is of good quality, retaining a tree canopy, under story and ground cover of native species. To accommodate the development on the former Oatley Bowling Club, trees and shrubs at the entrance to the site will need to be cleared as asset protection from bushfire danger. This will see the removal or severe disturbance of a strip of Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest (an Endangered Ecological Community under NSW legislation ) up to 20 m wide at a location where the Bushland Reserve is only 50 m wide.

We will be holding a second planting day in the coming month to complete the work at the site so keep a lookout for the details on our Facebook page .                                  

VIEW PHOTO ALBUM

Cultivating Murder – Cost of Protecting Native Vegetation

Cultivating Murder movieOn 24th April, 75 members and guests were treated to a premiere showing of the crowd-funded documentary film “Cultivating Murder” by Film Projects. This is a collaborative effort from Director Greg Miller and Producer Dr Georgia Wallace-Crabbe. It features the story behind the murder of OE&H compliance officer Glen Turner in 2014 by Ian Turnbull, who happens to be one of the wealthiest farmers in NSW.

Glen turnerGlen worked on the frontline of habitat and wildlife protection in the Moree district and was investigating the illegal land clearing operations of the Turnbull family. The Turnbulls would purchase grazing landholdings and any remnant native vegetation on the property was bulldozed to improve the cropping potential of the land. However these remnant copses were clearly home to native wildlife (like locally highly threatened koalas) and, as such, were protected by state government legislation. Previously repeated large scale land clearing prosecutions of the Turnbulls meant they had already racked up multiple million dollar fines. In spite of this they continued clearing land. While Glen had been filming these further violations, Turnbull cold- bloodedly murdered him in front of an OE&H colleague. This witness would help to ensure a murder conviction but the killer died within 12 months of his effectively life sentence.

The film is a tribute to Glen and his family but it goes far beyond this personal tragedy. It highlights the greed of certain landholders and the political pressure they have placed on our present State government which has caved in ensuring the watering down of native vegetation protection laws*. This had originally been designed by scientific experts to protect the already critically endangered remnants. But as Ian Turnbull’s son says dismissively outside court: this tragedy will happen again unless the government stops contesting farmer’s business plans.

Click here to see more at Cultivating Murder Website

Click here to follow on Facebook

Native VegetationThe Native Vegetation Act and the Threatened Species Conservation Act were replaced in November 2016 by the Biodiversity Conservation Act and Local Land Services Amendment Act. OFF made a submission on the draft legislation pointing out many shortcomings. Now the draft regulations for the Act are on exhibition for six weeks from 10th May.

OFF will make a submission and OFF members are encouraged to do so too.

Details on the NSW Government website

 

 

Lime Kiln Bay Walk 20 May 2017

170520 LKB wetland OFF Guided walk-page-001

OFF Annual Dinner

Celebrate with usOatley Flora and Fauna Annual Dinner
At The Oat Mill Brasserie Oatley RSL
Thursday 29 June 6.30 for 7pm 
Set menu of alternate serves of entree & mains ***
 + cupcake dessert
COST $38 pp  PAYMENT   by MONDAY 26 JUNE MEETING  
We will be holding a Raffle. Donations will be appreciated. 
Contact Sue Howard  9579 1718 . Mob 0411580453
***vegetarian,gluten free & other special dietary needs can be organised.
 

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.