Spring Newsletter Edition 4 - 2013 In this edition:

Edition 4 - 2013
Spring Newsletter
Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority
In this edition:
Message from the Chair
Coming Up
Flying Fox Clean Up
Bingara Living Classroom
Salinity Problems Return
MoB Landcare Win
NAIDOC Public Speaking Challenge
Nullamanna Station and Sustainable Land
Cooking Up a Class in a Kitchen Garden
NAIDOC Celebrations
New CMA Team Leader
Koala Carers
LLS to Retain Industry Expertise
Message from the Chair, Hans Hietbrink
As we head into our final months in operation as the Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority (prior to the
transition to Local Land Services), it’s very pleasing to report yet another feather in the cap of our dedicated CMA staff.
The Natural Resources Commission recently released a report
analysing and rating the Catchment Action Plans (CAPs) that have
been prepared for regions across NSW. The Border Rivers-Gwydir
Catchment Action Plan for natural resource management was one of
only three CAPs across the State to receive an A rating.
Our Board and staff members were committed from the outset to
widespread consultation and thorough analysis of local issues. Our
A grade certainly reflects the skill, hard work and dedication of the
Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA team.
When Local Land Services commences operation in January 2014
the CAP will continue to serve as a crucial planning and decision
making tool with regard to natural resource management.
The new organisation will bring together LHPA, CMA and DPI
advisory services, making it easier to work together to achieve even
better outcomes for landholders, key partners, and community and
industry groups.
The NSW Parliament passed the Local Land Services Bill 2013 on
June 27th, officially confirming the changes to come.
A key objective outlined by the LLS Bill is to “encourage
collaboration and shared responsibility by involving communities,
industries and non-government organisations in making the best use
of local knowledge and expertise in relation to the provision of local
land services”.
The Bill also states that LLS will “communicate, consult and
engage with the community, including the Aboriginal community,
to encourage participation in relation to the delivery of local land
In this spirit we will be listening to community and landholder
feedback about landscape priorities and how we can work
collaboratively to deliver solutions to local challenges.
As can be seen in the following pages, the CMA’s commitment
to helping local communities look after their land, balancing
production and conservation, continues in earnest and there are
many CMA projects that will progress under the LLS banner.
For more information about any of the projects highlighted
in this Newsletter, please contact your local CMA office contact details are listed on the back page.
Spring Newsletter
Edition 4 - 2013
Coming Up...
Saturday, October 12
‘Five Corners’, Halls Lane, Nullamanna.
Contact Shirley Handy for details on 02 6723 2251.
Tuesday 15 to Thursday 17 October
Moree, Boggabilla, and Mungindi: The Border Rivers-Gwydir
CMA is hosting a series of native cuisine events to highlight the
abundance of native food plants that grow in the local landscape.
Come along and meet renowned Aboriginal Chef, the Black
Olive, and find out how you can cook and cultivate these plants
in your own backyard.
Contact Annabelle Monie for more information on
02 6728 8032.
Friday 18 to Sunday 20 October
Essy’s Crossing, Gwydir Highway, Gravesend: Junior and Senior
prizes for the most carp caught, longest carp, and smallest carp.
The Carp Muster is hosted by the Warialda Anglers Club and
the Upper Gwydir Landcare Association, and supported by the
Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA through funding from the Australian
Government’s Caring for our Country Program.
Log on to the UGLA website for details at
www.ugla.com.au or phone 02 6724 2052.
Wednesday 23 October, 10:30 am
Pop into the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA’s Inverell office for a
cuppa and help raise funds for breast cancer research.
RSVP to Annabelle Monie on 02 6728 8032.
CMA and Inverell Shire
Clean Up Following Flying
Fox Frenzy
The Inverell Shire Council and the Border Rivers-Gwydir
CMA have joined forces to restore a key stretch of the
Macintyre River badly degraded by a colony of flying foxes
that overstayed their welcome.
Little Red flying foxes (Pteropus scapulatus) have been present
for many years in trees and shrubs that line a popular riverside
walking trail in Inverell. However in 2012, thousands of new
flying foxes took up residence in an area behind the Inverell
Bowling Club. The mass infestation tipped the normal
environmental balance and caused significant damage to
“Many local people and visitors to town use the riverside trail for
cycling, jogging and other recreational activities, and they were
distressed at the denuded landscape and dying trees,” reported
Inverell Shire General Manager, Paul Henry.
“We had hoped the bats would have moved on sooner, but they
seemed to take quite a liking to Inverell and unfortunately they
proved to be very destructive riverbank campers.”
After many months the bats finally did depart, and now the
Macintyre River Urban Rehabilitation Project has started
revegetating the area with native riparian species. Willows and
other exotic weeds will be removed to improve natural habitat.
Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA Catchment Officer, Andrew Walsh is
keen for the public to get involved in the project. “We hope to
engage community interest in the benefits of riparian vegetation in
the landscape and within the urban environment,” said Mr Walsh.
Local individuals or groups interested in assisting with tree
planting should contact the Inverell Shire Council on
02 6728 8206.
Friday 8 November 2013
Bingara: Tropical and temperate pasture species update.
Contact DPI Pastures Specialist, Lester McCormick for
details on 0427 401 542.
1 January 2014
The new Local Land Services commences operation.
Catchment Management Authorities, Livestock Health &
Pest Authorities, and Agriculture NSW advisory services will
officially become Local Land Services on the 1st of January.
Damaged vegetation along Macintyre River walking path in Inverell.
Spring Newsletter
Edition 4 - 2013
Planting trees on ‘The Living Classroom’ site.
Salinity damage on a paddock at Bundarra.
Bingara Living Classroom
to showcase Brigalow
Nandewar Biolinks
Salinity Problems Return
The Gwydir Shire Council and the Border Rivers-Gwydir
CMA have joined forces to create an important new
landscape corridor as part of the Brigalow Nandewar
Biolinks project.
The Living Classroom was once a degraded town Common on
the edge of Bingara. The Gwydir Shire has developed this 150
hectare area into a research centre and showcase for the future of
sustainable agriculture.
With funding from the Australian Government’s Biodiversity Fund
(through the Clean Energy Future Initiative) new paddock trees
and patches of bushland will be established, shelter belts will
create protection from harsh winds, roadside plantings will fill in
vegetation gaps and increase connectivity, and mid paddock tree
clumps will provide shade, shelter, and rest stops for wildlife.
The Living Classroom is an ideal partnership for the Brigalow
Nandewar Biolinks project which aims to restore bush corridors
and reconnect farmland with the beneficial services supplied free
to agriculture by the natural environment. The project also aligns
with the Bingara and District Vision 20/20 plan and the local
community’s focus on regeneration.
“The Living Classroom site is just the sort of landscape we’re
targeting under the Biolinks project. It offers an ideal location for
a wildlife corridor to be planted, linking the predominantly cleared
valley floor landscape with remnant biodiversity in the surrounding
hills,” explained CMA Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks Project
Coordinator, Marty Dillon.
While we might be experiencing a dry patch so far
this Spring, after a series of wetter seasons salinity has
increased across the catchment, so the Border Rivers
Gwydir CMA has been working with local landholders to
tackle the problem.
Salinity Consultant, George Truman, was engaged to advise
landholders on salinity management.
During the long years of drought, water tables dropped and salinity
levels declined. However with a return to wetter years the effects
of salinity are again becoming evident. Landholders have reported
problems in known saline areas have re-emerged, and new salinity
outbreaks have occurred.
“Although salinity has not been in the headlines for many years,
the salt has not gone away. The dry climatic conditions over the
past decade have simply meant there has been less water in the
system and therefore the salt has not been as mobile within the soil
or water systems,” said Mr Truman.
“Management of salinity is not only about the discharge areas, or
scald sites, it’s also about managing the recharge areas associated
with hill tops and slopes.”
“On ground works to reduce salinity include fencing off areas to
stop over grazing, and re-establishment with salt tolerant grasses
and pastures.”
“In cropping areas there has been a greater awareness of avoiding
long-fallow and undertaking response cropping to utilise water
in the profile to reduce salt mobilisation within the root zone of
For more information and advice on controlling salinity,
phone Lauren Wilson at the CMA’s Inverell office on
02 6728 8029.
Spring Newsletter
Edition 4 - 2013
MoB wins NSW Landcare
An outstanding partnership between the Border
Rivers-Gwydir CMA, the Mungindi Local Aboriginal Land
Council, NSW TAFE, and the Murdi Paaki Regional
Enterprise Corporation has been named the State winner
of the 2013 NSW Landcare Indigenous Innovation Award.
A highlight of the Murries on Barwon project has been the
establishment of an eight kilometre long wildlife corridor that
now connects biodiversity from the Boomi River to the Barwon
River on the Mungindi Local Aboriginal Land Council owned
property, Glanville.
Aboriginal Trainees employed through the MoB project harvested
and propagated local provenance native seed for revegetation
of the corridor, erected fencing, and then strategically planted
thousands of seedlings to create shelter and habitat for native
The MoB land and river conservation and rehabilitation project
was funded through the Australian Government’s Caring for
Our Country initiative, but the project was not just aimed at
environmental gains. It was also designed to build employment
skills in the local Aboriginal community.
CMA Strategic Land Services Team Leader Luc Farago says the
scale of the project was impressive, and so was the growth in self
confidence and skill amongst the trainees.
“The quality of the planting work was phenomenal, they achieved
some of the best tubestock planting I’ve ever seen, evidenced by
a great strike rate and excellent growth.”
“It was even more exciting to see how the trainees had gone from
being shy and reserved, to being keen to ask questions, readily
engaging with others, and showing great enthusiasm for the job
they’d taken on,” said Mr Farago.
Building on the Murries on Barwon legacy, Murdi Paaki
has retained several of the trainees to continue with
ongoing revegetation and land management works.
left to right: Mark Duncan
(MoB trainee), Harry White
(Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA MoB
Project Leader), Daniel Downton
& Leroy Charles (MoB trainees).
Luc Farago and MoB trainees inspect
a newly planted wildlife corridor on
NAIDOC Public Speaking
Exhibition Showcases
Tomorrow’s Community
Each year there is intense competition between senior
Aboriginal students from Macintyre and Inverell High
Schools as they vie for the honour of winning the Border
Rivers-Gwydir CMA’s NAIDOC Public Speaking Challenge.
Alex Jeffery, Ebony Adams and Jack Jeffery were the winning
team for Inverell High School, while Macintyre High School
was admirably represented by speakers Jasmine James, Lea
Jerrard and Jessica Loftus, with support from Miranda Boney
and Tarnia Jerrard.
Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA Chair Hans Hietbrink and the
Manager of Inverell Library Services Sonya Lange presented
the Public Speaking Challenge Trophy.
“All of the students did a really good job of researching this
year’s NAIDOC theme, (‘We value the vision: YIRRKALA BARK
PETITIONS 1963’), describing how important the bark petitions
had been as part of the struggle for Native Title. The students
spoke confidently and it was clear they had a high level of interest
and engagement in the topic,” reported Ms Lange.
The NAIDOC Public Speaking Challenge is supported
by the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA through the CMA’s
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Program.
Jack Jeffery addresses
the annual NAIDOC Public
Speaking Challenge.
Back row (left to right):
Hans Hietbrink, Ebony Adams,
Jack Jeffery, Alex Jeffery,
Sonya Lange. Front row: Lea Jerrard,
Jasmine James and Jessica Loftus.
Spring Newsletter
Edition 4 - 2013
CMA Inspires Teachers
to Cook up a Class in
a Kitchen Garden
Twenty teachers from across the New England recently
took part in a Creating Kitchen Gardens in Schools
workshop held at the Thalgarrah Environmental Education
Centre in Armidale and supported by the Border RiversGwydir CMA.
Mark and Peter Lane on Nullamanna Station.
Nullamanna Station and the
Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA
Partners in Sustainable Land
Inverell farmers Peter and Mark Lane have developed a
strong working relationship with the Border Rivers-Gwydir
CMA over the last five years, and are looking forward to
continuing that partnership as CMAs make the transition to
the new Local Land Services structure in 2014.
The Lane family’s property, Nullamanna Station, has been used
as a demonstration farm to showcase the benefits of fencing to soil
type and land capability for better land management.
“We have been able to separate our grazing and cropping country,
so we can treat these land use areas very differently and fully
control grazing impact. Laneways have been established that
connect every paddock to the cattle yards, simplifying stock
movement and making stock management much less stressful for
both animals and handlers,” explained Peter Lane.
The Lanes also worked with the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA in
2012 to establish a small irrigation project that utilises effluent
water from their cattle feedlot. “Before the irrigation project was
set up, we had used evaporation ponds to dispose of waste water.
This new system has turned that waste product into a useful
resource,” said Mr Lane.
Additionally Nullamanna Station has been the site of CMA
supported fertiliser trial demonstration days, looking at the role of
phosphorous and sulphur applications to improve native grasses
and legumes.
With the cooperation and enthusiasm of the Lanes, Nullamanna
Station has become an important demonstration site for sustainable
farm management, providing the CMA and Landcare with a
working model to inspire other land managers.
For more information about Farm Planning and how CMA
staff can assist in the implementation of sustainable farm
management techniques on your property, contact your
local Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA office (contact details
are listed on the back page of this newsletter).
Three expert horticulturalists from the Royal Botanic Gardens
in Sydney joined local Thalgarrah staff to present professional
learning sessions on organic gardening methods and techniques
for natural pest and disease control, explaining the benefits for the
protection of biodiversity and water quality.
There was also discussion on keeping chooks at school, visual
arts in the food garden and how to link gardening to the school
Julie Kennelly from the Thalgarrah Environmental Education
Centre believes getting kids involved in gardening creates real
‘back to basics’ learning skills.
“The practice of composting and worm farming builds an
understanding of the value of soil and the need to keep it healthy.
Similarly, using water wisely to grow food, demonstrates the value
of water and water conservation,” said Ms Kennelly.
For more information about creating kitchen gardens
in schools, contact the Thalgarrah Education Centre at
Armidale on 02 6775 1736.
Kitchen garden at the Thalgarrah Education Centre.
School teachers taking part in a CMA inspired Kitchen Garden workshop at
the Thalgarrah Education Centre.
Spring Newsletter
Edition 4 - 2013
NAIDOC Celebrations
The Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA proudly took part in this year’s NAIDOC events at Victoria Park in Inverell to celebrate
local Indigenous history, culture and achievements.
The CMA hosted a display of Aboriginal artefacts featuring iconic items such as clap sticks, woomeras, bullroarers and coolamons on loan
from a private collection.
CMA Chair Hans Hietbrink also presented the annual Inverell and District NAIDOC awards honouring Aboriginal Community
Amongst the many worthy winners was our own Harry White, CMA Catchment Officer – Aboriginal Support, who was honoured for his
commitment and dedication towards Aboriginal services in the community.
Patrina Connors, Dereck Clarke, Yoorana Whitby,
and Harry White receive awards from CMA Board
Chair Hans Hietbrink, with commentary from
James Sheather on the microphone.
New CMA Team Leader
Lauren Wilson, the new Team Leader (Works and Services) at the Border RiversGwydir CMA, will bring a wealth of experience in working with landholders and
agricultural issues to the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services when the
LLS commences operations in January 2014.
Lauren Wilson has a Degree in Land Management and Conservation, and
particular expertise in soil conservation, erosion control and salinity management.
Before joining the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA, Lauren was employed as a
Catchment Coordinator with the Namoi CMA where she managed key projects
involving precision agriculture, increasing ground cover, the Namoi Biolinks
project and the Namoi CMA - Cotton CRDC partnership.
At the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA Lauren has taken charge of the Brigalow
Nandewar Biolinks project and sustainable agriculture projects dealing directly
with landholders across the Northern Tablelands.
Lauren will also oversee LLS agricultural extension officers including new
LLS Livestock Officer Jason Siddell. Recruitment is currently underway for a
Mixed Farming and Pastures Officer to join the LLS team.
Lauren Wilson inspects some of the key state corridors that the Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks
will help to reconnect.
Spring Newsletter
Edition 4 - 2013
Alaine Anderson cares for sick and injured koalas on her Croppa Creek property.
This koala was nursed back to health after being found with a bullet wound at Milguy.
Here he’s being fed a specially formulated milk supplement to regain his strength.
CMA Helps Fund Koala Carers
The Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA is working with local koala advocates, Alaine Anderson and Maria Morton, to support the
ongoing health and survival of our local koala population.
There are many koala colonies living right here in our back yard in Northern NSW, but animals are sometimes found sick and injured and in
need of care. Dog attacks and road collisions are common causes of injury.
The CMA has given support to Alaine Anderson and Maria Morton to train at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to hone their expertise in
koala care. Maria and Alaine are also receiving assistance to build their own koala gunyahs, specially designed enclosures to house and
protect recuperating koalas.
Alaine is a passionate wildlife carer who has nursed many koalas back to health. She was also a finalist in the Border Rivers-Gwydir
Regional Landcare Primary Producer Awards, in recognition of her work to protect and expand koala habitat on her property ‘Strangford’ at
Croppa Creek.
“There’s been a renewed interest in koalas locally, particularly thanks to the support we’ve received from the CMA to bring experts from the
Australian Koala Foundation and the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to Moree to address forums and workshops,” stated Alaine.
Fellow koala advocate, Maria Morton, says she has a soft spot for native animals, especially the koala.
“Every time I come across a koala on our property it still gives me a huge thrill to see them in their natural environment,” said Maria.
“They’re just a beautiful, special animal. I would like to see more of them around the bush and I think we will regret it if we let their
numbers continue to decline.”
If you already have koalas on your property, or you’d like to expand or improve their habitat, the Office of Environment and Heritage has
special funding available to plant and to protect food and shelter trees for koalas.
For more information contact Leah MacKinnon at the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA Moree office on 02 6757 2559 or
email: [email protected]
Spring Newsletter
Edition 4 - 2013
LLS to Retain Industry Expertise
The Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA has welcomed the appointment of
Jason Siddell as Senior Land Services Officer (Livestock) working
on the NSW Northern Tablelands.
Over the past 3 years Mr Siddell has been employed as a District Livestock
Officer (Beef Products) with the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
His skills have now been secured for the Local Land Services (LLS)
restructure, ensuring the ongoing provision of technical assistance for
livestock producers in the Northern Tablelands region.
“I really enjoy working with livestock producers, running workshops
and field days and talking to people providing technical advice that
can help make their businesses more productive and sustainable,”
said Mr Siddell.
“It’s very satisfying to work with the producers to find solutions to
production problems and to provide people with locally relevant,
independent advice when they’re looking for information.”
The Northern Tablelands Local Land Services will officially commence
operation in January 2014, servicing the region covered by the
Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Guyra, Inverell, Armidale, and Uralla Shires.
Jason Siddell’s services are currently available to sheep and cattle
producers through the Glen Innes Agriculture and Advisory Station.
For advice and information on livestock
phone Jason on: 0459 162 295 or email: [email protected]
Our Office Locations
Glen Innes
15 Vivian Street
Phone: 02 6728 8020
Fax: 02 6728 8098
66-68 Frome Street
Phone: 02 6757 2550
Fax: 02 6757 2570
Trevenna Road
Phone: 02 6773 5270
Fax: 02 6773 5288
68 Church Street
Glen Innes NSW 2370
Phone: 02 6732 2998
Fax: 02 6732 5995
Waggamba Square
Brooke Street
QLD 4390
Phone: 07 4671 0518
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