Chairperson: Jim Grant

Minutes: Philippa Noble

 

Present: Jim Grant, Fleur Stelling, Philippa Noble,   Jenny Davidson, Nicki Munro .

 

Apologies: Sally Day, Phil Browne, James Neary (Burgoigee Creek Landcare), Stephen Routledge, Colin Andrews, Beth Mellick, Maureen Cooper, Richard Loyn.

 

Minutes of previous meeting held 20th October 2017, accepted on motion by Philippa, Seconded Jenny, carried.

Business arising from previous minutes:

  • Jenny did not receive an invitation to the Bird Monitoring meeting. Philippa reported it went well with an enthusiastic turn up.
  • The bird monitoring committee has not met yet.
  • Stephen investigated Facebook training but Beth happy to conduct it. Organise sometime next year.
  • Stephen may need to contact the Jesses creek project funders, DELWP ,re time extension.
  • NAB project submission. Fleur reported it was rushed and sent in before her final issues had been included.

 

Project reports

 

Jenny: reported the Rutherglen Brolga fox control project is nearly finished and one chick is only a few weeks off flying. NECMA is planning to produce a short video (instead of photo competition) on Brolgas in late Feb.

 

Fleur: Her funding has finished and she has written a final report with recommendations which she will send out.

She has developed 2 landscape scale projects, 3 submissions and a number of potential more local projects. Feels positive about SRR after speaking to NECMA and other organisations, but it needs more collaboration in projects with the CFA and Landcare.

Nicki: is now working for NECMA on their NLP regional submission developing partnership grants. With 30% of funding from NLP targeted at threatened species, the NE has 5, including the Regent Honeyeater and the Swift Parrot. 10% of the funding is for threatened communities, including Yellowbox and Grey box communities.

Other NLP funding is for Ramsar sites, which the NE currently has none, but J0im reported that the Winton Wetlands is currently in the process of seeking eligibility for a Ramsar site. As NLP is for 5 years, this may be able to attract some funding. Jim to send Nicki info on the progress of the Winton Wetlands Ramsar application.

 

Stephen: Written report sent.

 

Threatened Species Grant Jessie’s Creek, Whitfield Update

 

We will be running approx. 6 months overdue with the acquittal of this grant due to a 6 months delay in us getting a contract signed with DELWP. We have run two workshops in Whitfield one with the Community including the CFA and one with the school, both run by Nicki Munro. From this workshop and with conversations and meetings with a cross section of the community we are slowly embedding Swamps Rivers and Ranges as a competent and understanding project manager in the area. Just to remind you, Jessie’s Creek was one of the ten original projects in our Blueprint, that were included into INFFER. We have a long term view with this project .

 

Two posters AO and A2 explaining the project have been installed in the centre of Whitfield and at the Gentle Annie Caravan Park.

 

The Beechworth Landmates team started clearing weeds in the creek last week, I have provided them with a drum of Round-up bioactive and some dye. David Westmacott a Whitfield resident has been helping the Landmates with on-ground information and a history of the site. As of yesterday I believe they have cleared quite a bit of the larger woody weeds, these are being put into piles that David Westmacott is being paid to heap into suitable places with his front-end loader for burning.

 

There is a meeting next Wednesday with Andrew Morgan, Landmates Gaffer/Prison Warder to walk further up the creek beyond our initial Threatened Species area. This will enable us to survey the full extent of the weed situation. If the Landmates crew can clear all of the weeds up to the source of the creek (3.36 KM) we will have achieved an enormous environmental break through for the Whitfield community. This big physical task will be the start of an environmental revival of the creek. We are delighted to have this team on board, and thanks must be given to Andrew for having such a comprehensive understanding of the situation and David Westmacott for guiding the team. Also to their Landmates manager in Melbourne Mathew Menhennet who has smoothed some of the personal issues out for us. Lets hope we can continue this free arrangement between Threatened Species Recipients, DELWP and the Dept of Justice.

 

I have contacted over 7 property owners in the Whitfield area all within the EVC 55 Plains Grassy Woodland and EVC 47 Valley Grassy Forest vegetation extents.

I have ordered over 500 Yellow Box trees 50 Bussaria, 50 Grevillias

and 200, Gold Dust, Hedge and Ovens Wattles, this should in time get a bit more diversity back into the system. We have $14,000 for fencing which should all be allocated by Christmas. All plants are being ordered from Parklane Nursery.

I am trying to hand this project over to the community, but it is one of the projects that Beth wanted me to oversee. I will aquit the grant in June/July 2018 once all the planting has been completed.

 

 

Birdmonitoring Where we are up to….

 

Ongoing, our next monitoring day is in February 2018, our dates have not been set yet. All of our November data is not yet complete, this I will be chasing over the holidays. I will also try and get half a day with Lisa Farnsworth who has a copy of Filemaker which we have provided her with, so we can double check our entries together. I am not to sure of the best way for volunteers to access all of the data they have collected. It can either be done through our data base or birds Australia once it is loaded in there. I think it is important for us to have this data up-to-date and on-line. Richard Loyn has been very helpful and sends me extraordinary detailed records from Burgoigee.

 

This project galvanizes people’s imagination, giving them access to another world and taking them beyond themselves. This is where SRR needs to expand. A recent conference at Mayday Hill was looking at Health and the Environment. If you look at the Foreword in our Blueprint, Elizabeth Walpole alludes to this presence of mind. It is all about balance … and the landscape is where you have to go to get this balance.

 

Sally day- to send report

 

 

Treasurer’s Report

A report was sent.

 

 

 

 

It was noted that Fleur has been paid fortnightly. The issue of maximum online payments of $1000 presumed to be the reason for this payment method. The meeting to address this at the next meeting when Colin is present.

 

Fleur also understands she is a contractor ( not employee), but was not asked to provide invoices or her ABN and has not sighted or seen a contract and is unsure of the reporting format needed by the Wettenhall foundation. This aspect of governance needs addressing in the future.

 

Carry over from last meeting : An application for DGR status by SRR was supported by the committee with Colin to provide more detailed information on the process to the committee at the next meeting.

 

3 year Plan- Discussion

Jim provided a draft review and indicative 3 year plan for discussion. Fleur was an apology for this part of the meeting.

Key steps are to fix the finances and governance and develop new job descriptions for all the positions.

 

Initial comments

Jenny – SRR has the potential for providing the NE region with the big picture view of the environment and issues that can be addressed.

Philippa- the Ovens Landcare Network is happy to assist with the governance of SRR if the circumstances arise.

Jim -Winton Wetlands like being involved with the bigger organizations involved in SRR and the idea of projects out of the blueprint and would not be so interested in the more localized aspects of the Landcare networks.

Nicki – DELWP is moving away from delivering projects towards being a facilitator, so there is potential for SRR to be a delivery agent.

 

Below is an initial SWOT analysis undertaken.

 

Next meeting Friday 9th February 2018- for final input into the plan.

 

SWOT analysis for Swamps Rivers and Ranges

 

Strengths

  • Blueprint
  • Wettenhall name
  • Web Page
  • Name – SRR good
  • Wettenhall funding
  • Expertise
  • Whole of Landscape
  • Relationships

 

Weaknesses

  • Acknowledgement of others
  • Governance
  • Lack of priorities
  • Unclear direction
  • Committee involvement
  • Writing up projects
  • Some cynicism
  • Staff contracts
  • Management in general
  • Documentation
  • Local involvement

 

Opportunities

  • Redefine role of organization
  • Networking
  • NECMA applications
  • Pull people together
  • Linking Landcare Groups
  • FORUM
  • Schools- education
  • Communication
    • Who are we?
    • What are we?
  • Community perception Pamphlet
  • Broader funding
  • COMMUNICATION
  • Prisons
  • On ground works
  • Clarification of roles
  • Support project – landcare
  • Developing and delivering projects
  • Promoting broad scale on ground works

 

Threats

  • Funding
  • Perceived competitiveness
  • Community perception

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report below sent by email after the meeting

Swamps Rivers & Ranges
Distribution of Grant Funds
1/1/2017 to 31/9/17
Item Description Research and Monitoring Capacity Community Education Nest Boxes Action Plan Development Whitfield Threatened Species Totals
    WET WET WET WET WET DELWP  
Opening Balance     -7,543.25 8,253.02 15,000.00 0.00 0.00 15,709.77
Receipts                
Grants and Donations Grants received   30,000.00     10,000.00 24,790.00 64,790.00
ATO GST refund   2,340.00         2,340.00
WAW Credit Union Interest   205.78         205.78
    0.00 25,002.53 8,253.02 15,000.00 10,000.00 24,790.00 67,335.78
Expenditure                
Stephen Routledge Coordination wages   24,750.00         24,750.00
FTLA Insurance   626.40         626.40
Fleur Stelling Project Management         9,800.00   9,800.00
ATO Withholding tax   16.25         16.25
FileMaker Computer software   240.00         240.00
who did you pay? Website   150.00         150.00
Wangaratta library Room hire   97.50         97.50
Nicki Munro ?           1,500.00 1,500.00
J Blackney ?       2,199.99     2,199.99
Beechworth Bakery ?           175.50 175.50
Stephen Routledge ?   292.40         292.40
Stephen Routledge ?           481.60 481.60
who did you pay? Bird monitoring       320.00     320.00
Themeda Rural ?       2,749.98     2,749.98
    0.00 26,172.55 0.00 5,269.97 9,800.00 2,157.10  
Closing Balance   0.00 -1,170.02 8,253.02 9,730.03 200.00 22,632.90 83,045.55

 

 

 

Meeting closed 12.00am

 

 

Progress Report: Fleur Stelling 19/10/17

Activities

  • Initiated and attended meetings with key NECMA staff 2/6/17 & 22.8.17;
  • Participated in a group strategic planning meeting convened by NECMA (22.9.17) to prioritise allocation of imminent NLP funds;
  • Meetings for project development: Wooragee Landcare; Boorhaman Landcare, Chiltern Landcare; Rutherglen Landcare; Ian Davidson;
  • Initiated and strengthened relationships with key Landcare coordinators Penny Raleigh (Boorhaman, Chiltern); Sally Day (Greta Landcare); Alandi Durling (Wooragee; Ovens Landcare Network).
  • Entered several projects into INFERR (see below)
  • Developed project with Wooragee Landcare around roadsides (see below)

Projects entered into INFERR

Wooragee (Linking Chiltern-Mount Pilot to Stanley State Forest)

Chiltern (Roadside/Black Dog Creek linkages)

Warby Ranges (Winton Wetland/Warby Range linkages; Killawarras to Ovens River linkages)

Rutherglen (linking Lower Ovens River to Murray River)

Greta (TSR links; paddock trees)

Large Multi-group Project Development

  1. Focal area approved at last meeting that involves linking the mountains to the Murray via the key environmental assets in this region: Murray River; Ovens River; Warby Ranges; Killawarras; Winton Wetlands; Futters Range/Greta.
    1. Potential to apply for NLP funding in these group areas (eg the INFERR projects in Rutherglen, Warbys and Greta)
    2. Paddock corner project across focal area
  2. Roadside project partnering with Wooragee and involving 3 groups surrounding Chiltern-Mount Pilot National Park (Wooragee, Chiltern, Indigo Valley).
    • Project aims: raise community awareness of the biodiversity and habitat values of roadsides; highlight the value of roadside vegetation for local endangered/threatened species; raise awareness about threats to roadside vegetation; engage CFA and Landcare/nature conservation groups to enable community discussions around how we can both conserve/enhance roadside vegetation while also address CFA concerns; facilitate on-ground action around enhancing medium conservation value roadsides.
    • Activities (awareness/discussion plus on-ground works): convene major workshop ‘roadsides fire and resilience’ (CFA, DELWP, NECMA, Councils, Landcare groups etc); 2 field days (habitat; ecological burning); spotlight walks; On-ground works: weed control; revegetation; nestboxes in key sites in each group area.

Progress Report Sally Day 20/10/17

Nest Box Guide

  • All consultation completed
  • Jim has finalised about 80% of guide written material on specific species. I am sourcing relevant photos from those people who offered snaps for the guide. Use of ALA section still to write by Sally.
  • We have planned to meet with the designer Sally Hugenin in two weeks to commence the graphic design component and plan to have all the content together at this stage.
  • Warby Range Landcare Group has offered us an additional $1000 for the project. I think this is well needed and we would like to put this towards the printing component of the guide. Can the Treasurer please get in touch with me and we will arrange an invoice or letter to Warby Ranges with banking details or something to allow this transfer to take place?

 

Futters Range

We are very keen to further develop and get funding for this idea. Fleur Mary Anderson and myself scoped this out fully into INFER and have included costs, etc. I spoke to Stephen recently about the NAB grants – which could be the perfect fit for a landscape style restoration project. Because of the tax status required, I think this grant would cross off most little organisations like Landcare. So a good fit for SRR. Happy to provide any additional information that is needed to proceed with the Futters Range concept or the NAB grant.

 

Paddock Tree project

The Greta Valley Landcare Group was successful in putting forward the idea for a second round of scattered paddock tree project funding (one of those we scoped in INFER a few months ago with Fleur). We have received $36k from DELWP. So this project will contribute towards projects in the SRR blueprint. Two year time frame, will kick off in the new year. Great news.

 

Swamps Rivers & Ranges Project Managers Report 16-10-17

 

 

Challenges,

 

Building Relationships

Forging Partnerships

Funding

 

Achievements

 

Organising Bird monitoring day at Winton Wetlands to coordinate with Bird Life Murray Goulburn seasonal monitoring. Meeting of monitors Nov 1st

 

Coordinating with Caroline Wilson from Birds Australia, Birds on Farm project with three possible farms in our project area.

 

Coordination bird data 2682 records sent to Andrew Silcox at Birds Australia and exported in to Bird-life Atlas. 19-10-2017…

 

NECMA Grant application put in for Bird box monitoring and construction for Burgoigee and Greta LCGs. Via NECMA community grants. Applied for $7000.

 

Starting to plan and seek funding for a citizen science application with a number of Landcare and Community groups around Brolgas . Understanding wetlands and water flows. Trip up to Berrigan field day and workshop around Brolga’s. Managing Wetlands in Productive Landscapes with Lachlan Campbell. Cementing SRR agricultural understandings and relationships with NECMA agricultural coordinator. Perhaps

Brolgas could be used as a vehicle to connect to our greater community.

Dr Heather McGuiness from CSIRO in Canberra talked. Good funding avenue.

Sarah Ning from the Murray Darling Wetland Working Group talked

About Wetlands in our Farming Systems and the benefits of biodiversity.

 

Julie Bellato Regional Landcare Facilitator Coleambally talked about natural pollinators which are beneficial to increased crop yields as are exotic bees. At the moment the commercial apiarists are having trouble keeping their bees alive due to sprays.  Having higher population of native pollinators by reducing insecticide spray, possibly by planting a mix of understory plants in blocks near crops which will also provide a source of food for small birds. Julie is waiting on talking with Dr Manu Saunders about her trials to see how this project may progress and make some clearer outcomes for the project.

 

 

Possible photography competition being sponsored by NECMA through Lachlan Campbell about Wetlands. Partnering with Corowa and Rutherglen LCG.

Looking into the depths of our Wetlands – People and Place Can SRR contribute $300 towards this photography competition ?

 

Web site. The web site is fulfilling all of it’s functions. It is a great place for articles of interest, our membership/email list now up to 80 people. It is also linked to Facebook and Twitter, both, which I have a bit of a problem with. If anyone could give me a tutorial on Facebook It may help. I am afraid I find Twitter far to egocentric to touch.  

I will put Philippa’s minutes up there in the next few days.

 

 Jessie’s Creek project – workshops x 2, with school on June 6th and separate workshop on June 21st with community and CFA. http://swampsriversandranges.org/whitfield-community-king-basin-lcg-jessies-creek/liasing with CFA to burn weeds in Jessie’s Creek.

Registered with Conservation Volunteers to get a team up in October to start the long process of clearing weeds…. This has proved all too expensive.

 

LANDMATES have signed up to work along the whole creek until all the weeds are cleared. The team is run through the Dept of Justice and will consist of approx. 8 prisoners from Beechworth Correctional Centre, all experienced in weed removal. We have spent $200 in supplying them with Frog Friendly Round-up. They have promised to start at the end of October.

 

This today is in question owing to the coordinator being moved from his team.

 

 2 AO display boards from Whitfield workshops, finished and to be installed in Whitfield in October at school on main road and at Gentle Annie Caravan Park.

 

Liaising with 12 land managers, farmers, the pub and golf course around the project area looking at opportunities to plant Yellow box trees with accompanying understory. 

Organise autumn 2018 planting of trees and understory with fencing and sturdy wooden tree guards in paddocks. 

  

Assisting Fleur – map plans for joint  grant applications with NECMA and NAB application put in on 27th October.

  

Coordination of all payments/deposits through bank account with Colin Andrews.

 

Progressing with DGR status application with Colin Andrews and DELWP  .

 

Liaise with Beth Mellick and NWF as req’d.

 

 Keep records updated, continue to be the central hub for information on SRR.

Fuel, phone, office expenses all included in funding. 10 hours/week at $500, self employed superannuation included.

 

Ongoing organisation of meetings, booking halls, meeting rooms, sending out reminders, printing invitations.

Back up all relevant files of project.

 

 

Stephen Routledge 30th October