Welcome!

The Coastwatchers Association Inc. is the leading community environmental and conservation group serving the South Coast of NSW, principally in the Shire of Eurobodalla between Narooma and Batemans Bay.

Welcome to our website. We aim to provide information and resources in this website such that it can be used as a significant community resource. We welcome comments or suggested improvements (click the envelope icon on the right to email).

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President’s Report 2017 AGM

The 2017 AGM was held at Tomakin Community Hall on October 28th 2017.

It is with pleasure that I welcome members and friends today.

In the 2016-2017 financial year we have held 6 Coastwatchers committee meetings. Though technically outside that in August, the Moruya Forest Forum was arguably a high point with an attendance of around 100 members and friends. This was a timely event in light of the recent renewed interest in logging the forests of Batemans Bay and Mogo. Our secretary, Richard Roberts, who masterminded the event is our representative on ‘SERCA’ the “South East Region Conservation Alliance” their aim being to end logging on the South Coast.

The Dargues Reef gold mine at Major’s Creek has again been the focus of protracted efforts over the year and to our consternation, was given final approval by the Commonwealth Government in April. We continue to be concerned at its possible impact on the Eurobodalla Water Supply and vulnerable and endangered species as well as the long-term care and maintenance of the site. We believe that security bonds for rehabilitation are inadequate both during mining operations and after mining ceases. We further believe that potential impacts of projects of this nature should be considered over whole catchments rather than localised areas surrounding mined sites. I would like to specifically thank Richard Roberts and Dr Emmett O’Loughlin for their invaluable contributions to our submissions.

The need to always look beyond the immediate locale of a project is demonstrated by the difficulties of the Shorebird Recovery Program within our region. Because the nesting sites for shorebirds are above Mean High Tide level, they have no protection under the zonings of Marine Parks. Coastal developments, uncontrolled dogs and predation by foxes and feral cats are our chief concerns. I would like to acknowledge the dedication of our President, John Perkins to this work which has become all- consuming especially over the nesting season.

With Climate Change concerns, in particular anticipated sea level rises, I wish to acknowledge the environmental advocacy of our long-time Committee member, Reina Hill, our representative on ‘CEMAC’, Eurobodalla Shire Council’s “Coast and Environment Management Advisory Committee.” Her voice is essential on this large committee where developer interests are strongly represented and often antagonistic to coastal management reforms.

On-going monitoring of Council’s agendas is an essential role for Coastwatchers especially in light of increasing pressures from tourism and developers. The Eurobodalla Rural Lands Strategy is an on-going consideration of what is best for the community. The proposed large residential subdivision around Bevian Road between Rosedale and Guerilla Bay is effectively a new suburb warranting close attention to ensure protection of wetland habitats and remnant vegetation while planning for inclusion of Open Space linkages for walkers and cyclists. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate the value of providing a range of housing styles to meet changing community needs.

I wish to acknowledge the role of Committee member Joslyn van der Moolen in bringing us into the 21st century with the establishment of Social Media accounts and our Treasurer Mark Rote in re-vamping our Website to enable improved navigation and management.

And I especially wish to acknowledge the commitment and contributions of both Richard and Barbara Roberts since the inception of Coastwatchers in the early 1980’s. Along with Reina Hill they had the foresight to launch and nurture our Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens. It has been a long involvement with numerous ups and downs along the way.

Richard’s dedication to the professional production of our newsletters is exemplary. Nine newsletters have been produced this year covering not only local but wider environmental issues, many of global significance.

In spite of our relatively stable membership (from 125 at this time last year to currently 118), the difficulty of attracting younger members continues to be of concern. Our membership is ageing with some people moving on to meet their changed needs. Two long-serving members, Martin Phillips and Jim Baker passed away his year.

Has Society in general moved away from public interest groups that demand time and support? Has social media replaced these groups? In the not too distant future the picture may be much clearer.

The financial position of the Association remains very sound and I thank all members for their support in achieving this.

With unforeseen but much enjoyed grand parenting responsibilities in far North Queensland, I must relinquish my role with Coastwatchers. My hope is that the Association will continue to fulfil a most important function to the benefit of our community.

John Stowar, Acting President.

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“Predetermined Outcome” prompts green groups to ditch NSW forest talks – Sydney Morning Herald

Please click here to read the article on the SMH website.

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Coastal Management Report Feb 9th 2018

Please note that the reports formerly called CEMAC Reports in the Coastwatchers website will from now be called Coastal Management Reports.

Background

The NSW Government is working to deliver a new legislative and regulatory framework to better equip coastal communities to respond to existing and emerging coastal challenges and opportunities.

The elements of the reform are new legislation – The Coastal Management Act 2016, a draft coastal management manual and a draft Coastal Management State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) with related maps.

Current Status

The Department of Planning and Environment is now giving consideration to the feedback (submissions) received and is working to finalise the Coastal Management SEPP.

The Office of Environment and Heritage is currently finalising the Coastal Management Manual and a Toolkit of technical resources and advice for coastal managers.

Coastal communities are awaiting proclamation of The Act and the SEPP to give certainty to their local coastal management programmes.

Stage three: Options and Opportunities has commenced. This involves developing strategies to assist communities in adapting to coastal hazards.

Council will work with the community to determine what solutions are preferred to manage hazards and will offer solutions and strategies to manage areas that have been identified as being potentially at risk from coastal hazards now and into the future under projected conditions of climate change.

These areas have been mapped to indicate the extent of hazards such as erosion and inundation from storms, waves and tides.

However, any solution must be affordable with limited environmental and community impacts.

The NSW Government will provide $83.6 million for coastal management over the next five years.

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Media Release Feb 14th 2018 – South Coast Conservationists Rally Against Rotten Forest Deals (Regional Forest Agreements)

Coastwatchers, other conservation groups and supporters are today rallying at Batemans Bay to protest plans by the Turnbull and Berejiklian governments to lock up 2 million hectares of public forests, hand them over to big business like the Eden Wood Chip Mill and throw away the key.

President and spokesperson for Coastwatchers Noel Plumb said “The NSW Government is in Batemans Bay today staging a sham public consultation process by calling for interested people to ‘drop in’ to a propaganda display that is designed to lend credibility to these Rotten Forest Deals (Regional Forest Agreements).”

“The deals are being sold as the renewal of the 20 year Regional Forest Agreements (RFA’s) presently in place but due to expire over the next two to three years, including the Southern Forest Region which covers the south coast from Nowra to Eden and back to the great dividing range and Tumut.”

“We are here to oppose any renewal of the discredited RFA’s and expose the sham consultation, which is being boycotted by most NSW conservation groups who have been involved in the fight to save the forests. We are also here to put the spotlight on an invitation only, secretive briefing for logging industry stakeholders which appears to have excluded all relevant local and regional conservation groups concerned about the massive damage to our forests by the current rotten deals.”

“The Governments are rushing to sign off new, long term, Rotten Forest Deals (Regional Forest Agreements) that show the corruption, privilege and desperation by the both of the Governments and the industry to lock these arrangements in place before either Government has to face the voters again. This flies in the face of overwhelming support by the general public to end native forest logging and protect our precious forests, wildlife, carbon stores and water resources against massive industrial logging and woodchipping.”

“We invite the public to contact us and we will show them what is really happening in our forests right here within spitting distance of Batemans Bay:-

Intensive logging for low value products like firewood and woodchips which is destroying the forest ecosystems and pushing wonderful forest animals such as Koalas, Greater Gliders, Yellow Bellied Gliders and many more to regional extinction on the South Coast.

Sprawling logging “waste” and slash piles that create unacceptable increase fire risks for many local communities and beloved holiday areas including Pebbly Beach, Depot Beach, Durras, Murramarang National Park, Long Beach, Batemans Bay, Mogo and Moruya. These piles are left unburnt for at least a year and sometimes three years by the Forestry Corporation creating an unacceptable risk to the forests, the townspeople and those who live in the forests.

This heavy logging and burning all leads to a great increase in the overall threat of wildfires and the massive loss of carbon stored in trees hundreds of years old, directly aggravating dangerous climate change.”

“This has got to stop – now,” said Mr Plumb. “There must be no renewal or further extension of these Rotten Forest Deals, aka Regional Forest Agreements. There are infinitely better ways to use the forests that boost the regional economy, increase jobs, protect wildlife, reduce the fire risks and respond responsibly to climate change.

Further comment: Noel Plumb 0425 23 83 03 President Coastwatchers www.coastwatchers.com.au

Photographs of recent irresponsible logging destruction are available.

You can view the media release in PDF format in the following link: Coastwatchers Media Release 14 Feb 2018 Rally against Rotten Forest Deals (76KB PDF)

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UPDATE: Alert! Save the Forests – Batemans Bay Forest Rally and ‘Drop In’ on DPI – Donate your lunch hour on 14 Feb 2018

Dear Coastwatchers Members and Friends

As promised here is an update on action in Batemans Bay next Wednesday 14 February 2018 (see below if you missed this ).

RFA Community Consultation Drop In (aka GreenWash) – Coachhouse Marina Resort 49 beach Road Batemans Bay12.30pm to 2.00pm Wednesday 14 February 2018

 As well as briefing supporters and directing them to the ‘Drop In’ we are asking as many people as possible to be there to support a rally on Beach Road outside the Coachhouse Marina Resort from 12.30 to 2.00pm to alert the public to the threat of new, long term Regional Forest Agreements (RFA’s). The rally is being held in conjunction with other local conservation groups and we will be asking media to attend. A good turn out by CW members will certainly help our media credibility – please join us! Bring your forest banners/placards,  plenty of sun protection and water – it promises to be a very warm day!

We have also just learnt there will be a secretive ‘by invitation only’ RFA meeting before the public ‘drop in’  session which excludes the general public. Some of us will therefore be there from 11.00 to ensure invitees know our views on killing forests via RFA’s. If you can join us then also, please do – we will be erecting banners and handing out information sheets to invitees.

Please NETWORK this by email, facebook and twitter to your networks and friends……we  need to build a massive new surge of public outrage to save our forests and wildlife!!

RSVP?  – please let us know if you are coming by email to coastwatchers@iinet.net.au or message our facebook

Regards

Noel Plumb

President

Coastwatchers

 

PS suggested banner, placard messages RFA – NO WAY!….RFA’s KILL OUR FORESTS ….RFA’s = DEAD FORESTS = NO KOALAS ….STOP LOGGING OUR FORESTS

Parking on day – the Catalina Country Club is directly, diagonally across from the Coachhouse. It has a large carpark and we suggest you park vehicles there

Apologies for any duplicated postings

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Sat 3/02/2018  – Forest Alert

Dear Coastwatchers Members

This is a chance to tell the Turnbull and Berejiklian Governments how deeply opposed you are to the destruction of our native forests by the logging industry. Please put 14 February in your diary NOW

The push to lock in new Regional Forest Agreements is now a rolling juggernaut. The conservation movement is deeply worried that the governments will jointly ram new long term agreements through before they next face elections. It is clear to us that the logging and woodchipping will get even more intense and timber allocations under the new RFA’s will effectively be permanent and legally protected against any reduction without massive compensation.

This will apply no matter how desperate the plight of koalas, the greater glider and all other forest wildlife and despite the escalating climate change crisis for which the destruction of forests by industrial logging is a major factor.

The conservation movement does not believe the community “input” sought by the Governments  agent, the Department of Primary Industry (DPI) will be anything other than a sham and a fraud. However, we ask that you drop into the Batemans Bay session on the 14th February (see details below) if possible to tell them how deeply you are opposed to the destruction of our forests by the logging industry and State Forests.

We will get back to you soon with further information on the RFA juggernaut and the current, ongoing struggle to save the Mogo forest from the next round of devastating logging. Remember, despite all the odds, more than 10 years ago we beat off the Mogo charcoal plant that was to burn our South Coast forests.

By the way, have any of you seen the intensive logging right on the Princes Highway and Tomboyne Road, just south of the East Lynne Store? – get out of your car and have a good look at the future of more than two million hectares of NSW forest and imagine even more intensive logging, most of the South Coast’s forests destined for the Eden woodchip mill or overseas power plants if the governments and industry have their way.

Noel Plumb

President

Coastwatchers

 

As part of community consultation, DPI is hosting six drop-in sessions throughout February at the following locations:

 

​FROM THE GOVERNMENT – We are here to help you!

Community input invited on Regional Forest Agreements

Regional communities are being encouraged to have their say on the renewal of NSW Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs), covering the North East, Eden and Southern Regions of NSW.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Group Director Forestry Policy, Research and Development, Nick Milham, said the NSW and Australian governments are currently seeking community input through drop-in sessions, and a consultation and submission process.

“The NSW and Australian governments are encouraging all stakeholders to have their say on what shape the RFAs should take and how we can improve the sustainable management of our native forests,” Mr Milham said.

“The governments are working closely with all parties to get the balance right in the long-term management of our forest resources, and consultation is integral to this process.

“We hope to hear from industry, environment groups, landholders and the broader community on any emerging issues or changes that need to be captured since the agreements were developed nearly 20 years ago,” he said.

Mr Milham said the RFAs are in place to ensure the sustainable management and conservation of Australia’s native forests.

“The renewal consultation coincides with a review being undertaken on how we are tracking in current implementation of the RFAs.

“This provides our stakeholders with a full picture on how we have performed under the existing agreements, while at the same time what the future holds, and how we can learn from our experience over the past 20 years.” END

The Coastwatchers Association Inc
PO Box 521 Batemans Bay NSW 2536
www.coastwatchers.org.au
contact@coastwatchers.org.au
Coastwatchers is on Facebook
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Thank You to outgoing Committee members

The Coastwatchers association committee for 2017/2018 wishes to acknowledge and thank John Perkins, John Stowar and Richard Roberts who stepped down from the committee at the 2017 AGM.

They have given generously of their time in submission writing, newsletters, administration and advocacy in progressing the aims of Coastwatchers Association Inc. over recent years.

Their efforts are much appreciated by the membership of the Association and the committee.

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Renewables Forum Moruya Golf Club Feb 20

Interested in energy prices, renewables, climate change? Please come along to this free community forum with Mark Butler, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, and NSW Senator Jenny McAllister. Have your opportunity for input and hear directly from Mark Butler about Labor’s policies with regards to energy, renewables and climate change.

Tuesday Feb 20th, 6pm at Moruya Golf Club.

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Unusual Ecological Phenomena Survey

The survey of unusual ecological phenomena, being run by researchers at the University of Adelaide, has been extended until the 5th of March 2018 to give more people the chance to participate. The information collected with this survey will help researchers to understand what unusual ecological phenomena are being observed and how natural resource managers respond to them. This information will help to inform conservation planning and policy.

The survey will be open until Monday 5th March 2018.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the researchers at uep_survey@adelaide.edu.au or phone (08) 8313 1039.

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NSW Government SEPP Review

SEPP 55 (Remediation of Land) and the Managing Contaminated Land Planning Guidelines have been reviewed as part of the Government’s SEPP review program.

The Department is exhibiting an Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) for a new Remediation of Land SEPP, as well as draft Planning Guidelines, for comment. Submissions are due 31 March 2018.

Feedback is sought on the Explanation of Intended Effect and draft Planning Guidelines. You can make an online submission here and more information is available at www.planning.nsw.gov.au or phone 1300 305 695.

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Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy

The Department of the Environment and Energy is seeking feedback on this strategy and action inventory for 2018-30.

The draft revised strategy is open to public comment until Friday 16 March 2018.

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