Coastwatchers is Eurobodalla’s Voice for nature.
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. The Association also addresses issues in the bordering Shires of Shoalhaven (north), Bega (south) and Palerang (west), when issues in those Shires have a direct impact on the Eurobodalla region.
The Association aims to protect the local environment, and preserve the integrity of the ecological systems of the South Coast of NSW. It opposes the unnecessary destruction and degradation of natural systems, unbalanced development and pollution. It opposes threats to the survival of plant and animal species and communities.
It adopts a responsible approach, using political, social and legal avenues to oppose or support issues impacting on this region. The Association works closely with other groups in the region and is a member of the NSW Nature Conservation Council, the National Parks Association of NSW, and the (NSW) SE Region Conservation Alliance.
The Association is managed by its members through General Meetings and the Annual General Meetings. A committee is elected at each Annual General Meeting, and administers the Association on a day-to-day basis. Members of the Committee are volunteers who are elected to seven positions. These are the four Office Bearers: the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. In addition, there are three Ordinary Members elected. The Committee meets on an as needs basis but generally about every six to eight weeks.
The Coastwatchers Association Inc Committee (2021-22)
|Mark Rote – President and Treasurer|
|Mark lived in the beautiful Deua River Valley for 10 years before moving into the Moruya township in 1999. A keen cyclist and environmentalist since his youth, Mark and his wife Dana owned and operated the successful Moruya Bicycles retail store, from 1991 until 2016. This included a major online sales presence for the latter half of this time. Mark has been a Coastwatchers member since 2005 and has been treasurer since 2016.|
|Gillianne Tedder – Vice President|
|Resident of Meringo, professional photographer, and committed community activist, Gillianne has been on the Coastwatchers committee since 2017.|
|Niall O’Donnell – Secretary|
|Niall is the Dad in a family of 5, and concerned for the future for his kids. He’s an Emergency Room Registered Nurse and a Vipassana meditator. He says he’s constantly trying to make fewer mistakes and to understand what it’s all about (and is open to suggestions on that). Niall joined the committee in 2021, and bravely accepted a nomination as Secretary soon after.|
|Joslyn van der Moolen – Ordinary Member|
|A committed and tireless worker for the environment, Joslyn has been a Coastwatchers member since 2011 and has been on the committee since 2016, serving 4 years as Secretary. She works on the conservation of SE NSW public native forests through the Coastwatchers Forest Working Group and wants to see NSW join WA and Victoria and announce the end of native forest logging (mainly exported at taxpayer expense as woodchips) and move 100% to softwood plantations to supply the domestic construction sector. Joslyn also co-manages the Great Eastern Ranges and WWF-Australia South Coast Project for environmental conservation and restoration projects (2021-2024) as part of the broader bushfire recovery effort.|
|Julie Taylor-Mills – Ordinary Member|
|Julie is a member of the board of management of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, a member of the WIRES State Council of NSW and has a professional background in corporate environmental management. Julie joined the Coastwatchers committee in 2021.|
|Mike Thompson – Ordinary Member|
|Mike has been a Coastwatchers member since 2005 and has spent 6 years on the Coastwatchers committee before his current appointment. He has a long history of effective environmental advocacy.|
|Lurline Dillon-Smith – Ordinary Member|
|Lurline is a lawyer with a practice in Moruya. Lurline joined the committee in 2021 in order to broaden her involvement with the community and the environment.|
Mark Rote lived with his family in the Deua River Valley from 1989 to 1999 and has lived in Moruya since. He owned and operated Moruya Bicycles from 1991 until 2016.
Subcommittees are appointed by The Coastwatchers Association Inc committee, and are therefore not up for annual re-election. The Coastwatchers Environment Fund Committee is a statutory body whose members do not need to be members of the Coastwatchers Association, and their authority is somewhat independent of the Coastwatchers Association.
|Coastwatchers Environment Fund Committee|
|The Coastwatchers Environment Fund Committee manages the Coastwatchers Environment Fund – a Public Fund established for the specific purpose of supporting the environmental objects/purposes of The Coastwatchers Association Inc.|
The primary role of the Fund Committee is to act as a final probity check on fundraising and spending proposals. It currently has six members, as follows (in order of appointment):
|Eurobodalla Koala Project subcommittee (began 2011)|
|The Eurobodalla Koala Project began in 2011 and has carried out scientific studies of Koala populations and habitat in the Eurobodalla Shire. It is now moving more toward active preservation and rehabilitation of potential Koala habitat throughout the Shire.|
|Dr Keith Joliffe leads the Eurobodalla Koala Project.|
|Dargues Gold Mine Environment Group Representative|
|Coastwatchers has an Environment Group Representative on the Dargues Gold Mine Community Consultative Committee. The Community Consultative Committee allows for open discussions to take place involving the community and the mine operators.|
|Stewart Needham currently fills this role and provides periodic reports to Coastwatchers on the operations of the mine.|
|Forest Working Group|
|The Forest Working Group is a Coastwatchers subcommittee whose purpose is to work towards preserving our local native forests for their ecological, habitat, connectivity, hydrological, carbon sequestration and eco-tourism values, by ending unsustainable native forest logging.|
|The Forest Working Group is currently made up of six Coastwatchers members.|
|Mossy Forest Group (appointed May 2021; disbanded May 2022 )|
|The Mossy Forest Group is a Coastwatchers subcommittee whose purpose is to act as an advisory body to the Coastwatchers committee to lead the attempt to save Lot 16 Annetts Parade Mossy Point from inappropriate development.|
|The Mossy Forest Group is currently made up of three Coastwatchers members.|
|Eurobodalla Gold Mining Subcommittee (appointed July 2022)|
|The Eurobodalla Gold Mining (EGM) Subcommittee will act as an advisory body to the Coastwatchers Management Committee and as a working group to address the threat of gold mining in Eurobodalla.|
|Great Eastern Ranges Project Subcommittee|
|The Great Eastern Ranges Project Subcommittee is working with the Coastwatchers Committee to implement the Great Eastern Ranges South Coast Project – a large-scale conservation initiative to heal and regenerate the region following the devastating 2019-20 bushfires. The project is funded through Great Eastern Ranges Ltd’s grant from the Australian and NSW governments’ Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund and a partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature – Australia.|
|The Great Eastern Ranges Project Subcommittee comprises Keith Joliffe and Joslyn van der Moolen.|
The Association raises revenues in two ways to fund its activities. Members pay annual membership fees and members and supporters donate tax deductible monies to the Coastwatchers Environment Fund.
The Association welcomes new members. (View Coastwatchers-Membership-Brochure in PDF).
To operate and manage its operations within the laws of Australia, the Association has been required to hold a number of statutory approvals.
The Association is an incorporated association in NSW, incorporated in 1986 under the (NSW) Associations Incorporation Act 2009. Its’ Incorporation Number is Y-00012-40) (NSW Department of Fair Trading).
The Association has a Australian Business Number: 66 003 550 939 which is registered on the Australian Government’s Australian Business Register.
The Association is registered under the NSW Charitable Fundraising Act 1991. This approval enables the Association to fundraise. Its’ Charitable Fundraising Number is 17576 (and is registered with the NSW Department of Trade and Investment ) .
The Coastwatchers Association and its Public Fund the ‘Coastwatchers Environment Fund’ have been registered on the Australian Government’s “Register of Environment Organisations” since 20 January 2003 . This entitles funds raised for the ‘Coastwatchers Environment Fund’ to be tax deductibility donations under the Commonwealth Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.
The Coastwatchers Association Inc. is an incorporated association, incorporated under the NSW Associations Incorporation Act 1984, on 7 July 1986. While the Act and the Constitution have been amended, the registration is ongoing.
In 1983, an environmentalist Penny Van Oosterezee, was so concerned with the direction of development in the Eurobodalla Shire, she called a public meeting for Saturday 1 October 1983 at the old Batemans Bay Primary School. She was concerned with the threat of high-rise development in the Shire, and the ad hoc policy approach for tourism development, especially at Durras. The proposed construction of the Broulee to airport road was also of major issue because of its impact on the surrounding environment.
About 140 people attended the meeting, residents from Narooma to Termeil and non-resident ratepayers, many from the Canberra region. There were many speakers including Penny Van Oosterezee, John Hatton MP Member for South Coast, Dr Richard Mason, President of the NSW National Parks Association and Judith Wright the poet and environmentalist. The meeting agreed to the proposal prepared by Penny Van Oosterezee, to form a group called ‘Coastwatch’, which was later renamed ‘The Coastwatchers’.
An interim committee was formed comprising (alphabetical order) Jeff Aschmann, Rosemary Brissenden, Sue Curran, Rita Davis, Harry Higgs, Neville Gough, John Rowland and Ken Taylor. The Association was subsequently formed, with Rosemary Brissenden the inaugural President and John Rowland the inaugural Secretary. The Association was unincorporated, but after the NSW Associations Incorporation Act 1984 became operative during 1985, the Association made application and was incorporated on 7 July 1986.
The new Association had little time to plan, and was immediately involved with the extraordinary Eurobodalla Council election being held on 10 December 1983 some two months after Coastwatchers formation. This extraordinary election resulted from the sacking of the previous Councillors in 1982, and appointment of an Administrator by the NSW Government.
Over the past 30 years, the Association has been involved in many major and minor environmental issues throughout the region. It has been a leader for the community for these causes and a frontline defender of the local environment.
The issues it addresses are extensive and geographically range throughout the region. Some are generic and others relate to specific locations or developments. Overall the Association has raised environmental awareness in the community and improved the decision making processes at all levels of government, by its lobbying and strategic approach to the issues.
The Association is proud of its achievements over the past 30 years. In particular, it has supported and sought amendments to planning and development decisions in the Shire, in order to protect environmental and conservation issues. The Association opposed proposals, which by any standard would have adverse impacts on the environment and beauty of the coast – the very reason why people are attracted to this coastal region.
Coastwatchers Committee Meetings 1983 to 2017 (77KB PDF. Please note the AGM Date of October 17th 2015 should be October 31st 2015)
The Coastwatchers Association maintains affiliations with:
- Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC) (click here to go to their website)
- South East Regional Conservation Alliance (SERCA) (click here to go to their website)
- National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) (click here to go to their website)