The Coastwatchers Association Incorporated (Coastwatchers) is the leading community environmental and conservation group serving the South Coast of NSW. Coastwatchers works principally in the Shire of Eurobodalla from South Durras to Wallaga Lake, (and including the major towns of Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma) but also works with community groups in the bordering Shires of Shoalhaven (north), Bega (south) and Palerang (west).
Coastwatchers is a not-for-profit community environment and conservation group that has served the South Coast of NSW since its formation in 1983 and its incorporation in 1986.It is listed on the Register of Environmental Organisations and has tax-deductible-gift-recipient status for its public fund, the Coastwatchers Environment Fund.
Coastwatchers aims to protect the local environment, and preserve the integrity of the ecological systems of the NSW South Coast. For 38 years it has worked on the protection of forests and other local ecosystems, and helped to steer local development in a direction that least threatens local plant and animal species and communities.
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).
Use the menu above to navigate our site, or scroll down to see the latest additions to our site.
This review argues that Bodalla State Forest, where a sighting was reported in October 2021, must be a priority focus for any Eurobodalla-wide koala population revival.
Coastwatchers volunteer group Eurobodalla Koalas reviewed the koala habitat significance of Bodalla State Forest, supported through a partnership between the Great Eastern Ranges (GER) Initiative and WWF-Australia as part of a broader bushfire recovery effort. Coastwatchers is delivering the GER south coast component.
With its remnant habitat and history of koala presence, the forest is a viable location for home ranges of about 350 hectares each. Bodalla State Forest is also needed as a breeding connector for a sustaining regional koala metapopulation.
The review lists challenges for land managers in and near Bodalla State Forest if local koalas are to revive. Threats to address are landscape drying, further severe wildfire impacts, atmospheric carbon dioxide affecting leaf nutrients, degraded soils, dieback, historical clearing of the Tuross River lowlands, over-intensive logging and new clearing for urban development.
The Coastwatchers Great Eastern Ranges Project helps adjacent private property owners survey and rehabilitate their spaces.
The East Lynne carrying capacity study suggests the area could support up to four resident koala groups as a best-case scenario, if natural post-wildfire recovery is accompanied by deliberate land management intervention. There might also be one small koala resident group surviving in the area.
Focus points for koala recovery would be Cockwhy, Benandarah, Murramarang and Kioloa. The volunteer Eurobodalla Koala Project conducted the study, supported by the Great Eastern Ranges / WWF Australia “Cores, Corridors and Koalas” South Coast Project (Eurobodalla – lower Shoalhaven) co-hosted by the Coastwatchers Association.
Study conclusions are based on:
SCIVI vegetation types, FCNSW forest types and the NSW Review of Koala Tree Use 2018
BioNet maps of the Koala Tree Index, topography, geology, soils and the Koala Habitat Suitability Model
FCNSW Harvest Plans
our own plot surveys
descriptions of Murramarang National Park
commentary from landholders surveyed and others in our network
vegetated connectivity beyond the East Lynne area
other research into occupancy rates and carrying capacity
While native forest logging remains a reality, strategic use of Citizen Science Tools by concerned locals results in key environmental forest features being protected and timely reporting of industry non-compliance to the EPA to ensure “breaches” are pursued and prosecuted by the regulatory body. All the digital tools you need are in the Toolbox.
The leaked Cabinet in Confidence NRC report recommends:
1) No logging of Narooma and Nowra management zones, where logging was identified as posing an “extreme risk” to environmental values for three years (Bodalla/Dampier State Forests where 4 operations are currently proposed).
2) Protecting 75% of all state forest in the Batemans Bay, Eden, Badja and Bago-Maragle Management Zones which were all identified as ‘high risk’.
Forests being logged now do not have 75% of forest set aside. Logging must stop immediately in SE NSW native public forests including active logging in Mogo, Currowan and Shallow Crossing State Forests. Stop logging our Mogo and Bodalla mountain bike tracks that have $16 million investment pledged. The Forestry industry keeps ignoring the Fires Changed Everything and it cannot continue business as usual.
It’s Game Over for the twenty SE NSW loggers and haulage operators logging our fire damaged public native forests. Where is the WA style, Just Transition to Plantations Industry Plan so these highly mobile workers can work 100% in plantations? Then wildlife and our local communities can continue to recover, forests act as a carbon sink and local small business focus on eco-tourism including mountain biking and camping.
The NSW Government has recently announced a target of reducing the state’s emissions by 50% by 2030 on 2005 levels. Meeting this target while driving increased prosperity requires the realisation of the cheapest sources of abatement.
Consistent with this commitment, there is an opportunity to expand the role of forests in NSW’s climate strategy by stopping logging in state forests.
The state-owned native hardwood forests in the southern part of New South Wales are harvested and used to produce wood chips and appearance and structural timbers. These forests were significantly impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires including impacts to over 80% of the native hardwood forest in the South Coast and Eden areas.
Frontier Economics and Professor Andrew Macintosh of the Australian National University have undertaken economic analysis to test whether the economic value of the native hardwood forest is higher when it is harvested and used to make processed timber products or when it is left in its natural state to provide environmental and recreational services, including carbon abatement. This analysis focuses on the Southern and Eden Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) areas.
Based on conservative assumptions, the study found stopping native forestry in the Southern and Eden RFA areas would produce a net economic benefit to the state of approximately $60 million, while also reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by almost 1 million tonnes (Mt) per year over the period 2022-2041.
Key findings of the report
There are net benefits when native forest logging ceases. Sufficient supply of high quality native logs is no longer there and the industry is shifting to harvesting smaller logs that produce lower value wood products .
Stopping native forest harvesting will generate significant carbon abatement, which will contribute to addressing climate change. Stopping logging in the Eden and Southern RFA regions represents the largest single low cost abatement opportunity in NSW or across Australia , particularly in the land sector. As context, a ’no logging’ scenario would generate more than 3 times more abatement per year for the next 20 years than the largest existing Emissions Reduction Fund project anywhere in Australia.
Over the 5 years up to 2020, revenue derived from logging state forests totalled just $2.3 million in total versus $64 million for the same period from plantation forestry.
The small number of people employed in the industry (ranging between 0.1% and 1.6% of the workforce ) have credible alternative employment opportunities in the region.
Subject: Matt Kean’s announcement that there will be no appeal of the NSW Land and Environment Court finding that the NSW Environment Protection Authority has a duty to take serious action on greenhouse gas emissions.
The NSW Government has today announced the opening of nominations to identify and protect Areas of Outstanding Biodiversity Value (AOBVs) on both private and public lands across NSW.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said these new legal instruments will fill a gap in conservation measures in NSW by preserving key landscapes that protect a broad range of our natural heritage.
“I want to leave our planet in a better state for future generations and this is another tool to ensure areas of irreplaceable biodiversity on private and public lands across NSW can be protected,” Mr Kean said.
“Local communities or private landholders can now conserve areas that would otherwise not be captured or recognised through any other legal instrument, such as in National Parks.”
Once identified, AOBVs are an ‘automatic priority’ for investment by the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT), meaning landholders can access funds to manage the land for conservation.
Chair of the BCT, the Hon Niall Blair said AOBV’s will help improve conservation especially on private land. “The BCT already has a number of mechanisms that provide private landholders across the state a financial incentive to conserve biodiversity on their own properties,” Mr Blair said.
“This new mechanism will help us capture areas and pockets of high value biodiversity that otherwise may have slipped through the net.”
Identified by rigorous scientific assessment, AOBVs are designed to conserve high value conservation sites, threatened species or critical habitats. This includes climate refugia, migratory pathways or areas with a high variety of biodiversity values.
AOBVs can only be declared with landholders’ consent, with nominated areas assessed against key scientific criteria set out in the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. Further info available HERE.
The period for initial consultation on the Revised Eurobodalla Koala Recovery Strategy 2021 is now complete: see below (pending any further advice on improvements). Some minor changes have been made and we can update the document at any time if future advice is forthcoming.
The volunteer Eurobodalla Koala Project will try to move into a new phase involving more advocacy and rehabilitation activity, while still maintaining its ongoing research program. We’ve reached the point where the need for proactivity and a shift from business-as-usual are urgent.
We are as confident as we can be about Eurobodalla koala history and habitat, but the status of Eurobodalla koalas either side of the localised extinction line is now uncertain. The confidence we had until 2013 about the persistence of one or two small resident groups and the occasional dispersing animal within the borders of the Eurobodalla, is no longer there. Managed rewilding of the urban, urban fringe and alluvial agricultural areas should probably be the emphasis, but remote public forests remain the safety valve and are crucial for connectivity.
As our volunteer group moves forward with a Eurobodalla koala revival/rewilding emphasis, the elephant in the room is climate change. We must avoid the predicted increase in frequency and severity of fires and drought, otherwise recovery efforts are doomed to failure. The Strategy below attempts to provide multiple practical actions based on a sound rationale..
Next forest on the chopping block:127 hectares of spotted gum forest approved for logging 14 Oct 2021 – Active next step
Compartment 146, east of Mogo, lies south east of Dogtrap Road (~2km east of Princes Hwy) and straddles the Tomaga River at one point. It is so close to the Mogo Zoo you can hear gibbons, lions and lyrebirds as you walk around.
It is the only remaining unlogged forest in the area (see brochure below). Despite the fires, and in defiance of the NSW Environment Protection Authority post-bushfire conditions Forestry Corporation NSW is going to log it unless we speak out! Logging will destroy the forest across the existing Kona trail and the new Mogo mountain bike trail along Dog Trap Road being funded $8 million (taxpayers) which includes $750k from ratepayers. Narooma is also receiving $8 million for mountain bike infrastructure in Bodalla State Forest.
Nine community organisations signed an open letter to Kristy McBain, Federal MP for Eden-Monaro, written by ACF Community Eden Monaro group regarding The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
The launch will be at Lot 16 Annetts Pde, Mossy Point, at the intersection with George Bass Drive (the site of a controversial development proposal.
Eurobodalla Koala researcher Keith Joliffe said
“We chose this location to highlight the fragmentation and connectivity message the strategy emphasises. Mossy Point sits on endangered Coastal Sand Forest, dominated by koala browse species Blackbutt and Bangalay. People might think koalas only lived in remote State Forests and National Parks, but local knowledge tells us they were on Coastal Sand Forest up until the 1950’s. The Recovery Strategy is about preserving and rehabilitating habitat right across the Shire.
“The draft has been with agencies for over a month. We need them to hop on board with its practical planning and regulatory actions. We hope they will consider co-editing the strategy with our volunteer group. They have important expertise. We need their status and resources to enhance public awareness.”
You can view or download the strategy in pdf format below.
Eurobodalla Council has signed a landmark 10-year agreement to source the bulk of its energy from renewables from July. Electricity generated by solar farms at Parkes and Griffith, and from wind farms in the New England area due to come online in 2024, will supply 80 per cent of Council’s total electricity load for larger energy use sites, like the Moruya admin building, pools, libraries, water and sewer pump stations, treatment plants and our streetlights.
The Dargues Gold Mine (often called the Dargues Reef Gold Mine) is situated in Majors Creek above the Araluen Valley, at the headwaters of the Araluen Creek, which runs into the Deua River, the water supply for much of the Eurobodalla Shire.
Coastwatchers has been involved in various ways with the Dargues Gold project since 2010. Though the mine was finally approved and built, cyanide processing of the ore is not carried out on site; instead the ore is trucked away for processing.
Details of some of Coastwatchers’ involvement appears below. Much information can be found at the NSW Government’s Major Projects website; you can click through to their Dargues Gold Project page here.
The information below was copied from the website of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW (of which Coastwatchers is a member).
Forestry Corporation NSW is planning to restart logging in South Coast native forests in the coming weeks.
Following the Black Summer bushfires, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) restricted logging on the South Coast to give the fragile burnt forests and wildlife a chance to recover.
The EPA says that recovery could take over 100 years in some forests, so that tree hollows can form and threatened species populations can recover.
But Forestry Corp is now saying it will ignore the EPA’s concerns and it plans to start logging on the South Coast again.
This is a reprehensible move that puts threatened species like the greater glider at threat.
Forestry Corporation also plans to log areas which were unburnt or only lightly burnt during the fires. Areas which survived largely intact are refuges for animals that were displaced due to extensive burning in surrounding forests. They have nowhere else to go.
Authors: Charles Victor Barber, World Resources Institute; Rachael Petersen, Earthrise Services; Virginia Young, Australian Rainforest Conservation Society; Brendan Mackey, Griffith University, Cyril Kormos, Wild Heritage.
The climate change and biodiversity crises that the world faces are closely intertwined – and they cannot be seen in isolation of a pandemic causing a global “vulnerability experience of mankind”. The economic impacts of the pandemic will be severe. Stimulus packages are therefore indispensable – but they need to be based on sustainability and climate action to increase the resilience of our societies.
The economic crisis offers the opportunity to refocus on sustainable transformation and to develop long-term improvements to our economic, social and political systems. Otherwise, any stimulus will prove to be ineffective in the mid- and long-term, and propel the next global crisis. Be it due to immense environmental pollution, massive degradation of biodiversity leading to grave impacts on global food production, water shortages, energy cries, extreme weather events or everything combined.
In addition to the critical reduction of GHG emissions by moving away from fossil fuels, “nature-based solutions” to emissions reductions in forest and land use, and in the ocean – are crucial. If action on climate change explicity and systematically takes biodiversity conservation into account, we can generate synergies and positive feedback loops, with respect to generating political will, mobilizing financial and technical resources, and taking action on the ground. Too often, however, biodiversity and climate change are dealt with in relative isolation, including in how governments and other stakeholders organize themselves to act on these two inextricably-linked issues.
This report contains clear policy recommendations for governments to develop effective solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss that are mutually supportive. While the report and its recommendations are tailored to negotiations at COP-15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-26), it also makes important recommendations to the G-20, bearing in mind that actions by these 20 countries will set the bar for success.
Making the Water-Energy-Food-Health Nexus and the Climate and Biodiversity Nexus an integral part of the G20 agenda is key. Tovernments should incorporate investments related to these nexus areas in their recovery plans, including sharing best practices and cooperating in international research, especially with regard to the COVID-19 recovery plans. We hope that our list of recommendations in this report can help make recovery plans stronger, and the global approach to the crises we are facing more successful.
You can view (opens in a new tab) or download a PDF version of the report below (60 pages; 7.9MB).
Gilmore Electorate Communities Environment Program 2019-20
For the year 2020 the Commonwealth Government granted $2,800 through the Gilmore Electorate to The Coastwatchers Association Inc (matched in-kind by Coastwatchers) under the Communities Environment Program.
The purpose of the grant was identification of koala habitat with a view to future koala population revival or reintroduction. The grant enabled ten close-scale plot surveys to ground-truth wider-scale modelling of potential koala habitat in the forested patch between Wamban and Nerrigundah.
The project was carried out by the volunteer Eurobodalla Koala Project in its role as a local citizen science movement.
In summary, the project concluded the potential of the patch to offer suitable habitat for low-density koala revival was confirmed, but with significant caveats in respect of historical clearing, topography, soil fertility and possible future disturbance. The key lessons for the future environmental management of this patch are the maintenance of its landscape-scale connectivity to other habitat patches, and avoidance of further disturbance through increased frequency and intensity of wildfire, urban development or over-intensive agricultural-industry.
You can view or download a pdf version of the report via the link below (81 pages, 5.7MB.
It is really sad to hear this coming from the Mayor of our council.
Our recently amended environmental regulations in NSW are already quite relaxed and have resulted in a 13 fold increase in land clearing.
lt is very rare that developments are blocked or significantly slowed because of these regulations. And if they are slowed or blocked, it is because there is a real risk that threatened species and their habitat are likely to be significantly impacted and thus some mitigation is required to protect them.
Suggesting that we remove these biodiversity safeguards (referred to as ‘biodiversity constraints’ by the Mayor), in the wake of the worst ecological disaster the region has experienced, is both negligent and short-sighted.
We need to consider the impacts of our developments now more than ever, particularly because there has already been a rush to illegally clear land around houses after the fires. People are taking liberties with land clearing because of the “smoke screen” of the fires.
We need to be more diligent with our environmental compliance now, than ever before.
We also need to give our native species the best chance they have to recover. And this is most important at the urban/bushland interface. Burnt areas are not ‘effectively cleared’ as the Mayor claims, they have the potential to recover, as evidenced by what we see around us now, and will once again provide important wildlife habitat.
Furthermore, suggesting that we do not rebuild to current bushfire management standards will only leave the land owner at risk when the next bushfire occurs.
Bushfire management standards are there to try and mitigate the risks of bushfires impacting properties and people. We need to build more defendable and fire resistant homes if we want to live in one of the most beautiful but fireprone regions of the world.
I understand that these “constraints” can be costly to recovering land owners. So instead of rewriting the laws, causing further impacts to the environment and ignoring the risk of future fires, why doesn’t the Mayor ask the government to provide grants to landowners looking to rebuild to a higher level of bushfire protection. Grants to help pay for the relevant consultants reports and counciI fees.
Or provide additional resources to local councils and government departments to help speed up the processing of development applications. There are plenty of better solutions than simply switching off the only piece of legislation that protects our wildlife.
Reina Hill President the Coastwatchers Association Inc.
25 June Coastwatchers is a signatory to a letter to Nippon Paper organised by Rainforest Action Group. A petition is also now live. One of the signatories to the letter organized a letter delivery and secured some local press. Also see press releases issued by TWS and RAN.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s key piece of environmental legislation which commenced July 16th 2000.
The EPBC Act enables the Australian Government to join with the states and territories in providing a truly national scheme of environment and heritage protection and biodiversity conservation. The EPBC Act focuses Australian Government interests on protection matters of national environmental significance, with the states and territories having responsibility for matters of state and local significance.
The Australian Government Department of the Environment administers the EPBC Act.
The second independent review of the EPBC Act commenced in October 2019, led by Professor Graeme Samuel AC, supported by a panel of experts. A report will be presented to the Minister for the Environment within 12 months of commencement of the review.
The information below was sent by the Nature Coast Marine Group regarding the abolition of sanctuary zones in the Batemans Marine Park without scientific assessment or public consultation and even without consulting the Batemans Marine Park Advisory Committee. Click through to their website to sign a petition to Save our Sanctuaries, to join the group, or simply to subscribe to their emails (Membership Page) in order to be kept up-to-date on the issue.
The NSW Government is scrapping sanctuary zones in the Batemans Marine Park We have been struggling during this year to head off a push from local member Andrew Constance to get rid of a number of sanctuary zones in the marine park. Unfortunately the worst has now come to pass. Agriculture Minister Marshall put out a media release on Thursday 12 December in which he announced that recreational fishing will henceforth be permitted in sanctuary zones at Montague Island (2 sites), Wagonga Inlet (2 sites), Brou Lake and Nangudga Lake. The decision is even worse than we feared because these changes will take place immediately under an “amnesty” system, before any consultation with the community.
There are good reasons why these sanctuary zones exist. They allow for protection of biodiversity in the wide variety of habitats in the marine park, they promote conditions for the flourishing of marine flora and fauna and protect threatened species, including grey nurse sharks, black rockcod, shorebirds and seagrasses. All these values will now be undermined.
By contrast, there are no good reasons for the changes that have been announced. There has been no process of scientific assessment. No scientific justification has been put forward for the changes, which in addition undermine the integrity of the zones as scientific reference areas.
The process is deeply disheartening. The legislation requires that changes be open for public consultation for a period of at least two months, but with the decision already made, what hope can anyone have that that the consultation will be genuine?
In addition, these cut backs to sanctuary zones have not been considered by the Batemans Marine Park Advisory Committee (on which we are represented) or any other forum representing the wider community.
We are particularly disappointed because we met with staff from the offices of both Agriculture Minister Marshall and Environment Minister Kean in the past couple of months to express concern about the Constance proposals. Mr Marshall subsequently wrote to us to say that “any proposed change to sanctuary zones would need to be subject to public consultation for a minimum of two months as required by legislation”.
Looking forward we have to be concerned because Andrew Constance has foreshadowed a ‘step by step’ approach that would see the dismantling of further sanctuary zone protections. The prospect is for a marine park that would be there on the map but not in reality – nothing but a “paper” park.
writes: I attended the last Dargues Reef CCC meeting on 30 September
as an observer, and since then my nomination has been formally
accepted so that I will be able to fully participate in the next CCC
meeting to be held on 16 December. I hope I will be able to do
Coastwatchers’ interests justice, as I have had relevant experience
in my past career in geology and environmental management in mining.
This experience includes developing and organising consultative
groups for the environmental and social impacts of uranium mining in
the Northern Territory, a nd implementing operational procedures for
the regulation of mining in Queensland, as well as environmental
auditing of mine sites.
September CCC meeting was almost entirely dedicated to noise;
presentations were made by the NSW EPA on regulatory requirements and
how monitoring is undertaken, and by the company and Majors Creek
residents on a number of issues which have arisen. Perhaps the most
significant issue is noise at night. Negotiations have focussed on
noise and vibration from blasting, and when ore processing operations
begin, crushing and truck movement timetables. Currently the local
community is pressing to have ore stockpiled underground at night,
with truck movements to the crusher limited to daylight hours.
short presentation was made to the company at this meeting about the
unplanned release of water on 17 September, when an incorrectly
graded slope related to construction of the tailings dam allowed
sediment-laden water to flow into Spring Creek. The data presented
related only to the timing and volume of water flow: flow before the
event was below 10 litres per second and peaked at 80 litres per
second; flow returned to less than 10 l/s on 20 September.
Representatives of NSW EPA visited the site on 17 September, water
samples were taken, and a diversion drain was constructed that day to
stop the flow of water into Spring Creek. Unfortunately no data was
presented at the CCC meeting or since regarding water quality and the
extent to which any effects may have extended downstream. I have been
pressing the chair of the CCC and the company for that information. I
was informed by the company on 21 November that a report on the
monitoring data has been drafted and will be uploaded to their
website once approved. I believe the company has met the regulatory
requirements for management of this unplanned release and subsequent
reporting, but that community expectations are not reflected in the
long time it is taking to report on water quality. I intend to pursue
this matter at the next CCC, and stress that monitoring data related
to unplanned water releases needs to be publicised fully and quickly
to all downstream stakeholders. Delays in releasing such information
can only perpetuate (or increase) negative opinions about the Dargues
of the environmental manager
The HSEC Manager (Health, Safety Environment & Community) has
recently resigned and his last day is 22 November. The position of
Senior Environmental Advisor
is still vacant.
Management Plan for the Operational Phase
operational phase of mining (open stope blasting, ore trucking, ore
processing to produce concentrate, and trucking concentrate off-site)
is planned to begin during the next 6 months. A Water Management Plan
is being drafted for the operational phase. I has been given an
assurance by NSW EPA that Coastwatchers will have the opportunity to
comment on the draft prior to it being finalised. Key issues for us
will relate to water quality monitoring, inclusion of parameters
relating to downstream water quality risks, and release of monitoring
presentation and project update
company held a public information forum in Majors Creek on the
evening of 18 November. Key points were:
of the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) is nearly complete and
placement of the High Density Polyethelyne (HDPE) liner is in
water bores have been installed into old mine workings (Snobs and
Stewart & Mertons), and one ‘Harvestable Rights Dam’ has
been built (these will allow the company to source water for mine
operations, and also to maintain water flow in Spring Creek).
underground mining operations began in September with over 2,000
metres of underground development completed. The first stope firing
will take place in the next 6 months.
of the processing plant is 80% complete; commissioning
is expected by the end of February, with transport of
concentrate to Port Kembla beginning in that month.
the next 6 months, more ‘Harvestable Rights Dams’ will be built
and tailings deposition into the TSF will begin.
slide presentation from the public information session is on the
Lake Brou is a beautiful coastal lake lying just 2.5 kms south-west of Potato Point near Bodalla on the NSW South Coast. It is part surrounded by Eurobodalla National Park to the north-east, east and south-east, and forms part of the Batemans Marine Park. The Coastal Lakes Inquiry undertaken by the NSW Healthy Rivers Commission in 2002 classified Lake Brou as a Significant Coastal Lake.
Unfortunately the forest on the lake’s
north-west edge is part of Bodalla State Forest (compartment 3004)
and at this stage is scheduled for logging late 2019.
is the Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Harvest Plan (current as of
variety of threatened species rely on these forests. As an example
the Swift Parrot uses NSW South Coast forests for winter-flowering
nectar trees on its annual migration from Tasmania. All State
Forests ( including the compartment under threat of logging) in
Eurobodalla Shire east of the Princes Highway form part of
to Merimbula Important Bird Area,
identified as such by BirdLife
of its importance for Swift
critical forests extend about 10 km inland from the coast and
include many other local forests currently being logged or planning
to be logged. The most important feed trees for these migratory birds
other flowering eucalypts.
Forests dominated by Ironbarks and
Bloodwoods which are likely to support the Parrots in years when the
Spotted Gums are not flowering are also vital.
Apart from threats to fauna and flora there is the increased risk of uncontrollable fire in the area due to large volumes of crown debris left drying out on the forest floor. Increasingly Forestry Corporation is experiencing difficulty finding time in the shortening annual windows for burning off all the “waste” on the forest floor that is being generated by all the logging operations. More and more logged forests are left to pose fire risks from arson or lightning strikes.
CoastWatchers urges all concerned
citizens to write to the local State member Andrew Constance, to
Forestry Corporation of NSW and to the Beagle, BayPost and Narooma
News demanding a moratorium on logging of all coastal State Forests
and in particular Bodalla State Forest adjoining Lake Brou…..too
precious to lose.
Batemans Bay High School Student Environment Council is busy preparing a Year 12 Wellbeing Native Garden. Beds have been prepared and Lilli Pillis planted. “Next step is planting natives in tubs and installing planter baskets on the wall” said teacher Kerryn Hopkins.
The garden will encourage local native birds to return to the school environment as well as providing an attractive gathering place for year 12 students. And the hands on work by the students improves their horticulture and ecological understanding.
Ms Hopkins thanked the Coastwatchers Environment Fund for sponsoring the project.
New connections were made and ‘light-bulb moments’ were plenty when nine high-school students spent the weekend of October 26th & 27th 2019 immersed in nature.
Held at Meringo Point Sanctuary, Eurobodalla Young Legends 2019 saw the students mentored by Angus Mitchell, Eva Davis-Boermans, Lily Berry and Pearl Mitchell – movers and shakers with environment-based careers who volunteered their time for the weekend. Developed by Eurobodalla Shire Council and sponsored by the Coastwatchers Environment Fund, the weekend program gets budding young environmentalists into the bush while they work through ideas and activities with their mentors.
Eurobodalla Council’s environmental education officer Bernadette Davis said Young Legends was about making a difference in the local community, and beyond.
“Our mentors aim to inspire young people, give them guidance, get them on board for upcoming projects, and help their efforts in making positive environmental change happen,” Ms Davis said.
“The students come away talking about the plans they have and the skills they’ve learnt to turn those plans into reality.”
The Young Legend students included Hayley Thelan, Hayden Loutitt, Karrisa Sydnham, Liarna Miller, Matt Goddard, Tess Poyner, Sarah Burnes, Damia O’Laughlin and Lily Ralston, and represented all of the shire’s high schools.
Over the weekend the Young Legends spent time spotlighting for greater gliders with Council’s natural resource officer Heidi Thomson, and became immersed in local ecosystems with botanist Lily Berry. Ms Davis said it was an opportunity to better understand the local environment and the importance of maintaining and protecting valuable natural assets.
“Other activities included a beach clean-up, learning how to use the Australian Marine Debris Initiatives database, and cyanotype sun printing with native plants,” Ms Davis said.
“We also had some fun, creating a video snapshot of the weekend. Keep an eye out for that on Council’s Facebook page in the near future.”
A biannual event, this is the second time the Young Legends event has run. To learn more about the program, contact Bernadette Davis on 4474 1037 or email@example.com
The Commission invites comment on the draft monitoring program for the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA) from all interested parties. The NSW Forest Monitoring and Improvement Steering Committee is independently chaired by the Natural Resources Commission.
The Coastwatchers Association Incorporated submission to the NRC on the draft monitoring program for the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval appears below in pdf form.
Coastwatchers is a proud member of Climate Action Gilmore
Events this week
Accelerate Film 9 May, Kinema Narooma. The 3rd and final screening of the 350 Australia Accelerate will be held on Thursday 9 May at 6pm. This screening will be the full length 55 minute version followed by guest speakers and a Q&A. $15 and $10 concession
Letter boxing the scorecard. To help please contact Allan on 0417 400 892.
Climate Action Gilmore stall at Farmers Market Tuesday 3pm
Climate Action Gilmore stall at Moruya Markets Saturday morning.
Hands Across the Sand Saturday 11 May, 11am South Broulee Beach contact Chantell
Candidates Forum, Bateman’ Bay Soldiers Club, Tuesday 14 May 7.30-pm – 9pm. Flyer attached.
Climate Conundrum with Will Steffen as main speaker. 6.30pm, Thursday 16 May St Peter’s College Broulee.
Polling day Saturday 18 May. We need people to put up two flute board signs at polling booth at South Durrus, Nelligen and Malua Bay. Contact Kathryn Maxwell firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0467 558 645 if you can help.
Follow this link to Climate Action Gilmore’s video clip featuring the song ‘Now or Never’ written and performed by talented Y12 student Sam Fletcher. Share it with your friends and help us to spread it far and wide. It was filmed by local photographer Gillianne Tedder with 50+ local people who came to Russ Martin Park last Monday and has already been viewed over 1,600 times on 350 Eurobodalla Facebook page..
The second of 350Eurobodalla’s screenings of the film Accelerate was held at the Bateman’s Bay Soldiers Club Auditorium on Thursday 2 May. ( The evening also was the premiere of our new climate action video ‘Now or Never’ written and performed by talented Y12 student Sam Fletcher and filmed by local photographer Gillianne Tedder who provided a selection of photos for this post too.)
Excellent stall at the Narooma Oyster Festival. People appreciate the white board display of the Labor, Greens and Liberal/National climate policies.
Commenced letter boxing the scorecard in Moruya, Broulee, South Durras.
Climate Action Gilmore is a coalition of Eurobodalla 350, SHASA (Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance), Nature Coast Marine Group and The Coastwatchers Association Inc.
The Greens – Carmel McCallum
The Greens have a target of 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and zero carbon emissions for Australia by 2040. The Greens want to end fossil fuel subsidies and ban all new coal mining and coal seam gas fracking. They will end broad scale land clearing and end logging of native forests. The Greens support vehicle emissions standards and electric charging stations. These initiatives will create 180,000 jobs.
Labor – Fiona Phillips
Labor has a target of 50% renewable electricity with a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030. Labor’s aim is zero emissions by 2050. Labor will put $10 billion into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and $5 billion into upgrading infrastructure for renewable electricity. $2 billion for batteries for home solar. $100 million for solar for low income people. Aim for 50% new vehicles to be electric by 2030 and $200 million for charging stations. A “Renewable Energy Zone” across South Australia’s Spencer Gulf region to create up to 1,300 clean energy jobs. $1 billion for solar panels across schools. These initiatives will create 75,000 jobs.
Liberal Party – Warren Mundine
The Liberals have an emissions reduction target of 26-28% by 2030, but they are using old Kyoto credits to achieve this. they key policy, the $2 billion Climate Solutions Fund has been cut from $200 million per year to $133 million per year. They plan to build Snowy 2.0 to provide pumped hydro storage. Liberals aim to have 25-50% of new vehicles to be electric by 2030, but they have run a scare campaign against Labor’s 50% target.
The Nationals – Katrina Hodgkinson
Katrina said she supports Coalition climate policies, but Nationals have no emissions reduction or renewable energy targets in their policy statements.
Independent – Grant Schultz
Grant said he will work in a bipartisan way to reach consensus on climate action.
United Australia Party – Milton Leslight
UAP has no targets for emissions reductions and is pro coal mining.
Authorised by Kathryn Maxwell, Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance, 3 Jeffery Place Moruya.
Doubts have been cast over the independence of a NSW marine park advisory body after a senior Liberal minister appeared to indicate to a meeting of recreational fishers he had influence over the make-up of the committeee.
at the top of the Corn Trail in Monga National Park near Braidwood,
NSW. Voting open through 2019. Voting will help the campaign to
protect quoll habitat being logged next to the Corn Trail near
Braidwood just an hour from Canberra.
October 2018 the photo won the British Natural History Museum,
Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Highly Commended Award in the
Animals in their Environment category.
federal election candidates forum Where: Club
Sapphire, 119 Main Street, Merimbula, 2548 When: Friday
22 February from 6-7.30pm Light
snacks provided and drinks available for purchase at the bar
Embassy Media Release
12 February 2019 with statements from the speakers at the National
Forest Uprising rally on 13 February outside Parliament House Prof
Don White, Chair of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW,
Robertson, National Forest Campaigner for the Wilderness Society and
Senator Janet Rice.
Bush – (22 mins
video) Take a behind the scenes look at Australia’s forests, the
people who work in them and the industry they support.
Dear Corn Trail supporters
There has been steady
media following publicity of the logging next to the Corn Trail.
Online links plus events and online actions to support the forests
events coming up this and next week.
film clips released by David Gallan
media links and attachments including a Greater Glider and Economics
Fact sheet by Dr Hugh Tyndale-Biscoe AM
for David Gallan’s spotted tailed quoll photo taken in Monga
National Park at the top of the Corn Trail.
the online petition to Stop Native Forest Logging by 2020.
Please let your friends
and family know about the National Forest Uprising Rally in Canberra
this week on a sitting week at noon. Speakers include Peter
Robertson, National Campaign Manager and veteran forest campaigner
from the Wilderness Society, Prof. Don White Chairperson Nature
Conservation Council NSW and Janet Rice Greens Senator. Friends of
the Forest (Mogo) and Braidwood people are attending with a Don’t Log
the Corn Trail presence. Organised by the Forest
Embassy based at Central Tilba.
VOTE FOR DAVID GALLAN’S SPOTTED TAILED QUOLL PHOTOGRAPH taken at the top of the Corn Trail in Monga National Park near Braidwood, NSW. Voting open through 2019. Voting will help the campaign to protect quoll habitat being logged next to the Corn Trail near Braidwood just an hour from Canberra. In October 2018 the photo won the British Natural History Museum, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Highly Commended Award in the Animals in their Environment category.
operators/owners of the Dargues Gold Mine, Diversified Minerals Pty
Ltd, will be holding a community information session to provide:
update on the current status of the project,
activities over the next 12 months.
project update will cover
members of the construction and management team.
be taken during the session, however discussions will be welcome
after the formal talk. The meeting will break for tea/coffee and
participants are encouraged to approach company members of the
construction and management team with questions.
Dargues Reef Community Consultative Committee
was discovered at Majors Creek in 1870. Mining commenced in 1871 and
lasted until 1890. It recommenced during the First World War from
1914 until 1916.
the Dargues Gold Mine at Majors Creek was again proposed in 2009.
Approval was granted in 2012, after an unsuccessful appeal to the
Land and Environment Court by Coastwatchers and others. Initial site
works were completed in late 2013, and the mine was then placed into
‘care and maintenance’, while further development approvals were
sought by Unity Mining Limited, including the on site processing of
the gold using cyanide.
a major campaign by local environmental groups (including
Coastwatchers) and the public, the miner removed the application for
the use of cyanide. Approval to mine was granted in 2016 by the NSW
Planning Assessment Commission. Unity Mining was then acquired by
Diversified Minerals Pty Ltd, a private company based in Orange NSW.
of surface infrastructure commenced in early 2017 and continues to
this day. Work on the mine proper commenced in May 2018, and will be
ongoing for some time. A cylindrical road will progress downwards to
a great depth, and all ore will be trucked to the top along this
ore will be semi processed in a processing plant, with construction
of this plant commencing in January 2019. The ore was to be then
finally processed into ingots at Parkes, but that was not approved.
The gold concentrate will now be shipped in containers to Port Kembla
and taken off shore for processing. This is years away and apparently
China has withdrawn agreement. The option of final processing at the
company’s Henty mine in Tasmania, may still be considered.
The Dargues Reef Community Consultative Committee was formed in 2011. It meets quarterly at Majors Creek and comprises an independent Chair, the miners, local government and members of the community. The CCC works well principally because the Chair is truly independent and highly professional. The Minister for Planning makes all committee appointments and the Chair is the only one remunerated.
miner is in the process of submitting a new amendment to the existing
approval (Modification 4). It is in 3 parts, two of which are
administrative, and one which theoretically impacts on ground work.
The first matter is that the miner has acquired an adjoining farm and that addition has to be added to their overall holdings specified in the existing DA. It may have been acquired to reduce noise complaints.
Secondly, the company structure of the Miner altered when Diversified Minerals Pty Ltd (unlisted) purchased Unity Mining Limited (was ASX listed- not now). A new company has been added to the mix called Dargues Gold Mine Pty Ltd, which is the operator of the project. This may present another legal impediment in the event of noise or other problems, particularly a massive spill into the Deua National Park and the Deua River.
The third issue involves the relocation of the proposed new vehicular crossing over Spring Creek, to remain at the existing creek cross over point. Spring Creek is the initial tributary of the Deua River. This appears to be preferable in all regards, especially environmental degradation, and may have been over-looked when Modification 3 was considered.
It is proposed that this new Modification 4 will be lodged with NSW Planning by 30 November 2018 and placed on public exhibition from 3 December for 2 weeks to 17 December 2018. The CCC next meets on 18 December. There has been strong objection to this timing, expressed with the opinion that it should be exhibited until the end of January 2019. It is not the substance of the modification proposed, but an abuse of the public scrutiny process, which includes the CCC.
26 November 2018
Our thanks to Richard Roberts, a Coastwatchers member and former Secretary, who is currently a member of the Dargues Reef Mine Community Consultative Committee.
Meeting – Rural Lands Strategy 18 November 2018
public meeting will be held on Sunday 18th
November at 2pm at Captain Oldrey Park, Broulee to raise awareness
and engage with the community about the effects of the proposed Rural
Lands Strategy (RLS). This meeting follows on from that held at
Mossy point and the recent meeting at Mogo which was facilitated by
the shadow Minister for Primary Industries Mick Veitch and the ALP
candidate for Bega Leanne Atkinson. The Eurobodalla Shire is pushing
on with its contentious RLS with Mayor Liz Innes repeatedly assuring
residents that “it’s a done deal” and no further action from the
Public will make any difference. In fact the changes require sign
off by the NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts and with a state
election coming up in March there is plenty that can be done.
concerned about the nature of development in our shire are welcome to
come along to this public meeting. Speakers, community group stalls
and maps on display will help the public identify the areas concerned
and what’s being proposed.
a nut shell – the proposal will open up land to development across
the whole shire and will impact adversely on coastal land, wetlands
of national significance like Waldron’s Swamp and areas known to
contain threatened species like the Yellow Bellied Glider. The
RLS proposes to change the zoning, watering down environmental
constraints important for protecting these wetlands and other areas
of high conservation value. It
will open up land for development which may significantly change the
character of many areas of our shire. Many businesses that rely on
the natural part of the Nature Coast could be adversely affected.
of the areas that will become open to development are sites that back
onto our waterways. This will affect water quality, fish stocks,
oyster beds, and adversely impact our estuaries and beaches.
growers are also very concerned about the impact of the proposed
changes, noting that the pristine waterways of the Shire are of
utmost importance to their businesses, and that increased development
along creeks, rivers and lakes will endanger this multi million
dollar Eurobodalla industry.
The cumulative impact of
this RLS together with other proposed developments will adversely
affect the nature of the Nature Coast.
meeting is on Sunday 18th
November at 2pm at Captain Oldrey Park, Broulee
Media Contact: Kathryn Maxwell, Chair Southcoast Health and
UPDATE ON THE RURAL LANDS STRATEGY/PLANNING PROPOSAL OCTOBER 2018
Most of you will be aware that Eurobodalla Shire Council adopted the Rural Lands Planning Proposal on 28 August 2018 as exhibited with only very minor changes.
Our monitoring suggests some 1100 submissions were received by Council by 28 August 2018. Of these, around 1000 objected strongly to the Planning Proposal and called for its withdrawal for an expert community review including by the NSW State Agencies which Continue reading →
Most of you will be aware that Eurobodalla Shire Council adopted the Rural Lands Planning Proposal on 28 August 2018 as exhibited with only very minor changes.
Our monitoring suggests some 1100 submissions were received by Council by 28 August 2018. Of these, around 1000 objected strongly to the Planning Proposal and called for its withdrawal for an expert community review including by the NSW State Agencies which have raised significant concerns. Some 14 community and conservation organisations registered their concerns and objections as well as five State Agencies. There are less than 50 submissions supporting the Proposal.
Whilst Council refused to withdraw or
fundamentally amend the Proposal, the issue is not settled as the
Mayor would have the community believe. The Proposal now goes to the
Department of Planning for review prior to a decision by the Minister
of Planning. The Alliance has met with the Regional Office of the
Department which will carry out the review. We followed this up with
a letter to the Department about our many concerns.
We are continuing the campaign against
the Proposal and the next step is to get many letters signed and sent
to Andrew Constance, MP for Bega. The Nature Coast Alliance is
meeting with Mr Constance on 19 October. We ask community groups to
network to their members and to write on behalf of your group as
appropriate. This could make an important difference . So far over
500 letters have been signed.
Can you help with any of the
* Letterboxing Broulee, Tomakin and Mossy
Point for a public meeting 18 November 2018. * Regularly sending
letters to local media editors, based on suggestions from the
Alliance. * Making contact with nature based businesses including
nature based tourism, accommodation or recreation, the oyster
industry or recreational fishing to encourage them to lobby the NSW
“The Office of Environment and Heritage has reviewed your latest planning proposal resulting from the Rural Lands Study. Given that none of the changes that we suggested in our 2016 submission on this planning proposal have been adopted, we still retain a number of objections to the proposal.”
This presentation to Eurobodalla Shire Council was made by Reina Hill (Vice President of Coastwatchers) on Tuesday August 14th 2018 in support of Councillor Mayne’s motion that council defer voting on the Draft Rural Lands Strategy, and that Councillors and Council staff meet with the relevant NSW Government Departments that are objecting to the Strategy, to try and satisfy their objections.
The NSW government has recently announced its intention to drastically weaken the logging rules (Integrated Forestry Operations Approval—IFOA) to remove numerous protections for NSW’s threatened species, koalas, old growth & rainforest and waterways.
Are you interested in seeing plastic waste reduced?
Moruya Business Chamber are looking for volunteers to help launch a major initiative in Moruya to try and end the use of plastic bags in shops. Volunteer Advertisement (148KB .pdf)
The “BYO Bag” project has a real chance of making an impact because it is being driven by the Moruya business community, keen to use the opportunity of Woolworths ending single us plastic bag issue on 20 June. The Moruya Business Chamber is co-ordinating the project.
They need volunteers to help in an education effort to help shoppers make the transition to BYO Bag.
You will join other like-minded people staffing a stall at Woolworths in Moruya.
With at least one other person on the information stall you will:
Talk to consumers about the BYO Bag Moruya campaign;
Help consumers with suggestions on how to best “BYO Bag”
Give away free multi use bags and information brochures.
Dates & Times: The stall will run for two weeks, from Monday 25 June to Saturday 7 July. Shifts will be 2 hours between 9am to 5pm.
If you are able to assist then please come to a meeting to discuss the campaign & stalls, to be held at Moruya Books in Church St Friday 15 June at 2.30pm.
If unable to attend phone Janice Sagar 4474 2242 for information.
– my submission to the Rural Lands Strategy Planning Proposal –
I am dismayed that Eurobodalla Shire Council is seeking to remove very important environmental protections from our rural landscape, our beautiful Nature Coast, through its Rural Land Strategy Planning Proposal.
In 2012 Council released a draft plan which was a visionary blueprint for the Shire’s future and included a number of conservation measures to protect our forests, rivers, wetlands and water catchments.
E3 Environmental Management This zone is for land where there are special ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic attributes or environmental hazards/processes that require careful consideration/management and for uses compatible with these values.
Council has now responded to a small minority of residents and business people who are mainly large land holders and or property developers by removing the proposed protection of E3 zoning over a large area of rural land, some 38,000 ha. In recognition of established usage, Council’s proposed E3 zoning allowed for grazing and some other rural activities and essentially replaced earlier, similar protective zonings under the 1987 LEP. The current Proposal also removes the minimum lot size of 1000ha and allows significant subdivision.
Council now intends to zone all this land as RU1 Primary Production or RU4 Primary Production Small Lots but with an Open Land Use Table – in other words anything goes. Large landholders and property developers stand to benefit while the broad community faces the inevitable clearing of forested rural land and the steady degradation of Eurobodalla from the Nature Coast to the Naked Coast.
Council’s Proposal also allows grazing without restriction in all E2 Environmental Conservation areas, some 4500 ha, including habitat for endangered species and sensitive wetlands. Wetlands are vital to the clean water of the Shire for drinking, farming, oysters and fisheries as well as the survival of many water birds and countless other species that depend on the unpolluted and undisturbed wetlands. Cattle, horses, sheep, goats and pigs etc. must not be allowed to destroy our wetlands and clean water
I am dismayed that Council has dismissed significant objections to the Proposal by State agencies including the Rural Fire Service, the South East Local Land Services, the Department of Heritage and Environment, Department of Primary Industries – Water & Fisheries. Many of Council’s changes are inconsistent with both advice from the agencies and Directions from the Minister for Planning. Council has also failed to consider the impact of forest clearing on climate change and the much weaker protection against land clearing under the new State laws that last year replaced the Native Vegetation Act.
I want Council to withdraw this Proposal and review it together with expert State agencies and a genuine community advisory panel that is truly representative of the broad community, including several people with wide nature conservation experience.