Blueberry Engagement Project 18/19

Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare is again engaging with blueberry farmers to help improve their farming practices. This year the project title is ‘Soil erosion mitigation & riparian works for horticulture (blueberry) farms in the Hearnes Lake Catchment’. The project is targeting soil loss on horticulture farms in the Hearnes Lake catchment. This is in response to recent research by Southern Cross University that has shown that there are significant inputs of sediment and dissolved nitrates entering the lake as a result of the establishment and operation of intensive horticulture in the Houps Gully and Double Crossing Creek sub catchments at Sandy Beach.

CHRL have received $60K in funding from NCLLS to carry out this project. The funding source is Catchment Action NSW. Seven blueberry farms in the Sandy Beach area have been engaged in this project with funded on ground works including erosion gully remediation, creek bank protection and on farm road and drainage improvement. Weed control to protect remnant vegetation and allow revegetation has also taken place on three farms. Revegetation of riparian areas and erosion remediation sites is also a component of this project.

A field day was held in April 2019 at one of the participating farmer’s property. Guest speakers presented on the topic ‘Soil loss – causes, impact and prevention’ as well as nutrient management and waste removal. The Oz Group Co op provided two of the speakers.  A tour of the on ground works completed on the farm were also part of the program.

10 year celebration – Green Bluff

Please join us on Sunday, 24th March for a guided tour to celebrate 10 years of restoration work at Green Bluff, followed by a delicious morning tea. Please RSVP for catering purposes.

Place:  Moonee Beach Picnic area
Date:   24th March 2019
Time:  9 to 11 am
Contact:  Lindy on 6654 5313 or 0448 651 239
email: davish.art@bigpond.com

Weeds and Natives Look-alikes

This is a short presentation with clear and simple descriptions of a number of plants (native and weed) occurring in the Coffs Harbour region, which can be easily mistaken for eachother. John Ross, nurseryman, native plant expert and livelong member of CHRL provided the text and most of the photos.Click here or go to our youtube channel.

Growing Our Future 2018/19

Coffs Harbour City Council approved our application to support a part-time coordinator of our Community Nursery for the second time this year. The first year of a funded Nursery Coordinator (Growing Our Future E.L. project 17/18) was very successful for our Community Nursery.

Our nursery is open on Mondays and Thursday mornings, 9 to 12 and  Anastasia Guise has been appointed to the position.
The volunteers and the nursery benefited greatly from the knowledge and experience of the Coordinator in the first year. Propagation processes were streamlined and propagation rates increased to almost 10,000 plants during the year.
With a dedicated Nursery Coordinator, good quality, correctly identified native plants will be distributed to projects restoring local ecological communities. These plants will improve the resilience and integrity of those communities and ensure our natural environment is sustained for the future.

Compost Benefits for Soils on the Mid-North Coast

The Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) are pleased to present Compost Benefits for Soils on the Mid-North Coast on Friday October 12th at the Coffs Harbour National Marine Science Centre. The forum brings together key players, and spot-lights best practice in both the production and application of compost on the Mid-North Coast region of NSW.
? Productivity and Sustainability Benefits – Hear from soil experts on successful strategies for applying compost and mulch. Visit farms to see the numerous benefits of compost, mulch and other recycled organic products.
? Circular Economy – Meet our Processing Members, learn about their products, visit a facility. Hear how organic waste streams are processed to make standardised quality products in high demand and meeting specific needs in agriculture.
? Innovation – We’ll explore the challenges faced by local growers such as safe and efficient compost application on sloping blocks and the role our products can play in managing erosion control and sediment run-off.
AORA are keen to attract primary producers to this event and have a limited number of pre-paid tickets available to primary producers through sponsorship by the NSW EPA/NSW DPI. To register interest in one of these tickets please  contact Uma Preston of AORA via the following email: sasecretary@aora.org.au Please include your business name, agricultural  sector and phone number.

Click Program Compost Benefits for Soils 12th October 2018 for the full program.

CHRL Executive Communique New Constitution adopted

An extra General Meeting was held on 4 July 2018 to seek members approval to pass a new constitution under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009.

10 members attended the meeting which was held in the Offices of CHRL.

The new constitution was unanimously passed by special resolution and will now be lodged with the Office of Fair Trading (NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation) for registration.

Background

The Constitution was last reviewed and updated in 2012 in response to revisions made to the Associations Incorporation Act 2009.

Since that time a new Regulation (Associations Incorporation Regulation 2016) has been introduced. The 2016 Regulation prescribes a new model constitution with this taking precedent over any matters an Associations constitution may be silent on.

The Executive Committee agreed at the end of 2017 that a review of the constitution was required in light of the new model constitution and regulation, and also to resolve any areas of ambiguity.

Approach

A subcommittee of the Executive comprising the President, Vice President Treasurer, and Secretary were formed in 2017 to work on reviewing the constitution and reporting back to the executive.

A review of the 2012 CHRL constitution against the new model constitution showed a number of significant gaps. While the 2012 CHRL constitution covered many of the same requirements, there were parts of the constitution where it no longer aligned with the requirements of the Act or the new Regulation.

As a result of the initial review, the Subcommittee used the model constitution as the foundation of the redraft, and then customised it to capture the objectives and operations of Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare.

Key points

The revised constitution is now compliant with the Act and Regulations. While the new Constitution is fundamentally the same as the 2012 Constitution, it is clearer and provides a number of new elements that will help the Association. key changes include:

  • Allowing the association to use modern technology (ie: reference to paying bills by cheque is removed; and emails; on-line registers; tele/video conferencing are permitted)
  • Aligning the nomination process at AGMs with the model constitution and removing previous ambiguity
  • Formalising the operation of sub-committees in accordance with model constitution
  • Reducing the Executive from 8 to 7 members, while noting that members can be co-opted to help the Executive through sub-committees.
  • Affiliated groups (formally group members) now do not have to supply a list of their members when they apply but do need to show that the purpose of their incorporated entity is aligned with CHRL.
  • Affiliated Groups (being an incorporated entity) are clarified to have one vote, removing the conflicting clauses in the previous constitution.
  • Addition of new Part that formalises the nomination and approval of sites as CHRL Landcare sites – this formalises the current practice and ensures that the Association has visibility over sites where members carry out Landcare activities. This is necessary to improve governance.
  • Dispute resolution clause—revised so that it now applies to staff as well as members, and references the CHRL Grievance Policy
  • General meeting quorum—now requires any 7 members, not 7 members from 7 separate sites. This is because there are members now who are not affiliated with a site, or who work across several sites, and also reflects ongoing changes to types of activities Landcare conducts (ie: blitzes, short-term projects) rather than being associated with only one location.

CHRL Executive Communique March 2018

The meeting of the 14th March 2018 was attended by six members of the Executive and chaired by the President, Barry Powells.

New members

This month the Executive approved seventeen (17) applications for membership of Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare. Most of these new members will be joining Sandy Beach Dunecare, or the newly formed Fuller Street Dunecare.

Presidents report

The President reported on a number of interesting events he had attended in the last month on behalf of CHRL. Of note was a very well attended forum at the Marine Science Centre featuring PhD candidate Shane White which provided a forum to hear about and discuss the impact of intensive plant agriculture on water quality, which he said had been extremely informative. The President also informed the Executive that he would be meeting with the newly formed NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust.

Blueberry engagement project

CHRL Landcare Coordinator reported on progress on the Blueberry Engagement Project, and the 4th Annual Blueberry Field Day ‘Getting the best out of your soil” to be held on Thursday 15th March 2016.

Policies

The Executive approved a new Risk Management Policy for CHRL and will be looking at implementation of the policy over the coming months.

Site and project news

The Executive were advised that:

  • A site plan for the Corindi Beach Landcare site has been finalised
  • Crown Lands has granted a short-term licence to cover work at the ‘The Jungle’ at Coramba
  • Work has started on the Jaliigirr Terrestrial Ecosystems project
  • funding applications have been submitted through the Environmental Trust for revegetation of old banana lands, targeting six sites over three years.

Environmental levy policy

The Executive discussed Coffs Harbour City Council’s new Environmental Levy Policy currently out for public comment, and the potential impact on Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare’s funding. The Executive resolved to meet with representatives from Council to discuss the policy and understand better any impacts on funding.

Sustaining Landcare

The Executive reviewed an update from Landcare NSW regarding future funding for Landcare support (i.e. local coordinators and state-wide services). Landcare NSW is seeking to ensure that the 2018 NSW State Budget provides adequate funding to maintain the current level of support. The Executive resolved to discuss this matter with the local member.

Finance

The Executive reviewed the February finance report, and the Quarterly Budget review confirming that the organisations current commitments can be met.

Barry Powells
President and Chair
Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare Incorporated

Targeted Landcare 2017/18

The Targeted Landcare Grants 2017/18 is in its final year, supported by North Coast Local Land Services (NCLLS) through funding from the National Landcare Programme. The program enables the Landcare Networks to provide some incentive funds for restoration works  on private or public lands. Projects selected for Targeted Landcare funding need to increase the extent of natural habitat – this can be done through planting, weed control or the promotion of natural regeneration by fencing off areas of remnant bush. There is an obligation for the land owner to match the project funds in cash or in kind and ensure that works are maintained for 5 years, eg control weeds around revegetation.

This year, there are six projects in the Coffs Harbour region, five on private land and one on Crown Land:
–  At what is known as “The Jungle” a remnant rainforest on the Orara River at Coramba,  weed control will be undertaken  to promote natural regeneration.
–  At Mt Browne Road, weed control for forest regeneration continues from last year.
–  At Bonville, weed work on the bank of Bonville Creek is consolidated after three years of work and tree planting.
–  Also at Bonville and upstream along the same creek 120 trees will be planted.
–  On Bruxner Park Road and at Korora Basin, old banana plantations are revegetated with native trees for biodiversity values and Koala habitat.