The Targeted Landcare Grants 2016/17 is supported by North Coast Local Land Services (NCLLS) through funding from the National Landcare Programme. The objective of Targeted Landcare is to enable the Landcare Networks to provide some incentive funds for restoration works on both private or public lands. Projects selected for Targeted Landcare funding are required 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. Projects that increase the habitat of EPBC Act listed Threatened Ecological Communities (EEC) or protect threatened species are preferred by NCLLS. There is an obligation by the land owner to match the project funds and ensure that works are maintained for 5 years eg control weeds around revegetation. Project funds can be matched by the land holder through in-kind contributions of their work time such as hours spent planting or carrying out weed control.
There are currently 7 projects being funded in 2016/2017 in the Coffs Harbour area – 3 are on private land and 4 are on local Landcare sites:
Arrawarra – revegetation of coastal strip impacted on by east coast lows to protect Headland Brush Box Littoral Rainforest an (EEC).
Tree Fern Creek – weed control and revegetation along one of the significant creeks in Coffs Harbour.
Macauleys Headland – lantana control in a small gully to protect remnant littoral rainforest (EEC).
Sawtell – weed control and planting to protect remnant littoral rainforest (EEC).
Bonville property – camphor and other weed control and planting along Bonville Creek.
Mt Browne property – vegetation management plant and initial weed control.
Upper Coffs Creek property – fencing of creek to exclude stock, removal of camphors and revegetation.
This program is supported by:
Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare has been working with local blueberry farmers on small projects since 2010. This year, there are three different funding sources contributing to the program. These are as follows:
- Ecological Sustainable Development- Blueberry Engagement Project
Value $ 30,000
Supported by North Coast Local Land Services, through funding from the National Landcare Program.
- Incentives and training for environmental sustainability in horticulture
Funded by Coffs Harbour City Council Environmental Levy
- Local Blueberry Industry Market Segmentation Research to improve the targeting of Behaviour Change tools for Best Practice
Value $ 48,000
Funded by National Landcare Program – Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants
With the first two projects Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare is working together with Soil Conservation Consultant Simon Proust and local blueberry growers to develop and implement soil and water management plans for local blueberry farms as well as projects for the recycling of greenhouse irrigation water.
The third project, which is a research project, is led by Geoff Kane. Through interviews with key industry people and growers, he will group grower’s needs and requirements for training in such a way that future extension programs will:
- better reach their targets and
- address those issues that growers are concerned about in such a way that growers find it easier to participate.
This project is a partnership with the NSW Department of Primary Industry.
Project supporters and funding bodies:
Project Period: January 2016 – May 2016
Funding body: North Coast Local Land Services
Our Local Aboriginal Land Council owns a number of bushland properties and the ‘Repair to Country’ team is the only mechanism by which they can manage those lands. Most of these lands have not been looked after for a very long time and the Land Council doesn’t have the funding or expertise to develop management plans or implement identified management actions.
We supported the development of management plans through a project with the Northern Rivers CMA and then gained funding from North Coast LLS to implement the management actions within the budget of the program. The team identified two properties owned by the Land Council at Mylestom in the Bellingen Shire as their preferred sites under this Program and a workplan was developed for these as well as a public reserve at Mylestom where the newly formed Landcare Group required some professional support.
The team carried out bush regeneration over 15 ha of coastal bushland including three Endangered Ecological Communities (Littoral Rainforest, Lowland Subtropical Rainforest and Swamp Sclerophyll Forest). They used canoes to access Tuckers Island in the Bellinger River with their tools and equipment and they established excellent relationships with the local landcarers.
The team now has boundary markers in place for the first time which show the four corners of their land which is adjacent to Bongil Bongil National Park at Mylestom. A training exercise in fox and dog control with NPWS pest manager Brad Nesbitt also encouraged them to closely engage with their land.
An interpretive sign about local aboriginal history was developed in consultation with local aboriginal people and the sign was installed at the public reserve at Mylestom. Local stories were told during a gathering at the reserve.
The greatest achievement in this project was the cross-fertilisation between local government areas, black and white communities, land tenures and Landcare networks.
This is just the beginning of hands-on ‘Engagement with Country’ for many local aboriginal people and the team of young bush regenerators is a small group. Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare is well placed to continue that engagement in the future as we have built good relationships over the past years.
- 1 cultural event, 25 attendants
- 15 ha bush regeneration
- 3 EEC’s
- 1 media release
- 120 trees planted
- 4 aboriginal people emplo
Coffs Harbour District Local Land Council
The Jalligirr Biodiversity Alliance was formed in early 2012 and later in May, became formally a part of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative. Covering an area of 337,000 hectares with an altitudinal range of 1564 metres from the seaboard of Coffs Coast to the Dorrigo Plateau, the area is located in a tropical, subtropical, temperate convergence zone that encompasses 100 regional vegetation communities and so exhibits a unique diversity and complexity. This includes 102 threatened fauna species, 50 threatened flora species, 13 endangered ecological communities, and the World Heritage Gondwanna Rainforests of Australia. These ecological communities provide water supply, clean air, crop pollination, nutrient recycling, food, medicines, building materials and the regeneration of primary production soils, contributing billions of dollars to our local economy annually.
Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare is a partner in the Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance, helping to support the voluntary contributions in order to create local and regional corridors in World Heritage areas, National Park Reserves and State Forests. These numerouscontributions reinforce ecosystem resilience for habitat and migratory routes for adapting species, improve and protect the biodiversity within these ecological communities and safeguard the vital benefits they provide to all life.
Partners of the Alliance include many local community and Aboriginal groups, individuals, government and non-government agencies, a public authority, and business and education institutions that have an active interest in the health of the environment.
The Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (GERI) is a strategic response to mitigate the potential impacts of climate change, invasive species, land clearing and other environmental changes on our richest biodiversity and the mountains that supply most of our population with clean water.
The Great Eastern Ranges initiative is based on connectivity conservation, an approach that recognises the need for ecological processes to operate over much greater scales than previously appreciated. By assessing these processes over multiple scales and harnessing the effort of many landholders and organisations to respond strategically, we create the best conditions to preserve, restore and build resilience in our environment.
The Alliance exists predominantly within the Gumbaynggirr Aboriginal Nation and recognises and appreciates the involvement and attachment of Aboriginal communities to landscape, as the Aboriginal People continue practices in natural resource management consistent with their cultural beliefs and custom.
The Alliance values Aboriginal cultural attachment to our landscapes and has embraced the Gumbaynggirr word for tree “Jaliigirr” to best describe our partnership.
By creating this Alliance, all our partners and their communities have the opportunity to work together at a landscape scale. This can better manage threats to our biodiversity; build and grow our abilities; conserve the health of our diverse communities; our businesses; and strengthen our communications. The Jaliigirr work will also contribute to the bigger national picture – the Great Eastern Ranges conservation corridor.
Recently the Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance won the 2016 Regional Sustainability Award at the NSW Green Globe Awards. The NSW Government’s Green Globe Awards celebrate excellence, success and innovation in environment and sustainability. This award recognises the Alliance’s leadership action to protect and restore our natural landscapes, the connections made with partners and the community and the consequent achievements in improving local biodiversity.
This project is funded by the NSW Environmental Trust, 2013-2016
Protecting the Endangered Ecological Communities of Coffs Creek Project will remove weed threats such as Camphor Laurel and Mile-a-Minute from a 2.3 hectare site adjacent to Coffs Creek. Removal of 27 large dead Camphor Laurel trees will greatly enhance the visual appeal and safety of the area, enabling the dedicated volunteers who work along Coffs Creek to maintain the site into the future. The local Steiner School will help volunteers plant 350 natives to enhance the natural regeneration that will occur with weed removal, and to expand the Coffs Creek wildlife corridor used by Koalas, Squirrel Gliders and other species.
This project was funded through the Community Landcare Grant 2013
The Coffs Harbour LGA and surrounds contain a mix of working farms, hobby/market farms, urban backyard farmers, and volunteers helping to manage natural resources on public lands. This project offered a series of workshops building skill sets that apply to both large and small scale land managers. The workshop series increased the number of people adopting sustainable and innovative ways to manage food production, agriculture and natural resource management across all types and scales of land tenure
This was a Northern Rivers CMA partnership project 2013/14
The project formed a partnership between CHRL and the Coffs Harbour Aboriginal Land Council to develop NRM action plans for 93ha of Coffs Harbour Local Aboriginal Land Council Land, commission wildlife surveys and provided leadership and support to the Darrunda Wajaarr team to:
a) develop vegetation survey, habitat assessment and mapping skills,
b) create NRM action plans, and
c) undertake baseline assessments for monitoring and evaluation.
This project was supported by the Community Landcare Grant 2013.
Erosion is a widespread agricultural problem in the Coffs Harbour local government area, due to a combination of steep slopes, highly erodable soils and high seasonal rainfall. This project demonstrated an array of Best Practice Management strategies for improving soil condition and reducing wind and water erosion on blueberry and banana farms in the Coffs Harbour local government area. Different methods appropriate to a variety of common erosion issues were demonstrated at the farms of key-influencers in the local banana and blueberry industries. After completion of the works, a field day was held, touring the farms and methods employed to increase awareness and encourage uptake of these Best Practice Management strategies.
The project aimed to protect these two endangered species (Floyds Grass and Grass-dart Butterfly) on private land through a number of methods. Firstly in the form of on-ground works to control broad-leaf paspalum and lantana, secondly through fencing to prevent livestock grazing, and finally through landholder engagement and community education.
This project involved a combination of chemical control (spraying) and hand weeding of two primary target weeds – broad leaf paspalum and lantana – along the banks of 5 properties which adjoin Pine Creek, Bonville.
This Vision for the Coffs Creek Catchment is the result of an aboriginal community planning workshop, which was part of a Community Action Grant in 2011/12, funded by the Australian Government.
Our vision for the catchment and the waterways within it and their management is:
– For a healthy and productive ecosystem where plants and animals provide an abundance of food, medicine and fibre to the whole community.
– That our community re-develop and strengthen our cultural connections and Gumbaynggirr tradition and knowledge about this part of our world.
– That this creek system provides economic opportunities for our people.
– That this area continues to nurture our spirits and provide enjoyment and serenity.
– That the impacts of agriculture and urbanisation are minimised and the creek system is buffered from those impacts.
– That the aboriginal community is supported in their contribution to and participation in the management of the area in partnership with other management agencies.
Buluunggal – sea mullet
“I tell you, here, one time ago, like, the sea mullet, when they come along, you get the white butterfly. They come and swarm, they fly through, and they say, “Oh, the sea mullet’s close.” Sure enough, a coupla days after, along come the sea mullet. … They used to fly north, just ahead of the sea mullet, just before winter they’d come in.” (Paul Taylor)
“They were that thick, the waves could hardly break. And sharks, big sharks ‘d follow, low tide, and hey was that thick, miles long, just black with mullet.” (Bruce Laurie)
Today – the present
Coffs Creek – Buluunggal – in Coffs Harbour continues to play an important role in the local aboriginal culture. Important places here are where people lived and still enjoy visiting:
The Old Camp (Fitzroy Oval), the Showground, the Cemetery, the Botanic Gardens, the Ranch, Happy Valley, Ferguson Cottage and Muttonbird Island.
Camp sites were important places of transition and survival. (refer to Aboriginal Landscapes Assessment and Protection study for more information)
Aboriginal Community-owned lands
Coffs Harbour & District Local Aboriginal Land Council (CHALCL) own 15 residential properties in the catchment, providing housing for 23 families. CHALCL also own 7 ha of bushland along Coffs Creek, which are managed for conservation.
A number of Aboriginal Land claims are outstanding.
Land & Water Management:
Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC), the Coffs Harbour Repair to Country team (Darrunda-Wajaar) and Friends of Coffs Creek are actively involved in the management of the catchment. CHCC have developed a plan of management for all reserves in the catchment and a plan of management for the whole catchment is currently under development (see Other Plans).
Concerns are: Water quality – in particular impacts from stormwater and agricultural run-off and siltation. Rubbish – Up to 2400 kg of rubbish (mostly plastic) is collected by volunteers in one year.
The Darrunda-wajaar ‘Repair to Country’ team is gaining bush regeneration contracts with a variety of local agencies and this facilitates further training for team members, which in turn opens other job opportunities for these young people.
The Office of Environment & Heritage employs a local aboriginal man as Discovery Ranger on a casual basis (Mark Flanders). His tours of ‘Muttonbird by Moonlight’ are very popular and successful and a canoe tour for Bulunggal is in the planning.
Tomorrow – the future
The local aboriginal community would like to see a number of place names changed to honour local identities and Gumbaynggirr culture:
Coffs Creek to Buluunggal (Gumbaynggirr for mullet)
Coffs Creek Tributary to Snake Gully
Bangalore Bridge to Thomas Flanders Snr Bridge (1st aboriginal grave digger in Coffs Harbour)
Rothsay Reach viewing platform to Pasaltis Place
We would like the Gumbaynggirr name for this area to be used more often in honour of the aboriginal history of the region – Garlambirla
Carpet Snake – Artist Shaa Smith
The totem for this creek is the carpet snake. We intend to ensure the continuity of local aboriginal culture, to honour traditional knowledge and foster aboriginal identity, respect for tradition, history and place. Collect and pass on traditional uses of bush foods, medicine and fibre, harvesting times and methods and fishing traditions.
Celebrate Buluunggal as a food bowl, a spiritual place and a place of transition and survival.
Improve amenities, in particular on the northern side of Coffs Creek, taking into consideration places where our elders would like to rest. Improve water-based access. Locate a toilet on the northern side of the creek, preferably near Rosella Street.
Economic / employment opportunities
Buluunggal has economic value as a food bowl and potential for the development of eco-tourism activities. The Aboriginal community would like to develop these opportunities for bird-watching and canoeing activities and guided walks with stories and examples of traditional uses of the plants and animals.
Land & Water management
We would like to see sustainable catchment management for a productive ecosystem with well vegetated creek banks which buffer the water environment from urban impacts as best as possible. Restoration and conservation work within the riparian zones of the creek and its tributaries needs to integrate traditional aboriginal values and uses. The creek system has the potential to connect the mountain range with the ocean environment for wildlife movements and exchange of fresh and saltwater ecosystems and the management of the system needs to promote and support good connectivity.
Water quality data collection must be used to identify hotspots and target remediation works (see Other Plans).
We want to foster and encourage aboriginal volunteerism in the restoration of our natural environment (Caring for Country).
– Promotion of the beginning of the (Sea) Mullet Run in March.
– Create a cultural celebration event (Buluunggal Festival), possibly coinciding with another aboriginal cultural event, such as Harmony Day or Close the Gap Day (late March).
– Involve schools to foster intergenerational transfer of knowledge. Include art and music as well as bush foods/medicines.
– Promote bush foods with cooking classes.
– Link with Coffs Ambassador Program to add aboriginal history to the Coffs Creek Walk tour.
Further develop profile and capacity of the ‘Repair to Country’ team with specialised knowledge of this coastal environment.
Create Mullet Festival, based on the creek environment and cultural connections.
Exploit existing employment support programs for aboriginal people and community organisations:
– Aboriginal Employment Strategy http://www.aes.org.au/
– Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Programhttp://www.training.nsw.gov.au/programs_services/funded_other/acp/edaep.html
– Indigenous Wage Subsidy (IWS) http://www.deewr.gov.au/indigenous-wage-subsidy-iws
– Promote and encourage volunteerism in aboriginal community
– Actively participate in CHCC public consultation process for Coffs Creek Coastal Zone Management Plan.
– Promote and encourage volunteerism to Care for Country.
– Engage ‘Repair to Country’ team in project development.
– Encourage extractive industries in particular as well as other businesses to contribute financially to environmental projects.
– Liaise with Coffs Harbour City Council on project development for Coffs Creek, using CHCC Environmental Levy Program.
– Exploit existing funding opportunities for the management, conservation and protection of natural resources:
NSW Environmental Trust ‘Protecting Our Places’ program www.environment.nsw.gov.au/grants/pop.htm
Australian Government ‘Caring for our Country’ program
Indigenous Protected Areas
Coffs Harbour City Council Environmental Levy program
Organisations involved with the management of Coffs Creek
Coffs Harbour City Council- Recreational Services (Parks & Gardens). Sue Stewart, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, ph 6648 4875
Coffs Harbour ‘Repair to Country’ team – Coffs Harbour & District Local Aboriginal Land Council. Lisa White, email:email@example.com, ph 6652 8740 & 0429 637 212
Friends of Coffs Creek – Member of Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare. Elisabeth Edwards, ph 6651 5380.
– Coffs Harbour City Council 2013 – Draft National Resource Management Plan for Coffs Harbour City Council Lands adjoining Coffs Creek
– Coffs Harbour City Council 2013 – Coffs Creek Coastal Zone Management Plan
– Coffs Harbour City Council Liz Thomas, 2013 – Aboriginal history of the Coffs Harbour region
– Coffs Harbour City Council 2007 – Coffs Creek Flying-fox Camp Strategy and Vegetation Managament Plan
– Ecological Australia 2010 – Aboriginal Landscapes Assessment & Protection Project for Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority
– Megan Goulding, 2001 – Cultural Places, contested spaces. A study of Aboriginal peoples’ historical attachments to landscape. Coffs Harbour Region Cultural Heritage Study for Cultural Heritage Division, NPWS, NSW.
– David Scott, 2012 – Monitoring vertebrate fauna within coastal Coffs Harbour Shire, 2010 -2012. NSW National Parks Association – Coffs-Bellingen Branch.
This project was funded by the Australian Government under its Caring for our Country program 2011.
Coordinated by Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare