CHRL Executive Communique New Constitution adopted, July 2018

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

CHRL Executive Communique February 2018

The meeting of the 14 February 2018 was attended by seven members of the Executive and was chaired by the President, Barry Powells.

New members and sites

The Executive approved four new membership applications and an application to establish the Fuller Street Dunecare site.

Nursery sub-committee established

The CHRL currently operates a nursery at Woolgoolga, located in the grounds of the Woolgoolga High School, and employs a part-time coordinator to manage the nursery. The nursery also has a team of volunteers that help with the planting and care of the plants. A number of operational and strategic issues with the nursery were raised with the Executive including how to match propagation with long term site planning, ongoing funding for the nursery, species selection, distribution of seedlings to Landcare sites and managing planting out with site owners. The Executive has formed a sub-committee to investigate these matters and report back to the Executive later in the year.

Sub-committee reports

The meeting heard from the Constitution Sub-committee and HR Sub-committee.

The Constitution Sub-committee reported delays to finishing the new draft of the constitution and proposed that it be considered by the Executive at the March 2018 meeting. This was agreed by the Executive.

The HR Sub-committee presented an update of a revision to a position description to better reflect changes in staff workload.

Myna bird trapping program

The Executive discussed ways to extend the Myna bird trapping program. It was reported that currently there are 10 active traps in operation, with remaining funding for the program due to be spent by June 2018. Continuation of the program over the last few years has resulted in the Myna bird population in the region being kept in check. The program is currently limited by the number of volunteer coordinators to distribute and manage the traps. The Executive discussed ways to recruit new volunteer coordinators, particularly around Emerald Beach and Corindi. Approaching these communities for volunteer coordinators through local community Facebook pages will be trialled by the Executive over the next month.

“Return and Earn Scheme” Audit

The Executive endorsed CHRL staff being involved in auditing the NSW State Government’s Return and Earn Scheme in the Coffs Harbour Region. This is being coordinated by Landcare Australia, with funding being provided to CHRL for undertaking the work.

Workshops, field days and training

The Executive received reports of two up-coming members’ workshops/field days, including a wind-fencing workshop at Sandy Beach, and a Field day focusing on soils at Woolgoolga in March. The Executive felt that the wind-fencing workshop should be filmed as a resource, with the Chair agreeing to investigate this further.

The Executive also approved a governance workshop for the Executive to ensure that members of the Executive are fully aware of their legal roles and responsibilities.

CHRL twenty-year anniversary

The Executive was reminded that 2018 marked the 20th Anniversary of the formation of the Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare. The Executive agreed to hold an event in May 2018 to mark the occasion, and tasked the Vice President with overseeing the planning for this event.

Finance

The Executive reviewed the January finance report, confirming that the organisations current commitments can be met.

Barry Powells

President and Chair Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare Incorporated

CHRL Executive Communique General Meeting Feb 2017

General Meeting

Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare held its first General Meeting of the year on Wednesday evening at the Coffs Harbour Community Village.

The meeting was well attended, with over 20 members turning out to hear the guest speaker and share ideas for the coming year. The aim of CHRL will be to grow these meetings and make them interesting to members.

The highlight of the evening was a presentation by one of our new members, Maddy Black from the Corindi Landcare Group. Maddy is currently undertaking a PhD looking at identifying barriers to farmers undertaking conservation programs on their farms. The barriers ranged from costs, to education. While Maddy’s research was undertaken in the New England region, the results have applicability across Australia and provided the Executive and members with a lot of insights and ideas to apply in their work.

Members reported on their Landcare sites and plans for the coming 12 months. One of the focus points for discussion at this meeting was around membership and how we keep volunteers engaged, and specifically how we can interest young people in our work. Lots of good ideas came out of the discussion that the Executive will work with to ensure that CHRL remains vibrant and relevant now and in the future.

The meeting heard from CHRL staff about a number of new projects. In particular Mel Craig provided an interesting presentation on Blueberries and bioreactors. She is working on a project that aims to reduce the amount of nutrient rich runoff entering our local waterways. The project is trialling a bioreactor which is a trench dug between the bottom of the blueberry rows and the riparian zone. It is then filled with wood chips. Nutrient rich run off runs into the trench where bacteria breaks down the nutrients into harmless gas. This technique has been already trialled on pineapple farms in Queensland. In tandem with other nutrient run-off mitigation measures this may be an appropriate technology to improve water quality below blueberry farms. This project is being supported by North Coast Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. It is due to be completed by May 2018 and CHRL is now looking at ways to involve a university in longer-term monitoring of the results.

Jude Turner provided an update on finances and reminded members to pick up their new first-aid kits from the office.

The meeting also heard that the Executive is concerned about future funding for CHRL given recent changes in the funding arrangements and focus under National Landcare Program 2 as well as changes to the administration of the Coffs Harbour City Council’s Environmental Levy. The Executive is watching this closely and working with Northern Region Landcare to ensure that CHRL continues to be able to deliver projects across the region.

The next General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 2 May 2018. All members are invited to attend.

 

Barry Powells

President and Chair Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare Incorporated

CHRL Executive Communique December 2017

The meeting of the 13 December 2017 was attended by all members of the Executive and was chaired by the President, Barry Powells.

New Members

The Executive received and approved four new membership applications.

Events for 2018

Outreach activities are one of the major ways that Landcare volunteers can demonstrate their activities and purpose to the local community. At the meeting the Executive identified at least 8 community events to attend as a stallholder/participant over the coming 12 months. The focus of each display will depend on the location, and the theme of the event. Local members will be invited to volunteer and assist with these events. (Details of upcoming events will be published in the CHRL Newsletter)

Constitution

The constitution review is continuing and it is anticipated that a revised draft will be ready for consideration by the Executive in February, prior to being put to a vote at the General Meeting in May 2018.

Policies

As part of good governance practice, CHRL operates under a range of policies that are reviewed and updated from time to time. At this meeting the Vice President presented a draft financial management policy, based on a template policy from Landcare Australia. The Executive resolved to adopt the policy and will be reviewing other policies in the new year, including its risk management policy.

First-Aid Kits

CHRL provides first-aid kits to site coordinators for all volunteer work sites. It is an ongoing necessity to make sure that all first-aid kits are kept up-to-date, well stocked and in good condition. After consideration of several options, the Executive resolved to replace all first-aid kits every two-years, and in between times continue to restock items at the request of site coordinators. This will help to ensure all sites have adequate first-aid supplies. The new kits will be rolled out to all sites in February 2018. Site coordinators should return their old kits and pick up their new one when requested by the office.

Funding

The Executive noted that it is still waiting the outcome of a number of funding applications.

Staffing

CHRL employs three part-time staff to manage and administer the projects and work of the organisation. At the December meeting the Executive resolved to pay staff a 2.5% salary increase to align with a recent 2.5% salary increase under the Local Land Services Award 2013. The Executive has also tasked a sub-committee with reviewing other matters relating to conditions of employment.

Finance

The Executive reviewed the November finance report, and a quarterly budget review report, confirming that the organisations current program of works is fully funded.

Barry Powells President and Chair Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare Incorporated

CHRL Executive Communique November 2017

The meeting of the 8 November 2017 was attended by all members of the Executive and Landcare staff, and was chaired by the President, Barry Powells.

New Members and Sites

The Executive approved ten new membership applications and 1 new Landcare site. The new Landcare site is at Corindi Beach, and has a very keen group of volunteers ready to get started.

Blueberry Program

Landcare Coordinator, Mel Craig, gave a report to the Executive on the recent NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference. At the conference Ms Craig gave a very well received presentation on “Engaging with Local Blueberry Farmers for Increased Sustainability”. The Executive considers engagement with the blueberry farmers as one of the most significant project areas it is currently undertaking. Funding opportunities to continue this work were discussed, and the lack of funding this year from Coffs Harbour Councils Environmental Levy program was also discussed.

Constitution

The Executive has tasked a subcommittee with reviewing and refreshing the CHRL’s constitution to ensure that the constitution reflects current legislative requirements. The review will make a number of recommendations to the Executive, with any revisions being taken to a General Meeting in the New Year for approval.

Meeting dates for 2018

Dates for the AGM, General Meetings, and Executive Meetings for 2018 were confirmed and will be published on the website, with an event calendar for 2018 still to be finalised.

National Landcare Program 2

The Executive continued to discuss the changes under the new NLP2 program the focus of which is sustainable agriculture. It will take some time before the implications and impacts on CHRL are fully understood.

Funding

The Executive considered potential projects to submit for funding under the latest round of National Landcare Smart Farming Program; and Environment Trust Restoration and Regeneration.

 

Barry Powells President and Chair Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare Incorporated

ET – Environmental Education Grants 2017

The Environmental Education grants program is now open for Expressions of Interest. The closing date is 3pm Monday 10th April 2017.
The aim of the Environmental Education Grants Program is to support educational projects or programs that develop or widen the community’s knowledge of skills in, and commitment to, protecting the environment and promoting sustainable behaviour.
The Environmental Education application process has two stages: expression of interest, and then application by invitation only.
Click here to link to the Trust page for guidelines and application form.

Expressions of Interest sought from Qualified Bush Regenerators

Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare Inc. is seeking expressions of interest from qualified bush regenerators interested in contract Landcare works and/or Landcare training provision in the Coffs Harbour region.

Respondents must have demonstrated experience in a range of bush regeneration techniques & situations.

Public liability insurance to the value of $20 million, current Chemcert accreditation & compliance with WH&S requirements are essential.

Current accreditation from BNG Contractor Services Pty Ltd is essential.

Respondents should provide their current fee schedule.

Contractors who have previously provided an expression of interest should resubmit their details with updated information and fee schedules.

Expressions of Interest should be received by close of business 20th May 2016.

Expression of Interest documents are available here:

 

Tender Notice – EOI – Bush Regenerators2016

2016 Bush Regeneration Contractor EOI form

Allocation of Bush Regen. Works Policy

For further information:

Phone: 02 6651 1308

Email: jude@coffslandcare.org.au

 

 

 

Pest & Weed Drought Funding – LLS

Land managers in drought affected areas throughout NSW are encouraged to apply for up to $3 million through the 2015-2016 Pest and Weed Drought Funding program.
Based on the Australian Government’s priorities land managers in the Central Tablelands, Central West, Hunter, Murray, North Coast, North West, Northern Tablelands, Riverina and Western Local Land Services regions are encouraged to apply before 4 April 2016.
Funding will be used to:
– reduce grazing pressure from pest animals
– reduce stock losses from pest animals
– reduce the spread of weeds.
Individuals, groups and organisations are welcome to apply for funding, which will be allocated through a competitive assessment process.
Applications close on 4th April 2016.
Go to http://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/seasonal-conditions/droughts for more information, guidelines and application form.

Small grants for rural communities – Round 29

Opened:  21st December 2015

Closes: 24th March 2016

Grants available:  up to $5000 (projects undertaken between July 2016- July 2017).

The Small Grants for Rural Communities is a collaborative program administered by The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and funded by a number of private donors.

Not-for-profit community based organisations from communities in rural, regional and remote locations in Australia can apply for funds to support projects and activities that offer clear public benefit (are for a charitable purpose) and clearly address a need in the community in the areas of social and community welfare, economic, environmental, health, education and cultural development.

For more information click on the following link

http://www.frrr.org.au/grants/small-grants-for-rural-communities-round29