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Peel-Harvey Catchment Council contributes to nationwide bird count

PHCC’s Kim Wilson counting birds at Lake Preston

PHCC’s Kim Wilson counting birds at Lake Preston

Shorebirds across the Ramsar listed Peel-Yalgorup System (Internationally recognised as Ramsar Site 482) have been counted and assessed, as part of the annual Shorebird 2020 Count which was facilitated by Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC), in partnership with Birdlife Peel branch.

The count spanned 26,000 hectares of the Peel-Yalgorup system, and involved 17 teams and 66 volunteers, with the Count continuing across the nation through to 2020.

Whilst locally, much of the counting took place over two weeks, the official count day was held on Sunday 5 February, with the band of volunteers from the local community, Birdlife WA, Birdlife WA Peel branch, PHCC staff, Murdoch University, the WA Museum, and representatives from the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

PHCC Chairman Andy Gulliver said the Peel-Yalgorup system represents one of 150 sites forming part of the Count across the nation, and provides vital data regarding the population trends of shorebirds in Australia.

“Peel-Harvey Catchment Council has been involved with the Count for the past 9 years.  Ahead of the count we work with Birdlife WA Peel Branch to facilitate ID training workshops to ensure our volunteers are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to help carry out the Count.”

“The Peel Yalgorup System is an integral part of the East-Asian Australasian Flyway, with global data suggesting Shorebirds using this Flyway are under great threat from habitat damage, and are being impacted by urban development and associated recreational activities.  The Count helps with our conservation efforts, providing an understanding of the factors affecting declining populations and environmental impacts,” Mr Gulliver said.

A prime feeding ground and habitat for migratory shorebirds arriving each Spring from Siberia, China, Japan and Korea, the Peel-Yalgorup System (Ramsar 482) regularly supports 20,000 or more waterbirds, and serves as home to >1% of the individuals in a species population.

PHCC CEO Jane O’Malley said the Count is part of the implementation of the Peel-Yalgorup System Management Plan, with preparations beginning well before the Count does.

“Our process commences three months beforehand, so we can attract our wonderful volunteers and work with Count team leaders. Some of our volunteer citizen scientists have been involved with the Count for over 20 years.  We also fund and organise the ID workshops, which for 9 years have been delivered by Bill Rutherford of Ornithological Technical Services, and play an important role in getting the Count right,” Ms O’Malley said.

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council will now collate the data, and provide this to Birdlife Australia, helping to inform national population trends, and assist with information around what is driving any population changes locally and across the nation.

Participation in the Count was made possible with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.  For more information about the Shorebird 2020 Count visit www.peel-harvey.org.au

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

 

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present.

Peel Unites for Waterways Clean-up

2016 Clean Up at Cantwell Park, Pinjarra

2016 Clean Up at Cantwell Park, Pinjarra

This March brings the second annual ‘Clean Up Peel Waterways’ month with a number of clean up events on offer for community members to be involved in. The clean-up month is an initiative of the Friends of Rivers, Peel and supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Government’s National Landcare Programme.  Events are held in conjunction with Clean Up Australia Day and is designed to increase community involvement in cleaning up our Peel Waterways and surrounds.

Barry Small of Friends of River, Peel said the clean-up month will see 19 groups participating, each holding individual events that focus on waterways and surrounds within their specific location.

“Increasing rubbish and litter dumped in the water or on foreshores, is putting the sustainability of the Peel Region waterways at risk.  The multiple clean ups held throughout the month provide us, as a community, with an opportunity to come together for a worthy cause, ultimately enhancing our environment,” Mr Small said.

Events are focussed on the waterways feeding into the Peel-Harvey Estuary and will be held in a range of locations including Pinjarra, Falcon Bay, South Yunderup and Riverside Gardens.

For more information a full list of activities being held during Clean-Up Peel Waterways month, visit our events page at www.peel-harvey.org.au

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

Environmental Protection continues for Peel-Harvey

Parks and Wildlife District Nature Conservation Coordinator Dr Karl Brennan and Acting Nature Conservation Officer Megan Sheehan, welcome assistance to help manage these valued reserves

Parks and Wildlife District Nature Conservation Coordinator Dr Karl Brennan and Acting Nature Conservation Officer Megan Sheehan, welcome assistance to help manage these valued reserves

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council has joined forces with the State’s Department of Parks and Wildlife to protect and preserve nationally threatened ecological communities in the Watkins Road and Bradby Nature Reserves in Mundijong and Serpentine.

The projects have been made possible through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

At Watkins Road Nature Reserve, work is to be undertaken to target the invasive weed Watsonia, whilst at Bradby Nature Reserve, weed control not only focuses on Watsonia, but also African Lovegrass, Victorian Tea Tree, and Tagasaste.

Parks and Wildlife District Nature Conservation Coordinator Dr. Karl Brennan said the Watkins Road Nature Reserve project also aims to assist recovery of the nationally listed and threatened plant, Southern Tetraria.

“There are many of these plants spread over 17 hectares, and they are very rare to our State and nation, so rare in fact, that at one point, the plant was thought to be extinct,” Dr. Brennan said.

According to Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s Chairman Andy Gulliver, the objective of the projects is to protect and preserve the areas with threatened flora, listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

“We are pleased to have received funding from the Australian Government to carry out this type of conservation work on behalf of the Peel-Harvey community, ensuring that these nature reserves continue to be managed for future generations,” Mr Gulliver said.

For further information about the work of the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council or to find out how you can help their cause, visit http://www.peel-harvey.org.au.

ENDS

Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

 

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council to Increase Community Commitment for Wetlands

Craig Olejnik

Craig Olejnik and his son meet Mr Percival

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council will take their commitment to encouraging a ‘wetlands wise’ community up a notch over the coming months with the launch of their project ‘Supporting people for wetland wise use in the Peel-Harvey’.

Made possible through a State NRM Capability Grant, the project is designed to focus on some of the key priorities of the PHCC’s ‘Wetlands and People Plan’, and will involve a comprehensive community consultation campaign, with involvement from young people across the Region.

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s CEO Jane O’Malley said around 20 young people will be involved in developing a major social media marketing plan, designed to reach their peers across the Peel-Harvey catchment.

“Our Wetlands and People Plan forms the foundation of all we do to keep the Peel-Harvey’s Ramsar listed Peel-Yalgorup Wetland System and other local wetlands healthy. We seek to engage and educate all of our different stakeholders in our cause, with young people representing the future leaders of this Region,” Ms O’Malley said.

The ambitious campaign will go beyond simple information exchange, and seek to shift social norms, leading to improvements to wetland health across the community.

PHCC Chair Andy Gulliver said the PHCC will work with local governments and regional organisations in the area, to deliver the program, and increase the public’s capacity to make a difference through environmental education,

“Our plan includes various strategies to connect with our diverse range of stakeholders.”

“We will deliver thought-provoking activities designed to create a more active, engaged, aware and informed community, in a bid to improve the health of our ecosystem over the longer term,” Mr Gulliver said.

The program will include wetlands-themed art and environmental events and activities, developed with our local Noongar community, which embraces local traditional knowledge. Community members will also be invited to participate in citizen science projects to gather wetlands data and knowledge about our wetlands.

“Supporting people for wetland wise use in the Peel-Harvey’ is an exciting project. Our series of communication, education and participative actions will encourage community members across the Peel-Harvey Catchment to join in our cause, for wetland wise use now and in the future.” Mr Gulliver said.

The project began in January and will run over 18 months.

ENDS

Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present

 

Binningup to host ‘World’s Most Innovative Farmer’

Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin, who’s farm was the focus of the popular Polyfaces documentary, has gained international fame and attention due to his sustainable farming approach and business success. Acknowledged by Time Magazine as the world’s most innovative farmer, some also consider Joel as the most eclectic thinker from Virginia since Thomas Jefferson. His success story of setting up and running a thriving, profitable, yet ethical and sustainable farm business has been shared with thousands around the world.

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council is pleased to be supporting a one-time only masterclass hosted by Joel, through funding under the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. This masterclass will take place in Binningup on the 4 March at Runnyemede Farm (located at 183 Runnymede Road, Binningup). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Topics on the day will include:

  • multi-speciated pastured livestock
  • water
  • fertility
  • infrastructure design
  • leasing land
  • the people component
  • implementing memorandum of understandings with contractors, as an alternative to employees
  • performance-oriented compensation packages
  • shared risk partnerships
  • building fiefdoms
  • marketing
  • whys and wherefores
  • on-farm restaurants
  • electronic aggregators
  • metropolitan buying clubs & more.

Chair of Peel-Harvey Catchment Council Andy Gulliver said having an international expert of Joel’s calibre to discuss sustainable farming is a huge boost to the local farming industry, and to the sustainable agriculture cause in general.

“Joel is a well-known and respected farmer of international fame, and is fantastic proponent of the sustainable agriculture movement. We work closely with many of our hard-working farmers across the Peel-Harvey catchment, and want to support their efforts towards a more resilient and profitable landscape” Mr Gulliver said.

For further information about this event and the work of the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, please visit the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s website at www.peel-harvey.org.au

 

ENDS

Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

 

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present

Partnership Key to Conserving Nature in the Peel Estuary

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jane O’Malley, Craig Olejnik and Jo Garvey

Threatened cockatoos, migratory and resident shorebirds living within the Austin Bay and Robert Bay Nature Reserves are the focus of a partnership between the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.

Weed control, water management, restoration and revegetation, access control and community engagement are all on the agenda in a bid to improve the habitat for fauna living along the eastern side of the Ramsar listed Peel-Harvey Estuary.

Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Dr. Karl Brennan said both projects aim to assist recovery for the threatened ecological communities, such as saltmarshes and claypans of the Swan Coastal Plain.

“Improvements at Roberts Bay will also contribute to protecting five priority flora species across 138 hectares of Conservation Category Wetland”, said Dr. Brennan.

Chair of Peel-Harvey Catchment Council Andy Gulliver said projects such as these are vital to the long-term sustainability of some of our region’s greatest assets.

“Weed control, fencing to better manage access, and other enhancements are an important part of maintaining these areas, with Austin Bay listed as an internationally significant wetland,” Mr Gulliver said.

The partnership is an example of Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s work across the Peel Region, protecting flora and fauna and nurturing the internationally Ramsar listed Peel-Yalgorup system.

For further information about the work of the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council or to find out how you can help their cause, visit http://www.peel-harvey.org.au.

ENDS

Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

Murray River Delta Benefits from Partnership

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PHCC CEO Jane O’Malley with Shire of Murray CEO Dean Unsworth

A management plan designed to protect threatened flora and fauna within the Murray River delta is one step closer, thanks to a partnership project between Peel-Harvey Catchment Council and Shire of Murray.

The Murray River delta area comprises a series of eight low lying islands and estuarine areas where the Murray and Serpentine rivers flow into the Ramsar listed Peel-Harvey Estuary system in South Yunderup.

Funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program has facilitated the project, with the two organisations working together to undertake a survey of threatened flora and fauna in the area, and identifying management actions for feral animal control.

According to Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s CEO Jane O’Malley, the Government’s National Landcare Program has been vital to breathing life into many local projects, and the survey and management plan for the Shire of Murray’s River delta is one project benefiting from the funding.

Shire of Murray’s Chief Executive Officer Dean Unsworth said the Shire contains some of the most threatened ecological communities remaining in South West Australia.

“This joint project will allow us to enact some of our key proposals from our Local Biodiversity Strategy in terms of reserve management. The Shire manages several reserves that have declared rare flora and threatened ecological communities in them. These are at risk from weeds, feral animals, human impacts and the very nature of their rarity and as such are recognised under Federal law.”

“It is envisaged that this project will help to secure their long term viability in Murray both through gaining a better understanding of the reserves and through feral animal control,” Mr Unsworth said.

The project is one of many managed by Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, which sees the influential environmental agency working with stakeholders to nurture the environmental future of the Peel Region.

To read about other partner projects of Peel-Harvey Catchment Council visit www.peel-harvey.org.au

ENDS

Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

Smoking Ceremony Marks New Beginning for River

Back Row:  Andrew Ward (CEO, Peel Development Commission), Hon. Colin Holt (Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Water), Andy Gulliver (Chair, PHCC), Mike Rowe (Director General, Department of Water)  Front Row:  Elder Harry Nannup, Joseph Anderson & Lindsay Calyun

Back Row: Andrew Ward (CEO, Peel Development Commission), Hon. Colin Holt (Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Water), Andy Gulliver (Chair, PHCC), Mike Rowe (Director General, Department of Water)
Front Row: Elder Harry Nannup, Joseph Anderson & Lindsay Calyun

Local Noongar Elder Harry Nannup performed a traditional Noongar Smoking Ceremony at the Serpentine River on 6 December. The event marked the launch of an innovative $1.9 million project to treat water from the Peel Main Drain before it enters the Serpentine River. The project is being delivered in partnership between the government and the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC).

The project aims to improve the health of the Serpentine River, and ultimately the Peel-Harvey Estuary.

The environmental values and many uses of estuaries are respected by our Noongar people and are an integral part of their culture and knowledge.

The ‘Restoring the Health of the Serpentine River’ project is part of the Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI) which is a $20 million Royalties for Regions funded state government program to improve the health of our regional estuaries. Led by the Department of Water, the REI is intended to improve water quality and waterway health in six south-western estuaries and their catchments, including the Peel-Harvey Estuary.

The aim of the ‘Restoring the Health of the Serpentine River’ project is to improve the water quality and ecological health of the Serpentine River by diverting flow from the Peel Main Drain to adjacent land and wetlands to reduce organic matter and nutrients which would normally enter the Serpentine River. The success and practicability of water quality treatments to address organic matter and nutrient concentrations including soil amendments, natural wetlands, solids settling and biological treatment will be monitored. With future funding, the intent is to upscale and replicate similar works to other high polluting sub catchments.

Partnerships are a key component of the Regional Estuaries Initiative. The PHCC has been working for several years to get the project on ground and the PHCC chairman, Andy Gulliver is very thankful to be working in partnership with the Department of Water and to have the support of the Water Corporation and Department of Parks and Wildlife to deliver this iconic project.

“The Smoking Ceremony marked the beginning of the project, and it was wonderful to have so many of Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s partners and stakeholders represented on the day,” Mr Gulliver said.

The PHCC continues to push the boundaries and strives to punch above our weight. Improving the health of the river will also contribute to the health of our internationally significant and Ramsar listed Peel-Harvey Estuary. This will be a project we hope will demonstrate how you can restore a system when People Work Together for a shared vision.

Officially opened by the Hon Colin Holt, Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Water, with support from the Director General for the Department of Water, Mr Mike Rowe, the project is initially a four (4) year water quality project across a 180 hectare site, located on the east side of Kwinana Freeway, just south of Karnup Road.

 

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

PHCC Speak up to keep NRM on National Agenda

Josh Frydenberg, Minister for Environment and Energy, Jane O’Malley, CEO PHCC, Andrew Hastie, Member for Canning at Parliament House, Canberra

Josh Frydenberg, Minister for Environment and Energy, Jane O’Malley, CEO PHCC, Andrew Hastie, Member for Canning at Parliament House, Canberra

NRM CEO’s from across Australia came together in Canberra last week to share learnings from across the country and consider the future for the National Landcare Program beyond 2018.

The move comes following the success of the national program.  Funding for natural resource management (NRM) via the 56 NRM regions across Australia enables Regions to support local communities to deliver local solutions.

CEO Jane O’Malley said the meetings with influential decision makers, including Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenderg, aimed to ensure future National Programs for NRM will continue to provide flexibility for on-ground works and building community capabilities via regional delivery.

“The National Landcare Program has achieved excellent on-ground results, supporting landcare groups, farmers and communities to improve productivity and environmental outcomes.  Its survival beyond 2018 is critical to the Peel-Harvey’s ecological health,” Ms O’Malley said.

The meeting with Minister Frydenberg was hosted by Member for Canning Andrew Hastie who supports the need for NRM in local communities.

“It was a pleasure to host the Peel Harvey Catchment Council in Canberra to support the National Landcare Programme and highlight the importance of grassroots organisations providing local environmental solutions,” Mr Hastie said.

Other meetings included discussions with the Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews on biodiversity priorities, and advisers to the Minister of Environment and Energy on the Perth and Peel Strategic Assessment.

Speaking after the meetings, PHCC CEO Jane O’Malley noted the importance of tailoring the NLP program to meet regional needs, as identified by our community and, backed by science and knowledge based approaches.

“We are actively advocating on behalf of our community to reverse the decline of our Estuary and rivers.  Working with our governments at the state and federal level is so important to achieve real outcomes at a local level” Ms O’Malley said.

Since being recognised as Australia’s 55th Region in 2014, PHCC has increased its service to the community across its 1.2 million hectare patch, helping to deliver on-ground outcomes through vital funding.  For the PHCC NRM Strategy and funding opportunities visit www.peel-harvey.org.au.

 

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

Noongar Rangers Trained for Dangerous Goods

Narrogin Noongar Rangers in their PPE

Narrogin Noongar Rangers in their PPE

Twelve Noongar Rangers from Narrogin have received nationally accredited Chem-Safe training in handling and applying dangerous goods and chemical substances, as part of Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s commitment to building knowledge within local communities.

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council provided all spraying and protective equipment for the course.

“As well as being a nationally recognised qualification, the knowledge gained on handling dangerous goods is a practical life skill for anyone. We were pleased to participate in this initiative with such a great group of trainees,” said Craig Watt, General Manager, Chem-Safe.

This initiative boosts land management skills and opens options for employment for our Noongar community to work on country.

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council is able to provide these training opportunities through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

 

ENDS

Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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