Issue 4 May 2011

GCCA Newsletter #4 MAY 2011

Welcome to our latest Newsletter. Remember – our role is to provide a completely independent umbrella organisation that helps groups obtain grants, organizes special programs such as PlatypusWatch and the Catchment Scorecard, and assists groups to manage their money so they don’t need to become incorporated or spend time on accounting and administration.

In a bid to get closer to the individual groups we will be inviting a group to each of our two monthly committee meetings to better understand their aims, activities and issues.



The Association is again a major sponsor of the Green Day Out which is being held on Sunday 12th June @ Kurrawa Park, Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach.

We would like your group to come along to our stand. Whether you are from Ormeau, Currumbin or Beechmont please join us for an hour or two on the day to help us get the message out that there are groups like yours volunteering for the Environment.

Hop in the car, drive to lovely Kurrawa Beach and together we can:

  • show our unity;
  • show that environmental management and repair isn’t just a government thing;
  • encourage others to get involved.

Please call 0408264571 to organize a time to come to the stand.

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It is with sadness that we advise the passing of a stalwart Gold Coast Catchment Association member, Colin Law on Monday 21st March 2011.

Col was a founding member of the committee in 2000 and attended virtually every meeting from that time on. He was passionate about catchments and could never quite come to grips with why government allowed development that clearly degraded our rivers and catchments.

He was also a long time member of Sunfish and their poem below sums up the man:

He loved a debate
sometimes, even with a Sunfish mate
black & white, right & wrong
there was no grey in Colin’s life
occasional stubbornness, he would wade through strife
but always true to his own convictions
real-life experiences driving his predictions. We send our love and heartfelt sorrow
to Colin’s wife Ann, art art1art2
who quietly supported him in everything he did

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The Beginning
Even a very small group can make a huge difference; don’t let anyone tell you they can’t. A few concerned residents of Crane Creek could see the creek was deteriorating: the weed on the surface; the brown gunk on the bottom, the vine that was crushing the trees, the number of sick and dead birds and the fact that it smelt!

They contacted their Community Association, the Nerang RiverKeepers and their Councilor to voice their concerns, and so the story begins.

In order to gain critical mass the small Crane Creek Group joined the larger and more experienced Nerang RiverKeepers as a sub-group. The Divisional Councilor, Peter Young, made funds available to start the removal of the Cats Claw vine. This work was undertaken by Gold Coast City Council (NAMU) and their contractors. SEQ Catchments and the Catchment Unit of GCCC assisted the group to obtain a Caring for Country Grant that helped pay for many of the subsequent activities.

An assessment was made of the problems: The weed on the lake was Salvinia; the gunk in the bottom was Cambomba; the reason for the sick and dying birds was Botulism. Frog, Bird and aquatic studies were all undertaken and planning for riparian restoration was commenced.

Over the next eight months the group undertook:

  • A community consultation program with residents in the area;
  • Site planning;
  • Plant species selection and negotiations with plant and mulch suppliers;
  • Site preparation, spraying out sections to be planted and boreholes for plantings;
  • Working out budgets and time lines to meet our commitments;
  • Planning community days and carrying out the actual work!


Hard Yakka

October 2010
1500 holes were dug by the community’s site preparation team and additional spraying took place preparing the site for the next week. 30+ people planted out a large riparian zone area (120m X 10m)

November 2010
Another 30+ people attended and planted 1,400 Plants and spread 60m of mulch.

February 2011
20 people turned out to spread 40+ m of mulch.

March 2011
30+ people planted out 1,400 plants over approx 140 metres of creek frontage and spread another 20+ m of mulch. Later in March a frog workshop was held on the site.

April 2011
The final part of the project was a ‘Weeding, water testing and celebration day’.



We had a hoot, not only did we achieve our goals we added another 120 metres to our original plan and achieved a total of 260 metres of urban riparian revegetation.

The project was a true team effort. The group decided early to do as much of the preparation as possible using volunteers – digging 5,200 holes alone is no small task. No monies were drawn to supply food or drinks as this was all donated by group members. Bunnings Nerang donated equipment to the group. Our local councilor Peter Young slaved with the masses and we had visits from Alex Douglas our state MP. Gold Coast City Council, SEQ Catchments and Caring for Country were all key to the success of the project.

There is a word for all that happened it’s called “Community Capacity Building” – the hard work and social events resulted in new friendships and understandings, and cemented fresh bonds amongst community members, government and business.

We would like to thank al those who were involved in the project. Each and everyone involved should be proud of what they achieved. All we can say is thanks for your hard work and dedication.

Mark Tierney – Coordinator Nerang RiverKeepers

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catchment scorecard

Thank you to all those who scored their sites in February. Have a look at the map on the web site it is pretty impressive with mostly orange and green rankings for sites.

Ongoing Score Card program – After listening to feedback from community members completing the score cards, and reviewing score card results, it has been decided to reduce the frequency. We will now only record a score at each site in Winter (August) and Summer (February). Leaders of each NRM group involved in the score card program will be given a reminder the month before and then they will chase up the individuals to complete the score cards. We hope that this decentralized approach will help to get more sites scored.

For more information about selecting and scoring a site please contact Janine Sigley ph: 0400 910 678 or email

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environment grant

Through the hard work of co-ordinator Glenn Norman, PlatypusWatch is moving from strength to strength.

WaterSecure has kindly offered to donate $10,000 towards the PlatypusWatch Program which is already generously supported by Gold Coast City Council. The program involves Platypus surveys, promoting and recording platypus sightings, assessing platypus habitat, promotional events and the presentation of study results.

Specifically WaterSecure is funding:

  • 8 surveys are planned for this year for Currumbin, Tallebudgera, Mudgeeraba, and Coomera (2 for each)
  • Habitat assessment will sample 12 x 50 metre sections of Currumbin, Tallebudgera and 2 other creeks.

There has been a great response to a flyer promoting the PlatypusWatch information/training day event on 7th May at David Fleay Wildlife Park.

The number attending continues to rise and there have even been inquiries from a film maker doing a documentary for National Geographic and from the Totally Wild TV show.

The survey days are:

Mudgeeraba Creek 28/5/11 and 17/9/11
Currumbin Creek 14/5/11 and 3/9/11
Tallebudgerra Creek 21/5/11 and 10/9/11
Coomera River 4/6/11 and 24/9/11

Check out the results of previous surveys on the platypus map

Contact Glenn Normand for more information on 0403901413 or

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Austinville Landcare is doing their little bit for those hit by the January Floods. The group has organized a bus and will visit the Somerset Region Group in Lowood to provide a day’s work to help them kick start their efforts after the demoralizing damage caused to their community work and private properties.

The Somerset Group will be putting on a sausage sizzle so the Austinville team will be sharing a bit of sweat and goodwill and will get a free lunch in return!

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