Issue 5 December 2011

GCCA newsletter # 5, December 2011
By Naomi Edwards – contact, 07 555 28823

Welcome to our last newsletter from Gold Coast Catchment Association for 2011.

There has been lots happening on the Gold Coast and as another year draws to a close it is time to stop, think and reflect on what has happened and above all thank those for being a part of the success.

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

To help you achieve beyond your expectations, please let us know how we can best deliver our services to you. Collectively we can all make proactive change for the benefit of our environment.

Lastly, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Be safe and let’s hope this wet season brings on a flourishing start to another fantastic year in the best biodiversity hotspot – that’s Gold Coast’s catchments!

All the very best

The Committee

Gold Coast Catchment Association

Introducing the new committee

A decade on and the committee is evolving. Part of organisation success and sustainability is about bringing a diverse network of people together to collectively make change – and allow change to happen. At our recent AGM there were a few changes to the committee. Introducing the new committee and roles:

President – Bardhold Blecken
Vice-president – Mark Tierney
Treasurer – Bardhold Blecken
Secretary and marketing – Naomi Edwards
Committee member – Wal Mayr
Committee member – Kris Boody

Further, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Wal Mayr for all his hard work over the last 2 years as President. He built on the work carried out by Mark Tierney and has left the Association in great shape as we continue to support our wonderful Gold Coast environmental volunteers. Also, thank you to Nicole Jensen, who has the new role of Nature Conservation Strategy Communication within Council for providing a special presentation about the Nature Conservation Strategy, what is happening and how it affects the community.

We appreciate your patience in advance with our new committee transitioning into new roles. If you have any correspondence, events needing to be advertised or needing extra support with administration, grants or partnership projects, please contact Naomi Edwards. We hope to be up and running smoothly in the New Year!

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Environmental Participants Celebration

Another year has slipped by in fast forward – however we didn’t miss the chance to all get together before another year begins. The annual Environmental Participants Celebration was held at Carrara Community Centre last Saturday, which the Gold Coast City Council put on to say thanks to the many volunteers working hard to restore, protect and preserve Gold Coast’s environment.

We were fortunate to have Emeritus Professor Tor Hundloe provide an insightful and entertaining guest presentation about our environment, NRM issues and what the future may bring. Being a local boy himself, it was encouraging to hear his optimistic views and strong connection to our country.

Cr Peter Young also took the opportunity to thank all the volunteers, groups and organisations working hard to build a more resilient landscape. Reminding us that there will be some significant changes in government next year, we all must remember to keep advocating for our environment’s and community’s future.

Taking advantage of being all together, awards were awarded to acknowledge a few key individuals. Those shining green stars were – Tom Fletcher, Mark Tierney, Lyn Wright, Ceris Ash and Barbara Knight! Congratulations to all!

A special thanks to Emeritus Professor Tor Hundloe, Wal Mayr, Grant Periott, Michael Duncan, Kris Boody, Jen Ford and everyone else behind the organising scene for making this event a success!

Professor Tor Hundloe
Professor Tor Hundloe

Kate McKenzie and Friends of Federation Walk
Kate McKenzie and Friends of Federation Walk

Jen Ford and Peter Davidson
Jen Ford and Peter Davidson

The mens clubThe men’s club

Keeping those conversations happening – GCCC, SEQ Catchments and
Keeping those conversations happening – GCCC, SEQ Catchments and Coomera River Catchment Group

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Land care awards

It is official – together we are the BEST Urban Land care group in the State – and just maybe Australia.

Queensland Water and Land Carers (QWaLC) held the Queensland Land care awards at the State Governor’s House in September. It was an incredible acknowledgement to be thanked by Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC Governor of Queensland, who particularly highlighted how important it was to work together to achieve on-ground action. In some sense this has refueled our enthusiasm to keep striving towards our vision.

Wal Mayr with Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC Governor of Queensland.
Wal Mayr with Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC Governor of Queensland. Wal Mayr said, “that he’ll put the award up on a special tree – where it belongs!”

To check out the ceremony’s details and other finalists click here. BeachCare was also awarded with the Coast care award – increasing the Gold Coast’s representation. Well done to all involved!

We are now up to take out the National Urban Land care award – just watch this space in the new year for further updates.

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Investing in our future – Biodiversity Fund brings $$$

investing in our future

The Federal Government has just released the first round for the Biodiversity Fund, which will be rolled over the next six years investing $946m to help land managers store carbon, enhance biodiversity and build greater environmental resilience across the Australian landscape.

The Biodiversity Fund will invest in three main areas:

  1. Biodiverse plantings
  2. Protecting and enhancing existing native vegetation
  3. Managing threats to biodiversity

To build a more resilient environment the Biodiversity Fund is open to both private and public land and supports emerging opportunities in the new carbon market. Examples of successful projects may include, though not limited to, establish new biodiverse plantings of mixed species that established and re-connect well functioning native ecosystems, revegetation to improve corridor connections and restore native habitats in peri-urban and coastal catchments.

Being in one of the most bio-diverse regions in Australia make sure you take advantage of this opportunity to enhance your on-ground restoration projects.

Applications close on Tuesday 31st January at 5pm AEDT. For more information please click here.

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Save the seagrass with Seagrass-Watch

Seagrass-Watch Gold Coast is the local advocate for seagrass and all living creatures that depend on the underwater meadows.

helping monitor seagrass
Community members and Griffith University students helping monitor seagrass;
(Photo source: Seagrass-Watch)

Seagrass is a valuable resource needing to be saved. It provides food and shelter for a multitude of species, including prawns, fish, sea turtles, dugongs and shorebirds, as well as other services that keep our coastal waterways in check. Unfortunately, seagrass is under constant threat from both natural and human impacts, which is why Seagrass-Watch needs your help.

You don’t need to be an expert in seagrass to help, as it is as easy as adopting a patch of seagrass to watch. Seagrass gurus from Seagrass-Watch provide all training needed for you to collect critical scientific data and remember monitoring is suitable for everyone. The greatest thing about being involved with Seagrass-Watch is that you are contributing to a worldwide database that helps managers guide decision-making in areas such as Marine Park planning and ecosystem health monitoring.

Adopt a patch of seagrass today by contacting Seagrass-Watch!

For more information about seagrass on the Gold Coast click here.

Daniela Wilken-Jones

Seagrass-Watch Gold Coast Coordinator

0432 988 513


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environment grant


PlatypusWatch has had another successful year and it is all thanks to those early rises participating in the patient surveys. Glenn Normand, the coordinator of PlatypusWatch on the Gold Coast, said how fantastic and encouraging it was to see community members volunteer a few hours over the survey period in hope of seeing a Platypus. “The benefits of seeing or not seeing a Platypus is that this data contributes to the larger picture of better understanding this shy species. Identifying where and why Platypus love to live, is important for managers and conservationists to better understand population dynamics and status in order to make viable conservation decisions.”

The data collected by community members and recent habitat assessments have been collated to map Gold Coast’s Platypus population distribution. A set of recommendations have been outlined from this year’s surveys, which will be addressed in the 2012 survey campaign. If you’d like to hear more about this report, please contact Glenn Normand.

Stay in the loop for the 2012 PlatypusWatch survey campaign.

Thanks again to Glenn Normand for his enthusiasm and technical advice and WaterSecure for the $10,000 contribution towards the habitat assessments.

It has been a great year for the Platypus!

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Catchment Scorecard Update

A total of 20 sites were scored this year with an additional seven waterways currently being monitored through the SEQ Catchments community – Gold Coast Catchment Scorecard. An information flyer “Do you know how your community rates our local waterways?” was also sent to relevant Councilors to ensure our local representatives know about the program and findings.

Have a look at the map on the web site. With over 40 sites scored, it is pretty impressive; with mostly orange (27 sites) and green (13 sites) rankings for the sites. You can drill down to the individual score card at each site to see what were the troubling indicators.

2012: Monitoring will kick off again in February for the summer survey campaign. Leaders of each group will be reminded in the New Year. Also, if you are interested in contributing to the Catchment Scorecard campaign, please contact Janine Sigley on 0400 910 678 or email

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Salvinia Busters Trial

What is that in our waterways? O no, it’s Salvinia molesta. Salvinia sp. is a Class 2 declared pest plant under Queensland legislation and a Weed of National Significance as it causes major impacts in our natural waterways. It is a small floating aquatic plant, which is present in a large proportion of water bodies on the Gold Coast especially lakes and slow flowing waterways.

Salvinia Busters
“Salvinia Busters” Alex and Tina from Friends of Crane Creek were on the water
busting out some Salvinia!

As many passionate community members would love to see our waterways free of this choking weed, thus, Salvinia Busters has been formed. It is a community partnership project between GCCC, SEQ Catchments, GCCA, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, and Friends of Crane Creek. This hands on project will be trialed in the summer of 2011/12 in two areas, Flat Rock Creek in Currumbin and Crane Creek, Seamist Drive. The trial will be used to work out which methods are most effective and how best to fit in with existing control methods. Methods trialed are using kayaks, a flat bottomed tinny and various scooping methods. If the trial is successful, the long term vision will be to extend the program across all of the Gold Coast.

Salvinia Busters uses a manual control technique which, when used in conjunction with other control strategies currently being used by the GCCC, will hopefully see a significant reduction in the amount and prevalence of Salvinia in our waterways.

For more information Contact Janine Sigley on 0400 910 678 or email

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Snap the sea, see the future

King tides can demonstrate what our coasts might look like in the future, considering sea level rise from climate change. Being on the Gold Coast with 9 times the amount of waterways than in Venice, we are vulnerable to the affects of a rising sea. To understand how we can adapt and manage low-lying hotspots, Green Cross Australia invites everyone to witness the 2012 king tides and share what they look like by snapping the sea to see the future.

chevron bridge
An example of a photo – Chervon Bridge over the Nerang River

Witness King Tides campaign will allow coastal managers learn what the future might hold, which is important to see it from the community’s eyes. With over 85% of Australia’s population living less than 50 km from the coast, there is no better time than now to capture a future.

How can you be involved?

  1. Visit
  2. Register to participate
  3. On the day head out and capture the peak of the king tides – IF IT IS SAFE!
  4. Snap photos showing the effects or threat of tidal inundation to foreshore infrastructure, housing, recreational spaces and other areas of interest
  5. Upload your photos and see other images from Queensland

Contact Miranda Mason from Green Cross Australia on or call 07 3003 0644. For more info visit

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Feedback for a better service

To effectively and efficiently make a bigger difference we need to know how to better our organisation. Yes, that is right – a bigger difference and better organisation. As time slips by, sometimes we forget to assess how we are doing and where we are going.

So, to better understand your needs please provide us with feedback. Contact Naomi Edwards to we can all reach beyond all our NRM targets – from the upper to the lower catchments.

tallebudgera creek catchment
Upper Tallebudgera catchment – which reaches Australia’s Cleanest Beach; (Photo source: GCCC)

Tallebudgera Creek – awarded Australia’s Cleanest Beach in 2010/11
Tallebudgera Creek – awarded Australia’s Cleanest Beach in 2010/11; (Photo source: GCCM)

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