Issue 6 March 2012

GCCA newsletter # 6, MARCH 2012
By Naomi Edwards – contact, 07 555 28823

Welcome to the first newsletter edition for 2012 from the Gold Coast Catchment Association.

There has been lots happening on the Gold Coast and as another year sets sail, it is great to hear, see and promote all the fantastic effort done by all.

Remember – our role is to be a completely independent peak body for Gold Coast’s ecological restoration community groups, and provide support to those to obtain grants, manage money so there is no need to become incorporated or spend time on accounting, and help 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 and community well being.

Remember to keep up to date with what is happening, ‘LIKE’ us on our Facebook Page. You can also contact Naomi Edwards if you have anything you’d like to share.

Enjoy Gold Coast’s only community catchment news!

From the Gold Coast Catchment Association

More awards

In 2011, we saw the Gold Coast receive numerous awards for the unsung heroes that are taking care of the incredible environment we share. This year looks to be the same, from the local to national scale.

We have just recently submitted our award submission for the National Land care awards for the urban land care category, which will be announced in September. BeachCare is also up for a national award for their contribution in coast care. So, please stay in the loop as the Gold Coast is set to represent once again.

Remember, reasons for such acknowledgements are because of the many individuals and collectives that work tirelessly to enhance the health and resilience of our environment. Two very hard working and modest individuals shone at the Gold Coast Australia Day award ceremony – so who were they?

Environmental Achievement Award

Mark Tierney,Gold Coast Catchment Association’s Vice-President and hero of the Nerang River was awarded the Gold Coast Environmental Achievement Award. Since 1999, Mark has worked tirelessly to protect Nerang River’s waterways and has more so been the backbone of the community’s voice about the health of the river. He is an extremely valuable community member, Nerang River advocate and more so humble in what he does. He thanked everyone for the acknowledgement, but was quick to highlight that this award is for the community. Congratulations Mark!

Mark Tierney,
Mark Tierney at his Nerang River haven

Another passionate change marker for Gold Coast’s environment was awarded at the ceremony –

Gold Coast Citizen of the Year!

Congratulations to Trish Wimberley, for her volunteered dedication to all sick and injured native species, particularly orphaned bats. Since 2000, Trish and her husband have been providing medical care and homes for native fauna. Their not-for-profit organisation, ABC & Wildlife Trauma Centre, works 24/7 and can care for up to 500 animals at any one time. They have been more than wildcarers – lifesavers for our native fauna.

A huge congratulations to Trish and her husband for their invaluable commitment! They need as much support as possible, so please visittheir website and donate!

Trish Wimberley and her bat friends
Trish Wimberley and her bat friends (Source:

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BAG IT Film Night

Some of us hung up our gloves for a night out at the Mermaid Beach Community Centre to see the BAG IT documentary and hear Tim Silverwood from TAKE 3hare his experience about beach and ocean plastic debris ending up the big Pacific Garbage Patch. The film night encouraged us all to re-think about our usage of plastics and more so, the use of single-use plastics. Approximately 46,000 pieces of plastic can be found per square kilometer in some parts of the world’s ocean. What is alarming about this statistic is that this is not only affecting the quality of water, however food stocks as plastic can be in a higher concentration than plankton, and also the bioaccumulation of toxins in marine life – eventually ending up in humans who consume seafood.

This issue can be overwhelming as plastic is literally everywhere (even this keyboard), however what we can all do is be more aware of our use of plastics, do the three R’s – recycle, reuse and reduce – and significantly reduce consumption by carrying a reusable BPA free water bottles, a snazzy Keep-cup for your takeaway beverages, and even a reusable straw.

The BAG IT Film Night would not have happened without support from Gold Coast City Council, Reef Check, Tim Silverwood and behind the scenes, Caroline Jackson, Kris Boody, Mark Tienery and Naomi Edwards.

As there was a positive response for the night, please stay in the loop as there might be more opportunities to see this film.

Bag it film night

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Catchment Crawl

We are all busy people, which is why we never seem to find the time to check out what others are doing to help manage Gold Coast’s catchments and connecting green spaces. Considering this, it was a no brainer to organise a bus tour to see four community projects – hence the “Catchment Crawl” – complete with show bags, gourmet platters, jokes, stories, laughs and even the anthem from the Republic of Austinville.

With support from SEQ Catchments and Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, 44 community members got the chance to be see the works of Friends of Federation Walk, Nerang Riverkeepers, Austinville Landcare and BeachCare’s partnership project with Friends of Currumbin. Before and after photos were shared, challenges discussed, with some questions leaving people thinking about their projects and future plans.

All responses have been extremely positive, which means if you didn’t get the chance to join in this Catchment Crawl, hopefully you’ll be in luck in 2013.

A special thanks needs to go to Linda Durham for making this happen. Hopefully she will be able to relax on her upcoming P&O cruise. What a reward!

Here are some highlights from the day. More photos can be seen on our Facebook page

Marta and Barbara from BeachCare
Marta and Barbara from BeachCare

Emma Tait and Kris Boody
Emma Tait and Kris Boody

Peter Davidson
Peter Davidson from Coomera River Catchment Group

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Who is who in GCCC?

Catchment Management Unit team
Some of the Catchment Management Unit team

It can be of no surprise to be transferred from one person to the next when calling the Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) about an issue or asking a question. So, to clear things up and make sure you get to speak to the right person, we are going to do a “who is who in GCCC” series in our newsletter. First up, is the Catchment Management Unit – who are they, what do they do and who is the community liaison officer?

The Catchment Management Unit (CMU) is the section in GCCC that actively manages the waterways on the Gold Coast. This is a big job, considering the Gold Coast has 9 times the waterways than Venice. Nevertheless, the CMU have individual catchment management officers for the 8 primary river systems and integrates innovative catchment management initiatives across the City.

Through daily monitoring campaigns, investment in new technologies and urgent responses to pollution incidents, the CMU is constantly on our waterways – for us to continue to enjoy and for aquatic plants, animals and birds to thrive in. Additionally, the CMU supports us in numerous ways, as well as 7 community catchment care groups. Education is also a core part of CMU, and supports the Waterwatch program to encourage schools and the community to play an active role in the management of our waterways.

Kris Boody is the man if you have a question about waterways, bank erosion, report an incident or if you want to get involved, etc. His passion of our catchments and community involvement is what keeps CMU active in the community and maintains a strong partnership with us. He can be reached on 0404 892 018 or alternatively you can email him at

For more information about CMU call (07) 5581 7005 – hopefully you’ll get the right person – or click here.

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environment grant

Look out for the upcoming 2012 monitoring campaign launch starting over the two weekends starting on the 21st April. Natalie Hoskins will be the new coordinator, and we can assure you that there will be a smooth transition from the excellent ground-work by Glenn Normand.

For more information about Platypuswatch, please contact Natalie Hoskins on 0419 522 207 or at

playpuswatch sponsors

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Seagrass-Watch new launch

After receiving a well-needed grant from the Federal Government’s Caring for Country Business round, Seagrass-Watch now has the capacity to continue the community monitoring program on the Gold Coast. Daniela Wilken-Jones will be calling for all seagrass lovers to help her out to capture the health of our seagrass meadows and contribute to the international database for seagrass.

What is exciting is an upcoming Gold Coast visit from Seagrass-Watch Head Quarter’s seagrass gurus. They will be here to present a free two day workshop in June. To register and save your spot at this not-to-be-missed workshop, please visit

For more information about Seagrass-Watch or the workshop, please contact Daniela Wilken-Jones.

Daniela Wilken-Jones
Seagrass-Watch Gold Coast Coordinator
0432 988 513


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News from the SEQ Catchments corner

To keep us in the loop with what is happening in the NRM-network across the region, SEQ Catchments has a new e-newsletter and yep, a Facebook Page too. Both mediums will be a great informative avenue to keep those interested in NRM activities, events, news and issues up to date, and keep those conversations happening between all.

Also, SEQ Catchments have announced a new round for the SEQC Community NRM Support Grants. Many grants available today don’t allow community groups to purchase equipment or repair equipment, provide training or purchase signage. They have tried to fill these gaps by providing groups the opportunity to submit an EOI to purchase such things. To be eligible to apply for these grants applicants must be a member of the South East Queensland Catchments Members Association (SEQCMA). Please contact Linda Durham for more information.

Other exciting things have included the Catchment Crawl, the Salvinia Buster project, coordination of the on-going Community Catchment Scorecard, and new partnerships between SEQ Water and South Stradbroke stakeholders for various upcoming projects.

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Elections – elect for our environment

Change is almost here, which could be good or bad for us hard working environmental heroes and those patches we manage. Both the State and Local elections will most definitely result in change, however the community has the power at the end of the day. Please think about the environmental policies and promises our running candidates propose.

On the local front, one candidate who has a proven track record for the environment and local community groups is Cr Peter Young. A modest candidate and hardworking, has already made significant progress throughout his 12-years as a Councilor with the Bold Futures Vision, Nature Conservation Strategy and more recent, the plans for the Cultural Precinct.

Cr Peter Young at the recent Catchment Crawl
Cr Peter Young at the recent Catchment Crawl

To find out more about Cr Peter Young, follow him on Facebook.

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Queensland State Landcare Conference 2012

Queensland Water and Land Carers (QWALC) and Landcare Queensland will be hosting the Queensland State Landcare Conference 2012, which is to be held on the 28th – 30th June 2012 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Australia.
The theme is ‘Paddocks, Backyards and Balconies…together, making a difference’, and being on the Gold Coast we are all too familiar with this. Working together has enabled us to achieve A LOT on the Gold Coast, which is why we encourage you to submit a paper or poster to share your fresh insights and experiences to help pave the path for a more sustainable future in NRM.
If you are interested in attending or need help with a submission please contact Naomi Edwards. Visit the conference website for more information:

state landcare conference 2012

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