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Newsletter No. 6     November 1996
In this issue...
Weedbuster Day success  SORB on the Web Plant of the Month
WRBG receives Grant  CRAC formed SORB Publications 
Site Analysis Consultancy  Brisbane River floods  Book Sales 
Controlled Burn Council Issues
Bushland Care across Brisbane  Environment Branch Grants 

Weedbuster Day success

An enthusiastic group of 40 adults and children turned out for WRBG's first involvement in Queensland's annual Weedbuster Day on 6 October. An enjoyable and sociable few hours was spent clearing an area of Blue Billgoat Weed and Guinea Grass, followed by mulching and the planting of 100 native trees, shrubs and grasses local to the area.

BCC Bushland Care Officer Mike Noble was on hand to provide expert advice and point out significant features of this Westlake bushland remnant. Informative brochures about problem weeds were on hand as part of the Weedbuster kit.

Weedbuster Day is co-ordinated by the Department of Natural Resources and supported by Greening Australia and BCC. 

Monthly Working Bees

Note your diaries for upcoming working bees (first Sunday of month):
  • Sunday, 3 November at 8 - 10am
  • Sunday, 1 December at 8 - 10am
Meet at riverfront end of Balaton Street for directions.

Bring: sturdy shoes, gardening gloves, hat, sunscreen, water bottle. Also mattock if available. 

WRBG receives Grant

In November last year, WRBG was successful in its application for a $5,000 grant for a Site Analysis and Community Education project. The grant was provided by the Brisbane River Management Group (BRMG) under its Community Support Grant Scheme. The scheme is designed to complement BRMG's aims to preserve, protect and improve the quality and amenity of the Brisbane River and its tributaries.

WRBG's project has a two-fold objective:

  1. to undertake and document a site analysis as a basis for future development of a management plan; and
  2. to develop communications strategy including provision of display materials as part of community education in the values of native bushland and its role in catchment protection,
in relation to bushland rehabilitation on the Brisbane River, Pullen Reach, Westlake and Riverhills in the Centenary suburbs.

Progress to date includes a botanical survey between Cascade Close and Balaton Street undertaken in April this year. The results have been published both as a field guide and a database listing (refer Publications later in this newsletter). WRBG has also obtained BCC Bimap electronic data to assist in doing our own geographic information system (GIS) mapping of the site.

Consultant appointed

WRBG has recently appointed Rob Friend and Associates, environmental land management consultants, to undertake the site analysis portion of the BRMG-funded project. Rob will be undertaking the study during the month of November, concluding with the publication of a report.

Flora and fauna studies will be undertaken with the possibility of community involvement in a fauna spotlighting evening.

WRBG is aiming to provide opportunities for community education through the conduct and outcomes of the site analysis. 

Fauna spotlighting - if you wish to register for this possible event, please see Ed at working bee or ring (3376 1389) as soon as possible as places will be limited. 

Controlled Burn

On 28 August 1996 BCC carried out a controlled burn of the bushland between Barcoorah St and the river from Yarra Close north for some 300 metres. This controlled burn is part of the Council's fire prevention and hazard reduction program within its natural bushland areas. Main target for the burn was the rampant Guinea Grass and other weed growth. Mike Noble, BCC Bushland Care Liaison Officer, assisted in the planning and ensured special care was taken to protect vulnerable species such as the native Hibiscus (see Plant of the Month).

Bushland Care across Brisbane

There are now some 60 Bushland Care Groups like WRBG across Brisbane. BCC hosted the annual Bushcare Get-Together, a picnic at Nosworthy Park, Corinda, a good opportunity to meet with fellow bushcarers and Council staff. Maree and Ed represented our Group at this event on Saturday, 26 October.

SORB on the Web!

Those of you who have access to the Internet may wish to check out our own worldwide Web home page which has been up and running since early this year. The address is:

Links are provided to SORB and WRBG news, activities, aerial photos, map as well as other related sites.

CRAC formed

The Centenary Riverfront Advisory Committee (CRAC) was formed in May this year. This community-based group was set up to provide advice to our local Councillor, Christine Watson, on environmental management issues relating to the Brisbane River riverfront within Jamboree Ward. CRAC's scope extends from Wolston Creek to Seventeen Mile Rocks.

Congratulations to SORB/WRBG committee member, Walter Wood, who was elected inaugural Chair of this committee and Maria Delaunty as an executive committee member. Recently Nikki Parker also joined the executive committee, filling a casual vacancy.

Several general meetings have been held, the most recent of which on 24 October had Mike Noble, BCC Bushland Care Liaison Officer as guest speaker.

Mike provided an entertaining and informative talk including outlining John Oxley's documented exploits along the river in this area in 1823/24. Mike has been able to pinpoint specific sites visited by Oxley who also documented native flora existing then (including the Native Hibiscus - see Plant of the Month).

Brisbane River floods

In late April - early May 1996 this area recorded some 470mm of rain over 10 days. The Brisbane River rose appreciably (estimated at some 1 to 2 metres above HWM), flooding a significant portion, for example, of the vegetated bank and lower pathway between Balaton St and north of Cascade Close.

A significant landslip occurred in this area which took away a section of the path constructed under the Skillshare project mid last year.

Council Issues

SORB has been seeking resolution with BCC matters relating to the landslip and that the subdivision boundary south of Balaton St is too close to the river and the landslip to allow safe public access along the riverbank.

Environment Branch Grants

The Committee is currently considering options for an application for funding under BCC's Environment Branch grants.

Plant of the Month - Native Hibiscus

The Native Hibiscus, otherwise known as Native Rosella (Hibiscus heterophyllus) occurs at several sites along Pullen Reach. The main naturally occurring stand on the site abuts the main path (both sides) just beyond the northern end of the rock escarpment. It grows as a small tree with variable leaves, either lobed or unlobed, with serrated edges. The stand has been in flower for the past months, exhibiting large, showy, whitish flowers with a dark red centre. Fruit is a hairy or bristly capsule partly surrounded by the calyx. As noted by BCC's Mike Noble at the last CRAC meeting, John Oxley recorded this species in this area in 1823/24.

SORB Publications

SORB has produced several reports relating to botanical surveys undertaken on the site in February 1992 and April 1996. If interest exists among members, copies could be printed for a small charge.

Book Sales - Christmas gift ideas!!

WRBG has arranged to be a reseller for the Queensland Museum's range of publications. Titles include the new "Wild Places of Greater Brsibane" ($20), "Birds of Brisbane" ($7), "Brisbane River Sourcebook" ($36). See Ed to order your copies or enquire about other titles.

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Created 3 Nov 1996
Updated 29 Dec 2000
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