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1. Dr Maxine Cooper, the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability & the Environment has released a report recommending that the Urban Forest Renewal Program be tossed out & instead create a new position of Tree Curator to engage with Canberra residents about public trees. She also recommends an extra $4 million a year ongoing to look after the 730,000 trees in the ACT. “So it’s like our health, if you look after yourself better & give attention to health, there’s less need for medicine. The same for trees. If you look after trees they actually will last longer.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/30/3178188.htm
2. Mosman Council has a webpage called ‘Big Ideas for Mosman.’ One of the ideas is to plant fruit trees in public places. This is an initiative I see happening a lot overseas. Public fruit trees are also being planted as part of Sydney City Council’s Sustainable Streets project.
3. Still with Mosman Council, Brush Turkey chicks have been sighted at Reid Park & Millet Road. The birds have been recorded in these areas since 2009, but large numbers have not been seen since the Depression when hungry people ate them. Brush Turkeys are protected under the National Parks & Wildlife Act 1974. Male Brush Turkeys continually rake an enormous mound of leaves to keep their eggs at the perfect temperature. http://www.mosman.nsw.gov.au/news/2011/03/28/next-generation-brush-turkeys?utm_source=council-website&utm_medium=share-buttons&utm_campaign=social-media
4. Myrtle Rust, a serious fungal disease of plants, has been confirmed in world heritage listed Lamington National Park. Myrtle Rust affects Eucalypts, Bottle brush & Tea tree as well as other Australian native plants. It can have a devastating affect in forests – “deformation of leaves, heavy defoliation of branches, dieback, stunted growth & plant death.” It spreads rapidly & procedures have been put in place to try to prevent this from happening. http://www.mysunshinecoast.com.au/articles/article-display/national-parks-on-alert-after-myrtle-rust-detection,20931
On 1st March 2011 Bio Security announced that Myrtle Rust had been found at a Cairns nursery making this the farthest north detection of the fungus. Associate Professor Andres Drenth, a plant pathologist at the University of Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences said, “It’s likely to have a substantial long-term impact. It will affect reproductive rates for infected eucalypts. In the next generation, those resistant species will become more dominant & slowly over time you will get a change of species. This will also affect the animals that are dependent on these species.” http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2011/03/01/3151595.htm
5. Hills Shire Council opened their main street project this week. Unveiled were new street trees & shrubs, new lighting & paving, outdoor-dining spaces & wombat crossings. Wombat Crossings! How fantastic to have wild wombats in Sydney. http://hills-shire-times.whereilive.com.au/news/story/castle-hills-main-street-to-open-tonight/
6. An undefined number of Poplar trees were chopped down by Meriton at a Warriewood Valley development site. Meriton said the tree removal complied with their DA approved by the Planning Assessment Commission & they will replace the trees with native plants. Residents are angry about the tree-clearing saying they bought their properties because of the green leafy view. Now they will be looking onto & into units. Poplars are big dramatic broad-leafed trees with lime green leaves. They are popular with birds & make the most terrific sound when the wind blows through the leaves. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/not-a-poplar-move-at-all/
7. Currawong, a holiday park opposite Palm Beach in Pittwater has been purchased for $12.2 million by the NSW state government to be made into a new state park. This has been a long battle to keep this iconic park in the ownership of the people. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/currawong-to-become-state-park/
8. Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has ordered the all cows out of Alpine National Park in Victoria by 8th April 2011. The Victorian government put the cows into the national park in January 2011 as “part of a scientific research.” An Environmental Assessment of the impact of cattle grazing in the park had not been performed. When the paperwork was given to the Minister mid-March he said, “The information that has eventually come from the Victorian government is a joke. For something that is meant to be a university research project, we’re provided with documentation that wouldn’t pass as high school science homework.” http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/government-orders-cows-out-of-victorias-alpine-park/story-e6frf7kf-1226024189122
9. “Gloves are off” regarding community opposition to the Gunns Ltd pulp mill in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley. Over 1,000 people protested at what will likely be the first of many demonstrations since the Federal government approved the $2.5 billion pulp mill. It’s hard for people to say the protests are just the work of green-left radicals when universally loved ex-Gardening Australia host Peter Cundall was one of the main speakers. I.50-minute ABC News video -http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2011/03/20/3168808.htm
10. Staying in Tasmania – whether you like or dislike Senator Bob Brown, his donation of his Liffey Valley bushland home ‘Oura Oura’ in Northern Tasmania to Bush Heritage Australia is a generous act indeed. The 14-hectare parcel of land is environmentally significant & provides habitat to numerous threatened species such as ‘the tasmanian devil, the spotted-tail quoll, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle & the grey goshawk.’ The Liffey River flows through the land. Senator Brown founded Bush Heritage in 1991. http://www.bushheritage.org.au/oura-oura-reserve-handover.html plus a 1.02-minute video showing footage of ‘Oura Oura’ land.