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Ibis work for free aerating the park lawns & playing fields. I think they are a lovely sight down along the Cooks River.

Once again we have an opportunity to help the Office of Environment & Heritage know how many Australian White Ibis we have in Australia & where they are located.

Many people dislike Ibis & call them Bin Chickens because they are often seen picking through garbage.   The truth is that they do have a particular like of your leftovers, particularly takeaway food items.  However, if the Ibis could buy fresh items of takeaway they would.  Instead they are forced to try to reduce landfill or deal with your eatable litter.

They are environmental refugees & because of this, I believe they deserve more tolerance from the community. 

Prior to 1970 they lived in the inland lakes & rivers of NSW.  But tragedy happened with a long persistent drought drying up these places of fresh water.  Then bushfires claimed the large trees they nested in.

So, what does anyone do when their home becomes inhabitable?  They move.  The Ibis flew to the coast & what they found was a life of luxury & easy pickings because humans eat a lot, & throw tons of tasty food away – be it in landfill or in the park.  An Ibis is not concerned with poking about in a bin.  If there is a bit of hamburger down there, he/she wants it.

I often read comments in media & social media about how Ibis terrorize people for food.  Truly, they are not violent birds.  All you need to do is wave your hands or stand up or clap & the Ibis will run away from you as fast as their long skinny pink legs can carry them.  Their long black beak may look intimidating, but it is not a natural behaviour for them to try & poke out the eyes of a human being.  Even when they are being rescued they are desperate to  get away from the person who is trying to remove string or fishing line from their legs or toes.  They are terrified of being too close.

Yes, they stink sometimes, but if they have access to deep enough water they will line up for a chance to have a good long wash.  We also stink if we don’t wash.

They are intelligent, loyal & friendly birds.  If you have been kind to them, they will remember you.  They move around a lot & have been seen all the way down in Victoria & as far as Papua New Guinea.

Probably the biggest misunderstanding I hear often is that they are an exotic species & should go back to Egypt.  They are in fact an Australian native bird.  Egypt has their own Ibis species.

Environment NSW are asking the community to report sightings of Ibis, especially those birds that are wing tagged or have a leg band.  They want to know the numbers of the tags or bands, how many Ibis there are & their behavior.

You can download a free Apple app here – https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/wingtags/id1179274045?mt=8

Or for Android here – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.au.gov.nsw.rbgsyd.wingtags&hl=en

Or you can go directly to the website here – http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/surveys/WhiteIbisSurvey.htm

The survey happens during Bird Week from Saturday 21st to Sunday 29th October 2017.

Seen in Gough Whitlam Park 2-3 months ago. WIRES were contacted. Unfortunately Ibis often get their legs & toes entangled in string (even the string from discarded tea bags), fishing line, balloon cords & any kind of cord left in the parks or waterways. Imagine tying something really tight around your toe. You can’t get it off. It causes you horrendous pain for months until either you die from infection or your toe drops off — and you might still die from infection. This is a routine experience for Ibis & other birds, so please do not take or leave these kind of things in the park. TY

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Screenshot of Marrickville Station taken from Sydney Metro website..  

With 4-weeks to go before submissions close for The Sydney Metro Sydenham to Bankstown rail line, the Environmental Impact Statement has been released.

Sydney Metro are holding community information sessions to help the community understand this mammoth document.  Members of the project team will be available to answer  questions.

MARRICKVILLE

  • Thursday 19th October: 3- 7pm at Marrickville Town Hall.

HURLSTONE PARK

  • Wednesday 11th October: 3 – 7pm at Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL, 20-26 Canterbury Road Hurlstone Park.
  • Saturday 28th October: 10am – 2pm at Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL.

You can view & download the Environmental Impact Statement at – www.majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au & at  www.sydneymetro.info

The deadline for submissions is 8th November 2017.

A drowsy Pelican

It’s Spring & the Aussie backyard Bird Count is almost here.  Birdlife Australia are asking people to count all the birds they see during a 20-minute period & then log this information onto their website or via their free app.  Your information helps them assess the health of birdlife throughout Australia.

Your backyard can be the park, your real backyard, the grounds at school – anywhere & at any time of day.   You can do one count or many counts, but each area needs to be logged on a separate count.

If you fail to see any birds, they want you to log this information too, as it helps the researchers know where birds are sparse.

The Aussie backyard Bird Count asks that you count birds within one area rather than walk for 20-minutes, because this can result in a large area.  Best to target an area with a maximum 80-metre radius or an area 100-metres by 200-metres maximum.

400 birds are listed in a field guide to help you identify them.

The app & a list of FAQS can be found here – https://aussiebirdcount.org.au/faq/

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count runs from the 23 to 29 October 2017.

An extra way you can help is report any Cockatoos you see nesting, tagged & untagged to Hollows as Homes.  See – http://www.hollowsashomes.com 

 

A very happy pair of nesting Cockatoos.

Lucky pair of Cockatoos with their own natural tree hollow. I love that both have their crests up.

The final results of the Inner West Council election were delayed by the need to count votes & preferences down to the last vote between Independents Victoria Pye & Victor Macri, both of Marrickville Ward.  Victor Macri was eventually victorious.

The elected Councillors are (in alphabetical order) –

Ashfield:

Tom KIAT (Greens)

Mark DRURY (Labor)

Julie PASSAS (Liberal)

Balmain:

Rochelle PORTEOUS (Greens)

John STAMOLIS (Independent)

Darcy BYRNE (Labor)

Leichhardt:

Marghanita DA CRUZ (Greens)

Lucille MCKENNA (Labor)

Vittoria RACITI (Liberal)

Marrickville:

Colin HESSE (Greens)

Victor MACRI (Independent)

Sam ISKANDER (Labor)

Stanmore:

Louise STEER (Greens)

Pauline LOCKIE (Independent)

Anna YORK (Labor)

Congratulations to all the elected Councillors.  The September 19th edition of the Inner West Courier said a “Labor-Liberal alliance is on the cards,” as it was for the previous four-year term.  Interesting bedfellows make for interesting council meetings.

The first Inner West Council meeting, where the Mayor for the next twelve months will be chosen by a vote between the Councillors, will be held at –

  • Ashfield Service Centre – 260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield
  • Thursday 21st Speptember 2017
  • At 6.30pm

There will be no public speakers at this meeting.  This & other council meetings will also be live streamed on the internet here – https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/council/meetings/council-meetings

Wards of the Inner West Council

Don’t forget to vote tomorrow – Saturday 9th September 2017.    Voting at polling venues are open from 8am & close at  6pm.  Hopefully we will get a good outcome.

Lovely canopy of a Eucalyptus tree

I recently posted about the Marrickville Ward candidates for the Saturday 9th September 2017 council elections. See –  http://bit.ly/2vv5oik

There will be 15 Councillors overall for the Inner West Council, 3 for each –

  • Marrickville Ward,
  • Stanmore Ward,
  • Leichhardt Ward,
  • Ashfield Ward &
  • Balmain Ward.

Stanmore Ward – covers the suburbs of Stanmore, Lewisham, Petersham, Newtown, Enmore & Camperdown. 

Facebook group No WestConnex posted a video of the Meet the Candidates of Stanmore Ward.  The meeting was organised by the ‘Newtown Residents Against WestConnex.’

The candidates are –

  • James (no last name given, though I think it is Gilronan) (Independent),
  • Anna York (Labor)
  • Pauline Lockie (Independent)
  • Lou Steer (Greens),
  • Pip Hinman (Socialist Alliance)
  • There is a Liberal candidate, Ken Henderson. He sent a written statement in lieu of attending.

Preferences – 

  • Anna Lord (Labor) said Labor will preference a progressive candidate, not the Liberals.
  • James (Independent) undecided. Said he will give people ideas on how to use their preferences.
  • Pauline Lockie (Independent) is allowing people to decide their own preferences.
  • Lou Steer (Greens) will favour progressive candidates & not the Liberals.
  • Pip Hinman (Socialist Alliance) – Greens first, then Pauline Lockie.

Issues addressed –  Candidates position on WestConnex, tree removal & other associated issues concerning WestConnex that are affecting the local community & on the M4 & M5 link.   Council assisting community groups, remediation measures, public transport plan, the Metro train line, light rail on & the development of Parramatta Road, cycle ways, privatization of buses locally, livability, air pollution, the Labor candidate’s ability to contact Luke Foley re the Labor party’s position on WestConnex, corruption, “the stench at St Peters” from digging for WestConnex, the issue of serious community concerns being unsupported by Council, the clearways on King Street & other major roads, tearing up contracts for WestConnex, de-amalgamating the Council, & transparency of the Council merger into the public domain.

Significant time was spent trying to ascertain Labor’s position on WestConnex.  The Labor candidate Anna York said local Labor opposes all three stages of WestConnex.  However, a community member said that the Leader of NSW Labor Party Luke Foley states differently on his website – supporting Stage 1 and 2 & also supporting to lengthen Stage 1 by putting a freeway to the CBD.

“If I cast a vote for local Labour, wouldn’t I be indicating tacit support for the Labor party’s position?” Anna York repeated that local Labor has their own views.    “You are running against the position of your state party?”   The key word is “local Labor.”  One commenter said along the lines of – so local labor is against what state Labor’s position is.

——-

As I wrote in my previous post, the elected Councillors will be deciding on issues affecting the whole of this massive municipality.  Issues affecting Birchgrove will be decided by all 15 Councillors & all 15 Councillors will be deciding issues affecting the former Marrickville LGA.  Therefore, the three representatives we elect will be incredibly important for fighting for our rights, our community & our area because they will be the only ones who know our area.  It will be the same for the other wards in the new LGA.  Who we vote for is extremely important.

In my opinion our community can no longer afford to be unaware of what is happening at Council or the views of the Councillors for much of what they pass in council meetings has to do with their own personal beliefs & perhaps not in line with the community.   For example, we cannot complain about over-development if we gave our vote to a candidate who is pro development.

You can watch the candidates speak & address questions put to them by the community here –  https://www.facebook.com/groups/marrickvilleresidentsSOS/

Fig birds in a Poplar tree in Marrickville

We have a local council election happening Saturday 9th September 2017 where we get to vote in the first Councillors of the new Inner West Council & say goodbye to Administrator Richard Pearson.

There will be 15 Councillors overall, 3 for each –

  • Marrickville Ward,
  • Stanmore Ward,
  • Leichhardt Ward,
  • Ashfield Ward &
  • Balmain Ward.

Marrickville Ward – covers the suburbs of Marrickville, St Peters, Sydenham & Tempe. 

Facebook group No WestConnex posted a video of the Meet the Candidates of Marrickville Ward held Last Thursday night.

The candidates are –

  • Victoria Pye (Independent),
  • Col Hesse (Greens),
  • Sam Iskandar (Labor) &
  • Victor Macri (Independent).
  • There is a Liberal candidate, but the moderator said they declined to attend.

Preferences –

  • Vic Macri (Independent) will not be giving away preferences because the people who voted for him only want him.
  • Col Hesse (Greens) are giving their preferences to Victoria Pye first with Labor next.
  • Victoria Pye (Independent) is giving her preferences to the Greens.
  • Sam Iskandar (Labor) has not decided their preferences yet.

Issues addressed –

  • The Victoria Road Precinct, tree loss intended for Wicks Park as part of the Victoria Road Precinct, the Gateway Process, setting up a community plan, the size of the new council, opposing the WestConnex Motorway, sustainable development, green space protection, infrastructure, demerge from such a large Council, a more representative council, the proposed cycle-way along Addison Road, prioritizing the use of public spaces for the use of schools, massive increase in population coming to our area, proposed stadium at the former Jets Sports Club, community services & programs, location of Council Meetings, construction noise, trucks & roads, smoke stacks, over-development, rise in land valuations, the Local Environment Plan, the Development Control Plan & more.

The elected Councillors will be deciding on issues affecting the whole of this massive municipality.  Issues affecting Birchgrove will be decided by all 15 Councillors & all 15 Councillors will be deciding issues affecting the former Marrickville LGA.  Therefore, the six representatives we elect for Stanmore & Marrickville Wards will be incredibly important for fighting for our rights, our community & our area because they will be the only ones who know our area.  It will be the same for the other wards in the new LGA.

Listening to the video it appeared to me that some candidates want to oppose WestConnex tooth & nail, while another wants to mitigate issues with WestConnex.   Our area is undergoing massive & ongoing change.  As such, who we vote for is extremely important.

In my opinion, our community can no longer afford to be unaware of what is happening at Council or the views of the Councillors for much of what they pass in council meetings has to do with their own personal beliefs & perhaps not in line with the community.   For example, we cannot complain about over-development if we gave our vote to a candidate who is pro development.

You can watch the candidates speak & address questions put to them by the community here – http://bit.ly/2vv5oik    I am told this is a better link – https://www.facebook.com/NoWestconnex/videos/1189372467871826/

I came across this blog in a google search & found the post, “Inner West Council Election, 2017” to be an interesting read.  It also lists all the candidates & whether they are conservative aka right-leaning or left leaning, which can help especially with candidates not affiliated with a political party.   See –   https://www.tallyroom.com.au/nswcouncil2017/innerwest2017

I shall post about Stanmore Ward tomorrow.

The “urban renewal” of Leichhardt. Photo taken July 2017.

Inner West Council is holding a public meeting on the Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor Draft Strategy.  If this development goes ahead as planned it will be the end of Dulwich Hill, Marrickville & Sydenham as we know it.  Council has expressed serious concern about the lack of infrastructure to cope with the massive increase in population.  If Council is against it, you know it is bad.

“The revised draft Strategy has increased the number of new dwellings in the inner west by 2,500 to 8,500. Total dwellings have increased by 50% (Marrickville Station Precinct) and 500% (Sydenham Station Precinct).” – Inner West Council press release.  See http://bit.ly/2v87szX

As far as I understand, this does not include the 750 new dwellings I was told has just been approved for the Victoria Road Precinct in Marrickville & the 2,400 new dwellings planned for Carrington Road in Marrickville South.

WHEN:          Thursday 10th August 2017

TIME:              6:30pm

WHERE:        Marrickville Town Hall

The deadline for submissions is Sunday 3rd September 2017.

Wattles are flowering now.

The Department of Planning & Environment are holding community information sessions regarding the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor.  All sessions are free to attend.

“Come along to our information session where the project team will be available to discuss the plans with you and answer questions. You can drop in anytime during the three hour time slot.”

  • Dulwich Hill –30pm – 7.30pm on Wednesday 16th August 2017 at Salvation Army, 54 Dulwich Street Dulwich Hill.
  • Marrickville – 10am- 1pm Saturday on 19th August 2017 at Marrickville Town Hall, Marrickville Road.
  • Hurlstone Park –30pm – 7.30pm on Tuesday 22nd August 2017 at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club, 20-26 Canterbury Road Hurlstone Park.

There are also sessions at Campsie, Lakemba & Bankstown.  To book see –  http://bit.ly/2tPbJaN

The 2017 National Tree Day site in Steel Park is being prepared with mulch. It is a large area, approximately 50-metres long.  It will join up with last year’s planting site.  

National Tree Day is happening on Sunday 30th July 2017.  Inner West Council (Marrickville) is inviting the community to help add to the environmental work done in Steel Park at last year’s National Tree Day site.

A large area of lawn was removed & the area planted with native plants & trees.   Council wants to create connected areas of habitat along the river for wildlife to live & forage for food & this is a very good thing.

PLANTING –

WHEN:          Sunday 30th July 2017.

WHERE:        Steel Park Illawarra Road Marrickville beside the shared pathway along the Cooks River east of the children’s playground.

TIME:             10am – noon.

BRING:          Refillable water bottle & a hat.   Council will provide gloves, tools, watering cans/buckets, drinking water & refreshments.

FREE TREE GIVEAWAY –

Council will also be giving away free trees to increase the urban forest canopy.  The trees will be advanced sized stock (25 litre bags/300mm pots), so you will need to have the means to get the tree home & have room for it to grow in your garden.

Conditions to be eligible for a free tree are –

  • One tree per household. You will need to provide proof of address (Council rates notice or Drivers Licence).
  • Residents must obtain the necessary approvals for selecting the trees and the planting locations within the property boundary. We suggest you investigate where best to plant the tree to minimise any risks to property or people.
  • Inner West Council makes its best endeavours to provide a healthy tree with average growth height information, but makes no warranties concerning the tree.” – from Inner West Council’s website – link below.

The tree species available are all natives & all provide food for wildlife –

  • Lilly Pilly Acmena smithii ‘Red Tip Form’
  • Coast Banksia Banksia integrifolia
  • Bella Donna Brachychiton populneus x acerifolius
  • ‘Dawson River Weeper’ Callistemon viminalis
  • NSW Christmas Bush Ceratopetalum gummiferum
  • Riberry Syzygium luehmannii

Council staff will be available to talk you about tree choice & how to care for it, but you can download information about the trees & their growth expectations here – http://bit.ly/2urXzdS

WHEN:          Sunday 30th July 2017.

WHERE:  The free trees can be collected from the southern carpark of the Debbie and Abbey Borgia Centre, entrance off Illawarra Road Marrickville.

TIME:             10am – noon.

BRING:          The trees are “advanced size,” so you will need a suitable vehicle to take your tree home.

There is also a planting event happening at Wilkins Green in Wilkins High School in Marrickville. 

“For National Tree Day, our goal is to plant out the ridgeline, which borders the western side of the Green, with native species, further increasing biodiversity for the whole of the Marrickville area and creating a wildlife corridor, or sanctuary, for native Australian fauna, who will find food and shelter within the Green.  Our long term goal is to create a native Bush Land which is self-sustaining, home to wildlife and a showcase to the wider community of what is possible in the urban landscape.”  How great is that!

WHEN:          Sunday 30th July 2017.

WHERE:        Wilkins Green, in Wilkins High School, corner of Livingstone & Sydneham Roads Marrickville.  Parking is available inside the school through the gate on Sydneham Road or street parking is available.

TIME:             10:00am – 2:00pm

BRING:          They ask that you wear closed toes shoes & bring gloves if you have them.  They also request that you can bring a plate of food to share afterward, as there will be a barbeque.  Refreshments will be supplied.

Many of us have got used to Sydney Park being a National Tree Day site, but it will not be this year.  Instead the main Planet Ark National Tree Day site will be with the City of Parramatta at Third Settlement Reserve in Winston Hills.  Costa the Gnome & Dirtgirl will be there, as well as all the other activities we have seen at Sydney Park over the last few years.  Over 10,000 trees, shrubs & groundcovers will be planted along the creek line in Third Settlement Reserve, which is pretty impressive.

If you are not in the Inner West on National Tree Day or you are interested in traveling to another site, there are plenty of places holding planting events.  They can be found here – http://treeday.planetark.org/find-a-site/search.cfm

A section of last years National Tree Day planting. Photo taken two days ago.  

What was a garden island in lawn is now part of a whole re-vegetated area for wildlife.  The shorter plants were planted last National Tree Day.  Photo taken two days ago.

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