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Natural Resources Northern and Yorke

28 August 2014


In this issue

A word from the Presiding Member
2014 Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Photo Competition
Ethel excites in Innes National Park
Wallaby numbers stable following Bangor Fire
Have your say on catchment management
Beach walkers and hooded plover lovers wanted!
National Park online bookings go live!
Garden lovers invited to Plants Society gathering
Young Environmental Leaders roll up their sleeves in the mid north.
PIRSA weed control handbook update
Western pygmy-possums at Innes National Park
Get to know your natives - Silver daisy bush
Shearing shed social - an invitation from Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group
Hart Field Day - Farming from a different perspective
EMU property management on show
New automatic weather station at Burra
South Australian Arid Lands join Facebook.
Explore our Parks - Martindale Hall
SA Buffel Grass Strategic Plan 2012-2017
Operation Outdoors on ABC Adelaide 891
Stirring the Possum
Update to "Smartphone Apps for Smart Farmers" booklet
It's not to late too register for the 2014 National Landcare Conference
A bit about the Green Army
Dad 'n' Daughters in the wild - hiking the Heysen
Precision Agriculture Symposium of Australasia
Green Hub Energy Efficiency Program
Stepping into Leadership

We invite you to contribute news and stories from across the region.

Please forward this newsletter on to your neighbours to share the good news of all things natural resource management!





08 8841 3400.

A word from the Presiding Member

August has brought some unusual climate for our farming community. Farm advisers and their grain-growing clients who have been affected by recent severe frosts can attend the Grains Research and Development Corporation workshop being held in Clare on Friday 29 August.

As we move into spring, there are a range of projects, events and activities taking place in our region which offer everyone a chance to get involved.

To those active in photography, entries for the 2014 Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Photo Competition remain open until 14 September 2014.

Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group are hosting their second shearing shed social on 26 September.

Beach walkers can participate in the biennial Hooded plover count across the Yorke Peninsula coast.  There are 71 coastal locations to be covered and our community members play an important role in assisting the recovery of this small and unique coastal bird. You may want to take the opportunity to visit the Ethel shipwreck looking magnificent on the Innes National Park coast whilst you are out on the Yorke Peninsula coast.

If you are a garden lover, the Australian Plant Society SA Regional Conference is taking place in the Clare Valley on the October long weekend too!

There is much to be proud of in the Northern and Yorke Region, and the NRM Board trust September will be a productive and enjoyable month for all.

Caroline Schaefer

Presiding Member, Northern and Yorke NRM Board

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2014 Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Photo Competition

Entries for the Natural Resources Northern and Yorke – 2014 Photo Competition are invited from residents, visitors and guests of the Northern and Yorke Region, South Australia.

The winner will receive a 2 night stay in heritage-listed accommodation in either Innes, The Dutchman’s Stern or Mount Remarkable National Park, valued at up to $370.

The judges will also select one photo in each category to receive a 12 month national park pass.

All winning photos will also feature in the 2015 Natural Resources Northern and Yorke calendar. You can enter a photo in one of 12 categories:

  • Natural resource management
  • Volunteering
  • Coast
  • Education
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • National parks
  • Pest management
  • Healthy soils
  • Landscapes
  • Biodiversity – native plants and animals
  • Catchment and water
  • Caring for country

All entries must be received by 11:45pm on Sunday 14 September, 2014.

Winners will be announced on 4 October 2014.

Further information: Natural Resources Northern and Yorke website.

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Ethel excites in Innes National Park

Recent weeks of high winds and tidal movements has exposed a century-old shipwreck off the south-west coast of Yorke Peninsula.

Originally named Carmelo, the Ethel was built in England in 1876 and came to it’s fate as it sailed past Althorpe Island in 1904 on route to Port Adelaide from South Africa.

Under force of strong southwest winds, the ship drifted into the beach which now bears its name.

Mark Davison, Ranger in Charge for Innes National Park said that the wreck is a real icon for Innes National Park and its sighting is a rare and exciting occurrence.

"It struck reef as it rounded the Yorke Peninsula damaging its rudder, leaving the vessel unsteerable. The crew became stranded and one drowned whilst attempting to swim ashore."

"The S.S. Ferret notified a nearby lighthouse keeper of the stranding, salvage attempts were made but due to the location of the beach and its steep cliff surrounding the Ethel has remained relatively intact for many years.

"The iron frame of the ship collapsed in 1985 and much of the remains are now immersed beneath pounding ocean waves."

Wild weather in recent weeks has exposed the Ethel for the third time in as many years which is extremely rare.

Visitors to Innes National Park can take a fully furbished board walk to the beach and capture this sight on photo and film. Further information about the wreck and all camping and heritage accommodation bookings at Innes National Park are available at www.parks.sa.gov.au.

Shipwrecks in South Australia are protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act (1976) and visitors are prohibited from interfering with remains.

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Wallaby numbers stable following Bangor Fire

A survey of the Telowie Gorge Conservation Park has found that the yellow-footed rock- wallaby (YFRW) population in the park has been largely unaffected by the Bangor bushfire and flood event of January/February 2014.

The informal ground survey conducted recently by Michael Stead of EcoKnowledge, found five YFRW in four separate locations within the park, which remains closed to the public.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke ranger in charge, Mount Remarkable National Park, Donna Ferschl says it is thought the total population of YFRW in the Telowie Gorge Conservation Park is about 20-30 individuals, and the sightings are significant.

"Those rock-wallabies in the Telowie Gorge Conservation Park are the most southern population in the state and they’ve never been in high numbers, normally they exist in the arid lands – the Flinders Ranges further to the north – and the nearest population to the Telowie Gorge is in the Mount Remarkable National Park," she says.

"If the population had been lost in the fire then there’s a high chance they would not have recovered for a very long time, if at all."

Ms Ferschl says YFRW generally do not move around much and tend to stay in one area, and it was luck that the particular gorge the Telowie population are living in was largely unaffected by the Bangor fire, however the gorge was significantly affected by the following flood.

"The survey numbers show the YFRW were not directly affected by the fire and flood itself," she says.

"Among the chaotic fire behaviour within the gorge, the wallabies were able to locate refuges to shelter in. Fortunately, it appears that the small pockets of unburnt vegetation within the gorge were able to provide sufficient food for the animals until the burnt areas began to regenerate."

Despite surviving the immediate aftermath of the fire and flood, the YFRW faces a range of other perils, and Natural Resources Northern and Yorke have been actively managing the risks to give the wallabies every chance of survival.

"There are several scenarios that could have put the YFRW population in danger despite the fire not directly affecting them," Ms Ferschl says.

"They could have remained there but had no food, or they could have been forced to move because there was no food and been faced with the threat of foxes.

"Another risk is that other animals could move in and eat their food, and for this reason we’ve mitigated two goat culls since the fire and have another planned for November.

"Fox control in the park has also been happening for the past seven years, and that has continued since the fire."

Photo Credit: Australian Geographic

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Have your say on catchment management

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke is working towards the development of Catchment Action Plans for four catchments in the region – Willochra, Broughton, Wakefield and Light.

A survey has been developed to capture community input regarding priority issues and actions in the plans.

Feedback received will be used to develop the plans that will help determine future projects and activities in these catchments.

To ensure your priorities are included, please have your say by completing the survey.

Further information: Jennifer Munro

Email: jennifer.munro@sa.gov.au

Phone: 0429 362 008


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Beach walkers and hooded plover lovers wanted!

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke is seeking volunteers to help with a biennial count of the threatened Hooded Plover bird along the beach lines of Yorke Peninsula.

Training courses for volunteers will be held on Yorke Peninsula in October, with surveys to be conducted between November 7-21, 2014.

Easily distinguished by its black ‘hood’, broad white collar across the back of the neck and black-tipped red beak, the Hooded Plover traditionally nests in spring and summer along the beaches of Yorke Peninsula.

Yorke Peninsula Community Team Leader Deborah Furbank says the region provides the perfect nesting place.

“Nesting on a busy beach may seem like a strange thing to do, but when the tiny chicks hatch they need to be close to their food – seaweed at the water’s edge - as they are unable to move far on their tiny legs,” she says.

Hooded Plover numbers have been declining across southern Australia and the species is already extinct in Queensland and northern New South Wales.

The bird is considered ‘vulnerable to extinction’ in South Australia, and Ms Furbank says Natural Resources Northern and Yorke are working closely with BirdLife Australia and the local community to reverse this trend.

“Since 1980, nationwide Hooded Plover surveys have taken place every two years,” she says.

“The survey is coordinated by Birds Australia and includes the entire coast from Jervis Bay in NSW, to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.”

“The survey involves walking along a stretch of beach and recording Hooded Plover sightings and any visible threats that may impact breeding success, such as foxes and ravens.

Ms Furbank says the surveys are an important way to gauge bird numbers, and November is an ideal time for counting them.

“Most Hooded Plovers breed in November, they are less mobile when they are breeding and stay around the same area of beach, which lessens the chance of counting the same bird twice,” she says.

“We’re looking for volunteers to register their interest to attend an information workshop on Yorke Peninsula in October as a first step in taking part in this year’s November 7-21 biennial count.

“BirdLife Australia will visit the Yorke Peninsula in October to run these training sessions, allowing volunteers to brush up on their shorebird identification skills and learn about the quirky breeding behaviour of this bird and the threats it faces.”

Registration and further information: Deborah Furbank

Email: Deborah.Furbank@sa.gov.au

Phone: 0421 617 155 

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National Park online bookings go live!

When you plan your next visit to National Parks in our region, don't forget to book online!

Since August 1 2014 all bookings for entry, camping and accommodation to Innes National Park, Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park and Mount Remarkable National Park are made by visiting www.parks.sa.gov.au.

Here are some helpful National Park entry, camping and accommodation links!

Mount Remarkable National Park

Innes National Park

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Garden lovers invited to Plants Society gathering

The Clare Valley will host the Australian Plants Society SA Regional Conference on the October long-weekend, October 4-5, and all keen gardeners are invited to attend.

Sponsored by the Lower-Mid North Natural Resources Management Group, and hosted by the Brinkworth Area Group of the Australian Plants Society SA Region, the theme for the weekend is “Native Plants in Change”.

The conference kicks off on Saturday, October 4, with guest speakers and workshops at the Clare Primary School.

Keynote speaker on Saturday will be ABC Gardening Australia identity Angus Stewart speaking on the topic “What’s new in Native Plants”.

As well as his media work, Mr Stewart was the 2013 recipient of the ANPSA Australian Plants Award.

He has also published books on gardening and propagation, and is the managing director of New World Plants where he breeds Australian plant cultivars including Bush Gem kangaroo paws among others.

Other speakers will include environmental consultant wetlands and natural resources management Dr Anne Jensen speaking on the topic “Lost Generations – age gaps in River Red gum, Black Box and lignum communities”.

SA Garden Infrastructure Partnership Project manager Sheryn Pitman will be the other guest speaker, talking on the topic “How much do we know about nature, and who knows?”.

Workshops throughout Saturday afternoon will include grafting and propagating, seed collecting and germination, floral art with Australian plants and photographing Australian plants.

A dinner will be held on Saturday evening at the Lutheran Church Hall in Clare, where special guest Angus Stewart will speak again.

Sunday’s events will feature bus tours of gardens, natural bushland and mass plantings of Australian native plants throughout the region.

Morning and afternoon teas as well as lunch is provided both days.

Participants can choose to attend part of, or all of the conference.

Everyone is welcome to attend, but bookings are essential and must be received by Friday, September 12.

Registration and further information: Heather Hancock on 0447 462 085, or Marian Wicks on 8846 4078 or 0428 648 000 or email marianwicks@gmail.com.

Find out more about the Australian Plant Society SA.

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Young Environmental Leaders roll up their sleeves in the mid north.

Young environmental leaders of the future recently gathered at Auburn Primary School on Wednesday, August 20, to discuss issues affecting their region as well as projects they are working on to help their local environment.

As part of the Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Young Environmental Leaders Program, four leaders from each of Auburn, Watervale and Brinkworth primary schools as well as Snowtown Area School will attend the event.

The students were involved in water monitoring of the nearby River Wakefield, with Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Water Officer Jennifer Munro leading the students through a water testing session.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Community Ranger Julia Alessio says the school forum was a great opportunity for students to come together to discuss environmental issues affecting their own "backyard".

"The environmental forum is part of the Young Environmental Leaders in Schools program for 2014," she says.

"It’s a chance for the students to share ideas and find out what the other schools are doing as well as giving them ownership of the issues affecting their area.

"It’s a great way for the students to get involved and have that experience of being involved in a like-minded group as well as giving them skills that they can use across other areas of learning."

Students at the forum have identified a range of environmental projects they plan to focus on at their schools in 2014, including bush gardens, native plants and ‘nude food’ days encouraging school lunches without plastic wrappers.

Other schools within the Lower and Upper North are also provided with support from the Northern and Yorke NRM Board, including access to education resources, visits from regional staff and help in applying for funding for environmental programs.

Schools involved in the education forums will continue their environmental work throughout 2014, with further activities planned for the remainder of the year.

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PIRSA weed control handbook update

The July 2014 edition of the Weed Control Handbook for Declared Plants in South Australia is now available for download from the PIRSA Biosecurity Website.

The update version replaces that produced in 2013.

Download your copy.

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Western pygmy-possums at Innes National Park

The Western pygmy-possum Cercartetus concinnus is a small nocturnal marsupial that is fawn or reddish-brown above and white below with a finely-scaled, naked tail.

Adult Western Pygmy possums weigh 8-20 g (average 13 g) and have a head/body length of 71-106 mm (average 81 mm) and a tail length of 71-96 mm (average 86 mm) (Wakefield 1963).

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke is working to protect habitat of the Western pygmy possum through the Southern Yorke Peninsula Biodiversity CAP.

Read about research work into the Western pygmy-possum that recently featured in the Wildlife Magazine Autumn edition.

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Get to know your natives - Silver daisy bush

Silver Daisy-bush is a small to medium size perennial suckering shrub to 1.5m high. The stems are branched, woody and without ribs. The leaves are broadly oval shaped or elliptic, twice as long as they are wide (3-9cm long and 1.5-5cm wide). The upper leaf surface is shiny and somewhat bumpy or wrinkled, the lower surface is covered with short matted hairs pressed against the leaf.

Flower-heads are solitary occurring on robust stalks from 12-30cm long from where the nearest leaf joins the stem.

Daisy flowers are white, quite large with the petals 12-30mm long, surrounding a yellow centre. The seeds are small and cylindrical with a ring of hairs at one end.

In the Northern and Yorke Region the main populations of Silver Daisy-bush are in the southern Flinders Ranges near Mt Remarkable and Mt Brown, the ranges between Yongala and Tarcowie northward through to Black Rock, and on mid-Yorke Peninsula. There are records from around Clare, Owen and southern Yorke Peninsula.

It also occurs on the Eyre Peninsula, the Mt Lofty Ranges,
Murraylands, South-East and Victoria.

Silver Daisy-bush usually grows in woodlands but is known in a few moderate rainfall mallee areas.

It is listed as nationally Vulnerable by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC). Listed as Vulnerable (Schedule 7) by the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia) and it is considered Vulnerable in the Flinders Ranges, Yorke Peninsula and Northern Lofty Botanical Regions.

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Shearing shed social - an invitation from Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group

An invitation is extended to attend the next Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group shearing shed social.

It is the second in a series of three event being hosted by the group.

Speakers for this meeting include:

  • Brendon Bevan – Ranger on Arkaba Station, Tourism and his life in Africa
  • Anne Brown (Greening Australia) - The Native Vegetation Act
  • B/Sgt Luke Elstone – Rural Watch and local issues
  • Ian Falkenberg – Owls

It will be held Thursday September 25th 2014 at Tom and Anna Hawker’s Shearing Shed ‘Anama’, 407 Anama Lane, Clare 16 kms North of Clare.

It will commence at 6pm with a barbeque tea. Tea, coffee, etc will be provided. BYO Chair and Drinks.

Dress warmly!

All welcome. It is a family friendly meeting.

Further information: Ian Radford 88452179 or Judith Sommerville 88452070.

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Hart Field Day - Farming from a different perspective

It might sound far-fetched, but the idea of using robotics in large-scale, broadacre agriculture is realistically just around the corner, according to University of Sydney Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) senior research fellow Dr Robert Fitch. 

Dr Fitch, the lunchtime guest speaker at this year’s Hart Field Day on Tuesday, September 16, says robotics is set to “transform the way food is grown, produced and delivered”. 

Further information: Hart Field-Site Group website.

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EMU property management on show

Have you heard of the growing success and adoption of Ecosystem Management Understanding (EMU) across South Australia's Arid Lands?

EMU was recently on show in the Northern and Yorke Region at a social evening hosted by the Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group.

Watch the video clips showcasing Wirrealpa and Willow Springs Stations to hear Warren Fargher and Michelle Reynolds share their views on EMU and how its changing the way they look at and manage their properties.

Further Information: SA Arid Lands Property Management Videos.

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New automatic weather station at Burra

A new automatic weather station is on the way for Burra!

It will be added to an existing network in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB) region.

Weather data that is specific for certain locations and seasons is
updated hourly on the Natural Resources SAMDB website.

It can assist with decision making in practical applications ranging from frost risk monitoring to projection of irrigation requirement.

Access and further information: Natural Resources SAMDB website.

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South Australian Arid Lands join Facebook.

Our neighbouring region of the South Australian Arid Lands has recently launched a social media site on facebook!

Take a look and find out more about this unique region of South Australia.

Further Information: Natural Resources South Australian Arid Lands Facebook page.

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Explore our Parks - Martindale Hall

Martindale Hall Conservation Park offers a fascinating insight into the lives of South Australia's wealthy gentry during the late 1800s to early 1900s.

Martindale Station was established by the Bowman family as a sheep property. In 1879, Edmund Bowman built the grand Martindale Hall at a cost of £30 000. However, Edmund's extravagant lifestyle, combined with the 1880s depression and a fall in the price of wool, meant the family was forced to sell the property in 1891.

The property was purchased by William Mortlock and was owned by the Mortlock family until 1950.

Today, the heritage-listed hall and surrounding land is open to the public for self-guided tours. For a memorable experience, stay overnight in one of the beautifully furnished guest rooms.


Martindale Hall Conservation Park is located 130km north of Adelaide in the Clare Valley region. Access is via Main North Road.

Opening times

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Martindale Hall is open from 11am-4pm Monday to Friday and 12pm-4pm Saturday and Sunday (except Good Friday and Christmas Day).

Further information: Parks SA website - Martindale Hall Conservation Park.

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SA Buffel Grass Strategic Plan 2012-2017

The threat of Buffel grass across the State is considerable, requiring a collaborative approach to manage infestations and contain its spread.

This will rely on cooperation between land managers, Traditional Owners, and all members of the broader community involved in this important environmental management issue.

The SA Buffel Grass Strategic Plan 2012-17 provides for the protection of biodiversity and life-sustaining ecological processes, the protection of natural, European and Aboriginal cultural heritage, as well as protecting remote communities and infrastructure from
the increased risk of bushfire that the presence of Buffel grass creates.

This Plan outlines a coordinated State-wide approach to managing the threat of Buffel grass, and proposes a zoning scheme and management strategies for the whole of South Australia, much
of which is at risk based on climatic modelling.

Further information: SA Buffel Grass Strategic Plan 2012-2017.

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Operation Outdoors on ABC Adelaide 891

South Australians really love their parks and gardens, especially when the sun comes out after a long wet winter.

This spring we want to know what you do in your ‘green spaces’ - do they keep you sane, help you strike a balance between work and play and also enjoy the best of both urban life and keeping connected to nature? What do these green spaces mean to you? Has this changed since you were a kid, and if so how and why?

Combining a keenness for all things green with a huge enthusiasm for science and history, academics Chris Daniels and Kiera Lindsey will be talking on ABC Radio each week in September and really want to learn more about how and why South Australians get outdoors.

There will also be a brilliant online survey that anyone can fill in and that will help us learn more about what you love to do outdoors and why!

Further Information: ABC Adelaide 891 website.

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Stirring the Possum

We began the Stirring the Possum journey more than ten years ago. In that time we’ve discussed urban design, bushfires, climate change and many other thought-provoking topics.

Our first event featured poet, cartoonist and cultural commentator Michael Leunig discussing human scale in design and how we live.  As we come to the end of the Stirring the Possum story, it seems fitting that Michael joins us for one more conversation.

This final Possum is about the soul and the natural world. In a way it is a celebration, rather than an attempt to confront and understand a big issue. That is not to say the conversation will be issue-free.

What we will explore is the relationship between our experience of the natural world and our soul or spirit. This conversation could go in many directions, but it is bound to be interesting. Hopefully we can examine how our experience of the natural world affects the way we interpret, view and inhabit our other world. We are also interested in the health impacts of those experiences.

We will look at what some philosophers and thinkers have had to say and share some stories as well.

If you want to explore Michael’s perspectives on what it is to be a cartoonist, a poet and artist, you might want to visit Michael’s website and read the section on painting – it will be a useful backdrop to our conversation.

Friday 19 September, 5.30 pm—7.00 pm
The Sanctuary, Adelaide Zoo
Registrations are essential.

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Update to "Smartphone Apps for Smart Farmers" booklet

Ag Excellence Alliance are updating the very popular “Smartphone Apps for Smart Farmers” booklet.

Northern and Yorke Regional Landcare Facilitator Michael Richards wants to know - What apps do you think should be included in the updated booklet?

The current version, produced in 2012 is available on the Ag Excellence Alliance website.  You can submit your ideas here.

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It's not to late too register for the 2014 National Landcare Conference

The National Landcare Conference is to be held in Melbourne from 17-19 September 2014.

Registrations close on 10 September so don't miss out!

Further information: National Landcare Conference.

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A bit about the Green Army

The programme provides opportunities for young Australians aged 17-24 years to gain training and experience in environmental and heritage conservation fields and explore careers in conservation management, while participating in projects that generate real benefits for the environment.

Green Army teams of 10 (up to nine participants and one team supervisor) will be deployed to projects lasting 20-26 weeks across Australia to help communities deliver local conservation outcomes. Projects will be guided by local community needs and contribute to Australia's national and international environmental priorities and obligations.

The Australian Government has allocated $525 million for the programme over four years from 1 July 2014. The programme will support 250 projects in 2014-15, 500 projects in 2015-16, 750 projects in 2016-17 and 1,150 in 2017-18.

Further Information: Australian Government, Department of the Environment website.

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Dad 'n' Daughters in the wild - hiking the Heysen

Read the story of Charles Rawlings-Way and his experience in getting invovled in South Australia's Nature Play initiative.

Charles writes -

South Australia’s epic Heysen Trail is 1200km long: one of those walks Year 11s tackle to prove their bush skills and burgeoning confidence in leaving the nest. Most do it in stages (true to form). Perhaps you’ve seen them nearing the end of the trail at the bald cliffs of Cape Jervis – sweaty but triumphant, faces to the wind, adults now redundant. Or clambering up Mt Remarkable on bendy 16-year-old legs, following the kid with the Swiss dad who knows how to read a compass. Not that you need one for some parts of the trail: the bit that meanders behind the Bridgewater footy oval along Cox’s Creek in the Adelaide Hills is navigable by even the least-Swiss of dads. Easy enough for your average four-year-old, but not without the occasional surprise.

We set out one Saturday morning: cold but sunny. Two metres along the trail our six-year-old daughter leapt backwards with a comic-book scream from The Curse of the Red-headed Mouse Spider. There it was, not too much smaller than a mouse, trucking along, its red head a shiny wax seal. We stepped back to let it stomp across the gravel path and crash into the undergrowth.

The girls opted for shoulder rides. The creek chuckled along but was still in places, yellow autumn leaves congregating on the surface. We passed other families walking – Molly the smelly spaniel; an older couple striding out with gaiters and ski poles.

Houses overlooked the creek here and there, the wide Heysen Trail only a little muddy. We stopped where a huge willow had fallen across the creek. Someone had placed a plank from the creek-bank to the upended bulge of roots, from where you could walk along the horizontal trunk above the water.

We stepped tentatively onto the plank – sideways, inching along, holding hands –  until we reached the trunk, then shuffled along above the middle of the creek. There we sat, lined up, legs dangling like Kermit in the sunshine. We dropped sticks into the water and watched as they raced, and peered for yabbies in the shallows.

Further downstream we discovered a waterfall: a series of craggy rock platforms and cold pools, smoothed-off by thousands of years of creek-flow. There wasn’t a whole lotta flow that particular day, but we made a pact to come back and check it out after a big winter storm.

Moving back upstream to the car, we bumped into an old bloke enthusiastically unpacking a stack of sieves, a shovel and some thick rubber gloves from a wheelbarrow. He was panning for gold! Sensing our scepticism, he produced a vial from his pocket full of gleaming little flakes and nuggets a few millimetres across. Gold! There’s gold in them thar hills! He’s there every Saturday in knee-high gumboots, looking for glints in the alluvial mud. The girls’ faces shone with wide wonder.

This isn’t the only place along the Heysen Trail with a lucky streak. The Old Echunga and Jupiter Creek diggings were prosperous sites after the Victorian boom. Maybe one day, on their bendy 16-year-old legs, our girls can lead us through here – and we’ll hike back into our own history.


Charles Rawlings-Way wears a few different hats: travel writer, editor, draftsman, musician, proofreader...and most importantly, dad! He's written 30-something guidebooks for Lonely Planet, and tunes his guitar amongst the stringybarks in the Adelaide Hills when he's not on the road.

Further information: Nature Play SA.

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Precision Agriculture Symposium of Australasia

Have you registered yet for the 17th Precision Agriculture Symposium of Australasia?

Tuesday 2nd & Wednesday 3rd September
Magarey Room, AAMI Stadium, West Lakes, SA
Tues - 10am - 5pm, Wed - 8.30am - 12.45pm

A great line up of farmers, researchers and consultants will give presentations on the development and application of PA technologies including weed management, satellite advancements, crop sensing for nutritional inputs, livestock monitoring and more.

This year's Symposium also features International Key Note Speaker Lucas Haag, an agronomist, farmer & associate professor from Kansas USA, thanks to funding support from the GRDC.

The event, hosted over two-days, will provide plenty of networking opportunities and showcase the products and services of exhibitors through the trade section.

Further information: SPAA event flyer or contact Alex Milner-Smyth for more information on 0412 6333 70, alex@rusticevolutions.com.au.

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Green Hub Energy Efficiency Program

Free Energy Efficiency Presentations are being rolled out for community organisations.  

A trained volunteer can visit your community organisation and deliver a presentation on how to improve energy efficiency, including simple behaviour changes, retrofitting options and energy efficient appliances and equipment.

The presentation is suitable for any community organisation that has its own premises, rented or owned e.g. sporting clubs, community centres, RSLs, Scouts or other community service organisations. 

Organisations that would like to go a step further and make a commitment to reducing their energy use can apply to become a Conservation Council SA Energy Efficiency Green Hub.  Hubs receive a free professional energy audit and ongoing support in implementing suggestions from the audit.  These hubs can then become an example to other organisations, and individuals, of how to reduce energy costs and contribute to environmental sustainability.

Further information: Kathy Whitta, (08) 8223 5155.

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Stepping into Leadership

Are you an emerging leader looking for leadership training and support to step into leadership roles in your industry, community or business? Yes - then this program is for you!

Aimed at women in agriculture and agribusiness the program funded by Primary Industries and Regions SA provides professional development to build personal leadership skills. Ongoing support will be provided through individual coaching, mentoring and webinars.

Further information: Ag consulting Co.

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What's on in Northern and Yorke

You can keep up to date on upcoming events, workshops and volunteer opportunities by visiting Get Involved on the Northern and Yorke Website.

Contact us to submit your upcoming community event!

Visit our site
Contact us
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Government of South Australia
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