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Natural Resources Northern and Yorke

1 October 2014


In this issue

Farewell and thank you to our Presiding Member, Caroline Schaefer
Greening Australia Board visits mid and upper north
Sanctuary zones and community awareness
White weeping broom invading the environment
Appila Springs came alive with learners
Native fish numbers a positive sign for waterways
Wild Dog Workshops - Burra & Robertstown
Slippery customers starting to wake up
PAC students remove pest pines on Yorke Peninsula
Conservation a driving force for 4WD club
Concern as bridal veil found in the southern flinders ranges near Wirrabara
Yacka Moorundie Landcare to meet at Munduney
Visit our National Parks - Spring Gully
Volunteer in some of SA’s most beautiful spots - become a Campground Host
25th Anniversary Landcare Grants 2014-15 - NOW OPEN
Fire aftermath a chance to control bridal creeper
International Rural Women's Conference - 3 & 4 November
How to design, manage and evaluate effective farm trials workshop
Enjoy reading our October edition of the Yakka

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

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

For more information regarding Natural Resources Northern and Yorke, contact our Natural Resources Centre on 08 8841 3400.

Farewell and thank you to our Presiding Member, Caroline Schaefer

Message from Trevor Naismith, Regional Manager

Our Presiding Member, Caroline Schaefer will be retiring from the Northern and Yorke NRM Board at the end of September.

As Presiding Member since 2010, Caroline has been outstanding and provided strong leadership and dedication to this important role.  Caroline’s hard work, energy and political ‘nous’ have been of great benefit to the NRM Board and to Natural Resources Northern and Yorke through the regional integration process and the amalgamation with the Department for Water.

Further, Caroline has also chaired the Presiding Members Forum and has provided her peers from other Regions with guidance and support in dealing with issues of state and national significance

Caroline was one of the state’s most experienced politicians, serving as Minister for Primary Industries and Government Whip in the Legislative Council. She was also Shadow Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Affairs. Caroline held numerous parliamentary committee positions, including six years on the Natural Resource Management Committee.

As a Member of the Legislative Council of South Australia from 1993 to her retirement from Parliament in 2010, Caroline and her husband, Roy have successfully transitioned into the wine industry in the Clare Valley, having moved to the region in 1998 after many years of farming on Eyre Peninsula. Their award winning  Riesling and Shiraz is produced from their Buckinnie vineyard near Clare.

Caroline’s previous experience and passion for the region and for sustainable agriculture, has provided her with a deep understanding of the issues that challenge Natural Resources Northern and Yorke in delivering natural resource management outcomes. She has always maintained a strong interest in the welfare of our staff and has welcomed staff attending Board meetings to report on their key NRM projects. 

More personally, Caroline has been of enormous help and guidance to me in gaining a greater understanding of the unique issues and individuals that make up Northern and Yorke Region.  I will really miss her input and ‘wise counsel’. Caroline reassures me that she’ll still be around and that she wants to stay in touch with ‘what’s happening’.  

On behalf of DEWNR, NYNRM Board, NRM Groups, volunteers, industry groups , NGO’s and our many other community  stakeholders, I would like to sincerely thank Caroline for her time as Presiding Member and her commitment to natural resource management.

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Greening Australia Board visits mid and upper north

The Greening Australia national board visited the mid and upper north recently to see first-hand some of the projects being undertaken in partnership with Natural Resources Northern and Yorke.

The group was in Adelaide for a national board meeting, taking the opportunity to fly to Hawker before the commencement of the meeting to view the Living Flinders project.

The Living Flinders project is a collaborative effort by non-government organisations, government agencies and the local community to conserve the unique flora and fauna of the southern Flinders Ranges, primarily through fox, goat and weed management.

Among the visitors were national chief executive officer Brendan Foran, as well as outgoing chairman Rod Douglas and incoming chairman Gordon Davies, who takes on his new role in November.

The group travelled from Hawker to Quorn, taking in the Arden Vale Range, Buckaringa lookout and Warren Gorge; through Pichi Richi Pass to Spear Creek, Wilmington, Melrose and the Survey Road to the Bridal Track.

The delegation then travelled to the Clare Natural Resource Centre where they were greeted by regional manager Trevor Naismith and staff.

“We were thrilled to welcome the Greening Australia board to our region,” he says.

“We have adopted the Conservation Action Planning (CAP) process that is delivered by Greening Australia as our principle method of engaging the community in planning for the ongoing management of natural resources in the region.

“CAP allows us to tap into the knowledge of local landholders and the community and to combine that with contemporary science to identify priorities for investment. Everyone who has had any involvement in CAP seemingly become strong advocates for this process.

“Through this partnership, we’re seeing real benefits for the Northern and Yorke region in soil, water and biodiversity conservation.”

Greening Australia national CEO Brendan Foran says the aim of the field visits was to get a greater understanding of the work being done in the regions.

“It’s very important for the board of a national organisation like Greening Australia to get out and see the great work being done in partnership with organisations like Natural Resources Northern and Yorke,” he says.

“The board were extremely impressed by the work of the Northern and Yorke NRM, it’s one of the best and most true partnerships we have in Australia.

“What we’ve seen in the Northern and Yorke region will be the model for how we deliver business across Australia.”

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Sanctuary zones and community awareness

Marine parks have been in place in South Australia for nearly two years, but there is still some misunderstanding in the community about the fishing restrictions that start on 1 October.

Research completed last year suggested that 44 per cent of fishers in metropolitan Adelaide believed fishing would not be allowed at all in marine parks.

In reality, restrictions will only apply in sanctuary zones, which cover less than six per cent of state waters.

DEWNR has been working to improve community awareness about this issue, providing information on a variety of platforms.

Staff have distributed more than 300,000 copies of the Guide to Recreational Fishing in SA Marine Parks, via the Sunday Mail, tackle and bait shops, boat and camping shows, and direct mail. Developed with input from Recfish SA, the guide was designed especially to help recreational fishers plan their fishing trips.

As most fishers use GPS devices to find their favourite fishing spots, DEWNR has created a free CD of all the zoning coordinates, plus online downloads. The free MyParx app is another valuable tool, alerting people as soon as they enter a sanctuary zone.

Local signage will also be an important part of reminding fishers of the locations of sanctuary zones. By October, more than 90 boat ramps and beach access points will have signs showing nearby sanctuary zones, as well as the reasons for their introduction.

Visit www.marineparks.sa.gov.au for more information on marine parks and the beginning of fishing restrictions on 1 October.

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White weeping broom invading the environment

While undoubtedly a hardy garden plant, white weeping broom is causing havoc to the environment across Yorke Peninsula and landholders are urged to keep an eye out for it anywhere beyond the garden fence.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) Landscapes team leader Ken Rudd says all the attributes that make white weeping broom a good garden plant also make it a problem in the natural environment.

“White weeping broom – or Retama raetam – was brought to Australia as an ornamental shrub and was first recorded in South Australia in 1841,” he says.

“It’s a very drought tolerant plant, making it a particular threat in dry regions and during drought years.

“It is also an aggressive invader which spreads by seed, and each plant produces a large number of seeds.

“Like many of the broom plants, it invades native vegetation and can grow to three metres tall and six metres across.”

The white weeping broom is an Australian National Environment Alert-listed plant, but not a proclaimed plant, so people can still buy it in nurseries and are allowed to grow it in their gardens.

However, Mr Rudd is urging landholders to be aware of the impact it can have if it ‘escapes’ the home garden and to be particularly vigilant with garden waste containing white weeping broom clippings.

NRNY have been working to control the pest plant in sites at Port Victoria, Rogues Gully, Edithburgh and Ardrossan.
Work also continues at Wallaroo Mines in Kadina, where large numbers of white weeping broom have become established possibly as the result of illegal dumping of garden waste.

For more information, or to report sightings of white weeping broom in the natural environment, please contact Ken Rudd on 8821 4672, mobile 0427 280 820 or email ken.rudd@sa.gov.au

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Appila Springs came alive with learners

Appila Springs provided a spectacular backdrop for an outdoor learning experience for a group of about 150 local school children on September 10, when it played host to the Appila Springs Environmental Education Day.

The 14th annual education day hosted students from eight local schools, including for the first time, students from the School of the Air. Students from Jamestown Community School, Orroroo Area School, Gladstone Primary School, St Joseph’s School Gladstone, Laura Primary School, Melrose Primary School, and Booleroo Centre District School also attended.

Students attended workshops including ‘Animals Anonymous’, and ‘Wipe Out Waste’, as well as sessions on native bees, water saving, reptiles, pest control, and rocks and minerals.

Funded by Natural Resources Northern and Yorke, the education day is run by the Caltowie Corridors of Green group.

Member Valmai George says Appila Springs is the perfect location to spark an interest in the environment.

“We started this learning day because we wanted to educate the younger generation about the environment,” she says.

“We now have an interpretive centre there with information boards about the site, and the area is just perfect for this type of learning day.

“It’s absolutely spectacular at the moment, the springs are full and running, there’s animal life, a range of plant species and even a glacial rock area that’s great for teaching about geology.”

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Native fish numbers a positive sign for waterways

A recent survey of local catchment areas has shown reasonable numbers of native fish present – which is good news for the environment.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Water Officer Jennifer Munro says the findings show that the Broughton and Wakefield catchments are in fairly good condition.

“The majority of the fish we found in high numbers were introduced fish such as mosquito fish and wild goldfish, but there were also reasonable numbers of native fish such as galaxias and blue-spot goby,” she says.

“We also caught quite a lot of yabbies and shrimps at most of the sites and some long and short necked turtles as well.”
One exception was the northern part of the Rocky River – part of the Broughton catchment – that was affected by the Bangor bushfires in January and February this year.

“In the northern end of the Rocky River, we found yabbies and tadpoles but no fish in the first three sites, where the water was still black from the fire sediment,” Ms Munro says.

“However, as we headed downstream we started catching fish.

“The positive news is that with the wet winter we’ve had, the Rocky River has had an extended continuous flow of water and we’re hoping that in the next survey we’ll see evidence that there has been enough flow to flush that area and that fish and other aquatic species have been able to return.”

The presence of juvenile galaxias, a diadromous fish species, in the Broughton catchment was also an interesting find relating to salt levels.

“Diadromous fish migrate between salt and fresh water and represent only one per cent of the world’s fish,” Ms Munro says.

“We found juveniles of this species, so it’s obviously reproducing successfully. This suggests either the catchment is experiencing some level of connectivity to the sea, or more likely, there’s enough variation in the saltiness within the catchment to enable them to grow through the fresh water and salt water phases of their lifecycle.”

Coordinated by David Schmarr of SARDI, the native fish surveys were part of the Federally-funded Four Catchments Project – launched in 2012 to encourage landholders, community groups and volunteers to take an active role in looking after their catchments.

The project includes a range of on-ground works including revegetation, weed management and fencing.

For more information contact Natural Resources Centre Northern and Yorke on 8841 3400.

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Wild Dog Workshops - Burra & Robertstown

Burra: Thursday 9 October, Burra Sports Complex, 12:30–5:00pm

Robertstown: Friday 10 October, Robertstown Peace Hall, 9:00am–1:30pm

With wild dog observations and activity increasing in the Burra and Robertstown areas, two workshops will be held to provide land managers with practical management tips and up-to-date information on wild dogs and their control.

Guest speakers will include Geoff Power (SA Wild Dog Advisory Group), Heather Miller (Natural Resources SA Arid Lands) and Peter Bird (Biosecurity SA). Practical demonstrations will also be provided on wild dog control techniques.

The Rangelands NRM Group will host the workshops in association with the Burra Rangelands Action Group (BRAG) (in Burra) and the Point Pass Agricultural Bureau (in Robertstown).

Both workshops will include morning/afternoon tea and opportunities for discussions with the speakers and Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin staff. Friday’s workshop will have a catered lunch.

For catering purposes please RSVP by Thursday 2 October to Debbie Wilkinson, 8532 9100 debbie.wilkinson@sa.gov.au.

For further information visit the Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin Website.

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Slippery customers starting to wake up

As gardens cry out for a spring spruce-up, remember that those quiet corners of the yard might be home to some unwelcome residents.

Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Manager of Animal Welfare Manger Dr Deb Kelly said snakes spent the winter hibernating, beginning to wake and move around from the end of August.

“You’ll find snakes all over South Australia, including metropolitan Adelaide, so don’t think that you’ll only see them in the bush or in rural areas,” she said.

Brown snakes are common all across the state, but you’ll also find tiger snakes around the River Murray and the South East, and red-bellied black snakes in the Mt Lofty Ranges.

Death adders live in coastal areas of the Eyre and Yorke peninsulas and copperheads are common on Kangaroo Island, while mulga snakes are regulars in mining areas and regions north of Port Augusta.

“All of these species are venomous to various degrees and should be avoided,” Dr Kelly said. “If a person or a pet is bitten by any sort of snake, seek medical attention immediately, even if you think it isn’t venomous.

“Even when it is newly hatched and just 15cm long, a baby eastern brown snake has enough venom to hospitalise or even kill an adult.

“Many bites happen when someone is trying to catch or kill a snake. If you see one in your home or business, watch where it goes, keep children and pets away and call a snake catcher to remove it.

“Most snakes aren’t aggressive and they won’t chase you. They are native animals with their own role to play in the ecosystem, such as helping to control rats and mice.”

Dr Kelly said the best way to keep snakes away from the home was to keep yards tidy all year round.

Long grass, wood heaps, stored building materials and piles of rubbish are all popular places for snakes to hide, especially as they also provide cover for the mice and rats that are their favourite prey.

“Keep grass short and wherever you can, store items off the ground in racks,” she said. “When you’re cleaning up, be careful where you step and where you put your hands. If you have chickens or other birds, make sure you remove spilled seed that might attract rodents.

“If you remove the hiding places and sources of food that snakes like, you will be much less likely to have them move in with you.”

For more information on how to maintain your property to reduce the likelihood of attracting snakes, visit the Living with Wildlife website.

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PAC students remove pest pines on Yorke Peninsula

A group of Prince Alfred College (PAC) students removed more than 2000 Aleppo Pines from the outskirts of Marion Bay recently in partnership with Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY).

The aleppo pine was declared a weed under the Natural Resources Management Act (2004) in July this year.
NRM spokesperson Deborah Furbank says the tree removal undertaken by the 27 students has had a significant impact on the environment.

“The students were absolutely amazing, the impact they made in just two hours was significant,” she said.

“The partnership between PAC, NRNY and with the Yorke Peninsula Feral Trees Management Group is providing a great opportunity for the students to play a hands-on role in making a real difference to the environment.”

Native to the Mediterranean, the Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis) was introduced for forestry, but has also been used widely as a shade and shelterbelt tree.

“The Southern Yorke Peninsula provides ideal growing conditions for the Aleppo Pine, and as a result, there are now a significant number of self-sown or feral pines in the region,” Ms Furbank said.

“The tree roots damage roads and fences, compete with native vegetation and are a safety hazard.”

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke also worked with the students at Innes National Park where the students were given a presentation on beach-nesting birds and marine debris.

“After a short information session, the students became involved in monitoring of Hooded Plovers on beaches within Innes National Park with me and the community ranger,” Ms Furbank said.

“The partnership with PAC that has been running since the beginning of the year, is already having a significant and positive impact on the Southern Yorke Peninsula environment.”

Photo caption: Harrison Lee and Dylan Peisley from Prince Alfred College were part of a group of 27 students who removed more than 2,000 pest Aleppo Pines from near Marion Bay recently.

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Conservation a driving force for 4WD club

Conservation is a driving force for the Subaru 4 Wheel Drive Club of South Australia which is working in partnership with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR).

For the past 16 years, the club has been venturing into some of South Australia’s conservation parks to lend a hand with weed control and other conservation works.

The group headed into The Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park for four days in late August to help with boxthorn and cactus control.

Community ranger Sarah Voumard said the work of volunteers is vital in local conservation parks.

“The work they do is invaluable, and the great thing is that both the 4WD club and the parks benefit from the partnership,” she said. “I’d love to get more people involved in volunteering in our local parks.”

Subaru 4WD Club of SA volunteer coordinator and immediate past president Paul Shinks said the group enjoys the opportunity to be involved in conservation.

“These types of weekends are a backbone activity for the club and we carry out work in Mount Remarkable National Park and The Dutchmans Stern, and we are starting a partnership with Innes National Park and Cleland National Park,” he said.

“As well as playing a part in park conservation, it gives members access to areas not available to the general public. We are fortunate to be able to drive in to work in these areas and discover things that we wouldn’t normally see unless we went in on foot.”

Mr Shinks said the partnership with DEWNR has also given club members the opportunity to learn new skills.

“Because we’re associated with the Friends of the Parks group we are eligible for training and some of our members are now accredited for using chainsaws, handling chemicals and even traffic management.

“Conservation is something we take very seriously. We’ve raised $6000 in grants over the years so we can purchase our own tools such as chainsaws, loppers and spot injection guns, so we can undertake this work without relying on parks equipment.”

The Subaru 4WD club will be involved in more conservation work at Mount Remarkable National Park, Cleland Wildlife Park and Innes National Park.

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Concern as bridal veil found in the southern flinders ranges near Wirrabara

Bridal veil weed has been found in the Wirrabara Forest area of the Southern Flinders Ranges and landholders are being urged to search their properties for the weed.

Registered as a ‘Weed of National Significance’, bridal veil has not previously been found in the Upper North district and Greening Australia vegetation consultant Anne Brown says if not controlled, it poses a severe threat to biodiversity.

“While we haven’t seen bridal veil before in this district, it occurs on Yorke Peninsula where it has invaded many native flora reserves,” she says.

“Bridal veil was a popular garden plant in the early 20th century and it’s thought this outbreak originated in one of the old gardens in Wirrabara Forest.”

Closely related to bridal creeper, bridal veil or Asparagus declinatuss, is native to the Western Cape region of South Africa.

It is a highly invasive and aggressive weed that can out-compete and displace native flora.

Bridal veil produces scrambling and weakly climbing annual shoots that can grow up to two to three metres long.
It forms a dense, underground, tuberous root mass that prevents native plant recruitment and regeneration.

“Bridal veil shares many characteritics with its close relative, bridal creeper, including a similar lifecycle, potential for spread and impacts on native vegetation,” Ms Brown says.

“It differs from bridal creeper in that it has fine, feathery leaves, similar to asparagus, but with a sprawling habit.

“It has much larger tubers and is more difficult to kill, as the feathery foliage makes it harder for herbicide to enter the plant.

“If not controlled, bridal veil has the potential to become a severe threat to biodiversity.”

Ms Brown says it is important to control bridal veil while the infestation is small.

She says areas around Wirrabara Forest that were affected by fires earlier this year have provided ideal growing conditions for the weed.

“The burnt areas around the forest are ideal for the spread of this plant, it’s really important that the plant be removed,” Ms Brown says.

“Bridal veil can be dug up with care to remove the tubers or carefully sprayed with glyphosate as directed on the container. Then mark the location and check next year for any regrowth.”

For more information or to report suspected infestations contact Natural Resources Centre Northern & Yorke 8841 3400 or Greening Australia on 0409 684 312.

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Yacka Moorundie Landcare to meet at Munduney

The third in a series of three ‘shearing shed’ meetings for the Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group will be held later this month.

The meeting will feature Lynley Johnson from Zoos SA who will speak about her role as a Zoo Veterinarian and the journey that got her there.

Susanne Richards will speak about Native Bees,  Ruth Sommerville on echidna ecology and Trevor Naismith will talk about farming in a national park in England's Lake District.

Yackamoorundie Landcare Group secretary Judith Sommerville says the shearing shed meetings have been well-received and aim to provide a family-friendly venue to encourage more members to the group.

“Holding the meetings at 6pm at a family property helps to encourage families to attend, as it means mum and dad can bring the kids and have tea while they’re there,” she says.

“It’s a good, social atmosphere, while still providing a range of interesting speakers.

“We’d really encourage anyone interested in Landcare in our district to come along and be part of it.”

The group will meet at Ian and Pam Spark’s Shearing Shed
‘Munduney’, 943a Hacklins Corner Road, Spalding
12 kms north-east of Spalding on Thursday October 9, at 6pm.

Funded and supported by the Lower North Natural Resources Northern and Yorke group, the meeting will start with a barbecue tea. Tea and coffee is provided but please BYO drinks and chairs and dress warmly.

For more information phone Ian Radford on 8845 2179 or Judith Sommerville on 8845 2070.

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Visit our National Parks - Spring Gully

Enjoy the picturesque natural landscape of Spring Gully Conservation Park which protects the only stand of red stringybarks in South Australia.

The park has a steep, undulating terrain that leads into the creek bed of Spring Gully. From Blue Gum Lookout take a walk through grassy woodlands to a seasonal waterfall that plunges from a height of 18 metres after rain.

Enjoy a picnic or admire the wildflowers and orchids that bloom in spring as you stroll through the park. You may even see the western grey kangaroos, euros and common brushtail possums.

Spring Gully Conservation Park is located 130km north of Adelaide. Access is via Main North Road.

Visit our website for more information and to access park maps and brochures.

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Volunteer in some of SA’s most beautiful spots - become a Campground Host

If you are a people person who loves camping or caravanning and wants to experience some of the state’s most beautiful places, then we have just the volunteer opportunity for you.

Mount Remarkable and Innes national parks have vacancies for campground hosts, volunteers who stay free in campgrounds to help welcome other campers, share information and keep a check on facilities while they are there.

Mount Remarkable National Park ranger Donna Ferschl said the Campground Hosts Program was a great way to really get to know a national park.

“You spend time in the park, take enquiries, provide other campers with information and generally keep an eye on what’s happening in the campground,” Ms Ferschl said.

“It’s a great way to meet people and make new friends, while camping for free. You even get an allowance for travel between your home and the park.”

Training and induction is provided, and a staff member is also available for support.

“Mount Remarkable offers some spectacular gorges, a range of walking opportunities, and special flora and fauna including yellow-footed rock wallabies, lace monitors and emus,” Ms Ferschl said.

“Innes offers something different in that it’s a coastal park, so it has fishing, surfing, beach and bush walks, a jetty and a range of different plants and animals.

“They are two very spectacular, but very different parks.”
Ms Ferschl said the Campground Hosts Program attracted everyone from families to grey nomads, with the only restriction being that pets were not allowed in the parks.

“The Campground Hosts Program also provides opportunities in other national parks, so you can use these to holiday around South Australia.

“And for those not so keen on camping or caravanning, there is also the chance to stay in on-site park accommodation.”

For more information, please contact the Volunteer Support Officer on 8841 3400 or dewnrnorthernandyorkevolunteers@sa.gov.au.

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25th Anniversary Landcare Grants 2014-15 - NOW OPEN

The 25th Anniversary Landcare Grants 2014-15 are part of the national stream of the National Landcare Programme and are one way of marking the 25th anniversary of Landcare as a national movement.

A total of up to $5 million (GST exclusive) is available in 2014-15 through the 25th Anniversary Landcare Grants 2014-15.

The funding comprises up to $2.5 million (GST exclusive) for environment focused projects and up to $2.5 million (GST exclusive) for agriculture focused projects.

The 25th Anniversary Landcare Grants 2014-15 will harness the expertise and enthusiasm of the natural resource management community, including landcare, Indigenous people, farmers, fishers and other land and sea managers.

Grants of between $5000 and $20 000 (GST exclusive) will assist community groups and individuals to undertake projects to conserve and protect their local environment and / or to manage the natural resource base, contributing to outcomes in the national interest.

This approach delivers on the natural resource management community’s desire for a greater focus on local action and priorities.

Applications for the 25th Anniversary Landcare Grants 2014-15 are now open.

Funding round opens: 19 September 2014

Funding round closes: 2.00pm (AEDT) 20 October 2014

If you have questions about the 25th Anniversary Landcare Grants 2014-15, or the Application process, please contact the Departments.


Phone: 1800 552 008

Email: 25thAnniversaryLandcareGrants@environment.gov.au

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Fire aftermath a chance to control bridal creeper

The conditions in the wake of the Bangor bushfires are providing an ideal opportunity to control the highly invasive weed, bridal creeper.

Greening Australia vegetation consultant Anne Brown says a spraying program carried out by Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) – now in its third year – is making a significant difference to the population size and vigour of the weed.

“There are few positives to be found in the aftermath of the Bangor bushfires, but the opportunity to control the population of bridal creeper in the Port Germein Gorge is one of them,” she says.

“The fire removed almost all of the above ground native vegetation in the gorge area and the February rains following stimulated the growth of bridal creeper.

“This weed can now be easily seen and controlled with herbicides without causing significant damage to native vegetation growing beneath it.”

The weed management program is part of the Living Flinders project – a collaborative approach to conserve the unique flora and fauna of the Southern Flinders Ranges.

Bridal creeper – Asparagus asparagoides – is a highly invasive weed that is a significant threat to bushland.

The plant, native to South Africa, has spread from gardens and cemetery plantings to many parts of the Southern Flinders Ranges.

It is a common weed found along fence lines and under trees in the townships of Laura, Wirrabara, Melrose and Wilmington as well as drier areas such as Telowie Beach and Telowie Conservation Reserve.

Ms Brown says while it was hoped a rust fungus outbreak would help control the fruiting of the bridal creeper, the region’s seasonal conditions have not been favourable to the growth of the rust.

“Unfortunately, once established, bridal creeper is extremely difficult to control and a significant infestation at Beetaloo Valley has affected more than 20 properties and is spreading further along roadsides every year,” she says.

“A lot of work is being done by the Beetaloo Valley Residents Association, SA Water and NRNY to contain the weed.
“It must be controlled by careful application of weedicide to avoid harming native vegetation growing underneath the bridal creeper. Digging the tubers is often ineffectual and can lead to further weed infestations.”

For more information contact Natural Resources Centre Northern and Yorke on 8841 3400 or Greening Australia 0409 684 312.

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International Rural Women's Conference - 3 & 4 November

Empowering Women

Adelaide Event & Exhibition Centre, Adelaide Showgrounds

Empowering, Educational and Inspiring Themes

  • Food Security
  • Health and Wellbeing of Rural Communities
  • Women Influencing Agribusiness
  • Technology inspiring innovative change


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How to design, manage and evaluate effective farm trials workshop

21 October 2014

Ag Excellence Alliance, through support from a Landcare Community Grants, is conduction a series of workshops that will address the needs of farming systems group members, field staff and farm advisers around trial design, management, analysis and evaluation.

The second series of workshops will focus on trial analysis, reporting and evaluation.

You are welcome to attend even if you have missed the first workshop.

Beverley Gogel is a biometrician based in the University of Adelaide at the Waite Institute and works for SAGI (Statistics for the Australian Grains Industry), an initiative of the GRDC. She has extensive experience in the statistical design and analysis of agricultural research experiments. Topics covered will include analysing and making conclusions from trial results; matching statistical analysis to trials; presenting and reporting findings; overview of analysis packages; and trial design. In addition there will be discussions on project evaluation.

To register your interest in participating in the program, contact Mandy Pearce at Ag Excellence Alliance on 0418 805 670 or

This project is supported with funding from the Australian Government

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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!

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