Black Spur Wetlands Project updates

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Black Spur Creek Wetlands Project - Update 4

At our recent Annual General Meeting, Nerrena Landcare Group agreed to merge with, and adopt the name of, the Tarwin Valley Landcare Group. Both groups have a proud history of community activity and share similar interests in caring for the land within the Tarwin catchment. Sue Miles was confirmed as the President and Coral Hughes the Secretary Treasurer.

On behalf of Vic Roads, the Indigenous Design crew have been undertaking archaeological  surveys in the BSCW area. Both Bunurong and Gunaikurnai people are involved - with the Tarwin River representing a boundary between the two traditional areas.

During July, some members of Nerrena Landcare met up with South Gippsland Bird Observers Group. Inclement weather prevented us walking the BSCW rail trail but from the warm cosy home of Sue and Eric Miles close by, we had a fabulous view of an array of waterbirds on their dam. The highlights were Buff Banded Rail, normally quite timid, which have settled into their garden and could be easily observed, in all their striking beauty, as they plucked grubs and worms from the lawn.

Because we will be losing some very significant trees from the Highway realignment, I questioned Brett Whittfield, Biodiversity Officer DELWP, to learn more about relevant legislation. My understanding is there are two Acts involved

Victorian Planning and Environment Act – there are strict rules pertaining to vegetation offsets and they must be on private land. (More detail is available online.) So if any landcare members are looking for assistance in maintaining their remnant vegetation, it might be worth contacting DELWP to see if you can participate in this offset scheme.

Federal Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act – my understanding is that this provides potential for local compensatory planting and might result in investment in our BSCW project.

We also discussed the fact that White Cockatoos, Corellas and Galahs are recorded as “outside their natural range” in our BSCW plan.

Sue, Coral and I attended the Vic Roads information session on 9th August. We are taking an interest in components such as weed control, vegetation restoration, river protection and wetland restoration that work in with our own BSCW project and we see exciting opportunities. We appreciate the time VicRoads staff, especially Senior Project Engineer, Debbie McLees, spends consulting with us. Debbie gave the landcare group an updated VicRoads plan in time for our AGM (and an APS Meeting). Work is expected to commence in late 2018. https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/planning-and-projects/regional-road-projects/south-gippsland-highway-black-spur-koonwarra

Coral and Kevin Hughes (5664 2221) have the Vic Roads plans while I’m away from 20th August to 11th September.

Kate Walsh, Coordinator, Black Spur Creek Wetland Project, for Tarwin Valley (Nerrena) Landcare Group.

walshpk@gmail.com.  Phone 0409 418 223.