30 January, 2015

CVA Grant

 I confirm that the Capertree Valley Alliance Landscaping of Local Indigenous Plants project has been successful in attaining $1000 funding. 

If you have any questions about the Small Grants scheme just let me know.
Congratulations again!


Louise, Nature Conservation Council


Warning: Tech savvy scammers on the prowl


15 January 2015, DFT

NSW Fair Trading Minister Matthew Mason-Cox is today warning consumers of the dangers of falling for computer virus scams, following recent reports of NSW residents being contacted by scammers.
Mr Mason-Cox said scammers often cold-call or email victims claiming they were from a computer software or anti-virus company, like Microsoft.
“Online and computer scams have grown in popularity as more aspects of our everyday life move into the digital realm,” Mr Mason-Cox said.
“Scammers pose as representatives from software and technology companies and concoct reasons, like a fake virus, to lure victims into visiting websites that instigate the automatic download of malicious software.
“Once the software has been downloaded the victim’s computers or devices are locked by the scammers. Often victims are left with no option but to pay scammers to restore use of their computer or device.’’
Mr Mason-Cox urged consumers to treat any cold calls or unsolicited emails of this nature with great caution.
“Before taking any action, look up the company or agency’s contact details and get in touch with them directly to see if the claims are genuine,’’ Mr Mason-Cox said. “In many cases they won’t be.”
A similar scam surfaced in late 2014, with people receiving bogus speeding fines via email purporting to be from the NSW Office of State Revenue. Links in the email directed people to download malicious software that locked and disabled their computers and charged users an expensive ransom to restore access.
Mr Mason-Cox encouraged people to warn their family members, friends and neighbours to be scam smart and to keep their anti-virus and computer protection software up to date.
“For every consumer who is scam smart, there is someone likely to be taken in and who will lose their money, their identity and their confidence,” he said.
“When scammers have success, they keep coming back and will continue to take money from vulnerable consumers. “They also share information about victims across their criminal networks.
“It is a vicious cycle and victims suffer the humiliation of knowing they have been conned.’’
Many scams originate from outside Australia and once money is sent overseas it is virtually impossible to recover.
On average, NSW Fair Trading receives close to 1,300 reports on scams each year.
“If you do fall victim to a scam, contact your financial institution for advice, Mr Mason-Cox said. “Consumers should report any activity they suspect is a scam to NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 and Scamwatch, www.scamwatch.gov.au’’.
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29 January, 2015

Capertee Valley Landcare Meeting Wednesday 4th February 2-4 Glen Alice Hall

Capertee Valley Landcare Meeting



Hello
I hope that you’ve had a refreshing break and a great holiday season.
We’re getting into gear for 2015 with Capertee Valley Landcare and the committee is meeting next Wednesday 4 Feb 2-4pm  at Glen Alice hall to discuss and plan for our activities over the coming 12 months. You are welcome to join us if you have ideas to contribute and think that you’ll be taking an active part. Or you can send me any suggestions by email and we’ll include them in our discussion.


Agenda:
1.      Reports – financial, secretarial
2.      Planning activities for 2015
3.      Joining Watershed, attending a watershed planning event on 7 Feb in Mudgee and an LLS consultation in Mudgee the week of 9-13th March
4.      Creating a business plan

Proposals for 2015 activities so far:
1.       We want to buy two sets of water testing gear and run a training course for members to be able to use them. One sub plan is to develop a project to test all the streams in the valley.
2.       I would like to have a series of grasses/paddock plants training sessions that takes us a step further than the introduction course we’ve already done.
3.       A Blue heliotrope and how to deal with it workshop and field day.
4. A series of walks through the late Autumn early spring months – Airly, Mt Canobla, Pipeline, Coorongooba Aboriginal Art caves (guided by Dave Ellis?)
5. Joint venture with the garden group to manage wild fruit trees in Glen Davis area.(Alex Mateer)
5. Calendar of photos of valley (Skye Barnes)

Elizabeth is going to bring a plan pro forma and with any luck we’ll complete it during the meeting. The objects of our association are (from our application for incorporation):
To promote landcare and sustainable natural resource management within the Capertee Valley.

Regards
Julie

Julie Gibson
Green Gully
97 The Gullies Road
Glen Davis NSW 2846
02 6379 7317
Mobile: 0412 699 674


27 January, 2015

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Right now government officials from around the world are meeting in New York to negotiate the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (or "TPP" for short). If Australia signs onto the TPP, it will give multinational corporations the power to sue the Australian Government for decisions they claim may impact their investments in Australia.

We've already seen the dangerous implications of these powers played out right here in Australia. Similar provisions in an Australian-Hong Kong treaty are being used by US global cigarette and tobacco company, Phillip Morris, to sue the Australian Government over the introduction of plain-packaging laws.

Forces all around the world are banding together to stop this deal from going ahead, to ensure their governments can't be sued for making decisions that are in the public interest. Watch the video that explains why this deal will be bad for all Australians, then sign the petition to sound the alarm.



http://www.getup.org.au/tpp

If foreign corporations are given the power to sue national governments when changes to domestic laws affect their profit margins, it will inevitably restrict our government's ability to put in place regulations to protect our environmental assets and our health. What's worse, these lawsuits would be played out in secret international courts, which only corporations have access to, with no rights of appeal.

It's hard to believe this could happen in Australia, but there are already cases around the world of companies using what's known as Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions to sue governments:
  • A foreign-owned energy company filed a $250 million lawsuit against the Canadian government, when Quebec placed a ban on dangerous fracking processes in a local river.
  • In El Salvador, a Canadian company is suing the government for $315 million in "loss of future profits" because local citizens won a hard-fought campaign against a gold mine that threatened to contaminate their water supplies.
  • An international utilities company sued the Argentinian Government for imposing a freeze on water and energy bills during the global financial crisis.
  • And in Canada, US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly is suing the government for $500 million in compensation, because the courts revoked two of the company's patents citing lack of evidence around the drugs' supposed benefits.
Do we want to live in a country where foreign-owned companies have the right to sue our government for introducing laws to protect our farms, land, water and our health? International corporations should not be able to take the Australian Government to court. It flies in the face of democracy, and will leave taxpayers at risk of paying corporations enormous amounts in compensation.

Worryingly, Trade Minister Andrew Robb has already indicated he's willing to sign on to the deal, which is why we need to act quickly. Here in Australia, only one in ten voters have heard about the TPP.2 But if this deal goes ahead, it will be all of us who stand to lose – so it's time we spoke up. We need as many Australians as possible to hear about the dangers of the TPP. Can you watch and share the video, which explains why this deal will be so dangerous? Click here: http://www.getup.org.au/tpp-isds

The deal is still being negotiated, but could be finalised when ministers from the 12 different countries next meet. So we need to get the word out there and make some noise before Minister Robb signs the dotted line. The fight to stop the TPP is a huge, coordinated, international resistance and the more people who join the fight, the better our chances will be.

Can you help sound the alarm before it's too late? 

Three Australia Day Honours for the Lithgow City Council LGA.


Member (AM) in the General Division

Mr Howard Keith FISHER, Lithgow NSW 2790 - For significant service to the community through the Health Insurance Industry, to Industrial Relations, and to Local Government.


Members (OAM) in the General Division

Mrs Margaret Dorothy COMBS, Hartley NSW 2790 - For service to the community through historical, sporting and emergency services organisations.


Mr Kenneth Joseph KELMAN, Lithgow NSW 2790 - For service to the community through St John Ambulance.




25 January, 2015

Capertee & District Progress Association AGM

You are invited to the
Annual General Meeting
Of the
Capertee & District Progress Association Incorporated
At the Capertee War Memorial Hall
At 3pm
Sunday 15th March 2015
Come find out what progress has been made for Capertee during 2014
& help us plan for the future
$5 Annual Membership required at the meeting in order to vote for new Committee Members
New Members Welcome
Free light refreshments during the meeting

18 January, 2015

Top tips for a fresher, more organised fridge

STORING food incorrectly may be shortening the shelf life of your refrigerator items. Here are some surprising tips to keep your food fresher longer.

Ban bread, tomatoes and onions

Tomatoes will ripen nicely at room temperature, enhancing their flavour, according to an article in the London Telegraph. Storing bread in the fridge will dry it out, but it can be frozen for up to three months. Dark cupboards are better storage zones for onions, squash and potatoes.

Surprising fact

Fruit may be good for you, but it’s not always good for your vegetables. Many fruits, including peaches, plums and pears emit a gas that causes vegetables to rot, so keep them in separate crisper drawers.

Temperature control

The ideal temperature for any fridge is between zero and 4 degrees Celcius. Within this range, bacteria that spoil the food will be prevented from growing. The most consistent temperature is found on the fridge’s top shelves, making them suitable for foods that don’t require cooking, such as herbs, pre-cooked meats, leftovers and other ready-to-eat items.
Inside the door is the warmest part of the fridge, making it less than ideal for eggs or dairy products but fine for any product that has natural preservatives, such as orange juice.

The lower shelves are coldest, so keep raw meat, dairy products, eggs and seafood down there. Raw meat and dairy products should not only be tightly sealed but also ideally stored on a plate, to prevent the spread of bacteria and maximise freshness.
Foods kept on top of the fridge are being exposed to increased temperatures, which can encourage mould to grow.

Optional items

Flying in the face of conventional wisdom, that Champagne should be stored in a cool, dry place, recent studies showed that refrigerating sparkling wines almost completely prevented them going bad. Likewise, nuts and oils will benefit from refrigeration.
Eggs, on the other hand, can absorb the smell of things around them via their porous shells, so you may want to think twice about keeping them around other foods in the fridge.

Top tips


Overcrowding will inhibit airflow, so try not to cram everything in after a big shop or risk creating warm zones inside the fridge.

Never place opened cans back in the fridge, as the food can react with the metal.

Clean your fridge once a month to limit bacteria and odours.

source  - puiblished on www.news.com.au



Submission on behalf of BirdLife Southern NSW Conservation Subcommittee


BirdLife Australia is Australia's peak bird conservation organisation. We represent over 65,000 supporters across the country. We are dedicated to providing a voice for Australia's birds.

The BirdLife Southern NSW Branch conservation subcommittee thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) review of the proposal to extend the operations of the Centennial Coal Airly Mine. Our comments follow below:

1. The Capertee Valley has been designated by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA no. 24546). This designation was granted based on the extraordinary diversity of bird species found in the valley; there are at least 216 species present within the IBA. The Project Application Area falls within the Capertee Valley IBA and has potential to impact upon this area.

2. The Capertee Valley is the world's most important breeding area for the Regent Honeyeater which is listed as endangered under the EPBC Act and critically endangered under the TSC Act and internationally under IUCN. A minimum of 55.28 ha of the Project Application Area is considered critical habitat for the species, but the actual area of impact upon Regent Honeyeater habitat is likely to exceed this.

3. The Project Application Area also supports 16 other bird species that are listed as vulnerable on either the TSC Act or EPBC Act.

4. The Project Application Area encompasses a total area of 3,982 ha. While most of this is underground disturbance, surface facilities will permanently remove 39.09 ha of vegetation. This area will not be restored for at least 20 years. This represents a substantial, long-term loss of primary habitat for many endangered bird species.

5. BirdLife commends the decision to avoid removal of mature Box-Gum woodland from proposed Reject Emplacement Area 1 (REA1) by proposing Reject Emplacement Area 2 (REA2). However impacts to threatened bird habitat will not be entirely avoided by doing this. Section 7.1.1 states "The scattered trees are not considered to comprise woodland as their distance and lack of contiguous understorey does not provide sufficient habitat to be considered anything more than dispersed paddock trees." This statement is negligent. It is a known fact that isolated paddock trees contribute some of the most important
remaining foraging habitat for the Regent Honeyeater and the TSC Act and EPBC Act listed Endangered Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) as well as the Vulnerable honeyeaters, Painted Honeyeater (Grantiella picta) and Black-chinned Honeyeater (Melithreptus gularis gularis). This is because of the abundance of mistletoe (Amyema spp.) and high nectar flows from flowers in these large trees. Paddock trees also tend to occur in lower elevation areas soil nutrients are higher leading to enhanced nectar supply. The loss of
any large native paddock trees will have impact to local populations of these threatened species by further depleting scarce food supplies

6. BirdLife is not entirely convinced that the mapping of the vegetation in REA2 is correct. The field inspection by Roget Lembit on the 18th June 2014 is inadequate as it occurred during winter when native grasses have died off and seed-head is mostly undetectable (making grass species diversity and accurate species identification questionable). During the winter months, native herbage has usually driedout or grazed by herbivores at this time and annual exotics come to dominate. During this period, it is
impossible to get an accurate representation of the native grass and herb assemblages in order to determine whether the grassland community qualifies as the Endangered Ecological Community (EEC) "Box-Gum woodland derived native grassland (DNG)". Early spring is the recognised time to undertake surveys of grassland assemblages to determine presence of Box-gum woodland DNG. Failing this, surveys may be conducted in autumn but only after sufficient rains. All other times are inadequate for making decisions on the presence of the DNG form of this EEC.

7. The loss of tree hollows is a listed `Key Threatening Process `under the TSC Act and likely to impact on a larger number of threatened birds including the Vulnerable Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus victoriae). BirdLife maintain that the direct removal of any tree hollows should be avoided, and if unavoidable should be offset irrespective of whether such hollows occur in historically cleared, or woodland environments. The proposal will result in the direct loss of at least seven small (2 - 10 cm) hollows, one medium (11 - 20 cm) hollow and two large (>20 cm) and many additional hollow-bearing
trees from within the surface disturbance areas.

8. The habitat contained within the Project Application Area currently provides connectivity between the Capertee National Park to the north and the Gardens of Stone National Park to the south. The fragmentation or loss of any of this habitat through building of roads, access tracks and other surface facilities will affect habitat and the movement of avifauna species across the landscape.

9. The Project Application Area contains four major creek systems; Airly-Coco Creek, Emu Swamp Creek, Gap-Genowlan Creek and Torbane-Oaky Creek. Genowlan Creek is the most important single location for breeding by the Regent Honeyeater in Australia. Regent Honeyeaters in the Capertee Valley primarily nest in Needle-leaf Mistletoe (Amyema cambagei) growing in River Oak (Casuarina cunninghamii), this habitat is dominant along the lowland areas of Genowland Creek and is also present along Coco and Airly Creeks.

10. Centennial Coal and RPS have provided no proof or scientific backing to show that that subsidencerelated effects (a section of Genowlan Creek is predicted to have a groundwater drawdown of up to 1.1m) on natural drainage will not permanently affect vital Regent Honeyeater streamside breeding habitat which could potentially contribute to the Regent Honeyeater's extinction.

11. All of the listed creeks provide important water sources and habitat for the threatened woodland bird species discussed. All of these creeks are threatened with accidental mine water discharge. The number of cases of environmental spills from inadequate waste water management and poor storm water holding capacity is alarming and enough to suggest that a spill will one day occur as a result of the proposed expansion of Airly Mine.

12. The lack of mention of Needle-leaf Mistletoe (Amyema cambagei) in the total flora species list for the entire Project Application Area, or mention of `Needle-leaf Mistletoe in River Oak Forest' as important habitat for the Regent Honeyeater is cause for concern as this is the most crucial habitat for Regent Honeyeater in the Capertee Valley. The omission of this brings BirdLife to question the rigour and validity of background research undertaken for the entire Flora and Fauna Appendix Report (Appendix H).

13. There is no suitable explanation as to how RPS and Centennial Coal determined that MU 20 (Capertee Rough-barked Apple - Redgum - Yellow Box Grassy Woodlands) is the only `Critical Habitat' for the Regent Honeyeater in the Project Application Area.

14. The term `Critical Habitat' is officially only given to habitat which has been declared under the OEH `Critical Habitat Register'. Only four species have been allocated `Critical Habitat' under this process to date, the Regent Honeyeater is not one of them. However, this must not detract from the reality that much habitat within the Project Application Area is considered extremely important and critical to the survival of the Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater.

15. Any vegetation community which contains the important feed trees, White Box (Eucalyptus albens), Yellow Box (E.melliodora), Blakely's Red Gum (E.blakelyi) and the breeding/feeding resource Needle-leaf Mistletoe (Amyema cambagei) and its host River Oak (Casuarina cunnignhamii) that occurs in the vicnity of the Capertee Valley is crucial to the survival of the Regent Honeyeater. This means that all tracts of MU 54 (Capertee - Wilgan Riparian Rough-barked Apple - River Oak Riparian Forest), MU 42 (Capertee
White Box - Tumbledown Red Gum - Ironbark - Callitris Shrubby Woodland), MU 38 (Capertee Grey Gum - Narrow-leaved Stringybark - Scribbly Gum - Callitris -Ironbark Shrubby Open Forest )and MU 21 (21 Capertee - Wolgan Slopes Red Box -Grey Gum - Stringybark Grassy Open Forest) should be included in the RPS `Critical Habitat' map for the Regent Honeyeater across the Project Application Area (see Page lxiv in Appendix H). This means the area of `Critical Habitat' for Regent Honeyeater in the Project Application Area will greatly exceed the initial (unrealistic) calculation of 55.28 ha.

16. Further targeted survey of Regent Honeyeater during the breeding season and non-breeding (foraging) seasons should be carried-out across the Project Application Areas, ideally using both observational survey methods and passive acoustic devices (e..g. SongMeters). This will assist in establishing where birds are present and possibly breeding across the Project Application Area.

17. Impacts of subsidence on vegetation and bird habitat (e.g. through dieback caused by the shearing of tree roots, or alteration of tree root access to ground water) is overlooked in this report and not addressed adequately enough to provide any satisfaction that impacts will not be significant.

18. Subsidence will cause the collapse of pagoda formations, cliff lines, overhangs and other outcropping sandstone formations. This may cause direct impact to roosting Sooty Owl (Tyto tenebricosa) listed as Vulnerable under the TSC Act, and breeding habitat of the rare Rockwarbler (Origma solitara) which is the only species of bird that is endemic to NSW.

19. BirdLife recommends that subsidence risk be audited by environmental agencies that are impartial (e.g. not employed by Centennial Coal). Any potential impacts upon native vegetation should be adequately documented, released to the public and addressed by Centennial Coal.

20. BirdLife maintains that offsets are rarely an appropriate response to proposed biodiversity or native vegetation loss http://www.birdlife.org.au/documents/POL-Offsets-Policy.pdf Any consideration of offsets should address all surface area disturbance vegetation losses (including derived native grasslands) and any subsidence or other mine-related vegetation dieback at like for like ratios or more. Offsets must comply with both Commonwealth (EPBC Act) and State (Biobanking or an adequate Conservation Agreement).

We appreciate this chance to comment on issues that we are most passionate about and we look forward to being informed of the final decisions of the PAC process.

Yours sincerely,
Birdlife Southern New South Wales
Conservation Subcommittee
IP Address: ppp121-44-208-33.lns20.syd7.internode.on.net - 121.44.208.33

Submission: Online Submission from company BirdLife Australia (org_objec

click here to read the Birdlife submission on Planning's web site

16 January, 2015

Seeking Expressions of Interest for NCC nominees to the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council

From: Louise Kiddell <lkiddell@nature.org.au>
Subject: Seeking Expressions of Interest for NCC nominees to the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council
Date: 16 January 2015 3:31:09 pm AEDT
To: Louise Kiddell <lkiddell@nature.org.au>

Dear members,

RE: Expressions of Interest for NCC nominees to the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council
 
NCC invites expressions of interest for a representative with expertise and experience in environmental education and community involvement in environmental education for inclusion on the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council.
 
The Council provides advice on the care, control and management of national parks and other reserves. Further information on the role of the Council can be given upon request.
 
To apply to be NCC's representative on the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council please complete the Application Form and Supporting Information Form and return with a current copy of your Curriculum Vitae (CV). Please send these documents by return email by 5pm on Tuesday 27th January 2015.
 
 
Thanks,
Louise
 
 
Louise Kiddell
Outreach Officer
Nature Conservation Council of NSW
w: (02) 9516 1488 | e: 
lkiddell@nature.org.au

09 January, 2015

EDO NSW's eBulletin

EDO NSW's eBulletin is a weekly email bulletin that aims to keep you up to date with all the latest important environmental law news from around NSW


EDO NSW EBULLETIN – 9 January 2015: Number 890
The EDO NSW eBulletin is a free weekly bulletin that includes news, events, public notices and opportunities for public comment.
This eBulletin provides alerts for opportunities to comment on activities that may impact the environment listed since the last eBulletin. For a comprehensive list of current opportunities to have your say in a range of environmental matters, as well as information on how to effectively engage in decision-making processes, visit our online resource Have Your Say Have Your Say is supported by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.
click here to read the ebulletin

Warning on scam offer of free computers, Department of Fair Trading

 15 December 2014

NSW Fair Trading is warning consumers about scammers and training marketers posing as government officials to get residents to hand over their personal information.
Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said NSW Fair Trading had received reports from consumers in Yeoval following an approach from two men offering free computers when the consumer signed up to free computer lessons.
“A Yeoval family were visited by two men telling them they were eligible for a free computer and lessons as part of a government program for people who earn less than $50,000,” he said.
“They took photos of the consumer’s driver's licence, birth certificate and details of her tax file number and the consumers haven’t received any follow up or any free computer.”

Updates from Department of Fair Trading

Andrew Robb first Abbott government minister to publicly back GST expansion

Trade Minister Andrew Robb has outed himself as a supporter of expanding the GST in what could be the first clear sign of a coordinated campaign underway within the Abbott government to tackle the thorny issue.

click here to read the full story in the Sydney Morning Herald 9/1/2015

Office of Environment & Heritage Concerns re Airly Mine Extension

click text to enlarge

CSG Experience email

From: "jane stevenson" <janestevenson6@bigpond.com>
Date: 7 January 2015 3:15:41 PM AEDT
Cc: "Jane Stevenson" <janestevenson6@bigpond.com>
Subject: COAL SEAM GAS - I Saw It for Myself

To the Stop CSG group
Please read the story of my TRIP TO HELL .. the Qld coal seam gas fields. I went to Qld curious to see what will happen in the Gloucester valley if the AGL gas company proceeds with its plans and the fact is the valley will be utterly destroyed along with any other region unable to stop the gas invasion.
Please forward the article to all your member groups, and best wishes in the fight against CSG.
The article is attached as a pdf
Regards
Jane Stevenson, Pharmacist (ret), Gloucester NSW