30 December, 2015

Glen Alice RFS

Hi there members of the Glen Alice bush fire brigade.

                notice of the annual general meeting.

            Will be held on the 16-1-2016. at 10 am

            all members please attend if possible.    

Issued by  John Davies

23 December, 2015





BOGEE AREA, check your letterbox for the notice.

Personally I think that as this is smack bang in the middle of a fire season and 2 days before Christmas it is not a good idea.  If it is to erect the poles that have been lying on the groupnd for  quite a few months then another month wont hurt. editor

22 December, 2015

Council Mergers

From: Better Planning Network [mailto:bpn@betterplanningnetwork.org.au]
Sent: Friday, 18 December 2015 11:32 AM
To: Better Planning Network
Subject: Council Mergers - Breaking News

Dear Members, Affiliates and Friends

We are pleased to let you know, that Tom Sherlock and myself were re-elected as Co-Convenors at BPN's recent AGM along with Geoff Turnbull as Treasurer and Kim Mullins as Secretary.   

In addition, Maire Sheenan, Leesha Payor, Lyn Kilby, Darren Jenkins and Janet Harwood have been appointed committee members. Under separate cover more news about the AGM will follow.

In the interim, we wanted to alert you about the NSW Government's announcement today regarding Council Mergers, as we know this subject is of interest to many BPN supporters and friends.

The proposed new Council areas can be viewed per the attached slides, which you are free to circulate via social media or online.

In addition, the Baird Government is proposing major changes to the Local Government Act, which we'll let you know about asap.

In the interim, we wanted to alert you that the Save Our Council's Coalition is holding a Snap Event at the Domain at 1pm today - for those who have a chance to go.   More information about this event - can be viewed here. All are welcome. https://www.facebook.com/BetterPlanningNetwork/photos/p.547846288702964/547846288702964/?type=3&theater

At this very busy time of the year, it's been difficult to keep up with all the news via email - given the amount of announcements the government is making.  We hope to have more news via email to you soon. In the meantime, please keep a watch out on our FB posts, which we do daily (you don't need to be a FB user to see our posts- https://www.facebook.com/BetterPlanningNetwork/?fref=photo).

We look forward to keeping in touch over special time of the year. 

Our best wishes 

Jeanette Brokman & Tom Sherlock
Co-Convenors, Better Planning Network

click to enlarge

Capertee Valley

Daily Telegraph:  'Forget the Grand Canyon. The second biggest geological marvel in the world is right here in NSW'.

"SURE, the US has the Grand Canyon, the geological marvel that stretches 446km across Arizona at a width of 29km and a depth of 1.6km — but the second-largest canyon in the world is right here, barely three hours’ drive from the centre of Sydney.

The Capertee Valley, northwest of Lithgow, is actually 1km wider than the Grand Canyon, but is not quite as deep or long.

Its rock formations are sensational, its lookouts and bushwalks afford sprawling views, and it is home to a wide array of birdlife and wildlife."

Note:  The photographer travelled courtesy of Lithgow Tourism.

Regent Honeyeater News

Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeaters are being preyed on by an unlikely source. High-tech video surveillance cameras have revealed for the first time that some marsupials may be significant predators of the threatened honeyeaters’ eggs.
The video monitoring is being undertaken by PhD student, Gemma Taylor, from the Zoological Society of London.
“We’ve positioned remote video cameras near nests to learn more about their breeding, so you can imagine our disappointment when gliders started eating their eggs,” Ms Taylor said.
“Video footage shows gliders stalking female Regents that were sitting on nests at night, then eating their eggs. First, Sugar Gliders were filmed pouncing onto a Regent Honeyeater as she incubated her eggs before making a meal of the rare clutch. Later, a Squirrel Glider — a larger, threatened species of glider — was also filmed attempting to catch a honeyeater at another nest, then eating her eggs.”
“It’s not only native mammals that pose a threat to Regent Honeyeater eggs — footage also showed a House Sparrow destroying eggs and a Magpie taking a nestling. Nest predation by these species has not previously been flagged as a threat to the Regent Honeyeater.”
As part of a collaborative program to boost numbers of the Regent Honeyeater — once common but now extremely rare in the wild — 77 birds were bred in captivity at Taronga Zoo and then released into Chiltern–Mt Pilot National Park, in north-eastern Victoria, last April.
“This project has only just started to unravel the story of the birds’ breeding post-release, identifying the obstacles they face and highlighting threatening processes at the different stages of their life in the wild,” Ms Taylor said.
National Regent Honeyeater recovery coordinator, Dean Ingwersen, from BirdLife Australia said, “To date, the birds’ survival has been great, but for the program to succeed the birds must ultimately breed in the wild, so the discovery of nests of many pairs of Regents is hugely exciting.”
“As difficult as it is to watch the nests fail, it provides crucial information which we’ll use to help strengthen successive releases,” Mr Ingwersen said.
“Now that these new threats have been identified we can investigate potential mitigation strategies, such as collars or barriers to prevent access to nesting birds. These have been used on other endangered species so there is no reason we can’t trial similar methods on Regents to improve nesting outcomes.”
“On top of the video surveillance, dedicated volunteers, students and staff have devoted more than 4000 hours of their time to assist with the monitoring program, including reporting sightings and tracking birds.”
The 2015 Regent Honeyeater release and monitoring program is a collaboration across many organisations, and is supported or funded by BirdLife Australia, Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning (DELWP), Office of Environment and Heritage’s Saving our Species program (NSW), Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, Taronga Zoo, Zoological Society of London, Monash University, Friends of Chiltern–Mt Pilot National Park and Ironbark Environmental Arboriculture Pty Ltd.

click here to read more

Australia Day

Message from Capertee

Can you confirm if you would be available to assist with the Australia Day sausage sizzle at the Hall, please?
We are contemplating a 10am start with most likely a 3pm finish, but you don’t have to volunteer yourself for the entire time.


Capertee & District Progress Association Inc.

15 December, 2015


From: Wal Pilz <walpilz@gmail.com>
Date: 13 December 2015 at 9:18:54 PM AEDT
Subject: Royal Australian Historical Society  mentioned in NSW Parliament
Royal Australian Historical Society 
mentioned in NSW Parliament

Hansard online, the official record of the proceedings of The Parliament of New South Wales, contains details of commendations made to the RAHS and recipients of the Arts NSW Cultural Grants for 2015, by The Hon. David Clarke, MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Justice on 11 November 2015, who presented grants winners with their certficates at the RAHS Conference in October. Click here to visit the Hansard website and read full details.
From L to R: Colleen O’Sullivan - Kandos Bicentennial Industrial Museum; Benita Parker - Karuah Working Together; Max Farley - Wyong District Museum and Historical Society; Carol Roberts - Kurrajong Comleroy Historical Society; Lorraine Neate - Illawarra Historical Society; The Hon. David John Clarke, LL B (Syd) MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Justice; Peter Gissing - Wagga Wagga and District Historical Society; Lola Cormie - Narrabri and District Historical Society; Paul Convy - Randwick and District Historical Society; Angus McKernan – NSW Australian Football History Society; Max Rogers - Berrima District Historical and Family History Society; Vicki Stanton – Australian Golf Heritage Society. [Photograph Chris Maxworthy]

08 December, 2015

Capertee Valley Christmas Carols

 Christmas Carols Service in the Capertee Valley

 Glen Alice Hall Thursday,

 17 December, at 7pm.


In October-November 2015 Capertee Valley Landcare undertook a salinity survey of the Capertee River
catchment streams, from Airly to Bogee to Glen Davis and beyond. Samples were collected by Julie
Gibson and Vicki Powys, with extra input from community members. The project is ongoing. We have
produced a map of the valley, showing salinity readings from 31 locations, taken in the last two weeks of
November 2015.
We found that:
· There is a pattern of salinity in the valley, with low salinity at the headwaters, and streams
becoming more saline along the way.
· Bores were generally much more saline than streams, indicating a salty water table below the
land surface.
We made the assumptions:
· Streams need to be sampled within, say, a fortnight when there is no rainfall, to compare “like
with like”.
· Heavy rain will dilute streams and rivers, and the salinity readings will usually be lower,
especially (for example) if the Capertee River was in flood.
Our lowest (best) reading was from a spring on Mt. Airly, and our highest (worst) reading was from
Bourbin Creek, where a white salt crust could be seen in the partly dry creek bed. Parts of Bourbin
Creek are one-fifth as salty as sea-water!
We are continuing to collect historic data and rainfall records, and will periodically re-test streams in
Capertee Valley.
What causes salinity?
Capertee Valley is, geologically, a hot spot for salinity problems. The rock strata were laid down in salty
seas so there will always be salt underground. When the water table rises, the salt comes up with it. As
the water evaporates, the salt can show up as white patches on the ground. Deep rooted trees help
keep the water table down. Grasses are shallow rooted and allow the water table to rise. Soil erosion
can also release salinity into the streams.
We adapted the Bird Brochure map, which was used with permission from Capertee Valley Alliance.
Our water testing kit was loaned to us by Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

Capertee Valley Landcare, Julie Gibson, 0263797317

click on image to enlarge

Australasian Bird Fair update

click here to read an update from the Australasian BirdFfair.

01 December, 2015


The dates -
                     Tuesday 24 November and
                     Tuesday 1 December - 8am until 4pm.

For more information ring Endeavour on 131 003 and on the day ask for TODD CROOK.

These cuts may only apply to Bogee so check your letterbox for notification.

P.S I have asked that if the second cut does not take place to let us know so that we are not messed around. 

30 November, 2015

25 November, 2015

Climate Rally at Mudgee

Climate Rally at Mudgee

 Mudgee Climate Rally - Sun 29 Nov MDEG gathering @ 10.45am Lawson Park

Hello All,

Mudgee community is holding a Climate Rally at the Anglican Church from 11am on Sunday 29 Nov to coincide with global events to mark the UN Paris Conference on Climate Change mitigation.

Mudgee District Env Group is gathering at the main gate of Lawson Park (cnr Short & Church Sts) at 10.45am to walk up to the Anglican Church with appropriate banners and signs.

Please join us in making a stance and send a message to political leaders that Aussies want to protect the earth from catastrophic climate events.

Bring a mug for morning tea and some food to share.


Lithgow Power Stations should Close

ABC CW News:  'Greens: Lithgow power station should
be closed to pave the way for renewable energy'.

"Lithgow's Mount Piper power station is among five plants which have identified by the Greens to be closed to pave the way for more renewable energy.

The party has unveiled a policy which outlines how Australia can move to 90 per cent green energy sources by 2030.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon says the uncertainty about mining jobs in the Lithgow district could be solved by the expansion of renewable industries.

She said it could provide reliable employment for local workers."

Council mergers

From: Lithgow Ratepayers [mailto:lithgowratepayers@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, 22 November 2015 11:03 PM
To: Greater Lithgow Ratepayers
Subject: SMH Editorial: 'Mike Baird's next step on forcing council mergers'.

SMH Editorial:  'Mike Baird's next step on forcing council mergers'.

"Premier Mike Baird and Local Government Minister Paul Toole wrote to mayors ahead of the deadline last week for councils to submit their preferences for merging with neighbours. 

"Following your council's response," Mr Baird and Mr Toole said, "the government will take the next step in local council reform."

The words "next step" remain vexed both for councils and Mr Baird.

The government has pledged to make the next step known by year's end, but with parliamentary sittings finished for 2015, the big calls are likely to be made out of the public glare over the holiday season."

Free Movie

click to enlarge

Watching the Moon Rise in the Capertee Valley

Landcare Event

Capertee Valley Residents

Caertee Valley Residents

Announcement from:

From: cvlandcare@googlegroups.com [mailto:cvlandcare@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Julie Gibson
Sent: Monday, 23 November 2015 9:51 PM
To: cvlandcare@googlegroups.com
Subject: [CVL] Full moon at Val's this Thursday

You’re welcome to join us watching the moon rise over Glen Alice Thursday 26/11/2015 while the sun sets behind Genowlan from Val’s place which has 360deg views of whole valley.
Val’s place is the old cottage on Umbiella. Come up the main Umbiella entrance then continue on past the main house.
Anytime after 7, the moon rises at 7.58pm. Bring your own chair and drink.
Val has a telescope set up. Not that we’ll need it to see the moon.
If you can’t make it, take a look at the moon as it rises wherever you are, and you’ll be sharing the feeling.

Julie Gibson
Green Gully
97 The Gullies Road
Glen Davis NSW 2846

02 6379 7317
Mobile: 0412 699 674

17 November, 2015

An email from 'Beyond Nuclear Initiative'

A petition has been started against the shortlisted nuclear waste dump site north of Bathurst.

Please sign and share the petition with your friends and networks.

"Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, John Cobb, Member for Calare: No Central West Nuclear Waste Dump."

Beyond Nuclear Initiative

The annual StreetFeast is a chance to discover two charming country cousins,

Click here to read a quite lengthy article from the Daily Telegraph re Kandos and Rylstone and the people living in the area.

15 November, 2015


Airly Coal Mine extension approved by the PAC (Project Assessment Commission) subject to some conditions regarding subsidence in a sensitive area, to read more click here and scroll down and select 'PAC Review Report(2)  '.  Here you will find the PAC letter and the full report.

09 November, 2015

the Ziggy Menge Volunteer for the Environment Award

NEWS Flash
Capertee Valley Alliance Inc. member Donna Upton was nominated along with 9 other nominees for the Ziggy Menge Volunteer for the Environment Award


The Nature Conservation Council acknowledges and appreciate the valuable contributions made by countless volunteers to make our world a more sustainable place.
The Ziggy Menge for the Environment Award celebrates these unsung heroes. The award is given to the most outstanding and inspiring individual who has volunteered for conservation and environment over the past year.
Nominees can be any volunteer who has championed a cause or worked behind the scenes for a more sustainable future.
Nominees must have been active in NSW, and their contribution must have been entirely voluntary.

Information on Nominee:

Donna Upton has been president, secretary, public officer of the Capertee Valley Alliance since 2009.
She has provided hundreds of voluntary hours raising awareness of the threats posed by Airly Coal Mine under the Mugii Murum - ban State Conservation Area, and was instrumental in the development of Capertee Valley Bird Trail brochure and signage of 19 bird trail signs throughout the valley. 
She has also worked for the Capertee Valley Landcare Group and one an award for Education and Communication in the local area and was appointed on the HNCMA Reference Committee prior to LLS.
Donna has worked with environment groups in the Hunter, Blue Mountains, and Lithgow areas and worked closely with National Parks and the local RFS to organize bush walks on private land and in the Capertee National Park.
There have been many volunteer hours spent on Local Government issues and Tourism. Donna was instrumental in the upgrade of Pearsons Lookout and ensuring the Public Land was gazetted by a Trust by  Lithgow City Council to maintain this site and worked closely with Council in regard to signage at Pearsons Lookout and Pirie Park Capertee.
Donna and  Bruce have set up Capertee Valley Alliance Blogs one with photos and Facebook page to spread the environment message.

Message form Donna:

Donna wishes to thank the person who took the time to nominate her for this award and it was much appreciated.

 Members of CVA Inc.  also put in many voluntary hours on behalf of the Capertee Valley Community and without their input CVA achievements would have been minimal.

Donna is a strong advocate for the need for people who live and work in a community to be engaged in community life no matter how small that might be, without involvement by  community members to collectively and co-operatively work together in a cohesive way with  the residents, Local, State and Federal Governments very little will be gained or achieved to enhance the place where we live.
'Its the squeaky wheel gets the most attention.'

Congratulations to Capertee Valley Alliance for another successful year.

08 November, 2015

Glen Davis - Historic Shale Oil Town

Tours of this historic site start at the locked gates in Glen Davis at 2pm on Saturdays.  

Ring Alex on 6379 7380

06 November, 2015


Western Blue Mountains Spotted-tailed Quoll Study
Do you have native vegetation on your property?
Have you seen Quolls in the area?

Researchers from the University of Wollongong are interested in the occurrence of the Spotted-tailed Quoll on private land in New South Wales. One particular area is around Capertee, Jenolan and Lithgow, to the west of the Blue Mountains.

How can I help?

If you have seen a Quoll in the past 10 years, we would like to hear from you. The following information would be required:

-Approximate date of the sightings (if you have multiple sightings, please list these separately).

-Location of the sighting, as specific as possible, for example a property address or where possible, specific coordinates.

-What was the Quoll doing at the time (such as eating your chickens or crossing the road)

 -Your contact details, such as an email address in case we need any further information on your sighting.

For further information or to communicate your sightings, please email Dr Chris McLean chrismc@uow.edu.au or contact Huw Evans huw.evans@lls.nsw.gov.au

Lock the Gate event

Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 09:00 AM through November 15, 2015 · $20.00 AUD
The Italo Club in Lismore, Australia

Lock the Gate Skill Share Conference & AGM

Join us at the Lock the Gate Skill Share Conference
Skill share sessions will include:
Build a movement & keep it moving 
Strategic Campaign Planning 
Cross-cultural awareness 
Action that g (show all)

04 November, 2015

Testing the waters Capertee Valley Landcare project.

Capertee Valley Landcare invites the Landholders of Capertee Valley

to participate in testing the waterways, rivers, creeks, streams,springs, bores, dams and your drinking water from your tanks.

Capertee Valley Landcare would be interested to have any readings you may taken, in the past 10 years.
There may be a trend too of increasing salinity of bores.
The next water testing session:
 Friday 27th November 2015 at 3.00pm Glen Alice Hall at 3.00pm
Bring with you a water sample from your creek, bore and it will be tested; 500ml in a plastic bottle. GPS reading is useful but not essential.

Issued by CVA Inc
Contact details for CVL Julie Gibson .

02 November, 2015

NBN News from John Cobb MP

NBN Satellite Sky Muster launches successfully!

More than 1166 interim satellite users in Calare are a step closer to having access to fast, reliable broadband with the successful launch on the 1st of October of the Sky Muster satellite from South America. 
When operational the NBN'S satellite service will cover more than 400,000 homes and businesses across Australia.

We need to know more - timetable, cost, speed etc

Just out - Colong Bulletin 261, incorporating Colong e-News No. 19

Colong Foundation for Wilderness Bulletin 
  • Mugii Murum-ban State Conservation Area: management and mining madness
  • Who Burned the Warrumbungles?
  • In Focus Photographic Competition – Update
  • Please renew your support for 2016
  • Macleay Gorges – Featured Wilderness
  • Historic Bushwalking Maps by Myles Dunphy
  • On Track: Searching out the Bundian Way 

Click here to view the online bulletin

01 November, 2015

"This Changes Everything" a documentary

"This Changes Everything"
a documentary based on the book by best-selling author Naomi Klein

Free Community Screenings:
Thursday 26th Nov, 7pm @ Mudgee Uniting Church, Mortimer St
Friday 27th Nov, 7pm @ St James Anglican Church, Rylstone

in advance of the People's Marches of 29th Nov and the UN Climate Change talks of early December, come and consider these world and history-changing issues

What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?

This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

The extraordinary detail and richness of the cinematography in This Changes Everything provides an epic canvas for this exploration of the greatest challenge of our time. Unlike many works about the climate crisis, this is not a film that tries to scare the audience into action: it aims to empower. Provocative, compelling, and accessible to even the most climate-fatigued viewers.

This Changes Everything will leave you refreshed and inspired, reflecting on the ties between us, the kind of lives we really want, and why the climate crisis is at the centre of it all.

More information: Graeme Gardiner 0428 757369 or visit http://thefilm.thischangeseverything.org/

23 October, 2015

Invitation to Kandos Community Forum

Monday 2 November, 6pm to 7.30pm
Kandos High School – Multi-purpose hall

A Forum open to all members of the community to discuss the life and wellbeing of the Kandos Community.

Come and have your say, and listen to others.

What are the needs of the community?
What are the strengths of the community?

This forum will be one in which honesty will be highly valued along with creative thoughts as to some ideas that will support the community into the future.

From 6pm-6.15pm a sausage sizzle will be provided by Rotary and the forum will commence promptly at 6.15pm.

Coordinated by local churches with the support of other community members and organisations including Rotary and Schools.

Any queries can be directed to either:

Rev Graeme Gardiner
0428 757369

Rev Leigh Gardiner

0430 488258

Coal and Gas Exploration NSW Government 'Strategic Release Framework'

Coal and Gas Exploration
NSW Government 'Strategic Release Framework'
Some of you will be aware that there is a submission period open at the moment on the NSW Government's new "Strategic Release Framework" for new exploration licences for coal and gas.
Submissions are due by 5pm Friday and we'd like to encourage you to use it as an opportunity to tell the Government that New South Wales needs coal and gas no-go zones.
The Government has created this new 'Strategic Release Framework' for new coal and gas exploration licences and have asked for comment on it till 23 October.
Then, last week, they introduced five pieces of new legislation that make substantial changes in part to the release and renewal process for exploration licences without including the process they're asking us to comment on this week.

That is, they say they're introducing a triple bottom line assessment, and including public consultation and land use and other environmental and social issues assessment prior to the release of new areas for exploration for coal and gas, but have failed to include any of that in the changes they're making to the law.

It won't have any statutory power and seems unlikely, on initial reading that the Minister will clearly be able to refuse to grant new exploration licences because of competing land use, environmental constraints, or broader public interest considerations.

The Government has so far squandered the opportunity to deliver the deep reform to the management of coal and gas across the landscape in New South Wales that we need, despite intensifying conflict in the regions being targeted for expanded coal and gas mining.

With this new framework, they have, once again, failed to deliver no go zones to set important parts of the state aside as off-limits to mining.

Can you make a submission to this proposed new framework making clear that New South Wales needs firm no-go zones for coal and gas mining to protect rural industries, water resources, bushland and local communities?
Email your submission to: resources.submissions@industry.nsw.gov.au by 5pm on 23 October
Here are some things you might like to say:
  • I support triple bottom line assessment, consistence in the treatment of coal and gas, and the inclusion of community consultation in the release of new areas for mining exploration, but why has none of this been included in the series of Bills amending the mining and petroleum Acts that were introduced into parliament on 15 October? The triple bottom line assessment must be part of the statutory process, and must clearly outline the environmental and social constraints that are grounds for refusal of mining and petroleum authorities.
  • The Government still hasn't made any areas clearly off limits to mining. This is crucial reform, long promised and overdue for delivery. 
  • The Strategic Release Framework and the Mining and Petroleum (Onshore) amendment Bills need to build environmental and social constraints into coal and gas mining processes at the earliest phase, prior to exploration licences and leases being issued, to stop years of conflict and agony for rural communities trying to protect water resources, villages, farmland or important bushland from mining.
  • The discussion paper released in December mentioned constraints, but this framework is just another layer of gruelling assessment with no certainty and no protections, no statutory basis and no clear public interest test for mining authorities that affect farmland, water, bushland and rural communities.
  • The Government must deliver no-go areas for mining in this process and before the end of the year.
  • This means creating hard exclusions for coal and gas exploration and mining: within 2km all critical industry clusters and strategic agricultural land, in the special areas of the drinking water catchments for Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle, within 2km of all homes and schools, in critically endangered ecological communities, in alluvial aquifers, in recharge areas for the Great Artesian Basin and within 2km of rivers.
  • We do not have faith that the Advisory body comprised of executives from Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Treasury, the Department of Planning and Environment, and the Division of Resources and Energy will prioritise the protection of NSW's farmland, bushland and water resources without unequivocal hard constraints being imposed.

21 October, 2015

Water quality testing in the Capertee Valley

Capertee Valley Landcare will be providing monthly opportunities for you to test water.

Bring your water samples along:

8.45 am - 10.00 am Friday 30 October 2015

We can test for:
Electrical Conductivity (EC) - salinity

Provide  the type of water source (dam, bore, creek, etc) and its location. (Map, or GPS co-ords if possible).

Bring about 500 ml in a clean container, rinse it out with the water that you're testing three times.

If collecting from a stream, try to take it from the centre of the running water and submerged about 20 ml.

The purpose is to gradually construct a picture of water quality (quantity) throughout the Capertee Valley.

If you want help to achieve this, then take some samples from streams and bring them along.

Fresh coffee for those waiting their turn.

Pass this onto your neighbour.

13 October, 2015

Blast Furnace facelift

ABC CW Radio News online:  'Historic Lithgow ruins to undergo facelift'.

"An upgrade is about to start in Lithgow at the site considered the birthplace of Australia's steel industry.

The City Council has given the green light for refurbishing the Blast Furnace and making it easier to access for visitors.

There will be stabilisation and brickwork repairs at the precinct, plus new fencing, a boardwalk, signage."

Read the full story here:  'Historic Lithgow ruins to undergo facelift'.

“via BYLONG” Weekend – 24-25 October

If you’ve never driven the Bylong Valley Way, or haven’t been through Bylong for a while (or even if you have!), make the trip over the weekend of 24-25 October.

Apart from the stunning scenery you’ll see on the way, there'll be:

- A Hall of History showcasing the valley's rich history in photographs and newspaper clippings
- Music
- Bush poetry
- Food
- Market stalls featuring local wines and produce
- Bus tours of the local area
- Saturday night bonfire

You can even make a weekend of it with camping available (suggested donation $10 per site – proceeds to Hall Committee)

More info here

12 October, 2015

Regent Honeyeater Research

Meet Ross Crate.  Ross is from the Australian National University (ANU) and has been in the Capertee Valley for some weeks doing research for his Phd and his subject is the Regent Honeyeater.  Also, he is working in conjunction with Birdlife.

Ross will be known to quite a number of residents by now as he has been prowling as many Regent Honeyeater haunts as possible to gather research information and record nesting habits using motion activated cameras.

Could you please help Ross to add further information to the store of information so that we can save this valuable bird from extinction.

I have attached a paper written by Ross some weeks ago for your information.

The Capertee River flows west to east, joining the Wolgan River at their confluence in Newnes. The river is fed by a number of minor tributaries in the upper reaches and forms part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment. From the upper reaches of Bogee River to Glen Davis, the Capertee river flows through the Capertee Valley, which is internationally recognised and designated as an important bird area (IBA) by BirdLife International. This designation is principally due to the fact that the Capertee Valley is the core breeding range of the critically endangered Regent honeyeater. Once distributed throughout south eastern Australia from south Queensland to Adelaide, the species has suffered a major and ongoing population decline and associated range contraction. Current population estimates suggest there may be only 300-400 birds remaining. The Capertee Valley is now recognised as the core of the species’ breeding range, and is the only site in Australia where the species can be seen on a semi-regular basis.
The Regent honeyeater is a ‘rich patch specialist.’ This means that for successful breeding to occur, individuals must locate rich sources of nectar with which to provision young, in habitat that provides dense cover to conceal nests from predators. The most important breeding site for regent honeyeaters in the Capertee Valley is the banks of the river itself. This riparian habitat of river she-oak Casuarina cunninghamii provides the nesting substrate required by regent honeyeaters. The stretch of the river in the vicinity of Genowlan bridge holds breeding birds in most years, (including the present year), as does the open valley floor of the Capertee National Park. The riparian habitat is also of vital importance because the river she-oaks play host to a species of needle-leaf mistletoe, Amyema cambagei. The flowers of the needle leaf mistletoe are another important nectar source for breeding regent honeyeaters. The river itself provides their only source of drinking and bathing water. During hot weather, birds can be seen frequently taking water from the river, and bathing to help regulate body temperature.  A regular supply of water is likely to become increasingly important for breeding Regent honeyeaters given projected climate change scenarios. In addition, the river provides a bountiful supply of invertebrate fauna, which is an important source of protein for both adult and young birds. It is highly likely that the abundance of insects in the vicinity of the river is determined by the presence of water in the river. Also critical to the successful breeding of the regent honeyeater in the valley is the flowering of a small number of key eucalyptus species, in particular Yellow box E.melliodora, White box E.albens and Mugga ironbark E.sideroxylon. It is widely appreciated that the frequency and intensity of flowering in these species is moderated by soil moisture content; periods of low soil moisture are associated with poor flowering events, which in turn moderates the frequency of breeding opportunities of the Regent honeyeater.
Given the importance of the riparian habitat of the Capertee valley described, any drop in the water levels in the Capertee River is highly likely to have a significant detrimental impact upon the long-term persistence of the Regent honeyeater in the wild. A reduction in water levels is likely to reduce both the frequency and intensity of flowering in nearby eucalyptus species, as well as in the long-term persistence of both the river she-oak and needle-leaf mistletoe. Lack of access to water during the breeding season may either result directly in mortality of offspring during hot weather or indirectly by increasing the risk of nest predation if parents are forced to commute further from the nest to obtain water. Alternatively, it may also inhibit the initiation of breeding altogether. A reduction in invertebrate fauna in foraging areas of breeding regent honeyeaters would also limit the protein resources to provision chicks, which could either cause offspring mortality of have negative effects on the long-term health of the birds. In summary, a regular and plentiful supply of water in the Capertee river is fundamental to the functioning of the entire ecosystem, of which the regent honeyeater plays a critical part.

(Contact Ross at my number 6379 7767)