Latest News

  • HEN AGM 2016: Thursday October 13th, 6.30pm at the Deerubbin Centre WINDSOR

    Invitation to the 5th AGM

    HEN welcomes members and visitors to attend this event; hear about all our activities undertaken in the last 12 months and welcome in our new Committee for 2016-2017.The agenda below is brief, to permit an interesting presentation by our guest speaker, followed by our usual excellent spread of refreshments. We look forward to catching up with friends and visitors. Entry free for members or gold coin donation at the door.

    Please contact robin@hen.org.au or phone 0414 672 014 for any enquiries or to send a proxy vote.

    Agenda:

    • Welcome and introduction by Chair Jules Wright. Apologies
    • Guest Speaker: Corinne Fisher, TEC Campaign SOS Green Spaces
    • Confirmation of Minutes of AGM on 28th August 2015
    • Chairman’s Report : Jules Wright
    • Treasurer’s Report: Jim Watson
    • Election of Office Bearers and Committee
    • General Business
    • Supper

    Guest Speaker: Corinne Fisher from the Total Environment Centre (TEC) will be presenting the latest information about some of the greatest threats to our environment: the threats to our biodiversity laws and increased clearing of public green spaces as Sydney expands inexorably into the west. HEN is concerned particularly about the way and rate at which this expansion is taking place.

    NSW councils have sold, developed or reclassified more than 20 per cent of public urban open space in the past decade, a figure state environmental groups are labelling as a “crisis point”.

    The Georges River Corridor, the Cumberland Conservation Corridor, the Shanes Park Woodlands and bushland at the site of the new hospital at Frenchs Forest are some of the 39 open spaces under threat, says the Total Environment Centre.​

    Urban open space includes parks, playing fields and bushland reserves. “We’re consistently getting reports of losses of parks, open space and urban bushland. We think it has reached a crisis stage,” said Jeff Angel, executive director of the Total Environment Centre, which says there has been a 23.5 per cent decline in open space in NSW in the past ten years.

    CEO of the Nature Conservation Council Kate Smolski described the loss of open space “incredibly alarming”.

    “There are clear risks that the current government is bending to the will of property developers who want more land transferred into private hands and cleared for development,” she said.

    The most recent episode of clearing part of the Cooks River endangered Ironbark bushland within Wolli Creek valley for the WestConnex corridor has enraged locals who know just how special this bushland is.

    As secretary of the Cumberland Conservation Network, Wayne Olling knows the struggle of protecting open space well, having spent the last ten years trying to protect the Shanes Park Woodland from a road reservation.

    “When you’re talking about something as big as a motorway it has a huge impact on a high conservation value area.”

    We need to develop a system of conservation laws that will ensure our wildlife, bushland, soils, water supplies and climate are restored to health and can meet the physical, cultural and spiritual needs of future generations. To achieve this, we need laws that:

    • Protect and enhance the health and variety of our wildlife, protect water supplies and ensure healthy soils and productive farmlands
    • Ensure no return to broad-scale land clearing by retaining clearing controls
    • Support farmers who protect wildlife, healthy soils and pure water supplies in return for maintaining strong vegetation laws
    • Identify and rule out clearing bushland that is critical as habitat for threatened wildlife
    • Rule out offset schemes that allow developers to destroy wildlife habitat in exchange for cash or dissimilar types of habitat
    • Use tree-clearing controls to maximize the amount of carbon pollution captured and retained by native bushland, and
    • Require comprehensive and accurate mapping of the state’s 1500 vegetation communities so we know exactly where they are and can protect them properly.

    More details about these issues can be found at the following links

     

    shanes-park-aps-trip-apr2013-4

    Shane Park Grassy Woodland. Australian Plant Society visit April 2013

    londonderry-res

    Londonderry Bushland site: Conservation group with Wayne Olling of Cumberland Land Conservancy on right.

    rivo-wetland2

    Former Riverstone meatworks wetland: hosts large flocks of up to 190 international migratory shorebirds and 400 plus nomadic waterfowl

     

     

    Continue reading
  • Freshwater fish of Hawkesbury-Nepean catchments

    Wetland studies on the Richmond-Windsor floodplain is part of the work and learnings currently being undertaken by our Green Army team and local landholders. At the recent Wetlands of the West Symposium, some live fish displays included native catfish, Tandanus tandanus,long-finned eel Anguilla reinhardtii, and some carp gudgeon Hypseoletris spp., and striped gudgeon, as well as freshwater mussels and crayfish (yabbies). The current state of the larger wetlands such as Bushells Lagoon, is highly affected by carp which dominate the water body; however, locals who have known that wetland through several generations tell us that there were many native species including catfish, mullet, perch, and eels in the lagoon in great quantity. Dipnetting by the GA team does catch small mosquito fish (Gambusia sp.) which are introduced. These and several types of macroinvertebrate (bugs) can be found where the edges of banks still support some healthy vegetation, even in the alligator weed which provides some habitat. Frogs are not as noticeable either.

    If the advent of the Carp Herpes Virus affects the carp and rids the wetlands of them, it is hoped reintroduction of suitable native species may be possible. The link to a short movie showing some of the species which were on display can be seen here : Catfish behaviour.

    Continue reading
  • WETLANDS of the WEST SYMPOSIUM SEPTEMBER 16-17

    Hawkesbury Environment Network [HEN] supported by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and in partnership with Western Sydney University is excited to announce the Wetlands of the West Symposium. The symposium will be over 2 days, 16th & 17th September and will feature a unique showcase of presentations, workshops, panel discussions and site visits. Presenters from Greater Western Sydney local government, academia, community groups and Local Land Services will cover a range of dynamic themes including water management, water pollution, agricultural irrigation, water recycling, urban living, Aboriginal perspectives, flora and fauna, ecological restoration and weed control. There will also be Citizen Science presentations that hope to spark more community involvement.  Phil Straw, who is a well-known ornithologist will be the keynote speaker; his work has been dedicated to the conservation of wetlands and waterbirds nationally and internationally.

    Day 1, Friday 16th September will be held at the Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury campus and feature the Keynote speaker, panel discussion, displays & presentations. Day 2, Saturday 17th September will consist of a series of site visits to key Hawkesbury wetlands featuring both healthy and degraded systems with interpreters and experts to discuss the management issues.  The bus tour will depart from the Hawkesbury campus and is strictly limited places. This is planned to engage landowners who live with wetlands, as well as the experts and volunteers who assist in looking after the habitat values for birdlife, fish and turtles. List the day on your calendar and Book tickets early at Eventbrite.  Bookings close 9th September.

    For further information, please contact HEN info@hen.org.au or  sustainability@westernsydney.edu.au

    PROGRAM & more details [Subject to changes]wow flyerWoW program

    Continue reading