Environment Matters - August/Winter 2022
Upskill for FIRE AND FLOOD
Bigger and better at BUSHCARE Weeding out INVASIVE SPECIES
Fox M, Pelican In The Mist, Colleges Crossing, 2017 Photo Comp
5 APPS TO DOWNLOAD for a cleaner, greener, pristine Ipswich
Ipswich Bin app Never miss your bin day again, tips for sorting waste and information about events and services in your area.
iNaturalist Record your encounters with organisms and contribute to the Atlas of Living Australia.
QuestaGame Head outdoors and snap photos of plants and animals in the wild to level up, earn gold and challenge other players.
My Ipswich Alerts Free weather alerts for residents of the Ipswich local government area.
1 Million Women Reduce your environmental
impact with tips and challenges, exploring
topics such as food waste, energy consumption and lifestyle choices.
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Our cover features the well-known pelican ( Pelecanus conspicillatus ) which is regularly spotted on the Brisbane River at Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve.
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What’s in this issue 4 Five awesome skills as an SES or RFS volunteer
5 Get Ready for fire season Native flora response to fire
6 Swooping season starts now
Bringing back cod from the brink
7 Planning for success
Banking Right by S. Rolleston, 2018 Photo Comp
8 Green space invaders
Pelicans are common across Australia. There are seven species of pelicans in the world, all of which are similar in shape. A defining feature is their long bill with a large throat pouch. The bill is sensitive and helps locate fish in murky water. Pelicans plunge their bills into water and use the pouch as a net – a fully extended bill can hold up to 13 litres! Pelicans can have a wingspan of up to 2.5 metres. They are highly mobile and can remain in the air for 24 hours, covering hundreds of kilometres. They are excellent soarers, using thermals to travel long distances with minimal effort, reaching speeds of up to 56km/hr. Wild pelicans may live between 10 and 25 years, or more.
9 Lend a hand to your local Bushcare
10 Big steps to a more sustainable city
11 Facts you didn’t know about FOGO Recycle 5
12 What’s On
14 Kids’ Corner
16 At your Library
Five awesome skills you can learn as an SES or RFS volunteer The State Emergency Service and Rural Fire Service volunteers are at the forefront during nature’s extremes. Their training includes some incredible skills to help the community – but are also skill sets that can be useful in everyday life.
1. FLOOD BOATS Ipswich has fantastic training grounds including Wivenhoe Dam, Bremer River and Brisbane River. Spend time on the water learning new skills in a fully equipped SES flood boat!
2. SEARCH AND RESCUE
3. CHAINSAWS Most people never learn how to grab a chainsaw and carve up a fallen tree – well, here’s your chance! It’s an important skill for the SES and RFS and something that may come in handy at home too.
4. HAZARD REDUCTION BURNS Safely managed and controlled ‘cool’ burns are essential to reducing the risk of bushfire each year. They also help the regeneration of some native plant species. RFS volunteers get to be part of the action during burn season.
5. TRUCK LICENCE Children (and big kids) love watching the SES and RFS trucks with their flashing lights and gadgets. You can be the one in the driver’s seat! Having a truck licence can be a big bonus at home and work.
Charge up the Fitbit and get in some steps while learning land search skills. SES and RFS volunteers assist police when searching for missing people, gathering evidence and more.
To join, visit Qfes.qld.gov.au and click on the ‘ Careers & Volunteering ’ tab.
Get ready for bushfire When it comes to bushfire season… don’t wait until it’s too late! QFES have a quick and easy postcode checker to help determine if you live in a bushfire hotspot: Qfes.qld.gov.au/postcode-checker PREPARE BUILDINGS: clear roof and gutters of debris, maintain pumps and water systems, relocate flammable items away from your home PREPARE ACCESS: display your house number prominently PREPARE GARDENS: mow grass regularly, do regular garden clean ups PREPARE YOURSELF: keep a fully stocked first aid kit, have appropriate insurance, have an up to date Bushfire Survival Plan. Find more information at Ipswich.qld.gov.au/emergency
Native flora response to fire Fire is a delicate balance in Australian ecosystems. Burning too frequently, or not often enough, can endanger or eliminate plant species. A ‘beneficial’ fire interval may be five or 50 years, depending on the ecosystem.
Many of the first plants that appear after a fire, such as wattles (Acacias) and pea-flowering plants, have bacteria in the root nodules that convert nitrogen from the atmosphere into a form that can be used by plants. They rapidly rebuild the nitrogen supplies in the soil. Some plants hold their seeds in thick woody fruits or capsules.
The heat of fire helps open the capsules. The seeds land in the ash bed, which is high in nutrients needed for seedling growth. Fire helps clear thick undergrowth and opens the canopy for sunlight to reach the forest floor. It can also reduce some invasive weeds, allowing native species room to grow.
MANY PLANT SPECIES RELY ON FIRE TO REGENERATE OR REPRODUCE. Eucalyptus trees have ‘lignotubers’ at their base that sprout after fire. Many species have insulating bark with dormant buds called ‘epicormic shoots’ that sprout if the crown of the tree is damaged.
Swooping season starts now Winter marks the beginning of swooping behaviour by birds such as magpies and plovers.
In 2021 council received requests about swooping birds as early as July. Swooping is a natural behaviour to protect eggs and chicks. Magpies and plovers are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992
and harming these native birds is against the law. Ipswich City Council has a procedure for managing the risks from aggressive native birds. It considers factors such as location, severity and duration of the behaviour.
Council uses a range of approaches including signage, education and – in extreme circumstances – bird assessment and potential relocation by a qualified fauna consultant. To report a swooping bird call council on (07) 3810 6666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bringing cod back from the brink About 100 years ago the Brisbane River cod, once plentiful in the Bremer River, was driven to extinction through fishing pressure and habitat loss.
A similar relative, the protected Mary River cod – one of Australia’s most endangered fish – is now central to a program to re-introduce this large apex predator to the freshwater reaches of the Bremer River. In late 2021 about 2,000 juvenile cod were released into the Bremer catchment at several strategic locations. Mary River cod can grow to over a metre long and weigh up to 23kg. They can live to 40 years old. They have a broad diet that includes fish (including pest fish such as tilapia and carp), crustaceans, insects, small reptiles, amphibians, small birds, bats and rodents.
Planning for success Simon and Kassie knew they had purchased land in a special part of the world when they bought their 40 acre property in Goolman in 2020.
Keen to protect their land and encourage native wildlife, the pair began removing various weeds including lantana ( Lantana camara ) and climbing asparagus fern ( Asparagus africanus ). “We started removing weeds and taking note of possible habitat areas. We wanted to do more so we contacted council to discuss our options,” Kassie said. Council’s Landholder Conservation Partnerships team visited the property in 2021 and identified many species including narrow-leafed ironbark ( Eucalyptus crebra ) and spotted gum ( Corymbia citriodora ) within the open forest ecosystem which provides great habitat for various wildlife including koala. The property forms part of Flinders Karawatha Corridor which is
recognised by the State Government for its conservation values, providing many native animals habitat and refuge from various threats. Together with the Partnerships team, Simon and Kassie created a Property Management Plan to
prioritise actions and worked with the rural fire brigade to create a fire management plan. Wildlife monitoring cameras were set up to help identify animals on the property. “The cameras really helped with our planning and habitat knowledge – within the first couple of weeks we had footage of koala, whiptail wallaby, eastern grey kangaroo and black striped wallaby,” Kassie said. “We already had the passion to restore our land but the program helped us create a plan and access resources and grants. Now we have a place to go with questions and concerns and goals to aim for.” Simon and Kassie’s plan also includes installing native bees hives, targeted weed clearing, controlled burns and planting koala trees in cleared areas. 7
Green space invaders They come in many shapes and sizes – from dainty flowers to towering trees. But they are all invasive weeds with the potential to severely damage our natural environment.
We all have a ‘General Biosecurity Obligation’ under the Biosecurity Act so it’s important to be informed about these environmental invaders. Here are some of the top weeds causing environmental harm in Ipswich.
Lantana ( Lantana camara ) This tangled thorny bush and its bright flower heads are a common sight across Ipswich. It forms dense thickets that smother native ecosystems and can increase the intensity of bushfire.
Cats claw creeper ( Dolichandra unguis-cati )
Glycine ( Neonotonia wightii ) Dark green leaves split into three leaflets, and hairy brown seed pods are this vine’s most defining features. It can infest extensive areas smothering grasses and understorey plants.
The fine claw-like hooks and large yellow flowers are a sure sign you’re dealing with this menace. It climbs over trees and shrubs, smothering everything in its path.
Fireweed ( Senecio madagascariensis ) It’s a daisy-like flower from Madagascar that is toxic to livestock and spreads rapidly in pastures. One trick to help identify it is counting the petals – fireweed usually has 13.
Chinese Elm ( Celtis sinensis ) It’s a large shade tree that is fast- growing. By its nature it can quickly form dense infestations along creek banks and prevent native species from growing.
Prickly pear ( Opuntia spp. ) If it looks like a cactus it’s not welcome in our environment. Many prickly pear species can resprout from a fragment of the stem, as well as other methods such as seeds and underground tubers.
A guide to identifying and removing more than 100 of the worst invasive weeds in Ipswich is now available at the Queens Park Environmental Education Centre.
Lend a hand to your local Bushcare
When Beth Addison-Smith saw the weedy state of the wetlands in her local area she knew something needed to be done. She is now the leader of one of the three new Bushcare sites in Ipswich and a growing movement of volunteers improving the city’s environmental health. Jim Donald Wetland in Silkstone provides an important function as wild space and waterway management in an urban setting. Invasive weeds are presenting a major challenge to the site, degrading its environmental function and having a negative impact on downstream Bundamba Creek. By committing to routine manual weeding and other tasks, the Bushcare volunteers are working with council to restore the wetlands and strengthen community ownership of the waterway.
Ipswich has almost doubled its number of Bushcare sites across the city in the past year. There are now more opportunities than ever to help improve your local environment.
WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A BUSHCARE VOLUNTEER check No skills or environmental knowledge needed – everything can be learned ‘on the job’ check Meet new people with similar interests and a shared goal check See if it’s for you by doing up to three trial days check Do a short online induction to become a regular volunteer and get a free hat and gloves check See the rewards of your hard work as you transform weeds into native habitat!
FIND A GROUP NEAR YOU Bushcare information and working bees are on the Volunteer Portal Ipswich.qld.gov.au/volunteering
Map-marker-alt Garden of Eden Project, Cribb Park, North Ipswich Map-marker-alt Mason’s Gully Project, Rosewood Map-marker-alt Peace Park Arboretum, Rosewood Map-marker-alt Opossum Creek Project, Brookwater
Map-marker-alt Jim Donald Wetlands, Silkstone
Map-marker-alt Barry Street Reserve, East Ipswich
Map-marker-alt Woogaroo Creek, Eugene Street, Bellbird Park
Big steps to a more sustainable city Ipswich’s recently adopted Sustainability Strategy details how we will increase efforts and implement new actions towards making Ipswich a more liveable city.
OUR TARGET U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
CLEAN ENERGY 7
RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION 12
SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES 11
CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION 6
CLIMATE ACTION 13
LIFE ON LAND 15
INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND
The strategy provides council and the community direction as to how we work together to deliver, partner and advocate for effective sustainability outcomes in meeting the city’s challenges. PRIORITY ACTION AREAS 1 SUSTAINABLE COUNCIL – It is critical for council as an organisation to lead by example and facilitate projects and programs for the city to become more sustainable. 2 CLIMATE ADAPTATION – Building our resilience to a changing climate will ensure we’re able to continue to live comfortably and safely, and the impact to the environment is limited. PROGRESSED ACTION AREAS 3 TRANSPORT AND MOBILITY – How we and our visitors move in, and around the city, influences the level of congestion on our roads and air pollution. Encouraging active transport and access to reliable public transport can reduce road congestion and subsequent air pollution.
4 NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTHY WATERWAYS – Our natural environment and waterways are key to supporting diverse ecosystems, our cultural landscapes and our wellbeing. How we preserve the environment and our waterways for generations to come will depend on how we value and plan for these natural assets now. 5 CIRCULAR ECONOMY – Waste has been an ongoing challenge for the City of Ipswich owing to large volumes of waste being accepted from outside of the city. However, there are opportunities to change the way we manage waste by adopting a circular economy approach. Where to from here? The strategy is supported by a comprehensive implementation plan that will help us deliver on our goals. This plan will be reviewed and responsive to changes in technology, regulations, learning and stakeholder feedback. Search for ‘Sustainability Strategy’ at Ipswich.qld.gov.au
Facts you didn’t know about FOGO
If you live in Ipswich you can now divert your food and organics waste from landfill with an opt-in FOGO bin!
3. LOOK FOR THE LOGO:
FOGO means Food Organics Garden Organics. Here’s some things you might not know about the FOGO kerbside collection service. 1. NEW NAME, SAME BIN: If you have a green waste bin (lime green lid) then great news – you already have a FOGO service! The opt-in green waste service has simply had a re-name to reflect the additional food and organic items it can now take. Did you know that these items are now accepted in your FOGO bin – meat scraps and bones, dairy products, used paper towels and tissues and soiled pizza boxes…and more! That’s on top of your garden clippings and fruit and veggie scraps. 2. HOW FAR CAN YOU FOGO:
There are products such as bags and containers being marketed as ‘biodegradable’. But
before you put it in the FOGO bin look for the seedling logo that means it’s Australian certified compostable. No logo – no FOGO!
4. SMALL COST, BIG WINS:
It’s lest than 25 cents per day to have an opt-in FOGO bin at your house. But the rewards to our environment are huge – last year Ipswich households sent 15,500 tonnes of organic matter to landfill. Let’s divert that today!
Find out more information at Ipswich.qld.gov.au/fogo
Don’t lose it to landfill. Recycle it in your yellow lid bin.
CALENDAR WHAT’S ON Want to get outdoors and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of our environment? Here’s a selection of ideas.
COMMUNITY Clean Up Australia Day Sunday 6 March 2022
Register a site or pull on some gloves and help out the nation’s largest community-based environment event! Cleanup.org.au
SCHOOLS Youth Sustainability Summit August 2022 This annual event works to connect Year 4 and 5 students from across Ipswich with creative ideas for
Trees for Mum Sunday 8 May 2022 Share a special morning and plant a tree for, or with, your mum on Mother’s Day. Your planting contributes to the Habitat Connections program improving Ipswich’s waterway health. Registration information will be posted closer to the date on Facebook.com/IpswichCityCouncil
a sustainable future. Teachers can email email@example.com
THERE’S A DAY FOR THAT ?!
AT HOME Earth Hour 27 March 2022
On 27 March 2022 join millions of people around the world and switch off your lights at 8.30 pm in support of nature and the planet. See Earthhour.org.au OUTDOORS National Tree Day 31 July 2022 Help make our city cleaner and greener by taking part in a community planting CHILDREN Kids Go Wild School holidays Join in the fun over the school holidays with activities that encourage kids to learn about the environment. See Ipswich.qld.gov.au/enviroed event on Sunday 31 July 2022. See Treeday.planetark.org
National Volunteer Week 16-22 May 2022
ENVIROFORUM August 2022 Join expert speakers as they discuss environmental issues facing Ipswich and beyond. This annual event is not one to be missed! Ipswich.qld.gov.au/enviroforum
International Compost Awareness Week 1-7 May 2022
World Environment Day 5 June 2022
International Day of Happiness 20 March 2022
Experience Nature All year
Go on a guided tour to discover stories, history and the fascinating life of flora and fauna within our conservation estates. Spaces are limited so make sure to book. Discoveripswich.com.au/tours
Bushcare working bees All year
Lend a hand to community efforts to restore and improve Ipswich’s natural environment. Bushcare groups across the city hold monthly working bees and ad hoc planting days. Ipswich.qld.gov.au/volunteering
Leaf printing The weather is turning colder but you can still enjoy nature. Here is a fun, crafty idea to get out and about. Autumn is a time when some plants lose their leaves. Head out on a nature walk to gather a few leaves of different shapes and sizes. Paint one side of your leaves – either with a paint brush or dip the leaf in some paint! Use the leaf as a stamp to press down on your paper and make a pattern. Perhaps you can turn your painted leaves into another art project by letting the paint dry, then gluing them onto some cardboard.
You’ll need: badge-check leaves badge-check paint badge-check paint brush badge-check paper
Did you know? Kookaburras can live up to 20 years.
A group of kookaburras is called a ‘riot’.
They are a type of bird called a kingfisher – but they rarely eat fish! Instead they feast on reptiles, rodents, snails, insects, frogs and yabbies. Young kookaburras stay with their parents for about four years to help raise younger siblings. An Aboriginal peoples’ legend is that after the sun rose for the first time a good spirit who lived in the sky asked Goor- goor-gaga the Kookaburra to laugh his loudest every dawn to awaken the sleepers so they could enjoy the beautiful sunrise.
Toilet roll puppets
Create a cute critter! You’ll need: badge-check clean toilet rolls badge-check scissors badge-check glue badge-check paint or felt pens badge-check googly eyes badge-check coloured paper
To make a butterfly, paint/colour in your toilet roll in your favourite colour. Cut out large wing shapes from coloured paper and glue onto the back of the toilet roll. Cut out antennas from paper and glue to the inside top of the toilet roll. Draw on a funny face and glue on googly eyes. To make a chick, paint/colour in your toilet roll yellow. Cut out small wing shapes and glue to the sides of the toilet roll. Cut out feet shapes and glue to the inside bottom of the toilet roll. Draw on a funny face and glue on googly eyes if you like! What other creatures can you make? Try some of our native animals – maybe a koala or bilby!
Have you seen Hardings Hut? This is an exciting new addition to environmental education in Ipswich! Schools and other community groups are encouraged to book Hardings Hut for dates after 1 April 2021. The facility is in the Hardings Paddock day use area of the Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate, about 15km from Ipswich CBD. It is ‘off the grid’ using solar power and tank water to power lights, fans, a kitchen and disability access bathroom.
There is a secure room with tables and 15 chairs and a large covered outdoor area. See Ipswich.qld.gov.au/parkssearch or call (07) 3810 6666 for more information.
AT YOUR LIBRARY
The Australian climate change book: be informed and make
Mutts Go Green: Earth-friendly tips and comic strips. Patrick McDonnell 2021
a difference. Polly Marsden 2021
Something for everyone...
#Eat meat less: good for animals, the Earth & all. 75+ plant-based recipes to nourish yourself & help the planet. The Jane Goodall Institute 2021
The Art of Repair: Mindful mending.
Fair Trade First. Making what we buy sustainable and fair. Sarah Ridley 2022
How to stitch old things to new life. Molly Martin 2021
Have you visited your local library? There’s something for everyone at the Ipswich Libraries. Check out the line-up of events and activities at Ipswichlibraries.com.au
Ipswich Central Library Nicholas Street Precinct, Ipswich Ipswich Children’s Library Nicholas Street Precinct, Ipswich Redbank Plains Library Moreton Avenue, Redbank Plains Redbank Plaza Library Redbank Plaza Shopping Centre, 1 Collingwood Drive, Redbank Rosewood Library Corner John and Railway streets, Rosewood Springfield Central Library Cnr Main Street and Sirius Drive, Orion Springfield Central
Environment Matters is printed on Ecostar Uncoated 100% Recycled Paper
Ipswich City Council PO Box 191, Ipswich Phone (07) 3810 6666 Fax (07) 3810 6731
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