Environment Matters Spring/Summer 2021

A quarterly newsletter on everything fauna, flora and the great outdoors in Ipswich.


Spring/ Summer 2021


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.


What’s in this issue 4 What makes a healthy waterway


5 Life just beneath the surface

6 When is a good time to plant?

7 Mosaic burning on a small scale

Sign up at Ipswich.qld.gov.au/subscribe

8 Are you ready for storm season?

9 Importance of being disability inclusive Get Ready, Ipswich!

Creature feature Our cover features an Eastern long- necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) which is found in the waterways of Ipswich. It’s a species of snake-necked turtle common in Ipswich’s freshwater creek and river systems. This turtle inhabits swamps, lagoons and slow- moving waters of creeks and rivers. It spends most of its time in water but can move overland in search of new waterholes and nesting areas. The Eastern long-necked turtle feeds on aquatic invertebrates, tadpoles and small fishes. One of its common names is ‘stinker’ as its body can produce a strong musky odour when handled or disturbed. The turtle’s neck is usually about half the length of its shell. Its head bends sideways into its shell, rather than pulling it directly back.

10 It’s time to recycle!

Free hazardous material drop off day

11 Ipswich action reducing waste to landfill

12 What’s On

14 Kids' Corner

16 At your library

Image: Gunther Schmida


What makes a healthy




1. RIPARIAN VEGETATION Native plants create stable stream banks which can resist erosion, maintaining water quality and in-stream habitat. It also provides stable sites for platypus to burrow. Dense vegetation along a waterway acts as a buffer between waterways and human land uses. It also provides valuable wildlife corridors to land-based animals.

3. HABITAT FEATURES Log-jams, aquatic vegetation beds, rock bars and overhanging vegetation are essential for native fish species. Complex habitat features provide cover, ambush points,

2. DIVERSITY OF DEPTH Healthy waterways follow a general repeating pattern of pools, riffles and runs. A variety of water depths and flow conditions provide habitat for a wide range of aquatic species. Deep pools are critical for the dry season.

breeding sites and refuge during high flow events.





Images: 1. Long-finned eel, 2. Native fish

Life just beneath

the surface Next time you are walking past an Ipswich creek, see if you can spot what might be living in there. Many schooling native fish are visible just below the surface. The freshwater reaches of Ipswich's waterways provide habitat to 34 species of native fish. Half of these native species are ‘potamodromus’ meaning they spend their entire life cycle in freshwater. This includes the endangered Mary River Cod and vulnerable Queensland Lungfish. The other half of our native species are ‘diadromous’, needing both freshwater and estuarine habitats throughout their lifecycle. The Long-finned eel is a remarkable example of a local diadromous species. Mature eels migrate from upstream freshwater habitats to deep-sea trenches thousands of kilometres offshore before they spawn and die. The juveniles ride ocean currents for up to a year before returning to the freshwater habitats of their parents. It’s important we ensure Ipswich



4. CONNECTIVITY Fish barriers such as weirs, culverts, crossings and causeways can impede the movements of native fish and create conditions which favour pest species. Connectivity between habitats strengthens native fish populations.

5. WATER QUALITY Stable temperatures and good dissolved oxygen

concentrations are necessary for aquatic creatures. Keeping nutrient levels in check helps avoid harmful algal blooms. We can contribute by limiting fertilisers in the garden.

waterways are healthy and functioning well so our many native fish species can thrive.


When is a good time to plant? Have you ever put plants in the ground for them to die shortly after? Planting can sometimes seem like a tricky science, but here are some tips on the most important factors for plant survival.

1. TEMPERATURE temperature-low

2. MOISTURE Droplet


Too hot and plants suffer heat stress and dry out. Too cold and plants suffer frost-related deaths. Plants grow more effectively in warmer soil, so it’s important not to plant too close to winter. The more temperate months of Spring and early Autumn are good times to get planting. TIP: Remember to pick up your free native plants from the Ipswich City Council Nursery! See Ipswich.qld.gov.au/freeplants

Plant during or just prior to the wetter season (generally summer in Ipswich) if you can. A good soak of rain is far more effective for plant growth than we can achieve with manual watering. Use water crystals to maximise water retention in the soil and use mulch to suppress weeds and trap soil moisture. TIP: Dig the hole for your plants twice as big as the pot then fill the hole with water and allow it to entirely soak into the soil (this can take up to 24 hours), then follow up with a deep water once you have planted.

Each species has its own tolerances to sunlight, soil type and water. Spend some time understanding your planting site and try and select plants suited to those conditions. It will help your garden thrive! TIP: In full-sun areas establish trees

and shrubs as ‘pioneer’ species and then plant less sun-tolerant species as the understorey.


Mosaic burning on a small scale Shane and Sam Einam – Land for Wildlife and Voluntary Conservation Agreement member Lynda Maybanks – Managing Director Wirrinyah Conservation Services Our property goal was to improve the natural habitat while running a few head of livestock. Mosaic burning was a strategy we were keen to try for native grass regeneration and weed control.

Mosaic burns are low intensity, slow burns on smaller areas that leave patches of vegetation intact so that it can regenerate quickly. Due to the temperature and moisture in the ground and the low intensity of the fire it does not kill plant roots, soil microbes or organisms. The process adds nutrients such as potash, charcoal, carbon and organic matter back into the soil. This is a similar method to Aboriginal cultural burning, which burns for specific plant species and ecosystems, rather than entire landscapes. Where there are different plants with different times for the ‘right fire’, burns happen in the same areas at different

times during the year. Naturally, the outcome is a mosaic burn. We had to wait for the perfect opportunity with the right temperature, humidity, rainfall, fuel load and winds. An eight hectare paddock was assessed for suitability with a Fire Permit obtained from the Rural Fire Service. We started at 5am but with the morning dew the fire did not take. We tried again at 8.00 am. There were four of us with protective gear, fire beaters (flappers), knapsacks and a mobile 1,000 litre firefighting rig. The fire was slow and manageable, but we had two small breakaway fires we brought under control with the rig.

We were fortunate to have about 10mm of rain a few days later and within two weeks the paddock was green with no obvious signs of the burn. Weed reduction in the paddock was almost immediate and long term we have noticed an increase in the spread of native grasses. If you are considering using fire as management tool, we recommend attending sessions and seeking information from experts such as the Indigenous Firesticks Alliance, Ipswich City Council, Healthy Land

and Water, Rural Fire Services and the Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium.


Are you ready for storm season?

Storm season in Ipswich runs from October through April, and Ipswich is no stranger to the events that come with it: severe storms, flash flooding and heatwaves.

Have an emergency plan Preparing now will save you time and stress in the event of a disaster. Consider questions such as – do I stay or leave? Where can I find shelter? How will I care for pets? What if I cannot come home? Prepare an emergency kit It should have everything your family needs to shelter at home for three days. If you already have an emergency kit, now is the time to check expiry dates and refresh it.

Share your ‘what if’ plan with others Have the conversation with those around you and get the kids involved with fun videos and activities. Help your friends, family and neighbours get ready too – let’s look out for each other. Find all the information you need at Ipswich.qld.gov.au/emergency Understand your local risk in Ipswich Sign up for free My Ipswich Alerts Find resources from videos to checklists.

These events can cause damage to property, prevent access to homes, schools and work, and even threaten our health and safety. Some simple steps can help you get ready: Sign up to the free service My Ipswich Alerts You will receive alerts for potentially dangerous weather and bushfires within the City of Ipswich, as well as custom messages from Ipswich City Council related to disaster and emergency management.

Have a plan and leave your property early

Prepare your property and be ready for a disaster

If it’s flooded, forget it


People with disability are more vulnerable to injury and social isolation during a disaster – but this risk can be reduced through emergency preparedness. This means taking steps to ensure you are safe before, during and after an emergency. If you have a disability, or care for someone who does, you can find an emergency plan that you can tailor to your specific needs. The Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness Plan was co-designed with people with disability. See Ipswich.qld.gov.au/emergency Importance of being disability inclusive

Get Ready Week Get Ready, Ipswich! Keep an eye out for council teams in October who will be getting out and about during Get Ready Week. Teams will be talking to residents about local risks and personal emergency preparedness. You could go in the draw to win an emergency kit to help you and your family get ready!


National Recycling Week is from 8–14 November so why not challenge yourself to divert more waste from landfill!

Sign up for the Garage Sale Trail Ipswich was a bargain-hunters paradise last year, and 2021 is set to be even better! There will be two weekends of glorious garage sales, 13-14 and 20-21 November, for you to join in. See Garagesaletrail.com.au

Level up your recycling game Already on the recycling bandwagon? There’s so many ways to keep increasing your skill level. Maybe it’s finding ways to recycle more obscure items... or supporting products made from recycled materials. Check out great ideas at Recyclingnearyou.com.au

Activate your community National Recycling Week provides an important opportunity for councils, workplaces, schools and individuals to improve their recycling knowledge and build better recycling habits. How can you inspire change in your local area?

Free household hazardous waste drop-off day CALENDAR-CLOCK Sunday 26 September 2021 | 8.00 am – 4.00 pm location-dot Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre, 81 Riverview Road, Riverview

Accepted items:

domestic BBQ gas bottles household chemicals. For more information ask the weighbridge attendant, visit Ipswich.qld.gov.au/waste or phone (07) 3810 6666 . Ipswich residents only (proof of residency required).



Ipswich action reducing waste to landfill

PILLAR 1 Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) Diverting compostable material from the red lid bin is one of the easiest ways to meet our landfill reduction targets. In Ipswich, you can already put a wide range of food organics from your kitchen into your green waste bin, so the service will be re-branded as ‘FOGO’. In 2023–2024 the FOGO bins will be rolled out as a citywide core service. By researching best- practice principles and following community consultation, council has developed a Resource Recovery Strategy to meet ambitious waste reduction and recycling targets and the expectations of our community. There are four pillars to deliver on the Resource Recovery Strategy:

PILLAR 2 Optimise the co-mingled recycling bin Overwhelming feedback from the community supported re-introducing glass to the yellow lid recycling bin. You can now put your glass waste in the yellow lid recycling bin. Larger 360 litre yellow lid recycling bins will be coming back for those who need them.

Pillar 3 Large item kerbside collection A city-wide large item kerbside collection will take place in 2021–2022. Following this collection the service will likely evolve into an on-demand service where residents can book a collection instead of waiting up to two years. The service will sort and recover valuable items to divert as much from landfill as possible.

Pillar 4 Council recycling and refuse infrastructure

Council’s Recycling and Refuse Centres are 25–30 years old and need improvements to meet community needs. With expected population growth, council will also need to plan a new centre with a view to have the facility completed by 2024–2025. This planning would also provide opportunity to investigate the feasibility of a recycle mart and resident subsidy schemes (such as tip vouchers).

For more information see Ipswich.qld.gov.au/waste


Garden waste Food scraps and leftovers

Meat scraps and bones

Dairy products

Ipswich’s green waste bin is changing in name to Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) For just $20 a quarter you can divert food and garden waste from landfill. Ipswich.qld.gov.au/FOGO

Used paper towel and tissues

Shredded and soiled paper

Pet waste and animal manure

Australian Certified Compostable products only


CALENDAR WHAT’S ON Want to get outdoors and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of our environment? Here’s a selection of ideas.

OUTDOOR Ride2Work Day 20 October 2021

Join Australia’s biggest celebration of commuter riding. It’s a healthier way to travel – for you and the environment. Ipswich has some great bike path networks to discover! Ride2work.com.au

Garage Sale Trail November 2021

Over two weekends in November you can take part in this fun and sustainable second- hand treasure hunt! Either host a garage sale or explore the many across Ipswich. Garagesaletrail.com.au

Backyard Bird Count 18-24 October 2021

OUTDOOR Bust some cane toads Various dates The Springfield Lakes Nature Care group run regular cane toad collection nights during the warmer months. These toads then help UQ develop baits to trap cane toad tadpoles. Springfieldlakesnaturecare.org.au

Register and spend just 20 minutes in your backyard or local area to help BirdLife Australia understand more about the birds that live where people live. Aussiebirdcount.org.au




COMMUNITY Volunteer with value All year You can help make a difference and improve Ipswich’s natural environment, from regular Bush Care working bees to tree planting events. Ipswich.qld.gov.au/volunteering


Sustainable House Day 17 October

OUTDOORS Animal Encounters Various dates Group bookings can meet furry

World Migratory Bird Day 9 October

and feathered friends on a VIP guided walking tour of the Ipswich Nature Centre. Bookings via Discoveripswich.com.au COMMUNITY Get into grants October 2021 The next round of council’s Environment and Sustainability Grants open in October to help boost local groups and

World Fisheries Day 21 November

World Soil Day 5 December

individuals to make a difference. See Ipswich.qld.gov.au/funding

Clean Up Australia Day 6 March 2022 Make sure you register your clean-up site for this annual event to clean up our environment. The community,


Get Ready Week October 2021 What’s your what-if plan? Get Ready Week, and SES Week, are held in October. It’s the perfect opportunity to prepare your emergency plan ahead of storm season. Getready.qld.gov.au

businesses and schools

can all play an important role! Cleanup.org.au



Seeds! Seeds! Seeds!


Spring and summer are a great time for planting seeds. Here are two fun, crafty ideas to try that are bloomin’ good fun.

Mix the dry ingredients in a tray or bowl. Add a little bit of water until it feels like dough.

If it gets too runny, add a little more clay and soil.

Roll the mix into balls about the size of a golf ball and leave to dry. Scatter your seed balls anywhere you want your seeds to grow and give them a drink.

Seed balls (aka seed bombs) You’ll need: badge-check 1 part clay (a cup is a good measure) badge-check 1 part compost (try to sieve out the lumps) badge-check Seeds of your choice badge-check A little water Seeded paper Add a seeded card to your seed ball gift!

They all make great gifts.

Remember to be responsible with your seed balls – avoid introducing any new species into our conservation areas and estates, or even your neighbours’ gardens.

Tear up the paper and soak for a minimum of 20 minutes (overnight is great). Fill the blender half-way with the wet paper mix, the other half with water, and blend. Pour your blended paper and water mix (pulp) into your bucket. Use the frame with screen to scoop the mix out of the bucket (or you can use a big spoon). Flip out onto old towels and sprinkle your seeds on top, gently patting them into the surface a little. Using another towel, press out as much water as you can without disturbing your paper shape, then leave to dry. Your lucky recipient will need to plant the paper approximately 1.5 cm deep in soil and water in well. Explore fun, natural ways to colour your paper such as turmeric or beetroot juice.

You’ll need: badge-check non-glossy paper badge-check blender badge-check picture frame with fly screen insert

badge-check seeds badge-check bucket badge-check old towel/s.


There’s a koala in your loungeroom eating leaves

Grab your smartphone because there’s some augmented reality fun to be had. Supported on most popular smartphones, Google has enabled a feature that lets you meet various animals when you search for them; you have the option to meet them up close, even in your loungeroom. Search for your favourite animal on the Google app and select 'view in 3D'. You can then select 'meet in your space' to see plenty of wild and wonderful creatures in your kitchen, bathroom or backyard.

There are many great Aussie animals to meet, including some that live in Ipswich. To meet them, search for: Echidna Emu Kangaroo Koala Kookaburra You can also meet different breeds of dogs and even some dinosaurs! Try searching for tyrannosaurus rex or brachiosaurus. Platypus Quokka.


Ipswich is home to plenty of frogs and even one species of toad. Of the 130 species of frogs that occur in Queensland, 28 species can be found right here in Ipswich. Check out the free FrogID app for great images, information and to hear the frog calls of plenty of our native species. There’s even a FrogID week for keen froggers to take part in; check the FrogID website for the 2021 dates. If you head out and about looking for frogs (known as ‘frogging’) watch for any that might be under your feet and be sure to not touch frogs. A good rule of thumb, ‘no picking, no licking’. Frogid.net.au



Natural places of Ipswich: a journey through the diversity of our local landscapes Ipswich City Council 2021

The complete field guide to dragonflies of Australia G. Theischinger 2021

Something for everyone...

Australian rainforest

Landscapes of our hearts: reconciling people and environment Matthew Colloff 2020

seeds: a guide to collecting, processing and propagation Mark Dunphy 2020


Hold on! saving the spotted handfish Gina M. Newton 2020

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

council@ipswich.qld.gov.au Ipswich.qld.gov.au

Join us online:

Made with FlippingBook Digital Publishing Software