Environment Matters Spring/Summer 2022
A quarterly newsletter on everything fauna, flora and the great outdoors in Ipswich.
Natural response to FLOOD Taking sustainable ACTION GET READY for extreme weather
Natural disasters like storms, floods or fire can be very frightening and upsetting for babies and young children. Playing a therapeutic game or reading a story with a caring adult can help a young child work through the scary experiences and ‘big feelings’. Growing together through natural disasters
The Birdie’s Tree website and resources have information for parents and carers too. Birdie’s Tree is produced by the Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, Children’s Health Queensland. Come and meet
Birdie and Mr Frog by scanning the QR
code below or visiting childrens.health.qld. gov.au/natural-disaster-recovery
What’s in this issue 4 Fire in focus
This edition we celebrate the stunning plumage of the Kingfisher. The Kingfisher family contains 114 species. Across the Ipswich region you can find the Sacred Kingfisher ( Todiramphus sanctus ) which graces our cover, the Azure Kingfisher ( Ceyx azureus ) shown below, and the Forest Kingfisher ( Todiramphus macleayii ). The Sacred Kingfisher is a common visitor to Ipswich in spring and summer, able to be spotted in open forests and woodlands, urban parkland and along river systems and lakes. Unlike other kingfishers, Sacred Kingfishers rarely eat fish. They forage mainly on the land, swooping from a perch to capture crustaceans, reptiles, insects and larvae. Sacred Kingfishers prefer to nest in cavities, such as a burrow in a termite mound, hollow branch or riverbank. For most of the year Sacred Kingfishers are solitary and pair only for breeding season, but both parents incubate and care for the young.
Growing a greener future, together Join the grassroots movement
Nature’s response to flood
Holding firm against flood Post-flood pests
Get Ready for nature’s extremes Let’s talk Emergency Management
Mystery of the headless hares
10 Sustainable Ipswich
Finding a natural work-life balance
12 What’s On
14 Kids Corner
16 At your Library
Fishing by L Hepburn_Enviroplan Photo Comp
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Fire in focus For landholders across the Little Liverpool Range, fire management is an important skill. The regionally significant area that spans Ipswich, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim is an important biodiversity corridor.
The Little Liverpool Range Initiative (LLRI) was formed to work towards collaborative land management efforts at a regional scale. With this regional mindset in place, a recent focus for LLRI members has been increasing landholder understanding of fire management practices, in collaboration with the Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. Effective fire management increases bushfire resilience for communities, and can assist in slowing down, or even bringing landscape-scale bushfires to a halt.
Fire also plays a role in regional ecosystems, with plants having developed to use fire as a stimulant for new growth. For landholders, important skills have been further developed such as personal fire management plans including fire breaks, sectioning a property for mosaic burning and understanding how and when to conduct burns. These learnings will be put into practice across the Little Liverpool Range, in ways that will benefit landholders’ properties and the biodiversity of this important area. To find out more see Llri.com.au Fire is a natural function of our environment, but the type of fire can make a big difference. Controlled, low- intensity hazard reduction burns are important for Ipswich ecosystems. Controlled hazard reduction burns: Only burn patches of an area, allowing wildlife to escape or take shelter Can be conducted in a way that avoids burning tree hollows Can promote increased flowering and seeding in native plants.
Growing a greener future, together Habitat Gardens is growing beyond individual backyards to become a budding community of grassroots enthusiasts.
Council’s free Habitat Gardens program has a long history of supporting residents to replace environmental weeds with native plants and providing workshop and networking opportunities. More recently, program member Sandra Preston-Hatcher has been building momentum with new ways for Habitat Gardens participants to connect, from Instagram to regular native plant swaps. Sandra said when she moved to Ipswich, after living in a small flat in Brisbane, she was empowered to be able to create the biodiversity haven she had always wanted. “It was a joy to watch my plants flourish, and when I joined the Habitat Gardens program in 2020 I was able to claim a further 20 natives for the garden, connect with other passionate locals and attend useful workshops,” she said.
There are many ways you can be a part of environmental change in Ipswich: HABITAT GARDENS – a free council program aimed at improving biodiversity in backyards. Sign up at Ipswich.qld.gov.au. Follow habitat_gardens_ipswich on Instagram BUSHCARE – many groups across the city hold regular working bees. Find more at the Volunteer Portal Ipswich.qld.gov.au/volunteering. LOCAL GROUPS – a range of community organisations are committed
to Ipswich’s natural environment, including: > Native Plants Queensland – Ipswich Branch > Bremer Catchment Association > West Moreton Landcare
> Springfield Lakes Nature Care > Ipswich Koala Protection Society
Nature’s response to flood Major floods, like the events of early 2022, can have significant impacts to the natural environment, especially riparian corridors and waterways. Flooding is a natural part of a river’s cycle and contributes to the overall long- term form and function of waterways. Positive environmental benefits include creating changes to aquatic habitat such as a diversity of shallow riffle vegetation through physical damage to plants, destabilising riverbanks and submerging plants for longer than they can tolerate. Floods can also spread environmental weeds through seed or plant fragments. Water quality can be significantly impacted through high turbidity and increased bacteria and nutrient loads. These impacts combine to degrade aquatic habitat, creating sub-optimal conditions for fish and aquatic wildlife. The most important environmental actions after a flood include identifying and managing new weed infestations and restoring degraded riparian vegetation. It is also important to monitor water quality or any potential risks to the community. Increasing the density of plants along waterways is the best way we can increase the resilience of waterways to flood impacts. More riparian vegetation can help slow the erosive force of floodwater and lessen impacts to riverbanks and nearby infrastructure. This vegetation is especially important, and has the greatest flood-mitigating potential, in the upper and middle reaches of our waterways. zones, deep pools and snags. However floods can also cause widespread damage to native
Photo courtesy of Healthy Land and Water
Holding firm against flood Twice in 11 weeks the Bremer River rose and swallowed the Garden of Eden Bushcare site on its banks.
The volunteer group at Cribb Park in North Ipswich, led by Anthony Edwards, had a nervous wait while the peak of both floods passed in March and May 2022. The group have spent the past five years removing weeds and restoring and stabilising the banks with native plants with the assistance of Ipswich City Council. The native plants, selected for their strong root systems that can
withstand floodwaters, are planted close together to minimise erosion. “The impact is evident at Cribb Park. The smaller flood in 2021, and the major events experienced in 2022, have seen all the replanted areas survive and have helped to keep the riverbank together,” Mr Edwards said. What started as a small project to remove some weeds has turned into a bigger vision to restore the
riparian area along the Bremer River to increase flood resilience. “Because of human intervention, the health of the Bremer River has been degraded. The ecosystem has been changed, there is more erosion and weeds, and when Ipswich experiences floods these issues cause more
problems,” Mr Edwards said. “The restoration work we have
achieved, and are still undertaking, is critical to increase flood resilience.”
FIRE ANTS Ipswich is in a fire ant biosecurity zone. These painful pests use floodwaters to ‘raft’ downstream and colonise new areas. If you spot suspicious ants or nests see Fireants.org.au CASTOR OIL The toxic seeds of this common weed disperse widely during a flood. New infestations can establish quickly in waterway areas. GLYCINE This scrambling vine quickly establishes in the disturbed soil after a flood. It can rapidly spread over an extensive area, smothering grasses and understorey vegetation.
POST- FLOOD PESTS These invasive species are a real problem
Photo: National Fire Ant Eradication Program
Photo: National Fire Ant Eradication Program
across Ipswich after a flood.
Get Ready for nature’s extremes
It’s Get Ready Week 10–16 October 2022.
Image courtesy Anthony Cornelius
It is a time for all Queenslanders to Get Ready for the upcoming severe weather season. Queensland is the most disaster- impacted state in Australia, with almost 90 disaster events in the past decade. The recent rain and flood events in February–April 2022 caused damage to 890 Ipswich homes and businesses, as well as millions of dollars damage to public infrastructure such as roads and parks.
A few hours spent working through simple planning tasks with your household, putting aside supplies and securing your home could make a huge difference to the impacts that a disaster or emergency event have on your home and family. You can find these easy Emergency Checklists at Ipswich.qld.gov.au/emergency
¼ Create an emergency plan ¼ Prepare an emergency kit ¼ Prepare your home and business ¼ Tune into warnings ¼ Get to know your neighbours ¼ Prepare a pet emergency plan ¼ Prepare for an evacuation ¼ Prepare your car
Let’s talk emergency management
Council’s Emergency Management team will be out and about in October to help the community prepare for severe weather. They will be visiting shopping centre hubs and selected libraries across Ipswich with lots of resources and tips to make it easy to prepare your home and family. For locations and times see Ipswich.qld.gov.au/emergency Come and say hello!
Mystery of the headless hares
When Marina from Lanefield found a headless hare under her gazebo it sparked a quest to unmask the mystery culprit...
Suspect 1: The Powerful Owl
Suspect 2: The Fox
Suspect 3: The Feral Cat
Nestled behind the Bluff, Marina’s property is connected to an important refuge for wildlife and is part of the Little Liverpool Range corridor. The property is part of council’s Landholder Conservation Partnerships Program. “Living here there are wedge-tailed eagles, brown hawks, black-shouldered kites and sparrowhawks. The sounds and sightings never cease to amaze me and, in this case, confuse me!” Marina said. “Finding a headless hare was a mystery. My yard is fully fenced and my gentle old dog shows no interest in wildlife.”
When a second headless hare appeared five days later it prompted Marina to call council’s Landholder Conservation Partnerships team for back-up. Motion-sensor cameras and a wildlife acoustic monitoring device were installed. The technology detected the distinct call of the Powerful Owl species, a top native predator that requires plenty of food and large tree hollows to flourish. Powerful Owls tend to take their prey to a protected area like a tree branch. Their hand-sized talons can break the neck of a possum and the owl can take off the head in one bite.
It is also possible the culprit was a feral cat or fox – those introduced pests are capable of leaving half- eaten headless hares. The mystery may never be solved with certainty but Marina is just happy that another amazing native species calls her property home. “Since the event I’ve spotted a bandicoot carcass over a tree branch, I’m always on the lookout,” Marina said. “As a property owner, life is full of problem solving, wonder and the occasional mystery. How fortunate I am to have the Landholder Conservation Partnerships team by my side.”
During October 2022 we celebrate everyday actions we can take as a community to create a more liveable city. There will be events and activities to showcase Ipswich sustainability actions. Find the full program at Ipswich.qld.gov.au/sustainability .
LESS TO LANDFILL
On average, a household in Ipswich generates about 1 tonne of waste and recyclable material each year. But by 2050, 95% of the waste our city generates has to be diverted from landfill. Easy ways to participate: Divert all your household organics (even meat scraps, tissues and more!) into a council FOGO bin. Find something you can fix and give it an extended life for International Repair Day on 15 October. Planting trees in Ipswich neighbourhoods and urban centres are vital to a resilient and liveable city. Benefits include reducing urban heat island effect, absorbing air pollution and filtering stormwater. Easy ways to participate: Pick up six free plants from council’s nursery and support biodiversity in your backyard. Go along to a community event such as the Leichhardt Plant Swap or Rosewood Native Plant Sale. Sustainable travel – efficient, cost effective, healthy and accessible – is vital to meet the increased travel demands with Ipswich’s forecast population growth, and achieve quality of life outcomes. Easy ways to participate: Check out Ipswich’s network of paths and bike lanes and join Ride to Work Day on 19 October. It will take a whole-of-community approach to ensure Ipswich is a sustainable city now, and for future generations, as the city continues to grow. Easy ways to participate: School students can be inspired to take action through the Youth Sustainability Summit. Commit to a community initiative such as a Bushcare working bee or citizen science project such as Aussie Backyard Bird Count. Ipswich will be impacted by a changing climate and we need to be ready and resilient for impacts such as more hot days and more frequent floods. Easy ways to participate: See Ipswich.qld.gov.au/emergency for all the information you need to help you and your family prepare for severe weather. Also check out a special VR experience in October, exploring how our suburbs are impacted by urban heat island effect.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Finding a natural work-life balance Sustainability is a way of life for Sammi from Kitchentopia – at work and at home.
As you walk in the door of Kitchentopia you find a treasure trove of sustainability. Out the front is a free community library with books and jigsaws, inside you can enjoy a coffee in a fully compostable cup. There are mesh bags made in Walloon, homemade scrunchies, shampoo bars and liquid laundry detergent refilling station alongside various kitchen pots, pans and products. The basket of luffa sponges has come direct from owner Sammi’s backyard, and on the Kitchentopia Facebook page you can find tips for coffee scrub and turning fresh turmeric into powder. Despite being a retail store full of stock, owner Sammi doesn’t have a general waste bin at Kitchentopia. In fact, the wastepaper basket they use for general rubbish goes home to her kerbside bin once a month, on average.
“When we get a new product we go for minimal waste and packaging. If it comes in lots of plastic we won’t take it,” she said. Re-using is also important – from the rinsed coffee cups becoming seedling pots, to the 20L laundry soap dispensers given away through Facebook. For Sammi, the goal is for people to value the time and money it takes to manufacture products. “I think striving for ‘zero waste’ is unrealistic, especially for families,” she said. “It’s about having that little think when you buy something, about the lifecycle of it. It’s going for the product with less packaging or spending a little more for an item that will last longer. “It is frustrating if someone spent time and money to make something and it just breaks and gets thrown out because it’s cheap to replace.”
CALENDAR WHAT’S ON Want to get outdoors and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of our environment? Here’s a selection of ideas.
AT HOME Aussie Backyard Bird Count 17–23 October 2022 Just spend 20 minutes in your favourite
outdoor space and take note of all the birds you see during that period. Every count helps build a picture of bird biodiversity. See Aussiebirdcount.org.au
CHILDREN Kids Go Wild School holidays Join in the fun over the school
holidays! The program is filled with activities that encourage kids to get involved in the environment and learn
ways to be more sustainable. Ipswich.qld.gov.au/enviroed
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
THERE’S A DAY FOR THAT ?!
COMMUNITY Clean Up Australia Day 5 March 2023 Register your site, school or business today to take part in this major national event. The next big day is 5 March 2023. See Cleanup.org.au SCHOOLS Youth Sustainability Summit October 2022 This October sees Ipswich primary school students turn ideas into actions for home, school and their community. See Ipswich.qld.gov.au/sustainableipswich GRANTS Funding for initiatives All year Council’s Environment and Sustainability Grants have multiple rounds each year. The next round opens October to support initiatives by groups and individuals. See Ipswich.qld.gov.au/funding
Sustainable Ipswich October 2022 Join this celebration of everyday activities we can take as a community to create a more liveable city. There’s lots of ways to be involved! Ipswich.qld.gov.au/sustainability
National Bilby Day 11 September 2022
Ride to Work Day 12 October 2022
Australian Pollinators Week 12–20 November 2022
World Wetlands Day 2 February 2023
Get Ready Week October 2022 What is 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
Bushcare All year
Lend a hand to community efforts to restore and improve Ipswich’s natural environment. There are 7 groups across Ipswich that have regular working bees. Ipswich.qld.gov.au/volunteering
C O R N E R
What’s new at Queens Park?
There have been some changes to the Queens Park Environmental Education Centre. Some of the displays are getting a refresh and there are more opportunities for you to learn and discover about the environment and sustainability. Pop in between 10.00 am – 3.00 pm from Tuesday–Friday.
Take learning outdoors An outdoor classroom is HARDINGS PADDOCK, PURGA
not only fun, it brings many positive benefits to children and educators. It provides enjoyable lessons and activates thinking ‘outside the box’. It improves health and wellbeing and can foster social and emotional skills such as teamwork and resilience. Ipswich has a range of spaces suitable for outdoor classroom activities. Two new areas have recently been upgraded to improve access for school groups. For ideas and information on outdoor classrooms contact council’s Environmental Education officer on 3810 6666 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bushwalking and exploration within the Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate. First Nations cultural features such as bush tucker trail, yarning circles, kupmurri cooking area. Hardings Hut (bookings required) meeting space with disability access, kitchen and toilet.
DENMARK HILL CONSERVATION RESERVE, IPSWICH CENTRAL Bushwalking and exploration in this urban conservation reserve. Nature-based playground, First Nations cultural elements and connection to mining history. Open grassed areas suitable for school groups and disability access (via Quarry Street entry).
OUTDOOR CLASSROOM DAY – 3 November 2022. Join the global movement to make time outdoors a part of every child’s day!
YOU’LL NEED: badge-check glue or sticky tape badge-check scissors badge-check grocery store catalogues badge-check paper and pencils
kitchen caddy Use the art of decoupage to make your kitchen caddy beautiful – and remind your family what can go in the green lid FOGO bin!
Your existing kerbside green waste bin (lime green lid) is now a Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) service. Find out more at Ipswich.qld.gov.au/FOGO . Did you know FOGO includes not only fruit and vegetable scraps and garden clippings, but also things like meat scraps and dairy, paddle pop sticks and receipts, and even pet hair and pet poo! Cut out images of these items out of grocery store catalogues or draw pictures and stick the images to your FOGO kitchen caddy.
The seedling logo on any product means that it meets Australian
standards for compostable and biodegradable plastics. You can put products with this logo in your FOGO bin. Cut out this logo and stick it to your FOGO caddy.
DID YOU KNOW?
Wind speeds can be described using the ‘Beaufort wind force scale’ The scale describes the force of wind by a series of numbers 0 to 17. 0 means calm, 6 describes strong winds, and 12 is a hurricane with widespread damage. The scale is named after Sir Francis Beaufort of the British Royal Navy, who devised the method in 1805 to help create procedures for setting sails on a warship. It remains a widely used system today, useful for estimating wind power without a wind instrument.
AT YOUR LIBRARY
The Insect Crisis: The fall of the tiny empires that run the world Oliver Milman 2022
The Future is Fungi: How fungi can feed us and save the world
Michael Lim and Yun Shu 2022
Something for everyone...
101 Ways to be an Eco Hero: Help save the world one small step at a time Kait Eaton 2022
The Big Switch: Australia’s electric future Saul Griffith 2022
100 Australian Wildflowers Mel Baxter 2022
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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