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March E-news

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

It gives me great pleasure to welcome our Tamar NRM family to the March E-news.

Sometimes the world can seem a dark and scary place, but nothing brightens the day better than a quick read of the activities of our little team at Tamar NRM! It is heartening to see the range and scope of the events and activities our Project Coordinators bring to the communities and citizens of Tamar Valley (and often the Meander Valley and surrounding areas). I truly believe our funding Councils get a huge 'bang for their buck' through their funding of Tamar NRM.


Change is the constant in today’s world, and Tamar NRM is undergoing its share – we have a number of new faces at the Management Committee meetings, with three new members since last year's AGM.


Tamar NRM’s rapid move into the modern technological era is moving apace under the careful guidance of Jessie, our Communications Officer. All our events can now be booked online, and we have modernised our approach to communications and promotions. This can be a difficult transition for some, but it is essential for us to be effective and efficient in our delivery of services to the community.


I'm sure you will enjoy this months E-news – and please get involved in some of the activities and events that are on offer. Our 25th year is going to be a big one!

Ben Hooper


President


 

NEWS, EVENTS & PROJECT UPDATES

HELP US TO WIN A GRANT to produce video clips showcasing the natural wonders of the Tamar Valley!

Tamar NRM is applying for funds to create up to 15 short video clips showcasing the natural wonders of the Tamar and Meander Valleys. The Great City Regional Challenge is offering grants of up to $10,000, and we are applying in the category of Great Region Project. Successful applicants are decided by public vote, which takes place between 1st April and 28th May. Please get involved and cast your vote when the time comes - VOTING WILL OPEN 1 APRIL, 2023 AND CLOSE 28 MAY, 2023.



 

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE



ON FARM FORUMS

In 2023 Tamar NRM is delivering a series of On Farm Forums. These sustainable agriculture workshops will focus on topics relevant to small and new land holders, such as fire, forestry, fences, soil, succession planning, water, waste, and weeds.

Our first event Farming, Fire and Everyday Life is scheduled for mid-May (just after AgFest) and will be held at Flowery Gully.

Please tell us if you are interested in attending any of these events using the form below, and we will keep you informed. Places will be limited so register your interest to ensure you receive notification of events early.


What topics interest you?

  • 0%Fire Management

  • 0%Forestry on Farms

  • 0%Fix your Fences

  • 0%Succession Planning

You can vote for more than one answer.






TAMAR VALLEY FARM DISCUSSION GROUP

The group continues to meet on the first Thursday of each month, supported by Tamar NRM. Meetings regularly attract 12 to 15 attendees, with farmers taking it in turns to host a meeting.


In February, the group met at Wenlock, Rosevale and in March they gathered at Viewfield, Winkleigh and attended a forum with the National Soils Advocate in Launceston.


Guest speaker Andrew Cargill from Red Hot Tips joined the group in March seeking a farm to run a demonstration event and engage landowners to develop farm fire management plans and fuel reduction permits.


The next meeting in April will be hosted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) to understand what the Institute does and the projects and programs currently underway.

 

WEEDS


RAGWORT RAIDS

The annual Ragwort Raids were held in January – now in their 24th year!

Raids were held at the regular sites -

  • January 21st – East Tamar – Piper's River Fire Station

  • January 22nd – West Tamar – Winkleigh Hall

  • January 24th – Blessington Memorial Hall

  • January 28th – Nunamara Hall

We thank all volunteers who turned out in force as they always do. As Brian Baxter said, “in the early days they would take away a 5-tonne truck load of Ragwort, now it is a trailer load.”



TOWARDS GORSE ERADICATION IN THE PIPERS RIVER CATCHMENT THROUGH IMPLEMENTATION OF PROPERTY WEED MANAGEMENT PLANS (2021-2023)

We now have 62 sites involved in the gorse eradication project, with 47 Management Plans now in place, and a further 5 sites where weed management is in progress but there is no formal management plan.

Over 30 hectares of gorse has been treated with incredibly positive results.


BESOM HEATH ERADICATION PROJECT (2021-2023)

The Chemical Trial funded by Tamar NRM is at an end, with two successful chemical treatments being identified.

A Best Practice User Manual will be completed by July, a landowner workshop will be held in August to encourage landowners to act, and spraying will commence in September.

Tamar NRM has applied for further funding under the Weed Action Fund to increase capacity to treat this weed which is significantly more widespread than originally anticipated.


 

BIODIVERSITY


CITY OF LAUNCESTON RESERVES PROJECT

This pilot project involving the Friends of Cambridge Street Reserve, City of Launceston, and Tamar NRM seeks to collaborate with the community on the restoration of native vegetation and removal of weeds in small bushland reserves.


Monthly working bee sessions are held on the 1st Thursday and 1st Saturday of each month, and on March 21st a full-day Eco-restoration workshop by ecologist Magali Wright will benefit all volunteers and Council staff.


The group are pleased to report that after just 6 x 2-hour sessions, one third of the 2.0 ha reserve has had the invasive weeds removed, allowing the native vegetation to flourish.

Tamar NRM helps the reserves project by providing access to tool resources, administrative and PR support. Australian Plant Society Tasmania provides expert advice on native plants and restoration techniques. City of Launceston (CoL) provides access to GIS mapping software to enable appropriate documentation of the project and coordination between the project members and the various CoL Park’s teams.

Several other sites will be evaluated for inclusion in 2023 and beyond.



PLANTING TREES FOR THE QUEEN’S JUBILEE PROJECT

This joint venture by Tamar NRM and West Tamar Landcare was started last year with a ceremonial event at Frankford Memorial Hall to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign and will conclude this year with the planting of 1,000 mixed native trees at the Frankford site and at Youngtown Reserve in Launceston.


Plantings will take place in late April and early May and will involve the local communities and local schools.

 

SUSTAINABLE LIVING


SOIL 4 SISTERS

A series of workshops for women and girls was held around International Women’s Day (March 8th – 10th) on food security, community gardening, seed saving and vegetable growing.


Seven sessions of 2-hours duration were held in Community Gardens in the Launceston, West Tamar, and George Town municipalities. All sessions we well attended, with Punchbowl seeing over 30 incredible women from diverse backgrounds.

We would like to acknowledge Kate Richards who was engaged as a Casual Project Officer to assist with the preparation and delivery of the event. Kate proved to be intuitive, proactive, and experienced in the art of making our guests welcome and comfortable.


Our thanks and grateful acknowledgement go to Hon Jo Palmer (Minister for Women & Minister for Agriculture) for her generous grant, enabling so many women and girls to discover their green thumbs.


TAMAR AND MEANDER VALLEY COMMUNITY GARDENS NETWORK

We had a wonderful day at Windsor Community Garden on February 9th, coming together as a Network of Community Gardens for the first time.


Gardeners came from everywhere – Beaconsfield Neighbourhood House, Blackstone Community Garden, Deloraine Community Garden, The Farm Project, MACS Garden, Meander House Community Garden, Mole Creek Community Garden, NSCC Community Garden, UTAS Community Gardens, and Windsor Community Garden.

The Network has decided to meet once every season at a different location –

  • Autumn – Meander Community Garden, Meander – 11th May 2023 11.30am-1.00pm

  • Winter – UTAS Heritage Orchard, Newnham – date TBA

  • Spring – Beaconsfield House, Beaconsfield – date TBA

  • Summer – MACS Garden, Ravenswood – date TBA

There will also be a Festive Season/End of Year celebration hosted by Tamar NRM – date and venue TBA.


Following publicity about the Community Gardens Open Day in November 2022, Tasmania Feedlots generously donated truckloads of manure to two locations – at the UTAS Inveresk site and the George Town Council depot. This manure has been made freely available to Community Gardens to improve their soil health and yield.


TAMAR VALLEY LEADERS LUNCH

The 2023 Leaders Lunch series started with a bang on February 8th with the Premier of Tasmania, Jeremy Rockliff MP. A full house of over 100 guests heard about the Premier’s personal journey and his vision for the way forward for Tasmania.


The next Lunch will be on April 19th and will feature the three Mayors of the Tamar Valley – Danny Gibson (City of Launceston), Christina Holmdahl (West Tamar), and Greg Kieser (George Town). They will talk about their views of the Tamar Valley and their visions for the future.

Diarise this date and time: Wednesday, 19 April, 12:00 – 2:00 PM. Tickets will be available for purchase shortly. - $70 per ticket includes a two-course meal and a glass of wine.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION


TREASURES OF THE TAMAR

Throughout the year we are celebrating World Environmental Days with a focus on the local humans, flora, fauna, fungi, insects, birds, and their ecosystems. The Treasures of the Tamar series of free talks and activities with feature guest presenters and reveal the amazing diversity of our Tamar Valley landscape and its inhabitants.


Last month, celebrating World Wetlands Day Tamar NRM shared a stall with Plastic Free Launceston at the Tamar Wetlands Centre for a day of activity. Our regular water bugs activity was a hit with the children, some of whom stayed for their full two-hour session poking through buckets of water in pursuit of water bugs.

Some of them scared themselves seeing creatures through the Tamar NRM microscope!

Photographers enjoyed the Wings over Wetlands Bird early morning photography masterclass with Vince Brophy at Tamar Wetlands Centre, and curious folk learnt about Damsels & Dragonflies at Old Macs Farm with Emeritus Professor Nigel Forteath.


SOURCE TO SEA

The Tamar NRM Source to Sea Program is happening again in 2023.

This is a fantastic excursion available to both schools and community groups designed to introduce the wonders of the Kings Meadows Rivulet and the importance of a healthy catchment, coordinated by Trish Haeusler.


Participants will be guided through various sites along the way, following the journey of the rivulet, and meet experts that help them to explore, observe, question and problem solve issues relating to just one of many local waterways in the kanamaluka / Tamar estuary catchment.

If you belong to a community group or know of any teachers that may be interested in this excursion, please share the word and get in touch.

The more we all know about our waterways, the better we will care for them.


More information is available here:https://www.tamarnrm.com.au/projects/source-to-sea


 

WORKING GROUPS

Tamar NRM has six Working Groups.


GEORGE TOWN COASTAL COMMUNITIES WORKING GROUP (GTCC)

This group held a meeting on February 7th in George Town to discuss their operation and review the five-year Strategic Plan for 2023 – 2028. Follow up meetings with individual community groups will commence on March 20th when Tamar NRM will partner with George Town Council on their Community Roadshow throughout the week.




SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY WORKING GROUP

This group meets regularly to discuss issues around sustainability and the circular economy, and to plan events and activities. Current work is focussed on Community Gardens, and consideration of another Sustainable Living Festival in 2023.

Meetings are held monthly, and more frequently as required with members from the three Tamar Valley Councils, Launceston Chamber of Commerce, Plastic Free Launceston, Transition Tamar, and Tamar NRM.


WEEDS WORKING GROUP (WWG)

This group meets three times a year to discuss and provide coordination of weed management across the Tamar Valley. The March meeting focussed on updating and the redesigning the 20-year-old Tamar Valley Weed Brochure.

The group’s members represent the three Councils of the Tamar Valley, Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, Biosecurity Tasmania, Crown and Services, East Tamar Landcare, and interested community members.



RUSSELL STREET COMMUNITY GARDEN WORKING GROUP (RSCG)

Russell Street Community Garden has a 6-member Management Committee which meets every two weeks. Two grant applications have been lodged to help fund community gatherings and the rebuilding of the Garden and membership opportunities are available to the public.


CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE COMMUNITY CONNECTION WORKING GROUP (CALD CC)

Tamar NRM teamed up with the Women’s Friendship Group (Afghan community) to provide activities and experiences in NRM for the Afghan community in the Tamar Valley. Members will become involved in activities that Tamar NRM is involved in and thus far have attended the Tamar Wetlands Day at the Tamar Island Centre (20 people), participated in Clean Up Australia Day at Riverbend Park and for International Women’s Day attended the ‘Soil4Sisters’ workshop at Punchbowl Community Garden. A Source to Sea outing for the group in planned soon.

Representatives of other migrant groups are welcome to join the Working Group, please contact Nick Flittner.



PLASTIC FREE LAUNCESTON

Trish Haeusler at Plastic Free Launceston has had a busy start to the year for all things plastic, attending the Tamar Wetland Centre for World Wetlands Day, Clean Up Australia Day, working with Invermay Primary School students about microplastics, talking about plastics on the radio and talking to kids about plastic pollution.

As always, Plastic Free Launceston is available to attend your events and work with groups and schools to help educate and reduce plastic use in the Tamar Valley.

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