A new Green Army Team is working in Bellamack, Palmerston as part of the 6 month Project: Regenerating Native Vegetation to protect threatened species.
Local residents expressed concern to local MLA Terry Mills, about the overgrown weeds near their homes alongside Crown Land conservation areas earlier this year. Mr Mills contacted our Friends of Mitchell Creek group and the Crown Land Office. We worked successfully together with Conservation Volunteers Australia (NT) to win Federal Government funding for a new Green Army Team.
The Project Objective is to protect and improve habitat and reduce threats to threatened local native fauna within the Palmerston Region.
Surveys of the the Black footed Tree Rat, Partridge Pigeon and Northern Quoll will be undertaken to assist in their protection.
Activities involving the local community will take place over the next 6 months. To stay updated please see the Green Army Facebook Page.
If you are interested to check your eligibility to join this Green Army team, please go to http://conservationvolunteers.com.au/green-army/northern-territory /
Participants are provided with the ability to gain and improve new skills such as horticulture and undertaking flora and fauna surveys while making a contribution to improved habitat, protection and restoration of remnant vegetation.
Here is a list of our 2014-2015-Mitchell Creek activities- along with 2 photos of the flora of the Monsoon Gully.
Monsoon Gully – fig tree on rock
Monsoon Gully Conservation Zoning has been re-instated over the site of approximately 6.4 hectares.- September.
The eastern boundary is of most concern now that the Gully is situated within a newly released residential area.
We recently (20/10/14) applied for a Federal Department of Environment 25th Anniversary Landcare Grant to cover a biological survey; weed and fire management; community engagement activities including interpretive signage.
As we are unaware of the likelihood of being successful in this funding application and the need for protection* is high we are currently working with the current developer & NT Heritage Branch to develop and install interpretive signage around the site ideally by Christmas. (*Due to the very recent exposure of the gully to potential extreme weather, pest, fire and human interference.)
Access to the Gully is via a footbridge and walking path off Polglase St Johnston Ridge. Alternatively you can reach the site via the WW2 Heritage Site walking path which starts in the grounds of McKillop College off Farrar Boulevarde. There aren’t any maps showing this walking trail connection as yet due to the quick development of area.
The Monsoon Gully Conservation area in Johnston is now within a newly released housing estate. Its chances of being conserved in its natural state are on a countdown due to the loss of surrounding woodland and the closeness of Camm St with houses which now parallel the gully.
I’m writing a 25th Anniversary Federal Landcare funding application to assist with the Gully’s further protection. This application is due to be completed by midday on the 20 October 2014 so it is a race against time!
Consultation is progressing with current stakeholders – NT Crown Land Office, the developer URBEX, the NT Department of Lands Planning and Environment and Council on this issue of how we protect this newly exposed Conservation Zone.
The Monsoon Gully area needs interpretative signage to engage and inform community, pedestrian only access; boardwalks to protect the fragile creek banks and rocky escarpment; weed and erosion management; revegetation along the boundaries. These are all eligible activities for the funding grant.
Here’s a map of the area!
Donations of money or in-kind support are sorely needed to manage this project and will increase our chances of being successful with this grant and the ongoing conservation of the site!
If you are interested to help with this project please contact Sue on 0434348950 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss specifics of where your support will be most useful.
Video of the 7 contestants from each state and territory –
Friends of Mitchell Creek Catchment Landcare Group Inc
UPDATE May 2014
A brief reflection of our 2009 goals reveals that though we have achieved the greater part of our aims including establishing our Friends Group as a stakeholder in Catchment management that we still have a great deal of work to do.
Construction is ongoing in the suburbs of Johnston and Zuccoli and the hope of success through protective zoning has turned out to be fragile. This is due to Ministerial discretion being sufficient to remove or reinstate Conservation Zoning at any time depending on the whim/aims of Government. Its evident that the whole of Mitchell Creek Catchment is way past being considered for Reserve status due to urban development. To date neither NT Government nor City of Palmerston Council have an interest or intent to balance urban development within this intact natural Catchment environment. This short sighted view is causing loss of amenity for residents and visitors and a reduction in the mitigating effects of retained woodland and riparian vegetation (shade eg) in terms of temperature control and heavy water flows (flooding and erosion control).
See presentation below for a slide show of our Group’s aims and activities.
I will provide a table of aims met and those still requiring more effort in a new post in the near future.
Thanks to the very many people who have assisted this long running campaign – you have kept us relevant in the long fight for protection of the Catchment’s natural values and open space for Palmerston people.
Environmental Defenders Office (NT)
This inaugural one day environmental law conference will be held on Friday 30-5-2014
at Novotel Hotel Darwin Atrium, 100 The Esplanade, Darwin, Northern Territory.
Visit www.solusi.com.au/environmental-defenders-office-conference.html to register!
Useful backgrounder to the dismantling of environmental protection in Australia to allow increases in Australia’s natural resource extraction and/or sale.