On-ground projects are being undertaken to implement the
Molonglo Catchment Strategy.
rabbit control projects organised by Royalla Landcare and Carwoola Landcare last
year appear to have been successful, with reports from many landholders that the
rabbit numbers are well down, and some even finding many carcasses. It was clear
that many interested landholders were unable to participate in the projects, so
Molonglo Catchment Group applied for funding to conduct a further rabbit control
project in association with South East Livestock Health & Pest Authority (LHPA)
in April and May. The project is supported by the Australian Government’s Caring
for our Country initiative and assisted by Landcare Groups at Burra, Captains
Flat, Carwoola, Fernleigh Park and Royalla.
builds on the experiences gained from
Frogwatch in the design of a monitoring program, including the use of
QA/QC procedures and refresher training to ensure the data is credible and
can be used by decision makers with confidence. The M-CHiP-style
central reporting mechanism will also be mirrored as will the
Waterwatch method of communicating results to
volunteers via monthly and yearly reporting, taking the form of a seasonal
rundown of results and a yearly report.
Bush on the Boundary - Molonglo
The Bush on
the Boundary (BoB) Reference Group consists of various Government and
non-governmental stakeholder groups with an interest in the urban-bushland
interface. The aim of BoB is to preserve and promote the importance of urban
bushland surrounding Canberra’s suburbs, with specific initiatives aimed at
engaging local communities in the protection of local nature reserves and
adjacent naturally vegetated lands.
Bush on the
Boundary was established in 2006 by the
Catchment Group and the Conservation Council. A second BoB Group (BoB
Molonglo) was been established in 2011 with the Molonglo Catchment Group,
and moves are in train to set up a southern ACT BoB group.
Kosciuszko to Coast (K2C)
K2C is a community partnership established to help landholders reconnect
isolated woodlands and grasslands between Kosciuszko and Namadgi National
Parks and the coastal forests of the Far South Coast.
Over the past 200 years, the
distribution of native grasslands and woodlands throughout the region has
contracted considerably resulting in the fragmentation of vegetation and a
subsequent loss in habitat for many native animals.
As a consequence the landscape
is under considerable stress with its long term agricultural and
environmental production capacity being severely reduced.
Climate change predictions
will increase the future challenges for all land managers.
K2C might be ambitious but its
goals are achievable. The investment and effort made by many landholders
over the past 30 years already has done much to enhance and restore
grasslands and woodlands, which have become island havens and refuges for
native plants and animals.
K2C is offering landholders in
the region help to build a connected landscape with a range of management
options that may include advice as well as funding. The K2C project
complements existing catchment management goals. K2C combines a broad team
of existing community groups and government agencies with experience in
working with landholders to solve environmental and land management issues.
Capturing the Spirit of the Molonglo
Four major waterways of the
Molonglo catchment, the Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers and Burra and
Jerrabomberra Creeks, combine to provide the lakeside setting for our
national capital. Perhaps less well-known is that their valleys also support
vulnerable and endangered ecosystems such as box-gum woodlands and natural
temperate grassland. Such ecosystems harbour endangered plants and animals
and a fascinating range of more common native plants and animals. The
Molonglo has been significant in aboriginal culture for tens of thousands of
years, and European heritage for almost two hundred years.
Each year, the Molonglo
Catchment Group through the Queanbeyan Art Society and the Artists Society
of Canberra challenges artists to capture The Spirit of the Molonglo,
revealed not just in the waters of the catchment, but in the richness of its
plant- and animal-life, and the vibrancy of its cultural heritage.
has provided assistance to the catchment community through the Australian Government's National Landcare Program
and Caring for Our Country initiative
to support a series of projects managed by Greening Australia to implement the Molonglo Catchment Strategy.
Since 2005, these projects have delivered over $700,000 of on-ground works,
of which landholders have contributed almost 60%.
Actual Funds Allocated
Number of Projects
Riparian Area Fenced / Protected
Serrated Tussock infestation mapped
Perennial Pasture Established
Sustainability on Small Farms
Many small farms managers in the Molonglo catchment are new to
the land and lack experience. This is impacting adversely on sustainable
agricultural practices and biodiversity protection, and collectively affecting
large areas of the landscape. Issues often associated with small farm managers
include misidentification of weeds and native plants, inadvertent introduction
of weed species and overstocking and overgrazing of small areas inadvertently
increasing erosion and leading to water quality issues in dams and waterways.
The Sustainability on Small Farms project recognised that
small farms have not been a focus for regional bodies aiming to achieve large
catchment targets. Combined with on going rural subdivision this has resulted in
a overwhelming demand for information and on-ground support from small farms in
the Molonglo catchment. The Sustainability on Small Farms project is a
partnership between the Molonglo Catchment Group and Greening Australia
Capital Region supported by the Australian Government's Caring for our
Country initiative and will cater to the needs of small
farm managers by providing field days, on-site advice and tailored incentives to
achieve real on ground change. Read
Sustainable Horse Management
on Small Properties
Many horse owners are unaware of issues such as carrying capacity, managing
groundcover and weeds, particularly on small acreages in peri-urban areas. A
study published by
the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Coordinating Committee and building on
similar studies in central Victoria highlights the challenges in raising the
environmental awareness of many landholders in peri-urban areas because
there appears to be no single community of purpose, and often a lack of land
management skills or even a lack of awareness of the need for such skills.
A significant number of
landholders owning horses had been engaged by two previous evening seminars
as part of the Sustainability on Small Farms project and
had expressed an interest in furthering their knowledge of managing animal
health through land management techniques. The next step for these and other
landholders was to conduct all-day workshops combined with a field trip to a
property which is currently utilising best practice, to demonstrate the
methods that may be applied for sustainable land management and in so doing
improving animal health. Such days were designed by a trainer, trusted by
the horse-lover community, to work with up to 20 landholders at a time to
improve understanding of land management.
Molonglo Catchment Strategy Roll-out
2006-2008 (MCS Phase 3)
project focusses on implementing further actions from the MCS as on-ground
activities on rural leases and landholdings in the ACT, and to a much lesser
extent, NSW. Read more...
River Restoration 2005-2006 (MCS Phase 2)
This project engaged the landcare groups in the Molonglo Catchment, community groups and local
government to implement components of the Molonglo Catchment Strategy for
improved riparian management and sustainable agriculture.
The Molonglo Catchment Group managed a series of devolved
projects with these funds directed at on-ground improvement of natural
resources in their catchment area. Read more...
- Lake Burley Griffin Willow Management
Plan (MCS Phase 1)
In late 2004,
the Molonglo Catchment Group (MCG) in conjunction with Environment ACT (EACT),
Canberra Urban Parks and Places (CUPP), ACT Forests and the National Capital
Authority (NCA) began discussions on willow control and management in the
Molonglo Catchment within the ACT. The Molonglo Catchment Group successfully
negotiated funding from these stakeholders to undertake a willow management plan
for Lake Burley Griffin. Read
Sustainable Farming in the Majura Valley
Catchment Group sponsored an Australian Government Caring for Our
Country Community Action Grant application by the ACT Rural Landholders
Association in 2009/10. The project proposed to prepare an options
paper to identify landholder baseline knowledge; identify willingness to
adopt sustainable agriculture/protection of endangered ecosystems with
valley landholders, identify land management options for the valley drawing
on expert advice development of a valley management plan. Two field days
were to be hosted including sustainable agriculture in the valley; and
protection/enhancement of Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999 listed ecosystems in production systems. Four
community engagement activities were to be undertaken with rural landholders
to support formation of a Landcare group in the valley.
Biodiversity Monitoring Feasibility Study
methodology for community-based monitoring is presented in the ‘Keeping
Track of Your Local Bushland - ACT Vegetation Survey and Monitoring Manual’
by Sarah Sharp and Lori Gould. An ACT Environment Grant supported the Molonglo Catchment Group undertaking a feasibility study by consulting with
relevant experts to establish the appropriateness of implementing the
methodology on a broad scale within the ACT as another means of assessing
Volunteers were trained in the use of the methodology
presented in the Monitoring Manual and by making consultants available,
extend that training to enable the development of plant lists for several
sites, which could potentially be included in the ACT portion of a
catchment-wide monitoring project. The consultants will further assist
volunteers in identifying plant species on request and provide advice to the
project steering committee regarding further refinements to the procedures
and use of the data over time.
Molonglo River Rescue
Molonglo Catchment Group is
facilitating a partnership between ACT NRM Council; ACT Parks,
Conservation and Lands; ACT Research and Planning Unit; Murrumbidgee
Catchment Management Authority; Canberra Investment Corporation; Greening
Australia Capital Region; ACT Waterwatch; and RiverSmart Australia in a
project supported by the Australian Government's Caring For Our Country
program to improve the critical aquatic habitat of the Molonglo River, which
is a natural icon in the ACT and south eastern NSW.
Mapping Lower Molonglo
The Coppins sub-catchment is at
the bottom of the 200,000 Ha Molonglo catchment: anything that happens
within the catchment is likely to be reflected by the catchment health
indicators for Coppins, yet little data has been made available.
Inspired and developed by
community volunteers from the West Belconnen and Lower Molonglo districts,
this project aims to preserve and continually update knowledge of the
valley, encouraging local students, community members, present and future
residents, educational institutions, planning agencies and businesses to
participate while making that knowledge available to the broader community.
The grassy woodlands of the Molonglo Valley provide important habitat for
birds listed as endangered or vulnerable in the ACT.
Natural Heritage Trust Projects in the Molonglo Catchment
landholders, government agencies and community organisations in the Molonglo
catchment have always been active in addressing environmental issues.
Summaries of these projects are available on the archived Natural Heritage
Trust website, www.nht.gov.au. We
have prepared a map showing the location of many of the on-ground projects
with a summary of the information from the website.