Frogwatch Census 16-22 October

The annual Frogwatch Census is being held during National Water Week, 16-22 October, and training for new participants will be held at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands on 13 Oct.

For more information on the census, guides to identifying frogs by their calls, or information on how to register for the course, please visit .

A great project in which to be involved considering the importance of frogs as indicators of the health of our environment.

New Wind Energy Planning Framework for NSW

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW advises that, on Monday August 29th in Yass at 6.30pm, the proposed New Wind Energy Framework will be on exhibition.

The Department of Planning and Environment (DOPE) has released this New Wind Energy Framework for public comment, which has been developed to help balance investment in wind energy with the needs of the community.

Submissions close on 16 September, 2016. You can download the proposed Framework from here.

DOPE will also be holding a number of public information sessions on the proposed New Wind Energy Framework at:

Yass on Monday August 29th, 2016: At Yass Soldiers Club, 86 Meehan St, Yass
Crookwell on Thursday September 1st, 2016: At Crookwell RSL Services Club, Goulburn St, Crookwell
Glenn Inness on Monday September 5th, 2016: At Glen Innes Services Club, 120 Grey St, Glen Innes
Mudgee on Wednesday September 7th, 2016: At Club Mudgee, 99 Mortimer Street, Mudgee

Registration will open at 6pm at all the venues for a 6:30pm start.

If you have any questions, contact Cerin Loane, Policy and Research Coordinator, on or (02) 9516 1488
The Nature Conservation Council of NSW

‘Mission control: find your focus and increase your impact’ – Liana Downey

Lecture: Tuesday 19 July 2016, 5.30pm–6.30pm, Weston Theatre, Level 1, Crawford Building 132, Lennox  Crossing, ANU, details here.

‘Why do some nonprofit and government leaders actually succeed in changing the world, while others struggle to point to their impact? What links the eradication of smallpox, the housing of 100,000 chronically homeless individuals, or the remarkable reduction of the incidence of malaria?

‘Successful social sector organisations share a laser-like focus on their goals. They deliberately identify and target their efforts in their sweet spot — the intersection between what they’re good at, what the world needs, and what works.

‘In this talk, Liana Downey will discuss:

How and why missions get out of control
The consequences of missions that are too broad
How to test whether you are inadvertently sabotaging your impact potential
The 7 steps to taking control
How to build a powerful narrative to help you attract and engage a loyal support base’

‘The three sector solution: delivering public policy in collaboration with not-for-profits and business’: new open access e-book

This collection of essays had its origins in a one-day workshop held in August 2015 at The Australian National University. Jointly convened by Dr John Butcher (ANZSOG) and Professor David Gilchrist (Curtin Not-for-profit Initiative) the purpose of the workshop was to bring together academic researchers, policy practitioners and thought leaders to address a variety of emerging issues facing policymakers, public sector commissioners, not-for-profit providers of publicly funded services, and businesses interested in opportunities for social investment. The workshop itself generated a great deal of interest and a ‘baker’s dozen’ of contributors challenged and engaged a full house. The level of enthusiasm shown by the audience for the subject matter was such that the decision to curate the presentations in the form of a book was never in doubt. The editors trust that this volume will vindicate that decision. At one time the state exercised a near monopoly in the delivery of social programs. Today, almost every important public problem is a three sector problem and yet we have little idea of what a high-performing three sector production system looks like. It is the editors’ hope that this volume will provide a foundation for some answers to these important public policy questions.

Butcher, J & Gilchrist, D (eds) 2016, The three sector solution: delivering public policy in collaboration with not-for-profits and business, ANU Press, Canberra, .

HAVE YOUR SAY – Upper House Inquiry into Crown Lands

The Nature Conservation Council points out that’ public lands should be held on trust for the people of NSW; managed by the Government with management directed at identifying and protecting the diverse values of public lands. The NSW Government is proposing significant changes to the way Crown land is managed in NSW’.

Submissions to the inquiry will be accepted until Sunday 24 July 2016.

Further information is here.

“Power to the people: how communities can help meet our renewable energy goals”

Iain MacGill, the Co-director of the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets, UNSW, writes about this in today’s issue of The Conversation.

He writes about “Energy for the people”:
“Community renewable energy (CRE) may have a key role to play. Community energy can involve supply-side projects such as renewable energy installations and storage, and demand-side projects such as community education, energy efficiency and demand management.

“In short, community renewable energy revolves around community ownership, participation, and consequent benefits from community-scale renewable energy projects.”

Read the full article here.

“NSW farmers stepping up tree felling even before land-clearing laws loosened”

The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 June, reports on the the likely terrible impacts of the NSW Government’s proposed biodiversity legislation; the article is here.

The NSW Nature ConservationCouncil, of which FuturePLANS is a member, has initiated an advocacy campaign to protect native vegetation in NSW. This is the  Stand Up For Nature campaign.    You are invited to visit the campaign website to familiarise yourself with the issues and to consider engaging in advocacy to protect biodiversity in our region. Remember, submissions close on 28 June.

The SMH wrote: “The state’s farmers have lopped paddock trees at an accelerating rate in the past 18 months even before a new land-clearing law eases controls further, government data shows.

“The new figures, which reveal the rate of clearing of paddock trees has more than doubled since November 2014, come as the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists wrote to all MPs to call for a reversal of “retrograde changes” planned in the new Biodiversity Conservation act.

“NSW farmers used a new self-assessment code to remove 21,716 paddock trees – or more than 50 a day – over the past year and a half.

“The rate, at an average of about 50 per day, was 140 per cent more than the average over the previous seven years, data from the Office of Environment and Heritage showed. Paddock trees, judged to be single or small patches of trees, make up 40 per cent of remaining woodland cover, OEH says.”

See the full article for more details.

Native vegetation map for Palerang

The Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council is conducting public information sessions on the revised native vegetation layer for the former Palerang Council area that it has placed on public exhibition: Bungendore – Tuesday 21 June, Bungendore Council Chambers, 6pm-7pm and Queanbeyan – Tuesday 28 June, Committee Room, Queanbeyan Council Chambers, 6pm-7pm.

‘The layer will be used to update the Palerang Local Environmental Plan 2014 Terrestrial Biodiversity map, to identify areas of native vegetation that require additional consideration in the strategic and statutory planning processes. The layer will also enable interested parties to search for certain types of native vegetation classifications to assist if an area for a biodiversity offset is being sought or where funding is being accessed to manage a particular vegetation community’.

Details are here.

QPRC – Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council community meeting

I was surprised how few people participated in the first QPRC – Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council – Community Meeting this evening in Bungendore, considering the amount of interest in the Council merger that has been expressed here and elsewhere in the past.

The atmosphere of the Community Meeting was very positive. The Administrator, Tim Overall, and the acting General Manager, Peter Bascomb, and others, provided heaps of useful information about how the new council will be operating. It was great to see the former QCC senior staff willing to come out to Bungendore, along with some of the former Palerang Council staff, explaining what their roles will be in the new council.

As everybody knows, part of the Council merger arrangement is that QPRC will receive $15 million to be expended during the period of the administration which runs from now until the council elections in September 2017. The Administrator explained that $5 million of this is for merger expenses and $10 million will be for a “stronger community fund”. $1 million of this will be allocated to community organisations by means of grants of up to $50,000. It is likely that the invitation to apply for these grants will be issued in the first quarter of the next financial year. I suggest that this is something that local community organisations should prepare for.

One of the good features that the Administrator mentioned is that the members of the Local Representational Committee (LRC) will be remunerated at a level similar to that of the councillors in the former QBN City Council.

The s355 committees will continue to operate until the 8 June council meeting. That meeting will receive a report from council staff to the Administrator recommending which of the s355 Committee should continue and which would not. The Administrator indicated that some council staff and/or members of the LRC will participate in s355 Committee meetings, but largely in an observer role rather than as full members.

Another positive aspect, not mentioned at tonight’s meeting, is that members of the community will continue to be able to address council meetings – i.e. address the Administrator:

Guardian campaign: ‘Keep it in the Ground!’ Fantastic news!

On 21 May The Guardian wrote:

Here’s some great news to brighten your weekend.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has sold off its entire $187m investment in BP. There’s no word from them on why, but it certainly looks like the foundation is quietly getting out of fossil fuel companies. Since 2014, it has dropped 85% of such investments it had held.

Bill Gates says he’s not keen on the divestment argument but we know that the pressure you’ve put on the foundation through Keep it in the Ground – as well as the folks at Gates Divest in Seattle and the wider divestment movement – has been having an impact behind the scenes.

You can read our story on it here.

There was also good news from around Europe this week. Portugal ran for four days straight on renewable energy alone and last Sunday, Germany powered almost all its electricity needs from clean sources. There was so much renewable energy on the grid that at several times in the day, power prices turned negative – effectively paying consumers to use it.

Change is happening.

Yours Sincerely

James Randerson – assistant national news editor