News from the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee
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Welcome to January Coast News.  In this edition:

 

'Hoodie' chicks (pictured) take 35 days to fledge (reach flying age).  Photo: Grainne Maguire*

Hoodies hatch! 8 chicks on Surf Coast

8 threatened, Hooded Plover chicks have hatched on the Surf Coast and everyone is urged to look for signs, keep dogs away and give them space.

There’s currently two chicks at Point Impossible (nudist beach) and five at Point Roadknight (three from one nest and two from a second nest), while one chick has also hatched at ‘Guvvos’ (managed by Parks Victoria).    All five vulnerable babies are striving to survive on the busy beaches they share with people and their pets.

Unfortunately, three eggs at Moggs Creek were recently taken by a fox, however it is hoped that the adult pair will attempt to breed again this season.  

The Friends of the Hooded Plover Volunteers (Surf Coast) are working around the clock to warden and monitor these precious chicks, partnering with the GORCC Conservation Team and Parks Victoria in protecting ‘hoodies’ across the Surf Coast.  GORCC is grateful to them for their tireless efforts.  

For local information on hoodies on the Surf Coast or for more details on GORCC’s current ‘Save the Hoodie’ competition and how you can win, visit www.savethehoodie.com.au.

BirdLife Australia coordinates the state-wide and national recovery of the Hooded Plover.  For more information on Hoodies or to become a volunteer contact BirdLife Australia at hoodedplover@birdlife.org.au or visit www.birdlife.org.au/beach.

*Please note, this image has been taken by an experienced BirdLife Australia representatives. Under no circumstances should the public approach a nesting site of a hooded plover, as these chicks and eggs are extremely camouflaged, easy to accidentally step on and susceptible to predators, heat and beach users. Even trained volunteers do not approach nests to monitor them, but instead do a ‘nest check’ from a distance with binoculars.

GORCC Environmental Projects Coordinator Alex Macdonald and CEO Richard Davies at the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch Precinct at Eastern View.

Conversation commences for arch precinct


The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) has released and is seeking feedback on a paper identifying issues and opportunities for the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch Precinct at Eastern View.

The paper presents issues and opportunities that have been identified through site investigations, background research, information from past studies and previous material, and have been informed by preliminary consultation with the project's Community Reference Group and Agency Working Group.

GORCC is looking to gain feedback from stakeholders and the wider community on the issues and opportunities raised in the paper, and to identify any further issues or opportunities that have not been addressed.  

Results of this stage of consultation will be summarised in a consultation report, and will be considered in the development of a draft plan (which is expected to be released for consultation over Summer 2016/2017).

To view the Memorial Arch Precinct Issues and Opportunities Paper, complete the survey and have your say click here.

From left: Oscar, Elke, Pete, Marta and Matilda with GORCC Education Coordinator Peter Crowcroft and GORCC Education Activity Leader Hiary Bouma doing a 'hoodie investigation' activity.

Summer by the Sea success


More than 200 beachgoers have so far taken part in GORCC led and funded environmental education activities this Summer as part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Parks Victoria 2016 Summer by the Sea (SBTS) program

GORCC has funded and hosted 20 local activities as part of the state-wide program,  offering an array of adventures ranging from stand-up paddle boarding to fossil hunting.

GORCC has seen a strong turn out for the free experiences, with one final Surf Coast activity left before the 2016 program comes to an end.

Community members are invited to join the conservation team from 9.30am - 10.00am on Monday 25 January at Fishermans Beach, Torquay as part of the final GORCC activity for SBTS 2016.  More information is available at summerbythesea.vic.gov.au/.  

 

The 2015 GORCC Coast Survey sought the community's views on GORCC's performance in coastal management across a number of areas, including natural environment protection which received a 77% satisfaction rating.  Pictured is conservation worker Rachel Beecham.  Photo: Ferne Millen.

Coast Survey report released


The GORCC Coast Survey 2015 Report has been released, offering insights into the views, desires and behaviour of more than 700 coastal users.

The survey, which was launched for the first time in 2015, will be conducted every two years.   The objectives of the survey are to:
  • Provide the community with an opportunity to communicate openly with and provide feedback to GORCC.
  • Measure community satisfaction levels with GORCC’s performance across its core areas of responsibility and work.
  • Identify any community concerns or key issues in relation to the coastal areas under GORCC’s management.
  • Gather and establish baseline data to be used for comparative measurement against future Coast Survey results.
As part of the survey, participants were asked to describe what they loved most about the coast, what they wanted to see improved, and where they would most like to see GORCC's resources concentrated.   Participants were also asked to indicate their level of satisfaction with GORCC's performance across a range of coastal management areas.

The results show that the community values the natural coastal environment, cleanliness and undeveloped nature of the coast above all else.  Results also indicated the community wants GORCC’s efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment to continue and increase.

The majority of respondents (65%) were satisfied or very satisfied with GORCC’s performance in coastal management.

All participants went into the draw to win a $1000 Quiksilver voucher, with a local Lorne resident, notified this week that she was the lucky winner.

The full report can be viewed here.

 

The beautiful Great Ocean Road is open for business, despite the recent bushfires that have devastated the area.  Photo: Parks Victoria.

Thoughts with fire affected communities


The thoughts of everyone here at GORCC are with all those who lost or sustained damage to their homes and property as a result of the devastating Christmas Day bushfires.

The communities of Wye River and Separation Creek were devastated by the recent fires and we wish all those affected the very best as they work to rebuild and recover.

The Great Ocean Road is open and we encourage everyone to head down to visit this beautiful part of the world and support the local businesses that rely on Summer tourism.
If you’re heading down this way, be sure to respect the privacy of residents who may have been impacted by the fire.

It is safe to visit this area, the Wye River-Jamieson Track fire is not currently affecting Lorne and there is no threat the community.    However, visitors should keep up to date with the latest warnings and advice and always check Fire Danger Ratings before leaving.   

To stay informed:
  • See the latest warnings and advice by visiting emergency.vic.gov.au.
  • Tune into Victoria’s emergency broadcasters or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on freecall 1800 240 667.
  • Download the FireReady App or follow VicEmergency on Twitter (#VicFires) or Facebook

People visiting fire-affected areas on the Surf Coast who see wildlife that appear injured or distressed, should first contact the Wildlife Welfare Officer at the Incident Control Centre on (03) 5233 5565.

The Wye River and Separation Creek Community Appeal has been established by the Spirit Foundation, a Lorne-based community organisation.  Donations can be made to Bendigo Bank account Spirit Foundation No. 4, BSB 633000, account number 150 164 101.

The Coastal Management Plan (CMP) identifies management priorities and provides direction for the sustainable management for 37km of coastal Crown land reserves over five years.

CMP Implementation Report 14/15


The second implementation report for GORCC’s Coastal Management Plan (CMP) 2013 has been released.

The report provides an update of the status of relevant actions identified as ‘short term’ or ‘ongoing’ and their progress, as well as actual income and expenditure compared to what was budgeted.

The report indicates that the implementation of GORCC’s CMP is progressing well, particularly in the areas of ‘natural environment protection’, ‘master planning’ and ‘community involvement’.

Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the CMP is important to ensure it is effective and achieves the desired outcomes along the coast.

Learn more about the CMP and view the full implementation report for year two here.

Remember to stick to designated tracks and use official access points when you're visiting the beach - damage to dunes causes untold damage to the fragile natural environment.

Call to beachgoers: reduce dune damage


Fragile sand dunes are deteriorating due to an increase in illegal access, threatening coastal environments and posing safety risks to beachgoers.

Dune systems continue to be trampled by beachgoers who depart from designated tracks and ignore signs, leaving them left exposed to high winds, tides and rainfall.

In particular, the popular pastimes of boogie boarding down dunes and ‘dune running’ for fitness are having a devastating impact.

Dunes that are stripped of native vegetation can develop ‘blow-outs’, or large gullies of wind-blown sand, and over time these gullies become larger and are extremely difficulty to rehabilitate.

Dunes are home to array of native flora and fauna and are a vital part of the coastal ecosystem.

The Surf Coast Shire establishes and enforces a range of local laws and regulations pertaining to people’s behaviour on the coast.  Access outside of designated tracks and paths on the coast is prohibited, with laws applying to both fenced and unfenced sand dune areas.

Read the full story over on our blog.

Hooded Plovers are incredible birds!  We've uncovered some amazing information about their life cycle on our blog.

It's a hoodie life


Did you know that without active management, Hooded Plovers only have a 2.5% chance of survival from egg to adult?

Did you know that Hooded Plovers breed as a pair with both the male and female taking turns to incubate the eggs for 28 days?

Did you know Hooded Plovers are able to start breeding from as early as 12 months and typically have 3-4 nest attempts per breeding season?

You may have heard of the Hooded Plover but we bet there’s a few things you didn’t know about these beach-nesting birds that breed on our coast.   

Head over to our blog for some amazing facts about ‘hoodies’ as we explore the life cycle of this threatened species.  

A selective tender process is underway for the Anglesea Family Caravan Park.

Anglesea selective tender process underway


The current Anglesea Family Caravan Park 21 year Crown land lease expires in December 2017 (in three years’ time).

GORCC, as land manager for this Crown land on behalf of the State, is currently conducting a selective tender process for the lease of the park for a term commencing 2 December 2017 (at the expiration of the current lease).

GORCC conducted a public Expressions of Interest process earlier in 2015 to identify suitable applicants to participate in the selective tender process.

The selective tender process closed on 23 December 2015. GORCC is now considering submissions received, a process which is anticipated to take several months.

STAY INFORMED:
GORCC will keep all stakeholders, including the current lessees and current campers, informed of progress during this process.

Interested stakeholders including current campers and regular park guests are encouraged to subscribe to receive updates on the process. Register for updates by subscribing online here.

For more detailed information on the process click here

 

Park guests enjoying musical entertainment thanks to XFactor star Andrew Wishart.

Andrew Wishart visits Torquay


Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park guests were treated to a performance by Andrew Wishart recently.
 
The Melbourne singer and former X Factor Australia grand finalist entertained holiday makers of all ages, with parents relaxing and enjoying the music while little guests made the most of the park’s facilities including the new jumping pillow.
 
Torquay guests enjoyed a number of summer entertainment events including a performance by Angie Hilton, outdoor movie nights and children’s concerts by Pevan and Sarah.  
 
 

A Weedy Sea Dragon created from harmful marine debris by Coast Guardian students.

Student art features at Patagonia


Marine debris artwork created by year 9 students from Geelong Lutheran College and Surf Coast Secondary College was displayed at Patagonia Torquay recently.

Featuring three threatened local species - the Hooded Plover, Weedy Sea Dragon and the Southern Brown Bandicoot, each artwork was displayed for a week (over a three week period) in December.

The art was created during the 2015 GORCC Coast Guardians Education Forum with the guidance of local artist Lisa Hunter, using a variety of marine debris found on Torquay beaches.

The artwork helped to demonstrate to others how to recycle and reuse litter and prevent it from ending up in marine ecosystems.

For the full story of the 2015 Coast Guardians Forum and to view the photos from the day head over to our blog.
 
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