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

 
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The Point Grey Precinct in Lorne looking out along the iconic Lorne Pier.
 

Point Grey plan milestone reached


The Point Grey Precinct Plan has been approved and released, marking a major step in the project.

The final plan recently received Coastal Management Act consent from state government, and will now move into the business case development phase.  GORCC has committed $45,000 towards the preparation of the business case, and is currently seeking additional funding support from Regional Development Victoria.

Community and stakeholder consultation was an important part of developing the plan and GORCC would like to acknowledge the many community members and other stakeholders who had played a part in the planning process so far, including the Point Grey Community Reference Group, Agency Working Group and the wider community.

The next steps in the project are as follows*
  • July 2015 – November 2015: Application process:  Business case funding.
  • December 2015 – June 2016:  Business case development (includes scoping, selective tender, approval process)
  • TBC: Detailed design development (this stage is inclusive of a broad consultation process and discussions with the CRG and site stakeholders)
  • TBC: Approval process – detailed design
  • TBC: Funding sought for plan implementation (additional to GORCC funding allocation)
  • TBC: Implementation
*Please note: The above timeline is approximate and subject to change.

GORCC has committed up to $1.5million to future implementation of the project.  While the planning process has aimed to minimise the total cost of the redevelopment, the cost of implementation is currently estimated to cost up to $5.8 million, and GORCC is continuing to explore and progress potential funding sources. 

The final plan can be viewed here.

Go Ride A Wave's Nathan Taylor, Friends of the Hooded Plover Surf Coast regional coordinator Sue Guinness, Ghanda's Melissa Thompson and Great Ocean Road Coast Committee chief executive officer Richard Davies launching this years campaign.
 

#SaveTheHoodie and Win!


Local businesses Go Ride A Wave (GRAW) and Ghanda Clothing Torquay have thrown their support behind this year’s #SaveTheHoodie campaign, offering great prizes to those who enter.

Everyone is encouraged to spread the word by sharing the official ‘Hamish the Hoodie’ image on social media with the hashtag #SaveTheHoodie to help raise awareness for the Hooded Plover this breeding season.

Threatened Hooded Plovers nest on local beaches between September and May each year, and beachgoers are being urged to give them space and keep dogs out of breeding zones. 

Ghanda has donated ‘Hoodies for Hoodies’, with one hoodie to be won every month, while one lucky winner will receive the grand prize – a full length 3/2 Quiksilver wetsuit and learn to surf 5 lesson package donated by GRAW. 

The Save the Hoodie campaign supports intensive on ground efforts by the GORCC Conservation Team and dedicated Friends of the Hooded Plover Surf Coast Volunteers, as well as Bird Life Australia (statewide and national coordinator of the Hooded Plover recovery effort) and other partners. 

For more details on how to win, head over to www.savethehoodie.com.au/win/ 
Jan Juc Coast Action were recipients of a 2014 Coastal Grant.  Pictured here is Chair Luke Hynes at a monthly working bee.

Green grants up for grabs


$10,000 in funds is now available for groups looking to protect and enhance the coastal environment as part of the GORCC annual Coastal Grants Program.

Each year, funds are made available for projects that benefit the 37km of coastal Crown land under GORCC management between Torquay and Lorne.

Previous Coastal Grants have funded a diverse range of projects, from the procurement of tools and cigarette butt bins, to weed control, revegetation and environmental educational projects.

Up to $2,500 per project is available. Applications close Friday the 18th of December at 5pm.

More information GORCC’s Coastal Grants is available here.

From left: Geelong Lutheran College students Jera Norton, Cameron Wilkinson, Taj Dillon, and Benjamin Lunt with Education Activity Leader Hilary Bouma and Wadawurrung Chairperson Byron Powell.

Students celebrate environmental achievements


Local students got creative and hands on at the 2015 GORCC Coast Guardians Forum as they celebrated a year of conservation achievements last month.

The student’s efforts were rewarded with a day of fun, educational activities including a live wildlife show by Black Snake Productions, a marine touch tank, indigenous cultural heritage activities led by Elder Bryon Powell, and more. 

Students also worked with local artist Lisa Hunter to make an endangered animal out of litter collected from beaches.

Every year, each of the four schools involved in the program conserves a specific coastal site, with the year 9s from each school taking over from last year’s students. From revegetation, removing invasive weeds and picking up rubbish to mulching and erosion prevention significant improvements have been made as a result of their hard work.  

Read the full story and view a gallery from the event over on our blog. 

The Rocky Point Lookouts was one of the projects completed by GORCC over the 2014/2015 financial year. PHOTO: Ferne Millen Photography.

GORCC 14/15 Annual Report


The 2014/15 GORCC Annual Report has been published, providing an insight into GORCC’s performance in managing the coast over the last financial year.  

2014/15 highlights include: 
  • More than 1400 people participated in one or more of GORCC’s educational programs and activities.
  • The GORCC conservation team cleared 240 hectares of invasive weeds and planted 700 plants across 18 sites.
  • $3.8 million was invested in coastal reserves assets, projects and maintenance.
  • $1 million was invested across the Torquay and Lorne Foreshore Caravan Parks.
  • More than 700 individuals participated in the first ever Coast Survey.
View the full Annual Report here.

Friends of Queens Park volunteers tackling weeds at a recent working bee PHOTO: Ferne Millen Photography.

Teamwork trumps weeds


Lorne volunteer groups have combined to tackle invasive weeds as part of an annual effort to conserve local parklands, while encouraging others to take small, environmentally-aware actions every day.

Friends of Queens Park (FoQP) and LorneCare conducted three intensive working bees between August and October, teaming up to overcome weeds in Queens Park.

The group has been working on managing and removing invasive weeds such as Sweet Pittosporum, boneseeds and cape broom. 

FoQP Chairman John Wilson said that while weed removal was a priority and essential to protecting and enhancing biodiversity, the group was also focussing on educating others.

“FoQP is trying to let people know that conservation extends beyond weed control, and that the real meaning of conservation is about making environmentally conscious choices in our everyday living,” he said.

Simple actions such as staying on designated walking tracks, removing environmental weeds from your garden can avoiding fenced off areas can make a real difference and help to preserve fragile ecosystems. 

Read the full story over on our blog. 
Jan Juc Coast Action volunteers Ian and Roma Edwards at a recent working bee. PHOTO: Ferne Millen.

JJCA receives prestigious award


Jan Juc Coast Action (JJCA) and Parks Victoria were announced joint winners of the Natural Environment category in the Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence last month. 

The Awards, held by the Victorian Coastal Council celebrate the outstanding work of individuals and groups in enhancing and protecting Victoria’s coastal and marine environments.

Over the past 21 years, JJCA has worked to rehabilitate the Jan Juc foreshore.  One of the group's most recent projects is the launch of the searchable nature database the Surf Coast Nature Search

Joint winner Parks Victoria received the award for their Sea Search Program.

Read the full story over on our blog.  

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The newly upgraded Elephant Walk precinct in Torquay. PHOTO: Ferne Millen Photography,

Elephant Walk open for Summer


The Elephant Walk precinct has received a significant face-lift and is ready for the peak season crowds.
 
The $225,000 project included upgrades to the car park, playground, stormwater treatment system and public toilets. Additionally, pedestrian safety and disabled access were improved.

Open space was maximised, with grassy areas extended and furnished with new picnic tables and seating and indigenous plantings established.  

To read more about the upgrades click here.
Rip Curl employees rolling their sleeves up for the annual Planet Day.

Curl Crew helps planet


Dedicated Rip Curl employees teamed up with land managers to help the local coast as part of the annual Rip Curl Planet Day last month.

Each year, staff from the Rip Curl head office in Torquay donate one working day to environmental volunteering to help improve and enhance our coastal areas.

This annual event has seen over 85,000 indigenous Surf Coast plants planted along the coast from Point Impossible through to Bells Beach/Southside.

Staff were divided into various groups over the two days to complete environmental tasks such as native tree planting, removal of weeds and rubbish, and the implementation of water saving strategies.

Read the full story over on our blog.  

Anglesea PS celebrates Plover Appreciation Day


The first ever Plover Appreciation Day was held by Birdlife Australia recently to encourage people across the globe to honour the plight of the plover.

Grade 4-6 Anglesea Primary School students celebrated the day with variety on fun, educational Hooded Plover related activities hosted by GORCC. 

The vulnerable Hooded Plover was the focus of the day for Anglesea Primary School students as it nests on local beaches along the Surf Coast.

Students created masks and banners to increase their awareness about the Hooded Plover’s fragility during breeding season.

Read the full story over on our blog. 

The newly updated Point Roadknight kiosk.

Point Roadknight kiosk ready for peak


Bomboras have reopened the Pt Roadknight Kiosk, giving the venue a makeover just in time for summer.

Known for their exceptional coffee and food, the new operators are ready for a busy season. 

The kiosk opened in October and is currently open on weekends from 7.30am.  Kiosk will be open 7 days a week during the school holidays.

For more information about the kiosk and its opening times, head over to the Bomboras Facebook page.  
 

The Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park is located adjacent to the Erskine River and is just steps away from the beach.

Park news


The Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park and the Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park are ready for an action-packed summer season.

The Torquay park has seen number of upgrades including the addition of an outdoor kitchen and the installation of a jumping pillow and rock climbing wall and major upgrades to the Block 5 amenities building.

Lorne has also seen improvements including the replacement of washing machines, new BBQ’s, cabin upgrades, new power heads in the Ocean Road park and upgrades to the Erskine Park amenities block.
 
The parks are also hosting entertainment over summer, with musical acts booked in for Torquay, and movie nights and children’s entertainment available on selected dates in both Torquay and Lorne.

Interested in a beachfront holiday?  Visit  www.lornecaravanpark.com.au/ or www.torquaycaravanpark.com.au/ for more information or to book. 

A Swamp Wallaby captured on infrared cameras at Soapy Rocks, Anglesea.

Wildlife streaming into conservation sites


Infrared cameras installed on GORCC coastal conservation sites are continuing to capture both native and invasive wildlife, with new footage streaming in.

In the past two months native wildlife such as a Swamp Wallaby, and Echidna have been captured on the cameras.

The footage is an important tool, assisting the conservation team to understand and assess what species are living on the coast and helping to guide GORCCs conservation strategies.

The recent photographs add to a growing collection, which includes a Long Nosed Bandicoot and the rare Rufous Bristlebird. 

Read the full story on our blog

Peter and Wendy Trebilcock - the new Assistant Managers at the Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park.

New Assistant Park Managers


Husband and wife duo Peter and Wendy Trebilcock are the new Assistant Park Managers at Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park, bringing with them a wealth of experience.

Previously working as Park Managers at Levi Park Caravan Park in Adelaide, South Australia, the pair moved to the Surf Coast because they desired a sea change.

“We love the diversity of towns around the region and the beautiful scenery,” Wendy said.

Wendy already feels at home at the caravan park, and enjoys the atmosphere.

“We really liked what we saw, and the staff made us feel comfortable. It is a great environment,” she said.

Welcome to the team, Peter and Wendy!

Artist Mark Trinham with the latest series of wildlife cards.

Final wildlife series ready for collection

 
The third and final series of Surf Coast and Inland Plains Landcare Network (SCIPN) Wildlife Cards is here, with the unique, locally created cards now available at selected outlets.

The three-part-series features 135 indigenous fauna species that call the coast home, with a focus on wildlife native to the Thompsons Creek and Spring Creek areas. 

Beautifully hand painted by local artist Mark Trinham, each card features an animal in its natural habitat with further information about that species on the back.

Cards are available at selected outlets.
For more information, visit http://www.scipn.org.au/ .

An exhibition will be conducted in Torquay later this month to showcase the 135 original paintings by Mark Trinham. More are available at www.marktrinham.com.au.

 

The recent Seal the Loop Action Day was a great success with almost 200 students in attendance.

Students help seal the loop


The Jan Juc coastline is now a safer place for marine wildlife thanks to students from Torquay College.

In partnership with Zoo’s Victoria, nearly 200 students from grades 3 and 4 attended this year’s Seal the Loop Action Day.

The students participated in a range of activities including the creation of posters, presentations and quizzes and finished the day by conducting a beach litter patrol. 
Seal the Loops aims to remove fishing waste from Victoria’s coast and reduce rates of marine wildlife entanglement.  Over 200 bins have been installed at popular fishing locations across Victoria (including the Surf Coast) capturing around 23km of fishing line since 2010. 

Learn more about Seal the Loop here.  
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Pufferfish are harming dogs on local beaches. Photo source.

Pufferfish warning for dog owners


Reports have surfaced of one dog suffering paralysis and another being killed after coming into contact with Pufferfish on a Torquay beach.

Dog owners are being warned to keep an eye out for the fish, which have been sighted in both Torquay and Jan Juc.  It is recommended that dog owners keep their dogs on a leash on these beaches to prevent their dogs from coming into contact with the toxic fish.

Pufferfish produce a harmful neurotoxin called Tetradoxin which affects the nerves of any animal that ingests it and their spines also contain the toxin. Pufferfish are toxic both alive and dead.

Dogs only need to roll on a Pufferfish or make contact with the fish with their nose while sniffing it to be severely affected.

Signs your dog may have been in contact with a Pufferfish include:
  • Appearing unwell/licking lips and panting
  •  Nauseous (drooling) and vomiting
  • Signs of weakness usually starting with legs and moving up the body
If your dog displays any of the above systems, contact your vet as soon as possible.
 
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