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



 

Want more?  Visit our blog to discover in-depth stories & insights from the coast.

GORCC Education Activity Leader Hilary Bouma (Centre) works with the Northern Bay College students (L-R) Jasmin Welsh, Gypsy Akhyar, Shari-May Kassai and Ryan Cornwell to revegetate the coastal habitats at Point Impossible. 

Northern Bay College Students win GORCC Grant

Committee’s Educational Programs becoming increasingly popular!
 
A group of students from Geelong’s Northern Bay College has just been awarded a grant by the Great Ocean Road Coastal Committee (GORCC) in recognition of their enthusiasm working in a local conservation education program.
 
Northern Bay College is one of four local and regional schools involved in the Coast Guardians Program where groups of Year 9 students from each school take ‘ownership’ of the rehabilitation and conservation of a site along the coast between Torquay and Lorne.

According to Education Activity Leader Hilary Bouma, the Coast Guardians program combines theory based learning about the environment, ecosystems and environmental challenges with ‘hands on’ activities such as weeding, planting and erosion prevention works.

“It’s really taken off and the four schools involved all report terrific feedback from their students,” she said.

Read the full media release here. <link to GORCC website>

The young hooded plover juvenile that fledged at Point Impossible (nudist beach) on February 11.
Photo: Andrea Dennett

Hooded Plover achieves the near-impossible

A Hooded Plover chick has taken flight and is believed to be the first chick to fledge (reach flying age) at the Point Impossible Nudist Beach since BirdLife Australia’s Beach Nesting Birds project began in 2006.

Hooded Plovers have one of the lowest survival rates of any species in the world at just 2.5% and are listed as vulnerable under the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999.

Since 2010, a total of just 12 of the vulnerable Hooded Plover chicks have survived to reach fledging age along the Surf Coast.

Two chicks at the Point Roadknight nesting area have also fledged, making it three out of the seven chicks on GORCC managed land to survive this breeding season.

Volunteers, BirdLife Australia staff and the GORCC team all worked tirelessly to protect the precious family from the many threats, including dogs and people.

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 athoodedplover@birdlife.org.au or visit www.birdlife.org.au/beach.

Students enjoy a wide variety of coastal focused activites in GORCC's environmental education programs. Photo: Ferne Millen Photography

Education off to a flying start

The education team is off to a flying start in 2016 with more than 10 different schools and universities from all over Victoria participating in GORCC’s free education programs.  

GORCC offers schools and groups the opportunity to engage in hands on learning opportunities that equip students with the knowledge and skills to work with, understand, respect, protect and enhance their beautiful coastal surroundings.

More than 400 students have participated in GORCCs education programs this term, performing a variety of conservation activities along the coast.

GORCC Education Coordinator, Pete Crowcroft said the practical, outdoor classroom was a fantastic way to engage students and demonstrate the importance of coastal conservation.

“Students are able to apply classroom knowledge in a practical way allowing them to see first hand the positive impacts their work has on the coast,” he said.

GORCC’s environmental education programs are free for schools and groups and tailored to suit individual group needs and requirements.

For more information on the environmental education programs GORCC offers, visit www.gorcc.com.au/education

Read the full post on our blog. 
A fox caught was spotted using infrared cameras in September last year. Foxes have been known to take shelter in coastal vegetation and around homes.

Push for community to aid pest effort

Foxes are highly adaptable, resilient and cunning pests that prey on both native wildlife and livestock and are considered a threat to 14 species of birds, 48 mammals, 12 reptiles and two species of amphibians.

These predators have been declared ‘established invasive animals’ by the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, and a single fox can consume thousands of native animals every year.

You can help to deter the predatory pests and support Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) and Surf Coast Shire Council fox control efforts by removing potential food and shelter sources from your property.

GORCC Environmental and Education Manager Alex MacDonald said homeowners should remove structures around their property where foxes may seek refuge or shelter including woody weeds such as boxthorn and blackberries, rubbish piles and old machinery.

“Fencing off rock piles, building materials, hay bales, woodpiles, and underneath houses will also help reduce hiding places foxes can live in,” she said.

Read the full story on our blog.

The FeralCatScan app home screen allows users to easily record cat activity in their local area. 

New technology helps track feral cats

An innovative feral cat mapping and reporting ‘app’ is helping land managers and communities tackle the ongoing issues caused by feral cats.

The ‘FeralCatScan’ app was launched in 2015 by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre to record and map real-time information about feral cat activity, to monitor their impact on native species.

According to Parks Victoria, feral cats have contributed to the extinction of more than 20 Australian native animals and are putting another 124 species at risk.

Department of the Environment Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews said despite Australia having large areas of protected habitat available for wildlife, native species are still under threat from feral cat predation.

“Every time we lose a native species, we lose a part of what makes Australia special.

“We need to know about feral cat movements and impacts, especially in reserves and national parks, in order to target our efforts in the most appropriate manner,” he said.

“We urge everyone to help us tackle this threat to the survival of our wildlife, by using the Feral Cat Scan app which is a simple and constructive way to help.”

The FeralCatScan app allows users to record the location of pest animals, record the problems they are causing and record control actions people may undertake.

Read the full story on our blog

For more information about the app, or to record feral cat activity online, visit www.feralcatscan.org.au 

Green Army members propagate a selection of indigenous flora at ANGAIR's temporary facilities at Paraparap. Photo: ANGAIR 

Forum celebrates Green Army achievements 

ANGAIR (Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Flora and Fauna) held a career development forum in February to celebrate the contributions made by participants, who have been working hard on a range of conservation projects and tasks including fencing, weed eradication, revegetation and mulching along the Surf Coast.

The day featured a range of guest speakers including ANGAIR's Peter Forster, Parks Victoria Ranger, Lachie Davis; Estuary Watch Coordinator, Rose Herben; the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Education Activity Leader, Hilary Bouma and renowned volunteer and environmental business owner, Neil Tucker.

The guest speakers covered a range of topics urging Green Army participants to continue their connection with the environment and consider pursuing formal careers in environmental protection.

GORCC’s Hilary Bouma said the development day was a great way to celebrate the work of the Green Army participants.  

"This career development day allowed the Green Army participants to see how diverse the environmental protection industry is and it provided a great opportunity for the ambitious young people to speak to highly skilled professionals," she said.

The Green Army is now recruiting for the next round of environmental projects.

For further information and to apply, visit the Conservation Volunteers Australia website. Applications close Friday April 22 2016.

Read the full story on our blog.

New caravan park management teams announced

GORCC would like to welcome and introduce the new management teams of the Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park and the Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park.

TORQUAY PARK MANAGERS – NICK and NADJA HERRINGTON
Nick and Nadja were appointed as Park Managers in March 2016. They are both highly experienced at managing caravan parks, having worked in most states of Australia, and bring with them a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm. Nicholas and Nadja are excited to be leading the Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park team and look forward to this new chapter in their lives.

TORQUAY ASSISTANT PARK MANAGERS – ANN and GEOFF VOLLMER
Ann and Geoff joined the management team in February 2016 as Assistant Park Managers. They have strong backgrounds in previous management roles including hotels and caravan parks.
Ann and Geoff are both very excited to be working in the dynamic caravan park environment and are a great addition to the park.

LORNE PARK MANAGERS - PETER and WENDY TREBILCOCK
Peter and Wendy have recently been appointed as the Lorne Park Managers after the resignation of Stephen Mann and Sharon Sullivan. Peter and Wendy joined the park in October 2015 as Assistant Park Managers and stepped into the management role at short notice in January following the temporary evacuation and closure of the park over Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

LORNE ASSISTANT PARK MANAGERS - GRAEME and JAN HOARE
Graeme and Jan joined the management team in March 2016 and have strong backgrounds in previous management roles, including in caravan parks, banking and running their own business. They bring a friendly and enthusiastic approach and a great addition to the park.

GORCC would like to acknowledge the input of Stephen Mann and Sharon Sullivan, along with Kylie and Ryan Winning over the years, and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

GORCC welcomes new Community Engagement Manager

GORCC is pleased to announce that David Petty will be joining our management team as the Community Engagement Manager in April. David worked as the Senior Communications Officer at Parks Victoria and has a strong background working in Crown land environmental work, community engagement and media. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role and GORCC is delighted to welcome him to the team. 
David will commence his role at GORCC on April 11. 

Darian Road car park redevelopment

A final plan for the redevelopment of the foreshore car park at the end of Darian Road, Torquay has been released with works expected to commence in mid-2016.

GORCC CEO Richard Davies said the eight submissions received in 2015 during the community consultation on the draft plan have been considered in the development of the final plan.

“In response to this feedback, we have reduced the number of trees proposed and amended the layout to address the concerns expressed by respondents,” he said.

GORCC has been liaising with the Surf Coast Shire regarding complementary upgrade works scheduled for the Esplanade.

The final plan and graphics depicting the site as it is now, in 2 to 5 years, and in 15 to 20 years are available for viewing on the GORCC website

Read the full media release here.

Memorial Arch Precinct update

The Memorial Arch Precinct Master Plan aims to produce a document that provides GORCC with a vision and plan for the management of this highly valued site into the future.  The master plan will identify actions that respond to the issues and opportunities currently affecting the site and incorporate community and stakeholder feedback.

Consultation on the Memorial Arch Precinct Master Plan Issues and Opportunities Paper closed at the end of February. The feedback is being analysed and consultation with the Community Reference Group (CRG) and Agency Working Group (AWG) has been conducted earlier in March. The results from the survey feedback and the CRG/ AWG workshops will help guide the draft vision of the report. 

STAY INFORMED:

Interested stakeholders are encouraged to subscribe to the mailing list to receive updates.

For more detailed information on the master plan click here

 

Torquay foreshore works

Final round consultation on the Torquay Front Beach sea wall and path works draft has now closed and community feedback is being considered before GORCC proceeds with the next stage of the project.

Works are proposed to commence in late May 2016 and will be completed before the busy summer season.

The $300,000 project will be funded by GORCC and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to improve the long term stability, safety and access to the beach.

For more information on this project or to view the draft plan, visit our website.
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