International Year of Pulses 2016 GOLDCOASTCATCHMENTS.ORG 

e-news Issue 21 January 2016
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Welcome to 2016: International Year of the Pulses

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has named 2016 the International Year of the Pulses. It is a great reminder of how important healthy food, plant-based protein is for human and animal consumption as well as for healthy land and soils. Given that legumes are a sustainable protein source for the world's population and have nitrogen-fixing benefits for infertile soils, the year of pulses will surely heighten awareness that healthy land is needed for healthy people. To inspire you to embrace the year of the pulses take the time to try some of the legume-based recipes below. 

Following the theme of healthy land, healthy people, SEQ Catchments has been promoting sustainable living tips and tricks. Did you see their "composting in a nutshell" post? The composting revolution is another way to reduce waste and improve soil fertility, and reduce CO2 / CH4 emissions! 

While talking about SEQ Catchments, we would like to welcome Paul Donatiu – a rainforest boffin, bushwalk fanatic, ultra-keen photographer and probably the best tiramisu maker in south east Queensland! Paul is the newest member to their Coastal Catchments Team and is based on the Gold Coast. He will be a key point of contact for all things natural resource management on the Gold Coast and we look forward to working with him and trialling his tiramisu. 

Towards the end of 2015 we held our AGM and welcomed four new members onto the committee (see below for introductions). Wal Mayr was voted in as President.  We also squeezed in a 2016 Planning Session.
Supporting and connecting our members is our key priority, and we look forward to rolling out some exciting projects throughout 2016.
Remember if you have a story, project or issue you would like to share or need help with please connect with the committee as we are hear to build a stronger voice for the restoration, protection and conservation of Gold Coast's environment. 
Enjoy our first newsletter for the year and look forward to working with you in 2016! 

Connecting those that care, 

From the committee,
The Gold Coast Catchment Association 

News from the President, Wal Mayr

It’s an exciting time in the Association.  The new committee has a wealth of experience and represents a broad cross section of our member base – from North to South and from Government to Private - and for the first time ever we have more woman than men on the committee.  See the website for full details.
Our planning session was a high-energy get together that clarified our goals for 2016.  We also reaffirmed that the key distinguishing characteristic of the GCCA is that we are a non-political group that supports people who do on-ground environmental work.
As well as our ongoing management of member groups’ funds we will also be closely monitoring the progress of our increasing number of projects.  To that end we have Sue Durance (North East Albert Landcare) and Heather Mayr (Austinville Landcare) managing the finances. Bardhold Blecken will provide valuable backup in his role as vice-President.
Steven Gill (Coomera River Catchment Group) is taking on the role of secretary.  Steve has a long history in business and in Rotary.  He will also be taking the lead role in managing our Community Water Quality Monitoring program, which we have taken over from SEQ Catchments.
Our planning session identified City of Gold Coast departments, the Catchment Management Unit (CMU) and the Natural Areas Management Unit (NAMU) as two key stakeholders.  We are delighted that representatives from both of these organisations are on our committee.  
Kris Boody a long time supporter and committee member will again represent CMU.  Many of our projects would not be possible without the support of Kris and CMU. Kris will be taking long service for the first half of the year and for that time his place will be taken by Adam Wardrop. 
Saraya Robinson will represent NAMU.  Saraya heads up the City's Beaches to Bushland Program, Naturally GC and coordinates other projects such as the City's involvement in the Green Army. Her passion and energy for all things Landcare will be a great asset for the Association and she is eager to become involved in one of our major projects for 2016, the Gold Coast Landcare Forum. 
Naomi Edwards will continue on the committee in her communications role.  She provides much of the energy for the Association and its projects, and we are grateful that she continues her involvement despite increased personal and professional commitments. For all Communications and Media enquires please connect with Naomi via our main email -
Our most successful and long running Program is PlatypusWatch and its co-ordinator Natalie Hoskins remains on the committee. Read more about PlatypusWatch in this Newsletter.
Long-term committee member Janine Sigley has also decided to stay on the committee.  Janine has recently co-founded a new not-for-profit organisation called Story Dogs which helps kids with learning difficulties.
We really appreciate her commitment to us with all of the other demands on her time.
We would also like to acknowledge Mark Tierney for his support, dreams and vision for catchment management on the Gold Coast, in particular, the Nerang River. After more than 10 years on the Committee he has decided to step down to focus on signature projects he coordinates with the Nerang Riverkeepers.  Nerang Riverkeepers was recognised as Queensland's 2015 Best Landcare Community Group.  We can only imagine what Mark and his team are dreaming up for 2016 and beyond. Thank you for your support and best of luck! 

SAVE THE DATE: Committee Meeting Schedule for 2016

Where: Preece House next to Bischof Park in Nerang
5:30pm – 7:00pm

Thursday 18th February
Thursday 21st April
Thursday 16th June
Thursday 18th August

2016 Annual General Meeting: 2:00pm – 5:00pm, Saturday  22nd October
Location to be confirmed

Committee Contact Details:
President Wal Mayr 0408 264 571
Vice-President Bardhold Blecken (07) 5607 0632
Assistant Treasurer
Sue Durrance
Heather Mayr
0448 073 627
04209 89124
Secretary Steven Gill
Member (Communications)
Naomi Edwards 0423 846 494
Member (City of Gold Coast Representative)
Kris Boody (07) 5581 6236
0404 892 018
Janine Sigley 0411 536 355 
Natalie Hoskins 0419 522 207
Member (City of Gold Coast Representative)
Saraya Robinson (07) 55811 537
Congratulations! Regen Australia was awarded the best Environment and Sustainability Company at the Gold Coast Business Awards in December 2015. Since Regen Australia was established they have planted over 2 million native plants and completed 1000 ecological restoration projects. 

Please note: Regen Australia Nursery address has changed 
51B Bonogin Road, Bonogin. 

Members of the Gold Coast Catchment Association are provided discounts
on selected native plants. For more information please visit or call 0414 519 572.
Do you have a story to share or love to write? We are currently seeking writers / bloggers to capture and share the many inspiring stories about those caring, restoring and protecting Gold Coast's environment. To find out how you can contribute email
Go Green with Naturally GC. It is a great opportunity for everyone to connect, discover and explore the natural beauty of the Gold Coast. 

From guided walks and talks to special hands on activities, nature and adventure is only a click away - click here to explore the natural GC. 

PlatypusWatch is a citizen science program that aims to document where Platypus occur to identify where conservation actions are needed – now and in the future – to protect this very special animal. The next community surveys will be held in April 2016! If you didn't see PlatypusWatch newsletter in September click here!

However in the meantime if you do see a Platypus...

How to Report a Sighting

The best way to report a platypus sighting on the Gold Coast is to email the following details to PlatypusWatch:

Your name

  1. Your contact number
  2. Where you saw the platypus
  3. The date and time you saw the platypus
  4. How sure you are that it was a platypus?

The best way to get involved is by contacting Natalie Hoskins: or vist:

We are currently reviewing the Gold Coast Community Water Quality Monitoring Program and it will kick-start again in early 2016. If you'd like to get involved or hear how you could help please contact Steven Gill:

In the meantime please keep an eye out further information and many thanks to all program volunteers. 

Young NSW farmer representatives Josh Gilbert, Sydney, formerly Nabiac, and Anika Molesworth, Broken Hill openly talk about climate change and COP21. 

Climate Change: A Good Change for Farms

It feels like COP21 was yester-year with the happy distraction of holidays. Yet, the reality of climate change is present today with floods, cyclones and fires all happening at once. It's a bummer that natural disasters don't take holidays, so should we take a holiday from climate change? 

When the Gold Coast is one of the most vulnerable cities to climate change, hopefully your answer is "no". Being a water city there is no argument that sea level rise will present the biggest challenge for the Gold Coast and in particular for catchment management. Salt water intrusion in freshwater environments, let alone, the built environment presents some urgent questions that we must not ignore. Questions that we'll have the opportunity to dig a little deeper with Gecko's Climate Change for Good conference to be held at Griffith University in July. 

However, what we can do in the meantime is celebrate the good stuff that is happening to inspire our community about our changing climate. Maybe we can accept that there will be a few less walkable days at the beach with sea level rise and coastal erosion, but if anything... we can't miss breakfast, lunch and dinner - our food. 

Luckily a group of loud, innovative, young food producers are making headlines about food security and climate change. 
Joshua Gilbert and Anika Molesworth maybe far from the Gold Coast lifestyle of slip, slop, slap and sun, surf and sand being from farmers in NSW. But they do play an integral part in our lifestyle being primary food producers and spokespeople of sustainable agriculture. 

Instead of maintaining the decades of sad discourse that has consumed farming communities, they are embracing the good stuff, all the good stuff to lead the climate change discussion within their respected conservative and alternative farming networks. 

"The opportunities are endless for farmers to earn new income streams alongside their main farming enterprise" - Josh Gilbert, Farming Activist. 

With optimism of gold, their entrepreneurial spirit presents endless opportunities for the farming sector. It even makes me wonder, actually inspires me to consider a tree change from the flood plains of Hope Island to the tablelands of Binna Burra. 

For a young passionate Gold Coaster reading such optimism brings me much hope for the future. 

Click here to read their full article.

Eggplant and Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses,
as seen on

  • Ingredients:
  • One 1 1/2-pound long, narrow eggplant
    1/2 cup lentils

    2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    4 medium garlic cloves, minced
    2 medium tomatoes, chopped
    2 long green chiles, such as Anaheims—stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
    2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

    1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (see Note)


What happened along the Coomera River last year?  By Steven Gill. 

Last year was a fairly remarkable one in the history of the Coomera River Catchment Group as we were presented with opportunities that we once dreamed of.
The first of these was the opportunity to work in the nursery of the Nerang Riverkeepers potting up Lomandras, which are constantly planted at Waterhen Lake. In so doing we began to take responsibility for the supply of our own plants; previously Mark and his crew of at Nerang Riverkeepers had done the work for us. I am delighted that we consistently had sufficient people for this vital work. A big thank you to those who help.
The second was the possibility of a planning a major event for Commera River. River Listening for the Coomera River is an event and the concept is the brainchild of Michael Cook. It aims to bring the community together while celebrate the art and culture of the Commera River. We are working with various organisations to make this happen, so please watch this space.
The third opportunity is one engineered by Kris Boody of the City of Gold Coast who believes we have sufficient credibility, and the ability and trust to restore another vital area of the Coomera River catchment.
On an easement close to Waterhen Lake there is a property earmarked for the development of sporting fields and community facilities. A number of scenarios have been suggested over time, with the latest being that a shed be constructed on the site and be divided into two; one part to house the Coomera Girl Guides, and the other to house the Coomera River Catchment Group.
It is proposed that a plant nursery would be attached so that we could propagate our own plants for the extensive reforestation required in that area. This would be a tremendous boost for us. As it would mean we could house our own local environmental learning centre, which would open opportunities to expand our education capabilities.
It has been a vision of mine that we should conduct ourselves as being in a constant state of learning, so that we respect all the people with whom we work, and learn from each other. As yet, we are still talking concepts however let us have faith that the reality will match the vision.
The fourth opportunity is has been presented is for the community water monitoring program. Until this year we have had only a few people to carry out the work. My sincere thanks to Cameron Love and Fiona Beveridge, both university students and willingly assisted in the program. A key highlight was during one morning monitoring we spotted a feeding platypus at Maudsland.
However, I recently placed an article in The Friday Flyer asking for volunteers and we recruited another six people - a big welcome to Natalia Zalega, Helen Rowan, Chris and Annette Schnack, and Robert and Nooreen Davitt.
Having met all these energetic and wonderful people I believe we now have the critical mass to obtain a more holistic view of what is happening in and around the Coomera River. The number of sampling sites has been increased to seventeen! Now all we need is an upgraded water-sampling machine, however I am working on securing the $ 6,000 required for that.
The fifth opportunity is one which was only presented to us at last Saturday’s potting up day. At the conclusion of the potting up, we were taken on a tour of the last three years of the Gold Coast Big Planting Day at Country Paradise; what a difference it has made.
Talk turned to us and whether we could make use of such a day – imagine the difference we could make with planting 12,000 plants in one day!
Naturally I said “yes” without hesitation. It will take two years to organize, and would no doubt involve the reforestation of the easement back toward the Coomera River. It’s a big project for a growing group. However so much could be achieved and what a shot in the arm it would be for this end of the Gold Coast.
In conclusion, my heartfelt gratitude for everyone’s support in 2015.
  • Secretary Greg for the newsletters.
  • Kris Boody and Mars Oram from the City of Gold Coast as they do as much as they are able given the heavy burden of bureaucratic impositions
  • Nerang Riverkeepers for the use of their nursery
The thought for the incoming year is one of my own making “It is not so much life we should value; rather we should value self-worth, the worth of a person now and yet to come. Without value, life itself is meaningless.”
Kind regards
Steven Gill
Coordinator of Coomera River Catchment Group
Secretary of the Gold Coast Catchment Association

Biodiversity Blindness: VIP

(very important plants)...

Have we got your attention? We were fortunate to have David Jinks from Gold Coast Botany as a guest speaker at our AGM held in November (2015). He presented the concept, 'Biodiversity Blindness' where we walk past extremely rare and threatened plants without even realising. Yet most of us can spot weeds. Consider yourself an expert or amateur in botany, but the reality is even a room of 50 green thumbs didn't get close to identifying all of the 10 threatened plants he had on show for his VIP Pop Quiz. 

The results are alarming (see below) and calls for a "Biodiversity Blindness education program" to raise the profile of these very important plants. When the world jumps up and down about the cute and cuddly pandas of the world, who is campaigning for the Small-leaved Tamarind where only 150 individuals are known to exist on the Gold Coast. Download David Jinks report here!

David's findings present food for thought and some awareness seeds to sow throughout 2016. 

So, what were the results from his threatened plant pop quiz?

Q1 Ever heard of these plants before today
Q2 Know what they look like
Q3 know where they grow
Q4 know where to see one?
  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Baloghia marmorata 7% 7% 3% 0%
Brachychiton sp. Ormeau 82% 73% 60% 60%
Diploglottis campbellii 85% 85% 14% 12%
Endiandra floydii 31% 19% 3% 3%
Eucryphia jinksii 30% 10% 30% 3%
Helicia ferruginea 27% 14% 8% 8%
Gyrostemon osmus 3% 0% 0% 0%
Macadamia tetraphylla 82% 70% 46% 46%
Ochrosia moorei 7% 3% 7% 0%
Symplocos baeuerlenii 3% 3% 7% 3%

Please contact David Jinks from Gold Coast Botany for more information about rare and threatened plants. 

Many thanks for being a guest speaker! We were amazing and highly recommend your talks. 

Do you need to report non-urgent issues to the City of Gold Coast? For instance, seen graffiti, illegal dumping, uneven foot paths? 

You can report an issue in the city from anywhere, at any time of the day. Simply open a report, take or select a photo, enter the details and submit. It’s that easy.

Follow the link for more info!

Have you seen Gecko's Hills to Hinterland publication? It is a great publication filled with interesting and inspiring stories about the local environmental movement. 

Head over to the website to download a copy or visit the Gecko House to pick up your own hard copy. 
Has your address or membership details changed? Email or call 0423 846494.
Connect with our members - and check your contact details. Click here to view our comprehensive member group contact list. 
Are you planning a plastic-free event in 2016? Contact the Water Swallow to hire their Water Hydration Stand to solve your plastic-free drinking water issue on 0410 552 025 or
Become a member today. It's free and we don't hassle or spam, though, we do inspire you to take action to care for Gold Coast's environment!
No worry about more bags!

Honey, you got another bag? No need to worry when your another bag has a purpose. 

Boomerang Bags has reached a huge milestone with sewing over 16,000 eco bags and recently launched a very cool merchandise range. 

To check out their bags and buy a bag with purpose head to their website:
Are you a Responsible Runner or Walker? Volunteers are needed at Responsible Runners Gold Coast to help clean up our beaches and waterways - and to implement strategies to combat issues. 

Get involved in greening the Gold Coast. Click here to visit the Beaches to Bushland website!

Welcome to our new members:

PlatypusWatch Gold Coast


Lincoln McNab
Colin Giddings
Carlos Figueroa 
Jess Argenti 
Mariana Ballestring 
Brodie McMahon 
Brooke Maetam
Jaymond Loong 
Mollie Cox
Karen Lee
Tracey Munro 
Rebecca Anthony 
Emily Schuyler 
Dmitri Medveodko 
Tim Bennett
Zak Webster 
Estefania Luna
Laura Affleck 
Sarah Barnes
Chris Jarret 

Want to share a story? Contact the Association today. 

Copyright © 2014 Gold Coast Catchment Association
All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO BOX 1206 BC Southport 4215 
Our ABN: 78 301 619 713 
Our website:

Much appreciation to our members, supporters and friends of Gold Coast's catchments.