Yellow-Box Dispatch

July 2013

Executive Director's Letter

Hi everyone,
New Sustainable office space 
The staff team at the Conservation Council are now working from our brand new office space, fit out with sustainable and environmentally friendly materials and features, at 15/28 Barry Drive. We are soon launching a ‘Sustainable Office Guide’  as a tool to help other community organisations and businesses become more sustainable in their work practices and work environments. It is well known that the environment and surroundings where you work have a significant impact on your productivity, and the new office space is certainly a more inspiring and motivating place to be in for both staff, member groups and the community. A members and supporters event celebrating the new office opening is currently being planned, but in the meantime feel free to drop by and visit us sometime and check out the new space.
Offsets Policy 
In June the Conservation Council held a discussion forum on the use of biodiversity offsets in the ACT, where participants had the chance to hear from expert Dr Phil Gibbons from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society. The Conservation Council is working on an updated policy on biodiversity offsets in the ACT ahead of the ACT Government releasing its own plan for the ongoing use of offsets in the near future.
Upcoming Forums 
Over the next few months, the Conservation Council will be hosting a number of forums to bring the community together to discuss some key environmental issues. We will be holding a members forum about Kangaroo Management in Canberra, as well as a Federal Election Forum with the lead Senate Candidates in the ACT. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks. 

Julie Melrose

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National Tree Day at Mount Majura  (and hot chocolate!)

When: Sunday 28 July 1pm-3pm 
Where: Meet at the reserve entrance at the intersection between Tay St and Ian Nicol St, 'The Fair' North Watson. View the map here.
Meet your neighbours and make a real difference to the unique and beautiful Mount Majura nature reserve. Join Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury to plant a tree or two, then warm up cold fingers with free hot chocolate and a BBQ. If you want to give the trees an extra bit of TLC after the event, you can adopt your tree, or come along to follow-up working bees on the first Sunday of every month at 9am.
Mount Majura is home to a large patch of nationally endangered Yellow Box - Red Gum Grassy Woodland. Now rare outside of the ACT, this type of ecosystem supports a range of precious plants and animals such as Sugar Gliders, Swift Parrots and the Canberra Spider Orchid. This is your chance to lend a hand and help protect precious natural treasures such as these, in your own backyard. 
Don't forget: Dress warmly with sun protection, covered shoes, long sleeved shirt and long pants. Bring a bucket, garden trowel or small maddock if you have one. Remember to label items with your phone numbers so that we can return lost items. 

For further information email Bec at the Conservation Council.
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Renewable energy target to be legislated in the ACT

Minister Corbell has advised us that the 90 % renewable energy target will be introduced into legislation this year. This is welcome news. Information provided by the Minister also indicates we did achieve the 2012 target of 15% renewable energy by 2012. At the moment the only reporting mechanism of our achievements in meeting our renewable energy targets is via the annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory. The most recent publicly available data, however, is two years old, with the most recent inventory available being for 2009-2010. It states that renewable energy use has increased from 11 % in 2009 to almost 13 % in 2010.
We’d like to see ‘real time’ reporting of both our greenhouse gas emissions and our delivery of the renewable energy target. This is flagged as a possibility in the ACT Government's Action Plan 2, which states that the government will work towards:
  • more comprehensive online data reporting with at least 90% of emissions reported within six months of the end of each reporting year;
  • real-time, or near real time, reporting of Territory electricity and gas consumption and renewable energy generation at the Territory or network area level to support enhanced community engagement;
  • reporting of major indirect emissions including air-travel, and
  • more detailed reporting on fugitive emissions from industry and other sources.
In 2011-12 our renewable energy use was made up of 5% from the ACT Feed-in-Tariff, 29% Greenpower purchases, 44% of our share of the national renewable energy target and 22% NSW hydro.

Indian Mynah Action Group Wins Sustainability Award

Can't view? Try opening in a browser to view images.
Three Conservation Council member groups were recognised for their environment saving efforts at the annual Keep Australia Beautiful ACT Sustainable Cities Awards for 2013. The Canberra Indian Mynah Action Group won the overall top award for their trapping program as well as the Community Action, Partnerships and Culture category award, and the Environmental Stewardship category award. Due to their innovative trapping program, the Indian Mynah has been reduced significantly in Canberra. Mynah's have a significant impact on biodiversity, taking over nesting hollows from native birds and possums, killing chicks and destroying eggs of native birds, and also preying on endangered insects and skinks.
Our other member groups recognised were:
For a full list of recipients see Keep Australia Beautiful.

Image (from Keep Australia Beautiful): Peter McLean, National Executive Officer of Keep Australia Beautiful and Ross Dalton, from the Canberra Indian Mynah Action Group.
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Friends of Aranda Bushland

Member Group Feature

If you would like to get out and about in a beautiful area of bushland then Aranda Bushland is the place for you! The Friends of Aranda Bushland is one of Canberra's most active park care groups who are involved in conserving the natural bushland environment. The Aranda Bushland is a 100 hectare reserve of eucalypt forest and woodland on the southern slopes of Aranda Hill. It adjoins Black Mountain Reserve to the east and The Pinnacle Nature Reserve to the west, and forms part of the significant Canberra Nature Park, which is a network of reserves throughout the national capital.

Membership of the Friends of Aranda Bushland is open to anyone interested in the conservation of local bushland. ON the third Sunday of every month the group undertake activities such as tree-planting and weed control. Find out more about how you can be involved in protecting this beautiful bushland area, while getting out in nature by visiting the Friends of Aranda Bushland website.

Give small business the chance - waste to energy

Guest speaker: Greg Woodward
July 17, 2013 from 7.30 to 9.00pm 
ANU’s Frank Fenner Building, corner of Daley Road and Linnaeus Way
Greg says: I believe the answer to reducing climate change through GHG emissions lies with small business and individuals. Big business is generally too slow to change and driven by shareholder requirements that are based on dividends. There is no perceived profit in reducing GHG emissions, just costs. I will talk about how our small business can make a disproportionate change in GHG emissions.

Support our work

We are a non-profit, non-government organisation. Help safe-guard the ACT's environment by becoming an 'EcoACTivist' with a regular monthly donation. One off donations are also appreciated. All are tax deductible.

How you can help:
  • Make a one off donation here.
  • Make a regular monthly 'EcoACTivist' donation here.
  • Bequest a gift for the future by contacting Clare Henderson, Executive Director.
  • Volunteer your skills and knowledge.
  • Email us with any questions or feedback - we love to hear from you!
Our 'Bush Capital' thanks you!
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