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Environmental

Hunt on for aquatic life using eDNA in North Coast rivers

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David Ryan Senior Eco-hydrologist with Department of Planning and Environment eDNA

Hunt on for aquatic life using eDNA in North Coast rivers

 

WORK is ramping up to uncover the secret lives of fish and wildlife that call our rivers home, with water testing kicking off in 20 new sites across Lismore, Byron Bay, Casino and Grafton.

Using state-of-the-art technology, experts from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment are searching more than 250 coastal creeks and rivers across the state for Environmental DNA (eDNA) – pieces of microscopic genetic material naturally left behind by creatures living in or near the water.

A single water sample can reveal which species are present in different parts of our rivers and how they move during their lifecycles – all without scientists having to physically disturb, catch or even see the wildlife.

The data will help uncover vital clues about all river-dwelling creatures, but the team especially hopes to shed light on threatened species including Platypus, Macquarie Perch, Australian Grayling and the Eastern Freshwater Cod.

The results will help the NSW Government make evidence-based water management decisions to better support the environment and aquatic life.

This could include things like ensuring fish passages stay well connected to support breeding and migration or setting water sharing plan rules to better balance the needs of the environment and water users.

Experts have already sampled more than 140 sites across the state, including in waterways across Greater Sydney, the Clarence Valley, the Lower North Coast, the Hunter, the Central Coast, the South Coast and the Bega Valley.

More than 250 sites will be sampled for eDNA by the end of 2024, and the team will continue testing sites at least once every two years as part of the Department’s ongoing Environmental Outcomes Monitoring and Research Program.

A full list of detected species will be published once results are ready to help aid other water management, research and conservation efforts.

David Ryan Senior Eco-hydrologist with Department of Planning and Environment

David Ryan Senior Eco-hydrologist with Department of Planning and Environment

Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said:

“I’m pleased to see teams hitting the ground across the North Coast. Ours is a unique region, home to highly diverse flora and fauna, including threatened species like the Platypus and the Eastern Freshwater Cod. In fact, the Northern Rivers is the most biologically diverse area in the state.

“The more we know, the better we can balance our water use and deliver outcomes supporting fish, wildlife, and the environment.”

Minister for Water Rose Jackson said:

“This is cutting-edge water science, helping us shape water policy to boost the health of our river systems and the many species that call them home.

“This research will contribute to the large body of hard evidence underpinning the state’s water management tools, like regional water strategies, water sharing plans and the analysis informing infrastructure decisions.”

For more information, visit the Department’s website: Surface Water Science

 

For more environmental news, click here.

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Environmental

NSW Government supports Northern Rivers green bin education

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NSW-Northern-Rivers-Breaking-News

NSW Government supports Northern Rivers green bin education

 

North East Waste has received an $89,700 grant from the NSW Government to help educate Northern Rivers residents about what types of waste can and can’t go into FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) bins. The funding aims to ensure that food waste and garden waste such as plants stays out of landfill. It also aims to keep green bins free from contaminants like plastic.

Earlier this year, North East Waste and its member councils (Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Lismore, Kyogle, Richmond Valley and Tweed) announced that Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) bins should now only be used for food scraps and garden waste. This means that materials like paper, cardboard and teabags do not go into green bins as they can contaminate the final compost made from the organic content.

North East Waste Education Coordinator Linda Tohver said the assistance from the NSW Government would help councils to continue promote the right message and increasing awareness in the community.

“The response from community has been positive so far, and we need to keep spreading the word,” Ms Tohver said.

“The messages are simple to follow and will help keep potentially harmful items out of our green bins so that we can create the best quality commercial compost from residents’ food scraps and garden waste.”

What CAN go in your green bin What CAN NOT go in your green bin
Fruit and vegetable scraps Fibre-based products (bamboo, cardboard, paper etc)
Meat and bones Paper towels, serviettes, tissues, napkins
Seafood and shells Compostable or biodegradable products (excluding AS 4736-2006 kitchen caddy liners )
Pasta, bread, rice and cereal Vacuum cleaner dust
Eggs and dairy products like cheese Washing machine and dryer lint
Loose tea leaves and coffee grinds Pet poo and poo bags
Garden waste (leaves, clippings, weeds etc) Tea and coffee bags
Council approved compostable kitchen caddy liners that comply with AS 4736-2006 and the paper used to wrap food scraps. Treated wood and timber
  Plastic

 

For more information, visit here. The ‘Let’s Get our Scrap Together’ campaign is proudly supported by the NSW Government.

 

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Environmental

Never bin your batteries – just B-cycle them

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Community Recycling Centres (CRC) B-cycle

Never bin your batteries – just B-cycle them

Advertorial by Newaste

Batteries disposed of in bins are causing fires in waste trucks and facilities across the country, endangering workers, damaging equipment and wasting a valuable resource that could otherwise be recovered.

To prevent battery fires occurring – Never bin your batteries!

Here’s how to dispose of batteries safely:

  • Remove from appliance
  • Tape terminals with clear sticky tape to prevent short circuiting
  • Place in ventilated glass container and drop off promptly at your nearest B-cycle drop-off point
Community Recycling Centres (CRC)

One of Richmond Valley Council’s Community Recycling Stations, located at the Council Administration Office in Casino where small quantities of handheld batteries can be dropped off for recycling.

B-cycle drop off points are available at many large local high street retailers. To find your nearest, visit bcycle.com.au/drop-off/

Alternatively, you can drop them at one of the regions 8 FREE council run Community Recycling Centres (CRC) or for very small quantities drop them at one of the 30 small council drop off stations (CRS) spread across the region in libraries, community centres and council administration centres. To find out more contact your local Council or visit www.newaste.org.au/crc

Community Recycling Centres (CRC)

Community Recycling Centres (CRC)

This project is a NSW Environment Protection Authority Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy initiative, funded from the waste levy

 

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Environmental

LAND NEAR DRAKE VILLAGE SITE RETURNED TO ABORIGINAL COMMUNITY

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Drake Village

LAND NEAR DRAKE VILLAGE SITE RETURNED TO ABORIGINAL COMMUNITY

 

The NSW Government will return a large parcel of land near Drake Village west of Tenterfield to the local Aboriginal community following a successful land claim.

A total of 104.4 hectares of Crown land across two adjoining blocks at the western edge of the village will be returned as freehold land to the ownership of Jubullum Local Aboriginal Land Council following the land claim by the NSW Local Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC).

Under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, Local Aboriginal Land Councils and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council have a right to lodge land claims on Crown land.

Land claims must be assessed against non-discretionary statutory criteria in the Act, including whether the land was lawfully used or occupied at the time of the claim, or was needed for an essential public purpose.

Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper said: “The return of this land to the Jubullum Local Aboriginal Land Council will ensure the future of this important site can be put to productive use for the benefit of the local community.”

“Returning land to Aboriginal people provides tangible economic, social and cultural benefits to Aboriginal and broader communities and we are pleased to see a positive resolution for this land.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris said:

“The resolution of land claims such as this is a key aspect of Closing the Gap, empowering Aboriginal people and communities.”

“It delivers on several Closing the Gap targets including supporting economic participation for Aboriginal communities and maintaining the connection of Aboriginal people to land and water.”

Drake Village

The NSW Government will return a large parcel of land near Drake Village west of Tenterfield to the local Aboriginal community following a successful land claim.

Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said:

“With the return of this land, we pay our respects to the Traditional Owners, the Ngarabal people, alongside the Jukembal, Bundjalung, Kamilaroi, Githabul and Wahlubul peoples who share a connection to the area. We are proud and privileged to share a rich local history.”

“Through acknowledging the past and our local Aboriginal communities’ connection to Country we will all benefit from deeper cultural understanding, which forms a stronger foundation for a more prosperous future.”

Jubullum Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Michelle Nagas said:

“The approval of this land claim is very exciting. It involves a substantial block of land close to Drake Village which provides strong opportunities.”

“We will have discussions with the land council and consultations with the community on future use of the site.”

NSW Aboriginal Land Council CEO Yuseph Deen said:

“The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) congratulates the Jubullum Local Aboriginal Land Council on the return of country to Aboriginal hands.”

“A key strategic goal of the NSWALC is pursuing economic self-determination, independence and prosperity for Our people.”

“Central to this is land acquisition and activation; securing the highest and best use returns and generating ongoing benefits fosters prosperity for Local Aboriginal Land Councils and Aboriginal communities.’

“This is particularly important in rural and remote areas of NSW.”

 

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