Newsletter - January 2018

Welcome to a New Year in the Molonglo Catchment!

A note from the President of Molonglo Catchment Group
Karen Williams

The Christmas-New Year break came as welcome relief to MCG staff and Board members in 2017. As the year drew rapidly to a close, meetings and consultation workshops ran almost back-to-back to ensure MCG’s project proposals for the next five years were ready to meet the ACT NRM’s National Landcare Program Expression of Interest deadline. We are now completing our submission to the NSW South East LLS survey.

I want to thank our member groups and project partners for sharing their solid advice and insight, increasing the depth and integrity of our submissions immensely.

MCG recognises the value of communicating with our members and partners and we will hold more workshops and meetings throughout the coming year. Willingness to share and truly collaborative partnership underpins MCG program ethos. I’m sure you’ll find this newsletter illustrates just that. What a great few months we have ahead of us!


Soil workshop
MCG's Alice McGrath leads a Soil Erosion Workshop for Landholders in Royalla and surrounding region


Cool Burns Workshops and new regional network

Molonglo Catchment Group are collaborating with traditional custodians, interested land managers and Landcare networks to run a series of Aboriginal cool burning workshops in the Southern Tablelands this autumn.

It’s hoped the workshops will have both ecological restoration and reconciliation outcomes, while also increasing the adoption of traditional Aboriginal land management practices and exploring what contemporary fire management can learn from traditional fire management.

When: Autumn 2018 – dates TBC


Landcare in the Lower Molonglo River Reserve

Working with new partners and a new community

The Molonglo community of Coombes and Wright is emerging as a strong and proactive new community who have a strong appreciation for their local environment.

We are working with the ACT Parks and Conservation Service and Communities at work in facilitating the formation of a new Landcare group for the area. The group will work on projects in the Molonglo River Reserve, building on the fabulous work already achieved through community planting events and ongoing maintenance of planting sites by committed local volunteers. It is heartening to see the stewardship of the community for their local reserve system and the keen interest in learning about their environment and heritage.

If you are interested in becoming part of this new Landcare group as a member or mentor, contact Janelle at


Weed Control at Bullan Mura

Caring for Ngunawal Pathways

Molonglo Catchment Group in partnership with Friends of Grasslands and Buru Ngunawal Aboriginal Corporation hosted a successful weeding working bee at ‘Bullan Mura’ (Women’s Pathway) - the site of an important Aboriginal women’s area in the heart of Canberra in December.

Ngunawal traditional custodians Karen Denny and Wally Bell spoke to volunteers about the history and cultural significance of the reserve and appropriate Ngunawal land management practices. Located along a traditional Ngunawal ‘pathway’, Bullan Mura is also home to various threatened species and communities including Button Wrinklewort. The activity forms part of the project 'Caring for Ngunawal Pathways – Integrating Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal NRM in Canberra’s northern reserves' funded through a 2016 ACT Environment Grant.

For more information about the project visit To participate in future restoration and cultural awareness activities at Bullan Mura contact Josie Banens

Bullan Mura working bee
Alison and Olivia from TCCS preparing the women's site at Bullan Mura for a community working bee

Environa to Stringybark

Landscape linkages for small bush birds

NSW Environmental TrustMCG's project, ‘Stringybark to Environa landscape link for small bush birds’ conducted in 2015-2016 was recently reviewed as ‘excellent’ and providing ‘long term cumulative benefits’ by the NSW Environmental Trust.

The project protected and improved the condition and conducted weed control on a 20 hectare area of threatened species habitat. Project partners planted more than 1000 plants on a further 12 hectares to improve linkages in the landscape for small migratory bush birds.

This success was achieved through a partnership with Queanbeyan Landcare, Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council, landholders, local community and Holcim Quarry. This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

Vegwatch Update: New Vegwatch site in Fyshwick

Sarah Sharp and Ben Huttner-Koros

A beautiful new Vegwatch site across the road from the new Molonglo Catchment Group office was set-up this summer around an area of very high value natural temperate grassland containing endangered and rare plants including the button wrinklewrot (Rutidosis leptorynchoides) and blue devil (Eryngium ovinum). We will be monitoring this site in future years to ensure it remains in such good condition.

The data recorded each year in this biodiversity monitoring program are added to a database, analysed and used to determine priorities for the voluntary work of Parkcare groups and Molonglo Catchment Group projects. The database now contains more than 5 years of data giving interesting and valuable information on environmental change at survey sites.

Sarah Sharp and Ben HK
Sarah Sharp from Friends of Grasslands works with MCG staff to establish a new Vegwatch site in Fyshwick

20 Million Trees Success

20 million trees program

Molonglo Catchment Group are excited to have received funding from the Commonwealth's 20 million trees program. We will conduct revegetation and enhancement of critically endangered box gum grassy woodlands in the Jerrabomberra Googong area in partnership with local landcare groups, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council, Wandiyali Restoration Trust, Local Land Services, landholders and the local community.

The project will plant 9700 local trees and shrubs to expand and improve the condition of grassy woodlands and provide habitat for a wide range of threatened species. If you would like to get involved with the project or your local landcare group, please get in contact with us by emailing

Waterwatch Update


Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch recently won the ACT Government Citizen Science Award at the 2017 ACT Landcare Awards. We are so thrilled and proud to have won. It is really down to the fantastic contribution of our volunteers, the inspiring leadership and strategic direction given by Woo, and to a bunch of great Waterwatch coordinators, my fabulous colleagues! Not to mention the scientific support from Dan and now Clarissa.

Water bug surveys are another part of Waterwatch that tell us about water quality and what’s going on in the catchment. We came across quite a few “new” water bugs in Spring, so we’re going to put them on Facebook for everyone to see (and be amazed by!). I’m waiting to confirm what some of the unfamiliar water bugs are, but I’ve put up one video that’s really worth checking out, and shows what fierce hunters diving beetle larva are.

Deb Kellock

Mt Ainslie Weeders

News and Upcoming Events from Mt Ainslie Weeders

Mt Ainslie Weeders have a monthly working bee that is held on the first Sunday of each month, starting at 8.30am im summer. New helpers are always welcome to these.

To get involved, contact us at

The next three working bees are as follows:

Sun 4 February—Old Ainslie Tip; we'll be mainly spraying St Johns Wort (if still in flower), remove and bag StJW and hedge mustard and do some maintenance around previous plantings.

Sun 4 March—CleanUp Australia Day; halfway up Mt Ainslie summit road (gate to lower beacon track); we'll be removing rubbish along the road as well as removal of woody weeds in that area.

Sun 1 April—Old Ainslie Tip; removal of horehound, hedge mustard and other weeds as well as plantings maintenance.

There is also a mid week 2 hour weeding session on each Wednesday morning, currently starting at 9am. This is in various locations. Interested people should contact us on to get the times and location of each session. On the good news front we can report that there have been several sightings of the rare and endangered Rosenberg's Monitor in various locations on Mt Ainslie (reported on Canberra Nature Map).

Friends of Aranda Bushland

News and Upcoming Events from Friends of Aranda Bushland

Our summer work parties are on the first Sunday of the month, between 8:30 and 11:30 am. See our website for details:

Weeding: In spring we had a veritable explosion of St John’s Wort in the snowgums reserve and we are determined not to let it set seed. Therefore we are meeting every Sunday morning, instead of once a month, to remove as many as possible of them, especially the ones in flower, as they form each week. We will continue this through the summer, until the St John’s Wort flowering and seeding period is over.

So far we have had seven short work parties as well as our normal monthly ones, and we are very happy with the result.

Erosion control: At our November work party we placed our newly-made coir logs (photograph below left) in a shallow eroded depression, securing them with short star pickets and covering them with branches to prevent the kangaroos from eating them. We also constructed another leaky weir (photograph below right) in the deep erosion gully, using tall star pickets and a length of ringlock netting.

Jenny Andrews

Update from Rivers of Carbon

Burra Banks, Bush and Biodiversity

We are delighted to have funding through the New South Wales Environmental Trust to work with local communities in Burra. Over the next two years Rivers of Carbon – Burra Banks, Bush and Biodiversity will work in partnership with the Molonglo Catchment Group, Greening Australia, South East Local Land Services, landholders, and the broader community to fence out waterways, revegetate riparian areas, undertake strategic erosion control works to improve water quality, and link wildlife habitat.

Using the Rivers of Carbon partnership approach, we will engage six landholders to protect and enhance 24ha of riparian lands along 5km of riparian zone, as well as connecting to a further 300ha of remnant vegetation. On-ground works incentives will enable landholders to undertake works addressing identified problems in the area. We are keen to work with landholders who have properties adjoining, or near the Tinderry and Namadgi Nature Reserves, as our ultimate aim is to connect them to create a stable, structurally diverse, contiguous riparian zone that creates terrestrial and aquatic corridors for wildlife.

In addition to our on-ground activities will be workshops and field days co-hosted with the Molonglo Catchment Group to share the latest science and practice of managing creeks, wetlands and rivers for multiple benefits. The Molonglo Catchment Group shares the Rivers of Carbon philosophy of protect first, restore second and empower local communities to look after their rivers and streams. Our other key Rivers of Carbon partner Greening Australia, has worked with the Molonglo Catchment Group over many years and has expertise based on prior work in the Burra area. Together we are delighted to be working in the Burra region and we would love to hear from you if you would like to join us.

Yes, I would like to know more…

If you are a landholder in the Burra region then get in touch with either Lori Gould or Ben Hanrahan. Alice McGrath from the Molonglo Catchment Group is also involved in this project so feel free to give her a call too.

If you would like to keep up to date with our work in Burra then please subscribe to our free E-newsletter as this will advertise any upcoming activities, you can also visit the website ( and download the free RoC Burra postcard.

Lori: 0439 030 058

Ben: (02) 6253 3035

 Rivers of Carbon