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From November 2010, the Molonglo Catchment Group will produce a Quarterly Newsletter, Your Molonglo Catchment, about recent events and offering advance notice of what's coming up.  You can subscribe to the Newsletter and / or the Web Updates e-Bulletin

We would love to get your feedback on what else you would like to see in the newsletter and hear about your group's activities so we can include them.

The latest Newsletter is also presented below.

Newsletter Contents
January, 2014 ( 1,618KB) MCG Funding Anna See
ACT Centenary Bioblitz Anna See
What's the Buzz with these Bugs? David Dempster
Weed Management Workshops at Burra Don Fraser
Bits and Pieces
Summing up Six Years
Stephen Skinner
February, 2013 ( 1,014KB) Nest boxes — Do they increase biodiversity? by Anna See
It’s your tackle … Look after it! by Stephen Skinner
Invasive Animals CRC update
Rabbit Control Program by Rachel Marks
Friends of Black Mountain - Working Party 2 February by Linda Beveridge
Burra Spray Safe & Save and Weed ID Workshops!
ACT Centenary Bioblitz!
by Rachel Marks
November, 2012 ( 1,742KB) Never judge a brook by its cover...of diatoms - By Stephen Skinner
Friends of Black Mountain - By Linda Beveridge
Heritage Guru's - Friends of Glenburn - By Col McAlister
Biodiversity Monitoring - By Rachel Marks
Carwoola Wildflowers - By Lynton Bond
Oaks Estate Weed ID - By Karen Williams
Opinion Piece - Do we really value mature trees?
June, 2012 ( 1,611KB) Autumn in the Burra Valley
Bye Bye Bunnies
Molonglo and Queanbeyan River rehabilitation: Oaks Estate Planting Day
Fleabane Conyza bonariensis
First Platypus walk for 2012
December, 2011 ( 1,970KB) Look out Rabbits
Sustainable Farming in the Majura Valley
Carwoola Field Days
Water = Life?
Feral Fish
Coordinator’s Report
July, 2011 ( 1,016KB) Rabbits in Royalla
Getting Involved with Waterwatch
Seeing Grasslands
Natives to bring pollinators to your garden
Coordinator’s Report
April, 2011 ( 973KB) Bush on the Boundary-Molonglo Valley
Little Burra Grazing and Riparian Management
Cuumbeun Nature Reserve Walk
Four Pretty, Dangerous Water Plants
Sustainability on Small Farms Wraps Up
MCG Project Funding
MCG Membership
Managing Horses on Small Properties
Coordinator’s Report
December, 2010 ( 758KB) Sustainability on Small Farms
Friends of the Pinnacle - A Whirlwind Year
River Heights
Seeing grasslands with camera
Managing Horses on Small Properties
Queanbeyan Floods
Coordinator’s Report
November, 2010 ( 353KB) An Evening’s Frogwatching along the Queanbeyan
Kosciuszko2Coast Biodiversity and Farming Fair, Sunday 10th October
Carwoola Spring Wildflower Walk
Tree Planting on Burra Road 24 October 2010
Reading the Landscape with David Tongway, 18 September
Coordinator’s Report

Current Newsletter

MCG Funding
by Anna See

2013 was a difficult year as the Molonglo Catchment Group funding came to an end in July and so a new application for Regional Investment Strategy money to support the group’s work for the next 5 years had to be written and submitted with in a very short timeframe.

The Molonglo Catchment Group was successful in its application and so has secured funding into the future. While this is good news, the funding granted was not the full amount that was sought and so Molonglo Catchment Group is running on a very tight budget yet still has large milestones to reach.

Unfortunately, due to the uncertainty around funding, the Molonglo Catchment Group small grants were unable to be offered to members in 2013 but are
now available for 2014.

Molonglo Catchment Group was successful in some other grants during the year: an ACT Heritage Grant, Interacting with the Ngunawal perspective which is being coordinated by Karen Williams, and an ACT Environment Grant, Revegetation of Lower Molonglo after woody weed removal. The Molonglo Catchment Group was also successful in getting funding for Land for Wildlife to run some workshops to help roll out the program in the Molonglo Catchment. This funding was secured thanks to Mel Hillery.

ACT Centenary Bioblitz
by Anna See

The Molonglo Catchment Group was a key organiser for the ACT Bioblitz. A big thank you to Rachel Marks for all her hard work on the Bioblitz; we were sad to see her go once the event had finished.

We teamed up with Atlas of Living Australia, CSIRO and ACT Government to put on this huge event. The Bioblitz comprised scientists, naturalists, citizen scientists and members of the public working together to record a snapshot of Black Mountain’s biodiversity.

We had a great weekend with a total of 28 surveys and 5 workshops held. The surveys recorded a total of 322 species, from a total of 808 recorded sightings. In total we had approximately 453 people attend the event.

The data was recorded electronically to a special ALA portal using Samsung Note smartphones which had been funded through an ACT Environment Grant.

The data can be viewed on the portal at

What’s the Buzz with these Bugs?
by David Dempster

Queanbeyan Landcare recently won a Community Landcare Grant through the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country to try to revive biological control to tackle St Johns Wort. St Johns Wort is a toxic risk to stock and encroaches on our native grasslands.

The focus for this project is the St Johns Wort mite, Aculus hyperici. The aim is to map its current distribution in the region, and if there are gaps introduce the mite to ‘mite free’ areas. Queanbeyan Landcare is working in cooperation with other Landcare groups, such as Royalla and Carwoola, as well as the ACT Government, Queanbeyan, Palerang and Cooma-Monaro Councils and local rural fire brigades to monitor the progress of the mite.

Royalla Landcare were also awarded some Community Partnerships funding from the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority to educate the community on Bio-Control for weeds.

They ran a successful field day in August on biological control agents that are currently available for release to help tackle common weeds threatening box gum woodlands in the region. After attending the workshop, 20 interested landholders were provided with some agents to release on their properties.

In November, Carwoola Landcare and Palerang Council held a Weed Workshop with a focus on St John’s Wort. Queanbeyan Landcare were invited to the workshops to present on their project. Participants were encouraged to bring a sample of St Johns Wort so it could be inspected under a microscope for mites. Surprisingly, none of the plant samples had the mite. Could this mean they were resistant or is it a gap in their current distribution? Once their St Johns Wort Nursery is more established, Queanbeyan Landcare hopes
to make infected plants available to landholders to ensure that the mite is active in the region.

You may have also observed 5-8 mm long black beetles on St Johns Wort plants. These beetles are likely to be one of the two released in Australia, Chrysolina hyperici (metallic bronze) or the slightly larger Chrysolina quadrigemina (metallic blue /green). These beetles were released as bio-control in the 1950s in Australia, and are now endemic. The adult beetle feeds on the leaves and flowers and their larvae feed on the rosette of plants over winter. Unfortunately, their numbers wax and wane over the growing season and they appear to have little overall effect here, despite being a very successful bio control for St Johns Wort in California in the USA.

When managing your St Johns Wort, (or any other weed) it is important to remember that biological control alone will never be successful. Management needs to be an integrated combination of control methods.

Carwoola Weed Workshop, November 2013
Photo: Lynton Bond

If you would like more information on Queanbeyan Landcare’s project, please contact David Dempster on 6297 5608.


Chrysolina beetles
Photo: Lynton Bond

Weed Management Workshops at Burra
by Don Fraser

Towards the end of September, the Molonglo Catchment Group organised a very successful weekend Weeds Workshop in Burra Hall and Park. ACTEW Source Water Protection sponsored the workshop as a service to the community.

About 15 locals and others from as far afield as Carwoola, Bungendore and Little Burra attended.

The presenter, Craig Day from Spray Safe and Save, who has over twenty years experience in weed management, gave an excellent and detailed presentation on the whole gamut of weed management, from when to spray and when not to spray (e.g. not when there is an inversion or very low or very high wind). He discussed several types of pesticide and covered the important legal requirements on their use.

Craig demonstrated the effects of different sizes and types of nozzles and pressures with his own, professional equipment. He then showed the effect of changing nozzles and other fittings on our own, individual backpack sprays to improve results while at the same time reducing chemical usage. I was surprised to find that water used to mix with pesticides should not be alkaline or hard as from a bore (which I have always used in the past).

We thank Craig Day, Anna See (from the MCG) and Miranda Gardner (from ACTEW Source Water Protection) and the sponsors for a very useful and interesting weekend.

Craig demonstrating how to measure out chemicals

Other important bits and pieces!

Molonglo Catchment Strategy review
A while back you may remember participating in a community survey for the Molonglo Catchment Group. The survey provided some valuable insight into the community’s view on environmental issues. Don’t worry, your answers were not lost in cyber space! They were collated and used for the Molonglo Catchment Strategy review. Mel Hillery has done a wonderful job in doing the strategy review which has turned out to be a mammoth task. There have been two committee workshops for the review and it is nearly ready to go out for public consultation.

3D catchment model
The Queanbeyan Men’s Shed kindly built a 3D model of the Molonglo catchment in 2008. In the past year we decided to revamp it by repainting it and adding some LED lights. A big thanks must go to our volunteer, Chanty who designed the programming of the lights and did the installation. Another big thank you to the Queanbeyan Men’s Shed who helped out once again with adding a new base and drilling the holes. The model now has LED lights installed that light up the rivers and towns when the corresponding buttons are pushed. It went to its first event in November and people were very impressed and learnt a lot about the river systems.

Woolshed Creek and Majura Valley
Since our Sustainable Farming in the Majura Valley project and the formation of a stakeholders’ reference group, the Molonglo Catchment Group has been working with Roads ACT to try to get the best outcome for the Majura Valley Landholders and the health of Woolshed Creek.

The realignments of sections of Woolshed Creek have now been completed and Molonglo Catchment Group secured funding from Roads ACT to revegetate the lower part of the creek.

Molonglo Catchment Group has now come to an agreement with Roads ACT to secure funding to revegetate the realigned upper section of the creek and they have agreed to remove blackberry along the creek within the road footprint. Roads ACT have also agreed to put in a fence back from the creek line (along the realigned section) to allow further plantings of woodland species.

Bush on the Boundary Googong: Community, Developers and Council
When there was a heavy downpour of rain on Australia Day 2013, the settling dam of Googong development breached and turned the Queanbeyan River brown. This was my first engagement with Wickerslack Lane residents! The situation forced developers and community to interact and finally pushed through the first meeting of Googong Bush on the Boundary. Fortunately, it was successful with the community being presented with explanations on how the recycled water system works, monitoring being done and sediment control. Questions were asked and answered and the general feeling was positive.

The catchment model at a display at the Botanic Gardens

Replanting in the re-aligned woolshed Creek

Summing up six years
by Stephen Skinner

I know I started in spring 2008, but it wasn’t until a Saturday afternoon in March 2009 that I really engaged with the Molonglo catchment community.

I came with a little knowledge of aquatic plants, a few ideas on macroinvertebrates and some vague background in water quality analysis – and soon I needed to KNOW the lot!
The things went on apace: the fight for Burra Creek; the Queanbeyan Regatta and the Platypus Walks; helping plant Block 100 at the Aboretum; all those new wetlands in the Sullivans Creek area; the various field days, book launches and events; our local Bioblitz; and even more wetlands and … !

I tried to pass on my fascinations and help you broaden your experiences (or at least put a name on some of the things you saw).

My first article was prompted by one of your enquiries [Wendy Hodgman wanted to know if the scum on her bit of the Molonglo was bad] and it went from there.

I have been indulged by you all and learned so much as I was allowed to interpret your catchment for you. Thank you for the privilege and the fun!


For more details on events being run in the Molonglo catchment visit the News & Events page. If you have any questions about events or want to discuss NRM in the catchment please feel free to call me on 6299 2119, email me at coordinator at or drop into the office at Unit 13, Cassidy Arcade, 72-76 Monaro Street, Queanbeyan between 8am and 4:30pm.

The operation of the Molonglo Catchment Group is supported through the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative with the support of ACT Natural Resource Management.

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Last modified: 27/03/2014