Welcome to our eNews! Oyster Harbour Catchment Group's Noongar seasonal newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the big stories affecting the catchment and what we are up to.
 acknowledge the Minang Bibbulmun people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to the Elders, past, present, and emerging and to the wider Bibbulmun community. 
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Issued: 10/9//2020
Kambarang E-Newsletter

Second spring: October-November

Season of birth: Transformational time of year
Flowers abound, with longer dry periods.

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City of Albany: Clean, green and sustainable?

Are you aware of how the community is becoming more sustainable and how to be involved?

A healthy community takes care of its environment and contains a diverse range of community groups who have the resources and skills to be sustainable into the future. We, the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group, are just one of the many groups working in this area.
The Albany City Council has recently solidified a commitment to foster a healthy/sustainable community by endorsing the City of Albany Climate Change Action Declaration that was developed with Albany Youth Advisory Council (YAC) at the Ordinary Council Meeting on the 27th Oct. This declaration commits the council to seven actions including developing emission reduction targets, developing a climate change communications strategy and continued engagement with YAC.
To get more information contact the City of Albany at 6820 3000 or 

To find out about the other initiatives see the below programs/links
  • Community Capacity Building Program: Providing workshops for community groups
  • Carbon Footprint Reduction Strategy: Encouraging improved energy practices. The city aims to be able to provide improved services and amenities while reducing the City’s energy use and carbon emissions. You can save money, reduce energy and contribute to reducing the impacts of climate change by taking easy steps in your home. Visit these websites for more information:
  •  TravelSmart Albany Initiative: Aims to help community members and visitors to use their cars less and choose alternatives such as walking, cycling and public transport. The initiative helps schools and businesses to plan and implement programs to encourage their students and staff to walk or ride to work and school. The program also helps to promote the benefits of active transport for people’s health and the environment. The early results of the project have been extremely positive, with an increase in active transport rates from 30% in Term 1 of 2019, to 35% in Term 4. See more
  • Carbon Offset and Street Tree Strategy: The City is currently developing a street tree database that will include a Citywide audit of street tree specimens. This information will be used to formulate tree management and planting strategy throughout the City. The planting strategy will enable the City to develop and retain attractive and sustainable streetscapes while reducing our carbon footprint.
  • The City has a Strategic Waste Plan (2014) Analyses the current operations and develops action plans to improve services and reduce waste to landfill. Actions identified include; coordinate a regional approach with adjacent local governments, review of landfill data collection systems, increase recycling to minimise waste stream to landfill, facilitate education programs, manage facilities to best practice and investigate new waste technologies. There is a range of programs and initiatives that the community can participate in to reduce waste and minimise impact on the environment.
  • Nature Reserves Strategy and Action Plan
  • Conservation programs:  South-Western Snake-Necked Turtle Citizen Science App   The City of Albany are seeking citizen scientists and wildlife warriors to assist in protecting Albany’s freshwater turtle species by tracking their sightings on a new Albany Freshwater Turtle web app via the City’s website at
Please take 5 minutes to complete this survey. All responses and information gathered are anonymous.

The purpose of this is to gain a better understanding of cats in society and the environment and cats  behaviour and owners management in the City of Albany and the Cranbrook, Denmark, and Plantagenet Shires. This information will be used to inform us about the community and the cat’s needs to adopt the best cat management.
Click tocomplete survey
Prepare for Summer 
What a landholder has to think about.
There’s a lot to consider if you’re thinking about managing your rural land, especially when preparing for summer. Landholders should start thinking about bush fires, decreased water supply and how that relates to your legal responsibilities for managing declared pest animal/plant and livestock welfare.$FILE/Biosecurity%20and%20Agriculture%20Management%20Act%202007%20-%20%5B02-c0-01%5D.pdf?OpenElement

Managing Pests
Controlling invasive species on your property not only satisfies your legal obligations but limits their imposed risk to your property and livestock/crop as well as potential fuel loads 
Livestock Welfare
Nothing tests your ability to assess your property stocking rate capacity than a hot summer. Assess if you have enough feed/water before the season hits. Do you have an excess? Should you buy more stock. Is it limited? Should you destock now or is it going to be worth carting water/buying feed? Especially as under the BAM act their welfare is your legal responsibility. *Small property owners might not have this livestock responsibility, but can help out their communities by limiting water wastage see 

Bush Fire Preparations
  • Make a Bushfire survival plan (including what to do with livestock) and rehearse with your family.
  • Make a bushfire survival kit including a portable battery-powered radio and spare batteries to enable you to listen to bushfire warnings.
  • Maintain a defendable space of at least 20 m around your home and 5 m around sheds and garages (greater if on a slope). Check fire breaks.
  • Remove leaves from gutters.
  • Slash stubble near sheds/buildings.
  • Check reserve water supplies.
  • Monitor fire danger ratings.
See more details here
Local Champion 

Local Volunteer Shooter, Patrick.
In Australia, feral animals typically have few natural predators or fatal diseases and generally have high reproductive rates. As a result, their populations have not naturally diminished and multiply rapidly if conditions are favourable. Feral animals impact on native species and agriculture by predation, competition for food and shelter, destroying habitat, increase erosion, and by spreading diseases. Local volunteer shooter such as Patrick and property owners that facilitate them. They not only protect our unique native animals and overall ecology but also local farmers productivity.  This takes time and costs them personally in resources with little compensation/ broader community recognition.

When I asked Patrick about this he said
"The farmers are very appreciative and willing to host me on their farms. I don’t hear from the town folk nor do I need too.  Everyone’s just got to play their part and this is mine."

What impact have you had?
"Last year (2019) was the first year I started counting foxes killed (besides doing competition). Mostly I just shoot in the immediate area consisting of 5 odd properties (with explicit permission). Despite the small catchment area still managed to control 187 foxes. I find piggeries, in particular, a goldmine for foxes, they are everywhere due to the constant food source. Doesn’t matter if I have just shot there the previous night, I will still find some more."

"I use a thermal scope which is much more effective than a spotlight and I can knock out a lot more of the resident population which limits the greatest impact on the environment/livestock rather than only getting the opportunistic roamers. For example, I help control foxes on the Yellinup piggery, and though I haven’t managed to permanently get rid of their foxes since I can only manage to do a quarter of the property when I visit, I end up getting 10-12 a night in that one spot. The manager said the months in which I was shooting they got the best yields. Ended up protecting farmers productivity and the surrounding environment."

"Just on my property a lot of pygmy possums have come back and even some brush-tailed phascogales but I think that was more from getting rid of a couple of feral cats. Foxes tend to be more opportunistic eaters of the weak and young. Rather target easy prey such as birds and livestock then hunt down the harder to catch native mammals."

If you wish to do your part and think like Patrick, then protecting farmland and the environment might be your forte. Please do so (with owners permission) you have OHCG's appreciation. Also if you'd like to map/record your effort got to It's easy to run via their app while out and about with support available and confidential. 


Up-coming Events

Sun 27th Dec 2020, to Jan 3rd, 2021.FRIENDS OF THE PORONGURUP SUMMER EXHIBITION email for more info
5th Dec International Volunteer Day
5th Dec World Soil Day
Sun Nov 22, 12:00 am King River Hall's 120th Birthday Celebrations, Albany King River Hall
Tue Nov 24, 10:30 am Bush Heritage – Southwest WA, Museum of the Great Southern
Thu Nov 26, 10:30 am Meeting in the Middle: OHCG's Annual General Meeting Porongurup Village Inn, Shop & Tearooms

Tues Dec 8, 5:45 pm to 8 pm Oyster Harbour Estuary Forum

What has been happening at OHCG?

National Wattle Day
Building Fire Resilient Communities Workshop
National Biodiversity Month
International Day of Clean Air for blue skies
National Threatened Species Day
National Bilby Day
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
Sustainable House Day
World Car-Free Day
World Maritime Day
World Rivers Day
International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction
 Online: Aboriginal Cultural Awareness and Understanding Workshop
Masterclass in Saltland Management WA - Jerramungup
Great Southern Bioblitz
 Scaling Up Ecosystem Restoration Webinar
Uptake trial field walk -Palmdale/Manypeaks

 #CitSciOzOnline2020 Australian Citizen Science Association
Worms, Compost and Soil Fertility Workshop. King River Hall
Carbon sequestration & biodiversity
Australian Wildlife Week
World Habitat Day
World Migratory Bird Day
International Day for Disaster Reduction
World Food Day
National Bird Week
National Water Week
Worms, Compost and Soil Fertility
National Ride2Work Day
NRM Forum Albany Surf Life Saving Club
Community Busy Bee at Yakamia Creek

Biosecurity Month 
Pollinator Week
National Recycling Week
World Fisheries Day
Sun Nov 8, 2:15 pm Potoroos and Pythons Museum of the Great Southern
Tue Nov 10, 8:30 am 43rd Wine Show of WA, Frost Park, Mt Barker
11th Dec International Mountain Day
Fri Nov 13, 8:30 am Help shape the future of the Landcare Farming Program Roundtable  2020
Fri Nov 13, 9:00 am Albany Agricultural Society Spring Fair Albany Agricultural Society

Welcome New and Old Members 

Oyster Harbour Catchment Group (OHCG) has been an incorporated community-based, volunteer organisation that has now been operating for 28 years.

Initially sparked into action by the community’s desire to protect and rehabilitate the Oyster Harbour through the Kalgan River. Since then we have expanded our activities, focusing on preserving all the catchments natural assets and environment, as well as supporting land managers to adopt best practice and farming.

In the past five years alone OHCG has attracted over $1.6 million in project funds, which has then been matched at least dollar for dollar by the community, project participants and OHCG partners. We truly appreciate you showing your support for our actions by becoming/ renewing your membership as it helps us draw more investment into our region.

We wish to reward our 2020 members new and old by entering them into a draw to win a brand-new Weber Baby Q TM Premium BBQ valued at $329 and stainless-steel BBQ set. We also still have some farm bio-security signs as well as information packs that are available free for members on request.


We are currently running 6 projects in the catchment. 
If you wish to be a part of the; Holistic Property Planning, REI's Healthy Estuaries Initiative, uPtake trials, National Landcare Partnership Project, Plantagenet Shire weed control and/or the Albany and Surrounds Feral Cat Working group please check our website or contact us to register your interest or check your eligibility 

Other Help Available
$3000 grant is available for farmers needing drought relief in Albany/Plantagenet Shires.
Primary producers are eligible for this $3000 grant through St Vinnies. It is easy to apply and a quick turnaround to receive the grant.

Water Audit Rebate: Up to $1000 to check your farm's water supply coming into summer

Mental Health Assistance, R U OK? regional mental health

You can find more grant and funding opportunities from the following websites:​​​​​​
The Australian Government Disaster Assist website provides information on financial assistance available for current disasters and information on previous disasters.
Caring for our Country
Department of Agriculture 


What's in Your Backyard

Southwestern snake-necked turtle, Oblong Turtle. Chelodina colliei 

This underwater apex predator can be found throughout the south-west of WA. Living in a variety of freshwater sources including wetlands, lakes, dams and rivers. The carapace (upper shell) ranges in colour from light brown to black, the underside is usually a pale white/yellow. A mature shell length can be between 30 to 40 cm. A very long olive to the grey neck, the head is large and flat with a protruding snout and an unnotched upper jaw. In natural environments, these freshwater turtles are estimated to live for 30-40 years.
Oblong turtles have a particularly interesting feeding technique called the ‘gape-and-suck’ feeding method, where they strike at passing prey quickly enlarging the mouth cavity, which acts like a vacuum sucking the prey into the mouth. They are generalist feeders, and opportunistic carnivores eating a broad range of macro-invertebrates, but can also include carrion, frogs, tadpoles, fish, baby water birds as well as terrestrial organisms that are unfortunate enough to fall into the water. Lack of food will reduce the number of turtles in any given area making some leave the water source. this makes them vulnerable to the elements.
Currently listed as ‘near threatened’ by the IUCN, although its status has not been assessed for 20 years. Luckily in the face of climate change, they do have the ability to migrate when the water source runs out and can survive dry periods by going into a state of dormancy called aestivation, where they burrow into mud or leaf litter and wait out the conditions by lowering their metabolic needs and live on stored body fat. Unfortunately during this time, they are vulnerable to foxes and human activity such as clearing or groundworks. They also become vulnerable to these threats during their 2 nesting seasons Spring and Summer.

The Team

Bruce Radys
Senior Project Officer: Regional Estuaries Initiative

Bruce works part-time, oversees, and helps the other staff and works on the Regional Estuaries Initiative, funded by Royalties for Regions. He aims to improve the quality of water entering the Oyster Harbour through the implementation of fencing and revegetation of riparian vegetation, and working with farmers to implement best practice management, including soil testing in high rainfall areas.

0428 994 408 | 9851 2703

Jenni Loveland
Project Officer: Ferals

Jenni is very passionate about feral animal control and works part-time facilitating a Feral Cat Project and running the Albany and Surround Feral Cat Working Group (ASFCWG). This group concentrates on the issues that we have in and around the catchment with feral cats

0409 572 240 | 9851 2703

Sayah Drummond 
Communications Officer 

Sayah works part-time to ensure landholders and the wider community are aware of and can be involved in, the many exciting projects that the OHCG is up to. This includes the maintenance of our website, InstagramTwitter, Facebook and email list. While also trying to make sure our community/membership interests are reflected in all upcoming works. 

0467 955 317 | 9851 2703
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Copyright © 2018 Oyster Harbour Catchment Group Inc., All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 118, Mount Barker, W.A., 6324

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Oyster Harbour Catchment Group · PO Box 118 · Mount Barker, Wa 6324 · Australia

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