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May 13, 2022

Conservation Society News

Special Guest Invitation 


 South Gippsland Conservation Society and Phillip Island Conservation Society
have been invited to attend the
'We are Cassowary People Workshop'
World Cassowary Day - 25 September 2022
Bingil Bay, Far North Queensland. 

The Committees of Mission Beach Cassowaries Inc and the Friends of Ninney Rise Inc extend special guest status us to attend as observers at an event to celebrate World Cassowary Day at heritage listed Ninney Rise. Ninney Rise is the home of John Busst, the man who drove the declaration of not one but two World Heritage listings - one for the Great Barrier Reef which you can see from the verandahs of the house and the other for the Wet Tropic Rainforests which surround the Bingil Bay property and greater Mission Beach. 

The rainforests are home to the ancient cassowary, up to 70 kgs of stunning avian evolution. Cassowaries are like East African large animals, you can never get enough of them. The Mission Beach community get to cohabitate with these magnificent big birds. 

While September might be among the bleakest of months in South Gippsland, it is the supremely perfect time of year in tropical FNQ. 

In attending, you will rub shoulders with some of the luminaries of tropical conservation and locals alike, learn from those who share your passion of nature but instead of the temperate, live the tropical life, with all of its abundance: You will be expanded and enriched by the experience and among them you will be exposed to: 
  • The language of the Cassowary and how to read them, 
  • Calophyllum magic – come to a BBQ and marvel at the resilience of the monarchs of the shoreline, first protected in 1866 and key component of the Critically Endangered Littoral Rainforest and Coastal Vine Thicket vegetation 
  • And just so you don’t feel completely at sea, a bit of ‘learning by doing’, roll up your sleeves and get down and weed with the locals in full view of the Coral Sea. 
Mission Beach has a range of accommodation opportunities. Ninney Rise is available for camping and there will also be an opportunity to billet with the residents. 

To secure your place at this workshop contact Liz Gallie from Mission Beach Cassowaries. 
Phone: 0414 402 315 Email:

Federal Election - who will you vote for?


Vote Compass has shown that Climate Change is the biggest issue for voters in 2022. We cannot endorse any candidate, but if you're still not sure who will do the best for the environment, check out the latest edition of the Bass Coast Post.

Last week, Catherine Watson spoke to each of the Monash candidates.

You can read the candidate profiles here.

Dandy Premix decision


Like Save Western Port Woodlands, we are also dismayed by the Planning Minister’s decision to approve a massive expansion of a Grantville sand mine despite more than 70 objections.

Richard Wynne’s approval this week permits Dandy Premix to clear 13 hectares of vegetation in the Western Port Woodlands for a new pit, to massively expand its current pit, including digging below the water table, and to wash sand on site.

Read SWPW's full media release here.

We would also like to thank Society member Gerard Drew for his ready-to-go submission generator that made it so much easier to lodge submissions on the Distinctive Areas and Landscapes (DAL).


Project Updates

Thompson Reserve Working Bee - Sunday 22 May

Where: Meet at the Tennis Club carpark
When: 10.00 am - 12.00 pm
Bring: Gloves, hand saw (if you have one) and water
Wear: Sturdy footwear, long sleeves, hat.

We will be removing Pittosporum, cutting, and painting herbicide, and any other weed throughout the site. This is part of future preparation work for a 1300 tubestock planting day in Spring.
Any enquiries please text John Cuttriss 0407 743397.

Moonlit Sanctuary Tour - Saturday 28 May

Expressions of Interest are sought from members who wish to attend Part 3 of the SGCS Presenters Program - The Fur Component.

Moonlit Sanctuary is dedicated to helping save Australia’s endangered wildlife from extinction. Many of the animals kept at the Sanctuary are threatened with extinction. However, just keeping and breeding rare animals is not enough, they must interact with programs aimed at saving them in the wild. They are directly involved in working to save the Regent Honeyeater, Helmeted Honeyeater, Orange Bellied Parrot, Bush Stone-curlew, Tasmanian Devil, Yellow Bellied Glider, Squirrel Glider and Spot-tailed Quoll from extinction. Moonlit Sanctuary also supports field programs where they see they can make a difference.

The first 33 registered will be on the bus leaving the Bunurong Environment Centre Inverloch at 9:00am. We will arrive 10.30am and take a guided tour through the Conservation Program with owner Michael Johnson.

Bring your own picnic lunch or eat at the café.

Attend the Conservation in Action show in the arena and/or explore the facility. Check out the other attractions on the Moonlit Sanctuary website.

Departure time will be 3.00pm arriving at Inverloch at 4.30pm.

The Sanctuary is offering a 10% discount to our members group outing. Their rates are:

Adult (18+) – $26,
Child (aged 4-17) – $13,
Children under 4 are free
Concession (Seniors, Students & Healthcare Card Holders) – $23,
Pensioner (Australian Pension Card Holder) – $21,
Family (2 x Adult + 2 x Child) – $70,
Additional Child added to family pass – $9 

Bus seat cost is $23.00   

Register quickly - there are only 33 seats on the bus!
Register here...

Bunurong Coast Education

What has the Education Working Group been up to?


Over the Easter holiday period the Education Working Group (EWG) ran seventeen Discovery activities plus one school activity for a total of 270 participants. The dinosaur-related activities again proved most popular.   In the first two weeks of term two Mike Cleeland and Aileen Vening ran eleven sessions for students from Marist-Sion College and Bass Coast College (formerly Wonthaggi Secondary College) and two familiarisation sessions introduced 20 Bass Coast Shire employees working in the Inverloch Visitor Information Centre to the range of Discovery Activities we have on offer to the public. Planning is now in hand for the winter school holiday Discovery program.
The EWG is curious about the lack of public take-up of non-dinosaur-hunting activities despite the easing of Covid restrictions. We would like to find out more about why this happens and will seek some feedback from our visitors. We also want to prepare some promotional material to encourage visitors to look at the wider range of Discovery programs we have on offer. The EWG would like to hear from any members who have an interest or experience in promotion or publicity to help develop pamphlets/posters or video material to this end. Contact Nigel Murray on 0407 820 533 if you would like to help.

Coastcare have offered to pay for training in first aid and CPR for any SGCS volunteers who wish to obtain these qualifications and the offer is open until the end of May. Contact Nigel if you would like to find out about doing this.

The Bunurong Environment Centre and Shell Museum now has a listing on Trip Advisor. If you’ve been there, it could do with a few more reviews. There is also a Trip Advisor listing for Dinosaur Dreaming with reviews as far back as 2013. Check them out and add your comments.


Bunurong Environment Centre

Back in stock

Shifting sands : Inverloch - A Fascinating Place by Lis Williams.

We are excited to have this very popular book back in stock. 

It was written twenty years ago. Continuing demand for the now out of print first edition led to the decision to reprint. This is an unedited reprint. The Society acknowledges that while the book may reflect knowledge and understandings of the time it was published, it nevertheless remains a highly popular and relevant book today ... that makes the reader pause for a moment to stand and stare and wonder ... and to ... much better understand the fragility, and strength, of the Inverloch environment.

Public Consultations

Bass Coast Urban Forest Strategy


Bass Coast Shire Council are developing an Urban Forest Strategy to plan 'how we will continue to grow and look after our urban forest'. They say that the strategy will 'drive improvements to help ensure we grow a healthy, green and resilient urban forest that is well managed, protected and provides maximum benefits to our community'.

They are asking for your input via a survey which will be open until 29 May.

For more information and to complete the survey, go to the Engage Bass Coast Website.

Future uses of our forest and immediate protection areas

Help shape the future of the forests in the Strathbogie Ranges and Mirboo North Immediate Protection Areas.

This consultation is now live at Engage Victoria until 29 May.

You can participate by:
  • Looking at the maps and dropping a pin to tell them why this part of the forest is important to you
  • Completing a short feedback form
  • Reading the background information
More info here...

Draft Regulations to ban single-use plastic items in Victoria


This one closes on 15 May, so you'll have to be quick!

Have your say on the draft Environment Protection Amendment (Banning Single-Use Plastic Items) Regulations 2022 and the Regulatory Impact Statement that outlines the Victorian Government’s approach to banning single-use plastic items.

You can provide feedback on the draft Regulations and the Regulatory Impact Statement by:
  • completing a survey
  • a written submission 
Find out more...

Climate action: Victoria's emissions reduction target for 2035


Engage Victoria is asking you to share your views on a 2035 emissions reduction target for Victoria, and ideas for how we can reach that target.

You can participate by:
  • attaching a written submission  
  • answering some questions through the surveys provided
  • or do both

There is an issues paper on the site that may help to guide your thinking.

The consultation will be open until 22 May.
Details here...

Other News



Sign up now!

Coastcare Victoria is hosting a series of forums across the Victorian coastline to celebrate volunteers who contribute to the health of the state’s marine and coastal environment. 
Each session is focussed on building the knowledge and capacity of volunteer groups involved in the Coastcare Victoria program so they can further contribute to the improvement and management of Victoria’s marine and coastal environment. 
Three forums will be held across the state’s coastal areas: 
  • Sunday 22 May in Port Melbourne, Bunurong Country: Port Melbourne – Coastcare Victoria Volunteer Forum 2022 Tickets, Sun 22/05/2022 at 9:00 am | Eventbrite
  • Saturday 28 May in Warrnambool, Eastern Maar Country: Warrnambool – Coastcare Victoria Volunteer Forum 2022 Tickets, Sat 28/05/2022 at 9:00 am | Eventbrite
  • Monday 6 June at RACV Inverloch, Inverloch, Bunurong Country: Gippsland – Coastcare Victoria Volunteer Forum 2022 Tickets, Mon 06/06/2022 at 9:00 am | Eventbrite
Each of the forums will be available online for those who are unable to attend in person. 
For more information visit the Eventbrite links above or email.

Fauna Survey


The Coronet Bay Ratepayers & Residents Association (CBRRA) commissioned this Fauna Survey primarily as research to inform and educate the local community. They hoped that having current information about the local fauna would foster greater understanding, awareness and involvement in the conservation of the area.

Their really exciting news is that the “vulnerable” Swamp Antechinus has been found, highlighting the importance and environmental value of the foreshore and surrounding vegetation.

The Fauna Survey will be a useful tool in the ongoing preservation, maintenance and enhancement of the Wang toolome Parnung (Norsemens Road Pond), reserve and surrounding foreshore. Future planning can use the findings to support existing species and encourage greater biodiversity.

They hope the findings will add to everyone's appreciation of these small but vital pockets of remnant vegetation. It also shows how important these areas are in providing links to larger wildlife corridors.

Read the survey results here...

Book Review

Triple Helix: My donor-conceived story 

In her memoir, Conservation Society member Lauren Burns writes about her search for her biological father. 

'Now you're over twenty-one and back from overseas, I've decided it's time to tell you something.'

When Lauren Burns learns she is donor conceived she begins a turbulent journey to discover the identity of her biological father. Battling outdated legislation and a medical culture of silence, she enters a political campaign to pass world-first laws overturning decades of donor anonymity. She must also grapple with the radical rewriting of her history and sense of identity when she finally finds her biological father and discovers she's part of a well-known Australian family.  

Lauren's extraordinary story traverses the many moral and legislative dilemmas of assisted reproductive technology- the rights of the child and the donor, and the strange terrain to be navigated if and when the two parties ever meet. 

More than a memoir, Triple Helix is also a detective drama and a critical examination of the fertility industry. It will open eyes, hearts and minds to the complexities of donor-assisted conception from the other side of the crib. - OUP

You can find the book in all the usual bookstores and online. Lauren recommends a lovely independent bookstore, The Hare and Tortoise in Korumburra. You can also pick it up at Big W in Wonthaggi.

Info from other groups

Gippsland Coastal Protection Update

This quarterly update from DELWP will keep you informed on prevention activities and progress throughout Gippsland, as we face similar erosion challenges to coastal communities right across Australia. 

This newsletter is inclusive of all coastal communities across Gippsland, including:
  • Inverloch
  • Jam Jerrup
  • Mallacoota
  • Betka Beach
You can subscribe to this newsletter here.

Coastcare Victoria Regional Newsletter

This monthly newsletter will keep you in touch with what Coastcare is up to - news, information, events, resources. 

You can subscribe here.

Deadline for contributions

We would love to share your photographs and stories in the newsletter. Please send your contributions by Tuesday 14 June. Email to

Newsletter archive

Read past copies of the newsletter in our archive.
The South Gippsland Conservation Society wishes to acknowledge that the Bunurong and Boon Wurring peoples of the Kulin nation are the traditional owners of this land, over which they have never ceded sovereignty, and we pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.
Copyright © 2022 South Gippsland Conservation Society, All rights reserved.

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