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199904 [2016/01/20 10:00]
kennettj
199904 [2016/05/13 23:55] (current)
kennettj
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 ====== Letters to the Editor ====== ====== Letters to the Editor ======
- 
  
 **Fire Sale of Coolana** ​ **Fire Sale of Coolana** ​
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 Originally circulated at the March AGM Originally circulated at the March AGM
  
-1. Where did the money to buy Coolana come from?+1. Where did the money to buy Coolana come from?\\
 Purchase cost of $4,060 was funded by North Era Trust $1,557 Purchase cost of $4,060 was funded by North Era Trust $1,557
 SBW Special Fund $1,000 SBW Special Fund $1,000
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 Dot Butler advanced $3,000 of her own money to secure the property pending the club arranging finance. The original North Era Trust was formed from members'​ and the public'​s donations for the purpose of preserving bushland in its natural state. (See Alex Colley'​s article on page II of this issue.) Dot Butler advanced $3,000 of her own money to secure the property pending the club arranging finance. The original North Era Trust was formed from members'​ and the public'​s donations for the purpose of preserving bushland in its natural state. (See Alex Colley'​s article on page II of this issue.)
  
-2. How is the ownership identified? ​+2. How is the ownership identified? ​\\
 On purchase the land titles for Coolana were vested in a Trust with three Club Members as trustees. The ownership was transferred to the SBW when the club became incorporated. On purchase the land titles for Coolana were vested in a Trust with three Club Members as trustees. The ownership was transferred to the SBW when the club became incorporated.
  
-3. What does Coolana cost to keep? +3. What does Coolana cost to keep? \\
 A "​Coolana Fund" was established by Dot Butler and assistance sought from others to provide funds for the upkeep of Coolana including rates and maintenance costs. By 1982, the fund had grown to $10,500, including donations from : A "​Coolana Fund" was established by Dot Butler and assistance sought from others to provide funds for the upkeep of Coolana including rates and maintenance costs. By 1982, the fund had grown to $10,500, including donations from :
-D Butler Fund for Conservation $5,012 +D Butler Fund for Conservation $5,012, 
-Marie Byles Fund for Conservation $1,305 (set up with money left to Dot Butler in Marie Byte 's will) +Marie Byles Fund for Conservation $1,305 (set up with money left to Dot Butler in Marie Byte 's will), 
-M Davidson Fund for Conservation $2,937+M Davidson Fund for Conservation $2,937,
 Natural Areas Ltd $450 Natural Areas Ltd $450
  
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 Coolana does not impose a burden on the Club finances. In the last ten years the fund income was $21,633 and expenditure $17,256 ie a surplus of $4,377. This is after the purchase of lawnmowers and other equipment. ​ Coolana does not impose a burden on the Club finances. In the last ten years the fund income was $21,633 and expenditure $17,256 ie a surplus of $4,377. This is after the purchase of lawnmowers and other equipment. ​
  
-4.Does Coolana have conservation value?+4.Does Coolana have conservation value?\\
 The land has very high conservation value. It forms part of a natural cliff-line link from the upper part of Kangaroo Valley down to Tallowa Dam and the Morton National Park. This cliff-line is home to threatened species including one of the remnant colonies of brush-tailed rock wallabies, presently located in the vicinity of our property. Kangaroo Valley has been allocated $135,000 (over three years) for protection of this species. The National Parks and Wildlife Service are assisting us, and our neighbours, in identifying threatened species of flora and fauna in the Kangaroo Valley. ​ The land has very high conservation value. It forms part of a natural cliff-line link from the upper part of Kangaroo Valley down to Tallowa Dam and the Morton National Park. This cliff-line is home to threatened species including one of the remnant colonies of brush-tailed rock wallabies, presently located in the vicinity of our property. Kangaroo Valley has been allocated $135,000 (over three years) for protection of this species. The National Parks and Wildlife Service are assisting us, and our neighbours, in identifying threatened species of flora and fauna in the Kangaroo Valley. ​
  
 A study entitled "​Survey Of Vertebrates Fauna of Tallowa Dam Road", conducted by Michael J. Murphy (Zoologist/​Ecologist) in 1995 "​revealed a total of 127 vertebrate species: 28 mammals, 76 birds, 12 reptiles, 8 amphibians and 3 fish. Seven species listed on Schedule 12 of the NSW NPWS Wildlife Act (1974) were recorded in the area. Suitable habitat exists for another eleven species listed on Schedule 12. Six species which were recorded in the area are considered regionally significant because they are scarce, are ecological specialists,​ or are declining in abundance. Seven species of fauna are listed as presumed extinct within the study area. 340 fauna records obtained during this survey have been given to the NSW NPWS, for inc1usion in the Service'​s Database."​ (A copy of this study with list Of identified species is in the Club Archives) A study entitled "​Survey Of Vertebrates Fauna of Tallowa Dam Road", conducted by Michael J. Murphy (Zoologist/​Ecologist) in 1995 "​revealed a total of 127 vertebrate species: 28 mammals, 76 birds, 12 reptiles, 8 amphibians and 3 fish. Seven species listed on Schedule 12 of the NSW NPWS Wildlife Act (1974) were recorded in the area. Suitable habitat exists for another eleven species listed on Schedule 12. Six species which were recorded in the area are considered regionally significant because they are scarce, are ecological specialists,​ or are declining in abundance. Seven species of fauna are listed as presumed extinct within the study area. 340 fauna records obtained during this survey have been given to the NSW NPWS, for inc1usion in the Service'​s Database."​ (A copy of this study with list Of identified species is in the Club Archives)
  
- +5. Who uses Coolana?\\
-5. Who uses Coolana?+
 All club members, including prospective members, and their families may use Coolana. In fine weather, each week will see people casually camping with more on the holiday weekends. For instance, last Christmas 35 people enjoyed the facilities, at Easter six families. Up to 100 people have attended the Club's annual reunion although numbers have been lower in recent years. The prospectives'​ training weekends are held every three months, attracting between 15 and 30 members each time. All club members, including prospective members, and their families may use Coolana. In fine weather, each week will see people casually camping with more on the holiday weekends. For instance, last Christmas 35 people enjoyed the facilities, at Easter six families. Up to 100 people have attended the Club's annual reunion although numbers have been lower in recent years. The prospectives'​ training weekends are held every three months, attracting between 15 and 30 members each time.
  
-6. Is camping and access to the river flats secure?+6. Is camping and access to the river flats secure?\\
 There has been no indication from Sydney Water that our use of the river flats will be discontinued. Our license to use these river flats has been renewed. There are alternative camping sites available on our land adjacent to the river flats, close to the shelter shed. There is no suggestion from the Sydney Water or NPWS (future managers of Sydney Water land) that access to the river will be denied. There has been no indication from Sydney Water that our use of the river flats will be discontinued. Our license to use these river flats has been renewed. There are alternative camping sites available on our land adjacent to the river flats, close to the shelter shed. There is no suggestion from the Sydney Water or NPWS (future managers of Sydney Water land) that access to the river will be denied.
  
-7. Are there alternative camping sites for large groups?+7. Are there alternative camping sites for large groups?\\
 It is becoming more difficult to find such camping sites. NPWS have imposed site limits in national parks and permits (with fees) may be introduced. It is becoming more difficult to find such camping sites. NPWS have imposed site limits in national parks and permits (with fees) may be introduced.
  
-8. Does weed control place an intolerable burden on our members?+8. Does weed control place an intolerable burden on our members?\\
 The river flats were cleared of weeds (with assistance from Sydney Water). The challenge now is to prevent reseeding for a further two to three years. Natural grass is being encouraged and indigenous trees planted (re-growth is occurring). This will return the area to its natural state and continuous mowing will not be required. Weeding is carried out by volunteers who willingly give their time for the benefit of Coolana. The river flats were cleared of weeds (with assistance from Sydney Water). The challenge now is to prevent reseeding for a further two to three years. Natural grass is being encouraged and indigenous trees planted (re-growth is occurring). This will return the area to its natural state and continuous mowing will not be required. Weeding is carried out by volunteers who willingly give their time for the benefit of Coolana.
  
-9. What is a Voluntary Conservation Agreement and how will it affect Coolana?+9. What is a Voluntary Conservation Agreement and how will it affect Coolana?\\
 A Voluntary Conservation Agreement is a contractual agreement, legally binding on the landholder, all future landholders,​ and the NPWS as the agent of the Minister. It may be varied or terminated if both the owner and the Minister consent. The conservation agreement is intended to protect the natural conservation values of land. Amongst other things it encourages the study, preservation,​ protection, care and or propagation of native fauna and flora. It may well reflect the intentions of those earlier members who raised or donated funds for the purchase of Coolana. A Voluntary Conservation Agreement is a contractual agreement, legally binding on the landholder, all future landholders,​ and the NPWS as the agent of the Minister. It may be varied or terminated if both the owner and the Minister consent. The conservation agreement is intended to protect the natural conservation values of land. Amongst other things it encourages the study, preservation,​ protection, care and or propagation of native fauna and flora. It may well reflect the intentions of those earlier members who raised or donated funds for the purchase of Coolana.
  
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 perpetuating the conservation values of our property. Our existing use of the land and possible extension of these uses can be safeguarded in the management agreement. Assistance from the NPWS may include funding for equipment/​materials and staffing for flora and fauna surveys, weed control and elimination of feral animals such as foxes, pigs and goats. Rate and land tax relief are also possible -see Item 11. perpetuating the conservation values of our property. Our existing use of the land and possible extension of these uses can be safeguarded in the management agreement. Assistance from the NPWS may include funding for equipment/​materials and staffing for flora and fauna surveys, weed control and elimination of feral animals such as foxes, pigs and goats. Rate and land tax relief are also possible -see Item 11.
  
-10. What are the financial advantages of a Voluntary Conservation Agreement?+10. What are the financial advantages of a Voluntary Conservation Agreement?\\
 Shoalhaven Council have indicated that new legislation now permits them to grant rate exemption for properties or sections of properties covered by a VCA. The council has also indicated that some rate relief may be granted a Wild Life Refuge if the management plan for the sanctuary excludes the erection of buildings etc. Coolana rates last year were $1300. NPWS have indicated that funding is available and, depending on the management plan obligations,​ they could assist us financially with weed eradication,​ basic road maintenance (for fire and management access), fencing and feral animal control. Funds for Voluntary Conservation are specifically granted under State legislation and are held separately from other NPWS funding. Exemption or relief from Land Tax is also available. Shoalhaven Council have indicated that new legislation now permits them to grant rate exemption for properties or sections of properties covered by a VCA. The council has also indicated that some rate relief may be granted a Wild Life Refuge if the management plan for the sanctuary excludes the erection of buildings etc. Coolana rates last year were $1300. NPWS have indicated that funding is available and, depending on the management plan obligations,​ they could assist us financially with weed eradication,​ basic road maintenance (for fire and management access), fencing and feral animal control. Funds for Voluntary Conservation are specifically granted under State legislation and are held separately from other NPWS funding. Exemption or relief from Land Tax is also available.
  
-11. Has the Club committed itself to a Voluntary Conservation Agreement ?+11. Has the Club committed itself to a Voluntary Conservation Agreement ?\\
 A sub-committee (Bill Holland, Rosemary McDougall, John Poleson and Patrick James) was appointed 11 April 1998 to investigate the possibility of entering into a VCA. Progress has been reported in the Club magazine and at general meetings. Current negotiation with NPWS has been deferred due to NPWS commitment to other properties and to our hesitation into entering into such an agreement. However, the NPWS have advised that they are willing to assist us in preparing a Management Plan for Coolana as a wildlife sanctuary. This is a requirement under the relevant Act and will form the basis of a VCA should club members decide to proceed. A sub-committee (Bill Holland, Rosemary McDougall, John Poleson and Patrick James) was appointed 11 April 1998 to investigate the possibility of entering into a VCA. Progress has been reported in the Club magazine and at general meetings. Current negotiation with NPWS has been deferred due to NPWS commitment to other properties and to our hesitation into entering into such an agreement. However, the NPWS have advised that they are willing to assist us in preparing a Management Plan for Coolana as a wildlife sanctuary. This is a requirement under the relevant Act and will form the basis of a VCA should club members decide to proceed.
  
199904.txt · Last modified: 2016/05/13 23:55 by kennettj