Fresh Blog

News as it happens - discussion; views; topics; information

Fossil Free SA

Ashleigh Coombs - Tuesday, August 06, 2019

I'm writing on behalf of Fossil Free SA about our new campaign asking the SA state government to ban all new fossil fuel exploration and extraction in SA and to reverse their recent invitation for bids for oil and gas exploration licences in the Cooper/Eromanga and Otway Basins.

We have launched a petition:

And also an Open Letter that we are inviting SA groups and local councils to co-sign:

Would Friends of Parks SA be happy to support this campaign by adding your name and logo to the Open Letter and/or sharing the petition on your social media?

If you have any questions feel free to ring me to discuss.


Margaret Hender 
0413 639 592

cedamia website
Climate Emergency Declaration website
CORENA website

Consultation on SA Threatened Species Schedule Updates

Ashleigh Coombs - Monday, July 22, 2019

You are invited to provide comment on proposed changes to the conservation status of species listed in Threatened Species Schedules 7, 8 and 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.

The proposed changes to the Threatened Species Schedules include 65 changes in status including:

  • 30 species listed for the first time
  • 15 species up-listed to a more threatened category
  • 5 species down-listed to a less threatened category
  • 15 species to be de-listed from the Schedules
  • Amendments are also proposed for changes to the names of 79 plant and 138 animal species and/or the families they are classified within to reflect updates the taxonomy and/or nomenclature since the last update of the Schedules.

    More information can be found on the Department’s website here and a full list of the updates is included in the attached consultation document. Your responses will help to update the conservation status listing of threatened plants and animals in South Australia and ensure that conservation efforts are appropriately directed. Suggestions for priority assessments of species not listed here will also be considered for inclusion in the ongoing assessments work plan.

    Comments relating to the eligibility of these species for the recommended status classifications and criteria, together with additional information relevant to the assessments, should be sent to:

    Comments will be accepted until 16 August 2019.

    Yours sincerely,

    Conservation and Threatened Species Unit
    Conservation and Wildlife Branch | National Parks and Wildlife
    Department for Environment and Water

    Amendments to the Status of Threatened Species in South Australia Amendments to the Status of Threatened Species in South Australia (1572 KB)

    Wanted: Volunteer Key Biodiversity Area Guardians for South Australia’s nature hotspots

    Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, July 11, 2019

    What is a KBA?

    South Australia has many areas of outstanding natural beauty. Some of these areas are home to globally important populations of threatened species and have been internationally recognised as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). Through their link with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, KBAs inform and direct the conservation efforts and funding of governments and NGOs.

    What does a KBA-Guardian do?

    BirdLife Australia runs a KBA-Guardian program to grow and support conservation work in KBAs by individuals and groups. In South Australia 31 of 39 KBAs are still in need of a KBA Guardian (see Map below).

    The KBA-Guardian role can very much complement and benefit the work of ‘Friends of Parks Groups’.

    This is what being a KBA-Guardian entails:

    - Completion of an annual ‘KBA Easter Health-check’ which summarizes the threats, monitoring and conservation efforts in a nationally and internationally comparable format. The time required for that is between 2-10 hrs per year.

    All other KBA-Guardian activities are optional and are really driven by the KBA-Guardian’s skills and interests and the needs of the KBA. Volunteer KBA-Guardians and Guardian groups around the country engage in structured bird monitoring, tree planting, creating signage, info material even a calendar, conservation advocacy and submissions to planning processes at various levels of government and frequently close collaboration with National Parks and other government agencies.

    How can KBAs work for Friends of Parks Groups?

    Much of what Friends of Parks Groups do is of course aligned very much with the conservation work KBAs need. So, engagement with KBAs adds little extra work to what friends groups do but can help them refine and achieve their conservation goals. Existing Guardians have been using KBAs and their global recognition to:

    - Raise funds and add to funding applications

    - Increase awareness for importance of their work

    - Take a second look at the area they work in

    - Create interest for their work with Government agencies

    - Engage landholders

    - Report on their work

    - National and international bench marking of their work

    How can I or my Friends group become a KBA-Guardian?

    If you are interested and want to know more about becoming a KBA-Guardian please get in touch with BirdLife Australia’s KBA Program Leader Golo Maurer on 0467 444 114 or

    Map # Name Availability
    1 Simpson Desert Available
    2 Goyder Lagoon Available
    3 Granite Downs Taken
    4 Coongie Lakes Taken
    5 Lake Eyre Available
    6 Strzelecki Desert Lakes Available
    7 Bulgunnia Available
    8 Mount Lyndhurst Available
    9 Gammon Ranges & Arkaroola Available
    10 Lake Torrens Available
    11 Flinders Ranges Available
    12 Boolcoomatta, Bindarrah & Kalkaroo Stations Available
    13 Tourville & Murat Bays Available
    14 Nuyts Archipelago Available
    15 Gawler Ranges Available
    16 Seagull Lake (Eyre Peninsula) Available
    17 Venus Bay Available
    18 Spencer Gulf Available
    19 Lake Newland Available
    20 Riverland Mallee Taken
    21 Investigator Islands Available
    22 Goose Island (Spencer Gulf) Available
    23 Coffin Bay Available
    24 Sir Joseph Banks Islands Available
    25 Gulf St Vincent Taken
    26 Billiatt Taken
    27 Peebinga Available
    28 Troubridge Island Available
    29 Wedge Island Available
    30 Southern Yorke Peninsula Taken
    31 Lakes Alexandrina & Albert Taken
    32 Wyperfeld, Big Desert & Ngarkat Available
    33 Kangaroo Island Taken
    34 Coorong Available
    35 Gum Lagoon Available
    36 Watervalley Wetlands Available
    37 Lake Hawdon System Available
    38 Discovery Bay to Piccaninnie Ponds Taken
    39 Arcoona Lakes Available

    KBA map 2019 KBA map 2019 (1490 KB)

    Environmental Science 2019

    Ashleigh Coombs - Tuesday, July 02, 2019

    Meetings International welcomes all the participants from all over the world to attend 5th World Congress on Environmental Science scheduled in Toronto, Canada during August 19-20, 2019.

    The point of Environmental Science 2019 is to unite Scientists, Researchers, teachers, Business delegates, students and research associates to tell about their experience and knowledge and also about the research they are working on. 



    Environmental Science 2019 conference abstract submission link -


    Invitation to a 'Happy Retirement’ farewell for Glenn Gale

    Ashleigh Coombs - Wednesday, March 20, 2019

    Message from the Landcare Association of SA Chairperson, Sheree Bowman.

    As many of you are aware, LASA’s Executive Officer Glenn Gale is retiring at the end of the month. We will be hosting a ‘Happy Retirement’ farewell for Glenn and it would be great if you could come along to thank him for the amazing work he has done over the last 4 or so years and the support he has provided many Landcarers, our partners and the association.

    Please forward this invitation through your networks. Thank you.

    Date: 27th March 2019

    Time: 2:30pm

    Place: Strathalbyn Natural Resource Centre, 6 Catherine Street Strathalbyn

    RSVP: Sheree Bowman by COB 26th March for catering purposes. or 0422 468 996

    Kind regards,

    Sheree Bowman


    Landcare Association of South Australia

    PO Box 157 Littlehampton SA 5250
    P: 0422 468 996 | E: | L: Sheree Bowman
    Twitter: @LandcareSA Facebook: LandcareAssociationofSA


    KI accommodation proposal at Flinders Chase National Park

    Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, February 14, 2019

    19 March 2019

    My wife and I attended the rally at Parliament House in support of the Friends of Parks KI. It was encouraging to see around 30 Friends groups represented in the 500 strong crowd. There is clearly significant concern amongst Friends Groups and members of the public, about this governments plans to develop inside National Parks. If this development is allowed to proceed, in this most remote, wild and pristine of our National Parks at Flinders Chase, nothing will stop development in the other Parks.

    I ask the Board to use its influence with Government ministers and departments to have this development moved to a more appropriate location in the park . Locations near the already established campgrounds on the Wilderness Walking Trail would be acceptable to most people.

    Can you do more to inform and encourage other Friends Groups to take a stand?


    Andrew Jessup


    Hi Everyone

    I have just posted up a statement by the Board in relation to the KI accommodation proposal at Flinders Chase National Park. This came about after the Friends of KI Western District approached the Board to represent their views and concerns to Executive management of DEW, regarding the proposal and the associated community consultation process.

    Myself and Carole Pinnock (a Board member as well as representing the Friends of KI West), met on many occasions with John Schutz CE DEW, Grant Pelton A/Director Parks and Regions, and the KI developers to work through the proposal and the local community’s concerns regarding the development’s footprint within the park. The Board held an extra-ordinary meeting 2 weeks ago to discuss the proposal with the developer as well as DEW management.

    At this stage, there is broad agreement that the community consultation wasn’t satisfactory, and to this end the Board is still in discussion with senior management as to how future development proposals in parks are to be enacted and how the Friends group and the community will be engaged.

    At last week’s Board meeting, the Minister for Environment and Water, David Spiers MP, spoke to the Board about his commitment to DEW’s core business of conservation and biodiversity management in the State’s national parks, and the importance of effective, early community consultation regarding any development proposals.

    The Board’s statement is therefore a reflection of many discussions with all stakeholders over many weeks. It is a principled position that seeks to support and validate the independence of member groups to make their own decisions, and places clear expectations on DEW as a genuine partner in park management.

    If you could direct any feedback to the Board around this to Ian Radbone, (in Pam’s absence), he will direct that back to the Board.

    Many Thanks

    Duncan MacKenzie, President



    Friends of Parks Inc statement concerning development in National Parks and the proposed luxury accommodation in Flinders Chase National Park

    General Statement

    Friends of Parks Inc believes that commercial developments in parks should be consistent with the Park’s Management Plan and only occur after careful consideration of the environmental impact and full public consultation.

    Friends of Parks (FOP) are a strong and respected working partner of DEW. The FOP Board has an expectation that there will be early and transparent communication with local Friends of Parks member groups when developments in their Parks are considered. We support the right of Parks groups – as independent groups – to have at times a differing view on developments in their parks and for the Group to readily express these views.

    Flinders Chase Accommodation Development

    It is agreed in relation to Friends of Parks Kangaroo Island Western Districts (FOPKIWD) and the Flinders Chase accommodation development,

    1. DEW will seek to facilitate FOPKIWD to make a submission the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) currently considering the Flinders Chase development, the findings from which are due in February 2019

    2. The Board is disappointed that early and transparent communication with local Friends of Parks member groups and the local community did not occur regarding this development

    3. As a consequence FOPKIWD have withdrawn their labour in the park and in preparation for the Flinders Chase Centenary Celebration. If this continues, then in support, the President of FOP Inc. Board will also withdraw from the steering committee for the Centenary Celebration

    4. While the Board has not supported universal withdrawal of labour by Friends groups on this issue, the Board is clear that each member group has a right to choose to do so, or to support FOPKIWD in other ways that are thought to be helpful

    5. It is noted that Australian Walking Company (AWC) stated they would like to actively engage with Friends of Parks groups on Kangaroo Island and are actively seeking ways in which this could occur. Friends groups may consider talking to AWC about this possibility.



    Rotary Club of Burnside Inc 2019 Awards

    Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, January 17, 2019

    Nominations for the Rotary Club of Burnside’s Parks Awards featuring recognition for service in ‘Leadership in Conservation’ and ‘Volunteer of the Parks’ are now open, and will close on 28 March, 2019.

    As they did in 2018, Rotary is pleased to continue with the award criteria as follows:

    • Volunteer of the Parks award - open to anyone who is going above and beyond as a volunteer looking after our natural resources whether on park or on other land, whether they be from a Friends of Parks Inc. member group or other environmental group
    • Leadership in Conservation award - this now includes employees from other departments and agencies, perhaps working on a DEW project, but not necessarily, and who fit the criteria of being a leader and role model to others, being innovative and thinking/working with a view to the future.

    The Rotary Club of Burnside Inc. has also kindly agreed to provide the following monetary prizes to the winners:

    • Volunteer of the Parks - $500 towards a project of their choice, or some sort of professional development
    • Leadership in Conservation - $500 towards professional development e.g. training course, conference

    Funds will be available until 30th June 2020 for the winners, who will need to inform Rotary when they find a suitable course, project etc.

    The presentation this year will be a two course luncheon at the Hackney Hotel , on Sunday, 26 May , at 12.00 pm at $55 per person, (please see online invitation below).

    You can book by clicking on the link in the invite, or by going to directly to the TryBooking site:


    Pam Smith
    Grants and Volunteer Program Administration Officer

    Rotary Parks Awards Rotary Parks Awards (4348 KB)

    Rotary Nomination Form - Leadership Rotary Nomination Form - Leadership (1633 KB)

    Rotary Nomination Form - Volunteer Rotary Nomination Form - Volunteer (256 KB)

    DEW on-park 'Volunteer Support Grants' 2019/2020

    Ashleigh Coombs - Tuesday, January 08, 2019

    Dear Friends of Parks member groups

    The Department of Environment and Water is pleased to continue supporting the Volunteer Support Grants for 2019 - 2020.

    Up to $60,000 is available for grants up to $5000 each and are open to Friends of Parks member groups and other volunteer groups for on ground projects within gazetted NPW reserves.

    Grant News/DEW 'Volunteer Support Grants' 2019/2020

    SA butterflies and moths new website launched

    Ashleigh Coombs - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

    Following the successful launch of the SA butterflies and moths website authored by Roger Grund and re-designed by Fan Feng from Carnegie Mellon University I am delighted to provide you with the link to the new website as follows:

    Please have a look and feed free to send back any comments and we will pass them onto Fan.

    If you are using an old Internet Explorer browser you may receive a message to upgrade to one of the newer browsers e.g. Google Chrome or Edge as the website is best suited to newer browsers.

    Jan’s email for comments is

    Sincere thanks to those members who assisted financially to support this project, your help is very greatly appreciated.

    Merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year.

    Look after yourselves and your butterflies over the festive season.

    Cheers, Gil Hollamby,

    BCSA Membership Officer

    Centrelink Opportunities

    Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, November 01, 2018

    Hi everyone

    A great opportunity to recruit new members, from all age groups and experience levels.

    Both Friends of Parks Inc. and DEW are registered hosts for Centrelink programs,

    i.e. ‘Work for the Dole’, ‘Over 50’s’, ‘Newstart’, etc.


    What that means is that any group that may receive requests from individuals who are participants in any of these programs, can formally sign them up to work community hours (usually 15 hours a week), as part of their ‘mutual obligation’ requirement of receiving the Newstart allowance.

    If you know of someone who might be interested in such an arrangement, you can approach them, and if they are interested, they then go back to Centrelink to get the appropriate forms for your signature, and Centrelink’s final approval – in other words you don’t have to wait to be approached, you can be pro-active if you wish.

    If you do have someone wanting to undertake their ‘mutual obligation’ hours with your group:

    • 1.let our Secretary, Pam Smith ( ) know, so that she can provide you with the Friends of Parks Inc.

    Centrelink registration (host) number.

    • 2.Your group President/Secretary/Membership Officer can then fill in the documents from Centrelink, including the host
    • number, and the person will be able to commence with your group.
    • 3.You will probably need to ‘sign off’ on a work diary, so that the person can submit that as evidence to Centrelink. We will
    • keep a register of those who have enrolled.

    If you group already has its own Host number, can you please let Pam know, and the details of the person/s (name, address, start date), and your Host group number, for our records. There are several groups individually enrolled as Hosts under this scheme. Also, if your group already has some Centrelink participants, can you please let Pam know, for the records.


    Duncan MacKenzie OAM



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