Fresh Blog

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

SA Volunteer Awards Now Open

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, March 23, 2017

South Australian Volunteer Awards Now Open for Application!

The State Volunteer Awards recognise the invaluable work volunteers, community organisations and businesses contribute to the South Australian community.
Nominations are now open in the following award categories:

  • Joy Noble Medal — the highest distinction for individual volunteers in South Australia
  • Premier's Award for Corporate Social Responsibility — acknowledges the invaluable contribution of South Australian businesses that lead change in our community through philanthropy, partnership and corporate volunteering.
  • 'The Andamooka' Community Project Award — recognises volunteer projects of significant community benefit.The South Australian Volunteer Awards will be presented at a Volunteers Day event in June 2017.
    Who can nominate?
    Anyone can nominate and self-nominations are accepted.
    How to nominate
    Follow the link below to download the applicable guidelines and complete the relevant online nomination form:
    Nominations close: 5pm, Friday 21 April 2017

    For more information, contact: Office for Volunteers on 1300 014 712 or via email

Draft Park Management Plans now out for consultation

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, March 23, 2017

Draft Park Management Plans now out for consultation.

Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park Draft Management Plan - comments due by 22 May 2017

Innamincka Regional Reserve Draft Management Plan- comments due 6 June

Witjira National Park Draft Management Plan - comments due 9 June 2017

Link to all:


Jill Woodlands
NGO - Natural Resources Management Facilitator
Part-time 2.5 days - Mon pm, Wed, Thur

Vale Lindsay Best

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, March 02, 2017

Hi everyone

We have received the sad news that Lindsay Best passed away last Saturday.

Lindsay worked for the Department from 1982, and was Director of National Parks in the late 1990’s.

The funeral will be held on Friday, at 3:00pm, at the Heysen Chapel, Centennial Park.

Valerie and family will appreciate your support at this time if you are able to attend.

Regards Pam Smith

DEWNR - Shaping up to deliver

Ashleigh Coombs - Monday, February 20, 2017

DEWNR has kicked-off 2017 with a new organisational structure, one that sharpens our focus on areas of critical importance for South Australia

We now have a six group structure comprising:

• Parks and Regions
• Climate Change
• Water
• Economic and Sustainable Development
• Science
• People and Performance

Significantly, the new Economic and Sustainable Development Group will enhance our capacity to contribute to the economic prosperity of the state, with a core focus on nature-based tourism as a driver for jobs, community wellbeing and sustaining our environment.

Our purpose remains strong—to help South Australians to conserve, sustain and prosper.

Our new structure will enable a more focused and coordinated approach to deliver on this purpose, and the goals of our corporate plan.

The leadership of the organisation is in excellent hands, with six exceptional Group Executive Directors responsible for enabling a more direct and coordinated approach to achieving this vision.

I recognise that collaboration and partnerships are critical to our effectiveness, and invite you to engage directly with me and any of my Executive team to pursue new opportunities.

I look forward to working with you to deliver in 2017 and beyond.

Sandy Pitcher, CE

DEW - Shaping up to deliver DEW - Shaping up to deliver (1631 KB)

Response to University of Adelaide plans to develop Glenthorne Farm

Ashleigh Coombs - Friday, February 03, 2017


There was an article in the Advertiser recently about Glenthorne (see attached).

Many who attended the Friends of Parks Forum in October 2016 will be interested to know what is happening since the Liberal Party announcement.

A letter has been sent to The Advertiser (see below) - you might like to forward to your members.

The battle has started and with the City of Marion’s help, and the Friends will be doing all we can to save Glenthorne.

Alan Burns

Secretary / Treasurer - Friends of Glenthorne Inc.



The Friends of Glenthorne are appalled at the University of Adelaide’s latest plans of open space destruction in the southern suburbs at Glenthorne Farm.

Haven’t we lost enough of our valuable and unique woodland? Isn’t it time to start putting something back before all is lost?

The University should not be involved in setting up residential properties, business hubs, public sports fields, but should stick to what they are meant to be good at, education and research.

It is truly unbelievable that the University of Adelaide dis-regards current research, (even by its own) which states that to hold back local species extinctions and reverse the “extinction debt” of native birds in the Mount Lofty Ranges, our unique landscapes need to increase from the current less than 10% remaining (of the original pre-European) to about 30%.

Glenthorne Farm is a critical component of the environmental recovery of Adelaide and its surrounds. It is also an important wildlife corridor between local parks and other open space. It seems that the University are not interested in this.

Despite invitations, the University has not taken part in any public meeting concerning the future use of Glenthorne, but it does seem interested in making as much money as it can from the sale of the property at the Community’s long term expense.

A sale which it promised would never happen. The original 2001 Deed of Sale, from the CSIRO, stated that Glenthorne Farm should remain Open Space, with no development whatsoever.

The sale from the CSIRO to the University of Adelaide only proceeded because the Federal Government received contractual assurance through the Deed that this site would be maintained as Open Space and because the SA State Government gave the University of Adelaide $7.0 million of our taxpayer’s money.

The University of Adelaide’s recently revealed plans for Glenthorne are a clear dis-regard of this deed and the promise the University made almost 16 years ago.

According to the Deed, the State Government has the legal right to buy the property back from the University for $1.00 if the Uni’s plans for the property contravene the deed.

Simply planning housing and other urban development is a breach of the deed and the deadline for an acceptable Concept Plan from the University is years overdue, a further breach.

The Government has been very patient with the University of Adelaide, allowing them time to develop suitable plans for the property, but these latest plans must be the final straw for the State Government.

I can say that the Community lost patience many years ago and are looking to the State Government for action.

The State Government should remove control of Glenthorne Farm from the University and give it to those dedicated and qualified in keeping, not selling, its ecological value. Glenthorne Farm and the surrounding Conservation Parks are a State treasure for us and future generations, and should not be sold and lost, just to re-fill the coffers of a tired University.

This disregard for unique local biodiversity and future generations of South Australians is unacceptable.

In the recent years the University has raised over $50 million through the sales of bequeathed properties, Moralana Station, Mundunney at Spalding and Martindale Farm at Mintaro.

When will the destruction and selloff stop?

The State election next year will certainly be a time when the People of South Australia will decide if the State Government does the right thing or not in this regard and in the meantime we will be stepping up our campaign to save this irreplaceable and beautiful property.

There will be no second chances.

There is only one Glenthorne.

Signed: Alan Burns, Secretary / Treasurer - Friends of Glenthorne Inc.

Uni to sell farm Uni to sell farm (1247 KB)


Amendments to Park Management Plans - Jan 2017

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dear Friends of Parks,


I’m writing to let you know about the release of amendments to the Onkaparinga River Reserve, Morialta and Black Hill Conservation Parks, Hallett Cove and Marino Conservation Parks, and Anstey Hill Recreation Park Management Plans.

The amendments will make it possible for activities and developments identified by the community to encourage more people to enjoy our natural spaces. For further details on these developments, please read Enjoying Adelaide’s National Parks – co-designing our future park improvements .

Some of the changes reflect the State Government’s desire to encourage greater visit or numbers to our metropolitan parks through cycling, horse riding, camping, and walking with dogs. Please note, however, while these activities will no longer be prohibited from these parks, they will only be authorised following completion of an environmental impact assessment for each activity. The criteria of these assessments will vary depending on the activity and the park.

The amendments to the management plans are attached, or can be found available on the National Parks website at The analysis of the submissions received to the draft management plan amendments is also attached.

For further information, please contact the relevant District Manager as follows:

  • Anthony Fox (Northern Hills, Coast and Plains District) Phone: 8523 7700
  • Piers Brissenden (Adelaide Central Hills District) Phone: 8336 0901
  • Martin Weidenbach (Fleurieu and Willunga Basin District) Phone: 8550 3400

Kind regards

Brenton Grear

 Regional Director
Natural Resources Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges | Parks and Regions
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources

P (08) 8273 9100
205 Greenhill Rd
Eastwood SA 5063

Community Energy Congress FEB 2017

Ashleigh Coombs - Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Why you need to attend Congress 2017  

The Community Energy Congress is just around the corner so now is the perfect time to start fundraising so your community group can attend Australia’s seminal community energy event.

On February 27-28, over 500 clean energy advocates will descend on Melbourne for a huge educational and inspirational experience. Congress 2014 was a defining time in the community energy space and nearly 350 people helped put the sector on the map. Congress 2017 is going to be bigger, more informative, more diverse and a whole lot more fun.

The Congress will be two-day event with a number of side activities held before and after, including training sessions, master classes and field trips. The focus of the Congress 2017 will be on supporting community energy actors to implement existing community energy models and develop new innovative approaches.This will include but not be limited to:

● Community engagement,
● Developing partnership models with renewable energy industry,
● Whole of community blueprint plans,
● Establishing behind-the-meter community solar models,
● Host-site identification and negotiation and community retailing, and
● Identifying opportunities for Local Energy Trading (Virtual Net Metering).

What are the aims of the event?  

There is something for everyone, from those who have been working the community energy sector for years, to those who are just starting out. The goal is to leave everyone inspired to create change in their communities. Attendees will also:

● Develop pathways for collaboration,
● Identify key opportunities and barriers facing the sector,
● Learn from successful examples of community energy,
● Share information and strategies about overcoming barriers, and
● Consolidate and coordinate efforts nation-wide.

How can you raise funds?

If a whole group of you wish to attend it will be ideal to put a fundraising strategy in place. That way you can work together and individually to meet your goals.

● Work out cost per person and see if anyone can afford to subsidise their trip,
● Figure out how much personal versus group effort is required,
● See if you can save money on accommodation by booking as a group,
● Work out if there is scope for sponsorship opportunities,
● Create a list of people and organisations you can approach for donations:
   o Local politicians
   o Businesses
   o Local government (many have small grant programs)
   o Environment groups
   o Community service clubs
   o Community banks
   o Universities
● Use the template letter below as a starting point
● Create a list of fundraising activities that are quick and easy to organise
   o Chocolate drives
   o Sausage sizzles
   o Trivia nights
   o Movie nights
   o Stalls
   o Tin rattling

What else you need to know  

The Community Energy Congress is an initiative of the Coalition for Community Energy (C4CE).C4CE is governed by a Steering Group which includes representatives from Australia’s leading community energy organisations – Embark, Moreland Energy Foundation and the Alternative Technology Association.The Congress organising will be led by Community Power Agency (CPA) who acts as the C4CE Secretariat. The C4CE team has a strong track record of delivering inspiring events that benefit the growth of the community energy sector in Australia.

Energy Congress Feb 2017 Energy Congress Feb 2017 (117 KB)

Wild Orchid Watch

Ashleigh Coombs - Wednesday, November 16, 2016

We are developing an online service called Wild Orchid Watch that allows users access to tools for identifying orchid species and maintenance of records of populations of orchids in the wild. This database of native orchids is to be available for access by different types of users, for different purposes.

To help us develop a useful website our IT team are seeking input from its potential users, to find out what you would like to see on the website. As part of this, they have a prepared a survey and we would appreciate your help by filling it in, and/or passing this email on to other people who may be able to answer our questions.

We are interested in having a variety of people from many different backgrounds answering the survey. For example, the people that we think might use the website could be:

- Bushcarers;

- Hikers and bushwalkers;

- Landholders and farmers;

- Members of Orchid Societies & Conservation Groups;

- Government agencies (which will include contractors, park rangers, CFS volunteers);

- School and university students;

- Authors and Academics;

- Scientists and Field Botanists.

We would appreciate it if you could circulate this survey to your members via the following link

The deadline for completing the survey is the end of November 30th 2016.

For further information contact our IT representative -


Rosalie Lawrence,
Secretary Native Orchid Society of SA (NOSSA)
0488 159 357

No Species Loss Strategy survey

Ashleigh Coombs - Monday, October 24, 2016

Good to see many of you on Monday at the meeting re the Nature of SA.

I will arrange another meeting in November for those who could not attend.

As mentioned - there is a survey out at the moment re the No Species Loss Strategy. Most of you should have received the link but here it is again. Would be great if you could do the survey. Close date 5 November.

Participate Now in a Survey Re the States Biodiversity Strategy – No Species Loss

You and your networks are invited to participate in a survey that first of all aims to review the State’s biodiversity conservation strategy No Species Loss - a Nature Conservation Strategy for South Australia 2007-2017 and second to capture comments on what you think are important elements to include in a future strategy. The strategy is the State's primary policy guiding activities intended to manage biodiversity on private and public land.

The following survey forms part of the review process in preparation for development of the next iteration of the strategy. The information gathered will be used to learn from the past and build on successes. It is confidential.


Jill Woodlands NGO - Natural Resources Management Facilitator

Nature Glenelg Trust Newsletter #15

Ashleigh Coombs - Wednesday, October 05, 2016
Welcome to NGT Newsletter #15:Mt Burr Swamp - celebrating a great achievement for our regional community

Mount Burr Swamp update: settlement occurred last Friday!

It has been quite a journey over the past 6 weeks (not to mention the four and a half years before that!), but thanks to the incredible support of a wide range of individuals, groups and organisations, the purchase of Mt Burr Swamp by Nature Glenelg Trust... Read More

Last chance to register to attend the Mt Burr Swamp celebration on Sunday the 9th of October

The Mt Burr Swamp celebration will be a family day with wetland talks, bird watching, waterbugs for kids, an art exhibition, music and a free BBQ lunch. Date: Sunday the 9th of October, 2016

Attendance is free, but bookings are essential.

To assist with our planning and catering, please RSVP by calling Jess or Rose on 08 8797 8596, or email

We’ll ask you to provide your contact details and the number in your group, along with any dietary requirements. Specific event details will be provided later this week, to enable us to plan for the weather forecast.

Read More

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