Issue #31
May - July 2021

The Wingecarribee Web newsletter is produced by the Environment and Sustainability Branch at Wingecarribee Shire Council and is supported by Council's Environment Levy.

If you are interested in understanding, protecting and enhancing the unique and beautiful environment of the Southern Highlands, or are keen to explore ways in which we may all live more sustainably, then this newsletter is for you!

What's in this issue?

In this edition of Wingecarribee Web, we have stories and updates on the following:
  • Project News 
    • Strategy update
    • Platypus survey results
    • Mount Jellore Walk
  • Sustainable Living
    • International Compost Awareness Week 
    • Recycling Printer Cartridges 
National Volunteer Week is next week.
On behalf of the Environment and Sustainability Branch, we would like to extend our thanks to the numerous volunteers that support our research, conservation and restoration projects. Your countless hours of support have had immeasurable benefits to these projects. You are all a continuous source of inspiration, and your efforts have aided in the increased understanding and protection of the local environment as well as greater awareness of sustainability initiatives.
Thank you.
Like always, we look forward to working with you in the future.
Environment and Climate Change Strategy – progress update
Staff have continued to work with the consultants to consolidate community feedback. This feedback will help shape the Strategy and we again thank everyone who took the time to participate at one or more of the engagement sessions. 

The consolidated results have been presented to the Executive team as well as the Environment & Sustainability Committee and Climate Change Advisory Panel.
Work has begun to progress into the next phase, which is focussing on internal staff engagement.  These internal workshops will help develop commitments from all parts of Council to reduce Council's and the communities’ environmental impact.
New ways to look for platypus
On the 2nd of March, Council staff undertook eDNA sampling at six sites along the Wingecarribee River. This novel sampling technique (see video here), enables the assessment and detection of DNA fragments of a target species through the collection of water or soil samples.
This makes it an ideal sampling technique for assessing the presence or absence of more elusive species like the platypus.

Council staff decided to use this sampling technique along the Wingecarribee River as eDNA sampling is less resource intensive compared to other survey methods and because it can provide a strong indication on whether a platypus has been within 500-1000m of the sampling site.

Out of the six sites, three detected platypus presence (Joadja sites). Platypus DNA was not detected at the remaining three sites near Bowral and Glenquarry.

Although promising results, this snapshot study highlights the importance of recording platypus observations. Luckily, there are citizen science apps like Southern Highlands Nature Map and Platypus Spot to record observations of platypus. Council will also explore follow up eDNA opportunities as well as other mechanisms to increase our platypus knowledge.

If you do see a platypus, try to take a photo and upload your observation using one of these apps. Otherwise email

Thank you again to the property owners for allowing access for sampling.
Mt. Jellore Community Walk Event
On the 18th of April, NPWS in conjunction with the local community organised a walk to the summit of Mount Jellore.

Mount Jellore is an unusual dome shaped mountain of volcanic microsyenite. It is an outstanding historical landmark in the Southern Highlands, standing at 845m high. It can even be seen when looking towards the Southern Highlands from Sydney.

A few Environment and Sustainability staff were lucky enough to attend walk. During their journey they were able to learn about the important cultural and natural values of Mount Jellore. 
For those interested in embarking on the trek to the summit, more information can be found on All Trails.
Watch video
Wombat and Wildlife Magnetism
On May 1st, Wombatised hosted the inaugural Wombat and Wildlife Magnetism Seminar at Mittagong RSL.

Attended by over 100 people, the audience was able to learn from a variety of speakers, with presentations focusing on wombats, threatened species, biodiversity corridors and corridor restoration, pest management and co-existing with wildlife.

Due to the success of the day, the organisers have decided to run this seminar as an an annual event.

Stay up to date with Wombatised activities via their Facebook page.
International Compost Awareness Week
A big thank you to all the participants of International Compost Awareness Week!

This week emphasized the importance of reducing organic waste through home composting and worm farming. We encourage all residents to get involved in composting and worm farming due to the multitude of benefits it can have on the environment and your garden, including;
  • Reduces waste sent to landfill
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improves soil quality
  • Releases rich nutrients
  • Helps retain soil moisture
And if you are still not convinced by all these amazing benefits, Council offers a 50% discount and FREE shipping on selected compost bins, worm farms and bokashi bins. So whether you have a small garden, a big backyard or just a kitchen bench, we have an option for you!

Check out the Compost Revolution at
Pet food packaging Recycling Hub
World-Leading pet food brand Royal Canin have partnered with TerraCycle Global Foundation to create an inspiring and free recycling program, run through selected vet hospitals around Australia.

Locally, Mittagong Vet Hospital has become engaged in the program and is now the Recycling Collection Hub for the Southern Highlands.

So what does this mean?
  1. You can now drop off pet food plastic soft packaging (washed) at Mittagong Vet Hospital to be recycled. 
  2. For every kilo of accepted waste returned for recycling, Royal Canin and TerraCycle will donate a dollar to Seeing Eye Dogs (Vision Australia).
  3. TerraCycle will transform the waste material into dog agility equipment, Frisbees and even park benches.
Click here for more information on the process and what brands are supported for recycling.
Clean Up Australia Day and Waste Reduction Workshops - Thank You

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in Clean Up Australia Day and our Waste Reduction Workshops in March. Together we collected almost 1.5 tonnes of discard litter. And with over 40 participants at our workshops throughout the week, participants were able to learn more about waste reduction and some easy household plastic free and zero waste swaps that can be made across the kitchen, bathroom and even the garden.

Recycling Printer Cartridges - 

Council participates in a printer cartridge recycling program through Planet Ark’s Close the Loop Program. This program helps to divert printer cartridges from landfill and reduce harmful substances leaking into the soil and water.

From January to March this year, we have successfully recycled a total of 223kg of printer cartridges. Thank you everyone for participating in this program and keep up the good work.

Looking to get involved? You can drop off your printer cartridges free of charge at the CRC at the Resource Recovery Centre.

More information

Plastic Free July 

Plastic Free July is coming up fast!

Stay tuned for tips and tricks on how to refuse and reduce plastic waste, and different workshops that will be running throughout the month.

Council's waste information and workshops can be found here.

Backyard Burning
April marked the official end of the Bushfire Danger Period and means that backyard burning is once again permissible for some residents providing certain conditions are met.

Relevant permits must be sought from either the NSW Rural Fire Service or Fire and Rescue NSW depending on the location of the property, burns must meet the NSW Rural Fire Service’s Standards for Pile Burning, smoke must be minimised and appropriate notice given to neighbours.

To learn more about all the conditions and to find out if a burn is permissible on your property, head on over to our interactive Backyard Burning Policy Map App to learn whether you are in fact eligible.

Before undertaking a backyard burn consider alternate methods to dispose of your dry vegetation such as using your green-lidded kerbside bin, composting, mulching or taking your green waste to the Resource Recovery Centre.
More information
Woodsmoke Reminder
Cooler weather is coming, so stay extra warm and breathe easy this winter.

Air pollution from wood heaters is not something to share around the community, especially for kids and people with breathing issues.

For tips on how to help run your wood heater hotter and cleaner, visit Council's  Woodsmoke Reduction Information webpage.
Book Launch: Second Edition of a Guide to the Robertson Rainforest
Saturday 15th May
To celebrate the new edition of the Guide to the Roberston Rainforest, the Robertson Protection Society is hosting a launch at St John's Anglican Church Hall. 
Starting at 10:30am, the launch will include guided tours of the Rainforest Reserve, expert advice on plant identification, displays of rainforest plants, photos and drawings and of course the opportunity to purchase the booklet.  

Due to current COVID-safe restrictions, could you please advise the Robertson Protection Society if you wish to attend the official launch and the number of people in your group.

RSVP email: Peter Glass
Feed the Birds - Planting Day
Thursday 20th May 
Feed the Birds is a new project linked to the Glossies in the Mist initiative. The project has been set up to help revegetate and restore Glossy black-cockatoo habitat in the Great Western Wildlife Corridor. 

To register for the day, click on this link or the button below. Follow the prompts and sign up to Feed the Birds Glossy black-cockatoo tree planting in the Southern Highlands.

When 9:00am; Thursday 20th May
Where Penrose - details to be provided after registering
Community Curiosities is an opportunity for subscribers to have their questions about the environment or sustainable practices answered in the next edition of Wingecarribee Web.
To submit a question for the next Wingecarribee Web, click on the button below.
Submit a Question
Wingecarribee Web #30 - Subscriber Questions
1) How can I find information about what can be recycled locally?

Council has created a web page called the 'A to Z Waste Guide'. 

This guide provides information needed to recycle and dispose of waste in the most efficient and safe way in the Southern Highlands.

Another valuable recycling resource, has been created by the EPA  and can be found here.
2) What is happening locally to assist koala populations?
Under the banner of the Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project, Council has been closely working with key government and community stakeholders, including ecologists from the Saving our Species program to deliver a variety of initiatives to support and better understand the local koala population.
Work includes;
  • Research: a combination of survey methods have been used to map the distribution of koalas. These include citizen science surveys, spotlighting, audio recording (male koalas make a grunting sound), koala detection dogs and drones.
  • Working with Gundungurra Traditional Owners to restore koala habitat at Guula Ngurra National Park.
  • Revegetation: strategic revegetation of important corridors to increase connectivity and to increase the available koala feed trees in the Southern Highlands.
  • Land for Wildlife: a free, voluntary program which aims to encourage and assist private landholders to provide habitats for wildlife on their property.
  • Community education: presentations and workshops have and will continue to be organised to increase community awareness about koalas and what can be done locally.
If you see a koala, report your sightings via the Southern Highlands Koala Facebook page, call 4868 0888 or email

3) How can l get involved and volunteer for Council's environmental programs and projects?

Bushcare and Rivercare is all about restoring the resilience of natural areas on Council owned or managed land. Bushcare groups work in bushland reserves and Rivercare groups work in riparian areas near waterways.
Citizen Science
Citizen science involves public participation and collaboration in scientific research with the aim to increase scientific knowledge. It’s a great way to harness community skills and passion to fuel the capacity of science to answer our questions about the world and how it works.

Local citizen science initiatives include:
  • 17 - 23 May – National Volunteer Week. Thank you to all of our volunteers!
  • Saturday 5 June – World Environment Day.
  • July – Plastic Free July
  • 4-11 July – NAIDOC week
  • Friday 30 July – Schools Tree Day
Facebook Instagram
Photo credit 
Header picture: Margot Law
Platypus: Unsplash
Mount Jellore: Jonathon Berry
Wombat: Laura Barry

Spade and bucket: Unsplash
Glossy black-cockatoo: Debbie Hunt

Worms: Unsplash
Clean up Australia:
CRC: Council
Robertson Nature Reserve: NPWS
Box: Unsplash
Bushcare: Council
Koala: Council
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Wingecarribee Shire Council · 68 Elizabeth Street · PO Box 141 · Moss Vale, NSW 2577 · Australia