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GRCCC and Aboriginal Communities Team Up for Catchment-Wide Improvements to Biodiversity

Posted 18 September 2014 by (Hurstville News)

The Georges River Combined Councils’ Committee Inc. (GRCCC) announce that an Aboriginal Bush Regeneration team has commenced work to restore bushland and establish ecological connectivity across 150 hectares of the Georges River catchment.

The Aboriginal Bush Regeneration Team is a GRCCC Riverkeeper grant program, supported through funding by the Australian Government to manage the natural and cultural heritage of the Georges River catchment, over the next three years.

The Aboriginal team comprised of 4 Aboriginal Trainees, an Aboriginal Project Manager and a supervisor have been employed by Eco Logical Australia Pty Ltd as a mobile team working to improve biodiversity across the catchment. The project will also provide the trainees with the opportunity to work towards the attainment of qualifications in Conservation Land Management over the next 18 months.

The GRCCC will work in partnership with representatives from the Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) within the Georges River Catchment to encourage the sharing of traditional ecological knowledge with the trainees and build our collective understanding and awareness of Aboriginal cultural heritage values.

“Funding for this project is a significant recognition of the value that regional partnerships can bring in coordinating long-term environmental restoration,” said GRCCC Chairperson Councillor Naji Peter Najjar. “The GRCCC is proud to stand together with LALCs on a project which fosters environmental resilience and community empowerment.”

Chris Ingrey, CEO of La Perouse LALC said “LALCs are passionate about protecting our culture and regenerating Country, especially important cultural landscapes such as the George’s River. That is why the work of the Aboriginal Riverkeeper Team is important.”

“Metropolitan LALC is proud to be a partner in the Aboriginal Riverkeeper Team project” said Nathan Moran, CEO. “Rivers such as the Georges always were always will be the providers of life for Aboriginal people, communities, Nations, and all living things- and given that prior to 1788 they were our responsibility to maintain them - so to see 4 Aboriginal people gaining employment whilst completing educational qualifications working on a project as part of a partnership between Local Aboriginal Land Councils and Local Government Authorities to improve the health of a valuable community natural resource is as close to a perfect outcome in promoting, preserving and protecting Aboriginal culture and further highlighting the importance of the natural environment for all living things”.

The Aboriginal Bush Regeneration Team will target their work to restore and improve biodiversity at key sites within eight Local Government Areas in the Georges River catchment. The sites selected by the GRCCC’s eight participating member councils are important high priority corridor areas, recognized for their high value as critical estuarine and riparian areas in the catchment and include:

• Bankstown LGA – Virginius Reserve (Little Salt Pan Creek), Padstow
• Campbelltown LGA – Mansfield Creek and Spring Creek, St Helens Park
• Fairfield LGA – Johnston Park and Sherwin Park (Orphan School Creek), Canley Vale
• Hurstville LGA – Myles Dunphy Reserve, Oatley
• Kogarah LGA – Oatley Point Reserve, Oatley and Baldface Point Reserve, Blakehurst
• Liverpool LGA – Riverside Park, Chipping Norton
• Rockdale LGA – Sandringham Foredune, Sandringham and Sans Souci Foredune, Sans Souci
• Sutherland LGA – Carina Bay Reserve and Honeysuckle Reserve (Carina Creek), Como and
Green Point Reserve, Como

Nominated on ground works throughout the eight GRCCC participating member council LGAs include control of invasive weeds, revegetation, regeneration and erosion remediation works.

The GRCCC is an incorporated association of nine local government councils working in partnership with state and federal government agencies and community representatives within the Georges River catchment. It represents local government in the Georges River catchment of NSW. Member councils include Bankstown City, Campbelltown City, Fairfield City, Hurstville City, Kogarah City, Liverpool City, Rockdale City, Sutherland Shire and Wollondilly Shire councils. The GRCCC is proudly hosted by Hurstville City Council, 2009-2016.

For more information on the program please contact

Media Enquiries: Svetlana Kotevska, GRCCC at 9330 6057