SCEG Hosts August Film Night


Australians generate approximately 41 million tonnes of waste each year. Half of this waste is not being recovered for recycling (Clean up Australia, 2009).

To help encourage recycling practices, the Surf Coast Energy Group (SCEG) are inviting the community to attend the August film night, which will showcase the award winning film, ‘Waste Not’.

The 30 minute film, created by Total Environment Centre follows the journey of our rubbish as it is sorted and handled by an army of workers. The night aims to transform the community into ‘Waste Wizards’ and raises awareness about the importance of recycling.

Plastics collected from the beach by a count group
Plastics collected from the beach by a count group

After the screening of this empowering film, the evening will continue with engaging activities for the whole family including:

•    ‘Sort it’, where the whole family can decide what should really be in the recycle bin.
•    ‘Show and Tell’, an opportunity for community members to present their best reuse and recreate item for the chance to win a prize.
•    Rubbish experts from the Shire and Barwon Regional Waste Management answering your questions about where to recycle other items.
•    A discussion about the Surf Coast Shire’s vision to reduce landfill.
•    A delicious supper provided by Zeally Bay Bakery, Hidden Secrets and SCEG volunteers.

SCEG encourages everyone to come dressed in their best op shop outfit and walk the red carpet at Surfworld Theatrette Torquay, on Friday 2nd of August, commencing at 7pm. Entry by donation.

Watch the Waste Not trailer to gain an insight into the film:

For more information, visit:
http://sceg.org.au/

For more information on environmental issues, visit:
http://gorcc.com.au/

Related blog posts:

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GORCC thanks volunteers


In celebration of National Volunteer Week, the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) would like to thank our dedicated coastal environmental volunteers for the time they take to look after our beautiful coast on behalf of the community.

Kit-e Kline and children Makeisha, 6, and Jamaiyah, 3, help clean up the rubbish around Bird Rock car park during Clean Up Australia Day 2013 held in March.
Kit-e Kline and children Makeisha, 6, and Jamaiyah, 3, help clean up the rubbish around Bird Rock car park during Clean Up Australia Day 2013 held in March.

According to Volunteering Australia,  this week is Australia’s largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism with over 6 million (ABS 2010) people volunteering annually in Australia which represents 36 per cent of the adult population.

National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to say thank you to all our volunteers acrosss the nation and you are invited to get involved!  Learn more about National Volunteer Week here. 

National volunteer week presents a perfect opportunity for GORCC to say a big thank you to all the individuals who are making a difference to our environment!

Groups operating along our coastline work tirelessly to protect the coast and participate  in a range of activities including:

  • Weeding
  • Revegetation
  • Developing facilities such as walking tracks
  • Preventing erosion
  • Participating in informative walks,
  • Monitoring native birds and animals
  • Attending meeting and social events.

These groups are always looking for more helping hands – so if you have a little time to spare, get in touch with a group in your area.  Learn more about coastal volunteering in our region and view a directory of local groups here.

National Volunteer Week will finish on Sunday May 19.

More information:

Deal with waste responsibly


Incorrect disposal and illegal dumping of rubbish costs our coast both environmentally and economically, but there are simple steps we can all take to reduce the impact.

Disposal of household waste in public bins, general waste contaminating recycling and illegal rubbish dumping are having a major toll on coastal environments and come at a huge financial coast to local authorities, consuming funds that could be spent elsewhere.

GORCC education activity leader Hilary Bouma and conservation officer Georgie Beale demonstrate responsible recycling.
GORCC education activity leader Hilary Bouma and conservation officer Georgie Beale demonstrate responsible recycling.

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Coastal Reserves Manager Rod Goring said the problem was ongoing, despite work undertaken to encourage responsible rubbish disposal and the provision of recycling and general waste bins across campgrounds and coastal reserves.

“A large amount of household waste is often disposed of in public bins provided for beachgoers.

“Not only is this illegal, but it causes overflow and litter on our beaches is not only visually horrible but threatens coastal flora and fauna and the marine environment.

“Additionally, contamination of recycling is a constant issue, and we urge all coastal users to familiarise themselves with what can and can’t be recycled.

Recyclable materials include glass containers, some plastics, cardboards, paper and metal including steel or aluminum cans.

“Many may not realize that plastic bags, plastic wrap and food containers with food scraps, are not recyclable and cause contamination.

“Our contractors face heavy fines for delivery of non-recyclables to the depot and, unfortunately, some heavily contaminated bins have to be emptied into general waste and sent to landfill,” he said.

Equally concerning is the illegal dumping of rubbish directly onto coastal reserves, with large amounts of hard rubbish being discovered on our coast on a regular basis.

“From pianos and televisions through to paint cans and asbestos, it is unbelievable what people will leave on beautiful beaches that are so highly valued by the community,” said Mr. Goring.

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Outdoor Works Supervisor, Phil Brown with a piano that was illegally dumped near the Point Impossible nudist beach in Torquay.
Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Outdoor Works Supervisor, Phil Brown with a piano that was illegally dumped near the Point Impossible nudist beach in Torquay.

Waste disposal sites are made available at several coastal locations and allow the drop off of household garbage and a range of recyclable materials.

“All coastal users, including campers, visitors and holiday home owners are encouraged to use these facilities and minimise the amount of rubbish that ends up on the beaches.

“The council also has drop –off collection points for holiday home owners at Torquay, Anglesea and Lorne,” said Mr.Goring

If you notice any illegal rubbish dumping or to report any rubbish or litter contact the GORCC office on 5220 5055, or the Surf Coast Shire on 5261 0600.  Littering from vehicles can be reported to EPA Victoria by calling the Littering Hotline on 1800 372 842 or visiting http://www.epa.vic.gov.au.

This story featured in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column.

Visit GORCC’s website for more information on rubbish dumping and local laws and regulations to protect our coast.

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Volunteer saves injured Hoodie


A Hooded Plover’s life has been saved thanks to the quick thinking of a dedicated volunteer and the assistance of Birdlife Australia and a local vet.

Hooded Plover KM gets treated for its injuries.
Hooded Plover KM gets treated for its injuries.

The bird, known as ‘KM’, was found with severe injuries near Point Roadknight recently with a yellow fibre cutting of circulation to its leg.

Volunteer Hooded Plover Monitor Geoff Gates noticed the bird was limping between a flock of about six other plovers.

“I knew the bird’s leg was swollen and had something constricting the blood flow to the foot and I thought the most probable cause was fishing line,” he said.

Birdlife Australia Beach-nesting Birds Program Manager Grainne Maguire said she carefully separated the bird from its flock and local vet, Liz Brown, was called in to assist.

“Liz used a pair of fine scissors and carefully removed the fibre which was twisted and embedded around the ankle.

“She applied anti-fungal cream on the wound and gave the bird a shot of antibiotics,” she said.

Local vet, Liz Brown, removes the yellow fibre caught around KM's leg.
Local vet, Liz Brown, removes the yellow fibre caught around KM’s leg.

“Two volunteers have since reported KM is moving about normally and seems to be doing well but we’ll be monitoring the wound closely over the coming month to ensure there’s no infection and that it’s healing properly.”

Litter, including fishing line, poses danger to beach nesting birds and other coastal and marine wildlife and beachgoers are being urged to do their bit and keep our coast clean.

“The main way we can minimize entanglements is to ensure we bin our litter, especially fishing line,” Ms Maguire said.

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Conservation Officer Georgina Beale said some of the dead seals and birds that wash up on the coast have swallowed or been strangled by plastic bags, fishing line, bits of nets and other rubbish.

“Please use the bins located in grassed foreshore areas and adjacent to sand areas to dispose of litter,” she said.

Hooded Plovers are endangered in Victoria and are vulnerable to a wide range of threats including a range of predators.

You can help to ensure their survival by getting hands on and becoming a volunteer monitor.

Volunteer monitors log sightings, track the movements of individual birds and follow their breeding progress over the season, logging information into the My Hoodie Data Portal.

“The portal is being used by several hundred volunteers and we have over 2000 sightings in it so far,” Ms Maguire said.

To learn more about the Hooded Plover monitor, email hoodedplover@birdlife.org.au.

This story featured in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column.

KM's banded leg entangled in the unknown yellow fibre.
KM’s banded leg entangled in the unknown yellow fibre.

Find out more about volunteering along the coast on GORCC’s website.

Find out more about protecting our endangered Hooded Plovers on the GORCC website, or read the related blog posts below.

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Clean up to conserve coast


The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) is once again supporting Clean Up Australia Day and asking you to join us to help clean up and conserve the Surf Coast environment.

Clean Up Australia Day volunteers Isabella and Tessa.
Clean Up Australia Day 2012 volunteers Isabella and Tessa.

GORCC is asking the community to participate in the 2013 Clean Up Australia Day held on Sunday 3 March at our designated site, Bird Rock car park in Jan Juc, from 10am to 12pm.

You can view a map of the location here.

According to the Clean Up Australia Day website, in 2012 an estimated 591,400 volunteers cleaned up 16,169 tonnes at 7,363 sites right across Australia.

Last year our designated site attracted 11 volunteers and over 20 bags of rubbish were filled! This year we can do better, so come along and help clean up and conserve our precious environment.

GORCC staff members Zac, Trent with Jan Juc Coast Action Chairperson Luke Hynes with some of the unusual items found at Clean Up Australia Day.
GORCC staff members Zac, Trent with Jan Juc Coast Action Chairperson Luke Hynes with some of the unusual items found at Clean Up Australia Day.

You can register as a volunteer on the Clean Up Australia Day website to go into the draw to win a $100 Bunnings voucher or a $100 Rip Curl voucher by clicking the button “Join this Site”  on our Clean Up Australia Day page.

What to bring:

  • Just bring yourself as all clean up equipment will be provided on the day.
  • If you have a set of gloves please bring them along otherwise we will provide you with some on the day.
  • Ensure you wear a hat.
  • Enclosed footwear must be worn.
  • Water, sunscreen and light refreshments will be provided as well as a free BBQ at 12pm.
  • All ages are welcome, but children 15 years old and under must be accompanied and supervised by an adult.

Hope to see you there!

If you are interested in other volunteering opportunities along the coast visit our website.

For more information about Clean Up Australia Day download this handy iPhone App!

To learn why it is important to participate, watch the clip below from the organizers of Clean Up Australia Day.

Related blog posts:

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Will you be joining us at Bird Rock? Let us know below…

Young conservationists take action


A group of young environmental protectors are taking conservation action as part of their community connections class at Surf Coast Secondary College and are set to become guardians of the coast into the future.

Surf Coast Secondary College students and young guardians of the coast Pat Binyon and Tim Anderson get to work.

The year 10 students have planted over 400 trees as part of various conservation projects which have included the removal of noxious weeds at Whites Beach, planting within Moonah Woodlands at Spring Creek and litter patrols near Jan Juc.

SCSC community connections teacher Shane Elevato said many of the students were now looking to study biology and outdoor education in 2013.

“The students are demonstrating not only a passion for the environment but an interest in conservation as a potential career path for the future.”

The students have been undertaking the work in partnership with the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) through the organisation’s Coast Guardians program.

“The program tied in with our community connections class, which gives students the opportunity to get out into the environment, demonstrate direct activism and put what they have learnt in the classroom into practice,” Mr Elevato said.

He said the year-long program taught students about the impact rubbish has on bird life and marine life and specifically looked at how removing plastic and bottle tops from the coast can help to save animal life.

“The program makes students more appreciative of how special our local environment really is. When they get out into the community and see the impact littering can have they learn to appreciate the environment and have a greater sense of ownership of the environment.”

GORCC conservation officer Georgie Beale said topics covered with the group over the last term included plant communities and dune ecology.

“Throughout the year the students have covered a range of theory topics including plant communities, dune ecology, sustainable fishing, environmental weeds, and marine debris. Planting and weeding is also an important part of the program and helps to ensure noxious weeds do not invade Indigenous plant species,” she said.

The Coast Guardians program also includes work and partnerships with environmental volunteer groups such as Torquay Coast Action, Friends of Queens Park and ANGAIR who have been working with students on various sites throughout the year.

This story featured in the the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast column.

SCSC students working away as part of GORCC’s Coast Guardian Program.

For further information on the Coast Guardians Program visit our website  or read this media release.

To learn more about the Environmental Education Program visit our website.      

Interested in volunteering? Read more on our volunteer page.

Related Blog Posts:

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Rubbish dumping still a threat to our coast


Illegal rubbish dumping continues on our coast with more hard rubbish being found at Point Impossible, Torquay earlier this week.

Image taken by one of GORCC’s outdoor workers of the pile hard rubbish found at Point Impossible

Whilst most of the community are careful when it comes to disposing of their rubbish in the correct places, there are still some that seem to turn a blind eye to the law.

GORCC Coastal Reserves Manager Rod Goring said a trailer must have dumped the rubbish because of the huge amount of material that was found.

“There was a huge amount of hard rubbish: mattresses, tables, chairs, even an old grandfather clock,” he said.

“Point Impossible is the starting point for the Surf Coast Walk and a very popular area, so its not sending a great message to visitors when we have garbage to greet them, but people should consider the consequences of illegal rubbish dumping at any point along the coast,” Mr. Goring said.

Mr. Goring said rubbish was detrimental to our beaches and coastal reserves.  “Waste affects not only the environment and coastal flora and fauna but is also damaging to the aesthetic of the coast,” he said.

The Surf Coast is lucky enough to be home to some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches, with a little more care taken to remove rubbish they can remain this way – and be enjoyed by all.

You can get involved – help to clean up the coast by ensuring you dispose of waste responsibly.  To get even more hands on, you could assist a coastal, enviornmental volunteer group.

If you notice any illegal rubbish dumping or to report any rubbish or litter contact the GORCC office on 5220 5055, or the Surf Coast Shire on 5261 0600.