Network News
spring 2019
Welcome to the spring edition of Network News!

The wildflowers are out, whales are visiting our coastline and there is new life all around us. Some of us are even starting to come out of hibernation as the warm weather sets in!

We were excited to launch our Beyond Soil Testing video this month and have the results of our fifth Ringtail Tally. We also ran our first ever Garden Party, which was very popular.

Thanks to Ray Walker for this image of a Jewel Beetle taken at Carbunup, featured in our 2019 Eco-Calendar.

- The GeoCatch Team
Farmer stories of best practice celebrated
Local farmers who have made major changes to their fertiliser practices were celebrated this month at the Beyond Soil Testing sundowner.

The stories of these farmers are being shared through an online video, which was launched at the event and focuses on the benefits of being strategic with fertiliser so nutrients stay on the farm and out of waterways.

Busselton beef farmer, Ross Prater, is a strong advocate for soil testing and the agronomic advice he received through the project. He has had a direct economic benefit in increased weight gain of his cattle as a result of improved fertiliser and pasture management.

“Being involved in the program has resulted in huge changes to the way I run my farm,” he said.

“Every decision around fertiliser applications is now based on science and results."

Joining forces for clean up

luka and GeoCatch teamed up in October to clean up a 1 km stretch of Dalyellup Beach. The effort was part of the annual Tangaroa Blue Foundation WA Beach Clean Up, which has been running for 15 years at beaches across the state.

Over 60 kg of rubbish was collected at the site, consisting mostly of glass and plastics, with a large amount of burnt rubber also found. Most of the items originated from the beach, having been left behind by visitors.

Iluka’s Travis Drysdale approached GeoCatch to see how his crew could get involved in local environmental projects.

“Our corporate volunteering program is all about giving back to the community. It’s great to see our efforts are feeding into a national database of marine debris research,” he said

Schools on board for National Tree Day

GeoCatch, Busselton Toyota and local schools planted over 1000 trees across Busselton and Dunsborough for National Tree Day.

Two hundred students from five schools took part to learn about the important role tress have in our urban landscape.

Cornerstone students, Jackson and Lincoln Innes, enjoyed their first tree planting experience and learning about Western Ringtail Possums.

“We are planting trees so possums have a chance of survival,” said Lincoln Innes.

“We need trees for more oxygen and to make homes for animals,” said Jackson Innes.

Long-awaited recreation area

Busselton residents are being encouraged to experience a newly developed recreation area and carpark alongside the Vasse Diversion Drain following the completion of the Vasse Diversion Drain Enhancement project.

The finishing touches included the installation of a Bay OK garden, which is hoped will be embraced by the community. The new facility boasts a walk path, bench seats and picnic table, all surrounded by a landscaped native garden.

Extending horizons in Darwin

Sustainable Agriculture Project Officers Bree Brown and Jenelle Schult attended the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) Conference in Darwin in September. Extension refers to the process of sharing knowledge, ideas or new ways of doing things to enable change.

Bree's presentation Bridging the gap between soil testing and true practice change for improved fertiliser management in the Geographe Catchment was well received and showcased our case study farmers who have improved their fertiliser practices.

Behavioural Scientist John Pickering, inspired the audience with his Whose Behaviour Should we Change? and spoke about how change starts with us and how extension officers are enablers of change.

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services showcased an on-farm practical training program called Ladies in Livestock, designed to empower women by building their technical knowledge and confidence when making on-farm decisions.

Little Brick Pastoral also showcased a novel way to engage the wider community on important issues affecting agriculture – through LEGO!
Kim Archer
Comings and goings
We said goodbye to some familiar faces at GeoCatch this month and welcomed some new ones.

Kim Archer (top left) joins our Grazing Best Management Practice Project as part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program. Kim has a strong natural resource management background and agronomic knowledge after spending the last decade working in the Wheatbelt with a sustainable agriculture group and in research and sales.  

We said farewell to Matt Beahan who was the Vasse Diversion Drain project officer. Matt has taken a position with disability services in the South West.

Jo Hoyes (bottom left) resigned from the GeoCatch board after 4 years of service. She has been Deputy Chair for the past 12 months. We thank Jo for the energy and commitment she gave to the position and wish her all the best.
Be Bay OK in spring
Keep Geographe Bay sparkling....and grow a great garden!

Spring is a great time to get into the garden, spruce it up, and get it ready for the summer heat

For dry spots in our lawns in sandy soils, apply a wetting agent, a sprinkle of compost and a splash of seaweed and fish solution. Actually, your whole garden will thank you for some of this love!

Often your gardens and lawn do not need fertiliser at all, some microbes, trace elements and soil wetter will do the trick.

In short...
Check out the Beyond Soil Testing video!
A Year on the Vasse-Wonnerup Wetlands - Ecological Snapshot
Celebrate Australian agriculture with the LEGO farmer!
Revitalising Geographe Waterways
Bay OK Garden on show! - RGW

GeoCatch hosted its first ever Bay OK garden party on the weekend, with gardening celebrity Chris Ferreira joining passionate home gardener and Bay OK Project Officer, Lisa Massey, to showcase her Bay OK garden in Busselton. The Forever Project's ...

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Science saving Black Bream - RGW

Seven years of Black Bream research is helping to better manage this popular recreational fishing species in the Vasse-Wonnerup. Speaking at The secret life of Black Bream event last week, Murdoch University's Dr James Tweedley presented his...

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Science made community-friendly for Vasse-Wonnerup...

New booklet summarises extensive monitoring of Vasse-Wonnerup wetlands Further ecological monitoring to occur into 2020, with the McGowan Government committing $1.6 million for Revitalising Geographe Waterways program McGowan Government working...

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Plans to guide future waterway management released - RGW

Three final plans that will help determine how our local wetlands and waterways are managed into the future have been completed and are now available online. The three plans were finalised in June and will guide future management actions to...

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