Network News
summer 2020
Welcome to the first edition of Network News for 2020!

We hope you had a nice break over the festive season.

It has been a difficult start to the year with the devastating bushfires happening in the south and east of our country. The impact on livelihoods and our precious ecosystems is only just starting to unfold. Our thoughts are with the brave firefighters, residents and wildlife carers.

With summer in full swing, our Catchment is looking much drier, with the exception of the vineyards which are starting to fill out. Our wetlands still have some water and waterbirds, such as waders and shorebirds, are making the most of the shallow waters. Now is the best time to see the migratory birdlife that visits the region.

As the moon rises on a new year, we are excited to work with the community to further protect and enhance the beautiful Geographe Bay Catchment.

- The GeoCatch Team
As a small community catchment group, we are always proud when we sit back and look at our collective achievements for the year. We are constantly working to do things better, do more with less and push the limits of what we can get done on the ground to improve the health of our Catchment and, ultimately, Geographe Bay.

We are committed to delivering projects that protect and enhance the natural environment, increase community awareness and ownership, and which bring stakeholders together towards a common goal.

Hunting for Catios

We are on the hunt for locals willing to show off their catio (that’s a cat patio or cat run), as part of GeoCatch’s first ever catio tour in the Busselton/Dunsborough area.

Catios protect our feline friends from cat fights, cars, disease and poisons; and they keep both cats and wildlife safe.

“This initiative is huge in the United States,” said Project Officer, Nicole Lincoln.

“We are hoping to bring a mini version of the catio tour craze to the Geographe Bay Catchment to empower cat owners to build safe, practical and inspiring catios.”

If you would like to be involved please register at:

Farmer priorities for Sabina

A group of landholders in the Lower Sabina sub-catchment met late last year to talk about opportunities to continue improving water quality and reducing nutrient loads from the area.

Farmers heard about opportunities to partner with GeoCatch that will improve the health of local waterways.

Farmers suggested that incentives for soil and tissue testing, which are currently available, should be continued and made available to farmers in the district.

Dung beetles, moisture retention and soil amendments were also identified as topics of interest that could be explored in future projects.

Local farmers soil test for sustainability in new year

Local farmers have started the year by soil testing every paddock to check nutrient levels, providing insight into what they will be able to grow once the rain comes in autumn. Are phosphorus levels optimum for good root growth and will pH levels allow the plant to access it? Is there enough potassium in the soil to grow strong, healthy pasture? Am I putting on fertiliser I don’t need?

Twenty one farmers have partnered with GeoCatch and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development this year for a comprehensive soil testing and nutrient mapping program that continues to be extremely popular since it began in 2009. Every paddock is tested with farmers receiving results via colour-coded maps to inform their decisions on this year’s fertiliser program.

Web resource a water saver

Homeowners can reduce their water bills this summer with the help of our Bay OK garden online assessment tool. They will receive a personalised report on their gardening success and learn ways to reduce water and fertiliser costs.

“You can increase your water use efficiency greatly by applying soil wetters, improvers, conditioners and mulch,” said GeoCatch's Lisa Massey.

“A lot of water is wasted because our soils are water repellent and can dry out quickly.

“Using the Garden Assessment Tool will help homeowners address these issues and make the most of their water and fertiliser spend,” she said.

Welcome new members!
We welcomed our new local government representatives to the Board late last year. Cr Ross Paine from City of Busselton and Cr Rosina Mogg from Shire of Capel have joined our existing community and agency members.

We thank the previous members, Coralie Tarbotton and Brian Hearne, for their contribution to the GeoCatch Board.
Stress-free summer
A lush, green garden is possible if you nurture your soil!

Adding some soil wetter, soil conditioner and clay into your soil will work wonders, especially in summer. The key is not to use more water on our sandy soils, but to make sure that the soil holds on to it so your plants can use it!

Improving your soil will also increase its nutrient holding capacity. So when it comes time to fertilise, more nutrients will be available to your plants.

And of course, protecting the soil surface with a layer of course mulch will reduce evaporation and protect plant roots from drying out.
In short...
Check out Soils are Alive Part 1 from SWCC and UWA
Revitalising Geographe Waterways Final Report 2015-19
Our interactive Bay OK Garden has hints for a great garden!
Revitalising Geographe Waterways
Vasse Diversion Drain Sandbar Re-Opening - RGW

After closely studying the weather patterns and tidal movements Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) has chosen this week to reopen the sand bar which forms at the beach entrance to the Vasse Diversion ...

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Innovative program revitalising Geographe waterways - RGW

A report into the first four years of Revitalising Geographe Waterways program was released today in Busselton, detailing the success of the program. Key achievements detailed in the report included improved water quality in the Toby Inlet and...

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GeoCatch | Phone: (08) 9781 0111 | Email: Website: