The Grapevine
Nangarin Vineyard Estate Newsletter  December 2015
In This Issue
Paul's Report
Lantana Management
Snake Deterrents
Website rebuild

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Wildlife Care (WIRES)

Dear Residents,

2015 has been successful from both an operational and financial perspective.

The executive team, with the sub committees have given significant personal time and effort to manage the estate and a huge thanks to their ongoing contributions.

Our financial position is sound and funds are increasing to a sustainable level.

The treasurer provided the narrative to 2015 performance and 2016 budget at the AGM.

The sewer treatment plant (STP) and vineyard irrigation systems have performed to plan without significant unplanned expense.

The STP is managed by GHD environmental services. GHD continues to provide a very high level of professional service and diligence.

During 2015 GHD and the executive committee invited Wollondilly Council to inspect the STP. Council's Scientific Officer was pleased with operations and noted our proactive commitment to advanced telemetry systems and system upgrades and maintenance.
Additionally the vineyards are looking great and are benefiting from the management and care of Southern Highland Wines.

Our Landcare (lantana and weed control) and hazard reduction were interrupted by rainfall events. Details are provided in the lantana report.

Weather is predicted to be hot and dry during the summer season.
The hazard reduction burn in the nature corridor will be completed as soon as weather permits in 2016.

The executive committee has noted the changing demographic in the estate in the last few years. Many families with young children now enjoy the life style provided by the location and facilities.  sub-committee for playground proposal has been established.

The recent AGM    held a good presentation and balanced discussion of    a proposed NBN tower.   M ore investigation to follow.

May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very safe and happy festive season. Please take care when driving.

May 2016 be prosperous and your plans fulfilled.
Kind Regards
Paul Wilson
Chair - Nangarin Vineyard Estate 



Introduced in th e 1830's for the purpose of the traditional English sport of fox hunting, the red fox is one of the most invasive species in Australia. A key prey of the fox is the rabbit (also introduc ed in the 19th century).  The only competitive species is the Dingo. The fox was officially declared a pest species in NSW under the Local Land Services Pest Control Order 2014. It is n't just a problem for rural areas, as foxes have also established themselves in the urban environment - the Botanic Gardens, harbour foreshore, Centennial Park and the suburbs. They will eat from pet bowls, feast on pet guinea pigs, drink from swimming pools and of course nick off with prized poultry if given half a chance.  
Ground dwelling birds, reptiles, possums, bandicoots and marsupials are also on the menu. Foxes will eat fruit and insects when prey is scarce.

In Nangarin,   foxes have been spotted both day and night hunting for their next meal. Just recently a fox was spotted early in the afternoon with a baby  wallaby in its mouth.  The night marauder can set dogs off barking in the middle of the night, dig holes in the lawn, raid garbage, defecate and potentially spread disease.

What can you do ?  At night lock away your birds, bring your caged pets safely inside and don't leave dog food out for the foxes to feast on.

Lantana Management Report

Lantana (Lantana camara), originally introduced into Australia in the 1840s as an ornamental plant has " now been classified as Weed of National Significance due to its detrimental impacts on Australia's environment and agriculture. Its invasiveness and potential for fuelling intense wildfires are threats to biodiversity " 1

Since the development of the Nangarin Vineyard Estate in 2001 there has been a steady rise in Lantana weed population throughout the nature corridors and surrounding creek areas of the Estate. Since 2008 Executive Committees have budgeted for and approved funding for implementing various methods of Lantana control.

Mechanical removal using specialized slashing machinery was initially trialed in early 2009 and, while effective in clearing Lantana infestations, was found to be limited by the inaccessibility of Nangarin terrain surrounding much of the community bushland. Chemical treatment, first used in December 2009, continues to be the main method of Lantana and Blackberry control on community land. A number of different 'selective' herbicide chemicals for Lantana have been trialed since 2009 with Grazon DS and Hotshot demonstrated to be the most effective of the chemicals tested. Treated plants die over a period of three to four weeks evident by the defoliation, however the branch structure of the bush remains unless manually cut down.

Lantana treatment practices used within the Nangarin Estate have been discussed and affirmed by the Wollondilly Shire Council Weed Control Officer as current best practice. Clearing of Lantana from creek areas and nature corridors has also been discussed with the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority to confirm that Lantana clearing can be undertaken without a permit.

Effective treatment of Lantana requires spraying at times of active growth, generally after rain during the flowering season. Manufacturers of the Lantana herbicides recommend spraying during the period December to May provided conditions have been conducive to active growth. Spraying outside of this window is possible, as was the case this year, where the Lantana was still flowering in July enabling a section of the eastern nature corridor between The Grange, The Vintage and The Ironbarks to be sprayed with Hotshot.

1 Clark, A; Raven, C; Stock, D; 2006 Using herbicides on lantana: a guide to best management practices. Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Water, Queensland

Historically, a major difficulty with spraying large areas of Nangarin is the availability of reasonably priced Contractors when weather and plant conditions are most suitable for treatment. This issue was particularly highlighted this year when a 'work order' to spray community lands issued in April was not able to be actioned until late July. Another potential issue in the effective management of Lantana is not addressing regrowth in a timely manner by following up the initial treatment with a maintenance programme. NSW Department of Primary Industries states " Lantana is an extremely hardy and persistent weed. Follow up control is always required to prevent re-infestation by regrowth or new seedlings. Prioritise control work in situations where there will be enough resources to allow ongoing control in the following months or years. Removing lantana can be a waste of time unless follow up management is carried out. " 2 This inability to follow up treated areas has contributed to regrowth in many of the areas of the Estate treated between 2009 -2012. A number of Weed Contractors are to be trialed in the coming months to establish a pool of Contractors to undertake spraying during the next active growth period.

Extensive areas of mature Lantana are evident throughout the Estate and will require a comprehensive treatment programme between December 2015 and April 2016 if significant impact is to be made on the Lantana population.

As evidenced in the photos (see pdf copy with photos) of treated areas in the Nature Corridor, Lantana is not the sole weed control issue. A current project of the Executive Committee has been to establish a Landcare group to engage interested residents in coordinated projects to restore communal bushland. Information has been sought from experts in Council to identify plants species not endemic to our Estate, which forms part of the Cumberland Plain Woodland. Local Land Services -Greater Sydney provide Landcare Grants of $5,000 to $30,000 for bushland restoration projects 3 consistent with the National Landcare Programme and it is our intent to submit an application for the next round of grants if sufficient residents are willing to participate in Landcare projects throughout the Estate.

Residents interested in participating in a Nangarin Landcare Group are asked to advise Frank at Simply 
Strata by email: of your interest (Name and Lot number).


2 Ensbey, R; 2015 NSW Weedwise - NSW Department of Primary Industries (Agriculture) - accessed 20/11/2015

Snake Deterrents

There are probably as many snake deterrents,  commercially available and diy  instructions, as there are varieties of snakes. Google  'snake repellent' and you will get  318,000 results!

Deterrents come in the form of traps, snake proof fencing, ultrasonic  devices  and sprays.  Here are a few that might just work.

Homemade Spray
20ml Eucalyptus Oil,    20ml Tea Tree Oil,   20ml Lavender Oil
20ml Sandlewood Oil,   120ml Oil of Cloves,  400ml Methylated Spirits,  420ml Water
Mix in 1litre  bottle (the metho helps dissolve the oils) shake and spray around  fencelines, paths garden edges, sheds and all the quiet hidden spaces where snakes are likely to rest.  The recipe is said to be safe for pets. Re-apply monthly or after heavy rainfall and/or extremely hot weather.

Solar Snake Repeller
Device emits a sound vibration through the ground that snakes do not like, that they find uncomfortable. Solar powered, eco/child/pet friendly. Weather  resistant , set and forget with a range of between 10m  and 20m.

Snake Proof Fence
The principal is build a fence,  either around the perimeter of your property or around your pet enclosure, with a small gauge wire,  wire so  small that  a snake  can not get through.  Attach  6.5mm to existing fencing wire 900mm above ground and 300mm across the ground.

Snake Trap
"Snake Safe" is an Australian invention  made to catch snakes without harm, so the reptile can be re-located away from your family and pets. The trap is laid out where snakes are known to frequent, camouflaged if possible and with bait ie 'scenting media' that is replaced monthly. An updated design features a clear lid so it is easy to see if snake is inside. Note that  for some species of snake,  the female stops eating whilst pregnant, and will therefore not be interested in the trap.

Website Updates



Over the next few months I will be rebuilding the website from scratch and also integrating a content manager. A content manager allows more than one person to make changes to the site via a security network in a hierarchical fashion. For example we will have one administrator (myself) and several editors/publishers who will add, delete or edit existing or new content. At the moment I publish all of the content whether it be generated by myself or supplied by the EC or a resident.


We will still have the current content, including information for new residents and the FAQ section, plus the BBQ/court booking system and the newsletter application which can also be used for surveys to help the EC gauge residents opinions on a host of topics. The site, however, will not bypass the current system (phone or email) of contacting the Strata Manager to report maintenance issues or making a complaint.


With the content manager, I will setup password protected accounts for any and all content providers. Adding new content (text and images) is technically as simple as writing an email.


I am hoping that one or two EC members will provide EC related content and one or two residents will supply other content such as human interest stories.  We could even integrate an internal social media application as well.


Some of the human interest stories could include things like wildlife observations (with photos), spectacular weather events, welcoming new residents or even community events. Many years ago we had an annual estate cleanup day followed by a BBQ. The cleanup normally took an hour and the BBQ a lot longer.  This could be resurrected. A lot of people walk or run around the estate on a regular basis. Perhaps an occasional group run could be organised using this process. Even things like sharing or swapping  vegetables and landcare equipment could be facilitated. The sky is the limit.



 If you or a family member are interested in helping to keep the website fresh and active, please send me a note.




The Web Guy


PS The next EC meeting is next Wednesday December 16 at the community shed in Nangarin at 7:00pm. For the agenda:


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