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Gahnia - a species of sedge Heritage River

Grow for Gold tree

Bushcare activities

WHaT Bushcare

WHaT stands for: Winston Hills and Toongabbie Bushcare. WHaT Bushcare is a community based group involved in ecological restoration. Issues of concern include: biodiversity loss; habitat degradation; poor planning of new developments; and the destruction of creeks and rivers due to environmentally insensitive flood mitigation works.

The group has been very successful for a number of years in receiving grants from the Natural Heritage Trust and Rivercare. We believe the reason for our success has been due to our focus on using an Integrative Catchment Management approach as well as initiating innovative strategies towards biodiversity.

WHaT Bushcare is based in the Upper Parramatta River Catchment. This catchment area is located in Western Sydney and specifically in the upper reaches of the Parramatta River. Many of the bushcare projects are on Toongabbie Creek - an important historic creek which flows into the Parramatta River. Bushcare activities by the group are now incorporated into the Heritage River project.

Although many of the restoration activities are in Toongabbie and Winston Hills, there are also activities in other surrounding areas, as well as assistance to other emerging groups.

WHaT Bushcare is involved in a wide range of activities:

  • bush regeneration training days
  • native seed collection and planting
  • ecological restoration of creeks and rivers
  • providing habitat for wildlife
  • community art
  • strategic planning
  • monitoring activities of Council
  • public awareness of ecological issues

People of all ages and abilities are invited to help improve our local environment.Read the Events section to find out what activities are planned for the future.

For a fuller description of the 3 R's Project see the Projects section.

Old Toongabbie Forest

The Old Toongabbie Forest at the Grand United Centenery Centre is still under threat. An Interim Protection Order has now expired. The Friends of Old Toongabbie Forest would like your support.

Old Toongabbie Forest image

The Friends of Old Toongabbie Forest have been coordinating a wide community campaign for more than 6 years now to try to save the Old Toongabbie Forest, a precious and historic urban bushland remnant in the Local Government area of Parramatta.

The 18 hectare Old Toongabbie Forest is part of the Grand United Centenary Centre at 87a Hammers Rd, Old Toongabbie — above Toongabbie Creek. Parramatta City Council has attempted to purchase 6 ha of the site but the remaining 12 ha is under threat of development by the owner.

The site has been the subject of at least seven years of community opposition resulting in a one year Green Ban by the NSW Labor Council and 12 and 3 month Interim Protection Orders placed by the previous NSW Minister for the Environment, Pam Allan.

Despite a sincere attempt by Pam Allen to attempt to negotiate with the Grand United Friendly Society - they have consistently refused to meet to discuss the State Government's interest in their property and its high conservation values.

As Minister for the Environmment at that time, Pam Allen stated that in all her years as Minister, she had never met a developer as 'unfriendly' as Grand United in respect to negotiations.

Purchase of the whole of the site can only be achieved if the owners of the site — the Grand United Freiendly Society give consideration to the wider community benefit of conserving the site.

The Friends of Old Toongabbie Forest would very much appreciate your support in assisting our community to conserve its rare natural & heritage assets (220 plant & 145 bird species, echidna and archaeology) in the 3rd Settlement of Australia for many generations to follow.

Ideally the site will be purchased and turned into a Nature Reserve.

You can support us on this issue easily by using the form letter available by visiting the Western Sydney Bushland page prepared by Simon Divecha at Auburn Greenspace. This has a pre generated letter (you can alter the letter and add your own comments) that can be printed out and forwarded to the minister of your choice.

The Friends of Old Toongabbie Forest are a member group of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC). The Old Toongabbie Forest is one of the "Icon Issues" of the NCC's Urban Bushland campaign. See the OTF Campaign at the NCC Urban Bushland Campaign page.

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