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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 5

2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 6

3 RECOMMENDATIONS 8

4 SOILS AND GEOLOGY OF THE BRC 9

5 NATURAL ENVIRONMENT 11

5.1 Climate 11

5.2 Topography and Drainage 11

5.3 Ground Water 12

6 BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY 13

6.1 Introduction 13

6.2 Fauna 13

6.3 Fauna Survey Methods 14

6.4 Flora 26

6.5 Wildlife Corridor 31

6.6 Potential Threats 33

6.7 Management Issues and Recommendations 35

7 ABORIGINAL HERITAGE 37

7.1 Issues 38

8 FIRE 39

8.1 Fire history 39

8.2 Fire Management 39

8.3 Recommendations 43

9 COAL MINING 45

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9.1 Mining Impacts on Water quality 45

9.2 Gas discharge 47

9.3 Destruction of existing bushland 47

9.4 Subsidence 47

9.5 Dust 48

9.6 Mt Flora Extraction Proposal 48

9.7 Issues 48

9.8 Management Recommendations 49

10 NON-EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES 51

10.1 The Role of the EPA 51

10.2 Intensive Livestock Keeping Establishments (Poultry farming) 51

10.3 Intensive Horticulture 53

10.4 Extensive Livestock 54

10.5 Other Minor Industries 54

10.6 Issues 55

11 HUMAN IMPACTS 57

11.1 Weeds 57

11.2 Tree Planting in the Catchment 57

11.3 Sewage problems 57

11.4 Storm water 59

11.5 Eastern Australian Pipeline Co. 59

11.6 Very Fast Train 59

11.7 Rubbish dumping 59

11.8 Soil Erosion 61

11.9 Arson and Vandalism 63

11.10 Illegal timber gathering or clearing 63

11.11 Railways 64

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11.12 Issues 65

12 WATER QUALITY MEASUREMENTS 68

12.1 Sydney Water Corporation 68

12.2 Streamwatch 69

12.3 Tahmoor Mines 69

12.4 Wolondilly Shire Council 69

12.5 Inghams 70

12.6 Conclusions 70

12.7 Recommendations 71

13 REFERENCES 72

14 APPENDICES 77

14.1 Abbreviations 77

14.2 Fuana of the BRC 78

14.3 Flora of the BRC 86

14.4 Correspondences 90

14.5 Water Quality Data 96

15 INDEX 103

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Table Of Tables

TABLE 1. LIST OF BIRDS RECORDED DURING SURVEY PERIOD 18

TABLE 2. MAMMALS RECORDED DURING SURVEY 19

TABLE 3. LIST OF HERPETOFAUNA RECORDED DURING SURVEY PERIOD. 19

TABLE 4. INVERTEBRATE SPECIES LIST 20

TABLE 5. SCHEDULE 1 FAUNA 21

TABLE 6. SCHEDULE 2 FAUNA 21

TABLE A. AVIFAUNA OF THE BRC 78

TABLE B. OTHER FUANA OF THE BRC 84

Table of Figures

FIGURE 1. A MAP OVERLAY SHOWING THE BRC AND ITS GEOLOGY 10

FIGURE 2. CLIMATE GRAPH FOR BRC, USING PICTON STATION DATA 11

FIGURE 3. MAP SHOWING SURVEY LOCATIONS 15

FIGURE 4. VEGETATION MAP COVERING THE BRC 29

FIGURE 5. MAP OF CORRIDORS CONNECTED TO BRC 32

FIGURE 6. CHARCOAL DRAWINGS FROM DOGTRAP CREEK. COURTESY OF C. WARNER. 38

4
1 Acknowledgements
We acknowledge the efforts and good humour of members of the Environmental
Science Class, University of Western Sydney - Macarthur and Campbelltown TAFE; all
are listed below. Particularly students of the former group Josh Glazebrook, Claudia
Gee, Louise Brunero who produced fine reports; parts of which are included in this
paper.

Leo Bascur, Kim Brett, Louise Brunero, Adam Carlyon, Vivian Chan, Sunny Chen,
David Clarke, Amanda Dengate, Claudia Gee, Joshua Glazebrook, Elaine Griffin,
Melissa Helm, Gavin Kennedy, Marie La Rosa, Gloria Lee, Simone Luczak, Wade
Mckechnie, Veronica Moreno, Veena Newaj, Darren Southwood, Budi Sutianto,
Samara Tappenden, Glen Thompson, Josephine Wemyss and Caroline Young.

John Spoule, David Nicholson and Environmental Officers of Wollondilly Shire


Council and Wingecarribee Shire Council, both presented seminars on the BRC to
students, answered questions and supplied information. Several other Officers of both
Councils also supplied details, as did Fire Control Officers for Wollondilly and
Wingecarribee. Many local residents provided valuable anecdotal information and the
Picton Historical Society provided their facilities. Wirrimbirra Sanctuary supplied
information and put up with us during the survey period.

Keith Woodley, Environmental Officer for Tahmoor Mines supplied EIS's, other
information, presented a seminar to students and gave a guided tour of the mine site.

Stephen Fellenberg led the insect surveys and compiled the entomological report. Phil
Teschke posed for the cover page and led the herpetological surveys and Steve Ward
assisted with the mammal survey. Roland Ware from the UNCMC presented a seminar
to the students and provided historical information.

Elizabeth Chapman of WIRES gave us information regarding the types of animals taken
into their care.

Ross Wallace of Sydney Water supplied a database list of the animals and plants that
have been recorded by the board within its catchments.

Allan Leishman was a fund of information and supplied many valuable references. He
and Bob Coveny critically read the first draft of this document and made many excellent
suggestions for its improvement.

The UNCMC supplied funding for the employment of extra staff during the survey, the
costs of obtaining information, analysis of predator scats and hair tube results and the
costs of colour printing. The University of Western Sydney - Macarthur provided
equipment and photocopying.

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2 Executive Summary
This issues paper lists what is known of the natural resources of the Bargo River
Catchment (BRC). Scenically, the gorge sections of the Catchment are exceptional, and
other regions are of great beauty. Floristically the Catchment is important and in many
areas, such as the Gorge and Caves Creek, the combination of landscape and vegetation
has great aesthetic and scientific value. Many areas, having shale soils, have been used
for urban and rural development, and are now severely degraded. However, the
vegetation surrounding the River above Picton Weir is relatively unscathed.

The fauna list is extensive and shows that the Catchment is rich in species although the
relatively low density of animals reflects the poor nutritional status of the sandstone
soils that underlie much of the Catchment.

The history of aboriginal heritage in the area is incompletely documented but what is
known is important. Further research may yet reveal details of the original use of the
area by local tribes.

The natural resources are of high quality and clearly deserve protection. However, a
number of processes are threatening the Catchment; some of these are largely
independent of increasing population pressure: coal mining, poultry farming, and other
agriculture. The major mining issues relate to the release of contaminated water from
the mine outlets and reject storage areas, the effects of subsidence on the river and the
destruction of vegetation for the reject area. The environmental officer for Tahmoor
mines was open, constructive and helpful in supplying information. Inghams, the major
poultry company, however, gave us no assistance. We can only be suspicious, therefore,
of its self-monitoring systems and concern for the Catchment. Such a large organisation
should be more communicative with the community.

Both the mining and poultry industries can cause considerable damage to the catchment.
However with Best Management Practice (BMP), the effects, except for subsidence,
could be minimal. The efforts of both industries should be transparent to the community
and their water testing data should be readily available.

In the long run, the community must decide whether the value of these industries, in
terms of income to the community, is worth the environmental damage. The community
needs accurate data to make that decision.

The effects of the grazing, orchards and nursery industries on the BRC are relatively
small but are cumulative. Again, BMP should reduce impacts. However, monitoring of
the Catchment is required to pin point changes for better or worse and to provide
feedback to the industry.

The rate of population increase in the catchment is currently high. The population
dependent effects on the catchment, therefore, are great and will ultimately destroy
much of its natural value unless controls are effective.

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The current trend is for urban expansion to follow the rims of the catchment. This will
lead, therefore, to the Catchment becoming the drain for these settlements. No
reticulated sewage system is planned for these villages and deficiencies in the current
sewage methods could lead to eutrophication of the Catchment. A principal problem is
that reservoir water supplies all the homes and water usage is therefore unrestricted. In
addition, block sizes are often too small, the slope too great, and soils' absorptive power
too low to deal effectively with the waste. Consequently, water spills will run-off into
the Catchment. Furthermore, sewage units are often poorly maintained and inadequately
monitored.

Block sizes therefore need to be greater, sewage units need to be properly monitored,
and water usage needs to be reduced. This requires strict controls and good public
education programs.

If on-site sewerage systems are unlikely to be able to cope with the effluent, then pump-
outs will be required. This leads to additional problems. The pump-out facility at
Charlies Point Road would need to be monitored carefully for any increased loads.
Oversupply would need to be transported out of the Catchment.

Eutrophication from nutrients in storm water will increase with population pressure.
That is, run-off from roads, garden fertiliser, pet faeces, erosion from building sites, etc
will increase. Containment dams and perhaps constructed wetlands in suitable areas
might be effective.

Other impacts will follow population increases. These include rubbish-dumping, tree
removal for fire-wood and fences, bush-rock removal, weed expansion, vandalism,
arson, damage from vehicles and walkers, and the effects of pets. These impacts are
potentially reducible through public education and the development of concern and
appreciation of the catchment by the community. Tree preservation and planting policies
of the two committees need to be designed and implemented with a view to maintain the
natural vegetation. Advice should be available and upgraded continually in light of new
knowledge on suitable species, seed stock and supplies for domestic plantings.

Increased population will also lead to increased fire frequency from arson and accidental
fire, and from the demand for hazard reduction burns to protect housing. This fire
regime will be imposed over a natural burn cycle of a major burn every 7-9 years. We
do not currently know what the optimal fire-regimes should be. This issue needs to be
carefully determined using the best information available.

In summary, the Bargo River Catchment is a valuable resource, but one whose future
will be badly affected by increased rate of human settlement unless community concern
and education can be developed. Strict monitoring of changes will be required to
supplement the public awareness campaign.

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3 Recommendations
An extensive vegetation map of the BRC needs to be produced, Benson and Howell
(1994) has prepared a draft map; however, updating and field survey verification is
required. Again this could be done through a research project.

Collection, collation and analysis of all existing water quality data is required. This
should be followed by long-term monitoring of selected sites. Such a project would be
suitable for a Masters or PhD level candidature.

Further investigations are needed of the different soil types in the BRC and how these
areas vary in flora and fauna.

Public education of the values of the BRC and the strains placed on it by humans is a
high priority. A video for use in local schools could be useful in this regard. Local
school involvement in ongoing scientific monitoring programs could be incorporated
into the current curriculum.

Industries that impact on the BRC must be encouraged to be proactive in reaching Best
Management Practice. Perhaps a coalition of industries could cooperate to support
research and education.

Fire management programs are crucial for the BRC. The lack of knowledge of the
ecological effects of the current fire regimes is a matter of concern. A conference
between managers and researches would highlight the issues and generate ways to solve
problems.

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4 Soils and Geology of the BRC
The BRC is located on the Woronora Plateau/Nepean Ramp between the Southern
Highlands and the Nattai River system. It is a part of the Sydney Basin, which is
composed of Hawkesbury Sandstone and Wianamatta Group of Triassic sedimentary
rocks (See Figure 1).

The area has predominantly sandstone (SS) soils with intermittent patches of Ashfield
Shale, with several small outcrops of Jurassic basalt, dolerite, volcanic breccia and one
intrusion of microsyenite at Yerrinbool (See Figure 1).

Generally the soils of the BRC have a low fertility and are usually acidic with a low
nutrient storage capacity (Sherwin and Holmes, 1986). The sandstone has lowest
fertility; the shale moderate and the microsyenite has a high fertility (Sherwin and
Holmes, 1986). Consequently the shale areas have been used for agriculture or
developed.

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Figure 1. A map overlay showing the BRC and its geology. (Adapted from DMR 1:100,000 geological
map of the Wollongong and Port Hacking (Sherwin and Homes, 1986))
Map Key

Ashfield Shale

Basalt

Microsyenite at Yerrinbool

Hawkesbury Sandstone

Bargo River Catchment


Boundry

2 km

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5 Natural Environment

5.1 Climate
Th altitude, topography and the degree of maritime influence account for substantial
regional climatic variations.

There are three main climatic regions in the BRC; the high altitude region towards the
southern end; the low-lying valleys and river gorges; and the northern lower regions of
the BRC. There are no current data on how the climate differs in these regions;
however, the elevation and topography could generate differences in temperature and
rainfall.

The closest measuring station for the BRC is the Picton station. Figure 2 shows that the
area receives rain through out the year, with a summer peak.

Figure 2. Climate Graph for BRC, using Picton Station Data (Department of
Meteorology, 1997).

Rainfall (mm) Temperature ºC

100 35

Avergae Daily Temperature


90
30
80
70 25
Rainfall

60
Mean Daily Month

20
50
40 15
30 10
20
5
10
0 0
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Mean Daily Rainfall
Month

5.2 Topography and Drainage


The BRC consists of ridge systems with the Bargo River being a dominant low-lying
feature. The highest point of the catchment is at an elevation of 320 m and the lowest
being 200 m. The BRC has fur main features:

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1. The Gorge in the lower Bargo which encompasses the final 4 km of the Bargo River
before it forms the Nepean and includes the cliffs up to 110 m high and only 35 m
across the flood zone level (Groves and Close, 1991). This is the most visually
striking section of the BRC and includes the notable Mermaid's Pool (Douglas,
1995a).

2. Dogtrap Ck and Couridjah Ck tributaries. These catchments drain more fertile, built
up areas of the BRC and have been effected by development.

3. The mid section of the Bargo River from the Couridjah Ck confluence to the Gorge.
This area collects run-off from (2) above, the Thamoor collery and the Bargo
township.

4. The upper Bargo River. Apart from pasture areas of the head of the catchment,
bushland in this region has been preserved and the gorge itself is pristine except for
some weed intrusion. Caves Ck is visually and floristically interesting and the Gorge
if visually attractive.

Most rainfall falling within the BRC boundary will drain into the Bargo River or its
tributaries. The soils are very porous and will only hold small amounts of water(Sherwin
and Homes, 1986). Thus any water or soil pollution present will run-off into the river
decreasing the water quality.

5.3 Ground Water


Ground water data for the Buxton area (ERM Mitchell and McCotter, 1996), indicates
that aquifer levels range from 40.8 to 121.9 metres below the surface. However this will
vary according the elevation of land in the BRC and location. The ground water is used
for water stock and domestic use.

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6 Biological Diversity

6.1 Introduction
Biological diversity refers to the variety of all life forms and the ecosystems that they
occupy. Consequently, biological diversity is considered at three levels: ecosystem
diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity within a species.

Australia has great variation at all three levels and this biological diversity plays an
important role in maintaining our survival and quality of life. However, the last 200
years of agriculture, grazing, hunting, industrial and urban development, forestry and
mining have already led to species extinction and loss of diversity is continuing (State of
the Environment Advisory Council, 1996).

The Bargo River Catchment (BRC) is a part of the Upper Nepean River Catchment. It
has remained relatively intact due to the rough terrain of the gorges and holds a wide
variety of organisms. The river itself links other areas containing remnant vegetation.
Overall this study has collated, collected and added to the database of information on
biological diversity of this area and as such will allow for more efficient management
and conservation.

6.2 Fauna
The BRC has played an interesting part in Australia's fauna history. The first record of a
koala in Australia was made in 1798 not far from Bargo by Price (Troughton, 1967;
Knox, 1988). The Superb Lyrebird was also first identified in the catchment (Chisholm,
1955). An extensive list has been compiled for the area showing fauna that are known to
occur or are expected to occur in the area as they have been recorded within the
surrounding region (see Appendix 14.2). However, some of the records are dubious and
these are marked. Threatened species have been identified and likely future impacts on
the current populations of fauna will be discussed.

Several National Parks, Reserves and Sydney Water catchment areas surround the BRC
and so the area is likely to be an important wildlife corridor.

6.2.1 Habitat Types


Brief descriptions of the different habitat types in the BRC are given here; for extended
descriptions see section 6.4.1.

6.2.1.1 Closed Forest


Characterised by a dense canopy, and a generally sparse understorey with dense cover of
grasses.

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6.2.1.2 Open Woodland
Characterised by scattered trees, few shrubs and dense grass ground cover. Examples of
this habitat in the BRC are the eucalyptus sclerophyll forests.

6.2.1.3 Rainforest
Characterised by tall coach-woods and ferns, e.g. such a habitat occurs at Caves Creek.

6.2.1.4 Riparian
These creekside and riverside environments are characterised by pools, intervening
rocky areas and a dense ground cover of plants.

6.2.1.5 Rocky Outcrops


Characterised by low cliffs, overhangs and rock outcrops, e.g. gorges of the Bargo River
especially near Mermaid Pools, towards the end of the catchment.

6.3 Fauna Survey Methods


Sources for the fauna lists include:

• A review of relevant literature


• Database searches of the Australian Museum, Royal Botanical Gardens, NSW
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Sydney Water and Wirrimbirra
Sanctuary.
• Communications with relevant experts
• Communications with the community and local residents
• The results of field surveys
The methodologies for the field surveys varied depending on the target species group.
Brief outlines of the methods are given, and standard ecological techniques were
employed where possible. The survey was conducted between the 2 October and 8
October 1996.

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6.3.1 Amphibians
Spotlighting was used to actively find frogs at night. Some species were identified by
their call and the triangulation method was used to locate calling species. Several areas
were used for frog collecting during the survey period including Wirrimbirra Sanctuary
(S1) and Dogtrap Creek (For site locations see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Map showing survey locations

2 km
Bargo River
Gorge

S1 - Site 1

S2 - Site 2

S3 - Site 3

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6.3.2 Birds
Only incidental records of birds were made during the survey period; no standard
methods were employed. The call back method was used to identify several night bird
species. See section 6.3.4.7 for details.

6.3.3 Insects
Several capture methods were utilised. An Ultra Violet (UV) light trap captured night
flying insects such as moths and beetles. The UV light trap was used at S1.

A barrier trap was used to collect fast-flying insects such as beetles that hit the barrier
erected in their path. The insects fall into a trough containing a preservative. The trough
also acts as a pit trap for ground insects. A malaise trap was also used and is tent like
with a sloping roof leading to a specimen bottle.

Main collecting sites were; Map reference Bargo 9029-3-N (KH).


1. Wirrimbirra Sanctuary MAP REF. E272768 N6194055
2. Wellers Rd MAP REF. E275500 N6204500
3. Hill Top (near oval) MAP REF. E270000 N6195550
4. Bargo River Road MAP REF. E277000 N6209000
Active searching by net or hand was used for incidental collections.

6.3.4 Mammals
The following techniques were used to survey mammals.

6.3.4.1 Bats
Harp-traps were used to live capture bats during the survey. The traps were set up at S1,
S2 and S3, for the duration of the survey.

6.3.4.2 Elliot traps and cage traps


Elliot traps and cage traps were used at the three different survey sites within the study
area between the 2 and 8 October 1996 (Figure 3). Twenty traps of each type were
placed in transects at each survey site.

6.3.4.3 Pitfall Traps


These were placed at S1 for 2 nights during the survey period. Pits were dug every 10 m
and a fence barrier was placed through all the pits. Twenty pitfalls were placed

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6.3.4.4 Hair tubes
Twenty hair tubes were placed in transects at each of the 3 survey sites and baited
alternately with meat and peanut butter and oats mixture. They were left out for two
weeks starting from the 3 October.

6.3.4.5 Spotlighting
This method was employed at S1, 300m south along the Bargo River starting from the
Bargo River Road Bridge, S3 along the walking track and at Dogtrap Creek. One night
was spent on each of the above areas. This method was used for the detection of
arboreal mammals, amphibians and other wildlife.

6.3.4.6 Opportunistic scat collection


All scats during the study were collected. Identified scats were discarded and the
remaining scats and hair tube results were forwarded to Barbara Triggs.

6.3.4.7 Call back system


A tape player and a directional loud speaker were used to play the calls of vocal
mammals and night birds at S1. This method relies on the animals calling back to the
recorded calls. Each call was played with a 10-minute pause between repeats and then
replayed 4 times. The following recorded species were played: Koala, Squirrel Glider,
Yellow-bellied Glider, Powerful Owl, Sooty Owl, Barking Owl, and Masked Owl. The
playback method was used on 4 October.

6.3.5 Reptiles
Active searching under rocks, between rock crevices and under ground litter.

6.3.6 Survey Results

6.3.6.1 Birds

Thirty-one species of birds were recorded in the BRC during the survey period (See
Table 1). †One of the species recorded was a Powerful Owl, which is listed as a
Schedule 2 species on the Threatened Species Act 1995.


This record was based on a call made in response to a taped call.

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Table 1. List of Birds recorded during survey period
Scientific Name Common Name Method of Record*
Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris Eastern Spinebill O
Acridotheres tristis Common Myna O
Anas superciliosa Pacific Black Duck O
Anthochaera chrysoptera Little Wattlebird O
Cacatua galerita Sulphur-crested Cockatoo O
Calyptorhynchus funereus Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo O
Coracina novaehollandiae Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike H
Corvus coronoides Australian Raven O
Dacelo novaeguineae Laughing Kookaburra H
Eopsaltria australis Eastern Yellow Robin O
Eudynamys scolopacea Common Koel H
Eurystomus orientalis Dollarbird O
Geopelia placida Peaceful Dove H
Hirundo nigricans Tree Martin O
Leucosarcia melanoleuca Wonga Pigeon H
Malurus cyaneus Superb Fairy-wren O
Menura novaehollandiae Superb Lyrebird H
Ninox strenua† Powerful Owl B
Pachycephala rufiventris Rufous Whistler O
Philemon corniculatus Noisy Friarbird O
Phylidonyris nigra White-faced Honeyeater O
Phylidonyris novaehollandiae New Holland Honeyeater O
Platycercus elegans Crimson Rosella O
Podargus strigoides Tawny Frogmouth H
Psophodes olivaceus Eastern Whipbird H
Rhipidura fuliginosa Grey Fantail O
Scythrops novaehollandiae Channel-billed Cuckoo H
Strepera graculina Pied Currawong H
Threskiornis molucca Australian White Ibis O
Todiramphus sanctus Sacred Kingfisher O
Trichoglossus haematodus Rainbow Lorikeet O
* O - Sighted, H - Heard, B - Called Back To Recorded Call

6.3.6.2 Mammalian Fauna

Thirteen mammal species were recorded in the BRC during the survey period (See
Table 2), 5 of which were introduced species. Site 1 had no captures or sightings; site 2
had a low capture rate of 7.5%, with 2 Rattus fuscipes and 1 Cercatetus nanus being
caught; site 3 had a high capture rate of 25% with 2 species being caught, R. fuscipes
and Antechinus stuartii. Site 3 (Caves Creek) is relatively moist with much rock
protection and relatively rich undergrowth and litter. Site 1 and 2 were drier open
woodland.


This record was based on a call made in response to a taped call.

18
Table 2. Mammals recorded during Survey
Scientific Name Common Name Method of Record*
Antechinus stuartii Brown Antechinus o,c
Canis familiaris Dog d,o
Capra hircus Goat d,o
Cercartetus nanus Eastern Pigmy-possum o,c
Felis catus Cat h,o
Macropus rufogriseus Red-necked Wallaby o
Oryctolagus cuniculus Rabbit o
Pseudocheirus peregrinus Common Ringtail Possum o
Rattus fuscipes Bush Rat c,h,o
Trichosurus vulpecula Common Brush-tail Possum h
Vombatus ursinus Common Wombat o,d
Vulpes vulpes Fox d,h,o
Wallabia bicolor Swamp Wallaby d,h,o
* Key
(o) - sighted during survey period, (c) - captured during survey period, (d) - identified by fecal droppings
during survey period, (h) - identified by hairtube analysis

6.3.6.3 Herpetofauna

Active searching yielded 13 frogs and reptiles. Most of the frogs were recorded in
Dogtrap Creek. Several of the species have never been recorded in the area before (See
Table 3).

Table 3. List of Herpetofauna recorded during survey period.


Scientific Name Common Name
Crinia signifera Common Eastern Froglet
Limnodynastes dumerili complex Eastern Banjo Frog
Limnodynastes peronii Brown-striped Frog
Litoria citropa Blue Mountains Tree Frog
Litoria lesueuri complex Lesueur's Frog
Litoria peronii Peron's Tree Frog
Litoria phyllochroa complex Leaf Green Tree Frog
Litoria tyleri Tyler's Tree Frog
Uperoleia laevigata Smooth Toadlet
Oedura lesueurii Lesueur's Velvet Gecko
Amphibolurus muricatus Jacky Lizard
Physignathus lesueurii Eastern Water Dragon
Pogona barbata Bearded Dragon
Ctenotus taeniolatus Copper-tailed Skink
Eulamprus heatwolei Heatwole's Water Skink
Eulamprus quoyii Eastern Water Skink
Lampropholis guichenoti Garden Skink
Tiliqua scincoides Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard
Demansia psammophis Yellow-faced Whip Snake
Pseudechis porphyriacus Red-bellied Black Snake
Ramphotyphlops nigrescens A Blind Snake
Rhinolocephalus nigrescens Small-eyed Snake

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6.3.6.4 Invertebrate Fauna

A mussel and a clam were found on the banks of Dogtrap Creek. They were identified
as Hyridella depressa and Curbicula australis respectively (M.Byrne, Pers. Comm.).

A number of entomological specimens were collected during the study period (See
Table 4), one notable find was the Pachymorpha squalidus a species of stick insect.

Table 4. Invertebrate species list


ORDER / FAMILY GENUS / SPECIES NUMBER* OTHER*
DIPTERA
Calliphoridae Unidentified 10 -
Taehinidae Rutilia Spp 1 -
Hippoboscidae Ortholfersia spp. 1 Id. D.McA.
Muscidae Passeromyia spp. (larvae) “n” (Aust. Mus.)
Heleomyzidae unidentified 1 -
HYMENOPTERA
Vespoidea unidentified 1 -
Tiphiidae Diamma bicolor 1 M
Formicidae Myrmecia spp. 5 -
Formicidae Camponotus spp. 5 -
Formicidae 2 -
Myrmicinae 1 Qu
Apidae Apis mellifera 1 -
HEMIPTERA
Redeviidae Unidentified 1 -
COLEOPTERA
Curculionidae unidentified 3 -
Carabidae unidentified 3 -
Scarabaeidae unidentified 3 -
Chrysomelidae unidentified 2 -
BLATTODEA
Blattidae unidentified 6 -
LEPIDOPTERA
Arctiidae Termessa nivosa 1 -
Cossidae Xyleutes eucalypti 1 -
Thaumetopoeidae Trichiocercus sparshalli 1 M
Geometridae unidentified 3 -
Anthelidae unidentified 1 -
Noctuidae unidentified 5 -
ORTHOPTERA
Eumastaeidae Morabinae 1 -
Acrididae Catantopinae 1 -
MALAISE TRAP
DIPTERA
Calliphoridae Unidentified 1 -
Asilidae Unidentified 1 -
Chorpnomidae Unidentified 9 -
Heleomyzidae Unidentified 2 -
Muscidae Unidentified 1 -
Mycetophilidae Unidentified 8 -
HYMENOPTERA
Tiphiidae Unidentified 2 -
ISOPODA
Woodlice Unidentified 3 -
DIPTERA
Mycetophidae Unidentified 4 -
Calliphoridae Unidentified 6 -
COLEOPTERA
Staphilidae Unidentified 1

20
Table 4 continued.

MYRMECIA 2
Battodea Unidentified 2
Formicidea Unidentified 7
Vespidae Unidentified 2
*Key
Id DMcA = Identification by Dr D. McAlpine of the Australian Museum; (Aust. Mus) = Material now housed in Australian Museum
collection.; (S) = Series; M = Male; F = Female; QU = Queen Ny = Nymph.

6.3.7 Significant Fauna


Table 5. Schedule 1 Fauna

Endangered Species
Scientific Name Common name Recorded in BRC Recorded 10 km from BRC
Dasyurus viverrinus Eastern Quoll 6 5
+ +
Hoplocephalus bungaroides Broad-Headed Snake +11 +7
Litoria aurea Green and Golden Bell Frog +7
Presumed Extinct
Scientific Name Common name Recorded in BRC Recorded 10 km from BRC
Bettongia penicillata Brush Tailed Bettong +3

*Refernce Key
Robinson (1988)5, Australian Museum Atlas (1997)6, Sydney Water Database7, National Parks Association Bargo River Catchment
Survey Unpublished Data (1997)11

Table 6. Schedule 2 Fauna*

Vulnerable Species
Scientific Name Common name Recorded in BRC Recorded 10 km from BRC
Calyptorhynchus lathami Glossy Black-Cockatoo +3,7
Dasyurus maculatus Spotted-tail Quoll +5 +5,7`
Macropus parma Parma Wallaby +5,7
Miniopterus schreibersii Common Bent-wing Bat +6 +8
Mixophyes balbus Barred Frog +7
Myotis adversus Fishing Bat +8
Neophema pulchella Turquoise Parrot +4,7
Ninox strenua Powerful Owl +(s,b)
Pandion haliaetus Osprey +7
Petaurus australis Yellow-bellied Glider +4,5,7
Petaurus norfolcensis Squirrel Glider +2,7
Petrogale penicillata Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby +6 +5,6,7
Phascolarctos cinereus Koala +5,11 +3,5,7
Potorous tridactylus Long-nosed Potoroo +5,7
Pseudophryne australis Red-crowned Toadlet +7
*Refernce Key
Wirrimbirra Sanctuary Bird Database1, Mills and Associates (1989)2, NPWS Atlas (1997)3, Smith (1993)4, Robinson (1988)5,
Australian Museum Atlas (1997)6, Sydney Water Database7, ERM (1996)8, Douglas (1995a)9, Ken Griffiths Personal
Communication10, National Parks Association Bargo River Catchment Survey Unpublished Data (1997)11, Ian Tate Personal
Communication12

21
(s) - sighted during survey period, (c) - captured during survey period, (d) - identified by faecal droppings during survey period, (b)
- called back to recorded call, (h) - identified by hairtube analysis

6.3.7.1 Amphibians
6.3.7.1.1 Litoria aurea (Green and Golden Bell Frog)

The Green and Golden Bell Frog is a Schedule 1 animal listed on the NSW Threatened
Species Conservation (TSC) Act, 1995. This species has not been recorded within the
BRC; however, the Sydney Water database (SWD) has a record of it in the Upper
Nepean Catchment. Recent population declines of this species (Tyler, 1993) could mean
that it no longer exists in the BRC. This species requires still water bodies that are
shallow, ephemeral, unpolluted, unshaded and free of Gambusia and other predatory
fish. The substrate of the ponds should be sand or rock; aquatic plants should be present
with possible shelter sites such as vegetation and rock present. A grassy area needs to be
nearby and the surrounding vegetation should not be higher then woodland (Pyke and
White, 1996). The BRC has several such habitats along the tributaries and small creeks
running into the Bargo River proper. The area has several human made ponds and dams
that could sustain breeding populations of this Schedule 1 species.

6.3.7.1.2 Mixophyes balbus (Barred frog)

This species is listed as a Schedule 2 species on the TSC Act, 1995. It has not been
recorded in the BRC; however, the SWD holds a record of it in the Upper Nepean
Catchment. As this species prefers wet eucalypt and rainforest (Harlow and Taylor,
1995), only several locations in the BRC remain that could sustain them. One notable
location is Caves Creek located at Site 1(See Figure 3), where a rainforest habitat
occurs. This and other species in the genus are in a decline for unknown reasons in other
areas around NSW (Mahoney, 1993).

6.3.7.1.3 Pseudophryne australis (Red-crowned Toadlet)

This vulnerable Schedule 2 species has been recorded in the Upper Nepean Catchment
(SWD) and as it occurs beside temporary creeks, gutters and soaks on Hawkesbury
sandstone (Robinson, 1993), the BRC should have ideal habitat for this small secretive
amphibian.

6.3.7.2 Snakes

6.3.7.2.1 Hoplocephalus bungaroides (Broad-headed Snake)

This species is on Schedule1 on the state listing and also on Schedule 1 of the
Commonwealth's 'Endangered Species Protection (ESP) Act, 1992'.

The first record of this Schedule 1 species in the BRC came on a recent National Parks
Association (NPA) Biodiversity Survey of the BRC (July 1997).

22
It is restricted to rock-on-rock habitat where thin sheets of exfoliated rock occur in open
sandstone ridge country. As such areas within the Sydney Basin and the BRC have been
severely degraded by illegal bush rock collectors the habitat of this species is in decline.

6.3.7.3 Bats

6.3.7.3.1 Miniopterus schreibersii (Common bent-wing bat)

This species has been recorded in the BRC (Australian Museum Record No.M8682) and
is listed as a Schedule 2 species on the TSC Act, 1995. It is largely a cave-dwelling
species but can roost in storm water drains, mines and houses (Strahan, 1995). The BRC
contains several suitable caves on the ridges of the Bargo River.

6.3.7.3.2 Myotis adversus (Fishing bat)

This Schedule 2 species has been recorded in the BRC (Smith, 1993) on the Bargo
River itself. The fishing bat requires permanently flowing water and appropriate
roosting sites such as caves, disused tunnels, old buildings and dense rainforest foliage.
Its greatest threat appears to be disturbances of roosting colonies especially during the
colder months (Reardon and Flavel, 1987).

6.3.7.4 Birds

6.3.7.4.1 Calyptorhynchus lathami (Glossy Black-Cockatoo)

The Glossy Black-Cockatoo is a Schedule 2 species and is thinly distributed in central


and South Eastern Australia. Its habitat is composed of Eucalypt woodlands and it feeds
almost exclusively on casuarina fruit (Simpson and Day, 1996). Although not yet
recorded in the BRC its habitat type is abundant on many of the slopes of the Bargo
River and it has been reported nearby in the Upper Nepean Catchment (SWD). The
decline of this species is mainly due to habitat clearing for agricultural and residential
purposes and competition for nesting hollows (Engel and Speight, 1996).

6.3.7.4.2 Neophem pulchella (Turquoise parrot)

This is species is listed on Schedule 2. It has been recorded near Picton approximately
20 km north of Bargo (Engel and Speight, 1996) and in the Upper Nepean Catchment
(SWD). These parrots nest in eucalypt hollows and feed in open grass areas. Habitat
clearing and lack of high quality breeding hollows affect this species

6.3.7.4.3 Ninox strenua (Powerful Owl)

During the survey the call of this Schedule 2 species was recorded in the BRC. It prefers
gullies and gorges, which are unlogged to lightly logged. These gullies are usually made
up of wet to dry sclerophyll forest with a dense understorey. The owl maintains the
same roost tree faithfully and nearby residential and/or recreational areas do not seem to
disturb it. Its habitat can be fragmented as the owl can traverse open country. Main prey
species are medium-sized arboreal marsupials, particularly the Ringtail Possum and
Sugar Glider. Birds, rodents, fruit bats and rabbits will also be taken. The main threat is

23
the loss of old growth forest, particularly trees that are large enough for this owls use
(Engel and Speight, 1996).

6.3.7.4.4 Pandion haliaetus (Osprey )

This Schedule 2 species has been recorded by Sydney Water on the Upper Nepean
Catchment. It requires mangroves, rivers and estuaries or coastal islands. However a
record in this area could occur as these birds can travel large distances (Simpson and
Day, 1996). However the BRC does not hold a habitat that would sustain this bird on a
permanent basis.

6.3.7.5 Insects

6.3.7.5.1 Pachymorpha squalidus

Pachymorpha squalidus is a stick insect that is considered to be uncommon (New, 1996).


It feeds on eucalyptus leaves; however, very little is known about this phasmatid and only
19 specimens occur in the Australian museum.

6.3.7.6 Mammals

6.3.7.6.1 Dasyurus viverrinus (Eastern Quoll)

This Schedule 1 animal was last seen in Vaucluse in the 1960s (J.Callaby, Pers.
Comm.), but is possibly extinct on the mainland of Australia with populations
remaining in Tasmania. At the beginning of this century it was widely spread
throughout southern Victoria and southeastern NSW and may have been reduced by an
unknown epidemic. A variety of habitats including dry sclerophyll forest, scrub, heath-
land and cultivated land are utilised by the eastern quoll. In Tasmania the preferred
habitat occurs where eucalypt forest and pastures are interspersed. Its diet consists of
opportunistic catches, mostly insects but also ground nesting birds, small mammals,
rabbits, rats, as well as carcasses of larger animals such as wallabies. Grasses are eaten
regularly as well as fruits. There are old records of this species in the BRC from 1895
(Australian Museum record No M971, M977, M978, M998) and the preferred habitat
occurs in the catchment. Thus it may have thrived in the area at one time (Strahan,
1995).

6.3.7.6.2 Bettongia penicillata (Brush Tailed Bettong)

This Schedule 1 species was widespread at the time of European colonisation and is
currently presumed extinct in NSW. Its preferred habitat consisted of open forests and
woodlands nesting in clumped grasses or clumped low woody scrub. Its diet mainly
consists of the fruiting bodies of underground fungi, supplemented by bulbs, tubers,
seeds, insects and resin (Strahan, 1995). This bettong was first recorded in the BRC in
1857 the second in 1906 in the same area, 3km directly east of Bargo (NPWS Atlas).
There is some doubt that the specimens actually are B. penicillata. Strahan (1995) does
not include the Bargo within the species former distribution. Perhaps the animals were
actually B. gaimardi. This needs to be checked with the Victorian Museum.

24
6.3.7.6.3 Dasyurus maculatus (Spotted tail quoll)

The spotted tail quoll is the largest marsupial carnivore on the Australian mainland. Its
prey ranges from small wallabies to insects, including carrion. It has been recorded from
a wide variety of habitats including rainforest, open forest, woodland, coastal heathland
and inland riparian forest. Den sites have been recorded in caves, rock crevices and
hollow logs. This species apparently is recovering after an unknown epidemic reduced
their numbers earlier this century. Some major threats are habitat loss, poisoning and
trapping; competition with introduced species such as foxes and cats (Strahan, 1995).
This species has been recorded in the BRC (Robinson, 1988) and there has been a recent
sighting at the Oaks near Bargo (E.Chapman (WIRES), Pers. Comm.).

6.3.7.6.4 Macropus parma (Parma wallaby)

This Schedule 2 species was once common but is now apparently extinct in several parts
of the Great Dividing Range. Its habitat consists of wet and dry forests and occasionally
rainforests. It prefers wet sclerophyll forest with a thick scrubby undergrowth associated
with grassy patches (Strahan, 1995). This wallaby has not been recorded in the BRC;
however, it has been observed in the nearby catchments (Robinson, 1988; SWD). Its
greatest threat as well as predation by foxes, dogs and other carnivores would be habitat
destruction.

6.3.7.6.5 Petaurus australis (Yellow bellied glider)

The Yellow-bellied glider is a Schedule 2 species that has been recorded in the nearby
catchments (SWD), but not yet in the BRC. Its diet consists of plant and insect exudates
(sap, nectar, honeydew and manna) and occurs patchily in tall, mature wet eucalyptus
forests (Strahan, 1995).

6.3.7.6.6 Petaurus norfolcensis (Squirrel glider)

The squirrel glider is a Schedule 2 species. It has not been recorded in the BRC;
however, records exist for the nearby catchments (SWD). This animal can feed on
insects, gum produced by acacias, the sap of certain eucalyptus spp, nectar and pollen.
They need tree hollows for nests and any activity reducing these would threaten this
species (Strahan, 1995).

6.3.7.6.7 Petrogale penicillata (Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby)

This Schedule 2 species has been reported in the BRC (Australian Museum record
M1819). Its habitat includes rainforest gullies, wet and dry sclerophyll forest, open
woodland and rocky outcrops in semi-arid country. Sites with northerly aspects for
basking in the mornings and evenings, and with numerous escape routes are favoured.
This species' has been in decline since the turn of the century mainly due to hunting and
predation by introduced predators such as foxes (Strahan, 1995).

6.3.7.6.8 Phascolarctos cinereus (Koala)

25
The koala has been reported in the BRC (Robinson, 1988; I.Tate, S.Ward, Pers.
Comm.). This Schedule 2 species was once widely distributed throughout southeastern
Australia; however, its habitat is being continuously depleted. Trees in the BRC in
which koalas have been regularly sighted include E. agglomerata (Blue-leaved
Stringybark), Eucalyptus punctata (Grey Gum), E. viminalis (Manna Gum), E. sieberi
(Silvertop Ash) and E. tereticornis (Forest Redgum) (Currans et. al., 1990).

6.3.7.6.9 Potorous tridactylus (Long-nosed Potoroo)

This Schedule 2 animal was until recently thought to be rare in southeastern Australia. It
is now known to be quite widely distributed there and in Tasmania (Strahan, 1995).
Although it has not been recorded in the BRC, a record exists with Sydney Water in the
nearby Upper Nepean Catchment (SWD). It frequents dry and wet sclerophyll forests,
but it requires thick ground cover and seems to concentrate in areas where the soil is
light and sandy. It often digs small holes and is known to eat roots, tubers, fungi, larvae
and other soft-bodied animals in the soil (Strahan, 1995).

6.4 Flora
The BRC offers unique vegetation, as Sandstone (SS) vegetation is amongst the most
species rich in the world. A list of the recorded flora species has been compiled by using
as many sources available as possible (See Appendix 14.3), however several records
remain skeptical as recorded plants should not occur in the region. We leave the validity
of this data and thus the source up to the discretion of the reader.

6.4.1 Description of vegetation


According to the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment vegetation mapping studies, which
were carried out for the Water Board by the National Herbarium of NSW, Royal
Botanic Gardens Sydney (Benson and Howell, 1994), BRC comprises the following six
types of vegetation structures within all classified as the Sydney Sandstone Ridgetop
Woodland or Forest.

1. Ironstone woodland on clay subsoil is dominated by Eucalyptus sieberi (Silvertop


Ash), E. gummifera (Red Bloodwood) and E. racemosa (Scribbly gum)

2. The second vegetation type is dominated by E. gummifera (Red Bloodwood), E.


oblonga (Narrow-leaved Stringybark), E. racemosa (Scribbly Gum) and E. sieberi
(Silvertop Ash). It is found on ridges and plateaus and well-drained sandy loam.

3. Heath Woodland and Low Woodland is dominated by another scribbly gum E.


haemastoma, and is poorly drained.

4. E. sieberi (Silvertop Ash), E. sclerophylla (Scribbly Gum) and E. piperita (Sydney


Peppermint) dominate Open Forests.

5. The dominant species within the Open Woodland is E. sclerophylla (Scribbly Gum),
found in shallow and sandy soils.

26
6. Banksia ericifolia(Heath Banksia) and Hakea teretifolia dominate the Closed-scrub,
found in intermittently damp areas of undulating plateaux.

The latter type is found on Hawkesbury SS and Narrabeen SS, while the 3 former
groups are found exclusively on Hawkesbury SS.

6.4.1.1 Bargo Brush Forest


Two types of vegetation make up the Bargo Brush Forest, which comprises
approximately 5% of the BRC. Both are open forest but are dominated by different
species. The first type is dominated by E. crebra (Narrow-leaved Ironbark), E.
globoidea (White Stringybark) and E. quadrangulata (Coast White Box). The second
type of open forest is dominated by E. crebra (Narrow-leaved Ironbark), E. bosistoana
(Coast Grey Box), E. fibrosa (Broad-leaved Iron Bark) and E. eugenioides (Thin-leaved
Stringybark) which are found in the Mittagong Formation.

6.4.1.2 Clear Area


An area is classified as "clear" if; native vegetation has been largely cleared or disturbed
but remnant vegetation of varying sizes and condition may remains. The clear area takes
up approximately 25% of the BRC.

6.4.1.3 Hawkesbury Sandstone Gully Forest


Four types of vegetation were found in sandstone gullies, which makes up 30% of the
BRC. They are Open Forest, Scrub, Closed- Forest and Tall Open forest.

The dominant species within the Open Forest are E. piperita (Sydney Peppermint), E.
agglomerata (Blue-leaved Stringybark) and Angophora costata (Red Gum) which are
found in Hawkesbury Sandstone soil type in gullies.

Tristaniopisis laurina(White Gum) and Lomatia myricoides dominate scrub. It is found


in Hawkesbury Sandstone soil. Closed Forest is dominated by Ceratopetalum
gummiferum(Christmas Bush), which is found on sheltered sites on creeks.

Tall Open Forest in the BRC is dominated by E. deanei (Round-leaved Gum).

6.4.1.4 Shale/ Sandstone Forest


The dominant species of this forest type are E. punctata (Grey Gum), E. globoidea
(White Stringybark) and E. paniculata (Grey Ironbark). This forest is found in
Wianamatta Shale soils and takes up about 2% of the BRC. The habitat is a
Shale/Sandstone transition, which receives rainfall of less than 1000mm per year.

6.4.2 Comparison of Field Data to Draft Vegetation Map


From an aerial map and from frequent visits to the Bargo River Catchment, some small
differences to the vegetation map produced by Benson and Howell (1994) were found.

27
The BRC appeared to be dominated by E. haemastoma (Scribbly Gum), E. gummifera
(Red Bloodwood), E. globoidea (White Stringybark), E. crebra (Narrow-leaved
Ironbark), and E. punctata (Grey Gum).

In Benson and Howell's (1994) vegetation map, by estimation, the open-forest (Sydney
Sandstone Gully Forest) made up approximately 30% of the total area. The woodland
area (Sydney Sandstone Ridgetop Woodland) covered approximately 37% while clear
area took up 25%. Other sections included Bargo Brush Forest (5%), Shale/Sandstone
Forest (2%) and Mittagong Shale Woodland (1%).

We found that the open forest covered approximately 20%, woodland covered
approximately 45%, while the clear area covered 35%.

The discrepancies in the draft vegetation map and our observations could be due to
mapping errors and changes that have occurred since the vegetation map was produced
in 1994.

28
2 km

Map Key

Mittagong Sandstone Woodland

Cleared Area

Sydney Sandstone Ridgetop Woodland

Sydney Sandstone Gully Forest

Bargo Brush Forest

Shale Sandstone Forest

Southern Highlands Shale Woodlands

BRC Boundry

Figure 4. Vegetation map covering the BRC (Adapted from draft Wollongong vegetation map (Benson
and Howell, 1994) and Burragorang vegetation map (Fisher et. al., 1995))

29
6.4.3 Significant Flora
Native Western Sydney plants are important because they form a distinct assemblage,
different from those elsewhere in the Sydney region. These native plants now survive
only in small patches of remnant bush, along creek lines or in a few inadequate reserves.
About 20 species of plants have already become extinct in the area. A conscious effort
has to be made to protect our native flora.

The vegetation map of Benson and Howell (1994) in the Sydney Sandstone Ridgetop
Woodland shows Darwinia grandiflora as a significant species. In the Sydney
Sandstone Gully Forest, Blechnum ambiguum is uncommon and Persoonia bargoensis,
Persoonia hirsuta, Hibbertia nidida and Lomandra fluviatilis are significant species. In
Bargo Brush and Shale/ Sandstone Forest, E. ligustrima (privet- leaved stringy bark) is
an uncommon species.

Recently a rare species of orchid, Diuris punctata was located in the bushland area to be
used for spray irrigation (from the sludge pond on Charlies Point Rd). The council has
been urged to protect the area. (Bargo River Protection Group, 1996).

30
6.5 Wildlife Corridor
Fragmentation of the Australian wilderness by development, farming and clearing over
the last 50 years has caused a decline in native fauna and flora biodiversity.
Maintenance of bushland corridors to link larger, intact areas is one way of preventing
isolation of such fragments.

Most of the riparian area in the BRC has remained intact protected by its ruggedness.
The Bargo River Gorge has steep rocky cliffs for its 10 km length (Most northerly point
of Bargo River, see Figure 3). This vegetated area connects the headwaters of Bargo
River to the Nepean River and allows flora and flora to move along its length and from
protected areas to the west and east.

The potential of the BRC as a wildlife corridor has been discussed in detail by Ware
(1993). The value of the BRC as a corridor results from its position between the
extensive water catchment to the east, the Nepean to the North, the Nattai Wilderness to
the west and the Southern Table Lands to the South (See Figure 5). It is imperative that
extensive bushland be retained in the BRC to maintain the connection between these
areas.

31
Sydney Water Catchment

Sydney Water Warragamba dam


Catchment

Urban and developed area

Catchment and National Parks

Dharawal Reserves

Thirlmere Lakes National Park

National Parks

Figure 5. Map showing how the BRC acts as a corridor. 32


6.6 Potential Threats

6.6.1 Activities of Herpetological Collectors


During the last decade amateur collectors may have reduced the diversity and abundance
of herpatofauna in the BRC. Common species such as Red Bellied Black Snakes and
Eastern Brown Snakes have been reduced in numbers by their collection and by collection
of their prey (J.Emedi, Pers. Comm.). When collectors search for smaller reptiles they
will move or completely remove rocks from ridgelines. These areas are highly valuable
for habitat and their destruction could mean that the food chain might be affected if not
completely broken. This action can lead to the decline in number of predator species
especially those that rely on rocky ridgelines for habitat.

6.6.2 Bush Rock Removal (See also section 11.8.6)


Removal of this rock in the BRC has been extensive. Many of the areas used by
commercial licenced bush rock dealers have been cleaned free of the rock and much of
this has been done illegally by other collectors. Currently there are no regulations for the
removal of bush rock from private land by owners and some crown land has also been
affected by this activity in the BRC. The removal of bush rock poses problems for species
that use them for shelter and habitat. The Red-crowned Toadlet, a Schedule 2 species that
uses ridgeline rocks for shelter (Cogger, 1992) is expected to occur within the BRC.
However, it was not found during the study period. There are many other species, such as
rock geckos and numerous insects that would use these rocks as habitat. The bush rock is
a primary habitat of the Broad-headed Snake (See Section 6.3.7.2.1) and its removal
could mean the disappearance of this Schedule 1 species from the BRC.

6.6.3 Exotic Fauna and Flora


Dogs in packs are a problem for large fauna such as koalas and swamp wallabies. No data
on the number of dogs and cats in the area are available; however, Wingecarribee Shire
Council Rangers report dog packs in the area. It is estimated that only 2% of all
Australian dogs are registered nationally rising to only 30% in urban areas. WySC
receives 400 complaints per month about animals (J.Sproule, Pers. Comm; DLG, 1996a).

Some rabbit poisoning has been conducted with Pindone (Buxton) (Glover, Pers Comm.)
and calici virus was released in 1997. Goats have been reported near the revegetation area
of Tahmoor mines.

Cats in the BRC (E.Chapman (WIRES), Pers. Comm.), frequently attack Brush-tailed
Possums, Sugar Gliders, and Ring-tailed Possums.

Gambusia fish may be competing with and predating on native fish populations and the
frog populations. This could have a lasting effect on other aquatic species such as
Hyridella depressa, which requires native fish to be its parasitic host during a period of
its life cycle (M.Byrne, Pers. Comm.)

33
6.6.4 Fire
Bushfire is a natural phenomenon and one of the continuing physical factors affecting
Australian environments. It can destroy habitat especially old trees with optimal nesting
hollows, food sources and breeding habitats. The impacts and management of fires are
discussed in section 8.

6.6.5 Ground Disturbances


Digging and tilling of ground can destroy habitat used by ground dwelling organisms such
as the Legless Lizard or Blind Snake. Underground habitats are difficult to detect prior to
the disturbance and consequently may be unwittingly destroyed.

6.6.6 Human Built Environment


Many issues related to the human built environment are discussed in section 11. There are
some additional impacts such as chicken fences and electric fences; these can cause
problems for bats and birds. Once caught and stunned in an electric fence the animals
become easy prey for domestic cats, dogs or foxes (E.Chapman (WIRES), Pers. Comm.)

Snakes and other reptiles are removed from dwellings and either killed or relocated as
they are seen as threats to the human inhabitants. Inappropriate relocations could lead to a
disturbance of gene pools.

6.6.7 Roads and Rail


As the BRC is surrounded by major roads and rails links, fauna species are subject to
road-kills. Koalas have been seen crossing roads in the BRC and road-kill koalas have
been recorded in Bargo (E.Chapman (WIRES), Pers. Comm.). Numerous other animals
have been killed on the roads of the BRC including; Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Swamp
Wallaby, Wombat, Boo book Owl, Black Kite, Red bellied Black snake (E.Chapman
(WIRES), Pers. Comm.). The White lipped snake that we recorded in the BRC was a road
kill.

Not only are cars a threat to fauna they can also carry seeds of introduced species. Viable
cells of exotic plants and microorganisms can thus be introduced to the BRC. Weeds are
discussed in greater detail in section 11.1.

6.6.8 Loss of Vegetation


Vegetation loss in the BRC is apparent, as the amount of cleared area is currently 20%.
Many of these areas can not be easily regenerated to their original status; thus these
habitats and the biodiversity contained within them may be lost permanently.

34
6.6.9 Water Quality
The quality of the water may pose a threat to the native fish populations, as they may not
be able to survive in polluted waters. Water quality affects the aquatic organisms at the
bottom of the food chain. Thus repercussions could occur through the ecosystem.

6.6.10 Hunting
Currently hunting would not have a large impact on the fauna populations; however,
some species could still be at risk. Eastern Grey Kangaroos have been shot in the region
(E.Chapman (WIRES), Pers. Comm.).

6.7 Management Issues and Recommendations


1) Well- fed domestic dogs and cats can have a major effect on wildlife particularly
during droughts when predators would normally be in low numbers and in poor
condition. People living near bushland areas should be encouraged to think deeply on
whether they really need carnivorous pets and to realise that all pets must be
restrained at night.

2) The recent TSC and SEPP 44 legislation, needs to be enforced by local councils. They
must ensure that any development of sites containing rare or threatened species is
done under a controlled regime and that all such areas have an adequate plan of
management.

3) The introduction of exotic plants must not be allowed near existing bushland
especially areas with flowing water, which enables seed dispersal. For example,
Water Hyacinth was observed in an ornamental pond placed near a gully leading into
the lower Bargo River. Public education is urgently required on this issue.

4) Runoff, stormwater and sewage into bushland must be prevented.

5) Areas where wildlife frequently cross roads should be marked with adequate signs.

6) Bush rock removal must be discouraged, by public education and law enforcement
Legal vendors should be monitored.

7) Further investigation is needed on the biodiversity of areas with distinctive vegetation


types, such as the rainforest habitat near Caves Creek or the patch of Southern
Highlands Shale Woodlands near Colo Vale. Other areas that need to be looked at
more closely are the shale intrusions, basalt and microsyenite intrusions (See Figure 1
for locations). These soil types are more fertile than the dominant sandstone and may
yield unexpected flora and fauna.

8) A comprehensive vegetation map should be produced for the BRC, possibly with the
assistance of the Royal Botanical Gardens. The draft vegetation map (Benson and
Howell, 1994) needs to be corrected for the BRC as several discrepancies were found
(See Section 6.4.2).

35
9) Feral rodents were found in disturbed areas on the edge of the BRC at Dogtrap Creek,
Parsons Paddock in the lower Bargo, but not in Caves Creek on the upper Bargo
Gorge. Their presence or absence could be used as a bio-indicator. In future studies
the ratio of introduced to native rodents could be used as means of determining the
level of disturbance.

36
7 Aboriginal Heritage
Available reports on the history of the BRC and its use by aboriginal tribes are few and
tend to be contradictory. Liston (1988) reports that the Dharawal tribe (also spelt
D’harawal, Tharawal and Thurrawal) used the region from Botany Bay south to the
Shoalhaven and inland to Camden, but traveled widely through the Hawkesbury-Nepean
and occasionally ventured considerably further. Dharuks (also spelt Dharugs) occupied
land in the Hawkesbury district (and northern Burragorang (NPWS, 1995)), while the
Gandangara (also spelt Gundangarra, Gundungurra and Gand’ngarra) lived in the
mountain highlands to the south and southwest. A fourth tribe the Wodi Wodi apparently
occupied the coastal plain of the Illawarra. Matthews (1991) suggests that the Nepean
River was the border between Gundangarras and Tharawals, while Tindale (1994, cited in
Officer 1996) includes the Bargo River in the approximate boundary area. According to
G.Andrews (NPWS, 1995), the transition zone between Tharawals and Gundandgarras
was a corridor for tribes travelling to ceremonial grounds near Camden. The area east of
that transition and extending through the Bargo SRA and the Nattai River valley was a
significant area, “Gwaigl,” with special guardians and points of entry. Knox (undated)
considers that the Gundangarras, Tharawals Dharuks and Wodi Wodi tribes met for
initiation and intermarriage ceremonies in the Bargo region.

Rock art in the area contains some figures in charcoal (See Figure 6) while other sites are
in red or white ochre. It would be of interest to determine whether these represent the
work of different tribes.

After the depletion of the Dharawals by disease and massacre, the Gundangarras moved
into the Wollondilly and Camden areas (NPWS, 1995). Aboriginal reserves were
established in the Burragorang valley between 1874-78 (den Hertog 1987, cited by
Huggett 1991). By 1877 the Gundangarras numbered only 60 and after flooding affected
the reserves (WoSREP) survivors moved to a 28 ha settlement in Camden. In 1927/28 the
remaining people were transferred to La Perouse (Matthews 1991).

Officer (1996) reviewed the results of the few archaeological surveys (mostly for EIS’s)
undertaken in the area. Most of these fairly limited surveys have detected art sites within
sandstone formations and potential archaeological deposits. The Tharawal Land Council
reportedly has located many such sites.

The most significant area is probably the Bargo Gorge/ Mermaid’s Pool. Charcoal
drawings can be found of a lyre-bird (totem of the Tharawals) and figures apparently
illustrating the legend of the fish-woman and a warning to males (McGill, 1989). This
legend apparently warns against overfishing (Douglas, 1995a). Salt deposits also occur in
some caves and were probably used for healing purposes (Douglas, 1995a).

37
Figure 6. Charcoal drawings from Dogtrap Creek. Courtesy of C. Warner.

7.1 Issues
1. Because of the apparent importance of the area to so many tribes and the changes in
tribal numbers and movements and the displacement of original inhabitants since
white settlement, identification and verification of the significance of landforms in the
area is now problematic.

2. Identification of sites and their protection from the weather and vandalism is
desperately required. Tharawal Land Council (TLC) believed that the NPWS cannot
adequately protect the sites and therefore, because of fear of damage by vandals, the
TLC would not report any new sites (McGill 1989).

3. Vandalism, however, continues; a rock carving of a foot near Yanderra has apparently
disappeared (I.Smith, pers. comm. 1996). Axe-grinding sites nearby are also
vulnerable. Protection is not possible without knowledge of location.

4. Photographic records and registration of sites need to be established in the BRC.

5. Education of local people to the value of aboriginal heritage must be encouraged.

38
8 Fire
Management of fire is a major issue for the Bargo Catchment. The Catchment’s location
between the bushland areas of the Nattai Reserves System to the west and the extensive
Water Board areas to the east insures that occasional, extreme bushfires will burn large
segments of the Catchment. Such occasional burns will occur despite the Management
Plans for the adjoining areas and for council-controlled areas within the Catchment itself.

Increasing settlement will bring with it demands for hazard reduction operations (HRO),
usually burning, to protect life and property. Such burns will have an adverse effect on the
natural bushland adjoining settlement given that effective fuel reduction to prevent
extreme fires requires burning at frequencies greater than those required for long-term
survival of many native, local species (references cited in Keith, 1995). As settlement
proceeds along the ridge-lines bordering the Catchment (Remembrance Drive and the
Couridjah- Colo Vale Road), the areas affected by hazard reduction burns (HRB) will
increase. Ultimately, frequent firing will change the vegetation along these ridge-lines and
the associated fauna (see section 6.6.4.) Increasing incidences of arson, often from the
burning of stolen cars will augment this effect.

However, in the absence of knowledge of fire practices of the original koori inhabitants of
the area, the status of the vegetation of the Catchment prior to white settlement is
unknown. Even if this was known, a return to those practices may not be advisable. The
often competing objectives of fire management in various parts of the catchment must
first be outlined and then placed in order of priority. This is the role of the various Plans
of Management described below.

8.1 Fire history

8.1.1 Aboriginal burning practices


Management practices of the kooris in Sandstone areas are not well known. It is likely,
however, that in inhabited areas fire was used to stimulate grazing plants and to keep
corridors open. Flannery (1994), suggests that the bushland of the Sydney and Botany Bay
region was burned regularly and that the vegetation was less dense and more grassy than
it is today and carried a wider fauna. In the Bargo catchment, the current vegetation may
have changed since these regimes ceased (NPWS, 1995). However, it is thought that the
Catchment was used as a corridor rather than a place of regular habitation (see section 7).
Hence burning may not have been extensive.

Since records have been kept on large scale burns, the trend has been for NNW and W
winds to drive the most severe fires in late spring and summer. The most common cause
is lightning strike. Major fires occurred in 1957, 1968, 1977, 1985 and 1990, in the
northern part of the catchment (5-10 year cycle), and in 1939, 1968 and 1984, in the
southern part of the Catchment (NPWS, 1995; WySC, 1995; WSC, 1995; B.Smith, Pers.
Comm.).

8.2 Fire Management

39
Amendments to the Bush Fires Act after the Sydney fires of 1994 required that each local
council or group of councils establish a Bush Fire Management (BFM) Committee to act
under the auspices of the Co-ordinating Committee which is responsible for all bush-fire
related matters in the State (Koperberg 1995). Section 41 AB(1) of the Bush Fires
(Amendment) Act 1994 required each Committee to prepare and submit to the
Coordinating Committee a BFM Plan comprising a Fuel Management and Operational
Plan for the prevention , control and suppression of bush fires. The Fuel Management
Plans, which are current for two years, must include schemes for the reduction of fire
hazards in the area. If a Plan is not prepared, or if, in the opinion of the Commissioner of
Bush Fire Services (BFS) it has not been carried out, then the Commissioner will
implement the Plan and charge costs to the agency responsible for the land.

On 26 June 1997, the Rural Fires Act (1997) replaced the Bush Fires Act and led to a
number of environmental protection changes. These include ecologically sustainable
development principles to be binding on all levels of the Rural Fire Service. Exemptions
from the TSC Act will not occur except during emergencies. Conservation representatives
will nominate members for the Bush Fire Management Committees; Bush Fire Risk
Management Plans will be publicly exhibited; there will be restrictions of Hazard
Reduction Burns in environmentally sensitive areas; and landholders have the right to
appeal against notices requiring burning on their land.

The BRC falls under the control of two BFM committees, Wollondilly and
Wingecarribee. Jurisdictions of these BFM committees include adjoining areas under
control of NPWS and Sydney Water, which also have BFM Plans. Roads and Traffic
Authority, State Rail Authority, Integral Energy run other subsidiary programs in the
Catchment, and Trans Grid Power. The NSW Fire Brigades principles and relevant
elements of fire management policies of the bodies responsible for the areas in and
around the Catchment are summarised as follows:

8.2.1 Nattai Reserves System


(NPWS, 1995):

1. The Warragamba East Fire Management Plan is prepared jointly by NPWS, and the
Water Corporation with the cooperation of the two councils.

2. Strategies will be developed with local brigades, local government, and neighbours.

3. Priority in fire management will be given to areas of the reserves where there is
potentially a high fire risk to life and property. Methods of control that minimise
environmental impact will have preference.

4. Research findings relevant to traditional Aboriginal burning practices and fire effects
on ecosystems will be incorporated in fire management plans (FMP) as they become
available.

5. Until then, prescribed fire will be excluded from wet sclerophyll forests, rainforest
communities, and habitats of fire-sensitive organisms.

40
6. Where there is a sound, researched basis, fire will be used to produce a diversity of
fire regimes.

7. A strategic plan has been developed which identifies minimum fuel management
blocks with prescribed fire regimes. HRO’s are designed around these blocks to
protect the townships along the western ridge of the Bargo Catchment. At present a 7
year burning mosaic cycle is planned depending on environmental considerations
(WSC, 1995).

8. Records of fire events will be kept and used in management planning.

8.2.2 Sydney Water


Aims (as outlined in Hinchley, 1990, and Sclater, 1995) are to

1. Reduce risk of damage to life and property within and adjacent to the Corporation’s
areas.

2. Ensure safety of fire fighters

3. Minimise effects on water quality and sustain yields

4. Ensure conservation of natural and cultural resources, and protect ecological


processes and fire-sensitive communities within areas of responsibility.

5. Minimise areas burnt by wildfire by developing HRO’s which will have minimum
impact on catchment water quality, will maintain fire regimes for natural vegetation
classes, include only a small proportion of any vegetation type in any one year,
maintain a diversity of age classes and which will retain scenic quality.

6. Cooperate with adjacent Fire Control authorities, surrounding landholders and the
public.

7. Encourage research into fire and its effects, and continue to review fire management
planning.

8. Maintain a database and mapping records of all fires in the area of responsibility.

8.2.3 Wingecarribee Council and Wollondilly Council Bush Fire Management


Committees
Both committees consist of members of the relevant Council, NSW Fire Brigade, and
NPWS. The former also includes a State Forestry representative. Objectives relevant to
the BRC are generally those listed above for Nattai Reserves and Sydney Water, but in
addition:

1. Minimise soil erosion and sedimentation

41
2. Achieve a long term spectrum of fire intensity and visitation that is acceptable for
both environmental protection and commercial activities.

3. Ensure where practicable the long-term conservation of all indigenous species and
communities.

4. Minimise the cost of fire management

The aim of the BFMP is to develop a mosaic of fuel reduced areas in the Shire to protect
life, property and community assets by (a) identifying and setting strategies to manage
accumulations of fuels hazardous to those qualities and (b) by identifying those fuels
which need to be managed to protect cultural heritage and promote biodiversity. Where
(a) and (b) above are in conflict, alternative methods of fuel management have been
considered and in some areas planning has been used to protect fire sensitive areas from
wildfire.

8.2.3.1 Strategies (Wingecaribee BFMP)


1. Maintain well trained BF Brigades to carry out HRO on vacant Crown Land

2. Serve Sect. 13 notices on landholders to reduce fuel

3. Maintain a Fire Trail System

4. Prepare a fire advantages map (features useful in fire control)

5. Prepare maps of fuel management zones

6. Broad acre autumn burn in a mosaic pattern on a 5-7 year program with top priority
for ridge tops and western faces.

8.2.3.2 Strategies (Wollandilly BFMP):


1. Organise HRO during April-June to take advantage of dry, cool weather. August-
Sept is considered less successful as spring rains occur.

2. In conjunction with Wingecarribee Council arrange for 7 year HRO (burning) on


eastern side of Bargo River as part of Bargo/Yanderra Village Protection Buffer Zone.
and a 9 year program on western side of the river:

3. Implement a Fuel management plan.

8.2.4 Issues relating to the BFM Committees and the Fuel Management Plans:
1. The following are listed in Douglas (1995b):

a) HRO’s should be strategic rather than broad acre burns

42
b) Fire Control Officers should have formal training in BFM, which includes
ecological principles.

c) Fire Brigades should receive optimal equipment and training.

2) Issues relating to housing and future development:

a) Housing patterns in the villages of Balmoral, Colo Vale, Hilltop and Buxton have
tended to be haphazard, with interspersed bushland between houses and poor road
access (Balmoral Village Vol.; Ibbet and Tate (1993); BF Brigade FMP 1993).
Given the already vulnerable location of these villages on a ridge-line between
large expanses of bush, the fire risk is high. Moreover, tree plantings and bush
encroachment on the houses accentuate the dangers

b) Developmental Control Plan No. 22 for Wollondilly Counci1 1990 (Bushfire


Mitigation) requires fire breaks for new developments which include fuel-free
areas of a minimum 15m and fuel reduction zones that are at least a minimum of
30m on N, NW, W, SW & S slopes, burnt every 1 in 5 years. For moderate and
high fire hazard areas it requires a road and fire trail system so that residents can
leave and fire-fighters arrive without fear of collision. Few roads currently meet
these criteria in the Bargo Catchment. Consequently, HRO’s are difficult to
control and fire fighting is hampered. DCP No. 22 gives suggestions on building
design, layout, construction, and landscaping details, which would reduce damage
to property.

c) Fuel-free and fuel reduction zones will entail loss of species diversity and
probably an increase in erosion and runoff.

d) DCP 22 also recommends a list of fire retardant species for use in landscaping.
Among the species listed are very few that are indigenous and some which have
attained weed status (e.g. Cotoneaster, Oleander, European olive, Willow,
Peppercorn ,Camphor laurel).

e) Residents should be encouraged to upgrade houses and gardens for maximum fire-
protection and in bushland areas to plant local, native, fire-retardant species.

f) Rubbish dumping had a significant effect on the seriousness of fires in the Como-
Jannali areas during the 1994 fires by contributing to fuel loads (Lembit, 1995).

g) Inspection of the village settlements around the BRC showed that mistakes made
by house holders, which led to the intensity of the Sydney 1994 fires were still
being made. Residents must be made aware of the inevitability of bush fires and
the need to take proper action. At the same time they must appreciate that “proper
action” will change the bush itself in the vicinity of the housing.

3) Issues relating to effects on flora and fauna. (See Section 6.6.4)

8.3 Recommendations

43
Decisions must be made on what sort of fire program is required. We lack information on
the preexisting Aboriginal fire regime and the idea of a “natural fire regime” is imprecise
(Keith 1995). FMP's prepared for the Catchment are weighted heavily to protect life and
property above ecological assets. That is, the planned 5-9 year burning cycles, if
effectively implemented, will lead to the loss of some species and the encouragement of
others (Keith 1995).

Thus effective BFMP programs in ecologically sensitive areas, which must firstly be
identified, should follow the lead from those in use by NPWS, where corridors and
patches of vegetation are left allowing for animals to escape the fires (R.Bennett, Pers.
Comm.)

However, conditions are seldom adequate to carry out all the HRB plans set for a given
year (J.Wilton, Pers. Comm 1996). This means that fuel material will build up in the
Catchment to the point where extreme fires will result. Currently major fires occur at
approximately 7-9 year intervals.

The Catchment needs to be carefully examined, important habitats should be delineated


and a strategic plan prepared to maintain maximum ecological diversity.

Future developments need strategic guidelines to minimise fire hazards. This could
include the use of fire resistant building materials, especially in high risk areas, and the
selection of suitable building locations. Increased collection of rubbish, which adds to the
fuel material, would also be beneficial.

Finally, community awareness for the needs of a BFMP must be adequately addressed,
through education programs and incentives.

44
9 Coal Mining
Tahmoor Mines produce high quality, low sulphur coking and steaming coal from long-
wall mining of a seam of 2-3m at a depth of 410-430 m. More than 15 million tones (Mt)
have so far been produced and 9.9 Mt remain in the southern area; with the proposed
Tahmoor North development an additional 32 Mt will be provided (TCAM&R, 1996).
Costs of mining are $45 per tonne, while returns are up to $60 per tonne. However, the
market fluctuates and the profitability of the mine is something of a gamble (K.Woodley,
pers. comm. 1996). State and Federal Government returns from coal, however, arise from
taxes, duties and payment for services. Hence government income accrues no matter what
the profitability of the venture (Smith, 1993).

The mine provides employment for 350 people, the majority of whom live locally. Thus
the mine plays an important role in the community with wages and salaries in 1992
generating $9.1M in retail sales annually (Smith, 1993). Current estimates for life of the
southern area is 5-7 years, while the Tahmoor North development would be completed by
2010-2020 (TCAM&R, 1996)

The TM facility occupies about 8ha with an area, connected by conveyor across the
railway line of 86.3 ha set aside as a coal rejects disposal area. The coal washery produces
500 tonnes per hour and there are 150 tonnes per hour of reject material. General waste
goes to Jack’s Gully tip.

There is an environmental audit every 2 years and the committee organising the audit has
an external member. In general, the mine complies with original 1977 standards, but the
standards are now stricter and the mine has a number of impacts on the local
environment.

9.1 Mining Impacts on Water quality


The TM site lies beside Tea Tree Hollow Creek (TTHC) which runs into the Bargo River.
Potential contamination of the river arises from a number of sources via TTH creek in
times of heavy flow:

a) Town water (1500kL/d) is used in the coal processing equipment because any
sediment, bacteria or algae in recycled water will affect the high pressure equipment.
Water seepage at the rate of 2 kLs per day, from the underground workings has to be
removed from the mine daily and is collected in an underground reservoir, which is
then pumped to the surface. Here it joins water from the coal washery and passes
through 4 ponds, allowing for 4-6 day retention. Resultant water complies with Clean
Water Act, except for Barium and sediment during rain. Oils and floating fines are
trapped in dam 1. Contaminants settle and are periodically removed when siltation
dams are cleaned every 4-6 months. (TCAM & R 1996). The sediment from these
dams is then added to the coal reject area (K.Woodley, Pers. Comm.).

b) After the mines' surface is hosed, run-off water rich in coal dust, along with process
water from the mines facilities and storm water is collected in drainage channels.
These are fitted with oil containment devices. The waste water then runs through
45
treatment ponds for an average of 8 days during dry weather. The clarified water is
then released into TTHC or used on site for dust suppression. Problems arise,
however, as the 4 settling ponds cannot hold large flows. A new system of dams is
presently under construction capable of holding all storm water. (TCAM & R 1996;
K.Woodley, Pers. Comm.).

c) Discharge water from the gas drainage plant, passes through a filter dam, a secondary
settling dam and an oil trap before flowing to dam 4. Water from the workshops along
with water from oil and fuel storage areas also passes through an oil trap.

d) Water used to spray the 3 stockpiles to maintain water content is channeled into
settling ponds and also recycled.

e) Sediment-bearing runoff from the 9 ha active exposed faces of the coal rejects area is
initially captured in settlement ponds designed to hold one tenth of the yearly rainfall
(TN EIS 1993). A drain runs runoff from the rehabilitated slopes to the settlement
ponds.

f) Water from the bath house and toilets is processed by a sewage treatment unit
designed for 450 people but actually deals with 300. This under-capacity has led to
problems as the microbial population requires a threshold level of nutrients for
effective sewage treatment (K.Woodley, pers. comm. 1996).

g) Mine water is pumped from the No. 2 shaft at Rockford Rd via 2 dams to the Bargo
River.

The colliery is licensed to discharge from 3 sites; at the main works area, below the reject
area and from the No 2 shaft site at Rockford Rd. Water discharging from these sites is
monitored monthly for biological oxygen demand (BOD) having a limit of 20mg/L;
chemical oxygen demand (COD) with no set limit; non filterable residues (NFR) with a
limit of 30mg/L; grease and oil with a limit if 10mg/L; and pH in the range of 6.5-8.5. In
the event of any breaches, the testing lab informs the Environmental Engineer who
inspects the problem, informs the EPA and ensures that data are available for EPA
inspection (TCAM & R 1996).

The treatment systems apparently work well in dry weather but contaminated water flows
into the Bargo River during wet weather. The waters flowing into the Bargo River under
these conditions tend to be high in phenols and barium (Ba) (K.Woodley pers. comm.
1996).

The mine supplied records of the monitoring of the 3 licensed discharge locations for the
periods of 195/93 to 2/5/96. However, the data only relate to the parameters listed in the
licensing conditions and do not refer to Ba or phenol. The records indicate that at the
mine site, the discharge had the following make up; pH varied from 7.6-8.3; NFR’s
ranged from 1-73 mg/L only exceeding the licence limit on 2/5/96; oil and grease was <1-
27mg/L, exceeding the licence limit on 16/9/94 & 13/10/94, 7/2/95 and 6/4/94; BOD’s
ranged from 1-11.7mg/L and exceeded the licence limit on 22/12/93 and 18/8/94; COD’s
were available only from 30/5/95 -2/5/96 and ranged from <5-39mg/L.

46
At discharge point 2 a reject area in TTHC, pH’s were 6.9-8.0; NFR’s 1-9, oil and grease
<1-13 (exceeded licence30/5/95), BOD’s 1-2.3, and COD’s <5-29. There was no
discharge on 15 months including 16/3/94-7/3/95

At discharge point 3 (to Bargo River at Rockford Rd), pH’s ranged from 7.5-9.2 with all
records between 20/9/95 and 2/5/96 equalling or exceeding the licence limit of 8.5.
NFR’s ranged from 17.8 -133mg/L with all but 2 periods exceeding licence conditions in
21/9&19/10/93, 16/2/94, and 20/9/95 -2/5/96. Oil and grease ranged from <1-7, BOD
from 1-5.6mg/L and COD from 13-21mg/L. Out of 36 months, there was no recorded
discharge for 27 months.

By comparison, of measurements taken upstream of the mine in TTHC, pH’s ranged from
5.5 -7.4, NFR’s 1-128 with levels greater than 30mg/L on 4/30 occasions. Upstream of
the mine on Bargo River, pH’s ranged from 6.5-7.3, NFR’s 1-70mg/L with > 30 on 1/8
occasions; BOD’s were 1-2.3. No COD values were supplied.

Measurements of Arsenic and Total Phenols in the Coal Reject runoff show levels of
0.156 and 0.66mg/L As in samples taken from a recently completed section and an old
area of the emplacement, while values of phenols were 0.04 and 0.05mg/L. Schedule 2 of
the Clean Waters Regulations 1972 allows 0.05 and 0.001mg/L respectively. (TN EIS
1993)

9.2 Gas discharge


Carbon monoxide and methane are produced from the mine; 10m3/T of gas is produced
from the seam itself, and 30m3/T from the entire mining procedure. This is then vented to
the atmosphere. CO2 makes up 25-91% of the released gases and even though the two
gases can be separated, it is not economically viable to do so (K.Woodley, pers. comm.
1996).

9.3 Destruction of existing bushland


The coal reject emplacement area requires removal of 73 ha of bushland, stockpiling of
topsoil, emplacement of coal reject and then replacement of the top-soil, and
rehabilitation of the vegetation. The area will be 1300m X 650m and will be filled to a
depth of up to 22m with an average deapth of 10-12 m with the active exposure being 150
m X 650 m (TCAM&RR 1996). Rehabilitation is currently being conducted by staff from
Wirrimbirra Sanctuary after an initial unsuccessful attempt by another company. Growth
was slow on the replaced top-soil and local herbivores such as rabbits, feral goats and
swamp wallabies, have restricted growth of new plants.

9.4 Subsidence
Subsidence of surface areas above the mine is predictable and serious. The greatest
problems are changes in drainage, under-ground water, and formation of cracks beneath
the river. The latter may lead to gas venting (see section 9.7.3) and water loss from the
river similar to that reported recently for the Cataract River (Sydney Morning Herald,
1996). Since mining has begun, cracks have appeared at the Pot holes near Rockford

47
Bridge. Tahmoor mines maintains that these cracks are natural but have been enlarged by
subsidence (TCAM&R 1996). The Department of Mineral Resources is monitoring
settlement.

9.5 Dust
Visitors to the mine are aware of the fine layer of coal dust that coats all aspects of the
above-ground mine workings. Dust therefore is not completely controlled by the fine
sprays that maintain water content on the coal piles. We have no data on the effects of
wind borne dust from the workings or the reject area and its contribution to water quality.

9.6 Mt Flora Extraction Proposal


While the mine area is not actually in the Bargo Catchment, the access road/conveyor belt
was planned to cross the top of the catchment. A processing area to be located near the
freeway and the Bargo River would have had a life of 25 years.

9.7 Issues

9.7.1 Mining Impacts on Water Quality


1. The downstream discharge had the highest pH, particularly the Rockford Rd site
which was also high in NFR’s. No comparative values were available for COD’s.
BOD’s, along with oil and grease levels, were higher at the mine site discharge. Any
increases will affect the biodiversity of the BRC and the turbidity will reduce the
scenic value of water in the Gorge. These values must be reduced and the program of
water management currently underway at the mine should contribute to achieving this
aim. The Rockford Rd site needs closer investigation as the high values may be a
result from the agricultural inputs into Dogtrap Ck (see Section 10). Values of
Arsenic (As) and Phenols were high at the Reject Emplacement. These compounds
are highly toxic (Mason 1991) and a problem particularly in times of low flow. To
some extent the high pH’s will reduce the ionisation of these compounds and
therefore reduce the adverse effects, but even so their release should be minimised.

2. We have no data on the reported barium levels. This compound, however, would have
to be present at high levels to be as serious as the As and phenols.

3. Monitoring should be undertaken immediately upstream of the Rockford Rd discharge


to ensure that high levels are attributable to the discharge and not other sources.

4. The parameters required for the discharge licence are limited in scope and may not be
the most suitable for checking the effects of coal runoff. Phenols, Cu, As and Zn
could be added to the list. Fourteen monitoring sites are listed in TCAM&R 1996.
The mine management should release all monitoring values and publish the results of
its environmental audit.

48
5. Aquatic life could be monitored to determine ongoing affects of coal operation on
their population. Such a study would provide a measure of the actual ecological
effects, if any, of the operation.

9.7.2 Gas discharge


With over 40Mt of recoverable coal available, a total of 120 million m3 of greenhouse
gases will be vented to the atmosphere. In the current global trend for reduction in
production of greenhouse gases, such releases will be increasingly unacceptable. This
figure does not take into account the CO2 released when the coal is burned.

9.7.3 Flammable gases venting to the Atmosphere


Gases have been discovered venting from cracks in the valley of the Cataract River (The
Daily Telegraph, 9/7/97). To date no such escapes have been recorded from the Bargo.

9.7.4 Destruction of Existing Bushland


The reject area will destroy an open woodland dominated by Eucalyptus punctata and E.
globoidea. The area adjoins Wirrimbirra Sanctuary, which has similar vegetation.
However, this type of woodland is now becoming scarce in the Sydney basin. Complete
rehabilitation is unlikely given the changes to soil, seed banks and drainage.

9.7.5 Subsidence
Cracking of the river bed is potentially a catastrophic problem. Close examination of the
problem is required and mining should not be allowed in places where any subsidence is
likely to effect the river. The worth of a marginally economic industry has to be weighed
up against the potential damage to a unique natural environment. The proximity of the
Potholes to the Mermaids Pool and the Gorge emphasises the importance of this issue

9.7.6 Dust
Dust will contribute to turbidity of the Bargo River. The mine should monitor methods of
control and use best practice methods.

9.7.7 Mt Flora Extraction Proposal


1. Effects of sediment run-off into the Bargo

2. Damage to the upper parts of the Catchment (tree removal, erosion, weed infiltration)
in the area of the road/conveyor belt

9.8 Management Recommendations


The mine management in the BRC readily cooperated with our data collection. The
industry has potentially large impacts on the BRC, through pollution of the river waters,
soil pollution, removal of vegetation, soil disturbances and subsidence.

49
The current EPA licensing and environmental monitoring by mine personnel are ensuring
that the mine's impacts on the BRC are generally within the required levels. However,
their limits are occasionally exceeded. These breaches may be detrimental to the
biodiversity of the area.

Water quality must be monitored before and beyond the discharge points. Revegetation of
soils that have been moved or reclaimed must include local species to ensure that the
local gene pool of flora is maintained.

Mining directly beneath the Bargo River has potentially devastating consequences. The
effects of subsidence on the Cataract River as a result of mining operations demonstrates
that under no account can such subsidence be allowed to occur under the Bargo. Tahmoor
Mines must assure the community that the river will not be damaged by subsidence.

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10 Non-extractive Industries
The non-extractive industries within the BRC include; intensive livestock keeping
establishments; intensive horticulture; extensive livestock and other minor industries

The development control plans (DCP) which are relevant to non-extractive industries
include: Poultry DCP, 1995; Agricultural Lands DCP, 1995; DCP No.36 (development in
rural areas), 1991; DCP No.25 (commercial development), 1989; DCP No.21 (earth
dams), 1989.

Under the new zonings for Wollondilly shire, developmental consent is required for any
agriculture development. Erosion, wastes, land use and scenic protection are considered
before consent is given.

10.1 The Role of the EPA


The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for licensing companies to
irrigate waste water over private property. That is, industries, such as the poultry farms,
are legally able to pump waste water from their catchment dams over their pastures. A
licence to release water directly into the Bargo River is held only by Inghams for their
Rockford Rd property.

The EPA relies on companies to carry out their own monitoring services. Terms of the
licences require collection of data from holding ponds, such as pH, nutrient levels, BOD,
NFR and bacterial counts. The EPA will usually only act if there is a complaint by the
local community or the company admits to having difficulties in controlling pollution
levels and so turns to the EPA for help or advice. However, the EPA will also make
random inspections of farms. The normal inspection procedure is to visually inspect
settlement ponds for eutrophication.

The Noise Control Act, 1975, empowers the EPA to impose penalties on those breaking
the guidelines. The EPA also has the power to impose fines for environmental pollution,
whether it be accidental or deliberate, through the Clean Air Act, Clean Waters Act,
Pollution Control Act, and Waste Disposal Act. For example, during the study period in
August 1996 an EPA metropolitan air study truck was monitoring dust and odour
produced by a southern Bargo poultry farm.

A Draft Environmental Protection Operations Bill that will combine all existing acts is
currently on public exhibition. Under this proposal there will be no licence to pollute and
the threshold for EPA responsibility will increase. Licences will be self auditing but there
will be mandatory auditing if the licence is breached. Council auditing will be required
but councils will be unable to charge a fee

10.2 Intensive Livestock Keeping Establishments (Poultry farming)


The intensive livestock keeping establishments consist of duck, chicken and turkey
farming. Within the BRC there are seventeen groupings of sheds distributed among
thirteen farms. Of these farms twelve are either owned by or contracted to Inghams
51
Enterprises and all of them are situated within the Wollondilly Shire. Since 1993 there
has been an increase of five poultry sheds in the Couridjah and Buxton areas and one
significant poultry farm in southern Bargo. This development is following the trend of
growth seen nationally in the poultry industry, and the local industry makes a significant
contribution to Sydney’s and to NSW’s poultry production. (Department of Planning and
Communtiy Development, 1993).

Sheds from the older poultry farms are built on compacted clay. Faeces are removed
directly from the clay in a dry operation. Newer sheds are based on concrete and are
hosed down and treated with disinfectants. Run-off goes to settling ponds and this water
is pumped onto pastures. Under normal conditions, there should be no run-off beyond the
pastures. However, there have been two instances of irrigation pumps running undetected
all weekend leading to flows into Bargo River tributaries. Heavy rainfalls also lead to
over-flows of ponds; however, this occurs only during 1 in 10 year rainfall events, during
continuous falls of 72 hour duration. Materials flowing into the ponds will include faecal
matter, poultry waste products, growth enhancement products, pesticides, disinfectants,
and dust. All of these problems, except growth enhancement products are regulated for
farms established after the introduction of the Poultry DCP in September 1995.

Local residents, however, report that a creek known as "Turkey Creek" which drains into
Bargo River Gorge from Inghams leaks effluent even in dry weather.

Limit conditions for the licence for Inghams to release water into the Bargo Catchment
during and after rainfall are as follows: release only to occur at Rockford Rd, not to
exceed 500 kl/day. BOD must not >20 mg/l, NFRs not > 30 mg/L, and pH must not be
<6.5 or > 8.5. Operational conditions include that no irrigation is to occur within 50m of a
watercourse and that no spray can drift into public areas and/or watercourses. No
monitoring interval has been set. Currently Inghams have 11000 kL storage and are
irrigating 27 ha but have applied to increase that amount to 45ha.

This licence information was obtained from EPA officer, Rod Aubery, and from the terms
of the Ingham’s licence. Our attempts to obtain details of the type of sheds used on each
the Ingham’s properties, the type of containment ponds and data from their water quality
testing were met with refusal, as did requests to inspect the establishments. Refusal for
the latter was justified by the company on quarantine grounds. Our requests were
followed up by similar requests from the Upper Nepean Catchment Committee which
were also refused entry (see Appendix 14.4 for correspondence).

People living close to poultry farms have formed action groups to complain about their
environmental impacts (see letters Macarthur Advertiser 24/7/96, 23/10/96). Residents
report problems with dust and excessive odour when the manure heaps get wet after rain.
There are also complaints arising from the smells of improperly composting dead birds,
noises produced by gas scare guns and truck movements, during times not approved in
Development Applications (Picton News, Oct 9, 1996, describing complaint at Pheasants
Nest).

10.2.1 Recommendations

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We believe therefore that

1. results of self-monitoring must be available to the community;

2. that the monitoring interval should be stated in the EPA licence.

3. that the UNCC should be allowed to visit establishments of their choice

4. that the EPA should make spot checks on the poultry farms and that results of these
checks should be made known to the community

10.3 Intensive Horticulture


Intensive horticulture within the BRC consists of three distinct areas: garden nurseries,
orchard plantations and market gardens.

10.3.1 Garden Nurseries


Garden nurseries in the BRC tend to produce an equal number of native and non-native
plants. All garden nurseries are in the Wollondilly Shire except one located in Colo Vale,
Wingecarribee Shire. Most nurseries in the BRC grow a large proportion of native plants,
with one nursery, Wirrimbirra Sanctuary growing native plants only. Native plants require
minimal chemical usage and therefore nurseries such as Wirrimbirra Sanctuary or the
Bargo Garden Nursery, where approximately fifty percent of plants were native, used only
minor quantities of biocides or fertilisers.

The Fradee nursery in eastern Tahmoor uses large quantities of fertilizers and fungicides,
but contains them with a recycling system based on a simple collection facility, which
needs to be continually aerated and chemically assessed.

10.3.2 Orchard Plantations


Only one orchard plantation, Tennessee Orchards, remains in the catchment. All others
have either gone out of business in the last few years or are very small and may be
considered hobby farms. Tennessee Orchards has 12 ha of apples, pears, plums, peaches,
and nectarines. Irrigation of orchards with bore water is minimised, as excessive water
reduces quality. Up to four tonnes of organic fertilizer such as poultry manure, and one
tonne of artificial fertilizer are applied. The chemical components of the artificial blend
varies each year depending on the results of soil tests. For the 1997 harvest (Jan-June),
one tonne of artificial blend consisted of 19 parts nitrogen, 13 parts potassium, and 5 parts
sulphur. This soil monitoring prevents over or under fertilizing and ensures good soil and
good produce management (Mr. Ray Tyson, Tennessee Orchards, Pers. Comm.). Diseases
encountered are the light-brown apple moth, brown rot and black spot. Black spot disease
only occurs during a very wet season. Fungicides and insecticides are used as a
preventative measure only when the ‘pest’ is likely to occur.

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10.3.3 Housed Market Gardens
Housed market gardens are predominantly sheltered and production mostly occurs in
Couridjah. All of these farms produce introduced plants which may be planted directly to
pots or the ground and require chemicals to enhance and protect growth. Each farm
produces a range of vegetables.

Most farms use organic fertilizers such as chicken manure (Dynamic Lifter). A very large
proportion of these farms are located along the Couridjah Creek catchment and they are
possibly affecting the water quality. Weed growth in this creek is excessive compared to
the Bargo River at the point of confluence (see section 11.1)

The Department of Urban Affairs and Planning has BMP guidelines for all agriculture
activities. BMP No.208 is for plant agriculture: vegetables. These guidelines incorporate
good farm layout, soil management, irrigation, chemical spray and fertilizer use. By
accepting and using these guidelines, market gardeners will improve farm operation,
reduce chemical and fertilizer use and thus reduce environmental degradation.

10.4 Extensive Livestock


Extensive livestock production occurs throughout the BRC but is predominantly located
in the Wingecarribee Shire. For many of these properties the land area is too small for
commercial purposes and few animals are kept. Most common are cattle, horses, sheep,
goats, pigs, ostriches, and free-range poultry. Although most of this industry in the
catchment has very little commercial purpose, it comprises a significant total land area.

The main problems arise from the clearing of natural vegetation, which exposes the soil
to the erosive forces of wind and water that transport suspended solids and nutrients to the
local waterways. The Department of Urban Affairs and Planning has provided BMP
No.106 on soil stabilization to help improve land management strategies to protect the
soils and maintain the integrity of soil surface.

10.5 Other Minor Industries


Most of the minor industries within the catchment are found near the commercial centres.
These businesses include a car yard, corner stores/small convenience stores, florists, small
hotels/motels, landscape suppliers, laundromats, a pet grooming establishment, petrol
stations, and a number of small retail outlets. The effects of these industries on the
environment are probably minor compared to the agricultural and pastoral industries.
Most effects would arise from waste production and pollutants such as oil and run-off.
Except for one hotel and one petrol station in Tahmoor all other minor industries are
located predominantly in Bargo, followed by Balmoral Village, Buxton, Colo Vale,
Couridjah, Yanderra, and Yerrinbool.

The Sydney Water Board has divided Trade Waste customers into four categories. With
the exception of the Inghams turkey processing plant, all minor industries are in
categories where waste is similar to municipal waste, except in greater quantities. These
wastes are treated through the municipal system.

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10.6 Issues

10.6.1 Poultry Farming


1. The faecal matter of all poultry contains high concentrations of phosphorous and
nitrogenous compounds. If these compounds are not managed, they leach into the
river system leading to excessive growth in algae and aquatic plants. As this growth
dies off, it can lead to deoxygenation of water under conditions of low flow. The
poultry industry has not shown that it is employing best practice methods to prevent
eutrophication of the Bargo River. The effects, if any, of disinfectants and growth
enhancers on water quality are unknown.

2. The poultry industry is important for the region. Yet Inghams, the largest of the
companies involved has not been cooperative with us. This is surprising given that Mr
R. Aubery from the EPA reports that their tests have shown low bacterial counts and
single unit figures for BOD and NFR. However, one of their establishments, off
Remembrance Rd north of Bargo, which directly overlies the Bargo River, appears
not to have containment ponds and a creek draining the site was observed to have rich
algal growths where it met the Bargo River. In the absence of independent
inspections, Ingham’s lack of cooperation can only lead to suspicion from the
community of its conduct and principles. We believe that inspections could have been
arranged without compromising quarantine conditions. It is essential that the poultry
industry becomes environmentally proactive as BMP techniques could slow down
environmental degradation.

3. The problems of dust and odour affect local residents but would have minimal direct
effects on water quality of the Bargo River. BMP, however, would reduce dust and
odour while also improving the quality of runoff. Some community members have
raised this issue, indicating that they believe the dust is responsible for the increasing
incidence of respiratory problems reported in the area.

4. Effects of settlement ponds and effluent pumping on local water tables: we have no
knowledge of any relevant studies.

10.6.2 Intensive Horticulture


1) Intensive horticulture with its irrigation and the application of fertilisers, herbicides,
fungicides, and pesticides has the potential to affect water quality in the BRC and may be
contributing to the noticeable eutrophication and weed growth in Couridjah Creek (see
section 11.1). Employment of BMP should avoid run-off to the Bargo River except in
storms. Self - monitoring should be followed up by spot testing of establishments by
councils and the EPA.

2) Some local people we contacted estimated that there are still quantities of obsolete
chemicals still stored on properties within the BRC and are therefore a threat to the
catchment. Although both shires have had amnesties for these chemicals, free collection
points should be provided.

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10.6.3 Extensive Livestock
Extensive livestock production can lead to eutrophication and sedimentation of the Bargo
catchment. An obvious example can be seen at a property on Charlies Point Rd where
bare yards were strewn with faeces and uneaten food. Stagnant water was seen beside the
yards and the run-off into a creek that in turn flows into TTHC was algae-laden. No
containment pond was visible.

Insistence by councils and EPA that managers employ BMP in concert with education
programs for catchment users should lead to minimal runoff.

10.6.4 Other Minor Industries


The issues are essentially the same as those of residential areas, with contaminants
flowing into stormwater drains and eventually into the Bargo River. Development of
containment ponds and constructed wetlands to control this run-off should be considered.

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11 Human Impacts

11.1 Weeds (See also Section 6.6.7)


Dumping of rubbish has led to the spread of garden weeds, which then produce seed,
which wash into the catchment. Because of the villages along the edges of the catchment,
weeds such as balloon vine, golden dodder, verbena, lantana, privet and blackberry affect
many tributaries of the upper catchment. The latter was found infesting the river several
km upstream of the Picton Weir. However, the river, above Bargo is noticeably clearer of
weeds than downstream of the confluence of Couridjah Creek. The latter is particularly
rife with weeds.

Weed invasion of the catchment will be an insidious and probably unavoidable


consequence of increased settlement. Increased settlement will lead to nutrient
enrichment of the catchment and development of conditions suitable for weeds. Rubbish
dumping, horse-riding, human faeces, birds and wind will all then spread weeds (Benson
and Howell, 1990). We also found signs of a marihuana campsite beside the river in a
secluded area high in the catchment. Such human occupation, and increased hiking and
camping in pristine areas would also spread seeds.

Clearing weed-infested areas is a problem, as access to many areas is restricted and back-
pack sprays are the only methods available. Given the size of the area and the difficult
terrain, weed control will be difficult and would bring with it the problems of introducing
herbicides to the Catchment.

A strategy is being prepared by WySC for serrated tussock; water hyacinth and golden
dodder are problems in the headwaters of Couridjah but alligator weed, which is found
elsewhere in the Nepean Catchment, has not yet been reported in the Bargo (Burton Pers.
Comm.).

11.2 Tree Planting in the Catchment


Wingecarribee Shire Council does not yet have a tree preservation policy, but has a draft
policy. WySC has a Tree Preservation Order and a Roadside Management Plan.

11.3 Sewage problems


It has now been announced that the Picton, Tahmoor sewage treatment plant will be
constructed. This would halve the run-off into the BRC from septic tanks. However, all of
Bargo, and much of the run-off from the small towns that line the catchment, will still be
unsewered. Although these settlements are not sewered, they are on mains water and so
individual houses still use the state average of 300l/day/person. Such usage places the
alternative sewage systems under great stress to contain the effluent water on each
property. The inevitable result is a flow of nutrients and bacteria into the BRC.

Three methods of sewage treatment are used in the BRC:

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1) Pump-out: where sewage is pumped directly and regularly out of household tanks into
tankers which deposit it at the sewage ponds on Charlies Point Rd. There are no pump-
out systems in the Wingecarribee shire.

2) Septic tank: where bacterial decomposition is used to remove BOD, and absorption
trenches drain the excess water. The tanks should be pumped out once per year, but in
practice are not. In the Wingecarribee shire, sludge costs $120/year to pump out and is
taken to the Moss Vale STP for disposal. In Wollondilly sludge goes to Glenfield or West
Camden

3) Aerated Waste Treatment Systems (AWTS): where the effluent water is irrigated by
spray over adjacent land. These systems should be checked every 3 months as the
sprinklers break, lines are cut and the sludge tends to be unevenly distributed. Severe
problems have been reported for these systems and they should not be used on slopes
>12% (Martens and Associates, 1996).

Although the minimum housing block size in the WSC is 600m2, the minimum area
required for effective effluent disposal is 200m2. In WySC the minimum lot size is 975m2
and the required aerated area is 300m2 (Policy Register S1/8 for AWTS), though studies
show that 400m2 is required (ERM Mitchell McCotter, 1996) and NSW Dept of Health
1996 suggest an aerated area of 1000m2. Such an area is seldom provided by landholders
for exclusive use as an effluent sink. Additional constraints are the steepness of the terrain
and the shallow, rocky soils in the upper BRC. As many of the dwellings are on slopes on
sandstone substrate, absorption is limited and runoff is rapid into the BRC. In Buxton, the
area required for adequate absorption is probably nearer 1000 m2. Even with such a large
area it is estimated that there would be 50 days/year in which water would run off into the
catchment at Buxton (ERM Mitchell McCotter, 1996).

The tendency of land developers to aim to increase profit by reducing block size
obviously compounds the runoff problem. Developments now require Soil Management
Plans to reduce erosion and runoff, but these are not strictly enforced (D.Nicholson,
Wingecarribee Council, Pers. Comm.). Some protection arises from the Clean Waters
Act, which provides a $600 on the spot fine.

"The Robertson Village: Effluent Disposal Study" conducted by Martens and Associates
(1996) obtained some results which are relevant to the sewage issue in the Bargo.
Although the soils are relatively deep compared to Bargo soils, permeability decreased in
lower subsoils resulting in inefficient effluent disposal. For trench-dependent septic tanks,
those with trenches smaller than 20m2 performed poorly with saturated trenches and
surface seepage. Disposal areas for AWTS's of 12-50m2 were far below minimum
requirements and led to soil saturation and odour. Unit nutrient loads frequently exceeded
2500k nitrogen and 1500k phosphorus/ha/yr. In addition, more than half the village was
constructed within 100 m of a creek. The study recommended that no effluent disposal
units should operate within 100 m of a creek and that the minimum allotment size should
be 2000m2. For land classified as capable of effluent disposal, existing blocks of
<1000m2, pump-out systems should be installed; for those 1000-2000m2, pump-outs
should be installed or trenches should be increased to 4x25m; and AWTS should be
upgraded. For future subdivisions (>2000m2), the study recommends AWTS with sub-

58
surface irrigation over a minimum of 1000m2 and a winter effluent storage facility of a
minimum of 55kL.

The Charlies Point Sewage ponds are regulated with a set of EPA guidelines and are
independently analysed monthly. The ponds consist of 3 consecutive settling ponds.
Water is pumped from the final pond over lands on which plants have been established.
Excess material (beyond licence conditions) is taken to Camden.

When individual sewage units have to cope with more than about 12 people e.g. caravan
parks etc, then a licence is required from the EPA.

11.4 Storm water


Large increases of pollutants are observed after rain (ERM Mitchell McCotter, 1996)
especially in the BRC. All of Bargo’s stormwater, half of Tahmoor’s and a large
proportion of stormwater from the ridge-line settlements of Yanderra, Yerrinbool,
Couridjah, Buxton, Balmoral, Hilltop and Colo Vale would eventually flow into the BRC.

11.5 Eastern Australian Pipeline Co.


A natural gas pipeline runs through the south-western section of the catchment. Bushland
was cleared for a width of 30 m and a track runs along the route. Regrowth has
commenced but the area is still exposed and erosion is evident. Correspondence that we
have received from G. Greenwell, Senior Environment Coordinator AGL, does not refer
to vegetation removal or to rehabilitation plans. We are concerned that no revegetation
appears to be in progress

11.6 Very Fast Train


Construction of a Sydney-Canberra link has been discussed several times over the past 10
years. Recent suggestions from the Speedrail consortium propose an 80 min service (cost
$75 one way). Estimates for land resumption are $100 million and construction costs of
$2 billion (SMH 21/9/96).

11.7 Rubbish dumping


The only waste depot situated in the BRC is the Bargo Waste Management Centre. Many
of the items accepted free by the Centre fall within the 6 main categories of dumped
rubbish. There are regular household pickups for domestic waste and both councils have
run extensive campaigns to discourage dumping. The recycling program run by WySC
has also led to a great reduction in waste to be buried. A report on a Management Plan for
the Bargo Tip is in preparation.

Studies have been conducted on leachate of tip. An application is current to extend the
life of the Bargo tip beyond 2005 (C.Crawford, WySC, Pers. Comm.).

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Dead poultry are collected weekly in sealed bags by council and taken to Jacks Gully tip.
Excess material and disposal of dead animals (e.g. from vets) also goes to Jacks Gully tip
which will be in operation until 2011 (WySC, 1996.)

Clean Up Australia Day was held each year in the period 1991 to 1993, but has since
ceased due to dwindling support from volunteers. As a result, the last clean up day was
held on the 24th of March 1993. The clean up focused on the area surrounding the Pot-
holes bridge, Pot-holes reserve and picnic area and also about 50 metres of Charlie’s
Point road. The rubbish collected amounted to 7 tonnes, not including heavyweight items
such as televisions, fridges, car bodies or parts. A 44 gallon drum filled with old rubbish,
a drum of brown glass, and a drum of white glass and also 3 trailer loads of rubbish were
removed (including car tires and building materials). This site was visited in September
of 1996 and was relatively rubbish free although a dumped fridge, garden clippings, old
building materials such as a trailer load of concrete pieces, and the odd bottle/can were
found.

Several explanations could account for the reduced amounts of dumped rubbish at this
once notorious site.

• Wollondilly Shire council has introduced an integrated recycling service (June 1995)

• In June 1995, Wollondilly Shire council also introduced the sale of compost bins and
worm farms, costing $26 and $46 respectively

• Increased community awareness including:

- participation in Clean Up Australia Day

- publication of information leaflets that are distributed throughout the local


primary schools and also to rate-payers via the post.

- Wollondilly Shire council’s production of a monthly environmental awareness


newsletter - The Bush Telegraph.

During the course of our studies in the Catchment, we discovered that at the end of almost
every track and side-track west of the Bargo was a pile of rubbish. This was particularly
noticeable close to the villages such as Hilltop where tracks to the most scenic areas were
despoiled by dumped cars, white-goods and general rubbish. Amounts of rubbish became
less with distance from the villages. “Parson’s Paddock” near Yanderra, was a popular
place for dumped cars.

Private landfills are a special case of rubbish dumping where landholders use “clean fill”
to fill eroded gullies. Unscrupulous operators are supplying rubbish instead which leads
to pollution of waterways. Councils are addressing this problem with aerial surveys, court
action and education (Bush Telegraph, April 1996). Under the current Waste
Minimisation & Management Act 1995 (NSW), corporations face fines of $125000 for
ownership of wastes unlawfully disposed of. (M.Young, Sydney Morning Herald 14/9/96)

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11.8 Soil Erosion
Causes of soil erosion in the Catchment include:

• Building sites and subdivisions

• Road and track construction

• Inadequately constructed tourist paths

• Grazing and farming activities

• Clearing of vegetation

• Bush rock removal

• Off-road vehicles

11.8.1 Building sites and subdivisions


There are no data available for the rate of sediment loss from land in either of the Shires.
Both Shires have sediment and erosion control policies. The policies state that all
disturbed soil materials should be contained on site and not permitted to enter adjacent
lands, street gutters, drains and/or waters. The Councils implement these policies, whilst
the responsibility to retain the soils falls on the developer. This responsibility extends for
a period of 6 months after the completion of the subdivision, or building (WSC, 1994;
WySC, 1996).

11.8.2 Road and Track construction


As with new building developments, Council regulations require controls on erosion for
road construction. However, erosion was most noticeable on unsealed roads, tracks and
fire-trails which cross the catchment. Water would flow along the wheel tracks and erode
them. Creek crossings were particularly prone to gully erosion. Vehicles would straddle
or avoid the eroded areas thereby expanding the damage. A pilot Roadside Management
Policy is currently under preparation from WySC.

11.8.3 Inadequately constructed footpaths:


In places, such as Mermaids Pools, where foot traffic is common and concentrated, the
paths have become eroded. As with unsealed roads, the erosion spreads as walkers avoid
the gully areas.

11.8.4 Grazing and farming activities


The prime cause of ‘domestic’ grazing erosion is the poor management of stock paddocks
and yards. Overgrazing exposes the soil, and hooves of the animals then physically
damage the soil structure. Sediment is then washed into nearby waterways, and eventually
into Bargo River itself. Likewise, over-tillage and poor farming techniques lead to loss of

61
top-soil. High turbidity levels in Dogtrap Creek attest to the effects of soil erosion in the
major farming area of the catchment.

11.8.5 Vegetation Clearing


Associated with grazing is the clearing of the native vegetation. In vulnerable areas such
as hill-slopes and creek banks, the soil is no longer bound and is prone to erosion. The
clay soils of the Wianamatta shale appear to be particularly prone to erosion and this is
evident from the bare areas on many of the hilltops, and the deeply eroded gullies in the
shale areas of the catchment. Some land-owners then attempt to fill the gullies with a
variety of garbage such as clay-fill, tyres and oil-drums. Aerial surveillance has recently
led to detection of several such illegal dumps (Bush Telegraph, April 1996).

An example of stream bank erosion was seen at the Pot-holes picnic reserve where a 10-
15 metre strip of bank has ‘slipped’ into the Bargo River. The erosion may have been
accelerated by Wollondilly Shire Council’s cutting down (and stump removal) of a large
gum tree which was within 10 metres from the water’s edge.

11.8.6 Bush rock removal


Bush rock removal for the garden decoration trade is a serious problem in the Catchment
(See Section 6.6.2). A correspondent who asks to remain anonymous reports that bush
rock removal was common in the Yanderra/Yerrinbool region with a truck taking rock
illegally from Crown Land on a weekly basis. Bush rock is on sale in the Catchment and
it can legally be taken from private land with the owner’s consent. However, removal of
the rock exposes soil, which increases erosion and hence increases the amount of
sediment being washed into the Bargo River system.

Removal of bush rock also reduces suitable reptile and small mammal habitat. John
Emedi (a local herpetologist), considers that the decline in bush rock has directly caused a
drop in reptile numbers in the Hilltop area. For example 12-15 years ago, 10-12 snakes,
that depend on rock covering, would be found in a 3-4 hour period, whereas now, only 1-
3 snakes can be found in the same time frame.

It is difficult to determine the extent of bush rock removal as there are no base data (apart
from anecdotes such as described above) with which to compare current rock distribution.
However, in Crown Land on the east side of Bargo River (upstream of Couridjah Road)
we were unable to find any rock sitting on rock. This area can be accessed by four wheel
drive vehicles, a major factor contributing to the removal of bush rock in the area.

11.8.7 Off-road vehicles


Off-road vehicles (4WD and dirt/trail bikes) have the following potential to damage the
Catchment:

• Driving off the designated trails damages and can destroy plants, compacts soils,
spreads weeds and fungi and can cause fires;

62
• The action of the tyres (especially when bogged or climbing) exposes and loosens
soils,

• Driving on unsealed roads damages the road surface and leads to gully erosion and
erosion of creek crossings (see section 11.8.2).

• Although many of the tracks which lead into Crown Land/Mining lease areas are
closed and padlocked, the fence has been cut in some places to allow access to local
people.

The Macarthur District 4WD Club informed us that the Buxton area was the only area the
club used in the Catchment; apparently Burragorang is a much more popular site for this
activity. Off-road vehicles are allowed into the Bargo State Recreation Area which
relieves pressure on the BRC. Sometimes there are 20-30 4WD vehicles in the area.

Trail bikes may be more common in the Catchment. Discussion with local people
indicated that many property owners or their children own motorbikes. These are used
mainly on private property, but some evidence of motorbike use (in the form of trails)
was sighted at Meryla Street Couridjah. Similar motorbike trails are numerous throughout
the Catchment.

11.9 Arson and Vandalism


John Sproule, Environmental Officer from the WySC has indicated that arson is a big
problem in the Catchment. Most often these fires involve the torching of stolen cars;
evidence of this was sighted on a bush track which runs parallel to Charlie’s Point road
and on a track north of Hilltop Oval. However, Jack Wilton (Wollondilly Shire Fire
Chief), suggests that arson is not a problem in the BRC.

Evidence of vandalism was seen at:

• The Pot-holes picnic reserve - the barbecue facilities had been destroyed and the
picnic tables stolen.

• Caves Creek - A picnic table and seating were stolen or damaged.

• Mermaids Pools- The Scout Hall was severely damaged. Cars of visitors, which must
be parked beside the road and 1km from the river are regularly broken in to.

11.10 Illegal timber gathering or clearing


A local resident at Couridjah, who sells firewood, informed us that on average, 2.5 tonnes
of firewood/ winter are consumed by families which use a pot-belly stove or combustion
heater. A short survey, which we conducted in the townships of Tahmoor and Bargo, by
counting the number of houses, beside the main road, with combustion heater outlets,
indicated that between a third and half of home owners have a heating system requiring
firewood. The market for firewood in the Catchment is therefore significant.

63
There would therefore be a considerable temptation for residents to gather firewood from
nearby bushland. However, any timber gathered from land other than private property is
illegal, and Jack Wilton (Wollondilly Shire Fire Chief) suggests that illegal timber
gathering appears to be wide-spread in Crown Land throughout the Catchment. Although
some live trees would also be removed, consumption of fallen or dead timber for
firewood is likely to be the most significant reason for removal. However, timber is also
removed for fencing and building purposes. Ian Smith (an orchardist from the township of
Yanderra reports that a large stand of ironbarks was removed from “The lease” near
Yerrinbool. Moreover, during the July 1997 NPA Biodiversity survey, evidence of timber
cutting for fence-posts was discovered near Hilltop.

Removal of dead timber for firewood has a number of effects on the Catchment:

• For ecosystems to survive, the removal of nutrients must not exceed the ability of the
plants and other producers to regenerate them from bedrock. Longterm removal of
timber from marginal soils such as the Sandstone soils which underly much of the
Catchment, will deplete basic nutrients (N, Ca, P, S, Na, and other trace elements).
Thus removal of dead timber for firewood will lead to a decline in fertility with
resultant effects flowing thoughout the ecosystem.

• Dead timber provides food resources for a host of decomposer organisms such as
fungi, nematodes, borers, and onycophorans. These in turn provide sustenance for a
variety of predators.

• Dead wood supplies shelter to creatures such as Antechinuses, snakes, lizards,


mollusks.

Clearing of timber is regulated by SEPP 46 which affects owners and occupiers of private
or Crown land, but allows some exemptions. However, applications to clear must be
accompanied by a Vegetation Management Plan. Guidelines for these are available from
the District Soil Conservationist from the Dept. of Land and Water Conservation. WySC
has a Tree Preservation Order which includes additional restrictions on tree removal for
trees taller than 3.0 metres and prevents removal from Environmental Protection and
Open Space Zones. The council also discusses requirements for clearing in its Erosion
and Sediment - Code of Practice. In addition, The Department of Water Resources must
be consulted regarding removal of trees within 20 metres of a prescribed stream.

11.11 Railways
The township of Bargo is on the Sydney to Goulburn rail line. This line is used by both
passenger and freight trains. The City Rail timetable records that 326 trains pass through
Bargo each week, with 171 stopping at Bargo. In addition, a steam train runs weekly to
the Thirlmere train Museum via the old line, during the non Bush Fire season.

There is a concern that these trains emit sparks which could start a bushfire. To reduce
this hazard the State Rail Authority regularly clears and burns a strip 50 metres wide on
each side of the railway tracks.

64
Plans are still discussed occasionally in the media for construction of a Very Fast Train
system between Sydney and Canberra. The route for this would most likely be beside the
freeway. It would involve a significantly large cleared area on either side of the rails with
an animal-proof fence along its length. Noise levels are likely to be high.

11.12 Issues

11.12.1 Weeds
1). Rubbish dumping and other forms of weed encouragement are being addressed by
education programs and improved waste collection systems are conducted by both
councils.

2). Weed eradication programs are in operation but are limited by funds.

3). Eutrophication of the catchment will provide the conditions required for weed
invasion. Increases of population size in the upper catchment will magnify the weed
problem.

11.12.2 Tree Planting in the Catchment


1. Tree plantings in the shires present special problems as there are often conflicting
needs and aims (e.g. fire protection, scenic value, rate of growth, conservation, root
penetration, falling limb danger etc). Deciding what species should be planted, and
where, requires careful thought and preparation.

2. Tree planting programs are required for revegetation of degraded areas (See Sect
6.4.1.2), to prevent erosion and to improve scenic value; and to provide protection
from wind, sun and fire. As components of the natural vegetation become depleted the
plantings will become an important source of replacement stock.

3. Ideally local species and seed-stock should be used. Selection of stock and species
inocula should reflect the original vegetation profile. The method of planting should
be done in a manner that would benefit the overall regional ecology and allow for
seed dispersion.

4. In grazing areas, new seedlings are consumed as fast as they emerge. Graziers should
be encouraged to plant and protect local seedlings.

11.12.3 Storm water


1) Sewage run-off from malfunctioning septic systems of villages surrounding the
catchments is one of the greatest problems facing the BRC. As populations increase,
so will the amount of effluent reaching the BRC. This effluent will lead to
eutrophication, loss of water clarity and loss of aquatic biodiversity.

2) Councils must require that block sizes are large enough, and septic systems are
adequate to keep all effluent on site.

65
3) Residents must be informed of the problems and the need to restrict water use and
service their sewage systems.

4) Population growth must be limited around the catchment.

11.12.4 Eastern Australian Pipeline Co.


1). The route is accessible to vehicles and therefore rubbish dumping. It also provides a
disturbed path for invasion of weeds

2) Vegetation removal has stimulated erosion of the disturbed soil. The route should be
sealed from public access and rate of vegetation rehabilitation should be increased and
monitored

11.12.5 Very Fast Train


1) Clearing of bushland and fencing of a buffer strip would prevent animal dispersal,
would destroy large amounts of habitat, and generate erosion and sedimentation.

2) Noise levels will be high

11.12.6 Rubbish dumping


Although dumped rubbish often provides shelter for reptiles, the overwhelming effects
are negative:

1. Scenic value: Rubbish is unsightly and spoils the aesthetic value of the bush, thus
lowering the value of the Catchment as a recreation and tourist area and contributes to
a feeling among residents that the bush is not something to be enjoyed and protected.

2. Fire-risk: Glass, flammable rubbish and arson associated with the rubbish dumping
all contribute to the fire-risk in the area.

3. Weed escapees: Dumped garden rubbish allows exotic plants to gain a foothold in the
bush and often provides its own fertiliser.

4. Pollution of water-ways: Dumped oil, soil, fertiliser and domestic and agricultural
chemicals, oxidation of metals, putrefacation of organic wastes all add to the BOD
and COD and enrich the waters leading to pollution and weed growth.

5. Access: Access is relatively easy into the bush tracks and places such as Parson’s
paddock. On the eastern side of the river, all the fire-trails are accessible to 2WD
vehicles and are inter-connected. Locked gates and rebuilt fences would reduce
access. However, public education and improved community spirit would be the
preferred option.

6. Both education and penalties are required to counteract these problems.

11.12.7Soil Erosion
66
1. Erosion control measures required by Councils need to be monitored for all new
subdivision and road construction.

2. All unsealed roads and tracks need to be maintained and provided with adequate
drainage to prevent gullying of wheel tracks. Wollondilly Shire Council has a list of
such roads and a program of maintenance. Tracks which are damaged or vulnerable
should be sealed off from public access. Local people should be encouraged to ring
the Councils to report degraded roads, damaged creek crossings and cut fence-lines.

3. Off road vehicles can damage the Catchment, but on the other hand, concerned
visitors can help maintain areas, remove rubbish and report problems. If the tracks are
well designed and the drivers careful, damage should be minimal. Drivers should be
discouraged from testing their vehicles off the road and be encouraged to use special
areas set aside for such activities where erosion or its effects will be slight. The
Recreation Vehicles Act 1983 allows for such areas to be set aside.

4. Trail bike use should be discouraged from vulnerable areas. Given the number of such
vehicles in the Catchment, this will be a difficult task. Community education is one
solution. Another is the development of a trail-bike testing ground in an already
degraded area designed with suitable erosion controls

5. Impacts of the human built environment can be devastating on the native fauna,
section 6.6.6, discussed these in detail.

11.12.8 Illegal timber gathering or clearing


1). Illegal timber-gathering must be prevented. This would require public education and
patrolling. Plantation-supplied wood must be made available at prices which are
reasonable.

2). The steps required to obtain permission to remove trees and clear land are relatively
time-consuming, thus prompting people to act without permission. Public education
followed by monitoring of clearing and publication of offences may reduce incidences of
illegal clearing.

11.12.9 Railways
1). ‘Hazard reduction burning’ along the rail lines is a source of air pollution, and is a
bushfire risk. Slashing vegetation may be a better alternative.

2). A VFT route would remove a large area of ridge-top vegetation and with the required
fencing would impose a severe barrier to the dispersal of terrestrial and arboreal
mammals. Access routes for mammals would have to be provided at gullies. However
these become bottlenecks and focal points for predators.

3). VFT noise would spoil the aesthetic qualities of the area.

67
12 Water Quality Measurements
The net result of almost all of the issues raised in this paper is that the quality of water is
affected. Loss of water quality diminishes the value of the river itself and contributes to
the problems of the Nepean River. This section describes and comments on what is
known of water quality from standard water measurements

A number of programs to measure and monitor water quality are in operation or have
been undertaken in the Bargo Catchment by various bodies. These include the following:

1) Sydney Water Corporation (for the Picton Regional Sewerage Scheme EIS 1996).

2) Stream watch.

3) Tahmoor Mines (on-going for licence)

4) Wollondilly Shire Council (on-going for Sewage licence and for Tip leachates)

5) Inghams (on-going for licence)

6) Weather Bureau (Picton Weir). Some records held prior to 1978

Although considerable details exist for 1-5 above, we were only provided with limited
data from 3-4 and nothing from 5, while 6 has few available records.

12.1 Sydney Water Corporation


Several monitoring sites were maintained during preparation of the Picton Sewerage EIS
in the Picton /Tahmoor region during 1992-4 but only one, at Rockford Bridge, was
located in the Bargo Catchment (Boey at. al., 1995). Other sites were on the Nepean
downstream of The Bargo confluence and on Stonequarry Creek which drains Picton,
Thirlmere and half of Tahmoor. Unfortunately, no sites were located upstream of the
town of Bargo, so we have no precise control for assessing the effects of storm water and
sewage. The survey measured 13 variables and in addition measured planktonic algae and
cyanobacteria, macroinvertebrates and macrophytes. In general, the survey showed that
the towns of Picton, Tahmoor and Thirlmere had “mild to moderate” effects on water
quality. Water quality values complied with Regulation 8 of the Clean Waters Act for
most of the time except after heavy rainfall.

Results specifically for the Bargo River, however, indicated erratic peaks of non-filterable
residues. These may have resulted from coal operations and Boey et al (1995) reported
that the river had a black appearance at times. These peak levels far exceeded the limit in
regulation 8 under the Clean Waters Act of a max of 30mg/L in wastes discharged into
class “P” waters where the ratio of water to waste is = or > than 19:1.

Of all the sites examined, the Bargo site had the greatest levels of phosphorus, total
nitrogen, oxidised nitrogen, ammoniacal nitrogen, and Biological Oxygen Demand. Boey
et al (1995) believed these levels resulted from agricultural and sewage run-off. Levels of

68
Faecal Coliforms were also high in the Bargo, indicating seepage or overflows from on-
site wastewater treatment systems. However, there seemed to be no resulting blooms of
algae or cyanobacteria. Conductivity measurements (salt) were above the levels suggested
by ANZECC (1992) as guidelines for irrigation of crops, but were within the guidelines
for protection of freshwater ecosystems.

12.2 Streamwatch
Data were collected by the Bargo River Protection Group (see 14.5.2) during the period
5/1/92 to 28/3/93 from Dogtrap Creek (16 readings), Thirlmere Lakes (2),Couridjah Ck
(2), “Turkey Creek” (4), Tahmoor Ck (2), Tea-tree Ck (2) and the Potholes, Bargo River
(2). Water quality as determined by the Streamwatch Water Quality Index was generally
good. WQI is determined from the collected values and gives a weighted summary.
Values over 70 are generally considered to be good; however, individual poor values can
be masked by better values for other parameters. All of the sites except Tea-tree Ck (73),
had means of 80 or above. Lowest individual value was 66.4 for Dogtrap Ck.

Although the average weighted values for water quality were generally good, the
individual readings for some parameters were sometimes poor. Of the four days of
measurement when “Turkey Ck” was studied, less than 50% quality values were recorded
for 11 of the readings. By comparison, Dogtrap Creek had only 7 values less than 50%
from 16 days of measurement. Yet Dogtrap Ck drains 15 km2 of rural activities, roads
and urban development, while Turkey Ck drains a relatively small area of Tahmoor and
poultry farms. Given the discussion relating to poultry farming in Section 10.2 and the
fact that this water runs directly into the most dramatic section of the Bargo River Gorge,
more extensive monitoring of “Turkey Ck” should be undertaken.

12.3 Tahmoor Mines


Section 9.1 has already discussed the effects of the mine on the Bargo River. Results
showed that the mine apparently has an effect on water quality, particularly pH and BOD.
Single measurements were presented in the 1975 Tahmoor EIS for 5 sites : Bargo River
(Hume Highway Bridge), Teatree Hollow Ck (TTHC), Bargo R downstream of the site,
Dogtrap Creek, and Bargo River, downstream of Dogtrap Creek. The authors noted the
generally higher values for Dogtrap Creek and attributed this to the drainage of
agricultural land. They noted that chloride ions were high for the region but not excessive.

Data published by Smith (1993) for sites upstream of the mine on Bargo River and on
TTHC show pH’s 5.6-7.4, conductivity of 90-1615 (ave 250) uS/cm for TTHC and 100-
1140 (ave 280) for Bargo River, Total Dissolved solids72-789 and 50-202 mg/ml; Non
Filterable Residues 5-128 and 1-70 mg/ml; Barium 0.01-2.18 and 0.1-0.5 mg/ml. Faecal
coliforms were measured only for the Bargo and results were 0-1200 colony forming
units/100mls. Dissolved metal measurements for three days in 1991/94 and 96 are also
supplied as a subsidiary table for the Bargo upstream of the colliery. All except iron
levels were within the levels prescribed by Schedule 2 of the Clean Waters Act 1972.

12.4 Wolondilly Shire Council

69
The Council is currently measuring water quality at two sites: the Charlies Point Rd
Sewage area and at the Municipal Tip. Both these sites are in the Dogtrap Creek
catchment.

12.4.1 Sewage Treatment site


The irrigation ponds were constructed by Council to reduce flow of nutrients into the
Bargo catchment from the sewage effluent ponds which collect septic tank pumpouts
from the district. Native species were planted in adjacent areas and irrigated from the
effluent ponds. There had previously been public concern about the effluent ponds and
the effect that runoff would have on the Bargo. The Macarthur Advertiser 7/3/1991,
reported high levels of bacteria from the ponds themselves, as would be expected.

Council supplied us with Certificates of Analysis for September/October 1996 from


Stanford Consulting Labs (see Appendix 14.5.1) for the Oxidation Ponds and also for the
final ponds. BOD levels drop from 60 to < 10mg/ml, grease from 20 to 10 mg/ml,
suspended solids from 160 to 35 mg/ml, pH from 8.45 to 7.02, ammonia from 56.7 to
<1mg/ml, oxidised nitrogen from >10 to 8.6mg/ml and phosphorus from 9.7 to 0.5mg/ml.
Faecal coliforms were measured at 430 cfu/100mls from the irrigation ponds. The above
figures indicate that the irrigation system is reducing the nutrients considerably. However
the high levels of nitrates and grease are of concern as are the faecal coliforms.

12.4.2 The Tip


Council supplied us with two print-outs of water quality measurements from five sites
near the Tip: at the “Well”, the Collection dam, the Landfill drain, and up and
downstream of the Tip. The measurements included metals, BOD, COD, nutrients,
organics, and PCBs. Levels of cyanide were high in the well and the landfill drain but not
downstream, ammonia was high in the well and the collection dam but not downstream.
Lead levels were significantly higher downstream than upstream and at 0.5mg/ml greatly
exceed the 0.05 level required for Schedule 2 of the Clean Waters Act. Other levels which
increase downstream are Barium (up 53%), Zinc (up 75% to 0.14 mg/ml) BOD (up 33%
to 4 mg/ml) and COD (up 197% to 9.8mg/ml).

12.5 Inghams
Details of licence conditions are presented in Section 10.2. We were unable to obtain
monitoring data from Inghams. Although licence conditions state that there must be no
discharge to any watercourse, limited data from Streamwatch (See Section 12.2 above)
for 1992/93 indicate that the state of “Turkey Ck” (which is adjacent to the Inghams
irrigation area) could have been improved. Adequate testing would indicate whether there
is still a problem and whether pollutants in the effluent arise from the poultry farms or
other sources in the small catchment.

12.6 Conclusions
Bargo River and its tributaries are classified in the Government Gazettes No. 21, Feb.
1976 and No. 97, July 1976 as Class P (Protected Waters). The general conclusion from

70
the available data is that Water Quality of the Bargo River is reasonable with occasional
readings exceeding levels required for Class P classification. Anecdotal evidence,
however, from long-term residents of the area indicates that the river has become
increasingly turbid in recent years. As swimming is a popular activity in pools in the
Bargo Gorge, efforts should be made to recognise the causes of pollutants and remove
them; high turbidity diminishes the aesthetic appeal and affects aquatic life; high nutrients
could lead to algal blooms, and high coliform counts could indicate dangerous conditions.
All pollutants ultimately reduce water quality in the Nepean River.

12.7 Recommendations
Sufficient data already exist from the sources described above to obtain a reasonable view
of the current water quality in the Bargo River. However, only the data from the Picton
EIS are easily available for study. Furthermore, that study does not include a control
examination of the Upper Bargo and was concluded in 1994. On-going monitoring is
required for licences for Tahmoor Mines, the Wollondilly Council and Inghams. Detailed
study of longterm data from this monitoring would shed light on causes of pollutants.
However, this would require release of ALL data and considerable effort in analysis. The
project would be suitable for a research Masters in Science. This could be supplemented
by an additional measurement program to test hypotheses raised from the initial analysis
of data.

All licence holders should be confident enough to make their monitoring data publicly
available and should encourage additional studies.

Every person living or visiting the Bargo area will have an effect, however small, on
water quality. Public education is required to emphasise this fact and to alert people to the
multitude of ways that they can reduce this effect.

71
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Reardon, T.B. and Flavel, S.F. (1987) A Guide to the Bats of South Australia. South Australian
Museum, Australia.

Robinson, M. (1993) A Field Guide to Frogs of Australia. Australian Museum/Reed, Australia.

Robinson, N.H. (1988) Mammals of the Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board
Catchments. General Technical Reports, Department of Biology, University of Wollongong,
Australia.

Sclater, K. (1995). The Sydney Water Board's current fire management strategies. In C. Brown & L.
Tohver (Eds.), Bushfire! Looking to the future. (pp. 73-75). Sydney: Envirobook Publishing.

Sherwin L and Holmes GG, (1986) Geology of the Wollongong and Port Hacking, 1:100 000 Sheets,
9029, 9129. Department of Mineral Resources, NSW, Australia.

Simpson, K. and Day, N. (1996) Field Guide to the birds of Australia. Viking, Australia.

Smith, J. (1993) Tahmoor North Coal Project. An extension of current operations. Environmental
Impact Statement. Kembla Coke and Coal PTY. LTD. Wollongong.

State of the Environment Advisory Council (1996) State of the Environment Australia. CSIRO
Pubblishing, Australia.

Strahan, R. (1995) The Mammals of Australia. Reed, Australia.

Stricker, J.S. and Wall, S.A. (1991) Wetlands of the Nepean-Hawkesbury catchment. Sydney Water
Corporation: Sydney.

75
TCAM & R (1996) Tahmoor Colliery Annual management and rehabilitation report. Unpublished
Rerport. Kembla Coke and Coal PTY. LTD. Wollongong.

Troughton, E. (1967) Furred animals of Australia. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.

Tyler, M.J. (1993) Frogwatch: to shun a silent spring. Australian Natural History. Vol. 24, No. 5: 22-
29.

Ware R. (1993) Criteria For Wildlife Corridors - A Case Study of Bargo River Gorge in the
Nattai/Upper Nepean Region. Honours Dissertation, Department of Geography and Planning, UNE
Australia.

Whelan, R.J. (1995) Wildlife populations: Impacts of hazard reduction burning. Pp. 107 -118 in
Bushfire! Looking to the future ed by C. Brown and L. Tohver Envirobook Publishing: Sydney.

WSC (1995) Wingecarribee Council District Fire Committee - Fuel Management Plan. Bowral.

WSC (1995a). Wingecarribee Council District Fire Committee - Fuel Management Plan. Bowral.

WySC (1990). Wollondilly Shire Council. Development control plan No.22. Bushfire Mitigation.
Picton.

WySC (1991). Development in Rural Areas - Development Control Plan No. 36. Picton.

WySC (1994). State of the Environment Report. A community working together. Picton.

WySC (1994a). Wollondilly Bush Fire Management Committee - Fuel Management Plan. Picton.

WySC (1996) Erosion and Sediment Control - Code of Practice. Picton.

WySC (1996a). Draft Bargo Strategy. Picton.

76
14 Appendices

14.1 Abbreviations
2WD Two wheel drive FMP fire management plans

4WD Four wheel drive HRB Hazard reduction burns

AWTS Aerated Waste Treatment Systems HRO hazard reduction operations

Ba Barrium NFR non flitrable residues

BFM Bush Fire Management NPA National Parks Association

BFS Bush Fire Services NPWS NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

BMP Best Management Practice SS Sandstone

BOD Biological Oxygen Demand SWD Sydney Water Database

BOD Biological oxygen demand TLC Tharawal Land Council

BRC Bargo River Catchment TSC NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995

COD Chemical oxygen demand TTHC Tea Tree Hollow Creek

DCP development control plans UNCMC Upper Nepean Catchment Management Committee

EIS Environmental Impact Statement UV Ultra Violet

EPA Environmental Protection Authority WSC Wingecaribee Shire Council


Endangered Species Protection
ESP WySC Wollondilly Shire Council
Act, (Comm), 1992

77
14.2 Fuana of the BRC
Table A. Avifauna of the BRC. (Nomenclature according to Christides and Boles,
(1994))
Scientific name Common name Recorded in BRC* Recorded 10 km out of BRC*
Acanthiza chrysorrhoa Yellow-rumped Thornbill +9 +7
Acanthiza lineata Striated Thornbill +1,9 +2,3,4,7,8
Acanthiza nana Yellow Thornbill +1 +3,7,8
Acanthiza pusilla Brown Thornbill +1 +2,3,7,8
Acanthiza reguloides Buff-rumped Thornbill +1,9 +7
Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris Eastern Spinebill +(s,o)1,9 +2,3,7,8
Accipiter cirrhocephalus Collared Sparrowhawk +1 +7
Accipiter fasciatus Brown Goshawk +1 +9
Accipiter novaehollandiae Grey Goshawk +9 +7
Acridotheres tristis Common Myna +(s,o)1,9 +2,4,7
Acrocephalus stentoreus Clamorous Reed-Warbler +7
Aegotheles cristatus Australian Owlet-nightjar +7
Ailuiiyroedus melanotis† Spotted Catbird +7
Alauda arvensis Skylark +7
Alcedo azurea Azure Kingfisher +1,9 +8
Alisterus scapularis Australian King-Parrot +1 +7,8
Anas gibberifrons Grey Teal +9
Anas gracilis Chestnut Teal +7
19
Anas superciliosa Pacific Black Duck +(s,o) , +3,4,7,8
Anhinga melanogaster Darter +11 +3,7
Anthochaera carunculata Red Wattlebird +1 +2,7
Anthochaera chrysoptera Little Wattlebird +(s,o)1,9 +3,8
Anthus novaeseelandiae Richard's Pipit +1 +7
Apus pacificus Fork-tailed Swift +2
Aquila audax Wedge-tailed Eagle +1 +2,7
Ardea ibis Cattle Egret +8
Ardea pacifica White-necked Heron +1 +7,8
Artamus cyanopterus Dusky Woodswallow +1,9 +7
Artamus personatus Masked Woodswallow +1
Artamus superciliosus White-browed Woodswallow +7
Aviceda subcristata Pacific Baza +7
Biziura lobata Musk Duck +3,7
Burhinus grallarius Bush Stone-curlew +3
Cacatua galerita Sulphur-crested Cockatoo +(s,o) 1 +2,7,8
Cacatua roseicapilla Galah +1 +2,7,8
Cacomantis flabelliformis Fan-tailed Cuckoo +1,9 +2,3
Cacomantis variolosus Brush Cuckoo +1
Callocephalon fimbriatum Gang-gang Cockatoo +1 +7
Calyptorhynchus funereus Yellow-tailed Black- +(s,o) 1,9 +7,8
Cockatoo
Calyptorhynchus lathami Glossy Black-Cockatoo +3,7
Carduelis carduelis European Goldfinch +7
Carduelis chloris European Greenfinch +1
Chenonetta jubata Australian Wood Duck +1 +7,8
Chrysococcyx basalis Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo +7
Chrysococcyx lucidus Shining Bronze-Cuckoo +1 +7,8
Chthonicola sagittatus Speckled Warbler +9
Cincloramphus mathewsi Rufous Songlark +1 +7
Cinclosoma punctatum Spotted Quail-thrush +1,9
Circus approximans Swamp Harrier +3,7
Circus assimilis Spotted Harrier +7
Cisticola exilis Golden-headed Cisticola +7
Climacteris erythrops Red-browed Treecreeper +1 +3,7


This species has never been recorded in NSW (Allan Leishman, Pers. Comm.)

78
Climacteris picumnus Brown Treecreeper +1 +3,7
Colluricincla harmonica Grey Shrike-thrush +1,9 +2,3,4,7,8
Columba livia Rock Dove +7,8
Coracina novaehollandiae Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike +(s,h) 1,9 +2,3,7,8
Coracina papuensis White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike +9
Coracina tenuirostris Cicadabird +7
1
Corcorax melanorhamphos White-winged Chough + +7
Cormobates leucophaeus White-throated Treecreeper +1,9 +2,3,7,8
Corvus coronoides Australian Raven +(s,o)1,9 +2,3,4,7,8
Corvus mellori Little Raven +1
Coturnix pectoralis Stubble Quail +1 +7
Coturnix ypsilophora Brown Quail +1
Cracticus nigrogularis Pied Butcherbird +9 +7
Cracticus torquatus Grey Butcherbird +1 +7,8
Cuculus pallidus Pallid Cuckoo +1 +7,8
Cygnus atratus Black Swan +7
Dacelo novaeguineae Laughing Kookaburra +(s,h)1,9 +2,3,7,8
Daphoenositta chrysoptera Varied Sittella +1,9 +7
Dicaeum hirundinaceum Mistletoebird +1 +7
Egretta novaehollandiae White-faced Heron +1,9 +8
Elanus axillaris Black-shouldered Kite +7
Elanus scriptus Letter-winged Kite +7
Entomyzon cyanotis Blue-faced Honeyeater +9
Eopsaltria australis Eastern Yellow Robin +(s,o)1,9 +3,4,7,8
Eudynamys scolopacea Common Koel +(s,h)
Eurostopodus mystacalis White-throated Nightjar +7
1
Eurystomus orientalis Dollarbird +(s,o) +7,8
Falco berigora Brown Falcon +8
Falco cenchroides Nankeen Kestrel +1 +2,7
Falco longipennis Australian Hobby +7,8
Falco peregrinus Peregrine Falcon +1,3 +7
Falco subniger Black Falcon +1
Falcunculus frontatus Crested Shrike-tit +2,4,7
Fulica atra Eurasian Coot +7
Gallinago hardwickii Latham's Snipe +7
Gallinula tenebrosa Dusky Moorhen +7,8
Geopelia cuneata Diamond Dove +3
Geopelia striata Peaceful Dove +(s,h) 1,9 +3
Gerygone mouki Brown Gerygone +9
Gerygone olivacea White-throated Gerygone +1,9 +7,8
Glossopsitta concinna Musk Lorikeet +7
Glossopsitta pusilla Little Lorikeet +7
Grallina cyanoleuca Magpie-lark +1,9 +2,4,8
Grus rubicunda Brolga +2,4,7,8
Gymnorhina tibicen Australian Magpie +1,9
Haliaeetus leucogaster White-bellied Sea-Eagle +7,8
Haliastur sphenurus Whistling Kite +7
Hieraaetus morphnoides Little Eagle +7
Hirundapus caudacutus White-throated Needletail +1,9 +2,7
Hirundo ariel Fairy Martin +1,9 +8
Hirundo neoxena Welcome Swallow +1,9 +4,7,8
Hirundo nigricans Tree Martin +(s,o)1
Hylacola pyrrhopygia Chestnut-rumped Heathwren +1
Lalage sueurii White-winged Triller +7
Leucosarcia melanoleuca Wonga Pigeon +(s,h) +7
Lichenostomus chrysops Yellow-faced Honeyeater +1,9 +2,3,4,8
Lichenostomus fuscus Fuscous Honeyeater +1
Lichenostomus leucotis White-eared Honeyeater +1 +2,3
Lichenostomus melanops Yellow-tufted Honeyeater +1,9 +3,4,8
Lonchura castaneothorax Chestnut-breasted Mannikin +7
Macropygia amboinensis Brown Cuckoo-Dove +1,9
Malurus cyaneus Superb Fairy-wren +(s,o) 1,9 +2,3,7,8
Malurus lamberti Variegated Fairy-wren +1,9 +3,7,8
Manorina melanocephala Noisy Miner +1,9 +7,8
Manorina melanophrys Bell Miner +1 +4,7,8
Melanodryas cucullata Hooded Robin +1 +4,7

79
Meliphaga lewinii Lewin's Honeyeater +1,9 +3,4,7,8
Melithreptus brevirostris Brown-headed Honeyeater +1 +7
Melithreptus gularis Black-chinned Honeyeater +1 +7
Melithreptus lunatus White-naped Honeyeater +1 +7
Menura novaehollandiae Superb Lyrebird +(s,h)9 +2,7,8
Merops ornatus Rainbow Bee-eater +7
Microeca fascinans Jacky Winter +1 +4
Milvus migrans Black Kite +7
Monarcha melanopsis Black-faced Monarch +7
Myiagra cyanoleuca Satin Flycatcher +7
Myiagra inquieta Restless Flycatcher +1 +7
Myiagra rubecula Leaden Flycatcher +1 +7
Myzomela sanguinolenta Scarlet Honeyeater +7
Neochmia temporalis Red-browed Finch +1,9 +3,7,8
Neophema pulchella Turquoise Parrot +4,7
Ninox novaeseelandiae Southern Boobook +1,9 +7
Ninox strenua Powerful Owl +(s,b)
Nycticorax caledonicus Nankeen Night Heron +2,7
Ocyphaps lophotes Crested Pigeon +9 +7
Origma solitaria Rockwarbler +1,9 +4,7,8
Oriolus sagittatus Olive-backed Oriole +1 +7
Pachycephala pectoralis Golden Whistler +1 +2,3,7,8
Pachycephala rufiventris Rufous Whistler +(s,o)1,9 +3,4,7,8
Pandion haliaetus Osprey +7
Pardalotus punctatus Spotted Pardalote +1 +2,3,4,7,8
Pardalotus striatus Striated Pardalote +1,9 +4,7,8
Passer domesticus House Sparrow +1,9 +7,8
Pelecanus conspicillatus Australian Pelican +7
Petroica multicolor Scarlet Robin +1 +7
Petroica phoenicea Flame Robin +7
Petroica rosea Rose Robin +1 +7
Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant +7,8
Phalacrocorax melanoleucos Little Pied Cormorant +1,9 +7,8
Phalacrocorax sulcirostris Little Black Cormorant +7,8
Phalacrocorax varius Pied Cormorant +1 +3,7,8
Phaps chalcoptera Common Bronzewing +1 +7
Phaps elegans Brush Bronzewing +7
Philemon corniculatus Noisy Friarbird +(s,o) 1,9 +7
Phylidonyris nigra White-cheeked Honeyeater +(s,o) +3,7
Phylidonyris novaehollandiae New Holland Honeyeater +(s,o) 1,9 +3,7,8
Phylidonyris pyrrhoptera Crescent Honeyeater +7
Platalea flavipes Yellow-billed Spoonbill +7
Platalea regia Royal Spoonbill +7
Platycercus elegans Crimson Rosella +(s,o) +2,3,7,8
Platycercus eximius Eastern Rosella +1,9 +7,8
Podargus strigoides Tawny Frogmouth +(s,h) 1 +7
Podiceps cristatus Great Crested Grebe +7,8
Poliocephalus poliocephalus Hoary-headed Grebe +7
Porphyrio porphyrio Purple Swamphen +3,7
Porzana fluminea Australian Spotted Crake +7
Psephotus haematonotus Red-rumped Parrot +1 +7,8
Psophodes olivaceus Eastern Whipbird +(s,h)1,9 +4,7,8
Ptilonorhynchus violaceus Satin Bowerbird +9 +7
Pycnonotus jocosus Red-whiskered Bulbul +4,7
Pycnoptilus floccosus Pilotbird +9 +3,7
Rallus pectoralis Lewin's Rail +7
Rhipidura fuliginosa Grey Fantail +(s,o) 1,9 +3,4,7,8
Rhipidura leucophrys Willie Wagtail +1,9 +3,4,7,8
Rhipidura rufifrons Rufous Fantail +1,9 +7
Scythrops novaehollandiae Channel-billed Cuckoo +(s,h) +3,7
Sericornis citreogularis Yellow-throated Scrubwren +7
Sericornis frontalis White-browed Scrubwren +1,9 +2,3,4,7,8
Sericornis magnirostris Large-billed Scrubwren +7
Smicrornis brevirostris Weebill +1 +7
Sphecotheres viridis Figbird +7
Stagonopleura bella Beautiful Firetail +11

80
Stagonopleura guttata Diamond Firetail +1
Strepera graculina Pied Currawong +(s,h)1,9 +2,4,7,8
Strepera versicolor Grey Currawong +1 +7
Streptopelia chinensis Spotted Turtle-Dove +1,9 +7
Sturnus vulgaris Common Starling +1,9 +2,4,7,8
Tachybaptus novaehollandiae Australasian Grebe +7
Taeniopygia bichenovii Double-barred Finch +1 +8
Threskiornis molucca Australian White Ibis +(s,o) +8
Threskiornis spinicollis Straw-necked Ibis +1 +7
Todiramphus macleayii Forest Kingfisher +7
Todiramphus sanctus Sacred Kingfisher +(s,o)1,9 +2,3,7,8
Trichoglossus haematodus Rainbow Lorikeet +(s,o)9 +7
Turnix varia Painted Button-quail +7
Tyto alba Barn Owl +7
Vanellus miles Masked Lapwing +1 +7,8
Zoothera lunulata Bassian Thrush +7
Zosterops lateralis Silvereye +1,9 +3,4,7

*Reference Key

Wirrimbirra Sanctuary Bird Database1, Mills and Associates (1989)2, NPWS Atlas (1997)3, Tahmoor North
Coal Project EIS (1993)4, Robinson (1988)5, Australian Museum Atlas (1997)6, Sydney Water Database7,
ERM (1996)8, Douglas (1995)9, Ken Griffiths Personal Communication10, National Parks Association
Bargo River Catchment Survey Unpublished Data (1997)11, I.Tate Pers. Comm.12

(s) - sighted during survey period, (c) - captured during survey period, (d) - identified by fecal droppings
during survey period, (b) - called back to recorded call, (h) - identified by hairtube analysis

81
Table B. Other fauna of the BRC
Scientific Name Common name Recorded in Recorded 10 km from
BRC BRC
Amphibia
Crinia signifera Common Eastern Froglet +(s) +7,8
Limnodynastes dumerili complex Eastern Banjo Frog +(s) +7
Limnodynastes peronii Brown-striped Frog +(s)
Limnodynastes tasmaniensis Spotted Grass Frog +7
Litoria aurea Green and Golden Bell Frog +7
Litoria caerulea Green Tree Frog +7
Litoria citropa Blue Mountains Tree Frog +(s) +7
Litoria dentata Bleating Tree Frog +7
Litoria fallax Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog +8
Litoria freycineti Freycinet's Frog +7
Litoria lesueuri complex Lesueur's Frog +(s) +7
Litoria peronii Peron's Tree Frog +(s) +7
Litoria phyllochroa complex Leaf Green Tree Frog +(s) +7
Litoria tyleri Tyler's Tree Frog +(s)
Litoria verreauxii complex Verreaux's Tree Frog +8
Mixophyes balbus Barred Frog +7
Mixophyes fasciolatus Great Barred Frog +7
Pseudophryne australis Red-crowned Toadlet +7
Pseudophryne bibronii Brown Toadlet +7
Ranadella signifera Eastern Froglet +8
Uperoleia laevigata Smooth Toadlet +(s)

Reptiles
Chelodina longicollis Eastern Long-necked Tortoise +7,8

Diplodactylus vittatus Stone Gecko +7


Oedura lesueurii Lesueur's Velvet Gecko +(s) +7
Phyllurus platurus Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko +7
Underwoodisaurus milii Thick-tailed Gecko +7

Amphibolurus muricatus Jacky Lizard +(s) +7,8


Lialis burtonis Burton's Legless Lizard +7
Physignathus lesueurii Eastern Water Dragon +(s) +7,8
Pogona barbata Bearded Dragon +(s) +7
Pygopus lepidopodus Common Scaly-foot +7

Varanus varius Lace Monitor +7,8

Anamalopus leuckartii +7
Carlia tetradactyla Southern Rainbow Skink +7

82
Cryptoblepharus virgatus Wall Lizard +7
Ctenotus robustus Striped Skink +7
Ctenotus taeniolatus Copper-tailed Skink +(s) +7
Egernia cunninghami Cunningham's Skink +7,8
Egernia major Land Mullet +7
Egernia saxatilis Black Rock Skink +7
Egernia whitii White's Skink +7,8
Eulamprus heatwolei Heatwole's Water Skink +(s) +7,8
Eulamprus quoyii Eastern Water Skink +(s) +7,8
Lampropholis delicata Grass Skink +7,8
Lampropholis guichenoti Garden Skink +(s) +7
Leilopisma duperreyi Eastern Three Lined Skink +7
Lerister bougainvilli Bougainvilles Skink +7
Lygisaurus foliorum Rainbow Litter Skink +7
Saiphos equalis Three-toed Skink +7
Tiliqua nigrolutea Blotched Blue-tongue +7
Tiliqua scincoides Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard +(s)

Acanthophis antarcticus Death Adder +7


Austrelaps superbus Copper Head +7
Boiga irregularis Brown Tree Snake +7
Cacophis squamulosus Golden Crowned Snake +7
Demansia psammophis Yellow-faced Whip Snake +(s)
Dendrelaphis punctulata Green Tree Snake +7
Drysdalia coronoides White lipped snake +10
Hemiaspis signata Marsh Snake +7
Hoplocephalus bungaroides Broad-Headed Snake +11 +7
Morelia spilota spilota Diamond Python +7
Notechis scutatus Eastern Tiger Snake +7
Pseudechis porphyriacus Red-bellied Black Snake +(s) +3,7,8
Pseudonaja textilis Eastern Brown Snake +7
Ramphotyphlops nigrescens A Blind Snake +(s)
Rhinolocephalus nigrescens Small-eyed Snake +(s)
Vermicella annulata Bandy Bandy +7

Mammalia
Acrobates pygmaeus Feathertail Glider +6 +5,7
Antechinus stuartii Brown Antechinus +(s,c)6 +2,4,7,8
Antechinus swainsoni Dusky Antechinus +5,7
Bettongia penicillata Brush Tailed Bettong +3
Cercartetus nanus Eastern Pigmy-possum +(s,c)5 +5,7
Dasyurus maculatus Spotted-tail Quoll +5 +5,7
Dasyurus viverrinus Eastern Quoll +6 +5
Macropus giganteus Eastern Grey Kangaroo +5,7
Macropus parma Parma Wallaby +5,7

83
Macropus robustus Common Wallaroo +5,7
Macropus rufogriseus Red-necked Wallaby +(s,o)5 +5,7
Ornithorhynchus anatinus Platypus +13 +2,4,7
Perameles nasuta Long-nosed Bandicoot +5,7
Petauroides volans Greater Glider +2,5,7
Petaurus australis Yellow-bellied Glider +4,5,7
Petaurus breviceps Sugar Glider +2,7
Petaurus norfolcensis Squirrel Glider +2,7
Petrogale penicillata Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby +6 +5,6,7
Phascolarctos cinereus Koala +5,11 +3,5,7
Potorous tridactylus Long-nosed Potoroo +5,7
Pseudocheirus peregrinus Common Ringtail Possum +(a,o,s) +2,3,7,8
Tachyglossus aculeatus Short-beaked Echidna +2,7,8
Thylogale thetis Red-necked Pademelon +5,7
Trichosurus caninus Mountain Brushtail Possum +7,5
Trichosurus vulpecula Common Brushtail Possum +(a,h,o)6 +3,7
Vombatus ursinus Common Wombat +(s,d) +2,3,7
Wallabia bicolor Swamp Wallaby +(a,d,h,s)6 +2,4,5,7,8

Chalinolobus gouldii Gould's Wattled Bat +8


Chalinolobus morio Chocolate Wattled Bat +7,8
Miniopterus schreibersii Common Bent-wing Bat +6 +8
Mormopterus loriae Little Freetail Bat +8
Myotis adversus Fishing Bat +8
Nictophylus geoffroyi Lesser Long-eared Bat +8
Nycatanomus australis White Striped Freetail Bat +6 +8
Nyctinomus australis White-striped Mastiff-bat +8
Nyctophilus gouldi Gould's Long-eared Bat +6,7
Pteropus poliocephalus Grey-headed Flying-fox +7
Rhinolophus megaphyllus Eastern Horseshoe-bat +7,8
Scoteanax rueppellii Greater Broad-nosed Bat +8
Scotorepens orion Eastern Broad-nosed Bat +8
Vespadelus darlingtoni Large Forest Bat +8
Vespadelus vulturnus Little Forest Eptesicus +6 +8

Hydromys chrysogaster Water Rat +5 +5,7,8


Rattus fuscipes Bush Rat +(a,c,h,s) +2,4,7,8
Rattus lutreolus Swamp Rat +5,7

Canis familiaris dingo Dingo +5

Introduced Mammals
Bos taurus Cattle +8
Canis familiaris Dog +(a,d,s) +2,7
Capra hircus Goat +(d,s) +4,5,7

84
Cervus timoremsis Rusa Deer +5
Felis catus Cat +(a,h,s) +2,5,7,8
Mus musculus House Mouse +5,7,8
Oryctolagus cuniculus Rabbit +(o,s) +2,4,5,7,8
Rattus norvegicus Brown Rat +6
Rattus rattus Black Rat +6 +5,7
Vulpes vulpes Fox +(a,d,h,o,s) +2,3,4,7,8
*Reference Key

Wirrimbirra Sanctuary Bird Database1, Mills and Associates (1989)2, NPWS Atlas
(1997)3, Smith (1993)4, Robinson (1988)5, Australian Museum Atlas (1997)6, Sydney
Water Database7, ERM (1996)8, Douglas (1995)9, Ken Griffiths Personal
Communication10, National Parks Association Bargo River Catchment Survey
Unpublished Data (1997)11, I.Tate Pers. Comm.12, P.Crumb, Pers. Comm.13

(s) - sighted during survey period, (c) - captured during survey period, (d) - identified by
fecal droppings during survey period, (b) - called back to recorded call, (h) - identified by
hairtube analysis

85
14.3 Flora of the BRC@
Harden (1993).was used for Nomenclature of BRC Flora.

Acacia binerviaa Baeckea diosmifoliab Caustis pentandrac


Acacia bynoeanaf Banksia serratabc Centaurium erythraea*a
Acacia decurrensabcdc Banksia spinulosa var. Centella asiaticaac
Acacia elatac spinulosac Ceratopetalum
Acacia falcatab Banksia spinulosabcd gummiferumbc
Acacia flexifoliac Baumea junceaa Cheilanthes sieberi subsp.
Acacia floribundaab Bertya pomaderroides var. sieberic
Acacia iteaphylla‡c pomaderroidesa Chloanthes stoechadisa
Acacia jonesiiaf Billardiera scandensbc Choretrum candolleib
Acacia linifoliabcdc Blandfordia cunninghamiif Choretrum candolleic
Acacia longifolia var. Blechnum cartilagineumc Chorizandra cymbariaa
longifoliac Boronia floribundaa Chrysocephalum
Acacia mearnsiia Boronia ledifoliaab apiculatumc
Acacia melanoxylonc Boronia parvifloraa Cirsium vulgare*c
Acacia myrtifoliabc Boronia rigensa Clematis aristatabc
Acacia obtusifoliac Bossiaea heterophyllabc Comesperma ericinumabc
Acacia parramattensisabc Bossiaea lenticularisc Comesperma
Acacia parvipinnulaa Bossiaea neo-anglicac sphaerocarpumb
Acacia podalyriifolia*c Bossiaea obcordatab Commelina cyaneab
Acacia suaveolensbc Bossiaea rhombifoliab Conospermum longifolium
Brachyloma daphnoidesb subsp. angustifoliumc
Acacia terminalisbc
Bracteantha bracteatac Conospermum longifolium
Acacia ulicifoliabc
subsp. longifoliumc
Acianthus fornicatusb Brasenia schreberif
Conospermum longifolium
Adiantum aethiopicumc Brunoniella australisb
subsp. medialec
Ageratina adenophora*c Burchardia umbellatab Conospermum longifoliumc
Agrostis avenaceac Bursaria spinosabc Conospermum taxifoliumac
Allocasuarina littoralisb Caladenia caeruleab Conospermum tenuifoliuma
Allocasuarina littoralisc Caladenia carnea/catentatab Conyza bonariensis*c
Allocasuarina torulosac Caladenia testaceab Coopernookia barbataac
Amperea xiphocladac Callicoma serratifoliabc Correa reflexac
Amyema gaudichaudiic Callistemon citrinusb Corybas aconitiflorusb
Amyema pendulumb Callistemon linearisb Corymbia gummiferac
Anisopogon avenaceusc Callitris muelleria Cotoneaster pannosus*c
Aristida ramosac Callitris rhomboideaa
Crassula sieberianac
Aristida vagansc Calochilus campestrisbc
Crowea exalataac
Aster sabulatus*c Calochilus gracillimusc
Cryptandra spinescensc
Astroloma humifusumb Calochilus paludosusb
Cynodon dactylonc
Astroloma pinifoliuma Calochlaena dubiac
Cyperus difformisc
Astrotricha latifoliaac Calotis dentexc
Dampiera purpureabc
Astrotricha longifoliaa Calytrix tetragonab
Danthonia linkii var. fulvac
Calytrix tetragonac
Danthonia linkii var. linkiia
Campylopus delegoaec
Danthonia longifoliac
Carex breviculmisc
Danthonia penicillataa
Cassinia aureonitensac

South Australian Native Danthonia racemosa var.
Cassytha pubescensbc racemosaa
* Caustis flexuosaac Danthonia racemosaac
Naturalized species

86
Darwinia grandifloraa Eriostemon australasius Gomphocarpus fruticosus*c
Daviesia corymbosa x subsp. australasiusabc Gompholobium glabratumbc
ulicifoliac Eriostemon australasiusc Gompholobium
Daviesia corymbosabc Eriostemon hispidulus x grandiflorumab
Daviesia mimosoides subsp. myoporoidesc Gompholobium latifoliumc
mimosoidesc Eriostemon hispidulusa Gompholobium minusb
Daviesia squarrosac Eriostemon myoporoides Gonocarpus longifoliusf
Daviesia ulicifolia subsp. subsp. myoporidesac Gonocarpus micranthus
stenophyllac Eriostemon myoporoidesc subsp. micranthusc
Daviesia ulicifoliab Eriostemon scaber subsp. Gonocarpus teucrioidesc
Dianella caerulea var. scabera Goodenia hederaceac
productac Eucalyptus agglomerataac Grevillea baueri subsp.
Dianella revoluta var. Eucalyptus beyerianaa baueric
revolutac Eucalyptus crebrac Grevillea buxifolia subsp.
Dichondra repensbc Eucalyptus crenulata†c phylicoidesb
Digitalis purpurea*a Eucalyptus eugenioidesc Grevillea buxifolia subsp.
Dillwynia acicularisc Eucalyptus fibrosaa phylicoidesc
Dillwynia floribunda Eucalyptus globoideaab Grevillea buxifolia subsp.
longifoliac Eucalyptus globulus sphacelatac
Dillwynia parviflora globulusc Grevillea buxifolia subsp.
trichopodac Eucalyptus globulusc sphacelatac
Dillwynia parviflorac Eucalyptus gummiferabc Grevillea buxifoliab
Dillwynia ramosissimac Eucalyptus haemastomab Grevillea floribundac
Dillwynia retortaabc Eucalyptus longifoliac Grevillea mucronulatac
Dittricchia graveolens*c Eucalyptus moluccanad Grevillea parviflora¥b
Diuris aureaab Eucalyptus nortonii Grevillea sericeac
Diuris punctata x aureaa Eucalyptus notabilisa Haemodorum planifolium
Diuris punctataab subsp. planifoliuma
Eucalyptus ovatac
Diuris sulphureaa Hakea dactyloidesbc
Eucalyptus parramattensis
Diurus maculatab Hakea salicifoliaa
subsp. parramattensisac
Diurus sulphureab Eucalyptus piperitacdc Hakea sericeabc
Dodonaea multijugac Eucalyptus punctatabcd Hardenbergia violaceabc
Dodonaea triquetra c Eucalyptus sclerophyllaacdc Helichrysum elatuma
Dracophyllum secundumc Eucalyptus siebericdc Helichrysum scorpioidesc
Drosera peltatab Eucalyptus sparsifoliaac Hemigenia cuneifoliaa
Echinopogon caespitosus Eucalyptus tereticornisc Hibbertia asperaab
var. caespitosusc Euchiton sphaericusc Hibbertia dentatac
Echinopogon ovatusc Exocarpos cupressiformisabc Hibbertia monogynac
Einadia hastatac Exocarpos strictusac Hibbertia nitidaaf
Elaeocarpus reticulatusac Foeniculum vulgare*c Hibbertia pedunculatac
Empodisma minusc Gahnia radulac Hibbertia ripariaac
Entolasia strictac Genoplesium nublingiic Hovea linearisbc
Epacris longiflorac Genoplesium obovatumc Hybanthus monopetalusb
Epacris microphylla var. Genoplesium rufumc Hybanthus monopetalusc
microphyllac Genoplesium sagittiferumc Hydrocotyle peduncularisac
Epacris microphyllaab Hypochaeris radicata*c
Gleichenia dicarpac
Epacris obtusifoliaa Hypoxis hygrometricab
Glossodia majorb
Epacris pulchellac Indigofera australisb
Glossodia minorb
Epacris purpurascensa
Glycine clandestinabc Isopogon anemonifolius
Eragrostis cilianensis*c anemonifoliusc

* † ¥
Naturalized species Victorian Native Not Recognised As Species

87
Isopogon anemonifoliusbc Lomandra fluviatilisa Philotheca salsolifoliaa
Isopogon anethifoliusc Lomandra longifoliaac Phyllota phylicoidesc
Juncus articulatus*a Lomandra multiflorab Pimelea curviflora var.
Juncus continuusa Lomandra obliquac gracilisc
Juncus prismatocarpusa Lomatia silaifoliabc Pimelea linifolia subsp.
Juncus remotiflorusa linifoliac
Lycopodium deuterodensumc
Juncus subsecundusa Pimelea linifoliac
Lyperanthus suaveolensb
Juncus usitatusc Pittosporum undulatumc
Melaleuca linariifoliac
Kennedia rubicundab Plantago lanceolata*c
Melaleuca styphelioidesd
Kunzea ambiguabc Platylobium formosum
Melaleuca thymifoliab
Lagenifera stipitatac formosumc
Microlaena stipoides var. Platysace ericoidesc
Lambertia formosaabc stipoidesc
Lasiopetalum ferrugineum Platysace linearifoliabc
Microtis unifoliab
var. cordatumac Poa cheeliia
Mirbelia rubiifoliabc
Lasiopetalum ferrugineum Podolobium scandensb
var. ferrugineumc Mitrasacme polymorphac
Pomaderris
Lasiopetalum ferrugineuma Monotoca scopariaa
andromedifoliaabc
Lasiopetalum rufuma Nassella trichotomac Pomaderris brunneaabcf
Laxmannia gracilisc Notelaea longifoliac Pomaderris discolorb
Lepidium bonariense*c Olearia burgesiic Pomaderris ellipticac
Lepidosperma lateraleac Olearia microphyllabc Pomaderris lanigeraac
Lepidosperma longitudinalea Omphacomeria acerbac Pomax umbellatac
Leptomeria acidac Orthoceras strictumbc Poranthera corymbosaa
Leptospermum morrisoniia Ozothamnus diosmifoliusc Prasophyllum elatumb
Leptospermum polyanthumac Pandorea pandoranac Prasophyllum flavumb
Leptospermum Paspalum dilatatum*c Pratia purpurascensc
polygalifolium subsp. Patersonia longifoliab
polygalifoliumc Prostanthera behrianac
Patersonia sericeaa Prostanthera rhombea‡a
Leptospermum
polygalifoliumb Pennisetum clandestinum*c Pseudanthus pimeleoidesa
Leptospermum Persoonia acerosaf Pteridium esculentumbc
rotundifoliuma Persoonia bargoensisade Pterostylis acuminatab
Leptospermum trineruiumb Persoonia chamaepitys Pterostylis curtab
Leptospermum trinerviumac Persoonia glaucescensac Pterostylis nutansb
Lepyrodia muelleria Persoonia hirsutae Pterostylis obtusab
Lepyrodia verruculosaa Persoonia isophylla§c Pterostylis revolutab
Leucopogon amplexicaulisa Persoonia lanceolatabc Pterostylus pedunculatab
Leucopogon setigerc Persoonia laurina subsp. Pultenaea ellipticab
Leucopogon virgatusa intermediac
Pultenaea flexilisc
Libertia paniculatab Persoonia laurinabc
Pultenaea hispidulac
Ligustrum sinense*c Persoonia levisc
Pultenaea villosab
Lindsaea linearisbc Persoonia linearisbc
Pultenaea villosac
Lindsaea microphyllac Persoonia longifolia#b
Ranunculus lappaceusc
Lissanthe sapidaacf Petrophile pedunculataab
Ricinocarpos pinifoliusa
Lissanthe strigosa subsp. Petrophile pulchellac
Rulingia dasyphyllac
subulataab Petrophile sessilisc
Lissanthe strigosac Scaevola ramosissimabc
Phebalium dentatumac
Lobelia gibbosab Schoenus melanostachysc
Lolium perenne*c Selaginella kraussiana*a

§
Does not occur in region
* # ‡
Naturalized species Does not occur in NSW South Australian Native

88
Selaginella uliginosaa
Senecio madagascariensis*c
Senna pendula var.
glabrata*c
Setaria gracillis*c
Smilax glyciphyllac
Sphaerolobium minusac
Sphaerolobium vimineumb
Spiranthes sinensis subsp.
australisb
Stenocarpus salignusc
Stipa pubescensc
Stipa ramosissimaa
Stypandra glaucab
Styphelia laetab
Tecoma capensis*c
Telopea speciosissimabc
Tetratheca thymifoliab
Thelymitra ixioidesab
Themeda australisc
Thysanotus tuberosus subsp.
tuberosusab
Thysanotus tuberosusc
Trachymene incisac
Tristania neriifoliaac
Typha orientalisc
Verbena bonariensis*c
Viola hederaceab
Vulpia myuros v. myurosa
Wahlenbergia strictab
Westringia longifoliaac
Woollsia pungensc
Xanthorrhoea concavaac
Xanthorrhoea minorb
Xanthosia pilosac
Xylomelum pyriformebc
Zieria Fraseric

@
Reference Key
a - NSW Herbarium Database
b - Wirrimibira Sanctuary Database
c -Royal Botanical Gardens Database
d - Gutteridge and Davey (1989)
e - NPA 1997 Bargo Biodiversity Survey, Unpublished Data
f - NPWS Atlas

*
Naturalized species

89
14.4 Correspondences

90
91
92
93
94
95
14.5 Water Quality Data

14.5.1 Council Water Quality Data

96
97
98
14.5.2 Streamwatch Water Quality Data

99
14.5.3 Publicity Articles

100
101
102
15 Index
Grazing, 6, 13, 39, 61, 62, 65
Ground water, 12
A Gundangarra, 37
Aboriginal Heritage, 6, 37, 38
Aerated Waste Treatment System, 58, 77
Algae, 45, 55, 68, 69
H
Amphibians, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 33, 73, 75, 82 Horticulture, 51, 53, 55
Arsenic, 22, 23, 34, 39, 47, 48, 55, 58, 60, 61, 65, Human Impacts, 57
71, 87
Arson, 63
I
B Inghams, 6, 51, 52, 54, 55, 68, 70, 71
Insects, 16, 24, 25, 33
Barium, 45, 46, 48, 69, 70 Invertebrates, 20
Best Management Practice, 6, 8, 54, 55, 56 Issues, 6, 7, 34, 35, 38, 39, 42, 43, 48, 49, 55, 56,
Biological Diversity, 13 58, 65, 68, 72, 74
Birds, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 34, 52, 57, 72, 75, 81,
85
Bush Rock, 23, 33, 35, 61, 62 L
Bushfires, 34, 39, 43, 64, 67, 72, 74, 75, 76 Livestock, 51, 54, 56
Fire Frequency, 7
Hazard Reduction Burns, 7
History, 39 M
Management, 40
Mammals, 16, 17, 19, 24, 67, 75, 84
Regimes, 7
Bats, 16, 21, 23, 34, 75, 84
Bettongs, 21, 24, 83
C Gliders, 25
Quolls, 21, 24, 25, 83
Caves Creek, 6, 14, 18, 22, 35, 36, 63 Wallabies, 19, 21, 24, 25, 33, 34, 47, 83, 84
Charlies Point Sewage ponds, 59 Market Gardens, 54
Coal Mining, 6, 45 Mt Flora Extraction Proposal, 48, 49
Coal Reject, 45, 46, 47
Cyanobacteria, 68, 69
O
D Off-road vehicles, 61, 62, 63
Orchard Plantations, 53
Dead Timber, 64
Dogtrap Creek, 15, 17, 19, 20, 36, 38, 48, 62, 69,
70 P
Dust, 45, 48, 49, 51, 52, 55
Phenols, 46, 47, 48
Poultry Farms, 6, 51, 52, 53, 55, 69, 70
E Pump-out, 58

Eastern Australian Pipeline Co., 59, 66


Environmental Protection Authority, 46, 50, 51, R
52, 53, 55, 56, 59
Railways, 64, 67
Eutrophication, 7, 51, 55, 56, 65
Rainforest, 14, 22, 23, 25, 35, 41
Reptiles, 17, 19, 33, 34, 62, 66, 73, 82
F Roads and Tracks, 61
Rubbish
Faecal Coliforms, 69 Dumping, 43, 57, 59, 65, 66
Fauna, 6, 8, 13, 14, 18, 20, 21, 31, 33, 34, 35, 39, Tip, 45, 59, 60, 68, 70
43, 67, 82
Fauna Survey, 14
Flora, 8, 26, 30, 31, 33, 35, 43, 50, 73, 86 S
Septic tank, 58
G Sewage, 7, 46, 57, 58, 59, 65, 66, 68, 70, 73
Sewage Treatment, 46, 57, 70, 73
Garden Nurseries, 53 Snakes, 19, 21, 22, 33, 34, 62, 64, 83
Gas Discharge, 47, 49 Soil Erosion, 42, 61, 62, 67
Geology, 9, 10, 75 Soils, 6, 7, 9, 26, 27, 50, 54, 58, 61, 62, 63, 64
Microsyenite, 9

103
Storm water, 59, 65
Streamwatch, 69, 70, 99
V
Subdivisions, 58, 61 Vandalism, 38, 63
Subsidence, 6, 47, 49, 50 Vegetation, 6, 8, 13, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 34, 35,
39, 41, 44, 47, 49, 54, 59, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66,
67, 72, 73, 74
T Vegetation Clearing, 62
Tahmoor Mines, 5, 6, 33, 45, 48, 68, 69, 71 Very Fast Train, 59, 65, 66
Tea Tree Hollow Creek, 45, 46, 47, 56, 69, 77
Tharawal, 37, 38, 77
Trail Bikes, 62, 63
W
Tree Planting, 43, 57, 65 Water Quality, 8, 35, 41, 45, 48, 50, 52, 54, 55, 68,
Turkey Creek, 52, 69 69, 70, 71, 74, 96, 99
Weeds, 34, 57, 62, 65, 66
Wildlife Corridor, 13, 31, 37, 39, 76
U
Urban Expansion, 7

104