09 January 2018

Cat Tracker

This information was received via Iona Mitchell, whose contact details are below.

The University of South Australia is running an innovative ‘Cat Tracker’ project Australia-wide.  The project tracks the movement of pet cats and interviews their owners.  The aim is to learn about the roaming behaviours of pet cats and to help cat owners make decisions about their cat’s care and welfare.  Even if you are not a cat owner, you can still fill out the survey to provide your views on cat ownership, part of this project's objectives are to find out more about social attitudes to cat ownership and cat management.

A light-weight GPS tracker (like the one in the attached photo) is placed on a cat’s collar or harness, and its movement over a 24 hour period is recorded.  The information is downloaded and displayed on a map - to show you exactly where your cat roams!  This enables you to check on your cat’s safety e.g. is it spending time near roads; identify its favourite sleeping, hiding and roaming places; and find out if it is entering other people’s homes to be fed!  Kids also love to learn where their furry-friends like to spend time.







The great news is that ‘Cat Tracker’ is coming to Tassie in early 2018 and the project is looking for cat owners to interview and cats to track.   Have a look at the Cat Tracker website http://j.mp/Cat-Tracker and to get started - you can fill in the cat owner survey.  You can fill out the survey even if you do not own a cat.  Pass this email on to anyone you think may be interested in participating.

If you are interested in finding out more about the project please contact the project team at the University of South Australia: discoverycircle@unisa.edu.au or (08) 8302 9999.

Here are some interesting findings from the South Australian project which tracked over 400 cats and interviewed more than 3000 cat owners:
  • Of the 428 cats that were each tracked for at least five days, the distance they roamed ranged from about 0.1 to 31 hectares, with a median of 1 hectare (approximately 10 average 1/4 acre residential blocks).
  • Male cats and non-desexed cats roamed the furthest, and 88% of the cats tracked had larger home-ranges at night.
  • They compared sedentary cats (roamed < 1 hectare) and wandering cats (roamed > 1 hectare). Wandering cats crossed more roads each day, showed more signs of being in fights and were more often seen with prey. Wandering cats were also typically younger and had less stimulation (e.g. toys, scratching posts, opportunity for play) provided by their owners.
  • 177 cats that were described by their owners as being kept inside overnight were tracked, and it was found that 39% of them roamed over 1 hectare at night.
  • Most respondents reported that cats roam in their neighbourhoods and 40% thought that these cats were a nuisance. The major concern was fighting with, or scaring their pets. 
  • The study compared the personalities of indoor and outdoor cats and found their personalities to be very similar, suggesting that there is no negative impact on a cat’s personality when it is kept indoors. 
  • The report gives interesting advice about cats with different personalities, for example, a ‘skittish’ cat may benefit from having hiding spots at home or an ‘outgoing’ cat (curious & active) may benefit from additional toys and play time. 


Iona Mitchell

Tasmanian Land for Wildlife Coordinator
Gardens for Wildlife Coordinator
Coordinator Community Engagement (Biodiversity)
Private Land Conservation Program
Natural and Cultural Heritage Division
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001
Ph: 03 6165 4409
Mb: 0418545970
www.gardensforwildlife.dpipwe.tas.gov.au

04 December 2017

Gardening notes - December

December planting notes

Sorry these are a little late, but then again we've lost a few days to incessant rain!


DECEMBER Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Silverbeet - punnet, pot to ground, or direct seeding x x x x
Brussel Sprouts - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding x x x
Kale - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding
x x x
Cabbage - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding
x x x
Brocolli - for March
x x
Swedes x x x x
Shallots/Spring Onions x x x x
Lettuce x x x x
Kohlrai x x x x
French Bush Beans x x x x
Climbing Beans - Last chance as on the limit. x


Cauliflower
x x x
Sweetcorn - last chance as on the limit. x







Punnets



Lettuce x x x x
Brocolli - punnets or pots for winter
x x
Cabbage - punnets or pots for winter
x x
Cauliflower - punnets or pots for winter
x x

01 December 2017

Hobart's Climate Change Strategy Review


 
 
 
 
 

Climate Change Strategy Review

The City of Hobart is undertaking a review of its Climate Change Strategy and welcomes your input on how the City can work with the community towards a low carbon future and respond to climate change impacts. 
Please read the two background papers: Managing Hobart’s Carbon Footprint and Responding to Climate Change and complete the online survey before 5 March 2018 to have your say. The City will also host two community forums in mid-February 2018, we hope you can participate, RSVP here

15 November 2017

Love Our Streets West Hobart


Great news - from November 2017 to April 2018 the City of Hobart is working with the community in West Hobart, designing creative activities to enhance walkability and bring the streetscape to life with colour and fun.  All community members are invited to join in to design and implement this project.

The project is designed to show people driving through our suburb to realise that - hey!  there are people living here!

We can share our ideas online about what we and our friends could do to activate the street, or look for other people to join in a project, or suggest something that the Council could coordinate.  Just go to  the Council's Your Say Hobart webpage.   Log in (or register if you haven't been in there before) and then go to the LoveOurStreetsWestHobart page.


Community-based activity is important to increase walking in local areas. When residents feel socially connected to their neighbours and part of a strong community they are more likely to walk and spend time in their street.
With the community activating West Hobart, through events, activity and art, the traffic travelling along the streets should slow down.
Even the everyday way that front yards are used can contribute to street activation. Simple ideas could include planting a vegetable plot in your front yard, or having dinner on your front verandah (and perhaps inviting the neighbours!).

Rossmoyne Street in Thornbury (Victoria) is a great example. The community hosted a scarecrow competition in their street which helped to slow down traffic - and the residents got to know each better!

The first idea to hit the streets is a Sea of Sunflowers.  Packets of sunflower seeds are being distributed to residents - just sow them in your front yard!  Soon we will see splashes of colour all along our streets.

The first community gathering is a Fence Weaving party.  On 30 November, at West Hobart's Train Park between 3:30-5.30pm, be there and join in the fun!




31 October 2017

November in the garden

Planting notes for November, from West Hobart gardener Greg S.

NOVEMBERWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Beetroot - large direct sowing for winter x


Carrot - large direct sowing cropping Feb to Oct.xx

Swedes - for winter


x
Shallots/Spring onionsxxxx
Climbing Beans 
xxx
French Bush Beansxxxx
Sweetcorn - xxxx
as ground is warmer, can dispense with pregermination



Silverbeet - for winter


x
Leeks - punnet to ground
xxx
Kohlrabixxxx
Brussel Sprouts and Kale - direct seeding


x
Zucchini- pots to ground. xxx
Basil - punnet to ground xxxx





Punnets or Individual Pots



Brussel Sprouts

xx
Lettuce

xx
Silverbeet - for winter

xx
Brocolli

xx
Cabbage


x





























































































24 October 2017

Council supports safety improvements on Hill Street

It is very gratifying to be able to report that, on 2 October, our City Council approved unanimously the recommendations of the City Infrastructure Committee to build some safety improvements along Hill Street.  The agreed resolution, taken from the Minutes, is included below.

These changes will make Hill Street more friendly to people walking and riding, by adding more generous pedestrian crossing points, more clearly defining the traffic lanes, and marking some on-road bikelanes.  There will be a bigger safer bus stop near Lawrenny Court, and a wombat crossing will be trialled at the chemist/Smolt Kitchen corner.  There will be more kerb ramps to make it easier for prams and wheelchairs to navigate our streets.  A lowered speed limit will be requested from State Growth once these works are complete.

As you know the community has been agitating for some years now to make our neighbourhood streets safer.  A collaborative effort by the schools (Lansdowne Crescent leading the way), local businesses, and residents groups (such as West Hobart Environment Network) has finally been effective in swaying our Council Aldermen and civil engineering staff to move forward along the path to safer, more inclusive streets. 

While the community wants to go further and faster, with immediate assistance for children walking to school, a more positive attitude to wombat crossings, and more connections to bikepaths to help people to ride to work and school in safety, this current project is a significant step forward for our neighbourhood.  It should have a desirable effect on average traffic speeds along Hill Street, reducing them noticeably.  This will greatly improve the comfort of the immediate residents and the safety of all pedestrians and bike riders using or crossing Hill Street. 

We look forward to seeing the works start, and finish (!), and to trying out the wombat crossing.




COUNCIL RESOLUTION:

That:   1.    The revised concept design for pedestrian crossing points, median lane and bicycle lanes (marked as Attachment D to item 6.6 of the Open City Infrastructure Committee agenda of 20 September 2017) be implemented.
2.    The Transport Commissioner be requested to consider a 40 km/h speed limit for Hill Street (between Molle Street and Arthur Street) following the implementation of this project.
3.    The findings of the Midson Traffic Report (marked as Attachment C to item 6.6 of the Open City Infrastructure Committee agenda of 20 September 2017) be endorsed and the following recommendations be adopted:
(i)      A trial implementation of a wombat crossing across Hill Street (on the northern side of the Pine Street roundabout) be undertaken, subject to further consultation with directly impacted property owners, residents and businesses and all statutory advertising and approvals.
(ii)     Results of the trial, including recommendations on the installation of two additional wombat crossing in Hill Street (at both Warwick Street and Patrick Street), be the subject of a further report.
(iii)    Further surveys of pedestrians and pedestrian types over a longer period (i.e. one school week) be done at the Patrick Street roundabout and the results forwarded to the Transport Commissioner for consideration of a children’s crossing and adult crossing guard.
(iv)    Traffic signals not be implemented at the Arthur Street / Hill Street or Patrick Street / Lansdowne Crescent / Hill Street intersections at this time.
4.    The required funding for the installation of wombat crossings at Warwick Street and Patrick Street (if not trialled) be listed for consideration in the 2018‑19 Annual Plan, with installation contingent on a successful trial and future resolution of Council.
5.    The Transport Commissioner be requested to provide assistance as may be required with the implementation of an awareness and education campaign regarding the use of wombat crossings.
6.    Midson Traffic be requested to provide a briefing to the community on the outcomes of its report.
7.    A media release be issued by the Lord Mayor and the Chairman of the City Infrastructure Committee.

19 September 2017

Save money on energy efficient product buy




All southern councils have teamed up with Sustainable Living Tasmania’s ecohomeguide.com.au to create the Home Energy Bulk Buy for energy-efficient heat pumps, hot water services, insulation, LED lighting, solar panels and other products.

Buying in bulk brings down the cost per item. Products chosen for the buy will be based on quality, price and performance.

If you are interested in buying an energy efficient product in the coming months, you can register your interest at ecohomeguide.com.au
 
The Home Energy Bulk Buy will be available at the same time as the Tasmanian Government’s Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme that has three-year interest-free loans of up to $10,000 for individuals to install energy-efficient and renewable-energy equipment. For more information about the loans visit auroraenergy.com.au/teels

To register go to Ecohomeguide.com.au

There will be a workshop at Sustainable Living Tasmania on 4/10/17 to talk about the bulk buy and heat pumps (which will be open in October). You can RSVP here. 

24 July 2017

Ecohomeguide.com.au - check it out!



Have you come across Ecohomeguide.com.au ???

This is a brilliant social enterprise and website, set up by Sustainable Living Tasmania.

Here you can get free tailored advice on how your household can become more sustainable, your heating costs can be reduced, and you can live more comfortably and cheaply.  Sustainable Living Tasmania has immense expertise in this area.  

They’ve also researched both products AND suppliers and are now part of the supply chain - offering households discounted and efficient products through some of the best suppliers in Tassie.  

http://ecohomeguide.com.au/

By purchasing your solar PV, hot water, heat pump, insulation and other products through Ecohomeguide you are supporting Sustainable Living Tasmania’s work.

The Ecohomeguide team are currently also offering access to TEELS and NILS, government programs to make more efficient products more accessible to low income Tasmanians. 

Check it out, and see if this website is useful to you!