Murwillumbah Museum reopens

Last days to see breastplate exhibition
Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah reopened yesterday – Tuesday 17th January, 2017, after a temporary closure as a safety precaution during repairs to the building’s air conditioning system.

The Queensland Road facility was closed last week after a piece of the air conditioner ceiling ducting became loose, prompting concerns about public safety.

A solution to secure the ducting, to protect the safety of visitors and staff, has been put in place by Monday as an interim measure until full repairs to the air conditioning system can be completed.

Breastplates exhibition ends this Saturday

Only a few days remain to see one of the Museum’s most significant and thought-provoking exhibitions – of breastplates given to Aboriginal people associated with the Northern Rivers in the late 1800s and early 1900s – before the display ends this Saturday.

Current exhibitions also include some of the most beautiful butterflies from Australia, Asia and South America, featured in the Collector’s Cabinet until 25 February.

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Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah is located at 2 Queensland Rd, Murwillumbah and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

For further information about the Museum visit http://museum.tweed.nsw.gov.au/ or http://www.bigvolcano.com.au/community/trhs/index.html 

Photo captions:
1. Only a few days remain to see the thought-provoking Aboriginal breastplates exhibition at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah. Photo by Justin Ealand.
2. The Richmond Birdwing featured in the Beautiful Butterflies exhibition on display in the Collector’s Cabinet until 25 February. Photo by Trevor Worden.

Don’t Flush! Council welcomes wet wipe legal action

Wipes in pipes clogging sewer systems

Tweed Shire Council (TSC) has welcomed news that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched legal action against the manufacturers of ‘flushable’ wet wipes.

The ACCC is taking legal action against two manufacturers on the grounds that labelling the wipes ‘flushable’ is misleading, as it suggests consumers can safely flush them down the toilet.

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“This is great news not only for Tweed Shire Council but for all local government and water authorities worldwide,” said Manager Water and Wastewater Anthony Burnham.

“Wet wipes clogging our sewers and breaking our pumps is one of the daily challenges we face in keeping the Tweed’s sewer system operating.

“Every day we are called to an average of 20 blockages and most of them are caused by materials that should never be flushed, including wet wipes.

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Photo:  Water Engineer Elizabeth Seidl demonstrates that wet wipes do not break down (jar on left) like toilet paper does (jar on right). The wipe has remained intact in the water for five months to date.

“Australia-wide, the wet wipes problem is estimated to be costing the community up to $15 million a year in fees to remove the items from sewers, pump stations and treatment plants.”

Here in the Tweed, it takes two workers and a truck up to two hours to clear a blockage.

For each blockage, Council fitters have to travel to site, lift the pump with a crane truck, dismantle the pump, remove the blockage, re-assemble the pump and put the station back on line.

“Every time there is a blockage we also risk damaging the pump, the pipework and the electrical equipment, not to mention the excess power used by the pump trying to push the blockage through,” said Mr Burnham.

Council believes the legal action is a step forward in tackling the issue of consumers flushing these products, which do not break down.

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Photo: Reticulation Assistant Darryn Gunton fishes wet wipes and nappies from a sewer manhole at Murwillumbah.

“The next step is to educate consumers to keep wipes out of our pipes,” said Mr Burnham.

“It’s a message we hope will be heard loud and clear because if that blockage occurs on private property, it is the property owner who has to pay to unblock it. Then there’s the risk of raw sewerage overflow into neighbouring properties or the environment.”

Other items that should never be flushed are women’s sanitary products, medical dressings, cotton buds, condoms, colostomy bags and disposable nappies.

These materials should be bagged and disposed of in a rubbish bin.

To view media releases online visit http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/MediaCentre/MediaCentre.aspx
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Teaming up to fight bank erosion and weeds

Tweed Shire Council will work with participating private landowners to improve the health of the Rous River between Chillingham and Murwillumbah over the next three years, thanks to $100,000 in funding through the NSW Environmental Trust. 

The NSW Environmental Trust grant was announced last week by the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Mark Speakman and Member for Lismore, Thomas George. The grant will be matched by funds from Tweed Shire Council.

Rous_River_health_112517_640 Photo:  The health of the Rous River will be improved through a NSW Environmental Trust grant, matched by funding from Tweed Shire Council

Council Project Officer – Waterways, Matthew Bloor, said the Rous River has high conservation values and is located in a highly valuable agricultural landscape.  “Bank erosion and environmental weeds are having a big impact on the river but also threaten the values of adjacent land,” Mr Bloor said.

“In recognition of Council’s work with private landowners through its River Health Grants program, the NSW Environmental Trust has offered Council $100,000 to work with landowners to protect, restore and connect native riparian vegetation along the Rous River.”

Participating landowners will be eligible to receive assistance for stock fencing and watering infrastructure, weed control, bush regeneration, revegetation and bank erosion. Landowners will also receive management advice and restoration plans for their river bank based on current condition and use.

“Waterway health is directly related to the condition of banks and adjacent land. Landowners who take an active role in protecting the health of our waterways supply a vital service to the community and should be supported to do this.

“River Health Grants have supported around 160 landowners to improve over 65 kilometres of waterways in the Tweed Shire over the last 10 years. Council will match the Environmental Trust grant with $100,000 through this program to maximise the benefits this project will bring to the Rous River.”

Council to look into establishing a canoe trail along scenic Rous River

Council will also investigate establishing a canoe trail along the Rous River to promote the recreational use of the Rous River.

“Tidal reaches from Boat Harbour to Tumbulgum can be paddled year round.  Exploring our waterways in a canoe or kayak is a fun and healthy activity and great way to appreciate the unique environment of the Tweed Shire,” Mr Bloor said.

For more information contact Matthew Bloor, Project Officer – Waterways on (02) 6670 2580 or email mbloor@tweed.nsw.gov.au

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Tuesday 31 May, 2016
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See also Big Volcano Visitor Guide / Volcano Towns / Murwillumbah and / Volcano Villages / Chillingham

Good news for Pottsville’s endangered koalas

A new koala project in the Pottsville Wetland will encourage community involvement to help protect and restore koala habitat.

A_koala_160834_640Photo: A koala in a newly planted tree shows how restoring koala habitat can help populations recover

The project will be funded by a grant of $99,283 over three years from the NSW Environmental Trust and a Tweed Shire Council cash and in-kind contribution of $170,000.

NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage, Mark Speakman announced the grant onsite at Pottsville on Monday 25th May.

The project aims to:

  • Increase primary koala habitat within and adjacent to the Pottsville Wetland
  • Reduce threats to koalas from domestic dogs
  • Reduce threats to other threatened fauna (such as ground nesting birds) from foxes and cats
  • Improve habitat condition and reduce weeds
  • Improve fire management
  • Involve the community and schools through koala conservation activities

Council’s Director Community and Natural Resources, Tracey Stinson, welcomed the funding.  “The Tweed Coast’s koala community was recently declared endangered by the NSW Scientific Committee, which just highlights the importance of projects such as this,” Ms Stinson said.

“Pottsville Wetland is a unique environmental asset at the back door of the Pottsville community that provides critical habitat for the declining Tweed Coast koala population,” Council’s Director Community and Natural Resources, Tracey Stinson, said.

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Photo: An aerial view of the Pottsville Wetland which provides critical habitat for the declining Tweed Coast koala population

“As part of this project, we will engage with the community and encourage the active involvement of neighbours of the Pottsville Wetland and the broader community, so we can work together to protect and enhance Pottsville Wetland and its koalas.”

“As a bonus, this project will also benefit a host of other threatened species and Endangered Ecological Communities at this site as well as complementing similar actions Council is undertaking across 268 hectares of its adjoining coastal koala reserve system at Pottsville,” she said.

This project will form part of the overall Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management to help the Tweed Coast koala population recover to more sustainable levels over the next 20 years. For more information see www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/Koalas

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Thursday 26 May, 2016
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See also: Big Volcano Visitor Guide / Volcano Villages / Cabarita, Pottsville Beach & Hastings Point

A few of your favourite things

Mullumbimby artist Oksana Waterfall showcasing work at Tweed Regional Gallery.

Lelli_2015_thr142809_640Photo:  Lelli (detail) 2015, graphite, thread and found object on paper

Hailing from Mullumbimby, artist Oksana Waterfall’s  showcase “Object of Affection”, is a series of works on display until Sunday 10 July 2016 at Tweed Regional Gallery, that explores how people select their most treasured items.

Reflecting the artist’s Ukrainian heritage, where intricate embroidered fabric is often regarded as a family heirloom, Ms Waterfall said that “It is the thread of memory for me and I have incorporated it into each work… a thread that binds me to my culture and my past, and a thread of mark-making that links all the works in the series”.

She said her long and abiding interest in people and the objects they bonded with in the course of their lives were part of the inspiration for her work.  “We all tend to accumulate things as we move through the world,” she said.

“Amongst the myriad of objects that pass through our hands, there are some that seem to exert a special attraction and influence over us.  “As an artist, it intrigues me that people often cling to the mundane as valuable; this can be an object from their childhood or a present from a friend, sometimes without intrinsic value except to the owner,” she said.

“It can be commonplace or uncommon, rare or simply charged with the value of personal use.”  The artist said patterns and stories started to emerge amongst the myriad of random objects.

“We can tell a lot about the owners from the objects they choose as sentiment finds its way into their choices and mundane objects become supercharged with emotions and distilled memories,” Ms Waterfall said.

Gallery Director Susi Muddiman said visitors would be intrigued by the seemingly simple works. “Closer observations reveal the intricate detail involved in Oksana’s practice,” Ms Muddiman commented.

“She tells the story of people through the things they selected and the things they treasure. She specifically asks people to nominate the objects that are most precious to them. “Surprisingly, people didn’t always select the most valuable thing they own and these often remain as impersonal objects to them.

“It is often object, plus memory, that equals a favourite thing.”

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
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See also: Big Volcano Visitor GuideTweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre

New memorabilia and fashion exhibits at Tweed Regional Museum

What do a prayer desk, a hand-beaded evening jacket from the 1920s and an All Blacks football blazer have in common?

Not a lot – but all of these items play a part in stories significant to the Tweed, and have been recently acquired for the Tweed Regional Museum collection.

What’s New 2 is on display at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah until Friday 24 June, with a talk focusing on Alex Itong’s All Blacks football team blazers to be held at the Museum on Wednesday 22 June at 6pm.

Photo:  A 1920s Handed Beaded Evening Jacket

What’s New 2, the second in a series of displays showcasing recently-acquired items, also features a collection of memorabilia associated with well-known local builder George Hanna (of Hanna and Edmed) a doll’s hat from the early 1900s and the band from a cap belonging to a HMAS Uki sailor.

Tweed Regional Museum Director Judy Kean said carrying out research on items donated to the collection was always a joy – partly a journey of discovery and partly detective work.  “Putting together this display was no exception,” Ms Kean said.

“It took us into the fascinating and sometimes poignant lives of many people and events, and spanned the decades from the early 1900s to the 1990s.

“In some instances, thanks to the work of donor families, we have been able to access detailed histories of the circumstances in which these items were used and how they survived,” she said.

Ms Kean said in other instances, there was a lot more to discover.  “The beautiful hand-beaded evening jacket from the 1920s made by Dorothy Thornton is the last surviving example of the skill of a gifted seamstress,” she said.

“Thanks to the research already undertaken by the Thornton family, we know much about the family’s connection to the Tweed and about Dorothy, including the early days of her marriage and the glamorous social life she and her husband Syd enjoyed in Tweed Heads and the Gold Coast in the 1920s.

“In other cases, such as for the All Blacks rugby league blazers owned by Alex Itong, player and selector for the team in the 1940s and 1950s, initial research reveals there’s a whole lot more to be recorded.

“As for the doll’s hat, the little we know is probably all we’ll ever be able to discover,” she said.

“We hope people will enjoy these wonderful stories and the glimpses they offer into our rich past and maybe even help to fill in some gaps.”

What’s New 2 is on display at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah until Friday 24 June.

A talk focusing on Alex Itong’s All Blacks football team blazers will be held at the Museum on Wednesday 22 June at 6pm.

For more information, contact the Museum on (02) 6670 2493 or visit http://museum.tweed.nsw.gov.au/

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Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

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See also Tweed Regional Museum – Murwillumbah at Big Volcano and Big Volcano Museums, Historic Places and Heritage Buildings