Jeff Angel of the Total Environment Centre wrote in the foreword to Beyond the Untidy Fringe, “There’s no doubt that having strong contacts in, and a real understanding of government decision making, is of great benefit to those seeking change.”
From the beginning the Lane Cove Bushland and Conservation Society entered into local politics and developed programs in partnership with the Council, although not necessarily in agreement with all Council decisions. Architect Doug Stuart was instrumental in organising a survey of Lane Cove’s bushland and was a mainstay of the Society, spearheading environmental activism. He was President for a decade from 1991 and continued to monitor Development Applications and write countless submissions when they had the potential to affect the environment.
Members of the Society were Councillors and Mayors including Rosilyn Baxter, who in her 21 years on Council, “…worked tirelessly to promote LCB&CS aims.” As one member said, “Ros deserves a medal”. In 1994 Ros received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
The Society has brought the fight for the preservation of the environment to local, state and federal authorities, organising ‘Meet the Candidate’ election events and writing submissions. In 2016 The Lane Cove Bushland and Conservation Society joined other community organisations in successfully resisting the State Government’s plan to amalgamate Lane Cove with Hunters Hill and Ryde Councils.
Here members of the Society, including Bill Henningham, a past mayor of Lane Cove, Alasdair Stuart, Graham Holland and Doug Stuart stand outside the meeting to make submissions to the Greater Sydney Commission.
The Society lobbied for and promoted a Plan of Management for Bushland, which included BMAC, the Bushland Management Advisory Committee. The Society has three permanent places on this committee.
In 2016 BMAC celebrated its 25th anniversary and awards were presented on the night.
In 2010 young mothers and Society members, Corinne Fisher, Anne Proudfoot and Alyson Hayes were instrumental in establishing the very popular Bushkids program to engage young children with nature and to encourage a life-long love and care of the environment. In 2016 the Council partnered with the Society to further develop and run the program with a permanent coordinator.
The Society has assisted in the publication of a number of books including Judy Messer’s book Growing the Native Plants of Lane Cove which is now available for download from the Council website.
A member of the Society, Don Dove, wrote the first Bushwalks in Lane Cove in 1982 which is now in its 7th edition. The latest version is seen here on the Society stall in the Plaza and it is also available at Lane Cove Council and in the library.
Late Winter/Spring wildflower walks
The Society continues to conduct Free Guided Walks in Lane Cove National Park, local bushland and North Head, Manly, as indicated by our flyer. These walks are led by plant experts and have proved to be very popular. Latest details can be found on our Facebook page and bookings can be made at: https://cutt.ly/2s4AM3G
Lane Cove National Park is home to diverse flora types and is part of one of the mega diverse floras in the world. One of the most beautiful and spectacular is the Sydney sandstone flora on the upper slopes of the Lane Cove Valley. This has its main flowering in Winter/Spring with a diverse understory of Pea flowers, Heath land plants and Banksias to name a few. Honeyeater birds such as the New Holland and the Eastern Spinebill can be seen feeding on the nectar flowers.
Guided bushwalks at North Head
Ron Gornall regularly takes guided bushwalks in Spring in the native plant sanctuary at North Head which has ocean and Sydney Harbour views.
The Society organises two stalls per year, Spring and Autumn, in the Lane Cove Plaza to encourage growing indigenous plants and provide information on environmental issues and activities, locally and nationally.