Workshop held for endangered species around Goobarragandra River

John Briggs, working through the Office of Environment and Heritage, has been leading efforts to save the Tumut Grevillea. He’s pictured here standing next to a Tumut Grevillea at Elm Cottage.

Maybe it’s time for Tumut to get an official flower.

We certainly have a unique species growing here: the Tumut Grevillea, a mammoth 2.5 metre tall shrub with gorgeous pink flowers. This endangered native species is only found, in the entire world, along a 6 kilometre strip down the Goobarragandra River.

Although, according to the Office of Environment and Heritage, it has a “strong and rather unpleasant smell, not unlike the smell of mouse urine,” so maybe not.

Either way, it’s certainly worth protecting, and the key to the Grevillea’s survival lies with private property owners.

Several of them have been working closely with government for the past two decades to conserve the rare flower, and a group of interested parties gathered at Elm Cottage on Wednesday to see if they could get involved.

The meeting was hosted by Lesley Peden from Land for Wildlife, who explained that the first step for any landholder thinking about getting involved, but who may be put off by the unwelcoming nature of government bureaucracy, is to contact the community-based organisation.

“My role here today is that I am the regional provider of Land for Wildlife, which is a scheme that runs right throughout the Great Eastern Ranges corridor: it’s a landholder support scheme,” she said.

“We do property assessments, which are complementary, they don’t cost the landholder anything. I walk around the property, perform an ecological survey, give them a big vegetation list, talk to them about their management concerns, and help them source funding and information from our broad partnership: Local Lands Services, Office of Environment and Heritage, Greening Australia, you name it.

“Funding is out there, and sometimes it’s really hard to negotiate through the myriad of organisations, but I do that and I can help people write grants too.”

Lesley Peden can be contacted at 0400 806 089, or at [email protected]