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We have five NRFABCON Working Groups collaborating on projects to deliver on-ground and policy outcomes. 


NRFABCON Koala Working Group

The activities of the NRFABCON Koala working group aim to support the Tweed and Byron Councils’ 5-year ‘Linking koala habitat and endangered ecological communities’ project.  Involving Koala populations on both public and private lands, the project is connecting habitat acorss the Shire to improve the long-term survival of coastal koala populations. Inappropriate fire is one of the greatest threats to the ongoing viability of the Tweed/Byron coast Koala population. A cooperative approach to community engagement forms a key component of this Working Groups area of interest, working with the community on fire management needs to sustain healthy Koala populations.

For more information see the NRFABCON Koala Consortium Working Group Action Plan  

NRFABCON Eastern Bristlebird Working Group

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The development and implementation of ecological burns to restore critical Eastern Bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus) habitat, supported by a scientifically designed monitoring program, is a priority action in the Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan (DECCW 2010).  The NRFABCON eastern bristlebird working group is part of a cross-NSW/Qld project funded by the Australian Government. 

This alliance of agency and community representatives has been tasked with identifying priority grassy wet sclerophyll areas that are known to contain the habitat of eastern bristlebird and develop and apply appropriate fire management regimes to maintain grassy habitat. 

For more information see the Draft NRFABCON Eastern Bristlebird Working Group Action Plan.

NRFABCON Bell Miner Associated Dieback (BMAD)/Forest Health Working Group

The NRFABCON BMAD/Forest Health working group aims to;

  • Investigate and facilitate the implementation of appropriate fire as part of integrated management necessary for BMAD prevention, control and forest restoration.
  • Development and implement contingency plans for native forest restoration following wildfire in severely impacted BMAD forests.

The Working group has planned and implenemnted on-ground activities including the introduction of controlled fire and follow-up weed work, and pre and post fire monitoring of forest health to identify effective combinations of treatments of fire and weed control. The work of the group is guided by the Bell Miner Associated Dieback Strategy (BMAD Working Group 2004), with the control of Lantana being a priority as per the requirements of the national plan to Protect Environmental Assets from Lantana (National Lantana Management Group 2010).

For more information click here to view the NRFABCON BMAD/Forest Health Working Group Action Plan.

NRFABCON Ecological Burns Working Group

The Constraints to Approval of Ecological Burns Consortium Working Group (Ecological Burns Working Group) investigates ways in which ecological fire management proposals can be more effectively assessed and implemented across the Northern Rivers region.  Given the increasing recognition of the role of fire as an important driver for biodiversity conservation, the working group is exploring ways to overcome the current constraints within policy and planning frameworks to undertake ecologic burning. 

The NRFABCON working group has led regionally coordinated recommendations for more streamlined environmental assessment pathways to enable ecological burns to be undertaken. Legislated recognition of ecological burning and the preparation of protocols to ensure good implementation of legitimate ecological burns support the Key Threatening Process nomination ‘Fire regimes that cause biodiversity decline’, currently being assessed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

For more information see the Draft NRFABCON Ecological Burning Policy and Legislation Working Group Action Plan

NRFABCON Cultural Burning Working Group

Cultural burning describes the traditional burning practices used by Aboriginal people to enhance the health of land and its people. These pracices continue to form an important part of culture and the management of landscapes. Cultural burning includes burning (or preventing burning) for the health of particular cultural resources, places, species and communities such as rainforests, native grasslands, wetlands, bush foods, medicines, tools, or biodiversity in general.  It may involve patch burning to create habitat mosaics of different fire intervals and species diversity across country or it could be used for fuel and hazard reduction to protect assets, life and property.  It may be used to increase access and amenity for people or as a part of culture heritage management. It may be used for ceremony to welcome or farewell people to country or as simple as a campfire around which people gather to share, learn, and celebrate.

However across different communities and lands the following are key considerations:

  • Responsibility people have for their country - the right people are involved in planning and implementing fire based on their cultural connections to the land
  • Importance of being on country and learning by observation and sharing
  • Importance of teaching young people/passing down knowledge
  • Importance of good training, partnerships, practice and techniques
  • Importance of embedding cultural connection into contemporary NRM

The aim of the Cultural Burning Working Group is to assist Aboriginal landholders, Aboriginal Communities and Cultural Natural Resource Managers to build confidence to advocate and participate in cultural burning practices. It support this outcome through facilitating collaboration between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal stakeholders for culturally integrated ecological fire management.

For more information see the NRFABCON Cultural Burning Working Group Action Plan.

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