Hunter Bird Observers Club has an active Conservation Committee which prepares submissions to proposed developments that will adversely affect birds and their habitats. Submissions are also made to government authorities involved in assessing existing environmental legislation, in proposing changes to land tenure that might adversely affect birds, or in scoping future coal and gas development.

Hunter Region threatened species

As of November 2016, 89 threatened species have been recorded within the Hunter Region. Some are resident or regular visitorsĀ in the region, some are uncommon, and some are vagrant. For a complete list of threatened species including commentary on their current status within the region, click here

A significant recent “win” for Hunter Region birds was seen in the Land and Environment Court, when a residents group (“Friends of Tumblebee”) successfully challenged a development approval issued by Cessnock Council in the Hunter Economic Zone (HEZ); a known breeding area for the Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater.

See the media releases from EDO here and BirdLife Australia here.

Some exciting news also emerged from the Cessnock area in November 2016 with HBOC member Shelly Zvingulis finding a pair of Regent Honeyeaters with an accompanying juvenile bird in a park at Kitchener. This represents the first confirmed breeding of Regent Honeyeaters in the Lower Hunter since they bred in HEZ in 2007/2008 (though we suspect that breeding has occurred, we haven’t been able to actually confirm it). The observation attracted some media attention. See the media release on the BirdLife Australia website here

Examples of submissions that HBOC has made on various issues are provided below. The most recent is the submission that HBOC made on the proposed major overhaul to biodiversity conservation and native vegetation laws in NSW. A link is also provided to the BirdLife Australia submission.

HBOC Submission on Richmond Vale Rail Trail (Hexham Swamp)
Richmond Vale Rail Trail submission 2016

HBOC Submission on Proposed Biodiversity and Native Vegetation Legislation Reforms 2016
HBOC submission NSW Biodiversity Legislation Reforms 2016
BirdLife Australia’s submission can be seen here.

Newcastle Wetlands Reserve
Newcastle Wetland Reserve 2013 11.pdf

Game and Feral Animals Control Act
Game HBOC response re game species 2013 11.pdf

Proposed Logging in National Parks

Proposed changes to Environmental Legislation
Protect the things you love 2012 09 – Tony Burke.pdf

Proposed Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) Coal Terminal Rail Flyover Modification June 2012
BirdLife Australia Submission to NCIG PAC_20130507.pdf
NCIG Rail Flyover Modification_Submission to PAC_20130507.pdf
NCIG RFM Mod2_Submission to Dept Planning_201207.pdf
NCIG referral 2012 07 Letter_Final.pdf

Proposed Port Waratah Coal Services Terminal 4 Coal Loader
T4 submission final_2013_11.pdf
T4 Letter to DoP 20-04-2012.pdf
T4 submission_final_2012 04.pdf

Members’ Submissions
PWCS T4 Submission_Maddock_201204.pdf
PWCS T4 Submission_Jim Smart_20120506.pdf
PWCS T4 Submission_Crawford_Herbert_20120507.pdf
PWCS T4 Submission_Newman_201204.pdf

Hunter Estuary Development Issues

Hunter Estuary Management Study Plan

Coal and Gas Strategy Scope
Coal and Gas Strategy Scoping Submission_2011.pdf

Proposed Warkworth Open-cut Coal Mine Extension

Warkworth Continuation Project Submission 20150604.pdf
Warkworth Continuation Project Submission 20140804.pdf
Warkworth Ext_PlanningAssessCommission_20111110.pdf

Hunter Wetlands National Park Boundary Change for Proposed Industrial Railway
Area E reply from DSEWPC_20111122.JPG
Area E_HBOC_reply to DSEWPC_20120127.pdf

Soldiers Point Marina extension
HBOC submission re Soldiers Point Marina October 2015 (DA 16-2015-585-1)
HBOC Soldiers Point Extension Letter April 2013
HBOC submission re Soldiers Point Marina April 2012 (DA 16-2012-57 1)