Issue 84
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Welcome to Sustainable Wollongong October

This month's newsletter includes the following articles:

  • Grow Local: Pest and Disease Management

  • Working Together to Reduce Our Emissions

  • Return and Earn is Paying Off

  • It's Back and Better Than Ever...The Garage Sale Trail

  • Attend a FREE Trail Tutorial

  • Wollongong City Council and Volunteers Involved in the Platy-Project

  • Get Read to 'Stop it and Swap it' on Single-Use Plastics from 1 November

  • Global Climate Change Week - Bushcare as a Planet-Positive Partnership

  • Did You Know?: Mobile Muster

  • Threatened Species Profile: Sublime Point Pomaderris

Feel free to forward this newsletter on to interested friends and family.

If you would like to make any comments or suggestions please contact us at

What's On Sustainable Wollongong - activities from backyard chook keeping workshops to cooking classes, bushwalks and education activities

Click here for Calendar of Events

Grow Local

Pest and Disease Management

There is nothing more disappointing than putting in all the effort to set up, look after and grow your own fruit and vegetables for them to be destroyed by garden pests and diseases. There is no magic solution to completely stop this from happening, but there are many things you can do to minimise the impact.

One of the best things you can do to protect your garden from pests and diseases is to make sure you have healthy soils. Healthy soils support the growth of healthy plants that are better prepared to fight off pests and diseases. Having a diverse range of veggies will help to create resilience and the ability to adapt to change, and by rotating veggies of the same family to different parts of your garden, this will help to break the pest and disease cycle in the soil – otherwise known as crop rotation.

It is also important that you research what plants are best suited for your local conditions and when is the best time to plant them. This will help to ensure that they are less vulnerable to pests and diseases. Open pollinated, heritage and heirloom vegetables generally tend to be more resilient compared to modern hybrids in small scale organic veggie gardens.
Not all insects and bugs are bad for your garden, many provided helpful garden services including lady beetles and spiders which eat pests, and bees which help to pollinate plants. Therefore it is important that you avoid synthetic chemical sprays and even organic sprays such as garlic or chilli which can still harm insects. It can also be helpful to have chickens or ducks and encourage native animals in your garden to control garden pests. You can also manually remove pests and put physical barriers in place such as exclusion bags.

Harvest Now:
FRUIT: Avocado, Babaco, Banana, Black Sapote, Carambola, Cherimoya, Cherry of Rio Grande, Chestnut, Custard Apple, Lemon, Mulberry, Orange, Paw Paw, Peach/Nectarine, Plum, Atherton Raspberry, Blueberry, Jaboticaba, Strawberry.

VEGETABLES: Garlic, Onion, Shallots, Spinach, Carrot, Celery, Parsnip, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Greens, Kale, Kohlrabi, Radish, Rocket, Squash, Zucchini, Broad Bean, Pea, Potato, Tomato, Asparagus, Corn, Lettuce, Warrigal Greens.

HERBS: Basil, Coriander, Dill, Parsley, Chives, Ginger, Mint, Lemongrass, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme.
Plant Now:
VEGETABLES: Leek, Shallots, Beetroot, Silverbeet, Carrot, Celery, Radish, Rocket, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Squash, Zucchini, Green Bean, Capsicum, Chilli, Eggplant, Tomato, Corn, Lettuce, Sweet Potato, Warrigal Greens.

HERBS: Basil, Coriander, Chives, Mint, Lemongrass, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme.
Prune Now:
FRUIT: Atherton Raspberry.

Check out our Grow Local Illawarra Edible Garden Guide and Grow Local Illawarra Native Garden Guide.

Working Together to Reduce our Emissions

We’re taking a research-based approach to identify the actions Council can take to reduce emissions and meet our net zero targets for Council operations and the City of Wollongong.

Council is reviewing the Climate Change Mitigation Plan 2020-2022, to make sure it’s a current and responsive document that focuses on new data and opportunities. As a part of this work, we’re interested in learning what our community are already doing to reduce their emissions and how Council can provide support to community members in their efforts to further reduce emissions.

From now until 15 December 2022, community members will be able to share their thoughts by completing the Climate Change survey and participating in one of our engagement events.

Have lots of ideas you’d like to share? You can get involved by completing the online survey on the Our Wollongong website or by attending a community event. Stay tuned as we’ll be sharing event information soon on Council’s Facebook page and our website.

For more information, read the full media release on Council's website.

Return and Earn is Paying Off

Wollongong residents love the Return and Earn collections and have been reaping the rewards since this program started back in December 2017.

Over this time, Wollongong residents have returned since the end of June 2022 a total of -
91,995,646 aluminium cans; 69,026,574 glass bottles; 52,996,921 plastic bottles; 3,929,769 liquid paper board; 101,703 steel cans. This is a total of 218,050,613 items. At 10c payment for each, it’s a total of $21,805,061 in locals pockets in 4.5 years!

What a great effort!

It's Back and Better Than Ever...The Garage Sale Trail

Wollongong Council is bringing the Garage Sale Trail, Australia’s festival of pre-loved stuff, to Wollongong this November. It’s a great way to raise money while extending the life of the stuff we no longer want by selling or shopping at a garage sale.

This year we have two weekends of garage sales held simultaneously around the nation on 12-13 and 19-20 November 2022.

Did you know 45% of carbon emissions come from how we make, consume and dispose of stuff?

Getting involved in garage sales is a simple action we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint.

It’s free to register and Garage Sale Trail provides you with a host of extra tips, tools and free promotional materials to support your sale.

Why wait? Register today for FREE at

Attend a FREE Trail Tutorial

Garage Sale Trail and Wollongong Council present the Trail Tutorials; a series of inspiring and educational online talks about sustainable fashion and home renovation.

Hosted by an all-star cast including renovation guru Barry du Bois (Network Ten’s The Living Room), Walkley-award-winning journalist Annabel Crabb (ABC’s Ms Represented) & comedian and waste warrior Craig Reucassel (ABC’s War On Waste).

Book a free ticket at 

Did you know that 45% of carbon emissions come from how we make, consume and dispose of stuff?

Extending the life of the stuff we no longer want by selling or shopping at a garage sale is a simple action we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint.

Wollongong City Council and Volunteers Involved in the Platy-Project

The University of NSW in partnership with the Australian Conservation Foundation, called for volunteers over the month of September to assist with vital platypus surveys in our local waterways. 

Whilst this animal is one of our most iconic species, little is known about which specific waterways platypus inhabit, including whether declines in populations or local extinctions have occurred. 

The project aims to develop extensive and current baseline data on sightings and locations that will help to fill knowledge gaps, critical to informing policy and future conservation listings for this species.  

Council’s Natural Areas team and a host of volunteers undertook evening of surveying in West Dapto in September as there have been recent sightings of Platypus in the Mullet Creek and Robins Creek catchments. Although the groups who surveyed the two separate locations didn’t spot a Platypus on the evening, they were greeted by Kingfisher Birds and native water rats.  

Although the Platypus is a cryptic species and sightings can’t be guaranteed, this doesn’t mean they aren’t present. Survey findings provide important data for the project. 

For more information on the Platy-Project please visit The platy-project - Australian Conservation Foundation ( 

Get Ready to 'Stop it and Swap it' on Single-Use Plastics from 1 November

November 1 is fast approaching so it’s time to get your alternatives ready as NSW prepares to ban single-use plastic items, including:
  •  straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton buds
  • expanded polystyrene food ware and cups
  • rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.

This follows a ban on lightweight plastic bags in June this year.

These bans are a big win for our environment and it’s everyone’s responsibility to ‘Stop it and Swap it’.

Single-use plastic items and packaging make up 60% of all litter in NSW. By ending the use of many single-use items we’ll stop an estimated 2.7 billion plastic items from polluting our lands and waterways over the next 20 years.

For ideas, resources and tips on how to prepare for the ban visit our website.

Find out more
We encourage you to review the website resources, download signage and attend an information session with the National Retail Association (NRA). Information sessions are every Friday at 10AM until the end of November 2022.
For further enquiries about the plastics ban, please contact the EPA at

Global Climate Change Week - Bushcare as a Planet-Positive Partnership

Wollongong City Council partnered with the University of Wollongong for Global Climate Change Week 2022 in October. The theme was Planet-Positive Partnerships which presented a great opportunity to share knowledge from our Bushcare program with the wider community, regarding regenerating and caring for natural areas.

Two walk-and-talk tours of Mangerton Park were run by renowned bush regenerator, Lynne Kavanagh, who detailed the successes and challenges of community volunteers in restoring the site. The walk focussed on the environmental value of Mangerton Park and how the community can make a difference in conserving our unique environments.

Did You Know?

Mobile Muster

Did you know, Australian households contain more than 20 million unwanted mobile phones? Have you got old mobile phones lying around your house collecting dust? There is a program called Mobile Muster which collects unwanted mobile phones and recycles them, saving them from ending up in landfill.

All of Wollongong City Council libraries are Mobile Muster drop off points. You can also drop mobiles at the Community Recycling Centre at Kembla Grange.

For more information, visit the Mobile Muster website here and Council’s website here. Visit Council’s website for library locations here.

Threatened Species Profile

Common Name: Sublime Point Pomaderris
Scientific Name: Pomaderris adnata

The Sublime Point Pomaderris is listed as Endangered in NSW. It is a spreading shrub that can reach a height of two metres, with leaves that are narrowly oval in shape and have a smooth upper surface and furry under surface with margins curved downwards.

The flowers of this species are pale yellow and in small many-flowered clusters, and the fruit is a hairy, black, egg shaped capsule around 3mm in length.

The Sublime Point Pomaderris is endemic to NSW and is only known from one site at Sublime Point north of Wollongong, on the edge of the plateau behind the Illawarra escarpment on sandy loam soils over sandstone. Associated vegetation is Eucalyptus sieberi (Silver-top Ash) – Corymbia gummifera (Red Bloodwood) forest with occasional Hakea salicifolia (Willow-leaved Hakea).

Flowering occurs in late September for this species, although buds are present on the plant for several months before the flowers open. The fruit matures in November through to December, but this can be difficult to predict, and seed dispersal occurs very quickly and only annually. The Sublime Point Pomaderris is estimated to live for 10 to 25 years. Adult plants of this species are killed by fire, but its seed can survive fire in the soil seedbank and germinate following fire.

Due to the Sublime Point Pomaderris having a small population size and only growing across one small area, this species is at risk from many factors, particularly natural catastrophes like bushfires. This highlights the importance of ex-situ collections and seed banking to safeguard this species into the future. It also faces several other threats, such as:
  • Road verge maintenance activities
  • Weed invasion
  • Vehicle access
  • Dumping of rubbish causing physical damage to the plants and facilitates weed growth

Wollongong Botanic Garden Ex-situ Project
Wollongong City Council Botanic Garden staff have worked with the NSW Government’s Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Threatened Species Officers to research and conserve this species. This involved surveying the remote population in 2018 and 2020 and then monitoring for flowering and collecting seeds from thirty individuals by bagging sections of the plant with mesh bags. Seeds collected were also sent for conservation storage at the National Seed Bank in Canberra. Cuttings were also taken and are growing in the Wollongong Botanic Garden nursery as an ex-situ collection for research, which represent a cross-section of the wild population and are constantly under propagation. Backups of this collection are located at other partner gardens for safety.

For more information on this species, visit the Wollongong Botanic Garden’s website and the NSW Government’s website.

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