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Annual General Meeting - Spring 2012


The Spring public meeting will be

8:00PM 25 September 2012
Community Room
Upstairs Belconnen Library, Chandler Street

The guest speaker will be vice-president Bryan Rhynehart talking about the 'Heritage values of the Ginninderra Falls and region'.

This meeting will double-up as the Annual General Meeting of the Ginninderra Falls Association Inc. Nominations are called for the following positions:

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Committee

If you wish to nominate yourself, or some else, please email public-officer at

Ginninderra Falls Asscn AGM Minutes
25th Sep 2012.

Venue…Belconnen Library meeting room.

Featured Presentation – Brian Rhynehart, Vice President, Ginninderra Falls Association.

“Heritage values of the Ginninderra Falls and region”


  1. Apologies

Graeme Barrow, Greg Butler, Mary Porter (MLA), Lynn Jenkins, Graham Hamilton, Joan Kellet, Rosemary von Behrens.

  1. Presidents Report. Chris Watson

Chris presented his report which is available on the website (see below).

Discussion arose from this report as to the best way forward.

  1. Darryl Seto indicated that Greg Butler who lives in Murrumbateman and has recently been elected to the Yass Valley Shire council would be an excellent person to involve. He has extensive experience in the setting up of National parks. Darryl has already had contact with him.
  2. Darryl Seto reports that the ACT electoral roll is still open so he has not yet circulated them to get their attitude to the establishment of the Park. He will do that as soon as the rolls are finalised.  (NOTE. This has now been done. Tue 2nd Oct.).
  3. Extensive discussion of undertaking a biodiversity survey of the proposed Park area. Dirk von Behrens suggested involving the Act Conservation Council. Damon Cusack suggested that Luke Johnson could be involved on a paid basis. Damon indicated Luke could probably do a good survey for around $5000.00. Damon also suggested that Centennial walking track could include a section through the park area. Dirk von Behrens suggest that it should be possible to get ANU and UC graduate students involved. In that regard Damon indicated that scholarships are available for that type of student work. Jean Geue and Damon both mentioned Geoff Butler (different to Greg Butler) who is a local environmental consultant and may be interested on doing a survey. Again on a paid basis. Jean Geue also mentioned the need for care in being involved with the walking trail as mountain bikers would like to get access to the trail. Doug Finlayson indicated that we need to make sure the Park is “on the agenda” for both ACT and Yass Valley politicians.
  1. ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS for 2012-2013 Year.

Darryl Seto took the chair and conducted the election. The following people nominated and were elected unopposed there being only one nomination for each of the positions.

Chris Watson, President
Brian Rhynehart, Vice President
John Connelly, Secretary
Doug Finlayson, Treasurer.

All persons nomination as general committee members were also elected

Darryl Seto, Committee member
George Heinsohn, Committee member
Graeme Barrow , Committee member
Anna Hyles , Committee Member
Vena Murray, Committee Member
Shirley Gourgard, Committee Member.

  1. Association Patron

Chris reported that Bryan Pratt has agreed to be patron of the Ginninderra Falls Association.

MOVED. That Dr Pratt be Patron. Moved Chris Watson. Seconded .

Accepted unanimously.

  1. Treasurers report.

Doug tabled the treasurers report for the year.

MOVED. That the treasurers report be accepted. Moved Dirk Bouma. Seconded Chris Watson.

There was some discussion of the finances of the Association. Dirk von Behrens said that the expenses of the Association must be larger than indicated by the financial report and that members of the executive and committee must be doing stuff for free. This was acknowledged but it was also acknowledged that significant financial support had been forthcoming form the Belconnen Community Council particularly in paying for web hosting. Other significant support has been provide free by Darryl Seto to maintain the web site and Doug Finlayson to write and produce numerous reports. Dirk Bouma’s very significant financial contribution to the Discovery Centre presentation was also acknowledged.

  1. Christmas BBQ at the Falls.

Chris Watson announced that a Christmas get together / walk will be organised at the Falls for Sun 25th Nov. Details have yet to be worked out with Anna Hyles.

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The Ginninderra Falls Association Inc


Presented by Christopher Watson on 25 September 2012

The naming of our former Working Group as the 'Ginninderra Falls Association' is the relevant focus for Canberra residents, and consequently our membership. However, we need to continually highlight our prime objective, which we do in our letterhead, to promote the concept of the 'Murrumbidgee - Ginninderra Gorges National Park'. It should also be remembered that the word 'Murrumbidgee' is a well-known entity in NSW eyes, particularly as the whole area lies in NSW terrain.

Former Working Group Activities, March 2011 – February 2012

It would be remiss not to report the achievements of the 'Murrumbidgee-Ginninderra Gorges Park Working Group,' which met every three weeks in this period. The Group consisted of some 8-10 persons, including a representative of the Belconnen Community Council, Brian Rhynehart, and Damon Cusack from the Ginninderra Catchment Group. These two groups must be thanked for their invaluable and continuing support.

The Working Croup also included, a former Director of the ACT Parks and Conservation Service, Dr Bryan Pratt; a geologist, Dr Doug Finlayson (who put together an excellent illustrated National Park proposal); author Graeme Barrow who used his journalistic skills to great effect; Dr George Heinsohn, who is on the National Parks Association (ACT) Committee and cemented a liaison. Also, John Connelly of Wallaroo, NSW and John Morgan of Latham brought their secretarial skills to the Group. We also welcomed Darryl Seto who immediately became our webmaster and was responsible for organising our incorporation.

During 2011 the Working Group made a number of important deputations, viz. to the Yass Valley Council's 'Open Forum', to the National Trust (ACT), as well as personal contact with Kevin Evans (CEO) and Kirstin Proft (Biodiversity Conservation Officer) of the National Parks Association of NSW.

A well publicised event at, the ACT Legislative Assembly in October was a great success (WIN TV, Canberra Times and the Chronicle). It was a Q&A hosted by Meredith Hunter, MLA and attended by Mary Porter, MLA. This forum allowed feedback from landowners, who had previously been invited by letter, to give their views on the creation of a National Park. All land is currently private freehold.

Thanks to Dirk Bouma and Rosemary von Behrens for their paintings, and to Jean Geue for photos of Gorge flora, which were all placed in the Assembly's Reception Room foyer.

GFA Activities, February – September 2012

Two public meetings were held. Our inaugural, properly-constituted event was held on 14 February, and addressed by the President of the Canberra Ornithologists Group, Chris Davey. At our second meeting held on 5 June, Damon Cusack of the Ginninderra Catchment Group highlighted the Ginninderra Creek itself, as an urban wildlife corridor linking Mulligan's Flat Reserve to the Ginninderra and Murrumbidgee Gorges.

The CSIRO Discovery Centre must be gratefully thanked for hosting a number of 'Ginninderra Falls' events in March; a great exhibition of paintings by Dr Dirk Bouma in its gallery as well as an expert panel; viz. Dr Doug Finlayson, Dr David Hogg and Professor Mark Lintermans with Professor Ian Falconer in the Chair. Many thanks to those participants.

Other highlights over the past months are:

  • Meeting with ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, MLA

A deputation in May led by Graeme Barrow, including Anna Hyles and Chris Watson, requesting that the NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell, be asked to facilitate the creation of a National Park to include the two Gorges.

We have just heard that "the NSW Government has agreed to commence discussions" (the Northern Chronicle, 11 September, 2012, p1).

  • ACT Assembly 'Ecotourism' Inquiry

Dr Doug Finlayson presented in March an excellent submission to the 'Inquiry Into Current and Potential Ecotourism in the ACT and Region' with Meredith Hunter, MLA as Chair, with Mary Porter, MLA and Zed Seselja, MLA.

In addition Anna Hyles, Graeme Barrow and Chris Watson spoke at public meetings at the Legislative Assembly in May.

The Inquiry recommendations, published in August, include the creation of two NSW 'nature parks'; viz. one in the northern part of ACT and one in the Ginninderra Falls area "with sufficient surrounding land to constitute a sustainable nature park asset" (see Recommendations 3 &4 of the Report).

These findings are great news. Moreover, it cements relationships with the National Parks Association (ACT) who have been campaigning for a 'northern rim' park in recent years. In fact, a deputation including Graeme Barrow, John Connelly and Chris Watson met with their President, Rod Griffiths and others, on 3 September pledging joint cooperation.

  • Visit to Ginninderra Gorge by Brian Everingham NPA, NSW, (Reserves Committee Convenor)

Anna Hyles hosted this visit by an important representative of the NSW National Parks Association, Brian Everingham who was impressed, and encouraged us to garner community support to do surveys of the biological riches of the Gorges. A return visit is planned.

At this juncture I would like to thank all members of our Association committee for their sterling work; we all integrate well using our particular talents to get our message across. New and younger blood is also needed, especially to catalyse scientific surveys, edit newsletters, etc. Also, the Belconnen Community Council and the Ginninderra Catchment Group are thanked for their continuing support.

The Way Ahead

Continuing pressure will be needed on ACT, NSW and Federal politicians to make the Murrumbidgee-Ginninderra Gorges National Park a reality. In the shorter term we must ensure that the current dialogue between the ACT and NSW Governments is consummated by the formation of a properly constituted 'working party' with bold terms of reference.

Unfortunately, we have yet to see any NSW or Federal parliamentarians make visits to the Gorges and Falls as a priority.

More effort is now needed to win over some of the private landowners; 'conservation covenants' are an alternative in certain cases.

Our Association also needs to catalyse and seek funding for land purchase and grants for scientific studies of the area's biodiversity (large Federal grants are potentially available). For example, very few of the above scientists have seen first-hand the Murrumbidgee Gorge as the river winds its way below the Ginninderra Gorge confluence.

Are there benefactors and patrons out there working to be invited on board?

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Treasurer's Report for the Financial Year 2011-2012

The inaugural meeting of the Ginninderra Falls Association was held at Belconnen Library on 14 February 2012. At that meeting the constitution of the Association was drafted. The constitution stipulates that the Association financial year ends on 30 June each year.

This report sets out the accounts of the Association for the period 14 February to 30 June 2012.

The income during the financial year was derived totally from members fees. No expenses was incurred during the 2011-2012 financial year.

A statement of accounts is attached. An Association bank cheque account was opened with the St George Bank (BSB 112-908; Account number 447 299 504) on 26 June, 2012, with five signatories (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Public Officer), any one of whom may singly operate the account.


The Association wishes to thank those organisations that have absorbed costs associated with setting up the Ginninderra Falls Association. In particular the Belconnen Community Council and the Ginninderra Catchment Group are thanked for absorbing meeting room hire, catering, printing and web site development costs.

The Association also wishes to thank the many individuals, including committee members, who have absorbed costs connected with the establishment of the Association and the promotion of the Association in the public domain. In particular the Association wishes to acknowledge the significant contribution by Dirk Bouma when he funded a public promotion and exhibition of his paintings of the Ginninderra Creek area at the Discovery Centre, CSIRO, on 9-22 March 2012.

The Association also wishes to thank Ben Natali, Finance Section, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences for auditing the Association accounts.


Douglas Finlayson
Hon. Treasurer, Ginninderra Falls Association
28 August, 2012

Ginninderra Falls Association Inc
Statement of Accounts, 14 February to 30 June 2012-07-24

Until the incorporation of the Ginninderra Falls Association was approved by the ACT Regulator, Association Number A05244, and the opening of a bank account with the St. George Bank all funds were held as petty cash by the Hon. Treasurer.

  This report
Membership fees
Total income $410.00    
No expenditure
Total expenditure $0.00    
Bank balance 30 June 2012 $100.00    
Petty cash 30 June 2012






Douglas Finlayson
Hon. Treasurer
28 August, 2012

Auditor's Statement

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