Guest Speaker at our AGM 3 June 2012

Glenn Brooks-MacMillan is the newly appointed Facilitator for the Southern Ranges Environmental Alliance, whose domain basically runs along the Puffing Billy Corridor. It is a three-year appointment that requires two to three days’ work per week, making people aware of groups and organising funding for them.

He also liaises with other environmental groups such as those in the Dandenongs and along the Cardinia creek. Melbourne Water, for instance, is a good source of funding where Glenn can provide help fort hose wishing to participate in water conservation activities.

He was trained as an engineer so, with his environmental bent, he feels very comfortable to be called an environmental engineer. Once he settles in, he will organise Field Days and other Events as well as providing an Advocacy for those who need it.

Glenn then moved on to talk about the platypus. He had brought along a large amount of display material, which was spread out on the tables as well as on a large portable display board. His two young daughters, Kasey and Paigelyn, were a big hit when they appeared; one dressed up as a platypus, the other a zookeeper.

Although not an expert on this animal, he does work for the Australian Platypus Conservancy and regularly checks streams for any illegal nets. Legal nets are those that lie flat on the bottom so they can’t trap, and therefore drown, the platypus. Nets also need to have a name and an address attached. Other problems the platypus encounters include plastic rings, (eg those used for holding six pack drink containers), hair rings and fishing lines. Further problems arise when riparian vegetation is removed; the platypus needs vegetation coverage of at least 10-15m from the banks of streams for their nests, of which they have many.

It is envisaged that information signage be provided in suitable areas to help in our understanding of this wonderfully unique creature.